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Stompe Pilt

Swedish folktale

Not far from Baalsberg, near Filkestad in the Willandsharad, there is a hill in which a giant named Stompe Pilt once used to live.

It happened one day that a goat-herd was driving his flock up the hill in which Stompe Pilt dwelt.

"Who is there?" cried the giant, and rushed out of his hill with a hunk of flint-rock in his fist.

"I am, if that's what you want to know!" shouted the shepherd-lad and continued driving his goats up the hill.

"If you come here, I will squash you as I squash this stone!" cried the giant and he crushed it into fine sand between his fingers.

"And I will squash you till the water runs out, just as I squash this stone!" answered the shepherd-lad, drawing a fresh cheese from his pocket, and pressing it hard, so that the water ran from his fingers.

"Are you not frightened?" asked the giant.

"Of you? Certainly not!" was the youth's reply.

"Then we will fight with one another!" proposed the giant.

"As you choose," replied the shepherd, "but first we must abuse each other so that we can get into a proper rage, because as we abuse each other we will grow angry, and when we are angry we will fight!"

"But I shall begin by abusing you," said the giant.

"As you choose," said the youth, "but then it will be my turn."

"May a troll with a crooked nose take you!" yelled the giant.

"May a flying devil carry you off!" answered the shepherd and he shot a sharp arrow against the giant's body with his bow.

"What was that?" asked the giant, and tried to pull the arrow out of his body.

"That was a word of abuse," said the shepherd.

"How does it come to have feathers?" asked the giant.

"The better to fly with," answered the shepherd.

"Why does it stick so tight?" the giant continued.

"Because it has taken root in your body," was the shepherd's answer.

"Have you any other abusive words of the same sort?" asked the giant. "Here is another one," replied the youth, and shot another arrow into the giant.

"Ouch, ouch!" cried Stompe Pilt, "are you still not angry enough for us to come to blows?"

"No, I have not abused you enough as yet," said the shepherd and aimed another arrow.

"Lead your goats wherever you choose! If I cannot stand your abusive words, I surely will not be able to bear up against your blows," cried Stompe Pilt, and jumped back into his hill.

And that is how the shepherd gained the victory, because he was brave and did not let the stupid giant frighten him.


An entertaining parody of the serious tale of David and Goliath is the story of the little shepherd boy's fight with the giant Stompe Pilt. (Hofberg, p. 10).

The Swedish Fairy Book

The Swedish Fairy Book

Notes: Contains 28 Swedish folktales.

Author: Various
Editor: Clara Stroebe
Translator: Frederick H. Martens
Published: 1921
Publisher: Frederick A. Stokes Company

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