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- ANIMAL HEROES - 31/31 -


The Norse folk awoke as from a horrid nightmare. Their national ruin was averted; there were no deaths, for there were no proofs; and the talebearer's strife was ended.

The one earthly sign remaining from that drive is the string of silver bells that Sveggum had taken from the Storbuk's neck--the victory bells, each the record of a triumph won; and when the old man came to understand, he sighed, and hung to the string a final bell, the largest of them all.

Nothing more was ever seen or heard of the creature who so nearly sold his country, or of the White Storbuk who balked him. Yet those who live near Jotunheim say that on stormy nights, when the snow is flying and the wind is raving in the woods, there sometimes passes, at frightful speed, an enormous White Reindeer with fiery eyes, drawing a snow-white pulk, in which is a screaming wretch in white, and on the head of the Deer, balancing by the horns, is a brown-clad, white-bearded Troll, bowing and grinning pleasantly at him, and singing

Of Norway's luck And a White Storbuk--

the same, they say, as the one that with prophetic vision sang by Sveggum's Vand-dam on a bygone day when the birches wore their springtime hangers, and a great mild-eyed Varsimle' came alone, to go away with a little white Renskalv walking slowly, demurely, by her side.


ANIMAL HEROES - 31/31

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