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  1. The Giant Finn and Lund's Cathedral
  2. Sowing Pine Seeds
  3. The Ghost at the Inn

The Giant Finn and Lund's Cathedral

In the days long gone by there lived a family of giants in the Hills of Helgona near Lund. One they day heard with great anxiety and consternation that a holy man had come into the country from Saxony, to build a church.

While that man was choosing his site and laying out the plans for the buildings, there stood at his side, one day, none other than Finn, the giant of the Helgona Hills. Finn said to him: "I will build the church for you, if, when it is finished, you will tell me what my name is. But if you cannot tell me, you must give to my little ones the sun and the moon."

The priest could not reasonably promise so much, but anxious to have the church built, he offered his two eyeballs instead, trusting to fortune. Satisfied with the bargain, the giant at once started on the work, and with wonderful speed. Soon there remained nothing more to complete it than to set one stone on the tower.

The day before it was to take place, the priest stood on the Helgona Hills and was thinking gloomily that this seemed to be the last day he could see at all. Then he heard the cry of a child from within the hill, and the voice of the giant mother who was striving to quiet it with a song. He clearly heard her sing: "Silent, silent, little son, tomorrow your father Finn will bring you either the sun and moon or else the eyes of someone."

The the priest heard that, he was happy, for now he knew the giant's name. He ran back quickly to town, and went to the church. There sat the giant on the roof, just about to set the last stone in place. At that very moment the priest sang out, ""Finn, Finn, Take care how you put the stone in!"

The giant flung the stone from him in a rage and rushed from the tower to the ground. There he laid hold of one of the pillars and tried to pull the church down. But he had built it too well, so he found there was nothing better to do than to disappear, and that he did.


Sowing Pine Seeds

In Kopinge lies Ugerup Estate, also called Urup, famous in the history of Denmark. In the 1500s, when Arild Ugerup (1528-87) was yet a young man, he was captured by the Swedes and carried as a prisoner to Stockholm. His friends had little hope that they would ever see him again.

But while Arild was languishing in his prison it occurred to him that he should seek the king's permission to go home on parole to sow and gather his crops. The king readily granted his petition since Arild promised to return to his confinement as soon as his harvest was ripe.

He at once hastened to Skane. And in the fields where his ancestors had grown corn, he planted pine seeds.

When the autumn had passed, the king thought the harvest must have been gathered, and sent Arild a request to come to Stockholm. But Arild convinced the messenger that his seeds had not yet sprouted, much less ripened.

When the king was informed about the matter, he smiled and decided to let the matter rest. So Arild got his freedom without breaking his word.


The Ghost at the Inn

A widow at twenty-nine took on herself the management of her many properties. On a journey over them she came one evening to the tavern in Fjelkinge, and was quartered for the night in a room that had the name of being haunted. The room was called the "ghost's room" after a traveller and all his belongings had disappeared without a trace there a few years before. The last that was seen of him, what that he went to sleep in this room. People supposed he had been murdered.

Shortly after this, a ghost appeared in the room nightly, and those who knew about it, would rather travel to the next inn in the dark, rather than to stay at Fjelkinge inn for the night. However, he widow chose to sleep in the room anyway.

She retired to bed and sleep, leaving the lamp burning. At twelve o'clock she woke up when two boards in the floor were lifted up, and from the opening rose a bloody phantom, with a cloven head hanging on its shoulders.

"Noble lady," whispered the ghost, "Please, prepare a grave in consecrated earth for a murdered man, and speed the murderer to his just punishment."

Now the phantom told her he had already asked various other people to do the same thing; but in vain.

The widow drew a gold ring from her finger, laid it in the gaping wound, and bound the apparition's head up with her kerchief. With a glance of unspeakable gratitude he told her the name of the murderer, and disappeared beneath the floor without a sound.

Next morning the lady sent for the bailiff of the estate to come to the tavern with some people. She told them what had happened during the night, and ordered that the planks of the floor be taken up. Uder the ground they discovered the remains of a body that was buried in the earth. They noticed that the ring of the countess lay in a wound in its head, and her kerchief was tied about its head.

At the sight of this, one of those present grew pale and fell to the ground in a swoon. When he came to his senses, he confessed that he had murdered the traveller and robbed him of his belongings. He was condemned to death for his crime, and the body of the murdered man was buried in the village churchyard.



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