How Thorston Became Rich
: Folk-lore And Legends Scandinavian
When spring came Thorston made ready his ship and put twenty-four men on
board of her. When they came to Finland they ran her into a harbour, and
every day he went on shore to amuse himself.
He came one day to an open part of the wood, where he saw a great rock,
and a little way out from it was a horribly ugly dwarf. He was looking
over his head, with his mouth wide open, and it appeared to Thorston
t stretched from ear to ear, and that the lower jaw came down to
Thorston asked him why he acted so foolishly.
"Do not be surprised, my good lad," answered the dwarf, "do you not see
that great dragon that is flying up there? He has taken off my son, and
I believe that it is Odin himself that has sent the monster to do it. I
shall burst and die if I lose my son."
Then Thorston shot at the dragon, and hit him under one of the wings, so
that he fell dead to the earth; but Thorston caught the dwarf's child in
the air, and brought him to his father.
The dwarf was very glad, more rejoiced than any one can tell, and he
"I have to reward you for a great service, you who are the deliverer of
my son. Now choose your reward in silver or gold."
"Take your son," said Thorston; "but I am not used to accept rewards for
"It would not be becoming," said the dwarf, "if I did not reward you. I
will give you my vest of sheep's wool. Do not think it is a contemptible
gift, for you will never be tired when swimming, or wounded, if you wear
it next your skin."
Thorston took it and put it on, and it fitted him well, though it had
appeared too small for the dwarf.
The dwarf next took a gold ring out of his purse and gave it to
Thorston, and bade him take good care of it, telling him he should never
want money while he had the ring.
Next he gave him a black stone, and said--
"If you hide this stone in the palm of your hand no one will see you. I
have not many more things to offer you, or that would be of any value to
you. I will, however, give you a firestone for your amusement."
He took the stone out of his purse, and with it a steel point. The stone
was triangular, white on one side and red on the other, and a yellow
border ran round it. The dwarf said--
"If you prick the stone with the point in the white side there will come
on such a hailstorm that no one will be able to look at it. If you want
to stop the shower you have only to prick on the yellow part, and there
will come so much sunshine that the hail will melt away. If you prick
the red side then there will come out of it such fire, with sparks and
crackling, that no one will be able to look at it. You may also get
whatever you will by means of this point and stone, and they will come
of themselves back to your hand when you call them. I can give you no
more of such gifts."
Thorston then thanked the dwarf for his presents, and returned to his
men; and it was better for him to have made that voyage than to have
stayed at home.