SVEND FAELLING AND THE ELF-MAID
SVEND FAELLING was, while a little boy, at service in Sjeller-wood-house in Framley; and it one time happened that he had to ride of a message to Ristrup. It was evening before he got near home, and as he came by the hill of Borum Es, he saw the Elle-maids, who were dancing without ceasing round and round his horse. Then one of the Elle-maids stept up to him, and readied him a drinking cup, bidding him at the same time to drink. Svend took the cup, but as he was dubious of the nature of the contents, he flung it out over his shoulder, where it fell on the horse's back, and singed off all the hair. While he had the horn fast in his band, be gave his horse the spurs and rode off full speed. The Elle-maid pursued him till he came to Trigebrand's mill, and rode through the running water, over which she could not follow him. She then earnestly conjured Svend to give her back the horn, promising him in exchange twelve men's strength. On this condition he gave back the horn, and got what she had promised him; but it very frequently put him to great inconvenience, for he found that along with it be had gotten an appetite for twelve. [a]
[a] Thiele, ii. 67. Framley is in Jutlant. Svend (i.e. Swain) Faelling is a celebrated character in Danish tradition; he is regarded as a second Holger Danake, and he is the hero of two of the Kjempe Viser. In Sweden he is named Sven Färling or Fotling. Grimm has shown that he and Sigurd are the same person. Deutsche Mythologie, p. 345. In the Nibelungen Lied (st. 345) Sifret (Sigurd) gets the strength of twelve men by wearing the tarnkappe of the dwarf Albrich. Another tradition, presently to be mentioned, says it was from a Dwarf he got his strength, for aiding him in battle against another Dwarf. It is added, that when Svend came home in the evening, after his adventure with the Elle-maids, the people were drinking their Yule-beer, and they sent him down for a fresh supply. Svend went without saying anything, and returned with a barrel in each hand and one under each arm.