ORIGIN OF TIIS LAKE
A TROLL had once taken up his abode near the village of Kund, in the high bank on which the church now stands; but when the people about there had become pious, and went constantly to church, the Troll was dreadfully annoyed by their almost incessant ringing of bells in the steeple of the church. He was at last obliged, in consequence of it, to take his departure; for nothing has more contributed to the emigration of the Troll-folk out of the country than the increasing piety of the people, and their taking to bell-ringing. The Troll of Kund accordingly quitted the country, and went over to Funen, where he lived for some time in peace and quiet.
Now it chanced that a man who had lately settled in the town of Kund, coming to Funen on business, met on the road with this same Troll: "Where do you live?" said the Troll to him. Now there was nothing whatever about the Troll unlike a man, so he answered him, as was the truth, "I am from the town of Kund." "So?" said the Troll. "I don't know you, then! And yet I think I know every man in Kund. Will you, however," continued he, "just be so kind to take a letter from me back with you to Kund?" The man said, of course, he had no objection. The Troll then thrust the letter into his pocket, and charged him strictly not to take it out till he came to Kund church, and then to throw it over the churchyard wall, and the person for whom it was intended would get it.
The Troll then went away in great haste, and with him the letter went entirely out of the man's mind. But when he was come back to Zealand he sat down by the meadow where Tiis Lake now is, and suddenly recollected the Troll's letter. He felt a great desire to look at it at least. So be took it out of his pocket, and sat awhile with it in his hands, when suddenly there began to dribble a little water out of the seal. The letter now unfolded itself, and the water came out faster and faster, and it was with the utmost difficulty that the poor man was enabled to save his life; for the malicious Troll had enclosed an entire lake in the letter. The Troll, it is plain, had thought to avenge himself on Kund church by destroying it in this manner; but God ordered it so that the lake chanced to run out in the great meadow where it now flows. [a]
[a] Oral. Tiis Lake is in Zealand. It is the general belief of the peasantry that there are now very few Trolls in the country, for the ringing of bells has driven them all away, they, like the Stille-folk of the Germans, delighting in quiet and silence. It is said that a farmer having found a Troll sitting very disconsolate on a stone near Tiis Lake, and taking him at first for a decent Christian man, accosted him with--" Well! where are you going, friend?" "Ah!" said he, in a melancholy tone, "I am going off out of the country. I cannot live here any longer, they keep such eternal ringing and dinging!"
"There is a high hill," says Kalm (Resa, &c. p. 136), "near Botna in Sweden, in which formerly dwelt a Troll. When they got up bells in Botna church, and he heard the ringing of them, he is related to have said:
"Det är så godt i det Botnaberg at bo,
Vore ikke den leda Bjälleko."
"Pleasant it were in Botnahill to dwell,
Were it not for the sound of that plaguey bell,"