The tale of the Wyrm in Lagarfljot

Drawing by Halldor Baldursson

Once upon a time, a young girl living at a farm by the lake of Lagarfljót acquired a gold broach. She placed the broach in a box, underneath a slug, because she had heard that this would increase her gold. When the girl went to check on the gold broach a week later, the slug had grown so much that the box could hardly contain it. Extremely frightened, she grabbed the box and threw it as far out in the lake as she could. Time passed, and the monstrous wyrm’s convulsions began to threaten people living beside the lake.  Not knowing what else to do, the farmers called on some Finns to help defeat the wyrm, since Finns were famous for their magical abilities. Upon their arrival, the Finns explored the river and came to the conclusion that the wyrm might prove too powerful, even for them. Nonetheless, they decided to make the attempt and prepared to face it. The battle lasted a long time, with the people waiting on land easily noticing that a mighty struggle was taking place far beneath the surface. Finally the exhausted Finns emerged and declared that they had been unable to overpower the wyrm completely.  They had however managed to fasten its head and tail to the lake bottom, where it will stay till the end of all days, without harming anybody. Therefore, no one need worry though they occasionally see the wyrm arching its body above the water.

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