Here is the story of the black pixie and the red giant. In the old days, a long time ago, there was a king who lived in the north of Ireland. He had a family of sons and daughters, but they were all killed except one son and one daughter. The son has not grown an inch since he reached the age of ten, for a blacksmith had bewitched him, and he was lying in a cradle in the room where his mother had died.
The black pixie and the red giant
The girl grew up to be a pretty girl, and the king cared as much about her as he cared about the eye in his head.
There was a giant in Scotland called the Red Giant; he heard of the king's pretty daughter; he came in Ireland and he took him away in spite of his father and his soldiers. He took her to Scotland and kept her locked up in his castle for eleven years, beating and abusing her.
The king's heart was broken with pain. He promised thousands of books to whoever would bring his daughter back to him, but it was useless. The giant would not have given her for all the riches in the world.
The Red Giant paid no attention to the blows of throwing weapons, nor to the blows of swords, nor would he care to a blow of straw, and people thought it was not him. who carried his life within himself, for he had received blows and deaths by the hundreds. He had often been left for dead, but he had come back to life; like the cat with nine lives, the Red Giant had nine thousand lives.
One day, once, an old woman came to the king's castle. She said that she had to tell the king a story that would bring joy to her heart, and that she could tell this story to no one but the king himself. They led her to the king's chamber and when the servant had left, she locked the door.
"Forgive me, O king," she said; I can only do my commission to yourself. I come from your daughter; she is persecuted by the Red Giant, in his castle in Scotland. There is only one living man who can deliver your daughter and that is your own son, the Black Imp who was in the cradle twenty-one years ago. Now go find your blacksmith and tell him to make a two-edged sword for your son who is going to fight with the Red Giant in Scotland. Here is a little bottle for you; there is a little of my blood, and tell the blacksmith to pour three drops of Caoilte's mother's blood on the sword when it is soaked. When the sword is ready, give it to me. Now take me to your son's room, I must chat with him.
The king led the old woman to the Dark Elf's room, left her there and went to the blacksmith's workshop without anyone knowing in the castle. When he bowed into the workshop, the blacksmith welcomed him and said:
- It is a great honor for me that my king enters my poor forge.
- Start now, said the king, to make a two-edged sword for my son who is going to fight with the Red Giant in Scotland. He's the one who kidnapped my pretty daughter eleven years ago, and her brother is going to go and deliver her now.
- Oh ! king, said the blacksmith, I will make a sword as good as I can, but no sword in the world has any virtue against this giant there, because its life is not contained in itself and it cannot be defeated. that by one thing, it is by a sword soaked with three drops of blood of the mother of Caoilte and you will not find any in your kingdom!
- This blood is in my possession, said the king, begin, you, to make the sword.
The blacksmith took steel and when it was red on the forge, as he was hitting it with a heavy hammer, he said to the king:
- Now pour the drops on it.
He did so, and the blacksmith continued his work until the sword was made.
While the king was with the blacksmith, the old woman was chatting with her son.
- Now, she said to the goblin, you've been in the cradle for twenty-one years and I think it's time for you to deliver your sister from the Red Giant.
“You know I can't do this without your help,” he said, “and if you're willing to give it to me, I won't be in the cradle a moment longer.
- Jump, said the old woman, let me make a change on you, your father will come without delay with a two-edged sword for you and there are three drops of my blood in this sword and do not be afraid in front of the Red Giant.
He jumped to the ground, as light as the March Hare. Her hair was as black as a raven and she swept the earth. This was the reason he was called the Black Sprite. The old woman drew a magic wand, struck him three times, and in an instant he was over six feet high and proportionately wide, and dressed as he would be a king's son. When he looked in the mirror which was hung on the wall, he did not recognize himself and he said:
- I'm not the Dark Goblin and I don't know who I am.
- You are the king's real son, said the old woman, and it is you who are appointed to fight the Red Giant; I knew that before you were born, and I will be there on the day of the fight.
The king returned with the sword finished and when he opened the door to his son's room and when he saw the tall handsome man in the company of the old woman, he was in astonishment.
- Where is my son, the Black Imp? he said.
- He is standing in front of you, said the old woman, has he not taken on a beautiful form since you left?
"I don't think it's my son who is here," said the king.
- You can be sure, said the son, I was strong enough to be an elf until I was twenty-one, and now I have in me the strength of a hundred men and I will defeat the Red Giant as soon as I go to fight with him.
“Have a ship ready for him within three days,” said the old woman, “but we'll have to be cunning and keep it a secret. Lead your son that night to the door behind the castle, as soon as night falls, go around the castle to the front door and knock on it and tell the servants that this is your son who is coming back. from Spain. At the same time, I will put in the cradle a Logardan similar to the Black Sprite. He will be dead; you can say he died suddenly and so people will have no doubts about the story.
- On my word, I will do as you say, said the king, for I see that you are a good friend; is there something i can do for you?
- No, if not to follow my advice, said the old woman, and I will be ready on the seashore to go with you to Scotland.
The old woman then left, without anyone in the castle knowing it, except the king and his son.
That night, when night had fallen, the king led his son through a back door and brought him back to the front door. He knocked quickly and when the porter opened the door he said:
- This is my eldest son coming back from Spain.
The porter welcomed him, and the story soon began to be heard by everyone in the castle. The king led his son to a beautiful room, but it was not long before he returned to say that the poor goblin was dead in his cradle. There was not much grief about him but he was properly buried.
Two days later, the king procured a ship and sailors and proclaimed that his son, who had arrived from Spain, was going to go to Scotland to fight with the Red Giant, and that he would be glad if a troop of gentlemen was with him. When the ship was ready, a large troop came to go to Scotland with the king. When they were on board the ship, the king saw the old woman come to the shore, dressed in a green coat.
- O great king, she said, will you allow an old woman to come with you?
"Come on board," said the king.
She came on board so they raised the sails and headed for Scotland. When they arrived at the port, they left the ship to the sailors and proceeded to the castle of the Red Giant.
There was a large, solid wall around the castle and it only had one door. The Giant was looking at a window and when he saw the great troop at the door he asked in a frightening voice:
- Who are you or what do you want?
The king spoke up and said:
- I am the King of Ireland and I ask for my pretty daughter, and if you do not return her to me, here is my son who will deliver her with his sword.
The Giant came out, with a sword in his hand. The king's son drew his double-edged sword and they attacked each other. They fought for three hours without cutting or piercing each other. The giant got angry and said:
- You're the best man to ever stand in front of me, but I'm going to have to kill you.
But the word had not come out of his mouth when the king's son split his head open.
- Ah! ah! said the Giant, there is poison in your sword or it is mixed with the blood of Caoilte's mother.
The old woman then introduced herself, clapping her hands, and said:
- I am Caoilte's mother and I am proud of it. Give him another blow, son of the king, and end the life of the traitor, it is by treason that he killed my son, the true hero of Connaught.
The king's son cut off his head then and He fell dead. The old woman drew a black knife and untied the heart of the Red Giant and said:
- I will take it with me to Connaught, as a token of my victory, for the people.
The king and his son entered the castle, and took away the king's pretty daughter. She couldn't speak, for the excess of joy, until she saw the old woman in her green coat. She ran to her and she kissed her:
- Oh my father, it is the lady who made me deliver and who encouraged and consoled me in my slavery. If it hadn't been, I would have died a long time ago. She gave blood from her heart for me and I don't know what compensation I will give her.
"I don't need any compensation," she said. I received satisfaction for the death of my son whom the Red Giant killed for treason, something he could not have done by force. I am going to rest now, since I know that the traitor is dead.
The king and his company returned to Ireland and he made a feast which lasted seven days and seven nights and, he received there rich and poor.
Soon after that a king's son came from Spain and he married the pretty daughter, and the king's son married the king's daughter of Spain and there was a wedding in the castle which lasted a month. I was there myself and had a lot to eat and drink.