The stone floor is heaving. The giant is coming up from below, shaking the house and raging like a thunderstorm.

I run to my maids. “Come with your cauldron of pitch! Make haste!”

The earth splits and we pour the pitch into the widening crack. I can see the three heads of the giant pushing through the floor. They roar when they feel the hot pitch, and then sink back down into the earth. Their thunder becomes fainter and fainter until we hear the storm no more.

Princess Hadvor Killing the Giant in Hermond and Hadvor, Yellow Fairy Book. Painting “Portrait of a Little Girl,” by Constantin Hansen, 1850.

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