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Folk Tales

The Werewolf

Long ago, in a small village in Estonia, there lived a young woman named Liina. One night, while she was walking through the forest on her way home from a gathering, she was approached by a pack of wolves.

To her surprise, one of the wolves transformed into a man and introduced himself as Eerik. Eerik explained that he was a werewolf and that he was in love with Liina. He begged her to marry him and become his wife.

Liina was afraid but also intrigued by Eerik's offer. She agreed to marry him on the condition that he would never harm her or anyone in her village.

Eerik agreed to Liina's conditions, and they were married in a traditional Estonian ceremony. However, as time passed, Liina began to suspect that Eerik was still a werewolf and that he was breaking his promise by harming villagers.

One night, while Eerik was away, Liina discovered a pile of wolf skins in their home. She realized that Eerik was indeed a werewolf and that he had been harming villagers.

Determined to stop him, Liina put on one of the wolf skins and transformed into a werewolf herself. She confronted Eerik in his wolf form and challenged him to a fight.

The two werewolves battled fiercely, but in the end, Liina emerged victorious. She forced Eerik to return to his human form and promised to forgive him if he would never harm anyone again.

Eerik agreed to Liina's terms, and they lived together peacefully for many years.

The Legend of Kalevipoeg

A giant hero named Kalevipoeg was born to a woman who had been struck by lightning. As a young man, Kalevipoeg left his village and went on a series of adventures, battling monsters, discovering treasures, and performing great deeds.

One of Kalevipoeg's most famous adventures involved the creation of the Lake Peipus. According to the legend, Kalevipoeg was travelling with his mother when they came across a giant bog. Kalevipoeg decided to drain the bog and create a lake, but he needed the help of a giant bird to do so.

Kalevipoeg asked the bird for its help, but the bird refused. So Kalevipoeg challenged the bird to a contest of strength. They agreed that whoever could lift the biggest rock would be declared the strongest.

Kalevipoeg found a huge boulder and lifted it with ease. But the bird claimed that it could find a bigger rock, so it flew away to search for one. Days turned into weeks, and Kalevipoeg grew impatient.

Finally, the bird returned with a giant boulder that it had found on the other side of the world. It dropped the boulder into the bog, and the water rushed in to fill the new lake.

Kalevipoeg was impressed by the bird's strength and declared it the winner of the contest. As a reward, he gave the bird a feather from his own hair, which the bird treasured as a symbol of its victory.

The Devil's Wedding

Long ago, there was a poor peasant named Ants who lived in a small village. One day, while he was out in the forest gathering firewood, he stumbled upon a group of demons who were preparing for a wedding. Ants watched from a distance, fascinated by the strange and eerie scene.

As the wedding procession began, the devil himself approached Ants and invited him to join in the celebration. Ants was hesitant at first, but the devil promised him a great reward if he attended.

Ants agreed and was taken to the wedding feast, where he saw all sorts of strange and otherworldly creatures. The food was delicious, and the music was enchanting, but Ants soon realized that something was amiss.

He noticed that the bride was actually a young woman from his village who had disappeared several days earlier. Ants became outraged and confronted the devil, demanding that the young woman be released.

The devil refused and challenged Ants to a game of cards to determine the fate of the bride. Ants, who was skilled at card games, agreed, but he secretly prayed for divine assistance.

As the game progressed, Ants began to win more and more hands, thanks to the divine intervention of God. The devil became furious and tried to cheat, but Ants caught him in the act.

In the end, Ants won the game, and the devil was forced to release the young woman. Ants returned to his village as a hero and the young woman was reunited with her family.

The Sampo

The Sampo was a magical artifact that was said to bring wealth and prosperity to those who possessed it. The story of the Sampo begins with a young blacksmith named Ilmarinen, who lived in the land of Kalevala.

One day, Ilmarinen set out to forge a great artifact that would bring prosperity to his people. He worked tirelessly for many days and nights until he finally succeeded in creating the Sampo, a magical mill that could produce unlimited wealth.

Ilmarinen was overjoyed with his creation, but he soon found that others coveted the Sampo as well. The witch Louhi, ruler of the land of Pohjola, heard of the Sampo's power and demanded that it be brought to her kingdom.

Ilmarinen refused to give up the Sampo, and a great battle ensued between the people of Kalevala and the people of Pohjola. In the end, the people of Kalevala were victorious, and they kept the Sampo for themselves.

However, their victory was short-lived. The witch Louhi was determined to get her hands on the Sampo, and she used her magic to conjure a great storm that destroyed the ship carrying the Sampo back to Kalevala.

The Sampo was lost at sea, and the people of Kalevala were left to struggle without its magical powers. The story of the Sampo serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of greed and the importance of protecting one's treasures.

The Smith and the Devil
(Raudmees ja kurat)

A skilled blacksmith was known throughout the land for his ability to create the finest swords and armor. One day, the Devil came to the blacksmith's forge and offered to make a deal. The Devil promised the blacksmith all the wealth and success he could ever dream of in exchange for his soul.

The blacksmith was hesitant but ultimately agreed to the Devil's terms, and the two began to work together. The Devil would bring the blacksmith the finest metals and materials, and the blacksmith would create the most magnificent pieces of armor and weaponry. The blacksmith's business began to thrive, and he became a wealthy man.

However, as time went on, the blacksmith began to regret his decision. He realized that his soul was more valuable than any amount of wealth or success. So, he made a plan to outsmart the Devil.

One day, when the Devil came to collect the blacksmith's soul, the blacksmith challenged him to a game of wits. The blacksmith proposed that they compete in a game of riddles, with the winner taking all.

The Devil, confident in his intelligence, accepted the challenge. However, the blacksmith had a secret weapon - he had studied and prepared for this moment for years. He was able to outsmart the Devil at every turn and won the game.

As the winner, the blacksmith demanded that the Devil release him from their agreement and allow him to keep his soul. The Devil, true to his word, released the blacksmith from the deal, and the blacksmith was able to live the rest of his life with his soul intact.

The Raja Mill
(Raja Veski)

There was once a poor farmer named Jaan who lived in a small village. Despite his best efforts, Jaan struggled to make ends meet and provide for his family. One day, he came up with a plan to build a mill on the river that ran through his village.

Jaan worked tirelessly to build the mill, but he soon ran out of money and materials. He went to the local lord and begged for help, but the lord refused, saying that Jaan would never be able to build a mill on his own.

Undeterred, Jaan continued to work on the mill, and soon, a strange man appeared to help him. The man had a hunched back and was covered in rags, but he possessed incredible strength and was able to help Jaan finish the mill in record time.

Jaan was overjoyed with the mill and named it the Raja Mill in honor of the strange man who had helped him. The mill became famous throughout the region for its high-quality flour and became a source of great wealth and prosperity for Jaan and his family.

Years went by, and Jaan became an old man. One day, he was visited by the same strange man who had helped him build the mill. The man revealed himself to be an angel and told Jaan that he had been sent by God to help him because of his kindness and generosity.

The angel then disappeared, and Jaan realized that the Raja Mill was no longer turning. He went to the mill and discovered that the angel had taken the millstone, leaving behind a message that read, "The Raja Mill will never turn again, for it was built with the help of an angel."

The White Lady
(Valge Daam)

There was a nobleman who lived in a grand castle in Estonia. He was known for his wealth and power, but he was also a cruel and selfish man. One day, he became infatuated with a beautiful young woman and decided that he must have her as his wife.

The woman, however, did not return the nobleman's affections and refused his proposal. Enraged, the nobleman accused her of being a witch and had her executed.

After the woman's death, strange things began to happen in the castle. The nobleman reported seeing a white apparition haunting the halls and rooms of the castle. The apparition was said to be the ghost of the woman he had executed, seeking revenge on him for his cruel actions.

The nobleman became increasingly paranoid and fearful of the white lady, and he eventually fled the castle, leaving it abandoned and falling into disrepair.

Over time, the story of the white lady spread throughout Estonia, and she became known as a symbol of justice and revenge against those who abuse their power.

The Stone Bridge
(Kivisilla legend)

Long ago, there was a wealthy merchant who lived in a small village. The merchant had a beautiful daughter, and many suitors came from far and wide to ask for her hand in marriage. However, the merchant was a cruel and greedy man who cared only about money, and he refused to let his daughter marry anyone unless they could bring him a treasure that he coveted.

One day, a young man from a neighboring village came to ask for the merchant's daughter's hand in marriage. The merchant, as usual, refused, but the young man was determined to win the girl's hand. He set out on a quest to find the treasure that the merchant desired.

After many months of searching, the young man finally found the treasure, a magical stone that could make wishes come true. He brought the stone back to the merchant, who was impressed and agreed to let the young man marry his daughter.

However, the young man had a plan. He used the stone to create a beautiful stone bridge across the river that ran through the village. The bridge was so strong and sturdy that it was said to have been built by the gods themselves.

As time passed, the bridge became known as a place of magic and wonder. It was said that if you made a wish while standing on the bridge, it would come true. People from all over the region came to visit the bridge, and it became an important symbol of the village.

The young man and the merchant's daughter lived happily ever after, and their love story became a legend in the village.

The Sun Hero

Long ago, the world was dark and cold, with no sun to warm the earth. The people of Estonia were suffering, and they prayed for a hero to bring them light and warmth.

One day, a young man named Ilmarine decided to take on the challenge of bringing the sun to his people. He went on a long and treacherous journey, facing many obstacles along the way.

Ilmarine battled fierce monsters, braved treacherous terrain, and crossed vast oceans to reach the place where the sun was hidden. When he finally found the sun, he had to outwit a cunning wizard who had placed it under a powerful spell.

But with determination and bravery, Ilmarine was able to defeat the wizard and free the sun. The light and warmth of the sun flooded the earth, and the people of Estonia rejoiced.

Ilmarine became known as the Sun Hero, and he was celebrated throughout the land as a symbol of courage and determination. His story was told to children as a reminder of the power of perseverance and the importance of working hard to achieve one's goals.

The Maiden's Castle

In the heart of Tallinn, there stood a great castle that was ruled by a powerful king. One day, the king's daughter, a beautiful and kind-hearted maiden, was kidnapped by a wicked sorcerer and taken to a tower on the outskirts of the city.

The tower was surrounded by thorns and guarded by fierce beasts, making it impossible for anyone to rescue the maiden. However, many brave knights tried, and all of them failed.

One day, a young man named Toomas came to the city and heard about the plight of the maiden. He was determined to rescue her, and he set out to find a way to reach the tower.

Toomas was aided by a wise old woman, who gave him a magical horse that could fly. With the horse's help, Toomas was able to reach the tower and defeat the sorcerer.

He freed the maiden and brought her back to the city, where she was reunited with her father. Toomas was hailed as a hero and given great honors for his bravery.

The Maiden's Castle became a symbol of hope and inspiration for the people of Tallinn, and it continues to be celebrated in Estonian culture to this day. The story is a reminder of the importance of courage, determination, and the power of love in the face of great adversity.