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Castle Niedeck
The Toy of the young Giantess

     In olden times a race of giants is said to have lived in Alsace. Castle Niedeck in the valley of the Breusch was their residence, but even the ruins of this fortress have long since disappeared. The legend however remains to tell us that they were a peaceable people, well-disposed to mankind.

     The daughter of the master of the castle was one day leisurely walking through the adjoining wood. On approaching the fields and meadows of the valley, she perceived a peasant ploughing. The young giantess looked in great astonishment at the tiny man who seemed to be so busily engaged trudging along after his little team, and turning up the ground with his small iron instrument. She had never before seen anything so wonderful, and was very much amused at the sight.

     It seemed to her a nice little toy, and she clapped her hands in childish glee, so that the echo sounded among the mountains; then picking up man, horse, and plough, she placed them in her apron and hurried back gaily to the castle. There she showed her father the nice little toy, greatly pleased at what she had found.

     The giant however shook his enormous head gravely, and said in a displeased tone, "Don't you know, child, who this trembling little creature with his struggling tiny animal is, that you have taken for a plaything? Of all the dwarfs down in the valley below, he is the most useful; he works hard and indefatigably in scorching heat as well as in windy cold weather, so that the fields may produce fruit for us. He who scoffs at or maltreats him will be punished by Heaven. Take the little labourer therefore back to the place he came from."

     The young giantess, greatly ashamed and deeply blushing with embarrassment, put the amusing little toy back into her apron, and carried it obediently down to the valley.

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