The LIndworm and the Bull

The Lindworm and the Bull.

Once upon a time, in the village of Hvalsø, there lived a beautiful, young girl who was renowned for her goodness.

On a winter’s day, she passed the church on the hill, and there she found a small worm, cold and frozen on the ground. She took pity on the creature, and warmed it in her hands under her woolen shawl as she hurried home. In the heat of the hearth, the worm soon recovered, and the girl happily nursed it. Soon the worm grew big, beautiful and lively. It grew two small front legs, and a forked tongued played behind its sharp rows of gleaming white teeth.

As summer came, the growing creature had to be moved to the stables as it grew claws and scales on its back. It hissed and showed its teeth in return, and the girl started to fear the creature she had nourished.

During the following winter, it was dull and woke up only to eat, but in the end the girl decided to put it back in front of the church, wrapped in hay.

When spring came, strange things began to happen in Hvalsø. Rattling and hissing sounds would be heard whenever people went to church, and one sunny Sunday morning the male parishioners were met by a terrible monster which rose several metres in front of the men’s entrance on the northern side of the church. From that day on, the men only ventured through the women’s door on the opposite side.

Plans to kill the monster with pitchforks, poison or traps were rejected as nobody ventured to confront the lindworm, which is what the worm had grown into.

In the end, the villagers decided to raise a bull on milk and nuts to make it strong. In the summer, the battle was finally to be fought between the large bull and the worm, which was now long enough to almost wind itself around the church. People gathered in front of the church as the battle waved back and forth between the bull and the lindworm. Whenever the bull wavered, the crowd prodded it on towards the horrifying, fire-breathing lindworm. This repeated itself three times before the bull finally impaled the worm on its sharp horns. The worm had its belly slashed while uttering terrible cries.

The crowd paid tribute to the victorious bull, while only the girl mourned the fate of her former pet.

The site of the battle was a small culvert across the village creek, which was called the Bull’s Culvert. The culvert is still there, yet now covered by asphalt.

The bronze sculpture of the bull was created by Gitte Bjørn, and unveiled near the culvert on February 22nd 2006.