| Stories of Siegfried Told to the Children|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|Siegfried is the central character in this legend, skillfully adapted from the Nibelung, an old German poem, full of strange adventures of tiny dwarves and stalwart mortals. In this retelling of the ancient legend, Siegfried wins the accursed Rhineland treasure, takes Kriemhild as bride, and comes to an untimely end, passing the curse of the Rhinegold on to his enemies. Ages 8-10 |
SIEGFRIED COMES HOME
 The walls of the old castle rang. King Siegmund, his knights
and liegemen, all were welcoming Prince Siegfried home. They
had not seen their hero-prince since he had been sent long
years before to be under the charge of Mimer the blacksmith.
He had grown but more fair, more noble, they thought, as
they gazed upon his stalwart limbs, his fearless eyes.
And what tales of prowess clustered around his name! Already
their Prince had done great deeds as he had ridden from land
The King and his liegemen had heard of the slaughter of the
terrible dragon, of the capture of the great treasure, of
the defiance of the warlike and beautiful Brunhild. They
 wish for no more renowned prince than their own Prince
Thus Siegmund and his subjects rejoiced that the heir to the
throne was once again in his own country.
In the Queen's bower, too, there was great joy. Sieglinde
wept, but her tears were not those of sadness. Sieglinde
wept for very gladness that her son had come home safe from
his wonderful adventures.
Now Siegmund wished to give a great feast in honour of his
son. It should be on his birthday which was very near, the
birthday on which the young Prince would be twenty-one years
Far and wide throughout the Netherlands and into distant
realms tidings of the feast were borne. Kinsmen and
strangers, lords and ladies all were asked to the banquet in
the great castle hall where Siegmund reigned supreme.
It was the merry month of June when the feast was held, and
the sun shone bright on maidens in fair raiment, on knights
in burnished armour.
 Siegfried was to be knighted on this June day along with
four hundred young squires of his father's realm. The Prince
was clad in gorgeous armour, and on the cloak flung around
his shoulders jewels were seen to sparkle in the sunlight,
jewels made fast with gold embroidery worked by the white
hands of the Queen and her fair damsels.
In games and merry pastimes the hours of the day sped fast
away, until the great bell of the Minster pealed, calling
the gay company to the house of God for evensong. Siegfried
and the four hundred squires knelt before the altar, ere
they were knighted by the royal hand of Siegmund the King.
Knighted by the royal hand of Siegmund the King
The solemn service ended, the new-made knights hastened back
to the castle, and there in the great hall a mighty
tournament was held. Knights who had grown grey in service
tilted with those who but that day had been given the grace
of knighthood. Lances splintered, shields fell before the
mighty onslaughts of the gallant warriors, until King
Siegmund bade the tilting cease.
Then in the great hall feasting and song held
 sway until
daylight faded and the stars shone bright.
Yet no weariness knew the merry-makers. The next morning,
and for six long summer days, they tilted, they sang, they
When at length the great festival drew to a close, Siegmund
in the presence of his guests gave to his dear son Siegfried
many lands and strong castles over which he might be lord.
To all his son's comrades, too, the King gave steeds and
costly raiment, while Queen Sieglinde bestowed upon them
freely coins of gold. Such abundant gifts had never before
been dreamed of as were thus lavished by Siegmund and
Sieglinde on their guests.
As the rich nobles looked upon the brave young Prince
Siegfried, there were some who whispered among themselves
that they would fain have him to rule in the land.
Siegfried heard their whispers, but in no wise did he give
heed to the wish of the nobles.
Never, he thought, while his beautiful mother and his
bounteous father lived, would he wear the crown.
 Indeed Siegfried had no wish to sit upon a throne, he wished
but to subdue the evil-doers in the land. Or better still he
wished to go forth in search of new adventure. And this
right soon he did.
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