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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about The Wonderful Adventures of Nils.

“How true this is, one can see by the number of islands and points that lie along the coast of Blekinge, and which are nothing in the world but the big stones that the giant threw.

“One can also tell because the salmon always go up in the Blekinge streams and work their way up through rapids and still water, all the way to Smaland.

“That giant is worthy of great thanks and much honour from the Blekinge people; for salmon in the streams, and stone-cutting on the island—­that means work which gives food to many of them even to this day.”

BY RONNEBY RIVER

Friday, April first.

Neither the wild geese nor Smirre Fox had believed that they should ever run across each other after they had left Skane.  But now it turned out so that the wild geese happened to take the route over Blekinge and thither Smirre Fox had also gone.

So far he had kept himself in the northern parts of the province; and since he had not as yet seen any manor parks, or hunting grounds filled with game and dainty young deer, he was more disgruntled than he could say.

One afternoon, when Smirre tramped around in the desolate forest district of Mellanbygden, not far from Ronneby River, he saw a flock of wild geese fly through the air.  Instantly he observed that one of the geese was white and then he knew, of course, with whom he had to deal.

Smirre began immediately to hunt the geese—­just as much for the pleasure of getting a good square meal, as for the desire to be avenged for all the humiliation that they had heaped upon him.  He saw that they flew eastward until they came to Ronneby River.  Then they changed their course, and followed the river toward the south.  He understood that they intended to seek a sleeping-place along the river-banks, and he thought that he should be able to get hold of a pair of them without much trouble.  But when Smirre finally discovered the place where the wild geese had taken refuge, he observed they had chosen such a well-protected spot, that he couldn’t get near.

Ronneby River isn’t any big or important body of water; nevertheless, it is just as much talked of, for the sake of its pretty shores.  At several points it forces its way forward between steep mountain-walls that stand upright out of the water, and are entirely overgrown with honeysuckle and bird-cherry, mountain-ash and osier; and there isn’t much that can be more delightful than to row out on the little dark river on a pleasant summer day, and look upward on all the soft green that fastens itself to the rugged mountain-sides.

But now, when the wild geese and Smirre came to the river, it was cold and blustery spring-winter; all the trees were nude, and there was probably no one who thought the least little bit about whether the shore was ugly or pretty.  The wild geese thanked their good fortune that they had found a sand-strip large enough for them to stand upon, on a steep mountain wall.  In front of them rushed the river, which was strong and violent in the snow-melting time; behind them they had an impassable mountain rock wall, and overhanging branches screened them.  They couldn’t have it better.

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