The Gudra’s daughter was named Volma. She was thirteen years old, and had never been to school. Her kind mother had taught her all she knew.
But as there are many people who do not know what a Gudra is, I will state, at once, that a Gudra is a giant dwarf. Volma’s father belonged...
<p>The Gudra’s daughter was named Volma. She was thirteen years old, and had never been to school. Her kind mother had taught her all she knew.</p>
<p>But as there are many people who do not know what a Gudra is, I will state, at once, that a Gudra is a giant dwarf. Volma’s father belonged to a nation of dwarfs, who dwelt among the mountains. These little people were seldom over three feet in height, but the Gudra – the giant among them – was between five and six feet high, and broad and stout in proportion. He was a powerful lord among his people, and his size and courage gave him additional importance and influence. He was very proud of his superior stature and his high position, and this pride was the reason why his daughter, Volma, had never been to school. He considered her far above such a thing as going to school with the dwarf children of the country.</p>
<p>Volma resembled her father, in stature, and, at the time of this story, was as large as an ordinary girl of her age. She was very good and gentle, and would have been glad to go to school, but this her haughty father would not allow. One day, Volma’s mother – who was quite a small woman, even for a dwarf – began to talk about her daughter’s want of education.</p>
<p>“Education!” cried the Gudra, “I intend she shall have an education. But I do not intend that she shall waste years in poring over books and parchments. She is a girl with a fine mind, like mine. She can take in learning instantly. Even now, she is a head higher than any woman in the country.”</p>
<p>“But does that make it any more easy for her to learn?” asked her mother.</p>
<p>“Of course it does!” exclaimed the Gudra. “She is superior, in every way, to any other child in the nation. She shall have an education, but she shall have it all at once. I am sure that her mind is capable of taking in an excellent education in a week.”</p>
<p>This made the Gudra’s wife exclaim, in astonishment, “My!”</p>
<p>“Of course it is!” cried the Gudra; and then, taking up a heavy hammer, he struck a large bell which hung in his room. This was his manner of summoning his attendants.</p>
<p>One stroke brought the attendant of the first rank, two strokes him of the second, and so on.</p>
<p>The one stroke brought in old Krignock, the head-councilor.</p>