Legend has it that many, many centuries ago, in a far north country, King Eric the Elder, sick and tired of ruling, announced to all his subjects that he would choose a successor based solely on his strength.
Soon, the bravest men of the region appeared before the king and recounted their heroic deeds.
The first to participate was Trim, a burly man with a red beard who said:
“One night a storm arose while I was sailing and thanks to my incredible strength, I took my boat with one hand and swam with the other until I reached the shore.
After Trim, it was the turn of Trom, a dark-haired man with a black beard, so tall and muscular that he looked like a giant:
‘My lord king,’ said Trom, ‘my encounter with the sea was more heroic than Trim’s. One stormy night, the wind was so angry that I had to take my boat with both hands and swim with just my legs.
The last to speak was Trum, a burly man with a blond beard who, because he was violent and presumptuous, was not liked by the public.
Eric the Elder, Trim, Trum, and the entire kingdom listened intently.
“Your Majesty, if it is the greatest act of strength you seek, then I am your only claimant to the throne.” Trim and Trom’s stories pale before mine,” said Trim, convinced that he was the best of the three, and added, “I too was caught in the storm while commanding a fleet of 52 ships. So, I called my horse, Fire Lightning, which can move over land and sea, tied the coast to its tail with an iron rope, and towed the entire kingdom to the ships. Since it was not possible for me to bring the ships ashore, I brought the land to the ships.
“Unbelievable, fantastic!” said Eric the Elder, very surprised.
However, the king knew that choosing Trum as his successor would cause enormous discontent among his people and exclaimed:
“Your deed is indeed heroic, but Fire Lightning, your horse, proved stronger than you. He saved an entire fleet and deserves to be king.
The people celebrated the decision of the wise king, as they preferred to be ruled by a horse than by a tyrant.