The snapphane grave in Böghult

Snapphane Grave
From Herman Hofberg's Swedish Folktales (1882)

A tale from Herman Hofberg's Swedish folk tales from 1882 about a male snapper who met his fate in the 17th century in Böghult in Tönnersjö parish.

During Charles XI's bloody war with Denmark, a group of snapphanes had moved from Skåne into Halland and, as usual, marked their way with plunder and murder. Some, having plundered the vicarage and the farms of Hishult, went back to Skåne, while another party continued their way further north.

At Böghult in Tönnersjö parish, some commoners from Edsberga and Tönnersjö had gathered to resist. Most of them had no other weapons than axes, axes and stakes. Blott ett par bröder från Böghult voro bättre armed. They each had their own rifle, which they, as forest dwellers and hunters, also knew how to handle. In the distribution of the defensive forces, the two gunners were placed at the front of the road, where the snappers were thought to be advancing, while the rest of the crowd was gathered a little further back.

After several hours' waiting, a broken rider on a small, scraggly, unbridled horse without a saddle was seen on the forest road, and the laughter and shouts of an approaching crowd were heard at some distance.

"Look out! here they come," said one of the brothers.

"You see?... it is father's horse, which they have stolen in the woods," replied the other, as he brought the gun to his eye.

"Hold!" whispered the first, "my gun hits more surely than yours; let me mark the thief!"

At once the wheel rattled in the lock; the woods resounded with a bang, and the rider tumbled down the hill.

Terrified at their own exploit, the brothers hurried back to the rear; and no enemy was heard of. The next day some of the boldest peasants went out on a reconnaissance, but the snappers were as if blown away. On the other hand, they found near the road a cairn which the snapphanes had thrown up over their fallen leader, and which was afterwards called "the snapphane grave."

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