The Man Who Moved The Boundary Stones

Many, many years ago, a greedy man lived in Niederehe who moved the boundary stones next to his neighbors’ fields. Furthermore, he constantly lived in strife and had lawsuits with anyone who seemed to oppose him in the slightest. At this time, there were plans for surveying and marking the boundaries of the village forest. This man, who sought to gain an advantage for his community, went into this forest and moved the boundary stones at the forest belonging to the noble’s estate. Since people didn’t pay as much attention to the boundary markers in those days, a large piece of land was taken from the noble’s estate and incorporated into the village forest, which the village still uses to this day.

However, the unjust man did not enjoy the spoils of his fraud for long. For, when he cut down a tree within the stolen forest, a branch fell off as the tree fell, and bludgeoned him to death. After people had searched for this man in vain for a long time, people finally found him at this location, and wild animals had already feasted on his corpse. But from this time onwards this man wandered around in this stolen forest while carrying a heavy stone. And, on quiet evenings, it is possible to hear his wail: “Where do I put it?”

Source: Schmidtz, J.H. Sitten und Sagen, Lieder Sprichwörter und Räthsel des Eifler Volkes. 1856, p. 30.

Notes & commentary: Bearers of Stones