Cover of the book 'The Rider on the White Horse) by Theodor Storm.

Dikes in Germany

Holland’s eastern neighbours get flooded from time to time, too, so they also built dykes.

In his short story The Rider on the White Horse (Der Schimmelreiter), Theodor Storm tells the story of Hauke Haien who, even as a child, dreams of building a dike that will stand the test of time.

He gathers his knowledge from experience in his sea-side village Sleeswijk-Holstein, as well as from a Dutch edition of a scholarly book by Euclides. In order to read it he has to teach himself Dutch first, which he accomplishes by reading a Dutch translation of the Bible.

When he eventually becomes the dike reeve, Haien is in a position to follow up on his ideas even though the villagers do not really appreciate his novelties and would prefer to keep things as they are.

In 1750, a heavy storm ruins the dike and drowns the dike reeve. A century later, word has it that dike reeve Haien and his white horse can still be seen riding along the dike when the wheather gets bad.

A short story from 1888 about a passionate individualist in a conservative village community.

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VBS3MogG8wlO (07-12-2016 13:47):
I told my gratomdnher how you helped. She said, "bake them a cake!"

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