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Published on May 8, 2011
Toell the Great (Estonian: Suur Tõll) in Estonian mythology is a great giant hero who lived according to the legend on the Baltic Sea island of Saaremaa (Ösel).
He lived in Tõlluste village with his wife Piret. He tossed huge rocks everywhere, mostly aiming for his archenemy Vanatühi or other enemies of Saaremaa people. Tõll was king of Saaremaa but he lived as common farmer. He often visited his brother Leiger on the neighboring Hiiumaa (Dagö) island. He was so tall that he could almost walk there (The distance is something about 5 to 6 km long). His walking stick was a 5 sazhen (~10 meters or 35 foot) spruce tree trunk. Tõll was always kind and ready to help, but very hot-tempered. He loved to eat cabbages, drink beer and go to the sauna (his wife was always busy gathering him sauna stove rocks).
When an enemy decapitated him, he put his head on his sword and walked to his grave, which is supposed to be somewhere in Tõlluste. When Tõll died, he promised to rise from grave and help people in case of war. But naughty children made fun of him by yelling "Tõll, Tõll, wake up, there is a war in the yard". Tõll rose, grew angry and went back to his grave, swearing never to come back.