o Hrothgar’s people lived well, feasting and laughing in the warm firelight of the hall, never thinking of trouble. Each evening the sounds of their happy talk, the poet’s singing and people’s laughter floated out from the hall.
But Someone heard those sounds, the monster Grendel deep down in his dark den out on the moors, and his heart was filled with wickedness and rage.
So when night came to Heorot, Grendel came also. The great shaggy beast burst into the hall and grabbed the warriors where they lay sleeping. Thirty men he clawed and killed, carried their bleeding bodies to his own dark home.
Night after night it was the same. No one was surprised when warriors wanted to sleep in the farthest buildings, but still they were not safe. Grendel’s hatred did not grow less. He killed Hrothgar’s people wherever he found them, and for twelve long years Heorot stood empty. The monster ruled there now. At night he camped among the broken tables and benches and slashed with his claws and howled his hatred of Hrothgar’s people.
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