Now those in the castle saw that George had again accomplished that task. “What, prithee, shall we do? Perhaps we must after all give him the damsel!” “No, sire,” said one of the attendants, “that cannot be; he is too lowborn to obtain a king’s daughter! On the contrary, we must clear him out of the world.” So the king ordered them to note his words, what he should say. There was a hired female servant there, and she said to him: “George, it will be evil for you to-day; they’re going to clear you out of the world.” He answered: “Oh, I’m not afraid. When I was only just twelve years old, I killed twelve of them at one blow!” But this was the fact: when his mother was baking a flat-cake, a dozen flies settled upon her, and he killed them all at a single blow.
When they heard this, they said: “Nothing else will do but we must shoot him.” So they drew up the soldiers, and said they would hold a review in his honour, for they would celebrate the wedding in the square before the castle. Then they conducted him thither, and the soldiers were already going to let fly at him. But George said to the man who held his thumb in the bottle in the place of a stopper: “You said, if you pulled your thumb out, you could besprinkle everything. Pull it out—quick!” “Oh, sir, I’ll easily perform that.” So he pulled out his thumb and gave them all such a sprinkling that they were all blind, and not one could see.
So, when they perceived that nothing else was to be done, they told him to go, for they would give him the damsel. Then they gave him a handsome royal robe, and the wedding took place. I, too, was at the wedding; they had music there, sang, ate, and drank; there was meat, there were cheesecakes, and baskets full of everything, and buckets full of strong waters. To-day I went, yesterday I came; I found an egg among the tree-stumps; I knocked it against somebody’s head, and gave him a bald place, and he’s got it still.
THE WONDERFUL HAIR
There was a man who was very poor, but so well supplied with children that he was utterly unable to maintain them, and one morning more than once prepared to kill them, in order not to see their misery in dying of hunger, but his wife prevented him. One night a child came to him in his sleep, and said to him: “Man! I see that you are making up your mind to destroy and to kill your poor little children, and I know that you are distressed there at; but in the morning you will find under your pillow a mirror, a red kerchief, and an embroidered pocket-handkerchief; take all three secretly and tell nobody; then go to such a hill; by it you will find a stream; go along it till you come to its fountain-head; there you will find a damsel as bright as the sun, with her hair hanging down over her back. Be on your guard, that the ferocious she-dragon do not coil round you; do not converse with her if she speaks; for if you converse