122 THE MASTER-MAID
' Yes, I will attend to that,' said the Prince, and stayed sitting where he was the whole day, for it was soon settled between them that they would marry each other, he and the King's daughter; so the first day of his service with the giant did not seem long to him. But when evening was drawing near she said that it would now be better for him to clean out the stable before the giant came home. When he got there he had a fancy to try if what she had said were true, so he began to work in the same way that he had seen the stable-boys doing in his father's stables, but he soon saw that he must give up that, for when he had worked a very short time he had scarcely room left to stand. So he did what the Princess had taught him,turned the pitchfork round, and worked with the handle, and in the twinkling of an eye the stable was as clean as if it had been scoured. "When he had done that, he went back again into the room in which the giant had given him leave to stay, and there he walked backwards and forwards on the floor, and began to hum and to sing.
Then came the giant home with the goats. ' Have you cleaned the stable ? ' asked the giant.
' Yes, now it is clean and sweet, master,' said the King's son.
'I shall see about that,' said the giant, and went round to the stable, but it was just as the Prince had said.
' You have certainly been talking to my Master-maid, for you never got that out of your own head,' said the giant.
' Master-maid ! What kind of a thing is that, master ? ' said the Prince, making himself look as stupid as an ass; ' I should like to see that.'
' Well, you will see her quite soon enough,' said the giant.
On the second morning the giant had again to go out with his goats, so he told the Prince that on that day he was to fetch home his horse, which was out on the mountain-side, and when he had done that he might rest himself for the remainder of the day, ' for you have come to a kind master, and that you shall find,' said the giant once more. ' But do not go into any of the rooms that I spoke of yesterday, or I will wring your head off,' said he, and then went away with his flock of goats.
' Yes, indeed, you are a kind master,' said the Prince ;' but I will go in and talk to the Master-maid again; perhaps before long she may like better to be mine than yours.'
So he went to her. Then she asked him what he had to do that day.