THE STORY OF CICCU
and was glad in his heart, for he thought, ' Well, it is good news that the thief who stole my sword is dead.' But Ciccu bought an axe and a saw, and cut down a pine tree in the nearest wood, and began to hew it into planks.
' What are you doing in my wood ?' asked the Man-eater, coming up.
' Noble lord,' answered Ciccu, ' I am making a coffin for the body of Ciccu, who is dead.'
'Don't be in a hurry,' answered the Man-eater, who of course did not know whom he was talking to, ' and perhaps I can help you; ' and they set to work sawing and fitting, and very soon the coffin was finished.
Then Ciccu scratched his ear thoughtfully, and cried, ' Idiot that I am ! I never took any measures. How am I to know if it is big enough ? But now I come to think of it, Ciccu was about your size. I wonder if you would be so good as just to put yourself in the coffin, and see if there is enough room.'
' Oh, delighted!' said the Man-eater, and laid himself at full length in the coffin. Ciccu clapped on the lid, put a strong cord round it, tied it fast on his horse, and rode back to the king. And when the king saw that he really had brought back the Man-eater, he commanded a huge iron chest to be brought, and locked the coffin up inside.
Just about this time the queen died, and soon after the king thought he should like to marry again. He sought everywhere, but he could not hear of any princess that took his fancy. Then the two envious brothers came to him and said, ' O king! there is but one woman that is worthy of being your wife, and that is she who is the fairest in the whole world.'
k But where can I find her? ' asked the king.
' Oh, Ciccu will know, and he will bring her to you.'
Now the king had got so used to depending on Ciccu, that he really believed he could do everything. So he sent for him and said, ' Ciccu, unless writhin eight days