' Good morning. How did you sleep ? '
' Oh, very well, but I dreamed that a flea had bitten me, and I seem to feel it still.'
The dragon and his mother looked at each other. ' Do you hear that? ' whispered he. ' He talks of a flea. I broke my club on his head.'
This time the mother grew as frightened as her son. There was nothing to be done with a man like this, and she made all haste to fill the sacks with ducats, so as to get rid of Stan as soon as possible. But on his side Stan was trembling like an aspen, as he could not lift even one sack from the ground. So he stood still and looked at them.
' What are you standing there for? ' asked the dragon.
' Oh, I was standing here because it has just occurred to me that I should like to stay in your service for another year. I am ashamed that when I get home they should see I have brought back so little. I know that they will cry out, '' Just look at Stan Bolovan, who in one year has grown as weak as a dragon." '
Here a shriek of dismay was heard both from the dragon and his mother, who declared they would give him seven or even seven times seven the number of sacks if he would only go away.
' I'll tell you what! ' said Stan at last. ' T see you don't want me to stay, and I should be very sorry to make myself disagreeable. I will go at once, but only on condition that you shall carry the money home yourself, so that I may not be put to shame before my friends.'
The words were hardly out of his mouth before the dragon had snatched up the sacks and piled them on his back. Then he and Stan set forth.
The way, though really not far, was yet too long for Stan, but at length he heard his children's voices, and stopped short. He did not wish the dragon to know where he lived, lest some day he should come to take back his treasure. Was there nothing he could say to