GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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28              THE VOUTB WHO COULD NOT
if a mountain were upon him. He struggled out from the load, and said, " Any one may travel in that fashion who likes, but I don't." So he laid himself down again by the fire, and slept till the daybreak.
In the morning the king came to the castle, and, as he caught sight of Hans lying by the fire asleep, he thought the evil spirits had killed him, and that he was dead. "Alas !" said the king, "I am very sorry; it is a great pity that such a fine youth should lose his life in this manner."
But Hans, who heard, sprang up in a moment and exclaimed, "No, King, I am not dead yet." The king, quite astonished and joyful at finding him unhurt, asked him how he had passed the night ?
"Oh, very pleasantly indeed," replied Hans; and then he related to the king all that had passed, which amused him very much.
On returning to the inn, the landlord stared at him with wide open eyes : " I never expected to see you again alive; but I sup­pose you have learnt to shiver and shake by this time."
" Not I," he replied; " I believe it is useless for me to try, for I never shall learn to be afraid."
The second night came, and he again went up to the old castle, and seated himself by the fire, singing the burden of his old song, "When shall I learn to shiver and shake?"
At midnight he heard a noise, as of something falling. It came nearer; then for a little while all was quiet; at last, with a tre­mendous scream, half the body of a man came tumbling down the chimney, and fell right in front of Hans.
"Holloa!" he cried, "all that noise, and only half a man; where's the other half?" At this, the noise and tumult began again, and, amidst yellings and howlings, the other half of the man fell on the hearth.
"Wait," said Hans, rising; "I will stir the fire into a blaze first." But when he turned to sit down again, he found that the two halves of the man had joined, and there sat an ugly looking object in his place. " Stay," cried the young man; " I did not bargain for this; that seat is mine."
The ugly man tried to push Hans away; but he was too quick for him, and putting out all his strength, he dislodged the creature from his seat, and placed himself again upon it