GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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They left the tree, and walked on together till they came to a cherry tree loaded with ripe fruit. The giant seized the topmost branch, and, bending it down, placed it in the tailor's hand, and told him to eat as many as he liked. But the little man had not strength enough to hold the branch, so up it sprang again, carrying the little tailor high into the air and letting him fall on the other side, but without hurting him at all. " What," said the giant, " had you not strength enough to hold such a twig as this ?"
"My strength did not fail me," he replied. "Do you suppose a man who could kill seven at one stroke would find this a difficult task ? I sprung over the tree because I saw a number of hunters shooting in a wood close by. Now, you do the same; I should so like to see you spring over."
The giant made an attempt, but he could not clear the tree, he only entangled himself in the branches; so that in this, also, the tailor gained the upper hand.
Then the giant said to him, "As you are such a clever little fellow, you had better come home with me to my cave and stay the night."
The tailor was quite ready to accompany him, and when they reached the cavern, there sat two other giants before a blazing fire, each with a large roast sheep in his hands, eating his supper.
The little tailor seated himself, and thought, " Well, this is a sight worth coming out into the world to see."
The giant then showed him a bed in which he could sleep, but when he laid himself down it was so large that he got up again, and, creeping into a corner, curled himself round and went to sleep.
At midnight, the giant, thinking his visitor was fast asleep, rose up, and taking a heavy iron bar, struck a blow at the bed which broke it right through. "Ah," thought he, "I must have killed the little grasshopper, and got rid of his cunning tricks now." But the next morning, when the giants went out into the wood, and were not thinking of the tailor, he walked up to them as brave as ever, and looking as fresh and merry as a bird.
The giants were so alarmed at the sight of him come to life again, as they thought, and remembering that he could kill seven at one stroke, they quite expected he would be the death of them all. So, taking to their heels, they ran away quickly and were soon out of sight.