233 THE YOUNG GIANT.
The countryman went home and carried the message to his wife, while the youngster ploughed the whole field of quite two acres. Then he harnessed himself to the harrow and harrowed it, drawing two harrows at a time. When it was finished he went to the wood and pulled up two oak trees, laid one on each shoulder, and suspended from one the harrows, and from the other the horses, and carried them home just as easily as if they had been a truss of straw.
As he entered the yard, his mother saw him, and cried: " Who is this frightful giant coming in ?"
" That is our son," said the peasant
"No, it cannot be," she cried; "our son is no more; we never had such a son as that; ours was a very little creature. Go away," she cried, as he approached, " we don't want you here."
The young man did not reply; he took the horses into the stable, gave them plenty'of oats and hay, and made them quite comfortable. When this was done, he went in, seated himself on a bench, and said: " Mother, is dinner nearly ready ? I am very hungry."
" Yes," she replied, as she brought two immense dishes containing enough to have lasted his parents for a week, and placed them before him. The youngster ate it all up and asked if she had any more.
" No," she said, " that is all I have."
" That was only a taste," he answered; " I must have something more."
She was afraid to refuse him, so she placed a large kettle full of soup on the fire, and when it was ready brought it in.
" Ah, this is better than nothing," he said, as he broke some bread into it and quickly ate it all. Yet still his hunger was not appeased. By-and-by he said : " Father, I can see very well that there is not enough at home to supply me with food; but if you will get me a bar of iron too strong for me to break over my knee, I will go away and travel about the world on my own account."
The peasant was rejoiced at the thought of getting rid of him, so he harnessed two horses to a waggon and fetched from the smitk a bar of iron so large and thick that his two horses could scarcely draw it. The young giant took hold of it, laid it across his knee, and crash, it broke like a bean-prop in the middle, and he threw the pieces away.