THE CLEVER HUNTER.
Then the first giant came near, and stooped with his head through the opening; in an instant the hunter seized him by the hair, dragged the head through, cut it off with the silver sword at one blow, and pulled the rest of the giant's body in after it He then called up the second and the third, and served them exactly in the same manner, and then feeling very joyful at having freed the beautiful young maiden from such enemies, he left the castle.
"Ah," thought he, "I will now go home and tell my father what I have already done, and afterwards go out again into the world, to see what other good fortune awaits me."
On arising in the morning and going to the door of the castle, the king saw with surprise the three dead giants. He instantly went to his daughter's room, woke her, and asked her if she knew whc had killed the giants.
" Dear father," she replied, " indeed I do not know, I have slept all night."
However, when she got up and began to dress, she first missed her right slipper, then she noticed that a strip had been cut off her silk necktie, and at last that her nightdress sleeve was in pieces.
On hearing of this, the king called together the whole household, soldiers,* servants, and all who were there, and enquired if they knew who had destroyed the giants, and delivered his daughter from their power. Now the captain of the soldiers was a wicked and ugly man, with one eye, and he came forward and said he had done this noble deed.
"Then," said the king, "as you have accomplished this so completely, I will give you my daughter in marriage."
But the maiden said: " Dear father, why should I be married ? I would rather go out in the world and travel about on foot till I could walk no farther, than marry that man."
The king replied : " If you will not be married, as I wish, you shall take off all your royal robes, and put on peasant's clothes, and I shall send you to a potter to learn how to be useful in selling earthenware vessels."
Then the princess took off her beautiful clothes, dressed herself as a peasant, and went to a potter, and hired of him a basket of earthenware goods, and promised him that if she had sold any by the evening, she would pay him for the hire, Her father, however,