146 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
in the ceiling just above her head. Then Clever Else began to cry, for she thought,
" If I marry Hans, and we have a child, and it grows big, and we send it into the cellar to draw beer, that pickaxe might fall on his head and kill him."
So there she sat and cried with all her might, lamenting the anticipated misfortune. All the while they were waiting upstairs for something to drink, and they waited in vain. At last the mistress said to the maid,
" Go down to the cellar and see why Else does not come."
So the maid went, and found her sitting in front of the cask crying with all her might.
"What are you crying for?" said the maid.
"Oh dear me," answered she, "how can I help crying? if I marry Hans, and we have a child, and it grows big, and we send it here to draw beer, perhaps the pickaxe may fall on its head and kill it."
" Our Else is clever indeed !" said the maid, and directly sat down to bewail the anticipated misfortune. After a while, when the people upstairs found that the maid did not return, and they were becoming more and more thirsty, the master said to the boy,
" You go down into the cellar, and see what Else and the maid are doing."
The boy did so, and there he found both Clever Else and the maid sitting crying together. Then he asked what was the matter.
" Oh dear me," said Else, " how can we help crying ? if I marry Hans, and we have a child, and it grows big, and we send it here to draw beer, the pickaxe might fall on its head and kill it"
" Our Else is clever indeed !" said the boy, and sitting down beside her, he began howling with a good will. Upstairs they were all waiting for him to come back, but as he did not come, the master said to the mistress,
"You go down to the cellar and see what Else is doing."
So the mistress went down and found all three in great lamentations, and when she asked the cause, then Else told her how the future possible child might be killed as soon as it was big enough to be sent to draw beer, by the pickaxe falling on it Then the mother at once exclaimed,