268 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
ton thought that the little grey man would be able to help him, and went out into the forest, and there, on the very spot where he felled the tree, he saw a man sitting with a very sad countenance. The Simpleton asked him what was the matter, and he answered,
" I have a great thirst, which I cannot quench: cold water does not agree with me; I have indeed drunk up a whole cask of wine, but what good is a drop like that ? "
Then said the Simpleton,
" I can help you; only come with me, and you shall have enough."
He took him straight to the king's cellar, and the man sat himself down before the big vats, and drank, and drank, and before a day was over he had drunk up the whole cellar-full. The Simpleton again asked for his bride, but the king was annoyed that a wretched fellow, called the Simpleton by everybody, should carry off his daughter, and so he made new conditions. He was to produce a man who could eat up a mountain of bread. The Simpleton did not hesitate long, but ran quickly off to the forest, and there in the same place sat a man who had fastened a strap round his body, making a very piteous face, and saying,
" I have eaten a whole bakehouse full of rolls, but what is the use of that when one is so hungry as I am ? My stomach feels quite empty, and I am obliged to strap myself together, that I may not die of hunger."
The Simpleton was quite glad of this, and said,
" Get up quickly, and come along with me, and you shall have enough to eat"
He led him straight to the king's courtyard, where all the meal in the kingdom had been collected and baked into a mountain of bread. The man out of the forest settled himself down before it and hastened to eat, and in one day the whole mountain had disappeared.
Then the Simpleton asked for his bride the third time. The king, however, found one more excuse, and said he must have a ship that should be able to sail on land or on water.
" So soon," said he, " as you come sailing along with it, you shall have my daughter for your wife."
The Simpleton went straight to the forest, and there sat the