THE CLE VER HUNTER.
the light, so that when he came down from the tree it might show him which way to turn. Then he scrambled down, went to where his hat lay, picked it up, and placing it on his head, turned his steps towards the light.
The nearer he approached, the larger the light appeared, till at length he saw an immense fire with an ox roasting on a spit, and three giants sitting round it. As he drew near, he heard one of the giants say, " I must just see if this meat is ready for eating."
So he cut off a piece, and was just going to put it into his mouth, when the hunter shot it out of his hand. " Now then," cried the giant, " the wind has blown that piece away, I must have another."
But before he could get even a bite this also was shot away. The giant in a rage turned to the one who sat next him, and boxing his ears, cried: " What did you snatch that piece away for ?"
" I didn't snatch it away," said the other; " it must have been some sharp-shooter on the road."
The giant cut off a third piece, but it was scarcely in his hand before the hunter shot it out again. " That must be a good shot, whoever he is," said the giants one to another, " to shoot pieces out of one's mouth in that way; he might be useful to us."
So they called aloud, "Come here, you sharpshooter; come and sit down by our fire with us, and have some supper; we will do you no harm. If you won't come, we will fetch you by force, and then good-bye to you."
The youth on this stepped forward and said: "I am a trained hunter, and wherever I aim with my gun I am sure to hit.'
So they asked him to join them, and said he should have the best of everything they had. They told him also that not far from where they sat was a large piece of water, and beyond it stood a castle, in which lived a beautiful princess, whom they wished to carry off. " Oh, that is easily managed," he replied. But they said again, " It is not so very easy, for the princess has a sharp little dog, which begins to bark loudly when any one approaches the tower in which she sleeps, and the moment he barks every one in the royal household wakes, and we cannot therefore get in. Do you think you could undertake to shoot that log?"