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HOW SIX MEN GOT ON IN THE WORLD
HERE was once a man who understood all kinds of arts. He
served in war, and behaved well
and bravely, but when the war was over he received his
dismissal, and three
farthings for his expenses on the way. "Stop," said
"I shall not be content with this. If I can but meet
with the right
people, the King will have to give me all the treasure
of the country."
Then full of anger he went into the forest, and saw a
man standing therein who had
plucked up six trees as if they were blades of corn.
He said to him, "Will you be my servant and go with me?"
"Yes," he answered, "but, first, I will take this
little bundle of sticks home to my mother," and he
took one of the trees,
and wrapped it round the five others, lifted the bundle
on his back and carried it
Then he returned and went with his master, who said,
"We two ought to be
able to get through the world very well."
When they had walked on for a short while they found a
huntsman who was kneeling,
had shouldered his gun, and was
 about to fire. The master said to him, "Huntsman, what
are you going to
He answered, "Two miles from here a fly is sitting on
the branch of an
oak-tree, and I want to shoot its left eye out."
"Oh, come with me," said the man, "if we three are
together, we certainly ought to be able to get on in
The huntsman was ready, and went with him.
They came to seven windmills whose sails were turning
round with great speed, and
yet no wind was blowing either on the right or the
left, and no leaf was stirring.
Then said the man, "I know not what is driving the
windmills, not a breath
of air is stirring," and he went onward with his
servants, and when they
had walked two miles they saw a man sitting on a tree,
who was shutting one nostril,
and blowing out of the other. "Good gracious! what are
you doing up
He answered, "Two miles from here are seven windmills.
Look, I am blowing
them till they turn round."
"Oh, come with me," said the man. "If we four are
together, we shall carry the whole world before us!"
Then the blower came down and went with him.
After a while they saw a man who was standing on one
leg and had taken off the
other, and laid it beside him. Then the master said,
"You have arranged
things very comfortably to have a rest."
"I am a runner," he replied, "and to stop myself
running far too fast, I have taken off one of my legs,
for if I run with both, I go
quicker than any bird can fly."
"Oh, come with me. If we five are together, we shall
carry the whole
world before us."
 So he went with them.
It was not long before they met a man who wore a cap,
but had put it quite on one
ear. Then the master said to him, "Gracefully!
stick your cap on one ear, you look just like a
"I must not wear it otherwise," said he, "for if I set
my hat straight, a terrible frost comes on, and all the
birds in the air are frozen,
and drop dead on the ground."
"Oh, come with me," said the master. "If we six are
together, we can carry the whole world before us."
Now the six came to a town where the King had
proclaimed that whosoever ran a race
with his daughter and won the victory, should be her
husband, but whosoever lost it,
must lose his head.
Then the man presented himself and said, "I will,
however, let my servant
run for me."
The King replied, "Then his life also must be staked,
so that his head and
thine are both set on the victory."
When that was settled and made secure, the man buckled
the other leg on the runner,
and said to him, "Now be nimble, and help us to win."
It was fixed that the one who was the first to bring
some water from a far distant
well, was to be the victor. The runner received a
pitcher, and the King's
Daughter one too, and they began to run at the same
time. But in an instant, when
the King's Daughter had got a very little way,
the people who were looking on
could see no more of the runner, it was jus as if the
wind has whistled by.
In a short time he reached the well, filled his pitcher
 water, and turned back. Half-way home, however, he was
overcome with fatigue, and
set his pitcher down, lay down himself, and fell
asleep. He had, however, made a
pillow of a horse's skull which was lying on the
ground, in order that he
might lie uncomfortably, and soon wake up again.
In the meantime, the King's Daughter, who could
also run very
well—quite as well as any ordinary mortal
can—had reached the well, and
was hurrying back with her pitcher full of water, and
when she saw the runner lying
there asleep, she was glad and said, "My enemy is
delivered over into my
hands," emptied his pitcher, and ran on.
And now all would have been lost if by good luck the
huntsman had not been standing
at the top of the castle, and had not seen everything
with his sharp eyes. Then
said he, "The King's Daughter shall still not
He loaded his gun, and shot so cleverly, that he shot
the horse's skull away
from under the runner's head without hurting
him. Then the runner awoke,
leapt up, and saw that his pitcher was empty, and that
the King's Daughter
was already far in advance. He did not lose heart,
however, but ran back to the
well with his pitcher, again drew some water, and was
still at home again, ten
minutes before the King's Daughter. "Behold!"
"I have no bestirred myself till now. It did not
deserve to be called
But it pained the King, and still more his daughter,
that she should be carried off
by a common disbanded soldier like that. So they took
counsel with each other how
to get rid of him and his companions.
Then said the King to her, "I have thought of a way.
 be afraid, they shall not come back again." And he
said to them,
"You shall now make merry together, and eat and drink."
He conducted them to a room which had a floor of iron,
and the doors also were of
iron, and the windows were guarded with iron bars.
There was a table in the room
covered with delicious food, and the King said to them,
"Go in, and enjoy
And when they were inside, he ordered the doors to be
shut and bolted. Then he
sent for the cook, and commanded him to make a fire
under the room until the iron
became red-hot. This the cook did, and the six who
were sitting at table began to
feel quite warm, and they thought the heat was caused
by the food. But as it became
still greater, and they wanted to get out, and found
that the doors and windows were
bolted, they became aware that the King had an evil
intention, and wanted to
"He shall not succeed, however," said the one with the
will cause a frost to come, before which the fire shall
be ashamed, and creep
Then he put his cap on straight, and immediately there
came such a frost that all
heat disappeared, and the food on the dishes began to
When an hour or two had passed by, and the King
believed that they had perished in
the heat, he had the doors opened to behold them
himself. But when the doors were
opened, all six were standing there, alive and well,
and said that they should very
much like to get out to warm themselves, for the very
food was fast frozen to the
dishes with the cold.
 Then, full of anger, the King went down to the cook,
scolded him, and asked why he
had not done what he had been ordered to do. But the
cook replied, "There
is heat enough there, just look yourself." Then the
King saw that a
fierce fire was burning under the iron room, and
perceived that there was no getting
the better of the six in this way.
Again the King considered how to get rid of his
unpleasant guests, and caused their
chief to be brought and said, "If you will take gold
and renounce my
daughter, you shall have as much as you wish."
"Oh, yes, Lord King," he answered, "give me as much as
my servant can carry, and I will not ask for your
On this the King was satisfied, and the other
continued, "In fourteen
days, I will come and fetch it."
Thereupon he summoned together all the tailors in the
whole kingdom, and they were
to sit for fourteen days and sew a sack. And when it
was ready, the strong one who
could tear up trees had to take it on his back, and go
with it to the King.
Then said the King, "Who can that strong fellow be who
is carrying a
bundle of linen on his back that is as big as a house?"
and he was alarmed
and said, "What a lot of gold he can carry away!"
Then he commanded a ton of gold to be brought. IT took
sixteen of his strongest men
to carry it, but the strong one snatched it up in one
hand, put it in his sack, and
said, "Why don't you bring more at the same
hardly covers the bottom!"
Then, little by little, the King caused all his
treasure to be
 brought thither, and the strong one pushed it into the
sack, and still the sack was
not half full with it. "Bring more," cried he, "these
few crumbs don't fill it."
Then seven thousand carts with gold had to be gathered
together in the whole
kingdom, and the strong one thrust them and the oxen
harnessed to them into his
sack. "I will examine it no longer," said he, "but
will just take what comes, so long as the sack is but
When all that was inside, there was still room for a
great deal more. Then he said,
"I will just make an end of the thing. People do
sometimes tie up a sack
even when it is not full." So he took it on his back,
and went away with
When the King now saw how one single man was carrying
away the entire wealth of the
country, he became enraged, and bade his horsemen mount
and pursue the six, and
ordered them to take the sack away from the strong one.
Two regiments speedily
overtook the six, and called out, "You are prisoners.
Put down the sack
with the gold, or you will all be cut to pieces!"
"What say you?" cried the blower, "that we are
prisoners! Rather than that should happen, all of you
shall dance about in the
air." And he closed one nostril, and with the other
blew on the two
regiments. Then they were driven away from each other,
and carried into the blue
sky over all the mountains—one here, the other
One sergeant cried for mercy. He had nine wounds, and
was a brave fellow who did
not deserve ill-treatment. The blower stopped a little
so that he came down without
 and then the blower said to him, "Now go home to your
King, and tell him
he had better send some more horsemen, and I will blow
them all into the
When the King was informed of this he said, "Let the
rascals go. They
have the best of it."
Then the six conveyed the riches home, divided it
amongst them, and lived in content
until their death.