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hard swimming, for the sea still ran high, he managed to reach it, and
pulled himself out of the water, more dead than alive. Then he flung
himself down on the ground and fell fast asleep.

When he awoke he got up to explore the island, and see if there were any
men upon it; but though he found streams and fruit trees in abundance,
there was no trace either of man or beast. Then, tired with his
wanderings he sat down and began to think.

For perhaps the first time in his life his thoughts did not instantly
turn to money. It was not on his lost treasures that his mind dwelt, but
on his conduct to his parents: his laziness and disobedience as a boy;
his forgetfulness of them as a man. 'If wild animals were to come and
tear me to pieces,' he said to himself bitterly, 'it would be only what
I deserve! My gains are all at the bottom of the sea - well! lightly won,
lightly lost - but it is odd that I feel I should not care for that if
only my pipes were left me.' Then he rose and walked a little further,
till he saw a tree with great red apples shining amidst the leaves,
and he pulled some down, and ate them greedily. After that he stretched
himself out on the soft moss and went to sleep.

In the morning he ran to the nearest stream to wash himself, but to his
horror, when he caught sight of his face, he saw his nose had grown the
colour of an apple, and reached nearly to his waist. He started back
thinking he was dreaming, and put up his hand; but, alas! the dreadful
thing was true. 'Oh, why does not some wild beast devour me?' he cried
to himself; 'never, never, can I go again amongst my fellow-men! If only
the sea had swallowed me up, how much happier it had been for me!' And
he hid his head in his hands and wept. His grief was so violent, that it
exhausted him, and growing hungry he looked about for something to eat.
Just above him was a bough of ripe, brown nuts, end he picked them and
ate a handful. To his surprise, as he was eating them, he felt his nose
grow shorter and shorter, and after a while he ventured to feel it
with his hand, and even to look in the stream again! Yes, there was no
mistake, it was as short as before, or perhaps a little shorter. In his
joy at this discovery Tiidu did a very bold thing. He took one of the
apples out of his pocket, and cautiously bit a piece out of it. In an
instant his nose was as long as his chin, and in a deadly fear lest
it should stretch further, he hastily swallowed a nut, and awaited the
result with terror. Supposing that the shrinking of his nose had only
been an accident before! Supposing that that nut and no other was able
to cause its shrinking! In that case he had, by his own folly, in not
letting well alone, ruined his life completely. But, no! he had guessed
rightly, for in no more time than his nose had taken to grow long did it
take to return to its proper size. 'This may make my fortune,' he said
joyfully to himself; and he gathered some of the apples, which he put
into one pocket, and a good supply of nuts which he put into the other.
Next day he wove a basket out of some rushes, so that if he ever left
the island he might be able to carry his treasures about.

That night he dreamed that his friend the old man appeared to him and
said: 'Because you did not mourn for your lost treasure, but only for
your pipes, I will give you a new set to replace them.' And, behold! in
the morning when he got up a set of pipes was lying in the basket. With
what joy did he seize them and begin one of his favourite tunes; and as
he played hope sprang up in his heart, and he looked out to sea, to try
to detect the sign of a sail. Yes! there it was, making straight for
the island; and Tiidu, holding his pipes in his hand, dashed down to the
shore.

The sailors knew the island to be uninhabited, and were much surprised
to see a man standing on the beach, waving his arms in welcome to them.
A boat was put off, and two sailors rowed to the shore to discover how
he came there, and if he wished to be taken away. Tiidu told them the
story of his shipwreck, and the captain promised that he should come on
board, and sail with them back to Kungla; and thankful indeed was Tiidu
to accept the offer, and to show his gratitude by playing on his pipes
whenever he was asked to do so.

They had a quick voyage, and it was not long before Tiidu found himself
again in the streets of the capital of Kungla, playing as he went along.
The people had heard no music like his since he went away, and they
crowded round him, and in their joy gave him whatever money they had in
their pockets. His first care was to buy himself some new clothes, which
he sadly needed, taking care, however, that they should be made after a
foreign fashion. When they were ready, he set out one day with a small
basket of his famous apples, and went up to the palace. He did not have
to wait long before one of the royal servants passed by and bought all
the apples, begging as he did so that the merchant should return and
bring some more. This Tiidu promised, and hastened away as if he had a
mad bull behind him, so afraid was he that the man should begin to eat
an apple at once.

It is needless to say that for some days he took no more apples back to
the palace, but kept well away on the other side of the town, wearing
other clothes, and disguised by a long black beard, so that even his own
mother would not have known him.

The morning after his visit to the castle the whole city was in an
uproar about the dreadful misfortune that had happened to the Royal
Family, for not only the king but his wife and children, had eaten of
the stranger's apples, and all, so said the rumour, were very ill. The
most famous doctors and the greatest magicians were hastily summoned to
the palace, but they shook their heads and came away again; never had
they met with such a disease in all the course of their experience.
By-and-bye a story went round the town, started no one knew how, that
the malady was in some way connected with the nose; and men rubbed their
own anxiously, to be sure that nothing catching was in the air.

Matters had been in this state for more than a week when it reached the
ears of the king that a man was living in an inn on the other side
of the town who declared himself able to cure all manner of diseases.
Instantly the royal carriage was commanded to drive with all speed and
bring back this magician, offering him riches untold if he could restore
their noses to their former length. Tiidu had expected this summons,
and had sat up all night changing his appearance, and so well had he
succeeded that not a trace remained either of the piper or of the apple
seller. He stepped into the carriage, and was driven post haste to the
king, who was feverishly counting every moment, for both his nose and
the queen's were by this time more than a yard long, and they did not
know where they would stop.

Now Tiidu thought it would not look well to cure the royal family by
giving them the raw nuts; he felt that it might arouse suspicion. So he
had carefully pounded them into a powder, and divided the powder up into
small doses, which were to be put on the tongue and swallowed at once.
He gave one of these to the king and another to the queen, and told them
that before taking them they were to get into bed in a dark room and not
to move for some hours, after which they might be sure that they would
come out cured.

The king's joy was so great at this news that he would gladly have given
Tiidu half of his kingdom; but the piper was no longer so greedy of
money as he once was, before he had been shipwrecked on the island. If
he could get enough to buy a small estate and live comfortably on it for
the rest of his life, that was all he now cared for. However, the king
ordered his treasure to pay him three times as much as he asked, and
with this Tiidu went down to the harbour and engaged a small ship to
carry him back to his native country. The wind was fair, and in ten days
the coast, which he had almost forgotten, stood clear before him. In
a few hours he was standing in his old home, where his father, three
sisters, and two brothers gave him a hearty welcome. His mother and his
other brothers had died some years before.

When the meeting was over, he began to make inquiries about a small
estate that was for sale near the town, and after he had bought it the
next thing was to find a wife to share it with him. This did not take
long either; and people who were at the wedding feast declared that the
best part of the whole day was the hour when Tiidu played to them on the
pipes before they bade each other farewell and returned to their homes.

[From Esthnische Mahrchen.]




Paperarelloo

Once upon a time there lived a king and a queen who had one son. The
king loved the boy very much, but the queen, who was a wicked woman,
hated the sight of him; and this was the more unlucky for, when he was
twelve years old, his father died, and he was left alone in the world.

Now the queen was very angry because the people, who knew how bad she
was, seated her son on the throne instead of herself, and she
never rested till she had formed a plan to get him out of the way.
Fortunately, however, the young king was wise and prudent, and knew her
too well to trust her.

One day, when his mourning was over, he gave orders that everything
should be made ready for a grand hunt. The queen pretended to be greatly
delighted that he was going to amuse himself once more, and declared
that she would accompany him. 'No, mother, I cannot let you come,' he
answered; 'the ground is rough, and you are not strong.' But he might as
well have spoken to the winds: when the horn was sounded at daybreak the
queen was there with the rest.

All that day they rode, for game was plentiful, but towards evening the
mother and son found themselves alone in a part of the country that was
strange to them. They wandered on for some time, without knowing where
they were going, till they met with a man whom they begged to give them
shelter. 'Come with me,' said the man gladly, for he was an ogre, and
fed on human flesh; and the king and his mother went with him, and he
led them to his house. When they got there they found to what a dreadful
place they had come, and, falling on their knees, they offered him great
sums of money, if he would only spare their lives. The ogre's heart was
moved at the sight of the queen's beauty, and he promised that he would
do her no harm; but he stabbed the boy at once, and binding his body on
a horse, turned him loose in the forest.

The ogre had happened to choose a horse which he had bought only the day
before, and he did not know it was a magician, or he would not have been
so foolish as to fix upon it on this occasion. The horse no sooner had
been driven off with the prince's body on its back than it galloped
straight to the home of the fairies, and knocked at the door with its
hoof. The fairies heard the knock, but were afraid to open till they
had peeped from an upper window to see that it was no giant or ogre who
could do them harm. 'Oh, look, sister!' cried the first to reach the
window, 'it is a horse that has knocked, and on its back there is bound
a dead boy, the most beautiful boy in all the world!' Then the fairies
ran to open the door, and let in the horse and unbound the ropes which
fastened the young king on its back. And they gathered round to admire
his beauty, and whispered one to the other: 'We will make him alive
again, and will keep him for our brother.' And so they did, and for many
years they all lived together as brothers and sisters.

By-and-by the boy grew into a man, as boys will, and then the oldest of
the fairies said to her sisters: 'Now I will marry him, and he shall
be really your brother.' So the young king married the fairy, and they
lived happily together in the castle; but though he loved his wife he
still longed to see the world.

At length this longing grew so strong on him that he could bear it no
more; and, calling the fairies together, he said to them: 'Dear wife and
sisters, I must leave you for a time, and go out and see the world. But
I shall think of you often, and one day I shall come back to you.'

The fairies wept and begged him to stay, but he would not listen, and
at last the eldest, who was his wife, said to him: 'If you really will
abandon us, take this lock of my hair with you; you will find it useful
in time of need.' So she cut off a long curl, and handed it to him.

The prince mounted his horse, and rode on all day without stopping once.
Towards evening he found himself in a desert, and, look where he would,
there was no such thing as a house or a man to be seen. 'What am I to do
now?' he thought. 'If I go to sleep here wild beasts will come and eat
me! Yet both I and my horse are worn out, and can go no further.' Then
suddenly he remembered the fairy's gift, and taking out the curl he said
to it: 'I want a castle here, and servants, and dinner, and everything
to make me comfortable tonight; and besides that, I must have a stable
and fodder for my horse.' And in a moment the castle was before him just
as he had wished.

In this way he travelled through many countries, till at last he came
to a land that was ruled over by a great king. Leaving his horse outside
the walls, he clad himself in the dress of a poor man, and went up
to the palace. The queen, who was looking out of the window, saw him
approaching, and filled with pity sent a servant to ask who he was and
what he wanted. 'I am a stranger here,' answered the young king, 'and
very poor. I have come to beg for some work.' 'We have everybody we
want,' said the queen, when the servant told her the young man's reply.
'We have a gate-keeper, and a hall porter, and servants of all sorts
in the palace; the only person we have not got is a goose-boy. Tell him
that he can be our goose-boy if he likes.' The youth answered that he
was quite content to be goose-boy; and that was how he got his nickname
of Paperarello. And in order that no one should guess that he was any
better than a goose-boy should be, he rubbed his face and his rags over
with mud, and made himself altogether such a disgusting object that
every one crossed over to the other side of the road when he was seen
coming.

'Do go and wash yourself, Paperarello!' said the queen sometimes, for he
did his work so well that she took an interest in him. 'Oh, I should not
feel comfortable if I was clean, your Majesty,' answered he, and went
whistling after his geese.

It happened one day that, owing to some accident to the great flour
mills which supplied the city, there was no bread to be had, and the
king's army had to do without. When the king heard of it, he sent for
the cook, and told him that by the next morning he must have all the
bread that the oven, heated seven times over, could bake. 'But, your
Majesty, it is not possible,' cried the poor man in despair. 'The mills
have only just begun working, and the flour will not be ground till
evening, and how can I heat the oven seven times in one night?' 'That
is your affair,' answered the King, who, when he took anything into his
head, would listen to nothing. 'If you succeed in baking the bread you
shall have my daughter to wife, but if you fail your head will pay for
it.'

Now Paperarello, who was passing through the hall where the king was
giving his orders, heard these words, and said: 'Your Majesty, have no
fears; I will bake your bread.' 'Very well,' answered the king; 'but
if you fail, you will pay for it with your head!' and signed that both
should leave his presence.

The cook was still trembling with the thought of what he had escaped,
but to his surprise Paperarello did not seem disturbed at all, and when
night came he went to sleep as usual. 'Paperarello,' cried the other
servants, when they saw him quietly taking off his clothes, 'you cannot
go to bed; you will need every moment of the night for your work.
Remember, the king is not to be played with!'

'I really must have some sleep first,' replied Paperarello, stretching
himself and yawning; and he flung himself on his bed, and was fast
asleep in a moment. In an hour's time, the servants came and shook him
by the shoulder. 'Paperarello, are you mad?' said they. 'Get up, or you
will lose your head.' 'Oh, do let me sleep a little more, answered he.
And this was all he would say, though the servants returned to wake him
many times in the night.

At last the dawn broke, and the servants rushed to his room, crying:
'Paperarello! Paperarello! get up, the king is coming. You have baked no
bread, and of a surety he will have your head.'

'Oh, don't scream so,' replied Paperarello, jumping out of bed as
he spoke; and taking the lock of hair in his hand, he went into the
kitchen. And, behold! there stood the bread piled high - four, five, six
ovens full, and the seventh still waiting to be taken out of the oven.
The servants stood and stared in surprise, and the king said: 'Well
done, Paperarello, you have won my daughter.' And he thought to himself:
'This fellow must really be a magician.'

But when the princess heard what was in store for her she wept bitterly,
and declared that never, never would she marry that dirty Paperarello!
However, the king paid no heed to her tears and prayers, and before many
days were over the wedding was celebrated with great splendour, though
the bridegroom had not taken the trouble to wash himself, and was as
dirty as before.

When night came he went as usual to sleep among his geese, and the
princess went to the king and said: 'Father, I entreat you to have that
horrible Paperarello put to death.' 'No, no!' replied her father, 'he is
a great magician, and before I put him to death, I must first find out
the secret of his power, and then - we shall see.'

Soon after this a war broke out, and everybody about the palace was very
busy polishing up armour and sharpening swords, for the king and his
sons were to ride at the head of the army. Then Paperarello left his
geese, and came and told the king that he wished to go to fight also.
The king gave him leave, and told him that he might go to the stable and
take any horse he liked from the stables. So Paperarello examined
the horses carefully, but instead of picking out one of the splendid
well-groomed creatures, whose skin shone like satin, he chose a poor
lame thing, put a saddle on it, and rode after the other men-at-arms who
were attending the king. In a short time he stopped, and said to them:
'My horse can go no further; you must go on to the war without me, and
I will stay here, and make some little clay soldiers, and will play at a
battle.' The men laughed at him for being so childish, and rode on after
their master.

Scarcely were they out of sight than Paperarello took out his curl, and
wished himself the best armour, the sharpest sword, and the swiftest
horse in the world, and the next minute was riding as fast as he could
to the field of battle. The fight had already begun, and the enemy was
getting the best of it, when Paperarello rode up, and in a moment the
fortunes of the day had changed. Right and left this strange knight
laid about him, and his sword pierced the stoutest breast-plate, and the
strongest shield. He was indeed 'a host in himself,' and his foes fled
before him thinking he was only the first of a troop of such warriors,
whom no one could withstand. When the battle was over, the king sent for
him to thank him for his timely help, and to ask what reward he should
give him. 'Nothing but your little finger, your Majesty,' was
his answer; and the king cut off his little finger and gave it to
Paperarello, who bowed and hid it in his surcoat. Then he left the
field, and when the soldiers rode back they found him still sitting in
the road making whole rows of little clay dolls.

The next day the king went out to fight another battle, and again
Paperarello appeared, mounted on his lame horse. As on the day before,
he halted on the road, and sat down to make his clay soldiers; then a
second time he wished himself armour, sword, and a horse, all sharper
and better than those he had previously had, and galloped after the
rest. He was only just in time: the enemy had almost beaten the king's
army back, and men whispered to each other that if the strange knight
did not soon come to their aid, they would be all dead men. Suddenly
someone cried: 'Hold on a little longer, I see him in the distance; and
his armour shines brighter, and his horse runs swifter, than yesterday.'
Then they took fresh heart and fought desperately on till the knight
came up, and threw himself into the thick of the battle. As before, the
enemy gave way before him, and in a few minutes the victory remained
with the king.

The first thing that the victor did was to send for the knight to thank
him for his timely help, and to ask what gift he could bestow on him in
token of gratitude. 'Your Majesty's ear,' answered the knight; and as
the king could not go back from his word, he cut it off and gave it to
him. Paperarello bowed, fastened the ear inside his surcoat and rode
away. In the evening, when they all returned from the battle, there he
was, sitting in the road, making clay dolls.

On the third day the same thing happened, and this time he asked for the
king's nose as the reward of his aid. Now, to lose one's nose, is worse
even than losing one's ear or one's finger, and the king hesitated as to
whether he should comply. However, he had always prided himself on being
an honourable man, so he cut off his nose, and handed it to Paperarello.
Paperarello bowed, put the nose in his surcoat, and rode away. In the
evening, when the king returned from the battle, he found Paperarello
sitting in the road making clay dolls. And Paperarello got up and said
to him: 'Do you know who I am? I am your dirty goose-boy, yet you have
given me your finger, and your ear, and your nose.'

That night, when the king sat at dinner, Paperarello came in, and laying
down the ear, and the nose, and the finger on the table, turned and
said to the nobles and courtiers who were waiting on the king: 'I am the
invincible knight, who rode three times to your help, and I also am a
king's son, and no goose-boy as you all think.' And he went away and
washed himself, and dressed himself in fine clothes and entered the hall
again, looking so handsome that the proud princess fell in love with
him on the spot. But Paperarello took no notice of her, and said to the
king: 'It was kind of you to offer me your daughter in marriage, and for
that I thank you; but I have a wife at home whom I love better, and it
is to her that I am going. But as a token of farewell, I wish that your
ear, and nose, and finger may be restored to their proper places.' So
saying, he bade them all goodbye, and went back to his home and his
fairy bride, with whom he lived happily till the end of his life.

[From Sicilianisohen Mahrchen.]




The Gifts Of The Magician

Once upon a time there was an old man who lived in a little hut in the
middle of a forest. His wife was dead, and he had only one son, whom he
loved dearly. Near their hut was a group of birch trees, in which some
black-game had made their nests, and the youth had often begged his
father's permission to shoot the birds, but the old man always strictly
forbade him to do anything of the kind.

One day, however, when the father had gone to a little distance to
collect some sticks for the fire, the boy fetched his bow, and shot at a
bird that was just flying towards its nest. But he had not taken proper
aim, and the bird was only wounded, and fluttered along the ground. The
boy ran to catch it, but though he ran very fast, and the bird seemed to
flutter along very slowly, he never could quite come up with it; it was
always just a little in advance. But so absorbed was he in the chase
that he did not notice for some time that he was now deep in the forest,
in a place where he had never been before. Then he felt it would be
foolish to go any further, and he turned to find his way home.

He thought it would be easy enough to follow the path along which he had
come, but somehow it was always branching off in unexpected directions.
He looked about for a house where he might stop and ask his way, but
there was not a sign of one anywhere, and he was afraid to stand still,
for it was cold, and there were many stories of wolves being seen in
that part of the forest. Night fell, and he was beginning to start at
every sound, when suddenly a magician came running towards him, with


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Online LibraryAndrew LangThe Crimson Fairy Book → online text (page 7 of 21)