The Six Servants
A prince, with the help of his six special servants, saves himself from the attacks of a witch, sees to the just punishment and marries - whom do you think?
Once upon a time there lived an old queen who was a sorceress, and her daughter was the most beautiful girl under the sun. But the old woman thought of nothing but how to lure people to their ruin, and if a suitor came, then so she said, whoever wanted to have her daughter must first break a covenant (a task) or he would have to die. Many were blinded by the beauty of the virgin and well dared, but they could not accomplish what the old woman put on them, and then it was no mercy, they had to kneel down, and their heads were cut off. A king's son, who had also heard of the great beauty of the maiden, said to his father, "Let me go, I will woo her." "If you go away, you will go to your death." Then the son lay down and became terminally ill, and lay for seven years and no doctor could help him. When the father saw that there was no more hope, he spoke full of heart Unity to him "go there and try your luck, otherwise I don't know how to help you." When the son heard that, he got up from his bed, got well and set out happily on his way.
It came to pass, as he came to ride over a heath, that from a distance he saw something lying on the ground like a large haystack, and as he approached he could tell that it was the stomach of a man who had stretched out; but the belly looked like a small mountain. The fat man, when he saw the traveler, straightened up and said, "If you need someone, take me into your service." The king's son answered, "What should I do with such an unruly man?" "Oh," said the fat one, "that doesn't mean anything, if I do it right, I'll be three thousand times as fat." "If that's the case," said the king's son, "then I can use you, come with me." So he went and the fat man followed the king's son, and after a while they found another lying there on the ground with his ear to the grass. The king's son asked, "What are you doing there?" "I'm listening," answered the man. “Why are you listening so carefully?” “I listen to what is going on in the world, because nothing escapes my ears, I even hear the grass growing.” The king’s son asked, “tell me, what are you listening to at the old queen’s court who has the beautiful daughter?” Then he answered, “I hear the sword whizzing, which cuts off the head of a suitor.” The king's son said, “I can use you, come with me.” So they moved on and saw a couple of feet lying there and some of their legs too, but they couldn't see the end. When they had gone a good distance they came to the body and finally to the head. "Oh," said the king's son, "what a long rope you are!" "Oh," answered the tall man, "that's nothing at all, if I really stretch out my limbs, I'll be three thousand times as long and am taller than the highest mountain on earth. I'll be happy to serve you, if you want to accept me." "Come with me," said the king's son, "I can use you." They went on and found one sitting by the way with his eyes tied. The king's son said to him, "Are your eyes so stupid that you can't see the light?" my gaze is so powerful. If that can be of any use to you, I will gladly serve you.” “Come along,” answered the king’s son, “I can use you.” They went on and found a man lying in the hot sunshine, trembling and freezing all over , so that not a limb stood still. "How can you be cold?" said the king's son, "and the sun is shining so warmly." through every bone: and the colder it is, the hotter I get: in the middle of the ice I can't stand the heat, and in the middle of the fire I can't stand the cold." "You're a strange fellow," said the king's son, "but if you If you want to serve me, come with me.” So they went on and saw a man standing there, who stretched his neck, looked around and looked out over all the mountains. The king's son said, "What are you looking at so eagerly?" come with me, because I was missing someone like that."
Now the king's son and his six servants moved into the city where the old queen lived. He did not say who he was, but he said, "If you want to give me your beautiful daughter, I will do what you enjoin on me." give you a covenant, and if you break it every time, you shall become my daughter's lord and husband.” “What should be the first thing?” he asked. "For you to bring me a ring that I let fall into the Red Sea." Then the king's son went home to his servants and said, "The first covenant is not easy, a ring is to be fetched from the Red Sea, now find counsel." Then the one with the bright eyes said, "I want to see where he is lying," looked down into the sea and said, "There he is hanging on a pointed stone." "If only I could see him." "If that's all it is," cried the fat man, lying down and holding his mouth to the water: then the waves fell into it as if into an abyss, and he drank the whole sea dry became like a meadow. Tall Hendrik bent down a little and took out the ring in his hand. The king's son was happy when he had the ring and brought it to the old woman. She was amazed and said, "Yes, it is the right ring: you happily broke the first bond, but now the second is coming. Do you see there on the meadow in front of my castle, there are three hundred fat oxen grazing, you must eat them skin and hair, bones and horns: and down in the cellar there are three hundred casks of wine, you must drink them up; and if a hair remains from the oxen and a droplet from the wine, then your life is forfeited to me." Said the king's son, "am I not allowed to invite any guests? No meal tastes good without company.” The old woman laughed maliciously and answered, “you can invite one to have company, but no more.”
Then the king's son went to his servants and said to the fat man, "You shall be my guest today and eat your fill." Then the fat man separated and ate the three hundred oxen so that not a hair remained, and asked if nothing else when breakfast came, but he drank the wine straight from the casks, without needing a glass, and drank the last drop off the nail. When the meal was over, the king's son went to the old woman and told her the second covenant was broken. She was amazed and said, "No one has gotten it that far, but there is still a bond left," and thought, "You shall not escape me and you will not keep your head up." "Tonight," she said, "I'll bring you my daughter to you in your room and you shall encircle her with your arm: and when you are sitting there together, be careful not to fall asleep: I will come at the stroke of twelve, and if she is no longer in your arms, then you have lost." The king's son thought, "The bond is easy, I'll probably keep my eyes open," but he called his servants, told them what the old woman had said and said, "Who knows what kind of ruse is behind it, be careful It is good, keep watch and see to it that the maiden does not come out of my chamber again.” When night fell, the old woman came with her daughter and led her into the arms of the king’s son, and then Hendrik wrapped himself around them both in a circle, and the fat man stood in front of the door, so that no e living soul could come in. There they both sat, and the maiden did not speak a word, but the moon shone on her face through the window, so that he could see her marvelous beauty. He did nothing but look at her, he was full of joy and love, and there was no weariness in his eyes. This lasted until eleven o'clock, when the old woman cast a spell over everyone so that they all fell asleep, and at that moment the maiden was also enraptured.
Now they slept soundly until a quarter to twelve, when the magic was useless and they all woke up again. "O misery and misfortune," cried the king's son, "now I'm lost!" The faithful servants also began to lament, but the listener said, "Be quiet, I want to listen," then he listened for a moment and then he said, " she sits in a rock three hundred hours from here, and laments her fate. You alone can help, Tall One, if you get up, you can be there in a few steps." "Yes," answered Tall One, "but the one with the keen eyes must go with us, so that we can remove the rock." Then he crouched Long opened the blindfolded, and in the instant one turns a hand round they were before the accursed rock. Immediately Tall Hendrik took the blindfold from the eyes of the other, who only looked around, and the rock shattered into a thousand pieces. Then Tall Hendrik took the maiden in his arms, carried her back in a trice, fetched his comrade just as quickly, and before twelve struck, they were all seated as before and were cheerful and in good spirits. When twelve o'clock struck, the old sorceress crept up, made a scornful face, as if to say, "Now he is mine," and thought her daughter was sitting on the rock three hundred hours away. But when she saw her daughter in the arms of the king's son, she was frightened and said, "There's someone who can do more than I can." But she couldn't object and had to promise him the maiden. Then she said in her ear, "Shame on you that you should obey common people and not be allowed to choose a husband to your liking."
Then the proud heart of the maiden was filled with anger and plotted revenge. The next morning she brought together three hundred malters of wood and said to the king's son that the three bonds had been broken and that she would not be his wife until someone was ready to sit down in the middle of the wood and endure the fire. She thought none of his servants would burn themselves for him, and out of love for her he would put himself in it, and then she would be free. But the servants said, "We have all done something, only the frosty one hasn't done it yet, he must do it too." They put him in the middle of the pile of wood and lit it. Then the fire began to burn and burned for three days until all the wood was consumed, and when the flames subsided, the frosty man stood in the midst of the ashes, trembled like an aspen leaf and said, "I have not endured such a frost in my life, and if it had lasted longer, I would have frozen."
Now there was no longer any prospect; the beautiful maiden had to marry the unknown youth. But when they drove to the church, the old woman said, "I cannot bear the disgrace," and sent her soldiers after them, who were to put down everything that came before them and bring her daughter back to her. But the eavesdropper pricked up his ears and heard the secret speeches of the old people. "What shall we do?" he said to the fat man, but he knew what to do, once or twice spit out some of the sea water he had drunk behind the wagon, and a large lake arose in which the warring people got stuck and drowned . When the sorceress heard this, she sent her armored riders, but the eavesdropper heard the rattling of her armor and opened the eyes of one, who looked a little sharply at the enemies, and they jumped apart like glass. Now they drove on undisturbed, and when the two had been consecrated in the church, the six servants said goodbye and said to their master, "Your wishes have been fulfilled, you no longer need us, we want to move on and try our luck. "
Half an hour before the castle was a village, in front of which a swineherd was tending his herd: as they got there, he said to his wife, "Do you know who I am? I am not a king's son, but a swineherd, and the one with the herd over there is my father: we two must look after it and help him." Then he went down with her to the inn and said secretly to the innkeepers in the night they should take away the royal clothes from her. When she woke up in the morning she had nothing to do, and the landlady gave her an old coat and a pair of old woolen stockings, pretending it was a big present and saying, "If it weren't for your husband, I wouldn't have it for you at all Then she believed he was really a swineherd and tended the flock with him and thought, "I deserved it with my high spirits and pride." That lasted eight days, and she couldn't stand it any longer because her feet were sore become. A few people came up and asked if she knew who her husband was. "Yes," she answered, "he is a swineherd and has just gone out to do a little business with ribbons and cords." But they said, "Come with me, we want to take you to him," and brought them up to the castle; and when she came into the hall, her husband was standing there in royal clothes. But she didn't recognize him until he fell on her neck, kissed her and said, "I suffered so much for you, you should have suffered for me too." Now the wedding was celebrated, and the one who told the story wanted he would have been there too."