The drummer



A young drummer went out quite alone one evening into the country, and came to a lake on the shore of which he perceived three pieces of white linen lying. "What fine linen," said he, and put one piece in his pocket. He returned home, thought no more of what he had found, and went to bed. Just as he was going to sleep, it seemed to him as if some one was saying his name. He listened, and was aware of a soft voice which cried to him: "Drummer, drummer, wake up!" As it was a dark night he could see no one, but it appeared to him that a figure was hovering about his bed. "What do you want?" he asked. "Give me back my dress," answered the voice, "that you took away from me last evening by the lake." - "You shall have it back again," said the drummer, "if you will tell me who you are." - "Ah," replied the voice, "I am the daughter of a mighty King; but I have fallen into the power of a witch, and am shut up on the glass-mountain. I have to bathe in the lake every day with my two sisters, but I cannot fly back again without my dress. My sisters have gone away, but I have been forced to stay behind. I entreat you to give me my dress back." - "Be easy, poor child," said the drummer. "I will willingly give it back to you." He took it out of his pocket, and reached it to her in the dark. She snatched it in haste, and wanted to go away with it. "Stop a moment, perhaps I can help you." - "You can only help me by ascending the glass-mountain, and freeing me from the power of the witch. But you cannot come to the glass-mountain, and indeed if you were quite close to it you could not ascend it." - "When I want to do a thing I always can do it," said the drummer, "I am sorry for you, and have no fear of anything. But I do not know the way which leads to the glass-mountain." - "The road goes through the great forest, in which the man-eaters live," she answered, "and more than that, I dare not tell you." And then he heard her wings quiver, as she flew away.

By daybreak the drummer arose, buckled on his drum, and went without fear straight into the forest. After he had walked for a while without seeing any giants, he thought to himself, I must waken up the sluggards, and he hung his drum before him, and beat such a reveille‚ that the birds flew out of the trees with loud cries. It was not long before a giant who had been lying sleeping among the grass, rose up, and was as tall as a fir-tree. "Wretch!" cried he, "what art thou drumming here for, and wakening me out of my best sleep?" - "I am drumming," he replied, "because I want to show the way to many thousands who are following me." - "What do they want in my forest?" demanded the giant. "They want to put an end to thee, and cleanse the forest of such a monster as thou art!" - "Oh!" said the giant, "I will trample you all to death like so many ants." - "Dost thou think thou canst do anything against us?" said the drummer; "if thou stoopest to take hold of one, he will jump away and hide himself; but when thou art lying down and sleeping, they will come forth from every thicket, and creep up to thee. Every one of them has a hammer of steel in his belt, and with that they will beat in thy skull." The giant grew angry and thought, If I meddle with the crafty folk, it might turn out badly for me. I can strangle wolves and bears, but I cannot protect myself from these earth-worms. "Listen, little fellow," said he, "go back again, and I will promise you that for the future I will leave you and your comrades in peace, and if there is anything else you wish for, tell me, for I am quite willing to do something to please you." - "Thou hast long legs," said the drummer, "and canst run quicker than I; carry me to the glass-mountain, and I will give my followers a signal to go back, and they shall leave thee in peace this time." - "Come here, worm," said the giant; "seat thyself on my shoulder, I will carry thee where thou wishest to be." The giant lifted him up, and the drummer began to beat his drum up aloft to his heart's delight. The giant thought, That is the signal for the other people to turn back. After a while, a second giant was standing in the road, who took the drummer from the first, and stuck him in his button-hole. The drummer laid hold of the button, which was as large as a dish, held on by it, and looked merrily around. Then they came to a third giant, who took him out of the button-hole, and set him on the rim of his hat. Then the drummer walked backwards and forwards up above, and looked over the trees, and when he perceived a mountain in the blue distance, he thought, That must be the glass-mountain, and so it was. The giant only made two steps more, and they reached the foot of the mountain, where the giant put him down. The drummer demanded to be put on the summit of the glass-mountain, but the giant shook his head, growled something in his beard, and went back into the forest.

And now the poor drummer was standing before the mountain, which was as high as if three mountains were piled on each other, and at the same time as smooth as a looking-glass, and did not know how to get up it. He began to climb, but that was useless, for he always slipped back again. If one was a bird now, thought he, but what was the good of wishing, no wings grew for him. Whilst he was standing thus, not knowing what to do, he saw, not far from him, two men who were struggling fiercely together. He went up to them and saw that they were disputing about a saddle which was lying on the ground before them, and which both of them wanted to have. "What fools you are," said he, "to quarrel about a saddle, when you have not a horse for it!" - "The saddle is worth fighting about," answered one of the men, "whosoever sits on it, and wishes himself in any place, even if it should be the very end of the earth, gets there the instant he has uttered the wish. The saddle belongs to us in common. It is my turn to ride on it, but that other man will not let me do it." - "I will soon decide the quarrel," said the drummer, and he went to a short distance and stuck a white rod in the ground. Then he came back and said: "Now run to the goal, and whoever gets there first, shall ride first." Both put themselves into a trot, but hardly had they gone a couple of steps before the drummer swung himself on the saddle, wished himself on the glass-mountain, and before any one could turn round, he was there. On the top of the mountain was a plain; there stood an old stone house, and in front of the house lay a great fish-pond, but behind it was a dark forest. He saw neither men nor animals; everything was quiet; only the wind rustled amongst the trees, and the clouds moved by quite close above his head. He went to the door and knocked. When he had knocked for the third time, an old woman with a brown face and red eyes opened the door. She had spectacles on her long nose, and looked sharply at him; then she asked what he wanted. "Entrance, food, and a bed for the night," replied the drummer. "That thou shalt have," said the old woman, "if thou wilt perform three services in return." - "Why not?" he answered, "I am not afraid of any kind of work, however hard it may be." The old woman let him go in, and gave him some food and a good bed at night. The next morning when he had had his sleep out, she took a thimble from her wrinkled finger, reached it to the drummer, and said: "Go to work now, and empty out the pond with this thimble; but thou must have it done before night, and must have sought out all the fishes which are in the water and laid them side by side, according to their kind and size." - "That is strange work," said the drummer, but he went to the pond, and began to empty it. He baled the whole morning; but what can any one do to a great lake with a thimble, even if he were to bale for a thousand years? When it was noon, he thought, It is all useless, and whether I work or not it will come to the same thing. So he gave it up and sat down. Then came a maiden out of the house who set a little basket with food before him, and said: "What ails thee, that thou sittest so sadly here?" He looked at her, and saw that she was wondrously beautiful. "Ah," said he, "I cannot finish the first piece of work, how will it be with the others? I came forth to seek a king's daughter who is said to dwell here, but I have not found her, and I will go farther." - "Stay here," said the maiden, "I will help thee out of thy difficulty. Thou art tired, lay thy head in my lap, and sleep. When thou awakest again, thy work will be done." The drummer did not need to be told that twice. As soon as his eyes were shut, she turned a wishing-ring and said: "Rise, water. Fishes, come out." Instantly the water rose on high like a white mist, and moved away with the other clouds, and the fishes sprang on the shore and laid themselves side by side each according to his size and kind. When the drummer awoke, he saw with amazement that all was done. But the maiden said: "One of the fish is not lying with those of its own kind, but quite alone; when the old woman comes to-night and sees that all she demanded has been done, she will ask thee: What is this fish lying alone for? Then throw the fish in her face, and say: This one shall be for thee, old witch." In the evening the witch came, and when she had put this question, he threw the fish in her face. She behaved as if she did not remark it, and said nothing, but looked at him with malicious eyes. Next morning she said: "Yesterday it was too easy for thee, I must give thee harder work. Today thou must hew down the whole of the forest, split the wood into logs, and pile them up, and everything must be finished by the evening." She gave him an axe, a mallet, and two wedges. But the axe was made of lead, and the mallet and wedges were of tin. When he began to cut, the edge of the axe turned back, and the mallet and wedges were beaten out of shape. He did not know how to manage, but at mid-day the maiden came once more with his dinner and comforted him. "Lay thy head on my lap," said she, "and sleep; when thou awakest, thy work will be done." She turned her wishing-ring, and in an instant the whole forest fell down with a crash, the wood split, and arranged itself in heaps, and it seemed just as if unseen giants were finishing the work. When he awoke, the maiden said: "Dost thou see that the wood is piled up and arranged, one bough alone remains; but when the old woman comes this evening and asks thee about that bough, give her a blow with it, and say: That is for thee, thou witch." The old woman came: "There thou seest how easy the work was!" said she, "but for whom hast thou left that bough which is lying there still?" - "For thee, thou witch," he replied, and gave her a blow with it. But she pretended not to feel it, laughed scornfully, and said: "Early tomorrow morning thou shalt arrange all the wood in one heap, set fire to it, and burn it." He rose at break of day, and began to pick up the wood, but how can a single man get a whole forest together? The work made no progress. The maiden, however, did not desert him in his need. She brought him his food at noon, and when he had eaten, he laid his head on her lap, and went to sleep. When he awoke, the entire pile of wood was burning in one enormous flame, which stretched its tongues out into the sky. "Listen to me," said the maiden, "when the witch comes, she will give thee all kinds of orders; do whatever she asks thee without fear, and then she will not be able to get the better of thee, but if thou art afraid, the fire will lay hold of thee, and consume thee. At last when thou hast done everything, seize her with both thy hands, and throw her into the midst of the fire." The maiden departed, and the old woman came sneaking up to him. "Oh, I am cold," said she, "but that is a fire that burns; it warms my old bones for me, and does me good! But there is a log lying there which won't burn, bring it out for me. When thou hast done that, thou art free, and mayst go where thou likest, come; go in with a good will!" The drummer did not reflect long; he sprang into the midst of the flames, but they did not hurt him, and could not even singe a hair of his head. He carried the log out, and laid it down. Hardly, however, had the wood touched the earth than it was transformed, and the beautiful maiden who had helped him in his need stood before him, and by the silken and shining golden garments which she wore, he knew right well that she was the King's daughter. But the old woman laughed venomously, and said: "Thou thinkest thou hast her safe, but thou hast not got her yet!" Just as she was about to fall on the maiden and take her away, the youth seized the old woman with both his hands, raised her up on high, and threw her into the jaws of the fire, which closed over her as if it were delighted that an old witch was to be burnt.

Then the King's daughter looked at the drummer, and when she saw that he was a handsome youth and remembered how he had risked his life to deliver her, she gave him her hand, and said: "Thou hast ventured everything for my sake, but I also will do everything for thine. Promise to be true to me, and thou shalt be my husband. We shall not want for riches, we shall have enough with what the witch has gathered together here." She led him into the house, where there were chests and coffers crammed with the old woman's treasures. The maiden left the gold and silver where it was, and took only the precious stones. She would not stay any longer on the glass-mountain, so the drummer said to her: "Seat thyself by me on my saddle, and then we will fly down like birds." - "I do not like the old saddle," said she, "I need only turn my wishing-ring and we shall be at home." - "Very well, then," answered the drummer, "then wish us in front of the town-gate." In the twinkling of an eye they were there, but the drummer said: "I will just go to my parents and tell them the news, wait for me outside here, I shall soon be back." - "Ah," said the King's daughter, "I beg thee to be careful. On thy arrival do not kiss thy parents on the right cheek, or else thou wilt forget everything, and I shall stay behind here outside, alone and deserted." - "How can I forget thee?" said he, and promised her to come back very soon, and gave his hand upon it. When he went into his father's house, he had changed so much that no one knew who he was, for the three days which he had passed on the glass-mountain had been three years. Then he made himself known, and his parents fell on his neck with joy, and his heart was so moved that he forgot what the maiden had said, and kissed them on both cheeks. But when he had given them the kiss on the right cheek, every thought of the King's daughter vanished from him. He emptied out his pockets, and laid handfuls of the largest jewels on the table. The parents had not the least idea what to do with the riches. Then the father built a magnificent castle all surrounded by gardens, woods, and meadows as if a prince were going to live in it, and when it was ready, the mother said: "I have found a maiden for thee, and the wedding shall be in three days." The son was content to do as his parents desired.

The poor King's daughter had stood for a long time without the town waiting for the return of the young man. When evening came, she said: "He must certainly have kissed his parents on the right cheek, and has forgotten me." Her heart was full of sorrow, she wished herself into a solitary little hut in a forest, and would not return to her father's court. Every evening she went into the town and passed the young man's house; he often saw her, but he no longer knew her. At length she heard the people saying: "The wedding will take place tomorrow." Then she said: "I will try if I can win his heart back." On the first day of the wedding ceremonies, she turned her wishing-ring, and said: "A dress as bright as the sun." Instantly the dress lay before her, and it was as bright as if it had been woven of real sunbeams. When all the guests were assembled, she entered the hall. Every one was amazed at the beautiful dress, and the bride most of all, and as pretty dresses were the things she had most delight in, she went to the stranger and asked if she would sell it to her. "Not for money," she answered, "but if I may pass the first night outside the door of the room where your betrothed sleeps, I will give it up to you." The bride could not overcome her desire and consented, but she mixed a sleeping-draught with the wine her betrothed took at night, which made him fall into a deep sleep. When all had become quiet, the King's daughter crouched down by the door of the bedroom, opened it just a little, and cried:

"Drummer, drummer, I pray thee hear!
Hast thou forgotten thou heldest me dear?
That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour?
That I rescued thy life from the witch's power?
Didst thou not plight thy troth to me?
Drummer, drummer, hearken to me!"

But it was all in vain, the drummer did not awake, and when morning dawned, the King's daughter was forced to go back again as she came. On the second evening she turned her wishing-ring and said: "A dress as silvery as the moon." When she appeared at the feast in the dress which was as soft as moonbeams, it again excited the desire of the bride, and the King's daughter gave it to her for permission to pass the second night also, outside the door of the bedroom. Then in the stillness of the night, she cried:

"Drummer, drummer, I pray thee hear!
Hast thou forgotten thy heldest me dear?
That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour?
That I rescued thy life from the witch's power?
Didst thou not plight thy troth to me?
Drummer, drummer, hearken to me!"

But the drummer, who was stupefied with the sleeping-draught, could not be aroused. Sadly next morning she went back to her hut in the forest. But the people in the house had heard the lamentation of the stranger-maiden, and told the bridegroom about it. They told him also that it was impossible that he could hear anything of it, because the maiden he was going to marry had poured a sleeping-draught into his wine. On the third evening, the King's daughter turned her wishing-ring, and said: "A dress glittering like the stars." When she showed herself therein at the feast, the bride was quite beside herself with the splendour of the dress, which far surpassed the others, and she said: "I must, and will have it." The maiden gave it as she had given the others for permission to spend the night outside the bridegroom's door. The bridegroom, however, did not drink the wine which was handed to him before he went to bed, but poured it behind the bed, and when everything was quiet, he heard a sweet voice which called to him:

"Drummer, drummer, I pray thee hear!
Hast thou forgotten thou held me dear?
That on the glass-mountain we sat hour by hour?
That I rescued thy life from the witch's power?
Didst thou not plight thy troth to me?
Drummer, drummer, hearken to me!"

Suddenly, his memory returned to him. "Ah," cried he, "how can I have acted so unfaithfully; but the kiss which in the joy of my heart I gave my parents, on the right cheek, that is to blame for it all, that is what stupefied me!" He sprang up, took the King's daughter by the hand, and led her to his parents' bed. "This is my true bride," said he, "if I marry the other, I shall do a great wrong." The parents, when they heard how everything had happened, gave their consent. Then the lights in the hall were lighted again, drums and trumpets were brought, friends and relations were invited to come, and the real wedding was solemnized with great rejoicing. The first bride received the beautiful dresses as a compensation, and declared herself satisfied.
一天傍晚,一位年轻的鼓手独自在田野漫步。 他来到一个湖边,发现岸上摆着三件小小的白色亚麻衣服。 "多么精制的亚麻衣服呀!"说着,他便把其中一件塞进了自己的口袋。 回到家里以后,他没再去想那件捡到的衣服,就上床睡觉去了。
正当他要睡着的时候,他似乎觉得有人在叫他。 他仔细听了听,显然有一个很轻很轻的声音在对他说:"鼓手,醒醒!
鼓手,醒醒! "
夜是那么黑,他根本看不清人,只是觉得仿佛有一个影子在他的床前晃来晃去。 "你想要干什么?"他问道。
说着,他便走过去从口袋里取出那件亚麻衣服,递给了她。 她一把抓过那件衣服,转身就要走。
天一亮,鼓手就出发了。 他把鼓挂在身上,毫不畏惧地朝着食人者居住的大森林走去。 过了好一会儿,他朝四周看了看,没看见一个巨人。 他心想:"我得把这些懒家伙叫起来才行。"于是,他便用力地擂起了他的那面大鼓,鼓声把树上的鸟儿都给吓坏了。
不一会儿,只见一个躺在草丛中睡觉的巨人站了起来,他足有一棵松树那么高。 "你这个混蛋,"他朝鼓手吼道:"你在这儿敲什么鼓,把我的美梦都给吵醒了?"
于是,巨人把他扛了起来。 鼓手坐在巨人的肩膀上,高兴得又开始擂起鼓来。 巨人心想,这一定是他在叫其他人撤退的信号。
过了一会儿,大路上又出现了另一个巨人。 只见他把鼓手从第一个巨人的肩膀上接了过来,然后放到自己的扣眼里。 鼓手牢牢地抓住有盘子那么大的纽扣,稳稳当当地坐在上面,心情十分愉快。
接着,他们又来到第三个巨人的身边,只见他把鼓手从第二个巨人的扣眼里取了出来,然后放到自己的帽沿上。 鼓手在帽子上走来走去,不停地越过树顶眺望着远方。 这时,他看见远处的蓝天下有一座山,心想:"那一定是玻璃山了。"的确如此,那巨人只往前迈了几步,他们便来到了山脚下。
这时,巨人把他从头上放了下来,可鼓手却让他把自己送到山顶上去。 但是巨人摇了摇头,那张四周长满了胡须的大嘴嘀咕了几句,便头也不回地转回大森林去了。 可怜的鼓手站在大山前,只见那座山仿佛有三座山加起来那么高,而且光滑如镜,叫他不知如何是好。 他试着使劲地往上爬,可是全都白费力气,因为他总是一次又一次地从上面滚下来。
只见山顶上有一间古老的石屋,屋子前面还有一大片鱼塘,鱼塘后面是一片阴森茂密的树林。 这儿看不见任何人,也没有一头野兽,四周静悄悄的,只有风儿吹得树叶沙沙作响,一片片白云低低地从他的头上飘过。
他来到石屋前,敲了敲门,当他敲到第三声时,门便打开了,开门的是一个脸呈棕色、两眼通红的老太婆。 她的长鼻子上夹着一副眼镜,锐利的目光直盯着他,她问他来这儿干什么。 他告诉她,自己想在这儿借宿一晚。 "如果你肯替我做三件事,你就可以在这里留宿。"
"真是一件奇怪的活!"鼓手心里这样想道,可他却仍然走到池塘边,开始干了起来。 他舀了整整一个上午,可要把这一大片池塘的水全都舀出来,用一枚顶针怎么行呢! 那至少需要一千年时间。 中午时分,他便停下手中这糟糕的活,自言自语地说道:"这全是徒劳,干和不干都一样!"
转瞬之间,水就像一片白色的雾霭升上了天空,随同其它的云彩一起飘走了。 鱼儿也噼噼啪啪地跳到了岸上,并且全都按大小和颜色排得整整齐齐。
晚上,老太婆果然来了,也问了那个问题,鼓手便把那条鱼扔到了她的脸上。 可她却站在那儿,一声不吭,似乎并不介意他对她的冒犯,只是恶狠狠地盯着他。 第二天早上,她又说:"昨天你太轻松了,今天我得给你一件难一点的活干干。你今天必须把整片森林砍光,再把树木都劈成柴,并堆成一堆堆的柴垛子。这些活必须在天黑之前干完。"她给了他一把斧头、一柄大锤、两把锯子,可那些工具全都是铅铸的,又重又软,根本不能用。
他真不知如何是好。 可中午时分,那姑娘又带着食物来了,并对他说:"把头放在我的膝上,睡一会儿吧,等你醒来,活就干完了。"
天一亮,鼓手就起来开始搬木头,可是他一个人又怎么可能把一大片森林堆到一块呢? 他的工作毫无进展。 幸运的是,那姑娘并没有在困境中抛下他不管,她又给他带来了午饭,吃完之后,他又把头枕在她的膝上睡着了。 他醒来时,堆积如山的木材已燃起熊熊烈焰,火舌直冲云霄。
鼓手毫不犹豫地跳了进去,那火焰竟然一点也没有烧到他,甚至连他的头发也没烤焦。 他把圆木抱了出来放在地上。 木头刚一着地,就变成了那位曾在困难中帮助过他的美丽的姑娘。 那姑娘身上穿着一件金光闪闪的衣裳,他一眼便认出她就是那位他要找的公主。
说着,她就朝着姑娘扑了过去,想把她拖走。 这时,鼓手用双手紧紧地抓住老巫婆,把她扔进了火海。
然后,公主仔细地打量了一下这位英俊的鼓手。 一想到他竟然冒着生命危险来解救自己,公主心里万分感动,便伸出手对他说:"你既然肯为我付出一切,那么我就嫁给你为妻。
答应我,我们会彼此忠贞,永远相爱。 "
接着,她把鼓手领进石屋,并把老巫婆藏满财宝的箱子和柜子全都打开给他看。 他们没有动里面的金子和银子,只拿了些宝石。
一眨眼的功夫,他们就到了城外。 这时,鼓手说:"我要先回去看看我的父母,告诉他们所发生的一切。你就在田野里等我,我很快就会回来的。"
等他说出自己是谁之后,他的父母便高兴得一把抱住了他的脖子,他也异常激动,禁不住就亲了父母的双颊,完全忘记了公主的训诫。 然后,他倒空自己的口袋,把珍珠和宝石一把一把地抓到桌子上。 面对这么多的财宝,他的父母简直不知道该怎么办才好。
后来,他的父亲为他们建造了一座豪华的城堡,四周环绕着花园、森林和草地,简直就像是王子的宫殿。 城堡造好之后,母亲对鼓手说:"孩子,我替你挑选了一位姑娘,你们下星期的今天就举行婚礼。"儿子对父母的安排也感到非常满意。
再说可怜的公主在城外等了很久很久。 夜晚降临了,可是他还没有回来,她知道他一定是亲了他父母的右颊,把她给忘记了! 公主伤心极了,不愿再回到父亲的宫中去,而只是独自住在一间孤寂的林中小屋里,每天傍晚她都进城去,故意从鼓手住的房前经过,虽然他很多次都看见了她,可已不再认得她了。 终于她听到有人说"明天,鼓手就要结婚了。"于是她对自己说:"我一定要尽我最大的努力,赢回他的心。"
当所有的客人都到齐了之后,她才走进大厅。 在场的每一个人都为她那美丽的衣服而惊诧不已,特别是那位新娘,她是那种最喜欢漂亮衣服的女人,她于是走到陌生女子的面前,问她是否原意把她的衣服卖给她。
新娘抵制不住这个诱惑,便答应了她的要求。 可是她偷偷地在新郎晚上睡觉前喝的酒里放了安眠药,让他很快就沉沉睡熟了。
鼓手,鼓手,你回答我。 "
当她穿着一身像月光一样柔美的衣服出现在晚会上时,又让新娘嫉妒万分。 她便用这件衣服作为条件换得了新娘的同意,让她到新郎的卧室门前再站上一晚。
在这夜深人静的夜晚,她又照样呼唤着鼓手。 可是因为安眠药使他丧失了知觉,他还是没有醒。 清晨,公主又沮丧地回到了自己的林间小屋。
这一次,新郎睡前没有喝酒,而是把它全都倒到床底下去了。 等一切安静下来之后,他便听见一个温柔的声音在呼唤:
鼓手,鼓手,你回答我。 "
于是,城堡里又举行了一次婚宴。 而第一个新娘也心满意足地得到了那三件美丽的衣服作为补偿。

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