日本語

太鼓たたき

ENGLISH

The drummer


ある晩、若い太鼓たたきがたったひとりで田舎へでかけ湖にくると、岸に3枚の白い亜麻布があるのに気づきました。太鼓たたきは「なんて素敵な亜麻布だ」と言って一枚をポケットに入れました。家に戻り、見つけた物をもう忘れて、ベッドに入りました。もう寝入ろうというときに誰か自分の名前を呼んでいるような気がしました。じっと聞き耳をたてていると、「太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、起きて」と訴えている小さな声に気づきました。暗い夜だったので誰も見えませんでしたが、ベッドのあたりを人影がふわふわ飛んでいるように見えました。「何か用かい?」と太鼓たたきは尋ねました。「私の肌着を返してください」と声が答えました。「湖のそばでさっき私からとっていったものです。」「返してあげるよ」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「君が誰か教えてくれたらね。」

「ああ」と声は答えました。「私は強力な王の娘なのです。だけど、魔女の手に落ちて、ガラスの山に閉じ込められています。毎日二人の姉たちと湖に入らなくてはいけないんだけど、肌着がないので飛んで戻れないんです。姉たちは行ってしまったけど私は残るしかなかったわ。お願いですから私の肌着を返してください。」「可哀そうに、心配しなくていいよ。」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「返してあげるとも。」ポケットから肌着を取り出して暗闇で伸べてやりました。娘は急いでそれに飛びつくと、去っていこうとしました。「ちょっと待って、ひょっとすると僕が助けてあげられるかも。」「ガラスの山を登るしか助けられないのよ。山のうんと近くまで来たとしても、登れないわ。」「僕は何かやろうとしたら必ずやれるんだ。」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「僕は君を気の毒に思うし、何もこわいものはないよ。だけど、ガラスの山にいく道はわからないな。」「道は大きな森を通っています。そこに人食いが住んでるの。」と娘は答えました。「それ以上言えないわ」そのあと、娘が飛んでいくときに羽ばたく音が聞こえました。

夜明けに太鼓たたきは起きて太鼓を肩にかけ、恐れ気もなく森へまっすぐ入っていきました。しばらく歩いても巨人たちに出会わなかったので、太鼓たたきは(怠け者たちを起こしてやらにゃ)と思いました。それで太鼓を体の前に吊るし、ドンドコドンドコ轟かせたので、鳥たちが大きな鳴き声をあげて木から飛び立ちました。まもなく草の間に横になって眠っていた巨人が起きあがりましたが、もみの木ほども背がありました。「この野郎!」と巨人は叫びました。「なんでここで太鼓をたたくんだ、おれさまが気持ちよく眠っていたのを起こしやがって!」「おれが太鼓をたたくのは」と太鼓たたきは答えました。「おれについてきている何千人もの人に道を教えようというわけさ。」「そいつらはおれの森で何をしようってんだ?」と巨人は問いただしました。「お前をやっつけようというわけさ。お前みたいな怪物をなくして森をきれいにするんだ。」

「ほほう」と巨人は言いました。「お前らみんな、蟻のように踏み殺してやる」「お前、おれたちに歯向かえると思うのか?」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「つかまえようとかがんでみろ、そいつは飛びのいて隠れてしまうよ。だけど、お前が横になって眠っているとき、連中はどこのやぶからでも出てきてお前に這い上るんだ。みんなベルトに鋼鉄のハンマーを差していて、それでお前の頭の骨をぶち砕くのさ。」巨人は腹を立て、(抜け目ない連中に関わったらろくなことにならないかもな、狼や熊は絞め殺すことができるが、こういう地虫からは身を守れん)と考えました。「なあ、チビすけ」と巨人は言いました。「帰ってくれないか、これからお前やお前の仲間に手出しをしないと約束するよ。それから何かやってほしいことがあれば言ってくれ、お前の好きなことをしてやろう。」「お前は長い脚をしているよな」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「だからおれより速く走れるだろ。おれをガラスの山に連れて行ってくれ。そうすれば、仲間に引き上げの合図を送るよ。そうして今回はお前に手出しをさせないよ。」「こっちへ来い、虫けら」と巨人は言いました。「おれの肩に座れ。望むところへ連れて行こう」

巨人は太鼓たたきを持ちあげました。太鼓たたきは高い上で心ゆくまで太鼓をたたきました。巨人は(他の人たちが引き返す合図だな)と思いました。しばらくして二人目の巨人が道に立っていて、最初の巨人から、太鼓たたきを受け取り、ボタン穴に差し込みました。太鼓たたきは皿ほども大きいボタンをつかみ、しがみついて上機嫌で辺りを見回しました。それから三人目の巨人になり、ボタン穴から太鼓たたきを取り出し、帽子の縁にのせました。その高いところで太鼓たたきは前後に歩き回り、木々を見わたしました。太鼓たたきは遠くの青く見えるところの山に気づき、(あれがガラスの山に違いないな)と思いましたが、その通りでした。巨人はそのあと二歩歩いただけで、山のふもとに着きました。するとそこで巨人は太鼓たたきを下ろしました。

太鼓たたきはガラスの山のてっぺんに下ろすように頼みましたが巨人は頭を振り、何かぼそぼそ言って森へ帰っていきました。そこであわれにも太鼓たたきは、三つの山が積み重なっているかのように高く、また鏡のようにつるつるしている山の前で、どう登ったらいいのかわからず、つっ立っていました。登り始めてみましたが、無駄でした。というのはいつも滑り落ちてしまったからです。(鳥ならなあ)と太鼓たたきは思いました。しかし、願ったとてどうにもならず、翼は生えてきませんでした。こうしてどうしたらよいか分からず立っていると、あまり離れていないところで、激しく争っている二人の男が見えました。二人に近づいていくと、目の前の地面に置いてある鞍を二人とも欲しがって争っていると分かりました。

「なんて馬鹿なんだ」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「馬がいないのに鞍のことで喧嘩するなんてさ。」「この鞍は喧嘩するだけのことがあるんだ。」と男の一人が答えました。「それに座ってどこでも行きたいなら、地の果てだって、願いを言った途端に着くんだぞ。鞍はおれたち二人のものなんだ。今度はおれがのる番なのによ、あいつときたらやらせてくれないんだ。」「おれがすぐ決めてやるよ」と太鼓たたきは言って、少し離れたところに行き、地面に白い棒を刺しました。それから戻ってきて「さあ、ゴールまで走れ、先に着いた方が、先に鞍に乗るんだ。」二人とも走りだしましたが、二、三歩行くか行かないうちに太鼓たたきはさっと鞍に飛び乗り、ガラスの山に行きたいと願いました。すると振り向く間もなくもうそこに着いていました。

山のてっぺんは平原でした。古い石の家が立っていて、家の前に大きな魚の池があり、その後ろは暗い森になっていました。人間も動物も見えなくて、あたりはしんとしていました。風だけが木々の葉をさらさら鳴らして吹き、雲が頭上のすぐ近くを動きました。太鼓たたきは戸口に行って戸をたたきました。三度目にたたくと浅黒い顔で目の赤い老婆が戸を開けました。老婆は長い鼻の上に眼鏡をかけて、太鼓たたきを鋭くみてから、何の用だい?と尋ねました。「中へ入れて、食べ物をくれて、泊めてください」と太鼓たたきは答えました。「いいよ」と老婆は言いました。「あんたがお返しに三つ仕事をしてくれたらね。」「もちろんいいです」と太鼓たたきは答えました。「どんな仕事でもびくつきませんよ、どんなに難しくてもね。」老婆は太鼓たたきを中に入れ、食べ物を与え、夜には良いベッドを与えました。

たっぷり眠った次の朝、老婆は皺だらけの指から指抜きをはずし、太鼓たたきに渡し、「さあ仕事だよ、この指抜きで池の水を汲みだしておくれ、だけど暗くなる前に終わってなくちゃだめだよ、それから水の中の魚を全部種類と大きさに分けて並べておくんだ。」と言いました。「そりゃ変な仕事だな」と太鼓たたきは言いましたが、池に行って汲み始めました。太鼓たたきは午前中汲みましたが、誰だって千年汲んだとしても指抜きで大きな池をどうすることもできません。昼になると、(全く無駄だよ、やろうがやるまいが結果は同じだ)と太鼓たたきは思いました。それで仕事をやめて座りました。

すると、家から乙女が出てきて、太鼓たたきの前に食べ物の入った小さなかごをおき、「どうしたの?とても悲しそうね」と言いました。太鼓たたきは娘を見て、驚くほどきれいだとわかりました。「やれやれ」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「最初の仕事を終えられないんだ、他の仕事はどうなるのか...ここに住んでいるはずの王様の娘を探しに来たんだが、見つからなかった。だから先へ行くつもりだ。」「ここにいて」と娘は言いました。「私が助けてあげるわ。あなたは疲れているのよ、私の膝に頭をのせて眠りなさい。目が覚めたら仕事は済んでるから。」太鼓たたきは二回言われるまでもありませんでした。
その目が閉じられるとすぐ、娘は願掛け指輪を回し、「水よ、上れ、魚たちよ、出ておいで」と言いました。途端に水が白い霧のように高く上がって他の雲と一緒になり去っていきました。魚たちは岸に跳ねてそれぞれが大きさと種類別に自分で並びました。太鼓たたきは目覚めると、全部終わっているのを驚いて眺めました。しかし娘は、「魚のうち一匹は仲間のところにいないで一匹だけでいるわ。ばあさんが今夜来て、言いつけたことが全部終わったか見たら、『この魚はなんで一匹でいるんだ?』と尋ねるわ。そうしたら顔にその魚を投げつけて『この魚はお前用だ、おいぼれ魔女め』と言いなさい。」と言いました。
夕方に魔女はやってきました。そして魔女がそう尋ねたので、太鼓たたきは魚を魔女の顔に投げつけました。魔女は気づかない振りをして何もいいませんでしたが、意地の悪い目つきで太鼓たたきを見ました。

次の朝、魔女は「昨日は簡単すぎたよ、もっと難しい仕事をやらせなくちゃ。今日は森の木を全部切り倒してたきぎに割って、積み上げてくれ。夕方までに終えるんだよ。」と言い、斧と槌と二本のくさびを渡しました。しかし斧は鉛でできていて、槌とくさびはブリキでできていました。太鼓たたきが切り始めると、斧の刃が丸まり、槌とくさびは形がゆがんでしまいました。太鼓たたきはどうしたらよいかわかりませんでしたが、昼になると娘が食事を持ってまたやってきて、なぐさめてくれました。「私の膝に頭をのせて眠りなさい。」と娘は言いました。「目が覚めたら仕事は終わっていますよ。」娘は願掛け指輪を回しました。すると途端に森じゅうの木が音をたてて倒れ、木が割れ、山になって並びました。それはまるで目に見えない巨人たちが仕事を終えているかのようでした。

太鼓たたきが目を覚ますと娘は言いました。「ほら、木が並べて積み上げられてるわ。一本の枝だけが残ってるの。だけど今晩ばあさんが来てその枝のことを聞いたら、それで殴って『お前用だ、おいぼれ魔女め』と言うのよ。」老婆が来ると「そらごらん、仕事は簡単だったろ。」と言いました。「だけどあの枝は誰のために残したんだい?」「お前のためだ、この魔女め」と太鼓たたきは答え、それで老婆を殴りました。しかし老婆は感じない振りをして、せせら笑い、言いました。「明日の朝早く、木を全部ひと山にして火をつけ燃やすんだ。」

太鼓たたきは夜明けに起き、木を集め始めましたが、一人の男が森じゅうの木をどうしたらまとめられるでしょう。仕事はまるではかどりませんでした。ところが娘は困っている太鼓たたきを見捨てませんでした。娘は昼に食べ物を持って来て、太鼓たたきは食べてしまうと娘の膝に頭を起き、眠りました。目が覚めると木の山全体が一つの大きな炎となって燃えていて、その先は空高く伸びていました。「いい?私のいうことを聞いて」と娘は言いました。「魔女が来たら、いろいろな命令を出すわ。恐れずに言いつける何でもやるのよ。すると魔女はあなたを出し抜けなくなるわ。だけどこわがるとあなたは火にまかれて燃えてしまうのよ。何でもやってしまったら最後に、魔女を両手でつかんで火の真ん中に投げ込みなさい。」

娘は去って、老婆がこっそりちかづいてきました。「ああ、寒い」と老婆は言いました。「だけど火がもえてるね。年寄りの骨をあっためていい気持ちだ。おや、燃えていない木があるね、とってきておくれ。それが終わったら、お前は自由だよ、どこでも好きなところへ行きな。さあ飛びこみな。」太鼓たたきはぐずぐずしないで炎の真ん中に飛びこみましたが、なんともなく、髪の毛一本焦げませんでした。太鼓たたきは木を持ってでてきて下に置きました。

ところが、木が地面に触れるか触れないうちに、形がかわり、困った時に助けてくれた美しい娘が目の前に立っていました。娘の着ている絹とぴかぴか光る金の服で、太鼓たたきはその娘が王女だとはっきり分かりました。しかし老婆は毒々しく笑い、「娘を無事に手に入れたと思ってるんだろうが、まだそうじゃないさ。」老婆が娘に襲いかかり連れ去ろうとした途端、太鼓たたきは両手で老婆をつかみ高くかかげて、口を開けている火に投げ込みました。火は老婆が燃えることを喜んでいるかのように口を閉じました。

それから王様の娘は太鼓たたきを見て、ハンサムな若者だと分かり、自分を救うため命をかけたことを思い起こすと、手を差し出し、「あなたは私のために危険を冒して何でもしてくれました。だけど私もあなたのために何でもしてあげますわ。私を裏切らないと約束してくださればあなたを夫にしましょう。財宝には不自由しませんわ、魔女がここに集めたものがたくさんありますから。」娘は太鼓たたきを家に連れていきました。そこには老婆の宝が詰まった櫃(ひつ)や箱がたくさんありました。

娘は金や銀はそこに残したまま宝石だけとりました。王女はもうガラスの山にとどまりたくありませんでした。それで、太鼓たたきは言いました、「僕のそばに腰かけて鞍に乗ってください、そうすれば鳥のように飛んで下りられます。」「古い鞍は好きじゃないの」と王女は言いました。「私の願掛け指輪を回すだけで家につくわ。」「じゃあ、それでいい」と太鼓たたきは答えました。「じゃあ、町の門の前に行こう」瞬きする間に二人はそこに着きました。しかし太鼓たたきは「ちょっと両親のところへ行って話してくる。ここで待っていてくれ。すぐに戻るから。」

「ああ」と王様の娘は言いました。「お願いだから気をつけてね。家に着いた時ご両親の右頬にキスさせないでね。そうしないとあなたは全部忘れてしまって私はここに見捨てられて一人でいることになるのよ。」「どうして君のことを忘れられようか?」と太鼓たたきは言って、本当にすぐ戻るから、と約束し誓いました。

父親の家へ入ると太鼓たたきがあまりに変わっていたので誰も見覚えていませんでした。というのはガラスの山ですごした三日間は三年だったのです。それで太鼓たたきが自分が誰かを話すと両親は喜んで首にだきつき、太鼓たたきはとても感動したので王女が言ったことを忘れ、両親の両頬にキスしてしまいました。そうして、右頬にキスしたとき王様の娘の記憶が太鼓たたきからすっかり消えました。

太鼓たたきは大きな宝石をポケットから何回もとりだしテーブルの上に置きました。両親はこの財宝をどうしたらよいか皆目見当がつきませんでした。それから父親は庭や森や草原で囲まれ、まるで王子が住むような、きらびやかなお城を建てました。それができあがると、母親は言いました。「お前に娘を見つけておいたのよ、三日後は結婚式ですよ。」息子は両親が望むことを甘んじて受け入れました。可哀そうに、王様の娘は若者が帰るのを待って町の門の外でしばらく立っていました。日が暮れると、王女は、「きっとご両親の右頬にキスして私のことを忘れてしまったんだわ。」と言いました。心が悲しみでいっぱいになり、王女は父親の宮廷に戻ろうとしないで、願掛けをして寂しい森の小さな小屋に入りました。毎晩、町に入り若者の家の前を通りました。太鼓たたきは何度か王女を目にしましたが、もう覚えていませんでした。とうとう王女は人々が「明日太鼓たたきの結婚式がある」と言っているのを聞きました。そこで、王女は「あの人の心を取り戻せるかやってみよう」と言いました。

結婚式の最初の日に、王女は願掛け指輪を回し、「太陽のようにまばゆいドレスを」と言いました。途端にそのドレスが目の前に出てきて、本物の太陽の光で織られたように光っていました。お客がみんな集められると、王女は大広間に入りました。みんなが美しいドレスに目をみはりましたが、特に花嫁はきれいなドレスに目がなかったので、見知らぬ娘に近づいてそのドレスを売ってくれませんかと尋ねました。
「お金では売りません」と王女は答えました。「だけど花婿が眠る部屋の戸の外で私が最初の夜を過ごしてよろしいなら、さしあげます。」花嫁はどうしても欲しくてたまらず承知しましたが、花婿が夜に飲むワインに眠り薬を混ぜておきました。それで太鼓たたきは深く眠り込んでしまいました。辺りが静かになると、王様の娘は寝室の戸口にしゃがみ戸を少し開けて、叫びました。
「太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、お願い聞いて、私を忘れてしまったの?ガラスの山で何時間も一緒にいたわ、あなたの命を魔女から救ってあげたでしょ、結婚の約束を誓わなかった?太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、聞いて」
しかし、何もかも無駄でした。というのは太鼓たたきは目覚めませんでしたから。夜が明けると、王様の娘は来たのと同じように戻るしかありませんでした。

二日目の晩に王女は願掛け指輪を回して、「月のように銀のドレスを」と言いました。王女が月の光のように静かに光るそのドレスを着てお祝いに現れると、花嫁はまたしても欲しくなりました。王女はそのドレスをあげて二日目の夜も寝室の戸の外にいてよいと認めてもらいました。そして王女は夜の静けさの中で叫びました。
「太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、お願い聞いて、私を忘れてしまったの?ガラスの山で何時間も一緒にいたわ、あなたの命を魔女から救ってあげたでしょ、結婚の約束を誓わなかった?太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、聞いて」
しかし、太鼓たたきは、眠り薬のせいで何も聞こえず目を覚ましませんでした。次の朝、王女は悲しい気持ちで森の小屋に戻りました。しかし、家の人々が見知らぬ娘が嘆くのを聞いて、花婿にそれを話しました。それから、何も聞こえなかったのも無理もありませんよ、花嫁がワインに眠り薬を入れてたんですもの、と話して聞かせました。

三日目の晩に王女は願掛け指輪を回し、「星のようにきらめくドレスを」と言いました。そのドレスを着てお祝いに現れたとき、花嫁は今までの他のドレスよりはるかにすばらしいそのドレスに我を忘れ、「必ずあのドレスを手に入れるわ」と言いました。王女は、他のドレスと同じようにそのドレスをあげて、花婿の戸の外で夜を過ごす許可をもらいました。ところで花婿は寝る前に渡されたワインを飲まずにベッドのうしろに捨てました。それで辺りがしんとしているとき、自分に呼びかける甘い声が聞こえてきました。
「太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、お願い聞いて、私を忘れてしまったの?ガラスの山で何時間も一緒にいたわ、あなたの命を魔女から救ってあげたでしょ、結婚の約束を誓わなかった?太鼓たたき、太鼓たたき、聞いて」
突然、花婿に記憶がよみがえりました。

「ああ」と太鼓たたきはさけびました。「どうしてこんな不実なことができたのだろう。嬉しさのあまり両親の右頬にキスしたんだ、そのせいなんだな。そうして分からなくなってしまったんだ。」太鼓たたきは跳ね起きて、王様の娘の手をとり、両親のベッドのところに連れていきました。「これが本当の花嫁です。」と太鼓たたきは言いました。「他の人と結婚したら、大きな間違いをすることになります。」両親は出来事をすっかり聞くと、二人の結婚を認めました。それから大広間に再び明かりが灯され、太鼓やラッパが持ちこまれ、友達や親せきが呼ばれて、みんなに喜ばれて本当の結婚式があげられました。最初の花嫁は償いとしてきれいなドレスを受け取り、それで納得しました。
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.




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