The giant and the tailor



A certain tailor who was great at boasting but ill at doing, took it into his head to go abroad for a while, and look about the world. As soon as he could manage it, he left his workshop, and wandered on his way, over hill and dale, sometimes hither, sometimes thither, but ever on and on. Once when he was out he perceived in the blue distance a steep hill, and behind it a tower reaching to the clouds, which rose up out of a wild dark forest. "Thunder and lightning," cried the tailor, "what is that?" and as he was strongly goaded by curiosity, he went boldly towards it. But what made the tailor open his eyes and mouth when he came near it, was to see that the tower had legs, and leapt in one bound over the steep hill, and was now standing as an all powerful giant before him. "What dost thou want here, thou tiny fly's leg?" cried the giant, with a voice as if it were thundering on every side. The tailor whimpered, "I want just to look about and see if I can earn a bit of bread for myself, in this forest." If that is what thou art after," said the giant, "thou mayst have a place with me." - "If it must be, why not? What wages shall I receive?" - "Thou shalt hear what wages thou shalt have. Every year three hundred and sixty-five days, and when it is leap-year, one more into the bargain. Does that suit thee?" - "All right," replied the tailor, and thought, in his own mind, "a man must cut his coat according to his cloth; I will try to get away as fast as I can." On this the giant said to him, "Go, little ragamuffin, and fetch me a jug of water." - "Had I not better bring the well itself at once, and the spring too?" asked the boaster, and went with the pitcher to the water. "What! the well and the spring too," growled the giant in his beard, for he was rather clownish and stupid, and began to be afraid. "That knave is not a fool, he has a wizard in his body. Be on thy guard, old Hans, this is no serving-man for thee." When the tailor had brought the water, the giant bade him go into the forest, and cut a couple of blocks of wood and bring them back. "Why not the whole forest, at once, with one stroke. The whole forest, young and old, with all that is there, both rough and smooth?" asked the little tailor, and went to cut the wood. "What! the whole forest, young and old, with all that is there, both rough and smooth, and the well and its spring too," growled the credulous giant in his beard, and was still more terrified. "The knave can do much more than bake apples, and has a wizard in his body. Be on thy guard, old Hans, this is no serving-man for thee!" When the tailor had brought the wood, the giant commanded him to shoot two or three wild boars for supper. "Why not rather a thousand at one shot, and bring them all here?" inquired the ostentatious tailor. "What!" cried the timid giant in great terror; "Let well alone to-night, and lie down to rest."
The giant was so terribly alarmed that he could not close an eye all night long for thinking what would be the best way to get rid of this accursed sorcerer of a servant. Time brings counsel. Next morning the giant and the tailor went to a marsh, round which stood a number of willow-trees. Then said the giant, "Hark thee, tailor, seat thyself on one of the willow-branches, I long of all things to see if thou art big enough to bend it down." All at once the tailor was sitting on it, holding his breath, and making himself so heavy that the bough bent down. When, however, he was compelled to draw breath, it hurried him (for unfortunately he had not put his vgoose in his pocket) so high into the air that he never was seen again, and this to the great delight of the giant. If the tailor has not fallen down again, he must be hovering about in the air.
过去有个爱吹牛皮的裁缝,他无啥真才实学,却想带着这套本事去周游世界,开开眼界。 当他觉得能做到这一切时,便离开了裁缝店,越过高山峡谷,时而这儿,时而那里,向前不停地走着。 一次他在途中发现远方耸立着一座高山,山后茂密的的森林中耸立着一座高塔,直插云霄。 "奇怪!"裁缝叫道,"那是什么?"好奇心驱使着他大胆地向前赶去。 等走近一看,他立刻目瞪口呆了,站在他面前的竟是个力大无比的巨人。 "你在这儿干什么?你这小脚丫。"巨人问道,他说话声如宏钟,更像万钧雷霆,裁缝哀嚎道:"我只是想在森林里找点东西吃。""如果是这么回事,你可以为我服务。""如果非得那样,我为什么不?我能得到多少报酬呢?""你听好了你的报酬。一年三百六十五天,今年是闰年,再加一天,如何呀?""好吧!"裁缝说,心里却想,"是一个要量体裁衣的人,我得尽快逃走。"
听到这,巨人说:"去吧,小流氓,给我打罐水来。""难道我不能把井和泉水一并带来吗?"裁缝问完便拿着水罐去打水了。 "什么?还有井和泉水?"巨人摸着胡子叫道,因为他有点傻头傻脑而且开始害怕起来。 "那家伙可不是个等闲之辈,他体内有种曼德拉草,小心啊,老汉斯,他可不是你的仆人。"裁缝把水取来后,巨人又胁迫他到森林里去砍几株树木带回来。 "为什么不一下砍倒整个森林,把那些幼树、老树通通砍倒呢?"小裁缝问完就去砍树了。 "什么?整个森林?老树、幼树一起砍?还有那些井和泉水?"巨人轻易地相信了他的话,更加害怕起来。 "这家伙不仅能烤苹果,他体内还有一种曼德拉草,小心啊,老汉斯,他可不是你的仆人。"等裁缝伐木回来,巨人又命令他去打几头野猪来做晚餐。 "为什么不一枪打死一千头,把它们都带来呢?"傲慢的裁缝问道。 "什么?"胆小的巨人满心恐惧,"今晚咱们就躺下休息吧!"
巨人吓坏了,整夜不能入睡,想着怎样以最好的方式除掉这巫师般的仆人。 过了很长一段时间,他总算有了个主意。 第二天早晨,巨人和裁缝一起走进一片沼泽地,那儿周围长满了柳树。 巨人说:"听着,裁缝,你赶快爬上一棵柳树,我想看看你到底能不能把它压弯。"说时迟,那时快,裁缝已经坐到柳树上了。 他屏住了呼吸,这样他自然增重不少,柳树也被压弯了。 但当他被迫呼出一口气时,不幸的是他口袋中没带熨斗,柳枝马上把他弹到了九宵云外,再也看不见了。 这下巨人倒开心了。 如果裁缝不再掉下来,他一定还在空中飘荡着。

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