When Askeladden had sailed a little way, he came upon a long, skinny fellow who lay on a hillside eating rubble. "What sort of a fellow are you to be lying here eating rubble?" asked Askeladden. The fellow said he was so hungry for meat that he could never get his fill. That was why he had to eat rubble. And then he asked if he could come along on the ship. "If you want to come along just climb in," said Askeladden. “Yes I’d like of course” he said, and so he took some rubble with him for provisions and climbed into the ship.
When they had sailed a bit farther, they met a fellow who was lying on a sunny hillside sucking a barrel tap. "What sort of a fellow are you?" said Askeladden. "And what's the good of lying sucking on that barrel tap?" "Oh, when one hasn't got the barrel, one must make do with the tap," said the man. "I'm always so thirsty that I can never drink my fill of beer or wine," he said, and he asked if he could come along on the ship. "If you want to come along, just climb in," said Askeladden. “Yes, I’d like that” he said, so he climbed aboard, and took the tap with him for the sake of his thirst.
When they had sailed a bit farther, they met a man who was lying with one ear to the ground, listening. "What sort of fellow are you, and what's the good of lying on the ground listening?" asked Askeladden. "I am listening to the grass, for my hearing is so good that I can hear it grow," he said, and then he asked if he could come along on the ship. There was no refusing him. "If you want to come along, just climb in," said Askeladden. “Yes I’d like that, “he said and so he climbed aboard as well.
When they had sailed a bit farther, they came to a man who was standing and aiming a gun. "What sort of fellow are you, and what's the good of standing and aiming like that?" asked Askeladden. "My sight is so keen," he said, "That without difficulty I can shoot straight to the world's end. Then he asked if he could come along on the ship. "If you want to come along, just climb in,” said Askeladden. “Yes I’d like that,” he said and climbed up onto the ship.
When they had sailed a bit farther, they came to a man hopping about on his one foot, and on the other he had seven hundred weights. "What sort of fellow are you, and what's the good of hopping about on one foot, with seven hundred-weight on the other?" "I'm so fleet footed," he said, "that if I walked on both feet, I'd come to the end of the world in less than five minutes." Then he asked if he could come along on the ship. "If you want to come along, just climb in," said Askeladden. “Yes I'd like that,” and so he climbed up in the ship to join Askeladden and his companions.
When they had sailed a bit further, they met a man who stood holding his hand over his mouth. "What sort of fellow are you?" asked Askeladden, “and what's the good of standing like that and holding your hand over your mouth?" he asked. "Oh, I've got seven summers and fifteen winters inside my body!" he said, "so I'd better hold my mouth, for if I let them out all at once, they'd put an end to the world right away," he said, and then he asked if he could come along. "If you want to come along, just climb in," said Askeladden. “Yes, I'd like to come along,” so he climbed aboard the ship with the others.
After they had sailed for a long time, they came to the king's Castle. Askeladden strode right up to the king and said that the ship was standing ready in the yard, and now he wanted the king's daughter, just as the king had promised. The king wasn't too pleased about this, because Askeladden didn't look as if he was worth very much. He was both black and sooty, and the king hardly wanted to give his daughter to such a tramp, so he said he'd have to wait a while. He couldn't have the princess before he had emptied a storehouse of the king's, which had three hundred barrels of meat in it. "It's all the same - if you can get it done by this time tomorrow, you shall have her," said the king. "I'll have to try," said Askeladden, "but I suppose I'll be allowed to take one of my comrades along, won't I?" Yes, he could do that - he could even take all six with him, said the king, for he thought the task was impossible.
Askeladden took with him only the man who ate rubble, and was always so hungry for meat. And no sooner had they unlocked the storehouse, than he had eaten it all up, so there was nothing left but six small shoulders of salt mutton, one for each of the others on board. Then Askeladden strode in to the king and told him that the storehouse was empty, and now he must surely get the king's daughter. The king went out to the storehouse, and found it to his surprise quite empty. But Askeladden was still black and sooty, and the king thought it was really too bad that such a tramp should wed his daughter.
The king then decided to give Askeladden another impossible feat. He told Askeladden that he had a cellar full of beer and old wine - three hundred barrels of each - which he wanted to have drunk up first. "And it's a sure thing, if you're man enough to drink them up by this time tomorrow, then you shall have her," said the king. "I'll have to try," said Askeladden. "But I suppose I'll be allowed to take one of my comrades along, won't I?" "Yes, certainly," said the king. He felt he had so much beer and wines that they would never be able to drink it all. Askeladden took with him the man who sucked the tap, and always thirsted after beer. Then the king locked them down in the cellar. There the man drank barrel after barrel, until there was just a drop left so there would be a couple of tankards apiece for each of his comrades.
In the morning the cellar was unlocked, and straight-away Askeladden strode in to the king and said he had dealt with the beer and wine, and now he surely must get the king's daughter, just as he had been promised. "Well, first I must go down to the cellar and see," said the king, for he didn't believe it. When he came to the cellar, there was nothing but empty barrels. But Askeladden was still black and sooty, and the king felt it was unseemly to have such a son-in-law. Just the same, he said, if the boy could fetch water from the world's end for the princess's tea in ten minutes, then he should get both her and half the kingdom! This the king believed was out-and -out impossible.
"I'll have to try," said Askeladden. He then got hold of the one who hopped on one foot and had seven hundred weights on the other, and said he must kick off the weights and use both legs as fast as he could, for he had to have water from the world's end for the princess's tea in ten minutes. The man took off the weights, got a pail, and set out in a flash. Time dragged on and on and he didn't come back. As last there were only three minutes before the time was up, and the king was delighted.
Askeladden shouted to the man who could hear the grass grow, and told him to listen to find out what had become of the other. "He has fallen asleep beside the well," he said. "I can hear him snoring, and the Troll is combing his hair." Askeladden then shouted to the one who could shoot straight to the world's end, and bade him put a shot into the Troll. He made the shot and hit the troll right in the eye. The Troll let out a roar, so the man who was to fetch the tea-water woke up at once. When he came to the king's manor, there was still a minute of the ten left.
Askeladden strode in to the king and ga the water, and gave him the water. Now he surely must get the king's daughter, for there could be no more questions regarding his abilities. The king, however, still thought that Askeladden was just as black and sooty. Once again he gave Askeladden a test and told him that he had three hundreds cords of wood with which he was going to dry the grain in the bathhouse. So the king said, "and it's all the same, if you're man enough to sit in there and burn it up, then you shall have her. There's nothing more to be said about that." "I'll have to try," said Askeladden "but I suppose I can take one of my comrades along with me, can't I?" "Yes, all six if you like," said the king, for he thought it would be hot enough for them all.
Askeladden took with him the man who had the fifteen winters and seven summers in his body, and strode into the bathhouse the evening. The king had got such a roaring fire going that they could easily have cast stoves of iron. They could not get out, for no sooner were they in than the king barred the door and put on a couple of extra padlocks. Askeladden said:" You'll have to let out six or seven winters so there'll be a passable summer warmth in here."
They managed to hold out, but as night was drawing on, it became quite chilly. So Askeladden told him to warm it up a bit with a couple of summers, and then they slept well into the next day. But when they heard the king rummaging about outside Askeladden said, "Now you must let out a couple more winters, but do it so that the last one goes right in his face."
He did just that, and when the king opened up the bathhouse, thinking they were there burnt to a crisp, they just sat there shivering and freezing so that their teeth chattered noisily away. Then the man with the fifteen winters in his body let go the last one right in the king's face causing a giant blast of frost. "Do I get the king's daughter now?” asked Askeladden. "Yes, take her and keep her, and take the kingdom too!" The king dared not say "No" any longer. The king held a giant wedding, Askeladden finally took a bath, and all the kingdom reveled and made merry.
What lesson is learned?