There was once upon a time a man and a woman who had an only son, and he was called Jack. The woman thought that it was his duty to go out to service, and told her husband that he was to take him somewhere.
`You must get him such a good place that he will become master of all masters,' she said, and then she put some food and a roll of tobacco into a bag for them.
Well, they went to a great many masters, but all said that they could make the lad as good as they were themselves, but better than that they could not make him. When the man came home to the old woman with this answer, she said, `I shall be equally well pleased whatever you do with him; but this I do say, that you are to have him made a master over all masters.' Then she once more put some food and a roll of tobacco into the bag, and the man and his son had to set out again.
When they had walked some distance they got upon the ice, and there they met a man in a carriage who was driving a black horse.
`Where are you going?' he said.
`I have to go and get my son apprenticed to someone who will be able to teach him a trade, for my old woman comes of such well-to-do folk that she insists on his being taught to be master of all masters,' said the man.
`We are not ill met, then,' said the man who was driving, `for I am the kind of man who can do that, and I am just looking out for such an apprentice. Get up behind with you,' he said to the boy, and off the horse went with them straight up into the air.
`No, no, wait a little!' screamed the father of the boy. `I ought to know what your name is and where you live.'
`Oh, I am at home both in the north and the south and the east and the west, and I am called Farmer Weatherbeard,' said the master. `You may come here again in a year's time, and then I will tell you if the lad suits me.' And then they set off again and were gone.
When the man got home the old woman inquired what had become of the son.
`Ah! Heaven only knows what has become of him!' said the man.