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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Minnikin"



`Yes, it must be that,' said the Troll.

Then the Princess asked if he had got hold of anyone who could brew a hundred lasts of malt at one brewing.

`No, there is no one who can do it,' said the Troll.

`A short time since there was a man here who said he could do it,' said the King's daughter.

`How clever you always are!' said the Troll. `How could you let him go away? You must have known that I was just wanting a man of that kind.'

`Well, but I didn't let him go, after all,' said the Princess; `but father is so quick-tempered, so I hid him in the cupboard, but if father has not found any one then the man is still here.'

`Let him come in,' said the Troll.

When Minnikin came, the Troll asked if it were true that he could brew a hundred lasts of malt at one brewing.

`Yes,' said Minnikin, `it is.'

`It is well then that I have lighted on thee,' said the Troll. `Fall to work this very minute, but Heaven help thee if thou dost not brew the ale strong.'

`Oh, it shall taste well,' said Minnikin, and at once set himself to work to brew.

`But I must have more trolls to help to carry what is wanted,' said Minnikin; `these that I have are good for nothing.'

So he got more and so many that there was a swarm of them, and then the brewing went on. When the sweet-wort was ready they were all, as a matter of course, anxious to taste it, first the Troll himself and then the others; but Minnikin had brewed the wort so strong that they all fell down dead like so many flies as soon as they had drunk any of it. At last there was no one left but one wretched old hag who was lying behind the stove.

`Oh, poor old creature!' said Minnikin, `you shall have a taste of the wort too like the rest.' So he went away and scooped up a little from the bottom of the brewing vat in a milk pan, and gave it to her, and then he was quit of the whole of them.

While Minnikin was now standing there looking about him, he cast his eye on a large chest. This he took and filled it with gold and silver, and then he tied the cable round himself and the Princess and the chest, and tugged at the rope with all his might, whereupon his men drew them up safe and sound.

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