The giant who had no heart in his body
So fast he had never ridden before.
“When we have gone a bit farther,” said Graylegs, “I’ll show you the Giant’s house.”
So after a while they came to it.
“See, here is the Giant’s house,” said the Wolf; “and see, here are your six brothers, whom the Giant has turned into stone; and see, here are their six brides, and away yonder is the door, and in that door you must go.”
“Nay, but I daren’t go in,” said the Prince; “he’ll take my life.”
“No! no!” said the Wolf; “when you get in you’ll find a Princess, and she’ll tell you what to do to make an end of the Giant. Only mind and do as she bids you.”
Well! Boots went in, but, truth to say, he was very much afraid. When he came in the Giant was away, but in one of the rooms sat the Princess, just as the Wolf had said, and so lovely a princess Boots had never yet set eyes on.
“Oh! heaven help you! whence have you come?” said the Princess, as she saw him; “it will surely be your death. No one can make an end of the Giant who lives here, for he has no heart in his body.”
“Well! well!” said Boots; “but now that I am here, I may as well try what I can do with him; and I will see if I can’t free my brothers, who are standing turned to stone out of doors; and you, too, I will try to save, that I will.”
“Well, if you must, you must,” said the Princess; “and so let us see if we can’t hit on a plan. Just creep under the bed yonder, and mind and listen to what he and I talk about. But, pray, do lie as still as a mouse.”
So he crept under the bed, and he had scarce got well underneath it, before the Giant came.
“Ha!” roared the Giant, “what a smell of Christian blood there is in the house!”
“Yes, I know there is,” said the Princess, “for there came a magpie flying with a man’s bone, and let it fall down the chimney. I made all the haste I could to get it out, but all one can do, the smell doesn’t go off so soon.”
So the Giant said no more about it, and when night came, they went to bed. After they had lain a while, the Princess said:
“There is one thing I’d be so glad to ask you about, if I only dared.