The three princesses of Whiteland
So, when he went out next morning, the Princesses stood out of the earth up to their waists.
The next night ’twas the same story over again, only this time the Troll had six heads and six rods, and he whipped him far worse than the first; but when he went out next morning, the Princesses stood out of the earth as far as the knee.
The third night there came a Troll that had nine heads and nine rods, and he whipped and flogged the lad so long that he fainted away; then the Troll took him up and dashed him against the wall; but the shock brought down the flask, which fell on the lad, burst, and spilled the ointment all over him, and so he became as strong and sound as ever again. Then he wasn’t slow; he grasped the sword and slew the Troll; and next morning when he went out of the castle the Princesses stood before him with all their bodies out of the earth. So he took the youngest for his Queen, and lived well and happily with her for some time.
At last he began to long to go home for a little to see his parents. His Queen did not like this; but at last his heart was so set on it, and he longed and longed so much, there was no holding him back, so she said:
“One thing you must promise me. This—only to do what your father begs you to do, and not what mother wishes;” and that he promised.
Then she gave him a ring, which was of that kind that any one who wore it might wish two wishes. So he wished himself home, and when he got home his parents could not wonder enough what a grand man their son had become.
Now, when he had been at home some days, his mother wished him to go up to the palace and show the King what a fine fellow he had come to be. But his father said:
“No! don’t let him do that; if he does, we shan’t have any more joy of him this time.”
But it was no good, the mother begged and prayed so long that at last he went. So when he got up to the palace he was far braver, both in clothes and array, than the other king, who didn’t quite like this, and at last he said:
“All very fine; but here you can see my Queen, what like she is, but I can’t see yours: that I can’t.