The Three Dogs
He even hears the grass and the trees grow." Then they parted in the friendliest spirit. But the youth was happy in the thought that now he need fear nothing in the world. And then, when evening came on, and the swine-herd went home, his mother was very sad to think that her son had sold all they possessed. But the youth told her to be of good courage, since he would see to it that they did not suffer want. And when he spoke to her in such a cheerful manner, she grew content again, and decided that he had spoken in wise and manly fashion. Then when day dawned the youth went hunting with his dogs, and came back at evening with as much game as he could possibly carry. And he continued to go hunting in this way for a time until his old mother's store-room was well provided with meat and all sorts of good things. Then he bade his mother a fond farewell, called his dogs, and said he was going to wander out into the world and try his fortune.
And he fared forth over mountains and tangled ways, and came into the heart of a sombre forest. There he met the gray-beard of whom I have already told you. And when he met him the youth was much pleased, and said: "Good-day, grandfather, and thanks for the last time!" And the old man replied: "Good-day to you, and whither away?" The youth answered: "I am wandering out into the world to see what fortune has in store for me." Then the old man said: "Keep right on going till you come to the royal castle, and there your fortune will take a turn." And with that they parted. The youth followed the old man's advice and for a time wandered on straight ahead. When he came to a tavern he played his flute and let his dogs dance, and was never at a lack for bed and board, and whatever else he might want.
After he had wandered long and far, he at length came to a great city, whose streets were filled with people. The youth wondered what it all meant, and at last reached the spot where, to the sound of bell, the king's proclamation was being cried—that whoever should deliver the three princesses out of the power of the troll, would receive one of them, and half the kingdom as well.