THREE brothers once upon a time went out into the neighbouring forest to choose some trees fit for building. Before going, however, they told their mother not to forget to send their sister into the wood after them with their dinners. The mother sent the girl as she had been told to do; but as the girl was on her way a giant met her in the wood, and carried her off to a cave, where he lived.
All day long the brothers waited, expecting their sister, and wondering why their mother had forgotten to send them food. At length, after remaining two days in the forest, and becoming anxious and angry at the delay, they went home. When they arrived there they asked their mother why she had not sent their sister with their food, as she had promised to do; she replied that she had sent the girl three days ago, and had been wondering greatly why she had not come back.
When the three brothers heard this they were exceedingly troubled, and the eldest said, 'I will go back into the forest and look for my sister.' Accordingly he went. After wandering about some time he came to a shepherdess, who was minding a flock of sheep. He asked her anxiously if she had seen his sister in the wood, or whether she could tell him anything about her. The shepherdess replied that she had indeed seen a girl carrying food, but a giant had met her and carried her off to his cave. Then the young man asked her to tell him the way to the giant's cave; which she did. The cave was hidden in a deep ravine. The brother at once went down, and called aloud on his sister by name. In a short time the girl came to the mouth of the cave, and, seeing her eldest brother, invited him to come in. This he did, and was exceedingly surprised to see that the seeming cave was in reality a magnificent palace. Whilst he stood there, talking to his sister, and inquiring how she liked her new home, he heard a loud whirring in the air overhead, and, immediately afterwards, saw a heavy mace fall on the ground just in front of the cave. Greatly terrified and astonished, he asked his sister what this meant, and she told him not to be afraid, for it was only the way the giant let her know of his return three hours before he came, that she might begin to prepare his supper.
When it grew dark the giant came home, and was at once aware that a stranger was in his place. In reply to his angry questions, his wife told him it was 'only her brother, who had come to visit them.' When the giant heard this he went to the mouth of the cave, and calling a shepherd, ordered him to kill the largest sheep in his flock and roast it.
When the meat was ready the giant called his brother-in-law, and said, as he cut the sheep in two equal parts, 'My dear brother-in-law, listen well to what I say; if you eat your half of the meat sooner than I eat mine, I will give you leave to kill me; but if I eat my half quicker than you eat yours, I shall certainly kill you.'
Thereupon the poor brother-in-law began to shake all over with fright; and, fearing the worst, tried to eat as fast as he could. But he had hardly swallowed three mouthfuls before the giant finished his share of the sheep, and killed him, according to his threat.
For some time the other two brothers and their old mother waited impatiently to see if the elder brother would come back. At last, hearing nothing either of the brother or of the sister, the second son said, 'I will go and look after them.' So he went into the same forest where his brother had gone, and, meeting there the same shepherdess minding her sheep, he inquired if he had seen his brother or sister. The shepherdess answered him as she had answered the elder brother, and he, too, asked the way to the giant's cave, and, on being told, went down the ravine until he reached the place. There he called on his sister by name, and she came out and invited him to enter the cave. This he did, and shared the fate of his brother; for, being unable to eat his part of the sheep as quickly as the giant ate his, he was also killed.
Not long after, the third brother went forth the same road, to look after his two elder brothers and sister, and, having found the giant's cave, was likewise invited to eat half a sheep, or be put to death. He, however, failed like his brothers had done before him, and being unable to eat his part of the sheep as quickly as the giant ate his, he was also killed.
Now the parents being alone in their house, prayed that God would give them another son, even were he no bigger than a peppercorn. As they prayed so it came to pass, and not very long after a little boy was born to them, who was so extremely small that they christened him 'Peppercorn.'
When the boy was old enough he went out to play with other boys; and one day, in a quarrel, one of these said to him, 'May you share the fate of your three elder brothers!' Hearing this, Peppercorn ran off home at once, and asked his mother what these words meant. So the mother was forced to tell him how his three brothers had gone into the forest to look after their lost sister, and had never come back again. As soon as he heard this, Peppercorn began to search the house for pieces of old iron, and, having found some scraps, carried them off in the evening to a blacksmith, that with them he might make him a mace. Next morning, Peppercorn went to the smith to ask for his mace, which the man gave him, saying at the same time, 'Now, pay me for making it.' To this, Peppercorn replied, 'First, let me see if it is strong enough;' and he threw it up in the air and held his head so that the mace might fall upon it. As soon as the mace struck his head, it broke into pieces; and Peppercorn, seeing how badly it was made, fell into a passion and killed the smith. Then he gathered up the pieces of iron, and went off to look for a better workman. He soon found another blacksmith who was willing to make him a mace, but demanded a ducat for the work. Peppercorn said he would willingly pay the ducat if the smith made him a really strong serviceable mace. So next morning he went to ask if it was ready, and the smith said 'Yes; but you must first pay me the ducat, and then I will give it you.' Peppercorn, however, answered, 'The ducat is ready in my pocket, but I must first see if the mace is good before I pay for it.' Thereupon he caught it, flung it up in the air, and held his head under it as it fell. As soon as the mace struck his head it broke into pieces; and he, again falling into a great passion, killed this smith also.
Gathering up the pieces of iron, he now carried them to a third smith, who undertook to make him a good strong mace, and demanded a ducat for doing so. Next morning Peppercorn went for the mace, and, after trying it three times, each time throwing it up higher in the air and letting it fall on his head, where it raised great bumps, he owned that he was satisfied with it, and accordingly paid the smith the ducat as he had promised.
Having now a good strong mace, Peppercorn started off at once for the forest, in which his three elder brothers and his sister had been lost. After wandering about for some time, he came to the place where the shepherdess sat watching her sheep, and, in reply to his questions, she told him that she had seen his three brothers go down the ravine in search of their sister, but had never seen them come up again.
Notwithstanding this, Peppercorn went resolutely down the ravine, calling aloud upon his sister by name. When she heard this she was exceedingly surprised, and said to herself, 'Who can this be calling me by name, now that all my brothers are killed? I have no other relations to come and look for me!' Then she went to the entrance of the cave and called out, 'Who is it that calls me; I have no longer any brothers?'
Peppercorn said to her, 'I am your brother who was born after you left home, and my name is Peppercorn!'
On hearing this, his sister led him into the palace, but he had hardly had time to say a few words to her before a loud whirring was heard in the air, and the giant's mace fell to the ground. For a moment Peppercorn was terrified at this, but he recovered himself quickly, and, pulling the mace out of the ground, flung it back to the giant, who, in astonishment, said to himself, 'Who is this who throws my mace back to me? Methinks I have at last found someone able to fight with me!'
When the giant came home, he immediately asked his wife who had been in the cave, and she answered him, 'It is my youngest brother!' Thereupon the giant ordered the shepherd to bring the largest sheep in his flock. When this was brought, the giant killed it himself, and, whilst preparing it for roasting, said to Peppercorn, 'Will you turn the meat, or will you take care of the fire?' Peppercorn said he would rather gather wood and make the fire; so he went out and tumbled down some large trees with his mace. These he carried to the mouth of the cave, and made a large fire ready for the meat.
When the sheep was roasted, the giant cut it in two parts, and gave one half to Peppercorn, saying, 'Take this half, and if you eat it before I eat my half you are free to kill me; but if you don't, I shall surely kill you!' So Peppercorn and the giant began to eat as fast as they could, swallowing down large pieces of meat, and, in their haste, almost choking themselves. At last, Peppercorn, by trickery, managed to get rid of his share of the sheep, and, according to the arrangement, killed the giant. This done, with the help of his sister, he collected all the treasures the giant had heaped up in his palace, and, taking them with him, returned home with his sister, to the great joy of their parents.
Peppercorn remained some time after this with his father, mother, and sister, and they lived very merrily on the treasures he had brought from the giant's cave. At length, however, he saw that the riches were coming to an end, so he resolved to go into the world to seek his fortune.
After travelling about a good while he came one day to a large city where he saw a great crowd gathered about a man who held an iron pike in his hand, and every now and then squeezed drops of water out of the iron. Whilst the people watched, wondering and admiring his great strength, Peppercorn went up and asked him, 'Do you think there is any man in the world stronger than yourself?'
'There is only one man alive who is stronger than myself, and that one is a certain person called Peppercorn,' answered he. 'Peppercorn can receive a mace on his head without being hurt!'
Thereupon Peppercorn told the man who he was, and proposed to him that they should travel about the world together.
'That will I right gladly,' said the Pikeman. 'How can I help being glad to go with a trusty fellow like you!'
Travelling together they came one day to a certain city, and, finding a concourse of people assembled, they went to see what was the matter. They found a man sitting on the bank of a river turning the wheels of nine mills with his little finger. So they said to him, 'Is there any one stronger than you in the world?'
And he answered them, 'There are only two men stronger than I am--a certain person named Peppercorn and a certain Pikeman.' Hearing this, Peppercorn and the Pikeman told him who they were, and proposed that he should join them in their travels about the world.
The Mill-turner very gladly accepted the offer, and so all three continued their journey together.
After travelling some time they came to a city where they found all the people greatly excited because some one had stolen the three daughters of the king, and, notwithstanding the immense rewards his majesty had offered, no one had as yet dared to go out to look for the princesses. As soon as Peppercorn and his two comrades heard this they went to the king and offered to search for his three daughters. But in order to accomplish the task they demanded that the king should give them a hundred thousand loads of wood. The king gave them what they wanted, and they made a fence all around the city with the timber. This done they began to watch.
The first morning they prepared a whole ox for their dinners, and discussed the question which of the three should stay behind to mind the meat whilst the other two watched the fence. The Pikeman said, 'I think I will stay here and take care of the meat, and I will have dinner ready for you when you come back from looking after the fence.' So it was thus settled. Just, however, as the Pikeman thought the ox was well roasted he was frightened by the sudden approach of a man with a forehead a yard high and a beard a span long. This man said to the Pikeman, 'Good morning!' but the latter ran away instead of answering, he was so shocked by the strange appearance of the man.
Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard was quite content at this, and, sitting down, soon finished the whole ox. When he had ended his dinner he got up and went away.
Shortly afterwards Sir Peppercorn and the Mill-turner came for their dinners, and, being very hungry, shouted from afar to the Pikeman, 'Let us dine at once!' But the Pikeman, keeping himself hidden among the bushes, called out to them, 'There is nothing left for us to eat! A little while ago Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard came up and ate up the whole ox to the very last morsel! I was afraid of him, and so I did not say one word against it.'
Peppercorn and the Mill-turner reproached their companion bitterly for allowing all their dinner to be stolen without once trying to prevent it, and the Mill-turner said scornfully, 'Well, I will stop to-morrow and look after the meat, and Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard may come if he likes!'
So the next day the Mill-turner stayed to roast the ox, and his two comrades went to look after the fence they had built round about the city.
Just before dinner-time Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard came out of the forest and walked straight up to the ox, and stretched his hands out greedily to grasp it. The Mill-turner was so frightened by his strange appearance that he ran off as hard as he could to look for a place to hide in.
By-and-by Peppercorn and the Pikeman came for their dinners and asked angrily where the meat was. Whereupon the Mill-turner answered, 'There is no meat! It has all been eaten by that horrible Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard, and his looks frightened me so that I dared not say a single word to him.'
It was no use complaining, so Peppercorn only said, 'To-morrow I will stay to mind the ox, and you two shall go and look after the fence. I will see if we are to remain the third day without dinner.'
The next morning the Pikeman and the Mill-turner went to see if all was right round about the city, and Peppercorn remained to roast the ox. Exactly as on the two former days, just before dinner was ready, Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard made his appearance, and went up to seize the meat. But Peppercorn pushed him roughly back, saying, 'Two days I have been dinnerless on your account, but the third day I will not be so, as long as my head stands on my shoulders!'
Much astonished at his boldness, Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard exclaimed, 'Take care you don't begin to quarrel with me. There is no one in all the world who can conquer me, except a fellow called Peppercorn!'
Peppercorn was very pleased to hear this, and, without more hesitation, sprang at once on Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard, and, after some struggling, pulled him down to the earth and bound him. This done, he tied him fast to a tall pine-tree. Now the Pikeman and Mill-turner came up and were exceedingly glad to find their dinners safe. Just as they were in the middle of their dinners, however, Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard, with a sudden jerk, pulled up the pine-tree by the roots and ran off with tree and all, making furrows in the earth with it just as if three ploughs had been passing over the ground.
Seeing him run off, the Pikeman and Mill-turner jumped up quickly and ran after him, but Peppercorn called them back and told them to finish their dinners first, for there would be plenty of time to catch him after they had dined! So they all three went on eating, and when they had done they followed the furrows which Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard had made in the ground. After a while they came to a deep dark hole in the earth, and when they had examined it all round and tried in vain on account of the darkness to look down into it, they returned to the king and asked him to give them a thousand miles of strong rope so that they could go down into the pit.
The king at once ordered his servants to give them what they required, and when they had got the great cable they went back to the hole. On the way, as they were going, they discussed which of the three should venture down first, and it was at last settled that the Pikeman should be let down. However, he made them solemnly promise him that they should pull him up again the instant he shook the rope.
He had been let down but a very little way before he shook the rope, and so they pulled him up as they had promised.
Then the Mill-turner said, 'Let me go down.' And so the other two lowered him, but in a moment or two he shook the rope violently; and so he, too, was pulled up.
Now Peppercorn grew angry, and exclaimed, 'I did not think you were such cowards as to be afraid of a dark hole! Now let me down!' So they let him down and down until his foot touched solid ground. Finding that he had reached the bottom, he looked round him, and saw that he stood just in the very middle of a most beautiful green plain--a plain so beautiful that it was a real pleasure to look on it.
At one end of the plain stood a large handsome palace, and Peppercorn went nearer to look at it. There, in the gardens, walking, he met two young girls, and asked them if they were not the daughters of the king? When they said that they were, he inquired what had become of the other sister; and the princesses told him that their youngest sister was in the palace very busy binding up the wounds that Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard had lately received from a certain knight called Peppercorn.
Then Peppercorn told them who he was, and that he had come down on purpose to release them, and to take them back to the king, their father. On hearing this good news, the two princesses rejoiced greatly, and told Peppercorn where he would find Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard and their youngest sister. But they warned him not to rush in on the giant, but rather to go softly, and first try to get hold of the sabre which hung on the wall over his bed, for this sabre possessed the wonderful power of killing a man when he was a whole day's journey from it.
Peppercorn took care to do as the princesses had told him. He stole very quietly into the room where Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard was lying, and when he was near the bed he sprang up suddenly and seized the sword. The moment the wounded giant saw his sabre in the hands of Peppercorn he jumped up quickly and ran out of the palace. Peppercorn followed him some time before he remembered what the two princesses had told him of the wonderful properties of the sword, but as soon as he recollected this he made a sharp cut with it in the air, as if he were cutting off a man's head, and the moment he did so Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard fell down dead.
Then Peppercorn went back to the palace, and, taking with him the three princesses, prepared to return to the upper world.
When he came to the place where the rope was hanging he took a large basket, and, placing the eldest princess in it, fastened it to the rope, then, giving her a note, in which he said that he sent her for the Pikeman, he made the signal agreed upon for the rope to be drawn up. So his comrades pulled up the rope, and when it came down again with the empty basket, Peppercorn sent up the second princess, after giving her a paper, in which he had written, 'This one is for the Mill-turner.'
When the rope descended the third time he sent up the youngest princess, who was by far the most beautiful of the three. He gave her a paper which said that this one he meant to keep for himself. Just as the Pikeman and the Mill-turner began to pull up the rope the princess gave Peppercorn a little box, saying, 'Open it when you have need of anything!'
Now, when the Pikeman and Mill-turner drew up the youngest princess, and saw how very beautiful she was, they determined to leave Peppercorn down in the pit, and go back without delay to the king's palace, and there see which of them could get the youngest princess for his wife.
Peppercorn waited patiently some time for the rope to be let down that he might be drawn up but no rope appeared. At last he was obliged to own to himself that his two comrades had deceived and deserted him, and, seeing how useless it was to remain standing still any longer, he walked off without knowing where the road would take him. Walking on, after a long time, he came to the shore of a large lake, and heard a great noise of crying and shouting. Very soon a multitude of people, looking like a wedding party, made their appearance. After placing a young girl in bridal attire on the shore of the lake, the people left her there alone and went away.
Peppercorn, seeing the girl left by herself, and noticing how sad she looked, went up to her, and asked her why her friends had left her there, and why she was so sad? The girl answered, 'In this lake is a dragon who, every year, swallows up a young girl. It is now my turn; and our people have brought me as a bride to the dragon, and left me to be swallowed up.'
Peppercorn, on hearing this, asked her to let him rest near her a little, because he was very tired, but she answered, 'You had far better fly away, my good knight; if it is necessary that I should die, it is not needful that you should die also.'
But Peppercorn said to her, 'Don't trouble yourself about me, only let me rest near you a little, for I am very tired. It will be time enough for me to run away when the dragon comes.' Having said this he sat down near the girl, and in a little while fell asleep. He had not slept long before the surface of the lake became agitated, and the water rose up in large waves; presently the dragon lifted its head, and swam straight to the shore where the girl sat, evidently intending to swallow her at once. The maiden cried bitterly, and a tear falling on Peppercorn's face, awakened him. He sprang up quickly, grasped his sword, and, smiting fiercely, with one stroke, cut off the dragon's head.
Then he took the girl by the hand, and led her back to the city, where he found that she was the only daughter of the king of that country. The king was overjoyed at hearing that the dragon was killed, and also at seeing his daughter brought back to him safe and sound. So he insisted that Peppercorn should marry the princess, which he did, and they all lived together very happily for a long time.
After a while, however, Peppercorn began to long greatly for the other world, and grew sadder and sadder every day. When his wife noticed this change in his appearance she asked him very often what ailed him, but he would not tell her for a long time, because he did not wish to trouble her. At last, however, he could keep his secret no longer, and confessed to the princess how much he longed to go back to the upper world. Though she was very sorry to hear this, she promised him that she herself would beg the king to let him go, since he so greatly wished it. This she did; and when the king objected, not wishing to lose so good a son-in-law, the princess said, 'Let him go; he has saved my life, and why should we keep him against his will? My three sons will still remain to comfort us!'
Then the king consented, saying, 'Very well; let it be as he wishes, since you have nothing to say against it. Tell your benefactor to go to the lake-shore, and to say to the giant-bird he will find there, that the king sends her his greetings, and desires her to take the bearer of them up to the other world.'
The princess returned to her husband and told him what her father had said, and then began to prepare some provisions for the journey. When these were ready, and the king had sent the letter for the bird, Peppercorn took a kind leave of his wife, and went down to the lake-shore, where he soon found the nest of the giant-bird and her little ones in it, though she herself was not there. So he sat down to wait under the tree where the nest was. As he sat there, he heard the little birds chirping very restlessly and anxiously. Then he saw that the lake was beginning to throw up high waves, and soon a monster came out of the water and made straight for the nest to swallow the young birds.
Peppercorn, however, did not stop long to think about the matter, but quickly drew his wonderful sword and killed the monster. It happened that the giant-bird was just coming back, and when she saw Peppercorn under the tree, she shrieked as she ran up to kill him, 'Now I have caught you--you who have been killing all my little ones for so many years! Now you shall pay me for it, for I will kill you!' But the little birds from their nest high in the tree, cried out to her, 'Don't do him any harm! he has saved us from being swallowed by a monster who came out of the lake to kill us.'
Meanwhile, Peppercorn went to her, and presented the king's letter. The giant-bird read it through carefully, and then said to him, 'Go home and kill twelve sheep. Fill their skins with water, and bring them here, together with the flesh of the sheep.'
Peppercorn went back to the king, who at once ordered that he should be supplied with the flesh of twelve sheep, as well as with twelve sheep-skins full of fresh water. With this provision Peppercorn returned to the shore of the lake.
Then the giant-bird placed the twelve skins full of water under her left wing, and the flesh of the twelve sheep under her right, and took Peppercorn on her back. This done, she told him that he must watch well her movements, and when she turned her beak to the left side, he must give her water, and when she turned it to the right he must give her meat. After impressing these directions upon Peppercorn, the giant-bird rose with her triple load in the air, and flew straight up towards the other world. As she flew she turned, from time to time, her beak, now to the left and then to the right, and Peppercorn gave her water or meat, as she had directed him to do. At last, however, all the meat disappeared. So, when the giant-bird turned her beak once more to the right, Sir Peppercorn, having no more meat to give her, and fearing some evil might happen if he did not satisfy her, took out his knife, and, cutting a piece of flesh from the sole of his right foot, gave it to her.
But the bird knew by the taste that he had cut it from his own foot, so she did not swallow it, but hid it under her tongue, and held it there until she reached the other world.
Then she set Peppercorn down on the earth and told him to walk, and when he tried to do so he was forced to limp, because of the loss of part of his foot. When the giant-bird noticed this, she asked him, 'Why do you limp so?' To this Peppercorn answered, 'Oh, it is nothing! Do not trouble yourself about it!' But the bird told him to lift his right foot, and when he did so, she took the piece of flesh she had kept hidden under her tongue, and laid it on the place where he had cut it from. Then she tapped it two or three times with her beak to make it grow to the rest of the foot.
Peppercorn walked on some time before he remembered the little box which the youngest of the three daughters of the king had given him. Now, however, he opened it, and a bee and a fly flew out and asked him what he desired. He said, 'I want a good horse to carry me to the king's residence, and a decent suit of clothes to wear.' Next moment a suit of good clothes lay before him, and a handsome horse stood ready saddled for him to mount. Then he took the clothes, and, mounting the horse, rode off to the city where the king dwelt. Before entering the city, however, he opened his little box, and said to the fly and the bee, 'I do not want the horse any more at present.' Accordingly they took it with them into their little box.
Peppercorn went to live in the house of an old woman in the city. Next morning he heard the public crier shouting in the street, 'Is there any one bold enough to fight with the mighty Pikeman, the king's son-in-law?'
Peppercorn was very pleased to hear this challenge, and, opening his box without delay, told the bee and fly, who flew out to receive his orders, that he wanted at once a fine suit of clothes and a strong charger, so that he might go to fight with the Pikeman. The bee and fly instantly gave him what he required, and he dressed himself and rode off to the field, where he found the Pikeman proudly awaiting any one who might presume to accept his challenge.
So Peppercorn and the Pikeman fought, and before very long the first son-in-law of the king was slain. Then Peppercorn returned home quickly, and opening his box, bade the bee and fly take away the horse and the fine clothes.
The king sought everywhere for the stranger who had killed his son-in-law, but no one knew anything about him. So, after some days, the city crier went round again, proclaiming that the Mill-turner, the second son-in-law of the king, would fight any one who dared to meet him.
Peppercorn again let out his bee and his fly, and asked for a finer horse and handsomer clothes than the last. So they brought him a very gorgeous suit, and a most beautiful coal-black charger, and with these he went on the field to meet the Mill-turner. They fought, but Peppercorn soon killed the king's second son-in-law, and again went to his lodgings, where he ordered the bee and fly to take the horse and clothes with them into their little box.
Now, not only the king, but all his people were very much puzzled as to who the powerful knight could be, who had killed the two valiant sons-in-law of the king. So a strict search was made, and he was sought everywhere. But no one could tell anything about him; while such horses as he rode, and such clothes as he wore were not to be found in the whole kingdom.
Some time had passed since the king's sons-in-law had been killed, and people had begun to be a little quieter and had given up all hope of finding out who the stronger knight might be. Then Peppercorn wrote a letter to the king's youngest daughter, and sent it to her by the old woman in whose house he lived. In the letter he told the princess everything that had happened to him since he had sent up in the basket to his false comrades, and told her also that he himself had slain both of the traitors in fair fight.
The young princess, as soon as she had read the letter, quickly ran to her father and begged him to pardon Peppercorn. The king saw he could not justly deny her this favour, since the two men who had been killed had deceived and deserted their friend, without whose superior courage they would never have been themselves his sons-in-law, seeing that all the three princesses, but for Peppercorn, must have remained in the other world where Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard had carried them.
So, after thinking all this over in his mind, the king told his daughter that he willingly forgave Peppercorn, and that she might invite him to the palace. This the princess did at once, and very soon after Peppercorn made his appearance before the king in splendid attire, and was received very kindly.
Not long afterwards, the marriage of Peppercorn with the beautiful princess, the king's youngest daughter, was celebrated with great rejoicings, and the king built them a fine house near his palace to live in.
There Peppercorn and his princess lived long and happily, and he never had any wish to wander again about the world.