The Yellow Fairy Book
How Six Men Travelled Through The Wide World
There was once upon a time a man who understood all sorts of arts; he served in
the war, and bore himself bravely and well; but when the war was over, he got
his discharge, and set out on his travels with three farthings of his pay in his
pocket. 'Wait,' he said; 'that does not please me; only let me find the right people,
and the King shall yet give me all the treasures of his kingdom.' He strode angrily
into the forest, and there he saw a man standing who had uprooted six trees as if
they were straws. He said to him, 'Will you be my servant and travel with me?'
'Yes,' he answered; 'but first of all I will take this little bundle of sticks home to my
mother,' and he took one of the trees and wound it round the other five, raised
the bundle on his shoulders and bore it off. Then he came back and went with his
master, who said, 'We two ought to be able to travel through the wide world!' And
when they had gone a little way they came upon a hunter, who was on his knees,
his gun on his shoulder, aiming at something. The master said to him, 'Hunter,
what are you aiming at?'
He answered, 'Two miles from this place sits a fly on a branch of an oak; I want
to shoot out its left eye.'
'Oh, go with me,' said the man; 'if we three are together we shall easily travel
through the wide world.'
The hunter agreed and went with him, and they came to seven windmills whose
sails were going round quite fast, and yet there was not a breath of wind, nor was
a leaf moving. The man said, 'I don't know what is turning those windmills; there
is not the slightest breeze blowing.' So he walked on with his servants, and when
they had gone two miles they saw a man sitting on a tree, holding one of his
nostrils and blowing out of the other.
'Fellow, what are you puffing at up there?' asked the man.