The Princess ascended a narrow, winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock, and when she turned it the door flew open. In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax busily.
The farmer was agreeably surprised to find that the sack out of which he had already sown a large field did not diminish, and was still the same in weight and size as when he met the fairy.
The soldier drew his great bow and let an arrow fly at the monster’s head. He never missed his aim, and the arrow struck the ugly head of the centipede, but bounced away.
‘You must take great pains to make my bed well, and shake it up thoroughly, so that the feathers fly about, and then in the world it snows, for I am Mother Hulda.’
He was born with a little tuft of hair upon his head, which made them call him Riquet with the Tuft, for Riquet was the family name.
The little men began to stitch, to pierce, and to hammer so cleverly and quickly with their little fingers that the shoemaker's eyes could scarcely follow them, so full of wonder was he.
The unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcherful of it.