Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Five Days of Fairy Tales: The Wandering Hunter
Grimm’s Saga No. 258: The Wandering Hunter
Now it happened that a forest-keeper was responsible for an enormous amount of timber and had to manage his forest. This forest-keeper was later found shot dead. The nobleman who owned the forest assigned the work to another. But the same thing happened to him, and then to all his successors, one after another. Finally no one could be found who wanted to take over the dangerous forest. As soon as the new forester entered the brush, a shot could be heard in the distance. At the same time a bullet struck the man in the middle of the forehead and he fell to the ground. No trace could be found of the where or who the shot came from.
Nevertheless an itinerant huntsman volunteered for service. The nobleman did not conceal what had happened and he explicitly stated that however much he desired the forest to be under supervision once again, he could not advise the huntsman to take up the service. The huntsman replied confidently, that he would know what to do against the invisible marksman, and would manage the forest. The next day he was first led into the wood accompanied by several others. In that moment a shot could be heard in the distance. The huntsman threw his hat up in the air and it was immediately struck by a bullet. “Now,” he said, “it’s my turn.” He loaded his gun and took aim saying “My bullet is bringing the response!” Then he asked his companions to go with him and find the marksman. After looking for a long time, they found the miller lying dead at the opposite end of the forest. A bullet had pierced his forehead.
This wandering hunter remained for some time in the service of the nobleman, but because he captured all the game, while the field hens flew from his pockets, because his shot was certain even from unbelievable distances and because he performed other unbelievable acts, the nobleman felt a kind of horror in his presence and soon dismissed him from his service under false pretext.