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Sleepy John

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Now John found himself in a wild mountain region, he began walking about on the mountains and he met a hermit. The hermit said "you may stay here with me", I shall die in 3 days, bury me then and I will pay you well for it. So John stayed with him and when the third day came, the hermit, who was about to die gave him a stick and said "In whatever direction you point this stick you will find yourself there." Then he gave him a knapsack and said "Anything you want you will find in this knapsack," then he gave him a cap and said, "As soon as you put this cap on no one will be able to see you." Then the hermit died and John buried him. John gathered his things together, pointed his stick and said: "Let me be in the town where the King lives", and he found himself instantly there.

In the town he was told that every night the Queen would wear out a dozen pairs of shoes, yet nobody was able to follow her track. The lords were all flocking to offer to follow the Queen's tracks and John followed too. He went into the palace and had himself announced to the king. When he came before the king he said that he would like to trace the Queen. The king asked him, "Who are you?" He answered "Sleepy John". The king asked, "And how are you going to trace her when you are sleeping all of the time?" "If you fail to trace herr then you will lose your head." John answered that he would try to trace her all the same. When the evening was come, the Queen went to bed in one room and John went to sleep in another through which the Queen had to pass. He did not go to sleep, but when the Queen passed by he pretended to be in a deep slumber, so the Queen lit a candle and scorched the soles of his feet to make sure that he was asleep. Sleepy John didn't stir so that she was sure that he was asleep. Then she took her twelve pairs of new shoes and off she went.


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