The lad who came to chop wood in the forest was very well equipped with food and drink. I could smell the sweet cake in his pocket, and I asked him if he would share a bit of it with me. And maybe a few swigs of his wine.

“Ah,” said the clever boy, “If I give you my cake and wine I won’t have any left for myself.”

Don’t ask me why his axe slipped and cut his arm later on in the day. Maybe he was still thinking of me. Maybe his mind wasn’t on his work.

The Little Grey Man in The Golden Goose, Grimms. Picture by Goya.

 grey man