The queen found me in my forest hut. She and her two little sons came to live with me, and, before long, she found the tub full of blood-stained shirts. I knew she would. She scrubbed them until they were white again, and hung them out to dry.
Now she wants to know why I come home at the end of every day with so much blood on my shirts. I hesitate to tell her, but when she tells me her story, I am compelled to tell her mine.
I lived a wild life. I’m not proud of it. I made a contract with an evil spirit, and I wanted out before the contract expired. I ran away and went to live in solitude, but the evil one followed me. He has lost his power over me, but as long as he has the contract, he can force me to meet him in the forest every day, and be scourged until my shirts are stained in blood.
She says she’ll get the contract back. I don’t know how she’ll do it, but I believe she will.
Peter the Hermit in King Lindworm, Pink Fairy Book