I found the entrance to the old well, and I went down a flight of stairs that descended into darkness. They were broad, white slabs of alabaster, gleaming in the shadows. Even the sound of my bare feet on the stone echoed in that lonely place, and when one of my water vessels slipped, it clanged so loudly that I jumped.
At the bottom of the stairs, I found a wide pool of sweet water, and, after filling my jars, I turned to go back up the steps. Something moved above me, and I saw a giant standing on the stairs. He was clutching a mass of bones to his breast, and he said, “What think you, O Mortal, of my fair and lovely wife?”
Remembering the words of my guru, who forbade me to speak harshly or inconsiderately, I said, “Truly sir, I am sure you could find nowhere such another.”
It was the right thing to say because the giant had refused to believe his wife had died. He had carried her with him until she was nothing more than a pile of bones. “Ah, what eyes you have!” he cried. “You, at least, can see! You do not know how often I have slain those who have insulted her!”