When the troll had gone, Leif said to himself, “Not look through the house? Why, that’s just what I want to do!”
So Leif went through all the rooms till he came to the kitchen. And there stirring a big iron pot was the loveliest maiden he had ever seen.
“Good Lord!” cried the girl. “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve just got a job with the troll,” said Leif.
“Then heaven help you get out of it!” said the girl. “Weren’t you warned about working here?”
“I was,” said Leif, “but I’m glad I came anyway, else I never would have met you!”
Well, the girl liked that answer, so they sat down to chat. They talked and talked and talked some more, and before the day was done, he held her hand in his.
Then the girl asked, “What did the troll tell you to do today?”
“Something easy,” said Leif. “I’ve only to clear the dung from the stable.”
“Easy to say!” said the girl. “But if you use the pitchfork the ordinary way, ten forkfuls will fly in for every one you throw out! Now, here’s what you must do. Turn the pitchfork around and shovel with the handle. Then the dung will fly out by itself.”
Leif went out to the stable and took up the pitchfork. But he said to himself, “That can’t be true, what she told me,” and he shoveled the ordinary way. Within moments, he was up to his neck in dung.
“I guess her way wouldn’t hurt to try,” he said. So he turned the pitchfork around and shoveled with the handle. In no time at all, the dung was all out, and the stable looked like he had scrubbed it.
As Leif started back to the house, the troll came up with the goats.
“Is the stable clean?” asked the troll.
“Tight and tidy!” said Leif, and he showed it to him.
“You never figured this out for yourself!” the troll said. “Have you been talking to my Master Maid?”
“Master Maid?” said Leif. “Now, what sort of thing might that be, sir?”
“You’ll find out soon enough,” said the troll.