This section is from the book "Myths And Folk-Tales Of The Russians, Western Slavs, And Magyars", by Jeremiah Curtin. Also available from Amazon: Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and the Magyars.
Swift Runner stopped at the old woman's words, and they went on together, - went on till they came to a nice shady place, where the old woman found this to say: "Let us sit down in this shady place; let us rest. It is all the same. Thou art the winner. I will look in thy head".
Here Swift Runner sat down in the shady place; the old woman bent his head to her lap and began to search in it, and she searched and searched till Swift Runner fell asleep and was sunk in slumber. When Swift Runner was snoring away at his best, the old woman put a horse-skull under his head, - from that he would not have waked till the day of judgment; then she took the box from him and raced off as if she had been shot from a gun.
It was near four o'clock in the afternoon and Swift Runner had not come yet, though he said he ought to be there at three o'clock. Miklos therefore began to be uneasy, - his nose was itching, it was ringing in his right ear and jumping in his right eye, therefore he found this to say to his Far Seer: "Just look, canst thou see Swift Runner coming?"
Far Seer did not let this be repeated; in an instant he ran up on a hill, looked around, saw that Swift Runner was in a shady place, sleeping like a pumpkin, under a tree, with a horse-skull under his head.
"Oh, my good friend Kiss Miklos, the dog is in the garden! Swift Runner is sleeping in a nice shady place with a horse-skull under his head; the old woman is right here near the garden, and she has the wedding dress in a box".
"Here, good friend Far Caster," said Kiss Miklos, "stand forth and throw thy twelve-hundre'd-pound club at that cursed horse-skull under the head of Swift Runner; for as God is true, all seven of us will see shame, and die a fearful death".
Far Caster was not slow; in an instant he hurled the twelve-hundred-pound club and struck out luckily the horse-skull from under Swift Runner's head.
Then, 'pon my soul! Swift Runner sprang up, rubbed his eyes, looked around, saw that the old woman was running near the garden, and bearing the wedding robe. He was not slow. He rushed at her, but in truth it hung from a hair that he did not see disgrace, for the old woman had just taken the key of the Green King's door when Swift Runner reached her. He caught her by the jacket, took the box, and hurled the old woman back to Pluto's in such fashion that not her foot, nor even her little toe, touched ground on the way. Then he gave the wedding dress to Miklos, who took it that moment to the Green King, and putting it on the boxwood table said: "High lord, thy desire is accomplished; here is the dainty wedding dress".
"Haho! renowned Kiss Miklos, this is but one trial in which thou art the winner, there are two behind. The Green Daughter of the Green King will not be thine till all of you, as many as there are, spend one night in my iron furnace, which I have heated with three hundred and sixty-six cords of wood; if ye can endure that terrible heat, all right; if not, ye will be roasted alive".
Here, 'pon my soul! what came of the affair or what did not, the Green King, as he had said, heated the iron furnace with three hundred and sixty-six cords of wood. The whole furnace was nothing but glowing fire, so that it was impossible to go near it. Now the question was, who should enter first, - who but Great Freezer? He was delighted with the pleasant amusement; he was shivering terribly because God's cold had then caught him, though he had nine pairs of boots on his feet, nine shirts and drawers on his body, nine neckcloths on his neck, nine sheep-skin caps on his head, nine, sheep-skin overcoats on his back. I say, Great Freezer went first into the fiery furnace. He walked around in it, and straightway it became as cold as an ice-house; therefore he called out at the entrance: "Oh, I 'm freezing! Oh, I 'm freezing!" Then the others and Kiss Miklos went in, and they felt that the furnace was as cold as an ice-house, so that their teeth chattered. Kiss Miklos cried out at the entrance, saying, "Wood this way, or we shall freeze!"
The servants of the Green King threw an extra cord of wood into the furnace. With this Miklos and his companions made a fire, and gave earth no trouble. Next morning the Green King himself went to see the seven roasts, thinking they were burnt into dust. He opened the mouth of the furnace. He will fall on his back with horror, perhaps. Nothing of the sort; the seven good birds .were sitting there alive in the furnace at the side of a fire, and not a dog's trouble had happened to a man of them.
Straightway the Green King called up Kiss Miklos and said to him: "Well, renowned Kiss Miklos, thou hast stood two trials, but the third still remains. If ye pass that unharmed, then I don't care; my daughter will be thine, for I shall see that thou art not inferior to thy fame. The third trial is not other than this: In the yard is a herd of cattle not less than three hundred and sixty-six in number, and also there are three hundred and sixty-six kegs of wine, and if ye do not eat the three hundred and sixty-six head of cattle and drink the three hundred and sixty-six kegs of wine by to-morrow, then I will have you all at the stake; but if ye eat and drink all, then as I say, I care not. Let my one and only most beloved daughter be thine".
In the evening after bedtime Miklos went with his comrades to the other yard where were the three hundred and sixty-six head of cattle and the three hundred and sixty-six kegs of wine; but now the question was who should eat that ocean-great lot of cattle and drink that thundering lot of wine. No one would take more delight in the cattle than Great Eater, and with the thundering lot of wine no one felt better than Great Drinker; they would take care of them if they were twice as great. Miklos and his comrades, except Great Eater, knocked one of the bullocks on the head, pulled off his jacket, cut up his flesh and roasted it. That was enough for them, but it was not enough for Great Eater; for he would not spoil the taste of his mouth with it. He ate that herd of beasts, one after another, as if the earth had swallowed them, - ate hair, hide, bones, and horns, so that he did n't leave a single thing as a novelty; and even then he cried out nothing but, "Oh, I 'm hungry! Oh, I 'm hungry!" Then he went to his comrades, ate what they had left of the roast, and pressed it down with the ox-hide for a dessert. Even then he cried without ceasing, "Oh, I'm hungry! Oh, I 'm hungry!"