Once upon a time there was a young boy so robust and of such appetite that he was given the name of Hamalau (Fourteen). He was the desolation of his parents who could not manage to satisfy him, so that one fine morning, having nothing more to share with him, they threw him out, leaving him to earn his living by the grace of God.




Hamalau therefore went straight ahead of him. When the fresh air and the walk had made his stomach ache, he stopped in front of a laborer's house and knocked loudly at the door. The mistress of the house appeared at the window:
- Who is here ? She says.
- It's Hamalau!

The good lady looks right and left and sees only one person:
- How do you say ? Who are you ?
– Hamalau.

The lady comes down and opens it, and Hamalau walks in casually. She asks him what he wants.
- I come to know if you need a servant, and to offer you my arms if necessary.
“No doubt, no doubt; we need workers in this time of harvest, and tomorrow we have to cut the wheat from the big field, which is ripe. It is a big task and would require a day's work from fourteen workmen.
"Fourteen workmen?" This is precisely my business. Look no further, I'll take care of cutting your wheat all by myself tomorrow; provided you prepare lunch for the fourteen.

Although a little surprised, the mistress, thinking that there were still savings for her, retained Hamalau as a worker, without waiting for her husband's return.

The next day, Hamalau takes a scythe and goes to the field. The mistress, as agreed, prepared lunch for fourteen people and took it to Hamalau at seven o'clock. She finds him lying quietly on the grass, the scythe beside him. Of work, period.

She said to him with a touch of sourness:
– Is this how you work? And do you imagine that I hired you to do nothing? Here's a well-earned lunch, on my faith. But listen carefully. If by noon you haven't done a reasonable share of the job, we'll talk to each other, you and I.
- The ! The ! Do not get mad ; only put lunch here. After that, we'll talk all you want.

Having thus said, Hamalau eats the lunch of the fourteen and recommends to the mistress to bring the dinner of the fourteen at precisely noon. The lady whispers a little and leaves.

Hamalau stretches out on the grass again and sleeps until eleven o'clock. So he takes his scythe and makes it work vigorously until noon. At noon, half the wheat was in swaths on the field.

The lady arrives on time with dinner and takes a look of satisfaction at the finished work. Hamalau eats the fourteen portions, recommends the mistress to bring a snack for fourteen at five o'clock, and lies down on the grass.

The lady arrived on time with the snack. She finds Hamalau lying down and doing the work at the same point as at noon. She gets angry again.
"Do you think we can feed you for nothing?" The night will soon come; how do you expect to be done with this field?
“It will be over at the appointed time; do not be afraid. Just give me a snack, because I'm starving.

He eats like fourteen and goes back to bed without paying attention to the grievances of the woman who retires in anger. At seven o'clock he sets to work; and at eight o'clock all the wheat was cut.

Hamalau goes to claim his supper from the mistress. She gave it with a good heart, the work being finished according to convention.

On these facts, arrived the master to whom his wife related the marvels of the valor and the appetite of Hamalau. The next day, the master and the valet go to cut ferns; in the evening, thanks to Hamalau, the whole fern grove was razed. And so on the other days. Hamalau sufficed for all the work in the house; he plowed, sowed, reaped, cleaned.

But he also ate like fourteen, and his masters in advance resolved to get rid of him, not being able to give him his leave. Indeed, to all the summonses to clear off, he answered resolutely:
“I feel comfortable with you; I like you both and I don't want to leave you.

Far from the farm there was a forest haunted by wolves and bears. The masters said to Hamalau:
- Hold ; you are going to harness the cows to the cart and you are going to fetch a cartload of wood from the forest.

Hamalau harnessed the cows and drove them to the forest. It was hot. Hamalau tied the cows to a tree, lay down at ease on the grass and immediately fell asleep. When he wakes up he only sees a cow.
“Of course,” he said, “the bears ate it.

He immediately goes hunting and finds a sleeping bear. He takes him by the ear and brings him to the side of the cart; he harnesses it, willy-nilly, loads his car with wood and returns home. At the sight of the team, people are frightened. They beg him to set this ferocious animal free:
"No, no, no," said Hamalau. Why did he eat our cow? I want to train him to do his job.

The next day he returns to the forest with the cart drawn by the bear and the cow. Like the day before, he ties the animals to a tree, lies down at his ease on the grass and falls asleep. When he wakes up, he can no longer find the cow; the bears had eaten it. He goes hunting again and brings back a bear by the ear. He harnesses it next to the other and loads the cart with a whole forest.

Just judge the uproar that the two animals were making. They filled the fields with their wild howls, and it seemed, so much wood was on the wagon, that they were carrying their load in the air. They thus arrived at the house, to the great horror of the masters “What a man! They said to themselves; he fears nothing; he uses bears like little birds. Some day, if he feels like it, he'll get rid of us. »

In a corner of the forest lived a very rich Tartar, who owned the finest cows in the country. He hated Christians and ate anyone he found.

The masters, counting on this, said to Hamalau:
“The bears you brought us can drive our cart well; but nevertheless we need our dairy cows. So you will go to Tartarus and buy him a nice pair.

Hamalau makes no objections and goes off to buy the cows. The Tartar said to him:
– I will give you the best pair of cows, of your choice, and you will keep your money. Only you have to win me a game of bars: the cows are at stake. In speaking thus, the Tartar thought himself sure of winning; for the strongest men were like flies to him. Hamalau accepted the bet, and although the Tartar had thrown his iron bar very far, he threw his still farther.

Who was surprised and upset? It was the Tartar who lost his finest pair of cows and was forced to recognize that he had met his master. Hoping to get his revenge, he offered her a wrestling match. Hamalau consented. They both grapple and soon fall to the ground, Tartarus below, Hamalau above.

Tartarus begged him very humbly to let him live, admitting defeat and incapable of ever fighting against him. Hamalau spared him and returned home with a pair of magnificent cows.
– Ha! Ha! You wanted beautiful cows, he said to his masters, what do you say to those? Take a good look at them.

But the masters had more terror than joy to see that he had beaten Tartarus. However, they hid.
– In truth, I believe, said the man, that nothing on earth, neither animals nor men, can resist you. But don't you fear the devil, by any chance? Because I have a commission to give you for him.
– Give, give your commission. I take it upon myself to take it to the table, however old and clever it may be. I don't fear it.

To go to the devil, Hamalau had the blacksmith make a pair of iron shoes, strong pincers and a bar, all of iron. Thus shod and armed, he will knock on the devil's door. A young boy opens it and says:
– Flee as soon as possible, because if the old devil comes, he will lock you up here like us, who came here deceived and can no longer get out.

At the same time, the old devil arrives and, seeing Hamalau, he exclaims:
– Ah! You are there, Hamalau! I have often heard of you and have long wanted to meet you. You will do mine too, my good friend; for, since I hold you, I must show you who I am. You won't make the world talk anymore.

Thereupon, the devil throws himself on Hamalau. But Hamalau was waiting for him. With his pincers he seizes the devil's nose and prevents him from making a movement; with his iron bar he breaks her legs. Having thus defeated the devil, Hamalau peacefully returns home.

The masters understood that it was useless to impose new tests on him, since he had come out of the most difficult. They had no children; they adopted him for son and heir, and all together lived happily.