ENGLISH

The tailor in heaven

DANSK

Skrædderen i himlen


One very fine day it came to pass that the good God wished to enjoy himself in the heavenly garden, and took all the apostles and saints with him, so that no one stayed in heaven but Saint Peter. The Lord had commanded him to let no one in during his absence, so Peter stood by the door and kept watch. Before long some one knocked. Peter asked who was there, and what he wanted? "I am a poor, honest tailor who prays for admission," replied a smooth voice. "Honest indeed," said Peter, "like the thief on the gallows! Thou hast been light-fingered and hast snipped folks' clothes away. Thou wilt not get into heaven. The Lord hath forbidden me to let any one in while he is out." - "Come, do be merciful," cried the tailor. "Little scraps which fall off the table of their own accord are not stolen, and are not worth speaking about. Look, I am lame, and have blisters on my feet with walking here, I cannot possibly turn back again. Only let me in, and I will do all the rough work. I will carry the children, and wash their clothes, and wash and clean the benches on which they have been playing, and patch all their torn clothes." Saint Peter let himself be moved by pity, and opened the door of heaven just wide enough for the lame tailor to slip his lean body in. He was forced to sit down in a corner behind the door, and was to stay quietly and peaceably there, in order that the Lord, when he returned, might not observe him and be angry. The tailor obeyed, but once when Saint Peter went outside the door, he got up, and full of curiosity, went round about into every corner of heaven, and inspected the arrangement of every place. At length he came to a spot where many beautiful and delightful chairs were standing, and in the midst was a seat all of gold which was set with shining jewels, likewise it was much higher than the other chairs, and a footstool of gold was before it. It was, however, the seat on which the Lord sat when he was at home, and from which he could see everything which happened on earth. The tailor stood still, and looked at the seat for a long time, for it pleased him better than all else. At last he could master his curiosity no longer, and climbed up and seated himself in the chair. Then he saw everything which was happening on earth, and observed an ugly old woman who was standing washing by the side of a stream, secretly laying two veils on one side for herself. The sight of this made the tailor so angry that he laid hold of the golden footstool, and threw it down to earth through heaven, at the old thief. As, however, he could not bring the stool back again, he slipped quietly out of the chair, seated himself in his place behind the door, and behaved as if he had never stirred from the spot.
When the Lord and master came back again with his heavenly companions, he did not see the tailor behind the door, but when he seated himself on his chair the footstool was missing. He asked Saint Peter what had become of the stool, but he did not know. Then he asked if he had let anyone come in. "I know of no one who has been here," answered Peter, "but a lame tailor, who is still sitting behind the door." Then the Lord had the tailor brought before him, and asked him if he had taken away the stool, and where he had put it? "Oh, Lord," answered the tailor joyously, "I threw it in my anger down to earth at an old woman whom I saw stealing two veils at the washing." - "Oh, thou knave," said the Lord, "were I to judge as thou judgest, how dost thou think thou couldst have escaped so long? I should long ago have had no chairs, benches, seats, nay, not even an oven-fork, but should have thrown everything down at the sinners. Henceforth thou canst stay no longer in heaven, but must go outside the door again. Then go where thou wilt. No one shall give punishment here, but I alone, the Lord."

Peter was obliged to take the tailor out of heaven again, and as he had torn shoes, and feet covered with blisters, he took a stick in his hand, and went to "Wait-a-bit," where the good soldiers sit and make merry.
En dag fik den gode Gud lyst til at gå sig en tur i haven. Han tog alle sine helgener og apostle med undtagen Peter, der blev ene tilbage i himlen. Vorherre havde befalet, at der ingen måtte komme ind, mens han var borte, og Peter stod nu ved porten og holdt vagt. Et øjeblik efter var der nogen, som bankede. Peter spurgte, hvem det var, og hvad han ville. "Jeg er en fattig, men ærlig skrædder," svarede en tynd stemme. "Jeg beder om lov til at komme ind." - "Ja ærlig som tyven i galgen," svarede Peter. "Du har gjort lange fingre og knebet tøj fra dine kunder. Du kommer ikke ind. Vorherre har forbudt mig at lukke op for nogen, mens han var borte." - "Vær dog barmhjertig," bad skrædderen, "man kan da ikke kalde det tyveri at beholde nogle små lapper, som ikke er til nogen verdens nytte. Det er da ikke noget at snakke om. Jeg er halt og mine fødder er så ømme og fulde af blærer. Jeg kan virkelig ikke gå mere. Når jeg bare må komme ind, vil jeg gøre det groveste arbejde. Jeg vil bære børn og vaske bleer og tørre bænkene af, når børnene har griset dem til, og lappe deres klæder." Peter fik ondt af ham og holdt døren så meget på klem, at han kunne slippe igennem med sin lille, visne krop. Han måtte sætte sig ganske stille i en krog, for at Vorherre ikke skulle blive vred, når han kom hjem og så ham. Skrædderen gjorde det, men da Peter et øjeblik var gået udenfor porten, stak han af og gik nysgerrig rundt og kiggede i alle kroge. Han kom til sidst til en stor åben plads, hvor der stod en hel mængde smukke lænestole. Den midterste var helt af guld og meget højere end de andre, og foran den stod en guldskammel. Det var Vorherres trone, hvorfra han kunne se alt, hvad der skete nede på jorden. Skrædderen stod i nogen tid og så på stolene. Han syntes bedst om den i midten, og til sidst kunne han ikke betvinge sin lyst, men kravlede op og satte sig i den. Nu kunne han se alt, hvad der gik for sig nede på Jorden, og han lagde mærke til en ækel gammel kone, der stod ved en bæk og vaskede og stak to slør til sig. Skrædderen blev så vred derover, at han greb guldskamlen og slyngede den efter den gamle tyvekvind. Så kunne han jo ikke få fat i den igen, og ganske stille sneg han sig hen og satte sig i krogen, som om der ikke var hændt det allermindste.

Da Vorherre kom hjem igen, opdagede han ganske vist ikke skrædderen bag døren, men da han ville sætte sig på sin trone så han, at skamlen var væk. Han spurgte Peter, hvor den var blevet af, men han vidste ikke noget om det. Vorherre spurgte da, om der ikke var kommet nogen ind, mens han havde været borte. "Ikke andre end en halt skrædder, som sidder bag døren," svarede Peter. Vorherre kaldte på skrædderen og spurgte, om han havde taget skamlen. "Den har jeg såmænd kastet ned på Jorden efter en gammel kone, der stjal," svarede skrædderen nok så fornøjet. Vorherre rystede på hovedet. "Hvis jeg dømte som du," sagde han, "så havde jeg hverken stole eller borde, ja ikke engang en ovnrager tilbage, men havde måttet kaste det altsammen i hovedet på synderne. Du kan ikke være her længere. Gå bort herfra. Her skal ingen anden end jeg straffe."

Peter førte nu skrædderen ud af himlen, og med sine bundløse sko og vabler under fødderne humpede han ved hjælp af en stok til ventegodt, hvor de fromme soldater sidder i lystigt lag.




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