中文

桌子、金驴和棍子

ENGLISH

The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack


很久以前有个裁缝,他有三个儿子。 家里养了一头羊,全家人靠羊奶生活,所以必须把它喂好养好。 三个儿子轮流去放羊。 一天,大儿子把羊赶到了教堂的院子里,因为那里的草长得十分茂盛。 羊一边吃草一边欢蹦乱跳,傍晚,该回家了,大儿子问羊:"你吃饱了吗?"羊儿回答:
"我已经吃了许多,
一根都不想再碰。
咩……咩……"
"那我们回家吧。"男孩说着就拉起绳子,牵着羊回家,并把它拴进棚里。
老裁缝问:"羊吃饱了没有?"
"它吃得很饱,一根都吃不下了。"父亲想证实一下,于是来到羊圈,抚摸着心爱的牲口问:"羊啊,你吃饱了没有?"
"我哪里能吃得饱?
跳越小沟一道道,
没见到一根草。
咩……咩……"
"太不像话了!"老裁缝喊着跑上楼质问儿子:"你这小子!你说羊吃饱了,可它明明饿着!"一气之下,他从墙上取下板尺,将儿子一阵痛打赶出了家门。
第二天轮到二儿子放羊。 他在花园的篱笆旁找到一片肥嫩的鲜草,羊儿一点一点的全吃光了。 傍晚,男孩想回家,就问羊:"你吃饱了吗?"羊儿回答:
"我已经吃了许多,
一根都不想再碰。
咩……咩……"
"那我们回家吧。"男孩说着就拉起绳子,牵着羊回家,又拴好了。
老裁缝问:"羊吃饱了没有?"
"它吃得很饱,一根都吃不下了。"但父亲不信,于是来到羊圈,抚摸着心爱的牲口问:"羊啊,你吃饱了没有?"
"我哪里能吃得饱?
跳越小沟一道道,
没见到一根草。
咩……咩……"
"这个坏蛋!难道想把这温驯的牲口饿死吗?"他叫着跑上楼,用板尺将年轻人赶了出去。
现在轮到第三个儿子去放羊了。 他想把事情做好,于是找到一片水草茂盛的灌木丛,让羊在那里吃个够。 晚上他想回家时问:"你吃饱了吗?"羊儿回答:
"我已经吃了许多,
一根都不想再碰。
咩……咩……"
"那我们回家吧。"男孩说着拉起绳子,牵着羊回家,也拴好了。
老裁缝问:"羊喂饱了没有?"
"它吃得很饱,一根都吃不下了。"裁缝不信,于是来到羊圈,问:"羊啊,你吃饱了没有?"
"我哪里能吃得饱?
跳越小沟一道道,
没见到一根草。
咩……咩……"
"唉呀,这个骗人精!一个比一个不负责任!别想再欺骗我!"他气得不得了,跑上楼用板尺狠狠地抽打孩子,使他不得不逃出了家门。
家里只剩下他和羊了。 第二天一早,他来到羊圈,抚摸着羊说:"走吧,亲爱的小羊。我要亲自带你上牧场。"他牵着绳子,带着羊来到绿油油的草地。 那里生长着芪草以及各种羊爱吃的草。 "这下你可以吃个心满意足了。"他对羊说。 他让羊吃到夜幕降临时分,然后问:"羊啊,你吃饱了吗?"羊回答说:
"我已经吃了许多,
一根都不想再碰。
咩……咩……"
"那我们回家吧。"老裁缝说着拉起绳子,牵着羊回家,并拴好了。
临走,老裁缝回头说:"这下你总算吃饱了!"但是羊并没给他满意的回答,说:
"我哪里能吃得饱?
跳越小沟一道道,
没见到一根草。
咩……咩……"
裁缝听了大吃一惊,他立刻认识到自己错怪了三个儿子,便喊道:"等着瞧,你这没良心的家伙!赶走你也太便宜你了,我要在你身上做个记号,让你没脸见诚实的裁缝!"
他匆匆上楼,拿来一把剃须刀,在羊头上抹上肥皂,将羊头剃得像手掌心一样光。 裁缝认为用板尺打它还太便宜了它,于是取出鞭子,狠狠地抽打起羊来,羊发疯似地逃走了。
裁缝孤身一人在家,心里十分难过。 想让儿子们回来,又不知他们的去向。 大儿子到了一个木匠那里当学徒,他非常努力、刻苦,期满之后,师傅在他临行前送给他一张小餐桌。 桌子是用普通木料做成的,外表也不漂亮,看不出有什么特别。 但是只要把小桌放在那儿,对它说:"小餐桌,快撑开",听话的小餐桌就会马上铺好洁白的桌布,摆好刀叉,一盘盘煮的、烤的美味佳肴便摆满小桌,还有一大杯美酒使人心花怒放。 年轻人想:"够我一辈子享用的了。"于是心情愉快地周游起世界来,根本不用考虑旅馆是不是好,有没有饭菜供应。 有时他干脆不住客栈,在田野、森林或草原上随便一个让他高兴的地方呆下来,从背上取下小桌摆在面前,说一声:"小餐桌,快撑开。"爱吃什么就有什么。 他就这么过了一段日子。 后来他想该回到父亲身边去了,父亲也早该消气了,再说他带着这张会自动摆酒菜的餐桌回家,父亲一定会高兴地接待他的。 归途中的一个晚上,他走进一家旅店,那里刚巧住满了,但人们欢迎他,请他一道吃饭,说否则就没吃的了。
木匠回答说:"不用了,我不愿意从你们嘴里抢东西吃,宁可请你们跟我一块儿吃。"旅客们哈哈大笑,说他真会开玩笑。 他将小餐桌摆到房间中央,说:"小餐桌,快撑开!"顿时,一桌丰盛的酒菜出现了,店主可没法做到这样。 木匠说:"朋友们,动手啊!"客人们一看他是真心诚意的,便不再客气,挪近餐桌,拿起刀叉大吃起来。 最让他们惊奇的是每当一碗吃完时,立刻就会有一只盛得满满的碗自动替换空碗。 店主站在一个角落里看呆了,简直不知道说什么好。 他想:"假如我的店里也有这么个宝贝就好了。"
木匠和那些朋友们高兴地吃喝着,直到深夜。 后来大家都去睡觉了,年轻人把小魔桌靠在墙上,也睡了。 店主却无法入睡,他想起储藏室里有张小桌样子很像那张魔桌,于是拿出来,小心翼翼地将魔桌换走了。
第二天早上,木匠付了房钱,背上小餐桌继续赶路,他压根儿没想到这张小桌已是假的了。
中午时分,他回到父亲身边。 父亲见了他也格外高兴,问:"亲爱的儿子,你都学了点什么?""我学会了做木工。""这可是门有用的手艺,你学徒回来带了点啥?""我带回来的最好的东西就数这张小餐桌了。"裁缝把餐桌四面打量了一下,说:"你做得不怎么样呢。这是张又旧又破的桌子。"儿子回答说:"但是这张桌子会自动摆出酒菜来呢。只要我摆好桌子,对它说:'小餐桌,快撑开!'小桌上就会摆满美味佳肴和令人胃口大开的美酒。把我们的亲戚朋友都请来,让他们也尽情享受一下吧,桌上的东西可以让大家都吃个够。"
大家都应邀而来,他将桌子摆在房子中央,说:"小餐桌,快撑开!"可小桌毫无反应,桌上仍是空空如也,和其他桌子一样。 这位可怜的小伙子这才发现桌子被人调包了。 他万分羞愧,觉得自己好像是个骗子。 亲戚们也嘲笑他,然后既没吃也没喝就回去了。 父亲又重操旧业维持生计,小伙子也到一个师傅那儿干活去了。
再说二儿子来到一个磨坊师傅那里当学徒。 期满时,师傅说:"因为你表现很好,我送你一头驴。它既不拉车也不驮东西。""那它会干什么呢?"小伙子问。 "它会吐金子。只要你将它牵到一块布上对它说:'布里科布里特',它前面吐的后面拉的全是金币。""这真是个宝贝。"于是他谢过师傅,就去周游世界了。 每当需要钱用时,他就对驴子说"布里科布里特",金币就像下雨一般落下来,他只需要从地上捡起来就是了。 不管走到哪儿,他总是要最好的、最贵的东西,因为他的钱包总是鼓鼓的。 这样过了一段日子后,他想:我该回去看看父亲了,我带上这金驴子回去,他一定不会再生气,而且会好好款待我的。
他刚巧来到他兄弟曾住过的那家旅店,就是偷换了小餐桌的那家。 当店主要接过他手中的缰绳拴牲口时,他紧紧抓住缰绳说:"不用了,我自己牵它去牲口棚吧。我知道它必须拴在什么地方。"
店主人感到很奇怪,认为一个要亲自照料牲口的人准没什么钱。 可是当陌生人从口袋里掏出两块金币,让他去给他买些好吃的东西时,店主惊愕得瞪大了眼睛,然后跑出去为他买了最好的食品。 吃过之后,客人问还欠多少钱,店主想要双倍的价钱,就说还得多付几个金币。 小伙子伸手到口袋里去掏,可钱刚好用完了。
"店主先生,请您稍等片刻,我去取钱来。"说完就拿起一块台布走了。
店主不知道这是什么意思,很好奇地悄悄跟在后面想看个究竟。 因为客人把牲口棚的门闩上了,他只好从墙上的一个小孔往里看。 只见陌生人将桌布铺在地上,让驴子站在上面,喊了声"布里科布里特",驴子立刻前吐后拉,金币像雨点般落下。
"天哪!金币转眼就铸好了,这样的钱包可真不赖呢!"
客人付完房钱躺下睡了。 夜里,店主偷偷溜进牲口棚,牵走了"钱大王",而在原来的地方拴了一匹普通驴子。 第二天一大早,小伙子牵着驴子走了,以为自己牵的是金驴。 中午时分,他来到了父亲身边,父亲见到他十分快乐,很愿意让他回家。
老人问:"孩子,你现在做哪一行?"儿子回答说:"亲爱的爸爸,我是磨坊师傅了。""你旅行回来带了什么回家?""带了一头驴子。"父亲说:"这里多的是毛驴,我情愿要头温驯的羊。"儿子说:"可我带回来的不是普通驴子,而是一头金驴。只要我对它说:'布里科布里特',这头听话的牲口就会吐出满满一包金子。你把亲戚们都找来,我让他们都成为富翁。"裁缝说:"我很乐意。这样我就不用再操针线劳顿了。"他自己跑去将亲戚都找了来,等大家到齐后,磨坊师傅让他们坐下,在地上铺了一块布,把驴子牵了进来。 "现在请注意!"说着他对驴子喊了声"布里科布里特"。 然而驴子没吐也没拉出任何金币,说明这牲口对此一窍不通,因为并非所有驴子都能吐出金币的。 这位可怜的磨坊师傅拉长了脸,知道被骗了,于是请求亲友们原谅。 他们散去时和来的时候一样穷。
且说老三在一个旋工那儿当学徒,因为这门手艺技术性强,他学的时间也最长。 他的两个哥哥在一封信中将他们的不幸遭遇告诉了他,说他们在回家前最后一夜住的那家旅店的店主如何偷换了他们的宝物。 出师时,因为他学得好,师傅送给他一个口袋,对他说:"口袋里有根棍。""口袋或许有用,我可以带上,可棍子除了增加我的负担还有什么用?"师傅回答说:"我这就告诉你,如果有人欺负了你,只要说声'棍子,出袋!'它就会自动跳出来,在欺负你的人背上乱敲乱打,让他们一个星期都动弹不得。直到你说'棍子,回袋!'
它才会打住。 "
徒弟谢过师傅,背上口袋。 如果有人逼近了想欺负他,他就说:"棍子,出袋!"棍子立刻就会跳出来,在那人身上痛打一阵,直打得他们的外套掉下来。 动作那么快,往往不等对方反应过来就已经敲打上了,一直要等到主人喊:"棍子,回袋!"才罢休。
那天傍晚,他来到两个哥哥受过骗的那家旅馆。 他将背包放在面前的桌子上,开始讲述世人千奇百怪的经历。 他说:"人们不难找到一张会摆酒菜的小餐桌,一头会吐金币的驴子,我也并不是看不起这些极好的宝物,可它们和我包里这宝贝比起来就差远了。这东西我是走到哪儿背到哪儿。"
店主尖起耳朵听着,想:"到底是什么东西呢?袋子里准装满了宝石。我一定要弄到手,好事三三来嘛!"睡觉时,客人躺在长板凳上睡,将袋子枕在头下面当枕头。 店主估摸着他已经睡熟了,就溜过来,小心翼翼地又是推又是拖,想把口袋抽出来,换上另外一个。 旋工早在等着他了。 趁他正想用力往外拖的当口喊了声:"棍子,出袋!"小棍子立刻跳了出来,对着店主就是一阵痛打。 店主一个劲地求饶,可他的喊声越大,棍子敲打得也越猛越狠,最后他终于趴在地上起不来了。 旋工说:"假如你不交出会摆酒菜的小餐桌和会吐金币的驴子,棍子会重新跳起舞来的!。""哦,千万别!"店主低声下气地说,"我什么都愿意交出来,只求你让那魔棍回到口袋里去。"旋工说:"我暂且可怜你,可你要当心别再做坏事!"然后喊,"棍子,回袋!"棍子这才停了。
第二天一早,旋工带着会摆酒菜的餐桌,牵着会吐拉金币的驴子回到了家。 裁缝见到他很高兴,同样也问他在外都学了些什么。 他回答说:"亲爱的爸爸,我现在是个旋工。"父亲说:"这是个技术活。那么你从旅途中带了什么回来?"儿子回答说:"一件珍贵的东西……口袋里的一根棍子。"
"什么?棍子!"父亲喊了起来,"这值得你费力气背回来吗?哪棵树上不可以砍一根!""亲爱的爸爸,"儿子解释说:"这棍子不同一般,只要我喊声:'棍子,出袋!',它就会跳出来,狠狠地教训那些不怀好意的家伙,直打得他们躺在地上求饶为止。你看,我就是用这根棍子把哥哥们被店主骗去的餐桌和金驴夺回来了。现在你去把他们叫来,也把亲友们找来,我要设宴款待他们,还要使他们的钱袋装得鼓鼓的。"
老裁缝不太相信,可还是把亲友们召来了。 旋工在地上铺了一块布,牵来会吐金币的驴子,对哥哥说:"亲爱的哥哥,你来对他说吧。"磨坊师傅说了句"布里科布里特",金币立刻哗啦啦落了下来,像下了一场暴雨,直到每个人都拿不下了才打住。 (从你们的表情我看出来你们也很想在场)旋工然后取出餐桌,对另一位哥哥说:"亲爱的哥哥,你来对它说吧。"木工刚说出:"小餐桌,快撑开!"只见桌上已经摆满了精致的碗呀盆的,全是美味佳肴。 好裁缝家可从来没有吃过这么精美的饭食,亲友们一直聚会到深夜才走,个个兴高采烈,心满意足。 裁缝将他用过的针线、板尺、烙铁等通通锁进了柜子,和三个儿子愉快地生活在一起。
那头挑拨裁缝赶走儿子们的羊最后怎么样了? 我这就告诉你们:它为自己被剃光了头感到难为情,因而跑到一个狐狸洞里藏了起来。 狐狸回来时,看到黑暗中有两道光向它逼来,吓得逃跑了。 一只熊遇到了狐狸,看到它那副失魂落魄的样子,就问:"狐狸老弟,你怎么这副愁眉苦脸的样子呀?"狐狸回答说:"有只凶猛的野兽蹲在我的洞穴里,两只冒火的眼睛虎视眈眈地盯着我。""我们这就去把它撵走!"熊说着就和狐狸一起来到它的洞穴,向里窥探。 当它看到那双冒着火似的眼睛时,也感到了一阵恐惧,它也不想和这样一只野兽交战,于是掉头跑了。 小蜜蜂看到它,觉得它心神不宁,于是问:"大熊,你怎么这么愁眉苦脸的?你的快乐劲儿呢?"熊回答说:"说起来倒轻巧,红孤家有只双眼冒火的野兽,我们赶它又赶不走。"蜜蜂说:"大熊啊,我很同情你们。尽管我是个可怜的小动物,平时你们都不屑看我一眼,但是我相信自己能帮你们。"它飞进红狐的洞穴,停在羊那剃光了毛的头顶上,狠狠地蛰了它一下,疼得羊一蹦老高,疯了一般"咩……咩……"叫着冲了出来,逃走了。 这会儿谁也不知道它在哪儿了。
There was once upon a time a tailor who had three sons, and only one goat. But as the goat supported the whole of them with her milk, she was obliged to have good food, and to be taken every day to pasture. The sons, therefore, did this, in turn. Once the eldest took her to the churchyard, where the finest herbs were to be found, and let her eat and run about there. At night when it was time to go home he asked, "Goat, hast thou had enough?" The goat answered,

"I have eaten so much,
Not a leaf more I'll touch, meh! meh!"

"Come home, then," said the youth, and took hold of the cord round her neck, led her into the stable and tied her up securely. "Well," said the old tailor, "has the goat had as much food as she ought?" - "Oh," answered the son, "she has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch." But the father wished to satisfy himself, and went down to the stable, stroked the dear animal and asked, "Goat, art thou satisfied?" The goat answered,

"Wherewithal should I be satisfied?
Among the graves I leapt about,
And found no food, so went without, meh! meh!"

"What do I hear?" cried the tailor, and ran upstairs and said to the youth, "Hollo, thou liar: thou saidest the goat had had enough, and hast let her hunger!" and in his anger he took the yard-measure from the wall, and drove him out with blows.

Next day it was the turn of the second son, who looked out for a place in the fence of the garden, where nothing but good herbs grew, and the goat cleared them all off.

At night when he wanted to go home, he asked, "Goat, art thou satisfied?" The goat answered,

"I have eaten so much,
Not a leaf more I'll touch, meh! meh!"

"Come home, then," said the youth, and led her home, and tied her up in the stable. "Well," said the old tailor, "has the goat had as much food as she ought?" - "Oh," answered the son, "she has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch." The tailor would not rely on this, but went down to the stable and said, "Goat, hast thou had enough?" The goat answered,

"Wherewithal should I be satisfied?
Among the graves I leapt about,
And found no food, so went without, meh! meh!"

"The godless wretch!" cried the tailor, "to let such a good animal hunger," and he ran up and drove the youth out of doors with the yard-measure.

Now came the turn of the third son, who wanted to do the thing well, and sought out some bushes with the finest leaves, and let the goat devour them. In the evening when he wanted to go home, he asked, "Goat, hast thou had enough?" The goat answered,

"I have eaten so much,
Not a leaf more I'll touch, meh! meh!"

"Come home, then," said the youth, and led her into the stable, and tied her up. "Well," said the old tailor, "has the goat had a proper amount of food?" - "She has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch." The tailor did not trust to that, but went down and asked, "Goat, hast thou had enough?" The wicked beast answered,

"Wherewithal should I be satisfied?
Among the graves I leapt about,
And found no leaves, so went without, meh! meh!"

"Oh, the brood of liars!" cried the tailor, "each as wicked and forgetful of his duty as the other! Ye shall no longer make a fool of me," and quite beside himself with anger, he ran upstairs and belabored the poor young fellow so vigorously with the yard-measure that he sprang out of the house.

The old tailor was now alone with his goat. Next morning he went down into the stable, caressed the goat and said, "Come, my dear little animal, I will take thee to feed myself." He took her by the rope and conducted her to green hedges, and amongst milfoil, and whatever else goats like to eat. "There thou mayest for once eat to thy heart's content," said he to her, and let her browse till evening. Then he asked, "Goat, art thou satisfied?" She replied,

"I have eaten so much,
Not a leaf more I'll touch, meh! meh!"

"Come home, then," said the tailor, and led her into the stable, and tied her fast. When he was going away, he turned round again and said, "Well, art thou satisfied for once?" But the goat did not behave the better to him, and cried,

"Wherewithal should I be satisfied?
Among the graves I leapt about,
And found no leaves, so went without, meh! meh!"

When the tailor heard that, he was shocked, and saw clearly that he had driven away his three sons without cause. "Wait, thou ungrateful creature," cried he, "it is not enough to drive thee forth, I will mark thee so that thou wilt no more dare to show thyself amongst honest tailors." In great haste he ran upstairs, fetched his razor, lathered the goat's head, and shaved her as clean as the palm of his hand. And as the yard-measure would have been too good for her, he brought the horsewhip, and gave her such cuts with it that she ran away in violent haste.

When the tailor was thus left quite alone in his house he fell into great grief, and would gladly have had his sons back again, but no one knew whither they were gone. The eldest had apprenticed himself to a joiner, and learnt industriously and indefatigably, and when the time came for him to go travelling, his master presented him with a little table which had no particular appearance, and was made of common wood, but it had one good property; if anyone set it out, and said, "Little table, spread thyself," the good little table was at once covered with a clean little cloth, and a plate was there, and a knife and fork beside it, and dishes with boiled meats and roasted meats, as many as there was room for, and a great glass of red wine shone so that it made the heart glad. The young journeyman thought, "With this thou hast enough for thy whole life," and went joyously about the world and never troubled himself at all whether an inn was good or bad, or if anything was to be found in it or not. When it suited him he did not enter an inn at all, but either on the plain, in a wood, a meadow, or wherever he fancied, he took his little table off his back, set it down before him, and said, "Cover thyself," and then everything appeared that his heart desired. At length he took it into his head to go back to his father, whose anger would now be appeased, and who would now willingly receive him with his wishing-table. It came to pass that on his way home, he came one evening to an inn which was filled with guests. They bade him welcome, and invited him to sit and eat with them, for otherwise he would have difficulty in getting anything. "No," answered the joiner, "I will not take the few bites out of your mouths; rather than that, you shall be my guests." They laughed, and thought he was jesting with them; he, however, placed his wooden table in the middle of the room, and said, "Little table, cover thyself." Instantly it was covered with food, so good that the host could never have procured it, and the smell of it ascended pleasantly to the nostrils of the guests. "Fall to, dear friends," said the joiner; and the guests when they saw that he meant it, did not need to be asked twice, but drew near, pulled out their knives and attacked it valiantly. And what surprised them the most was that when a dish became empty, a full one instantly took its place of its own accord. The innkeeper stood in one corner and watched the affair; he did not at all know what to say, but thought, "Thou couldst easily find a use for such a cook as that in thy kitchen." The joiner and his comrades made merry until late into the night; at length they lay down to sleep, and the young apprentice also went to bed, and set his magic table against the wall. The host's thoughts, however, let him have no rest; it occurred to him that there was a little old table in his lumber-room which looked just like the apprentice's and he brought it out quite softly, and exchanged it for the wishing-table. Next morning, the joiner paid for his bed, took up his table, never thinking that he had got a false one, and went his way. At mid-day he reached his father, who received him with great joy. "Well, my dear son, what hast thou learnt?" said he to him. "Father, I have become a joiner." - "A good trade," replied the old man; "but what hast thou brought back with thee from thy apprenticeship?" - "Father, the best thing which I have brought back with me is this little table." The tailor inspected it on all sides and said, "Thou didst not make a masterpiece when thou mad'st that; it is a bad old table." - "But it is a table which furnishes itself," replied the son. "When I set it out, and tell it to cover itself, the most beautiful dishes stand on it, and a wine also, which gladdens the heart. Just invite all our relations and friends, they shall refresh and enjoy themselves for once, for the table will give them all they require." When the company was assembled, he put his table in the middle of the room and said, "Little table, cover thyself," but the little table did not bestir itself, and remained just as bare as any other table which did not understand language. Then the poor apprentice became aware that his table had been changed, and was ashamed at having to stand there like a liar. The relations, however, mocked him, and were forced to go home without having eaten or drunk. The father brought out his patches again, and went on tailoring, but the son went to a master in the craft.

The second son had gone to a miller and had apprenticed himself to him. When his years were over, the master said, "As thou hast conducted thyself so well, I give thee an ass of a peculiar kind, which neither draws a cart nor carries a sack." - "To what use is he put, then?" asked the young apprentice. "He lets gold drop from his mouth," answered the miller. "If thou settest him on a cloth and sayest 'Bricklebrit,' the good animal will drop gold pieces for thee." - "That is a fine thing," said the apprentice, and thanked the master, and went out into the world. When he had need of gold, he had only to say "Bricklebrit" to his ass, and it rained gold pieces, and he had nothing to do but pick them off the ground. Wheresoever he went, the best of everything was good enough for him, and the dearer the better, for he had always a full purse. When he had looked about the world for some time, he thought, "Thou must seek out thy father; if thou goest to him with the gold-ass he will forget his anger, and receive thee well." It came to pass that he came to the same public-house in which his brother's table had been exchanged. He led his ass by the bridle, and the host was about to take the animal from him and tie him up, but the young apprentice said, "Don't trouble yourself, I will take my grey horse into the stable, and tie him up myself too, for I must know where he stands." This struck the host as odd, and he thought that a man who was forced to look after his ass himself, could not have much to spend; but when the stranger put his hand in his pocket and brought out two gold pieces, and said he was to provide something good for him, the host opened his eyes wide, and ran and sought out the best he could muster. After dinner the guest asked what he owed. The host did not see why he should not double the reckoning, and said the apprentice must give two more gold pieces. He felt in his pocket, but his gold was just at an end. "Wait an instant, sir host," said he, "I will go and fetch some money;" but he took the table-cloth with him. The host could not imagine what this could mean, and being curious, stole after him, and as the guest bolted the stable-door, he peeped through a hole left by a knot in the wood. The stranger spread out the cloth under the animal and cried, "Bricklebrit," and immediately the beast began to let gold pieces fall, so that it fairly rained down money on the ground. "Eh, my word," said the host, "ducats are quickly coined there! A purse like that is not amiss." The guest paid his score, and went to bed, but in the night the host stole down into the stable, led away the master of the mint, and tied up another ass in his place. Early next morning the apprentice travelled away with his ass, and thought that he had his gold-ass. At mid-day he reached his father, who rejoiced to see him again, and gladly took him in. "What hast thou made of thyself, my son?" asked the old man. "A miller," dear father, he answered. "What hast thou brought back with thee from thy travels?" - "Nothing else but an ass." - "There are asses enough here," said the father, "I would rather have had a good goat." - "Yes," replied the son, "but it is no common ass, but a gold-ass, when I say 'Bricklebrit,' the good beast opens its mouth and drops a whole sheetful of gold pieces. Just summon all our relations hither, and I will make them rich folks." - "That suits me well," said the tailor, "for then I shall have no need to torment myself any longer with the needle," and ran out himself and called the relations together. As soon as they were assembled, the miller bade them make way, spread out his cloth, and brought the ass into the room. "Now watch," said he, and cried, "Bricklebrit," but no gold pieces fell, and it was clear that the animal knew nothing of the art, for every ass does not attain such perfection. Then the poor miller pulled a long face, saw that he was betrayed, and begged pardon of the relatives, who went home as poor as they came. There was no help for it, the old man had to betake him to his needle once more, and the youth hired himself to a miller.

The third brother had apprenticed himself to a turner, and as that is skilled labour, he was the longest in learning. His brothers, however, told him in a letter how badly things had gone with them, and how the innkeeper had cheated them of their beautiful wishing-gifts on the last evening before they reached home. When the turner had served his time, and had to set out on his travels, as he had conducted himself so well, his master presented him with a sack and said, "There is a cudgel in it." - "I can put on the sack," said he, "and it may be of good service to me, but why should the cudgel be in it? It only makes it heavy." - "I will tell thee why," replied the master; "if any one has done anything to injure thee, do but say, 'Out of the sack, Cudgel!' and the cudgel will leap forth among the people, and play such a dance on their backs that they will not be able to stir or move for a week, and it will not leave off until thou sayest, "Into the sack, Cudgel!" The apprentice thanked him, and put the sack on his back, and when any one came too near him, and wished to attack him, he said, "Out of the sack, Cudgel!" and instantly the cudgel sprang out, and dusted the coat or jacket of one after the other on their backs, and never stopped until it had stripped it off them, and it was done so quickly, that before anyone was aware, it was already his own turn. In the evening the young turner reached the inn where his brothers had been cheated. He laid his sack on the table before him, and began to talk of all the wonderful things which he had seen in the world. "Yes," said he, "people may easily find a table which will cover itself, a gold-ass, and things of that kind -- extremely good things which I by no means despise -- but these are nothing in comparison with the treasure which I have won for myself, and am carrying about with me in my sack there." The inn-keeper pricked up his ears, "What in the world can that be?" thought he; "the sack must be filled with nothing but jewels; I ought to get them cheap too, for all good things go in threes." When it was time for sleep, the guest stretched himself on the bench, and laid his sack beneath him for a pillow. When the inn-keeper thought his guest was lying in a sound sleep, he went to him and pushed and pulled quite gently and carefully at the sack to see if he could possibly draw it away and lay another in its place. The turner had, however, been waiting for this for a long time, and now just as the inn-keeper was about to give a hearty tug, he cried, "Out of the sack, Cudgel!" Instantly the little cudgel came forth, and fell on the inn-keeper and gave him a sound thrashing. The host cried for mercy; but the louder he cried, so much more heavily the cudgel beat the time on his back, until at length he fell to the ground exhausted. Then the turner said, "If thou dost not give back the table which covers itself, and the gold-ass, the dance shall begin afresh." - "Oh, no," cried the host, quite humbly, "I will gladly produce everything, only make the accursed kobold creep back into the sack." Then said the apprentice, "I will let mercy take the place of justice, but beware of getting into mischief again!" So he cried, "Into the sack, Cudgel!" and let him have rest.

Next morning the turner went home to his father with the wishing-table, and the gold-ass. The tailor rejoiced when he saw him once more, and asked him likewise what he had learned in foreign parts. "Dear father," said he, "I have become a turner." - "A skilled trade," said the father. "What hast thou brought back with thee from thy travels?" - "A precious thing, dear father," replied the son, "a cudgel in the sack." - "What!" cried the father, "a cudgel! That's worth thy trouble, indeed! From every tree thou can cut thyself one." - "But not one like this, dear father. If I say, 'Out of the sack, Cudgel!' the cudgel springs out and leads any one who means ill with me a weary dance, and never stops until he lies on the ground and prays for fair weather. Look you, with this cudgel have I got back the wishing-table and the gold-ass which the thievish inn-keeper took away from my brothers. Now let them both be sent for, and invite all our kinsmen. I will give them to eat and to drink, and will fill their pockets with gold into the bargain." The old tailor would not quite believe, but nevertheless got the relatives together. Then the turner spread a cloth in the room and led in the gold-ass, and said to his brother, "Now, dear brother, speak to him." The miller said, "Bricklebrit," and instantly the gold pieces fell down on the cloth like a thunder-shower, and the ass did not stop until every one of them had so much that he could carry no more. (I can see in thy face that thou also wouldst like to be there.) Then the turner brought the little table, and said, "Now dear brother, speak to it." And scarcely had the carpenter said, "Table, cover thyself," than it was spread and amply covered with the most exquisite dishes. Then such a meal took place as the good tailor had never yet known in his house, and the whole party of kinsmen stayed together till far in the night, and were all merry and glad. The tailor locked away needle and thread, yard-measure and goose, in a press, and lived with his three sons in joy and splendour.

What, however, has become of the goat who was to blame for the tailor driving out his three sons? That I will tell thee. She was ashamed that she had a bald head, and ran to a fox's hole and crept into it. When the fox came home, he was met by two great eyes shining out of the darkness, and was terrified and ran away. A bear met him, and as the fox looked quite disturbed, he said, "What is the matter with thee, brother Fox, why dost thou look like that?" - "Ah," answered Redskin, "a fierce beast is in my cave and stared at me with its fiery eyes." - "We will soon drive him out," said the bear, and went with him to the cave and looked in, but when he saw the fiery eyes, fear seized on him likewise; he would have nothing to do with the furious beast, and took to his heels. The bee met him, and as she saw that he was ill at ease, she said, "Bear, thou art really pulling a very pitiful face; what has become of all thy gaiety?" - "It is all very well for thee to talk," replied the bear, "a furious beast with staring eyes is in Redskin's house, and we can't drive him out." The bee said, "Bear I pity thee, I am a poor weak creature whom thou wouldst not turn aside to look at, but still, I believe, I can help thee." She flew into the fox's cave, lighted on the goat's smoothly-shorn head, and stung her so violently, that she sprang up, crying "Meh, meh," and ran forth into the world as if mad, and to this hour no one knows where she has gone.




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