ENGLISH

The thief and his master

DANSK

Lærling og mester


Hans wished to put his son to learn a trade, so he went into the church and prayed to our Lord God to know which would be most advantageous for him. Then the clerk got behind the altar, and said, "Thieving, thieving." On this Hans goes back to his son, and tells him he is to learn thieving, and that the Lord God had said so. So he goes with his son to seek a man who is acquainted with thieving. They walk a long time and come into a great forest, where stands a little house with an old woman in it. Hans says, "Do you know of a man who is acquainted with thieving?" - "You can learn that here quite well," says the woman, "my son is a master of it." So he speaks with the son, and asks if he knows thieving really well? The master-thief says, "I will teach him well. Come back when a year is over, and then if you recognize your son, I will take no payment at all for teaching him; but if you don't know him, you must give me two hundred thalers."
The father goes home again, and the son learns witchcraft and thieving, thoroughly. When the year is out, the father is full of anxiety to know how he is to contrive to recognize his son. As he is thus going about in his trouble, he meets a little dwarf, who says, "Man, what ails you, that you are always in such trouble?"

"Oh," says Hans, "a year ago I placed my son with a master-thief who told me I was to come back when the year was out, and that if I then did not know my son when I saw him, I was to pay two hundred thalers; but if I did know him I was to pay nothing, and now I am afraid of not knowing him and can't tell where I am to get the money." Then the dwarf tells him to take a small basket of bread with him, and to stand beneath the chimney. "There on the cross-beam is a basket, out of which a little bird is peeping, and that is your son."

Hans goes thither, and throws a little basket full of black bread in front of the basket with the bird in it, and the little bird comes out, and looks up. "Hollo, my son, art thou here?" says the father, and the son is delighted to see his father, but the master-thief says, "The devil must have prompted you, or how could you have known your son?" - "Father, let us go," said the youth.

Then the father and son set out homeward. On the way a carriage comes driving by. Hereupon the son says to his father, "I will change myself into a large greyhound, and then you can earn a great deal of money by me." Then the gentleman calls from the carriage, "My man, will you sell your dog?" - "Yes," says the father. "How much do you want for it?" - "Thirty thalers." - "Eh, man, that is a great deal, but as it is such a very fine dog I will have it." The gentleman takes it into his carriage, but when they have driven a little farther the dog springs out of the carriage through the window, and goes back to his father, and is no longer a greyhound.

They go home together. Next day there is a fair in the neighboring town, so the youth says to his father, "I will now change myself into a beautiful horse, and you can sell me; but when you have sold me, you must take off my bridle, or I cannot become a man again." Then the father goes with the horse to the fair, and the master-thief comes and buys the horse for a hundred thalers, but the father forgets, and does not take off the bridle. So the man goes home with the horse, and puts it in the stable. When the maid crosses the threshold, the horse says, "Take off my bridle, take off my bridle." Then the maid stands still, and says, "What, canst thou speak?" So she goes and takes the bridle off, and the horse becomes a sparrow, and flies out at the door, and the wizard becomes a sparrow also, and flies after him. Then they come together and cast lots, but the master loses, and betakes himself to the water and is a fish. Then the youth also becomes a fish, and they cast lots again, and the master loses. So the master changes himself into a cock, and the youth becomes a fox, and bites the master's head off, and he died and has remained dead to this day.
Der var engang en mand, som hed Jan. Han ville lade sin søn lære et eller andet håndværk og gik op i kirken og bad Vorherre sige ham, hvad for et han skulle vælge. Degnen stod imidlertid skjult bag alteret og hørte det og råbte: "Han skal lære at hekse." Jan gik så hjem til sin søn og sagde, at Vorherre havde sagt, at han skulle lære at hekse, og de gik nu af sted for at finde en mand, som forstod sig på det. Da de havde gået i lang tid, kom de ind i en stor skov, hvor der boede en gammel kone. "Kan du ikke sige os en, som kan lære min søn her at hekse," spurgte Jan. "Det kan han såmænd lære her," svarede konen, "min søn er en mester deri." Da sønnen kom hjem spurgte manden, om han også forstod sig rigtigt på hekseriet. "Jeg vil gerne tage din søn i lære," svarede han, "kom igen om et år, og hvis du så kan kende ham, skal du slet ikke betale mig noget, men kender du ham ikke, skal du give mig tohundrede daler."

Faderen gik nu hjem og sønnen blev derude for at lære at hekse. Da året var omme, begav Jan sig på vej og gik og grundede over, hvordan han skulle bære sig ad med at kende sin søn igen. Han mødte da en lille mand, som spurgte, hvorfor han var så tankefuld. "Det skal jeg såmænd gerne fortælle," svarede Jan, "for et år siden satte jeg min søn i lære hos en heksemester, der sagde, at hvis jeg ikke kunne kende fyren igen efter et års forløb, skulle jeg give ham to hundrede daler, men hvis jeg kendte ham, skulle jeg slet ingenting betale. Nu går jeg og er så bange for, at jeg ikke kan kende ham, og jeg ved ikke, hvor jeg skal skaffe de penge fra."

Manden sagde da, at han skulle tage en kurvfuld brød med og gå hen til kaminen. Oppe på hylden stod der en lille kurv, og ud af den kiggede der en lille fugl, som var hans søn.

Jan gik hen og kastede noget rugbrød foran kurven og spurven stak hovedet ud. "Goddag, min søn," sagde faderen. Sønnen blev meget glad over at se sin far igen, men heksemesteren sagde: "Det har djævelen sagt dig, ellers kunne du umuligt have vidst det." - "Lad os nu gå, far," sagde sønnen, og så gik de.

Noget efter så de en vogn komme kørende, og sønnen sagde da: "Nu forvandler jeg mig til en mynde, så kan du tjene mange penge på mig." Herren, der sad i vognen, råbte til manden: "Vil du sælge mig den hund?" Manden sagde ja, og da herren spurgte, hvad han ville have for den, sagde han tredive daler. "Det er jo lidt dyrt," sagde herren, "men da det er sådan en usædvanlig smuk hund, vil jeg alligevel købe den." Han tog den nu ind i vognen til sig, men da de havde kørt et lille stykke sprang hunden ud gennem vinduet og blev atter menneske og kom til sin far igen.

De gik nu hjem. Dagen efter var der marked i den nærmeste landsby og sønnen sagde da til sin far: "Nu forvandler jeg mig til en smuk hest, så kan du gå ind og sælge mig, men pas på, du husker at tage tømmen af ellers kan jeg ikke blive menneske igen." Faderen trak ham nu ind på markedet, og der kom hans læremester og købte hesten for hundrede daler, men faderen glemte at tage tømmen af og manden trak den hjem i sin stald. Da pigen kom gående forbi sagde hesten: "Tag tømmen af, tag tømmen af." Pigen stod stille og lyttede efter: "Ih, kan du tale," sagde hun. Derpå gik hun hen og tog tømmen af, og da blev hesten til en spurv og fløj ud ad døren, men heksemesteren forvandlede sig også til en spurv og fløj bagefter. De kom nu ordentligt op at slås, men mesteren kunne ikke stå sig og forvandlede sig til en fisk. Drengen blev nu også en fisk og de sloges igen, men også her trak mesteren det korteste strå. Og da han så forvandlede sig til en høne, blev drengen til en ræv og bed hovedet af ham, så han faldt død om, og der ligger han endnu den dag i dag.




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