PORTUGUÊS

O alfaiatinho intrépido

ENGLISH

The cunning little tailor


Houve, uma vez, uma princesa tremendamente orgulhosa; qualquer pretendente que se apresentasse, ela o submetia a adivinhar charadas e, se ele não o conseguisse, despedia-o logo, ridicularizando-o sem piedade.
Certo dia, ela mandou apregoar que só se casaria com quem decifrasse um enigma proposto por ela; qualquer pessoa podia concorrer.
Por acaso, encontraram-se três alfaiates; os dois mais velhos pensavam que, como sabiam fazer tantos pontos tão complicados, haviam de saber também decifrar o enigma. O terceiro alfaiate parecia um toleirão, incapaz de qualquer coisa, até mesmo de executar o próprio oficio, mas confiava na sorte e achava que, talvez, ela lhe sorrisse. Os mais velhos disseram-lhe:
Fica em casa; com o pouco juízo que tens não arranjaras nada.
O pequeno alfaiate, porém, não se perturbou e chegou mesmo a apostar a cabeça que se sairia muito bem. Portanto, meteu-se pelo mundo afora, como se o mundo fosse dele.
Finalmente, chegaram os três ao castelo e apresentaram-se à princesa para que lhes desse o enigma a decifrar; eles eram, exatamente, os indicados para isso, pois possuíam uma inteligência tão fina que podia ser enfiada numa agulha. A princesa disse-lhes:
- Tenho na cabeça calados de duas espécies; de que cor são eles?
- Se é só isso - disso o mais velho. - Devem ser brancos e pretos, como o pano que chamamos sal-e-pimenta.
- Errado! Responda o segundo, - disse a princesa.
Então o segundo respondeu:
- Se não for branco e preto, é castanho e ruço, da cor do casaco de meu pai.
- Erradíssimo! - exclamou a princesa. - Responda o terceiro; vejo pelo jeito que esse acertará.
O alfaiatinho adiantou-se, atrevidamente, e disse:
A princesa tem na cabeça um cabelo de prata e outro de ouro; são essas as duas cores.
Ouvindo a resposta, a princesa empalideceu e quase desmaiou de misto, porque o alfaiatinho acertara de verdade, enquanto ela estava plenamente convencida que ninguém no mundo acertaria. Recompondo-se, disse ao pobre alfaiatinho.
- Embora tenhas acertado, todavia ainda não me conquistaste; terás que fazer outra coisa. Lá em baixo, perto da estrebaria, há um urso e tu deves passar uma noite com ele; amanhã, quando me levantar, se ainda estiveres vivo, então casarás comigo.
Pensava, por esse meio, livrar-se do importuno, porque o urso feroz nunca deixara ninguém sair vivo de lá e foram muitos os que lhe caíram nas garras. O alfaiatinho, porém, não se impressionou e disse muito satisfeito:
- Quem não arrisca não petisca!
Quando anoiteceu, o nosso intrépido alfaiatinho foi conduzido para o local onde estava o urso. Este, ao vê-lo, quis logo atirar-se sobre ele e dar-lhe as boas-vindas com as garras.
- Calma, calma! - disse o alfaiate: - senão te acalmarei eu!
E muito sossegadamente, como se não temesse coisa alguma, tirou do bolso algumas nozes, partiu-as entre os dentes, comendo-lhes o miolo. Vendo isso, o urso ficou com desejo de comer nozes; então o alfaiate procurou nos bolsos, tirou um punhado delas e deu-as ao urso; porém, não eram nozes; eram pedras. O urso, muito guloso, meteu-as na boca, mas por mais que apertasse os dentes não conseguia parti-las. "Ah, - pensava ele, - és mesmo um tolo! Nem sequer sabes partir nozes!" Chamou em seu auxílio o alfaiatinho:
- Por favor, parte-as tu.
- Vês que belo tipo és! - disse o alfaiate: - tens uma boca enorme e não podes sequer partir uma noz!
Pegou as pedras e, bem rapidamente, trocou-as por nozes, pondo uma na boca; apertou os dentes e, crac, partiu-a pela metade.
- Vou tentar mais uma vez, disse o urso, - ao ver como fazes, sinto-me capaz de fazer o mesmo.
O alfaiatinho deu-lhe, novamente, as pedras e o urso tornou a morder com todas as forças. Naturalmente, já sabem que não conseguiu parti-las.
O alfaiate, então, tirou um violino que trazia sob o casaco o pôs-se a tocar uma musicazinha. Ouvindo a música, o urso não pode conter-se e se pôs a dançar; dançou bastante o, tomando gosto pela coisa, disse ao alfaiate:
- Escuta, é muito difícil tocar violino?
- Ora, é um brinquedo do criança; olha, coloco aqui os dedos da mão esquerda, com a direita vou passando o arco e, sus, alegres! tralalá, tralalá!
- Eu, também, gostaria do sabor tocar assim, - disso o urso. - Poderia dançar todas as vezes que tivesse vontade; que achas? Podes me ensinar?
- Com todo o gosto, - respondeu o alfaiate, - desde que tenhas vocação. Antes, porém, mostra-me um pouco as tuas patas; tens as unhas multo comprida, é preciso cortá-las um pouco.
O alfaiate foi buscar um torniquete, prendeu-lhe as patas e disse:
- Espere ai enquanto vou buscar a tesoura!
Deixou o urso rosnar à vontade, deitou-se calmamente sobre um molho de palhas que havia num canto e dormiu.
Durante a noite, ouvindo o urso ganindo daquele jeito, a princesa julgou que o fizesse de alegria por ter liquidado o alfaiatinho. Logo pela manha, levantou-se alegre e feliz e foi espiar na estrebaria; e eis que viu lá o alfaiatinho, vivo e são como um peixe.
Diante disso, não lhe foi possível faltar à promessa, pois a tinha feito publicamente e não ficava bem desdizer-se. O rei mandou vir um coche e a princesa teve de ir para a igreja junto com o alfaiate a fim de se casar com ele.
Quando estavam no coche, os outros dois alfaiates, que tinham um coração perverso e se ralavam de inveja pela felicidade do outro, foram à estrebaria e soltaram o urso. O animal enfurecido saiu a correr atrás do coche; a princesa ouviu-o ganir e arreganhar os dentes; muito assustada, gritou:
- Olha, aí vem o urso e quer agarrar-te!
O alfaiatinho mais que depressa pôs-se de cabeça para baixo, estendeu as pernas fora da janelinha do coche e gritou:
- Estás vendo o torniquete? Se não fores embora imediatamente, ficas preso outra vez!
Vendo isso, o urso assustou-se deveras; voltou sobre os calcanhares e desatou a fugir.
O nosso pequeno alfaiate prosseguiu, tranquilamente, no caminho rumo à igreja, casou com a princesa e viveu com ela muitos anos, alegre como uma andorinha.
Quem não acredita que pague a multa!
There was once on a time a princess who was extremely proud. If a wooer came she gave him some riddle to guess, and if he could not find it out, he was sent contemptuously away. She let it be made known also that whosoever solved her riddle should marry her, let him be who he might. At length, therefore, three tailors fell in with each other, the two eldest of whom thought they had done so many dexterous bits of work successfully that they could not fail to succeed in this also; the third was a little useless land-louper, who did not even know his trade, but thought he must have some luck in this venture, for where else was it to come from? Then the two others said to him, "Just stay at home; thou canst not do much with thy little bit of understanding." The little tailor, however, did not let himself be discouraged, and said he had set his head to work about this for once, and he would manage well enough, and he went forth as if the whole world were his.
They all three announced themselves to the princess, and said she was to propound her riddle to them, and that the right persons were now come, who had understandings so fine that they could be threaded in a needle. Then said the princess, "I have two kinds of hair on my head, of what color is it?" - "If that be all," said the first, "it must be black and white, like the cloth which is called pepper and salt." The princess said, "Wrongly guessed; let the second answer." Then said the second, "If it be not black and white, then it is brown and red, like my father's company coat." - "Wrongly guessed," said the princess, "let the third give the answer, for I see very well he knows it for certain." Then the little tailor stepped boldly forth and said, "The princess has a silver and a golden hair on her head, and those are the two different colors." When the princess heard that, she turned pale and nearly fell down with terror, for the little tailor had guessed her riddle, and she had firmly believed that no man on earth could discover it. When her courage returned she said, "Thou hast not won me yet by that; there is still something else that thou must do. Below, in the stable is a bear with which thou shalt pass the night, and when I get up in the morning if thou art still alive, thou shalt marry me." She expected, however, she should thus get rid of the tailor, for the bear had never yet left any one alive who had fallen into his clutches. The little tailor did not let himself be frightened away, but was quite delighted, and said, "Boldly ventured is half won."

When therefore the evening came, our little tailor was taken down to the bear. The bear was about to set at the little fellow at once, and give him a hearty welcome with his paws: "Softly, softly," said the little tailor, "I will soon make thee quiet." Then quite composedly, and as if he had not an anxiety in the world, he took some nuts out of his pocket, cracked them, and ate the kernels. When the bear saw that, he was seized with a desire to have some nuts too. The tailor felt in his pockets, and reached him a handful; they were, however, not nuts, but pebbles. The bear put them in his mouth, but could get nothing out of them, let him bite as he would. "Eh!" thought he, "what a stupid blockhead I am! I cannot even crack a nut!" and then he said to the tailor, "Here, crack me the nuts." - "There, see what a stupid fellow thou art!" said the little tailor, "to have such a great mouth, and not be able to crack a small nut!" Then he took the pebble and nimbly put a nut in his mouth in the place of it, and crack, it was in two! "I must try the thing again," said the bear; "when I watch you, I then think I ought to be able to do it too." So the tailor once more gave him a pebble, and the bear tried and tried to bite into it with all the strength of his body. But no one will imagine that he accomplished it. When that was over, the tailor took out a violin from beneath his coat, and played a piece of it to himself. When the bear heard the music, he could not help beginning to dance, and when he had danced a while, the thing pleased him so well that he said to the little tailor, "Hark you, is the fiddle heavy?" - "Light enough for a child. Look, with the left hand I lay my fingers on it, and with the right I stroke it with the bow, and then it goes merrily, hop sa sa vivallalera!" - "So," said the bear; "fiddling is a thing I should like to understand too, that I might dance whenever I had a fancy. What dost thou think of that? "Wilt thou give me lessons?" - "With all my heart," said the tailor, "if thou hast a talent for it. But just let me see thy claws, they are terribly long, I must cut thy nails a little." Then a vise was brought, and the bear put his claws in it, and the little tailor screwed it tight, and said, "Now wait until I come with the scissors," and he let the bear growl as he liked, and lay down in the corner on a bundle of straw, and fell asleep.

When the princess heard the bear growling so fiercely during the night, she believed nothing else but that he was growling for joy, and had made an end of the tailor. In the morning she arose careless and happy, but when she peeped into the stable, the tailor stood gaily before her, and was as healthy as a fish in water. Now she could not say another word against the wedding because she had given a promise before every one, and the King ordered a carriage to be brought in which she was to drive to church with the tailor, and there she was to be married. When they had got into the carriage, the two other tailors, who had false hearts and envied him his good fortune, went into the stable and unscrewed the bear again. The bear in great fury ran after the carriage. The princess heard him snorting and growling; she was terrified, and she cried, "Ah, the bear is behind us and wants to get thee!" The tailor was quick and stood on his head, stuck his legs out of the window, and cried, "Dost thou see the vise? If thou dost not be off thou shalt be put into it again." When the bear saw that, he turned round and ran away. The tailor drove quietly to church, and the princess was married to him at once, and he lived with her as happy as a woodlark. Whosoever does not believe this, must pay a thaler.




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