ENGLISH

The three brothers

DANSK

De tre brødre


There was once a man who had three sons, and nothing else in the world but the house in which he lived. Now each of the sons wished to have the house after his father's death; but the father loved them all alike, and did not know what to do; he did not wish to sell the house, because it had belonged to his forefathers, else he might have divided the money amongst them. At last a plan came into his head, and he said to his sons, "Go into the world, and try each of you to learn a trade, and, when you all come back, he who makes the best masterpiece shall have the house."
The sons were well content with this, and the eldest determined to be a blacksmith, the second a barber, and the third a fencing-master. They fixed a time when they should all come home again, and then each went his way.

It chanced that they all found skilful masters, who taught them their trades well. The blacksmith had to shoe the King's horses, and he thought to himself, "The house is mine, without doubt." The barber only shaved great people, and he too already looked upon the house as his own. The fencing-master got many a blow, but he only bit his lip, and let nothing vex him; "for," said he to himself, "If you are afraid of a blow, you'll never win the house."

When the appointed time had gone by, the three brothers came back home to their father; but they did not know how to find the best opportunity for showing their skill, so they sat down and consulted together. As they were sitting thus, all at once a hare came running across the field. "Ah, ha, just in time!" said the barber. So he took his basin and soap, and lathered away until the hare came up; then he soaped and shaved off the hare's whiskers whilst he was running at the top of his speed, and did not even cut his skin or injure a hair on his body. "Well done!" said the old man. "your brothers will have to exert themselves wonderfully, or the house will be yours."

Soon after, up came a nobleman in his coach, dashing along at full speed. "Now you shall see what I can do, father," said the blacksmith; so away he ran after the coach, took all four shoes off the feet of one of the horses whilst he was galloping, and put him on four new shoes without stopping him. "You are a fine fellow, and as clever as your brother," said his father; "I do not know to which I ought to give the house."

Then the third son said, "Father, let me have my turn, if you please;" and, as it was beginning to rain, he drew his sword, and flourished it backwards and forwards above his head so fast that not a drop fell upon him. It rained still harder and harder, till at last it came down in torrents; but he only flourished his sword faster and faster, and remained as dry as if he were sitting in a house. When his father saw this he was amazed, and said, "This is the master-piece, the house is yours!"

His brothers were satisfied with this, as was agreed beforehand; and, as they loved one another very much, they all three stayed together in the house, followed their trades, and, as they had learnt them so well and were so clever, they earned a great deal of money. Thus they lived together happily until they grew old; and at last, when one of them fell sick and died, the two others grieved so sorely about it that they also fell ill, and soon after died. And because they had been so clever, and had loved one another so much, they were all laid in the same grave.
Der var engang en mand, som havde tre sønner, men for resten ikke ejede andet end det hus, hvori han boede. De ville alle tre gerne arve huset, når faderen døde, men han holdt lige meget af dem, og vidste ikke, hvordan han skulle bære sig ad, så han ikke gjorde nogen af dem uret. Han kunne jo nok have solgt huset og delt pengene imellem dem, men det ville han ikke, fordi hans forfædre havde ejet det.

Men til sidst fandt han på råd. "Drag ud i verden og lær et håndværk," sagde han, "og kom så igen. "Den der kan gøre det bedste mesterstykke, skal have huset."

Sønnerne var meget fornøjet med det. Den ældste ville være grovsmed, den anden barber og den tredie fægtemester. De aftalte nu en tid, hvor de ville mødes hjemme igen, og drog så af sted. De fandt allesammen en dygtig mester og lærte deres håndværk godt. Smeden beslog kongens heste og tænkte: "Nu er det da umuligt andet, end at jeg får huset." Barberen ragede lutter fornemme herrer, og var ligeså vis på, at han fik det. Fægtemesteren fik mangt et drøjt hug, men bed tænderne sammen, og lod sig ikke gå på. "Hvis jeg er bange for et hug, får jeg aldrig huset," tænkte han. Da den fastsatte tid var gået, mødtes de igen hos deres far, men nu måtte de lægge deres hoveder i blød for at udfinde, på hvilken måde de bedst kunne vise, hvad de duede til. Mens de sad og talte, løb pludselig en hare over marken. "Den kommer jo, som den var kaldet," sagde barberen, tog bækken og sæbe og piskede det, til haren var lige ved. Mens den var i fuld fart sæbede han den ind og barberede den en knebelsbart, uden at skære den en smule eller rive et hår af. "Det var godt gjort," sagde faderen, "hvis de andre ikke gør sig uhyre anstrengelser, er huset dit."

Lidt efter kom en herre kørende forbi i fuld galop. "Nu skal I se, hvad jeg kan," sagde smeden, rev i farten de fire hestesko af hesten og slog ny på. "Du er en dygtig fyr," sagde faderen, "du gør dine sager lige så godt som din bror. Jeg ved virkelig ikke, hvem jeg skal give huset." - "Lad nu mig prøve engang," sagde den yngste. I det samme begyndte det at regne, og han trak sin kårde og svingede den i krydshug over sit hoved, så der ikke faldt en dråbe på ham. Regnen blev stærkere og stærkere, det øsede spande ned, men han svang kården hurtigere og hurtigere, og var lige så tør, som om han sad under et tæt tag. Faderen var meget forundret og sagde: "Du har gjort det bedste mesterstykke, huset er dit.

De to andre brødre var tilfredse med den ordning, sådan som de havde lovet i forvejen. De holdt så meget af hinanden, at de alle tre blev boende i huset og drev deres forskellige håndværk. Da de var så flinke og dygtige, tjente de efterhånden mange penge. De levede glade sammen, til de blev gamle, da blev den ene syg og døde, og de andre sørgede så meget derover, at de også blev syge og døde kort efter. Og da de havde holdt så meget af hinanden, blev de alle tre begravet i samme grav.




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