ENGLISH

The Lord's animals and the Devil's

DANSK

Vorherres og djævelens dyr


The Lord God had created all animals, and had chosen out the wolf to be his dog, but he had forgotten the goat. Then the Devil made ready and began to create also, and created goats with fine long tails. Now when they went to pasture, they generally remained caught in the hedges by their tails, then the Devil had to go there and disentangle them, with a great deal of trouble. This enraged him at last, and he went and bit off the tail of every goat, as may be seen to this day by the stump. Then he let them go to pasture alone, but it came to pass that the Lord God perceived how at one time they gnawed away at a fruitful tree, at another injured the noble vines, or destroyed other tender plants. This distressed him, so that in his goodness and mercy he summoned his wolves, who soon tore in pieces the goats that went there. When the devil observed this, he went before the Lord and said, "Thy creatures have destroyed mine." The Lord answered, "Why didst thou create things to do harm?" The Devil said, "I was compelled to do it: inasmuch as my thoughts run on evil, what I create can have no other nature, and thou must pay me heavy damages." - "I will pay thee as soon as the oak leaves fall; come then, thy money will then be ready counted out." When the oak-leaves had fallen, the Devil came and demanded what was due to him. But the Lord said, "In the church of Constantinople stands a tall oak-tree which still has all its leaves." With raging and curses, the Devil departed, and went to seek the oak, wandered in the wilderness for six months before he found it, and when he returned, all the oaks had in the meantime covered themselves again with green leaves. Then he had to forfeit his indemnity, and in his rage he put out the eyes of all the remaining goats, and put his own in instead.
This is why all goats have devil's eyes, and their tails bitten off, and why he likes to assume their shape.
Gud havde skabt alle dyr, og valgt ulvene til sine hunde, kun gederne havde han glemt. Djævelen fik da også i sinde at gøre noget, og skabte gederne med lange, bløde haler. Når de gik ud for at græsse, blev de i reglen hængende med halen i en eller anden tjørnehæk, og djævelen havde stort mas med at få dem løs igen. Tilsidst blev han så gal i hovedet, at han bed halen af dem - det kan man endnu den dag i dag se på stumpen.

Han lod dem nu gå alene ud og græsse, men en dag så Vorherre, at de snart gnavede barken af et frugtbart træ, snart ruskede i de fine ranker, eller ødelagde andre skrøbelige planter. Det gjorde ham så ondt, at han af nåde og barmhjertighed sendte sine ulve ned for at sønderrive gederne. Da djævelen fik det at vide, gik han op til Gud og sagde: "Dine dyr har sønderrevet mine skabninger." - "Du havde skabt dem til fortræd," svarede Gud. "Det måtte jeg," svarede djævelen, "jeg kunne kun skabe ud fra min egen natur, som er at gøre det onde. Du skal erstatte mig det." - "Når egen taber sit løv, skal jeg betale dig," sagde Vorherre, "jeg har talt pengene af til dig." Da egebladene lå spredt på jorden kom djævelen og forlangte sine penge. "I en kirke i Konstantinopel står der endnu en eg, som har alle sine blade," svarede Gud. Rasende for djævelen af sted for at finde egen, men vandrede i seks måneder om i ørkenen, og da han kom hjem, var alle træer grønne. Han måtte da afstå fra sin fordring, men i raseri stak han øjnene ud på alle de geder, han havde tilbage, og satte sine egne ind i stedet for.

Derfor har alle geder onde øjne og afbidte haler, og djævelen påtager sig ofte skikkelse af en ged.




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