The peasant and the devil



There was once on a time a far-sighted, crafty peasant whose tricks were much talked about. The best story is, however, how he once got hold of the Devil, and made a fool of him. The peasant had one day been working in his field, and as twilight had set in, was making ready for the journey home, when he saw a heap of burning coals in the middle of his field, and when, full of astonishment, he went up to it, a little black devil was sitting on the live coals. "Thou dost indeed sit upon a treasure!" said the peasant. "Yes, in truth," replied the Devil, "on a treasure which contains more gold and silver than thou hast ever seen in thy life!" - "The treasure lies in my field and belongs to me," said the peasant. "It is thine," answered the Devil, "if thou wilt for two years give me the half of everything thy field produces. Money I have enough of, but I have a desire for the fruits of the earth." The peasant agreed to the bargain. "In order, however, that no dispute may arise about the division," said he, "everything that is above ground shall belong to thee, and what is under the earth to me." The Devil was quite satisfied with that, but the cunning peasant had sown turnips.
Now when the time for harvest came, the Devil appeared and wanted to take away his crop; but he found nothing but the yellow withered leaves, while the peasant, full of delight, was digging up his turnips. "Thou hast had the best of it for once," said the Devil, "but the next time that won't do. What grows above ground shall be thine, and what is under it, mine." - "I am willing," replied the peasant; but when the time came to sow, he did not again sow turnips, but wheat. The grain became ripe, and the peasant went into the field and cut the full stalks down to the ground. When the Devil came, he found nothing but the stubble, and went away in a fury down into a cleft in the rocks. "That is the way to cheat the Devil," said the peasant, and went and fetched away the treasure.
从前有位远见卓识、机智聪明的农夫,有关他足智多谋的故事至今人们仍广为传颂。 其中最精彩的要首推他曾经怎样捉弄魔鬼的故事。
一天,农夫在田间劳动了一整天,天黑时正准备回家,忽然发现自己的田里有堆煤在燃烧,他惊讶万分,于是便走上前去看,发现竟有一个黑色的小魔鬼走在燃烧的煤堆上。 "你是坐在财宝上吗?"农夫问。 "正是财宝。"魔鬼答道,"而且比你一生见到的都要多呢!""财宝在我田里就得归我。"农夫说道。 "就归你吧!"魔鬼说,"只要你肯将两年内一半的收成给我就行了。钱,我有的是,但我更喜欢地上的果实。"农夫答应了这桩交易,并说:"为了避免在我们分配时出现纠纷,凡泥土上的东西归你,泥土下的归我。"魔鬼感到心满意足,但这位聪明的农夫却种上了萝卜。
现在收获的季节到了,魔鬼又来了,要求收回属于他的收成。 但除了那些枯黄的败叶外,他一无所获;而农夫却在兴高采烈地挖着他的萝卜。 "这次让你占了便宜,"魔鬼说,"下次可不能这样。地上的归你,地下的归我。""悉听尊便。"农夫答道。 播种的季节又到了,这次他可不播萝卜,而是种上了小麦。 麦子熟了,他来到田间,把麦秆齐根割倒在地。 魔鬼又来了,见到除了残茬外,他又一无所获,气得转身就走,顺着石缝钻了进去。 "我就是这样骗倒魔鬼的。"农夫说完,赶紧拾起财宝回家去了。

Compare two languages:

Donations are welcomed & appreciated.

Thank you for your support.