Hans had served his master for seven years, so he said to him, "Master, my time is up; now I should be glad to go back home to my mother; give me my wages." The master answered, "You have served me faithfully and honestly; as the service was so shall the reward be;" and he gave Hans a piece of gold as big as his head. Hans pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket, wrapped up the lump in it, put it on his shoulder, and set out on the way home.
As he went on, always putting one foot before the other, he saw a horseman trotting quickly and merrily by on a lively horse. "Ah!" said Hans quite loud, "what a fine thing it is to ride! There you sit as on a chair; you stumble over no stones, you save your shoes, and get on, you don't know how."
The rider, who had heard him, stopped and called out, "Hollo! Hans, why do you go on foot, then?"
"I must," answered he, "for I have this lump to carry home; it is true that it is gold, but I cannot hold my head straight for it, and it hurts my shoulder."
"I will tell you what," said the rider, "we will exchange: I will give you my horse, and you can give me your lump."
"With all my heart," said Hans, "but I can tell you, you will have to crawl along with it."
The rider got down, took the gold, and helped Hans up; then gave him the bridle tight in his hands and said, "If you want to go at a really good pace, you must click your tongue and call out, "Jup! Jup!"
Hans was heartily delighted as he sat upon the horse and rode away so bold and free. After a little while he thought that it ought to go faster, and he began to click with his tongue and call out, "Jup! Jup!" The horse put himself into a sharp trot, and before Hans knew where he was, he was thrown off and lying in a ditch which separated the field from the highway. The horse would have gone off too if it had not been stopped by a countryman, who was coming along the road and driving a cow before him.
Hans got his limbs together and stood up on his legs again, but he was vexed, and said to the countryman, "It is a poor joke, this riding, especially when one gets hold of a mare like this, that kicks and throws one off, so that one has a chance of breaking one's neck. Never again will I mount it. Now I like your cow, for one can walk quietly behind her, and have, over and above, one's milk, butter and cheese every day without fail. What would I not give to have such a cow." - "Well," said the countryman, "if it would give you so much pleasure, I do not mind giving the cow for the horse." Hans agreed with the greatest delight; the countryman jumped upon the horse, and rode quickly away.
Hans drove his cow quietly before him, and thought over his lucky bargain. "If only I have a morsel of bread -- and that can hardly fail me -- I can eat butter and cheese with it as often as I like; if I am thirsty, I can milk my cow and drink the milk. Good heart, what more can I want?"
When he came to an inn he made a halt, and in his great content ate up what he had with him -- his dinner and supper -- and all he had, and with his last few farthings had half a glass of beer. Then he drove his cow onwards along the road to his mother's village.
As it drew nearer mid-day, the heat was more oppressive, and Hans found himself upon a moor which it took about an hour to cross. He felt it very hot and his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth with thirst. "I can find a cure for this," thought Hans; "I will milk the cow now and refresh myself with the milk." He tied her to a withered tree, and as he had no pail he put his leather cap underneath; but try as he would, not a drop of milk came. And as he set himself to work in a clumsy way, the impatient beast at last gave him such a blow on his head with its hind foot, that he fell on the ground, and for a long time could not think where he was.
By good fortune a butcher just then came along the road with a wheel-barrow, in which lay a young pig. "What sort of a trick is this?" cried he, and helped the good Hans up. Hans told him what had happened. The butcher gave him his flask and said, "Take a drink and refresh yourself. The cow will certainly give no milk, it is an old beast; at the best it is only fit for the plough, or for the butcher." - "Well, well," said Hans, as he stroked his hair down on his head, "who would have thought it? Certainly it is a fine thing when one can kill a beast like that at home; what meat one has! But I do not care much for beef, it is not juicy enough for me. A young pig like that now is the thing to have, it tastes quite different; and then there are the sausages!"
"Hark ye, Hans," said the butcher, "out of love for you I will exchange, and will let you have the pig for the cow." - "Heaven repay you for your kindness!" said Hans as he gave up the cow, whilst the pig was unbound from the barrow, and the cord by which it was tied was put in his hand.
Hans went on, and thought to himself how everything was going just as he wished; if he did meet with any vexation it was immediately set right. Presently there joined him a lad who was carrying a fine white goose under his arm. They said good morning to each other, and Hans began to tell of his good luck, and how he had always made such good bargains. The boy told him that he was taking the goose to a christening-feast. "Just lift her," added he, and laid hold of her by the wings; "how heavy she is -- she has been fattened up for the last eight weeks. Whoever has a bit of her when she is roasted will have to wipe the fat from both sides of his mouth." - "Yes," said Hans, as he weighed her in one hand, "she is a good weight, but my pig is no bad one."
Meanwhile the lad looked suspiciously from one side to the other, and shook his head. "Look here," he said at length, "it may not be all right with your pig. In the village through which I passed, the Mayor himself had just had one stolen out of its sty. I fear -- I fear that you have got hold of it there. They have sent out some people and it would be a bad business if they caught you with the pig; at the very least, you would be shut up in the dark hole."
The good Hans was terrified. "Goodness!" he said, "help me out of this fix; you know more about this place than I do, take my pig and leave me your goose." - "I shall risk something at that game," answered the lad, "but I will not be the cause of your getting into trouble." So he took the cord in his hand, and drove away the pig quickly along a by-path.
The good Hans, free from care, went homewards with the goose under his arm. "When I think over it properly," said he to himself, "I have even gained by the exchange; first there is the good roast-meat, then the quantity of fat which will drip from it, and which will give me dripping for my bread for a quarter of a year, and lastly the beautiful white feathers; I will have my pillow stuffed with them, and then indeed I shall go to sleep without rocking. How glad my mother will be!"
As he was going through the last village, there stood a scissors-grinder with his barrow; as his wheel whirred he sang --
"I sharpen scissors and quickly grind,
My coat blows out in the wind behind."
Hans stood still and looked at him; at last he spoke to him and said, "All's well with you, as you are so merry with your grinding." - "Yes," answered the scissors-grinder, "the trade has a golden foundation. A real grinder is a man who as often as he puts his hand into his pocket finds gold in it. But where did you buy that fine goose?"
"I did not buy it, but exchanged my pig for it."
"And the pig?"
"That I got for a cow."
"And the cow?"
"I took that instead of a horse."
"And the horse?"
"For that I gave a lump of gold as big as my head."
"And the gold?"
"Well, that was my wages for seven years' service."
"You have known how to look after yourself each time," said the grinder. "If you can only get on so far as to hear the money jingle in your pocket whenever you stand up, you will have made your fortune."
"How shall I manage that?" said Hans. "You must be a grinder, as I am; nothing particular is wanted for it but a grindstone, the rest finds itself. I have one here; it is certainly a little worn, but you need not give me anything for it but your goose; will you do it?"
"How can you ask?" answered Hans. "I shall be the luckiest fellow on earth; if I have money whenever I put my hand in my pocket, what need I trouble about any longer?" and he handed him the goose and received the grindstone in exchange. "Now," said the grinder, as he took up an ordinary heavy stone that lay by him, "here is a strong stone for you into the bargain; you can hammer well upon it, and straighten your old nails. Take it with you and keep it carefully."
Hans loaded himself with the stones, and went on with a contented heart; his eyes shone with joy. "I must have been born with a caul," he cried; "everything I want happens to me just as if I were a Sunday-child."
Meanwhile, as he had been on his legs since daybreak, he began to feel tired. Hunger also tormented him, for in his joy at the bargain by which he got the cow he had eaten up all his store of food at once. At last he could only go on with great trouble, and was forced to stop every minute; the stones, too, weighed him down dreadfully. Then he could not help thinking how nice it would be if he had not to carry them just then.
He crept like a snail to a well in a field, and there he thought that he would rest and refresh himself with a cool draught of water, but in order that he might not injure the stones in sitting down, he laid them carefully by his side on the edge of the well. Then he sat down on it, and was to stoop and drink, when he made a slip, pushed against the stones, and both of them fell into the water. When Hans saw them with his own eyes sinking to the bottom, he jumped for joy, and then knelt down, and with tears in his eyes thanked God for having shown him this favour also, and delivered him in so good a way, and without his having any need to reproach himself, from those heavy stones which had been the only things that troubled him.
"There is no man under the sun so fortunate as I," he cried out. With a light heart and free from every burden he now ran on until he was with his mother at home.
汉斯掏出毛巾将金子包起来，扛在肩上，慢慢地上了回家的路。 他拖动着脚一步一步地走，显得非常吃力。 走着走着，迎面跑过来一匹神骏非凡的马，望着坐在马上的人，汉斯禁不住大声赞叹道："啊哈！骑在马上可真是一件轻松欢快的事情，瞧他坐在上面就像是坐在家里的椅子上，既能安安稳稳舒舒服服地走路，又不担心跘着石头，连鞋子也不会磨损，不知不觉地就向前走了好远好远的路。"马上的人听到他说的话，便勒住马，问道："喂，汉斯，你为什么步行呢？"汉斯答道："唉！我带着这个劳什子，尽管它是一块金子，但压得我连头也抬不起来，肩膀也痛得厉害。"听到这话，骑马的人眼珠一转，说道："你看我们换一换行吗？我把马给你，你把金子给我。"汉斯连忙道："正合我的心意，不过我得告诉你这样一个事实--你一个人扛着它是很吃力的哟！"骑马人马上跳下马来，接过汉斯的金子，又帮助他骑上马，然后把缰绳递到他的手里，说道："要是你想跑快一点，只要咂着嘴喊两声'喔驾，喔驾'就行了。"
正在这时，一个农夫赶着一头母牛从旁边经过，看到了这情况，眼急手快地将汉斯的马拦住了，好不容易才没有让那马跑掉。 汉斯慢慢地从沟里爬起来 ，心里非常恼火，对那农夫说道："骑了这样一匹马，真令人扫兴，它腿一蹬，就把我给掀了下来，连脖子似乎也摔断了，我可不想再骑它了。我真喜欢你这头母牛，你能一个人赶着它，悠闲地走在它的后面。而且，每天都能挤到牛奶，还能加工得到奶油和干酪，要是我有这样一头母牛就好啦！"那农夫马上应声道："那好，如果你真喜欢这头牛，我愿意用我的这头牛换你这匹马。"汉斯立即兴奋地说道："行！"听到这句话，农夫翻身跳上马，急忙策马而去。
汉斯不慌不忙地赶着牛，边走边想，觉得这笔交易真是太合算了。 现在我只要有一快面包--我想肯定会有的--每当我高兴的时候，我就能吃到奶油面包加干酪了，当我口渴的时候，还可以挤牛奶喝，有了这样称心如意的事，我还要什么其它的东西呢？ "走着走着，来到了一家小客栈。他停了下来，心情一高兴，竟将自己带的面包全吃光了，口袋里仅有的几个便士也买了一杯啤酒喝。酒足饭饱之后，他赶着母牛向他母亲住的村庄走去。
随着中午的到来，天气变得越来越热。 此刻，他正在一片空旷的荒野上，这荒野是那么大，走过它得花一个来小时，而汉斯已开始觉得口干舌燥，酷热难当。 "我可得想办法来对付这又热又渴的鬼天气，"他想，"对了！现在我可以挤牛奶解渴嘛。"于是，他将母牛拴在一棵枯树上，没有奶桶就用皮帽子来接奶，他那笨手笨脚的挤奶方法，不仅没有挤出一滴奶，反而把牛给挤痛了，牛忍不住抬腿一脚。 真倒霉，这一脚正好踢在汉斯的头上，将他踢翻在地上昏了过去，很久都没有醒来。 幸运的是不久便来了一个屠夫，用车子推了一头猪从旁边经过，看到这情况，停下来把汉斯扶了起来，问道："你这是怎么了？"汉斯把刚才发生的一切告诉了他，屠夫便把自己的酒递给了他，说道："喝点酒，提提神吧，你的牛之所以挤不出奶，是因为它是一头老牛，除了将它送往屠宰场，看样子别无它用了。""哎呀，真是的，"汉斯叹道，"谁想到会是这样呢？我要是把它给杀了，有什么用呢？我又不喜欢吃牛肉，牛肉吃起来一点也不嫩。要是这牛现在能变成一头猪的话，就有用了，猪肉味道鲜嫩，还可以做成香肠。""行！"屠夫说，"为了让你满意，我就将我的这头猪换你的牛吧！""上帝会因你的善举降福于你的！"汉斯说着将牛给了屠夫，上前把猪从车上解了下来，将绳子拴在了猪的腿上，带着它又高高兴兴地上路了。
汉斯慢慢悠悠地边走边想，今天所有的事都很称心如意，尽管遇到了一些不愉快的事情，但每次很快就有了良好的转机。 现在他正觉得心满意足，迎面又来了一位乡下人 ，这位乡下人腋窝下夹着一只漂亮的白鹅。 看见汉斯，他停下来向他打听几点钟了，而汉斯却跟他谈起了今天的称心事，进行了一些什么交易，交易中他如何如何占了便宜等等。 乡下人听了他的话，也对他说起他带着这只鹅是去参加一个洗礼仪式的，并将鹅递给汉斯说："你掂一掂，这鹅多重呀，其实它只养了八个星期，看它长得多好，将它红烧了吃，还可以烧出好多的鹅油哩！"汉斯接过鹅掂了掂说道："这鹅的确不错，但我的猪也不赖呀！"乡下人若有所思地四下看了看，然后把头一摇说："哎呀呀！我的好朋友，你这头猪说不定会给你带来麻烦的，我刚刚经过的那个村庄，有个乡绅的猪被人从猪圈中给偷走了，我真替你担心，因为我开始见到你的时候还以为你这头猪是那个乡绅的呢。要是你经过那村庄时给他们抓住，那可不是闹着完的哟，至少他们也会把你扔进洗马池去。"
因为天一亮他就上路了，走了这么久，此刻已开始疲倦了，肚子也饿得咕咕叫，原来带的东西都已吃完，就剩下的几便士也在换取母牛后，趁着那股高兴劲买了啤酒喝了，再加上那块石头背在身上压得够呛。 终于，他不再往前走了，慢慢吞吞地走到了一个池塘边，想在这儿喝点水，休息一会儿。 他小心翼翼地将那块石头放在池塘岸边靠近自己的地方，但就在他俯下身子去喝水的时候，一不留神，轻轻地碰了那块石头一下，石头扑嗵一下子就滚到池塘里去了，汉斯眼睁睁地看着那石头向水面深处沉没下去，他竟高兴得跳了起来。 随即又跪在地上，眼中闪烁着泪花，感谢上帝慈悲为怀，使他免去了继续遭受那块讨厌而又沉重石头的折磨。 "我多么幸运啊！"他叫了起来，"谁也没有我这么幸运了。"怀着轻松高兴的心情，他起身又上路了。 他就这样无牵无挂，无忧无虑地回到了母亲的身旁，回到了他早已渴望回到的家。