高山与峡谷从不相遇，可是人类的后代，无论是善与恶，则都会相识。 就是这样，一个鞋匠和一个裁缝在他们的旅途上相会了。 裁缝是个个头不高但相貌英俊的小伙子，他的性格开朗，整天乐呵呵。 他看见鞋匠从对面走来，从他背着的家什裁缝猜出他是干什么营生的，就唱了一支小调与他开玩笑：
他们匆匆赶路，没有时间吃东西和休息，到了一座城里后又到处找买卖人揽生意，由于裁缝的神情活泼又快乐，两个脸蛋红彤彤的，深得大家的欢心，所以活儿也多，运气好的时候东家的女儿在门廊下甚至会亲他一口。 他又和鞋匠遇见了。 裁缝的家伙几乎都在包袱里。 脾气暴躁的鞋匠做了一个苦脸心里想："人越坏，运气就越好。"可是裁缝一边笑一边唱了起来，把他所有的东西拿出来和同伴分享。 如果口袋里有两个铜板的话，他会要杯啤酒，兴高采烈地拍着桌子，酒杯也会陪他跳舞，他是一个挣得容易花得快的乐天派。
他们走了一段时间，来到一座大森林，森林那边有通往首都的大道。 有二条小路可穿过林子，一条需要走七天，另一条则只要二天，但是二人谁也不知道哪条是近路。 他们坐在一棵橡树下，商量以后如何办、干粮还可以吃几天。 鞋匠发言："任何事都要先思而后行，我得带一周的干粮。""什么！"裁缝吃了一惊，"像驴一样驮七天的干粮，头都不能抬起来走路。我相信上帝，任何事情均无烦恼！我口袋里的钱夏天冬天一样好用，可是热天里面包要变硬，而且还会发霉，我的外套也禁不住这么长的时间。另外我们为什么不找找那条近路呢？二天的干粮足够用啦。"最后，二人分别带上自己的干粮，进入森林寻找各自的运气。
林子里静悄悄地像座教堂。 风不刮、水不流、鸟不鸣，连阳光都穿不透树上密密的叶子。 鞋匠一声不吭，背上的干粮越来越重，汗流满面，脸色阴沉。 裁缝却是一脸欢快，跳来蹦去，不是用树叶吹着小曲就是哼着小调，心里想："天堂里的上帝看见我如此快活，一定会高兴的。"二天过去了，第三天，这林子还没有到头，裁缝把干粮都吃光了，他的心一下子沉重了许多。 然而，他并没有丧失勇气，而是依靠上帝，相信自己的运气。
第三天夜里，他饥肠辘辘地躺在一棵树下，到早晨起来时更加饿得发慌；第四天也过去了，鞋匠坐在一棵倒在地上的树上面吃他的晚饭，裁缝则只能在一边看着。 如果他要一小片面包的话，鞋匠就会讽刺地笑道，"你不是总是那么高兴吗？现在你可知道什么叫做悲伤。早晨唱歌的鸟儿，晚上就会被鹰给叼走。"长话短说，他是一个无情无意的人。 第五个早晨，可怜的裁缝站不起来了，浑身虚弱得连吐一个字都很困难。 他的脸色苍白，眼睛发红。 这时鞋匠跟他说："今天我给你一块面包，但是不能白给，你得用你的右眼换。"裁缝大不高兴，可是他为了挽救自己的性命不得不同意了。 他的双眼又一次流出了眼泪，然后抬起头来。 狠心的鞋匠用一把飞快的刀将他的右眼挖了出来。 裁缝这时想起小时候他躲在厨房里偷吃东西时母亲说的话："该享受的时候就享受，该受苦的时候就受苦。"在他慢慢地享用完那块代价昂贵的面包后，又站了起来，把痛苦抛在脑后，自我安慰地想到一只眼睛足够用。 可是到了第六天，饥饿再次袭来，他的腹空如雷鸣，震得心都要跳出来了。 到了晚上他跌倒在一棵树旁，第七天早晨人已昏迷，再站不起来，死神临近了。 此时鞋匠又说："我来可怜可怜你吧，再给你些面包，不过仍不是白给，我要你另外一只眼睛。"现在，裁缝才感到他的一生如此渺小，请求上帝的宽恕吧，他说："你想干什么就干什么吧，我将忍受我必须忍受的苦难。可是你要记住，我们的上帝可不总是看着不管的，你在我身上所施的这些暴行会得到报应的，那一刻终将要来到的。我的日子好的时候，我与你共享我的一切。我的工作要求每一针都相同，不许有分毫之差。如果我失去双眼，就不能做针线活了，那我只好去要饭啦。在我瞎了之后，无论如何别把我一个人丢在这里，要不我就会饿死的。"可是那鞋匠心中早就没了上帝，掏出刀来又把他的左眼剖了出来，然后给了他一小块面包和一只棍子让他在后边跟着。 太阳下山他们出了森林，眼前是一片野地，上面立着绞架。 鞋匠把瞎裁缝领到绞架底下就独自离去了。 在疲劳、痛苦和饥饿的折磨下，倒霉的人一头倒下就睡着啦。 他睡呀睡呀，整整睡了一晚上，天亮的时候他醒了，可不知道自己在哪儿。 绞架上吊着二个罪犯，每个人的头上都站着一只乌鸦。 这时一个吊死鬼说起话来："兄弟你醒了吗？""我醒啦。"第二个回答。 "那么我告诉你，"第一个说，"昨晚上从绞架上掉下来的露水，谁要是用它洗脸的话，就会得到自己的眼睛。如果盲人们知道的话，有多少人会相信这能恢复人的视力？"
这话让裁缝听见啦，他从口袋里掏出手帕，按在地上的小草上，直到手帕让露水给湿透了，然后用手帕擦洗眼窝。 说时迟那时快，绞架上的吊死鬼的话立刻就灵验啦，眼窝里又变出一双明亮的眼睛，不一会儿裁缝就看清了山那边升起的太阳，他的眼前是一片平原，平原上耸立着一座大都市以及巨大的城门和许多高塔，塔尖上的金球和十字架闪闪发光。 他能分辨出树上的每片叶子，看见小鸟在树丛间飞来飞去，小飞虫在空气中跳舞。 他从口袋里掏出一根针，和以前一样，很快就把线穿了过去，他的心里乐开了花。 他跪了下来真心感谢上帝给予他的恩赐，虔诚地做了晨祷。 当然他也没有忘记为那两个可怜的吊死鬼祈祷，他们在风中晃来晃去不时地撞在一起，就好像是钟摆一样。 他背起包袱，很快就忘却了以前心里的创伤，唱着小曲吹着口哨，又继续赶路了。
他遇到的第一样东西是一只在田野里奔跑着的棕色小马驹。 他一把抓住了马的鬃毛想跳上去骑着它进城。 可是小马驹央求放它走。 "我还太小，"它央求着，"甚至像您这么轻的裁缝都能把我的脊背压断，放我走吧，我会长大的，到时候也许我会报答您的。"
可是从一天前起小裁缝就粒米未进。 "我的眼睛充满了阳光，可我的肚子却空空荡荡，首要的事是，一旦我碰见能填满肚子的东西，只要能嚼得动，我无论如何得把它吃下去。"这时，一只神态高贵的白鹳迈着幽雅的步子从草地上走了过来。 "等等，等一下，"裁缝大声喊着，一把抓住了白鹳的腿："不管你好吃还是不好吃，我可是饥不择食啦。我得砍下你的头，然后把你烤了吃。""别这样，"白鹳劝道："我是只神鸟，对人类大有益处，是不可被伤害的。如果放了我，我会以其它的方法来报答你。""那么你走吧，长腿兄弟。"裁缝说，白鹳腾身而起，一双长长的腿悬在下面，姿态优美地向远方飞去。
"这样没完没了的，何时才有个完？"裁缝自言自语，"我是饿上加饿，已经前胸贴后背啦，再碰上什么东西绝对不能客气了。"就在此时，他看见一对小鸭子在一个水池里游水。 "你们来得可正是时候。"他说着，伸手抓住一只就要拧脖子。 猛然间一只老母鸭在藏身的芦苇中高声叫着，大张着嘴飞快地游了过来，恳切地央求他饶过它的孩子。 "您想过没有，"它说，"如果您被抓走杀死，您的母亲该有多悲伤嘛？""别说啦，"好心肠的裁缝被感动了，"带走你的孩子吧。"说着把手中的猎物放回到水中。
小裁缝对此也是无可奈何。 这顿晚饭简直是画饼充饥！ 三个盘子空第四个是空盘子，他拖着饥饿不堪的身子进了城。 这时时钟正好敲响了十二点，酒店里的饭菜已经为他做好了，他迫不及待地坐下，狼吞虎咽地吃起来。 酒足饭饱后他说："现在我要工作啦。"他走遍全城，找到了一个东家和一份好工作。 由于他的缝纫手艺高超，时间不长他就出名了，每个人都想有一件小裁缝做的新外套。 他的名声越来越大。 "我的手艺到此为止了，"他说，"可是东西每天都在改变。"终于，国王任命他为皇宫作裁缝。
世界上的事情就是这么巧！ 就在这同一天，他从前的伙伴鞋匠也成了皇宫鞋匠。 当鞋匠看见裁缝以及他那双明亮的眼睛时几乎晕了过去。 "必须在他报复我之前，"他暗暗想道，"让他掉进陷阱。"然而，害人总是先害己，晚上收工后，趁着夜色黄昏他悄悄溜到国王面前说："国王陛下，裁缝是个自以为了不起的家伙，他曾夸下海口说他能找到古时候丢失了的金皇冠。""那很好呀。"国王说。 第二天早朝时，他便传裁缝到殿前，命令他将皇冠找回来，否则永远不许回城。 "噢噢！"裁缝想："无赖的瞎话无边无沿。可是国王的脾气粗暴无常，他要是让我去办别人都办不到的事，那我就不必再等到明天早晨啦，干脆今天立刻就出城。"于是他打起了包袱。 可当出了城门时，他不禁有些遗憾，因为他放弃了那么好的工作，离开了给予了他许多好时光的城市。 他到了遇见鸭子的水池边，那只他曾将它的孩子放生了的老母鸭正坐在岸边用嘴巴梳理自己的羽毛。 它立刻认出了他，问他为何耷拉着脑袋。 "听我讲完我遇到的事儿，你会觉得没什么新鲜的。"裁缝回答并把故事告诉了它。 "不就是这么些事吗？"鸭子说，"我们能帮你，皇冠掉到了水里沉到水池底下了，我们一会儿就帮你取上来。这时候你把你的手帕铺在岸上就行啦。"它带领十二只小鸭子潜入水里，没用五分钟它就钻出水面，那皇冠就放在它的翅膀上，十二只小鸭子在四周游来游去，不时地把长嘴巴伸到皇冠底下帮助运送皇冠。 他们游到岸边把皇冠放在了手帕上面，人们无法想象皇冠有多么漂亮和辉煌，在阳光的照射下，就像无数颗红宝石一样闪闪发光。 裁缝用手帕的四角把皇冠包好给国王带去，国王别提有多高兴啦，他将一根金项链挂在了裁缝的脖子上。
裁缝心想："事情越来越糟，岂可忍受！"就把包袱往肩膀上一搭，又踏上了路程。 他到了那棵老树前坐下来，无精打采地耷拉着脑袋。 蜜蜂飞了出来，蜂后看见他垂着头，便关心地问他的脖子是否得了风湿病。 "哎呀，不是的，"裁缝回答："是些其它的愁事。"然后，告诉它国王命令他办的事。 蜜蜂们嗡嗡地交头接耳起来，它们商量完后，蜂后说："回家吧，明天这时候你带一块大布单子再来，到时一切都会办妥的。"所以他又原路返回了，同时蜜蜂们也飞向了王宫，并且径直地从开着的窗户飞了进去，爬遍了各个犄角旮旯，非常仔细地查看了每个物件。 然后急急忙忙地飞回去，照着王宫的样子用蜂蜡建造了一个皇宫模型，建造的速度如此之快，竟让人以为是从地底下冒出来的一般，天黑之前，已经是大功告成了。 第二天早晨裁缝来的时候，他面前是一座光彩夺目的宫殿，而且墙上不少一根钉，顶上不缺一片瓦，整个建筑精美绝伦、小巧玲珑、洁白似雪，散发着阵阵蜂蜜的芳香。 裁缝小心翼翼地用布把它包了起来，呈献给了国王，国王对此爱不释手，把它陈列在最大的厅堂中，并赐给裁缝一座大石头房子作为奖赏。
谁知鞋匠仍不死心，第三次向国王上奏道："国王陛下，裁缝听说宫院中没有喷泉，他夸下海口要让宫院中间喷出一人高的水来，晶莹如水晶。"于是，国王让人叫来裁缝，对他说："如果到明天我院子不喷出一股清泉，像你许诺的那样，刽子手就会当场把你脑袋砍下来。"可怜的裁缝没多思考，就赶紧逃出城门，因为这次已严重到要他的命，他伤心得泪流满面。 当他忧心忡忡地往前走时，他曾经放掉的那匹小马驹迎面跑来，现在它已经长成一匹漂亮的棕色骏马了。 "时候到了，"小马对他说："我该对你报恩了。我知道你有什么难处，但你很快就会得到帮助了。骑上来吧，我已经能够架住两个你啦。"裁缝受到极大的鼓舞，他一下子跳到马背上，骏马便撒开四蹄飞快地进了城，一口气跑到了王宫的院子里。 他围着院子快如闪电般地狂奔了三圈，猛然栽到在地。 就在这一刹那，凌空一声霹雷响，一大块泥土好像炮弹一样从院子中央直射天空，落到了王宫外面，随后便是一股水柱直喷出来，像水晶一样清澈透明，如同人骑在马背上那么高，阳光在水柱顶上跳舞。 国王见后兴奋地站了起来，当着大家的面拥抱了裁缝。
他回到家中，盘起双腿坐在工作台上左思右想此事如何办理。 "岂有此理，"他不禁叫出声来，"我要离开，此处让我一刻也不得安宁。"他收拾起包袱匆忙出了城门，来到草地并遇见了老友白鹳。 白鹳正像一个哲学家似地来回迈着方步，有时会纹丝不动，叼起一只青蛙后便陷入深深的思考，好一会儿方才咽入腹中。 白鹳到他面前打招呼："我看你背着包袱。"他开始询问，"你为何离城出走？"裁缝一五一十地向它讲述了国王是如何降旨于他，而他则无法遵旨，并且向它倾诉了一肚子的苦水。 "不要愁白了你的头，"白鹳劝导着，"我帮你解脱困境。我给城里送婴儿已有好长的时间啦，也许碰巧我能从井里叼出一个小王子呐。回家去，别着急。从现在起的第九天，你去王宫，届时我也会在那里。"小裁缝回了家，到了约定的时候，他来到王宫，不一会儿白鹳冉冉飞至，轻敲他的窗户。 小裁缝打开窗户，见长腿兄弟小心翼翼地迈腿进来了，然后步态优美地走过了大理石路面。 它的长嘴巴里叼着一个美如天使的婴儿，婴儿向王后伸出小手。 白鹳将婴儿放在王后的怀中，王后非常高兴地抱起婴儿，不住地亲吻。 白鹳在飞走之前将背上的旅行袋取下交给了王后，袋子里有一些小纸包，里面包着的是分给小公主们五彩糖果。 然而，大公主却没分到，她得到的是快乐的裁缝成了她的夫婿。 "对于我来说，"她说道，"这就是最高的奖赏。我母亲远见卓识，她常说相信上帝的人，好运长在，万事如意。"
鞋匠不得不为小裁缝制作在婚礼上跳舞的舞鞋，婚礼后他被永远赶出京城。 沿着通向森林的路，他到了绞架旁，死不甘心的鞋匠在炎热天气的煎熬下疲惫不堪地倒在了地上。 他正想闭上眼睛睡一会儿，两只乌鸦从吊死鬼的头上飞了下来，啄出了他的双眼。 他发了疯似地奔进了森林，后来他一定在里面饿死了，因为没有人再看见过他或听说过他的消息。
Hill and vale do not come together, but the children of men do, good and bad. In this way a shoemaker and a tailor once met with each other in their travels. The tailor was a handsome little fellow who was always merry and full of enjoyment. He saw the shoemaker coming towards him from the other side, and as he observed by his bag what kind of a trade he plied, he sang a little mocking song to him,
"Sew me the seam,
Draw me the thread,
Spread it over with pitch,
Knock the nail on the head."
The shoemaker, however, could not endure a joke; he pulled a face as if he had drunk vinegar, and made a gesture as if he were about to seize the tailor by the throat. But the little fellow began to laugh, reached him his bottle, and said, "No harm was meant, take a drink, and swallow your anger down." The shoemaker took a very hearty drink, and the storm on his face began to clear away. He gave the bottle back to the tailor, and said, "I spoke civilly to you; one speaks well after much drinking, but not after much thirst. Shall we travel together?" - "All right," answered the tailor, "if only it suits you to go into a big town where there is no lack of work." - "That is just where I want to go," answered the shoemaker. "In a small nest there is nothing to earn, and in the country, people like to go barefoot." They travelled therefore onwards together, and always set one foot before the other like a weasel in the snow.
Both of them had time enough, but little to bite and to break. When they reached a town they went about and paid their respects to the tradesmen, and because the tailor looked so lively and merry, and had such pretty red cheeks, every one gave him work willingly, and when luck was good the master's daughters gave him a kiss beneath the porch, as well. When he again fell in with the shoemaker, the tailor had always the most in his bundle. The ill-tempered shoemaker made a wry face, and thought, "The greater the rascal the more the luck," but the tailor began to laugh and to sing, and shared all he got with his comrade. If a couple of pence jingled in his pockets, he ordered good cheer, and thumped the table in his joy till the glasses danced, and it was lightly come, lightly go, with him.
When they had travelled for some time, they came to a great forest through which passed the road to the capital. Two foot-paths, however, led through it, one of which was a seven days' journey, and the other only two, but neither of the travellers knew which way was the short one. They seated themselves beneath an oak-tree, and took counsel together how they should forecast, and for how many days they should provide themselves with bread. The shoemaker said, "One must look before one leaps, I will take with me bread for a week." - "What!" said the tailor, "drag bread for seven days on one's back like a beast of burden, and not be able to look about. I shall trust in God, and not trouble myself about anything! The money I have in my pocket is as good in summer as in winter, but in hot weather bread gets dry, and mouldy into the bargain; even my coat does not go as far as it might. Besides, why should we not find the right way? Bread for two days, and that's enough." Each, therefore, bought his own bread, and then they tried their luck in the forest.
It was as quiet there as in a church. No wind stirred, no brook murmured, no bird sang, and through the thickly-leaved branches no sunbeam forced its way. The shoemaker spoke never a word, the heavy bread weighed down his back until the perspiration streamed down his cross and gloomy face. The tailor, however, was quite merry, he jumped about, whistled on a leaf, or sang a song, and thought to himself, "God in heaven must be pleased to see me so happy."
This lasted two days, but on the third the forest would not come to an end, and the tailor had eaten up all his bread, so after all his heart sank down a yard deeper. In the meantime he did not lose courage, but relied on God and on his luck. On the third day he lay down in the evening hungry under a tree, and rose again next morning hungry still; so also passed the fourth day, and when the shoemaker seated himself on a fallen tree and devoured his dinner, the tailor was only a looker-on. If he begged for a little piece of bread the other laughed mockingly, and said, "Thou hast always been so merry, now thou canst try for once what it is to be sad: the birds which sing too early in the morning are struck by the hawk in the evening," In short he was pitiless. But on the fifth morning the poor tailor could no longer stand up, and was hardly able to utter one word for weakness; his cheeks were white, and his eyes red. Then the shoemaker said to him, "I will give thee a bit of bread to-day, but in return for it, I will put out thy right eye." The unhappy tailor who still wished to save his life, could not do it in any other way; he wept once more with both eyes, and then held them out, and the shoemaker, who had a heart of stone, put out his right eye with a sharp knife. The tailor called to remembrance what his mother had formerly said to him when he had been eating secretly in the pantry. "Eat what one can, and suffer what one must." When he had consumed his dearly-bought bread, he got on his legs again, forgot his misery and comforted himself with the thought that he could always see enough with one eye. But on the sixth day, hunger made itself felt again, and gnawed him almost to the heart. In the evening he fell down by a tree, and on the seventh morning he could not raise himself up for faintness, and death was close at hand. Then said the shoemaker, "I will show mercy and give thee bread once more, but thou shalt not have it for nothing, I shall put out thy other eye for it." And now the tailor felt how thoughtless his life had been, prayed to God for forgiveness, and said, "Do what thou wilt, I will bear what I must, but remember that our Lord God does not always look on passively, and that an hour will come when the evil deed which thou hast done to me, and which I have not deserved of thee, will be requited. When times were good with me, I shared what I had with thee. My trade is of that kind that each stitch must always be exactly like the other. If I no longer have my eyes and can sew no more I must go a-begging. At any rate do not leave me here alone when I am blind, or I shall die of hunger." The shoemaker, however, who had driven God out of his heart, took the knife and put out his left eye. Then he gave him a bit of bread to eat, held out a stick to him, and drew him on behind him.
When the sun went down, they got out of the forest, and before them in the open country stood the gallows. Thither the shoemaker guided the blind tailor, and then left him alone and went his way. Weariness, pain, and hunger made the wretched man fall asleep, and he slept the whole night. When day dawned he awoke, but knew not where he lay. Two poor sinners were hanging on the gallows, and a crow sat on the head of each of them. Then one of the men who had been hanged began to speak, and said, "Brother, art thou awake?" - "Yes, I am awake," answered the second. "Then I will tell thee something," said the first; "the dew which this night has fallen down over us from the gallows, gives every one who washes himself with it his eyes again. If blind people did but know this, how many would regain their sight who do not believe that to be possible."
When the tailor heard that, he took his pocket-handkerchief, pressed it on the grass, and when it was moist with dew, washed the sockets of his eyes with it. Immediately was fulfilled what the man on the gallows had said, and a couple of healthy new eyes filled the sockets. It was not long before the tailor saw the sun rise behind the mountains; in the plain before him lay the great royal city with its magnificent gates and hundred towers, and the golden balls and crosses which were on the spires began to shine. He could distinguish every leaf on the trees, saw the birds which flew past, and the midges which danced in the air. He took a needle out of his pocket, and as he could thread it as well as ever he had done, his heart danced with delight. He threw himself on his knees, thanked God for the mercy he had shown him, and said his morning prayer. He did not forget also to pray for the poor sinners who were hanging there swinging against each other in the wind like the pendulums of clocks. Then he took his bundle on his back and soon forgot the pain of heart he had endured, and went on his way singing and whistling.
The first thing he met was a brown foal running about the fields at large. He caught it by the mane, and wanted to spring on it and ride into the town. The foal, however, begged to be set free. "I am still too young," it said, "even a light tailor such as thou art would break my back in two let me go till I have grown strong. A time may perhaps come when I may reward thee for it." - "Run off," said the tailor, "I see thou art still a giddy thing." He gave it a touch with a switch over its back, whereupon it kicked up its hind legs for joy, leapt over hedges and ditches, and galloped away into the open country.
But the little tailor had eaten nothing since the day before. "The sun to be sure fills my eyes," said he, "but the bread does not fill my mouth. The first thing that comes across me and is even half edible will have to suffer for it." In the meantime a stork stepped solemnly over the meadow towards him. "Halt, halt!" cried the tailor, and seized him by the leg. "I don't know if thou art good to eat or not, but my hunger leaves me no great choice. I must cut thy head off, and roast thee." - "Don't do that," replied the stork; "I am a sacred bird which brings mankind great profit, and no one does me an injury. Leave me my life, and I may do thee good in some other way." - "Well, be off, Cousin Longlegs," said the tailor. The stork rose up, let its long legs hang down, and flew gently away.
"What's to be the end of this?" said the tailor to himself at last, "my hunger grows greater and greater, and my stomach more and more empty. Whatsoever comes in my way now is lost." At this moment he saw a couple of young ducks which were on a pond come swimming towards him. "You come just at the right moment," said he, and laid hold of one of them and was about to wring its neck. On this an old duck which was hidden among the reeds, began to scream loudly, and swam to him with open beak, and begged him urgently to spare her dear children. "Canst thou not imagine," said she, "how thy mother would mourn if any one wanted to carry thee off, and give thee thy finishing stroke?" - "Only be quiet," said the good-tempered tailor, "thou shalt keep thy children," and put the prisoner back into the water.
When he turned round, he was standing in front of an old tree which was partly hollow, and saw some wild bees flying in and out of it. "There I shall at once find the reward of my good deed," said the tailor, "the honey will refresh me." But the Queen-bee came out, threatened him and said, "If thou touchest my people, and destroyest my nest, our stings shall pierce thy skin like ten thousand red-hot needles. But if thou wilt leave us in peace and go thy way, we will do thee a service for it another time."
The little tailor saw that here also nothing was to be done. "Three dishes empty and nothing on the fourth is a bad dinner!" He dragged himself therefore with his starved-out stomach into the town, and as it was just striking twelve, all was ready-cooked for him in the inn, and he was able to sit down at once to dinner. When he was satisfied he said, "Now I will get to work." He went round the town, sought a master, and soon found a good situation. As, however, he had thoroughly learnt his trade, it was not long before he became famous, and every one wanted to have his new coat made by the little tailor, whose importance increased daily. "I can go no further in skill," said he, "and yet things improve every day." At last the King appointed him court-tailor.
But how things do happen in the world! On the very same day his former comrade the shoemaker also became court-shoemaker. When the latter caught sight of the tailor, and saw that he had once more two healthy eyes, his conscience troubled him. "Before he takes revenge on me," thought he to himself, "I must dig a pit for him." He, however, who digs a pit for another, falls into it himself. In the evening when work was over and it had grown dusk, he stole to the King and said, "Lord King, the tailor is an arrogant fellow and has boasted that he will get the gold crown back again which was lost in ancient times." - "That would please me very much," said the King, and he caused the tailor to be brought before him next morning, and ordered him to get the crown back again, or to leave the town for ever. "Oho!" thought the tailor, "a rogue gives more than he has got. If the surly King wants me to do what can be done by no one, I will not wait till morning, but will go out of the town at once, to-day." He packed up his bundle, therefore, but when he was without the gate he could not help being sorry to give up his good fortune, and turn his back on the town in which all had gone so well with him. He came to the pond where he had made the acquaintance of the ducks; at that very moment the old one whose young ones he had spared, was sitting there by the shore, pluming herself with her beak. She knew him again instantly, and asked why he was hanging his head so? "Thou wilt not be surprised when thou hearest what has befallen me," replied the tailor, and told her his fate. "If that be all," said the duck, "we can help thee. The crown fell into the water, and lies down below at the bottom; we will soon bring it up again for thee. In the meantime just spread out thy handkerchief on the bank." She dived down with her twelve young ones, and in five minutes she was up again and sat with the crown resting on her wings, and the twelve young ones were swimming round about and had put their beaks under it, and were helping to carry it. They swam to the shore and put the crown on the handkerchief. No one can imagine how magnificent the crown was; when the sun shone on it, it gleamed like a hundred thousand carbuncles. The tailor tied his handkerchief together by the four corners, and carried it to the King, who was full of joy, and put a gold chain round the tailor's neck.
When the shoemaker saw that one stroke had failed, he contrived a second, and went to the King and said, "Lord King, the tailor has become insolent again; he boasts that he will copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertains to it, loose or fast, inside and out." The King sent for the tailor and ordered him to copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertained to it, movable or immovable, within and without, and if he did not succeed in doing this, or if so much as one nail on the wall were wanting, he should be imprisoned for his whole life under ground.
The tailor thought, "It gets worse and worse! No one can endure that?" and threw his bundle on his back, and went forth. When he came to the hollow tree, he sat down and hung his head. The bees came flying out, and the Queen-bee asked him if he had a stiff neck, since he held his head so awry? "Alas, no," answered the tailor, "something quite different weighs me down," and he told her what the King had demanded of him. The bees began to buzz and hum amongst themselves, and the Queen-bee said, "Just go home again, but come back to-morrow at this time, and bring a large sheet with you, and then all will be well." So he turned back again, but the bees flew to the royal palace and straight into it through the open windows, crept round about into every corner, and inspected everything most carefully. Then they hurried back and modelled the palace in wax with such rapidity that any one looking on would have thought it was growing before his eyes. By the evening all was ready, and when the tailor came next morning, the whole of the splendid building was there, and not one nail in the wall or tile of the roof was wanting, and it was delicate withal, and white as snow, and smelt sweet as honey. The tailor wrapped it carefully in his cloth and took it to the King, who could not admire it enough, placed it in his largest hall, and in return for it presented the tailor with a large stone house.
The shoemaker, however, did not give up, but went for the third time to the King and said, "Lord King, it has come to the tailor's ears that no water will spring up in the court-yard of the castle, and he has boasted that it shall rise up in the midst of the court-yard to a man's height and be clear as crystal." Then the King ordered the tailor to be brought before him and said, "If a stream of water does not rise in my court-yard by to-morrow as thou hast promised, the executioner shall in that very place make thee shorter by the head." The poor tailor did not take long to think about it, but hurried out to the gate, and because this time it was a matter of life and death to him, tears rolled down his face. Whilst he was thus going forth full of sorrow, the foal to which he had formerly given its liberty, and which had now become a beautiful chestnut horse, came leaping towards him. "The time has come," it said to the tailor, "when I can repay thee for thy good deed. I know already what is needful to thee, but thou shalt soon have help; get on me, my back can carry two such as thou." The tailor's courage came back to him; he jumped up in one bound, and the horse went full speed into the town, and right up to the court-yard of the castle. It galloped as quick as lightning thrice round it, and at the third time it fell violently down. At the same instant, however, there was a terrific clap of thunder, a fragment of earth in the middle of the court-yard sprang like a cannon-ball into the air, and over the castle, and directly after it a jet of water rose as high as a man on horseback, and the water was as pure as crystal, and the sunbeams began to dance on it. When the King saw that he arose in amazement, and went and embraced the tailor in the sight of all men.
But good fortune did not last long. The King had daughters in plenty, one still prettier than the other, but he had no son. So the malicious shoemaker betook himself for the fourth time to the King, and said, "Lord King, the tailor has not given up his arrogance. He has now boasted that if he liked, he could cause a son to be brought to the Lord king through the air." The King commanded the tailor to be summoned, and said, "If thou causest a son to be brought to me within nine days, thou shalt have my eldest daughter to wife." - "The reward is indeed great," thought the little tailor; "one would willingly do something for it, but the cherries grow too high for me, if I climb for them, the bough will break beneath me, and I shall fall."
He went home, seated himself cross-legged on his work-table, and thought over what was to be done. "It can't be managed," cried he at last, "I will go away; after all I can't live in peace here." He tied up his bundle and hurried away to the gate. When he got to the meadow, he perceived his old friend the stork, who was walking backwards and forwards like a philosopher. Sometimes he stood still, took a frog into close consideration, and at length swallowed it down. The stork came to him and greeted him. "I see," he began, "that thou hast thy pack on thy back. Why art thou leaving the town?" The tailor told him what the King had required of him, and how he could not perform it, and lamented his misfortune. "Don't let thy hair grow grey about that," said the stork, "I will help thee out of thy difficulty. For a long time now, I have carried the children in swaddling-clothes into the town, so for once in a way I can fetch a little prince out of the well. Go home and be easy. In nine days from this time repair to the royal palace, and there will I come." The little tailor went home, and at the appointed time was at the castle. It was not long before the stork came flying thither and tapped at the window. The tailor opened it, and cousin Longlegs came carefully in, and walked with solemn steps over the smooth marble pavement. He had, moreover, a baby in his beak that was as lovely as an angel, and stretched out its little hands to the Queen. The stork laid it in her lap, and she caressed it and kissed it, and was beside herself with delight. Before the stork flew away, he took his travelling bag off his back and handed it over to the Queen. In it there were little paper parcels with colored sweetmeats, and they were divided amongst the little princesses. The eldest, however, had none of them, but got the merry tailor for a husband. "It seems to me," said he, "just as if I had won the highest prize. My mother was if right after all, she always said that whoever trusts in God and only has good luck, can never fail."
The shoemaker had to make the shoes in which the little tailor danced at the wedding festival, after which he was commanded to quit the town for ever. The road to the forest led him to the gallows. Worn out with anger, rage, and the heat of the day, he threw himself down. When he had closed his eyes and was about to sleep, the two crows flew down from the heads of the men who were hanging there, and pecked his eyes out. In his madness he ran into the forest and must have died there of hunger, for no one has ever either seen him again or heard of him.