The flail from heaven



A countryman was once going out to plough with a pair of oxen. When he got to the field, both the animals' horns began to grow, and went on growing, and when he wanted to go home they were so big that the oxen could not get through the gateway for them. By good luck a butcher came by just then, and he delivered them over to him, and made the bargain in this way, that he should take the butcher a measure of turnip-seed, and then the butcher was to count him out a Brabant thaler for every seed. I call that well sold! The peasant now went home, and carried the measure of turnip-seed to him on his back. On the way, however, he lost one seed out of the bag. The butcher paid him justly as agreed on, and if the peasant had not lost the seed, he would have had one thaler the more. In the meantime, when he went on his way back, the seed had grown into a tree which reached up to the sky. Then thought the peasant, "As thou hast the chance, thou must just see what the angels are doing up there above, and for once have them before thine eyes." So he climbed up, and saw that the angels above were threshing oats, and he looked on. While he was thus watching them, he observed that the tree on which he was standing, was beginning to totter; he peeped down, and saw that someone was just going to cut it down. "If I were to fall down from hence it would be a bad thing," thought he, and in his necessity he did not know how to save himself better than by taking the chaff of the oats which lay there in heaps, and twisting a rope of it. He likewise snatched a hoe and a flail which were lying about in heaven, and let himself down by the rope. But he came down on the earth exactly in the middle of a deep, deep hole. So it was a real piece of luck that he had brought the hoe, for he hoed himself a flight of steps with it, and mounted up, and took the flail with him as a token of his truth, so that no one could have any doubt of his story.
一个农夫赶着两头牛去耕地,到了地里,发现两只畜生的角开始长大,而且越长越大。 在他回家的时候,它们的角竟然大得进不了院门了。 一个屠户正巧此时路过这里,农夫把牛卖给屠户,他们商定的支付方式是,农夫给屠夫一配克油菜籽,然后由屠夫点数,一粒油菜籽付一块金币。 这笔买卖真不错! 农夫回家扛了一配克油菜籽,可是半路上从口袋里掉出了一粒油菜籽。 屠夫按数付给了农夫钱,假如农夫没有掉那粒种子,他本来是可以多得一块金币的。 在农夫回转的时候,那粒种子已经长成一棵大树直抵蓝天。 这时农夫心想:"既然有了这个机会,你一定得去看看上面的天使们在干什么。"于是他爬了上去,看见天使们正忙着打晒燕麦呢,他不由地被这情景所吸引。 就在看得入神的当儿,他发觉身下的树开始摇晃,他赶紧低头往下瞧,发现有人正在砍这棵树。 "如果我从这儿掉下去,那可就倒大霉了。"他吓出一身冷汗。 在绝望之中,他从旁边的燕麦秆堆中拽出一些麦秆,搓成了一根草绳。 在天堂中到处扔有种庄稼的工具,他手忙脚乱地抓了一把镢头和一把木枷,然后顺着绳子爬了下来。 没想到他着地的时候,正好掉进了一个很深很深的洞中。 幸亏他带着一把镢头,他用镢头挖了很多的台阶,爬了出来。 作为物证,他还随身带出了那把木枷,这样一来就没有人会怀疑他上过天堂的故事啦。

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