There were once two brothers who both served as soldiers; one of them was rich, and the other poor. Then the poor one, to escape from his poverty, put off his soldier's coat, and turned farmer. He dug and hoed his bit of land, and sowed it with turnip-seed. The seed came up, and one turnip grew there which became large and vigorous, and visibly grew bigger and bigger, and seemed as if it would never stop growing, so that it might have been called the princess of turnips, for never was such an one seen before, and never will such an one be seen again.
At length it was so enormous that by itself it filled a whole cart, and two oxen were required to draw it, and the farmer had not the least idea what he was to do with the turnip, or whether it would be a fortune to him or a misfortune. At last he thought, "If thou sellest it, what wilt thou get for it that is of any importance, and if thou eatest it thyself, why, the small turnips would do thee just as much good; it would be better to take it to the King, and make him a present of it."
So he placed it on a cart, harnessed two oxen, took it to the palace, and presented it to the King. "What strange thing is this?" said the King. "Many wonderful things have come before my eyes, but never such a monster as this! From what seed can this have sprung, or are you a luck-child and have met with it by chance?" - "Ah, no!" said the farmer, "no luck-child am I. I am a poor soldier, who because he could no longer support himself hung his soldier's coat on a nail and took to farming land. I have a brother who is rich and well known to you, Lord King, but I, because I have nothing, am forgotten by every one."
Then the King felt compassion for him, and said, "Thou shalt be raised from thy poverty, and shalt have such gifts from me that thou shalt be equal to thy rich brother." Then he bestowed on him much gold, and lands, and meadows, and herds, and made him immensely rich, so that the wealth of the other brother could not be compared with his. When the rich brother heard what the poor one had gained for himself with one single turnip, he envied him, and thought in every way how he also could get hold of a similar piece of luck. He would, however, set about it in a much wiser way, and took gold and horses and carried them to the King, and made certain the King would give him a much larger present in return. If his brother had got so much for one turnip, what would he not carry away with him in return for such beautiful things as these? The King accepted his present, and said he had nothing to give him in return that was more rare and excellent than the great turnip. So the rich man was obliged to put his brother's turnip in a cart and have it taken to his home. When there he did not know on whom to vent his rage and anger, until bad thoughts came to him, and he resolved to kill his brother. He hired murderers, who were to lie in ambush, and then he went to his brother and said, "Dear brother, I know of a hidden treasure, we will dig it up together, and divide it between us." The other agreed to this, and accompanied him without suspicion. While they were on their way, however, the murderers fell on him, bound him, and would have hanged him to a tree. But just as they were doing this, loud singing and the sound of a horse's feet were heard in the distance. On this their hearts were filled with terror, and they pushed their prisoner head first into the sack, hung it on a branch, and took to flight. He, however, worked up there until he had made a hole in the sack through which he could put his head. The man who was coming by was no other than a travelling student, a young fellow who rode on his way through the wood joyously singing his song. When he who was aloft saw that someone was passing below him, he cried, "Good day! You have come at a lucky time." The student looked round on every side, but did not know whence the voice came. At last he said, "Who calls me?" Then an answer came from the top of the tree, "Raise your eyes; here I sit aloft in the Sack of Wisdom. In a short time have I learnt great things; compared with this all schools are a jest; in a very short time I shall have learnt everything, and shall descend wiser than all other men. I understand the stars, and the signs of the Zodiac, and the tracks of the winds, the sand of the sea, the healing of illness, and the virtues of all herbs, birds, and stones. If you were once within it you would feel what noble things issue forth from the Sack of Knowledge."
The student, when he heard all this, was astonished, and said, "Blessed be the hour in which I have found thee! May not I also enter the sack for a while?" He who was above replied as if unwillingly, "For a short time I will let you get into it, if you reward me and give me good words; but you must wait an hour longer, for one thing remains which I must learn before I do it." When the student had waited a while he became impatient, and begged to be allowed to get in at once, his thirst for knowledge was so very great. So he who was above pretended at last to yield, and said, "In order that I may come forth from the house of knowledge you must let it down by the rope, and then you shall enter it." So the student let the sack down, untied it, and set him free, and then cried, "Now draw me up at once," and was about to get into the sack. "Halt!" said the other, "that won't do," and took him by the head and put him upside down into the sack, fastened it, and drew the disciple of wisdom up the tree by the rope. Then he swung him in the air and said, "How goes it with thee, my dear fellow? Behold, already thou feelest wisdom coming, and art gaining valuable experience. Keep perfectly quiet until thou becomest wiser." Thereupon he mounted the student's horse and rode away, but in an hour's time sent some one to let the student out again.
萝卜长出来了，其中有一棵萝卜长得比其它萝卜都要大，而且越长越大，好像会永远不停止地长下去一样，真可以说得上是一棵萝卜王，因为人们从来没有看到过这么大的萝卜，将来也不会有。 到后来，这棵萝卜已长得要用一辆牛车才能装下，几乎要用两头牛才能将它拉动了。 菜农不知道该怎样处理这个萝卜才好，也不知道这萝卜带给他的将会是福还是祸。 一天他对自己说："我该把这棵萝卜怎么办呢？如果将它卖了，肯定换不回多少钱，要是我自己吃，可能还不如小萝卜好吃。也许最好的处理办法就是把它送给国王，以表现自己对国王的敬意。"
当他哥哥知道弟弟的富有不过是一个大萝卜换来的时，他非常羡慕弟弟，就算计着自己该怎样办才能交上和弟弟一样的好运，他想自己总要做得比弟弟更聪明一点吧。 终于，他想出一个自以为很不错的主意：他把金子和骏马都收集在一起作为一份丰盛的厚礼献给了国王。 在他看来，他一定会得到国王更多的回赠礼品，因为他弟弟用一个萝卜就换取了那么多的财富，那萝卜才值多少钱呢？
国王收了他的礼物，准备送给他一份厚礼作为回赠，但送什么好呢？ 总不至于别人送金子自己也回送金子吧，他想到了那个大萝卜。 对！ 没有什么财宝比那大萝卜更具有价值，更稀奇了。 于是就命令士兵将那个大萝卜作为回赠礼物搬上了大马丰，这位哥哥怀着羞愤与失望的心情将萝卜拖了回去。 他一回到家，心中一股无名火夹着一股怨气就想找谁发泄。 最后，他的脑袋里闪过了一个恶毒的念头，他决定将自己的弟弟害死。
他雇来几个坏蛋准备谋杀他弟弟，他要他们先埋伏起来，然后，这个哥哥找到他弟弟说："亲爱的弟弟，我发现了一处宝藏 ，我们去将财宝挖出来，两人一起分吧！ "弟弟对哥哥的欺骗行为毫不怀疑，所以就和他哥哥一起出发了。就在他俩走到一片树林中时，那些埋伏的杀手向弟弟扑过来，把他捆了起来，准备吊到树上去。
就在他们刚刚得手之时，不远处传来一阵得得的马蹄声。 听到马蹄声，他们马上紧张起来，惊慌之下，草草将他塞进了一只麻袋，吊到了树枝上，袋子还在树枝上晃晃悠悠，他们就急急忙忙跑掉了。 这位不幸的弟弟在袋子里不停地用力挣扎，终于把袋子弄破了一个大洞，将头从洞口探了出来。
书生听到他这一席话，惊奇得不得了，愣了好一会儿才说道："啊！是老天爷让我遇到你了，你能不能让我也在这袋子里待上一会儿？"对方好像很不情愿地回答说："要是你肯付一定酬金，而且说话表现出有相当的诚意 ，也许我会答应让你在这里面坐一会儿的。 但到现在为止，我还有一些不懂的东西没有学完，你必须在下面再等候一个小时。 "
于是，书生坐在下面等了一会儿，对他来说，此一个小时过得似乎太慢太慢了，他非常急切地请求能让他立刻上去，因为他对知识的渴求实在太迫切了。 树上的人假装作出让步，说道："好吧！那你得先解开那儿的绳子，把这智慧袋放了下来，然后才能进来呀！"书生听了，迫不及待地上前解开绳索，把他从树上放下来，又将麻袋打开让他出来。 说道："现在你赶快把我吊上去吧。"说着就要把自己装进袋子里去。 "等一等！"菜农喊道，"这种方法不对。"说着，他把书生的头倒着按进了麻袋，系好袋口，不一会儿就把这位寻求智慧的学子吊了起来。 看着在空中不停摆动的袋子，他说道："朋友，感受怎么样啊？你是不是觉得聪明才智都来了？安静地待在上面吧！直到你比现在更聪明。"说完，他骑上书生的马，留下这位求取智慧的可怜虫，扬鞭而去。