Lazy Harry



Harry was lazy, and although he had nothing else to do but drive his goat daily to pasture, he nevertheless groaned when he went home after his day's work was done. "It is indeed a heavy burden," said he, "and a wearisome employment to drive a goat into the field this way year after year, till late into the autumn! If one could but lie down and sleep, but no, one must have one's eyes open lest it hurts the young trees, or squeezes itself through the hedge into a garden, or runs away altogether. How can one have any rest, or peace of one's life?" He seated himself, collected his thoughts, and considered how he could set his shoulders free from this burden. For a long time all thinking was to no purpose, but suddenly it was as if scales fell from his eyes. "I know what I will do," he cried, "I will marry fat Trina who has also a goat, and can take mine out with hers, and then I shall have no more need to trouble myself."
So Harry got up, set his weary legs in motion, and went right across the street, for it was no farther, to where the parents of fat Trina lived, and asked for their industrious and virtuous daughter in marriage. The parents did not reflect long. "Birds of a feather, flock together," they thought, and consented.

So fat Trina became Harry's wife, and led out both the goats. Harry had a good time of it, and had no work that he required to rest from but his own idleness. He only went out with her now and then, and said, "I merely do it that I may afterwards enjoy rest more, otherwise one loses all feeling for it."

But fat Trina was no less idle. "Dear Harry," said she one day, "why should we make our lives so toilsome when there is no need for it, and thus ruin the best days of our youth? Would it not be better for us to give the two goats which disturb us every morning in our sweetest sleep with their bleating, to our neighbor, and he will give us a beehive for them. We will put the beehive in a sunny place behind the house, and trouble ourselves no more about it. Bees do not require to be taken care of, or driven into the field; they fly out and find the way home again for themselves, and collect honey without giving the very least trouble." - "Thou hast spoken like a sensible woman," replied Harry. "We will carry out thy proposal without delay, and besides all that, honey tastes better and nourishes one better than goat's milk, and it can be kept longer too."

The neighbor willingly gave a beehive for the two goats. The bees flew in and out from early morning till late evening without ever tiring, and filled the hive with the most beautiful honey, so that in autumn Harry was able to take a whole pitcherful out of it.

They placed the jug on a board which was fixed to the wall of their bed-room, and as they were afraid that it might be stolen from them, or that the mice might find it, Trina brought in a stout hazel-stick and put it beside her bed, so that without unnecessary getting up she might reach it with her hand, and drive away the uninvited guests. Lazy Harry did not like to leave his bed before noon. "He who rises early," said he, "wastes his substance."

One morning when he was still lying amongst the feathers in broad daylight, resting after his long sleep, he said to his wife, "Women are fond of sweet things, and thou art always tasting the honey in private; it will be better for us to exchange it for a goose with a young gosling, before thou eatest up the whole of it." - "But," answered Trina, "not before we have a child to take care of them! Am I to worry myself with the little geese, and spend all my strength on them to no purpose." - "Dost thou think," said Harry, "that the youngster will look after geese? Now-a-days children no longer obey, they do according to their own fancy, because they consider themselves cleverer than their parents, just like that lad who was sent to seek the cow and chased three blackbirds." - "Oh," replied Trina, "this one shall fare badly if he does not do what I say! I will take a stick and belabour his skin for him with more blows than I can count. Look, Harry," cried she in her zeal, and seized the stick which she had to drive the mice away with, "Look, this is the way I will fall on him!" She reached her arm out to strike, but unhappily hit the honey-pitcher above the bed. The pitcher struck against the wall and fell down in fragments, and the fine honey streamed down on the ground. "There lie the goose and the young gosling," said Harry, "and want no looking after. But it is lucky that the pitcher did not fall on my head. We have all reason to be satisfied with our lot." And then as he saw that there was still some honey in one of the fragments he stretched out his hand for it, and said quite gaily, "The remains, my wife, we will still eat with a relish, and we will rest a little after the fright we have had. What matters if we do get up a little later the day is always long enough." - "Yes," answered Trina, "we shall always get to the end of it at the proper time. Dost thou know that the snail was once asked to a wedding and set out to go, but arrived at the christening. In front of the house it fell over the fence, and said, 'Speed does no good.'"
哈利是个大懒鬼,其实他只要把羊赶出去放牧,也别无它事。 不过每天放羊回家后,他总要唉声叹气:"这活实在太累了!成年累月都要去放羊,太乏味了!只是到了秋天才能休闲片刻,要是能躺下来睡上一大觉有多好啊!不过你休想,你得时刻睁着只眼,否则它就会损坏幼树,或穿过篱笆进入人家的花园,或干脆跑掉。人怎样才能坐下来逍遥逍遥呢?"他于是坐了下来,绞尽脑汁地想着,希望能卸去肩上的负担。 他就是这样漫无边际地想着,突然眼皮一眨,大叫道:"有办法了!胖婆特琳娜不是也有头羊吗?我何不娶她为妻,这样她不是可以照看我的羊吗,我也不用再自寻烦恼了。"
哈利马上从地上爬起来,拖着疲惫的步子,径直穿过大街,来到了不远处的特琳娜父母家,直接了当地向他们要求把那勤劳、善良的女孩嫁给他。 特琳娜的父母也没多犹豫,心想:"物以类聚嘛!"便同意了这门亲事。
胖婆特琳娜就这样嫁给了哈利,每天她都要牵着两头羊去放。 这下哈利可好啦! 他不需再干活,成天无所事事。 他有时也和妻子一起去放羊,并说:"我偶尔去去,为的是将来休息得更多,否则人们就会感觉麻木的。"
然而特琳娜懒起来决不亚于他。 "哈利宝贝,"一天她对丈夫说:"我们这么辛苦干活何苦呢?简直是在虚度年华嘛!这真的没必要。那两头羊每天一清早就咩咩地叫,吵得我们睡不好觉,何不把它送给邻居,与他换一窝蜜蜂不是更好吗?我们可以把它养到屋后的阳光下 ,这无需我们多照看,蜜蜂本来就不需人去管,更不用赶到田间去,它们自己会飞来飞去,并且还会采蜜,一点也不麻烦。 ""言之有理。 "哈利夸道,"我们说做便做,加之蜂蜜比羊奶好吃,更有营养,且保存期也长得多。 "
邻居拿一窝蜜蜂换来了两头羊,心里可欢喜啦! 蜜蜂每天忙着飞进飞出,一点也不知疲倦,它们在蜂窝里酿满了诱人的蜜,到了秋天,哈利就聚上了满满一罐蜜。 夫妻俩把那个罐子摆在靠床的墙壁的搁板上,为了防小偷和老鼠,特琳娜特意找来了一根粗大的榛树棒,准备在床边,只要有动静,她一伸手便可拿到,一点也不费神,这样很快可赶走那些不速之客。
每天不到日当正午,懒鬼哈利可不想起床。 他常说:"起得早,多消耗。"一天早上,日已上三竿,他还直挺在床上,这时他对妻子说:"女人喜欢甜食,你常独自一人偷吃蜂蜜,趁你还没喝光,不如拿它换只带崽的鹅来。""不嘛!"只听他妻子说:"我们身旁又无小孩,谁去放鹅呢?难道你要我去不成?那可太烦人了。""你想小家伙会去放鹅吗?现在的小孩可没有那么听话,他们做事只图新鲜,就像那种小孩,本让他去放牛,却去追什么三只山鸟。""哼!"只听特琳娜说,"如果他胆敢胡来,不听我的话,我会用棒子敲下他一层皮来,哈利,你说呢?"她面红耳赤地大叫着,顺手操起那根赶老鼠的根子,"瞧,就这么收拾他!"她伸手一敲,不巧打着了床头的蜂蜜罐。 罐子猛地撞在墙壁上,碰了个粉碎,甜美的蜂蜜全洒在了地上。 "带崽的鹅就躺在这儿了,"只听哈利说,"它们再也不用人来照看了。幸亏罐子没有砸在我头上,这真是不幸中的万幸。"说着,他瞧见了碎罐片上仍残有一些蜂蜜,便伸手掬起来,口里津津乐道地说:"老婆啊,剩下的这点我们可以放心吃了。担了这么久的惊,我们总算可以安宁了。起得迟又有什么的,反正白天够长的!""太对了!"特琳娜应和道,"我们总会有出头之日的。你也知道,有只蜗牛曾应邀去参加婚礼,可是等别人生下了小孩,并要举行命名仪式时它才赶到,到了屋前却一下跌下了篱笆,它不是口中还说:'欲速则不达'嘛!"

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