The Good Bargainpage 2 / 4
The countryman, who heard them from afar, said to himself, "Hark, now they all want some, but the big one is responsible to me for it."
When three days had passed, the countryman thought, "To-night my money will be in my pocket," and was quite delighted. But no one would come and pay it. "There is no trusting any one now," said he; and at last he lost patience, and went into the town to the butcher and demanded his money. The butcher thought it was a joke, but the peasant said, "Jesting apart, I will have my money! Did not the great dog bring you the whole of the slaughtered cow three days ago?" Then the butcher grew angry, snatched a broom-stick and drove him out. "Wait a while," said the peasant, "there is still some justice in the world!" and went to the royal palace and begged for an audience. He was led before the King, who sat there with his daughter, and asked him what injury he had suffered. "Alas!" said he, "the frogs and the dogs have taken from me what is mine, and the butcher has paid me for it with the stick," and he related at full length all that had happened. Thereupon the King's daughter began to laugh heartily, and the King said to him, "I cannot give you justice in this, but you shall have my daughter to wife for it,--in her whole life she has never yet laughed as she has just done at thee, and I have promised her to him who could make her laugh. Thou mayst thank God for thy good fortune!"
"Oh," answered the peasant, "I will not have her, I have a wife already, and she is one too many for me; when I go home, it is just as bad as if I had a wife standing in every corner." Then the King grew angry, and said, "Thou art a boor." "Ah, Lord King," replied the peasant, "what can you expect from an ox, but beef?" "Stop," answered the King, "thou shalt have another reward. Be off now, but come back in three days, and then thou shalt have five hundred counted out in full."