Page images
PDF
EPUB

HANS IN LUCK.

Hans had served his master for seven long years, when he said to him: “ Master, my time is now up; so please to give me my wages, as I wish to return home to my mother.” The master answered: “You have served me like a trusty, honest fellow, as you are, and such as your services have been, so shall be

your hire.”

And thereupon he gave him a piece of gold as large as Hans's head. Hans took a cloth and rolled up the lump of gold, and slung it over his shoulder, and began to trudge home. As he went along, and kept setting one foot before the other, he happened to come up with a traveler, who was riding at a brisk pace on a lively horse.

“Oh, what a delightful thing it is to ride !" cried Hans, aloud. “It is every bit as good as sitting on a chair; one doesn't knock one's toes against the stones, and one saves one's shoes; and yet one gets on, one hardly knows how."

The man on horseback having heard these wise reflections, cried out to him, “ Nay, then, Hans, why do you go on foot ?”

“ Why, you see, I am obliged to carry this lump home,” replied Hans; “and gold though it be, it bothers me sadly, as I am obliged to hold my head

man

[graphic]

sma

After awhile, however, he fancied he should like to go a little quicker, so he began to smack his tongue, and to shout “Hop! hop!"

The horse set off at a brisk trot, and before Hans had time to collect his thoughts, he was pitched into a ditch that divided the main road from the adjoining fields. The horse would have cleared the ditch at a bound, had he not been stopped by a peasant, who was driving a cow along the same road, and happened to come up with the luckless rider just at this moment. Hans crawled out of the ditch as best he might, and got upon his legs again. But he was sorely vexed, and observed to the peasant that riding was no joke, especially when he had to do with a troublesome beast that thought nothing of kicking and plunging, and breaking a man's neck; and that

was

was n

nobody should ever catch him again attempting to mount such a dangerous animal. Then he concluded by saying, “ How far preferable a creature is your cow! One can walk quietly behind her, let alone her furnishing you with milk, butter, and cheese, for certain, every day. What would I not give to have such a cow for my own!"

** Well,” said the peasant, “ if that's all, I should not mind changing my cow for your horse.”

Hans agreed most joyfully to such a proposal, and the peasant leaped into the saddle, and was presently out of sight.

Hans now drove the cow before him at a quiet pace, and kept ruminating upon the excellent bargain he had made.“ If I have only a bit of bread—and that is not likely to fail me—I shall be able to add

ne

« PreviousContinue »