Page images


Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating,

But when she awoke

She found it a joke,
For they were all a-fleeting.

home, he saw a knife-grinder busily turning his wheel, while he kept singing,

“ Old knives and old scissors to make new I grind,

And round turns my wheel e'en as swift as the wind.”

Hans stopped to look at him, and at last he said, “ Your trade must be a good one, since you sing so merrily over your work.”

“ Yes,” replied the knife-grinder, “it is a golden business. Your true knife-grinder is a man who finds money as often as he puts his hand into his pocket. But where did you buy that sine goose ?” “I did not buy it, but exchanged it for my pig.”

“ And where did you get piggy from ?” “I gave my cow for it.”

“ And how did you come by your cow ?” Oh, I gave a horse for it.”

“ And how might you have obtained the horse ?” “Why, I got it in ex

change for a lump of gold as big as my head.” “And how did you come by the gold ?” “It was my wages for seven years' service. “Nay, then,” said the knife-grinder, “since you have been so clever each time, you need only manage so as to hear the money jingle in your pocket every time you move, and then you will be a made man.” “But how shall I set about that ?” inquired Hans. “You must turn knife-grinder, like myself; and nothing is wanting to set you up in the trade but a grindstone—the rest will come of itself. I have one here that is a trifle

worn, but I won't ask for anything more than your goose in exchange for it. Shall it be a bargain ?” “How can you doubt it ?” replied Hans; “I shall be the happiest man on earth. Why, if I find money as often as I put my hand in my pocket, what more

need I care for ?" And he handed him the goose, and took the grindstone. “Now," said the knifegrinder, picking up a tolerably heavy stone that lay on the ground by him, “here's a good solid stone into the bargain, on which you can hammer away, and straighten all your old crooked nails. You had better lay it on the top of the other.”

Hans did so, and went away quite delighted. “I was surely born with a golden spoon in

my mouth,

” cried he, while his eyes sparkled with joy, thing falls out just as pat as if I were a Sunday child.” In the meantime, however, having walked since daybreak, he now began to feel tired and very hungry, as he had eaten up all his provisions in his joy at the bargain he had made for the cow. By degrees he could scarcely drag his weary limbs any farther, and

“ for every

was obliged to stop every minute to rest from the fatigue of carrying the two heavy stones.

At length, he could not help thinking how much better it would be if he had not to carry them at all. He had now crawled like a snail up to a spring, where he meant to rest, and refresh himself with a cool draught; and for this purpose he placed the stones very carefully on the brink of the well. He then sat down, and was stooping over the well to drink, when he happened to push the stones inadvertently, and plump into the water they fell! Hans no sooner saw them sink to the bottom of the well, than he got up joyfully, and then knelt down to thank Heaven for having thus mercifully ridded him of his heavy burden, without the slightest reproach on his own conscience. For these stones were the only things that

« PreviousContinue »