Hans in luck

Authored by:Brothers Grimm
Chapter 1 / 3

Section 1

After seven years of service, Hans told his master, "Master, my time is done. I want to return to my mother's house. Give me my earnings.”

“You have served me honestly and dutifully. The reward will be in keeping with the level of service,” the master replied.

He also gave Hans a gold piece the size of his head. Hans took the handkerchief out of his pocket, wrapped it in his handkerchief, slung it over his shoulder, and started walking back to his house. A horseman riding a lively horse passed him as he continued walking with one leg always in front of the other.

Hans exclaimed loudly, "Ah, what a lovely thing it is to ride. You are sitting there like on a chair, saving your shoes, moving forward without even realizing it, never tripping over anything.”

Upon hearing him, the rider halted and yelled, "Hey there, Hans, then why are you going on foot?"

"I must," he replied, "since I have to take this lump home. Even though it is gold, I find it difficult to keep my head upright and it strains my shoulder.”

I'll tell you what, the rider said. "Let's exchange. You can offer me your lump in exchange for my horse.”

"With all of my heart," Hans replied, “however, I can assure you that you will be dragged along with it.”

Hans was assisted up, the rider got down, took the gold, and stated, "If you want to go fast, you must click your tongue and call out, 'jup, jup.'" He also gave Hans the tight bridle.

As he mounted the horse and rode out so brazenly and carefree, Hans was heartily happy. After a short while, he felt that it should move along more quickly, so he started to click his tongue and yell, "Jup, jup." Before Hans realized where he was, the horse had began trotting quickly, knocking him off balance and leaving him laying in the ditch separating the fields from the roadway. If a peasant who was approaching down the road while being driven by a peasant hadn't stopped to halt the horse, it would have managed to escape.

“It is a horrible joke, this riding, especially when one gets hold of a mare like this who kicks and throws one off, giving one a chance to break one's neck,” Hans muttered to the peasant as he collected himself and got up on his legs once again. “I'm never mounting it again. I prefer your cow now because I can quietly go behind her and I can always have my milk, butter, and cheese. If I could have such a cow, what wouldn’t I do?”

The peasant replied, "Well, if it would make you so happy, I don't mind changing the cow for the horse.” Hans enthusiastically agreed with and the peasant mounted the horse and rode out.

Hans gently led his cow in front of him as he considered his good deal. "I can have butter and cheese with it as frequently as I wish if I simply have a morsel of bread, and that seldom ever fails me. I can milk my cow and sip the milk if I'm thirsty. Oh, what more could I possibly want?”

He stopped when he reached an inn and, in honor of his good fortune, consumed everything he had brought with him, including his meal and supper. He also drank half a glass of beer with his last few farthings. Then he kept pushing his cow toward the village of his mother.

Hans found himself on a moor that would take him at least another hour to cross as noon drew closer and the heat became more intense. His tongue was clinging to the roof of his mouth from thirst, and he felt extremely hot. Hans thought, "I can find a solution for this." "I'll milk the cow now and drink some milk to hydrate myself." Since he didn't have a pail, he tethered her to a dead tree and placed his leather cap below. Despite his best efforts, however, not a drop of milk came. Because of his inept efforts, the impatient animal finally struck him such a blow on the head with its hind foot that he fell to the ground and was lost for a considerable amount of time. By fortunate luck, a butcher pulling a pushcart with a young pig inside of it just happened to be passing by on the road.

He helped good Hans up while yelling, "What kind of a trick is this?" He heard what happened from Hans.

“Take a sip to relax yourself," the butcher instructed, handing him his flask. “Definitely no milk will be produced by the cow. Old beast that it is. It is only suitable for use as a butcher or as a plow, at most.”

"Well, well," replied Hans, stroking his hair downward. "Who would've guessed it? Undoubtedly, it is a good thing to be able to kill a beast like that for oneself. You have some flesh! However, I am not a big fan of beef because it is not juicy enough for me. But to have a piglet so young! There are also sausages, and the flavor is pretty distinct.”

"Listen, Hans, I'll make a transaction and give you the pig in exchange for the cow as a favor,” the butcher remarked.


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