Swedish Folk Tales / How the ringer taught the greedy pastor a lesson

Authored by:Folk tales
Chapter 1 / 2

Section 1

There lived a pastor in one parish. He was so greedy that people couldn’t help but be astonished. Never had he ever fed a single seeker, never would he give a homeless wanderer a shelter for the night in his house. But on the other hand, in sermons he spoke rather eloquently, and banged on the pulpit with his fist, and the sound thundered through the whole church. So they say, greedy people are objectionable to God and that even your last piece should be shared with the poor. But in fact, everything turned out the opposite for him. And from his greed, he had this idea. At Christmas, when many poor wanderers asked for shelter, he changed into rags and sat down at home in the kitchen. Someone knocks at the pastor's house, asks for lodging for the night, and the pastor's wife points to her disguised husband and says, “I would be glad to give you shelter, but we already have one beggar sitting there. You'd better go to the ringer, his house is not far from ours.” So she escorted all the beggars to the bell ringer. And the ringer, of course, was not too happy about this. But he was a cunning man and he himself was more than capable of tricks. And he decided to teach the stingy pastor a lesson. Once, on the night before Christmas, the bell-ringer disguised himself as a beggar, came to the pastor's estate and asked for shelter for the night. The pastor sang the old song. “I would be glad to give you shelter, good man, but you see - there is another beggar sitting by the hearth. You better go to the ringer, his house is not far from ours.” And the ringer answered her. “I was there. Only in the house of the bell-ringer there are already a lot of beggars without me, so there is nowhere to set foot. Will the pastor's wife drive me out at night, looking for me to freeze somewhere under the fence?” ”God forbid! the pastor was scared.”

“That's it!” says the ringer. “If you have one place for one beggar in your house, then you can find one for me too. He will not spend the night on the pastor's bed! Right, brother?” He went up to the pastor, and slapped him on the shoulder so hard that he almost fell headfirst into the hearth. She fed the beggars dinner and took them to the old brewery to spend the night. She ordered the pastor to lie down on the wooden sofa, and the bell ringer - on the old blanket of the sofa. However, the ringer was no fool, he up and stretched out on the couch. The pastor had to lie down on the hard cover. After a while, the bell ringer quietly left the brewery, and then returned and woke the pastor up.

“Hey, friend! Isn’t it great how I've annoyed this terrible-pastor now! I drilled a hole in the attic of the stabbur, and all the grain that the pastor took from the peasants as a church tithe, splattered on the firewood.

“Ohohoh!” yelled the pastor.

“What happened to you?” the ringer asked in a surprised voice.

“My stomach got twisted!” the pastor shouted. He up and sprinted from the brewery to the yard. He rushed to the stubbur and up and started to patch up the hole in the attic and collect grain from between the logs with his bare hands. The pastor worked half the night, became completely exhausted, but still did not manage to collect the entirety of the grain. Meanwhile, the ringer put on the pastor's clothes and went to the pastor's bedchamber. The pastoress thinking that it was her husband who had returned, asked “Well, what’s with that god damn beggar? Did he calm down?” ”Sleeping, god damn him” the ringer answered. “And that wooden lid was breaking all my bones. So I decided to relax on my bed.” He stretched out on the soft pastor's bed and fell into a sweet sleep. And at midnight he woke up and went back to the brewery. He lay down on the sofa and saw the pastor coming in from the yard, he looked barely alive from exhaustion, sweat pouring from him in rivers. As soon as the pastor lay down on the cover of the sofa, the bell-ringer again stepped out the door. Then he returned and woke up the pastor. “Hey, brother, wake up!” I brought even more trouble on this miserable terrible pastor’s head, I’ll piss him off even more. You know what I did? I opened the gate of the barnyard and drove out all his cattle.

“Ohohoh!” yelled the pastor.

“What’s wrong?” the ringer was surprised.

“My stomach got twisted!” shouted the pastor, and shot out of the brewery like an arrow. The pastor ran to the barnyard, the cattle had already dispersed. And in the middle of the night he was forced to run through the forests and along the hillsides, calling for his cows. He couldn’t see anything in the darkness. He kept on running, stumbling and falling. He bumped his head more than multiple times while he tried to gather the cattle in one place. Meanwhile, the bell ringer put on the pastor's clothes, came to the bedchamber, stretched out on the soft pastor's bed and fell deep into a sweet dream.


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