Little Claus and Big Claus
Once upon a time, there was a small town where two men lived. Surprisingly, both of them had the exact same name: Claus. However, one of them had four horses while the other only had one. To tell them apart, people started calling the man with four horses “Big Claus” and the man with one horse “Little Claus”. This is a real story, and we’ll find out soon what happened to them.
Every week, Little Claus had to help Big Claus by using his one horse to plow the fields. In return, once a week on Sundays, Big Claus let Little Claus use all four of his horses. Only on Sundays, he would happily whip them to make them run faster because he was allowed to treat them as if they were his own.The sun was shining, and the church bells were ringing happily as people walked by. They were wearing their nicest clothes and carrying their prayer books under their arms, on their way to church.The people were on their way to listen to the preacher at the church. As they passed by, they saw Little Claus using his five horses to plow the fields. He felt very proud and happy, so he whipped the horses and said, “Gee-up, my five horses!”
Big Claus told Little Claus that he shouldn’t say that because he only owned one of them. However, Little Claus didn’t remember and kept saying “Gee-up, my five horses!” whenever someone walked by.
Big Claus warned Little Claus not to say that again. He threatened to hit Little Claus’s horse on the head if he did, and the horse would die right away.
Little Claus promised not to say it again, but as soon as people walked by and greeted him, he became so happy and proud that he forgot his promise. He shouted, “Gee-up, all my horses!” because he liked the way it looked to have five horses plowing in his field.
Big Claus said, “I’ll gee-up your horses instead of you”. And he hit Little Claus’s only horse with a hammer on the head. The horse died right away.
Little Claus was very sad and cried because he didn’t have a horse anymore. However, he soon thought of a plan. He removed the skin of the dead horse and hung it outside to dry in the wind.Little Claus put the dried horse skin in a bag and carried it on his shoulder to the nearest town to sell it. He had to travel a very long distance and walk through a dark and scary forest.Suddenly, a strong wind and rain started, and Little Claus got lost in the forest. By the time he found the right way, it was getting dark, and he was still far away from the town. It was too late to go back home before night.Little Claus saw a big farmhouse near the road. Although the shutters outside the windows were closed, he could see that there were lights shining through the small gaps at the top of the shutters.
Little Claus thought that he could ask the people in the farmhouse if he could stay there for the night. Therefore, he went up to the door.When Little Claus knocked on the farmhouse door, the farmer’s wife opened it. He asked if he could stay there for the night, but the farmer’s wife said no. She explained that her husband did not allow strangers to stay in their house, so Little Claus had to leave.