Fairy tales with audioFairy tales by the grimm brothers

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The Little Peasant. Part 2


The miller saw the peasant lying on the straw, and asked, ’What is that fellow doing there?’ 

’Ah,’ said the wife, ’the poor knave came in the storm and rain, and begged for shelter, so I gave him a bit of bread and cheese, and showed him where the straw was.’ 

The man said: ’I have no objection, but be quick and get me something to eat.’ 

The woman said: ’But I have nothing but bread and cheese.’ 

’I am contented with anything,’ replied the husband, ’so far as I am concerned, bread and cheese will do,’ and looked at the peasant and said: ’Come and eat some more with me.’ The peasant did not require to be invited twice, but got up and ate. 

After this the miller saw the skin in which the raven was, lying on the ground, and asked: ’What have you there?’ The peasant answered: ’I have a soothsayer inside it.’ ’Can he foretell anything to me?’ said the miller. ’Why not?’ answered the peasant: ’but he only says four things, and the fifth he keeps to himself.’ The miller was curious, and said: ’Let him foretell something for once.’ 

Then the peasant pinched the raven’s head, so that he croaked and made a noise like krr, krr. The miller said: ’What did he say?’ 

The peasant answered: ’In the first place, he says that there is some wine hidden under the pillow.’ ’Bless me!’ cried the miller, and went there and found the wine. ’Now go on,’ said he. 

The peasant made the raven croak again, and said: ’In the second place, he says that there is some roast meat in the tiled stove.’ ’Upon my word!’ cried the miller, and went thither, and found the roast meat. 

The peasant made the raven prophesy still more, and said: ’Thirdly, he says that there is some salad on the bed.’ ’That would be a fine thing!’ cried the miller, and went there and found the salad. 

At last the peasant pinched the raven once more till he croaked, and said: ’Fourthly, he says that there are some cakes under the bed.’ ’That would be a fine thing!’ cried the miller, and looked there, and found the cakes.

And now the two sat down to the table together, but the miller’s wife was frightened to death, and went to bed and took all the keys with her. 

The miller would have liked much to know the fifth, but the little peasant said: ’First, we will quickly eat the four things, for the fifth is something bad.’ 

So they ate, and after that they bargained how much the miller was to give for the fifth prophecy, until they agreed on three hundred talers. 

Then the peasant once more pinched the raven’s head till he croaked loudly. The miller asked: ’What did he say?’ The peasant replied: ’He says that the Devil is hiding outside there in the closet on the porch.’ The miller said: ’The Devil must go out,’ and opened the house-door; then the woman was forced to give up the keys, and the peasant unlocked the closet. 

The parson ran out as fast as he could, and the miller said: ’It was true; I saw the black rascal with my own eyes.’ The peasant, however, made off next morning by daybreak with the three hundred talers.

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