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The Little Magic Table, the Golden Donkey, and the Club in the Sack
fairytales by grimm brothers
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Volume I, chapter 35 The Little Magic Table, the Golden Donkey, and the Club in the Sack ~fairy tales by grimm brothers Once upon a time there was a shoemaker who had three sons and a goat. The sons had to help him in his trade, and the goat had to nourish them with her milk. In order for the goat to get good, delicious food every day, the sons took turns and led her out to graze in a meadow. The eldest took her to the churchyard, where the goat jumped about and ate the grass. In the evening, when he led her home, he asked, “Goat, have you had enough?” The goat answered: “Oh, my, I’m stuffed! Enough’s enough. Meh! Meh!” “Then let’s head for home,” the son said and led it back to the stable and tied it up. The old shoemaker asked his son whether the goat had received enough to eat. The son answered: “It’s really stuffed. It’s had enough.” However, the shoemaker wanted to see for himself whether that was true. So he went to the stall in the stable and asked: “Goat, have you had enough?” The goat replied: “How can I have eaten enough? I just jumped over mounds real rough. Didn’t find one blade of grass ’cause the ground was tough. Meh! Meh!” When the shoemaker heard this, he was convinced that his son had lied to him. He became furious, jumped up, took his cane from the wall, gave his son a good beating, and sent him away. The next day the second son had to take the goat to a meadow and led it to the very best grass, which the goat completely devoured. In the evening, he asked the goat: “Goat, have you had enough?” “Oh, my, I’m stuffed! Enough’s enough. Meh! Meh!” “Then let’s head home,” and he took the goat to the stable and told the old man that the goat was full. Once again the father went to the stable and asked, “Goat, have you had enough?” “How can I have eaten enough? I just jumped over mounds real rough. Didn’t find one blade of grass ’cause the ground was tough. Meh! Meh!” The shoemaker became angry and also gave a good beating to his second son and chased him from the house. Finally, the third son had to take the goat into the meadow. He was on his guard and looked for the very best grass. Indeed, there was nothing left when the goat had finished eating. In the evening the son asked: “Goat, have you had enough?” “Oh, my, I’m stuffed. Enough’s, enough. Meh! Meh!” “Then let’s head home,” he said and took the goat to the stable and assured his father that the goat was full. But the old man went to the stable again and asked: “Goat, are you full?” “How can I have eaten enough? I just jumped over mounds real rough. Didn’t find one blade of grass ’cause the ground was tough. Meh! Meh!” So after the father gave his third son a good beating, he chased him from the house. Now the shoemaker wanted to take the goat out by himself. So he tied it with a rope and led it to the middle of the best grass on the meadow, where the goat ate grass the entire day. In the evening, the shoemaker asked: “Goat, have you had enough?” “Oh, my, I’m stuffed. Enough’s enough. Meh! Meh!” “Well, let’s head for home,” and he led the goat to the stable. When he tied her up in the stall, he asked once again, “Goat, have you had enough?” Now the goat answered him as usual: “How can I have eaten enough? I just jumped over mounds real rough. Didn’t find one blade of grass ’cause the ground was tough. Meh! Meh!” When the shoemaker heard this, he realized that he had driven his three sons away even though they had been innocent. Consequently, he became so angry with the nasty goat that he fetched his razor and shaved the goat’s head until it was bald and gave it a good whipping. In the meantime the eldest son had apprenticed himself to a carpenter, and when he had finished his apprenticeship and wanted to begin his travels, the carpenter gave him a little magic table and told him that he only had to say, “Little table, be covered,” and it would be covered by a white tablecloth, and on it would be a silver plate with a silver knife and fork, a crystal glass filled with red wine, and all over, the most beautiful dishes of food. Upon receiving this gift, he set out into the world, and wherever he was, in a field, in the forest, or in a tavern, and whenever he set his table down and said, “Little table be covered,” he would then have the most splendid meal. One day he entered an inn where many guests had already gathered. They asked him whether he wanted to eat with them. He answered, “No, but you should all eat with me.” Upon saying this, he set down his little table in the room and said: “Little table, be covered!” And suddenly it stood there covered with the most sumptuous food, and when a dish became empty, a new one appeared immediately in its place, and all the guests were marvelously treated. The innkeeper, however, thought, “If you had such a table, you’d be a rich man,” and that evening, as the carpenter was fast asleep and had put his little table in a corner, the innkeeper fetched another one that looked just like it and replaced the genuine one with it. Early the next morning the good fellow got up, lifted the little table onto his back, and didn’t notice that it was the wrong one. He went home and said to his father: “Don’t worry about anything anymore or concern yourself. I have a little magic table, and we can now live in luxury for the rest of our days.” His father was delighted to hear this and invited all their relatives to their home, and when they had all gathered together, the son set the table in the middle of the room and said: “Little table, be covered!” But the little table remained as empty as it had been, and the son realized that he had been duped and was ashamed of himself while the relatives left without drinking and eating. Father and son had to resume their usual work. The second son had gone to a miller, and when he had finished his apprenticeship, the miller gave him the donkey Bricklebrit as a gift. Whenever one said “Bricklebrit” to this donkey. it would begin to spew gold coins from the front and the behind. After he departed, the young man reached the same tavern where his brother’s little table had been stolen from him. He let himself be treated like a prince, and when he was given the bill, he went to the donkey in the stable and said: “Bricklebrit!” All at once he had more gold coins than he needed. However, the innkeeper had observed this, and during the night he got up, untied the golden donkey, and replaced it with his animal. So, in the morning the miller’s apprentice left with the wrong donkey and didn’t realize that he had been deceived. When he returned home to his father, he also declared: “Enjoy life! I have the donkey Bricklebrit, and you can have as much gold as you wish.” So once again his father invited all their relatives, and a large white cloth was spread out in the middle of the room. Then the donkey was brought from the stable and set onto the cloth. The miller said: “Bricklebrit!” but it was in vain. Not a single gold coin appeared. Immediately the son realized that he had been duped. He was ashamed of himself and began to practice his trade to support himself. The third son had gone to a turner, who gave him a sack with a club in it as a gift when the young man was ready to go off on his travels. Whenever he said, “Club, come out of the sack!” the club would jump out and dance on people’s backs and beat them mercilessly. Now the young turner had heard that his brothers had lost their treasures at an inn. Therefore, he went to the same inn and said that his brothers had brought with them a little magic table and the donkey Bricklebrit, but what he was carrying in his sack was much more precious and worth much more. The innkeeper was curious and thought that all good things come in threes, and wanted to steal this treasure during the night. But the turner had placed the sack under his pillow, and when the innkeeper came and tried to pull it out, the young man said: “Club, come out of the sack!” All at once the club jumped out of the sack, and danced with the innkeeper and beat him so mercilessly that he readily promised to return the little magic table and the donkey Bricklebrit. Once he received them, the youngest son set out for home and brought everything to his father and lived with him and his brothers in happiness and joy. As for the goat, she had run off to a foxhole. And when the fox came home and looked into his cave, he saw a pair of large fiery eyes glaring at him. He became so frightened that he ran away and encountered the bear, who said: “Brother fox, why are you making such a face?” “A gruesome beast is sitting in my cave with terrifying fiery eyes.” “Well, then I’ll drive it out for you,” the bear said and went to the cave. However, when he arrived at the cave and saw the fiery eyes, he, too, was struck by fear and ran off. Now a bee came flying by and asked: “Why are you looking so pale, bear?” “A gruesome beast is sitting in the fox’s cave, and we can’t chase it away.” Then the bee said: “I’m nothing but a tiny creature and you don’t give me the attention that I deserve, but perhaps I can help you.” So the bee flew into the foxhole and stung the goat on its smooth shaven head so that she jumped up screaming “Meh! Meh!” and ran away. And to this day nobody knows whatever happened to the goat.

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