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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "What the Old Man Does is Always Right"

What the Old Man Does is Always Right

They were hearing the whole story of the horse that had been traded first for a cow and finally for a sack of rotten apples.

"Well, you'll get a good beating from your old woman when you go home!" said the Englishmen. "You're in for a rough time."

"I'll get kisses, not cuffs," said the farmer. "Mother will say, 'Whatever the old man does is right.' "

"Shall we bet on it?" said the Englishmen. "We have gold by the barrel! A hundred pounds sterling to a hundred-pound weight?"

"Let's say a bushelful," replied the peasant. "I can only bet my bushel of apples, and throw in myself and the old woman, but I think that'll be more than full measure."

"That's a bet!" the Englishmen cried, and the bet was made! So the innkeeper`s cart was brought out, the Englishmen got into it, the farmer got into it, the rotten apples got into it, and away they went to the old man's cottage.

"Good evening, Mother."

"Same to you, Father."

"Well, I've made the bargain."

"Yes, you know how to do business," said the wife, and gave him a big hug, forgetting both the sack and the strangers.

"I traded the horse for a cow."

"Thank God for the milk!" said the wife. "Now we can have milk, butter, and cheese on our table! What a splendid swap!"

"Yes, but I swapped the cow for a sheep."

"That's still better!" cried the wife. "You're always so thoughtful. We have plenty of grass for a sheep. But now we'll have sheep's milk, and sheep's cheese, and woolen stockings, yes, and a woolen nightgown, too. A cow couldn't give us that; she loses all her hairs. But you're always such a thoughtful husband."

"But then I exchanged the sheep for a goose."

"What! Will we really have goose for Michaelmas this year, dear Father? You always think of what would please me, and that was a beautiful thought! We can tie up the goose, and it'll grow even fatter for Michaelmas Day."

"But I traded the goose for a hen," continued the peasant.

"A hen? Well, that was a fine trade!" replied his wife. "A hen will lay eggs and sit on them and we'll have chickens.

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