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Old Hildebrand

" "But listen, gossip," said the egg-merchant to the peasant, "are you, then, stupid enough to believe such a thing as that? Don't you know what it means? The parson wants to spend a whole day alone with your wife in peace, so he has given you this job to do to get you out of the way."

"My word!" said the peasant. "How I'd like to know if that's true!"

"Come, then," said the gossip, "I'll tell you what to do. Get into my egg-basket and I will carry you home, and then you will see for yourself." So that was settled, and the gossip put the peasant into his egg-basket, and carried him home.

When they got to the house, hurrah! but all was going merrily there! The woman had already had nearly everything killed that was in the farmyard, and had made pancakes, and the parson was there, and had brought his fiddle with him. The gossip knocked at the door, and woman asked who was there. "It is I, gossip," said the egg-merchant, "give me shelter this night; I have not sold my eggs at the market, so now I have to carry them home again, and they are so heavy that I shall never be able to do it, for it is dark already."

"Indeed, my friend," said the woman, "thou comest at a very inconvenient time for me, but as thou art here it can't be helped, come in, and take a seat there on the bench by the stove." Then she placed the gossip and the basket which he carried on his back on the bench by the stove. The parson, however, and the woman were as merry as possible. At length the parson said, "Listen, my dear friend, thou canst sing beautifully; sing something to me." "Oh," said the woman, "I cannot sing now, in my young days indeed I could sing well enough, but that's all over now."

"Come," said the parson once more, "do sing some little song."

On that the woman began and sang,

"I've sent my husband away from me

To the Göckerli hill in Italy."

Thereupon the parson sang,

"I wish 'twas a year before he came back,

I'd never ask him for the laurel-leaf sack.”


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