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Main > German folktales > Fairy tale "Brother Merry"

Brother Merry

The last quarter I have just eaten at the tavern, and I have spent the last halfpenny in drink. I am quite empty now. If you have nothing, let us go begging together."

"No, that will not be necessary just now," said the saint. "I understand a little about doctoring, and I will in time obtain as much as I need by that."

"Ha!" said Brother Merry, "I know nothing about that, so I must go and beg by myself."

"Only come along," replied the saint, "and if I can earn anything, you shall go halves."

"That will suit me excellently," replied Brother Merry.

So they travelled on together.

They had not gone a great distance before they came to a cottage in which they heard a great lamenting and screaming. They went in to see what was the matter, and found a man sick to the death, as if about to expire, and his wife crying and weeping loudly.

"Leave off whining and crying," said the saint. "I will make the man well again quickly enough," and he took a salve out of his pocket and cured the man instantly, so that he could stand up and was quite hearty. Then the man and his wife, in great joy, demanded—

"How can we repay you? What shall we give you?"

The saint would not, however, take anything, and the more the couple pressed him the more firmly he declined. Brother Merry, who had been looking on, came to his side, and, nudging him, said—

"Take something; take something. We want it badly enough."

At length the peasant brought a lamb, which he desired the saint to accept, but he declined it still. Then Brother Merry jogged his side, and said—

"Take it, you foolish fellow; take it. We want it badly enough."

At last the saint said—

"Well, I'll take the lamb, but I shall not carry it. You must carry it."

"There's no great hardship in that," cried Brother Merry. "I can easily do it;" and he took it on his shoulder.

After that they went on till they came to a wood, and Brother Merry, who was very hungry, and found the lamb a heavy load, called out to the saint—

"Hallo! here is a nice place for us to dress and eat the lamb.

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