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Main > German folktales > Fairy tale "Doctor All-Wise"

Doctor All-Wise

Things will certainly fall out ill, for he said I was the first thief."

The second servant would not believe what he said, but at last he was obliged, for when he carried the second dish into the room, the doctor remarked to his wife—

"Grethel, that is the second."

The second servant was now as much frightened as the first, and was pleased to leave the apartment. The third served no better, for the doctor said—

"Grethel, that is the third."

Now the fourth carried in a dish which had a cover on it, and the nobleman desired the doctor to show his skill by guessing what was under the cover. Now it was a crab. The doctor looked at the dish, and then at the cover, and could not at all divine what they contained, nor how to get out of the scrape. At length he said, half to himself and half aloud—

"Alas! poor crab!"

When the nobleman heard this, he cried out—

"You have guessed it, and now I am sure you will know where my money is."

The servant was greatly troubled at this, and he winked to the doctor to follow him out of the room, and no sooner did he do so than the whole four who had stolen the gold stood before him, and said that they would give it up instantly, and give him a good sum to boot, provided he would not betray them, for if he did their necks would pay for it. The doctor promised, and they conducted him to the place where the gold lay concealed. The doctor was well pleased to see it, and went back to the nobleman, and said—

"My lord, I will now search in my book and discover where the money is."

Now the fifth servant had crept into an oven to hear what the doctor said. He sat for some time turning over the leaves of his A, B, C book, looking for the picture of the crowing cock, and as he did not find it readily, he exclaimed—

"I know you are in here, and you must come out."

Then the man in the oven, thinking the doctor spoke of him, jumped out in a great fright, saying—

"The man knows everything."

Then Doctor All-Wise showed the nobleman where the gold was hidden, but he said nothing as to who stole it.

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