" he asked.
"I didn't know that this was your property," answered the youth, "Tellerchen brought me here."
"Then tell him he must come to the Gold Bridge to-morrow and fight with me." After saying this, he went away.
When the ox came home at night he found the youth more sorrowful than ever before. "What ails you, master, that you stand there as if you were stupefied?" asked the ox.
"What ails me?" replied the youth. "Why, I'm in a fine fix!" And he repeated all that the bull had said.
"Never mind, master, don't worry about it, leave that to me."
Early the next morning the ox left the lad in the hut and set off to the Gold Bridge to fight with the bull; he fought till he had pushed him under the bridge, and then came back home safe and sound.
Two days after another bull came, somewhat smaller than the first one. After saying the same things the other had said, he summoned Tellerchen to fight at the Silver Bridge. The ox again found his master weeping, soothed him as he had done before, and went to fight the second bull and hurl him under the bridge.
After several days a third bull appeared, a feeble, unsightly, ugly, dirty animal, and said to the boy: "Who gave you leave to come here with your Tellerchen to drink my water and spoil the grass in my meadows?"
"What business is it of yours?" replied the youth pertly.
"If it isn't my business, whose affair should it be?" replied the bull. "Whichever of you two will dare to fight with me may come to-morrow to the Copper Bridge."
"Don't worry," replied the youth carelessly, "we will come."
When Tellerchen returned from the pasture in the evening, his master, with great amusement, told him every thing that had happened.
"Your mirth is out of place," replied the ox, "for my time has now come. The bull, sick and emaciated as he was, will overpower me. Watch our battle to-morrow, for I will not let you fight with him; you are young and delicate, and still have a great deal to see in the world. When you perceive that he is conquering me and about to push me under the bridge, rush forward and seize my left horn, but don't open it till you have reached home.