Saturday, August 9, 2008
FISH IN THE FOREST
In tilling the ground a laborer found a treasure, and carrying it home, said to his wife, " see! Heaven has sent us a fortune. But where can we conceal it ? " she suggested he should bury it under the floor, which he did accordingly. Soon after this the wife went out to fetch water, and the laborer reflected that his wife was a dreadful gossip, and by tomorrow night of the village would know their secret. So he removed the treasure from its hiding-place and buried it in his barn, beneath a heap of corn. When the wife came back from the well, he said to her quite gravely, " Tomorrow we shall go to the forest to seek fish; they say there's plenty there at present."" What ! fish in the forest ? " she exclaimed. " of course, " he rejoined; "and you'll see them there " very early next morning he got up, and took some fish, which he had concealed in a basket. He went to the grocers and bought a quantity of sweet cakes. He also caught hare and killed it. The fish and the cakes he disposed of in different parts of the wood, and the hare he hooked on a fishing-line, and then throw it in the river. after breakfast he took his wife with him in the wood, which they had scarcely entered when she found a pike, then a perch, and then a roach, on the ground. which many exclamation of surprise, she gathered up the fish and put them in her basket.Presently they came to a pear-tree , from the branches of which hungs sweet cakes. " See ! " she cried. " cakes on a pear-tree!"Quite natural, " replied he." it has rained the cakes , and some had remained on this tree; travellers have picked up the rest." Continuing their way to the village, they passed near a stream. " Wait a little, " said the husband; " I set my line early this morning, and I'll look if anything is caught on it. " He then pulled in the line, and behold, there was a hare hooked on to it!" How extraordinary! " cries the good wife; " a hare in the water! "" Why, " says he, " don't you know there are hares in the water as well as rats! "" No, indeed, I knew it not."They now returned home, and the wife set about preparing all the nice eatables for supper. In a day or two the laborer learned from the talk of his acquaintances that his finding the treasure was no secret in the village, and in less than a week he was summoned to the castle." Is it true, " says the lord, " that you have found a treasure?"" It is not true, " was the reply." But your wife has told me all. "" My wife does not know what she say-she is mad, my lord. "Hereupon the woman cries, " it is the truth, my lord! he has found a treasure and buried it beneath the floor of our cottage. "" When ?"" On the eve before the day when we went into the forest to look for fish. "" What do you say? "" Yes; it was on the day that it rained cakes. We gathered a basketful of them, and coming home, my husband fished a fine hare out of the river. "My lord declared the woman to be an idiot; Nevertheless the caused his servant to search under the laborer's cottage floor, but nothing was found there, and so the shrewd fellow secured his treasure.