Frederick and Catherine
Stupid Katherlieschen ruins everything, but is very lucky, gets gold, drives away rogues and the devil - actually a priest.
There was a man named Frieder and a woman named Katherlieschen, who had married each other and lived together as young married couples. One day Frieder said, 'I want to go to the field now, Katherlieschen, when I come back, there must be something roasted on the table for the hunger, and a fresh drink for the thirst. Go on, Friederchen,' replied the Catherlies, 'go on, I'll make it right for you. When dinner time approached, she took a sausage from the chimney, put it in a frying pan, added butter and put it over the fire. The sausage began to fry and sizzle, Catherlieschen stood by, holding the pan handle and had his thoughts: then it occurred to him 'until the sausage is ready, in the meantime you could tap the drink in the cellar'. So he put the panhandle down, took a jug, went down to the cellar and tapped some beer. The beer ran into the jug, and Catherlieschen watched him, then it occurred to him 'holla, the dog upstairs isn't involved, he could get the sausage out of the pan, you'd suit me!' and in a huff it was up the cellar stairs; but the Spitz already had the sausage in his mouth and dragged it along with him on the ground. But Catherlieschen, not being lazy, followed him and chased him a good distance into the field; but the dog was swifter than Catherlieschen, and did not let the sausage go, but hopped over the fields. Catherlieschen said, "There but for the grace of God," and turned back, and because she was tired of walking, she walked slowly and cooled down. During this time, the beer from the barrel kept running out, because Catherlieschen had not turned the tap, and when the jug was full and there was no other place for it, it ran down into the cellar and did not stop until the whole barrel was empty. Catherlieschen saw the misfortune already on the stairs. "Spook,' she cried, 'what are you going to do now, so that Frieder doesn't notice! He thought about it for a while, and finally remembered that there was still a sack of beautiful waizen flour on the floor from the last fair, which he wanted to bring down and sprinkle into the beer. Yes,' he said, 'whoever saves something at the right time, will have it later in times of need,' he climbed onto the floor, carried the sack down and threw it straight onto the jug full of beer, so that it toppled over and the drink of the Frieders also swam in the cellar. It is quite right,' said Catherlieschen, 'where one is, the other must also be' and scattered the flour all over the cellar. When she had finished, she was very pleased with her work and said, "How clean and neat it looks here!
At noon Frieder came home. Now, wife, what have you prepared for me?' 'Oh, Friederchen,' she answered, 'I wanted to fry you a sausage, but while I was drawing the beer for it, the dog took it away from the pan, and while I was jumping after the dog, the beer ran out, and when I wanted to dry the beer with the wheat flour, I also knocked over the jug; but be satisfied, the cellar is completely dry again. Catherlieschen, Catherlieschen, you didn't have to do that! You let the sausage go and the beer run out of the barrel, and on top of that you spill our fine flour!' 'Yes, Friederchen, I didn't know that, you should have told me.
The man thought, 'If it goes like this with your wife, you must be more careful. Now he had collected a nice sum of thalers, which he exchanged for gold, and said to Catherlieschen, "You see, these are yellow nickel rings, I want to put them in a pot and bury them in the stable under the cow's crib, but you must stay away from them, otherwise you'll have a bad time. She said, "No, Friederchen, I certainly won't. Now, when Frieder was gone, shopkeepers who sold earthen pots and pans came into the village and asked the young woman if she had anything to trade. Oh, my dear people," said Catherlieschen, "I have no money and can buy nothing; but if you need yellow nickels, I will buy them. 'Yellow nickels, why not? let me see them once.' So go into the stable and dig under the crib, and you will find the yellow nickels, but I must not go there. The rascals went and dug and found gold. Then they packed it up, ran away, and left pots and pans in the house. Catherlieschen thought she needed the new dishes, too: since there was no shortage of them in the kitchen anyway, she knocked out the bottom of every pot and put them all together on the fence posts around the house as ornaments.
When Frieder came and saw the new ornaments, he said, 'Catherlieschen, what have you done?' 'I bought it, Friederchen, for the yellow nickels that were under the crib: I didn't go myself, the grocers had to dig it out. Oh, woman,' said Frieder, 'what have you done! they weren't nickels, they were gold and all our property; you shouldn't have done that.' Yes, Friederchen,' she answered, 'I didn't know that, you should have told me before. Catherlieschen stood for a while and thought about it, then she said, "Listen, Friederchen, we want to get the gold again, we want to run after the thieves. So come," said Frieder, "we will try; but take butter and cheese with you, so that we have something to eat on the way. Yes, Friederchen, I will take it with me.' They left, and because Frieder was better on foot, Catherlieschen followed behind. It's my advantage,' she thought, 'if we turn back, I'll be a little ahead. Now they came to a mountain, where there were deep tracks on both sides of the path. Look," said Catherlieschen, "what they have torn up, maltreated and pressed into the poor earth! it will never heal again in its lifetime. And out of a compassionate heart he took his butter and spread it on the rails, right and left, so that they would not be so pressed by the wheels: and as he bent down in his mercy, a cheese rolled out of his pocket down the hill. Catherlieschen said, 'I have already made my way up once, I will not go down again, someone else may run up and fetch it again'. So she took another cheese and rolled it down. But the cheese didn't come back, so he sent a third one down, thinking 'maybe they're waiting for company and don't like to go alone'. When all three were missing, he said, "I don't know what this is supposed to mean, but it could be that the third one didn't find the way and got lost, so I'll just send the fourth one to call them. But the fourth did not do any better than the third.
Then the Catherlieschen became angry and threw down the fifth and sixth, and these were the last. For a while he stood still and waited for them to come, but when they still didn't come, he said, "Oh, you are good to send after death, you stay out a long time; do you think I want to wait for you any longer? I'll go my way, you can run after me, you have younger legs than I do. Catherlieschen went away and found Frieder, who had stopped and was waiting because he wanted to eat something. Now, give me what you have taken with you.' She handed him the dry bread. 'Where is the butter and cheese?' the man asked. Oh, Friederchen," said Catherlieschen, "I greased the rails with the butter, and the cheese will soon come; one ran away from me, so I sent the others after him, they should call him. Frieder said, "You shouldn't have done that, Catherlieschen, smeared the butter on the road and rolled the cheese down the mountain. Yes, Friederchen, you should have told me.
Then they ate the dry bread together, and Frieder said, 'Catherlieschen, did you also keep our house while you were gone?' 'No, Friederchen, you should have told me before. So go home again and keep the house first, before we go further, bring something else to eat, I will wait for you here. Catherlieschen went back and thought, 'Fricderchen wants something else to eat, butter and cheese probably don't taste good to him, so I want to take a cloth full of sausages and a jug of vinegar to drink with. After that, he locked the upper door, but lifted the lower door, took it on his shoulder and believed that if he had brought the door to safety, the house would be safe. Catherlieschen took her time to leave, thinking 'the longer Friederchen rests'. When he had reached him again, he said, "Here, Friederchen, you have the house door, you can keep the house yourself. Oh, God," he said, "what a clever woman I have! Lift the door at the bottom so that everything can run in, and lock it at the top. Now it is too late to go home again, but if you have brought the door here, you shall carry it further. I will carry the door, Friederchen, but the hats and the jar of vinegar are getting too heavy for me; I'll hang them on the door, and it can carry them.
Now they went into the forest and looked for the rogues, but they did not find them. When it finally got dark, they climbed a tree and wanted to spend the night there. But no sooner were they sitting up there, than the guys came along, who carry away what does not want to go with them, and find the things before they are lost. They settled down under the tree where Frieder and Catherlieschen were sitting, lit a fire and wanted to share their booty. Frieder descended from the other side and collected stones, climbed back up with them and wanted to throw the thieves to death. But the stones did not hit, and the rascals shouted 'it is soon morning, the wind is shaking down the fir apples'. Catherlieschen still had the door on her shoulder, and because it was pressing so hard, she thought the pineapples were to blame and said, "Friederchen, I must throw down the pineapples. No, Catherlieschen, not now,' he answered, 'they could betray us. Oh, Friederchen, I must, they press me too hard.' 'Well, so thus, in the executioner's name!' Then the hats rolled down between the branches, and the fellows below said, 'The birds are mucking out.' A while later, because the door was still pressing, Catherlieschen said, "Oh, Friederchen, I must pour out the vinegar. No, Catherlieschen, you must not, it could give us away. Oh, Friederchen, I must, it is too much for me.' 'Well, then, in the name of the executioner!' Then he poured out the vinegar so that it splashed the guys. They said among themselves, "The dew is already dripping down. At last Catherlieschen thought, 'Should it be the door that is pressing me so hard?' and said, 'Friederchen, I must throw the door down. No, Catherlieschen, not now, it could betray us. Oh, Friederchen, I must, she presses me too hard.' 'No, Catherlieschen, hold her tight.' 'Oh, Friederchen, I'll drop her.' Frieder answered angrily, "Let her fall in the devil's name! Then it fell down with a heavy thud, and the fellows below shouted 'the devil is coming down from the tree,' and ran away, leaving everything in the lurch. Early in the morning, when the two came down, they found all their gold again and carried it home.
When they were back home, Frieder said, "Catherlieschen, now you must also be industrious and work. Yes, Friederchen, I will do it, I will go into the field and cut the fruit. When Catherlieschen was in the field, she spoke to herself, "Do I eat before I cut, or do I sleep before I cut? Hey, I want to eat! Then Catherlieschen ate and became sleepy over the food, and began to cut and half-dreamingly cut all his clothes in two, apron, skirt and shirt. When Catherlieschen awoke again after a long sleep, she stood there half naked and said to herself, "Is it me, or is it not me? oh, it's not me! Meanwhile it was night, when Catherlieschen ran into the village, knocked on her husband's window and called out 'Friederchen?' 'What is it?' 'I would like to know if Catherlieschen is inside. Yes, yes,' replied Frieder, 'she will probably be inside sleeping. She said, 'Good, then I'm certainly already home,' and ran away.
Outside, Catherlieschen found rascals who wanted to steal. So she went to them and said 'I will help you steal'. The rascals thought they knew the opportunity of the place and were satisfied. Catherlieschen went in front of the houses and shouted 'Guys, do you have anything? we want to steal'. The rascals thought 'this will be good' and wished they could get rid of Catherlieschen. Then they said to him, "The priest has turnips in the field outside the village, go there and pluck some for us. Catherlieschen went to the country and began to pluck, but was so lazy, and did not lift himself up. Then a man passed by, saw it and stood still, thinking it was the devil, who was digging in the turnips. He ran away to the priest in the village and said: "Mr. Priest, the devil is plucking in your turnip land. Oh God,' replied the priest, 'I have a lame foot, I can not go out and banish him. The man said, 'I will hock you,' and hocked him out. And as they came to the land, the little Catherlie got up and stretched herself on high. The devil!' cried the priest, and they both hurried away, and the priest, in great fear, could walk straighter with his lame foot than the man who had squatted him could with his sound legs.