Hans in Luck
Hans, trades gold until he has nothing and is happy. I grind the scissors and turn swiftly and hang my little coat to the wind.
Hans had served his master for seven years, then he said to him, "Lord, my time is up, now I would like to go home to my mother again, give me my wages." The Lord answered, "You have served me faithfully and honestly. As the service was, so shall be the reward," and gave him a piece of gold as big as Hans's head. Hans pulled his little cloth out of his pocket, wrapped the lump in it, put it on his shoulder and set off for home. As he walked along, always putting one leg in front of the other, a horseman came into his sight, trotting by fresh and cheerful on a jaunty horse. "Oh," Hans said aloud, "what a beautiful thing riding is! There sits one as on a chair, bumps no stone, saves the shoes, and comes away, he knows not how." The horseman, hearing this, stopped and exclaimed, "ei, Hans, why do you also walk?" "I must," he answered, "for I have a lump to carry home. It's gold, but I can't keep my head straight, and it's pressing on my shoulder." "You know what," said the horseman, "let's trade. I'll give you my horse, and you give me your lump." "With all my heart," said Hans, "but I tell you you'll have to drag yourselves with it." The horseman dismounted, took the gold, and helped Hans up, gave him the reins firmly in his hands, and said, "If it is to go quite quickly now, you must click your tongue, and shout chop-chop."
Hans was happy as a lark when he sat on the horse and rode along so freely. After a while it occurred to him that he should go even faster, and he began to click his tongue and call out "hop, hop, hop. The horse set off at a strong trot, and before Hans knew it, he was thrown off and lying in a ditch that separated the fields from the road. The horse would have gone through, too, if it had not been stopped by a farmer who was coming along the road and driving a cow in front of him. Hans gathered his limbs and got back on his feet. But he was annoyed and said to the farmer: "Riding is bad fun, especially when you come up against a cow like this one, which bumps and throws you so hard that you could break your neck. I'll never, ever sit up again. I praise your cow, someone can walk behind it with ease and on top of that has his milk, butter and cheese every day for sure. What I would give to have such a cow!" "Well," said the farmer, "this is a great favor to you. I will trade you the cow for the horse." Hans agreed with a thousand pleasures. The farmer got on his horse and rode off in a hurry.
Hans calmly drove his cow ahead of him and considered the happy deal. "If I have only a piece of bread, and I will not lack it, I can eat butter and cheese with it as often as I like. If I am thirsty, I will milk my cow and drink milk. Heart, what more do you ask?" When he came to an inn, he stopped, ate his lunch and supper in great joy, and had half a glass of beer poured for his last few pennies. Then he drove his cow further and further towards his mother's village. The heat became more oppressive as noon approached, and Hans found himself on a heath that would probably take another hour to cross. There it became completely hot to him, so that before thirst the tongue stuck to the palate. "The thing is to be helped," thought Hans, "now I want to milk my cow and feast on the milk." He tied her to a scrawny tree, and since he had no bucket, he put his leather cap under it. But no matter how hard he tried, not a drop of milk came out. And because he was clumsy, the impatient animal finally gave him such a blow on the head with one of his hind feet that he staggered to the ground and could not remember where he was for a while. Fortunately, a butcher was just coming along the way, carrying a young pig on a wheelbarrow. "What kind of pranks are these!" he shouted and helped good Hans up. Hans told what had happened. The butcher handed him his bottle and said: "Have a drink and recover. The cow doesn't want to give milk. It's an old animal that is only good for pulling or slaughtering." "Well, well," said Hans, stroking his hair over his head, "who would have thought it! Of course, it is good to be able to slaughter such an animal at home - what meat it gives! But I don't care much for cow meat, it's not juicy enough for me. Yes, who would have such a young pig! It tastes different, and the sausages, too." "Listen, Hans," said the butcher, "for your love I will trade and let you have the pig for the cow." "God reward you for your friendship," said Hans, and he handed over the cow to the butcher, had the little pig unhitched from the cart, and had the rope tied to it put into his hand.
Hans moved on and thought about how everything would go according to his wishes, he encountered a grumpiness, everything would be all right in a moment. After that, a boy joined him, carrying a beautiful white goose under his arm. Hans began to tell of his good fortune and how he had always traded so advantageously. The lad told him that he was taking the goose to a children's feast. "Lift once," he continued, grabbing it by the wings, "how heavy it is, but it has been fattened up for eight weeks. Whoever bites into the roast must wipe off the fat from both sides." "Yes," said Hans, weighing her with one hand, "she has her weight, but my pig is not a sow either." Meanwhile the lad looked around in all directions, shaking his head. "Listen," he began, "there seems to be something wrong with your pig. In the village through which I passed, one has just been stolen from the schoolmaster's stable. I'm afraid you have it in your hands. They have sent out men, and it would be a bad bargain if they caught you with the pig. The least of it is that you'll be put in the dark hole." Good Hans became anxious, "oh God," he said, "help me out of this trouble, you know better around here, take my pig there and let me have your goose." "I have to risk something," replied the lad, "but I don't want to be to blame for you getting into trouble." So he took the rope in his hand and quickly drove the pig away to a side path: but good Hans, rid of his worries, went home with the goose under his arm. "If I think about it," he said to himself, "I still have an advantage in the exchange: the good roast, then the amount of fat that will drip out, that gives goose fat bread for a quarter of a year. And finally, the beautiful white feathers. I'll have them stuffed into my pillow and I'll probably want to fall asleep relaxed on them. What a joy my mother will have!"
When he had passed through the last village, there stood a scissors grinder with his cart. His wheel purred and he sang to it:
"I grind the scissors, and turn quickly,
and hang my little coat to the wind."
Hans stopped and watched him; finally he addressed him and said, "you are doing well because you are so merry in your grinding." "Yes," replied the scissors grinder, "the craft has a golden bottom. A right grinder is a man who, as often as he reaches into his pocket, finds money in it. But where did you buy that beautiful goose?" "I didn't buy it, I traded it for my pig." "And the pig?" "I got that for a cow." "And the cow?" "I got that for a horse". "And the horse?" "For that I gave a lump of gold as big as my head." "And the gold?" "Ei, that was my reward for seven years of service." "You have always known how to help yourselves," said the grinder. "Now, if you want to make it so far that you hear the money jumping in your pocket when you are outstanding - then you have made your fortune." "How shall I begin this?" spoke Hans. "You must become a grinder, like me. Nothing really belongs to that but a whetstone. The rest will find itself. I've got one here that's a little damaged, but all you have to give me is your goose. Is that what you want?" "How can you ask," Hans answered. "After all, I am becoming the happiest man on earth. If I have money, as often as I reach into my pocket, what need I worry about?", handed him the goose and took the whetstone. "Now," said the grinder, picking up a common heavy stone that lay beside him, "you have a good stone to beat your old nails on. Take it and pick it up properly."
Hans loaded the stone and walked on with a merry heart. His eyes lit up with joy. "I must have been born in a lucky skin," he exclaimed, "everything I wish comes true, like a Sunday child." Meanwhile, because he had been on his feet since daybreak, he began to grow tired. He was also plagued by hunger, since he had consumed all his provisions at once in the joy of the cow he had bought. He could go on only with difficulty and had to stop every moment. Thereby the stones pressed him quite miserably. He could not help thinking how good it would be if he did not have to carry them right now. Like a snail, he crept to a well in the field, wanting to rest there and refresh himself with a fresh drink: but so that he would not damage the stones while sitting down, he carefully placed them beside him on the edge of the well. Then he sat down and was about to bend down to drink, when he forgot, bumped a little, and both stones fell down. Hans, when he had seen them sink into the depths with his eyes, jumped up with joy, then knelt down and thanked God with tears in his eyes that he had also shown him this mercy and had freed him in such a good way and without him having to reproach himself from the heavy stones, which alone would still have been a hindrance to him. "So happy as I am," he exclaimed, "there is no man under the sun." With a light heart and free from all burden, he now sprang away until he was at home with his mother.