5-7 minutes read
Hans had served his master for seven long years and he had done so loyally and respectfully. As his seventh year ended he requested his master that he be allowed to visit his mother. “O master! Pay me my dues and let me off, for I want to see my mother” said Hans. His master agreed, “You have served me faithfully for so long and your pay shall be great” said his master, rewarding him with a block of silver as big as his head. Hans laid out his handkerchief and put the block in it, tying it up and tossing it over his shoulder.
As Hans began his journey, the long walk begins to weigh his shoulder down. He sees a man riding a horse pass by and he wishes he could have a horse to ride his way back. The horseman hears Hans thinking out loud and says that he would be willing to exchange his horse for the block of silver. Hans happily agreed. As the horseman dismounted his horse he instructed Has, “say jip when you want to go faster”
For a while Hans peacefully and happily rode his horse but soon he wished to go faster. As he said jip, the horse sped off on full speed. Hans could not keep up with the pace and took a great fall from his horse, falling flat on his back. The horse would have run off if it wasn’t for the shepherd who was crossing with his cattle. The shepherd managed to stop the horse. “Oh I wish I had your cattle, at least it wouldn’t go crazy like this horse I was riding” said Hans as he got up. “You walk behind cattle easily and it can give you milk and cheese too” he continued. The shepherd said he would be happily willing to exchange his cow for Hans’s horse.
So Hans happily makes the exchange and continues his journey. But on the way he gets thirsty and decides to milk the cow. But no milk comes out. At that time a butcher is passing by with some pigs. He tells Hans that the cow is too old to give milk and there is no point in milking it. “I don’t even like beef, I like pork instead” commented Hans, wishing to exchange his cow for the butcher’s pig. And so the butcher agreed and let Hans take the pig.
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As Hans moved on with his pig, he saw a peasant carrying a goose. The peasant quickly recognized the pig, and told Hans that this pig belonged to a local landowner whose pig had recently been stolen. Afraid that the authorities would catch him, Hans asks if the peasant would want the pig. The peasant takes the pig and gives him the goose in return.
As his journey goes on, Hans comes across a grinder, who is joyfully singing. When Hans stops by to ask him why he is so happy, the grinder tells him it is because, like any other grinder, he is very rich. Hans then tells him about his journey and how he had started off with a heavy block of silver but had been so fortunate that he made so many exchanges and ended up with this goose. The grinder congratulates him and tells him that in order to continue his good fortune; he should also become a grinder. He agrees to give Hans a grindstone in return for the goose. But in reality, the stone the grinder is giving Hans is just a random rock he had picked off the ground.
However, Hans is tricked and takes the stone which is very heavy, and continues on. Soon he arrives near a stream and wishes to drink water from it. But as soon as he bent over, his stone fell in the stream. Hans felt more fortunate than ever. He had rid himself of the weight upon his shoulders and now happily continued his journey, excited to tell his mother about his good fortunes.
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