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“Who's that tripping over my bridge?” roared the Troll.
“Oh, it is only I, the tiniest billy-goat Gruff, and I am going up to the hill-side to make myself fat," said the billygoat, with such a small voice.
“Now I am coming to gobble you up,” said the Troll.
“Oh no, pray don't take me; I am too little, that I am," said the billy-goat. “Wait a bit, till the second billy-goat Gruff comes; he's much bigger.” “Well, be off with you!” said the Troll.
A little while after came the second billy-goat Gruff, and trip-trap, trip-trap, trip-trap, went the bridge.
“Who's THAT tripping over my bridge?” roared the Troll.
“Oh, it's the second billy-goat Gruff, and I am going up to the hill-side to make myself fat,” said the billy-goat, who hadn't such a small voice.
“ Now I am coming to gobble you up,” said the Troll.
" Oh no, don't take me : wait a little till the big billy-goat Gruff comes ; he's much bigger.” “Well, be off with you!" said the Troll. But just then up came the big billy-goat Gruff, and TRIP-TRAP, TRIP-TRAP, TRIP-TRAP, went the bridge; for the billy-goat was so heavy that the bridge groaned under him.
“Who's That tramping over my bridge?" roared the Troll.
“IT'S I, THE BIG BILLY-GOAT GRUFF,” said the billy-goat, who had an ugly hoarse voice of his own.
“ Now I am coming to gobble you up,” roared the Troll.
“Well, come along," the big billy-goat said; and so he flew at the Troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the burn; and after that, he went up to the hill-side. There the billy-goats got so fat, they were scarce able to walk home again ; and if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why they are still fat.
FRITZ AND CATHERINE.
THERE were once a man and woman named Fritz and Catherine, who were just married. One day Fritz said, " I must now go and work in the field, Catherine, and when I come home to dinner, let me have something nice and hot quite ready for me, and a draught of fresh beer to drink.” “ So you shall,” replied his wife; "all will be right and ready when you come back.”
As noon approached, Catherine took the sausage from the larder, put it in the frying-pan with some butter, and placed it over the fire. The sausage began to fry; Catherine stood watching it with the handle of the
in her hand, looking forward to dinner-time and Fritz's company. It then occurred to her, that while the sausage was getting ready she might go down to the cellar and draw the beer.
She accordingly fixed the pan safely, took a jug, went into the cellar, and turned the tap; but while watching the beer running into the jug she suddenly remembered that the dog was not fastened up, and might steal the sausage out of the pan. Pleased with this happy thought, she rushed back in a flurry; and sure enough, there was the dog with the sausage already in his mouth, and making off with it.
Catherine was not slow to follow, and chased him a long way
into the field, but the dog was the quicker of the two, and never loosed his hold of the sausage.
“ When a thing is gone, it is gone," observed Catherine, turning back. Being breathless, she sauntered slowly, in order to recover and cool herself.
Meanwhile, the beer had continued to run as long as there was any in the cask, for Catherine had not turned off the tap before running up-stairs to look after the sausage ;
and when the jug was filled, and there was no more room in it, the beer flooded the cellar.
While yet on the stairs, Catherine discovered this new misfortune. “What is to be done now?” said she, “dear me! dear me !” She thought for a time, and then remembered that in the loft there was a sack of fine Indian corn meal, which had stood there since the last fair. This she thought she would fetch and strew, all over the floor of the cellar, to dry up the beer. “It is very true,” said she to herself, “ that when one is sparing of a thing, it is sure to come of use.'
So she went up to the loft, and brought down the sack into the cellar ; but, in putting it down, she upset the jug, so farewell to all chance of Fritz's draught of beer. “Quite right, however,” said Catherine, “where one is, the other ought to be content to go.” Then strewing the meal over the cellar, she felt quite proud of her work; all looked so charmingly clean and white.
At noon home 'came Fritz, saying cheerfully, “Now, good wife, what have you got for dinner ?” “Ah, Fritz, said she, “I cooked you a sausage, but while I drew the beer, the dog ran away with it; and while I chased the dog, the beer ran out; and when I was drying up the beer with the corn meal, I knocked the jug over. But don't be angry, the cellar is quite dry again.” “Oh, Catherine, Catherine!” said Fritz, "a nice housewife you are indeed! and a nice mess you've made of it.” Oh, Fritz!" she replied, “how was I to know ? you should have told me better."
“ As the wind blows that way,” muttered Fritz to himself, “you must look after things yourself, my man.”
THE CROWS AND THE WINDMILL.
It seems there was once a windmill which went round and round, day after day. It did harm to nobody. It never knocked anybody down, unless he got under it, within reach of its great arms. What if it did use the air ! surely there was no harm in that. It was just as good for breathing after it had turned the mill as before.
But there was a flock of crows in the neighbourhood that took quite a dislike to the innocent mill. They said there must be some mischief about it. They did not at all like the swinging of those long arms for a whole day at a time.
It was thought best to call a meeting of all the crows in the country, far and near, to see if some plan could not be hit upon by which the dangerous thing could be got rid of.
Well, the meeting was called, and held in a corn-field.
Such a cawing and chattering was never heard before in that neighbourhood, I'll be bound. They say they appointed a chairman, or rather, a chair-crow.
As is usual in public meetings, there were a good many different opinions as to the question—what was best to be done with the windmill. Most of the crows thought it was a dangerous thing—a very dangerous thing, indeed; but, as to the best mode of getting rid of it, that was not so easy a matter to make out.
There were some crows at the meeting who were for active measures. They proposed going right over to the windmill all the crows in a body-and destroying the thing on the spot.
In justice to the crow family in general, however, it ought to be stated that those who talked about this warlike plan were rather young. Their feathers had not grown to quite their full length, and they had not seen so much of the world as their fathers had.
After there had been a good deal of grand talking and blustering, one old crow said he had a question to ask. He would beg leave to inquire, through the chairman, whether the windmill had ever been known to go away from the place where it was then standing, and to chase crows about with murderous intent?
It was answered that such conduct on the part of the giant had never been heard of.
“How, then," the speaker wished to know, likely to kill any of them ?”
The answer was, “By their venturing too near the mill."
“ And that is the only way that any of us are likely to get killed by the windmill ?” pursued the venerable crow.
“Yes,” the chairman said; “ that is the way, I believe." And the crows generally nodded their heads, as much as
Certainly, of course.” “Well, then,” said the speaker, "let's keep out of harm's way. That's all I've got to say."
THE LUCKY COCKSCOMB. THERE once lived in a farm-yard, an old cock, whose name was Crowell, together with his wife, a venerable hen, named Peckall. Of their numerous family, nearly all of which had been successively eaten by their master and mistress, only two chickens now remained. Both were lively young blades, bold, vain, and quarrelsome; they would peck each other a hundred times a day.
Now, there happened to live in the same farm-yard a