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Hans in Luck
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"Well, to be sure," said Hans, scratching his head. "Who would have thought it? of course it is a very handy way of getting meat when a man has a beast of his own to kill; but for my part I do not care much about cow beef, it is rather tasteless. Now, if I had but a young pig, that is much better meat, and then the sausages!"
"Look here, Hans," said the butcher, "Just for love of you I will exchange, and will give you my pig instead of your cow."
"Heaven reward such kindness!" cried Hans, and handing over the cow, received in exchange the pig, who was turned out of his wheelbarrow and was to be led by a string.
So on went Hans, thinking how everything turned out according to his wishes, and how, if trouble overtook him, all was sure to be set right directly. After a while he fell in with a peasant, who was carrying a fine white goose under his arm. They bid each other good-day, and Hans began to tell about his luck, and how he had made so many good exchanges. And the peasant told how he was taking the goose to a christening feast.
"Just feel how heavy it is," said he, taking it up by the wings; "It has been fattening for the last eight weeks; and when it is roasted, won't the fat run down!"
"Yes, indeed," said Hans, weighing it in his hand, "Very fine to be sure; but my pig is not to be despised."
Upon which the peasant glanced cautiously on all sides, and shook his head.
"I am afraid," said he, "that there is something not quite right about your pig. In the village I have just left one had actually been stolen from the bailiff's yard. I fear, I fear you have it in your hand; they have sent after the thief, and it would be a bad look-out for you if it was found upon you; the least that could happen would be to be thrown into a dark hole."
Poor Hans grew pale with fright. "For heaven's sake," said he, "Help me out of this scrape, I am a stranger in these parts; take my pig and give me your goose."
"It will be running some risk," answered the man, "But I will do it sooner than that you should come to grief." And so, taking the cord in his hand, he drove the pig quickly along a by-path, and lucky Hans went on his way home with the goose under his arm.