Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Good Bargain

This bit is called "The Good Bargain", and features a hero who proves that sometimes you don't need to have two brain cells to rub together, as long as you have dumb luck. Emphasis on the dumb.

There was once a peasant who had driven his cow to the fair, and sold
her for seven talers. 
No, I don't know what a taler is either.  
 On the way home he had to pass a pond, and already from afar he heard the frogs
 crying, aik, aik, aik, aik. Well, said he to himself, they are talking without 
rhyme or reason, it is seven that I have received, not eight.
Dude, I'm pretty sure they're not talking to you, so don't take it personally. 
 When he got to the water, he cried to them, stupid animals that you are. 
Don't you know better than that.  It is seven talers and not eight.  The frogs,
however, stuck to their aik aik, aik, aik.  Come, then, if you won't
believe it, I can count it out to you.  And he took his money out of
his pocket and counted out the seven talers, always reckoning four
and twenty groschen to a taler. 
.....Really, dude, they're just frogs. Also, what the heck is a groschen? 
 The frogs, however, paid no attention to his reckoning, but still cried, 
aik, aik, aik, aik. 
 What, cried the peasant, quite angry, if you know better than I,
count it yourselves, and threw all the money at them into the water.
Clearly this guy has no security in himself if he's so quick to let another's judgement set him off like that-particularly when 
said other is a bunch of frogs.
 He stood still and wanted to wait until they were through and had
returned to him what was his, but the frogs maintained their opinion
and cried continually, aik, aik, aik, aik.  And besides that, did not
throw the money out again.  He still waited a long while until
evening came on and he was forced to go home. Then he abused the
frogs and cried, you water-splashers, you thick-heads, you
goggle-eyes, you have great mouths and can screech till you hurt
one's ears, but you cannot count seven talers.  Do you think I'm
going to stand here till you get through.  And with that he went
away, but the frogs still cried, aik, aik, aik, aik, after him till
he went home sorely vexed. 
Well I'd be peeved too, but at myself, not the frogs. Ever notice how in a faerie tale if the girl is stupid, it's remarked upon
a lot and she is called stupid and made fun of for it, but when it's a guy he's usually not only the hero, but
rewarded for being so thick?  
After a while he bought another cow, which he slaughtered, and he made the 
calculation that if he sold the meat well he might gain as much as the two 
cows were worth, and have the hide into the bargain.  When therefore he got to the
town with the meat, a great pack of dogs were gathered together in front of the
gate, with a large greyhound at the head of them, which jumped at the
meat, sniffed at it, and barked, wow, wow, wow.  As there was no
stopping him, the peasant said to him, yes, yes, I know quite well
that you are saying wow, wow, wow, because you want some of the meat,
but I should be in a fine state if I were to give it to you. 
Exactly! You already screwed yourself over once with frogs, don't let the barking
of some dogs that your warped little mind is translating into admiration and 
words trick you into making that mistake again! 
 The dog, however, answered nothing but wow, wow.  Will you promise not to
devour it all then, and will you go bail for your companions.  Wow,
wow, wow, said the dog.  Well, if you insist on it, I will leave it
for you, I know you well, and know whom you serve, but this I tell
you, I must have my money in three days or else it will go ill with
you, you can just bring it out to me.
There are many faerie tales that feature talking animals. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
Dude, for cryin' out loud, it's a dog that's barking at meat. You do not trust animals
with food! You can't ever, ever, EVER leave even well-trained dogs with that
kind of temptation. Also, it's just barking! Stop translating animal noises into
words of your own deciding! You're screwing yourself over! Take the meds already, you're
way past due with them! 
 Thereupon he unloaded the meat and turned back again.  The dogs fell upon it and
 loudly barked, wow, wow. The countryman, who heard them from afar, said to 
himself, hark,now they all want some, but the big one is responsible to me for it.
When three days had passed, the countryman thought, to-night my money
will be in my pocket, and was quite delighted.  But no one would come
and pay it. 
Gee I wonder why. 
 There is no trusting any one now, said he. At last he
lost patience, and went into the town to the butcher and demanded his
money.  The butcher thought it was a joke, but the peasant said,
jesting apart, I will have my money.  Did not the big dog bring you
the whole of the slaughtered cow three days ago.  Then the butcher
grew angry, snatched a broomstick and drove him out.
Can't blame the butcher here one bit. I can only imagine the "WTF" expression he must have been wearing, hearing the village moron
venting about having a canine meat delivery service and expecting payment for meat he gave to dogs.  
 Wait, said the peasant, there is still some justice in the world, and went 
to the royal palace and begged for an audience.  He was led before the king,
who sat there with his daughter, and asked him what injury he had
suffered.  Alas, said he, the frogs and the dogs have taken from me
what is mine, and the butcher has paid me for it with the stick.  And
he related at full length what had happened. 
And thus the "WTF" expression comes to us in Royal form. 
 Thereupon the king's daughter began to laugh heartily, and the king said to him, 
I cannot give you justice in this, but you shall have my daughter to wife for
it - in her whole life she has never yet laughed as she has just done
at you, and I have promised her to him who could make her laugh. You
may thank God for your good fortune. 
....Okay, really? The guy is clearly an idiot, and a poor peasant with no money management
skills to boot, and he wants to give him his daughter? Throw the princess away to this
blithering idiot? Geez. And I thought the one who kicked one out over comparing him to salt
was bad. 
Oh, answered the peasant, I do not want her at all.  I have a wife already,
and she is one too many for me, when I go home, it is just as if I had a wife
standing in every corner.
 Rather a rude way for him to describe his wife, but a legitimate explanation nonetheless. If he's already married,
then the princess is spared him. It's not like he can just go home and kill his wife so he can marry the princess or something.
Er, wait, I think that's happened in another story... 
 Then the king grew angry, and said, you are a boar.
Ah, lord king, replied the peasant, what can you expect from an ox,
but beef. 
....what? Is he saying all peasants are pigs or something? 
Stop, answered the king, you shall have another reward.
Be off now, but come back in three days, and then you shall have five
hundred counted out in full. When the peasant went out by the gate,
the sentry said, you have made the king's daughter laugh, so you will
certainly receive something good.  Yes, that is what I think,
answered the peasant, five hundred are to be counted out to me.
Listen, said the soldier, give me some of it.  What can you do with
all that money. a new house, replace the cows he lost and then some, furnish his wife with
proper clothes and other things that may make it slightly worth it to be married to
such an idiot, provide his family with food...what has the soldier done to deserve
taking part in the peasant's money?
 As it is you, said the peasant, you shall have two
hundred,  present yourself in three days, time before the king, and
let it be paid to you.  A Jew, who was standing by and had heard the
conversation, ran after the peasant, held him by the coat, and said,
oh, wonder of God, what a child of fortune you are. I will change it
for you, I will change it for you into small coins, what do you want
with the great talers.
 Ah, yes, another example of the Jew in the old faerie tales-always greedy and conveniently nearby when money
is being mentioned. Again-what have these two done to deserve a single cent of the peasant's reward? They've
done nothing but heard that he was getting one-he doesn't know them, he doesn't owe them anything. 
 Jew, said the countryman, three hundred can you still have, give it to me 
at once in coin, in three days from this, you will be paid for it by the king.
 The Jew was delighted with the small profit, and brought the sum in bad groschen,
three of which were worth two good ones. 
It's standard practice in faerie tales for Jews to be greedy cheats. Generally gives
one a bit of insight about whoever wrote the thing, and their opinions on the Jewish. 
After three days had passed, according to the king's command, the peasant went
before the king. Pull his coat off, said the latter, and he shall have his five
hundred.  Ah, said the peasant, they no longer belong to me, I
presented two hundred of them to the sentry, and three hundred the
Jew has changed for me, so by right nothing at all belongs to me.  In
the meantime the soldier and the Jew entered and claimed what they
had gained from the peasant, and they received the blows strictly
counted out. 
And here is an example of how specifics can serve you in faerie-tale land. Whenever
someone offers to give you 'five hundred' or 'three hundred' or 'two and twenty' or
what have you, always make sure to know exactly WHAT it is they're giving you. 
The soldier bore it patiently and knew already how it
tasted, but the Jew said sorrowfully, alas, alas, are these the heavy
talers.  The king could not help laughing at the peasant, and when
all his anger was spent, he said, as you have already lost your
reward before it fell to your lot, I will give you compensation.  Go
into my treasure chamber and get some money for yourself, as much as
you will. 
"I didn't get to beat your ass, instead beating these two who did nothing, so help yourself
to my money!" 
 The peasant did not need to be told twice, and stuffed
into his big pockets whatsoever would go in.  Afterwards he went to
an inn and counted out his money. The Jew had crept after him and
heard how he muttered to himself, that rogue of a king has cheated me
after all, why could he not have given me the money himself, and then
I should have known what I had.  How can I tell now if what I have
had the luck to put in my pockets is right or not. 
Stupid and greedy. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen! 
 Good heavens,said the Jew to himself, that man is speaking disrespectfully 
of our lord the king, I will run and inform, and then I shall get a reward,
and he will be punished as well.
Of course the Jew is still being greedy and sneaky. Seriously, these guys got no good
representation in these stories. 
 When the king heard of the peasant's words he fell into a passion, and commanded
 the Jew to go and bring the offender to him.  The Jew ran to the peasant, 
you are to go at once to the lord king in the very clothes you have on. 
I know what's right better than that, answered the peasant, I shall have a 
new coat made first. Do you think that a man with so much money in his pocket
should go there in his ragged old coat. 
Dude, when a king tells you to get your butt to the castle, you do it. 
The Jew, as he saw that the peasant would not stir without another coat, and as 
he feared that if the king's anger cooled, he himself would lose his reward, 
and the peasant his punishment, said, I will out of pure friendship lend you
a coat for the short time.  What people will not do for love. 
Hate to break it to you, but you demanded money from this guy and then he got your butt
beaten. You two are not friends. 
 The peasant was contented with this, put the Jew's coat on, and went off
with him. The king reproached the countryman because of the evil
speaking of which the Jew had informed him.  Ah, said the peasant,
what a Jew says is always false - no true word ever comes out of his
mouth.  That rascal there is capable of maintaining that I have his
coat on. 
Once again, our hero, ladies and gentlemen. He's stupid, rude, greedy, and a shameless liar
who lets others take his punishment rather than taking the well-deserved suffering
What is that, shrieked the Jew, is the coat not mine.  Have
I not lent it to you out of pure friendship, in order that you might
appear before the lord king.  When the king heard that, he said, the
Jew has assuredly deceived one or the other of us, either myself or
the peasant.  And again he ordered something to be counted out to him
in hard talers.  The peasant, however, went home in the good coat,
with the good money in his pocket, and said to himself, this time I
have made it.
The moral of the story being that being an obnoxious, idiotic jackass, stomping on others
and letting the innocent suffer for your own gain while lying through your teeth
is the way to get ahead in life.


  1. Replies
    1. Ah, I figured they were a type of money, I just don't know their origins. :3

  2. The Jew actually wasn't that much of a jerk. The peasant made fun of the king - which is against the law, so he tells the king about it. Then when he gave the man his coat and the man accused the Jew of being a liar and the Jew insisted that it was his coat, he isn't believed just because he's a Jew.