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Clever Hans

from Grimms' Fairy Tales





The mother of Hans said: 'Whither away, Hans?' Hans answered: 'To
Gretel.' 'Behave well, Hans.' 'Oh, I'll behave well. Goodbye, mother.'
'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans comes to Gretel. 'Good day, Gretel.' 'Good day,
Hans. What do you bring that is good?' 'I bring nothing, I want to have
something given me.' Gretel presents Hans with a needle, Hans says:
'Goodbye, Gretel.' 'Goodbye, Hans.'

Hans takes the needle, sticks it into a hay-cart, and follows the cart
home. 'Good evening, mother.' 'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'
'With Gretel.' 'What did you take her?' 'Took nothing; had something
given me.' 'What did Gretel give you?' 'Gave me a needle.' 'Where is the
needle, Hans?' 'Stuck in the hay-cart.' 'That was ill done, Hans. You
should have stuck the needle in your sleeve.' 'Never mind, I'll do
better next time.'

'Whither away, Hans?' 'To Gretel, mother.' 'Behave well, Hans.' 'Oh,
I'll behave well. Goodbye, mother.' 'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans comes to
Gretel. 'Good day, Gretel.' 'Good day, Hans. What do you bring that is
good?' 'I bring nothing. I want to have something given to me.' Gretel
presents Hans with a knife. 'Goodbye, Gretel.' 'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans
takes the knife, sticks it in his sleeve, and goes home. 'Good evening,
mother.' 'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?' 'With Gretel.' What
did you take her?' 'Took her nothing, she gave me something.' 'What did
Gretel give you?' 'Gave me a knife.' 'Where is the knife, Hans?' 'Stuck
in my sleeve.' 'That's ill done, Hans, you should have put the knife in
your pocket.' 'Never mind, will do better next time.'

'Whither away, Hans?' 'To Gretel, mother.' 'Behave well, Hans.' 'Oh,
I'll behave well. Goodbye, mother.' 'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans comes to
Gretel. 'Good day, Gretel.' 'Good day, Hans. What good thing do you
bring?' 'I bring nothing, I want something given me.' Gretel presents
Hans with a young goat. 'Goodbye, Gretel.' 'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans takes
the goat, ties its legs, and puts it in his pocket. When he gets home it
is suffocated. 'Good evening, mother.' 'Good evening, Hans. Where have
you been?' 'With Gretel.' 'What did you take her?' 'Took nothing, she
gave me something.' 'What did Gretel give you?' 'She gave me a goat.'
'Where is the goat, Hans?' 'Put it in my pocket.' 'That was ill done,
Hans, you should have put a rope round the goat's neck.' 'Never mind,
will do better next time.'

'Whither away, Hans?' 'To Gretel, mother.' 'Behave well, Hans.' 'Oh,
I'll behave well. Goodbye, mother.' 'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans comes to
Gretel. 'Good day, Gretel.' 'Good day, Hans. What good thing do you
bring?' 'I bring nothing, I want something given me.' Gretel presents
Hans with a piece of bacon. 'Goodbye, Gretel.' 'Goodbye, Hans.'

Hans takes the bacon, ties it to a rope, and drags it away behind him.
The dogs come and devour the bacon. When he gets home, he has the rope
in his hand, and there is no longer anything hanging on to it. 'Good
evening, mother.' 'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?' 'With
Gretel.' 'What did you take her?' 'I took her nothing, she gave me
something.' 'What did Gretel give you?' 'Gave me a bit of bacon.' 'Where
is the bacon, Hans?' 'I tied it to a rope, brought it home, dogs took
it.' 'That was ill done, Hans, you should have carried the bacon on your
head.' 'Never mind, will do better next time.'

'Whither away, Hans?' 'To Gretel, mother.' 'Behave well, Hans.' 'I'll
behave well. Goodbye, mother.' 'Goodbye, Hans.' Hans comes to Gretel.
'Good day, Gretel.' 'Good day, Hans, What good thing do you bring?' 'I
bring nothing, but would have something given.' Gretel presents Hans
with a calf. 'Goodbye, Gretel.' 'Goodbye, Hans.'

Hans takes the calf, puts it on his head, and the calf kicks his face.
'Good evening, mother.' 'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?' 'With
Gretel.' 'What did you take her?' 'I took nothing, but had something
given me.' 'What did Gretel give you?' 'A calf.' 'Where have you the
calf, Hans?' 'I set it on my head and it kicked my face.' 'That was
ill done, Hans, you should have led the calf, and put it in the stall.'
'Never mind, will do better next time.'

'Whither away, Hans?' 'To Gretel, mother.' 'Behave well, Hans.' 'I'll
behave well. Goodbye, mother.' 'Goodbye, Hans.'

Hans comes to Gretel. 'Good day, Gretel.' 'Good day, Hans. What good
thing do you bring?' 'I bring nothing, but would have something given.'
Gretel says to Hans: 'I will go with you.'

Hans takes Gretel, ties her to a rope, leads her to the rack, and binds
her fast. Then Hans goes to his mother. 'Good evening, mother.' 'Good
evening, Hans. Where have you been?' 'With Gretel.' 'What did you take
her?' 'I took her nothing.' 'What did Gretel give you?' 'She gave me
nothing, she came with me.' 'Where have you left Gretel?' 'I led her by
the rope, tied her to the rack, and scattered some grass for her.' 'That
was ill done, Hans, you should have cast friendly eyes on her.' 'Never
mind, will do better.'

Hans went into the stable, cut out all the calves' and sheep's eyes,
and threw them in Gretel's face. Then Gretel became angry, tore herself
loose and ran away, and was no longer the bride of Hans.





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Previous: The Turnip



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