160 THE TAILORS THREE SONS.
When the tailor heard this, he was greatly startled, and saw at once that he had punished his three sons unjustly. " You ungrateful animal," he cried. " It would be a slight punishment to you to send you away as I did my sons. But wait a bit. I will mark you in such a manner that you will never dare to show yourself again amongst honest tailors." So he seized a razor, soaped the head of the goat, and shaved it as smooth as the back of his hand, and then, as a blow from the yard measure would have been too great an honour, the tailor fetched a whip, and gave the goat two or three such cuts with it that the animal rushed out, and ran away with all his might.
The tailor, being now quite alone in the empty house, began to feel very miserable; he would have been glad to have his three sons home again, but he knew not where to find them. And so years passed away without any news of the wanderers.
We will leave the hasty tailor to himself, and see what his sons have been about all this while. The eldest had apprenticed himself to a joiner, and acquired the knowledge of the trade so quickly that his master was quite pleased with him. When the time came for him to travel about, as young tradesmen do abroad, to improve their knowledge of the different branches of their trade, his master gave him a table. It was very small, and not at all wonderful to look at, for the wood was of the most common sort, but it possessed one remarkable quality. If any one addressed it and said, " Table, prepare for dinner," immediately the table obeyed, and quickly covered itself with a snowy cloth, on which stood plates, knives, and forks, with dishes and tureens full of good things to eat, and the bright sparkling red wine in glass goblets, which makes glad the heart.
The young apprentice thought that with such a table he could want nothing else in the world, and started on his journey without troubling himself to find an inn, either good or bad, or perhaps where he might be unable to get anything to eat at all. And so it happened to him, that travel where he might, whether through wood or meadow, he had only to take his table from his back, place it on the ground, and say, " Table, prepare thyself," and immediately it was ready, and covered with all that heart could wish.
After travelling for some time, it came into his mind that he