THE THREE TRADES.
himself, " If I am afraid of being knocked about, I shall never be able to claim the house."
At length the time came for them to meet again at home, for theii father to decide; but they could not at first find an opportunity to make their cleverness known. So they sat down together in the field to consider the matter. As they thus sat they saw a hare running across the field towards them.
"Hi!" exclaimed the barber, "here comes an opportunity for me." So he hastily filled his basin with lather, and as the hare ran by, he shaved off a piece of his beard without cutting him or shortening another hair besides.
" I like that," said the father; " and unless your brothers can do something more wonderful still, the house is yours."
Before long, another opportunity occurred to display the skill of the second son. A gentleman drove by at a rapid rate in a carriage drawn by four horses. " Now you shall see what I can do, father," said the farrier; so he sprang out, took off the shoes of the leader, and replaced them with new ones, without stopping the carriage.
"Well," exclaimed his father, "you are a clever fellow; you have performed your task as skilfully as your brother: and I am puzzled now to know which of you ought to have the house."
"Father," said the youngest son, "let me try, before you decide." At chis moment it began to rain, and the fencing master, looking up, cried, " Here is my opportunity." As he spoke, he raised his fencing-stick, and made such rapid passes with it over and across their heads, that not a drop of rain fell upon them, although it poured faster and heavier, as if the sky was being emptied with buckets ; but where the father and his sons sat the ground remained as dry as if they had been under their own roof.
When the father saw the effect of this fencing, he was astonished, and said, " Most certainly the youngest has performed the best masterpiece ; the house must be his."
The elder brothers were quite content; they had already received praise for their work, and they were all so attached to each other, that they readily agreed to live together in the house, and follow their different trades. These trades had been so well learnt, and were so skilfully performed, that they soon made a great deal of money, and lived for many years in great content-