THE TABLE, THE ASS, AND THE STICK.
" No," answered the young joiner, " I could not think of depriving you; you had much better be my guests."
Then they laughed, and thought he must be joking. But he brought his little wooden table, and put it in the middle of the room, and said, " Table, be covered! " Immediately it was set out with food much better than the landlord had been able to provide, and the good smell of it greeted the noses of the guests very agreeably. " Fall to, good friends," said the joiner; and the guests, when they saw how it was, needed no second asking, but taking up knife and fork fell to valiantly. And what seemed most wonderful was that when a dish was empty immediately a full one stood in its place. All the while the landlord stood in a corner, and watched all that went on. He could not tell what to say about it; but he thought " such cooking as that would make my inn prosper." The joiner and his fellowship kept it up very merrily until late at night. At last they went to sleep, and the young joiner, going to bed, left his wishing-table standing against the wall. The landlord, however, could not sleep for thinking of the table, and he remembered that there wras in his lumber room an old table very like it, so he fetched it, and taking away the joiner's table, he left the other in its place. The next morning the joiner paid his reckoning, took up the table, not dreaming that he was carrying off the wrong one, and went on his way. About noon he reached home, and his father received him with great joy.
" Now, my dear son, what have you learned ?" said he to him.
" I have learned to be a joiner, father," he answered.
" That is a good trade," returned the father; " but what have you brought back with you from your travels ? "
" The best thing I've got, father, is this little table," said he.
The tailor looked at it on all sides, and said,
" You have certainly produced no masterpiece. It is a rubbishing old table."
" But it is a very wonderful one," answered the son. " When I set it down, and tell it to be covered, at once the finest meats are standing on it, and wine so good that it cheers the heart. Let us invite all the friends and neighbours, that they