THE TABLE, THE ASS, AND THE STICK. 157
not deny, but they are nothing in comparison with the treasure that I have acquired and carry with me in that sack !"
Then the landlord opened his ears.
" What in the world can it be ? " thought he. " Very likely the sack is full of precious stones ; and I have a perfect right to it, for all good things come in threes."
When bedtime came the guest stretched himself on a bench, and put his sack under his head for a pillow, and the landlord, when he thought the young man was sound asleep, came, and, stooping down, pulled gently at the sack, so as to remove it cautiously, and put another in its place. The turner had only been waiting for this to happen, and just as the landlord was giving a last courageous pull, he cried, " Stick, out of the sack !" Out flew the stick directly, and laid to heartily on the landlord's back; and in vain he begged for mercy; the louder he cried the harder the stick beat time on his back, until he fell exhausted to the ground. Then the turner said,
" If you do not give me the table and the ass directly, this game shall begin all over again."
" Oh dear, no ! " cried the landlord, quite collapsed ; " I will gladly give it all back again if you will only make this terrible goblin go back into the sack."
Then said the young man, " I will be generous instead of j just, but beware ! " Then he cried, " Stick, into the sack ! " and left him in peace.
The next morning the turner set out with the table and the ass on his way home to his father. The tailor was very glad, indeed, to see him again, and asked him what he had learned abroad.
" My dear father," answered he, " I am become a turner."
" A very ingenious handicraft," said the father. " And what have you brought with you from your travels ? "
" A very valuable thing, dear father," answered the son. " A stick in a sack ! "
" What ! " cried the father. " A stick ! The thing is not worth so much trouble when you can cut one from any tree."
" But it is not a common stick, dear father," said the young man. " When I say, ' Stick, out of the bag! ' out jumps the stick upon any one who means harm to me, and