THE GOOD BARGAIN.
then said, " I can't stand this ; I must go and demand my money." The butcher at first thought lie was talking about a sparrow.
"Sparrow, indeed!" replied the peasant. "I want my money for the meat I left under the care of your great dog three days ago —the flesh of a whole cow."
At this the butcher flew in a rage, and seizing a broom, laid it over the peasant's shoulders and drove him out of the shop.
"Just wait," cried the peasant, "there is some justice after all left in the world." And away he went to the castle, when, as it happened on that day, the king himself sat as chief magistrate, with his daughter by his side.
" What is your trouble ?" asked the king.
"Alas! your majesty," he replied, "the frogs and the dogs have taken all I possess, and when I asked the butcher for my money, he beat me with a broomstick," and then he related in a confused manner all that had occurred.
On hearing the countryman's story, the king's daughter burst into a fit of laughter, and laughed so loudly that for some minutes the king could not speak. At length he said, " I cannot restore to you the money you have lost, but I can give you my daughter in marriage. She has never during her whole life laughed till now. I long ago promised her as a wife to the first man who could make her laugh, and you are that man, so you may thank heaven for your good fortune."
" Ah ! my lord king," replied the peasant, " I cannot marry the princess, I have one wife at home already, and she is quite too much for me to manage; there is no room for another in our chimney corner."
Then was the king angry, and said, " You are a rude clown.*"
"Ah ! my lord king," he replied, "what can you expect from a pig but a grunt?" and he turned to go.
" Stay !" cried the king, calling him back j " I mean you to have some reward after all, five hundred times as much as you have lost shall be ready for you if you come here again in three days."
The peasant looked so joyful as he passed out after hearing this, that the sentinel asked him the cause. " You have made the princess laugh, I hear; what reward are you to have ?w " Five hundred dollars," he replied.
" Why, what will you do with all that money ?" asked the sentinel. " You may as well give me some."