It was been a while since the professor read out of his book with his favorite tale.
Many came to listen to the next part of his book.
It was a long story so there was no time to waste to start reading:
The eldest had apprenticed himself to a joiner, and learned industriously and tirelessly, and when the time came for him to be on his way, his master presented him with a little table which was not particularly beautiful, and was made of common wood, but which had one good property. If anyone set it out, and said, “table be set,” the good little table was at once covered with a clean little cloth, and a plate was there, and a knife and fork beside it, and dishes with boiled meats and roasted meats, as many as there was room for, and a great glass of red wine shone, so that it made the heart glad.
The young journeyman thought, “With this you have enough for your whole life,” and went joyously about the world and never troubled himself at all whether an inn was good or bad, or if anything was to be found in it or not. When it suited him, he did not enter an inn at all, but either on the plain, in a wood, a meadow, or wherever he fancied, he took his little table off his back, set it down before him, and said, “table be set,” and then everything appeared that his heart desired.
At length he took it into his head to go back to his father, whose anger would now be appeased, and who would now willingly receive him with his magic table. It came to pass that on his way home, he came one evening to an inn which was filled with guests. They bade him welcome, and invited him to sit and eat with them, for otherwise he would have difficulty in getting anything.
“No,” answered the joiner, “I will not take the few morsels out of your mouths. Rather than that, you shall be my guests.”
They laughed, and thought he was jesting with them. He but placed his wooden table in the middle of the room, and said, “Table be set.” Instantly it was covered with food, so good that the host could never have procured it, and the smell of it ascended pleasantly to the nostrils of the guests.
“Fall to, dear friends,” said the joiner, and the guests when they saw that he meant it, did not need to be asked twice, but drew near, pulled out their knives and attacked it valiantly. And what surprised them the most was that when a dish became empty, a full one instantly took its place of its own accord.
The innkeeper stood in one corner and watched the affair. He did not at all know what to say, but thought, “You could easily find a use for such a cook as that in your household.”
The joiner and his comrades made merry until late into the night. At length they lay down to sleep, and the young journeyman also went to bed, and set his magic table against the wall. The host’s thoughts, however, let him have no rest. It occurred to him that there was a little old table in his backroom which looked just like the journeyman’s and he brought it out, and carefully exchanged it for the wishing table. Next morning the joiner paid for his bed, took up his table, never thinking that he had got a false one, and went his way.
At midday he reached his father, who received him with great joy. “Well, my dear son, what have you learned?” he said to him.
“Father, I have become a joiner.”
“A good trade,” replied the old man. “But what have you brought back with you from your apprenticeship?”
“Father, the best thing which I have brought back with me is this little table.”
The tailor inspected it on all sides and said, “You did not make a masterpiece when you made this. It is a bad old table.”
“But it is a table-be-set,” replied the son. “When I set it out, and tell it to set itself, the most beautiful dishes immediately appear on it, and wine also, which gladdens the heart. Just invite all our relatives and friends. They shall refresh and enjoy themselves for once, for the table will fill them all.”
When the company was assembled, he put his table in the middle of the room and said, “Table be set,” but the little table did not move, and remained just as bare as any other table which does not understand language. Then the poor journeyman became aware that his table had been changed, and was ashamed at having to stand there like a liar. The relatives, however, mocked him, and were forced to go home without having eaten or drunk.
The father brought out his scraps again, and went on tailoring, but the son found work with a master joiner.
The second son had gone to a miller and had apprenticed himself to him. When his years were over, the master said, “As you have conducted yourself so well, I give you a donkey of a peculiar kind, which neither draws a cart nor carries a sack.”
“What good is he then?” asked the young journeyman.
“He spews forth gold,” answered the miller. “If you set him on a cloth and say ‘Bricklebrit,’ the good animal will spew forth gold pieces for you from back and front.”
“That is a fine thing,” said the journeyman, and thanked the master, and went out into the world. When he had need of gold, he had only to say “Bricklebrit” to his donkey, and it rained gold pieces, and he had nothing to do but pick them off the ground. Wherever he went, the best of everything was good enough for him, and the more expensive the better, for he had always a full purse. When he had looked about the world for some time, he thought, “You must seek out your father. If you go to him with the gold-donkey he will forget his anger, and receive you well.”
It came to pass that he came to the same inn in which his brother’s table had been exchanged……
The professor stood up from his chair and asked everyone if they remember his words from last time.
That these tales have some elements of truth in it.
He wanted to take us to the inn where the donkey was.
Of course we where all curious about this.
Only moments later we found our self at the entrance of the inn.
But when we approached the stables of the inn we where attacked by some false donkeys!
We had our hands full with several of these creatures!
After we killed all of these false donkeys the evil host appeared and was not happy with what was happened.
The evil host had not much of a chance!
After the fight some of us where lucky to take home a golden donkey statue.
We all gathered back at the in where the professor was standing behind the counter.
He needed a rest,he said he is not the youngest anymore.
It was time for all of us to go home but i am more curious what more stories the professor has to tell and where it will take us the next time!
New Frarc, Drachenfels News reporter.