Rübezahl Is Entertained by Musicians

Johann Prätorius

Translated by D. L. Ashliman

Copyright 1997. This text may be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.

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One summer four musicians from Bohemia were making their way across the mountains when they were approached by a cavalier with two horses. They were sitting and resting, and the latter asked them what they were doing there. They replied that they were musicians, and that they had exhausted their provisions. If he would give them something, then they would play for him. He agreed and told them to play away. They played several cheerful pieces. His horse dropped four horse biscuits. Because there were four of them, he told each of them to take one of the horse biscuits, and to be satisfied with it. Then he rode away.

The good people looked at their honorarium. Three of them left the biscuits lying there, but the fourth took his along. He had a piece of paper with him, so he wrapped it up and put it in his pocket. When they arrived at an inn, it was a Sunday, and many guests were there. They performed to earn some money. At the end of the day, after the guests had left, they counted how much they had earned. The three of them said to the fourth, that he should also add in his biscuit. The latter said: "The biscuit will not be the worst thing that we received." Then he pulled it out, and it was black and heavy. He scraped at it with his knife, and inside it was nothing but pure gold. His companions were horrified that they had not kept theirs. They went back, but found nothing.

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Revised April 8, 1997.