Fairy Tales / Italian Popular Tales

Italian Popular Tales

The Peasant and the Master

A peasant one day, conversing in the farmhouse with his master and others, happened, while speaking of sheep and cheese, to say that he had had a present of a little cheese, but the mice had eaten it all up.

Then the master, who was rich, proud, and fat, called him a fool, and said that it was not possible that the mice could have eaten the cheese, and all present said the master was right and the peasant wrong. What more could the poor man say? Talk makes talk.

After a while the master said that having taken the precaution to rub with oil his ploughshares to keep them from rusting, the mice had eaten off all the points.

Then the friend of the cheese broke forth: "But, master, how can it be that the mice cannot eat my cheese, if they can eat the points of your ploughshares?" But the master and all the others began to cry out: "Be silent, you fool! Be silent, you fool! the master is right!"

Source: Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Frederick Crane, A. M.

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