Kickoff written by Public Domain Stories

Fred and Kate

Brothers Grimm - Translation Lucy Crane (1886)

There were once a young husband and wife, and their names were Fred and Kate. One day said Fred,

"I must go now to my work in the fields, Kate, and when I come back you must have on the table some roast meat to satisfy my hunger, and some cool drink to quench my thirst."

"All right, Fred," answered Kate; "be off with you, I will see to it."

When dinner-time began to draw near, she took down a sausage from the chimney, put it in a frying-pan with some butter, and stood it over the fire. The sausage began to frizzle and fry, and Kate stood holding the handle of the pan, and fell into deep thought; at last she said to herself,

"While the sausage is cooking I might as well be drawing the beer in the cellar."

So she saw that the frying-pan was standing firmly, and then took a can and went down into the cellar to draw the beer. Now, while Kate was watching the beer run into the can, a sudden thought came into her mind.

"Holloa! the dog is not fastened up; he may perhaps get at the sausage,"
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and in a trice she was up the cellar steps: but already the dog had it in his mouth, and was making off with it. Then Kate, with all haste, followed after him and chased him a good way into the fields, but the dog was quicker than Kate, and, never letting slip the sausage, was soon at a great distance.

"Well, it can't be helped!" said Kate turning back, and as she had tired herself with running, she took her time about going home, and walked slowly to cool herself. All this time the beer was running out of the cask, for Kate had not turned off the tap, and as the can was soon full, it began to run over on the cellar floor, and ran, and ran, until the cask was empty. Kate stood on the steps and saw the misfortune.

"Dear me!" cried she, "what am I to do to prevent Fred from noticing it!"

She considered for a while, and then remembered that there was remaining in the loft from the last fair time a sack of fine wheat-flour; she determined to bring it down, and strew it over the beer.

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be sure," said she, "those who know how to save have somewhat in time of necessity."

And going up to the loft, she dragged the sack down and threw it right upon the can full of beer, so that Fred's drink ran about the cellar with the rest.

"It is all right," said Kate; "where some goes the rest must follow," and she strewed the meal all over the cellar. When all was done, she was highly pleased, and thought how clean and neat it looked.

At dinner-time home came Fred.

"Now, wife, what have you got for me?" said he.

"O Fred," answered she, "I was going to cook a sausage for you, but while I was drawing the beer the dog got it out of the pan, and while I was running after the dog the beer all ran away, and as I was going to stop up the beer with the wheat-meal I knocked over the can: but it is all right now; the cellar is quite dry again." But said Fred,

"O Kate, Kate! what have you been about, letting the sausage be carried off, and the beer run out of the cask, and then to waste all
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our good meal into the bargain?"

"Well, Fred, I did not know; you should have told me," said Kate. So the husband thought to himself,

"If my wife is like this, I must look after things a little better."

Now he had saved a very pretty sum of money, and he changed it all to gold, and said to Kate,

"Do you see these yellow counters? I am going to make a hole in the stable underneath the cows' manger and bury them; see that you do not meddle with them, or it will be the worse for you."

And she said, "Oh no, Fred, certainly I won't."

Now, one day when Fred was away, there came some pedlars to the village, with earthen pots and basins to sell, and they asked the young wife if she had nothing to give in exchange for them.

"O my good men," said Kate, "I have no money to buy anything with, but if you had any use for yellow counters, I might do some business with you."

"Yellow counters! why not? we might as well see them," said they.
"Then go into the stable and dig under the...
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