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Library: Sausage

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Author: logicus
Date:Jan 3 2009

     In a little house in the woods, there once lived a little old man and
a little old woman.
     The little old man was a woodcutter.  Every day he cut down big trees
in the woods and chopped them into firewood.  When he had cut enough
firewood to fill his cart, he would hitch his old, gray donkey to the cart
and haul the load of wood into town to sell.  One night, as he was driving
his empty cart back from town, he saw a man lying next to the road.
     "Oh, no!" said the little old man, worried that the stranger was hurt,
or even dead.  The old man ran over and saw that the stranger was
breathing, so he shook the stranger to wake him up.
     Just then the man opened his eyes. Relieved, the old man asked, "Hey,
what happened to you?"
     "Robbers attacked me," the stranger answered. "They took my horse and
they took all of my money, and then they smashed me over the head and ran
away."
     "That's terrible!" said the little old man. "But we'll take you back
to my house and my wife and I will make you all better."
     The old man helped the stranger get into the back of his cart and they
set off for his home.  By the time they got there, it was almost dark.  The
little old woman saw her husband carrying the stranger into the house, and
she said, "What have you there?"
     "This poor man was lying by the side of the road.  He was attacked by
robbers."
     Soon the poor man was laying in a big, soft bed.  The little old woman
gave him some soup and bandaged the big bump on his head.  He quickly fell
asleep.
     When morning came and the stranger woke up, he was feeling much better.
The little old woman and the little old man were glad to see that he was
better, and they gave him a good breakfast.
     "I feel great," he said.  "You two have been very kind."
     He got up and put on his clothes, and he said, "I must continue on my
journey."
     The little old woman insisted that he let her fix a lunch to take with
him, and the old man gave the stranger his best cane to use until he was
fully healed.
     "You are very nice people.  If not for you, I might still be lying on
the side of the road.  For your kindness, I will give you something the
robbers didn't take from me."
     He held out a small, brown nut.
     "What a fine little nut!" said the old man.
     "Ah, yes.  It is a wonderful nut," the stranger said.  "It was given
to me long ago by a very wise man, and whoever owns it will have his first
three wishes fulfilled.  But after three wishes are made, the nut will lose
its magic power."  Then he walked away to continue his journey.

     "We can become the richest people in the world and live in a fine
palace," said the man.
     "But we have always been happy living here, just the way we are," the
woman wisely said.  "We must be very careful and wish only for the best, or
we may not care for what we get after we get it."
     "Very well," said her husband.
     That night, after dinner, the old man and his wife sat down by the
fireplace to use their wishes.
     "What about a fine beautiful palace with lots of servants to wait on
us?" suggested the man.
     "Or we could have enough money that we never have to work again," said
the woman.
     "My, my! How do we decide?" asked the man
     "I don't know!" exclaimed the woman.
     They talked for a while, and thought of many things they wanted, but
could never agree on what their final three choices should be.
     This went on for quite some time, and it was getting pretty late.  The
man hadn't eaten much at supper, as he had been too excited trying to think
of wishes, so now he was getting pretty hungry.
     Without thinking about it, before he realized what he was doing, he
turned to his wife and said "That soup was good but I just didn't have
enough.  I wish I had a nice pan of sausages!"
     The magic nut hummed and started to shake, and with a popping sound
there was suddenly a pan of sausages sizzling on the coals of the stove.
     They were both very surprised.  "Why, dear, you've just used one of
our wishes for a pan of sausages!" the woman laughed.
     And the old man stared in awe, for so he had!
     Then the little old woman began to get angry.  "You wished for
sausages, when you might have wished for all the money in the world!" she
shrieked.  And then, without thinking, and almost before she knew it, she
said, "You old silly, I wish your pan of sausages were fastened to your
nose!"
     And there, in the twinkling of an eye, a chain appeared, hanging from
the man's nose, and the pan of sausages was attached to the other end.
     "Oh!  Oh!" shouted the man.  "Now look what _you_'ve done.  You've
used up the second wish just to hang a pan of sausages from my nose!"
     And the little old woman stared in awe, for so she had!
     When she saw what she had done, she wasn't angry any more.
     "Oh, dear, dear!" sid said.  "What a terrible thing I've done!" and
she tenderly lifted the pan of sausages and set it down on the counter next
to the man, so that it wouldn't hang so heavily from his nose.
     "Well, anyway," said the little old woman, "we still have one wish
left.  We can still wish for all the gold and jewels and fine clothes that
we want."
     "Gold, say you?  Jewels and fine clothes?" cried the man.  "What good
will that do if I have to walk around the rest of my life with this pan of
sausages hanging from my nose?"
     "That is very true," mourned the woman.  But all at once she
brightened up.
     "We were never unhappy before, when we weren't thinking of riches and
jewels and fine clothes," she said.  "And we can be just as happy again
even if we never get them."
     "That is very true," smiled the man.  "But then I did not have a pan
of sausages hanging from my nose."
     "Then we shall just wish the pan of sausages off of your nose," the
little old woman suggested, "and then we can be just as happy as we were
before!"
     "That's the very thing!" exclaimed the little old man.
     So, together, they wished the pan of sausages off of the little old
man's nose.
     And, suddenly, the pan of sausages was off of his nose, back sizzling
over the hot coals of the stove.  The chain disappeared completely.
     The man rubbed his nose, and then laughed happily, glad that the pan of
sausages was off of it.  And then the woman laughed also, because
everything had ended so well.
     So the little old woman and the little old man laughed, and then they
ate the sausages that were sizzling on the coals.  And they lived together
happily ever after, content with what they had.  Never again did they get
upset that they had only gotten a pan of sausages with their three wishes.
     For, you see, the sausages had tasted wonderfully good.


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