The Cunning Little Tailor

The Cunning Little Tailor” teaches us to always believe in ourselves and never listen to whoever discourages us. We must think twice before doing anything, and of course, age or strength is not always the most important matter in life, but with intelligence and wisdom, we can beat all

The Cunning Little Tailor

There was once a time a princess who was extremely proud if a worker came

she gave him some riddle to guess, and if he could not find it out, he was sent

contemptuously away.

She let it be also known that whoever solved her riddle should marry her and let him

be who he might at length; therefore, three tailors fell in with each other, the two

eldest of whom thought they had done so many dexterous bits of work successfully

that they could not fail to succeed in this, also the third was a little useless scamp

who did not even know his trade but fought. He must have some luck in this venture

for where else was it to come from,

then the two others said to him, “just stay at home; you cannot do much with your 

little bit of understanding”,

the little tailor, however, did not let himself be discouraged and said he had set

his head to work about this for once, and he would manage well enough, and he went

forth as if the whole world were his, they all free-announced themselves

to the princess and said she was to propound her riddle to them and that the right

person had now come who had understood so fine that they could be threaded

in a needle, then said to the princess, “I have two kinds of hair on my head 

what color is it?”

“if that be all,” said the first, “it must be black and white like the cloth which is called pepper-and-salt,”

but the princess said, “Wrongly guessed, let the second answer,”

then said the second, “If it is not black and white, then it is brown and red like my father’s company coat,”

“wrongly guests,” said the princess, “let the third give the answer, for I see very well he knows it for certain,”

then the little tailor stepped boldly forth and said, “The princess has silver and golden hair on her head, and those are the two different colors,”

when the princess heard that, she turned pale and nearly fell down with terror

for the little tailor had guessed her riddle, and she had firmly believed that no man

on earth could discover it.

When her courage returned, she said “You have not won me yet by that there is still something else that you must do, below in the stable is a bear with which you shall pass the night, and when I get up in the morning if you are still alive you shall marry me,”

she expected, however, she should thus get rid of the tailor, for the bear had never yet

left anyone alive who had fallen into his clutches, the little tailor did not let himself

be frightened away but was quite delighted and said boldly, “ventured is half won.”

When, therefore, the evening came, our little tailor was taken down to the bear;

the bear was about to set at the little fellow at once and give him a hearty

welcome with his paws,

“softly, softly,” said the little tailor, “I will soon make you quiet then quite composedly.”

And as if he had not an anxiety in the world, he took some nuts out of his pocket

cracked them, and ate the kernels; when the bear saw that, he was seized with

a desire to have some nuts – but tailor felt in his pockets and reached him a handful,

they were, however not nuts but pebbles, the bear put them in his mouth but could 

get nothing out of them.

“let him bite as he would, yeah.”

“What a stupid blockhead I am, I cannot even crack a nut,” and then he said to the tailor ” Here, crack me the nuts,”

“There, see what a stupid fellow you are,” said the little tailor, “to have such a great mouth and not be able to crack a small nut, “

then he took a pebble and nimbly put a nut in his mouth in the place of it and crack it

 “I must try the thing again,” said the bear “When I watch you, I then think I ought to be able to do it,”

so the tailor once more gave him a pebble, and the bear tried and tried to bite into it

with all the strength of his body, but no one will imagine that he accomplished it when

that was over, the tailor took out a violin from beneath his coat and played a piece 

on it to himself; when the bear heard the music, he could not help beginning to dance

and when he had danced a while, the thing pleased him so well that he said 

to the little tailor “Is the fiddle heavy?”

“light enough for a child, look with the left hand I lay my fingers on it, and with the right, I stroked it with the bow, and then it goes merrily hops sa sa hoppha low lira,”

so said the bear “fiddling is a thing I should like to understand too that I might dance whenever I have a fancy; what do you think of that? will you give me lessons?”

“With all my heart,” said the tailor, “if you have a talent for it, but just let me see your claws they are terribly long I must cut your nails a little,”

then a vies was brought, and the bear put his claws in it, and the little Tyler screwed it

tight and said, “Now wait until I come with the scissors,” and he let the bear growl

as he liked and lay down in the corner on a bundle of straw and fell asleep when

the princess heard the bear growling so fiercely during the night she believed nothing

else but that he was growling for joy and had made an end of the tailor.

In the morning, she arose careless and happy, but when she peeped into the stable

the tailor stood gaily before her and was as healthy as a fish in water, now, she could

not say another word against the wedding because she had given a promise before

everyone and the king ordered a carriage to be brought in, which she was to drive

to church with the tailor, and there she was to be married when they had gotten into

the carriage, the two other tailors who had false hearts and envied him, his good

fortune went into the stable and unscrewed the bear. King the bear, in great fury, ran

after the carriage, the princess heard him snorting and growling; she was terrified

and she cried, “Ah the bear is behind us and wants to get you”,

the tailor was quick and stood on his head, stuck his legs out of the window, and cried

“do you see the Vice? If you do not be off, you shall be put into it again”,

when the bear saw that, he turned around and ran away; the tailor drove quietly

to church, and the princess was married to him at once, and he lived with her

as happy as a Woodlock. 

The End