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99 A Tale about a Certain One-Sided Ram 63. This one landowner had a lot of livestock. He slaughtered five sheep to make a sheepskin coat of their skins, and he prepared to sew up the coat. He summoned a tailor. ”Well,” he said,“sew me a coat.” The tailor measured and measured, and he saw that he was short half a sheepskin for the coat.“Too little skin, there’s not enough for the lapels,” he said.“We can solve that problem,” said the landowner, and he ordered a servant to take off the skin from one side of one of his rams. The servant did just what the landowner had said. But then that ram got mad at the landowner and called on a billy goat.“Let’s leave this villain,” he said.“In the forest we could live for a while, eat the grass, drink the water, and have enough.” So off they went. They came to the forest, put up a shack, and started spending the nights there. They lived and got on well and ate the grass. But it wasn’t just those animals alone that didn’t like living with that landowner. A cow, a sow, a cock, and a gander also left that yard. While it was warm, they lived in freedom, but when wintry winter came, they started looking for a place to hide from the frost. They walked and walked about the forest and found that shack of the ram, and they asked to come in.“Let us in,” they said,“we’re cold.” But the ram and billy didn’t want to know them and wouldn’t let anybody in. The cow approached.“Let me in,” she said.“Otherwise, I’ll knock your shack over on its side!” The ram saw that things were bad and let her in. The sow approached.“Let me in. Otherwise I’ll dig up the earth and dig my way into you,” she said.“You’ll be even colder.” There was nothing to be done; they let the sow in. But look, the gander was also speaking:“Let me in or I’ll peck a hole through your shack, and it will be colder for you still. The singing cock: “Let me in or I’ll shit all over your roof!” What could they do? They let them in, too, and they all began living together. They lived there for a long time or a short time, but once some robbers were passing by, and they heard this shrieking and racket and they came up. But they didn’t know what it was, so they sent one of their comrades. “Go on,” they said,“or else it’s a rope around your neck and into the water !” There was nothing he could do, so he set off. He had no sooner entered the shack than they were at him from all sides! He had no choice: 100 h A Tale about a Certain One-Sided Ram Back he went . . . .“Well, brothers, do what you will with me; there’s no way I’m going back there again. I’ve never been so frightened in all my life. I’d just entered the place, when out of nowhere this woman began clobbering me with an oven paddle. And then this young thing in such a fury followed on after her. And then a tailor with scissors, and then a soldier with spurs leapt on me with his hair standing on end.‘This is for you,’ he said. And then this other one, the biggest, you know:‘I’ll get him.’ I was terrified.”“Well,” said the robbers,“there’s nothing else to do. Let’s get out of here, or else they’ll likely tie us all up!” They went away. So for the time being they lived there, and they lived in harmony. Suddenly some wild beasts came up to the shack, and by the smell found out what was going on there.“Well now,” they said to a wolf.“Come on in!” The wolf had no sooner entered than they began thrashing him. His legs scarcely carried him out of there. They didn’t know what to do. But there was a hedgehog among them, and it said,“Wait a minute; I’ll give it a try. Maybe I’ll do it better!”You see, he knew that one side was missing from the ram. So he rolled himself up and pricked...


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