Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Til Eileschpiggel and the Dwarves

Til Eileschpiggel had made a nuisance of himself to the Dwarves so much that they decided that he must be dealt with, so they made plans to drown him. 

They made a casket and placed him inside it, and then they started to trek towards the sea. On their way, they came to a tavern, and they went inside to revel in their victory, leaving the casket outside. 

Along came a herder with a large drove of cattle. When Til heard the approaching hoofbeats, he began to call out, "No! I won't do it! I can't do it!"

The herder stopped and listened to the calls, finally answering, "What is it that you cannot and will not do?"

"They want me to marry the king's daughter, and I won't do it. They are taking me to the king to force me to marry her against my will. I won't do it!"

"Let me take your place," said the herdsman greedily, "I'll marry the king's daughter!"

The herdsman took Til's place in the casket and Til took the cattle towards his own home. 

When the Dwarves came out of the tavern, they took the casket to the sea and sank it. They then headed home joyously.

As they neared the gates of their home, the Dwarves were astonished to see Til alive, and even more bewildered to see him driving a huge herd of cattle towards his home. 

Til said, "Down on the bottom of the sea are many such cattle. These I drove from the bottom and up onto the shore, and I brought them home."

All of the Dwarves, eager to get cattle, ran to the sea and jumped in, heading for the bottom. Not one of them resurfaced.