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The eleventh story tells of how Eulenspiegel became a cook and hearth tender for a merchant and misbehaved

On the right side of the road that leads into Hildesheim there lived a wealthy merchant. This merchant once went for a walk outside his gate and decided to go to his vegetable plot. On the way there he found Eulenspiegel lying in a green field, saluted him and asked him what his trade might be. Eulenspiegel smartly and hiding his scorn answered saying he were a scullery boy and out of work. So the merchant said to him: "If you'll be industrious, I shall take you in myself and give you new clothes and pay. For I have a wife who complains all day about cooking. I wish to earn her thanks." Eulenspiegel promised him great faithfulness and reliability.

So the merchant took him into his service and asked him what his name was. "Sir, my name is Bartholomeus." The merchant said: "That's too long a name to pronounce well; you shall be called Doll." Eulenspiegel said: "Very well, kind Sir, my name is unimportant to me." "Very well," said the merchant, "you suit me as a servant. Come, come with me to my garden. We'll take home herbs and stuff some chickens with them for I've invited guests on Sunday and wish to treat them to something good." Eulenspiegel went to the garden with him and picked rosemary. With that he planned on stuffing a number of chickens in the country manner, while he'd stuff several more with onions, eggs and other herbs. Then they went home together.

When his wife saw the strangely clothed guest she asked her husband what sort of a fellow that was, what he intended to do with him and if he were maybe concerned that the bread in the house would go moldy for lack of being eaten. The merchant said: "Woman, be happy. He shall be your own servant for he is a cook." The woman said: "Well, my dear man, if he could cook good things." "Be content," replied the merchant, "tomorrow you will see what he can do." So he called for Eulenspiegel: "Doll!" He replied "Sir!" "Here, take this sack and let's go to the butcher. We'll go get meat and a roast." So Eulenspiegel followed him. So the gentleman bought his meat and his roast and said to Eulenspiegel: "Doll, put the roast on early in the morning and let it roast coolly and slowly lest it be burnt. Put the other meat with it for a while so it's ready in time for a snack." Eulenspiegel said yes, got up early in the monring and put the meal on the fire. But the roast he took and put it on a spit and then placed the spit over two barrels of beer in the cellar so that it would lie cool and would not burn.

Since the merchant had invited the town scribe and other good friends to the feast, he came to see whether his guests had arrived and the food was ready. And he asked his new servant about it, who repliped: "It is all done, save for the roast." "What about the roast?" asked the merchant. "It's lying between two barrels in the cellar. I couldn't think of a colder place to let it lie coolly as you told me to." "Well, it is done?" "No," said Eulenspiegel, "I didn't know when you wanted to eat it."

In the meantime the guests started arriving. The merchant told them about his new servant and how he'd let the roast lie in the cellar. They laughed about it and thought it was a great jest. But the wife was unsatisfied on account of the guests an told the merchant he should let the new servant go. She did not want to have in the house anymore; she saw that he was a trickster. The merchant said: "Dear wife, be content. I need him for a journey to the town of Goslar; I will let him go when we return. He was barely able to convince his wife to accept this.

When they were eating and drinking and in a good mood in the evening, the merchant said: "Doll, prepare the wagon and grease it. Tomorrow we'll be going to Goslar. A priest, Herr Heinrich Hamenstede lives there and will travel with us. Eulenspiegel said yes and asked what sort of grease he should use. The merchant tossed him a shilling and said: "Go buy wagon grease and let the wife add old fat to it." Eulenspiegel did as told and, when everyone was asleep, greased the wagon inside and outside and most of all where people generally sit.

Early in the morning the merchant and the priest got up and told Eulenspiegel to harness the horses. This he did and they got on and drove away. The priest raised himself and said "What the gallows is so fatty here? I try to hold on tight so that the wagon won't shake me up too much and get my hands all greasy!" So they told Eulenspiegel to stop and said they were full of grease, front and back and became very angry with him. In the meantime a farmer came by driving a bale of hay to market. They bought some straw off him, wiped the wagon and got on again. And the merchant said angrily to Eulenspiegel: "Why, you godforsaken trickster, may you have no luck! Drive, by the gallows!" Eulenspiegel did just that. When they arrived beneath the gallows, he stopped and unhitched the horses. Then the merchant said to him: "What do you plan to do or what do you mean by this, you trickster?" Eulenspiegel said: "You told me to drive by the gallows. Here we are. I thought you wished to rest here." The merchant looked out of the wagon. Indeed, they were by the gallows. What could they do? They laughed over the foolishness and the merchant said: "Hitch them up again, you menace, drive straight ahead and don't look around you."

Now Eulenspiegel took the linchpin from the wagon and, after they had gone a field's distance, the wagon fell apart. The back part with the canopy stayed behind and Eulenepiegel drove on alone. They called after him and ran after him so hard that they panted, until they caught up with him. The merchant wanted to beat him to death and the priest helped him as well as he could.


English translation created for E2 from the original by Hermann Bote at the German project Gutenberg.

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