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Previous story (3) - Till Eulenspiegel - Next story (5)

The fourth story tells of how Eulenspiegel gathered about two hundred pair of shoes and used them to make young and old alike brawl over them.

A short time after that, Eulenspiegel wanted to avenge the ridicule of being dumped in the river so he cast his rope acress the Saale from a different house and gave everyone to understand that he would once again walk the tightrope. Soon all, young and old, had gathered to watch him. And Eulenspiegel told the boys to each give him their left shoe and he would show them a neat trick with the shoes on the rope. They youngsters believed it and took his word for it, as did the older ones. So they began to take off their shoes and hand them to Eulenspiegel. There were nearly two shock of boys, that's sixty twice over. Half the shoes were handed to Eulenspiegel, who drew a string through them all and with them climbed onto the rope. As he sat on the rope with all the shoes, everyone looked up and thought he would do some funny trick with them. Some of the boys were sad though and wanted their shoes back.

So, while Eulenspiegel was on the rope and performing his antics, he suddenly yelled: "Everyone pay attention and look for their shoe!" And he cut the string and let all the shoes tumble from his perch and onto the ground. So young and old threw themselves at them, one catching a shoe here, the other catching one there. One of them would say: "This shoe is mine!" for the other to retort "Liar! It's mine!" And they fell all over each other and started beating each other up. One would lie underneath, the other on top of him; one would scream, the other would wail and a third would laugh. This lasted so long that, in the end, even the old people were slapping each other and grasping each other by the hair.

In the meantime Eulenspiegel sat on his rope and called: "Haha, now look for the shoes just like I had to bathe the other day!" And he ran off the rope, leaving old and young to fight over the shoes.

Following this, he dared not show himself for four whole weeks. Instead he sat at home with Mother and patched shoes. His mother was very pleased and thought everything might turn out well after all. Little did she know of the incident with the shoes and that his prank was the reason he didn't dare venture outdoors.


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

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