Danish Fairy and Folk Tales/A Funny Fellow

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ONE day a man came along the road pushing in front of him a wheelbarrow containing a bushel of rye, which he intended to bring to the mill. He met another man, with whom he fell to talking.

"Good-morning, my friend! Is the road good?"

"I did not taste it."

"Was the mill agoing?"

"I did not meet her."

"Why!" cried the first, "you are a funny fellow, aren't you?"

"I am no fellow, for I am a married man, and so I was for the last twenty years."

"Good enough for you!"

"No, it was not so very good."

"Why not?"

"Because my wife was too old."

"Too bad, wasn't it?"

"No, it might ha' been much worse."

"How so?"

"Because she had a house and a heap of money."

"Pretty good for you, then!"

"No, it might have been better, for there was too much small coin in it."

"Bad enough for you!"

"No, it might ha' been worse, for we had enough to buy four good-sized pigs."

"Good for you!"

"No, it was bad enough, for when my wife melted off the lard, she set the house afire."

"That was pretty bad!"

"Worse it might ha' been, for I built a new one."

"That was good!"

"Not for me. When my wife went into the new house to see what it looked like, she fell down the stairs and broke her neck."

"Too bad! Too bad!"

"I don't say so, for I married again. My second wife is young and pretty."

"Good for you, then!"

"No, no. It might have been better, for she scolds and kicks me with a broomstick all the day long."

"That is too bad!"

"Yes, that is bad enough. Good-morning!"