Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/502

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


444 Collectanea.

PUZZLES.

(P. 184, after line 33.)

Forethought and Industry seem inculcated by the following. We translate the Gaelic literally. There was a farmer yonder who was feeing a lad, and when he inquired of the lad what wages he would be asking, said the lad, " Not but three grains of corn for the first year, and each year after that, that I shall be allowed to sow what grows of them wherever I please throughout the farm." The farmer considered he had the right bargain here, and he said to the lad that he would get that, and they came to an agreement. When the lad got the first three grains he sowed them on the top of the house — it was a thatched house — and they grew so well that there was a good handful of seeds for him. When next year came, he sowed them at the end of a rig, and so he went on from year to year, till at the end of a few years there was no ground for the farmer, and the servant lad got the farm town to himself

Stories run generally to proving that the servant is smarter than his master. A master suspecting his servant of dishonesty, in order to test the question, entrusted him with sixteen shillings which however were to be returned at next date of reckoning. In accepting the money, the servant laid the sixteen shillings on the table in the following order, counting them one by one as he laid them down. He counted out eleven shillings, placing them in one row from left to right, and under the centre shilling he put a perpendicular row of five shillings, remarking to his master "That's sixteen shillings." The master agreed. The servant then, as though to make the matter sure by another process said, " There must be an equal number of shillings in each of these two angles, we'll see how many there are," and commencing at the bottom of his perpendicular, he counted in the right-hand angle, i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, II, and then from the same starting-point the left hand angle, i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, "Yes, there are eleven in each angle," and the master agreed. When the time of reckoning again came, the servant only put four shillings in his perpendicular row, and brought down the shilling from each end of the horizontal one. Having then given an account of the transactions between whiles, he proceeded to count the two angles

i