| The wise men of Gotham (an English tale)

Posted by admin at 2005, October 17, 9:19 PM
More of this topic in Fairy tale
John Bog and Thomas Bick of Gotham were neighbors, but not friends. One day when Thomas was returning home from Nottingham market he met John on Nottingham bridge and called out roughly, "Where are you going?"

"I am going to Nottingham to buy sheep," said John.

"Buy sheep!" said Thomas, "and which way will you bring them home?"

"Oh," responded John, "I will bring them over this bridge."

"No you won't," said Thomas. "I'm going to stay here and stop you."

Each man carried a stout cane, and as they talked they swung their canes in the air and thumped them on the ground.

"If you act like that," said John, "you'll make my sheep jump off the bridge into the water and they'll drown."

"Let them drown," said Thomas." I don't care. You can take them home some other way."


"I shall not!" said John, "I shall bring them across this bridge."

"You'll get a rap on your head with my cane if you do," said Thomas.

While they were quarrelling another man of Gotham came from the market. The man was leading a horse with a bag of meal on its back. He stopped on the bridge and listened to his two neighbors. "How is this?" said he, "you're ready to come to blows over some sheep; but I see not a single sheep for you to fight about."

"No," explained the other two, "they're not bought yet."

"Ah, foolish men!" said the newcomer. "Where is your common sense? I'll show you what I think of you."

He took the bag of meal from his horse's back, went to the side of the bridge, untied the mouth of the bag and shook all the meal out into the river. "Now, neighbors," said he, "how much meal is there in my bag?"

"Why, surely," replied they, "there is none at all." ò№シξほwWw.fairY-tale。INfO%ヲのД

"Quite right!" said he, "and just as much sense is there in your two heads to get so angry about a thing you do not have."

So the three men went their ways, and each thought himself the smartest of the three.

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