So at daybreak the boy put his fifty talers into his pocket, and went
forth on the main road, continually saying to himself, "If only I could
shudder! If only I could shudder!"
A man came up to him and heard this conversation that the boy was
holding with himself, and when they had walked a little farther to where
they could see the gallows, the man said to him, "Look, there is the tree
where seven men got married to the rope maker's daughter, and are now
learning how to fly. Sit down beneath it, and wait until night comes, and
then you will learn how to shudder."
"If there is nothing more than that," answered the boy, "I can do it
easily. But if I learn how to shudder that quickly, you shall have my
fifty talers. Just come back to me tomorrow morning."
Then the boy went to the gallows, sat down beneath them, and waited
until evening. Because he was cold, he made himself a fire. However, at
midnight there came up such a cold wind that in spite of his fire he could
not get warm. And as the wind pushed the hanged men against each other,
causing them to move to and fro, he thought, "You are freezing down here
next to the fire. Those guys up there must really be freezing and
suffering." Feeling pity for them, he put up the ladder, and climbed up,
untied them, one after the other, and then brought down all seven.
Then he stirred up the fire, blew into it, and set them all around it
to warm themselves. But they just sat there without moving, and their
clothes caught fire. So he said, "Be careful, or I will hang you up
The dead men, however, heard nothing and said nothing, and they let
their rags continue to burn. This made him angry, and he said, "If you
won't be careful, I can't help you. I don't want to burn up with you." So
he hung them up again all in a row. Then he sat down by his fire and fell
The next morning the man came to him and wanted to have the fifty
talers. He said, "Well, do you know how to shudder?"
"No," he answered. "Where would I have learned it? Those fellows up
there did not open their mouths. They were so stupid that they let the few
old rags which they had on their bodies catch fire."
Then the man saw that he would not be getting the fifty talers that
day. He went away saying, "Never before have I met such a fellow."
... To be continued.
Versión en español.