Posted by: Naomi Baltuck | July 29, 2013

The Farmer’s Daughter!

An old story begins when a poor farmer’s mare gives birth in the village marketplace… 

The frightened newborn took shelter under a rich man’s wagon, and the rich man claimed the foal as his own.   The young burgermeister was inexperienced, and did not want to displease the rich man.  To settle the dispute, he told the two men to return the next day with answers to three riddles; the one with the best answers would be awarded the foal.  Surely the rich man could outfox an old peasant, and the matter would be done.

“What is the richest thing in the world?” asked the burgermeister.  “What is the swiftest thing in the world?  And what is the sweetest thing in the world?”

The farmer was distressed.  He didn’t know the answers, and he couldn’t afford to lose the foal.  But his daughter was very clever.

“Don’t worry, Papa.  Here’s what you must say…”

The next day, the rich man puffed out his chest and said, “The swiftest thing in the world is my coach and pair, for no other horse or wagon ever passes me on the road.”

The richest thing is the gold in my treasure chest, for am I not the richest man in the village?  And the sweetest thing is cakes made with honey from my own hives.”

“Mmm,” said the burgermeister, turning to the farmer.  “And have you answers to my riddles, old man?”

“Yes,” said the farmer.  “The richest thing in the world is the earth, for do not all riches come from the earth?”

 

“The swiftest thing in the world is thought.

For a thought can travel to the ends of the earth and back again…


…in the blink of an eye.”

 

“And the sweetest thing in the world is sleep.  For when one is sad or tired, what can be sweeter?”

The mayor had no choice but to award the foal to the farmer.  “But you didn’t think of those answers yourself.  Tell me who helped you.”

The farmer confessed that his daughter had solved the riddles for him.  The burgermeister was impressed and intrigued.  He asked to meet the farmer’s daughter.

 But that is a story for another day…

All words and images copyright 2013 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Sweet.

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Responses

  1. And surely they lived happily ever after!! Wonderful post Naomi!

    • HI Tina,
      Actually, I am happy to say that they do!

  2. I love this post. Perfect choice today 🙂
    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for your sweet comment.

  3. One of my favorite stories — and your photos add so much ❤

    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks for the visit. This is one of the first stories I ever learned, and I love it still. It was very fun choosing photos to go with this story.

  4. Great images to match the story. Your posts are always such a treat 🙂

    • You are so kind! Thanks for making me smile.

  5. Beautiful post!!!! Wonderful images!!!

    • Dear Rexlin,
      Thank you for the visit, and for your very generous comments!

  6. Fun post, Naomi! And fun pictures to match. Thanks for sharing them!

    • Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to share your generous thoughts. As always, it is so good to hear from you.

  7. Love the example of fairness and equality!

    • Hi Carol,
      I’m back and catching up, and it is so nice to see your smiling face! I have been thinking of you, and sending good thoughts your way.

  8. Beautiful pictures to support an inspiring story.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to visit, and share your response to this story.

  9. Really enjoyed, Naomi! Beautifully written and paired up with photos.

    • Hello, Ese!
      Thank you for your really sweet comments. It is always good to hear form you.

  10. and a marriage followed… or was he married and an affair followed.??? I think it best you give us the story before the mind boggles… lol

    • Actually, this guy did marry her, but he told her to mind her business, and he would mind his–that she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, but the solution that led him to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

  11. Oh, Naomi!, that is indeed the sweetest story and the most sweetly illustrated … Happily ever after for the farmer’s daughter, I hope? 🙂

    • Hi Meredith,
      Sorry to be so long in replying–have been out of the country. Thank you for your very kind response! Since you asked, here is a brief summary of the end of this story:

      Actually, this guy did marry her, but he told her to mind her business, and he would mind his–that she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, but the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

  12. Nice story and very beautiful pictures.

    • Thank you, Shimon. So good to hear from you.

  13. Great story and photos. Thanks!

  14. Beautiful story and wonderful photos!

    • Thank you, JIll! My favorite part is pairing the photos with the story. I hope this finds you well.

  15. Wonderful Story.

    • Hi Eunice,
      Thank ou for the visit, and for your generous response. I am back after a three week absence. For the first time ever, I left the computer at home, and so am really looking forward to catching up on my friends’ blogs! Can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

  16. Enjoyed it so much. Thank you for the smile.

    • Thank you for the visit, and for making me smile, too!

  17. What a great story and the pics you chose to go with it are lovely. 🙂

    • Hi Susan,
      Thanks so much for your visit, and your very kind response. I have never really had the patience to do a jigsaw puzzle, but I believe that finding the right photos to suit a story brings the same kind of satisfaction. I hope you are well. I KNOW you are busy!

  18. I do want to hear the rest of the story!!!!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks so much for the visit. Since you mentioned it, I will tell you the end of the story.
      After a series of tests, the burgermeister asked to marry her, but he told her that after they were married she must mind her own business, and he would mind his–she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, but the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

  19. Wonderful story accompanied by beautiful images!

  20. This isn’t just any story, it has a wonderful lesson. A wonderful tale, Naomi and as always, beautifully enhanced with your awesome photos.

    • Dear Tess,
      Thanks so much for your really kind comments. As always, I am so pleased to hear from you. I have some catching up to do–been gone for three weeks, but look forward to reading your flash fiction.

  21. I love your stories and pics……now for MORE! Beautiful!

    • Dear Paula,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and, as always, for your encouragement. Best wishes to you and the whole family.
      Naomi

      • Thank you so much, Naomi. A note from you always brightens my being! ♥ paula

  22. I wondered how you were going to get any of that story told in the 356 words my update told me you used. Brilliant.

    • Thank you!

    • Hi Megan,
      I must add that blogging has taught me a new form of storytelling, in which I actually get to use visual aids! A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words–I don’t know about that, but they can cut down the word count, depending upon how one uses them.

  23. Wonderful! I’m looking forward to the sequel….

    • Hi Elisa,

      For you, the sequel!

      After a series of tests, the burgermeister asked the farmer’s clever daughter to marry her, but told her that after they were married she must mind her own business, and he would mind his–she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, and told the poor victim what to do to make the burgermeister see his error. But the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

  24. Great story telling. You might have to do a follow to this blog:)

    • Hi Jo,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for your lovely response. Here is the follow up on The Farmer’s Daughter:

      After a series of tests, the burgermeister asked the farmer’s clever daughter to marry her, but told her that after they were married she must mind her own business, and he would mind his–she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, and told the poor victim what to do to make the burgermeister see his error. But the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

      • Thanks! Great follow up. Does not a smart man always listen to his wife?

      • That’s the ticket!

  25. How sweet! I want to find out now what happens when the burgermeister meets the farmer’s daughter 😀

    • Dear Dianne,

      Thank you for the visit, and for sharing your response!

      I thought I could leave the story where I did, but some folks really wanted to know the rest of the story–mostly the writers, of course!
      So here it is…
      After a series of tests, the burgermeister asked to marry her, but he told her that after they were married she must mind her own business, and he would mind his–she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, but the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

  26. Wonderful. I could use some sleep now 😉

  27. Lovely!

    • Thank you, Elyse! I hope this finds you well.

  28. It’s always difficult to choose your best image Naomi – this time I think it’s the woman by the rustic fence. I think the burgermeister declared the farmer the winner just to get to meet the daughter, I’m not sure his answers were better…

    • HI Roy,
      Thank you for stopping by. I love that image too–it is of my daughter Beatrice.

  29. You have my attention from the first…I gotta find out the clever answer to the riddle (and if it matches the one on the tip of my tongue)!

    • Dear Scilla,
      Thanks so much for the visit. I wonder–did the answer tot he riddle match the one on the tip of your tongue?

      • Actually, I rather thought Love would be the sweetest thing in the world. I’m glad I came back to this post for your reply, or I would have missed the rest of the story included in the comments!

      • That’s a good answer too, Scilla, although love can also be bitter or bittersweet. So glad you came back too!

  30. Sweet indeed! The last shot holds immense promise of sweeter things to come 🙂

    • Dear Madhu,
      Thank you so much for stopping by, and sharing your response. I have been waiting for year and a half for the perfect place to use that photo!

  31. brilliant!

  32. Sweet tale; rich, subtle illustrations; intrigue. Love you.

    • Dear Lee,

      Thank you, dear sis! I love you too. Will be emailing tonight.
      Love,
      Naomi

  33. I really loved that story, and your pictures. Looking forward to the sequel 🙂

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks so much for the visit. I wasn’t going to revisit the story, but since you mentioned it, I will tell you the ending.
      After a series of tests, the burgermeister asked to marry her, but he told her that after they were married she must mind her own business, and he would mind his–she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, but the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

  34. Just found your blog – wonderful! Your newest follower, Maureen 🙂

  35. What wonderful and creative answers to the questions!

    • Thanks, Meg. I really appreciate your stopping by.

  36. What a fun post that almost made me think a bit. And I want to know about the future of the farmer’s daughter! Funny how when you add in a little potential for romance it spices things up even more.

    • Hi Laurel,
      Thanks for your kind response to this story. I love a good romance too, so I will include the end of the story in this comment.

      Actually, this guy did marry her, but he told her to mind her business, and he would mind his–that she must never, ever interfere with his court cases or he would send her back to her father with only one parting gift, the thing she loved best in the house. (Can you see where this is going?)
      One day he made a decision so thoughtless and unjust she simply couldn’t stand by, but the solution that led the burgermeister to reverse his decision was clearly the result of his wife’s interference, for no one else could have been so clever. He forced a confession out of the man she had helped, and in his anger, he told her he was going to send her back to her father as he had warned her.
      What followed was another demonstration of her kindness and cleverness. She fed him all his favorite salty foods, which he washed down with plenty of wine. After he had drunk himself to sleep, she had him carried to her father’s house. When he woke up there, she explained that he was her favorite thing in their house, so of course she had chosen to bring him.
      The poor burgermeister realized how much he loved her, and, also, that he was out of his league. After that, when he had an extremely difficult case to decide, he would say, “I think we had better consult my wife; she is a very clever woman.”

      • That is too good! Thanks for the ending. 🙂

  37. Nicely done

    • Thank you! I appreciate your taking the time to visit, and to pass along a little sunshine.

  38. I saw your smiling face come up on my blog. Came to see if you posted anything on your current trip. Hope you are enjoying yourself and learning lots, taking plenty of pics. Think of you and wishing you well.
    Jamie

    • Dear Jamie,
      Came out of the jungle and got the chance to check in. Having adventures, taking lots of pics, and thinking of you. It is so good to hear from you. I hope you are well on the road to recovery.
      Love
      Naomi

  39. wonderful and funny blog. Thanks for smiles. Hugs, Barbara

    • Hi Barbara,
      Thank you for the visit, and for sharing your very generous response to this story.

  40. Lovely!

  41. Hi Naomi,
    Congrats! You won one of the prizes in my prize drawing today!
    I will be contacting you soon for your contact info.

    Cheers!!

    • Dear Xpat,

      That’s great news! This is my first day home in three weeks, and I woke up feeling happy. Your news was such a lovely surprise–the icing on the cake with a cherry on top! I look forward to hearing from you.
      Warmly,
      Naomi

  42. Hi Naorn You are very welcome! Gving you a big toot of a horn this morning 🙂
    I am going to dash off now and send you a pm.

    Sincerely,

    Barb

  43. I came looking because I realised you hadn’t been around lately and I thought your latest post might hold a clue. Glad to find that all’s well and that you’ve been enjoying a break. Your storytelling powers will not be diminished, Naomi, but enhanced by a change. The photos you’ve captioned here do the job brilliantly. 🙂

    • HI Jo,
      I’m still catching up after me trip, and found this lovely message. It was good to take a break–I let my husband talk me into leaving the computer behind, and it was a pleasant break, but I missed my blogging buddies. So sweet of you to come looking for me!
      Warmly,
      Naomi

  44. A very wonderful story, Natalie. Your have demonstrated what a great storyteller you are. Even without being able to hear you tell it, it is a great story! 🙂

    • Hi Marsha,
      Thanks for stopping by, and for taking the time to share your very generous response. I really love stories about strong and/or clever women.
      Warmly,
      Naomi

      • Me too, Naomi. Maybe that’s because you have turned out that way as well. 🙂

      • HI Marsha,
        You are too kind!

      • That’s me, 2 Kind. Actually I think I’m just one kind, but maybe I’m part alien, and just don’t know it! 🙂

  45. […] The Farmer’s Daughter!. […]

  46. What a wonderful parable, Naomi, and so beautifully illustrated. I love the pic of your daughter peeping through the fence. 🙂

    • HI Sylvia,
      Thank you for the visit. It was fun pulling photos out of the archives to illustrate this story, and that photo of Bea just jumped out at me. I hope your summer has been a good one.

  47. GREAT story … love it from beginning to end. I read the ending on one of the other comments. I think the moral is – Never try to outsmart a smart woman. A very pleasurable read.

    • Hi Isadora,
      Thanks for the visit, and for your great response to the tale. I love your moral of the story–very apt, and it makes me smile.

  48. You create a mesmerizing story. And I love your photos.

    • Thank you, Liz! I have been enjoying your blog too!


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