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.

104 Comments

  1. 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

    1. 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.”

    1. 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.”

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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.”

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.”

    1. 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.”

    1. 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.”

  2. 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…

      1. 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!

    1. 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.”

  3. 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.

    1. 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.”

  4. 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

    1. 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

    1. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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. 🙂

    1. 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

    1. 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.

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