The Hill-man Invited To The Christening

The hill-people are excessively frightened during thunder. When,

therefore, they see bad weather coming on, they lose no time in getting

to the shelter of their hills. This terror is also the cause of their

not being able to endure the beating of a drum. They take it to be the

rolling of thunder. It is, therefore, a good recipe for banishing them

to beat a drum every day in the neighbourhood of their hills, for they

immediately pack up, and depart to some quieter residence.

A farmer lived once in great friendship and concord with a hill-man,

whose hill was in his lands. One time when his wife was about to have a

child, it gave him great perplexity to think that he could not well

avoid inviting the hill-man to the christening, which might, not

improbably, bring him into ill repute with the priest and the other

people of the village. He was going about pondering deeply, but in vain,

how he might get out of this dilemma, when it came into his head to ask

the advice of the boy that kept his pigs, who had a great head-piece,

and had often helped him before. The pig-boy instantly undertook to

arrange the matter with the hill-man in such a manner that he should not

only stay away without being offended, but, moreover, give a good

christening present.

Accordingly, when it was night, he took a sack on his shoulder, went to

the hill-man's hill, knocked, and was admitted. He delivered his

message, gave his master's compliments, and requested the honour of his

company at the christening. The hill-man thanked him, and said--

"I think it is but right I should give you a christening present."

With these words he opened his money-chests, bidding the boy hold up his

sack while he poured money into it.

"Is there enough now?" said he, when he had put a good quantity into it.

"Many give more, few give less," replied the boy.

The hill-man once more fell to filling the sack, and again asked--

"Is there enough now?"

The boy lifted the sack a little off the ground to see if he was able to

carry any more, and then answered--

"It is about what most people give."

Upon this the hill-man emptied the whole chest into the bag, and once

more asked--

"Is there enough now?"

The guardian of the pigs now saw that there was as much in the sack as

he would be able to carry, so he answered--

"No one gives more, most people give less."

"Come now," said the hill-man, "let us hear who else is to be at the


"Ah," said the boy, "we are to have a great many strangers and great

people. First and foremost, we are to have three priests and a bishop."

"Hem!" muttered the hill-man; "however, those gentlemen usually look

only after the eating and drinking; they will never take any notice of

me. Well, who else?"

"Then we have asked St. Peter and St. Paul."

"Hem! hem! However, there will be a bye-place for me behind the stove.

Well, and what then?"

"Then Our Lady herself is coming."

"Hem! hem! hem! However, guests of such high rank come late and go away

early. But tell me, my lad, what sort of music is it you are to have?"

"Music," said the boy, "why, we are to have drums."

"Drums!" repeated the troll, quite terrified. "No, no! Thank you. I

shall stay at home in that case. Give my best respects to your master,

and I thank him for the invitation, but I cannot come. I did but once go

out to take a little walk, and some people began to beat a drum. I

hurried home, and was but just got to my door when they flung the

drum-stick after me, and broke one of my shins. I have been lame of that

leg ever since, and I shall take good care in future to avoid that sort

of music."

So saying he helped the boy to put the sack on his back, once more

charging him to present his best respects to his master.

The Hidden Golden Chair The History Of Ali Cogia - From The Arabian Nights facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail