The Clever Servant
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
How fortunate is the master and how well it goes within his household when he has a clever servant who, to be sure, hears his orders, but does not obey them, preferring instead to follow his own wisdom.
A clever Hans of this kind was once sent out by his master to look for a lost cow. He stayed away a long time, and the master thought, "My faithful Hans is not sparing any pains with his work."
But when he did not return at all, the master was afraid that something had happened to him, and he himself went out to look for him.
He had to look for a long time, but at last he caught sight of his servant running up and down a large field.
"Now, dear Hans," said the master after catching up with him, "did you find the cow that I sent you after?"
"No, master," he answered, "I did not find the cow, but then I have not been looking for it either."
"Then what have you been looking for, Hans?"
"Something better. And fortunately I have found it."
"What is it?"
"Three blackbirds," answered the servant.
"And where are they?" asked the master.
"I see one of them, I hear the other, and I am chasing after the third," answered the clever servant.
Take an example from this. Do not trouble yourselves about your masters or their orders. Instead, just do what comes to you and makes you happy, and then you will act just as wisely as did clever Hans.
如果主人有一个聪明的小伙计，他既顺从听话，又能凭着自己的聪明才智行事，那主人多幸运啊，他的家又该是多安乐！曾有这样一位聪明的小伙计汉斯，一次主人让他去找回走失的牛，他出去后好长时间没回家，主人想：“汉 多忠心，干起活来多卖力！”可这么晚他还没回来，主人担心他出意外，便亲自起身去找他。他找了好久，最后总算瞧见汉斯在宽阔的田野另一头，正一蹦一跳地朝他迎面赶来。“喂！亲爱的汉斯，我打发你去找牛，找到没有？”主人走近问。“没有，老爷。我没有找到牛，不过我也没去找。”小伙计答道。“那你去找甚么了，汉斯？”“找更好的东西，很幸运找到了。”“是甚么，汉斯？”“三只山鸟。”小 伙答道。“在哪里？”主人问。“我见到一只，听到一只，然后拔腿去赶第三只。”聪明的小 伙回答道。