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 :  , 1958. ., 
 : .. (strog@etel.ru)
 Origin: http://m3.easyspace.com/yurasch/
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SILLY BARONESS

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Once there was a very silly baroness. Every absurd idea that she got into her head had to be implemented at any cost.
One day she wished to have forty chicks hatched, each one entirely black.
'It's not possible, mistress!' her chambermaid said wonderingly.
'I know it's not, but I want it so much.' was the baroness's answer.
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So, she called her coachman and said, 'Take a basket with forty eggs and hatch them. And mind, each one of the chicks must be black.
'Please, have mercy on me, mistress!' begged the coachman. 'Who has ever heard of a human acting as a sitting-hen?' But his mistress would not even listen to him.
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She just said, 'You are accustomed to sitting on the box, so it won't be hard for you to sit on the eggs.
"The damn barons! I wish they all dropped dead," the driver said to himself. And aloud he replied, "Well, as you like, mistress, but promise to give me what I'll ask of you". I need some tea, sugar, a lot of food, a sheepskin coat, a pair of felt boots, and a hat.
The baroness was ready to agree to anything.

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The coachman was taken to the bathhouse and given everything he had asked for. He got a sitting hen to hatch the eggs, of course. His friends started to come to the bathhouse to have tea with him and call the baroness a fool.

After a while, the hen hatched some chicks among which only three were black.

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The coachman put the black chicks into a basket, went to the mistress's window and said, 'Here, mistress, I have hatched three black chicks already. Take them and give me more food. You see, hatching is hard work for me.

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The baroness was happy. She gave him more food and sent him back to the bathhouse to hatch the other black chicks. Every day she sent servants to check on how many new black chicks had been hatched. The coachman realised that things looked black and said to his friends, "You, guys, set the bathhouse on fire and hold me. I will be straining at the leash, struggling in your arms, but don't let me go. So, they did as they planned. They set the bathhouse on fire and informed the baron's wife that it had caught fire in an unknown way.

The baroness went onto the porch of her house and saw the bathhouse burning and the coachman struggling in the arms of her servants, trying to break away and rush into the fire. However, the servants were holding him tightly and wouldn't let him go while the coachman kept on ' cluck, cluck, clucking' !

The servants said to the baroness, "Look, mistress, at how his maternal heart is breaking!" She ordered them to hold him tightly and said, "The chicks can't be saved now. Let's save him at least. He's a very good sitting-hen.

As soon as the fire was quenched, the baroness ordered the coachman to hatch chicks again. But the coachman was not that stupid, he put on the sheepskin coat and felt boots and took to his heels.

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Rex Rickard Susanne Sclare.

Find more stories at http://m3.easyspace.com/yurasch/

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THE BAD-NATURED LAND BARON'S WIFE

- , ! - , . - : , . Once there was a land baron's wife. She lived on an estate and she was so crotchety and bad-natured that she bullied everyone around. Every time the head peasant came to her for orders the baron's wife would not dismiss him until she had given him a hand whipping. Her male peasants suffered the most - she beat them like dogs.
. , : " ". One day a soldier came home on furlough and the country folks told him about the baroness, and he said, 'I'll teach her a lesson.'
, . . , . . Night fell and the baroness went to sleep. The soldier ordered that his horses be harnessed and he rode to the estate. Carefully, he carried the sleeping baroness out of the mansion and brought her to a shoemaker's house and then switched her with the shoemaker's wife who he then carried to the estate.
, - . , . - , . . At daybreak, the shoemaker's wife woke up and was amazed to find herself in a splendid house. Immediately, maidservants came running to her with some bath water; she then washed and her servants, at once, gave her towels with which to dry; she patted herself dry while a samovar was brought to her.

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She sat at the table to have tea, when the head peasant, on tiptoes, humbly came up to her. She looked at him not knowing who or what he was.

'What do you want?' she asked.

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'I am here, mistress, to receive your work order for today', said the head peasant. The shoemaker's wife, using her wits, knew what to say in reply, 'Don't you know yourself? Do the same job today that you did yesterday.'

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The headman left her and said to the servants in the kitchen, 'Never in my life have I seen our mistress so kind as she is today!'

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The shoemaker's wife remained on the estate for one month and again another. The peasants, pleased with their "new" baroness, told everyone around that there was no mistress better than she in the countryside. Also that morning, the baron's wife woke up. She found herself in the shoemaker's house and called for her servants.

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Sitting and working with his sewing awl, the shoemaker didn't pay any attention to her; he only said, 'Hey, woman, get up! It's time to light the stove!'

'Who on earth are you? Bring me my bath water, man'

- , ! : . - , . - ? ! 'Oh, you lazy thing, you! Go to the well and fetch your own water - it's already late in the morning.' He jumped up from his chair, whipped his belt off his pants and began to beat the baron's wife, saying, 'Don't you know your duties? You must get up and light the fire when the cock crows!'
, . . , , , - . He continued strapping her until he became exhausted. The baroness begged for mercy and pleaded with him to stop the beating. She shuffled off to the well, fetched some wood, lit the fire in the stove and cooked something to eat
. , , : , . . , . She existed like this for two months or so. When she tried anything, she was all thumbs... either she undercooked her cabbage soup or she spilled water onto the floor. The shoemaker beat the baroness more than once until she finally became kind and hard-working.
, . When the soldier learned about this, he again, one night, switched the women back .

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The following morning the baroness got up and quietly walked out of her bedroom and said to herself, 'Am I in my own house again? How did I get back?'

'Maids, how did I get here?' she asked.

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'You've been here all the time, mistress', came their answer. Thereafter, the land baron's wife became kindness itself. And the shoemaker's wife again lived her usual life in her own house.

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Rex Rickard Steve Stringfellow.

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Last-modified: Fri, 03 Dec 1999 08:19:04 GMT
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