CREDOS : Obstinate couple — II

Allan B Chinen

A woman will obey when a real man speaks,” she exclaimed. “Not donkey droppings like you.” They argued all morning and all afternoon. Then they both had the same idea. They turned to each other and said, “I know. The first one who speaks will have to take care of the calf from now on.” They nodded in agreement and went to bed without speaking. The next morning, the husband woke up. He went out and sat on his bench as usual. His wife arose, chopped wood, lit the fire, and washed the clothes. She realised that if she stayed home any longer, watching her husband doing nothing, she would have to speak. So she quickly finished all her chores, put on her veil, and went to visit a friend.

“This is strange,” the husband thought. “My wife never leaves home this early. She must be up to something.” A little later, a beggar came by, saw the husband, and asked for food and money. The husband was about to say something when he caught himself. “Ah, ha,” he thought, “my wife has sent this man to make me talk. But I’m too smart for her tricks. No matter what happens, I won’t speak.” The beggar asked several times, then decided that the man must be a deaf-mute. He went into the house and saw that is was full of cheese and bread. He ate everything and left. The husband was furious but would not say a word. While he was fuming, a barber came by and offered to trim his beard. The husband was about to say yes when he caught himself. “My wife is trying another trick,” he thought. “but if heaven should fall to earth, I will not speak.” The barber asked again, then decided that the man must be a deaf-mute. —