Hans in Luck
By The Brothers Grimm
Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right—all that falls to them is so much
gain—all their geese are swans—all their cards are trumps—toss them which way you will, they will
always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster. The world may very
likely not always think of them as they think of themselves, but what care they for the world? What can it
know about the matter?
One of these lucky beings was neighbor Hans. Seven long years he had worked hard for his master. At
last he said, 'Master, my time is up; I must go home and see my poor mother once more: so pray pay me
my wages and let me go.' And the master said, 'You have been a faithful and good servant, Hans, so your
pay shall be handsome.' Then he gave him a lump of silver as big as his head.
Hans took out his pocket-handkerchief, put the piece of silver into it, threw it over his shoulder, and
jogged off on his road homewards. As he went lazily on, dragging one foot after another, a man came in
sight, trotting gaily along on a capital horse. 'Ah!' said Hans aloud, 'what a fine thing it is to ride on
horseback! There he sits as easy and happy as if he was at home, in the chair by his fireside; he trips
against no stones, saves shoe-leather, and gets on he hardly knows how.' Hans did not speak so softly but
the horseman heard it all, and said, 'Well, friend, why do you go on foot then?' 'Ah!' said he, 'I have this
load to carry: to be sure it is silver, but it is so heavy that I can't hold up my head, and you must know it
hurts my shoulder sadly.' 'What do you say of making an exchange?' said the horseman. 'I will give you
my horse, and you shall give me the silver; which will save you a great deal of trouble in carrying such a
heavy load about with you.' 'With all my heart,' said Hans: 'but as you are so kind to me, I must tell you
one thing—you will have a weary task to draw that silver about with you.' However, the horseman got
off, took the silver, helped Hans up, gave him the bridle into one hand and the whip into the other, and
said, 'When you want to go very fast, smack your lips loudly together, and cry "Jip!"'
Hans was delighted as he sat on the horse, drew himself up, squared his elbows, turned out his toes,
cracked his whip, and rode merrily off, one minute whistling a merry tune, and another singing,
'No care and no sorrow,
A fig for the morrow!
We'll laugh and be merry,
Sing neigh down Derry!'