THE PEASANT AND THE WATER-SPRITE
A Peasant lost his axe in the river; he sat down on the bank in grief, and began to weep.
The Water-sprite heard the Peasant and took pity on him. He brought a gold axe out of the river, and said: "Is this your axe?"
The Peasant said: "No, it is not mine."
The Water-sprite brought another, a silver axe.
Again the Peasant said: "It is not my axe."
Then the Water-sprite brought out the real axe.
The Peasant said: "Now this is my axe."
The Water-sprite made the Peasant a present of all three axes, for having told the truth.
At home the Peasant showed his axes to his friends, and told them what had happened to him.
One of the peasants made up his mind to do the same: he went to the river, purposely threw his axe into the water, sat down on the bank, and began to weep.
The Water-sprite brought out a gold axe, and asked: "Is this your axe?"
The Peasant was glad, and called out: "It is mine, mine!"
The Water-sprite did not give him the gold axe, and did not bring him back his own either, because he had told an untruth.