The Landlord's Bride
Once upon a time there was a very rich old landlord who owned a large farm and had so much money that he couldn't find a place for all of it. The old man was unhappy, however, because he had no wife.
One day a neighbour's daughter was working for him in his hayfield. The landlord saw her and liked her very much. Since she was the child of poor parents, he was sure that if he only hinted that he wanted to marry her she would agree at once.
So the landlord said to her, “I've been thinking, I want to marry."
“Well, one may think of many things," said the girl, laughing slyly.
"You see," said the landlord, "I've been thinking that you should be my wife."
"Oh, I believe not, sir," said she. Then, she added, "But I thank you for the honour."
The wealthy man was accustomed to having whatever he wanted, and the more the young girl refused him the more determined he became to get her.
He decided to talk to her father.
"If you can arrange the matter with your daughter," he told the father, "I will forget about the money that I loaned you, and in addition I will give you the land next to your field."
The farmer was delighted at his good fortune. "Yes, yes!" he exclaimed. "You may be sure that I'll bring my daughter to her senses.”
But, no coaxing or talking could change the daughter's mind.
Now the landlord had waited a long time, and at last he told the father of the girl, "I can wait no more."
The farmer could think of only one plan. "Get everything ready for the wedding," he suggested. "On the wedding day, when all the guests have arrived, send word to my daughter that she is wanted for some work on the farm. When she arrives, marry her before she has a chance to think over the matter."
The day was set for a festive wedding. When the guests had arrived, the landlord called one of his farm lads in and told him to run down to the neighbour's and ask him to send what he had promised.
"My master has sent me to ask for what you promised him," said the lad when he reached the farmer's house. "Do be quick about it."
"Yes, yes! Run down to the field and take her with you," answered the farmer.
The lad ran off again, and when he came to the field he found the farmer's daughter down there, pitching hay.
"I have come to get what your father has promised my master," said the lad.
"Ah, ha!" thought she. "Is that what they are up to?" With a twinkle in her eye, she said, "Oh, yes, I suppose it's that little mare of ours. She's tied to the fence by the paddy field."
The boy jumped on the back of the mare and rode home at full gallop.
"Did you get her?" asked the landlord.
"She is down at the door," said the lad.
"Then take her up to the room my mother used to occupy," ordered the landlord.
"But, how can I?" asked the lad.
"Do as I tell you," answered the master quite firmly. "If you cannot manage her alone, get someone to help you." The landlord was thinking that the girl might be a little stubborn.
The lad knew there was no point in arguing. He dashed off and asked the farm tenants who were there to help him. Some pulled at the head and the forelegs of the mare, and others pushed from behind. At last they got her up the stairs and into the room.
The lad went to his master and said, "I have done as you asked, but it was a terrible job. It was the worst job I ever had here on the farm."
"Never mind, never mind. You shall be rewarded," said the landlord impatiently. "Now, send the women up to dress her."
"But I say --" began the bewildered lad.
"None of your talk!" the man barked. "Tell the women they must dress her.” The women dressed the mare in everything that they could, and then the lad announced to his master that she was ready.
"Very well, bring her down!" said the master. "I will receive her myself at the door."
All of a sudden there was a terrible clatter and thump on the stairs, for bride, as you know, had no satin slippers on.
When the door was opened and the bride entered the room, you can imagine that there was a great deal of snickering and grinning. As for the landlord - you may be sure that he never went courting again.
A folk tale from the West
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