by The Brothers Grimm
A merchant had done good business at
the fair -
he had sold his wares, and filled his bag with gold
and silver. Then he set out at once on his journey
home, for he wished to be in his own house before
At noon he rested in a town. When he
wanted to go on, the stable-boy brought his horse, saying, "A
nail is wanting, sir, in the shoe of his left hind foot."
"Let it be wanting," answered
the merchant, "the shoe will stay on for the six miles
I have still to go. I am in a hurry."
In the afternoon he got down
at an inn and had his horse fed. The stable-boy came
into the room to him and said, "Sir, a shoe is wanting
from your horse's left hind foot. Shall I take him to
"Let it still be wanting," said
the man, "the
horse can very well hold out for a couple of miles
more. I am in a hurry."
So the merchant rode forth, but before long the
horse began to limp. He had not limped long
before he began to stumble, and he had not
stumbled long before he fell down and broke his
leg. The merchant had to leave the horse where
he fell, and unstrap the bag, take it on his back,
and go home on foot.
"That unlucky nail," said
he to himself, "has
made all this trouble."