This week’s Fairy Tale is one that I hadn’t heard of before, however once I started to read it, it became very familiar to me! It involves two men living in a village with the same name. Claus. The richer Claus is called Big Claus and the poorer Claus is called Little Claus. Little Claus works for Big Claus. One day Little Claus is able to borrow all of the horses to work in the fields. Little Claus calls them ‘his’ horses, which angers his boss. Big Claus has clearly got anger issues as he kills Little Claus’s only horse.
Little Claus decides to try and make some money out of this tragedy. He skins the horse and aims to sell its hide at the market. Little Claus camps out near a house where he watches a farmer’s wife entertaining a deacon. The farmer returns home and the deacon hides in a chest. The farmer’s wife hides all of the food in an empty oven.
The farmer sees Claus and invites him into his home. Claus’s sack makes a noise and Claus decides to make the most of this opportunity. He tells the farmer that there’s a wizard inside telling him that there is better food hidden than the plain food the farmer’s wife has put out for the farmer. The farmer is surprised to see that the oven is filled with delicious food. He asks Claus if his sack can summon the Devil. Claus tells the farmer it can and says the Devil looks like a deacon. Of course, the farmer discovers the deacon and thinks the sack is the real deal and buys the sack from Claus.
Little Claus goes home and tricks Big Claus into thinking that he got all of his cash for the hide. Big Claus kills all of his horses and goes to sell the hides. Big Claus gets into trouble for asking for so much for the hides. Meanwhile, Little Claus’s dies and Little Claus puts his grandmother into his bed. Big Claus comes in, thinking its Little Claus and bashes the grandmother’s head in.
Little Claus then decides he can get something from this and takes his grandmother to an inn. Little Claus tricks the innkeeper into thinking that he murdered her. The innkeeper bribes Little Claus into staying quiet by giving him a lot more money. When Little Claus tells Big Claus that he got so much money for selling his grandmother’s body, Little Claus ants to do the same. Again, it doesn’t work for Big Claus!
Big Claus is enraged. He grabs Little Claus and throws him into a sack so he can be drowned. Little Claus tricks him once more and swaps places with a herdsmen. When he encounters Big Claus, Little Claus concocts a story telling Big Claus that there are loads of cows at the bottom of the river. Big Claus, of course, hasn’t learnt from his mistakes and gets someone to throw him into the river!
I loved this fairy tale. I love a conniving character. Big Claus was just so gullible it was humorous!