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Prevuius group

Group No. 137


J. The wise and the foolish

Group No.

J1400 – J1499

Group name

Clever verbal retorts (repartee) II


J1400. J1400. Repartee concerning false reform.
J1401. J1401. The tailor‘s dream. A tailor dreams that at Judgment Day he sees a flag made up of all the pieces of cloth he has stolen Upon waking he asks his servants to warn him if they ever see him tempted to steal again. This happens. He replies, ”The piece I am about to steal does not fit into the flag.“ *BP I 343; *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin I 256 No. 190.
J1410. J1410. Repartee concerning fatness.
J1411. J1411. The hay wagon and the gate. A parson arriving late at a city gate asks if he can get in. Guard sees that he is fat and in fun says that he doesn’t know. The parson: ”Why not; doesn‘t the hay wagon get in?“ *Wesselski Arlotto II 265 No. 209; Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1420. J1420. Animals retort concerning their dangers.
J1421. J1421. Peace among the animals. (Peace fable.) The fox tries to beguile the cock by reporting a new law establishing peace among the animals. Dogs appear; the fox flees. ”The dogs have not heard of the new law.“ *Type 62; *BP II 207; Wienert FFC LVI 52 (ET 120), 98 (ST 125); Halm Aesop No. 225; Jacobs Aesop 214 No. 59; *Chauvin II 202 No. 51, V 241 No. 141; *Lancaster PMLA XXII 33; *Graf FFC XXXVIII 26; Fb ”ræv“ III 114a. – Spanish: Espinosa III No. 225; India: Thompson-Balys.
J1422. J1422. Good bath. A cat seeing a mouse leave a bath says, ”Good bath!“ Mouse: ”If I had not seen you!“ Chauvin III 55 No. 11.
J1423. J1423. Roast falcon. A falcon reproaches a cock for fleeing from the master who has fed him. The cock: ”I have never seen a falcon roasted.“ *Chauvin II 117 No. 96.
J1424. J1424. Where the foxes will meet. Two foxes in a trap converse: ”Where shall we meet again?“ ”In three days at the furrier’s.“ Chauvin III 77 No. 51.
J1430. J1430. Repartee concerning doctors and patients.
J1431. J1431. I know not how. Sick man: ”I came to a place I know not where; something happened I know not how; I am sick I know not where.“ Doctor: ”Go to the pharmacy and buy I know not what, and eat it I know not how, and you will become well I know not when.“ *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 629; Scala Celi 47b No. 268.
J1432. J1432. No physician at all. A bad physician having predicted the immediate death of a patient meets him recovered. ”How go things down below?“ ”They put you at the head of the list of bad physicians, but I maintained that you were no physician at all.“ Wienert FFC LVI 39; Halm Aesop No. 168.
J1433. J1433. ”Do as I say and not as I do.“ Doctor forbids patient to drink wine. When patient reproves doctor for drinking wine the latter says: ”Just now it is bad for you and good for me.“ Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1434. J1434. Strenuous cure for madness. Doctor throws patients into a pit of water. Servant warns queer-looking hunter to flee before master throws him into the pit. (Cf. K2137.) Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1438. J1438. Veterinarian becomes doctor. When he killed animals he had to pay for them; but he did not have to pay for killing people. Spanish: Childers.
J1440. J1440. Repartee – miscellaneous.
J1441. J1441. God of the earth. Question from the king: ”Who are you?“ ”I am God.“ ”Make my eyes larger.“ ”I am only God of the earth and have power only below the girdle.“ *Köhler-Bolte I 504; *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin I 279 No. 326.
J1442. J1442. A cynic‘s retorts.
J1442.1. J1442.1. The cynic wants sunlight. King (to cynic): ”What can I do for you?“ ”Get out of my sunlight. Don’t take away from me what you can‘t give me.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802; Spanish Exempla: Keller; Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1442.1.1. J1442.1.1. Cynic praises power of reason. Tells Alexander that the power of reason makes even a poor man as great as a king. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
J1442.2. J1442.2. The cynic at the bath. Leaving an unclean bath house: ”Where can I go now to wash?“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.3. J1442.3. The cynic and the pale gold. ”Why is gold so pale?“ ”It is in great danger.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.4. J1442.4. The cynic’s burial. Asked who will carry him to his grave if he has no friends: ”He who needs my house.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.4.1. J1442.4.1. Cynic asks that his body be exposed to the elements. When told that the beasts and the birds will prey on him he says: ”Put a stick at my side so that I may chase them away.“ Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1442.5. J1442.5. The cynic as judge of wine. Asked which wine tastes best, he says, ”That belonging to other people.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.6. J1442.6. The cynic and the big gates. Coming to a little town with big gates, he says, ”Close the gate so that the town won‘t run away.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.7. J1442.7. The cynic and the bastard stone-thrower. Cynic: ”Be careful; you might hit your father.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802; Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1442.8. J1442.8. The cynic discusses heaven. Hearing a man discoursing at great length about heaven, he asks, ”When did you come down from there?“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.9. J1442.9. The cynic and the bald-headed man. His only reply to the baldheaded man’s slanders is to compliment the hair that has left such a horrible head. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.10. J1442.10. The cynic and the deceiver. When the deceiver calls him wicked, he says, ”I am glad that you are my enemy; for you do good to your enemies and evil to your friends.“ Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 802.
J1442.11. J1442.11. The cynic and the fig tree. Man tells friend that his wife has hanged herself on a fig tree. Friend: ”Give me a shoot of that tree!“ Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1442.11.1. J1442.11.1. The cynic‘s wish. When he learns that a woman has hanged herself from a tree he explains: ”Would that all trees bore such fruit!“ Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1442.12. J1442.12. Cynic is asked if widower should remarry. ”One who has just escaped from drowning should not return to sea.“ Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1442.13. J1442.13. The smallest woman makes the best bride. ”Of an evil choose the smallest part.“ Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1443. J1443. The fools in the city. Man ordered to number the fools in the city replies, ”It is easier to number the wise men.“ *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin II 241 No. 535; Chauvin VII 126 No. 393bis.
J1444. J1444. They gave it away themselves. A wandering actor rewarded by a city with a coat of their color gambles it away. When upbraided about giving away their present he replies that they hadn’t wanted to keep it themselves. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 396.
J1445. J1445. The forgotten traditions. A man has been told by a seer that there are two ways in which a believer may be distinguished. But he has forgotten one of them and the seer had forgotten the other. *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin II 186 No. 353.
J1446. J1446. Aaron‘s censer. A man strikes a priest with a cane: ”This is Moses’ staff.“ The priest shoots with a pistol: ”This is Aaron‘s holy censer.“ Type 1847*.
J1447. J1447. The favored swine. Dog reproaches sow that Venus will not allow those who have eaten swine to enter her temple. Sow says that it is because the goddess abhors those who kill swine. Wienert FFC LVI 56 (ET 161), 107 (ST 191); Halm Aesop No. 408.
J1448. J1448. The contagious yawns. A husband planning to punish his wife, who has yawned in church at the same time as a man, sees his error when his wife in the woods calls out, ”The squirrels hop from bough to bough as the yawns from mouth to mouth.“ Finnish: Aarne FFC VIII 6 No. 23; XXXIII 52 No. 23; Estonian: Aarne FFC XXV 141 No. 12; Livonian: Loorits FFC LXVI 84 No. 35.
J1451. J1451. Who gets the beehive. Badger: ”I was a hundred years old when grama grass first grew.“ Crane: ”My daughter was a hundred years old when grama grass first grew.“ Wolf: ”I am only eight years old, but we shall see who gets the beehive.“ Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 31 No. *80, Espinosa III Nos. 268 – 270, Espinosa Jr. Nos. 26, 27.
J1452. J1452. Why he was thin. Philosopher explains that with his own blood he was nourishing as large a population as that of the Roman Emperor (lice). *Wesselski Bebel II 145 No. 140.
J1453. J1453. It’s better to fight in the shade. Soldier tells captain that the enemy are so numerous that their arrows darken the sun. Captain: ”Good, it will be more comfortable fighting in the shade.“ Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
J1454. J1454. The lion and the statue. A man points out the statue to show the supremacy of man. The lion: ”If it had been a lion sculptor, the lion would have been standing over the man.“ Wienert FFC LVI 70 (ET 343), 101 (ST 145); Halm Aesop No. 63; Jacobs Aesop 208 No. 35.
J1455. J1455. Has never died yet. Slave (workman) recommended to master whose recent slaves have died: ”He has never died while I owned him.“ *Clouston Book of Noodles 8; England, U.S.: Baughman.
J1456. J1456. The liar. A man attempts to lie out of having called another a liar: ”You lie if you say that I said you lied.“ The other: ”It‘s a good thing for you that you didn’t call me a liar.“ (Cf. J817.) *Wesselski Bebel I 204 No. 85.
J1457. J1457. The gray fox. An old husband tells his young wife, who is concerned about his gray hair, ”A gray fox is as good as a red one.“ ”But an old gray fox is not so good as a young red one.“ Bolte Frey 242 No. 75.
J1458. J1458. An oath to break oaths. Village called on to join in war deliberates in meeting. A man says, ”We have taken oaths not to go to war. We must now take an oath to break all the oaths we have taken.“ Wesselski Bebel I 205 No. 88.
J1461. J1461. The cause of grayness. Fool asked what made him gray-headed replies, ”My hair.“ *Wesselski Bebel I 228 No. 133.
J1462. J1462. Customary suits. Man who wears a red cap after his father‘s death says, ”I can grieve just as much in red as in black.“ *Wesselski Bebel I 125 No. 16.
J1463. J1463. A long beard and sanctity. Told that a forest dwarf with a long beard is a saint, a man replies: ”If a long beard indicates sanctity, the goat is a saint.“ *Wesselski Bebel I 129 No. 30.
J1465. J1465. Trumpeter’s false defense. A trumpeter captured pleads that he did not fight. Answered: ”You may not fight, but you encourage your men to do so.“ Jacobs Aesop 220 No. 79.
J1467. J1467. Must drink from the common cup. A man always drinks out of his own cup. In storm at sea a sailor says, ”Today we all drink out of the same cup (the sea). *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 247.
J1467.1. J1467.1. Sailor prays for gods to sink ship during storm, since gods never do what they are asked to do. Spanish: Childers.
J1468. J1468. Not in good form. A duke invites a notorious eater. The latter consumes eight fowls, forty eggs, and other things in proportion. In leaving he apologizes for eating so little as he had not felt well the night before. He will do better next time. *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 249; Nouvelles Récréations Nos. 57, 73.
J1471. J1471. The eunuch‘s defense. Reproached with his mutilation, the eunuch says that his ill fortune is no shame. The only shame is to merit what you suffer. Wienert FFC LVI 82 (ET 485), 149 (ST 546).
J1472. J1472. The fairest thing in the garden. Three brothers asked by princess what is the most beautiful thing in the garden. The youngest replies, “Yourself.” He wins the princess. Type 925*.
J1473. J1473. The greedy dreamer. He dreams that he receives nine coins. He demands ten. He wakes and finds that he has dreamed. He is willing to accept the nine. *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin I 206 (No. 5); Spanish Exempla: Keller.
J1473.1. J1473.1. The 999 gold pieces. A man prays for a thousand gold pieces and says that he will not accept one less. A joker sends him 999. He says that he will trust God for the other coin. *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin I 220ff. No. 54.
J1474. J1474. The fatal bed. A sailor says that all his ancestors have drowned. Citizen: “Aren’t you afraid of drowning?” Sailor: “How did your ancestors die?” Citizen: “All of them in bed.” Sailor: “Aren‘t you afraid to go to bed?” *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 264.
J1475. J1475. Is ready to go. A peddler scolds the dog who is waiting and tells him to get ready to go with him. The dog replies that he has nothing to carry, that it is the peddler who is late. Wienert FFC LVI 73 (ET 379), 125 (ST 343).
J1476. J1476. The proud hide humbled. A hide is in the river. River: “What is your name?” Hide: “Hard hide.” River: “Hunt another name; I’ll soon soften you.” Wienert FFC LVI 75 (ET 403), 101 (ST 148); Halm Aesop No. 381.
J1477. J1477. Demonstrate here. A man boasts of his jump on Rhodes and says that if he were in Rhodes he could prove his boast. Reply: “No need to go to Rhodes. Show us your jump here.” Wienert FFC LVI 82 (ET 480), 100 (ST 135); Halm Aesop No. 203.
J1478. J1478. Husband and wife burn their mouths. A wife served overhot soup, forgets and burns herself so that tears come to her eyes She says that her departed father liked soup so much that she weeps when she eats it. The husband is also burned and weeps: “I am weeping because your accursed mother didn‘t take you with her when she died.” Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin I 238 No. 115; Köhler-Bolte I 498; Indonesian: Coster-Wijsman 71 No. 129.
J1478.1. J1478.1. The abbot burns his mouth. Says that he is crying because so many have left the monastery. Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1481. J1481. As you surely will. After her husband’s death a woman cannot find a hammer and anvil. She goes to a dying neighbor and says, “If you die, as you surely will, and go to Heaven, as you surely will not, ask my husband where he left the hammer and anvil.” The dying man‘s wife replies, “If you go to Heaven, as you surely will, if you die as you surely will not, do not run around and get into trouble, but sit down by the Eternal Father and observe and keep still.” Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 93 No. 805.
J1482. J1482. Keeping the secret. Man tells parson secret and asks him to keep it. The parson refuses; “If you can’t keep the secret, you must not expect me to.” *Wesselski Arlotto II 263 No. 199.
J1483. J1483. Repartee concerning runaway horses.
J1483.1. J1483.1. King and jester flee: the king‘s swift horse. Jester: “You did have a swift horse. When I had to stop because my horse was tired out, you went two miles further.” Wesselski Bebel I 207 No. 94.
J1483.2. J1483.2. Where his mule will. A man on a runaway mule is asked, “Where are you going?” “Wherever my mule wants to.” *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin II 181 No. 343; Italian Novella: Rotunda; Japanese: Ikeda.
J1483.3. J1483.3. Storms on land. An inexperienced rider borrows a horse, which runs away with him. He says, “There are no such storms on sea as on the land.” *Wesselski Bebel II 107 No. 21.
J1483.4. J1483.4. “Why didn’t you stay on the horse?” The rider: “I couldn‘t; you see, it ended there” (pointing to horse’s head). India: Thompson-Balys.
J1484. J1484. The sound of shaving. An unskillful barber keeps cutting a man‘s face. A noise is heard. The man: “What is that?” Barber: “A smith shoeing horses.” Man: “I thought it was someone being shaved.” *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin II 226f. No. 473.
J1485. J1485. Mistaken identity. A bride slips up behind her husband and kisses him. He is annoyed. She: “Pardon me, I did not know it was you” Clouston Noodles 94.
J1485.1. J1485.1. Husband mistaken for lover in bed. Farmer has whiskers shaved off, hair cut short. He gets home late, slips into bed with his wife. She runs her hand over his face, says: “Young man, if you’re goin‘ to do anything, you’d better be agittin‘ at it, ’cause Old Whiskers‘ll be here pretty soon.” U.S.: Baughman.
J1486. J1486. Listening to the debate. A lazy youth explains his late rising by saying that he lay abed to hear the argument between industry and laziness. *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 761; Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1487. J1487. Progress in school. A man sends his two sons to schools and later enquires of their progress. One: “I am past Grace.” The other: “I am at the devil and all his works.” *Clouston Noodles 222; England: *Baughman.
J1488. J1488. What the bear whispered in his ear. Paid guide climbs tree and leaves traveler to mercy of a bear. Traveler feigns death and the bear sniffs at him and leaves. The guide: “What did the bear say to you?” “He said, never trust a coward like you.” Wienert FFC LVI 68 (ET 319), 126 (ST 349); Halm Aesop No. 311; Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 422; India: Thompson-Balys.
J1491. J1491. Artist paints too few birds. Is engaged to decorate room. Owner: “You did not paint as many birds as I told you to.” Artist: “The windows were left open and most of them flew out.” Italian Novella: Rotunda.
J1492. J1492. Trickster artist hoodwinks king: cuckold‘s eyes cannot see picture. King pretends to see the picture. Courtiers reveal that there is no picture. Spanish: Childers.
J1493. J1493. Daydreamer has lost his chance for profit. He has broken his master‘s pots while dreaming of future profits. He has therefore lost more than the master and excuses himself of blame. India: Thompson-Balys.
J1494. J1494. Why captain takes lame and one-eyed soldiers into army. The lame cannot flee from the enemy; the one-eyed soldiers will not see enough to make them afraid. Spanish: Childers.
J1495. J1495. Person runs from actual or supposed ghost. (Cf. E293, J1483.)
J1495.1. J1495.1. Man runs from actual or from supposed ghost. The ghost runs beside him. The man stops to rest; the ghost stops, says, “That was a good run we had!” The man says, “Yes, and as soon as I get my breath, I’m going to run some more.” U.S.: *Baughman.
J1495.2. J1495.2. When Caleb comes. Man attempts to stay in haunted house all night. One cat after another enters, says, “Everything will be all right when Caleb comes, won‘t it?” (or something similar). Man finally says, “When Caleb comes, tell him I was here and left.” He leaves. U.S.: *Baughman.

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