Friday, February 26, 2010

STORY: Happy Family Life by Willi Hoffsuemmer

Story title: Happy Family
by Willi Hoffsuemmer

     A poor woodcutter lived contentedly in a little house at the edge of the forest. He earned his daily bread by chopping down trees. But no matter how tired he was, he and his family always ended the day with laughing and singing.
     Every evening the king passed by this happy household as he was walking back to his castle. It
annoyed him that ordinary working people could be so happy. So one day he sent his messenger down to the woodcutter to tell him,"The king has given orders that by tomorrow morning you must have fifty bags full of sawdust ready for him. If you don't, you and your whole family will be killed."
     "That's an impossible order," said the woodcutter . But his wife kept up his good spirits and told him, "You're right. But let's not worry about it. We have all had such a good life together, that tonight we should again sing and make merry as usual. That is the way we have lived and that is the way we should die."
     So they had the biggest party ever. After everyone had gone off to sleep, the woodcutter and his wife stayed up talking until sunrise. "Soon it will all be over, "sobbed the lady of the house.
     "Don't worry, "said her husband. "It is better to die in peace and contentment, than to live a life of fear and sorrow."
    Just the there was a knock at the door and the woodcutter let in the expected messenger from the king. He slowly and sadly entered the house and told the woodcutter, "Cut twelve hardwood planks for a coffin. The king died last night."


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