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Read to Me!

This story is about a poor but honest man whose wife finds some gold, a rich baker who wants to get it away from him, and (eek!) the Devil! Or is it the Devil?


About Real and Unreal Devils: II

The poor man looked at those horns and quaked with fear, but his wife was braver and refused to let him throw the money to the devil, and the baker went home without it.

So the next night the baker came again and howled and rattled twice as loud, but again he got nothing, for the wife would not let her husband throw the money out the window. But the man was by this time so scared that next day he told her "If the devil comes again, I'm going to give him the gold. Suppose it's cursed or evil gold? No honest man should touch it if it is."

And meeting the baker, he told him all about it. The rich baker pretended to know nothing, but thought to himself, "Aha! That money is as good as mine!"

That evening, the poor man heard a knock at the door around suppertime, and a strange man, a hunter, stood there, looking tired and dusty. "May I stay the night?" he asked. "Yes, I'll gladly let you stay," said the poor man, "if you can stand the terrible devil that has been after us."

The hunter said he'd quite like to see the devil. And at midnight, when the pounding and rattling and howling began, three times as loud as before, the poor man picked up the bag of gold. But the hunter said, "Open the door and let him in. If you're scared, I'll do it." And when the horned monster came in, the hunter said to him, "Who are you? And what do you want?"

"I AM THE DEVIL," thundered the baker, "AND I HAVE COME FOR MY MONEY!!!"

The hunter said, "Oh? Well, I am a devil too, and I will take you where we both belong." And with that he picked up the baker and with a bang and a puff of smoke flew away with him. All that was left was a smell of brimstone.

In the morning, the baker's wife came by and asked if anyone had seen her husband. "Oh no," said the woman, "but an awful thing happened here last night." And she told her all about it. The baker's wife knew then what had happened to her husband, but she didn't dare say a word.

So you see, the devil won't harm an honest man, but mean, stingy, and dishonest folks, well, they come to grief.

THE END