THE CHEESES THAT RAN AWAY
HERE was a man of Gotham who filled a sack with
cheeses and started off for Nottingham market to sell
them. He carried the sack on his back, and when he
became tired he sat down by the wayside to rest. Thus
he went on until he reached the summit of the last hill
he had to climb before he came to Nottingham bridge.
There he rested, and when he rose to continue his
journey a cheese slipped out of the sack and rolled
down the hill toward the bridge.
"Ah! Mr. Cheese," said the man, "so you can run to
market alone, can you? I wish I had known that before.
It would have saved me the trouble of carrying you.
Well, then, if you can go to market alone, so can the
other cheeses, and I will send them along after you."
So he laid down his sack, took out the cheeses, and one
by one rolled them down the hill. As the
 last one
spun down the road he shouted, "I charge you all to
meet me at the market-place."
Some of the cheeses went into one bush, and some went
into another bush, but the man did not notice that, and
he trudged on cheerfully to the market expecting the
cheeses would meet him there. All day long he loitered
about the market, and as
even-  ing approached he
began to inquire among his friends and neighbors and
other men if they had seen his cheeses come to the
"Who should bring them?" asked one of the market-men.
"Nobody," replied the man of Gotham. "They would bring
themselves. They know the way well enough."
"Why, then, are they not here?" said the market-man.
"A plague on them all!" cried the owner of the cheeses.
"It has just occurred to me what the trouble is. I did
fear, when I saw them start off so fast, that they
would run beyond the market, and I am sure they must be
now miles away on the road to York."
Forthwith he hired a horse and rode in all haste to
York in pursuit of his cheeses. But he did not find
them at York, nor has he been able to discover whither
they ran even to this day.
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