BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM (TRANSLATED)
A MERCHANT had done good business at the fair; he had sold
his wares, and filled his bag with gold and silver. Then he
set out at once on his journey home, for he wished to be in
his own house before night.
At noon he rested in a town. When he wanted to go on, the
stable-boy brought his horse, saying:
 "A nail is wanting, sir, in the shoe of his left hind foot."
"Let it be wanting," answered the merchant; "the shoe will
stay on for the six miles I have still to go. I am in a
In the afternoon he got down at an inn and had his horse
fed. The stable-boy came into the room to him and said:
"Sir, a shoe is wanting from your horse's left hind foot.
Shall I take him to the blacksmith?"
"Let it still be wanting," said the man; "the horse can very
well hold out for a couple of miles more. I am in a hurry."
So the merchant rode forth, but before long the horse began
to limp. He had not limped long before he began to stumble,
and he had not stumbled long before he fell down and broke
his leg. The merchant had to leave the horse where he fell,
and unstrap the bag, take it on his back, and go home on
"That unlucky nail," said he to himself, "has made all this