A fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm
There was once a poor woman who had a son, who much wished to
travel, but his mother said, "How can you travel? We have no money
at all for you to take away with you." Then said the son, "I shall
manage very well for myself. I shall always say, not much, not
much, not much."
So he walked for a long time and always said, "Not much, not
much, not much." Then he passed by a company of fishermen and said,
"God speed you. Not much, not much, not much."
"What do you say,
churl? Not much?" And when the net was drawn out they had not
caught much fish. So one of them fell on the youth with a stick and
said, "Have you never seen me threshing?"
"What ought I to say,
then?" asked the youth.
"You must say 'Get it full, get it full.'"
After this he again walked a long time, and said, "Get it full, get
it full," until he came to the gallows, where they had got a poor
sinner whom they were about to hang. Then said he, "Good morning,
get it full, get it full."
"What do you say, knave? Get it full? Do
you want to make out that there are still more wicked people
in the world? Is not this enough?" And he again got some blows
on his back.
"What am I to say, then?" said he.
"You must say, 'May
God have pity on the poor soul.'"
Again the youth walked on for along while and said, "May God have
pity on the poor soul." Then he came to a pit by which stood a
knacker who was cutting up a horse. The youth said, "Good
morning. God have pity on the poor soul."
"What do you say,
you ill-tempered knave?" and the knacker gave him such a box on
the ear, that he could not see out of his eyes.
"What am I to say,
"You must say, 'let the carrion lie in the pit.'"
So he walked on, and always said, "Let the carrion lie in the
pit, let the carrion lie in the pit." And he came to a cart full
of people, so he said, "Good morning, let the carrion lie in the
pit." Then the cart fell into a pit, and the driver took his
whip and cracked it upon the youth, till he was forced to crawl
back to his mother, and as long as he lived he never went out a-travelling again.