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THE TILL EULENSPIEGEL SERIES: TALE 23
The 23rd story tells of how Eulenspiegel had his horse shod with silver and gold at the expense of the King of Denmark
The horseshoe is, of course, made of iron. But our hero will gladly make an exception if he is to profit from it. This is the first tale that takes place outside Germany. It's also the first of the stories in which Eulenspiegel appears more refined and smart although he, as we shall soon see, remains quite capable of crude, puerile pranks. We presume some time has elapsed between the last story and this one and that Eulenspiegel has been relatively well-behaved.
Eulenspiegel had become such an accomplished courtier that word of his agreeable personage reached many lords and gentlemen and many tales were told about him. This they liked well and they supplied him with clothes, horses, money and fare. So it came to be that he arrived at the court of the King of Denmark. The king took a strong liking to him and asked him to do something adventurous, for which he would reward him with the best horseshoes a horse could have. Eulenspiegel asked the king if he could believe his words. The king affirmed it, should Eulenspiegel do his bidding.
So later on Eulenspiegel rode his horse to the goldsmith and had it shod with golden horsehoes with silver nails. Then he went to the king and requested that he pay for the shoeing. The king said, of course, and instructed his secretary to pay for it. But Eulenspiegel took him to the goldsmith and the goldsmith wanted a hundred Danish marks. The secretary did not want to pay for it and went to tell the king.
The king had Eulenspiegel brought before him and said to him: "Eulenspiegel, what sort of an expensive shoeing did you have done there? Should I shoe my horses like that I'd soon have to sell country and people. I did not mean for you to have the horse shod with gold." Eulenspiegel said: "Milord, you said they should be the best shoes and that I should follow your words. Now, I think that there are no better shoes in the world than those of silver and gold." Then the king said: "You are my favourite courtier, you do as I bid." And he began to laugh and paid the one hundred marks for the shoes.
Eulenspiegel then had the golden horsehoes torn off, went to a blacksmith and had his horse shod with iron again. He stayed with this king until the king's death.
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Translated for E2 from public domain text.