Hans in Luck is one of those stories about someone who is “clever.” I’m getting quite tired of these “clever” people.
Once upon a time there was a man named Hans who had worked for a person for seven years and his time of servitude was up. This is called being an indentured servant by the way. As payment, Hans receives a chunk of gold as large as his head. He wraps it in a handkerchief and starts walking towards his mother’s village.
The large hunk of gold gets heavy. Hans encounters a man with a horse. Hans wishes, aloud, that he had something like the horse. He could ride and not be weary from walking and his shoes would not get scuffed up. The man on the horse hears this and suggests a trade. He suggest trading the lump of gold for the horse, Hans agrees.
So Hands rides away with the horse and the man walks away with a very large chunk of gold. After a while, the horse becomes rowdy and throws Hans off into a ditch on the side of the road. A man and his cow are nearby. Hans laments the horse and how it was wild. He admires the man’s cow and thinks that if he had a cow, he could walk slowly behind it and could have all the milk and butter he wanted. The man suggests a trade. Hans trades his mare for the cow.
Hans gets hungry and decides to eat all of the food he has. He spends his last money on beer. After this, he is determined to get milk from his cow. Well, try all he might, the cow will not give milk. Hans becomes angry and laments having the stubborn cow that will not give milk. A butcher just happened to be driving by with a pig. The butcher asks why Hans is so upset and Hans tells him. The butcher tells Hans his cow is too old to give milk and that it is only fit to pull a cart or be butchered. The butcher suggest a trade. The pig for the cow. Hans agrees.
Hans is happy with his pig. He likes pork better than beef anyway. Hans reflects on how lucky and blessed he is. He meets a young man with a fine white goose. The man admires the pig, but also talks up his goose. His goose is heavy and it has been fattened up for a while. This guy goes on to say that in a nearby town someone had their pig stolen and it looks an awfully lot like the pig Hans has. The young man suggests a trade. Hans quickly agrees. He doesn’t want to fool around with any stolen pigs. He also figures that the goose will taste very good, its fat will provide him with fat for several months and its feathers will make a nice pillow. So Hans takes the goose.
On the way home, with the goose, Hans meets a scissors-grinder who talks up the profession. He says that whenever he puts his hand in his pocket-money comes out. Hans is intrigued. Hans also tells the scissors-grinder the saga of his trades. The scissors-grinder tells Hans he has done well for himself(as if) and tells Hans he should also have money in his pocket every time he puts his hands in there. Hans asks how he is to accomplish this. The scissors-grinder tells Hans he must take up the profession. He offers to trade Hans some grinding stones and tools for the goose. The stone he gives Hans is just a regular old stone.
Hans recounts on his luck. He exclaims that he must have been born with a caul upon his head to have such luck. After a while, Hans gets tired and hungry. He finds a field, where there is a well, and wants to take a drink. He sets his stones down on the side of the well and leans over to drink, but as he does so, his stones fall into the well and sink to the bottom. Hans jumps for joy because he no longer has to carry his heavy stones with him. He thanks God for having shown him this favor.
“There is no man under the sun so fortunate as I.”
As you can tell, Hans is a freaking moron…I mean, he’s “clever.”
I assume that Hans was an indentured servant, especially since he worked for seven years. Seven years was a pretty standard time period during which to be an indentured servant. An employer would agree to hire someone for a time period in exchange for something else. When people came to the Americas, indentured servants most often were paid in their passage to the New World. They would work for seven years in exchange for being moved to the new continent. An indentured servant could not quit during the period of indenture and if they ran away, they could definitely be prosecuted. For the most part, an indentured servant was a slave that got to go free after seven years.
Hans has been indentured and now he’s free to go home. I also wonder if he might have been an apprentice, but it doesn’t seem he has learned anything. Whoever hired him must have really liked him or they must have been “clever” themselves to pay Hans so much. A lump of gold as big as a person’s head is worth a lot of money, lots and lots of money. LOTS OF MONEY. Hans’ employer must have had money coming out of his, what is the phrase, wahoo? yahoo? wazoo? I think it’s wazoo. We are talking at least a hundred grand. What kind of work did Hans do? Maybe he was a drug mule? He’s just “clever” enough to do that.
Horses are nice, but they’re not worth that much money, unless we’re talking about race horses, then we’re totally talking about that much money. If you know how to browse craigslist, you can get your very own horse for around $1000.00. That’s pretty reasonable. Now, a race horse on the other hand, would set you back quite a bit. Think, about enough money to buy at least one of your house, if not two of your house, and maybe even more. The horse Hans trades for is not a racehorse. It’s a regular horse. This random guy pretty much gets a hundred grand for a thousand dollar horse. Hans gets screwed upon each successive trade.
Hans does ponder if he might have been born with the caul on his head. Caul, meaning the amniotic sac you’re floating around in as a fetus. Every once in a while, babies are born with this sack still on their heads and superstition says these babies will be lucky, blessed, or have ESP, take your pick
Even though Hans is “clever” and this might get other “clever” people down, Hans makes the best of his life. You know what, I’m just going to come right out and say it, “Hans is stupid.” He’s stupid. He’s as stupid as the day is long. He’s so stupid he thinks a quarterback is refund. I don’t know how Hans has managed to survive to this age. I don’t know how old he is, but let’s assume he’s twenty-two or something. Ok? How is he not dead?
Let’s move forward a bit, yes, we’re all surprised Hans is actually alive. Many of us know at least one person who is stupid. God bless their little hearts, they’re the sweetest people alive, but Good Lord are they dumb! They fell off the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. We get along ok with our stupid friends(that sounds so mean, but I don’t know how else to phrase it), but our stupid friends also, often, end up as the brunt of many of our jokes. They also happen to end up on the short end of many deals and agreements, because they’re “clever” and can’t figure the consequences of what they’re agreeing to. They get taken advantage of. We know this, they don’t know this, but we know this.
These people see Hans coming from a mile away. They know he’s stupid. Hans doesn’t know he is stupid, but everyone else can tell.
Here’s the thing, we’ve established that Hans is a few crayons short of a box, but we haven’t pointed out the one very good thing about Hans. Hans is an optimist. No matter what happens to him, he thinks things are going well. He gets rid of his gold nugget, that’s just great, he gets a horse. He gets rid of his horse, that’s just great, he gets a cow. He gets rid of his cow, that just great, he gets a pig. It goes on and on and on. You cannot get Hans down. Every once in a while, he does get a little upset. He gets thrown off a horse as an example, but Hans doesn’t let that upset him for long. He gets right back up and goes on with life.
Hans is a prime example of how life goes on even after bad things happen to you. You can let these bad things break you or you can let them make you. WORD! Hans uses all his experiences, good and bad, to live his life. Bad things happen, but Hans doesn’t waste his energy worrying about it or coulda, woulda, shouldaing the situations. (Yes, I know, totally not words, but remember, I’m a writer, I can make up all the freakzazzle words I want to. freakzazzle is also not a real word).
Hans is stupid, but at least he’s happy.