There was once a poor woman who had a son, who much wished to
travel, but his mother said, “How canst thou travel? We have no money
at all for thee to take away with thee.” Then said the son, “I will
manage very well for myself; I will always say, Not much, not much, not
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 sayst thou 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, “Hast thou
never seen me threshing?” “What ought I to say, then?” asked the youth.
“Thou 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 sayst
thou, knave, get it full? Dost thou 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. “Thou
must say, may God have pity on the poor soul.”
Again the youth walked on for a long 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 dost thou say, thou 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, then?” “Thou must say, 'There lies
the carrion in the pit!'“
So he walked on, and always said, “There lies the carrion in the
pit, there lies the carrion in the pit.” And he came to a cart full of
people, so he said, “Good morning, there lies the carrion in the pit!”
Then the cart pushed him into a hole, 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.