The Gist: A farmer foolishly misinterprets the sounds of frogs and ends up losing his money to them. Then he misinterprets a pack of dogs and ends up losing the meat from his largest cow. He goes to the King to seek justice against the dogs and frogs for their thievery.
“The Good Bargain” is a comical little story that seems to be written purely for entertainment value. The farmer is incredibly stupid and his behavior is ludicrous; I mean really, throwing his coins into the pond for frogs to count and expecting them back? And yet somehow things work out alright for him in the end. This farmer is the personification of dumb luck.
It just goes to show how fast one’s fortune can turn around. The characters in this story know that better than anyone.
For more information about this feature, check out the main page for “A Grimm Year.”
- The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 3rd Edition translated by Jack Zipes (Bantam, 2003)