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The Straw, The Coal, And The Bean

By Itellyouastory

In a village dwelt a poor old  woman, who had gathered together a dishof beans and wanted to cook them. So she made a fire on her hearth, andthat it might burn the quicker,  she lighted it with  a handful ofstraw.  When she was emptying the beans into the pan, one droppedwithout her observing it, and lay on the  ground beside a straw,  andsoon afterwards a  burning coal from the fire leapt down to  the two.Then the straw began and  said: «Dear friends,  from  whence do  youcome  here?» The  coal  replied:  «I fortunately sprang out  of thefire,  and if  I had not  escaped by  sheer force, my  death would  havebeen  certain,—I should  have been  burnt  to ashes.» The bean said: «Itoo have  escaped with a whole skin, but if  the old woman had  got meinto  the pan, I  should have been  made into  broth without any mercy,like my comrades.» «And would a better fate have fallen to my lot?» saidthe straw. «The  old woman has destroyed all my  brethren in fire andsmoke; she seized sixty of them at once, and took their lives. I luckilyslipped through her fingers.»

«But what are we to do now?» said the coal.

«I think,» answered  the bean,  «that as  we have  so fortunatelyescaped death, we  should keep  together  like good  companions,  andlest  a  new mischance should overtake us here, we should go awaytogether, and  repair to a foreign country.»


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