Table be laid, donkey lift your tail and club out of the sack. There was once a tailor who had three sons. One day, the boys went out into the wide world to learn a trade.

The eldest wanted to become a furniture maker, the middle son a miller and the youngest a carpenter. Once the eldest son had completed a three-year apprenticeship, his training was complete. He was given a wooden table in gratitude for his hard work and was told that when he says, “Table, be laid!” delicious food would appear on the table. On the way home the boy stayed the night at an inn. “I’m afraid I have no food left to give you,” said the innkeeper. “That’s all right,” the boy replied. “Table, be laid!” And immediately the boy’s table was covered with delicious food. During the night, the jealous innkeeper swapped the enchanted table for an ordinary one. Having arrived home, the boy wanted to show the table to his father. “Table, be laid!” he said, but nothing happened.

The second son had also finished his apprenticeship and received a donkey in gratitude. He was told that when he says, “Donkey, lift your tail!” the donkey would lift his tail and out would pop a gold coin. This son happened to stay at the same inn on his way home. The innkeeper soon discovered how he came by his gold coins. During the night, he played the same trick, swapping the enchanted donkey for an ordinary one. The father didn’t know what to think of his sons. One claimed to have an enchanted table and the other an enchanted donkey. But nothing happened. Disappointed, he wrote a letter to his youngest son. The boy told his master what his father had written. “I think the innkeeper robbed your brothers,” said the master. “Here, this is my gift to you. It’s a sack with a club inside.” He told that boy that when he says, “Club, out of the sack!” the club would give his enemies a sound thrashing. The boy set off for home and, of course, stayed at the same inn along the way. Would he teach the innkeeper a lesson with his club?

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