Five days after that Easter morning Heinrich began working as a farmer

Every sensible person should heed a warning: If you are capable of translating Latin scripts with skill and solving algebraic tasks correctly, then do not attempt to harness horses, otherwise you can lose all your talents and others too.

Hannes stood as a teacher next to Heinrich, who was trying to harness a plow horse. The young Magister was in a bad mood.

“Heinrich, you’re just a valiant herring. This is where the strap comes from! Here had to buckle up! Well, man, don’t you see the buckle? Not too loose! So in the hole! Oh dear, fellow, if you are so dumb as a primus, how can the others be? ”

“Please, Hannes, don’t talk so much!”

“Nobody should talk there! Look how the white horse is looking around! He’s laughing at you! Well a bridle[144] can! Don’t be afraid! The mold doesn’t bite; at most Haber! Go away, I’ll put in a bridle myself, that would be a bit of a mess! Meanwhile, make a shit out of a hoof. ”

“What should I?”

“Get a crap out of a hoof!”

“With what – what should I do with, Hannes?”

“By which? Sheep’s head! With a hands! With what else? ”

“Ugh, that’s terribly unsavory!”

Hannes shook his head melancholy at his talentless pupil.

“Unappetizing! Man! As if there was something to eat! Well, look here, that’s how you make a shit out of a hooves, of course throw it away and wipe your hands on your pants. I would like to know what’s unsavory! ”

Heinrich said nothing at all; he just sighed heavily. Then he got into the field wagon with Hannes and they drove out into the field. He himself kept the reins.

When they were a little way outside, the white horse bent down towards the road and began to graze while slowly, very slowly pulling the car behind him. Heinrich let him go, because he said that such behavior was common practice among field horses.

But Hannes sat silently next to him with restrained anger and severe contempt. After a while he couldn’t take it any longer and he sighed cynically:

“Well, hopefully we’ll be out there by lunchtime.”

[145]

Heinrich jumped out of his dreams and vigorously wiggled the leash. The gray horse was not bothered by this, but just stuck out its lascivious tongue for a freshly sprouting May-flower – then Hannes suddenly struck his back with the whip, so that he woke up and set himself into a pace that was amazingly fast for his temperament.

Unfortunately it happened that Heinrich was even more frightened by the blow than the gray horse, and that is why the line slipped from him, which was now dragging along the ground below. And in this very bleak condition for a coachman, the roaring vehicle met the barber.

He started a laugh and then went quickly to the beech crawling. –

In the field outside Hannes said darkly:

“You plam’n a colossal!”

Heinrich didn’t know what to say. Now he was the master and owner of the beech farm, had learned more than any other farmer and did not even know how to rule a fat horse.

And now came the harder task. Heinrich should learn to plow. Hannes put the white horse on the plow and said:

“I’ll do the edge! It’s too hard for you. Walk alongside and watch out! So – so that’s how the plow is held. You have to hold it tight, otherwise a will jump out. And the horse always has to walk a foot away from the furrow. Jüh! ”

Heinrich walked attentively next to the plow. He was paying close attention, and it seemed child’s play to him.[146] Hannes did all kinds of tricks; he excelled himself in technical terms, especially in the direct forms of address he addressed to the horse, and then let go of his right and now his left hand from the handlebars, like a vain cyclist on the street when he wants to show passers-by, how sure he is of his cause.

In the meantime Heinrich got into a melancholy mood. His thoughts flew down to Breslau. The new school year began today. The upper secondary! Now everything had to get really interesting. The full professor in Ober-secondary was known as a capable teacher. Oh, he wasn’t allowed to listen to his lessons; he had to learn to plow, had to go stupidly along the furrows, back and forth without any change, without any bit of spirit.

But he had wanted it that way; he had wanted to be home at all costs.

And again he thought about what kind of connection it had to home.

“Well, now it’s your turn, Heinrich; now pull yourself together! ”

Heinrich went to the plow and his face was so red as if he had been given a difficult exam, on the success of which everything depended. He grasped the handlebars of the plow convulsively.

“Go!” He said in an excited voice.

“The gray horse doesn’t understand,” corrected Hannes; “Jüh had to say.”

“Yeh!”

[147]

The horse started. It went a few steps. Heinrich staggered over and over behind the plow like a drunk; Finally the ploughshare flew out of the earth, the plow fell over, and Heinrich jumped aside so as not to be hit.

The white horse stopped, puzzled, and looked around pityingly. But Hannes shrugged his shoulders indignantly.

“Piggy, I say, just piggy!”

That was his criticism, then he withdrew the plow, corrected the “messed up furrow”, drove to the middle of the field and offered Heinrich the plow again.

Oh, the success was no better than before. Hannes cursed, and Heinrich was deeply despondent.

“It doesn’t work, Hannes, it absolutely doesn’t work.”

Hannes thoughtfully put his hands in his trouser pockets.

“Heinrich, I think you will be a very miserable Pauer.”

Heinrich feared that too, and the question of whether it would not have been better for him to stick to the books popped up on his first day of farming.

Even so, he kept plowing up and running with great energy, and once he managed to drive down a whole furrow. Then his face flushed with joy. But when he tried to turn the plow to drive back, a misfortune happened. He sat the heavy agricultural equipment violently on his foot. He cried out loudly, threw down the plow and sat down on the edge of the field.

[148]

The white horse turned again and looked so indistinct that no one could know whether it meant pity or irony.

Hannes came up with long strides and looked at the bleeding foot from which Heinrich had meanwhile pulled his boot. Anger and pity fought within him.

“The very best is you go home. That is life-threatening for you! «-

“You – the big farmer’s foot is bleeding. A has certainly put a plow on it. Well and the furrow, look, it made a. ”

Then a resounding laughter.

Across the way stood the barber and young Riedel.

Heinrich turned away in shame. But Hannes, who hadn’t seen the two men coming either, because the field was behind a small alder bush, crunched with anger.

“Such a lousy plague! Now the guys watched! ”

But then he turned to the way:

“Get out of here! This is none of your business. Raschdorf Heinrich has more sense in one big toe than you in the whole figure, including the cap. ”

“Well, what a lousy boy!”

The barber and Riedel came across the field.

Hannes took the whip.

“Heinrich, you take a barber, I’ll take a Riedel!”

Heinrich jumped up. He stood on the black floor with his bleeding bare foot. But he stood there proud and bossy.

“Back! This is my land! I forbid you to enter it. ”

The two troublemakers stopped.

“That’s trespassing!” Shouted Hannes. “That’s what sets’s jail!”

They stopped short. They believed it was “trespassing” and turned back with the threat that Hannes would run into their hands.

Then they made a few malicious remarks and went to the village.

It was there that the young beech farmer’s first agricultural work came up with two bad critics. –

“Now I’ll fix the mold and drive you home. You probably won’t be able to walk. ”

So it happened. When Hannes came back to the field and plowed the field in splendid, straight furrows, he thought every time he looked at his work with joy:

“It’s just a good thing I never went to high school.”

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