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The Woodsmanís Axe


"... ...Now this next one Iím gonna tell was called The Woodsmanís Axe and it was in our school book we went to school about Grade, oh, 3 or 4.


Once upon a time a long, long time ago there was a poor woodsman and a woodsman is a man that works in the woods and gets his living from chopping wood. Well, this poor woodsman had a wife and family and he was very poor. He used to go to the woods every day and he chop wood for people and heíd get a little bit of money and his family got by on what little bit he could earn and they was very poor. So anyway, this one day he was working along the branch of a stream and his axe slipped out of his hand and fell into the water. Well, he didnít know what he was going to do. SoÖ[I gotta stop for a minute, I just heard a car come in and I thought it was somebody coming  but I see it was your father so, ah, I'll just start on and keep a going along from where I left off] Ö..So, he got down on his hands and knees and he sighed and he said "What am I gonna do now? It was hard enough for me to earn a living when I had the axe, but what am I gonna do now its gone? I havenít got money enough," he said, "to buy another one and what will my poor family do?" So as he was kneeling down there by the brook why a water fairy came up out of the water and she asked him what the trouble was. He said, "Iíve lost my axe!" He said, "It was hard enough for me to earn a living with my axe, but" he said, "What am I going to do now that my axe is gone?"


So the fairy sank beneath the water and soon she reappeared again. She had in her arms an axe of gold. And she said to this woodsman, "Is this your axe?" And he said, "No thatís not my axe. That would buy many of mine." So the fairy laid the axe on the bank and she went down under the water again and she brought up an axe made of silver called a silver axe. So she said to the woodsman, "Is this your axe?"  The woodsman said, "No, that's not my axe." He said, "That would buy many of mine." He said, "Mine was made of iron." So the fairy went beneath the water again and she soon returned and she had in her arm the woodsmanís axe. And he said, "Thatís it! Thatís it!" He said, "Thatís my axe!"


The fairy said, "Yes," she said, "Honest woodsman, this is your axe." She said, "This is your axe which you earnt a living for your wife and your family." She said, "Honest woodsman, the silver axe and the gold axe both be yours!" Well the woodsman thanked the fairy and he took the silver axe and gold axe and his own axe he started for home to show these treasures to his family.


Well, on the way home he met his lazy neighbour. And a lazy man is a man that wont work; he donít want to work. He tries to make his living without working. So he met him on the way home and the lazy man asked the honest woodsman where he got those fine axes. Well, the woodsman told him the whole story, told him the truth, so the lazy man said "Well, thereís a way for me to get good axes!" so he went back home and got his axe and he went down to the brook where the honest woodsman was chopping and he chopped for a minute or two and then threw his axe in the water. So he got down on his hands and knees and he hollered ďOh, Iíve lost my axe, Iíve lost my good axe! Oh, Iíve lost my axe, Iíve lost my good axe!Ē


Well the water fairy came to him. She asked him the cause of his trouble. He said "Oh Iíve lost my axe, Iíve lost my good axe!Ē So the fairy went beneath the water, she sank down beneath the water, and soon she returned and in her arms she had an axe of gold. She said to this lazy man ďIs this your axe?Ē "Oh yes, yes! yes!" he said, "Thatís my axe, thatís my axe!Ē She said, ďYou dishonest rogue! This is not your axe; this is mine. If you wish to get your own axe you may dive for it yourself.Ē So the fairy sank beneath the water and took her axe and the lazy man lost his axe and didnít get any axe because he lied to the fairy.


So it pays to be honest! ... ..."