You have more sense than strength!

A long time ago, perhaps a thousand years before that, it happened that the lion made a big, strong friendship with the wild boar and the wolf, and the three good friends set out to try their luck together. Well, wherever they passed, alas, there were all kinds of irrational animals.

The three good friends ran wild and destroyed. And because they were nowhere stronger than themselves, they were extremely arrogant.

The lion said one day:

  • I want to see who can beat the three of us?
  • Who is he? The man! – remarked the wolf.

“Come on, don’t be childish,” said the lion, “because I’m going to beat a group of people by myself!” Hey, if only one of us would come!

“Okay, okay,” said the wolf.

They had barely gone a few steps, when a schoolboy came towards them.

  • This man? asked the lion.

“No, it’s not a man yet,” answered the wolf.

  • Then I won’t get involved.

They went on. They hadn’t even gone a hundred steps before an old man tiptoed towards them. But he was so very old that he could barely walk.

  • Is this the man? asked the lion.

“That’s not it either,” answered the wolf, “it was just that.”

  • May this also be in peace! said the lion.

And they went on, sheltering, until they came to a large forest. As soon as they broke through the thicket, they came upon a young woodcutter.

  • Well, this man? asked the lion.
  • That’s it! – answered the wolf.

The lion suddenly addressed the woodcutter.

  • ‘Have a good day, brother! The wolf says about you that you could handle all three of us. What kind of weapon do you have?
  • For me? said the woodcutter. – I don’t have anything else to do with the axe, he added – maybe my wits…
  • Right! Your mind! Well, use your wits and defeat us!
  • I do – the woodcutter notes – but I forgot it at home!
  • Nevermind! Run, my wolf coma, home to his house and bring him to his senses.

The woodcutter now took a piece of papyrus and told his wife to tie a large cabbage-printing stone around the wolf’s neck. The wolf took the letter and hurried with it to the woodcutter’s wife; during that time the lion and the wild boar looked after him as if they were the world of their eyes.

But an hour passed, two hours, three hours, the wolf did not come back. As soon as the fool allowed the woodcutter to tie a stone around his neck, it was over, the villagers beat the helpless beast to death. During this time, the woodcutter got terribly hungry, took bread and bacon in front of him, and started snacking.

“Hey,” said the lion, “but you’re eating something that smells good, what is it?”

“That must be wild boar bacon,” the man whispered.

The lion didn’t need anything else, he jumped on the boar and tore it to pieces.

  • Stop – cried the man – don’t eat it like that! If you want bacon, you have to cut it nicely.

“My,” said the lion, “you’re right, it’s not good to be skinned like this, cut it out, you have a knife.” But you know what? Tie me to a tree while you cut the bacon, because I can’t stand myself if I don’t eat it all at once.

The woodcutter didn’t say anything twice, he tied the lion to a tree in such a way that its bones just crunched into it. But that’s not enough yet.

  • Just try to see if you can break the rope! he said to the lion.

The lion pounced on him and tore the rope as if it had never happened.

  • Stronger, my sweet boy, stronger! – encouraged the woodcutter.

There was no need to encourage it. Now he had tied it up in such a way that the lion was infatuated with it, and he really wanted to be freed. Yes, but it was not so easy, and the poor man also used the good opportunity: he beat the huge animal to death with his axe. He showed that: “you have more wit than strength!”

(Elek Benedek: Hungarian fairy-tale world, volume 1)

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