HOW THE EARS OF A SERVANT ARE OPENED TO A GOOD MASTER
Uli’s answer was cut off by the cow, which proclaimed her pangs more clearly: now there was work to do, and the conversation could not be continued. All went well, and finally there was a handsome calf, coal-black with a white star, such as neither had ever seen; it was decided to raise it. Uli was twice as active and attentive as usual, and the little calf he treated quite gently, almost tenderly, and regarded it with real affection.
When they were done with the cow and she had had her onion soup, the morning was already dawning, and no time was left to continue their conversation.
The ensuing work-days engrossed them with various labors and the master was frequently absent on business in the neighborhood, so that they had no further talk together. But it seemed to be assumed by both that Uli was to remain, and when the master came home his wife could not praise Uli enough, saying how well he had performed his duty and that she had not had to give him any orders; he had thought of everything himself, and when she had thought of it it had already been done. This naturally pleased the master very much and caused him to speak with increasing kindness to Uli and to show more and more confidence in him. Nothing is more vexatious for a master than to come home in the evening tired or sleepy and find everything at sixes and sevens and his wife full of complaints; to see only half the work done that should have been accomplished, much of it botched and ruined, so that it had better have been let alone; and then into the bargain to hear his wife complain half the night how the servants had been unruly, had given impudent answers, and done just what they pleased, and how she hated to have it so—and if he ever went away again she would run off too. It is terrible for a man who has to go away (and the necessity arises occasionally) if the heavy sighs begin on the homeward road, as soon as he can see his house. What has happened today, he thinks—what shall I see and hear? And so he scarcely wants to go home at all; and whereas he would like to return with love and joy, he has to march with thunder and lightning into his rebellious realm.