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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Eulenspiegel’s Pranks (Current in the 15th Century)

The Golden Horseshoes

Murner’s Version

EULENSPIEGEL came to the court of the King of Denmark, who liked him well, and said that if he would make him some diversion, then might he have the best of shoes for his horse’s hoofs. Eulenspiegel asked the king if he was minded to keep his word well and truly, and the king did answer most solemnly, “Yes.”

Now did Eulenspiegel ride his horse to a goldsmith, by whom he suffered to be beaten upon the horse’s hoofs shoes of gold with silver nails. This done, Eulenspiegel went to the king, that the king might send his treasurer to pay for the shoeing. The treasurer believed he should pay a blacksmith, but Eulenspiegel conducted him to the goldsmith, who did require and demand one hundred Danish marks. This would the treasurer not pay, but went and told his master.

Therefore the king caused Eulenspiegel to be summoned into his presence, and spoke to him:

“Eulenspiegel, why did you have such costly shoes? Were I to shoe all my horses thus, soon would I be without land or any possessions.”

To which Eulenspiegel did make reply:

“Gracious King, you did promise me the best of shoes for my horse’s hoofs, and I did think the best were of gold.”

Then the king laughed:

“You shall be of my court, for you act upon my very word.”

And the king commanded his treasurer to pay the hundred marks for the horse’s golden shoes. But these Eulenspiegel caused to be taken off, and iron shoes put on in their stead; and he remained many a long day in the service of the King of Denmark.