There was once an old man and an old woman. The old woman had a hen 
and the old man had a rooster; the old woman's hen laid two eggs a day 
and she ate a great many, but she would not give the old man a single 
one. One day the old man lost patience and said: "Listen, old crony, you
live as if you were in clover, give me a couple of eggs so that I can 
at least have a taste of them."

"No indeed!" replied the old woman, who was very avaricious. "If you 
want eggs, beat your rooster that he may lay eggs for you, and then eat 
them; I flogged my hen, and just see how she lays now."

The old man, being stingy and greedy, listened to the old woman's 
talk, angrily seized his rooster, gave him a sound thrashing and said:

"There, now, lay some eggs for me or else go out of the house, I won't feed you for nothing any longer."

As soon as the rooster escaped from the old man's hands it ran off 
down the high-road. While thus pursuing its way, lo and behold! it found
a little purse with two half-pennies. Taking it in its beak, the bird 
turned and went back toward the old man's house. On the road it met a 
carriage containing a gentleman and several ladies. The gentleman looked
at the rooster, saw a purse in its bill, and said to the driver:

"Get down and see what this rooster has in its beak."

The driver hastily jumped from his box, took the little purse from 
the rooster's bill, and gave it to his master. The gentleman put it in 
his pocket and drove on. The rooster was very angry and ran after the 
carriage, repeating continually:

"Kikeriki, sir, Kikerikak,
To me the little purse give back."

The enraged gentleman said to the coachman as they passed a well:

"Take that impudent rooster and throw it into the well."

The driver got down from his box again, seized the rooster, and flung
it down the well. When the rooster saw that its life was in such great 
danger, what was it to do?

It began to swallow the water, and drank and drank till it had 
swallowed all the water in the well. Then it flew out and again ran 
after the carriage, calling:

"Kikeriki, sir, Kikerikak,
To me the little purse give back."

When the gentleman saw this, he was perfectly amazed and said:

. Then the rooster gave the stone a push, came out safe and 
sound, ran to the gentleman's window, and began to knock on the panes 
with its bill, screaming:

"Kikeriki, sir, Kikerikak,
To me the little purse give back."

"Heaven knows that I've got a torment in this monster of a 
 Then it escaped from the room, went to the 
gentleman's window, and again began:

"Kikeriki, sir, Kikerikak,
To me the little purse give back."

As the gentleman saw that there was nothing else to be done he 
tossed the purse out. The rooster picked it up, went about its own 
business, and left the gentleman in peace. All the poultry ran after the
rooster so that it really looked like a wedding; but the gentleman 
turned green with rage as he watched, and said sighing:

"Let them all run off to the last chick, I'm glad to be rid of the torment; there was witchcraft in that rooster!"

But the puffed-up rooster stalked proudly along, followed by all the 
fowls, and went merrily on and on till he reached the old man's house 
and began to crow: "Kikeriki!"

When the old man heard the rooster's voice he ran out joyfully to 
meet the bird, but looking through the door what did he see? His rooster
had become a terrible object. An elephant beside it would have seemed

But all at once the old woman appeared from somewhere, and when she 
saw this marvelous spectacle her eyes glittered in her head, and she was
ready to burst with wrath.

"Dear old friend," she said, "give me a few ducats."

 When the poor hen escaped from the old woman's hands it fled 
to the highway. While walking along it found a bead, swallowed it, 
hurried back home as fast as possible, and began to cackle at the gate. 
The old woman welcomed it joyfully. 

But the old man was very rich; he built great houses, laid out 
beautiful gardens, and lived luxuriously. He made the old woman his 
poultry-maid, the rooster he took about with him everywhere, dressed in a
gold collar, yellow boots, and spurs on its heels, so that one might 
have thought it was one of the Three Kings from the Christmas play 
instead of a mere ordinary rooster.