The Woodman and the Rabbit

This tale was posted on the groaners listserv.

This is the story of a woodcarver who lived in a house in a forest with a rabbit and a housemaid. Among the duties of the housemaid was to dress the rabbit each morning as he was unable to dress himself. One day, after they had had their breakfast and the rabbit was dressed, the rabbit and the woodcarver went out into the forest to find wood that would be suitable for carving.

They soon found what they agreed was a wonderful piece of wood just perfect for a wood sculpture. Unfortunately, they couldn’t agree on what to carve. The woodcarver wanted to carve a mother sheep feeding her lambs. The rabbit wanted to see the piece become a wooden Dutch shoe.

Finally, they agreed to let the housemaid decide, so they went back to the cottage and explained their problem. The housemaid decided to flip a coin: Heads would mean that the woodcarver would carve the sheep, tails would mean that the shoe would win. You can imagine the suspense when she flicked up the coin, caught it and peeked.

Wood ewe or wooden shoe? Only the haredresser knew for sure.

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