Merry Tales  by Eleanor L. Skinner

Bruin and Reynard Partners

Scandinavian Folk Tale

O NCE upon a time Bruin and Reynard were to plant a field in common and to share the crops in a fair way. "If you'll have the root, I'll take the top," said Reynard. Bruin thought that plan would do very well.

The first year they sowed rye. But when they had thrashed out the crop, Reynard got all the grain and Bruin got nothing but roots and rubbish. He did not like that at all, but Reynard said that was how they had agreed to share the crop, and it was fair and right.

"The tops come to me this year," said Reynard, "but next year it will be your turn. Then you will have the tops and I shall have to put up with the roots."

Spring came and it was time to sow again. Sly Reynard asked Bruin what he thought of sowing turnip seed for the second year's crop.

"Yes, yes," said Bruin, "we will have turnips. Turnips are better food than rye."

Reynard agreed with him. Harvest time came. "We will divide the crops as is fair and right," said Reynard. "I get the roots this time and you get the tops." So Reynard got all the turnip roots and Bruin the turnip tops. When Bruin saw what Reynard had done, he was very angry, and he put an end to his partnership with him at once.