The Story Of Pacala

Pacala has been a movie hero since as early as 1915. The most recent film, on a much lighter note than the story above, is Pacala's Return, or Pacala 2 (2006), directed by Geo Saizescu (who also directed Pacala, 1974 - click here to see preview), and subject to harsh criticism.
Once upon a time there was a man. If he hadn't been, I would not have told his story. All happened when the flea's leg used to be shoed with two-hundred-and-ninety-nine pounds of iron, and the flea flew up into the sky to bring us stories. It's a story from an age when the horses used to walk on the walls and he who doesn't believe it might be the greatest liar. Once upon a time there was an old man whose wife had died and he had three sons. The youngest son's name was Pacala. When the old man died, the only fortune which remained for his sons was a cow. And since they didn't know how to share this fortune and didn't want to sell the cow, the elder brothers proposed that each of them should build a stall and set the cow free in the middle of the courtyard. The cow was to become the property of the brother whose stall it would get in. All agreed to this proposal and each built a stall. The elder brothers built wooden shingled stalls, while Pacala made it out of green withes and covered it with green grass. No sooner did they let the cow free, than it went straight to Pacala's stall and started to eat grass and leaves from the withes. Consequently, in spite of his brothers' wish, the cow became Pacala's property. Since Pacala was as gamboling then as in his childhood, he did not feel inclined to become a cowherd, so he decided to sell the cow. He tied its horns with a rope and took it to the market to sell it. Passing through a forest, he tied it to an old tree and lay down to rest, but the tree rocked and creaked a lot since it was very windy outside. Pacala thought the tree had asked him if he wanted to sell the cow and he said 'yes'. The tree creaked again and Pacala thought it had asked the price and he said '200 lei'. The tree creaked again and Pacala thought it said '20 lei'. He was satisfied with this price and asked for the money, but the tree creaked once more. Pacala thought the tree said it was to give him the money next day. He was content and went home. When he arrived at home, his brothers asked him what the sale price had been. "20 lei," he said and told them he had sold it to a tree, which was to give him the money the next day. His brothers thought him to having lost his mind. How can a tree buy a cow? He didn't answer. The next day, Pacala went to the tree and found only the rope tied to it, since the cow had torn it and run into the forest. "I came back for you to give me the money for the cow," Pacala said, but the tree didn't answer. Worried because it did not answer or give him the money, Pacala took the axe and started to cut it down. But look what happened! When the tree fell down, he found a cauldron full of money under its roots. Pacala took only 20 lei out of that, exactly the price of the cow, and went home. Seeing he brought the money, his brothers were very surprised that a tree was able to buy and pay for a cow. They asked him about it and he told them the whole story, that the tree had a lot of money and they wondered a lot about how foolish he was, why he did not take all the money for himself and why he told them everything about it. His brothers asked him to join them to the tree and take all the money from that treasure. He obeyed happily and they went together to the treasure and took the cauldron with coins home. When the brothers wanted to share the money among them, they decided to use a pot, since there were a lot of coins. But they had no pot, so they sent Pacala to ask the parson of the village for a pot. When he went to the parson, he was asked what he needed it for. He answered, "To measure out the money." The parson gave him a pot, but, curious as he was, he sneaked after Pacala and, when the three brothers were measuring out the money, the parson introduced his head through the window to see what they were doing. Noticing him, the brothers were afraid of being found by other people and told Pacala, "Go and satisfy the parson's curiosity. Shut him up." Pacala went out and dealt him a deadly blow, which felled the parson down. Then he threw him into the lake in front of their house and came back in, telling them calmly, "The parson won't look on the window anymore." It had not even occurred to them that Pacala did something to him to keep his mouth shut for good. When one of his brothers went out and saw the parson's beard on the water, he asked Pacala what was swimming there, but he answered laughing that it was a goat. The brothers saw there was not a goat, but the parson's corpse. They asked him very scared what he had done to kill the parson. He answered, "Weren't you who told me to shut him up? He'll shut up forever now." The brothers started to complain, not knowing what to do to escape the danger, but Pacala told them, "Stop whining like women! Let's hide the parson and run away. Here's not a place to live anymore!" Pacala took the parson pickaback to the neighbor's garden. He put him in an apple-tree and, when his neighbor entered the garden and saw the parson in his tree, he thought he was there to steal his apples, so he shouted, "What're you doing there, priest? Aren't you ashamed of stealing apples?" But the parson did not answer. Then he took a wooden cudgel and threw it at him, hitting him so hard in his head that the parson fell down. The man thought he killed him and got very frightened, took him from where he had fallen and hid him until the evening, when his neighbor was preparing his wagon to go to the market with fish. Pacala took the parson's body and put him in his neighbor's wagon, face downwards and both hands in the fish. The neighbor, who left before daybreak, did not notice the parson was in the back, but, after dawn, the peasant found the parson with his hands in his fish and began to shout, "Get off my wagon. Aren't you ashamed to steal?" but the parson said nothing. Then he seized his legs and threw him heavily to the ground. Terror-struck, he realized the parson was dead. Thinking he had just killed him, he put him back in the wagon and covered him with rugs. When he arrived at a pond, he put him on a board, and set him floating down the water. Some hunters, who had come there to hunt wild ducks, saw him floating on the water and shouted, "Hey you, clear off! You'll scare the ducks!" But because the dead man kept floating on the water, the ducks got scared off and flew away. Then, out of pique, the hunters shot at him and the parson fell into the water. After they got rid of the parson, Pacala's two brothers took as many coins as they could and ran away, while Pacala took only a grinding mill and left too. In the evening, he arrived at a large forest and climbed up a big tree to sleep. Some peddlers stopped their wagons full of wares just under this tree. Overnight, Pacala was unable to keep the grinding mill on his back anymore, so he let it fall down. It made so much noise when it fell through the twigs that the peddlers got scared and ran away, leaving the wagon unattended. Pacala climbed down and took only a sack of incense from what was in the wagon and left. After he ran away with the sack of incense, he thought God is happy when you light a bit of incense in the church and, if he lit all the sack of incense, what a joy for God! Pacala decided to make a big fire and light all the incense. As he was looking at the smoke going up into the sky, suddenly the sky parted and he saw the pale God, sitting among his angels, who happily received Pacala's offering. God made a sign to his angels and Pacala was immediately transported into the sky, in front of God who said, "Pacala, you did me a good turn, since the smell of incense made me feel good. Therefore you can ask from me whatever you want." Pacala pondered for a while and, seeing an old bagpipe in a corner of the sky, he said, "God, would you give me that bagpipe, laying here?" God was surprised he asked for such an unimportant thing, but what could he do? He gave him the bagpipe and sent him back to the earth. Pacala was seized with joy as he got the bagpipe, which he had wanted since long before. Having no occupation, Pacala went to a rich man's house to look after his goats. In the morning, he used to take them to the pasture and he brought them back in the evening. One day the master asked why the goats were not happy, why they didn't jump and smile. He answered, "If this is your wish, then they could do like this." The next day, while he was returning with the goats, he broke a leg of each goat and cut their upper lip. When the master saw the goats like this, he asked, "Why have you done all this?" And he answered, "Didn't you say you wanted to see the goats jumping and smiling?" The master did not send him to take the goats to the field anymore, but gave him other tasks. One day, the master went with all his servants to the field and left him at home, telling him to do what their neighbor would do. The neighbor started to remove the rotten corn stalks, which covered the house, in order to replace them with new ones. He imitated the neighbor and started to throw down the new roofing tiles, so that all of them broke into small pieces. Had the master not come, he would have wanted to take down the pillars of the house as the neighbor did, but the master came in time and kicked him out of his service. After he left, Pacala filled the empty sack he took with him with old bones. On the way he met Tandala, who had a sack on his back too. After they greeted each other, they agreed to exchange their sacks, trying to deceive each other, but as soon as they moved away and opened the sacks, they started to laugh, seeing each of them was deceived by the other. They came together and hugged, swearing to be blood brothers, and each took a different direction. After they parted, Pacala moved on and on until he arrived at a village. He went to the parson's house since he had heard he was behaving badly with his servants. The parson asked him what he wanted, and he answered he would like to be a shepherd wherever possible. The parson needed a shepherd and asked how much he wanted. Pacala answered, "I'm not looking for a price, I'm looking for a good master and I'm content if I have clothes and food." "Then you can stay with us," said the parson. "I agree, but I'd like to have it written," said Pacala. "Right," said the parson, "let's do it, but what are your terms?" Pacala said, "You know, your holiness, I'm ill-tempered. I get angry very quickly and I'd like to get rid of this bad habit. So my condition is this: if I get angry, you'll have to flay a piece of skin from my back and, if your holiness gets angry with me, I'll do the same. Otherwise I won't stay here." Even if the parson was afraid of this condition, he did not want to lose a servant whom he'd pay nothing, so he agreed and, after Pacala's insistence, they concluded a contract, signed it in front of witnesses, and legalized it at the town hall. So Pacala began to serve the parson. He was sent to take the sheep to the pasture and, no sooner did Pacala start to play the bagpipe, than the sheep began to dance around him. Happy that the sheep were dancing, Pacala played all day long, so that the sheep had not tasted the grass at all. On the way home, they could barely walk, were starving and dead tired. The parson asked him why they were so tired. Pacala answered they had not eaten because it was hot. The parson seemed satisfied with this answer willy-nilly and, seeing the sheep eating hay, he was sure they were not ill. Many days passed and the sheep still came home tired and starving. One day, wishing to see what the sheep were doing in the field, why they came home so tired and starving, the parson went after Pacala and hid among some brambles, but Pacala saw him and started to play his bagpipe even louder, and then not only the sheep began to dance and hop, but the parson too. And so Pacala, brimming over with joy, drew near the parson and played ceaselessly so that the parson was pulling his hair out and was tearing his clothes among the brambles while dancing, and eventually turned tail, cursing Pacala. At that moment, Pacala reminded him he was not supposed to get angry, otherwise that would mean he was breaching the contract and he could suffer even more. Then the parson held his tongue and, tired, Pacala stopped playing too. When the parson arrived at home and his wife saw him in such a bad condition, she started to curse him and asked him why he was so bruised and ragged, since the parson's wife was even more wicked than him. The parson told her the entire story, and that whenever Pacala played, the sheep and whoever was around started to dance. Yet she scolded him even more, saying those were trifles and lies. But when Pacala came home, the parson told him, "Hey Pacala, do you know my wife doesn't believe you can play the bagpipe so well? Now I'd like you to play it for a while so that she can hear you and maybe she'll believe me." The parson held onto a post and clung to it tightly to resist dancing, but his wife, who was in the attic, started to dance as soon as Pacala began to play. Hearing that the parson's wife was dancing in the attic, he played even more loudly and with great joy, while she was dancing so passionate and entranced that she tumbled down dead through the door of the attic. After his wife died, the parson could not be angry at Pacala, because, first, he had asked him to play; secondly, they had an agreement and, thirdly, he had finally got rid of his wicked Neaga. Before leaving for the church to bury his wife, he put three pots of meat on fire to cook the meal and prepare the funeral feast, as the customs were. He ordered Pacala to take care of them, to cut parsley, dill and onion, and to take the baby from its cot, to wash it and, when he came back, to find it clean. After the parson left, Pacala grabbed and cut the tails of the parson's three dogs. Their names were Parsley, Dill and Onion, so he put their tails into the pots to boil together with the meat. Then he took the child from its cot, cut it up, took out its entrails, cleaned them well, neatly washed the baby inside and outside and hung it on a nail. When the parson returned from the church, he asked him if he had done what he ordered him to do. Pacala showed him what he had put in the pots. When the parson saw he had put the tails of the dogs in the pots, he got angry, but Pacala said he had done nothing else than what his holiness had told him, reminding him of their agreement, by showing him his back, so the parson felt being forced to shut up. Then, when the parson asked about the baby, Pacala showed it hanging on the nail. The parson began to shout and to curse him again, but Pacala told him not to get angry, because they had a contract, and showed him his back. The parson, not knowing what to do after he buried his child too, called his elder son and told him, "My son, let's run away from Pacala. He's going to kill us all." But Pacala, who was hiding behind the hearth, heard them and whispered to himself, "You're not going to get rid of me so easily." The parson grabbed his books, put them in a bag and went to another room to put his clothes in another bag to run away. Pacala slipped into the bag of books, then the parson came, tied the bag, put it on the horse together with other things and they ran away. As they crossed a river, the bag got wet and Pacala started to shout inside, "Up, father, up! The Bible's getting wet!" The parson looked back and asked his son if he had said anything, but he answered no. And because the bag was still reaching the water, he whispered again, "Up, father, up! The Bible's getting wet!" The parson looked back and asked his son if he heard anything. He replied that he heard the words "up, father, up, the Bible's getting wet." The parson was wondering what book was that, which was able to talk. It did not take long until they reached the bank of the river, where he put down the bag. Pacala jumped out quickly, with great joy and said, "Forgive me, master, your wish is my command. I'm ready to serve you, my good master." The parson would have sent him to the deepest hell, but he couldn't do that; they had a contract and he was afraid for his back. He told his son that, in the evening, they should sleep near the bank of the river and ask Pacala to sleep the closest to the river and, during the night, to push him into the water to get rid of him. But as soon as the parson and his son fell asleep, Pacala went on the other side of the river and the parson, instead of throwing Pacala into the water, threw his son, who drowned instantly. Pacala got up and began to shout, "What have you done, father, you drowned your son!" Losing his last son, the parson was dumbfounded with terror. Unable to keep his temper in check anymore, he forgot the contract and everything and started to curse and swear at Pacala as much as he could and almost swooped down on him. Nevertheless, taking the contract out of his bosom, Pacala told the parson very calmly, "Hold on, thief! Your holiness killed your own boy and now you curse me and want to kill me too! Who do you think you are? To the ground and let me skin you a little, as the contract says! I don't want to kill you, like you did." Unable to oppose, he was forced to obey, and Pacala flayed his back, let him fall down almost dead and left him, taking the bag of books with him, thinking the parson wouldn't be able to carry it anymore. So Pacala left and went on for a long way until he reached a forest, where he took the books out of the bag and filled it with acorns. He continued on his way and came across a wedding and the wedding guests, who were all drunk, asked him what he had in the bag. He answered he carried eggs, which he picked from that forest, where there were lots of them. They believed him and ran to pick up eggs, leaving the bride alone in the wagon. Pacala saw she was very sad and asked her why. Was it she didn't like the bridegroom? She said that was true. He asked her if she wanted to run away, and she said that was her wish. Then he said, "Take my clothes and give me your clothes, and follow your nose wherever you wish." The bride immediately gave her dress to Pacala, got dressed in his clothes and ran away, while Pacala got dressed in her dress and sat down in the wagon. The wedding guests returned cursing after they found no eggs in the forest, and continued the party without noticing that the bride was not the same person. In the evening after the feast, when the bride (Pacala) had eaten and drunk well and the groom had gotten besotted, they were taken to the wedding room. But the bride pretended she needed to go out, and the bridegroom didn't want to let her go. So the bride told him, "If you're afraid I won't come back, look, tie my leg with this rope. If I'm late, you can pull me inside." Pacala tied the rope by his own leg and handed it to the groom, but as soon as he got out of the house, he tied the rope to the horns of a goat that was sleeping near the door, got dressed in men's clothes, which he found there, and was in full retreat, cutting it off. The groom waited for his bride to come back, but she didn't. Then he started to pull the rope and the goat began to baa and to gambol, refusing to go inside. The groom went outside to see what happened. But lo and behold!... instead of his bride, he found a goat. Find the bride where she's not! After so many things he had done, Pacala began to hate living alone and decided to get married. After a long search he found a wife and got married. Once, his wife sent him to the market to buy a needle and, when he got back home, his wife asked, "Where's the needle, man?" But he answered, "See what happened to me, woman. I bought a needle and I put it in a cart of hay and I couldn't find it anymore." "But, stupid, couldn't you put it on your chest or in your pocket?" "That's what I'll do next time," answered Pacala. One day, Pacala went to the market and bought a plough iron. He started to needle it somewhere on his clothes, but since it was heavy, his clothes tore, so that he ripped off his clothes. Seeing he was unable to needle it, he put it down and came home bare-handed and with his clothes torn. When his wife saw him in this condition, he asked him what happened to him that he was so ragged, but he answered, "I bought a plough iron and wanted to needle it on my clothes as you told me. I tried many times but it ripped off my clothes and fell down. So I let it there." "You, stupid," his wife shouted, "but you don't put the plough iron on your chest. Why didn't you take it piggy back?" Pacala answered, "That's what I'll do next time." Next time, Pacala went to the market and, when he returned, a dog jumped at him, but he kicked it in the head and killed it. Then he grabbed it by its tail and took it home piggy back. His wife started to shout when she saw him, "What have you done, crazy man? What can you do with a dead dog?" "See, woman," he said, "the dog wanted to bite me, so I kicked it strongly and took it piggy back as you told me." "You stupid and fool," his wife said. "Why haven't you called it doggie, doggie and thrown it some bread? It wouldn't have bitten you." Pacala answered, "Well, never mind, woman, I can do this next time." Then Pacala went to the market and bought half a pig, tied its head with a rope and dragged it home, calling doggie, doggie and throwing it bread. His wife called all their neighbors to show them her husband's foolishness. Then she told him, "From now on you won't be going to the market anymore; you'll stay at home, do all the chores I do, and I'll go to buy what we need." "Good," said Pacala. Next day, leaving to the market, his wife told Pacala, "I'm going to the market now, but you stay home, sweep the floor, tidy up, shake the churn, bathe the baby, put them to sleep. I'd like to find everything done by the time I'm back." "Woman," Pacala said, "at least I know how to do these things." When the woman returned from the market, look what happened! All the things where upside down, so his wife began to ask him, "What have you done while I was away? I have brought everything we need and you did nothing." Pacala answered, "What do you mean? Haven't I worked enough? I tied the churn to my neck and ran around the house to shake it; I lit the fire, I put the bucket on it, and once the water started to boil, I poured it into the trough and put the baby inside to bathe it, but look what happened! Once I put it in the water, it started to shout so loud as if someone burned it. I searched for what it needed and found it had a sore in its head, its top was soft. So I took the awl and thrust it into that sore until it broke. A lot of pus ran and the baby fell asleep. It didn't say anything else and it's still sleeping now." His wife started to tear her hair and to wail, "Oh, great Heavens! What have you done, you mad murderer! Go away, you ill omen! I don't want to live in the same house with you anymore!" She left to bury the baby. Meanwhile, Pacala took his sack and left too. And he wandered all day long, until he reached the house of a rich man. The latter asked him what he was looking for. Pacala said he was looking for a master. The rich man answered he needed a servant and that he can offer him work on one condition: if he gets angry, he will cut his nose, and Pacala has the same right if the rich man gets angry; the deal would end when the cuckoo sang in the nut tree. Pacala agreed and remained in his service. In the morning, they did not call Pacala to have breakfast together. He was in the wheat field then. But he took a sack of wheat and sold it to buy food. His master asked Pacala after taking the meal, "Are you angry?" Pacala said he was not. At noon they did not call him either, but he took a sack of wheat and sold it, buying enough food. The master asked him again, "Are you sad? Maybe you are sad because I'll cut your nose as I did to many others." Pacala answered, "Should I be sad just for a small lunch? No!" In the evening they did not call him at dinner, but he took again a sack of wheat, sold it and ate well. The master heard about it and told his wife, "Let's call him to eat with us, because this fool is going to sell all our wheat." So in the morning, they called him to take breakfast together, and Pacala asked his master, "What? Are you angry with me?" He replied, "Should I be angry for so little wheat?" As soon as the threshing time was over, the master said to Pacala, "Go now and carry the manure to the field." "Where should I put it?" he asked. "Take my dog with you and leave the manure wherever it sits down." Pacala loaded the cart and went with the dog, and the dog walked and finally sat down near the master's corn field, next to a mud pool. Instead of spreading the manure on the field, Pacala threw it into the pool next to which the dog was sitting, and he kept doing that all day long. Every time he brought more manure he would throw it into the swamp. Later in the evening, the master went to see whether the manure was properly spread over the field, but surprise, surprise! It was all dumped into the mud pool near his corn field. He started shouting at Pacala, cursing him, but Pacala answered, "Haven't you told me to spread the manure wherever the dog sits? I've just put it where the dog showed me. Are you angry because of this?" The master answered he wasn't; he couldn't be angry for such a small thing, fearing his nose might be cut off. The master thought it over, talked to his wife about the task he should give to Pacala next, so he should get angry, and then to be entitled to cut off his nose and get rid of him. He sent for him and told him, "Boy, there's a mud pool in my yard and I need you to build a bridge over it, one board hard and one board soft and I want it done in three days." Pacala said, "It's not such a big deal." After his master, his mistress and the shepherd all went to bed, Pacala went to the sheep pen and cut off their heads and legs and put them over the mud, one face down, one face up, thinking that was the way his master would like it to be. One hard, one soft and, so as not to see they were sheep, he covered them with earth and buried their heads and legs and went to sleep. In the morning, his master and mistress asked him if he had built the bridge. He answered he had done it during the night and had had a long sleep until morning. Then he took his master to the bridge and when they crossed it, it was as he had asked, for, whenever he stepped on a back of a sheep it felt hard and whenever he stepped on a belly, it felt soft. His master praised him for his hard work, but when the shepherd went to the sheepfold to take out the sheep to the field, they were gone. The shepherd cried out, "But where are the sheep?" Pacala answered they were all in the yard, some facing upwards, others facing downwards, for there was not other way to make one board hard and another board soft[1]. Astonished, the master shouted, "But what have you done? You killed all my sheep. What are you trying to do? Leave me broke?" Pacala answered calmly, "I just did what you ordered me to do. Why, are you angry with me?" "Not at all," the master said, "I will buy other sheep." In the evening, the master planned with his wife to get rid of Pacala; otherwise, by the end of the year, they would end up poor. The woman answered, "You know something, husband? Tomorrow morning, when it's still dark, I'll climb up the nut tree and I'll be singing like the cuckoo and then you'll give him his pay and let him go, saying the year is over and so we'll get rid of him." Next morning, the woman climbed the nut tree and started singing "cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo!" Then the master quickly called Pacala and told him, "Come and take your pay because the cuckoo's singing in the nut tree, so your year is over now." Pacala grabbed a cudgel, went to the nut tree and said, "Go away, damn cuckoo! Because of you I must leave my good master," and he threw the cudgel bashing the woman in the head, so that she fell dead to the ground. Seeing this, the master started to wail and curse Pacala, but Pacala asked him again, "Why? Are you angry?" "But how could I not be angry? Not only did you take everything away from me, but you also killed my wife." Then Pacala pulled out his knife and slash! he cut off his nose. "You planned to do to me the same things you had done to many others before, but now you've found your match." After Pacala left, satisfied with the revenge he had taken on his master, he kept on walking until he reached a faraway village where he became the servant of a rich widow. Since he was handsome and young, she grew fond of him and married him. As he was a foreigner who had come and married the richest woman in the village, the peasants became jealous of him and plotted to kill his wife so that he would be forced to spend all of his fortune on burying her. Yet Pacala took his dead wife, put her in the cart as if she were still alive and headed to the town planning to denounce those who had killed her. On the way, he came across a rich boyar with a four-horsed coach and a coachman. The coachman urged him to free the way, but he did not listen to him, so the coach had to stop and the boyar got off angrily and slapped Pacala's wife so hard that she fell in the cart as tall as she was. Pacala began to shout that he had killed his wife and that he would go to complain to the king. The boyar got scared and started begging him to keep him out of trouble for he would give him a large sum of money. Pacala agreed. He buried his wife right there on the field and returned with the money to the village and showed it to the peasants. They asked him, "Where have you got all this money from?" "I sold her to a rich boyar," he answered, for they pay a great deal of money for a dead peasant woman. Having heard that, they believed him and killed all their wives and took them to the market, but, instead of receiving money, they all received a beating they would never forget. When they returned from the market, all beaten up and with their wives dead, the peasants ran to Pacala and, while cursing him, they asked him why he had deceived them and made them kill their wives so they would get beat up. "Why did you kill my wife?" he asked them then. Because of the grudge they held against him, they stuffed him into a sack and took him to a large and deep lake in order to drown him and get rid of him. However, when they arrived there, they thought things through and left him on the shore, running back to Pacala's house so as to share his fortune. When he heard the village's cowboy passing by with the cows, he started to shout inside the sack, "I don't want to be mayor! I just want to be drowned in the water. I don't want to be the mayor of the village!" Hearing that, the cowboy ran to Pacala and said, "I do want to be mayor," and he untied the sack. Pacala came out of it and the cowboy took his place in the sack. Then he tied back the sack and hid among the cows. After they took everything from Pacala's house, the peasants returned, took the sack to throw it into the water, but the cowboy yelled as loud as he could, "I want to be the mayor of the village!" The peasants replied, "We'll show you what it means to be a mayor," and threw him into the water. Not long after they believed they threw Pacala into the water, they saw him walking with a large herd of cattle. They ran towards him and asked him how he got out of the lake and where he got all that cattle from. He answered, "After you ripped me of my fortune and threw me into the lake, what do you think I found there? There were people just like here, but kinder than you, for when I told them how you ransacked me, they told me to take as many cows as I wanted, since they had many of them and of all sorts of breeds. I took as many as I could and came home." When the peasants heard that, they all threw themselves into the lake and met their death and Pacala got rid of them.Craiova, 1892 Pacala: A very popular prankster in Romanian folk tales, who sometimes is fooled himself (a păcăli = to hoax / dupe).

[1] In order to understand the joke we should mention the homonymy of the Romanian word "blană" meaning both "sheep fur" and "wooden board." 

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