Clever Elsie was a foolish girl. One day, a man called Hans came to their house and said that he would marry Elsie if she proved that she was really very smart. Elsie was sent to the cellar to fetch beer. While filling the pitcher, she saw an axe above her.
Clever Elsie began weeping loudly. The maid was sent to bring her back. “Why are you weeping?” she asked Elsie. “If I marry Hans and if our child comes to this cellar and if the axe falls on my child then he will die!” sobbed Elsie and wept more and more. Hearing her, the maid too started weeping loudly. The same thing happened with Elsie’s parents.
When Hans heard everyone crying and came to enquire what had happened, he heard the story and was convinced of Elsie’s cleverness and married her.
After a few days, Clever Elsie went to the field to cut corn. But soon, she felt tired and went off to sleep under a tree.
In the evening, Hans saw her sleeping in the field. He put a fowler’s net upon her, which had little bells attached to it. But Clever Elsie still did not wake up.
At night Elsie finally woke up. “Why are bells ringing?” she wondered in alarm. “Who is this person in the net?” she thought wondering whether it really was her. When she knocked on her door and asked if Elsie was inside, the answer was yes. Oh, that meant she was not Elsie! Clever Elsie ran away from the village and was never ever seen again.