Tales of Old Lusitania/The Padre and the Negro

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Once upon a time, a certain Padre had a negro servant, who thought himself very sly and clever at expedients. One morning the Padre told the negro to cook a chicken for his dinner. The negro did so, but when he dished it the savoury smell from the roast chicken so whetted his appetite that he cut off a leg and ate it, and then arranged it on the dish so that his master should not detect what was wanting. The Padre, however, soon discovered that there was a leg wanting to the bird, and, turning to his servant, he asked him: "Did you cut a leg off the chicken and eat it?"

"No, sir, I did no such thing; the chicken had only one leg when it was alive."

"Do you think I am such a fool as to believe that?"

"Oh, dear father, there's a number of other hens in the poultry yard strutting about with only one leg, and the next time I notice one I will call you out to see it."

"Very well, do so."

When the negro by chance saw a hen standing with one of its legs drawn up under it, he called out to his master, "Oh, dear master, come out and see a hen with only one leg!"

The Padre ran out, and cried out to the bird, "Cho', cho', chuckie!" and the hen instantly putting its leg down, the Padre said to the negro, "You rascally cheat! do you think I am a donkey?"

"No, indeed, father, by no means! but when the chicken was on your table, you did not say 'Cho, cho', chuckie!' so it did not find its other leg!"

Oliveirado Douro.

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