A classic tale

A scrap of paper I found. I don't quite remember whether this is mine or from a book, but it looks like it had my grade schooler handwriting. :)

There was once a young man who was said to be the most pigheaded fellow in town, and a young woman who was said to be the most mule-headed maiden, and of course they somehow managed to fall in love and be married. After the wedding ceremony, they had a grand feast at their new house, which lasted all day.

Finally all the friends and relatives could eat no more, and one by one they went home. The bride and groom collapsed from exhaustion, and were just getting ready to take off their shoes and relax, when the husband noticed that the last guest to leave had failed to close the door.

"My dear," he said, "would you mind getting up and shutting the door? there's a draft coming in."

"Why should I shut it?" yawned the wife. "I've been on my feet all day, and I just sat down. You shut it."

"So that's the way it's going to be!" snapped the husband. "Just as soon as you get the ring on your finger, you turn into a lazy good-for-nothing!"

"How dare you!" shouted the bride. "We haven't even been married a day, and already you're calling me names and ordering me around! I should have known this is the kind of husband you'd turn out to be!"

"Nag, nag, nag," grumbled the husband. "Must I listen to your complaining forever?"

"And must I always listen to your carping and whining?" asked the wife.

They sat glaring at each other for a full five minutes. Then an idea popped into the bride's head.

"My dear," she said, "neither of us wants to shut the door, and both of us are tired of hearing the other's voice. So I propose a contest: The one who speaks first must get up and close the door."

"It's the best idea I've heard all day," replied the husband. "let us begin now."

So they made themselves comfortable, each on a chair, and sat face-to-face without saying a word.

They had been that way for about two hours when a couple of thieves with a cart passed by and saw the open door. They crept into the house, which seemed perfectly deserted, and began to steal everything they could lay their hands on. They took tables and chairs, pulled paintings off the walls, even rolled up carpets. But the newlyweds neither spoke nor moved.

I can't belive this, thought the husband. they'll take everything we own, and she wont' make a sound!

Why doesn't he call for help? the wife asked herself. Is he just going to sit there while they steal whatever they want?

Eventually the thieves noticed the silent, motionless couple and, mistaking them for wax figures, stripped them of their jewelry, watches, and wallets. But neither husband nor wife uttered a sound.

The robbers hurried away with their loot, and the newlyweds sat through the night. At dawn a policeman walked by and, noticing the open door, stuck in his head to ask if everything was all right. But, of course, he couldn't get an answer out of the silent couple.

"Now, see here!" he yelled, "I'm an officer of the law! Who are you? Is this your house? What happened to all your furniture?" And still getting no response, he reaised his hands to box the man's ears.

"Don't you dare!" cried the wife, jumping to her feet. "That's my new husband, and if you lay a finger on him, you'll have to answer to me!"

"I won!" yelled the husband, clapping his hands giddily. "Now go and close the door."

The End

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