The guest shut the stable door, but the landlord peeped in through a little window and saw how the stranger spread the cloth before the donkey, saying, ›Bricklebrit,‹ and directly the donkey spit out gold, which rained upon the ground. »Dear me,« said the landlord, »that is an easy way of getting ducats; a purse of money like that is no bad thing.«
After the guest had gone to bed, the landlord slipped down to the stable in the middle of the night, led the gold-ass away, and tied up another one in his place.
The next morning, early, the apprentice set forth with his donkey, never doubting that it was the right one.
By noon he came to his father's house, who rejoiced to see him again, and received him gladly. »What trade have you taken up, my son?« asked the father. »I am a miller, dear father,« answered he. »What have you brought home from your travels?« continued the father. »Nothing but a donkey,« answered the son. »We have plenty of donkeys here,« said the father. »You had much better have brought me a nice goat!«—»Yes,« answered the son, »but this is no common donkey. Let me call all the neighbors together. I will make rich people of them all.«—»That will be fine!« said the tailor. »Then I need labor no more at my needle;« and he rushed out himself and called the neighbors together. As soon as they were all assembled, the miller called out to them to make room, and brought in the donkey and spread his cloth before him. »Now, pay attention,« said he, and cried, »Bricklebrit!« but no gold pieces came, and that showed that the animal was no more special than any other donkey. So the poor miller made a long face when he saw that he had been taken in, and begged pardon of the neighbors who all went home as poor as they had come. And there was nothing for it but that the old man must take to his needle again, and that the young one should take service with a miller.