The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 16

Ulenspiegel found himself alone one morning at home, and for want of something better to do, he began to cut up one of his father’s shoes to make a little ship. Already he had planted the mainmast in the sole and bored the toe for the bowsprit, when at the half door he saw passing the bust of a horseman and the head of a horse.

“Is any one within?” asked the horseman.

“There are,” replied Ulenspiegel, “a man and a half and a horse’s head.”

“How so?” asked the horseman.

“Because I see here a whole man, which is me; the half of a man, which is your bust; and a horse’s head, which is that of your steed.”

“Where are your father and your mother?” asked the man.

“My father has gone to make bad worse,” replied Ulenspiegel, “and my mother is engaged in bringing us shame or loss.”

“Explain,” said the horseman.

Ulenspiegel answered:

“My father at this moment is deepening the holes in his field so as to bring from bad to worse the huntsmen who trample down his corn. My mother has gone to borrow money: if she repays too little ’twill shame us, if too much ’twill be our loss.”

The man asked then which way he should go.

“Where the geese are,” replied Ulenspiegel.

The man went away and came back just when Ulenspiegel was making an oared galley out of Claes’s other shoe.

“You have misled me,” said he: “where the geese are is nothing but mud and marsh in which they are paddling.”

Ulenspiegel answered to this:

“I did not tell you to go where the geese paddle, but where they go.”

“Show me, at any rate,” said the man, “a road that goes to Heyst.”

“In Flanders, it is the travellers that go and not the roads,” said Ulenspiegel.