The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 47

Meanwhile Katheline, who had not left Borgerhout, never ceased from wandering through the outskirts of the place, still saying: “Hanske, my man, they have made a fire upon my head: make a hole in it that my soul may win out. Alas! it beats ever against it and with every blow it is a cruel pang.”

And Nele tended her in her madness, and by her side thought sadly of her friend Ulenspiegel.

And at Damme Claes tied his faggots, sold his charcoal, and many times fell into melancholy, thinking that the banished Ulenspiegel could not for long and long come back to their cottage.

Soetkin stayed all day long at the window, looking if she would not see her son Ulenspiegel coming.

The latter, being arrived in the neighbourhood of Cologne, thought that for the moment he had a fancy for gardening.

He went and offered himself as servant to Jan of Zuursmoel, who being a captain of landsknechts, had narrowly escaped hanging in default of ransom and had an utter horror of hemp, which in the Fleming tongue was then called kennip.

One day, Jan of Zuursmoel, wishing to show Ulenspiegel his tasks, brought him to the end of his garden and there they saw a cantle of land, next to the garden, all planted over with green kennip.

Jan of Zuursmoel said to Ulenspiegel:

“Every time you see this ugly plant, you must entreat it shamefully, for this it is that serveth for rack and gallows.”

“I will shamefully entreat it,” replied Ulenspiegel.

Jan of Zuursmoel being one day at table with certain gourmand friends of his, the cook said to Ulenspiegel:

“Go to the cellar and get some zennip,” which is mustard.

Ulenspiegel, cunningly taking it kennip instead of zennip, foully and shamefully entreated the pot of zennip in the cellar and came back to put it on the table, not without laughing.

“Why are you laughing?” asked Jan of Zuursmoel. “Do you think that our nostrils are made of brass? Eat of this zennip, since it is you that dressed it yourself.”

“I like better things grilled with cinnamon,” answered Ulenspiegel.

Jan of Zuursmoel got up to beat him.

“There is,” said he, “foulness in this pot of mustard.”

“Baes,” said Ulenspiegel, “have you no mind of the day when I went at your heels to the far end of your garden? There, you bade me, showing the zennip: ‘Everywhere you see that plant, entreat it foully, for this it is that serveth for rack and gallows.’ I did entreat it so, baes, I did entreat it shamefully with great affronting; do not now go to murder me for my obedience.”

“I said kennip and not zennip,” shouted Jan of Zuursmoel in a fury.

“Baes, you said zennip and not kennip,” retorted Ulenspiegel.

Thus they argued loud and long, Ulenspiegel speaking humbly, Jan of Zuursmoel screaming like an eagle and mixing up zennip, kennip, kemp, zemp, zemp, kemp, zemp, like a skein of ravelled silk.

And the guests laughed like devils eating cutlets of Dominican friars and inquisitors’ kidneys.

But Ulenspiegel must needs leave Jan of Zuursmoel.