Language game

Let’s play a little linguistic game: in the text below, find the constraint that the author has obliged himself to respect! (answer on the Facebook in a few days)


Once upon a time, there were three thieves. Under an olive tree, they sat in the shade as the sun shone brightly in the blue sky. A farmer passed by, dragging a goat with a bell around its neck, and a donkey. Naturally, he went to the market in the nearest town.

Listen , mates,” said the first thief to his comrades, “I’m capable of stealing this gentleman’s goat.

– And I steal his donkey,” says the second.

– For my part, I could even steal his clothes if I wanted to,” says the third.

And our three thieves make good on their bet. They stood up.

Quietly, meanwhile, the farmer walked along the path. Our first thief followed him, quietly untied the goat’s bell and tied it to the donkey’s tail. Then he took off with the goat behind the bushes. Suddenly, the farmer glanced behind him. He saw that the goat was gone, and that only his donkey remained.

– Hey,” he said, “where’s my goat?

– She’s in the woods,” said the second thief, pointing to himself. Earlier, I saw someone dragging her along at the end of a rope. If you hurry, you can catch them.

Thanking the second thief, the peasant entrusted him with his donkey to look after, and ran into the woods to retrieve his goat. She wasn’t there. Without wasting a minute, the farmer returned to the path, but he couldn’t find the donkey either, for the second thief had taken it away.

– Hell and damnation!” exclaimed the astonished peasant.

He ran off into the countryside, calling for his goat and donkey. And he arrived at the edge of a pond where the third thief was waiting for him. Sadly, he sat in the sun, weeping. The peasant approached him to ask why he was crying like that.

– Because of my gold,” replied the third thief, crying his eyes out, “which has fallen to the bottom of the water! A big bag of a hundred gold coins!

– Fish it out!

– What to do?

– By swimming,” said the peasant.

Our thief began to cry more loudly, sighing deeply.

– If I could swim, I’d fish them out. I just don’t know! If someone were to dive in my place and retrieve my bag of gold, I’d give them ten coins in gratitude for their help!

On hearing this, the peasant thought that such a sum would compensate him for the loss of his goat and donkey.

– Listen,” he said, “I don’t mind diving!

He undressed. He immediately jumped into the water. A moment later, he surfaced… without having found a bag.

Then he realized that his clothes had disappeared, and that the third thief had gone with them.


Author: Céline De Ré

Publication date : 18 February 2024

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