The Over-cunning Cure

By Michault De Changy.

_Of a priest who would have played a joke upon a gelder named

Trenche-couille, but, by the connivance of his host, was himself


There formerly lived in this country, in a place that I have a good

reason for not mentioning (if any should recognise it, let him be silent

as I am) a cure who was over-fond of confessing his female parishioners.

In fact, there was not one who had not had to do with him, especially

the young ones--for the old he did not care.

When he had long carried on this holy life and virtuous exercise, and

his fame had spread through all the country round, he was punished

in the way that you will hear, by one of his parishioners, to whom,

however, he had done nothing concerning his wife.

He was one day at dinner, and enjoying himself, at the inn kept by his

parishioner, and as they were in the midst of their dinner, there came

a man named Trenchecouille, whose business it was to cut cattle, pull

teeth, and other matters, and who had come to the inn for one of these


The host received him well, and asked him to sit down, and, without

being much pressed, he sat down with the cure and the others, to eat.

The cure, who was a great joker, began to talk to this gelder and asked

him a hundred thousand questions about his business, and the gelder

replied as he best could.

At the end, the cure turned to the host, and whispered in his ear,

"Shall we play a trick upon this gelder?"

"Oh, yes, let us," replied the host. "But how shall we do it?"

"By my oath," said the cure, "we will play him a pretty trick, if you

will help me."

"I am quite willing," replied the host.

"I will tell you what we will do," said the cure. "I will pretend to

have a pain in the testicle, and bargain with him to cut it out; then I

will be bound and laid on the table all ready, and when he comes near to

cut me, I will jump up and show him my backside."

"That is well said," replied my host, who at once saw what he had to

do. "We shall never hit on anything better. We will all help you with

the joke."

"Very well," said the cure.

After this the cure began again to rally the gelder, and at last told

him that he had want of a man like him, for that he had a testicle all

diseased and rotten, and would like to find a man who would extract it,

and he said it so quietly and calmly that the gelder believed him, and


"Monsieur le cure, I would have you know that without either disparaging

myself or boasting, there is not a man in this country who can do the

job better than I can, and for the sake of the host here, I will do my

best to satisfy you."

"Truly, that is well said;" replied the cure.

In short, all was agreed, and when the dinner had been removed, the

gelder began to make his preparations, and on the other hand the cure

prepared to play the practical joke, (which was to turn out no joke for

him) and told the host and the others what they were to do.

Whilst these preparations were being made on both sides, the host went

to the gelder, and said,

"Take care, and, whatever the priest may say, cut out both his

testicles, clean,--and fail not, if you value your carcass."

"By St. Martin, I will," replied the gelder, "since you wish it. I have

ready a knife so sharp that I will present you with his testicles before

he has time to say a word."

"We shall see what you can do," said the host, "but if you fail, I will

never again have anything to do with you."

All being ready, the table was brought, and the cure, in his doublet,

pretended to be in great pain, and promised a bottle of good wine to the


The host and his servants laid hold of the cure so that he could not get

away, and for better security they tied him tightly, and told him that

was to make the joke better, and that they would let him go when he

wished, and he like a fool believed them. Then came the brave gelder,

having a little rasor concealed in his hand, and began to feel the

cure's testicles.

"In the devil's name," said the cure, "do it well and with one cut.

Touch them first as you can, and afterwards I will tell you which one I

want taken out."

"Very well," he replied, and lifting up the shirt, took hold of the

testicles, which were big and heavy and without enquiring which was the

bad one, cut them both out at a single stroke.

The good cure began to yell, and make more ado than ever man made.

"Hallo, hallo!" said the host; "have patience. What is done, is done.

Let us bandage you up."

The gelder did all that was necessary, and then went away, expecting a

handsome present from the host.

It need not be said that the cure was much grieved at this deprivation,

and he reviled the host, who was the cause of the mischief, but God

knows he excused himself well, and said that if the gelder had not

disappeared so quickly, he would have served him so that he would never

have cut any one again.

"As you imagine," he said, "I am greatly grieved at your misfortune, and

still more that it should have happened in my inn."

The news soon spread through the town, and it need not be said that many

damsels were vexed to find themselves deprived of the cure's instrument,

but on the other hand the long-suffering husbands were so happy that I

could neither speak nor write the tenth part of their joy.

Thus, as you have heard, was the cure, who had deceived and duped so

many others, punished. Never after that did he dare to show himself

amongst men, but soon afterwards ended in grief and seclusion his

miserable life.