Performed by Jeff Smith ©2014

Brides on Trial

Translated from the German by Stephen Krashen ©2010, Illustrated by Beniko Mason ©2016

On the phone

ある若い男は結婚相手として3人の姉妹のうち一人を選ばなければなりません。 どんな方法で選ぶのでしょうか?

There was once a young man who wanted to get married. He knew three sisters who were all equally attractive, and he couldn’t decide which one to choose.

He called up his mom, and asked for her advice. Here is what she said: “Invite each of them over to your apartment, and serve them some nice hard cheese, but don’t cut it up into very small pieces. Keep the pieces just a little larger than people would normally eat with cutting them up. And make sure you leave the rind on the cheese.

Serve the cheese on a plate with a sharp knife. Just to make sure they will want it, serve three or four different kinds. Maybe some Swiss cheese, a cheddar cheese, a Jack cheese… and a small amount of white wine and a nice piece of fruit. Now here’s the thing, my son: Watch carefully how each one cuts up their cheese. The young man took his mother’s advice.


The first sister simply swallowed several pieces of cheese without cutting them up, rind and all.

Sister eating cheese

The second sister was sloppy. She cut off the rind, but did it so quickly and carelessly that she threw away a lot of good cheese with the rind.

The third sister took her time. She peeled off the rind, and cut the cheese into smaller pieces, not cutting too much or too little.

The young man called his mother again, and told her what happened.

His mother’s advice? “Marry the third sister.”

The young man proposed to the third sister, and they had a wonderful marriage.


The End