THE GREEDY SHOPKEEPER by Irene--Trans. & Adapt. Mirkovic


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Berson isn't the author this time, but this is another of those crafty bazaar tales--adapted, we're told, from the Serbian--that he dramatizes to perfection, and a simpler, more compact affair than he himself is apt to devise. Taffik the merchant loses his money pouch and offers a reward of one gold coin to the finder. But when poor farmer Ivo turns up with the purse, greedy Taffik has second thoughts--and quickly slips one gold coin from the pouch into his pocket, to be able to tell Ivo that he's already taken his reward. Ivo, stung, protests that he never opened the pouch; Raffik, pretending indignation, takes him to court; and the canny judge decides that if the pouch has only nine coins now, it's not Raffik's . . . but, until claimed, Ivo's to keep. With Raffik's shiftiness, disgruntlement, and confoundment tellingly projected, along with Ivo's nervous steadfastness, the tale is comical and warming in equal measure.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1980
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich