There was once a man who had an old wife, and she was so cross and contrary that she was hard to get along with. The man in fact didn't get along with her at all. Whatever he wanted, she always wanted the very opposite.
Now one Sunday in late summer it happened that the man and the wife went out to see how the crop was getting along. When they came to a field on the other side of the river, the man said:" Well; now it's ripe. Tomorrow we'll have to start reaping." "Yes, tomorrow we can start to clip it," said the old woman "What's that?" Shall we clip? Aren't we going to be allowed to reap either, now?" said the man. No, clip it hey should, the old woman insisted. "There is nothing worse than knowing too little," said the man. "But this time you certainly must have lost what little wits you had. Have you ever seen anyone clip the crop?" "Little do I know, and little do I care to know," said the old woman, "but this I know to be sure: the crop is going to be clipped and not reaped!" There was nothing more to be said. Clip it they should, and that was that.
So they walked back, wrangling and quarreling, until they came to a bridge over the river, just by a deep pool. "It's an old saying," said the man, "that good tools do good work. But I dare say that'll be a queer harvest which they clip with sheephears!" he said. "Shan't we be allowed to reap the crop at all, now?" "Ney,nay! - Clip,clip,clip!" shrieked the old woman, hopping up and down, and snipping at the man's nose with her fingers. But in her fury she didn't look where she was going, and she tripped over the end of a post in the bridge and tumbled into the river. "Old ways are hard to mend," though the man. "But it'd be nice if I were right for once - me too."
He waded out in the pool and caught hold of the old woman's topknot, just when her head was barely above the water. "Well, are we going reap the field?" he said. "Clip,clip,clip," shrieked the old woman. "I'll teach you to clip, I will," thought the man, and ducked her under. But it didn't help. They were going to clip, she said, when he let her up again. "I can only believe that the old woman is mad!" said the man to himself. "Many people are mad and don't know it; many have sense and don't show it. But now I'll have to try once more, all the same," he said. But hardly had he pushed her under before she thrust her hand up out of the water, and started clipping with her fingers as with a pair of scissors. Then the man flew into a rage, and ducked her both good and long. But all at once her hand sank down below the surface of the water, and the old woman suddenly became he heavy that he had to let go his hold. "If you want to drag me down into the pool with you now, you can just lie there, you Troll!" said the man. And so there the old woman stayed.
But after a little while , the man thought it a pity that she should lie there and not have a Christian burial. So he went down along the river, and started looking and searching for her. But for all he looked and for all he searched, he couldn't find her. He took with him folk from the farm, and other folk from the neighborhood, and they all started digging and dragging down along the whole river. But for all they looked, no old woman did they find. "No, " said the old man. « That's no use at ll. This old woman had a mind of her own," he said. "She was so contrary while she was alive, that she can't very well be otherwise now. We'll have to start searching upstream, and try above the falls. Maybe she's floated herself upstream." Well , they went upstream and looked and searched above the falls. There lay the old woman!
She was the old woman against the stream, she was.