The book on German jester Till Eulenspiegel was a bestseller in the 16th century.
The character of Till Eulenspiegel is subject of a chapbook from the 14th century with unknown author. Published by printer and editor Johannes Grüninger it soon became a bestseller. According to legend, Till Eulenspiegel is a travelling jester who was in reality really cunning, but pretended to be stupid and played a lot of tricks on others. Altogether 96 histories on Eulenspiegel were written down.
The well-known German saying “It’s enough to drive the dog in the pan mad!” may be traced back to the history of Till Eulenspiegel:
The master of Eulenspiegel asked him and the maidservant to finish brewing the beer and not to forget to add the hops.
After leaving the scene for a short moment, the maid does not find the plant hop in the brewing vessel upon her return but the master brewer’s dog named “Hop” and Eulenspiegel argues that he only did as he was told.
Therefore, Eulenspiegel threw the dog of the house instead of the plants into the boiling brew. This is supposed to be the origin of the saying.
In a further story that is shown on the fountain, Till baked literally owls and sea-cats. Although Eulenspiegel had never learned the bakers’ trade, he applied as an apprentice at a bakery. After a short while, he was asked to bake on his own for the first time at night and upon demand the baker decides that Till should bake sea-cats and owls.
The next morning the bakery looked like a zoo and there were crisply baked animals everywhere. Angry, the baker sacked Till and had him pay for the dough previously.
Every year, on the second weekend in October, the owl festival, named after the jester, is celebrated in Einbeck.