Once upon a time in the valley of the mountain there was a teacher who frightened all of the children in the village school. He was quick to hand out a beating when someone made a mistake, and he never believed an excuse, whether it was true or false. He was as tall and lean as a tree. His moustache was twisted, and he was always in a grouchy mood. There was a widespread rumor about him that he would go into the cellar whenever he laughed just so that nobody would see him.