Skip to main content

Full text of "The Harvard Classics eboxed Set"

See other formats



OS Ell 




The Five-Foot Shelf of Books 

Tj-,'!-,' /.■iirrv'nnr nut of the toicH In See hitn hanged 

V —Pogf 35-1 



Folk-Lore and Fable 

iEsop • Grimm 

W«/A \ntroductions and Urates 

\olume 17 

P. F. Collier & Son Corporation 


Copyright, 1909 
By p. F. Collier & Son 



^SOP'S FABLES— pace 

The Cock and the Pearl ii 

The Wolf and the Lamb ii 

The Dog and the Shadow 12 

The Lion's Share 12 

The Wolf and the Crane la 

The Man and the Serpent 13 

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse 13 

The Fox and the Crow 14 

The Sick Lion 14 

The Ass and the Lapdog 15 

The Lion and the Mouse 15 

The Swallow and the Other Birds 16 

The Frogs Desiring a King 16 

The Mountains in Labour 17 

The Hares and the Frogs 17 

The Wolf and the Kid 18 

The Woodman and the Serpent 18 

The Bald Man and the Fly 18 

The Fox and the Stork 19 

The Fox and the Mask 19 

The Jay and the Peacock 19 

The Frog and the Ox 20 

Androcles 20 

The Bat, the Birds, and the Beasts 21 

The Hart and the Hunter 21 

The Serpent and the File 22 

The Man and the Wood 22 

The Dog and the Wolf 22 

The Belly and the Members 23 

The Hart in the Ox-Stall 23 

The Fox and the Grapes 24 

The Horse, Hunter, and Stag 24 

The Peacock and Juno 24 

The Fox and the Lion 25 




The Lion and the Statue 25 

The Ant and the Grasshopper 25 

The Tree and the Reed 26 

The Fox and the Cat 26 

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing 27 

The Dog in the Manger 27 

The Man and the Wooden God 27 

The Fisher 27 

The Shepherd's Boy 28 

The Young Thief and His Mother 28 

The Man and His Two Wives 29 

The Nurse and the Wolf 29 

The Tortoise and the Birds 29 

The Two Crabs 3" 

The Ass in the Lion's Skin 30 

The Two Fellows and the Bear 30 

The Two Pots 3' 

The Four Oxen and the Lion 31 

The Fisher and the Little Fish 31 

Avaricious and Envious 3^ 

The Crow and the Pitcher 32 

The Man and the Satyr 33 

The Goose With the Golden Eggs 33 

The Labourer and the Nightingale 33 

The Fox, the Cock, and the Doc 34 

The Wind and the Sun 34 

Hercules and the Waggoner 35 

The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey 35 

The Miser and His Gold 3^ 

The Fox and the Mosquitoes 3^ 

The Fox Without a Tail 37 

The One-Eyed Doe 37 

Belling the Cat 3^ 

The Hare and the Tortoise 38 

The Old Man and Death 39 

The Hare With Many Friends 39 

The Lion in Love 4° 

The Bundle of Sticks 40 

The Lion, the Fox, and the Beasts 40 



The Ass's Brains 4^ 

The Eagle and the Arrow 41 

The Milkmaid and Her Pail 4^ 

The Cat-Maiden 4a 

The Horse and the Ass 4a 

The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner 43 

The Buffoon and the Countryman 43 

The Old Woman and the Wine-Jar 43 

The Fox and the Goat 44 


The Frog-King, or Iron Henry 47 

Our Lady's Child 50 

Faithful John 57 

The Pack of Ragamuffins 64 

Rapunzel 66 

The Three Little Men in the Wood 69 

The Three Spinners 74 

Hansel and Grethel . . 76 

The Fisherman and His Wii„ 83 

The Valiant Little Tailor 90 

Cinderella 98 

Mother Holle 104 

The Seven Ravens 107 

Little Red-Cap 109 

The Bremen Town-Musicians II3 

The Girl Without Hands 116 

Clever Elsie 121 

Thumbling 124 

Thumbling as Journeyman 128 

The Six Swans 132 

Little Briar-Rose 137 

FuNDEvocEL 140 

King Thrushbeakd 142 

Little Snow-White 146 

Rumpelstiltskin I54 

The Three Feathers 156 

The Golden Goose 159 

Allerleirauh 162 



The Wolf and the Fox 167 

Hans in Luck 168 

The Goose-Girl 173 

The Peasant's Wise Daughter 178 

The Spirit in the Bottle 182 

Bearskin 185 

The Willow-Wren and the Bear 190 

Wise Folks 192 

The Shroud I95 

The Two Kings' Children 196 

The Seven Swabians 203 

One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes 206 

Snow- White and Rose-Red 213 


The Ugly Duckling 221 

The Swineherd 230 

The Emperor's New Clothes 234 

The Little Sea-Maid 238 

The Elfin Mound 259 

The Wild Swans 265 

The Garden of Paradise 280 

The Constant Tin Soldier 293 

The Daisy 297 

The Nightingale 301 

The Storks 310 

The Darning-needle 315 

The Shadow 3'^ 

The Red Shoes 329 

Little Ida's Flowers 334 

The Angel 34' 

The Flying Trunk 344 

The Tinder-Box 349 

The Buckwheat 355 

The Bell 357 



The habit of telling stories is one of the most primitive characteristics 
of the human race. The most ancient civilizations, the most barbarous 
savages, of whom we have any knowledge have yielded to investigators 
clear traces of the possession of this practise. The specimens of their 
narrative that have been gathered from all the ends of the earth and from 
the remotest times of which we have written record show traces of pur- 
pose, now religious and didactic, now patriotic and political; but behind or 
beside the purpose one can discern the permanent human delight in the 
story for its own sake. 

The oldest of stories are the myths: not the elaborated and sophisti- 
cated tales that one finds in, say, Greek epic and drama, but the myth 
pure and simple. This is the answer of primitive science to the question 
of the barbaric child, the explanation of the thunder or the rain, of the 
origin of man or of fire, of disease or death. The form of such myths is 
accounted for by the belief known as "animism," which assumed per- 
sonality in every object and phenomenon, and conceived no distinction 
in the kind of existence of a man, a dog, a tree, or a stone. Such myths 
are still told among, e. g., the American Indians, and the assumption just 
mentioned accounts for such features as the transformation of the same 
being from a man into a log or a fish, or the marriage of a coyote and a 
woman. Derived from this state of belief and showing signs of their 
origin, are such animal stories as form the basis of the artistically worked- 
up tales of "Uncle Remus." 

Thus in primitive myth, the divinities of natural forces are not f)ersoni- 
fications, for there was no figure of speech involved; the storm, the ocean, 
and the plague were to the mythmakers actually persons. The symbolical 
element in literary myths is a later development, possible only as man 
gradually arrived at the realization of his separateness in kind from the 
non-human objects of his senses. With this realization came the attempt 
to adapt the myths that had come down from more primitive times to his 
new way of thinking, and the long process of making the myths reason- 
able and credible set in. 

But while the higher myths were being thus transformed into the 
religions of the civilized man, the ways of thinking that had produced 
them in their original form survived to some extent in stories of less 
dignity, which made no pretensions to be either science or religion but 
which were told only because they entertained. Tales of this kind have 


come down from mouth to mouth in less sophisticated communities to 
our own day, and are now being killed out only by the printing-press 
and the diffusion of the art of reading. But happily many have been 
collected, and they are represented in the present volume by the 
"Marchen" or household tales preserved by Grimm. 

Far earlier written down, but less primitive in kind, are the itsopic 
Fables. In these allegorical tales, the form of the old animistic story is 
used without any belief in the identity of the personalities of men and 
animals, but with a conscious double meaning and for the purpwse of 
teaching a lesson. The fable is a product not of the folk but of the 
learned; and though at times it has been handed down by word of 
mouth, it is really a literary form. 

Still more recent, both in kind and in date, are the Wonder stories of 
modern manufacture represented here by the tales of Hans Christian 
Andersen. This nineteenth-century Dane had a marvelous knack of 
entertaining children by repeating old folk-tales of the type collected by 
Grimm; and his success in this led him on to attempt inventing new 
ones. The new ones were successful, too; but though the incidents were 
often suggested by traditional stories, Hans Christian Andersen's finished 
products are to be regarded as a form of modern fiction worked out 
under the influence of more or less primitive folk-tales. 

Msop is little more than the shadow of a name. He was a slave from 
the island of Samos, who flourished, according to Herodotus, about the 
middle of the sixth century before Christ; and his name is associated with 
the special use of the fable for political purposes at a time when the reign 
of the tyrants in Greece made unveiled speech dangerous. About two 
hundred and fifty years after ^sop's time, Demetrius of Phaleron col- 
lected a large number of fables and called them by yEsop's name, and a 
version of these was turned into Latin verse by one Phscdrus in the time 
of Augustus. This Phacdrus is the main source of the modern "iEsop," 
but no one can point to any one fable existing to-day as certainly the 
invention of the Samian slave. 

In India as well as in Greece the fable was common from very early 
times; and near the beginning of our era a Buddhist collection that had 
come west by Alexandria was combined with that of Demetrius, and 
later turned into Greek verse by Valerius Babrius. A Greek prose version 
of Babrius was accepted for centuries as the original Msop. The habit of 
summing up the lesson of the fable in a "moral" at the end seems to 
have come in with the Oriental contribution. 


The history of collections of fables in Europe from Phacdrus and 
Babrius down is one of incredible complexity, on many of the details of 
which scholars are yet far from agreement. Additions to the common 
stock have come in from a vast variety of sources; the stories have been 
retold scores of times, so that there is nothing approaching an authentic 
text; yet the name of JEsop has clung till it has become merely a con- 
venient name for this particular type of allegorical beast-tale. 

In the present collection, the fables have been retold in simple language 
by Mr. Joseph Jacobs. He has chosen those examples that have become 
most universally popular, and at the same time has given representatives 
from all the main sources. A glance at the titles will be sufficient to 
show to what an extraordinary extent these simple stories have become 
the common property of all peoples. 




A COCK was once strutting up and down the farmyard among 
L.\ the hens when suddenly he espied something shining amid 
X jL the straw. "Ho! hoi" quoth he, "that's for me," and soon 
rooted it out from beneath the straw. What did it turn out to be 
but a Pearl that by some chance had been lost in the yard? "You 
may be a treasure," quoth Master Cock, "to men that prize you, 
but for me I would rather have a single barley-corn than a peck of 

"precious things are for those that can 
prize them." 


Once upon a time a Wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside, 
when, looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning 
to drink a little lower down. "There's my supper," thought he, "if 
only I can find some excuse to seize it." Then he called out to the 
Lamb, "How dare you muddle the water from which I am drink- 

"Nay, master, nay," said Lambikin; "if the water be muddy up 
there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me." 

"Well, then," said the Wolf, "why did you call me bad names 
this time last year?" 

"That cannot be," said the Lamb; "I am only six months old." 

"I don't care," snarled the Wolf; "if it was not you it was your 
father;" and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and — 


ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out — 
"any excuse will serve a tyra>jt." 



It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying 
it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he 
had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, 
he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water 
beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, 
he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the 
shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat 
fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more. 
"bewake lest yoo lose the substance by grasping at the 



The Lion went once a-hunting along with the Fox, the Jackal, 
and the Wolf. They hunted and they hunted till at last they sur- 
prised a Stag, and soon took its life. Then came the question how 
the spoil should be divided. "Quarter me this Stag," roared the 
Lion; so the other animals skinned it and cut it into four parts. 
Then the Lion took his stand in front of the carcass and pronounced 
judgment: "The first quarter is for me in my capacity as King of 
Beasts; the second is mine as arbiter; another share comes to me for 
my part in the chase; and as for the fourth quarter, well, as for that, 
I should like to see which of you will dare to lay a paw upon it." 

"Humph," grumbled the Fox as he walked away with his tail 
between his legs; but he spoke in a low growl — 



A Wolf had been gorging on an animal he had killed, when sud- 
denly a small bone in the meat stuck in his throat and he could not 
swallow it. He soon felt terrible pain in his throat, and ran up and 
down groaning and groaning and seeking for something to relieve 
the pain. He tried to induce every one he met to remove the bone. 


"I would give anything," said he, "if you would take it out." At 
last the Crane agreed to try, and told the Wolf to lie on his side and 
open his jaws as wide as he could. Then the Crane put its long neck 
down the Wolfs throat, and with its beak loosened the bone, till 
at last it got it out. 

"Will you kindly give me the reward you promised.'" said the 

The Wolf grinned and showed his teeth and said: "Be content. 
You have put your head inside a Wolf's mouth and taken it out 
again in safety; that ought to be reward enough for you." 
"gratitude and greed go not together." 


A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which 
turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, 
and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in 
revenge began stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused 
him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up 
with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its 
lair, and said to it: "Let's forget and forgive; perhaps you were right 
to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I 
was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied 
why should not we be friends again?" 

"No, no," said the Serpent; "take away your gifts; you can never 
forget the death of your son, nor 1 the loss of my tail." 
"injuries may be forgiven, Birr not forgotten." 


Now you must know that a Town Mouse once upon a time went 
on a visit to his cousin in the country. He was rough and ready, 
this cousin, but he loved his town friend and made him heartily 
welcome. Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all he had to 
offer, but he offered them freely. The Town Mouse rather turned 
up his long nose at this country fare, and said: "I cannot understand, 
Cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this, but of 


course you cannot expect anything better in the country; come you 
with me and I will show you how to live. When you have been in 
town a week you will wonder how you could ever have stood a 
country life." No sooner said than done: the two mice set off for 
the town and arrived at the Town Mouse's residence late at night. 
"You will want some refreshment after our long journey," said the 
polite Town Mouse, and took his friend into the grand dining- 
room. There they found the remains of a fine feast, and soon the 
two mice were eating up jellies and cakes and all that was nice. 
Suddenly they heard growling and barking. "What is that?" said 
the Country Mouse. "It is only the dogs of the house," answered 
the other. "Only!" said the Country Mouse. "I do not like that 
music at my dinner." Just at that moment the door flew open, in 
came two huge mastiffs, and the two mice had to scamper down 
and run off. "Good-bye, Cousin," said the Country Mouse, "What! 
going so soon?" said the other. "Yes," he replied; 
"better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear." 


A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak 
and settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," 
said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. 
"Good-day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking 
to-day: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure 
your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; 
let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the 
Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw 
her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese 
fell to the ground, only to be snapf)ed up by Master Fox. "That 
will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your 
cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future — 
"do not trust flatterers." 


A Lion had come to the end of his days and lay sick unto death 
at the mouth of his cave, gasping for breath. The animals, his sub- 


jects, came round him and drew nearer as he grew more and more 
helpless. When they saw him on the point of death they thought 
to themselves: "Now is the time to pay off old grudges." So the 
Boar came up and drove at him with his tusks; then a Bull gored 
him with his horns; still the Lion lay helpless before them: so the 
Ass, feeling quite safe from danger, came up, and turning his tail 
to the Lion kicked up his heels into his face. "This is a double 
death," growled the Lion. 

"only cowards insult dying majesty." 


A Farmer one day came to the stables to see to his beasts of bur- 
den: among them was his favourite Ass, that was always well fed 
and often carried his master. With the Farmer came his Lapdog, 
who danced about and Hcked his hand and frisked about as happy 
as could be. The Farmer felt in his pocket, gave the Lapdog some 
dainty food, and sat down while he gave his orders to his servants. 
The Lapdog jumped into his master's lap, and lay there blinking 
while the Farmer stroked his ears. The Ass, seeing this, broke loose 
from his halter and commenced prancing about in imitation of the 
Lapdog. The Farmer could not hold his sides with laughter, so 
the Ass went up to him, and putting his feet upon the Farmer's 
shoulder attempted to climb into his lap. The Farmer's servants 
rushed up with sticks and pitchforks and soon taught the Ass that 

"clumsy jesting is no joke." 


Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up 
and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his 
huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. 
"Pardon, O King," cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I 
shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you 
a turn some of these days?" The Lion was so tickled at the idea of 
the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and 
let him go. Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the 


hunters, who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a 
tree while they went in search of a waggon to carry him on. Just 
then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight 
in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away 
the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?" 
said the little Mouse. 

"little friends may prove great friends." 


It happened that a Countryman was sowing some hemp seeds 
in a field where a Swallow and some other birds were hopping 
about picking up their food. "Beware of that man," quoth the 
Swallow. "Why, what is he doing?" said the others. "That is hemp 
seed he is sowing; be careful to pick up every one of the seeds, or 
else you will repent it." The birds paid no heed to the Swallow's 
words, and by and by the hemp grew up and was made into cord, 
and of the cords nets were made, and many a bird that had despised 
the Swallow's advice was caught in nets made out of that very 
hemp. "What did I tell you?" said the Swallow. 

"destroy the seed of evil, or it will crow up to your ruin." 


The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp 
that just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody 
and nobody troubling with them. But some of them thought that 
this was not right, that they should have a king and a proper con- 
stitution, so they determined to send up a (jetition to Jove to give 
them what they wanted. "Mighty Jove," they cried, "send unto us 
a king that will rule over us and keep us in order." Jove laughed 
at their croaking, and threw down into the swamp a huge Log, 
which came down — kfrplash — into the swamp. The Frogs were 
frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in their midst, 
and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster; but after 
a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest of 
them ventured out towards the Log, and even dared to touch it; 


Still it did not move. Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped 
upon the Log and commenced dancing up and down upon it, there- 
upon all the Frogs came and did the same; and for some time the 
Frogs went about their business every day without taking the slight- 
est notice of their new King Log lying in their midst. But this did 
not suit them, so they sent another petition to Jove, and said to him, 
"We want a real king; one that will really rule over us." Now this 
made Jove angry, so he sent among them a big Stork that soon set 
to work gobbling them all up. Then the Frogs repented when too 

"better no rule than cruel rule." 


One day the Countrymen noticed that the Mountains were in 
labour; smoke came out of their summits, the earth was quaking 
at their feet, trees were crashing, and huge rocks were tumbling. 
They felt sure that something horrible was going to happen. They 
all gathered together in one place to see what terrible thing this 
could be. They waited and they waited, but nothing came. At last 
there was a still more violent earthquake, and a huge gap appeared 
in the side of the Mountains. They all fell down upon their knees 
and waited. At last, and at last, a teeny, tiny mouse poked its little 
head and bristles out of the gap and came running down towards 
them, and ever after they used to say: 

"much outcry, little outcome." 


The Hares were so persecuted by the other beasts, they did not 
know where to go. As soon as they saw a single animal approach 
them, ofT they used to run. One day they saw a troop of wild Horses 
stampeding about, and in quite a panic all the Hares scuttled off to 
a lake hard by, determined to drown themselves rather than live in 
such a continual state of fear. But just as they got near the bank of 
the lake, a troop of Frogs, frightened in their turn by the approach 


of the Hares, scuttled off, and jumped into the water. "Truly," 
said one of the Hares, "things are not so bad as they seem: 
"there is always some one worse off than yourself." 


A Kid was perched up on the top of a house, and looking down 
saw a Wolf passing under him. Immediately he began to revile 
and attack his enemy. "Murderer and thief," he cried, "what do 
you here near honest folks' houses ? How dare you make an appear- 
ance where your vile deeds are known?" 

"Curse away, my young friend," said the Wolf. 

"it is easy to be brave from a safe distance." 


One wintry day a Woodman was tramping home from his work 
when he saw something black lying on the snow. When he came 
closer he saw it was a Serpent to all appearance dead. But he took 
it up and put it in his bosom to warm while he hurried home. As 
soon as he got indoors he put the Serpent down on the hearth before 
the fire. The children watched it and saw it slowly come to life 
again. Then one of them stooped down to stroke it, but the Serpent 
raised its head and put out its fangs and was about to sting the 
child to death. So the Woodman seized his axe, and with one stroke 
cut the Serpent in two. "Ah," said he, 

"no gratitude from the wicked." 


There was once a Bald Man who sat down after work on a hot 
summer's day. A Fly came up and kept buzzing about his bald pate, 
and stinging him from time to time. The Man aimed a blow at his 
little enemy, but — whacl{ — his palm came on his head instead; again 
the Fly tormented him, but this time the Man was wiser and said: 
"you will only injure yourself if you take 
notice of despicable enemies." 



At one time the Fox and the Stork were on visiting terms and 
seemed very good friends. So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner, 
and for a joke put nothing before her but some soup in a very shal- 
low dish. This the Fox could easily lap up, but the Stork could only 
wet the end of her long bill in it, and left the meal as hungry as when 
she began. "I am sorry," said the Fox, "the soup is not to your liking." 

"Pray do not apologise," said the Stork. "I hope you will return 
this visit, and come and dine with me soon." So a day was appointed 
when the Fox should visit the Stork; but when they were seated at 
table all that was for their dinner was contained in a very long- 
necked jar with a narrow mouth, in which the Fox could not insert 
his snout, so all he could manage to do was to lick the outside of 
the jar. 

"I will not apologise for the dinner," said the Stork: 
"one bad turn deserves another." 


A Fox had by some means got into the store-room of a theatre. 
Suddenly he observed a face glaring down on him and began to be 
very frightened; but looking more closely he found it was only a 
Mask such as actors use to put over their face. "Ah," said the Fox, 
"you look very fine; it is a pity you have not got any brains." 
"outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth." 


A Jay venturing into a yard where Peacocks used to walk. found 
there a number of feathers which had fallen from the Peacocks when 
they were moulting. He tied them all to his tail and strutted down 
towards the Peacocks. When he came near them they soon discov- 
ered the cheat, and striding up to him {jecked at him and plucked 
away his borrowed plumes. So the Jay could do no better than go 


back to the other Jays, who had watched his behaviour from a dis- 
tance; but they were equally annoyed with him, and told him: 
"it is not only fine feathers that make fine birds." 


"Oh Father," said a litde Frog to the big one sitting by the side 
of a pool, "I have seen such a terrible monster! It was as big as a 
mountain, with horns on its head, and a long tail, and it had hoofs 
divided in two." 

"Tush, child, tush," said the old Frog, "that was only Farmer 
White's Ox. It isn't so big either; he may be a little bit taller than I, 
but I could easily make myself quite as broad; just you see." So he 
blew himself out, and blew himself out, and blew himself out. "Was 
he as big as that?" asked he. 

"Oh, much bigger than that," said the young Frog. 

Again the old one blew himself out, and asked the young one if 
the Ox was as big as that. 

"Bigger, father, bigger," was the reply. 

So the Frog took a deep breath, and blew and blew and blew, and 
swelled and swelled and swelled. And then he said: "I'm sure 
the Ox is not as big as — " But at this moment he burst. 
"self-conceit may lead to self-destruction." 


A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to 
the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a Lion 
lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but 
finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went 
up to him. As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all 
swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had 
got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn 
and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and 
lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion took Androcles 
to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to 
live. But shordy afterwards both Androcles and the Lion were cap- 


tured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after 
the latter had been kept without food for several days. The Emperor 
and all his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led 
out into the middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from 
his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim. But 
as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognised his friend, and 
fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The 
Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told 
him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, 
and the Lion let loose to his native forest. 

"gratitude is the sign of noble souls." 


A GREAT conflict was about to come off between the Birds and the 
Beasts. When the two armies were collected together the Bat hesi- 
tated which to join. The Birds that passed his perch said: "Come 
with us"; but he said: "I am a Beast." Later on, some Beasts who 
were passing underneath him looked up and said: "Come with us"; 
but he said: "I am a Bird." Luckily at the last moment peace was 
made, and no battle took place, so the Bat came to the Birds and 
wished to join in the rejoicings, but they all turned against him and 
he had to fly away. He then went to the Beasts, but soon had to 
beat a retreat, or else they would have torn him to pieces. "Ah," said 
the Bat, "I see now, 

"he that is neither one thing nor THE 


The Hart was once drinking from a pool and admiring the noble 
figure he made there. "Ah," said he, "where can you see such noble 
horns as these, with such antlers! I wish I had legs more worthy to 
bear such a noble crown; it is a pity they are so slim and slight." 
At that moment a Hunter approached and sent an arrow whistling 
after him. Away bounded the Hart, and soon, by the aid of his 
nimble legs, was nearly out of sight of the Hunter; but not noticing 


where he was going, he passed under some trees with branches grow- 
ing low down in which his antlers were caught, so that the Hunter 
had time to come up. "Alas! alas!" cried the Hart: 

"we often despise what is most useful to us." 


A Serpent in the course of its wanderings came into an armourer's 
shop. As he glided over the floor he felt his skin pricked by a file 
lying there. In a rage he turned round upxsn it and tried to dart 
his fangs into it; but he could do no harm to heavy iron and had 
soon to give over his wrath. 

"it is useless attacking the insensible." 


A Man came into a Wood one day with an axe in his hand, and 
begged all the Trees to give him a small branch which he wanted for 
a particular purpose. The Trees were good-natured and gave him 
one of their branches. What did the Man do but fix it into the axe 
head, and soon set to work cutting down tree after tree. Then the 
Trees saw how foolish they had been in giving their enemy the 
means of destroying themselves. 


A gaunt Wolf was almost dead with hunger when he happened 
to meet a House-dog who was passing by. "Ah, Cousin," said the 
Dog. "I knew how it would be; your irregular life will soon be the 
ruin of you. Why do you not work steadily as I do, and get 
your food regularly given to you?" 

"I would have no objection," said the Wolf, "if I could only get a 

"I will easily arrange that for you," said the Dog; "come with me 
to my master and you shall share my work." 

So the Wolf and the Dog went towards the town together. On 
the way there the Wolf noticed that the hair on a certain part ci 


the Dog's neck was very much worn away, so he asked him how 
that had come about. 

"Oh, it is nothing," said the Dog. "That is only the place where 
the collar is put on at night to keep me chained up; it chafes a bit, 
but one soon gets used to it." 

"Is that all?" said the Wolf. "Then good-bye to you, Master 


"better starve free than be a fat slave." 


One fine day it occurred to the Members of the Body that they 
were doing all the work and the Belly was having all the food. So 
they held a meeting, and after a long discussion, decided to strike 
work till the Belly consented to take its proper share of the work. 
So for a day or two, the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth 
refused to receive it, and the Teeth had no work to do. But after 
a day or two the Members began to find that they themselves were 
not in a very active condiuon: the Hands could hardly move, and 
the Mouth was all parched and dry, while the Legs were unable to 
support the rest. So thus they found that even the Belly in its dull 
quiet way was doing necessary work for the Body, and that all must 
work together or the Body will go to pieces. 


A Hart hotly pursued by the hounds fled for refuge into an ox- 
stall, and buried itself in a truss of hay, leaving nothing to be seen 
but the tips of his horns. Soon after the Hunters came up and asked 
if any one had seen the Hart. The stable boys, who had been resting 
after their dinner, looked round, but could see nothing, and the 
Hunters went away. Shortly afterwards the master came in, and 
looking round, saw that something unusual had taken place. He 
pointed to the truss of hay and said: "What are those two curious 
things sticking out of the hay?" And when the stable boys came to 
look they discovered the Hart, and soon made an end of him. He 
thus learnt that 

"nothing escapes the master's eye." 



One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard 
till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had 
been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my 
thirst," quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a 
jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, 
Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and 
again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it 
up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they 
are sour." 

"it is easy to despise what you cannot get." 


A Quarrel had arisen between the Horse and the Stag, so the 
Horse came to a Hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag. 
The Hunter agreed, but said: "If you desire to conquer the Stag, you 
must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that 
I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed 
upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow 
after the enemy." The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the 
Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the 
Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: 
"Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back." 

"Not so fast, friend," said the Hunter. "I have now got you under 
bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present." 

"if you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they 

WILL USE you for THEIRS." 


A Peacock once placed a petition before Juno desiring to have the 
voice of a nightingale in addition to his other attractions; but Juno 
refused his request. When he persisted, and pointed out that he was 
her favourite bird, she said: 
"be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything." 



When first the Fox saw the Lion he was terribly frightened, and 
ran away and hid himself in the wood. Next time however he came 
near the King of Beasts he stopped at a safe distance and watched 
him pass by. The third time they came near one another the Fox 
went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, 
asking him how his family were, and when he should have the 
pleasure of seeing him again; then turning his tail, he parted from 
the Lion without much ceremony. 

"familiarity breeds contempt." 


A Man and a Lion were discussing the relative strength of men 
and lions in general. The Man contended that he and his fellows 
were stronger than lions by reason of their greater intelligence. 
"Come now with me," he cried, "and I will soon prove that I am 
right." So he took him into the public gardens and showed him a 
statue of Hercules overcoming the Lion and tearing his mouth in 

"That is all very well," said the Lion, "but proves nothing, for it 
was a man who made the statue." 

"we can easily represent things as we wish them to be." 


In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, 
chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bear- 
ing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest. 

"Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead 
of toihng and moiling in that way.'" 

"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and 
recommend you to do the same." 

"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "we have got 
plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and con- 
tinued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no 


food, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants dis- 
tributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected 
in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: 



"Well, little one," said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its 
foot, "why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and 
raise your head boldly in the air as I do?" 

"I am contented with my lot," said the Reed. "I may not be so 
grand, but I think I am safer." 

"Safe!" sneered the Tree. "Who shall pluck me up by the roots 
or bow my head to the ground?" But it soon had to repent of its 
boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and 
cast it a useless log on the ground, while the little Reed, bending to 
the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm 
had passed over. 



A Fox was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices for escaping its 
enemies. "I have a whole bag of tricks," he said, "which contains a 
hundred ways of escaping my enemies." 

"I have only one," said the Cat; "but I can generally manage with 
that." Just at that moment they heard the cry of a pack of hounds 
coming towards them, and the Cat immediately scampered up a tree 
and hid herself in the boughs. "This is my plan," said the Cat. 
"What are you going to do?" The Fox thought first of one way, 
then of another, and while he was debating the hounds came nearer 
and nearer, and at last the Fox in his confusion was caught up by 
the hounds and soon killed by the huntsmen. Miss Puss, who had 
been looking on, said: 

"better one safe WAY THAN A HUNDRED ON WHICH 



A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the 
vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the 
skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on 
over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The Lamb 
that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began 
to follow the Wolf in the Sheep's clothing; so, leading the Lamb a 
little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and for some time he suc- 
ceeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals. 
"appearances are deceptive." 


A Doc looking out for its afternoon nap jumped into the Manger 
of an Ox and lay there cosily upon the straw. But soon the Ox, re- 
turning from its afternoon work, came up to the Manger and wanted 
to eat some of the straw. The Dog in a rage, being awakened from 
its slumber, stood up and barked at the Ox, and whenever it came 
near attempted to bite it. At last the Ox had to give up the hope of 
getting at the straw, and went away muttering: 

"ah, people often grudge others what they 
cannot enjoy themselves." 


In the old days men used to worship stocks and stones and idols, 
and prayed to them to give them luck. It happened that a Man had 
often prayed to a wooden idol he had received from his father, but 
his luck never seemed to change. He prayed and he prayed, but still 
he remained as unlucky as ever. One day in the greatest rage he went 
to the Wooden God, and with one blow swept it down from its 
pedestal. The idol broke in two, and what did he see? An immense 
number of coins flying all over the place. 


A Fisher once took his bagpipes to the bank of a river, and played 
upon them with the hope of making the fish rise; but never a one 


put his nose out of the water. So he cast his net into the river and 
soon drew it forth filled with fish. Then he took his bagpipes again, 
and, as he played, the fish leapt up in the net. "Ah, you dance now 
when 1 play," said he. 

"Yes," said an old Fish: 

"when you are in a man's power you must do as he bids you." 


There was once a young Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at 
the foot of a mountain near a dark forest. It was rather lonely for 
him all day, so he thought upon a plan by which he could get a Uttle 
company and some excitement. He rushed down towards the village 
calling out "Wolf, Wolf," and the villagers came out to meet him, 
and some of them stopped with him for a considerable time. This 
pleased the boy so much that a few days afterwards he tried the same 
trick, and again the villagers came to his help. But shortly after this 
a Wolf actually did come out from the forest, and began to worry 
the sheep, and the boy of course cried out "Wolf, Wolf," still louder 
than before. But this time the villagers, who had been fooled twice 
before, thought the boy was again deceiving them, and nobody 
stirred to come to his help. So the Wolf made a good meal off the 
boy's flock, and when the boy complained, the wise man of the vil- 
lage said: 

"a liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth." 


A YOUNG Man had been caught in a daring act of theft and had 
been condemned to be executed for it. He expressed his desire to 
see his Mother, and to speak with her before he was led to execution, 
and of course this was granted. When his Mother came to him he 
said: "I want to whisper to you," and when she brought her ear 
near him, he nearly bit it off. All the bystanders were horrified, and 
asked him what he could mean by such brutal and inhuman conduct. 
"It is to punish her," he said. "When I was young I began with 
stealing little things, and brought them home to Mother. Instead 


of rebuking and punishing me, she laughed and said : 'It will not be 
noticed.' It is because of her that I am here to-day." 
"He is right, woman," said the Priest; "the Lord hath said: 
"train up a child in the way he should go; and 
when he is old he will not depart therefrom." 


In the old days, when men were allowed to have many wives, a 
middle-aged Man had one wife that was old and one that was young; 
each loved him very much, and desired to see him like herself. Now 
the Man's hair was turning grey, which the young Wife did not like, 
as it made him look too old for her husband. So every night she used 
to comb his hair and pick out the white ones. But the elder Wife 
saw her husband growing grey with great pleasure, for she did not 
like to be mistaken for his mother. So every morning she used to 
arrange his hair and pick out as many of the black ones as she could. 
The consequence was the Man soon found himself entirely bald. 



"Be quiet now," said an old Nurse to a child sitting on her lap. 
"If you make that noise again I will throw you to the Wolf." 

Now it chanced that a Wolf was passing close under the window 
as this was said. So he crouched down by the side of the house 
and waited. "I am in good luck to-day," thought he. "It is sure to 
cry soon, and a daintier morsel I haven't had for many a long day." 
So he waited, and he waited, and he waited, till at last the child began 
to cry, and the Wolf came forward before the window, and looked 
up to the Nurse, wagging his tail. But all the Nurse did was to shut 
down the window and call for help, and the dogs of the house came 
rushing out. "Ah," said the Wolf as he galloped away, 



A Tortoise desired to change its place of residence, so he asked an 
Eagle to carry him to his new home, promising her a rich reward 


for her trouble. The Eagle agreed, and seizing the Tortoise by the 
shell with her talons, soared aloft. On their way they met a Crow, 
who said to the Eagle: "Tortoise is good eating." "The shell is too 
hard," said the Eagle in reply. "The rocks will soon crack the shell," 
was the Crow's answer; and the Eagle, taking the hint, let fall the 
Tortoise on a sharp rock, and the two birds made a hearty meal 
off the Tortoise. 

"never soar ai/)ft on an enemy's pinions." 


One fine day two Crabs came out from their home to take a stroll 
on the sand. "Child," said the mother, "you are walking very un- 
gracefully. You should accustom yourself to walking straight for- 
ward without twisting from side to side." 

"Pray, mother," said the young one, "do but set the example your- 
self, and I will follow you." 

"example is the best precept." 


An Ass once found a Lion's skin which the hunters had left out in 
the sun to dry. He put it on and went towards his native village. 
All fled at his approach, both men and animals, and he was a proud 
Ass that day. In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed, but 
then every one knew him, and his owner came up and gave him a 
sound cudgelling for the fright he had caused. And shortly after- 
wards a Fox came up to him and said: "Ah, I knew you by your 
"fine clothes may disguise, but silly words will disclose a fool." 


Two Fellows were travelling together through a wood, when a 
Bear rushed out upon them. One of the travellers happened to be 
in front, and he seized hold of the branch of a tree, and hid himself 
among the leaves. The other, seeing no help for it, threw himself flat 


down upon the ground, with his face in the dust. The Bear, coming 
up to him, put his muzzle close to his ear, and sniffed and sniffed. 
But at last with a growl he shook his head and slouched off, for bears 
will not touch dead meat. Then the fellow in the tree came down to 
his comrade, and, laughing, said "What was it that Master Bruin 
whispered to your" 
"He told me," said the other, 

"never trust a friend who deserts you at a pinch." 


Two Pots had been left on the bank of a river, one of brass, and 
one of earthenware. When the tide rose they both floated off down 
the stream. Now the earthenware pot tried its best to keep aloof from 
the brass one, which cried out: "Fear nothing, friend, I will not 
strike you." 

"But I may come in contact with you," said the other, "if I come 
too close; and whether I hit you, or you hit me, I shall suffer for it." 
"the strong and the weak cannot keep company." 


A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to 
dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came 
near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he 
approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, 
however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went 
off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion 
atucked them one by one and soon made an end of all four. 
"united we stand, divided we fall." 


It happened that a Fisher, after fishing all day, caught only a little 
fish. "Pray, let me go, master," said the Fish. "I am much too small 
for your eating just now. If you put me back into the river I shall 
soon grow, then you can make a fine meal off me." 


"Nay, nay, my little Fish," said the Fisher, "I have you now. I 
may not catch you hereafter." 



Two neighbours came before Jupiter and prayed him to grant 
their hearts' desire. Now the one was full of avarice, and the other 
eaten up with envy. So to punish them both, Jupiter granted that 
each might have whatever he wished for himself, but only on condi- 
tion that his neighbour had twice as much. The Avaricious man 
prayed to have a room full of gold. No sooner said than done; but 
all his joy was turned to grief when he found that his neighbour 
had two rooms full of the precious metal. Then came the turn of the 
Envious man, who could not bear to think that his neighbour had 
any joy at all. So he prayed that he might have one of his own eyes 
put out, by which means his companion would become totally blind. 



A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had 
once been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the 
mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in 
it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it. He 
tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair. Then a 
thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the 
Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the 
Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the 
Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the 
Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the 
Pitcher. Then he took another [jebble and dropped that into the 
Pitcher. At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him, and 
after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst 
and save his life. 




A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter's night. As 
he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he 
had lost his way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and 
guide him out of the forest in the morning. As he went along to the 
Satyr's cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on 
blowing at them. "What do you do that for?" said the Satyr. 

"My hands are numb with the cold," said the Man, "and my 
breath warms them." 

After this they arrived at the Satyr's home, and soon the Satyr 
put a smoking dish of porridge before him. But when the Man 
raised his spoon to his mouth he began blowing upon it. "And what 
do you do that for?" said the Satyr. 

"The porridge is too hot, and my breath will cool it." 

"Out you go," said the Satyr. "I will have nought to do with a 
man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath." 


One day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose found there 
an egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy 
as lead and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick 
had been played upon him. But he took it home on second thoughts, 
and soon found to his delight that it was an egg of pure gold. Every 
morning the same thing occurred, and he soon became rich by sell- 
ing his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at 
once all the gold the Goose could give, he killed it and opened it only 
to find, — nothing. 

"greed oft o'erreaches itself." 


A Labourer lay listening to a Nightingale's song throughout the 
summer night. So pleased was he with it that the next night he set 
a trap for it and captured it. "Now that I have caught thee," he cried, 
"thou shalt always sing to me." 


"We Nightingales never sing in a cage," said the bird. 

"Then I'll eat thee," said the Labourer. "I have always heard say 
that nightingale on toast is a dainty morsel." 

"Nay, kill me not," said the Nightingale; "but let me free, and 
I'll tell thee three things far better worth than my poor body." The 
Labourer let him loose, and he flew up to a branch of a tree and 
said: "Never believe a captive's promise; that's one thing. Then 
again: Keep what you have. And third piece of advice is: Sorrow 
not over what is lost forever." Then the song-bird flew away. 


One moonUght night a Fox was prowling about a farmer's hen- 
coop, and saw a Cock roosting high up beyond his reach. "Good 
news, good news!" he cried. 

"Why, what is that?" said the Cock. 

"King Lion has declared a universal truce. No beast may hurt 
a bird henceforth, but all shall dwell together in brotherly friend- 

"Why, that is good news," said the Cock; "and there I see some 
one coming, with whom we can share the good tidings." And so 
saying he craned his neck forward and looked afar off. 

"What is it you see?" said the Fox. 

"It is oiJy my master's Dog that is coming towards us. What, 
going so soon?" he continued, as the Fox began to turn away as soon 
as he had heard the news. "Will you not stop and congratulate the 
Dog on the reign of universal peace?" 

"I would gladly do so," said the Fox, "but I fear he may not have 
heard of King Lion's decree." 

"cunning often outwits itself." 


The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. 
Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun 
said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause 
that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the strongtr. 


You begin." So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began 
to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew 
the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at 
last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out 
and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too 
hot to walk with his cloak on. 

"kindness effects more than severity." 


A Waggoner was once driving a heavy load along a very muddy 
way. At last he came to a part of the road where the wheels sank 
half-way into the mire, and the more the horses pulled, the deeper 
sank the wheels. So the Waggoner threw down his whip, and knelt 
down and prayed to Hercules the Strong. "O Hercules, help me 
in this my hour of distress," quoth he. But Hercules appeared to 
him, and said: 

"Tut, man, don't sprawl there. Get up and put your shoulder 
to the wheel." 

"the gods help them that help themselves." 


A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. 
As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them 
and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon.?" 

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their 
way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See 
that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides." 

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But 
they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom 
said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son 
trudge along." 

Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his 
Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to 
the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The 
Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: 


"Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey 
of yours — you and your hulking son?" 

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They 
thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the 
Donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their 
shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them 
till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one 
of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of 
the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his 
fore-feet being tied together he was drowned. 

"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed 

"please all, and you will please none." 


Once upon a time there was a Miser who used to hide his gold at 
the foot of a tree in his garden; but every week he used to go and dig 
it up and gloat over his gains. A robber, who had noticed this, went 
and dug up the gold and decamped with it. When the Miser next 
came to gloat over his treasures, he found nothing but the empty 
hole. He tore his hair, and raised such an outcry that all the neigh- 
bours came around him, and he told them how he used to come and 
visit his gold. "Did you ever take any of it out?" asked one of them. 

"Nay," said he, "I only came to look at it." 

"Then come again and look at the hole," said a neighbour; "it will 
do you just as much good." 

"wealth unused might as well not exist." 


A Fox after crossing a river got its tail entangled in a bush, and 
could not move. A number of Mosquitoes seeing its plight settled 
upon it and enjoyed a good meal undisturbed by its tail. A hedge- 
hog strolling by took pity upon the Fox and went up to him: "You 
are in a bad way, neighbour," said the hedgehog; "shall I relieve you 
by driving off those Mosquitoes who are sucking your blood?" 


"Thank you, Master Hedgehog," said the Fox, "but I would 
rather not." 

"Why, how is that?" asked the hedgehog. 

"Well, you see," was the answer, "these Mosquitoes have had their 
fill; if you drive these away, others will come with fresh appetite 
and bleed me to death." 


It happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and in struggling 
to release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he was ashamed 
to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined 
to put a bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes 
to a general meeting to consider a proposal which he had to place 
before them. When they had assembled together the Fox proposed 
that they should all do away with their tails. He pointed out how 
inconvenient a tail was when they were pursued by their enemies, the 
dogs; how much it was in the way when they desired to sit down 
and hold a friendly conversation with one another. He failed to see 
any advantage in carrying about such a useless encumbrance. "That 
is all very well," said one of the older foxes; "but I do not think you 
would have recommended us to dispense with our chief ornament 
if you had not happened to lose it yourself." 

"distrust interested advice." 


A Doe had had the misfortune to lose one of her eyes, and could 
not see any one approaching her on that side. So to avoid any danger 
she always used to feed on a high cliff near the sea, with her sound 
eye looking towards the land. By this means she could see when- 
ever the hunters approached her on land, and often escaped by this 
means. But the hunters found out that she was blind of one eye, and 
hiring a boat rowed under the clifT where she used to feed and shot 
her from the sea. "Ah," cried she with her dying voice, 
"you cannot escape your fate." 



Long ago, the mice had a general council to consider what meas- 
ures they could take to outwit their common enemy, the Cat. Some 
said this, and some said that; but at last a young mouse got up and 
said he had a proposal to make, which he thought would meet the 
case. "You will all agree," said he, "that our chief danger consists 
in the sly and treacherous manner in which the enemy approaches 
us. Now, if we could receive some signal of her approach, we could 
easily escape from her. I venture, therefore, to propose that a small 
bell be procured, and attached by a ribbon round the neck of the 
Cat. By this means we should always know when she was about, and 
could easily retire while she was in the neighbourhood." 

This proposal met with general applause, until an old mouse got 
up and said: "That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?" The 
mice looked at one another and nobody spoke. Then the old mouse 

"it is easy to propose impossible remedies." 


The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. 
"I have never yet been beaten," said he, "when I put forth my full 
speed. I challenge any one here to race with me." 

The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge." 

"That is a good joke," said the Hare; "I could dance round you all 
the way." 

"Keep your boasting till you've beaten," answered the Tortoise. 
"Shall we race?" 

So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted 
almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his con- 
tempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise 
plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his 
nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not 
run up in time to save the race. Then said the Tortoise: 
"plodding wins the race." 



An old labourer, bent double with age and toil, was gathering 
sticks in a forest. At last he grew so tired and hopeless that he threw 
down the bundle of sticks, and cried out: "I cannot bear this life any 
longer. Ah, I wish Death would only come and take me!" 

As he spoke, Death, a grisly skeleton, appeared and said to him: 
"What wouldst thou. Mortal ? I heard thee call me." 

"Please, sir," replied the woodcutter, "would you kindly help me 
to lift this faggot of sticks on to my shoulder?" 

"we would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified." 


A Hare was very popular with the other beasts who all claimed 
to be her friends. But one day she heard the hounds approaching 
and hoped to escape them by the aid of her many Friends. So she 
went to the horse, and asked him to carry her away from the hounds 
on his back. But he declined, stating that he had important work 
to do for his master. "He felt sure," he said, "that all her other 
friends would come to her assistance." She then applied to the bull, 
and hoped that he would repel the hounds with his horns. The bull 
replied: "I am very sorry, but I have an appointment with a lady; 
but I feel sure that our friend the goat will do what you want." 
The goat, however, feared that his back might do her some harm if 
he took her upon it. The ram, he felt sure, was the proper friend to 
apply to. So she went to the ram and told him the case. The ram re- 
plied: "Another time, my dear friend. I do not like to interfere on 
the present occasion, as hounds have been known to eat sheep as well 
as hares." The Hare then applied, as a last hope, to the calf, who 
regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not like to take 
the responsibility upon himself, as so many older persons than him- 
self had declined the task. By this time the hounds were quite near, 
and the Hare took to her heels and luckily escaped. 

"he that has many friends, has no friends." 



A Lion once fell in love with a beautiful maiden and proposed 
marriage to her parents. The old people did not know what to say. 
They did not like to give their daughter to the Lion, yet they did 
not wish to enrage the King of Beasts. At last the father said: "We 
feel highly honoured by your Majesty's proposal, but you see our 
daughter is a tender young thing, and we fear that in the vehemence 
of your affection you might possibly do her some injury. Might I 
venture to suggest that your Majesty should have your claws re- 
moved, and your teeth extracted, then we would gladly consider your 
proposal again." The Lion was so much in love that he had his claws 
trimmed and his big teeth taken out. But when he came again to the 
parents of the young girl they simply laughed in his face, and bade 
him do his worst. 

"love can tame the wildest." 


An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him 
to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring 
in a faggot of sticks, and said to his eldest son: "Break it." The son 
strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the 
Bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful. 
"Untie the faggots," said the father, "and each of you take a stick." 
When they had done so, he called out to them : "Now, break," and 
each stick was easily broken. "You see my meaning," said their 

"union gives strength." 


The Lion once gave out that he was sick unto death and sum- 
moned the animals to come and hear his last Will and Testament. 
So the Goat came to the Lion's cave, and stoppjed there listening for 
a long time. Then a Sheep went in, and before she came out a Calf 
came up to receive the last wishes of the Lord of the Beasts. But 


soon the Lion seemed to recover, and came to the mouth of his cave, 
and saw the Fox, who had been waiting outside for some time. 
"Why do you not come to pay your respects to me?" said the Lion 
to the Fox. 

"I beg your Majesty's pardon," said the Fox, "but I noticed the 
track of the animals that have already come to you; and while I 
see many hoof-marks going in, I see none coming out. Till the ani- 
mals that have entered your cave come out again I prefer to remain 
in the open air." 

"it is easier to get into the enemy's toils than out again." 


The Lion and the Fox went hunting together. The Lion, on the 
advice of the Fox, sent a message to the Ass, proposing to make an 
alliance between their two families. The Ass came to the place of 
meeting, overjoyed at the prospect of a royal alliance. But when he 
came there the Lion simply pounced on the Ass, and said to the Fox : 
"Here is our dinner for to-day. Watch you here while I go and have 
a nap. Woe betide you if you touch my prey." The Lion went away 
and the Fox waited; but finding that his master did not return, ven- 
tured to take out the brains of the Ass and ate them up. When the 
Lion came back he soon noticed the absence of the brains, and asked 
the Fox in a terrible voice: "What have you done with the brains?" 

"Brains, your Majesty! it had none, or it would never have fallen 
into your trap." 

"wit has always an answer ready." 


An Eagle was soaring through the air when suddenly it heard the 
whizz of an Arrow, and felt itself wounded to death. Slowly it flut- 
tered down to the earth, with its life-blood [xjuring out of it. Look- 
ing down upon the Arrow with which it had been pierced, it found 
that the haft of the Arrow had been feathered with one of its own 
plumes. "Alas!" it cried, as it died, 
"we often give our enemies the means for our own destruction." 



Patty the Milkmaid was going to market carrying her milk in a 
Pail on her head. As she went along she began calculating what she 
would do with the money she would get for the milk. "I'll buy some 
fowls from Farmer Brown," said she, "and they will lay eggs each 
morning, which I will sell to the parson's wife. With the money that 
I get from the sale of these eggs I'll buy myself a new dimity frock 
and a chip hat; and when I go to market, won't all the young men 
come up and speak to me! Polly Shaw will be that jealous; but I 
don't care. I shall just look at her and toss my head like this." As 
she spoke she tossed her head back, the Pail fell off it, and all the 
milk was spilt. So she had to go home and tell her mother what 
had occurred. 

"Ah, my cliild," said the mother, 

"do not count your chickens before they are hatched." 


The gods were once disputing whether it was possible for a living 
being to change its nature. Jupiter said "Yes," but Venus said "No." 
So, to try the question, Jupiter turned a Cat into a Maiden, and gave 
her to a young man for a wife. The wedding was duly performed 
and the young couple sat down to the wedding-feast. "See," said 
Jupiter, to Venus, "how becomingly she behaves. Who could tell that 
yesterday she was but a Cat? Surely her nature is changed?" 

"Wait a minute," replied Venus, and let loose a mouse into the 
room. No sooner did the bride see this than she jumped up from her 
seat and tried to pounce upon the mouse. "Ah, you see," said Venus, 
"nature will out." 


A Horse and an Ass were travelling together, the Horse prancing 
along in its fine trappings, the Ass carrying with difficulty the heavy 
weight in its panniers. "I wish I were you," sighed the Ass; "nothing 
to do and well fed, and all that fine harness upon you." Next day. 


however, there was a great battle, and the Horse was wounded to 
death in the final charge of the day. His friend, the Ass, happened 
to pass by shortly afterwards and found him on the point of death. 
"I was wrong," said the Ass: 

"better humble security than gilded dancer." 


A Trumpeter during a battle ventured too near the enemy and 
was captured by them. They were about to proceed to put him to 
death when he begged them to hear his plea for mercy. "I do not 
fight," said he, "and indeed carry no weapon; I only blow this 
trumpet, and surely that cannot harm you; then why should you 
kill me?" 

"You may not fight yourself," said the others, "but you encourage 
and guide your men to the fight." 

"words may be deeds." 


At a country fair there was a Buffoon who made all the people 
laugh by imitating the cries of various animals. He finished off by 
squeaking so like a pig that the spectators thought that he had a 
porker concealed about him. But a Countryman who stood by said: 
"Call that a pig's squeak! Nothing like it. You give me till to- 
morrow and I will show you what it's like." The audience laughed, 
but next day, sure enough, the Countryman appeared on the stage, 
and putting his head down squealed so hideously that the spectators 
hissed and threw stones at him to make him stop. "You fools!" he 
cried, "see what you have been hissing," and held up a little pig 
whose ear he had been pinching to make him utter the squeals. 

"men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real THING." 


You must know that sometimes old women like a glass of wine. 
One of this sort once found a Wine-jar lying in the road, and eagerly 


went up to it hoping to find it full. But when she took it up she 
found that all the wine had been drunk out of it. Still she took a 
long sniff at the mouth of the Jar. "Ah," she cried, 
"what memories cling round the instruments of our pleasure." 


By an unlucky chance a Fox fell into a deep well from which 
he could not get out. A Goat passed by shortly afterwards, and 
asked the Fox what he was doing down there. "Oh, have you not 
heard?" said the Fox; "there is going to be a great drought, so I 
jumped down here in order to be sure to have water by me. Why 
don't you come down too?" The Goat thought well of this advice, 
and jumped down into the well. But the Fox immediately jumped on 
her back, and by putting his foot on her long horns managed to 
jump up to the edge of the well. "Good-bye, friend," said the Fox, 
"remember next time, 

"never trust the advice of a man in difficulties." 

And this is the end of iEsop's Fables. Hurrah I 





The "Kinder- und Hausmiirchen" of the brothers Grimm was the first 
deliberate attempt to preserve in their pure form the traditional domestic 
tales of the German people. The stories published in their volumes of 
1812 and 1815, and revised and added to in successive editions, were 
collected by them chiefly from the mouths of the peasantry in their native 
county of Hanau in Prussia and in Hesse, but the other provinces of 
Germany, as well as German Austria and Switzerland, also contributed. 
It was the aim of the collectors, carried out with great fidelity and a 
remarkable instinct for the truly popular, to avoid all additions, logical 
or artistic; to retain as far as possible the actual language of the peasants, 
and to eliminate all foreign and sophisticated elements. 

The result of their labors, extending through a long stretch of years, 
was twofold: they produced one of the most delightful story books in the 
world, and they preserved for the scientific student of mythology and 
folk-lore a mass of invaluable material which was even then beginning to 
disappear. Further, in the discussion and classification of variant forms of 
these tales, gathered in different parts of the world, they advanced notably 
the science of comparative mythology. 

Wilhelm Grimm, the younger brother, who did the greater part of the 
work of collecting and revising, was born at Hanau on February 24, 1786. 
Together with Jakob, he acted as librarian at Cassel, and professor at 
Gottingen and at Berlin, where he died, December 16, 1859. Besides the 
works in which he collaborated with his brother, he produced an impor- 
tant book on the German Heroic Legend. 

The elder brother, Jakob, was born in 1785, also at Hanau, and died in 
Berlin in 1863. He is chiefly distinguished for his work in Germanic 
philology, his German Grammar being practically the foundation work 
of this branch of learning. The brothers lived in the closest intimacy, 
occupying the same house and often working on the same subjects, and 
both the great German Dictionary known by their name and the collec- 
tion of "Marchen" from which the following stories are taken were the 
result of this collaboration. 




IN old times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king 
whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so 
beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was 
astonished whenever it shone in her face. Close by the King's castle 
lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the forest was 
a well, and when the day was very warm, the King's child went out 
into the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and 
when she was dull she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high 
and caught it, and this ball was her favourite plaything. 

Now it so happened that on one occasion the princess's golden 
ball did not fall into the little hand which she was holding up for it, 
but on to the ground beyond, and rolled straight into the water. The 
King's daughter followed it with her eyes, but it vanished, and the 
well was deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. On this 
she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be com- 
forted. And as she thus lamented, some one said to her, "What ails 
thee. King's daughter? Thou weepest so that even a stone would 
show pity." She looked round to the side from whence the voice 
came, and saw a frog stretching forth its thick, ugly head from the 
water. "Ah! old water-splasher, is it thou?" said she; "I am weeping 
for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well." 

"Be quiet, and do not weep," answered the frog. "I can help thee, 
but what wilt thou give me if I bring thy plaything up again?" 
"Whatever thou wilt have, dear frog," said she — "my clothes, my 
pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing." 

The frog answered, "I do not care for thy clothes, thy pearls and 
jewels, or thy golden crown, but if thou wilt love me and let me be 



thy companion and play-fellow, and sit by thee at thy little table, 
and eat off thy little golden plate, and drink out of thy little cup, 
and sleep in thy little bed — if thou wilt promise me this I will go 
down below, and bring thee thy golden ball up again." 

"Oh, yes," said she, "I promise thee all thou wishest, if thou wilt 
but bring me my ball back again." She, however, thought, "How 
silly the frog does talk! He lives in the water with the other frogs 
and croaks, and can be no companion to any human being!" 

But the frog when he had received this promise put his head into 
the water and sank down, and in a short time came swimming up 
again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. The 
King's daughter was delighted to see her pretty plaything once 
more, and picked it up, and ran away with it. "Wait, wait," said the 
frog. "Take me with thee. I can't run as thou canst." But what did 
it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after her, as loudly as he 
could? She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon forgot the 
poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well again. 

The next day when she had seated herself at table with the King 
and all the courtiers, and was eating from her little golden plate, 
something came creeping splish, splash, splish, splash, up the marble 
staircase, and when it had got to the top, it knocked at the door and 
cried, "Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me." She ran 
to see who was outside, but when she opened the door, there sat the 
frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great haste, 
sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened. The King saw 
plainly that her heart was beating violently, and said, "My child, 
what art thou so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside 
who wants to carry thee away?" "Ah, no," replied she, "it is no 
giant, but a disgusting frog." 

"What does the frog want with thee?" "Ah, dear father, yester- 
day when I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden 
ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it 
out again for me, and because he insisted so on it, I promised him he 
should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to 
come out of his water! And now he is outside there, and wants to 
come in to me." 

In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried, 


"Princess! youngest princess! 
Open the door for me! 
Dost thou not know what thou saidst to me 
Yesterday by the cool waters of the fountain? 
Princess, youngest princess! 
Open the door for me!" 

Then said the King, "That which thou hast promised, must thou 
perform. Go and let him in." She went and opened the door, and 
the frog hopf'jed in and followed her, step by step, to her chair. 
There he sat still and cried, "Lift me up beside thee." She delayed, 
until at last the King commanded her to do it. When the frog was 
once on the chair he wanted to be on the table, and when he was on 
the table he said, "Now, push thy little golden plate nearer to me 
that we may eat together." She did this, but it was easy to see that 
she did not do it willingly. The frog enjoyed what he ate, but 
almost every mouthful she took choked her. At length he said, "I 
have eaten and am satisfied; now I am tired, carry me into thy little 
room and make thy little silken bed ready, and we will both lie down 
and go to sleep." 

The King's daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold 
frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep 
in her pretty, clean little bed. But the King grew angry and said, 
"He who helped thee when thou wert in trouble ought not after- 
wards to be despised by thee." So she took hold of the frog with two 
fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner. But when she 
was in bed he crept to her and said, "1 am tired, I want to sleep as 
well as thou, lift me up or I will tell thy father." Then she was 
terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might 
against the wall. "Now, thou wilt be quiet, odious frog," said she. 
But when he fell down he was no frog but a king's son with beautiful, 
kind eyes. He by her father's will was now her dear companion and 
husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked 
witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but 
herself, and that to-morrow they would go together into his king- 
dom. Then they went to sleep, and next morning when the sun 
awoke them, a carriage came driving up with eight white horses, 
which had white ostrich feathers on their heads, and were harnessed 


with golden chains, and behind stood the young King's servant, 
faithful Henry. Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his mas- 
ter was changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands 
to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. 
The carriage was to conduct the young King into his kingdom. 
Faithful Henry helped them both in, and placed himself behind 
again, and was full of joy because of this deUverance. And when 
they had driven a part of the way, the King's son heard a cracking 
behind him as if something had broken. So he turned round and 
cried, "Henry, the carriage is breaking." 

"No, master, it is not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, 
which was put there in my great pain when you were a frog and im- 
prisoned in the well." Again and once again while they were on 
their way something cracked, and each time the King's son thought 
the carriage was breaking; but it was only the bands which were 
springing from the heart of faithful Henry because his master was 
set free and was happy. 


Hard by a great forest dwelt a wood-cutter with his wife, who had 
an only child, a little girl of three years old. They were, however, 
so poor that they no longer had daily bread, and did not know how 
to get food for her. One morning the wood-cutter went out sorrow- 
fully to his work in the forest, and while he was cutting wood, sud- 
denly there stood before him a tall and beautiful woman with a 
crown of shining stars on her head, who said to him, "I am the 
Virgin Mary, mother of the child Jesus. Thou art poor and needy, 
bring thy child to me, I will take her with me to be her mother, and 
care for her." The wood-cutter obeyed, brought his child, and gave 
her to the Virgin Mary, who took her up to heaven with her. There 
the child fared well, ate sugar<akes, and drank sweet milk, and her 
clothes were of gold, and the little angels played with her. And when 
she was fourteen years of age, the Virgin Mary called her one day 
and said, "Dear child, I am about to make a long journey, so take 
into thy keeping the keys of the thirteen doors of heaven. Twelve of 
these thou mayest open, and behold the glory which is within them, 


but the thirteenth, to which this httle key belongs, is forbidden to 
thee. Beware of opening it, or thou wilt bring misery on thyself." 
The girl promised to be obedient, and when the Virgin Mary was 
gone, she began to examine the dwellings of the kingdom of heaven. 
Each day she opened one of them, until she had made the round of 
the twelve. In each of them sat one of the Apostles in the midst of 
a great light, and she rejoiced in all the magnificence and splendour, 
and the little angels who always accompanied her rejoiced with her. 
Then the forbidden door alone remained, and she felt a great desire 
to know what could be hidden behind it, and said to the angels, "I 
will not quite open it, and I will not go inside it, but I will unlock it 
so that we can just see a httle through the opening." "Oh, no," said 
the litde angels, "that would be a sin. The Virgin Mary has for- 
bidden it, and it might easily cause thy unhappiness." Then she was 
silent, but the desire in her heart was not stilled, but gnawed there 
and tormented her, and let her have no rest. And once when the 
angels had all gone out, she thought, "Now I am quite alone, and I 
could peep in. If I do it, no one will ever know." She sought out 
the key, and when she had got it in her hand, she put it in the lock, 
and when she had put it in, she turned it round as well. Then the 
door sprang open, and she saw there the Trinity sitting in fire and 
splendour. She stayed there awhile, and looked at everything in 
amazement; then she touched the Hght a little with her finger, and 
her finger became quite golden. Immediately a great fear fell on 
her. She shut the door violently, and ran away. Her terror too would 
not quit her, let her do what she might, and her heart beat con- 
tinually, and would not be still; the gold too stayed on her finger, 
and would not go away, let her rub it and wash it ever so much. 

It was not long before the Virgin Mary came back from her jour- 
ney. She called the girl before her, and asked to have the keys of 
heaven back. When the maiden gave her the bunch, the Virgin 
looked into her eyes and said, "Hast thou not opened the thirteenth 
door also?" "No," she replied. Then she laid her hand on the girl's 
heart, and felt how it beat and beat, and saw right well that she had 
disobeyed her order and had opened the door. Then she said once 
again, "Art thou certain that thou hast not done it.'*" "Yes," said the 


girl, for the second time. Then she perceived the finger which had 
become golden from touching the fire of heaven, and saw well that 
the child had sinned, and said for the third time, "Hast thou not 
done it?" "No," said the girl for the third time. Then said the 
Virgin Mary, "Thou hast not obeyed me, and besides that thou hast 
lied, thou art no longer worthy to be in heaven." 

Then the girl fell into a deep sleep, and when she awoke she lay on 
the earth below, and in the midst of a wilderness. She wanted to 
cry out, but she could bring forth no sound. She sprang up and 
wanted to run away, but whithersoever she turned herself, she was 
continually held back by thick hedges of thorns through which she 
could not break. In the desert, in which she was imprisoned, there 
stood an old hollow tree, and this had to be her dwelling place. 
Into this she crept when night came, and here she slept. Here, too, 
she found a shelter from storm and rain, but it was a miserable life, 
and bitterly did she weep when she remembered how happy she 
had been in heaven, and how the angels had played with her. Roots 
and wild berries were her only food, and for these she sought as 
far as she could go. In the autumn she picked up the fallen nuts 
and leaves, and carried them into the hole. The nuts were her food 
in winter, and when snow and ice came, she crept amongst the leaves 
like a poor little animal that she might not freeze. Before long her 
clothes were all torn, and one bit of them after another fell off her. 
As soon, however, as the sun shone warm again, she went out and sat 
in front of the tree, and her long hair covered her on all sides like a 
mantle. Thus she sat year after year, and felt the pain and misery 
of the world. One day, when the trees were once more clothed in 
fresh green, the King of the country was hunting in the forest, and 
followed a roe, and as it had fled into the thicket which shut in this 
bit of the forest, he got off his horse, tore the bushes asunder, and 
cut himself a path with his sword. When he had at last forced his 
way through, he saw a wonderfully beautiful maiden sitting under 
the tree; and she sat there and was entirely covered with her golden 
hair down to her very feet. He stood still and looked at her full o£ 
surprise, then he spoke to her and said, "Who art thou ? Why art 
thou sitting here in the wilderness?" But she gave no answer, for she 
could not open her mouth. The King continued, "Wilt thou go with 


me to my castle?" Then she just nodded her head a little. The King 
took her in his arms, carried her to his horse, and rode home with 
her, and when he reached the royal castle he caused her to be dressed 
in beautiful garments, and gave her all things in abundance. Al- 
though she could not speak, she was still so beautiful and charming 
that he began to love her with all his heart, and it was not long 
before he married her. 

After a year or so had passed, the Queen brought a son into the 
world. Thereupon the Virgin Mary appeared to her in the night 
when she lay in her bed alone, and said, "If thou wilt tell the truth 
and confess that thou didst unlock the forbidden door, I will open 
thy mouth and give thee back thy speech, but if thou perseverest in 
thy sin, and deniest obstinately, I will take thy new born child away 
with me." Then the Queen was permitted to answer, but she re- 
mained hard, and said, "No, I did not open the forbidden door"; 
and the Virgin Mary took the new-born child from her arms, and 
vanished with it. Next morning, when the child was not to be found, 
it was whispered among the people that the Queen was a man- 
eater, and had killed her own child. She heard all this and could say 
nothing to the contrary, but the King would not believe it, for he 
loved her so much. 

When a year had gone by the Queen again bore a son, and in 
the night the Virgin Mary again came to her, and said, "If thou wilt 
confess that thou openedst the forbidden door, I will give thee thy 
child back and untie thy tongue; but if thou continuest in sin and 
deniest it, I will take away with me this new child also." Then the 
Queen again said, "No, I did not open the forbidden door"; and the 
Virgin took the child out of her arms, and away with her to heaven. 
Next morning, when this child also had disapp)eared, the fxjople de- 
clared quite loudly that the Queen had devoured it, and the King's 
councillors demanded that she should be brought to justice. The 
King, however, loved her so dearly that he would not believe it, and 
commanded the councillors under pain of death not to say any more 
about it. 

The following year the Queen gave birth to a beautiful little 
daughter, and for the third time the Virgin Mary appeared to her 
in the night and said, "Follow me." She took the Queen by the 


hand and led her to heaven, and showed her there her two eldest 
children, who smiled at her, and were playing with the ball of the 
world. When the Queen rejoiced thereat, the Virgin Mary said, "Is 
thy heart not yet softened ? If thou wilt own that thou openedst the 
forbidden door, I will give thee back thy two little sons." But for 
the third time the Queen answered, "No, I did not open the for- 
bidden door." Then the Virgin let her sink down to earth once 
more, and took from her likewise her third child. 

Next morning, when the loss was reported abroad, all the people 
cried loudly, "The Queen is a man-eater! She must be judged," and 
the King was no longer able to restrain his councillors. Thereupon 
a trial was held, and as she could not answer, and defend herself, 
she was condemned to be burnt alive. The wood was got together, 
and when she was fast bound to the stake, and the fire began to burn 
round about her, the hard ice of pride melted, her heart was moved 
by repentance, and she thought, "If I could but confess before my 
death that I opened the door." Then her voice came back to her, and 
she cried out loudly, "Yes, Mary, I did it"; and straightway rain fell 
from the sky and extinguished the flames of fire, and a light broke 
forth above her, and the Virgin Mary descended with the two little 
sons by her side, and the new-born daughter in her arms. She spoke 
kindly to her, and said, "He who repents his sin and acknowledges 
it, is forgiven." Then she gave her the three children, untied her 
tongue, and granted her happiness for her whole life. 


There was once upon a time an old goat who had seven little kids, 
and loved them with all the love of a mother for her children. One 
day she wanted to go into the forest and fetch some food. So she 
called all seven to her and said, "Dear children, I have to go into 
the forest, be on your guard against the wolf; if he comes in, he will 
devour you all — skin, hair, and all. The wretch often disguises him- 
self, but you will know him at once by his rough voice and his 
black feet." The kids said, "Dear mother, we will take good care 
of ourselves; you may go away without any anxiety." Then the old 
one bleated, and went on her way with an easy mind. 


It was not long before some one knocked at the house-door and 
cried, "Open the door, dear children; your mother is here, and has 
brought something back with her for each of you." But the little 
kids knew that it was the wolf, by the rough voice; "We will not 
open the door," cried they, "thou art not our mother. She has a soft, 
pleasant voice, but thy voice is rough; thou art the wolf!" Then the 
wolf went away to a shopkeeper and brought himself a great lump 
of chalk, ate this and made his voice soft with it. Then he came back, 
knocked at the door of the house, and cried, "Open the door, dear 
children, your mother is here and has brought something back with 
her for each of you." But the wolf had laid his black paws against 
the window, and the children saw them and cried, "We will not 
open the door, our mother has not black feet like thee: thou art 
the wolf!" Then the wolf ran to a baker and said, "I have hurt my 
feet, rub some dough over them for me." And when the baker had 
rubbed his feet over, he ran to the miller and said, "Strew some 
white meal over my feet for me." The miller thought to himself, 
"The wolf wants to deceive some one," and refused; but the wolf 
said, "If thou wilt not do it, I will devour thee." Then the miller 
was afraid, and made his paws white for him. Truly men are like 

So now the wretch went for the third time to the house-door, 
knocked at it and said, "Open the door for me, children, your dear 
little mother has come home, and has brought every one of you 
something back from the forest with her." The little kids cried, 
"First show us thy paws that we may know if thou art our dear 
little mother." Then he put his paws in through the window, and 
when the kids saw that they were white, they believed that all he 
said was true, and opened the door. But who should come in but the 
wolf! They were terrified and wanted to hide themselves. One 
sprang under the table, the second into the bed, the third into the 
stove, the fourth into the kitchen, the fifth into the cupboard, the 
sixth under the washing-bowl, and the seventh into the clock-case. 
But the wolf found them all, and used no great ceremony; one after 
the other he swallowed them down his throat. The youngest in the 
clock-case was the only one he did not find. When the wolf had 
satisfied his appetite he took himself off. laid himself down under a 


tree in the green meadow outside, and began to sleep. Soon after- 
wards the old goat came home again from the forest! Ah! what a 
sight she saw there! The house-door stood wide open. The table, 
chairs, and benches were thrown down, the washing-bowl lay broken 
to pieces, and the quilts and pillows were pulled off the bed. She 
sought her children, but they were nowhere to be found. She called 
them one after another by name, but no one answered. At last, 
when she came to the youngest, a soft voice cried, "Dear mother, I 
am in the clock<ase." She took the kid out, and it told her that the 
wolf had come and had eaten all the others. Then you may imagine 
how she wept over her poor children. 

At length in her grief she went out, and the youngest kid ran with 
her. When they came to the meadow, there lay the wolf by the tree 
and snored so loud that the branches shook. She looked at him on 
every side and saw that something was moving and struggling in 
his gorged body. "Ah, heavens," said she, "is it possible that my 
poor children whom he has swallowed down for his supper, can 
be still alive?" Then the kid had to run home and fetch scissors, and 
a needle and thread, and the goat cut open the monster's stomach, 
and hardly had she made one cut, than one little kid thrust its 
head out, and when she had cut farther, all six sprang out one after 
another, and were all still alive, and had suffered no injury what- 
ever, for in his greediness the monster had swallowed them down 
whole. What rejoicing there was! Then they embraced their dear 
mother, and jumped like a tailor at his wedding. The mother, how- 
ever, said, "Now go and look for some big stones, and we will fill the 
wicked beast's stomach with them while he is still asleep." Then the 
seven kids dragged the stones thither with all six;ed, and put as many 
of them into his stomach as they could get in; and the mother sewed 
him up again in the greatest haste, so that he was not aware of any- 
thing and never once stirred. 

When the wolf at length had had his sleep out, he got on his legs, 
and as the stones in his stomach made him very thirsty, he wanted 
to go to a well to drink. But when he began to walk and to move 
about, the stones in his stomach knocked against each other and 
rattled. Then cried he, 


"What rumbles and tumbles 
Against my poor bones? 
I thought 'twas six kids, 
But it's naught but big stones." 

And when he got to the well and stooped over the water and was 
just about to drink, the heavy stones made him fall in and there was 
no help, but he had to drown miserably. When the seven kids saw 
that, they came running to the spot and cried aloud, "The wolf is 
dead! The wolf is dead!" and danced for joy round about the well 
with their mother. 


There was once upon a time an old king who was ill, and thought 
to himself, "I am lying on what must be my deathbed." Then said 
he, "Tell Faithful John to come to me." Faithful John was his 
favourite servant, and was so called, because he had for his whole 
life long been so true to him. When therefore he came beside the 
bed, the King said to him, "Most faithful John, I feel my end ap- 
proaching, and have no anxiety except about my son. He is still of 
tender age, and cannot always know how to guide himself. If thou 
dost not promise me to teach him everything that he ought to know, 
and to be his foster-father, I cannot close my eyes in peace." Then 
answered Faithful John, "I will not forsake him, and will serve him 
with fidelity, even if it should cost me my life." On this, the old King 
said, "Now I die in comfort and peace." Then he added, "After my 
death, thou shalt show him the whole castle: all the chambers, halls, 
and vaults, and all the treasures which lie therein, but the last cham- 
ber in the long gallery, in which is the picture of the princess of the 
Golden Dwelling, shalt thou not show. If he sees that picture, he 
will fall violently in love with her, and will drop down in a swoon, 
and go through great danger for her sake, therefore thou must pre- 
serve him from that." And when Faithful John had once more given 
his promise to the old King about this, the King said no more, but 
laid his head on his pillow, and died. 

When the old King had 'iwen carried to his grave. Faithful John 
told the young King all that he had promised his father on his 


deathbed, and said, "This will I assuredly perform, and will be faith- 
ful to thee as I have been faithful to him, even if it should cost me 
my life." When the mourning was over, Faithful John said to him: 
"It is now time that thou shouldst see thine inheritance. I will show 
thee thy father's palace." Then he took him about everywhere, up 
and down, and let him see all the riches, and the magnificent apart- 
ments, only there was one room which he did not open, that in which 
hung the dangerous picture. The picture was, however, so placed 
that when the door was opened you looked straight on it, and it was 
so admirably painted that it seemed to breathe and live, and there 
was nothing more charming or more beautiful in the whole world. 
The young King, however, plainly remarked that Faithful John 
always walked past this one door, and said, "Why dost thou never 
open this one for me?" "There is something within it," he replied, 
"which would terrify thee." But the King answered, "I have seen 
all the palace, and I will know what is in this room also," and he 
went and tried to break open the door by force. Then Faithful John 
held him back and said, "I promised thy father before his death that 
thou shouldst not see that which is in this chamber, it might bring 
the greatest misfortune on thee and on me." "Ah, no," replied the 
young King, "if I do not go in, it will be my certain destruction. I 
should have no rest day or night until I had seen it with my own 
eyes. I shall not leave the place now until thou hast unlocked the 

Then Faithful John saw that there was no help for it now, and 
with a heavy heart and many sighs, sought out the key from the 
great bunch. When he had opened the door, he went in first, and 
thought by standing before him he could hide the portrait so that 
the King should not see it in front of him, but what availed that? 
The King stood on tipvtoe and saw it over his shoulder. And when 
he saw the portrait of the maiden, which was so magnificent and 
shone with gold and precious stones, he fell fainting on the ground. 
Faithful John took him up, carried him to his bed, and sorrowfully 
thought, "The misfortune has befallen us, Lx)rd God, what will be 
the end of it?" Then he strengthened him with wine, until he 
came to himself again. The first words the King said, were, "Ah, 
the beautiful portrait! whose is it?" "That is the princess of the 


Golden Dwelling," answered Faithful John. Then the King con- 
tinued, "My love for her is so great, that if all the leaves on all the 
trees were tongues, they could not declare it. I will give my life to 
win her. Thou art my most Faithful John, thou must help me." 

The faithful servant considered within himself for a long time 
how to set about the matter, for it was difficult even to obtain a 
sight of the King's daughter. At length he thought of a way, and 
said to the King, "Everything which she has about her is of gold — 
tables, chairs, dishes, glasses, bowls, and household furniture. Among 
thy treasures are five tons of gold; let one of the goldsmiths of the 
kingdom work these up into all manner of vessels and utensils, 
into all kinds of birds, wild beasts and strange animals, such as 
may please her, and we will go there with them and try our luck." 

The King ordered all the goldsmiths to be brought to him, and 
they had to work night and day until at last the most splendid 
things were prepared. When everything was stowed on board a 
ship, Faithful John put on the dress of a merchant, and the King 
was forced to do the same in order to make himself quite unrecog- 
nizable. Then they sailed across the sea, and sailed on until they 
came to the town wherein dwelt the princess of the Golden Dwelling. 

Faithful John bade the King stay behind on the ship, and wait 
for him. "Perhaps I shall bring the princess with me," said he, 
"therefore see that everything is in order; have the golden vessels 
set out and the whole ship decorated." Then he gathered together 
in his apron all kinds of gold things, went on shore and walked 
straight to the royal palace. When he entered the courtyard of the 
palace, a beautiful girl was standing there by the well with two 
golden buckets in her hand, drawing water with them. And when 
she was just turning round to carry away the sparkling water she 
saw the stranger, and asked who he was. So he answered, "I am 
a merchant," and opened his apron, and let her- look in. Then she 
cried, "Oh, what beautiful gold things!" and put her pails down 
and looked at the golden wares one after the other. Then said the 
girl, "The princess must see these, she has such great pleasure in 
golden things, that she will buy all you have." She took him by 
the hand and led him upstairs, for she was the waiting-maid. When 
the King's daughter saw the wares, she was quite delighted and 


said, "They are so beautifully worked, that I will buy them all of 
thee." But Faithful John said, "I am only the servant of a rich 
merchant. The things I have here are not to be compared with 
those my master has in his ship. They are the most beautiful and 
valuable things that have ever been made in gold." She wanted to 
have everything brought to her there, but he said, "There are so 
many of them that it would take a great many days to do that, and 
so many rooms would be required to exhibit them, that your house 
is not big enough." Then her curiosity and longing were still more 
excited, until at last she said, "Conduct me to the ship, I will go 
there myself, and behold the treasures of thy master." 

On this Faithful John was quite delighted, and led her to the 
ship, and when the King saw her, he perceived that her beauty 
was even greater than the picture had represented it to be, and 
thought no other than that his heart would burst in twain. Then 
she got into the ship, and the King led her within. Faithful John, 
however, remained behind with the pilot, and ordered the ship to 
be pushed off, saying, "Set all sail, till it fly like a bird in air." 
Within, however, the King showed her the golden vessels, every 
one of them, also the wild beasts and strange animals. Many hours 
went by whilst she was seeing everything, and in her delight she 
did not observe that the ship was sailing away. After she had looked 
at the last, she thanked the merchant and wanted to go home, but 
when she came to the side of the ship, she saw that it was on the 
deep sea far from land, and hurrying onwards with all sail set. 
"Ah," cried she in her alarm, "I am betrayed! I am carried away 
and have fallen into the jx)wer of a merchant — I would die rather!" 
The King, however, seized her hand, and said, "I am not a mer- 
chant. I am a king, and of no meaner origin than thou art, and if 
I have carried thee away with subtlety, that has come to pass because 
of my exceeding great love for thee. The first time that I looked on 
thy portrait, I fell fainting to the ground." When the princess of 
the Golden Dwelling heard that, she was comforted, and her heart 
was inclined unto him, so that she willingly consented to be his wife. 

It happened, however, while they were sailing onwards over the 
deep sea, that Faithful John, who was sitting on the fore part of 
the vessel, making music, saw three ravens in the air, which came 

grimm's tales 6i 

flying towards them. On this he stopped playing and Ustened to 
what they were saying to each other, for that he well understood. 
One cried, "Oh, there he is carrying home the princess of the Golden 
Dwelling." "Yes," replied the second, "but he has not got her yet." 
Said the third, "But he has got her, she is sitting beside him in the 
ship." Then the first began again, and cried, "What good will that 
do him? When they reach land a chestnut horse will leap forward 
to meet him, and the prince will want to mount it, but if he does 
that, it will run away with him, and rise up into the air with him, 
and he will never see his maiden more." Spake the second, "But is 
there no escape?" 

"Oh, yes, if any one else gets on it swiftly, and takes out the pistol, 
whicn must be in its holster, and shoots the horse dead with it, the 
young King is saved. But who knows that? And whosoever does 
know it, and tells it to him, will be turned to stone from the toe to 
the knee." Then said the second, "I know more than that; even if 
the horse be killed, the young King will still not keep his bride. 
When they go into the castle together, a wrought bridal garment 
will be lying there in a dish, and looking as if it were woven of 
gold and silver; it is, however, nothing but sulphur and pitch, and 
if he put it on, it will burn him to the very bone and marrow." 
Said the third, "Is there no escape at all?" 

"Oh, yes," replied the second, "if any one with gloves on seizes 
the garment and throws it into the fire and burns it, the young 
King will be saved. But what avails that? Whosoever knows it 
and tells it to him, half his body will become stone from the knee 
to the heart." 

Then said the third, "I know still more; even if the bridal gar- 
ment be burnt, the young King will still not have his bride. After 
the wedding, when the dancing begins and the young Queen is 
dancing, she will suddenly turn pale and fall down as if dead, and 
if some one does not lift her up and draw three drops of blood 
from her right breast and spit them out again, she will die. But 
if any one who knows that were to declare it, he would become 
stone from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot." When the 
ravens had spoken of this together they flew onwards, and Faithful 
John had well understood everything, but from that time forth he 


became quiet and sad, for if he concealed what he had heard from 
his master, the latter would be unfortunate, and if he discovered it 
to him, he himself must sacrifice his life. At length, however, he 
said to himself, "I will save my master, even if it bring destruction 
on myself." 

When therefore they came to shore, all happened as had been 
foretold by the ravens, and a magnificent chestnut horse sprang 
forward. "Good," said the King, "he shall carry me to my palace," 
and was about to mount it when Faithful John got before him, 
jumped quickly on it, drew the pistol out of the holster, and shot 
the horse. Then the other attendants of the King, who after all 
were not very fond of Faithful John, cried, "How shameful to kill 
the beautiful animal, that was to have carried the King to his palace!" 
But the King said, "Hold your peace and leave him alone, he is my 
most faithful John, who knows what may be the good of that!" 
They went into the palace, and in the hall there stood a dish, and 
therein lay the bridal garment looking no otherwise than as if it 
were made of gold and silver. The young King went towards it 
and was about to take hold of it, but Faithful John pushed him 
away, seized it with gloves on, carried it quickly to the fire and 
burnt it. The other attendants again began to murmur, and said, 
"Behold, now he is even burning the King's bridal garment!" But 
the young King said, "Who knows what good he may have done, 
leave him alone, he is my most faithful John." 

And now the wedding was solemnized: the dance began, and 
the bride also took part in it; then Faithful John was watchful and 
looked into her face, and suddenly she turned pale and fell to the 
ground as if she were dead. On this he ran hastily to her, lifted her 
up and bore her into a chamber — then he laid her down, and knelt 
and sucked the three drops of blood from her right breast, and spat 
them out. Immediately she breathed again and recovered herself, 
but the young King had seen this, and being ignorant why Faithful 
John had done it, was angry and cried, "Throw him into a dungeon." 
Next morning Faithful John was condemned, and led to the gal- 
lows, and when he stood on high, and was about to be executed, he 
said, "Every one who has to die is permitted before his end to make 
one last speech; may I too claim the right?" "Yes," answered the 

grimm's Tales 63 

King, "it shall be granted unto thee." Then said Faithful John, "I 
am unjustly condemned, and have always been true to thee," and 
related how he had hearkened to the conversation of the ravens 
when on the sea, and how he had been obliged to do all these things 
in order to save his master. Then cried the King, "Oh, my most 
Faithful John. Pardon, pardon — bring him down." But as Faithful 
John spoke the last word he had fallen down lifeless and become 
a stone. 

Thereupon the King and the Queen suffered great anguish and 
the King said, "Ah, how ill I have requited great fidelity!" and 
ordered the stone figure to be taken up and placed in his bedroom 
beside his bed. And as often as he looked on it he wept and said, 
"Ah, if I could bring thee to life again, my most Faithful John." 
Some time passed and the Queen bore twins, two sons who grew 
fast and were her delight. Once when the Queen was at church 
and the two children were sitting playing beside their father, the 
latter full of grief again looked at the stone figure, sighed and said, 
"Ah, if I could but bring thee to life again, my most Faithful John." 
Then the stone began to speak and said, "Thou canst bring me to 
life again if thou wilt use for that purpose what is dearest to thee." 
Then cried the King, "I will give everything I have in the world 
for thee." The stone continued, "If thou wilt cut off the heads of 
thy two children with thine own hand, and sprinkle me with their 
blood, I shall be restored to life." 

The King was terrified when he heard that he himself must kill 
his dearest children, but he thought of Faithful John's great fidelity, 
and how he had died for him, drew his sword, and with his own 
hand cut off the children's heads. And when he had smeared the 
stone with their blood, life returned to it, and Faithful John stood 
once more safe and healthy before him. He said to the King, "Thy 
truth shall not go unrewarded," and took the heads of the children, 
put them on again, and rubbed the wounds with their blood, on 
which they became whole again immediately, and jumped about, 
and went on playing as if nothing had happened. Then the King 
was full of joy, and when he saw the Queen coming he hid Faithful 
John and the two children in a great cupboard. When she entered, 
he said to her, "Hast thou been praying in the church?" "Yes," 


answered she, "but I have constantly been thinking of Faithful John 
and what misfortune has befallen him through us." Then said he, 
"Dear wife, we can give him his life again, but it will cost us our 
two little sons, whom we must sacrifice." The Queen turned pale, 
and her heart was full of terror, but she said, "We owe it to him, 
for his great fidelity." Then the King was rejoiced that she thought 
as he had thought, and went and opened the cupboard, and brought 
forth Faithful John and the children, and said, "God be praised, 
he is delivered, and we have our little sons again also," and told 
her how everything had occurred. Then they dwelt together in 
much happiness until their death. 


The cock once said to the hen, "It is now the time when the nuts 
are ripe, so let us go to the hill together and for once eat our fill 
before the squirrel takes them all away." "Yes," replied the hen, 
"come, we will have some pleasure together." Then they went 
away to the hill, and as it was a bright day they stayed till evening. 
Now I do not know whether it was that they had eaten till they 
were too fat, or whether they had become proud, but they would 
not go home on foot, and the cock had to build a little carriage of 
nut-shells. When it was ready, the little hen seated herself in it 
and said to the cock, "Thou canst just harness thyself to it." "I Uke 
• that!" said the cock, "I would rather go home on foot than let 
myself be harnessed to it; no, that is not our bargain. I do not mind 
being coachman and sitting on the box, but drag it myself, I will 

As they were thus disputing, a duck quacked to them, "You 
thieving folks, who bade you go to my nut-hill? Wait, you shall 
suffer for it!" and ran with open beak at the cock. But the cock 
also was not idle, and fell boldly on the duck, and at last wounded 
her so with his spurs that she begged for mercy, and willingly let 
herself be harnessed to the carriage as a punishment. The little 
cock now seated himself on the box and was coachman, and there- 
upon they went off in a gallop, with "Duck, go as fast as thou 
canst." When they had driven a part of the way they met two 

grimm's tales 65 

foot-passengers, a pin and a needle. They cried "Stop! stop!" and 
said that it would soon be as darlt as pitch, and then they could not 
go a step further, and that it was so dirty on the road, and asked if 
they could not get into the carriage for a while. They had been 
at the tailor's public-house by the gate, and had stayed too long 
over the beer. As they were thin people, who did not take up much 
room, the cock let them both get in, but they had to promise him 
and his little hen not to step on their feet. Late in the evening they 
came to an inn, and as they did not like to go further by night, and 
as the duck also was not strong on her feet, and fell from one side 
to the other, they went in. The host at first made many objections, 
his house was already full, besides he thought they could not be 
very distinguished persons; but at last, as they made pleasant 
speeches, and told him that he should have the egg which the little 
hen had laid on the way, and should likewise keep the duck, which 
laid one every day, he at length said that they might stay the night. 
And now they had themselves well served and feasted and rioted. 
Early in the morning, when day was breaking, and every one was 
asleep, the cock awoke the hen, brought the egg, pecked it open, 
and they ate it together, but they threw the shell on the hearth. 
Then they went to the needle which was still asleep, took it by 
the head and stuck it into the cushion of the landlord's chair, and 
put the pin in his towel, and at last without more ado they flew 
away over the heath. The duck who liked to sleep in the open air 
and had stayed in the yard, heard them going away, made herself 
merry and found a stream down which she swam, which was a 
much quicker way of travelling than being harnessed to a carriage. 
The host did not get out of bed for two hours after this; he washed 
himself and wanted to dry himself, then the pin went over his face 
and made a red streak from one ear to the other. After this he 
went into the kitchen and wanted to light a pifje, but when he 
came to the hearth the egg-shell darted into his eyes. "This morning 
everything attacks my head," said he, and angrily sat down on his 
grandfather's chair, but he quickly started up again and cried, 
"Woe is me," for the needle had pricked him still worse than the 
pin, and not in the head. Now he was thoroughly angry, and 
suspected the guests who had come so late the night before, and 


when he went and looked about for them, they were gone. Then 
he made a vow to take no more ragamuffins into his house, for 
they consume much, pay for nothing, and play mischievous tricks 
into the bargain by way of gratitude. 


There was once a man and a woman who had long in vain 
wished for a child. At length the woman hoped that God was 
about to grant her desire. These people had a little window at the 
back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen, 
which was full of the most beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, 
however, surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into 
it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and 
was dreaded by all the world. One day the woman was standing 
by this window and looking down into the garden, when she 
saw a bed which was planted with the most beautiful rampion 
(rapunzel), and it looked so fresh and green that she longed for 
it, and had the greatest desire to eat some. This desire increased 
every day, and as she knew that she could not get any of it, she 
quite pined away, and looked pale and miserable. Then her husband 
was alarmed, and asked, "What aileth thee, dear wife?" "Ah," she 
replied, "if I can't get some of the rampion, which is in the garden 
behind our house, to eat, I shall die." The man, who loved her, 
thought, "Sooner than let thy wife die, bring her some of the 
rampion thyself, let it cost thee what it will." In the twilight of 
evening, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the 
enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to 
his wife. She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it with 
much reUsh. She, however, liked it so much — so very much — that 
the next day she longed for it three times as much as before. If 
he was to have any rest, her husband must once more descend into 
the garden. In the gloom of evening, therefore, he let himself down 

' Rapunzel, Campanula rapunculus (rampion), a congener of the common hare- 
bell. It has a long white spindle-shaped root which is eaten raw like a radish, and 
has a pleasant sweet flavour. Its leaves and young shoots are also used in salads — 
and so are the roots, sliced. — Tr. 

grimm's tales 67 

again; but when he had clambered down the wall he was terribly 
afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before him. "How 
canst thou dare," said she with angry look, "to descend into my 
garden and steal my rampion Uke a thief? Thou shalt suffer for 
it!" "Ah," answered he, "let mercy take the place of justice, I only 
made up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your 
rampion from the window, and felt such a longing for it that she 
would have died if she had not got some to eat." Then the en- 
chantress allowed her anger to be softened, and said to him, "If the 
case be as thou sayest, I will allow thee to take away with thee as 
much rampion as thou wilt, only I make one condition, thou must 
give me the child which thy wife will bring into the world; it shall 
be well treated, and I will care for it like a mother." The man in 
his terror consented to everything, and when the woman was 
brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the child 
the name of Rapunzel, and took it away with her. 

Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child beneath the sun. 
When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a 
tower, which lay in a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, but 
quite at the top was a little window. When the enchantress wanted 
to go in, she placed herself beneath this and cried, 

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, 
Let down thy hair to me." 

Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as spun gold, and when 
she heard the voice of the enchantress she unfastened her braided 
tresses, wound them round one of the hooks of the window above, 
and then the hair fell twenty ells down, and the enchantress climbed 
up by it. 

After a year or two, it came to pass that the King's son rode 
through the forest and went by the tower. Then he heard a song, 
which was so charming that he stood still and listened. This was 
Rapunzel, who in her solitude passed her time in letting her sweet 
voice resound. The King's son wanted to climb up to her, and 
looked for the door of the tower, but none was to be found. He 
rode home, but the singing had so deeply touched his heart, that 
every day he went out into the forest and listened to it. Once when 


he was thus standing behind a tree, he saw that an enchantress 
came there, and he heard how she cried, 

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, 
Let down thy hair." 

Then Rapunzel let down the braids of her hair, and the enchantress 
climbed up to her. "If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I 
will for once try my fortune," said he, and the next day when it 
began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried, 

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, 
Let down thy hair." 

Immediately the hair fell down and the King's son climbed up. 
At first Rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man such as 
her eyes had never yet beheld, came to her; but the King's son 
began to talk to her quite like a friend, and told her that his heart 
had been so stirred that it had let him have no rest, and he had 
been forced to see her. Then Rapunzel lost her fear, and when he 
asked her if she would take him for her husband, and she saw that 
he was young and handsome, she thought, "He will love me more 
than old Dame Gothel does;" and she said yes, and laid her hand 
in his. She said, "I will willingly go away with thee, but I do not 
know how to get down. Bring with thee a skein of silk every time 
that thou comest, and I will weave a ladder with it, and when that 
is ready I will descend, and thou wilt take me on thy horse." They 
agreed that until that time he should come to her every evening, 
for the old woman came by day. The enchantress remarked nothing 
of this, until once Rapunzel said to her, "Tell me. Dame Gothel, 
how it happens that you are so much heavier for me to draw up 
than the young King's son — he is with me in a moment." "Ah! 
thou wicked child," cried the enchantress, "What do I hear thee 
say! I thought I had separated thee from all the world, and yet 
thou hast deceived me!" In her anger she clutched Rapunzel's 
beautiful tresses, wrapped them twice round her left hand, seized 
a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snap, they were cut off, 
and the lovely braids lay on the ground. And she was so pitiless 
that she took poor Rapunzel into a desert where she had to live in 
great grief and misery. 

grimm's tales 69 

On the same day, however, that she cast out Rapunzel, the en- 
chantress in the evening fastened the braids of hair which she had 
cut off to the hook of the window, and when the King's son came 
and cried, 

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, 
Let down thy hair," 

she let the hair down. The King's son ascended, but he did not 
find his dearest Rapunzel above, but the enchantress, who gazed 
at him with wicked and venomous looks. "Aha!" she cried mock- 
ingly, "Thou wouldst fetch thy dearest, but the beautiful bird sits 
no longer singing in the nest; the cat has got it, and will scratch 
out thy eyes as well. Rapunzel is lost to thee; thou wilt never see 
her more." The King's son was beside himself with pain, and in 
his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his 
life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his eyes. Then he 
wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but roots and 
berries, and did nothing but lament and weep over the loss of his 
dearest wife. Thus he roamed about in misery for some years, and 
at length came to the desert where Rapunzel, with the twins to 
which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness. 
He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went 
towards it, and when he approached, Rapunzel knew him and fell 
on his neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes and they 
grew clear again, and he could see with them as before. He led 
her to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived 
for a long time afterwards, happy and contented. 


There was once a man whose wife died, and a woman whose 
husband died, and the man had a daughter, and the woman also 
had a daughter. The girls were acquainted with each other, and 
went out walking together, and afterwards came to the woman in 
her house. Then said she to the man's daughter, "Listen, tell thy 
father that I would like to marry him, and then thou shalt wash 
thyself in milk every morning, and drink wine, but my own 


daughter shall wash herself in water and drink water." The girl 
went home, and told her father what the woman had said. The 
man said, "What shall I do? Marriage is a joy and also a torment." 
At length as he could come to no decision, he pulled ofl his boot, 
and said, "Take this boot, it has a hole in the sole of it. Go with 
it up to the loft, hang it on the big nail, and then pour water into 
it. If it hold the water, then I will again take a wife, but if it run 
through, I will not." The girl did as she was ordered, but the water 
drew the hole together and the boot became full to the top. She 
informed her father how it had turned out. Then he himself went 
up, and when he saw that she was right, he went to the widow and 
wooed her, and the wedding was celebrated. 

The next morning, when the two girls got up, there stood before 
the man's daughter milk for her to wash in and wine for her to 
drink, but before the woman's daughter stood water to wash her- 
self with and water for drinking. On the second morning, stood 
water for washing and water for drinking before the man's daughter 
as well as before the woman's daughter. And on the third morning 
stood water for washing and water for drinking before the man's 
daughter, and milk for washing and wine for drinking, before the 
woman's daughter, and so it continued. The woman became bit- 
terly unkind to her step-daughter, and day by day did her best to 
treat her still worse. She was envious too because her step-daughter 
was beautiful and lovable, and her own daughter ugly and repulsive. 

Once, in winter, when everything was frozen as hard as a stone, 
and hill and vale lay covered with snow, the woman made a frock 
of paper, called her step-daughter, and said, "Here, put on this dress 
and go out into the wood, and fetch me a little basketful of straw- 
berries, — I have a fancy for some." "Good heavens!" said the girl, 
"no strawberries grow in winter! The ground is frozen, and besides 
the snow has covered everything. And why am I to go in this paper 
frock? It is so cold outside that one's very breath freezes! The 
wind will blow through the frock, and the thorns will tear it off 
my body." "Wilt thou contradict me again?" said the step-mother. 
"See that thou goest, and do not show thy face again until thou 
hast the basketful of strawberries!" Then she gave her a little piece 
of hard bread, and said, "This will last thee the day," and thought, 

grimm's tales 71 

"Thou wilt die of cold and hunger outside, and wilt never be seen 
again by me." 

Then the maiden was obedient, and put on the paper frock, and 
went out with the basket. Far and wide there was nothing but 
snow, and not a green blade to be seen. When she got into the 
wood she saw a small house out of which peeped three little dwarfs.' 
She wished them good day, and knocked modestly at the door. 
They cried, "Come in," and she entered the room and seated herself 
on the bench by the stove, where she began to warm herself and 
eat her breakfast. The elves said, "Give us, too, some of it." "Will- 
ingly," said she, and divided her bit of bread in two, and gave them 
the half. They asked, "What dost thou here in the forest in the 
winter time, in thy thin dress?" "Ah," she answered, "I am to look 
for a basketful of strawberries, and am not to go home until I can 
take them with me." When she had eaten her bread, they gave 
her a broom and said, "Sweep away the snow at the back door 
with it." But when she was outside, the three little men said to 
each other, "What shall we give her as she is so good, and has 
shared her bread with us?" Then said the first, "My gift is, that 
she shall every day grow more beautiful." The second said, "My 
gift is, that gold pieces shall fall out of her mouth every time she 
speaks." The third said, "My gift is that a king shall come and 
take her to wife." 

The girl, however, did as the little men had bidden her, swept 
away the snow behind the little house with the broom, and what 
did she find but real ripe strawberries, which came up quite dark- 
red out of the snow! In her joy she hastily gathered her basket full, 
thanked the little men, shook hands with each of them, and ran 
home to take her stef>-mother what she had longed for so much. 
When she went in and said good-evening, a piece of gold at once 
fell out of her mouth. Thereupon she related what had hapf)ened 
to her in the wood, but with every word she spoke, gold pieces fell 
from her mouth, until very soon the whole room was covered with 
them. "Now look at her arrogance," cried the step-sister, "to throw 
about gold in that way!" but she was secretly envious of it, and 

' In the oricinal HaulcmSnnerchcn — i. c, Hohlcn-Waldmannlein. They arc so 
called because they live in eaves in the forests. They arc little dwarfs with large 
heads, and are supposed to steal unbaptized children. — ^Tr. 


wanted to go into the forest also to seek strawberries. The mother 
said, "No, my dear little daughter, it is too cold, thou mightest die 
of cold." However, as her daughter let her have no peace, the 
mother at last yielded, made her a magnificent dress of fur, which 
she was obliged to put on, and gave her bread-and-butter and cake 
with her. 

The girl went into the forest and straight up to the litde house. 
The three little elves f)eeped out again, but she did not greet them, 
and without looking round at them and without speaking to them, 
she went awkwardly into the room, seated herself by the stove, and 
began to eat her bread-and-butter and cake. "Give us some of it," 
cried the little men; but she replied, "There is not enough for my- 
self, so how can I give it away to other people?" When she had 
done eating, they said, "There is a broom for thee, sweep all clean 
for us outside by the back-door." "Humph! Sweep for yourselves," 
she answered, "I am not your servant." When she saw that they 
were not going to give her anything she went out by the door. 
Then the little men said to each other, "What shall we give her as 
she is so naughty, and has a wicked envious heart, that will never 
let her do a good turn to any one?" The first said, "I grant that 
she may grow uglier every day." The second said, "I grant that at 
every word she says, a toad shall spring out of her mouth." The 
third said, "I grant that she may die a miserable death." The maiden 
looked for strawberries outside, but as she found none, she went 
angrily home. And when she opened her mouth, and was about 
to tell her mother what had happened to her in the wood, with 
every word she said, a toad sprang out of her mouth, so that every 
one was seized with horror of her. 

Then the step-mother was still more enraged, and thought of 
nothing but how to do every possible injury to the man's daughter 
whose beauty, however, grew daily greater. At length she took a 
cauldron, set it on the fire, and boiled yarn in it. When it was boiled, 
she flung it on the poor girl's shoulder, and gave her an axe in 
order that she might go on the frozen river, cut a hole in the ice, 
and rinse the yarn. She was obedient, went thither and cut a hole 
in the ice; and while she was in the midst of her cutting, a splendid 
carriage came driving up, in which sat the King. The carriage 


Stopped, and the King asked, "My child, who art thou, and what 
art thou doing here?" "I am a poor girl, and I am rinsing yarn." 
Then the King felt compassion, and when he saw that she was so 
very beautiful, he said to her, "Wilt thou go away with me?" "Ah, 
yes, with all my heart," she answered, for she was glad to get away 
from the mother and sister. 

So she got into the carriage and drove away with the King, and 
when they arrived at his palace, the wedding was celebrated with 
great pomp, as the little men had granted to the maiden. When a 
year was over, the young Queen bore a son, and as the step-mother 
had heard of her great good-fortune, she came with her daughter 
to the palace and pretended that she wanted to pay her a visit. Once, 
however, when the King had gone out, and no one else was present, 
the wicked woman seized the Queen by the head, and her daughter 
seized her by the feet, and they lifted her out of the bed, and threw 
her out of the window into the stream which flowed by. Then the 
ugly daughter laid herself in the bed, and the old woman covered 
her up over her head. When the King came home again and 
wanted to speak to his wife, the old woman cried, "Hush, hush, 
that can't be now, she is lying in a violent perspiration; you must 
let her rest to-day." The King suspected no evil, and did not come 
back again till next morning; and as he talked with his wife and 
she answered him, with every word a toad leaped out, whereas 
formerly a piece of gold had fallen out. Then he asked what that 
could be, but the old woman said that she had got that from the vio- 
lent perspiration, and would soon lose it again. During the night, 
however, the scullion saw a duck come swimming up the gutter, and 
it said, 

"King, what art thou doing now? 
SleefKSt thou, or wakest thou?" 

And as he returned no answer it said, 

"And my guests, What may they do?" 

The scullion said, 

"They are sleeping soundly, too." 

Then it asked .ipain, 

"What does little baby mine?" 


He answered, 

"Sleepeth in her cradle fine." 

Then she went upstairs in the form of the Queen, nursed the 
baby, shook up its Uttle bed, covered it over, and then swam away 
again down the gutter in the shape of a duck. She came thus for 
two nights; on the third, she said to the scuUion, "Go and tell the 
King to take his sword and swing it three times over me on the 
threshold." Then the scullion ran and told this to the King, who 
came with his sword and swung it thrice over the spirit, and at the 
third time, his wife stood before him strong, living, and healthy 
as she had been before. Thereupon the King was full of great joy, 
but he kept the Queen hidden in a chamber until the Sunday when 
the baby was to be christened. And when it was christened he said, 
"What does a person deserve who drags another out of bed and 
throws him in the water?" "The wretch deserves nothing better," 
answered the old woman, "than to be taken and put in a barrel 
stuck full of nails, and rolled down hill into the water." "Then," 
said the King, "thou hast pronounced thine own sentence;" and he 
ordered such a barrel to be brought, and the old woman to be put 
into it with her daughter, and then the top was hammered on, and 
the barrel rolled down hill until it went into the river. 


There was once a girl who was idle and would not spin, and let 
her mother say what she would, she could not bring her to it. At 
last the mother was once so overcome with anger and impatience, 
that she beat her, on which the girl began to weep loudly. Now at 
this very moment the Queen drove by, and when she heard the 
weeping she stopped her carriage, went into the house and asked 
the mother why she was beating her daughter so that the cries 
could be heard out on the road ? Then the woman was ashamed to 
reveal the laziness of her daughter and said, "I cannot get her to 
leave off spinning. She insists on spinning for ever and ever, and 
I am poor, and cannot procure the flax." Then answered the Queen, 
"There is nothing that I like better to hear than spinning, and I 


am never happier than when the wheels are humming. Let me have 
your daughter with me in the palace, I have flax enough, and there 
she shall spin as much as she likes." The mother was heartily satis- 
fied with this, and the Queen took the girl with her. When they 
had arrived at the palace, she led her up into three rooms which 
were filled from the bottom to the top with the finest flax. "Now 
spin me this flax," said she, "and when thou has done it, thou shalt 
have my eldest son for a husband, even if thou art poor. 1 care not 
for that, thy indefatigable industry is dowry enough." The girl 
was secretly terrified, for she could not have spun the flax, no, not 
if she had lived till she was three hundred years old, and had sat 
at it every day from morning till night. When therefore she was 
alone, she began to weep, and sat thus for three days without mov- 
ing a finger. On the third day came the Queen, and when she saw 
that nothing had been spun yet, she was surprised; but the girl 
excused herself by saying that she had not been able to begin 
because of her great distress at leaving her mother's house. The 
Queen was satisfied with this, but said when she was going away, 
"To-morrow thou must begin to work." 

When the girl was alone again, she did not know what to do, 
and in her distress went to the window. Then she saw three women 
coming towards her, the first of whom had a broad flat foot, the 
second had such a great underlip that it hung down over her chin, 
and the third had a broad thumb. They remained standing before 
the window, looked up, and asked the girl what was amiss with 
her? She complained of her trouble, and then they offered her 
their help and said, "If thou wilt invite us to the wedding, not be 
ashamed of us, and wilt call us thine aunts, and likewise wilt place 
us at thy table, we will spin up the flax for thee, and that in a very 
short time." "With all my heart," she replied, "do but come in and 
begin the work at once." Then she let in the three strange women, 
and cleared a place in the first room, where they seated themselves 
and began their spinning. The one drew the thread and trod the 
wheel, the other wetted the thread, the third twisted it, and struck 
the table with her finger, and as often as she struck it, a skein of 
thread fell to the ground that was spun in the finest manner pos- 
sible. The girl concealed the three spinners from the Queen, and 


showed her whenever she came the great quantity of spun thread, 
until the latter could not praise her enough. When the first room 
was empty she went to the second, and at last to the third, and that 
too was quickly cleared. Then the three women took leave and 
said to the girl, "Do not forget what thou hast promised us, — it will 
make thy fortune." 

When the maiden showed the Queen the empty rooms, and the 
great heap of yarn, she gave orders for the wedding, and the bride- 
groom' rejoiced that he was to have such a clever and industrious 
wife, and praised her mightily. "I have three aunts," said the girl, 
"and as they have been very kind to me, I should not like to forget 
them in my good fortune; allow me to invite them to the wedding, 
and let them sit with us at table." The Queen and the bridegroom 
said, "Why should we not allow that?" Therefore when the feast 
began, the three women entered in strange apparel, and the bride 
said, "Welcome, dear aunts." "Ah," said the bridegroom, "how 
comest thou by these odious friends?" Thereupon he went to the 
one with the broad flat foot and said, "How do you come by such 
a broad foot?" "By treading," she answered, "by treading." Then 
the bridegroom went to the second, and said, "How do you come 
by your falling lip?" "By licking," she answered, "by licking." Then 
he asked the third, "How do you come by your broad thumb?" 
"By twisting the thread," she answered, "by twisting the thread." 
On this the King's son was alarmed and said, "Neither now nor 
ever shall my beautiful bride touch a spinning-wheel." And thus 
she got rid of the hateful flax-spinning. 


Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood<utter with his wife 
and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl 
Grethel. He had little to bite and to break, and once when great 
scarcity fell on the land, he could no longer procure daily bread. 
Now when he thought over this by night in his bed, and tossed 
about in his anxiety, he groaned and said to his wife, "What is to 

' Brauti^am. betrothed. The old English brydgunia had the same signification, and 
was only applictl to a betrothed man, just as bryd, bride, was only applied to 3 
betrothed woman. — Tr. 


become of us? How are we to feed our poor children, when we no 
longer have anything even for ourselves?" "I'll tell you what,, 
husband," answered the woman, "early to-morrow morning we will 
take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest, there 
we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one piece of 
bread more, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. 
They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of 
them." "No, wife," said the man, "I will not do that; how can I 
bear to leave my children alone in the forest? — the wild animals, 
would soon come and tear them to pieces." "O, thou fool!" said 
she, "then we must all four die of hunger, thou mayest as well 
plane the planks for our coffins," and she left him no peace until 
he consented. "But I feel very sorry for the poor children, all the 
same," said the man. 

The two children had also not been able to sleep for hunger, and 
had heard what their step-mother had said to their father. Grethel 
wept bitter tears, and said to Hansel, "Now all is over with us." 
"Be quiet, Grethel," said Hansel, "do not distress thyself, I will 
soon find a way to help us." And when the old folks had fallen 
asleep, he got up, put on his little coat, opened the door below, and 
crept outside. The moon shone brightly, and the white pebbles 
which lay in front of the house glittered like real silver pennies. 
Hansel stooped and put as many of them in the little pocket of his 
coat as he could possibly get in. Then he went back and said to 
Grethel, "Be comforted, dear Uttle sister, and sleep in peace, God 
will not forsake us," and he lay down again in his bed. When day 
dawned, but before the sun had risen, the woman came and awoke 
the two children, saying, "Get up, you sluggards! we are going into 
the forest to fetch wood." She gave each a little piece of bread, and 
said, "There is something for your dinner, but do not eat it up 
before then, for you will get nothing else." Grethel took the bread 
under her apron, as Hansel had the stones in his pocket. Then 
they all set out together on the way to the forest. When they had 
walked a short time. Hansel stood still and peeped back at the 
house, and did so again and again. His father said, "Hansel, what 
art thou looking at there and staying behind for? Mind what thou 
art about, and do not forget how to use thy legs." "Ah, father," 


said Hansel, "I am looking at my little white cat, which is sitting 
up on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me." The wife said, 
"Fool, that is not thy little cat, that is the morning sun which is 
shining on the chimneys." Hansel, however, had not been looking 
back at the cat, but had been constantly throwing one of the white 
pebble-stones out of his pocket on the road. 

When they had reached the middle of the forest, the father said, 
"Now, children, pile up some wood, and I will light a fire that you 
may not be cold." Hansel and Grethel gathered brushwood together, 
as high as a little hill. The brushwood was lighted, and when the 
flames were burning very high the woman said, "Now, children, 
lay yourselves down by the fire and rest, we will go into the forest 
and cut some wood. When we have done, we will come back and 
fetch you away." 

Hansel and Grethel sat by the fire, and when noon came, each 
ate a little piece of bread, and as they heard the strokes of the wood- 
axe they believed that their father was near. It was, however, not 
the axe, it was a branch which he had fastened to a withered tree 
which the wind was blowing backwards and forwards. And as 
they had been sitting such a long time, their eyes shut with fatigue, 
and they fell fast asleep. When at last they awoke, it was already 
dark night. Grethel began to cry and said, "How are we to get out 
of the forest now?" But Hansel comforted her and said, "Just wait 
a little, until the moon has risen, and then we will soon find the 
■way." And when the full moon had risen, Hansel took his little 
sister by the hand, and followed the pebbles which shone like newly- 
coined silver pieces, and showed them the way. 

They walked the whole night long, and by break of day came 
once more to their father's house. They knocked at the door, and 
when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Grethel, 
she said, "You naughty children, why have you slept so long in the 
forest? — we thought you were never coming back at all!" The 
father, however, rejoiced, for it had cut him to the heart to leave 
them behind alone. 

Not long afterwards, there was once more great scarcity in all 
parts, and the children heard their mother saying at night to their 
father, "Everything is eaten again, we have one half loaf left, and 


after that there is an end. The children must go, we will take them 
farther into the wood, so that they will not find their way out 
again; there is no other means of saving ourselves!" The man's 
heart was heavy, and he thought "it would be better for thee to 
share the last mouthful with thy children." The woman, however, 
would listen to nothing that he had to say, but scolded and re- 
proached him. He who says A must say B, likewise, and as he had 
yielded the first time, he had to do so a second time also. 

The children were, however, still awake and had heard the con- 
versation. When the old folks were asleep. Hansel again got up, 
and wanted to go out and pick up pebbles, but the woman had 
locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. Nevertheless he 
comforted his litde sister, and said, "Do not cry, Grethel, go to 
sleep quietly, the good God will help us." 

Early in the morning came the woman, and took the children out 
of their beds. Their bit of bread was given to them, but it was still 
smaller than the time before. On the way into the forest Hansel 
crumbled his in his pocket, and often stood still and threw a morsel 
on the ground. "Hansel, why dost thou stop and look around.'" 
said the father, "go on." "I am looking back at my little pigeon 
which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me," 
answered Hansel. "Simpleton!" said the woman, "that is not thy 
little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney." 
Hansel, however, little by little, threw all the crumbs on the path. 

The woman led the children still deeper into the forest, where 
they had never in their lives been before. Then a great fire was 
again made, and the mother said, "Just sit there, you children, and 
when you are tired you may sleep a little; we are going into the 
forest to cut wood, and in the evening when we are done, we will 
come and fetch you away." When it was noon, Grethel shared her 
piece of bread with Hansel, who had scattered his by the way. Then 
they fell asleep and evening came and went, but no one came to the 
poor children. They did not awake until it was dark night, and 
Hansel comforted his little sister and said, "Just wait, Grethel, until 
the moon rises, and then we shall see the crumbs of bread which I 
have strewn about, they will show us our way home again." When 
the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the 


many thousands of birds which fly about in the woods and fields 
had picked them all up. Hansel said to Grethel, "We shall soon 
find the way," but they did not find it. They walked the whole 
night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they 
did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had 
nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. 
And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no 
longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep. 

It was now three mornings since they had left their father's house. 
They began to walk again, but they always got deeper into the 
forest, and if help did not come soon, they must die of hunger and 
weariness. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white 
bird sitting on a bough, which sang so delightfully that they stood 
still and listened to it. And when it had finished its song, it spread 
its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until 
they reached a Uttle house, on the roof of which it aUghted; and 
when they came quite up to the little house they saw that it was 
built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were 
of clear sugar. "We will set to work on that," said Hansel, "and 
have a good meal. I will eat a bit of the roof, and thou, Grethel, 
canst eat some of the window, it will taste sweet." Hansel reached 
up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and 
Grethel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes. Then 
a soft voice cried from the room, 

"Nibble, nibble, gnaw, 
Who is nibbling at my little house?" 

The children answered, 

"The wind, the wind, 
The heaven-born wind," 

and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, who 
thought the roof tasted very nice, tore down a great piece of it, and 
Grethel pushed out the whole of one round window-pane, sat down, 
and enjoyed herself with it. Suddenly the door opened, and a very, 
very old woman, who supported herself on crutches, came creeping 
out. Hansel and Grethel were so terribly frightened that they let 
fall what they had in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded 

grimm's tales 8 1 

her head, and said, "Oh, you dear children, who has brought you 
here? Do come in, and stay with me. No harm shall happen to 
you." She took them both by the hand, and led them into her little 
house. Then good food was set before them, milk and pancakes, 
with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterwards two pretty little beds were 
covered with clean white linen, and Hansel and Grethel lay down 
in them, and thought they were in heaven. 

The old woman had only pretended to be so kind; she was in 
reality a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had only 
built the little bread house in order to entice them there. When a 
child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked and ate it, and that 
was a feast day with her. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see 
far, but they have a keen scent like the beasts, and are aware when 
human beings draw near. When Hansel and Grethel came into 
her neighbourhood, she laughed maliciously, and said mockingly, 
"I have them, they shall not escape me again!" Early in the morn- 
ing before the children were awake, she was already up, and when 
she saw both of them sleeping and looking so pretty, with their 
plump red cheeks, she muttered to herself, "That will be a dainty 
mouthful!" Then she seized Hansel with her shrivelled hand, car- 
ried him into a little stable, and shut him in with a grated door. 
He might scream as he Uked, that was of no use. Then she went 
to Grethel, shook her till she awoke, and cried, "Get up, lazy thing, 
fetch some water, and cook something good for thy brother, he is 
in the stable outside, and is to be made fat. When he is fat, I will 
eat him." Grethel began to weep bitterly, but it was all in vain, she 
was forced to do what the wicked witch ordered her. 

And now the best food was cooked for f)oor Hansel, but Grethel 
got nothing but crab-shells. Every morning the woman crept to the 
little stable, and cried, "Hansel, stretch out thy finger that I may 
feel if thou wilt soon be fat." Hansel, however, stretched out a little 
bone to her, and the old woman, who had dim eyes, could not see 
it, and thought it was Hansel's finger, and was astonished that there 
was no way of fattening him. When four weeks had gone by, and 
Hansel still continued thin, she was seized with impatience and 
would not wait any longer, "Hola, Grethel," she cried to the girl, 
"be active, and bring some water. Let Hansel be fat or lean, to- 


morrow I will kill him, and cook him." Ah, how the poor little 
sister did lament when she had to fetch the water, and how her 
tears did flow down over her cheeks! "Dear God, do help us," she 
cried. "If the wild beasts in the forest had but devoured us, we 
should at any rate have died together." "Just keep thy noise to thy- 
self," said the old woman, "all that won't help thee at all." 

Early in the morning, Grethel had to go out and hang up the 
cauldron with the water, and light the fire. "We will bake first," 
said the old woman, "I have already heated the oven, and kneaded 
the dough." She pushed poor Grethel out to the oven, from which 
flames of fire were already darting. "Creep in," said the witch, "and 
see if it is properly heated, so that we can shut the bread in." And 
when once Grethel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and 
let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too. But Grethel saw 
what she had in her mind, and said, "I do not know how I am to 
do it; how do you get in?" "Silly goose," said the old woman. "The 
door is big enough; just look, I can get in myself!" and she crept 
up and thrust her head into the oven. Then Grethel gave her a 
push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened 
the bolt. Oh! then she began to howl quite horribly, but Grethel ran 
away, and the godless witch was miserably burnt to death. 

Grethel, however, ran as quick as lightning to Hansel, opened 
his little stable, and cried, "Hansel, we are saved! The old witch is 
dead!" Then Hansel sprang out Uke a bird from its cage when the 
door is opened for it. How they did rejoice and embrace each other, 
and dance about and kiss each other! And as they had no longer 
any need to fear her, they went into the witch's house, and in every 
corner there stood chests full of pearls and jewels. "These are far 
better than pebbles!" said Hansel, and thrust into his pockets what- 
ever could be got in, and Grethel said, "I, too, will take something 
home with me," and filled her pinafore full. "But now we will go 
away," said Hansel, "that we may get out of the witch's forest." 

When they had walked for two hours, they came to a great piece 
of water. "We cannot get over," said Hansel, "I see no foot-plank, 
and no bridge." "And no boat crosses either," answered Grethel, 
"but a white duck is swimming there; if I ask her, she will help us 
over." Then she cried. 

grimm's tales 83 

"Little duck, little duck, dost thou see, 
Hansel and Grethcl are waiting for thee? 
There's never a plank, or bridge in sight, 
Take us across on thy back so white." 

The duck came to them, and Hansel seated himself on its back, 
and told his sister to sit by him. "No," replied Grethel, "that will 
be too heavy for the little duck; she shall take us across, one after 
the other." The good httle duck did so, and when they were once 
safely across and had walked for a short time, the forest seemed to 
be more and more familiar to them, and at length they saw from 
afar their father's house. Then they began to run, rushed into the 
parlour, and threw themselves into their father's arms. The man 
had not known one happy hour since he had left the children in 
the forest; the woman, however, was dead. Grethel emptied her 
pinafore until pearls and precious stones ran about the room, and 
Hansel threw one handful after another out of his pocket to add 
to them. Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together 
in perfect happiness. My tale is done, there runs a mouse, whosoever 
catches it, may make himself a big fur cap out of it. 


There was once u(X)n a time a Fisherman who lived with his 
wife in a miserable hovel close by the sea, and every day he went 
out fishing. And once as he was sitting with his rod, looking at 
the clear water, his line suddenly went down, far down below, and 
when he drew it up again, he brought out a large Flounder. Then 
the Flounder said to him, "Hark, you Fisherman, I pray you, let 
me live, I am no Flounder really, but an enchanted prince. What 
good will it do you to kill me? I should not be good to eat, put me 
in the water again, and let me go." "Come," said the Fisherman, 
"there is no need for so many words about it — a fish that can talk 
I should certainly let go, anyhow," with that he put him back again 
into the clear water, and the Flounder went to the bottom, leaving 
a long streak of blood behind him. Then the Fisherman got up 
and went home to his wife in the hovel. 

' According to the late William Howitt, this story was communicatnl to the 
Brothers Grimm by Mr. Henry Crabbe Robinson, who had it from an old woman. 
Sec "Diary of H. C. Robinson." — ^Tr. 


"Husband," said the woman, "have you caught nothing to-day?" 
"No," said the man, "I did catch a Flounder, who said he was an 
enchanted prince, so I let him go again." "Did you not wish for 
anything first?" said the woman. "No," said the man; "what should 
I wish for?" "Ah," said the woman, "it is surely hard to have to 
live always in this dirty hovel; you might have wished for a small 
cottage for us. Go back and call him. Tell him we want to have 
a small cottage, he will certainly give us that." "Ah," said the man, 
"why should I go there again?" "Why," said the woman, "you did 
catch him, and you let him go again; he is sure to do it. Go at once." 
The man still did not quite like to go, but did not like to oppose 
his wife, and went to the sea. 

When he got there the sea was all green and yellow, and no 
longer so smooth; so he stood and said, 

"Flounder, flounder in the sea, 
Come, I pray thee, here to me; 
For my wife, good Ilsabil,' 
Wills not as I'd have her will." 

Then the Flounder came swimming to him and said, "Well, what 
does she want, then?" "Ah," said the man, "I did catch you, and my 
wife says I really ought to have wished for something. She does not 
like to live in a wretched hovel any longer; she would like to have a 
cottage." "Go, then," said the Flounder, "she has it already." 

When the man went home, his wife was no longer in the hovel, 
but instead of it there stood a small cottage, and she was sitting on 
a bench before the door. Then she took him by the hand and said to 
him. "Just come inside, look, now isn't this a great deal better?" 
So they went in, and there was a small porch, and a pretty Uttle 
parlour and bed-room, and a kitchen and pantry, with the best of 
furniture, and fitted up with the most beautiful things made of tin 
and brass, whatsoever was wanted. And behind the cottage there 
was a small yard, with hens and ducks, and a little garden with 
flowers and fruit. "Look," said the wife, "is not that nice!" "Yes," 
said the husband, "and so we must always think it, — now we will 
live quite contented." "We will think about that," said the wife. 
With that they ate something and went to bed. 

* Isabel.— Tr. 

Grimm's tales 85 

Everything went well for a week or a fortnight, and then the 
woman said, "Hark you, husband, this cottage is far too small for 
us, and the garden and yard are little; the Flounder might just as 
well have given us a larger house. I should like to live in a great 
stone castle; go to the Flounder, and tell him to give us a castle." 
"Ah, wife," said the man, "the cottage is quite good enough; why 
should we live in a castle?" "What!" said the woman; "just go 
there, the Flounder can always do that." "No, wife," said the man, 
"the Flounder has just given us the cottage, I do not like to go back 
so soon, it might make him angry." "Go," said the woman, "he can 
do it quite easily, and will be glad to do it; just you go to him." 

The man's heart grew heavy, and he would not go. He said to 
himself, "It is not right," and yet he went. And when he came to the 
sea the water was quite purple and dark-blue, and grey and thick, 
and no longer so green and yellow, but it was still quiet. And he 
stood there and said — 

"Flounder, flounder in the sea, 
Come, I pray thee, here to me; 
For my wife, good Ilsabil, 
Wills not as I'd have her will." 

"Well, what docs she want, then?" said the Flounder. "Alas," 
said the man, half scared, "she wants to live in a great stone castle." 
"Go to it, then, she is standing before the door," said the Flounder. 

Then the man went away, intending to go home, but when he got 
there, he found a great stone palace, and his wife was just standing 
on the steps going in, and she took him by the hand and said, "Come 
in." So he went in with her, and in the castle was a great hall paved 
with marble, and many servants, who flung wide the doors; and the 
walls were all bright with beautiful hangings, and in the rooms 
were chairs and tables of pure gold, and crystal chandeliers hung 
from the ceilings, and all the rooms and bed-rooms had carpets, and 
food and wine of the very best were standing on all the tables so that 
they nearly broke down beneath it. Behind the house, too, there 
was a great court-yard, with stables for horses and cows, and the 
very best of carriages; there was a magnificent large garden, too, 
with the most beautiful flowers and fruit-trees, and a park quite half 
a mile long, in which were stags, deer, and hares, and everything 


that could be desired. "Come," said the woman, "isn't that beauti- 
ful?" "Yes, indeed," said the man, "now let it be; and we will live 
in this beautiful castle and be content." "We will consider about 
that," said the woman, "and sleep upon it"; thereupon they went 
to bed. 

Next morning the wife awoke first, and it was just daybreak, and 
from her bed she saw the beautiful country lying before her. Her 
husband was still stretching himself, so she poked him in the side 
with her elbow, and said, "Get up, husband, and just peep out of the 
window. Look you, couldn't we be the King over all that land? 
Go to the Flounder, we will be the King." "Ah, wife," said the man, 
"why should we be King? I do not want to be King." "Well," said 
the wife, "if you won't be King, I will; go to the Flounder, for 1 
will be King." "Ah, wife," said the man, "why do you want to be 
King? I do not like to say that to him." "Why not?" said the 
woman; "go to him this instant; I must be King!" So the man went, 
and was quite unhappy because his wife wished to be King. "It is 
not right; it is not right," thought he. He did not wish to go, but 
yet he went. 

And when he came to the sea, it was quite dark-grey, and the 
water heaved up from below, and smelt putrid. Then he went and 
stood by it, and said, 

"Flounder, flounder in the sea, 
Come, I pray thee, here to me; 
For my wife, good Ilsabil, 
Wills not as I'd have her will." 

"Well, what does she want, then?" said the Flounder. "Alas!" 
said the man, "she wants to be King." "Go to her; she is King 

So the man went, and when he came to the palace, the castle had 
become much larger, and had a great tower and magnificent orna- 
ments, and the sentinel was standing before the door, and there were 
numbers of soldiers with kettle-drums and trum|iets. And when he 
went inside the house, everything was of real marble and gold, with 
velvet covers and great golden tassels. Then the doors of the hall 
were opened, and there was the court in all its splendour, and his 

grimm's tales 87 

wife was sitting on a high throne of gold and diamonds, with a great 
crown of gold on her head, and a sceptre of pure gold and jewels in 
her hand, and on both sides of her stood her maids-in-waiting in a 
row, each of them always one head shorter than the last. 

Then he went and stood before her, and said, "Ah, wife, and now 
you are King." "Yes," said the woman, "now I am King." So he 
stood and looked at her, and when he had looked at her thus for some 
time, he said, "And now that you are King, let all else be, now we 
will wish for nothing more." "Nay, husband," said the woman, quite 
anxiously, "I find time pass very heavily, I can bear it no longer; go 
to the Flounder — I am King, but I must be Emperor, too." "Alas, 
wife, why do you wish to be Emperor?" "Husband," said she, "go 
to the Flounder. 1 will be Emperor." "Alas, wife," said the man, 
"he cannot make you Emperor; I may not say that to the fish. There 
is only one Emperor in the land. An Emperor the Flounder cannot 
make you! I assure you he cannot." 

"What!" said the woman, "I am the King, and you are nothing 
but my husband; will you go this moment? go at once! If he can 
make a king he can make an emperor. 1 will be Emperor; go in- 
stantly." So he was forced to go. As the man went, however, he was 
troubled in mind, and thought to himself, "It will not end well; it 
will not end well! Emperor is too shameless! The Flounder will 
at last be tired out." 

With that he reached the sea, and the sea was quite black and 
thick, and began to boil up from below, so that it threw up bubbles, 
and such a sharp wind blew over it that it curled, and the man was 
afraid. Then he went and stood by it, and said, 

"Flounder, flounder in the sea, 
Come, I pray thee, here to me; 
For my wife, good Ilsabil, 
Wills not as I'd have her will." 

"Well, what does she want, then?" said the Flounder. "Alas, 
Flounder," said he, "my wife wants to be Emperor." "Go to her," 
said the Flounder; "she is Emperor already." 

So the man went, and when he got there the whole palace was 


made of polished marble with alabaster figures and golden orna- 
ments, and soldiers were marching before the door blowing trump- 
ets, and beating cymbals and drums; and in the house, barons, and 
counts, and dukes were going about as servants. Then they opened 
the doors to him, which were of pure gold. And when he entered, 
there sat his wife on a throne, which was made of one piece of gold, 
and was quite two miles high; and she wore a great golden crown 
that was three yards high, and set with diamonds and carbuncles, and 
in one hand she had the sceptre, and in the other the imperial orb; 
and on both sides of her stood the yeomen of the guard in two rows, 
each being smaller than the one before him, from the biggest giant, 
who was two miles high, to the very smallest dwarf, just as big 
as my little finger. And before it stood a number of princes and 

Then the man went and stood among them, and said, "Wife, are 
you Emperor now.''" "Yes," said she, "now I am Emperor." Then 
he stood and looked at her well, and when he had looked at her 
thus for some time, he said, "Ah, wife, be content, now that you 
are Emperor." "Husband," said she, "why are you standing there? 
Now, I am Emperor, but I will be Pope too; go to the Flounder." 
"Alas, wife," said the man, "what will you not wish for? You can- 
not be Pope; there is but one in Christendom; he cannot make you 
Pope." "Husband," said she, "I will be Pope; go immediately, I 
must be Pope this very day." "No, wife," said the man, "I do not 
like to say that to him; that would not do, it is too much; the 
Flounder can't make you Pope." "Husband," said she, "what non- 
sense! if he can make an emjjeror he can make a pope. Go to him 
directly. I am Emperor, and you are nothing but my husband; will 
you go at once?" 

Then he was afraid and went; but he was quite faint, and shivered 
and shook, and his knees and legs trembled. And a high wind blew 
over the land, and the clouds flew, and towards evening all grew 
dark, and the leaves fell from the trees, and the water rose and 
roared as if it were boiling, and splashed upon the shore; and in the 
distance he saw ships which were firing guns in their sore need, 
pitching and tossing on the waves. And yet in the midst of the sky 
there was still a small bit of blue, though on every side it was as red 

grimm's tales 89 

as in a heavy storm. So, full of despair, he went and stood in much 
fear and said, 

"Flounder, flounder in the sea, 
Come, I pray thee, here to me; 
For my wife, good Ilsabil, 
Wilis not as I'd have her will." 

"Well, what does she want, then?" said the Flounder. "Alas," said 
the man, "she wants to be Pope." "Go to her then," said the 
Flounder; "she is Pope already." 

So he went, and when he got there, he saw what seemed to be a 
large church surrounded by palaces. He pushed his way through the 
crowd. Inside, however, everything was lighted up with thousands 
and thousands of candles, and his wife was clad in gold, and she 
was sitting on a much higher throne, and had three great golden 
crowns on, and round about her there was much ecclesiastical splen- 
dour; and on both sides of her was a row of candles the largest of 
which was as tall as the very tallest tower, down to the very smallest 
kitchen candle, and all the emperors and kings were on their knees 
before her, kissing her shoe. "Wife," said the man, and looked at- 
tentively at her, "are you now Pope?" "Yes," said she, "I am Pope." 
So he stood and looked at her, and it was just as if he was looking 
at the bright sun. When he had stood looking at her thus for a 
short time, he said, "Ah, wife, if you are Pope, do let well alone!" 
But she looked as stiff as a post, and did not move or show any signs 
of life. Then said he, "Wife, now that you are Pope, be satisfied, you 
cannot become anything greater now." "I will consider about that," 
said the woman. Thereupon they both went to bed, but she was not 
satisfied, and greediness let her have no sleep, for she was continually 
thinking what there was left for her to be. 

The man slept well and soundly, for he had run about a great deal 
during the day; but the woman could not fall asleep at all, and flung 
herself from one side to the other the whole night through, thinking 
always what more was left for her to be, but unable to call to mind 
anything else. At length the sun began to rise, and when the woman 
saw the red of dawn, she sat up in bed and looked at it. And when, 
through the window, she saw the sun thus rising, she said, "Cannot I, 
too, order the sun and moon to rise?" "Husband," said she, poking 


him in the ribs with her elbows, "wake up! go to the Flounder, for 
I wish to be even as God is." The man was still half asleep, but he 
was so horrified that he fell out of bed. He thought he must have 
heard amiss, and rubbed his eyes, and said, "Alas, wife, what are 
you saying?" "Husband," said she, "if I can't order the sun and 
moon to rise, and have to look on and see the sun and moon rising, 
I can't bear it. I shall not know what it is to have another happy 
hour, unless I can make them rise myself." Then she looked at him 
so terribly that a shudder ran over him, and said, "Go at once; I wish 
to be like unto God." "Alas, wife," said the man, falling on his knees 
before her, "the Flounder cannot do that; he can make an emperor 
and a pope; I beseech you, go on as you are, and be Pope." Then she 
fell into a rage, and her hair flew wildly about her head, and she 
cried, "I will not endure this, I'll not bear it any longer; wilt thou 
go?" Then he put on his trousers and ran away like a madman. 
But outside a great storm was raging, and blowing so hard that he 
could scarcely keep his feet; houses and trees toppled over, the 
mountains trembled, rocks rolled into the sea, the sky was pitch 
black, and it thundered and lightened, and the sea came in with 
black waves as high as church-towers and mountains, and all with 
crests of white foam at the top. Then he cried, but could not hear 
his own words, 

"Flounder, flounder in the sea, 
Come, I pray thee, here to me; 
For my wife, good Ilsabil, 
Wills not as I'd have her will." 

"Well, what does she want, then ?" said the Flounder. "Alas," said 
he, "she wants to be like unto God." "Go to her, and you will find 
her back again in the dirty hovel." And there they are living still 
at this very time. 


One summer's morning a little tailor was sitting on his table by 
the window; he was in good spirits, and sewed with all his might. 
Then came a f)easant woman down the street crying, "Good jams, 
cheap! Good jams, cheap!" This rang pleasandy in the tailor's 


ears; he stretched his delicate head out of the window, and called, 
"Come up here, dear woman; here you will get rid of your goods." 
The woman came up the three steps to the tailor with her heavy 
basket, and he made her unpack the whole of the pots for him. He 
inspected all of them, lifted them up, put his nose to them, and at 
length said, "The jam seems to me to be good, so weigh me out four 
ounces, dear woman, and if it is a quarter of a pound that is of no 
consequence." The woman who had hoped to find a good sale, gave 
him what he desired, but went away quite angry and grumbling. 
"Now, God bless the jam to my use," cried the little tailor, "and 
give me health and strength;" so he brought the bread out of the cup- 
board, cut himself a piece right across the loaf and spread the jam 
over it. "This won't taste bitter," said he, "but I will just finish the 
jacket before I take a bite." He laid the bread near him, sewed on, 
and in his joy, made bigger and bigger stitches. In the meantime 
the smell of the sweet jam ascended so to the wall, where the flies 
were sitting in great numbers, that they were attracted and descended 
on it in hosts. "Hola! who invited you.?" said the little tailor, and 
drove the unbidden guests away. The flies, however, who under- 
stood no German, would not be turned away, but came back again in 
ever-increasing companies. Then the little tailor at last lost all 
patience, and got a bit of cloth from the hole under his work-table, 
and saying, "Wait, and I will give it to you," struck it mercilessly 
on them. When he drew it away and counted, there lay before him 
no fewer than seven, dead and with legs stretched out. "Art thou a 
fellow of that sort?" said he, and could not help admiring his own 
bravery. "The whole town shall know of this!" And the little tailor 
hastened to cut himself a girdle, stitched it, and embroidered on it 
in large letters, "Seven at one stroke!" "What, the town!" he con- 
tinued, "the whole world shall hear of it!" and his heart wagged with 
joy like a lamb's tail. The tailor put on the girdle, and resolved to 
go forth into the world, because he thought his workshop was too 
small for his valour. Before he went away, he sought about in the 
house to see if there was anything which he could take with him; 
however, he found nothing but an old cheese, and that he put in his 
pocket. In front of the door he observed a bird which had caught 
itself in the thicket. It had to go into his pocket with the cheese. 


Now he took to the road boldly, and as he was light and nimble, he 
felt no fatigue. The road led him up a mountain, and when he had 
reached the highest point of it, there sat a powerful giant looking 
about him quite comfortably. The little tailor went bravely up, 
spoke to him, and said, "Good day, comrade, so thou art sitting there, 
overlooking the wide-spread world! 1 am just on my way thither, 
and want to try my luck. Hast thou any inclination to go with me?" 
The giant looked contemptuously at the tailor, and said, "Thou raga- 
muffin! Thou miserable creature!" 

"Oh, indeed?" answered the little tailor, and unbuttoned his coat, 
and showed the giant the girdle. "There mayst thou read what kind 
of a man I am!" The giant read, "Seven at one stroke," and thought 
that they had been men whom the tailor had killed, and began to 
feel a little respect for the tiny fellow. Nevertheless, he wished to try 
him first, and took a stone in his hand and squeezed it together so 
that water dropped out of it. "Do that likewise," said the giant, "if 
thou hast strength?" "Is that all?" said the tailor, "that is child's play 
with us!" and put his hand into his pocket, brought out the soft 
cheese, and pressed it until the liquid ran out of it. "Faith," said he, 
"that was a little better, wasn't it?" The giant did not know what to 
say, and could not believe it of the little man. Then the giant picked 
up a stone and threw it so high that the eye could scarcely follow it. 
"Now, little mite of a man, do that likewise." "Well thrown," said 
the tailor, "but after all the stone came down to earth again; I will 
throw you one which shall never come back at all," and he put his 
hand into his pocket, took out the bird, and threw it into the air. The 
bird, delighted with its liberty, rose, flew away and did not come 
back. "How does that shot please you, comrade?" asked the tailor. 
"Thou canst certainly throw," said the giant, "but now we will see if 
thou art able to carry anything properly." He took the tailor to a 
mighty oak tree which lay there felled on the ground, and said, "If 
thou art strong enough, help me to carry the tree out of the forest." 
"Readily," answered the little man; "take thou the trunk on thy 
shoulders, and I will raise up the branches and twigs; after all, they 
are the heaviest." The giant took the trunk on his shoulder, but the 
tailor seated himself on a branch, and the giant who could not look 
round, had to carry away the whole tree and the little tailor into the 


bargain: he behind, was quite merry and happy, and whistled the 
song, "Three tailors rode forth from the gate," as if carrying the tree 
were child's play. The giant, after he had dragged the heavy burden 
part of the way, could go no further, and cried, "Hark you, I shall 
have to let the tree fall!" The tailor sprang nimbly down, seized the 
tree with both arms as if he had been carrying it, and said to the 
giant, "Thou art such a great fellow, and yet canst not even carry 
the tree!" 

They went on together, and as they passed a cherry-tree, the giant 
laid hold of the top of the tree where the ripest fruit was hanging, 
bent it down, gave it into the tailor's hand, and bade him eat. But the 
little tailor was much too weak to hold the tree, and when the giant 
let it go, it sprang back again, and the tailor was hurried into the air 
with it. When he had fallen down again without injury, the giant 
said, "What is this? Hast thou not strength enough to hold the 
weak twig?" "There is no lack of strength," answered the little tailor. 
"Dost thou think that could be anything to a man who has struck 
down seven at one blow? I leapt over the tree because the huntsmen 
are shooting down there in the thicket. Jump as I did, if thou canst 
do it." The giant made the attempt, but could not get over the tree, 
and remained hanging in the branches, so that in this also the tailor 
kept the upper hand. 

The giant said, "If thou art such a valiant fellow, come with me 
into our cavern and spend the night with us." The little fellow was 
willing, and followed him. When they went into the cave, other 
giants were sitting there by the fire, and each of them had a roasted 
sheep in his hand and was eating it. The little tailor looked round 
and thought, "It is much more spacious here than in my workshop." 
The giant showed him a bed, and said he was to lie down in it and 
sleep. The bed was, however, too big for the little tailor; he did not 
lie down in it, but crept into a corner. When it was midnight, and 
the giant thought that the little tailor was lying in a sound sleep, he 
got up, took a great iron bar, cut through the bed with one blow, 
and thought he had given the grasshopper his finishing stroke. With 
the earliest dawn the giants went into the forest, and had quite for- 
gotten the little tailor, when all at once he walked up to them quite 
merrily and boldly. The giants were terrified, they were afraid 


that he would strike them all dead, and ran away in a great hurry. 

The little tailor went onwards, always following his own pointed 
nose. After he had walked for a long time, he came to the court-yard 
of a royal palace, and as he felt weary, he lay down on the grass and 
fell asleep. Whilst he lay there, the people came and inspected him 
on all sides, and read on his girdle, "Seven at one stroke." "Ah!" said 
they, "what does the great warrior here in the midst of peace? He 
must be a mighty lord." They went and announced him to the King, 
and gave it as their opinion that if war should break out, this would 
be a weighty and useful man who ought on no account to be allowed 
to depart. The counsel pleased the King, and he sent one of his 
courtiers to the little tailor to offer him military service when he 
awoke. The ambassador remained standing by the sleeper, waited 
until he stretched his limbs and opened his eyes, and then conveyed 
to him this profxjsal. "For this very reason have I come here," the 
tailor repHed, "I am ready to enter the King's service." He was there- 
fore honourably received, and a separate dwelling was assigned him. 

The soldiers, however, were set against the little tailor, and wished 
him a thousand miles away. "What is to be the end of this.'" they 
said amongst themselves. "If we quarrel with him, and he strikes 
about him, seven of us will fall at every blow; not one of us can stand 
against him." They came therefore to a decision, betook themselves 
in a body to the King, and begged for their dismissal. "We are not 
prepared," said they, "to stay with a man who kills seven at one 
stroke." The King was sorry that for the sake of one he should lose 
all his faithful servants, wished that he had never set eyes on the 
tailor, and would willingly have been rid of him again. But he did 
not venture to give him his dismissal, for he dreaded lest he should 
strike him and all his people dead, and place himself on the royal 
throne. He thought about it for a long time, and at last found good 
counsel. He sent to the little tailor and caused him to be informed 
that as he was such a great warrior, he had one request to make to 
him. In a forest of his country lived two giants, who caused great 
mischief with their robbing, murdering, ravaging, and burning, and 
no one could approach them without putting himself in danger of 
death. If the tailor conquered and killed these two giants, he would 
give him his only daughter to wife, and half of his kingdom as a 



dowry, likewise one hundred horsemen should go with him to assist 
him. "That would indeed be a fine thing for a man like me!" 
thought the httle tailor. "One is not offered a beautiful princess and 
half a kingdom every day of one's life!" "Oh, yes," he repHed, "I will 
soon subdue the giants, and do not require the help of the hundred 
horsemen to do it; he who can hit seven at one blow, has no need to 
be afraid of two." 

The little tailor went forth, and the hundred horsemen followed 
him. When he came to the outskirts of the forest, he said to his 
followers, "Just stay waiting here, I alone will soon finish off the 
giants." Then he bounded into the forest and looked about right and 
left. After a while he perceived both giants. They lay sleeping under 
a tree, and snored so that the branches waved up and down. The 
little tailor, not idle, gathered two pocketsf ul of stones, and with these 
climbed up the tree. When he was half-way up, he slipped down by 
a branch, until he sat just above the sleepers, and then let one stone 
after another fall on the breast of one of the giants. For a long time 
the giant felt nothing, but at last he awoke, pushed his comrade, and 
said, "Why art thou knocking me?" "Thou must be dreaming," said 
the other, "I am not knocking thee." They laid themselves down 
to sleep again, and then the tailor threw a stone down on the sec- 
ond. "What is the meaning of this?" cried the other. "Why art 
thou pelting me?" "I am not pelting thee," answered the first, 
growling. They disputed about it for a time, but as they were 
weary they let the matter rest, and their eyes closed once more. The 
little tailor began his game again, picked out the biggest stone, and 
threw it with all his might on the breast of the first giant. "That 
is loo bad!" cried he, and sprang up like a madman, and pushed his 
companion against the tree until it shook. The other paid him back 
in the same coin, and they got into such a rage that they tore up 
trees and belaboured each other so long, that at last they both fell 
down dead on the ground at the same time. Then the little tailor 
leapt down. "It is a lucky thing," said he, "that they did not tear up 
the tree on which I was sitting, or I should have had to spring on to 
another like a squirrel; but we tailors are nimble." He drew out his 
sword and gave each of them a couple of thrusts in the breast, and 
then went out to the horsemen and said, "The work is done; I have 


given both of them their finishing stroke, but it was hard work! 
They tore up trees in their sore need, and defended themselves with 
them, but all that is to no purpose when a man like myself comes, 
who can kill seven at one blow." "But are you not wounded?" asked 
the horsemen. "You need not concern yourself about that," answered 
the tailor, "they have not bent one hair of mine." The horsemen 
would not believe him, and rode into the forest; there they found 
the giants swimming in their blood, and all round about, lay the 
torn-up trees. 

The little tailor demanded of the King the promised reward; he 
however, repented of his promise, and again bethought himself how 
he could get rid of the hero. "Before thou receives! my daughter, 
and half of my kingdom," said he to him, "thou must perform one 
more heroic deed. In the forest roams a unicorn which does great 
harm, and thou must catch it first." "I fear one unicorn still less 
than two giants. Seven at one blow, is my kind of affair." He took 
a rope and an axe with him, went forth into the forest, and bade 
those who were sent with him to wait outside. He had not to seek 
long. The unicorn soon came towards him, and rushed directly on 
the tailor, as if it would spit him on its horn without more cere- 
mony. "Softly, sofdy; it can't be done as quickly as that," said he, 
and stood still and waited until the animal was quite close, and then 
sprang nimbly behind the tree. The unicorn ran against the tree with 
all its strength, and stuck its horn so fast in the trunk that it had 
not strength enough to draw it out again, and thus it was caught. 
"Now, I have got the bird," said the tailor, and came out from be- 
hind the tree and put the rope round its neck, and then with his 
axe he hewed the horn out of the tree, and when all was ready he 
led the beast away and took it to the King. 

The King still would not give him the promised reward, and 
made a third demand. Before the wedding the tailor was to catch 
him a wild boar that made great havoc in the forest, and the hunts- 
men should give him their help. "Willingly," said the tailor, "that 
is child's play!" He did not take the huntsmen with him into the 
forest, and they were pleased that he did not, for the wild boar had 
several times received them in such a manner that they had no in- 
clination to lie in wait for him. When the boar perceived the tailor, 


it ran on him with foaming mouth and whetted tusks, and was about 
to throw him to the ground, but the active hero sprang into a chapel 
which was near, and up to the window at once, and in one bound 
out again. The boar ran in after him, but the tailor ran round out- 
side and shut the door behind it, and then the raging beast, which 
was much too heavy and awkward to leap out of the window, was 
caught. The little tailor called the huntsmen thither that they might 
see the prisoner with their own eyes. The hero, however, went to 
the King, who was now, whether he liked it or not, obliged to keep 
his promise, and gave him his daughter and the half of his kingdom. 
Had he known that it was no warlike hero, but a little tailor who was 
standing before him, it would have gone to his heart still more than 
it did. The wedding was held with great magnificence and small 
joy, and out of a tailor a king was made. 

After some time the young Queen heard her husband say in his 
dreams at night, "Boy, make me the doublet, and patch the panta- 
loons, or else I will rap the yard-measure over thine ears." Then she 
discovered in what state of life the young lord had been born, and 
next morning complained of her wrongs to her father, and begged 
him to help her to get rid of her husband, who was nothing else but 
a tailor. The King comforted her and said, "Leave thy bed-room 
door open this night, and my servants shall stand outside, and when 
he has fallen asleep shall go in, bind him, and take him on board a 
ship which shall carry him into the wide world." The woman was 
satisfied with this; but the King's armour-bearer, who had heard 
all, was friendly with the young lord, and informed him of the 
whole plot. "I'll put a screw into that business," said the little tailor. 
At night he went to bed with his wife at the usual time, and when 
she thought that he had fallen asleep, she got up, opened the door, 
and then lay down again. The little tailor, who was only pretending 
to be asleep, began to cry out in a clear voice, "Boy, make me the 
doublet and patch me the pantaloons, or I will rap the yard- 
measure over thine ears. I smote seven at one blow. I killed two 
giants, I brought away one unicorn, and caught a wild boar, and am 
I to fear those who are standing outside the room?" When these 
men heard the tailor speaking thus, they were overcome by a great 
dread, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, and none 


of them would venture anything further against him. So the little 
tailor was a king, and remained one to the end of his life. 


The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was 
drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, 
"Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always 
protect thee, and I will look down on thee from heaven and be near 
thee." Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the 
maiden went out to her mother's grave and wept, and she remained 
pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet 
over the grave, and when the spring sun had drawn it off again, the 
man had taken another wife. 

The woman had brought two daughters into the house with her, 
who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. 
Now began a bad time for the poor step<hild. "Is the stupid goose 
to sit in the parlour with us?" said they. "He who wants to eat bread 
must earn it; out with the kitchen-wench." They took her pretty 
clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave 
her wooden shoes. "Just look at the proud princess, how decked out 
she is!" they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There 
she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before day- 
break, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sis- 
ters did her every imaginable injury — they mocked her and emptied 
her f)eas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and 
pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she 
was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the fireside 
in the ashes. And as on that account she always looked dusty and 
dirty, they called her Cinderella. It happened that the father was 
once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he 
should bring back for them. "Beautiful dresses," said one, "Pearls 
and jewels," said the second. "And thou, Cinderella," said he, "what 
wilt thou have?" "Father, break off for me the first branch which 
knocks against your hat on your way home." So he brought beauti- 
ful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his 
way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig 


brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the 
branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his 
step-daughters the things which they wished for, and to Cinderella he 
gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went 
to her mother's grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much 
that the tears fell down on it and watered it. It grew, however, and 
became a liandsome tree. Thrice a day Cinderella went and sat be- 
neath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came 
on the tree, and if Cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down 
to her what she had wished for. 

It happened, however, that the King appointed a festival which 
was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls in 
the country were invited, in order that his son might choose a bride. 
When the two step-daughters heard that they too were to appear 
among the number, they were delighted, called Cinderella and said, 
"Comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for 
we are going to the festival at the King's palace." Cinderella obeyed, 
but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the 
dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so. "Thou go, 
Cinderella!" said she. "Thou art dusty and dirty, and wouldst go to 
the festival? Thou hast no clothes and shoes, and yet wouldst 
dance!" As, however, Cinderella went on asking, the step-mother 
at last said, "I have emptied a dish of lentils into the ashes for thee, 
if thou hast picked them out again in two hours, thou shalt go with 
us." The maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and 
called, "You tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds 
beneath the sky, come and help me to pick 

"The good into the pot. 
The bad into the crop." 

Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and 
afterwards the turtle-doves, and at last all the birds beneath the sky, 
came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. 
And the pigeons nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, 
pick, and the rest began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all 
the good grains into the dish. Hardly had one hour passed before 
they had finished, and all flew out again. Then the girl took the dish 


to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be 
allowed to go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said: 
"No, Cinderella, thou hast no clothes and thou canst not dance; 
thou wouldst only be laughed at." And as Cinderella wept at this, 
the step-mother said, "If thou canst pick two dishes of lentils out of 
the ashes for me in one hour, thou shalt go with us." And she 
thought to herself "That she most certainly cannot do." When the 
step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils amongst the ashes, 
the maiden went through the back-door into the garden and cried, 
"You tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds under heaven, 
come and help me to pick 

"The good into the pot, 
The bad into the crop." 

Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and after- 
wards the turtle-doves, and at length all the birds beneath the sky, 
came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. 
And the doves nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, 
pick, and others began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all 
the good seeds into the dishes, and before half an hour was over they 
had already finished, and all flew out again. Then the maiden carried 
the dishes to the step-mother and was delighted, and believed that she 
might now go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, 
"All this will not help thee; thou goest not with us, for thou hast no 
clothes and canst not dance; we should be ashamed of thee!" On 
this she turned her back on Cinderella, and hurried away with her 
two proud daughters. 

As no one was now at home, Cinderella went to her mother's 
grave beneath the hazel-tree, and cried, 

"Shiver and quiver, litde tree, 
Silver and gold throw down over me." 

Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and 
slipfjers embroidered with silk and silver. She put on the dress with 
all speed, and went to the festival. Her step-mother, however, did 
not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she 
looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought 


of Cinderella, and believed that she was sitting at home in the dirt, 
picking lentils out of the ashes. The prince went to meet her, took 
her by the hand, and danced with her. He would dance with no 
other maiden, and never left loose of her hand, and if any one else 
came to invite her, he said, "This is my partner." 

She danced till it was evening, and then she wanted to go home. 
But the King's son said, "I will go with thee and bear thee company," 
for he wished to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. She 
escaped from him, however, and sprang into the pigeon-house. The 
King's son waited until her father came, and then he told him that 
the stranger maiden had leapt into the pigeon-house. The old man 
thought, "Can it be Cinderella?" and they had to bring him an axe 
and a pickaxe that he might hew the pigeon-house to pieces, but no 
one was inside it. And when they got home Cinderella lay in her 
dirty clothes among the ashes, and a dim little oil-lamp was burning 
on the mantel-piece, for Cinderella had jumped quickly down from 
the back of the pigeon-house and had run to the little hazel-tree, and 
there she had taken of? her beautiful clothes and laid them on the 
grave, and the bird had taken them away again, and then she had 
placed herself in the kitchen amongst the ashes in her grey gown. 

Next day when the festival began afresh, and her parents and the 
step>-sisters had gone once more, Cinderella went to the hazel-tree 
and said — 

"Shiver and quiver, my little tree. 
Silver and gold throw down over me." 

Then the bird threw down a much more beautiful dress than on 
the preceding day. And when Cinderella appeared at the festival in 
this dress, every one was astonished at her beauty. The King's son 
had waited until she came, and instantly took her by the hand and 
danced with no one but her. When others came and invited her, he 
said, "She is my partner." When evening came she wished to leave, 
and the King's son followed her and wanted to see into which house 
she went. But she sprang away from him, and into the garden 
behind the house. Therein stood a beautiful tall tree on which hung 
the most magnificent pears. She clambered so nimbly between the 
branches like a squirrel, that the King's son did not know where she 
was gone. He waited until her father came, and said to him, "The 


Stranger maiden has escaped from me, and I believe she has climbed 
up the pear-tree." The father thought, "Can it be Cinderella?" and 
had an axe brought and cut the tree down, but no one was in it. 
And when they got into the kitchen, Cinderella lay there amongst 
the ashes, as usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the 
tree, had taken the beautiful dress to the bird on the little hazel-uee, 
and put on her grey gown. 

On the third day, when the parents and sisters had gone away, 
Cinderella once more went to her mother's grave and said to the 
little tree — 

"Shiver and quiver, my litde tree, 
Silver and gold throw down over me." 

And now the bird threw down to her a dress which was more 
splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers 
were golden. And when she went to the festival in the dress, no one 
knew how to speak for astonishment. The King's son danced with 
her only, and if any one invited her to dance, he said, "She is my 

When evening came, Cinderella wished to leave, and the King's 
son was anxious to go with her, but she escaped from him so quickly 
that he could not follow her. The King's son had, however, used a 
stratagem, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with 
pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden's left slipf)er 
remained sticking. The King's son picked it up, and it was small 
and dainty, and all golden. Next morning, he went with it to the 
father, and said to him, "No one shall be my wife but she whose foot 
this golden slipper fits." Then were the two sisters glad, for they 
had pretty feet. The eldest went with the shoe into her room and 
wanted to try it on, and her mother stood by. But she could not get 
her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her 
mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut the toe off; when thou art 
Queen thou wilt have no more need to go on foot." The maiden 
cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, 
and went out to the King's son. Then he took her on his horse as 
his bride, and rode away with her. They were, however, obliged to 
pass the grave, and there, on the hazel-tree, sat the two pigeons and 



"Turn and f)eep, turn and peep, 
There's blood within the shoe, 
The shoe it is too small for her, 
The true bride waits for you." 

Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was streaming 
from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home 
again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister 
was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and 
got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her 
mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut a bit off thy heel; when thou 
art Queen thou wilt have no more need to go on foot." The maiden 
cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the 
puin, and went out to the King's son. He took her on his horse as 
his bride, and rode away with her, but when they passed by the 
hazel-tree, two little pigeons sat on it and cried, 

"Turn and peep, turn and peep, 
There's blood within the shoe. 
The shoe it is too small for her. 
The true bride waits for you." 

He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out 
of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking. Then he 
turned his horse and took the false bride home again. "This also is 
not the right one," said he, "have you no other daughter?" "No," 
said the man, "There is still a little stunted kitchen-wench which my 
late wife left behind her, but she cannot possibly be the bride." The 
King's son said he was to send her up to him; but the mother 
answered, "Oh no, she is much too dirty, she cannot show herself!" 
He absolutely insisted on it, and Cinderella had to be called. She 
first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed 
down before the King's son, who gave her the golden shoe. Then 
she seated herself on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden 
shoe, and put it into the sHpper, which fitted like a glove. And when 
she rose up and the King's son looked at her face he recognized the 
beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, "That is the 
true bride!" The step-mother and the two sisters were terrified and 
became pale with rage; he, however, took Cinderella on his horse and 


rode away with her. As they passed by the hazel-tree, the two white 
doves cried, 

"Turn and peep, turn and peep, 
No blood is in the shoe, 
The shoe is not too small for her, 
The true bride rides with you." 

and when they had cried that, the two came flying down and placed 
themselves on Cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on 
the left, and remained sitting there. 

When the wedding with the King's son had to be celebrated, the 
two false sisters came and wanted to get into favour with Cinderella 
and share her good fortune. When the betrothed couple went to 
church, the elder was at the right side and the younger at the left, 
and the pigeons pecked out one eye of each of them. Afterwards 
as they came back, the elder was at the left, and the younger at the 
right, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye of each. And 
thus, for their wickedness and falsehood they were punished with 
blindness as long as they lived. 


There was once a widow who had two daughters — one of whom 
was pretty and industrious, whilst the other was ugly and idle. But 
she was much fonder of the ugly and idle one, because she was her 
own daughter; and the other, who was a step-daughter, was obliged 
to do all the work, and be the Cinderella of the house. Every day 
the poor girl had to sit by a well, in the highway, and spin and spin 
till her fingers bled. 

Now it happened that one day the shuttle was marked with her 
blood, so she dipped it in the well, to wash the mark off; but it 
dropped out of her hand and fell to the bottom. She began to weep, 
and ran to her step-mother and told her of the mishap. But she 
scolded her sharply, and was so merciless as to say, "Since you have 
let the shuttle fall in, you must fetch it out again." 

So the girl went back to the well, and did not know what to do: 
and in the sorrow of her heart she jumped into the well to get the 
shuttle. She lost her senses; and when she awoke and came to herself 


again, she was in a lovely meadow where the sun was shining and 
many thousands of flowers were growing. Along this meadow she 
went, and at last came to a baker's oven full of bread, and the bread 
cried out, "Oh, take me out! take me out! or 1 shall burn; I have 
been baked a long time!" So she went up to it, and took out all the 
loaves one after another with the bread-shovel. After that she went 
on till she came to a tree covered with apples, which called out to her, 
"Oh, shake me! shake me! we apples are all ripe!" So she shook the 
tree till the apples fell like rain, and went on shaking till they were 
all down, and when she had gathered them into a heap, she went 
on her way. 

At last she came to a little house, out of which an old woman 
peeped; but she had such large teeth that the girl was frightened, 
and was about to run away. 

But the old woman called out to her, "What are you afraid of, 
dear child? Stay with me; if you will do all the work in the house 
properly, you shall be the better for it. Only you must take care 
to make my bed well, and to shake it thoroughly till the feathers 
fly — for then there is snow on the earth. I am Mother Holle." ' 

As the old woman spoke so kindly to her, the girl took courage 
and agreed to enter her service. She attended to everything to the 
satisfaction of her mistress, and always shook her bed so vigorously 
that the feathers flew about like snow-flakes. So she had a pleasant 
hfe with her; never an angry word; and boiled or roast meat every 

She stayed some time with Mother Holle, and then she became 
sad. At first she did not know what was the matter with her, but 
found at length that it was homesickness; although she was many 
thousand times better off here than at home, still she had a longing 
to be there. At last she said to the old woman, "I have a longing for 
home; and however well off I am down here, I cannot stay any 
longer; I must go up again to my own people." Mother Holle said, 
"I am pleased that you long for your home again, and as you have 
served me truly, I myself will take you up again." Thereupon she 
took her by the hand, and led her to a large door. The door was 
op)ened, and just as the maiden was standing beneath the doorway, 

' Thus in Hcssc, when it snows, they say, "Mother Holle is making her bed." 


a heavy shower of golden rain fell, and all the gold remained stick- 
ing to her, so that she was completely covered with it. 

"You shall have that because you are so industrious," said Mother 
Holle; and at the same time she gave her back the shuttle which she 
had let fall into the well. Thereupon the door closed, and the maiden 
found herself up above upon the earth, not far from her mother's 

And as she went into the yard the cock was standing by the well- 
side, and cried — 

"Cock-a-doodle-doo ! 
Your golden girl's come back to you!" 

So she went in to her mother, and as she arrived thus covered with 
gold, she was well received, both by her and her sister. 

The girl told all that had happened to her; and as soon as the 
mother heard how she had come by so much wealth, she was very 
anxious to obtain the same good luck for the ugly and lazy daugh- 
ter. She had to seat herself by the well and spin; and in order that 
her shuttle might be stained with blood, she stuck her hand into a 
thorn bush and pricked her finger. Then she threw her shuttle into 
the well, and jumped in after it. 

She came, like the other, to the beautiful meadow and walked 
along the very same path. When she got to the oven the bread again 
cried, "Oh, take me out! take me out! or I shall burn; I have been 
baked a long time!" 

But the lazy thing answered, "As if I had any wish to make myself 
dirty?" and on she went. Soon she came to the apple-tree, which 
cried, "Oh, shake me! shake me! we apples are all ripe!" But she 
answered, "I like that! one of you might fall on my head," and so 
went on. 

When she came to Mother HoUe's house she was not afraid, for 
she had already heard of her big teeth, and she hired herself to her 

The first day she forced herself to work diligently, and obeyed 
Mother Holle when she told her to do anything, for she was thinking 
of all the gold that she would give her. But on the second day she 
began to be lazy, and on the third day still more so, and then she 


would not get up in the morning at all. Neither did she make 
Mother HoUe's bed as she ought, and did not shake it so as to make 
the feathers fly up. Mother HoUe was soon tired of this, and gave 
her notice to leave. The lazy girl was willing enough to go, and 
thought that now the golden rain would come. Mother Holle led her 
too to the great door; but while she was standing beneath it, instead 
of the gold a big kettle of pitch was emptied over her. "That is the 
reward of your service," said Mother Holle, and shut the door. 

So the lazy girl went home; but she was quite covered with pitch 
and the cock by the well-side, as soon as he saw her, cried out — 

"Cock-a-doodle-do ! 
Your pitchy girl's come back to you!" 

But the pitch stuck fast to her, and could not be got off as long as 
she lived. 


There was once a man who had seven sons, and still he had no 
daughter, however much he wished for one. At length his wife again 
gave him hope of a child, and when it came into the world it was a 
girl. The joy was great, but the child was sickly and small, and had 
to be privately baptized on account of its weakness. The father sent 
one of the boys in haste to the spring to fetch water for the baptism. 
The other six went with him, and as each of them wanted to be 
first to fill it, the jug fell into the well. There they stood and did 
not know what to do, and none of them dared to go home. As they 
still did not return, the father grew impatient, and said, "They have 
certainly forgotten it for some game, the wicked boys!" He became 
afraid that the girl would have to die without being baptized, and in 
his anger cried, "I wish the boys were all turned into ravens." Hardly 
was the word spoken before he heard a whirring of wings over his 
head in the air, looked up and saw seven coal-black ravens flying 
away. The parents could not recall the curse, and however sad they 
were at the loss of their seven sons, they still to some extent comforted 
themselves with their dear little daughter, who soon grew strong 
and every day became more beautiful. For a long time she did not 
know that she had had brothers, for her parents were careful not to 


mention them before her, but one day she accidentally heard some 
people saying of herself, "that the girl was certainly beautiful, but 
that in reality she was to blame for the misfortune which had be- 
fallen her seven brothers." Then she was much troubled, and went 
to her father and mother and asked if it was true that she had had 
brothers, and what had become of them? The parents now dared 
to keep the secret no longer, but said that what had befallen her 
brothers was the will of Heaven, and that her birth had only been 
the innocent cause. But the maiden laid it to heart daily, and thought 
she must deliver her brothers. She had no rest or p)eace until she 
set out secretly, and went forth into the wide world to trace out her 
brothers and set them free, let it cost what it might. She took 
nothing with her but a little ring belonging to her parents as a keep- 
sake, a loaf of bread against hunger, a little pitcher of water against 
thirst, and a little chair as a provision against weariness. 

And now she went continually onwards, far, far, to the very end 
of the world. Then she came to the sun, but it was too hot and 
terrible, and devoured little children. Hastily she ran away, and ran 
to the moon, but it was far too cold, and also awful and malicious, 
and when it saw the child, it said, "I smell, I smell the flesh of men." 
On this she ran swifty away, and came to the stars, which were kind 
and good to her and each of them sat on its own particular little 
chair. But the morning star arose, and gave her the drumstick of a 
chicken, and said, "If thou hast not that drumstick thou canst not 
open the Glass mountain, and in the Glass mountain are thy 

The maiden took the drumstick, wrapped it carefully in a cloth, 
and went onwards again until she came to the Glass mountain. The 
door was shut, and she thought she would take out the drumstick; 
but when she undid the cloth, it was empty, and she had lost the 
good star's present. What was she now to do? She wished to rescue 
her brothers, and had no key to the Glass mountain. The good sister 
took a knife, cut ofl one of her little fingers, put it in the door, and 
succeeded in opening it. When she had gone inside, a little dwarf 
came to meet her, who said, "My child, what are you looking for?" 
"I am looking for my brothers, the seven ravens," she replied. The 
dwarf said, "The lord ravens are not at home, but if you will wait 


here until they come, step in." Thereupon the little dwarf carried the 
ravens' dinner in, on seven little plates, and in seven little glasses, 
and the little sister ate a morsel from each plate, and from each little 
glass she took a sip, but in the last litde glass she dropped the ring 
which she had brought away with her. 

Suddenly she heard a whirring of wings and a rushing through 
the air, and then the little dwarf said, "Now the lord ravens are 
flying home." Then they came, and wanted to eat and drink, and 
looked for their little plates and glasses. Then said one after the 
other, "Who has eaten something from my plate? Who has drunk 
out of my little glass? It was a human mouth." And when the 
seventh came to the bottom of the glass, the ring rolled against his 
mouth. Then he looked at it, and saw that it was a ring belonging 
to his father and mother, and said, "God grant that our sister may 
be here, and then we shall be free." When the maiden, who was 
standing behind the door watching, heard that wish, she came forth, 
and on this all the ravens were restored to their human form again. 
And they embraced and kissed each other, and went joyfully home. 


Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by 
every one who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, 
and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. 
Once she gave her a litde cap of red velvet, which suited her so well 
that she would never wear anything else; so she was always called 
"Litde Red-Cap." 

One day her mother said to her, "Come, Little Red-Cap, here is 
a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grand- 
mother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out be- 
fore it gets hot, and when you are going walk nicely and quietly 
and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and 
then your grandmother will get nothing; and when you go into her 
room, don't forget to say, 'Good-morning,' and don't peep into every 
corner before you do it." 

'The English version of this story, the well-known Little Red-Riding-Hood, is 
probably derived more immediately from the French, "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge," 
as given by Pcrrault, where it ends with the death of the girl. 


"I will take great care," said Little Red-Cap to her mother, and 
gave her hand on it. 

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the 
village, and just as Little Red-Cap entered the wood, a wolf met her. 
Red-Cap did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not 
at all afraid of him. 

"Good-day, Little Red-Cap," said he. 

"Thank you kindly, Wolf." 

"Whither away so early, Little Red-Cap.?" 

"To my grandmother's." 

"What have you got in your apron.'" 

"Cake and wine; yesterday was baking-day, so p)oor sick grand- 
mother is to have something good, to make her stronger." 

"Where does your grandmother live, Little Red-Cap.'" 

"A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood; her house 
stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below; 
you surely must know it," replied Little Red-Cap. 

The wolf thought to himself, "What a tender young creature! 
what a nice plump mouthful — she will be better to eat than the old 
woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both." So he walked for a 
short time by the side of Little Red-Cap, and then he said, "Sec, Little 
Red-Cap, how pretty the flowers are about here — why do you not 
look round.? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the 
little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going 
to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry." 

Little Red-Cap raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams 
dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers grow- 
ing everywhere, she thought, "Suppose I take grandmother a fresh 
nosegay; that would please her too. It is so early in the day that I 
shall still get there in good time!" and so she ran from the path into 
the wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, 
she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after 
it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood. 

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and 
knocked at the door. 

"Who is there?" 


"Little Red-Cap," replied the wolf. "She is bringing cake and 
wine; open the door." 

"Lift the latch," called out the grandmother, "I am too weak, 
and cannot get up." 

The wolf lifted the latch, the door flew open, and without saying 
a word he went straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. 
Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself 
in bed and drew the curtains. 

Little Red-Cap, however had been running about picking flowers, 
and when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, 
she remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her. 

She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and 
when she went into the room, she had such a strange feeling that she 
said to herself, "Oh dear! how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times 
I like being with grandmother so much." She called out, "Good 
morning," but received no answer; so she went to the bed and drew 
back the curtains. There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled 
far over her face and looking very strange. 

"Oh! grandmother," she said, "what big ears you have!" 

"The better to hear you with, my child," was the reply, 

"But, grandmother, what big eyes you have!" she said. 

"The better to see you with, my dear." 

"But grandmother, what large hands you have!" 

"The better to hug you with." 

"Oh! but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have!" 

"The better to eat you with!" 

And scarcely had the wolf said this, than with one bound he was 
out of bed and swallowed up Red-Cap. 

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the 
bed, fell asleep, and began to snore very loud. The huntsman was 
just passing the house, and thought to himself, "How the old woman 
is snoring! I must just see if she wants anything." So he went into 
the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was 
lying in it. "Do I find thee here, thou old sinner!" said he. "I have 
long sought thee!" Then just as he was going to fire at him, it oc- 
curred to him that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, 


and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair 
of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. 
When he had made two snips, he saw the little Red-Cap shining, 
and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, 
crying, "Ah, how frightened 1 have been! How dark it was inside 
the wolf;" and after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, 
but scarcely able to breathe. Red-Cap, however, quickly fetched 
great stones with which they filled the wolf's body, and when he 
awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he 
fell down at once, and fell dead. 

Then all three were delighted. The huntsman drew off the wolf's 
skin and went home with it; the grandmother ate the cake and drank 
the wine which Red-Cap had brought, and revived, but Red-Cap 
thought to herself, "As long as I live, I will never by myself leave the 
path, to run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to 
do so." 

It is also related that once when Red-Cap was again taking cakes 
to the old grandmother, another wolf spoke to her, and tried to entice 
her from the path. Red-Cap was, however, on her guard, and went 
straight forward on her way, and told her grandmother that she 
had met the wolf, and that he had said "good morning" to her, but 
with such a wicked look in his eyes, that if they had not been on 
the public road she was certain he would have eaten her up. "Well," 
said the grandmother, "we will shut the door, that he may not come 
in." Soon afterwards the wolf knocked, and cried, "Open the door, 
grandmother, I am little Red-Cap, and am fetching you some cakes." 
But they did not speak, or open the door, so the grey-beard stole twice 
or thrice around the house, and at last jumped on the roof, intend- 
ing to wait until Red-Cap went home in the evening, and then to 
steal after and devour her in the darkness. But the grandmother 
saw what was in his thoughts. In front of the house was a great stone 
trough, so she said to the child, "Take the pail, Red-Cap; I made 
some sausages yesterday, so carry the water in which I boiled them to 
the trough." Red-Cap carried until the great trough was quite full. 
Then the smell of the sausages reached the wolf, and he sniffed and 
peeped down, and at last stretched out his neck so far that he could 
no longer keep his footing and began to slip, and slipped down from 


the roof into the great trough, and was drowned. But Red-Cap went 
joyously home, and never did anything to harm any one. 


A CERTAIN man had a donkey, which had carried the corn-sacks 
to the mill indefatigably for many a long year; but his strength was 
going, and he was growing more and more unfit for work. Then his 
master began to consider how he might best save his keep; but the 
donkey, seeing that no good wind was blowing, ran away and set 
out on the road to Bremen. "There," he thought, "I can surely be 
town-musician." When he had walked some distance, he found a 
hound lying on the road, gasping like one who had run till he was 
tired. "What are you gasping so for, you big fellow?" asked the 

"Ah," replied the hound, "as I am old, and daily grow weaker, 
and no longer can hunt, my master wanted to kill me, so I took to 
flight; but now how am I to earn my bread?" 

"I tell you what," said the donkey, "I am going to Bremen, and 
shall be town-musician there; go with me and engage yourself also 
as a musician. I will play the lute, and you shall beat the kettle- 

The hound agreed, and on they went. 

Before long they came to a cat, sitting on the path, with a face like 
three rainy days! "Now then, old shaver, what has gone askew 
with you?" asked the donkey. 

"Who can be merry when his neck is in danger?" answered the 
cat. "Because I am now getting old, and my teeth are worn to 
stumps, and I prefer to sit by the fire and spin, rather than hunt 
about after mice, my mistress wanted to drown me, so I ran away. 
But now good advice is scarce. Where am I to go?" 

"Go with us to Bremen. You understand night-music, so you can 
be a town-musician." 

The cat thought well of it, and went with them. After this the 
three fugitives came to a farm-yard, where the cock was sitting 
upon the gate, crowing with all his might. "Your crow goes through 
and through one," said the donkey. "What is the matter?" 


"I have been foretelling fine weather, because it is the day on 
which Our Lady washes the Christ<hild's little shirts, and wants to 
dry them," said the cock; "but guests are coming for Sunday, so the 
housewife has no pity, and has told the cook that she intends to eat 
me in the soup to-morrow, and this evening I am to have my head 
cut off. Now, I am crowing at full pitch while I can." 

"Ah, but red<omb," said the donkey, "you had better come away 
with us. We are going to Bremen; you can find something better 
than death everywhere: you have a good voice, and if we make 
music together it must have some quality!" 

The cock agreed to this plan, and all four went on together. They 
could not, however, reach the city of Bremen in one day, and in the 
evening they came to a forest where they meant to pass the night. 
The donkey and the hound laid themselves down under a large tree, 
the cat and the cock settled themselves in the branches; but the cock 
flew right to the top, where he was most safe. Before he went to 
sleep he looked round on all the four sides, and thought he saw in the 
distance a little spark burning; so he called out to his companions 
that there must be a house not far off, for he saw a light. The donkey 
said, "If so, we had better get up and go on, for the shelter here is 
bad." The hound thought that a few bones with some meat on 
would do him good too! 

So they made their way to the place where the light was, and 
soon saw it shine brighter and grow larger, until they came to a well- 
lighted robber's house. The donkey, as the biggest, went to the win- 
dow and looked in. 

"What do you see, my grey-horse?" asked the cock. "What do I 
see?" answered the donkey; "a table covered with good things to 
eat and drink, and robbers sitting at it enjoying themselves." "That 
would be the sort of thing for us," said the cock. "Yes, yes; ah, how I 
wish we were there!" said the donkey. 

Then the animals took counsel together how they should manage 
to drive away the robbers, and at last they thought of a plan. The 
donkey was to place himself with his forefeet upon the window- 
ledge, the hound was to jump on the donkey's back, the cat was to 
climb upon the dog, and lastly the cock was to fly up and perch 
upon the head of the cat. 


When this was done, at a given signal, they began to perform their 
music together: the donkey brayed, the hound barked, the cat 
mewed, and the cock crowed; then they burst through the window 
into the room, so that the glass clattered! At this horrible din, the 
robbers sprang up, thinking no otherwise than that a ghost had 
come in, and fled in a great fright out into the forest. The four com- 
panions now sat down at the table, well content with what was left, 
and ate as if they were going to fast for a month. 

As soon as the four minstrels had done, they put out the light, and 
each sought for himself a sleeping-place according to his nature and 
to what suited him. The donkey laid himself down upon some straw 
in the yard, the hound behind the door, the cat upon the hearth near 
the warm ashes, and the cock perched himself upon a beam of the 
roof; and being tired with their long walk, they soon went to 

When it was past midnight, and the robbers saw from afar that the 
light was no longer burning in their house, and all appeared quiet, 
the captain said, "We ought not to have let ourselves be frightened 
out of our wits;" and ordered one of them to go and examine the 

The messenger finding all still, went into the kitchen to light a 
candle, and, taking the glistening fiery eyes of the cat for live coals, 
he held a lucifer-match to them to light it. But the cat did not under- 
stand the joke, and flew in his face, spitting and scratching. He was 
dreadfully frightened, and ran to the back-door, but the dog, who 
ky there, sprang up and bit his leg; as he ran across the yard by the 
straw-heap, the donkey gave him a smart kick with its hind foot. 
The cock, too, who had been awakened by the noise, and had become 
lively, cried down from the beam, "Cock-a-doodle-doo!" 

Then the robber ran back as fast as he could to his captain, and 
said, "Ah, there is a horrible witch sitting in the house, who spat 
on me and scratched my face with her long claws; and by the door 
stands a man with a knife, who stabbed me in the leg; and in the 
yard there lies a black monster, who beat me with a wooden club; 
and above, upon the roof, sits the judge, who called out, 'Bring the 
rogue here to me!' so I got away as well as I could." 

After this the robbers did not trust themselves in the house again; 


but it suited the four musicians of Bremen so well that they did not 
care to leave it any more. And the mouth of him who last told this 
story is still warm. 


A CERTAIN miller had little by little fallen into poverty, and had 
nothing left but his mill and a large apple-tree behind it. Once 
when he had gone into the forest to fetch wood, an old man stepped 
up to him whom he had never seen before, and said, "Why dost 
thou plague thyself with cutting wood, I will make thee rich, if thou 
wilt promise me what is standing behind the mill?" "What can that 
be but my apple-tree?" thought the miller, and said, "Yes," and gave 
a written promise to the stranger. He, however, laughed mockingly 
and said, "When three years have passed, I will come and carry 
away what belongs to me," and then he went. When the miller got 
home, his wife came to meet him and said, "Tell me, miller, from 
whence comes this sudden wealth into our house? All at once every 
box and chest was filled; no one brought it in, and I know not how it 
happ)ened." He answered, "It comes from a stranger who met me 
in the forest, and promised me great treasure. I, in return, have 
promised him what stands behind the mill; we can very well give 
him the big apple-tree for it." "Ah, husband," said the terrified wife, 
"that must have been the devil! He did not mean the apple-tree, but 
our daughter, who was standing behind the mill sweeping the yard." 

The miller's daughter was a beautiful, pious girl, and lived through 
the three years in the fear of God and without sin. When therefore 
the time was over, and the day came when the Evil-one was to fetch 
her, she washed herself clean, and made a circle round herself with 
chalk. The devil appeared quite early, but he could not come near to 
her. Angrily, he said to the miller, "Take all water away from her, 
that she may no longer be able to wash herself, for otherwise I have 
no power over her." The miller was afraid, and did so. The next 
morning the devil came again, but she had wept on her hands, and 
they were quite clean. Again he could not get near her, and furiously 
said to the miller, "Cut her hands off, or else I cannot get the better 
of her." The miller was shocked and answered, "How could I cut off 
my own child's hands?" Then the Evil-one threatened him and said, 


"If thou dost not do it thou art mine, and I will take thee thyself." 
The father became alarmed, and promised to obey him. So he went 
to the girl and said, "My child, if I do not cut off both thine hands, 
the devil will carry me away, and in my terror 1 have promised to 
do it. Help me in my need, and forgive me the harm I do thee." 
She replied, "Dear father, do with me what you will, I am your 
child." Thereupon she laid down both her hands, and let them be 
cut off. The devil came for the third time, but she had wept so long 
and so much on the stumps, that after all they were quite clean. 
Then he had to give in, and had lost all right over her. 

The miller said to her, "I have by means of thee received such 
great wealth that I will keep thee most delicately as long as thou 
livest." But she replied, "Here I cannot stay, I will go forth, compas- 
sionate people will give me as much as 1 require." Thereupon she 
caused her maimed arms to be bound to her back, and by sunrise 
she set out on her way, and walked the whole day until night fell. 
Then she came to a royal garden, and by the shimmering of the 
moon she saw that trees covered with beautiful fruits grew in it, 
but she could not enter, for there was much water round about it. 
And as she had walked the whole day and not eaten one mouthful, 
and hunger tormented her, she thought, "Ah, if I were but inside, 
that I might eat of the fruit, else must I die of hunger!" Then 
she knelt down, called on God the Lord, and prayed. And sud- 
denly an angel came towards her, who made a dam in the water, 
so that the moat became dry and she could walk through it. And 
now she went into the garden and the angel went with her. She 
saw a tree covered with beautiful pears, but they were all counted. 
Then she went to them, and to still her hunger, ate one with her 
mouth from the tree, but no more. The gardener was watching; 
but as the angel was standing by, he was afraid and thought the 
maiden was a spirit and was silent, neither did he dare to cry out, 
or to speak to the spirit. When she had eaten the pear, she was 
satisfied, and went and concealed herself among the bushes. The 
King to whom the garden belonged, came down to it the next morn- 
ing, and counted, and saw that one of the pears was missing, and 
asked the gardener what had become of it, as it was not lying be- 
neath the tree, but was gone. Then answered the gardener, "Last 


night, a spirit came in, who had no hands, and ate off one of the 
pears with its mouth." The King said, "How did the spirit get over 
the water, and where did it go after it had eaten the pear?" The 
gardener answered, "Some one came in a snow-white garment from 
heaven who made a dam, and kept back the water, that the spirit 
might walk through the moat. And as it must have been an angel, I 
was afraid, and asked no questions, and did not cry out. When the 
spirit had eaten the pear, it went back again." The King said, "If it 
be as thou sayest, I will watch with thee to-night." 

When it grew dark the King came into the garden and brought a 
priest with him, who was to speak to the spirit. All three seated 
themselves beneath the tree and watched. At midnight the maiden 
came creeping out of the thicket, went to the tree, and again ate one 
pear off it with her mouth, and beside her stood the angel in white 
garments. Then the priest went out to them and said, "Comest thou 
from heaven or from earth? Art thou a spirit, or a human being?" 
She replied, "I am no spirit, but an unhappy mortal deserted by all 
but God." The King said, "If thou art forsaken by all the world, 
yet will I not forsake thee." He took her with him into his royal 
palace, and as she was so beautiful and good, he loved her with all 
his heart, had silver hands made for her, and took her to wife. 

After a year the King had to take the field, so he commended his 
young Queen to the care of his mother and said, "If she is brought 
to bed take care of her, nurse her well, and tell me of it at once in a 
letter." Then she gave birth to a fine boy. So the old mother made 
haste to write and announce the joyful news to him. But the mes- 
senger rested by a brook on the way, and as he was fatigued by the 
great distance, he fell asleep. Then came the Devil, who was always 
seeking to injure the good Queen, and exchanged the letter for 
another, in which was written that the Queen had brought a mon- 
ster into the world. When the King read the letter he was shocked 
and much troubled, but he wrote in answer that they were to take 
great care of the Queen and nurse her well until his arrival. The 
messenger went back with the letter, but rested at the same place 
and again fell asleep. Then came the Devil once more, and put a dif- 
ferent letter in his pocket, in which it was written that they were to 
put the Queen and her child to death. The old mother was terribly 


shocked when she received the letter, and could not believe it. She 
wrote back again to the King, but received no other answer, because 
each time the Devil substituted a false letter, and in the last letter it 
was also written that she was to preserve the Queen's tongue and eyes 
as a token that she had obeyed. 

But the old mother wept to think such innocent blood was to be 
shed, and had a hind brought by night and cut out her tongue and 
eyes, and kept them. Then said she to the Queen, "I cannot have thee 
killed as the King commands, but here thou mayst stay no longer. 
Go forth into the wide world with thy child, and never come here 
again." The poor woman tied her child on her back, and went away 
with eyes full of tears. She came into a great wild forest, and then 
she fell on her knees and prayed to God, and the angel of the Lord 
appeared to her and led her to a little house on which was a sign with 
the words, "Here all dwell free." A snow-white maiden came out of 
the little house and said, "Welcome, Lady Queen," and conducted 
her inside. Then they unbound the little boy from her back, and 
held him to her breast that he might feed, and then laid him in a 
beautifully-made little bed. Then said the poor woman, "From 
whence knowest thou that I was a queen ?" The white maiden an- 
swered, "I am an angel sent by God, to watch over thee, and thy 
child." The Queen stayed seven years in the little house, and was 
well cared for, and by God's grace, because of her piety, her hands 
which had been cut off, grew once more. 

At last the King came home again from the war, and his first wish 
was to see his wife and the child. Then his aged mother began to 
weep, and said, "Thou wicked man, why didst thou write to me that 
I was to take those two innocent lives?" and she showed him the two 
letters which the Evil-one had forged, and then continued, "I did as 
thou badest me," and she showed the tokens, the tongue and eyes. 
Then the King began to weep for his poor wife and his little son so 
much more bitterly than she was doing, that the aged mother had 
compassion on him and said, "Be at peace, she still lives; I secretly 
caused a hind to be killed, and took these tokens from it; but I bound 
the child to thy wife's back and bade her go forth into the wide world, 
and made her promise never to come back here again, because thou 
wert so angry with her." Then spake the King, "I will go as far as 


the sky is blue, and will neither eat nor drink until I have found 
again my dear wife and my child, if in the meantime they have not 
been killed, nor died of hunger." 

Thereupon the King travelled about for seven long years, and 
sought her in every cleft of the rocks and in every cave but he found 
her not, and thought she had died of want. During the whole of 
this time he neither ate nor drank, but God supported him. At 
length he came to a great forest, and found therein the little house 
whose sign was, "Here all dwell free." Then forth came the white 
maiden, took him by the hand, led him in, and said, "Welcome, Lord 
King," and asked him from whence he came. He answered, "Soon 
shall I have travelled about for the space of seven years, and I seek 
my wife and her child, but cannot find them." The angel offered 
him meat and drink, but he did not take anything, and only wished 
to rest a little. Then he lay down to sleep, and put a handkerchief 
over his face. 

Thereupon the angel went into the chamber where the Queen 
sat with her son, whom she usually called "Sorrowful," and said to 
her. "Go out with thy child, thy husband hath come." So she went 
to the place where he lay, and the handkerchief fell from his face. 
Then said she, "Sorrowful, pick up thy father's handkerchief, and 
cover his face again." The child picked it up, and put it over his face 
again. The King in his sleep heard what passed, and had pleasure in 
letting the handkerchief fall once more. But the child grew impa- 
tient, and said, "Dear mother, how can I cover my father's face when 
I have no father in this world ? I have learnt to say the prayer, 'Our 
Father, which art in Heaven,' thou hast told me that my Father was 
in Heaven, and was the good God, and how can I know a wild man 
like this? He is not my father." When the King heard that, he got 
up, and asked who they were. Then said she, "I am thy wife, and 
that is thy son. Sorrowful." And he saw her living hands, and said, 
"My wife had silver hands." She answered, "The good God has 
caused my natural hands to grow again;" and the angel went into 
the inner room, and brought the silver hands, and showed them to 
him. Hereupon he knew for a certainty that it was his dear wife and 
his dear child, and he kissed them, and was glad, and said, "A heavy 
stone has fallen from off my heart." Then the angel of God gave 


them one meal with her, and after that they went home to the King's 
aged mother. There were great rejoicings everywhere, and the King 
and Queen were married again, and lived contentedly to their happy 


There was once a man who had a daughter who was called Clever 
Elsie. And when she had grown up her father said, "We will get her 
married." "Yes," said the mother, "if only any one would come who 
would have her." At length a man came from a distance and wooed 
her, who was called Hans; but he stipulated that Clever Elsie should 
be really wise. "Oh," said the father, "she's sharp enough;" and the 
mother said, "Oh, she can see the wind coming up the street, and 
hear the flies coughing." "Well," said Hans, "if she is not really wise, 
I won't have her." When they were sitting at dinner and had eaten, 
the mother said, "Elsie, go into the cellar and fetch some beer." Then 
Clever Elsie took the pitcher from the wall, went into the cellar, and 
tapped the lid briskly as she went that the time might not appear 
long. When she was below she fetched herself a chair, and set it be- 
fore the barrel so that she had no need to stoop, and did not hurt her 
back or do herself any unexpected injury. Then she placed the can 
before her, and turned the tap, and while the beer was running she 
would not let her eyes be idle, but looked up at the wall, and after 
much peering here and there, saw a pick-axe exactly above her, which 
the masons had accidentally left there. 

Then Clever Elsie began to weep and said, "If I get Hans, and we 
have a child, and he grows big, and we send him into the cellar here 
to draw beer, then the pick-axe will fall on his head and kill him." 
Then she sat and wept and screamed with all the strength of her 
body, over the misfortune which lay before her. Those upstairs 
waited for the drink, but Clever Elsie still did not come. Then the 
woman said to the servant, "Just go down into the cellar and see 
where Elsie is." The maid went and found her sitting in front of the 
barrel, screaming loudly. "Elsie, why weepest thou?" asked the maid. 
"Ah," she answered, "have I not reason to weep? If I get Hans, and 
we have a child, and he grows big, and has to draw beer here, the 
pick-axe will perhaps fall on his head, and kill him." Then said the 


maid, "What a clever Elsie we have!" and sat down beside her and 
began loudly to weep over the misfortune. After a while, as the maid 
did not come back, and those upstairs were thirsty for the beer, the 
man said to the boy, "Just go down into the cellar and see where Elsie 
and the girl are." The boy went down, and there sat Clever Elsie 
and the girl both weeping together. Then he asked, "Why are ye 
weeping?" "Ah," said Elsie, "have I not reason to weep? If 1 get 
Hans, and we have a child, and he grows big, and has to draw beer 
here, the pick-axe will fall on his head and kill him." Then said 
the boy, "What a clever Elsie we have!" and sat down by her, and 
likewise began to howl loudly. Upstairs they waited for the boy, 
but as he still did not return, the man said to the woman, "Just go 
down into the cellar and see where Elsie is!" The woman went 
down, and found all three in the midst of their lamentations, and in- 
quired what was the cause; then Elsie told her also that her future 
child was to be killed by the pick-axe, when it grew big and had to 
draw beer, and the pick-axe fell down. Then said the mother like- 
wise, "What a clever Elsie we have!" and sat down and wept with 
them. The man upstairs waited a short time, but as his wife did 
not come back and his thirst grew ever greater, he said, "I must go 
into the cellar myself and see where Elsie is." But when he got into 
the cellar, and they were all sitting together crying, and he heard the 
reason, and that Elsie's child was the cause, and that Elsie might 
perhaps bring one into the world some day, and that it might be 
killed by the pick-axe, if it should happen to be sitting beneath it, 
drawing beer just as the very time when it fell down, he cried, "Oh, 
what a clever Elsie!" and sat down, and likewise wept with them. 
The bridegroom stayed upstairs alone for a long time; then as no one 
would come back he thought, "They must be waiting for me below; 
I too must go there and see what they are about." When he got 
down, five of them were sitting screaming and lamenting quite 
piteously, each out-doing the other. "What misfortune has hap- 
pened then?" asked he. "Ah, dear Hans," said Elsie, "if we marry 
each other and have a child, and he is big, and we perhaps send him 
here to draw something to drink, then the pick-axe which has been 
left up there might dash his brains out if it were to fall down, so have 
we not reason to weep?" "Come," said Hans, "more understanding 

grimm's tales 123 

than this is not needed for my household, as thou art such a clever 
Elsie, I will have thee," and he seized her hand, took her upstairs 
with him, and married her. 

After Hans had had her some time, he said, "Wife, I am going 
out to work and earn some money for us; go into the field and cut 
the corn that we may have some bread." "Yes, dear Hans, I will do 
that." After Hans had gone away, she cooked herself some good 
broth and took it into the field with her. When she came to the field 
she said to herself, "What shall I do; shall I shear first, or shall I eat 
first? Oh, I will eat first." Then she emptied her basin of broth, and 
when she was fully satisfied, she once more said, "What shall I do? 
Shall I shear first, or shall I sleep first ? I will sleep first." Then she 
lay down among the corn and fell asleep. Hans had been at home for 
a long time, but Elsie did not come; then said he, "What a clever 
Elsie I have; she is so industrious that she does not even come home 
to eat." As, however, she still stayed away, and it was evening, Hans 
went out to see what she had cut, but nothing was cut, and she was 
lying among the corn asleep. Then Hans hastened home and brought 
a fowler's net with little bells and hung it round about her, and she 
still went on sleeping. Then he ran home, shut the house-door, and 
sat down in his chair and worked. At length, when it was quite dark. 
Clever Elsie awoke and when she got up there was a jingling all 
round about her, and the bells rang at each step which she took. 
Then she was alarmed, and became uncertain whether she really was 
Clever Elsie or not, and said, "Is it I', or is it not I ?" But she knew not 
what answer to make to this, and stood for a time in doubt; at length 
she thought, "I will go home and ask if it be 1, or if it be not I, they 
will be sure to know." She ran to the door of her own house, but it 
was shut; then she knocked at the window and cried, "Hans, is Elsie 
within?" "Yes," answered Hans, "she is within." Hereupon she was 
terrified, and said, "Ah, heavens! Then it is not I," and went to 
another door; but when the people heard the jingling of the bells 
they would not open it, and she could get in nowhere. Then she ran 
out of the village, and no one has seen her since. 



There was once a poor peasant who sat in the evening by the 
hearth and poked the fire, and his wife sat and span. Then said he, 
"How sad it is that we have no children! With us all is so quiet, and 
in other houses it is noisy and lively." 

"Yes," replied the wife, and sighed, "even if we had only one, and 
it were quite small, and only as big as a thumb, I should be quite 
satisfied, and we would still love it with all our hearts." Now it so 
happened that the woman fell ill, and after seven months gave birth 
to a child, that was perfect in all its limbs, but no longer than a 
thumb. Then said they, "It is as we wished it to be, and it shall be 
our dear child"; and because of its size, they called it Thumbling. 
They did not let it want for food, but the child did not grow taller, 
but remained as it had been at the first; nevertheless it looked sen- 
sibly out of its eyes, and soon showed itself to be a wise and nimble 
creature, for everything it did turned out well. 

One day the peasant was getting ready to go into the forest to 
cut wood, when he said as if to himself, "How I wish that there 
was any one who would bring the cart to me!" "Oh, father," cried 
Thumbling, "I will soon bring the cart, rely on that; it shall be in 
the forest at the appointed time." The man smiled and said, "How 
can that be done, thou art far too small to lead the horse by the 
reins?" "That's of no consequence, father, if my mother will only 
harness it, I will sit in the horse's ear, and call out to him how he is 
to go." "Well," answered the man, "for once we will try it." 

When the time came, the mother harnessed the horse, and placed 
Thumbling in its ear, and then the little creature cried "Gee up, 
gee up! 

Then it went quite properly as if with its master, and the cart 
went the right way into the forest. It so happened that just as he 
was turning a corner, and the little one was crying "Gee up," two 
strange men came towards him. "My word!" said one of them. 
"What is this? There is a cart coming, and a driver is calling to the 
horse, and still he is not to be seen!" "That can't be right," said the 
other, "we will follow the cart and see where it stops." The cart, 
however, drove right into the forest, and exactly to the place where 


the wood had been cut. When ThumbUng saw 4iis father, he cried 
to him, "Seest thou, father, here I am with the cart; now take me 
down." The father got hold of the horse with his left hand, and 
with the right took his little son out of the ear. Thumbling sat 
down quite merrily on a straw, but when the two strange men saw 
him, they did not know what to say for astonishment. Then one of 
them took the other aside and said, "Hark, the little fellow would 
make our fortune if we exhibited him in a large town, for money. 
We will buy him." They went to the peasant and said, "Sell us the 
little man. He shall be well treated with us." "No," replied the 
father, "he is the apple of my eye, and all the money in the world 
cannot buy him from me." Thumbling, however, when he heard 
of the bargain, had crept up the folds of his father's coat, placed 
himself on his shoulder, and whispered in his ear, "Father, do give 
me away, I will soon come back again." Then the father parted 
with him to the two men for a handsome bit of money. "Where 
wilt thou sit?" they said to him. "Oh, just set me on the rim of 
your hat, and then I can walk backwards and forwards and look 
at the country, and still not fall down." They did as he wished, and 
when Thumbling had taken leave of his father, they went away 
with him. They walked until it was dusk, and then the little fel- 
low said, "Do take me down, I want to come down." The man 
took his hat off, and put the little fellow on the ground by the 
wayside, and he leapt and crept about a little between the sods, and 
then he suddenly slipped into a mouse-hole which he had sought 
out. "Good evening, gentlemen, just go home without me," he cried 
to them, and mocked them. They ran thither and stuck their sticks 
into the mouse-hole, but it was all lost labour. Thumbling crept 
still farther in, and as it soon became quite dark, they were forced 
to go home with their vexation and their empty purses. 

When Thumbling saw that they were gone, he crept back out of 
the subterranean passage. "It is so dangerous to walk on <he ground 
in the dark," said he; "how easily a neck or a leg is broken!" For- 
tunately he knocked against an empty snail-shell. "Thank God!" 
said he. "In that I can pass the night in safety," and got into it. 
Not long afterwards, when he was just going to sleep, he heard 
two men go by, and one of them was saying, "How shall we con- 


trive to get hold of the rich pastor's silver and gold?" "I could tell 
thee that," cried Thumbling, interrupting them. "What was that?" 
said one of the thieves in a fright, "I heard some one speaking." 
They stood still listening, and Thumbling spoke again, and said, 
"Take me with you, and I'll help you." 

"But where art thou?" "Just look on the ground, and observe 
from whence my voice comes," he replied. There the thieves at 
length found him, and lifted him up. "Thou little imp, how wilt 
thou help us?" they said. "A great deal," said he, "I will creep into 
the pastor's room through the iron bars, and will reach out to you 
whatever you want to have." "Come then," they said, "and we will 
see what thou canst do." When they got to the pastor's house, 
Thumbling crept into the room, but instantly cried out with all 
his might, "Do you want to have everything that is here?" The 
thieves were alarmed, and said, "But do speak softly, so as not to 
waken any one!" Thumbling, however, behaved as if he had not 
understood this, and cried again, "What do you want? Do you 
want to have everything that is here?" The cook, who slept in the 
next room, heard this and sat up in bed, and listened. The thieves, 
however, had in their fright run some distance away, but at last 
they took courage, and thought, "The little rascal wants to mock 
us." They came back and whispered to him, "Come, be serious, 
and reach something out to us." Then Thumbling again cried as 
loudly as he could, "I really will give you everything, only put your 
hands in." The maid who was listening, heard this quite distinctly, 
and jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. The thieves took 
flight, and ran as if the Wild Huntsman were behind them, but as 
the maid could not see anything, she went to strike a light. When 
she came to the place with it, Thumbling, unperceived, betook him- 
self to the granary, and the maid, after she had examined every 
corner and found nothing, lay down in her bed again, and believed 
that, after all, she had only been dreaming with o|)en eyes and ears. 

Thumbling had climbed up among the hay and found a beau- 
tiful place to sleep in; there he intended to rest until day, and then 
go home again to his parents. But he had other things to go through. 
Truly there is much affliction and misery in this world! When day 
dawned, the maid arose from her bed to feed the cows. Her first 


walk was into the barn, where she laid hold of an armful of hay, 
and precisely that very one in which poor ThumbUng was lying 
asleep. He, however, was sleeping so soundly that he was aware 
of nothing, and did not awake until he was in the mouth of a cow, 
who had picked him up with the hay. "Ah, heavens!" cried he, 
"how have I got into the fulling mill?" but he soon discovered 
where he was. Then it was necessary to be careful not to let him- 
self go between the teeth and be dismembered, but he was never- 
theless forced to slip down into the stomach with the hay. "In this 
little room the windows are forgotten," said he, "and no sun shines 
in, neither will a candle be brought." His quarters were especially 
unpleasing to him, and the worst was, more and more hay was 
always coming in by the door, and the space grew less and less. 
Then, at length in his anguish, he cried as loud as he could, "Bring 
me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder." The maid was just 
milking the cow, and when she heard some one speaking, and saw 
no one, and perceived that it was the same voice that she had heard 
in the night, she was so terrified that she slipped off her stool, and 
spilt the milk. She ran in the greatest haste to her master, and said, 
"Oh, heavens, pastor, the cow has been speaking!" "Thou art mad," 
replied the pastor; but he went himself to the byre to see what was 
there. Hardly, however, had he set his foot inside than Thumbling 
again cried, "Bring me no more fodder, bring me no more fodder." 
Then the pastor himself was alarmed, and thought that an evil 
spirit had gone into the cow, and ordered her to be killed. She was 
killed, but the stomach, in which Thumbling was, was thrown on 
the midden. Thumbling had great difficulty in working his way; 
however, he succeeded so far as to get some room, but, just as he 
was going to thrust his head out, a new misfortune occurred. A 
hungry wolf ran thither, and swallowed the whole stomach at one 
gulp. Thumbling did not lose courage. "Perhaps," thought he, "the 
wolf will listen to what 1 have got to say," and he called to him 
from out of his stomach, "Dear wolf, I know of a magnificent feast 
for thee." 

"Where is it to be had?" said the wolf. 

"In such and such a house; thou must creep into it through the 
kitchen-sink, and wilt find cakes, and bacon, and sausages, and as 


much of them as thou canst eat," and he described to him exactly 
his father's house. The wolf did not require to be told this twice, 
squeezed himself in at night through the sink, and ate to his heart's 
content in the larder. When he had eaten his fill, he wanted to go 
out again, but he had become so big that he could not go out by 
the same way. Thumbling had reckoned on this, and now began 
to make a violent noise in the wolf's body, and raged and screamed 
as loudly as he could. "Wilt thou be quiet," said the wolf, "thou 
wilt waken up the people!" "Eh, what," replied the little fellow, 
"thou hast eaten thy fill, and 1 will make merry likewise," and 
began once more to scream with all his strength. At last his father 
and mother were aroused by it, and ran to the room and looked in 
through the opening in the door. When they saw that a wolf was 
inside, they ran away, and the husband fetched his axe, and the 
wife the scythe. "Stay behind," said the man, when they entered 
the room. "When I have given him a blow, if he is not killed by 
it, thou must cut him down and hew his body to pieces." Then 
Thumbling heard his parents' voices, and cried, "Dear father, I am 
here; I am in the wolf's body." Said the father, full of joy, "Thank 
God, our dear child has found us again," and bade the woman take 
away her scythe, that Thumbling might not be hurt with it. After 
that he raised his arm, and struck the wolf such a blow on his head 
that he fell down dead, and then they got knives and scissors and 
cut his body open, and drew the little fellow forth, "Ah," said the 
father, "what sorrow we have gone through for thy sake." "Yes, 
father, I have gone about the world a great deal. Thank heaven, I 
breathe fresh air again!" "Where hast thou been, then.?" "Ah, 
father, I have been in a mouse's hole, in a cow's stomach, and then 
in a wolf's; now I will stay with you." "And we will not sell thee 
again, no, not for all the riches in the world," said his parents, and 
they embraced and kissed their dear Thumbling. They gave him 
to eat and to drink, and had some new clothes made for him, for 
his own had been spoiled on his journey. 

A CERTAIN tailor had a son, who happened to be small, and no 
bigger than a Thumb, and on this account he was always called 


Thumbling. He had, however, some courage in him, and said to 
his father, "Father, I must and will go out into the world." "That's 
right, my son," said the old man, and took a long darning-needle 
and made a knob of sealing-wax on it at the candle, "and there is 
a sword for thee to take with thee on the way." Then the little 
tailor wanted to have one more meal with them, and hopped into 
the kitchen to see what his lady mother had cooked for the last 
time. It was, however, just dished up, and the dish stood on the 
hearth. Then he said, "Mother, what is there to eat to-day?" "See 
for thyself," said his mother. So Thumbling jumped on to the 
hearth, and peeped into the dish, but as he stretched his neck in 
too far the steam from the food caught hold of him, and carried 
him up the chimney. He rode about in the air on the steam for a 
while, until at length he sank down to the ground again. Now the 
little tailor was outside in the wide world, and he travelled about, 
and went to a master in his craft, but the food was not good enough 
for him. "Mistress, if you give us no better food," said Thumbling, 
"I will go away and early to-morrow morning I will write with 
chalk on the door of your house, 'Too many potatoes, too little 
meat! Farewell, Mr. Potato-King?'" "What wouldst thou have 
forsooth, grasshopper?" said the mistress, and grew angry, and 
seized a dish-cloth, and was just going to strike him; but my little 
tailor crept nimbly under a thimble, peeped out from beneath it, 
and put his tongue out at the mistress. She took up the thimble, 
and wanted to get hold of him, but little ThumbUng hopped into 
the cloth, and while the mistress was opening it out and looking 
for him, he got into a crevice in the table. "Ho, ho, lady mistress," 
cried he, and thrust his head out, and when she began to strike 
him he leapt down into the drawer. At last, however, she caught 
him and drove him out of the house. 

The httle tailor journeyed on and came to a great forest, and 
there he fell in with a band of robbers who had a design to steal 
the King's treasure. When they saw the little tailor, they thought, 
"A little fellow like that can creep through a key-hole and serve as 
a picklock to us." "Hollo," cried one of them, "thou giant Goliath, 
wilt thou go to the treasure-chamber with us? Thou canst slip thy- 
self in and throw out the money." Thumbling reflected a while, 


and at length he said "yes," and went with them to the treasure- 
chamber. Then he looked at the doors above and below, to see if 
there was any crack in them. It was not long before he espied one 
which was broad enough to let him in. He was therefore about to 
get in at once, but one of the two sentries who stood before the 
door, observed him, and said to the other, "What an ugly spider is 
creeping there; I will kill it." "Let the poor creature alone," said 
the other, "it has done thee no harm." Then Thumbling got safely 
through the crevice into the treasure<hamber, opened the window 
beneath which the robbers were standing, and threw out to them 
one thaler after another. When the little tailor was in the full swing 
of his work, he heard the King coming to inspect his treasure- 
chamber, and crept hastily into a hiding-place. The King noticed 
that several solid thalers were missing, but could not conceive who 
could have stolen them, for locks and bolts were in good condition, 
and all seemed well guarded. Then he went away again, and said 
to the sentries, "Be on the watch, some one is after the money." 
When, therefore, Thumbling recommenced his labours, they heard 
the money moving, and a sound of klink, klink, klink. They ran 
swiftly in to seize the thief, but the little tailor, who heard them 
coming, was still swifter, and leaped into a corner and covered him- 
self with a thaler, so that nothing could be seen of him, and at the 
same time he mocked the sentries and cried, "Here am I!" The 
sentries ran thither, but as they got there, he had already hopped 
into another corner under a thaler, and was crying, "Ho, ho, here 
am II" The watchmen sprang there in haste, but Thumbling had 
long ago got into a third corner, and was crying, "Ho, ho, here am 
I!" And thus he made fools of them, and drove them so long round 
about the treasure-chamber that they were weary and went away. 
Then by degrees he threw all the thalers out, despatching the last 
with all his might, then hopjied nimbly upon it, and flew down with 
it through the window. The robbers paid him great compliments. 
"Thou art a valiant hero," said they; "wilt thou be our captain?" 

Thumbling, however, declined, and said he wanted to see the 
world first. They now divided the booty, but the little tailor only 
asked for a kreuzer because he could not carry more. 

Then he once more buckled on his sword, bade the robbers good- 


bye, and took to the road. First, he went to work with some masters, 
but he had no Uking for that, and at last he hired himself as man- 
servant in an inn. The maids, however, could not endure him, for 
he saw all that they did secretly, without their seeing him, and he 
told their master and mistress what they had taken off the plates, 
and carried away out of the cellar, for themselves. Then said they, 
"Wait, and we will pay thee off!" and arranged with each other to 
play him a trick. Soon afterwards when one of the maids was 
mowing in the garden, and saw Thumbling jumping about and 
creeping up and down the plants, she mowed him up quickly with 
the grass, tied all in a great cloth, and secretly threw it to the cows. 
Now amongst them there was a great black one, who swallowed 
him down with it without hurting him. Down below, however, it 
pleased him ill, for it was quite dark, neither was any candle burn- 
ing. When the cow was being milked he cried, 

"Strip, strap, strull, 
Will the pail soon be full?" 

But the noise of the milking prevented his being understood. After 
this the master of the house came into the cow-byre and said, "That 
cow shall be killed to-morrow." Then Thumbling was so alarmed 
that he cried out in a clear voice, "Let me out first, for I am shut 
up inside her." The master heard that quite well, but did not know 
from whence the voice came. "Where art thou?" asked he. "In 
the black one," answered Thumbling, but the master did not under- 
stand what that meant, and went out. 

Next morning the cow was killed. Happily Thumbling did not 
meet with one blow at the cutting up and chopping; he got among 
the sausage-meat. And when the butcher came in and began his 
work, he cried out with all his might, "Don't chop too deep, don't 
chop too deep, I am amongst it." No one heard this because of the 
noise of the chopping-knife. Now poor Thumbling was in trouble, 
but trouble sharpens the wits, and he sprang out so adroitly between 
the blows that none of them touched him, and he got out with a 
whole skin. But still he could not get away, there was nothing 
for it, and he had to let himself be thrust into a black-pudding with 
the bits of bacon. His quarters there were rather confined, and 


besides that he was hung up in the chimney to be smoked, and 
there time did hang terribly heavy on his hands. 

At length in winter he was taken down again, as the black-pudding 
had to be set before a guest. When the hostess was cutting it in 
slices, he took care not to stretch out his head too far lest a bit of 
it should be cut off; at last he saw his opportunity, cleared a passage 
for himself, and jumped out. 

The little tailor, however, would not stay any longer in a house 
where he fared so ill, but at once set out on his journey again. But 
his liberty did not last long. In the open country he met with a 
fox who snapped him up in a fit of absence. "Hollo, Mr. Fox," 
cried the little tailor, "it is I who am sticking in your throat, set 
me at Uberty again." "Thou art right," answered the fox. "Thou 
art next to nothing for me, but if thou wilt promise me the fowls 
in thy father's yard I will let thee go." "With all my heart," replied 
Thumbling. "Thou shalt have all the cocks and hens, that I promise 
thee." Then the fox let him go again, and himself carried him 
home. When the father once more saw his dear son, he willingly 
gave the fox all the fowls which he had. "For this I likewise bring 
thee a handsome bit of money," said Thumbling, and gave his 
father the kreuzer which he had earned on his travels. 

"But why did the fox get the poor chickens to eat?" "Oh, you 
goose, your father would surely love his child far more than the 
fowls in the yard!" 


Once upon a time, a certain King was hunting in a great forest, 
and he chased a wild beast so eagerly that none of his attendants 
could follow him. When evening drew near he stopped and looked 
around him, and then he saw that he had lost his way. He sought 
a way out, but could find none. Then he perceived an aged woman 
with a head which nodded perpetually, who came towards him, 
but she was a witch. "Good woman," said he to her, "can you not 
show me the way through the forest?" "Oh, yes. Lord King," she 
answered, "that I certainly can, but on one condition, and if you do 
not fulfil that, you will never get out of the forest and will die of 
hunger in it." 


"What kind of condition is it?" asked the King. 

"I have a daughter," said the old woman, "who is as beautiful 
as any one in the world, and well deserves to be your consort, and 
if you will make her your Queen, I will show you the way out of 
the forest." In the anguish of his heart the King consented, and 
the old woman led him to her little hut, where her daughter was 
sitting by the fire. She received the King as if she had been expect- 
ing him, and he saw that she was very beautiful, but still she did 
not please him, and he could not look at her without sec.ct horror. 
After he had taken the maiden up on his horse, the old woman 
showed him the way, and the King reached his royal palace again, 
where the wedding was celebrated. 

The King had already been married once, and had by his first 
wife, seven children, six boys and a girl, whom he loved better than 
anything else in the world. As he now feared that the step-mother 
might not treat them well, and even do them some injury, he took 
them to a lonely castle which stood in the midst of a forest. It lay 
so concealed, and the way was so difficult to find, that he himself 
would not have found it, if a wise woman had not given him a 
ball of yarn with wonderful properties. When he threw it down 
before him, it unrolled itself and showed him his path. The King, 
however, went so frequently away to his dear children that the 
Queen observed his absence; she was curious and wanted to know 
what he did when he was quite alone in the forest. She gave a 
great deal of money to his servants, and they betrayed the secret to 
her, and told her likewise of the ball which alone could point out 
the way. And now she knew no rest until she had learnt where 
the King kept the ball of yarn, and then she made little shirts of 
white silk, and as she had learnt the art of witchcraft from her 
mother, she sewed a charm inside them. And once when the King 
had ridden forth to hunt, she took the little shirts and went into the 
forest, and the ball showed her the way. The children, who saw 
from a distance that some one was approaching, thought that their 
dear father was coming to them, and full of joy, ran to meet him. 
Then she threw one of the little shirts over each of them, and no 
sooner had the shirts touched their bodies than they were changed 
into swans, and flew away over the forest. The Queen went home 


quite delighted, and thought she had got rid of her stepxhildren, 
but the girl had not run out with her brothers, and the Queen knew 
nothing about her. Next day the King went to visit his children, 
but he found no one but the Uttle girl. "Where are thy brothers?" 
asked the King. "Alas, dear father," she answered, "they have gone 
away and left me alone!" and she told him that she had seen from 
her Uttle window how her brothers had flown away over the forest 
in the shape of swans, and she showed him the feathers, which they 
had let fall in the courtyard, and which she had picked up. The 
King mourned, but he did not think that the Queen had done this 
wicked deed, and as he feared that the girl would also be stolen 
away from him, he wanted to take her away with him. But she was 
afraid of her step-mother, and entreated the King to let her stay 
just this one night more in the forest castle. 

The poor girl thought, "I can no longer stay here. I will go and 
seek my brothers." And when night came, she ran away, and went 
straight into the forest. She walked the whole night long, and next 
day also without stopping, until she could go no farther for weari- 
ness. Then she saw a forest-hut, and went into it, and found a room 
with six little beds, but she did not venture to get into one of them, 
but crept under one, and lay down on the hard ground, intending 
to pass the night there. Just before sunset, however, she heard a 
rustling, and saw six swans come flying in at the window. They 
alighted on the ground and blew at each other, and blew all the 
feathers off, and their swan's skins stripped off like a shirt. Then 
the maiden looked at them and recognized her brothers, was glad 
and crept forth from beneath the bed. The brothers were not less 
delighted to see their little sister, but their joy was of short duration. 
"Here canst thou not abide," they said to her. "This is a shelter 
for robbers, if they come home and find thee, they will kill thee." 
"But can you not protect me?" asked the little sister. "No," they 
replied, "only for one quarter of an hour each evening can we lay 
aside our swan's skin and have during that time our human form, 
after that, we are once more turned into swans." The little sister 
wept and said, "Can you not be set free?" "Alas, no," they answered, 
"the conditions are too hard! For six years thou mayest neither 
speak nor laugh, and in that time thou must sew together six litde 


shirts of starwort for us. And if one single word falls from thy lips 
all thy work will be lost." And when the brothers had said this, 
the quarter of an hour was over, and they flew out of the window 
again as swans. 

The maiden, however, firmly resolved to deliver her brothers, 
even if it should cost her her life. She left the hut, went into the 
midst of the forest, seated herself on a tree, and there passed the 
night. Next morning she went out and gathered starwort and began 
to sew. She could not speak to any one, and she had no inclination 
to laugh; she sat there and looked at nothing but her work. When 
she had already spent a long time there it came to pass that the 
King of the country was hunting in the forest, and his huntsmen 
come to the tree on which the maiden was sitting. They called to 
her and said, "Who art thou?" But she made no answer. "Come 
down to us," said they. "We will not do thee any harm." She only 
shook her head. As they pressed her further with questions she 
threw her golden necklace down to them, and thought to content 
them thus. They, however, did not cease, and then she threw her 
girdle down to them, and as this also was to no purpose, her garters, 
and by degrees everything that she had on that she could do with- 
out until she had nothing left but her shift. The huntsmen, however, 
did not let themselves be turned aside by that, but climbed the tree 
and fetched the maiden down and led her before the King. The 
King asked, "Who art thou? What art thou doing on the tree?" 
But she did not answer. He put the question in every language 
that he knew, but she remained as mute as a fish. As she was so 
beautiful, the King's heart was touched, and he was smitten with 
a great love for her. He put his mantle on her, took her before him 
on his horse, and carried her to his castle. Then he caused her to 
be dressed in rich garments, and she shone in her beauty like bright 
daylight, but no word could be drawn from her. He placed her by 
his side at table, and her modest bearing and courtesy pleased him 
so much that he said, "She is the one whom I wish to marry, and 
no other woman in the world." And after some days he united 
himself to her. 

The King, however, had a wicked mother who was dissatisfied 
with this marriage and spoke ill of the young Queen. "Who knows," 


said she, "from whence the creature who can't speak, comes? She 
is not worthy of a king!" After a year had passed, when the Queen 
brought her first child into the world, the old woman took it away 
from her, and smeared her mouth with blood as she slept. Then 
she went to the King and accused the Queen of being a man-eater. 
The King would not believe it, and would not suffer any one to do 
her any injury. She, however, sat continually sewing at the shirts, 
and cared for nothing else. The next time, when she again bore a 
beautiful boy, the false step-mother used the same treachery, but the 
King could not bring himself to give credit to her words. He said, 
"She is too pious and good to do anything of that kind; if she were 
not dumb, and could defend herself, her innocence would come to 
light." But when the old woman stole away the newly-born child 
for the third time, and accused the Queen, who did not utter one 
word of defence, the King could do no otherwise than deliver her 
over to justice, and she was sentenced to suffer death by fire. 

When the day came for the sentence to be executed, it was the 
last day of the six years during which she was not to speak or laugh, 
and she had delivered her dear brothers from the power of the en- 
chantment. The six shirts were ready, only the left sleeve of the 
sixth was wanting. When, therefore, she was led to the stake, she 
laid the shirts on her arm, and when she stood on high and the 
fire was just going to be lighted, she looked around and six swans 
came flying through the air towards her. Then she saw that her 
deliverance was near, and her heart leapt with joy. The swans 
swept towards her and sank down so that she could throw the shirts 
over them, and as they were touched by them, their swan's skins 
fell off, and her brothers stood in their own bodily form before her, 
and were vigorous and handsome. The youngest only lacked his 
left arm, and had in the place of it a swan's wing on his shoulder. 
They embraced and kissed each other, and the Queen went to the 
King, who was greatly moved, and she began to speak and said, 
"Dearest husband, now I may speak and declare to thee that I am 
innocent, and falsely accused." And she told him of the treachery 
of the old woman who had taken away her three children and hid- 
den them. Then to the great joy of the King they were brought 
thither, and as a punishment, the wicked step-mother was bound 



to the stake, and burnt to ashes. But the King and the Queen with 
their six brothers lived many years in happiness and peace. 


A LONG time ago there were a King and Queen who said every 
day, "Ah, if only we had a child!" but they never had one. But it 
happened that once when the Queen was bathing, a frog crept out 
of the water on to the land, and said to her, "Your wish shall be 
fulfilled; before a year has gone by you shall have a daughter." 

What the frog had said came true, and the Queen had a little 
girl who was so pretty that the King could not contain himself for 
joy, and ordered a great feast. He invited not only his kindred, 
friends and acquaintance, but also the Wise Women, in order that 
they might be kind and well-disposed towards the child. There 
were thirteen of them in his kingdom, but as he had only twelve 
golden plates for them to eat out of, one of them had to be left at 

The feast was held with all manner of splendour, and when it 
came to an end the Wise Women bestowed their magic gifts upon 
the baby: one gave virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on 
with everything in the world that one can wish for. 

When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thir- 
teenth came in. She wished to avenge herself for not having been 
invited, and without greeting, or even looking at any one, she cried 
with a loud voice, "The King's daughter shall in her fifteenth year 
prick herself with a spindle, and fall down dead." And, without 
saying a word more, she turned round and left the room. 

They were all shocked; but the twelfth, whose good wish still 
remained unspoken, came forward, and as she could not undo the 
evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, "It shall not be death, 
but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess 
shall fall." 

The King, who would fain keep his dear child from the mis- 
fortune, gave orders that every spindle in the whole kingdom should 
be burnt. Meanwhile the gifts of the Wise Women were plenteously 
fulfilled on the young girl, for she was so beautiful, modest, good- 


natured, and wise, that every one who saw her was bound to love her. 

It happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years old 
the King and Queen were not at home, and the maiden was left 
in the palace quite alone. So she went round into all sorts of places, 
looked into rooms and bedchambers just as she liked, and at last 
came to an old tower. She climbed up the narrow winding-stair- 
case, and reached a little door. A rusty key was in the lock, and 
when she turned it the door sprang open, and there in a little room 
sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax. 

"Good day, old dame," said the King's daughter; "what are you 
doing there?" "I am spinning," said the old woman, and nodded 
her head. "What sort of thing is that, that rattles round so merrily?" 
said the girl, and she took the spindle and wanted to spin too. But 
scarcely had she touched the spindle when the magic decree was 
fulfilled, and she pricked her finger with it. 

And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down 
upon the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep. And this 
sleep extended over the whole palace; the King and Queen who 
had just come home, and had entered the great hall, began to go 
to sleep, and the whole court with them. The horses, too, went to 
sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons upxjn the roof, 
the flies on the wall; even the fire that was flaming on the hearth 
became quiet and slept, the roast meat left off frizzling, and the 
cook, who was just going to pull the hair of the scullery boy, be- 
cause he had forgotten something, let him go, and went to sleep. 
And the wind fell, and on the trees before the castle not a leaf 
moved again. 

But round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns, 
which every year became higher, and at last grew close up around 
the castle and all over it, so that there was nothing of it to be seen, 
not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleep- 
ing "Briar-rose," for so the princess was named, went about the 
country, so that from time to time kings' sons came and tried to 
get through the thorny hedge into the castle. 

But they found it impossible, for the thorns held fast together, 
as if they had hands, and the youths were caught in them, could 
not get loose again, and died a miserable death. 


After long, long years a King's son came again to that country, 
and heard an old man talking about the thorn-hedge, and that a 
castle was said to stand behind it in which a wonderfully beautiful 
princess, named Briar-rose, had been asleep for a hundred years; 
and that the King and Queen and the whole court were asleep like- 
wise. He had heard, too, from his grandfather, that many kings' 
sons had already come, and had tried to get through the thorny 
hedge, but they had remained sticking fast in it, and had died a 
pitiful death. Then the youth said, "I am not afraid, I will go and 
see the beautiful Briar-rose." The good old man might dissuade 
him as he would, he did not listen to his words. 

But by this time the hundred years had just passed, and the day 
had come when Briar-rose was to awake again. When the King's 
son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and 
beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord, 
and let him pass unhurt, then they closed again behind him like a 
hedge. In the castle-yard he saw the horses and the spotted hounds 
lying asleep; on the roof sat the pigeons with their heads under 
their wings. And when he entered the house, the flies were asleep 
upon the wall, the cook in the kitchen was still holding out his 
hand to seize the boy, and the maid was sitting by the black hen 
which she was going to pluck. 

He went on farther, and in the great hall he saw the whole of 
the court lying asleep, and up by the throne lay the King and Queen. 

Then he went on still farther, and all was so quiet that a breath 
could be heard, and at last he came to the tower, and opened the 
door into the little room where Briar-rose was sleeping. There she 
lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away; and he stooped 
down and gave her a kiss. But as soon as he kissed her. Briar-rose 
opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly. 

Then they went down together, and the King awoke, and the 
Queen, and the whole court, and looked at each other in great 
astonishment. And the horses in the courtyard stood up and shook 
themselves; the hounds jumped up and wagged their tails; the 
pigeons upon the roof pulled out their heads from under their 
wings, looked round, and flew into the open country; the flies on 
the wall crept again; the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered 


and cooked the meat; the joint began to turn and frizzle again, 
and the cook gave the boy such a box on the ear that he screamed, 
and the maid plucked the fowl ready for the spit. 

And then the marriage of the King's son with Briar-rose was 
celebrated with all splendour, and they lived contented to the end 
of their days. 


There was once a forester who went into the forest to hunt, and 
as he entered it he heard a sound of screaming as if a little child 
were there. He followed the sound, and at last came to a high tree, 
and at the top of this a little child was sitting, for the mother had 
fallen asleep under the tree with the child, and a bird of prey had 
seen it in her arms, had Hown down, snatched it away, and set it 
on the high tree. 

The forester climbed up, brought the child down, and thought 
to himself, "Thou wilt take him home with thee, and bring him 
up with thy Lina." He took it home, therefore, and the two chil- 
dren grew up together. The one, however, which he had found on 
a tree was called Fundevogel, because a bird had carried it away. 
Fundevogel and Lina loved each other so dearly that when they 
did not see each other they were sad. 

The forester, however, had an old cook, who one evening took 
two pails and began to fetch water, and did not go once only, but 
many times, out to the spring. Lina saw this and said, "Hark you, 
old Sanna, why are you fetching so much water?" "If thou wilt 
never repeat it to any one, I will tell thee why." So Lina said, no, 
she would never repeat it to any one, and then the cook said, "Early 
to-morrow morning, when the forester is out hunting, I will heat 
the water, and when it is boiling in the kettle, I will throw in 
Fundevogel, and will boil him in it." 

Betimes next morning the forester got up and went out hunting, 
and when he was gone the children were still in bed. Then Lina 
said to Fundevogel, "If thou wilt never leave me, I too will never 
leave thee." Fundevogel said, "Neither now, nor ever will I leave 
thee." Then said Lina, "Then will I tell thee. Last night, old Sanna 
'/. e., Bird-foundling. 

grimm's tales 141 

carried so many buckets of water into the house that I asked her 
why she was doing that, and she said that if I would promise not 
to tell any one she would tell me, and I said I would be sure not 
to tell any one, and she said that early to-morrow morning when 
father was out hunting, she would set on the kettle full of water, 
throw thee into it and boil thee; but we will get up quickly, dress 
ourselves, and go away together." 

The two children therefore got up, dressed themselves quickly, 
and went away. When the water in the kettle was boiUng, the cook 
went into the bed-room to fetch Fundevogel and throw him into it. 
But when she came in, and went to the beds, both the children were 
gone. Then she was terribly alarmed, and she said to herself, "What 
shall I say now when the forester comes home and sees that the 
children are gone.? They must be followed instantly to get them 
back again." 

Then the cook sent three servants after them, who were to run 
and overtake the children. The children, however, were sitting out- 
side the forest, and when they saw from afar the three servants 
running, Lina said to Fundevogel, "Never leave me, and I will 
never leave thee." Fundevogel said, "Neither now, nor ever." Then 
said Lina, "Do thou become a rose-tree, and 1 the rose upon it." 
When the three servants came to the forest, nothing was there but 
a rose-tree and one rose on it, but the children were nowhere. Then 
said they, "There is nothing to be done here," and they went home 
and told the cook that they had seen nothing in the forest but a 
little rose-bush with one rose on it. Then the old cook scolded and 
said, "You simpletons, you should have cut the rose-bush in two, 
and have broken off the rose and brought it home with you; go, 
and do it at once." They had therefore to go out and look for the 
second time. The children, however, saw them coming from a 
distance. Then Lina said, "Fundevogel, never leave me and I will 
never leave thee." Fundevogel said, "Neither now, nor ever." Said 
Lina, "Then do thou become a church, and I'll be the chandelier 
in it." So when the three servants came, nothing was there but a 
church, with a chandelier in it. They said therefore to each other, 
"What can we do here, let us go home." When they got home, the 
cook asked if they had not found them; so they said no, they had 


found nothing but a church, and that there was a chandelier in it. 
And the cook scolded them and said, "You fools I why did you not 
pull the church to pieces, and bring the chandelier home with you?" 
And now the old cook herself got on her legs, and went with the 
three servants in pursuit of the children. The children, however, 
saw from afar that the three servants were coming, and the cook 
waddling after them. Then said Lina, "Fundevogel, never leave 
me, and I will never leave thee." Then said Fundevogel, "Neither 
now, nor ever." Said Lina, "Be a fishpond, and I will be the duck 
upon it." The cook, however, came up to them, and when she saw 
the pond she lay down by it, and was about to drink it up. But 
the duck swam quickly to her, seized her head in its beak and drew 
her into the water, and there the old witch had to drown. Then 
the children went home together and were heartily delighted, and 
if they are not dead, they are living still. 


A King had a daughter who was beautiful beyond all measure, 
but so proud and haughty withal that no suitor was good enough 
for her. She sent away one after the other, and ridiculed them as 

Once the King made a great feast and invited thereto, from far 
and near, all the young men likely to marry. They were all mar- 
shalled in a row according to their rank and standing; first came 
the kings, then the grand-dukes, then the princes, the earls, the 
barons, and the gentry. Then the King's daughter was led through 
the ranks, but to every one she had some objection to make; one 
was too fat, "The wine<ask," she said. Another was too tall, "Long 
and thin has litde in." The third was too short, "Short and thick 
is never quick." The fourth was too pale, "As pale as death." The 
fifth too red, "A fighting<ock." The sixth was not straight enough, 
"A green log dried behind the stove." 

So she had something to say against every one, but she made her- 
self especially merry over a good king who stood quite high up in 
the row, and whose chin had grown a little crooked. "Well," she 


cried and laughed, "he has a chin like a thrush's beak!" and from 
that time he got the name of King Thrushbeard. 

But the old King, when he saw that his daughter did nothing 
but mock the people, and despised all the suitors who were gathered 
there, was very angry, and swore that she should have for her hus- 
band the very first beggar that came to his doors. 

A few days afterwards a fiddler came and sang beneath the win- 
dows, trying to earn a small alms. When the King heard him he 
said, "Let him come up." So the fiddler came in, in his dirty, ragged 
clothes, and sang before the King and his daughter, and when he 
had ended he asked for a trifling gift. The King said, "Your song 
has pleased me so well that I will give you my daughter there, to 

The King's daughter shuddered, but the King said, "I have taken 
an oath to give you to the very first beggar-man, and I will keep 
it." All she could say was in vain; the priest was brought, and she 
had to let herself be wedded to the fiddler on the spot. When that 
was done the King said, "Now it is not proper for you, a beggar- 
woman, to stay any longer in my palace, you may just go away 
with your husband." 

The beggar-man led her out by the hand, and she was obliged 
to walk away on foot with him. When they came to a large forest 
she asked, "To whom does that beautiful forest belong?" "It belongs 
to King Thrushbeard; if you had taken him, it would have been 
yours." "Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken King 

Afterwards they came to a meadow, and she asked again, "To 
whom does this beautiful green meadow belong?" "It belongs to 
King Thrushbeard; if you had taken him, it would have been yours." 
"Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken King Thrushljeard!" 

Then they came to a large town, and she asked again, "To whom 
does this fine large town belong?" "It belongs to King Thrushbeard; 
if you had taken him, it would have been yours." "Ah, unhappy 
girl that I am, if I had but taken King Thrushbeard!" 

"It does not please me," said the fiddler, "to hear you always 
wishing for another husband; am I not good enough for you?" 


At last they came to a very little hut, and she said, "Oh, goodness! 
what a small house; to whom does this miserable, mean hovel be- 
long?" The fiddler answered, "That is my house and yours, where 
we shall live together." 

She had to stoop in order to go in at the low door, "Where are 
the servants?" said the King's daughter. "What servants?" answered 
the beggar-man; "you must yourself do what you wish to have done. 
Just make a fire at once, and set on water to cook my supper, I am 
quite tired." But the King's daughter knew nothing about lighting 
fires or cooking, and the beggar-man had to lend a hand himself 
to get anything fairly done. When they had finished their scanty 
meal they went to bed; but he forced her to get up quite early in 
the morning in order to look after the house. 

For a few days they lived in this way as well as might be, and 
finished all their provisions. Then the man said, "Wife, we cannot 
go on any longer eating and drinking here and earning nothing. 
You must weave baskets." He went out, cut some willows, and 
brought them home. Then she began to weave, but the tough wil- 
lows wounded her delicate hands. 

"I see that this will not do," said the man; "you had better spin, 
perhaps you can do that better." She sat down and tried to spin, 
but the hard thread soon cut her soft fingers so that the blood ran 
down. "See," said the man, "you are fit for no sort of work; I have 
made a bad bargain with you. Now I will try to make a business 
with p)ots and earthenware; you must sit in the market-place and 
sell the ware." "Alas," thought she, "if any of the people from my 
father's kingdom come to the market and see me sitting there, sell- 
ing, how they will mock me!" But it was of no use, she had to 
yield unless she chose to die of hunger. 

For the first time she succeeded well, for the people were glad to 
buy the woman's wares because she was good-looking, and they 
paid her what she asked; many even gave her the money and left 
the pots with her as well. So they lived on what she had earned as 
long as it lasted, then the husband bought a lot of new crockery. 
With this she sat down at the corner of the market-place, and set 
it out round about her ready for sale. But suddenly there came a 
■drunken hussar galloping along, and he rode right amongst the 


pots so that they were all broken into a thousand bits. She began 
to weep, and did not know what to do for fear. "Alas! what will 
happen to me?" cried she; "what will my husband say to this?" 

She ran home and told him of the misfortune. "Who would seat 
herself at a corner of the market-place with crockery?" said the 
man; "leave off crying, I see very well that you cannot do any 
ordinary work, so I have been to our King's palace and have asked 
whether they cannot find a place for a kitchen-maid, and they have 
promised me to take you; in that way you will get your food for 

The King's daughter was now a kitchen-maid, and had to be at 
the cook's beck and call, and do the dirtiest work. In both her 
pockets she fastened a little jar, in which she took home her share 
of the leavings, and upon this they lived. 

It happened that the wedding of the King's eldest son was to be 
celebrated, so the poor woman went up and placed herself by the 
door of the hall to look on. When all the candles were lit, and 
people, each more beautiful than the other, entered, and all was 
full of pomp and splendour, she thought of her lot with a sad heart, 
and cursed the pride and haughtiness which had humbled her and 
brought her to so great poverty. 

The smell of the delicious dishes which were being taken in and 
out reached her, and now and then the servants threw her a few 
morsels of them: these she put in her jars to take home. 

All at once the King's son entered, clothed in velvet and silk, 
with gold chains about his neck. And when he saw the beautiful 
woman standing by the door he seized her by the hand, and would 
have danced with her; but she refused and shrank with fear, for 
she saw that it was King Thrushbeard, her suitor whom she had 
driven away with scorn. Her struggles were of no avail, he drew 
her into the hall; but the string by which her pockets were hung 
broke, the pots fell down, the soup ran out, and the scraps were 
scattered all about. And when the people saw it, there arose general 
laughter and derision, and she was so ashamed that she would 
rather have been a thousand fathoms below the ground. She sprang 
to the door and would have run away, but on the stairs a man 
caught her and brought her back; and when she looked at him it 


was King Thrushbeard again. He said to her kindly, "Do not be 
afraid, I and the fiddler who has been living with you in that 
wretched hovel are one. For love of you I disguised myself so; 
and I also was the hussar who rode through your crockery. This 
was all done to humble your proud spirit, and to punish you for 
the insolence with which you mocked me." 

Then she wept bitterly and said, "I have done great wrong, and 
am not worthy to be your wife." But he said, "Be comforted, the 
evil days are past; now we will celebrate our wedding." Then the 
maids-in-waiting came and put on her the most splendid clothing, 
and her father and his whole court came and wished her happiness 
in her marriage with King Thrushbeard, and the joy now began 
in earnest. I wish you and I had been there too, 


Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of 
snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a win- 
dow sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony. 
And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the 
snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of 
blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the 
white snow, and she thought to herself, "Would that I had a child 
as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the 
window frame." 

Soon after that she had a little daughter, who was as white as 
snow, and as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony; and 
she was therefore called Little Snow-white. And when the child 
was born, the Queen died. 

After a year had passed, the King took to himself another wife. 
She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could 
not bear that any one else should surpass her in beauty. She had a 
wonderful looking-glass, and when she stood in front of it and 
looked at herself in it, and said — 

"I^ooking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall. 
Who in this land is the fairest of all?" 

grimm's tales 147 

the looking-glass answered — 

"Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all!" 

Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the looking-glass spoke 
the truth. 

But Snow-white was growing up, and grew more and more beau- 
tiful; and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the 
day, and more beautiful than the Queen herself. And once when 
the Queen asked her looking-glass — 

"Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, 
Who in this land is the fairest of all?" 

it answered- 

"Thou art fairer than all who are here. Lady Queen, 
But more beautiful still is Snow-white, as I ween." 

Then the Queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with 
envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at Snow-white, her 
heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much. 

And envy and pride grew higher and higher in her heart like a 
weed, so that she had no peace day or night. She called a huntsman, 
and said, "Take the child away into the forest; I will no longer 
have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her heart as a 
token." The huntsman obeyed, and took her away; but when he 
had drawn his knife, and was about to pierce Snow-white's innocent 
heart, she began to weep, and said, "Ah, dear huntsman, leave me 
my life! I will run away into the wild forest and never come home 

And as she was so beautiful the huntsman had pity on her and 
said, "Run away, then, you poor child." "The wild beasts will soon 
have devoured you," thought he, and yet it seemed as if a stone 
had been rolled from his heart since it was no longer needful for 
him to kill her. And as a young boar just then came running by 
he stabbed it and cut out its heart and took it to the Queen as a 
proof that the child was dead. The cook had to salt this, and the 
wicked Queen ate it, and thought she had eaten the heart of Snow- 

But now the poor child was all alone in the great forest, and so 


terrified that she looked at every leaf of every tree, and did not 
know what to do. Then she began to run, and ran over sharp 
stones and through thorns, and the wild beasts ran past her, but 
did her no harm. 

She ran as long as her feet would go until it was almost evening; 
then she saw a little cottage and went into it to rest herself. Every- 
thing in the cottage was small, but neater and cleaner than can be 
told. There was a table on which was a white cover, and seven 
little plates, and on each plate a little spoon; moreover, there were 
seven little knives and forks, and seven little mugs. Against the 
wall stood seven Utile beds side by side, and covered with snow-white 

Little Snow-white was so hungry and thirsty that she ate some 
vegetables and bread from each plate and drank a drop of wine out 
of each mug, for she did not wish to take all from one only. Then, 
as she was so tired, she laid herself down on one of the little beds, 
but none of them suited her; one was too long, another too short, 
but at last she found that the seventh one was right, and so she 
remained in it, said a prayer and went to sleep. 

When it was quite dark the owners of the cottage came back; 
they were seven dwarfs who dug and delved in the mountains for 
ore. They Ht their seven candles, and as it was now light within 
the cottage they saw that some one had been there, for everything 
was not in the same order in which they had left it. 
The first said, "Who has been sitting on my chair?" 
The second, "Who has been eating ofl my plate?" 
The third, "Who has been taking some of my bread?" 
The fourth, "Who has been eating my vegetables?" 
The fifth, "Who has been using my fork?" 
The sixth, "Who has been cutting with my knife?" 
The seventh, "Who has been drinking out of my mug?" 
Then the first looked round and saw that there was a little hole 
on his bed, and he said, "Who has been getting into my bed?" The 
others came up and each called out, "Somebody has been lying in 
my bed too." But the seventh when he looked at his bed saw little 
Snow-white, who was lying asleep therein. And he called the others, 
who came running up, and they cried out with astonishment, and 


brought their seven Utile candles and let the light fall on little Snow- 
white. "Oh, heavens! oh, heavens!" cried they, "what a lovely child!" 
and they were so glad that they did not wake her up, but let her 
sleep on in the bed. And the seventh dwarf slept with his com- 
panions, one hour with each, and so got through the night. 

When it was morning little Snow-white awoke, and was fright- 
ened when she saw the seven dwarfs. But they were friendly and 
asked her what her name was. "My name is Snow-white," she 
answered. "How have you come to our house.?" said the dwarfs. 
Then she told them that her step-mother had wished to have her 
killed, but that the huntsman had spared her life, and that she had 
run for the whole day, until at last she had found their dwelling. 
The dwarfs said, "If you will take care of our house, cook, make 
the beds, wash, sew, and knit, and if you will keep everything neat 
and clean, you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing." 
"Yes," said Snow-white, "with all my heart," and she stayed with 
them. She kept the house in order for them; in the mornings they 
went to the mountains and looked for copper and gold, in the eve- 
nings they came back, and then their supper had to be ready. The 
girl was alone the whole day, so the good dwarfs warned her and 
said, "Beware of your step-mother, she will soon know that you 
are here; be sure to let no one come in." 

But the Queen, believing that she had eaten Snow-white's heart, 
could not but think that she was again the first and most beautiful 
of all; and she went to her looking-glass and said — 

"Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall. 
Who in this land is the fairest of all?" 

and the glass answered — 

"Oh, Queen, thou art fairest of all I see. 
But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell. 
Snow-white is still alive and well. 
And none is so fair as she." 

Then she was astounded, for she knew that the looking-glass 
never spoke falsely, and she knew that the huntsman had betrayed 
her, and that little Snow-white was still alive. 

And so she thought and thought again how she might kill her, 
for so long as she was not the fairest in the whole land, envy let her 


have no rest. And when she had at last thought of something to do, 
she painted her face, and dressed herself like an old fiedler-woman, 
and no one could have known her. In this disguise she went over 
the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door 
and cried, "Pretty things to sell, very cheap, very cheap." Little 
Snow-white looked out of the window and called out, "Good-day, 
my good woman, what have you to sell?" "Good things, pretty 
things," she answered; "stay-laces of all colours," and she pulled out 
one which was woven of bright<oloured silk. "I may let the worthy 
old woman in," thought Snow-white, and she unbolted the door 
and bought the pretty laces. "Child," said the old woman, "what a 
fright you look; come, I will lace you properly for once." Snow- 
white had no suspicion, but stood before her, and let herself be 
laced with the new laces. But the old woman laced so quickly and 
laced so tightly that Snow-white lost her breath and fell down as 
if dead. "Now I am the most beautiful," said the Queen to herself, 
and ran away. 

Not long afterwards, in the evening, the seven dwarfs came home, 
but how shocked they were when they saw their dear little Snow- 
white lying on the ground, and that she neither stirred nor moved, 
and seemed to be dead. They lifted her up, and, as they saw that 
she was laced too tightly, they cut the laces; then she began to 
breathe a little, and after a while came to life again. When the 
dwarfs heard what had happened they said, "The old pedler-woman 
was no one else than the wicked Queen; take care and let no one 
come in when we are not with you." 

But the wicked woman when she had reached home went in front 
of the glass and asked — 

"Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, 
Who in this land is the fairest of all?" 

and it answered as before — 

"Oh, Queen, thou art fairest of all I see, 
But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, 
Snow-white is still alive and well. 
And none is so fair as she." 

When she heard that, all her blood rushed to her heart with fear, 
for she saw plainly that litde Snow-white was again aUve. "But 


now," she said, "I will think of something that shall put an end to 
you," and by the help of witchcraft, which she understood, she 
made a poisonous comb. Then she disguised herself and took the 
shape of another old woman. So she went over the seven mountains 
to the seven dwarfs, knocked at the door, and cried, "Good things 
to sell cheap, cheap!" Little Snow-white looked out and said, "Go 
away; I cannot let any one come in." "I suppose you can look," 
said the old woman, and pulled the poisonous comb out and held 
it up. It pleased the girl so well that she let herself be beguiled, and 
opened the door. When they had made a bargain the old woman 
said, "Now I will comb you properly for once." Poor little Snow- 
white had no suspicion, and let the old woman do as she pleased, 
but hardly had she put the comb in her hair than the poison in it 
took effect, and the girl fell down senseless. "You paragon of 
beauty," said the wicked woman, "you are done for now," and she 
went away. 

But fortunately it was almost evening, when the seven dwarfs 
came home. When they saw Snow-white lying as if dead upon the 
ground, they at once suspected the step-mother, and they looked and 
found the poisoned comb. Scarcely had they taken it out when Snow- 
white came to herself, and told them what had happened. Then 
they warned her once more to be upon her guard and to open the 
door to no one. 

The Queen, at home, went in front of the glass and said — 

"Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, 
Who in this land is the fairest of all?" 

then it answered as before — • 

"Oh, Queen, thou art fairest of all I see, 
But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, 
Snow-white is still alive and well. 
And none is so fair as she." 

When she heard the glass speak thus she trembled and shook 
with rage. "Snow-white shall die," she cried, "even if it costs me 
my life!" 

Thereupon she went into a quite secret, lonely room, where no 
one ever came, and there she made a very poisonous apple, Otrt- 


side it looked pretty, white with a red cheek, so that every one who 
saw it longed for it; but whoever ate a piece of it must surely die. 

When the apple was ready, she painted her face, and dressed her- 
self up as a country-woman, and so she went over the seven moun- 
tains to the seven dwarfs. She knocked at the door. Snow-white 
put her head out of the window and said, "I cannot let any one in; 
the seven dwarfs have forbidden me." "It is all the same to me," 
answered the woman, "I shall soon get rid of my apples. There, I 
will give you one." 

"No," said Snow-white, "I dare not take anything." "Are you 
afraid of poison?" said the old woman; "look, I will cut the apple 
in two pieces; you eat the red cheek, and I will eat the white." The 
apple was so cunningly made that only the red cheek was poisoned. 
Snow-white longed for the fine apple, and when she saw that the 
woman ate part of it she could resist no longer, and stretched out 
her hand and took the poisonous half. But hardly had she a bit of 
it in her mouth than she fell down dead. Then the Queen looked 
at her with a dreadful look, and laughed aloud and said, "White 
as snow, red as blood, black as ebony-wood! this time the dwarfs 
cannot wake you up again." 

And when she asked of the Looking-glass at home — 

"Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, 
Who in this land is the fairest of all.''" 

it answered at last — 

"Oh, Queen, in this land thou art fairest of all." 

Then her envious heart had rest, so far as an envious heart can have 

The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow- 
white lying upon the ground; she breathed no longer and was dead. 
They lifted her up, looked to see whether they could find anything 
f)oisonous, unlaced her, combed her hair, washed her with water 
and wine, but it was all of no use; the poor child was dead, and 
remained dead. They laid her upwn a bier, and all seven of them 
sat round it and wept for her, and wept three days long. 

Then they were going to bury her, but she still looked as if she 
were living, and still had her pretty red cheeks. They said, "We 

grimm's tales 153 

could not bury her in the dark ground," and they had a transparent 
coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides, and 
they laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in golden letters, 
and that she was a king's daughter. Then they put the coffin out 
upon the mountain, and one of them always stayed by it and watched 
it. And birds came too, and wept for Snow-white; first an owl, 
then a raven, and last a dove. 

And now Snow-white lay a long, long time in the coffin, and 
she did not change, but looked as if she were asleep; for she 
was as white as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as 

It happened, however, that a king's son came into the forest, and 
went to the dwarfs' house to spend the night. He saw the coffin on 
the mountain, and the beautiful Snow-white within it, and read 
what was written upon it in golden letters. Then he said to the 
dwarfs, "Let me have the coffin, I will give you whatever you want 
for it." But the dwarfs answered, "We will not part with it for all 
the gold in the world." Then he said, "Let me have it as a gift, for 
I cannot live without seeing Snow-white. I will honour and prize 
her as my dearest possession." As he spoke in this way the good 
dwarfs took pity upon him, and gave him the coffin. 

And now the King's son had it carried away by his servants on 
their shoulders. And it happened that they stumbled over a tree- 
stump, and with the shock the poisonous piece of apple which Snow- 
white had bitten off came out of her throat. And before long she 
opened her eyes, lifted up the lid of the coffin, sat up, and was once 
more alive. "Oh, heavens, where am I?" she cried. The King's son, 
full of joy, said, "You are with me," and told her what had hap- 
pened, and said, "I love you more than everything in the world; 
come with me to my father's palace, you shall be my wife." 

And Snow-white was willing, and went with him, and their 
wedding was held with great show and splendour. But Snow-white's 
wicked step-mother was also bidden to the feast. When she had 
arrayed herself in beautiful clothes she went before the Looking- 
glass, and said — 

"Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall. 
Who in this land is the fairest of all?" 


the glass answered — 

"Oh, Queen, of all here the fairest art thou, 
But the young Queen is fairer by far as I trow." 

Then the wicked woman uttered a curse, and was so wretched, 
so utterly wretched, that she knew not what to do. At first she 
would not go to the wedding at all, but she had no peace, and must 
go to see the young Queen. And when she went in she knew Snow- 
white; and she stood still with rage and fear, and could not stir. 
But iron slippers had already been put upon the fire, and they were 
brought in with tongs, and set before her. Then she was forced to 
put on the red-hot shoes, and dance until she dropped down dead. 


Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful 
daughter. Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the 
King, and in order to make himself appear important he said to 
him, "I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold." The King 
said to the miller, "That is an art which pleases me well; if your 
daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to-morrow to my palace, 
and I will try what she can do." 

And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room 
which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a 
reel, and said, "Now set to work, and if by to-morrow morning 
early you have not spun this straw into gold during the night, you 
must die." Thereupon he himself locked up the room, and left her 
in it alone. So there sat the poor miller's daughter, and for her life 
could not tell what to do; she had no idea how straw could be spun 
into gold, and she grew more and more miserable, until at last she 
began to weep. 

But all at once the door opened, and in came a little man, and 
said, "Good evening. Mistress Miller; why are you crying so?" 
"Alas!" answered the girl, "I have to spin straw into gold, and I 
do not know how to do it." "What will you give me," said the 
manikin, "if I do it for you?" "My necklace," said the girl. The 
little man took the necklace, seated himself in front of the wheel, 


and "whirr, whirr, whirr," three turns, and the reel was full; then 
he put another on, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three times round, and 
the second was full too. And so it went on until the morning, when 
all the straw was spun, and all the reels were full of gold. By day- 
break the King was already there, and when he saw the gold he 
was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more 
greedy. He had the miller's daughter taken into another room full 
of straw, which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that 
also in one night if she valued her life. The girl knew not how to 
help herself, and was crying, when the door again opened, and the 
little man appeared, and said, "What will you give me if I spin the 
straw into gold for you?" "The ring on my linger," answered the 
girl. The Uttle man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, 
and by morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold. 

The King rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had 
not gold enough; and he had the miller's daughter taken into a 
still larger room full of straw, and said, "You must spin this, too, 
in the course of this night; but if you succeed, you shall be my 
wife." "Even if she be a miller's daughter," thought he, "I could 
not find a richer wife in the whole world." 

When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third 
time, and said, "What will you give me if I spin the straw for you 
this time also?" "I have nothing left that I could give," answered 
the girl. "Then promise me, if you should become Queen, your 
first child." "Who knows whether that will ever happen?" thought 
the miller's daughter; and, not knowing how else to help herself 
in this strait, she promised the manikin what he wanted, and for 
that he once more spun the straw into gold. 

And when the King came in the morning, and found all as he 
had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's daughter 
became a Queen. 

A year after, she had a beautiful child, and she never gave a 
thought to the manikin. But suddenly he came into her room, and 
said, "Now give me what you promised." The Queen was horror- 
struck, and offered the manikin all the riches of the kingdom if he 
would leave her the child. But the manikin said, "No, something 
that is Uving is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world." 


Then the Queen began to weep and cry, so that the manikin pitied 
her. "I will give you three days' time," said he; "if by that time you 
find out my name, then shall you keep your child." 

So the Queen thought the whole night of all the names that she 
had ever heard, and she sent a messenger over the country to in- 
quire, far and wide, for any other names that there might be. When 
the manikin came the next day, she began with Caspar, Melchior, 
Balthazar, and said all the names she knew, one after another; but 
to every one the little man said, "That is not my name." On the 
second day she had inquiries made in the neighbourhood as to the 
names of the people there, and she repeated to the manikin the 
most uncommon and curious. "Perhaps your name is Shortribs, or 
Sheepshanks, or Laceleg?" but he always answered, "That is not 
my name." 

On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, "I 
have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a 
high mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare 
bid each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the 
house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous 
little man was jumping: he hopped upon one leg, and shouted — 

" 'To-day I bake, to-morrow brew. 

The next I'll have the young Queen's child. 
Ha! glad am I that no one knew 
That Rumpelstiltskin I am styled." 

You may think how glad the Queen was when she heard the 
name! And when soon afterwards the little man came in, and 
asked, "Now Mistress Queen, what is my name?" at first she said, 
"Is your name Conrad?" "No." "Is your name Harry?" "No." 

"Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?" 

"The devil has told you that! the devil has told you that!" cried 
the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep 
into the earth that his whole leg went in; and then in rage he pulled 
at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two. 


There was once uf)on a time a King who had three sons, of whom 
two were clever and wise, but the third did not speak much and 



was simple, and was called the Simpleton. When the King had 
become old and weak, and was thinking of his end, he did not know 
which of his sons should inherit the kingdom after him. Then he 
said to them, "Go forth, and he who brings me the most beautiful 
carpet shall be King after my death." And that there should be no 
dispute amongst them, he took them outside his castle, blew three 
feathers in the air, and said, "You shall go as they fly." One feather 
flew to the east, the other to the west, but the third flew straight up 
and did not fly far, but soon fell to the ground. And now one 
brother went to the right, and the other to the left, and they mocked 
Simpleton, who was forced to stay where the third feather had 
fallen. He sat down and was sad, then all at once he saw that there 
was a trap-door close by the feather. He raised it up, found some 
steps, and went down them, and then he came to another door, 
knocked at it, and heard somebody inside calUng, 

"Litde green maiden small, 
Hopping hither and thither. 
Hop to the door, 
And quickly see who is there." 

The door opened, and he saw a great, fat toad sitting, and round 
about her a crowd of little toads. The fat toad asked what he 
wanted? He answered, "I should like to have the prettiest and 
finest carpet in the world." Then she called a young one and said, 

"Litde green maiden small, 
Hopping hither and thither, 
Hop quickly and bring me 
The great box here." 

The young toad brought the box, and the fat toad opened it, and 
gave Simpleton a carpet out of it, so beautiful and so fine, that on 
the earth above, none could have been woven like it. Then he 
thanked her, and ascended again. The two others had, however, 
looked on their youngest brother as so stupid that they believed he 
would find and bring nothing at all. "Why should we give ourselves 
a great deal of trouble to search?" said they, and got some coarse 
handkerchiefs from the first shepherds' wives whom they met, and 
carried them home to the King. At the same time Simpleton also 


came back, and brought his beautiful carpet, and when the King 
saw it he was astonished, and said, "If justice be done, the kingdom 
belongs to the youngest." But the two others let their father have 
no peace and said that it was impossible that Simpleton, who in 
everything lacked understanding, should be King, and entreated 
him to make a new agreement with them. Then the father said, 
"He who brings me the most beautiful ring shall inherit the king- 
dom," and led the three brothers out, and blew into the air three 
feathers, which they were to follow. Those of the two eldest again 
went east and west, and Simpleton's feather flew straight up, and 
fell down near the door into the earth. Then he went down again 
to the fat toad, and told her that he wanted the most beautiful ring. 
She at once ordered her great box to be brought, and gave him a 
ring out of it, which sparkled with jewels, and was so beautiful 
that no goldsmith on earth would have been able to make it. The 
two eldest laughed at Simpleton for going to seek a golden ring. 
They gave themselves no trouble, but knocked the nails out of an 
old carriage-ring, and took it to the King; but when Simpleton 
produced his golden ring, his father again said, "The kingdom be- 
longs to him." The two eldest did not cease from tormenting the 
King until he made a third condition, and declared that the one 
who brought the most beautiful woman home, should have the 
kingdom. He again blew the three feathers into the air, and they 
flew as before. 

Then Simpleton without more ado went down to the fat toad, 
and said, "I am to take home the most beautiful woman!" "Oh," 
answered the toad, "the most beautiful woman! She is not at hand 
at the moment, but still thou shalt have her." She gave him a yel- 
low turnip which had been hollowed out, to which six mice were 
harnessed. Then Simpleton said quite mournfully, "What am I 
to do with that?" The toad answered, "Just put one of my litde 
toads into it." Then he seized one at random out of the circle, and 
put her into the yellow coach, but hardly was she seated inside it 
than she turned into a wonderfully beautiful maiden, and the turnip 
into a coach, and the six mice into horses. So he kissed her, and 
drove off quickly with the horses, and took her to the King. His 
brothers came afterwards; they had given themselves no trouble at 



all to seek beautiful girls, but had brought with them the first peasant 
women they chanced to meet. When the King saw them he said, 
"After my death the kingdom belongs to my youngest son." But 
the two eldest deafened the King's ears afresh with their clamour, 
"We cannot consent to Simpleton's being King," and demanded 
that the one whose wife could leap through a ring which hung in 
the centre of the hall should have the preference. They thought, 
"The peasant women can do that easily; they are strong enough, 
but the delicate maiden will jump herself to death." The aged King 
agreed likewise to this. Then the two peasant women jumped, and 
jumped through the ring, but were so stout that they fell, and their 
coarse arms and legs broke in two. And then the pretty maiden 
whom Simpleton had brought with him, sprang, and sprang through 
as Hghtly as a deer, and all opposition had to cease. So he received 
the crown, and has ruled wisely for a length of time. 


There was a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was 
called Dummling,' and was despised, mocked, and put down on 
every occasion. 

It happened that the eldest wanted to go into the forest to hew 
wood, and before he went his mother gave him a beautiful sweet 
cake and a bottle of wine in order that he might not suffer from 
hunger or thirst. 

When he entered the forest, there met him a litde grey-haired 
old man who bade him good-day, and said, "Do give me a piece of 
cake out of your pocket, and let me have a draught of your wine; 
I am so hungry and thirsty." But the prudent youth answered, "If 
I give you my cake and wine, I shall have none for myself; be off 
with you," and he left the little man standing and went on. 

But when he began to hew down a tree, it was not long before he 
made a false stroke, and the axe cut him in the arm, so that he had 
to go home and have it bound up. And this was the litde grey 
man's doing. 

After this the second son went into the forest, and his mother 

' Simpleton. 


gave him, like the eldest, a cake and a bottle of wine. The little 
old grey man met him likewise, and asked him for a piece of cake 
and a drink of wine. But the second son, too, said with much rea- 
son, "What I give you will be taken away from myself; be off!" 
and he left the little man standing and went on. His punishment, 
however, was not delayed; when he had made a few strokes 
at the tree he struck himself in the leg, so that he had to be carried 

Then Dummling said, "Father, do let me go and cut wood." The 
father answered, "Your brothers have hurt themselves with it, leave 
it alone, you do not understand anything about it." But Dummling 
begged so long that at last he said, "Just go then, you will get wiser 
by hurting yourself." His mother gave him a cake made with water 
and baked in the cinders, and with it a bottle of sour beer. 

When he came to the forest the Uttle old grey man met him like- 
wise, and greeting him, said, "Give me a piece of your cake and a 
drink out of your bottle; I am so hungry and thirsty." Dummling 
answered, "I have only cinder<ake and sour beer; if that pleases 
you, we will sit down and eat." So they sat down, and when 
Dummling pulled out his cinder<ake, it was a fine sweet cake, 
and the sour beer had become good wine. So they ate and drank, 
and after that the little man said, "Since you have a good heart, 
and are willing to divide what you have, I will give you good luck. 
There stands an old tree, cut it down, and you will find something 
at the roots." Then the old man took leave of him. 

Dummling went and cut down the tree, and when it fell there 
was a goose sitting in the roots with feathers of pure gold. He 
lifted her up, and taking her with him, went to an inn where he 
thought he would stay the night. Now the host had three daughters, 
who saw the goose and were curious to know what such a wonder- 
ful bird might be, and would have liked to have one of its golden 

The eldest thought, "I shall soon find an opportunity of pulling 
out a feather," and as soon as Dummling had gone out she seized 
the goose by the wing, but her fingers and hand remained sticking 
fast to it. 

The second came soon afterwards, thinking only of how she 

grimm's tales i6i 

might get a feather for herself, but she had scarcely touched her 
sister than she was held fast. 

At last the third also came with the like intent, and the others 
screamed out, "Keep away; for goodness' sake keep away!" But 
she did not understand why she was to keep away. "The others 
are there," she thought, "I may as well be there too," and ran to 
them; but as soon as she had touched her sister she remained stick- 
ing fast to her. So they had to spend the night with the goose. 

The next morning Dummling took the goose under his arm and 
set out, without troubling himself about the three girls who were 
hanging to it. They were obliged to run after him continually, now 
left, now right, just as he was inclined to go. 

In the middle of the fields the parson met them, and, when he 
saw the procession, he said, "For shame, you good-for-nothing girls, 
why are you running across the fields after this young man? is that 
seemly.^" At the same time he seized the youngest by the hand in 
order to pull her away, but as soon as he touched her he likewise 
stuck fast, and was himself obliged to run behind. 

Before long the sexton came by and saw his master, the parson, 
running on foot behind three girls. He was astonished at this and 
called out, "Hi! your reverence, whither away so quickly? do not 
forget that we have a christening to-day!" and running after him 
he took him by the sleeve, but was also held fast to it. 

Whilst the five were trotting thus one behind the other, two 
labourers came with their hoes from the fields; the parson called 
out to them and begged that they would set him and the sexton 
free. But they had scarcely touched the sexton when they were 
held fast, and now there were seven of them running behind 
Dummling and the goose. 

Soon afterwards he came to a city, where a king ruled who had 
a daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh. 
So he had put forth a decree that whosoever should be able to make 
her laugh should marry her. When Dummling heard this, he went 
with his goose and all her train before the King's daughter, and as 
soon as she saw the seven people running on and on, one behind 
the other, she began to laugh quite loudly, and as if she would never 
leave off. Thereupon Dummling asked to have her for his wife. 


and the wedding was celebrated. After the King's death Dummling 
inherited the kingdom, and Hved a long time contentedly with his 


There was once upon a time a King who had a wife with golden 
hair, and she was so beautiful that her equal was not to be found 
on earth. It came to pass that she lay ill, and as she felt that she 
must soon die, she called the King and said, "If ihou wishest to 
marry again after my death, take no one who is not quite as beau- 
tiful as I am, and who has not just such golden hair as I have: this 
thou must promise me." And after the King had promised her 
this she closed her eyes and died. 

For a long time the King could not be comforted, and had no 
thought of taking another wife. At length his councillors said, 
"There is no help for it, the King must marry again, that we may 
have a Queen." And now messengers were sent about far and wide, 
to seek a bride who equalled the late Queen in beauty. In the whole 
world, however, none was found, and even if one had been found, 
still there would have been no one who had such golden hair. So 
the messengers came home as they went. 

Now the King had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her 
dead mother, and had the same golden hair. When she was grown 
up, the King looked at her one day, and saw that in every respect 
she was like his late wife, and suddenly felt a violent love for her. 
Then he spake to his councillors, "I will marry my daughter, for 
she is the counterpart of my late wife, otherwise I can find no bride 
who resembles her." When the councillors heard that, they were 
shocked, and said, "God has forbidden a father to marry his 
daughter, no good can come from such a crime, and the kingdom 
will be involved in the ruin." 

The daughter was still more shocked when she became aware of 
her father's resolution, but hoped to turn him from his design. Then 
she said to him, "Before I fulfil your wish, I must have three dresses, 
one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as 
bright as the stars; besides this, I wish for a mantle of a thousand 

grimm's tales 163 

different kinds of fur and hair joined together, and one of every 
kind of animal in your kingdom must give a bit of his skin for it." 
But she thought, "To get that will be quite impossible, and thus I 
shall divert my father from his wicked intentions." The King, how- 
ever, did not give it up, and the cleverest maidens in his kingdom 
had to weave the three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as 
silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars, and his hunts- 
men had to catch one of every kind of animal in the whole of his 
kingdom, and take from it a piece of its skin, and out of these was 
made a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur. At length, 
when all was ready, the King caused the mantle to be brought, 
spread it out before her, and said, "The wedding shall be to-morrow." 

When, therefore, the King's daughter saw that there was no 
longer any hope of turning her father's heart, she resolved to run 
away from him. In the night whilst every one was asleep, she got 
up, and took three different things from her treasures, a golden ring, 
a golden spinning-wheel, and a golden reel. The three dresses of 
the sun, moon, and stars she put into a nutshell, put on her mantle 
of all kinds of fur, and blackened her face and hands with soot. 
Then she commended herself to God, and went away, and walked 
the whole night until she reached a great forest. And as she was 
tired, she got into a hollow tree, and fell asleep. 

The sun rose, and she slept on, and she was still sleeping when 
it was full day. Then it so happened that the King to whom this 
forest belonged, was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the 
tree, they snuffed, and ran barking round about it. The King said 
to the huntsmen, "Just see what kind of wild beast has hidden itself 
in there." The huntsmen obeyed his order, and when they came 
back they said, "A wondrous beast is lying in the hollow tree; we 
have never before seen one like it. Its skin is fur of a thousand dif- 
ferent kinds, but it is lying asleep." Said the King, "See if you can 
catch it alive, and then fasten it on the carriage, and we will take 
it with us." When the huntsmen laid hold of the maiden, she awoke 
full of terror, and cried to them, "I am a poor child, deserted by 
father and mother; have pity on me, and take me with you." Then 
said they "Allerleirauh, thou wilt be useful in the kitchen, come 
with us, and thou canst sweep up the ashes." So they put her in 


the carriage, and took her home to the royal palace. There they 
pointed out to her a closet under the stairs, where no daylight en- 
tered, and said, "Hairy animal, there canst thou live and sleep." 
Then she was sent into the kitchen, and there she carried wood and 
water, swept the hearth, plucked the fowls, picked the vegetables, 
raked the ashes, and did all the dirty work. 

Allerleirauh lived there for a long time in great wretchedness. 
Alas, fair princess, what is to become of thee now! It happened, 
however, that one day a feast was held in the palace, and she said 
to the cook, "May I go up-stairs for a while, and look on? I will 
place myself outside the door." The cook answered, "Yes, go, but 
you must be back here in half-an-hour to sweep the hearth." Then 
she took her oil-lamp, went into her den, put off her fur-dress, and 
washed the soot off her face and hands, so that her full beauty once 
more came to light. And she opened the nut, and took out her 
dress which shone like the sun, and when she had done that she 
went up to the festival, and every one made way for her, for no 
one knew her, and thought no otherwise than that she was a king's 
daughter. The King came to meet her, gave his hand to her, and 
danced with her, and thought in his heart, "My eyes have never yet 
seen any one so beautiful!" When the dance was over she curtsied, 
and when the King looked round again she had vanished, and 
none knew whither. The guards who stood outside the palace were 
called and questioned, but no one had seen her. 

She had, however, run into her little den, had quickly taken off 
her dress, made her face and hands black again, put on the fur- 
mantle, and again was Allerleirauh. And now when she went into 
the kitchen, and was about to get to her work and sweep up the 
ashes, the cook said, "Leave that alone till morning, and make me 
the soup for the King; I, too, will go upstairs awhile, and take a 
look; but let no hairs fall in, or in future thou shalt have nothing 
to eat." So the cook went away, and Allerleirauh made the soup 
for the King, and made bread soup and the best she could, and 
when it was ready she fetched her golden ring from her little den, 
and put it in the bowl in which the soup was served. When the 
dancing was over, the King had his soup brought and ate it, and 
he liked it so much that it seemed to him he had never tasted better. 

grimm's tales 165 

But when he came to the bottom of the bowl, he saw a golden ring 
lying, and could not conceive how it could have got there. Then he 
ordered the cook to appear before him. The cook was terrified when 
he heard the order, and said to AUerleirauh, "Thou hast certainly 
let a hair fall into the soup, and if thou hast, thou shalt be beaten 
for it." When he came before the King the latter asked who had 
made the soup? The cook replied, "I made it." But the King said, 
"That is not true, for it was much better than usual, and cooked 
differently." He answered, "I must acknowledge that I did not 
make it, it was made by the rough animal." The King said, "Go 
and bid it come up here." 

When AUerleirauh came, the King said, "Who art thou?" "I 
am a poor girl who no longer has any father or mother." He asked 
further, "Of what use art thou in my palace?" She answered, "I 
am good for nothing but to have boots thrown at my head." He 
continued, "Where didst thou get the ring which was in the soup?" 
She answered, "I know nothing about the ring." So the King could 
learn nothing, and had to send her away again. 

After a while, there was another festival, and then, as before, 
AUerleirauh begged the cook for leave to go and look on. He 
answered, "Yes, but come back again in half-an-hour, and make 
the King the bread soup which he so much likes." Then she ran 
into her den, washed herself quickly, and took out of the nut the 
dress which was as silvery as the moon, and put it on. Then she 
went up and was like a princess, and the King stepped forward to 
meet her, and rejoiced to see her once more, and as the dance was 
just beginning they danced it together. But when it was at end, 
she again disappeared so quickly that the King could not observe 
where she went. She, however, sprang into her den, and once more 
made herself a hairy animal, and went into the kitchen to prepare 
the bread soup. When the cook had gone up-stairs, she fetched the 
little golden spinning-wheel, and put it in the bowl so that the soup 
covered it. Then it was taken to the King, who ate it, and liked it 
as much as before, and had the cook brought, who this time like- 
wise was forced to confess that AUerleirauh had prepared the soup. 
AUerleirauh again came before the King, but she answered that 
she was good for nothing else but to have boots thrown at her head, 


and that she knew nothing at all about the little golden spinning- 

When, for the third time, the King held a festival, all happened 
just as it had done before. The cook said, "Faith, rough-skin, thou 
art a witch, and always puttest something in the soup which makes 
it so good that the King likes it better than that which I cook," 
but as she begged so hard, he let her go up at the appointed time. 
And now she put on the dress which shone like the stars, and thus 
entered the hall. Again the King danced with the beautiful maiden, 
and thought that she never yet had been so beautiful. And whilst 
she was dancing, he contrived, without her noticing it, to slip a 
golden ring on her finger, and he had given orders that the dance 
should last a very long time. When it was ended, he wanted to hold 
her fast by her hands, but she tore herself loose, and sprang away 
so quickly through the crowd that she vanished from his sight. She 
ran as fast as she could into her den beneath the stairs, but as she 
had been too long and had stayed more than half-an-hour she could 
not take off her pretty dress, but only threw over it her fur-mantle, 
and in her haste she did not make herself quite black, but one finger 
remained white. Then Allerleirauh ran into the kitchen, and cooked 
the bread soup for the King, and as the cook was away, put her 
golden reel into it. When the King found the reel at the bottom of 
it, he caused Allerleirauh to be summoned, and then he espied the 
white finger, and saw the ring which he had put on it during the 
dance. Then he grasped her by the hand, and held her fast, and 
when she wanted to release herself and run away, her fur-mantle 
opened a little, and the star-dress shone forth. The King clutched 
the mantle and tore it off. Then her golden hair shone forth, and 
she stood there in full splendour, and could no longer hide herself. 
And when she had washed the soot and ashes from her face, she 
was more beautiful than any one who had ever been seen on earth. 
But the King said, "Thou art my dear bride, and we will never more 
part from each other." Thereupon the marriage was solemnized, 
and they lived happily until their death. 

grimm's tales 167 


The wolf had the fox with him, and whatsoever the wolf wished, 
that the fox was compelled to do, for he was the weaker, and he 
would gladly have been rid of his master. It chanced that once as 
they were going through the forest, the wolf said, "Red-fox, get me 
something to eat, or else I will eat thee thyself." Then the fox 
answered, "I know a farm-yard where there are two young lambs; 
if thou art inclined, we will fetch one of them." That suited the 
wolf, and they went thither, and the fox stole the little lamb, took 
it to the wolf, and went away. The wolf devoured it, but was not 
satisfied with one; he wanted the other as well, and went to get it. 
As, however, he did it so awkwardly, the mother of the little lamb 
heard him, and began to cry out terribly, and to bleat so that the 
farmer came running there. They found the wolf, and beat him 
so mercilessly, that he went to the fox limping and howling. "Thou 
hast misled me finely," said he; "I wanted to fetch the other Iamb, 
and the country folks surprised me, and have beaten me to a jelly." 
The fox replied, "Why art thou such a glutton?" 

Next day they again went into the country, and the greedy wolf 
once more said, "Red-fox, get me something to eat, or I will eat thee 
thyself." Then answered the fox, "I know a farm-house where the 
wife is baking pancakes to-night; we will get some of them for 
ourselves." They went there, and the fox slipped round the house, 
and peeped and sniffed about until he discovered where the dish 
was, and then drew down six pancakes and carried them to the 
wolf. "There is something for thee to eat," said he to him, and 
then went his way. The wolf swallowed down the pancakes in an 
instant, and said, "They make one want more," and went thither 
and tore the whole dish down so that it broke in pieces. This made 
such a great noise that the woman came out, and, when she saw 
the wolf, she called the people, who hurried there, and beat him as 
long as their sticks would hold together, till with two lame legs, 
and howling loudly, he got back to the fox in the forest. "How 
abominably thou hast misled me!" cried he, "the peasants caught 
me, and tanned my skin for me." But the fox replied, "Why art 
thou such a glutton?" 


On the third day, when they were out together, and the wolf 
could only Ump along painfully, he again said, "Red-fox, get me 
something to eat, or I will eat thee thyself." The fox answered, "I 
know a man who has been killing, and the salted meat is lying in 
a barrel in the cellar; we will get that." Said the wolf, "1 will go 
when thou dost, that thou mayest help me if I am not able to get 
away." "I am willing," said the fox, and showed him the by-paths 
and ways by which at length they reached the cellar. There was 
meat in abundance, and the wolf attacked it instantly and thought, 
"There is plenty of time before 1 need leave off!" The fox liked it 
also, but looked about everywhere, and often ran to the hole by 
which they had come in, and tried if his body was still thin enough 
to slip through it. The wolf said, "Dear fox, tell me why thou art 
running here and there so much and jumping in and out?" 

"I must see that no one is coming," replied the crafty fellow. 
"Don't eat too much!" Then said the wolf, "I shall not leave until 
the barrel is empty." In the meantime the farmer, who had heard 
the noise of the fox's jumping, came into the cellar. When the fox 
saw him he was out of the hole at one bound. The wolf wanted to 
follow him, but he had made himself so fat with eating that he 
could no longer get through, but stuck fast. Then came the farmer 
with a cudgel and struck him dead, but the fox bounded into the 
forest, glad to be rid of the old glutton. 


Hans had served his master for seven years, so he said to him, 
"Master, my time is up; now I should be glad to go back home to 
my mother; give me my wages." The master answered, "You have 
served me faithfully and honestly; as the service was, so shall the 
reward be;" and he gave Hans a piece of gold as big as his head. 
Hans pulled his handkerchief out of his pocket, wrapped up the 
lump in it, put it on his shoulder, and set out on the way home. 

As he went on, always putting one foot before the other, he saw 
a horseman trotting quickly and merrily by on a lively horse. "Ah!" 
said Hans quite loud, "what a fine thing it is to ride! There you 

grimm's tales 169 

sit as on a chair; you stumble over no stones, you save your shoes, 
and get on, you don't know how." 

The rider, who had heard him, stopped and called out, "Hollo! 
Hans, why do you go on foot then?" 

"I must," answered he, "for I have this lump to carry home; it 
is true that it is gold, but I cannot hold my head straight for it, and 
it hurts my shoulder." 

"I will tell you what," said the rider, "we will exchange: I will 
give you my horse, and you can give me your lump." 

"With all my heart," said Hans, "but I can tell you, you will have 
to crawl along with it." 

The rider got down, took the gold, and helped Hans up; then 
gave him the bridle tight in his hands and said, "If you want to go 
at a really good pace, you must click your tongue and call out, 
"Jup! Jup!" 

Hans was heartily delighted as he sat upon the horse and rode 
away so bold and free. After a little while he thought that it ought 
to go faster, and began to click with his tongue and call out, "Jup! 
Jup!" The horse put himself into a sharp trot, and before Hans 
knew where he was, he was thrown off and lying in a ditch which 
separated the field from the highway. The horse would have gone 
off too if it had not been stopped by a countryman, who was coming 
along the road and driving a cow before him. 

Hans got his limbs together and stood up on his legs again, but 
he was vexed, and said to the countryman, "It is a poor joke, this 
riding, especially when one gets hold of a mare like this, that kicks 
and throws one off, so that one has a chance of breaking one's neck. 
Never again will I mount it. Now I like your cow, for one can 
walk quietly behind her, and have, over and above, one's milk, 
butter and cheese every day without fail. What would I not give to 
have such a cow." "Well," said the countryman, "if it would give 
you so much pleasure, I do not mind giving the cow for the horse." 
Hans agreed with the greatest delight; the countryman jumped upon 
the horse, and rode quickly away. 

Hans drove his cow quietly before him, and thought over his 
lucky bargain. "If only I have a morsel of bread — and that can 
hardly fail me — I can eat butter and cheese with it as often as I 


like; if I am thirsty, I can milk my cow and drink the milk. Good 
heart, what more can I want?" 

When he came to an inn, he made a halt, and in his great con- 
tent ate up what he had with him — his dinner and supper — and all 
he had, and with his last few farthings had half a glass of beer. 
Then he drove his cow onwards along the road to his mother's 

As it drew nearer mid-day, the heat was more oppressive, and 
Hans found himself upon a moor which it took about an hour to 
cross. He felt it very hot and his tongue clave to the roof of his 
mouth with thirst. "I can find a cure for this," thought Hans; "I 
will milk the cow now and refresh myself with the milk." He tied 
her to a withered tree, and as he had no pail he put his leather cap 
underneath; but try as he would, not a drop of milk came. And 
as he set himself to work in a clumsy way, the impatient beast at 
last gave him such a blow on his head with its hind foot, that he 
fell on the ground, and for a long time could not think where he was. 

By good fortune a butcher just then came along the road with a 
wheel-barrow, in which lay a young pig. "What sort of a trick is 
this?" cried he, and helped the good Hans up. Hans told him what 
had happened. The butcher gave him his flask and said, "Take a 
drink and refresh yourself. The cow will certainly give no milk, it is 
an old beast; at the best it is only fit for the plough, or for the but- 
cher." "Well, well," said Hans, as he stroked his hair down on his 
head, "who would have thought it ? Certainly it is a fine thing when 
one can kill a beast like that at home; what meat one has! But I do 
not care much for beef, it is not juicy enough for me. A young pig 
like that now is the thing to have; it tastes quite different; and then 
there are the sausages!" 

"Hark ye, Hans," said the butcher, "out of love for you I will ex- 
change, and will let you have the pig for the cow." "Heaven repay 
you for your kindness!" said Hans as he gave up the cow, whilst the 
pig was unbound from the barrow, and the cord by which it was tied 
was put in his hand. 

Hans went on, and thought to himself how everything was going 
just as he wished; if he did meet with any vexation it was imme- 
diately set right. Presendy there joined him a lad who was carrying 


a fine white goose under his arm. They said good morning to each 
other, and Hans began to tell o£ his good luck, and how he had 
always made such good bargains. The boy told him that he was 
taking the goose to a christening-feast. "Just lift her," added he, and 
laid hold of her by the wings; "how heavy she is — she has been 
fattened up for the last eight weeks. Whoever has a bit of her when 
she is roasted will have to wipe the fat from both sides of his mouth." 
"Yes," said Hans, as he weighed her in one hand, "she is a good 
weight, but my pig is no bad one." 

Meanwhile the lad looked suspiciously from one side to the other, 
and shook his head. "Look here," he said at length, "it may not be 
all right with your pig. In the village through which I passed, the 
Mayor himself had just had one stolen out of its sty. I fear — I feaf 
that you have got hold of it there. They have sent out some people 
and it would be a bad business if they caught you with the pig; at 
the very least, you would be shut up in the dark hole." 

The good Hans was terrified. "Goodness!" he said, "help me out 
of this fix; you know more about this place than I do, take my pig 
and leave me your goose." "I shall risk something at that game," 
answered the lad, "but I will not be the cause of your getting into 
trouble." So he took the cord in his hand, and drove away the pig 
quickly along a by-path. 

The good Hans, free from care, went homewards with the goose 
under his arm. "When 1 think over it properly," said he to himself, 
"I have even gained by the exchange: first there is the good roast- 
meat, then the quantity of fat which will drip from it, and which 
will give me dripping for my bread for a quarter of a year, and lastly 
the beautiful white feathers; I will have my pillow stuffed with them, 
and then indeed I shall go to sleep without rocking. How glad my 
mother will be!" 

As he was going through the last village, there stood a scissors- 
grinder with his barrow; as his wheel whirred he sang — 

"I sharpen scissors and quickly grind. 
My coat blows out in the wind behind." 

Hans stood still and looked at him; at last he spoke to him and 
said, "All's well with you, as you are so merry with your grinding." 


"Yes," answered the scissors-grinder, "the trade has a golden founda- 
tion. A real grinder is a man who as often as he puts his hand into 
his pocket finds gold in it. But where did you buy that fine goose.'" 

"I did not buy it, but exchanged my pig for it." 

"And the pig.-"" 

"That I got for a cow." 

"And the cow.'" 

"I took that instead of a horse." 

"And the horse?" 

"For that I gave a lump of gold as big as my head." 

"And the gold?" 

"Well, that was my wages for seven years' service." 

"You have known how to look after yourself each time," said the 
grinder. "If you can only get on so far as to hear the money jingle in 
your pocket whenever you stand up, you will have made your 

"How shall I manage that?" said Hans. "You must be a grinder, as 
I am; nothing particular is wanted for it but a grindstone, the rest 
finds itself. I have one here; it is certainly a little worn, but you need 
not give me anything for it but your goose; will you do it?" 

"How can you ask?" answered Hans. "I shall be the luckiest fel- 
low on earth; if I have money whenever I put my hand in my pocket, 
what need I trouble about any longer?" and he handed him the 
goose and received the grindstone in exchange. "Now," said the 
grinder, as he took up an ordinary heavy stone that lay by him, "here 
is a strong stone for you into the bargain; you can hammer well upon 
it, and straighten your old nails. Take it with you and keep it care- 

Hans loaded himself with the stones and went on with a con- 
tented heart; his eyes shone with joy. "I must have been born with 
a caul," he cried; "everything I want happens to me just as if I were 
a Sunday<hild." 

Meanwhile, as he had been on his legs since daybreak, he began 
to feel tired. Hunger also tormented him, for in his joy at the bar- 
gain by which he got the cow he had eaten up all his store of food 
at once. At last he could only go on with great trouble, and was 
forced to stop every minute; the stones, too, weighed him down 


dreadfully. Then he could not help thinking how nice it would be if 
he had not to carry them j ust then. 

He crept like a snail to a well in a field, and there he thought that 
he would rest and refresh himself with a cool draught of water, but 
in order that he might not injure the stones in sitting down, he laid 
them carefully by his side on the edge of the well. Then he sat down 
on it, and was about to stoop and drink, when he made a slip, pushed 
against the stones, and both of them fell into the water. When Hans 
saw them with his own eyes sinking to the bottom, he jumped for 
joy, and then knelt down, and with tears in his eyes thanked God 
for having shown him this favour also, and delivered him in so 
good a way, and without his having any need to reproach himself, 
from those heavy stones which had been the only things that troubled 

"There is no man under the sun so fortunate as I," he cried out. 
With a light heart and free from every burden he now ran on until 
he was with his mother at home. 


There was once UfX)n a time an old Queen whose husband had 
been dead for many years, and she had a beautiful daughter. When 
the princess grew up she was betrothed to a prince who lived at a 
great distance. When the time came for her to be married, and she 
had to journey forth into the distant kingdom, the aged Queen 
packed up for her many costly vessels of silver and gold, and trinkets 
also of gold and silver; and cups and jewels — in short, everything 
which appertained to a royal dowry, for she loved her child with all 
her heart. She likewise sent her maid-in-waiting, who was to ride 
with her, and hand her over to the bridegroom, and each had a horse 
for the journey, but the horse of the King's daughter was called 
Falada, and could speak. So when the hour of parting had come, 
the aged mother went into her bedroom, took a small knife and cut 
her finger with it until it bled, then she held a white handkerchief 
to it into which she let three drops of blood fall, gave it to her daugh- 
ter and said, "Dear child, preserve this carefully, it will be of service 
to you on your way." 

So they took a sorrowful leave of each other; the princess put the 


piece of cloth in her bosom, mounted her horse, and then went 
away to her bridegroom. After she had ridden for a while she felt 
a burning thirst, and said to her waiting-maid, "Dismount, and take 
my cup which thou hast brought with thee for me, and get me some 
water from the stream, for I should like to drink." "If you are 
thirsty," said the waiting-maid, "get off your horse yourself, and lie 
down and drink out of the water, I don't choose to be your servant." 
So in her great thirst the princess alighted, bent down over the water 
in the stream and drank, and was not allowed to drink out of the 
golden cup. Then she said, "Ah, Heaven!" and the three drops of 
blood answered, "If thy mother knew this, her heart would break." 
But the King's daughter was humble, said nothing, and mounted 
her horse again. She rode some miles further, but the day was warm, 
the sun scorched her, and she was thirsty once more, and when they 
came to a stream of water, she again cried to her waiting-maid, "Dis- 
mount and give me some water in my golden cup," for she had long 
ago forgotten the girl's ill words. But the waiting-maid said still 
more haughtily, "If you wish to drink, drink as you can, I don't 
choose to be your maid." Then in her great thirst the King's daugh- 
ter alighted, bent over the flowing stream, wept and said, "Ah, 
Heaven!" and the drops of blood again replied, "If thy mother knew 
this, her heart would break." And as she was thus drinking and lean- 
ing right over the stream, the handkerchief with the three drops of 
blood fell out of her bosom, and floated away with the water without 
her observing it, so great was her trouble. The waiting-maid, how- 
ever, had seen it, and she rejoiced to think that she had now power 
over the bride, for since the princess had lost the drops of blood, 
she had become weak and powerless. So now when she wanted to 
mount her horse again, the one that was called Falada, the waiting- 
maid said, "Falada is more suitable for me, and my nag will do for 
thee," and the princess had to be content with that. Then the wait- 
ing-maid, with many hard words, bade the princess exchange her 
royal apparel for her own shabby clothes; and at length she was 
compelled to swear by the clear sky above her, that she would not say 
one word of this to anyone at the royal court, and if she had not 
taken this oath she would have been killed on the spot. But Falada 
saw all this, and observed it well. 


The waiting-maid now mounted Falada, and the true bride the 
bad horse, and thus they travelled onwards, until at length they 
entered the royal palace. There were great rejoicings over her ar- 
rival, and the prince sprang forward to meet her, lifted the waiting- 
maid from her horse, and thought she was his consort. She was con- 
ducted upstairs, but the real princess was left standing below. Then 
the old king looked out of the window and saw her standing in the 
courtyard, and saw how dainty and delicate and beautiful she was, 
and instantly went to the royal apartment, and asked the bride about 
the girl she had with her who was standing down below in the court- 
yard, and who she was? "I picked her up on my way for a com- 
panion; give the girl something to work at, that she may not stand 
idle." But the old King had no work for her, and knew of none, 
so he said, "I have a Httle boy who tends the geese, she may help 
him." The boy was called Conrad, and the true bride had to help 
him to tend the geese. Soon afterwards the false bride said to the 
young King, "Dearest husband, I beg you to do me a favour." He 
answered, "I will do so most willingly." "Then send for the knacker, 
and have the head of the horse on which I rode here cut ofT, for it 
vexed me on the way." In reality, she was afraid that the horse might 
tell how she had behaved to the King's daughter. Then she succeeded 
in making the King promise that it should be done, and the faithful 
Falada was to die; this came to the ears of the real princess, and she 
secretly promised to pay the knacker a piece of gold if he would per- 
form a small service for her. There was a great dark-looking gate- 
way in the town, through which morning and evening she had to 
pass with the geese: would he be so good as to nail up Falada's 
head on it, so that she might see him again, more than once. The 
knacker's man promised to do that, and cut off the head, and nailed 
it fast beneath the dark gateway. 

Early in the morning, when she and Conrad drove out their flock 
beneath this gateway, she said in passing, 

"Alas, Falada, hanging there!" 

Then the head answered, 

"Alas, young Queen, how ill you fare! 
If this your tender mother knew, 
Her heart would surely break in two." 


Then they went still further out of the town, and drove their geese 
into the country. And when they had come to the meadow, she sat 
down and unbound her hair which was like pure gold, and Conrad 
saw it and delighted in its brightness, and wanted to pluck out a few 
hairs. Then she said, 

"Blow, blow, thou gende wind, I say, 
Blow Conrad's litde hat away, 
And make him chase it here and there. 
Until I have braided all my hair, 
And bound it up again." 

And there came such a violent wind that it blew Conrad's hat far 
away across country, and he was forced to run after it. When he 
came back she had finished combing her hair and was putting it up 
again, and he could not get any of it. Then Conrad was angry, and 
would not speak to her, and thus they watched the geese until the 
evening, and then they went home. 

Next day when they were driving the geese out through the dark 
gateway, the maiden said, 

"Alas, Falada, hanging there!" 

Falada answered, 

"Alas, young Queen, how ill you fare! 
If this your tender mother knew, 
Her heart would surely break in two." 

And she sat down again in the field and began to comb out her hair, 
and Conrad ran and tried to clutch it, so she said in haste, 

"Blow, blow, thou gende wind, I say, 
Blow Conrad's little hat away. 
And make him chase it here and there. 
Until I have braided all my hair. 
And bound it up again." 

Then the wind blew, and blew his little hat off his head and far 
away, and Conrad was forced to run after it, and when he came back, 
her hair had been put up a long time, and he could get none of it, 
and so they looked after their geese till evening came. 

But in the evening after they had got home, Conrad went to the 
old King, and said, "I won't tend the geese with that girl any longer!" 


"Why not?" inquired the aged King. "Oh, because she vexes me the 
whole day long." Then the aged King commanded him to relate 
what it was that she did to him. And Conrad said, "In the morning 
when we pass beneath the dark gateway with the flock, there is a 
sorry horse's head on the wall, and she says to it, 

"Alas, Falada, hanging there!" 
And the head replies, 

"Alas, young Queen, how ill you fare! 
If this your tender mother knew, 
Her heart would surely break in two." 

And Conrad went on to relate what happened on the goose pasture, 
and how when there he had to chase his hat. 

The aged King commanded him to drive his flock out again next 
day, and as soon as morning came, he placed himself behind the dark 
gateway, and heard how the maiden spoke to the head of Falada, 
and then he too went into the country, and hid himself in the thicket 
in the meadow. There he soon saw with his own eyes the goose-girl 
and the goose-boy bringing their flock, and how after a while she 
sat down and unplaited her hair, which shone with radiance. And 
soon she said, 

"Blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say, 
Blow Conrad's little hat away, 
And make him chase it here and there. 
Until I have braided all my hair. 
And bound it up again." 

Then came a blast of wind and carried off Conrad's hat, so that he 
had to run far away, while the maiden quietly went on combing and 
plaiting her hair, all of which the King observed. Then, quite un- 
seen, he went away, and when the goose-girl came home in the eve- 
ning, he called her aside, and asked why she did all these things. 
"I may not tell you that, and I dare not lament my sorrows to any 
human being, for I have sworn not to do so by the heaven which is 
above me; if I had not done that, I should have lost my life." He 
urged her and left her no peace, but he could draw nothing from 
her. Then said he, "If thou wilt not tell me anything, tell thy sorrows 
to the iron-stove there," and he went away. Then she crept into the 


iron-Stove, and began to weep and lament, and emptied her whole 
heart, and said, "Here am I deserted by the whole world, and yet I 
am a King's daughter, and a false waiting-maid has by force brought 
me to such a pass that I have been compelled to put off my royal 
apparel, and she has taken my place with my bridegroom, and I have 
to perform menial service as a goose-girl. If my mother did but 
know that, her heart would break." 

The aged King, however, was standing outside by the pipe of the 
stove, and was listening to what she said, and heard it. Then he came 
back again, and bade her come out of the stove. And royal garments 
were placed on her, and it was marvellous how beautiful she was! 
The aged King summoned his son, and revealed to him that he had 
got the false bride who was only a waiting-maid, but that the true 
one was standing there, as the sometime goose-girl. The young King 
rejoiced with all his heart when he saw her beauty and youth, and a 
great feast was made ready to which all the people and all good 
friends were invited. At the head of the table sat the bridegroom 
with the King's daughter at one side of him, and the waiting-maid 
on the other, but the waiting-maid was blinded, and did not recog- 
nize the princess in her dazzling array. When they had eaten and 
drunk, and were merry, the aged King asked the waiting-maid as a 
riddle, what a person deserved who had behaved in such and such a 
way to her master, and at the same time related the whole story, and 
asked what sentence such an one merited? Then the false bride 
said: "She deserves no better fate than to be stripped entirely naked, 
and put in a barrel which is studded inside with pointed nails, and 
two white horses should be harnessed to it, which will drag her along 
through one street after another, till she is dead." "It is thou," said 
the aged King, "and thou hast pronounced thine own sentence, and 
thus shall it be done unto thee." And when the sentence had been 
carried out, the young King married his true bride, and both of 
them reigned over their kingdom in peace and happiness. 


There was once a poor jieasant who had no land, but only a small 
house, and one daughter. Then said the daughter, "We ought to 


ask our lord the King for a bit of newly<leared land." When the 
King heard of their poverty, he presented them with a bit of land, 
which she and her father dug up, and intended to sow with a little 
corn and grain of that kind. When they had dug nearly the whole 
of the field, they found in the earth a mortar made of pure gold. 
"Listen," said the father to the girl, "as our lord the King has been 
so gracious and presented us with the field, we ought to give him 
this mortar in return for it." The daughter, however, would not con- 
sent to this, and said, "Father, if we have the mortar without having 
the pestle as well, we shall have to get the pestle, so you had much 
better say nothing about it." He would, however, not obey her, but 
took the mortar and carried it to the King, said that he had found it 
in the cleared land, and asked if he would accept it as a present. The 
King took the mortar, and asked if he had found nothing besides 
that? "No," answered the countryman. Then the King said that he 
must now bring him the pestle. The peasant said they had not found 
that, but he might just as well have spoken to the wind; he was put 
in prison, and was to stay there until he produced the pestle. The 
servants had daily to carry him bread and water, which is what 
people get in prison, and they heard how the man cried out con- 
tinually, "Ah! if I had but Ustened to my daughter! Alas, alas, if I 
had but listened to my daughter!" Then the servants went to the 
King and told him how the prisoner was always crying, "Ah, if I had 
but listened to my daughter!" and would neither eat nor drink. 
So he commanded the servants to bring the prisoner before him, and 
then the King asked the peasant why he was always crying, "Ah! 
if I had but listened to my daughter!" and what it was that his daugh- 
ter had said. "She told me that I ought not to take the mortar to 
you, for I should have to produce the pestle as well." "If you have a 
daughter who is as wise as that, let her come here." She was there- 
fore obliged to appear before the King, who asked her if she really 
was so wise, and said he would set her a riddle, and if she could guess 
that, he would marry her. She at once said yes, she would guess it. 
Then said the King, "Come to me not clothed, not naked, not riding, 
not walking, not in the road, and not out of the road, and if thou 
canst do that I will marry thee." So she went away, put off every- 
thing she had on, and then she was not clothed, and took a great 


fishing-net, and seated herself in it and wrapped it entirely round and 
round her, and then she was not naked, and she hired an ass, and 
tied the fisherman's net to its tail, so that it was forced to drag her 
along, and that was neither riding nor walking. The ass had also 
to drag her in the ruts, so that she only touched the ground with her 
great toe, and that was neither being in the road nor out of the road. 
And when she arrived in that fashion, the King said she had guessed 
the riddle and fulfilled all the conditions. Then he ordered her 
father to be released from the prison, took her to wife, and gave into 
her care all the royal possessions. 

Now when some years had passed, the King was once drawing up 
his troops on parade, when it happened that some peasants who had 
been selling wood stopped with their waggons before the palace; 
some of them had oxen yoked to them, and some horses. There was 
one peasant who had three horses, one of which was delivered of a 
young foal, and it ran away and lay down between two oxen which 
were in front of the waggon. When the peasants came together, they 
began to dispute, to beat each other and make a disturbance, and the 
peasant with the oxen wanted to keep the foal, and said one of the 
oxen had given birth to it, and the other said his horse had had it, 
and that it was his. The quarrel came before the King, and he gave 
the verdict that the foal should stay where it had been found, and so 
the peasant with the oxen, to whom it did not belong, got it. Then 
the other went away, and wept and lamented over his foal. Now he 
had heard how gracious his lady the Queen was because she herself 
had sprung from poor peasant folks, so he went to her and begged 
her to see if she could not help him to get his foal back again. Said 
she, "Yes, I will tell thee what to do, if thou wilt promise me not to 
betray me. Early to-morrow morning, when the King parades the 
guard, place thyself there in the middle of the road by which he 
must pass, take a great fishing-net and pretend to be fishing; go on 
fishing too, and empty out the net as if thou hadst got it full" — and 
then she told him also what he was to say if he was questioned by 
the King. The next day, therefore, the peasant stood there, and 
fished on dry ground. When the King passed by, and saw that, he 
sent his messenger to ask what the stupid man was about? He 
answered, "I am fishing." The messenger asked how he could fish 

geimm's tales i8i 

when there was no water whatever there? The peasant said, "It is as 
easy for me to fish on dry land as it is for an ox to have a foal." The 
messenger went back and took the answer to the King, who ordered 
the peasant to be brought to him and told him that this was not his 
own idea, and he wanted to know whose it was ? The peasant must 
confess that at once. The peasant, however, would not do so, and said 
always, God forbid he should! the idea was his own. They laid him, 
however, on a heap of straw, and beat him and tormented him so long 
that at last he admitted that he had got the idea from the Queen. 
When the King reached home again, he said to his wife, "Why 
hast thou behaved so falsely to me? I will not have thee any longer 
for a wife; thy time is up, go back to the place from whence thou 
camest — to thy peasant's hut." One favour, however, he granted her; 
she might take with her the one thing that was dearest and best in 
her eyes; and thus was she dismissed. She said, "Yes, my dear hus- 
band, if you command this, I will do it," and she embraced him and 
kissed him, and said she would take leave of him. Then she ordered 
a [X)werful sleeping draught to be brought to drink farewell to him; 
the King took a long draught, but she took only a little. He soon fell 
into a deep sleep, and when she perceived that, she called a servant 
and took a fair white linen cloth and wrapped the King in it, and 
the servant was forced to carry him into a carriage that stood before 
the door, and she drove with him to her own little house. She laid 
him in her own little bed, and he slept one day and one night with- 
out awakening, and when he awoke he looked round and said, 
"Good God! where am I?" He called his attendants, but none of 
them were there. At length his wife came to his bedside and said, 
"My dear lord and King, you told me I might bring away with me 
from the palace that which was dearest and most precious in my 
eyes — I have nothing more precious and dear than yourself, so I have 
brought you with me." Tears rose to the King's eyes and he said, 
"Dear wife, thou shalt be mine and I will be thine," and he took her 
back with him to the royal palace and was married again to her, and 
at the present time they are very hkely still living. 



There was once a poor woodcutter who toiled from early morning 
till late night. When at last he had laid by some money he said to 
his boy, "You are my only child, I will spend the money which I have 
earned with the sweat of my brow on your education; if you learn 
some honest trade you can support me in my old age, when my 
limbs have grown stiff and I am obliged to stay at home." Then the 
boy went to a High School and learned diligently so that his masters 
praised him, and he remained there a long time. When he had 
worked through two classes, but was still not yet perfect in every- 
thing, the little pittance which the father had earned was all spent, 
and the boy was obliged to return home to him. "Ah," said the 
father, sorrowfully, "I can give you no more, and in these hard times 
I cannot earn a farthing more than will suffice for our daily bread." 
"Dear father," said the son, "don't trouble yourself about it; if it is 
God's will it will turn to my advantage. I shall soon accustom myself 
to it." When the father wanted to go into the forest to earn money 
by helping to pile and stack wood and also to chop it, the son said, 
"I will go with you and help you." "Nay, my son," said the father, 
"that would be hard for you; you are not accustomed to rough work, 
and will not be able to bear it, besides I have only one axe and no 
money left wherewith to buy another." "Just go to the neighbour," 
answered the son, "he will lend you his axe until I have earned one 
for myself." The father then borrowed an axe of the neighbour, and 
next morning at break of day they went into the forest together. The 
son helped his father and was quite merry and brisk about it. But 
when the sun was right over their heads, the father said, "We will 
rest, and have our dinner, and then we shall work as well again." 
The son took his bread in his hands, and said, "Just you rest, father, I 
am not tired; I will walk up and down a little in the forest, and look 
for birds' nests." "Oh, you fool," said the father, "why should you 
want to run about there? Afterwards you will be tired, and no 
longer able to raise your arm; stay here, and sit down beside me." 
The son, however, went into the forest, ate his bread, was very merry, 
peered in among the green branches to see if he could discover a 
bird's nest anywhere. So he went up and down to see if he could find 

grimm's tales 183 

a bird's nest, until at last he came to a great dangerous-looking oak, 
which certainly was already many hundred years old, and which five 
men could not have spanned. He stood still and looked at it, and 
thought, "Many a bird must have built its nest in that." Then all at 
once it seemed to him that he heard a voice. He listened and be- 
came aware that some one was crying in a very smothered voice, 
"Let me out, let me out!" He looked around, but could discover 
nothing; nevertheless, he fancied that the voice came out of the 
ground. Then he cried, "Where art thou?" The voice answered, "I 
am down here amongst the roots of the oak-tree. Let me out! Let 
me out!" The scholar began to loosen the earth under the tree, and 
search among the roots, until at last he found a glass bottle in a little 
hollow. He lifted it up and held it against the light, and then saw a 
creature shaped like a frog springing up and down in it. "Let me 
out! Let me out!" it cried anew, and the scholar thinking no evil, 
drew the cork out of the bottle. Immediately a spirit ascended from 
it, and began to grow, and grew so fast that in a very few moments 
he stood before the scholar, a terrible fellow as big as half the tree by 
which he was standing. "Knowest thou," he cried in an awful 
voice, "what thy wages are for having let me out?" "No," replied 
the scholar fearlessly, "how should I know that?" "Then I will tell 
thee," cried the spirit; "I must strangle thee for it." "Thou shouldst 
have told me that sooner," said the scholar, "for I should then have 
left thee shut up, but my head shall stand fast for all ihou canst do; 
more fjersons than one must be consulted about that." "More per- 
sons here, more persons there," said the spirit. "Thou shalt have the 
wages thou hast earned. Dost thou think that I was shut up there 
for such a long time as a favour? No, it was a punishment for me. 
I am the mighty Mercurius. Who so releases me, him must I 
strangle." "Softly," answered the scholar, "not so fast. I must first 
know that thou wert really shut up in that little botde, and that thou 
art the right spirit. If indeed thou canst get in again, I will believe, 
Jnd then thou mayst do as thou wilt with me. The spirit said 
haughtily, "That is a very trifling feat," drew himself together, and 
made himself as small and slender as he had been at first, so that he 
crept through the same opening, and right through the neck of the 
botde in again. Scarcely was he within than the scholar thrust the 


cork he had drawn back into the bottle, and threw it among the 
roots of the oak into its old place, and the spirit was betrayed. 

And now the scholar was about to return to his father, but the 
spirit cried very piteously, "Ah, do let me out! Ah, do let me out!" 
"No," answered the scholar, "not a second time! He who has once 
tried to take my life shall not be set free by me, now that I have 
caught him again." "If thou wilt set me free," said the spirit, "I will 
give thee so much that thou wilt have plenty all the days of thy 
life." "No," answered the scholar, "thou wouldst cheat me as thou 
didst the first time." "Thou art playing away thy own good luck," 
said the spirit; "I will do thee no harm, but will reward thee richly." 
The scholar thought, "I will venture it, perhaps he will keep his word, 
and anyhow he shall not get the better of me." Then he took out the 
cork, and the spirit rose up from the bottle as he had done before, 
stretched himself out and became as big as a giant. "Now thou shalt 
have thy reward," said he, and handed the scholar a little bag just like 
a plaster, and said, "If thou spreadest one end of this over a wound it 
will heal, and if thou rubbest steel or iron with the other end it will 
be changed into silver." "I must just try that," said the scholar, and 
went to a tree, tore off the bark with his axe, and rubbed it with one 
end of the plaster. It immediately closed together and was healed. 
"Now, it is all right," he said to the spirit, "and we can part." The 
spirit thanked him for his release, and the scholar thanked the spirit 
for his present, and went back to his father. 

"Where hast thou been racing about?" said the father; "why hast 
thou forgotten thy work? I said at once that thou wouldst never 
get on with anything." "Be easy, father, I will make it up." "Make 
it up indeed," said the father angrily, "there's no art in that." "Take 
care, father, I will soon hew that tree there, so that it will split." 
Then he took his plaster, rubbed the axe with it, and dealt a mighty 
blow, but as the iron had changed into silver, the edge turned: 
"Hollo, father, just look what a bad axe you've given me, it has be- 
come quite crooked." The father was shocked and said, "Ah, what 
hast thou done? now I shall have to pay for that, and have not the 
wherewithal, and that is all the good I have got by thy work." 
"Don't get angry," said the son, "I will soon pay for the axe." "Oh, 
thou blockhead," cried the father, "wherewith wilt thou pay for it? 

grimm's tales 185 

Thou hast nothing but what I give thee. These are students' tricks 
that are sticking in thy head, but thou hast no idea of wood<utting." 
After a while the scholar said, "Father, I can really work no more, 
we had better take a holiday." "Eh, what!" answered he. "Dost 
thou think I will sit with my hands lying in my lap like thee? 1 must 
go on working, but thou mayst take thyself off home." "Father, I am 
here in this wood for the first time, I don't know my way alone. Do 
go with me." As his anger had now abated, the father at last let 
himself be persuaded and went home with him. Then he said to 
the son, "Go and sell thy damaged axe, and see what thou canst get 
for it, and I must earn the difference, in order to pay the neighbour." 
The son took the axe, and carried it into town to a goldsmith, who 
tested it, laid it in the scales, and said, "It is worth four hundred 
thalers, I have not so much as that by me." The son said, "Give me 
what you have, I will lend you the rest." The goldsmith gave him 
three hundred thalers, and remained a hundred in his debt. The son 
thereupon went home and said, "Father, I have got the money, go 
and ask the neighbour what he wants for the axe." "I know that 
already," answered the old man, "one thaler six groschen." "Then 
give him two thalers, twelve groschen, that is double and enough; 
see, I have money in plenty," and he gave the father a hundred 
thalers, and said, "You shall never know want, live as comfortably 
as you like." "Good heavens!" said the father, "how hast thou come 
by these riches?" The scholar then told how all had come to pass, 
and how he, trusting in his luck, had made such a good hit. But 
with the money that was left, he went back to the High School and 
went on learning more, and as he could heal all wounds with his 
plaster, he became the most famous doctor in the whole world. 


There was once a young fellow who enlisted as a soldier, con- 
ducted himself bravely, and was always the foremost when it rained 
bullets. So long as the war lasted, all went well, but when peace was 
made, he received his dismissal, and the captain said he might go 
where he liked. His parents were dead, and he had no longer a 
home, so he went to his brothers and begged them to take him in, 


and keep him until war broke out again. The brothers, however, 
were hard-hearted and said, "What can we do with thee? thou art 
of no use; go and make a living for thyself." The soldier had nothing 
left but his gun; he took that on his shoulder, and went forth into the 
world. He came to a wide heath, on which nothing was to be seen 
but a circle of trees; under these trees he sat sorrowfully down, and 
began to think over his fate. "I have no money," thought he, "I have 
learnt no trade but that of fighting, and now that they have made 
peace they don't want me any longer; so I see beforehand that I shall 
have to starve." All at once he heard a rustling, and when he looked 
round, a strange man stood before him, who wore a green coat and 
looked right stately, but had a hideous cloven foot. "I know already 
what thou art in need of," said the man; "gold and possessions shalt 
thou have, as much as thou canst make away with, do what thou 
wilt, but first I must know if thou art fearless, that I may not bestow 
my money in vain." "A soldier and fear — how can those two things 
go together?" he answered; "thou canst put me to the proof." "Very 
well, then," answered the man, "look behind thee." The soldier 
turned round, and saw a large bear, which came growling towards 
him. "Oho!" cried the soldier, "I will tickle thy nose for thee, so 
that thou shalt soon lose thy fancy for growling," and he aimed at 
the bear and shot it through the muzzle; it fell down and never 
stirred again. "I see quite well," said the stranger, "that thou art not 
wanting in courage, but there is still another condition which thou 
wilt have to fulfil." "If it does not endanger my salvation," replied 
the soldier, who knew very well who was standing beside him. "If it 
does, I'll have nothing to do with it." "Thou wilt look to for 
thyself," answered Greencoat; "thou shalt for the next seven years 
neither wash thyself, nor comb thy beard, nor thy hair, nor cut thy 
nails, nor say one paternoster. I will give thee a coat and a cloak, 
which during this time thou must wear. If thou diest during these 
seven years, thou art mine; if thou remainest alive, thou art free, 
and rich to boot, for all the rest of thy life." The soldier thought of 
the great extremity in which he now found himself, and as he so 
often had gone to meet death, he resolved to risk it now also, and 
agreed to the terms. The Devil took off his green coat, gave it to the 
soldier, and said, "If thou hast this coat on thy back and puttest thy 

grimm's tales 187 

hand into the pocket, thou wilt always find it full of money." Then 
he pulled the skin off the bear and said, "This shall be thy cloak, 
and thy bed also, for thereon shalt thou sleep, and in no other bed 
shalt thou lie, and because of this apparel shalt thou be called Bear- 
skin." After this the Devil vanished. 

The soldier put the coat on, felt at once in the pocket, and found 
that the thing was really true. Then he put on the bearskin, and went 
forth into the world, and enjoyed himself, refraining from nothing 
that did him good and his money harm. During the first year his 
appearance was passable, but during the second he began to look like 
a monster. His hair covered nearly the whole of his face, his beard 
was like a piece of coarse felt, his fingers had claws, and his face 
was so covered with dirt that if cress had been sown on it, it would 
have come up. Whosoever saw him, ran away, but as he everywhere 
gave the poor money to pray that he might not die during the seven 
years, and, as he paid well for everything, he still always found shel- 
ter. In the fourth year, he entered an inn where the landlord would 
not receive him, and would not even let him have a place in the 
stable, because he was afraid the horses would be scared. But as 
Bearskin thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out a handful of 
ducats, the host let himself be persuaded and gave him a room in an 
outhouse. Bearskin was, however, obliged to promise not to let him- 
self be seen, lest the inn should get a bad name. 

As Bearskin was sitting alone in the evening, and wishing from 
the bottom of his heart that the seven years were over, he heard a loud 
lamenting in a neighbouring room. He had a compassionate heart, 
so he opened the door, and saw an old man weeping bitterly, and 
wringing his hands. Bearskin went nearer, but the man sprang to 
his feet and tried to escape from him. At last when the man per- 
ceived that Bearskin's voice was human he let himself be prevailed 
on, and by kind words Bearskin succeeded so far that the old man 
revealed the cause of his grief. His property had dwindled away by 
degrees, he and his daughters would have to starve, and he was so 
poor that he could not pay the innkeeper, and was to be put in 
prison. "If that is your only trouble," said Bearskin, "I have plenty 
of money." He caused the innkeeper to be brought thither, paid him 
and put a purse full of gold into the poor old man's pocket besides. 


When the old man saw himself set free from all his troubles, he did 
not know how to be grateful enough. "Come with me," said he to 
Bearskin; "my daughters are all miracles of beauty, choose one of 
them for thyself as a wife. When she hears what thou hast done for 
me, she will not refuse thee. Thou dost in truth look a little strange, 
but she will soon put thee to rights again." This pleased Bearskin 
well, and he went. When the eldest saw him she was so terribly 
alarmed at his face that she screamed and ran away. The second 
stood still and looked at him from head to foot, but then she said, 
"How can I accept a husband who no longer has a human form? 
The shaven bear that once was here and passed itself off for a man 
pleased me far better, for at any rate it wore a hussar's dress and white 
gloves. If it were nothing but ugliness, I might get used to that." 
The youngest, however, said, "Dear father, that must be a good 
man to have helped you out of your trouble, so if you have promised 
him a bride for doing it, your promise must be kept." It was a pity 
that Bearskin's face was covered with dirt and with hair, for, if not, 
they might have seen how delighted he was when he heard these 
words. He took a ring from his linger, broke it in two, and gave 
her one half, the other he kept for himself. He wrote his name, how- 
ever, on her half, and hers on his, and begged her to keep her piece 
carefully, and then he took his leave and said, "I must still wander 
about for three years, and if I do not return then, thou art free, for 
I shall be dead. But pray to God to preserve my life." 

The poor betrothed bride dressed herself entirely in black, and 
when she thought of her future bridegroom, tears came into her eyes. 
Nothing but contempt and mockery fell to her lot from her sisters. 
"Take care," said the eldest, "if thou givest him thy hand, he will 
strike his claws into it." "Beware!" said the second. "Bears like 
sweet things, and if he takes a fancy to thee, he will eat thee up." 
"Thou must always do as he likes," began the elder again, "or else 
he will growl." And the second continued, "but the wedding will 
be a merry one, for bears dance well." The bride was silent, a^d Hid 
not let them vex her. Bearskin, however, travelled about the world 
from one place to another, did good where he was able, and gave gen- 
erously to the poor that they might pray for him. 

At length, as the last day of the seven years dawned, he went once 

grimm's tales 189 

more out on to the heath, and seated himself beneath the circle of 
trees. It was not long before the wind whistled, and the Devil stood 
before him and looked angrily at him; then he threw Bearskin his 
old coat, and asked for his own green one back. "We have not got so 
far as that yet," answered Bearskin, "thou must first make me clean." 
Whether the Devil liked it or not, he was forced to fetch water, and 
wash Bearskin, comb his hair, and cut his nails. After this, he looked 
like a brave soldier, and was much handsomer than he had ever 
been before. 

When the Devil had gone away, Bearskin was quite light-hearted. 
He went into the town, put on a magnificent velvet coat, seated him- 
self in a carriage drawn by four white horses, and drove to his bride's 
house. No one recognized him, the father took him for a dis- 
tinguished general, and led him into the room where his daughters 
were sitting. He was forced to place himself between the two eldest, 
they helped him to wine, gave him the best pieces of meat, and 
thought that in all the world they had never seen a handsomer man. 
The bride, however, sat opposite to him in her black dress, and never 
raised her eyes, nor spoke a word. When at length he asked the 
father if he would give him one of his daughters to wife, the two 
eldest jumped up, ran into their bedrooms to put on splendid dresses, 
for each of them fancied she was the chosen one. The stranger, as 
soon as he was alone with his bride, brought out his half of the ring, 
and threw it in a glass of wine which he reached across the table to 
her. She took the wine, but when she had drunk it, and found the 
half ring lying at the bottom, her heart began to beat. She got the 
other half, which she wore on a ribbon round her neck, joined them, 
and saw that the two pieces fitted exactly together. Then said he, 
"I am thy betrothed bridegroom, whom thou sawest as Bearskin, but 
through God's grace I have again received my human form, and 
have once more become clean." He went up to her, embraced her, 
and gave her a kiss. In the mean time the two sisters came back in 
full dress, and when they saw that the handsome man had fallen to 
the share of the youngest, and heard that he was Bearskin, they ran 
out full of anger and rage. One of them drowned herself in the 
well, the other hanged herself on a tree. In the evening, some one 
knocked at the door, and when the bridegroom opened it, it was the 


Devil in his green coat, who said, "Seest thou, I have now got two 
souls in the place of thy one!" 


Once in summer-time the bear and the wolf were walking in the 
forest, and the bear heard a bird singing so beautifully that he said, 
"Brother wolf, what bird is it that sings so well?" "That is the 
King of the birds," said the wolf, "before whom we must bow 
down." It was, however, in reality the willow-wren {zaun^onig). "If 
that's the case," said the bear, "I should very much like to see his 
royal palace; come, take me thither." "That is not done quite as 
you seem to think," said the wolf; "you must wait until the Queen 
comes." Soon afterwards, the Queen arrived with some food in her 
beak, and the lord King came too, and they began to feed their 
young ones. The bear would have liked to go at once, but the wolf 
held him back by the sleeve, and said, "No, you must wait until the 
lord and lady Queen have gone away again." So they observed the 
hole in which was the nest, and trotted away. The bear, however, 
could not rest until he had seen the royal palace, and when a short 
time had passed, again went to it. The King and Queen had just 
flown out, so he peeped in and saw five or six young ones lying in it. 
"Is that the royal palace?" cried the bear; "it is a wretched palace, 
and you are not King's children; you are disreputable children!" 
When the young wrens heard that, they were frightfully angry, and 
screamed, "No, that we are not! Our parents are honest people! 
Bear, thou wilt have to pay for that!" 

The bear and the wolf grew uneasy, and turned back and went 
into their holes. The young willow-wrens, however, continued to 
cry and scream, and when their parents again brought food they said, 
"We will not so much as touch one fly's leg, no, not if we were dying 
of hunger, until you have settled whether we are respectable children 
or not; the bear has been here and has insulted us!" Then the old 
King said, "Be easy, he shall be punished," and he at once flew with 
the Queen to the bear's cave, and called in, "Old Growler, why hast 
thou insulted my children ? Thou shalt suffer for it — we will punish 
thee by a bloody war." Thus war was announced to the bear, and 

grimm's tales 191 

all four-footed animals were summoned to take part in it, oxen, 
asses, cows, deer, and every other animal the earth contained. And 
the willow-wren summoned everything which flew in the air, not 
only birds, large and small, but midges and hornets, bees and flies 
had to come. 

When the time came for the war to begin, the willow-wren sent 
out spies to discover who was the enemy's commander-in<hief. The 
gnat, who was the most crafty, flew into the forest where the ene- 
my was assembled, and hid herself beneath a leaf of the tree where 
the watchword was to be given. There stood the bear, and he called 
the fox before him and said, "Fox, thou art the most cunning of all 
animals, thou shalt be general and lead us." "Good," said the fox, 
"but what signal shall we agree upon?" No one knew that, so the 
fox said, "I have a fine long bushy tail, which almost looks like a 
plume of red feathers. When I lift my tail up quite high, all is going 
well, and you must charge; but if 1 let it hang down, run away as 
fast as you can." When the gnat had heard that, she flew away again, 
and revealed everything, with the greatest minuteness, to the willow- 
wren. When day broke, and the battle was to begin, all the four- 
footed animals came running up with such a noise that the earth 
trembled. The willow-wren also came flying through the air with 
his army with such a humming, and whirring, and swarming that 
every one was uneasy and afraid, and on both sides they advanced 
against each other. But the willow-wren sent down the hornet, with 
orders to get beneath the fox's tail, and sting it with all his might. 
When the fox felt the first sting, he started so that he drew up one 
leg, with the pain, but he bore it, and still kept his tail high in the 
air; at the second sting, he was forced to put it down for a moment: 
at the third, he could hold out no longer, and screamed out and put 
his tail between his legs. When the animals saw that, they thought 
all was lost, and began to fly, each into his hole and the birds had 
won the battle. 

Then the King and Queen flew home to their children and cried, 
"Children, rejoice, eat and drink to your heart's content, we have 
won the battle!" But the young wrens said, "We will not eat yet, the 
bear must come to the nest, and beg for pardon and say that we are 
honourable children, before we will do that." Then the willow-wren 


flew to the bear's hole and cried, "Growler, thou art to come to the 
nest of my children, and beg their pardon, or else every rib of thy 
body shall be broken." So the bear crept thither in the greatest fear, 
and begged their pardon. And now at last the young wrens were 
satisfied, and sat down together and ate and drank and made merry 
till quite late into the night. 


One day a peasant took his good hazel-stick out of the corner and 
said to his wife, "Trina, I am going across country, and shall not 
return for three days. If during that time the cattle-dealer should 
happen to call and want to buy our three cows, you may strike a 
bargain at once, but not unless you can get two hundred thalers for 
them; nothing less, do you hear?" "For heaven's sake just go in 
peace," answered the woman, "I will manage that." "You, indeed," 
said the man. "You once fell on your head when you were a little 
child, and that affects you even now; but let me tell you this, if you 
do anything foolish, I will make your back black and blue, and not 
with paint, I assure you, but with the stick which I have in my 
hand, and the colouring shall last a whole year, you may rely on 
that." And having said that, the man went on his way. 

Next morning the cattle-dealer came, and the woman had no need 
to say many words to him. When he had seen the cows and heard 
the price, he said, "I am quite willing to give that; honestly speaking, 
they are worth it. I will take the beasts away with me at once." 
He unfastened their chains and drove them out of the byre, but just 
as he was going out of the yard-door, the woman clutched him by 
the sleeve and said, "You must give me the two hundred thalers now, 
or I cannot let the cows go." "True," answered the man, "but I have 
forgotten to buckle on my money-belt. Have no fear, however, you 
shall have security for my paying. I will take two cows with me 
and leave one, and then you will have a good pledge." The woman 
saw the force of this, and let the man go away with the cows, and 
thought to herself, "How pleased Hans will be when he finds how 
cleverly I have managed it!" The peasant came home on the third 
day as he had said he would, and at once inquired if the cows were 


sold? "Yes, indeed, dear Hans," answered the woman, "and as you 
said, for two hundred thalers. They are scarcely worth so much,but 
the man took them without making any objection." "Where is the 
money?" asked the peasant. "Oh, 1 have not got the money," rephed 
the woman; "he had happened to forget his money-belt, but he will 
soon bring it, and he left good security behind him." "What kind of 
security?" asked the man. "One of the three cows, which he shall 
not have until he has paid for the other two. I have managed very 
cunningly, for I have kept the smallest, which eats the least." The 
man was enraged and lifted up his stick, and was just going to give 
her the beating he had promised her. Suddenly he let the stick fall 
and said, "You are the stupidest goose that ever waddled on God's 
earth, but I am sorry for you. I will go out into the highways and 
wait for three days to see if I find any one who is still stupider than 
you. If I succeed in doing so, you shall go scot-free, but if I do not 
find him, you shall receive your well-deserved reward without any 

He went out into the great highways, sat down on a stone, and 
waited for what would happen. Then he saw a peasant's waggon 
coming towards him, and a woman was standing upright in the mid- 
dle of it, instead of sitting on the bundle of straw which was lying 
beside her, or walking near the oxen and leading them. The man 
thought to himself, "That is certainly one of the kind I am in search 
of," and jumped up and ran backwards and forwards in front of 
the waggon like one who is not very wise. "What do you want, my 
friend?" said the woman to him; "I don't know you, where do 
you come from?" "I have fallen down from Heaven," replied the 
man, "and don't know how to get back again, couldn't you drive me 
up?" "No," said the woman, "I don't know the way, but if you 
come from Heaven you can surely tell me how my husband, who has 
been there these three years, is. You must have seen him?" "Oh, yes, 
I have seen him, but all men can't get on well. He keeps sheep, and 
the sheep give him a great deal to do. They run up the mountains 
and lose their way in the wilderness, and he has to run after them 
and drive them together again. His clothes are all torn to pieces too, 
and will soon fall off his body. There is no tailor there, for Saint 
Peter won't let any of them in, as you know by the story." "Who 


would have thought it?" cried the woman, "I tell you what, I will 
fetch his Sunday coat which is still hanging at home in the cupboard, 
he can wear that and look respectable. You will be so kind as to take 
it with you." "That won't do very well," answered the peasant; 
"people are not allowed to take clothes into Heaven, they are taken 
away from one at the gate." "Then hark you," said the woman, "I 
sold my fine wheat yesterday and got a good lot of money for it. 
I will send that to him. If you hide the purse in your pocket, no one 
will know that you have it." "If you can't manage it any other 
way," said the peasant, "I will do you that favour." "Just sit still 
where you are," said she, "and I will drive home and fetch the purse, 
I shall soon be back again. I do not sit down on the bundle of straw, 
but stand up in the waggon, because it makes it lighter for the cattle." 
She drove her oxen away, and the peasant thought, "That woman 
has a perfect talent for folly, if she really brings the money, my wife 
may think herself fortunate, for she will get no beating." It was not 
long before she came in a great hurry with the money, and with her 
own hands put it in his pocket. Before she went away, she thanked 
him again a thousand times for his courtesy. 

When the woman got home again, she found her son who had 
come in from the field. She told him what unlooked for things had 
befallen her, and then added, "I am truly delighted at having found 
an opportunity of sending something to my poor husband. Who 
would ever have imagined that he could be suffering for want of 
anything up in Heaven?" The son was full of astonishment. 
"Mother," said he, "it is not every day that a man comes from 
Heaven in this way, I will go out immediately, and see if he is still 
to be found; he must tell me what it is like up there, and how the 
work is done." He saddled the horse and rode off with all speed. 
He found the peasant who was sitting under a willow-tree, and was 
just going to count the money in the purse. "Have you seen the man 
who has fallen down from Heaven?" cried the youth to him. "Yes," 
answered the peasant, "he has set out on his way back there, and has 
gone up that hill, from whence it will be rather nearer; you could 
still catch him up, if you were to ride fast." "Alas," said the youth, 
"I have been doing tiring work all day, and the ride here has com- 
pletely worn me out; you know the man, be so kind as to get on my 


horse, and go and persuade him to come here." "Aha!" thought the 
peasant, "here is another who has no wick in his lamp!" "Why 
should I not do you this favour?" said he, and mounted the horse 
and rode off in a quick trot. The youth remained sitting there till 
night fell, but the peasant never came back. "The man from Heaven 
must certainly have been in a great hurry, and would not turn back," 
thought he, "and the peasant has no doubt given him the horse to 
take to my father." He went home and told his mother what had 
happened, and that he had sent his father the horse so that he might 
not have to be always running about. "Thou hast done well," 
answered she, "thy legs are younger than his, and thou canst go on 

When the peasant got home, he put the horse in the stable beside 
the cow which he had as a pledge, and then went to his wife and 
said, "Trina, as your luck would have it, 1 have found two who are 
still sillier fools than you; this time you escajje without a beating, I 
will store it up fpr another occasion." Then he lighted his pipe, sat 
down in his grandfather's chair, and said, "It was a good stroke of 
business to get a sleek horse and a great purse full of money into 
the bargain, for two lean cows. If stupidity always brought in as 
much as that I would be quite willing to hold it in honour." So 
thought the peasant, but you no doubt prefer the simple folks. 


There was once a mother who had a little boy of seven years old, 
who was so handsome and lovable that no one could look at him 
without liking him, and she herself worshipped him above every- 
thing in the world. Now it so happened that he suddenly became 
ill, and God took him to himself; and for this the mother could not 
be comforted, and wept both day and night. But soon afterwards, 
when the child had been buried, it appeared by night in the places 
where it had sat and played during its life, and if the mother wept, it 
wept also, and, when morning came, it disappeared. As, however, 
the mother would not stop crying, it came one night, in the little 
white shroud in which it had been laid in its coffin, and with its 
wreath of flowers round its head, and stood on the bed at her feet. 


and said, "Oh, mother, do stop crying, or I shall never fall asleep in 
my coffin, for my shroud will not dry because of all thy tears which 
fall upon it." The mother was afraid when she heard that, and wept 
no more. The next night the child came again, and held a little 
light in its hand, and said, "Look, mother, my shroud is nearly dry, 
and I can rest in my grave." Then the mother gave her sorrow into 
God's keeping, and bore it quietly and patiently, and the child came 
no more, but slept in its little bed beneath the earth. 


Thcte was once upon a time a King who had a little boy of whom 
it had been foretold that he should be killed by a stag when he was 
sixteen years of age, and, when he had reached that age, the hunts- 
men once went hunting with him. In the forest, the King's son was 
separated from the others, and all at once he saw a great stag which 
he wanted to shoot, but could not hit. At length he chased the 
stag so far that they were quite out of the forest, and then suddenly 
a great tall man was standing there instead of the stag, and said, "It 
is well that I have thee, I have already ruined six pairs of glass 
skates with running after thee, and have not been able to get thee." 
Then he took the King's son with him, and dragged him through 
a great lake to a great palace, and then he had to sit down to table 
with him and eat something. When they had eaten something to- 
gether, the King said, "I have three daughters, thou must keep watch 
over the eldest for one night, from nine in the evening till six in the 
morning, and every time the clock strikes, I will come myself and 
call, and if thou then givest me no answer, to-morrow morning thou 
shalt be put to death, but if thou always givest me an answer, thou 
shalt have her to wife." 

When the young folks went to the bed-room, there stood a stone 
image of St. Christopher, and the King's daughter said to it, "My 
father will come at nine o'clock, and every hour till it strikes three; 
when he calls, give him an answer instead of the King's son." Then 
the stone image of St. Christopher nodded its head quite quickly, and 
then more and more slowly till at last it stood still. The next morn- 
ing the King said to him, "Thou hast done the business well, but I 


cannot give my daughter away, thou must now watch a night by 
my second daughter, and then I will consider with myself whether 
thou canst have my eldest daughter to wife, but I shall come every 
hour myself, and when I call thee, answer me, and if I call thee and 
thou dost not reply, thy blood shall flow." Then they both went into 
the sleeping-room, and there stood a still larger stone image of St. 
Christopher, and the King's daughter said to it, "If my father calls, do 
you answer him." Then the great stone image of St. Christopher 
again nodded its head quite quickly and then more and more 
slowly, until at last it stood still again. And the King's son lay down 
on the threshold, put his hand under his head and slept. The next 
morning the King said to him, "Thou hast done the business really 
well, but I cannot give my daughter away; thou must now watch a 
night by the youngest princess, and then I will consider with myself 
whether thou canst have my second daughter to wife, but I shall 
come every hour myself, and when I call thee answer me, and if I 
call thee and thou answerest not, thy blood shall flow for me." 

Then they once more went to the sleeping-room together, and 
there was a much greater and much taller image of St. Christopher 
than the two first had been. The King's daughter said to it, "When 
my father calls, do thou answer." Then the great tall stone image 
of St. Christopher nodded quite half an hour with its head, until at 
length the head stood still again. And the King's son lay down on 
the threshold of the door and slept. The next morning the King 
said, "Thou hast indeed watched well, but I cannot give thee my 
daughter now; I have a great forest, if thou cuttest it down for me 
between six o'clock this morning and six at night, I will think 
about it." Then he gave him a glass axe, a glass wedge, and a glass 
mallet. When he got into the wood, he began to cut, but the axe 
broke in two, then he took the wedge, and struck it once with the 
mallet, and it became as short and as small as sand. Then he was 
much troubled and believed he would have to die, and sat down 
and wept. 

Now, when it was noon, the King said, "One of you girls must 
take him something to eat." "No," said the two eldest, "we will not 
take it to him ; the one by whom he last watched can take him some- 
thing." Then the youngest was forced to go and take him something 


to eat. When she got into the forest, she asked him how he was 
getting on ? "Oh," said he, "I am getting on very badly." Then she 
said he was to come and just eat a Utde. "Nay," said he, "I cannot do 
that, I shall still have to die, so I will eat no more." Then she spoke 
so kindly to him and begged him just to try, that he came and ate 
something. When he had eaten something she said, "I will comb thy 
hair a while, and then thou wilt feel happier." 

So she combed his hair, and he became weary and fell asleep, and 
then she took her handkerchief and made a knot in it, and struck 
it three times on the earth, and said, "Earth-workers, come forth." 
In a moment, numbers of little earth-men came forth, and asked 
what the King's daughter commanded? Then said she, "In three 
hours' time the great forest must be cut down, and the whole of the 
wood laid in heaps." So the little earth-men went about and got 
together the whole of their kindred to help them with the work. 
They began at once, and when the three hours were over, all was 
done, and they came back to the King's daughter and told her so. 
Then she took her white handkerchief again and said, "Earth- 
workers, go home." On this they all disappeared. 

When the King's son awoke, he was delighted, and she said, 
"Come home when it has struck six o'clock." He did as she told him, 
and then the King asked, "Hast thou made away with the forest?" 
"Yes," said the King's son. When they were sitting at table, the King 
said, "I cannot yet give thee my daughter to wife, thou must still do 
something more for her sake." So he asked what it was to be, then ? 
"I have a great fish-pond," said the King. "Thou must go to it to- 
morrow morning and clear it of all mud until it is as bright as a mir- 
ror, and fill it with every kind of fish." The next morning the King 
gave him a glass shovel and said, "The fish-pond must be done by 
six o'clock." So he went away, and when he came to the fish-pond he 
stuck his shovel in the mud and it broke in two, then he stuck his hoe 
in the mud, and broke it also. Then he was much troubled. At noon 
the youngest daughter brought him something to eat, and asked 
him how he was getting on? So the King's son said everything was 
going very ill with him, and he would certainly have to lose his 
head. "My tools have broken to pieces again." "Oh," said she, "thou 
must just come and eat something, and then thou wilt be in another 


frame of mind." "No," said he, "I cannot eat, I am far too unhappy 
for that!" Then she gave him many good words until at last he came 
and ate something. Then she combed his hair again, and he fell 
asleep, so once more she took her handkerchief, tied a knot in it, and 
struck the ground thrice with the knot, and said, "Earth-workers, 
come forth." In a moment a great many little earth-men came and 
asked what she desired, and she told them that in three hours' time 
they must have the fish-pond entirely cleaned out, and it must be so 
clear that people could see themselves reflected in it, and every kind 
of fish must be in it. The little earth-men went away and sum- 
moned all their kindred to help them, and in two hours it was done. 
Then they returned to her and said, "We have done as thou hast com- 
manded." The King's daughter took the handkerchief and once 
more struck thrice on the ground with it, and said, "Earth-workers, 
go home again." Then they all went away. 

When the King's son awoke, the fish-pond was done. Then the 
King's daughter went away also, and told him that when it was six 
he was to come to the house. When he arrived at the house the King 
asked, "Hast thou got the fish-pond done.''" "Yes," said the King's 
son. That was very good. 

When they were again sitting at table, the King said, "Thou hast 
certainly done the fish-pond, but I cannot give thee my daughter yet; 
thou must just do one thing more." "What is that, then?" asked 
the King's son. The King said he had a great mountain on which 
there was nothing but briars which must all be cut down, and at the 
top of it the youth must build up a great castle, which must be as 
strong as could be conceived, and all the furniture and fittings be- 
longing to a castle must be inside it. And when he arose next morn- 
ing the King gave him a glass axe and a glass gimlet with him, and 
he was to have all done by six o'clock. As he was cutting down the 
first briar with the axe, it broke off short, and so small that the pieces 
flew all round about, and he could not use the gimlet either. Then 
he was quite miserable, and waited for his dearest to see if she would 
not come and help him in his need. When it was mid-day she came 
and brought him something to eat. He went to meet her and told her 
all, and ate something, and let her comb his hair and fell asleep. 
Then she once more took the knot and struck the earth with it, and 


said, "Earth-workers, come forth!" Then came once again numbers 
of earth-men, and asked what her desire was. Then said she, "In the 
space of three hours they must cut down the whole of the briars, 
and a castle must be built on the top of the mountain that must be as 
strong as any one could conceive, and all the furniture that pertains 
to a castle must be inside it. They went away, and summoned their 
kindred to help them and when the time was come, all was ready. 
Then they came to the King's daughter and told her so, and the 
King's daughter took her handkerchief and struck thrice on the 
earth with it, and said "Earth-workers, go home," on which they all 
disappeared. When therefore the King's son awoke and saw every- 
thing done, he was as happy as a bird in air. 

When it had struck six, they went home together. Then said the 
King, "Is the castle ready?" "Yes," said the King's son. When they 
sat down to table, the King said, "I cannot give away my youngest 
daughter until the two eldest are married." Then the King's son and 
the King's daughter were quite troubled, and the King's son had no 
idea what to do. But he went by night to the King's daughter and ran 
away with her. When they had got a little distance away, the King's 
daughter peepjed round and saw her father behind her. "Oh," said 
she, "what are we to do? My father is behind us, and will take us 
back with him. I will at once change thee into a briar, and myself 
into a rose, and I will shelter myself in the midst of the bush." When 
the father reached the place, there stood a briar with one rose on it, 
then he was about to gather the rose, when the thorn came and 
pricked his finger so that he was forced to go home again. His 
wife asked why he had not brought their daughter back with 
him? So he said he had nearly got up to her, but that all at once 
he had lost sight of her, and a briar with one rose was growing 
on the spot. 

Then said the Queen, "If thou hadst but gathered the rose, the 
briar would have been forced to come too." So he went back again 
to fetch the rose, but in the meantime the two were already far over 
the plain, and the King ran after them. Then the daughter once 
more looked round and saw her father coming, and said, "Oh, what 
shall we do now? I will instantly change thee into a church and my- 
self into a priest, and I will stand up in the pulpit, and preach." 


When the King got to the place, there stood a church, and in the 
pulpit was a priest preaching. So he listened to the sermon, and then 
went home again. 

Then the Queen asked why he had not brought their daughter 
with him, and he said, "Nay, I ran a long time after her, and just 
as I thought I should soon overtake her, a church was standing there 
and a priest was in the pulpit preaching." "Thou shouldst just have 
brought the priest," said his wife, "and then the church would soon 
have come. It is no use to send thee, I must go there myself." When 
she had walked for some time, and could see the two in the distance, 
the King's daughter peeped round and saw her mother coming, and 
said, "Now we are undone, for my mother is coming herself: I will 
immediately change thee into a fish-pxjnd and myself into a fish." 

When the mother came to the place, there was a large fish-pond, 
and in the midst of it a fish was leaping about and peeping out of the 
water, and it was quite merry. She wanted to catch the fish but she 
could not. Then she was very angry, and drank up the whole pond 
in order to catch the fish, but it made her so ill that she was forced 
to vomit, and vomited the whole pond out again. Then she cried, 
"I see very well that nothing can be done now," and said that now 
they might come back to her. Then the King's daughter went back 
again, and the Queen gave her daughter three walnuts, and said, 
"With these thou canst help thyself when thou art in thy greatest 
need." So the young folks went once more away together. And, 
when they had walked quite ten miles, they arrived at the castle 
from whence the King's son came, and close by it was a village. 
When they reached it, the King's son said, "Stay here, my dearest, I 
will just go to the castle, and then will I come with a carriage and 
with attendants to fetch thee." 

When he got to the castle, they all rejoiced greatly at having the 
King's son back again, and he told them he had a bride who was 
now in the village, and they must go with the carriage to fetch her. 
Then they harnessed the horses at once, and many attendants seated 
themselves outside the carriage. When the King's son was about to 
get in, his mother gave him a kiss, and he forgot everything which 
had happened, and also what he was about to do. On this his mother 
ordered the horses to be taken out of the carriage again, and every 


one went back into the house. But the maiden sat in the village and 
watched and watched, and thought he would come and fetch her, 
but no one came. Then the King's daughter took service in the mill 
which belonged to the castle, and was obliged to sit by the pond 
every afternoon and clean the tubs. And the Queen came one day on 
foot from the castle, and went walking by the pond, and saw the 
well-grown maiden sitting there, and said, "What a fine strong girl 
that is! She pleases me well!" Then she and all with her looked at 
the maid, but no one knew her. So a long time passed by during 
which the maiden served the miller honourably and faithfully. In 
the meantime, the Queen had sought a wife for her son, who came 
from quite a distant part of the world. When the bride came, they 
were at once to be married. And many people hurried together, all 
of whom wanted to see everything. Then the girl said to the miller 
that he might be so good as to give her leave to go also. So the 
miller said, "Yes, do go there." When she was about to go, she 
opened one of the three walnuts, and a beautiful dress lay inside it. 
She put it on, and went into the church and stood by the altar. Sud- 
denly came the bride and bridegroom, and seated themselves before 
the altar, and when the priest was just going to bless them, the bride 
peeped half round and saw the maiden standing there. Then she 
stood up again, and said she would not be given away until she also 
had as beautiful a dress as that lady there. So they went back to 
the house again, and sent to ask the lady if she would sell that dress. 
No, she would not sell it, but the bride might perhaps earn it. Then 
the bride asked her how she was to do this? Then the maiden said 
if she might sleep one night outside the King's son's door, the bride 
might have what she wanted. So the bride said, "Yes, she was to do 
that." But the servants were ordered to give the King's son a sleeping 
drink, and then the maiden laid herself down on the threshold and 
lamented all night long. She had had the forest cut down for him, 
she had had the fish-pond cleaned out for him, she had had the castle 
built for him, she had changed him into a briar, and then into a 
church, and at last into a fish-pond, and yet he had forgotten her so 
quickly. The King's son did not hear one word of it, but the ser- 
vants had been awakened, and had listened to it, and had not 
known what it could mean. The next morning when they were all 


up, the bride put on the dress, and went away to the church with the 
bridegroom. In the meantime the maiden of)ened the second walnut, 
and a still more beautiful dress was inside it. She put it on, and 
went and stood by the altar in the church.and everything happened 
as it had happened the time before. And the maiden again lay all 
night on the threshold which led to the chamber of the King's son, 
and the servant was once more to give him a sleeping-drink. The 
servant, however, went to him and gave him something to keep him 
awake, and then the King's son went to bed, and the miller's maiden 
bemoaned herself as before on the threshold of the door, and told of 
all that she had done. All this the King's son heard, and was sore 
troubled, and what was passed came back to him. Then he wanted to 
go to her, but his mother had locked the door. The next morning, 
however, he went at once to his beloved, and told her everything 
which had happened to him, and prayed her not to be angry with 
him for having forgotten her. Then the King's daughter opened the 
third walnut, and within it was a still more magnificent dress, which 
she put on, and went with her bridegroom to church, and numbers 
of children came who gave them flowers, and offered them gay rib- 
bons to bind about their feet, and they were blessed by the priest, 
and had a merry wedding. But the false mother and the bride had 
to depart. And the mouth of the person who last told all this is still 


Seven Swabians were once together. The first was Master Schulz; 
the second, Jackli; the third, Marli; the fourth, Jergli; the fifth, 
Michal; the sixth, Hans; the seventh, Veitii: all seven had made up 
their minds to travel about the world to seek adventures and per- 
form great deeds. But in order that they might go in security and 
with arms in their hands, they thought it would be advisable that 
they should have one solitary, but very strong, and very long spear 
made for them. This spear all seven of them took in their hands at 
once; in front walked the boldest and bravest, and that was Master 
Schulz; all the others followed in a row, and Veitii was the last. 
Then it came to pass one day in the hay-making month (July), when 


they had walked a long distance, and still had a long way to go before 
they reached the village where they were to pass the night, that as 
they were in a meadow in the twilight a great beetle or hornet flew 
by them from behind a bush, and hummed in a menacing manner. 
Master Schulz was so terrified that he all but dropped the spear, and 
a cold perspiration broke out over his whole body. "Hark! hark!" 
cried he to his comrades. "Good heavens! 1 hear a drum." Jackli, 
who was behind him holding the spear, and who perceived some 
kind of a smell, said, "Something is most certainly going on, for I 
taste powder and matches." At these words Master Schulz began 
to take to flight, and in a trice jumped over a hedge, but as he just 
hapf)ened to jump on to the teeth of a rake which had been left lying 
there after the hay-making, the handle of it struck against his face 
and gave him a tremendous blow. "Oh dear! Oh dear!" screamed 
Master Schulz. "Take me prisoner; I surrender! I surrender!" The 
other six all leapt over, one on the top of the other, crying, "If you 
surrender, I surrender too! If you surrender, I surrender too!" At 
length,as no enemy was there to bind and take them away, they saw 
that they had been mistaken, and in order that the story might not 
be known, and they be treated as fools and ridiculed, they all swore 
to each other to hold their peace about it until one of them acci- 
dentally spoke of it. 

Then they journeyed onwards. The second danger which they 
survived cannot be compared with the first. Some days afterwards, 
their path led them through a fallow-field where a hare was sitting 
sleeping in the sun. Her ears were standing straight up, and her 
great glassy eyes were wide open. All of them were alarmed at the 
sight of the horrible wild beast, and they consulted together as to 
what it would be the least dangerous to do. For if they were to run 
away, they knew that the monster would pursue and swallow them 
whole. So they said, "We must go through a great and dangerous 
struggle. Boldly ventured, is half won," and all seven grasped the 
spear, Master Schulz in front, and Veitli behind. Master Schulz was 
always trying to keep the spear back, but Veitli had become quite 
brave while behind, and wanted to dash forward and cried, 

"Strike home, in every Swabian's name. 
Or else I wish ye may be lame." 


But Hans knew how to meet this, and said, 

"Thunder and lightning, it's fine to prate, 
But for dragon-hunting thou'rt aye too late." 

Michal cried, 

"Nothing is wanting, not even a hair, 
Be sure the Devil himself is there." 

Then it was Jergli's turn to speak, 

"If it be not, it's at least his mother. 
Or else it's the Devil's own step-brother." 

And now Marli had a bright thought, and said to Veitli, 

"Advance, Veitli, advance, advance, 
And I behind will hold the lance." 

Veitli, however, did not attend to that, and Jackli said, 

" Tis Schulz's place the first to be, 
No one deserves that honour but he." 

Then Master Schulz plucked up his courage, and said, gravely, 

"Then let us boldly advance to the fight, 
And thus we shall show our valour and might." 

Hereupon they all together set on the dragon. Master Schulz 
crossed himself, and prayed for God's assistance, but as all this was of 
no avail, and he was getting nearer and nearer to the enemy, he 
screamed "Oho! Oho! ho! ho! ho!" in the greatest anguish. This 
awakened the hare, which in great alarm darted swiftly away. When 
Master Schulz saw her thus flying from the field of battle, he cried 
in his joy. 

"Quick, Veitli, quick, look there, look there, 
The monster's nothing but a hare!" 

But the Swabian allies went in search of further adventures, and 
came to the Moselle, a mossy, quiet, deep river, over which there are 
few bridges, and which in many places people have to cross in boats. 
As the seven Swabians did not know this, they called to a man who 
was working on the opposite side of the river, to know how people 
contrived to get across. The distance and their way of speaking made 
the man unable to understand what they wanted, and he said, 


"What? what?" in the way people speak in the neighbourhood of 
Treves. Master Schulz thought he was saying, "Wade, wade through 
the water," and as he was the first, began to set out and went into 
the Moselle. It was not long before he sank in the mud and the deep 
waves which drove against him, but his hat was blown on the op- 
posite shore by the wind, and a frog sat down beside it and croaked 
"Wat, wat, wat." The other six on the opposite side heard that, and 
said, "Oho, comrades, Master Schulz is calling us; if he can wade 
across, why cannot we?" So they all jumjied into the water together 
in a great hurry, and were drowned, and thus one frog took the lives 
of all six of them, and not one of the Swabian allies ever reached 
home again. 


There was once a woman wno had three daughters, the eldest of 
whom was called One-eye, because she had only one eye in the mid- 
dle of her forehead, and the second. Two-eyes, because she had two 
eyes like other folks, and the youngest, Three-eyes, because she had 
three eyes; and her third eye was also in the centre of her forehead. 
However, as Two-eyes saw just as other human beings did, her sis- 
ters and her mother could not endure her. They said to her, "Thou, 
with thy two eyes, art no better than the common people; thou dost 
not belong to us!" They pushed her about, and threw old clothes 
to her, and gave her nothing to eat but what they left, and did every- 
thing that they could to make her unhappy. It came to pass that 
Two-eyes had to go out into the fields and tend the goat, but she 
was still quite hungry, because her sisters had given her so little to 
eat. So she sat down on a ridge and began to weep, and so bitterly 
that two streams ran down from her eyes. And once when she 
looked up in her grief, a woman was standing beside her, who said, 
"Why art thou weeping, little Two-eyes?" Two-eyes answered, 
"Have I not reason to weep, when I have two eyes like other people, 
and my sisters and mother hate me for it, and push me from one 
corner to another, throw old clothes at me, and give me nothing to 
eat but the scraps they leave? To-day they have given me so little 
that I am still quite hungry." Then the wise woman said, "Wipe 


away thy tears, Two-eyes, and I will tell thee something to stop thee 
ever suffering from hunger again; just say to thy goat, 

"Bleat, my little goat, bleat. 
Cover the table with something to eat," 

and then a clean well-spread little table will stand before thee, with 
the most delicious food upon it of which thou mayest eat as much 
as thou art inclined for, and when thou hast had enough, and hast no 
more need of the Uttle table, just say, 

"Bleat, bleat, my litde goat, I pray. 
And take the table quite away," 

and then it will vanish again from thy sight." Hereupon the wise 
woman departed. But Two-eyes thought, "I must instantly make a 
trial, and see if what she said is true, for I am far too hungry," and 
she said, 

"Bleat, my litde goat, bleat. 
Cover the table with something to eat," 

and scarcely had she spoken the words than a little table, covered 
with a white cloth, was standing there, and on it was a plate with a 
knife and fork, and a silver spoon; and the most delicious food was 
there also, warm and smoking as if it had just come out of the 
kitchen. Then Two-eyes said the shortest prayer she knew, "Lord 
God, be with us always. Amen," and helped herself to some food, 
and enjoyed it. And when she was satisfied, she said, as the wise 
woman had taught her, 

"Bleat, bleat, my litde goat, I pray, 
And take the table quite away," 

and immediately the little table and everything on it was gone again. 
"This is a delightful way of keeping house!" thought Two-eyes, 
and was quite glad and happy. 

In the evening, when she went home with her goat, she found a 
small earthenware dish, with some food, which her sisters had set 
ready for her, but she did not touch it. Next day she again went out 
with her goat, and left the few bits of broken bread which had been 
handed to her, lying untouched. The first and second time that she 


did diis, her sisters did not remark it at all, but as it happened every 
time, they did observe it, and said, "There is somethng wrong about 
Two-eyes, she always leaves her food untasted, and she used to eat 
up everything that was given her; she must have discovered other 
ways of getting food." In order that they might learn the truth, 
they resolved to send One-eye with Two-eyes when she went to drive 
her goat to the pasture, to observe what Two-eyes did when she was 
there, and whether any one brought her anything to eat and drink. 
So when Two-eyes set out the next time, One-eye went to her and 
said, "I will go with you to the pasture, and see that the goat is well 
taken care of, and driven where there is food." But Two-eyes knew 
what was in One-eye's mind, and drove the goat into high grass and 
said, "Come, One-eye, we will sit down and I will sing something 
to you." One-eye sat down and was tired with the unaccustomed 
walk and the heat of the sun, and Two-eyes sang constantly, 

"One eye, wakest thou ? 
One eye, sleepest thou?" 

until One-eye shut her one eye, and fell asleep, and as soon as Two- 
eyes saw that One-eye was fast asleep, and could discover nothing, 
she said, 

"Bleat, my litde goat, bleat. 
Cover the table with something to eat," 

and seated herself at her table, and ate and drank until she was satis- 
fied, and then she again cried, 

"Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray, 
And take the table quite away," 

and in an instant all was gone. Two^yes now awakened One-eye, 
and said, "One-eye, you want to take care of the goat, and go to 
sleep while you are doing it, and in the meantime the goat might 
run all over the world. Come, let us go home again." So they went 
home, and again Two-eyes let her little dish stand untouched, and 
One-eye could not tell her mother why she would not eat it, and to 
excuse herself said, "I fell asleep when I was out." 

Next day the mother said to Three-eyes, "This time thou shalt 
go and observe if Two-eyes eats anything when she is out, and if 


any one fetches her food and drink, for she must eat and drink 
in secret." So Three-eyes went to Two-eyes, and said, "I will go with 
you and see if the goat is taken proper care of, and driven where 
there is food." But Two-eyes knew what was in Three-eyes' mind, 
and drove the goat into high-grass and said, "We will sit down, and I 
will sing something to you, Three-eyes." Three-eyes sat down and 
was tired with the walk and with the heat of the sun, and Two-eyes 
began the same song as before, and sang, 

"Three eyes, are you waking?" 
but then, instead of singing, 

"Three eyes, are you sleeping?" 
as she ought to have done, she thoughtlessly sang, 

"Two eyes, are you sleeping?" 

and sang all the time, 

"Three eyes, are you waking? 
Two eyes, are you sleeping?" 

Then two of the eyes which Three-eyes had, shut and fell asleep, but 
the third, as it had not been named in the song, did not sleep. It is 
true that Three-eyes shut it, but only in her cunning, to pretend it 
was asleep too, but it blinked, and could see everything very well. 
And when Two-eyes thought that Three-eyes was fast asleep she 
used her little charm, 

"Bleat, my litde goat, bleat. 
Cover the table with something to eat," 

and ate and drank as much as her heart desired, and then ordered 
the table to go away again, 

"Bleat, bleat, my litde goat, I pray, 
And take the table quite away," 

and Three-eyes had seen everything. Then Two-eyes came to her, 
waked her and said, "Have you been asleep, Three-eyes? You are a 
good care-taker! Come, we will go home." And when they got 
home, Two-eyes again did not eat, and Three-eyes said to the 


mother, "Now, I know why that high-minded thing there does not 
eat. When she is out, she says to the goat, 

"Bleat, my little goat, bleat. 
Cover the table with something to eat," 

and then a little table appears before her covered with the best of 
food, much better than any we have here, and when she has eaten ail 
she wants, she says, 

"Bleat, bleat, my little goat, I pray. 
And take the table quite away," 

and all disappears. I watched everything closely. She put two of my 
eyes to sleep by using a certain form of words, but luckily the one in 
my forehead kept awake." Then the envious mother cried, "Dost 
thou want to fare better than we do? The desire shall pass away," 
and she fetched a butcher's knife, and thrust it into the heart of the 
goat, which fell down dead. 

When Two-eyes saw that, she went out full of trouble, seated 
herself on the ridge of grass at the edge of the field and wept bitter 
tears. Suddenly the wise woman once more stood by her side, and 
said, "Two-eyes, why art thou weeping?" "Have I not reason to 
weep?" she answered. "The goat which covered the table for me 
every day when I spoke your charm, has been killed by my mother, 
and now I shall again have to bear hunger and want." The wise 
woman said, "Two-eyes, I will give thee a piece of good advice; 
ask thy sisters to give thee the entrails of the slaughtered goat, and 
bury them in the ground in front of the house, and thy fortune will 
be made." Then she vanished, and Two-eyes went home and said 
to her sisters, "Dear sisters, do give me some part of my goat; I don't 
wish for what is good, but give me the entrails." Then they laughed 
and said, "If that's all you want, you can have it." So Two-eyes 
took the entrails and buried them quietly in the evening, in front of 
the house-door, as the wise woman had counselled her to do. 

Next morning, when they all awoke, and went to the house-door, 
there stood a strangely magnificent tree with leaves of silver, and 
fruit of gold hanging among them, so that in all the wide world 
there was nothing more beautiful or precious. They did not know 


how the tree could have come there during the night, but Two-eyes 
saw that it had grown up out of the entrails of the goat, for it was 
standing on the exact spot where she had buried them. Then the 
mother said to One-eye, "Climb up, my child, and gather some of 
the fruit of the tree for us." One-eye cUmbed up, but when she 
was about to get hold of one of the golden apples, the branch escaped 
from her hands, and that happened each time, so that she could not 
pluck a single apple, let her do what she might. Then said the 
mother, "Three-eyes, do you climb up; you with your three eyes 
can look about you better than One-eye. One-eye slipped down, 
and Three-eyes climbed up. Three-eyes was not more skilful, and 
might search as she liked, but the golden apples always escaped her. 
At length the mother grew impatient, and climbed up herself, but 
could get hold of the fruit no better than One-eye and Three-eyes, 
for she always clutched empty air. Then said Two-eyes, "I will just 
go up, perhaps I may succeed better." The sisters cried, "You in- 
deed, with your two eyes, what can you do?" But Two-eyes climbed 
up, and the golden apples did not get out of her way, but came 
into her hand of their own accord, so that she could pluck them 
one after the other, and brought a whole apronful down with her. 
The mother took them away from her, and instead of treating poor 
Two-eyes any better for this, she and One-eye and Three-eyes were 
only envious, because Two-eyes alone had been able to get the fruit, 
and they treated her still more cruelly. 

It so befell that once when they were all standing together by 
the tree, a young knight came up. "Quick, Two-eyes," cried the 
two sisters, "creep under this, and don't disgrace us!" and with all 
speed they turned an empty barrel which was standing close by the 
tree over poor Two-eyes, and they pushed the golden apples which 
she had been gathering, under it too. When the knight came nearer 
he was a handsome lord, who stopped and admired the magnificent 
gold and silver tree, and said to the two sisters, "To whom does 
this fine tree belong? Any one who would bestow one branch of it 
on me might in return for it ask whatsoever he desired." Then 
One-eye and Three-eyes replied that the tree belonged to them, and 
that they would give him a branch. They both took great trouble, 
biK they were not able to do it, for the branches and fruit both 


moved away from them every time. Then said the knight, "It is 
very strange that the tree should belong to you, and that you should 
still not be able to break a piece off." They again asserted that the 
tree was their property. Whilst they were saying so, Two-eyes rolled 
out a couple of golden apples from under the barrel to the feet of 
the knight, for she was vexed with One-eye and Three-eyes, for not 
speaking the truth. When the knight saw the apples he was aston- 
ished, and asked where they came from. One-eye and Three-eyes 
answered that they had another sister, who was not allowed to 
show herself, for she had only two eyes Uke any common person. 
The knight, however, desired to see her, and cried, "Two-eyes, come 
forth." Then Two-eyes, quite comforted, came from beneath the 
barrel, and the knight was surprised at her great beauty, and said, 
"Thou, Two-eyes, canst certainly break off a branch from the tree 
fdr me." "Yes," replied Two-eyes, "that I certainly shall be able to 
do, for the tree belongs to me." And she climbed up, and with the 
greatest ease broke off a branch with beautiful silver leaves and 
golden fruit, and gave it to the knight. Then said the knight, "Two- 
eyes, what shall I give thee for it?" "Alas!" answered Two-eyes, 
"I suffer from hunger and thirst, grief and want, from early morning 
till late night; if you would take me with you, and deliver me from 
these things, I should be happy." So the knight lifted Two-eyes on 
to his horse, and took her home with him to his father's castle, and 
there he gave her beautiful clothes and meat and drink to her heart's 
content, and as he loved her so much he married her, and the wed- 
ding was solemnized with great rejoicing. When Two-eyes was 
thus carried away by the handsome knight, her two sisters grudged 
her good fortune in downright earnest. "The wonderful tree, how- 
ever, still remains with us," thought they, "and even if we can 
gather no fruit from it, still every one will stand still and look at it, 
and come to us and admire it. Who knows what good things may 
be in store for us?" But next morning, the tree had vanished, and 
all their hopes were at an end. And when Two-eyes looked out of 
the window of her own little room to her great delight it was stand- 
ing in front of it, and so it had followed her. 

Two-eyes lived a long time in happiness. Once two f)oor women 
came to her in her casde, and begged for alms. She looked in their 


faces, and recognized her sisters, One-eye, and Three-eyes, who had 
fallen into such poverty that they had to wander about and beg their 
bread from door to door. Two-eyes, however, made them welcome, 
and was kind to them, and took care of them, so that they both with 
all their hearts repented the evil that they had done their sister in 
their youth. 


There was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In 
front of the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one 
of which bore white and the other red roses. She had two children 
who were like the two rose-trees, and one was called Snow-white 
and the other Rose-red. They were as good and happy, as busy and 
cheerful, as ever two children in the world were, only Snow-white 
was more quiet and gentle than Rose-Red. Rose-Red liked better 
to run about in the meadows and fields seeking flowers and catching 
butterflies; but Snow-white sat at home with her mother, and helped 
her with her house-work, or read to her when there was nothing 
to do. 

The two children were so fond of each other that they always 
held each other by the hand when they went out together, and when 
Snow-white said, "We will not leave each other," Rose-red answered, 
"Never so long as we live," and their mother would add, "What 
one has she must share with the other." 

They often ran about the forest alone and gathered red berries, 
and no beasts did them any harm, but came close to them trustfully. 
The Httle hare would eat a cabbage-leaf out of their hands, the roe 
grazed by their side, the stag leapt merrily by them, and the birds 
sat still upon the boughs, and sang whatever they knew. 

No mishap overtook them; if they had stayed too late in the 
forest and night came on, they laid themselves down near one 
another upon the moss, and slept until morning came, and their 
mother knew this and had no distress on their account. 

Once when they had spent the night in the wood and the dawn 
had roused them, they saw a beautiful child in a shining white dress 
sitting near their bed. He got up and looked quite kindly at them, 


but said nothing and went away into the forest. And when they 
looked round they found that they had been sleeping quite close to 
a precipice, and would certainly have fallen into it in the darkness 
if they had gone only a few paces further. And their mother told 
them that it must have been the angel who watches over good 

Snow-white and Rose-red kept their mother's little cottage so 
neat that it was a pleasure to look inside it. In the summer Rose- 
red took care of the house, and every morning laid a wreath of 
flowers by her mother's bed before she awoke, in which was a rose 
from each tree. In the winter Snow-white lit the fire and hung the 
kettle on the wrekin. The kettle was of copper and shone Hke gold, 
so brightly was it pwlished. In the evening, when the snowflakes 
fell, the mother said, "Go, Snow-white, and bolt the door," and 
then they sat round the hearth, and the mother took her spectacles 
and read aloud out of a large book, and the two girls listened as 
they sat and span. And close by them lay a lamb upon the floor, 
and behind them upon a perch sat a white dove with its head hidden 
beneath its wings. 

One evening, as they were thus sitting comfortably together, some 
one knocked at the door, as if he wished to be let in. The mother 
said, "Quick, Rose-red, open the door, it must be a traveller who is 
seeking shelter." Rose-red went and pushed back the bolt, thinking 
that it was a poor man, but it was not; it was a bear that stretched 
his broad, black head within the door. 

Rose-red screamed and sprang back, the lamb bleated, the dove 
fluttered, and Snow-white hid herself behind her mother's bed. But 
the bear began to speak and said, "Do not be afraid, I will do you 
no harm! I am half-frozen, and only want to warm myself a little 
beside you." 

"Poor bear," said the mother, "lie down by the fire, only take care 
that you do not burn your coat." Then she cried, "Snow-white, Rose- 
red, come out, the bear will do you no harm, he means well." So 
they both came out, and by-and-by the lamb and dove came nearer, 
and were not afraid of him. The bear said, "Here, children, knock 
the snow out of my coat a little;" so they brought the broom and 
swept the bear's hide clean; and he stretched himself by the fire and 


growled contentedly and comfortably. It was not long before they 
grew quite at home, and played tricks with their clumsy guest. They 
tugged his hair with their hands, put their feet upon his back and 
rolled him about, or they took a hazel-switch and beat him, and 
when he growled they laughed. But the bear took it all in good 
part, only, when they were too rough, he called out, "Leave me alive, 

"Snowy-white, Rosy-red, 
Will you beat your lover dead?" 

When it was bed-time, and the others went to bed, the mother 
said to the bear, "You can lie there by the hearth, and then you will 
be safe from the cold and the bad weather." As soon as day dawned 
the two children let him out, and he trotted across the snow into the 

Henceforth the bear came every evening at the same time, laid 
himself down by the hearth, and let the children amuse themselves 
with him as much as they liked; and they got so used to him 
that the doors were never fastened until their black friend had 

When spring had come and all outside was green, the bear said 
one morning to Snow-white, "Now I must go away, and cannot 
come back for the whole summer." "Where are you going, then, 
dear bear?" asked Snow-white. "I must go into the forest and 
guard my treasures from the wicked dwarfs. In the winter, when 
the earth is frozen hard, they are obliged to stay below and cannot 
work their way through; but now, when the sun has thawed and 
warmed the earth, they break through it, and come out to pry and 
steal; and what once gets into their hands, and in their caves, does 
not easily see daylight again." 

Snow-white was quite sorry for his going away, and as she un- 
bolted the door for him, and the bear was hurrying out, he caught 
against the bolt and a piece of his hairy coat was torn off, and it 
seemed to Snow-white as if she had seen gold shining through it, 
but she was not sure about it. The bear ran away quickly, and was 
soon out of sight behind the trees. 

A short time afterwards the mother sent her children into the 


forest to get fire-wood. There they found a big tree which lay felled 
on the ground, and close by the trunk something was jumping 
backwards and forwards in the grass, but they could not make out 
what it was. When they came nearer they saw a dwarf with an 
old withered face and a snow-white beard a yard long. The end of 
the beard was caught in a crevice of the tree, and the little fellow 
was jumping backwards and forwards like a dog tied to a rope, 
and did not know what to do. 

He glared at the girls with his fiery red eyes and cried, "Why do 
you stand there? Can you not come here and help me?" "What 
are you about there, little man?" asked Rose-red. "You stupid, pry- 
ing goose!" answered the dwarf; "I was going to split the tree to 
get a little wood for cooking. The little bit of food that one of us 
wants gets burnt up directly with thick logs; we do not swallow 
so much as you coarse, greedy folk. I had just driven the wedge 
safely in, and everything was going as I wished; but the wretched 
wood was too smooth and suddenly sprang asunder, and the tree 
closed so quickly that I could not pull out my beautiful white beard; 
so now it is tight in and I cannot get away, and the silly, sleek, milk- 
faced things laugh! Ugh! how odious you are!" 

The children tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard 
out, it was caught too fast. "I will run and fetch some one," said 
Red-rose. "You senseless goose!" snarled the dwarf; "why should 
you fetch some one? You are already two too many for me; can 
you not think of something better?" "Don't be too impatient," said 
Snow-white, "I will help you," and she pulled her scissors out of 
her pocket, and cut off the end of the beard. 

As soon as the dwarf felt himself free he laid hold of a bag which 
lay amongst the roots of the tree, and which was full of gold, and 
lifted it up, grumbling to himself, "Uncouth people, to cut off a 
piece of my fine beard. Bad luck to you!" and then he swung the 
bag upon his back, and went off without even once looking at the 

Some time after that Snow-white and Rose-red went to catch a 
dish of fish. As they came near the brook they saw something like 
a large grasshopper jumping towards the water, as if it were going 
to leap in. They ran to it and found it was the dwarf. "Where are 



you going?" said Rose-red; "you surely don't want to go into the 
water?" "I am not such a fool!" cried the dwarf; "don't you see 
that the accursed fish wants to pull me in?" The little man had 
been sitting there fishing, and unluckily the wind had twisted his 
beard with the fishing-line; just then a big fish bit, and the feeble 
creature had not the strength to pull it out; the fish kept the upper 
hand and pulled the dwarf towards him. He held on to all the 
reeds and rushes, but it was of little good, he was forced to follow 
the movements of the fish, and was in urgent danger of being 
dragged into the water. 

The girls came just in time; they held him fast and tried to free 
his beard from the line, but all in vain, beard and hne were entangled 
fast together. Nothing was left but to bring out the scissors and 
cut the beard, whereby a small part of it was lost. 

When the dwarf saw that he screamed out, "Is that civil, you toad- 
stool, to disfigure one's face ? Was it not enough to clip off the end 
of my beard? Now you have cut off the best part of it. I cannot 
let myself be seen by my people. I wish you had been made to run 
the soles off your shoes!" Then he took out a sack of pearls which 
lay in the rushes, and without saying a word more he dragged it 
away and disappeared behind a stone. 

It happened that soon afterwards the mother sent the two children 
to the town to buy needles and thread, and laces and ribbons. The 
road led them across a heath upon which huge pieces of rock lay 
strewn here and there. Now they noticed a large bird hovering in 
the air, flying slowly round and round above them; it sank lower 
and lower, and at last settled near a rock not far off. Directly after- 
wards they heard a loud, piteous cry. They ran up and saw with 
horror that the eagle had seized their old acquaintance the dwarf, 
and was going to carry him off. 

The children, full of pity, at once took tight hold of the little man, 
and pulled against the eagle so long that at last he let his booty go. 
As soon as the dwarf had recovered from his first fright he cried 
with his shrill voice, "Could you not have done it more carefully? 
You dragged at my brown coat so that it is all torn and full of holes, 
you helpless clumsy creatures!" Then he took up a sack full of 
precious stones and slipped away again under the rock into his hole. 


The girls, who by this time were used to his thanklessness, went on 
their way and did their business in the town. 

As they crossed the heath again on their way home they surprised 
the dwarf, who had emptied out his bag of precious stones in a 
clean spot, and had not thought that any one would come there so 
late. The evening sun shone upon the brilliant stones; they glittered 
and sparkled with all colours so beautifully that the children stood 
still and looked at them. "Why do you stand gaping there?" cried 
the dwarf, and his ashen-grey face became coppier-red with rage. He 
was going on with his bad words when a loud growling was heard, 
and a black bear came trotting towards them out of the forest. The 
dwarf sprang up in a fright, but he could not get to his cave, for 
the bear was already close. Then in the dread of his heart he cried, 
"Dear Mr. Bear, spare me, I will give you all my treasures; look, 
the beautiful jewels lying there! Grant me my life; what do you 
want with such a slender little fellow as I? you would not feel me 
between your teeth. Come, take these two wicked girls, they are 
tender morsels for you, fat as young quails; for mercy's sake eat 
them!" The bear took no heed of his words, but gave the wicked 
creature a single blow with his paw, and he did not move again. 

The girls had run away, but the bear called to them, "Snow-white 
and Rose-red, do not be afraid; wait, I will come with you." Then 
they knew his voice and waited, and when he came up to them 
suddenly his bearskin fell off, and he stood there a handsome man, 
clothed all in gold. "I am a King's son," he said, "and I was be- 
witched by that wicked dwarf, who had stolen my treasures; I have 
had to run about the forest as a savage bear until 1 was freed by 
his death. Now he has got his well-deserved punishment." 

Snow-white was married to him, and Rose-red to his brother, and 
they divided between them the great treasure which the dwarf had 
gathered together in his cave. The old mother Uved peacefully and 
happily with her children for many years. She took the two rose- 
trees with her, and they stood before her window, and every year 
bore the most beautiful roses, white and red. 



Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odensc, Denmark, April 2, 
1805. He was the son of a poor cobbler who died when Hans was eleven; 
and after a meager schooling he went to Copenhagen at the age of four- 
teen in the hope of finding employment in the theater. Here after much 
discouragement and hardship he finally found patrons who kept him 
from starving, and arranged for his regular education at the government's 
expense. His literary career began in 1829 with his humorous extrava- 
ganza, "A Journey on Foot from Holm Canal to the East Point of 
Amager," which was followed by plays, f)oems, and descriptions of 
travel, and in 1835 by his first novel, "The Improvisatore," which was an 
immediate success. In the same year he found his real forte in the first 
volume of his "Fairy Tales" (Eventyr), but neither he nor the general 
public recognized this at first. Those critics who condescended to con- 
sider them at all were troubled about their lack of clear moral teaching 
and their colloquial style; but children liked them from the beginning. 

While the Tales, added to year by year, were gradually finding their 
public, Andersen continued his writing of novels in his "O. T." and 
"Only a Fiddler"; of plays in his "Mulatto" and many others; of travels 
in his "Author's Bazaar," "In Sweden," and "In Spain"; of poetry in his 
epic, "Ahasuerus," and many lyrics. His reputation spread far beyond 
Denmark and in the many countries he visited he was enthusiastically 
received. He died full of honors in August, 1875. 

As a man Andersen was vain and sentimental, and he suffered more 
from his mortified vanity than from his actual hardships. The stories 
which have made his name a household word he underestimated, and 
strove after a dramatic success for which he was temperamentally unfitted. 

Oddly enough, he was not particularly fond of children, though he had 
an extraordinary capacity for amusing them; and it was this gift that led 
a friend to suggest his writing down the stories which he invented for 
their entertainment. Many of the tales are based on folk-lore, many are 
purely his own imaginings, but all are told with a quaintncss, humor, and 
fancy that have given the author a place by himself in letters. 




IT WAS so glorious out in the country; it was summer; the corn- 
fields were yellow, the oats were green, the hay had been put 
up in stacks in the green meadows, and the stork went about 
on his long red legs, and chattered Egyptian, for this was the lan- 
guage he had learned from his good mother. All around the fields 
and meadows were great forests, and in the midst of these forests 
lay deep lakes. Yes, it was right glorious out in the country. In 
the midst of the sunshine there lay an old farm, with deep canals 
about it, and from the wall down to the water grew great burdocks, 
so high that little children could stand upright under the loftiest of 
them. It was just as wild there as in the deepest wood, and here 
sat a Duck upon her nest; she had to hatch her ducklings; but she 
was almost tired out before the little ones came; and then she so 
seldom had visitors. The other ducks liked better to swim about 
in the canals than to run up to sit down under a burdock, and cackle 
with her. 

At last one egg-shell after another burst open. "Piep! Piep!" it 
cried, and in all the eggs there were little creatures that stuck out 
their heads. 

"Quack! quack!" they said; and they all came quacking out as 
fast as they could, looking all around them under the green leaves; 
and the mother let them look as much as they chose, for green is 
good for the eye. 

"How wide the world is!" said all the young ones, for they cer- 
tainly had much more room now than when they were in the eggs. 

"D'ye think this is all the world?" said the mother. "That stretches 
far across the other side of the garden, quite into the parson's field; 


but I have never been there yet. I hope you are all together," and 
she stood up. "No, I have not all. The largest egg still lies there. 
How long is that to last ? I am really tired of it." And she sat down 

"Well, how goes it?" asked an old Duck who had come to pay 
her a visit. 

"It lasts a long time with that one egg," said the Duck who sat 
there. "It will not burst. Now, only look at the others; are they 
not the prettiest little ducks one could possibly see? They are all 
like their father: the rogue, he never comes to see me." 

"Let me see the egg which will not burst," said the old visitor. 
"You may be sure it is a turkey's egg. I was once cheated in that 
way, and had much anxiety and trouble with the young ones, for 
they are afraid of the water. Must I say it to you, I could not get 
them to venture in. I quacked and I clacked, but it was no use. Let 
me see the egg. Yes, that's a turkey's egg. Let it lie there, and teach 
the other children to swim." 

"I think I will sit on it a little longer," said the Duck. "I've sat so 
long now that I can sit a few days more." 

"Just as you please," said the old Duck; and she went away. 

At last the great egg burst. "Piep! piep!" said the little one, and 
crept forth. It was very large and very ugly. The Duck looked at it. 

"It's a very large duckling," said she; "none of the others look 
like that: can it really be a turkey chick? Well, we shall soon 
find out. It must go into the water, even if I have to thrust it in 

The next day, it was bright, beautiful weather; the sun shone on 
all the green trees. The Mother-Duck went down to the canal with 
all her family. Splash! she jumped into the water. "Quack! quack!" 
she said, and one duckling after another plunged in. The water 
closed over their heads, but they came up in an instant, and swam 
capitally; their legs went of themselves, and they were all in the 
water. The ugly gray Duckling swam with them. 

"No, it's not a turkey," said she; "look how well it can use its 
legs, and how straight it holds itself. It is my own child! On the 
whole it's quite pretty, if one looks at it rightly. Quack! quackl 
come with me, and I'll lead you out into the great world, and 


present you in the duck-yard; but keep close to me, so that no one 
may tread on you, and take care of the cats!" 

And so they came into the duck-yard. There was a terrible riot 
going on in there, for two families were quarreling about an eel's 
head, and the cat got it after all. 

"See, that's how it goes in the world!" said the Mother-Duck; and 
she whetted her beak, for she too wanted the eel's head. "Only use 
your legs," she said. "See that you can bustle about, and bow your 
heads before the old Duck yonder. She's the grandest of all here; 
she's of Spanish blood — that's why she's so fat; and d'ye see? she 
has a red rag round her leg; that's something particularly fine, and 
the greatest distinction a duck can enjoy: it signifies that one does 
not want to lose her, and that she's to be known by the animals 
and by men too. Shake yourselves — don't turn in your toes; a well- 
brought-up duck turns its toes quite out, just like father and mother, 
— so! Now bend your necks and say 'Quack!'" 

And they did so: but the other ducks round about looked at them, 
and said quite boldly, — 

"Look there! now we're to have these hanging on, as if there 
were not enough of us already! And — fie! — how that Duckling 
yonder looks; we won't stand that!" And one duck flew up at it, 
and bit it in the neck. 

"Let it alone," said the mother; "it does no harm to any one." 

"Yes, but it's too large and peculiar," said the Duck who had 
bitten it; "and therefore it must be put down." 

"Those are pretty children that the mother has there," said the 
old Duck with the rag round her leg. "They're all pretty but that 
one; that was rather unlucky. I wish she could bear it over again." 

"That cannot be done, my lady," replied the Mother-Duck. "It 
is not pretty, but it has a really good disposition, and swims as well 
as any other; yes, I may even say it, swims better. I think it will 
grow up pretty, and become smaller in time; it has lain too long in 
the egg, and therefore is not properly shaped." And then she pinched 
it in the neck, and smoothed its feathers. "Moreover it is a drake," 
she said, "and therefore it is not of so much consequence. I think 
he will be very strong: he makes his way already." 

"The other ducklings are graceful enough," said the old Duck. 


"Make yourself at home; and if you find an eel's head, you may 
bring it to me." 

And now they were at home. But the poor Duckling which had 
crept last out of the egg, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed 
and jeered, as much by the ducks as by the chickens. 

"It is too big!" they all said. And the turkey-cock, who had been 
born with the spurs, and therefore thought himself an emperor, 
blew himself up like a ship in full sail, and bore straight down 
upon it; then he gobbled and grew quite red in the face. The poor 
Duckling did not know where it should stand or walk; it was quite 
melancholy because it looked ugly, and was the butt of the whole 

So it went on the first day; and afterwards it became worse and 
worse. The poor Duckling was hunted about by every one; even 
its brothers and sisters were quite angry with it, and said, "If the 
cat would only catch you, you ugly creature!" And the mother 
said, "If you were only far away!" And the ducks bit it, and the 
chickens beat it, and the girl who had to feed the poultry kicked 
at it with her foot. 

Then it ran and flew over the fence, and the little birds in the 
bushes flew up in fear. 

"That is because I am so ugly!" thought the Duckling; and it 
shut its eyes, but flew on further; and so it came out into the great 
moor, where the wild ducks lived. Here it lay the whole night 
long; and it was weary and downcast. 

Towards morning the wild ducks flew up, and looked at their 
new companion. 

"What sort of a one are you?" they asked; and the Duckling 
turned in every direction, and bowed as well as it could. "You are 
remarkably ugly!" said the Wild Ducks. "But that is nothing to us, 
so long as you do not marry into our family." 

Poor thing! it certainly did not think of marrying, and only 
hoped to obtain leave to lie among the reeds and drink some of the 
swamp water. 

Thus it lay two whole days; then came thither two wild geese, or, 
properly speaking, two wild ganders. It was not long since each 
had crept out of an egg, and that's why they were so saucy. 


"Listen, comrade," said one of them. "You're so ugly that I like 
you. Will you go with us, and become a bird of passage? Near 
here, in another moor, there are a few sweet lovely wild geese, all 
unmarried, and all able to say 'Rap?' You've a chance of making 
your fortune, ugly as you are." 

"Pifl! pafi!" resounded through the air; and the two ganders fell 
down dead in the swamp, and the water became blood red. "Piff! 
paff!" it sounded again, and the whole flock of wild geese rose up 
from the reeds. And then there was another report. A great hunt 
was going on. The sportsmen were lying in wait all round the 
moor, and some were even sitting up in the branches of the trees, 
which spread far over the reeds. The blue smoke rose up like clouds 
among the dark trees, and was wafted far away across the water; 
and the hunting dogs came — splash, splash! — into the swamp, and 
the rushes and the reeds bent down on every side. That was a 
fright for the poor Duckling! It turned its head, and put it under 
its wing; but at that moment a frightful great dog stood close by 
the Duckling. His tongue hung far out of his mouth, and his eyes 
gleamed horrible and ugly; he thrust out his nose close against the 
Duckling, showed his sharp teeth, and — splash, splash! — on he went, 
without seizing it. 

"O, Heaven be thanked!" sighed the Duckling. "I am so ugly, 
that even the dog does not like to bite me!" 

And so it lay quite quiet, while the shots rattled through the reeds 
and gun after gun was fired. At last, late in the day, all was still; 
but the poor Duckling did not dare to rise up; it waited several 
hours before it looked round, and then hastened away out of the 
moor as fast as it could. It ran on over field and meadow; there 
was such a storm raging that it was difficult to get from one place 
to another. 

Towards evening the Duck came to a little miserable peasant's 
hut. This hut was so dilapidated that it did not itself know on 
which side it should fall; and that's why it remained standing. The 
storm whistled round the Duckling in such a way that the poor 
creature was obliged to sit down, to stand against it; and the wind 
blew worse and worse. Then the Duckling noticed that one of the 
hinges of the door had given way, and the door hung so slanting 


that the Duckling could slip through the crack into the room; and 
that is what it did. 

Here lived a woman, with her Cat and her Hen. And the Cat, 
whom she called Sonnie, could arch his back and purr, he could 
even give out sparks; but for that one had to stroke his fur the 
wrong way. The Hen had quite little short legs, and therefore she 
was called Chickabiddy Shortshanks; she laid good eggs, and the 
woman loved her as her own child. 

In the morning the strange Duckling was at once noticed, and 
the Cat began to purr and the Hen to cluck. 

"What's this?" said the woman, and looked all round; but 
she could not see well, and therefore she thought the Duckling 
was a fat duck that had strayed. "This is a rare prize!" she said. 
"Now I shall have duck's eggs. I hope it is not a drake. We must try 

And so the Duckling was admitted on trial for three weeks; but 
no eggs came. And the Cat was master of the house, and the Hen 
was the lady, and always said "We and the world!" for she thought 
they were half the world, and by far the better half. The Duckling 
thought one might have a different opinion, but the Hen would 
not allow it. 

"Can you lay eggs?" she asked. 


"Then will you hold your tongue!" 

And the Cat said, "Can you curve your back, and purr, and give 
out sparks?" 


"Then you will please have no opinion of your own when sensible 
folks are speaking." 

And the Duckling sat in a corner and was melancholy; then the 
fresh air and the sunshine streamed in; and it was seized with such 
a strange longing to swim on the water, that it could not help tell- 
ing the Hen of it. 

"What are you thinking of?" cried the Hen. "You have nothing 
to do, that's why you have these fancies. Lay eggs, or purr, and 
they will pass over." 

"But it is so charming to swim on the water!" said the Duckling, 


"so refreshing to let it close above one's head, and to dive down to 
the bottom." 

"Yes, that must be a mighty pleasure, truly," quoth the Hen. "I 
fancy you must have gone crazy. Ask the Cat about it, — he's the 
cleverest animal I know, — ask him if he likes to swim on the water, 
or to dive down: I won't speak about myself. Ask our mistress, the 
old woman; no one in the world is cleverer than she. Do you think 
she has any desire to swim, and to let the water close above her 

"You don't understand me," said the Duckling. 

"We don't understand you ? Then pray who is to understand you ? 
You surely don't pretend to be cleverer than the Cat and the woman 
— I won't say anything of myself. Don't be conceited, child, and 
thank your Maker for all the kindness you have received. Did you 
not get into a warm room, and have you not fallen into company 
from which you may learn something? But you are a chatterer, 
and it is not pleasant to associate with you. You may believe me, 
I speak for your good. I tell you disagreeable things, and by that 
one may always know one's true friends! Only take care that you 
learn to lay eggs, or to purr, and give out sparks!" 

"I think I will go out into the wide world," said the Duckling. 

"Yes, do go," replied the Hen. 

And so the Duckling went away. It swam on the water, and 
dived, but it was slighted by every creature because of its ugliness. 

Now came the autumn. The leaves in the forest turned yellow 
and brown; the wind caught them so that they danced about, and 
up in the air it was very cold. The clouds hung low, heavy with 
hail and snow-flakes, and on the fence stood the raven, crying, 
"Croak! croak!" for mere cold; yes, it was enough to make one feel 
cold to think of this. The poor little Duckling certainly had not a 
good time. One evening — the sun was just setting in his beauty — 
there came a whole flock of great, handsome birds out of the bushes; 
they were dazzlingly white, with long, flexible necks; they were 
swans. They uttered a very peculiar cry, spread forth their glorious 
great wings, and flew away from that cold region to warmer lands, 
to fair open lakes. They mounted so high, so high! and the ugly 
Duckling felt quite strangely as it watched them. It turned round 


and round in the water like a wheel, stretched out its neck towards 
them, and uttered such a strange, loud cry as frightened itself. O! 
it could not forget those beautiful, happy birds; and so soon as it 
could see them no longer, it dived down to the very bottom, and 
when it came up again, it was quite beside itself. It knew not the 
name of those birds, and knew not whither they were flying; but 
it loved them more than it had ever loved any one. It was not at 
all envious of them. How could it think of wishing to possess such 
loveliness as they had? It would have been glad if only the ducks 
would have endured its company — the poor, ugly creature! 

And the winter grew cold, very cold! The Duckling was forced 
to swim about in the water, to prevent the surface from freezing 
entirely; but every night the hole in which it swam about became 
smaller and smaller. It froze so hard that the icy covering crackled 
again; and the Duckling was obliged to use its legs continually to 
prevent the hole from freezing up. At last it became exhausted, 
and lay quite still, and thus froze fast into the ice. 

Early in the morning a peasant came by, and when he saw what 
had happened, he took his wooden shoe, broke the ice<rust to pieces, 
and carried the Duckling home to his wife. Then it came to itself 
again. The children wanted to play with it; but the Duckling 
thought they wanted to hurt it, and in its terror fluttered up into 
the milk-pan, so that the milk spurted down into the room. The 
woman clasped her hands, at which the Duckling flew down into 
the butter-tub, and then into the meal barrel and out again. How 
it looked then! The woman screamed, and struck at it with the 
fire-tongs; the children tumbled over one another in their efforts 
to catch the Duckling; and they laughed and they screamed! — 
well it was that the door stood op)en, and the poor creature was able 
to slip out between the shrubs into the newly-fallen snow — there it 
lay quite exhausted. 

But it would be too melancholy if I were to tell all the misery 
and care which the Duckling had to endure in the hard winter. It 
lay out on the moor among the reeds, when the sun began to shine 
again and the larks to sing: it was a beautiful spring. 

Then all at once the Duckling could flap its wings: they beat the 
air more strongly than before, and bore it strongly away; and before 


it well knew how all this happened, it found itself in a great garden, 
where the elder-trees smelt sweet, and bent their long green branches 
down to the canal that wound through the region. O, here it was 
so beautiful, such a gladness of spring! and from the thicket came 
three glorious white swans; they rustled their wings, and swam 
lightly on the water. The Duckling knew the splendid creatures, 
and felt oppressed by a peculiar sadness. 

"I will fly away to them, to the royal birds; and they will beat 
me, because I, that am so ugly, dare to come near them. But it is 
all the same. Better be killed by them than to be pursued by ducks, 
and beaten by fowls, and pushed about by the girl who takes care 
of the poultry yard, and to suffer hunger in winter!" And it flew 
out into the water, and swam towards the beautiful swans: these 
looked at it, and came sailing down upon it with outspread wings. 
"Kill me!" said the poor creature, and bent its head down upon the 
water, expecting nothing but death. But what was this that it saw 
in the clear water? It beheld its own image; and, lo! it was no 
longer a clumsy dark-gray bird, ugly and hateful to look at, but a 
— swan! 

It matters nothing if one is born in a duck-yard, if one has only 
lain in a swan's egg. 

It felt quite glad at all the need and misfortune it had suffered, 
now it realized its happiness in all the splendor that surrounded it. 
And the great swans swam round it, and stroked it with their beaks. 

Into the garden came little children, who threw bread and corn 
into the water; and the youngest cried, "There is a new one!" and 
the other children shouted joyously, "Yes, a new one has arrived!" 
And they clapped their hands and danced about, and ran to their 
father and mother; and bread and cake were thrown into the water; 
and they all said, "The new one is the most beautiful of all! so young 
and handsome!" and the old swans bowed their heads before him. 

Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wings, 
for he did not know what to do; he was so happy, and yet not at 
all proud. He thought how he had been persecuted and despised; 
and now he heard them saying that he was the most beautiful of 
all birds. Even the elder-tree bent its branches straight down into 
the water before him, and the sun shone warm and mild. Then 


his wings rustled, he Ufted his slender neck, and cried rejoicingly 

from the depths of his heart, — 

"I never dreamed of so much happiness when I was the Ugly 


There was once a poor Prince; he had a kingdom that was very 
small; still it was quite large enough to marry upon; and he wished 
to marry. 

It was certainly rather cool of him to say to the Emperor's daugh- 
ter, "Will you have me?" But so he did; for his name was renowned 
far and wide; and there were a hundred Princesses who would have 
answered, "Thank you." But see what she said. Now we will hear. 

By the grave of the Prince's father there grew a rose-tree, — a most 
beautiful rose-tree; it blossomed only once in every five years, and 
even then bore only one flower, but that was a rose that smelt so 
sweet as to make one forget all cares and sorrows. 

And furthermore, the Prince had a nightingale, who could sing 
in such a manner that it seemed as though all sweet melodies dwelt 
in her little throat. So the Princess was to have the rose and the 
nightingale; and they were accordingly put into large silver caskets, 
and sent to her. 

The Emperor had them brought into a large hall, where the 
Princess was playing at "making calls," with the ladies of the court; 
they never did anything else, and when she saw the caskets with 
the presents, she clapped her hands for joy. 

"Ah, if it were but a little pussy<at!" exclaimed she; then out 
came the beautiful rose. 

"O, how prettily it is made!" said all the court-ladies. 

"It is more than pretty," said the Emperor; "it is charming!" 

But the Princess touched it and was almost ready to cry. 

"Fie, papa!" said she, "it is not made at all; it is natural!" 

"Fie!" cried all the court-ladies; "it is natural!" 

"Let us see what is in the other casket, before we get into a bad 
humor," proposed the Emperor. So the Nightingale came forth, 
and sang so delightfully that at first no one could say anything ill- 
humored of it. 


"Superbcl charmantl" exclaimed the ladies; for they all used to 
chatter French, each one worse than her neighbor. 

"How much the bird reminds me of the musical box that belonged 
to our blessed Empress!" remarked an old Knight. "Ah yes! it is 
the very same tone, the same execution." 

"Yes! yes!" said the Emperor, and he wept Uke a little child. 

"I will still hope that it is not a real bird," said the Princess. 

"Yet it is a real bird," said those who had brought it. 

"Well, then let the bird fly," returned the Princess; and she 
positively refused to see the Prince. 

However, he was not to be discouraged; he daubed his face over 
brown and black; pulled his cap over his ears, and knocked at the 

"Good day, Emperor!" said he. "Can I have employment at the 

"O there are so many that want a place!" said the Emperor; 
"well, let me see, I want some one to take care of the pigs, for we 
have a great many of them." 

So the Prince was appointed "Imperial Swineherd." He had a 
dirty little room close by the pig-sty; and there he sat the whole day, 
and worked. By the evening, he had made a pretty litde saucepan. 
Litde bells were hung all around it; and when the pot was boiling, 
these bells tinkled in the most charming manner, and played the 
old melody : — 

"Ah! thou dearest Augustine! 
All is gone, gone, gone!" 

But what was still more curious, whoever held his finger in the 
smoke of this saucepan, immediately smelt all the dishes that were 
cooking on every hearth in the city: this, you see, was something" 
quite different from the rose. 

Now the Princess happened to walk that way; and when she 
heard the tune, she stood quite still, and seemed pleased; for she 
could play "Dearest Augustine;" it was the only piece she knew, 
and she played it with one finger. 

"Why, there is my piece!" said the Princess; "that Swineherd 
must certainly have been well educated! Here! Go in and ask him 
the price of the instrument." 


And so one of the court-ladies must run in; however, she drew 
on wooden slippers first. 

"What will you take for the saucepan?" inquired the lady. 

"I will have ten kisses from the Princess," said the Swineherd. 

"Mercy on us!" said the lady. 

"Yes, I cannot sell it for less," said the swineherd. 

"Well, what does he say?" asked the Princess. 

"I cannot tell you really," replied the lady; "it is too bad!" 

"Then you can whisper it!" So the lady whispered it. 

"He is an impudent fellow!" said the Princess, and she walked 
on; but when she had gone a little way, the bells tinkled so prettily, — 

"Ah! thou dearest Augustine! 
All is gone, gone, gone!" 

"Stay," said the Princess. "Ask him if he will have ten kisses 
from the ladies of my court." 

"No, thank you!" answered the swineherd: "ten kisses from the 
Princess, or I keep the saucepan myself." 

"That must not be, either!" said the Princess; "but do you all 
stand before me, that no one may see us." 

And the court-ladies placed themselves in front of her, and spread 
out their dresses; and so the Swineherd got ten kisses, and she got 
the saucepan. 

It was delightful! the saucepan was kept boiling all the evening, 
and the whole of the following day. They knew perfectly well what 
was cooking at every fire throughout the city, from the chamber- 
lain's to the cobbler's; the court-ladies danced, and clapped their 

"We know who has soup and who has pancakes for dinner to-day, 
who has cutlets, and who has eggs. How interesting!" 

And "How interesting!" said the Lord Steward's wife. 

"Yes, but keep my secret, for I am an Emperor's daughter." 

"Mercy on us," said they all. 

The Swineherd — that is to say the Prince, for no one knew that 
he was other than an ill-favored swineherd — let not a day pass with- 
out working at something; he at last constructed a ratde, which, 

Andersen's tales 233 

when it was swung round, played all the waltzes and jig-tunes which 
have ever been heard since the creation of the world. 

"Ah, that is stiperbel" said the Princess when she passed by; "I 
have never heard prettier compositions! Go in and ask him the 
price of the instrument; but I won't kiss him!" 

"He will have a hundred kisses from the Princess!" said the court- 
lady who had been in to ask. 

"I think he is crazy!" said the Princess, and walked on; but when 
she had gone a little way, she stopped again. "One must encourage 
art," said she; "I am the Emperor's daughter. Tell him, he shall, 
as on yesterday, have ten kisses from me, and may take the rest 
from the ladies of the court." 

"O! but we should not like that at all!" said the court-ladies. 

"What are you muttering?" asked the Princess; "if I can kiss him, 
surely you can! Remember, I give you your food and wages." So 
the court-ladies were obliged to go to him again. 

"A hundred kisses from the Princess!" said he, "or else let every 
one keep his own." 

"Stand round!" said she; and all the ladies stood round her whilst 
the kissing was going on. 

"What can be the reason for such a crowd close by the pig-sty?" 
said the Emf)eror, who happened just then to step out on the balcony. 
He rubbed his eyes and put on his spectacles. "They are ladies of 
the court; there is some play going on. I must go down and see 
what they are about!" So he pulled up his slippers at the heel, for 
he had trodden them down. 

Heh there! what a hurry he is in. 

As soon as he had got into the court-yard, he moved very softly, 
and the ladies were so much engrossed with counting the kisses, 
that all might go on fairly, that they did not perceive the Emperor. 
He rose on his tiptoes. 

"What is all this?" said he, when he saw what was going on, and 
he boxed the Princess's ears with his slipper, just as the Swineherd 
was taking the eighty-sixth kiss. 

"Off with you!" cried the Emperor, for he was very angry; and 
both Princess and Swineherd were thrust out of the city. 


The Princess now stood and wept, the Swineherd scolded, and 
the rain poured down. 

"O how miserable I am!" said the Princess. "If I had but mar- 
ried the handsome young Prince! Ah! how unfortunate I am!" 

And the Swineherd went behind a tree, washed the black-and- 
brown color from his face, threw off his dirty clothes, and stepped 
forth in his princely robes; he looked so noble that the Princess could 
not help bowing before him. 

"I am come to despise thee," said he. "Thou wouldst not have an 
honourable prince! thou couldst not prize the rose and the night- 
ingale, but thou wast ready to kiss the Swineherd for the sake of a 
trumpery plaything. Now thou hast thy deserts!" 

He then went back to his own little kingdom, and shut the door 
of his palace in her face. Now she might well sing, 

"Ah! thou dearest Augustine! 
All is gone, gone, gone!" 


Many years ago there lived an Emperor, who was so excessively 
fond of grand new clothes that he spent all his money upon them, 
that he might be very fine. He did not care about his soldiers, nor 
about the theatre, and only liked to drive out and show his new 
clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day; and just as they 
say of a king, "He is in council," so they always said of him, "The 
Emperor is in the wardrobe." 

In the great city in which he lived it was always very merry; every 
day came many strangers; one day two rogues came: they gave 
themselves out as weavers, and declared they could weave the finest 
stuff any one could imagine. Not only were their colors and pat- 
terns, they said, uncommonly beautiful, but the clothes made of the 
stuff possessed the wonderful quality that they became invisible to 
any one who was unfit for the office he held, or was incorrigibly 

"Those would be capital clothes!" thought the Emperor. "If I 
wore those, I should be able to find out what men in my empire 


are not fit for the places they have; I could tell the clever from the 
dunces. Yes, the stuff must be woven for me directly!" 

And he gave the two rogues a great deal of cash in hand, that 
they might begin their work at once. 

As for them, they put up two looms, and pretended to be work- 
ing; but they had nothing at all on their looms. They at once 
demanded the finest silk and the costliest gold; this they put into 
their own pockets, and worked at the empty looms till late into the 

"I should like to know how far they have got on with the stuff," 
thought the Emperor. But he felt quite uncomfortable when he 
thought that those who were not fit for their offices could not see 
it. He believed, indeed, that he had nothing to fear for himself, 
but yet he preferred first to send some one else to see how matters 
stood. All the people in the city knew what peculiar power the 
stuff possessed, and all were anxious to see how bad or how stupid 
their neighbors were. 

"I will send my honest old Minister to the weavers," thought the 
Emperor. "He can judge best how the stuff looks, for he has sense, 
and no one understands his office better than he." 

Now the good old Minister went out into the hall where the two 
rogues sat working at the empty looms. 

"Mercy on us!" thought the old Minister, and he opened his eyes 
wide. "I cannot see anything at all!" But he did not say this. 

Both the rogues begged him to be so good as to come nearer, and 
asked if he did not approve of the colors and the pattern. Then they 
pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old Minister went on 
opening his eyes; but he could see nothing, for there was nothing 
to see. 

"Mercy!" thought he, "can I indeed be so stupid? I never thought 
that, and not a soul must know it. Am I not fit for my office? No, 
it will never do for me to tell that I could not see the stuff." 

"Don't you say anything to it?" asked one, as he went on weaving. 

"O, it is charming — quite enchanting!" answered the old Minister, 
as he peered through his spectacles. "What a fine pattern, and what 
colors! Yes, I shall tell the Emperor that I am very much pleased 
with it." 


"Well, we are glad of that," said both the weavers; and then they 
named the colors, and explained the strange pattern. The old Min- 
ister listened attentively, that he might be able to repeat it when 
the Emperor came. And he did so. 

Now the rogues asked for more money, and silk and gold, which 
they declared they wanted for weaving. They put all into their own 
pockets, and not a thread was put upon the loom; they continued 
to work at the empty frames as before. 

The Emperor soon sent again, dispatching another honest officer 
of the court, to see how the weaving was going on, and if the stuff 
would soon be ready. He fared just Uke the first: he looked and 
looked, but, as there was nothing to be seen but the empty looms, 
he could see nothing. 

"Is not that a pretty piece of stuff?" asked the two rogues; and 
they displayed and explained the handsome pattern which was not 
there at all. 

"I am not stupid!" thought the man: "it must be my good office, 
for which I am not fit. It is funny enough, but I must not let it be 
noticed." And so he praised the stuff which he did not see, and 
expressed his pleasure at the beautiful colors and charming pattern. 
"Yes, it is enchanting," he told the Emperor. 

All the people in the town were talking of the gorgeous stuff. The 
Emperor wished to see it himself while it was still upon the loom. 
With a whole crowd of chosen men, among whom were also the 
two honest statesmen who had already been there, he went to the 
two cunning rogues, who were now weaving with might and main 
without fibre or thread. 

"Is not that splendid?" said the two statesmen, who had already 
been there once. "Does not your Majesty remark the pattern and 
the colors?" And they pointed to the empty loom, for they thought 
that the others could see the stuff. 

"What's this?" thought the Emperor. "I can see nothing at all! 
That is terrible. Am I stupid? Am I not fit to be Emperor? That 
would be the most dreadful thing that could happen to me. O, it 
is very pretty!" he said aloud. "It has our highest approbation." 
And he nodded in a contented way, and gazed at the empty loom, 
for he would not say that he saw nothing. The whole suite whom 


he had with him looked and looked, and saw nothing, any more 
than the rest; but, like the Emperor, they said, "That is pretty I" 
and counseled him to wear the splendid new clothes for the first 
time at the great procession that was presently to take place. "It is 
splendid, excellent!" went from mouth to mouth. On all sides there 
seemed to be general rejoicing, and the Emperor gave the rogues 
the title of Imperial Court Weavers. 

The whole night before the morning on which the procession was 
to take place, the rogues were up, and kept more than sixteen candles 
burning. The people could see that they were hard at work, com- 
pleting the Emperor's new clothes. They pretended to take the stuff 
down from the loom; they made cuts in the air with great scissors; 
they sewed with needles without thread; and at last they said, "Now 
the clothes are ready!" 

The Emperor came himself with his noblest cavaliers; and the 
two rogues lifted up one arm as if they were holding something, 
and said, "See, here are the trousers! here is the coat! here is the 
cloak!" and so on. "It is as light as a spider's web: one would think 
one had nothing on; but that is just the beauty of it." 

"Yes," said all the cavaliers; but they could not see anything, for 
nothing was there. 

"Will your Imperial Majesty please to condescend to take off your 
clothes?" said the rogues; "then we will put on you the new clothes 
here in front of the great mirror." 

The Emperor took off his clothes, and the rogues pretended to 
put on him each new garment as it was ready; and the Emperor 
turned round and round before the mirror. 

"O, how well they look! how capitally they fit!" said all. "What 
a pattern! what colors! That is a splendid dress!" 

"They are standing outside with the canopy, which is to be borne 
above your Majesty in the procession!" announced the head Master 
of the Ceremonies. 

"Well, I am ready," replied the Emperor. "Does it not suit me 
well?" And then he turned again to the mirror, for he wanted it 
to appear as if he contemplated his adornment with great interest. 

The two chamberlains, who were to carry the train, stooped down 
with their hands toward the floor, just as if they were picking up 


the mantle; then they pretended to be holding something in the air. 
They did not dare to let it be noticed that they saw nothing. 

So the Emperor went in procession under the rich canopy, and 
every one in the streets said, "How incomparable are the Emperor's 
new clothes! what a train he has to his mantle! how it fits him!" 
No one would let it be perceived that he could see nothing, for that 
would have shown that he was not fit for his office, or was very 
stupid. No clothes of the Emperor's had ever had such a success as 

"But he has nothing on!" a little child cried out at last. 

"Just hear what that innocent says!" said the father: and one 
whispered to another what the child had said. 

"But he has nothing on!" said the whole people at length. That 
touched the Emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; 
but he thought within himself, "I must go through with the pro- 
cession." And so he held himself a little higher, and the chamber- 
lains held on tighter than ever, and carried the train which did not 
exist at all. 


Far out in the sea the water is as blue as the petals of the most 
beautiful corn-flower, and as clear as the purest glass. But it is very 
deep, deeper than any cable will sound; many steeples must be 
placed one above the other to reach from the ground to the surface 
of the water. And down there live the sea-people. 

Now, you must not believe there is nothing down there but the 
naked sand; no, — the strangest trees and plants grow there, so 
pliable in their stalks and leaves that at the least motion of the 
water they move just as if they had life. All fishes, great and small, 
ghde among the twigs, just as here the birds do in the trees. In the 
deepest spot of all lies the Sea-king's castle: the walls are of coral, 
and the tall, Gothic windows of the clearest amber; shells form the 
roof, and they open and shut according as the water flows. It looks 
lovely, for in each shell lie gleaming pearls, a single one of which 
would have great value in a queen's diadem. 

The Sea-king below there had been a widower for many years, 
while his old mother kept house for him. She was a clever woman, 


but proud of her rank, so she wore twelve oysters on her tail, while 
the other great people were only allowed to wear six. Beyond this 
she was deserving of great praise, especially because she was very 
fond of her grand-daughters, the little Sea-princesses. These were 
six pretty children; but the youngest was the most beautiful of all. 
Her skin was as clear and as fine as a rose leaf; her eyes were as 
blue as the deepest sea; but, like all the rest, she had no feet, for her 
body ended in a fish-tail. 

All day long they could play in the castle, down in the halls, 
where living flowers grew out of the walls. The great amber win- 
dows were opened, and then the fishes swam in to them, just as 
the swallows fly in to us when we op)en our windows; but the fishes 
swam straight up to the Princesses, ate out of their hands, and let 
themselves be stroked. 

Outside the castle was a great garden with bright red and dark 
blue flowers; the fruit glowed like gold, and the flowers like flames 
of fire; and they continually kept moving their stalks and leaves. 
The earth itself was the finest sand, but blue as the flame of brim- 
stone. A peculiar blue radiance lay upon everything down there: 
one would have thought oneself high in the air, with the canopy of 
heaven above and around, rather than at the bottom of the deep 
sea. During a calm the sun could be seen; it appeared like a purple 
flower, from which all light streamed out. 

Each of the little Princesses had her own little place in the garden, 
where she might dig and plant at her good pleasure. One gave her 
flower-bed the form of a whale; another thought it better to make 
hers like a little sea-woman: but the youngest made hers quite round, 
like the sun and had flowers which gleamed red as the sun itself. 
She was a strange child, quiet and thoughtful, and when the other 
sisters made a display of the beautiful things they had received out 
of wrecked ships, she would have nothing beyond the red flowers 
which resembled the sun, except a pretty marble statue. This was 
a figure of a charming boy, hewn out of white clear stone, which 
had sunk down to the bottom of the sea from a wreck. She planted 
a pink weeping willow beside this statue; the tree grew famously, 
and hung its fresh branches over the statue towards the blue sandy 
ground, where the shadow showed violet, and moved like the 


branches themselves; it seemed as if the ends of the branches and 
the roots were playing together and wished to kiss each other. 

There was no greater pleasure for her than to hear of the world 
of men above them. The old grandmother had to tell all she knew 
of ships and towns, of men and animals. It seemed particularly 
beautiful to her that up on the earth the flowers shed fragrance, for 
they had none down at the bottom of the sea, and that the trees 
were green, and that the fishes which one saw there among the 
trees could sing so loud and clear that it was a pleasure to hear 
them. What the grandmother called fishes were the little birds; 
the Princess could not understand them in any other way, for she 
had never seen a bird. 

"When you have reached your fifteenth year," said the grand- 
mother, "you shall have leave to rise up out of the sea, to sit on the 
rocks in the moonlight, and to see the great ships as they sail by. 
Then you will see forests and towns!" 

In the next year one of the sisters was fifteen years of age, but 
each of the others was one year younger than the next; so that the 
youngest had full five years to wait before she could come up from 
the bottom of the sea, and find how our world looked. But one 
promised to tell the others what she had seen and what she had 
thought the most beautiful on the first day of her visit; for their 
grandmother could not tell them enough — there was so much about 
which they wanted information. 

No one was more anxious about these things than the youngest 
—just that one who had the longest time to wait, and who was 
always quiet and thoughtful. Many a night she stood by the open 
window, and looked up through the dark blue water at the fishes 
splashing with their fins and tails. Moon and stars she could see; 
they certainly shone quite faintly, but through the water they looked 
much larger than they appear in our eyes. When something like a 
black cloud passed among them, she knew that it was either a whale 
swimming over her head, or a ship with many people: they certainly 
did not think that a pretty little sea-maid was standing down below 
stretching up her white hands towards the keel of their ship. 

Now the eldest Princess was fifteen years old, and might mount 
up to the surface of the sea. 

Andersen's tales 241 

When she came back, she had a hundred things to tell, — but the 
finest thing, she said, was to lie in the moonshine on a sand-bank 
in the quiet sea, and to look at the neighboring coast, with the large 
town, where the lights twinkled like a hundred stars, and to hear 
the music and the noise and clamor of carriages and men, to see 
the many church steeples, and to hear the sound of the bells. Just 
because she could not get up to these, she longed for them more 
than for anything. 

O how the youngest sister listened! and afterwards when she 
stood at the open window and looked up through the dark-blue 
water, she thought of the great city with all its bustle and noise; 
and then she thought she could hear the church bells ringing, even 
down to the depth where she was. 

In the following year, the second sister received permission to 
mount upward through the water and to swim whither she pleased. 
She rose up just as the sun was setting, and this spectacle, she said, 
was the most beautiful. The whole sky looked like gold, and as to 
the clouds, she could not properly describe their beauty. They sailed 
away over her head, purple and violet-colored, but far quicker than 
the clouds there flew a flight of wild swans, like a long white veil, 
over the water towards where the sun stood. She swam towards 
them; but the sun sank, and the roseate hue faded on the sea and 
in the clouds. 

In the following year the next sister went up. She was the bold- 
est of them all, and therefore she swam up a broad stream that 
poured its waters into the sea. She saw glorious green hills clothed 
with vines; palaces and castles shone forth from amid splendid 
woods; she heard how all the birds sang; and the sun shone so warm 
that she was often obliged to dive under the water to cool her glow- 
ing face. In a little bay she found a whole swarm of little mortals. 
They were quite naked, and splashed about in the water; she wanted 
to play with them, but they fled in affright and a little black animal 
came, — it was a dog, but she had never seen a dog, — and it barked 
at her so terribly that she became frightened, and tried to gain the 
open sea. But she could never forget the glorious woods, the green 
hills, and the pretty children, who could swim in the water, though 
they had not fish-tails. 


The fourth sister was not so bold: she remained out in the midst 
of the wild sea, and declared that just there it was most beautifuL 
One could see for many miles around, and the sky above looked 
Uke a bell of glass. She had seen ships, but only in the far distance — 
they looked like sea-gulls; and the funny dolphins had thrown 
somersaults, and the great whales spouted out water from their 
nostrils, so that it looked hke hundreds of fountains all around. 

Now came the turn of the fifth sister. Her birthday came in the 
winter, and so she saw what the others had not seen the first time. 
The sea looked quite green, and great icebergs were floating about; 
each one separated like a pearl, she said, and yet was much taller 
than the church steeples built by men. They showed themselves in 
the strangest forms, and shone like diamonds. She had seated her- 
self upon one of the greatest of all, and let the wind play with her 
long hair; and all the sailing ships tacked about in a very rapid 
way beyond where she sat: but toward evening the sky became 
covered with clouds, it thundered and lightened, and the black waves 
lifted the great ice-blocks high up, and let them glow in the red 
glare. On all the ships the sails were reefed, and there was fear and 
anguish. But she sat quietly upon her floating iceberg, and saw the 
forked blue flashes dart into the sea. 

Each of the sisters, as she came up for the first time to the surface 
of the water, was delighted with the new and beautiful sights she 
saw; but as they now had permission, as grown-up girls, to go when- 
ever they liked, it became indifferent to them. They wished them- 
selves back again, and after a month had elapsed they said it was 
best of all down below, for there one felt so comfortably at home. 

Many an evening hour the five sisters took one another by the 
arm and rose up in a row over the water. They had splendid voices, 
more charming than any mortal could have; and when a storm was 
approaching, so that they could apprehend that ships would go 
down, they swam on before the ships and sang lovely songs, which 
told how beautiful it was at the bottom of the sea, and exhorted the 
sailors not to be afraid to come down. But these could not under- 
stand the words, and thought it was the storm sighing; and they did 
not see the splendors below, for if the ships sank they were drowned, 
and came as corpses to the Sea-king's palace. 


When the sisters thus rose up, arm in arm, in the evening time, 
through the water, the little sister stood all alone looking after them; 
and she felt as if she must weep; but the sea-maid has no tears and 
for this reason she suffers far more acutely. 

"O if I were only fifteen years old!" said she. "I know I shall 
love the world up there very much, and the people who live and 
dwell there." 

At last she was really fifteen years old. 

"Now, you see, you are grown up," said the grandmother, the 
old dowager. "Come, let me adorn you like your sisters." 

And she put a wreath of white lilies in the little maid's hair, but 
each flower was half a pearl; and the old lady let eight great oysters 
attach themselves to the Princess's tail, in token of her high rank. 

"But that hurts so!" said the little Sea-maid. 

"Yes, pride must suffer pain," replied the old lady. 

O how glad she would have been to shake off all the tokens of 
rank and lay aside the heavy wreath! Her red flowers in the garden 
suited her better; but she could not help it. "Farewell!" she said, 
and then she rose, light and clear as a water-bubble, up through the 

The sun had just set when she lifted her head above the sea, but 
all the clouds still shone like roses and gold, and in the pale red 
sky the evening-stars gleamed bright and beautiful. The air was 
mild and fresh, and the sea quite calm. There lay a great ship with 
three masts; one single sail only was set, for not a breeze stirred, 
and around in the shrouds and on the yards sat the sailors. There 
was music and singing, and as the evening closed in, hundreds of 
colored lanterns were lighted up, and looked as if the flags of every 
nation were waving in the air. The little Sea-maid swam straight 
to the cabin window, and each time the sea lifted her up, she could 
look through the panes, which were clear as crystal, and see many 
people standing within dressed in their best. But the handsomest 
of all was the young Prince with the great black eyes: he was cer- 
tainly not much more than sixteen years old; it was his birthday, 
and that was the cause of all this feasting. The sailors were dancing 
upon deck; and when the young Prince came out, more than a 
hundred rockets rose into the air; they shone like day, so that the 


little Sea-maid was quite startled, and dived under the water; but 
soon she put out her head again, and then it seemed just as if all 
the stars of heaven were falling down upon her. She had never 
seen such fire-works. Great suns spurted fire all around, glorious 
fiery fishes flew up into the blue air, and everything was mirrored 
in the clear blue sea. The ship itself was so brightly lit up that every 
separate rope could be seen, and the people therefore appeared the 
more plainly. O how handsome the young Prince wasi And he 
pressed the people's hands and smiled, while the music rang out in 
the glorious night. 

It became late; but the little Sea-maid could not turn her eyes 
from the ship and from the beautiful Prince. The colored lanterns 
were extinguished, rockets ceased to fly into the air, and no more 
cannons were fired; but there was a murmuring and a buzzing deep 
down in the sea; and she sat on the water, swaying up and down, 
so that she could look into the cabin. But as the ship got more way, 
one sail after another was spread. And now the waves rose higher, 
great clouds came up, and in the distance there was lightning. O! 
it was going to be fearful weather, therefore the sailors furled the 
sails. The great ship flew in swift career over the wild sea: the 
waters rose up like great black mountains, which wanted to roll 
over the masts; but like a swan the ship dived into the valleys be- 
tween these high waves, and then let itself be lifted on high again. 
To the little Sea-maid this seemed merry sport, but to the sailors it 
appeared very differently. The ship groaned and creaked; the thick 
planks were bent by the heavy blows; the sea broke into the ship; 
the mainmast snapped in two like a thin reed, and the ship lay over 
on her side, while the water rushed into the hold. Now the little 
Sea-maid saw that the people were in f)eril; she herself was obliged 
to take care to avoid the beams and fragments of the ship which 
were floating about on the waters. One moment it was so pitch 
dark that not a single object could be descried, but when it lightened 
it became so bright that she could distinguish every one on board. 
She looked particularly for the young Prince, and when the ship 
parted she saw him sink into the sea. Then she was very glad, for 
now he would come down to her. But then she remembered that 
people could not live in the water, and that when he got down to 


her father's palace he would certainly be dead. No, he must not 
die: so she swam about among the beams and planks that strewed 
the surface, quite forgetting that one of them might have crushed 
her. Diving down deep under the water, she again rose high up 
among the waves, and in this way she at last came to the Prince, 
who could scarcely swim longer in that stormy sea. His arms and 
legs began to fail him, his beautiful eyes closed, and he would have 
died had the little Sea-maid not come. She held his head up over 
the water, and then allowed the waves to carry her and him whither 
they listed. 

When the morning came the storm had passed by. Of the ship 
not a fragment was to be seen. The sun came up red and shining 
out of the water; it was as if its beams brought back the hue of life 
to the cheeks of the Prince, but his eyes remained closed. The Sea- 
maid kissed his high, fair forehead and put back his wet hair, and 
he seemed to her to be like the marble statue in her little garden: 
she kissed him again and hoped that he might live. 

Now she saw in front of her the dry land — high blue mountains, 
on whose summits the white snow gleamed as if swans were lying 
there. Down on the coast were glorious green forests, and a build- 
ing — she could not tell whether it was a church or a convent — stood 
there. In its garden grew orange and citron-trees, and high palms 
waved in front of the gate. The sea formed a little bay there; it 
was quite calm, but very deep. Straight toward the rock where the 
fine white sand had been cast up, she swam with the handsome 
Prince, and laid him upon the sand, taking especial care that his 
head was raised in the warm sunshine. 

Now all the bells rang in the great white building, and many 
young girls came walking through the garden. Then the little Sea- 
maid swam farther out between some high stones that stood up 
out of the water, laid some sea-foam up)on her hair and neck, so 
that no one could see her little countenance, and then she watched 
to see who would come to the poor Prince. 

In a short time a young girl went that way. She seemed to be 
much startled, but only for a moment; then she brought more people, 
and the Sea-maid perceived that the Prince came back to life, and 
that he smiled at all around him. But he did not cast a smile at 


her: he did not know that she had saved him. And she felt very 
sorrowful; and when he was led away into the great building, she 
dived mournfully under the water and returned to her father's palace. 

She had always been gentle and melancholy, but now she became 
much more so. Her sisters asked her what she had seen the first 
time she rose up to the surface, but she would tell them nothing. 

Many an evening and many a morning she went up to the place 
where she had left the Prince. She saw how the fruits of the garden 
grew ripe and were gathered; she saw how the snow melted on 
the high mountain; but she did not see the Prince, and so she always 
returned home more sorrowful still. Then her only comfort was 
to sit in her little garden, and to wind her arm round the beautiful 
marble statue that resembled the Prince; but she did not tend her 
flowers; they grew as if in a wilderness over the paths, and trailed 
their long leaves and stalks up into the branches of trees, so that it 
became quite dark there. 

At last she could endure it no longer, and told all to one of her 
sisters, and then the others heard of it too; but nobody knew of it 
beyond these and a few other sea-maids, who told the secret to their 
intimate friends. One of these knew who the Prince was; she too 
had seen the festival on board the ship; and she announced whence 
he came and where his kingdom lay. 

"Come, little sister," said the other Princesses; and linking their 
arms together, they rose up in a long row out of the sea, at the 
place where they knew the Prince's palace lay. 

This palace was built of a kind of bright yellow stone, with great 
marble staircases, one of which led directly down into the sea. Over 
the roof rose splendid gilt cupolas, and between the pillars which 
surrounded the whole dwelling, stood marble statues which looked 
as if they were alive. Through the clear glass in the high windows 
one looked into the glorious halls, where costly silk hangings and 
tapestries were hung up, and all the walls were decked with splendid 
pictures, so that it was a perfect delight to see them. In the midst 
of the greatest of these halls a great fountain plashed; its jets shot 
high up toward the glass dome in the ceiling, through which 
the sun shone down upon the water and upon the lovely plants 
growing in the great basin. 

Andersen's tales 247 

Now she knew where he Hved, and many an evening and many 
a night she spent there on the water. She swam far closer to the 
land than any of the others would have dared to venture; indeed, 
she went quite up the narrow channel under the splendid marble 
balcony, which threw a broad shadow upon the water. Here she 
sat and watched the young Prince, who thought himself quite alone 
in the bright moonlight. 

Many an evening she saw him sailing, amid the sounds of music, 
in his costly boat with the waving flags; she peeped up through the 
green reeds, and when the wind caught her silver-white veil and 
any one saw it he thought it was a white swan spreading out its 

Many a night when the fishermen were on the sea with their 
torches, she heard much good told of the young Prince; and she 
rejoiced that she had saved his life when he was driven about, half 
dead, on the wild billows: she thought how quietly his head had 
reclined on her bosom, and how heartily she had kissed him; but 
he knew nothing of it, and could not even dream of her. 

More and more she began to love mankind, and more and more 
she wished to be able to wander about among those whose world 
seemed far larger than her own. For they could fly over the sea in 
ships, and mount up the high hills far above the clouds, and the 
lands they possessed stretched out in woods and fields farther than 
her eyes could reach. There was much she wished to know, but 
her sisters could not answer all her questions; therefore she applied 
to the old grandmother; and the old lady knew the upper world, 
which she rightly called "the countries above the sea," very well. 

"If people are not drowned," asked the little Sea-maid, "can they 
live forever? Do they not die as we die down here in the sea?" 

"Yes," replied the old lady. "They too must die, and their life 
is even shorter than ours. We can live to be three hundred years 
old, but when we cease to exist here, we are turned into foam on 
the surface of the water, and have not even a grave down here 
among those we love. We have not an immortal soul; we never 
receive another life; we are like the green sea-weed, which, when 
once cut through, can never bloom again. Men, on the contrary, 
have a soul which lives forever, which lives on after the body has 


become dust; it mounts up through the clear air, up to all the shin- 
ing stars! As we rise up out of the waters and behold all the lands 
of the earth, so they rise up to unknown glorious places which we 
can never see." 

"Why did we not receive an immortal soul?" asked the little Sea- 
maid, sorrowfully. "I would gladly give all the hundreds of years 
I have to live to be a human being only for one day, and to have a 
hope of partaking the heavenly kingdom." 

"You must not think of that," replied the old lady. "We feel 
ourselves far more happy and far better than mankind yonder." 

"Then I am to die and be cast as foam upon the sea, not hearing 
the music of the waves, nor seeing the pretty flowers and the red 
sun? Can I not do anything to win an immortal soul?" 

"No!" answered the grandmother. "Only if a man were to love 
you so that you should be more to him than father or mother; if he 
should cling to you with his every thought and with all his love, 
and let the priest lay his right hand in yours with a promise of faith- 
fulness here and in all eternity, then his soul would be imparted to 
your body, and you would receive a share of the happiness of man- 
kind. He would give a soul to you and yet retain his own. But that 
can never come to pass. What is considered beautiful here in the 
sea — the fish-tail — they would consider ugly on the earth: they don't 
understand it; there one must have the clumsy supjx)rts which they 
call legs, to be called beautiful." 

Then the little Sea-maid sighed and looked mournfully upon her 

"Let us be glad!" said the old lady. "Let us dance and leap in 
the three hundred years we have to live. That is certainly long 
enough; after that we can rest ourselves all the better. This evening 
we shall have a court ball." 

It was a splendid sight, such as is never seen on earth. The walls 
and the ceiling of the great dancing-saloon were of thick but trans- 
parent glass. Several hundreds of huge shells, pink and grass-green, 
stood on each side in rows, filled with a blue fire which lit up the 
whole hall and shone through the walls, so that the sea without 
was quite lit up; one could see all the innumerable fishes, great and 


small, swimming toward the glass walls; of some the scales gleamed 
with purple, while in others they shone like silver and gold. Through 
the midst of the hall flowed a broad stream, and on this the sea- 
men and sea-women danced to their own charming songs. Such 
beautiful voices the people of the earth have not. The little Sea- 
maid sang the most sweetly of all, and the whole court applauded 
with hands and tails, and for a moment she felt gay in her heart, 
for she knew she had the loveliest voice of all in the sea or on the 
earth. But soon she thought again of the world above her; she 
could not forget the charming Prince, or her sorrow at not having 
an immortal soul like his. Therefore she crept out of her father's 
palace, and while everything within was joy and gladness, she sat 
melancholy in her little garden. Then she heard the bugle horn 
sounding through the waters, and thought, "Now he is certainly 
saihng above, he on whom my wishes hang, and in whose hand I 
should like to lay my life's happiness. I will dare everything to win 
him and an immortal soul. While my sisters dance yonder in my 
father's palace, I will go to the sea-witch of whom I have always 
been so much afraid: perhaps she can counsel and help me." 

Now the little Sea-maid went out of her garden to the foaming 
whirljxx)ls behind which the sorceress dwelt. She had never travelled 
that way before. No flowers grew there, no sea grass; only the 
naked gray sand stretched out toward the whirlpools, where the 
water rushed round like roaring mill-wheels and tore down every- 
thing it seized into the deep. Through the midst of these rushing 
whirlpools she was obliged to pass to get in to the domain of the 
witch; and for a long way there was no other road but one over 
warm gushing mud: this the witch called her turf -moor. Behind it 
lay her house in the midst of a singular forest, in which all the trees 
and bushes were polyps — half animals, half plants. They looked 
like hundred-headed snakes growing up out of the earth. All the 
branches were long, slimy arms, with fingers hke supple worms, 
and they moved limb by limb from the root to the farthest point; 
all that they could seize on in the water they held fast and did not 
let it go. The little Sea-maid stopped in front of them quite fright- 
ened; her heart beat with fear, and she was near turning back; but 


then she thought of the Prince and the human soul, and her courage 
came back again. She bound her long flying hair closely around 
her head, so that the polyps might not seize it. She put her hands 
together on her breast and then shot forward, as a fish shoots 
through the water, among the ugly polyps, which stretched out their 
supple arms and fingers after her. She saw that each of them held 
something it had seized with hundreds of little arms, like strong 
iron bands. People who had perished at sea, and had sunk deep 
down, looked forth as white skeletons from among the polyps' 
arms; ships' oars and chests they also held fast, and skeletons of 
land animals, and a little sea-woman whom they had caught and 
strangled; and this seemed the most terrible of all to our little 

Now she came to a great marshy place in the wood, where fat 
water-snakes rolled about, showing their ugly cream<olored bodies. 
In the midst of this marsh was a house built of white bones of ship- 
wrecked men; there sat the Sea-witch, feeding a toad out of her 
mouth, just as a person might feed a little canary-bird with sugar. 
She called the ugly fat water-snakes her little chickens, and allowed 
them to crawl upward and all about her. 

"I know what you want," said the Sea-witch. "It is stupid of you, 
but you shall have your way, for it will bring you to grief, my pretty 
Princess. You want to get rid of your fish-tail, and to have two sup- 
ports instead of it, like those the people of the earth walk with, so 
that the young Prince may fall in love with you, and you may get 
an immortal soul." And with this the Witch laughed loudly and 
disagreeably, so that the toad and the water-snakes tumbled down 
to the ground, where they crawled about. "You come just in time," 
said the Witch: "after to-morrow at sunrise I could not help you 
until another year had gone by. I will prepare a draught for you, 
with which you must swim to land to-morrow before the sun rises, 
and seat yourself there and drink it; then your tail will shrivel up 
and become what the people of the earth call legs; but it will hurt 
you — it will seem as if you were cut with a sharp sword. All who 
see you will declare you to be the prettiest human being they ever 
beheld. You will keep your graceful walk; no dancer will be able 
to move so lightly as you; but every step you take will be as if you 

Andersen's tales 251 

trod upon sharp knives, and as if your blood must flow. If you 
will bear all this, I can help you." 

"Yes!" said the little Sea-maid, with a trembling voice; and she 
thought of the Prince and the immortal soul. 

"But remember," said the Witch, "when you have once received 
a human form, you can never be a sea-maid again; you can never 
return through the water to your sisters, or to your father's palace; 
and if you do not win the Prince's love, so that he forgets father and 
mother for your sake, is attached to you heart and soul, and tells 
the priest to join your hands, you will not receive an immortal soul. 
On the first morning after he has married another your heart will 
break, and you will become foam on the water." 

"I will do it," said the little Sea-maid: but she became as pale as 

"But you must pay me, too," said the Witch; "and it is not a trifle 
that I ask. You have the finest voice of all here at the bottom of the 
water; with that you think to enchant him; but this voice you must 
give to me. The best thing you possess I will have for my costly 
draught! I must give you my own blood in it, so that the draught 
may be as sharp as a two-edged sword." 

"But if you take away my voice," said the litde Sea-maid, "what 
will remain to me?" 

"Your beautiful form," replied the Witch, "your graceful walk, 
and your speaking eyes: with those you can take captive a human 
heart. Well, have you lost your courage.? Put out your little tongue, 
and then I will cut it off for my payment, and then you shall have 
the strong draught." 

"It shall be so," said the little Sea-maid. 

And the Witch put on her pot to brew the draught. 

"Cleanliness is a good thing," said she; and she cleaned out the 
pot with the snakes, which she tied up in a big knot; then she 
scratched herself, and let her black blood drop into it. The stream 
rose up in the strangest forms, enough to frighten the beholder. 
Every moment the Witch threw something else into the pot; and 
when it boiled thoroughly, there was a sound like the weeping of 
a crocodile. At last the draught was ready. It looked like the purest 


"There you have it," said the Witch. 

And she cut off the little Sea-maid's tongue, so that now the 
Princess was dumb, and could neither sing nor speak. 

She could see her father's palace. The torches were extinguished 
in the great hall, and they were certainly sleeping within, but she 
did not dare to go to them, now that she was dumb and was about 
to quit them forever. She felt as if her heart would burst with 
sorrow. She crept into the garden, took a flower from each bed of 
her sisters, blew a thousand kisses toward the palace, and rose up 
through the dark blue sea. 

The sun had not yet risen when she beheld the Prince's castle, 
and mounted the splendid marble staircase. The moon shone beauti- 
fully clear. The little Sea-maid drank the burning sharp draught, 
and it seemed as if a two-edged sword went through her delicate 
body. She fell down in a swoon, and lay as if she were dead. When 
the sun shone out over the sea she awoke, and felt a sharp pain; but 
just before her stood the handsome young Prince. He fixed his coal- 
black eyes upon her, so that she cast down her own, and then she per- 
ceived that her fish-tail was gone, and that she had the prettiest pair 
of white feet a little girl could have. But she had no clothes, so she 
shrouded herself in her long hair. The Prince asked how she came 
there! and she looked at him mildly, but very mournfully, with her 
dark-blue eyes, for she could not speak. Then he took her by the 
hand, and led her into the castle. Each step she took was, as the 
Witch had told her, as if she had been treading on pointed needles 
and knives, but she bore it gladly. At the Prince's right hand she 
moved on, light as a soap-bubble, and he, like all the rest, was 
astonished at her graceful, swaying movements. 

She now received splendid clothes of silk and muslin. In the castle 
she was the most beautiful creature to be seen; but she was dumb, 
and could neither sing nor speak. Lovely slaves, dressed in silk and 
gold, stepped forward, and sang before the Prince and his royal 
parents; one sang more charmingly than all the rest, and the Prince 
smiled at her and clapped his hands. Then the little Sea-maid became 
sad; she knew that she herself had sung far more sweetly, and 
thought, — 


"O! that he only knew I had given away my voice forever to be 
with him!" 

Now the slaves danced pretty waving dances to the loveliest music; 
then the litle Sea-maid lifted her beautiful white arms, stood on the 
tips of her toes, and glided dancing over the floor as no one had yet 
danced. At each movement her beauty became more apparent, and 
her eyes sf)oke more directly to the heart than the song of the slaves. 

All were delighted, and especially the Prince, who called her his 
little foundling; and she danced again and again, although every 
time she touched the earth it seemed as if she were treading upon 
sharp knives. The Prince said that she should always remain with 
him, and she received permission to sleep on a velvet cushion before 
his door. 

He had a page's dress made for her, that she might accompany 
him on horseback. They rode through the blooming woods, where 
the green boughs swept their shoulders, and the little birds sang in 
the fresh leaves. She climbed with the Prince up the high mountains, 
and although her delicate feet bled so that even the others could see 
it, she laughed at it herself, and followed him until they saw the 
clouds sailing beneath them, like a flock of birds travelling to distant 

At home in the Prince's castle, when the others slept at night, she 
went out on to the broad marble steps. It cooled her burning feet 
to stand in the cold sea-water, and then she thought of the dear 
ones in the deep. 

Once, in the night-time, her sisters came, arm in arm. Sadly they 
sang as they floated above the water; and she beckoned to them, and 
they recognized her, and told her how she had grieved them all. 
Then she visited them every night; and once she saw in the distance 
her old grandmother, who had not been above the surface for many 
years, and the Sea-king with his crown upon his head. They 
stretched out their hands toward her, but did not venture so near the 
land as her sisters. 

Day by day the Prince grew more fond of her. He loved her as 
one loves a dear, good child, but it never came into his head to make 
her his wife; and yet she must become his wife, or she would not 


receive an immortal soul, and would have to become foam on the 
sea on his marriage morning. 

"Do you not love me best of them all?" the eyes of the little Sea- 
maid seemed to say, when he took her in his arms and kissed her 
fair forehead. 

"Yes, you are the dearest to me!" said the Prince, "for you have the 
best heart of them all. You are the most devoted to me, and are 
like a young girl whom I once saw, but whom I certainly shall not 
find again. I was on board a ship which was wrecked. The waves 
threw me ashore near a holy temple where several young girls per- 
formed the service. The youngest of them found me by the shore 
and saved my life. I only saw her twice: she was the only one in 
the world I could love, but you chase her picture out of my mind, you 
are so like her. She belongs to the holy temple, and therefore my 
good fortune has sent you to me. We will never part!" 

"Ah! he does not know that I saved his life," thought the Utde 
Sea-maid. "I carried him over the sea to the wood where the temple 
stands. I sat there under the foam and looked to see if any one would 
come. I saw the beautiful girl whom he loves better than me." And 
the Sea-maid sighed deeply — she could not weep. "The maiden be- 
longs to the holy temple," she said, "and will never come out into 
the world — they will meet no more. I am with him and see him 
every day; I will cherish him, love him, give up my life for him." 

But now they said that the Prince was to marry, and that the 
beautiful daughter of a neighboring King was to be his wife, and 
that was why such a beautiful ship was being prepared. The story 
was, that the Prince travelled to visit the land of the neighboring 
King, but it was done that he might see the King's daughter. A 
great company was to go with him. The little Sea-maid shook her 
head and smiled; she knew the Prince's thoughts far better than any 
of the others. 

"I must travel," he had said to her; "I must see the beautiful 
Princess: my parents desire it, but they do not wish to compel me to 
bring her home as my bride. I cannot love her. She is not like the 
beautiful maiden in the temple whom you resemble. If I were to 
choose a bride, I would rather choose you, my dear dumb foundling 
with the speaking eyes." 


And he kissed her red lips and played with her long hair, so that 
she dreamed of happiness and of an immortal soul. 

"You are not afraid of the sea, my dumb child?" said he, when 
they stood on the superb ship which was to carry him to the country 
of the neighboring King; and he told her of storm and calm, of 
strange fishes in the deep, and of what the divers had seen there. 
And she smiled at his tales, for she knew better than any one what 
happened at the bottom of the sea. 

In the moonlight night, when all were asleep, except the steersman 
who stood by the helm, she sat on the side of the ship gazing down 
through the clear water. She fancied she saw her father's palace. 
High on the battlements stood her old grandmother, with the silver 
crown on her head, and looking through the rushing tide up to the 
vessel's keel. Then her sisters came forth over the water, and looked 
mournfully at her and wrung their white hands. She beckoned to 
them and smiled, and wished to tell them that she was well and 
happy; but the cabin-boy approached her and her sisters dived down, 
so that he thought the white objects he had seen were foam on the 
surface of the water. 

The next morning the ship sailed into the harbor of the neighbor- 
ing King's splendid city. All the church bells sounded, and from the 
high towers the trumpets were blown, while the soldiers stood there 
with flying colors and flashing bayonets. Each day brought some 
festivity with it; balls and entertainments followed one another; but 
the Princess was not yet there. People said she was being educated 
in a holy temple far away, where she was learning every royal virtue. 
At last she arrived. 

The little Sea-maid was anxious to see the beauty of the Princess, 
and was obliged to acknowledge it. A more lovely apparition she 
had never beheld. The Princess's skin was pure and clear, and behind 
the long dark eyelashes there smiled a pair of faithful, dark-blue 

"You are the lady who saved me when I lay like a corpse upon the 
shore!" said the Prince; and he folded his blushing bride to his heart. 
"O, I am too, too happy!" he cried to the little Sea-maid. "The best 
hope I could have is fulfilled. You will rejoice at my happiness, for 
you are the most devoted to me of them all!" 


And the little Sea-maid kissed his hand; and it seemed already 
to her as if her heart was broken, for his wedding morning was to 
bring death to her, and change her into foam on the sea. 

All the church bells were ringing, and heralds rode about the 
streets announcing the betrothal. On every altar fragrant oil was 
burning in gorgeous lamps of silver. The priests swung their censers, 
and bride and bridegroom laid hand in hand, and received the bish- 
op's blessing. The little Sea-maid was dressed in cloth of gold, and 
held up the bride's train; but her ears heard nothing of the festive 
music, her eye marked not the holy ceremony; she thought of the 
night of her death, and of all that she had lost in this world. 

On the same evening the bride and bridegroom went on board the 
ship. The cannon roared, all the flags waved; in the midst of the 
ship a costly tent of gold and purple, with the most beautiful 
cushions, had been set up, and there the married pair were to sleep in 
the cool, still night. 

The sails swelled in the wind, and the ship glided smoothly and 
lightly over the clear sea. When it grew dark, colored lamps were 
lighted and the sailors danced merry dances on deck. The little 
Sea-maid thought of the first time when she had risen up out of the 
sea, and beheld a similar scene of splendor and joy; and she joined 
in the whirling dance, and flitted on as the swallow flits away when 
he is pursued; and all shouted and admired her, for she had danced 
so prettily. Her delicate feet were cut as if with knives, but she did 
not feel it, for her heart was wounded far more painfully. She knew 
this was the last evening on which she should see him for whom she 
had left her friends and her home, and had given up her beautiful 
voice, and had suffered unheard-of pains every day, while he was 
utterly unconscious of all. It was the last evening she should breathe 
the same air with him, and behold the starry sky and the deep sea; 
and everlasting night without thought or dream awaited her, for 
she had no soul, and could win none. And everything was merri- 
ment and gladness on the ship till past midnight, and she laughed 
and danced with thoughts of death in her heart. The Prince kissed 
his beautiful bride, and she played with his raven hair, and hand in 
hand they went to rest in the splendid tent. It became quiet on the 
ship; only the helmsman stood by the helm, and the little Sea-maid 


leaned her white arms upon the bulwark and gazed out toward the 
east for the morning dawn — the first ray, she knew, would kill her. 
Then she saw her sisters rising out of the flood; they were pale, like 
herself; their long, beautiful hair no longer waved in the wind; it 
had been cut off. 

"We have given it to the witch, that we might bring you help, so 
that you may not die to-night. She has given us a knife; here it is — 
look! how sharp! Before the sun rises you must thrust it into the 
heart of the Prince, and when the warm blood falls upon your feet 
they will grow together again into a fish-tail, and you will become a 
sea-maid again, and come back to us, and live your three hundred 
years before you become dead salt sea-foam. Make haste! He or 
you must die before the sun rises! Our old grandmother mourns so 
that her white hair has fallen off, as ours did under the witch's 
scissors. Kill the Prince and come back! Make haste! Do you see 
that red streak in the sky? In a few minutes the sun will rise, and 
you must die!" 

And they gave a very mournful sigh, and vanished beneath the 
waves. The litde Sea-maid drew back the curtain from the tent, and 
saw the beautiful bride lying with her head on the Prince's breast; 
and she bent down and kissed his brow, and gazed up at the sky 
where the morning red was gleaming brighter and brighter; then 
she looked at the sharp knife, and again fixed her eyes upon the 
Prince, who in his sleep murmured his bride's name. She only was 
in his thoughts, and the knife trembled in the Sea-maid's hand. 
But then she flung it far away into the waves — they gleamed red 
where it fell, and it seemed as if drops of blood spurted up out of the 
water. Once more she looked with half-extinguished eyes uf)on the 
Prince; then she threw herself from the ship into the sea, and felt 
her frame dissolving into foam. 

Now the sun rose up out of the sea. The rays fell mild and warm 
upon the cold sea-foam, and the little Sea-maid felt nothing of death. 
She saw the bright sun, and over her head sailed hundreds of 
glorious ethereal beings — she could see them through the white sails 
of the ship and the red clouds of the sky; their speech was melody, 
but of such a spiritual kind that no human ear could hear it, just as 
no human eye could see them; without wings they floated through 


the air. The little Sea-maid found that she had a frame like these, 
and was rising more and more out of the foam. 

"Whither am I going?" she asked; and her voice sounded like that 
of other beings, so spiritual, that no earthly music could be com- 
pared to it. 

"To the daughters of the air!" replied the others. "A sea-maid has 
no immortal soul, and can never gain one, except she win the love 
of a mortal. Her eternal existence depends upon the power of 
another. The daughters of the air have likewise no immortal soul, 
but they can make themselves one through good deeds. We fly to 
the hot countries, where the close, pestilent air kills men, and there 
we bring coolness. We disperse the fragrance of the flowers through 
the air, and spread refreshment and health. After we have striven 
for three hundred years to accomplish all the good we can bring 
about, we receive an immortal soul, and take part in the eternal 
happiness of men. You, poor litde Sea-maid, have striven with your 
whole heart after the goal we pursue; you have suffered and en- 
dured; you have by good works raised yourself to the world 
of spirits, and can gain an immortal soul after three hundred 

And the little Sea-maid lifted her glorified eyes toward God's sun, 
and for the first time she felt them fill with tears. On the ship there 
was again life and noise. She saw the Prince and his bride searching 
for her; then they looked mournfully at the pearly foam, as if they 
knew that she had thrown herself into the waves. Invisible, she 
kissed the forehead of the bride, fanned the Prince, and mounted 
with the other children of the air on the rosy cloud which floated 
through the ether. After three hundred years we shall thus float 
into Paradise! 

"And we may even get there sooner," whispered a daughter of the 
air. "Invisibly we float into the houses of men where children are, 
and for every day on which we find a good child that brings joy to 
its parents and deserves their love, our time of probation is shortened. 
The child does not know when we fly through the room; and when 
we smile with joy at the child's conduct, a year is counted off from 
the three hundred; but when we see a naughty or a wicked child, 


we shed tears o£ grief, and for every tear a day is added to our time 
of trial." 


Several large lizards were running quickly into the cleft of an 
old tree; they could understand each other perfectly, for they all 
spoke the lizard language. 

"What a noise there is in the old Elfin mound!" said one of the 
Lizards. "What a rumbling and uproar! For two nights I have 
not been able to close my eyes, and might just as well have had a 
toothache, for then I certainly should not have slept." 

"There is a something going on there," said the other Lizard. 
"They let the mound stand on four red poles till the crowing of the 
cock, to have it thoroughly aired; and the Elfin damsels have learnt 
new dances, in which there is some stamping. A something is going 
on, I'm sure." 

"Yes; I have spoken to an earth-worm of my acquaintance," said 
the third Lizard. "The Earth-worm came direct from the mound, 
where day and night he had been rummaging about in the ground. 
He had heard a good deal; for he can see nothing, poor wretch, but 
eavesdropping and listening he understands to [perfection. Visitors 
are expected at the Elfin mound; visitors of rank, but who they were, 
the Earth-worm either would not or could not say. All the Jacks-o'- 
the-lantern have been ordered to prepare a procession by torch-light; 
and all the silver and gold, of which there is plenty in the Elfin 
mound, will be polished and laid in the moonshine." 

"But who can the strangers be?" said all the Lizards. "What 
can be going on? Listen! what a humming and buzzing!" 

At the same instant the Elfin mound opened, and an elderly Elfin 
damsel, without a back, but for the rest very resf)ectably dressed, 
came tripping forth. It was the old Elfin King's housekeeper; she 
was distantly related to him, and wore an amber heart on her fore- 
head. Her feet were so nimble — trip — trap — trip — trap! — how she 
skipped along, right away to the moor to the Night-raven. 

"You will be invited to the Elfin mound, and that tonight," said 
she. "But would you not do us a great favor, and take charge of the 


invitations? As you do not give parties yourself, you must do us this 
service. Strangers of high rank are coming to us; magicians of no 
small importance, let me tell you; and so the old Elfin King wants 
to show himself off to advantage." 

"Who is to be invited?" asked the Night-raven. 

"Why, to the grand ball everybody may come; men even, if they 
do but speak in their sleep, or are able to do something in our way. 
But the principal banquet is to be very select; those of the first rank 
only are to be invited. I have had a long discussion with the Elfin 
King; for, according to my notions, we cannot even ask ghosts. The 
Sea-god and his daughters must be invited first; 'tis true, they don't 
much like coming on dry land, but they will have probably a wet 
stone to sit upon, or maybe something better still; and then, I think, 
they will not refuse for this once. We must have the old Mountain 
Dwarfs of the first class, with tails; the Elf of the Brook, and the 
Brownie, and then, I think, we must not omit the Swart Elf, and 
the Skeleton Horse: they belong, it is true, to the clergy, who are 
not of our sort; however, 'tis their office, and they are, moreover, 
nearly related to us, and are continually paying us visits." 

"Caw!" said the Night-raven, and flew away to invite the com- 

The Elfin maidens were already dancing on the Elfin mound: 
they danced with long shawls, woven of haze and moonshine; and to 
all who like this sort of dancing, it seems pretty. In the centre of the 
Elfin mound was the great hall, splendidly ornamented; the floor 
was washed with moonshine, and the walls were rubbed with 
witches' fat, so that they shone in the light like tulip-leaves. In the 
kitchen there was a great quantity of frogs among the dishes; adders' 
skins, with little children's fingers inside; salad of mushroom-seed; 
wet mice's snouts and hemlock; beer, from the brewery of the old 
Witch of the Moor; sparkling saltpetre wine from a grave<ellar, — 
all very substantial eating: rusty nails and church-window glass were 
among the delicacies and kickshaws. 

The old Elfin King had his golden crown polished with powdered 
slate-pencil. It was the pencil of the head-scholar; and to obtain this 
one is very difficult for the Elfin King. 

They hung up the curtains in the bed<hamber, and fastened them 

Andersen's tales 261 

with adder spittle. There was, indeed, a humming and a buzzing 
in the Elfin mound! 

"Now we must perfume the place with singed hair and pigs' 
bristles; and then I think I shall have done my share of the business," 
said the little Elfin damsel. 

"Dear papa," said the least of the daughters, "shall I now know 
who the high visitors are?" 

"Well then," said he, "I suppose I must tell you. Two of my 
daughters are to show themselves off, in order to get married. Two 
will certainly be married. The aged Mountain Elf of Norway, who 
lives in the old Dovre-field, and possesses many craggy casdes, and 
a gold-mine too, — which is a better thing than one imagines, — is 
coming here with his two sons; and they are to choose themselves 
wives. The hoary Elf is an honest old Norwegian, merry and 
straightforward. I have known him since many a long day, when 
we drank together to better acquaintance and good fellowship. He 
came here to fetch his wife, — she is dead now, — who was the daugh- 
ter of the Rock-king. O, how I long to see the old northern Elf! His 
sons, people say, are coarse, blustering fellows; but maybe one 
wrongs them, and when older, they will improve." 

"And when will they come?" asked his daughter. 

"That depends on wind and weather," said the Elfin King. "They 
travel economically; they will come here by water. 1 wish they 
would go through Sweden; but the old gentleman has no inclination 
that way. He does not keep pace with the time, and that I can't 

At the same moment two Jacks-o'-the-lantern came hopping in, one 
faster than the other, and for that reason one was first. 

"They're coming! they're coming!" cried they. 

"Give me my crown; and let me stand in the moonshine," said the 
Elfin King. 

The daughters held up their long shawls and bowed to the 

There stood the hoary Mountain Elf, with a crown of hardened 
icicles and polished fir-cones on his head, and wrapped up in a man- 
tle of fur and boots of the same. His sons, on the contrary, went 
with open throats, for they disdained the cold. 


"Is that a mound?" asked the lesser of the youths, pointing to 
Elfin-home. "In Norway we call such a thing a hole." 

"Boy," said the father, "a mound rises upward, and a hole goes 
inward. Have you no eyes in your head?" 

Now they went into the Elfin mound, where there was very choice 
company, certainly; and had come together with such speed, one 
might have thought they had been borne thither on the breeze; how- 
ever, the arrangements for every one were neat and pretty. The sea- 
folk sat at table in large water-butts; and they said they felt just as if 
they were at home. All observed good manners at the table, except 
the two Uttle Norwegian Mountain Elves, who put their feet on 
the board, for they thought that all they did was becoming. 

"Take your feet away from the plates," said the old Elf; and then 
they obeyed, although not immediately. They tickled the ladies next 
them with fir-cones; then they pulled off their boots, to be more at 
ease, and gave them to the ladies to hold for them; but their father 
was very different. He told about the proud Norwegian rocks, and 
of the water-falls, which, covered with foam, dashed downwards, 
raging and roaring like thunder; he told about the salmon, that leaps 
up against the falling waters, when the Spirit of the flood plays on 
her golden harp. He related about the clear winter nights, when the 
bells on the sledges jingle, and the youths run with flaming torches 
over the smooth ice, which is so transparent that they could see how 
affrighted the fishes were beneath their feet. He, indeed, could re- 
count so that one saw and heard the things he described; when, 
huzza! all of a sudden, the old Elf gave one of the Elfin damsels a 
smacking kiss; and yet they were not even distantly related. 

The Elfin maidens were now to dance, simple as well as stamping 
dances; and then came the most difficult one of all, the so-called 
"Dance out of the dance." Confound it! their legs grew so long, one 
did not know which was the beginning nor which was the end: one 
could not distinguish legs from arms; all was twirling about in the 
air like sawdust; and they went whizzing round to such a degree 
that the Skeleton Horse grew quite sick, and was obliged to leave 
the table. 

"Brrrrr!" said the gray-headed Elf; "that's a regular Highland 

Andersen's tales 263 

fling, as it's called. But what can they do besides spinning about like 
a whirlwind?" 

"That you shall see," said the King, calling the youngest of his 
daughters. She was as delicate and fair as moonlight, and was the 
daintiest of all the sisters. She put a white wand in her mouth, and 
vanished. That was her art. 

But the old Mountain Elf said, "This was an art he should not at 
all like in his wife, nor did he think his sons would either." 

The other could walk beside her own self, as though she had a 
shadow, which is a thing Elves never have. 

The third one's talent was of a very different kind; she had learned 
in the brewery of the Witch of the Moor, and she knew how to lard 
alder-wood with glow-worms. 

"She would make a good housewife," said the Mountain El^ 
Winking, for he did not at all like drinking so much. 

Then came the fourth Elfin maiden; she had a large golden harp, 
and when she touched the first string, everybody lifted up the left 
foot, for the Elves are all left-sided; and when she touched the next, 
everybody was forced to do whatever she pleased. 

"That is a dangerous damsel," said the Mountain Elf; but both hi» 
sons went out of the Elfin mound, for they were tired of it. 

"What can the next daughter do?" asked the old Elf. 

"I have learned to love the Norwegians," said she; "and I will not 
marry unless I can go to Norway." 

But the youngest of the sisters whispered into the old Elf's ear, "She 
only says that, because she has heard in an old Norwegian rhyme, 
that when even the world is at an end, the rocks of Norway will 
stand firm; and that's the reason she wants to go there, for she is 
greatly afraid of death." 

"Ho, ho!" said the old Elf; "that's the way the wind blows, is it? 
But what can the seventh and last do?" 

"The sixth comes before the seventh," said the Elfin King, for 
he knew how to count; but the sixth at first would not come 

"I can do nothing except tell people the truth," said she. "No one 
troubles about me, and I have enough to do to get my shroud ready." 


Now came the seventh and last. And what could she do? She 
could tell as many fairy-tales as she chose. 

"Here are my five fingers," said the old Mountain Elf. "For each 
one tell me a story." 

And the Elfin maiden took hold of him by the wrist, and he 
laughed till he was almost choked ; and when she came to the finger 
that wore a golden ring, just as if it knew that matrimony was going 
on, the old Elf said, "Hold fast what you have! The hand is yours! 
I will take you myself to wife!" 

And the Elfin maiden said that the fairy-tale to the ring-finger 
and to the little finger were wanting. 

"O, we'll hear them in winter," said the old Elf; "and about the 
fir-tree too, and about the birch, and the gifts of the wood-nymphs, 
and about the crackling frost. You shall have opportunities enough 
of telling stories, for no one understands that yonder. And there we 
will sit in our rocky dwelling, where the pine-torch is burning, and 
where we drink mead out of the golden horns of the old Norwegian 
kings; I got some as a present from the Water-spirit. And when we 
are sitting so together, Garbo will come to pay us a visit, and he 
will sing to you all the songs of the mountain maidens. How merry 
we shall be! The salmon will leap in the waterfall, and dash against 
the walls of rock; but he will not be able to come in to us, after all! 
Yes, yes; one leads a happy, comfortable life in dear old Norway! 
But where are the boys?" 

Where were they ? Why, they were running about the fields, blow- 
ing out the wills-o'-the-wisp that were coming quite orderly to have 
a procession with torches. 

"What's all this harum-scarum about?" said the old Elf. "I have 
taken a step-mother for you; methinks now you may choose a wife 

But they said they liked speechifying and boon companionship 
better, and had no taste for matrimony; and so they made speeches, 
tossed off their glasses, and turned them topsy-turvy, to show that 
they were quite empty. They then pulled off their coats, and lay 
down on the table to sleep. But the old Elf danced round the room 
with his young bride, and exchanged boots with her; for that is 
much more genteel than exchanging rings. 

Andersen's tales 265 

"The cock is crowing!" said the elderly damsel who attended to 
the housekeeping. "We must now bolt the shutters, lest the sun 
should spoil our complexions." 

And then the mound closed. The Lizards ran about and up and 
down the cleft tree and one said to the other, "How much I like the 
old Mountain Elf!" 

"I like the merry boys better," said the Earth-worm; but then he 
could not see, poor wretch! 


Far away, where the swallows fly when our winter comes on, lived 
a King who had eleven sons, and one daughter named Eliza. The 
eleven brothers were Princes, and each went to school with a star on 
his breast and his sword by his side. They wrote with pencils of 
diamond upon slates of gold, and learned by heart just as well as 
they read; one could see directly that they were Princes. Their sis- 
ter Eliza sat u{x)n a little stool of plate-glass, and had a picture-book 
which had been bought for the value of half a kingdom. 

O, the children were particularly well o(I; but it was not always to 
remain so. 

Their father, who was king of the whole country, married a bad 
Queen who did not love the poor children at all. On the very first 
day they could notice this. In the whole palace there was great 
feasting, and the children were playing there. Then guests came; but 
instead of the children receiving, as they had been accustomed to do, 
all the spare cake and all the roasted apples, they only had some sand 
given them in a tea-cup, and were told that they might make believe 
that was something good. 

The next week the Queen took the little sister Eliza into the 
country, to a peasant and his wife; and but a short time had elapsed 
before she told the King so many falsehoods about the poor Princes, 
that he did not trouble himself any more about them. 

"Fly out into the world and get your own living," said the wicked 
Queen. "Fly like great birds without a voice." 

But she could not make it so bad for them as she had intended, 
for they became eleven magnificent wild swans. With a strange cry 


they flew out of the palace windows, far over the park and into 
the wood. 

It was yet quite early morning when they came by the place 
where their sister Eliza lay asleep in the {feasant's room. Here they 
hovered over the roof, turned their long necks, and flapped their 
wings; but no one heard or saw it. They were obliged to fly on, 
high up toward the clouds, far away into the wide world; there they 
flew into a great dark wood, which stretched away to the sea-shore. 

Poor httle Eliza stood in the peasant's room and played with a 
green leaf, for she had no other playthings. And she pricked a hole 
in the leaf, and looked through it up at the sun, and it seemed to 
her that she saw her brothers' clear eyes; each time the warm sun 
shone upon her cheeks she thought of all the kisses they had given 

Each day passed just like the rest. When the wind swept through 
the great rose-hedges outside the house, it seemed to whisper to 
them, "What can be more beautiful than you?" But the roses shook 
their heads, and answered, "Eliza!" And when the old woman sat 
in front of her door on Sunday and read in her hymn-book, the 
wind turned the leaves and said to the book, "Who can be more 
pious than you?" and the hymn-book said, "Eliza!" And what the 
rose-bushes and the hymn-book said was the simple truth. 

When she was fifteen years old, she was to go home. And when 
the Queen saw how beautiful she was, she became spiteful, and filled 
with hatred toward her. She would have been glad to change her 
into a wild swan, like her brothers, but she did not dare to do so at 
once, because the King wished to see his daughter. 

Early in the morning the Queen went into the bath, which was 
built of white marble, and decked with soft cushions and the most 
splendid tapestry; and she took three toads and kissed them, and 
said to the first, — 

"Sit upon Eliza's head when she comes into the bath, that she may 
become as stupid as you. Seat yourself upon her forehead," she said 
to the second, "that she may become as ugly as you, and her father 
may not know her. Rest on her heart," she whispered to the third, 
"that she may receive an evil mind and suffer pain from it." 

Then she put the toads into the clear water, which at once as- 

Andersen's tales 267 

sumed a green color; and calling Eliza, caused her to undress and 
step into the water. And while Eliza dived, one of the toads sat 
upon her hair, and the second on her forehead, and the third on her 
heart; but she did not seem to notice it; and as soon as she rose, 
three red poppies were floating on the water. If the creatures had 
not been {X)isonous, and if the witch had not kissed them, they 
would have been changed into red roses. But at any rate they be- 
came flowers, because they had rested on the girl's head, and fore- 
head, and heart. She was too good and innocent for sorcery to have 
power over her. 

When the wicked Queen saw that, she rubbed Eliza with walnut 
juice, so that the girl became dark brown, and smeared a hurtful 
ointment on her face, and let her beautiful hair hang in confusion. 
It was quite impossible to recognize the pretty Eliza. 

When her father saw her he was much shocked, and declared this 
was not his daughter. No one but the yard dog and the swallows 
would recognize her; but they were poor animals who had nothing 
to say in the matter. 

Then poor Eliza wept, and thought of her eleven brothers who 
were all away. Sorrowfully she crept out of the castle, and walked 
all day over field and moor till she came into the great wood. She 
did not know whither she wished to go, only she felt very downcast, 
and longed for her brothers: they had certainly been, like herself, 
thrust forth into the world, and she would seek for them and find 

She had been only a short time in the wood when the night fell; 
she quite lost the path, therefore she lay down upon the soft moss, 
prayed her evening prayer, and leaned her head against the stump 
of a tree. Deep silence reigned around, the air was mild, and in the 
grass and in the moss gleamed like a green fire hundreds of glow- 
worms; when she lightly touched one of the twigs with her hand, the 
shining insects fell down upon her like shooting stars. 

The whole night long she dreamed of her brothers. They were 
children again playing together, writing with their diamond pencils 
upon their golden slates, and looking at the beautiful picture-book 
which had cost half a kingdom. But on the slates they were not 
writing, as they had been accustomed to do, lines and letters, but the 


brave deeds they had done, and all they had seen and experienced; 
and in the picture-book everything was alive — the birds sang, and 
the people went out of the book and spoke with Eliza and her 
brothers. But when the leaf was turned, they jumped back again 
directly, so that there should be no confusion. 

When she awoke the sun was already standing high. She could 
certainly not see it, for the lofty trees spread their branches far and 
wide above her. But the rays played there above like a gauzy veil, 
there was a fragrance from the fresh verdure, and the birds almost 
perched upon her shoulders. She heard the plashing of water: it 
was from a number of springs all flowing into a lake which had the 
most delightful sandy bottom. It was surrounded by thick growing 
bushes, but at one part the stags had made a large opening, and here 
Ehza went down to the water. The lake was so clear, that if the 
wind had not stirred the branches and the bushes, so that they 
moved, one would have thought they were painted upon the depths 
of the lake, so clearly was every leaf mirrored, whether the sun 
shone upon it or whether it lay in shadow. 

When Eliza saw her own face she was terrified — so brown and 
ugly was she; but when she wetted her little hand and rubbed her 
eyes and her forehead, the white skin gleamed forth again. Then 
she undressed and went down into the fresh water: a more beautiful 
king's daughter than she was could not be found in the world. And 
when she had dressed herself again and plaited her long hair, she 
went to the bubbling spring, drank out of the hollow of her hand, 
and then wandered into the wood, not knowing whither she went. 
She thought of her dear brothers, and knew that Heaven would 
certainly not forsake her. It is God who lets the wild apples grow, 
to satisfy the hungry. He showed her a wild apple-tree, with the 
boughs bending under the weight of the fruit. Here she took her 
midday meal, placing props under the boughs, and then went into 
the darkest part of the forest. There it was so still that she could 
hear her own footsteps, as well as the rustling of every dry leaf which 
bent under her feet. Not one bird was to be seen, not one ray of sun- 
light could find its way through the great dark boughs of the trees; 
the lofty trunks stood so close together that when she looked before 
her it appeared as though she were surrounded by sets of paUngs 

Andersen's tales 269 

one behind the other. O, here was a soUtude such as she had never 
before known! 

The night came on quite dark. Not a single glow-worm now 
gleamed in the grass. Sorrowfully she lay down to sleep. Then it 
seemed to her as if the branches of the trees parted above her head, 
and mild eyes of angels looked down upon her from on high. 

When the morning came, she did not know if it had really been 
so or if she had dreamed it. 

She went a few steps forward, and then she met an old woman 
with berries in her basket, and the old woman gave her a few of 
them. Eliza asked the dame if she had not seen eleven Princes riding 
through the wood. 

"No," replied the old woman, "but yesterday I saw eleven 
swans swimming in the river close by, with golden crowns on their 

And she led Eliza a short distance farther, to a declivity, and at 
the foot of the slope a little river wound its way. The trees on its 
margin stretched their long leafy branches across toward each other, 
and where their natural growth would not allow them to come to- 
gether the roots had been torn out of the ground, and hung, inter- 
mingled with the branches, over the water. 

Eliza said farewell to the old woman, and went beside the river to 
the place where the stream flowed out to the great open ocean. 

The whole glorious sea lay before the young girl's eyes, but not 
one sail appeared upon its surface, and not a boat was to be seen. 
How was she to proceed? She looked at the innumerable little peb- 
bles on the shore; the water had worn them all round. Glass, iron- 
stones, everything that was there, had received its shape from the 
water, which was much softer than even her delicate hand. 

"It rolls on unweariedly, and thus what is hard becomes smooth. 
I will be just as unwearied. Thanks for your lesson, you clear rolling 
waves; my heart tells me that one day you will lead me to my dear 

On the foam-covered sea-grass lay eleven white swan feathers, 
which she collected into a bunch. Drops of water were upon them — 
whether they were dew-drops or tears nobody could tell. Solitary 
it was there on the strand, but she did not feel it, for the sea showed 


continual changes — more in a few hours than the lovely lakes can 
produce in a whole year. Then a great black cloud came. It seemed 
as if the sea would say, "I can look angry too;" and then the wind 
blew and the waves turned their white side outward. But when the 
clouds gleamed red and the winds slept, the sea looked like a rose 
leaf; sometimes it became green, sometimes white. But however 
quietly it might rest, there was still a slight motion on the shore; 
the water rose gently like the breast of a sleeping child. 

When the sun was just about to set, Eliza saw eleven wild swans, 
with crowns on their heads, flying toward the land: they swept 
along one after the other, so that they looked like a long white band. 
Then Eliza descended the slope and hid herself behind a bush. The 
swans alighted near her and flapped their great white wings. 

As soon as the sun had disappeared beneath the water, the swans' 
feathers fell off, and eleven handsome Princes, Eliza's brothers, stood 
there. She uttered a loud cry, for although they were greatly altered, 
she knew and felt that it must be they. And she sprang into their 
arms and called them by their names; and the Princes felt supremely 
happy when they saw their Uttle sister again; and they knew her, 
though she was now tall and beautiful. They smiled and wept; and 
soon they understood how cruel their step-mother had been to them 

"We brothers," said the eldest, "fly about as wild swans as long 
as the sun is in the sky, but directly it sinks down we receive our 
human form again. Therefore we must always take care that we 
have a resting-place for our feet when the sun sets, for if at that 
moment we were flying up toward the clouds, we should sink down 
into the deep as men. We do not dwell here; there Ues a land just 
as fair as this beyond the sea. But the way thither is long; we must 
cross the great sea, and on our path there is no island where we could 
pass the night, only a Httle rock stands forth in the midst of the 
waves; it is but just large enough for us to rest upon it close to each 
other. If the sea is rough, the foam spurts far over us, but we 
thank God for the rock. There we pass the night in our human 
form; but for this rock we could never visit our beloved native land, 
for we require two of the longest days in the year for our journey. 
Only once in each year is it granted to us to visit our home. For 


eleven days we may stay here and fly over the great wood, from 
whence we can see the palace in which we were born, and in which 
our father lives, and the high church tower, beneath whose shade 
our mother lies buried. Here it seems to us as though the bushes and 
trees were our relatives; here the wild horses career across the steppe, 
as we have seen them do in our childhood; here the charcoal-burner 
sings the old songs to which we danced as children; here is our 
father-land; hither we feel ourselves drawn, and here we have found 
you, our dear little sister. Two days more we may stay here; then 
we must away across the sea to a glorious land, but which is not our 
native land. How can we bear you away ? for we have neither ship 
nor boat." 

"In what way can I release you.?" asked the sister; and they con- 
versed nearly the whole night, only slumbering for a few hours. 

She was awakened by the rustling of the swans' wings above her 
head. Her brothers were again enchanted, and they flew in wide 
circles and at last far away; but one of them, the youngest, remained 
behind, and the swan laid his head in her lap, and she stroked his 
wings; and the whole day they remained together. Towards evening 
the others came back, and, when the sun had gone down, they stood 
there in their own shaf)es. 

"To-morrow we fly far away from here, and cannot come back 
until a whole year has gone by. But we cannot leave you thusl 
Have you courage to come with us? My arm is strong enough to 
carry you in the wood; and should not all our wings be strong 
enough to fly with you over the sea?" 

"Yes, take me with you," said Eliza. 

The whole night they were occupied in weaving a net of the 
pliable willow bark and tough reeds; and it was great and strong. 
On this net Eliza lay down; and when the sun rose, and her brothers 
were changed into wild swans, they seized the net with their beaks, 
and flew with their beloved sister, who was still asleep, high up 
towards the clouds. The sunbeams fell exactly upon her face, so one 
of the swans flew over her head, that his broad wings might over- 
shadow her. 

They were far away from the shore when Eliza awoke: she was 
still dreaming, so strange did it appear to her to be carried high 


through the air and over the sea. By her side lay a branch with 
beautiful ripe berries, and a bundle of sweet-tasting roots. The 
youngest of the brothers had collected them and placed them there 
for her. She smiled at him thankfully, for she recognized him; he it 
was who flew over her and shaded her with his wings. 

They were so high that the greatest ship they descried beneath 
them seemed like a white sea-gull lying upon the waters. A great 
cloud stood behind them — it was a perfect mountain; and upon it 
Eliza saw her own shadow and those of the eleven swans; there they 
flew on, gigantic in size. Here was a picture, a more splendid one 
than she had ever yet seen. But as the sun rose higher and the cloud 
was left farther behind them, the floating, shadowy images vanished 

The whole day ihey flew onward through the air, like a whirring 
arrow, but their flight was slower than it was wont to be, for they 
had their sister to carry. Bad weather came on; the evening drew 
near; Eliza looked anxiously at the setting sun, for the lonely rock 
in the ocean could not be seen. It seemed to her as if the swans beat 
the air more strongly with their wings. Alas! she was the cause that 
they did not advance fast enough. When the sun went down, they 
must become men and fall into the sea and drown. Then she prayed 
a prayer from the depths of her heart; but still she could descry no 
rock. The dark clouds came nearer in a great, black, threatening 
body, rolling forward like a mass of lead, and the lightning burst 
forth, flash upon flash. 

Now the sun just touched the margin of the sea. Eliza's heart 
trembled. Then the swans darted downward so swiftly that she 
thought they were falling, but they paused again. The sun was half 
hidden below the water. And now for the first time she saw the 
little rock beneath her, and it looked no larger than a seal might 
look, thrusting his head forth from the water. The sun sank very 
fast; at last it appeared only like a star; and then her foot touched 
the firm land. The sun was extinguished like the last spark in a 
piece of burned paper; her brothers were standing around her, arm 
in arm, but there was not more than just enough room for her and 
for them. The sea beat against the rock and went over her like small 
rain; the sky glowed in continual fire, and peal on peal the thunder 

Andersen's tales 273 

rolled; but sister and brothers held each other by the hand and sang 
psalms, from which they gained comfort and courage. 

In the morning twilight the air was pure and calm. As soon as 
the sun rose the swans flew away with Eliza from the island. The sea 
still ran high, and when they soared up aloft the white foam looked 
like millions of white swans swimming upon the water. 

When the sun mounted higher, Eliza saw before her, half floating 
in the air, a mountainous country with shining masses of ice on its 
water, and in the midst of it rose a castle, apparently a mile long, with 
row above row of elegant columns, while beneath waved the palm 
woods and bright flowers as large as mill-wheels. She asked if this 
was the country to which they were bound, but the swans shook their 
heads, for what she beheld was the gorgeous, ever<hanging palace 
of Fata Morgana, and into this they might bring no human being. 
As Eliza gazed at it, mountains, woods, and castle fell down, and 
twenty proud churches, all nearly alike, with high towers and 
pointed windows, stood before them. She fancied she heard the 
organs sounding, but it was the sea she heard. When she was quite 
near the churches they changed to a fleet sailing beneath her, but 
when she looked down it was only a sea-mist gliding over the ocean. 
Thus she had a continual change before her eyes, till at last she saw 
the real land to which they were bound. There arose the most glori- 
ous blue mountains, with cedar forests, cities, and palaces. Long be- 
fore the sun went down she sat on the rock, in front of a great cave 
overgrown with delicate green trailing plants looking like em- 
broidered carpets. 

"Now we shall see what you will dream of here to-night," said the 
youngest brother; and he showed her to her bed-chamber. 

"Heaven grant that I may dream of a way to release you," she 

And this thought possessed her mightily, and she prayed ardently 
for help; yes, even in her sleep she continued to pray. Then it 
seemed to her as if she were flying high in the air to the cloudy 
palace of Fata Morgana; and the fairy came out to meet her, beauti- 
ful and radiant; and yet the fairy was quite like the old woman 
who had given her the berries in the wood, and had told her of the 
swans with golden crowns on their heads. 


"Your brothers can be released," said she. "But have you courage 
and perseverance? Certainly, water is softer than your delicate 
hands, and yet it changes the shape of stones; but it feels not the 
pain that your lingers will feel; it has no heart, and cannot suffer 
the agony and torment you will have to endure. Do you see the sting- 
ing-nettle which I hold in my hand? Many of the same kind grow 
around the cave in which you sleep: those only, and those that grow 
upon church-yard graves, are serviceable, — remember that. Those 
you must pluck, though they will burn your hands into blisters. 
Break these nettles to pieces with your feet, and you will have flax; 
of this you must plait and weave eleven shirts of mail with long 
sleeves: throw these over the eleven swans, and the charm will be 
broken. But recollect well, from the moment you begin this work 
until it is finished, even though it should take years to accomplish, 
you must not speak. The first word you utter will pierce your 
brothers' hearts like a deadly dagger. Their lives hang on your 
tongue. Remember all this!" 

And she touched her hand with the nettle; it was like a burning 
fire, and Eliza woke with the smart. It was broad daylight; and 
close by the spot where she had slept lay a nettle like the one she had 
seen in her dream. She fell upon her knees and prayed gratefully, 
and went forth from the cave to begin her work. 

With her delicate hands she groped among the ugly nettles. These 
stung like fire, burning great blisters on her arms and hands; but she 
thought she would bear it gladly if she could only release her dear 
brothers. Then she bruised every netde with her bare feet and plaited 
the green flax. 

When the sun had set her brothers came, and they were frightened 
when they found her dumb. They thought it was some new sorcery 
of their wicked stepmother's; but when they saw her hands, they 
understood what she was doing for their sake, and the youngest 
brother wept. And where his tears dropped she felt no more pains, 
and the burning blisters vanished. 

She passed the night at her work, for she could not sleep till she 
had delivered her dear brothers. The whole of the following day, 
while the swans were away, she sat in solitude, but never had time 


flown so quickly with her as now. One shirt of mail was already 
finished, and now she began the second. 

Then a hunting-horn sounded among the hills, and she was struck 
with fear. The noise came nearer and nearer; she heard the barking 
dogs, and timidly she fled into the cave, bound into a bundle the 
nettles she had collected and prepared, and sat upon the bundle. 

Immediately a great dog came bounding out of the ravine, and then 
another, and another; they barked loudly, ran back, and then came 
again. Only a few minutes had passed before all the huntsmen 
stood before the cave, and the handsomest of them was the King 
of the country. He came forward to Eliza, for he had never 
seen a more beautiful maiden. 

"How did you come hither, you delightful child?" he asked. 

Eliza shook her head, for she might not speak — it would cost 
her brothers their deliverance and their lives. And she hid her 
hands under her apron, so that the King might not see what she 
was suffering. 

"Come with me," said he. "You cannot stop here. If you are as 
good as you are beautiful, I will dress you in velvet and silk, and 
place the golden crown on your head, and you shall dwell in my 
richest castle, and rule." 

And then he lifted her on his horse. She wept and wrung her 
hands; but the King said: — 

"I only wish for your happiness; one day you will thank me for 

And then he gallojied away among the mountains with her on his 
horse, and the hunters galloped at their heels. 

When the sun went down, the fair, regal city lay before them, 
with its churches and cupolas; and the King led her into the castle, 
where great fountains plashed in the lofty marble halls, and where 
walls and ceiHngs were covered with glorious pictures. But she had 
no eyes for all this — she only wept and mourned. Passively she let 
the woman put royal robes upon her, and weave pearls in her hair, 
and draw dainty gloves over her blistered fingers. 

When she stood there in full array, she was dazzlingly beautiful, 
so that the court bowed deeper than ever. And the King chose her 


for his bride, although the Archbishop shook his head and whispered 
that the beauteous, fresh maid was certainly a witch, who blinded 
the eyes and led astray the heart of the King. 

But the King gave no ear to this, but ordered that the music 
should sound, and the costliest dishes should be served, and the most 
beauteous maidens should dance before them. And she was led 
through fragrant gardens into gorgeous halls; but never a smile 
came upon her lips or shone in her eyes: there she stood, a picture of 
grief. Then the King opened a little chamber close by, where she 
was to sleep. This chamber was decked with splendid green tapes- 
try, and completely resembled the cave in which she had been. On 
the floor lay the bundle of flax which she had prepared from the 
nettles, and under the ceiling hung the shirt of mail she had com- 
pleted. All these things one of the huntsmen had brought with him 
as curiosities. 

"Here you may dream yourself back in your former home," said 
the King. "Here is the work which occupied you there, and now, 
in the midst of all your splendor, it will amuse you to think of that 

When Eliza saw this that lay so near her heart, a smile played 
round her mouth and the crimson blood came back into her cheeks. 
She thought of her brothers' deliverance, and kissed the King's hand; 
and he pressed her to his heart, and caused the marriage feast to be 
announced by all the church bells. The beautiful dumb girl out of 
the wood was to become the Queen of the country. 

Then the Archbishop whispered evil words into the King's ear, 
but they did not sink into the King's heart. The marriage would 
take place; the Archbishop himself was obliged to place the crown 
on her head, and with wicked spite he pressed the narrow circlet so 
tightly upon her brow that it pained her. But a heavier ring lay close 
around her heart — sorrow for her brothers; she did not feel the 
bodily pain. Her mouth was dumb, for a single word would cost her 
brothers their lives, but her eyes glowed with love for the kind, hand- 
some King, who did everything to rejoice her. She loved him with 
her whole heart, more and more every day. O that she had been 
able to confide in him and to tell him of her grief! But she was com- 
pelled to be dumb, and to finish her work in silence. Therefore at 

Andersen's tales 277 

night she crept away from his side, and went quietly into the Uttle 
chamber which was decorated like the cave, and wove one shirt 
of mail after another. When she began the seventh she had no 
flax left. 

She knew that in the church-yard nettles were growing that she 
could use; but she must pick them herself, and how was she to go out 

"O, what is the pain in my fingers to the torment my heart en- 
dures?" thought she. "I must venture it, and help will not be 
denied me!" 

With a trembling heart, as though the deed she purposed doing 
had been evil, she crept into the garden in the moonlight night, and 
went through the lanes and through the deserted streets to the 
church-yard. There, on one of the broadest tombstones, she saw 
sitting a circle of lamias. These hideous wretches took off their 
ragged garments, as if they were going to bathe; then with their 
skinny fingers they clawed open the fresh graves, and with fiendish 
greed they snatched up the corpses and ate the flesh. Eliza was 
obliged to pass close by them, and they fastened their evil glances 
upon her; but she prayed silently, and collected the burning nettles, 
and carried them into the castle. 

Only one person had seen her, and that was the Archbishop, He 
was awake while others slept. Now he felt sure his opinion was 
correct, that all was not as it should be with the Queen; she was a 
witch, and thus she had bewitched the King and the whole people. 

In secret he told the King what he had seen and what he feared; 
and when the hard words came from his tongue, the pictures of 
saints in the cathedral shook their heads, as though they could have 
said, "It is not so! Eliza is innocent!" But the Archbishop inter- 
preted this differently — he thought they were bearing witness against 
her, and shaking their heads at her sinfulness. Then two heavy 
tears rolled down the King's cheeks; he went home with doubt in 
his heart, and at night pretended to be asleep; but no quiet sleep 
came upon his eyes, for he noticed Eliza got up. Every night she 
did this, and each time he followed her silently, and saw how she 
disappeared from her chamber. 

From day to day his face became darker. Eliza saw it, but did 


not understand the reason; but it frightened her — and what did she 
not suffer in her heart for her brothers? Her hot tears flowed upon 
the royal velvet and purple; they lay there like sparkling diamonds, 
and all who saw the splendor wished they were queens. In the 
mean time she had almost finished her work. Only one shirt of 
mail was still to be completed, but she had no flax left, and not a 
single nettle. Once more, for the last time, therefore, she must go 
to the church-yard, only to pluck a few handfuls. She thought with 
terror of this solitary wandering and of the horrible lamias, but her 
will was firm as her trust in Providence. 

Eliza went on, but the King and the Archbishop followed her. 
They saw her vanish into the church-yard through the wicket-gate; 
and when they drew near, the lamias were sitting upxan the tomb- 
stone as Eliza had seen them; and the King turned aside, for he 
fancied her among them, whose head had rested against his breast 
that very evening. 

"The people must condemn her," said he. 

And the people condemned her to suffer death by fire. 

Out of the gorgeous regal halls she was led into a dark, damp 
cell, where the wind whistled through the grated window; instead 
of velvet and silk they gave her the bundle of nettles which she had 
collected; on this she could lay her head; and the hard, burning 
coats of mail which she had woven were to be her coverlet. But 
nothing could have been given her that she liked better. She resumed 
her work and prayed. Without, the street boys were singing 
jeering songs about her, and not a soul comforted her with a kind 

But toward evening there came the whirring of a swan's wings 
close by the grating — it was the youngest of her brothers. He had 
found his sister, and she sobbed aloud with joy, though she knew 
that the approaching night would probably be the last she had to live. 
But now the work was almost finished, and her brothers were here. 

Now came the Archbishop, to stay with her in her last hour, 
for he had promised the King to do so. And she shook her head, 
and with looks and gestures she begged him to depart, for in this 
night she must finish her work, or else all would be in vain, all her 
tears, her pain, and her sleepless nights. The Archbishop withdrew, 


Uttering evil words against her; but poor Eliza knew she was inno- 
cent, and continued her work. 

It was still twilight; not till an hour afterward would the sun rise. 
And the eleven brothers stood at the castle gate, and demanded to be 
brought before the King. That could not be, they were told, for it 
was still almost night; the King was asleep, and might not be dis- 
turbed. They begged, they threatened, and the sentries came, yes, 
even the King himself came out, and asked what was the meaning 
of this. At that moment the sun rose, and no more were the 
brothers to be seen, but eleven wild swans flew away over the castle. 

All the people came flocking out at the town gate, for they wanted 
to see the witch burned. An old horse drew the cart on which she 
sat. They had put upon her a garment of coarse sackcloth. Her 
lovely hair hung loose about her beautiful head; her cheeks were 
as pale as death; and her lips moved silently, while her fingers 
were engaged with the green flax. Even on the way to death she did 
not interrupt the work she had begun; the ten shirts of mail lay at 
her feet, and she wrought at the eleventh. The mob derided her. 

"Look at the red witch, how she mutters! She has no hymn-book 
in her hand; no, there she sits with her ugly sorcery — tear it in a 
thousand pieces!" 

And they all pressed upon her, and wanted to tear up the shirts 
of mail. Then eleven wild swans came flying up, and sat round about 
her on the cart, and beat with their wings; and the mob gave way 
before them, terrified. 

"That is a sign from Heaven! She is certainly innocent!" whis- 
pered many. But they did not dare to say it aloud. 

Now the executioner seized her by the hand; then she hastily 
threw the eleven shirts over the swans, and immediately eleven 
handsome Princes stood there. But the youngest had a swan's wing 
instead of an arm, for a sleeve was wanting to his shirt — she had not 
quite finished it. 

"Now I may speak!" she said. "I am innocent!" 

And the people who saw what happened bowed before her as 
before a saint; but she sank lifeless into her brothers' arms, such an 
effect had suspense, anguish, and pain had upon her. 

"Yes, she is innocent," said the eldest brother. 


And now he told everything that had taken place; and while he 
spoke a fragrance arose as of a million of roses, for every piece of 
fagot in the pile had taken root and was sending forth shoots; and 
a fragrant hedge stood there, tall and great, covered with red roses, 
and at the top a flower, white and shining, gleaming like a star. 
This flower the King plucked and placed in Eliza's bosom; and she 
arose with peace and happiness in her heart. 

And all the church bells rang of themselves, and the birds came 
in great flocks. And back to the castle went such a marriage- 
procession as no King had ever seen. 


Once there was a King's son. No one had so many and so beauti- 
ful books as he; everything that had happened in this world he could 
read there, and could see pictures of it all in lovely copper-plates. 
Of every people, and of every land he could get intelligence; but 
there was not a word to tell where the Garden of Paradise could be 
found, and it was just that of which he thought most. 

His grandmother had told him, when he was quite little, but was 
to begin to go to school, that every flower in this Paradise Garden 
was a delicate cake, and the pistils contained the choicest wine; on 
one of the flowers history was written, and on another geography 
or tables, so that one had only to eat cake, and one knew a lesson; 
and the more one ate, the more history, geography, or tables did 
one learn. 

At that time he believed this. But when he became a bigger boy, 
and learned more and became wiser, he understood well that the 
splendor in the Garden of Paradise must be of quite a different kind. 

"O, why did Eve pluck from the Tree of Knowledge? Why did 
Adam eat the forbidden fruit? If I had been he, it would never 
have happened — then sin would never have come into the world." 

That he said then, and he still said it when he was seventeen years 
old. The Garden of Paradise filled all his thoughts. 

One day he walked in the wood. He was walking quite alone, 
for that was his greatest pleasure. The evening came, and the clouds 
gathered together; rain streamed down as if the sky were one single 

Andersen's tales 281 

river from which the water was pouring; it was dark as it usually is 
at night in the deepest well. Often he slipped on the smooth grass, 
often he fell over the smooth stones which peered up out of the wet, 
rocky ground. Everything was soaked with water, and there was not 
a dry thread on the poor Prince. He was obliged to climb over 
great blocks of stone, where the water spurted from the thick moss. 
He was nearly fainting. Then he heard a strange rushing, and saw 
before him a great illuminated cave. In the midst of it burned a fire 
so large that a stag might have been roasted at it. And this was in 
fact being done. A glorious deer had been stuck, horns and all, upon 
a spit, and was turning slowly between two felled pine trunks. An 
elderly woman, large and strongly built, looking like a disguised 
man, sat by the fire, into which she threw one piece of wood after 

"Come nearer!" said she. "Sit down by the lire and dry your 

"There's a great draught here!" said the Prince; and he sat down 
on the ground. 

"That will be worse when my sons come home," replied the 
Woman. "You are here in the Cavern of the Winds, and my sons 
are the four Winds of the world; can you understand that?" 

"Where are your sons?" asked the Prince. 

"It is difficult to answer when stupid questions are asked," said the 
Woman. "My sons do business on their own account. They play at 
shuttlecock with the clouds up yonder in the King's hall." 

And she pointed upwards. 

"O, indeed!" said the Prince. "But you speak rather gruffly, by 
the way, and are not so mild as the women I generally see about me." 

"Yes, they have most likely nothing else to do! I must be hard, if 
I want to keep my sons in order; but I can do it, though they are 
obstinate fellows. Do you see the four sacks hanging there by the 
wall? They are just as frightened of those as you used to be of the 
rod stuck behind the glass. I can bend the lads together, I tell you, 
and then I pop them into the bag; we don't make any ceremony. 
There they sit, and may not wander about again until I think fit to 
allow them. But here comes one of them." 

It was the North Wind, who rushed in with piercing cold; great 


hailstones skipped about on the floor, and snow-flakes fluttered 
about. He was dressed in a jacket and trousers of bear-skin; a cap 
of seal-skin was drawn down over his ears; long icicles hung on his 
beard, and one hailstone after another rolled from the collar of his 

"Do not go so near the fire directly," said the Prince; "you might 
get your hands and face frost-bitten." 

"Frost-bitten?" repeated the North Wind, and he laughed aloud. 
"Cold is exactly what rejoices me most! But what kind of little 
tailor art thou.'' How did you find your way into the Cavern of the 

"He is my guest," interposed the old Woman, "and if you're not 
satisfied with this explanation you may go into the sack; do you 
understand me?" 

You see that was the right way; and now the North Wind told 
whence he came, and where he had been for almost a month. 

"I come from the Polar Sea," said he; "I have been in the bear's icy 
land with the walrus hunters. I sat and slept on the helm when they 
went away from the North Cape, and when I awoke, now and then, 
the storm-bird flew round my legs. That's a comical bird! He gives 
a sharp clap with his wings, and then holds them quite still and 
shoots along in full career." 

"Don't be too long-winded," said the Mother of the Winds. "And 
so you came to the Bear's Island?" 

"It is very beautiful there. There's a floor for dancing on as flat as 
a plate. Half-thawed snow, with a little moss, sharp stones, and 
skeletons of walruses and polar bears lie around, and likewise gigan- 
tic arms and legs of a rusty green color. One would have thought 
the sun had never shone there. I blew a little upon the mist, so that 
one could see the hut; it was a house built of wreck-wood and 
covered with walrus-skins — the fleshy side turned outwards. It was 
full of green and red, and on the roof sat a live polar bear who was 
growling. I went to the shore to look after birds'-nests, and saw the 
unfledged nestlings screaming and opening their beaks; then I blew 
down into their thousand throats, and taught them to shut their 
mouths. Farther on the huge walruses were splashing like great 
maggots with pigs' heads, and teeth an ell long!" 

Andersen's tales 283 

"You tell your story well, my son," said the old Lady. "My mouth 
waters when I hear you!" 

"Then the hunting ijegan! The harpoon was hurled into the 
walrus's breast, so that a smoking stream of blood spurted like a 
fountain over the ice. When 1 thought of my sport, I blew, and let 
my sailing ships, the big icebergs, crush the boats between them. O, 
how the people whistled and how they cried! but I whistled louder 
than they. They were obliged to throw the dead walruses and their 
chests and tackle out upon the ice. I shook the snow-flakes over them, 
and let them drive south in their crushed boats with their booty to 
taste salt-water. They'll never come to Bear's Island again!" 

"Then you have done a wicked thing!" said the Mother of the 

"What good I have done others may tell," replied he. "But here 
comes a brother from the west. I like him best of all: he tastes of the 
sea and brings a delicious coolness with him." 

"Is that little 2Sephyr?" asked the Prince. 

"Yes, certainly, that is little Zephyr," replied the old Womaru 
"But he is not little. Years ago he was a pretty boy, but that's past 

He looked Uke a wild man, but he had a broad-brimmed hat on, to 
save his face. In his hand he held a club of mahogany, hewn in the 
American mahogany forests. It was no trifle. 

"Where do you come from?" said his mother. 

"Out of the forest wilderness," said he, "where the water-snake 
lies in the wet grass, and the people don't seem to be wanted." 

"What were you doing there?" 

"I looked into the deepest river, and watched how it rushed down 
from the rocks, and turned to spray, and shot up toward the clouds 
to carry the rainbow. I saw the wild bufTalo swimming in the 
stream, but the stream carried him away. He drifted with the flock 
of wild ducks that flew up where the water fell down in a cataract. 
The bu/Talo had to go down it ! That pleased me, and I blew a storm, 
so that ancient trees were split up into splinters!" 

"And have you done nothing else?" asked the old Dame. 

"I have thrown somersaults in the Savannahs: I have stroked the 
wild horses and shaken the cocoa-nut palms. Yes, yes, I have stories 


to tell! But one must not tell all one knows. You know that, old 

And he kissed his mother so roughly that she almost tumbled 
over. He was a terribly wild young fellow! 

Now came the South Wind, with a turban on and flying Bedouin's 

"It's terribly cold out here!" cried he, and threw some more wood 
on the fire. "One can feel that the North Wind came first." 

"It's so hot that one could roast a Polar bear here," said the North 

"You're a Polar bear yourself," retorted the South Wind. 

"Do you want to be put in the sack?" asked the old Dame. "Sit 
upon the stone yonder and tell me where you have been." 

"In Africa, mother," he answered. "I was out hunting the lion 
with the Hottentots in the land of the Kaffirs. Grass grows there in 
the plains, green as an olive. There the ostrich ran races with me, 
but I am swifter than he. I came into the desert where the yellow 
sand lies: it looks there like the bottom of the sea. I met a caravan. 
The people were killing their last camel to get water to drink, but it 
was very little they got. The sun burned above and the sand below. 
The outspread deserts had no bounds. Then I rolled in the fine loose 
sand, and whirled it up in great pillars. That was a dance! You 
should have seen how the dromedary stood there terrified, and the 
merchant drew the caftan over his head. He threw himself down 
before me, as before Allah, his God. Now they are buried — a pyra- 
mid of sand covers them all. When I some day blow that away, the 
sun will bleach the white bones; then travellers may see that men 
have been there before them. Otherwise, one would not believe 
that, in the desert!" 

"So you have done nothing but evil!" exclaimed the Mother. 
"March into the sack!" 

And before he was aware, she had seized the South Wind round 
the body, and pxjpped him into the bag. He rolled about on the floor; 
but she sat on the sack, and then he had to keep quiet. 

"Those are lively boys of yours," said the Prince. 

"Yes," she replied, "and I know how to punish them! Here comes 
the fourth!" 

Andersen's tales 285 

That was the East Wind, who came dressed like a Chinaman. 

"Ol do you come from that region?" said the mother. "I thought 
you had been in the Garden of Paradise." 

"I don't fly there till to-morrow," said the East Wind. "It will be 
a hundred years to-morrow since I was there. I come from China 
now, where I danced around the porcelain tower till all the bells 
jingled again! In the streets the officials were being thrashed: the 
bamboos were broken upon their shoulders, yet they were high 
people, from the first to the ninth grade. They cried, 'Many thanks, 
my paternal benefactor!' but it did not come from their hearts. And 
I rang the bells and sang 'Tsing, Tsang, tsu!' " 

"You are foolish," said the old Dame. "It is a good thing that 
you are going into the Garden of Paradise to-morrow, that always 
helps on your education. Drink bravely out of the spring of wisdom, 
and bring home a little bottleful for me." 

"That I will do," said the East Wind. "But why have you clapped 
my brother South in the bag? Out with him! He shall tell me 
about the Phoenix bird, for about that bird the Princess in the Gar- 
den of Paradise always wants to hear, when I pay my visit every 
hundredth year. Open the sack, then you shall be my sweetest of 
mothers, and I will give you two pocketsful of tea, green and fresh 
as I plucked it at the place where it grew!" 

"Well, for the sake of the tea, and because you are my darling 
boy, I will open the sack." 

She did so, and the South Wind crept out, but he looked quite 
downcast, because the strange Prince had seen his disgrace. 

"There you have a palm-leaf for the Princess," said the South 
Wind. "This palm-leaf was given me by the Phoenix bird, the only 
one who is in the world. With his beak he has scratched upon it a 
description of all the hundred years he has lived. Now she may 
read herself how the Phoenix bird set fire to her nest, and sat upon 
it, and was burned to death like a Hindoo's widow. How the dry 
branches crackled! What a smoke and a steam there was! At last 
everything burst into a flame, and the old Phoenix turned to ashes, 
but her egg lay red-hot in the fire; it burst with a great bang, and 
the young one flew out. Now this young one is ruler over all the 
birds, and the only Phoenix in the world. It has bitten a hole in the 


palm-leaf I have given you. That is a greeting to the Princess." 

"Let us have something to eat," said the Mother of the Winds, 

And now they all sat down to eat of the roasted deer. The 
Prince sat beside the East Wind, and they soon became good 

"Just tell me," said the Prince, "what Princess is that about whom 
there is so much talk here ? and where does the Garden of Paradise 

"Ho, ho!" said the East Wind, "do you want to go there? Well, 
then, fly to-morrow with me! But I must tell you, however, that 
no man has been there since the time of Adam and Eve. You have 
read of them in your Bible histories?" 

"Yes," said the Prince. 

"When they were driven away, the Garden of Paradise sank into 
the earth; but it kept warm its sunshine, its mild air, and all its 
splendor. The Queen of the Fairies lives there, and there lies the 
Island of Happiness, where death never comes, and where it is beau- 
tiful. Sit upon my back to-morrow, and I will take you with me; 
I think it can very well be done. But now leave off talking, for I 
want to sleep." 

And then they all went to rest. 

In the early morning the Prince awoke, and was not a little 
astonished to find himself high above the clouds. He was sitting on 
the back of the East Wind, who was faithfully holding him; they 
were so high in the air that the woods and fields, rivers and lakes, 
looked as if they were painted on a map below them. 

"Good morning!" said the East Wind. "You might very well 
sleep a little longer, for there is not much to be seen on the flat 
country under us, unless you care to count the churches. They stand 
like dots of chalk on the green carpet." 

What he called green carpet was field and meadow. 

"It was rude of me not to say good-by to your mother and your 
brothers," said the Prince. 

"When one is asleep, one must be excused," replied the East Wind. 

And then they flew on faster than ever. One could hear them in 
the tops of the trees, for when they passed over them the leaves and 
twigs rustled; one could hear them on the sea and on the lakes, for 

Andersen's tales 287 

when they flew by the water rose higher, and the great ships bowed 
themselves toward the water like swimming swans. 

Toward evening, when it became dark, the great towns looked 
charming, for lights were burning below, here and there; it was 
just as when one has lighted a piece of paper, and sees all the little 
sparks which vanish one after another. And the Prince clapped his 
hands; but the East Wind begged him to let that be, and rather to 
hold fast, otherwise he might easily fall down and get caught on a 
church spire. 

The eagle in the dark woods flew lightly, but the East Wind flew 
more lightly still. The Cossack on his little horse skimmed swiftly 
over the surface of the earth, but the Prince skimmed more swiftly 

"Now you can see the Himalayas," said the East Wind. "That is 
the highest mountain range in Asia. Now we shall soon get to the 
Garden of Paradise." 

Then they turned more to the south, and soon the air was fragrant 
with flowers and spices; figs and pomegranates grew wild, and the 
wild vine bore clusters of red and purple grapes. Here both alighted, 
and stretched themselves on the soft grass, where the flowers nodded 
to the wind, as though they would have said, "Welcome!" 

"Are we now in the Garden of Paradise?" asked the Prince. 

"Not at all," replied the East Wind. "But we shall soon get there. 
Do you see the rocky wall yonder, and the great cave, where the 
vines cluster like a broad green curtain? Through that we shall 
pass. Wrap yourself in your cloak. Here the sun scorches you, but 
a step farther it will be icy cold. The bird which hovers past the 
cave has one wing in the region of summer and the other in the 
wintry cold." 

"So this is the way to the Garden of Paradise?" observed the 

They went into the cave. Ugh! but it was icy cold there, but this 
did not last long. The East Wind spread out his wings, and they 
gleamed like the brightest fire. What a cave was that! Great blocks 
of stone, from which the water dripped down, hung over them in 
the strangest shapes; sometimes it was so narrow that they had to 
creep on their hands and knees, sometimes as lofty and broad as in 


the open air. The place looked like a number of mortuary chapels, 
with dumb organ pipes, the organs themselves being petrified. 

"We are going through the way of death to the Garden of Paradise, 
are we not?" inquired the Prince. 

The East Wind answered not a syllable, but he pointed forward 
to where a lovely blue light gleamed upon them. The stone blocks 
over their heads became more and more like a mist, and at last looked 
like a white cloud in the moonlight. Now they were in a deliciously 
mild air, fresh as on the hills, fragrant as among the roses of the 
valley. There ran a river clear as the air itself, and the fishes were 
like silver and gold: purple eels, flashing out blue sparks at every 
moment, played in the water below; and the broad water-plant 
leaves shone in the colors of the rainbow; the flower itself was an 
orange<olored burning flame, to which the water gave nourishment, 
as the oil to the burning lamp; a bridge of marble, strong, indeed, 
but so lightly built that it looked as if made of lace and glass beads, 
led them across the water to the Island of Happiness, where the 
Garden of Paradise bloomed. 

Were they palm-trees that grew here, or gigantic water-plants? 
Such verdant, mighty trees the Prince had never beheld; the most 
wonderful climbing plants hung there in long festoons, as one only 
sees them illuminated in gold and colors on the margins of gold 
missal-books, or twined among the initial letters. Here were the 
strangest groupings of birds, flowers, and twining lines. Close by, 
in the grass, stood a flock of peacocks, with their shining starry 
trains outspread. 

Yes, it was really so! But when the Prince touched these, he 
found they were not birds, but plants; they were great burdocks, 
which shone like the peacock's gorgeous train. The lion and the 
tiger sprang to and fro like agile cats among the green bushes, which 
were fragrant as the blossom of the olive-tree; and the lion and the 
tiger were tame. The wild wood-pigeon shone like the most beau- 
tiful pearl, and beat her wings against the lion's mane; and the 
antelope, usually so timid, stood by, nodding its head, as if it wished 
to play too. 

Now came the Fairy of Paradise. Her garb shone like the sun, 
and her countenance was cheerful like that of a happy mother 

Andersen's tales 289 

when she is well pleased with her child. She was young and beau- 
tiful, and was followed by a number of pretty maidens, each with a 
gleaming star in her hair. The East Wind gave her the written 
leaf from the Phoenix bird, and her eyes shone with pleasure. 

She took the Prince by the hand and led him into her palace, 
where the walls had the color of a splendid tulip-leaf when it is 
held up in the sunlight. The ceiling was a great sparkUng flower, 
and the more one looked up at it, the deeper did its cup appear. 
The Prince stepped to the window and looked through one of the 
panes. Here he saw the Tree of Knowledge, with the serpent, and 
Adam and Eve were standing close by. 

"Were they not driven out?" he asked. 

And the Fairy smiled, and explained to him that Time had burned 
in the picture upon that pane, but not as people are accustomed to 
see pictures. No; there was life in it; the leaves of the trees moved, 
men came and went as in a dissolving view. And he looked through 
another pane, and there was Jacob's dream, with the ladder reach- 
ing up into heaven, and the angels with great wings were ascending 
and descending. Yes, everything that had happened in the world 
lived and moved in the glass panes; such cunning pictures only 
Time could burn in. 

The Fairy smiled, and led him into a great lofty hall, whose walls 
appeared transparent. Here were portraits, and each face looked 
fairer than the last. There were to be seen millions of happy ones 
who smiled and sang, so that it flowed together into a melody; the 
uppermost were so small that they looked like the smallest rose-bud 
when it is drawn as a point upon paper. And in the midst of the 
hall stood a great tree with rich, pendent boughs; golden apples, 
great and small, hung like oranges among the leaves. That was the 
Tree of Knowledge, of whose fruit Adam and Eve had eaten. From 
each leaf fell a shining red dew-drop; it was as though the tree wept 
tears of blood. 

"Let us now get into the boat," said the Fairy; "then we will 
enjoy some refreshment on the heaving waters. The boat rocks, 
yet does not quit its station; but all the lands of the earth will glide 
past in our sight." 

And it was wonderful to behold how the whole coast moved. 

290 T01.K-1.0B.£ AND PABLt 

There came the lofty snow-covered Alps, with clouds and black 
pine-trees; the horn sounded with its melancholy note, and the 
shepherd trolled his merry song in the valley. Then the banana- 
trees bent their long, hanging branches over the boat; coal-black 
swans swam on the water, and the strangest animals and flowers 
showed themselves upon the shore. That was New Holland, the 
fifth great division of the world, which glided past with a back- 
ground of blue hills. They heard the song of the priests, and saw 
the savages dancing to the sound of drums and of bone trumpets. 
Egypt's pyramids, towering aloft to the clouds; overturned pillars 
and sphinxes half buried in the sand sailed past likewise. The 
northern lights shone over the extinct volcanoes of the Pole — it was 
a fire-work that no one could imitate. The Prince was quite happy, 
and he saw a hundred times more than we can relate here. 

"And can I always stay here?" asked he. 

"That depends upon yourself," answered the Fairy. "If you do 
not, like Adam, yield to the temptation to do what is forbidden, 
you may always remain here." 

"I shall not touch the apples on the Tree of Knowledge!" 
said the Prince. "Here are thousands of fruits just as beautiful as 

"Search your own heart, and if you are not strong enough, go 
away with the East Wind that brought you hither. He is going to 
fly back, and will not show himself here again for a hundred years: 
the time will pass for you in this place as if it were a hundred hours, 
but it is a long time for the temptation of sin. Every evening, when 
I leave you, I shall have to call to you, 'Come with me!' and I shall 
have to beckon to you with my hand; but stay where you are: do 
not go with me, or your longing will become greater with every 
step. You will then come into the hall where the Tree of Knowledge 
grows; I sleep under its fragrant, f)endent boughs; you will bend 
over me, and I must smile; but if you press a kiss upon my mouth, 
the Paradise will sink deep into the earth and be lost to you. The 
keen wind of the desert will rush around you, the cold rain drop 
upon your head, and sorrow and woe will be your portion." 

"I shall stay here!" said the Prince. 

And the East Wind kissed him on the forehead, and said, — 


"Be strong, and we shall meet here again in a hundred years. 
Farewell! farewell!" 

And the East Wind spread out his broad wings, and they flashed 
like sheet lightning in harvest-time, or like the northern light in 
the cold winter. 

"Farewell! farewell!" sounded from among the flowers and the 
trees. Storks and pelicans flew away in rows like fluttering ribbons, 
and bore him company to the boundary of the garden. 

"Now we will begin our dances!" cried the Fairy. "At the end, 
when I dance with you, when the sun goes down, you will see me 
beckon to you; you will hear me call to you, 'Come with me;' but 
do not obey. For a hundred years I must repeat this every evening; 
every time, when the trial is past, you will gain more strength; at 
last you will not think of it at all. This evening is the first time. 
Now I have warned you." 

And the Fairy led him into a great hall of white transparent 
lilies: the yellow stamens in each flower formed a little golden harp, 
which sounded like stringed instrument and flute. The most beau- 
tiful maidens, floating and slender, clad in gauzy mist, glided by 
in the dance, and sang of the happiness of living, and declared that 
they would never die, and that the Garden of Paradise would bloom 

And the sun went down. The whole sky shone like gold, which 
gave to the lilies the hue of the most glorious roses; and the Prince 
drank of the foaming wine which the maidens pxjured out for him, 
and felt a happiness he had never before known. He saw how the 
background of the hall opened, and the Tree of Knowledge stood 
in a glory which blinded his eyes; the singing there was soft and 
lovely as the voice of his dear mother, and it was as though she 
sang, "My child! my beloved child!" 

Then the Fairy beckoned to him, and called out persuasively, — 

"Come with me! come with me!" 

And he rushed toward her, forgetting his promise, — forgetting it 
the very first evening; and still she beckoned and smiled. The 
fragrance, the delicious fragrance around became stronger, the harps 
sounded far more lovely, and it seemed as though the millions of 
smiling heads in the hall, where the Tree grew, nodded and sang, 


"One must know everything— man is the lord of the earth." And 
they were no longer drops of blood that the Tree of Knowledge 
wept; they were red, shining stars which he seemed to see, 

"Come! come!" the quivering voice still cried, and at every step 
the Prince's cheeks burned more hotly and his blood flowed more 

"I must!" said he. "It is no sin; it cannot be one. Why not fol- 
low beauty and joy? I only want to see her asleep; there will be 
nothing lost if I only refrain from kissing her: and I will not kiss 
her; 1 am strong and have a resolute will!" 

And the Fairy threw off her shining cloak and bent back the 
branches, and in another moment she was hidden among them. 

"I have not yet sinned," said the Prince, "and I will not." 

And he pushed the boughs aside. There she slept already, beau- 
tiful as only a fairy in the Garden of Paradise can be. She smiled 
in her dreams, and he bent over her, and saw tears quivering beneath 
her eyelids! 

"Do you weep for me?" he whispered. "Weep not, thou glorious 
woman! Now only I understand the bliss of Paradise! It streams 
through my blood, through my thoughts; the power of the angel 
and of increasing life I feel in my mortal body! Let what will 
happen to me now; one moment like this is wealth enough!" 

And he kissed the tears from her eyes — his mouth touched hers. 

Then there resounded a clap of thunder so loud and dreadful that 
no one had ever heard the like, and everything fell down; and the 
beautiful Fairy and the charming Paradise sank down, deeper and 
deef)er. The Prince saw it vanish into the black night; like a little 
bright star it gleamed out of the far distance. A deadly chill ran 
through his frame, and he closed his eyes, and lay for a long time 
as one dead. 

The cold rain fell upon his face, the keen wind roared round his 
head, and then his senses returned to him. 

"What have I done?" he sighed. "I have sinned like Adam — 
sinned so that Paradise has sunk deep down!" 

And he opened his eyes, and the star in the distance — the star 
that gleamed like the Paradise that had sunk down — was the 
morning-star in the sky. 



He stood up, and found himself in the great forest, close by the 
Cave of the Winds, and the Mother of the Winds sat by his side: 
she looked angry, and raised her arm in the air. 

"The very first evening!" said she. "I thought it would be so! 
Yes, if you were my son, you would have to go into the sack!" 

"Yes, he shall go in there!" said Death. He was a strong old man, 
with a scythe in his hand, and with great black wings. "Yes, he 
shall be laid in his coffin, but not yet: I only register him, and let 
him wander awhile in the world to expiate his sins and to grow 
better. But one day I shall come. When he least expects it, I shall 
clap him in the black coffin, put him on my head, and fly up toward 
the star. There, too, blooms the Garden of Paradise; and if he is 
good and pious he will go in there; but if his thoughts are evil, and 
his heart still full of sin, he will sink with his coffin deeper than 
Paradise has sunk, and only every thousandth year I shall fetch 
him, that he may sink deeper, or that he may attain to the star — 
the shining star up yonder!" 


There were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers; they were all broth- 
ers, for they had all been born of one old tin spoon. They shouldered 
their muskets and looked straight before them; their uniform was 
red and blue, and very splendid. The first thing they had heard in 
the world, when the lid was taken off their box, had been the words 
"Tin soldiers!" These words were uttered by a little boy, clapping 
his hands; the soldiers had been given to him, for it was his birth- 
day; and now he put them upon the table. Each soldier was exactly 
like the rest; but one of them had been cast last of all, and there 
had not been enough tin to finish him; but he stood as firmly upon 
one leg as the others on their two; and it was just this soldier who 
became remarkable. 

On the table on which they had been placed stood many other 
playthings, but the toy that attracted most attention was a neat 
castle of card-board. Through the little windows one could see 
straight into the hall. Before the castle some little trees were placed 
round a little looking-glass, which was to represent a clear lake. 
Waxen swans swam on this lake, and were mirrored in it. This 


was all very pretty; but the prettiest of all was a little lady, who 
stood at the open door of the castle; she was also cut out in paper, 
but she had a dress of the clearest gauze, and a little narrow blue 
ribbon over her shoulders, that looked like a scarf; and in the middle 
of this ribbon was a shining tinsel rose, as big as her whole face. 
The litde Lady stretched out both her arms, for she was a dancer, 
and then she lifted one leg so high that the Tin Soldier could not 
see it at all, and thought that, like himself, she had but one leg. 

"That would be the wife for me," thought he; "but she is very 
grand. She lives in a castle, and I have only a box, and there are 
five-and-twenty of us in that. It is no place for her. But I must try 
to make acquaintance with her." 

And then he lay down at full length behind a snuff-box which 
was on the table; there he could easily watch the little dainty lady, 
who continued to stand on one leg without losing her balance. 

When the evening came, all the other tin soldiers were put into 
their box, and the people in the house went to bed. Now the toys 
began to play at "visiting," and at "war," and "giving balls." The 
tin soldiers rattled in their box, for they wanted to join, but could 
not lift the lid. The Nut-cracker threw somersaults, and the Pencil 
amused itself on the table; there was so much noise that the Canary 
woke up, and began to speak too, and even in verse. The only two 
who did not stir from their places were the Tin Soldier and the 
Dancing Lady; she stood straight up on the point of one of her 
toes, and stretched out both her arms: and he was just as enduring 
on his one leg; and he never turned his eyes away from her. 

Now the clock struck twelve — and, bounce! — the lid flew off the 
snuff-box; but there was not snuff in it, but a little black goblin; 
you see, it was a trick. 

"Tin Soldier," said the Goblin, "don't stare at things that don't 
concern you." 

But the Tin Soldier pretended not to hear him. 

"Just you wait till to-morrow!" said the Goblin. 

But when the morning came, and the children got up, the Tin 
Soldier was placed in the window; and whether it was the Goblin 
or the draught that did it, all at once the window flew open, and 
the Soldier fell, head over heels, out of the third story. 


That was a terrible passage! He put his leg straight up, and 
struck with his helmet downward, and his bayonet between the 

The servant-maid and the little boy came down directly to look 
for him, but though they almost trod upon him they could not see 
him. If the soldier had cried out, "Here I am!" they would have 
found him; but he did not think it fitting to call out loudly, because 
he was in uniform. 

Now it began to rain; the drops soon fell thicker, and at last it 
came down in a complete stream. When the rain was past, two 
street boys came by. 

"Just look!" said one of them, "there lies a tin soldier. He must 
come out and ride in the boat." 

And they made a boat out of a newspaper, and put the Tin 
Soldier in the middle of it; and so he sailed down the gutter, and 
the two boys ran beside him and clapped their hands. Goodness 
preserve us! how the waves rose in that gutter, and how fast the 
stream ran! But then it had been a heavy rain. The paper boat 
rocked up and down, and sometimes turned round so rapidly that 
the Tin Soldier trembled; but he remained firm, and never changed 
countenance, and looked straight before him, and shouldered his 

All at once the boat went into a long drain, and it became as dark 
as if he had been in his box. 

"Where am I going now?" he thought. "Yes, yes, that's the 
Goblin's fault. Ah! if the little Lady only sat here with me in the 
boat, it might be twice as dark for what I should care." 

Suddenly there came a great water-rat, which lived under the 

"Have you a passport .''" said the Rat. "Give me your pass- 

But the Tin Soldier kept silence, and only held his musket tighter 
than ever. 

The boat went on, but the Rat came after it. Hu! how he gnashed 
his teeth, and called out to the bits of straw and wood, — 

"Hold him! hold him! he hasn't paid toll — ^he hasn't shown his 


But the stream became stronger and stronger. The Tin Soldier 
could see the bright daylight where the arch ended; but he heard 
a roaring noise, which might well frighten a bolder man. Only 
think — just where the tunnel ended, the drain ran into a great 
canal; and for him that would have been as dangerous as for us to 
be carried down a great waterfall. 

Now he was already so near it that he could not stop. The boat 
was carried out, the poor Tin Soldier stiffening himself as much as 
he could, and no one could say that he moved an eyelid. The boat 
whirled round three or four times, and was full of water to the 
very edge — it must sink. The Tin Soldier stood up to his neck in 
water, and the boat sank deeper and deeper, and the paper was 
loosened more and more; and now the water closed over the Sol- 
dier's head. Then he thought of the pretty little Dancer, and how 
he should never see her again; and it sounded in the Soldier's ears: — 

"Farewell, farewell, thou warrior brave, 
Die shalt thou this day." 

And now the paper parted, and the Tin Soldier fell out; but at 
that moment he was snapped up by a great fish. 

O, how dark it was in that fish's body! It was darker yet than in 
the drain tunnel; and then it was very narrow, too. But the Tin 
Soldier remained unmoved, and lay at full length, shouldering his 

The fish swam to and fro; he made the most wonderful move- 
ments, and then became quite still. At last something flashed through 
him like lightning. The daylight shone quite clear, and a voice said 
aloud, "The Tin Soldier!" The fish had been caught, carried to 
market, bought, and taken into the kitchen, where the cook cut 
him open with a large knife. She seized the Soldier round the body 
with both her hands, and carried him into the room, where all were 
anxious to see the remarkable man who had travelled about in the 
inside of a fish; but the Tin Soldier was not at all proud. They 
placed him on the table, and there — no! What curious things may 
happen in the world! The Tin Soldier was in the very room in 
which he had been before! he saw the same children, and the same 
toys stood upon the table; and there was the pretty castle with the 


graceful little Dancer. She was still balancing herself on one leg, 
and held the other extended in the air. She was faithful too. That 
moved the Tin Soldier: he was very near weeping tin tears, but 
that would not have been proper. He looked at her, but they said 
nothing to each other. 

Then one of the little boys took the Tin Soldier and flung him 
into the stove. He gave no reason for doing this. It must have been 
the fault of the Goblin in the snuff-box. 

The Tin Soldier stood there quite illuminated, and felt a heat 
that was terrible; but whether this heat proceeded from the real 
fire or from love he did not know. The colors had quite gone off 
from him; but whether that had happ)ened on the journey, or had 
been caused by grief, no one could say. He looked at the little Lady, 
she looked at him, and he felt that he was melting; but he stood 
firm, shouldering his musket. Then suddenly the door flew open, 
and the draught of air caught the Dancer, and she flew like a sylph 
just into the stove to the Tin Soldier, and flashed up in a flame, and 
then was gone! Then the Tin soldier melted down into a lump, 
and when the servant-maid took the ashes out next day, she found 
him in the shape of a little tin heart. But of the Dancer nothing 
remained but the tinsel rose, and that was burned as black as a coal. 


Now you shall hear! 

Out in the country, close by the road-side, there was a country- 
house: you yourself have certainly once seen it. Before it is a little 
garden with flowers, and a paling which is painted. Close by it, by 
the ditch, in the midst of the most beautiful green grass, grew a 
little Daisy. The sun shone as warmly and as brightly upon it as 
on the great splendid garden flowers, and so it grew from hour to 
hour. One morning it stood in full bloom, with its little shining 
white leaves spreading like rays round the little yellow sun in the 
centre. It never thought that no man would notice it down in the 
grass, and that it was a poor despised floweret; no, it was very merry, 
and turned to the warm sun, looked up at it, and listened to the 
Lark caroling high in the air. 


The little Daisy was as happy as if it were a great holiday, and 
yet it was only a Monday. All the children were at school; and 
while they sat on their benches learning, it sat on its little green 
stalk, and learned also from the warm sun, and from all around, 
how good God is. And the Daisy was very glad that everything that 
it silently felt was sung so loudly and charmingly by the Lark. And 
the Daisy looked up with a kind of respect to the happy bird who 
could sing and fly, but it was not at all sorrowful because it could 
not fly and sing also. 

"I can see and hear," it thought: "the sun shines on me, and the 
forest kisses me. O, how richly have I been gifted!" 

Within the palings stood many stiff, aristocratic flowers — the less 
scent they had the more they flaunted. The peonies blew themselves 
out to be greater than the roses, but size will not do it; the tulips 
had the most splendid colors, and they knew that, and held them- 
selves bolt upright, that they might be seen more plainly. They did 
not notice the little Daisy outside there, but the Daisy looked at 
them the more, and thought, "How rich and beautiful they are! 
Yes, the pretty bird flies across to them and visits them. I am glad 
that I stand so near them, for at any rate I can enjoy the sight of 
their splendor!" And just as she thought that — "keevit!" — down 
came flying the Lark, but not down to the peonies and tulips — no, 
down into the grass to the lowly Daisy, which started so with joy 
that it did not know what to think. 

The little bird danced round about it, and sang, — 

"O, how soft the grass is! and see what a lovely little flower, with 
gold in its heart and silver on its dress!" 

For the yellow point in the Daisy looked like gold, and the litde 
leaves around it shone silvery white. 

How happy was the little Daisy — no one can conceive how happy! 
The bird kissed it with his beak, sang to it, and then flew up again 
into the blue air. A quarter of an hour passed, at least, before the 
Daisy could recover itself. Half ashamed, yet inwardly rejoiced, it 
looked at the other flowers in the garden, for they had seen the 
honor and happiness it had gained, and must understand what a 
joy it was. But the tulips stood up twice as stiff as before, and they 
looked quite peaky in the face and quite red, for they had been 


vexed. The peonies were quite wrong-headed: it was well they 
could not speak, or the Daisy would have received a good scolding. 
The poor little flower could see very well that they were not in a 
good humor, and that hurt it sensibly. At this moment there came 
into the garden a girl with a great sharp, shining knife; she went 
straight up to the tulips, and cut off one after another of them. 

"O!" sighed the Uttle Daisy, "that is dreadful! Now it is all over 
with them." 

Then the girl went away with the tulips. The Daisy was glad 
to stand out in the grass, and to be only a poor little flower; it felt 
very grateful; and when the sun went down it folded its leaves and 
went to sleep, and dreamed all night long about the sun and the 
pretty little bird. 

The next morning, when the flower again happily stretched out 
all its white leaves, like little arms, toward the air and the light, it 
recognized the voice of the bird, but the song he was singing sounded 
mournful. Yes, the poor Lark had good reason to be sad: he was 
caught, and now sat in a cage close by the open window. He sang 
of free and happy roaming, sang of the young green corn in the 
fields, and of the glorious journey he might make on his wings 
high through the air. The poor Lark was not in good spirits, for 
there he sat a prisoner in a cage. 

The little Daisy wished very much to help him. But what was 
it to do? Yes, that was difficult to make out. It quite forgot how 
everything was so beautiful around, how warm the sun shone, and 
how splendidly white its own leaves were. Ah! it could think only 
of the imprisoned bird, and how it was powerless to do anything 
for him. 

Just then two little boys came out of the garden. One of them 
carried in his hand the knife which the girl had used to cut off the 
tulips. They went straight up to fhe little Daisy, which could not 
at all make out what they wanted. 

"Here we may cut a capital piece of turf for the Lark," said one 
of the boys; and he began to cut off a square patch round about 
the Daisy, so that the flower remained standing in its piece of grass. 

"Tear off the flower!" said the other boy. 

And the Daisy trembled with fear, for to be torn off would be to 


lose its life; and now it wanted particularly to live, as it was to be 
given with the piece of turf to the captive Lark. 

"No, let it stay," said the other boy; "it makes such a nice 

And so it remained, and was put into the Lark's cage. But the 
poor bird complained aloud of his lost liberty, and beat his wings 
against the wires of his prison; and the little Daisy could not speak 
— could say no consoling word to him, gladly as it would have done 
so. And thus the whole morning passed. 

"Here is no water," said the captive Lark. "They are all gone 
out, and have forgotten to give me anything to drink. My throat 
is dry and burning. It is like fire and ice within me, and the air 
is so close. O, I must die! I must leave the warm sunshine, the 
fresh green, and all the splendor that God has created!" 

And then he thrust his beak into the cool turf to refresh himself 
a little with it. Then the bird's eye fell upon the Daisy, and he 
nodded to it, and kissed it with his beak, and said, — 

"You also must wither in here, poor little flower. They have 
given you to me with the little patch of green grass on which you 
grow, instead of the whole world which was mine out there! Every 
little blade of grass shall be a great tree for me, and every one of 
your fragrant leaves a great flower. Ah, you only tell me how much 
I have lost!" 

"If I could only comfort him!" thought the Daisy. 

It could not stir a leaf; but the scent which streamed forth from 
its delicate leaves was far stronger than is generally found in these 
flowers; the bird also noticed that, and though he was fainting with 
thirst, and in his pain plucked up the green blades of grass, he did 
not touch the flower. 

The evening came on, and yet nobody appeared to bring the 
poor bird a drop of water. Then he stretched out his pretty wings 
and beat the air frantically with them; his song changed to a mourn- 
ful piping, his little head sank down toward the flower, and the 
bird's heart broke with want and yearning. Then the flower could 
not fold its leaves, as it had done on the previous evening, and sleep; 
it drooped, sorrowful and sick, toward the earth. 

Not till the next morn did the boys come; and when they found 


the bird dead they wept — wept many tears — and dug him a neat 
grave, which they adorned with leaves of flowers. The bird's corpse 
was put into a pretty red box, for he was to be royally buried — the 
poor bird! While he was alive and sang they forgot him, and let 
him sit in his cage and suffer want; but now that he was dead he 
had adornment and many tears. 

But the patch of turf with the Daisy on it was thrown out into 
the high road: no one thought of the flower that had felt the most 
for the httle bird, and would have been so glad to console him. 


In China, you must know, the Emperor is a Chinaman, and all 
whom he has about him are Chinamen too. It happened a good 
many years ago, but that's just why it's worth while to hear the 
story, before it is forgotten. The Emperor's palace was the most 
splendid in the world; it was made entirely of porcelain, very costly, 
but so delicate and brittle that one had to take care how one touched 
it. In the garden were to be seen the most wonderful flowers, and 
to the costliest of them silver bells were tied, which sounded, so 
that nobody should pass by without noticing the flowers. Yes, every- 
thing in the Emperor's garden was admirably arranged. And it 
extended so far, that the gardener himself did not know where the 
end was. If a man went on and on, he came into a glorious forest 
with high trees and deep lakes. The wood extended straight down 
to the sea, which was blue and deep; great ships could sail to and 
fro beneath the branches of the trees; and in the trees lived a night- 
ingale, which sang so splendidly that even the poor Fisherman, who 
had many other things to do, stopped still and listened, when he had 
gone out at night to throw out his nets, and heard the Nightingale. 

"How beautiful that is!" he said; but he was obliged to attend to 
his property, and thus forgot the bird. But when in the next night 
the bird sang again, and the Fisherman heard it, he exclaimed again, 
"How beautiful that is!" 

From all the countries of the world travellers came to the city of 
the Emperor and admired it, and the palace, and the garden, but 
when they heard the Nightingale, they said, "That is the best of all!" 


And the travellers told of it when they came home; and the 
learned men wrote many books about the town, the palace, and the 
garden. But they did not forget the Nightingale; that was placed 
highest of all; and those who were poets wrote most magnificent 
poems about the Nightingale in the wood by the deep lake. 

The books went through all the world, and a few of them once 
came to the Emperor. He sat in his golden chair, and read, and 
read: every moment he nodded his head, for it pleased him to 
peruse the masterly descriptions of the city, the palace, and the 
garden. "But the Nightingale is the best of all!" — it stood written 

"What's that?" exclaimed the Emperor. "I don't know the Night- 
ingale at all! Is there such a bird in my empire, and even in my 
garden? I've never heard of that. To think that I should have to 
learn such a thing for the first time from books!" 

And hereupon he called his Cavalier. This Cavalier was so grand 
that if any one lower in rank than himself dared to speak to him, 
or to ask him any question, he answered nothing but "P!" — and 
that meant nothing. 

"There is said to be a wonderful bird here called a Nightingale!" 
said the Emperor. "They say it is the best thing in all my great 
empire. Why have I never heard anything about it?" 

"I have never heard him named," replied the Cavalier. "He has 
never been introduced at court." 

"I command that he shall appear this evening, and sing before 
me," said the Emperor. "All the world knows what I possess, and 
I do not know it myself!" 

"I have never heard him mentioned," said the Cavalier, "I will 
seek for him. I will find him." 

But where was he to be found? The Cavalier ran up and down 
all the staircases, through halls and passages, but no one among all 
those whom he met had heard talk of the Nightingale. And the 
Cavalier ran back to the Emperor, and said that it must be a fable 
invented by the writers of books. 

"Your Imperial Majesty cannot believe how much is written that 
is fiction, besides something that they call the black art." 

"But the book in which I read this," said the Emperor, "was sent 


to me by the high and mighty Emperor of Japan, and therefore it 
cannot be a falsehood. I will hear the Nightingale I It must be here 
this evening! It has my imperial favor; and if it does not come, all 
the court shall be trampled upon after the court has supped!" 

"Tsing-pe!" said the Cavalier; and again he ran up and down all 
the staircases, and through all the halls and corridors; and half the 
court ran with him, for the courtiers did not like being trampled 

Then there was a great inquiry after the wonderful Nightingale, 
which all the world knew excepting the people at court. 

At last they met with a poor little girl in the kitchen, who said, — 

"The Nightingale? I know it well; yes, it can sing gloriously. 
Every evening I get leave to carry my poor sick mother the scraps 
from the table. She lives down by the strand, and when I get back 
and am tired, and rest in the wood, then I hear the Nightingale 
sing. And then the water comes into my eyes, and it is just as if my 
mother kissed me!" 

"Little Kitchen Girl," said the Cavalier, "I will get you a place 
in the kitchen, with permission to see the Emperor dine, if you 
will lead us to the Nightingale, for it is announced for this evening." 

So they all went out into the wood where the Nightingale was 
accustomed to sing; half the court went forth. When they were in 
the midst of their journey a cow began to low. 

"O!" cried the court page, "now we have it! That shows a 
wonderful power in so small a creature! I have certainly heard it 

"No, those are cows lowing!" said the litde Kitchen Girl. "We 
are a long way from the place yet!" 

Now the frogs began to croak in the marsh. 

"Glorious!" said the Chinese Court Preacher. "Now I hear it — it 
sounds just like little church bells." 

"No, those are frogs!" said the little Kitchen-maid. "But now I 
think we shall soon hear it." 

And then the Nightingale began to sing. 

"That is it!" exclaimed the litde Girl. "Listen, listen! and yonder 
it sits." 

And she pointed to a little gray bird up in the boughs. 


"Is it possible?" cried the Cavalier. "I should never have thought 
it looked like that! How simple it looks! It must certainly have 
lost its color at seeing such grand people around." 

"Litde Nightingale!" called the Kitchen-maid, quite loudly, "our 
gracious Emperor wishes you to sing before him." 

"With the greatest pleasure!" replied the Nightingale, and began 
to sing most delightfully. 

"It sounds just like glass bells!" said the Cavalier. "And look at 
its httle throat, how it's working! It's wonderful that we should 
never have heard it before. That bird will be a great success at 

"Shall I sing once more before the Emperor?" asked the Nightin- 
gale, for it thought the Emperor was present. 

"My excellent little Nightingale," said the Cavalier, "I have great 
pleasure in inviting you to a court festival this evening, when you 
shall charm his Imperial Majesty with your beautiful singing." 

"My song sounds best in the greenwood!" replied the Nightingale; 
still it came willingly when it heard what the Emperor wished. 

The palace was festively adorned. The walls and the flooring, 
which were of porcelain, gleamed in the rays of thousands of golden 
lamps. The most glorious flowers, which could ring clearly, had 
been placed in the passages. There was a running to and fro, and 
a thorough draught, and all the bells rang so loudly that one could 
not hear one's self speak. 

In the midst of the great hall, where the Emperor sat, a golden 
perch had been placed, on which the Nightingale was to sit. The 
whole court was there, and the little Cook-maid had got leave to 
stand behind the door, as she had now received the title of a real court 
cook. All were in full dress, and all looked at the litde gray bird, 
to which the Emperor nodded. 

And the Nightingale sang so gloriously that the tears came into 
the Emperor's eyes, and the tears ran down over his cheeks; and 
then the Nightingale sang still more sweetly, that went straight to 
the heart. The Emperor was so much pleased that he said the 
Nightingale should have his golden slipper to wear round its neck. 
But the Nightingale declined this with thanks, saying it had already 
received a sufficient reward. 


"I have seen tears in the Emperor's eyes — that is the real treasure 
to me. An emperor's tears have a pecuUar power. I am rewarded 
enough!" And then it sang again with a sweet, glorious voice. 

"That's the most amiable coquetry I ever saw!" said the ladies 
who stood round about, and then they took water in their mouths 
to gurgle when any one spoke to them. They thought they should 
be nightingales too. And the lackeys and chambermaids reported 
that they were satisfied too; and that was saying a good deal, for 
they are the most difficult to please. In short, the Nightingale 
achieved a real success. 

It was now to remain at court, to have its own cage, with liberty 
to go out twice every day and once at night. Twelve servants were 
appointed when the Nightingale went out, each of whom had a 
silken string fastened to the bird's leg, which they held very tight. 
There was really no pleasure in an excursion of that kind. 

The whole city spoke of the wonderful bird, and when two people 
met, one said nothing but "Nightin," and the other said "gale;" and 
then they sighed, and understood one another. Eleven peddlers' 
children were named after the bird, but not one of them could sing 
a note. 

One day the Emperor received a large parcel, on which was writ- 
ten "The Nightingale." 

"There we have a new book about this celebrated bird," said the 

But it was not a book, but a little work of art, contained in a box, 
an artificial nightingale, which was to sing like a natural one, and 
was brilliantly ornamented with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. 
So soon as the artificial bird was wound up, he could sing one of 
the pieces that he really sang, and then his tail moved up and down, 
and shone with silver and gold. Round his neck hung a little rib- 
bon, and on that was written, "The Emperor of China's Nightingale 
is poor compared to that of the Emperor of Japan." 

"That is capital!" said they all, and he who had brought the 
artificial bird immediately received the title. Imperial Head-Nightin- 

"Now they must sing together; what a duet that will be!" 

And so they had to sing together; but it did not sound very well, 


for the real Nightingale sang in its own way, and the artificial bird 
sang waltzes. 

"That's not his fault," said the Play-master; "he's quite perfect, 
and very much in my style." 

Now the artificial bird was to sing alone. He had just as much 
success as the real one, and then it was much handsomer to look at 
— it shone like bracelets and breastpins. 

Three-and-thirty times over did it sing the same piece, and yet 
was not tired. The people would gladly have heard it again, but 
the Emperor said that the living Nightingale ought to sing some- 
thing now. But where was it? No one had noticed that it had 
flown away out of the open window, back to the greenwood. 

"But what is become of that?" said the Emperor. 

And all the courtiers abused the Nightingale, and declared that 
it was a very ungrateful creature. 

"We have the best bird, after all," said they. 

And so the artificial bird had to sing again, and that was the 
thirty-fourth time that they listened to the same piece. For all that 
they did not know it quite by heart, for it was so very difficult. And 
the Play-master praised the bird particularly; yes, he declared that 
it was better than a nightingale, not only with regard to its plumage 
and the many beautiful diamonds, but inside as well. 

"For you see, ladies and gentlemen, and above all, your Imperial 
Majesty, with a real nightingale one can never calculate what is 
coming, but in this artificial bird everything is settled. One can 
explain it; one can open it, and make people understand where 
the waltzes come from, how they go, and how one follows up 

"Those are quite our own ideas," they all said. 

And the speaker received permission to show the bird to the 
fjeople on the next Sunday. The people were to hear it sing too, 
the Emperor commanded; and they did hear it, and were as much 
pleased as if they had all got tipsy upon tea, for that's quite the 
Chinese fashion; and they all said, "O!" and held up their fore- 
fingers and nodded. But the poor Fisherman, who had heard the 
real Nightingale, said, — 


"It sounds pretty enough, and the melodies resemble each other, 
but there's something wanting, though I know not what!" 

The real Nightingale was banished from the country and empire. 
The artificial bird had its place on a silken cushion close to the 
Emperor's bed; all the presents it had received, gold and precious 
stones, were ranged about it; in title it had advanced to be the High 
Imperial After-Dinner-Singer, and in rank, to number one on the 
left hand; for the Emperor considered that side the most important 
in which the heart is placed, and even in an emperor the heart is on 
the left side; and the Play-master wrote a work of five-and-twenty 
volumes about the artificial bird; it was very learned and very long, 
full of the most difficult Chinese words; but yet all the people de- 
clared that they had read it, and understood it, for fear of being 
considered stupid, and having their bodies trampled on. 

So a whole year went by. The Emperor, the court, and all the 
other Chinese knew every little twitter in the artificial bird's song 
by heart. But just for that reason it pleased them best — they could 
sing with it themselves, and they did so. The street boys sang, 
"Tsi-tsi-tsi-glug-glug!" and the Emperor himself sang it too. Yes, 
that was certainly famous. 

But one evening, when the artificial bird was singing its best, and 
the Emperor lay in bed listening to it, something inside the bird 
said, "Whizz!" Something cracked. "Whir-r-r!" All the wheels 
ran round, and then the music stopped. 

The Emperor immediately sprang out of bed, and caused his body 
physician to be called; but what could he 60} Then they sent for 
a watchmaker, and after a good deal of talking and investigation, 
the bird was put into something like order; but the Watchmaker 
said that the bird must be carefully treated, for the barrels were 
worn, and it would be impossible to put new ones in in such a 
manner that the music would go. There was great lamentation; 
only once in a year was it permitted to let the bird sing, and that 
was almost too much. But then the Play-master made a little speech, 
full of heavy words, and said this was just as good as before — and 
so of course it was as good as before. 

Now five years had gone by, and a real grief came upon the whole 


nation. The Chinese were really fond of their Emperor, and now 
he was ill, and could not, it was said, live much longer. Already a 
new Emperor had been chosen, and the people stood out in the 
street and asked the Cavalier how their old Emperor did. 

"Pi" said he, and shook his head. 

Cold and pale lay the Emperor in his great gorgeous bed; the 
whole court thought him dead, and each one ran to pay homage to 
the new ruler. The chamberlains ran out to talk it over, and the 
ladies'-maids had a great coffee party. All about, in all the halls 
and passages, cloth had been laid down so that no footstep could 
be heard, and therefore it was quiet there, quite quiet. But the 
Emperor was not dead yet: stiff and pale he lay on the gorgeous bed 
with the long velvet curtains and the heavy gold tassels; high up, 
a window stood open, and the moon shone in upon the Emperor 
and the artificial bird. 

The poor Emperor could scarcely breathe; it was just as if some- 
thing lay upon his chest: he opened his eyes, and then he saw that 
it was Death who sat upon his chest, and had put on his golden 
crown, and held in one hand the Emperor's sword and in the other 
his beautiful banner. And all around, from among the folds of the 
splendid velvet curtains, strange heads peered forth; a few very ugly, 
the rest quite lovely and mild. These were all the Emperor's bad 
and good deeds, that stood before him now that Death sat upon 
his heart. 

"Do you remember this?" whispered one to the other. "Do you 
remember that?" and then they told him so much that the perspira- 
tion ran from his forehead. 

"I did not know that!" said the Emperor. "Music! music! the 
great Chinese drum!" he cried, "so that I need not hear all they say!" 
And they continued speaking, and Death nodded like a Chinaman 
to all they said. 

"Music! music!" cried the Emperor. "You little precious golden 
bird, sing, sing! I have given you gold and costly presents; I have 
even hung my golden slipper around your neck — sing now, sing!" 

But the bird stood still; no one was there to wind him up, and he 
could not sing without that; but Death continued to stare at the 
Emperor with his great hollow eyes, and it was quiet, fearfully quiet. 


Then there sounded from the window, suddenly, the most lovely 
song. It was the little live Nightingale, that sat outside on a spray. 
It had heard of the Emperor's sad plight, and had come to sing to him 
of comfort and hope. And as it sang the s(>ectres grew paler and 
paler; the blood ran quickly and more quickly through the Emperor's 
weak limbs; and even Death listened, and said, — 

"Go on, little Nightingale, go on!" 

"But will you give me that splendid golden sword? Will you give 
me that rich banner? Will you give me the Emperor's crown?" 

And Death gave up each of these treasures for a song. And the 
Nightingale sang on and on; and it sang of the quiet church-yard, 
where the white roses grow, where the elder-blossom smells sweet, 
and where the fresh grass is moistened by the tears of survivors. 
Then Death felt a longing to see his garden, and floated out at the 
window in the form of a cold, white mist. 

"Thanks! thanks!" said the Emperor. "You heavenly Htde bird! 
I know you well. I banished you from my country and empire, 
and yet you have charmed away the evil faces from my couch, and 
banished Death from my heart! How can I reward you?" 

"You have rewarded me!" replied the Nightingale. "I have drawn 
tears from your eyes, when I sang the first time — I shall never forget 
that. Those are the jewels that rejoice a singer's heart. But now 
sleep and grow fresh and strong again. I will sing you something." 

And it sang, and the Emperor fell into a sweet slumber. Ah! how 
mild and refreshing that sleep was! The sun shone upon him 
through the windows, when he awoke refreshed and restored; not 
one of his servants had yet returned, for they all thought he was 
dead; only the Nightingale still sat beside him and sang. 

"You must always stay with me," said the Emperor. "You shall 
sing as you please; and I'll break the artificial bird into a thousand 

"Not so," replied the Nightingale. "It did well as long as it could; 
keep it as you have done till now. I cannot build my nest in the 
palace to dwell in; but let me come when I feel the wish; then I 
will sit in the evening on the spray yonder by the window, and sing 
you something, so that you may be glad and thoughtful at once. I 
will sing of those who are happy and of those who suffer. I will 


sing of good and of evil that remain hidden round about you. The 
little singing bird flies far around, to the poor fisherman, to the 
peasant's roof, to every one who dwells far away from you and 
from your court. I love your heart more than your crown, and yet 
the crown has an air of sanctity about it. I will come and sing to 
you — but one thing you must promise me." 

"Everything!" said the Emperor; and he stood there in his imperial 
robes, which he had put on himself, and pressed the sword which 
was heavy with gold to his heart. 

"One thing I beg of you: tell no one that you have a little bird 
who tells you everything. Then it will go all the better." 

And the Nightingale flew away. 

The servants came in to look to their dead Emperor, and — yes, 
there he stood, and the Emperor said "Good morning!" 


On the last house in a little village stood a stork's nest. The Mother 
Stork sat in it with her four young ones, who stretched out their 
heads with the pointed black beaks, for their beaks had not yet 
turned red. A little way off stood the Father Stork, all alone on the 
ridge of the roof, quite upright and stiff; he had drawn up one of 
his legs, so as not to be quite idle while he stood sentry. One would 
have thought he had been carved out of wood, so still did he stand. 
He thought, "It must look very grand, that my wife has a sentry 
standing by her nest. They can't tell that it is her husband. They 
certainly think I have been commanded to stand here. That looks 
so aristocratic!" And he went on standing on one leg. 

Below in the street a whole crowd of children were playing; and 
when they caught sight of the Storks, one of the boldest of the boys, 
and afterwards all of them, sang the old verse about the Storks. 
But they only sang it just as he could remember it: — 

"Stork, stork, long-legged stork; 
Off to thy home I prithee walk. 
Thy dear wife is in the nest, 
Where she rocks her young to rest. 


"The first he will be hanged, 

The second will be hit, 
The third he will be shot. 

And the fourth put on the spit." 

"Just hear what those boys are saying!" said the little Stork chil- 
dren. "They say we're to be hanged and killed." 

"You're not to care for that!" said the Mother Stork. "Doa't 
listen to it, and then it won't matter." 

But the boys went on singing, and pointed at the Storks mock- 
ingly with their fingers; only one boy, whose name was Peter, 
declared that it was a sin to make a jest of animals, and he would 
not join in it at all. 

The Mother Stork comforted her children. "Don't you mind it 
at all," she said; "see how quiet your father stands, though it's only 
on one leg." 

"We are very much afraid," said the young Storks; and they drew 
their heads far back into the nest. 

Now to-day, when the children came out again to play, and saw 
the Storks, they sang their song, — 

"The first he will be hanged, 
The second will be hit." 

"Shall we be hanged and beaten?" asked the young Storks. 

"No, certainly not," replied the mother. "You shall learn to fly; 
I'll exercise you; then we shall fly into the meadows and pay a visit 
to the frogs; they will bow before us in the water, and sing 'Co-axI 
co-ax!' and then we shall eat them up. That will be a real pleasure." 

"And what then?" asked the young Storks. 

"Then all the Storks will assemble, all that are here in the whole 
country, and the autumn exercises begin: then one must fly well, 
for that is highly imjxjrtant, for whoever cannot fly properly will 
be thrust dead by the general's beak; so take care and learn well 
when the exercising begins." 

"But then we shall be killed, as the boys say — and only listen, now 
they're singing again." 

"Listen to me, and not to them," said the Mother Stork. "After 
the great review we shall fly away to the warm countries, far away 


from here, over mountains and forests. We shall fly to Egypt, where 
there are three covered houses of stone, which curl in a point and 
tower above the clouds; they are called pyramids, and are older 
than a stork can imagine. There is a river in that country which 
runs out of its bed, and then all the land is turned to mud. One 
walks about in the mud, and eats frogs." 

"O!" cried all the young ones. 

"Yes! It is glorious there! One does nothing all day long but 
eat; and while we are so comfortable over there, here there is not 
a green leaf on the trees; here it is so cold that the clouds freeze to 
pieces, and fall down in little white rags!" 

It was the snow that she meant, but she could not explain it in 
any other way. 

"And do the naughty boys freeze to pieces?" asked the young 

"No, they don't freeze to pieces; but they are not far from it, and 
must sit in the dark room and cower. You, on the other hand, can 
fly about in foreign lands, where there are flowers, and the sun 
shines warm." 

Now some time had elapsed, and the nestlings had grown so large 
that they could stand upright in the nest and look far around; and 
the Father Stork came every day with delicious frogs, little snakes, 
and all kinds of stork-dainties as he found them. O! it looked funny 
when he performed feats before them. He laid his head quite back 
upon his tail, and clapped with his beak as if he had been a little 
clapper; and then he told them stories, all about the marshes. 

"Listen! now you must learn to fly," said the Mother Stork one 
day; and all the four young ones had to go out on the ridge of the 
roof. O, how they tottered! how they balanced themselves with their 
wings, and yet they were nearly falling down. 

"Only look at me," said the mother. "Thus you must hold your 
heads! Thus you must pitch your feet! One, two! one, two! That's 
what will help you on in the world." 

Then she flew a little way, and the young ones made a little 
clumsy leap. Bump! — there they lay, for their bodies were too heavy. 

"I will not fly!" said one of the young Storks, and crept back into 
the nest. "I don't care about getting to the warm countries." 


"Do you want to freeze to death here, when the winter comes? 
Are the boys to come and hang you, and singe you, and roast you ? 
Now I'll call them." 

"O no!" cried the young Stork, and hopped out on to the roof 
again like the rest. 

On the third day they could actually fly a little, and then they 
thought they could also soar and hover in the air. They tried it, 
but — bump! — down they tumbled, and they had to shoot their wings 
again quickly enough. Now the boys came into the street again 
and sang their song, — 

"Stork, stork, long-legged stork!" 

"Shall we fly down and pick their eyes out?" asked the young 

"No," replied the mother, "let them alone. Only listen to me; 
that's far more important. One, two, three! — now we fly round to 
the right. One, two, three! — now to the left round the chimney! 
See, that was very good! the last kick with the feet was so neat and 
correct that you shall have permission to-morrow to fly with me to 
the marsh! Several nice Stork families go there with their young: 
show them that mine are the nicest, and that you can start proudly; 
that looks well, and will get you consideration." 

"But are we not to take revenge on the rude boys?" asked the 
young Storks. 

"Let them scream as much as they like. You will fly up to the 
clouds, and get to the land of the pyramids, when they will have to 
shiver, and not have a green leaf or a sweet apple." 

"Yes, we will revenge ourselves!" they whispered to one another; 
and then the exercising went on. 

Among all the boys down in the street, the one most bent upon 
singing the teasing song was he who had begun it, and he was quite 
a little boy. He could hardly be more than six years old. The young 
Storks certainly thought he was a hundred, for he was much bigger 
than their mother and father; and how should they know how old 
children and grown-up people can be! Their revenge was to come 
upon this boy, for it was he who had begun, and he always kept on. 
The young Storks were very angry; and as they grew bigger they 


were less inclined to bear it: at last their mother had to promise 

them that they should be revenged, but not till the last day of their 


"We must first see how you behave at the grand review. If you 
get through badly, so that the general stabs you through the chest 
with his beak, the boys will be right, at least in one way. Let us see." 

"Yes, you shall see!" cried the young Storks; and then they took 
all imaginable pains. They practiced every day, and flew so neatly 
and so lightly that it was a pleasure to see them. 

Now the autumn came on; all the Storks began to assemble, to 
fly away to the warm countries while it is winter here. That was 
a review. They had to fly over forests and villages, to show how 
well they could soar, for it was a long journey they had before them. 
The young Storks did their parts so well that they got as a mark, 
"Remarkably well, with frogs and snakes." That was the highest 
mark; and they might eat the frogs and snakes; and that is what 
they did. 

"Now we will be revenged!" they said. 

"Yes, certainly!" said the Mother Stork. "What I have thought 
of will be the best. I know the pond in which all the little mortals 
lie till the stork comes and brings them to their parents. The pretty 
little babies lie there and dream so sweetly as they never dream 
afterwards. All parents are glad to have such a child, and all chil- 
dren want to have a sister or a brother. Now we will fly to the pond, 
and bring one for each of the children who have not sung the 
naughty song and laughed at the Storks." 

"But he who began to sing, — that naughty, ugly boy!" screamed 
the young Storks; "what shall we do with him?" 

"There is a little dead child in the pond, one that has dreamed 
itself to death; we will bring that for him. Then he will cry because 
we have brought him a little dead brother. But that good boy — you 
have not forgotten him, the one who said, 'It is wrong to laugh at 
animals!' — for him we will bring a brother and a sister too. And 
as his name is Peter, all of you shall be called Peter too." 

And it was done as she said; all the storks were named Peter, and 
so they are all called even now. 



There was once a darning-needle, who thought herself so fine, 
she imagined she was an embroidering-needle. 

"Take care, and mind you hold me tight!" she said to the Fingers 
that took her out. "Don't let me fall! If I fall on the ground I shall 
certainly never be found again, for I am so fine!" 

"That's as it may be," said the Fingers; and they grasped her 
round the body. 

"See, I'm coming with a train!" said the Darning-needle, and 
she drew a long thread after her, but there was no knot in the 

The Fingers pointed the needle just at the cook's slipper, in which 
the upper leather had burst, and was to be sewn together. 

"That's vulgar work," said the Darning-needle. "I shall never 
get through. I'm breaking! I'm breaking!" And she really broke. 
"Did I not say so?" said the Darning-needle; "I'm too fine!" 

"Now it's quite useless," said the Fingers; but they were obliged 
to hold her fast, all the same; for the cook dropped some sealing- 
wax upon the needle, and pinned her handkerchief together with 
it in front. 

"So, now I'm a breast-pin!" said the Darning-needle. "I knew 
very well that I should come to honor: when one is something, one 
comes to something!" 

And she laughed quietly to herself — and one can never see when 
a darning-needle laughs. There she sat, as proud as if she was ia 
a state coach, and looked all about her. 

"May I be permitted to ask if you are of gold?" she inquired of 
the pin, her neighbor. "You have a very pretty appearance, and a 
peculiar head, but it is only little. You must take pains to grow, 
for it's not every one that has sealing-wax dropped upon him." 

And the Darning-needle drew herself up so proudly that she fell 
out of the handkerchief right into the sink, which the cook was 
rinsing out. 

"Now we're going on a journey," said the Darning-needle. "If 
I only don't get lost!" 


But she really was lost. 

"I'm tcx3 fine for this world," she observed, as she lay in the gutter. 
"But I know who I am, and there's always something in that!" 

So the Darning-needle kept her proud behavior, and did not lose 
her good humor. And things of many kinds swam over her, chips 
and straws and pieces of old newspapers. 

"Only look how they sail!" said the Darning-needle. "They don't 
know what is under them! I'm here, I remain firmly here. See, 
there goes a chip thinking of nothing in the world but of himself — 
of a chip! There's a straw going by now. How he turns! how he 
twirls about! Don't think only of yourself, you might easily run 
up against a stone. There swims a bit of newspaper. What's writ- 
ten upon it has long been forgotten, and yet it gives itself airs. I sit 
quietly and patiently here. I know who I am, and I shall remain 
what I am." 

One day something lay close beside her that glittered splendidly; 
then the Darning-needle believed that it was a diamond; but it was 
a bit of broken bottle; and because it shone, the Darning-needle 
spoke to it, introducing herself as a breast-pin. 

"I suppose you are a diamond?" she observed. 

"Why, yes, something of that kind." 

And then each believed the other to be a very valuable thing; 
and they began speaking about the world, and how very conceited 
it was. 

"I have been in a lady's box," said the Darning-needle, "and this 
lady was a cook. She had five fingers on each hand, and I never 
saw anything so conceited as those five fingers. And yet they were 
only there that they might take me out of the box and put me back 
into it." 

"Were they of good birth?" asked the Bit of Bottle. 

"No, indeed," replied the Darning-needle; "but very haughty. 
There were five brothers, all of the finger family. They kept very 
proudly together, though they were of different lengths: the outer- 
most, the thumbling, was short and fat; he walked out in front of 
the ranks, and only had one joint in his back, and could only make 
a single bow; but he said that if he were hacked off a man, that 
man was useless for service in war. Daintymouth, the second finger, 



thrust himself into sweet and sour, pointed to sun and moon, and 
gave the impression when they wrote. Longman, the third, looked 
at all the others over his shoulder. Goldborder, the fourth, went 
about with a golden belt round his waist; and little Playman did 
nothing at all, and was proud of it. There was nothing but bragging 
among them, and therefore I went away." 

"And now we sit here and gHtterl" said the Bit of Bottle. 

At that moment more water came into the gutter, so that it over- 
flowed, and the Bit of Bottle was carried away. 

"So he is disposed of," observed the Darning-needle. "I remain 
here, I am too fine. But that's my pride, and my pride is honorable." 
And proudly she sat there, and had many great thoughts. "I could 
almost believe I had been born of a sunbeam, I'm so fine! It really 
apjjears as if the sunbeams were always seeking for me under the 
water. Ah! I'm so fine that my mother cannot find me. If I had my 
old eye, which broke off, I think I should cry; but, no, I should not 
do that: it's not genteel to cry." 

One day a couple of street boys lay grubbing in the gutter, where 
they sometimes found old nails, farthings, and similar treasures. It 
was dirty work, but they took great delight in it. 

"O!" cried one, who had pricked himself with the Darning-needle, 
"there's a fellow for you!" 

"I'm not a fellow; I'm a young lady!" said the Darning-needle. 

But nobody listened to her. The sealing-wax had come off, and 
she had turned black; but black makes one look slender, and she 
thought herself finer even than before. 

"Here comes an egg-shell sailing along!" said the boys; and they 
stuck the Darning-needle fast in the egg-shell. 

"White walls, and black myself! that looks well," remarked the 
Darning-needle. "Now one can see me. I only hope I shall not be 
seasick!" But she was not seasick at all. "It is good against seasick- 
ness, if one has a steel stomach, and does not forget that one is a 
little more than an ordinary person! Now my seasickness is over. 
The finer one is, the more one can bear." 

"Crack!" went the egg-shell, for a wagon went over her. 

"Good heavens, how it crushes one!" said the Darning-needle. 
"I'm getting seasick now, — I'm quite sick." 


But she was not really sick, though the wagon went over her; she 
lay there at full length, and there she may lie. 


It is in the hot lands that the sun burns, sure enough! there the 
people become quite mahogany brown, aye, and in the hottest lands 
they are burnt to negroes. But now it was only to the hot lands 
that a learned man had come from the cold; there he thought that 
he could run about just as when at home, but he soon found out his 

He, and all sensible folks, were obliged to stay within doors; the 
window-shutters and doors were closed the whole day; it looked ai 
if the whole house slept, or there was no one at home. 

The narrow street, with the high houses, was built so that the 
sunshine must fall there from morning till evening, — it was really 
not to be borne. 

The learned man from the cold lands — he was a young man, and 
seemed to be a clever man — sat in a glowing oven; it took effect on 
him, he became quite meagre — even his shadow shrunk in, for the 
sun had also an effect on it. It was first toward evening, when the 
sun was down, that they began to freshen up again. 

In the warm lands every window has a balcony, and the people 
come out on all the balconies in the street — for one must have air, 
even if one be accustomed to be mahogany! It was lively both up 
and down the street. Tailors, and shoemakers, and all the folks, 
moved out into the street; chairs and tables were brought forth; 
and candles burnt — ^yes, above a thousand lights were burning; and 
the one talked and the other sung, and people walked and church- 
bells rang, and asses went along with a dingle-dingle-dong! for they 
too had bells on. The street boys were screaming and hooting, and 
shouting and shooting, with devils and detonating balls: and there 
came corpse bearers and hood wearers, — for there were funerals with 
psalm and hymn; and then the din of carriages driving and com- 
pany arriving, — yes, it was, in truth, lively enough down in the street. 
Only in that single house, which stood opposite that in which the 
learned foreigner lived, it was quite still; and yet some one lived 


there, for there stood flowers in the balcony — they grew so well in 
the sun's heat! — and that they could not do unless they were watered; 
and some one must water them — there must be somebody there. 
The door opposite was also opened late in the evening, but it was 
dark within, at least in the front room; further in there was heard 
the sound of music. The learned foreigner thought it quite mar- 
velous, but now — it might be that he only imagined it, for he found 
everything marvelous out there in the warm lands, if there had 
only been no sun. The stranger's landlord said that he didn't know 
who had taken the house opposite, one saw no person about, and 
as to the music, it appeared to him to be extremely tiresome. "It is 
as if some one sat there and practiced a piece that he could not 
master — always the same piece. 'I shall master it!' says he; but yet 
he cannot master it, however long he plays." 

One night the stranger awoke — he slept with the doors of the 
balcony open — the curtain before it was raised by the wind, and he 
thought that a strange lustre came from the opposite neighbor's 
house; all the flowers shone like flames, in the most beautiful colors, 
and in the midst of the flowers stood a slender, graceful maiden, — 
it was as if she also shone; the light really hurt his eyes. He now 
opened them quite wide — yes, he was quite awake; with one spring 
he was on the floor; he crept gently behind the curtain, but the 
maiden was gone; the flowers shone no longer, but there they stood, 
fresh and blooming as ever: the door was ajar, and, far within, the 
music sounded so soft and deUghtful, one could really melt away in 
sweet thoughts from it. Yet it was like a piece of enchantment. 
And who lived there ? Where was the actual entrance ? The whole 
of the ground-floor was a row of shops, and there people could not 
always be running through. 

One evening, the stranger sat out on the balcony. The light burnt 
in the room behind him; and thus it was quite natural that his 
shadow should fall on his opposite neighbor's wall. Yes, there it 
sat, directly opposite, between the flowers on the balcony; and when 
the stranger moved, the shadow also moved: for that it always does. 

"I think my shadow is the only living thing one sees over there," 
said the Learned Man. "See! how nicely it sits between the flowers. 
The door stands half-open: now the shadow should be cunning. 


and go into the room, look about, and then come and tell me what 
it has seen. Come, now! be useful, and do me a service," said he, 
in jest. "Have the kindness to step in. Now! art thou going?" and 
then he nodded to the Shadow, and the Shadow nodded again. 
"Well, then, go! but don't stay away." 

The stranger rose, and his Shadow on their opposite neighbor's 
balcony rose also; the stranger turned round, and the Shadow also 
turned round. Yes! if any one had paid particular attention to it, 
they would have seen, quite distinctly, that the Shadow went in 
through the half-open balcony-door of their opposite neighbor, just 
as the stranger went into his own room, and let the long curtain 
fall down after him. 

Next morning, the Learned Man went out to drink coffee and 
read the newspapers. 

"What is that?" said he, as he came out into the sunshine. "I 
have no shadow! So, then, it has actually gone last night, and not 
come again. It is really tiresome!" 

This annoyed him: not so much because the shadow was gone, 
but because he knew there was a story about a man without a 
shadow. It was known to everybody at home, in the cold lands; 
and if the Learned Man now came there and told his story, they 
would say that he was imitating it, and that he had no need to do. 
He would, therefore, not talk about it at all; and that was wisely 

In the evening, he went out again on the balcony. He had 
placed the light directly behind him, for he knew that the 
shadow would always have its master for a screen, but he could 
not entice it. He made himself little; he made himself great; 
but no shadow came again. He said, "Hem! hem!" but it was 
of no use. 

It was vexatious; but in the warm lands everything grows so 
quickly; and after the lapse of eight days he observed, to his great 
joy, that a new shadow came in the sunshine. In the course of three 
weeks he had a very fair shadow, which, when he set out for his 
home in the northern lands, grew more and more in the journey, 
so that at last it was so long and so large that it was more than 


The Learned Man then came home, and he wrote books about 
what was true in the world, and about what was good, and what 
was beautiful; and there passed days and years, — yesl many years 
passed away. 

One evening, as he was sitting in his room, there was a gentle 
knocking at the door. 

"Come in!" said he; but no one came in; so he opened the door, 
and there stood before him such an extremely lean man, that he 
felt quite strange. As to the rest, the man was very finely dressed, 
— he must be a gentleman. 

"Whom have I the honor of speaking to?" asked the Learned Man. 

"Yes! I thought as much," said the fine man. "I thought you 
would not know me. I have got so much body. I have even got 
flesh and clothes. You certainly never thought of seeing me so well 
off. Do you not know your old Shadow? You certainly thought 
I should never more return. Things have gone on well with me 
since I was last with you. I have, in all respects, become very well 
off. Shall I purchase my freedom from service? If so, I can do it;" 
and then he rattled a whole bunch of valuable seals that hung to 
his watch, and he stuck his hand in the thick gold chain he wore 
around his neck; — nay! how all his fingers glittered with diamond 
rings; and then all were pure gems. 

"Nay, I cannot recover from my surprise!" said the Learned Man: 
"what is the meaning of all this?" 

"Something common it is not," said the Shadow: "but you your- 
self do not belong to the common order; and I, as you know well, 
have from a child followed in your footsteps. As soon as you found 
I was capable to go out alone in the world, I went my own way. 
I am in the most brilliant circumstances, but there came a sort of 
desire over me to see you once more before you die; — you will die, 
I suppose? I also wished to see this land again, — for you know we 
always love our native land. I know you have got another Shadow 
again; have I anything to pay to it or you? If so, you will oblige 
me by saying what it is." 

"Nay, is it really thou?" said the Learned Man: "it is most remark- 
able. I never imagined that one's old shadow could come again as 
a man." 


"Tell me what I have to pay," said the Shadow; "for I don't like 
to be in any sort of debt." 

"How canst thou talk so?" said the Learned Man; "what debt is 
there to talk about? Make thyself as free as any one else. 1 am 
extremely glad to hear of thy good fortune: sit down, old friend, 
and tell me a little how it has gone with thee, and what thou hast 
seen at our opposite neighbor's there — in the warm lands." 

"Yes, I will tell you all about it," said the Shadow, and sat down: 
"but then you must also promise me, that, wherever you may meet 
me, you will never say to any one here in the town that I have been 
your shadow. I intend to get betrothed, for I can provide for more 
than one family." 

"Be quite at thy ease about that," said the Learned Man; "I shall 
not say to any one who thou actually art; there is my hand — I 
promise it, and a man's bond is his word." 

"A word is a shadow," said the Shadow, "and as such it must 

It was really quite astonishing how much of a man it was. It 
was dressed entirely in black, and of the very finest cloth; it had 
patent leather boots, and a hat that could be folded together, so that 
it was bare crown and brim; not to sf)eak of what we already 
know it had — seals, gold neck<hain, and diamond rings; yes, the 
Shadow was well-dressed, and it was just that which made it quite 
a man. 

"Now I shall tell you my adventures," said the Shadow; and then 
he sat, with the polished boots on, as heavily as he could on the arm 
of the Learned Man's new shadow, which lay like a poodle-dog at 
his feet. Now this was perhaps from arrogance; and the shadow on 
the ground kept itself so still and quiet, that it might hear all that 
passed: it wished to know how it could get free, and work its way 
up, so as to become its own master. 

"Do you know who Uved in our opposite neighbor's house?" 
said the Shadow; "it was the most charming of all beings, it was 
Poetry! I was there for three weeks, and that has as much effect as 
if one had lived three thousand years, and read all that was com- 
posed and written; that is what I say, and it is right. I have seen 
everything, and I know everything!" 


"Poetry!" cried the Learned Man; "yes, yes, she is often an 
anchoret in the large towns! Poetry! yes, I have seen her, — a single, 
short moment, but sleep came into my eyes! She stood on the bal- 
cony and shone as the aurora borealis shines. Go on, go on! — thou 
wert on the balcony, and went through the door-way, and then — " 

"Then I was in the antechamber," said the Shadow. "You always 
sat and looked over to the antechamber. There was no light; there 
was a sort of twilight, but the one door stood of)en directly opposite 
the other through a long row of rooms and saloons, and there it 
was lighted up. I should have been completely killed if I had gone 
over to the maiden, but I was circumspect, I took time to think, and 
that one must always do." 

"And what didst thou then see?" asked the Learned Man. 

"I saw everything, and I shall tell all to you; but, — it is no pride 
on my part, — as a free man, and with the knowledge I have, not to 
speak of my position in life, my excellent circumstances, — I certainly 
wish that you would say you to me!" 

"I beg your pardon," said the Learned Man; "it is an old habit 
with me. You are perfectly right, and I shall remember it; but now 
you must tell me all that you saw!" 

"Everything!" said the Shadow, "for I saw everything, and I know 

"How did it look in the furthest saloon?" asked the Learned Man. 
"Was it there as in the fresh woods? Was it there as in a holy 
church ? Were the saloons like the starlit firmament when we stand 
on the high mountains?" 

"Everything was there!" said the Shadow. "I did not go quite in; 
I remained in the foremost room, in the twilight, but I stood there 
quite well; I saw everything, and I know everything! I have been 
in the antechamber at the court of Poetry." 

"But what did you see? Did all the gods of the olden times pass 
through the large saloons? Did the old heroes combat there? Did 
sweet children play there, and relate their dreams?" 

"I tell you I was there, and you can conceive that I saw everything 
there was to be seen. Had you come over there, you would not have 
been a man; but I became so! And besides, I learned to know my 
inward nature, my innate qualities, the relationship I had with 


Poetry. At the time I was with you, I thought not of that, but always 
— you know it well — when the sun rose, and when the sun went 
down, I became so strangely great; in the moonlight I was very near 
being more distinct than yourself; at that time I did not understand 
my nature; it was revealed to me in the antechamber! I became a 
man! I came out matured; but you were no longer in the warm 
lands: as a man I was ashamed to go as I did. I was in want of 
boots, of clothes, of the whole human varnish that makes a man 
perceptible. I took my way — I tell it to you, but you will not put 
it in any book — I took my way to the cake woman — I hid myself 
behind her; the woman didn't thinlt how much she concealed. I 
went out first in the evening; I ran about the streets in the moon- 
light; I made myself long up the walls — it tickles the back so dehght- 
fully! I ran up, and I ran down, peeped into the highest windows, 
into the saloons, and on the roofs. I peeped in where no one could 
peep, and I saw what no one else saw, what no one should see! This 
is, in fact, a base world! I would not be a man if it were not now 
once accepted and regarded as something to be sol I saw the most 
unimaginable things with the women, with the men, with parents, 
and with the sweet, matchless children; I saw," said the Shadow, 
"what no human being must know, but what they would all so 
willingly know — what is bad in their neighbor. Had I written a 
newspaper, it would have been read! but I wrote direct to the per- 
sons themselves, and there was consternation in all the towns where 
I came. They were so afraid of me, and yet they were so excessively 
fond of me. The professors made a professor of me; the tailors gave 
me new clothes — I am well furnished; the master of the mint struck 
new coin for me, and the women said I was so handsome! and so 
I became the man I am. And I now bid you farewell; — here is my 
card — I live on the sunny side of the street, and am always at home 
in rainy weather!" And so away went the Shadow. 

"That was most extraordinary!" said the Learned Man. 

Years and days passed away, then the Shadow came again. 

"How goes it?" said the Shadow. 

"Alas!" said the Learned Man, "I write about the true, and the 
good, and the beautiful, but no one cares to hear such thingsl I am 
quite desperate, for I take it so much to heart!" 

Andersen's tales 325 

"But I don't!" said the Shadow; "I become fat, and it is that one 
wants to become! You do not understand the world. You will 
become ill by it. You must travel! I shall make a tour this summer; 
will you go with me? I should like to have a travelling companion! 
will you go with me, as shadow? It will be a great pleasure for me 
to have you with me, — I shall pay the travelling expenses!" 

"Nay, this is too much!" said the Learned Man. 

"It is just as one takes it," said the Shadow. "It will do you much 
good to travel! — will you be my shadow? — you shall have everything 
free on the journey!" 

"Nay, that is too bad!" said the Learned Man. 

"But it is just so with the world!" said the Shadow, "and so it 
will be!" and away it went again. 

The Learned Man was not at all in the most enviable state; grief 
and torment followed him, and what he said about the true, and 
the good, and the beautiful was, to most persons, like roses for a 
cow! — he was quite ill at last. 

"You really look like a shadow!" said his friends to him; and the 
Learned Man trembled, for he thought of it. 

"You must go to a watering-place!" said the Shadow, who came 
and visited him; "there is nothing else for it! I will take you with 
me for old acquaintance sake; I will pay the travelling expenses, 
and you write the descriptions — and you may make them amusing 
if you please. I will go to a watering-place, — my beard does not grow 
out as it ought — that is also a sickness, and one must have a beard. 
Now you be wise and accept the offer; we shall travel as comrades!" 

And so they travelled; the Shadow was master, and the master 
was the Shadow; they drove with each other, they rode and walked 
together, side by side, before and behind, just as the sun was; the 
Shadow always took care to keep itself in the master's place. Now 
the Learned Man didn't think much about that; he was a very 
kind-hearted man, and particularly mild and friendly, and so he 
said one day to the Shadow: "As we have now become companions, 
and in this way have grown up together from childhood, shall we 
not drink 'thou' together? it is more familiar." 

"You are right!" said the Shadow, who was now the proper master. 
"It is said in a very straightforward and well-meant manner. You, 


as a learned man, certainly know how strange nature is. Some per- 
sons cannot bear to touch gray paper, or they become ill; others 
shiver in every limb if one rub a pane of glass with a nail: I have 
just such a feeling on hearing you say thou to me; I feel myself as 
if pressed to the earth in my first situation with you. You see that 
it is a feeling; that it is not pride. I cannot allow you to say thou to 
me, but I will willingly say thou to you, so it is half done!" 

So the Shadow said thou to its former master. 

"This is rather too bad," thought he, "that I must say you and he 
say thou," but he was now obliged to put up with it. 

So they came to a watering-place where there were many strangers, 
and amongst them was a princess who was troubled with seeing too 
well; and that was so alarming! 

She directly observed that the stranger who had just come was 
quite a different sort of person to all the others: "He has come here 
in order to get his beard to grow, they say; but I see the real cause, 
he cannot cast a shadow." 

She had become inquisitive; and so she entered into conversation 
directly with the strange gentleman, on their promenades. As the 
daughter of a king, she needed not to stand upon trifles, so she said, 
"Your complaint is, that you cannot cast a shadow?" 

"Your royal highness must be improving considerably," said the 
Shadow. "I know your complaint is, that you see too clearly; but it 
has decreased, you are cured. I just happen to have a very unusual 
shadow! Do you not see that p)erson who always goes with me? 
Other persons have a common shadow, but I do not like what is 
common to all. We give our servants finer cloth for their Uvery 
than we ourselves use, and so I had my shadow trimmed up into a 
man: yes, you see I have even given him a shadow. It is somewhat 
expensive, but I like to have something for myself!" 

"What!" thought the Princess, "should I really be cured! These 
baths are the first in the world! In our time water has wonderful 
powers. But I shall not leave the place, for it now begins to be 
amusing here. I am extremely fond of that stranger. Would that 
his beard should not grow, for in that case he will leave us." 

In the evening the Princess and the Shadow danced together in 
the large ball-room. She was light, but he was still lighter; she had 


never had such a partner in the dance. She told him from what 
land she came, and he knew that land; he had been there, but then 
she was not at home; he had peeped in at the window above and 
below — he had seen both the one and the other, so he could answer 
the Princess, and make insinuations, so that she was quite astonished; 
he must be the wisest man in the whole world! she felt such respect 
for what he knew! So that when they again danced together she 
fell in love with him; and that the Shadow could remark, for she 
almost pierced him through with her eyes. So they danced once 
more together; and she was about to declare herself, but she was 
discreet; she thought of her country and kingdom, and of the many 
persons she would have to reign over. 

"He is a wise man," said she to herself — ^"it is well; and he dances 
delightfully — that is also good; but has he solid knowledge? — that 
is just as important! — he must be examined." 

So she began, by degrees, to question him about the most diflficult 
things she could think of, and which she herself could not have 
answered; so that the Shadow made a strange face. 

"You cannot answer these questions?" said the Princess. 

"They belong to my childhood's learning," said the Shadow. "I 
really believe my shadow, by the door there, can answer them!" 

"Your shadow!" said the Princess; "that would indeed be mar- 

"I will not say for a certainty that he can," said the Shadow, "but 
I think so; he has now followed me for so many years, and listened 
to my conversation — I should think it possible. But your royal high- 
ness will permit me to observe, that he is so proud of passing himself 
off for a man, that when he is to be in a proper humor — and he must 
be so to answer well — he must be treated quite like a man." 

"O! I Uke that!" said the Princess. 

So she went to the Learned Man by the door, and she spoke with 
him about the sun and the moon, and about persons out of and in 
the world, and he answered with wisdom and prudence. 

"What a man that must be who has so wise a shadow!" thought 
she; "it will be a real blessing for my people and kingdom if I choose 
him for my consort — I will do it!" 

They were soon agreed, both the Princess and the Shadow; but 


no one was to know about it before she arrived in her own kingdom. 

"No one — not even my shadow!" said the Shadow; and he had 
his own thoughts about it! 

Now they were in the country where the Princess lived when she 
was at home. 

"Listen, my good friend!" said the Shadow to the Learned Man. 
"I have now become as happy and mighty as any one can be; I will, 
therefore, do something particular for thee! Thou shalt always Uve 
with me in the palace, drive with me in my royal carriage, and have 
ten thousand pounds a year; but then thou must submit to be called 
shadow by all and every one; thou must not say that thou hast ever 
been a man; and once a year, when I sit on the balcony in the sun- 
shine, thou must lie at my feet, as a shadow shall do! I must tell 
thee: I am going to marry the king's daughter, and the nuptials are 
to take place this evening!" 

"Nay, this is going too far!" said the Learned Man; "I will not 
have it; I will not do it. It is to deceive the whole country and the 
Princess too! I will tell everything! — that I am a man and that 
thou art a shadow — thou art only dressed up!" 

"There is no one who will believe it!" said the Shadow; "be rea- 
sonable, or I will call the guard!" 

"I will go directly to the Princess!" said the Learned Man. 

"But I will go first!" said the Shadow, "and thou wilt go to 
prison!" and that he was obliged to do — for the sentinels obeyed 
him whom they knew the king's daughter was to marry. 

"You tremble!" said the Princess, as the Shadow came into her 
chamber; "has anything happened? You must not be unwell this 
evening, now that we are to have our nuptials celebrated." 

"I have lived to see the most cruel thing that any one can live to 
see!" said the Shadow. "Only imagine — yes, it is true, such a poor 
shadow-skull cannot bear much — only think, my shadow has become 
mad: he thinks that he is a man, and that I — now only think — that 
I am his shadow!" 

"It is terrible!" said the Princess; "but he is confined, is he not?" 

"That he is. I am afraid that he will never recover." 

"Poor shadow!" said the Princess, "he is very unfortunate; it 
would be a real work of charity to deliver him from the little life 

Andersen's tales 329 

he has, and when I think properly over the matter, I am of opinion 
that it will be necessary to do away with him in all stillness!" 

"It is certainly hard I" said the Shadow, "for he was a faithful 
servant!" and then he gave a sort of sigh. 

"You are a noble character!" said the Princess. 

The whole city was illuminated in the evening, and the cannons 
went ofT with a bum! bum! and the soldiers presented arms. That 
was a marriage! The Princess and the Shadow went out on the 
balcony to show themselves, and get another hurrah! 

The Learned Man heard nothing of all this — for they had deprived 
him of life. 


There was once a little girl, — a very nice, pretty little girl. But 
in summer she had to go barefoot, because she was poor, and in 
winter she wore thick wooden shoes, so that her little instep became 
quite red, altogether red. 

In the middle of the village lived an old shoemaker's wife; she 
sat and sewed, as well as she could, a pair of little shoes, of old strips 
of red cloth; they were clumsy enough, but well meant, and the 
little girl was to have them. The little girl's name was Karen. 

On the day when her mother was buried she received the red 
shoes and wore them for the first time. They were certainly not 
suited for mourning; but she had no others, and therefore thrust her 
little bare feet into them and walked behind the plain deal coffin. 

Suddenly a great carriage came by, and in the carriage sat an old 
lady: she looked at the little girl and felt pity for her, and said to 
the clergyman, — 

"Give me the little girl, and I will provide for her." 

Karen thought this was for the sake of the shoes; but the Old 
Lady declared they were hideous; and they were burned. But Karen 
herself was clothed neatly and properly : she was taught to read and 
to sew, and the people said she was agreeable. But her mirror said, 
"You are much more than agreeable; you are beautiful." 

Once the Queen travelled through the country, and had her little 
daughter with her; and the daughter was a Princess. And the people 


flocked toward the casde, and Karen too was among them; and the 
httle Princess stood in a fine white dress at a window, and let her- 
self be gazed at. She had neither train nor golden crown, but she 
wore splendid red morocco shoes; they were certainly far handsomer 
than those the shoemaker's wife had made for little Karen. Nothing 
in the world can compare with red shoes! 

Now Karen was old enough to be confirmed: new clothes were 
made for her, and she was to have new shoes. The rich shoemaker 
in the town took the measure of her little feet; this was done in his 
own house, in his little room, and there stood great glass cases with 
neat shoes and shining boots. It had quite a charming appearance, 
but the Old Lady could not see well, and therefore took no pleasure 
in it. Among the shoes stood a red pair, just like those which the 
Princess had worn. How beautiful they were! The shoemaker also 
said they had been made for a count's child, but they had not fitted. 

"That must be patent leather," observed the Old Lady, "the shoes 
shine so!" 

"Yes, they shine!" replied Karen; and they fitted her, and were 
bought. But the Old Lady did not know that they were red; for 
she would never have allowed Karen to go to her Confirmation in 
red shoes; and that is what Karen did. 

Every one was looking at her shoes. And when she went across 
the church porch, toward the door of the choir, it seemed to her 
as if the old pictures on the tombstones, the portraits of clergymen 
and clergymen's wives, in their stiff collars and long black garments, 
fixed their eyes upon her red shoes. And she thought of her shoes 
only, when the priest laid his hand upon her head and spoke holy 
words. And the organ pealed solemnly, the children sang with their 
fresh sweet voices, and the old precentor sang too; but Karen thought 
only of her red shoes. 

In the afternoon the Old Lady was informed by every one that 
the shoes were red; and she said it was naughty and unsuitable, 
and that when Karen went to church in future, she should 
always go in black shoes, even if they were old. 

Next Sunday was Sacrament Sunday. And Karen looked at the 
black shoes, and she looked at the red ones — looked at them again 
— and put on the red ones- 


The sun shone gloriously; Karen and the Old Lady went along 
the foot-path through the fields, and it was rather dusty. 

By the church door stood an old invalid soldier with a crutch 
and a long beard; the beard was rather red than white, for it was 
red altogether; and he bowed down almost to the ground, and asked 
the Old Lady if he might dust her shoes. And Karen also stretched 
out her little foot. 

"Look what pretty dancing shoes!" said the Old Soldier. "Fit so 
tightly when you dance!" 

And he tapped the soles with his hand. And the Old Lady gave 
the Soldier an alms, and went into the church with Karen. 

And every one in the church looked at Karen's red shoes, and all 
the pictures looked at them. And while Karen knelt in the church 
she only thought of her red shoes; and she forgot to sing her psalm, 
and forgot to say her prayer. 

Now all the people went out of church, and the Old Lady stepped 
into her carriage. Karen lifted up her foot to step in too; then the 
Old Soldier said, — 

"Look, what beautiful dancing shoes!" 

And Karen could not resist: she was obliged to dance a few steps; 
and when she once began, her legs went on dancing. It was just as 
though the shoes had obtained power over her. She danced round 
the corner of the church — she could not help it; the coachman was 
obliged to run behind her and seize her: he lifted her into the car- 
riage, but her feet went on dancing, so that she kicked the good 
Old Lady violently. At last they took off her shoes and her legs 
became quiet. 

At home the shoes were put away in a cupboard; but Karen could 
not resist looking at them. 

Now the Old Lady became very ill, and it was said she would 
not recover. She had to be nursed and waited on; and this was no 
one's duty so much as Karen's. But there was to be a great ball in 
the town, and Karen was invited. She looked at the Old Lady who 
could not recover; she looked at the red shoes, and thought there 
would be no harm in it. She put on the shoes, and that she might 
do very well; but they went to the ball and began to dance. 

But when she wished to Ro to the right hand, the shoes danced 


to the left, and when she wanted to go up-stairs, the shoes danced 
downward, down into the street and out at the town gate. She 
danced, and was obliged to dance, straight out into the dark wood. 

There was something glistening up among the trees, and she 
thought it was the moon, for she saw a face. But it was the Old 
Soldier with the red beard: he sat and nodded, and said, — 

"Look, what beautiful dancing shoes!" 

Then she was frightened, and wanted to throw away the red 
shoes; but they clung fast to her. And she tore off her stockings: 
but the shoes had grown fast to her feet. And she danced and was 
compelled to go dancing over field and meadow, in rain and sun- 
shine, by night and by day; but it was most dreadful at night. 

She danced out into the open church-yard; but the dead there do 
not dance; they have far better things to do. She wished to sit 
down on the poor man's grave, where the bitter fern grows; but 
there was no f)eace nor rest for her. And when she danced toward 
the open church door, she saw there an angel in long white garments, 
with wings that reached from his shoulders to his feet; his coun- 
tenance was serious and stern, and in his hand he held a sword that 
was broad and gleaming. 

"Thou shalt dance!" he said — "dance on thy red shoes, till thou 
art pale and cold, and till thy body shrivels to a skeleton. Thou 
shalt dance from door to door; and where proud, haughty children 
dwell, shalt thou knock, that they may hear thee, and be afraid of 
thee! Thou shalt dance, dance!" 

"Mercy!" cried Karen. 

But she did not hear what the Angel answered, for the shoes 
carried her away — carried her through the door on to the field, 
over stock and stone, and she was always obliged to dance. 

One morning she danced past a door which she knew well. There 
was a sound of psalm-singing within, and a coffin was carried out, 
adorned with flowers. Then she knew that the Old Lady was dead, 
and she felt that she was deserted by all, and condemned by the 
Angel of heaven. 

She danced, and was compelled to dance — to dance in the dark 
night. The shoes carried her on over thorn and brier; she scratched 
herself till she bled; she danced away across the heath to a little 


lonely house. Here she knew the executioner dwelt; and she tapped 
with her fingers on the panes, and called, — 

"Come out, come out! 1 cannot come in, for I must dance!" 

And the Executioner said, — 

"You probably don't linow who I am? I cut off the bad people's 
heads with my axe, and mark how my axe rings!" 

"Do not strike ofl my head," said Karen, "for if you do I cannot 
repent of my sin. But strike off my feet with the red shoes!" 

And then she confessed all her sin, and the Executioner cut off 
her feet with the red shoes; but the shoes danced away with the 
little feet over the fields and into the deep forest. 

And he cut her a pair of wooden feet, with crutches, and taught 
her a psalm, which the criminals always sing; and she kissed the 
hand that had held the axe, and went away across the heath. 

"Now I have suffered pain enough for the red shoes," said she. 
"Now I will go into the church that they may see me." And she 
went quickly toward the church door; but when she came there 
the red shoes danced before her, so that she was frightened and 
turned back. 

The whole week through she was sorrowful, and wept many bit- 
ter tears; but when Sunday came, she said, — 

"Now I have suffered and striven enough! I think that I am just 
as good as many of those who sit in the church and carry their heads 

And then she went boldly on; but she did not get farther than 
the church-yard gate before she saw the red shoes dancing along 
before her: then she was seized with terror, and turned back, and 
repjented of her sin right heartily. 

And she went to the parsonage, and begged to be taken there as 
a servant. She promised to be industrious, and to do all she could: 
she did not care for wages, and only wished to be under a roof and 
with good people. The clergyman's wife pitied her, and took her 
into her service. And she was industrious and thoughtful. Silently 
she sat and listened when in the evening the pastor read the Bible 
aloud. All the little ones were very fond of her; but when they 
spoke of dress and splendor and beauty she would shake her head. 

Next Sunday they all went to church, and she was asked if she 


wished to go too; but she looked sadly, with tears in her eyes, at 
her crutches. And then the others went to hear God's word; but 
she went alone into her little room, which was only large enough 
to contain her bed and a chair. And here she sat with her hymn- 
book; and as she read it with a pious mind, the wind bore the notes 
of the organ over to her from the church; and she lifted up her face, 
wet with tears, and said, — 

"O Lord, help me!" 

Then the sun shone so brightly; and before her stood the Angel 
in the white garments, the same she had seen that night at the 
church door. But he no longer grasped the sharp sword: he held a 
green branch covered with roses; and he touched the ceiling, and 
it rose up high and wherever he touched it a golden star gleamed 
forth; and he touched the walls, and they spread forth widely, and 
she saw the organ which was pealing its rich sounds; and she saw 
the old pictures of clergymen and their wives; and the congregation 
sat in the decorated seats, and sang from their hymn-books. The 
church had come to the poor girl in her narrow room, or her chamber 
had become a church. She sat in the chair with the rest of the 
clergyman's people; and when they had finished the psalm, and 
looked up, they nodded and said, — 

"That was right, that you came here, Karen." 

"It was mercy!" said she. 

And the organ sounded its glorious notes; and the children's 
voices singing in chorus sounded sweet and lovely; the clear sun- 
shine streamed so warm through the window upon the chair in 
which Karen sat; and her heart became so filled with sunshine, peace, 
and joy that it broke. Her soul flew on the sunbeams to heaven; 
and there was nobody who asked after the Red Shoes. 


"My poor flowers are quite dead!" said little Ida. "They were 
so pretty yesterday, and now all the leaves hang withered. Why do 
they do that?" she asked the Student, who sat on the sofa; for she 
liked him very much. He knew the prettiest stories, and could cut 
out the most amusing pictures: hearts, with little ladies in them who 


danced; flowers, and great castles in which one could open the doors; 
he was a merry student. "Why do the flowers look so faded to-day?" 
she asked again, and showed him a nosegay, which was quite 

"Do you know what's the matter with them?" said the Student. 
"The flowers have been at a ball last night, and that's why they 
hang their heads." 

"But flowers cannot dance!" cried little Ida. 

"O yes," said the Student, "when it grows dark, and we are 
asleep, they jump about merrily. Almost every night they have a 

"Can children go to this ball?" 

"Yes," said the Student, "quite little daisies, and lilies of the valley." 

"Where do the beautiful flowers dance?" asked Ida. 

"Have you not often been outside the town gate, by the great 
castle, where the king lives in summer, and where the beautiful 
garden is with all the flowers? You have seen the swans, which 
swim up to you when you want to give them bread crumbs? There 
are capital balls there, believe me." 

"I was out there in the garden yesterday, with my mother," said 
Ida; "but all the leaves were off the trees, and there was not one 
flower left. Where are they? In the summer I saw so many." 

"They are within, in the castle," replied the Student. "You must 
know, as soon as the king and all the court go to town, the flowers 
run out of the garden into the castle and are merry. You should 
see that. The two most beautiful roses seat themselves on the throne, 
and then they are king and queen; all the red coxcombs range them- 
selves on either side, and stand and bow; they are the chamberlains. 
Then all the pretty flowers come, and there is a great ball. The 
blue violets represent little naval cadets; they dance with hyacinths 
and crocuses, which they call young ladies; the tulips and great 
tiger-lilies are old ladies who keep watch that the dancing is well 
done, and that everything goes on with propriety." 

"But," asked little Ida, "is nobody there who hurts the flowers, 
for dancing in the king's castle?" 

"There is nobody who really knows about it," answered the 
Student. "Sometimes, certainly, the old steward of the castle comes 


at night, and he has to watch there. He has a great bunch of keys 
with him; but as soon as the flowers hear the keys rattle they are 
quite quiet, hide behind the long curtains, and only poke their 
heads out. Then the old steward says, 'I smell that there are flowers 
here,' but he cannot see them." 

"That is famous!" cried Uttle Ida, clapping her hands. "But should 
not I be able to see the flowers?" 

"Yes," said the student: "only remember, when you go out again, 
to peep through the window; then you will see them. That is what 
I did to-day. There was a long yellow lily lying on the sofa and 
stretching herself. She was a court lady." 

"Can the flowers out of the Botanical Garden get there.? Can 
they go the long distance?" 

"Yes, certainly," replied the Student; "if they like they can fly. 
Have you not seen the beautiful butterflies — red, yellow, and white? 
They almost look like flowers; and that is what they have been. 
They have flown off their stalks high into the air, and have beaten 
it with their leaves, as if these leaves were little wings, and thus 
they flew. And because they behaved themselves well, they got 
leave to fly about in the day-time too, and were not obliged to sit 
still upon their stalks at home; and thus at last the leaves became 
real wings. That you have seen yourself. It may be, however, that 
the flowers in the Botanical Garden have never been in the king's 
castle, or that they don't know of the merry proceedings there at 
night. Therefore I will tell you something: he will be very much 
surprised, the botanical professor, who lives close by here. You 
know him, do you not? When you come into his garden, you must 
tell one of the flowers that there is a great ball yonder in the castle. 
Then that flower will tell it to all the rest, and then they will fly 
away: when the professor comes out into the garden, there will 
not be a single flower left, and he won't be able to make out where 
they are gone." 

"But how can one flower tell it to another? For, you know, 
flowers cannot speak." 

"That they cannot, certainly," replied the Student; "but then they 
make signs. Have you not noticed that when the wind blows a 
little, the flowers nod at one another, and move all their green 


leaves? They can understand that just as well as we when we speak 

"Can the professor understand these signs?" asked Ida. 

"Yes, certainly. He came one morning into his garden, and saw 
a great stinging-nettle standing there, and making signs to a beau- 
tiful red carnation with its leaves. It was saying, 'You are so pretty, 
and I love you with all my heart.' But the professor does not like 
that kind of thing, and he directly slapped the stinging-nettle upon 
its leaves, for those are its lingers; but he stung himself, and since 
that time he has not dared to touch a stinging-nettle." 

"That is funny," cried little Ida; and she laughed. 

"How can any one put such notions into a child's head?" said 
the tiresome Privy Councilor, who had come to pay a visit, and 
was sitting on the sofa. He did not like the Student, and always 
grumbled when he saw him cutting out the merry, funny pictures 
— sometimes a man hanging on a gibbet and holding a heart in his 
hand, to show that he stole hearts; sometimes an old witch riding 
on a broom, and carrying her husband on her nose. The Councilor 
could not bear this, and then he said, just as he did now, "How can 
any one put such notions into a child's head? Those are stupid 

But to little Ida, what the Student told about her flowers seemed 
very droll; and she thought much about it. The flowers hung their 
heads, for they were tired because they had danced all night; they 
were certainly ill. Then she went with them to her other toys, 
which stood on a pretty little table, and the whole drawer was full 
of beautiful things. In the doll's bed lay her doll Sophy, asleep; 
but little Ida said to her, — 

"You must really get up, Sophy, and manage to lie in the drawer 
for to-night. The f)oor flowers are ill, and they must lie in your 
bed; perhaps they will then get well again." 

And she at once took the doll out; but the doll looked cross, and 
did not say a single word; for she was cross because she could not 
keep her own bed. 

Then Ida laid the flowers in the doll's bed, pulled the little cover- 
let quite up over them, and said they were to lie still and be good, 
and she would make them some tea, so that they might get well 


again, and be able to get up to-morrow. And she drew the curtains 
closely round the little bed, so that the sun should not shine in their 
eyes. The whole evening through she could not help thinking of 
what the Student had told her. And when she was going to bed 
herself she was obliged first to look behind the curtains which hung 
before the windows where her mother's beautiful flowers stood — 
hyacinths as well as tulips; then she whispered, "I know you are 
going to the ball to-night!" But the flowers made as if they did not 
understand a word, and did not stir a leaf; but still little Ida knew 
what she knew. 

When she was in bed she lay for a long time thinking how pretty 
it must be to see the beautiful flowers dancing out in the king's 
castle. "I wonder if my flowers have really been there?" And then 
she fell asleep. In the night she woke up again: she had dreamed 
of the flowers, and of the Student with whom the Councilor found 
fault. It was quite quiet in the bedroom where Ida lay; the night- 
lamp burned on the table, and father and mother were asleep. 

"I wonder if my flowers are still lying in Sophy's bed ?" she thought 
to herself. "How I should like to know it!" She raised herself a 
little, and looked at the door, which stood ajar: within lay the 
flowers and all her playthings. She listened, and then it seemed to 
her as if she heard some one playing on the piano in the next room, 
but quite softly and prettily, as she had never heard it before. 

"Now all the flowers are certainly dancing in there!" thought she. 
"O, how glad I should be to see it!" But she dared not get up, for 
she would have disturbed her father and mother. 

"If they would only come in!" thought she. But the flowers did 
not come, and the music continued to play beautifully; then she 
could not bear it any longer, for it was too pretty; she crept out of 
her little bed, and went quietly to the door, and looked into the room. 

O, how splendid it was, what she saw! 

There was no night-lamp burning, but still it was quite light: 
the moon shone through the window into the middle of the floor; 
it was almost like day. All the hyacinths and tulips stood in two 
long rows in the room; there were none at all left at the window — 
there stood the empty flower-pots. On the floor all the flowers were 
dancing very gracefully round each other, making perfect turns. 

Andersen's tales 339 

and holding each other by the long green leaves as they swung 
round. But at the piano sat a great yellow hly, which little Ida had 
certainly seen in summer; for she remembered how the Student had 
said, "How like that one is to Miss Lina." Then he had been laughed 
at by all; but now it seemed really to little Ida as if the long, yellow 
flower looked like the young lady; and it had just her manners in 
playing — sometimes bending its long, yellow face to one side, some- 
times to the other, and nodding in tune to the charming music! 
No one noticed little Ida. Then she saw a great blue crocus hop 
into the middle of the table, where the toys stood, and go to the 
doll's bed and pull the curtains aside; there lay the sick flowers, but 
they got up directly, and nodded to the others, to say that they 
wanted to dance too. The old Chimney-sweep doll, whose under- 
lip was broken off, stood up and bowed to the pretty flowers: these 
did not look at all ill now; they jumped down to the others, and 
were very merry. 

Then it seemed as if something fell down from the table. Ida 
looked that way. It was the birch rod which was jumping down! 
it seemed almost as if it belonged to the flowers. At any rate it was 
very neat; and a little wax doll, with just such a broad hat on its 
head as the Councilor wore, sat upon it. The birch rod hopped 
about among the flowers on its three legs, and stamped quite loud, 
for it was dancing the mazourka; and the other flowers could not 
manage that dance, because they were too light, and unable to stamp 
like that. 

The wax doll on the birch rod all at once became quite great and 
long, turned itself over the paper flowers, and said, "How can one 
put such things in a child's head? those are stupid fancies!" and 
then the wax doll was exactly like the Councilor with the broad 
hat, and looked just as yellow and cross as he. But the paper flowers 
hit him on his thin legs, and then he shrank up again, and became 
quite a little wax doll. That was very amusing to see; and little Ida 
could not restrain her laughter. The birch rod went on dancing, and 
the Councilor was obliged to dance too; it was no use, he might 
make himself great and long, or remain the little yellow wax doll 
with the big black hat. Then the other flowers put in a good word 
for him, especially those who had lain in the doll's bed, and then 


the birch rod gave over. At the same moment there was a loud 
knocking at the drawer, inside where Ida's doll, Sophy, lay with 
many other toys. The Chimney-sweep ran to the edge of the table, 
lay flat down on his stomach, and began to pull the drawer out a 
little. Then Sophy raised herself, and looked round quite astonished. 

"There must be a ball here," said she; "why did nobody tell me?" 

"Will you dance with me?" asked the Chimney-sweep. 

"You are a nice sort of fellow to dance!" she replied, and turned 
her back upon him. 

Then she seated herself upon the drawer, and thought that one 
of the flowers would come and ask her; but not one of them came. 
Then she coughed, "Hem! hem! hem!" but for all that not one 
came. The Chimney-sweep now danced all alone, and that was 
not at all so bad. 

As none of the flowers seemed to notice Sophy, she let herself 
fall down from the drawer straight upon the floor, so that there was 
a great noise. The flowers now all came running up, to ask if she 
had not hurt herself; and they were all very polite to her, especially 
the flowers that had lain in her bed. But she had not hurt herself 
at all; and Ida's flowers all thanked her for the nice bed, and were 
kind to her, took her into the middle of the room, where the moon 
shone in, and danced with her; and all the other flowers formed a 
circle round her. Now Sophy was glad, and said they might keep 
her bed, she did not at all mind lying in the drawer. 

But the flowers said, "We thank you heartily, but in any way 
we cannot live long. To-morrow we shall be quite dead. But tell 
little Ida she is to bury us out in the garden, where the canary lies; 
then we shall wake up again in summer, and be far more beautiful." 

"No, you must not die," said Sophy; and she kissed the flowers. 

Then the room door opened, and a great number of splendid 
flowers came dancing in. Ida could not imagine whence they had 
come; these must certainly all be flowers from the king's castle 
yonder. First of all came two glorious roses, and they had little gold 
crowns on; they were a king and a queen. Then came the prettiest 
stocks and carnations; and they bowed in all directions. They had 
music with them. Great poppies and peonies blew upon pea-pods 
till they were quite red in the face. The blue hyacinths and the 


little white snow-drops rang just as if they had been bells. That was 
wonderful music! Then came many other flowers, and danced all 
together; the blue violets and the pink primroses, daisies and the 
lihes of the valley. And all the flowers kissed one another. It was 
beautiful to look at! 

At last the flowers wished one another good-night; then litde Ida, 
too, crept to bed, where she dreamed of all she had seen. 

When she rose next morning, she went quickly to the little table, 
to see if the pretty flowers were still there. She drew aside the cur- 
tains of the little bed; there were they all, but they were quite faded, 
far more than yesterday. Sophy was lying in the drawer where Ida 
laid her; she looked very sleepy. 

"Do you remember what you were to say to me?" asked litde Ida. 

But Sophy looked quite stupid, and did not say a single word. 

"You are not good at all!" said Ida. "And yet they all danced 
with you." 

Then she took a litde paper box, on which were painted beautiful 
birds, and opened it, and laid the dead flowers in it. 

"That shall be your pretty coffin," said she, "and when my cousins 
come to visit me by and by they shall help me to bury you outside 
in the garden, so that you may grow again in summer, and become 
more beautiful than ever." 

These cousins were two merry boys. Their names were Gustave 
and Adolphe; their father had given them two new cross-bows, and 
they brought these with them to show to Ida. She told them about 
the poor flowers which had died, and then they got leave to bury 
them. The two boys went first, with their cross-bows on their 
shoulders, and little Ida followed with the dead flowers in the pretty 
box. Out in the garden a little grave was dug. Ida first kissed the 
flowers, and then laid them in the earth in the box, and Adolphe 
and Gustave shot with their cross-bows over the grave, for they had 
neither guns nor cannons. 

Whenever a good child dies, an angel from heaven comes down 
to earth and takes the dead child in his arms, spreads out his great 
white wings, and flies away over all the places the child has loved, and 


picks quite a handful of flowers, which he carries up to the Almighty, 
that they may bloom in heaven more brightly than on earth. And 
the Father presses all the flowers to His heart; but He kisses the 
flower that pleases Him best, and the flower is then endowed with 
a voice, and can join in the great chorus of praise! 

"See" — this is what an Angel said, as he carried a dead child up 
to heaven, and the Child heard, as if in a dream; and they went on 
over the regions of home where the little Child had played, and 
came through gardens with beautiful flowers — "which of these shall 
we take with us to plant in heaven?" asked the Angel. 

Now, there stood near them a slender, beautiful rose-bush; but a 
wicked hand had broken the stem, so that all the branches, covered 
with half-opened buds, were hanging around, quite withered. 

"The poor rose-bush!" said the Child. "Take it, that it may bloom 
up yonder." 

And the Angel took it, and kissed the Child, and the little one 
half opened his eyes. They plucked some of the rich flowers, but 
also took with them the wild pansy and the despised buttercup. 

"Now we have flowers," said the Child. 

And the Angel nodded, but he did not yet fly upward to heaven. 
It was night and quite silent. They remained in the great city; 
they floated about there in a small street, where lay whole heaps of 
straw, ashes, and sweepings, for it had been removal day. There 
lay fragments of plates, bits of plaster, rags, and old hats, and all 
this did not look well. And the Angel pointed amid all this con- 
fusion to a few fragments of a flower-pot, and to a lump of earth 
which had fallen out, and which was kept together by the roots of 
a great dried field flower, which was of no use, and had therefore 
been thrown out into the street. 

"We will take that with us," said the Angel. "I will tell you why, 
as we fly onward. 

"Down yonder in the narrow lane, in the low cellar, lived a poor 
sick boy; from his childhood he had been bed-ridden. When he was 
at his best he could go up and down the room a few times, leaning 
on crutches; that was the utmost he could do. For a few days ia 
summer the sun-beams would penetrate for a few hours to the 
ground of the cellar, and when the poor boy sat there and the sun 


shone on him, and he looked at the red blood in his three fingers, 
as he held them up before his face, he would say, 'Yes, today he has 
been out!' He knew the forest with its beautiful vernal green only 
from the fact that the neighbor's little son brought him the first 
green branch of a beech-tree, and he held that up over his head, and 
dreamed he was in the beech wood, where the sun shone and the 
birds sang. On a spring day the neighbor's boy brought him also 
field fiowers, and among them was, by chance, one to which the 
root was still hanging; and so it was planted in a flower-pot, and 
placed by the bed, close to the window. And the flower had been 
planted by a fortunate hand; and it grew, threw out new shoots, 
and bore flowers every year. It became a splendid flower garden to 
the sickly boy — his little treasure here on earth. He watered it, and 
tended it, and took care that it had the benefit of every ray of sun- 
light, down to the latest that struggled in through the narrow win- 
dow; and the flower itself was woven into his dreams, for it grew 
for him and gladdened his eyes, and spread its fragrance about him; 
and toward it he turned in death, when the Father called him. He 
has now been with the Almighty for a year; for a year the flower 
has stood forgotten in the window, and is withered; and thus, at 
the removal, it has been thrown out into the dust of the street. And 
this is the poor flower which we have taken into our nosegay; for 
this flower has given more joy than the richest in a queen's garden." 

"but how do you know all this?" asked the Child. 

"I know it," said the Angel, "for I myself was that boy who walked 
on crutches. I know my flower well." 

And the Child opened his eyes and looked into the glorious, happy 
face of the Angel; and at the same moment they entered the regions 
where there is peace and joy. And the Father pressed the dead 
Child to His bosom, and then it received wings like the Angel, and 
flew hand in hand with him. And the Almighty kissed the dry 
withered field flower, and it received a voice and sang with all the 
angels hovering around — some near, and some in wider circles, 
and some in infinite distance, but all equally happy. And they all 
sang — little and great, the good, happy Child, and the poor field 
flower that had lain there withered, thrown among the dust, in the 
rubbish of the removal day, in the dark narrow lane. 



There was once a merchant, who was so rich that he could pave 
the whole street with gold, and almost have enough left for a little 
lane. But he did not do that; he knew how to employ his money 
differently. When he spent a shilling he got back a crown, such a 
clever merchant was he; and this continued till he died. 

His son now got all this money; and he lived merrily, going to 
the masquerade every evening, making kites out of dollar notes, 
and playing at ducks and drakes on the sea-coast with gold pieces 
instead of pebbles. In this way the money might soon be spent, and 
indeed it was so. At last he had no more than four shiUings left, 
and no clothes to wear but a pair of slippers and an old dressing- 
gown. Now his friends did not trouble themselves any more about 
him, as they could not walk with him in the street, but one of them, 
who was good-natured, sent him an old trunk, with the remark, 
"Pack up!" Yes, that was all very well, but he had nothing to pack, 
therefore he seated himself in the trunk. 

That was a wonderful trunk. So soon as any one pressed the lock 
the trunk could fly. He pressed it, and whirr! away flew the trunk 
with him through the chimney and over the clouds, farther and 
farther away. But as often as the bottom of the trunk cracked a little 
he was in great fear lest it might go to pieces, and then he would 
have flung a fine somersault! In that way he came to the land of 
the Turks. He hid the trunk in a wood under some dry leaves, and 
then went into the town. He could do that very well, for among 
the Turks all the people went about dressed like himself in dressing- 
gown and slipf)ers. Then he met a nurse with a little child. 

"Here, you Turkish nurse," he began, "what kind of a great 
castle is that close by the town, in which the windows are so 
high up?" 

"There dwells the Sultan's daughter," replied she. "It is prophesied 
that she will be very unhappy respecting a lover; and therefore no- 
body may go near her, unless the Sultan and Sultana are there too." 

"Thank you!" said the Merchant's Son; and he went out into the 
forest, seated himself in his trunk, flew on the roof, and crept through 
the window into the Princess's room. 


She was lying asleep on the sofa, and she was so beautiful that 
the Merchant's Son was comjjelled to kiss her. Then she awoke, and 
was startled very much; but he said he was a Turkish angel who 
had come down to her through the air, and that pleased her. 

They sat down side by side, and he told her stories about her eyes; 
and he told her they were the most glorious dark lakes, and that 
thoughts were swimming about in them like mermaids. And he 
told her about her forehead; that it was a snowy mountain with the 
most splendid halls and pictures. And he told her about the stork 
who brings the lovely little children. 

Yes, those were fine histories! Then he asked the Princess if she 
would marry him, and she said "Yes," directly. 

"But you must come here on Saturday," said she. "Then the Sultan 
and Sultana will be here to tea. They will be very proud that I am 
to marry a Turkish angel. But take care that you know a very pretty 
story, for both my parents are very fond indeed of stories. My mother 
likes them high-flown and moral, but my father likes them merry, 
so that one can laugh." 

"Yes, I shall bring no marriage gift but a story," said he; and so 
they parted. But the Princess gave him a sabre, the sheath em- 
broidered with gold pieces, and that was very useful to him. 

Now he flew away, bought a new dressing-gown, and sat in the 
forest and made up a story; it was to be ready by Saturday, and 
that was not an easy thing. 

By the time he had finished it Saturday had come. The Sultan 
and his wife and all the court were at the Princess's to tea. He was 
received very graciously. 

"Will you relate us a story?" said the Sultana; "one that is deep 
and edifying." 

"Yes, but one that we can laugh at," said the Sultan. 

"Certainly," he replied; and so began. And now listen well. 

"There was once a bundle of Matches, and these Matches were 
particularly proud of their high descent. Their genealogical tree, 
that is to say, the great fir-tree of which each of them was a little 
splinter, had been a great old tree out in the forest. The Matches 
now lay between a Tinder-box and an old Iron Pot; and they were 
telling about the days of their youth. 'Yes, when we were upon the 


green boughs,' they said, 'then we really were upon the green boughsl 
Every morning and evening there was diamond tea for us, — I mean 
dew; we had sunshine all day long whenever the sun shone, and 
all the Uttle birds had to tell stories. We could see very well that 
we were rich, for the other trees were only dressed out in summer, 
while our family had the means to wear green dresses in the winter 
as well. But then the wood-cutter came, like a great revolution, and 
our family was broken up. The head of the family got an appoint- 
ment as mainmast in a first-rate ship, which could sail round the 
world if necessary; the other branches went to other places, and 
now we have the office of kindling a light for the vulgar herd. That's 
how we grand people came to be in the kitchen.' 

" 'My fate was of different kind,' said the Iron Pot, which stood 
next to the Matches. 'From the beginning, ever since I came into 
the world, there has been a great deal of scouring and cooking done 
in me. I look after the practical part, and am the first here in the 
house. My only pleasure is to sit in my place after dinner, very clean 
and neat, and to carry on a sensible conversation with my comrades. 
But except the Water-pot, which is sometimes taken down into the 
court-yard, we always live within our four walls. Our only newv 
monger is the Market Basket; but he speaks very uneasily about 
the government and the people. Yes, the other day there was an 
old pot that fell down, from fright, and burst. He's liberal, I can 
tell you!' — 'Now you're talking too much,' the Tinder-box inter- 
rupted, and the steel struck against the flint, so that sparks flew out. 
'Shall we not have a merry evening?* 

"'Yes, let us talk about who is the grandest,' said the Matches. 

" 'No, I don't like to talk about myself,' retorted the Pot. 'Let us 
get up an evening entertainment. I will begin. I will tell a story 
from real life, something that every one has experienced, so that we 
can easily imagine the situation, and take pleasure in it. On the 
Baltic, by the Danish shore' — 

" 'That's a pretty beginning!' cried all the Plates. 'That will be 
a story we shall like.' 

" 'Yes, it happened to me in my youth, when I lived in a family 
where the furniture was polished, the floors scoured, and new cur- 
tains were put up every fortnight.' 


"'What an interesting way you have of telling a story!' said the 
Carpet Broom. 'One can tell directly that a man is speaking who 
has been in woman's society. There's something pure runs through 

"And the Pot went on telling his story, and the end was as good 
as the beginning. 

"All the Plates rattled with joy, and the Carpet Broom brought 
some green parsley out of the dust-hole, and put it like a wreath on 
the Pot, for he knew that it would vex the others. 'If I crown him 
to-day,' it thought, 'he will crown me to-morrow.' 

"'Now I'll dance,' said the Fire Tongs; and they danced. Pre- 
serve us! how that implement could lift up one leg! The old chair- 
cushion burst to see it. 'Shall I be crowned too.'' thought the Tongs; 
and indeed a wreath was awarded. 

"'They're only common people, after all!' thought the Matches. 

"Now the Tea-urn was to sing; but she said she had taken cold, 
and could not sing unless she felt boiling within. But that was only 
affectation: she did not want to sing, except when she was in the 
parlor with the grand people. 

"In the window sat an old Quill Pen, with which the maid gen- 
erally wrote: there was nothing remarkable about this pen, except 
that it had been dipped too deep into the ink, but she was proud of 
that 'If the Tea-urn won't sing,' she said, 'she may leave it alone. 
Outside hangs a nightingale in a cage, and he can sing. He hasn't 
had any education, but this evening we'll say nothing about that.' 

" 'I think it very wrong,' said the Tea-kettle — he was the kitchen 
singer, and half-brother to the Tea-urn — 'that that rich and foreign 
bird should be listened to! Is that patriotic? Let the Market Basket 

" 'I am vexed,' said the Market Basket. 'No one can imagine how 
much I am secretly vexed. Is that a prosier way of spending the 
evening? Would it not be more sensible to put the house in order? 
Let each one go to his own place, and I will arrange the whole game. 
That would be quite another thing.' 

" 'Yes, let us make a disturbance,' cried they all. Then the door 
opened, and the maid came in, and they all stood still; not one 
stirred. But there was not one pot among them who did not know 


what he could do, and how grand he was. 'Yes, i£ 1 had Hked,' each 
one thought, 'it might have been a very merry evening.' 

"The servant girl took the Matches and lighted the fire with them. 
Mercy! how they sputtered and burst out into flame! 'Now every 
one can see,' thought they, 'that we are the first. How we shine! 
what a light!' — and they burned out." 

"That was a capital story," said the Sultana. "I feel myself quite 
carried away to the kitchen, to the Matches. Yes, now thou shall 
marry our daughter." 

"Yes, certainly," said the Sultan, "thou shalt marry our daughter 
on Monday." 

And they called him thou, because he was to belong to the family. 

The wedding was decided on, and on the evening before it the 
whole city was illuminated. Biscuits and cakes were thrown among 
the people, the street boys stood on their toes, called out "Hurrah!" 
and whistled on their fingers. It was uncommonly splendid. 

"Yes, I shall have to give something as a treat," thought the Mer- 
chant's Son. So he bought rockets and crackers, and every imagin- 
able sort of fire-work, put them all into his trunk, and flew up into 
the air. 

"Crack!" how they went, and how they went off! All the Turks 
hopped up with such a start that their slippers flew about their 
ears; such a meteor they had never yet seen. Now they could 
understand that it must be a Turkish angel who was going to marry 
the Princess. 

What stories people tell! Every one whom he asked about it had 
seen it in a separate way; but one and all thought it fine. 

"I saw the Turkish angel himself," said one. "He had eyes like 
glowing stars, and a beard like foaming water." 

"He flew up in a fiery mantle," said another; "the most lovely 
little cherub peef)ed forth from among the folds." 

Yes, they were wonderful things that he heard; and on the fol- 
lowing day he was to be married. 

Now he went back to the forest to rest himself in his trunk. But 
what had become of that ? A spark from the fire-works had set fire 
to it, and the trunk was burned to ashes. He could not fly any more, 
and could not get to his bride. 


She stood all day on the roof waiting; and most likely she is wait- 
ing still. But he wanders through the world, telling fairy tales; but 
they are not so merry as that one he told about the Matches. 


There came a Soldier marching along the high road — one, two! 
one, two! He had his knapsack on his back and a sabre by his side, 
for he had been in the wars, and now he wanted to go home. And 
on the way he met with an old Witch: she was very hideous, and 
her under lip hung down upon her breast. She said, "Good evening. 
Soldier. What a fine sword you have, and what a big knapsack! 
You're a proper soldier! Now you shall have as much money as 
you like to have." 

"I thank you, you old Witch!" said the Soldier. 

"Do you see that great tree?" quoth the Witch; and she fxjinted to 
a tree which stood beside them. "It's quite hollow inside. You must 
climb to the top and then you'll see a hole, through which you can 
let yourself down and get deep into the tree. I'll tie a rope round 
your body, so that I can pull you up again when you call me." 

"What am I to do down in the tree?" asked the Soldier. 

"Get money," replied the Witch. "Listen to me. When you come 
down to the earth under the tree, you will find yourself in a great 
hall: it is quite light, for above three hundred lamps are burning 
there. Then you will see three doors; these you can open, for the 
keys are hanging there. If you go into the first chamber, you'll see 
a great chest in the middle of the floor; on this chest sits a dog, and 
he's got a pair of eyes as big as two tea<ups. But you need not care 
for that. I'll give you my blue checked apron, and you can spread 
it out upon the floor; then go up quickly and take the dog, and set 
him on my apron; then open the chest, and take as many shillings 
as you like. They are of copper: if you prefer silver, you must go 
into the second chamber. But there sits a dog with a pair of eyes 
as big as mill-wheels. But do not care for that. Set him upon my 
apron, and take some of the money. And if you want gold, you can 
have that too — in fact, as much as you can carry — if you go into the 
third chamber. But the dog that sits on the money-chest there has 

j;)U fOLK-LOKt AND tABLli 

two eyes as big as round towers. He is a fierce dog, you may be 
sure; but you needn't be afraid, for all that. Only set him on my 
apron, and he won't hurt you; and take out of the chest as much 
gold as you like." 

"That's not so bad," said the Soldier. "But what am I to give you, 
you old Witch? for you will not do it for nothing, I fancy." 

"No," replied the Witch, "not a single shilling will I have. You 
shall only bring me an old Tinder-box which my grandmother for- 
got when she was down there last." 

"Then tie the rop)e round my body," cried the Soldier. 

"Here it is," said the Witch, "and here's my blue checked apron." 

Then the Soldier climbed up into the tree, let himself slip down 
into the hole, and stood, as the Witch had said, in the great hall 
where the three hundred lamps were burning. 

Now he opened the first door. Ugh! there sat the dog with eyes 
as big as tea<ups, staring at him. "You're a nice fellow!" exclaimed 
the Soldier; and he set him on the Witch's apron, and took as many 
copfjer shillings as his pxxkets would hold, and then locked the chest, 
set the dog on it again, and went into the second chamber. Aha! 
there sat the dog with eyes as big as mill-wheels. 

"You should not stare so hard at me," said the Soldier; "you might 
strain your eyes." And he set the dog upon the Witch's apron. And 
when he saw the silver money in the chest, he threw away all the 
copper money he had, and filled his [xickets and his knapsack with 
silver only. Then he went into the third chamber. O, but that was 
horrid! The dog there really had eyes as big as towers, and they 
turned round and round in his head like wheels. 

"Good evening!" said the Soldier; and he touched his cap, for he 
had never seen such a dog as that before. When he had looked at 
him a little more closely, he thought, "That will do," and lifted him 
down to the floor, and opyened the chest. Mercy! what a quantity of 
gold was there! He could buy with it the whole town, and the sugar 
sucking-pigs of the cake woman, and all the tin soldiers, whips, and 
rocking-horses in the whole world. Yes, that was a quantity of 
money! Now the Soldier threw away all the silver coin with which 
he had filled his pockets and his knapsack, and took gold instead: 
yes, all his pockets, his knapsack, his boots, and his cap were filled. 


SO that he could scarcely walk. Now indeed he had plenty of money. 
He put the dog on the chest, shut the door, and then called up 
through the tree, "Now pull me up, you old Witch." 

"Have you the Tinder-box?" asked the Witch. 

"Plague on it!" exclaimed the Soldier, "I had clean forgotten that." 
And he went and brought it. 

The Witch drew him up, and he stood on the high road again, 
with pockets, boots, knapsack, and cap full of gold. 

"What are you going to do with the Tinder-box?" asked the 

"That's nothing to you," retorted the Witch. "You've had your 
money; just give me the Tinder-box." 

"Nonsense!" said the Soldier. "Tell me directly what you're going 
to do with it or I'll draw my sword and cut off your head." 

"No!" cried the Witch. 

So the Soldier cut off her head. There she lay! But he tied up 
all his money in her apron, took it on his back like a bundle, put 
the Tinder-box in his pocket, and went straight off toward the town. 

That was a splendid town! And he put up at the very best inn, 
and asked for the finest rooms, and ordered his favorite dishes, for 
now he was rich, as he had so much money. The servant who had 
to clean his boots certainly thought them a remarkably old pair for 
such a rich gentleman; but he had not bought any new ones yet. 
The next day he procured proper boots and handsome clothes. Now 
our Soldier had become a fine gentleman; and the people told him 
of all the splendid things which were in their city, and about the 
King, and what a pretty Princess the King's daughter was. 

"Where can one get to see her?" asked the Soldier. 

"She is not to be seen at all," said they all together; "she lives in 
a great copper castle, with a great many walls and towers round 
about it: no one but the king may go in and out there, for it has 
been prophesied that she shall marry a common soldier, and the 
King can't bear that." 

"I should like to see her," thought the Soldier; but he could not 
get leave to do so. Now he lived merrily, went to the theatre, drove 
in the King's garden, and gave much money to the pxxjr; and this 
was very kind of him, for he knew from old times how hard it is 


when one has not a shilling. Now he was rich, had fine clothes, and 
gained many friends, who all said he was a rare one, a true cavalier; 
and that pleased the Soldier well. But as he spent money every day 
and never earned any, he had at last only two shillings left; and he 
was obliged to turn out of the fine rooms in which he had dwelt, 
and had to live in a little garret under the roof, and clean his 
boots for himself, and mend them with a darning needle. None 
of his friends came to see him, for there were too many stairs to 

It was quite dark one evening, and he could not even buy himself 
a candle, when it occurred to him that there was a candle-end in 
the Tinder-box which he had taken out of the hollow tree into which 
the Witch had helped him. He brought out the Tinder-box and 
the candle end; but as soon as he struck fire and the sparks rose up 
from the flint, the door flew open, and the dog who had eyes as 
big as a couple of tea-cups, and whom he had seen in the tree, stood 
before him, and said, — 

"What are my lord's commands?" 

"What is this?" said the Soldier. "That's a famous Tinder-box, 
if I can get everything with it that I want! Bring me some money," 
said he to the dog; and whisl^l the dog was gone, and whisl{l he 
was back again, with a great bag full of shillings in his mouth. 

Now the Soldier knew what a capital Tinder-box this was. If he 
struck it once, the dog came who sat upon the chest of copper 
money; if he struck it twice, the dog who had the silver; and if he 
struck it three times, then appeared the dog who had the gold. Now 
the Soldier moved back into the fine rooms, and appeared again in 
handsome clothes; and all his friends knew him again, and cared 
very much for him indeed. 

Once he thought to himself, "It is a very strange thing that one 
cannot get to see the Princess. They all say she is very beautiful; 
but what is the use of that, if she has always to sit in the great cop- 
per castle with the many towers? Can I not get to see her at all? 
Where is my Tinder-box?" And so he struck a light, and whist{l 
came the dog with eyes as big as tea<ups. 

"It is midnight, certainly," said the Soldier, "but I should very 
much like to see the Princess, only for one little moment." 

Andersen's tales 353 

And the dog was outside the door directly, and, before the Soldier 
thought it, came back with the Princess. She sat upon the dog's 
back and slept; and every one could see she was a real princess, for 
she was so lovely. The Soldier could not refrain from kissing her, 
for he was a thorough soldier. Then the dog ran back again with 
the Princess. But when morning came, and the King and Queen 
were drinking tea, the Princess said she had had a strange dream 
the night before, about a dog and a soldier — that she had ridden 
upon the dog, and the soldier had kissed her. 

"That would be a fine history!" said the Queen. 

So one of the old court ladies had to watch the next night by the 
Princess's bed, to see if this was really a dream, or what it might be. 

The Soldier had a great longing to see the lovely Princess again; 
so the dog came in the night, took her away, and ran as fast as he 
could. But the old lady put on water-boots, and ran just as fast 
after him. When she saw that they both entered a great house, she 
thought, "Now I know where it is;" and with a bit of chalk she 
drew a great cross on the door. Then she went home and lay down, 
and the dog came up with the Princess; but when he saw that there 
was a cross drawn on the door where the Soldier lived, he took a 
piece of chalk too, and drew crosses on all the doors in the town. 
And that was cleverly done, for now the lady could not find the 
right door, because all the doors had crosses upon them. 

In the morning early came the King and Queen, the old court 
lady and all the officers, to see where it was the Princess had been. 
"Here it is!" said the King, when he saw the first door with a cross 
upon it. "No, my dear husband, it is there!" said the Queen, who 
descried another door which also showed a cross. "But there is one, 
and there is one!" said all, for wherever they looked there were 
crosses on the doors. So they saw that it would avail them nothing 
if they searched on. 

But the Queen was an exceedingly clever woman, who could do 
more than ride in a coach. She took her great gold scissors, cut a 
piece of silk into pieces, and made a neat little bag; this bag she 
filled with fine wheat flour, and tied it on the Princess's back; and 
when that was done, she cut a little hole in the bag, so that the flour 
would be scattered along all the way which the Princess should take. 


In the night the dog came again, took the Princess on his back, 
and ran with her to the Soldier, who loved her very much, and would 
gladly have been a prince, so that he might have her for his wife. 
The dog did not notice at all how the flour ran out in a stream from 
the castle to the windows of the Soldier's house, where he ran up 
the wall with the Princess. In the morning the King and the Queen 
saw well enough where their daughter had been, and they took the 
Soldier and put him in prison. 

There he sat. O, but it was dark and disagreeable there! And 
they said to him, "To-morrow you shall be hanged." That was not 
amusing to hear, and he had left his Tinder-box at the inn. In the 
morning he could see, through the iron grating of the window, how 
the people were hurrying out of the town to see him hanged. He 
heard the drums beat and saw the soldiers marching. All the people 
were running out, and among them was a shoemaker's boy with 
leather apron and slippers, and he galloped so fast that one of his 
slippers flew off, and came right against the wall where the Soldier 
sat looking through the iron grating. 

"Halloo, you shoemaker's boy! you needn't be in such a hurry," 
cried the Soldier to him: "it will not begin till I come. But if 
you will run to where I lived, and bring me my Tinder-box, 
you shall have four shillings: but you must put your best leg 

The shoemaker's boy wanted to get the four shillings, so he went 
and brought the Tinder-box, and — well, we shall hear now what 

Outside the town a great gallows had been built, and round it 
stood the soldiers and many hundred thousand people. The King 
and Queen sat on a splendid throne, opposite to the judges and the 
whole council. The Soldier already stood upon the ladder; but as 
they were about to put the rope round his neck, he said that before 
a poor criminal suffered his punishment an innocent request was 
always granted to him. He wanted very much to smoke a pipe of 
tobacco, and it would be the last pipe he should smoke in the world. 
The King would not say "No" to this; so the Soldier took his Tinder- 
box, and struck fire. One — two, — three! — and there suddenly stood 
all the dogs — the one with the eyes as big as tea<ups, the one with 

Andersen's tales 355 

eyes as large as mill-wheels, and the one whose eyes were as big as 
round towers. 

"Help me now, so that I may not be hanged," said the Soldier. 

And the dogs fell upon the judges and all the council, seized one 
by the leg and another by the nose, and tossed them all many feet 
into the air, so that they fell down and were all broken to pieces. 

"I won't!" cried the King; but the biggest dog took him and the 
Queen, and threw them after the others. Then the soldiers were 
afraid, and the people cried, "Little Soldier, you shall be our king, 
and marry the beautiful Princess!" 

So they put the Soldier into the King's coach, and all the three 
dogs darted on in front and cried "Hurrah!" and the boys whistled 
through their fingers, and the soldiers presented arms. The Princess 
came out of the copper castle, and became Queen, and she liked that 
well enough. The wedding lasted a week, and the three dogs sat 
at the table too, and opened their eyes wider than ever at all 
they saw. 


Often after a thunder-storm, when one passes a field in which 
buckwheat is growing, it appears quite blackened and singed. It 
is just as if a flame of fire had passed across it; and then the country- 
man says, "It got that from lightning." But whence has it received 
that? I will tell you what the sparrow told me about it, and the 
sparrow heard it from an old willow-tree which stood by a buck- 
wheat field, and still stands there. It is quite a great venerable 
Willow-tree, but crippled and old: it is burst in the middle, and 
grass and brambles grow out of the cleft; the tree bends forward, 
and the branches hang quite down to the ground, as if they were 
long green hair. 

On all the fields round about corn was growing, not only rye 
and barley, but also oats; yes, the most capital oats, which when ripe, 
look like a number of little yellow canary birds sitting upon a spray. 
The corn stood smiling, and the richer an ear was the deeper did it 
bend in pious humility. 

But there was also a field of buckwheat, and this field was exactly 


opposite to the old Willow-tree. The Buckwheat did not bend at 
all like the rest of the grain, but stood up proudly and stiffly. 

"I'm as rich as any corn-ear," said he. "Moreover, I'm very much 
handsomer: my flowers are beautiful as the blossoms of the apple- 
tree: it's quite a delight to look upon me and mine. Do you know 
anything more splendid than we are, you old Willow-tree?" 

And the old Willow-tree nodded his head, just as if he would 
have said, "Yes, that's true enough!" 

But the Buckwheat spread itself out from mere vainglory, and 
said, "The stupid tree! he's so old that the grass grows in his body." 

Now a terrible storm came on: all the field flowers folded their 
leaves together or bowed their little heads while the storm passed 
over them, but the Buckwheat stood erect in its pride. 

"Bend your head like us," said the Flowers. 

"I've not the slightest cause to do so," replied the Buckwheat. 

"Bend your head as we do," cried the various Crops. "Now the 
Storm comes flying on. He has wings that reach from the clouds 
just down to the earth, and he'll beat you in halves before you can 
cry for mercy." 

"Yes, but I won't bend," quoth the Buckwheat. 

"Shut up your flowers and bend your leaves," said the old Willow- 
tree. "Don't look up at the lightning when the cloud bursts: even 
men do not do that, for in the lightning one may look into heaven, 
but the light dazzles even men; and what would happen to us, if 
we dared do so — we, the plants of the field, that are much less worthy 
than they.?" 

"Much less worthy!" cried the Buckwheat. "Now I'll just look 
straight up into heaven." 

And it did so, in its pride and vainglory. It was as if the whole 
world were on fire, so vivid was the lightning. 

When afterward the bad weather had passed by, the flowers and 
the crops stood in the still, pure air, quite refreshed by the rain; but 
the Buckwheat was burned coal-black by the lightning, and it was 
now like a dead weed upon the field. 

And the old Willow-tree waved its branches in the wind, and great 
drops of water fell down out of the green leaves, just as if the tree 


And the Sparrows asked, "Why do you weep? Here everything 
is so cheerful: see how the sun shines: see how the clouds sail on. 
Do you not breathe the scent of flowers and bushes? Why do you 
weep, Willow-tree?" 

And the Willow-tree told them of the pride of the Buckwheat, of 
its vainglory, and of the punishment which always follows such sin. 

I, who tell you this tale, have heard it from the sparrows. They told 
it to me one evening when I begged them to give me a story. 


People said, "The evening-bell is sounding, the sun is setting." A 
strange wondrous tone was heard in the narrow streets of a large 
town. It was like the sound of a church-bell: but it was only heard 
for a moment, for the rolling of the carriages, and the voices of the 
multitude made too great a noise. 

Those persons who were walking about the town, where the 
houses were further apart, with gardens or little fields between them, 
could see the evening sky still better, and heard the sound of the bell 
much more distinctly. It was as if the tones came from a church in 
the still forest; people looked thitherward, and felt their minds 
attuned most solemnly. 

A long time passed, and people said to each other, — "I wonder if 
there is a church out in the wood? The bell has a tone that is won- 
drous sweet; let us stroll thither, and examine the matter nearer." 
And the rich people drove out, and the poor walked, but the way 
seemed strangely long to them; and when they came to a clump of 
willows which grew on the skirts of the forest, they sat down, and 
looked up at the long branches, and fancied they were now in the 
depth of the green wood. The confectioner of the town came out, and 
set up his booth there; and soon after came another confectioner, 
who hung a bell over his stand, as a sign or ornament, but it had no 
clapper, and it was tarred over to preserve it from the rain. When 
all the people returned home, they said it had been very romantic, 
and that it was quite a different sort of thing to a picnic or tea- 
party. There were three persons who asserted they had penetrated 
to the end of the forest, and that they had always heard the wonder- 


f ul sounds of the bell, but it had seemed to them as if it had come 
from the town. One wrote a whole poem about it, and said the bell 
sounded like the voice of a mother to a good dear child, and that no 
melody was sweeter than the tones of the bell. The king of the coun- 
try was also observant of it, and vowed that he who could discover 
whence the sounds proceeded should have the title of "Universal 
Bell-ringer," even if it were not really a bell. 

Many fjersons now went to the wood, for the sake of getting the 
place, but one only returned with a sort of explanation; for nobody 
went far enough, that one not farther than the others. However, he 
said that the sound proceeded from a very large owl, in a hollow tree; 
a sort of learned owl, that continually knocked its head against the 
branches. But whether the sound came from his head or from the 
hollow tree, that, no one could say with certainty. So now he got the 
place of "Universal Bell-ringer," and wrote yearly a short treatise 
"On the Owl;" but everybody was just as wise as before. 

It was the day of Confirmation. The clergyman had spoken so 
touchingly, the children who were confirmed had been greatly 
moved; it was an eventful day for them; from children they became 
all at once grown-up persons; it was as if their infant souls were now 
to fly all at once into persons with more understanding. The sun was 
shining gloriously; the children that had been confirmed went out 
of the town, and from the wood was borne toward them the sounds 
of the unknown bell with wonderful distinctness. They all imme- 
diately felt a wish to go thither; all except three. One of them had 
to go home to try on a ball-dress, for it was just the dress and the 
ball which had caused her to be confirmed this time, for otherwise 
she would not have come; the other was a poor boy who had bor- 
rowed his coat and boots to be confirmed in from the innkeeper's 
son, and he was to give them back by a certain hour; the third said 
that he never went to a strange place if his parents were not 
with him; that he had always been a good boy hitherto, and would 
still be so now that he was confirmed, and that one ought not to 
laugh at him for it: the others, however, did make fun of him, 
after all. 

There were three, therefore, that did not go; the others hastened 
on. The sun shone, the birds sang, and the children sang too, and 


each held the other by the hand; for as yet they had none of them 
any high office, and were all of equal rank in the eye of God. 

But two of the youngest soon grew tired, and both returned to 
town; two little girls sat down, and twined garlands, so they did not 
go either; and when the others reached the willow-tree, where the 
confectioner was, they said, "Now we are there! In reality the bell 
does not exist; it is only a fancy that people have taken into their 

At the same moment the bell sounded deep in the wood, so clear 
and solemnly that five or six determined to penetrate somewhat 
further. It was so thick, and the foliage so dense that it was quite 
fatiguing to proceed. Woodroof and anemones grew almost too 
high; blooming convolvuluses and blackberry-bushes hung in long 
garlands from tree to tree, where the nightingale sang and the sun- 
beams were playing: it was very beautiful, but it was no place for 
girls to go; their clothes would get so torn. Large blocks of stone 
lay there, overgrown with moss of every color; the fresh spring 
bubbled forth, and made a strange gurgling sound. 

"That surely cannot be the bell," said one of the children, lying 
down and listening; "this must be looked to." So he remained, 
and let the others go on without him. 

They afterwards came to a little house, made of branches and the 
bark of trees; a large wild apple-tree bent over it, as if it would 
shower down all its blessings on the roof, where roses were blooming. 
The long stems twined round the gable, on which there hung a small 

Was it that which f)eople had heard? Yes: everybody was unani- 
mous on the subject, except one, who said that the bell was too small 
and too fine to be heard at so great a distance, and besides, it had very 
different tones from those that could move a human heart in such a 
manner. It was a king's son who spoke; whereon the others said, 
"Such people always want to be wiser than everybody else." 

They now let him go on alone; and as he went, his breast was 
filled more and more with the forest solitude; but he still heard the 
little bell with which the others were so satisfied, and now and then, 
when the wind blew, he could also hear the people singing who were 
sitting at tea where the confectioner had his tent; but the deep sound 


of the bell rose louder; it was almost as if an organ were accompany- 
ing it, and the tones came from the left hand, the side where the 
heart is placed. A rustling was heard in the bushes, and a little boy 
stood before the King's Son; a boy in wooden shoes, and with so 
short a jacket that one could see what long wrists he had. Both 
knew each other; the boy was that one among the children who 
could not come because he had to go home and return his jacket 
and boots to the innkeeper's son. This he had done, and was now 
going on in wooden shoes and in his humbler dress, for the bell 
sounded with so deep a tone, and with such strange power, that 
proceed he must. 

"Why, then, we can go together," said the King's Son. But the 
poor child that had been confirmed was quite ashamed; he looked 
at his wooden shoes, pulled at the short sleeves of his jacket, and 
said, "He was afraid he could not walk so fast; besides, he thought 
that the bell must be looked for to the right; for that was the place 
where all sorts of beautiful things were to be found." 

"But there we shall not meet," said the King's Son, nodding at the 
same time to the Poor Boy, who went into the darkest, thickest part 
of the wood, where the thorns tore his humble dress, and scratched 
his face, and hands, and feet, till they bled. The King's Son got some 
scratches, too; but the sun shone on his path, and it is him that we 
will follow, for he was an excellent and resolute youth. 

"I must and will find the bell," said he, "even if I am obliged to go 
to the end of the world." 

The ugly apes sat upon the trees, and grinned. "Shall we thrash 
him?" said they; "shall we thrash him? He is the son of a king!" 

But on he went, without being disheartened, deeper and deeper 
into the wood, where the most wonderful flowers were growing. 
There stood white lilies with blood-red stamens; sky-blue tulips, 
which shone as they waved in the winds; and apple-trees, the apples 
of which looked exactly like large soap-bubbles: so only think how 
the trees must have sparkled in the sunshine! Around the nicest 
green meads, where the deer were playing in the grass, grew mag- 
nificent oaks and beeches; and if the bark of one of the trees was 
cracked, there grass and long creeping plants grew in the crevices. 
And there were large, calm lakes there too, in which white swans 

Andersen's tales 361 

were swimming, and beat the air with their wings. The King's Son 
often stood still and Hstened. He thought the bell sounded from the 
depths of these still lakes; but then he remarked again that the tone 
proceeded not from there, but farther off, from out the depths of the 

The sun now set; the atmosphere glowed like fire. It was still in 
the woods, so very still; and he fell on his knees, sung his evening 
hymn, and said: "I cannot find what I seek; the sun is going down, 
and night is coming — the dark, dark night. Yet perhaps I may be 
able once more to see the round, red sun before he entirely disap- 
pears. 1 will climb up yonder rock." 

And he seized hold of the creeping-plants, and the roots of trees, — 
climbed up the moist stones where the water-snakes were writhing 
and the toads were croaking — and he gained the summit before the 
sun had quite gone down. How magnificent was the sight from this 
height! The sea — the great, the glorious sea, that dashed its long 
waves against the coast — was stretched out before him. And yonder, 
where sea and sky meet, stood the sun, like a large, shining altar, all 
melted together in the most glowing colors. And the wood and the 
sea sang a song of rejoicing, and his heart sang with the rest: all 
nature was a vast, holy church, in which the trees and the buoyant 
clouds were the pillars, flowers and grass the velvet carpeting, and 
heaven itself the large cupola. The red colors above faded away as 
the sun vanished, but a million stars were lighted, a milUon lamps 
shone; and the King's Son spread out his arms toward heaven, and 
wood, and sea; when at the same moment, coming by a path to the 
right, appeared, in his wooden shoes and jacket, the Poor Boy who 
had been confirmed with him. He had followed his own path, and 
had reached the sf)ot just as soon as the Son of the King had done. 
They ran toward each other, and stood together, hand in hand, in 
the vast church of nature and of poetry, while over them sounded 
the invisible, holy bell; blessed spirits floated around them, and lifted 
up their voices in a rejoicing hallelujah!