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Complete Fairy Tales 


Complete Fairy Tales 

International Collectors Library 
Garden City, New York 

Printed in the United States of America 


1. The Frog Prince i 

2. The Gallant Tailor 4 

3. The Giant and the Tailor 11 

4. The Little Farmer 13 

5. The Golden Key 17 

6. Sharing Joy and Sorrow 18 

7. The Nail 19 

8. Tom Thumb 19 

9. Tom Thumb's Travels 24 

10. The Young Giant 28 

11. Sweet Porridge 34 

12. The Elves 35 

13. Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie 38 

14. The Old Beggar- Woman 39 

15. The Jew Among Thorns 39 

16. King Thrushbeard 43 

17. Clever Gretel 47 

18. Fitcher's Bird 49 

19. The Robber Bridegroom 5^ 

20. Old Hildebrand 55 

21. The Singing Bone 58 

22. Maid Maleen 60 

23. The Goose-Girl 65 

24. The Skilful Huntsman 7^ 

25. The Princess in Disguise 75 

26. Cinderella 80 

27. Simeli Mountain 86 

28. The Glass Coffin 88 

29. Rapunzel 93 

30. The Sleeping Beauty 96 

31. Old Rinkrank 99 

32. Hansel and Gretel 101 

33. The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean 107 

34. The Death of the Hen 108 

35. The Rabbit's Bride 110 

vi Contents 

36. The Hare and the Hedgehog 111 

37. The Dog and the Sparrow 114 

38. Old Sultan 116 

39. Mr. Korbes 118 

40. The Vagabonds 119 

41. The Owl 121 

42. The Bremen Town Musicians 123 

43. The Wonderful Musician 126 

44. The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage 128 

45. The Crumbs on the Table 129 

46. The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership 130 

47. The Spider and the Flea 132 

48. The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids 134 

49. The Wolf and the Fox 136 

50. The Wolf and the Man 13!8 

51. Gossip Wolf and the Fox 139 

52. Little Red Riding Hood 140 

53. How Mrs. Fox Married Again 143 

54. The Fox and the Geese 146 

55. The Fox and the Horse 147 

56. The Fox and the Cat 148 

57. The Sole 148 

58. The Willow-Wren 149 

59. The Willow- Wren and the Bear 152 

60. The Little Folks' Presents 154 

61. The Elf 156 

62. The Foundling Bird 160 

63. The Water of Life 162 

64. The Water Sprite 167 

65. The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 168 

66. One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes 176 

67. The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn 183 

68. Sweetheart Roland 187 

69. The Devil's Three Gold Hairs 191 

70. The Griflfin i97 

71. The Sea-Hare 203 

72. The Maiden Without Hands 205 

73. The Pink 211 

74. Mother Hulda 215 

75. The True Bride 218 

76. The Three Little Birds 223 
jj. The Three Snake-Leaves 227 

Contents vii 

^ 78. The White Snake 


79. The Three Spinners 


80. Rumpelstiltskin 


81. The Queen Bee 


82. The Golden Goose 


83. The Three Feathers 


84. The Hut in the Forest 


85. Donkey Cabbages 


86. Snow-White and Rose-Red 


87. The Poor Miller's Boy and the Cat 


88. The Old Woman in the Wood 


89. The Lambkin and the Little Fish 


90. The Juniper Tree 


91. Jorinda and Joringel 


92. The Goose-Girl at the Well 


93. The Three Little Men in the Wood 


94. The White Bride and the Black Bride 


95, Brother and Sister 


96. The Gold Children 


97. The Twin Brothers 


98. Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful 


99. The Three Black Princesses 


100. Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs 


10 1. The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces 


102. The Boots of Buffalo Leather 


103. The Six Servants 


104. Six Soldiers of Fortune 


105. The Two Travelers 


106. The Ear of Com 


107. The Aged Mother 


108. The Hazel Branch 


109. The Old Grandfather's Comer 


110. The Ungrateful Son 


111. The Bittern and the Hoopoe 


112. The Three Languages 


113. The Star Money 


114. The Poor Man and the Rich Man 


115. The Stolen Pennies 


116. The Shroud 


117. The Wilful Child 


118. The Rose 


119. The Tailor in Heaven 


viii Contents 

120. Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven 376 

121. The Flail from Heaven 377 

122. The Moon 378 

123. The Peasant in Heaven 380 

124. Eve's Various Children 380 

125. The Pooi Bo> in the Grave 382 

126. Our Lady's Child 385 

127. Gambling Hansel 388 

128. The Old Man Made Young Again 391 

129. The Loids Animals and the Devil's 392 

130. Master Pfriem 393 

131. The Heavenly Wedding 396 

132. God's Food 397 

133. St. Joseph in the Forest 398 

134. The Three Green Twigs 400 

135. Our Lady's Little Glass 402 

136. Brother Frolick 403 

137. The Bright Sun Brings It to Light 411 

138. The Sparrow and His Four Children 413 

139. The Duration of Life 415 

140. The Twelve Apostles 416 

141. Faithful John 417 

142. The Six Swans 424 

143. The Seven Ravens 428 

144. The Twelve Brothers 431 

145. Iron John 435 

146. The King's Son Who Feared Nothing 441 

147. The Drummer 446 

148. The Two Kings' Children 454 

149. The Iron Stove 461 

150. The Singing, Soaring Lark 465 

151. The Nixie of the Mill-Pond 470 

152. The Raven 474 

153. The Crystal Ball 479 

154. The Donkey 481 

155. Hans the Hedgehog 484 

156. The King of the Golden Mountain 488 

157. The Golden Bird 493 

158. Strong Hans 500 

159. The Blue Light 505 

160. The Fisherman and His Wife 509 
i6i. The Good Bargain 515 

Contents jx 

162. Prudent Hans 


163. Hans in Luck 


164. Clever Else 


165. Hans Married 


166. The Youth Who Could Not Shiver and Shake 


167. Fred and Kate 


168. Wise Folks 


169. The Lazy Spinner 


170. The Three Sluggards 


171. The Twelve Idle Servants 


172. La2y Harry 


173. Odds and Ends 


174. Brides on Trial 


175. The Spindle, the Shuttle, and the Needle 


176. The Peasant's Wise Daughter 


177. The Shepherd Boy 


178. The Master-Thief 


179. The Three Brothers 


180. The Four Skilful Brothers 


181. Tales of Snakes 


182. The Turnip 


183. The Twelve Huntsmen 


184. The Maid of Brakel 


185. Going Traveling 


186. Knoist and His Three Sons 


187. The Story of Schlauraffen Land 


188. The Ditmarsch Tale of Wonders 


189. Domestic Servants 


190. The Rogue and His Master 


191. The Wise Servant 


192. The Seven Swabians 


193. Lean Lisa 


194. Godfather Death 


195. Death's Messengers 


196. The Wonderful Glass 


197. The Old Witch 


198. The Devil's Sooty Brother 


199. Bearskin 


200. The Devil and His Grandmother 


201. The Grave Mound 


202. The Peasant and the Devil 


203. The Three Apprentices 


X Contents 

204. Doctor Knowall 616 

205. The Three Army Surgeons 617 

206. The Spirit in the Bottle 620 

207. The Three Children of Fortune 623 

208. The Cunning Little Tailor 626 

209. The Riddle 628 

210. A Riddling Tale 631 

211. The Beam 631 


Complete Fairy Tales 

The Frog Prince 

Long ago, when wishes often came true, there lived a King whose 
daughters were all handsome, but the youngest was so beautiful 
that the sun himself, who has seen everything, was bemused every 
time he shone over her because of her beauty. Near the royal castle 
there was a great dark wood, and in the wood under an old linden 
tree was a well; and when the day was hot, the King's daughter 
used to go forth into the wood and sit by the brink of the cool well, 
and if the time seemed long, she would take out a golden ball, and 
throw it up and catch it again, and this was her favorite pastime. 

Now it happened one day that the golden ball, instead of falling 
back into the maiden's little hand which had sent it aloft, dropped 
to the ground near the edge of the well and rolled in. The King's 
daughter followed it with her eyes as it sank, but the well was 
deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. Then she began to 
weep, and she wept and wept as if she could never be comforted. 

And in the midst of her weeping she heard a voice saying to her, 
''What ails you. King's daughter? Your tears would melt a heart of 

And when she looked to see where the voice came from, there 
was nothing but a frog stretching his thick ugly head out of the 
water. "Oh, is it you, old waddler?" said she; "I weep because my 
golden ball has fallen into the well." 

"Never mind, do not weep," answered the frog; *T can help you; 
but what will you give me if I fetch up your ball again?" 

"Whatever you like, dear frog," said she; "any of my clothes, my 
pearls and jewels, or even the golden crown that I wear." 

"Your clothes, your pearls and jewels, and your golden crown are 
not for me," answered the frog; 'TDut if you would love me, and 
have me for your companion and play-fellow, and let me sit by you 
at table, and eat from your plate, and drink from yoiur cup, and 

2 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

sleep in your little bed— if you would promise all this, then would I 
dive below the water and fetch you your golden ball again." 

"Oh yes," she answered; "I will promise it all, whatever you 
want; if you will only get me my ball again." But she thought to 
herself, "What nonsense he tallcsl as if he could do anything but sit 
in the water and croak with the other frogs, or could possibly be any 
one's companion." 

But the frog, as soon as he heard her promise, drew his head 
luider the water and sank down out of sight, but after a while he 
came to the surface again with the ball in his mouth, and he threw 
it on the grass. 

The King's daughter was overjoyed to see her pretty plaything 
again, and she caught it up and ran oflF with it. 

"Stop, stop!" cried the frog; "take me up too; I cannot run as fast 
as you!" 

But it was of no use, for croak, croak after her as he might, she 
would not listen to him, but made haste home, and very soon forgot 
all about the poor frog, who had to betake himself to his well again. 

The next day, when the King's daughter was sitting at table with 
the King and all the court, and eating from her golden plate, there 
came something pitter-patter up the marble stairs, and then there 
came a knocking at the door, and a voice crying, "Yoimgest King's 
daughter, let me in!" 

And she got up and ran to see who it could be, but when she 
opened the door, there was the frog sitting outside. Then she shut 
the door hastily and went back to her seat, feeling very imeasy. 

The King noticed how quickly her heart was beating, and said, 
"My child, what are you afraid of? Is there a giant standing at the 
door ready to carry you away?" "Oh no," answered she; "no giant, 
but a horrid frog." "And what does the frog want?" asked the King. 

"O dear father," answered she, "when I was sitting by the well 
yesterday, and playing with my golden ball, it fell into the water, 
and while I was crying for the loss of it, the frog came and got it 
again for me on condition I would let him be my companion, but I 
never thought that he could leave the water and come after me; but 
now there he is outside the door, and he wants to come in to me." 

And then they all heard him knocking the second time and 

"youngest King's daughter. 
Open to me! 
By the well water 
What promised you me? 

The Frog Prince 3 

Youngest King's daughter 
Now open to meF' 

"That which thou hast promised must thou perform," said the 
King; "so go now and let him in." 

So she went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in, fol- 
lowing at her heels, till she reached her chair. Then he stopped and 
cried, "Lift me up to sit by you." 

But she delayed doing so until the King ordered her. When once 
the frog was on the chair, he wanted to get on the table, and there 
he sat and said, "Now push your golden plate a little nearer, so that 
we may eat together." 

And so she did, but everybody might see how unwilling she was, 
and the frog feasted heartily, but every morsel seemed to stick in 
her throat. 

"I have had enough now," said the frog at last, "and as I am 
tired, you must carry me to your room, and make ready your silken 
bed, and we will lie down and go to sleep." 

Then the King's daughter began to weep, and was afraid of the 
cold frog, that nothing would satisfy him but he must sleep in her 
pretty clean bed. Now the King grew angry with her, saying, "That 
which thou hast promised in thy time of necessity, must thou now 

So she picked up the frog with her finger and thumb, carried him 
upstairs and put him in a comer, and when she had lain down to 
sleep, he came creeping up, saying, "I am tired and want sleep as 
much as you; take me up, or I wiU tell your father." 

Then she felt beside herself with rage, and picking him up, she 
threw him with all her strength against the wall, crying, "Now will 
you be quiet, you horrid frogi" 

But as he fell, he ceased to be a frog, and became all at once a 
Prince with beautiful kind eyes. And it came to pass that, with her 
father s consent, they became bride and bridegroom. And he told 
her how a wicked witch had bound him by her spells, and how no 
one but she alone could have released him, and that they two 
would go together to his father's kingdom. And there came to the 
door a carriage drawn by eight white horses, with white plumies on 
their heads, and with golden harness, and behind the carriage was 
standing faithful Henry, the servant of the young Prince. 

Now, faithful Henry had suffered such care and pain when his 
master was turned into a frog, that he had been obliged to wear 
three iron bands over his heart, to keep it from breaking with trou- 

4 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ble and anxiety. When the carriage started to take the Prince to his 
kingdom, and faithful Henry had helped them both in, he got up 
behind, and was full of joy at his master's deliverance. And when 
they had gone a part of the way, the Prince heard a sound at the 
back of the carriage, as if something had broken, and he turned 
round and cried, "Henry, the wheel must be breakingl" but Henry 

"The wheel does not break, 
'Tis the hand round my heart 
That, to lessen its ache. 
When I grieved for your sake, 
I bound round my heart." 

Again, and yet once again there was the same sound, and the 
Prince thought it must be the wheel breaking. But it was the break- 
ing of the other bands from faithful Henry's heart, because he was 
so relieved and happy. 

The Gallant Tailor 

One summer morning a little tailor was sitting on his board near 
the window, and working cheerfully with all his might, when an 
old woman came down the street crying, "Good jelly to selll Good 
jelly to selll" 

The cry soimded pleasant in the little tailor's ears, so he put his 
head out of the window, and called out, "Here, my good woman- 
come here, if you want a customer." 

So the poor woman cHmbed the steps with her heavy basket, and 
was obliged to impack and display all her pots to the tailor. He 
looked at every one of them, and lifting all the lids, applied his 
nose to each, and said at last, "The jelly seems pretty good; you 
may weigh me out four half ounces, or I don't mind having a quar- 
ter of a pound." 

The woman, who had expected to find a good customer, gave 
him what he asked for, but went off angry and grumbling. 

"This jelly is the very thing for me," cried the little tailor; "it will 
give me strength and cunning"; and he took down the bread from 
the cupboard, cut a whole round of the loaf, and spread the jelly on 

The Gallant Tailor 5 

it, laid it near him, and went on stitching more gallantly than ever. 
All the while the scent of the sweet jelly was spreading throughout 
the room, where there were quantities of flies, who were attracted 
by it and flew to partake. 

"Now then, who asked you to come?" said the tailor, and drove 
the unbidden guests away. But the flies, not understanding his lan- 
guage, were not to be got rid of like that, and returned in larger 
numbers than before. Then the tailor, not being able to stand it any 
longer, took from his chimney-comer a ragged cloth, and saying, 
"Now, I'll let you have itl" beat it among them unmercifully. When 
he ceased, and counted the slain, he found seven lying dead before 
him. "This is indeed somewhat," he said, wondering at his own gal- 
lantry; "the whole town shall know this." 

So he hastened to cut out a belt, and he stitched it, and put on it 
in large capitals, "Seven at one blowl" "—The town, did I sayl" said 
the Httle tailor; "the whole world shall know itl" And his heart 
quivered with joy, like a lamb's tail. 

The tailor fastened the belt round him, and began to think of 
going out into the world, for his workshop seemed too small for his 
worship. So he looked about in all the house for something that 
would be useful to take with him, but he found nothing but an old 
cheese, which he put in his pocket. Outside the door he noticed 
that a bird had got caught in the bushes, so he took that and put it 
in his pocket with the cheese. Then he set out gallantly on his way, 
and as he was light and active he felt no fatigue. 

The way led over a mountain and when he 1 cached the topmost 
peak he saw a terrible giant sitting there and looking about him at 
his ease. The tailor went bravely up to him, called out to him, and 
said, "Comrade, good day! There you sit looking over the Made 
world! I am on the way thither to seek my fortune; have you a 
fancy to go with me?" 

The giant looked at the tailor contemptuously, and said, "You lit- 
tle rascall You miserable fellowl" 

"That may be!" answered the little tailor, and undoing his coat 
he showed the giant his belt; "you can read there whether I am a 
man or not!" 

The giant read: "Seven at one blow!" and thinking it meant men 
that the tailor had killed, felt at once more respect for the little 
fellow. But as he wanted to prove him, he took up a stone and 
squeezed it so hard that water came out of it. "Now you can do 
that," said the giant— "that is, if you have the strength for it." 

"That's not much," said the little tailor, "1 call that play," and he 

6 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

put his hand in his pocket and took out the cheese and squeezed it, 
so that the whey ran out of it. "Well," said he, "what do you think 
of that?" 

The giant did not know what to say to it, for he could not have 
believed it of the little man. Then the giant took up a stone and 
threw it so high that it was nearly out of sight. "Now, little fellow, 
suppose you do that!" 

"Well thrown," said the tailor; "but the stone fell back to earth 
again— I will throw you one that vnll never come back." So he felt 
in his pocket, took out the bird, and threw it into the air. And the 
bird, when it found itself at liberty, took wing, flew off, and re- 
turned no more. "What do you think of that, comrade?" asked the 

"There is no doubt that you can throw," said the giant; "but we 
vidll see if you can carry." 

He led the little tailor to a mighty oak tree which had been 
feUed, and was lying on the ground, and said, "Now, if you are 
strong enough, help me to carry this tree out of the wood." 

"Willingly," answered the Httle man; "you take the trunk on 
your shoulders, I vnU. take the branches with all their foliage, that is 
much the most diflBcult." 

So the giant took the trunk on his shoulders, and the tailor seated 
himself on a branch, and the giant, who could not see what he was 
doing, had the whole tree to carry, and the little man on it as well. 
And the little man was very cheerful and merry, and whistled the 
tune: "There were three tailors riding by" as if carrying the tree 
was mere child's play. The giant, when he had struggled on under 
his heavy load a part of the way, was tired out, and cried, "Look 
here, I must let go the treel" 

The tailor jumped off quickly, and taking hold of the tree with 
both arms, as if he were carrying it, said to the giant, "You see you 
can't carry the tree though you are such a big fellowl" 

They went on together a little farther, and presently they came to 
a cherry tree, and the giant took hold of the topmost branches, 
where the ripest fruit hung, and pulling them downwards, gave 
them to the tailor to hold, bidding him eat. But the little tailor was 
much too weak to hold the tree, and as the giant let go, the tree 
sprang back, and the tailor was caught up into the air. And when 
he dropped down again without any damage, the giant said to him, 
"How is this? Haven't you strength enough to hold such a weak 
sprig as that?" 

'Tt is not strength that is lacking," answered the little tailor; 

The Gallant Tailor 7 

*Tiow should it be to one who has slain seven at one blowl I just 
jumped over the tree because the hunters are shooting down there 
in the bushes. You jump it too, if you can." 

The giant made the attempt, and not being able to vault the tree, 
he remained hanging in the branches, so that once more the little 
tailor got the better of him. Then said the giant, "As you are such a 
gallant fellow, suppose you come with me to oiur den, and stay the 

The tailor was quite willing, and he followed him. When they 
reached the den there sat some other giants by the fire, and each 
had a roasted sheep in his hand, and was eating it. The little tailor 
looked round and thought, There is more elbow-room here than in 
my workshop." 

And the giant showed him a bed, and told him he had better lie 
down upon it and go to sleep. The bed was, however, too big for 
the tailor, so he did not stay in it, but crept into a comer to sleep. 
As soon as it was midnight the giant got up, took a great staff of 
iron and beat the bed through with one stroke, and supposed he 
had made an end of that grasshopper of a tailor. Very early in the 
morning the giants went into the wood and forgot all about the lit- 
tle tailor, and when they saw him coming after them alive and 
merry, they were terribly frightened, and, thinking he was going to 
Idll them, they ran away in all haste. 

So the httle tailor marched on, always following his nose. And 
after he had gone a great way he entered the court-yard belonging 
to a King's palace, and there he felt so overpowered with fatigue 
that he lay down and fell asleep. In the meanwhile came various 
people, who looked at him very curiously, and read on his belt, 
"Seven at one blowl" 

"Ohl" said they, "why should this great lord come here in time of 
peace? What a mighty champion he must bel" 

Then they went and told the King about him, and they thought 
that if war should break out what a worthy and useful man he 
would be, and that he ought not to be allowed to depart at any 
price. The King then summoned his council, and sent one of his 
courtiers to the little tailor to beg him, as soon as he should wake 
up, to consent to serve in the King's army. So the messenger stood 
and waited at the sleeper's side until his limbs began to stretch, and 
his eyes to open, and then he carried his answer back. And the an- 
swer was: "That was the reason for which I came. I am ready to 
enter the King's service." 

8 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

So he was received into it very honorably, and a separate dwell- 
ing set apart for him. 

But the rest of the soldiers were very much set against the little 
tailor, and they wished him a thousand miles away. "What shall be 
done about it?" they said among themselves; "if we pick a quarrel 
and fight with him then seven of us will fall at each blow. That will 
be of no good to us." 

So they came to a resolution, and went all together to the King 
to ask for their discharge. "We never intended," said they, "to serve 
with a man who kills seven at a blow." 

The King felt sorry to lose all his faithful servants because of one 
man, and he wished that he had never seen him, and would will- 
ingly get rid of him if he might. But he did not dare to dismiss the 
httle tailor for fear he should kiU all the King's people, and place 
himself upon the throne. He thought a long while about it, and at 
last made up his mind what to do. He sent for the Httle tailor, and 
told him that as he was so great a warrior he had a proposal to 
make to him. He told him that in a wood in his dominions dwelt two 
giants, who did great damage by robbery, murder, and fire, and 
that no man durst go near them for fear of his life. But that if the 
tailor should overcome and slay both these giants the King would 
give him his only daughter in marriage, and half his kingdom as 
dowry, and that a hundred horsemen should go with him to give 
him assistance. 

"That would be something for a man like mel" thought the Httle 
tailor, "a beautiful Princess and half a kingdom are not to be had 
every day," and he said to the King, "Oh yes, I can soon overcome 
the giants, and yet have no need of the hundred horsemen; he who 
can Idll seven at one blow has no need to be afraid of two." 

So the Httle tailor set out, and the hundred horsemen followed 
him. When he came to the border of the wood he said to his escort, 
"Stay here while I go to attack the giants." 

Then he sprang into the wood, and looked about him right and 
left. After a while he caught sight of the two giants; they were 
lying down under a tree asleep, and snoring so that aU the branches 
shook. The Httle tailor, all aHve, filled both his pockets with stones 
and cHmbed up into the tree, and made his way to an overhanging 
bough, so that he could seat himself just above the sleepers; and 
from there he let one stone after another fall on the chest of one of 
the giants. For a long time the giant was quite unaware of this, but 
at last he waked up and pushed his comrade, and said, "What are 
you hitting me for?" 

The Gallant Tailor 9 

"You are dreaming," said the other, "I am not touching you." 
And they composed themselves again to sleep, and the tailor let fall 
a stone on the other giant. 

"What can that be?" cried he, "what are you casting at me?" "I 
am casting nothing at you," answered the first, grumbhng. 

They disputed about it for a while, but as they were tired, they 
gave it up at last, and their eyes closed once more. Then the little 
tailor began his game anew, picked out a heavier stone and threw it 
down with force upon the first giant's chest. 

"This is too muchl" cried he, and sprang up like a madman and 
struck his companion such a blow that the tree shook above them. 
The other paid him back with ready coin, and they fought with 
such fury that they tore up trees by their roots to use for weapons 
against each other, so that at last they both of them lay dead upon 
the ground. And now the little tailor got down. 

"Another piece of luckl" said he, "that the tree I was sitting in 
did not get torn up too, or else I should have had to jump like a 
squirrel from one tree to another." 

Then he drew his sword and gave each of the giants a few hacks 
in the breast, and went back to the horsemen and said, "The deed 
is done, I have made an end of both of them, but it went hard with 
me; in the struggle they rooted up trees to defend themselves, but 
it was of no use, they had to do with a man who can kill seven at 
one blow." 

"Then are you not wounded?" asked the horsemen. "Nothing of 
the sortl" answered the tailor, "I have not turned a hair." 

The horsemen still would not believe it, and rode into the wood 
to see, and there they found the giants wallowing in their blood, 
and all about them lying the uprooted trees. 

The little tailor then claimed the promised boon, but the King 
repented him of his offer, and he sought again how to rid himself of 
the hero. "Before you can possess my daughter and the half of my 
kingdom," said he to the tailor, "you must perform another heroic 
act. In the wood lives a unicorn who does great damage; you must 
secure him." 

"A unicorn does not strike more terror into me than two giants. 
Seven at one blow!— that is my way," was the tailor's answer. 

So, taking a rope and an axe with him, he went out into the 
wood, and told those who were ordered to attend him to wait out- 
side. He had not far to seek, the unicorn soon came out and sprang 
at him, as if he would make an end of him without delay. "Softly, 
softly," said he "most haste, worst speed," and remained standing 

10 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

until the animal came quite near, then he slipped quietly behind a 
tree. The unicorn ran wi^ all his might against the tree and stuck 
his horn so deep into the trunk that he could not get it out again, 
and so was taken. 

"Now I have you," said the tailor, coming out from behind the 
tree, and, putting the rope round the unicorn's neck, he took the 
axe, set free the horn, and when all his party were assembled he led 
forth the animal and brought it to the King. 

The King did not yet wish to give him the promised reward, and 
set him a third task to do. Before the wedding could take place the 
tailor was to secure a wild boar which had done a great deal of 
damage in the wood. The huntsmen were to accompany him. 

"All right," said the tailor, "this is child's play." 

But he did not take the huntsmen into the wood, and they were 
all the better pleased, for the wild boar had many a time before re- 
ceived them in such a way that they had no fancy to disturb him. 
When the boar caught sight of the tailor he ran at him with foam- 
ing mouth and gleaming tusks to bear him to the ground, but the 
nimble hero rushed into a chapel which chanced to be near, and 
jumped quickly out of a window on the other side. The boar ran 
after him, and when he got inside the door shut after him, and 
there he was imprisoned, for the creature was too big and un- 
wieldy to jimip out of the window too. Then the Uttle tailor called 
the huntsmen that they might see the prisoner with their own eyes; 
and then he betook himself to the King, who now, whether he liked 
it or not, was obliged to fulfil his promise, and give him his daugh- 
ter and the half of his kingdom. But if he had known that the great 
warrior was only a httle tailor he would have taken it still more to 
heart. So the wedding was celebrated with great splendor and little 
joy, and the tailor was made into a King. 

One night the young Queen heard her husband talking in his 
sleep and saying, "Now boy, make me that waistcoat and patch me 
those breeches, or I will lay my yard measure about your shoul- 

And so, as she perceived of what low birth her husband was, she 
went to her father the next morning and told him all, and begged 
him to set her free from a man who was nothing better than a tai- 
lor. The King bade her be comforted, saying, "Tonight leave your 
bedroom door open, my guard shall stand outside, and when he is 
asleep they shall come in and bind him and carry him off to a ship, 
and he shall be sent to the other side of the world." 

So the wife felt consoled, but the King's water-bearer, who had 

The Giant and the Tailor ii 

been listening all the while, went to the little tailor and disclosed to 
him the whole plan. 

"I shall put a stop to all this," said he. 

At night he lay down as usual in bed, and when his wife thought 
that he was asleep, she got up, opened the door and lay down 
again. The little tailor, who only made believe he waa asleep, bei^an 
to murmur plainly, "Now, boy, make me that waistcoat and patch 
me those breeches, or I will lay my yard measure about your shoul- 
ders! I have slain seven at one blow, killed two giants, caught a uni- 
corn, and taken a wild boar, and shall I be afraid of those who are 
standing outside my room door?" 

And when they heard the tailor say this, a great fear seized them; 
they fled away as if they had been wild hares, and none of them 
would venture to attack him. 

And so the little tailor remained a King all his lifetime. 

The Giant and the Tailor 

A CERTAIN TAILOR who was great at boasting but poor at doing, took 
it into his head to go abroad for a while, and look about the world. 
As soon as he could manage it, he left his workshop, and wandered 
on his way, over hill and dale, sometimes hither, sometimes thither, 
but ever on and on. Once when he was out he perceived in the blue 
distance a steep hill, and behind it a tower reaching to the clouds, 
which rose up out of a wild dark forest. "Thunder and lightning," 
cried the tailor, "what is that?" and as he was strongly goaded by 
curiosity, he went boldly towards it. But what made the tailor open 
his eyes and mouth when he came near it, was to see that the tower 
had legs, and leapt in one bound over the steep hill, and was now 
standing as an all-powerful giant before him. 

"What do you want here, you little fly's leg?" cried the giant, 
v^th a voice as if it were thundering on every side. The tailor 
whimpered, "I want just to look about and see if I can earn a bit of 
bread for myself in this forest." "If that is what you are after," said 
the giant, "you may have a place with me." "If it must be why 
not? What wages shall I receive?" "You shall hear what wages you 
shall have. Every year three hundred and sixty-five days, and when 
it is leap-year, one more into the bargain. Does that suit you?" "AH 

12 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

right," replied the tailor, and thought, in his own mind, "a man 
must cut his coat according to his cloth; I will try to get away as 
fast as I can." 

On this the giant said to him, "Go, little ragamuffin, and fetch me 
a jug of water." "Had I not better bring the well itself at once, and 
the spring too?" asked the boaster, and went with the pitcher to the 
water. "WhatI the well and the spring too," growled the giant in his 
beard, for he was rather clownish and stupid, and began to be 
afraid. "That knave is not a fool, he has a wizard in his body. Be on 
your guard, old Hans, this is no serving-man for you." 

When the tailor had brought the water, the giant bade him go 
into the forest, and cut a couple of blocks of wood and bring them 
back. "Why not the whole forest at once, with one stroke. The 
whole forest, young and old, with all that is there, both rough and 
smooth?" asked the little tailor, and went to cut the wood. "What! 
the whole forest, young and old, with all that is there, both rough 
and smooth, and the well and its spring too," growled the credulous 
giant in his beard, and was still more terrified. "The knave can do 
much more than bake apples, and has a wizard in his body. Be on 
your guard, old Hans, this is no serving-man for youl" 

When the tailor had brought the wood, the giant commanded 
him to shoot two or three wild boars for supper. "Why not rather a 
thousand at one shot, and bring them all here?" inquired the osten- 
tatious tailor. "Whatl" cried the timid giant in great terror. "Let 
well alone tonight, and lie down to rest." 

The giant was so terribly alarmed that he could not close an eye 
all night long for thinking what would be the best way to get rid of 
this accursed sorcerer of a servant. Time brings counsel. Next 
morning the giant and the tailor went to a marsh, round which 
stood a number of willow trees. Then said the giant, "Hark you, 
tailor, seat yourself on one of the willow-branches, I long of aU 
things to see if you are big enough to bend it down." All at once the 
tailor was sitting on it, holding his breath, and making himself so 
heavy that the bough bent down. When, however, he was com- 
pelled to draw breath, it hurried him (for unfortunately he had not 
put his goose in his pocket) so high into the air that he never was 
seen again, and this to the great delight of the giant. If the tailor 
has not fallen down again, he must stiU be hovering about in the 

The Little Farmer 

There was a certain village where lived many rich farmers and 
only one poor one, whom they called the Little Farmer. He had not 
even a cow, and still less had he money to buy one; and he and his 
vidfe greatly wished for such a thing. One day he said to her, "Lis- 
ten, I have a good idea; it is that your godfather the joiner shall 
make us a calf of wood and paint it brown, so as to look just like 
any other; and then in time perhaps it will grow big and become a 

This notion pleased the wife, and godfather joiner set to work to 
saw and plane, and soon turned out a calf complete, with its head 
down and neck stretched out as if it were grazing. 

The next morning, as the cows were driven to pasture, the Little 
Farmer called out to the drover, "Look here, I have got a little calf 
to go, but it is still young and must be carried." 

"All right!" said the drover, and tucked it imder his arm, carried 
it into the meadows, and stood it in the grass. So the calf stayed 
where it was put, and seemed to be eating all the time, and the 
drover thought to himself, 'It wiM soon be able to run alone, if it 
grazes at that rate!" 

In the evening, when the herds had to be driven home, he said to 
the calf, 'If you can stand there eating like that, you can just walk 
ofiF on your own four legs; I am not going to lug you imder my arm 

But the Little Farmer was standing by his house-door, and wait- 
ing for his calf; and when he saw the cow-herd coming through the 
village v^dthout it, he asked what it meant. The cow-herd answered, 
'It is stiU out there eating away, and never attended to the call, 
and would not come vvdth the rest." 

Then the Little Farmer said, "I wiH teU you what, I must have 
my beast brought home." 

And they went together through the fields in quest of it, but 
some one had stolen it, and it was gone. And the drover said, 
"Mostly likely it has run away." 

But the Little Farmer said, "Not it!" and brought the cow-herd 
before the bailiff, who ordered him for his carelessness to give the 
Little Farmer a cow for the missing calf. 

14 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

So now the Little Farmer and his wife possessed their long- 
wished-for cow; they rejoiced with all their hearts, but unfortu- 
nately they had no fodder for it, and could give it nothing to eat, so 
that before long they had to Idll it. Its flesh they salted down, and 
the Little Fanner went to the town to sell the skin and buy a new 
calf with what he got for it. On the way he came to a mill, where a 
raven was sitting with broken wings, and he took it up out of pity 
and wrapped it in the skin. The weather was very stormy, and it 
blew and rained, so he turned into the mill and asked for shelter. 

The miller s wife was alone in the house, and she said to the Lit- 
tle Farmer, "Well, come in and lie down in the straw," and she 
gave him a piece ot bread and cheese. So the Little Farmer ate, and 
then lay down with his skin near him, and the miller's wife thought 
he was sleeping with fatigue. After a while in came another man, 
and the miller's wife received him very well, saying, "My husband 
is out; we will make good cheer." 

The Little Farmer Hstened to what they said, and when he heard 
good cheer spoken of, he grew angry to think he had been put ofiE 
with bread and cheese. For the miller's wife presently brought out 
roast meat, salad, cakes, and wine. 

Now as the pair were sitting down to their feast, there came a 
knock at the door. "Oh dear," cried the woman, "it is my husband!" 
In a twinkling she popped the roast meat into the oven, the wine 
under the pillow, the salad in the bed, the cakes under the bed, and 
the man in the linen-closet. Then she opened the door to her hus- 
band, saying, "Thank goodness, you are here I What weather it is, 
as if the world were coming to an endl" 

When the miller saw the Little Farmer lying in the straw, he 
said, "What fellow have you got there?" "Oh!" said the wife, "the 
poor chap came in the midst of the wind and rain and asked for 
shelter, and I gave him some bread and cheese and spread some 
straw for him." 

The husband answered, "Oh well, I have no objection, only get 
me something to eat at once." But the wife said, "There is nothing 
but bread and cheese." 

"Anything will do for me," answered the miller, "bread and 
cheese for ever!" and catching sight of the Little Farmer, he cried, 
"Come along, and keep me company!" The Little Fanner did not 
wait to be asked twice, but sat down and ate. 

After a while the miller noticed the sldn lying on the ground with 
the raven wrapped up in it, and he said, "What have you got 
there?" The Little Farmer answered, "A fortime-teller." And the 

The Little Farmer 15 

miller asked, "Can he teU my fortune?" "Why not?" answered the 
Little Farmer. "He will tell four things, and the fifth he keeps to 
himself." Now the miller became very curious, and said, "Ask him 
to say something." 

And the Little Farmer pinched the raVen, so that it croaked, 
"Crr, err." "What does he say?" asked the miller. And the Little 
Farmer answered, "First he says that there is wine under the pil- 

"That would be jollyl" cried the miller, and he went to look, and 
found the wine, and then asked, "What next?" 

So the Little Farmer made the raven croak again, and then said, 
"He says, secondly, that there is roast meat in the oven." 

"That would be jollyl" cried the miller, and he went and looked, 
and found the roast meat. The Little Farmer made the fortune- 
teller speak again, and then said, "He says, thirdly, that there is 
salad in the bed." 

"That would be jollyl" cried the miller, and went and looked and 
found the salad. Once more the Little Farmer pinched the raven, so 
that he croaked, and said, "He says, foiuthly and lastly, that there 
are cakes under the bed." 

"That would be jollyl" cried the miller, and he went and looked, 
and found the cakes. 

And now the two sat down to table, and the miller's wife felt 
very uncomfortable, and she went to bed and took all the keys with 
her. The miller was eager to know what the fifth thing could be, 
but the Little Farmer said, "Suppose we eat the four things in 
peace first, for the fifth thing is a great deal worse." 

So they sat and ate, and while they ate, they bargained to- 
gether as to how much the miller would give for knowing the fifth 
thing; and at last they agreed upon three hundred doUars. Then the 
Little Farmer pinched the raven, so that he croaked aloud. And the 
miller asked what he said, and the Little Farmer answered, "He 
says that there is a demon in the linen-closet." 

"Then," said the miller, "that demon must come out of the linen- 
closet," and he unbarred the house-door, while the Little Farmer 
got the key of the Unen-closet from the miller's wife, and opened it. 
Then the man rushed forth, and out of the house, and the miller 
said, "1 saw the black rogue with my own eyes; so that is a good 

And the Little Farmer took himself off by daybreak next morning 
with the three hundred dollars. 

And after this the Little Farmer by degrees got on in the world. 

i6 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

and built himself a good house, and the other fanners said, "Surely 
the Little Fanner has been where it rains gold pieces, and has 
brought home money by the bushel." 

And he was simimoned before the bailiff to say whence his riches 
came. And all he said was, "I sold my calf s sldn for three hundred 

When the other farmers heard this they wished to share such 
good luck, and ran home, killed all their cows, skinned them in 
order to sell them also for the same high price as the Little Farmer. 
And the bailiff said, '1 must be beforehand with them." So he sent 
his servant into the town to the skin-buyer, and he only gave her 
three dollars for the sldn, and that was faring better than the 
others, for when they came, they did not get as much as that, for 
the sldn-buyer said, "What am I to do with all these skins?" 

Now the other farmers were very angry with the Little Farmer 
for misleading them, and they vowed vengeance against him, and 
went to complain of his deceit to the bailiff. The poor Little Farmer 
was with one voice sentenced to death, and to be put into a cask 
with holes in it, and rolled into the water. So he was led to execu- 
tion, and a priest was fetched to say a mass for him, and the rest of 
the people had to stand at a distance. As soon as the Little Farmer 
caught sight of the priest he knew him for the man who was hid in 
the linen-closet at the miller's. And he said to him, "As I let you out 
of the cupboard, you must let me out of the cask." 

At that moment a shepherd passed with a flock of sheep, and 
the Little Farmer knowing him to have a great wish to become 
bailiff himself, called out with all his might, "No, I will not, and if 
all the world asked me, I would noti" 

The shepherd, hearing him, came up and asked what it was he 
would not do. The Little Farmer answered, "They want to make 
me bailiff, if I sit in this cask, but I will not do it!" 

The shepherd said, 'If that is all there is to do in order to be- 
come bailiff I will sit in the cask and welcome." And the Little 
Farmer answered, "Yes, that is all, just you get into the cask, and you 
will become bailiff." So the shepherd agreed, and got in, and the 
Little Farmer fastened on the top; then he collected the herd of 
sheep and drove them away. 

The priest went back to the parish-assembly, and told them the 
mass had been said. Then they came and began to roll the cask into 
the water, and as it went the shepherd inside called out, "I consent 
to be bailiffl" 

They thought that it was the Little Farmer who spoke, and they 

The Golden Key 17 

answered, "All right; but first you must go down below and look 
about you a little," and they rolled the cask into the water. 

Upon that the farmers went home, and when they reached the 
village, there they met the Little Farmer driving a flock of sheep, 
and looking quite calm and contented. The farmers were astonished 
and cried, "Little Farmer, whence come you? How did you get out 
of the water?" 

"Oh, easily," answered he, "I sank and sank until I came to the 
bottom; then I broke through the cask and came out of it, and there 
were beautiful meadows and plenty of sheep feeding, so I brought 
away this flock with me." 

Then said the farmers, "Are there any left?" "Oh yes," answered 
the Little Farmer, "more than you can possibly need." 

Then the farmers agreed that they would go and fetch some 
sheep also, each man a flock for himself; and the baiUff said, "Me 
first." And they all went together, and in the blue sky there were lit- 
tle fleecy clouds Hke lambkins, and they were reflected in the 
water; and the farmers cried out, "There are the sheep down there 
at the bottom." 

When the baihff heard that he pressed forward and said, '1 will 
go first and look about me, and if things look well, I will call to 
you." And he jiunped plump into the water, and they all thought 
that the noise he made meant "Come," so the whole company 
jumped in one after the other. 

So perished all the proprietors of the village, and the Little 
Farmer, as sole heir, became a rich man. 

The Golden Key 

In the winter time, when deep snow lay on the groimd, a poor boy 
was forced to go out on a sledge to fetch wood. When he had 
gathered it together, and packed it, he wished, as he was so frozen 
with cold, not to go home at once, but to light a fire and warm him- 
self a Kttle. So he scraped away the snow, and as he was thus clear- 
ing the ground, he found a tiny, gold key. Hereupon he thought 
that where the key was, the lock must be also, and dug in the 
ground and foimd an iron chest. "If the key does but fit it!" thought 
he; "no doubt there are precious things in that little box." He 

i8 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

searched, but no keyhole was there. At last he discovered one, but 
so small that it was hardly visible. He tried it, and the key fitted it 
exactly. Then he turned it once round, and now we must wait until 
he has quite unlocked it and opened the lid, and then we shall 
learn what wonderful things were lying in that box. 

Sharing Joy and Sorrow 

There was once a tailor, who was a quarrelsome fellow, and his 
vdfe, who was good, industrious, and pious, never could please him. 
Whatever she did, he was not satisfied, but grumbled and scolded, 
and knocked her about and beat her. As the authorities at last 
heard of it, they had him summoned and put in prison in order to 
make him better. He was kept for a while on bread and water, and 
then set free again. He was forced, however, to promise not to beat 
his wife any more, but to live with her in peace, and share joy and 
sorrow with her, as married people ought to do. 

All went on well for a time, but theil he fell into his old ways, 
and was surly and quarrelsome. And because he dared not beat her, 
he would seize her by the hair and tear it out. The woman escaped 
from him, and sprang out into the yard, but he ran after her with 
his yard-meastire and scissors, and chased her about, and threw the 
yard-measure and scissors at her, and whatever else came in his 
way. When he hit her he laughed, and when he missed her, he 
stormed and swore. This went on so long that the neighbors came 
to the wife's assistance. 

The tailor was again simimoned before the magistrates, and re- 
minded of his promise. "Dear gentlemen," said he, "I have kept my 
word; I have not beaten her, but have shared joy and sorrow with 
her." "How can that be," said the judge, "when she continually 
brings such heavy complaints against you?" "1 have not beaten her, 
but just because she looked so strange I wanted to comb her hair 
with my hand; she, however, got away from me, and left me quite 
spitefully. Then I hurried after her, and in order to bring her back 
to her duty, I threw at her as a well-meant admonition whatever 
came readily to hand. I have shared joy and sorrow with her also, 
for whenever I hit her I was full of joy, and she of sorrow; and 

Tom Thumb 19 

if I missed her, then she was joyful, and I sorry." The judges were 
not satisfied with this answer, but gave him the reward he deserved. 

The Nail 

A MERCHAJ^ had done good business at the fair; he had sold his 
wares, and lined his money-bags with gold and silver. Then he 
wanted to travel homewards, and be in his own house before night- 
fall. So he packed his trunk with the money on his horse, and rode 

At noon he rested in a town, and when he wanted to go farther 
the stable-boy brought out his horse and said, "A nail is wanting, 
sir, in the shoe of its left hind foot." "Let it be wanting," answered 
the merchant; "the shoe will certainly stay on for six miles I have 
still to go. I am in a hiury." 

In the afternoon, when he once more alighted and had his horse 
fed, the stable-boy went into the room to him and said, "Sir, a shoe 
is missing from your horse's left hind foot. Shall I take him to the 
blacksmith?" "Let it still be wanting," answered the man; "the 
horse can very well hold out for the couple of miles which remain. 
I am in haste." 

He rode forth, but before long the horse began to limp. It had 
not limped long before it began to stumble, and it had not stmnbled 
long before it fell down and broke its leg. The merchant was forced 
to leave the horse where it was, and unbuckle the trunk, take it on 
his back, and go home on foot. And there he did not arrive until 
quite late at night. "And that unlucky nail," said he to himself, "has 
caused all this disaster." 

Make haste slowly. 

Tom Thumb 

There was once a poor countryman who used to sit in the chimney- 
comer all evening and poke the fire, while his wife sat at her spin- 

20 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

And he used to say, "How dull it is without any children about 
US; our house is so quiet, and other people's houses so noisy and 

"Yes," answered his wife, and sighed, "if we could only have 
one, and that one ever so little, no bigger than my thumb, how 
happy I should be! It would, indeed, be having our heart's desire." 

Now, it happened that after a while the woman had a child who 
was perfect in all his limbs, but no bigger than a thumb. Then the 
parents said, "He is just what we wished for, and we love him very 
much," and they named him according to his stature, "Tom 
Thvmib." And though they gave him plenty of nourishment, he 
grew no bigger, but remained exactly the same size as when he was 
first bom; and he had very good faculties, and was very quick and 
prudent, so that all he did prospered. 

One day his father made ready to go into the forest to cut wood, 
and he said, as if to himself, "Now, I wish there was some one to 
bring the cart to me." "O father," cried Tom Thumb, "if I can 
bring the cart, let me alone for that, and in proper time, too!" 

Then the father laughed, and said, "How will you manage that? 
You are much too Httle to hold the reins." "That has nothing to do 
with it, father; while my mother goes on with her spinning I will sit 
in the horse's ear and tell him where to go." "Well," answered the 
father, "we will try it for once." 

When it was time to set off, the mother went on spinning, after 
setting Tom Thumb in the horse's ear; and so he drove off, crying, 
"Gee-up, gee-wo!" 

So the horse went on quite as if his master were driving him, and 
drew the wagon along the right road to the wood. 

Now it happened just as they tinned a comer, and the little 
fellow was calling out "Gee-up!" that two strange men passed by. 

"Look," said one of them, "how is this? There goes a wagon, and 
the driver is calling to the horse, and yet he is nowhere to be seen." 
*Tt is very strange," said the other; "we will follow the wagon, and 
see where it belongs." 

And the wagon went right through the forest, up to the place 
where the wood had been hewed. When Tom Thumb caught sight 
of his father, he cried out, 'Xook, father, here am I with the wagon; 
now, take me down." 

The father held the horse with his left hand, and with the right 
he lifted down his little son out of the horse's ear, and Tom Thumb 
sat down on a stump, quite happy and content. When the two 
strangers saw him they were struck dumb with wonder. At last one 

Tom Thumb 21 

of them, taking the other aside, said to him, "Look here, the little 
chap would make our fortune if we were to show him in the town 
for money. Suppose we buy him." 

So they went up to the woodcutter, and said, "Sell the little man 
to US; we will take care he shall come to no harm." "No," answered 
the father; "he is the apple of my eye, and not for all the money in 
the world would I sell him." 

But Tom Thmnb, when he heard what was going on, climbed up 
by his father's coat tails, and, perching himself on his shoulder, he 
whispered in his ear, "Father, you might as well let me go. I will 
soon come back again." 

Then the father gave him up to the two men for a large piece of 
money. They asked him where he would hke to sit. "Oh, put me on 
the brim of your hat," said he. "There I can walk about and view 
the country, and be in no danger of falling off." 

So they did as he wished, and when Tom Thumb had taken leave 
of his father, they set off all together. And they traveled on until it 
grew dusk, and the little fellow asked to be set down a little while 
for a change, and after some diflBculty they consented. So the man 
took him down from his hat, and set him in a field by the roadside, 
and he ran away directly, and, after creeping about among the fur- 
rows, he slipped suddenly into a mouse-hole, just what he was look- 
ing for. 

"Good evening, my masters, you can go home without me!" cried 
he to them, laughing. They ran up and felt about with their sticks 
in the mouse-hole, but in vain. Tom Thumb crept farther and far- 
ther in, and as it was growing dark, they had to make the best of 
their way home, full of vexation, and with empty piurses. 

When Tom Thumb found they were gone, he crept out of his 
hiding-place underground. "It is dangerous work groping about 
these holes in the darkness," said he; "1 might easily break my 

But by good fortime he came upon an empty snail shell. "That's 
all right," said he. "Now I can get safely through the night"; and he 
settled himself down in it. 

Before he had time to get to sleep, he heard two men pass by, 
and one was saying to the other, "How can we manage to get hold 
of the rich parson's gold and silver?" "I can tell you how," cried 
Tom Thumb. "How is this?" said one of the thieves, quite fright- 
ened, "I hear some one speaki" 

So they stood still and listened, and Tom Thmnb spoke again: 
"Take me with you; I will show you how to do it!" "Where are 

22 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

you, then?" asked they. "Look about on the ground and notice 
where the voice comes from," answered he. 

At last they found him, and lifted him up. "You little elf," said 
they, "how can you help us?" "Look here," answered he, "I can 
easily creep between the iron bars of the parson's room and hand 
out to you whatever you would Hke to have." "Very well," said 
they, "we will try what you can do." 

So when they came to the parsonage-house, Tom Thumb crept 
into the room, but cried out with all his might, "Will you have all 
that is here?" So the thieves were terrified, and said, "Do speak 
more softly, lest any one should be awaked." 

But Tom Thumb made as if he did not hear them, and cried out 
again, "What would you like? Will you have all that is here?" so 
that the cook, who was sleeping in a room hard by, heard it, and 
raised herself in bed and listened. The thieves, however, in their 
fear of being discovered, had run back part of the way, but they 
took courage again, thinking that it was only a jest of the Uttle 
fellow's. So they came back and whispered to him to be serious, 
and to hand them out something. 

Then Tom Thumb called out once more as loud as he could, "Oh 
yes, I will give it all to you, only put out your hands." 

Then the listening maid heard him distinctly that time, and 
jumped out of bed, and burst open the door. The thieves ran off as 
if the wild huntsman were behind them; but the maid, as she could 
see nothing, went to fetch a light. And when she came back with 
one, Tom Thumb had taken himself off, without being seen by her, 
into the bam; and the maid, when she had looked in every hole and 
corner and found nothing, went back to bed at last, and thought 
that she must have been dreaming with her eyes and ears open. 

So Tom Thumb crept among the hay, and found a comfortable 
nook to sleep in, where he intended to remain until it was day, and 
then to go home to his father and mother. But other things were to 
befall him; indeed, there is nothing but trouble and worry in this 

The maid got up at dawn of day to feed the cows. The first place 
she went to was the bam, where she took up an armful of hay, and 
it happened to be the very heap in which Tom Thumb lay asleep. 
And he was so fast asleep, that he was aware of nothing, and never 
waked until he was in the mouth of the cow, who had taken him up 
with the hay. 

"Oh dear," cried he, "how is it that I have got into a mill!" but 
he soon found out where he was, and he had to be very careful not 

Tom Thumb 23 

to get between the cow's teeth, and at last he had to descend into 
the cow's stomach. "The windows were forgotten when this little 
room was built," said he, "and the sunshine cannot get in; there is no 
light to be had." 

His quarters were in every way unpleasant to him, and, what was 
the worst, new hay was constantly coming in, and the space was 
being filled up. At last he cried out in his extremity, as loud as he 
could, "No more hay for me! No more hay for me!" The maid was 
then milking the cow, and as she heard a voice, but could see no 
one, and as it was the same voice that she had heard in the night, 
she was so frightened that she fell off her stool, and spilt the milk. 
Then she ran in great haste to her master, crying, "Oh, master dear, 
the cow spoke!" 

"You must be crazy," answered her master,' and he went himself 
to the cow-house to see what was the matter. No sooner had he put 
his foot inside the door, than Tom Thumb cried out again, "No 
more hay for mel No more hay for me!" 

Then the parson himself was frightened, supposing that a bad 
spirit had entered into the cow, and he ordered her to be put to 
death. So she was kiUed, but the stomach, where Tom Thiunb was 
lying, was thrown upon a dunghill. Tom Thumb had great trouble 
to work his way out of it, and he had just made a space big enough 
for his head to go through, when a new misfortune happened. A 
hungry wolf ran up and swallowed the whole stomach at one gulp. 

But Tom Thumb did not lose courage. "Perhaps," thought he, 
"the wolf will listen to reason," and he cried out from the inside of 
the wolf, "My dear wolf, I can tell you where to get a splendid 
meal!" "Where is it to be had?" asked the wolf. "In such and such a 
house, and you must creep into it through the drain, and there you 
will find cakes and bacon and broth, as much as you can eat," and 
he described to him his father's house. 

The wolf needed not to be told twice. He squeezed himself 
through the drain in the night, and feasted in the store-room to his 
heart's content. When at last he was satisfied, he wanted to go away 
again, but he had become so big, that to creep the same way back 
was impossible. This Tom Thumb had reckoned upon, and began 
to make a terrible din inside the wolf, crying and calling as loud as 
he could. 

"Will you be quiet?" said the wolf; "you will wake the folks up!" 
"Look here," cried the little man, "you are very well satisfied, and 
now I will do something for my own enjoyment," and began again 
to make all the noise he could. 

24 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

At last the father and mother were awakened, and they ran to the 
room-door and peeped through the chink, and when they saw a 
wolf in ocxjupation, they ran and fetched weapons— the man an axe, 
and the wife a scythe. *'Stay behind," said the man, as they entered 
the room; "when I have given him a blow, and it does not seem to 
have killed him, then you must cut at him with your scythe." 

Then Tom Thumb heard his father s voice, and cried, "Dear fa- 
ther, I am here in the wolfs inside." 

Then the father called out full of joy, 'Thank heaven that we 
have found our dear child!" and told his wife to keep the scythe out 
of the way, lest Tom Thumb should be hurt with it. Then he drew 
near and struck the wolf such a blow on the head that he fell 
down dead; and then he fetched a knife and a pair of scissors, slit 
up the wolfs body, and let out the little fellow. 

"Oh, what anxiety we have felt about youl" said the father. "Yes, 
father, I have seen a good deal of the world, and I am very glad to 
breathe fresh air again." 

"And where have you been aU this time?" asked his father. "Oh, 
I have been in a mouse-hole and a snail's shell, in a cow's stomach 
and a wolfs inside; now I think I will stay at home." 

"And we will not part with you for all the kingdoms of the world," 
cried the parents, as they kissed and hugged their dear little Tom 
Thumb. And they gave him something to eat and drink, and a new 
suit of clothes, as his old ones were soiled with travel. 

Tom Thumb's Travels 

Thebe was once a tailor who had a son no higher than a thumb, so 
he was called Tom Thumb. Notwithstanding his small size, he had 
plenty of spirit, and one day he said to his father, "Father, go out 
into the world I must and will." 

"Very well, my son," said the old man, and taking a long darning 
needle, he put a knob of sealing-wax on the end, saying, "Here is a 
sword to take with you on your journey." 

Now the little tailor wanted to have one more meal first, and so 
he trotted into the kitchen to see what sort of farewell feast his 
mother had cooked for him. It was all ready, and the dish was 

Tom Thumb's Travels 25 

standing on the hearth. Then said he, "Mother, what is the fare 

**You can see for yourself," said the mother. Then Tom Thumb 
ran to the hearth and peeped into the dish, but as he stretched his 
neck too far over it, the steam caught him and carried him up the 
chimney. For a time he floated about with the steam in the air, but 
at last he sank down to the ground. Then the little tailor found him- 
self out in the wide world, and he wandered about, and finally en- 
gaged himself to a master tailor, but the food was not good enough 
for him. 

"Mistress," said Tom Thumb, "if you do not give us better vic- 
tuals, I shall go out early in the morning and write with a piece of 
chalk on the house-door, 'Plenty of potatoes to eat, and but little 
meat; so good-bye, Mr. Potato.'" 

"What are you after, grasshopper?" said the mistress, and grow- 
ing angry she seized a piece of rag to beat him o£F; but he crept un- 
derneath her thimble, and then peeped at her, and put his tongue 
out at her. She took up the thimble, and would have seized him, 
but he hopped among the rags, and as the mistress turned them 
over to find him, he stepped into a crack in the table. "He-heel 
Mistressl" cried he, sticking out his head, and when she was just go- 
ing to grasp him, he jumped into the table-drawer. But in the end 
she caught him, and drove him out of the house. 

So he wandered on until he came to a great wood; and there he 
met a gang of robbers that were going to rob the King's treasury. 
When they saw the little tailor, they thought to themselves, "Such a 
little fellow might easily creep through a key-hole, and serve instead 
of a pick-lock." "Holloal" cried one, "you giant Goliath, will you 
come with us to the treasure-chamber? You can slip in, and then 
throw us out the money." 

Tom Thumb considered a little, but at last he consented and 
went with them to the treasure-chamber. Then he looked all over 
the door above and below, but there was no crack to be seen; at 
last he found one broad enough to let him pass, and he was get- 
ting through, when one of the sentinels that stood before the door 
saw him, and said to the other, "See what an ugly spider is crawl- 
ing therel I will put an end to him." 'Xet the poor creatm-e alone," 
said the other, "it has done you no harm." 

So Tom Thirnib got safely through the crack into the treasure- 
chamber, and he opened the window beneath which the thieves 

26 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

were standing, and he threw them out one dollar after another. Just 
as he had well settled to the work, he heard the King coming to 
take a look at his treasure, and so Tom Thumb had to creep away. 
The King presently remarked that many good dollars were want- 
ing, but could not imagine how they could have been stolen, as the 
locks and bolts were in good order, and everything seemed secure. 
And he went away, saying to the two sentinels, "Keep good guard; 
there is some one after the money." 

When Tom Thumb had set to work anew, they heard the chink, 
chink of the money, and hastily rushed in to catch the thief. But the 
little tailor, as he heard them coming, was too quick for them, and, 
hiding in a comer, he covered himself up with a doUar, so that 
nothing of him was to be seen, and then he mocked the sentinels, 
crying, "Here I am!" They ran about, and when they came near him, 
he was soon in another comer under a doUar, crying, "Here I ami" 
Then the sentinels ran towards him, and in a moment he was in a 
third comer, crying, "Here I ami" In this way he made fools of 
them, and dodged them so long about the treasure-chamber, that 
they got tired and went away. Then he set to work, and threw the 
dollars out of the window, one after the other, till they were all 
gone; and when it came to the last, as he flung it with aU his might, 
he jumped nimbly on it, and flew with it out of the window. 

The robbers gave him great praise, saying, "You are a most val- 
iant hero; will you be oiu: captain?" 

But Tom Thumb thanked them, and said he would like to see the 
world first. Then they divided the spoil; but the Httle tailor's share 
was only one feirthing, which was all he was able to cairy. 

Then binding his sword to his side, he bid the robbers good day, 
and started on his way. He applied to several master tailors, but 
they would not have anything to do with him; and at last he hired 
himself as indoor servant at an inn. The maid-servants took a great 
dislike to him, for he used to see everything they did without being 
seen by them, and he told the master and mistress about what they 
took from the plates, and what they carried away out of the cellar. 
And they said, "Wait a little, we will pay you out," and took coun- 
sel together to play him some mischievous trick. 

Once when one of the maids was mowing the grass in the garden 
she saw Tom Thumb jimiping about and creeping among the cab- 
bages, and she* mowed him with the grass, tied all together in a 
bundle, and threw it to the cows. Among the cows was a big black 
one, who swallowed him down, without doing him any harm. But 

Tom Thumb's Travels 27 

he did not like his lodging, it was so dark, and there was no candle 
to be had. When the cow was being milked, he cried out, 

"Strip, strap, strull. 
Will the pail soon be fullF' 

But he was not understood because of the noise of the milk. 

Presently the landlord came into the stable and said, "Tomorrow 
this cow is to be slaughtered." 

At that Tom Thumb felt very terrified; and with his shrillest 
voice he cried, "Let me out first; I am sitting inside here!" 

The master heard him quite plainly, but could not tell where the 
voice came from. "Where are you?" asked he. "Inside the black 
one," answered Tom Thumb, but the master, not understanding the 
meaning of it all, went away. 

The next morning the cow was slaughtered. Happily, in all the 
cutting and slashing he escaped all harm, and he slipped among the 
sausage-meat. When the butcher came near to set to work, he cried 
with all his might, "Don't cut so deep, don't cut so deep, I am un- 
derneath I" But for the sound of the butcher's knife his voice was 
not heard. 

Now, poor Tom Thumb was in great straits, and he had to jump 
nimbly out of the way of the knife, and finally he came through 
With a whole sldn. But he could not get quite away, and he had to 
let himself remain with the lumps of fat to be put in a black pud- 
ding. His quarters were rather narrow, and he had to be hung up in 
the chimney in the smoke, and to remain there a very long while. 
At last, when winter came, he was taken down, for the black pud- 
ding was to be set before a guest. And when the landlady cut the 
black pudding in slices, he had to great care not to lift up his head 
too much, or it might be shaved off at the neck. At last he saw his 
opportimity, took courage, and jumped out. 

But as things had gone so badly with him in that house, Tom 
Thumb did not mean to stay there, but betook himself again to his 
wanderings. His freedom, however, did not last long. In the open 
fields there came a fox who snapped him up without thinking. 

"Oh, Mr. Fox," cried Tom Thumb, "here I am sticking in your 
throat; let me out again." "Very well," answered the fox. "It is true 
you are no better than nothing; promise me the hens in your fa- 
ther's yard, then I will let you go." "With all my heart," answered 
Tom Thumb, "you shall have them all, I promise you." 

Then the fox let him go, and he ran home. When the father saw 

28 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

his dear little son again, he gave the fox willingly all the hens that 
he had. 

"And look, besides, what a fine piece of money I've got for youl" 
said Tom Thumb, and handed over the farthing which he had 
earned in his wanderings. 

But how, you ask, could they let the fox devour aU the poor 
chicks? Why, you silly child, you know that yoiu: father would rather 
have you than the hens in his yardi 

The Young Giant 

A LONG TIME ago a countryman had a son who was as big as a 
thumb, and did not become any bigger, and during several years 
did not grow one hair's breadth. Once when the father was going 
out to plough, the httle one said, "Father, I will go out with thee." 
"Thou wouldst go out with me?" said the father. "Stay here, thou 
wilt be of no use out there, besides thou mightst get lostl" Then 
ThmnbUng began to cry, and for the sake of peace his father put 
him in his pocket, and took him with him. 

When he was outside in the field, he took him out again, and set 
him in a freshly-cut furrow. 

While he was there, a great giant came over the hill. "Dost thou 
see that great monster?" said the father, for he wanted to frighten 
the Httle fellow to make him good. "He is coming to fetch thee." 
The giant, however, had scarcely taken two steps with his long legs 
before he was in the furrow. He took up little Thumbling carefully 
with two fingers, examined him, and without saying one word went 
away with him. His father stood by, but could not utter a sound for 
terror, and he thought nothing else but that his child was lost, and 
that as long as he lived he should never set eyes on him again. 

The giant, however, carried him home, suckled him, and Thum- 
bling grew and became taU and strong after the manner of giants. 
When two years had passed, the old giant took him into the forest, 
wanted to try him, and said, "Pull up a stick for thyself." Then the 
boy was already so strong that he tore up a young tree out of the 
earth by the roots. But the giant thought, "We must do better than 
that," took him back again, and suckled him two years longer. 

When he tried him, his strength had increased so much that he 

The Young Giant 29 

could tear an old tree out of the ground. That was still not enough 
for the giant; he again suckled him for two years, and when he then 
went with him into the forest and said, "Now, just tear up a proper 
stick for me," the boy tore up the strongest oak tree from the earth, 
so that it spHt, and that was a mere trifle to him. "Now that will 
do," said the giant, "thou art perfect," and took him back to the 
field from whence he had brought him. His father was there follow- 
ing the plough. The young giant went up to him, and said, "Does 
my father see what a fine man his son has grown into?" 

The farmer was alarmed, and said, "No, thou art not my son; I 
don't want thee— leave mel" "Truly I am your son; allow me to do 
your work, I can plough as well as you, nay better." "No, no, thou 
art not my son, and thou canst not plough— go awayl" However, as 
he was afraid of this great man, he left hold of the plough, stepped 
back and stood at one side of the piece of land. Then the youth 
took the plough, and just pressed it with one hand, but his grasp 
was so strong that the plough went deep into the earth. The farmer 
could not bear to see that, and called to him, "If thou art deter- 
mined to plough, thou must not press so hard on it, that makes bad 
work." The youth, however, unharnessed the horses, and drew the 
plough himself, saying, "Just go home, father, and bid my mother 
make ready a large dish of food, and in the meantime I will go over 
the field." Then the farmer went home, and ordered his wife to 
prepare the food; but the youth ploughed the field, which was two 
acres large, quite alone, and then he harnessed himself to the har- 
row, and harrowed the whole of the land, using two harrows at 
once. When he had done it, he went into the forest, and pulled up 
two oak trees, laid them across his shoulders, and hung one harrow 
on them behind and one before, and also one horse behind and one 
before, and carried all as if it had been a bundle of straw, to his 
parents' house. 

When he entered the yard, his mother did not recognize him, and 
asked, "Who is that horrible tall man?" The farmer said, "That is 
our son." She said, "No, that caimot be our son, we never had such 
a tall one, ours was a little thing." She called to him, "Go away, we 
do not want thee!" The youth was silent, but led his horses to the 
stable, gave them oats and hay, and all that they wanted. When he 
had done this, he went into the parlor, sat down on the bench and 
said, "Mother, now I should like something to eat, will it soon be 
ready?" Then she said, "Yes," and brought in two immense dishes 
full of food, which would have been enough to satisfy herself and 
her husband for a week. The youth, however, ate the whole of it 

30 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

himself, and asked if she had nothing more to set before him. "No," 
she replied, "that is all we have." "But that was only a taste, I must 
have more." 

She did not dare to oppose him, and went and put a huge cal- 
dron full of food on the fire, and when it was ready, carried it in. 
"At length come a few crumbs," said he, and ate all there was, but 
it was still not suflBcient to appease his hunger. Then said he, "Fa- 
ther, I see well that with thee I shall never have food enough; if 
thou will get me an iron staff which is strong, and which I cannot 
break against my knees, I will go out into the world." 

The farmer was glad, put his two horses in his cart, and fetched 
from the smith a staff so large and thick that the two horses could 
only just bring it away. The youth laid it across his knees, and snap! 
he broke it in two in the middle like a beanstick, and threw it away. 

The father then harnessed four horses, and brought a bar which 
was so long and thick, that the four horses could only just drag it. 
The son snapped this also in twain against his knees, threw it away, 
and said, "Father, this can be of no use to me, thou must harness 
more horses, and bring a stronger staff." So the father harnessed 
eight horses, and brought one which was so long and thick, that the 
eight horses could only just carry it. When the son took it in his 
hand, he broke a bit from the top of it also, and said, 'Tather, I see 
that thou wilt not be able to procure me any such staff as I want, I 
will remain no longer with thee." 

So he went away, and gave out that he was a smith's apprentice. 
He arrived at a village, wherein Hved a smith who was a greedy 
fellow, who never did a kindness to any one, but wanted everything 
for himself. The youth went into the smithy to him, and asked if he 
needed a journeyman. "Yes," said the smith, and looked at him, and 
thought, "That is a strong fellow who will strike out well, and earn 
his bread." So he asked, "How much wages dost thou want" "1 
don't want any at all," he replied, "only every fortnight, when the 
other journeymen are paid, I will give thee two blows, and thou 
must bear them." The miser was heartily satisfied, and thought he 
would thus save much money. 

Next morning, the strange journeyman was to begin to work, but 
when the master brought the glowing bar, and the youth struck his 
first blow, the iron flew asunder, and the anvil sank so deep into the 
earth, that there was no bringing it out again. Then the miser grew 
angry, and said, "Oh, but I can't make any use of thee, thou strikest 
far too powerfully; what wilt thou have for the one blow?" 

Then said he, "1 will only give thee quite a small blow, that's 

The Young Giant 31 

all." And he raised his foot, and gave him such a kick that he flew 
away over four loads of hay. Then he sought out the thickest iron 
bar in the smithy for himself, took it as a stick in his hand, and 
went onwards. 

When he had walked for some time, he came to a small farm, 
and asked the bailiff if he did not require a head-servant. "Yes," 
said the bailiff, "I can make use of one; you look a strong fellow 
who can do something, how much a year do you want as wages?" 
He again replied that he wanted no wages at all, but that every 
year he would give him three blows, which he must bear. Then the 
bailiff was satisfied, for he, too, was a covetous fellow. Next morn- 
ing all the servants were to go into the wood, and the others were 
already up, but the head-servant was still in bed. Then one of them 
called to him, "Get up, it is time; we are going into the wood, and 
thou must go vvdth us." 

"Ah," said he quite roughly and surlily, "you may just go, then; I 
shall be back again before any of you." 

Then the others went to the bailiff, and told him that the head- 
man was still lying in bed, and would not go into the wood with 
them. The bailiff said they were to awake him again, and tell him 
to harness the horses. The head-man, however, said as before, "Just 
go there, I shall be back again before any of you." And then he 
stayed in bed two hours longer. At length he arose from the 
feathers, but first he got himself two bushels of peas from the loft, 
made himself some broth with them, ate it at his leisure, and when 
that was done, went and harnessed the horses, and drove into the 

Not far from the wood was fe ravine through which he had to 
pass, so he first drove the horses on, and then stopped them, and 
went behind the cart, took trees and brushwood, and made a great 
barricade, so that no horse could get through. When he was enter- 
ing the wood, the others were just driving out of it with their 
loaded carts to go home; then said he to ihem, "Drive on, I wi]l still 
get home before you do." He did not drive far into the wood, but at 
once tore two of the very largest trees of all out of the earth, threw 
them on his cart, and tirnied round. When he came to the barri- 
cade, the others were still standing there, not able to get through. 
"Don't you see," said he, "that if you had stayed with me, you 
would have got home just as quickly, and would have had another 
hour's sleep?" 

He now wanted to drive on, but his horses could not work their 
way through, so he unharnessed them, laid them at the top of the 

32 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

cart, took tlie shafts in his own hands, and drew it over, and he did 
this just as easily as if it had been laden with feathers. When he 
was over, he said to the others, "There, you see, I have got over 
quicker than you," and drove on, and the others had to stay where 
they were. In the yard, however, he took a tree in his hand, showed 
it to the bailiff, and said, "Isn't that a fine bundle of wood?" Then 
said the bailiff to his wife, "The servant is a good one, if he does 
sleep long, he is stiU home before the others." 

So he served the bailiff a year, and when that was over, and the 
other servants were getting their wages, he said it was time for him 
to have his too. The bailiff, however, was afraid of the blows which 
he was to receive, and earnestly entreated him to excuse him from 
having them; for rather than that, he himself would be head-ser- 
vant, and the youth should be bailiff. "No," said he, "I will not be a 
bailiff, I am head-servant, and will remain so, but I will administer 
that which we agreed on." The bailiff was willing to give him what- 
soever he demanded, but it was of no use, the head-servant said no 
to everything. 

Then the bailiff did not know what to do, and begged for a fort- 
night's delay, for he wanted to find some way to escape. The head- 
servant consented to this delay. The baihff summoned all his clerks 
together, and they were to think the matter over, and give him ad- 
vice. The clerks pondered for a long time, but at last they said that 
no one was sure of his life with the head-servant, for he could kill a 
man as easily as a midge, and that the bailiff ought to make him get 
into the well and clean it, and when he was down below, they 
would roll up one of the mill-stones which was lying there, and 
throw it on his head; and then he would never return to daylight. 

The advice pleased the bailiff, and the head-servant was quite 
willing to go down the well. When he was standing down below at 
the bottom, they rolled down the largest miU-stone and thought 
they had broken his skull, but he cried, "Chase away those hens 
from the well, they are scratching in the sand up there, and throw- 
ing the grains into my eyes, so that I can't see." So the bailiff cried, 
"Sh-sh"— and pretended to frighten the hens away. 

When the head-servant had finished his work, he climbed up and 
said, "Just look what a beautiful necktie I have on," and behold it 
was the miU-stone which he was wearing round his neck. The head- 
servant now wanted to take his reward, but the bailiff again begged 
for a fortnight's delay. The clerks met together and advised him to 
send the head-servant to the haimted mill to grind corn by night, 
for from thence as yet no man had ever returned in the morning 

The Young Giant 33 

alive. The proposal pleased the bailiflF, he called the head-servant 
that very evening, and ordered him to take eight bushels of com to 
the mill, and grind it that night, for it w^as wanted. 

So the head-servant went to the loft, and put two bushels in his 
right pocket, and two in his left, and took foiu: in a wallet, half on 
his back, and half on his breast, and thus laden went to the haunted 
mill. The miller told him that he could grind there very well by 
day, but not by night, for the mill was haunted, and that up to the 
present time whosoever had gone into it at night had been found in 
the morning, lying dead inside. He said, "1 wiU manage it, just you 
go away to bed." Then he went into the mill, and poured out the 

About eleven o'clock he went into the miller's room, and sat 
down on the bench. When he had sat there a while, a door sud- 
denly opened, and a large table came in, and on the table, wine 
and roasted meats placed themselves, and much good food besides, 
but everything came of itself, for no one was there to carry it. After 
this the chairs pushed themselves up, but no people came, until all 
at once he beheld fingers, which handled knives and forks, and laid 
food on the plates, but with this exception he saw nothing. As he 
was hungry, and saw the food, he, too, placed himself at the table, 
ate with those who were eating, and enjoyed it. 

When he had had enough, and the others also had quite emptied 
their dishes, he distinctly heard all the candles being suddenly 
snuffed out, and as it was now pitch dark, he felt something like a 
box on the ear. Then he said, 'If anything of that Idnd comes 
again, I shall strike out in return." And when he had received a sec- 
ond box on the ear, he, too, struck out. And so it continued the 
whole night, he took nothing wdthout returning it, but repaid every- 
thing v^ath interest, and did not lay about him in vain. 

At daybreak, however, everything ceased. When the miller had 
got up, he wanted to look after him, and wondered if he were 
still aUve. Then the youth said, "I have eaten my fill, have received 
some boxes on the ear, but I have given some in return." The miller 
rejoiced, and said that the mill was now released from the spell, 
and wanted to give him much money as a reward. But he said, 
"Money, I will not have, I have enough of it." So he took his meal 
on his back, went home, and told the bailiff that he had done what 
he had been told to do, and would now have the reward agreed on. 

When the bailiff heard that, he was seriously alarmed and quite 
beside himself; he walked backwards and forwards in the room, 
and drops of perspiration ran down from his forehead. Then he 

34 GHmm's Complete Fairy Tales 

opened the window to get some fresh air, but before he was aware 
the head-servant had given him such a kick that he flew through 
the window out into the air, and so far away that no one ever saw 
him again. Then said the head-servant to the bailiffs wife, "If he 
does not come back, thou must take the other blow." She cried, 
"No, no, I cannot bear it," and opened the other window, because 
drops of perspiration were running down her forehead. Then he 
gave her such a kick that she, too, flew out, and as she was lighter 
she went much higher than her husband. Her husband cried, "Do 
come to me," but she rephed, "Come thou to me, I cannot come to 

They hovered about there in the air, and could not get to each 
other, and whether they are still hovering about or not, I do not 
know, but the young giant took up his iron bar, and went on his 

Sweet Porridge 

There was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her 
mother, and they no longer had anything to eat. So the child went 
into the forest, and there an aged woman met her who was aware 
of her sorrow, and presented her with a little pot, which when she 
said, "Cook, little pot, cook," would cook good, sweet porridge; and 
when she said, "Stop, little pot," it ceased to cook. The girl took the 
pot home to her mother, and now they were freed from their pov- 
erty and hunger, and ate sweet porridge as often as they chose. 

Once on a time when the girl had gone out, her mother said, 
"Cook, little pot, cook." And it did cook and she ate till she was 
satisfied, and then she wanted the pot to stop cooking, but did not 
know the word. So it went on cooking and the porridge rose over 
the edge, and still it cooked on until the kitchen and whole house 
were full, and then the next house, and then the whole street, just 
as if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world; and there 
was the greatest distress, but no one knew how to stop it. 

At last when only one single house remained, the child came 
home and just said, "Stop, little pot," and it stopped and gave up 
cooking, and whosoever vidshed to return to the town had to eat his 
way back. 

The Elves 


There was once a shoemaker, who, through no fault of his own, be- 
came so poor that at last he had nothing left but just enough 
leather to make one pair of shoes. He cut out the shoes at night, so 
as to set to work upon them next morning; and as he had a good 
conscience, he laid himself quietly down in his bed, committed 
himself to heaven, and fell asleep. 

In the morning, after he had said his prayers, and was going to 
get to work, he fotmd the pair of shoes made and finished, and 
standing on his table. He was very much astonished, and could not 
tell what to think, and he took the shoes in his hand to examine 
them more closely; and they were so well made that every stitch 
was in its right place, just as if they had come from the hand of a 
master- workman. 

Soon after, a purchaser entered, and as the shoes fitted him very 
well, he gave more than the usual price for them, so that the shoe- 
maker had enough money to buy leather for two more pairs of 
shoes. He cut them out at night, and intended to set to work the 
next morning with fresh spirit; but that was not to be, for when he 
got up they were already finished, and even a customer was not 
lacking, who gave him so much money that he was able to buy 
leather enough for four new pairs. Early next morning he found the 
four pairs also finished, and so it always happened; whatever he cut 
out in the evening was worked up by the morning, so that he was 
soon in the way of making a good living, and in the end became 
very well-to-do. 

One night, not long before Christmas, when the shoemaker had 
finished cutting out, and before he went to bed, he said to his wife, 
"How would it be if we were to sit up tonight and see who it is 
that does us this service?" 

His wife agreed, and set a light to bum. Then they both hid in a 
comer of the room behind some coats that were hanging up, and 
then they began to watch. As soon as it was midnight they saw 
come in two neatly-formed naked little men, who seated themselves 

36 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

before the shoemaker's table, and took up the work that was al- 
ready prepared, and began to stitch, to pierce, and to hammer so 
cleverly and quickly with their Httle fingers that the shoemaker's 
eyes could scarcely follow them, so full of wonder was he. And they 
never left oflE until everything was finished and was standing ready 
on the table, and then they jumped up and ran off. 

The next morning the shoemaker's wife said to her husband, 
"Those little men have made us rich, and we ought to show our- 
selves grateful. With all their running about, and having nothing to 
cover them, they must be very cold. I'U tell you what; I will make 
little shirts, coats, waistcoats, and breeches for them, and knit each 
of them a pair of stockings, and you shall make each of them a pair 
of shoes." 

The husband consented willingly, and at night, when everything 
was finished, they laid the gifts together on the table, instead of the 
cut-out work, and placed themselves so that they could observe 
how the Httle men would behave. When midnight came, they 
rushed in, ready to set to work, but when they found, instead of the 
pieces of prepared leather, the neat little garments put ready for 
them, they stood a moment in surprise, and then they showed the 
greatest delight. With the greatest swiftness they took up the pretty 
garments and sHpped them on, singing, 

"What spruce and dandy boys are wel 
No longer cobblers we will beT 

Then they hopped and danced about, jumping over the chairs 
and tables, and at last they danced out at the door. 

From that time they were never seen again; but it always went 
well with the shoemaker as long as he Hved, and whatever he took 
in hand prospered. 


There was once a poor servant maid, who was very cleanly and 
industrious; she swept down the house every day, and put the 
sweepings on a great heap by the door. One morning, before she 
began her work, she found a letter, and as she could not read, she 
laid her broom in the comer, and took the letter to her master and 
mistress, to see what it was about; and it was an invitation from the 
elves, who wished the maid to come and stand godmother to one of 

The Elves 37 

their children. The maid did not know what to do; and as she was 
told that no one ought to refuse the elves anything, she made up 
her mind to go. 

So there came three little elves, who conducted her into the mid- 
dle of a high mountain, where the Httle people lived. Here every- 
thing was of a very small size, but more fine and elegant than can 
be told. The mother of the child lay in a bed made of ebony, stud- 
ded with pearls; the counterpane was embroidered with gold, the 
cradle was of ivory, and the bathing-tub of gold. So the maid stood 
godmother, and was then for going home, but the elves begged her 
to stay at least three more days with them; and so she consented, 
and spent the time in mirth and jollity, and the elves seemed very 
fond of her. At last, when she was ready to go away, they filled her 
pockets full of gold, and led her back again out of the mountain. 

When she got back to the house, she was going to begin working 
again, and took her broom in her hand— it was still standing in the 
comer where she had left it— and began to sweep. Then came up 
some strangers and asked her who she was, and what she was 
doing. And she foimd that instead of three days, she had been 
seven years with the elves in the mountain, and that during that 
time her master and mistress had died. 


The elves once took a child away from its mother, and left in its 
place a changeling with a big head and staring eyes, who did noth- 
ing but eat and drink. The mother in her trouble went to her neigh- 
bors and asked their advice. The neighbors told her to take the 
changeling into the kitchen and put it near the hearth, and then to 
make up the fire, and boil water in two egg-shells; that would make 
the changeling laugh, and if he laughed, it would be all over with 
him. So the woman did as her neighbors advised. And when she set 
the egg-shells of water on the fire, the changeling said, 

"Though old I be 
As forest tree. 
Cooking in an egg-shell never did I see!" 

and began to laugh. And directly there came in a crowd of elves 
bringing in the right child; and they laid it near the hearth, and 
carried the changeling away with them. 

Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie 

Good-day, Father Hollenthe." "Many thanks, Pif-paf-poltrie.'* "May 
I be allowed to have your daughter?" "Oh, yes, if Mother Mal- 
cho (Milch-cow), Brother High-and-Mighty, Sister Kasetraut, and 
fair Katrinelje are willing, you can have her." "Where is Mother 
Malcho, then?" "She is in the cow-house, milking the cow." 

"Good-day, Mother Malcho." "Many thanks, Pif-paf-poltrie." 
"May I be allowed to have your daughter?" "Oh, yes, if Father 
HoUenthe, Brother High-and-Mighty, Sister Kasetraut, and fair Ka- 
trinelje are willing, you can have her." "Where is Brother High- 
and-Mighty, then?" "He is in the room chopping some wood." 

"Good-day, Brother High-and-Mighty." "Many thanks, Pif-paf- 
poltrie." "May I be allowed to have your sister?" "Oh, yes, if Fa- 
ther Hollenthe, Mother Malcho, Sister Kasetraut, and fair Ka- 
trinelje are willing, you can have her." "Where is Sister Kasetraut, 
then?" "She is in the garden cutting cabbages." 

"Good-day, Sister Kasetraut." "Many thanks, Pif-paf-poltrie." 
"May I be allowed to have your sister?" "Oh, yes, if Father Hol- 
lenthe, Mother Malcho, Brother High-and-Mighty, and fair Ka- 
trinelje are willing, you may have her." "Where is fair Katrinelje, 
then?" "She is in the room counting out her farthings." 

"Good-day, fair Katrinelje." "Many thanks, Pif-paf-poltrie." 
"Wilt thou be my bride?" "Oh, yes, if Father Hollenthe, Mother 
Malcho, Brother High-and-Mighty, and Sister Kasetraut are willing, 
I am ready." 

"Fair Katrinelje, how much dowry hast thou?" "Fourteen far- 
things in ready money, three and a half groschen owing to me, half 
a pound of dried apples, a handful of fried bread, and a handful of 

And many other things are mine. 
Have I not a dowry fine? 

Pif-paf-poltrie, what is thy trade? Art thou a tailor?" "Something 
better." "A shoemaker?" "Something better." "A husbandman?" 
"Something better." "A joiner?" "Something better." "A smith?" 
"Something better." "A miller?" "Something better." "Perhaps a 
broom-maker?" "Yes, that's what I am, is it not a fine trade?" 

The Old Beggar- Woman 

There was once an old woman, but thou hast surely seen an old 
woman go a-begging before now? This woman begged likewise, 
and when she got anything she said, "May God reward you." The 
beggar-woman came to a door, and there by the fire a friendly 
rogue of a boy was standing warming himself. The boy said kindly 
to the poor old woman as she was standing shivering thus by the 
door, "Come, old mother, and warm yourself." She came in, but 
stood too near the fire, so that her old rags began to bum, and she 
was not aware of it. The boy stood and saw that, but he ought to 
have put the flames out. And if he could not find any water, then 
should he have wept all the water in his body out of his eyes, and 
that would have supplied two fine streams with which to extinguish 

The Jew Among Thorns 

There was once a rich man who had a servant who served him 
diligently and honestly. Every morning the servant was the first out 
of bed, and the last to go to rest at night; and, whenever there was 
a difficult job to be done, which nobody cared to undertake, he was 
always the first to set himself to it. Moreover, he never complained, 
but was contented with everything, and always merry. 

When a year was ended, his master gave him no wages, for he 
said to himself, "That is the cleverest way; for I shall save some- 
thing, and he will not go away, but stay quietly in my service." The 
servant said nothing, but did his work the second year as he had 
done it the first; and when at the end of this, likewise, he received 
no wages, he made himself happy, and still stayed on. 

When the third year also was past, the master considered, put his 
hand in his pocket, but pulled nothing out. Then at last the servant 
said, "Master, for three years I have served you honestly; be so 

40 Griinm*s Complete Fairy Tales 

good as to give me what I ought to have, for I wish to leave, and 
look about me a little more in the world." 

''Yes, my good fellow," answered the old miser; "you have served 
me industriously, and therefore you shall be cheerfully rewarded"; 
and he put his hand into his pocket, but counted out only three far- 
things, saying, "There, you have a farthing for each year; that is 
large and liberal pay, such as you would have received from few 

The honest servant, who understood little about money, put his 
fortune into his pocket, and thought, "Ah! now that I have my 
purse full, why need I trouble and plague myself any longer with 
hard work!" So on he went, up hill and down dale; and sang and 
jumped to his heart's content. Now it came to pass that as he was 
going by a thicket a little man stepped out, and called to him, 
''Whither away, merry brother? I see you do not carry many cares." 
*Why should I be sad?" answered the servant; "I have enough; 
three years' wages are jingling in my pocket." 

"How much is your treasure?" the dwarf asked him. "How 
much? Three farthings sterling, all told." 

"Look here," said the dwarf, *T am a poor needy man, give me 
your three farthings; I can work no longer, but you are young, 
and can easily earn your bread." 

And as the servant had a good heart, and felt pity for the old 
man, he gave him the three farthings, saying, "Take them in the 
name of Heaven, I shaU not be any the worse for it." 

Then the little man said, "As I see you have a good heart I grant 
you three wishes, one for each farthing, they shall all be fulfilled." 

"Aha?" said the servant, "you are one of those who can work 
wonders! Well, then, if it is to be so, I wish, first, for a gun, which 
shall hit everything that I aim at; secondly, for a fiddle, which 
when I play on it, shall compel aU who hear it to dance; thirdly, 
that if I ask a favor of any one he shall not be able to refuse it." 

"All that shall you have," said the dwarf; and put his hand into 
the bush; and only think, there lay a fiddle and gun, all ready, just 
as if they had been ordered. These he gave to the servant, and then 
said to him, "Whatever you may ask at any time, no man in the 
world shaU be able to deny you." 

"Heart alive! What more can one desire?" said the servant to 
himself, and went merrily onwards. Soon afterwards he met a Jew 
with a long goafs-beard, who was standing listening to the song of 
a bird whidi was sitting up at the top of a tree. "Good heavens," he 
was exclaiming, "that such a small creature should have subh a 

The Jew Among Thorns 41 

fearfully loud voice! If it were but mine! If only some one would 
sprinkle some salt upon its tail!" 

"If that is all," said the servant, "the bird shall soon be down 
here"; and taking aim he pulled the trigger, and down fell the bird 
into the thorn-bushes. "Go, you rogue," he said to the Jew, "and 
fetch the bird out for yourself!" 

"Oh!" said the Jew, "leave out the rogue, my master, and I will 
do it at once. I will get the bird out for myself, as you reaUy have 
hit it." Then he lay down on the ground, and began to crawl into 
the thicket. 

When he was fast among the thorns, the good servant's humor so 
tempted him that he took up his fiddle and began to play. In a mo- 
ment the Jew's legs began to move, and to jump into the air, and 
the more the servant fiddled the better went the dance. But the 
thorns tore his shabby coat for him, combed his beard, and pricked 
and plucked him all over the body. "Oh dear," cried the Jew, 
"what do I want with your fiddling? Leave the fiddle alone, master; 
I do not want to dance." 

But the servant did not listen to him, and thought, "You have 
fleeced people often enough, now the thom-bushes shall do the 
same to you"; and he began to play over again, so that the Jew had 
to jmnp higher than ever, and scraps of his coat were left hanging 
on the thorns. "Oh, woe's me!" cried the Jew; "I will give the gen- 
tleman whatsoever he asks i£ only he leaves off fiddling— a purse 
full of gold." "If you are so liberal," said the servant, "I will stop 
my music; but this I must say to your credit, that you dance to it so 
well that it is quite an art"; and having taken the purse he went his 

The Jew stood stiU and watched the servant quietly until he was 
far off and out of sight, and then he screamed out with all his 
might, "You miserable musician, you beer-house fiddler! Wait till I 
catch you alone, I will hunt you till the soles of your shoes fall off! 
You ragamuffin! Just put five farthings in yom* mouth, and then you 
may be worth three halfpence!" and went on abusing him as fast as 
he could speak. 

As soon as he had refreshed himself a little in this way, and got 
his breath again, he ran into the town to the justice. "My lord 
judge," he said, "I have come to make a complaint; see how a ras- 
cal has robbed and ill-treated me on the public highway! A stone 
on the ground might pity me; my clothes aU torn, my body pricked 
and scratched, my little aU gone with my pvurse— good ducats, each 

42 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

piece better than the last; for God's sake let the man be thrown into 

"Was it a soldier," said the judge, "who cut you thus with his 
sabre?" "Nothing of the sortl" said the Jew; "it was no sword that 
he had, but a gun hanging at his back, and a fiddle at his neck; the 
wretch may easily be known." 

So the judge sent his people out after the man, and they found 
the good servant, who had been going quite slowly along, and they 
found, too, the purse with the money upon him. As soon as he was 
taken before the judge he said, "I did not touch the Jew, nor take his 
money; he gave it to me of his own free wiU, that I might leave oflE 
fiddling because he could not bear my music." "Heaven defend us!" 
cried the Jew, "his lies are as thick as flies upon the wall." 

But the judge also did not believe his tale, and said, "This is a 
bad defense, no Jew would do that." And because he had commit- 
ted robbery on the public highway, he sentenced the good servant 
to be hanged. As he was being led away the Jew again screamed 
after him, "You vagabond! You dog of a fiddler! now you are going 
to receive your well-earned reward!" 

The servant walked quietly with the hangman up the ladder, but 
upon the last step he turned round and said to the judge, "Grant 
me just one request before I die." "Yes, if you do not ask your life," 
said the judge. "I do not ask for life," answered the servant, "but as 
a last favor let me play once more upon my fiddle." 

The Jew raised a great cry of "Murder! murder! for goodness' 
sake do not allow it! Do not allow it!" But the judge said, "Why 
should I not let him have this short pleasure? It has been granted to 
him, and he shall have it." However, he could not have refused on 
account of the gift which had been bestowed on the servant. 

Then the Jew cried, "Oh! woe's me! tie me, tie me fast!" while 
the good servant took his fiddle from his neck, and made ready. As 
he gave the first scrape, they all began to quiver and shake, the 
judge, his clerk, and the hangman and his men, and the cord fell 
out of the hand of the one who was going to tie the Jew fast. At the 
second scrape all raised their legs, and the hangman let go his hold 
of the good servant, and made himself ready to dance. At the third 
scrape they all leaped up and began to dance; the judge and the 
Jew being the best at jumping. Soon all who had gathered in the 
market-place out of curiosity were dancing with them; old and 
young, fat and lean, one with another. The dogs, likewise, which 
had run there got up on their hind legs and capered about; and the 

King Thrushheard 43 

longer he played, the higher sprang the dancers, so that they 
knocked against each other's heads, and began to shriek terribly. 

At length the judge cried, quite out of breath, "I will give you 
your life if you will only stop fiddling." The good servant thereupon 
had compassion, took his fiddle and hung it round his neck again, 
and stepped down the ladder. Then he went up to the Jew, who 
was lying upon the ground panting for breath, and said, "You ras- 
cal, now confess, whence you got the money, or I wiU take my 
fiddle and begin to play again." "I stole it, I stole itl" cried he; "Tsut 
you have honestly earned it." So the judge had the Jew taken to the 
gallows and hanged as a thief. 

King Thrushbeard 

A KING had a daughter who was beautiful beyond measure, but so 
proud and overbearing that none of her suitors were good enough 
for her; she not only refused one after the other, but made a laugh- 
ing-stock of them. 

Once the King appointed a great feast, and bade all the mar- 
riageable men to it from far and near. And tiiey were all put in 
rows, according to their rank and station: first came the Kings, 
then the Princes, the dukes, the earls, the barons, and lastly the 
noblemen. The Princess was led in front of the rows, but she had a 
mocking epithet for each. One was too fat, "What a tubl" said she; 
another too tall, "Long and lean is ill to be seen," said she; a third 
too short, 'Tat and short, not fit to court," said she. A fourth was 
too pale— "A regular death's-head"; a fifth too red-faced— "A game- 
cock," she called him. The sixth was not well-made enough— 
"Green wood ill driedl" cried she. So every one had something 
against him, and she made especially merry over a good King who 
was very tall, and whose chin had grown a little peaked. "Only 
look," cried she, laughing, "he has a chin like a thrush's beak." 

And from that time they called him King Thrushbeard. But the 
old King, when he saw that his daughter mocked every one, and 
scorned all the assembled suitors, swore in his anger that she 
should have the first beggar that came to the door for a husband. 

A few days afterwards came a traveling ballad-singer, and sang 
under the window in hopes of a small alms. When the King heard 

44 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

of it, he said that he must come in. And so the ballad-singer entered 
in his dirty tattered garments, and sang before the King and his 
daughter; when he had done, he asked for a small reward. But the 
King said, "Your song has so well pleased me, that I will give you 
my daughter to wife." 

The Princess was horrified; but the King said, "I took an oath to 
give you to the first beggar that came, and so it must be done." 

There was no remedy. The priest was fetched, and she had to be 
married to the ballad-finger out of hand. When all was done, the 
King said, "Now, as you are a beggar-wife, you can stay no longer 
in my castle, so off with you and your husband." 

The beggar-man led her away, and she was obliged to go forth 
with him on foot. On the way they came to a great wood, and she 

"Oh, whose is this forest, so thick and so fineF* 
He answered, 

"It is King Thrushheards, and might have been thine" 

And she cried, 

"Oh, I was a silly young thing, Tm af eared. 
Would I had taken that good King Thrushbeard!" 

Then they passed through a meadow, and she asked, 
"Oh, whose is this meadow, so green and so fine?" 

He answered, 
"It is King Thrushheards, and might have been thine." 

And she cried, 

"I was a silly young thing, Tm af eared. 
Would I had taken that good King ThrushbeardF' 

Then they passed through a great town, and she asked, 

"Whose is this city, so great and so fine?" 
He answered, 

"Oh, it is King Thrushbeard' s, and might have been thine." 

And she cried, 

"I was a silly young thing, Tm af eared. 
Would I had taken that good King Thrushbeard!" 

King Thrushbeard 45 

Then said the beggar-man, "It does not please me to hear you al- 
ways wishing for another husband; am I not good enough for you?" 
At last they came to a very smaU house, and she said, 

"Oh dear me! what poor little house do I see? 
And whose, I would know, may the wretched hole beF' 

The man answered, 'That is my house and yours, where we must 
live together." 

She had to stoop before she could go in at the door. 

"Where are the servants?" asked the King's daughter. 

"What servants?" answered the beggar-man, "what you want to 
have done you must do yoiurself. Make a fire quickly, and put on 
water, and cook me some food; I am very tired." 

But the King's daughter understood nothing about fire-maldng 
and cooking, and the beggar-man had to lend a hand himself in 
order to manage it at all. And when they had eaten their poor fare, 
they went to bed; but the man called up his wiie very early in the 
morning, in order to clean the house. 

For a few days they lived in this indifferent manner, until they 
came to the end of their store. "Wife," said the man, "this will not 
do, stopping here and earning nothing; you must make baskets." 

So he went out and cut wiUows, and brought them home; and 
she began to weave them, but the hard twigs wounded her tender 
hands. "I see this wiU not do," said the man, "you had better try 

So she sat her down and tried to spin, but the harsh thread cut 
her soft fingers, so that the blood flowed. "Look nowl" said the 
man, "you are no good at any sort of work; I made a bad bargain 
when I took you. I must see what I can do to make a trade of pots 
and earthen vessels; you can sit in the market and offer them for 

"Oh dearl" thought she, "suppose while I am selling in the mar- 
ket people belonging to my father's kingdom should see me, how 
they would mock at me!" But there was no help for it; she had to 
submit, or else die of hunger. 

The first day all went well; the people bought her wares eagerly, 
because she was so beautiful, and gave her whatever she asked, 
and some of them gave her the money and left the pots after all 
behind them. And they lived on these earnings as long as they 
lasted; and then the man bought a nimiber of new pots. So she 
seated herself in a comer of the market, and stood the wares before 
her for sale. All at once a drunken horse-soldier came plimging by. 

46 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

and rode straight into the midst of her pots, breaking them into a 
thousand pieces. She could do nothing for weeping. "Oh dear, 
what will become of me," cried she; "what will my husband say?" 
and she hastened home and told him her misfortune. 

"Who ever heard of such a thing as sitting in the comer of the 
market with earthenware potsl" said the man; "now leave oflF cry- 
ing; I see you are not fit for any regular work. I have been asking at 
your father's castle if they want a kitchen-maid, and they say they 
don't mind taking you; at any rate you will get your victuals free." 

And the ICing's daughter became a kitchen-maid, to be at the 
cook's beck and call, and to do the hardest work. In each of her 
pockets she fastened a little pot, and brought home in them what- 
ever was left, and upon that she and her husband were fed. It hap- 
pened one day, when the wedding of the eldest Prince was cele- 
brated, the poor woman went upstairs, and stood by the parlor door 
to see what was going on. And when the place was Ughted up, and 
the company arrived, each person handsomer than the one before, 
and all was brilliancy and splendor, she thought on her own fate 
wdth a sad heart, and bewailed her former pride and haughtiness 
which had brought her so low, and plunged her in so great poverty. 
And as the rich and delicate dishes smeUing so good were carried 
to and fro every now and then, the servants would throw her a few 
fragments, which she put in her pockets, intending to take home. 
And then the Prince himself passed in, clothed in siUc and velvet, 
with a gold chain round his neck. And when he saw the beautiful 
woman standing in the doorway, he seized her hand and urged her 
to dance with him, but she refused, all trembhng, for she saw it was 
King Thrushbeard, who had come to court her, whom she had 
turned away wdth mocking. It was of no use her resisting, he drew 
her into the room; and all at once the band to which her pockets 
were fastened broke, and the pots fell out, and the soup ran about, 
and the fragments were scattered all round. And when the people 
saw that, there was great laughter and mocking, and she felt so 
ashamed, that she wished herself a thousand fathoms underground. 

She rushed to the door to fly from the place, when a man caught 
her just on the steps, and when she looked at him, it was King 
Thrushbeard again. He said to her in a Idnd tone, "Do not be 
afraid, I and the beggar-man v^dth whom you lived in the wretched 
Httle hut are one. For love of you I disguised myself, and it was I 
who broke your pots in the guise of a horse-soldier. I did all that to 
bring down your proud heart, and to punish your haughtiness, 
which caused you to mock at me." 

Clever Gretel 47 

Then she wept bitterly, and said, "I have done great wrong, and 
am not worthy to be your wife." 

But he said, "Take courage, the evil days are gone over; now let 
us keep our wedding-day." 

Then came the ladies-in-waiting and put on her splendid cloth- 
ing; and her father came, and the whole coiut, and wished her joy 
on her marriage with King Thrushbeard; and then the merry-mak- 
ing began in good earnest. I cannot help wishing that you and I 
could have been there too. 

Clever Gretel 

There was once a cook called Gretel, who wore shoes with red 
heels, and when she went out in them she gave herself great airs, 
and thought herself very fine indeed. When she came home again, 
she would take a drink of wine to refresh herself, and as that gave 
her an appetite, she would take some of the best of whatever she 
was cooking, until she had had enough— "for," said she, "a cook 
must know how things taste." 

It happened that one day her master came to her and said, "Gre- 
tel, I expect a guest this evening; you must make ready a pair of 
fowls." "I will see to it," answered Gretel. 

So she killed the fowls, cleaned them, and plucked them, and put 
them on the spit, and then, as evening drew near, placed them be- 
fore the fire to roast. And they began to be brown, and were nearly 
done, but the guest had not come. 

"li he does not make haste," cried Gretel to her master, "I must 
take them away from the fire; it's a pity and a shame not to eat 
them now, just when they are done to a turn." And the master said 
he would run himself and fetch the guest. As soon as he had turned 
his back, Gretel took the fowls from before the fire. 

"Standing so long before the fire," said she, "makes one hot and 
thirsty— and who knows when they will cornel In the meanwhile I 
will go to the cellar and have a drink." So down she ran, took up a 
mug, and saying, "Here's to mel" took a good draught. "One good 
drink deserves another," she said "and it should not be cut short"; 
so she took another hearty draught. Then she went and put the 
fowls down to the fire again, and, basting them with butter, she 

48 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

turned the spit briskly round. And now they began to smell so good 
that Gretel saying, "I must find out whether they really are all 
right," hcked her fingers, and then cried, "Well, I never 1 the fowls 
are good; it's a sin and a shame that no one is here to eat them I" 

So she ran to the window to see if her master and his guest were 
coming, but as she could see nobody she went back to her fowls. 
"Why, one of the wings is bumingl" she cried presently, "I had 
better eat it and get it out of the way." So she cut it off and ate it 
up, and it tasted good, and then she thought, "I had better cut off 
the other too, in case the master should miss anything." And when 
both wings had been disposed of she went and looked for the 
master, but still he did not come. 

"Who knows," said she, "whether they are coming or not? they 
may have put up at an inn." And after a pause she said again, 
"Come, I may as well make myself happy, and first I will make 
sure of a good drink and then of a good meal, and when all is done 
I shall be easy; the gifts of the gods are not to be despised." So first 
she ran down into the cellar and had a famous drink, and ate up 
one of the fowls with great relish. And when that was done, and 
still the master did not come, Gretel eyed the other fowl, saying, 
"What one is the other must be, the two belong to each other, it is 
only fair that they should be both treated alike; perhaps when I 
have had another drink, I shall be able to manage it." So she took 
another hearty drink, and then the second fowl went the way of the 

Just as she was in the middle of it the master came back. "Make 
haste, Gretel," cried he, "the guest is coming directlyl" "Very well, 
master," she answered, "it vdll soon be ready." The master went to 
see that the table was properly laid, and, taking the great carving 
knife with which he meant to carve the fowls, he sharpened it upon 
the step. Presently came the guest, knocking very genteeUy and 
softly at the front door. Gretel ran and looked to see who it was, 
and when she caught sight of the guest she put her finger on her lip 
saying, "Hushl make the best haste you can out of this, for if my 
master catches you, it wiU be bad for you; he asked you to come to 
supper, but he really means to cut off your ears! Just listen how he 
is sharpening his knifel" 

The guest, hearing the noise of the sharpening, made off as fast 
as he could go. And Gretel ran screaming to her master. "A pretty 
guest you have asked to the house!" cried she. "How so, Gretel? 
what do you mean?" asked he. "What indeedl" said she; "why, he 

Pitchers Bird 49 

has gone and run away with my pair of fowk that I had just dished 

"That's pretty sort of conduct!" said the master, feeling very 
sorry about the fowls; 'Tie might at least have left me one, that I 
might have had something to eat." And he called out to him to stop, 
but the guest made as if he did not hear him; then he ran after him, 
the knife still in his hand, crying out, "Only onel only onel" mean- 
ing that the guest should let him have one of the fowls and not take 
both; but the guest thought he meant to have only one of his ears, 
and he ran so much the faster that he might get home with both of 
them safe. 

Pitcher's Bird 

Theee was once a wizard who used to take the form of a poor man. 
He went to houses and begged, and caught pretty girls. No one 
knew whither he carried them, for they were never seen more. One 
day he appeared before the door of a man who had three pretty 
daughters. He looked like a poor weak beggar, and carried a basket 
on his back, as if he meant to collect charitable gifts in it. He 
begged for a httle food, and when the eldest daughter came out 
and was just reaching him a piece of bread, he did but touch her, 
and she was forced to jump into his basket. Thereupon he hurried 
away with long strides, and carried her away into a dark forest to 
his house, which stood in the midst of it. 

Everything in the house was magnificent; he gave her whatsoever 
she could possibly desire, and said, "My darHng, thou wilt certainly 
be happy with me, for thou hast everything thy heart can wish for." 
This lasted a few days, and then he said, "I must journey forth, and 
leave thee alone for a short time; there are the keys of the house; 
thou mayst go everywhere and look at everything except into one 
room, which this Uttle key here opens, and there I forbid thee to go 
on pain of death." He Hkewise gave her an egg and said, "Preserve 
the egg carefully for me, and carry it continually about with thee, 
for a great misfortune would arise from the loss of it." 

She took the keys and the egg, and promised to obey him in ev- 
erything. When he was gone, she went all round the house from the 
bottom to the top, and examined everything. The rooms shone with 

50 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

silver and gold, and she thought she had never seen such great 

At length she came to the forbidden door; she wished to pass it 
by, but curiosity let her have no rest. She examined the key, it 
looked just Hke any other; she put it in the keyhole and tiumed it a 
little, and the door sprang open. But what did she see when she 
went in? A great bloody basin stood in the middle of the room, and 
therein lay human beings, dead and hewn to pieces, and hard by 
was a block of wood, and a gleaming axe lay upon it. She was so 
terribly alarmed that the egg which she held in her hand fell into 
the basin. She got it out and washed the blood off, but in vain, it ap- 
peared again in a moment. She washed and scrubbed, but she 
could not get it out. 

It was not long before the man came back from his journey, and 
the first things which he asked for were the key and the egg. She 
gave them to him, but she trembled as she did so, and he saw at 
once by the red spots that she had been in the bloody chamber. 
"Since thou hast gone into the room against my wiU," said he, 
"thou shalt go back into it against thine own. Thy life is ended." He 
threw her down, dragged her thither by her hair, cut her head off 
on the block, and hewed her in pieces so that her blood ran on the 
ground. Then he threw her into the basin with the rest. 

"Now I will fetch myself the second," said the wizard, and again 
he went to the house in the shape of a poor man, and begged. Then 
the second daughter brought him a piece of bread; he caught her 
like the first, by simply touching her, and carried her away. She did 
not fare better than her sister. She allowed herself to be led away 
by her curiosity, opened the door of the bloody chamber, looked in, 
and had to atone for it with her life on the wizard's return. 

Then he went and brought the third sister. But she was clever and 
crafty. When he had given her the keys and the egg, and had left 
her, she first put the egg away with great care, and then she ex- 
amined the house, and at last went into the forbidden room. Alas, 
what did she beholdl Both her sisters lay there in the basLn, cruelly 
murdered, and cut in pieces. She began to gather their limbs to- 
gether and put them in order, head, body, arms and legs. And when 
nothing fiuther was lacking, the limbs began to move and unite 
themselves together, and both the maidens opened their eyes and 
were once more aUve. Then they rejoiced and kissed and caressed 
each other. 

On his arrival, the man at once demanded the keys and the egg, 

Fitchet^s Bird 51 

and as he could perceive no trace of any blood on it, he said, 
"Thou hast stood the test, thou shalt be my bride." He now had no 
longer any power over her, and was forced to do whatsoever she 
desired. "Oh, very well," said she, "thou shalt first take a basketful 
of gold to my father and mother, and carry it thyself on thy back; 
in the meantime I will prepare for the wedding." 

Then she ran to her sisters, whom she had hidden in a Mttle 
chamber and said, "The moment has come when I can save you. 
The wretch shall himself carry you home again, but as soon as you 
are at home send help to me." She put both of them in a basket and 
covered them quite over with gold, so that nothing of them was to 
be seen, then she called in the wizard and said to him, "Now carry 
the basket away, but I shall look through my little window and 
watch to see if thou stoppest on the way to stand or to rest." 

The wizard raised the basket on his back and went away with it, 
but it weighed him down so heavily that the perspiration streamed 
from his face. Then he sat down and wanted to rest awhile, but 
immediately one of the girls in the basket cried, "I am looking 
through my little window, and I see that thou art resting. Wilt 
thou go on at once?" He thought his bride was calling that to him; 
and got up on his legs again. Once more he was going to sit down, 
but instantly she cried, "I am looking through my httle window, 
and I see that thou art resting. Wilt thou go on directly?" 

Whenever he stood still, she cried this, and then he was forced to 
go onwards, until at last, groaning and out of breath, he took the 
basket with the gold and the two maidens into their parents' house. 
At home, however, the bride prepared the marriage-feast, and sent 
invitations to the friends of the wizard. Then she took a skull with 
grinning teeth, put some ornaments on it and a wreath of flowers, 
carried it upstairs to the garret-window, and let it look out from 
thence. When all was ready, she got into a barrel of honey, and 
then cut the feather-bed open and rolled herself in it, until she 
looked like a wondrous bird, and no one could recognize her. Then 
she went out of the house, and on her way she met some of the 
wedding-guests, who asked, 

"O, Fitcher's bird, how comst thou here?" 

"I come from Fitcher's house quite near," 

"And what may the young bride be doing?" 

"From cellar to garret she's swept all clean. 
And now from the window she's peeping, I ween." 

52 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

At last she met the bridegroom, who was coming slowly back. He, 
like the others, asked, 

"O, Fitche/s bird, how com'sf thou hereF' 

"I come from Fitche/s house quite near." 

"And what may the young bride be doing?" 

"From cellar to garret she's swept all clean. 
And now from the uAndow she's peeping, I ween^ 

The bridegroom looked up, saw the decked-out skuU, thought it 
was his bride, and nodded to her, greeting her kindly. But when he 
and his guests had all gone into the house, the brothers and kins- 
men of the bride, who had been sent to rescue her, arrived. They 
locked all the doors of the house, that no one might escape, set fire 
to it, and the wizard and all his crew were burned. 

The Robber Bridegroom 

Thesie was once a miller who had a beautiful daughter, and when 
she was grown up he became anxious that she should be weU mar- 
ried and taken care of; so he thought, "If a decent sort of man 
comes and asks her in marriage, I wiU give her to him." 

Soon after a suitor came forward who seemed very well-to-do, 
and as the miller knew nothing to his disadvantage, he promised 
him his daughter. But the girl did not seem to love him as a bride 
should love her bridegroom; she had no confidence in him; as often 
as she saw him or thought about him, she felt a chiU at her heart. 

One day he said to her, "You are to be my bride, and yet you 
have never been to see me." The girl answered, "\ do not know 
where your house is." Then he said, "My house is a long way in the 

She began to make excuses, and said she could not find the way 
to it; but the bridegroom said, "You must come and pay me a visit 
next Sunday; I have already invited company, and I will strew 
ashes on the path through the wood, so that you will be srnre to find 

When Sunday came, and the girl set out on her way, she felt very 
uneasy without knowing exactly why; and she filled both pockets 

The Robber Bridegroom 53 

full of peas and lentils. There were ashes strewn on the path 
through the wood, but nevertheless, at each step she cast to the 
right and left a few peas on the ground. So she went on the whole 
day until she came to the middle of the wood, where it was darkest, 
and there stood a lonely house, not pleasant in her eyes, for it was 
dismal and unhomeUke. She walked in, but there was no one there, 
and the greatest stillness reigned. Suddenly she heard a voice cry, 

"Turn back, turn back, thou pretty bride. 
Within this house thou must not bide. 
For here do evil things betide." 

The girl glanced round, and perceived that the voice came from 
a bird who was hanging in a cage by the wall. And again it cried, 

"Turn back, turn back, thou pretty bride. 
Within this house thou must not bide. 
For here do evil things betide" 

Then the pretty bride went on from one room into another 
through the whole house, but it was quite empty, and no soul to be 
found in it. At last she reached the cellar, and there sat a very old 
woman nodding her head. 

"Can you teU me," said the bride, "if my bridegroom lives here?" 

"Oh, poor child," answered the old woman, "do you know what 
has happened to you? You are in a place of cutthroats. You thought 
you were a bride, and soon to be married, but death will be your 
spouse. Look here, I have a great kettle of water to set on, and 
when once they have you in their power they will cut you in pieces 
without mercy, cook you, and eat you, for they are carmibals. Un- 
less I have pity on you, and save you, all is over with youl" 

Then the old woman hid her behind a great cask, where she 
could not be seen. "Be as still as a mouse," said she; "do not move 
or go away, or else you are lost. At night, when the robbers are 
asleep, we will escape. I have been waiting a long time for an op- 

No sooner was it settled than the wicked gang entered the house. 
They brought another young woman with them, dragging her 
along, and they were drunk, and would not listen to her cries and 
groans. They gave her wine to drink, three glasses full, one of white 
wine, one of red, and one of yellow, and then they cut her in 
pieces; the poor bride all the while shaking and trembling when 
she saw what a fate the robbers had intended for her. 

One of them noticed on the little finger of their victim a golden 

54 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ring, and as he could not draw it oflE easily, he took an axe and 
chopped it oflE, but the finger jumped away, and feU behind the 
cask on the bride's lap. The robber took up a Hght to look for it, but 
he could not find it. Then said one of the others, "Have you looked 
behind the great cask?" But the old woman cried, "Come to supper, 
and leave off looking till tomorrow; the finger cannot run away." 

Then the robbers said the old woman was right, and they left off 
searching, and sat down to eat, and the old woman dropped some 
sleeping stuff into their wine, so that before long they stretched 
themselves on the cellar floor, sleeping and snoring. 

When the bride heard that, she came from behind the cask, and 
had to make her way among the sleepers lying aU about on the 
ground, and she felt very much afraid lest she might awaken any of 
them. But by good luck she passed through, and the old woman 
with her, and they opened the door, and they made haste to leave 
that house of murderers. The wind had carried away the ashes from 
the path, but the peas and lentils had budded and sprung up, and 
the moonshine upon them showed the way. And they went on 
through the night, till in the morning they reached the mill. Then 
the girl related to her father aU that had happened to her. 

When the wedding-day came, the friends and neighbors as- 
sembled, the miller having invited them, and the bridegroom also 
appeared. When they were all seated at table, each one had to teU 
a story. But the bride sat stiU, and said nothing, tiU at last the 
bridegroom said to her, "Now, sweetheart, do you know no story? 
TeU us something." 

She answered, '1 wiU teU you my dream. I was going alone 
through a wood, and I came at last to a house in which there was 
no living soul, but by the waU was a bird in a cage, who cried, 

'Turn back, turn back, thou pretty bride. 
Within this house thou must not bide. 
For here do evil things betide' 

"And then again it said it. Sweetheart, the dream is not ended. 
Then I went through aU the rooms, and they were all empty, and it 
was so lonely and wretched. At last I went down into the ceUar, 
and there sat an old old woman, nodding her head. I asked her if 
my bridegroom lived in that house, and she answered, 'Ah, poor 
child, you have come into a place of cutthroats; your bridegroom 
does live here, but he wiU kiU you and cut you in pieces, and then 
cook and eat you.' Sweetheart, the dream is not ended. But the old 
woman hid me behind a great cask, and no sooner had she done so 

Old Hildebrand 55 

than the robbers came home, dragging with them a young woman, 
and they gave her to drink wine thrice, white, red, and yellow. 
Sweetheart, the dream is not yet ended. And then they killed her, 
and cut her in pieces. Sweetheart, my dream is not yet ended. And 
one of the robbers saw a gold ring on the jBnger of the young 
woman, and as it was diflBcult to get oflF, he took an axe and 
chopped ofiE the finger, which jumped upwards, and then fell be- 
hind the great cask on my lap. And here is the finger with the ringl" 

At these words she drew it forth, and showed it to the company. 

The robber, who during the story had grown deadly white, 
sprang up, and would have escaped, but the folks held him fast, 
and delivered him up to justice. And he and his whole gang were, 
for their evil deeds, condemned and executed. 

Old Hildebrand 

Once upon a time lived a peasant and his wife, and the parson of 
the village had a fancy for the wife, and had wished for a long 
while to spend a whole day happily with her, and the peasant 
woman, too, was quite willing. One day, therefore, he said to the 
woman, "Listen, my dear friend, I have now thought of a way by 
which we can for once spend a whole day happily together. I'll tell 
you what: on Wednesday, you must take to your bed, and tell your 
husband you are ill, and if you only complain and act being ill 
properly, and go on doing it imtil Simday when I have to preach, I 
will then say in my sermon that whosoever has at home a sick child, 
a sick husband, a sick wife, a sick father, a sick mother, a sick sister, 
brother or whosoever else it may be, and makes a pilgrimage to the 
Gockerli hill in Italy, where you can get a peck of laurel-leaves for 
a kreuzer, the sick child, the sick husband, the sick wiie, the sick fa- 
ther, or sick mother, the sick sister, or whosoever else it may be, 
will be restored to health immediately." 

"1 will manage it," said the woman directly. Now therefore, on 
the Wednesday, the peasant woman took to her bed, and com- 
plained and lamented as agreed on, and her husband did every- 
thing for her that he could think of, but nothing did her any good, 
and when Sunday came the woman said, "l feel as iU as if I were 

56 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

going to die at once, but there is one thing I should like to do be- 
fore my end— I should like to hear the parson's sermon that he is 
going to preach today." On that the peasant said, "Ah, my child, do 
not do it— you might make yourself worse if you were to get up. 
Look, I will go to the sermon, and will attend to it very carefully, 
and will tell you everything the parson says." 

"Well," said the woman, "go, then, and pay great attention, and 
repeat to me all that you hear." So the peasant went to the sermon, 
and the parson began to preach and said, if any one had at home a 
sick child, a sick husband, a sick wife, a sick father, a sick mother, a 
sick sister, brother or any one else, and would make a pilgrimage to 
the Gockerli hill in Italy, where a peck of laiuel-leaves costs a 
kreuzer, the sick child, sick husband, sick wife, sick father, sick 
mother, sick sister, brother, or whosoever else it might be, would be 
restored to health instantly; and whosoever wished to undertake 
the journey was to go to him after the service was over, and he 
would give him the sack for the laurel-leaves and the kreuzer. 

No one was more rejoiced than the peasant, and after the service 
was over, he went at once to the parson, who gave him the bag for 
the laurel-leaves and the kreuzer. After that he went home, and 
even at the house door he cried, "Hurrah! dear wife, it is now al- 
most the same thing as if you were well! The parson has preached 
today that whosoever had at home a sick child, a sick husband, a 
sick wife, a sick father, a sick mother, a sick sister, brother or who- 
ever it might be, and would make a pilgrimage to the GockerH hiU 
in Italy, where a peck of laurel-leaves costs a kreuzer, the sick 
child, sick husband, sick wife, sick father, sick mother, sick sister, 
brother, or whosoever else it was, would be cured immediately; and 
now I have already got the bag and the kreuzer from the parson, 
and will at once begin my journey so that you may get well the 
faster," and thereupon he went away. He was, however, hardly 
gone before the women got up, and the parson was there directly. 

But now we will leave these two for a while, and follow the peas- 
ant, who walked on quickly without stopping, in order to get the 
sooner to the Gockerli hiU; and on his way he met his gossip. His 
gossip was an egg-merchant, and was just coming from the market, 
where he had sold his eggs. "May you be blessed," said the gossip, 
"where are you off to so fast?" 

"To all eternity, my friend," said the peasant, "my wife is iU, and 
I have been today to hear the parson's sermon, and he preached 
that if any one had in his house a sick child, a sick husband, a sick 

Old Hildebrand 57 

wife, a sick father, a sick mother, a sick sister, brother or any one 
else, and made a pilgrimage to the Gockerli hill in Italy, where a 
peck of laurel-leaves costs a kreuzer; the sick child, the sick hus- 
band, the sick wife, the sick father, the sick mother, the sick sister, 
brother, or whosoever else it was, would be cured immediately; and 
so I have got the bag for the laurel-leaves and the kreuzer from the 
parson, and now I am beginning my pilgrimage." "But listen, gos- 
sip," said the egg-merchant to the peasant, "are you, then, stupid 
enough to believe such a thing as that? Don't you know what it 
means? The parson wants to spend a whole day alone with your 
wife in peace, so he has given you this job to do to get you out of 
the way." 

"My word!" said the peasant. "How I'd like to know if that's 

"Come, then," said the gossip, "I'll tell you what to do. Get into 
my egg-basket and I will carry you home, and then you will see for 
yourself." So that was settled, and the gossip put the peasant into 
his egg-basket, and carried him home. 

When they got to the house, hurrahl but all was going merrily 
there I The woman had already had nearly everything killed that 
was in the farmyard, and had made pancakes; and the parson was 
there, and had brought his fiddle with him. The gossip knocked at 
the door, and the woman asked who was there. "It is I, gossip," 
said the egg-merchant, "give me shelter this night; I have not sold 
my eggs at the market, so now I have to carry them home again, 
and they are so heavy that I shall never be able to do it, for it is 
dark already." 

'Indeed, my friend," said the woman, "you come at a very incon- 
venient time for me, but as you are here it can't be helped; come in, 
and take a seat there on the bench by the stove." Then she placed 
the gossip and the basket which he carried on his back on the 
bench by the stove. The parson, however, and the woman were as 
merry as possible. At length the parson said, "Listen, my dear 
friend, you can sing beautifully; sing something to me." "Oh," said 
the woman, "1 cannot sing now, in my young days indeed I could 
sing well enough, but that's all over now." "Come," said the parson 
once more, "do sing some little song." 

Then the woman sang, 

"I've sent my husband atoay from me 
To the Gockerli hill in Italy.'* 

58 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

Thereupon the parson sang, 

"I wish 'twas a year before he came back, 
Td never ask him for the laurel-leaf sack. 


Then the gossip, who was in the background, began to sing (but 
I ought to tell you the peasant was called Hildebrand), so the gos- 
sip sang, 

"What art thou doing, my Hildebrand dear. 
There on the bench by the stove so near? 


Then the peasant sang from his basket, 

"All singing I ever shall hate from this day, 
And here in this basket no longer I'll stay. 


And he got out of the basket and drove the parson out of the 

The Singing Bone 

A CERTAIN COUNTRY was greatly troubled by a wild boar that at- 
tacked workers in the fields, killed men, and tore them to pieces 
with its terrible tusks. The King of the country had offered rich re- 
wards to any one who would rid the land of this terror. But the 
beast was so huge and ferocious that no man could even be per- 
suaded to enter the forest where the animal made its home. 

At last the King made a proclamation that he would give his only 
daughter in marriage to any man who would bring the wild boar to 
him, dead or alive. 

There lived two brothers in that country, the sons of a poor man, 
who gave notice of their readiness to enter on this perilous under- 
taking. The elder, who was clever and crafty, was influenced by 
pride; the younger, who was innocent and simple, offered himself 
from kindness of heart. 

Thereupon the King advised that, as the best and safest way 
would be to take opposite directions in the wood, the elder was to 
go in the evening and the younger in the morning. 

The Singing Bone 59 

The younger had not gone far when a little fairy stepped up to 
him. He held in his hand a black spear, and said, "I will give you 
this spear because your heart is innocent and good. With this you 
can go out and discover the v^ld boar, and he shall not be able to 
harm you." 

He thanked the httle man, took the spear, placed it on his shoul- 
der, and without delay went further into the forest. It was not long 
before he espied the animal coming toward him, and fiercely mak- 
ing ready to spring. But the youth stood still and held the spear 
firmly in front of him. In wild rage the fierce beast ran violently to- 
ward him, and was met by the spear, on the point of which he 
threw himself, and, as it pierced his heart, he fell dead. 

Then the youngster took the dead monster on his shoulder and 
went to find his brother. As he approached the other side of the 
wood, where stood a large hall, he heard music, and found a num- 
ber of people dancing, drinking wine, and making merry. His elder 
brother was among them, for he thought the wdld boar would not 
run far away, and he wished to get up his courage for the evening 
by cheerful company and wdne. 

When he caught sight of his younger brother coming out of the 
forest laden wdth his booty, the most restless jealousy and mahce 
rose in his heart. But he disguised his bitter feehngs and spoke 
kindly to his brother, and said, "Come in and stay v^dth us, dear 
brother, and rest awhile, and get up your strength by a cup of 

So the youth, not suspecting anything wrong, carried the dead 
boar into his brother's house, and told him of the little man he had 
met in the wood, who had given him the spear, and how he had 
killed the wild animal. 

The elder brother persuaded him to stay and rest till the evening, 
and then they went out together in the twilight and walked by the 
river till it became quite dark. A Httle bridge lay across the river, 
over which they had to pass, and the elder brother let the young 
one go before him. When they arrived at the middle of the stream 
the wicked man gave his younger brother a blow from behind, and 
he fell down dead instantly. 

But fearing he might not be quite dead, he threw the body over 
the bridge into the river, and through the clear waters saw it sink 
into the sand. After this wicked deed he ran home quickly, took the 
dead wild boar on his shoulders, and carried it to the King, with 
the pretense that he had killed the animal, and that therefore he 

6o Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

could claim the Princess as his wife, according to the King's 

But these dark deeds are not often concealed, for something hap- 
pens to bring them to light. Not many years after, a herdsman, 
passing over the bridge with his flock, saw beneath him in the sand 
a little bone as white as snow, and thought that it would make a 
very nice mouthpiece for his horn. 

As soon as the flock passed over the bridge, he waded into the 
middle of the stream— for the water was very shallow— took up the 
bone, and carried it home to make a mouthpiece for his horn. 

But the first time he blew the horn after the bone was in it, it 
fiUed the herdsman with wonder and amazement; for it began to 
sing of itself, and these were the words it sang: 

"Ah! dear shepherd, you are blowing your horn 
With one of my bones, which night and morn 
Lie still unburied, beneath the uMve 
Where I was thrown in a sandy grave. 
I killed the wild boar, and my brother slew me. 
And gained the Princess by pretending 'twas he." 

**What a wonderful horn," said the shepherd, "that can sing of it- 
self! I must certainly take it to my lord, the King." 

As soon as the horn was brought before the King and blown by 
the shepherd, it at once began to siag the same song and the same 

The King was at first surprised, but his suspicion being aroused, 
he ordered that the sand under the bridge should be examined im- 
mediately, and then the entire skeleton of the murdered man was 
discovered, and the whole wicked deed came to Hght. 

The wicked brother could not deny the deed. He was therefore 
ordered to be tied in a sack and drowned, while the remains of his 
murdered brother were carefully carried to the churchyard, and 
laid to rest in a beautiful grave. 

Maid Maleen 

There was once a King who had a son who asked in marriage the 
daughter of a mighty King; she was called Maid Maleen, and was 

Maid Maleen 6i 

very beautiful. As her father wished to give her to another, the 
Prince was rejected; but as they both loved each other with all their 
hearts, they would not give each other up, and Maid Maleen said to 
her father, "I can and v^oll take no other for my husband." 

Then the King flew into a passion, and ordered a dark tower to 
be built, into which no ray of sunlight or moonlight should enter. 
When it was finished, he said, "Therein shalt thou be imprisoned 
for seven years, and then I will come and see if thy perverse spirit 
is broken." Meat and drink for the seven years were carried into the 
tower, and then she and her waiting-woman were led into it and 
walled up, and thus cut off from the sky and from the earth. There 
they sat in the darkness, and knew not when day or night began. 
The King's son often went round and round the tower, and called 
their names, but no sound from without pierced through the thick 
walls. What else could they do but lament and complain? 

Meanwhile the time passed, and by the diminution of the food 
and drink they knew that the seven years were coming to an end. 
They thought the moment of their dehverance was come; but no 
stroke of the hammer was heard, no stone fell out of the wall, and it 
seemed to Maid Maleen that her father had forgotten her. As they 
only had food for a short time longer, and saw a miserable death 
awaiting them, Maid Maleen said, "We must try our last chance, 
and see if we can break through the wall." She took the bread- 
knife, and picked and bored at the mortar of a stone, and when she 
was tired, the waiting-maid took her turn. With great labor they 
succeeded in getting out one stone, and then a second, and third, 
and when three days were over the first ray of light fell on their 
darkness, and at last the opening was so large that they could look 

The sky was blue, and a fresh breeze played on their faces; but 
how melancholy everything looked all aroundl Her father's castle 
lay in ruins, the town and the villages were, so far as could be seen, 
destroyed by fire, the fields far and wide laid to waste, and no 
human being was visible. When the opening in the wall was large 
enough for them to slip through, the waiting-maid sprang down 
first, and then Maid Maleen followed. But where were they to go? 
The enemy had ravaged the whole kingdom, driven away the King, 
and slain all the inhabitants. They wandered forth to seek another 
country, but nowhere did they find a shelter, or a human being to 
give them a mouthful of bread, and their need was so great that 
they were forced to appease their hunger vidth nettles. When, after 

62 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

long journeying, they came into another country, they tried to get 
work everywhere; but wherever they knocked they were turned 
away, and no one would have pity on them. At last they arrived in 
a large city and went to the royal palace. There also they were or- 
dered to go away, but at last the cook said that they might stay in 
the kitchen and be scullions. 

The son of the King in whose kingdom they were, was, however, 
the very man who had been betrothed to Maid Maleen. His father 
had chosen another bride for him, whose face was as ugly as her 
heart was wicked. The wedding was fixed, and the maiden had al- 
ready arrived; because of her great ugliness, however, she shut her- 
self in her room, and allowed no one to see her, and Maid Maleen 
had to take her her meals from the kitchen. When the day came for 
the bride and the bridegroom to go to church, she was ashamed of 
her ugHness, and afraid that if she showed herself in the streets, she 
would be mocked and laughed at by the people. 

Then said she to Maid Maleen, "A great piece of luck has befal- 
len thee. I have sprained my foot, and caimot well walk through 
the streets; thou shalt put on my wedding-clothes and take my 
place; a greater honor than that thou canst not have!" Maid Ma- 
leen, however, refused it, and said, "I wish for no honor which is 
not suitable for me." It was in vain, too, that the bride offered her 
gold. At last she said angrily, "If thou dost not obey me, it shall 
cost thee thy life. I have but to speak the word, and thy head will 
lie at thy feet." Then she was forced to obey, and put on the 
bride's magnificent clothes and all her jewels. When she entered 
the royal haU, every one was amazed at her great beauty, and the 
King said to his son, "This is the bride whom I have chosen for 
thee, and whom thou must lead to church." The bridegroom was 
astonished, and thought, "She is Hke my Maid Maleen, and I 
should believe that it was she herself, but she has long been shut 
up in the tower, or dead." He took her by the hand and led her to 
church. On the way was a nettle-plant, and she said, 

"Oh, nettle-plant. 
Little nettle-plant. 
What dost thou here alone? 
I have known the time 
When I ate thee unboiled, 
When I ate thee unroasted." 

"What art thou saying?" asked the King's son. "Nothing," she 
replied, "I was only thinking of Maid Maleen." He was surprised 

Maid Maleen 63 

that she knew about her, but kept silence. When they came to the 
foot-plank into the churchyard, she said, 

"Foot-bridge, do not break, 
I am not the true bride." 

*What art thou saying there?" asked the King's son. 'Toothing," 
she replied, "1 was only thinking of Maid Maleen." 'TDost thou 
know Maid Maleen?" "No," she answered, "how should I know her; 
I have only heard of her." When they came to the church-door, she 
said once more, 

"Church-door, break not, 
I am not the true bride." 

"What art thou saying there?" asked he. "Ah," she answered, "I 
was only thinking of Maid Maleen." Then he took out a precious 
chain, put it round her neck, and fastened the clasp. Thereupon 
they entered the church, and the priest joined their hands together 
before the altar, and married them. He led her home, but she did 
not speak a single word the whole way. When they got back to the 
royal palace, she hurried into the bride's chamber, put off the 
magnificent clothes and the jewels, dressed herself in her gray 
gown, and kept nothing but the jewel on her neck, which she had 
received from the bridegroom. 

When the night came, and the bride was to be led into the 
Prince's apartment, she let her veil fall over her face, that he might 
not observe the deception. As soon as every one had gone away, he 
said to her, "What didst thou say to the nettle-plant which was grow- 
ing by the wayside?" "To which nettle-plant?" asked she; "I don't 
talk to nettle-plants." "If thou didst not do it, then thou art not the 
true bride," said he. So she bethought herself, and said, 

"I must go out unto my maid. 
Who keeps my thoughts for me." 

She went out and sought Maid Maleen. "Girl, what hast thou been 
saying to the nettle?" "I said nothing but, 

'Oh, nettle-plant. 
Little nettle-plant. 
What dost thou here alone? 
I have known the time 
When I ate thee unboiled. 
When I ate thee unroasted.'" 

The bride ran back into the chamber, and said, "I know now 

64 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

what I said to the nettle," and she repeated the words which she 
had just heard. "But what didst thou say to the foot-bridge when 
we went over it?" asked the King's son. "To the foot-bridge?" she 
answered; "I don't talk to foot-bridges." "Then thou art not the true 
bride." She again said, 

"I must go out unto my maid. 
Who keeps my thoughts for me" 

and ran out and found Maid Maleen, "Girl, what didst thou say to 
the foot-bridge?" "I said nothing but, 

'Foot-bridge, do not break, 
I am not the true bride.'" 

"That costs thee thy lifel" cried the bride, but she hurried into 
the room, and said, "I know now what I said to the foot-bridge," 
and she repeated the words. "But what didst thou say to the 
church-door?" "To the church-door?" she replied; "I don't talk to 
church-doors." "Then thou art not the true bride." 

She went out and found Maid Maleen, and said, "Girl, what 
didst thou say to the church-door?" "I said nothing but, 

'Church-door, break not, 
I am not the true bride'" 

"That will break thy neck for thee!" cried the bride, and flew into 
a terrible passion, but she hastened back into the room, and said, "I 
know now what I said to the church-door," and she repeated the 
words. "But where hast thou the jewel which I gave thee at the 
church-door?" "What jewel?" she answered; "thou didst not give 
me any jewel." "I myself put it round thy neck, and I myself fas- 
tened it; if thou dost not know that, thou art not the true bride." He 
drew the veil from her face, and when he saw her immeasurable 
ugliness, he sprang back terrified, and said, "How comest thou 
here? Who art thou?" "I am thy betrothed bride, but because I 
feared lest the people should mock me when they saw me out of 
doors, I commanded the scullery-maid to dress herself in my 
clothes, and to go to chiurch instead of me." "Where is the girl?" 
said he; "I want to see her, go and bring her here." She went out 
and told the servants that the scullery-maid was an impostor, and 
that they must take her out into the court-yard and strike oflF her 
head. The servants laid hold of Maid Maleen and wanted to drag 
her out, but she screamed so loudly for help, that the King's son 

The Goose-Girl 65 

heard her voice, hurried out of his chamber and ordered them to 
set the maiden free instantly. 

Lights were brought, and then he saw on her neck the gold chain 
which he had given her at the church-door. "Thou art the true 
bride," said he, "who went with me to church; come with me now 
to my room." When they were both alone, he said, "On the way to 
the church thou didst name Maid Maleen, who was my betrothed 
bride; if I could believe it possible, I should think she was standing 
before me— thou art like her in every respect." She answered, "I am 
Maid Maleen, who for thy sake was imprisoned seven years in the 
darkness, who suflEered hunger and thirst, and has lived so long in 
want and poverty. Today, however, the sun is shining on me once 
more. I was married to thee in the church, and I am thy lawful 
wife." Then they kissed each other, and were happy all the days of 
their lives. The false bride was rewarded for what she had done by 
having her head cut o£E. 

The tower in which Maid Maleen had been imprisoned remained 
standing for a long time, and when the children passed by it they 

"Kling, klang, gloria. 
Who sits within this tower? 
A Kin^s daughter, she sits tvithin, 
A sight of her I cannot win. 
The wall it will not break. 
The stone cannot be pierced. 
Little Hans, with your coat so gay. 
Follow me, follow me, fast as you may." 

The Goose-Girl 

Thebe was once upon 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 trin- 
kets also of gold and silver, and cups and jewels; in short, everything 

66 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

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 bed-room, took a small knife 
and cut her finger with it until it bled, then she held a white hand- 
kerchief to it into which she let three drops of blood fall, gave it to 
her daughter 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 you have brought 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 yomr 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, Heavenl" And the three drops of 
blood answered, "If your 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 aKghted, bent over the flowing stream, wept and said, "Ah, 
Heavenl" And the drops of blood again replied, "If your mother 
knew this, her heart would break." And as she was thus drinking 
and leaning 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, however, 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 

The Goose-Girl 67 

called Falada, the waiting-maid said, "Falada is more suitable for 
me, and my nag will do for you," and the Princess had to be con- 
tent with that. Then the waiting-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 any one 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 

The waiting-maid now mounted Falada, and the true bride the 
bad horse, and thus they traveled onwards, until at length they en- 
tered the royal palace. There were great rejoicings over her arrival, 
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 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 
courtyard, and who she was. "I picked her up on my way for a 
companion; 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 little boy who tends the geese, she may help him." 
The boy was called Conrad, and the true bride had to help him 
tend the geese. Soon afterwards the false bride said to the young 
King, "Dearest husband, I beg you to do me a favor." He an- 
swered, "I will do so most willingly." 'Then send for the knacker, 
and have the head of the horse on which I rode here cut ofiF, 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 prom- 
ised to pay the knacker a piece of gold if he would perform a small 
service for her. There was a great dark-looking gateway 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 prom- 
ised to do that, and cut off the head, and nailed it fast beneath the 
dark gateway. 

68 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

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 gentle unnd, 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." 

And there came such a violent wind that it blew Conrad's hat far 
away across country, and he was forced to rxm 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 thereF' 

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 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." 

The Goose-Girl 69 

Then the wind blew, and blew his little hat oflF 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 
longerl" "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 thereF 

"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 pas- 
ture, 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 radi- 
ance. And soon she said, 

"Blow, blow, thou gentle wind, I say. 
Blow Conrads 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 
unseen, he went away, and when the goose-girl came home in the 
evening, 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 

70 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

life." He urged her and left her no peace, but he could draw noth- 
ing from her. Then said he, "If you will not tell me anything, tell 
your sorrows to the iron-stove there," and he went away. 

Then she crept into the iron-stove, and began to weep and la- 
ment, 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 

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 marvelous how beautiful 
she wasl 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 peo- 
ple 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 bhnded, and did not recognize 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 you," said the aged King, "and you have pro- 
nounced yoiur own sentence, and thus shall it be done unto you." 
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. 

The Skilful Huntsman 

There once was a young fellow who had learnt the trade of lock- 
smith, and told his father he would now go out into the world and 
seek his fortune. "Very well," said the father, "I am quite content 
with that," and gave him some money for his journey. So he trav- 
eled about and looked for work. After a time he resolved not to fol- 
low the trade of locksmith any more, for he no longer liked it, but he 
took a fancy for hunting. Then there met him in his rambles a 
huntsman dressed in green, who asked whence he came and 
whither he was going. The youth said he was a locksmith's appren- 
tice, but that the trade no longer pleased him, and he had a lildng 
for huntsmanship— would he teach it to him? "Oh, yes," said the 
huntsman, "if thou wilt go with me." 

The young fellow went with him, bound himself to him for some 
years, and learnt the art of hunting. After this he wished to try his 
luck elsewhere, and the huntsman gave him nothing in the way of 
payment but an air-gun, which had, however, this property, that it 
hit its mark without fail whenever he shot with it. Then he set out 
and found himself in a very large forest, which he could not get to 
the end of in one day. When evening came he seated himself in a 
high tree in order to escape from the wild beasts. 

Towards midnight, it seemed to him as if a tiny little light glim- 
mered in the distance. He looked down through the branches to- 
wards it, and kept well in his mind where it was. But in the first 
place, he took off his hat and threw it down in the direction of the 
light, so that he might go to the hat as a mark when he had de- 
scended. Then he got down and went to his hat, put it on again and 
went straight forwards. The farther he went, the larger the light 
grew, and when he got close to it he saw that it was an enormous 
fire, and that three giants were sitting by it, who had an ox on the 
spit, and were roasting it. Presently one of them said, "I must just 
taste if the meat will soon be fit to eat," and pulled a piece off, and 
was about to put it in his mouth when the huntsman shot it out of 
his hand. "Well, really," said the giant, "if the wind has not blown 
the bit out of my hand!" and helped himself to another. But when 
he was just about to bite into it, the huntsman again shot it away 
from him. On this the giant gave the one who was sitting next him 

72 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

a box on the ear, and cried angrily, "Why art thou snatching my 
piece away from me?" "I have not snatched it away," said the 
other, "a sharpshooter must have shot it away from thee." The 
giant took another piece, but could not, however, keep it in his 
hand, for the huntsman shot it out. Then the giant said. That must 
be a good shot to shoot the bit out of one's very mouth, such an one 
would be useful to us." And he cried aloud, "Come here, thou 
sharpshooter, seat thyself at the fire beside us and eat thy fill, we 
will not hurt thee; but if thou wilt not come, and we have to bring 
thee by force, thou art a lost manl" 

At this invitation the youth went up to them and told them he 
was a skilled huntsman, and that whatever he aimed at with his 
gun, he was certain to hit. Then they said if he would go with them 
he should be well treated, and they told him that outside the forest 
there was a great lake, behind which stood a tower, and in the 
tower was imprisoned a lovely Princess, whom they wished very 
much to carry ofiE. "Yes," said he, "I will soon get her for you." 
Then they added, "But there is still something else; there is a tiny 
Httle dog, which begins to bark directly any one goes near, and as 
soon as it barks every one in the royal palace wakens up, and for 
this reason we cannot get there; canst thou imdertake to shoot it 
dead?" "Yes," said he, "that will be a Httle bit of fun for me." After 
this he got into a boat and rowed over the lake, and as soon as he 
landed, the little dog came running out, and was about to bark, but 
the huntsman took his air-gun and shot it dead. When the giants 
saw that, they rejoiced, and thought they already had the King's 
daughter safe, but the huntsman wished first to see how matters 
stood, and told them that they must stay outside until he called 
them. Then he went into the castle, and aU was perfectly quiet 
within, and every one was asleep. 

When he opened the door of the first room, a sword was hanging 
on the wall which was made of pure silver, and there was a golden 
star on it, and the name of the King, and on a table near it lay a 
sealed letter which he broke open, and inside it was written that 
whosoever had the sword could kill everything which opposed him. 
So he took the sword from the wall, hung it at his side and went 
onwards; then he entered the room where the King's daughter was 
lying sleeping, and she was so beautiful that he stood still and, 
holding his breath, looked at her. He thought to himself, "How can 
I give an innocent maiden into the power of the wild giants, who 
have evil in their minds?" He looked about further, and under the 
bed stood a pair of slippers; on the right one was her father's name 

The Skilful Huntsman 73 

with a star, and on the left her own name with a star. She wore ako 
a great neck-kerchief of silk embroidered with gold, and on the 
right side was her father's name, and on the left her own, all in 
golden letters. Then the huntsman took a pair of scissors and cut 
the right comer off, and put it in his knapsack, and then he also 
took the right slipper with the King^s name, and thrust that in. 

The maiden still lay sleeping, and she was quite sewn into her 
night-dress, and he cut a morsel from this also, and thrust it in with 
the rest, but he did all without touching her. Then he went forth 
and left her lying asleep undisturbed, and when he came to the 
gate again, the giants were still standing outside waiting for him, 
and expecting that he was bringing the Princess. But he cried to 
them that they were to come in, for the maiden was already in their 
power, that he could not open the gate to them, but there was a 
hole through which they must creep. Then the first approached, 
and the huntsman wound the giant's hair round his hand, pulled 
the head in, and cut it off at one stroke with his sword, and then 
drew the rest of him in. He called to the second and cut his head 
off likewise, and then he killed the third also, and he was well 
pleased that he had freed the beautiful maiden from her enemies, 
and he cut out their tongues and put them in his knapsack. Then 
thought he, "1 will go home to my father and let him see what I 
have already done, and afterwards I wiU travel about the world; 
the luck which God is pleased to grant me wiU easily find me." 

When the King in the castle awoke, he saw the three giants lying 
there dead. So he went into the sleeping-room of his daughter, 
awoke her, and asked who could have killed the giants. Then said 
she, T>ear father, I know not, I have been asleep." But when she 
arose and would have put on her sfippers, the right one was gone, 
and when she looked at her neck-kerchief it was cut, and the right 
comer was missing, and when she looked at her night-dress a piece 
was cut out of it. The King summoned his whole court together, 
soldiers and every one else who was there, and asked who had set 
his daughter at liberty, and killed the giants. 

Now it happened that he had a captain, who was one-eyed and a 
hideous man, and he said that he had done it. Then the old King 
said that as he had accomplished this, he should marry his daugh- 
ter. But the maiden said, "Rather than marry him, dear father, I 
will go away into the world as far as my legs can carry me." The 
King said that if she would not marry him she should take off her 
royal garments and wear peasant's clothing, and go forth, and that 
she should go to a potter, and begin a trade in earthen vessels. So 

74 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

she put off her royal apparel, and went to a potter and borrowed 
crockery enough for a stall, and she promised him also that if she 
had sold it by the evening, she would pay for it. Then the King said 
she was to seat herself in a comer with it and seU it, and he ar- 
ranged with some peasants to drive over it with their carts, so that 
everything should be broken into a thousand pieces. When there- 
fore the King's daughter had placed her stall in the street, by came 
the carts, and broke all she had into tiny fragments. She began to 
weep and said, "Alas, how shall I ever pay for the pots now?" The 
King had, however, wished by this to force her to marry the cap- 
tain; but instead of that, she again went to the potter, and asked 
him if he would lend to her once more. He said, "No," she must 
first pay for the things she had already had. 

Then she went to her father and cried and lamented, and said 
she would go forth into the world. Then said he, "I will have a little 
hut built for thee in the forest outside, and in it thou shalt stay aU 
thy life long and cook for every one, but thou shalt take no money 
for it." When the hut was ready, a sign was hung on the door 
whereon was written, "Today given, tomorrow sold." There she 
remained a long time, and it was rumored about the world that a 
maiden was there who cooked without asking for payment, and 
that this was set forth on a sign outside her door. The huntsman 
heard it likewise, and thought to himself, "That would suit thee. 
Thou art poor, and hast no money." So he took his air-gun and his 
knapsack, wherein all the things which he had formerly carried 
away with him from the castle as tokens of his truthfulness were 
still lying, and went into the forest, and found the hut with the 
sign, "Today given, tomorrow sold." 

He had put on the sword with which he had cut off the heads of 
the three giants, and thus entered the hut, and ordered something 
to eat to be given to him. He was charmed with the beautiful 
maiden, who was indeed as lovely as any picture. She asked him 
whence he came and whither he was going, and he said, "I am 
roaming about the world." Then she asked him where he had got 
the sword, for that truly her father's name was on it. He asked her 
if she were the King's daughter. "Yes," answered she. "With this 
sword," said he, "did I cut off the heads of three giants," And he 
took their tongues out of his knapsack in proof. Then he also 
showed her the sHpper, and the comer of the neck-kerchief, and the 
bit of the night-dress. Hereupon she was overjoyed, and said that 
he was the one who had delivered her. 

They went together to the old King, and fetched him to the hut, 

The Princess in Disguise 75 

and she led him into her room, and told him that the huntsman was 
the man who had really set her free from the giants. And when the 
aged King saw all the proofs of this, he could no longer doubt, and 
said that he was very glad he knew how everything had happened, 
and that the huntsman should have her to wife, on which the mai- 
den was glad at heart. Then she dressed the huntsman as if he were 
a foreign lord, and the King ordered a feast to be prepared. When 
they went to table, the captain sat on the left side of the King's 
daughter, but the huntsman was on the right, and the captain 
thought he was a foreign lord who had come on a visit. 

When they had eaten and drunk, the old King said to the captain 
that he would set before him something which he must guess. 
"Supposing any one said that he had killed the three giants and he 
were asked where the giants' tongues were, and he were forced to 
go and look, and there were none in their heads, how could that 
happen?" The captain said, "Then they cannot have had any." "Not 
So," said the King. "Every animal has a tongue," and then he like- 
wise asked what any one would deserve who made such an answer. 
The captain replied, "He ought to be torn in pieces." Then the 
King said he had pronounced his own sentence, and the captain 
was put in prison and then torn in four pieces; but the King's 
daughter was married to the huntsman. After this he brought his 
father and mother, and they lived with their son in happiness, and 
after the death of the old King he received the kingdom. 

The Princess in Disguise 

A KING once had a wife with golden hair who was so beautiful that 
none on earth could be found equal to her. It happened that she 
fell ill, and as soon as she knew she must die, she sent for the King 
and said to him, "After my death I know you will marry another 
wife; but you must promise me that, however beautiful she may be, 
if she is not as beautiful as I am and has not golden hair Uke mine 
you will not marry her." 

The King had no sooner given his promise than she closed her 
eyes and died. 

For a long time he refused to be comforted, and thought it was 
impossible he could ever take another wife. At length his counselors 

76 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

came to him, and said, "A King should not remain unmarried; we 
ought to have a Queen." 

So he at last consented, and then messengers were sent far and 
wide to find a bride whose beauty should equal that of the dead 
Queen. But none was to be found in the whole world; for even 
when equally beautiful they had not golden hair. So the messengers 
returned without obtaining what they sought. 

Now, the King had a daughter who was quite as beautiful as her 
dead mother, and had also golden hair. She had all this while been 
growing up, and very soon the King noticed how exactly she re- 
sembled her dead mother. So he sent for his counselors, and said to 
them, "1 wiU marry my daughter; she is the image of my dead wife, 
and no other bride can be found to enable me to keep my promise 
to her." 

When the counselors heard this, they were dreadfully shocked, 
and said, 'It is forbidden for a father to marry his daughter; noth- 
ing but evil could spring from such a sin, and the kingdom will be 

When the King's daughter heard of her father's proposition she 
was greatly alarmed, the more so as she saw how resolved he was 
to carry out his intention. She hoped, however, to be able to save 
him and herself from such ruin and disgrace, so she said to him, 
"Before I consent to yoiu- wish I shall require three things— a dress 
as golden as the sim, another as silvery as the moon, and a third as 
glittering as the stars; and besides this, I shall require a mantle 
made of a thousand sldns of rough fur sewn together, and every an- 
imal in the kingdom must give a piece of his skin toward it." 

"Ahl" she thought, 1 have asked for impossibilities, and I hope I 
shall be able to make my father give up his wicked intentions." 

The King, however, was not to be diverted from his purpose. All 
the most skilful young women in the kingdom were employed to 
weave the three dresses, one to be as golden as the sun, another as 
silvery as the moon, and the third as glittering as the stars. He sent 
hunters into the forest to kill the wild animals and bring home their 
sldns, of which the mantle was to be made; and at last when all was 
finished he brought them and laid them before her, and then said, 
"Tomorrow our marriage shall take place." 

Then the King's daughter saw that there was no hope of chang- 
ing her father's heart, so she determined to run away from the 

In the night, when every one slept, she rose and took from her 
jewel-case a gold ring, a gold spinning-wheel, and a golden hook. 

The Princess in Disguise 77 

The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars she folded in so small 
a parcel that they were placed in a walnut-shell; then she put on 
the fur mantle, stained her face and hands black with walnut-jwice, 
and committing herself to the care of Heaven, she left her home. 

After traveling the whole night she came at last to a large forest, 
and feeling very tired she crept into a hollow tree and went to 
sleep. The sun rose, but she still slept on, and did not awake till 
nearly noon. 

It happened on this very day that the King to whom the wood 
belonged was hunting in the forest, and when his hoimds came to 
the tree they sniffed about, and ran round and roimd the tree bark- 
ing loudly. The King called to his hunters, and said, "J^^* go and 
see what wild animal the dogs are barking at." 

They obeyed, and quickly returning told the King that in the hol- 
low tree was a most beautiful creatiure, such as they had never seen 
before, that the sldn was covered with a thousand different sorts of 
fur, and that it was fast asleep. 

"Then," said the King, "go and see if you can captiure it alive. 
Then bind it on the wagon and bring it home." 

While the hunters were binding the maiden she awoke, and full 
of terror cried out to them, "I am only a poor child, forsaken by my 
father and mother; take pity on me, and take me with youl" "Well," 
they replied, "you may be useful to the cook, little Roughsldn. 
Come with us; you can at least sweep up the ashes." 

So they seated her on the wagon and took her home to the King's 
castle. They showed her a little stable under the steps, where no 
daylight ever came, and said, "Roughsldn, here you can Hve and 
sleep." So the King's daughter was sent into the kitchen to fetch the 
wood, draw the water, stir the fire, pluck the fowls, look after the 
vegetables, sweep the ashes, and do all the hard work. 

Poor Roughskin, as they called her, lived for a long time most 
miserably, and the beautiful icing's daughter knew not when it 
would end or how. It happened, however, after a time that a festi- 
val was to take place in the castle, so she said to the cook, "May I 
go out for a Httle while to see the company arrive? I will stand out- 
side the door." "Yes, you may go," he replied, 'Taut in half an hour I 
shall want you to sweep up the ashes and put the kitchen in order." 

Then she took her little oil-lamp, went into the stable, threw off 
the fur coat, washed the nut-stains from her face and hands, so that 
her full beauty appeared before the day. After this she opened the 
nutshell and took out the dress that was golden as the sun, and put 
it on. As soon as she was quite dressed she went out and presented 

78 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

herself at the entrance of the castle as a visitor. No one recognized 
her as Roughskin; they thought she was a King's daughter, and sent 
and told the King of her arrival. He went to receive her, ofiFered her 
his hand, and while they danced together he thought in his heart, 
"My eyes have never seen any maiden before so beautiful as this." 

As soon as the dance was over she bowed to the King, and before 
he could look round she had vanished, no one knew where. The 
sentinel at the castle gate was called and questioned, but he had 
not seen any one pass. 

But she had run to her stable, quickly removed her dress, stained 
her face and hands, put on her fur coat, and was again Roughskin. 
When she entered the kitchen and began to do her work and sweep 
up the ashes, the cook said, "Leave that alone till tomorrow; I want 
you to cook some soup for the King. I will also taste a httle when it 
is ready. But do not let one of your hairs faU in, or you will get 
nothing to eat in future from me." 

Then the cook went out, and Roughskin made the King's soup as 
nicely as she could, and cut bread for it, and when it was ready she 
fetched from her Httle stable her gold ring and laid it in the dish in 
which the soup was prepared. 

After the King had left the baU-room he called for the soup, and 
while eating it thought he had never tasted better soup in his life. 
But when the dish was nearly empty he saw to his surprise a gold 
ring lying at the bottom, and could not imagine how it came there. 
Then he ordered the cook to come to him, and he was in a terrible 
fright when he heard the order. "You must certainly have let a hair 
fall into the soup; if you have, I shall thrash youl" he said. 

As soon as he appeared the King said, "Who cooked this soup?" 
"I cooked it," he replied. "That is not true," said the King. 'This 
soup is made quite differently and much better than you ever made 

Then the cook was obliged to confess that Roughskin had made 
the soup. "Go and send her to me," said the King. 

As soon as she appeared the King said to her, "Who art thou, 
maiden?" She replied, "I am a poor child, without father or 
mother." He asked again, "Why are you in my castle?" "Because I 
am trying to earn my bread by helping the cook," she replied. 
"How came this ring in the soup?" he said again. 'T. know nothing 
about the ringi" she replied. 

When the King found he could learn nothing from Roughskin, he 
sent her away. A httle time after this there was another festival, 
and Roughskin had again permission from the cook to go and see 

The Princess in Disguise 79 

the visitor, ^^ut," he added, "come back in half an hour and cook 
for the King the soup that he is so fond of." 

She promised to return, and ran quickly into her httle stable, 
washed off the stains, and took out of the nutshell her dress, silvery 
as the moon, and put it on. Then she appeared at the castle like a 
King's daughter, and the King came to receive her with great pleas- 
ure; he was so glad to see her again, and while the dancing contin- 
ued the King kept her as his partner. When the baU ended she 
disappeared so quickly that the King could not imagine what had 
become of her. But she had rushed down to her stable, made her- 
self again the rough little creature that was called Roughskan, and 
went into the kitchen to cook the soup. 

While the cook was upstairs she fetched the golden spin- 
ning-wheel and dropped it into the soup as soon as it was ready. 
The King again ate it with great relish; it was as good as before, 
and when he sent for the cook and asked who made it, he was 
obliged to own that it was Roughsldn. She was also ordered to ap- 
pear before the King, but he could get nothing out of her, except- 
ing that she was a poor child, and knew nothing of the golden spin- 

At the King's third festival everything happened as before. But 
the cook said, "I will let you go and see the dancing-room this time, 
Roughskin; but I beheve you are a witch, for although the soup is 
good, and the King says it is better than I can make it, there is al- 
ways something dropped into it which I cannot understand." 
Roughskin did not stop to listen; she ran quickly to her little stable, 
washed off the nut-stains, and this time dressed herself in the dress 
that glittered hke the stars. When the King came as before to re- 
ceive her in the hall, he thought he had never seen such a beautiful 
woman in his Hfe. While they were dancing he contrived, without 
being noticed by the maiden, to slip a gold ring on her finger, and 
he had given orders that the dancing should continue longer than 
usual. When it ended, he wanted to hold her hand still, but she 
pulled it away, and sprang so quickly among the people that she 
vanished from his eyes. 

She ran out of breath to her stable under the steps, for she knew 
that she had remained longer away than half an hour, and there 
was not time to take off her dress, so she threw on her fur cloak 
over it, and in her haste she did not make her face black enough, 
nor hide her golden hair properly; her hands also remained white. 
However, when she entered the kitchen, the cook was still away, so 
she prepared the King's soup, and dropped into it the golden hook. 

8o Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

The King, when he found another trinket in his soup, sent imme- 
diately for Roughskin, and as she entered the room he saw the ring 
on her white finger which he had placed there. Instantly he seized 
her hand and held her fast, but in her struggles to get free the fur 
mantle opened and the star-gHttering dress was plainly seen. The 
King caught the mantle and tore it off, and as he did so her golden 
hair fell over her shoulders, and she stood before him in her full 
splendor, and felt that she could no longer conceal who she was. 
Then she wiped the soot and stains from her face, and was beauti- 
ful to the eyes of the King as any woman upon earth. 

"You shall be my dear bride," said the King, "and we will never 
be parted again, although I know not who you are." 

Then she told him her past history, and all that had happened to 
her, and he foimd that she was, as he thought, a King's daughter. 
Soon after the marriage was celebrated, and they Hved happily till 
their death. 


There was once a rich man whose wife lay sick, and when she felt 
her end drawing near she called to her only daughter to come near 
her bed, and said, 

"Dear child, be good and pious, and God will always take care of 
you, and I will look down upon you from heaven, and will be with 

And then she closed her eyes and died. The maiden went every 
day to her mother's grave and wept, and was always pious and 
good. When the winter came the snow covered the grave with a 
white covering, and when the sun came in the early spring and 
melted it away, the man took to himself another wife. 

The new wife brought two daughters home with her, and they 
were beautiful and fair in appearance, but at heart were black and 
ugly. And then began very evil times for the poor step-daughter. 

"Is the stupid creature to sit in the same room with us?" said 
they; "those who eat food must earn it. She is nothing but a 

They took away her pretty dresses, and put on her an old gray 
kirtle, and gave her wooden shoes to wear. 

Cinderella 8i 

"Just look now at the proud princess, how she is decked out!" 
cried they laughing, and then they sent her into the kitchen. There 
she was obliged to do heavy work from morning to night, get up 
early in the morning, draw water, make the fires, cook, and wash. 
Besides that, the sisters did their utmost to torment her— mocking 
her, and strewing peas and lentils among the ashes, and setting 
her to pick them up. In the evenings, when she was quite tired out 
with her hard day's work, she had no bed to he on, but was obhged 
to rest on the hearth among the cinders. And because she always 
looked dusty and dirty, as if she had slept in the cinders, they 
named her Cinderella. 

It happened one day that the father went to the fair, and he 
asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them. 
"Fine clothesl" said one. "Pearls and jewels!" said the other. "But 
what will you have, Cinderella?" said he. "The first twig, father, 
that strikes against yoiur hat on the way home; that is what I should 
like you to bring me." 

So he bought for the two step-daughters fine clothes, pearls, and 
jewels, and on his way back, as he rode through a green lane, a 
hazel twig struck against his hat; and he broke it ofi^ and carried it 
home with him. And when he reached home he gave to the step- 
daughters what they had wished for, and to Cinderella he gave the 
hazel twig. She thanked him, and went to her mother's grave, and 
planted this twig there, weeping so bitterly that the tears fell upon it 
and watered it, and it flourished and became a fine tree. Cinderella 
went to see it three times a day, and wept and prayed, and each 
time a white bird rose up from the tree, and if she uttered any wish 
the bird brought her whatever she had wished for. 

Now it came to pass that the King ordained a festival that should 
last for three days, and to which all the beautiful yotmg women of 
that country were bidden, so that the King's son might choose a 
bride from among them. When the two step-daughters heard that 
they too were bidden to appear, they felt very pleased, and they 
called Cinderella and said, "Comb our hair, brush our shoes, and 
make our buckles fast, we are going to the wedding feast at the 
King's castle." 

When she heard this, Cinderella could not help crying, for she 
too would have fiked to go to the dance, and she begged her step- 
mother to allow her. "What! You Cinderella!" said she, "in all your 
dust and dirt, you want to go to the festival! you that have no dress 
and no shoes! you want to dance!" 

But as she persisted in asking, at last the step-mother said, 1 

82 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

have strewed a dishful of lentils in the ashes, and if you can pick 
them all up again in two hours you may go with us." 

Then the maiden went to the back-door that led into the garden, 
and called out, 

"O gentle doves, O turtle-doves^ 

And all the birds that be, 

The lentils that in ashes lie 

Come and pick up for me! 

The good must be put in the dish. 
The bad you may eat if you wish." 

Then there came to the Idtchen-window two white doves, and 
after them some turtle-doves, and at last a crowd of all the birds 
under heaven, chirping and fluttering, and they alighted among the 
ashes; and the doves nodded with their heads, and began to pick, 
peck, pick, peck, and then aU the others began to pick, peck, pick, 
peck, and put all the good grains into the dish. Before an hour was 
over all was done, and they flew away. 

Then the maiden brought the dish to her step-mother, feeling 
joyful, and thinking that now she should go to the feast; but the 
step-mother said, "No, Cinderella, you have no proper clothes, and 
you do not know how to dance, and you would be laughed atl" And 
when Cinderella cried for disappointment, she added, "If you can 
pick two dishes full of lentils out of the ashes, nice and clean, you 
shall go with us," thinking to herself, "for that is not possible." 
When she had strewed two dishes full of lentils among the ashes 
the maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and cried, 

"O gentle doves, O turtle-doves. 

And all the birds that be. 

The lentils that in ashes lie 

Come and pick up for met 

The good must be put in the dish. 
The bad you may eat if you wish." 

So there came to the Idtchen-window two white doves, and then 
some turtle-doves, and at last a crowd of all the other birds under 
heaven, chirping and fluttering, and they aKghted among the ashes, 
and the doves nodded with their heads and began to pick, peck, 
pick, peck, and then all the others began to pick, peck, pick, peck, 
and put all the good grains into the dish. And before half-an-hour 
was over it was all done, and they flew away. Then the maiden took 
the dishes to the step-mother, feeling joyful, and thinking that now 
she should go with them to the feast; but she said, "All this is of no 

Cinderella 83 

good to you; you cannot come with us, for you have no proper 
clothes, and cannot dance; you would put us to shame." Then she 
turned her back on poor Cinderella and made haste to set out with 
her two proud daughters. 

And as there was no one left in the house, Cinderella went to her 
mother's grave, under the hazel bush, and cried, 

"Little tree, little tree, shake over me. 
That silver and gold may come down and cover me." 

Then the bird threw down a dress of gold and silver, and a pair 
of slippers embroidered with silk and silver. And in all haste she 
put on the dress and went to the festival. But her step-mother and 
sisters did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign Prin- 
cess, she looked so beautiful in her golden dress. Of Cinderella they 
never thought at all, and supposed that she was sitting at home, 
and picking the lentils out of the ashes. The King's son came to 
meet her, and took her by the hand and danced with her, and he 
refused to stand up with any one else, so that he might not be 
obliged to let go her hand; and when any one came to claim it he 
answered, "She is my partner." 

And when the evening came she wanted to go home, but the 
Prince said he would go with her to take care of her, for he wanted 
to see where the beautiful maiden hved. But she escaped him, and 
jumped up into the pigeon-house. Then the Prince waited until the 
father came, and told him the strange maiden had jumped into the 
pigeon-house. The father thought to himself, *Tt surely cannot be 
Cinderella," and called for axes and hatchets, and had the pigeon- 
house cut down, but there was no one in it. And when they entered 
the house there sat Cinderella in her dirty clothes among the cin- 
ders, and a little oil-lamp burnt dimly in the chinmey; for Cin- 
derella had been very quick, and had jumped out of the pigeon- 
house again, and had run to the hazel bush; and there she had 
taken oflF her beautiful dress and had laid it on the grave, and the 
bird had carried it away again, and then she had put on her little 
gray kirtle again, and had sat down in the kitchen among the cin- 

The next day, when the festival began anew, and the parents and 
step-sisters had gone to it, Cinderella went to the hazel bush and 

"Little tree, little tree, shake over me. 
That silver and gold may come down and cover me." 

84 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Then the bird cast down a still more splendid dress than on the 
day before. And when she appeared in it among the guests every 
one was astonished at her beauty. The Prince had been waiting 
until she came, and he took her hand and danced with her alone. 
And when any one else came to invite her he said, "She is my 

And when the evening came she wanted to go home, and the 
Prince followed her, for he wanted to see to what house she 
belonged; but she broke away from him, and ran into the garden at 
the back of the house. There stood a fine large tree, bearing splen- 
did pears; she leapt as lightly as a squirrel among the branches, and 
the Prince did not know what had become of her. So he waited 
until the father came, and then he told him that the strange maiden 
had rushed from him, and that he thought she had gone up into the 
pear tree. The father thought to himself, "It surely cannot be Cin- 
derella," and called for an axe, and felled the tree, but there was no 
one in it. And when they went into the kitchen there sat Cinderella 
among the cinders, as usual, for she had got down the other side of 
the tree, and had taken back her beautiful clothes to the bird on 
the hazel bush, and had put on her old gray Idrtle again. 

On the third day, when the parents and the step-children had set 
off, Cinderella went again to her mother's grave, and said to the 

"Little tree, little tree, shake over me. 
That silver and gold may some dovm and cover me" 

Then the bird cast down a dress, the hke of which had never 
been seen for splendor and brilliancy, and slippers that were of 

And when she appeared in thl^ dress at the feast nobody knew 
what to say for wonderment. The Prince danced with her alone, 
and if any one else asked her he answered, "She is my partner." 

And when it was evening Cinderella wanted to go home, and the 
Prince was about to go with her, when she ran past him so quickly 
that he could not follow her. But he had laid a plan, and had 
caused all the steps to be spread with pitch, so that as she rushed 
down them the left shoe of the maiden remained sticking in it. The 
Prince picked it up, and saw that it was of gold, and very small and 
slender. The next morning he went to the father and told him that 
none should be his bride save the one whose foot the golden shoe 
should fit. 

Then the two sisters were very glad, because they had pretty 

Cinderella 85 

feet. The eldest went to her room to try on the shoe, and her 
mother stood by. But she could not get her great toe into it, for the 
shoe was too small; then her mother handed her a knife, and said, 
"Cut the toe ofiF, for when you are Queen you wiU never have to go 
on foot." So the girl cut her toe oflF, squeezed her foot into the shoe, 
concealed the pain, and went down to the Prince. Then he took her 
vidth him on his horse as his bride, and rode oflF. They had to pass 
by the grave, and there sat the two pigeons on the hazel bush, and 

"There they go, there they go! 
There is blood on her shoe; 
The shoe is too small, 
—Not the right bride at alir 

Then the Prince looked at her shoe, and saw the blood flowing. 
And he turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, 
saying she was not the right one, and that the other sister must try 
on the shoe. So she went into her room to do so, and got her toes 
comfortably in, but her heel was too large. Then her mother 
handed her the knife, saying, "Cut a piece off yoiu: heel; when you 
are Queen you will never have to go on foot." 

So the girl cut a piece off her heel, and thrust her foot into the 
shoe, concealed the pain, and went down to the Prince, who took 
his bride before him on his horse and rode off. When they passed 
by the hazel bush the two pigeons sat there and cried, 

"There they go, there they go! 
There is blood on her shoe; 
The shoe is too small, 
—Not the right bride at all!" 

Then the Prince looked at her foot, and saw how the blood was 
flowing from the shoe, and staining the white stocking. And he 
turned his horse roimd and brought the false bride home again. 
"This is not the right one," said he, "have you no other daughter?" 

"No," said the man, "only my dead wiie left behind her a little 
stunted Cinderella; it is impossible that she can be the bride." But 
the King's son ordered her to be sent for, but the mother said, "Oh 
no! she is much too dirty, I could not let her be seen." But he would 
have her fetched, and so Cinderella had to appear. 

First she washed her face and hands qioite clean, and went in 
and curtseyed to the Prince, who held out to her the golden shoe. 
Then she sat down on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy 

86 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

wooden shoe, and slipped it into the golden one, which fitted it per- 
fectly. And when she stood up, and the Prince looked in her face, 
he knew again the beautiful maiden that had danced with him, and 
he cried, "This is the right bridel" 

The step-mother and the two sisters were thunderstruck, and grew 
pale with anger; but he put Cinderella before him on his horse and 
rode off. And as they passed the hazel bush, the two white pigeons 

"There they go, there they got 
No blood on her shoe; 
The shoe's not too small. 
The right bride is she after all." 

And when they had thus cried, they came flying after and perched 
on Cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, 
and so remained. 

And when her wedding with the Prince was appointed to be held 
the false sisters came, hoping to curry favor, and to take part in the 
festivities. So as the bridal procession went to the church, the eldest 
walked on the right side and the younger on the left, and the pi- 
geons picked out an eye of each of them. And as they returned the 
elder was on the left side and the younger on the right, and the pi- 
geons picked out the other eye of each of them. And so they were 
condemned to go blind for the rest of their days because of their 
wickedness and falsehood. 

Simeli Mountain 

There weke once two brothers, the one rich, the other poor. The 
rich one, however, gave nothing to the poor one, and he gained a 
scanty living by trading in com, and often did so badly that he had 
no bread for his wife and children. Once when he was wheeling a 
barrow through the forest he saw, on one side of him, a great, bare, 
naked-looking mountain, and as he had never seen it before, he 
stood still and stared at it with amazement. 

While he was thus standing he saw twelve great, wild men com- 
ing towards him, and as he believed they were robbers he pushed 
his barrow into the thicket, climbed up a tree, and waited to see 

Simeli Mountain Sj 

what would happen. The twelve men, however, went to the moun- 
tain and cried, "Semsi mountain, Semsi moimtain, open"; and im- 
mediately the barren mountain opened down the middle, and the 
twelve went into it, and as soon as they were within, it shut. After a 
short time, however, it opened again, and the men came forth car- 
rying heavy sacks on their shoulders, and when they were all once 
more in the daylight they said, "Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, 
shut thyself; then the mountain closed together, and there was no 
longer any entrance to be seen to it, and the twelve went away. 

When they were quite out of sight the poor man got down from 
the tree, and was curious to know what really was secretly hidden 
in the mountain. So he went up to it and said, "Semsi moimtain, 
Semsi mountain, open"; and the moimtain opened to him also. Then 
he went inside, and the whole mountain was a cavern full of silver 
and gold, and behind lay great piles of pearls and sparkling jewels, 
heaped up Hke com. The poor man hardly knew what to do, and 
whether he might take any of these treasiu-es for himself or not; but 
at last he filled his pockets with gold, but he left the pearls and pre- 
cious stones where they were. When he came out again he also 
said, "Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, shut thyself"; and the moun- 
tain closed itself, and he went home with his barrow. 

And now he had no more cause for anxiety, but could buy bread 
for his wife and children with his gold, and wine into the bargain. 
He Hved joyously and uprightly, gave help to the poor, and did 
good to every one. When, however, the money came to an end he 
went to his brother, borrowed a measure that held a bushel, and 
brought himself some more, but did not touch any of the most valu- 
able things. When for the third time he wanted to fetch something, 
he again borrowed the measure of his brother. The rich man had, 
however, long been envious of his brother's possessions, and of the 
handsome way of living which he had set on foot, and could not xm- 
derstand from whence the riches came, and what his brother 
wanted with the measure. Then he thought of a cunning trick, and 
covered the bottom of the measure with pitch, and when he got the 
measure back a piece of money was sticking in it. 

He went at once to his brother and asked him, "What hast thou 
been measuring in the bushel measure?" "Com and barley," said 
the other. Then he showed him the piece of money, and threatened 
that if he did not tell the truth he would accuse him before a court 
of justice. The poor man then told him everything, just as it had 
happened. The rich man, however, ordered his carriage to be made 
ready, and drove away, resolved to use the opportunity better than 

88 Grimm*s Complete Fairy Tales 

his brother had done, and to bring back with him quite different 

When he came to the mountain he cried, "Semsi mountain, Semsi 
moimtain, open." The mountain opened, and he went inside it. 
There lay the treasures all before him, and for a long time he did 
not know which to clutch at first. At length he loaded himself with 
as many precious stones as he could carry. He wished to carry his 
burden outside, but, as his heart and soul were entirely full of the 
treasures, he had forgotten the name of the mountain, and cried, 
"Simeli moimtain, Simeli mountain, open." That, however, was not 
the right name, and the mountain never stirred, but remained shut. 
Then he was alarmed, but the longer he thought about it the more 
his thoughts confused themselves, and his treasures were no more 
of any use to him. 

In the evening the mountain opened, and the twelve robbers 
came in, and when they saw him they laughed, and cried out, "Bird, 
have we caught thee at lastl Didst thou think we had never noticed 
that thou hadst been in here twice? We could not catch thee then; 
this third time thou shalt not get out again!" Then he cried, *Tt was 
not I, it was my brother," but let him beg for his life and say what 
he would, they cut his head off. 

The Glass CofEn 

Let no one ever say that a poor tailor cannot do great things and 
win high honors; all that is needed is that he should go to the right 
smithy, and what is of most consequence, that he should have good 
luck. A civil, adroit tailor s apprentice once went out traveling, and 
came into a great forest, and, as he did not know the way, he lost 
himself. Night fell, and nothing was left for him to do, but to seek a 
bed in this painful solitude. He might certainly have found a good 
bed on the soft moss, but the fear of wild beasts let him have no 
rest there, and at last he was forced to make up his mind to spend 
the night in a tree. He sought out a high oak, climbed up to the top 
of it, and thanked God that he had his goose with him, for other- 
wise the wind which blew over the top of the tree would have 
carried him away. 
After he had spent some hours in the darkness, not without fear 

The Glass Coffin 89 

and trembling, he saw at a very short distance the glimmer of a 
light, and as he thought that a human habitation might be there, 
where he would be better ofiE than on the branches of a tree, he got 
carefully down and went towards the light. It guided him to a 
small hut that was woven together of reeds and rushes. He knocked 
boldly, the door opened, and by the light which came forth he saw 
a little hoary old man who wore a coat made of bits of colored stuff 
sewn together. 

"Who are you, and what do you want?" asked the man in a 
grumbling voice, "l am a poor tailor," he answered, "whom night 
has surprised here in the wilderness, and I earnestly beg you to 
take me into your hut until morning." "Go your way," replied the 
old man in a surly voice, "I will have nothing to do with rascals. 
Seek shelter elsewhere." After these words he was about to shp into 
his hut again, but the tailor held him so tightly by the comer of his 
coat, and pleaded so piteously, that the old man, who was not so ill- 
natured as he wished to appear, was at last softened, and took him 
into the hut with him where he gave him something to eat, and 
then pointed out to him a very good bed in a comer. 

The weary tailor needed no rocking; but slept sweetly till morn- 
ing, but even then would not have thought of getting up, if he had 
not been aroused by a great noise. A violent sound of screaming 
and roaring forced its way through the thin walls of the hut. The 
tailor, full of unwonted courage, jumped up, put his clothes on in 
haste, and hurried out. Then close by the hut, he saw a great black 
bull and a beautiful stag, which were just preparing for a violent 
struggle. They rushed at each other with such extreme rage that the 
ground shook with their trampKng, and the air resounded with 
their cries. For a long time it was uncertain which of the two would 
gain the victory; at length the stag thrust his horns into his adver- 
sary's body, whereupon the bull fell to the earth with a terrific roar, 
and was thoroughly despatched by a few strokes from the stag. 

The tailor, who had watched the fight with astonishment, was 
still standing there motionless, when the stag in full career bounded 
up to him, and before he could escape, caught him up on his great 
horns. He had not much time to collect his thoughts, for it went in 
a swift race over stock and stone, mountain and valley, wood and 
meadow. He held with both hands to the tops of the horns, and 
resigned himself to his fate. It seemed to him, however, just as if he 
were flying away. At length the stag stopped in front of a wall of 
rock, and gently let the tailor down. The tailor, more dead than 
alive, required a longer time than that to come to himself. When he 

go GfimrrCs Complete Fairy Tales 

had in some degree recovered, the stag, which had remained stand- 
ing by him, pushed its horns with such force against a door which 
was in the rock, that it sprang open. Flames of fire shot forth, after 
which followed a great smoke, which hid the stag from his sight. 

The tailor did not know what to do, or whither to turn, in order to 
get out of this desert and back to human beings again. While he 
was standing thus undecided, a voice sounded out of the rock, 
which cried to him, "Enter without fear, no evil shall befall thee." 
He certainly hesitated, but driven by a mysterious force, he obeyed 
the voice and went through the iron-door into a large spacious hall, 
whose ceiling, walls and floor were made of shining polished square 
stones, on each of which were cut letters which were unknown to 
him. He looked at everything full of admiration, and was on the 
point of going out again, when he once more heard the voice which 
said to him, "Step on the stone which lies in the middle of the hall, 
and great good fortune awaits thee." 

His courage had already grown so great that he obeyed the 
order. The stone began to give way under his feet, and sank slowly 
down into the depths. When it was once more firm, and the tailor 
looked round, he found himself in a hall which in size resembled 
the former. Here, however, there was more to look at and to ad- 
mire. Hollow places were cut in the walls, in which stood vases of 
transparent glass which were filled with colored spirit or with a 
bluish vapor. On the floor of the hall two great glass chests stood 
opposite to each other, which at once excited his curiosity. When 
he went to one of them he saw inside it a handsome structure like a 
castle surroimded by farm-buildings, stables and bams, and a quan- 
tity of other good things. Everything was small, but exceedingly 
carefully and delicately made, and seemed to be cut out by a dex- 
terous hand with the greatest exactitude. 

He might not have turned away his eyes from the consideration 
of this rarity for some time, if the voice had not once more made it- 
self heard. It ordered him to turn round and look at the glass chest 
which was standing opposite. How his admiration increased when 
he saw therein a maiden of the greatest beautyl She lay as if asleep, 
and was wrapped in her long fair hair as in a precious mantle. Her 
eyes were closely shut, but the brightness of her complexion and a 
ribbon which her breathing moved to and fro, left no doubt that 
she was alive. 

The tailor was looking at the beauty with beating heart, when 
she suddenly opened her eyes, and started up at the sight of him in 
joyful terror. "Just Heavenl" cried she, "my deliverance is at handl 

The Glass Coffin 91 

Quick, quick, help me out of my prison; if you push back the bolt 
of this glass coflBn, then I shall be free." The tailor obeyed without 
delay, and she immediately raised up the glass lid, came out and 
hastened into the comer of the hall, where she covered herself with 
a large cloak. Then she seated herself on a stone, ordered the young 
man to come to her, and after she had imprinted a friendly kiss on 
his lips, she said, "My long-desired deliverer, kind Heaven has 
guided you to me, and put an end to my sorrows. On the self-same 
day when they end, shall your happiness begin. You are the hus- 
band chosen for me by Heaven, and you shall pass your life in un- 
broken joy, loved by me, and rich to overflowing in every earthly 
possession. Seat yourself and Hsten to the story of my life: 

"I am the daughter of a rich count. My parents died when I was 
still in my tender youth, and recommended me in their last will to 
my elder brother, by whom I was brought up. We loved each other 
so tenderly, and were so alike in our way of thinking and our incli- 
nations, that we both embraced the resolution never to marry, but 
to stay together to the end of our Uves. In our house there was no 
lack of company; neighbors and friends visited us often, and we 
showed the greatest hospitality to every one. So it came to pass one 
evening that a stranger came riding to our castle, and, under pre- 
text of not being able to get on to the next place, begged for shelter 
for the night. We granted his request with ready courtesy, and he 
entertained us in the most agreeable manner during supper by con- 
versation intermingled with stories. My brother liked the stranger 
so much that he begged him to spend a couple of days with us, to 
which, after some hesitation, he consented. We did not rise from 
table imtil late in the night, the stranger was shown to a room, and 
I hastened, as I was tired, to lay my limbs in my soft bed. 

"Hardly had I slept for a short time, when the sound of faint and 
delightful music awoke me. As I could not conceive from whence it 
came, I wanted to summon my waiting-maid who slept in the next 
room, but to my astonishment I found that speech was taken away 
from me by an imknown force. I felt as if a mountain were weigh- 
ing down my breast, and was imable to make the very slightest 
sound. In the meantime, by the Hght of my night-lamp, I saw the 
stranger enter my room through two doors which were fast bolted. 
He came to me and said, that by magic arts which were at his com- 
mand, he had caused the lovely music to sound in order to awaken 
me, and that he now forced his way through all fastenings with the 
intention of offering me his hand and heart. My repugnance to his 
magic arts was, however, so great that I vouchsafed him no answer. 

92 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

He remained for a time standing without moving, apparently with 
the idea of waiting for a favorable decision, but as I continued to 
keep silence, he angrily declared he would revenge himself and find 
means to punish my pride, and left the room. I passed the night in 
the greatest disquietude, and only feU asleep towards morning. 
When I awoke, I hmried to my brother, but did not find him in his 
room, and the attendants told me that he had ridden forth with the 
stranger to the chase by daybreak. 

"I at once suspected nothing good. I dressed myself quickly, or- 
dered my palfrey to be saddled, and accompanied only by one ser- 
vant, rode full gallop to the forest. The servant fell with his horse, 
and could not follow me, for the horse had broken its foot. I pur- 
sued my way without halting, and in a few minutes I saw the 
stranger coming towards me vwth a beautiful stag which he led by 
a cord. I asked him where he had left my brother, and how he had 
come by this stag, out of whose great eyes I saw tears flowing. In- 
stead of answering me, he began to laugh loudly. I fell into a great 
rage at this, pulled out a pistol and discharged it at the monster; 
but the ball rebounded from his breast and went into my horse's 
head. I fell to the ground, and the stranger muttered some words 
which deprived me of consciousness. 

"When I came to my senses again I found myself in this under- 
ground cave in a glass coflBn. The magician appeared once again, 
and said he had changed my brother into a stag, my castle wdth all 
that belonged to it, diminished in size by his arts, he had shut up in 
the other glass chest, and my people, who were all turned into 
smoke, he had confined in glass bottles. He told me that if I would 
now comply v^dth his wish, it was an easy thing for him to put ev- 
erything back in its former state, as he had nothing to do but open 
the vessels, and everything would return once more to its natural 
form. I answered him as little as I had done the first time. He 
vanished and left me in my prison, in which a deep sleep came on 
me. Among the visions which passed before my eyes, that was the 
most comforting in which a young man came and set me free, and 
when I opened my eyes today I saw you, and beheld my dream 
fulfilled. Help me to accomplish the other things which happened 
in those visions. The first is that we Hft the glass chest in which my 
castle is enclosed, on to that broad stone." 

As soon as the stone was laden, it began to rise up on high v^dth 
the maiden and the young man, and mounted through the opening 
of the ceiling into the upper hall, from whence they then could eas- 
ily reach the open air. Here the maiden opened the lid, and it was 

Rapunzel 93 

marvelous to behold how the castle, the houses, and the farm build- 
ings which were enclosed, stretched themselves out and grew to 
their natural size with the greatest rapidity. After this, the maiden 
and the tailor returned to the cave beneath the earth, and had the 
vessels which were filled with smoke carried up by the stone. The 
maiden had scarcely opened the bottles when the blue smoke 
rushed out and changed itself into living men, in whom she recog- 
nized her servants and her people. Her joy was still more increased 
when her brother, who had killed the magician in the form of a 
buU, came out of the forest towards them in his human form. And 
on the self-same day the maiden, in accordance vidth her promise, 
gave her hand at the altar to the lucky tailor. 


There once lived a man and his wife who had long wished for a 
child, but in vain. Now there was at the back of their house a little 
window which overlooked a beautiful garden full of the finest vege- 
tables and flowers; but there was a high wall all round it, and no 
one ventmred into it, for it belonged to a witch of great might, and 
of whom all the world was afraid. One day when the vnfe was 
standing at the window, and looking into the garden, she saw a bed 
fiUed with the finest rampion; and it looked so fresh and green that 
she began to wish for some; and at length she longed for it greatly. 
This went on for days, and as she knew she could not get the ram- 
pion, she pined away, and grew pale and miserable. 

Then the man was uneasy, and asked, "What is the matter, dear 
wife?" "Oh," answered she, "I shall die unless I can have some of 
that rampion to eat that grows in the garden at the back of our 
house." The man, who loved her very much, thought to himself, 
"Rather than lose my wife I will get some rampion, cost what it 

So in the twilight he climbed over the wall into the witch's gar- 
den, plucked hastily a handful of rampion and brought it to his 
wife. She made a salad of it at once, and ate of it to her heart's con- 
tent. But she liked it so much, and it tasted so good, that the next 
day she longed for it thrice as much as she had done before; if she 
was to have any rest the man must climb over the wall once more. 

94 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

So he went in the twilight again; and as he was climbing back, he 
saw, all at once, the witch standing before him, and was terribly 
frightened, as she cried, with angry eyes, "How dare you climb 
over into my garden like a thief, and steal my rampionl It shall be 
the worse for youl" 

"Oh," answered he, "be merciful rather than just; I have only 
done it through necessity; for my wife saw your rampion out of the 
window, and became possessed with so great a longing that she 
would have died if she coidd not have had some to eat." 

Then the witch said, "If it is all as you say, you may have as 
much rampion as you like, on one condition— the child that will 
come into the world must be given to me. It shall go well with the 
child, and I will care for it like a mother." 

In his distress of mind the man promised everything; and when 
the time came when the child was bom the witch appeared, and, 
giving the child the name of Rapunzel (which is the same as ram- 
pion), she took it away with her. 

Rapunzel was the most beautiful child in the world. When she 
was twelve years old the witch shut her up in a tower in the midst 
of a wood, and it had neither steps nor door, only a small v/indow 
above. When the witch wished to be let in, she would stand below 
and would cry, "Rapimzel, Rapunzell Let down your hair!" 

Rapunzel had beautiful long hair that shone like gold. When she 
heard the voice of the v^dtch she would undo the fastening of the 
upper window, unbind the plaits of her hair, and let it down 
twenty ells below, and the witch would chmb up by it. 

After they had lived thus a few years it happened that as the 
King's son was riding through the wood, he came to the tower; and 
as he drew near he heard a voice singing so sweetly that he stood 
still and listened. It was Rapimzel in her loneliness trying to pass 
away the time with sweet songs. The King's son wished to go in to 
her, and sought to find a door in the tower, but there was none. So 
he rode home, but the song had entered into his heart, and every 
day he went into the wood and Hstened to it. 

Once, as he was standing there under a tree, he saw the witch 
come up, and listened while she called out, "Oh Rapunzel, Rapun- 
zell Let down your hair." 

Then he saw how Rapunzel let down her long tresses, and how 
the witch climbed up by them and went in to her, and he said to 
himself, "Since that is the ladder, I will climb it, and seek my for- 
tune." And the next day, as soon as it began to grow dusk, he went 
to the tower and cried, "Oh Rapimzel, Rapunzell Let down your 

Rapunzel 95 

hair." And she let down her hair, and the King's son climbed up by 

Rapunzel was greatly terrified when she saw that a man had 
come in to her, for she had never seen one before; but the King's 
son began speaking so kindly to her, and told how her singing had 
entered into his heart, so that he could have no peace imtil he had 
seen her herself. Then Rapunzel forgot her terror, and when he 
asked her to take him for her husband, and she saw that he was 
young and beautiful, she thought to herself, "I certainly hke him 
much better than old mother Gothel," and she put her hand into his 
hand, saying, "I would willingly go with you, but I do not know 
how I shall get out. When you come, bring each time a silken rope, 
and I will make a ladder, and when it is quite ready I will get 
down by it out of the tower, and you shall take me away on your 

They agreed that he should come to her every evening, as the old 
woman came in the day-time. So the witch knew nothing of all this 
until once Rapunzel said to her unwittingly, "Mother Gothel, how 
is it that you climb up here so slowly, and the Bang's son is with me 
in a moment?" 

"O wicked child," cried the witch, "what is this I hearl I thought 
I had hidden you from all the world, and you have betrayed mel" 

In her anger she seized Rapunzel by her beautiful hair, struck 
her several times with her left hand, and then grasping a pair of 
shears in her right— snip, snap— the beautiful locks lay on the 
ground. And she was so hard-hearted that she took Rapunzel and 
put her in a waste and desert place, where she lived in great woe 
and misery. 

The same day on which she took Rapunzel away she went back 
to the tower in the evening and made fast the severed locks of hair 
to the window-hasp, and the King's son came and cried, "Rapimzel, 
Rapunzell Let down your hair." 

Then she let the hair down, and the King's son climbed up, but 
instead of his dearest Rapunzel he foimd the witch looking at him 
with wicked, glittering eyes. 

"Aha!" cried she, mocking him, "you came for your darling, but 
the sweet bird sits no longer in the nest, and sings no more; the cat 
has got her, and will scratch out your eyes as well! Rapunzel is lost 
to you; you will see her no more." 

The King's son was beside himself with grief, and in his agony he 
sprang from the tower; he escaped with life, but the thorns on 

96 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

which he fell put out his eyes. Then he wandered blind through the 
wood, eating nothing but roots and berries, and doing nothing but 
lament and weep for the loss of his dearest wife. 

So he wandered several years in misery untQ at last he came to 
the desert place where Rapunzel lived with her twin-children that 
she had borne, a boy and a girl. At first he heard a voice that he 
thought he knew, and when he reached the place from which it 
seemed to come Rapunzel knew him, and fell on his neck and 
wept. And when her tears touched his eyes they became clear again, 
and he could see with them as well as ever. 

Then he took her to his kingdom, where he was received with 
great joy, and there they lived long and happily. 

The Sleeping Beauty 

In times past there Hved a King and Queen, who said to each 
other every day of their lives, "Would that we had a child!" and 
yet they had none. But it happened once that when the Queen was 
bathing, there came a frog out of the water, and he squatted on the 
ground, and said to her, "Thy wish shall be fulfilled; before a year 
has gone by, thou shalt bring a daughter into the world." 

And as the frog foretold, so it happened; and the Queen bore a 
daughter so beautiful that the King could not contain himself for 
joy, and he ordained a great feast. Not only did he bid to it his rela- 
tions, friends, and acquaintances, but also the wise women, tbat 
they might be kind and favorable to the child. There were thirteen 
of them in his kingdom, but as he had only provided twelve golden 
plates for them to eat from, one of them had to be left out 

However, the feast was celebrated with all splendor; and as it 
drew to an end, the wise women stood forward to present to the 
child their wonderful gifts: one bestowed virtue, one beauty, a 
third riches, and so on, whatever there is in the world to wish for. 
And when eleven of them had said their say, in came the uninvited 
thirteenth, burning to revenge herself, and without greeting or re- 
spect, she cried with a loud voice, "In the fifteenth year of her age 
the Princess shall prick herself with a spindle and shall fall down 
dead." And without speaking one more word she turned away and 
left the hall. 

The Sleeping Beauty 97 

Every one was terrified at her saying, when the twelfth came for- 
ward, for she had not yet bestowed her gift, and though she could 
not do away with the evil prophecy, yet she could soften it, so she 
said, *The Princess shall not die, but fall into a deep sleep for a 
hundred years." 

Now the King, being desirous of saving his child even from this 
misfortune, gave commandment that all the spindles in his kingdom 
should be burnt up. 

The maiden grew up, adorned with all the gifts of the wise 
women; and she was so lovely, modest, sweet, and kind and clever, 
that no one who saw her could help loving her. 

It happened one day, she being already fifteen years old, that the 
King and Queen rode abroad; and the maiden was left behind 
alone in the castle. She wandered about into all the nooks and 
comers, and into all the chambers and parlors, as the fancy took 
her, till at last she came to an old tower. She climbed the narrow 
winding stair which led to a little door, with a rusty key sticking 
out of the lock; she turned the key, and the door opened, and there 
in the little room sat an old woman with a spindle, diligently spin- 
ning her flax. 

"Good day, mother," said the Princess, "what are you doing?" "I 
am spinning," answered the old woman, nodding her head. "What 
thing is that that twists round so briskly?" asked the maiden, and 
taking the spindle into her hand she began to spin; but no sooner 
had she touched it than the evil prophecy was fulfilled, and she 
pricked her finger with it. In that very moment she fell back upon 
the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep, and this sleep fell 
upon the whole castle. The King and Queen, who had returned and 
were in the great hall, fell fast asleep, and with them the whole 
court. The horses in their stalls, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons on 
the roof, the flies on the wall, the very fire that flickered on the 
hearth, became still, and slept like the rest; and the meat on the 
spit ceased roasting, and the cook, who was going to puU the scul- 
Hon's hair for some mistake he had made, let him go, and went to 
sleep. And the wind ceased, and not a leaf fell from the trees about 
the castle. 

Then round about that place there grew a hedge of thorns 
thicker every year, until at last the whole castle was hidden from 
view, and nothing of it could be seen but the vane on the roof. And 
a rumor went abroad in aU that country of the beautiful sleeping 
Rosamond, for so was the Princess called; and from time to time 
many Kings* sons came and tried to force their way through the 

gS Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

hedge; but it was impossible for them to do so, for the thorns held 
fast together like strong hands, and the young men were caught by 
them, and not being able to get free, there died a lamentable death. 

Many a long year afterwards there came a King's son into that 
country, and heard an old man tell how there should be a castle 
standing behind the hedge of thorns, and that there a beautiful 
enchanted Princess named Rosamond had slept for a hundred 
years, and with her the King and Queen, and the whole court. The 
old man had been told by his grandfather that many Kings' sons 
had sought to pass the thorn-hedge, but had been caught and 
pierced by the thorns, and had died a miserable death. Then said 
the young man, "Nevertheless, I do not fear to try; I shall win 
through and see the lovely Rosamond." The good old msm tried to 
dissuade him, but he would not listen to his words. 

For now the hundred years were at an end, and the day had 
come when Rosamond should be awakened. When the Prince drew 
near the hedge of thorns, it was changed into a hedge of beautiful 
large flowers, which parted and bent aside to let him pass, and then 
closed behind him in a thick hedge. When he reached the castle- 
yard, he saw the horses and brindled hunting-dogs lying asleep, 
and on the roof the pigeons were sitting with their heads under 
their wings. And when he came indoors, the flies on the wall were 
asleep, the cook in the Idtchen had his hand upHfted to strike the 
scuUion, and the kitchenmaid had the black fowl on her lap ready 
to pluck. Then he mounted higher, and saw in the hall the whole 
court lying asleep, and above them, on their thrones, slept the King 
and the Queen. And still he went farther, and all was so quiet that 
he could hear his own breathing; and at last he came to the tower, 
and went up the winding stair, and opened the door of the little 
room where Rosamond lay. 

And when he saw her looking so lovely in her sleep, he could not 
turn away his eyes; and presently he stooped and Idssed her, and 
she awaked, and opened her eyes, and looked very kindly on him. 
And she rose, and they went forth together, the King and the 
Queen and whole court waked up, and gazed on each other with 
great eyes of wonderment. And the horses in the yard got up and 
shook themselves, the hounds sprang up and wagged their tails, the 
pigeons on the roof drew their heads from under their wings, 
looked round, and flew into the field, the flies on the wall crept on a 
Httle farther, the kitchen fire leapt up and blazed, and cooked the 
meat, the joint on the spit began to roast, the cook gave the scullion 

Old Binhrank 99 

such a box on the ear that he roared out, and the maid went on 
plucking the fowl. 

Then the wedding of the Prince and Rosamond was held with all 
splendor, and they lived very happily together untQ their lives' end. 

Old Rinkrank 

Thebe was once upon a time a King who had a daughter, and he 
caused a glass-mountain to be made, and said that whosoever could 
cross to the other side of it without falling should have his daughter 
to wife. Then there was one who loved the King's daughter, and he 
asked the King if he might have her. Tes,** said the King; "if you 
can cross the mountain without falling, you shall have her." And 
the Princess said she would go over it with him, and would hold 
him if he were about to fall. 

So they set out together to go over it, and when they were half- 
way up the Princess sHpped and fell, and the glass-mountain 
opened and shut her up inside it, and her betrothed could not see 
where she had gone, for the mountain closed unmediately. Then he 
wept and lamented much, and the King was miserable too, and had 
the mountain broken open where she had been lost, and thought he 
would be able to get her out again, but they could not find the 
place into which she had fallen. 

Meantime the King's daughter had fallen quite deep down into 
the earth into a great cave. An old fellow with a very long gray 
beard came to meet her, and told her that if she would be his ser- 
vant and do everything he bade her, she might live; if not, he 
would kill her. So she did all he bade her. In the mornings he took 
his ladder out of his pocket, and set it up against the moimtain and 
climbed to the top by its help, and then he drew up the ladder 
after him. The Princess had to cook his dinner, make his bed, and 
do all his work, and when he came home again he always brought 
with him a heap of gold and silver. When she had lived with him 
for many years, and had grown quite old, he called her Mother 
Mansrot, and she had to call him Old Rinkrank. Then once when 
he was out, and she had made his bed and washed his dishes, she 
shut the doors and windows aU fast, and there was one little window 
through which the light shone in, and this she left open. 

lOO Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

When Old Rinkrank came home, he knocked at his door, and 
cried, "Mother Mansrot, open the door for me." 'TSfo," said she, 
"Old Rinkrank, I will not open the door for you." Then he said, 

"Here stand I, poor Rinkrank, 
On my seventeen long shanks. 
On my weary, worn-out foot, 
Wash my dishes. Mother Mansrot." 

"l have washed your dishes already," said she. Then again he 

"Here stand I, poor Rinkrank, 
On my seventeen long shanks. 
On my weary, worn-out foot, 
Make me my bed. Mother Mansrot." 

*1 have made your bed already," said she. Then again he said, 

"Here stand I, poor Rinkrank, 
On my seventeen long shanks. 
On my weary, worn-out foot. 
Open the door. Mother Mansrot." 

Then he ran all round his house, and saw that the little window 
was open, and thought, "I will look in and see what she can be 
about, and why she will not open the door for me." He tried to 
peep in, but could not get his head through because of his long 
beard. So he first put his beard through the open window, but just 
as he had got it through. Mother Mansrot came by and pulled the 
window down with a cord which she had tied to it, and his beard 
was shut fast in it. Then he began to cry most piteously, for it hurt 
him very much, and to entreat her to release him again. But she 
said not untQ he gave her the ladder with which he ascended the 
mountain. Then, whether he woiild or not, he had to tell her 
where the ladder was. And she fastened a very long ribbon to the 
window, and then she set up the ladder, and ascended the moun- 
tain, and when she was at the top of it she opened the window. 

She went to her father, and told him all that had happened to 
her. The King rejoiced greatly, and her betrothed was still there, 
and they went and dug up the mountain, and found Old Rinkrank 
inside it with all his gold and silver. Then the King had Old 
Rinkrank put to death, and took all his gold and silver. The Piin- 
cess married her betrothed, and lived right happily in great luxury 
and joy. 

Hansel and Gretel 

Near a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter and his wife and 
his two children; the boy's name was Hansel and the girl's Gretel. 
They had very little to bite or to sup, and once, when there was 
^eat dearth in the land, the man could not even gain the daily 

As he lay in bed one night thinking of this, and tmiiing and toss- 
ing, he sighed heavily, and said to his wife, *What will become of 
us? We cannot even feed our children; there is nothing left for our- 

"I will tell you what, husband," answered the wife; "we will take 
the children early in the morning into the forest, where it is 
thickest; we will make them a fire, and we will give each of them a 
piece of bread, then we will go to our work and leave them alone; 
they will never find the way home again, and we shall be quit of 

"No, wife," said the man, "1 cannot do that; I cannot find in my 
heart to take my children into the forest and to leave them there 
alone; the wild animals would soon come and devour them." 

"O you fool," said she, "then we will aU foin: starve; you had bet- 
ter get the cofifins ready"— and she left him no peace until he con- 

"But I really pity the poor children," said the man. 

The two children had not been able to sleep for hunger, and had 
heard what their step-mother had said to their father. Gretel wept 
bitterly, and said to Hansel, "It is all over with us." "Do be quiet, 
Gretel," said Hansel, "and do not fret. I will manage something." 

And when the parents had gone to sleep he got up, put on his lit- 
tle coat, opened the back door, and slipped out. The moon was 
shining brightly, and the white flints that lay in front of the house 
glistened like pieces of silver. Hansel stooped and filled the little 
pocket of his coat as full as it would hold. Then he went back 
again, and said to Gretel, "Be easy, dear little sister, and go to sleep 
quietly; God wiU not forsake us," and laid himself down again in 
his bed. 

When the day was breaking, and before the sim had risen, the 

102 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

wife came and awakened the two children, saying, "Get up, you 
lazy bones; we are going into the forest to cut wood." 

Then she gave each of them a piece of bread, and said, "That is 
for dinner, and you must not eat it before then, for you will get no 

Gretel carried the bread under her apron, for Hansel had his 
pockets full of the flints. Then they set off all together on their way 
to the forest. When they had gone a little way Hansel stood still 
and looked back towards the house, and this he did again and 
again, till his father said to him, "Hansel, what are you looking at? 
Take care not to forget your legs." 

"O father," said Hansel, "I am looking at my Httle white kitten, 
who is sitting up on the roof to bid me good-bye." 

"You young fool," said the woman, "that is not your Idtten, but 
the sunshine on the chimney pot." 

Of course Hansel had not been looking at his kitten, but had 
been taking every now and then a flint from his pocket and drop- 
ping it on the road. 

When they reached the middle of the forest the father told the 
children to collect wood to make a fire to keep them warm; and 
Hansel and Gretel gathered brushwood enough for a little moun- 
tain; and it was set on fire, and when the flame was burning quite 
high the v^e said, "Now He dowm by the fire and rest yourselves, 
you children, and we vwU go and cut wood; and when we are ready 
we will come and fetch you." 

So Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire, and at noon they each ate 
their pieces of bread. They thought their father was in the wood all 
the time, as they seemed to hear the strokes of the axe, but really it 
was only a dry branch hanging to a withered tree that the wind 
moved to and fro. So when they had stayed there a long time their 
eyelids closed v^dth weariness, and they fell fast asleep. 

When at last they woke it was night, and Gretel began to cry, 
and said, "How shall we ever get out of this wood?" But Hansel 
comforted her, saying, "Wait a little while longer, imtil the moon 
rises, and then we can easily find the way home." 

And when the full moon got up Hansel took his little sister by the 
hand, and followed the way where the flint stones shone like silver, 
and showed them the road. They walked on the whole night 
through, and at the break of day they came to their father s house. 
They knocked at the door, and when the wife opened it and saw it 
was Hansel and Gretel she said, "You naughty children, why did 
you sleep so long in the wood? We thought you were never coming 

Hansel and Gretel 103 

home againr But the father was glad, for it had gone to his heart to 
leave them both in the woods alone. 

Not very long after that there was again great scarcity in those 
parts, and the children heard their mother say at night in bed to 
their father, "Everything is finished up; we have only half a loaf, 
and after that the tale comes to an end. The children must be oflF; 
we will take them farther into the wood this time, so that they shall 
not be able to find the way back again; there is no other way to 

The man felt sad at heart, and he thought, *Tt would be better to 
share one's last morsel with one's children." But the wife would lis- 
ten to nothing that he said, but scolded and reproached him. He 
who says A must say B too, and when a man has given in once he 
has to do it a second time. 

But the children were not asleep, and had heard all the talk. 
When the parents had gone to sleep Hansel got up to go out and 
get more flint stones, as he did before, but the wife had locked the 
door, and Hansel could not get out; but he comforted his little 
sister, and said, "Don't cry, Gretel, and go to sleep quietly, and 
God wiU help us." 

Early the next morning the wife came and pulled the children 
out of bed. She gave them each a little piece of bread— less than be- 
fore; and on the way to the wood Hansel crumbled the bread in his 
pocket, and often stopped to throw a crumb on the ground. 

"Hansel, what are you stopping behind and staring for?" said the 

*1 am looking at my little pigeon sitting on the roof, to say good- 
bye to me," answered Hansel. 

"You fool," said the wife, "that is no pigeon, but the morning srm 
shining on the chimney pots." 

Hansel went on as before, and strewed bread crumbs all along 
the road. 

The woman led the children far into the wood, where they had 
never been before in aU their lives. And agtiin there was a large fire 
made, and the mother said, "Sit still there, you children, and when 
you are tired you can go to sleep; we are going into the forest to 
cut wood, and in the evening, when we are ready to go home we 
will come and fetch you." 

So when noon came Gretel shared her bread with Hansel, who 
had strewed his along the road. Then they went to sleep, and the 
evening passed, and no one came for the poor children. When they 
awoke it was dark night, and Hansel comforted his Httle sister, and 

104 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

said, "Wait a little, Gretel, until the moon gets up, then we shall be 
able to see the way home by the crumbs of bread that I have scat- 
tered along it." 

So when the moon rose they got up, but they could jBnd no 
crumbs of bread, for the birds of the woods and of the fields had 
come and picked them up. Hansel thought they might find the way 
all the same, but they could not. They went on all that night, and 
the next day from the morning until the evening, but they could not 
find the way out of the wood, and they were very hungry, for they 
had nothing to eat but the few berries they could pick up. And 
when they were so tired that they could no longer drag themselves 
along, they lay down under a tree and fell asleep. 

It was now the third morning since they had left their father s 
house. They were always trying to get back to it, but instead of that 
they only found themselves farther in the wood, and if help had not 
soon come they would have starved. About noon they saw a pretty 
snow-white bird sitting on a bough, and singing so sweetly that 
they stopped to listen. And when he had finished the bird spread 
his wings and flew before them, and they followed after him until 
they came to a little house, and the bird perched on the roof, and 
when they came nearer they saw that the house was built of bread, 
and roofed with cakes, and the window was of transparent sugar. 

"We will have some of this," said Hansel, "and make a fine meal. 
I will eat a piece of the roof, Gretel, and you can have some of the 
window— that will taste sweet." 

So Hansel reached up and broke off a bit of the roof, just to see 
how it tasted, and Gretel stood by the window and gnawed at it. 
Then they heard a thin voice call out from inside, 

"Nibble, nibble, like a mouse, 
Who is nibbling at my house?" 

And the children answered, 

"Never mind. 
It is the wind" 

And they went on eating, never disturbing themselves. Hansel, who 
found that the roof tasted very nice, took down a great piece of it, 
and Gretel pulled out a large round window-pane, and sat her down 
and began upon it. Then the door opened, and an aged woman 
came out, leaning upon a crutch. Hansel and Gretel felt very fright- 
ened, and let fall what they had in dieir hands. The old woman, 
however, nodded her head, and said, "Ah, my dear children, how 

Hansel and Gretel 105 

come you here? You must come indoors and stay with me, you will 
be no trouble." 

So she took them each by the hand, and led them into her little 
house. And there they found a good meal laid out, of milk and 
pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts. After that she showed them 
two little white beds, and Hansel and Gretel laid themselves down 
on them, and thought they were in heaven. 

The old woman, although her behavior was so kind, was a 
wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had built the little 
house on purpose to entice them. When they were once inside she 
used to kill them, cook them, and eat them, and then it was a feast- 
day with her. The witch's eyes were red, and she could not see very 
far, but she had a keen scent, hke the beasts, and knew very well 
when human creatures were near. When she knew that Hansel and 
Gretel were coming, she gave a spiteful laugh, and said triimi- 
phantly, "I have them, and they shall not escape mel" 

Early in the morning, before the children were awake, she got up 
to look at them, and as they lay sleeping so peacefully with round 
rosy cheeks, she said to herself, "What a fine feast I shall havel" 

Then she grasped Hansel with her withered hand, and led him 
into a little stable, and shut him up behind a grating; and call and 
scream as he might, it was no good. Then she went back to Gretel 
and shook her, crying, "Get up, lazy bones; fetch water, and cook 
something nice for your brother; he is outside in the stable, and 
must be fattened up. And when he is fat enough I will eat him." 

Gretel began to weep bitterly, but it was no use, she had to do 
what the wicked witch bade her. 

And so the best Idnd of victuals was cooked for poor Hansel, 
while Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Each morning the old 
woman visited the little stable, and cried, "Hansel, stretch out yoiu: 
finger, that I may tell if you will soon be fat enough." 

Hansel, however, used to hold out a Httle bone, and the old 
woman, who had weak eyes, could not see what it was, and suppos- 
ing it to be Hansel's finger, wondered very much that it was not 
getting fatter. When four weeks had passed and Hansel seemed to 
remain so thin, she lost patience and could wait no longer. 

"Now then, Gretel," cried she to the little girl; "be quick and 
draw water; be Hansel fat or be he lean, tomorrow I must kill and 
cook him." 

Oh what a grief for the poor little sister to have to fetch water, 
and how the tears flowed down over her cheeks 1 "Dear God, pray 

io6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

help us!" cried she; "if we had been devoured by wild beasts in the 
wood at least we should have died together." 

"Spare me your lamentations," said the old woman; "they are of 
no avail." 

Early next morning Gretel had to get up, make the fire, and fill 
the kettle. "First we will do the baking," said the old woman; "I 
have heated the oven aheady, and kneaded the dough." 

She pushed poor Gretel towards the oven, out of which the 
flames were already shining. "Creep in," said the witch, "and see if 
it is properly hot, so that the bread may be baked." 

And Gretel once in, she meant to shut the door upon her and let 
her be baked, and then she would have eaten her. But Gretel per- 
ceived her intention, and said, "1 don't know how to do it; how 
shall I get in?" 

"Stupid goose," said the old woman, "the opening is big enough, 
do you see? I could get in myself!" and she stooped down and put 
her head in the oven's mouth. Then Gretel gave her a push, so that 
she went in farther, and she shut the iron door upon her, and put 
up the bar. Oh how frightfully she howled! But Gretel ran away, 
and left the wicked witch to bum miserably. Gretel went straight to 
Hansel, opened the stable-door, and cried, "Hansel, we are free! 
the old witch is dead!" 

Then out flew Hansel like a bird from its cage as soon as the door 
is opened. How rejoiced they both were! How they fell each on the 
other's neck and danced about, and kissed each other! And as they 
had nothing more to fear they went over all the old witch's house, 
and in every comer there stood chests of pearls and precious stones. 

"This is something better than flint stones," said Hansel, as he 
filled his pockets; and Gretel, thinking she also would like to carry 
something home with her, filled her apron full. 

"Now, away we go," said Hansel— "if we only can get out of the 
witch's wood." 

When they had joiuneyed a few hours they came to a great piece 
of water. "We can never get across this," said Hansel, "I see no 
stepping-stones and no bridge." "And there is no boat either," said 
Gretel; "but here comes a white duck; if I ask her she will help us 
over." So she cried, 

"Duck, duck, here we stand. 
Hansel and Gretel, on the land. 
Stepping-stones and bridge we lack. 
Carry us over on your nice white back" 

The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean 107 

And the duck came accordingly, and Hansel got upon her and 
told his sister to come too. "No," answered Gretel, "that would be 
too hard upon the duck; we can go separately, one after the other." 

And that was how it was managed, and after that they went on 
happily, until they came to the wood, and the way grew more and 
more familiar, till at last they saw in the distance their father's 
house. Then they ran till they came up to it, rushed in at the door, 
and fell on their father's neck. The man had not had a quiet hour 
since he left his children in the wood; but the wife was dead. And 
when Gretel opened her apron the pearls and precious stones were 
scattered all over the room, and Hansel took one handful after an- 
other out of his pocket. Then was all care at an end, and they lived 
in great joy together. 

Sing every one. 

My story is done. 

And look! round the house 

There runs a little mouse. 

He that can catch her before she scampers in 

May make himself a fur-cap out of her skin. 

The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean 

There lived in a certain village a poor old woman who had col- 
lected a mess of beans, and was going to cook them. So she made a 
fire on her hearth, and, in order to make it bmm better, she put in a 
handful of straw. When the beans began to bubble in the pot, one of 
them fell out and lay, never noticed, near a straw which was already 
there; soon a red-hot coal jumped out of the fire and joined the 

The straw began first, and said, "Dear friends, how do you come 
here?" The coal answered, "I jumped out of the fire by great good 
luck, or I should certainly have met with my death. I should have 
been burned to ashes." The bean said, "I too have come out of it 
with a whole skin, but if the old woman had kept me in the pot I 
should have been cooked into a soft mass like my comrades." 

"Nor should I have met with a better fate," said the straw; "the 
old woman has turned my brothers into fire and smoke, sixty of 

io8 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

them she took up at once and deprived of life. Very luckily I man- 
aged to slip through her fingers." 

*What had we better do now?" said the coal. "1 think," answered 
the bean, "that as we have been so lucky as to escape with our 
Hves, we will join in good fellowship together, and, lest any more 
bad fortune should happen to us here, we vnll go abroad into for- 
eign lands." 

The proposal pleased the two others, and forthwith they started 
on their travels. Soon they came to a little brook, and as there was 
no stepping-stone, and no bridge, they could not tell how they were 
to get to the other side. The straw was struck with a good idea, and 
said, "I will lay myself across, so that you can go over me as if I 
were a bridgel" 

So the straw stretched himself from one bank to the other, and 
the coal, who was of an ardent nature, quickly trotted up to go over 
the new-made bridge. When, however, she reached the middle, and 
heard the water rushing past beneath her, she was struck with ter- 
ror, and stopped, and could get no farther. So the straw began to 
get burnt, broke in two pieces, and fell in the brook; and the coal 
slipped down, hissing as she touched the water, and gave up the 

The bean, who had prudently remained behind on the bank, 
could not help laughing at the sight, and not being able to contain 
herself, went on laughing so excessively that she burst. And now 
would she certainly have been undone for ever, i£ a tailor on his 
travels had not by good luck stopped to rest himself by the brook. 
As he had a compassionate heart, he took out needle and thread 
and stitched her together again. The bean thanked him in the most 
elegant manner, but as he had sewn her up with black stitches, all 
beans since then have a black seam. 

The Death of the Hen 

Once on a time the cock and the hen went to the nut mountain, 
and they agreed beforehand that whichever of them should find a 
nut was to divide it with the other. Now the hen found a great big 
nut, but said nothing about it, and was going to eat it all alone, but 
the kernel was such a fat one that she could not swallow it down, 

The Death of the Hen 109 

and it stuck in her throat, so that she was afraid she should choke. 

"Cock!" cried she, "run as fast as you can and fetch me some 
water, or I shall choke!" 

So the cock ran as fast as he could to the brook, and said, "Brook, 
give me some water, the hen is up yonder choking with a big nut 
stuck in her throat." But the brook answered, 'Tirst run to the 
bride and ask her for some red silk." 

So the cock ran to the bride and said, "Bride, give me some red 
silk; the brook wants me to give him some red silk; I want him to 
give me some water, for the hen lies yonder choking with a big nut 
stuck in her throat." 

But the bride answered, "First go and fetch me my garland that 
hangs on a wlUow." And the cock ran to the willow and puUed the 
garland from the bough and brought it to the bride, and the bride 
gave him red silk, and he brought it to the brook, and the brook 
gave him water. So then the cock brought the water to the hen, but 
alas, it was too late; the hen had choked in the meanwhile, and lay 
there dead. And the cock was so grieved that he cried aloud, and 
aU the beasts came and lamented for the hen; and six mice built a 
little wagon on which to carry the poor hen to her grave, and when 
it was ready they harnessed themselves to it, and the cock drove. 

On the way they met the fox. "Halloa, cock," cried he, "where 
are you oflF to?" "To bury my hen," answered the cock. "Can I 
come too?" said the fox. "Yes, if you follow behind," said the cock. 

So the fox followed behind and he was soon joined by the wolf, 
the bear, the stag, the lion, and all the beasts in the wood. And the 
procession went on till they came to a brook. 

"How shall we get over?" said the cock. Now in the brook there 
was a straw, and he said, "I will lay myself across, so that you may 
pass over on me." But when the six mice had got upon this bridge, 
the straw slipped and fell into the water and they all tumbled in and 
were drowned. So they were as badly off as ever, when a coal came 
up and said he would lay himself across and they might pass over 
him; but no sooner had he touched the water than he hissed, went 
out, and was dead. A stone, seeing this, was touched with pity, and, 
wishing to help the cock, he laid himself across the stream. And the 
cock drew the wagon with the dead hen in it safely to the other 
side, and then began to draw the others who followed behind 
across too, but it was too much for him, the wagon turned over, and 
all tumbled into the water one on the top of another, and were 

So the cock was left all alone with the dead hen, and he dug a 

no Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

grave and laid her in it, and he raised a mound above her, and sat 
himself down and lamented so sore that at last he died. And so they 
were all dead together. 

The Rabbit's Bride 

There was once a woman who lived with her daughter in a beauti- 
ful cabbage-garden; and there came a rabbit and ate up all the cab- 
bages. At last said the woman to her daughter, "Go into the gar- 
den, and drive out the rabbit." 

"Shoo! shoo!" said the maiden; "don't eat up all our cabbages, 
little rabbit!" "Come, maiden," said the rabbit, "sit on my tail and 
go with me to my rabbit-hutch." But the maiden would not. 

Another day, back came the rabbit, and ate away at the cab- 
bages, until the woman said to her daughter, "Go into the garden, 
and drive away the rabbit." 

"Shoo! shoo!" said the maiden; "don't eat up all our cabbages, 
little rabbit!" "Come, maiden," said the rabbit, "sit on my tail and 
go with me to my rabbit-hutch." But the maiden would not. 

Again, a third time back came the rabbit, and ate away at the 
cabbages, until the woman said to her daughter, "Go into the gar- 
den, and drive away the rabbit." 

"Shoo! shoo!" said the maiden; "don't eat up all our cabbages, 
little rabbit!" "Come, maiden," said the rabbit, "sit on my tail and 
go with me to my rabbit-hutch." And then the girl seated herself on 
the rabbit's tail, and the rabbit took her to his hutch. 

"Now," said he, "set to work and cook some bran and cabbage; I 
am going to bid the wedding guests." And soon they were all col- 
lected. Would you like to know who they were? Well, I can only 
tell you what was told to me. All the hares came, and the crow 
who was to be the parson to marry them, and the fox for the clerk, 
and the altar was under the rainbow. But the maiden was sad, be- 
cause she was so lonely. 

"Get up! get up!" said the rabbit, "the wedding folk are all 
merry." But the bride wept and said nothing, and the rabbit went 
away, but very soon came back again. "Get up! get up!" said he, 
"the weddinc folk are waiting." But the bride said nothing, and the 
rabbit went away. 

The Hare and the Hedgehog iii 

Then she made a figure of straw, and dressed it in her own 
clothes, and gave it a red mouth, and set it to watch the kettle of 
bran, and then she went home to her mother. Back again came the 
rabbit, saying, "Get upl get upl" and he went up and hit the straw 
figmre on the head, so that it tumbled down. 

And the rabbit thought that he had killed his bride, and he went 
away and was very sad. 

The Hare and the Hedgehog 

This story, my dear young folks, seems to be false, but it really is 
true, for my grandfather, when relating it always used to say, "It 
must be true, my son, or else no one could tell it to you." The story 
is as follows. 

One Sunday morning about harvest time, just as the buckwheat 
was in bloom, the sim was shining brightly in heaven, the east wind 
was blowing warmly over the stubble-fields, the larks were singing 
in the air, the bees buzzing among the buckwheat, the people were 
all going in their Sunday clothes to chvuch, and all creatures were 
happy, and the hedgehog was happy too. 

The hedgehog, however, was standing by his door with his arms 
akimbo, enjoying the morning breezes, and slowly trilling a little 
song to himself, which was neither better nor worse than the songs 
which hedgehogs are in the habit of singing on a blessed Sunday 
morning. While he was thus singing half aloud to himself, it sud- 
denly occurred to him that while his wife was washing and drying 
the children, he might very well take a walk into the field, and see 
how his turnips were going on. The turnips were, in fact, close be- 
side his house, and he and his family were accustomed to eat them, 
for which reason he looked upon them as his own. No sooner said 
than done. The hedgehog shut the house-door behind him, and 
took the path to the field. He had not gone very far from home, and 
was just turning round the sloe-bush which stands there outside the 
field, to go up into the turnip-field, when he observed the hare, who 
had gone out on business of the same kind, namely, to visit his 

When the hedgehog caught sight of the hare, he bade him a 
friendly good morning. But the hare, who was in his own way a dis- 

112 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

tingmshed gentleman, and frightfully haughty, did not return the 
hedgehog's greeting, but said to him, assimiing at the same time a 
very contemptuous manner, "How do you happen to be running 
about here in the field so early in the morning?" "1 am taking a 
walk," said the hedgehog. "A walk!" said the hare, with a smile. "It 
seems to me that you might use your legs for a better purpose." 
This answer made the hedgehog furiously angry, for he can bear 
anything but an attack on his legs, just because they are crooked by 

So now the hedgehog said to the hare, "You seem to imagine 
that you can do more with your legs than I with mine." "That is 
just what I do think," said the hare. "That can be put to the test," 
said the hedgehog. "I wager that if we run a race, I will outstrip 
you." "That is ridiculousi You with your short legs!" said the hare. 
"But for my part I am willing, if you have such a monstrous fancy 
for it. What shall we wager?" "A golden louis-d'or and a bottle of 
brandy," said the hedgehog. "Done," said the hare. "Shalce hands 
on it, and then it may as well come off at once." "Nay," said the 
hedgehog, "there is no such great hurryl I am still fasting, I will go 
home first, and have a little breakfast. In half an hour I will be 
back again at this place." 

Hereupon the hedgehog departed, for the hare was quite 
satisfied with this. On his way the hedgehog thought to himself, 
"The hare relies on his long legs, but I will contrive to get the better 
of him. He may be a great man, but he is a very silly fellow, and he 
shall pay for what he has said." So when the hedgehog reached 
home, he said to his wife, "Wife, dress yourself quickly, you must 
go out to the field with me." "What is going on, then?" said his 
wife. "I have made a wager with the hare, for a gold loms-d'or and 
a bottle of brandy. I am to nm a race with him, and you must be 
present." "Good heavens, husband," the wife now cried, "are you 
out of your mind? Have you completely lost your wits? What can 
make you want to run a race with the hare?" "Hold your tongue, 
woman," said the hedgehog, "that is my affair. Don't begin to dis- 
cuss things which are matters for men. Be off, dress, and come with 
me." What could the hedgehog's wife do? She was forced to obey 
him, whether she liked it or not. 

So when they had set out on their way together, the hedgehog 
said to his wife, "Now pay attention to what I am going to i>ay. 
Look you, I will make the long field our race-course. The hare shall 
run in one furrow, and I in another, and we will begin to nm from 
the top. Now all that you have to do is to place yourself here below 

The Hare and the Hedgehog 113 

in the furrow, and when the hare arrives at the end of the furrow 
on the other side of you, you must cry out to him, 'I am here al- 
readyl' " 

Then they reached the field, and the hedgehog showed his wife 
her place, and then walked up the field. When he reached the top, 
the hare was aheady there. "Shall we start?" said the hare. "Cer- 
tainly," said the hedgehog. "Then both at once." So saying, each 
placed himself in his own furrow. The hare coimted, "Once, twice, 
thrice, and away!" and went off like a whirlwind down the field. 
The hedgehog, however, only ran about three paces, and then he 
stooped down in the furrow, and stayed quietly where he was. 

When the hare therefore arrived in full career at the lower end of 
the field, the hedgehog's wife met him with the cry, "I am here al- 
readyl" The hare was shocked and wondered not a Httle. He 
thought it was the hedgehog himself who was calling to him, for 
the hedgehog's wife looked just like her husband. The hare, how- 
ever, thought to himself, "That has not been done fairly," and 
cried, "It must be run again, let us have it again." Once more he 
went off like the wind in a storm, so that he seemed to fly. But the 
hedgehog's wife stayed quietly in her place. So when the hare 
reached the top of the field, the hedgehog himseff cried out to him, 
"I am here already." The hare, however, quite beside himself with 
anger, cried, "It must be run again, we must have it again." "All 
right," answered the hedgehog, "for my part we'll run as often as 
you choose." So the hare ran seventy-three times more, and the 
hedgehog always held out against him, and every time the hare 
reached either the top or the bottom, either the hedgehog or his 
wife said, "1 am here already." 

At the seventy-fourth time, however, the hare could no longer 
reach the end. In the middle of the field he fell to the ground, the 
blood streamed out of his mouth, and he lay dead on the spot. But 
the hedgehog took the louis-d'or which he had won and the bottle 
of brandy, called his wife out of the furrow, and both went home 
together in great deHght, and if they are not dead, they are living 
there still. 

This is how it happened that the hedgehog made the hare run 
races with him on the Buxtehude heath till he died, and since that 
time no hare has ever had any fancy for nmning races with a 
Buxtehude hedgehog. 

The moral of this story, however, is, firstly, that no one, however 
great he may be, should permit himseff to jest at any one beneath 
him, even ff he be only a hedgehog. And, secondly, it teaches, that 

114 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

when a man marries, he should take a wife in his own position, who 
looks just as he himself looks. So whosoever is a hedgehog let him 
see to it that his wife is a hedgehog also, and so forth. 

The Dog and the Sparrow 

There was once a sheep-dog whose master behaved ill to him and 
did not give him enough to eat, and when for hunger he could bear 
it no longer, he left his service very sadly. In the street he was met 
by a sparrow, who said, "Dog, my brother, why are you so sad?" 

And the dog answered, "I am hungry and have nothing to eat." 

Then said the sparrow, "Dear brother, come with me into the 
town; I will give you plenty." 

Then they went together into the town, and soon they came to a 
butcher's stall, and the sparrow said to the dog, "Stay here while I 
reach you down a piece of meat," and he perched on the stall, 
looked round to see that no one noticed him, and packed, pulled, 
and dragged so long at a piece that lay near the edge of the board 
that at last it slid to the ground. The dog picked it up, ran with it 
into a comer, and ate it up. Then said the sparrow, "Now come 
v^dth me to another stall, and I will get you another piece, so that 
your hunger may be satisfied." 

When the dog had devoured a second piece the sparrow asked, 
"Dog, my brother, are you satisfied now?" "Yes, as to meat, I am," 
answered he, "but I have had no bread." 

Then said the sparrow, "That also shall you have; come with 
me." And he led him to a baker's stall and pecked at a few httle 
rolls imtil they fell to the ground, and as the dog still wanted more, 
they went to another stall farther on and got more bread. 

When that was done the sparrow said, "Dog, my brother, are you 
satisfied yet?" "Yes," answered he, "and now we will walk a little 
outside the town." 

And they went together along the high road. It was warm 
weather, and when they had gone a Httle way the dog said, "1 am 
tired, and would like to go to sleep." "Well, do so," said the spar- 
row; "in the meanwhile I will sit near on a bough." 

The dog laid himself in the road and fell fast asleep, and as he 
lay there a wagoner came up with a wagon and three horses, laden 

The Dog and the Sparrow 115 

with two casks of wine. The sparrow, seeing that he was not going 
to turn aside but kept in the beaten track, just where the dog lay, 
cried out, "Wagoner, take care, or you shall suffer for iti" 

But the wagoner, muttering, "What harm can you do to me?" 
cracked his whip and drove his wagon over the dog, and he was 
crushed to death by the wheels. Then the sparrow cried, "You have 
killed the dog my brother, and it shall cost you horses and cart!" 
"OhI horses and cart!" said the wagoner, "what harm can you do 
me, I should like to know?" and drove on. 

The sparrow crept under the covering of the wagon and pecked 
at the bung-hole of one of the casks until the cork came out, and all 
the wine ran out without the wagoner noticing. After a while, look- 
ing round, he saw that something dripped from the wagon, and on 
examining the casks he found that one of them was empty, and he 
cried out, "I am a ruined man!" 

"Not ruined enough yet!" said the sparrow, and flying to one of 
the horses he perched on his head and pecked at his eyes. When 
the wagoner saw that he took out his axe to hit the sparrow, who at 
that moment flew aloft, and the wagoner, missing him, struck the 
horse on the head, so that he fell down dead. "Oh, I am a ruined 
man!" cried he. 

"Not ruined enough yet!" said the sparrow, and as the wagoner 
drove on with the two horses that were left, the sparrow crept 
again under the wagon-covering and pecked the cork out of the 
second cask, so that aU the wine leaked out. When the wagoner be- 
came aware of it, he cried out again, "Oh! I am a ruined man!" 

But the sparrow answered, "Not rmned enough yet!" and perched 
on the second horse's head and began pecking at his eyes. Back ran 
the wagoner and raised his axe to strike, but the sparrow flying aloft, 
the stroke fell on the horse, so that he was killed. "Oh! I am a ruined 
man!" cried the wagoner. 

"Not ruined enough yet!" said the sparrow, and perching on the 
third horse began pecking at his eyes. The wagoner struck out in 
his anger at the sparrow without taking aim, and missing him, he 
laid his third horse dead. "Oh! I am a ruined man!" he cried. 

"Not ruined enough yet!" answered the sparrow, flying off; "I 
will see to that at home." 

So the wagoner had to leave his wagon standing, and went home 
full of rage. "Oh!" said he to his wife, "what ill-luck I have had! 
The wine is spilt, and the horses are all three dead." 

"Oh husband!" answered she, "such a terrible bird has come to 
this house; he has brought with him all the birds of the air, and 

ii6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

there they are in the midst of our wheat, devouring it." And he 
looked and there were thousands upon thousands of birds sitting on 
the ground, having eaten up all the wheat, and the sparrow in the 
midst, and the wagoner cried, "Oh! I am a ruined man!" 

"Not ruined enough yet!" answered the sparrow. "Wagoner, it 
shall cost you your life!" and he flew away. 

Now the wagoner, having lost everything he possessed, went in- 
doors and sat down, angry and miserable, behind the stove. The 
sparrow was perched outside on the window-sill, and cried, "Wag- 
oner, it shall cost you your Ufe!" 

Then the wagoner seized his axe and threw it at the sparrow, but 
it broke the window sash in two and did not touch the sparrow, 
who now hopped inside, perched on the stove, and cried, "Wag- 
oner, it shall cost you your Ufe!" and he, mad and blind with rage, 
beat in the stove, and as the sparrow flew from one spot to another, 
hacked everything in pieces— furniture, looking-glasses, benches, 
table, and the very walls of his house— and yet did not touch the 

At last he caught and held him in his hand. 

"Now," said his v^dfe, "shall I not kill him?" "No!" cried he, 
"that were too easy a death; I wiU swallow him," and as the bird 
was fluttering in the man's mouth, it stretched out its head, saying, 
"Wagoner, it shall cost you your life!" 

Then the wagoner reached the axe to his wife saying, "Wife, 
strike me this bird dead." 

The wife struck, but missed her aim, and the blow fell on the 
wagoner's head, and he dropped down dead. 

But the sparrow flew over the hills and away. 

Old Sultan 

There was once a peasant who owned a faithful dog called Sultan, 
now grown so old that he had lost aU his teeth, and could lay hold 
of nothing. One day the man was standing at the door of his house 
with his wife, and he said, "I shall Idll old Sultan tomorrow; he is 
of no good any longer." 

His wife felt sorry for the poor dog, and answered, "He has 

Old Sultan 117 

served us for so many years, and has kept with us so faithfully; he 
deserves food and shelter in his old age." 

"Dear me, you do not seem to understand the matter," said the 
husband; "he has never a tooth, and no thief would mind him in 
the least, so I do not see why he should not be made away with. If 
he has served us well, we have given him plenty of good food." 

The poor dog, who was lying stretched out in the sun not far off, 
heard all they said, and was very sad to think that the next day 
would be his last. He bethought him of his great friend the wolf, 
and slipped out in the evening to the wood to see him, and related 
to him the fate that was awaiting him. 

"Listen to me, old fellow," said the wolf; "he of good courage, I 
will help you in your need. I have thought of a way. Early tomor- 
row morning your master is going hay-making with his wife, and 
they will take their child with them, so that no one will be left at 
home. They will be sure to lay the child in the shade behind the 
hedge while they are at work; you must He by its side, just as if you 
were watching it. Then I will come out of the wood and steal away 
the child and you must rush after me, as if to save it from me. Then 
I must let it faU, and you must bring it back again to its parents, who 
will think that you have saved it, and will be much too grateful to 
do you any harm. On the contrary, you will be received into full 
favor, and they will never let you want for anything again." 

The dog was pleased with the plan, which was carried out ac- 
cordingly. When the father saw the wolf running away with his 
child he cried out, and when old Sultan brought it back again, he 
was much pleased with him, and patted him, saying, "Not a hair of 
him shall be touched; he shaU have food and shelter as long as he 
lives." And he said to his wife, "Go home directly and make some 
good stew for old Sultan, something that does not need biting; and 
get the piUow from my bed for him to lie on." 

From that time old Sultan was made so comfortable that he had 
nothing left to wish for. 

Before long the wolf paid him a visit, to congratulate him that all 
had gone so well. "But, old fellow," said he, "you must wink at my 
making off by chance with a fat sheep of your master's; perhaps 
one will escape some fine day." "Don't reckon on that," answered 
the dog; "I cannot consent to it; I must remain true to my master." 

But the wolf, not supposing it was said in earnest, came sneaking 
in the night to carry off the sheep. But the master, who had been 
warned by the faithful Sultan of the wolfs intention, was waiting 

ii8 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

for him, and gave him a fine hiding with the threshing-flail. So the 
wolf had to make his escape, calling out to the dog, "You shall pay 
for this, you traitorl" 

The next morning the wolf sent the wild boar to call out the dog, 
and to appoint a meeting in the wood to receive satisfaction from 
him. Old Sultan could find no second but a cat with three legs, and 
as they set off together, the poor thing went limping along, holding 
her tail up in the air. The wolf and his second were already on the 
spot. When they saw their antagonists coming, and caught sight of 
the elevated tail of the cat, they thought it was a saber they were 
bringing with them. And as the poor thing came limping on three 
legs, they supposed it was lifting a big stone to throw at them. This 
frightened them very much; the wild boar crept among the leaves, 
and the wolf clambered up into a tree. And when the dog and cat 
came up, they were surprised not to see any one there. However, 
the wild boar was not perfectly hidden in the leaves, and the tips of 
his ears peeped out. And when the cat caught sight of one, she 
thought it was a mouse, and sprang upon it, seizing it with her 
teeth. Out leaped the wild boar with a dreadful cry, and ran away 
shouting, "There is the culprit in the treel" 

And the dog and the cat, looking up, caught sight of the wolf, 
who came down, quite ashamed of his timidity, and made peace 
with the dog once more. 

Mr. Korbes 

A COCK and a hen once wanted to go on a journey together. So the 
cock built a beautiful carriage with four red wheels, and he 
harnessed four little mice to it. And the cock and the hen got into 
it, and were driven off. Very soon they met a cat, who asked where 
they were going. The cock answered, 

"On Mr. Korbes a call to pay. 
And that is where we go todayr 

"Take me with you," said the cat. 

The cock answered, "Very well, only you must sit well back, and 
then you will not fall forward. 

The Vagabonds iig 

"And pray take care 
Of my red wheels there; 
And wheels he steady. 
And mice he ready 
On Mr. Korhes a call to pay. 
For that is where we go today!" 

Then there came up a mill-stone, then an egg, then a duck, then a 
pin, and lastly a needle, who all got up on the carriage, and were 
diiven along. But when they came to Mr. Korbes's house he was 
not at home. So the mice drew the carriage into the bam, the cock 
and the hen flew up and perched on a beam, the cat sat by the 
fireside, the duck settled on the water; but the egg wrapped itself 
in the towel, the pin stuck itself in the chair cushion, the needle 
jumped into the bed among the pillows, and the miU-stone laid it- 
self by the door. 

Then Mr. Korbes came home, and went to the hearth to make a 
fire, but the cat threw ashes in his eyes. Then he ran quickly into 
the kitchen to wash himself, but the duck splashed water in his 
face. Then he was going to wipe it with the towel, but the egg 
broke in it, and stuck his eyelids together. In order to get a little 
peace he sat down in his chair, but the pin ran into him, and, start- 
ing up, in his vexation he threw himself on the bed, but as his 
head fell on the pillow, in went the needle, so that he called out 
with the pain, and madly rushed out. But when he reached the 
housedoor the mill-stone jumped up and struck him dead. 

What a bad man Mr. Korbes must have beenl 

The Vagabonds 

Tee cocx said to the hen, 'It is nutting time; let us go together to 
the mountains and have a good feast for once, before the squirrels 
come and carry all away." "Yes," answered the hen, "come along; 
we will have a jolly time together." 

Then they set off together to the mountains, and as it was a fine 
day they stayed there till the evening. Now whether it was that 
they had eaten so much, or because of their pride and haughtiness, 
I do not know, but they would not go home on foot; so the cock set 
to work to make a little carriage out of nutshells. When it was 

120 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ready, the hen seated herself in it, and said to the cxjck, *T>Iow you 
can harness yourself to it." 

^That's all very fine," said the cock, *1 would sooner go home on 
foot than do such a thing, and I never agreed to it. I don't mind 
being coachman, and sitting on the box; but as to drawing it my- 
self, it's quite out of the question." 

As they were wrangling, a duck came quacking, "You thieving 
vagabonds, who told you you might go to my mountain? Look out, 
or it will be the worse for youl" And she flew at the cock with bill 
wide open. But the cock was not backward, and he gave the duck a 
good dig in the body, and hacked at her with his spurs so valiantly 
ttiat she begged for mercy, and willingly aUowed herself to be 
harnessed to the carriage. Then the cock seated himself on the box 
and was coachman; so off they went at a great pace, the cock cry- 
ing out "Run, duck, as fast as you cani" 

When they had gone a part of the way they met two foot-pas- 
sengers—a pin and a needle. They cried "Stop! stopl" and said that 
it would soon be blindman's holiday; that they could not go a step 
farther; that the ways were very muddy; might they just get in for 
a Httle? They had been standing at the door of the tailors' house of 
call and had been delayed because of beer. 

The cock, seeing they were slender folks that would not take up 
a great deal of room, let them both step in, only they must promise 
not to tread on his toes nor on the hen's. 

Late in the evening they came to an inn, and there they found 
that they could not go any farther that night, as the duck's paces 
were not good— she waddled so much from side to side— so they 
turned in. The landlord at first made some difficulty; his house was 
full already, and he thought they had no very distinguished appear- 
ance. At last, however, when they had made many fine speeches, 
and had promised him the egg that the hen had laid on the way, 
and that he should keep the duck, who laid one every day, he 
agreed to let them stay the night; and so they had a very gay time. 

Early in the morning, when it was beginning to grow light, and 
everybody was still asleep, the cock waked up the hen, fetched the 
egg, and made a hole in it, and they ate it up between them, and 
put the eggshell on the hearth. Then they went up to the needle, 
who was still sleeping, picked him up by his head, and stuck him in 
the landlord's chair-cushion, and, having also placed the pin in his 
towel, off they flew over the hills and far away. The duck, who had 
chosen to sleep in the open air, and had remained in the yard, 
heard the rustling of their wings, and, waking up, looked about till 

The Owl 121 

she found a brook, down which she swam a good deal faster than 
she had drawn the carriage. 

A few hours later the landlord woke, and, leaving his feather-bed, 
began washing himself; but when he took the towel to dry himself 
he drew the pin all across his face, and made a red streak from ear 
to ear. Then he went into the kitchen to light his pipe, but when he 
stooped towards the hearth to take up a coal the eggshell flew in 
his eyes. 

"Everything goes wrong this morning," said he, and let himself 
drop, full of vexation, into his grandfather's chair; but up he 
jumped in a moment, crying, "Oh dear!" for the needle had gone 
into him. 

Now he became angry, and had his suspicions of the guests who 
had arrived so late the evening before; and when he looked round 
for them they were nowhere to be seen. 

Then he swore that he would never more harbor such vagabonds, 
that consumed so much, paid nothing, and played such nasty tricks 
into the bargain. 

The Owl 

Twa.0R THREE hundred years ago, when people were far from being 
so crafty and cunning as they are nowadays, an extraordinary event 
took place in a Uttle town. By some mischance one of the great 
owls, called homed owls, had come from the neighboring woods 
into the bam of one of the townsfolk in the night-time, and when 
day broke did not dare to venture forth again from her retreat, for 
fear of the other birds, which raised a terrible outcry whenever she 

In the morning when the manservant went into the bam to fetch 
some straw, he was so mightily alarmed at the sight of the owl sit- 
ting there in a comer, that he ran away and announced to his 
master that a monster, the like of which he had never set eyes on 
in his life, and which could devour a man without the slightest 
difficulty, was sitting in the bam, rolling its eyes about in its head. 
"I know you already," said the master, "you have courage enough 
to chase a blackbird about the fields, but when you see a dead hen 
lying, you have to get a stick before you go near it. I must go and 

122 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

see for myself what kind of a monster it is," added the master, and 
went quite boldly into the granary and looked round him. When, 
however, he saw the strange grim creature with his own eyes, he 
was no less terrified than the servant had been. With two bounds 
he sprang out, ran to his neighbors, and begged them imploringly 
to lend him assistance against an unknown and dangerous beast, or 
else the whole town might be in danger if it were to break loose out 
of the bam, where it was shut up. 

A great noise and clamor arose in all the streets, the townsmen 
came armed with spears, hay-forks, scythes, and axes, as if they 
were going out against an enemy; finally, the senators appeared 
with the burgomaster at their head. When they had drawn up in 
the market-place, they marched to the bam, and surrounded it on 
all sides. Thereupon one of the most courageous of them stepped 
forth and entered with his spear lowered, but came miming out im- 
mediately afterwards with a shriek, and as pale as death, and could 
not utter a single word. Yet two others ventured in, but they fared 
no better. 

At last one stepped forth, a great strong man who was famous for 
his warlike deeds, and said, "You will not drive away the monster 
by merely looking at him; we must be in earnest here, but I see that 
you have all turned into women, and not one of you dares to en- 
coimter the animal." He ordered them to give him some armor, had 
a sword and spear brought, and armed himself. All praised his 
courage, though many feared for his life. The two barn-doors were 
opened, and they saw the owl, which in the meantime had perched 
herself on the middle of a great cross-beam. He had a ladder 
brought, and when he raised it, and made ready to climb up, they 
all cried out to him that he was to bear himself bravely, and com- 
mended him to St. George, who slew the dragon. When he had just 
got to the top, and the owl perceived that he had designs on 
her, and was also bewildered by the crowd and the shouting, and 
knew not how to escape, she rolled her eyes, ruflBled her feather, 
flapped her wings, snapped her beak, and cried, "Tuwhit, tuwhoo," 
in a harsh voice. "Strike home! strike home!" screamed the crowd 
outside to the valiant hero. "Any one who was standing where I am 
standing," answered he, "would not cry 'strike home!' " He certainly 
did plant his foot one rung higher on the ladder, but then he began 
to tremble, and half-fainting, went back again. 

And now there was no one left who dared to put himself in such 
danger. "The monster," said they, "has poisoned and mortally 
wounded the very strongest man among us, by snapping at him and 

The Bremen Town Musicians 123 

just breathing on him! Are we, too, to risk our lives?" They took 
counsel as to what they ought to do to prevent the whole town 
being destroyed. For a long time everything seemed to be of no 
use, but at length the burgomaster found an expedient. "My opin- 
ion," said he, "is that we ought, out of the common purse, to pay 
for this bam, and whatsoever com, straw, or hay it contains, and 
thus indemnify the owner, and then bum down the whole building, 
and the terrible beast with it. Thus no one will have to endanger 
his life. This is no time for thinking of expense, and niggardliness 
would be ill applied." All agreed with him. So they set fire to the 
bam at aU four comers, and with it the owl was miserably burnt. 
Let any one who will not believe it, go thither and inquire for him- 

The Bremen Town Musicians 

Thebe was once an ass whose master had made him carry sacks to 
the mill for many a long year, but whose strength began at last to 
fail, so that each day as it came, found him less capable of work. 
Then his master began to think of turning him out, but the ass, 
guessing that something was in the wind that boded him no good, 
ran away, taking the road to Bremen; for there he thought he might 
get an engagement as town musician. 

When he had gone a little way he found a hoimd lying by the 
side of the road panting, as if he had run a long way. "Now, 
Holdfast, what are you so out of breath about?" said the ass. 

"Oh dear!" said the dog, "now I am old, I get weaker every day, 
and can do no good in the hunt, so, as my master was going to have 
me killed, I have made my escape; but now how am I to gain a 

"I will tell you what," said the ass, *1 am going to Bremen to be- 
come town musician. You may as well go with me, and take up 
music too. I can play the lute, and you can beat the drum." And the 
dog consented, and they walked on together. 

It was not long before they came to a cat sitting in the road, look- 
ing as dismal as three wet days. "Now then, what is the matter 
with you, old shaver?" said the ass. 

*T should like to know who would be cheerful when his neck is 

124 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

in danger?" answered the cat. "Now that I am old my teeth are get- 
ting blunt, and I would rather sit by the oven and purr than run 
about after mice, and my mistress wanted to drown me, so I took 
myself off; but good advice is scarce, and I do not know what is to 
become of me." 

"Go with us to Bremen," said the ass, "and become town musi- 
cian. You understand serenading." The cat thought well of the idea, 
and went with them accordingly. 

After that the three travelers passed by a yard, and a cock was 
perched on the gate crowing with all his might. "Your cries are 
enough to pierce bone and marrow," said the ass; "what is the 

"I have foretold good weather for Lady-day, so that all the shirts 
may be washed and dried; and now on Sunday morning company is 
coming, and the mistress has told the cook that I must be made into 
soup, and this evening my neck is to be wnmg, so that I am crow- 
ing with all my might while I can." 

"You had much better go with us. Chanticleer," said the ass. 
"We are going to Bremen. At any rate that will be better than 
dying. You have a powerful voice, and when we are all performing 
together it will have a very good effect." So the cock consented, and 
they went on all four together. 

But Bremen was too far off to be reached in one day, and to- 
wards evening they came to a wood, where they determined to pass 
the night. The ass and the dog lay down under a large tree; the cat 
got up among the branches; and the cock flew up to the top, as that 
was the safest place for him. Before he went to sleep he looked all 
round him to the four points of the compass, and perceived in the 
distance a little Hght shining, and he called out to his companions 
that there must be a house not far off, as he could see a Hght, so 
the ass said, "We had better get up and go there, for these are un- 
comfortable quarters." The dog began to fancy a few bones, not 
quite bare, would do him good. And they all set off in the direction 
of the Hght, and it grew larger and brighter, until at last it led them 
to a robber's house, all Hghted up. The ass, being the biggest, went 
up to the window, and looked in. 

"Well, what do you see?" asked the dog. "What do I see?" an- 
swered the ass; "here is a table set out with splendid eatables and 
drinkables, and robbers sitting at it and making themselves very 
comfortable." "That would just suit us," said the cock. "Yes, in- 
deed, I wish we were there," said the ass. 

Then they consulted together how it should be managed so as to 

The Bremen Town Musicians 125 

get the robbers out of the house, and at last they hit on a plan. The 
ass was to place his fore-feet on the window-sill, the dog was to get 
on the ass's back, the cat on the top of the dog, and lastly, the cock 
was to fly up and perch on the cat's head. When that was done, at a 
given signal they all began to perform their music. The ass brayed, 
the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock crowed; then they 
burst through into the room, breaking all the panes of glass. The 
robbers fled at the dreadful sound; they thought it was some gob- 
lin, and fled to the wood in the utmost terror. Then the four com- 
panions sat down to table, made free with the remains of the meal, 
and feasted as if they had been hungry for a month. And when 
they had finished they put out the lights, and each sought out a 
sleeping-place to suit his nature and habits. The ass laid himself 
down outside on the dunghill, the dog behind the door, the cat on 
the hearth by the warm ashes, and the cock settled himself in the 
cockloft; and as they were all tired with their long journey they 
soon fell fast asleep. 

When midnight drew near, and the robbers from afar saw that 
no light was burning, and that everything appeared quiet, their 
captain said to them that he thought that they had run away with- 
out reason, telling one of them to go and reconnoitre. So one of 
them went, and found everything quite quiet. He went into the 
kitchen to strike a light, and taking the glowing fiery eyes of the cat 
for burning coals, he held a match to them in order to kindle it. But 
the cat, not seeing the joke, flew into his face, spitting and scratch- 
ing. Then he cried out in terror, and ran to get out at the back door, 
but the dog, who was lying there, ran at him and bit his leg; and as 
he was rushing through the yard by the dunghill the ass struck out 
and gave him a great kick with his hindfoot; and the cock, who had 
been wakened with the noise, and felt quite brisk, cried out, "Cock- 

Then the robber got back as well as he could to bis captain, and 
said, "Oh dearl in that house there is a gruesome witch, and I felt 
her breath and her long nails in my face; and by the door there 
stands a man who stabbed me in the leg with a knife; and in the 
yard there lies a black specter, who beat me with his wooden club; 
and above, upon the roof, there sits the justice, who cried, 'Bring 
that rogue here!' And so I ran away from the place as fast as I 

From that time forward the robbers never ventured to that 
house, and the four Bremen town musicians found themselves so 

126 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

well off where they were, that there they stayed. And the person 
who last related this tale is still living, as you see. 

The Wonderful Musician 

A WONDERFUL musician was walking through a forest, thinking of 
nothing in particular. When he had nothing more left to think 
about, he said to himself, "I shall grow tired of being in this wood, 
so I will bring out a good companion." 

He took the fiddle that hung at his back and fiddled so that the 
wood echoed. Before long a wolf came through the thicket and 
trotted up to him. 

"Oh, here comes a wolfl I had no particular wish for such com- 
pany," said the musician. But the wolf drew nearer, and said to 
him, "Ho, you musician, how finely you playl I must learn how to 
play too." "That is easily done," answered the musician; "you have 
only to do exactly as I tell you." "Oh musician," said the wolf, "I 
will obey you, as a scholar does his master." 

The musician told him to come vwth him. As they went a part of 
the way together they came to an old oak tree, which was hollow 
v^thin and cleft through the middle. "Look here," said the musi- 
cian, "if you want to learn how to fiddle, you must put your fore- 
feet in this cleft." 

The wolf obeyed, but the musician took up a stone and quickly 
wedged both his paws with one stroke, so fast, that the wolf was a 
prisoner, and there obliged to stop. "Stay there imtil I come back 
again," said the musician, and went his way. 

After a while he said again to himself, "I shall grow weary here 
in this wood; I will bring out another companion"; and he took his 
fiddle and fiddled away in the wood. Before long a fox came slink- 
ing through the trees. 

"Oh, here comes a fox!" said the musician; "I had no particular 
wish for such company." 

The fox came up to him and said, "Oh my dear musician, how 
finely you play! I must learn how to play too." "That is easily 
done," said the musician; "you have only to do exactly as I teU 
you." "Oh musician," answered the fox, "I will obey you, as a 
scholar his master." 

The Wonderful Musician 127 

"Follow me," said the musician; and as they went a part of the 
way together they came to a footpath with a high hedge on each 
side. Then the musician stopped, and taking hold of a hazel-branch 
bent it down to the earth, and put his foot on the end of it; then he 
bent down a branch from the other side, and said, "Come on, little 
fox, if you wish to learn something, reach me your left fore-foot." 

The fox obeyed, and the musician bound the foot to the left-hand 
branch. "Now, little fox," said he, "reach me the right one"; then he 
bound it to the right-hand branch. And when he had seen that the 
knots were fast enough he let go, and the branches flew back and 
caught up the fox, shaking and struggling, in the air. "Wait there 
until I come back again," said the musician, and went his way. 

By and by he said to himself, "I shall grow weary in this wood; I 
will bring out another companion." So he took his fiddle, and the 
sound echoed through the wood. Then a hare sprang out before 
him. "Oh, here comes a harel" said he; "that's not what I want." 

"Ah, my dear musician," said the hare, "how finely you playl I 
should like to learn how to play too." "That is soon done," said the 
musician, "only you must do whatever I tell you." 

"Oh musician," answered the hare, "1 will obey you, as a scholar 
his master." 

So they went a part of the way together, \mtil they came to a 
clear place in the wood where there stood an aspen tree. The musi- 
cian tied a long string round the neck of the hare, and knotted the 
other end of it to the tree. 

"Now then, courage, little harel Run twenty times round the 
treel" cried the musician, and the hare obeyed. As he ran round the 
twentieth time the string had woimd twenty times round the tree 
trunk and the hare was imprisoned, and puU and tug as he would 
he only cut his tender neck with the string. "Wait there until I 
come back again," said the musician, and walked on. 

The wolf meanwhile had struggled, and pulled, and bitten at the 
stone, and worked away so long, that at last he made his paws free 
and got himself out of the cleft. Full of anger and fury he hastened 
after the musician to tear him to pieces. 

When the fox saw him run by he began groaning, and cried out 
with all his might, "Brother wolf, come and help me! The musician 
has betrayed me." The wolf then pulled the branches down, bit the 
knots in two, and set the fox free, and he went with him to take 
vengeance on the musician. They found the imprisoned hare, and 
set him likewise free, and then they all went on together to seek 
their enemy. 

128 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

The musician had once more played his fiddle, and this time he 
had been more fortmiate. The sound had reached the ears of a poor 
wood-cutter, who immediately, and in spite of himself, left his 
work, and, with his axe under his arm, came to Hsten to the music. 

"At last here comes the right sort of companion," said the musi- 
cian; "it was a man I wanted, and not wild animals." And then he 
began to play so sweetly that the poor man stood as if enchanted, 
and his heart was filled with joy. And as he was standing there up 
came the wolf, the fox, and the hare, and he could easily see that 
they meant mischief. Then he raised his shining axe, and stood in 
front of the musician, as if to say, "Whoever means harm to him 
had better take care of himself, for he will have to deal with me I" 

Then the animals were frightened, and ran back into the wood, 
and the musician, when he had played once more to the man to 
show his gratitude, went on his way. 

The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage 

Once on a time, a mouse and a bird and a sausage hved and kept 
house together in perfect peace among themselves, and in great 
prosperity. It was the bird's business to fly to the forest every day 
and bring back wood; the mouse had to draw the water, make the 
fire, and set the table; and the sausage had to do the cooking. 
Nobody is content in this world; much will have morel One day the 
bird met another bird on the way, and told him of his excellent 
condition in life. But the other bird called him a poor simpleton to 
do so much work, while the two others led easy fives at home. 

When the mouse had made up her fire and drawn water, she 
went to rest in her fittle room until it was time to lay the cloth. The 
sausage stayed by the saucepans, looked to it that the victuals were 
well cooked, and just before dinner-time he stirred the broth or the 
stew three or four times well round himself, so as to enrich and sea- 
son and flavor it. Then the bird used to come home and lay down 
his load, and they sat down to table, and after a good meal they 
would go to bed and sleep their fill till the next morning. It really 
was a most satisfactory fife. 

But the bird came to the resolution next day never again to fetch 
wood. He had, he said, been their slave long enough; now they 

The Crumbs on the Table 129 

must change about and make a new arrangement. So in spite of all 
the mouse and the sausage could say, the bird was determined to 
have his own way. So they drew lots to settle it, and it fell so that 
the sausage was to fetch wood, the mouse was to cook, and the bird 
was to draw water. 

Now see what happened. The sausage went away after wood, the 
bird made up the fire, and the mouse put on the pot, and they 
waited until the sausage should come home, bringing the wood for 
the next day. But the sausage was absent so long, that they thought 
something must have happened to him, and the bird went part of 
the way to see if he could see anything of him. Not far off he met 
with a dog on the road, who, looking upon the sausage as lawful 
prey, had picked him up, and made an end of him. The bird then 
lodged a complaint against the dog as an open and flagrant robber, 
but it was all no good, as the dog declared that he had found 
forged letters upon the sausage, so that he deserved to lose his life. 

The bird then very sadly took up the wood and carried it home 
himself, and related to the mouse all he had seen and heard. They 
were both very troubled, but determined to look on the bright side 
of things, and still to remain together. And so the bird laid the 
cloth, and the mouse prepared the food, and finally got into the pot, 
as the sausage used to do, to stir and flavor the broth; but then she 
had to part with fur and skin, and lastly with Hfel 

And when the bird came to dish up the dinner, there was no 
cook to be seen; and he timied over the heap of wood, and looked 
and looked, but the cook never appeared again. By accident the 
wood caught fire, and the bird hastened to fetch water to put it out, 
but he let fall the bucket in the well, and himself after it, and as he 
could not get out again, he was obliged to be drowned. 

The Crumbs on the Table 

A COUNTRYMAN ouc day said to his little puppies, "Come into the 
parlor and enjoy yourselves, and pick up the bread-crumbs on the 
table; your mistress has gone out to pay some visits." Then the little 
dogs said, ''No, no, we will not go. If the mistress gets to know it, 
she will beat us." The countryman said, "She will know nothing 
about it. Do come; after all, she never gives you anything good." 

130 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Then the little dogs again said, "Nay, nay, we must let it alone, we 
must not go." But the countryman let them have no peace until at 
last they went, and got on the table, and ate up the bread-crumbs 
with all their might. But at that very moment the mistress came, 
and seized the stick in great haste, and beat them and treated them 
very badly. And when they were outside the house, the little dogs 
said to the countryman, "Do, do, do, do, do you see what hap- 
pened?" Then the countryman laughed and said, "Didn't, didn't, 
didn't you expect it?" So they just had to run away. 

The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership 

A CAT having made acquaintance with a mouse, pretended such 
great love for her, that the mouse agreed that they should live and 
keep house together. 

"We must make provision for the winter," said the cat, "or we 
shall suffer hunger, and you, little mouse, must not stir out, or you 
will be caught in a trap." 

So they took counsel together and bought a Httle pot of fat. And 
then they could not tell where to put it for safety, but after long 
consideration the cat said there could not be a better place than the 
church, for nobody would steal there; and they would put it under 
the altar and not touch it until they were really in want. So this was 
done, and the little pot placed in safety. 

But before long the cat was seized with a great wish to taste it. 
"Listen to me, little mouse," said he; "I have been asked by my 
cousin to stand god-father to a little son she has brought into the 
world; he is white with brown spots; and they want to have the 
christening today; so let me go to it, and you stay at home and keep 

"Oh yes, certainly," answered the mouse, "pray go, by all means; 
and when you are feasting on all the good things, think of me. I 
should so hke a drop of the sweet red wine." 

But there was not a word of truth in all tliis; the cat had no 
cousin, and had not been asked to stand god-father. He went to the 
church, straight up to the httle pot, and Hcked the fat off the top. 
Then he took a walk over the roofs of the town, saw his ac- 
quaintances, stretched himself in the sim, and licked his whiskers as 

The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership 131 

often as he thought of the little pot of fat, and then when it was 
evening he went home. 

"Here you are at last," said the mouse; "I expect you have had a 
merry time." "Oh, pretty well," answered the cat. "And what name 
did you give the child?" asked the mouse. "Top-oflF," answered the 
cat, drily. "Top-off!" cried the mouse, "that is a singular and won- 
derful namel Is it common in your family?" "What does it matter?" 
said the cat; "it's not any worse than Cnmib-picker, like your god- 

A little time after this the cat was again seized with a longing. 
"Again I must ask you," said he to the mouse, "to do me a favor, 
and keep house alone for a day. I have been asked a second time to 
stand god-father; and as the little one has a white ring round its 
neck, I cannot well refuse." 

So the kind little mouse consented, and the cat crept along by the 
town wall until he reached the church, and going straight to the lit- 
tle pot of fat, devoured half of it. "Nothing tastes so well as what 
one keeps to oneself," said he, feeling quite content with his day's 

When he reached home, the mouse asked what name had been 
given to the child. "Half-gone," answered the cat. "Half-gonel" 
cried the mouse, "I never heard such a name in my lifel I'll bet it's 
not to be found in the calendar." 

Soon after that the cat's mouth began to water again for the fat. 
"Good things always come in threes," said he to the mouse; "again 
I have been asked to stand god-father. The little one is quite black 
with white feet, and not any white hair on its body; such a thing 
does not happen every day, so you will let me go, won't you?" 

"Top-off, Half-gone," murmured the mouse, "they are such curi- 
ous names, I cannot but wonder at them!" "That's because you are 
always sitting at home," said the cat, "in your little gray frock and 
hairy tail, never seeing the world, and fancying all sorts of things." 

So the little mouse cleaned up the house and set it aU in order. 
Meanwhile the greedy cat went and made an end of the little pot 
of fat. "Now all is finished, one's mind will be easy," said he, and 
came home in the evening, quite sleek and comfortable. 

The mouse asked at once what name had been given to the third 
child. "It won't please you any better than the others," answered 
the cat. "It is called All-gone." "All-gone!" cried the mouse. "What 
an unheard-of name! I never met with anything like it! AU-gonel 
Whatever can it mean?" And shaking her head, she curled herself 

132 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

round and went to sleep. After that the cat was not again asked to 
stand god-father. 

When the winter had come and there was nothing more to be 
had out of doors, the mouse began to think of their store. "Come, 
cat," said she, "we will fetch our pot of fat; how good it will taste, 
to be surel" "Of course it will," said the cat, "just as good as iE you 
stuck yom* tongue out of window!" 

So they set out, and when they reached the place, they found the 
pot, but it was standing empty. 

"Oh, now I know what it aU meant," cried the mouse; "now I see 
what sort of a partner you have beenl Instead of standing god- 
father you have devoiu-ed it all up; first Top-off, then Half-gone, 
then" — 

"Will you hold your tongue!" screamed the cat, "another word, 
and I devour you too!" 

And the poor little mouse, having "All-gone" on her tongue, out 
it came, and the cat leaped upon her and made an end of her. And 
that is the way of the world. 

The Spider and the Flea 

A Spider and a Flea dwelt together in one house, and brewed their 
beer in an egg-shell. One day, when the Spider was stirring it up, 
she fell in and scalded herself. Thereupon the Flea began to 
scream. And then the Door asked, "Why are you screaming, Flea?" 
"Because little Spider has scalded herself in the beer-tub," replied 

Thereupon the Door began to creak as if it were in pain; and a 
Broom, which stood in the comer, asked, "What are you creaking 
for, Door?" "May I not creak?" it replied, 

"The little Spidei^s scalded herself. 
And the Flea weeps!' 

So the Broom began to sweep industriously, and presently a little 
Cart came by, and asked the reason. "May I not sweep?" replied 
the Broom, 

"The little Spider's scalded herself. 
And the Flea weeps; 
The little Door creaks with the pain." 

The Spider and the Flea 133 

Thereupon the litde Cart said, "So will I run," and began to run 
very fast past a heap of Ashes, which cried out, "Why do you run, 
little Cart?" "Because," replied the Cart, 

"The little Spiders scalded herself. 

And the Flea weeps; 
The little Door creaks with the pain. 
And the Broom sweeps." 

"Then," said the Ashes, "I will bum furiously." Now, next the 
Ashes there grew a Tree, which asked, "Little heap, why do you 
bum?" "Because," was the reply, 

"The little Spiders scalded herself. 

And the Flea weeps; 
The little Door creaks with the pain. 

And the Broom sweeps; 
The little Cart runs on so fast." 

Thereupon the Tree cried, "I wiU shake myself!" and went on 
shaking till all its leaves fell off. 

A little girl passing by with a water-pitcher saw it shaking, and 
asked, "Why do you shake yourself, little Tree?" "Why may I not?" 
said the Tree, 

"The little Spide/s scalded herself. 

And the Flea weeps; 
The little Door creaks with the pain. 

And the Broom sweeps; 
The little Cart runs on so fast. 

And the Ashes burn." 

Then the Maiden said, "If so, I will break my pitcher"; and she 
threw it down and broke it. 

At this the Streamlet, from which she drew the water, asked, 
"Why do you break your pitcher, my little Girl?" "Why may I 
not?" she replied; for 

"The little Spidef's scalded herself. 

And the Flea weeps; 
The little Door creaks with the pain. 

And the Broom sweeps; 
The little Cart runs on so fast. 

And the Ashes burn; 
The little Tree shakes down its leaves— 

Now it is my turn!" 

"Ah, then," said the Streamlet, "now must I begin to flow." And it 

134 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

flowed and flowed along, in a great stream, which kept getting 
bigger and bigger, until at last it swallowed up the little Girl, the 
little Tree, the Ashes, the Cart, the Broom, the Door, the Flea and, 
last of all, the Spider, all together. 

The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids 

There was once on 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 
VidU devour you all— skin, hair, and all. The wretch often disguises 
himself, but you wiU know him at once by his rough voice and his 
black feet." 

The kids said, "Dear mother, we wdll 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 wiU not open the door," cried they, "you are not our mother. 
She has a soft, pleasant voice, but your voice is rough; you are the 
wolf!" The wolf went away to a shopkeeper and bought 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 vidll not open the door, our 
mother has not black feet like you: you are the wolf I" Then the 
wolf ran to a baker and said, "I have hurt my feet; rub some dough 
over them for me." And when the leaker 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 you will not do it, I 

The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids 135 

will devour you." Then the miller was afraid, and made his paws 
white for him. 

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 your paws that we may know if you are our dear lit- 
tle mother." Then he put his paws in through the window, and 
when the kids saw that they were white, they beheved 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 afterwards the old goat came home again from the forest. 
Ahl what a sight she saw therel 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 an- 
swered. At last, when she came to the youngest, a soft voice cried, 
"Dear mother, I am in the clock-case." 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 strug- 
gling in his gorged body. "Ah, heavens," said she, "is it possible 
that my poor children whom he has swallowed down for his sup- 
per, 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, 

136 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

and were all still aHve, and had suffered no injury whatever, 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, however, 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 Idds dragged the stones thither 
with all speed, 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 anything 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 roimd about the weU 
with their mother. 

The Wolf and the Fox 

A WOLF and a fox once Hved together. The fox, who was the weaker 
of the two, had to do all the hard work, which made him anxious to 
leave his companion. 

One day, passing through a wood, the wolf said, "Red-fox, get 
me something to eat, or I shall eat you." 

The fox answered, "I know a place where there are a couple of 
nice young lambs; if you like, we will go and fetch one." 

This pleased the wolf, so they went. The fox stole one, brought it 
to the wolf, and then ran away, leaving his comrade to devour it. 

The Wolf and the Fox 137 

This done, the wolf was not content, but wishing for the other, 
went himself to fetch it; and being very awkward, the old sheep 
saw him, and began to cry and bleat so horribly that the farmer s 
people came running to see what was the matter. Of course they 
found the wolf there, and beat him so unmercifully, that, howling 
and limping, he returned to the fox. ''You had already shown me 
how, so I went to fetch the other lamb," said he, "but the farmer's 
people discovered me, and have nearly killed me." 

"Why are you such a glutton?" replied the fox. 

The next day they went again into the fields. "Red-fox," said the 
wolf, "get me something quickly to eat, or I shall eat you I" 

"Well," replied the fox, "I know a farm, where the woman is 
baking pancakes this evening; let us go and fetch some." They went 
accordingly, and the fox, sUpping round the house, peeped and 
sniffed so long, that he found out at last where the dish stood, then 
quietly abstracting six pancakes, he carried them to the wolf. 

"Here is something for you to eat," said he, and then went away. 
The wolf had swallowed the six pancakes in a very short space of 
time, and said, "I should very much like some more." But going to 
help himself, he pulled the dish down from the shelf; it broke into a 
thousand pieces, and the noise, in addition, brought out the 
farmer's wife to discover what was the matter. Upon seeing the 
wolf, she raised such an alarm, that all the people came with sticks 
or any weapon they could snatch. The consequence was that the 
wolf barely escaped with his life; he was beaten so severely that he 
could scarcely hobble to the wood where the fox was. 

"Pretty mischief you have led me into," said the wolf, when he 
saw him, "the peasants have caught, and nearly flayed me." 

"Why, then, are you such a glutton?" replied the fox. 

Upon a third occasion, being out together, and the wolf only able 
with difficulty to limp about, he nevertheless said again, "Red-fox, 
get me something to eat, or I shall eat youl" 

"Well," said the fox, "I know a man who has been butchering, 
and has all the meat salted down in a tub in his cellar. We will go 
and fetch it." 

"That will do," said the wolf, "but I must go with you, and you 
can help me to get off, if anything should happen." 

The fox then showed him all the by-ways, and at last they came 
to the cellar, where they found meat in abundance, which the wolf 
instantly greedily attacked, saying at the same time to himself, 
"Here, there is no occasion to hurry." The fox also showed no hesi- 
tation, only, while eating, he looked sharply about him, and ran oc- 

138 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

casionally to the hole by which they had entered in order to try if 
he was still small enough to get out by the same way he had come 

"Friend fox," said the wolf, "pray tell me why you are so fidgety, 
and why you run about in such an odd manner." *1 am looking 
out, lest any one should come," replied the cunning creature. 
"Come, are you not eating too much?" 

"I am not going away," said the wolf, "until the tub is empty; 
that would be foolishl" 

In the meantime, the farmer, who had heard the fox running 
about, came into the cellar to see what was stirring, and upon the 
first sight of him, the fox with one leap was through the hole and 
on his way to the wood. But when the wolf attempted to follow, he 
had so increased his size by his greediness, that he could not suc- 
ceed, and stuck in the hole, which enabled the farmer to kiU him 
with his cudgel. The fox, however, reached the wood in safety, and 
rejoiced to be freed from the old glutton. 

The Wolf and the Man 

A Fox was one day talking to a Wolf about the strength of man. 
"No animals," he said, "could withstand Man, and they were 
obliged to use cunning to hold their own against him." 

The Wolf answered, "If ever I happen to see a Man, I should at- 
tack him all the same." 

"Well, I can help you to that," said the Fox. "Come to me early 
tomorrow, and I will show you one!" 

The Wolf was early astir, and the Fox took him out to a road in 
the forest, traversed daily by a Huntsman. 

First came an old discharged soldier. "Is that a Man?" asked the 
Wolf. "No," answered the Fox. "He has been a Man." 

After that a little boy appeared on his way to school. 'Is that a 
Man?" "No; he is going to be a Man." 

At last the Huntsman made his appearance, his gun on his back, 
and his hunting-knife at his side. The Fox said to the Wolf, "Lookl 
There comes a Man. You may attack him, but I will make off to my 

The Wolf set on the Man, who said to himself when he saw him, 

Gossip Wolf and the Fox 139 

"What a pity my gun isn't loaded with ball," and fired a charge of 
shot in the WolFs face. The Wolf made a wry face, but he was not 
to be so easily frightened, and attacked him again. Then the Hunts- 
man gave him the second charge. The Wolf swallowed the pain, 
and rushed at the Huntsman. But the Man drew his bright hunting- 
knife, and hit out right and left with it, so that, streaming with 
blood, the Wolf ran back to the Fox. 

"Well, brother Wolf," said the Fox, "and how did you get on 
with the Man?" 

"Alas!" said the Wolf. "I never thought the strength of man 
would be what it is. First, he took a stick from his shoulder, and 
blew into it, and something flew into my face, which tickled fright- 
fully. Then he blew into it again, and it flew into my eyes and nose 
like lightning and hail. Then he drew a shining rib out of his body, 
and struck at me with it till I was more dead than alive." 

"Now, you see," said the Fox, "what a braggart you are. You 
throw your hatchet so far that you can't get it back again." 

Gossip Wolf and the Fox 

The she- wolf brought forth a young one, and invited the fox to be 
godfather. "After all, he is a near relative of ours," said she, "he has 
a good understanding, and much talent; he can instruct my little 
son, and help him forward in the world." The fox, too, appeared 
quite honest, and said, "Worthy Mrs. Gossip, I thank you for the 
honor which you are doing me; I will, however, conduct myself in 
such a way that you shall be repaid for it." 

He enjoyed himself at the feast, and made merry. Afterwards he 
said, "Dear Mrs. Gossip, it is our duty to take care of the child, it 
must have good food that it may be strong. I know a sheep-fold 
from which we might fetch a nice morsel." 

The wolf was pleased, and she went out with the fox to the farm- 
yard. He pointed out the fold from afar, and said, "You will be able 
to creep in there without being seen, and in the meantime I will 
look about on the other side to see if I can pick up a chicken." He, 
however, did not go there, but sat down at the entrance to the for- 
est, stretched his legs and rested. 

The she-wolf crept into the stable. A dog was lying there, and it 

140 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

made such a noise that the peasants came running out, caught Gos- 
sip Wolf, and poured a strong burning mixture, which had been 
prepared for washing, over her sldn. At last she escaped, and 
dragged herself outside. 

There lay the fox, who pretended to be full of complaints, and 
said, "Ah, dear Mistress Gossip, how ill I have fared, the peasants 
have fallen on me, and have broken every limb I have; if you do 
not want me to He where I am and perish, you must carry me 
away." The she-wolf herself was only able to go away slowly, but 
she was in such concern about the fox that she took him on her 
back, and slowly carried him perfectly safe and sound to her house. 

Then the fox cried to her, "Farewell, dear Mistress Gossip, may 
the roasting you have had do you good," laughed heartily at her, 
and bounded oflF. 

Little Red Riding Hood 

There was once a sweet little maid, much beloved by everybody, 
but most of all by her grandmother, who never knew how to make 
enough of her. Once she sent her a little riding hood of red velvet, 
and as it was very becoming to her, and she never wore anything 
else, people called her Little Red Riding Hood. 

One day her mother said to her, "Come, Little Red Riding Hood, 
here are some cakes and a flask of wine for you to take to grand- 
mother; she is weak and ill, and they will do her good. Make haste 
and start before it grows hot, and walk properly and nicely, and 
don't run, or you might fall and break the flask of wine, and there 
would be none left for grandmother. And when you go into her 
room, don't forget to say good morning, instead of staring about 
you." "I will be sure to take care," said Little Red Riding Hood to 
her mother, and gave her hand upon it. 

Now the grandmother Hved away in the wood, half an hour's 
walk from the village; and when Little Red Riding Hood had 
reached the wood, she met the wolf; but as she did not know what 
a bad sort of animal he was, she did not feel frightened. 

"Good day. Little Red Riding Hood," said he. "Thank you 
kindly, wolf," answered she. "Where are you going so early. Little 
Red Riding Hood?" "To my grandmother's." "What are you carry- 

Little Red Riding Hood 141 

ing under your apron?" "Cakes and wine; we baked yesterday; and 
my grandmother is very weak and ill, so they will do her good, and 
strengthen her." 

"Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood?" 
"A quarter of an hour's walk from here; her house stands beneath 
the three oak trees, and you may know it by the hazel bushes," said 
Little Red Riding Hood. 

The wolf thought to himself, 'That tender young thing would be 
a delicious morsel, and would taste better than the old one; I must 
manage somehow to get both of them." 

Then he walked by Little Red Riding Hood a little while, and 
said, "Little Red Riding Hood, just look at the pretty flowers that 
are growing all round you; and I don't think you are hstening to the 
song of the birds; you are posting along just as if you were going to 
school, and it is so delightful out here in the wood." 

Little Red Riding Hood glanced round her, and when she saw 
the sunbeams darting here and there through the trees, and lovely 
flowers everywhere, she thought to herself, "If I were to take a 
fresh nosegay to my grandmother she would be very pleased, and 
it is so early in the day that I shall reach her in plenty of time"; and 
so she ran about in the wood, looking for flowers. And as she 
picked one she saw a still prettier one a little farther off, and so she 
went farther and farther into the wood. 

But the wolf went straight to the grandmother's house and 
knocked at the door. "Who is there?" cried the grandmother. "Lit- 
tle Red Riding Hood," he answered, "and I have brought you some 
cake and wine. Please open the door." "Lift the latch," cried the 
grandmother; "I am too feeble to get up." 

So the wolf lifted the latch, and the door flew open, and he fell 
on the grandmother and ate her up without saying one word. Then 
he drew on her clothes, put on her cap, lay down in her bed, and 
drew the curtains. 

Little Red Riding Hood was all this time running about among 
the flowers, and when she had gathered as many as she could hold, 
she remembered her grandmother, and set off to go to her. She was 
surprised to find the door standing open, and when she came inside 
she felt very strange, and thought to herself, "Oh dear, how uncom- 
fortable I feel, and I was so glad this morning to go to my grand- 

And when she said, "Good morning," there was no answer. Then 
she went up to the bed and drew back the curtains; there lay the 

142 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

grandmother with her cap pulled over her eyes, so that she looked 
very odd. 

"O grandmother, what large ears you havel" "The better to hear 

"O grandmother, what great eyes you have!" "The better to see 

"O grandmother, what large hands you have!" "The better to 
take hold of you with." 

"But, grandmother, what a terrible large mouth you have!" 'The 
better to devour youl" And no sooner had the wolf said it than he 
made one bound from the bed, and swallowed up poor Little Red 
Riding Hood. 

Then the wolf, having satisfied his hunger, lay down again in the 
bed, went to sleep, and began to snore loudly. The huntsman heard 
him as he was passing by the house, and thought, "How the old 
woman snores— I had better see if there is anything the matter with 

Then he went into the room, and walked up to the bed, and saw 
the wolf lying there. "At last I find you, you old sinner!" said he; "I 
have been looking for you a long time." 

And he made up his mind that the wolf had swallowed the grand- 
mother whole, and that she might yet be saved. So he did not fire, 
but took a pair of shears and began to sUt up the wolFs body. When 
he made a few snips Little Red Riding Hood appeared, and after a 
few more snips she jumped out and cried, "Oh dear, how fright- 
ened I have been! It is so dark inside the wolf." And then out 
came the old grandmother, stiU living and breathing. But Little 
Red Riding Hood went and quickly fetched some large stones, with 
which she filled the wolfs body, so that when he waked up, and 
was going to rush away, the stones were so heavy that he sank 
down and fell dead. 

They were aU three very pleased. The huntsman took ofiF the 
wolfs skin, and carried it home. The grandmother ate the cakes, and 
drank the wine, and held up her head again, and Little Red Riding 
Hood said to herself that she would never more stray about in the 
wood alone, but would mind what her mother told her. 

It must also be related how a few days afterwards, when Little 
Red Riding Hood was again taking cakes to her grandmother, an- 
other wolf spoke to her, and wanted to tempt her to leave the path; 
but she was on her guard, and went straight on her way, and told 
her grandmother how that the wolf had met her, and wished her 
good day, but had looked so wicked about the eyes that she 

How Mrs. Fox Married Again 143 

thought if it had not been on the high road he would have de- 
voured her. 

"Come," said the grandmother, "we will shut the door, so that 
he may not get in." 

Soon after came the wolf knocking at the door, and calling out, 
"Open the door, grandmother, I am Little Red Riding Hood, bring- 
ing you cakes." But they remained still, and did not open the door. 
After that the wolf slunk by the house, and got at last upon the roof 
to wait until Little Red Riding Hood should return home in the 
evening; then he meant to spring down upon her, and devour her in 
the darkness. But the grandmother discovered his plot. Now there 
stood before the house a great stone trough, and the grandmother 
said to the child, "Little Red Riding Hood, I was boiHng sausages 
yesterday, so take the bucket, and carry away the water they were 
boiled in, and pour it into the trough." 

And Little Red Riding Hood did so imtil the great trough was 
quite full. When the smell of the sausages reached the nose of the 
wolf he snuffed it up, and looked round, and stretched out his neck 
so far that he lost his balance and began to slip, and he slipped down 
off the roof straight into the great trough, and was drowned. Then 
Little Red Riding Hood went cheerfully home, and came to no harm. 

How Mrs. Fox Married Again 


There was once an old fox with nine tails, who wished to put his 
wife's affection to proof. He pretended to be dead, and stretched 
himself under the bench quite stiff, and never moved a joint; on 
which Mrs. Fox retired to her room and locked herself in, while her 
maid, the cat, stayed by the kitchen fire and attended to the cooldng. 
When it became known that the old fox was dead, some suitors 
prepared to come forward, and presently the maid heard some one 
knocking at the house door; she went and opened it, and thqre was 
a young fox, who said, 

"What is she doing. Miss Cat? 
Is she sleeping, or waking, or what is she at?" 

144 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

And the cat answered, 

"I am not asleep, I am quite toide awake; 
Perhaps you would know what Tm going to make; 
I'm melting some butter, and warming some beer. 
Will it please you sit down, and partake of my cheer?" 

'Thank you, miss," said the fox, "What is Mrs. Fox doing?" 
The maid answered, 

"She is sitting upstairs in her grief. 

And her eyes with her weeping are sore; 
From her sorrow she gets no relief. 
Now poor old Mr. Fox is no moreF' 

*13ut just tell her, miss, that a yomig fox has come to woo her." 
*Very well, young master," answered the cat. 

Up went the cat, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat. 

She knocks at the door, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tatl 
"Mrs. Fox, are you there?' 
'yes, yes, pussy dear!" 
'There's a suitor below. 

Shall I tell him to goF' 

"But what is he like?" asked Mrs. Fox. 'Has he nine beautiful 
tails, like dear Mr. Fox?" "Oh no," answered the cat; "he has only 
one." "Then I won't have him," said Mrs. Fox. So the cat went 
down-stairs, and sent the suitor away. 

Soon there was another knock at the door. It was another fox 
come to woo. He had two tails, but he met with no better success 
than the first. Then there arrived more foxes, one after another, 
each with one more tail than the last, but they were all dismissed, 
until there came one with nine tails like old Mr. Fox. When the 
widow heard that she cried, full of joy, to the cat, 

"Now, open door and window wide. 
And turn old Mr. Fox outside." 

But before they could do so, up jumped old Mr. Fox from under 
the bench, and cudgeled the whole pack, driving them, with Mrs. 
Fox, out of the house. 

How Mrs. Fox Married Again 145 


When old Mr. Fox died there came a wolf to woo, and he knocked 
at the door, and the cat opened to him; and he made her a bow, 
and said, 

"Good day. Miss Cat, so brisk and gay, 
How is it that alone you stay? 
And what is it you cook today?" 

The cat answered, 

"Bread so white, and milk so sweet. 
Will it please you sit and eatF' 

"Thank you very much. Miss Cat," answered the wolf; "but is 
Mrs. Fox at home?" 
Then the cat said, 

"She is sitting upstairs in her grief. 

And her eyes with her weeping are sore; 
From her sorrow she gets no relief. 
Now poor old Mr. Fox is no morer 

The wolf answered, 

"Wont she take another spouse. 

To protect her and her house?" 

Up went the cat, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat. 

She knocks at the door, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tati 
"Mrs. Fox, are you there?" 
"Yes, yes, pussy dear!" 
"There's a suitor below. 

Shall I tell him to goF' 

But Mrs. Fox asked, "Has the gentleman red breeches and a 
sharp nose?" "No," answered the cat. "Then I won't have him," said 
Mrs. Fox. 

After the wolf was sent away, there came a dog, a stag, a hare, a 
bear, a Hon, and several other wild animals. But they aU of them 
lacked the good endowments possessed by the late Mr. Fox, so that 
the cat had to send them all away. 

At last came a yoimg fox. And Mrs. Fox inquired whether he had 
red breeches and a sharp nose. "Yes, he has," said the cat. "Then I 

146 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

will have him," said Mrs, Fox, and bade the cat make ready the 

"Now, cat, sweep the parlors and bustle about. 
And open the window, turn Mr. Fox out; 
Then, if you've a fancy for anything nice. 
Just manage to catch for yourself a few mice. 
You may eat them alone, 
I do not want one." 

So she was married to young Master Fox with much dancing and 
rejoicing, and for anything I have heard to the contrary, they may 
be dancing still. 

The Fox and the Geese 

The fox once came to a meadow in which was a flock of fine fat 
geese, on which he smiled and said, "I come at the nick of time, 
you are sitting together quite beautifully, so that I can eat you up 
one after the other." The geese cackled with terror, sprang up, and 
began to wail and beg piteously for their lives. But the fox would 
listen to nothing, and said, "There is no mercy to be hadl You must 

At length one of them took heart and said, 'If we poor geese are 
to yield up our vigorous young lives, show us the only possible 
favor and allow us one more prayer, that we may not die in our 
sins, and then we will place ourselves in a row, so that you can al- 
ways pick yourself out the fattest." "Yes," said the fox, "that is rea- 
sonable, and a pious request. Pray away, I will wait till you are 
done." Then the first began a good long prayer, forever saying, 
"Ga! Gal" and as she would make no end, the second did not wait 
until her turn came, but began also, "Gal Gal" The third and fourth 
followed her, and soon they were all cackling together. 

When they have done praying, the story shall be continued fur- 
ther, but at present they are still praying, and they show no sign of 

The Fox and the Horse 

A PEASANT had a faithful horse which had grown old and could do 
no more work, so his master would no longer give him anything to 
eat and said, "I can certainly make no more use of you, but stiU I 
mean well by you; if you prove yourself still strong enough to bring 
me a lion here, I will maintain you, but now take yourself away out 
of my stable," and with that he chased him into the open country. 
The horse was sad, and went to the forest to seek a little protection 
there from the weather. 

There a fox met him and said, "Why do you hang your head so, 
and go about all alone?" "Alas," repHed the horse, "avarice and 
fidelity do not dwell together in one house. My master has forgot- 
ten what services I have performed for him for so many years, and 
because I can no longer plough well, he will give me no more food, 
and has driven me out." "Without giving you a chance?" asked the 
fox. "The chance was a bad one. He said, if I were still strong 
enough to bring him a hon, he would keep me, but he well knows 
that I cannot do that." The fox said, "I wiU help you. Just lay your- 
self down, stretch yourself out, as if you were dead, and do not 
stir," The horse did as the fox desired, and the fox went to the lion, 
who had his den not far oflF, and said, "A dead horse is lying out- 
side there, just come with me, you can have a rich meal." The hon 
went with him, and when they were both standing by the horse the 
fox said, "After all it is not very comfortable for you here— I tell 
you what— I wiU fasten it to you by the tail, and then you can drag 
it into your cave, and devour it in peace." 

This advice pleased the lion. He lay down, and in order that the 
fox might tie the horse fast to him, he kept quite quiet. But the fox 
tied the Hon's legs together with the horse's tail, and twisted and 
fastened all so well and so strongly that no strength could break it. 
When he had finished his work, he tapped the horse on the shoulder 
and said, 'Tull, white horse, pull." Then up sprang the horse at 
once, and drew the lion away with him. The lion began to roar so 
that all the birds in the forest flew out in terror, but the horse let 
him roar, and drew him and dragged him over the country to his 
master's door. 

When the master saw the lion, he was of a better mind, and said 

148 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

to the horse, "You shall stay with me and fare weU," and he gave 
him plenty to eat until he died. 

The Fox and the Cat 

It happened that the cat met the fox in a forest, and as she thought 
to herself, "He is clever and full of experience, and much esteemed 
in the world," she spoke to him in a friendly way. "Good day, dear 
Mr. Fox, how are you? How is all with you? How are you getting 
through this dear season?" 

The fox, full of all kinds of arrogance, looked at the cat from 
head to foot, and for a long time did not know whether he would 
give any answer or not. At last he said, "Oh, thou wretched beard- 
cleaner, thou piebald fool, thou hungry mousehimter, what canst 
thou be thinking of? Dost thou venture to ask how I am getting on? 
What has thou learnt? How many arts dost thou understand?" 

"I understand but one," replied the cat, modestly. "What art is 
that?" asked the fox. "When the hounds are following me, I can 
spring into a tree and save myself." "Is that all?" said the fox. "I am 
master of a hundred arts, and have into the bargain a sackful of 
cunning. Thou makest me sorry for thee; come with me, I will 
teach thee how people get away from the hounds." 

Just then came a hunter with four dogs. The cat sprang nimbly 
up a tree, and sat down at the top of it, where the branches and fo- 
liage quite concealed her. "Open your sack, Mr. Fox, open your 
sack," cried the cat to him, but the dogs had already seized him, 
and were holding him fast. "Ah, Mr. Fox," cried the cat. "You with 
your hundred arts are left in the lurch! Had you been able to climb 
like me, you would not have lost your Hf e." 

The Sole 

The fishes had for a long time been discontented because no order 
prevailed in their kingdom. None of them turned aside for the 

The Willow-Wren 149 

others, but all swam to the right or the left as they fancied, or 
darted between those who wanted to stay together, or got into their 
way; and a strong one gave a weak one a blow with its tail, which 
drove it away, or else swallowed it up vwthout more ado. "How de- 
lightful it would be," said they, "if we had a King who enforced 
law and justice among us I" And they met together to choose for 
their ruler the one who could cleave through the water most 
quickly and give help to the weak ones. 

They placed themselves in rank and file by the shore, and the pike 
gave the signal with his tail, on which they all started. Like an 
arrow, the pike darted away, and with him the herring, the gudg- 
eon, the perch, the carp, and all the rest of them. Even the sole 
swam with them, and hoped to reach the winning-place. All at 
once, the cry was heard, "The herring is first. The herring is firstl" 
"Who is first?" screamed angrily the flat envious sole, who had 
been left far behind, "who is first?" "The herringl The herring," 
was the answer. "The naked herring?" cried the jealous creature, 
"the naked herring?" 

Since that time the sole's mouth has been at one side for a pim- 

The Willow-Wren 

In days gone by every sound had its meaning and application. 
When the smith's hammer resounded, it cried, "Strike awayl Strike 
away." When the carpenter's plane grated, it said, "Here goesl 
Here goes." If the mill wheel began to clack, it said, "Help, Lord 
God! Help, Lord God!" And if the miller was a cheat and happened 
to leave the miU, it spoke High German, and first asked slowly, 
"Who is there? Who is there?" and then answered quickly, "The 
miller! The miller!" and at last quite in a hurry, "He steals bravely! 
He steals bravely! Three pecks in a bushel." 

At this time the birds also had their own language which every 
one understood; now it only sounds like chirping, screeching, and 
whistling, and to some, Hke music without words. It came into the 
birds' minds, however, that they would no longer be v^dthout a 
ruler, and would choose one of themselves to be their King. One 
alone among them, the green plover, was opposed to this. He had 

150 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

lived free and would die free, and anxiously flying hither and 
thither, he cried, "Where shall I go? Where shall I go?" He retired 
into a solitary and unfrequented marsh, and showed himself no 
more among his fellows. 

The birds now wished to discuss the matter, and on a fine May 
morning they all gathered together from the woods and fields: 
eagles and chaffinches, owls and crows, larks and sparrows— how 
can I name them all? Even the cuckoo came, and the hoopoe, his 
clerk, who is so called because he is always heard a few days before 
him; and a very small bird, which as yet had no name, mingled 
v^th the band. The hen, which by some accident had heard nothing 
of the whole matter, was astonished at the great assemblage. 
"What, what, what is going to be done?" she cackled; but the cock 
calmed his beloved hen, and said, "Only rich people," and told her 
what they had on hand. It was decided, however, that the one who 
could fly the highest should be King. A tree-frog which was sitting 
among the bushes, when he heard that, cried a warning, "No, no, 
nol nol" because he thought that many tears would be shed because 
of this; but the crow said, "Caw, caw," and that all would pass off 

It was now determined that on this fine morning they should at 
once begin to ascend, so that hereafter no one should be able to 
say, "1 could easily have flown much higher, but the evening came 
on, and I could do no more." On a given signal, therefore, the 
whole troop rose up in the air. The dust ascended from the land, 
and there was tremendous fluttering and whirring and beating of 
vdngs, and it looked as if a black cloud was rising up. The little 
birds were, however, soon left behind. They could go no farther, 
and fell back to the ground. The larger birds held out longer, but 
none could equal the eagle, who mounted so high that he could 
have picked the eyes out of the sun. When he saw that the others 
could not get up to him, he thought, "Why should I fly stiU higher? 
I am the King." And he began to let himself dovm again. The birds 
beneath him at once cried, "You must be our King; no one has 
flown so high." "Except me," screamed the Httle fellow vsdthout a 
name, who had crept into the breast-feathers of the eagle. And as 
he was not at all tired, he rose up and mounted so high that he 
reached heaven itself. When, however, he had gone as far as this, 
he folded his wdngs together, and called dovwi wdth clear and pene- 
trating voice, "I am KingI I am King." 

"You, our KingI" cried the birds angrily. 'You have compassed it 
by trick and cunning!" So they made another condition. He should 

The Willow-Wren 151 

be King who could go down lowest in the groimd. How the goose 
did flap about with its broad breast when it was once more on the 
land! How quickly the cock scratched a holel The duck came oflE 
the worst of all, for she leapt into a ditch, but sprained her legs, 
and waddled away to a neighboring pond, crying, "Cheating, 
cheatingl" The Kttle bird without a name, however, sought out a 
mouse-hole, sHpped down into it, and cried out of it with his small 
voice, *1 am Kingl I am Kingl" 

"You our King!" cried the birds still more angrily. "Do you think 
your cunning shaU prevail?" They determined to keep him a pris- 
oner in the hole and starve him out. The owl was placed as sentinel 
in front of it, and was not to let the rascal out if she had any value 
for her life. When evening was come all the birds were feeling very 
tired after exerting their wings so much, so they went to bed with 
their wives and children. The owl alone remained standing by the 
mouse-hole, gazing steadfastly into it with her great eyes. In the 
meantime she, too, had grown tired and thought to herself, "You 
might certainly shut one eye, you will still watch with the other, 
and the little miscreant shall not come out of his hole." So she shut 
one eye, and with the other looked straight at the mouse-hole. The 
little fellow put his head out and peeped, and wanted to slip away, 
but the owl came forward immediately, and he drew his head back 
again. Then the owl opened the one eye again, and shut the other, 
intending to shut them in turn all through the night. 

But when she next shut the one eye, she forgot to open the other, 
and as soon as both her eyes were shut she fell asleep. The little 
fellow soon observed that, and slipped away. 

From that day forth, the owl has never dared to show herself by 
daylight, for if she does the other birds chase her and pluck her 
feathers out. She only flies out by night, but hates and pursues mice 
because they make such ugly holes. The Httle bird, too, is very un- 
willing to let himself be seen, because he is afraid it will cost him 
his life if he is caught. He steals about in the hedges, and when he 
is quite safe, he sometimes cries, "I am King," and for this reason, 
the other birds call him in mockery, "King of the hedges." 

No one, however, was so happy as the lark at not having to obey 
the little King. As soon as the sun appears, she ascends high in the 
air and cries, "Ah, how beautiful that is! Beautiful that is! Beauti- 
ful, beautiful! Ah, how beautiful that is!" 

The Willow-Wren and the Bear 

One summer day the bear and the wolf were walkmg 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. 'If that's the case," said 
the bear, "1 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 after- 
wards, 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 pal- 
ace, 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 dis- 
reputable childrenl" When the young wrens heard that, they were 
frightfully angry, and screamed, "No, that we are notl Our parents 
are honest peoplel Bear, you will 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 wiU 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 usl" 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 have you insulted my children? You shall suffer for it 
—we will pimish you by a bloody war." 

Thus war was announced to the bear, and 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-woren sum- 

The Willoiv-Wren and the Bear 153 

moned 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-chief. The 
gnat, who was the most crafty, flew into the forest where the enemy 
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, you are the most cimning of all 
animals, you shall 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 I 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 

When day broke, and the battle was to begin, all the four-footed 
animals came running up with such a noise that the earth trem- 
bled. 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 wiUow-wren sent down the hornet, with 
orders to get beneath the fox's tail, and sting it v^dth 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 honorable children, before we will do that." Then the willow- 
wren flew to the bear's hole and cried, "Growler, you are to come 
to the nest to my children, and beg their pardon, or else every rib 
of your body shall be broken." So the bear crept thither in the 
greatest fear, and begged their pardon. And now at last the yoimg 
wrens were satisfied, and sat down together and ate and drank, and 
made merry till quite late into the night. 

The Little Folks' Presents 

A TAILOR and a goldsmith were traveling together, and one evening 
when the sun had sunk behind the mountains, they heard the sound 
of distant music, which became more and more distinct. It sounded 
strange, but so pleasant that they forgot all their weariness and 
stepped quickly onwards. The moon had aheady arisen when they 
reached a hill on which they saw a crowd of Httle men and women, 
who had taken each other's hands, and were whirling round in the 
dance with the greatest pleasure and delight. 

They sang to it most charmingly, and that was the music which 
the travelers had heard. In the midst of them sat an old man who 
was rather taller than the rest. He wore a parti-colored coat, and 
his iron-gray beard hung down over his breast. The two remained 
standing full of astonishment, and watched the dance. The old man 
made a sign that they should enter, and the little folks willingly 
opened their circle. The goldsmith, who had a hmnp, and Hke all 
hunchbacks was brave enough, stepped in; the tailor felt a little 
afraid at first, and held back, but when he saw how merrily all was 
going, he plucked up his courage, and followed. The circle closed 
again directly, and the little folks went on singing and dancing with 
the wildest leaps. 

The old man, however, took a large knife which hung to his gir- 
dle, whetted it, and when it was suflBciently sharpened, he looked 
round at the strangers. They were terrified, but they had not much 
time for reflection, for the old man seized the goldsmith and with 
the greatest speed, shaved the hair of his head clean off, and then 
the same thing happened to the tailor. But their fear left them 
when, after he had finished his work, the old man clapped them 
both on the shoulder in a friendly manner, as much as to say, tiiey 
had behaved well to let all that be done to them willingly, and 
without any struggle. He pointed with his finger to a heap of coals 
which lay at one side, and signified to the travelers by his gestures 
that they were to fill their pockets with them. Both of them obeyed, 
although they did not know of what use the coals would be to 
them, and then they went on their way to seek a shelter for the 
night. When they had got into the valley, the clock of the neighbor- 

The Little Folks' Presents 155 

ing monastery struck twelve, and the song ceased. In a moment all 
had vanished, and the hill lay in solitude in the moonhght. 

The two travelers found an inn, and covered themselves up on 
their straw-beds with their coats, but in their weariness forgot to 
take the coals out of them before doing so. A heavy weight on their 
limbs awakened them earlier than usual. They felt in the pockets, 
and could not believe their eyes when they saw that they were not 
filled with coals, but with pure gold; happily, too, the hair of their 
heads and beards was there again as thick as ever. 

They had now become rich folks, but the goldsmith, who, in ac- 
cordance with his greedy disposition, had filled his pockets better, 
was as rich again as the tailor. A greedy man, even if he has much, 
still wishes to have more, so the goldsmith proposed to the tailor 
that they should wait another day, and go out again in the evening 
in order to bring back still greater treasures from the old man on 
the hill. The tailor refused, and said, "I have enough and am con- 
tent; now I shall be a master, and marry my dear object (for so he 
called his sweetheart), and I am a happy man." But he stayed an- 
other day to please him. 

In the evening the goldsmith hung a couple of bags over his 
shoulders that he might be able to stow away a great deal, and took 
the road to the hill. He found, as on the night before, the little folks 
at their singing and dancing, and the old man again shaved him 
clean, and signed to him to take some coal away with him. He was 
not slow about sticking as much into his bags as would go, went 
back quite delighted, and covered himself over with his coat. 
"Even if the gold does weigh heavily," said he, "I will gladly bear 
that," and at last he fell asleep with the sweet anticipation of wak- 
ing in the morning an enormously rich man. 

When he opened his eyes, he got up in haste to examine his 
pockets, but how amazed he was when he drew nothing out of 
them but black coals, and that howsoever often he put his hands in 
themi "The gold I got the night before is still there before me," 
thought he, and went and brought it out, but how shocked he was 
when he saw that it likewise had again turned into coal! He smote 
his forehead with his dusty black hand, and then he felt that his 
whole head was bald and smooth, as was also the place where his 
beard should have been. But his misfortunes were not yet over; he 
now remarked for the first time that in addition to the hump on his 
back, a second, just as large, had grown in front of his breast. Then 
he recognized the punishment of his greediness, and began to weep 
aloud. The good tailor, who was wakened by this, comforted the 

156 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

unhappy fellow as well as he could, and said, "You have been my 
comrade in my traveling time; you shall stay with me and share my 
wealth." He kept his word, but the poor goldsmith was obliged to 
carry the two humps as long as he lived, and to cover his bald head 
with a cap. 

The Elf 

There was once upon a time a rich King who had three daughters, 
who daily went to walk in the palace garden. The King was a great 
lover of all kinds of fine trees, but there was one for which he had 
such an affection that if anyone gathered an apple from it he 
wished him a himdred fathoms under ground. And when harvest 
time came, the apples on this tree were all as red as blood. The 
three daughters went every day beneath the tree, and looked to see 
if the wind had not blown down an apple, but they never by any 
chance found one, and the tree was so loaded with them that it was 
almost breaking, and the branches hung down to the ground. 

The King's youngest child had a great desire for an apple, and 
said to her sisters, "Our father loves us far too much to wish us un- 
derground, it is my belief that he would only do that to people who 
were strangers." And while she was speaking, the child plucked off 
quite a large apple, and ran to her sisters, saying, "Just taste, my 
dear little sisters, for never in my life have I tasted anything so de- 
lightful." Then the two other sisters also ate some of the apple, 
whereupon all three sank deep down into the earth, where they 
could hear no cock crow. 

When mid-day came, the King wished to call them to come to 
dinner, but they were nowhere to be found. He sought them every- 
v^here in the palace and garden, but could not find them. Then he 
was much troubled, and made known to the whole land that who- 
soever brought his daughters back again should have one of them 
to wife. Hereupon so many young men went about the country in 
sfearch, that there was no counting them, for every one loved the 
three children because they were so Idnd to all, and so fair of face. 
Three young huntsmen also went out, and when they had traveled 
about for eight days, they arrived at a great castle, in which were 
beautiful apartments, and in one room a table was laid on whidU 

The Elf 157 

were delicate dishes which were still so warm that they were smok- 
ing, but in the whole of the castle no human being was either to be 
seen or heard. 

They waited there for half a day, and the food still remained 
warm and smoldng, and at length they were so hungry that they sat 
down and ate, and agreed with each other that they would stay and 
live in that castle, and that one of them, who should be chosen by 
casting lots, should remain in the house, and the two others seek 
the King's daughters. They cast lots, and the lot fell on the eldest; 
so next day the two younger went out to seek, and the eldest had to 
stay at home. 

At mid-day came a small, small mannildn and begged for a piece 
of bread; then the huntsman took the bread which he had found 
there, and cut a round off the loaf and was about to give it to him, 
but while he was giving it to the marmikin, the latter let it fall, and 
asked the huntsman to be so good as to give him that piece again. 
The huntsman was about to do so and stooped, on which the man- 
nildn took a stick, seized him by the hair, and gave him a good 

Next day, the second stayed at home, and he fared no better. 
When the two others returned in the evening, the eldest said, 
"Well, how have you got on?" "Oh, very badly," said he, and then 
they lamented their misfortune together, but they said nothing 
about it to the youngest, for they did not like him at all, and always 
called him Stupid Hans, because he did not exactly belong to the 

On the third day, the youngest stayed at home, and again the Ht- 
tle mannikin came and begged for a piece of bread. When the 
youth gave it to him, the elf let it fall as before, and asked him to 
be so good as to give him that piece again. Then said Hans to the 
little mannikin, "Whatl canst thou not pick up that piece thyself? If 
thou wilt not take as much trouble as that for thy daily bread, thou 
dost not deserve to have it." Then the mannikin grew very angry 
and said he was to do it, but the huntsman would not, and took my 
dear mannikin, and gave Ifim a thorough beating. Then the manni- 
kin screamed terribly, and cried, "Stop, stop, and let me go, and I 
will tell thee where the King's daughters are." 

When Hans heard that, he left off beating him and the mannikin 
told him that he was an earth-mannikin, and that there were more 
than a thousand hke him, and that if he would go with him he 
would show him where the King's daughters were. Then he showed 
him a deep well, but there was no water in it. And the elf said that 

158 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

he knew well that the companions Hans had with him did not in- 
tend to deal honorably with him, therefore if he wished to deUver 
the King's children, he must do it alone. The two other brothers 
would also be very glad to recover the King's daughters, but they 
did not want to have any trouble or danger. Hans was therefore to 
take a large basket, and he must seat himself in it with his hanger 
and a bell, and be let down. Below were three rooms, and in each 
of them was a Princess, with a many-headed dragon, whose heads 
she was to comb and trim, but he must cut them off. And having 
said all this, the elf vanished. 

When it was evening the two brothers came and asked how he 
had got on, and he said, "pretty well so far," and that he had seen 
no one except at mid-day when a Httle mannikin had come who 
had begged for a piece of bread, that he had given some to him, 
but that the mannikin had let it fall and had asked him to pick it up 
again; but as he did not choose to do that, the elf had begun to lose 
his temper, and that he had done what he ought not, and had given 
the elf a beating, on which he had told him where the King's 
daughters were. Then the two were so angry at this that they grew 
green and yellow. 

Next morning they went to the well together, and drew lots who 
should first seat himself in the basket, and again the lot fell on the 
eldest, and he was to seat himself in it, and take the bell with him. 
Then he said, "If I ring, you must draw me up again immediately." 
When he had gone down for a short distance, he rang, and they at 
once drew him up again. Then the second seated himself in the 
basket, but he did just the same as the first, and then it was the 
turn of the youngest, but he let himself be lowered quite to the bot- 
tom. When he had got out of the basket, he took his hanger, and 
went and stood outside the first door and listened, and heard the 
dragon snoring quite loudly. He opened the door slowly, and one of 
the Princesses was sitting there, and had nine dragon's heads lying 
upon her lap, and was combing them. Then he took his hanger and 
hewed at them, and the nine fell off. The Princess sprang up, threw 
her arms round his neck, embraced and kissed him repeatedly, and 
took her stomacher, which was made of red gold, and hung it 
round his neck. Then he went to the second Princess, who had a 
dragon with five heads to comb, and delivered her also, and to the 
youngest, who had a dragon with four heads, he went Hkewise. And 
they all rejoiced, and embraced him and kissed him without stop- 

Then he rang very loud, so that those above heard him, and he 

The Elf 159 

placed the Princesses one after the other in the basket, and had 
them all drawn up, but when it came to his own turn he remem- 
bered the words of the elf, who had told him that his comrades did 
not mean well by him. So he took a great stone which was lying 
there, and placed it in the basket, and when it was about half way 
up, his false brothers above cut the rope, so that the basket with the 
stone fell to the ground, and they thought that he was dead, and 
ran away with the three Princesses, making them promise to tell 
their father that it was they who had delivered them, and then they 
went to the King, and each demanded a Princess in marriage. 

In the meantime the youngest huntsman was wandering about 
the three chambers in great trouble, fully expecting to have to end 
his days there, when he saw, hanging on the wall, a flute; then said 
he, "Why do you hang there, no one can be merry here?" He 
looked at the dragon's head Kkewise and said, "You cannot help me 
now." He walked backwards and forwards for such a long time that 
he made the surface of the ground quite smooth. At last other 
thoughts came to his mind, and he took the flute from the wall, and 
played a few notes on it, and suddenly a number of elves appeared, 
and with every note that he sounded one more came. 

He played until the room was entirely filled. They all asked what 
he desired, so he said he wished to get above ground back to day- 
light, on which they seized him by every hair that grew on his 
head, and thus they flew with him on to the earth again. When he 
was above ground, he at once went to the King's palace just as the 
wedding of one Princess was about to be celebrated, and he went 
to the room where the King and his three daughters were. When 
the Princesses saw him they fainted. Hereupon the King was angry, 
and ordered him to be put in prison at once, because he thought he 
must have done some injury to the children. When the Princesses 
came to themselves, however, they entreated the King to set him 
free again. The King asked why, and they said that they were not 
allowed to tell that, but their father said that they were to tell it to 
the stove. And he went out, Hstened at the door, and heard every- 
thing. Then he caused the two brothers to be hanged on the gal- 
lows, and to the third he gave his youngest daughter, and on that 
occasion I wore a pair of glass shoes, and I struck them against a 
stone, and they said, "KHnk," and were broken. 

The Foundling Bird 

A FORESTER Went out shooting one day. He had not gone far into 
the wood when he heard, as he thought, the cry of a child. He 
turned his steps instantly toward the sound, and at length came to a 
high tree, on one of the branches of which sat a Httle child. 

A mother, some short time before, had seated herself under the 
tree with the child in her lap, and fallen asleep. A bird of prey, see- 
ing the child, seized it in its beak and carried it away; but hearing 
the sound of the sportsman's gun, the bird let the child fall, its 
clothes caught in the branches of a high tree, and there it himg, 
crying, till the forester came by. 

The mother, on awaking and missing her child, rushed away in 
great agony to find it, so that the poor little thing would have been 
left alone in the world to die had not the sportsman made his ap- 

"Poor Httle creatiurel" he said to himself as he climbed up the 
tree and brought the child down, "I will take it home with me, and 
it shaU be brought up with my own little Lena." 

He kept his word, and the Httle foundHng grew up with the 
forester's Httle daughter, tiU they loved each other so dearly that 
they were always unhappy when separated, even for a short time. 
The forester had named the child Birdie, because she had been 
carried away by the bird; and Lena and Birdie were for several 
years happy Httle children together. 

But the forester had an old cook, who was not fond of children, 
and she wanted to get rid of Birdie, who she thought was an in- 

One evening Lena saw the woman take two buckets to the well, 
and carry them backward and forward more than twenty times. 

"What are you going to do with all that water?" asked the child. 
"If you will promise not to say a word, I will tell you," repHed the 
woman. "I will never tell any one," she said. "Oh, very well, then 
look here. Tomorrow morning, early, I mean to put aU this water 
into a kettle on the fire, and when it boils I shall throw Birdie in 
and cook her for dinner." 

Away went poor Lena, in great distress, to find Birdie. "If you 
will never forsake me, I will never forsake you," said Lena. "Then," 

The Foundling Bird 161 

said Birdie^ "I will never, never leave you, Lena." "Well, then," she 
replied, '1 am going away and you must go with me, for old cook 
says she will get up early tomorrow morning, and boil a lot of 
water to cook you in, while my father is out hunting. If you stay 
with me, I can save you. So you must never leave me." "No, never, 
never!" said Birdie. 

So the children lay awake till dawn, and then they got up and 
ran away so quickly that by the time the wicked old witch got up 
to prepare the water, they were far out of her reach. 

She Mt her fire, and as soon as the water boiled went into the 
sleeping-room to fetch poor Httle Birdie and throw her in. But 
when she came to the bed and found it empty, she was very much 
frightened to find both the children gone, and said to herself, 
"What will the forester say when he comes home if the children are 
not here? I must go downstairs as fast as I can and send some one 
to catch them." Down she went, and sent three of the farm servants 
to run after the children and bring them back. 

The children, who were sitting among the trees in the wood, saw 
them coming from a distance. 

"I will never forsake you. Birdie!" said Lena quickly. "Will you 
forsake me?" "Never, never!" was the reply. "Then," cried Lena, 
"you shall be turned into a rose bush, and I will be one of the 

The three servants came up to the place where the old witch had 
told them to look; but nothing was to be seen but a rose tree and a 
rose. "There are no children here," they said. 

So they went back and told the cook that they had foimd only 
roses and bushes, but not a sign of the children. 

The old woman scolded them well when they told her this, and 
said, "You stupid fools! you should have cut off the stem of the rose 
bush, and plucked one of the roses, and brought them home with 
you as quickly as possible. You must just go again a second time." 

Lena saw them coming, and she changed herself and Birdie so 
quickly that when the three servants arrived at the spot to which 
the old woman had sent them they found only a little church with a 
steeple— Birdie was the church and Lena the steeple. 

Then the men said one to another: "What was the use of our 
coming here? We may as well go home." 

But how the old woman did scold! "You fools!" she said, "you 
should have brought the church and the steeple here. However, I 
will go myself this time!" 

i62 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

So the wicked old woman started off to find the children, taking 
the three servants with her. 

When they saw the three servants coming in the distance, and 
the old woman waddling behind, Lena said, "Birdie, we will never 
forsake each other." "No, no! never, neverl" replied the little foimd- 
ling. "Then you shaU be changed into a pond, and I will be a 
duck swimming upon it." 

The old woman drew near, and as soon as she saw the pond she 
laid herself down by it, and, leaning over, intended to drink it all 
up. But the duck was too quick for her. She seized the head of the 
old woman with her beak, and drew it under the water, and held it 
there till the old witch was drowned. 

Then the two children resumed their proper shape, and went 
home with the three servants, all of them happy and delighted to 
think that they had got rid of such a wicked old woman. The 
forester was full of joy in his home with the children near the 
wood; and if they are not dead they all live there still. 

The Water of Life 

A KING was very ill, and no one believed that he would come out of 
it with his hfe. He had three sons who were much distressed about 
it, and went down into the palace-garden and wept. There they met 
an old man who inquired as to the cause of their grief. They told 
him that their father was so ill that he would most certainly die, for 
nothing seemed to cure him. Then the old man said, "I know of one 
more remedy, and that is the water of life; if he drinks of it he will 
become weU again; but it is hard to find." The eldest said, "I will 
manage to find it," and went to the sick King, and begged to be al- 
lowed to go forth in search of the water of life, for that alone could 
save him. "No," said the King, "the danger of it is too great. I 
would rather die." But he begged so long that the King consented. 
The Prince thought in his heart, 'If I bring the water, then I shall 
be best beloved of my father, and shall inherit the kingdom." 

So he set out, and when he had ridden forth a little distance, a 
dwarf stood there in the road who called to him and said, "Whither 
away so fast?" "Silly shrimp," said the Prince, very haughtily, "it is 
nothing to you," and rode on. But the little dwarf had grown angry. 

The Water of Life 163 

and had wished an evil wish. Soon after this the Prince entered a 
ravine, and the firrther he rode the closer the mountains drew to- 
gether, and at last the road became so narrow that he could not ad- 
vance a step fiuther; it was impossible either to turn his horse or to 
dismount from the saddle, and he was shut in there as if in prison. 
The sick King waited long for him, but he came not. 

Then the second son said, "Father, let me go forth to seek the 
water," and thought to himself, "If my brother is dead, then the 
kingdom will fall to me." At first the King would not allow him to 
go either, but at last he yielded, so the Prince set out on the same 
road that his brother had taken, and he too met the dwarf, who 
stopped him to ask whither he was going in such haste. "Little 
shrimp," said the Prince, "that is nothing to you," and rode on with- 
out giving him another look. But the dwarf bewitched him, and he. 
Like the other, got into a ravine, and could neither go forwards nor 
backwards. So fare haughty people. 

As the second son also remained away, the youngest begged to 
be allowed to go forth to fetch the water, and at last the King was 
obliged to let him go. When he met the dwarf and the latter asked 
him whither he was going in such haste, he stopped, gave him an 
explanation, and said, "I am seeking the water of life, for my father 
is sick imto death." "Dost thou know, then, where that is to be 
found?" "No," said the Prince. Then said the dwarf: "As thou hast 
borne thyself politely and not haughtily hke thy false brothers, I 
v^dll give thee the information and teU thee how thou mayst obtain 
the water of Kfe. It springs from a fountain in the court-yard of an 
enchanted castle, but thou wilt not be able to make thy way to it, if 
I do not give thee an iron wand and two small loaves of bread. 
Strike thrice with the wand on the iron door of the castle, and it 
will spring open. Inside lie two lions v^dth gaping jaws, but if thou 
throwest a loaf to each of them, they wiU be quieted; then hasten to 
fetch some of the water of life before the clock strikes twelve, else 
the door will shut again, and thou v^dlt be imprisoned." 

The Prince thanked him, took the wand and the bread, and set 
out on his way. When he arrived, everything was as the dwarf had 
said. The door sprang open at the third stroke of the wand, and 
when he had appeased the lions vidth the bread, he entered into the 
castle, and came in a large and splendid hall, wherein sat some 
enchanted Princes whose rings he drew off their fingers. A sword 
and a loaf of bread were lying there, which he carried away. After 
this, he entered a chamber in which was a beautiful maiden who 
rejoiced when she saw him, kissed him, and told him that he had 

164 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

delivered her, and should have the whole of her kingdom, and that 
if he vi'ould return in a year their wedding should be celebrated; 
likewise she told him where the spring of the water of Hfe was, and 
that he was to hasten and draw some of it before the clock struck 
twelve. Then he went onwards, and at last entered a room where 
there was a beautiful newly-made bed, and as he was very weary, 
he felt incHned to rest a little. So he lay down and fell asleep. 

When he awoke, it was striking a quarter to twelve. He sprang 
up in a fright, ran to the spring, drew some water in a cup which 
stood near, and hastened away. But just as he was passing through 
the iron door, the clock struck twelve, and the door fell to with 
such violence that it carried away a piece of his heel. He, however, 
rejoicing at having obtained the water of life, went homewards, 
and again passed the dwarf. When the latter saw the sword and the 
loaf, he said, "With these thou hast won great wealth; with the 
sword thou canst slay whole armies, and the bread will never come 
to an end." 

But the Prince would not go home to his father without his 
brothers, and said, "Dear dwarf, canst thou not tell me where my 
two brothers are? They went out before I did in search of the water 
of life, and have not returned." "They are imprisoned between two 
mountains," said the dwarf. "I have condemned them to stay there, 
because they were so haughty." Then the Prince begged until the 
dwarf released them; he warned him, however, and said, "Beware 
of them, for they have bad hearts." 

When his brothers came, he rejoiced, and told them how things 
had gone with him, that he had found the water of life, and had 
brought a cupful away with him, and had deHvered a beautiful 
Princess, who was willing to wait a year for him, and then their 
wedding was to be celebrated, and he would obtain a great 

After that they rode on together, and chanced upon a land where 
war and famine reigned, and the King already thought he must 
perish, for the scarcity was so great. Then the Prince went to him 
and gave him the loaf, wherewith he fed and satisfied the whole of 
his kingdom, and then the Prince gave him the sword also, where- 
with he slew the hosts of his enemies, and could now live in rest 
and peace. The Prince then took back his loaf and his sword, and 
the three brothers rode on. 

After this they entered two more countries where war and famine 
reigned, and each time the Prince gave his loaf and his sword to 
the Kings, and had now delivered three kingdoms, and after that 

The Water of Life 165 

they went on board a ship and sailed over the sea. During the pas- 
sage, the two eldest conversed apart and said, "The youngest has 
found the water of Hfe and not we; for that our father will give him 
the kingdom— the kingdom which belongs to us, and he wiU rob us 
of all our fortune." They began to seek revenge, and plotted with 
each other to destroy him. They waited until once when they found 
him fast asleep, then they poured the water of life out of the cup, 
and took it for themselves, but into the cup they poured salt sea- 
water. Now therefore, when they arrived at home, the youngest 
took his cup to the sick King in order that he might drink out of it, 
and be cured. But scarcely had he drunk a very little of the salt sea- 
water than he became still worse than before. And as he was la- 
menting over this, the two eldest brothers came, and accused the 
youngest of having intended to poison him, and said that they had 
brought him the true water of life, and handed it to him. He had 
scarcely tasted it, when he felt his sickness departing, and became 
strong and healthy as in the days of his youth. 

After that they both went to the youngest, mocked him, and said, 
"You certainly found the water of life, but you have had the pain, 
and we the gain. You should have been sharper, and should have 
kept your eyes open. We took it from you while you were asleep at 
sea, and when a year is over, one of us will go and fetch the beauti- 
ful Princess. But beware that you do not disclose aught of this to 
our father; indeed he does not trust you, and if you say a single 
word, you shall lose your hfe into the bargain, but if you keep si- 
lent, you shall have it as a gift." 

The old King was angry with his youngest son, and thought he 
had plotted against his hfe. So he summoned the court together, 
and had sentence pronounced upon his son that he should be se- 
cretly shot. And once when the Prince was riding forth to the chase, 
suspecting no evil, the King's huntsman had to go with him, and 
when they were quite alone in the forest, the himtsman looked so 
sorrowful that the Prince said to him, "Dear huntsman, what ails 
you?" The huntsman said, "I cannot tell you, and yet I ought." 
Then the Prince said, "Say openly what it is, I will pardon you." 
"Alas!" said the huntsman, "I am to shoot you dead, the King has 
ordered me to do it." Then the Prince was shocked, and said, "Dear 
huntsman, let me live; there, I give you my royal garments; give me 
your common ones in their stead." The huntsman said, "I will 
wilhngly do that, indeed I should not have been able to shoot you." 
Then they exchanged clothes, and the huntsman returned home; 
the Prince, however, went further into the forest. 

i66 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

After a time three wagons of gold and precious stones came to 
the King for his youngest son, which were sent by the three Kings 
who had slain their enemies with the Prince's sword, and main- 
tained their people with his bread, and who wished to show their 
gratitude for it. The old King then thought, "Can my son have 
been innocent?" and said to his people, "Would that he were still 
alive; how it grieves me that I have suffered him to be killedl" "He 
still lives," said the huntsman, "I could not find it in my heart to 
carry out your command," and told the King how it had happened. 
Then a great weight fell from the King's heart, and he had it 
proclaimed in every country that his son might return and be taken 
into favor again. 

The Princess, however, had a road made up to her palace which 
was quite bright and golden, and told her people that whosoever 
came riding straight along it to her, would be the right wooer and 
was to be admitted, and whoever rode by the side of it, was not the 
right one, and was not to be admitted. As the time was now close at 
hand, the eldest son thought he would hasten to go to the King's 
daughter, and give himself out as her deliverer, and thus win her 
for his bride, and the kingdom to boot. Therefore he rode forth, 
and when he arrived in front of the palace, and saw the splendid 
golden road, he thought it would be a sin and a shame if he were to 
ride over that, and turned aside, and rode on the right side of it. 
When he came to the door, the servants told him that he was not 
the right man, and was to go away again. 

Soon after this the second Prince set out, and when he came to 
the golden road, and his horse had put one foot on it, he thought it 
would be a sin and a shame to tread a piece of it off, and he tirnied 
aside and rode on the left side of it, and when he reached the door, 
the attendants told him he was not the right one, and was to go 
away again. 

When at last the year had entirely expired, the third son likewise 
wished to ride out of the forest to his beloved, with her to forget his 
sorrows. So he set out and thought of her so incessantly, and 
wished to be with her so much, that he never noticed the golden 
road at all. So his horse rode onwards up the middle of it, and 
when he came to the door, it was opened and the Princess received 
him with joy, and said he was her deliverer, and lord of the king- 
dom, and their wedding was celebrated with great rejoicing. 

When it was over she told him that his father invited him to 
come to him, and had forgiven him. So he rode thither, and told 
him everything; how his brothers had betrayed him, and how he 

The Water Sprite 167 

had nevertheless kept silence. The old King wished to punish them, 
but they had put to sea, and never came back as long as they lived. 

The Water Sprite 

A LITTLE brother and sister were one day playing together by the 
side of a well, and not being careful, they both fell in. Under the 
water they found a fairy, who said to them, "Now I have caught 
you, I intend you to work for me." So she carried them both away. 

When they arrived at her home she set the maiden to spin hard, 
tangled flax, and gave her a cask full of holes to fill with water; and 
she sent the boy to the wood with a blunt axe, and told him to cut 
wood for her fire. 

The children became at last so impatient with this treatment that 
they waited till one Sunday, when the fairy was at church, and ran 
away. But the church was close by, and as they were flying away 
like two birds she espied them, and went after them with great 

The children saw her coming in the distance, and the maiden 
threw behind her a great brush, which instantly became a moun- 
tain covered with prickly points, over which the fairy had the 
greatest trouble to climb. But the children saw that she had man- 
aged to get over and was coming near. 

The boy then threw a comb behind him, which became a moun- 
tain of combs, with hundreds of teeth sticking up; but the fairy 
knew how to hold fast on this, and soon clambered over it. 

The maiden next threw a looking-glass behind, which became a 
mountain also, and was so slippery that it was impossible to get 
over it. 

Then thought the fairy, "I will go home and fetch my axe and 
break the looking-glass." 

But when she came back and had broken the looking-glass, the 
children had been for a long time too far away for her to overtake 
them, so she was obliged to sink back into the well. 

The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 

There was once a tailor who had three sons and one goat. And the 
goat, as she noinished them all with her milk, was obHged to have 
good food, and so she was led every day down to the willows by 
the water-side; and this business the sons did in turn. One day the 
eldest took the goat to the churchyard, where the best sprouts are, 
that she might eat her fill and gambol about. 

In the evening, when it was time to go home, he said, "Well, 
goat, have you had enough?" The goat answered, 

"I am so full, 
I cannot pull 
Another blade of grass— ba! baoT 

"Then come home," said the youth, and fastened a string to her, 
led her to her stall, and fastened her up. 

"Now," said the old tailor, "has the goat had her proper food?" 
"Oh," answered the son, "she is so fuU, she no more can puU." But 
the father, wishing to see for himself, went out to the staU, stroked 
his dear goat, and said, "My dear goat, are you full?" And the goat 

"How can I be full? 
There was nothing to pull. 
Though I looked all about me—bat boar 

*'What is this that I hear?" cried the tailor, and he ran and called 
out to the youth, "O you har, to say that the goat was full, and she 
has been hungry all the timel" And in his wrath he took up his 
yard-measure and drove his son out of the house with many blows. 

The next day came the turn of the second $on, and he found a 
fine place in the garden hedge, where there were good green 
sprouts, and the goat ate them aU up. In the evening, when he came 
to lead her home, he said, "Well, goat, have you had enough?" And 
the goat answered, 

"J am so full, 
I cannot pull 
Another blade of grass— bal baaF* 

The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 169 

"Then come home," said the youth, and led her home, and tied 
her up. 

"Now," said the old tailor, "has the goat had her proper food?" 
"Oh," answered the son, "she is so full, she no more can pull." 

The tailor, not feeling satisfied, went out to the stall, and said, 
"My dear goat, are you really full?" And the goat answered, 

'How can I be full? 
There was nothing to pull. 
Though I looked all about me—ba! baoT' 

"The good-for-nothing rascal," cried the tailor, "to let the dear 
creature go fastingl" and, running back, he chased the youth with 
his yard-wand out of the house. 

Then came the turn of the third son, who, meaning to make all 
sure, found some shrubs with the finest sprouts possible, and left 
the goat to devour them. In the evening, when he came to lead her 
home, he said, "Well, goat, are you full?" And the goat answered, 

"I am so full, 
I cannot pull 
Another blade of grass— ba! baa!" 

"Then come home," said the youth; and he took her to her stall, 
and fastened her up. 

"Now," said the old tailor, "has the goat had her proper food?" 
"Oh," answered the son, "she is so full, she no more can pull." 

But the tailor, not trusting his word, went to the goat and said, 
"My dear goat, are you really full?" The malicious animal answered, 

"How can I be full? 
There was nothing to pull. 
Though I looked all about me—ba! baar 

"Oh, the wretchesl" cried the tailor; "the one as good-for-nothing 
and careless as the other. I will no longer have such fools about 
me"; and rushing back, in his wrath he laid about him with his 
yard-wand, and belabored his son's back so immercifully that he 
ran away out of the house. 

So the old tailor was left alone with the goat. The next day he 
went out to the stall, and let out the goat, saying, "Come, my dear 
creature, I will take you myself to the willows." 

So he led her by the string, and brought her to the green hedges 
and pastures where there was plenty of food to her taste, and say- 
ing to her, "Now, for once, you can eat to your heart's content," he 

lyo Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

left her there till the evening. Then he returned, and said, "Well, 
goat, are you full?" She answered, 

"I am so full, 
I cannot pull 
Another blade of grass— ba! baal" 

"Then come home," said the tailor, and leading her to her stall, 
he fastened her up. 

Before he left her he turned once more, saying, "Now then, for 
once you are fuU." But the goat actually cried, 

"How can I be full? 
There was nothing to pull, 
Though I looked all about me—bal baaF' 

When the tailor heard that he marveled, and saw at once that his 
three sons had been sent away without reason. "Wait a minute," 
cried he, "you ungrateful creaturel It is not enough merely to drive 
you away— I wiU teach you to show your face again among honora- 
ble tailors." 

So in haste he went and fetched his razor, and seizing the goat he 
shaved her head as smooth as the palm of his hand. And as the 
yard-measure was too honorable a weapon, he took the whip and 
fetched her such a crack that with many a jump and spring she ran 

The tailor felt very sad as he sat alone in his house, and would 
willingly have had his sons back again, but no one knew where 
they had gone. 

The eldest son, when he was driven from home, apprenticed him- 
self to a joiner, and he applied himself diligently to his trade, and 
when the time came for him to travel, his master gave him a little 
table, nothing much to look at, and made of common wood; but it 
had one great quality. When any one set it down and said, "Table, 
be covered!" all at once the good little table had a clean cloth on it, 
and a plate, and knife, and fork, and dishes with roast and boiled 
meat, and a large glass of red wine sparkHng so as to cheer the 
heart. The young apprentice thought he was set up for life, and he 
went merrily out into the world, and never cared whether an inn 
were good or bad, or whether he could get anything to eat there or 
not. When he was hungry, it did not matter where he was, whether 
in the fields, in the woods, or in a meadow, he set down his table 
and said, "Be covered!" and there he was provided with everything 
that heart could wish. At last it occurred to him that he would go 

The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 171 

back to his father, whose wrath might by this time have subsided, 
and perhaps because of the wonderful table he might receive him 
again gladly. 

It happened that one evening during his journey home he came 
to an inn that was quite full of guests, who bade him welcome, and 
asked him to sit down with them and eat, as otherwise he would 
have found some difficulty in getting anything. "No," answered the 
young joiner, "I could not think of depriving you; you had much 
better be my guests." 

Then they laughed, and thought he must be joking. But he 
brought his Httle wooden table, and put it in the middle of the 
room, and said, "Table, be covered!" Immediately it was set out 
with food much better than the landlord had been able to provide, 
and the good smell of it greeted the noses of the guests very 
agreeably. "Fall to, good friends," said the joiner; and the guests, 
when they saw how it was, needed no second asking, but taking up 
knife and fork fell to valiantly. And what seemed most wonderful 
was that when a dish was empty inmiediately a fuU one stood in its 
place. All the while the landlord stood in a comer, and watched all 
that went on. He could not teU what to say about it; but he thought 
"such cooking as that would make my inn prosper." 

The joiner and his fellowship kept it up very merrily until late at 
night. At last they went to sleep, and the young joiner, going to 
bed, left his wishing-table standing against the wall. The landlord, 
however, could not sleep for thinking of the table, and he remem- 
bered that there was in his lumber room an old table very Uke it, so 
he fetched it, and taking away the joiner s table, he left the other in 
its place. The next morning the joiner paid his reckoning, took up 
the table, not dreaming that he was carrying off the wrong one, and 
went on his way. About noon he reached home, and his father re- 
ceived him with great joy. 

"Now, my dear son, what have you learned?" said he to him. "I 
have learned to be a joiner, father," he answered. 

"That is a good trade," returned the father; "but what have you 
brought back with you from your travels?" "The best thing I've got, 
father, is this little table," said he. 

The tailor looked at it on all sides, and said, "You have certainly 
produced no masterpiece. It is a rubbishing old table." 

"But it is a very wonderful one," answered the son. "When I set 
it down, and tell it to be covered, at once the finest meats are stand- 
ing on it, and wine so good that it cheers the heart. Let us invite all 

172 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

the friends and neighbors, that they may feast and enjoy themselves, 
for the table will provide enough for all." 

When the company was all assembled, he put his table in the 
middle of the room, and commanded it, "Table, be covered!" 

But the table never stirred, and remained just as empty as any 
other table that does not understand talking. When the poor joiner 
saw that the table remained unfurnished, he felt ashamed to stand 
there like a fool. The company laughed at him freely, and were 
obliged to return unfilled and uncheered to their houses. The father 
gathered his pieces together and returned to his tailoring, and the 
son went to work under another master. 

The second son had bound himself apprentice to a miller. And 
when his time was up, his master said to him, "As you have be- 
haved yourself so well, I will give you an ass of a remarkable kind: 
he will draw no cart, and carry no sack." "What is the good of him 
then?" asked the yoimg apprentice. "He spews forth gold," an- 
swered the miller. 'If you put a cloth before him and say, 'Brickle- 
brit,' out come gold pieces from back and front." 

"That is a capital thing," said the apprentice, and thanking his 
master, he went out into the world. Whenever he wanted gold he 
had only to say "Bricklebrit" to his ass, and there was a shower of 
gold pieces, and so he had no cares as he traveled about. Wherever 
he came he lived on the best, and the dearer the better, as his purse 
was always fuU. And when he had been looking about him about 
the world a long time, he thought he would go and find out his fa- 
ther, who would perhaps forget his anger and receive him kindly 
because of his gold ass. 

And it happened that he came to lodge in the same inn where his 
brother s table had been exchanged. He was leading his ass in his 
hand, and the landlord was for taking the ass from him to tie it up, 
but the young apprentice said, "Don't trouble yourself, old fellow, I 
will take him into the stable myself and tie him up, and then I shall 
know where to find him." 

The landlord thought this was very strange, and he never sup- 
posed that a man who was accustomed to look after his ass himself 
could have much to spend; but when the stranger, feeling in his 
pocket, took out two gold pieces and told him to get him something 
good for supper, the landlord stared, and ran and fetched the best 
that could be got. After supper the guest called the reckoning, and 
the landlord, wanting to get all the profit he could, said that it 
would amount to two gold pieces more. The apprentice felt in his 
pocket, but his gold had come to an end. 

The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 173 

"Wait a moment, landlord," said he, "I will go and fetch some 
money," and he went out of the room, carrying the tablecloth with 
him. The landlord could not tell what to make of it, and, curious to 
know his proceedings, slipped after him, and as the guest shut the 
stable-door, he peeped in through a knothole. Then he saw how the 
stranger spread the cloth before the ass, saying, "Bricklebrit," and 
directly the ass let gold pieces fall from back and front, so that it 
rained down money upon the ground. 

"Dear me," said the landlord, "that is an easy way of getting 
ducats; a purse of money like that is no bad thing." 

After that the guest paid his reckoning and went to bed; but the 
landlord slipped down to the stable in the middle of the night, led 
the gold ass away, and tied up another ass in his place. The next 
morning early the apprentice set forth with his ass, never doubting 
that it was the right one. By noon he came to his father's house, 
who was rejoiced to see him again, and received him gladly. 

"What trade have you taken up, my son?" asked the father. "I 
am a miller, dear father," answered he. 

"What have you brought home from your travels?" continued the 
father. "Nothing but an ass," answered the son. 

"We have plenty of asses here," said the father. "You had much 
better have brought me a nice goat!" "Yes," answered the son, "but 
this is no common ass. When I say, 'Bricklebrit,' the good creature 
spits out a whole clothful of gold pieces. Let me call all the neigh- 
bors together. I will make rich people of them all." 

"That will be fine!" said the tailor. "Then I need labor no more 
at my needle"; and he rushed out himself and called the neighbors 
together. As soon as they were all assembled, the miller called out 
to them to make room, and brought in the ass, and spread his cloth 
before him. 

"Now, pay attention," said he, and cried, "Bricklebritl" but no 
gold pieces came, and that showed that the animal was not more 
scientific than any other ass. 

So the poor miller made a long face when he saw that he had 
been taken in, and begged pardon of the neighbors, who all went 
home as poor as they had come. And there was nothing for it but 
that the old man must take to his needle again, and that the young 
one should take service with a miller. 

The third brother had bound himself apprentice to a turner; and 
as turning is a very ingenious handicraft, it took him a long time to 
learn it. His brothers told him in a letter how badly things had 
gone with them, and how on the last night of their travels the land- 

174 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

lord deprived them of their treasures. When the young turner had 
learnt his trade, and was ready to travel, his master, to reward him 
for his good conduct, gave him a sack, and told him that there was a 
stick inside it. 

"I can hang up the sack, and it may be very useful to me," said 
the young man. "But what is the good of the stick?" 

"I will tell you," answered the master. "If any one does you any 
harm, and you say, 'Stick, out of the sack!' the stick will jump out 
upon them, and will belabor them so soundly that they shaU not be 
able to move or to leave the place for a week, and it will not stop 
until you say, 'Stick, into the sack!'" 

The apprentice thanked him, and took up the sack and started on 
his travels, and when any one attacked him he would say, "Stick, 
out of the sack!" and directly out jumped the stick, and dealt a 
shower of blows on the coat or jerkin, and the back beneath, which 
quickly ended the affair. One evening the young turner reached the 
inn where his two brothers had been taken in. He laid his knapsack 
on the table, and began to describe all the wonderful things he had 
seen in the world. 

"Yes," said he, "you may talk of your self-spreading table, gold- 
supplying ass, and so forth; very good things, I do not deny, but 
they are nothing in comparison with the treasure that I have ac- 
quired and carry with me in that sackl" 

Then the landlord opened his ears. "What in the world can it 
be?" thought he. "Very likely the sack is full of precious stones; and 
I have a perfect right to it, for all good things come in threes." 

When bedtime came the guest stretched himself on a bench, and 
put his sack under his head for a pillow, and the landlord, when he 
thought the young man was sound asleep, came, and, stooping 
down, pulled gently at the sack, so as to remove it cautiously, and 
put another in its place. The turner had only been waiting for this 
to happen, and just as the landlord was giving a last courageous 
pull, he cried, "Stick, out of the sackl" Out flew the stick directly, 
and laid to heartily on the landlord's back; and in vain he begged 
for mercy; the louder he cried the harder the stick beat time on his 
back, until he fell exhausted to the ground. 

Then the turner said, "If you do not give me the table and the 
ass directly, this game shall begin all over again." 

"Oh dear, nol" cried the landlord, quite collapsed; "1 will gladly 
give it all back again if you will only make this terrible goblin go 
back into the sack." 

Then said the yoimg man, "I will be generous instead of just. 

The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 175 

but bewarel" Then he cried, "Stick, into the sack!" and left him in 

The next morning the turner set out with the table and the ass on 
his way home to his father. The tailor was very glad indeed to see 
him again, and asked him what he had learned abroad. "My dear 
father," answered he, "I am become a turner." 

"A very ingenious handicraft," said the father. "And what have 
you brought with you from your travels?" "A very valuable thing, 
dear father," answered the son. "A stick in a sackl" 

"What!" cried the father. "A stick! The thing is not worth so 
much trouble when you can cut one from any tree." 

"But it is not a common stick, dear father," said the young man. 
"When I say, 'Stick, out of the bag!' out jumps the stick upon any 
one who means harm to me, and makes him dance again, and does 
not leave oflE till he is beaten to the earth, and asks pardon. Just 
look here, with this stick I have recovered the table and the ass 
which the thieving landlord had taken from my two brothers. Now, 
let them both be sent for, and bid all the neighbors too, and they 
shall eat and drink to their hearts' content, and I will fill their 
pockets with gold." 

The old tailor could not quite believe in such a thing, but he 
called his sons and aU the neighbors together. Then the turner 
brought in the ass, opened a cloth before him, and said to his 
brother, "Now, my dear brother, speak to him." And the miller 
said, "Bricklebrit!" and immediately the cloth was covered with 
gold pieces, until they had all got more than they could carry away. 
( I tell you this because it is a pity you were not there. ) Then the 
turner set down the table, and said, "Now, my dear brother, speak 
to it." And the joiner said, 'Table, be covered!" and directly it was 
covered, and set forth plentifully with the richest dishes. Then they 
held a feast such as had never taken place in the tailor's house be- 
fore, and the whole company remained through the night, merry 
and content. 

The tailor after that locked up in a cupboard his needle and 
thread, his yard-measure and goose, and lived ever after with his 
three sons in great joy and splendor. 

But what became of the goat, the imlucky cause of the tailor's 
sons being driven out? I will tell you. She felt so ashamed of her 
bald head that she ran into a fox's hole and hid herself. When the 
fox came home he caught sight of two great eyes staring at him out 
of the darkness, and was very frightened and ran away. A bear met 

176 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

him, and seeing that he looked very disturbed, asked him, "What is 
the matter, brother fox, that you should look like that?" 

"Oh dear," answered the fox, "a grisly beast is sitting in my hole, 
and he stared at me with fiery eyes I" 

"We will soon drive him out," said the bear; and went to the hole 
and looked in, but when he caught sight of the fiery eyes he like- 
wise felt great terror seize him, and not wishing to have anything to 
do with so grisly a beast, he made o£F. He was soon met by a bee, 
who remarked that he had not a very courageous air, and said to 
him, "Bear, you have a very depressed countenance, what has be- 
come of yoiu: high spirit?" 

"You may well ask," answered the bear. *ln the fox's hole there 
sits a grisly beast with fiery eyes, and we cannot drive him out." 

The bee answered, "I know you despise me, bear. I am a poor 
feeble little creature, but I think I can help you." 

So she flew into the fox's hole, and settling on the goat's smooth- 
shaven head, stung her so severely that she jimiped up, crying, "Ba- 
baal" and ran out like mad into the world. And to this hour no one 
knows where she ran to. 

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

There was once a woman who had three daughters, the eldest of 
whom was called One-eye, because she had only one eye in the 
middle 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 center of her fore- 
head. However, as Two-eyes saw just as other human beings did, 
her sisters 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 I" They pushed her about, and threw old 
clothes to her, and gave her nothing to eat but what they left, and 
did everything 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 stiU 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 stand- 

One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes 177 

ing 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 comer to another, throw old clothes at me, 
and give me nothing to eat but the scraps they leave? Today 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 mayst eat as much as 
thou art inclined for, and when thou hast had enough, and hast no 
more need of the little table, just say, 

'Bleat, bleat, my little 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 little 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, 'Xord 
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 little goat, I pray. 
And take the table quite away," 

and immediately the little table and everything on it was gone 
again. "That is a delightful way of keeping house I" thought Two- 
eyes, and was quite glad and happy. 

In the evening, when she went home with her goat, she foimd 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 

178 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

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 this, her sisters did not remark it at all, but as it hap- 
pened every time, they did observe it, and said, "There is some- 
thing 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 pas- 
ture, 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 thouF' 

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 little goat, bleat. 
Cover the table with something to eat," 

and seated herself at her table, and ate and drank imtil she was 
satisfied, 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-eyes 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 lit- 
tle 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 you shall go 

One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes 179 

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 se- 
cret." 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 v^ll 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 loakingF' 
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 pre- 
tend 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 httle charm: 

"Bleat, my little 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 little 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- 

i8o Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

minded thing there does not eat. When she is out, she says to the 

'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 
all 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 
dovm 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 yom: charm, has been killed by my mother, 
and now I shall again have to bear hunger and want." The v^dse 
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 vwse woman had counseled 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 v^dde 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 

One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes 181 

gather some of the fruit of the tree for us." One-eye climbed 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 sldlful, 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, *T will just go up, perhaps I may succeed 
better." The sisters cried, "You indeed, 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 she 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 

It so happened 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 usl" 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, but 
they were not able to do it, for the branches and fruit both moved 
away from them every time. 

Then said the knight, 'Tt is very strange that the tree should be- 
long to you, and that you should still not be able to break a piece 
off." They again asserted that the tree was their property. While 
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 astonished, and asked where they 

i82 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

came from. One-eye and Three-eyes answered that they had an- 
other sister, who was not allowed to show herself, for she had only 
two eyes like 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 for me." 
"Yes," repHed 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 ofiF 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?" "Alasl" answered Two-eyes, "1 suffer 
from hunger and thirst, grief and want, from early morning till late 
night; if you would take me with you, and deHver 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, however, 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 standing in front of it, and so it had followed 

Two-eyes Hved a long time in happiness. Once two poor women 
came to her in her castle, 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 wel- 
come, 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. 

The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn 

Once there webe three brothers, and they grew poorer and poorer, 
until at last their need was so great that they had nothing left to 
bite or to break. Then they said, "This will not do; we had better 
go out into the world and seek our fortune." 

So they set out, and went some distance through many green 
fields, but they met with no good fortune. One day they came to a 
great wood, in the midst of which was a hill, and when they came 
near to it, they saw that it was all of silver. Then said the eldest, 
"Now here is good fortune enough for me, and I desire no better." 
And he took of the silver as much as he could carry, turned round, 
and went back home. But the other two said, "We must have some- 
thing better than mere silver," and they would not touch it, but 
went on farther. 

After they had gone on a few days longer, they came to a hill 
that was all of gold. The second brother stood still and considered, 
and was imcertain. "What shall I do?" said he; "shall I take of the 
gold enough to last me my life, or shall I go farther?" At last, com- 
ing to a conclusion, he filled his pockets as full as they would hold, 
bid good-bye to his brother, and went home. But the third brother 
said to himself, "Silver and gold do not tempt me; I wiU not gain- 
say fortune, who has better things in store for me." 

So he went on, and when he had journeyed for three days, he 
came to a wood still greater than the former ones, so that there was 
no end to it; and in it he found nothing to eat or to drink, so that he 
was nearly starving. He got up into a high tree, so as to see how far 
the wood reached, but as far as his eyes could see, there was noth- 
ing but the tops of the trees. And as he got down from the tree, 
hunger pressed him sore, and he thought, "Oh that for once I could 
have a good meall" 

And when he reached the ground he saw to his surprise a table 
beneath the tree richly spread with food, and that smoked before 

"This time at least," said he, "I have my wish," and without stop- 
ping to ask who had brought the meal there, and who had cooked 
it, he came close to the table and ate with relish, until his hunger 
was appeased. When he had finished, he thought, "It would be a 

184 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

pity to leave such a good table-cloth behind in the wood," so he 
folded it up neatly and pocketed it. 

Then he walked on, and in the evening, when hunger again 
seized him, he thought he would put the table-cloth to the proof, 
and he brought it out and said, "Now I desire that thou shouldst be 
spread with a good meal," and no sooner were the words out of his 
'mouth, than there stood on it as many dishes of delicious food as 
there was room for. 

"Now that I see," said he, "what sort of a cook thou art, I hold 
thee dearer than the mountains of silver and of gold," for he per- 
ceived that it was a wishing-cloth. Still he was not satisfied to settle 
/down at home with only a wishing-cloth, so he determined to wan- 
der farther through the world and seek his fortune. 

One evening, in a lonely wood, he came upon a begrimed char- 
coal-burner at his furnace, who had put some potatoes to roast for 
his supper. "Good evening, my black feUow," said he, "how do you 
get on in this lonely spot?" "One day is like another," answered the 
charcoal-burner; "every evening I have potatoes; have you a mind 
to be my guest?" "Many thanks," answered the traveler, "I will not 
deprive you; you did not expect a guest; but if you do not object, 
you shall be the one to be invited." 

"How can that be managed?" said the charcoal-bmner; "I see 
that you have nothing with you, and if you were to walk two hours 
in any direction, you would meet with no one to give you any- 
thing." "For aU that," answered he, "there shall be a feast so good, 
that you have never tasted the like." 

Then he took out the table-cloth from his knapsack, and spreading 
it on the ground, said, "Cloth, be covered," and immediately there 
appeared boiled and roast meat, quite hot, as if it had just come 
from the kitchen. The charcoat-bumer stared, but did not stay to be 
asked twice, and fell to, filling his black mouth with ever bigger 
and bigger pieces. 

When they had finished eating, the charcoal-burner smiled, and 
said, "Look here, I approve of your table-cloth; it would not be a 
bad thing for me to have here in the wood, where the cooking is 
not first-rate. I will strike a bargain with you. There hangs a sol- 
dier's knapsack in the corner, which looks old and unsightly, but it 
has wonderful qualities; as I have no further occasion for it, I wiU 
give it to you in exchange for the table-cloth." 

"First, I must know what these wonderful quahties are," re- 
turned the other. 

"I will tell you," answered the charcoal-burner; "if you strike it 

The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn 185 

with your hand, there will appear a corporal and six men with 
swords and muskets, and whatever you wish to have done, that will 
they do." 

"Well, for my part," said the other, "I am quite willing to make 
the exchange." And he gave the table-cloth to the charcoal-burner, 
took down the knapsack from its hook, slung it over his shoulder, 
and took his leave. Before he had gone far he began to want to 
make a trial of his wonderful knapsack, so he struck it a blow. At 
once seven soldiers appeared before him, and the corporal said, 
"What does my lord and master please to want?" 

"March in haste to the charcoal-burner and demand my wishing- 
cloth back," said the man. They wheeled round to the left, and 
were not long before they had accomplished his desire, and taken 
away, without wasting many words, the wishing-cloth from the 
charcoal-burner. Having dismissed them, he wandered on, expect- 
ing still more wonderful luck. 

About sunset he fell in with another charcoal-burner, who was 
getting his supper ready at the fire. "Will you join me?" said this 
black fellow; "potatoes and salt, without butter; sit down to it with 
me." "No," answered he, "this time you shall be my guest." And he 
spread out his table-cloth, and it was directly covered with the 
most delicious victuals. So they ate and drank together and were 

After the meal was over the charcoal-burner said, "Over there, 
on the bench, lies an old worn-out hat, which has wonderful prop- 
erties : if you put it on and draw it well over yoiu* head it is as if a 
dozen field-pieces went off, one after the other, shooting everything 
down, so that no one can stand against them. This hat is of no use 
to me, and I will give it to you in exchange for the table-cloth." 

"All right," answered the other, taking the hat and carrying it off, 
and leaving the table-cloth behind him. Before he had gone far he 
struck upon the knapsack, and summoned his soldiers to fetch back 
the table-cloth again. "First one thing, and then another," thought 
he, "just as if my luck were never to end." 

And so it seemed, for at the end of another day's journey he came 
up to another charcoal-burner, who was roasting his potatoes just 
like the others. He invited him to eat with him off his wishing-cloth, 
to which the charcoal-burner took such a fancy, that he gave him 
for it a horn, which had different properties still from the hat. If a 
man blew on it, down fell all walls and fortresses, and finally towns 
and villages in heaps. So the man gave the table-cloth in exchange 
for it to the charcoal-burner, afterwards sending his men to fetch it 

i86 GrimnCs Complete Fairy Tales 

back, so that at last he had in his possession knapsack, hat, and 
horn, all at one time. "Now," said he, "I am a made man, and it is 
time to go home again and see how my brothers are faring." 

When he reached home he found that his brothers had built 
themselves a fine house with their silver and gold, and Hved in 
clover. He went to see them, but because he wore a half-worn-out 
coat, a shabby hat, and the old knapsack on his back, they would 
not recognize him as their brother. They mocked him and said, "It 
is of no use your giving yourself out to be our brother; he who 
scorned silver and gold, seeking for better fortune, will return in 
great splendor, as a mighty King, not as a beggar-man." And they 
drove him from their door. 

Then he flew into a great rage, and struck upon his knapsack 
until a hundred and fifty men stood before him, rank and file. He 
ordered them to smround his brothers' house, and that two of them 
should take hazel-rods, and should beat the brothers until they 
knew who he was. And there arose a terrible noise; the people ran 
together and wished to rescue the brothers in their extremity, but 
they could do nothing against the soldiers. It happened at last that 
the King of the coimtry heard of it, and he was indignant, and sent 
a captain with his troops to drive the disturber of the peace out of 
the town. But the man with his knapsack soon assembled a greater 
company, who beat back the captain and his people, sending them 
ofiF with bleeding noses. 

Then the King said, "This vagabond fellow must be put down," 
and he sent the next day a larger company against him, but they 
could do nothing, for he assembled more men than ever, and in 
order to bring them more quickly, he pulled his hat twice lower 
over his brows; then the heavy guns came into play, and the King's 
people were beaten and put to flight. "Now," said he, "I shall not 
make peace until the King gives me his daughter to wife, and lets 
me rule the whole kingdom in his name." 

This he caused to be told to the King, who said to his daughter, 
"This is a hard nut to crack; there is no choice but for me to do as 
he asks; if I wish to have peace and keep the crown on my head, I 
must give in to him." 

So the wedding took place, but the King's daughter was angry 
that the bridegroom should be a common man, who wore a shabby 
hat, and carried an old knapsack. She wished very much to get rid 
of him, and thought day and night how to manage it. Then it struck 
her that perhaps all his wonder-working power lay in the knapsack, 
and she pretended to be very fond of him, and when she had 

Sweetheart Roland 187 

brought him into a good humor she said, "Pray lay aside that ugly 
knapsack; it misbecomes you so much that I feel ashamed of you." 

"My dear child," answered he, "this knapsack is my greatest 
treasure; so long as I keep it I need not fear anything in the whole 
world," and then he showed her with what wonderful qualities it 
was endowed. Then she fell on his neck as if she would have kissed 
him, but, by a clever trick, she slipped the knapsack over his shoul- 
der and ran away with it. 

As soon as she was alone she struck upon it and summoned the 
soldiers, and bade them seize her husband and bring him to the 
King's palace. They obeyed, and the false woman had many more 
to follow behind, so as to be ready to drive him out of the country. 
He would have been quite done for if he had not still kept the hat. 
As soon as he could get his hands free he pulled it twice forward on 
his head; and then the cannon began to thunder and beat all down, 
till at last the King's daughter had to come and to beg pardon. And 
as she so movingly prayed and promised to behave better, he raised 
her up and made peace with her. Then she grew very land to him, 
and seemed to love him very much, and he grew so deluded, that 
one day he confided to her that even if he were deprived of his 
knapsack nothing could be done against him as long as he should 
keep the old hat. And when she knew the secret she waited until he 
had gone to sleep; then she carried off the hat, and had him driven 
out into the streets. Still the horn remained to him, and in great 
wrath he blew a great blast upon it, and down came walls and 
fortresses, towns and villages, and bmried the King and his daugh- 
ter among their ruins. If he had not set down the horn when he did, 
and if he had blown a little longer, all the houses would have tum- 
bled down, and there would not have been left one stone upon an- 

After this no one dared to withstand him, and he made himself 
King over the whole country. 

Sweetheart Roland 

There was once a woman who was a witch, and she had two 
daughters, one ugly and wicked, one pretty and good. She loved 
the wicked one because she was her own child, but she hated the 

i88 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

good one because she was a step-daughter. One day the step- 
daughter put on a pretty apron, which the other daughter hked so 
much that she became envious, and said to her mother that she 
must and should have the apron. 

"Be content, my child," said the old woman, "thou shalt have it. 
Thy step-sister has long deserved death, and tonight, while she is 
asleep, I shall come and cut off her head. Take care to he at the far- 
thest side of the bed, and push her to the outside." 

And it would have been all over with the poor girl, if she had not 
been standing in a corner near and heard it all. She did not dare to 
go outside the door the whole day long, and when bed-time came 
the other one got into bed first, so as to He on the farthest side; but 
when she had gone to sleep, the step-daughter pushed her towards 
the outside, and took the inside place next the wall. In the night the 
old woman came sneaking; in her right hand she held an axe, and 
with her left she felt for the one who was lying outside, and then 
she heaved up the axe with both hands, and hewed the head off her 
only daughter. 

When she had gone away, the other girl got up and went to her 
sweetheart's, who was called Roland, and knocked at his door. 
When he came to her, she said, "Listen, dear Roland, we must flee 
away in all haste; my step-mother meant to put me to death, but 
she has killed her only child instead. When the day breaks, and she 
sees what she has done, we are lost." 

"But' I advise you," said Roland, "to bring away her magic wand 
with you; otherwise we cannot escape her when she comes after to 
overtake us." So the maiden fetched the magic wand, and she took 
up the head of her step-sister and let drop three drops of blood on 
the ground— one by the bed, one in the kitchen, and one on the 
steps. Then she hastened back to her sweetheart. 

When the old witch got up in the morning, she called out to her 
daughter, to give her the apron, but no daughter came. Then she 
cried out, "Where art thou?" "Here, at the steps, sweeping!" an- 
swered one of the drops of blood. 

The old woman went out, but she saw nobody at the steps, and 
cried again, "Where art thou?" "Here in the kitchen warming my- 
self," cried the second drop of blood. 

So she went into the kitchen and found no one. Then she cried 
again, "Where art thou?" "Oh, here in bed fast asleepl" cried the 
third drop of blood. 

Then the mother went into the room, and up to the bed, and 
there lay her only child, whose head she had cut off herself. The 

Sweetheart Roland 189 

witch fell into a great fury, rushed to the window, for from it she 
could see far and wide, and she caught sight of her step-daughter, 
hastening away with her dear Roland. 

*lt will be no good to you," cried she, "if you get ever so far 
away, you cannot escape me." Then she put on her boots, which 
took her an hour's walk at every stride, and it was not long before 
she had overtaken them. But the maiden, when she saw the old 
woman striding up, changed, by means of the magic wand, her 
dear Roland into a lake, and herself into a duck swimming upon it. 
The witch stood on the bank and threw in crumbs of bread, and 
took great pains to decoy the duck towards her, but the duck would 
not be decoyed, and the old woman was obHged to go back in the 
evening disappointed. 

Then the maiden and her dear Roland took again their natural 
shapes, and traveled on the whole night through until daybreak. 
Then the maiden changed herself into a beautiful flower, standing 
in the middle of a hedge of thorns, and her dear Roland into a 
fiddle-player. It was not long before the witch came striding up, 
and she said to the musician, "Dear musician, will you be so kind 
as to reach that pretty flower for me?" "Oh yes," said he, "I will 
strike up a tune to it." 

Then as she crept quickly up to the hedge to break off the flower, 
for she knew well who it was, he began to play, and whether she 
hked it or not, she was obliged to dance, for there was magic in the 
tune. The faster he played the higher she had to jump, and the 
thorns tore her clothes, and scratched and wounded her, and he did 
not cease playing until she was spent, and lay dead. 

So now they were saved, and Roland said, "I will go to my father 
and prepare for the wedding." "And I will stay here," said the 
maiden, "and wait for you, and so that no one should know me, I 
will change myself into a red milestone." So away went Roland, 
and the maiden in the Hkeness of a stone waited in the field for her 

But when Roland went home he fell into the snares of another 
maiden, who wrought so, that he forgot his first love. And the poor 
girl waited a long time, but at last, seeing that he did not come, she 
was filled with despair, and changed herself into a flower, thinking 
"Perhaps some one in passing will put his foot upon me and crush 

But it happened that a shepherd, tending his flock, saw the 
flower, and as it was so beautiful, he gathered it, took it home with 

igo Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

him, and put it in his chest. From that time everything went won- 
derfully well in the shepherd's house. When he got up in the morn- 
ing, all the work was already done; the room was swept, the tables 
and benches rubbed, fire kindled on the hearth, and water ready 
drawn; and when he came home in the middle of the day, the table 
was laid, and a good meal spread upon it. He could not understand 
how it was done, for he never saw anybody in his house, and it was 
too little for anybody to hide in. The good serving pleased him 
well; but in the end he became uneasy, and went to a wise woman 
to take counsel of her. The wise woman said, "There is magic in it: 
get up early some morning, and if you hear something moving in 
the room, be it what it may, throw a white cloth over it, and the 
charm will be broken." 

The shepherd did as she told him, and the next morning at day- 
break he saw the chest open, and the flower come out. Then he 
jumped up quickly and threw a white cloth over it. So the spell was 
broken, and a lovely maiden stood before him; and she told him 
that she had been the flower, and had until now cared for his 
household matters. She told him all that had happened to her, and 
she pleased him so much that he asked her to marry him, but she 
answered "No," because she still remained true to her dear Roland, 
though he had forsaken her; but she promised not to leave the 
shepherd, but to go on taking care of his house. 

Now the time came when Roland's wedding was to be held; and 
there was an old custom in that country that all the girls should be 
present, and should sing in honor of the bride and bridegroom. The 
faithful maiden, when she knew this, was so sorrowful that she felt 
as if her heart would break; and she would not go, until the others 
came and fetched her. 

And when her turn came to sing she slipped behind, so that she 
stood alone, and so began to sing; and as soon as her song reached 
Roland's ear he sprang up and cried, "I know that voice! That is 
the right bride, and no other v^dll I have." And everything that he 
had forgotten, and that had been swept out of his mind, came sud- 
denly home to him in his heart. And the faithful maiden was mar- 
ried to her dear Roland; her sorrow came to an end and her joy 

The Devil's Three Gold Hairs 

Once there was a very poor woman who was delighted when her 
son was bom with a caul enveloping his head. This was supposed 
to bring good fortune, and it was predicted that he would marry 
the King's daughter when he became nineteen. Soon after, a King 
came to the village, but no one knew that it was the King. When he 
asked for news, they told him that a few days before a child had 
been bom in the village, with a caul, and it was prophesied that he 
would be very lucky. Indeed, it had been said that in his nineteenth 
year he would have the King's daughter for his wife. 

The King, who had a wicked heart, was very angry when he 
heard this; but he went to the parents in a most friendly manner, 
and said to them kindly, "Good people, give up your child to me. I 
will take the greatest care of him." 

At first they refused; but when the stranger offered them a large 
amount of gold, and then mentioned that if their child was bom to 
be lucky everything must turn out for the best with him, they 
willingly at last gave him up. 

The King placed the child in a box and rode away with it for a 
long distance, till he came to deep water, into which he threw the 
box containing the child, saying to himself as he rode away, "From 
this unwelcome suitor have I saved my daughter." 

But the box did not sink; it swam Hke a boat on the water, and so 
high above it that not a drop got inside. It sailed on to a spot about 
two miles from the chief town of the King's dominions, where there 
were a mill and a weir, which stopped it, and on which it rested. 

The miller's man, who happened to be standing near the bank, 
fortunately noticed it, and thinking it would most likely contain 
something valuable, drew it on shore with a hook; but when he 
opened it, there lay a beautiful baby, who was quite awake and 

He carried it in to the miller and his wife, and as they had no 
children they were quite dehghted, and said Heaven had sent the 
little boy as a gift to them. They brought him up carefully, and he 
grew to manhood clever and virtuous. 

It happened one day that the King was overtaken by a thunder- 
storm while passing near the mill, and stopped to ask for shelter. 

102 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Noticing the youth, he asked the miller if that tall young man was 
his son. 

"No," he replied; "he is a foundling. Nineteen years ago a box 
was seen sailing on the mill stream by one of our men, and when it 
was caught in the weir he drew it out of the water and found the 
child in it." 

Then the ICing knew that this must be the child of fortune, and 
therefore the one which he had thrown into the water. He hid his 
vexation, however, and presently said kindly, "1 want to send a let- 
ter to the Queen, my wife; if that young man will take it to her I 
will give him two gold-pieces for his trouble." 

"We are at the King's service," replied the miller, and called to 
the young man to prepare for his errand. Then the King wrote a 
letter to the Queen, containing these words: "As soon as the boy 
who brings this letter arrives, let him be killed, and I shall expect to 
find him dead and buried when I come back." 

The youth was soon on his way with this letter. He lost himself, 
however, in a large forest. But when darkness came on he saw in 
the distance a glimmering Hght, which he walked to, and found a 
small house. He entered and saw an old woman sitting by the fire, 
quite alone. She appeared frightened when she saw him, and said: 
"Where do you come from, and what do you want?" 

"I am come from the mill," he replied, "and I am carrying a let- 
ter to the wife of the King, and, as I have lost my way, I should like 
very much to stay here during the night." 

"You poor young man," she replied, "you are in a den of robbers, 
and when they come home they may kill you." 

"They may come when they like," said the youth; "I am not 
afraid; but I am so tired that I cannot go a step further." Then he 
stretched himself on a bench and fell fast asleep. 

Soon after the robbers came home, and asked angrily what that 
youth was lying there for. 

"Ah," said the old woman, "he is an innocent child who has lost 
himself in the wood, and I took him in out of compassion. He is 
carrying a letter to the Queen, which the King has sent." 

Then the robbers went softly to the sleeping youth, took the let- 
ter from his pocket, and read in it that as soon as the bearer arrived 
at the palace he was to lose his life. Then pity arose in the hard- 
hearted robbers, and their chief tore up the letter and wrote an- 
other, in which it was stated that as soon as the boy arrived he 
should be married to the King's daughter. Then they left him to lie 
and rest on the bench till the next morning, and when he awoke 

The Devil's Three Gold Hairs 193 

they gave him the letter and showed him the road he was to take. 

As soon as he reached the palace and sent in the letter, the 
Queen read it, and she acted in exact accordance with what was 
written— ordered a grand marriage feast, and had the Princess mar- 
ried at once to the fortunate youth. He was very handsome and 
amiable, so that the King's daughter soon learned to love him very 
much, and was quite happy with him. 

Not long after, when the King returned home to his castle, he 
found the prophecy respecting the child of fortune fulfilled, and 
that he was married to a King's daughter. "How has this hap- 
pened?" said he. "I have in my letter given very different ordersl" 

Then the Queen gave him the letter, and said: "You may see for 
yourself what is stated there." 

The King read the letter and saw very clearly that it was not the 
one he had written. He asked the youth what he had done with the 
letter he had entrusted to him, and where he had brought the other 
from. "I know not," he replied, "unless it was changed during the 
night while I slept in the forest." 

Full of wrath, the King said, "You shall not get off so easily, for 
whoever marries my daughter must first bring me three golden 
hairs from the head of the demon of the Black Forest. If you bring 
them to me before long, then shall you keep my daughter as a wife, 
but not otherwise." 

Then said the child of fortune, "I will fetch these golden hairs 
very quickly; I am not the least afraid of the demon." Thereupon 
he said farewell, and started on his travels. His way led him to a 
large city, and as he stood at the gate and asked admission, a 
watchman said to him, "What trade do you follow, and how much 
do you know?" "I know everything," he replied. 

"Then you can do us a favor," answered the watchman, "if you 
can tell why our master's fountain, from which wine used to flow, is 
dried up, and never gives us even water now." "I will tell you when 
I come back," he said; "only wait till then." 

He traveled on still further, and came by and by to another town, 
where the watchman also asked him what trade he followed, and 
what he knew. "I know everything," he answered. 

"Then," said the watchman, "you can do us a favor, and tell us 
why a tree in our town, which once bore golden apples, now only 
produces leaves." "Wait till I return," he replied, "and I will tell 

On he went again, and came to a broad river, over which he 
must pass in a ferryboat, and the ferryman asked him the same 

194 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

question about his trade and his knowledge. He gave the same 
reply, that he knew everything. 

"Then," said the man, "you can do me a favor, and tell me how it 
is that I am obliged to go backward and forward in my ferryboat 
every day, without a change of any kind." "Wait till I come back," 
he replied, "then you shall know all about it." 

As soon as he reached the other side of the water he found the 
entrance to the Black Forest, in which was the demon's cove. It was 
very dark and gloomy, and the demon was not at home; but his old 
mother was sitting in a large arm-chair, and she looked up and said, 
"What do you want? You don't look wicked enough to be one of 

"I just want three golden hairs from the demon's head," he re- 
plied; "otherwise my wife will be taken away from me." 

"That is asking a great deal," she replied; "for if the demon 
comes home and finds you here, he will have no mercy on you. 
However, if you will trust me, I will try to help you." 

Then she turned him into an ant, and said: "Creep into the folds 
of my gown; there you will be safe." 

"Yes," he replied, "that is all very good; but I have three things 
besides that I want to know. First, why a well, from which formerly 
wine used to flow, should be dry now, so that not even water can 
be got from it. Secondly, why a tree that once bore golden apples 
should now produce nothing but leaves. And, thirdly, why a fer- 
ryman is obliged to row forward and back every day, without ever 
leaving off." 

"These are diflScult questions," said the old woman; "but keep 
still and quiet, and when the demon comes in, pay great attention 
to what he says, while I pull the golden hairs out of his head." 

Late in the evening the demon came home, and as soon as he en- 
tered he declared that the air was not clear. "I smell the flesh of 
man," he said, "and I am sure that there is some one here." So he 
peeped into all the comers, and searched everywhere, but could 
find nothing. 

Then his old mother scolded him well, and said, "Just as I have 
been sweeping, and dusting, and putting everything in order, then 
you come home and give me all the work to do over again. You 
have always the smell of something in yoiu* nose. Do sit down and 
eat your supper." 

The demon did as she told him, and when he had eaten and 
drunk enough, he complained of being tired. So his mother made 

The DeviVs Three Gold Hairs 195 

him lie dovm so that she could place his head in her lap; and he 
was soon so comfortable that he fell fast asleep and snored. 

Then the old woman lifted up a golden hair, twitched it out, and 
laid it by her side. "Oh!" screamed the demon, waking up; "what 
was that for?" "I have had a bad dream," answered she, "and it 
made me catch hold of your hair." 

"What did you dream about?" asked the demon. "Oh, I dreamed 
of a well in a market-place from which wine once used to flow, but 
now it is dried up, and they can't even get water from it. Whose 
fault is that?" "Ah, they ought to know that there sits a toad under 
a stone in the well, and if he were dead wine would again flow." 

Then the old woman combed his hair again, till he slept and 
snored so loud that the windows rattled, and she pulled out the sec- 
ond hair. "What are you about now?" asked the demon in a rage. 
"Oh, don't be angry," said the woman; "I have had another 

"What was this dream about?" he asked. "Why, I dreamed that 
in a certain country there grows a fruit tree which used to bear 
golden apples, but now it produces nothing but leaves. What is the 
cause of this?" "Why, don't they know," answered the demon, "that 
there is a mouse gnawing at the root? Were it dead the tree would 
again bear golden apples; and if it gnaws much longer the tree v^dll 
wither and dry up. Bother your dreams; if you disturb me again, 
just as I am comfortably asleep, you will have a box on the ear." 

Then the old woman spoke kindly to him, and smoothed and 
combed his hair again, till he slept and snored. Then she seized the 
third golden hair and pulled it out. 

The demon, on this, sprang to his feet, roared out in a greater 
rage than ever, and would have done some mischief in the house, 
but she managed to appease him this time also, and said: "How 
can I help my bad dreams?" "And whatever did you dream?" he 
asked, with some curiosity. "Well, I dreamed about a ferryman, 
who complains that he is obliged to take people across the river, 
and is never free." "Oh, the stupid fellowl" replied the wizard, "he 
can very easily ask any person who wants to be ferried over to take 
the oar in his hand, and he will be free at once." 

Then the demon laid his head down once more; and as the old 
mother had pulled out the three golden hairs, and got answers to 
all the three questions, she let the old fellow rest and sleep in peace 
till the morning dawned. 

As soon as he had gone out next day, the old woman took the ant 
from the folds of her dress and restored the lucky youth to his for- 

196 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

mer shape. "Here are the three golden hairs for which you wished* 
said she; "and did you hear all the answers to your three ques- 
tions?" "Yes," he repHed, "every word, and I will not forget them." 
"Well, then, I have helped you out of your difficulties, and now get 
home as fast as you can." 

After thanking the old woman for her kindness, he turned his 
steps homeward, full of joy that everything had succeeded so well. 

When he arrived at the ferry the man asked for the promised an- 
swer. "Ferry me over first," he repHed, "and then I will tell you." 

So when they reached the opposite shore he gave the ferryman 
the demon's advice, that the next person who came and wished to 
be ferried over should have the oar placed in his hand, and from 
that moment he would have to take the ferryman's place. 

Then the youth journeyed on till he came to the town where the 
unfruitful tree grew, and where the watchman was waiting for his 
answer. To him the young man repeated what he had heard, and 
said, "Kill the mouse that is gnawing at the root; then will your 
tree again bear golden apples." 

The watchman thanked him, and gave him in return for his infor- 
mation two asses laden with gold, which were led after him. He 
very soon arrived at the city which contained the dried-up foun- 
tain. The sentinel came forward to receive his answer. Said the 
youth, "Under a stone in the fountain sits a toad; it must be 
searched for and killed; then will wine again flow from it." To show 
how thankful he was for this advice, the sentinel also ordered two 
asses laden with gold to be sent after him. 

At length the child of fortune reached home with his riches, and 
his wife was overjoyed at seeing him again, and hearing how well 
he had succeeded in his undertaking. He placed before the King 
the three golden hairs he had brought from the head of the black 
demon; and when the King saw these and the four asses laden with 
gold he was quite satisfied, and said, "Now that you have per- 
formed all the required conditions, I am quite ready to sanction 
your marriage with my daughter; but, my dear son-in-law, tell me 
how you obtained all this gold. It is indeed a very valuable treas- 
ure; where did you find it?" "I crossed the river in a ferryboat, and 
on the opposite shore I found the gold lying in the sand." 

"Can I find some if I go?" asked the King eagerly. "Yes, as much 
as you please," replied he. "There is a ferryman there who wiU row 
you over, and you can fill a sack in no time." 

The greedy old King set out on his journey in aU haste, and when 

The Griffin 197 

he came near the river he beckoned to the ferryman to row him 
over the ferry. 

The man told him to step in, and just as they reached the oppo- 
site shore he placed the rudder-oar in the King's hand, and sprang 
out of the boat; and so the King became a ferryman as a punish- 
ment for his sins. 

I wonder if he still goes on ferrying people over the river! It is 
very likely, for no one has ever been persuaded to touch the oar 
since he took it. 

The Griffin 

There was once upon a time a King, but where he reigned and 
what he was called, I do not know. He had no son, but an only 
daughter who had always been ill, and no doctor had been able to 
cure her. Then it was foretold to the King that his daughter should 
eat herself well with an apple. So he ordered it to be proclaimed 
throughout the whole of his kingdom, that whosoever brought his 
daughter an apple with which she could eat herself well, should 
have her to wife, and be King. This became known to a peasant 
who had three sons, and he said to the eldest, "Go out into the gar- 
den and take a basketful of those beautiful apples with the red 
cheeks and carry them to the court; perhaps the King's daughter 
will be able to eat herself well with them, and then thou wilt marry 
her and be King." The lad did so, and set out. 

When he had gone a short way he met a little iron man who 
asked him what he had there in the basket, to which replied Uele, 
for so was he named, "Frogs' legs." On this the little man said, 
"Well, so shall it be, and remain," and went away. At length Uele 
arrived at the palace, and made it known that he had brought 
apples which would cure the King's daughter if she ate them. This 
delighted the King hugely, and he caused Uele to be brought be- 
fore him; but, alas I when he opened the basket, instead of having 
apples in it he had frogs' legs which were still kicking about. On 
this the King grew angry, and had him driven out of the house. 
When he got home he told his father how it had fared with him. 
Then the father sent the next son, who was called Seame, but all 
went with him just as it had gone with Uele. He also met the little 

igS Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

iron man, who asked what he had there in the basket. Seame said, 
"Hogs' bristles," and the iron man said, 'Well, so shall it be, and 

When Seame got to the King's palace and said he brought apples 
with which the King's daughter might eat herself well, they did not 
want to let him go in, and said that one fellow had already been 
there, and had treated them as if they were fools. Seame, however, 
maintained that he certainly had the apples, and that they ought to 
let him go in. At length they believed him, and led him to the King. 
But when he uncovered the basket, he had but hogs' bristles. This 
enraged the King terribly, so he caused Seame to be whipped out 
of the house. When he got home he related all that had befallen 

Then the youngest boy, whose name was Hans, but who was al- 
ways called Stupid Hans, came and asked his father if he might go 
with some apples. "Oh!" said the father, "you would be just the 
right fellow for such a thing! If the clever ones can't manage it, 
what can you do?" The boy, however, did not believe him, and 
said, "Indeed, father, I wish to go." "Just get away, you stupid 
fellow, you must wait tiU you are wiser," said the father to that, and 
turned his back. Hans, however, pulled at the back of his smock- 
frock and said, 'Indeed, father, I wish to go." "Well, then, so far as 
I am concerned you may go, but you will soon come home again!" 
replied the old man in a spiteful voice. The boy, however, was tre- 
mendously delighted and jumped for joy. "Well, act like a fool! you 
grow more stupid every day!" said the father again. Hans, however, 
did not care about that, and did not let it spoil his pleasure, but as 
it was then night, he thought he might as well wait until the mor- 
row, for he could not get to court that day. 

All night long he could not sleep in his bed, and if he did doze 
for a moment, he dreamt of beautiful maidens, of palaces, of gold, 
and of silver, and all lands of things of that sort. Early in the morn- 
ing, he went forth on his way, and directly afterwards the little 
shabby-looking man in his iron clothes, came to him and asked 
what he was carrying in the basket. Hans gave him the answer that 
he was carrying apples with which the King's daughter was to eat 
herself well. "Then," said the little man, "so shall they be, and 
remain." But at the court they would none of them let Hans go in, 
for they said two had already been there who had told them that 
they were bringing apples, and one of them had frogs' legs, and the 
other hogs' bristles. Hans, however, resolutely maintained that he 
most certainly had no frogs' legs, but some of the most beautiful 

The Griffin 199 

apples in the whole Icingdom. As he spoke so pleasantly, the door- 
keeper thought he could not be telling a He, and asked him to go in, 
and he was right, for when Hans uncovered his basket in the King's 
presence, golden-yellow apples came tumbling out. The King was 
delighted, and caused some of them to be taken to his daughter, 
and then waited in anxious expectation until news should be 
brought to him of the effect they had. But before much time had 
passed by, news was brought to him: but who do you think it was 
who came? it was his daughter herself 1 As soon as she had eaten of 
those apples, she was cured, and sprang out of her bed. 

The joy the King felt cannot be described! But now he did not 
want to give his daughter in marriage to Hans, and said he must 
first make him a boat which would go quicker on dry land than on 
water, Hans agreed to the conditions, and went home, and related 
how it had fared with him. 

Then the father sent Uele into the forest to make a boat of that 
Idnd. He worked diligently, and whistled all the time. At mid-day, 
when the sun was at the highest, came the little iron man and asked 
what he was making. Uele gave him for answer, "Wooden bowls 
for the kitchen." The iron man said, "So it shall be, and remain." By 
evening Uele thought he had now made the boat, but when he 
wanted to get into it, he had nothing but wooden bowls. The next 
day Seame went into the forest, but everything went with him just 
as it had done with Uele. On the third day Stupid Hans went. He 
worked away most industriously, so that the whole forest resounded 
with the heavy strokes, and all the while he sang and whistled right 
merrily. At mid-day, when it was the hottest, the little man came 
again, and asked what he was making. "A boat which will go 
quicker on dry land than on the water," replied Hans, "and when I 
have finished it, I am to have the King's daughter for my wife." 
"Well," said the little man, "such shall it be, and remain." In the 
evening, when the sun had turned into gold, Hans finished his boat, 
and aU that was wanted for it. He got into it and rowed to the pal- 
ace. The boat went as swiftly as the wind. 

The King saw it from afar, but would not give his daughter to 
Hans yet, and said he must first take a hundred hares out to pasture 
from early morning until late evening, and if one of them got away, 
he should not have his daughter. Hans was contented with this, and 
the next day went with his flock to the pasture, and took great care 
that none of them ran away. 

Before many hours had passed came a servant from the palace, 
and told Hans that he must give her a hare iastantly, for some visi- 

200 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

tors had come unexpectedly. Hans, however, was very well aware 
what that meant, and said he would not give her one; the King 
might set some hare soup before his guests next day. The maid, 
however, would not believe in his refusal, and at last she began to 
get angry with him. Then Hans said that if the King's daughter 
came herself, he would give her a hare. The maid told this in the 
palace, and the daughter did go herself. 

In the meantime, however, the little man came again to Hans, 
and asked him what he was doing there. He said he had to watch 
over a hundred hares and see that none of them ran away, and then 
he might marry the King's daughter and be King. "Good," said the 
little man, "there is a whistle for you, and if one of them runs 
away, just whistle with it, and then it wiU come back again." When 
the King's daughter came, Hans gave her a hare into her apron; but 
when she had gone about a hundred steps with it, he whistled, and 
the hare jmnped out of the apron, and before she could turn round 
was back to the flock again. When the evening came the hare-herd 
whistled once more, and looked to see if all were there, and then 
drove them to the palace. The King wondered how Hans had been 
able to take a hundred hares to graze without losing any of them; 
he would, however, not give him his daughter yet, and said he must 
now bring him a feather from the GriflBn's tail. 

Hans set out at once, and walked straight forwards. In the eve- 
ning he came to a castle, and there he asked for a night's lodging, 
for at that time there were no inns. The lord of the castle promised 
him that with much pleasure, and asked where he was going. Hans 
answered, "To the GriflBn." "Oh! to the Griffin! They tell me he 
knows everything, and I have lost the key of an iron money-chest; 
so you might be so good as to ask him where it is." "Yes, indeed," 
said Hans, "I wiU soon do that." Early the next morning he went 
onwards, and on his way arrived at another castle in which he 
again stayed the night. When the people who Hved there learnt 
that he was going to the Griffin, they said they had in the house a 
daughter who was ill, and that they had aheady tried every means 
to cure her, but none of them had done her any good, and he might 
be so kind as to ask the Griffin what would make their daughter 
healthy again. Hans said he would willingly do that, and went on- 
wards. Then he came to a lake, and instead of a ferryboat, a tall, 
tall man was there who had to carry everybody across. The man 
asked Hans whither he was joimieying. "To the Griffin," said Hans. 
"Then when you get to him," said the man, "just ask him why I am 
forced to carry everybody over the lake?" "Yes, indeed, most cer- 

The Griffin 201 

tainly I'll do that," said Hans. Then the man took him up on his 
shoulders, and carried him across. 

At length Hans arrived at the GriflBn's house, but the wife only 
was at home, and not the GriflBn himself. Then the woman asked 
him what he wanted. Thereupon he told her everything: that he 
had to get a feather out of the Griffin's tail; and that there was a 
castle where they had lost the key of their money-chest, and he was 
to ask the Griffin where it was; that in another castle the daughter 
was iU, and he was to learn what would cure her; and then not far 
from thence there was a lake and a man beside it, who was forced 
to carry people across it, and he was very anxious to leam why the 
man was obliged to do it. 

Then said the woman, "But look here, my good friend, no Chris- 
tian can speak to the Griffin. He devours them all. But if you like, 
you can lie down under his bed, and in the night, when he is quite 
fast asleep, you can reach out and pull a feather out of his tail; and 
as for those things which you are to leam, I will ask about them 
myself." Hans was quite satisfied with this, and got under the bed. 
In the evening, the Griffin came home, and as soon as he entered 
the room, said, "Wife, I smell a Christian.'' "Yes," said the woman, 
"one was here today, but he went away again." Then the Griffin 
said no more. 

In the middle of the night when the Griffin was snoring loudly, 
Hans reached out and plucked a feather from his tail. The Griffin 
woke up instantly, and said, "Wife, I smell a Christian, and it 
seems to me that somebody was pulling at my tail." His wife said, 
"You have certainly been dreaming, and I told you before that a 
Christian was here today, but that he went away again. He told me 
all kinds of things— that in one castle they had lost the key of their 
money-chest, and could find it nowhere." "Oh! the fools!" said the 
Griffin; "the key lies in the wood-house under a log of wood behind 
the door." "And then he said that in another castle the daughter 
was ill, and they knew no remedy that would ciure her." "Oh! the 
fools!" said the Griffin; "under the cellar-steps a toad has made its 
nest of her hair, and if she got her hair back she would be well." 
"And then he also said that there was a place where there was a 
lake and a man beside it who was forced to carry everybody 
across." "Oh, the fool!" said the Griffin; "if he only put one man 
down in the middle, he would never have to carry another across." 

Early the next morning the Griffin got up and went out. Then 
Hans came forth from under the bed, and he had a beautiful 
feather, and had heard what the Griffin had said about the key, and 

202 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

the daughter, and the ferry-man. The Griffin's wife repeated it all 
once more to him that he might not forget it, and then he went 
home again. 

First he came to the man by the lake, who asked him what the 
Griffin had said, but Hans replied that he must first carry him 
across, and then he would tell him. So the man carried him across, 
and when he was over Hans told him that all he had to do was to 
set one person down in the middle of the lake, and then he would 
never have to carry over any more. The man was hugely delisted, 
and told Hans that out of gratitude he would take him once more 
across, and back again. But Hans said no, he would save him the 
trouble, he was quite satisfied already, and pursued his way. Then 
he came to the castle where the daughter was ill; he took her on his 
shoulders, for she could not walk, and carried her down the cellar- 
steps and puUed out the toad's nest from beneath the lowest step 
and gave it into her hand, and she sprang off his shoulder and up 
the steps before him, and was quite ciued. Then were the father 
and mother beyond measure rejoiced, and they gave Hans gifts of 
gold and of silver, and whatsoever else he wished for, that they 
gave him. And when he got to the other castle he went at once into 
the wood-house, and found the key under the log of wood behind 
the door, and took it to the lord of the castle. He also was not a lit- 
tle pleased, and gave Hans as a reward much of the gold that was 
in the chest, and all Idnds of things besides, such as cows, and 
sheep, and goats. 

When Hans arrived before the King, with all these things— with 
the money, and the gold, and the silver and the cows, sheep and 
goats, the King asked him how he had come by them. Then Hans 
told him that the Griffin gave every one whatsoever he wanted. So 
the King thought he himself could make such things useful, and set 
out on his way to the Griffin; but when he got to the lake, it hap- 
pened that he was the very first who arrived there after Hans, and 
the man put him down in the middle of it and went away, and the 
King was drowned. Hans, however, married the daughter, and be- 
came King. 

The Sea-Hare 

There was once upon a time a Princess, who, high under the battle- 
ments in her castle, had an apartment with twelve windows, which 
looked out in every possible direction, and when she climbed up to 
it and looked around her, she could inspect her whole kingdom. 
When she looked out of the first, her sight was more keen than that 
of any other human being; from the second she could see still bet- 
ter, from the third more distinctly still, and so it went on, until the 
twelfth, from which she saw everything above the earth and xmder 
the earth, and nothing at all could be kept secret from her. More- 
over, as she was haughty, and would be subject to no one, but 
wished to keep the dominion for herself alone, she caused it to be 
proclaimed that no one should ever be her husband who could not 
conceal himself from her so effectually, that it should be quite im- 
possible for her to find him. He who tried this, however, and was 
discovered by her, was to have his head struck off, and stuck on a 
post. Ninety-seven posts with the heads of dead men were aheady 
standing before the castle, and no one had come forward for a long 
time. The Princess was delighted, and thought to herself, "Now I 
shall be free as long as I live." 

Then three brothers appeared before her, and announced to her 
that they were desirous of trying their luck. The eldest beheved he 
would be quite safe if he crept into a limepit, but she saw him from 
the first window, made him come out, and had his head cut off. The 
second crept into the cellar of the palace, but she perceived him 
also from the first window, and his fate was sealed. His head was 
placed on the nine and ninetieth post. Then the youngest came to 
her and entreated her to give him a day for consideration, and also 
to be so gracious as to overlook it if she should happen to discover 
him twice, but if he failed the third time, he would look on his life 
as over. As he was so handsome, and begged so earnestly, she said, 
"Yes, I will grant thee that, but thou wilt not succeed." 

Next day he meditated for a long time how he should hide him- 
self, but all in vain. Then he seized his gun and went out hunting. 
He saw a raven, took a good aim at him, and was just going to fire, 
when the bird cried, "Don't shoot; I will make it worth thy while 
not to kill me." He put his gun down, went on, and came to a lake 

204 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

where he surprised a large fish which had come up from the depths 
below to the siuf ace of the water. When he had aimed at it, the fish 
cried, "Don't shoot, and I will make it worth thy while." He al- 
lowed it to dive down again, went onwards, and met a fox which 
was lame. He fired and missed it, and the fox cried, "You had much 
better come here and draw the thorn out of my foot for me." He 
did this; but then he wanted to kill the fox and sldn it. The fox said, 
"Stop, and I will make it worth thy while." The youth let him go, 
and then as it was evening, returned home. 

Next day he was to hide himself; but howsoever much he puz- 
zled his brains over it, he did not know where. He went into the 
forest to the raven and said, "I let thee live on, so now teU me 
where I am to hide myself, so that the King's daughter shall not see 
me." The raven hung his head and thought it over for a long time. 
At length he croaked, *T have it." He fetched an egg out of his nest, 
cut it into two parts, and shut the youth inside it; then made it 
whole again, and seated himself on it. When the King's daughter 
went to the first window she could not discover him, nor could she 
from the others, and she begain to be uneasy, but from the eleventh 
she saw him. She ordered the raven to be shot, and the egg to be 
brought and broken, and the youth was forced to come out. She 
said, "For once thou art excused, but if thou dost not do better 
than this, thou art lost!" 

Next day he went to the lake, called the fish to him and said, "I 
suffered thee to live, now tell me where to hide myself so that the 
King's daughter may not see me." The fish thought for a while, and 
at last cried, "I have it! I will shut thee up in my stomach." He 
swallowed him, and went down to the bottom of the lake. The 
King's daughter looked through her windows, and even from the 
eleventh did not see him, and was alarmed; but at length from the 
twelfth she saw him. She ordered the fish to be caught and killed, 
and then the youth appeared. Every one can imagine what a state 
of mind he was in. She said, "Twice thou art forgiven, but be sure 
that thy head will be set on the hundredth post." 

On the last day, he went with a heavy heart into the country, and 
met the fox. "Thou knowest how to find all kinds of hiding-places," 
said he; '1 let thee live, now advise me where I shall hide myself so 
that the King's daughter shall not discover me." "That's a hard 
task," answered the fox, looking very thoughtful. At length he cried, 
"1 have it!" and went with him to a spring, dipped himself in it, 
and came out as a stall-keeper in the market, and dealer in animals. 
The youth had to dip himself in the water also, and was changed 

The Maiden Without Hands 205 

into a small sea-hare. The merchant went into the town, and 
showed the pretty little animal, and many persons gathered to- 
gether to see it. 

At length the King's daughter came hkewise, and as she Uked it 
very much, she bought it, and gave the merchant a good deal of 
money for it. Before he gave it over to her, he said to it, "When the 
King's daughter goes to the window, creep quickly under the braids 
of her hair." 

And now the time arrived when she was to search for him. She 
went to one window after another in turn, from the first to the elev- 
enth, and did not see him. When she did not see him from the 
twelfth either, she was full of anxiety and anger, and shut it down 
with such violence that the glass in every window shivered into a 
thousand pieces, and the whole castle shook. 

She went back and felt the sea-hare beneath the braids of her 
hair. Then she seized it, and threw it on the grormd exclaiming, 
"Away with thee, get out of my sight!" It ran to the merchant, and 
both of them hmried to the spring, wherein they plunged, and re- 
ceived back their true forms. The youth thanked the fox, and said, 
"The raven and the fish are idiots compared with thee; thou knowest 
the right tune to play, there is no denying thatl" 

The youth went straight to the palace. The Princess was already 
expecting him, and accomanodated herself to her destiny. The wed- 
ding was solemnized, and now he was King, and lord of all the 
kingdom. He never told her where he had concealed himself for the 
third time, and who had helped him, so she believed that he had 
done everything by his own skill, and she had a great respect for 
him, for she thought to herself, "He is able to do more than I." 

The Maiden Without Hands 

A MILLER, who had gradually become very poor, had nothing left 
but his mill and a large apple tree behind it. One day when he 
went into the forest to gather wood, an old man, whom he had 
never seen before, came toward him, and said, "Why do you take 
the trouble to cut down wood? I will give you great riches if you 
will promise to let me have what stands behind your mill." 
"That can be no other than my apple tree," thought the miller. "I 

2o6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

possess nothing else." So he said to the old man, "Yes, I will let you 
have it." 

Then the stranger smiled maliciously, and said, "In three years I 
will come again to claim what belongs to me," and after saying this 
he departed. 

As soon as the miller returned home, his wife came toward him 
and said: "Miller, from whence have all these riches come so sud- 
denly to our house? All at once every drawer and chest has become 
full of gold. No one brought it here, and I know not where it came 

"Oh," replied her husband, *1 know all about it. A strange man 
whom I met in the wood promised me great treasures if I would 
make over to him what stood behind the mill. I knew I had nothing 
there but the large apple tree, so I gave him my promise." 

"Oh, husband!" said the wife in alarm, "that must have been the 
wizard. He did not mean the apple tree, but our daughter, who was 
behind the mill sweeping out the court." 

The miller's daughter was a modest and beautiful maiden, and 
Hved in innocence and obedience to her parents for three years, 
until the day came on which the v^dcked wizard was to claim her. 
She knew he was coming, and after washing till she was pm"e and 
clean as snow, she drew a circle of white chalk and stood within it. 

The v^dzard made his appearance very early, but he did not dare 
to venture over the white circle, therefore he could not get near 
her. In great anger he said to the miller, "Take away every drop of 
water, that she may not wash, otherwise I shall have no power over 

The frightened miller did as he desired, but on the next morning, 
when the wizard came again, her hands were as pure and clean as 
ever, for she had wept over them. On this account the wdzard was 
still unable to approach her; so he flew into a rage, and said, "Chop 
her hands off, otherwise I cannot touch her." 

Then the miller was terrified, and exclaimed, "How can I cut off 
the hands of my own child?" 

Then the wicked wizard threatened him, and said, "If you will 
not do as I desire you, then I can claim you instead of your daugh- 
ter, and carry you off." 

The father listened in agony, and in his fright promised to obey. 
He went to his daughter, and said to her, "Oh, my child, unless I 
cut off your two hands the wizard will take me away vvdth him, and 
in mv anguish I have promised. Help me in my trouble, and forgive 

The Maiden Without Hands 207 

me for the wicked deed I have promised to do." "Dear father," she 
replied, "do with me what you will: I am your child." 

Thereupon she placed her two hands on the table before him, 
and he cut them oflF. The wizard came next day for the third time, 
but the poor girl had wept so bitterly over the stumps of her arms 
that they were as clean and white as ever. Then he was obhged to 
give way, for he had lost all right to the maiden. 

As soon as the wizard had departed the miller said, "My child, I 
have obtained so much good through your conduct that for your 
whole lifetime I shall hold you most precious and dear." "But I 
cannot stay here, father," she replied; "I am not safe; let me go 
away with people who will give me the sympathy I need so much." 
"I fear such people are very seldom to be found in the world," said 
her father. However, he let her go. So she tied up her maimed arms 
and went forth on her way at sunrise. 

For a whole day she traveled without food, and as night came on 
found herself near one of the royal gardens. By the Hght of the 
moon she could see many trees laden with beautiful fruit, but she 
could not reach them, because the place was surrotmded by a moat 
full of water. She had been without a morsel to eat the whole day, 
and her hunger was so great that she could not help crying out, 
"Oh, if I were only able to get some of that delicious fruitl I shall 
die unless I can obtain something to eat very soon." 

Then she knelt down and prayed for help, and while she prayed 
a guardian fairy appeared and made a channel in the water so that 
she was able to pass through on dry ground. 

When she entered the garden the fairy was with her, although 
she did not know it, so she walked to a tree full of beautiful pears, 
not knowing that they had been coimted. 

Being unable to pluck any without hands, she went quite close to 
the tree and ate one with her mouth as it himg. One, and no more, 
just to stay her himger. The gardener, who saw her with the^aity 
standing near her, thought it was a spirit, and was too frightened to 
move or speak. 

After having satisfied her hunger the maiden went and laid her- 
self down among the shrubs and slept in peace. On the following 
morning the King, to whom the garden belonged, came out to look 
at his fruit trees, and when he reached the pear tree and counted 
the pears, he foimd one missing. At first he thought it had fallen, 
but it was not under the tree, so he went to the gardener and asked 
what had become of it. 

Then said the gardener, "There was a ghost in the garden last 

2o8 GrimrrCs Complete Fairy Tales 

night who had no hands, and ate a pear oflE the tree with its 
mouth." "How could the ghost get across the water?" asked the 
King; "and what became of it after eating the pear?" 

To this the gardener replied, "Some one came first in snow-white 
robes from heaven, who made a channel and stopped the flow of 
the water so that the ghost walked through on dry ground. It must 
have been an angel," continued the gardener; "and therefore I was 
afraid to ask questions or to call out. As soon as the specter had 
eaten one pear it went away." 

Then said the King, "Conceal from every one what you have told 
me, and I will watch myself tonight." 

As soon as it was dark the King came into the garden and 
brought a priest with him to address the ghost, and they both 
seated themselves vmder a tree, with the gardener standing near 
them, and waited in silence. About midnight the maiden crept out 
from the bushes and went to the pear tree, and the three watchers 
saw her eat a pear from the tree without picking it, while an angel 
stood near in white garments. 

Then the priest went toward her, and said, "Art thou come from 
Heaven or earth? Art thou a spirit or a human being?" 

Then the maiden answered, "Ah, me! I am no ghost, only a poor 
creatiure forsaken by every one but God." 

Then said the King, "You may be forsaken by all the world, but 
if you will let me be yoin: friend, I will never forsake you." 

So the maiden was taken to the King's castle, and she was so 
beautiful and modest that the King learned to love her with all his 
heart. He had silver hands made for her, and very soon after they 
were married with great pomp. 

About a year after, the King had to go to battle, and he placed 
his young wife under the care of his mother, who promised to be 
very kind to her, and to write to him. 

Not long after this the Queen had a little son bom, and the 
King's mother wrote a letter to him immediately, so that he might 
have the earliest intelligence, and sent it by a messenger. 

The messenger, however, after traveling a long way, became 
tired and sat down to rest by a brook, where he soon fell fast 
asleep. Then came the wizard, who was always trying to injure the 
good Queen, took away the letter from the sleeping messenger, and 
replaced it by another, in which it was stated that the little child 
was a changeling. 

Knowing nothing of the change, the messenger carried this letter 
to the King, who, when he read it, was terribly distressed and trou- 

The Maiden Without Hands 209 

bled. However, he wrote in reply to say that the Queen was to have 
every attention and care till his return. 

The wicked wizard again watched for the messenger, and while 
he slept exchanged the King's kind letter for another, in which was 
written to the King's mother an order to kill both the Queen and 
her child. 

The old mother was quite terrified when she read this letter, for 
she could not believe the King meant her to do anything so dread- 
ful. She wrote again to the King, but there was no answer, for the 
wicked wizard always interrupted the messengers, and sent false 
letters. The last was worse than all, for it stated that instead of 
killing the mother and her child, they were to cut out the tongue of 
the changeUng and put out the mother's eyes. 

But the King's mother was too good to attend to these dreadful 
orders, so she said to the Queen, while her eyes streamed with 
tears, "I cannot Idll you both, as the King desires me to do; but I 
must not let you remain here any longer. Go, now, out into the 
world with your child, and do not come here again." Then she 
bound the boy on his mother's back, and the poor woman departed, 
weeping as she went. 

After walking some time she reached a dense forest, and knew 
not which road to take. So she knelt down and prayed for help. As 
she rose from her knees she saw a light shining from the window of 
a little cottage, on which was hung a small sign-board, with these 
words: "Every one who dwells here is safe." Out of the cottage 
stepped a maiden dressed in snowy garments, and said, "Welcome, 
Queen wife," and led her in. Then she unfastened the baby from 
his mother's back, and hushed him in her arms till he slept so 
peacefully that she laid him on a bed in another room, and came 
back to his mother. 

The poor woman looked at her earnestly, and said, "How did 
you know I was a Queen?" The white maiden replied: "I am a 
good fairy sent to take care of you and your child." 

So she remained in that cottage many years, and was very happy, 
and so pious and good that her hands, which had been cut off, were 
allowed to grow again, and the little boy became her great comfort. 

Not long after she had been sent away from the castle the King 
returned, and immediately asked to see his wife and child. 

Then his old mother began to weep, and said, "You wicked man, 
how can you ask me for your wife and child when you wrote me 
such dreadful letters, and told me to kill two such innocent 

210 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

The King, in distress, asked her what she meant; and she showed 
him the letters she had received, which were changed by the 
dreadful wizard. Then the King began to weep so bitterly for his 
wife and child that the old woman pitied him, and said, "Do not be 
so unhappy; they still hve; I could not Idll them. But your wife and 
child are gone into the wide world, never to come back for fear of 
your anger." 

Then said the King, "I will go to the ends of the earth to find 
them, and I wiU neither eat nor drink till I find my dear wife, even 
if I should die of hunger." 

Thereupon the King started on his expedition, traveling over 
rocks and vaUeys, over mountains and highways, for seven long 
years. But he found her not, and he thought she was starved to 
death, and that he should never see her again. 

He neither ate nor drank during the whole time of earthly food, 
but Heaven sent him help. At last he arrived at a large forest and 
found the little cottage with the sign-board, and the words upon it: 
"Every one who dwells here is safe." 

While he stood reading the words the maiden in white raiment 
came out, took him by the hand, and led him into the cottage, say- 
ing, "My lord the King is welcome; but why is he here?" Then he 
replied, "I have been for seven years traveHng about the world 
hoping to find my wife and child, but I have not yet succeeded. 
Can you help me?" "Sit down," said the angel, "and take something 
to eat and drink first." 

The King was so tired that he gladly obeyed, for he really 
wanted rest. Then he laid himself down and slept, and the maiden 
in the white raiment covered his face. 

Then she went into an inner chamber where the Queen sat with 
her little son, whom she had named "Pain-bringer," and said to her, 
"Go out together into the other chamber; your husband is come." 

The poor Queen went out, but still sorrowfully, for she remem- 
bered the cruel letters his mother had received, and knew not that 
he still loved her. Just as she entered the room the covering fell oflF 
his face, and she told her Uttle son to replace it. 

The boy went forward and laid the cloth gently over the face of 
the strange man. But the King heard the voice in his slumber, and 
moved his head so that the covering again fell oflF. 

"My child," said the Queen, "cover the face of thy father." 

He looked at her in surprise, and said, "How can I cover my fa- 
ther s face, dear mother? I have no father in this world. You have 
taught me to pray to 'Ovoc Father, which art in heaven,' and I 

The Pink 211 

thought my father was God. This strange man is not my father; I 
don't know him." 

When the King heard this he started up and asked who they 
were. Then said the Queen, "I am your wife, and this is your son." 

The King looked at her with surprise. "Your face and your voice 
are the same," he said; "but my wife had silver hands, and yoiurs 
are natural." "My hands have mercifully been allowed to grow 
again," she replied; and, as he still doubted, the maiden in white 
entered the room, carrying the silver hands, which she showed to 
the King. 

Then he saw at once that this was indeed his dear lost wife and 
his own little son; and he embraced them, full of joy, exclaiming, 
"Now has a heavy stone fallen from my heartl" 

The maiden prepared a dinner for them, of which they all par- 
took together; and, after a kind farewell, the King started with his 
wife and child to return home to the castle, where his mother and 
all the household received them with great joy. 

A second marriage-feast was prepared, and the happiness of their 
latter days made amends for all they had sufEered through the 
wicked demon who had caused them so much pain and trouble. 

The Pink 

There was once a Queen, who had not been blessed with children. 
As she walked in her garden, she prayed every morning that a son 
or a daughter might be given to her. One day an Angel came and 
said to her, "Be content; you shall have a son, and he shall be en- 
dowed with the power of wishing, so that whatsoever he wishes for 
shall be granted to him." She hurried to the King, and told him the 
joyful news; and when the time came a son was bom to them, and 
they were filled with delight. 

Every morning the Queen used to take her Httle son into the gar- 
dens, where the wild animals were kept, to wash him in a clear, 
sparkling fountain. It happened one day, when the child was a little 
older, that as she sat with him on her lap she fell asleep. 

The old cook, who knew that the child had the power of wishing, 
came by and stole the infant. He also killed a chicken and dropped 
some of its blood on the Queen's garments. He took the child away 

212 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

to a secret place, where he placed it out to be nursed. Then he ran 
back to the King, and accused the Queen of having allowed her 
child to be carried o£F by a wild animal. 

When the King saw the blood on the Queen's garments he 
believed the story, and was overwhelmed v^dth anger. He caused a 
high tower to be built, into which neither the sun nor the moon 
could penetrate. Then he ordered his wife to be shut up in it, and 
the door walled up. She was to stay there for seven years, without 
eating or drinking, so as gradually to pine away. But two Angels 
from heaven, in the shape of white doves, came to her, bringing 
food twice a day till the seven years were ended. 

But the cook thought, "If the child really has the power of wish- 
ing, and I stay here, I might easily fall into disgrace." So he left the 
palace, and went to the boy, who was old enough to talk now, and 
said to him, "Wish for a beautiful castle, with a garden, and every- 
thing belonging to it." Hardly had the words passed the boy's lips 
than all that he had asked for was there. After a time the cook said, 
"It is not good for you to be so much alone; wish for a beautiful 
maiden to be your companion." 

The Prince uttered the wish, and immediately a maiden stood be- 
fore them, more beautiful than any painter could paint. So they 
grew very fond of each other, and played together, while the cook 
went out hunting like any grand gentleman. But the idea came to 
him one day that the Prince might wish to go to his father some 
time, and he would thereby be placed in a very awkward position. 
So he took the maiden aside, and said to her, "Tonight, when the 
boy is asleep, go and drive this knife into his heart. Then bring me 
his heart and his tongue. If you fail to do it, you will lose your own 

Then he went away; but when the next day came, the maiden 
had not yet obeyed his command, and she said, "Why should I 
shed his innocent blood, when he has never done any harm to a 
creature in his life?" 

The cook again said, 'If you do not obey me, you will lose your 
own Hfe." 

When he had gone away, she ordered a young hind to be brought 
and killed; then she cut out its heart and its tongue, and put them on 
a dish. When she saw the old man coming she said to the boy, "Get 
into bed, and cover yourself right over." 

The old scoundrel came in and said, "Where are the tongue and 
the heart of the boy?" 

The maiden gave him the dish; but the Prince threw ofiE the cov- 

The Pink 213 

erings, and said, "You old sinner, why did you want to Idll me? 
Now bear your sentence. You shall be tiu-ned into a black poodle, 
with a gold chain round your neck, and you shall be made to eat 
live coals, so that flames of fire may come out of your mouth." 

As he said the words, the old man was changed into a black poo- 
dle, with a gold chain round his neck; and the scullions brought out 
live coals, which he had to eat till the flames poured out of his 

The Prince stayed on at the castle for a time, thinking of his 
mother, and wondering if she was still alive. At last he said to the 
maiden, "I am going into my own country. If you like you can go 
with me; I will take you." 

She answered, "Alasl it is so far off, and what should I do in a 
strange coimtry where I know no one?" 

As she did not wish to go, and yet they could not bear to be 
parted, he changed her into a beautiful pink, which he took with 

Then he set out on his journey, and the poodle was made to run 
alongside till the Prince reached his own country. 

Arrived there, he went straight to the tower where his mother 
was imprisoned, and as the tower was so high he wished for a 
ladder to reach the top. Then he climbed up, looked in, and cried, 
"Dearest mother, lady Queen, are you still alive?" 

She, thinking it was the Angels who brought her food come back, 
said, "I have just eaten; I do not want anything more." 

Then he said, "I am your own dear son whom the wild animals 
were supposed to have devoured; but I am still ahve, and I shall 
soon come and rescue you." 

Then he got down and went to his father. He had himself an- 
nounced as a strange huntsman, anxious to take service with the 
King, who said, "Yes; if you are skilled in game preserving, and can 
procure plenty of venison, I will engage you. But there has never 
before been any game in the whole district." 

The huntsman promised to procure as much game as the King 
could possibly require for the royal table. 

Then he called the whole hunt together, and ordered them all 
into the forest with him. He caused a great circle to be enclosed, 
with only one outlet; then he took his place in the middle, and 
began to wish as hard as he could. Immediately over two hundred 
head of game came running into the enclosure. These the hunts- 
men had to shoot, and then they were piled on to sixty country 

214 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

wagons, and driven home to the King. So for once he was able to 
load his board with game, after having had none for many years. 

The King was much pleased, and commanded his whole court to 
a banquet on the following day. When they were all assembled, he 
said to the huntsman, Tou shall sit by me as you are so clever." 

He answered, "My Lord and King, may it please your Majesty, I 
am only a poor huntsmani" 

The King, however, insisted, and said, "1 command you to sit by 

As he sat there, his thoughts wandered to his dear mother, and 
he wished one of the courtiers would speak of her. Hardly had he 
wished it than the Lord High Marshal said, "Your Majesty, we are 
all rejoicing here, how fares it with Her Majesty the Queen? Is she 
still alive in the tower, or has she perished?" 

But the King answered, "She allowed my beloved son to be 
devoured by wild animals, and I do not wish to hear anything 
about her." 

Then the huntsman stood up and said, "Gracious father, she is 
stiU alive, and I am her son. He was not devoured by wild animals; 
he was taken away by the scoundrel of a cook. He stole me while 
my mother was asleep, and sprinkled her garments with the blood 
of a chicken." Then he brought up the black poodle with the 
golden chain, and said, "This is the villain." 

He ordered some live coals to be brought, which he made the 
dog eat in the sight of all the people till the flames poured out of 
his mouth. Then he asked the King if he would like to see the cook 
in his true shape, and wished him back, and there he stood in his 
white apron, with his knife at his side. The King was furious when 
he saw him, and ordered him to be thrown into the deepest dun- 

Then the himtsman said further, "My father, would you like to 
see the maiden who so tenderly saved my life when she was or- 
dered to kill me, although by so doing she might have lost her own 

The King answered, "Yes, I will gladly see her." 

Then his son said, "Gracious father, I will show her to you first in 
the guise of a beautiful flower." 

He put his hand into his pocket, and brought out the pink. It was 
a finer one than the King had ever seen before. Then his son said, 
"Now, I will show her to you in her true form." 

In a moment after his wish was uttered, she stood before them in 
all her beauty, which was greater than any artist could paint. 

Mother Hulda 215 

The King sent ladies and gentlemen-in-waiting to the tower to 
bring the Queen back to his royal table. But when they reached the 
tower they found that she would no longer eat or drink, and she 
said, "The merciful God, who has preserved my life so long, will 
soon release me now." 

Three days after she died. At her burial the two white doves 
which had brought her food during her captivity, followed and 
hovered over her grave. 

The old King caused the wicked cook to be torn into four quar- 
ters; but his own heart was filled with grief and remorse, and he 
died soon after. 

His son married the beautiful maiden he had brought home with 
him as a flower, and, for all I know, they may be living still. 

Mother Hulda 

A WIDOW had two daughters; one was pretty and industrious, the 
other was ugly and la2y. And as the ugly one was her own daugh- 
ter, she loved her much the best, and the pretty one was made to 
do all the work, and be the drudge of the house. Every day the 
poor girl had to sit by a well on the high road and spin until her 
fingers bled. Now it happened once that as the spindle was bloody, 
she dipped it into the well to wash it; but it sHpped out of her hand 
and fell in. Then she began to cry, and ran to her step-mother, and 
told her of her misfortune; and her step-mother scolded her without 
mercy, and said in her rage, "As you have let the spindle fall in, 
you must go and fetch it out again!" 

Then the girl went back again to the well, not knowing what to 
do, and in the despair of her heart she jumped down into the well 
the same way the spindle had gone. After that she knew nothing; 
and when she came to herself she was in a beautifuJ meadow, and 
the sun was shining on the flowers that grew round her. And she 
walked on through the meadow until she came to a baker's oven 
that was full of bread; and the bread called out to her, "Oh, take 
me out, take me out, or I shall bm*n; I am baked enough aheadyl" 

Then she drew near, and with the baker's peel she took out all 
the loaves one after the other. And she went farther on till she 
came to a tree weighed down with apples, and it called out to her. 

2i6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

"Oh, shake me, shake me, we apples are all of us ripel" Then she 
shook the tree imtil the apples fell Hke rain, and she shook mitil 
there were no more to fall; and when she had gathered them to- 
gether in a heap, she went on farther. 

At last she came to a little house, and an old woman was peeping 
out of it, but she had such great teeth that the girl was terrified and 
about to run away, only the old woman called her back. *What are 
you afraid of, my dear child? Come and live with me, and if you do 
the house-work well and orderly, things shall go well with you. 
You must take great pains to make my bed well, and shake it up 
thoroughly, so that the feathers fly about, and then in the world it 
snows, for I am Mother Hulda."* 

As the old woman spoke so kindly, the girl took courage, con- 
sented, and went to her work. She did everything to the old 
woman's satisfaction, and shook the bed with such a will that the 
feathers flew about like snow-flakes; and so she led a good life, had 
never a cross word, but boiled and roast meat every day. When she 
had lived a long time with Mother Hulda, she began to feel sad, 
not knowing herself what ailed her; at last she began to think she 
must be home-sick; and although she was a thousand times better 
off than at home where she was, yet she had a great longing to go 
home. At last she said to her mistress, "I am home-sick, and al- 
though I am very well off here, I cannot stay any longer; I must go 
back to my own home." 

Mother Hulda answered, "It pleases me well that you should 
wish to go home, and, as you have served me faithfully, I will un- 
dertake to send you therel" 

She took her by the hand and led her to a large door standing 
open, and as she was passing through it there fell upon her a heavy 
shower of gold, and the gold himg all about her, so that she was 
covered with it. 

"All this is yours, because you have been so industrious," said 
Mother Hulda; and, besides that, she returned to her her spindle, 
the very same that she had dropped in the well. And then the door 
was shut again, and the girl found herself back again in the world, 
not far from her mother's house; and as she passed through the 
yard the cock stood on the top of the weU and cried, 

"Cock-a-doodle doo! 
Our golden girl has come home toor 

• In Hesse, when it snows, they still say, "Mother Hulda is making her bed." 

Mother Hulda 217 

Then she went in to her mother, and as she had returned covered 
with gold she was well received. 

So the girl related all her history, and what had happened to her, 
and when the mother heard how she came to have such great 
riches she began to wish that her ugly and idle daughter might 
have the same good fortune. So she sent her to sit by the well and 
spin; and in order to make her spindle bloody she put her hand into 
the thorn hedge. Then she threw the spindle into the well, and 
jumped in herself. She foimd herself, hke her sister, in the beautiful 
meadow, and followed the same path, and when she came to the 
baker's oven, the bread cried out, "Oh, take me out, take me out, or 
I shall bum; I am quite done already!" 

But the lazy-bones answered, 'T have no desire to black my 
hands," and went on farther. Soon she came to the apple tree, who 
called out, "Oh, shake me, shake me, we apples are all of us ripel" 
But she answered, "That is all very fine, suppose one of you should 
fall on my head," and went on farther. 

When she came to Mother Hulda's house she did not feel afraid, 
as she knew beforehand of her great teeth, and entered into her 
service at once. The first day she put her hand well to the work, 
and was industrious, and did everything Mother Hulda bade her, 
because of the gold she expected; but the second day she began to 
be idle, and the third day still more so, so that she would not get up 
in the morning. Neither did she make Mother Hulda's bed as it 
ought to have been made, and did not shake it for the feathers to 
fly about. So that Mother Hulda soon grew tired of her, and gave 
her warning, at which the lazy thing was well pleased, and thought 
that now the shower of gold was coming; so Mother Hulda led her 
to the door, and as she stood in the doorway, instead of the shower 
of gold a great kettle fuU of pitch was emptied over her. 

"That is the reward for your service," said Mother Hulda, and 
shut the door. So the lazy girl came home all covered with pitch, 
and the cock on the top of the well seeing her, cried, 

"Cock-a-doodle dool 
Our dirty girl has come home tool" 

And the pitch remained sticking to her fast, and never, as long as 
she lived, could it be got off. 

The True Bride 

There was once on a time a girl who was young and beautiful, but 
she had lost her mother when she was quite a child, and her step- 
mother did all she could to make the girl's life wretched. Whenever 
this woman gave her anything to do, she worked at it indefatigably, 
and did everything that lay in her power. Still she could not touch 
the heart of the wicked woman by that; she was never satisfied; it 
was never enough. The harder the girl worked, the more work was 
put upon her, and all that the woman thought of was how to weigh 
her down with still heavier burdens, and make her life still more 

One day she said to her, "Here are twelve pounds of feathers 
which you must pick, and if they are not done this evening, you 
may expect a good beating. Do you imagine you can idle away the 
whole day?" The poor girl sat down to the work, but tears ran 
down her cheeks as she did so, for she saw plainly enough that it 
was quite impossible to finish the work in one day. Whenever she 
had a Httle heap of feathers lying before her, and she sighed or 
smote her hands together in her anguish, they flew away, and she 
had to pick them out again, and begin her work anew. Then she 
put her elbows on the table, laid her face in her two hands, and 
cried, "Is there no one, then, on God's earth to have pity on me?" 

Then she heard a low voice which said, "Be comforted, my child, 
I have come to help you." The maiden looked up, and an old 
woman was by her side. She took the girl kindly by the hand, and 
said, "Only tell me what is troubling you." As she spoke so kindly, 
the girl told her of her miserable Hfe, and how one burden after an- 
other was laid upon her, and she never could get to the end of the 
work which was given to her. "If I have not done these feathers by 
this evening, my step-mother will beat me; she has threatened she 
will, and I know she keeps her word." Her tears began to flow 
again, but the good old woman said, "Do not be afraid, my child; 
rest a while, arid in the meantime I wiU look to your work." The girl 
lay down on her bed, and soon fell asleep. 

The old woman seated herself at the table with the feathers, and 
how they did fly off the quills, which she scarcely touched with her 

The True Bride 219 

withered hands! The twelve pounds were soon finished, and when 
the girl awoke, great snow-white heaps were lying, piled up, and 
everything in the room was neatly cleared away, but the old 
woman had vanished. The maiden thanked God, and sat still till 
evening came, when the step-mother came in and marveled to see 
the work completed. "Just look, you awkward creature," said she, 
"what can be done when people are industrious; and why could 
you not set about something else? There you sit with your hands 
crossed." When she went out she said, "The creatxure is worth more 
than her salt. I must give her some work that is stiU harder." 

Next morning she called the girl, and said, "There is a spoon for 
you. With that you must empty out for me the great pond which is 
beside the garden, and if it is not done by night, you know what 
will happen." The girl took the spoon, and saw that it was full of 
holes; but even if it had not been, she never could have emptied 
the pond with it. She set to work at once, knelt down by the water, 
into which her tears were falling, and began to empty it. But the 
good old woman appeared again, and when she learnt the cause of 
her grief, she said, "Be of good cheer, my child. Go into the thicket 
and he down and sleep; I will soon do your work." 

As soon as the old woman was alone, she barely touched the 
pond, and a vapor rose up on high from the water, and mingled it- 
self with the clouds. Gradually the pond was emptied, and when 
the maiden awoke before sunset and came thither, she saw nothing 
but the fishes which were struggling in the mud. She went to her 
step-mother, and showed her that the work was done. "It ought to 
have been done long before this," said she, and grew white with 
anger, but she meditated something new. 

On the third morning she said to the girl, "You must build me a 
castle on the plain there, and it must be ready by the evening." The 
maiden was dismayed, and said, "How can I complete such a great 
work?" "I will endure no opposition," screamed the step-mother. 
'If you can empty a pond with a spoon that is full of holes, you can 
build a castle too. I will take possession of it this very day, and if 
anything is wanting, even if it be the most trifling thing in the 
kitchen or cellar, you know what lies before you!" She drove the 
girl out, and when she entered the valley, the rocks were there, 
piled up one above the other, and all her strength would not have 
enabled her even to move the very smallest of them. She sat down 
and wept, and still she hoped the old woman would help her. The 

220 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

old woman was not long in coming; she comforted her and said, 
"Lie down there in the shade and sleep, and I will soon build the 
castle for you. If it would be a pleasure to you, you can hve in 't 

When the maiden had gone away, the old woman touched the 
gray rocks. They began to rise, and immediately moved together as 
if giants had built the walls; and on these the building arose, and it 
seemed as if countless hands were working invisibly, and placing 
one stone upon another. There was a dull heavy noise from the 
ground; pillars arose of their own accord on high, and placed them- 
selves in order near each other. The tiles laid themselves in order 
on the roof, and when noon-day came, the great weather-cock was 
already turning itself on the summit of the tower, Hke a golden 
figure of the Virgin with fluttering garments. The inside of the cas- 
tle was being finished while evening was drawing near. How the 
old woman managed it, I know not; but the walls of the room were 
hung v^dth silk and velvet; embroidered chairs were there, and 
richly ornamented arm-chairs by marble tables; crystal chandeliers 
hung down from the ceilings and mirrored themselves in the 
smooth pavement; green parrots were there in gilt cages, and so 
were strange birds which sang most beautifully; and there was on 
all sides as much magnificence as if a Idng were going to hve there. 

The Sim was just setting when the girl awoke, and the brightness 
of a thousand fights flashed in her face. She hurried to the castle, 
and entered by the open door. The steps were spread with red 
cloth, and the golden balustrade beset with flowering trees. When 
she saw the splendor of the apartment, she stood as if turned to 
stone. Who knows how long she might have stood there if she had 
not remembered the step-mother. "Alasl" she said to herself, "if she 
could but be satisfied at last, and would give up making my life a 
misery to me." The girl went and told her that the castle was ready. 
*1 will move into it at once," said she, and rose from her seat. 

When they entered the castle, she was forced to hold her hand 
before her eyes, the brilHancy of everything was so dazzling. "You 
see," said she to the girl, 'liow easy it has been for you to do this; I 
ought to have given you something harder." She went through aU 
the rooms, and examined every comer to see if anything was want- 
ing or defective; but she could discover nothing. "Now we wiU go 
down below," said she, looking at the girl with malicious eyes. 
"The kitchen and the cellar still have to be examined, and if you 
have forgotten anything you shall not escape punishment." But the 

The True Bride 221 

fire was burning on the hearth, and the meat was cooking in the 
pans, the tongs and shovel were leaning against the wall, and the 
shining brazen utensils all arranged in sight. Nothing was wanting, 
not even a coal-box and water-pail. "Which is the way to the cel- 
lar?" she cried. "If that is not abundantly filled, it shall go ill with 
you." She herself raised up the trap-door and descended; but she 
had hardly made two steps before the heavy trap-door which was 
only laid back, fell down. The girl heard a scream, lifted up the 
door very quickly to go to her aid, but she had fallen down, and the 
girl found her lying lifeless at the bottom. 

And now the magnificent castle belonged to the girl alone. She at 
first did not know how to reconcile herself to her good fortune. 
Beautiful dresses were hanging in the wardrobes, the chests were 
filled with gold or silver, or with pearls and jewels, and she never 
felt a desire that she was not able to gratify. And soon the fame 
of the beauty and riches of the maiden went over all the world. 
Wooers presented themselves daily, but none pleased her. At length 
the son of the King came and he knew how to touch her heart, and 
she betrothed herself to him. In the garden of the castle was a lime 
tree, under which they were one day sitting together, when he said 
to her, "I will go home and obtain my father's consent to our mar- 
riage. I entreat you to wait for me here under this lime tree; I shall 
be back with you in a few hours." The maiden kissed him on his 
left cheek, and said, "Keep true to me, and never let any one else 
Idss you on this cheek. I will wait here under the lime tree until you 

The maid stayed beneath the lime tree until sunset, but he did 
not return. She sat there three days from morning till evening, wait- 
ing for him, but in vain. As he still was not there by the fourth day, 
she said, "Some accident has assuredly befallen him. I vwll go out 
and seek him, and will not come back until I have found him." She 
packed up three of her most beautiful dresses, one embroidered 
Vidth bright stars, the second with silver moons, the third with 
golden suns, tied up a handful of jewels in her handkerchief, and 
set out. She inquired everywhere for her betrothed, but no one had 
seen him; no one knew anything about him. Far and vidde did she 
wander through the world, but she found him not. At last she hired 
herself to a farmer as a cow-herd, and buried her dresses and 
jewels beneath a stone. 

And now she lived as a herdswoman, guarded her herd, and was 
very sad and full of longing for her beloved one. She had a little 

222 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

calf which she taught to know her, and fed it out of her own hand, 
and when she said, 

"Little calf, little calf, kneel by my side. 
And do not forget thy shepherd-maid, 
As the Prince forgot his betrothed bride. 

Who waited for him 'neath the lime tree's shade." 

the little calf knelt down, and she stroked it. 

And when she had lived for a couple of years alone and full of 
grief, a report was spread over all the land that the King's daughter 
was about to celebrate her marriage. The road to the town passed 
through the village where the maiden was living, and it came to 
pass that once when the maiden was driving out her herd, her 
bridegroom traveled by. He was sitting proudly on his horse, and 
never looked round, but when she saw him she recognized her be- 
loved, and it was just as if a sharp knife had pierced her heart. 
"Alasl" said she, *1 believed him true to me, but he has forgotten 

Next day he again came along the road. When he was near her 
she said to the little calf, 

"Little calf, little calf, kneel by my side. 
And do not forget thy shepherd-maid. 
As the Prince forgot his betrothed bride. 

Who waited for him 'neath the lime tree's shade." 

When he was aware of the voice, he looked down and reined in 
his horse. He looked into the herd's face, and then put his hands 
before his eyes as if he were trying to remember something, but he 
soon rode onwards and was out of sight. "Alas!" said she, "he no 
longer knows me," and her grief was ever greater. 

Soon after this a great festival three days long was to be held at 
the King's court, and the whole country was invited to it. 

"Now will I try my last chance," thought the maiden, and when 
evening came she went to the stone under which she had buried 
her treasures. She took out the dress with the golden suns, put it on, 
and adorned herself with the jewels. She let down her hair, which 
she had concealed under a handkerchief, and it fell down in long 
curls about her, and thus she went into the town, and in the dark- 
ness was observed by no one. When she entered the brightly 
lighted hall, every one started back in amazement, but no one knew 
who she was. The King's son went to meet her, but he did not rec- 
ognize her. He led her out to dance, and was so enchanted with her 

The Three Little Birds 223 

beauty, that he thought no more of the other bride. When the feast 
was over, she vanished in the crowd, and hastened before daybreak 
to the village, where she once more put on her herds dress. 

Next evening she took out the dress with the silver moons, and 
put a half -moon made of precious stones in her hair. When she ap- 
peared at the festival, all eyes were turned upon her, but the King's 
son hastened to meet her, and filled with love for her, danced with 
her alone, and no longer so much as glanced at any one else. Before 
she went away she was forced to promise him to come again to the 
festival on the last evening. 

When she appeared for the third time, she wore the stardress 
which sparkled at every step she took, and her hair-ribbon and gir- 
dle were starred with jewels. The Prince had already been waiting 
for her for a long time, and forced his way up to her. "Do but tell 
who you are," said he, "I feel just as if I had already known you a 
long time." "Do you not know what I did when you left me?" Then 
she stepped up to him, and kissed him on his left cheek, and in a 
moment it was as if scales fell from his eyes, and he recognized the 
true bride. "Come," said he to her, "here I stay no longer," gave 
her his hand, and led her dovioi to the carriage. 

The horses hurried away to the magic castle as if the wind had 
been harnessed to the carriage. The illuminated windows already 
shone in the distance. When they drove past the lime tree, count- 
less glow-worms were swarming about it. It shook its branches, and 
sent forth their fragrance. On the steps flowers were blooming, and 
the rooms echoed with the song of strange birds, but in the hall the 
entire court was assembled, and the priest was waiting to marry the 
bridegroom to the true bride. 

The Three Little Birds 

About a thousand or more years ago, there were in this country 
nothing but small Kings, and one of them, who lived on the Keuter- 
berg, was very fond of hunting. Once on a time when he was riding 
forth from his castle with his huntsmen, three girls were watching 
their cows upon the mountain, and when they saw the King with 
all his followers, the eldest girl pointed to him, and called to the 
two other girls, "Hilloal hilloal If I do not get that one, I will have 

224 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

none." Then the second girl answered from the other side of the 
hill, and pointed to the one who was on the King's right hand, 
"Hilloal hilloa! If I do not get that one, I will have none." And then 
the youngest pointed to the one who was on the left hand, and 
cried, "Hilloal hilloa! If I do not get him I will have no one." 
These, however, were the two ministers. 

The King heard aU this, and when he had come back from the 
chase, he caused the three girls to be brought to him, and asked 
them what they had said yesterday on the mountain. They would 
not tell him that, so the King asked the eldest if she reaUy would 
take him for her husband. Then she said "Yes," and the two min- 
isters married the two sisters, for they were aU three fair and beau- 
tiful of face, especially the Queen, who had hair Hke flax. 

The two sisters had no children, and once when the King was 
obHged to go from home he invited them to come to the Queen in 
order to cheer her, for she was about to bear a child. She had a lit- 
tle boy who brought a bright red star into the world with him. The 
two sisters said to each other that they would throw the beautiful 
boy into the water. When they had thrown him in the river, a little 
bird flew up into the air, which sang, 

"To thy death art thou sped. 
Until Gods word he said. 
In the white lily bloom. 
Brave hoy, is thy tomh." 

When the two heard that, they were frightened to death, and ran 
away in great haste. When the King came home they told him that 
the Queen had been delivered of a dog. Then the King said, "What 
God does, is well done!" But a fisherman who dwelt near the water 
fished the Httle boy out again while he was stiU aHve, and as his 
wife had no children they reared him. 

When a year had gone by, the King again went away, and the 
Queen had another fittle boy, whom the false sisters likewise took 
and threw into the water. Then up flew a little bird again and sang, 

"To thy death art thou sped, 
Until Gods word he said. 
In the white lily hloom. 
Brave hoy, is thy tomh." 

And when the King came back, they told him that the Queen had 
once more given birth to a dog, and he again said, "What God 
does, is well done." The fisherman, however, fished this one also out 
of the water, and reared him. 

The Three Little Birds 225 

Then the King again journeyed forth, and the Queen had a little 
girl, whom also the false sisters threw into the water. Then again a 
little bird flew up on high and sang, 

"To thy death art thou sped. 
Until Gods word he said. 
In the white lily bloom. 
Bonny girl, is thy tomb." 

When the King came home they told him that the Queen had 
been delivered of a cat. Then the King grew angry, and ordered his 
wife to be cast into prison, and therein was she shut up for many 
long years. 

In the meantime the children had grown up. Then the eldest 
once went out with some other boys to fish, but the other boys 
would not have him with them, and said, "Go thy way, foimdling." 

Hereupon he was much troubled, and asked the old fisherman if 
that was true. The fisherman told him that once when he was 
fishing he had drawn him out of the water. So the boy said he 
would go forth and seek his father. The fisherman, however, en- 
treated him to stay, but he would not let himself be hindered, and 
at last the fisherman consented. Then the boy went on his way and 
walked for many days together, and at last he came to a great piece 
of water by the side of which stood an old woman fishing. 

"Good day, mother," said the boy. "Many thanks," said she. "You 
will fish long enough before you catch anything." "And you will 
seek long enough before you find your father. How will you get 
over the water?" said the woman. "God knows." 

Then the old woman took him up on her back and carried him 
through it, and he sought for a long time, but could not find his fa- 

When a year had gone by, the second boy set out to seek his 
brother. He came to the water, and all fared with him just as with 
his brother. And now there was no one at home but the daughter, 
and she mourned for her brothers so much that at last she also 
begged the fisherman to let her set forth, for she wished to go in 
search of her brothers. Then she likewise came to the great piece of 
water, and she said to the old woman, "Good day, mother," "Many 
thanks," replied the old woman. "May God help you with your 
fishing," said the maiden. 

When the old woman heard that, she became quite friendly, and 
carried her over the water, gave her a wand, and said to her, "Go, 
my daughter, ever onwards by this road, and when you come to a 

226 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

great black dog, you must pass it silently and boldly, without either 
laughing or looking at it. Then you will come to a great high castle, 
on the threshold of which you must let the wand fall, and go 
straight through the castle and out again on the other side. There 
you wiU see an old fountain out of which a large tree has grown, 
whereon hangs a bird in a cage which you must take down. Take 
likewise a glass of water out of the fountain, and with these two 
things go back by the same way. Pick up the wand again from the 
threshold and take it with you, and when you again pass by the dog 
strike him in the face with it, but be sure that you hit him, and then 
just come back here to me." 

The maiden found everything exactly as the old woman had said, 
and on her way back she foimd her two brothers who had sought 
each other over half the world. They went together to the place 
where the black dog was lying on the road; she struck it in the face, 
and it turned into a handsome Prince who went with them to the 
river. There the old woman was still standing. She rejoiced much to 
see them again, and carried them all over the water, and then she 
too went away, for now she was freed. The others, however, went 
to the old fisherman, and all were glad that they had found each 
other again, and they hung the bird on the wall. 

But the second son could not settle at home, and took his cross- 
bow and went a-hunting. When he was tired he took his flute, and 
made music. The King, however, was hunting too, and heard that 
and went thither, and when he met the youth, he said, "Who has 
given you leave to hunt here?" "Oh, no one." "To whom do you be- 
long, then?" "I am the fisherman's son." "But he has no children." 
"If you will not believe, come with me." 

That the King did and questioned the fisherman, who told every- 
thing to him, and the httle bird on the waU began to sing, 

"The mother sits alone 
There in the prison small, 
O King of royal blood. 
These are thy children all. 
The sisters twain so false, 
They wrought the children woe. 
There in the waters deep 
Where the fishermen come and go." 

Then they were all terrified, and the King took the bird, the 
fisherman and the three children back with him to the castle, and 
ordered the prison to be opened and brought his wife out again. 

The Three Snake-Leaves 227 

She had, however, grown quite ill and weak. Then the daughter 
gave her some of the water of the fountain to drink, and she be- 
came strong and healthy. But the two false sisters were burnt, and 
the daughter married the Prince. 

The Three Snake-Leaves 

There was once a man who was so poor that he could hardly earn 
enough to keep himself and his son from starving. One day the boy 
said to him, "Dear father, I see you going about every day looking 
so sad and tired that I am determined to go out into the world and 
try to earn my own living." 

So his father gave him his blessing and took leave of him with 
many tears. Just at this time a great King was going to war with the 
King of another country, and the youth took service under him and 
marched to the battle-field as a soldier. In the first conflict with the 
enemy he was in great danger and had a wonderful escape, for his 
comrades fell on each side of him. Their commander also was 
wounded, and several were inclined to take flight and run from the 
field. But the youth stepped forth to raise their courage, and cried, 
"No, no, we will never allow our fatherland to sink to the groundl" 
Then they took courage and followed their young leader, who led 
them forward, attacked and quickly vanquished the enemy. When 
the King heard to whom he owed this great victory, he sent for the 
youth, raised him to a position of great honor, gave him great treas- 
ures, and made him first in the kingdom next to himself. 

Now the King had a daughter who was very beautiful, but she 
was also very whimsical. She had made a vow that she would take 
no man for a husband who did not promise that if she should die 
he would allow himself to be buried alive with her in the grave. "If 
he loves me," she said, "he wiU. not wish to outlive me." In return 
for this she would also promise to be buried in the grave with her 
spouse should he die first. 

This strange vow had hitherto frightened away all wooers, but 
the young soldier was so struck with the beauty of the Princess that 
he disregarded the vow, although her father warned him and said, 
"Do you know what a terrible promise you will have to make?" 
"Yes," replied the yoimg man, "I must be buried with her in the 

228 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

grave if I outlive her. But my love for her is so strong, that I disre- 
gard that danger." Then the King gave his consent, and the mar- 
riage was celebrated with great pomp. 

After they had lived together for some time in great happiness 
and contentment, the young queen was seized with a terrible iUness 
from which her physicians were unable to restore her. As she lay 
dead, the yoimg husband remembered what he had promised and 
the thought of lying in the grave alive filled him with horror, but 
there was no escape. The King placed a watch at every outlet from 
the castle, so that it was not possible to avoid his fate. When the 
day of the funeral arrived and the body had been carried down and 
placed in the royal vault, he was taken there also, and the door 
firmly fastened with locks and bolts. Near to the coffin stood a table 
upon which were four lights, four loaves of bread, and four bottles 
of wine, and he knew that when these provisions came to an end, 
he must starve. So he seated himself, feeling full of grief and sor- 
row, but with a determination to take only a small piece of bread 
and the least drop of wine, to make them last. 

One day when death seemed nearer than ever, he saw from a 
comer of the vault just opposite to where he sat, a white snake 
creep out and approach the body. He rose in horror, thinking it was 
about to gnaw it, and drawing his sword, exclaimed, as with two 
blows he cut the snake into three pieces, "As long as I live you 
shall not touch that." 

After a while a second snake crept out of the comer, but as soon 
as he saw the other lying dead in three pieces, he went back and 
quickly returned with three green leaves in his mouth. Then he 
took the three separate portions of the snake, placed them together 
and laid a leaf on each wound, and no sooner were they joined, 
than the snake raised himself as lively as ever, and went away hast- 
ily with his companion. 

The leaves remained lying on the groimd, and as he looked at 
them, the thoughts of the poor unfortunate man were full of the 
wonderful properties they possessed, and it suddenly occurred to 
him that a leaf which could restore a dead snake to life, might be 
useful to human beings. He stooped and picked up the leaves, then 
advancing softly towards the body, he laid one on the mouth of the 
dead, and the others on both the eyes. In a moment he saw the 
efiFect of what he had done. The blood began to circulate in the 
veins and blushed softly in the pale face and lips of his dead wife. 
She drew a deep breath, opened her closed eyes and exclaimed 
faintly, "Where am I?" 

The Three Snake-Leaves 229 

"You are with me, dear wife," answered her husband; and then 
he told her all that had happened, and how he had wakened her to 

After taking a httle of the wine and bread she became stronger, 
and was able to rise from the bier and walk to the door of the vault 
with her husband. Here they knocked and called loudly for a long 
time, till at last the watchman heard them and word was sent to the 
King, He came himself very quickly and ordered the door of the 
vault to be opened. How astonished and joyful he was to find them 
both alive and uninjured, and to know that his anxiety was overl 
The whole matter had been a great trouble to him. 

The three leaves, the young Prince took with him, and gave them 
to a servant to take care of, saying, "Preserve them carefully for 
me, and see that they are safe every day; who knows what help 
they may be to us in any future trouble?" 

A great change appeared in the wife of the young Prince after 
this event— it was as if with her return to Hfe, all her love for her 
husband had vanished from her heart. 

Not long after, he wished to take a voyage across the sea to see 
his old father, and she accompanied him. While they were on board 
ship, she forgot all the true and great love he had shown for her in 
trying to restore her to life when she was dead, and made friends 
with the captain, who was as wicked as herself. 

One day when the young Prince lay asleep on deck, she called 
the skipper to her and told him to take her husband by the feet, 
while she raised his head, and before he was awake enough to save 
himself, these two wicked people threw him overboard into the sea. 
As soon as this shameful deed was accomplished, she said to the 
skipper, "Now let us sail home again and say that the Prince has 
died on the voyage. I will praise and extol you so greatly to my fa- 
ther, that I know he will readily give his consent to our marriage, 
and leave the crown to you after his death." 

But the faithful servant to whom the Prince had entrusted the 
wonderful leaves saw all that his master's wife had done. Unno- 
ticed, he lowered one of the boats from the ship's side, got on board 
and very soon discovered the body of the Prince. Dragging it hast- 
ily into the boat, he rowed away and soon left the traitors far 
behind. As soon as he felt safely out of sight, he produced the pre- 
cious leaves which he always carried about with him, laid one on 
each eye and one on the mouth of the dead man, who very quickly 
showed signs of life, and was at last sufBciently restored to help in 
rowing the boat. They both rowed with all their strength day and 

230 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

night, and their httle bark flew so swiftly over the waves, that they 
arrived at the King's palace long before his daughter and the cap- 

The King wondered greatly when he saw his son-in-law and the 
servant enter, and asked them what had happened. But when he 
heard of his daughter's wickedness, he said, "I can scarcely believe 
she would act so basely. However, the truth will soon be brought to 
light. For the present, I advise you both to hide yourselves in a pri- 
vate chamber, and make yoiu^selves quite at home till the ship re- 

The master and servant took the King's advice, and a few days 
afterwards the large ship made its appearance, and the King's 
guilty daughter appeared before her father with a sorrowful coun- 

"Why have you come back alone?" he asked. "Where is yoiu: 

"Ah! dear father," she replied, "I come home to you in great sor- 
row, for, during the voyage, my husband was taken suddenly ill 
and died, and if the good captain had not stood by me and con- 
ducted me home, I cannot tell what evil might have happened to 
me. He stood by my husband's deathbed, and he can tell you all 
that occurred." 

"OhI" said the King, "I can restore your dead husband to life 
again, so do not grieve any longer." He threw open the door of the 
private room as he spoke, and told his son and the servant to come 

When the wife saw her husband she was thunderstruck, and sank 
on her knees imploring mercy. 

"I can show you no mercy," said the King. "Your husband was 
not only ready to be buried and die with you, but he used the 
means which restored you to hfe, and you have murdered him 
while he slept, and shall receive the reward you so truly merit." 

Then was she with her accomplice placed in a boat full of holes, 
and driven out to sea, where they were soon overwhelmed in the 
waves and drowned. 

The White Snake 

A LONG TIME ago there lived a King whose wisdom was noised 
abroad in all the country. Nothing remained long miknown to him, 
and it was as if the knowledge of hidden things was brought to him 
in the air. However, he had one curious custom. Every day at din- 
ner, after the table had been cleared and every one gone away, a 
trusty servant had to bring in one other dish. But it was covered up, 
and the servant himself did not know what was in it, and no one 
else knew, for the King waited until he was quite alone before he 
uncovered the dish. 

This had gone on a long time, but at last there came a day when 
the servant could restrain his curiosity no longer, but as he was car- 
rying the dish away he took it into his ov^oi room. As soon as he had 
fastened the door securely, he lifted the cover, and there he saw a 
white snake lying on the dish. After seeing it he could not resist the 
desire to taste it, and so he cut off a small piece and put it in his 
mouth. As soon as it touched his tongue he heard outside his win- 
dow a strange chorus of delicate voices. He went and listened, and 
found that it was the sparrows talking together, and telling each 
other all they had seen in the fields and woods. The virtue of the 
snake had given him power to understand the speech of animals. 

Now it happened one day that the Queen lost her most splendid 
ring, and suspicion fell upon the trusty servant, who had the gen- 
eral superintendence, and he was accused of stealing it. The King 
summoned him to his presence, and after many reproaches told him 
that if by the next day he was not able to name the thief he should 
be considered guilty, and punished. It was in vain that he protested 
his innocence; he could get no better sentence. In his uneasiness 
and anxiety he went out into the courtyard, and began to consider 
what he could do in so great a necessity. There sat the ducks by the 
running water and rested themselves, and plixmed themselves with 
their flat bills, and held a comfortable chat. The servant stayed 
where he was and hstened to them. They told how they had wad- 
dled about all yesterday morning and found good food; and then 
one of them said pitifully, "Something lies very heavy in my craw- 
it is the ring that was lying under the Queen's window; I swallowed 
it down in too great a hmrry." 

232 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Then the servant seized her by the neck, took her into the 
kitchen, and said to the cook, "Kill this one, she is quite ready for 
cooking.'' "Yes," said the cook, weighing it in her hand; "there will 
be no trouble of fattening this one— it has been ready ever so long." 

She then slit up its neck, and when it was opened the Queen's 
ring was found in its craw. The servant could now clearly prove his 
innocence, and in order to make up for the injustice he had suffered 
the King permitted him to ask some favor for himself, and also 
promised him the place of greatest honor in the royal household. 

But the servant refused it, and only asked for a horse and money 
for traveling, for he had a fancy to see the world, and look about 
him a little. So his request was granted, and he set out on his way; 
and one day he came to a pool of water, by which he saw three 
fishes who had got entangled in the rushes, and were panting for 
water. Although fishes are usually considered dumb creatures, he 
understood very well their lament that they were to perish so mis- 
erably; and as he had a compassionate heart he dismounted from 
his horse, and put the three fishes back again into the water. They 
quivered aU over with joy, stretched out their heads, and called out 
to him, "We will remember and reward you, because you have 
delivered us." 

He rode on, and after a while he heard a small voice come up 
from the sand underneath his horse's feet. He listened, and under- 
stood how an ant-ldng was complaining, "If only these men would 
keep off, with their great awkward beasts! Here comes this stupid 
horse treading down my people with his hard hoofs!" 

The man then turned his horse to the side-path, and the ant-king 
called out to him, "We will remember and reward you!" 

The path led him through a wood, and there he saw a father- 
raven and mother-raven standing by their nest and throwing their 
young ones out. 

"Off with you! young gaUows-birds!" cried they; "we cannot stuff 
you any more; you are big enough to fend for yourselves!" The 
poor young ravens lay on the ground, fluttering, and beating the air 
with their pinions, and crying, "We are poor helpless things, we 
cannot fend for ourselves, we cannot even fly! We can only die of 

Then the kind young man dismounted, killed his horse with his 
dagger, and left it to the young ravens for food. They came hop- 
ping up, feasted away at it, and cried, "We will remember, and re- 
ward you!" 

So now he had to use his own legs, and when he had gone a long 

The White Snake 233 

way he came to a great town. There was much noise and thronging 
in the streets, and there came a man on a horse, who proclaimed, 
"The King's daughter seeks a husband, but he who wishes to marry 
her must perform a difficult task, and if he cannot carry it through 
successfully, he must lose his Hfe." 

Many had already tried, but had lost their Hves in vain. The 
young man, when he saw the King's daughter, was so dazzled by 
her great beauty, that he forgot all danger, went to the King and 
offered himself as a wooer. 

Then he was led to the sea-side, and a gold ring was thrown into 
the water before his eyes. Then the King told him that he must 
fetch the ring up again from the bottom of the sea, saying, "If you 
come back without it, you shall be put under the waves again and 
again imtil you are drowned." 

Every one pitied the handsome young man, but they went, and 
left him alone by the sea. As he was standing on the shore and 
thinking of what he should do, there came three fishes swimming 
by, none other than those he had set free. The middle one had a 
mussel in his mouth, and he laid it on the strand at the young man's 
feet; and when he took it up and opened it there was the gold ring 
inside! Full of joy he carried it to the King, and expected the 
promised reward; but the King's daughter, proud of her high birth, 
despised him, and set him another task to perform. She went out 
into the garden, and strewed about over the grass ten sacks full of 
millet seed. "By the time the sun rises in the morning you must 
have picked up all these," she said, "and not a grain must be 

The young man sat down in the garden and considered how it 
was possible to do this task, but he could contrive nothing, and 
stayed there, feeling very sorrowful, and expecting to be led to 
death at break of day. But when the first beams of the sun fell on 
the garden he saw that the ten sacks were aU filled, standing one by 
the other, and not even a grain was missing. The ant-king had ar- 
rived in the night with his thousands of ants, and the grateful crea- 
tures had picked up all the millet seed, and filled the sacks with 
great industry. The King's daughter came herself into the garden 
and saw with astonishment that the young man had performed all 
that had been given him to do. But she could not let her proud 
heart melt, but said, "Although he has completed the two tasks, he 
shall not be my bridegroom unless he brings me an apple from the 
tree of Hfe." 

The young man did not know where the tree of life was to be 

234 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

found, but he set out and went on and on, as long as his legs could 
carry him, but he had no hope of finding it. When he had gone 
through three kingdoms he came one evening to a wood, and 
seated himself under a tree to go to sleep; but he heard a rustling 
in the boughs, and a golden apple fell into his hand. Immediately 
three ravens flew towards him, perched on his knee, and said, "We 
are the three young ravens that you delivered from starving; when 
we grew big, and heard that you were seeking the golden apple, we 
flew over the sea to the end of the earth, where the tree of Me 
stands, and we fetched the apple." 

Full of joy the yoimg man set off on his way home, and brought 
the golden apple to the King's beautiful daughter, who was without 
any further excuse. 

So they divided the apple of hfe, and ate it together; and their 
hearts were filled with love, and they lived in undisturbed happi- 
ness to a great age. 

The Three Spinners 

There was once a girl who was lazy and would not spin, and her 
mother could not persuade her to it, do what she would. At last the 
mother became angry and out of patience, and gave her a good 
beating, so that she cried out loudly. At that moment the Queen 
was going by; as she heard the crying, she stopped; and, going into 
the house, she asked the mother why she was beating her daughter, 
so that every one outside in the street could hear her cries. 

The woman was ashamed to tell of her daughter's laziness, so she 
said, 'T cannot stop her from spinning; she is forever at it, and I am 
poor and cannot furnish her with flax enough." 

Then the Queen answered, "I Hke nothing better than the sound 
of the spinning-wheel, and always feel happy when I hear its hima- 
ming; let me take your daughter with me to the castle— I have 
plenty of flax, she shall spin there to her heart's content." 

The mother was only too glad of the offer, and the Queen took 
the girl with her. When they reached the castle the Queen showed 
her three rooms which were filled with the finest flax as fuU as they 
could hold. 

*T^ow you can spin me this flax," said she, "and when you can 

The Three Spinners 235 

show it me all done you shall have my eldest son for bridegroom; 
you may be poor, but I make nothing of that— your industry is 
dowry enough." 

The girl was inwardly terrified, for she could not have spun the 
flax, even if she were to live to be a hundred years old, and were to 
sit spinning every day of her life from morning to evening. And 
when she foimd herself alone she began to weep, and sat so for 
three days without putting her hand to it. On the third day the 
Queen came, and when she saw that nothing had been done of the 
spinning she was much surprised; but the girl excused herself by 
saying that she had not been able to begin because of the distress 
she was in at leaving her home and her mother. The excuse con- 
tented the Queen, who said, however, as she went away, "Tomor- 
row you must begin to work." 

When the girl found herself alone again she could not tell how to 
help herself or what to do, and in her perplexity she went and 
gazed out of the window. There she saw three women passing by, 
and the first of them had a broad flat foot, the second had a big 
under-hp that hung down over her chin, and the third had a remark- 
ably broad thumb. They all of them stopped in front of the win- 
dow, and called out to know what it was that the girl wanted. She 
told them all her need, and they promised her their help, and said, 
'Then will you invite us to your wedding, and not be ashamed of 
us, and call us your cousins, and let us sit at your table? If you will 
promise this, we will finish off your flax-spinning in a very short 
time." "With all my heart," answered the girl; "only come in now, 
and begin at once." 

Then these same women came in, and she cleared a space in the 
first room for them to sit and carry on their spinning. The first one 
drew out the thread and moved the treadle that turned the wheel; 
the second moistened the thread; the third twisted it, and rapped 
with her finger on the table; and as often as she rapped a heap of 
yam fell to the ground, and it was most beautifully spun. But the 
girl hid the three spinsters out of the Queen's sight, and only 
showed her, as often as she came, the heaps of well-spun yarn; and 
there was no end to the praises she received. When the first room 
was empty they went on to the second, and then to the third, so 
that at last all was finished. Then the three women took their leave, 
saying to the girl, "Do not forget what you have promised, and it 
will be all the better for you." 

So when the girl took the Queen and showed her the empty 
rooms, and the great heaps of yam, the wedding was at once ar- 

236 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ranged, and the bridegroom rejoiced that he should have so clever 
and diligent a wife, and praised her exceedingly. 

"I have three cousins," said the girl, "and as they have shown me 
a great deal of kindness, I would not wish to forget them in my 
good fortune; may I be allowed to invite them to the wedding, and 
to ask them to sit at the table with us?" 

The Queen and the bridegroom said at once, "There is no reason 
against it." 

So when the feast began, in came the three spinsters in strange 
guise, and the bride said, "Dear cousins, you are welcome." 

"Oh," said the bridegroom, "how come you to have such dread- 
fully ugly relations?" 

And then he went up to the first spinster and said, "How is is 
that you have such a broad flat foot?" "With treading," answered 
she, "with treading." 

Then hc'went up to the second and said, "How is it that you 
have such a great hanging Hp?" "With licking," answered she, 
"with licking." 

Then he asked the third, "How is it that you have such a broad 
thumb?" "With twisting thread," answered she, "with twisting 

Then the bridegroom said that from that time forward his beauti- 
ful bride should never touch a spinning-wheel. 

And so she escaped that tiresome flax-spinning. 


There was once a miller who was poor, but he had one beautiful 
daughter. It happened one day that he came to speak with the 
King, and, to give himself consequence, he told him that he had a 
daughter who could spin gold out of straw. The King said to the 
miller, "That is an art that pleases me well; if your daughter is as 
clever as you say, bring her to my castle tomorrow, that I may put 
her to the proof." 

When the girl was brought to him, he led her into a room that 
was quite full of straw, and gave her a wheel and spindle, and said, 
"Now set to work, and if by the early morning you have not spun 

Rumpelstiltskin 237 

this straw to gold you shall die." And he shut the door himself, and 
left her there alone. 

And so the poor miller's daughter was left there sitting, and 
could not think what to do for her life: she had no notion how to 
set to work to spin gold from straw, and her distress grew so great 
that she began to weep. Then all at once the door opened, and in 
came a little man, who said, "Good evening, miller s daughter; why 
are you crying?" "Oh!" answered the girl, "I have got to spin gold 
out of straw, and I don't understand the business." 

Then the little man said, "What will you give me if I spin it for 
you?" "My necklace," said the girl. 

The little man took the necklace, seated himself before the 
wheel, and whirr, whirr, whirr! three times round and the bobbin 
was full; then he took up another, and whirr, whirr, whirr! three 
times round, and that was full; and so he went on till the morning, 
when all the straw had been spun, and all the bobbins were full of 
gold. At sunrise came the King, and when he saw the gold he was 
astonished and very much rejoiced, for he was very avaricious. He 
had the miller's daughter taken into another room filled with straw, 
much bigger than the last, and told her that as she valued her life 
she must spin it all in one night. 

The girl did not know what to do, so she began to cry, and then 
the door opened, and the little man appeared and said, "What will 
you give me if I spin all this straw into gold?" "The ring from my 
finger," answered the girl. 

So the little man took the ring, and began again to send the 
wheel whirring round, and by the next morning all the straw was 
spun into glistening gold. The King was rejoiced beyond measiu-e 
at the sight, but as he could never have enough of gold, he had the 
miller's daughter taken into a still larger room full of straw, and 
said, 'This, too, must be spun in one night, and if you accomplish it 
you shall be my wife." For he thought, "Although she is but a 
miller's daughter, I am not likely to find any one richer in the whole 

As soon as the girl was left alone, the little man appeared for the 
third time and said, "What will you give me if I spin the straw for 
you this time?" "I have nothing left to give," answered the girl. 
'Then you must promise me the first child you have after you are 
Queen," said the little man. 

"But who knows whether that will happen?" thought the girl; 
but as she did not know what else to do in her necessity, she prom- 
ised the little man what he desired, upon which he began to spin. 

238 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

until all the straw was gold. And when in the morning the King 
came and found aU done according to his wish, he caused the wed- 
ding to be held at once, and the miUer's pretty daughter became a 

In a year's time she brought a fine child into the world, and 
thought no more of the Httle man; but one day he came suddenly 
into her room, and said, "Now give me what you promised me." 

The Queen was terrified greatly, and ofiFered the Httle man all the 
riches of the kingdom if he would only leave the child; but the little 
man said, "No, I would rather have something hving than aU the 
treasures of the world." 

Then the Queen began to lament and to weep, so that the little 
man had pity upon her. "I wiU give you three days," said he, "and 
if at the end of that time you cannot tell my name, you must give 
up the child to me." 

Then the Queen spent the whole night in thinking over all the 
names that she had ever heard, and sent a messenger through the 
land to ask far and wide for all the names that could be found. And 
when the little man came next day, beginning with Caspar, Mel- 
chior, Balthazar, she repeated all she knew, and went through the 
whole Hst, but after each the little man said, "That is not my 

The second day the Queen sent to inquire of all the neighbors 
what the servants were called, and told the Httle man all the most 
unusual and singular names, saying, "Perhaps you are Roast-ribs, or 
Sheepshanks, or Spindleshanks?" But he answered nothing but 
"That is not my name." 

The third day the messenger came back again, and said, *T have 
not been able to find one single new name; but as I passed through 
the woods I came to a high hiU, and near it was a Httle house, and 
before the house burned a fire, and round the fire danced a comical 
Httle man, and he hopped on one leg and cried, 

"Today do I bake, tomorrow I brew. 
The day after that the Queens child comes in; 
And oh! I am glad that nobody knew 
That the name I am called is Rumpelstiltskin!" 

You cannot think how pleased the Queen was to hear that name, 
and soon afterwards, when the Httle man walked in and said, 
"Now, Mrs. Queen, what is my name?" she said at first, "Are you 
called Jack?" "No," answered he. "Are you called Harry?" she 

The Queen Bee 239 

asked again. "No," answered he. And then she said, "Then per- 
haps your name is Rumpelstiltskinl" 

"The devil told you that! the devil told you thatl" cried the little 
man, and in his anger he stamped with his right foot so hard that it 
went into the ground above his knee; then he seized his left foot 
with both his hands in such a fury that he split in two, and there 
was an end of him. 

The Queen Bee 

Two King's sons who sought adventures fell into a wild, reckless 
way of living, and gave up all thoughts of going home again. Their 
third and youngest brother, who was called Witling, and had re- 
mained behind, started o£F to seek them; and when at last he found 
them, they jeered at his simplicity in thinking that he could make 
his way in the world, while they who were so much cleverer were 
unsuccessful. But they all three went on together until they came to 
an ant-hill, which the two eldest brothers wished to stir up, that 
they might see the Httle ants hurry about in their fright and carry- 
ing off their eggs, but Witling said, "Leave the httle creatures 
alone, I will not suffer them to be disturbed." 

And they went on farther until they came to a lake, where a 
number of ducks were swimming about. The two eldest brothers 
wanted to catch a couple and cook them, but WitHng would not 
allow it, and said, "Leave the creatures alone, I will not suffer them 
to be killed." 

And then they came to a bee's-nest in a tree, and there was so 
much honey in it that it overflowed and ran down the trunk. The 
two eldest brothers then wanted to make a fire beneath the tree, 
that the bees might be stifled by the smoke, and then they could 
get at the honey. But WitHng prevented them, saying, "Leave the 
little creatures alone, I will not suffer them to be stifled." 

At last the three brothers came to a castle where there were in 
the stables many horses standing, all of stone, and the brothers 
went through all the rooms until they came to a door at the end se- 
cured with three locks, and in the middle of the door a small open- 
ing through which they could look into the room. And they saw a 
little gray-haired man sitting at a table. They called out to him one, 

240 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

twice, and he did not hear, but at the third time he got up, undid 
the locks, and came out. Without speaking a word he led them to a 
table loaded with aU sorts of good things, and when they had eaten 
and drunk he showed to each his bed-chamber. The next morning 
the little gray man came to the eldest brother, and beckoning him, 
brought him to a table of stone, on which were written three things 
directing by what means the castle could be delivered from its en- 
chantment. The first thing was, that in the wood under the moss lay 
the pearls belonging to the Princess— a thousand in nimfiber— and 
they were to be sought for and collected, and if he who should un- 
dertake the task had not finished it by sunset— if but one pearl were 
missing— he must be turned to stone. So the eldest brother went 
out, and searched all day, but at the end of it he had only found 
one hundred; just as was said on the table of stone came to pass 
and he was turned into stone. The second brother undertook the 
adventure next day, but it fared with him no better than with the 
first; he found two hundred pearls, and was turned into stone. 

And so at last it was Witling's turn, and he began to search in the 
moss; but it was a very tedious business to find the pearls, and he 
grew so out of heart that he sat down on a stone and began to 
weep. As he was sitting thus, up came the ant-king with five thou- 
sand ants, whose fives had been saved through Witling's pity, and it 
was not very long before the Httle insects had collected aU the 
pearls and put them in a heap. 

Now the second thing ordered by the table of stone was to get 
the key of the Princess's sleeping-chamber out of the lake. And 
when Witling came to the lake, the ducks whose fives he had saved 
came swimming, and dived below, and brought up the key from 
the bottom. 

The third thing that had to be done was the most diflBcult, and 
that was to choose out the youngest and lovefiest of the three 
Princesses, as they lay sleeping. AU bore a perfect resemblance 
each to the other, and only differed in this, that before they went to 
sleep each one had eaten a different sweetmeat— the eldest a piece 
of sugar, the second a Httle syrup, and the third a spoonful of 
honey. Now the Queen-bee of those bees that Witfing had pro- 
tected from the fire came at this moment, and trying the fips of all 
three, settled on those of the one that had eaten honey, and so it 
was that the Eling's son knew which to choose. Then the spell was 
broken; every one awoke from stony sleep, and took his right form 

And Witling married the yoimgest and lovefiest Princess, and 

The Golden Goose 241 

became King after her father's death. But his two brothers had to 
put up with the two other sisters. 

The Golden Goose 

There was a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was 
called the Simpleton, and was despised, laughed at, and neglected, 
on every occasion. It happened one day that the eldest son wished 
to go into the forest to cut wood, and before he went his mother 
gave him a delicious pancake and a flask of wine, that he might not 
suffer from hunger or thirst. When he came into the forest a Httle 
old gray man met him, who wished him good day, and said, "Give 
me a bit of cake out of your pocket, and let me have a drink of your 
wine; I an so hungry and thirsty." 

But the prudent youth answered, "Give you my cake and my 
wine? I haven't got any; be off with you." And leaving the little 
man standing there, he went off. 

Then he began to feU a tree, but he had not been at it long be- 
fore he made a wrong stroke, and the hatchet bit him in the arm, so 
that he was obHged to go home and get it boimd up. That was 
what came of the little gray man. 

Afterwards the second son went into the wood, and the mother 
gave to him, as to the eldest, a pancake and a flask of wine. The lit- 
tle old gray man met him also, and begged for a Httle bit of cake 
and a drink of wine. But the second son spoke out plainly, saying, 
*What I give you I lose myself, so be off with you." And leaving 
the little man standing there, he went off. 

The punishment followed. As he was chopping away at the tree, 
he hit himself in the leg so severely that he had to be carried home. 

Then said the Simpleton, "Father, let me go for once into the for- 
est to cut wood"; and the father answered, "Yoiur brothers have 
hiut themselves by so doing; give it up, you understand nothing 
about it." 

But the Simpleton went on begging so long, that the father said 
at last, "Well, be off with you; you will only learn by experience." 

The mother gave him a cake (it was only made with water, and 
baked in the ashes), and with it a flask of sour beer. When he 
came into the forest the little old gray man met him, and greeted 

242 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

him, saying, "Give me a bit of your cake, and a drink from your 
flask; I am so hungry and thirsty." 

And the Simpleton answered, "I have only a flour and water cake 
and som- beer; but if that is good enough for you, let us sit down to- 
gether and eat." Then they sat down, and as the Simpleton took out 
his floLir and water cake it became a rich pancake, and his sour beer 
became good wine. Then they ate and drank, and afterwards the 
little man said, "As you have such a kind heart, and share what you 
have so willingly, I v^dll bestow good luck upon you. Yonder stands 
an old tree; cut it down, and at its roots you will find something," 
and thereupon the little man took his departure. 

The Simpleton went there, and hewed away at the tree, and 
when it fell he saw, sitting among the roots, a goose vwth feathers 
of pure gold. He lifted it out and took it vvdth him to an inn where 
he intended to stay the night. 

The landlord had three daughters who, when they saw the goose, 
were curious to know what wonderful kind of bird it was, and 
ended by longing for one of its golden feathers. The eldest thought, 
"I will wait for a good opportunity, and then I will pull out one of 
its feathers for myself'; and so, when the Simpleton was gone out, 
she seized the goose by its vvdng— but there her finger and hand had 
to stay, held fast. Soon after came the second sister with the same 
idea of plucking out one of the golden feathers for herself; but 
scarcely had she touched her sister than she also was obliged to 
stay, held fast. Lastly came the third with the same intentions; but 
the others screamed out, "Stay away! for heaven's sake stay away!" 
But she did not see why she should stay away, and thought, 'If 
they do so, why should not I?" and went towards them. But when 
she reached her sisters there she stopped, hanging on wdth them. 
And so they had to stay, all night. 

The next morning the Simpleton took the goose under his arm 
and went away, unmindful of the three girls that hung on to it. The 
three had to run after him, left and right, wherever his legs carried 
him. In the midst of the fields they met the parson, who, when he 
saw the procession, said, "Shame on you, girls, running after a 
young fellow through the fields Hke this," and forthwdth he seized 
hold of the youngest by the hand to drag her away, but hardly had 
he touched her when he too was obliged to run after them himself. 

Not long after the sexton came that way, and seeing the re- 
spected parson following at the heels of the three girls, he called 
out, "Ho, your reverence, whither away so quickly? You forget that 
we have another christening today"; and he seized hold of him by 

The Golden Goose 243 

his gown; but no sooner had he touched him than he was obliged to 
follow on too. As the five tramped on, one after another, two peas- 
ants with their hoes came up from the fields, and the parson cried 
out to them, and begged them to come and set him and the sexton 
free, but no sooner had they touched the sexton than they had to 
follow on too; and now there were seven following the Simpleton 
and the goose. 

By and by they came to a town where a King reigned, who had 
an only daughter who was so serious that no one could make her 
laugh; therefore the King had given out that whoever should make 
her laugh should have her in marriage. The Simpleton, when he 
heard this, went with his goose and his hangers-on into the pres- 
ence of the King's daughter, and as soon as she saw the seven peo- 
ple following always one after the other, she burst out laughing, 
and seemed as if she could never stop. And so the Simpleton earned 
a right to her as his bride; but the King did not like him for a son- 
in-law and made all kinds of objections, and said he must first bring 
a man who could drink up a whole cellar of wine. 

The Simpleton thought that the little gray man would be able to 
help him, and went out into the forest, and there, on the very spot 
where he felled the tree, he saw a man sitting with a very sad coun- 
tenance. The Simpleton asked him what was the matter, and he an- 
swered, "I have a great thirst, which I cannot quench: cold water 
does not agree with me; I have indeed drunk up a whole cask of 
wine, but what good is a drop like that?" 

Then said the Simpleton, 'T can help you; only come with me, 
and you shall have enough." 

He took him straight to the King's cellar, and the man sat himself 
down before the big vats, and drank, and drank, and before a day 
was over he had drunk up the whole cellar-full. The Simpleton 
again asked for his bride, but the King was annoyed that a 
wretched fellow, called the Simpleton by everybody, should carry 
off his daughter, and so he made new conditions. He was to pro- 
duce a man who could eat up a mountain of bread. The Simpleton 
did not hesitate long, but ran quickly off to the forest, and there in 
the same place sat a man who had fastened a strap round his body, 
making a very piteous face, and saying, "I have eaten a whole 
bakehouse full of rolls, but what is the use of that when one is so 
hungry as I am? My stomach feels quite empty, and I am obliged 
to strap myself together, that I may not die of hunger." 

The Simpleton was quite glad of this, and said, "Get up quickly, 
and come along with me, and you shall have enough to eat." 

244 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

He led him straight to the King's courtyard, where all the meal in 
the kingdom had been collected and baked into a mountain of 
bread. The man out of the forest settled himself down before it and 
hastened to eat, and in one day the whole mountain had disap- 

Then the Simpleton asked for his bride the third time. The King, 
however, foimd one more excuse, and said he must have a ship that 
should be able to sail on land or on water. "So soon," said he, "as 
you come sailing along with it, you shall have my daughter for your 

The Simpleton went straight to the forest, and there sat the little 
old gray man with whom he had shared his cake, and he said, "1 
have eaten for you, and I have drunk for you, I will also give you 
the ship; and all because you were land to me at the JBrst." 

Then he gave him the ship that could sail on land and on water, 
and when the King saw it he knew he could no longer withhold his 
daughter. The marriage took place immediately, and at the death 
of the King the Simpleton possessed the kingdom, and lived long 
and happily with his wife. 

The Three Feathers 

There was once a King who had three sons. Two of them were con- 
sidered wise and prudent; but the youngest, who said very Httle, 
appeared to others so silly that they gave him the name of Simple. 
When the King became old and weak, and began to think that his 
end was near, he knew not to which of his sons to leaA^ his kingdom. 

So he sent for them, and said, "I have made a determination that 
whichever of you brings me the finest carpet shall be King after my 

They immediately prepared to start on their expedition, and that 
there might be no dispute between them, they took three feathers. 
As they left the castle each blew a feather into air, and said, "We 
will travel in whatever direction these feathers take." One flew to 
the east, and the other to the west; but the third soon fell on the 
earth and remained there. Then the two eldest brothers turned one 
to the' right, and the other to the left, and they laughed at Simple 
because where his feather feU he was obliged to remain. 

The Three Feathers 245 

Simple sat down after his brothers were gone, feeling very sad; 
but presently, looking round, he noticed near where his feather lay a 
kind of trap-door. He rose quickly, went toward it, and lifted it up. 
To his surprise he saw a flight of steps, down which he descended, 
and reached another door; hearing voices within he knocked hast- 
ily. The voices were singing, 

"Little frogs, crooked legs. 

Where do you hide? 
Go and see quickly 

Who is outside." 

At this the door opened of itself, and the youth saw a large fat 
frog seated with a niunber of little frogs round her. 

On seeing him the large frog asked what he wanted. "I have a 
great wish for the finest and most beautiful carpet that can be got," 
he replied. Then the old frog called again to her little ones, 

"Little frogs, crooked legs. 

Run here and there; 
Bring me the large hag 
That hangs over there." 

The young frogs fetched the bag, and when it was opened the 
old frog took from it a carpet so fine and so beautifully worked that 
nothing on earth could equal it. This she gave to the young man, 
who thanked her and went away up the steps. 

Meanwhile, his elder brothers, quite believing that their foolish 
brother would not be able to get any carpet at all, said one to an- 
other, "We need not take the trouble to go further and seek for 
anything very wonderful; ours is sure to be the best." And as the 
first person they met was a shepherd, wearing a shepherd's plaid, 
they bought the large plaid cloth and carried it home to the King. 

At the same time the younger brother returned with his beautiful 
carpet, and when the King saw it he was astonished, and said, 'If 
justice is done, then the kingdom belongs to my youngest son." 

But the two elder brothers gave the King no peace; they said it 
was impossible for Simple to become King, for his understanding 
failed in everything, and they begged their father to make another 

At last he said, "Whoever finds the most beautiful ring and 
brings it to me shall have the kingdom." 

Away went the brothers a second time, and blew three feathers 
into the air to direct their ways. The feathers of the elder two flew 

246 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

east and west, but that of the youngest fell, as before, near the trap- 
door and there rested. He at once descended the steps, and told the 
great frog that he wanted a most beautiful ring. She sent for her 
large bag and drew from it a ring which sparkled with precious 
stones, and was so beautiful that no goldsmith on earth could make 
one like it. 

The elder brothers had again laughed at Simple when his feather 
fell so soon to the ground, and forgetting his former success with 
the carpet, scorned the idea that he could ever find a gold ring. So 
they gave themselves no trouble, but merely took a plated ring 
from the harness of a carriage horse, and brought it to their father. 

But when the King saw Simple's splendid ring he said at once, 
"The kingdom belongs to my youngest son." 

His brothers, however, were not yet inclined to submit to the de- 
cision; they begged their father to make a third condition, and at 
last he promised to give the kingdom to the son who brought home 
the most beautiful woman to be his wife. 

They all were again guided by blowing the feathers, and the two 
elder took the roads pointed out to them. But Simple, without hesi- 
tation, went at once to the frog, and said, "This time I am to take 
home the most beautiful woman." 

"Hey-dayl" said the frog. "I have not one by me at present, but 
you shall have one soon." So she gave him a carrot which had been 
hollowed out, and to which six mice were harnessed. 

Simple took it quite sorrowfully, and said, "What am I to do with 
this?" "Seat one of my little frogs in it," she said. 

The youth, on this, caught one up at a venture, and seated it in 
the carrot. No sooner had he done so than it became a most beauti- 
ful young lady; the carrot was turned into a gilded coach; and the 
mice were changed to prancing horses. 

He kissed the maiden, seated himself in the carriage with her, 
drove away to the castle, and led her to the King. 

Meanwhile his brothers had proved more silly than he; not for- 
getting the beautiful carpet and the ring, they still thought it was 
impossible for Simple to find a beautiful woman also. They there- 
fore took no more trouble than before, and merely chose the hand- 
somest peasant maideas they could find to bring to their father. 

When the King saw the beautiful maiden his youngest son had 
brought he said, "The kingdom must now belong to my youngest 
son after my death." 

But the elder brothers deafened the King's ears with their cries, 
"We cannot consent to let our stupid brother be King. Give us one 

The Hut in the Forest 247 

more trial. Let a ring be hung in the hall, and let each woman 
spring through it." For they thought the peasant maidens would 
easily manage to do this, because they were strong, and that the 
delicate lady would, no doubt, kill herself. To this trial the old King 

The peasant maidens jumped first; but they were so heavy Eind 
awkward that they feU, and one broke her arm and the other her 
leg. But the beautiful lady whom Simple had brought home sprang 
as lightly as a deer through the ring, and thus put an end to aU op- 

The yoimgest brother married the beautiful maiden, and after his 
father's death ruled the kingdom for many years with wisdom and 

The Hut in the Forest 

A POOR WOOD-CUTTER livcd with his wife and three daughters in a 
little hut on the edge of a lonely forest. One morning as he was 
about to go to his work, he said to his wife, "Let my dinner be 
brought into the forest to me by my eldest daughter, or I shaU 
never get my work done, and in order that she may not miss her 
way," he added, "I will take a bag of millet with me and strew the 
seeds on the path." When, therefore, the sun was just above the 
center of the forest, the girl set out on her way with a bowl of soup, 
but the field-sparrows, and wood-sparrows, larks and finches, black- 
birds and siskins had picked up the miUet long before, and the girl 
could not find the track. Then, trusting to chance, she went on and 
on until the sun sank and night began to fall. The trees rustled in 
the darkness, the owk hooted, and she began to be afraid. Then in 
the distance she perceived a light which glimmered between the 
trees. "There ought to be some people living there who can take 
me in for the night," thought she, and went up to the light. 

It was not long before she came to a house the windows of which 
were all lighted up. She knocked, and a rough voice from the inside 
cried, "Come in." The girl stepped into the dark entrance, and 
knocked at the door of the room. "Just come in," cried the voice, 
and when she opened the door, an old gray-haired man was sitting 
at the table, supporting his face with both hands, and his white 

248 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

beard fell down over the table almost as far as the ground. By the 
stove lay three animals, a hen, a cock, and a brindled cow. The girl 
told her story to the old man, and begged for shelter for the night. 
The man said, 

"Pretty little hen. 
Pretty little cock. 
And pretty brindled cow. 
What say ye to thatF' 

"Duks," answered the animals, and that must have meant, "We are 
wilUng," for the old man said, "Here you shall have shelter and 
food; go to the fire, and cook us our supper," The girl found in the 
kitchen abundance of everything, and cooked a good supper, but 
had no thought of the animals. She carried the full dishes to the 
table, seated herself by the gray-haired man, ate and satisfied her 
hunger. When she had had enough, she said, "But now I am tired, 
where is there a bed in which I can lie down, and sleep?" The ani- 
mals repHed, 

"Thou hast eaten with him. 
Thou hast drunk with him. 
Thou hast had no thought for us. 
So find out for thyself where thou canst pass the night." 

Then said the old man, "Just go upstairs, and you will find a room 
with two beds, shake them up, and put white Hnen on them, and 
then I, too, will come and He down to sleep." The girl went up, and 
when she had shaken the beds and put clean sheets on, she lay 
down in one of them without waiting any longer for the old man. 
After some time, however, the gray-haired man came, took his can- 
dle, looked at the girl and shook his head. When he saw that she 
had fallen into a sound sleep, he opened a trap-door, and let her 
down into the cellar. 

Late at night the wood-cutter came home, and reproached his 
wife for leaving him to hunger all day. 'It is not my fault," she 
replied, "the girl went out with your dinner, and must have lost 
herself, but she is sure to come back tomorrow." The wood-cutter, 
however, arose before dawn to go into the forest, and requested 
that the second daughter should take him his dinner that day. "I 
will take a bag with lentils," said he; "the seeds are larger than 
millet, the girl will see them better, and can't lose her way." At 
dinner-time, therefore, the girl took out the food, but the lentils had 
disappeared. The birds of the forest had picked them up as they 

The Hut in the Forest 249 

had done the day before, and had left none. The girl wandered 
about in the forest until night, and then she, too, reached the house 
of the old man, was told to go in, and begged for food and a bed. 
The man with the white beard again asked the animals, 

"Pretty little hen. 
Pretty little cock. 
And pretty brindled cow, 
What say ye to that?" 

The animals again replied "Duks," and everything happened just as 
it had happened the day before. The girl cooked a good meal, ate 
and drank with the old man, and did not concern herself about the 
animals, and when she inquired about her bed they answered, 

"Thou hast eaten with him. 
Thou hast drunk with him. 
Thou hast had no thought for us. 
So find out for thyself where thou canst pass the night." 

When she was asleep the old man came, looked at her, shook his 
head, and let her down into the cellar. 

On the third morning the wood-cutter said to his wife, "Send our 
youngest child out with my dinner today, she has always been good 
and obedient, and will stay in the right path, and not run about 
after every wild bumble-bee, as her sisters did." The mother did not 
want to do it, and said, "Am I to lose my dearest child, as well?" 

"Have no fear," he repUed, "the girl will not go astray; she is too 
prudent and sensible; besides I will take some peas with me, and 
strew them about. They are stiU larger than lentils, and will show 
her the way." But when the girl went out with her basket on her 
arm, the wood-pigeons had already got all the peas in their crops, 
and she did not know which way she was to turn. She was full of 
sorrow and never ceased to think how hungry her father would be, 
and how her good mother would grieve, if she did not go home. At 
length when it grew dark, she saw the light and came to the house 
in the forest. She begged quite prettily to be allowed to spend the 
night there, and the man with the white beard once more asked his 

"Pretty little hen. 
Pretty little cock. 
And pretty brindled cow, 
What say ye to that?" 

"Duks," said they. Then the girl went to the stove where the ani- 

250 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

mals were lying, and petted the cock and hen, and stroked their 
smooth feathers with her hand, and caressed the brindled cow be- 
tween her horns, and when, in obedience to the old man's orders, 
she had made ready some good soup, and the bowl was placed 
upon the table, she said, "Am I to eat as much as I want, and the 
good animals to have nothing? Outside is food in plenty, I will look 
after them first." So she went and brought some barley and strewed 
it for the cock and hen, and a whole armful of sweet-smelling hay 
for the cow. "I hope you will Hke it, dear animals," said she, "and 
you shall have a refreshing draught in case you are thirsty." Then 
she fetched in a bucketful of water, and the cock and hen jumped 
on to the edge of it and dipped their beaks in, and then held up 
their heads as the birds do when they drink, and the brindled cow 
also took a hearty draught. When the animals were fed, the girl 
seated herself at the table by the old man, and ate what he had left. 
It was not long before the cock and the hen began to thrust their 
heads beneath their wings, and the eyes of the cow Hkewise began 
to bHnk. Then said the girl, "Ought we not to go to bed? 

"Pretty little hen. 
Pretty little cock. 
And beautiful brindled cow. 
What say ye to that?" 

The animals answered "Dulcs, 

"Thou hast eaten with us, 
Thou hast drunk with us, 
Thou hast had kind thought for all of us. 
We uAsh thee good-night." 

Then the maiden went upstairs, shook the feather-beds, and laid 
clean sheets on them, and when she had done it the old man came 
and lay dovini on one of the beds, and his white beard reached 
down to his feet. The girl lay down on the other, said her prayers, 
and fell asleep. 

She slept quietly till midnight, and then there was such a noise in 
the house that she awoke. There was a sound of cracking and spht- 
ting in every comer, and the doors sprang open, and beat against 
the walls. The beams groaned as if they were being torn out of 
their joints, it seemed as if the staircase were falling down, and at 
length there was a crash as if the entire roof had fallen in. As, how- 
ever, all grew quiet once more, and the girl was not hurt, she 
stayed quietly lying where she was, and fell asleep again. But when 

Donkey Cabbages 251 

she woke up in the morning with the brilliancy of the sunshine, 
what did her eyes behold? She was lying in a vast hall, and every- 
thing around her shone with royal splendor; on the walls, golden 
flowers grew up on a ground of green silk, the bed was of ivory, 
and the canopy of red velvet, and on a chair close by, was a pair of 
shoes embroidered wdth pearls. 

The girl believed that she was in a dream, but three richly clad 
attendants came in, and asked what orders she would Hke to give. 
"If you will go," she replied, "I v^dll get up at once and make ready 
some soup for the old man, and then I will feed the pretty little 
hen, and the cock, and the beautiful brindled cow." She thought 
the old man was up already, and looked round at his bed; he, how- 
ever, was not lying in it, but a stranger. And while she was looking 
at him, and becoming aware that he was young and handsome, he 
awoke, sat up in bed, and said, "1 am a King's son, and was be- 
wdtched by a wicked witch, and made to live in this forest, as an 
old gray-haired man; no one was allowed to be with me but my 
three attendants in the form of a cock, a hen, and a brindled cow. 
The spell was not to be broken until a girl came to us whose heart 
was so good that she showed herself full of love, not only towards 
mankind, but towards animals— and that thou hast done, and by 
thee at midnight we were set free, and the old hut in the forest was 
changed back again into my royal palace." And when they had 
arisen, the King's son ordered the three attendants to set out and 
fetch the father and mother of the girl to the marriage feast. 

"But where are my two sisters?" inquired the maiden. "I have 
locked them in the cellar, and tomorrow they shall be led into the 
forest, and shall live as servants to a charcoal-burner, until they 
have grown kinder, and do not leave poor animals to suffer hunger." 

Donkey Cabbages 

There was once a young huntsman who went into the forest to lie 
in wait. He had a fresh and joyous heart, and as he was going 
thither, whistling upon a leaf, an ugly old crone came up, who 
spoke to him and said, "Good-day, dear huntsman, truly you are 
merry and contented, but I am suffering from hunger and thirst, do 
give me an alms." The huntsman had compassion on the poor old 

252 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

creature, felt in his pocket, and gave her what he could afford. He 
was then about to go further, but the old woman stopped him and 
said, "Listen, dear huntsman, to what I tell you; I wiU make you a 
present in return for your kindness. Go on your way now, but in a 
little while you will come to a tree, whereon nine birds axe sitting 
which have a cloak in their claws, and are plucking at it; take your 
gun and shoot into the midst of them, they will let the cloak fall 
down to you, but one of the birds will be hurt, and will drop down 
dead. Carry away the cloak, it is a wishing-cloak; when you throw 
it over your shoulders, you only have to wish to be in a certain 
place, and you wiU be there in the twinkling of an eye. Take out 
the heart of the dead bird and swaUow it whole, and every morning 
early, when you get up, you wiU find a gold piece under your 

The huntsman thanked the wise woman, and thought to himself, 
*Those are fine things that she has promised me, if aU does but 
come true." And verily when he had walked about a hundred 
paces, he heard in the branches above him such a screaming and 
twittering that he looked up and saw there a crowd of birds who 
were tearing a piece of cloth about with their beaks and claws, and 
tugging and fighting as if each wanted to have it all to himself. 
"Well," said the huntsman, "this is wonderful; it has really come to 
pass just as the old wife foretoldl" and he took the gun from his 
shoulder, aimed and fired right into the midst of them, so that the 
feathers flew about. The birds instantly took to flight with loud out- 
cries, but one dropped down dead, and the cloak fell at the same 
time. Then £he huntsman did as the old woman directed him, cut 
open the bird, sought the heart, swallowed it down, and took the 
cloak home with him. 

Next morning, when he awoke, the promise occurred to him, and 
he wished to see if it also had been fulfilled. When he lifted up the 
pillow, the gold piece shone in his eyes, and next day he ^ound an- 
other, and so it went on, every time he got up. He gathered to- 
gether a heap of gold, but at last he thought, "Of what use is aU my 
gold to me if I stay at home? I wiU go forth and see the world." 

He then took leave of his parents, buckled on his huntsman's 
pouch and gun, and went out into the world. It came to pass, that 
one day he traveled through a dense forest, and when he came to 
the end of it, in the plain before him stood a fine castle. An old 
woman was standing with a wonderfully beautiful maiden, looking 
out of one of the windows. The old woman, however, was a witch 
and said to the maiden, "There comes one out of the forest, who 

Donkey Cabbages 253 

has a wonderful treasure in his body, we must filch it from him, my 
dear daughter, it is more suitable for us than for him. He has a 
bird's heart about him, by means of which a gold piece lies every 
morning under his piUow." She told her what she was to do to get 
it, and what part she had to play, and finally threatened her, and 
said with angry eyes, "And if you do not attend to what I say, it 
will be the worse for you." Now when the huntsman came nearer 
he descried the maiden, and said to himself, "I have traveled about 
for such a long time, I will take a rest for once, and enter that beau- 
tiful castle. I have certainly money enough." Nevertheless, the real 
reason was that he had caught sight of the pretty girl. 

He entered the house, and was well received and courteously en- 
tertained. Before long he was so much in love v/iih. the young witch 
that he no longer thought of anything else, and only saw things as 
she saw them, and did what she desired. The old woman then said, 
"Now we must have the bird's heart, he will never miss it." She 
prepared a drink, and when it was ready, poured it into a cup and 
gave it to the maiden, who was to present it to the himtsman. She 
did so, saying, "Now, my dearest, drink to me." So he took the cup, 
and when he had swallowed the draught, he brought up the heart 
of the bird. The girl had to take it away secretly and swallow it 
herself, for the old woman would have it so. Thenceforward he 
found no more gold under his pillow, but it lay instead under that 
of the maiden, from whence the old woman fetched it away every 
morning; but he was so much in love and so befooled, that he 
thought of nothing else but of passing his time with the girl. 

Then the old witch said, "We have the bird's heart, but we must 
also take the wishing-cloak away from him." The girl answered, 
"We will leave him that, he has lost his wealth." The old woman 
was angry and said, "Such a mantle is a wonderful thing, and is sel- 
dom to be found in this world. I must and vvdll have itl" She gave 
the girl several blows, and said that if she did not obey, it should 
fare ill with her. So she did the old woman's bidding, placed herself 
at the window and looked on the distant country, as if she were 
very sorrowful. The huntsman asked, *Why dost thou stand there 
so sorrowfully?" "Ah, my beloved," was her answer, "over yonder Hes 
the Garnet Mountain, where the precious stones grow. I long for 
them so much that when I think of them, I feel quite sad, but who 
can get them? Only the birds; they fly and can reach them, but a 
man, hever." "Have you nothing else to complain of?" said the 
huntsman. "I will soon remove that burden from your heart." 

With that he drew her under his mantle, wished himself on the 

254 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Garnet Mountain, and in the twinkling of an eye they were sitting 
on it together. Precious stones were glistening on every side so that 
it was a joy to see them, and together they gathered the finest and 
costliest of them. Now, the old woman had, through her sorceries, 
contrived that the eyes of the huntsman should become heavy. He 
said to the maiden, ''We will sit down and rest awhile, I am so 
tired that I can no longer stand on my feet." Then they sat down, 
and he laid his head in her lap, and fell asleep. When he was 
asleep, she imfastened the mantle from his shoulders, and wrapped 
herself in it, picked up the garnets and stones, and wished herself 
back at home with them. 

But when the himtsman had had his sleep out and awoke, and 
perceived that his sweetheart had betrayed him, and left him alone 
on the vwld mountain, he said, "Oh, what treachery there is in the 
world!" and sat dovioi there in care and sorrow, not knowing what 
to do. But the mountain belonged to some wild and monstrous gi- 
ants who dwelt thereon and lived their Hves there, and he had not 
sat long before he saw three of them coming towards him, so he lay 
down as if he were sunk in a deep sleep. Then the giants came up, 
and the first kicked him v^dth his foot and said, "What sort of an 
earth-worm is lying curled up here?" The second said, "Step upon 
him and kill him." But the third said, "That would indeed be worth 
your while; just let him live, he cannot remain here; and when he 
climbs higher, towards the summit of the mountain, the clouds wdll 
lay hold of him and bear him away." So saying they passed by. But 
the huntsman had paid heed to their words, and as soon as they 
were gone, he rose and climbed up to the summit of the mountain, 
and when he had sat there a while, a cloud floated towards him, 
caught him up, carried him away, and traveled about for a long 
time in the heavens. Then it sank lower, and let itself dov^ni on a 
great cabbage-garden, girt round by walls, so that he came softly to 
the ground on cabbages and vegetables. 

Then the huntsman looked about him and said, 'If I only had 
something to eat! I am so hungry, and my hunger will increase in 
course of time; but I see here neither apples nor pears, nor any 
other sort of fruit, everywhere nothing but cabbages." At length he 
thought, "At a pinch I can eat some of the leaves, they do not taste 
particularly good, but they will refresh me." With that he picked 
himself out a fine head of cabbage, and ate it, but scarcely had he 
swallowed a couple of mouthfuls than he felt very strange and 
quite different. 

Four legs grew on him, a large head and two thick ears, and he 

Donkey Cabbages 255 

saw with horror that he was changed into an ass. Still as his hunger 
increased every minute, and as the juicy leaves were suitable to his 
present nature, he went on eating with great zest. At last he arrived 
at a different land of cabbage, but as soon as he had swallowed it, 
he again felt a change, and reassumed his former human shape. 

Then the huntsman lay down and slept off his fatigue. When he 
awoke next morning, he broke off one head of the bad cabbages 
and another of the good ones, and thought to himself, "This shall 
help me to get my own again and to punish treachery." Then he 
took the cabbages with him, climbed over the wall, and went forth 
to seek for the castle of his sweetheart. After wandering about for a 
couple of days he was lucky enough to find it again. He dyed his 
face brown, so that his own mother would not have known him; 
and begged for shelter. "I am so tired," said he, "that I can go no 
further." The witch asked, "Who are you, countryman, and what is 
your business?" "I am a King's messenger, and was sent out to seek 
the most delicious salad which grows beneath the sun. I have even 
been so fortunate as to find it, and am carrying it about with me; 
but the heat of the sun is so intense that the deUcate cabbage 
threatens to wither, and I do not know if I can carry it any further." 

When the old woman heard of the exquisite salad, she was 
greedy, and said, "Dear countryman, let me just taste this wonder- 
ful salad." "Why not?" answered he, '1 have brought two heads 
with me, and will give you one of them," and he opened his pouch 
and handed her the bad cabbage. The vwtch suspected nothing 
amiss, and her mouth watered so for this new dish that she herself 
went into the kitchen and dressed it. When it was prepared she 
could not wait until it was set on the table, but took a couple of 
leaves at once, and put them in her mouth, but hardly had she 
swallowed them than she was deprived of her human shape, and 
she ran out into the courtyard in the form of an ass. 

Presently the maid-servant entered the kitchen, saw the salad 
standing there ready prepared, and was about to carry it up; but on 
the way, according to habit, she was seized by the desire to taste, 
and she ate a couple of leaves. Instantly the magic power showed 
itself, and she likewise became an ass and ran out to the old 
woman, and the dish of salad fell to the ground. Meantime the mes- 
senger sat beside the beautiful girl, and as no one came with the 
salad and she also was longing for it, she said, "I don't know what 
has become of the salad-" The huntsman thought, 'The salad must 
have already taken effect," and said, "I will go to the kitchen and 
inquire about it." As he went down he saw the two asses running 

256 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

about in the courtyard; the salad, however, was lying on the 
ground. "All right," said he, "the two have taken their portion," and 
he picked up the other leaves, laid them on the dish, and carried 
them to the maiden. "I. bring you the delicate food myself," said he, 
"in order that you may not have to wait longer." Then she ate of 
it, and was, Hke the others, immediately deprived of her human 
form, and ran out into the courtyard in the shape of an ass. 

After the huntsman had washed his face, so that the transformed 
ones could recognize him, he went down into the courtyard, and 
said, "Now you shall receive the wages of your treachery," and 
boimd them together, aU three with one rope, and drove them 
along until he came to a mill. He knocked at the window, the miller 
put out his head, and asked what he wanted. "I have three un- 
manageable beasts," answered he, "which I don't want to keep any 
longer. Will you take them in, and give them food and stable room, 
and manage them as I tell you, and then I will pay you what you 
ask." The miller said, "Why not? but how am I to manage them?" 
The huntsman then said that he was to give three beatings and one 
meal daily to the old donkey, and that was the witch; one beating 
and three meals to the younger one, which was the servant-girl; 
and to the youngest, which was the maiden, no beatings and three 
meals, for he could not bring himself to have the maiden beaten. 
After that he went back into the castle, and foimd therein every- 
thing he needed. 

After a couple of days, the miller came and said he must inform 
him that the old ass which had received three beatings and only 
one meal daily was dead; "the two others," he continued, "are cer- 
tainly not dead, and are fed three times daily, but they are so sad 
that they cannot last much longer." The huntsman was moved to 
pity, put away his anger, and told the miller to drive them back 
again to him. And when they came, he gave them some of the good 
salad, so that they became human again. The beautiful girl fell on 
her knees before him, and said, "Ah, my beloved, forgive me for 
the evil I have done you; my mother drove me to it; it was done 
against my wdll, for I love you dearly. Your vidshing-cloak hangs in 
a cupboard, and as for the bird's-heart I will take a vomiting po- 
tion." But he thought otherwise, and said, "Keep it; it is all the 
same, for I will take you for my true wife." So the wedding was cel- 
ebrated, and they Hved happily together until their death. 

Snow-White and Rose-Red 

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 Hve," 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 trust- 
fully. 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, arid sang whatever they knew. 

No mishap overtook them; if they had stayed too late in the for- 
est, 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 children. 

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 

258 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

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 hob. The kettle was of copper and shone Hke gold, so 
brightly was it polished. 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 Hstened as they sat 
and spim. And close by them lay a lamb upon the floor, and behind 
them upon a perch sat a white dove v^th its head hidden beneath 
its wings. 

One evening, as they were thiis 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 traveler 
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 vidthin 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 •wiU do you 
no harm! I am heilf-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 bum 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 be- 
fore 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 aHve, children, 

"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 wiU 
be safe from the cold and the bad weather." As soon as day dawned 

Snow-White and Rose-Red 259 

the two children let him out, and he trotted across the snow into 
the forest. 

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 arrived. 

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. *1 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 caimot 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 hiurying 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 for- 
est to get fire-wood. There they foimd a big tree which lay felled on 
the ground, and close by the trunk something was jumping back- 
wards 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 httle fellow was 
jvunping backwards and forwards hke 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, Httle man?" asked Rose-red. "You stupid, prying 
goose!" answered the dwarf; "I was going to split the tree to get a 
little wood for cooking. The littie 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 

26o Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

it is tight in and I cannot get away, and the silly, sleek, milk-faced 
things laughl Ugh I how odious you arel" 

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 
Rose-red. "You senseless goosel" 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 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 sit- 
ting there fishing, and unluckily the wind had twisted his beard 
with the fishing-Hne; just then a big fish bit, and the feeble creature 
had not 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 move- 
ments 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 line were entan- 
gled 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 toadstool, 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 chil- 
dren to the town to buy needles and thread, and laces and ribbons. 

Snoio-White and Rose-Red 261 

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 I" 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 thank- 
lessness, went on their way and did their business in the town. 

As they crossed the heath again on their way home they sur- 
prised 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 sim shone upon the brilliant stones; they glit- 
tered and sparkled with all colors so beautifully that the children 
stood still and looked at them. 'Why do you stand gaping there?" 
cried the dwarf, and his ashen-gray face became copper-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 akeady close. Then in the dread of his heart 
he cried, "Dear Mr. Bear, spare me, I will give you all my treas- 
ures; look, the beautiful jewels lying therel 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 theml" The bear took no heed of his words, but gave the 
wicked creature a single blow with his paw, and he did not move 

The girls had run away, but the bear called to them, "Snow-white 
and Rose-red, do not be afraid; wait, I vsdll 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 

262 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

had to run about the forest as a savage bear until I 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 lived 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. 

The Poor Miller's Boy and the Cat 

There once lived an old miller who had neither wife nor child, and 
three apprentices served imder him. As they had been with him 
several years, one day he said to them, "I am old, and want to sit in 
the chimney-comer; go out, and whichsoever of you brings me the 
best horse home, to him wdll I give the miU, and in return for it he 
shall take care of me tiU my death." The third of the boys was, 
however, the drudge, who was looked on as fooUsh by the others; 
they begrudged the mill to him, and afterwards he would not have 
it. Then all three went out together, and when they came to the vil- 
lage, the two said to stupid Hans, "Thou mayst just as well stay 
here; as long as thou livest thou wilt never get a horse." 

Hans, however, went with them, and when it was night they 
came to a cave in which they lay ^own to sleep. The two sharp 
ones waited imtil Hans had fallen asleep, then they got up, and 
went away leaving him where he was. And they thought they had 
done a very clever thing, but it was certain to turn out iU for them. 
When the sun arose, and Hans woke up, he was lying in a deep 
cavern. He looked around on every side and exclaimed, "Oh, 
heavens, where am I?" Then he got up and clambered out of the 
cave, went into the forest, and thought, "Here I am quite alone and 
deserted, how shall I obtain a horse now?" 

While he was thus walking full of thought, he met a small tabby- 
cat which said quite kindly, "Hans, where are you going?" "Alas, 
you cannot help me." "I well know your desire," said the cat. "You 
wish to have a beautiful horse. Come with me, and be my faithful 
servant for seven years long, and then I will give you one more 
beautiful than any you have ever seen in your whole hfe." "Well, 

The Poor Millers Boy and the Cat 263 

this is a wonderful cat!" thought Hans, "but I am determined to see 
if she is telling the truth." 

So she took him with her into her enchanted castle, where there 
were nothing but cats who were her servants. They leapt nimbly 
upstairs and downstairs, and were merry and happy. In the evening 
when they sat down to dinner, three of them had to make music. 
One played the bassoon, the other the fiddle, and the third put the 
trumpet to his hps, and blew out his cheeks as much as he possibly 
could. When they had dined, the table was carried away, and the 
cat said, "Now, Hans, come and dance with me." "No," said he, "I 
won't dance with a pussy-cat. I have never done that yet." "Then 
take him to bed," said she to the cats. So one of them Hghted him to 
his bed-room, one pulled his shoes off, one his stockings, and at last 
one of them blew out the candle. 

Next morning they retmrned and helped him out of bed, one put 
his stockings on for him, one tied his garters, one brought his shoes, 
one washed him, and one dried his face v^dth her tail. "That feels 
very softl" said Hans. He, however, had to serve the cat, and chop 
some wood every day, and to do that he had an axe of silver, and 
the wedge and saw were of silver and the mallet of copper. So he 
chopped the wood small; stayed there in the house and had good 
meat and drink, but never saw any one but the tabby-cat and her 

Once she said to him, "Go and mow my meadow, and dry the 
grass," and gave him a scythe of silver, and a whetstone of gold, 
but bade him deliver them up again carefully. So Hans went 
thither, and did what he was bidden, and when he had finished the 
work, he carried the scythe, whetstone, and hay to the house, and 
asked if it was not yet time for her to give him his reward. "No," 
said the cat, "you must first do something more for me of the same 
kind. There is timber of silver, carpenter's axe, square, and every- 
thing that is needful, all of silver; with these build me a small 
house." Then Hans built the small house, and said that he had now 
done everything, and still he had no horse. Nevertheless, the seven 
years had gone by with him as if they were six months. 

The cat asked him if he would like to see her horses? "Yes," said 
Hans. Then she opened the door of the small house, and when she 
had opened it, there stood twelve horses— such horses, so bright and 
shining, that his heart rejoiced at the sight of them. She gave him to 
eat and to drink, and said, "Go home, I will not give you your 
horse away with you; but in three days' time I will follow you and 
bring it." So Hans set out, and she showed him the way to the mill. 

264 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

She had, however, never once given him a new coat, and he had 
been obliged to keep on his dirty old smock-frock, which he had 
brought with him, and which during the seven years had every- 
where become too small for him. 

When he reached home, the two other apprentices were there 
again as well, and each of them certainly had brought a horse with 
him, but one of them was a blind one, and the other lame. They 
asked Hans where his horse was. 'It will follow me in three days' 
time." Then they laughed and said, 'Indeed, stupid Hans, where 
wilt thou get a horse? It will be a fine one!" Hans went into the par- 
lor, but the miller said he should not sit down to table, for he was 
so ragged and torn, that they would all be ashamed of him if any 
one came in. So they gave him a mouthful of food outside, and at 
night, when they went to rest, the two others would not let him 
have a bed, and at last he was forced to creep into the goose-house, 
and lie down on a little hard straw. In the morning when he awoke, 
the three days had passed, and a coach came with six horses and 
they shone so bright that it was delightful to see themi And a ser- 
vant brought a seventh as well, which was for the poor miller s boy. 

A magnificent Princess alighted from the coach and went into the 
mill, and this princess was the little tabby-cat whom poor Hans had 
served for seven years. She asked the miUer where the miUer's boy 
and drudge was? Then the miller said, "We cannot have him here 
in the miU, for he is so ragged; he is lying in the goose-house." 
Then the King's daughter said that they were to bring him immedi- 
ately. So they brought him out, and he had to hold his little smock- 
frock together to cover himself. The servants unpacked splendid 
garments, and washed him and dressed him, and when that was 
done, no Eling could have looked more handsome. Then the maiden 
desired to see the horses which the other apprentices had brought 
home with them, and one of them was blind and the other lame. 

So she ordered the servant to bring the seventh horse, and when 
the miller saw it, he said that such a horse as that had never yet en- 
tered his yard. "And that is for the third miller's-boy," said she. 
"Then he must have the mill," said the miller, but the King's 
daughter said that the horse was there, and that he was to keep his 
mill as well, and took her faithful Hans and set him in the coach, 
and drove away with him. 

They first drove to the little house which he had built with the 
silver tools, and behold it was a great castle, and everything inside 
it was of silver and gold; and then she married him, and he was 

The Old Woman in the Wood 265 

rich, so rich that he had enough for all the rest of his life. After this, 
let no one ever say that any one who is silly can never become a 
person of importance. 

The Old Woman in the Wood 

A POOR servant-girl was once traveling with the family she served 
through a great forest, and when they were in the midst of it, rob- 
bers came out of the thicket, and murdered all they found. All 
perished together except the girl, who had jumped out of the car- 
riage in a fright, and hidden herself behind a tree. When the robbers 
had gone away with their booty, she came out and beheld the great 
disaster. Then she began to weep bitterly, and said, "What can a 
poor girl like me do now? I do not know how to get out of the for- 
est, no human being Hves in it, so I must certainly starve." She 
walked about and looked for a road, but could find none. When it 
was evening she seated herself under a tree, gave herself into God's 
keeping, and resolved to sit waiting there and not go away, let 
what might happen. 

When, however, she had sat there for a while, a white dove came 
flying to her with a Httle golden key in its mouth. It put the httle 
key in her hand, and said, "Do you see that great tree, therein is a 
little lock, it opens with the tiny key; inside the tree you will find 
food enough, and sufFer no more hunger." Then she went to the 
tree and opened it, and found milk in a little dish, and white bread 
to break into it, so that she could eat her fill. When she was 
satisfied, she said, "It is now the time when the hejns at home go to 
roost; I am so tired I could go to bed too." Then the dove flew to 
her again, and brought another golden key in its biU, and said, 
"Open that tree there, and you will find a bed." So she opened it, 
and found a beautiful white bed, and she prayed God to protect 
her during the night, and lay down and slept. In the morning the 
dove came for the third time, and again brought a little key, and 
said, "Open that tree there, and you will find clothes." And when 
she opened it, she found garments beset with gold and with jewels, 
more splendid than those of any King's daughter. So she lived there 
for some time, and the dove came every day and provided her wdth 
aU she needed, and it was a quiet good fife. 

266 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Once, however, the dove came and said, "Will you do something 
for my sake?" "With all my heart," said the girl. Then said the little 
dove, "I will guide you to a small house; enter it, and inside it, an 
old woman will be sitting by the fire and will say, 'Good-day.' But 
on your life give her no answer, let her do what she will, but pass 
by her on the right side; further on, there is a door, open it, and 
you will enter into a room where a quantity of rings of aU kinds are 
lying, among which are some magnificent ones with shining stones. 
Leave them, however, where they are, and seek out a plain one, 
which must likewise be among them, and bring it here to me as 
quickly as you can." 

The girl went to the little house, and came to the door. There sat 
an old woman who stared when she saw her, and said, "Good-day, 
my child." The girl gave her no answer, and opened the door. 
"Whither away," cried the old woman, and seized her by the gown, 
and wanted to hold her fast, saying, "That is my house; no one can 
go in there if I choose not to allow it." But the girl was silent, got 
away from her, and went straight into the room. 

On the table lay an enormous quantity of rings, which gleamed 
and glittered before her eyes. She turned them over and looked for 
the plain one, but could not find it. While she was seeking, she saw 
the old woman and how she was stealing away, and wanting to get 
off with a bird-cage which she had in her hand. So she went after 
her and took the cage out of her hand, and when she raised it up 
and looked into it, a bird was inside which had the plain ring in its 
bill. Then she took the ring, and ran quite joyously home with it, 
and thought the little white dove would come and get the ring, but 
it did not. 

Then she leant against a tree and determined to wait for the 
dove, and, as she thus stood, it seemed just as if the tree was soft 
and phant, and was letting its branches down. And suddenly the 
branches twined around her, and were two arms, and when she 
looked round, the tree was a handsome man, who embraced and 
kissed her heartily, and said, "You have delivered me from the 
power of the old woman, who is a wicked witch. She had changed 
me into a tree, and every day for two hours I was a white dove, and 
so long as she possessed the ring I could not regain my human 
form." Then his servants and his horses, who had likewise been 
changed into trees, were freed from the enchantment also, and 
stood beside him. And he led them forth to his kingdom, for he was 
a King's son, and they married, and lived happily. 

The Lambkin and the Little Fish 

There were once a little brother and a little sister, who loved each 
other with all their hearts. Their own mother was, however, dead, 
and they had a step-mother, who was not kind to them, and se- 
cretly did everything she could to hurt them. It so happened that 
the two were playing with other children in a meadow before the 
house, and there was a pond in the meadow which came up to one 
side of the house. The children ran about it, and caught each other, 
and played at counting out. 

"Eneke Beneke, let me live. 
And I to thee my bird will give. 
The little bird, for straw shall seek. 
The straw Til give to the cow to eat. 
The pretty cow shall give me milk. 
The milk I'll to the baker take. 
The baker he shall bake a cake. 
The cake I'll give unto the cat. 
The cat shall catch some mice for that. 
The mice I'll hang up in the smoke. 
And then you'll see the snow." 

They stood in a circle while they played this, and the one to 
whom the word snow fell, had to run away and all the others ran 
after him and caught him. As they were running about so merrily 
the step-mother watched them from the vdndow, and grew angry. 
And as she understood arts of vwtchcraft she bev^atched them both, 
and changed the Httle brother into a fish, and the little sister into a 
lamb. Then the fish swam here and there about the pond and was 
very sad, and the lambkin walked up and down the meadow, and 
was miserable, and could not eat or touch one blade of grass. 

Thus passed a long time, and then strangers came as visitors to 
the castle. The false step-mother thought, "This is a good opportu- 
nity," and called the cook and said to him, "Go and fetch the lamb 
from the meadow and kill it, we have nothing else for the visitors." 
Then the cook went away and got the lamb, and took it into the 
kitchen and tied its feet, and all this it bore patiently. When he had 
drawn out his knife and was whetting it on the door-step to kill the 

268 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

lamb, he noticed a little fish swimming backwards and forwards in 
the water in front of the kitchen-sink and looking up at him. This, 
however, was the brother, for when the fish saw the cook take the 
lamb away, it followed them and swam along the pond to the 
house; then the lamb cried down to it, 

"Ah, brother, in the pond so deep. 
How sad is my poor hearti 
Even now the cook he whets his knife 
To take away my tender life." 

The little fish answered, 

"Ah, little sister, up on high. 
How sad is my poor heart 
While in this pond I lie." 

When the cook heard that the lambkin could speak and said such 
sad words to the fish down below, he was terrified and thought this 
could be no common lamb, but must be bewitched by the wicked 
woman in the house. Then said he, "Be easy, I will not Idll thee," 
and took another sheep and made it ready for the guests, and con- 
veyed the lambkin to a good peasant woman, to whom he related 
all that he had seen and heard. 

The peasant was, however, the very woman who had been foster- 
mother to the little sister, and she suspected at once who the lamb 
was, and went with it to a wise woman. Then the wise woman pro- 
noimced a blessing over the lambkin and the little fish, by means of 
which they regained their human forms, and after this she took 
them both into a Httle hut in a great forest, where they lived alone, 
but were contented and happy. 

The Juniper Tree 

A LONG, long time ago, perhaps as much as two thousand years, 
there was a rich man, and he had a beautiful and pious wife, and 
they loved each other very much, and they had no children, though 
they wished greatly for some, and the wife prayed for one day and 
night. Now, in the courtyard in front of their house stood a juniper 
tree; and one day in winter the wife was standing beneath it, and 

The Juniper Tree 269 

paring an apple, and as she pared it she cut her finger, and the 
blood fell upon the snow. 

"Ah," said the woman, sighing deeply, and looking down at the 
blood, "if only I could have a child as red as blood, and as white as 

And as she said these words, her heart suddenly grew light, and 
she felt siure she should have her wish. So she went back to the 
house, and when a month had passed the snow was gone; in two 
months everything was green; in three months the flowers sprang 
out of the earth; in four months the trees were in full leaf, and the 
branches were thickly entwined; the Httle birds began to sing, so 
that the woods echoed, and the blossoms fell from the trees; when 
the fifth month had passed the wife stood imder the juniper tree, 
and it smelt so sweet that her heart leaped within her, and she fell 
on her knees for joy; and when the sixth month had gone, the fruit 
was thick and fine, and she remained still; and the seventh month 
she gathered the berries and ate them eagerly, and was sick and 
sorrowful; and when the eighth month had passed she called to her 
husband, and said, weeping, 'If I die, bury me under the juniper 

Then she was comforted and happy until the ninth month had 
passed, and then she bore a child as white as snow and as red as 
blood, and when she saw it her joy was so great that she died. 

Her husband buried her under the juniper tree, and he wept 
sore; time passed, and he became less sad; and after he had grieved 
a little more he left ofiF, and then he took another wife. 

His second wife bore him a daughter, and his first wife's child 
was a son, as red as blood and as white as snow. Whenever the wife 
looked at her daughter she felt great love for her, but whenever she 
looked at the Httle boy, evil thoughts came into her heart, of how 
she could get all her husband's money for her daughter, and how 
the boy stood in the way; and so she took great hatred to him, and 
drove him from one comer to another, and gave him a buffet here 
and cuff there, so that the poor child was always in disgrace; when 
he came back after school hours there was no peace for him. 

Once, when the wife went into the room upstairs, her little 
daughter followed her, and said, "Mother, give me an apple." 

"Yes, my child," said the mother, and gave her a fine apple out of 
the chest, and the chest had a great heavy lid with a strong iron 

"Mother," said the little girl, "shall not my brother have one 

270 Gnmni's Complete Fairy Tales 

That was what the mother expected; and she said, "Yes, when he 
comes back from school." 

And when she saw from the window that he was coming, an evil 
thought crossed her mind, and she snatched the apple, and took it 
from her little daughter, saying, "You shall not have it before your 

Then she threw the apple into the chest, and shut the Hd. Then 
the little boy came in at the door, and she said to him in a kind 
tone, but with evil looks, "My son, vvdll you have an apple?" 

"Mother," said the boy, "how terrible you lookl Yes, give me an 
apple 1" 

Then she spoke as Idndly as before, holding up the cover of the 
chest, "Come here and take out one for yourself." 

And as the boy was stooping over the open chest, crash went the 
lid down, so that his head flew off among the red apples. But then 
the woman felt great terror, and wondered how she could escape 
the blame. And she went to the chest of drawers in her bedroom 
and took a white handkerchief out of the nearest drawer, and 
fitting the head to the neck, she bound them with a handkerchief, 
so that nothing should be seen, and set him on a chair before the 
door with the apple ia his hand. 

Then came little Marjory into the kitchen to her mother, who was 
standing before the fire stirring a pot of hot water. 

"Mother," said Marjory, "my brother is sitting before the door 
and he has an apple in his hand, and looks very pale; I asked him 
to give me the apple, but he did not answer me; it seems very 
strange." "Go again to him," said the mother, "and if he will not 
answer you, give him a box on the ear." 

So Marjory went again and said, "Brother, give me the apple." 

But as he took no notice, she gave him a box on the ear, and his 
head fell off^, at which she was greatly terrified, and began to cry 
and scream, and ran to her mother, and said, "Oh motherl I have 
knocked my brothers head offl" and cried and screamed, and 
would not cease. 

"Oh Marjoryl" said her mother, "what have you done? But keep 
quiet, that no one may see there is anything the matter; it can't be 
helped now; we will put him out of the way safely." 

When the father came home and sat down to table, he said, 
"Where is my son?" But the mother was filling a great dish full of 
black broth, and Marjory was crying bitterly, for she could not re- 
frain. Then the father said again, "Where is my son?" "Oh," said 
the mother, "he is gone into the coimtry to his great-imcle's to stay 

The Juniper Tree 271 

for a little while." "What should he go for?" said the father, "and 
without bidding me good-bye, tool" "Oh, he wanted to go so much, 
and he asked me to let him stay there six weeks; he will be well 
taken care of." 'TDear me," said the father, "1 am quite sad about it; 
it was not right of him to go without bidding me good-bye." 

With that he began to eat, saying, "Marjory, what are you crying 
for? Your brother will come back some time." 

After a while he said, "Well, wife, the food is very good; give me 
some more." 

And the more he ate the more he wanted, until he had eaten it 
all up, and he threw the bones under the table. Then Marjory went 
to her chest of drawers, and took one of her best handkerchiefs 
from the bottom drawer, and picked up all the bones from under 
the table and tied them up in her handkerchief, and went out at the 
door crying bitterly. She laid them in the green grass under the 
juniper tree, and immediately her heart grew light again, and she 
wept no more. 

Then the juniper tree began to wave to and fro, and the boughs 
drew together and then parted, just like a clapping of hands for 
joy; then a cloud rose from the tree, and in the midst of the cloud 
there burned a fire, and out of the fire a beautiful bird arose, and, 
singing most sweetly, soared high into the air; and when he had 
flown away, the juniper tree remained as it was before, but the 
handkerchief full of bones was gone. Marjory felt quite glad and 
light-hearted, just as if her brother were still alive. So she went 
back merrily into the house and had her dinner. 

The bird, when it flew away, perched on the roof of a goldsmith's 
house, and began to sing, 

"It uxis my mother who murdered me; 
It was my father who ate of me; 
It was my sister Marjory 
Who all my bones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she hound. 
And laid them under the juniper tree. 
Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry. 
Oh what a beautiful bird am IF' 

The goldsmith was sitting in his shop making a golden chain, and 
when he heard the bird, who was sitting on his roof and singing, hQ 
started up to go and look, and as he passed over his threshold he 
lost one of his slippers; and he went into the middle of the street 
with a slipper on one foot and only a sock on the other; with his 

272 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

apron on, and the gold chain in one hand and the pincers in the 
other; and so he stood in the sunshine looking up at the bird. 

"Bird," said he, "how beautifully you sing; do sing that piece 
over again." "No," said the bird, "I do not sing for nothing twice; if 
you will give me that gold chain I will sing again." "Very well," 
said the goldsmith, "here is the gold chain; now do as you said." 

Down came the bird and took the gold chain in his right claw, 
perched in front of the goldsmith, and sang, 

"It was my mother who murdered me; 
It was my father who ate of me; 
It was my sister Marjory 
Who all my hones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she hound. 
And laid them under the juniper tree. 
Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry. 
Oh what a beautiful bird am II" 

Then the bird flew to a shoemaker's, and perched on his roof, and 

"It was my mother who murdered me; 
It was my father who ate of me; 
It was my sister Marjory 
Who all my bones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she bound. 
And laid them under the juniper tree. 
Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry, 
Oh what a beautiful bird am IF' 

When the shoemaker heard, he ran out of his door in his shirt 
sleeves and looked up at the roof of his house, holding his hand to 
shade his eyes from the sun. "Bird," said he, 'Tiow beautifully you 
sing!" Then he called in at his door, "Wife, come out directly; here 
is a bird singing beautifully. Just Hsten." 

Then he called his daughter, all his children, and acquaintance, 
both young men and maidens, and they came up the street and 
gazed on the bird, and saw how beautiful it was with red and 
green feathers, and round its throat was as it were gold, and its 
eyes twinkled in its head Hke stars. 

"Bird," said the shoemaker, "do sing that piece over again." 
"No," said the bird, "I may not sing for nothing twice; you must 
give me something." "Wife," said the man, "go into the shop; on 
the top shelf stands a pair of red shoes; bring them here." .So the 

The Juniper Tree 273 

wife went and brought the shoes. "Now bird," said the man, "sing 
us that piece again." 

And the bird came down and took the shoes in his left claw, and 
flew up again to the roof, and sang, 

"It was my mother who murdered me; 
It was my father who ate of me; 
It uoas my sister Marjory 
Who all my hones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she hound. 
And laid them under the juniper tree. 
Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry. 
Oh what a beautiful bird am I!" 

And when he had finished he flew away, with the chain in his 
right claw and the shoes in his left claw, and he flew till he reached 
a miU, and the mill went "cKp-clap, clip-clap, clip-clap." And in the 
mill sat twenty miller's-men hewing a millstone— 'luck-hack, hick- 
hack, hick-hack," while the mill was going "clip-clap, cHp-clap, 
chp-clap." And the bird perched on a Unden tree that stood in front 
of the mill, and sang, 

"It was my mother who murdered me"; 

Here one of the men looked up. 

"It was my father who ate of me"; 

Then two more looked up and listened. 

"It vxis my sister Marjory" 

Here four more looked up. 

"Who all my bones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she bound," 

Now there were only eight left hewing. 

"And laid them under the juniper tree." 

Now only five. 

"Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry," 

Now only one. 

"Oh what a beautiful bird am IF' 

At length the last one left off, and he only heard the end. 
"Bird," said he, "how beautifully you sing; let me hear it all. Sing 

274 GHmm's Complete Fairy Tales 

that againl" "No," said the bird, "I may not sing it twice for noth- 
ing; if you will give me the millstone I will sing it again." "Indeed," 
said the man, "if it belonged to me alone you should have it." "All 
right," said the others, "if he sings again he shall have it." 

Then the bird came down, and all the twenty millers heaved up 
the stone with poles— "yo! heave-hol yol heave-hol" and the bird 
stuck his head through the hole in the middle, and with the mill- 
stone round his neck he flew up to the tree and sang, 

"It was my mother who murdered me; 
It was my father who ate of me; 
It was my sister Marjory 
Who all my hones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she hound. 
And laid them under the juniper tree. 
KyuMt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry. 
Oh what a beautiful hird am 11" 

And when he had finished, he spread his wings, having in the 
right claw the chain, and in the left claw the shoes, and round his 
neck the millstone, and he flew away to his father's house. 

In the parlor sat the father, the mother, and Marjory at the table; 
the father said, "How light-hearted and cheerful I feel." "Nay," said 
the mother, "I feel very low, just as if a great storm were coming." 

But Marjory sat weeping; and the bird came flying, and perched 
on the roof. 

"Oh," said the father, "I feel so joyful, and the sun is shining so 
bright; it is as if I were going to meet with an old friend." "Nay," 
said the wife, "1 am terrified, my teeth chatter, and there is fire in 
my veins," and she tore open her dress to get air; and Marjory sat in 
a comer and wept, with her plate before her, until it was quite full 
of tears. Then the bird perched on the juniper tree, and sang, 

"It was my mother who murdered me"; 

And the mother stopped her ears and hid her eyes, and would 
neither see nor hear; nevertheless, the noise of a fearful storm was 
in her ears, and in her eyes a quivering and burning as of lightning. 

"It was my father who ate of me"; 

"Oh, motherl" said the father, "there is a beautiful bird singing 
so finely, and the sun shines, and everything smells as sweet as cin- 

"It was my sister Marjory" 

The Juniper Tree 275 

Marjory hid her face in her lap and wept, and the father said, "I 
must go out to see the bird." "Oh do not gol" said the wife, "I feel 
as if the house were on fire." 

But the man went out and looked at the bird. 

"Who all my bones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she bound. 
And laid them under the juniper tree. 
Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry. 
Oh what a beautiful bird am I!" 

With that the bird let fall the gold chain upon his father's neck, 
and it fitted him exactly. So he went indoors and said, "Look what 
a beautiful chain the bird has given me!" 

Then his wife was so terrified that she fell down on the floor, and 
her cap came off. Then the bird began again to sing, 

"It vxis my mother who murdered me"; 

"Oh," groaned the mother, "that I were a thousand fathoms 
under ground, so as not to be obliged to hear it." 

"It was my father who ate of me"; 

Then the woman lay as if she were dead. 

"It was my sister Marjory" 

"Oh," said Marjory, "I will go out, too, and see if the bird will 
give me anything." And so she went. 

"Who all my bones in pieces found; 
Them in a handkerchief she bound," 

Then he threw the shoes down to her. 

"And laid them under the juniper tree. 
Kywitt, kywitt, kywitt, I cry. 
Oh what a beautiful bird am I!" 

And poor Marjory all at once felt happy and joyful, and put on 
her red shoes, and danced and jumped for joy. "Oh dear," said she, 
"I felt so sad before I went outside, and now my heart is so Hghtl 
He is a charming bird to have given me a pair of red shoes." 

But the mother's hair stood on end, and looked like flame, and 
she said, "Even if the world is coming to an end, I must go out for 
a little relief." 

Just as she came outside the door, crash went the millstone on 
her head, and crushed her flat. The father and daughter rushed out, 

276 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

and saw smoke and flames of fire rise up; but when tliat had gone 
by, there stood the Kttle brother; and he took his father and Mar- 
jory by the hand, and they felt very happy and content, and went 
indoors, and sat at the table, and had their dinner. 

Jorinda and Joringel 

Theee once was an old castle in the midst of a large and thick for- 
est, and in it an old woman who was a witch dwelt all alone. In the 
daytime she changed herself into a cat or a screech-owl, but in the 
evening she took her proper shape again as a human being. She 
could lure wild beasts and birds to her, and then she killed and 
boiled and roasted them. If any one came within one himdred 
paces of the castle he was obliged to stand still, and could not stir 
from the place until she bade him be free. But whenever an inno- 
cent maiden came within this circle, she changed her into a bird, 
and shut her up in a wicker-work cage, and carried the cage into a 
room in the castle. She had about seven thousand cages of rare 
birds in the castle. 

Now there was a maiden who was called Jorinda, fairer than all 
other girls. She and a handsome youth named Joringel had prom- 
ised to marry each other. They were stiU in the days of betrothal, 
and their greatest happiness was being together. One day in order 
that they might be able to talk together in quiet they went for a 
walk in the forest. 'Take care," said Joringel, "that you do not go 
too near the castle." 

It was a beautiful evening; the sun shone brightly between the 
trunks of the trees into the dark green of the forest, and the turtle- 
doves sang mournfully upon the young boughs of the birch trees. 

Jorinda wept now and then. She sat down in the sunshine and 
was sorrowful. Joringel was sorrowful too; they were as sad as if 
they were about to die. Then they looked around them, and were 
quite at a loss, for they did not know by which way they should go 
home. The sun was stiU half above the rpountain and half set. 

Joringel looked through the bushes, and saw the old walls of the 
castle close at hand. He was horror-stricken and filled with deadly 
fear. Jorinda was singing. 

Jorinda and Joringel nyy 

"My little bird, with the necklace red. 

Sings sorrow, sorrow, sorrow, 
He sings that the dove must soon be dead. 
Sings sorrow, sor—jug, jug, jug." 

Joringel looked for Jorinda. She was changed into a nightingale, 
and sang "jug, jug, jug." A screech-owl with glowing eyes flew 
three times round about her, and three times cried "to-whoo, to- 
whoo, to-whool" 

Joringel could not move: he stood there Hke a stone, and could 
neither weep nor speak, nor move hand or foot. 

The sun had now set. The owl flew into the thicket, and directly 
afterwards there came out of it a crooked old woman, yellow and 
lean, with large red eyes and a hooked nose, the point of which 
reached to her chin. She muttered to herself, caught the nightin- 
gale, and took it away in her hand. 

Joringel could neither speak nor move from the spot; the nightin- 
gale was gone. At last the woman came back, and said in a hollow 
voice, "Greet thee, Zachiel. If the moon shines on the cage, Zachiel, 
let him loose at once." Then Joringel was freed. He fell on his knees 
before the woman and begged that she would give him back his 
Jorinda, but she said that he shoidd never have her again, and went 
away. He called, he wept, he lamented, but all in vain, "Ah, what is 
to become of me?" 

Joringel went away, and at last came to a strange village; there 
he kept sheep for a long time. He often walked roimd and round 
the castle, but not too near to it. At last he dreamt one night that he 
found a blood-red flower, in the middle of which was a beautiful 
large pearl; that he picked the flower and went with it to the castle, 
and that everything he touched with the flower was freed from en- 
chantment; he also dreamt that by means of it he recovered his 

In the morning, when he awoke, he began to seek over hill and 
dale if he could find such a flower. He sought until the ninth day, 
and then, early in the morning, he found the blood-red flower. In 
the middle of it there was a large dew-drop, as big as the finest 

Day and night he journeyed with this flower to the castle. When 
he was within a hundred paces of it he was not held fast, but 
walked on to the door. Joringel was full of joy; he touched the door 
with the flower, and it sprang open. He walked in through the 
courtyard, and listened for the sound of the birds. At last he heard 

278 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

it. He went on and found the room from whence it came, and there 
the witch was feeding the birds in the seven thousand cages. 

When she saw Joringel she was angry, very angry, and scolded 
and spat poison and gall at him, but she could not come within two 
paces of him. He did not take any notice of her, but went and 
looked at the cages with the birds, but there were many hundred 
nightingales; how was he to find his Jorinda again? 

Just then he saw the old woman quietly take away a cage with a 
bird in it, and go towards the door. 

Swiftly he sprang towards her, touched the cage with the flower, 
and also the old woman. She could now no longer bewitch any one; 
and Jorinda was standing there, clasping him round the neck, and 
she was as beautiful as ever! 

The Goose-Girl at the Well 

There was once upon a time a very old woman, who Hved with her 
flock of geese in a waste place among the mountains, and there had 
a httle house. The waste was surrounded by a large forest, and 
every morning the old woman took her crutch and hobbled into it. 
There, however, the dame was quite active, more so than any one 
would have thought, considering her age, and collected grass for 
her geese, picked all the wild fruit she could reach, and carried ev- 
erything home on her back. Any one would have thought that the 
heavy load would have weighed her to the groimd, but she always 
brought it safely home. If any one met her, she greeted him quite 
courteously. "Good day, dear countryman, it is a fine day. Ah! you 
wonder that I should drag grass about, but every one must take his 
burden on his back." Nevertheless, people did not like to meet her 
if they could help it, and took by preference a roundabout way, 
and when a father with his boys passed her, he whispered to them, 
"Beware of the old woman. She has claws beneath her gloves; she 
is a witch." 

One morning a handsome young man was going through the 
forest. The sun shone bright, the birds sang, a cool breeze crept 
through the leaves, and he was full of joy and gladness. He had as 
yet met no one, when he suddenly perceived the old witch kneeling 
on the ground cutting grass with a sickle. She had already thrust a 

The Goose-Girl at the Well 279 

whole load into her cloth, and near it stood two baskets, which 
were filled with wild apples and pears. "But, good little mother," 
said he, 'liow can you carry all that away?" "1 must carry it, dear 
sir," answered she, "rich folk's children have no need to do such 
things, but with the peasant folk the saying goes, 'Don't look be- 
hind you, you will only see how crooked your back isl'" 

"Will you help me?" she said, as he remained standing by her. 
"You have still a straight back and young legs, it would be a trifle to 
you. Besides, my house is not so very far from here, it stands there 
on the heath behind the hill. How soon you would bound up 
thither!" The young man took compassion on the old woman. "My 
father is certainly no peasant," replied he, "but a rich count; never- 
theless, that you may see that it is not only peasants who can carry 
things, I will take yoiu: bundle." "If you will try it," said she, "I 
shall be very glad. You will certainly have to walk for an hour, but 
what will that signify to you; only you must carry the apples and 
pears as well." 

It now seemed to the young man just a little serious, when he 
heard of an hour's walk, but the old woman would not let him ofiF, 
packed the bundle on his back; and himg the two baskets on his 
arm. "See, it is quite light," said she. "No, it is not Hght," answered 
the count, and pulled a rueful face. "Verily, the bimdle weighs as 
heavily as if it were full of cobblestones, and the apples and pears 
are as heavy as lead! I can scarcely breathe." He had a mind to put 
everything down again, but the old woman would not allow it. 
"Just look," said she mockingly, "the young gentleman will not 
carry what I, an old woman, have so often dragged along. You are 
ready with fine words, but when it comes to be earnest, you want to 
take to your heels. Why are you standing loitering there?" she con- 
tinued. "Step out. No one will take the bundle ofiE again." 

As long as he walked on level ground, it was still bearable, but 
when they came to the hill and had to climb, and the stones roUed 
down under his feet as if they were ahve, it was beyond his 
strength. The drops of perspiration stood on his forehead, and ran, 
hot and cold, down his back. "Dame," said he, "I can go no farther. 
I want to rest a little." "Not here," answered the old woman, "when 
we have arrived at our joiu*ney's end, you can rest; but now you 
must go forward. Who knows what good it may do you?" "Old 
woman, you are becoming shameless!" said the count, and tried to 
throw off the bundle, but he labored in vain; it stuck as fast to his 
back as if it grew there. He turned and twisted, but he could not 
get rid of it. The old woman laughed at this, and sprang about 

28o Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

quite delighted on her crutch. "Don't get angry, dear sir," said she, 
"you are growing as red in the face as a turkey-cockl Carry your 
bundle patiently. I will give you a good present when we get 

What could he do? He was obliged to submit to his fate, and 
crawl along patiently behind the old woman. She seemed to grow 
more and more nimble, and his burden still heavier. All at once she 
made a spring, jumped on to the bundle and seated herself on the 
top of it; and however withered she might be, she was yet heavier 
than the stoutest country lass. The youth's knees trembled, but 
when he did not go on, the old woman hit him about the legs 
with a switch and with stinging-nettles. Groaning continually, he 
climbed the mountain, and at length reached the old woman's 
house, when he was just about to drop. When the geese perceived 
the old woman, they flapped their wings, stretched out their necks, 
ran to meet her, cackling all the while. Behind the flock walked, 
stick in hand, an old wench, strong and big, but ugly as night. 
"Good mother," said she to the old woman, "has anything hap- 
pened to you, you have stayed away so long?" "By no means, my 
dear daughter," answered she, "I have met with nothing bad. On 
the contrary, only with this kind gentleman, who has carried my 
burden for me; only think, he even took me on his back when I was 
tired. The way, too, has not seemed long to us; we have been 
merry, and have been cracking jokes with each other all the time." 

At last the old woman slid down, took the bundle off the young 
man's back, and the baskets from his arm, looked at him quite 
kindly, and said, "Now seat yourself on the bench before the door, 
and rest. You have fairly earned your wages, and they shall not be 
wanting." Then she said to the goose-girl, "Go into the house, my 
dear daughter, it is not becoming for you to be alone with a young 
gentleman; one must not pour oil on to the fire, he might fall in 
love with you." The count knew not whether to laugh or to cry. 
"Such a sweetheart as that," thought he, "could not touch my 
heart, even if she were thirty years younger." 

In the meantime the old woman stroked and fondled her geese as 
if they were children, and then went into the house with her 
daughter. The youth lay down on the bench, under a wild apple 
tree. The air was warm and mild; on all sides stretched a green 
meadow, which was set with cowslips, wild thyme, and a thousand 
other flowers; through the midst of it rippled a clear brook on 
which the sun sparkled, and the white geese went walking back- 
wards and forwards, or paddled in the water. "It is quite delightful 

The Goose-Girl at the Well 281 

here," said he, "but I am so tired that I cannot keep my eyes open; 
I will sleep a little. If only a gust of wind does not come and blow 
my legs off my body, for they are as rotten as tinder." 

When he had slept a little while, the old woman came and shook 
him tiU he awoke. "Sit up," said she, "you cannot stay here; I have 
certainly treated you hardly, still it has not cost you your life. Of 
money and land you have no need; here is something else for you." 
Thereupon she thrust a little book into his hand, which was cut out 
of a single emerald. "Take great care of it," said she, "it will bring 
you good fortune." The count sprang up, and as he felt that he was 
quite fresh, and had recovered his vigor, he thanked the old woman 
for her present, and set off without even once looking back at the 
"beautfful" daughter. When he was already some way off, he stiU 
heard in the distance the noisy cry of the geese. 

For three days the count had to wander in the wilderness before 
he could find his way out. He then reached a large town, and as no 
one knew him, he was led into the royal palace, where the King 
and Queen were sitting on their throne. The coimt fell on one knee, 
drew the emerald book out of his pocket, and laid it at the Queen's 
feet. She bade him rise and hand her the little book. Hardly, how- 
ever, had she opened it, and looked therein, than she fell as if dead 
to the ground. The count was seized by the King's servants, and 
was being led to prison, when the Queen opened her eyes, and or- 
dered them to release him, and every one was to go out, as she 
wished to speak with him in private. 

When the Queen was alone, she began to weep bitterly, and said, 
"Of what use to me are the splendors and honors with which I am 
surrounded; every morning I awake in pain and sorrow. I had three 
daughters, the youngest of whom was so beautiful that the whole 
world looked on her as a wonder. She was as white as snow, as rosy 
as apple-blossom, and her hair as radiant as sunbeams. When she 
cried, not tears fell from her eyes, put pearls and jewels only. When 
she was fifteen years old, the King summoned all three sisters to 
come before his throne. You should have seen how all the people 
gazed when the youngest entered, it was just as if the sim were 

"Then the King spoke, 'My daughters, I know not when my last 
day may arrive; I will today decide what each shall receive at my 
death. You all love me, but the one of you who loves me best, shall 
fare the best.' Each of them said she loved him best. 'Can you not 
express to me,' said the King, 'how much you do love me, and thus 
I shall see what you mean?' The eldest spoke. 1 love my father as 

282 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

dearly as the sweetest sugar.' The second, 1 love my father as 
dearly as my prettiest dress.' But the youngest was silent. Then her 
father said, 'And you, my dearest child, how much do you love me?* 
1 do not know, and can compare my love with nothing.' But her fa- 
ther insisted that she should name something. So she said at last, 
'The best food does not please me without salt, therefore I love my 
father like salt.' 

"When the King heard that, he fell into a passion, and said, Tf 
you love me Hke salt, your love shall also be repaid you with salt.' 
Then he divided the kingdom between the two elder, but caused a 
sack of salt to be bound on the back of the youngest, and two ser- 
vants had to lead her forth into the wild forest. We all begged and 
prayed for her," said the Queen, "but the King's anger was not to 
be appeased. How she cried when she had to leave usl The whole 
road was strewn with the pearls which flowed from her eyes. The 
King soon afterwards repented of his great severity, and had the 
whole forest searched for the poor child, but no one could find her. 
When I think that the wild beasts have devoured her, I know not 
how to contain myself for sorrow; many a time I console myself 
with the hope that she is still alive, and may have hidden herself in 
a cave, or has found shelter with compassionate people. But picture 
to yourself, when I opened your Httle emerald book, a pearl lay 
therein, of exactly the same kind as those which used to fall from 
my daughter s eyes; and then you can also imagine how the sight of 
it stirred my heart. You must tell me how you came by that pearl." 

The count told her that he had received it from the old woman in 
the forest, who had appeared very strange to him, and must be a 
witch, but he had neither seen nor heard anything of the Queen's 
child. The King and Queen resolved to seek out the old woman. 
They thought that there where the pearl had been, they would ob- 
tain news of their daughter. 

The old woman was sitting in that lonely place at her spinning- 
wheel, spinning. It was aheady dusk, and a log which was burning 
on the hearth gave a scanty light. All at once there was a noise out- 
side, the geese were coming home from the pasture, and uttering 
their hoarse cries. Soon afterwards the daughter also entered. But 
the old woman scarcely thanked her, and only shook her head a lit- 
tle. The daughter sat down beside her, took her spinning-wheel, 
and twisted the threads as nimbly as a young girl. Thus they both 
sat for two hours, and exchanged never a word. At last something 
rustled at the window, and two fiery eyes peered in. It was an old 
night-owl, which cried, "Uhul" three times. The old woman looked 

The Goose-Girl at the Well 283 

up just a little, then she said, "Now, my little daughter, it is time 
for you to go out and do your work." She rose and went out, and 
where did she go?— over the meadows into the valley. At last she 
came to a well, with three old oak trees standing beside it; mean- 
while the moon had risen large and round over the mountain, and 
it was so light that one could have found a needle. She removed a 
sldn which covered her face, then bent down to the well, and began 
to wash herself. When she had finished, she dipped the sldn also in 
the water, and then laid it on the meadow, so that it should bleach 
in the moonlight, and dry again. But how the maiden was changedl 
Such a change as that was never seen before! When the gray mask 
fell off, her golden hair broke forth like simbeams, and spread 
about like a mantle over her whole form. Her eyes shone out as 
brightly as the stars in heaven, and her cheeks bloomed a soft red 
like apple-blossom. 

But the fair maiden was sad. She sat down and wept bitterly. 
One tear after another forced itself out of her eyes, and rolled 
through her long hair to the ground. There she sat, and would have 
remained sitting a long time, if there had not been a rustling and 
cracking in the boughs of the neighboring tree. She sprang up like 
a roe which had been overtaken by the shot of the hunter. Just then 
the moon was obsciured by a dark cloud, and in an instant the 
maiden had slipped on the old skin and vanished, Uke a Hght blown 
out by the wind. 

She ran back home, trembling Hke an aspen-leaf. The old woman 
was standing on the threshold, and the girl was about to relate 
what had befallen her, but the old woman laughed kindly, and 
said, "I already know all." She led her into the room and Kghted a 
new log. She did not, however, sit down to her spinning again, but 
fetched a broom and began to sweep and scour. "All must be clean 
and sweet," she said to the girl. "But, mother," said the maiden, 
"why do you begin work at so late an hour? What do you expect?" 
"Do you know what time it is?" asked the old woman. "Not yet 
midnight," answered the maiden, "but already past eleven o'clock." 
"Do you not remember," continued the old woman, "that it is three 
years today since you came to me? Your time is up, we can no 
longer remain together." The girl was terrified, and said, "Alas! 
dear mother, will you cast me off? Where shall I go? I have no 
friends, and no home to which I can go. I have always done as you 
bade me, and you have always been satisfied with me; do not send 
me away." 

The old woman would not teU the maiden what lay before her. 

284 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

"My stay here is over," she said to her, 'Taut when I depart, house 
and parlor must be clean; therefore do not hinder me in my work. 
Have no care for yourself; you shall find a roof to shelter you, and 
the wages which I will give shall also content you." "But tell me 
what is about to happen," the maiden continued to entreat. "I tell 
you again, do not hinder me in my work. Do not say a word more, 
go to yoiu: chamber, take the skin off your face, and put on the 
silken gown which you had on when you came to me, and then 
wait in yoiu- chamber imtil I caU you." 

But I must once more tell of the King and Queen, who had jour- 
neyed forth with the count in order to seek out the old woman in 
the wilderness. The count had strayed away from them in the wood 
by night, and had to walk onwards alone. Next day it seemed to 
him that he was on the right track. He still went forward, until 
darkness came on, then he chmbed a tree, intending to pass the 
night there, for he feared that he might lose his way. When the 
moon illumined the surrounding country he perceived a figure com- 
ing down the mountain. She had no stick in her hand, but yet he 
could see that it was the goose-girl, whom he had seen before in 
the house of the old woman. "Oho," cried he, "there she comes, 
and if I once get hold of one of the witches, the other shall not es- 
cape me!" But how astonished he was, when she went to the well, 
took off the sldn and washed herself, when her golden hair fell 
down all about her, and she was more beautiful than any one 
whom he had ever seen in the whole world. He hardly dared to 
breathe, but stretched his head as far forward through the leaves as 
he dared, and stared at her. Either he bent over too far, or what- 
ever the cause might be, the bough suddenly cracked, and that very 
moment the maiden slipped into the skin, sprang away Hke a roe, 
and as the moon was suddenly covered, disappeared from his eyes. 

Hardly had she disappeared, before the count descended from 
the tree, and hastened after her with nimble steps. He had not been 
gone long before he saw, in the twilight, two figures coming over 
the meadow. It was the King and Queen, who had perceived from 
a distance the light shining in the old woman's little house, and 
were going to it. The count told them what wonderful things he 
had seen by the well, and they did not doubt that it had been their 
lost daughter. They walked onwards full of joy, and soon came to 
the httle house. The geese were sitting all round it, and had thrust 
their heads under their wings and were sleeping, and not one of 
them moved. The King and Queen looked in at the window, the old 
woman was sitting there quietly spirming, nodding her head and 

The Goose-Girl at the Well 285 

never looldng round. The room was perfectly clean, as if the little 
mist men, who carry no dust on their feet, lived there. Their daugh- 
ter, however, they did not see. They gazed at all this for a long 
time; at last they took heart, and knocked softly at the window. 

The old woman appeared to have been expecting them; she rose, 
and called out quite kindly, "Come in— I know you aheady." When 
they had entered the room, the old woman said, "You might have 
spared yourself the long walk, if you had not three years ago 
unjustly driven away your child, who is so good and lovable. No 
harm has come to her; for three years she has had to tend the 
geese; with them she has learnt no evil, but has preserved her pu- 
rity of heart. You, however, have been suflBciently punished by the 
misery in which you have hved." Then she went to the chamber 
and called, "Come out, my little daughter." Thereupon the door 
opened, and the Princess stepped out in her silken garments, with 
her golden hair and her shining eyes, and it was as if an angel from 
heaven had entered. 

She went up to her father and mother, fell on their necks and 
kissed them; there was no help for it, they all had to weep for joy. 
The young count stood near them, and when she perceived him she 
became as red in the face as a moss-rose, she herself did not know 

The King said, "My dear child, I have given away my kingdom. 
What shall I give you?" "She needs nothing," said the old woman. 
'T give her the tears that she has wept on your accoimt; they are 
precious pearls, finer than those that are found in the sea, and 
worth more than your whole kingdom, and I give her my little 
house as payment for her services." When the old woman had said 
that, she disappeared from their sight. The walls rattled a Httle, and 
when the King and Queen looked round, the little house had 
changed into a splendid palace, a royal table had been spread, and 
the servants were running hither and thither. 

The story goes still further, but my grandmother, who related it 
to me, had partly lost her memory, and had forgotten the rest. I 
shall always believe that the beautiful Princess married the count, 
and that they remained together in the palace, and lived there in all 
happiness so long as God willed it. Whether the snow-white geese, 
which were kept near the little hut, were verily young maidens (no 
one need take offense) whom the old woman had taken under her 
protection, and whether they now received their human forms again, 
and stayed as handmaids to the young Queen, I do not exactly 
know, but I suspect it. This much is certain, that the old woman 

286 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

was no witch, as people thought, but a wise woman, who meant 
well. Very likely it was she who, at the Princess's birth, gave hef 
the gift of weeping pearls instead of tears. That does not happen 
nowadays, or else the poor would soon become rich. 

The Three Little Men in the Wood 

There was once a man, whose wife was dead, and a woman, whose 
husband was dead; the man had a daughter, and so had the 
woman. The girls were well acquainted with each other, and used 
to play together in the woman's house. One day the woman said to 
the man's daughter, 

"Listen to me, teU your father that I will marry him, and then 
you shall have miUc to wash in every morning and wine to drink, 
and my daughter shall have water to wash in and water to drink." 

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 

At last, as he could come to no conclusion, he took o£E his boot, 
and said to his daughter, "Take this boot, it has a hole in the sole; 
go up with it into the loft, hang it on the big nail and pour water in 
it. If it holds water, I will once more take to me a wife; if it lets out 
the water, so will I not." 

The girl did as she was told, but the water held the hole to- 
gether, and the boot was full up to the top. So she went and told 
her father how it was. And he went up to see with his own eyes, 
and as there was no mistake about it, he went to the widow and 
courted her, and then they had the wedding. 

The next morning, when the two girls awoke, there stood by the 
bedside of the man's daughter milk to wash in and wine to drink, 
and by the bedside of the woman's daughter there stood water to 
wash in and water to drink. 

On the second morning there stood water to wash in and water 
to drink for both of them ahke. On the third morning there stood 
water to wash in and water to drink for the man's daughter, and 
milk to wash in and wine to drink for the woman's daughter; and so 
it remaioed ever after. The woman hated her step-daughter, and 
never knew how to treat her badly enough from one day to an- 

The Three Little Men in the Wood 287 

other. And she was jealous because her step-daughter was pleasant 
and pretty, and her real daughter was ugly and hateful. 

Once m winter, when it was freezing hard, and snow lay deep on 
hill and vaUey, the woman made a frock out of paper, called her 
step-daughter, and said, "Here, put on this frock, go out into the 
wood and fetch me a basket of strawberries; I have a great wish for 

"Oh dear," said the girl, "there are no strawberries to be found 
in winter; the ground is frozen, and the snow covers everything. 
And why should I go in the paper frock? It is so cold out of doors 
that one's breath is frozen; the wind wiU blow through it, and the 
thorns will tear it oflF my back!" 

"How dare you contradict mel" cried the step-mother, "he oflF, 
and don't let me see you again till you bring me a basket of straw- 
berries." Then she gave her a little piece of hard bread, and said, 
"That wiU do for you to eat during the day," and she thought to 
herself, "She is sure to be frozen or starved to death out of doors, 
and I shall never set eyes on her again." 

So the girl went obediently, put on the paper frock, and started 
out with the basket. The snow was lying everywhere, far and v^dde, 
and there was not a blade of green to be seen. When she entered 
the wood she saw a little house with three Httle men peeping out of 
it. She wished them good-day, and knocked modestly at the door. 
They called her in, and she came into the room and sat down by 
the side of the oven to warm herself and eat her breakfast. 

The Httle men said, "Give us some of it." "Willingly," answered 
she, breaking her little piece of bread in two, and giving them half. 
They then said, "What are you doing here in the wood this winter 
time in your little thin frock?" "Oh," answered she, "I have to get a 
basket of strawberries, and I must not go home without them." 

When she had eaten her bread they gave her a broom, and told 
her to go and sweep the snow away from the back door. When she 
had gone outside to do it the httle men talked among themselves 
about what they should do for her, as she was so good and pretty, 
and had shared her bread with them. Then the first one said, "She 
shall grow prettier every day." The second said, "Each time she 
speaks a piece of gold shall fall from her mouth." The third said, 
"A king shall come and take her for his wife." 

In the meanwhile the girl was doing as the little men had told 
her, and had cleared the snow from the back of the little house, and 
what do you suppose she found?— fine ripe strawberries, showing 
dark red against the snowl Then she joyfully filled her little basket 

288 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

full, thanked the little men, shook hands with them all, and ran 
home in haste to bring her step-mother the thing she longed for. As 
she went in and said, "Good evening," a piece of gold fell from her 
mouth at once. Then she related all that had happened to her in the 
wood, and at each word that she spoke gold pieces fell out of her 
mouth, so that soon they were scattered all over the room. 

"Just look at her pride and conceit!" cried the step-sister, "throw- 
ing money about in this wayl" but in her heart she was jealous be- 
cause of it, and wanted to go too into the wood to fetch strawber- 
ries. But the mother said, "No, my dear Kttle daughter, it is too 
cold, you will be frozen to death." 

But she left her no peace, so at last the mother gave in, got her a 
splendid fur coat to put on, and gave her bread and butter and 
cakes to eat on the way. 

The girl went into the wood and walked straight up to the Httle 
house. The three little men peeped out again, but she gave them no 
greeting, and without looking round or taking any notice of them 
she came stumping into the room, sat herself down by the oven, 
and began to eat her bread and butter and cakes. 

"Give us some of that," cried the Httle men, but she answered, 
'Tve not enough for myself; how can I give away any?" 

Now when she had done with her eating, they said, "Here is a 
broom, go and sweep all clean by the back door." "Oh, go and do it 
yourselves," answered she; "I am not your housemaid." 

But when she saw that they were not going to give her anything, 
she went out to the door. Then the three little men said among 
themselves, "What shall we do to her, because she is so unpleasant, 
and has such a wicked jealous heart, grudging everybody every- 
thing?" Jhe first said, "She shall grow ugHer every day." The sec- 
ond said, "Each time she speaks a toad shall jump out of her mouth 
at every word." The third said, "She shall die a miserable death," 

The girl was looking outside for strawberries, but as she found 
none, she went sulkily home. And directly she opened her mouth to 
teU her mother what had happened to her in the wood a toad 
sprang out of her mouth at each word, so that every one who came 
near her was quite disgusted. 

The step-mother became more and more set against the man's 
daughter, whose beauty increased day by day, and her only 
thought was how to do her some injury. So at last she took a kettle, 
set it on the fire, and scalded some yam in it. When it was ready 
she hung it over the poor girl's shoulder, and gave her an axe, and 
she was to go to the frozen river and break a hole in the ice, and 

The Three Little Men in the Wood 289 

there to rinse the yam. She obeyed, and went and hewed a hole in 
the ice, and as she was about it there came by a splendid coach, in 
which the King sat. The coach stood still, and the King said, "My 
child, who art thou, and what art thou doing there?" She answered, 
"I am a poor girl, and am rinsing yam." 

Then the Eling felt pity for her, and as he saw that she was very 
beautiful, he said, "Will you go with me?" "Oh yes, with all my 
heart," answered she; and she felt very glad to be out of the way of 
her mother and sister. 

So she stepped into the coach and went off with the King; and 
when they reached his castle the wedding was celebrated with 
great splendor, as the little men in the wood had foretold. 
» At the end of a year the young Queen had a son; and as the step- 
mother had heard of her great good fortune she came with her 
daughter to the castle, as if merely to pay the King and Queen a 
visit. One day, when the King had gone out, and when nobody was 
about, the bad woman took the Queen by the head, and her daugh- 
ter took her by the heels, and dragged her out of bed, and threw 
her out of the window into a stream that flowed beneath it. Then 
the old woman put her ugly daughter in the bed, and covered her 
up to her chin. When the King came back, and wanted to talk to 
his wife a httle, the old woman cried, "Stop, stopl she is sleeping 
nicely; she must be kept quiet today." 

The King dreamt of nothing wrong, and came again the next 
morning; and as he spoke to his wife, and she answered him, there 
jumped each time out of her mouth a toad instead of the piece of 
gold as heretofore. Then he asked why that should be, and the old 
woman said it was because of her great weakness, and that it would 
pass away. 

But in the night, the boy who slept in the kitchen saw how some- 
thing in the likeness of a duck swam up the gutter, and said, 

"My King, what mak'st thou? 
Sleepest thou, or wak'st thou?* 

But there was no answer. Then it said, 

"What cheer my two guests keep they?" 

So the kitchen-boy answered, 

"In bed all soundly sleep they." 

It asked again, 

"And my little baby, how does he?" 

200 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

And he answered, 

"He sleeps in his cradle quietly." 

Then the duck took the shape of the Queen, and went to the 
child, and gave him to drink, smoothed his little bed, covered him 
up again, and then, in the likeness of a duck, swam back down the 
gutter. In this way she came two nights, and on the third she said 
to the kitchen-boy, "Go and tell the King to brandish his sword 
three times over me on the thresholdl" 

Then the Idtchen-boy ran and told the King, and he came with 
his sword and brandished it three times over the duck, and at the 
third time his wife stood before him living, and hearty, and sound, 
as she had been before. 

The King was greatly rejoiced, but he hid the Queen in a cham- 
ber until the Simday came when the child was to be baptized. And 
after the baptism he said, "What does that person deserve who 
drags another out of bed and throws him in the water?" And the 
old woman answered, "No better than to be put into a cask with 
iron nails in it, and to be rolled in it down the hill into the water." 

Then said the King, "You have spoken your own sentence"; and 
he ordered a cask to be fetched, and the old woman and her daugh- 
ter were put into it, and the top hammered down, and the cask was 
rolled down the hill iuto the river. 

The White Bride and the Black Bride 

A WOMAN was going about the coimtryside with her daughter and 
her step-daughter, when the Lord came towards them in the form 
of a poor man, and asked, "Which is the way into the village?" 'If 
you want to know," said the mother, "seek it for yourself," and the 
daughter added, 'If you are afraid you will not find it, take a guide 
with you." But the step-daughter said, "Poor man, I will take you 
there, come with me." 

Then God was angry with the mother and daughter, and turned 
His back on them, and wished that they should become as black as 
night and as ugly as sin. To the poor step-daughter, however, God 
was gracious, and went with her, and when they were near the vil- 
lage. He said a blessing over her, and spake, "Choose three things 

The White Bride and the Black Bride 291 

for thyself, and I will grant them to thee."' Then said the maiden, 1 
should like to be as beautiful and fair as the sun," and instantly she 
was white and fair as day. *Then I should like to have a purse of 
money which would never grow empty." The Lord gave her that 
also, but He said, "Do not forget what is best of all." She said. Tor 
my third wish, I desire, after my death, to inhabit the eternal king- 
dom of Heaven." That also was granted unto her, and then the 
Lord left her. 

When the step-mother came home with her daughter, and they 
saw that they were both as black as coal and ugly, but that the 
step-daughter was white and beautiful, wickedness increased still 
more in their hearts, and they thought of nothing else but how they 
could do her an injury. The step-daughter, however, had a brother 
called Reginer, whom she loved much, and she told him all that 
had happened. Once on a time Reginer said to her, 'Dear sister, I 
will take thy likeness, that I may continually see thee before mine 
eyes, for my love for thee is so great that I should like always to 
look at thee." Then she answered, "But, I pray thee, let no one see 
the picture." So he painted his sister and hung up the pictmre in his 
room; he, however, dwelt in the King's palace, for he was his 

Every day he went and stood before the picture, and thanked 
God for the happiness of having such a dear sister. Now it hap- 
pened that the King whom he served had just lost his wife, wHo 
had been so beautiful that no one could be found to compare with 
her, and on this account the King was in deep grief. The attendants 
about the court, however, remarked that the coachman stood daily 
before this beautiful picture, and they were jealous of him, so they 
informed the King. Then the latter ordered the picture to be 
brought to him, and when he saw that it was like his lost wife in 
every respect, except that it was stiU more beautiful, he fell mor- 
tally in love with it. He caused the coachman to be brought before 
him, and asked whom that portrait represented. The coachman said 
it was his sister, so the King resolved to take no one but her as his 
wife, and gave him a carriage and horses and splendid garments of 
cloth of gold, and sent him forth to fetch his chosen bride. 

When Reginer came on this errand, his sister was glad, but the 
black maiden was jealous of her good fortune, and grew angry 
above all measure, and said to her mother, "Of what use are aU 
your arts to us now when you cannot procure such a piece of luck 
for me?" "Be quiet," said the old woman, "I will soon divert it to 
you"— and by her arts of witchcraft, she so troubled the eyes of the 

292 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

coachman that he was half-blind, and she stopped the ears of the 
white maiden so that she was half-deaf. Then they got into the car- 
riage, first the bride in her noble royal apparel, then the step- 
mother with her daughter, and Reginer sat on the box to drive. 
When they had been on the way for some time the coachman cried, 

"Cover thee well, my sister dear. 
That the rain may not wet thee. 
That the wind may not load thee with dust, 
That thou mayst he fair and beautiful 
When thou appearest before the King." 

The bride asked, "What is my dear brother saying?" "Ah," said 
the old woman, "he says that you ought to take off your golden 
dress and give it to your sister." Then she took it off, and put it on 
the black maiden, who gave her in exchange for it a shabby gray 
gown. They drove onwards, and a short time afterwards, the 
brother again cried, 

"Cover thee well, my sister dear. 
That the rain may not wet thee, 
That the wind may not load thee with dust. 
That thou mayst be fair and beautiful 
When thou appearest before the King." 

The bride asked, "What is my dear brother saying?" "Ah," said 
the old woman, "he says that you ought to take off your golden 
hood and give it to your sister." So she took off the hood and put it 
on her sister, and sat with her own head uncovered. And they drove 
on farther. After a while, the brother once more cried, 

"Cover thee well, my sister dear. 
That the rain may not wet thee. 
That the wind may not load thee with dust, 
That thou mayst be fair and beautiful 
When thou appearest before the King." 

The bride asked, "What is my dear brother saying?" "Ah," said 
the old woman, "he says you must look out of the carriage." They 
were, however, just on a bridge, which crossed deep water. When 
the bride stood up and leant forward out of the carriage, they both 
pushed her out, and she fell into the middle of the water. At the 
same moment that she sank, a snow-white duck arose out of the 
mirror-smooth water, and swam down the river. The brother had 
observed nothing of it, and drove the carriage on until they reached 
the court. Then he took the black maiden to the King as his sister. 

The White Bride and the Black Bride 293 

and thought she really was so, because his eyes were dim, and he 
saw the golden garments glittering. When the King saw the bound- 
less ugliness of his intended bride, he was very angry, and ordered 
the coachman to be thrown into a pit which was full of adders and 
nests of snakes. The old witch, however, knew so well how to flatter 
the King and deceive his eyes by her arts, that he kept her and her 
daughter until she appeared quite endurable to him, and he really 
married her. 

One evening when the black bride was sitting on the King's knee, 
a white duck came swimming up the gutter to the kitchen, and said 
to the kitchen-boy, "Boy, light a fire, that I may warm my 
feathers." The kitchen-boy did it, and lighted a fire on the hearth. 
Then came the duck and sat down by it, and shook herself and 
smoothed her feathers to rights with her bill. While she was thus 
sitting and enjoying herself, she asked, "What is my brother Re- 
giner doing?" The scullery-boy replied, "He is imprisoned in the pit 
with adders and with snakes." Then she asked, "What is the black 
witch doing in the house?" The boy answered, "She is loved by the 
King and happy." "May God have mercy on him," said the duck, 
and swam forth by the sink. 

The next night she came again and put the same questions, and 
the third night also. Then the Idtchen-boy could bear it no longer, 
and went to the King and discovered all to him. The King, how- 
ever, wanted to see it for himself, and next evening went thither, 
and when the duck thrust her head in through the sink, he took his 
sword and cut through her neck, and suddenly she changed into a 
most beautiful maiden, exactly like the picture which her brother 
had made of her. The King was full of joy, and as she stood there 
quite wet, he caused splendid apparel to be brought and had her 
clothed in it. Then she told how she had been betrayed by cunning 
and falsehood, and at last thrown down into the water, and her first 
request was that her brother should be brought forth from the pit 
of snakes, and when the King had fulfilled this request, he went 
into the chamber where the old witch was, and asked, "What does 
she deserve who does this and that?" and related what had hap- 
pened. Then was she so blinded that she was aware of nothing and 
said, "She deserves to be stripped naked, and put into a barrel with 
nails, and that a horse should be harnessed to the barrel, and the 
horse sent all over the world." All of which was done to her, and to 
her black daughter. But the King married the white and beautiful 
bride, and rewarded her faithful brother, and made him a rich and 
distinguished man. 

Brother and Sister 

A BROTHER took his sister's hand and said to her, 

"Since our mother died we have had no good days; our step- 
mother beats us every day, and if we go near her she lacks us away; 
we have nothing to eat but hard crusts of bread left over; the dog 
imder the table fares better; he gets a good piece every now and 
then. If our mother only knew, how she would pity usl Come, let us 
go together out into the wide worldl" 

So they went, and journeyed the whole day through fields and 
meadows and stony places, and if it rained the sister said, "The 
skies and we are weeping together." 

In the evening they came to a great wood, and they were so 
weary with hunger and their long journey, that they chmbed up 
into a high tree and fell asleep. 

The next morning, when they awoke, the sun was high in heaven, 
and shone brightly through the leaves. Then said the brother, 
"Sister, I am thirsty; if I only knew where to find a brook, that I 
might go and drinkl I almost think that I hear one rushing." So the 
brother got down and led his sister by the hand, and they went to 
seek the brook. But their wicked step-mother was a witch, and had 
known quite well that the two children had run away, and had 
sneaked after them, as only witches can, and had laid a spell on all 
the brooks in the forest. So when they found a little stream flowing 
smoothly over its pebbles, the brother was going to drink of it; but 
the sister heard how it said in its rushing, 

"He a tiger will be who drinks of me. 
Who drinks of me a tiger will beF' 

Then the sister cried, "Pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you 
will become a wild beast, and will tear me in pieces." 

So the brother refrained from drinking, though his thirst was 
great, and he said he would wait till he came to the next brook. 
When they came to a second brook the sister heard it say, 

"He a wolf will be who drinks of me. 
Who drinks of me a wolf will be!" 

Then the sister cried, "Pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you 
wiU be tiimed into a wolf, and will eat me upl" 

Brother and Sister 295 

So the brother refrained from drinkmg, and said, "I will wait 
until we come to the next brook, and then I must drink, whatever 
you say; my thirst is so great." 

And when they came to the third brook the sister heard how in 
its rushing it said, 

"He a fawn will be who drinks of me. 
Who drinks of me a fawn will hel" 

Then the sister said, "O my brother, I pray drink not, or you will 
be turned into a fawn, and nm away far from me." 

But he had already kneeled by the side of the brook and stooped 
and drunk of the water, and as the first drops passed his lips he be- 
came a fawn. And the sister wept over her poor lost brother, and 
the fawn wept also, and stayed sadly beside her. At last the maiden 
said, "Be comforted, dear fawn, indeed I will never leave you." 

Then she untied her golden girdle and bound it round the fawn's 
neck, and went and gathered rushes to make a soft cord, which she 
fastened to him; and then she led him on, and they went deeper 
into the forest. And when they had gone a long long way, they 
came at last to a httle house, and the maiden looked inside, and as 
it was empty she thought, "We might as well live here." 

And she fetched leaves and moss to make a soft bed for the fawn, 
and every morning she went out and gathered roots and berries 
and nuts for herself, and fresh grass for the favm, who ate out of 
her hand with joy, frolicking round her. At night, when the sister 
was tired, and had said her prayers, she laid her head on the fawn's 
back, which served her for a pillow, and softly fell asleep. And if 
only the brother could have got back his own shape again, it would 
have been a charming life. So they lived a long while in the wilder- 
ness alone. 

Now it happened that the King of that country held a great hunt 
in the forest. The blowing of the horns, the barking of the dogs, 
and the lusty shouts of the himtsmen sounded through the wood, 
and the fawn heard them and was eager to be among them. 

"Oh," said he to his sister, "do let me go to the hunt; I cannot 
stay behind any longer," and begged so long that at last she con- 

"But mind," said she to him, "come back to me at night. I must 
lock my door against the wild htmters, so, in order that I may know 
you, you must knock and say, 'Little sister, let me in,' and unless I 
hear that I shall not unlock the door." 

Then the fawn sprang out, and felt glad and merry in the open 

296 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

air. The King and his huntsmen saw the beautiful animal, and 
began at once to pursue him, but they could not come within reach 
of him, for when they thought they were certain of him he sprang 
away over the bushes and disappeared. As soon as it was dark he 
went back to the little house, knocked at the door, and said, TLittle 
sister, let me in." 

Then the door was opened to him, and he went in, and rested the 
whole night long on his soft bed. The next morning the hunt began 
anew, and when the fawn heard the hunting-horns and the tally-ho 
of the huntsmen he could rest no longer, and said, TLittle sister, let 
me out, I must go." The sister opened the door and said, "Now, 
mind you must come back at night and say the same words." 

When the King and his hunters saw the fawn with the golden 
collar again, they chased him closely, but he was too nimble and 
swift for them. This lasted the whole day, and at last the hunters 
surroimded him, and one of them wounded his foot a little, so that 
he was obliged to Hmp and to go slowly. Then a hunter slipped 
after him to the little house, and heard how he called out, "Little 
sister, let me in," and saw the door open and shut again after him 
directly. The hunter noticed aU this carefully, went to the King, and 
told him all he had seen and heard. Then said the King, "Tomor- 
row we will hunt again." 

But the sister was very terrified when she saw that her fawn was 
wounded. She washed his foot, laid cooling leaves round it, and 
said, "Lie down on your bqd, dear fawn, and rest, that you may be 
soon well." The wound was very sHght, so that the fawn felt noth- 
ing of it the next morning. And when he heard the noise of the 
hunting outside, he said, "1 cannot stay in, I must go after them; I 
shall not be taken easily again!" The sister began to weep, and said, 
"I know you will be killed, and I left alone here in the forest, and 
forsaken of everybody. I cannot let you go!" 

"Then I shall die here with longing," answered the fawn; "when 
I hear the soimd of the horn I feel as if I should leap out of my 

Then the sister, seeing there was no help for it, unlocked the 
door with a heavy heart, and the fawn boimded away into the for- 
est, well and merry. When the King saw him, he said to his himters, 
"Now, follow him up all day long till the night comes, and see that 
you do him no hurt." 

So as soon as the sun had gone down, the King said to the hunts- 
men: "Now, come and show me the Httle house in the wood." And 
when he got to the door he knocked at it, and cried, "Little sister, 

Brother and Sister 297 

let me inl" Then the door opened, and the King went in, and there 
stood a maiden more beautiful than any he had seen before. 

The maiden shrieked out when she saw, instead of the fawn, a 
man standing there with a gold crown on his head. But the King 
looked kindly on her, took her by the hand, and said, "Will you go 
with me to my castle, and be my dear wife?" "Oh yes," answered 
the maiden, "but the fawn must come too. I could not leave him." 
And the King said, "He shall remain with you as long as you Uve, 
and shall lack nothing." Then the fawn came bounding in, and the 
sister tied the cord of rushes to him, and led him by her own hand 
out of the little house. 

The King put the beautiful maiden on his horse, and carried her 
to his castle, where the wedding was held with great pomp; so she 
became lady Queen, and they lived together happily for a long 
while; the fawn was well tended and cherished, and he gamboled 
about the castle garden. 

Now the wicked step-mother, whose fault it was that the children 
were driven out into the world, never dreamed but that the sister 
had been eaten up by wild beasts in the forest, and that the 
brother, in the Hkeness of a fawn, had been slain by the hunters. 
But when she heard that they were so happy, and that things had 
gone so well with them, jealousy and envy arose in her heart, and 
left her no peace, and her chief thought was how to bring misfor- 
tune upon them. 

Her own daughter, who was as ugly as sin, and had only one eye, 
complained to her, and said, "I never had the chance of being a 
Queen." "Never mind," said the old woman, to satisfy her; "when 
the time comes, I shall be at hand." 

After a while the Queen brought a beautiful baby boy into the 
world, and that day the King was out hunting. The old witch took 
the shape of the bed-chamber woman, and went into the room 
where the Queen lay, and said to her, "Come, the bath is ready; it 
will give you refreshment and new strength. Quick, or it wall be 

Her daughter was within call, so they carried the sick Queen into 
the bath-room, and left her there. And in the bath-room they had 
made a great fire, so as to suflFocate the beautiful young Queen. 

When that was managed, the old woman took her daughter, put a 
cap on her, and laid her in the bed in the Queen's place, gave her 
also the Queen's form and countenance, only she could not restore 
the lost eye. So, in order that the King might not remark it, she had 
to He on the side where there was no eye. 

298 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

In the evening, when the King came home and heard that a little 
son was bom to him, he rejoiced with all his heart, and was going 
at once to his dear wife's bedside to see how she did. Then the old 
woman cried hastily, "For your life, do not draw back the curtains, 
to let in the light upon her; she must be kept quiet." So the King 
went away, and never knew that a false Queen was lying in the 

Now, when it was midnight, and every one was asleep, the nurse, 
who was sitting by the cradle in the nursery and watching there 
alone, saw the door open, and the true Queen come in. She took the 
child out of the cradle, laid it in her bosom, and fed it. Then she 
shook out its little pillow, put the child back again, and covered it 
with the coverlet. She did not forget the fawn either; she went to 
him where he lay in the comer, and stroked his back tenderly. 
Then she went in perfect silence out at the door, and the nurse next 
morning asked the watchmen if any one had entered the castle dur- 
ing the night, but they said they had seen no one. And the Queen 
came many nights, and never said a word; the nurse saw her al- 
ways, but she did not dare speak of it to any one. 

After some time had gone by in this manner, the Queen seemed 
to find voice, and said one night, 

"My child my fawn twice more I come to see. 
Twice more I come and then the end must he." 

The nurse said nothing, but as soon as the Queen had disap- 
peared she went to the King and told him all. The King said, "Ah, 
heavenl what do I hearl I will myself watch by the child tomorrow 

So at evening he went into the nursery, and at midnight the 
Queen appeared, and said, 

"My child my fawn once more I come to see. 
Once more I come, and then the end must he!* 

And she tended the child, as she was accustomed to do, before 
she vanished. The King dared not speak to her, but he watched 
again the following night, and heard her say, 

"My child my fawn this once I come to see. 
This once I come, and now the end must he." 

Then the King could contain himself no longer, but rushed to- 
wards her, saying, "You are no other than my dear wife!" Then she 
answered, "Yes, I am your dear wife," and in that moment, by the 

The Gold Children 299 

grace of heaven, her life returned to her, and she was once more 
well and strong. Then she told the King the snare that the wicked 
witch and her daughter had laid for her. 

The King had them both brought to judgment, and sentence was 
passed upon them. The daughter was sent away into the woods, 
where she was devoured by the wild beasts, and the witch was 
burned, and ended miserably. As soon as her body was in ashes the 
spell was removed from the fawn, and he took human shape again. 
Then the sister and brother lived happily together until the end. 

The Gold Children 

A LONG time ago there lived in a little cottage a poor fisherman and 
his wife, who had very little to live upon but the fish the husband 
caught. One day as he sat by the water throwing his net he saw a 
fish drawn out which was quite golden. He examined it with won- 
der; but what was his smprise to hear it say, "Listen, fisherman! if 
you will throw me again in the water, I will change your little hut 
into a splendid castle." 

The fisherman replied, "What would be the use of a castle to me 
when I have nothing to eat?" 

"On that account," said the gold fish, '1 will take care that there 
shall be a cupboard in the castle in which, when you unlock it, you 
will find dishes containing everything to eat that heart can wish." 

'If it is so," said the man, "then I am quite willing to do as you 

"There is, however, one condition," continued the fish; "you must 
not mention to a living creature in the world, be it who it may, the 
source of your good fortune. If you utter a single word, it will at 
once be at an end." 

The man, upon this, threw the fish back into the water, and went 
home. But where his little hut had once stood now rose the walls of 
a large castle. 

He stared with astonishment, and then stepped in and saw his 
wife dressed in costly clothes, and sitting in a handsomely 
furnished room. She seemed quite contented, and yet she said, 
"Husband, how has all this happened? I am so pleased!" 

"Yes," said the man, "it pleases me also; but I am so hungry; give 

300 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

me something to eat in our fine house!" "Oh dearl" she replied, *1 
have nothing, and I don't know where any is to be foimd here." 
"There will be no trouble on that account," he replied. "Do you see 
that great cupboard? Just unlock it." 

When the cupboard was opened they saw with surprise that it 
contained every requisite for a beautiful feast— bread, meat, vegeta- 
bles, cake, wine, and fruit. 

"Dear husband," cried the wife, full of joy, "what more can we 
desire than this?" 

Then they sat down, and ate and drank together in great com- 

After they had finished the wife said, "Husband, where do all 
these good things and riches come from?" "Ahl" he replied, "do not 
ask me; I dare not tell you. If I disclose anything all our good for- 
tune will come to an end." 

"Very well," she replied, "if I am not to be told I shall not desire 
to know"; but this was merely pretense, for she gave her husband 
no peace night or day, and she tormented and worried the poor 
man so terribly that she exhausted his patience, and he told her at 

"This good fortune," he said, "all comes from a wonderful gold 
fish which I caught, and afterward gave it freedom by throwing it 
back into the water." 

No sooner had he uttered these words than the castle with its 
wonderful cupboard disappeared, and they were again sitting in 
the fisherman's hut. The husband was now again obliged to follow 
his trade and go fishing, and as luck would have it he again caught 
the golden fish. 

"Listenl" cried the fish; "if you will again throw me into the 
water I will once more give you a castle and a cupboard full of 
good things; but be firm this time, and reveal to no one from whom 
it comes, or all will be again lost." *T will keep it to myself," an- 
swered the fisherman, and threw the fish into the water. 

Everything at home now was in its former splendor, and the 
fisherman's wife joyful over their good fortune; but her cmiosity 
gave her no peace, and two days had scarcely passed before she 
began to ask how it all happened, and what was the cause. 

Her husband kept silence for a long time, but at last she made 
him so angry that he incautiously revealed the secret. In a moment 
the castle and all that it contained vanished, and they were again 
sitting in their little old hut. 

"See what you have done!" he said. "We shall have again to 

The Gold Children 301 

starve with hunger." "Oh, weU," she replied, "I would rather not 
have such riches if I am not to know where they come from; it de- 
stroys my peace." 

The husband again went fishing, and after a time what should he 
again pull up in his net but the gold fish for the third time. 

"Listen!" cried the fish; "1 see I am always to fall into your 
hands; therefore you must take me to your house, and cut me in 
two pieces. These you must place in the ground, and you will have 
gold enough to last your life." 

The man took the fish home, and did exactly as he had been told. 

It happened after a while that from the pieces of the fish placed 
in the earth two golden lilies sprang up, which were taken great 
care of. 

Not long after the fisherman's wife had two little children, but 
they were both golden, as well as the two Httle foals in the stable. 
The children grew tall and beautiful, and the lilies and the foals 
grew also. 

One day the children said to their father, 'We should like to ride 
out and see the world on our golden steeds. Will you let us?" 

But the parents answered sorrowfully, "How shall we be able to 
endure the thought that you are far away from us and perhaps ill or 
in danger?" "Oh," they replied, "the two golden lilies will remain, 
and by them you can always tell how we are going on. If they are 
fresh, we are in health; if they fade, we are sick; and when they 
fall, we shall diel" 

So the parents let them go, and they rode away for some time till 
they came to an ion where a number of people were staying. But 
when they saw the two gold children they began to laugh and 
make a mockery of them. 

As soon as one of them heard the laughter and mocking words he 
would not go any further, but turned back and went home to his fa- 
ther. The other, however, rode on tiU he came to a large forest. As 
he was about to enter the forest some people came by and said, 
"You had better not ride there, for the wood is fuU of robbers who 
will overcome you and rob you, especially when they see that you 
and your horse are golden, and you will both be IdUed." 

He would not, however, allow himself to be frightened, but said, 
"I must and will ride throughl" 

He took bearskins and threw them over himself and his horse, 
that the gold might not be seen, and rode confidently into the 
wood. He had not ridden far when he heard a rustling in the 
bushes, and voices spealdng audibly to each other. 

302 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

"That is one!" said a voice; but the other said, "No; let him alone 
—he has nothing on but a bearskin, and is, I dare say, as poor and 
cold as a church mouse. What do we want with him?" 

So the gold child rode through the wood, and no harm happened 
to him. 

One day he came to a town in which he saw a maiden who ap- 
peared to him so beautiful that he did not think there could be an- 
other so beautiful in the world. 

And as his love became stronger for her he went to her and said, 
"I love you with my whole heartl Will you be my wife?" 

The maiden was so pleased that she answered willingly, "Yes, I 
will be your wife, and be true to you as long as I live." 

Very soon after they were married, and just as they were enjoy- 
ing themselves with the guests on the wedding-day, the bride's fa- 
ther returned home. When he found his daughter already married, 
he was much astonished, and said, "Where is the bridegroom?" He 
was pointed out to him, and he still wore the bearskin dress. On 
seeing him he exclaimed in great anger, "My daughter shall never 
have a bearskin wearer for a husband!" and wanted to murder him. 

But the bride interceded for him as much as she could, and said, 
"He is already my husband, and I shall always love him with my 
whole heart." And at last her father was appeased. However, he 
could not help thinking about it all night, and in the morning, when 
the bridegroom was dressing, he peeped into his room, and saw a 
noble-looking golden man, and the bearskin lying on the ground. 
Then he went back to his own room and said to himself, "How for- 
tunate it is that I restrained my anger last night, or I should have 
committed a great crime!" 

The same morning the gold child told his wife that he had 
dreamed of being in the hunt and catching a beautiful stag, so that 
he must on that day go out hunting. 

She was very uneasy at the thought, and said, "Pray don't go; a 
misfortune might so easily happen to you." But he replied, "I will 
and must go!" 

As soon as he was ready he rode out into the wood, and had not 
been there long before he saw just such a stag as the one in his 
dream. He raised his gun to shoot it, but the stag sprang away, and 
he followed it over hedges and ditches the whole day without feel- 
ing tired. At last, as night came on, it vanished from his eyes. 

Then the gold child looked round him and saw close by a small 
house in which sat an old woman, who was a witch; but he did not 

The Gold Children 303 

know it. He knocked at the door, and she came out and asked him 
what he wanted so late as that in the middle of the wood. 

He said, "Have you seen a stag pass this way?" "Yes," she re- 
plied; "I know the stag weU." 

And while she spoke a httle dog that had come out of the house 
with the old woman began to bark furiously. "Be quiet, will you," 
he cried, "you spiteful cur, or I will shoot youl" 

"Whatl you will kill my dog?" cried the old witch in a rage. "Ah, 
I'll soon stop that." And in a moment he lay on the ground turned 
into stone. 

His bride waited for his return in vain, and thought, "Something 
has certainly happened to him, or else why am I so anxious and 
troubled in my heart?" 

On the same evening the brother, who was at home, was stand- 
ing by the golden lily, when it suddenly fell drooping on its stem. 
"Ah me!" he exclaimed; "there has some misfortune happened to 
my brother; I must go to him. Very likely I shall be able to save 

Then said his father, "No, no; stay here. If I were to lose both 
of you, what should I do?" But the youth answered, "I must and 
will go and find my brother." 

Then he mounted his golden horse and rode away quickly to the 
wood where his brother lay turned to stone. 

The old witch saw him in the distance, and came out of her 
house, and tried to mislead him about his brother, and called to 
him to come in. But he would not go near her, and raising his gun 
he cried, "If you do not this moment restore my brother to life, I 
wiU shoot you deadl" 

She saw he was in earnest, yet she moved imwillingly toward a 
stone that lay near the door, touched it with her finger, and imme- 
diately the gold child stood before his brother in his own form. 
They were both overjoyed to meet again, and kissed and embraced 
each other. Then they rode together out of the wood, and there 
they parted— the one to hasten back to his bride, the other home to 
his parents. 

"Ah," said his father, "we knew that your brother had been 
released from his trouble, for the golden lily is again erect and in 
full bloom." 

And after this they lived in happiness and contentment for the 
rest of their days. 

The Twin Brothers 

There "were once two brothers; one was rich, the other poor. The 
rich brother was a goldsmith, and had a wicked heart. The poor 
brother supported himself by making brooms, and was good and 
honest. He had two children, twin brothers, who resembled each 
other as closely as one drop of water resembles another. The two 
boys went sometimes to the house of their rich uncle to get the 
pieces that were left from the table, for they were often very himgry. 

It happened one day that while their father was in the wood, 
gathering rushes for his brooms, he saw a bird whose plumage 
shone like gold— he had never seen in his life any bird like it. He 
picked up a stone and threw it at the bird, hoping to be lucky 
enough to secure it; but the stone only knocked oflE a golden 
feather, and the bird flew away. 

The man took the feather and brought it to his brother, who, 
when he saw it, exclaimed, "That is real gold!" and gave him a 
great deal of money for it. Another day, as the man cUmbed up a 
beech tree, hoping to find the golden bird's nest, the same bird flew 
over his head, and on searching further he found a nest, and in it 
lay two golden eggs. He took the eggs home and showed them to 
his brother, who said again, "They are real gold," and gave him 
what they were worth. At last the goldsmith said, "You may as weU 
get me the bird, if you can." 

So the poor brother went again to the wood, and after a time, 
seeing the bird perched on a tree, he knocked it down with a stone 
and brought it to his brother, who gave him a large heap of money 
for it. "Now," thought he, "1 can support myself for the future," 
and went home to his house full of joy. 

The goldsmith, however, who was clever and cunning, knew well 
the real value of the bird. So he called his wife, and said, "Roast 
the gold bird for me, and be careful that no one comes in, as I wish 
to eat it quite alone." 

The bird was, indeed, not a common bird; it had a wonderful 
power even when dead. For any person who ate the heart and liver 
would every morning find under his pillow a piece of gold. The 
goldsmith's wife prepared the bird, stuck it on the spit, and left it 
to roast. 

The Ttoin Brothers 305 

Now, it happened that while it was roasting, and the mistress ab- 
sent from the kitchen about other household work, the two children 
of the broom-binder came in and stood for a few moments watch- 
ing the spit as it turned roimd. Presently two little pieces fell from 
the bird into the dripping-pan underneath. One of them said, "I 
think we may have those two little pieces; no one will ever miss 
them, and I am so hungry." So the children each took a piece and 
ate it up. 

In a few moments the goldsmith's wife came in and saw that they 
had been eating something, and said, "What have you been eat- 
ing?" "Only two little pieces that fell from the bird," they replied. 

"Ohl" exclaimed the wife in a great fright, "they must have been 
the heart and Hver of the btrdl" and then, that her husband might 
not miss them, for she was afraid of his anger, she quickly killed a 
chicken, took out the heart and hver, and laid them on the golden 

As soon as it was ready she carried it in to the goldsmith, who ate 
it aU up, without leaving her a morsel. The next morning, however, 
when he felt under his pillow, expecting to find the gold-pieces, 
nothing was there. 

The two children, however, who knew nothing of the good for- 
tune which had befallen them, never thought of searching under 
their piUow. But the next morning, as they got out of bed, some- 
thing fell on the ground and tinkled, and when they stooped to pick 
it up, there were two pieces of gold. They carried them at once to 
their father, who wondered very much, and said, "What can this 

As, however, there were two more pieces the next morning, and 
again each day, the father went to his brother and told him of the 
wonderful circumstances. The goldsmith, as he listened, knew well 
that these gold-pieces must be the result of the children having 
eaten the heart and hver of the golden bird, and therefore that he 
had been deceived. He determined to be revenged, and though 
hard-hearted and jealous, he managed to conceal the real truth 
from his brother, and said to him, "Your children are in league with 
the Evil One; do not touch the gold, and on no account allow your 
children to remain in your house any longer, for the Evil One has 
power over them, and could bring ruin upon you through them." 

The father feared this power, and therefore, sad as it was to him, 
he led the twins out into the forest and left them there with a 
heavy heart. 

When they found themselves alone the two children ran here and 

3o6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

there in the wood to try and discover the way home, but they wan- 
dered back always to the same place. At last they met a hmiter, 
who said to them, "Whose children are you?" 

"We are a poor broom-binder's children," they replied, "and oiu" 
father will not keep us any longer in the house because every morn- 
ing there is a piece of gold found under our pillows." 

"Ah," exclaimed the hunter, "that is not bad! Well, if you are 
honest, and have told me the truth, I will take you home and be a 
father to you." In fact, the children pleased the good man, and as 
he had no children of his own, he gladly took them home with him. 

While they were with him he taught them to hunt in the forest, 
and the gold-pieces which they found every morning under their 
pillows they gave to him; so for the future he had nothing to fear 
about poverty. 

As soon as the twins were groMm up their foster-father took them 
one day into the wood, and said, "Today you are going to make 
your first trial at shooting, for I want you to be free if you like, and 
to be hunters for yourselves." 

Then they went with him to a suitable point, and waited a long 
time, but no game appeared. Presently the hunter saw flying over 
his head a flock of wild geese, in the form of a triangle, so he said, 
"Aim quickly at each comer and fire." They did so, and their first 
proof-shot was successful. 

Soon after another flock appeared in the form of a figure 2. 
"Now," he exclaimed, "shoot again at each comer and bring them 
downl" This proof-shot was also successful, and the hunter directly 
said, "Now I pronounce you free; you are quite accompKshed 

Then the two brothers went away into the wood together, to hold 
counsel with each other, and at last came to an agreement about 
what they wished to do. 

In the evening, when they sat down to supper, one of them said 
to their foster-father, "We will not remain to supper, or eat one bit, 
tiU you have granted us our request." "And what is your request?" 
he asked. "You have taught us to hunt, and to earn our Hving," they 
replied, "and we want to go out in the world and seek our fortune. 
Will you give us permission to do so?" 

The good old man replied joyfully, 'Tou speak like brave 
himters; what you desire is my own wish. Go when you will, you 
wdU be sure to succeed." Then they ate and drank together joyfully. 

When the appointed day came the hunter presented each of 

The Ttoin Brothers 307 

them with a new rifle and a dog, and allowed them to take as much 
as they would from his store of the gold-pieces. He accompanied 
them for some distance on the way, and before saying fareweU he 
gave them each a white penknife, and said, 'If at any time you 
should get separated from each other, the knife must be placed 
crossways in a tree, one side of the blade turmhg east, the other 
west, pointing out the road which each should take. If one should 
die the blade will rust on one side; but as long as he lives it will 
remain bright." 

After saying this he wished the brothers farewell, and they 
started on their way. 

After travehng for some time they came to an immense forest, so 
large that it was impossible to cross it in one day. They stayed 
there all night, and ate what they had in their game-bags; but for 
two days they walked on through the forest without finding them- 
selves any nearer the end. 

By this time they had nothing left to eat, so one said to the other, 
*'We must shoot something, for this hunger is not to be endured." 
So he loaded his gun, and looked about him. Presently an old hare 
came running by; but as he raised his rifle the hare cried, 

"Dearest hunters, let me live; 
1 tdll to you my young ones give" 

Then she sprang up into the bushes, and brought out two young 
ones, and laid them before the hunters. The little animals were so 
full of tricks and played about so prettily that the hunters had not 
the heart to Idll them; they kept them, therefore, alive, and the little 
animals soon learned to follow them about like dogs. 

By and by a fox appeared, and they were about to shoot him, but 
he cried also, 

"Dearest hunters, let me live. 
And I will you my young ones give" 

Then he brought out two little foxes, but the hunters could not kill 
them, so they gave them to the hares as companions, and the little 
creatures followed the hunters wherever they went. 

Not long after a wolf stepped before them out of the thicket, and 
one of the brothers instantly leveled his gun at him, but the wolf 
cried out, 

'Dear, kind hunters, let me live; 
I wiU to you my young ones give." 

3o8 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

The hunters took the young wolves and treated them as they had 
done the other animals, and they followed them also. 

Presently a bear came by, and they quite intended to kill him, 
but he also cried out, 

"Dear, kind hunters, let me live. 
And I will you my young ones give." 

The two young bears were placed with the others, of whom there 
were already eight. 

At last who should come by but a lion, shaking his mane. The 
hunters were not at all alarmed; they only pointed their guns at 
him. But the lion cried out in the same manner, 

"Dear, kind hunters, let me live. 
And I will you two young ones give." 

So he fetched two of his cubs, and the hunters placed them with 
the rest. They had now two lions, two bears, two wolves, two foxes, 
and two hares, who traveled with them and served them. Yet, after 
all, their hunger was not appeased. 

So one of them said to the fox, "Here, you little sneak, who are so 
clever and sly, go find us something to eat." 

Then the fox answered, "Not far from here lies a town where we 
have many times fetched away chickens. I will show you the way." 

So the fox showed them the way to the village, where they 
bought some provisions for themselves and food for the animals, 
and went on further. 

The fox, however, knew quite well the best spots in that part of 
the country, and where to find the hen-houses; and he could, above 
all, direct the hunters which road to take. 

After traveling for a time in this way they could find no suitable 
place for them all to remain together, so one said to the other, 'The 
only thing for us to do is to separate"; and to this the other agreed. 
Then they divided the animals so that each had one Hon, one bear, 
one wolf, one fox, and one hare. When the time came to say fare- 
well they promised to live in brotherly love till death, stuck the 
knives that their foster-father had given them in a tree, and then 
one turned to the east, and the other to the west. 

The youngest, whose steps we will follow first, soon arrived at a 
large town, in which the houses were all covered with black crape. 
He went to an inn, and asked the landlord if he could give shelter 
to his animals. The landlord pointed out a stable for them, and 
their master led them in and shut the door. 

The Tunn Brothers 309 

But in the wall of the stable was a hole, and the hare slipped 
through easily and fetched a cabbage for herself. The fox followed, 
and came back with a hen; and as soon as he had eaten it he weiit 
for the cock also. The wolf, the bear, and the lion, however, were 
too large to get through the hole. Then the landlord had a cow 
killed and brought in for them, or they would have starved. 

The hunter was just going out to see if his animals were being 
cared for when he asked the landlord why the houses were so himg 
with mourning crape. "Because," he replied, "tomorrow morning 
our King's daughter will die." "Is she seriously iU, then?" asked the 
hunter. "No," he answered; "she is in excellent health; still, she 
must die." "What is the cause of this?" said the young man. 

Then the landlord explained. "Outside the town," he said, "is a 
high moimtain in which dwells a dragon, who every year demands 
a young maiden to be given up to him, otherwise he will destroy 
the whole country. He has already devoured all the young maidens 
in the town, and there are none remaining but the King's daughter. 
Not even for her is any favor shown, and tomorrow she must be 
delivered up to him." 

"Why do you not IdU the dragon?" exclaimed the yoimg hunter. 

"Ahl" repHed the landlord, "many young knights have sought to 
do so, and lost their Hves in the attempt. The King has even prom- 
ised his daughter in marriage to whoever wiU destroy the dragon, 
and also that he shall be heir to his throne." 

The hunter made no reply to this; but the next morning he rose 
early, and taking his animals with him climbed up the dragon's 

There stood near the top a little church, and on the altar inside 
were three full goblets, bearing this inscription: "Whoever drinks 
of these goblets wiU be the strongest man upon earth, and wiU dis- 
cover the sword which lies buried before the threshold of this 

The hunter did not drink; he first went out and sought for the 
sword in the ground, but he could not find the place. Then he re- 
turned and drank up the contents of the goblets. How strong it 
made him feell And how quickly he found the sword, which, heavy 
as it was, he could wield easily! 

Meanwhile the hour came when the young maiden was to be 
given up to the dragon, and she came out accompanied by the. 
King, the marshal, and the courtiers. 

They saw from the distance the himter on the mountain, and the 
Princess, thinking it was the dragon waiting for her, would not go 

310 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

on. At last she remembered that to save the town from being lost, 
she must make this painful sacrifice, and therefore wished her fa- 
ther farewell. The King and the comt returned home full of great 
sorrow. The King's marshal, however, was to remain, and see from 
a distance all that took place. 

When the King's daughter reached the top of the mountain, she 
found, instead of the dragon, a handsome young hunter, who spoke 
to her comforting words, and, telling her he had come to rescue 
her, led her into the church, and locked her in. 

Before long, with a rushing noise and a roar, the seven-headed 
dragon made his appearance. As soon as he caught sight of the 
himter he wondered to himself, and said at last, "What business 
have you here on this moimtain?" "My business is a combat with 
youl" replied the hunter. 

"Many knights and nobles have tried that, and lost their lives," 
replied the dragon; "with you I shall make short work!" 

And he breathed out fire as he spoke from his seven throats. 

The flames set fire to the dry grass, and the hunter would have 
been stifled with heat and smoke had not his faithful animals run 
forward and stamped out the fire. Then in a rage the dragon drew 
near, but the hunter was too quick for him; swinging his sword on 
high, it whizzed through the air and, falling on the dragon, cut off 
three of his heads. 

Then was the monster furious; he raised himself on his hind legs, 
spat fiery flames on the hunter, and tried to overthrow him. But the 
young man again swung his sword, and as the dragon approached, 
he with one blow cut off three more of his heads. The monster, mad 
with rage, sank on the ground, still trying to get at the hunter; but 
the young man, exerting his remaining strength, had no difficulty in 
cutting off his seventh head, and his tail; and then, finding he could 
resist no more, he called to his animals to come and tear the dragon 
in pieces. 

As soon as the combat was ended the hunter unlocked the church 
door, and found the King's daughter lying on the ground; for dur- 
ing the combat all sense and life had left her, from fear and terror. 

He raised her up, and as she came to herself and opened her eyes 
he showed her the dragon torn in pieces, and told her that she was 
released from all danger. 

Oh, how joyful she felt when she saw and heard what he had 
done! She said, "Now you will be my dear husband, for my father 
has himself promised me in marriage to whoever should kiU the 

The Tioin Brothers 311 

Then she took off her coral necklace of five strings, and divided it 
among the animals as a reward; the lion's share being in addition 
the gold clasp. Her pocket handkerchief, which bore her name, she 
presented to the hunter, who went out, and cut the seven tongues 
out of the dragon's heads, which he wrapped up carefully in the 

After all the fighting, and the fire and smoke, the hunter felt so 
faint and tired that he said to the maiden, "I think a little rest 
would do us both good after all the fight and the struggles with the 
dragon that I have had, and your terror and alarm. Shall we sleep 
for a little while before I take you home safely to your father's 
house?" "Yes," she replied, "I can sleep peacefully now." 

So she laid herself down, and as soon as she slept he said to the 
lion, "You must lie near and watch that no one comes to harm us." 
Then he threw himself on the ground, quite worn out, and was 
soon fast asleep. 

The Hon laid himself down at a little distance to watch; but he 
was also tired and overcome with the combat, so he called to the 
bear, and said, 'Xie down near me; I must have a little rest, and if 
any one comes, wake me up." 

Then the bear lay down; but he was also very tired, so he cried 
to the wolf, "Just lie down by me; I must have a Httle sleep, and if 
anything happens, wake me up." 

The wolf complied; but as he was also tired, he called to the fox, 
and said, 'Xie down near me; I must have a little sleep, and if any- 
thing comes, wake me up." 

Then the fox came and laid himself down by the wolf; but he too 
was tired, and called out to the hare, "Lie down near me; I must 
sleep a little, and, whatever comes, wake me up." 

The hare seated herself near the fox; but the poor Httle hare was 
very tired, and although she had no one to ask to watch and call 
her, she also went fast asleep. And now the King's daughter, the 
hunter, the bear, the Hon, the wolf, the fox, and the hare were all in 
a deep sleep, while danger was at hand. 

The marshal, from the distance, had tried to see what was going 
on, and being surprised that the dragon had not yet flown away 
with the King's daughter, and that all was quiet on the mountain, 
took courage, and ventured to cHmb up to the top. There he saw 
the mangled and headless body of the dragon, and at a Httle dis- 
tance the King's daughter, the hunter, and all the animals sunk in a 
deep sleep. He knew in a moment that the stranger hunter had 
killed the dragon, and, being wicked and envious, he drew his 

312 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

sword and cut off the hunter s head. Then he seized the sleeping 
maiden by the arm, and carried her away from the mountain. 

She woke and screamed; but the marshal said, **You are in my 
power, and therefore you shall say that I have killed the dragon 1" 
'1 cannot say so," she replied, "for I saw the hunter kill him, and 
the animals tear him in pieces." 

Then he drew his sword, and threatened to kill her if she did not 
obey him; so that to save her life she was forced to promise to say 
all he wished. 

Thereupon he took her to the King, who knew not how to con- 
tain himself for joy at finding his dear child still alive, and that she 
had been saved from the monsters power. 

Then the marshal said, "I have killed the dragon and freed the 
King's daughter, therefore I demand her for my wife, according to 
the King's promise." 

*ls this aU true?" asked the King of his daughter. 

"Ah, yes," she replied, "I suppose it is true; but I shall refuse to 
allow the marriage to take place for one year and a day. For," 
thought she, "lq that time I may hear something of my dear 

AU this while on the dragon's mountain the animals lay sleeping 
near their dead master. At last a large bmnble-bee settled on the 
hare's nose, but she only whisked it off with her paw, and slept 
again. The bee came a second time, but the hare again shook him 
off, and slept as soundly as before. Then came the bumble-bee a 
third time, and stung the hare in the nose; thereupon she woke. As 
soon as she was quite aroused she woke the fox; the fox, the wolf; 
the wolf, the bear; and the bear, the lion. 

But when the lion roused himself, and saw that the maiden was 
gone and his master dead, he gave a terrible roar, and cried, 
"Whose doing is this? Bear, why did you not wake me?" Then said 
the bear to the woLf, "Wolf, why did you not wake me?" "Fox," 
cried the wolf, "why did you not wake me?" "Hare," said the fox, 
"and why did you not wake me?" 

The poor hare had no one to ask why he did not wake her, and 
she knew she must bear all the blame. Indeed, they were all ready 
to tear her to pieces, but she cried, "Don't destroy my lifel I wiU re- 
store our master. I know a mountain on which grows a root that 
will cure every womid and every disease if it is placed in the per- 
son's mouth; but the moimtain on which it grows Hes two hundred 
miles from here." 

The Twin Brothers 313 

'Then,* said the Hon, "we will give you twenty-four hours, but 
not longer, to find this root and bring it to us." 

Away sprang the hare very fast, and in twenty-four hours she re- 
turned with the root. As soon as they saw her the Hon quickly 
placed the head of the hunter on the neck; and the hare, when she 
had joined the woimded parts together, put the root into the 
mouth, and in a few moments the heart began to beat, and life 
came back to the hunter. 

On awaking he was terribly alarmed to find that the maiden 
had disappeared. "She must have gone away while I slept," he said, 
"and is lost to me foreverl" 

These sad thoughts so occupied him that he did not notice any- 
thing wrong about his head, but in truth the lion had placed it on 
in such a hiury that the face was turned the wrong way. He first 
noticed it when they brought him something to eat, and then he 
found that his face looked backward. He was so astonished that he 
could not imagine what had happened, and asked his animals the 
cause. Then the lion confessed that they had all slept in conse- 
quence of being so tired, and that when they at last awoke they 
found the Princess gone, and himself lying dead, with his head cut 
off. The lion told him also that the hare had fetched the healing 
root, but in their haste they had placed the head on the wrong way. 
This mistake, they said, could be easily rectified. So they took the 
himter's head off again, turned it round, placed it on properly, and 
the hare stuck the parts together with the wonderful root. After 
this the himter went away again to travel about the world, feeling 
very sorrowful, and he left his animals to be taken care of by the 
people of the town. 

It so happened that at the end of a year he came back again to 
the same town where he had freed the King's daughter and killed 
the dragon. This time, instead of black crape the houses were hung 
with scarlet cloth. "What does it mean?" he said to the landlord. 
"Last year when I came yom* houses were all hung with black 
crape, and now it is scarlet cloth." 

"Oh," repfied the landlord, 'last year we were expecting our 
King's daughter to be given up to the dragon, but the marshal 
fought with him and killed him, and tomorrow his marriage with 
the King's daughter will take place; that is the cause of our town 
being so gay and bright— it is joy now instead of sorrow." 

The next day, when the marriage was to be celebrated, the 
hunter said, 'Xandlord, do you believe that I shall eat bread from 
the King's table here with any one who will join me?" 

314 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

"1 will lay a hundred gold-pieces," replied the landlord, "that 
you will do nothing of the kind.'' 

The hunter took the bet, and taking out his purse placed the 
gold-pieces aside for payment if he should lose. 

Then he called the hare, and said to her, "Go quickly to the cas- 
tle, dear Springer, and bring me some of the bread which the King 

Now, the hare was such an insignificant httle thing that no one 
ever thought of ordering a conveyance for her, so she was obliged 
to go on foot. "Oh," thought she, "when I am running through the 
streets, suppose the cruel hoxmd should see me." Just as she got 
near the castle she looked behind her, and there truly was a hoxmd 
ready to seize her. But she gave a start forward, and before the sen- 
tinel was aware rushed into the sentry-box. The dog followed, and 
wanted to bring her out, but the soldier stood in the doorway and 
would not let him pass, and when the dog tried to get in he struck 
him with his staflF, and sent him away howHng. 

As soon as the hare saw that the coast was clear she rushed out 
of the sentry-box and ran to the castle, and finding the door of the 
room where the Princess was sitting open, she darted in and hid 
under her chair. Presently the Princess felt something scratching 
her foot, and thinking it was the dog, she said, "Be quiet, Sultan; 
go awayl" The hare scratched again at her foot, but she stiU 
thought it was the dog, and cried, "Will you go away, Sultan?" But 
the hare did not allow herself to be sent away, so she scratched the 
foot a third time. Then the Princess looked down and recognized 
the hare by her necklace. She took the creature at once in her arms, 
carried her to her own room, and said, "Dear little hare, what do 
you want?" 

The hare replied instantly, "My master, who killed the dragon, is 
here, and he has sent me to ask for some of the bread that the King 

Then was the King's daughter full of joy; she sent for the cook, 
and ordered him to bring her some of the bread which was made 
for the King. When he brought it the hare cried, "The cook must 
go with me, or that cruel hound may do me some harm." So the 
cook carried the bread, and went with the hare to the door of the 

As soon as he was gone she stood on her hind legs, took the 
bread in her fore-paws, and brought it to her master. 

"Therel" cried the hxmter; "here is the bread, landlord, and the 
himdred gold-pieces are mine." 

The Twin Brothers 315 

The landlord was much surprised, but when the hunter declared 
he would also have some of the roast meat from the King's table, he 
said: "The bread may be here, but I'U warrant you will get nothing 

The hunter called the fox, and said to him, "My fox, go and fetch 
me some of the roast meat such as the King eats." 

The red fox knew a better trick than the hare: he went across the 
fields, and slipped in without being seen by the hound. Then he 
placed himself under the chair of the King's daughter, and touched 
her foot. She looked down immediately, and recognizing him by his 
necklace, took him into her room. "What do you want, dear fox?" 
she asked. 

"My master, who killed the dragon, is here," he replied, "and has 
sent me to ask for some of the roast meat that is cooked for the 

The cook was sent for again, and the Princess desired him to 
carry some meat for the fox to the door of the iim. On arriving, the 
fox took the dish from the cook, and after whisking away the flies 
that had settled on it, with his tail, brought it to his master. 

"See, landlord," cried the hunter, "here are bread and meat such 
as the King eats, and now I will have vegetables." So he called the 
wolf, and said, "Dear wolf, go and fetch me vegetables such as the 
King eats." 

Away went the wolf straight to the castle, for he had no fear of 
anything, and as soon as he entered the room he went behind the 
Princess and pulled her dress, so that she was obliged to look 
round. She recognized the wolf irmnediately by the necklace, took 
him into her chamber, and said, "Dear wolf, what do you want?" 
He replied, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has 
sent me to ask for some vegetables such as the King eats." 

The cook was sent for again, and told to take some vegetables 
also to the inn door; and as soon as they arrived the wolf took the 
dish from him and carried it to his master. 

"Look here, landlord," cried the hunter, *1 have now bread, 
meat, and vegetables; but I will also have some sweetmeats from 
the King's table." He called the bear, and said, "Dear bear, I know 
you are fond of sweets. Now go and fetch me some sweetmeats 
such as the King eats." 

The bear trotted off to the castle, and every one ran away when 
they saw him coming. But when he reached the castle gates, the 
sentinel held his gun before him and would not let him pass in. But 
the bear rose on his hind legs, boxed his ears right and left with his 

3i6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

fore-paws, and leaving him tumbled all of a heap in his sentry-box, 
went into the castle. Seeing the King's daughter entering he fol- 
lowed her and gave a slight growl. She looked behind her and, rec- 
ognizing the bear, called him into her chamber, and said, "Dear 
bear, what do you want?" 

"My master, who killed the dragon, is here," he replied, "and he 
has sent me to ask for some sweetmeats like those which the King 

The Princess sent for the confectioner, and desired him to bake 
some sweetmeats and take them with, the bear to the door of the 
inn. As soon as they arrived the bear first licked up the sugar drips 
which had dropped on his fur, then stood upright, took the dish, 
and carried it to his master. 

"See now, landlord," cried the hunter, "I have bread, and meat, 
and vegetables, and sweetmeats, and I mean to have vmie also, 
such as the King drinks." So he called the Hon to him, and said, 
"Dear lion, you drink tiU you are quite tipsy sometimes. Now go 
and fetch me some wine such as the King drinks." 

As the Uon trotted through the streets all the people ran away 
from him. The sentinel, when he saw him coming, tried to stop the 
way; but the lion gave a little roar, and made him run for his Hfe. 
Then the hon entered the castle, passed through the King's apart- 
ment, and knocked at the door of the Princess's room with his tail. 
The Princess, when she opened it and saw the Hon, was at first 
rather frightened; but presently she observed on his neck the gold 
necklace clasp, and knew it was the hunter's hon. She called him 
into her chamber, and said, "Dear hon, what do you want?" 

"My master, who killed the dragon," he rephed, "is here, and he 
has sent me to ask for some wine, such as the King drinks." 

Then she sent for the King's cup-bearer, and told him to give the 
Hon some of the King's wine. 

"I will go with him," said the Hon, "and see that he draws the 
right sort." So the Hon went with the cup-bearer to the wine-cellar, 
and when he saw him about to draw some of the ordinary wine 
which the King's vassals drank, the Hon cried, "StopI I will taste the 
vwne first." So he drew himself a pint, and swallowed it down at a 
gulp. "No," he sdd, "that is not the right sort." 

The cup-bearer saw he was found out; however, he went over to 
another cask that was kept for the King's marshal. "StopI" cried the 
Hon again, "1 will taste the wdne first." So he drew another pint and 
drank it off. "Ahl" he said, "that is better, but still not the right 

The Ttvin Brothers 317 

Then the cup-bearer was angry, and said, "What can a stupid 
beast like you understand about wine?" 

But the lion, with a lash of his tail, knocked him down, and be- 
fore the man could move himself found his way stealthily into a Ht- 
tle private cellar, in which were casks of wine never tasted by any 
but the King. The Hon drew half a pint, and when he had tasted it, 
he said to himself, "That is wine of the right sort." So he called the 
cup-bearer and made him draw six flagons full. 

As they came up from the cellar into the open air the lion's head 
swam a little, and he was almost tipsy; but as the cup-bearer was 
obliged to carry the wine for him to the door of the inn, it did not 
much matter. When they arrived, the Hon took the handle of the bas- 
ket in his mouth, and carried the wine to his master. 

"Now, Master landlord," said the hunter, "I have bread, meat, 
vegetables, sweetmeats, and wine, such as the King has, so I will sit 
down and with my faithful animals enjoy a good meal"; and, in- 
deed, he felt very happy, for he knew now that the King's daughter 
still loved him. 

After they had finished, the hunter said to the landlord, "Now 
that I have eaten and drunk of the same provisions as the King, I 
will go to the King's castle and marry his daughter." 

"Well," said the landlord, "how that is to be managed I cannot 
tell, when she has already a bridegroom to whom she will today be 

The hunter, without a word, took out the pocket handkerchief 
which the King's daughter had given him on the dragon's moun- 
tain, and opening it, showed the landlord the seven tongues of the 
monster, which he had cut out and wrapped in the handkerchief. 
'That which I have so carefully preserved vidll help me," said the 

The landlord looked at the handkerchief and said, "I may believe 
all the rest, but I would bet my house and farm-yard that you will 
never marry the King's daughter." 

"Very well," said the hunter, "I accept yoiu: bet, and if I lose, 
there are my hundred gold-pieces"; and he laid them on the table. 

That same day, when the King and his daughter were seated at 
table, the King said, "What did all those wild animals want who 
came to you today, going in and out of my castle?" "I cannot teU 
you yet," she replied; "but if you will send into the town for the 
master of these animals, then I will do so." 

The King sent, on hearing this, a servant at once to the inn with 
an invitation to the stranger who owned the animals, and the ser- 

3i8 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

vant arrived just as the hunter had finished his bet with the land- 

"See, landlord!" he cried, "the King has sent me an invitation by 
his servant; but I cannot accept it yet." He turned to the man who 
waited, and said, "Tell my lord the King that I cannot obey his 
commands to visit him unless he sends me suitable clothes for a 
royal palace, and a carriage with six horses, and servants to wait 
upon me." 

The servant returned with the message, and when the King 
heard it he said to his daughter, '"What shall I do?" 

'T. would send for him as he requests," she replied. 

So they sent royal robes, and a carriage and six horses with ser- 
vants, and when the hunter saw them coming he said to the land- 
lord, "Seel they have sent for me as I wished." 

He dressed himself in the kingly clothes, took the handkerchief 
containing the dragon's tongues, and drove away to the castle. 

As soon as he arrived the King said to his daughter, "How shall I 
receive him?" *1 should go and meet him," she replied. 

So the King went to meet him, and led him into the royal apart- 
ment, and all his animals followed. The King pointed him to a seat 
by his daughter. The marshal sat on her other side as bridegroom, 
but the visitor knew it not. 

Just at this moment the dragon s seven heads were brought into 
the room to show to the company, and the King said: "These heads 
belonged to the dragon who was for so many years the terror of 
this town. The marshal slew the dragon, and saved my daughters 
life; therefore I have given her to him in marriage, according to my 

At this the hunter rose, and advancing, opened the seven throats 
of the dragon, and said, "Where are the tongues?" 

The marshal turned white with fear, and knew not what to do. At 
last he said in his terror, *T)ragons have no tongues." 

"Liars get nothing for their pains," said the hunter; "the dragon's 
tongues shall prove who was his conqueror 1" 

He unfolded the handkerchief as he spoke. There lay the seven 
tongues. He took them up and placed each in the mouth of the 
dragon's head to which it belonged, and it fitted exactly. Then he 
took up the pocket handkerchief which was marked with the name 
of the King's daughter, showed it to the maiden, and asked her if 
she had not given it to him. "Yes," she replied; "I gave it to you on 
the day you kiUed the dragon." 

He called his animals to him, took from each the necklace, and 

The Ttvin Brothers 319 

from the lion the one with the golden clasp, and asked to whom 
they belonged. 

"They are mine," she replied; "they are a part of my cxjral neck- 
lace which had five strings of beads, which I divided among the 
animals because they aided you in killing the dragon, and after- 
ward tore him in pieces. I cannot tell how the marshal could have 
carried me away from you," she continued, "for you told me to He 
down and sleep after the fatigue and fright I had endured." 

"I slept myself," he repUed, "for I was quite worn out with my 
combat, and as I lay sleeping the marshal came and cut oflE my 

"I begin to understand now," said the King; "the marshal carried 
away my daughter, supposing you were dead, and made us believe 
that he had killed the dragon, till you arrived with the tongues, the 
handkerchief, and the necklace. But what restored you to life?" 
asked the King. 

Then the hunter related how one of his animals had healed him 
and restored him to Kfe through the application of a wonderful 
root, and how he had been wandering about for a whole year, and 
had only returned to the town that very day, and heard from the 
landlord of the marshal's deceit. 

Then said the King to his daughter, "Is it true that this man 
killed the dragon?" 

"Yes," she answered, "quite true, and I can venture now to ex- 
pose the wickedness of the marshal; for he carried me away that 
day against my wish, and forced me with threats to keep silent. I 
did not know he had tried to kill the real slayer of the dragon, but I 
hoped he would come back, and on that account I begged to have 
the marriage put ofiF for a year and a day." 

The King, after this, ordered twelve judges to be summoned to 
try the marshal, and the sentence passed upon him was that he 
should be torn to pieces by wild oxen. As soon as the marshal was 
punished the King gave his daughter to the hunter, and appointed 
him to the high position of stadtholder over the whole kingdom. 

The marriage caused great joy, and the hunter, who was now a 
Prince, sent for his father and foster-father, and overloaded them 
vwth treasures. 

Neither did he forget the landlord, but sent for him to come to 
the castle, and said, "See, landlord, I have married the King's 
daughter, and your house and farm-yard belong to me." 'That is 
quite true," replied the landlord. 

"Ah," said the Prince, "but I do not mean to keep them; they are 

320 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

still yours, and I make you a present of the hundred gold-pieces 

For a time the young Prince and his wife lived most happily to- 
gether. He still, however, went out himting, which was his great 
deHght, and his faithful animals remained with him. They hved, 
however, in a wood close by, from which he could call them at any 
time; yet the wood was not safe, for he once went in and did not 
get out again very easily. 

Whenever the Prince had a wish, to go hunting, he gave the King 
no rest tiU he allowed him to do so. On one occasion, while riding 
with a large nimiber of attendants in the wood, he saw at a dis- 
tance a snow-white deer, and he said to his people, "Stay here till I 
come back; I must have that beautiful creature, and so many wiU 
frighten her." 

Then he rode away through the wood, and only his animals fol- 
lowed him. The attendants drew rein, and waited till evening, but 
as he did not come they rode home and told the young Princess 
that her husband had gone into an enchanted forest to hunt a white 
deer, and had not returned. 

This made her very anxious, more especially when the morrow 
came and he did not return; indeed, he could not, for he kept rid- 
ing after the beautiful wild animal, but without being able to over- 
take it. At times, when he fancied she was within reach of his gun, 
the next moment she was leaping away at a great distance, and at 
last she vanished altogether. 

Not till then did he notice how far he had penetrated into the 
forest. He raised his horn and blew, but there was no answer, for 
his attendants could not hear it; and then as night came on he saw 
plainly that he should not be able to find his way home tiU the next 
day, so he alighted from his horse, Ht a fire by a tree, and deter- 
mined to make himself as comfortable as he could for the night. 

As he sat imder the tree by the fire, with his animals lying near 
him, he heard, as he thought, a human voice. He looked round, but 
could see nothing. Presently there was a groan over his head; he 
looked up and saw an old woman sitting on a branch, who kept 
grumbling, "Oh, oh, how cold I ami I am free2angr "If you are 
cold, come down and warm yomrself,'' he said. "No, no," she re- 
plied; "your animals vwll bite me." 'Indeed they vidU do no such 
thing. Come down, old mother," he said kindly; "none of them shall 
hurt you." 

He did not know that she was a wicked witch, so when she said, 
"I will throw you dovvni a little switch from the tree, and if you just 

The Twin Brothers 321 

touch them on the back with it they cannot hurt me," he did as she 
told him, and as soon as they were touched by the wand the ani- 
mals were all turned to stone. Then she jumped down, and touch- 
ing the Prince on the back with the switch, he also was instantly 
turned into stone. Thereupon she laughed maliciously, and dragged 
him and his animals into a grave where several similar stones lay. 

When the Princess foimd that her husband did not return, her 
anxiety and care increased painfully, and she became at last very 

Now, it so happened that just at this time the twin brother of the 
Prince, who since their separation had been wandering in the East, 
arrived in the country of which his brother's father-in-law was 
King. He had tried to obtain a situation, but could not succeed, and 
only his animals were left to him. 

One day, as he was wandering from one place to another, it oc- 
curred to his mind that he might as well go and look at the knife 
which they had stuck in the trunk of a tree at the time of their sep- 
aration. When he came to it there was his brother's side of the knife 
half -rusted, and the other half still bright. 

In great alarm he thought, "My brother must have fallen into 
some terrible trouble. I will go and find him. I may be able to res- 
cue him, as the half of the knife is still bright." 

He set out with his animals on a journey, and while traveling 
west came to the town in which his brother's wife, the King's 
daughter, lived. As soon as he reached the gate of the town the 
watchman advanced toward him and asked if he should go and an- 
nounce his arrival to the Princess, who had for two days been in 
great trouble about him, fearing that he had been detained in the 
forest by enchantment. 

The watchman had not the least idea that the young man was 
any other than the Prince himself, especially as he had the wild ani- 
mals running behind him. The twin brother saw this, and he said to 
himself, "Perhaps it vAU be best for me to allow myself to be taken 
for my brother; I shall be able more easily to save him." So he fol- 
lowed the sentinel to the castle, where he was received with great 

The young Princess had no idea that this was not her husband, 
and asked him why he had remained away so long. 

He replied, "I rode a long distance into the wood, and could not 
find my way out again." At night he was taken to the royal bed, but 
he laid a two-edged sword between him and the young Princess; she 
did not know what that could mean, but did not venture to ask. 

322 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

In a few days he discovered all about his brother that he wished 
to know, and was determined to go and seek for him in the en- 
chanted wood. So he said, "I must go to the hunt just once more." 

The King and the young Princess said all they could to dissuade 
him, but to no purpose, and at length he left the castle with a large 
company of attendants. 

When he reached the wood aU happened as it had done with his 
brother. He saw the beautiful white deer, and told his attendants to 
wait while he went after it, followed only by his animals; but nei- 
ther could he overtake it; and the white deer led him far down into 
the forest, where he foimd he must remain aU night. 

After he had lighted a fire he heard, as his brother had done, the 
old woman in the tree, crying out that she was freezing with cold, 
and he said to her, "If you are cold, old mother, come down and 
warm yom-self!" "No," she cried, "your animals wiU bite mel" "No, 
indeed they will not," he said. "I can't trust them!" she cried; "here, I 
will throw you a little switch, and if you gently strike them across 
the back, then they will not be able to hurt me." 

When the himter heard that he began to mistrust the old woman, 
and said, "No; I will not strike my animals; you come down, or I 
will fetch you." "Do as you Hke," she said; "you can't hurt me." "If 
you don't come down," he replied, "I will shoot you." "Shoot 
away," she said; "your bullet can do me no harm." 

He pointed his gun and shot at her; but the witch was proof 
against a leaden bullet. She gave a shrill laugh, and cried, "It is no 
use trying to hit me." 

The hunter knew, however, what to do; he cut ofiF three silver 
buttons from his coat, and loaded his gun with them. Against these 
she knew all her arts were vain; so as he drew the trigger she fell 
suddenly to the ground with a scream. Then he placed his foot 
upon her, and said, "Old witch, if you do not at once confess where 
my brother is, I will take you up and throw you into the fire." 

She was in a great fright, begged for pardon, and said, "He is 
lying with his animals, turned to stone, in a grave." 

Then he forced her to go with him, and said, "You old cat, if you 
don't instantly restore my brother to life, and all the creatures that 
are with him, over you go into the fire." 

She was obliged to take a switch and strike the stones, and im- 
mediately the brother, his animals, and many others— traders, me- 
chanics, and shepherds— stood before him, alive and in their own 

Thankful for having gained their freedom and their Hves, they all 

The Twin Brothers 323 

hastened home; but the twin brothers, when they saw each other 
again, were full of joy, and embraced and kissed each other with 
great affection. They seized the old witch, bound her, and placed 
her on the fire, and as soon as she was burned the forest became 
suddenly clear and Hght, and the King's castle appeared at a very 
little distance. 

After this the twin brothers walked away together toward the 
castle, and on the road related to each other the events that had 
happened to them since they parted. At last the youngest told his 
brother of his marriage to the King's daughter, and that the King 
had made him lord over the whole land. 

"I know all about it," replied the other; "for when I came to the 
town, they all took me for you and treated me with kingly state; 
even the yoimg Princess mistook me for her husband, and made me 
sit by her side." 

But as he spoke his brother became so fierce with jealousy and 
anger that he drew his sword and cut off his brother's head. Then 
as he saw him lie dead at his feet his anger was quelled in a mo- 
ment, and he repented bitterly, crying, "Oh, my brother is dead, 
and it is I who have killed him!" and kneeling by his side he 
mourned with loud cries and tears. 

In a moment the hare appeared and begged to be allowed to 
fetch the life-giving root, which she knew would cure him. She was 
not away long, and when she retiuned, the head was replaced and 
fastened with the healing power of the plant, and the brother re- 
stored to life, while not even a sign of the woimd remained to be 

The brothers now walked on most lovingly together, and the one 
who had married the King's daughter said, "I see that you have 
kingly clothes, as I have; your animals are the same as mine. Let us 
enter the castle at two opposite doors, and approach the old King 
from two sides together." 

So they separated; and as the King sat wdth his daughter in the 
royal apartment a sentinel approached him from two distant en- 
trances at the same time, and informed him that the Prince, vnth 
his animals, had arrived. "That is impossible!" cried the King; "one 
of you must be wrong; for the gates at which you watch are quite a 
quarter of a mile apart." 

But while the King spoke the two young men entered at opposite 
ends of the room, and both came forward and stood before the 

With a bewildered look the King turned to his daughter, and 

324 GrimrrCs Complete Fairy Tales 

said, "Which is your husband? For they are both so exactly alike I 
cannot tell." 

She was herself very much frightened, and could not speak; at 
last she thought of the necklace that she had given to the animals, 
and looking earnestly among them she saw the gHtter of the golden 
clasp on the lion's neck. "See," she cried in a happy voice, "he 
whom that lion follows is my husband!" 

The Prince laughed, and said, "Yes; you are right; and this is my 
twin brother." 

So they sat down happily together and told the King and the 
young Princess aU their adventures. 

When the King's daughter and her husband were alone she said 
to him, "Why have you for the last several nights always laid a 
two-edged sword in our bed? I thought you had a wish to kiU me." 

Then the Prince knew how true and honorable his twin brother 
had been. 

Ferdinand the Faithful and 
Ferdinand the Unfaithful 

Once upon a time there Hved a man and a woman who, so long as 
they were rich, had no children; but when they were poor they had 
a little boy. They could, however, find no godfather for him, so the 
man said he would just go to another place to see if he could get 
one there. As he went, a poor man met him, who asked him where 
he was going. He said he was going to see if he could get a godfa- 
ther; that he was poor, so no one would stand as godfather for him. 
"Oh," said the poor man, "thou art poor, and I am poor; I will be 
godfather for thee, but I am so iU-ofiE I can give the child nothing. 
Go home and teU the nurse that she is to come to the church with 
the child." 

When they all got to the church together, the beggar was already 
there, and he gave the child the name of Ferdinand the Faithful. 

When he was going out of the church, the beggar said, "Now go 
home, I can give thee nothing, and thou likewise ought to give me 
nothing." But he gave a key to the nurse, and told her when she got 
home she was to give it to the father, who was to take care of it 

Ferdinand the Faithful 325 

until the child was fourteen years old, and then he was to go on the 
heath where there was a castle, which the key would fit, and that 
all which was therein should belong to him. 

Now when the child was seven years old and had grown very 
big, he once went to play with some other boys, and each of them 
boasted that he had got more from his godfather than the other; 
but the child could say nothing, and was vexed, and went home 
and said to his father, "Did I get nothing at all, then, from my godfa- 
ther?" "Oh, yes," said the father, "thou hadst a key— if there is a 
castle standing on the heath, just go to it and open it." Then the 
boy went thither, but no castle was to be seen, or heard of. 

After seven years more, when he was fourteen years old, he again 
went thither, and there stood the castle. When he had opened it, 
there was nothing within but a horse— a white one. Then the boy 
was so full of joy because he had a horse, that he mounted on it 
and galloped back to his father. "Now I have a white horse, and I 
will travel," said he. So he set out, and as he was on his way, a pen 
was lying on the road. At first he thought he would pick it up, but 
then again he thought to himself, "Thou shouldst leave it lying 
there; thou wilt easily find a pen where thou art going, if thou hast 
need of one." As he was thus riding away, a voice called after him, 
"Ferdinand the Faithful, take it with thee." He looked around, but 
saw no one; then he went back again and picked it up. 

When he had ridden a Kttle way farther, he passed by a lake, and 
a fish was lying on the bank, gasping and panting for breath, so he 
said, "Wait, my dear fish, I wiU help thee to get into the water," 
and he took hold of it by the tail, and threw it into the lake. Then 
the fish put its head out of the water and said, "As thou hast helped 
me out of the mud, I will give thee a flute; when thou art in any 
need, play on it, and then I wiU. help thee, and if ever thou lettest 
anything fall in the water, just play and I wiU reach it out to thee." 

Then he rode away, and there came to him a man who asked him 
where he was going. "Oh, to the next place." Then the man asked 
what his name was. 'Terdinand the Faithful." "Sol then we have 
almost the same name, I am called Ferdinand the Unfaithful." And 
they both set out to the inn in the nearest place. 

Now it was unfortunate that Ferdinand the Unfaithful knew ev- 
erything that the other had ever thought and everything he was 
about to do; he knew it by means of all lands of wicked arts. 

There was, however, in the inn an honest girl, who had a bright 
face and behaved very prettily. She fell in love with Ferdinand the 
Faithful because he was a handsome man, and she asked him 

326 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

whither he was going. "Oh, I am just traveling round about," said 
he. Then she said he ought to stay there, for the King of that coun- 
try wanted an attendant or an outrider, and he ought to enter his 
service. He answered he could not very well go to any one like that 
and oflFer himself. Then said the maiden, "Oh, but I will soon do 
that for thee." And so she went straight to the King, and told him 
that she knew of an excellent servant for him. He was well pleased 
with that, and had Ferdinand the Faithful brought to him, and 
wanted to make him his servant. He, however, liked better to be an 
outrider, for where his horse was, there he also wanted to be, so the 
King made him an outrider. When Ferdinand the Unfaitliful learnt 
that, he said to the girl, "What! Dost thou help him and not me?" 
"Oh," said the girl, "I will help thee too." She thought, "I must 
keep friends with that man, for he is not to be trusted." She went to 
the King, and ofiFered him as a servant, and the King was wiUing. 

Now when the King met his lords in the morning, he always 
lamented and said, "Oh, if I had but my love with me." Ferdinand 
the Unfaithful was, however, always hostile to Ferdinand the 
Faithful. So once, when the King was complaining thus, he said, 
"Thou hast the outrider, send him away to get her, and if he does 
not do it, his head must be struck off." Then the King sent for Fer- 
dinand the Faithful, and told him that there was, in this place or in 
that place, a girl he loved, and that he was to bring her to him, and 
if he did not do it he should die. 

Ferdinand the Faithful went into the stable to his white horse, 
and complained and lamented, "Oh, what an unhappy man I am!" 
Then some one behind him cried, "Ferdinand the Faithful, why 
weepest thou?" He looked round but saw no one, and went on 
lamenting; "Oh, my dear little white horse, now must I leave thee; 
now must I die." Then some one cried once more, "Ferdinand the 
Faithful, why weepest thou?" Then for the first time he was aware 
that it was his little white horse who was putting that question. 
"Dost thou speak, my little white horse; canst thou do that?" And 
again, he said, "I am to go to this place and to that, and am to 
bring the bride; canst thou tell me how I am to set about it?" Then 
answered the little white horse, "Go thou to the King, and say if he 
will give thee what thou must have, thou wilt get her for him. If he 
will give thee a ship full of meat, and a ship full of bread, it will 
succeed. Great giants dwell on the lake, and if thou takest no meat 
with thee for them, they will tear thee to pieces, and there are the 
large birds which would pick the eyes out of thy head if thou hadst 
no bread for them." 

Ferdinand the Faithful 327 

Then the King made all the butchers in the land kill, and aW. the 
bakers bake, that the ships might be filled. When they were full, 
the little white horse said to Ferdinand the Faithful, "Now mount 
me, and go with me into the ship and then when the giants come, 

'Peace, peace, my dear little giants, 
1 have had thought of ye. 
Something I have brought for ye.' 

"When the birds come, thou shalt again say, 

'Peace, peace, my dear little birds, 
I have had thought of ye. 
Something I have brought for ye' 

"They will do nothing to thee, and when thou comest to the cas- 
tle, the giants will help thee. Then go up to the castle, and take a 
couple of giants with thee. There the Princess lies sleeping; thou 
must, however, not awaken her, but the giants must lift her up, and 
carry her in her bed to the ship." And now everything took place as 
the little white horse had said, and Ferdinand the Faithful gave the 
giants and the birds what he had brought with him for them, and 
that made the giants willing, and they carried the Princess in her 
bed to the King. And when she came to the King, she said she 
could not live, she must have her writings, they had been left in her 
castle. Then by the instigation of Ferdinand the Unfaithful, Fer- 
dinand the Faithful was called, and the King told him he must 
fetch the writings from the castle, or he should die. 

Then he went once more into the stable, and bemoaned himself 
and said, "Oh, my dear little white horse, now I am to go away 
again, how am I to do it?" Then the little white horse said he was 
just to load the ships fuU again. So it happened again as it had hap- 
pened before, and the giants and the birds were satisfied, and made 
gentle by the meat. When they came to the castle, the white horse 
told Ferdinand the Faithful that he must go in, and that on the 
table in the Princess's bed-room lay the writings. And Ferdinand 
the Faithful went in, and fetched them. When they were on the 
lake, he let his pen fall into the water. Then said the white horse, 
"Now I cannot help thee at all." But he remembered his flute, and 
began to play on it, and the fish came with the pen in its mouth, 
and gave it to him. So he took the writings to the castle, where the 
wedding was celebrated. 

The Queen, however, did not love the King because he had no 

328 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

nose, but she would have much liked to love Ferdinand the Faith- 
ful. Once, therefore, when all the lords of the court were together, 
the Queen said she could do feats of magic, that she could cut off 
any one's head and put it on again, and that one of them ought just 
to try it. But none of them would be the first, so Ferdinand the 
Faithful, again at the instigation of Ferdinand the Unfaithful, un- 
dertook it and she hewed off his head, and put it on again for him, 
and it healed together directly, so that it looked as if he had a red 
thread round his throat. 

Then the King said to her, "My child, and where hast thou learnt 
that?" "Yes," she said, "I understand the art; shall I just try it on 
thee also?" "Oh, yes," said he. But she cut off his head, and did not 
put it on again; but pretended that she could not get it on, and that 
it would not keep fixed. Then the King was buried, but she married 
Ferdinand the Faithful. 

He, however, always rode on his white horse, and once when he 
was seated on it, it told him that he was to go on to the heath 
which he knew, and gallop three times round it. And when he had 
done that, the white horse stood up on its hind legs, and was 
changed into a King's son. 

The Three Black Princesses 

East India was besieged by an enemy who would not retire until 
he had received six hundred dollars. Then the townsfolk caused it to 
be proclaimed by beat of drum that whosoever was able to procure 
the money should be burgomaster. Now there was a poor fisherman 
who fished on the lake with his son, and the enemy came and took 
the son prisoner, and gave the father six hundred dollars for him. 
So the father went and gave them to the great men of the town, 
and the enemy departed, and the fisherman became bxurgomaster. 
Then it was proclaimed that whosoever did not say, "Mr. Bur- 
gomaster," should be put to death on the gallows. 

The son got away again from the enemy, and came to a great for- 
est on a high mountain. The mountain opened, and he went into a 
great enchanted castle, wherein chairs, tables, and benches were all 
hung with black. Then came three young Princesses who were en- 
tirely dressed in black, but had a little white on their faces; they 

The Three Black Princesses 329 

told him he was not to be afraid, they would not hurt him, and that 
he could deliver them. He said he would gladly do that, if he did 
but know how. On this, they told him he must for a whole year not 
speak to them and also not look at them, and what he wanted to 
have he was just to ask for, and if they dared give him an answer 
they would do so. When he had been there for a long while he said 
he should hke to go to his father, and they told him he might go. 
He was to take with him this purse with money, put on this coat, 
and in a week he must be back there again. 

Then he was caught up, and was instantly in East India. He 
could no longer find his father in the fisherman's hut, and asked the 
people where the poor fisherman could be, and they told him he 
must not say that, or he would come to the gallows. Then he went 
to his father and said, "Fisherman, how hast thou got here?" Then 
the father said, 'Thou must not say that, if the great men of the 
town knew of that, thou wouldst come to the gallows." He, how- 
ever, would not stop, and was brought to the gallows. 

When he was there, he said, "O, my masters, just give me leave 
to go to the old fisherman's hut." Then he put on his old smock- 
frock, and came back to the great men, and said, TDo ye not now 
see? Am I not the son of the poor fisherman? Did I not earn bread 
for my father and mother in this dress?" Hereupon his father knew 
him again, and begged his pardon, and took him home with him, 
and then he related all that had happened to him, and how he had 
got into a forest on a high mountain, and the mountain had opened 
and he had gone into an enchanted castle, where all was black, and 
three young Princesses had come to him who were black except a 
little white on their faces. And they had told him not to fear, and 
that he could deliver them. Then his mother said that might very 
likely not be a good thing to do, and that he ought to take a holy- 
water vessel with him, and drop some boiling water on their faces. 

He went back again, and he was in great fear, and he dropped 
the water on their faces as they were sleeping, and they all turned 
half-white. Then all the three Princesses sprang up, and said, 'Thou 
accursed dog, our blood shall cry for vengeance on theel Now there 
is no man bom in the world, nor will any ever be bom who can set 
us free! We have still three brothers who are bound by seven 
chains— they shall tear thee to pieces." Then there was a loud 
shrieking all over the castle, and he sprang out of the window, and 
broke his leg, and the castle sank into the earth again, the mountain 
shut to again, and no one knew where the castle had stood. 

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs 

It was the middle of winter, and the snow-flakes were falling like 
feathers from the sky, and a Queen sat at her window working, and 
her embroidery-frame was of ebony. And as she worked, gazing at 
times out on the snow, she pricked her finger, and there fell from it 
three drops of blood on the snow. And when she saw how bright 
and red it looked, she said to herself, "Oh that I had a child as 
white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the em- 
broidery frame!" 

Not very long after she had a daughter, with a skin as white as 
snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony, and she was 
named Snow-white. And when she was bom the Queen died. 

After a year had gone by the King took another wife, a beautiful 
woman, but proud and overbearing, and she could not bear to be 
smpassed in beauty by any one. She had a magic looking-glass, and 
she used to stand before it, and look in it, and say, 

"Looking-glass upon the wall. 
Who is fairest of us aW 

And the looking-glass would answer, 

'you are fairest of them all." 

And she was contented, for she knew that the looking-glass spoke 
the truth. 

Now, Snow-white was growing prettier and prettier, and when 
she was seven years old she was as beautiful as day, far more so 
than the Queen herself. So one day when the Queen went to her 
mirror and said, 

it answered. 

^Looking-glass upon the wall, 
Who is fairest of us all?" 

"Queen, you are full fair, 'tis true. 
But Snou)-white fairer is than you' 

This gave the Queen a great shock, and she became yellow and 
green with envy, and from that hour her heart turned against 

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs 331 

Snow-white, and she hated her. And envy and pride like ill weeds 
grew in her heart higher every day, until she had no peace day or 
night. At last she sent for a huntsman, and said, 'Take the child out 
into the woods, so that I may set eyes on her no more. You must 
put her to death, and bring me her heart for a token." 

The huntsman consented, and led her away; but when he drew 
his cutlass to pierce Snow-white's irmocent heart, she began to 
weep, and to say, "Oh, dear huntsman, do not take my life; I will 
go away into the wild wood, and never come home again." 

And as she was so lovely the huntsman had pity on her, and said, 
"Away with you then, poor child"; for he thought the wild animals 
would be sure to devour her, and it was as if a stone had been 
rolled away from his heart when he did not put her to death. Just at 
that moment a yoimg wild boar came running by, so he caught 
and killed it, and taking out its heart, he brought it to the Queen for 
a token. And it was salted and cooked, and the wicked woman ate it 
up, thinking that there was an end of Snow-white. 

Now, when the poor child foimd herself quite alone in the wild 
woods, she felt full of terror, even of the very leaves on the trees, 
and she did not know what to do for fright. Then she began to nm 
over the sharp stones and through the thorn bushes, and the wild 
beasts after her, but they did her no harm. She ran as long as her 
feet would carry her; and when the evening drew near she came fo 
a little house, and she went inside to rest. Everything there was 
very small, but as pretty and clean as possible. There stood the Ht- 
tle table ready laid, and covered with a white cloth, and seven little 
plates, and seven knives and forks, and drinking-cups. By the wall 
stood seven little beds, side by side, covered with clean white 
quilts. Snow-white, being very hungry and thirsty, ate from each 
plate a little porridge and bread, and drank out of each little cup a 
drop of wine, so as not to finish up one portion alone. After that she 
felt so tired that she lay down on one of the beds, but it did not 
seem to suit her; one was too long, another too short, but at last the 
seventh was quite right; and so she lay down upon it, committed 
herself to Heaven, and fell asleep. 

When it was quite dark, the masters of the house came home. 
They were seven dwarfs, whose occupation was to dig under- 
grormd among the moimtains. When they had lighted their seven 
candles, and it was quite light in the little house, they saw that 
some one must have been in, as everything was not in the same 
order in which they left it. 

332 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

The first said, "Who has been sitting in my little chair?" 
The second said, "Who has been eating from my little plate?" 
The third said, "Who has been taking my little loaf?" 
The fourth said, "Who has been tasting my porridge?" 
The fifth said, "Who has been using my little fork?" 
The sixth said, "Who has been cutting with my fittle knife?" 
The seventh said, "Who has been drinking from my little cup?" 
Then the first one, looking round, saw a hollow in his bed, and 
cried, "Who has been lying on my bed?" And the others came 
running, and cried, "Some one has been on our beds tool" 

But when the seventh looked at his bed, he saw little Snow-white 
lying there asleep. Then he told the others, who came running up, 
crying out in their astonishment, and holding up their seven Httle 
candles to throw a Hght upon Snow-white. 

"O goodnessl O gracious!" cried they, "what beautiful child is 
this?" and were so full of joy to see her that they did not wake her, 
but let her sleep on. And the seventh dwarf slept with his com- 
rades, an hour at a time with each, until the night had passed. 

When it was morning, and Snow-white awoke and saw the seven 
dwarfs, she was very frightened; but they seemed quite friendly, 
and asked her what her name was, and she told them; and then 
they asked how she came to be in their house. And she related to 
them how her step-mother had wished her to be put to death, and 
how the huntsman had spared her life, and how she had run the 
whole day long, until at last she had found their little house. 

Then the dwarfs said, "If you will keep our house for us, and 
cook, and wash, and make the beds, and sew and knit, and keep ev- 
erything tidy and clean, you may stay with us, and you shall lack 

"With all my heart," said Snow-white; and so she stayed, and 
kept the house in good order. In the morning the dwarfs went to 
the mountain to dig for gold; in the evening they came home, and 
their supper had to be readv for them. All the day long the maiden 
was left alone, and the good little dwarfs warned her, saying, "Be- 
ware of your step-mother, she will soon know you are here. Let no 
one into the house." 

Now the Queen, having eaten Snow-white's heart, as she sup- 
posed, felt quite sure that now she was the first and fairest, and so 
she came to her mirror, and said, 

"Looking-glass upon the wall. 
Who is fairest of us all?" 

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs 333 

And the glass answered, 

"Queen, thou art of beauty rare. 
But Snow-white living in the glen 
With the seven little men 
Is a thousand times mxyre fair." 

Then she was very angry, for the glass always spoke the truth, 
and she knew that the huntsman must have deceived her, and that 
Snow-white must still be Hving. And she thought and thought how 
she could manage to make an end of her, for as long as she was not 
the fairest in the land, envy left her no rest. At last she thought of a 
plan; she painted her face and dressed herself like an old peddler 
woman, so that no one would have known her. In this disguise 
she went across the seven mountains, imtil she came to the house of 
the seven Uttle dwarfs, and she knocked at the door and cried, 
"Fine wares to seUI fine wares to selll" 

Snow-white peeped out of the window and cried, "Good-day, 
good woman, what have you to sell?" 

"Good wares, fine wares," answered she, "laces of aU colors"; and 
she held up a piece that was woven of variegated silk. 

"I need not be afraid of letting in this good woman," thought 
Snow-white, and she unbarred the door and bought the pretty lace. 

"What a figure you are, childl" said the old woman, "come and 
let me lace you properly for once." 

Snow-white, suspecting nothing, stood up before her, and let her 
lace her with the new lace; but the old woman laced so quickly and 
tightly that it took Snow-white's breath away, and she fell down as 

"Now you have done with being the fairest," said the old woman 
as she hastened away. 

Not long after that, towards evening, the seven dwarfs came 
home, and were terrified to see their dear Snow-white lying on the 
ground, without life or motion; they raised her up, and when they 
saw how tightly she was laced they cut the lace in two; then she 
began to draw breath, and little by Httle she returned to life. When 
the dwarfs heard what had happened they said, "The old peddler 
woman was no other than the wicked Queen; you must bewEure of 
letting any one in when we are not here I" 

And when the wicked woman got home she went to her glass and 

"Looking-glass against the wall. 
Who is fairest of us allF' 

334 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

And it answered as before, 

"Queen, thou art of beauty rare. 
But Snow-white living in the glen 
With the seven little men 
Is a thousand times more fair." 

When she heard that she was so struck with surprise that all the 
blood left her heart, for she knew that Snow-white must stiU be 

"But now," said she, "I will think of something that wiU be her 
ruin." And by witchcraft she made a poisoned comb. Then she 
dressed herself up to look like another different sort of old woman. 
So she went across the seven mountains and came to the house of 
the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door and cried, "Good wares 
to sell! good wares to seUI" 

Snow-white looked out and said, "Go away, I must not let any- 
body in." 

"But you are not forbidden to look," said the old woman, taking 
out the poisoned comb and holding it up. It pleased the poor child 
so much that she was tempted to open the door; and when the bar- 
gain was made the old woman said, "Now, for once, your hair shall 
be properly combed." 

Poor Snow-white, thinking no harm, let the old woman do as she 
would, but no sooner was the comb put in her hair than the poison 
began to work, and the poor girl fell dov^Ti senseless. 

"Now, you paragon of beauty," said the wicked woman, "this is 
the end of you," and went off. By good luck it was now near eve- 
ning, and the seven little dwarfs came home. When they saw Snow- 
white lying on the ground as dead, they thought directly that it was 
the step-mother's doing, and looked about, found the poisoned 
comb, and no sooner had they drawn it out of her hair than Snow- 
white came to herself, and related all that had passed. Then they 
warned her once more to be on her guard, and never again to let 
any one in at the door. 

And the Queen went home and stood before the looking-glass 
and said, 

"Looking-glass against the wall. 
Who is fairest of us allF' 

And the looking-glass answered as before, 

"Queen, thou art of beauty rare. 
But Snow-white living in the glen 

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs 335 

With the seven little men 

Is a thousand times more fair." 

When she heard the looking-glass speak thus she trembled and 
shook with anger. "Snow-white shall die," cried she, "though it 
should cost me my own lifel" 

And then she went to a secret lonely chamber, where no one was 
likely to come, and there she made a poisonous apple. It was beauti- 
ful to look upon, being white with red cheeks, so that any one who 
should see it must long for it, but whoever ate even a little bit of it 
must die. When the apple was ready she painted her face and 
clothed herself like a peasant woman, and went across the seven 
mountains to where the seven dwarfs hved. And when she knocked 
at the door Snow-white put her head out of the window and said, 
'1 dare not let anybody in; the seven dwarfs told me not to." 

"All right," answered the woman; "I can easily get rid of my 
apples elsewhere. There, I will give you one." 

"No," answered Snow-white, "I dare not take anything." 

"Are you afraid of poison?" said the woman, 'look here, I will cut 
the apple in two pieces; you shall have the red side, I will have the 
white one." 

For the apple was so cunningly made, that all the poison was in 
the rosy half of it. Snow-white longed for the beautiful apple, and 
as she saw the peasant woman eating a piece of it she could no 
longer refrain, but stretched out her hand and took the poisoned 
half. But no sooner had she taken a morsel of it into her mouth than 
she fell to the earth as dead. And the Queen, casting on her a terri- 
ble glance, laughed aloud and cried, "As white as snow, as red as 
blood, as black as ebony! This time the dwarfs will not be able to 
bring you to life again." 

And when she went home and asked the looking-glass, 

"Looking-glass against the wall. 
Who is fairest of us all?" 

at last it answered, "You are the fairest now of all." 

Then her envious heart had peace, as much as an envious heart 
can have. 

The dwarfs, when they came home in the evening, found Snow- 
white lying on the groimd, and there came no breath out of her 
mouth, and she was dead. They lifted her up, sought if anything 
poisonous was to be found, cut her laces, combed her hair, washed 
her with water and wine, but all was of no avail, the poor child was 
dead, and remained dead. Then they laid her on a bier, and sat all 

336 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

seven of them round it, and wept and lamented three whole days. 
And then they would have buried her, but that she looked stiU as if 
she were living, with her beautiful blooming cheeks. 

So they said, "We cannot hide her away in the black ground." 
And they had made a coffin of clear glass, so as to be looked into 
from all sides, and they laid her in it, and wrote in golden letters 
upon it her name, and that she was a King's daughter. Then they 
set the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always 
remained by it to watch. And the birds came too, and mommed for 
Snow-white, first an owl, then a raven, and lastly, a dove. 

Now, for a long while Snow-white lay in the coffin and never 
changed, but looked as if she were asleep, for she was still as white 
as snow, as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony. 

It happened, however, that one day a King's son rode through 
the wood and up to the dwarfs' house, which was near it. He saw 
on the mountain the coffin, and beautiful Snow-white within it, and 
he read what was written in golden letters upon it. Then he said to 
the dwarfs, "Let me have the coffin, and I will give you whatever 
you like to ask for it." 

But the dwarfs told him that they could not part with it for all 
the gold in the world. But he said, '1 beseech you to give it me, for 
I cannot live v^athout looking upon Snow-white; if you consent I 
will bring you to great honor, and care for you as if you were my 

When he so spoke the good little dwarfs had pity upon him and 
gave him the coffin, and the King's son called his servants and bid 
them carry it away on their shoulders. Now it happened that as 
they were going along they stumbled over a bush, and with the 
shaking the bit of poisoned apple flew out of her throat. It was not 
long before she opened her eyes, threw up the cover of the coffin, 
and sat up, ahve and well. 

"Oh dearl where am I?" cried she. The King's son answered, fuU 
of joy, "You are near me," and, relating all that had happened, he 
said, "1 wotJd rather have you than anything in the world; come 
vidth me to my father's castle and you shall be my bride." 

And Snow-white was kind, and went with him, and their wed- 
ding was held with pomp and great splendor. 

But Snow-white's wicked step-mother was also bidden to the 
feast, and when she had dressed herself in beautiful clothes she 
went to her looking-glass and said, 

"Looking-glass upon the wall. 
Who is fairest of us alW 

The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces 337 

Tlie looking-glass answered, 

"O Queen, although you are of beauty rare. 
The young bride is a thousand times more fair." 

Then she railed and cm-sed, and was beside herself with disap- 
pointment and anger. First she thought she would not go to the 
wedding; but then she felt she should have no peace until she went 
and saw the bride. And when she saw her she knew her for Snow- 
white, and could not stir from the place for anger and terror. For 
they had ready red-hot iron shoes, in which she had to dance until 
she fell down dead. 

The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces 

Theee was once upon a time a King who had twelve daughters, 
each one more beautiful than the other. They all slept together in 
one chamber, in which their beds stood side by side, and every 
night when they were in them the King locked the door, and bolted 
it. But in the morning when he unlocked the door, he saw that their 
shoes were worn out with dancing, and no one could find out how 
that had come to pass. Then the King caused it to be proclaimed 
that whosoever could discover where they danced at night, should 
choose one of them for his wiie and be King after his death; but 
that whosoever came forward and had not discovered it within 
three days and nights, should have forfeited his Hfe. 

It was not long before a King's son presented himself, and ofiFered 
to undertake the enterprise. He was well received, and in the eve- 
ning was led into a room adjoining the Princesses' sleeping- 
chamber. His bed was placed there, and he was to observe where 
they went and danced, and in order that they might do nothing 
secretly or go away to some other place, the door of their room was 
left open. 

But the eyelids of the Prince grew heavy as lead, and he fell 
asleep, and when he awoke in the morning, aU twelve had been to 
the dance, for their shoes were standing there with holes in the 
soles. On the second and third nights it fell out just the same, and 
then his head was struck off without mercy. Many others came 
after this and undertook the enterprise, but all forfeited their Hves. 

338 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Now it came to pass that a poor soldier who had a wound, and 
could serve no longer, found himself on the road to the town where 
the King lived. There he met an old woman, who asked him where 
he was going. "I hardly know myself," answered he, and added in 
jest, 'Tl had half a mind to discover where the Princesses danced 
their shoes into holes, and thus become King." "That is not so 
difficult," said the old woman, "you must not drink the wane which 
wiU be brought to you at night, and must pretend to be sound 

With that she gave him a little cloak, and said, "If you put on 
that, you vvdll be invisible, and then you can steal after the twelve." 
When the soldier had received this good advice, he went into the 
thing in earnest, took heart, went to the King, and announced him- 
self as a suitor. He was as well received as the others, and royal 
garments were put upon him. He was conducted that evening at 
bed-time into the ante-chamber, and as he was about to go to bed, 
the eldest came and brought him a cup of wine, but he had tied a 
sponge imder his chin, and let the wine run down into it, without 
drinking a drop. Then he lay down and when he had lain a while, 
he began to snore, as if in the deepest sleep. 

The twelve Princesses heard that, and laughed, and the eldest 
said, "He, too, might as well have saved his life." With that they 
got up, opened wardrobes, presses, cupboards, and brought out 
pretty dresses; dressed themselves before the mirrors, sprang about, 
and rejoiced at the prospect of the dance. Only the youngest said, 
'1 know not how it is; you are very happy, but I feel very strange; 
some misfortune is certainly about to befall us." "You are a goose, 
who is always frightened," said the eldest. "Have you forgotten 
how many Kings' sons have already come here in vain? I had 
hardly any need to give the soldier a sleeping-draught; in any case 
the clown would not have awakened." When they were all ready 
they looked carefully at the soldier, but he had closed his eyes and 
did not move or stir, so they felt themselves quite secure. The eld- 
est then went to her bed and tapped it; it immediately sank into the 
earth, and one after the other they descended through the opening, 
the eldest going first. 

The soldier, who had watched everything, tarried no longer, put 
on his little cloak, and went down last with the youngest. Half-way 
down the steps, he just trod a Uttle on her dress; she was terrified at 
that, and cried out, "What is that? who is pulling at my dress?" 
"Don't be so sillyl" said the eldest, "you have caught it on a nail." 

Then they went all the way down, and when they were at the 

The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces 339 

bottom, they were standing in a wonderfully pretty avenue of trees, 
all the leaves of which were of silver, and shone and glistened. The 
soldier thought, "I must carry a token away with me," and broke 
oflF a twig from one of them, on which the tree cracked with a loud 
report. The youngest cried out again, "Something is wrong, did you 
hear the crack?" But the eldest said, "It is a gun fired for joy, be- 
cause we have got rid of our Prince so quickly." After that they 
came into an avenue where all the leaves were of gold, and lastly 
into a third avenue where they were of bright diamonds. He broke 
off a twig from each, which made such a crack each time that the 
youngest started back in terror, but the eldest still maintained that 
they were salutes. They went on and came to a great lake whereon 
stood twelve little boats, and in every boat sat a handsome Prince, 
all of whom were waiting for the twelve, and each took one of them 
with him, but the soldier seated himself by the youngest. Then her 
Prince said, "I can't tell why the boat is so much heavier today; I 
shall have to row with all my strength, if I am to get it across." 
"What should cause that," said the youngest, "but the warm 
weather? I feel very warm too." On the opposite side of the lake 
stood a splendid, brightly Ht castle, from whence resounded the 
joyous music of trumpets and kettle-drums. They rowed over there, 
entered, and each Prince danced with the girl he loved, but the sol- 
dier danced with them unseen, and when one of them had a cup of 
wine in her hand he drank it up, so that the cup was empty when 
she carried it to her mouth; the youngest was alarmed at this, but 
the eldest always m^de her be silent. 

They danced there till three o'clock in the morning when all the 
shoes were danced into holes, and they were forced to leave off. 
The Princes rowed them back again over the lake, and this time the 
soldier seated himself by the eldest. On the shore they took leave of 
their Princes, and promised to return the following night. When 
they reached the stairs the soldier ran on in front and lay down in 
his bed, and when the twelve had come up slowly and wearily, he 
was already snoring so loudly that they could all hear him, and 
they said, "So far as he is concerned, we are safe." They took off 
their beautiful dresses, laid them away, put the worn-out shoes 
under the bed, and lay down. Next morning the soldier was re- 
solved not to speak, but to watch the wonderful goings on, and 
again went with them. 

Everything was done just as it had been done the first time, and 
each time they danced until their shoes were worn to pieces. But 
the third time he took a cup away with him as a token. When the 

340 Grimin*s Complete Fairy Tales 

hour had arrived for him to give his answer, he took the three twigs 
and the cup, and went to the King, but the twelve stood behind the 
door, and listened for what he was going to say. When the King put 
the question, "Where have my twelve daughters danced their shoes 
to pieces in the night?" he answered, 'In an underground castle 
with twelve Princes," and related how it had come to pass, and 
brought out the tokens. 

The King then summoned his daughters, and asked them if the 
soldier had told the truth, and when they saw that they were be- 
trayed, and that falsehood would be of no avail, they were obliged 
to confess all. Thereupon the King asked which of them he would 
have to wife. He answered, 'T am no longer young, so give me the 
eldest." Then the wedding was celebrated on the self-same day, 
and the kingdom was promised him after the King's death. But the 
Princes were bewitched for as many days as they had danced 
nights with the twelve. 

The Boots of Buffalo Leather 

A SOLDIER who is afraid of nothing, troubles himself about nothing. 
One of this kind had received his discharge, and as he had learnt 
no trade and could earn nothing, he traveled about and begged 
alms of kind people. He had an old water-proof on his back, and a 
pair of riding-boots of buffalo leather which were still left to him. 
One day he was walking, he knew not where, straight out into 
the open cotmtry, and at length came to a forest. He did not know 
where he was, but saw sitting on the trunk of a tree, which had 
been cut down, a man who was well dressed and wore a green 
shooting-coat. The soldier shook hands with him, sat down on the 
grass by his side, and stretched out his legs. "1 see you have good 
boots which are well blacked," said he to the huntsman; "but if you 
had to travel about as I have, they would not last long. Look at 
mine, they are of buffalo leather, and have been worn for a long 
time, but in them I can go through thick and thin." After a while 
the soldier got up and said, "I can stay no longer, hunger drives me 
onwards; but. Brother Bright-boots, where does this road lead to?" 
*T don't know that myseff," answered the huntsman, "I have lost 
my way in the=f orest." "Then you are in the same pHght as I," said 

The Boots of Buffalo Leather 341 

the soldier. "Birds of a feather flock together; let us remain to- 
gether and seek our way." The huntsman smiled a little, and they 
walked on further and further, until night fell. "We do not get out 
of the forest," said the soldier, "but there in the distance I see a 
light shining, which will help us to something to eat." 

They found a stone house, knocked at the door, and an old 
woman opened it. "We are looking for quarters for the night," said 
the soldier, "and some Hning for our stomachs, for mine is as empty 
as an old knapsack." "You cannot stay here," answered the old 
woman. "This is a robber's house, and you would do wisely to get 
away before they come home, or you will be lost." "It won't be so 
bad as that," answered the soldier, "I have not had a mouthful for 
two days, and whether I am murdered here or die of hunger in the 
forest is all the same to me. I shall go in." The huntsman would not 
follow, but the soldier drew him in with him by the sleeve. "Come, 
my dear brother, we shall not come to an end so quickly as that!" 
The old woman had pity on them and said, "Creep in here behind 
the stove, and if they leave anything, I will give it to you on the sly 
when they are asleep." Scarcely were they in the corner before 
twelve robbers came bursting in, seated themselves at the table 
which was aheady laid, and vehemently demanded some food. The 
old woman brought in some great dishes of roast meat, and the rob- 
bers enjoyed that thoroughly. 

When the smell of the food reached the nostrils of the soldier, he 
said to the huntsman, "I cannot hold out any longer, I shall seat 
myself at the table, and eat with them." "You will bring us to de- 
struction," said the huntsman, and held him back by the arm. But 
the soldier began to cough loudly. When the robbers heard that, 
they threw away their knives and forks, leapt up, and discovered 
the two who were behind the stove. "Aha, gentlemen, are you in 
the comer?" cried they, "what are you doing here? Have you been 
sent as spies? Wait a while, and you shall learn how to fly on a dry 
bough." "But do be civil," said the soldier, "I am hungry, give me 
something to eat, and then you can do what you Hke with me." 

The robbers were astonished, and the captain said, "I see that 
you have no fear. Well, you shall have some food, but after that 
you will die." "We shall see," said the soldier, and seated himself at 
the table, and began to cut away valiantly at the roast meat. 
"Brother Bright-boots, come and eat," cried he to the huntsman. 
"You must be as hungry as I am, and cannot have better roast meat 
at home." But the huntsman would not eat. The robbers looked at 

342 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

the soldier in astonishment, and said, "The rascal uses no cere- 

After a while he said, "I have had enough food, now get me 
something good to drink." The captain was in the mood to humor 
him in this also, and called to the old woman, "Bring a bottle out of 
the cellar, and mind it be of the best." The soldier drew the cork 
out with a loud noise, and then went with the bottle to the himts- 
man and said, "Pay attention, brother, and you shall see something 
that will surprise you. I am now going to drink the health of the 
whole clan." Then he brandished the bottle over the heads of the 
robbers, and cried, "Long life to you all, but with your mouths 
open and your right hands lifted up," and then he drank a hearty 
draught. Scarcely were the words said than they all sat motionless 
as if made of stone, and their mouths were open and their right 
hands stretched up in the air. 

The huntsman said to the soldier, "I see that you are acquainted 
with tricks of another kind, but now come and let us go home." 
"Oho, my dear brother, but that would be marching away far too 
soon; we have conquered the enemy, and must first take the booty. 
Those men there are sitting fast, and are opening their mouths with 
astonishment, but they will not be allowed to move until I permit 
them. Come, eat and drink." The old woman had to bring another 
bottle of the best wine, and the soldier would not stir imtil he had 
eaten enough to last for three days. At last when day came, he said, 
"Now it is time to strike our tents, and that our march may be a 
short one, the old woman shall show us the nearest way to the 

When they had arrived there, he went to his old comrades, and 
said, "Out in the forest I have found a nest fuU of gallows' birds, 
come with me and we will take it." The soldier led them, and said 
to the huntsman, "You must go back again with me to see how they 
shake when we seize them by the feet." He placed the men round 
about the robbers, and then he took the bottle, drank a mouthful, 
brandished it above them, and cried, "Live again." Instantly they 
air regained the power of movement, but were thrown down and 
bound hand and foot with cords. Then the soldier ordered them to 
be thrown into a cart as if they had been so many sacks, and said, 
"Now drive them straight to prison." The huntsman, however, took 
one of the men aside and gave him another commission besides. 
"Brother Bright-boots," said the soldier, "we have safely routed the 
enemy and been well fed, now we will quietly walk behind them as 
if we were stragglers!" 

The Six Servants 343 

When they approached the town, the soldier saw a crowd of peo- 
ple pouring through the gate of the town who were raising loud 
cries of joy, and waving green boughs in the air. Then he saw that 
the entire body-guard was coming up. "What can this mean?" said 
he to the huntsman. "Do you not know," he replied, "that the King 
has for a long time been absent from his kingdom, and that today 
he is returning, and every one is going to meet him?" "But where is 
the King?" said the soldier, "I do not see him." "Here he is," an- 
swered the huntsman, "I am the King, and have announced my ar- 
rival." Then he opened his hunting-coat, and his royal garments 
were visible. 

The soldier was alarmed, and fell on his knees and begged him to 
forgive him for having in his ignorance treated him as an equal, 
and spoken to him by such a name. But the King shook hands with 
him, and said, "You are a brave soldier, and have saved my life. 
You shall never again be in want, I will take care of you. And if 
ever you would like to eat a piece of roast meat as good as that in 
the robber's hoiise, come to the royal kitchen. But if you would 
drink a health, you must first ask my permission." 

The Six Servants 

In days of old there lived an aged Queen who was a sorceress, and 
her daughter was the most beautiful maiden under the sun. The old 
woman, however, had no other thought than how to lure mankind 
to destruction, and when a wooer appeared, she said that whoso- 
ever wished to have her daughter, must first perform a task, or die. 
Many had been dazzled by the daughter s beauty, and had actually 
risked this, but they never could accomplish what the old woman 
enjoined them to do, and then no mercy was shown; they had to 
kneel down, and their heads were struck ofiF. 

A certain King's son who had also heard of the maiden's beauty, 
said to his father, "Let me go there, I want to demand her in mar- 
riage." "Never," answered the King; "if you were to go, it would be 
going to your death." On this the son lay down and was sick imto 
death, and for seven years he lay there, and no physician could heal 
him. When the father perceived that all hope was over, with a 
heavy heart he said to him, "Go thither, and try your luck, for I 

344 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

know no other means of curing you." When the son heard that, he 
rose from his bed and was well again, and joyfully set out on his 

It came to pass that as he was riding across a heath, he saw from 
afar something like a great heap of hay lying on the ground, and 
when he drew nearer, he could see that it was the stomach of a 
man, who had laid himself down there, but the stomach looked hke 
a smaU mountain. When the fat man saw the traveler, he stood up 
and said, "If you are in need of any one, take me into yom: service." 
The Prince answered, "What can I do with such a great big man?" 
"Oh," said the Stout One, "this is nothing, when I stretch myself 
out well, I am three thousand times fatter." "If that's the case," said 
the Prince, "I can make use of you, come with me." So the Stout 
One followed the Prince, and after a while they found another man 
who was lying on the ground with his ear laid to the tvirf. "What 
are you doing there?" asked the King's son. "1 am listening," replied 
the man. "What are you hstening to so attentively?" "I am listening 
to what is just going on in the world, for nothing escapes my ears; I 
even hear the grass growing." 'Tell me," said the Prince, "what you 
hear at the court of the old Queen who has the beautiful daughter." 
Then he answered, "I hear the whizzing of the sword that is 
striking off a wooer's head." The King's son said, "I can make use of 
you, come with me." 

They went onwards, and then saw a pair of feet lying and part of 
a pair of legs, but could not see the rest of the body. When they 
had walked on for a great distance, they came to the body, and at 
last to the head also. "Why," said the Prince, "what a taU rascal 
you are!" "Oh," replied the Tall One, "that is nothing at aU yet; 
when I really stretch out my Hmbs, I am three thousand times as 
tall, and taller than the highest mountain on earth. I will gladly 
enter your service, if you will take me." "Come with me," said the 
Prince, "I can make use of you." They went onwards and found a 
man sitting by the road who had bound up his eyes. The Prince 
said to him, "Have you weak eyes, that you cannot look at the 
hght?" "No," replied the man, "but I must not remove the bandage, 
for whatsoever I look at with my eyes, splits to pieces, my glance is 
so powerful. If you can use that, I shall be glad to serve you." 
"Come with me," rephed the King's son, "I can make use of you." 

They journeyed onwards and foimd a man who was lying in the 
hot sunshine, trembling and shivering all over his body, so that not 
a Hmb was still. "How can you shiver when the sun is shining so 
warm?" said the King's son. "Alack," replied the man, '1 am of 

The Six Servants 345 

quite a different nature. The hotter it is, the colder I am, and the 
frost pierces through all my bones; and the colder it is, the hotter I 
am. In the midst of ice, I cannot endure the heat, nor in the midst 
of fire, the cold." "You are a strange fellow!" said the Prince, "but if 
you will enter my service, follow me." 

They traveled onwards, and saw a man standing who made a 
long neck and looked about him, and could see over all the moun- 
tains. "What are you looking at so eagerly?" said the King's son. 
The man replied, "I have such sharp eyes that I can see into every 
forest and field, and hill and valley, all over the world." The Prince 
said, "Come with me if you will, for I am still in want of such an 

Now the King's son and his six servants came to the town where 
the aged Queen dwelt. He did not tell her who he was, but said, 
*Tf you will give me your beautiful daughter, I will perform any 
task you set me." The sorceress was deHghted to get such a hand- 
some youth as this into her net, and said, "I will set you three tasks, 
and if you are able to perform them all, you shall be husband and 
master of my daughter." "What is the first to be?" "You shall fetch 
me my ring which I have dropped into the Red Sea." So the King's 
son went home to his servants and said, "The first task is not easy. 
A ring is to be got out of the Red Sea. Come find some way of 
doing it." Then the man with the sharp sight said, '1 will see where 
it is lying," and looked down into the water and said, "It is sticking 
there, on a pointed stone." The Tall One carried them thither, and 
said, "1 would soon get it out, if I could only see it." "Oh, is that 
all!" cried the Stout One, and lay down and put his mouth to the 
water, on which all the waves fell into it just as if it had been a 
whirlpool, and he drank up the whole sea till it was as dry as a 
meadow. The Tall One stooped down a fittle, and brought out the 
ring with his hand. 

Then the King's son rejoiced when he had the ring, and took it to 
the old Queen. She was astonished, and said, "Yes, it is the right 
ring. You have safely performed the first task, but now comes the 
second. Do you see the meadow in front of my palace? Three hun- 
dred fat oxen are feeding there, and these must you eat, skin, hair, 
bones, horns and all; and down below in my cellar He three hun- 
dred casks of wine, and these you must drink up as well, and if one 
hair of the oxen, or one little diop of the wine is left, your life will 
be forfeited to me." "May I invite no guests to this repast?" in- 
quired the Prince, "no dinner is good without some company." The 

346 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

old woman laughed maliciously, and replied, "You may invite one 
for the sake of companionship, but no more." 

The King's son went to his servants and said to the Stout One, 
"You shall be my guest today, and shall eat your fill." Hereupon the 
Stout One stretched himself out and ate up the three hundred oxen 
without leaving one single hair, and then he asked if he was to have 
nothing but his breakfast. He drank the wine straight from the 
casks without feeling any need of a glass, and he licked the last 
drop from his finger-nails. 

When the meal was over, the Prince went to the old woman, and 
told her that the second task also was performed. She wondered at 
this and said, "No one has ever done so much before, but one task 
still remains," and she thought to herself, "You shall not escape me, 
and will not keep your head on your shoulders! This night," said 
she, "I will bring my daughter to you in yomr chamber, and you 
shall put yom: arms round her, but when you are sitting there to- 
gether, beware of falling asleep. When twelve o'clock is striking, I 
will come, and if she is then no longer in your arms, you are lost.** 
The Prince thought, "The task is easy, I will most certainly keep 
my eyes open." Nevertheless he called his servants, told them what 
the old woman had said, and remarked, "Who knows what treach- 
ery may lurk behind this. Foresight is a good thing— keep watch, 
and take care that the maiden does not go out of my room again." 
When night fell, the old woman came with her daughter, and gave 
her into the Prince's arms, and then the Tall One wound himself 
round the two in a circle, and the Stout One placed himself by the 
door, so that no living creature could enter. There the two sat, and 
the maiden spake never a word, but the moon shone through the 
window on her face, and the Prince could behold her wondrous 
beauty. He did nothing but gaze at her, and was filled with love 
and happiness, and his eyes never felt weary. This lasted until 
eleven o'clock, when the old woman cast such a spell over all of 
them that they fell asleep, and at the self-same moment the maiden 
was carried away. 

Then they all slept soundly until a quarter to twelve, when the 
magic lost its power, and all awoke again. "Oh, misery and misfor- 
tunel" cried the Prince, "now I am lostl" The faithful servants also 
began to lament, but the Listener said, "Be quiet, I want to listen." 
Then he Hstened for an instant and said, "She is on a rock, three 
hundred leagues from hence, bewailing her fate. You alone. Tall 
One, can help her; if you will stand up, you vwll be there in a cou- 
ple of steps." 

The Six Servants 347 

"Yes," answered the Tall One, "but the one with the sharp eyes 
must go with me, that we may destroy the rock." Then the Tall One 
took the one with bandaged eyes on his back, and in the twinlding 
of an eye they were on the enchanted rock. The Tall One immedi- 
ately took the bandage from the other's eyes, and he did but look 
round, and the rock shivered into a thousand pieces. Then the Tall 
One took the maiden in his arms, carried her back in a second, then 
fetched his companion with the same rapidity, and before it struck 
twelve they were all sitting as they had sat before, quite merrily 
and happily. 

When twelve struck, the aged sorceress came stealing in with a 
malicious face, which seemed to say, "Now he is minel" for she 
believed that her daughter was on the rock three hundred leagues 
oflF. But when she saw her in the Prince's arms, she was alarmed, 
and said, "Here is one who knows more than I do!" She dared not 
make any opposition, and was forced to give him her daughter. But 
she whispered in her ear, *lt is a disgrace to you to have to obey 
common people, and that you are not allowed to choose a husband 
to your own hking." 

At this the proud heart of the maiden was filled with anger, and 
she meditated revenge. Next morning she caused three hundred 
great bundles of wood to be got together, and said to the Prince 
that though the three tasks were performed, she would still not be 
his wife until some one was ready to seat himself in the midst of 
the wood, and bear the fire. She thought that none of his servants 
would let themselves be burnt for him, and that out of love for her, 
he himself would place himself upon it, and then she would be 
free. But the servants said, "Every one of us has done something 
except the Frosty One, he must set to work," and they put him in 
the middle of the pile, and set fire to it. Then the fire began to 
bum, and burnt for three days until all the wood was consumed, 
and when the flames had burnt out, the Frosty One was standing 
amid the ashes, trembling like an aspen leaf, and saying, "I never 
felt such a frost during the whole course of my fife; if it had lasted 
much longer, I should have been benumbed!" 

As no other pretext was to be found, the beautiful maiden was 
now forced to take the unknown youth as a husband. But when 
they drove away to church, the old woman said, "I cannot endure 
the disgrace," and sent her warriors after them with orders to cut 
down all who opposed them, and bring back her daughter. But the 
Listener had sharpened his ears, and heard the secret discourse of 
the old woman. "What shall we do?" said he to the Stout One. But 

348 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

he knew what to do, and spat out once or twice behind the carriage 
some of the sea-water which he had drunk, and a great sea arose in 
which the warriors were caught and drowned. When the sorceress 
perceived that, she sent her mailed knights; but the Listener heard 
the rattling of their armor, and undid the bandage from one eye of 
Sharp-eyes, who looked for a while rather fixedly at the enemy's 
troops, on which they all sprang to pieces like glass. Then the youth 
and the maiden went on their way undisturbed, and when the two 
had been blessed in church, the six servants took leave, and said to 
their master, "Your wishes are now satisfied, you need us no longer, 
we will go our way and seek our fortunes." 

Half a league from the palace of the Prince's father was a village 
near which a swineherd tended his herd, and when they came 
thither the Prince said to his wife, "Do you know who I really am? 
I am no Prince, but a herder of swine, and the man who is there 
with that herd is my father. We two shall have to set to work also, 
and help him." Then he alighted with her at the inn, and secretly 
told the innkeepers to take away her royal apparel during the night. 
So when she awoke in the morning, she had nothing to put on, and 
the innkeeper's wife gave her an old govm and a pair of worsted 
stockings, and at the same time seemed to consider it a great pres- 
ent, and said, "If it were not for the sake of your husband I should 
have given you nothing at alll" Then the Princess believed that he 
really was a swineherd, and tended the herd vnth him, and thought 
to herself, '1 have deserved this for my haughtiness and pride." 
This lasted for a week, and then she could endure it no longer, for 
she had sores on her feet. And now came a couple of people who 
asked if she knew who her husband was. "Yes," she answered, "he 
is a swineherd, and has just gone out with cords and ropes to try to 
drive a Ifttle bargain." But tiiey said, "Just come with us, and we 
will take you to him," and they took her to the palace, and when 
she entered the hall, there stood her husband in kingly raiment. But 
she did not recognize him until he took her in his arms, kissed her, 
and said, "I suffered much for you, and now you, too, have had to 
suffer for me." 

Then the wedding was celebrated. And he who has told you all 
this, vidshes that he, too, had been present at it. 

Six Soldiers of Fortune 

There was once a man who was a Jack-of-all-trades. He had served 
in the war, and had been brave and bold, but at the end of it he 
was sent about his business, with three farthings and his discharge. 

"I am not going to stand this," said he. "Wait till I find the right 
man to help me, and the Eang shall give me all the treasures of his 
kingdom before he has done with me." 

Then, full of wrath, he went into the forest, and he saw one 
standing there by six trees which he had rooted up as if they had 
been stalks of com. And he said to him, "Will you be my man, and 
come along with me?" 

"All right," answered he. "I must just take this bit of wood home 
to my father and mother." And taking one of the trees, he bound it 
round the other five, and putting the faggot on his shoulder, he 
carried it off; then soon coming back, he went along with his 
leader, who said, "Two such as we can stand against the whole 

And when they had gone on a little while, they came to a hunts- 
man who was kneeling on one knee and taking careful aim with his 

"Huntsman," said the leader, "what are you aiming at?" "Two 
miles from here," answered he, "there sits a fly on the bough of an 
oak tree, I mean to put a bullet into its left eye." "Oh, come along 
with me," said the leader; "three of us together can stand against 
the world." 

The huntsman was quite willing to go with him, and so they 
went on till they came to seven windmills, whose sails were going 
round briskly, and yet there was no wind blowing from any quar- 
ter, and not a leaf stirred. 

"Well," said the leader, "I cannot think what ails the windmills, 
turning without wind"; and he went on with his followers about 
two miles farther, and then they came to a man sitting up in a tree, 
holding one nostril and blowing with the other. 

"Now then," said the leader, "what are you doing up there?" 
"Two miles from here," answered he, "there are seven windmills; I 
am blowing, and they are going round." "Oh, go with me," cried 
the leader, "foiu* of us together can stand against the world." 

350 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

So the blower got down and went with them, and after a time 
they came to a man standing on one leg, and the other had been 
taken off and was lying near him. 

''You seem to have got a handy way of resting yourself," said the 
leader to the man. "I am a runner," answered he, "and in order to 
keep myself from going too fast I have taken off a leg, for when I 
run with both, I go faster than a bird can fly." "Oh, go with me," 
cried the leader, "five of us together may well stand against the 

So he went with them all together, and it was not long before 
they met a man with a little hat on, and he wore it just over one 

"Mannersl mannersl" said the leader; "with your hat like that, 
you look like a jack-fool." "I dare not put it straight," answered the 
other; "if I did, there would be such a terrible frost that the very 
birds would be frozen and fall dead from the sky to the ground." 
"Oh, come with me," said the leader; "we six together may well 
stand against the whole world." 

So the six went on until they came to a town where the King 
had caused it to be made known that whoever would run a race 
with his daughter and win it might become her husband, but that 
whoever lost must lose his head into the bargain. And the leader 
came forward and said one of his men should run for him. 

"Then," said the King, "his Ufe too must be put in pledge, and if 
he fails, his head and yours too must fall." 

When this was quite settled and agreed upon, the leader called 
the runner, and strapped his second leg on to him. "Now, look out," 
said he, "and take care that we win." 

It had been agreed that the one who should bring water first 
from a far distant brook should be accounted winner. Now the 
King's daughter and the runner each took a pitcher, and they 
started both at the same time; but in one moment, when the King's 
daughter had gone but a very Httle way, the runner was out of 
sight, for his running was as if the wind rushed by. In a short time 
he reached the brook, filled his pitcher full of water, and turned 
back again. About half-way home, however, he was overcome with 
weariness, and setting down his pitcher, he lay down on the ground 
to sleep. But in order to awaken soon again by not lying too soft 
he had taken a horse's skull which lay near and placed it under his 
head for a pillow. In the meanwhile the King's daughter, who really 
was a good runner, good enough to beat an ordinary man, had 

Six Soldiers of Fortune 351 

reached the brook, and filled her pitcher, and was hastening with it 
back again, when she saw the runner lying asleep. 

"The day is mine," said she with much joy, and she emptied his 
pitcher and hastened on. And now all had been lost but for the 
huntsman who was standing on the castle wall, and with his keen 
eyes saw all that happened. 

"We must not be outdone by the King's daughter," said he, and 
he loaded his rifle and took so good an aim that he shot the horse's 
skull from under the runner's head without doing him any harm. 
And the rmmer awoke and jumped up, and saw his pitcher stand- 
ing empty and the King's daughter far on her way home. But, not 
losing courage, he ran swiftly to the brook, filled it again with 
water, and for all that, he got home ten minutes before the King's 

"Look you," said he; "this is the first time I have really stretched 
my legs; before it was not worth the name of running." 

The King was vexed, and his daughter yet more so, that she 
should be beaten by a discharged common soldier; and they took 
counsel together how they might rid themselves of him and of his 
companions at the same time. 

"I have a plan," said the King; "do not fear but that we shall be 
quit of them forever." Then he went out to the men and bade them 
to feast and be merry and eat and drink; and he led them into a 
room, which had a floor of iron, and the doors were iron, the win- 
dows had iron frames and bolts; in the room was a table set out 
with costly food. "Now, go in there and make yourselves comfort- 
able," said the King. 

And when they had gone in, he had the door locked and bolted. 
Then he called the cook, and told him to make a big fire under- 
neath the room, so that the iron floor of it should be red hot. And 
the cook did so, and the six men began to feel the room growing 
very warm, by reason, as they thought at first, of the good dinner; 
but as the heat grew greater and greater, and they foimd the doors 
and windows fastened, they began to think it was an evil plan of 
the King's to suffocate them. 

"He shall not succeed, however," said the man with the little hat; 
"I will bring on a frost that shall make the fire feel ashamed of it- 
self, and creep out of the way." 

So he set his hat straight on his head, and immediately there 
came such a frost that all the heat passed away and the food froze 
in the dishes. After an hour or two had passed, and the King 
thought they must have all perished in the heat, he caused the door 

352 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

to be opened, and went himself to see how they fared. And when 
the door flew back, there they were all six quite safe and sound, 
and they said they were quite ready to come out, so that they might 
warm themselves, for the great cold of that room had caused the 
food to freeze in the dishes. 

Full of wrath, the King went to the cook and scolded him, and 
asked why he had not done as he was ordered. "It is hot enough 
there, you may see for yourself," answered the cook. And the King 
looked and saw an immense fire burning underneath the room of 
iron, and he began to think that the six men were not to be got rid 
of in that way. And he thought of a new plan by which it might be 
managed, so he sent for the leader and said to him, "If you wiU 
give up your right to my daughter, and take gold instead, you may 
have as much as you like." 

"Certainly, my lord King," answered the man; "let me have as 
much gold as my servant can carry, and I give up all claim to your 
daughter." And the King agreed that he should come again in a 
fortnight to fetch the gold. The man then called together all the tai- 
lors in the kingdom, and set them to work to make a sack, and it 
took them a fortnight. And when it was ready, the strong man who 
had been found rooting up trees took it on his shoulder, and went 
to the King. 

"Who is this immense fellow carrying on his shoulder a bundle 
of stuff as big as a house?" cried the King, terrified to think how 
much gold he would carry off. And a ton of gold was dragged in by 
sixteen strong men, but he put it all into the sack with one hand, 
saying, "Why don't you bring some more? this hardly covers the 
bottom!" So the King bade them fetch by degrees the whole of his 
treasure, and even then the sack was not half full. 

"Bring morel" cried the man; "these few scraps go no way at 
all!" Then at last seven thousand wagons laden with gold collected 
through the whole kingdom were driven up; and he threw them in 
his sack, oxen and all. "I wiU not look too closely," said he, "but 
take what I can get, so long as the sack is full." And when all was 
put in there was still plenty of room. "I must make an end of this," 
he said; "if it is not full, it is so much the easier to tie up." And he 
hoisted it on his back, and went off with his comrades. 

When the King saw all the wealth of his reahn carried off by a 
single man he was full of wrath, and he bade his cavalry mount and 
follow after the six men, and take the sack away from the strong 
man. Two regiments were soon up to them, and called them to con- 

The Two Travelers 353 

sider themselves prisoners, and to deliver up the sack, or be cut in 

"Prisoners, say you?" said the man who could blow, "suppose 
you first have a little dance together in the air," and holding one 
nostril, and blowing through the other, he sent the regiments flying 
head over heels, over the hills and far away. But a sergeant who 
had nine wounds and was a brave fellow, begged not to be put to 
so much shame. And the blower let him down easily, so that he 
came to no harm, and he bade him go to the King and tell him that 
whatever regiments he liked to send more should be blown away 
just the same. And the King, when he got the message, said, "Let 
the fellows be; they have some right on their side." So the six com- 
rades carried home their treasure, divided it among them, and Hved 
contented till they died. 

The Two Travelers 

A SHOEMAKER and'k tailor once met with each other in their travels. 
The tailor was a handsome httle fellow who was always merry and 
full of enjoyment. He saw the shoemaker coming towards him from 
the other side, and as he observed by his bag what kind of a trade 
he plied, he sang a little mocking song to him: 

"Sew me the seam. 
Draw me the thread. 
Spread it over with pitch. 
Knock the nail on the head." 

The shoemaker, however, could not endure a joke. He pulled a 
face as if he had drunk vinegar, and made a gesture as if he were 
about to seize the tailor by the throat. But the httle feUow began to 
laugh, reached him his bottle, and said, "No harm was meant, take 
a drink, and swallow thy anger down." The shoemaker took a very 
hearty drink, and the storm on his face began to clear away. He 
gave the bottle back to the tailor, and said, "I spoke civilly to thee; 
one speaks well after much drinking, but not after much thirst. 
Shall we travel together?" "All right," answered the tailor, "if only 
it suits thee to go into a big town where there is no lack of work." 
"That is just where I want to go," answered the shoemaker. "In a 

354 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

small nest there is nothing to earn, and in the country, people like 
to go barefoot." They traveled therefore onwards together, and al- 
ways set one foot before the other like a weasel in the snow. 

Both of them had time enough, but httle to bite and to break. 
When they reached a town they went about and paid their respects 
to the tradesmen, and because the tailor looked so lively and merry, 
and had such pretty red cheeks, every one gave him work wiUingly, 
and when luck was good the master's daughters gave him a Idss be- 
neath the porch, as well. When he again fell in with the shoemaker, 
the tailor had always the most in his bimdle. The ill-tempered shoe- 
maker made a wry face, and thought, "The greater the rascal the 
more the luck," but the tailor began to laugh and to sing, and 
shared aU he got with his comrade. If a couple of pence jingled in 
his pockets, he ordered good cheer, and thumped the table in his 
joy till the glasses danced, and it was lightly come, Hghtly go, with 

When they had traveled for some time, they came to a great for- 
est through which passed the road to the capital. Two footpaths, 
however, led through it, one of which was a seven days' journey, 
and the other only two, but neither of the travelers knew which 
way was the short one. They seated themselves beneath an oak 
tree, and took counsel together how they should forecast, and for 
how many days they should provide themselves with bread. The 
shoemaker said, "One must look before one leaps, I will take with 
me bread for a week." "Whatl" said the tailor, "drag bread for 
seven days on one's back like a beast of burden, and not be able to 
look about. I shall trust in God, and not trouble myself about any- 
thing! The money I have in my pocket is as good in summer as in 
winter, but in hot weather bread gets dry, and moldy into the bar- 
gain; even my coat does not go as far as it might. Besides, why 
should we not find the right way? Bread for two days, and that's 
enough." Each, therefore, bought his own bread, and then they 
tried their luck in the forest. 

It was as quiet there as in a church. No wind stirred, no brook 
murmured, no bird sang, and through the thickly leaved branches 
no sunbeam forced its way. The shoemaker spoke never a word, the 
heavy bread weighed down his back until the perspiration 
streamed down his cross and gloomy face. The tailor, however, was 
quite merry, he jumped about, whistled on a leaf, or sang a song, 
and thought to himself, "God in Heaven must be pleased to see me 
so happy." 

This lasted two days, but on the third the forest would not come 

The Two Travelers 355 

to an end, and the tailor had eaten up all his bread, so after all his 
heart sank down a yard deeper. In the meantime he did not lose 
corn-age, but relied on God and on his luck. On the third day he lay 
down in the evening, hungry, under a tree, and rose again next 
morning hungry still; so also passed the fourth day, and when the 
shoemaker seated himself on a fallen tree and devoured his dinner, 
the tailor was only a looker-on. If he begged for a little piece of 
bread the other laughed mockingly, and said, "Thou hast always 
been so merry, now thou canst try for once what it is to be sad: the 
birds which sing too early in the morning are struck by the hawk in 
the evening," in short he was pitiless. But on the fifth morning the 
poor tailor could no longer stand up, and was hardly able to utter 
one word for weakness; his cheeks were white, and his eyes red. 
Then the shoemaker said to him, "I will give thee a bit of bread 
today, but in return for it, I will put out thy right eye." The un- 
happy tailor who still wished to save his Ufe, could not do it in any 
other way; he wept once more with both eyes, and then held them 
out, and the shoemaker, who had a heart of stone, put out his right 
eye with a sharp knife. The tailor remembered what his mother had 
formerly said to him when he had been eating secretly in the pan- 
try. "Eat what one can, and suffer what one must." 

When he had consumed his dearly bought bread, he got on his 
legs again, forgot his misery and comforted himself with the 
thought that he could always see enough with one eye. But on the 
sixth day, hunger made itself felt again, and gnawed him almost to 
the heart. In the evening he fell down by a tree, and on the seventh 
morning he could not raise himself up for faintness, and death was 
close at hand. Then said the shoemaker, "1 will show mercy and 
give thee bread once more, but thou shalt not have it for nothing, I 
shall put out thy other eye for it." 

And now the tailor felt how thoughtless his life had been, prayed 
to God for forgiveness, and said, "Do what thou wilt, I will bear 
what I must, but remember that our Lord God does not always 
look on passively, and that an hour wiU come when the evil deed 
which thou hast done to me, and which I have not deserved of 
thee, will be requited. When times were good with me, I shared 
what I had with thee. My trade is of that kind that each stitch must 
always be exactly like the other. If I no longer have my eyes and 
can sew no more I must go a-begging. At any rate do not leave me 
here alone when I am bUnd, or I shall die of hunger." The shoe- 
maker, however, who had driven God out of his heart, took the 

356 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

knife and put out his left eye. Then he gave him a bit of bread to 
eat, held out a stick to him, and drew him on behind him. 

When the sun went down, they got out of the forest, and before 
them in the open country stood the gallows. Thither the shoemaker 
guided the blind tailor, and then left him alone and went his way. 
Weariness, pain, and hunger made the wretched man fall asleep, 
and he slept the whole night. When day dawned he awoke, but 
knew not where he lay. Two poor sinners were hanging on the gal- 
lows, and a crow sat on the head of each of them. Then one of the 
men who had been hanged began to speak, and said, "Brother, art 
thou awake?" "Yes, I am awake," answered the second. "Then I 
will tell thee something," said the first; "the dew which this night 
has fallen down over us from the gallows, gives every one who 
washes himself with it his eyes again. If bHnd people did but know 
this how many would regain their sight who do not believe that to 
be possible." 

When the tailor heard that, he took his pocket-handkerchief, 
pressed it on the grass, and when it was moist with dew, washed 
the sockets of his eyes with it. Immediately was fulfilled what the 
man on the gallows had said, and a couple of healthy new eyes 
filled the sockets. It was not long before the tailor saw the sun rise 
behind the mountains; in the plain before him lay the great royal 
city with its magnificent gates and hundred towers, and the golden 
balk and crosses which were on the spires began to shine. He could 
distinguish every leaf on the trees, saw the birds which flew past, 
and the midges which danced in the air. He took a needle out of 
his pocket, and as he could thread it as well as ever he had done, 
his heart danced with delight. He threw himself on his knees, 
thanked God for the mercy he had shown him, and said his morn- 
ing prayer. He did not forget also to pray for the poor sinners who 
were hanging there swinging against each other in the wind like 
the pendulums of clocks. Then he took his bundle on his back and 
soon forgot the pain of heart he had endured, and went on his way 
singing and whistling. 

The fijrst thing he met was a brown foal running about the fields 
at large. He caught it by the mane, and wanted to spring on it and 
ride into the town. The foal, however, begged to be set free. "I am 
still too young," it said, "even a light tailor such as thou art would 
break my back in two— let me go till I have grown strong. A time 
may perhaps come when I may reward thee for it." "Run off," said 
the tailor, "I see thou art stiU a giddy thing." He gave it a touch 
with a switch over its back, whereupon it kicked up its hind legs for 

The Two Travelers 357 

joy, leapt over hedges and ditches, and galloped away, far out into 
the open country. 

But the little tailor had eaten nothing since the day before. "The 
sun to be sure fills my eyes," said he, "but the bread does not fill 
my mouth. The first thing that comes across me and is even half 
eatable will have to suffer for it." In the meantime a stork stepped 
solemnly over the meadow towards him. "Halt, halt!" cried the tai- 
lor, and seized him by the leg; '1 don't know if thou art good to eat 
or not, but my hunger leaves me no great choice. I must cut thy 
head off, and roast thee." 'T)on't do that," repKed the stork; "I am a 
sacred bird which brings mankind great profit, and no one does me 
an injury. Leave me my Hfe, and I may do thee good in some other 
way." 'Well, be off. Cousin Longlegs," said the tailor. The stork 
rose up, let its long legs hang down, and flew gently away. 

"What's to be the end of this?" said the tailor to himself at last, 
"my himger grows greater and greater, and my stomach more and 
more empty. Whatsoever comes in my way now is lost." At this mo- 
ment he saw a couple of young ducks which were on a pond come 
swimming towards him. "You come just at the right moment," said 
he, and laid hold of one of them and was about to wring its neck. 
On this an old duck which was hidden among the reeds, began to 
scream loudly, and swam to him with open beak, and begged him 
urgently to spare her dear children. "Canst thou not imagine," said 
she, "how thy mother would mourn if any one wanted to carry thee 
off, and give thee thy finishing stroke?" "Only be qmet," said the 
good-tempered tailor, "thou shalt keep thy children," and put the 
prisoner back into the water. 

When he turned round, he was standing in front of an old tree 
which was partly hollow, and saw some wild bees flying in and out 
of it. "There I shall at once find the reward of my good deed," said 
the tailor, "the honey will refresh me." But the Queen-bee came 
out, threatened him and said, "If thou touchest my people, and de- 
stroyeth my nest, our stings shall pierce thy sldn like ten thousand 
red-hot needles. But if thou wilt leave us in peace and go thy way, 
we will do thee a service for it another time." 

The Httle tailor saw that here also nothing was to be done. 
"Three dishes empty and nothing on the fourth is a bad dinnerl" 
He dragged himseff therefore with his starved-out stomach into the 
town, and as it was just striking twelve, all was ready-cooked for 
him in the inn, and he was able to sit down at once to dinner. 
When he was satisfied he said, "Now I will get to work." He went 
round the town, sought a master, and soon found a good situation. 

358 GrimrrCs Complete Fairy Tales 

As, however, he had thoroughly learnt his trade, it was not long 
before he became famous, and every one wanted to have his new 
coat made by the little tailor, whose importance increased daily. 1 
can go no further in sldll," said he, "and yet things improve every 
day." At last the King appointed him court-tailor. 

But how things do happen in the worldl On the very same day 
his former comrade, the shoemaker, also became court-shoemaker. 
When the latter caught sight of the tailor, and saw that he had once 
more two healthy eyes, his conscience troubled him. "Before he 
takes revenge on me," thought he to himself, "I must dig a pit for 
him." He, however, who digs a pit for another, falls into it himself. 
In the evening when work was over and it had grown dusk, he stole 
to the King and said, 'Xord King, the tailor is an arrogant fellow 
and has boasted that he will get the gold crown back again which 
was lost in ancient times." "That would please me very much," said 
the King, and he caused the tailor to be brought before him next 
morning, and ordered him to get the crown back again, or to leave 
the town forever. "Ohol" thought the tailor, "a rogue gives more 
than he has got. If the surly King wants me to do what can be done 
by no one, I will not wait till morning, but wiH go out of the town 
at once, today." 

He packed up his bimdle, therefore, but when he was without 
the gate he could not help being sorry to give up his good fortune, 
and turn his back on the town in which all had gone so well with 
him. He came to the pond where he had made the acquaintance of 
the ducks; at that very moment the old one whose yoimg ones he 
had spared, was sitting there by the shore, pluming herself with her 
beak. She knew him again instantly, and asked why he was hanging 
his head so. "Thou wilt not be surprised when thou hearest what 
has befallen me," replied the tailor, and told her his fate. "If that 
be aU," said the duck, "we can help thee. The crown fell into the 
water, and lies down below at the bottom; we will soon bring it up 
again for thee. In the meantime just spread out thy handkerchief on 
the bank." She dived down with her twelve young ones, and in five 
minutes she was up again and sat with the crown resting on her 
wings, and the twelve young ones were swimming round about and 
had put their beaks under it, and were helping to carry it. They 
swam to the shore and put the crown on the handkerchief. No one 
can imagine how magnificent the crown was; when the sun shone 
on it, it gleamed Hke a hundred thousand carbuncles. The tailor 
tied his handkerchief together by the foiu: comers, and carried it to 

The Two Travelers 359 

the King, who was full of joy, and put a gold chain round the tai- 
lor's neck. 

When the shoemaker saw that one stroke had failed, he contrived 
a second, and went to the King and said, 'Xord King, the tailor has 
become insolent again; he boasts that he will copy in wax the 
whole of the royal palace, with everything that pertains to it, loose 
or fast, inside and out." The King sent for the tailor and ordered him 
to copy in wax the whole of the royal palace, with everything that 
pertained to it, movable or inuiiovable, within and without, and if 
he did not succeed in doing this, if so much as one nail on the wall 
were wanting, he should be imprisoned for his whole life under 

The tailor thought, 'It gets worse and worse! No one can endure 
thatl" and threw his bundle on his back, and went forth. When he 
came to the hollow tree, he sat down and hung his head. The bees 
came flying out, and the Queen-bee asked him if he had a stiff 
neck, since he held his head so awry. "Alas, no," answered the tai- 
lor, "something quite different weighs me down," and he told her 
what the King had demanded of him. The bees began to buzz and 
hum among themselves, and the Queen-bee said, "Just go home 
again, but come back tomorrow at this time, and bring a large sheet 
vidth thee, and then all will be well." So he turned back again, but 
the bees flew to the royal palace and straight into it through the 
open windows, crept round about into every comer, and inspected 
everything most carefully. Then they hurried back and modeled the 
palace in wax with such rapidity that any one looking on would 
have thought it was growing before his eyes. By the evening all was 
ready, and when the tailor came next morning, the whole of the 
splendid building was there, and not one nail in the wall or tile of 
the roof was wanting, and it was delicate withal, and white as 
snow, and smelt sweet as honey. The tailor wrapped it carefully in 
his cloth and took it to the King, who could not admire it enough, 
placed it in his largest haU, and in return for it presented the tailor 
with a large stone house. 

The shoemaker, however, did not give up, but went for the third 
time to the King and said, "Lord King, it has come to the tailor's 
ears that no water will spring up in the court-yard of the castle, and 
he has boasted that it shall rise up in the midst of the court-yard to 
a man's height and be clear as crystal." Then the King ordered the 
tailor to be brought before him and said, "If a stream of water does 
not rise in my court-yard by tomorrow as thou hast promised, the 
executioner shall in that very place make thee shorter by the head." 

360 Grimm*s Complete Fairy Tales 

The poor tailor did not take long to think about it, but hiuried 
out to the gate, and because this time it was a matter of life and 
death to him, tears rolled down his face. While he was thus going 
forth fuU of sorrow, the foal to which he had formerly given its 
Hberty, and which had now become a beautiful chestnut horse, 
came leaping towards him. "The time has come," it said to the tai- 
lor, "when I can repay thee for thy good deed. I know already 
what is needful to thee, but thou shalt soon have help; get on me, 
my back can carry two such as thou." The tailor's courage came 
back to him; he jiunped up in one bound, and the horse went full 
speed into the town, and right up to the court-yard of the castle. It 
galloped as quick as lightning thrice round it, and at the third time 
it fell violently down. At the same instant, however, there was a 
terrific clap of thunder, a fragment of earth in the middle of the 
comt-yard sprang like a cannon-ball into the air, and over the cas- 
tle, and directly after it a jet of water rose as high as a man on 
horseback, and the water was as pure as crystal, and the sunbeams 
began to dance on it. When the King saw that he arose in amaze- 
ment, and went and embraced the tailor in the sight of aU men. 

But good fortune did not last long. The King had daughters in 
plenty, one prettier than the other, but he had no son. So the mali- 
cious shoemaker betook himself for the fourth time to the King, and 
said, *Xord King, the tailor has not given up his arrogance. He has 
now boasted that if he liked, he could cause a son to be brought to 
the Lord King through the air." The King commanded the tailor to 
be summoned, and said, *Tf thou causest a son to be brought to me 
within nine days, thou shalt have my eldest daughter to wife." 
"The reward is indeed great," thought the little tailor; "one would 
willingly do something for it, but the cherries grow too high for me, 
if I cHmb for them, the bough will break beneath me, and I shall 

He went home, seated himself cross-legged on his work-table, 
and thought what was to be done. "It can't be managed," cried he 
at last, "I will go away; after all I can't live in peace here." He tied 
up his bundle and hurried away to the gate. When he got to the 
meadow, he perceived his old friend the stork, who was walking 
backwards and forwards like a philosopher. Sometimes he stood 
still, took a frog into close consideration, and at length swallowed it 
down. The stork came to him and greeted him. "I see," he began, 
"that thou hast thy pack on thy back. Why art thou leaving the 
town?" The tailor told him what the King had required of him, and 
how he could not perform it, and lamented his misfortune. "Don't 

The Ear of Corn 361 

let thy hair grow gray about that," said the stork, '1 will help thee 
out of thy diflBculty. For a long time now, I have carried the chil- 
dren in swaddling-clothes into the town, so for once in a way I can 
fetch a little Prince out of the well. Go home and be easy. In nine 
days from this time repair to the royal palace, and there will I 

The httle tailor went home, and at the appointed time was at the 
castle. It was not long before the stork came flying thither and 
tapped at the window. The tailor opened it, and Cousin Longlegs 
came carefully in, and walked with solenm steps over the smooth 
marble pavement He had, however, a baby in his beak that was as 
lovely as an angel, and stretched out its little hands to the Queen. 
The stork laid it in her lap, and she caressed it and kissed it, and 
was beside herself with dehght. Before the stork flew away, he took 
his traveling bag off his back and handed it over to the Queen. In it 
there were little paper parcels with colored sweetmeats, and they 
were divided among the httle Princesses. The eldest, however, had 
none of them, but got the merry tailor for a husband. "It seems to 
me," said he, "just as if I had won the highest prize. My mother 
was right after all, she always said that whoever trusts in God and 
only has good luck, can never fail." 

The shoemaker had to make the shoes in which the Httle tailor 
danced at the wedding festival, after which he was commanded to 
quit the town forever. The road to the forest led him to the gallows. 
Worn out with anger, rage, and the heat of the day, he threw him- 
self down. When he had closed his eyes and was about to sleep, the 
two crows flew down from the heads of the men who were hanging 
there, and pecked his eyes out. In his madness he ran into the forest 
and must have died there of hunger, for no one has ever either seen 
him again or heard of him. 

The Ear of Corn 

In former times, when God himself still walked the earth, the 
fruitfulness of the soil was much greater than it is now; then, the 
ears of com did not bear fifty or sixty, but foiu- or five hundred- 
fold. Then the com grew from the bottom to the very top of the 
stalk, and according to the length of the stalk was the length of the 

362 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ear. Men however are so made, that when they are too well oflE they 
no longer value the blessings which come from God, but grow 
indifferent and careless. 

One day a woman was passing by a corn-field when her little 
child, who was running beside her, fell into a puddle, and dirtied 
her frock. On this the mother tore up a handful of the beautiful 
ears of com, and cleaned the frock with them. 

When the Lord, who just then came by, saw that, he was angry, 
and said, "Henceforth shall the stalks of com bear no more ears; 
men are no longer worthy of heavenly gifts." The by-standers who 
heard this, were terrified, and fell on their knees and prayed that he 
would still leave something on the stalks, even if the people were 
undeserving of it, for the sake of the innocent birds which would 
otherwise have to starve. The Lord, who foresaw their suffering, 
had pity on them, and granted the request. So the ears were left as 
they now grow. 

The Aged Mother 

In a large town there was an old woman who sat in the evening 
alone in her room thinking how she had lost Gist her husband, then 
both her children, then, one by one, all her relations, and at length, 
that very day, her last friend; and now she was quite alone and des- 
olate. She was very sad at heart, and heaviest of aU her losses to her 
was that of her sons, and in her pain she blamed God for it. 

She was Still sitting lost in thought, when all at once she heard 
the bells ringing for early prayer. She was surprised that she had 
thus in her sorrow watched through the whole night, and lighted 
her lantern and went to chiu-ch. It was already Ughted up when she 
arrived, but not as it usually was with wax candles, but with a dim 
light. It was also crowded already with people, and all the seats 
were filled; and when the old woman got to her usual place it also 
was not empty, but the whole bench was entirely fuU. And when 
she looked at the people, they were none other than her dead rela- 
tions who were sitting there in their old-fashioned garments, but 
with pale faces. They neither spoke nor sang; but a soft himiming 
and whispering was heard all over the church. Then an aunt of hers 

The Hazel Branch 363 

stood up, stepped forward, and said to the poor old woman, *Xook 
there beside the altar, and you will see your sons." The old woman 
looked there and saw her two children, one hanging on the gallows, 
the other bound to the wheel. Then sEiid the aunt, "Behold, so 
would it have been with them if they had Uved, and if the good 
God had not taken them to Himself when they were innocent chil- 

The old woman went trembhng home, and on her knees thanked 
God for having dealt with her more kindly than she had been able 
to understand, and on the third day she lay down and died. 

The Hazel Branch 

One afternoon the Christ-child had laid himself in his cradle-bed 
and had fallen asleep. Then his mother came to him, looked at him 
full of gladness, and said, "Hast thou laid thyself down to sleep, 
my child? Sleep sweetly, and in the meantime I v^ill go into the 
wood, and fetch thee a handful of strawberries, for I know that 
thou wilt be pleased with them when thou awakest." In the wood 
outside, she found a spot with the most beautiful strawberries; but 
as she was stooping down to gather one, an adder sprang up out of 
the grass. She was alarmed, left the strawberries where they were, 
and hastened away. The adder darted after her; but Our Lady, as 
you can readily understand, knew what it was best to do. She hid 
herself behind a hazel bush, and stood there imtil the adder had 
crept away again. Then she gathered the strawberries, and as she 
set out on her way home she said, "As the hazel bush has been my 
protection this time, it shall in futLue protect others also." There- 
fore, from the most remote times, a green hazel branch has been 
the safest protection against adders, snakes, and everything else 
which creeps on the earth. 

The Old Grandfather's Corner 

Once upon a time there was a very old man who lived with his son 
and daughter-in-law. His eyes were dim, his knees tottered under 
him when he walked, and he was very deaf. As he sat at table his 
hand shook so that he would often spill the soup over the table- 
cloth or on his clothes, and sometimes he could not even keep it in 
his mouth when it got there. His son and daughter were so annoyed 
to see his conduct at the table that at last they placed a chair for 
him in a corner behind the screen, and gave him his meals in an 
earthenware basin quite away from the rest. He would often look 
sorrowfully at the table with tears in his eyes, but he did not com- 

One day, while he was thinking sadly of the past, the earthen- 
ware basin, which he could scarcely hold in his trembling hands, 
fell to the ground and was broken. The young wife scolded him 
well for being so careless, but he did not reply, only sighed deeply. 
Then she bought him a wooden bowl for a penny and gave him his 
meals in it. 

Some days afterward his son and daughter saw their Httle boy, 
who was about four years old, sitting on the ground and trying to 
fasten together some pieces of wood. 

'^What are you making, my boy?" asked his father. 

"I am making a little bowl for papa and mamma to eat their food 
in when I grow up," he replied. 

The husband and wife looked at each other without speaking for 
some minutes. At last they began to shed tears, and went and 
brought their old father back to the table, and from that day he al- 
ways took his meals with them and was never again treated 

The Ungrateful Son 

A MAN and his wife were once sitting by the door of their house, 
and they had a roasted chicken set before them, and were about to 

The Bittern and the Hoopoe 365 

eat it together. Then the man saw that his aged father was coming, 
and hastily took the chicken and hid it, for he would not permit 
him to have any of it. The old man came, took a drink, and went 
away. The son wanted to put the roasted chicken on the table 
again, but when he took it up, it had become a great toad, which 
jumped into his face and sat there and never went away again, and 
if any one wanted to take it ofiF, it looked venomously at him as if it 
would jump in his face, so that no one would venture to touch it. 
And the ungrateful son was forced to feed the toad every day, or 
else it fed itself on his face; and thus he went about the world with- 
out knowing rest. 

The Bittern and the Hoopoe 

"Whebe do you like best to feed your flocks?" said a man to an old 
cow-herd. "Here, sir, where the grass is neither too rich nor too 
poor, or else it is no use." "Why not?" asked the man. "Do you hear 
that melancholy cry from the meadow there?" answered the shep- 
herd, "that is the bittern; he was once a shepherd, and so was the 
hoopoe also— I will tell you the story. 

"The bittern pastured his flocks on rich green meadows where 
flowers grew in abundance, so his cows became wild and un- 
manageable. The hoopoe drove his cattle on to high barren hills, 
where the vwnd plays with the sand, and his cows became thin, and 
got no strength. When it was evening, and the shepherds wanted to 
drive their cows homewards, the bittern could not get his together 
again; they were too high-spirited, and ran away from him. He 
called, 'Come, cows, come,' but it was of no use; they took no notice 
of his calling. The hoopoe, however, could not even get his cows up 
on their legs, so faint and weak had they become. 'Up, up, up,' 
screamed he, but it was in vain, they remained lying on the sand. 
That is the way when one has no moderation. And to this day, 
though they have no flocks now to watch, the bittern cries, 'Come, 
cows, come'; and the hoopoe, 'Up, up, up." 

The Three Languages 

In Switzerland there lived an old count, who had an only son, a 
boy who was so stupid he never learned anything. One day the fa- 
ther said, "My son, listen to what I have to say; do all I may, I can 
knock nothing into yoinr head. Now you shall go away, and an emi- 
nent master shall try his hand with you." 

So the youth was sent to a foreign city, and remained a whole 
year with his master, and at the end of that time he returned home. 
His father asked him at once what he had learned, and he repHed, 
"My father, I have learned what the dogs bark." 

"Heavens!" exclaimed the father, "is this all you have learned? I 
will send you to some other city, to another master." So the youth 
went away a second time, and after he had remained a year with 
this master, came home again. His father asked him, as before, 
what he had learned, and he replied, "I have learned what the 
birds sing." This answer put the father in a passion, and he ex- 
claimed, "Oh, you prodigal! Has all this precious time passed, and 
have you learned nothing? Are you not ashamed to come into my 
presence? Once more, I will send you to a third master; but if you 
learn nothing this time I will no longer be a father to you." 

With this third master the boy remained, as before, a twelve- 
month; and when he came back to his father, he told him that he 
had learned the language that the frogs croak. At this the father 
flew into a great rage, and, calling his people together, said, "This 
youth is no longer my son; I cast him off, and command that you 
lead him into the forest and take away his life." 

The servants led him away into the forest, but they had not the 
heart to kill him, so they let him go. They cut out, however, the 
eyes and the tongue of a fawn, and took them for a token to the old 

The young man wandered along, and after some time came to a 
castle, where he asked for a night's lodging. The lord of the castle 
said, "Yes, if you will sleep down below. There is the tower; you 
may go, but I warn you it is very perilous, for it is full of wild dogs, 
which bark and howl at every one, and, at certain hours, a man 
must be thrown to them, whom they devour." 

Now, on account of these dogs the whole country round was in 

The Three Languages 367 

terror and sorrow, for no one could prevent their ravages; but the 
youth, being afraid of nothing, said, "Only let me in to these bark- 
ing hounds, and give me something to throw to them; they will not 
harm me." 

Since he himself wished it, they gave him some meat for the wild 
hounds, and let him into the tower. As soon as he entered, the dogs 
ran about him quite in a friendly way, wagging their tails, and 
never once barking. They ate, also, the meat he brought, and did 
not attempt to do him the least injury. The next morning, to the as- 
tonishment of every one, he came forth unharmed, and told the 
lord of the castle, "The hounds have informed me, in their lan- 
guage, why they thus waste and bring destruction upon the land. 
They have the guardianship of a large treasiu^e beneath the tower, 
and tiU that is raised, they have no rest. In what way and manner 
this is to be done I have also understood from them." 

At these words every one began rejoicing, and the lord promised 
him his daughter in marriage, if he could raise the treasure. This 
task he happily accomplished, and the wild hounds thereupon dis- 
appeared, and the country was freed from that plague. Then the 
beautiful maiden was married to him, and they lived happily to- 

After some time, he one day got into a carriage with his wife and 
set out on the road to Rome. On their way thither, they passed a 
swamp, where the frogs sat croaking. The young count listened, 
and when he heard what they said, he became quite thoughtful and 
sad, but he did not teU his wife the reason. At last they arrived at 
Rome, and found the Pope was just dead, and there was a great 
contention among the cardinals as to who should be his successor. 
They at length resolved, that he on whom some miraculous sign 
should be shown should be elected. Just as they had thus resolved, 
at the same moment the young count stepped into the church, and 
suddenly two snow-white Doves flew down, one on each of his 
shoulders, and remained perched there. The clergy recognized in 
this circumstance the sign they required, and asked him on the spot 
whether he would be Pope. The young count was undecided, and 
knew not whether he were worthy; but the Doves whispered to him 
that he might take the honor, and so he consented. Then he was 
anointed and consecrated; and so was fulfilled what the frogs had 
prophesied— and which had so disturbed him— that he should be- 
come Pope. Upon his election he had to sing a mass, of which he 
knew nothing; but the two Doves sitting upon his shoulder told him 
all that was required. 

The Star Money 

There was once on a time a little girl whose father and mother 
were dead, and she was so poor that she no longer had any Httle 
room to live in, or bed to sleep in, and at last she had nothing else 
but the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her 
hand which some charitable soul had given her. She was, however, 
good and pious. And as she was thus forsaken by all the world, she 
went forth into the open country, trusting in the good God. 

Then a poor man met her, who said, "Ah, give me something to 
eat, I am so hungry!" She reached him the whole of her piece of 
bread, and said, "May God bless it to your use," and went onwards. 
Then came a child who moaned and said, "My head is so cold, give 
me something to cover it with." So she took o£E her hood and gave it 
to him. And when she had walked a little farther, she met another 
child who had no jacket and was frozen with cold so she gave it her 
own. A little farther on one begged for a frock, and she gave away 
that also. At length she got into a forest and it had already become 
dark, and there came yet another child, and asked for a little shirt, 
and the good little girl thought to herself, "It is a dark night and no 
one sees you, you can very well give yoiu: little shirt away"; and 
took it oflF, and gave away that also. 

And as she so stood, and had not one single thing left, suddenly 
some stars from heaven fell down, and they were nothing else but 
hard, smooth pieces of money, and although she had just given her 
little shirt away, she had a new one which was of the very finest 
linen. Then she gathered together the money, put it into the shirt 
and was rich all the days of her life. 

The Poor Man and the Rich Man 

In ancient times, when the Lord God himself still used to walk 
about on this earth among men, it once happened that He was tired 
and overtaken by the darkness before He could reach an inn. Now 

The Poor Man and the Rich Man 369 

there stood on the road before Him two houses facing each other; 
the one large and beautiful, the other small and poor. The large one 
belonged to a rich man, and the small one to a poor man. 

Then the Lord thought, "1 shall be no burden to the rich man, I 
will stay the night with him." When the rich man heard some one 
knocking at his door, he opened the window and asked the stranger 
what he wanted. The Lord answered, "I only ask for a night's 

Then the rich man looked at the traveler from head to foot, and as 
the Lord was wearing common clothes, and did not look like one 
who had much money in his pocket, he shook his head, and said, 
"No, I cannot take you in, my rooms are full of herbs and seeds; 
and if I were to lodge every one who knocked at my door, I might 
very soon go begging myself. Go somewhere else for a lodging." 
And with this he shut down the window and left the Lord standing 

So the Lord turned his back on the rich man, and went across to 
the small house and knocked. He had hardly done so when the 
poor man opened the little door and bade the traveler come in. 
"Pass the night with me, it is aheady dark," said he; "you cannot 
go any further tonight." This pleased the Lord, and He went in. 
The poor man's wife shook hands with Him, and welcomed Him, 
and said He was to make Himself at home and put up with what 
they had; they had not much to offer Him, but what they had they 
would give Him with all their hearts. Then she put the potatoes on 
the fire, and while they were boiling, she milked the goat, that they 
might have a little milk with them. When the cloth was laid, the 
Lord sat down with the man and his wife, and He enjoyed their 
coarse food, for there were happy faces at the table. 

When they had had supper and it was bed-time, the woman 
called her husband apart and said, "Hark you, dear husband, let us 
make up a bed of straw for ourselves tonight, and then the poor 
traveler can sleep in our bed and have a good rest, for he has been 
walking the whole day through, and that makes one weary." "With 
all my heart," he answered. "I will go and offer it to him"; and he 
went to the stranger and invited him, if he had no objection, to 
sleep in their bed and rest his Umbs properly. But the Lord was un- 
willing to take their bed from the two old folks; however, they 
would not be satisfied, until at length He did it and lay down in 
their bed, while they themselves lay on some straw on the ground. 

Next morning they got up before daybreak, and made as good a 
breakfast as they could for the guest. When the sun shone in 

370 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

through the little window, and the Lord had got up, He again ate 
with them, and then prepared to set out on His jovuTiey. 

But as He was standing at the door He turned round and said, 
"As you are so land and good, you may wish three things for your- 
selves and I will grant them." Then the man said, "What else 
should I wish for but eternal happiness, and that we two, as long as 
we live, may be healthy and have every day oiu* daily bread; for 
the third wish, I do not know what to have." And the Lord said to 
him, "Will you wish for a new house iastead of this old one?" "Oh, 
yes," said the man; "if I can have that, too, I should like it very 
much." And the Lord fulfilled his wish, and changed their old 
house into a new one, again gave them His blessing, and went on. 

The sun was high when the rich man got up and leaned out of 
his window and saw, on the opposite side of the way, a new clean- 
looking house with red tiles and bright windows, where the old hut 
used to be. He was very much astonished, and called his v^rife and 
said to her, "Tell me, what can have happened? Last night there 
was a miserable Httle hut standing there, and today there is a beau- 
tiful new house. Run over and see how that has come to pass." 

So his wife went and asked the poor man, and he said to her, 
"Yesterday evening a traveler came here and asked for a night's 
lodging, and this morning when he took leave of us he granted us 
three vvdshes— eternal happiness, health during this life and our 
daily bread as well, and, besides this, a beautiful new house instead 
of our old hut." 

When the rich man's wife heard this, she ran back in haste and 
told her husband how it had happened. The man said, "I could tear 
myself to pieces! If I had but known that! The traveler came to our 
house too, and wanted to sleep here, and I sent him away." 
"Quick!" said his wife, "get on your horse. You can still catch the 
man up, and then you must ask to have three wishes granted you." 

The rich man followed the good counsel and galloped away on 
his horse, and soon came up with the Lord. He spoke to Him softly 
and pleasantly, and begged Him not to take it amiss that he had 
not let Him in directly; he had been looking for the front-door key, 
and' in the meantime the stranger had gone away; if He returned 
the same way He must come and stay with him. "Yes," said the 
Lord; "if I ever come back again, I viall do so." Then the rich man 
asked if he might not wish for three things too, as his neighbor had 
done. "Yes," said the Lord, he might, but it would not be to his ad- 
vantage, and he had better not v^dsh for anything; but the rich man 
thought that he could easily ask for something which would add to 

The Poor Man and the Rich Man 371 

his happiness, if only he knew that it would be granted. So the 
Lord said to him, "Ride home, then, and three wishes which you 
shall form, shall be fulfilled." 

The rich man had now gained what he wanted, so he rode home, 
and began to consider what he should wish for. As he was thus 
thinking he let the bridle fall, and the horse began to caper about, 
so that he was continually disturbed in his meditations, and could 
not collect his thoughts at all. He patted its neck, and said, "Gently, 
Lisa," but the horse only began new tricks. Then at last he was 
angry, and cried quite impatiently, "I wish your neck was broken!" 

Directly he had said the words, down the horse fell on the 
ground, and there it lay dead and never moved again. And thus 
was his first wish fulfilled. As he was miserly by natinre, he did not 
like to leave the harness lying there, so he cut it off, and put it on 
his back; and now he had to go on foot. "1 have still two wishes 
left," said he, and comforted himself with that thought. 

And now as he was walking slowly through the sand, and the sun 
was burning hot at noon-day, he grew quite hot-tempered and 
angry. The saddle hurt his back, and he had not yet any idea what to 
wish for. "If I were to wish for all the riches and treasures in the 
world," said he to himself, "I should still think of all kinds of things 
besides later on; I know that, beforehand. But I will manage so 
that there is nothing at all left me to wish for afterwards." Then 
he sighed and said, "Ah, if I were but that Bavarian peasant, who 
likewise had three wishes granted to him, and knew quite well what 
to do, and in the first place wished for a great deal of beer, and 
in the second for as much beer as he was able to drink, and in 
the third for a barrel of beer into the bargain." 

Many a time he thought he had found it, but then it seemed to 
him to be, after all, too little. Then it came into his mind, what 
an easy life his wife had, for she stayed at home in a cool room 
and enjoyed herself. This really did vex him, and before he was 
aware, he said, "I just wish she was sitting there on this saddle, 
and could not get off it, instead of my having to drag it along on 
my back." And as the last word was spoken, the saddle disappeared 
from his back, and he saw that his second wish had been fulfilled. 
Then he really did feel warm. 

He began to run and wanted to be quite alone in his own room 
at home, to think of something really large for his last wish. But 
when he arrived there and opened the parlor-door, he saw his wife 
sitting in the middle of the room on the saddle, crying and complain- 

372 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ing, and quite unable to get off it. So he said, "Do bear it, and 
I will wish for all the riches on earth for you, only stay where you 
are." She, however, called him a fool, and said, "What good wiU 
all the riches on earth do me, if I am to sit on this saddle? You 
have wished me on it, so you must help me off." 

So whether he would or not, he was forced to let his third wish 
be that she should be quit of the saddle, and able to get off it, 
and immediately the wish was fulfilled. So he got nothing by it but 
vexation, trouble, abuse, and the loss of his horse; but the poor 
people lived happily, quietly, and piously until their happy death. 

The Stolen Pennies 

A FATHER was oue day sitting at dinner with his wife and his chil- 
dren, and a good friend who had come on a visit was with them. 
And as they thus sat, and it was striking twelve o'clock, the stranger 
saw the door open, and a very pale child dressed ia snow-white 
clothes came in. It did not look around, and it did not speak, but 
went straight into the next room. Soon afterwards it came back, and 
went out at the door again in the same quiet manner. On the second 
and on the third day, it came also exactly in the same way. At last 
the stranger asked the father to whom the beautiful child that went 
into the next room every day at noon belonged? "I have never seen 
it," said he, neither did he know to whom it could belong. The 
next day when it again came, the stranger pointed it out to the 
father, who however did not see it, and the mother and the children 
also all saw nothing. 

At this the stranger got up, went to the room door, opened it a 
little, and peeped in. Then he saw the child sitting on the ground, 
and digging and seeking about industriously among the crevices 
between the boards of the floor, but when it saw the stranger, it 
disappeared. He now told what he had seen and described the 
child exactly, and the mother recognized it, and said, "Ah, it is my 
dear child who died a month ago." 

They took up the boards and found two pennies which the child 
had once received from its mother that it might give them to a poor 
man. It, however, had thought, *T can buy myself a biscuit for 
that," and had kept the pennies, and hidden them in the openings 

The Wilful Child 373 

between the boards. Therefore it had had no rest in its grave, and 
had come every day at noon to seek for these pennies. The parents 
gave the money at once to a poor man, and after that the child was 
never seen again. 

The Shroud 

Thebe was once a mother who had a little boy seven years old, who 
was so handsome and loveable that no one could look at him with- 
out hking him, and she herself worshipped him above everything 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 hfe; 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 httle 
white shroud in which it had been laid in its coflfin, 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 Hght 
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. 

The Wilful Child 

Once upon a time there was a child who was wilful, and would not 
do what her mother wished. For this reason God had no pleasure in 
her, and let her become ill, and no doctor could do her any good, 
and in a short time she lay on her death-bed. When she had been 
lowered into her grave, and the earth was spread over her, all at 

374 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

once her arm came out again, and stretched upwards, and when 
they had put it in and spread fresh earth over it, it was all to no 
purpose, for the arm always came out again. Then the mother her- 
self was obliged to go to the grave and strike the arm with a rod, 
and when she had done that, it was drawn in, and then at last the 
child had rest beneath the ground. 

The Rose 

Thebe was once a poor woman who had two children. The 
youngest had to go every day into the forest to fetch wood. Once 
when she had gone a long way to seek it, a little child, who was 
quite strong, came and helped her industriously to pick up the 
wood and carry it home, and then before a moment had passed the 
strange child disappeared. The child told her mother this, but at 
first she would not believe it. At length she brought a rose home, 
and told her mother that the beautiful child had given her this rose, 
and had told her that when it was in full bloom, he would retium. 
The mother put the rose in water. One morning her child could not 
get out of bed. The mother went to the bed and found her dead, 
but looking very happy. One the same morning, the rose was in full 

The Tailor in Heaven 

One very fine day it came to pass that the good God wished to 
enjoy Himself in the heavenly garden, and took all the apostles and 
saints with Him, so that no one stayed in heaven but Saint Peter. 
The Lord had commanded him to let no one in during His absence, 
so Peter stood by the door and kept watch. Before long someone 
knocked. Peter asked who was there, and what he wanted. 

"I am a poor, honest tailor who prays for admission," replied a 
smooth voice. 

"Honest Indeed," said Peter, "like the thief on the gallows! You 

The Tailor in Heaven 375 

have been light-fingered and have snipped folks' clothes avv^ay. You 
will not get into heaven. The Lord has forbidden me to let any one 
in while he is out." 

"Come, do be merciful," cried the tailor. "Little scraps which 
fall off the table of their own accord are not stolen, and are not 
worth speaking about. Look, I am lame, and have bhsters on my 
feet with waUdng here, I carmot possibly turn back again. Only let 
me in, and I will do all the rough work. I will carry the children, 
and wash their clothes, and wash and clean the benches on which 
they have been playing, and patch all their torn clothes." 

Saint Peter let himself be moved by pity, and opened the door of 
heaven just wide enough for the lame tailor to sHp his lean body in. 
He was forced to sit down in a comer behind the door, and was to 
stay quietly and peaceably there, in order that the Lord, when He 
retimaed, might not observe him and be angry. 

The tailor obeyed, but once when Saint Peter went outside the 
door, he got up, and full of curiosity, went round about into every 
corner of heaven, and inspected the arrangement of every place. At 
length he came to a spot where many beautiful and dehghtful 
chairs were standing, and in the midst was a seat all of gold which 
was set with shining jewels; likewise it was much higher than the 
other chairs, and a footstool of gold was before it. It was, however, 
the seat on which the Lord sat when He was at home, and from 
which He could see everything which happened on earth. The tai- 
lor stood still, and looked at the seat for a long time, for it pleased 
him better than all else. At last he could master his ciuiosity no 
longer, and climbed up and seated himself in the chair. 

Then he saw everything which was happening on earth, and ob- 
served an ugly old woman who was standing washing by the side 
of a stream, secretly laying two veils on one side for herself. The 
sight of this made the tailor so angry that he laid hold of the golden 
footstool, and threw it down to earth through heaven, at the old 
thief. As, however, he could not bring the stool back again, he 
slipped quietly out of the chair, seated himself in his place behind 
the door, and behaved as if he had never stirred from the spot. 

When the Lord and Master came back again with His heavenly 
companions, He did not see the tailor behind the door, but when 
He seated Himself on His chair the footstool was missing. He asked 
Saint Peter what had become of the stool, but he did not know. 
Then He asked if he had let anyone come in. 

"I know of no one who has been here," answered Peter, "but a 
lame tailor, who is still sitting behind the door." Then the Lord had 

376 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

the tailor brought before Him, and asked him if he had taken away 
the stool, and where he had put it. 

"Oh, Lord," answered the tailor joyously, "1 threw it in my anger 
down to earth at an old woman whom I saw stealing two veils at 
the washing." 

"Oh, you knave," said the Lord, "were I to judge as you judge, 
how do you think you could have escaped so long? I should long 
ago have had no chairs, benches, seats, nay, not even an oven-fork, 
but should have thrown everything down at the sinners. Henceforth 
you can stay no longer in heaven, but must go outside the door 
again. Then go where you will. No one shall give punishment here, 
but I alone, the Lord." 

Peter was obliged to take the tailor out of heaven again, and as 
he had torn shoes, and feet covered with blisters, he took a stick in 
his hand, and went to the Waitabit inn, where the good soldiers sit 
and make merry. 

Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven 

There was once a King's son who went out into the world, and he 
was full of thought and sad. He looked at the sky, which was so 
beautifully pure and blue, then he sighed, and said, "How well 
must all be with one up there in heaven!" Then he saw a poor gray- 
haired man who was coming along the road towards him, and he 
spoke to him, and asked, "How can I get to heaven?" The man an- 
swered, "By poverty and humility. Put on my ragged clothes, wan- 
der about the world for seven years, and get to know what misery 
is, take no money, but if thou art himgry ask compassionate hearts 
for a bit of bread; in this way thou wilt reach heaven." 

Then the King's son took off his magnificent coat, and wore in its 
place the beggar's garment, went out into the wide world, and 
suffered great misery. He took nothing but a little food, said noth- 
ing, but prayed to the Lord to take him into His heaven. 

When the seven years were over, he returned to his father's pal- 
ace, but no one recognized him. He said to the servants, "Go and 
tell my parents that I have come back again." But the servants did 
not believe it, and laughed and left him standing there. Then said 
he, "Go and tell it to my brothers that they may come down, for I 

The Flail from Heaven 377 

should so like to see them again." The servants would not do that 
either, but at last one of them went, and told it to the King's chil- 
dren, but these did not believe it, and did not trouble themselves 
about it. 

Then he MTOte a letter to his mother, and described to her all his 
misery, but he did not say that he was her son. So, out of pity, the 
Queen had a place under the stairs assigned to him, and food taken 
to him daily by two servants. But one of them was ill-natured and 
said, "Why should the beggar have the good food?" and kept it for 
himself, or gave it to the dogs, and took the weak, wasted-away 
beggar nothing but water; the other, however, was honest, and took 
the beggar what was sent to him. It was Httle, but he could Uve on 
it for a while, and all the time he was quite patient, but he grew 
continually weaker. As, however, his illness increased, he desired to 
receive the last sacrament. When the host was being elevated down 
below, all the bells in the town and neighborhood began to ring. 
After mass the priest went to the poor man under the stairs, and 
there he lay dead. In one hand he had a rose, in the other a Uly, 
and beside him was a paper in which was written his history. 

When he was buried, a rose grew on one side of his grave, and a 
lily on the other. 

The Flail from Heaven 

A COUNTRYMAN was oncc going out to plough with a pair of oxen. 
When he got to the field, both the animals' horns began to grow, 
and went on growing, and when he wanted to go home they were 
so big that the oxen could not get through the gateway for them. 
By good luck a butcher came by just then, and he delivered them 
over to him, and made the bargain in this way, that he should take 
the butcher a measure of turnip-seed, and then the butcher was to 
count him out a Brabant thaler for every seed. I call that well soldi 
The peasant now went home, and carried the measure of turnip- 
seed to him on his back. On the way, however, he lost one seed out 
of the bag. The butcher paid him justly as agreed on, and if the 
peasant had not lost the seed, he would have had one thaler the 
In the meantime, when he went on his way back, the seed had 

378 GrimrrCs Complete Fairy Tales 

grown into a tree which reached up to the sky. Then thought the 
peasant, "As thou hast the chance, thou must just see what the an- 
gels are doing up there above, and for once have them before thine 
eyes." So he climbed up, and saw that the angels above were 
threshing oats, and he looked on. 

While he was thus watching them, he observed that the tree on 
which he was standing, was beginning to totter; he peeped down, 
and saw that some one was just going to cut it down. "If I were to 
fall down from here it would be a bad thing," thought he, and in 
his necessity he did not know how to save himself better than by 
taking the chaff of the oats which lay there in heaps, and twisting a 
rope of it. He likewise snatched a hoe and a flail which were lying 
about in heaven, and let himself down by the rope. But he came 
down on the earth exactly in the middle of a deep, deep hole. So it 
was a real piece of luck that he had brought the hoe, for he hoed 
himself a flight of steps with it, and mounted up, and took the flail 
with him as a token of his truth, so that no one could have any 
doubt of his story. 

The Moon 

In days gone by there was a land where the nights were always 
dark, and the sky spread over it like a black cloth, for there the 
moon never rose, and no star shone in the obscurity. At the creation 
of the world, the light at night had been sufficient. For young 
fellows once went out of this country on a traveling expedition, and 
arrived in another kingdom, where, in the evening when the sun 
had disappeared behind the mountains, a shining globe was placed 
on an oak tree, which shed a soft light far and wide. By means of 
this, everything could very well be seen and distinguished, even 
though it was not so brilliant as the sun. The travelers stopped and 
asked a countryman who was driving past with his cart what land 
of a light that was. "That is the moon," answered he; "our mayor 
bought it for three thalers, and fastened it to the oak tree. He has to 
pour oil into it daily, and to keep it clean, so that it may always 
bum clearly. He receives a thaler a week from us for doing it." 

When the countryman had driven away, one of them said, "We 
could make some use of this lamp, we have an oak tree at home. 

The Moon 379 

which is just as big as this, and we could hang it on that. What a 
pleasure it would be not to have to feel about at night in the dark- 
ness!" "I'll tell you what we'll do," said the second; "we will fetch a 
cart and horses and carry away the moon. The people here may 
buy themselves another." "I'm a good climber," said the third, "I 
wiU bring it down." The fourth brought a cart and horses, and the 
third climbed the tree, bored a hole in the moon, passed a rope 
through it, and let it down. When the shining baU lay in the cart, 
they covered it over with a cloth, that no one might observe the 
theft. They conveyed it safely into their own country, and placed it 
on a high oak. Old and young rejoiced when the new lamp let its 
light shine over the whole land, and bed-rooms and sitting-rooms 
were filled with it. The dwarfs came forth from their caves in the 
rocks, and the tiny elves in their little red coats danced in rings on 
the meadows. 

The four took care that the moon was provided with oil, cleaned 
the wick, and received their weekly thaler; but they became old 
men, and when one of them grew ill, and saw that he was about to 
die, he appointed that one quarter of the moon, should, as his prop- 
erty, be laid in the grave with him. When he died, the mayor 
climbed up the tree, and cut off a quarter with the hedge-shears, 
and this was placed in his coffin. The hght of the moon decreased, 
but still not visibly. When the second died, the second quarter was 
buried with him, and the light diminished. It grew weaker still 
after the death of the third, who likewise took his part of it away 
with him; and when the fourth was borne to his grave, the old state 
of darkness recommenced, and whenever the people went out at 
night without their lanterns they knocked their heads together. 

When, however, the pieces of the moon had imited themselves 
together again in the world below, where darkness had always 
prevailed, it came to pass that the dead became restless and awoke 
from their sleep. They were astonished when they were able to see 
again; the moonlight was quite sufficient for them, for their eyes 
had become so weak that they could not have borne the brilliance 
of the sun. They rose up and were merry, and fell into their former 
ways of living. Some of them went to the play and to dance, others 
hastened to the public-houses, where they asked for wine, got 
drunk, brawled, quarreled, and at last took up cudgels, and bela- 
bored each other. The noise became greater and greater, and at last 
reached even to heaven. 

Saint Peter who guards the gate of heaven thought the lower 
world had broken out in revolt and gathered together the heavenly 

380 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

troops, which are to drive back the Evil One when he and his asso- 
ciates storm the abode of the blessed. As these, however, did not 
come, he got on his horse and rode through the gate of heaven, 
down into the world below. There he reduced the dead to subjec- 
tion, bade them He down in their graves again, took the moon away 
with him, and hung it up in heaven. 

The Peasant in Heaven 

Once upon a time a poor pious peasant died, and arrived before 
the gate of heaven. At the same time a very rich, rich lord came 
there who also wanted to get into heaven. Then Saint Peter came 
with the key, and opened the door, and let the great man in, but 
apparently did not see the peasant, and shut the door again. And 
now the peasant outside heard how the great man was received in 
heaven with all kinds of rejoicing, and how they were making 
music, and singing within. At length aU became quiet again, and 
Saint Peter came and opened the gate of heaven, and let the peas- 
ant in. The peasant, however, expected that they would make 
music and sing when he went in also, but all remained quite quiet. 
He was received with great aflFection, it is true, and the angels came 
to meet him, but no one sang. 

Then the peasant asked Saint Peter how it was that they did not 
sing for him as they had done when the rich man went in, and said 
that it seemed to him that there in heaven things were done with 
just as much partiality as on earth. Then said Saint Peter, "By no 
means, thou art just as dear to us as any one else, and wilt enjoy 
every heavenly delight that the rich man enjoys, but poor fellows 
like thee come to heaven every day, but a rich man like this does 
not come more than once in a hundred years 1" 

Eve's Various Children 

When Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradise, they were com- 
pelled to build a house for themselves on unfruitful ground, and eat 

Eve's Various Children 381 

their bread in the sweat of their brow. Adam dug up the land, and 
Eve span. Every year Eve brought a child into the world; but the 
children were unlike each other, some pretty, and some ugly. 

After a considerable time had gone by, God sent an angel to 
them, to announce that He was coming to inspect their household. 
Eve, dehghted that the Lord should be so gracious, cleaned her 
house diligently, decked it with flowers, and strewed reeds on the 
floor. Then she brought in her children, but only the beautiful ones. 
She washed and bathed them, combed their hair, put clean raiment 
on them, and cautioned them to conduct themselves decorously and 
modestly in the presence of the Lord. They were to bow down be- 
fore Him civilly, hold out their hands, and to answer His questions 
modestly and sensibly. 

The ugly children were, however, not to let themselves be seen. 
One hid himself beneath the hay, another imder the roof, a third in 
the straw, the fourth in the stove, the fifth in the cellar, the sixth 
under a tub, the seventh beneath the wdne-cask, the eighth xmder 
an old fur cloak, the ninth and tenth beneath the cloth out of which 
she always made their clothes, and the eleventh and twelfth under 
the leather out of which she cut their shoes. She had scarcely got 
ready, before there was a knock at the house-door. Adam looked 
through a chink, and saw that it was the Lord. Adam opened the 
door respectfully, and the Heavenly Father entered. 

There, in a row, stood the pretty children, and bowed before 
Him, held out their hands, and knelt down. The Lord, however, 
began to bless them, laid His hands on the first, and said, "Thou 
shalt be a powerful king"; and to the second, "Thou a prince"; to 
the third, "Thou a count"; to the fourth, "Thou a knight"; to the 
fifth, "Thou a nobleman"; to the sixth, "Thou a burgher"; to the 
seventh, "Thou a merchant"; to the eighth, "Thou a learned man." 
He bestowed upon them also all His richest blessings. 

When Eve saw that the Lord was so mild and gracious, she 
thought, "I will bring hither my ill-favored children also; it may be 
that He wiU bestow His blessing on them likewise." So she ran and 
brought them out of the hay, the straw, the stove, and wherever 
else she had concealed them. Then came the whole coarse, dirty, 
shabby, sooty band. The Lord smiled, looked at them all, and said, 
"1 will bless these also." He laid His hands on the first, and said to 
him, "Thou shalt be a peasant"; to the second, "Thou a fisherman"; 
to the third, "Thou a smith"; to the fourth, "Thou a tanner"; to the 
fifth, "Thou a weaver"; to the sixth, "Thou a shoemaker"; to the 
seventh, "Thou a tailor"; to the eighth, "Thou a potter"; to the 

382 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ninth, "Thou a wagoner"; to the tenth, "Thou a sailor"; to the elev- 
enth, "Thou an errand-boy"; to the twelfth, "Thou a scullion all the 
days of thy life." 

When Eve had heard all this she said, "Lord, how unequally 
Thou dividest Thy gifts! After all they are all of them my children, 
whom I have brought into the world. Thy favors should be given to 
all alike." But God answered, "Eve, thou dost not understand. It is 
right and necessary that the entire world should be supplied from 
thy children. If they were all Princes and lords, who would grow 
com, thresh it, grind and bake it? Who would be blacksmiths, 
weavers, carpenters, masons, laborers, tailors and seamstresses? 
Each shall have his own place, so that one shall support the other, 
and all shall be fed Hke the limbs of one body." Then Eve an- 
swered, "Ah, Lord, forgive me, I was too quick in speaking to 
Thee. Have Thy divine will with my duldren." 

The Poor Boy in the Grave 

There was once a poor shepherd-boy whose father and mother 
were dead, and he was placed by the authorities in the house of a 
rich man, who was to feed him and bring him up. The man and his 
wife had, however, bad hearts, and were greedy and anxious about 
their riches, and vexed whenever any one put a morsel of their 
bread in his mouth. The poor young fellow might do what he Hked, 
he got little to eat, but only so many blows the more. 

One day he had to watch a hen and her chickens, but she ran 
through a quick-set hedge with them, and a hawk darted down in- 
stantly, and carried her off through the air. The boy called, "Thiefl 
thiefl rascall" with all the strength of his body. But what good did 
that do? The hawk did not bring its prey back again. The man 
heard the noise, and ran to the spot, and as soon as he saw that his 
hen was gone, he fell in a rage, and gave the boy such a beating 
that he could not stir for two days. Then he had to take care of the 
chickens without the hen, but now his difficulty was greater, for 
one ran here and the other there. He thought he was doing a very 
wise thing when he tied them all together with a string, because 
then the hawk would not be able to steal any of them away from 
him. But he was very much mistaken. After two days, worn out 

The Poor Boy in the Grave 383 

with running about and hunger, he fell asleep. The bird of prey 
came, and seized one of the chickens, and as the others were tied fast 
to it, it carried them all oflF together, perched itself on a tree, and 
devoured them. The farmer was just coming home, and when he 
saw the misfortune, he got angry and beat the boy so unmercifully 
that he was forced to he in bed for several days. 

When he was on his legs again, the farmer said to him, "You are 
too stupid for me, I cannot make a herdsman of you, you must go 
as errand-boy." Then he sent him to the judge, to whom he was to 
carry a basketful of grapes, and he gave him a letter as well. On the 
way, himger and thirst tormented the unhappy boy so violently that 
he ate two of the bimches of grapes. He took the basket to the 
judge, but when the judge had read the letter, and counted the 
bunches he said, "Two clusters are wanting." The boy confessed 
quite honestly that, driven by hunger and thirst, he had devoured 
the two which were wanting. The judge wrote a letter to the 
farmer, and asked for the same number of grapes again. These also 
the boy had to take to him with a letter. As he again was so ex- 
tremely hungry and thirsty, he could not help it, and again ate two 
bunches. But first he took the letter out of the basket, put it under a 
stone and seated himself thereon in order that the letter might not 
see and betray him. The judge, however, again made him give an 
explanation about the missing bunches. "Ah," said the boy, "how 
have you learnt that? The letter could not know about it, for I put 
it imder a stone before I did it." The judge could not help laughing 
at the boy's simplicity, and sent the man a letter wherein he cau- 
tioned him to keep the poor boy better, and not let him want for 
meat and drink, and also that he was to teach him what was right 
and what was wrong. 

"I will soon show you the difference," said the hard man. "If you 
must eat, you must work, and if you do anything wrong, you shall 
be taught by blows." 

The next day he set him a hard task. He was to chop two bundles 
of straw for food for the horses, and then the man threatened: "In 
five hours I shall be back again, and if the straw is not cut to chaff 
by that time, I will beat you until you cannot move a limb." The 
farmer went with his wife, the manservant and the girl, to the 
yearly fair, and left nothing behind for the boy but a small bit of 
bread. The boy seated himself on the bench, and began to work 
with all his might. As he got warm over it he put his httle coat off 
and threw it on the straw. In his terror lest he should not get done 

384 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

in time he kept constantly cutting, and in his haste, without notic- 
ing it, he chopped his little coat as well as the straw. He became 
aware of the misfortune too late; there was no repairing it. "Ah," 
cried he, "now all is over with mel The wicked man did not 
threaten me for nothing; if he comes back and sees what I have 
done, he will kill me. Rather than that I will take my own hfe." 

The boy had once heard the farmer's wife say, "I have a pot with 
poison in it under my bed." She, however, had only said that to 
keep away greedy people, for there was honey in it. The boy crept 
under the bed, brought out the pot, and ate all that was in it. "I do 
not know," said he, "folks say death is bitter, but it tastes very 
sweet to me. It is no wonder that the farmer's wife has so often 
longed for death." He seated himself in a little chair, and was 
prepared to die. But instead of becoming weaker he felt himself 
strengthened by the noiuishing food. "It cannot have been poison," 
thought he, "but the farmer once said there was a small bottle of 
poison for flies in the box in which he keeps his clothes; that, no 
doubt, will be the true poison, and bring death to me." It was, how- 
ever, no poison for flies, but Himgarian wine. The boy got out the 
bottle, and emptied it. "This death tastes sweet too," said he, but 
shortly after when the wine began to mount into his brain and 
stupefy him, he thought his end was drawing near. "I feel that I 
must die," said he, *1 will go away to the church-yard, and seek a 
grave." He staggered out, reached the church-yard, and laid him- 
self in a newly-dug grave. He lost his senses more and more. In the 
neighborhood was an inn where a wedding was being kept. When 
he heard the music, he fancied he was already in Paradise, until at 
length he lost all consciousness. The poor boy never awoke again; 
the heat of the strong wine and the cold night-dew deprived him of 
Hfe, and he remained in the grave in which he had laid himself. 

When the farmer heard the news of the boy's death he was 
terrified, and afraid of being brought to justice— indeed, his distress 
took such a powerful hold of him that he fell fainting to the 
ground. His wife, who was standing on the hetirth with a pan of hot 
fat, ran to him to help him. But the flames darted against the pan 
and the whole house caught fire. In a few hours it lay in ashes, and 
the rest of the years they had to live they passed in poverty and 
misery, tormented by the pangs of conscience. 

Our Lady's Child 

Close to a large forest there lived a wood-cutter and his wife. They 
had an only child, a little girl three years old. They were 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 sorrowfully to 
his work in the forest, and while he was cutting wood, suddenly 
there stood before him a tall and beautiful woman with a crown of 
shining stars on her head. She 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 and 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-cakes, and drank sweet milk, and her clothes 
were of gold, and the little angels played with her. 

And when she was foiuteen years of age, the Virgin Mary called 
her one day and said, "Dear child, I am about to make a long jour- 
ney, 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 little key be- 
longs, is forbidden 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, imtil 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 splendor, and the Httle angels who always accom- 
panied 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 an- 
gels, "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 little through the opening." *Oh, 
no," said the little angels, "that would be a sin. The Virgin Mary 
has forbidden it, and it might easily cause thy imhappiness." 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 aU gone out, she thought, "Now I am 
quite alone, and I could peep in. If I do it, no one will ever know." 

386 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

She took the key, put it in the lock, and turned it round. Then the 
door sprang open, and she saw there the Trinity sitting in fire and 
splendor. She stayed there awhile, and looked at everything in 
amazement; then she touched the light a Httle with her finger, and 
her finger became quite golden. Immediately a great fear fell on 
her. She shut the door violently, and ran away. Nor would her ter- 
ror quit her, let her do what she might, and her heart beat con- 
tinuEdly 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 Med; 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 Hfe, 
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 among the leaves like a poor Ht- 
tle animal that she might not freeze. Before long her clothes were 
all torn, and one bit of them after another feU off her. As soon, how- 
ever, as the sun shone warm again, she went out and sat in front of 

Our Lady's Child 387 

the tree, and her long hair covered her on all sides Hlce a mantle. 
Thus she sat year after year, and felt the pain and misery of the 

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 of 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. Although 
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-bom child 
away with me." Then the Queen was permitted to answer, but she 
remained hard, and said, "No, I did not open the forbidden door"; 
and the Virgin Mary took the new-bom 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. 

388 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Next morning, when this child also had disappeared, the people 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 beUeve 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 beaiitiful 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 elder chil- 
dren, who smiled at her, and were playing with the baU 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 httle sons." But for 
the third time the Queen answered, "No, I did not open the forbid- 
den 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, all the people cried 
loudly, "The Queen is a man-eaterl 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 ahve. The wood was got together, and 
when she was fast boimd to the stake, and the fire began to bmm 
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." Straightway rain fell 
from the sky and extinguished the flames of fire, and a fight broke 
forth above her, and the Virgin Mary descended with the two fittle 
sons by her side, and the new-bom 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 throughout her life. 

Gambling Hansel 

Once upon a time there was a man who did nothing but gamble, 
and for that reason people never called him anything but Gambfing 

Gambling Hansel 389 

Hansel, and as he never ceased to gamble, he played away bis 
bouse and aU that he had. 

Now the very day before bis creditors were to take bis bouse 
from him, came the Lord and St. Peter, and asked him to give them 
shelter for the night. Then Gambling Hansel said, "For my part, 
you may stay the night, but I cannot give you a bed or anything to 

So the Lord said he was just to take them in, and they themselves 
would buy something to eat, to which Gambling Hansel made no 
objection. Thereupon St. Peter gave him three groschen, and said 
he was to go to the baker's and fetch some bread. 

So Gambling Hansel went, but when he reached the house where 
the other gambling vagabonds were gathered together, they, al- 
though they had won all that he had, greeted him clamorously, and 
said, "Hansel, do come in." "Oh," said he, "do you want to win the 
three groschen, too?" On this they would not let him go. So he went 
in, and played away the three groschen also. 

Meanwhile St. Peter and the Lord were waiting, and as he was so 
long in coming, they set out to meet him. When Gambling Hansel 
came, however, he pretended that the money had fallen into the 
gutter, and kept raking about in it all the while to find it, but our 
Lord already knew that he had lost it in play. St. Peter again gave 
him three groschen, and now he did not allow himself to be led 
away once more, but fetched them the loaf. Our Lord then in- 
quired if he had no wine, and he said, "Alack, sir, the casks are all 
emptyl" But the Lord said he was to go down into the cellar, for 
the best wine was still there. For a long time he would not believe 
this, but at length he said, "Well, I will go down, but I know that 
there is none there." When he turned the tap, however, lo and 
behold, the best of wine ran outi So he took it to them, and the two 
passed the night there. 

Early next day our Lord told Gambling Hansel that he might beg 
three favors. The Lord expected that he would ask to go to Heaven; 
but Gambling Hansel asked for a pack of cards with which he 
could win everything, for dice with which he would win every- 
thing, and for a tree whereon every kind of fruit would grow, and 
from which no one who had climbed up, could descend until he 
bade him do so. The Lord gave him all that he had asked, and de- 
parted with St. Peter. 

And now Gambling Hansel at once set about gambling in real 
earnest, and before long he had gained half the world. Upon this 
St. Peter said to the Lord, "Lord, this thing must not go on, he will 

390 Grimms Complete Fairy Tales 

wii^ and Thou lose, the whole world. We must send Death to him." 
When Death appeared. Gambling Hansel had just seated himself at 
the gaming-table, and Death said, "Hansel, come out a while." But 
Gambling Hansel said, "Jxist wait a little until the game is done, 
and in the meantime get up into that tree out there, and gather a 
little fruit that we may have something to mimch on our way." 
Thereupon Death climbed up, but when he wanted to come down 
again, he could not, and GambHng Hansel left him up there for 
seven years, during which time no one died. 

So St. Peter said to the Lord, 'Xord, this thing must not go on. 
People no longer die; we must go om-selves." And they went them- 
selves, and the Lord commanded Hansel to let Death come down. 
So Hansel went at once to Death and said to him, "Come down," 
and Death took him directly and put an end to him. 

They went away together and came to the next world, and tben 
Gambling Hansel made straight for the door of Heaven, and 
knocked at it. "Who is there?" "Gambling Hansel." "Ah, we will 
have nothing to do with himl Begonel" So he went to the door of 
Purgatory, and knocked once more. "Who is there?" "Gambling 
Hansel." "Ah, there is quite enough weeping and wailing here 
without him. We do not want to gamble, just go away again." Then 
he went to the door of Hell, and there they let him in. 

There was, however, no one at home but old Lucifer and the 
crooked devils who had just been doing their evil work in the 
world. And no sooner was Hansel there than he sat down to gamble 
again. Lucifer, however, had nothing to lose but his misshapen 
devils, and GambHng Hansel won them from him, as with his cards 
he could not fail to do. 

Now he was off again with his crooked devils, and they went to 
Hohenfuert and pulled up a hop-hole, and with it went to Heaven 
and began to thrust the pole against it, and Heaven began to crack. 
So again St. Peter said, "Lord, this thing cannot go on, we must let 
him in, or he will throw us down from Heaven." And they let him 
in. But GambHng Hansel instantly began to play again, and there 
was such a noise and confusion that there was no hearing what 
they themselves were saying. Therefore St. Peter once more said, 
"Lord, this cannot go on, we must throw him down, or he will 
make all Heaven rebelHous." So they went to him at once, and 
threw him down, and his soul broke into fragments, and went into 
the gambHng vagabonds who are Hving this very day. 

The Old Man Made Young Again 

In the time when our Lord still walked this earth, He and St. Peter 
stopped one evening at a smith's and received free quarters. Then 
it came to pass that a poor beggar, badly pressed by age and 
infirmity, came to this house and begged alms of the smith. St 
Peter had compassion on him and said, "Lord and Master, if it 
please Thee, ciure his torments that he may be able to win his own 
bread." The Lord said kindly, "Smith, lend Me thy forge, and put 
on some coals for Me, and then I will make this ailing old man 
young again." The smith was quite willing, and St. Peter blew the 
bellows, and when the coal fire sparkled up large and high our 
Lord took the little old man, pushed him in the forge in the midst 
of the red-hot fire, so that he glowed like a rose-bush, and praised 
God with a loud voice. After that the Lord went to the quenching 
tub, put the glowing little man into it so that the water closed over 
him, and after He had carefully cooled him, gave him His blessing, 
when beholdl the little man sprang nimbly out, looking fresh, 
straight, healthy, and as if he were but twenty. 

The smith, who had watched everything closely and attentively, 
invited them all to supper. He, however, had an old, half-blind, 
crooked mother-in-law who went to the youth, and with great 
earnestness asked if the fire had burnt him much. He answered that 
he had never felt more comfortable, and that he had sat in the red 
heat as if he had been in cool dew. The youth's words echoed in 
the ears of the old woman all night long, and early next morning, 
when the Lord had gone on His way again and had heartily 
thanked the smith, the latter thought he might make his old 
mother-in-law young again likewise, as he had watched everything 
so carefully, and it lay in the province of his trade. So he called to 
ask her if she, too, would like to go bounding about Hke a girl of 
eighteen. She said, "With all my heart, as the youth has come out 
of it so well." 

So the smith made a great fire, and thrust the old woman into it, 
and she writhed about this way and that, and uttered terrible cries 
of murder. "Sit still; why art thou screaming and jumping about 
so?" cried he, and as he spoke he blew the bellows again until all 
her rags were burnt. The old woman cried without ceasing, and the 

392 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

smith thought to himself, '1 have not quite the right art," and took 
her out and threw her into the cooling-tub. Then she screamed so 
loudly that the smith's wife upstairs and her daughter-in-law heard, 
and they both ran downstairs, and saw the old woman lying in a 
heap in the quenching-tub, howling and screaming, with her face 
wrinkled and shriveled and all out of shape. Thereupon the two, 
who were both with child, were so terrified that that very night two 
boys were bom who were not made Hke men but apes, and they 
ran into the woods, and from them sprang the race of apes. 

The Lord's Animals and the Devil's 

The Lord God had created all animals, and had chosen the wolf to 
be his dog, but he had forgotten the goat. Then the Devil made 
ready and began to create also, and created goats with fine long 
tails. Now when they went to pasture, they generally remained 
caught in the hedges by their tails; then the Devil had to go there 
and disentangle them, with a great deal of trouble. This enraged 
him at last, and he went and bit off the tail of every goat, as may be 
seen to this day by the stump. Then he let them go to pastiue 

It came to pass that the Lord God perceived how at one time 
they gnawed away at a fruitful tree, at another injiured the noble 
vines, or destroyed other tender plants. This distressed Him, so that 
in His goodness and mercy He summoned His wolves, who soon 
tore in pieces the goats that went there. 

When the Devil observed this, he went before the Lord and said, 
'Thy creatures have destroyed mine." The Lord answered, "Why 
didst thou create things to do harm?" The Devil said, "I was com- 
pelled to do it: inasmuch as my thoughts rtm on evil, what I create 
can have no other nature, and thou must pay me heavy damages." 
"I will pay thee as soon as the oak leaves fall; come then, thy 
money will then be ready counted out." When the oak leaves had 
fallen, the Devil came and demanded what was due to him. But the 
Lord said, "In the church of Constantinople stands a tall oak tree 
which still has all its leaves." With raging and curses, the Devil de- 
parted, and went to seek the oak, wandered in the wilderness for 
six months before he found it, and when he returned, all the oaks 

Master Pfriem 393 

had in the meantime covered themselves again with green leaves. 
Then he had to forfeit his indemnity, and in his rage he put out the 
eyes of all the remaining goats, and put his own in instead. 

This is why all goats have devil's eyes, why their tails are bitten 
ofiF, and why he Hkes to assume their shape. 

Master Pfriem 

Master Pfkeem* was a short, thin, but lively man, who never 
rested a moment. His face, of which his tumed-up nose was the 
only prominent feature, was marked with smallpox and pale as 
death; his hair was gray and shaggy, his eyes small, but they 
glanced perpetually about on all sides. He saw everything, criti- 
cized everything, knew everything best, and was always in the 
right. When he went into the streets, he moved his arms about as if 
he were rowing; and once he struck the pail of a girl, who was car- 
rying water, so high in the air that he himself was wetted all over 
by it. "Stupid thing," cried he to her, while he was shaking himself, 
"could you not see that I was coming behind you?" 

By trade he was a shoemaker, and when he worked he pulled his 
thread out with such force that he drove his fist into every one who 
did not keep far enough off. No apprentice stayed more than a 
month with him, for he had always some fault to find with the very 
best work. At one time it was that the stitches were not even; at an- 
other that one shoe was too long, or one heel higher than the other, 
or the leather not cut large enough. "Wait," said he to his appren- 
tice, "I will soon show you how we make sldns soft," and he 
brought a strap and gave him a couple of strokes across the back. 
He called them all sluggards. He himself did not turn much work 
out of his hands, for he never sat still for a quarter of an hour. 

If his wife got up very early in the morning and lighted the fire, 
he jumped out of bed, and ran bare-footed into the kitchen, crying, 
"Will you bum my house down for me? That is a fire one could 
roast an ox byl Does wood cost nothing?" If the servants were 
standing by their wash-tubs and laughing, and telling each other all 
they knew, he scolded them, and said, "There stand the geese cack- 

• Pfriem: a cobbler's awl. 

394 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ling, and forgetting their work, to gossip! And why fresh soap? Dis- 
graceful extravagance and shameful idleness into the bargain! 
They want to save their hands, and not rub the things properly!" 
And out he would run and knock a pail full of soap and water over, 
so that the whole kitchen was flooded. 

Some one was building a new house, so he hurried to the window 
to look on. "There, they are using that red sand-stone again that 
never dries!" cried he. "No one v^dll ever be healthy in that house! 
And just look how badly the fellows are laying the stones! Besides, 
the mortar is good for nothing! It ought to have gravel in it, not 
sand. I shall live to see that house tumble down on the people who 
are in it." He sat dowm, put a couple of stitches in, and then jumped 
up again, unfastened his leather-apron, and cried, "I vwll just go 
out, and appeal to those men's consciences." He stumbled on the 
carpenters. "What's this?" cried he, "you are not working by the 
line! Do you expect the beams to be straight?— one wrong wall put 
all wrong." He snatched an axe out of a carpenter's hand and 
wanted to show him how he ought to cut; but as a cart loaded with 
clay came by, he threw the axe away, and hastened to the peasant 
who was walking by the side of it. "You are not in your right 
mind," said he, "who yokes young horses to a heavily laden cart? 
The poor beasts will die on the spot." The peasant did not give him 
an answer, and Pfriem in a rage ran back into his workshop. 

When he was setting himself to work again, the apprentice 
reached him a shoe. "Well, what's that again?" screamed he. 
"Haven't I told you you ought not to cut shoes so broad? Who would 
buy a shoe like this, which is hardly anything else but a sole? I in- 
sist on my orders being followed exactly." "Master," answered the 
apprentice, "you may easily be quite right about the shoe being a 
bad one, but it is the one which you yourself cut out, and yourself 
set to work at. When you jumped up a while since, you knocked it 
off the table, and I have only just picked it up. An angel from 
heaven, however, would never make you believe that." 

One night Master Pfriem dreamed he was dead, and on his way 
to heaven. When he got there, he knocked loudly at the door. '1 
wonder," said he to himself, "that they have no knocker on the door 
—one knocks one's knuckles sore." The apostle Peter opened the 
door, and wanted to see who demanded admission so noisily. "Ah, 
it's you, Master Pfriem"; said he, "well, I'll let you in, but I warn 
you that you must give up that habit of yours, and find fault with 
nothing you see in heaven, or you may fare ill." "You might have 
spared your warning," answered Pfriem. "I know already what is 

Master Pfriem 395 

seemly, and here, God be thanked, everything is perfect, and there 
is nothing to blame as there is on earth." So he went in, and walked 
up and down the wide expanses of heaven. He looked around him, 
to the left and to the right, but sometimes shook his head, or mut- 
tered something to himself. 

Then he saw two angels who were carrying away a beam. It was 
the beam which some one had had in his own eye while he was 
looking for the splinter in the eye of another. They did not, how- 
ever, carry the beam lengthways, but obliquely. "Did any one ever 
see such a piece of stupidity?" thought Master Pfriem; but he said 
nothing, and seemed satisfied with it. "It comes to the same thing 
after all, whichever way they carry the beam, straight or crooked, if 
they only get along with it, and truly I do not see them knock 
against anything." 

Soon after this he saw two angels who were drawing water out of 
a well into a bucket, but at the same time he observed that the 
bucket was full of holes, and that the water was running out of it 
on every side. They were watering the earth with rain. "Hang it," 
he exclaimed; but happily recollected himself, and thought, "Per- 
haps it is only a pastime. If it is an amusement, then it seems they 
can do useless things of this kind even here in heaven, where peo- 
ple, as I have already noticed, do nothing but idle about." 

He went farther and saw a cart which had stuck fast in a deep 
hole. 'It's no wonder," said he to the man who stood by it; "who 
would load so unreasonably? What have you there?" "Good 
wishes," replied the man. "I could not go along the right way with 
it, but still I have pushed it safely up here, and they won't leave me 
sticking here." In fact an angel did come and harnessed two horses 
to it. "That's quite right," thought Pfriem, 'TDut two horses won't 
get that cart out, it must at least have four to it." Another angel 
came and brought two more horses; she did not, however, harness 
them in front of it, but behind. 

That was too much for Master Pfriem. "Clumsy creature," he 
burst out with, "what are you doing there? Has any one ever since 
the world began seen a cart drawn in that way? But you, in your 
conceited arrogance, think that you know everything best." He was 
going to say more, but one of the inhabitants of heaven seized him 
by the throat and pushed him forth with irresistible strength. Be- 
neath the gateway Master Pfriem turned his head roiind to take one 
more look at the cart, and saw that it was being raised into the air 
by four winged horses. 

At this moment Master Pfriem awoke. "Things are certainly ar- 

396 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

ranged in heaven otherwise than they are on earth," said he to him- 
self, "and that excuses much; but who can see horses harnessed 
both behind and before with patience; to be sure they had wings, 
but who could know that? It is, besides, great folly to fix a pair of 
wings to a horse that has four legs to run with already! But I must 
get up, or else they will make nothing but mistakes for me in my 
house. It is a lucky thing for me though, that I am not really dead." 

The Heavenly Wedding 

A POOR PEASANT-BOY One day heard the priest say in church that 
whosoever desired to enter into the kingdom of heaven must always 
go straight onward. So he set out, and walked continually straight 
onward over hill and valley without ever turning aside. At length 
his way led him into a great town, and into the midst of a chmrch, 
where just at that time God's service was being performed. Now 
when he beheld all the magnificence of this, he thought he had 
reached heaven, sat down, and rejoiced with his whole heart. When 
the service was over, and the clerk bade him go out, he rephed, 
"No, I will not go out again, I am glad to be in heaven at last." So 
the clerk went to the priest, and told him that there was a child in 
the church who would not go out again, because he believed he 
was in heaven. The priest said, "If he believes that, we will leave 
him inside." So he went to him, and asked if he had any inclination 
to work. "Yes," the little fellow replied, "I am accustomed to work, 
but I will not go out of heaven again." 

So he stayed in the church, and when he saw how the people 
came and knelt and prayed to Our Lady with the blessed child 
Jesus which was carved in wood, he thought "that is the good 
God," and said, "Dear God, how thin You arel The people must 
certainly let You starve; but every day I will give You half my din- 
ner." From this time forth, he every day took half his dinner to the 
image, and the image began to enjoy the food. When a few weeks 
had gone by, people remarked that the image was growing larger 
and stout and strong, and wondered much. The priest also could 
not understand it, but stayed in the church, and followed the little 
boy about, and then he saw how he shared his food with the Virgin 
Mary, and how She accepted it. 

God^s Food 397 

After some time the boy became ill, and for eight days could not 
leave his bed; but as soon as he could get up again, the first thing 
he did was to take his food to Our Lady. The priest followed him, 
and heard him say, "Dear God, do not take it amiss that I have not 
brought You anything for such a long time, for I have been ill and 
could not get up." Then the image answered him and said, "I have 
seen thy good-wiU, and that is enough for me. Next Sunday thou 
shalt go with me to the wedding." The boy rejoiced at this, and 
repeated it to the priest, who begged him to go and ask the image 
if he, too, might be permitted to go. "No," answered the image, 
"thou alone." The priest wished to prepare him first, and give him 
the holy communion and the child was willing, and next Sunday, 
when the host came to him, he fell down and died, and was at the 
eternal wedding. 

God's Food 

There w^ere once upon a time two sisters, one of whom had no chil- 
dren and was rich, and the other had five and was a widow, and so 
poor that she no longer had food enough to satisfy herself and her 
children. In her need, therefore, she went to her sister, and said, 
"My children and I are suffering the greatest hunger; thou art rich, 
give me a mouthful of bread." The very rich sister was as hard as a 
stone, and said, "I myself have nothing in the house," and drove 
away the poor creature with harsh words. 

After some time the husband of the rich sister came home, and 
was just going to cut himself a piece of bread, but when he made 
the first cut into the loaf, out flowed red blood. When the woman 
saw that she was terrified and told him what had occurred. He hur- 
ried away to help the widow and her children, but when he entered 
her room, he found her praying. She had her two younger children 
in her arms, and the three older ones were lying dead. He offered 
her food, but she answered, "For earthly food have we no longer 
any desire. God has already satisfied the hunger of three of us, and 
He will hearken to our supplications likewise." Scarcely had she ut- 
tered these words than the two httle ones drew their last breath, 
whereupon her heart broke, and she sank down dead. 

St. Joseph in the Forest 

There was once oii a time a mother who had three daughters, the 
eldest of whom was rude and wicked, the second much better, al- 
though she had her faults, but the yoimgest was a pious, good 
child. The mother was, however, so strange, that it was just the eld- 
est daughter whom she most loved, and she could not bear the 
yoimgest. On this account, she often sent the poor girl out into the 
great forest in order to get rid of her, for she thought she would 
lose herself and never come back again. But the guardian-angel 
which every good child has, did not forsake her, but always 
brought her into the right path again. 

Once, however, the guardian-angel behaved as if he were not 
there, and the child could not find her way out of the forest again. 
She walked on constantly until evening came, and then she saw a 
tiny light burning in the distance, ran up to it at once, and came to 
a little hut. She knocked, the door opened, and she came to a sec- 
ond door, where she knocked again. An old man, who had a snow- 
white beard and looked venerable, opened it for her; and he was no 
other than St. Joseph. He said quite kindly, "Come, dear child, seat 
thyself on my little chair by the fire, and warm thyself; I will fetch 
thee clear water if thou art thirsty; but here in the forest, I have 
nothing for thee to eat but a couple of little roots, which thou must 
first scrape and boil." 

St. Joseph gave her the roots. The girl scraped them clean, then 
she brought a piece of pancake and the bread that her mother had 
given her to take with her; mixed all together in a pan, and cooked 
herself a thick soup. When it was ready, St. Joseph said, "I am so 
hungry; give me some of thy food." The child was quite wilHng, 
and gave him more than she kept for herself, but God's blessing 
was with her, so that she was satisfied. When they had eaten, St. 
Joseph said, "Now we will go to bed; I have, however, only one 
bed, lay thyself in it. I will lie on the ground on the straw." "No," 
answered she, "stay in thy own bed, the straw is soft enough for 
me." St. Joseph, however, took the child in his arms and carried her 
into the Httle bed, and there she said her prayers, and fell asleep. 

Next morning when she awoke, she wanted to say good morning 
to St. Joseph, but she did not see him. Then she got up and looked 

St. Joseph in the Forest 399 

for him, but could not find him anywhere; at last she perceived, 
behind the door, a bag with money so heavy that she could just 
carry it, and on it was written that it was for the child who had 
slept there that night. On this she took the bag, bounded away with 
it, and got safely to her mother, and as she gave her mother all the 
money, she could not help being satisfied with her. 

The next day, the second child also took a fancy to go into the 
forest. Her mother gave her a much larger piece of pancake and 
bread. It happened with her just as with the first child. In the eve- 
ning, she came to St. Joseph's little hut, who gave her roots for a 
thick soup. When it was ready, he likewise said to her, "I am so 
hungry, give me some of thy food." Then the child said, "Thou 
mayest have thy share." Afterwards, when St. Joseph offered her his 
bed and wanted to lie on the straw, she replied, "No, lie down in 
the bed, there is plenty of room for both of us." St. Joseph took her 
in his arms and put her in the bed, and laid himself on the straw. 

In the morning when the child awoke and looked for St. Joseph, 
he had vanished, but behind the door she found a little sack of 
money that was about as long as a hand, and on it was written that 
it was for the child who had slept there last night. So she took the 
little bag and ran home with it, and took it to her mother, but she 
secretly kept two pieces for herself. 

The eldest daughter had by this time grown curious, and the next 
morning also insisted on going out into the forest. Her mother gave 
her pancakes with her— as many as she wanted, and bread and 
cheese as weU. In the evening she found St. Joseph in his little hut, 
just as the two others had found him. When the soup was ready 
and St. Joseph said, "I am so hungry, give me some of the food," 
the girl answered, "Wait until I am satisfied; then if there is any- 
thing left thou shalt have it." She ate, however, nearly the whole of 
it, and St. Joseph had to scrape the dish. Afterwards, the good old 
man offered her his bed, and wanted to He on the straw. She took it 
without making any opposition, laid herseff down in the httle bed, 
and left the hard straw to the white-hatred man. 

Next morning when she awoke, St. Joseph was not to be found, 
but she did not trouble herseff about that. She looked behind the 
door for a money-bag. She fancied something was lying on the 
ground, but as she could not very well distinguish what it was, she 
stooped down and examined it closely, but it remained hanging to 
her nose, and when she got up again, she saw, to her horror, that it 
was a second nose, which was hanging fast to her own. Then she 
began to scream and howl, but that did no good; she was forced to 

40O Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

see it always on her nose, for it stretched out so far. Then she ran 
out and screamed without stopping till she met St. Joseph, at whose 
feet she fell and begged until, out of pity, he took the nose off her 
again, and even gave her two pennies. 

When she got home, her mother was standing before the door, 
and asked, "What hast thou had given to thee?" Then she Hed and 
said, "A great bag of money, but I have lost it on the way." "Lost 
itr cried the mother, "oh, but we will soon find it again," and took 
her by the hand, and wanted to seek it with her. At first she began 
to cry, and did not wish to go, but at last she went. On the way, 
however, so many lizards and snakes broke loose on both of them, 
that they did not know how to save themselves. At last they stung 
the wicked child to death, and they stung the mother in the foot, 
because she had not brought her up better. 

The Three Green Twigs 

There was once on a time a hermit who lived in a forest at the foot 
of a mountain, and passed his time in prayer and good works, and 
every evening he carried, to the glory of God, two pails of water up 
the mountain. Many a beast drank of it, and many a plant was 
refreshed by it, for on the heights above a strong wind blew con- 
tinually, which dried the air and the ground, and the wild birds 
which dread mankind wheel about there, and with their sharp 
eyes search for a drink. And because the hermit was so pious, an 
angel of God, visible to his eyes, went up with him, counted his 
steps, and when the work was completed, brought him his food, 
even as the prophet of old was by God's command fed by the 
raven. When the hermit in his piety had already reached a great 
age, it happened that he once saw from afar a poor sinner being 
taken to the gallows. He said carelessly to himself, "There, that one 
is getting his deserts 1" 

In the evening, when he was carrying the water up the mountain, 
the angel who usually accompanied him did not appear, and also 
brought him no food. Then he was terrified, and searched his heart, 
and tried to think how he could have sinned, as God was so angry, 
but he did not discover it. Then he neither ate nor drank, threw 

The Three Green Twigs 401 

himself down on the ground, and prayed day and night. And as he 
was one day thus bitterly weeping in the forest, he heard a little 
bird singing beautifully and delightfully, and then he was still 
more troubled and said, "How joyously thou singest, the Lord is 
not angry with thee. Ah, if thou couldst but tell me how I can have 
offended Him, that I might do penance, and then my heart also 
would be glad again." 

Then the bird began to speak and said, "Thou hast done injus- 
tice, in that thou hast condemned a poor sinner who was being led 
to the gallows, and for that the Lord is angry with thee. He alone 
sits in judgment. However, if thou wilt do penance and repent thy 
sins, He will forgive thee." Then the angel stood beside him with a 
dry branch in his hand and said, "Thou shalt carry this dry branch 
until three green twigs sprout out of it, but at night when thou vvdlt 
sleep, thou shalt lay it under thy head. Thou shalt beg thy bread 
from door to door, and not tarry more than one night in the same 
house. That is the penance which the Lord lays on thee." 

Then the hermit took the piece of wood, and went back into the 
world, which he had not seen for so long. He ate and drank nothing 
byt what was given him at the doors; many petitions were, how- 
ever, not Ustened to, and many doors remained shut to him, so that 
he often did not get a crumb of bread. 

Once when he had gone from door to door from morning tiU 
night, and no one had given him anything, and no one would shel- 
ter him for the night, he went forth into a forest, and at last found a 
cave which some one had made, and an old woman was sitting in 
it. Then said he, "Good woman, keep me with you in your house 
for this night"; but she said, "No, I dare not, even if I wished. I 
have three sons who are wicked and wild; if they come home from 
their robbing expedition, and find you, they wiU IdU us both." The 
hermit said, "Let me stay, they will do no injury either to you or to 
me," and the woman was compassionate, and let herself be per- 
suaded. Then the man lay down beneath the stairs, and put the bit 
of wood imder his head. When the old woman saw him do that, she 
asked the reason of it, on which he told her that he carried the bit 
of wood about with him for a penance, and used it at night for a 
pillow, and that he had offended the Lord, because, when he had 
seen a poor sinner on the way to the gallows, he had said he was 
getting his deserts. Then the woman began to weep and cried, 'Tf 
the Lord thus punishes one single word, how will it fare with my 
sons when they appear before Him in judgment?" 

402 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

At midnight the robbers came home and blustered and stormed. 
They made a fire, and when it had lighted up the cave and they 
saw a man lying under the stairs, they feU in a rage and cried to 
their mother, "Who is the man? Have we not forbidden any one 
whatsoever to be taken in?" Then said the mother, "Let him alone, 
it is a poor sinner who is expiating his crime." The robbers asked, 
"What has he done?" "Old man," cried they, "tell us thy sins." The 
old man raised himself and told them how he, by one single word, 
had so sinned that God was angry with him, and how he was now 
expiating this crime. 

The robbers were so powerfully touched in their hearts by this 
story, that they were shocked with their life up to this time, 
reflected, and began with hearty repentance to do penance for it. 
The hermit, after he had converted the three sinners, lay down to 
sleep again under the stairs. In the morning, however, they found 
him dead, and out of the dry wood on which his head lay, three 
green twigs had grown up on high. Thus the Lord had once more 
received him into His favor. 

Our Lady's Little Glass 

Once upon a time a wagoner s cart which was heavily laden with 
wine had stuck so fast that in spite of all that he could do, he could 
not get it to move again. Then it chanced that Our Lady just hap- 
pened to come by that way, and when She perceived the poor 
man's distress. She said to him, "I am tired and thirsty, give Me a 
glass of wine, and I will set thy cart free for thee." "Willingly," an- 
swered the wagoner, 'Tjut I have no glass in which I can give Thee 
the wine." Then Our Lady plucked a little white flower with red 
stripes, called field bindweed, which looks very like a glass, and 
gave it to the wagoner. He filled it with wine, and then Our Lady 
drank it, and in the self-same instant the cart was set free, and the 
wagoner could drive onwards. The little flower is still always called 
Our Lady's Little Glass. 

Brother Frolick 

For a long time the King of a certain country had been at war. At 
last it came to an end, and many soldiers were discharged. One of 
them was a fellow called Brother Frolick because he was such a 
lighthearted, jolly fellow; and although he only received a small 
loaf and four kreutzers in gold, he started on a journey through the 
world with a merry heart. 

He had not gone far, when he saw a poor beggar sitting by the 
roadside begging, but he did not know that it was a saint in dis- 
guise. The beggar asked for alms, and Brother Frolick said, "What 
shall I give you? I am only a poor, discharged soldier, and all they 
have given me is a loaf of bread and four kreutzers, and when it is 
all gone, I must beg as well as you. However, I will give you some- 
thing." Then he divided the loaf into four pieces, and gave one to 
the beggar, as well as one of his gold pieces. 

The beggar thanked him, and went away, but only to a little dis- 
tance. Again changing his appearance and face, he seated himself 
by the highway, waited for Brother FroHck to pass, and again 
begged for alms. The good-natured soldier gave this beggar also a 
fourth of his bread and a gold piece. 

The saint thanked him, and, after walking some distance, a third 
time seated himself in another form to beg of Brother Frolick. This 
time, also, he gave him a third piece of the divided loaf and another 
kreutzer. The beggar thanked him and went away. 

The Idndhearted fellow had now only a fourth part of the loaf 
and one gold piece left, so he went to an inn, ate the bread, and 
paid his kreutzer for a jug of beer. As soon as he had finished, he 
went out, and traveled on for some distance, and there again was 
the saint in the form of a discharged soldier hke himself. "Good 
evening, comrade," he said; "could you give me a piece of bread, 
and a kreutzer to buy something to drink?" 

"Where am I to get it?" answered Brother Frolick. "I had my dis- 
charge today, and they gave me a loaf of bread and foiu- gold 
kreutzers. But I met three beggars on the high road, and I gave 
them each a fourth part of my bread and a kreutzer, and the last 
kreutzer I have just paid for something to drink with my last piece 

404 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

of bread. Now I am empty, and if you also have nothing, we can go 
and beg together." 

"No," answered the saint, "we need not do that; I understand a 
little of medicine and surgery, and can soon earn as much as I shall 
want." "Well," replied Brother Frolick, "I don't understand doctor- 
ing at all, so I must go and beg alone." "No; come with me," cried 
the other; "whatever I earn, you shall have half." "That is good 
news for me," said Brother FroHck, so they went away together. 

After a time, as they passed a peasant's house, they heard great 
cries and lamentations, so they went in, and found the husband 
very ill and at the point of death, and the wife weeping and howl- 
ing with all her might. "Leave off that noise," said the saint; "I will 
soon cure your husband." Then he took some salve out of his 
pocket, and healed the man so quickly that he could stand up and 
was quite well. 

The husband and wife joyfully thanked the stranger, and said, 
"What can we give you in return for this kindness?" But the saint 
would name nothing, and, worse still, refused all they brought to 
him; and although Brother FroHck nudged him more than once, he 
still said, "No; I will take nothing— we do not want it." 

At last the grateful people brought a lamb, and said that he must 
take it whether he would or not. Then Brother Frolick nudged him 
in the side, and said, "Take it, stupid; you know we do want it." 

Then the saint said at last, "Well, I will take the lamb, but I can- 
not carry it; you must do that, if you want it so much." "Oh, that 
will be no trouble to me," cried the other, and taking it on his 
shoulder they went away together. 

After a while, they came to a wood, and Brother Frolick, who 
began to feel tired and hungry, for the lamb was heavy, proposed 
that they should stop and rest. "See," he said, "this is a beautiful 
place for us to cook the lamb and eat it." 

"I^'s all the same to me," replied the saint, "but I can have noth- 
ing to do with the cooking; you must do that if you have a kettle, 
and I will go away for a little while till it is ready. You must not, 
however, eat any till I come back; I will be here quite in time." "Go 
along," said Brother Frolick, "1 understand how to cook, and I will 
soon have dinner ready." 

Then the saint went away, and Brother Frolick slaughtered the 
lamb, lighted a fire, and threw some of the flesh into the kettle to 
boil. The meat was quite ready, however, before the saint returned, 
and Brother Frolick became so impatient, that he took out of the 
kettle a part of the flesh, in which was the heart. "The heart is the 

Brother Frolick 405 

best of all," he said, tasting it, and finding it very good he ate it aU. 

At last his comrade returned and said: "You may eat aU the lamb 
yourself, I only want the heart, so just give it me." 

Then Brother Frolick took a knife and fork and began searching 
among the pieces of meat for the heart, which, of coiurse, he could 
not find. Then he said pertly, "It is not there." 

"Then where can it be?" said the saint. 

"I do not know," said Brother Frolick; "but see," he added, 
"why, what a couple of fools we are, searching for a lamb's heart; 
of course there is not one to be found, for a lamb has no heart." 

"Ah," said the other, "that is news. Every animal has a heart, 
why should not a lamb?" 

"No, certainly, brother," he said, "a lamb has no heart; reflect a 
Httle, and you will be convinced that it really has none." 

"Well, certainly, it is quite clear that there is no heart to be 
foimd in this one, and as I do not want any other part, you may eat 
it all yourself." 

"I cannot eat it all," replied Brother Frolick, "so what is left I 
will put into my knapsack." 

When this was done, the two started to continue their journey, 
and Brother Peter, as the saint called himself, caused a large quan- 
tity of water to rise on the road just across where they had to pass. 
Said Brother Peter, "You go first." "No," answered the other, "I 
would rather see you across," for he thought, "if the water is very 
deep, I won't go at all." 

So Brother Peter stepped over, and the water only came up to his 
knees. His comrade prepared to follow, but he had not gone far 
when the water came up to his neck. "Brother, help me," he cried. 
"Will you confess, then, that you ate the lamb's heart?" he replied. 
"No," he said, "I did not eat it." 

Immediately the water became deeper, and flowed to his mouth. 
"Help! help me, brother," he cried. "Will you confess now that you 
have eaten the lamb's heart?" cried Brother Peter. "No," he repHed, 
"I did not eat it." 

Now the saint did not intend to drown him, so he allowed the 
water to subside, and Brother FroUck crossed over safely. They 
traveled after this till they reached a foreign land, and in the chief 
city heard that the King's daughter was very iU, and not expected 
to live. 

"Holloal brother," said the soldier, "that is a good chance for us; 
if you cxure her, we shall never know want again." 

But Brother Peter did not hurry himself, and when his comrade 

4o6 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

begged him to put his best foot foremost, he went slower than ever. 
Brother Frolick pushed him and dragged him on, but all to no pur- 
pose, and at last they heard that the King's daughter was dead. 
"There now," cried Brother Frolick, "we have lost our chance, aU 
through your sleepy walking." 

"Be quiet, now," said Brother Peter; "I can not only cure the 
sick, but I can restore the dead to life." "If that is the case," replied 
his comrade, "you may be sure that the King will be ready to give 
us the half of his kingdom for joy." 

They therefore went to the King's castle, and found them all in 
great grief. But Brother Peter said to the King, "Do not mourn, I 
can restore the Princess to Hfe." 

He and his comrade were at once led to her room, and telling ev- 
eryone to go out, they were left alone with the dead Princess. 
Brother Peter immediately stripped the body of the grave-clothes, 
and laid it in a bath of very hot water, which he had ordered to be 
brought. Then he uttered a few strange words, which his conu-ade 
tried to remember, and turning to the Princess, said, "I command 
thee to come out of the bath, and stand on thy feet." 

Immediately the Princess rose, and was again aHve and well. The 
chamber-women were sent for, and the Princess in her royal clothes 
was taken to her father, who received her with great joy, and said 
to the two strangers, "Name your reward; it shall be yours, even to 
the half of my kingdom." But Brother Peter replied, "No, I will 
take no reward for what I have done." "Oh, you foolish fellow," 
thought Brother Frolick to himself. Then he nudged him again in 
the side: "How can you be so stupid? If you don't want anything, I 

Brother Peter, however, stiU refused, but the King, seeing that his 
comrade was quite willing to accept something, told his treasurer to 
fin the soldier's knapsack with gold. 

They left the city after this, and traveled on tiU they came to a 
wood. Then said Brother Peter, "We may as weU divide that gold." 
"With all my heart," repHed the good-natured fellow. 

Peter took the gold, and divided it into three portions. "What is 
that for?" asked Brother Frolick. "What have you got in your head 
now? There are only two of us." 

"Oh," he replied, "it is all right. One third is for myself, one third 
for you, and one third for hinn who ate the lamb's heart." "Oh, I ate 
that," cried Brother Frolick, gathering the money up quickly. "I did 
indeed; can't you believe me?" 

"How can it be true?" replied Peter; "a lamb has no heart." 

Brother Frolick 407 

"Nonsense, brother," he said, "what are you thinldng of? A lamb 
has a heart as well as other animals. Why should he not have one?" 

"Now really this is too good," replied Brother Peter. "However, 
you may keep all the gold to yourself, but I wi\l go on my way 
alone in future." "As you please, brother," answered the soldier. 
"Farewell." Then Peter started on another road, and left Brother 
Frolick to go oflF by himself. "It is just as well," thought he, "but 
still he is a most wonderful man." 

The soldier had now quite as much money as he wanted, but he 
knew not how to spend it properly. He wasted it or gave it away, 
till as time went on he was again almost penniless. At last he ar- 
rived at a city where he heard that the King's daughter had just 
died. "Hello," thought he, "here is an opportunity; I know how to 
restore her to life, and they will pay me something worth having 
this time." So he went to the King and told him that he could re- 
store his daughter to life. 

Now the King had heard of the discharged soldier who had 
lately given new life to a Princess, and he thought Brother Frolick 
was the man. StiU, as he was not quite siu^e, he asked him first for 
his opinion, and whether he would venture if the Princess was re- 
ally dead. 

The soldier had no fear, so he ordered the bath to be filled with 
hot water, and went into the room with the dead Princess alone. 
Then he stripped her of her clothes, placed her in the bath, and 
said, as he supposed, the words which Brother Peter had said, but 
the dead body did not move, although he repeated the words three 
times. He now began to feel alarmed, and cried out in angry tones, 
"Stand up, will you, or you will get what you don't expect." 

At this moment the saint appeared in his former shape as a 
discharged soldier, and entered the room through the window. 
"You foolish man," he cried, "how can you raise the dead to Hfe? I 
will help you this time, but don't attempt it again." 

Thereupon he pronoimced the magic words, and immediately the 
Princess rose and stood on her feet, and was as well and strong as 
ever. Then the saint went away through the window, the maids 
were sent for to dress the Princess in her royal robes, and then the 
soldier led her to her father. He knew, however, that he was not 
free to ask for a reward, for Peter had forbidden him to take any- 
thing, and therefore when the King asked him what he would have, 
he said he would take nothing, although he wanted it so much 
through extravagance and folly. Yet the King ordered his knapsack 
to be filled with gold, and with many thanks he took his departiure. 

4o8 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

Outside near the castle gate he met the saint, who said to him, 
"See now, I forbade you to take anything, and yet you have re- 
ceived a knapsack full of gold.** "What could I do," he replied, 
"when they would put it in for me?" 

"Then I can only tell you," was the reply, "that if you get into 
trouble a second time by undertaking what you cannot perform, it 
will be worse for you." "All right, brother; I don't care, now I have 
the gold, and I shall not care about putting dead people into a bath 
again after this." 

"Ah," said the saint, "your gold wiU not last long. However, if 
you do not after this go into imlawful paths, I will give to your 
knapsack the power of containing in itself whatever you may wish 
for. And now farewell, you will see me no more." 

"Good-bye," said the soldier, as he turned away. "Well," he 
thought, "I am glad that he is gone; he is a wonderful fellow, no 
doubt, but I am better without him for a companion." 

To the wonderful power with which he had endowed his knap- 
sack Brother Frolick never gave a thought. 

He went on his way with his gold from place to place, and spent 
and wasted it as he did before, and at last he had nothing left but 
four kreutzers. With this sum he entered an inn by the roadside, 
and felt that the money must go, so he spent three kreutzers in 
wine, and one in bread. 

As he sat eating his bread and drinking his wine, the fragrant 
smell of roast goose reached his nose. Brother Frolick looked round 
and peeped about, and at last saw that the landlady had two geese 
roasting in the oven. 

Then he suddenly remembered what his old comrade had said, 
that whatever he wished for he would find in his knapsack. "Aha," 
he said to himself, "then I must wish for the geese to be there." 
Then he went out, and before the door he said, "I wish that the 
two geese roasting in the oven were in my knapsack." When he had 
said this he took it ofiF, peeped in, and there they both lay. "Ahl" he 
exclaimed, "this is all right. I am a mighty fellow after all," and 
going farther into a meadow, sat down to enjoy his good fare. 

Just as he had finished eating one goose, two farmhands came by, 
and when they saw the remaining goose, they stood stiU and looked 
at it with hungry eyes. "Well," thought Brother Frolick, "one is 
enough for me." So he beckoned the workers nearer, and said, 
"Here, take this goose, and drink my health as you eat it." 

They thanked him and went away quickly to the inn, bought 

Brother Frolick 409 

some wine and bread, and then unpacked the goose which had 
been given them, and began to eat it. 

The landlady, when she saw it, went to her husband, and said, 
"Those two are eating goose, just see if one of ours is gone from the 

The landlord ran to look, and found the oven empty. Tou 
thieves 1" he exclaimed, running out to them, "where did you get 
roast goose to eat? TeU me instantly, or I wiU give you a taste of 
green hazel juicel" "We are not thieves," they cried; "a discharged 
soldier gave us this goose yonder in the meadow." "You are not 
going to make me believe that," cried the landlord; "that soldier 
has been here, and a most respectable fellow he is; I watched him 
when he left the house and he had nothing with him then. No; you 
are the thieves, and shall pay for the goosel" But as they could not 
pay for it, he took a stick and thrashed them out of the house. 

Quite ignorant of all this, Brother Frolick went on his way, till he 
came to a place where stood a beautiful castle, and not far from it, 
a large but mean-looldng inn. The soldier went up to the inn and 
asked for a night's lodging. But the landlord said, "There is no 
room here; the house is full of noble guests." "I wonder at that," 
said Brother Frolick, "why should they come here instead of going 
to that beautiful castle yonder?" 

"Ah, yes,' said the landlord, "many have thought as you do; they 
have gone to spend a night at the castle, but they have never re- 
turned aUve. None are allowed to remain," said the landlord, "who 
do not go in on their heads." "I am not likely to walk in on my 
head," said the soldier; "but now, landlord, let me take something 
with me to eat and drink, and I'll go." 

So the landlord brought him a good supper to take with him, and 
then Brother Frolick set out to go to the castle. On arriving, he first 
sat down and ate with great relish, and when he began to feel 
sleepy, laid himself on the groimd, for there was no bed, and was 
soon asleep. 

In the night, however, he was wakened by a terrible noise, and 
when he roused himself he saw nine hideous imps in the room, 
dancing round a pole, which they held in their hands. "Dance 
away," he cried, "as long as you will, but don't come near me." The 
imps, however, disregarded his orders; nearer and nearer they ap- 
proached as they danced, till one of them trod on his face, with his 
heavy foot. 

"Keep away, you wretches," he cried. But still they came nearer. 
Then Brother Frolick grew angry. He started up, seized a chair. 

410 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

and struck out right and left. But nine imps against one soldier is 
rather too much, and if he struck one before him, another behind 
would pull his hair most immercifully. "You demons," he cried sud- 
denly, "I'll take care of you; wait a bit— now then, all nine of you 
into my knapsack." Whisk! and they were all in; quick as Hghtning 
he fastened the bag and threw it into a comer. 

Then all was quiet, and Brother Frolick laid himself down again 
and slept till broad daylight, when the arrival of the landlord of the 
inn and the nobleman to whom the castle belonged, woke him. 
They were astonished to find him aHve and full of spirits, and said 
to him, "Have you not seen any ghosts dming the night, and did 
they not try to hurt you?" 

"Well, not very much," answered Brother Frolick. "I have them 
all nine quite safe in my knapsack there," and he pointed to the 
comer. "You can dwell in your castle in peace now," he said to the 
nobleman. "They will never trouble you again." 

The nobleman thanked the soldier and loaded him v^dth presents; 
he also begged him to remain in his service, and promised to take 
care of him for the remainder of his hfe. But the soldier said, "No; 
I have a roving disposition; I could never rest in one place. I wiU 
go and travel farther." 

Then Brother Frolick went to a smith's, and laying the knapsack 
containing the imps on the anvil, asked the smith and his man to 
strike it with their great hammers, with all their strength. The imps 
set up a loud screech, and when at last all was quiet, the knapsack 
was opened. Eight of them were found quite dead, but the ninth, 
who had laid himself in a fold, was still living. He slipped out when 
the knapsack was opened and escaped. 

Thereupon Brother FroHck traveled a long time about the world, 
and those who know can tell many a tale about him. But at last he 
grew old and thought of his end, so he went to a hermit who was 
known to be a pious man, and said to him, "1 am tired of wander- 
ing about, and want now to behave in such a manner that I shall 
enter into the kingdom of Heaven." 

The hermit replied, "There are two roads: One is broad and 
pleasant, and leads to Hell; the other is narrow and rough, and 
leads to Heaven." 

"I should be a fool," thought Brother Frolick, "if I were to take 
the narrow, rough road." So he set out and took the broad and 
pleasant road, and at length came to a great black door, which was 
the door of Hell. 

Brother Frolick knocked, and the door-keeper peeped out to see 

The Bright Sun Brings It to Light 411 

who was there. But when he saw Brother Frolick, he was terrified, 
for he was the very same ninth imp who had been shut up in the 
knapsack and had escaped from it with a black eye. So he pushed 
the bolt in again as quickly as he could, ran to the highest demon, 
and said, "There is a fellow outside with a knapsack, who wants to 
come in, but as you value your lives don't allow him to enter, or he 
will wish the whole of Hell into his knapsack. He once gave me a 
frightful hammering when I was inside it." So they called out to 
Brother Frolick to go away again, for he should not get in therel 

*lf they won't have me here," thought he, "I wiU see if I can find 
a place for myself in Heaven, for I must stay somewhere." So he 
turned about and went onwards imtil he came to the door of 
Heaven, where he knocked. 

St. Peter was sitting hard by as door-keeper. Brother Frolick rec- 
ognized him at once, and thought, "Here I find an old friend, I 
shall get on better." But St. Peter said: "I can hardly believe that 
you want to come into Heaven." "Let me in, brother; I must get in 
somewhere; if they would have taken me into Hell, I should not 
have come here." "No," said St. Peter, "you shall not enter." "Then 
if you will not let me in, take your knapsack back, for I will have 
nothing at all from you." "Give it here, then," said St. Peter. 

Then Brother Frolick gave him the knapsack into Heaven 
through the bars, and St. Peter took it and himg it up beside his 
seat. Then said Brother Frolick, "And now I wish myself inside my 
knapsack," and in a second he was in it, and in Heaven, and St. 
Peter was forced to let him stay there. 

The Bright Sun Brings It to Light 

A tailor's apprentice was traveling about the world in search of 
work, and at one time he could find none, and his poverty was so 
great that he had not a penny to five on. Presently he met a Jew on 
the road, and as he thought he would have a great deal of money 
about him, the tailor thrust God out of his heart, fell on the Jew, 
and said, "Give me your money, or I will strike you dead." Then 
said the Jew, "Grant me my fife, I have no money but eight pen- 
nies." But the tailor said, "Money you have, and it must be pro- 
duced," and used violence and beat him until he was near death. 

412 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

And when the Jew was dying, the last words he said were, 'The 
bright sun will bring it to light," and thereupon he died. 

The tailor's apprentice felt in his pockets and sought for money, 
but he found nothing but eight pennies, as the Jew had said. Then 
he took him up and carried him behind a clump of trees, and went 
onwards to seek work. After he had traveled about a long while, he 
got work in a town with a master who had a pretty daughter, with 
whom he fell in love, and he married her, and lived in good and 
happy wedlock. 

After a long time when he and his wife had two children, the 
wife's father and mother died, and the young people kept house 
alone. One morning, when the husband was sitting at the table be- 
fore the window, his wife brought him his coffee, and when he had 
poured it out into the saucer, and was just going to drink, the sun 
shone on it and the reflection gleamed hither and thither on the 
wall above, and made circles on it. Then the tailor looked up and 
said, "Yes, it would Hke very much to bring it to Hght, and cannotl" 
The woman said, "Oh, dear husband, and what is that, then? What 
do you mean by that?" He answered, "I must not teU you." But she 
said, *Tf you love me, you must tell me," and used her most affec- 
tionate words, and said that no one should ever know it, and left 
him no rest. 

Then he told her how years ago, when he was traveling about 
seeking work and quite worn out and peimiless, he had killed a 
Jew, and that in the last agonies of death, the Jew had spoken the 
words, "The bright sun will bring it to Hght." And now, the sim had 
just wanted to bring it to Hght, and had gleamed and made circles 
on the wall, but had not been able to do it. After this, he again 
charged her particularly never to tell this, or he would lose his Hfe, 
and she did promise. 

When, however, he had sat down to work again, she went to her 
great friend and confided the story to her, but she was never to 
repeat it to any human being, but before two days were over, the 
whole town knew it, and the tailor was brought to trial, and con- 
demned. And thus, after all, the bright sun did bring it to Hght. 

The Sparrow and His Four Children 

A SPARROW had four young ones in a swallow's nest. When they 
were fledged, some naughty boys pulled out the nest, but fortu- 
nately all the birds got safely away in the high wind. Then the old 
bird was grieved that as his sons had all gone out into the world, he 
had not first warned them of every kind of danger, and given them 
good instruction how to deal with each. In the autumn a great 
many sparrows assembled together in a wheatfield, and there the 
old bird met his four children again, and full of joy took them home 
with him. "Ah, my dear sons, what pain I have been in about you 
all through the summer, because you got away in the wind without 
my teaching; listen to my words, obey your father, and be well on 
yoiu: guard. Little birds have to encounter great dangers I" 

Then he asked the eldest where he had spent the summer, and 
how he had supported himself. "I stayed in the gardens, and 
looked for caterpillars and small worms, until the cherries got ripe." 
"Ah, my son," said the father, "tit-bits are not bad, but there is 
great risk about them; on that account take great care of yourself 
henceforth, and particularly when people are going about the gar- 
dens who carry long green poles which are hollow inside and have 
a little hole at the top." "Yes, father, but what if a Httle green leaf is 
stuck over the hole with wax?" said the son. "Where have you seen 
that?" "In a merchant's garden," said the youngster. "Oh, my son, 
merchant folks are quick folks," said the father. "If you have been 
among the children of the world, you have learned worldly shift- 
iness enough; only see that you use it well, and do not be too 

After this he asked the next, "Where have you passed your 
time?" "At court," said the son. "Sparrows and silly little birds are 
of no use in that place— there one finds much gold, velvet, silk, 
armor, harnesses, sparrow-hawks, screech-owls and hen-harriers; 
keep to the horses' stable where they winnow oats, or thresh, and 
then fortune may give you your daily grain of com in peace." "Yes, 
father," said the son, "but when the stable-boys make traps and fix 
their gins and snares in the straw, many a one is caught fast." 
"Where have you seen that?" said the old bird. "At cotirt, among 

414 Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales 

the stable-boys." "Oh, my son, court boys are bad boys! If you have 
been to court and among the lords, and have left no feathers there, 
you have learnt a fair amount, and will know very well how to go 
about the world, but look around, for the wolves devour the wisest 

The father examined the third also: "Where did you seek your for- 
tune?" "I have broken up tubs and ropes on the cartroads and high- 
ways, and sometimes met with a grain of com or barley." "That is 
indeed dainty fare," said the father, 'l3ut take care what you are 
about and look carefully around, especially when you see any one 
stooping and about to pick up a stone; the