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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Grimm's household stories
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N ~ AWARricD ro
Thec Baldwui Lb rarv
RttF_ oo I
WITH ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS
AND SIXTEEN PAGE PLATES BY E. H. WEHNERT.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS, LIMITED
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
MANCHESTER AND NEW YORK
THE Kinder und Hausmirchen" of the Brothers Grimm is a world-
renowned book. Every collector of stories has borrowed from its
treasures,-hundreds of artists have illustrated it,-plays have been
founded on many of the tales,-and learned essays of deep research have
been written upon it by men of literary eminence.
The Brothers Grimm themselves thus speak of their work:
We may see, not seldom, when some heaven-directed storm has beaten
to the earth a whole field of ripening corn, one little spot unscathed, where
yet a few ears of corn stand upright, protected by the hedge or bushes
which grow beside them. The warm sun shines on them day by day, and
unnoticed and forgotten they ripen and are fit for the sickle, which comes
not to reap them that they may be stored in some huge granary. They
remain till they are full ripe, and then the hand of some poor woman
plucks and binds them together and carries them home to store them up
more carefully than a whole sheaf, for perchance they will have to serve
for all the winter, and she cannot tell how long beyond.
"Thus does it appear to us when we consider how little is :eft of all
that bloomed in earlier days,-how even that little is well-nigh lost, save
for the popular ballads, a few legends and traditions, and these innocent
Household Stories. The fire-side hearth and chimney-corner ; the observ-
ance of high-days and holy-days; the solitude of the still forest-glade;
above all, untroubled fancy; these have been the hedges which have kept
intact the field of legendary lore and handed it down from age to age."
In this translation of these Household Stories," it has been simply
endeavoured to render the homely talk of Germany into the homely talk
of our own country. A few short pieces have been omitted to which
English mothers might object, and principally on the score of that
mixture of the sacred and profane which is common in German imagina-
tive composition. It may, perhaps, also be objected that in some of the
Tales the expression, "the greater the rogue, the better his fortune,"
occurs ; to such criticism the Brothers Grimm reply, "The right use of
these narrations will find no evil therein, but, as a good old proverb has
it, a witness of our own hearts. Children point at the stars without fear,
while others, as the popular belief goes, thereby offend the angels."
Any praise of Mr. Wehnert's illustrations is quite unnecessary. They
are so full of character, and so happily in accordance with the spirit of
the work, that every one who admires the stories must be delighted with
The Frog Prince . .. 1
The Cat and the Mouse in Part-
nership . 4
The Three Spinsters. . 6
The Woodcutter's Child .. 8
Oh, if I could but Shiver I 11
The Wolf and the Seven Little
Goats . .. .18
The Pack of Ragamuffins 20
Faithful John . .. .22
A Good Bargain . 27
The Wonderful Musician 31
The Twelve Brothers . 33
The Three Little Men in the Wood 37
The Little Brother and Sister 41
Hansel and Grethel. . 45
The Three Snake-Leaves .50
Rapunzel. ........ 53
The White Snake ..... 56
The Fisherman and his Wife.. 59
The Seven Crows . 63
The Valiant Little Tailor .. 65
The Straw, the Coal, and the
Bean . . 71
Little Red-Cap .... .72
Old Mother Frost. ... .75
Cinderella . ... .77
The Riddle . . 82
The Spider and the Flea 84
The Little Mouse, Bird, and
Sausage . . 86
The Musicians of Bremen .87
The Giant with the Three Golden
Hairs . .90
The Three Languages .. 95
The Handless Maiden . 97
The Singing Bone ... .101
The Discreet Hans ... 103
Clever Alice . ... .105
The Wedding of Mrs. Fox .
The Little Elves . ..
The Table, the Ass, and the Stick
The Golden Bird .. ...
The Travels of Thumbling .
The Godfather Death .
The Robber-Bridegroom .
The Old Witch . .
Herr Korbes . .
The Feather Bird . ..
The Godfather .. .
The Six Swans. . .
Old Sultan . .
The Almond-Tree . .
Briar Rose . .
King Thrush-Beard . .
Rumpolstiltskin . .
Little Snow-White . .
The Dog and the Sparrow. .
Roland . .
The Knapsack, the Hat, and the
Horn . .
The Little Farmer ..
Jorinde and Joringel. .
Catherine and Frederic .
The Two Brothers . .
The Golden Goose . .
The Three Feathers . .
The Queen Bee . .
Allerleirauh (The Coat of all
Colours) . .
The Twelve Hunters .
The Rogue and his Master. .
The Wolf and the Fox .
The Fox and Godmother-Wolf
The Fox and the Cat .
The Three Luck-Children .
How Six Travelled through the
World . . 228
Clever Grethel. . 232
The Pink . .. 234
The Old Man and his Grandson. 237
The Wolf and the Man. 238
The Gold Children . 239
S The Soaring Lark ... 243
The Rabbit's Bride ... .247
The Death of the Cock 249
The Water-Sprite .... .250
Brother Lustig . .. .251
Hans in Luck . 258
The Fox and the Geese. 262
The Goose-Girl . .. .263
The Poor Man and the Rich Man 268
The Young Giant . .. .271
Hans Married . .. 277
The Dwarfs . ... 278
S The King of the Golden Mountain 281
The Raven . .. .286
Old Hildebrand . .. .290
The Three Birds . .. .293
The Water of Life . 296
The Peasant's Wise Daughter 300
Doctor Know-All. . 303
The Two Wanderers. 305
The Spirit in the Bottle 312
The Experienced Huntsman 316
Bearskin . . 320
The Wren and the Bear 324
The Sweet Soup . 326
The Faithful Beasts. 327
The Three Army Surgeons. 330
Three little Tales about Toads 332
The Valiant Tailor . 334
The Poor Miller's Son and the Cat 836
Hans the Hedgehog. 339
The Child's Grave .. 343
The Two Kings' Children 844
The Jew among Thorns 349
The Flail which came from the
Clouds . ... 353
The Blue Light . 354
The Seven Swabians. 357
The Three Journeymen. 359
Ferdinand the Faithful and
Ferdinand the Unfaithful 362
The Shoes which were Danced to
Pieces . ..... .365
The Bright Sun brings on the
Day . . 368
The Prince who was afraid of
Nothing .. . .. 369
The Idle Spinner. . 373
The Three Brothers. . 375
THE LITTLE BROTHER AND SISTER .
THE MUSICIANS OF BREMEN .
THE GOLDEN BIRD
THE KNAPSACK, THE HAT, AND TIE HORN
THE TWELVE HUNTERS
HOW SIX TRAVELLED TIIROUII THE WORLD
THE GOLD CHILDREN .
THE WATER OF LIFE. .
THE TWO WANDERERS
THE EXPERIENCED HUNTSMAN .
THE TWO KINGS' CHILDREN
FERDINAND THE FAITHFUL AND FERDINAND THE UNFAITHFUL
THE THREE BROTHERS .
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES
THE FROG PRINCE.
IN the olden time, when wishing was having, there lived a King, whose
daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest was so exceedingly
beautiful that the Sun himself, although he saw her very often, was
enchanted every time she came out into the sunshine.
Near the castle of this King was a large and gloomy forest, and in
the midst stood an old lime-tree, beneath whose branches splashed a
little fountain; so, whenever it was very hot, the King's youngest
daughter ran off into this wood, and sat down by the side of this
fountain ; and, when she felt dull would often divert herself by throwing
a golden ball up in the air and catching it. And this was her favourite
Now, one day it happened, that this golden ball, when the King's
daughter threw it into the air, did not fall down into her hand, but on
the grass; and then it rolled past her into the fountain. The King's
dau ghter followed the ball with her eyes, but it disappeared beneath the
water, which was so deep that no one could see to the bottom. Then
she began to lament, and to cry louder and louder; and, as she cried, a
voice called out, "Why weepest thou, 0 King's daughter? thy tears
would melt even a stone to pity." And she looked around to the spot
whence the voice came, and saw a Frog stretching his thick ugly head
out of the water. Ah you old water-paddler," said she, "was it you
that spoke 1 I am weeping for my golden ball which has slipped away
from me into the water."
"Be l-ret, and do not cry" answered the Frog; "I can give thee
2 GRIaII'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
good advice But what wilt thou give me if I fetch thy plaything up
"What will you have, dear Frog?" said sher "My dresses, my
pearls and jewels, or the golden crown which I wear I"
The Frog answered, "Dresses, or jewels, or golden crowns, are not
for me; but if thou wilt love me, and let me be thy companion and
playfellow, and sit at thy table, and eat from thy little golden plate, and
drink out of thy cup, and sleep in thy little bed,-if thou wilt promise
me all these, then will I dive down and fetch up thy golden ball."
"Oh, I will promise you all," said she, "if you will only get me my
ball." But she thought to herself, "What is the silly Frog chattering
about Let him remain in the water with his equals; he cannot mix
in society." But the Frog, as soon as he had received her promise, drew
his head under the water and dived down. Presently he swam up again
with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. The King's
daughter was full of joy when she again saw her beautiful plaything;
and, taking it up, she ran off immediately. "Stop! stop !" cried the
Frog; "take me with thee. I cannot run as thou canst." But all his
croaking was useless; although it was loud enough, the King's daughter
did not hear it, but, hastening home, soon forgot the poor Frog, who was
obliged to leap back into the fountain.
The next day, when the King's daughter was sitting at table with
her father and all his courtiers, and was eating from her own little
golden plate, something was heard coming up the marble stairs, splish-
splash, splish-splash; and when it arrived at the top, it knocked at the
door, and a voice said, Open the door, thou youngest daughter of the
King !" So she rose and went to see who it was that called her but
when she opened the door and caught sight of the Frog, she shut it
again with great vehemence, and sat down at the table, looking very
pale. But the king perceived that her heart was beating violently, and
asked her whether it were a giant who had come to fetch her away who
stood at the door. "Oh, no!" answered she; "it is no giant, but an
"What does the Frog want with you said the King.
"Oh. dear father, when I was sitting yesterday playing by the foun-
tain, my golden ball fell into the water, and this Frog fetched it up again
because I cried so much : but first, I must tell you, he pressed me so
much, that I promised him he should be my companion. I never
thought that he could come out of the water, but somehow he has
jmrrped out, and now he wants to come in here."
At that moment there was another knock, and a voice said,-
"King's daughter, youngest,
Open the door.
Hast thou forgotten
Thy promises made
At the fountain so clear
'Neath the lime-tree's sha&.
King's daughter, youngest,
Open the door."
THE FROG PRINCE. 0
Then the King said," What you have promised, that you must perform;
go and let him in." So the King's daughter went and opened the door,
and the Frog hopped in after her right up to her chair: and as soon as
she was seated, the Frog said, "Take me up;" but she hesitated. so
long that at last the King ordered her to obey. And as soon as the
Frog sat on the chair he jumped on to the table and said, "Now push thy
plate near me, that we may eat together." And she did so, but as every
one saw, very unwillingly. The Frog seemed to relish his dinner much,
bu't every bit that the King's daughter ate nearly choked her, till at last
the Frog said, I have satisfied my hunger and feel very tired ; wilt thou
carry me upstairs now into thy chamber, and make thy bed ready that
we may sleep together ?" At this speech the King's daughter began to
cry, for she was afraid of the cold Frog, and dared not touch him; and
besides, he actually wanted to sleep in her own beautiful, clean bed.
But her tears only made the King very angry, and he said, "He
who helped you in the time of your trouble, must not now be despised !"
So she took the Frog up with two fingers, and put him in a corner of her
chamber. But as she lay in her bed, he crept up to it, and said, I am
so very tired that I shall sleep well; do take me up or I will tell thy
father." This speech put the King's daughter in a terrible passion, and
catching the Frog up, she threw him with all her strength against the
wall, saying, Now, 'will you be quiet, you ugly Frog !"
But as he fell he was changed from a frog into a handsome Prince
with beautiful eyes, who after a little while became, with her father's
consent, her dear companion and betrothed. Then he told her how he
had been transformed by an evil witch, and that no one but herself could
lave had the power to take him out of the fountain; and that on the
morrow they would go together into his own kingdom.
The next morning, as soon as the sun rose, a carriage drawn by
eight white horses, with ostrich feathers on their heads, and golden
bridles, drove up to the door of the palace, and behind the carriage
stood the trusty Henry, the servant of the young Prince. When his
master was changed into a frog, trusty Henry had grieved so much that
he had bound three iron bands round his heart, for fear it should break
with grief and sorrow. But now that the carriage was ready to carry
the young Prince to his own country, the faithful Henry helped in the
bride and bridegroom, and placed himself in the seat behind, full of joy
at his master's release. They had not proceeded far when the Prince
heard a crack as if something had broken behind the carriage ; so he
put his head out of the window and asked Henry what was broken, and
Henry answered, It was not the carriage, my master, but a band which
I bound round my heart when it was in such grief because you were
changed into a frog."
STwice afterwards on the journey there was the same noise, and each
time the Prince thought that it was some part of the carriage that had
given way; but it was only the breaking of the bands which bound the
heart of the trusty Henry, who was thenceforward free and happy.
THE CAT AND THE MOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP.
A CAT having made the acquaintance of a Mouse, told her so much of
the great love and affection that he had for her, that the Mouse at last
consented to live in the same house with the Cat, and to have their
domestic affairs in common. But we must provide for the winter,"
said the Cat, or we shall be starved : you little Mouse cannot go any-
where, or you will meet with an accident." This advice was followed,
and a pot was brought with some grease in it. However, when they had
got it, they could not imagine where it should be put ; at last, after a
long consideration, the Cat said, "I know no better place to put it than
in the church, for there no one dares to steal anything : we will set it
beneath the organ, and not touch it till we really want it." So the pot
was put away in safety ; but not a long while afterwards the Cat began
to wish for it again, so he spoke to the Mouse and said, I have to tell
you that I am asked by my aunt to stand godfather to a little son, white
with brown marks, whom she has just brought into the world, and so I
must go to the christening. Let me go out to-day, and do you stop at
home and keep house." "Certainly," answered the Mouse ; "pray, go;
and if you eat anything nice, think of me : I would also willingly drink a
little of the sweet red christening-wine." But it was all a story ; for the
Cat had no aunt, and had not been asked to stand godfather. He went
straight to the church, crept up to the grease-pot, and licked it till he had
eaten off the top ; then he took a walk on the roofs of the houses in the
town, thinking over his situation, and now and then stretching himself
in the sun and stroking his whiskers as often as he thought of the pot of
fat. When it was evening he went home again, and the Mouse said,
SSo you have come at last: what a charming day you must hav'
"Yes," answered the Cat; "it went off very well!"
"What have you named the kitten '" asked the Mouse.
Tp-of I said the Cat, very quickly.
THE CAT AND THE MOUSE IN PARTNEESaIP.
Top-of I" replied the Mouse; "that is a curious and remarkable
name: is it common in your family "
"What does that matter ?" said the Cat; "it is not worse than
Crumb-stealer, as your children are called."
Not long afterwards the Cat felt the same longing as before, and said
to the Mouse, You must oblige me by taking care of the house once more
by y urself; I am again asked to stand godfather, and, since the young-
ster has a white ring round his neck, I cannot get off the invitation."
So the good little Mouse consented, and the Cat crept away behind the
wall to the church again, and ate half the contents of the grease-pot.
"Nothing tastes better than what one eats by oneself," said he, quite
contented with his day's work; and when he came home the Mouse
asked how this child was named.
"IIalf-out," answered the Cat.
Half out / What do you mean? I never heard such a name before
in my life: I will wager anything it is not in the calendar."
The Cat's mouth now began to water again at the recollection of the
feasting. "All good things come in threes," said he to the Mouse. "I
am again required to be godfather; this child is quite black, and has
little white claws, but not a single white hair on his body; such a thing
only happens once in two years, so pray excuse me this time."
Top-off Half-out!" answered the Mouse; "these are such curious
names, they make me a bit suspicious."
"Ah !" replied the Cat, "there you sit in your grey coat and long
tail, thinking nonsense. That comes of never going out."
The Mouse busied herself during the Cat's absence in putting the
house in order, but meanwhile greedy Puss licked the grease-pot clean
out. "When it is all done one will rest in peace," thought he to him-
self, and as soon as night came he went home fat and tired. The Mouse,
however, again asked what name the third child had received. "It
will not please you any better," answered the Cat, "for he is called
"All-out!" exclaimed the Mouse; "well, that is certainly the most
curious name by far. I have never yet seen it in print. All-out What
cnn that mean and, shaking her head, she rolled herself up and went
After that nobody else asked the Cat to stand godfather; but the
winter had arrived, and nothing more was to be picked up out-of-doors;
so the Mouse bethought herself of their store of provision, and said,
" Come, friend Cat, we will go to our grease-pot which we laid by; it
will taste well now."
"Yes, indeed," replied the Cat; "it will taste as well as if you
stroked your tongue against the window."
So they set out on their journey, and when they arrived at th
church the pot stood in its old place-but it was empty "Ah," said
the Mouse, "I see what has happened; now I know you are indeed a
faithful friend. You have eaten the whole as you stood godfather; first
Top-of, then Half-out, then--"
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
"Will you be quiet ?" cried the Cat. "Not a word, or ill eat you."
But the poor Mouse had "All-out" at her tongue's end, and had scarcely
uttered it when the Cat made a spring, seized her in his mouth, and
This happens every day in the world.
THE THREE SPINSTERS.
THERE was once a lazy girl who would not spin, and let her mother say
what she would she could not get her to work. At last the mother,
getting both angry and impatient, gave her a blow, which made the girl
cry very loud. Just then the Queen passing by, heard the noise, and
stopping the carriage, she stepped into the house and asked the mother
why she beat her daughter in such a way that the passers-by in the
street heard her shrieks. The mother, howeoe:-, was ashamed that
her daughter's laziness should be known, and said, "I cannot make
her leave off spinning; she will spin for ever and ever, and I am so poor
that I cannot procure the flax." The Queen replied, "I never heard
anything I like better than spinning, and I am never more pleased than
when the wheels are whirring. Let your daughter go with me to the
castle; I have flax enough, and she may spin as much as she pleases."
The mother was very glad at heart, and the Queen took the girl home
with her. As soon as they entered the castle she led her up into three
rooms, which were all full of the finest flax from top to bottom. Now,
spin this flax for me," said the Queen; "and, when you have prepared
it all, you shall have my eldest son for a husband. Although you are
poor, I do not despise you on that account; your unwearied industry is
dowry enough." The girl, however, was inwardly frightened, for she
could not have spun the flax had she sat there from morning to night
until she was three hundred years old. When she was left alone she
began to cry, and thus she sat three days without stirring a hand. 0Q
THE THREE SPINSrERS.
the third day the Queen came, and when she saw that nothing was yet
spun she wondered; and the maiden excused herself by saying that she
had not been able to begin yet, on account of her great sorrow at leaving
her mother's house. So the Queen was satisfied; but on leaving she said,
"You must begin to work for me to-morrow."
As soon as the girl was again alone, she knew not how to act or help
herself, and in her vexation she went and looked out of the window.
She saw three women passing by ; the first of whom had a broad, flat
foot, the second such a large under-lip that it reached nearly to her chin.
and the third a very big thumb. They stopped before the window, and,
looking up, asked the girl what she wanted. She told them her trouble,
and they offered her their help, saying, Will you invite us to the wed-
ding, and not be ashamed of us, but call us your aunts, and let us sit at
your table ? If you do all these, we will spin the flax in a very short
time for you."
With all my heart," replied the girl; "come in, and begin at once."
Then she let in these three women, and, making a clear place in the first
room, they sat themselves down and began spinning. One drew the
thread and trod the wheel, the other moistened the thread, and the third
pressed it and beat with her fingers on the table; and as often as she
did so a pile of thread fell on the ground, which was spun in the finest
manner. The girl hid the three spinsters, however, from the Queen, and
showed her, as often as she came, the heaps of spun yarn ; so that she
received no end of praise. When the first room was empty, the thine
women went to the second, and at length to the third, so that soon all was:
cleared out. Now the three spinsters took leave, saying to the girl, Do
not forget what you promised us; it will make your fortune."
When the girl showed the Queen the empty rooms and the great
pile of thread, the wedding was performed, and the bridegroom was
glad that he had such a clever and industrious wife, and praised her
I have three aunts," said the girl, "who have done me much service;
so I would not willingly forget them in my good fortune. Allow me,
therefore, to invite them to the wedding, and to sit with me at table."
The Queen and the bridegroom asked, "Why should we not allow it 1"
When the feast was begun, the three old maids entered in great splen-
dour, and the bride said, You are welcome, dear aunts."
Ah," said the bridegroom, "how do you come by such ugly friends ?"
And, going up to the one with the big foot, he asked," Why have you
such a broad foot 1" From treading, from treading," she replied. Then
he went to the second, and asked, Why have you such an overhanging
lip 1" "From licking," she answered, "from licking." Then lie asked
the third, Why have you such a broad thumb 7" From pressing thp
thread," she replied, "from pressing the thread." At this the Prince was
frightened, and said, "Therefore my bride shall never touch a spinning-
And so she was set free from the unlucky flsx-spinning.
THE WOODCUTTER'S CHILD.
ONCE upon a time, near a large forest, there dwelt a woodcutter and his
wife, who had only one child, a little girl three years old; but they were
so poor that they had scarcely food sufficient for every day in the week,
and often they were puzzled to know what they should get to eat. One
morning the woodcutter, his heart full of care, went into the wood to
work; and, as he chopped the trees, there stood before him a tall and
beautiful woman, having a crown of shining stars upon her head, who
thus addressed him: "I am the Guardian Angel of every Christian
child; thou art poor and needy; bring me thy child, and I will take her
with me. I will be her mother, and henceforth she shall be under my
care." The woodcutter consented, and calling his child, gave her to the
Angel, who carried her to the land of Happiness, There everything
went happily; she ate sweet bread, and drank pure milk; her clothes
were gold, and her playfellows were beautiful children. When she
attained her fourteenth year, the Guardian Angel called her to her side,
and said, My dear child, I have a long journey for thee. Take these
keys of the thirteen doors of the land of Happiness : twelve of them thou
mayest open, and behold the glories therein; but the thirteenth, to which
this little key belongs, thou art forbidden to open. Beware if thou dost
disobey, harm will befall thee."
The maiden promised to be obedient, and, when the Guardian Angel
was gone, began her visits to the mansions of Happiness. Every day one
door was unclosed, until she had seen all the twelve. In each mansion
there sat an angel, surrounded by a bright light. The maiden rejoiced
at the glory, and the child who accompanied her rejoiced with her. Now
the forbidden door alone remained. A great desire possessed the maiden
to know what was hidden there ; and she said to the child, I will not
quite open it, nor will I go in, but I will only unlock the door, so that
we may peep through the chink." No, no," said the child; that will
be a sin. The Guardian Angel has forbidden it, and misfortune would
i-on fall upon us."
THE WOODCUTTER'S CHILD.
At this the maiden was silent, but the desire still remained in her
heart, and tormented her continually, so that she had no peace. One
day, however, all the children were away, and she thought, "Now I am
alone and can peep in, no one will know what I do ;" so she found the
keys, and, taking them in her hand, placed the right one in the lock and
turned it around. Then the door sprang open, and she saw three angels
sitting on a throne, surrounded by a great light. The maiden remained
a little while standing in astonishment; and then, putting her finger in
the light, she drew it back, and found it covered with gold. Then great
alarm seized her, and, shutting the door hastily, she ran away. But her
fear only increased more and more, and her heart beat so violently that
she thought it would burst; the gold also on her finger would not come
off, although she washed it and rubbed it with all her strength.
Not long afterwards the Guardian Angel came back from her
journey, and, calling the maiden to her, demanded the keys of the
mansion. As she delivered them up, the Angel looked in her face,
and asked, Hast thou opened the thirteenth door?" No," answered
Then the Angel laid her hand upon the maiden's heart, and felt how
violently it was beating; and she knew that her command had been
disregarded, and that the child had opened the door. Then she asked
again, "Hast thou opened the thirteenth door?" "No," said the
maiden, for the second time.
Then the Angel perceived that the child's finger had become golden
from touching the light, and she knew that the child was guilty; and
she asked her for the third time, Hast thou opened the thirteenth
door?" "No," said the maiden again.
Then the Guardian Angel replied, Thou hast not obeyed me, nor
done my bidding ; therefore thou art no longer worthy to remain among
And the maiden sank down into a deep sleep, and when she awoke
she found herself in the midst of a wilderness. She wished to call out,
but she had lost her voice. Then she sprang up, and tried to run away;
but wherever she turned thick bushes held her back, so that she could
not escape. In the deserted spot in which she was now inclosed, there
stood an old hollow tree; this was her dwelling-place. In this place
she slept by night; and when it rained and blew she found shelter
within it. Roots and wild berries were her food, and she sought for
them as far as she could reach. In the autumn she collected the leaves
of the trees, and laid them in her hole ; and when the frost and snow
of the winter came, she clothed herself with them, for her clothes had
dropped into rags. But during the sunshine she sat outside the tree,
and her long hair fell down on all sides and covered her like a mantle.
Thus she remained a long time, experiencing the misery and poverty of
But, once, when the trees had become green again, the King of the
country was hunting in the forest, and, as a bird flew into the bushes
which surrounded the wood, he dismounted, and, tearing the brushwood
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
aside, out a path for himself with his sword. When h3 had at last
made his way through, he saw a beautiful maiden, who was clothed
from head to foot with her own golden locks, sitting under the tree.
He stood in silence, and looked at her for some time in astonishment;
at last he said, "Child, how came you into this wilderness But the
maiden answered not, for she had become dumb. Then the King
asked, "Will you go with me to my castle 1" At that she nodded her
nead, and the King, taking her in his arms, put her on his horse and
rode away home. Then he gave her beautiful clothhig, and everything
in abundance. Still she could not speak; but her beauty was so great,
and so won upon the King's heart, that after a little while he married
When about a year had passed away the Queen brought a son into
the world, and the same night, while lying alone in her bed, the Guar-
dian Angel appeared to her, and said-
"Wilt thou tell the truth, and confess that thou didst unlock th3
forbidden door 1 For then will I open thy mouth, and give thee agair
the power of speech; but if thou remainest obstinate in thy sin, their.
will I take from thee thy new-born babe."
And the power to answer was given to her, but her heart was
hardened, and she said, "No, I did not open the door;" and at these
words the Guardian Angel took the child out of her arms and disappeared
The next morning, when the child was not to be seen, a murmur
arose among the people that their Queen was a murderess, who had
destroyed her only son; but, although she heard everything, she could
say nothing. But the King did not believe the ill report, because of his
great love for her.
About a year afterwards another son was born, and on the night of
his birth the Guardian Angel again appeared, and asked, Wilt thou
confess that thou didst open the forbidden door 7 Then will I restore
to thee thy son, and give thee the power of speech ; but if thou hard-
ensst thyself in thy sin, then will I take this new-born babe also with
Then the Queen answered again, No, I did not open th, door;"
so the Angel took the second child out of her arms and bore him away.
On the morrow, when the infant could not be found, the people said
openly that the Queen had slain him, and the King's councillors advised
that she should be brought to trial. But the King's affections was still
so great that he would not believe it, and he commanded his councillors
never again to mention the report on pain of death.
The next year a beautiful little girl was born, and for the third
time the Guardian Angel appeared and said to the Queen, "Follow
me;" and taking her by the hand, she led her to the kingdom of Hap-
piness, and showed to her the two other children, who were playing
merrily. The Queen rejoiced at the sight, and the Angel said, "Is
thy heart not yet softened I If thou wilt confess that thou didst unlock
the forbidden door, then will I restore to thee both thy sons." But the
OII, IF I COULD BUT SHIVER 11
Queen again answered, "No, I did not open it;" and at these words she
sank upon the earth, and her third child was taken from her.
When this was rumoured abroad the next day, all the people ex-
claimed, "The Queen is a murderess! she must be condemned! and the
King could not this time repulse his councillors. Thereupon a trial
was held, and since the Queen could make no good answer or defence,
she was condemned to die upon a funeral pile. The wood was collected,
she was bound to the stake, and the fire was lighted all around her.
Then the iron pride of her heart began to soften, and she was moved to
repentance, and she thought, "Could I but now, before my death, confess
that I opened the door And her tongue was loosened, and she cried
aloud, Thou good Angel, I confess." At these words the rain descended
from heaven and extinguished the fire; then a great light shone above,
and the Angel appeared and descended upon the earth, and by her side
were the Queen's two sons, one on her right hand and the other on her
left, and in her arms she bore the new-born babe. Then the Angel
restored to the Queen her three children, and loosening her tongue, pro-
mised her a happy future, and said, "Whoever will repent and confess
their sins, they shall be forgiven."
A TALE OF ONE WHO TRAVELLED TO LEARN
WHAT SHIVERING MEANT.
A FATHER had two sons, the elder of whom was forward and clever
enough to do almost anything; but the younger was so stupid that he
could learn nothing, and when the people saw him, they said, "Will thy
father still keep thee as a burden to him So if anything was to
be done, the elder had at all times to do it; but sometimes the father
would call him to fetch something in the dead of night, and perhaps the
way led through the churchyard or by a dismal place, and then he vjeJ
12 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
to answer, No, father, I cannot go there, I am afraid," for he was a
coward. Or sometimes of an evening, tales were told by the fireside
which made one shudder, and the listeners exclaimed, Oh, it makes us
shiver !" In a corner, meanwhile, sat the younger son, listening, but
he could not comprehend what was said, and he thought "They say
continually, Oh, it makes us shiver, it makes us shiver I' but perhaps
shivering is an art which I cannot understand." One day, however, his
father said to him, "Do you hear, you there in the corner You are
growing stout and big; you must learn some trade to get your living by.
Do you see how your brother works ? But as for you, you are not worth
malt and hops."
Ah, father !" answered he, I would willingly learn something.
What shall I begin I I want to know what shivering means, for of that
I can understand nothing."
The elder brother laughed when he heard this speech, and thought to
himself, "Ah! my brother is such a simpleton, that he cannot earn his
own living. lie who would make a good hedge, must learn betimes to
bend." But the father sighed and said, What shivering means you may
learn soon enough, but you will never get your bread by that."
Soon after the parish sexton came in for a gossip, so the father told
him his troubles, and how that his younger son was such a simpleton,
that he knew nothing and could learn nothing. "Just fancy, when I
asked him how lie intended to earn his bread, he desired to learn what
shivering meant Oh, if that be all," answered the sexton, he can
earn that soon enough with me; just send him to my place, and I will
soon teach him." The father was very glad, because he thought that it
would do the boy good; so the sexton took him home to ring the bells.
About two days afterwards he called him up at midnight to go into the
church-tower to toll the bell. "You shall soon learn what shivering
means," thought the sexton, and getting up he went out too. As soon as
the boy reached the belfry, and turned himself round to seize the rope,
lie saw upon the stairs, near the sounding-hole, a white figure. Who's
there lie called out; but the figure gave no answer, and neither stirred
nor spoke. "Answer," said the boy, "or make haste off; you have no
business here to-night." But the sexton did not stir, so that the boy
might think it was a ghost.
The boy called out a second time, "What are you doing here?
Speak, if you are an honest fellow, or else I will throw you down-
The sexton said to himself, "That is not a bad thought;" but he re-
mained quiet as if he were a stone. Then the boy called out for the
third time, but it produced no effect; so, making a spring, he thrN w thl
ghost down the stairs, so that it rolled ten steps, and then lay motionless
in a corner. Thereupon he rang the bell, and then going home he went
to bed without saying a word, and fell fast asleep. The sexton's wife
waited some time for her husband, but he did not come; so at last she
became anxious, woke the boy, and asked him if he knew where her
husband was, who had gone before him to the belfry.
OH, IF I COULD BUT SHIVER !" 13
"No," answered the boy; "but there was some one standing on the
steps who would not give any answer, nor go away, so I took him for a
thief and threw him downstairs. Go now and see where he is; perhaps
it may be he, but I should be sorry for it." The wife ran off and
found her husband lying in a corner, groaning, with one of his ribs
She took him up and ran with loud outcries to the boy's father, and
told him, "Your son has brought a great misfortune on us; he has
thrown my husband down and broken his bones. Take the good-for-
nothing fellow from our house."
The terrified father came in haste and scolded the boy. What do
these wicked tricks mean I They will only bring misfortune upon you."
"Father," answered the lad, "hear me I am quite innocent. He
stood there at midnight like one who had done some evil; I did not
know who it was, and cried three times, 'Speak, or be off!'"
"Ah !" said the father, "everything goes badly with you. Get out
of my sight; I do not wish to see you again 1"
"Yes, father, willingly; wait but one day, then I will go out and learn
what shivering means, that I may at least understand one business which
will support me."
"Learn what you will," replied the father, "all is the same to me.
Here are fifty dollars; go forth with them into the world, and tell no
man whence you came, or who your father is, for I am ashamed of you."
"Yes, father, as you wish; but if you desire nothing else, I shall
esteem that very lightly."
As soon as day broke the youth put his fifty dollars into a knapsack
and went out upon the highroad, saying continually, Oh, if I could but
Presently a man came up, who heard the boy talking to himself;
and, as they were just passing the place where the gallows stood, the
man said, "Do you see 1 There is the tree where seven fellows have
married the hempen maid, and now swing to and fro. Sit yourself
down there and wait till midnight, and then you will know what it is to
Oh, if that be all," answered the boy, "I can very easily do that
But if I learn so speedily what shivering is, then you shall have my fifty
dollars if you come again in the morning."
Then the boy went to the gallows, sat down, and waited for evening,
and as he felt cold he n ade a fire. But about midnight the wind blew
so sharp, that, in spite of the fire, he could not keep himself warm. The
wind blew the bodies against one another, so that they swung backwards
and forwards, and he thought, If I am cold here below by the fire, how
must they freeze above !" So his compassion was excited, and, contriving
a ladder, he mounted, and, unloosening them one after another, he
brought down all seven. Then he poked and blew the fire, and set them i
round that they might warm themselves; but as they sat still without
moving their clothing caught fire. So he said, Take care of yourselves,
Or I will hang all of you up again." The dead heard not, and silently
14 GRIIMM'S HOUSEIIOLD STORIES.
allowed their rags to burn. This made him so angry that he said, L
you will not hear I cannot help you; but I will not burn with you." So
he hung them up again in a row, and sitting down by the fire he soon
went to sleep. The next morning the man came, expecting to receive his
fifty dollars, and asked, "Now do you know what shivering means?"
"No," he answered; "how should I know? Those fellows up there have
not opened their mouths, and were so stupid that they let the old rags
on their bodies be burnt." Then the man saw that he should not carry
away the fifty dollars that day, so he went away saying, "I never met
with such an one before."
The boy also went on his way and began again to say, "Ah, if only I
could but shiver-if I could but shiver!" A waggoner walking behind
overheard him, and asked, "Who are you "
I do not know," answered the boy.
The waggoner asked again, "What do you here V"
I know not."
Who is your father 1"
I dare not say."
What is it you are continually grumbling about 1"
"Oh," replied the youth, I wish to learn what shivering is, but
nobody can teach me."
"Cease your silly talk," said the waggoner. "Come with me, and I
wi:l see what I can do for you." So the boy went with the aggoner.
and about evening time they arrived at an inn where they put up for
the night, and while they were going into the parlour he said, quite
aloud, "Oh, if could but shiver-if I could but shiver!" The host
overheard him and said, laughingly, "Oh, if that is all you wish, you
shall soon have the opportunity." "Hold your tongue," said his wife;
"so many imprudent people have already lost their lives, it were a
shame and sin to such beautiful eyes that they should not see the light
again." But the youth said, "If it were ever so difficult I would at
once learn it; for that reason I left home;" and he never let the host
have any peace till he told him that not far off stood an enchanted
castle, where any one might soon learn to shiver if he would watch there
three nights. The King had promised his daughter in marriage to whom
ever would venture, and she was the most beautiful young lady that the
sun ever shone upon. And he further told him that inside the castle
there was an immense amount of treasure guarded by evil spirits; enough
to make any one free, and turn a poor man into a very rich one. Many
had, he added, already ventured into this castle, but no one had ever
come out again.
The next morning this youth went to the King, and said, If you
will allow me, I wish to watch three nights in the enchanted castle."
The King looked at him, and because his appearance pleased him, he
said, You may make three requests, but they must be inanimate things
you ask for, and such as you can take with you into the castle." So the
youth asked for a fire, a lathe, and a cutting-board.
The King let him take these things by day into the castle, and when
OH, IF I COULD BUT SHIVER 15
it was evening the youth went in and made himself a bright fire in cne
of the rooms, and, placing his cutting-board and knife near it, he sat
down upon his lathe. "Ah, if I could but shiver!" said he. "But
even here I shall never learn." At midnight he got up to stir the fire,
and, as he poked it, there shrieked suddenly in one corner, "Miau,
miau I how cold I am !" "You simpleton!" he exclaimed, "what are
you shrieking for 7 if you are so cold, come and sit down by the fire and
warm yourself!" As he was speaking, two great black cats sprang up
to him with an immense jump and sat down one on each side, looking at
him quite wildly with their fiery eyes. When they had warmed them-
selves for a little while they said, "Comrade, shall we have a game of
cards ?" "Certainly," he replied; "but let me see your paws first." So
they stretched out their claws, and he said, Ah, what long nails you
have got; wait a bit, I must cut them off first;" and so saying he
caught them up by the necks, and put them on his board and screwed
their feet down. "Since I have seen what you are about I have lost my
relish for a game at cards," said he; and, instantly killing them, threw
them away into the water. But no sooner had he quieted these two and
thought of sitting down again by his fire, than there came out of every
hole and corner black cats and black dogs with glowing chains, continually
more and more, so that he could not hide himself. They howled fear
fully, and jumped upon his fire, and scattered it about as if they would
extinguish it. He looked on quietly for some time, but at last, getting
angry, he took up his knife and called out, "Away with you, you vaga-
bonds! and chasing them about a part ran off, and the rest he killed
and threw into the pond. As soon as he returned he blew up the sparks
of his fire again and warmed himself, and while he sat, his eyes began to
feel very heavy and he wished to go to sleep. So looking around he saw
a great bed in one corner, in which le lay down ; but no sooner had he
closed his eyes, than the bed began to move of itself and travelled all
round the castle. "Just so," said he, "only better still ;" whereupon
the bed gallopped away as if six horses pulled it up and down steps and
stairs, until at last all at once it overset, bottom upwards, and lay upon
him like a mountain; but up he got, threw pillows and mattresses into
the air, and saying, "Now, he who wishes may travel," laid himself down
by the fire and slept till day broke. In the morning the King came, and,
seeing the youth lying on the ground, he thought that the spectres had
killed him, and that he was dead; so he said, It is a great misfortune
that the finest men are thus killed;" but the youth, hearing this, sprang
up, saying, It is not come to that with me yet! The King was much
astonished, but still very glad, and asked him how he had fared. "Very
well," replied he ; "as one night has passed, so also may the other two."
Soon after he met his landlord, who opened his eyes when he saw him.
"I never thought to see you alive again," said he; "have you learnt
now what shivering means ?" No," said he; "it is all of no use. Oh,
if any one would but tell me "
The second night no went up again into the castle, and sitting down
by the fire, began his old song, If I could but shiver !" When midnight
16 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
came, a ringing and a rattling noise was heard, gentle at first and louder
and louder by degrees; then there was a pause, and presently with a
loud outcry half a man's body came down the chimney and fell at his
feet. Holloa ;" he exclaimed, "only half a man answered that ringing;
that is too little." Then the ringing began afresh, and a roaring and
howling was heard, and the other half fell down. "Wait a bit," said he;
"I will poke up the fire first." When he had done so and looked round
again, the two pieces had joined themselves together, and an ugly man
was sitting in his place. "I did not bargain for that," said the youth
"the bench is mine." The man tried to push him away, but the youth
would not let him, and giving him a violent push sat himself down in his
old place. Presently more men fell down the chimney, one after the
other, who brought nine thigh-bones and two skulls, which they set up,
and then they began to play at ninepins. At this the youth wished also
to play, so he asked whether he might join them. "Yes, if you have
money Money enough," he replied, "but your balls are not quite
round ;" so saying he took up the skulls, and, placing them on his lathe,
turned them round. Ah, now you will roll well," said he. Holloa!
now we will go at it merrily." So he played with them and lost some of
his money, but as it struck twelve everything disappeared. Then he lay
down and went to sleep quietly. On the morrow the King came for
news, and asked him how he had fared this time. I have been playing
ninepins," he replied, and lost a couple of dollars." Have you not
shivered No I have enjoyed myself very much; but I wish some
one would teach me that! "
On the third night he sat down again on his bench, saying in great
vexation, "Oh, if I could only shiver 1" When it grew late, six tall men
came in bearing a coffin between them. "Ah, ah," said he, that is
surely my little cousin, who died two days ago ;" and beckoning with his
finger he called, "Come, little cousin, come !" The men set down the
coffin upon the ground, and he went up and took off the lid, and there
lay a dead man within, and as he felt the face it was as cold as ice.
" Stop a moment," he cried; I will warm it in a trice ;" and stepping
up to the fire he warmed his hands, and then laid them upon the face,
but it remained cold. So he took up the body, and sitting down by the
fire, he laid it on his lap and rubbed the arms that the blood might
circulate again.. But all this was of no avail, and he thought to him-
self if two lie in a bed together they warm each other; so he put the
body in the bed, and covering it up laid himself down by its side. After
a little while the body became warm and began to move about. "See,
my cousin," he exclaimed, "have I not warmed you ?" But the body
got up and exclaimed, "Now I will strangle you." Is that your
gratitude cried the youth. "Then you shall get into your coffin
again;" and taking it up, he threw the body in, and made the lid
fabt. Then the six men came in again and bore it away. Oh, deary
me," said he, "I shall never be able to shiver if I stop here all my life-
time I" At these words in came a man who was taller than all the
others, and looked more horrible; but he was very old and had a long
"OH, IF I COULD BUT SHIVER! 17
white beard. "Oh, you wretch," he exclaimed, "now thou shalt learn
what shivering means, for thou shalt die !"
"Not so quick," answered the youth; "if I die I must be brought
to it first."
I will quickly seize you," replied the ugly one.
"Softly, softly; be not too sure. I am as strong as you. and
"That we will see," said the ugly man. "If you are stronger than I,
I will let you go; come, let us try;" and he led him away through
a dark passage to a smith's forge. Then taking up an axe he cut
through the anvil at one blow down to the ground. "I can do that
still better," said the youth, and went to another anvil, while the old
man followed him and watched him with his long beard hanging down.
Then the youth took up an axe, and, splitting the anvil at one blow,
wedged the old man's beard in it. Now I have you; now death comes
upon you 1" and, taking up an iron bar, lie beat the old man until he
groaned, and begged him to stop, and he would give him great riches.
So the youth drew out the axe, and let him loose. Then the old man,
leading him back into the castle, showed him three chests full of gold in
a cellar. "One share of this," said he, "belongs to the poor, another to
the King, and a third to yourself." And just then it struck twelve and
the old man vanished, leaving the youth in the dark. "I must help
myself out here," said he, and groping round he found his way back to
his room and went to sleep by the fire.
The next morning the King came and inquired, "Now have you
learnt to shiver" No," replied the youth; "what is it My dead
cousin came here, and a bearded man, who showed me a lot of gold
down below; but what shivering means, no one has showed me 1"
Then the King said, "You have won the castle, and shall marry my
"That is all very fine," replied the youth, "but still I don't know
what shivering means."
So the gold was fetched, and the wedding was celebrated, but the
young Prince (for the youth was a Prince now), notwithstanding his
love for his bride, and his great contentment, was still continually
crying, "If I could but shiver! if I could but shiver !" At last it fell
out in this wise : one of the chambermaids said to the Princess, "Let
me bring in my aid to teach him what shivering is." So she went to
the brook which flowed through the garden, and drew up a pail of water
full of little fish; and, at night, when the young Prince was asleep, his
bride drew away the covering and poured the pail of cold water and the
little fishes over him, so that they slipped all about him. Then the
Prince woke up directly, calling out, Oh! that makes me shiver!
dear wife, that rakes me shiver I Yes, now I know what shivering
THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN LITTLE GOATS.
ONcE upon a time there lived an old Goat who had seven young ones
whom she loved as every mother loves her children. One day she
wanted to go into the forest to fetch some food, so, calling her seven
young ones together, she said, "Dear children, I am going away into the
wood; be on your guard against the Wolf, for if he come here, he will
eat you all up-skin, hair and all. lie often disguises himself, but you
may know him by his rough voice and his black feet." The little Goats
replied, "Dear mother, we will pay great attention to what you say;
you may go away without any anxiety." So the old one bleated and ran
off, quite contented, upon her road.
Not long afterwards, somebody knocked at the hut-door, and called
out, Open, my dear children ; your mother is here and has brought you
each something." But the little Goats perceived from the rough voice
that it was a Wolf, and so they said, "We will not undo the door; you
are not our mother; she has a gentle and loving voice; but yours is
gruff; you are a Wolf." So the Wolf went to a shop and bought a great
piece of chalk, which he ate, and by that means rendered his voice more
gentle. Then he came back, knocked at the hut-door, and called out,
Open, my dear children ; your mother has come home, and has brought
you each something." But the Wolf had placed his black paws upon the
window-sill, so the Goats saw them, and replied, No, we will not open
the door; our mother has not black feet; you are a Wolf." So the
Wolf went to a baker and said, "1 Ihave hurt my foot, put some dough
on it." And when the baker had done so, he ran to the miller, saying,
" Strew some white flour upon my feet." But the miller, thinking he
was going to deceive somebody, hesitated, till the Wolf said, If you do
not do it at once, I will eat you." This made the miller afraid, so he
powdered his feet with flour, Such is mankind I
TIHE WOLF AND THE SEVEN LITTLE GOATS. 19
Now, the villain went for the third time to the hut, and, knocking at
the door, called out, "Open to me, my children ; your dear mother is
come, and has brought with her something for each of you out of the
forest." The little Goats exclaimed, "Show us first your feet, that we
may see whether you are our mother." So the Wolf put his feet up on
the window-sill, and when they saw that they were white, they thought
it was all right, and undid the door. But who should come in ? The
Wolf. They were terribly frightened, and tried to hide themselves. One
ran under the table, the second got into the bed, the third into the cup-
board, the fourth into the kitchen, the fifth into the oven, the sixth
into the wash-tub, and the seventh into the clock-case. But the Wolf
found them all out, and did not delay, but swallowed them all up
one after another; only the youngest one, hid in the clock-case, he did
not discover. When the Wolf had satisfied his appetite, he dragged
himself out, and lying down upon the green meadow under a tree, went
Soon after the old Goat came home out of the forest. Ah, what a
sight she saw The hut-door stood wide open; the table, stools, and
benches were overturned; the wash-tub was broken to pieces, and the
sheets and pillows pulled off the bed. She sought her children, hut
could find them nowhere. She called them by name, one after the
other; but no one answered. At last, when she came to the name of
the youngest, a little voice replied, Here I am, dear mother, in the
clock-case." She took her out, and heard how the Wolf had. come and
swallowed all the others. You cannot think how she wept for her poor
At last she went out all in her misery, and the young Goat ran by
her side; and when they came to the meadow, there lay the Wolf under
the tree, snoring so that the boughs quivered. She viewed him on all
sides, and perceived that something moved and stirred about in his body.
"Ah, mercy !" thought she, should my poor children, whom he has
swallowed for his dinner, be yet alive !" So saying, she ran home and
fetched a pair of scissors and a needle and thread. Then she cut open
the monster's hairy coat, and had scarcely made one slit, before one little
Goat put his head out, and, as she cut further, out jumped one after
another, all six, still alive, and without any injury : for the monster, in
his eagerness, had gulped them down quite whole. There was a joy 1
They hugged their dear mother, and jumped about like tailors keeping
their wedding day. But the old mother said, Go and pick up at once
some large stones, that we may fill Ih e monster's stomach, while lie lies
fast asleep.' So the seven little Goats dragged up in gceat haste a pile
of stones and put them in the Wolf's stomach, as many as they could
bring; and then the old mother went, and, looking at him in a great
hurry, saw that he was still insensible, and did not stir, and so she sewed
up the slit.
When the Wolf at last woke up, he raised himself upon his legs, and
because the stones which were lying in his stomach made him feel thirsty,
ne went to a brook in order to drink. But m he went along, rolling
20 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
from side to side, the stones began to tumble about in his body, and he
"What rattles, what rattles
Against my poor bones ?
Not little goats, I think,
But only big stones !"
And when the Wolf came to the brook he stooped down to drink,
and the heavy stones made him lose his balance, so that he fell, and sank
beneath the water.
As soon as the seven little Goats saw this, they came running up,
singing aloud, The Wolf is dead I the Wolf is dead!" and they danced
for joy around their mother by the side of the brook.
THE PACK OF RAGAMUFFINS.
A CooK once addressed his Hen thus, "It is now the time when the nuta
are ripe, let us go together to the hills, and eat all we can, before the
squirrels carry them away." "Yes," answered the Hen, "let us go and
enjoy ourselves." So they went together to the hills, and as it was a
bright day they stopped till evening. Now I do not know whether they
had eaten too much, or whether they had become proud, but the Hen
would not go home on foot, and the Cock had to build a little carriage
out of the nutshells. As soon as it was ready the Hen sat herself in it
and said to the Cock, You can harness yourself to it." "You are very
kind," said he, "but I would rather walk home than harness my own
self;-no we did not agree to that. I will willingly be coachman and
sit on the box ; but drag it myself I never will."
While they were quarrelling a Duck called out hard by, "You
THE PACK OF EAGAMUFFINS.
thieving folk, who asked you to come to my nut-hill wait A Lit and it
shall cost you dearly; and she rushed up to the Cock with outstretched
beak. But the Cock was not idle either, and attacked the Duck valiantly,
and at last wounded her so badly with his spur that she begged for mercy,
and willingly undertook to draw the carriage as a punishment. The
Cock set himself on the box as coachman, and off they started at a great
rate, crying out, Quick, Duck quick When they had gone a por-
tion of the way they met two walkers, a Pin and a Needle, who called
out to them to stop, and said it had become too dark to stitch, and
they could not go another step; that it was very dirty upon the road,
and might they get in for a little way. They had been stopping at the
door of the tailor's house drinking beer and had been delayed. The
Cock, seeing they were thin people, who would not take much room, let
them both get up, but not till they had promised not to tread on the toes
of himself or his Hen. Later in the evening they came to an inn, and
because they could not travel further that evening, and because the Duck
had hurt her foot very much, and staggered from side to side, they turned
in. The landlord at first made many objections, saying his house was
already full; he thought, too, that they were nobody of any consequence;
but at last, after they had made many fine speeches, and promised that
he should have the egg which the Hen had laid on the road, and the one
which the Duck laid every day, he said at last that they might remain
over night. So when they had refreshed themselves they held a great
revel ana tumult; but early in the morning, when everybody was asleep,
and it was still dark, the Cock awoke the Hen, and fetching the egg they
broke it, and ate it together, throwing the shell away into the hearth.
Then they went to the Needle, who was still asleep, and, taking him by
the head, stuck him in the cushion of the landlord's chair, and the Pin
they put in his towel, and then they flew off over the fields and away. The
Duck, who had gone to sleep in the open air, and had stopped in the yard,
heard them fly past, and, getting up quickly, found a pond, into which
she waddled, and in which she swam much faster than she walked when
she had to pull the carriage. A couple of hours later the landlord rose
up from his feather-bed, washed himself, and took up the towel to wipe
himself dry; then the Pin, in passing over his face, made a red scratch from
one ear to the other; so he went into the kitchen to light his pipe, but
just as he stepped on the hearth the eggshells sprang into his eyes. This
morning everything happens unlucky to me," said lie, sitting down in
vexation in his grandfather's chair; but he quickly jumped up again,
crying, "Woe's me !" for the Needle had pricked him very badly. This
drovo him completely wild, and he laid the mischief on the guests, who
had arrived so late the evening before, and when he went out to look
after them they were gone. So he swore that he would never again take
such a pack of ragamuffins into his house, who destroyed so much, paid
no reckoning, and played mischievous tricks in the place of thanks.
GNCE apon a time there lived an old King, who fell very sick, and
thought lie was lying upon his death-bed ; so he said, "Let faithful John
come to me." This faithful John was his affectionate servant, and was so
called because he had been true to him all his lifetime. As soon as John
came to the bedside, the King said, My faithful John, I feel that my
end approaches, and I have no other care than about my son, who is still
so young that he cannot always guide himself aright. If you do not
promise to instruct him in everything he ought to know, and to be his
guardian, I cannot close my eyes in peace." Then John answered, "I
will never leave him; I will always serve him truly, even if it cost me
my life." So the old King was comforted, and said, "Now I can die in
peace. After my death you must show him all the chambers, halls, and
vaults in the castle, and all the treasures which are in them; but the last
room in the long corridor you must not show him, for in it hangs the
portrait of the daughter of the King of the Golden Palace ; if he sees
her picture, lie will conceive a great love for her, and will fall down in a
swoon, and on her account undergo great perils, therefore you must
keep him away." The faithful John pressed his master's hand again in
token of assent, and soon after the King laid his head upon the pillow
After the old King had been borne to his grave, the faithful John
related to the young King all that his father had said upon his deathbed,
and declared, All this I will certainly fulfil; I will be as true to you
as I was to him, if it cost me my lifo." When the time of mourning was
passed, John said to the young King, "It is now time for you to see your
inheritance ; I will show you your paternal castle." So he led the King
all over it, up stairs and down stairs, and showed him all the riches, and
all the splendid chambers ; only one room he did not open, containing
the perilous portrait, which was so placed that one saw it directly the
&dor was opened, and. moreover, it was so beautifully painted, that one
thought it breathed and moved; nothing in all the world could be more
lifelike or more beautiful. The young King remarked, however, that the
faithful John always passed by one door, so he asked, Why do you not
open that one 1" "There is something in it," he replied, which will
But the King said, I have seen all the rest of the castle, and I will
know what is in there;" and he went and tried to open the door by
force. The faithful John pulled him back, and said, I promised your
father before he died that you should not see the contents of that room,
it would bring great misfortunes both upon you and me."
Oh, no," replied the young King, "if I do not go in, it will be my
certain ruin ; I should have no peace night nor day until I had seen it
with my own eyes. Now I will not stir from the place till you unlock
Then the faithful John saw that it was of no use talking; so, with a
heavy heart and many sighs, he picked the key out of the great bunch.
When he had opened the door, he went in first, and thought he would
cover up the picture, that the King should not see it; but it was of no
use, for the King stepped upon tiptoes and looked over his shoulder; and
as soon as he saw the portrait of the maiden, which was so beautiful and
glittered with precious stones, he fell down on the ground insensible,
The faithful John lifted him up and carried him to his bed, and thought
with great concern, Mercy on us the misfortune has happened ; what
will come of it 1" and he gave the young King wine until he came to
himself. The first words he spoke were, Who does that beautiful pic-
ture represent?" That is the daughter of the King of the Golden
Palace," was the reply.
Then," said the King, my love for her is so great, that if all the
leaves on the trees had tongues, they should not gainsay it; my life
is set upon the search for her. You are my faithful John, you must
The trusty servant deliberated for a long while how to set about this
business, for it was very difficult to get into the presence of the King's
daughter. At last he bethought himself of a way, and said to the King,
" Everything which she has around her is of gold,-chairs, tables, dishes,
bowls, and all the household utensils. Among your treasures are five
tons of gold; let one of the goldsmiths of your kingdom manufacture
vessels and utensils of all kinds therefrom-all kinds of birds, and wild
and wonderful beasts, such as will please her; then we will travel with
these, and try our luck." Then the King summoned all his goldsmiths,
who worked day and night until many very beautiful things were ready.
When all had been placed on board a ship, the faithful John put on mer-
chant's clothes, and the King likewise, so that they might travel quite
unknown. Then they sailed over the wide sea, and sailed away until
they came to the city where dwelt the daughter of the King of the
The faithful John told the King to remain in the ship, and wait for
him. Perhaps," said he, I shall bring the King's daughter with mea
24 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
therefore take care that all is in order, and set out the golden vessels and
adorn the whole ship." Thereupon John placed in a napkin some of the
golden cups, stepped upon land, and went straight to the King's palace.
When he came into the castle-yard, a beautiful maid stood by the brook,
who had two golden pails in her hand, drawing water; and when she had
filled them and had turned round, she saw a strange man, and asked who
he was. Then John answered, I am a merchant," and opening his
napkin, he showed her its contents. Then she exclaimed, Oh, what
beautiful golden things !" and, setting the pails down, she looked at the
cups one after another, and said, The King's daughter must see these;
she is so pleased with anything made of gold that she will buy all these."
And taking him by the hand, she led him in; for she was the lady's
maid. When the King's daughter saw the golden cups, she was much
pleased, and said, They are so finely worked, that I will purchase them
all." But the faithful John replied, "I am only the servant of a rich
merchant; what I have here is nothing in comparison to those which my
master has in his ship, than which nothing more delicate or costly has
ever been worked in gold." Then the King's daughter wished to have
them all brought; but he said, It would take many days, and so great
is the quantity, that your palace has not halls enough in it to place them
around." Then her curiosity and desire were still more excited, and at
last she said, Take me to the ship; I will go myself and look at your
The faithful John conducted her to the ship with great joy, and the
King, when he beheld her, saw that her beauty was still greater than the
picture had represented, and thought nothing else but that his heart
would jump out of his mouth. Presently she stepped on board, and the
King conducted her below; but the faithful John remained on deck by
the steersman, and told him to unmoor the ship and put on all the sail
he could, that it might fly as a bird through the air. Meanwhile the
King showed the Princess all the golden treasures,-the dishes, cups,
bowls, the birds, the wild and wonderful beasts. Many hours passed
away while she looked at everything, and in her joy she did not remark
that the ship sailed on and on. As soon as she had looked at the last,
and thanked tle merchant, she wished to depart. But when she came
on deck, she perceived that they were upon the high sea, far from the
shore, and were hastening on with all sail. Ah," she exclaimed in
affright, I am betrayed; I am carried off and taken away in the power
of a strange merchant. I would rather die !"
But the King, taking her by the hand, said, I am not a merchant,
but a king, thine equal in birth. It is true that I have carried thee off;
but that is because of my overwhelming love for thee. Dost thou know
that when I first saw the portrait of thy beauteous face, that I fell down
in a swoon before it 7" When the King's daughter heard these words,
she was reassured, and her heart w,,as inclined towards him, so that she
willingly became his bride. While they thus went on their voyage on
the high sea, it happened that the faithful John, as he sat on the deck of
th) ship, playing music, saw three crows in the air, who came flying
PAITHFUL JOHN. 25
towards them. He stopped playing, and listened to what they were
saying to each other, for he understood them perfectly. The first one
exclaimed, There he is, carrying home the daughter of the King of the
Golden Palace." But he is not home yet," replied the second. But
he has her," said the third; she is sitting by him in the ship." Then
the first began again, and exclaimed, What matters that 1 When they
go on shore, a fox-coloured horse will spring towards them, on which lie
will mount; and as soon as he is on it, it will jump up with him into the
air, so that he will never again see his bride." The second one asked,
"Is there no escape Oh yes, if another mounts behind quickly, and
takes out the firearms which are in the holster, and with them shoots the
horse dead, then the young King will be saved. But who knows that 1
And if any one does know it, and tells him, such a one will be turned to
stone from the toe to the knee." Then the second spoke again, I know
still more : if the horse should be killed, the young King will not then
retain his bride; for when they come into the castle, a beautiful bridal
shirt will lie there upon a dish, and seem to be woven of gold and silver,
but it is nothing but sulphur and pitch; and if he puts it on, it will burn
him to his marrow and bones." Then the third Crow asked, Is there
no escape ?" Oh yes," answered the second; if some one takes up the
shirt with his gloves on, and throws it into the fire, so that it is burnt,
the young King will be saved. But what does that signify 1 Whoever
knows it, and tells him, will be turned to stone from his knee to his
heart." Then the third Crow spoke : I know still more : even if the
bridal shirt be consumed, still the young King will not retain his bride.
For if, after the wedding, a dance is held, while the young Queen dances,
she will suddenly turn pale, and fall down as if dead; and if some one
does not raise her up, and take three drops of blood from her right
breast and throw them away, she will die. But whoever knows that, and
tells it, will have his whole body turned to stone, from the crown of his
head to the toes of his feet."
After the Crows had thus talked with one another, they flew away,
and the trusty John, who had perfectly understood all they had said, was
from that time very quiet and sad ; for if he concealed from his master
what he had heard, misfortune would happen to him, and if he told him
all he must give up his own life. But at last he thought, I will save
my master, even if I destroy myself."
As soon as they came on shore, it happened just as the Crow had
foretold, and an immense fox-red horse sprang up. Capital 1" said the
King ; "this shall carry me to my castle," and he tried to mount; but
the faithful John came straight up, and swinging himself quickly on,
drew the firearms out of the holster and shot the horse dead. Then the
other servants of the King, who were not on good terms with the faithful
John, exclaimed, "How shameful to kill the beautiful creature, which
might have borne the King to the castle !" But the King replied, "Be
silent, and let him go; he is my very faithful John-who knows the good
he may have done ?" Now they went into the castle, and there stood a
dish in the hall, and the splendid bridal shirt lay in it, and seemed nothing
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
else than gold and silver. The young King went up to it and wished to
take it up, but the faithful John pushed him away, and taking it up with
his gloves on, bore it quickly to the fire and let it burn. The other
servants thereupon began to murmur, saying, "See, now he is burning
the King's bridal shirt !" But the young King replied, "Who knows
what good he has done 1 Let him alone-ho is my faithful John."
Soon after, the wedding was celebrated, and a grand ball was given,
and the bride began to dance. So the faithful John paid great attention,
and watched her countenance; all at once she grew pale, and fell as if dead
to the ground. Then he sprang up hastily, raised her up and bore her
to a chamber, where he laid her down, kneeled beside her, and drawing
the three drops of blood out of her right breast, threw them away. As
soon as she breathed again, she raised herself up; but the young King
had witnessed everything, and not knowing why the faithful John had
done this, was very angry, and called out, "Throw him into prison !"
The next morning the trusty John was brought up for trial, and led to
the gallows; and as he stood upon them, and was about to be executed,
he said, "Every one condemned to die may once before his death speak.
Shall I also have that privilege 1" "Yes," answered the King, it shall
be granted you." Then the faithful John replied, "I have been unright-
eously judged, and have always been true to you ;" and he narrated the
conversation of the Crows which he heard at sea; and how, in order to
save his master, he was obliged to do all he had done. Then the King
cried out, "Oh, my most trusty John, pardon, pardon; lead him away!"
But the trusty John had fallen down at the last word and was turned
At this event both the King and the Queen were in great grief, and
the King thought, Ah, how wickedly have I rewarded his great
fidelity!" and he had the stone statue raised up and placed in his
sleeping-chamber, near his bed; and as often as he looked at it, he
wept and said, Ah, could I bring you back to life again, my faithful
After some time had passed, the Queen bore twins, two little sons,
who were her great joy. Once when the Queen was in church, and the
two children at home playing by their father's side, he looked up at the
stone statue full of sorrow, and exclaimed with a .sigh, "Ah, could I
restore you to life, my faithful John!" At these words the statue began
to speak, saying, Yes, you can make me alive again, if you will bestow
on me that which is dearest to you." The King replied, "All that I
have in the world I will give up for you." The statue spake again : "If
you, with your own hand, cut off the heads of both your children and
sprinkle me with their blood, I shall be brought to life again." The King
was terrified when le heard that he must himself kill his two dear
children; but he remembered his servant's great fidelity, and how the
faithful John had died for him, and drawing his sword he cut off the
heads of both his children with his own hand. And as soon as he had
sprinkled the statue with blood, life came back to it, and the trusty
John stood again alive and well before him, and said, "Your faith shall
A GOOD BARGAIN.
not go unrewarded;" and taking the heads of the two children, he set
them on again, and anointed their wounds with their blood, and there-
upon they healed again in a moment, and the children sprang away and
played as if nothing had happened.
Now the King was full of happiness, and as soon as he saw the Queen
coming, he hid the faithful John and both the children in a great closet.
As soon as she came in he said to her, Have you prayed in the church?"
"Yes," she answered; "but I thought continually of the faithful John,
who has come to such misfortune through us." Then he replied, "My
dear wife, we can restore his life again to him, but it will cost us both
our little sons, whom he must sacrifice." The Queen became pale and
,fas terrified at heart, but she said, "We are guilty of his life on account
of his great fidelity." Then he was very glad that she thought as he
did, and going up to the closet, he unlocked it, brought out the children
and the faithful John, saying, God be praised! he is saved, and we have
still our little sons :" and then he told her all that happened. Afterwards
they lived happily together to the end of their days.
A GOOD BARGAIN.
A cOUNTRYMAN drove his cow to market, and sold it for seven dollars
On the way home he had to pass by a pond, where he heard from a
distance the Frogs croaking, Ack, ack, ack, ack !" "Yes," said he,
"they cry ca t so even in their owner's field; but it is seven which I
Wbt is the German word for eight.
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
bave got, not eight." As he came up to the water he exclaimed,
"Stupid creatures that you are, do you not know better? here are
seven dollars, and not eight !" But the Frogs still continued their "Ack,
ack !" "Now, if you will not believe it I will count them out to you;"
and, taking the money from his pocket, he counted out the seven dollars,
four-and-twenty groschen in each. The Frogs, however, paid no atten-
tion to his reckoning, and kept calling out, Ack, ack, ack Ah !"
exclaimed the Countryman, quite angry, "if you know better than I,
count it yourself!" and, one by one, he threw the pieces of money into
the water. He stopped and waited till they should be ready to bring
him his own again, but the Frogs were obstinate in their opinion, and
cried continually, "Ack, ack, ack !" neither did they throw the money
back. So the man waited a long while, until evening approached and it
was time to go home; then he began to abuse the Frogs, shouting out,
"You water-paddlers, you thick-heads, you blind-eyes you have indeed
great mouths, and can make noise enough to stun one's ears, but you
cannot count seven dollars! do you think I am going to wait here till
you are ready And thereupon he went away, but the Frogs cried
still behind his back, Ack, ack, ack !" so that he reached home in a
very savage mood !
After a little time he again bargained for a cow, which he killed, and
then he made a calculation that, if he sold the flesh well, he should gain
as much as both the cows were worth, and should have the skin beside.
As he came to town with the flesh, a great troop of dogs was collected
before the gate, and in front was a large greyhound, who sprang around
the flesh, snapping and barking, "Was, was, was !"* As he did not
cease, the Countryman said to him, "I know well you say, 'Was, was!
because you wish for some of the flesh, but I ought to receive something
as good if I should give it you." The dog replied only, "Was, was !"
"Will you not let your comrades there eat with you I" Was, was !"
said the Dog.
If you stick to that I will let you have it. I know you well, and
to whom you belong; but this I tell you, in three days I must have my
money, or it will go ill with you. You can bring it to me."
Thereupon he unloaded the flesh and turned homewards again, and
the dogs gathering around it, barked loudly, Was, was !" The Peasant,
who heard them at a distance, said, "Mind, you may share it among you,
but the big one must answer for you to me."
When three days were passed, the Countryman thought to himself,
"This evening I shall have my money in my pocket," and so made
himself happy. But nobody came to pay the reckoning. "There is
no faith in any one," said he at last, losing all patience, and he went
into the town to the butcher and demanded his money. The butcher
thought it was a joke, but the Countryman said, "Joking aside, I will
have my money; did not the great dog, three days ago, bring you
home a whole slaughtered cow This put the butcher in a passion,
A GOOD BARGAIN. 29
and, taking up a broomstick, he hunted the Countryman out of his
"Wait a bit," said the Countryman; "justice Is to be had in the
world ;" and he went to the King's palace and requested an audience.
So he was led before the King, who sat there with his daughter, and
asked, "What misfortune has befallen you i"
Ah," said he, "frogs and the dogs have taken away my property,
and the butcher has repaid me with a stick ;" and he narrated at length
all that had happened. The King's daughter laughed aloud at his tale,
and the King said to him, "I cannot give you justice here; but,
nevertheless, you shall have my daughter for a wife: all her lifetime
she has not laughed except before you, and I have promised her to
that man who should make her laugh. You may thank God for your
0 dear !" replied the Countryman, I do not wish it at all; I
have one wife at home, who is already too much for me." This made
the King angry, and he said, You are an ill-bred fellow."
"Ah, my lord the King," answered the Countryman, "what can
you expect from an ox except beef?"
"Wait a bit," replied the King, "you shall have another reward.
Now be off at once, and return in three days, and you shall receive five
As the Countryman came to the gate, the sentinel said to him,
"Since you have made the King's daughter laugh, no doubt you hare
received a great reward." "Yes, I think so," answered the Peasant;
"five hundred are to be counted out for me."
"Indeed!" said the soldier; "give me some of it; what will you
do with all that money ?"
"Since you ask me," replied the Countryman, "you shall have two
hundred : apply to the King in three days, and they will be counted
out to you." A Jew, who stood near, and heard their conversation,
ran after the Countryman, and catching him by his coat, cried ourt
" 0 wonderful! what a child of fortune are you I will change, I will
change with you in small coins! What will you do with the hard
"You, Jew!" said the Countryman, "you can yet have the three
hundred; give me the same amount in small coins, and in three days
after to-day it shall be counted out to you by the King." Thie Jew
rejoiced at his profit, and brought the sum in worn-out farthing-s, three of
which were equal to two good ones.
After the lapse of three days, the Countryman went before the
King, according to his command. The King called out. "- Pull off his
coat; lie shall have his five hundred!" Oh !" replied the Countrv-
man, "they do not belong to me now : I have presented two huudred
to the sentinel, and the Jew has changed with me for three hundred,
so tait rightly nothing at all belongs to me."
Meanwhile the soldier and the Jew came in, desiring their shates
for which they had bargained with the Countryman, but, instead of
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
dollars, each received his stripes justly measured out. The soldier bore
his patiently, having already known how they tasted; but the Jew
behaved very badly, crying out, "Ah, woe is me, these are hard dollars!"
The King was forced to laugh at the Countryman, and, when all his
anger had passed away, he said to him, Since you lost your reward
before you received it, I will give you compensation; so go into my
treasure-chamber, and take as much money as you wish for." The
Countryman did not stop to be told twice, but filled his deep pockets
as full as they would hold, and immediately after went to an inn. and
told out the money. The Jew sneaked after him, and overheard him
muttering to himself, Now, that thief of a King has again deceived
me. Could he not have given me the money, and then I should have
known what I had got; but now, how can I tell what I have by good
luck put into my pocket is just 9"
"Heaven preserve us!" said the Jew to himself, "he has spoken
disrespectfully of his Majesty; I will run and inform against him, and
then I shall get a reward, and he will be punished." When the King
heard the speech of the Countryman his anger was excited, and he bade
the Jew go and fetch the offender. So the Jew, running back to the
Countryman, said to him, "You must go before his Majesty the King,
just as you are."
"I know better what is becoming," replied the Countryman; "I
must first have a new coat made. Do you think a man who has so much
money in his pocket ought to go in this old rag of a coat I" The Jew,
perceiving that the Countryman would not stir without another coat,
and fearing, if the King's anger should evaporate, he would not get his
reward nor the other the punishment, said to him, Out of pure friend-
ship, I will lend you a beautiful coat for a short time. What will one
not do out of pure love ?"
The Countryman, well pleased, took the coat from the Jew, and
went off straight to the King, who charged him with the speech which
the Jew had informed about.
"Oh," said the Countryman, what a Jew says is nothing, for not
a true word comes out of his mouth ; that rascal there is able to assert,
and does assert, that I have his coat on !"
What is that 7" screamed the Jew ; is not the coat mine 1 Have
I not lent it to you out of pure friendship, that you might step in it before
his Majesty the King ?" As soon as the King heard this he said, "The
Jew has deceived one of us;" and then he had counted out to him some
more of the hard dollars.
Meanwhile the Countryman went off home in the good coat, and
with the go d gold in his pocket, Wanging to himself, This time I have
hit it I"
THE WONDERFUL MUSICIAN.
ONCE upon a time a wonderful Fiddler was travelling through a wood,
thinking of all sorts of things as he went along, and presently he said
to himself, "I have plenty of time and space in this forest, so I will
fetch a good companion;" and, taking the fiddle from his back, he
fiddled till the trees re-echoed. Presently a wolf came crashing through
Ah a wolf comes, for whom I have no desire," said the Fiddler;
but the Wolf, approaching nearer, said, "Oh, you dear Musician, how
beautifully you play might I learn how ?"
"It is soon learnt; you have only to do exactly as I tell you."
Then the Wolf replied, "I will mind you just as a schoolboy does his
master." So the Musician told the Wolf to come with him ; and when
they had gone a little distance together they came to. an old oak-tree,
which was hollow within and split in the middle. "See here," said the
Musician, if you wish to learn how to fiddle, put your fore-foot in this
cleft." The Wolf obeyed ; but the Fiddler, snatching up a stone, quickly
wedged both his feet so fast with one blow that the Wolf was stuck fast,
and obliged to remain where he was. Wait there till I come again,"
said the Fiddler, and went on his way.
After a whilo he said to himself a second time, I have plenty of
time and space in the forest, so I will fetch another companion ;" and
taking his fiddle, he played away in the wood. Presently a fox cams
sneaking through the trees.
"Ah!" said the Musician, "here cones a fox, whom I did not
The Fox, running up, said, "Ah, you dear Mister Musician, how is it
you fiddle so beautifully I might 1 learn too?"
It is soon learnt," answered he; "but you must do all I tell you."
"I will obey you as a schoolboy does his master," answered the YFo
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
and he followed the Musician. After they had walked a little distance
ie came to a footpath, with high hedges on each side. The Musician
stopped, and pulling the bough of a hazel-tree down to the ground oa
one side, he put his foot upon it, and then bent another down on the
other side, saying, Come, little Fox, if you wish to learn something,
reach me here your left forefoot." The Fox obeyed, and the Musician
bound the foot to the left bough. Now reach me the other, little
fox," said he, and he bound that to the right bough. And as soon as
he saw that the knots were fast he let go, and the boughs sprang back
into the air, carrying the Fox, shaking and quivering, up with them.
" Wait there till I come again," said the Musician, and went on his
After a little while he said again to himself, Time and space are
not wanting to me in this forest; I will fetch another companion;" and,
taking his fiddle, he made the sound re-echo in the woods.
Aha !" said he, "a hare i I won't have him."
Oh, you dear Musician !" said the Hare, "how do you fiddle so
beautifully ? Could I learn it too "
It is soon learnt," replied the Musician, only do all I tell you."
The little Hare replied, I will obey you as a schoolboy does his master;"
and they went on together till they came to a clear space in the forest
where an aspen-tree stood. The Musician bound a long twine round the
neck of the Hare, and knotted the other end to a tree. Now, my lively
little hare, jump twenty times round the tree," exclaimed the Musician.
The Hare obeyed; and as he jumped round the twentieth time the twine
had wound itself round the tree twenty times also, and made the Hare
prisoner; and pull and tug as much as he would, the cord only cut the
deeper into his neck. Wait there till I come again," said the Musician,
and went on further.
The Wolf, meanwhile, had been pulling, dragging, and biting at the
stone, and worked at it so long that at last he set his feet at liberty, and
drew them again out of the cleft. Then, full of rage and anger, he has-
tened after the Musician, intending to tear him into pieces. As the Fox
saw him running past he began to groan, and shouted with all his power,
Brother Wolf, come and help me; the Musician has deceived me !"
So the Wolf, pulling the branches down, bit the knot to pieces, and freed
the Fox, who went on with him in order to take revenge on the Musician.
On their way they found the Hare tied, and setting him at liberty,'all
three set out in pursuit of their enemy.
The Musician, however, had once more played his fiddle, and this
time had been very lucky, for the notes came to the ears of a poor wood-
cutter, who left off his work directly, whether he wished or not, and with
his axe under his arm, came up to hear the music.
At last the right companion has come," said the Musician; for
I desired a man, and not a wild beast." And beginning to play, he
played so beautifully and delightfully, that the poor man was as if
enchanted, and his heart beat for joy. While he thus stood, the Wolf,
the Fox, and the Hare came up, and he observed directly that they had
THE TWELVE BROTHERS.
some bad design, so raising his bright axe he placed himself before the
Musician, as if he would say, Who wishes to attack must take care of
himself." His looks made the animals afraid, and they ran back into the
forest; but the Musician, after playing one more tune out of gratitude to
the woodcutter, went on his journey.
THE TWELVE BROTHERS.
ONOE upon a time there lived happily together a Queen and a King,
who had twelve children-all boys. One day the King said to his con-
sort, "If the thirteenth child, whom you are about to bring into the
world, should be a girl, then shall the twelve boys die, that her riches
may be great, and that the kingdom may fall to her alone." He then
ordered twelve coffins to be made, which were filled with shavings, and in
each a pillow was placed, and, all of them having been locked up in a
room, he gave the key thereof to the Queen, and bade her tell nobody
about the matter.
But the mother sat crying the whole day long, so that her youngest
child, who was always with her, and whom she had named Benjamin.
said to her, Mother dear, why are you so sorrowful 7 My dearest
child," she replied, "I dare not tell you !" But he let her have no
peace until she went and unlocked the room, and showed him the twelve
coffins filled with shavings. Then she said," My dearest Benjamin
these coffins your father has had prepared for yourself and your eleven
brothers, for, if I bring a little girl into the world, you will all be killed
together and buried in them." And as she wept while she spoke these
woris, the son comforted her, saying, "Do not cry, dear mother; we
will help ourselves, and go away." But she said, Go with your eleven
brothers into the wood, and let one of you climb into the highest tree
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
which is to be found, and keep watch, looking towards the tower of the
castle hero. If I bear a little son, I will hang out a white flag, and you
may venture home again; but if I bear a little daughter, I will hang out
a red flag, and then flee away as quickly as you can, and God preserve
you! Every night I will arise and pray for you: in winter, that you
may have a fire to warm yourselves and in summer, that you may not
be melted with the heat."
Soon after she gave her blessing to all her sons, and they went away
into the forest. Each kept watch in turn, sitting upon the highest oak-
tree, and looking towards the tower. When eleven days had passed by,
and it came to Benjamin's turn, he perceived a flag hung out; but it
was not the white but the red flag, which announced that they must all
die. As the brothers heard this, they became very angry, and said,
" Shall we suffer death on account of a maiden ? Let us swear that
we will avenge ourselves; wherever we find a maiden, her blood shall
Thereupon they went deeper into the forest, and in the middle, where
it was most gloomy, they found a little charmed cottage standing empty,
and they said, Here we will dwell, and you, Benjamin, as you are the
youngest and the weakest, shall stop here and keep house while we go
out to fetch meat." So they set forth into the forest, and shot hares,
wild fawns, birds, and pigeons, and what else they could find. These
they brought home to Benjamin, who cooked and dressed them for their
different meals. In this little cottage they lived ten years together, and
the time passed very quickly.
The little daughter, whom their mother, the Queen, had borne, was
now grown up: she had a kind heart, was very beautiful, and always
wore a golden star upon her brow. Once, when there was a great wash,
she saw twelve boys' shirts hanging up, and she asked her mother, "To
whom do these twelve shirts belong, for they are much too small for my
father ?" Then she answered with a heavy heart, Mly dear child, they
belong to your twelve brothers I" The maiden replied, Where are
my twelve brothers? I have never yet heard of them." The Queen
answered, God only knows where they are : they have wandered into
the wide world." Then she took the maiden, and, unlocking the room,
showed her twelve coffins with the shavings and pillows. These
coffins," said she, "were ordered for your brothers, but they went away
secretly before you were born;" and she told her how everything had
happened. Then the maiden said, Do not cry, dear mother, I will go
forth and seek my brothers ;" and, taking the twelve shirts, she set out
at once straight into the great forest. All day long she walked on and
on, and in the evening she came to the charmed house, into which she
stepped. There she found a young lad, who asked her, Whence dost
thou come, and whither goost thou ?" and he stood astonished to see
how beautiful she was, and at the queenly robes she wore, and the star
upcn her brow. Then she answered, "I am a King's daughter, and am
seeking my twelve brothers, and will go as far as heaven is blue until
I find them;" and she showed him the twelve shirts that belonged to
THE TWELVE BROTHERS.
them. Benjamin perceived at once that it was his sister, and he said,
" I am Benjamin, thy youngest brother." At his words, she began to
weep for joy, and Benjamin wept also, and they kissed and embraced one
another with the greatest affection. Presently he said, "Dear sister, there
is one terrible condition: we have agreed together that every maiden
whom we meet shall die, because we were obliged to leave our kingdom
on account of a maiden."
Then the maiden replied, "I will willingly die, if I can by that means
release my twelve brothers."
No," answered he, "thou shalt not die; hide thyself under this tub
until our eleven brothers come home, with whom I shall then be united."
She did so; and when night came the others returned from hunting, and
.heir dinner was made ready, and as they sat at the table eating, they
asked, What is the news Benjamin said, Do you not know 1"
No," they answered. Then he spoke again: You have been in the
forest, and I have stopped at home, yet I know more than you."
Tell us directly they exclaimed. He answered, First promise
me that you will not kill the first maiden who shall meet us "Yes,
we promise they exclaimed, "she shall have pardon; now tell us at
once." Then he said, Our sister is here ;" and, lifting up the tub, the
King's daughter came from beneath, looking most beautiful, delicate, and
gentle in her royal robes, and with the golden star upon her brow. The
sight gladdened them all; and, falling upon her neck, they kissed her,
and loved her with all their hearts.
Now she stopped at home with Benjamin, and helped him in his
work, while the eleven others went into the wood, and caught wild
animals, deer, birds, and pigeons, for their eating, which their sister and
brother took care to make ready. The sister sought for wood for the
fire, and for the vegetables, which she dressed, and put the pots on the
fire, so that their dinner was always ready when the eleven came home.
She also kept order in the cottage, and covered the beds with beautiful
white and clean sheets, and the brothers were always contented, and they
all lived in great unity.
One day, when the brother and sister had made ready a most excellent
meal, and the others had come in, they sat down and ate and drank, and
were full of happiness. But there was a little garden belonging to the
charmed house, in which stood twelve lilies (which one calls also African
marigolds), and the sister, thinking to give her twelve brothers a pleasure,
broke off the twelve flowers, intending to give each of them one. But
as she broke off each flower the twelve brothers wers changed, one by one,
into twelve Crows, and flew off into the forest, and at the same moment
the house and garden both disappeared.
Thus the poor maiden was left alone in the wild forest, and as shi
iooked round an old woman stood near, who said, My child, what hast
lthou done? Why didst thou not leave the twelve white flowers They
were thy brothers, who are now changed into crows!" Then the maiden
asked with tears, Is there no means of saving them? There is but
ane way in the whole world," said the old woman, "but that is so difficult
36 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
that thou cast not free them. Thou must be duml for seven years,-
thou mayest not speak, nor laugh, and if thou speakest but a single
word, even if it wants but one hour of the seven years, all will be in
vain, and thy brothers will die at that single word."
Then the maiden said in her heart, I know for certain that I shall
free my brothers;" and she went and found a tall tree, into the branches
of which she climbed and passed her time spinning, without ever speaking
Now it happened once that a King was hunting in the forest, who
Lad a large greyhound, which ran to the tree on which the maiden sat,
and, springing round, barked furiously. So the King came up and saw
the beautiful girl with the golden star upon her brow, and was so
enchanted with her beauty, that he asked her if she would become his
bride. To this she gave no answer, but slightly nodded with her head;
so the King, mounting the tree himself, brought her down, and placing
her upon his horse carried her home.
Then the wedding was celebrated with great pomp and joy, but the
bride neither spoke nor laughed.
After they had lived contentedly together two years, the King's
mother, who was a wicked woman, began to slander the young Queen,
and said to her son, "This is a common beggar girl whom you have
brought home with you: who knows what impish tricks she practised at
home I If she be dumb and not able to speak, she might still laugh
once; but they who do not laugh have a bad conscience." The King
would not at first believe it, but the old woman persisted in it so long,
and accused the Queen of so many wicked things, that the King at last
let himself be persuaded, and she was condemned to die.
Now a great fire was kindled in the courtyard in which she was to be
burnt; and the King standing above at the window, looked on with
tearful eyes, because he still loved her so much. And now she was
bound to the stake, and the fire began to lick her clothing with its red
tongues, and just at that time the last moment of the seven years expired.
Then a whirring was heard in the air, and twelve Crows came flying by,
and sank down to the earth, and as they alighted on the ground they
became her twelve brothers whom she had freed. They tore away the
fire from around her, and, extinguishing the flames, set their sister free,
and kissed and embraced her. And now, as she could open her mouth
and speak, she told the King why she was dumb, and why she never
And the King was highly pleased when he heard she was innoceip
and they all lived together in great happiness to the end of their lives
THE THREE LITTLE MEN IN TIE WOOD.
ONCE upon a time there lived a man, whose wife had died; and a
woman, also, who had lost her husband : and this man and this woman
had each a daughter. These two maidens were friendly with each
other, and used to walk together, and one day they came by the widow's
house. Then the widow said to the man's daughter, Do you hear,
tell your father I wish to marry him, and you shall every morning wash
in milk and drink wine, but my daughter shall wash in water and drink
water." So the girl went home and told her father what the woman
had said, and he replied, What shall I do 7 marriage is a comfort, but
it is also a torment." At last, as he could come to no conclusion, lie
drew off his boot and said : Take this boot, which has a hole in the
sole, and go with it out-of-doors and hang it on the great nail, and then
pour water into it. If it holds the water, I will again take a wife; but
if it runs through, I will not have her." The girl did as he bid her
but the water drew the hole together and the boot became full to over-
flowing. So she told her father how it had happened, and he, getting
up, saw it was quite true; and going to the widow he settled the matter,
and the wedding was celebrated.
The next morning, when the two girls arose, milk to wash in and
wine to drink were set for the man's daughter, but only water, both for
washing and drinking, for the woman's daughter. The second morning,
water for washing and drinking stood before both the man's daughter
and the woman's; and on the third morning, water to wash in and
water to drink were set before the man's daughter, and milk to
wash in and wine to drink before the woman's daughter, and so it
Soon the woman conceived a deadly hatred for her step-daughter
and knew not how to behave badly enough to her, from day to day.
She was envious too, because her step-daughter was beautiful and lo-vey,
and her own daughter was ugly and hateful
38 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
Once, in the winter time, when the river was frozen as hard as a
stone, and hill and valley were covered with snow, the woman made a
cloak of paper, and called the maiden to her and said, "Put on this
cloak, and go away into the wood to fetch me a little basketful of straw-
berries, for I have a wish for some."
"Mercy on us!" said the maiden, "in winter there are no straw-
berries growing; the ground is frozen, and the snow, too, has covered
everything. And why must I go in that paper cloak? It is so cold
out-of-doors that it freezes one's breath even, and if the wind does
not blow off this cloak, the thorns will tear it from my body."
"Will you dare to contradict me 1" said the stepmother. Make
haste off, and let me not see you again until you have found me a basket
of strawberries." Then she gave her a small piece of dry bread, saying,
"On that you must subsist the whole day." But she thought-out-of-
doors she will be frozen and starved, so that my eyes will never see her
So the girl did as she was told, and put on the paper cloak, and
went away with the basket. Far and near there was nothing but snow,
and not a green blade was to be seen. When she came to the forest she
discovered a little cottage, out of which three little Dwarfs were peeping.
The girl wished them good morning, and knocked gently at the door.
They called her in, and entering the room, she sat down on a bench by
the fire to warm herself, and eat her breakfast. The Dwarfs called out,
Give us some of it !" Willingly," she replied, and, dividing her
bread in two, she gave them half. They asked, What do you here in
the forest, in the winter time, in this thin cloak "
Ah !" she answered, I must seek a basketful of strawberries, and
I dare not return home until I can take them with me." When she had
eaten her bread, they gave her a broom, saying, Sweep away the snow
with this from the back door." But when she was gone out-of-doors the
three Dwarfs said one to another, What shall we give her, because she
is so gentle and good, and has shared her bread with us ?" Then said
the first, I grant to her that she shall become more beautiful every
day." The second said, I grant that a piece of gold shall fall out of
her mouth for every word she speaks." The third said, "I grant that a
King shall come and make her his bride."
Meanwhile, the girl had done as the Dwarfs had bidden her, and
had swept away the snow from behind the house. And what do you
think she found there 1 Actually, ripe strawberries which came quite
red and sweet up under the snow. So filling her basket in great glee,
she thanked the little men and gave them each her hand, and then ran
home to take her stepmother what she wished for. As she went in and
said, "Good evening," a piece of gold fell from her mouth. There-
upon she related what had happened to her in the forest; but at
every word she spoke a piece of gold fell, so that the whole floor was
"Just see her arrogance," said the step-sister, "to throw away
money in that way I bat in her heart she was jealous, and wished to
THE THREE LITTLE MEN IN THE WOOD. f9
go into the forest too, to seek strawberries. Her mother said, No, my
dear daughter ; it is too cold, you will be frozen but as her girl let her
have no peace, she at.last consented, and made her a beautiful fur cloak
to put on; she also gave her buttered bread and cooked meat to eat on
The girl went into the forest and came straight to the little cottage.
The three Dwarfs were peeping out again, but she did not greet them;
and, stumbling on without looking at them or speaking, she entered the
room, and, seating herself by the fire, began to eat the bread and butter
and meat. "Give us some of that," exclaimed the Dwarfs; but she
answered, "I have not got enough for myself, so how can I give any
away ?" When she had finished they said, You have a broom there, go
and sweep the back door clean." Oh, sweep it yourself," she replied;
" I am not your servant." When she saw that they would not give hei
anything she went out at the door, and the three Dwarfs said to each
other, "What shall we give her? she is so ill-behaved, and has such a
bad and envious disposition, that nobody can wish well to her." The
first said, "I grant that she becomes more ugly every day." The second
said, "I grant that at every word she speaks a toad shall spring out of
her mouth." The third said, "I grant that she shall die a miserable
death." Meanwhile the girl had been looking for strawberries out-of-
doors, but as she could find none she went home very peevish. When
she opened her mouth to tell her mother what had happened to her in
the forest, a toad jumped out of her mouth at each word, so that every
one fled away from her in horror
The stepmother was now still more vexed, and was always thinking
how she could do the most harm to her husband's daughter, who every
day became more beautiful. At last she took a kettle, set it on the fire,
and boiled a net therein. When it was sodden she hung it on the
shoulder of the poor girl, and gave her an axe, that she might go upon
the frozen pond and cut a hole in the ice to drag the net. She obeyed,
and went away and cut an ice-hole; and while she was cutting, an elegant
carriage came by, in which the King sat. The carriage stopped, and the
King asked, "My child, who are you and what do you here ?" "I am
a poor girl, and am dragging a net," said she. Then the King pitied her,
and saw how beautiful she was, and said, "Will you go with me 1"
"Yes, indeed, with all my heart," she replied, for she was glad to get out
of the sight of her mother and sister.
So she was handed into the carriage, and driven away with the King;
and as soon as they arrived at his castle the wedding was celebrated with
great splendour, as the Dwarfs had granted to the maiden. After a year
the young Queen bore a son; and when the stepmother heard of her
great good fortune, she came to the castle with her daughter, and behaved
as if she had come on a visit. But one day, when the King had gone
out, and no one was present, this bad woman seized the Queen by the
head, and her daughter caught hold of her feet, and raising her out of
bod, they throw her out of the window into the river which ran past.
Then, laying her ugly daughter in the bed, the old woman covered her
40 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
up, even over her head; and when the King came back he wished to
speak to his wife, but the old woman exclaimed, Softly! softly 1 do not
go near her; she is lying in a beautiful sleep, and must be kept quiet
to-day." The King, not thinking of any evil design, came again the
next morning the first thing; and when he spoke to his wife, and she
answered, a toad sprang out of her mouth at every word, as a piece of
gold had done before. So he asked what had happened, and the old
woman said, "That is produced by her weakness, she will soon lose it
But in the night the kitchen-boy saw a Duck swimming through the
brook, and the Duck asked,
King, King, what are you doing?
Are you sleeping, or are you waking r'
And as he gave no answer the Duck said,
What are my guests a-doing I
Then the boy answered,
"They all sleep sound:'
And she asked him,
How fares my child "r
And he replied,
"In his cradle he sleeps."
Then she came up in the form of the Queen to the cradle, and gave
tl.e child drink, shook up his bed, and covered him up, and then swam
again away as a duck through the brook. The second night she came
again; and on the third she said to the kitchen-boy, "Go and tell the
King to take his sword, and swing it thrice over me, on the threshold."
Then the boy ran and told the King, who came with his sword, and
swung it thrice over the Duck; and at the third time his bride stood
before him, bright, living, and healthful, as she had been before.
Now the King was in great happiness, but he hid the Queen in a
chamber until the Sunday when the child was to be christened; and
when all was finished he asked, "What ought to be done to one who
takes another out of a bed and throws her into the river 1" "Nothing
could be more proper," said the old woman, "than to put such an one
into a cask, stuck round with nails, and to roll it down the hill into the
water." Then the King said, "You have spoken your own sentence;"
and ordering a cask to be fetched, he caused the old woman and her
daughter to be put into it, and the bottom being nailed up, the cask was
rolled down the hill until it fell into the we ter.
THE LITIrLE BROTHER AND SISTER.
P'a e 41.
THE LITTLE BROTHER AND SISTER.
THERE wha once a little Brother who took his Sister by the hand, and
said, "Since our own dear mother's death we have not had one happy
hour; our stepmother beats us every day, and, if we come near her,
kicks us away with her foot. Our food is the hard crusts of bread
which are left, and even the dog under the table fares better than we,
for he often gets a nice morsel. Come, let us wander forth into the wide
world." So the whole day long they travelled over meadows, fields, and
stony roads, and when it rained the Sister said, It is heaven crying in
sympathy." By evening they came into a large forest, and were so
wearied with grief, hunger, and their long walk, that they laid themselves
down in a hollow tree, and went to sleep. When they awoke the next
morning, the sun had already risen high in the heavens, and its beams
made the tree so hot, that the little boy said to his Sister, I am so
thirsty, if I knew where there was a brook I would go and drink. Ah 1
I think I hear one running;" and so saying, he got up, and taking nis
Sister's hand, they went in search of the brook.
The wicked stepmother, however, was a witch, and had witnessed the
departure of the two children; so, sneaking after them secretly, as is the
habit of witches, she had enchanted all the springs in the forest.
Presently they found a brook which ran trippingly over the pebbles,
and the Brother would have drunk out of it, but the Sister heard how it
said as it ran along, "Who drinks of me will become a tiger!" So the
Sister exclaimed, "I pray you, Brother, drink not, or you will become a
tiger, and tear me to pieces!" So the Brother did not drink, although
his thirst was so great, and he said, "I will wait till the next brook."
As they came to the second, the Sister heard it say, "Who drinks of me
becomes a wolf!" The Sister ran up crying, "Brother, do not, pray do
not, drink, or you will become a wolf and eat me up I" Then the Brother
did not drink, saying," I will wait until we come to the next spring, but
then I must Irink, you may say what you will; my thirst is much too
42 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
great." Just as they reached the third brook, the Sister heard the voice
saying, Who drinks of me will become a fawn,-who drinks of me will
become a fawn !" So the Sister said, 0, my Brother do not drink, or
you will be changed to a fawn, and run away from me !" But he had
already kneeled down, and drunk of the water, and, as the first drops
passed his lips, his shape became that of a fawn.
At first the sister cried over her little changed Brother, and he wept
too, and knelt by her very sorrowful; but at last the maiden said, "Be
still, dear little Fawn, and I will never forsake you ;" and, undoing her
golden garter, she put it round his neck, and weaving rushes made a
white girdle to lead him with. This she tied to him, and, taking the
other end in her hand, she led him away, and they travelled deeper and
deeper into the forest. After they had walked a long distance they came
to a little hut, and the Maiden, peeping in, found it empty, and thought,
"Here we can stay and dwell." Then she looked for leaves and moss to
make a soft couch for the Fawn, and every morning she went out and
collected roots and berries and nuts for herself, and tender grass for the
Fawn, which he ate out of her hand, and played happily around her.
In the evening, when the Sister was tired, and had said her prayers, she
laid her head upon the back of the Fawn, which served for a pillow, on
which she slept soundly. Had but the Brother regained his own proper
form, their life would have been happy indeed.
Thus they dwelt in this wilderness, and some time had elapsed, when
it happened that the King of the country held a great hunt in the forest;
and now resounded through the trees the blowing of horns, the barking
of dogs, and the lusty cries of the hunters, so that the little Fawn heard
them, and wanted very much to join. Ah i" said he to his Sister, "let
me go to the hunt, I cannot restrain myself any longer;" and he begged
so hard that at last she consented. "But," said she to him, "return
again in the evening, for I shall shut my door against the wild huntsmen,
and, that I may know you, do you knock, and say, Sister, let me in,'
and if you do not speak I shall not open the door." As soon as she had
said this, the little Fawn sprang off, quite glad and merry in the fresh
breeze. The King and his huntsmen perceived the beautiful animal, and
pursued him; but they could not catch him, and when they thought
they had him for certain, he sprang away over the bushes, and got out of
sight. Just as it was getting dark, he ran up to the hut, and, knocking,
said, "Sister mine, let me in." Then she undid the little door, and he
went in, and rested all night long upon his soft couch. The next morning
the hunt was commenced again, and as soon as the little Fawn heard the
horns and the tally-ho of the sportsmen he could not rest, and said,
"Sister dear, open the door, I must be off." The Sister opened it,
saying, Return at evening, mind, and say the words as before." When
the King and his huntsmen saw again the Fawn with the golden neck-
lace, they followed him close, but he was too nimble and quick for them.
The whole day long they kept up with him, but towards evening the
huntsmen made a circle round him, and one wounded him slightly in the
foot behind, so that he could only run slowly. Then one of them slipped
THE LITTLE BROTHER AND SISTER. 43
after him to the little hut, and heard him say, Sister dear, open the
door," and saw that the door was opened and immediately shut behind.
The huntsman, having observed all this, went and told the King what
he had seen and heard, and he said, On the morrow I will once more
The Sister, however, was terribly frightened when she saw that her
Fawn was wounded, and, washing off the blood, she put herbs upon the
foot, and said, Go and rest upon your bed, dear Fawn, that the wound
may heal." It was so slight, that the next morning he felt nothing of it,
and when he heard the hunting cries outside, he exclaimed, I cannot
stop away-I must be there, and none shall catch me so easily again !"
The Sister wept very much, and told him, Soon they will kill you, and I
shall be here all alone in this forest, forsaken by all the world: I cannot
let you go."
I shall die here in vexation," answered the Fawn, "if you do not:
for when I hear the horn, I think I shall jump out of my skin." The
Sister, finding she could not prevent him, opened the door with a heavy
heart, and the Fawn jumped out, quite delighted, into the forest. As
soon as the King perceived him, he said to his huntsmen, Follow him
all day long till the evening, but let no one do him an injury." When
the sun had set, the King asked his huntsmen to show him the hut; and
as they came to it, he knocked at the door, and said, "Let me in, dear
Sister." Then the door was opened, and, stepping in, the King saw a
maiden more beautiful than he had ever before seen. She was frightened
when she saw not her Fawn, but a man step in, who had a golden crown
upon his head. But the King, looking at her with a friendly glance,
reached her his hand, saying, Will you go with me to my castle, and be
my dear wife 7" Oh, yes," replied the maiden ; but the Fawn must
go too : him I will never forsake." The King replied, He shall remain
with you as long as you live, and shall want for nothing." In the mean-
time the Fawn had come in, and the Sister, binding the girdle to him,
again took it in her hand, and led him away with her out of the hut.
The King took the beautiful maiden upon his horse, and rode to his
castle, where the wedding was celebrated with great splendour, and she
became Queen, and they lived together a long time; while the Fawn was
taken care of and lived well, playing about the castle-garden. The wicked
stepmother, however, on whose account the children had wandered forth
into the world, supposed that long ago the Sister had been torn in pieces
by the wild beasts, and the little Brother hunted to death in his Fawn's
shape by the hunters. As soon, therefore, as she heard how happy they
had become, and how everything prospered with them, envy and jealousy
were roused in her heart, and left her no peace; and she was always
thinking in what way she could work misfortune to them. Her own
daughter, who was as ugly as night, and had but one eye, for which she
was continually reproached, said, The luck of being.a Queen has never
yet happened to me." "Be quiet now," said the old woman, "and make
yourself contented : when the time comes, I shall be at hand." As soon,
thou, as the time came when the Queen brought into the world a beautiful
44 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
little boy, which happened when the King was out hunting, the old witch
took the form of a chambermaid, and got into the room where the Queen
was lying, and said to her, The bath is ready, which will restore you,
and give you fresh strength; be quick, before it gets cold." Her daughter
being at hand, they carried the weak Queen between them into the room,
and laid her in the bath, and then, shutting the door to, they ran off; but
first they had made up an immense fire in the stove, which must soon
suffocate the young Queen.
When this was done, the old woman took her daughter, and, putting a
cap on her, laid her in the bed in the Queen's place. She gave her, too,
the form and appearance of the real Queen, as far as she could; but she
could not restore the lost eye, and, so that the King might not notice it,
she turned upon that side where there was no eye. When he came home
at evening, and heard that a son was born to him, he was much delighted,
and prepared to go to his wife's bedside, to see how she did. So the old
woman called out in a great hurry, For your life, do not undraw the
curtains; the Queen must not yet see the light, and must be kept quiet."
So the King went away, and dia not discover that a false Queen was laid
in the bed.
When midnight came, and every one was asleep, the nurse, who sat by
herself, wide awake, near the cradle, in the nursery, saw the door open
and the true Queen come in. She took the child in her arms, and rocked
it a while, and then, shaking up its pillow, laid it down in its cradle, and
covered it over again. She did not forget the Fawn either, but, going to
the corner where he was, stroked his back, and then went silently out at
the door. The nurse asked in the morning of the guards, if any one had
passed into the castle during the night; but they answered, "No, we
have seen nobody." For many nights afterwards she came constantly,
and never spoke a word; and the nurse saw her always, but she would
not trust herself to speak about it to any one.
When some time had passed away, the Queen one night began to
speak, and said,-
How fares my child, how fares my fawn ?
Twice more will I come, but never again."
The nurse made no reply; but, when she had disappeared, went to the
King, and told him all. The King exclaimed, Oh, heavens.! what does
this mean ?-the next night I will watch myself by the child." In the
evening he went into the nursery, and about midnight the Queen ap-
peared, and said,-
"How fares my child, how fares my fawn ?
Once more will I come, but never again."
And she nursed the child, as she was used to do, and then disappeared.
The King dared not speak; but he watched the following night, and this
time she said,-
"How fares my child, how fares my fawn I
This time have I come, but never again."
At these words, the King could hold back no longer, but sprang up and
said, You can be no ether than my dear wife 1" Then she answered,
HANSEL AND GRETHEL. 45
"Yes, I am your dear wife;" and at that moment her life was restored
by God's mercy, and she was again as beautiful and charming as ever.
She told the King the fraud which the witch and her daughter had prac-
tised upon him, and he had them both tried and sentence pronounced
against them. The daughter was taken into the forest, where the wild
beasts tore her in pieces, but the old witch was led to the fire and miserably
burnt. And as soon as she was reduced to ashes, the little Fawn was
unbewitched, and received again his human form; and the Brother and
Sister lived happily together to the end of their days.
HANSEL AND GRETHEL.
ONCE upon a time there dwelt near a large wood a poor woodcutter, with
his wife and two children by his former marriage, a little boy called
Hansel, and a girl named Grethel. He had little enough to break or
bite; and once, when there was a great famine in the land, he could not
procure even his daily broad; and as he lay thinking in his bed one
evening, rolling about for trouble, he sighed, and said to his wife, What
will become of usl How can we feed our children, when we have no
more than we can cat ourselves ?"
Know, then, my husband," answered she, "we will lead them away,
quite early in the morning, into the thickest part of the wood, and there
make them a fire, and give them each a little piece of bread; then we
will go to our work, and leave them alone, so they will not find the way
home again, and we shall be freed from them." No, wife," replied he,
"that I can never ; how can you bring your heart to leave my children
all alone in the wood; for the wild beasts will soon come and tear them
tC pieces I"
46 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
Oh, you simpleton !" said she, "then we must all four die of hunger;
you had better plane the coffins for us." But she left him no pea,.e till he
consented, saying, "Ah, but I shall regret the poor children."
The two children, however, had not gone to sleep for very hunger,
and so they overheard what the stepmother said to their father. Grethel
wept bitterly, and said to Hansel, What will become of us?" Be
quiet, Grethel," said he; "do not cry-I will soon help you." And as
soon as their parents had fallen asleep, lie got up, put on his coat, and,
unbarring the back door, slipped out. The moon shone brightly, and the
white pebbles which lay before the door seemed like silver pieces, they
glittered so brightly. Hansel stooped down, and put as many into his
pocket as it would hold; and then going back, he said to Grethel, Be
comforted, dear sister, and sleep in peace ; God will not forsake us." And
so saying, he went to bed again."
The next morning, before the sun arose, the wife went and awoke the
two children. Get up, you lazy things; we are going into the forest to
chop wood." Then she gave them each a piece of bread, saying, There
is something for your dinner; do not eat it before the time, for you will
get nothing else." Grethel took the bread in her apron, for Hansel's
pocket was full of pebbles; and so they all set out upon their way.
When they had gone a little distance, Hansel stood still, and peeped back
at the house; and this he repeated several times, till his father said,
" Hansel, what are you peeping at, and why do you lag behind 7 Take
care, and remember your legs."
Ah, father," said Hansel, "I am looking at my white cat sitting upon
the roof of the house, and trying to say good-bye." You simpleton !"
said the wife, that is not a cat; it is only the sun shining on the white
chimney." But in reality Hansel was not looking at a cat; but every
time he stopped, he dropped a pebble out of his pocket upon the path.
When they came to the middle of the wood, the father told the children
to collect wood, and he would make them a fire, so that they should not
be cold. So Hansel and Grethel gathered together quite a little moun-
tain of twigs. Then they sat fire to them; and as the flame burnt up
high, the wife said, Now, you children, lie down near the fire, and rest
yourselves, whilst we go into the forest and chop wood; when we are
ready, I will come and call you."
Hansel and Grethel sat down by the fire, and when it was noon, each
ate the piece of bread ; and because they could hear the blows of an axe,
they thought their father was near: but it was not an axe, but a branch
which he had bound to a withered tree, so as to be blown to and frc by
the wind. They waited so long, that at last their eyes closed from weari-
ness, and they fell fast asleep. When they awoke, it was quite dark, and
Grethel began to cry, How shall we get out of the wood i" But Hansel
tried to comfort her by saying, Wait a little while till the moon rises,
and then we will quickly find the way." The moon soon shone forth, and
Hansel, taking his sister's hand, followed the pebbles, which glittered like
new-coined silver pieces, and showed them the path. All night long
they walked on, and as day broke they came to their father's houa
HANSEL AND GRETHEL.
They knocked at the door, and when the wife opened it, and saw Hansel
and Grethel, she exclaimed, You wicked children why did you sleep so
long in the wood 1 We thought you were never coming home again.'
But their father was very glad, for it had grieved his heart to leave them
Not long afterwards there was again great scarcity in every corner
of the land; and one night the children overheard their mother saying
to'their father, "Everything is again consumed; we have only half a
loaf left, and then the song is ended : the children must be sent away.
We will take them deeper into the wood, so that they may not find the
way out again; it is the only means of escape for us."
But her husband felt heavy at heart, and thought, "It were better
to share the last crust with the children." His wife, however, would
listen to nothing that he said, and scolded and reproached him without
He who says A must say B too; and he who consents the first time
must also the second.
The children, however, had heard the conversation as they lay
awake, and as soon as the old people went to sleep Hansel got up,
intending to pick up some pebbles as before; but the wife had locked
the door, so that he could not get out. Nevertheless he comforted
Grethel, saying, "Do not cry; sleep in quiet; the good God will not
Early in the morning the stepmother came and pulled them out of
bed, and gave them each a slice of bread, which was still smaller than the
former piece. On the way, Hansel broke his in his pocket, and, stooping
every now and then, dropped a crumb upon the path. "Hansel, why do
you stop and look about I" said the father, "keep in the path." "I am
looking at my little dove," answered Hansel, "nodding a good-bye to
me." "Simpleton !" said the wife, "that is no dove, but only the sun
shining on the chimney." But Hansel kept still, dropping crumbs as he
The mother led the children deep into the wood, where they had
never been before, and there making an immense fire, she said to them,
"Sit down here and rest, and when you feel tired you can sleep for a
little while. We are going into the forest to hew wood, and in the
evening, when we are ready, we will come and fetch you."
When noon came Grethel shared her bread with Hansel, who had
strewn his on the path. Then they went to sleep; but the evening
arrived and no one came to visit the poor children, and in the dark night
they awoke, and Hansel comforted his sister by saying, "Only wait,
Grethel, till the moon comes out, then we shall see the crumbs of bread
which I have dropped, and they will show us the way home." The moon
shone and they got up, but they could not see any crumbs, for the thou-
sands of birds which had been flying about in the woods and fields had
picked them all up. Hansel kept saying to Grethel, "We will soon find
the way; but they did not, and they walked the whole night long and the
next day. hut still they did not come out of the wood; and they got su
48 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
hungry, for they had nothing to eat but the berries which they found
upon the bushes. Soon they got so tired that they could not drag them-
selves along, so they lay down under a tree and went to sleep.
It was now the third morning since they had left their father's house,
and they still walked on; but they only got deeper and deeper into the
wood, and Hansel saw that if help did not come very soon they would
die of hunger. As soon as it was noon they saw a beautiful snow-whie
bird sitting upon a bough, which sang so sweetly that they stood still
and listened to it. It soon left off, and spreading its wings flew off; and
they followed it until it arrived at a cottage, upon the roof of which it
perched; and when they went close up to it they saw that the cottage
was made of bread and cakes, and the window-panes were of clear
"We will go in there," said Hansel, "and have a glorious feast. I will
eat a piece of the roof, and you can eat the window. Will they not be
sweet So Hansel reached up and broke a piece off the roof, in order
to see how it tasted; while Grethel stepped up to the window and began
to bite it. Then a sweet voice called out in the room, Tip-tap, tip-tap,
who raps at my door ? and the children answered, The wind, the wind,
the child of heaven;" and they went on eating without interruption.
Hansel thought the roof tasted very nice, aad so he tore off a great piece ;
while Grethel broke a large round pane o-t of the window, and sat down
quite contentedly. Just then the door opened, and a very old woman,
walking upon crutches, came out. Hansel and Grethel were so frightened
that they let fall what they had in their hands; but the old woman, nod-
ding her head, said, Ah, you dear children, what has brought you here I
Come in and stop with me, and no harm shall befall you;" and so saying
she took them both by the hand, and led them into her cottage. A good
meal of milk and pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts, was spread on
the table, and in the back room were two nice little beds, covered with
white, where Hansel and Grethel laid themselves down, and thought them-
selves in heaven. The old woman behaved very kindly to them, but in
reality she was a wicked witch who waylaid children, and built the bread-
house in order to entice them in; but as soon as they were in her power
she killed them, cooked and ate them, and made a great festival of the
day. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see very far; but they have a
fine sense of smelling, like wild beasts, so that they know when children
approach them. When Hansel and Grethel came near the witch's house
she laughed wickedly, saying, Here come two who shall not escape me."
And early in the morning, before they awoke, she went up to them, and
saw how lovingly they lay sleeping, with their chubby red cheeks; and
she mumbled to herself, "That will be a good bite." Then she took up
Hansel with her rough hand, and shut him up in a little cage with a
lattice-door; and although he screamed loudly it was of no use. Grethel
came next, and, shaking her till she awoke, she said, "Get up, you lazy
thing, and fetch some water to cook something good for your brother
who must remain in that stall and get fat; when he is fat enough I shall
eat him, Grethel began to cry, but it was all useless, for the old witch
IhANSEL AND GRETHEL. 49
made her do as she wished. So a nice meal was cooked for Hansel, but
Grethel got nothing else but a crab's claw.
Every morning the old witch came to the cage and said, "Hansel,
stretch out your finger that I may feel whether you are getting fat."
But Hansel used to stretch out a bone, and the old woman, having very
bad sight, thought it was his finger, and wondered very much that hb
did not get more fat. When four weeks had passed, and Hansel still kept
quite lean, she lost all her patience, and would not wait any longer.
"Grethel," she called out in a passion, "get some water quickly; be
Hansel fat or lean, this morning I will kill and cook him." Oh, how the
poor little sister grieved, as she was forced to fetch the water, and fast
the tears ran down her cheeks "Dear good God, help us now !" she
exclaimed. Had we only been eaten by the wild beasts in the wood,
then we should have died together." But the old witch called out, Leave
off that noise; it will not help you a bit."
So early in the morning Grethel was forced to go out and fill the
kettle, and make a fire. First, we will bake, however," said the old
woman; "I have already heated the oven and kneaded the dough ;"
and so saying, she pushed poor Grethel up to the oven, out of which the
flames were burning fiercely. Creep in," said the witch, "and see if
it is hot enough, and then we will put in the bread; but she intended
when Grethel got in to shut up the oven and let her bake, so that she
might eat her as well as Hansel. Grethel perceived what her thoughts
were, and said, "I do not know how to do it; how shall I get in?"
"You stupid goose," said she, the opening is big enough. See, I could
even get in myself !" and she got up, and put her head into the oven.
Then Grethel gave her a push, so that she fell right in, and then shutting
the iron door she bolted it. Oh how horribly she howled; but Grethel
ran away, and left the ungodly witch to burn to ashes.
Now she ran to Hansel, and, opening his door, called out, Hansel, we
are saved; the old witch is dead So he sprang out, like a bird out of
his cage when the door is opened ; and they were so glad that they fell
upon each other's neck, and kissed each other over and over again. And
now as there was nothing to fear, they went into the witch's house, where
in every corner were caskets full of pearls and precious stones. These
are better than pebbles," said Hansel, putting as many into his pocket as
it would hold ; while Grethel thought, I will take some home too,"
ad filled her apron full. We must be off now," said Hansel, and get
out of this enchanted forest ;" but when they had walked for two hours
they came to a large piece of water. "We cannot get over," said Hansel;
"I can see no bridge at all." "And there is no boat either," said
Grethel, "but there swims a white duck, I will ask her to help us over
and she sang,
Little Duck, good little Duck,
Grethel and Hansel, here we stand;
There is neither stile nor bridge,
Take us on your back to land."
So the Duck came to them, and Hansel sat himself on, and bade his
50 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
sister sit behind him. No," answered Grethel, "that will be too much
for the Duck, she shall take us over one at a time." This the good little
bird did, and when both were happily arrived on the other side, and had
gone a little way, they came to a well-known wood, which they knew the
better every step they went, and at last they perceived their father's
house. Then they began to run, and, bursting into the house, they fell
on their father's neck. He had not had one happy hour since he had
left the children in the forest : and his wife was dead. Grethel shook
her apron, and the pearls and precious stones rolled out upon the floor,
and Hansel throw down one handful after the other out of his pocket.
Then all their sorrows were ended, and they lived together in great
My tale is done. There runs a mouse; whoever catches her may
make a great, great cap out of her fur.
THE THREE SNAKE-LEAVES.
VHERE was once a poor man who was unable to feed his only son an.
longer; so the son said, "My dear father, everything goes badly with
you, and I am a burden to you; I would rather go away and try to earn
my own bread." So the father gave him his blessing, and took leave
of him with great grief. At that time the King of a powerful empire
was at war, and the youth taking service under him, went with him to
the field. When he came in sight of the enemy, battle was given and
he was in great peril, and the arrows flew so fast that his comrades fell
around him on all sides. And when the captain was killed the rest
THE THREE SNAKE-LEAVES. il
would have taken to flight ; but the youth, stepping forward, spoke tc
them courageously, exclaiming, \Ve will not let our fatherland be
ruined!" Then the others followed him, and pressed on so furiously,
that they routed the enemy. As soon as the King heard that he had to
thank the youth for the victory, he raised him above all the others, gave
him great treasures, and made him first in his kingdom.
Now the King had a daughter who was very beautiful, but she was
also very whimsical. She had made a vow never to take a lord and
husband who would not promise, if she should die first, to let himself be
buried alive with her. Does he love me with all his heart ?" said she:
"what use to him, then, can his life be afterwards I" At the same
time she was prepared to do the same thing, and if her husband should
die first to descend with him to the grave. This vow had hitherto
frightened away all suitors, but the youth was so taken with her beauty
that he waited for nothing, but immediately asked her in marriage of her
Do you know," said the King, what you must promise ?"
"I must go with her into the grave," he replied, "if I survive her;
but my love is so great that I mind not the danger." Then the King
consented, and the wedding was celebrated with great splendour.
For a long time they lived happily and contented with one another,
until it happened that the young Queen fell grievously sick, so that no
physician could cure her. When she died the young Prince remembered
his forced promise, and shuddered at the thought of-laying himself alive
in the grave; but there was no escape, for the King had set watchers at
all the doors, and it was not possible to avoid his fate. When the day
came that the body should be laid in the royal vault, he was led away
with it, and the door closed and locked behind him. Near the coffin
stood a table, having upon it four lights, four loaves of bread, and four
bottles of wine : as soon as this supply came to an end he must die or
hunger. Full of bitterness and sorrow, he sat down, eating each day
but a little morsel of bread, and taking but one draught of wine : every
day he saw death approaching nearer and nearer. Whilst he thus sat
gazing before him he saw a snake creeping out of the corner of the vault,
which approached the dead body. Thinking that it came to feed on the
body, he drew his sword, and exclaiming, So long as I live you shall
not touch her !" he cut it in three pieces. After a while another snake
crawled out of the corner; but when it saw the other lying dead it went
back, and returned soon with three green leaves in its mouth. Then it
took the three pieces of the snake, and, laying them together so as to join,
it put one leaf on each wound. As soon as the divided parts were joined
the snake moved and was alive again, and both snakes hastened away
together. The leaves remained lying on the ground, and the unfortunate
man, who had seen all, bethought himself whether the miraculous power
of the leaves, which had restored a snake to life, might not help him.
So he picked up the leaves, and laid one on the mouth of the corpse of
his wife, and the other two on her eyes; and he had scarcely done so
when the blood circulated again in the veins, and mounting into the pale
59 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
countenance, flushed it with colour. Then she drew her breath, opened
her eyes, and said, Ah, where am I 1" "You are with me, dear wife,"
he replied, and told her how everything had happened, and how he had
brought her to life. Then he helped her to some wine and bread; and,
when her strength had returned, she raised herself up, and they went to
the door, and knocked and shouted so loudly, that the watchers heard
them and told the King. The King came down himself and opened the
door, and there found them both alive and well, and he rejoiced with
them that their trouble had passed away. But the young Prince took
away the three snake-leaves, and gave them to his servant, saying,
" Preserve them carefully for me, and carry them with you at all times.
Who knows in what necessity they may not help us ?"
A change, however, had come over the wife after she was restored to
life, and it was as if all love for her husband had passed out of her heart.
And when, some little time after, he wished to make a voyage over the
sea to his old father, and they had gone on board the ship, she forgot the
great love and fidelity which he had shown, and through which he had
saved her life, and disclosed a wicked plan to the Captain. When the
young Prince lay asleep, she called up the Captain, and, taking the
sleeper by the head, while he carried the feet, they threw the Prince into
the sea. And as soon as the evil deed was done she said to the Captain,
Now let us return home, and say he died on the voyage. I will so
praise and commend you to my father that he shall give you to me in
marriage, and you shall sit as his heir."
But the faithful servant, who had seen all unremarked, let loose a
littlee boat from the ship, and getting in it himself, owed after his
master, and let the betrayers sail away. He fished the dead body up
again, and, by the help of the three snake-leaves, which he carried with
him, he brought it happily to life again. Then they both rowed away
with all their strength day and night, and their little boat glided on so
fast that they arrived before the others at the old King's palace. He
marvelled to see them return alone, and asked what had happened.
When he heard of the wickedness of his daughter, he said, I can
scarcely believe that she has done such evil; but the truth will soon come
to light." Then he bade them both go into a secret chamber, and keep
themselves private from everybody. Soon afterwards the great vessel
came sailing up, and the godless wife appeared before her father with a
sorrowful countenance. Why are you returned alone he asked.
"Where is your husband ." "Alas dear father," she replied, I return
home with great grief, for my husband was suddenly taken ill during the
voyage and died ; and if the good Captain had not giving me his assis-
tance it would have gone terribly with me; he was present at my
husband's death, and can tell you all about it." The King said, "I will
bring the dead to life," and opening the chamber, he bade the Prince and
his servant both to come forth. As soon as the wife perceived her
husband she was struck as if by lightning, and, falling on her knees, she
begged his pardon. But the King answered, "For you there is no
pardon. He was ready to die with you, and gave you life again; but
you have conspired against nlm in his sleep, and shall receive your due
reward." Then she was put, with her companion in crime, on board a
ship which was pierced with holes, and drawn out into the sra ; and they
soon sank beneath the waves.
ONCE upon a time there lived a man and his wife, who much wishwd to
have a child, but for a long time in vain. These people had a little
window in the back part of their house, out of which one could see intn
a beautiful garden which was full of fine flowers and vegetables; but it
was surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go in, because it bi-
longed to a Witch, who possessed great power, and who was feared by
the whole world. One day the woman stood at this window looking into
the garden, and there she saw a bed which was filled with the most beau-
tiful radishes, and which seemed so fresh and green that she felt quite
glad, and a great desire seized her to eat of these radishes. This wish
tormented her daily, and as she knew that she could not have them she
fell ill, and looked very pale and miserable. This frightened her husband,
who asked her, "What ails you, my dear wife ?"
Ah !" she replied, if I cannot get any of those radishes to eat out
of the garden behind the house I shall die !" The husband, loving her
very much, thought, Rather than let my wife die, I must fetch her
some radishes, cost what they may." So, in the gloom of the evening,
he climbed the wall of the Witch's garden, and, snatching a handful of
radishes in great haste, brought them to his wife, who made herself a
salad with them, which she relished extremely. However, they were so
GRIMM S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
nice and so well-flavoured, that the next day after she felt th3 same
desire for the third time, and could not get any rest, so that her husband
was obliged to promise her some more. So, in the evening, he made
himself ready, and began clambering up the wall; but, oh! how terribly
frightened he was, for there he saw the old Witch standing before him.
" How dare you,"-she began, looking at him with a frightful scowl,-
" how dare you climb over into my garden to take away my radishes like
a thief Evil shall happen to you for this."
SAh !" replied he, "let pardon be granted before justice; I have
only done this from a great necessity; my wife saw your radishes from
her window, and took such a fancy to them that she would have died if
she had not eaten of them." Then the Witch ran after him in a passion,
saying, If she behave as you say, I will let you take away all the radishes
you please, but I make one condition; you must give me the child which
your wife will bring into the world. All shall go well with it, and I will
care for it like a mother." In his anxiety the man consented, and when
the child was born the Witch appeared at the same time, gave the child
the name Rapunzel," and took it away with her.
Rapunzel grew to be the most beautiful child under the sun, and
when she was twelve years old the Witch shut her up in a tower, which
stood in a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, and only one little
window just at the top. When the Witch wished to enter, she stood
beneath, and called out,-
"Rapunzel Rapunzel 1
Let down your hair."
For Rapunzel had long and beautiful hair, as fine as spun gold; and as
soon as she heard the Witch's voice she unbound her tresses, opened the
window, and then the hair fell down twenty ells, and the Witch mounted
up by it.
After a couple of years had passed away it happened that the King's
son was riding through the wood, and came by the tower. There he
heard a song so beautiful that he stood still and listened. It was Rapunzel,
who, to pass the time of her loneliness away, was exercising her sweet
voice. The King's son wished to ascend to her, and looked for a door in
the tower, but he could not find one. So he rode home, but the song
had touched his heart so much that he went every day to the forest and
listened to it; and as he thus stood one day behind a tree, he saw the
Witch come up and heard her call out,-
Rapuuzel I Rapunzel I
Let down your hair."
Then Rapunzel let down her tresses, and the Witch mounted up. Is
that the ladder on which one must climb 7 Then I will try my luck
too," said the Prince ; and the following day, as he felt quite lonely, he
went to the tower, and said,-
Let down your bair."
Then the tresses fell down, and he climbed up. Rapunzel was much
frightened at first when a man came in, for she had never seen one be-
fore ; but the King's son talked in a loving way to her, and told how his
heart had been so moved by her singing that he had no peace until he
had seen her himself. So Rapunzel lost her terror, and when he asked
her if she would have him for a husband, and she saw that he was young
and handsome, she thought, "Any one may have me rather than the old
woman :" so, saying Yes," she put her hand within his : "I will will-
ingly go with you, but I know not how I am to descend. When you
come, bring with you a skein of silk each time, out of which I will
weave a ladder, and when it is ready I will come down by it, and you
must take me upon your horse." Then they agreed that they should
never meet till the evening, as the Witch came in the day time. The
old woman remarked nothing about it, until one day Rapunzel inno-
cently said, Tell me, mother, how it happens you find it more difficult
to come up to me than the young King's son, who is with me in a
Oh, you wicked child !" exclaimed the Witch ; "what do I hear
I thought I had separated you from all the world, and yet you have
deceived me." And, seizing Rapunzel's beautiful hair in a fury, she
gave her a couple of blows with her left hand, and, taking a pair of
scissors in her right, snip, snap, she cut off all her beautiful tresses, and
they fell upon the ground. Then she was so hard-hearted that she took
the poor maiden into a great desert, and left her to die in great misery
But the same day when the old Witch had carried Rapunzel off, in
the evening she made the tresses fast above to the window-latch, and
when the King's son came, and called out,-
"Rapunzel 1 Rapunzel I
Let down your hair."
she let them down. The Prince mounted ; but when lie got to the top
he found, not his dear Rapunzel, but the Witch, who looked at him with
furious and wicked eyes. "Aha!" she exclaimed, scornfully, "you
would fetch your dear wife; but the beautiful bird sits no longer in her
nest, singing; the cat has taken her away, and will now scratch out
your eyes. To you Rapunzel is lost; you will never see her again."
The Prince lost his senses with grief at these words, and sprang out
of the window of the tower in his bewilderment. His life he escaped
with, but the thorns into which he fell put out his eyes. So he wan-
dered blind, in the forest, eating nothing but roots and berries, and doing
nothing but weep and lament for the loss of his dear wife. He wandered
about thus, in great misery, for some few years, and at last arrived at
the desert where Rapunzel, with her twins, a boy and a girl which had
been born, lived in great sorrow. Hearing a voice which he thought he
knew he followed in its direction; and, as he approached, Rapunzel
ecognised him, and fell upon his neck and went. Twa .f hwe tears
56 GRIMI' S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
moistened his eyes, and they became clear again, so that he could see as
well as formerly.
Then he led her away to his kingdom, where he was received with
great demonstrations of joy, and where they lived long, contented and
What became of the old Witch no one ever knew.
THE WHITE SNAKE.
A LONG while ago there lived a King whose wisdom was world-renowned.
Nothing remained unknown to him, and it seemed as if the tidings of
the most hidden things were borne to him through the air. But he had
one strange custom : every noontime, when the table was quite cleared,
and no one was present, his trusty servant had to bring him a dish, which
was covered up, and the servant himself did not know what lay in it,
and no man knew, for the King never uncovered it nor ate thereof until
he was quite alone. This went on for a long time, until one day such a
violent curiosity seized the servant, who as usual carried the dish, that
he could not resist the temptation, and took the dish into his chamber.
As soon as he had carefully locked the door, he raised the cover, aBv'
there lay before him a White Snake. At the sight he could not restrain
the desire to taste it, so he cut a piece off and put it in his mouth. But
scarcely had his tongue touched it, when he heard before his window a
curious whispering of low voices. He went and listened, and found out
that it was the Sparrows who were conversing with one another, and re-
iating what each had seen in field or wood. The morsel of the Snake
aad given him the power to understand the speech of animals. Now it
happened just on this day that the Quee-i lst her finest ring, and suspi.
THE WHITE SNAKE. 57
cdon fad )a this faithful servant, who had the care of all her jewels, that
he had stolen it. The King ordered him to appear before him, and
threatened in angry words that he should be taken up and tried if he did
uot know before the morrow whom to name as the guilty person. He
protested his innocence in vain, and was sent away without any mitiga-
tion of the sentence. In his anxiety and trouble he went away into the
courtyard, thinking how he might help himself. There, on a running
stream of water, the Ducks were congregated familiarly together, and
smoothing themselves down with their beaks while they held a confidential
conversation. The servant stood still and listened to them as they nar-
rated to each other whereabouts they had waddled, and what nice food
they had found; and one said in a vexed tone, Something very hard is
in my stomach, for in my haste I swallowed a ring which lay under the
Queen's window." Then the servant caught the speaker up by her neck,
and carried her to the cook, saying, "Just kill this fowl, it is finely fat."
Yes," said the cook, weighing it in her hand, it has spared no trouble
in cramming itself; it ought to have been roasted long ago." So saying,
she chopped off its head, and, when she cut it open, in its stomach was
found the Queen's ring. Now, the servant was able to prove easily his
innocence to the Queen, and, as she wished to repair her injustice, she
granted him her pardon, and promised him the greatest place of honour
which he wished for at court. The servant refused everything, and only
requested a horse and money, for he had a desire to see the world, and to
travel about it for a while. As soon as his request was granted, he set
off on his tour and came one day by a pond, in which he remarked three
fishes which were caught in the reeds, and lay gasping for water. Although
men say Fishes are dumb, yet he understood their complaint, that they
must soon die so miserably. Having a compassionate heart, he dismounted
and put the three prisoners again into the water. They splashed about
for joy, and putting their heads abote water said to him, We shall be
grateful, and repay you for savtlg us." He rode onwards, and, after a
while, it happened that he heard, as it were, a voice in the sand at his
feet. He listened, and perceived that an Ant King was complaining thus:
If these men could but keep away with their great fat beasts Here
comes an awkward horse treading my people under foot unmercifully."
So he rode on to a side path, and the Ant King called to him, We will
be grateful and reward you." His way led him into a forest, and there
he saw a male and female Crow, standing by their nest, and dragging their
young out. Off with you, you gallows birds !" they exclaimed, "we
can feed you no longer, you are big enough now to help yourselves."
The poor young ones lay on the ground fluttering and beating their wing,
aLd crying, "We, helpless children, we must feed ourselves, we who can-
not fly yet what is left to us but to die here of hunger Then the
Servant dismounted, and, killing his horse with his sword, left it for the
young Crows to feed upon. They soon hopped upon it, and when they
were satisfied they exclaimed, We will be grateful, and reward you ij
time of need !"
He was obliged now to use his own legs, and after he had gone a long
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
way he came to a large town, where in the streets there was a great
crowd and shouting, and a man upon horseback riding along, who pro-
claimed, "The Princess seeks a husband; but he who would win her
must perform a difficult task, and, if he should not luckily complete it,
his life will be forfeited." Many had tried already, but in vain ; their
life had been forfeited. But the youth, when he had seen the Princess,
was so blinded by her beauty, that he forgot all danger, and stepping
before the King, offered himself as a suitor. Immediately he was con-
ducted to the sea, and a golden ring thrown in before his eyes. Then
the King bade him fetch this ring up again from the bottom of the sea,
adding, "If you rise without the ring, you shall be thrown in again and
again, until you perish in the waves." Every one pitied the handsome
Youth, and then left him alone on the sea-shore. There he stood con-
sidering what he should do, and presently lie saw three Fishes at once
swimming towards him, and they were no others than the three whose
lives he had saved. The middle one bore a mussel-shell in its mouth,
which it laid on the shore at the feet of the Youth, who, taking it up
and opening it, found the gold ring within. Full of joy, he brought it
to the King, expecting that he should receive his promised reward.
But the proud Princess, when she saw that he was not her equal in
birth, was ashamed of him, and desired that he should undertake a second
task. She went into the garden, and strewed there ten bags of millet-
seed in the grass, "These he must pick up by the morning, before the
sun rise, and let him not venture to miss one grain." The Youth sat
himself down in the garden, thinking how it was possible to perform this
task, but he could imagine no way, so he sat there sorrowfully awaiting
at the dawn of day to be conducted to death. But, as soon as the first
rays of the sun fell on the garden, he saw that the ten sacks were all
filled, and standing by him, while not a single grain remained in the
grass. The Ant King had come in the night with his thousands and
thousands of men, and the grateful insects had collected the millet with
great industry, and put it into the sacks. The Princess herself came
into the garden, and saw with wonder that the Youth had performed
what was required of him. But still she could not bend her proud heart,
and she said, Although he may have done these two tasks, yet he shall
not be my husband until he has brought me an apple from the tree of
life." The Youth did not know where the tree of life stood ; he got uT;
indeed, and was willing to go so long as his legs bore him, but he had i.zJ
hope of finding it. After he had wandered through three kingdoms, he
came by evening into a forest, and eitting'down-under a tree, he wished
to sleep ; when he heard a rustling in the branches, and a golden apple
fell into his hand. At the same time three Ravens flew down, and settled
on his knee, saying, "We are the three young ravens whom you saved
from dying of hunger; when we were grown up, and heard that you
sought the golden apple, then we flew over the sea, even to the end of
the world where stands the tree of life, and we have fetched you the
Full of joy, the Youth set out homewards, and presented the golden
THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE.
apple to the beautiful Princess, who now had no more excuses. So they
divided the apple of life, and ate it between them; then her heart was
filled with love towards him, and they lived to a great age in undisturbed
THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE.
TIIER was once upon a time a fisherman and his wife, who lived together
in a little hut near the sea, and every day he went down to fish. There
he sat with his rod, and looked out upon the blank water; and this he
did for many a long day. One morning the line went to the bottom,
and when he drew it up a great Flounder was hooked at the end. The
Flounder said, Let me go, I pray you, fisherman ; I am not a real fish,
but an enchanted Prince. What good shall I do you if you pull me
up ? I should not taste well; put me back into the water, and. let me
Ah," said the man, you need not make such a palaver, a fish which
can speak I would rather let swim;" and so saying, he put the fish into
the water, and as it sank to the bottom it left a long streak of blood
behind it. Then the fisherman got up, and went back to his wife in
Have you caught nothing to-day, husband?" said she. "Oh !" he
replied, I caught a Flounder, who said he was an enchanted Prince; so
I threw him again into the sea to swim."
"Did you not wish first ?" she inquired. "No," said he.
"Ah," said the wife, "that is very un.nrcky; is one to remain in this
hovel for ever ? you might have wished for a better hut, at least. Go
again and call him; tell him we choose to have a better hut, and for
certain you'll get it."
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
"Ah replied he, "how shall I manage that I" "Why," said his
wife, you must catch him again, and before you let him swim away he
will grant what you ask: be quick." The man was not much pleased,
and wished his wife further; but, nevertheless, he went down to the sea.
When he- came to the water, it was green and yellow, and looked still.
more blank; he stood by it and said,-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Hither quickly come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I dare not tell."
Then the Fish came swimming up, and said, "What do you want
with me 1" Oh !" said the man, I was to catch you again; for my wife
says I ought to have wished before. She won't stay any longer in her
hovel, and desires a cottage."
"Go home again," said the Flounder, "she has it already." So the
fisherman departed, and there was his wife, no longer in the dirty hovel,
for in its place stood a clean cottage, before whose door she sat upon a
bench. She took him by the hand, saying, "Come in now and see: is
not this much better 7" So in they went, and in the cottage there was
a beautiful parlour, and a fine fireplace, and a chamber where a bed
stood; there were also a kitchen and a store-room, with nice earthenware,
all of the best; tinware and copper vessels, and everything very clean
and neat. At the back was a large yard, with hens and chickens, as well
as a nice garden, full of fruit-trees and vegetables. See," said the wife,
"is not this charming V"
"Yes," said her husband, so long as it blooms you will be very well
content with it."
"We will consider about that," she replied, and they went to bed.
Thus eight to fourteen days passed on, when the wife said, "Hus-
oand, the hut is far too narrow for me, and the yard and garden are so
small; the Flounder may very well give us a larger house. I wida to
live in a large stone palace; go, then, to the Flounder, and ask him to
give us a castle."
"Ah, wife 1" said he, "the cottage is good enough; why should you
choose to have a castle 1"
"Go along," she replied, "the Flounder will soon give you that."
"Nay, wife," he said, "the Flounder gave us the cottage at first, but
when I go again he will perhaps be angry."
Never you mind," said she, "he can do what I wish for very easily
and willingly; go and try." The husband was vexed at heart, and did
not like going, and said to himself, This is not right." But at last he
When he came "; the sea, the water was quite clouded and deep olue
coloured, and black and thick: it looked green no longer, yet it was calm.
So he rent and.said,-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Hither quickly come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I scarce dare tell"
THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE. bl
"Now, then, what do you want 1" said the Flounder. Oh," said the
maa, half-frightened, "she wants to live in a great stone castle." "Go
home, and see it at your door," replied the Fish.
The fisherman went away, and lo where formerly his house stood,
there was a great stone castle ; and his wife called to him from the steps
to come in, and, taking him by the hand, she said, "Now let us look
about." So they walked about, and in the castle there was a great hall,
with marble tables, and there were ever so many servants, who ushered
them through folding-doors into rooms hung all round with tapestry, and
filled with fine golden stools and chairs, with crystal looking-glasses on
the walls; and all the rooms were similarly fitted up. Outside the house
were large courtyards with horse and cow-stalls, and waggons, all of the
best, and besides a beautiful garden filled with magnificent flowers and
fruit-trees, and a meadow full a mile long, covered with deer, and oxen,
and sheep, as many as one could wish for. "Is not this pretty ?" said the
wife. "Ah," said her husband, "so long as the humour lasts you will be
content with this, and then you will want something else."
We will think about that," said she, and with that they went to bed.
The next morning the wife woke up just as it was day, and looked
out over the fine country which lay before her. Her husband did not
get up, and there she stood with her arms akimbo, and called out, Get
up, and come and look here at the window; see, shall I not be Queen
over all the land I Go, and say to the Flounder, we choose to be King
and Queen." "Ah, wife," said he, "why should I wish to be King?"
"No," she replied, "you do not wish, so I will be Queen. Go, tell the
"Oh, why do you wish this? I cannot say it."
"Why not? go off at once; I must be Queen." The husband set
out quite stupified, but she would have her way, and when he came to
the sea it was quite black-looking, and the water splashed up and smelled
very disagreeably. But he stood still, and repeated,-
Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Hither quickly come to me;
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I scarce dare tell."
"What does she want now ?" asked the Flounder. "Ahl said he,
"she would be Queen." "Go home, she is so already," replied the Fish.
So he departed, and when he came near the palace he saw it had become
much larger, with a great tower and gateway in front of it; and before
the gate stood a herald, and there were many soldiers, with kettledrums
and trumpets. When he came into the house he found everything made
of the purest marble and gold; with magnificent curtains fringed with
gold. Through the hall he went in at the doors where the great court
apartment was, and there sat his wife upon a high throne of gold and
diamonds; having a crown of gold upon her head, and a sceptre of
precious stones in her hand; and upon each side stood six pages, in a
row, each one a head taller than the other. Then he went up, and said,
"Ah, wife, are you Queen new 1Yes," 'aid sheik "now I am Queen 1"
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
There he stood looking for a long time. At last he said, "Ah, wife, how
do you like being Queen 1 now we have nothing else to choose." "No,
indeed!" she replied, "I am very dissatisfied; time and tide do not wait
for me; I can bear it no longer. Go then to the Flounder: Queen I am;
now I must be Pope." "Ah, wife! what would you ? Pope thou canst
not be, the Pope is the head of Christendom, the Flounder cannot make
"I will be Pope," replied the wife, and he was obliged to go, and,
when he came to the shore, the sea was running mountains high, and the
sky was so black that he was quite terrified, and began to say in a great
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Quickly, quickly, come to me,
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I dare not tell."
"What now ?" asked the Flounder. "She wants to be Pope," said he.
"Go home, and find her so," was the reply.
So he went back, and found a great church, in which she was sitting
upon a much higher throne, with two rows of candles on each side, some
as thick as towers, down to those no bigger than rushlights, and before
her footstool were Kings and Queens kneeling. Wife," said he, "now be
contented : since you are Pope, you cannot be anything else." "That I
will consider about," she replied, and so they went to bed; but she could
not sleep for thinking what she should be next. Very early she rose, and
looked out of the window, and as she saw the sun rising, she thought to
herself, "Why should I not do that 7" and so she shook her husband, and
called out to him, "Go, tell the Flounder I want to make the sun rise."
Her husband was so frightened that he tumbled out of bed, but she
would hear nothing, and he was obliged to go.
When he got down to the sea a tremendous storm was raging, and the
ships and boats were tossing about in all directions. Then he shouted
out, though he could not hear his own words,-
"Flounder, Flounder, in the sea,
Quickly, quickly, come to me;
For my wife, dame Isabel,
Wishes what I dare not tell."
"What would she have now?" said the Fish. "Ahi" he replied,
"she wants to be Ruler of the Universe."
"Return, and find her back in her hovel," replied the Flounder.
Aad there the fisherman and his wife remained for the rest of their
THE SEVEN CROWS.
THERE was a man who had seven sons, but never a daughter, although he
wished very much for one; at last his wife promised him another child,
and when it was born, lo! it was a daughter. Their happiness was great,
but the child was so weak and small that, on account of its delicate health,
it had to be baptized immediately. The father sent one of his sons
hastily to a spring in order to fetch some water, but the other six would
run as well; and as each strove to be first to fill the pitcher, between
them all it fell into the water. They stood by, not knowing what to do,
and none of them dared to go home. As they did not come back, the
father became impatient, saying, "They have forgotten all about it in a
game of play, the godless youths." Soon he became anxious lest the child
should die unbaptized, and in his haste he exclaimed, I would they were
all changed into Crows!" Scarcely were the words out of his mouth,
when he heard a whirring over his head, and looking up he saw seven
coal-black Crows flying over the house.
The parents could not recall their curse, and grieved very much for
their lost sons; but they comforted themselves in some measure with
their dear daughter, who soon grew strong, and became more and more
beautiful every day. For a long time she did not know she had any
brothers, for her parents were careful not to mention them; but one day
accidentally she overheard some people talking about her, and saying,
"She is certainly very beautiful; but still the guilt of her seven brothers
rests on her head." This made her very sad, and she went to her parents
and asked whether she had any brothers, and whither they were gone.
The old people durst no longer keep their secret, but said it was the
decree of heaven, and her birth had been the unhappy cause. Now the
maiden daily accused herself, and thought how she could again deliver her
brothers. She had neither rest nor quiet, until she at last set out
64 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
secrecy, and journeyed into the wide world to seek out her brothers, and
to free them, wherever they were, cost what it might. She took nothing
with her but a ring of her parents' for a remembrance, a loaf of bread for
hunger's sake, a bottle of water for thirst's sake, and a little stool for
Now on and on went the maiden, further and further, even to the
world's end. Then she came to the Sun, but he was too hot and fearful,
and burnt up little children. So she ran hastily away to the Moon, but
she was too cold, and even wicked-looking, and said, "I smell, I smell
man's flesh !" So she ran away quickly, and went to the Stars, who were
friendly and kind to her, each one sitting upon his own little seat. But
the Morning-star was standing up, and gave her a crooked bone. saying,
"If you have not this bone you cannot unlock the glass castle, where
your brothers are."
The maiden took the bone, and wrapped it well up in a handkerchief,
and then on she went again till she came at last to the glass castle. The
door was closed, and she looked therefore for the little bone; but when
she unwrapped her handkerchief it was empty-she had lost the present
of the good Star. What was she to do now 1 She wished to save her
brothers, and she had no key to the glass castle. The good little sister
bent her little finger, and put it in the door, and luckily it unlocked it.
As soon as she entered a little Dwarf came towards her, who said, "My
child, what do you seek "
I seek my brothers, the seven Crows," she replied.
The Dwarf answered, My Lord Crows are not at home; but if you
wish to wait their return, come in and sit down."
Thereupon the little Dwarf carried in the food of the seven Crows
upon seven dishes and in seven cups, and the maiden ate a little piece off
each dish, and drank a little out of every cup; but in the last cup she
dropped the ring which she had brought with her.
All at once she heard a whirring and cawing in the air, and the
Dwarf said, My Lord Crows are now flying home."
Presently they came in and prepared to eat and drink; each seeking
his own dish and cup. Then one said to the other, "Who has been eat-
ing off my dish Who has been drinking out of my cup ? There has
been a human mouth here 1"
When the seventh came to the bottom of his cup, the little ring
rolled out. He looked at it, and recognized it as a ring of his parents
and said, God grant that our sister be here; then are we saved 1"
As the maiden, who bad stood behind the door watching, heard these
words, she came forward, and immediately all the Crows received again
their human forms, and embraced and kissed their sister, and then they
all went joyfully home together.
THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR.
ONE summer's morning a Tailor was sitting on his bench by the window
in very good spirits, sewing away with all his might, and presently up
the street came a peasant woman, crying, "Good preserves for sale'
Good preserves for sale!" This cry sounded nice in the Tailor's ears,
and, sticking his diminutive head out of the window, he called out,
"Here, my good woman, just bring your wares here!" The woman
mounted the three steps up to the Tailor's house with her heavy basket,
and began to unpack all the pots together before him. He looked at
them all, held them up to the light, put his nose to them, and at last
said, These preserves appear to me to be very nice, so you may weigh
me out four half-ounces, my good woman; I don't mind even if you
make it a quarter of a pound." The woman, who expected to have met
with a good customer, gave him what he wished, and went away
grumbling, very much dissatisfied.
"Now !" exclaimed the Tailor, "Heaven will send me a blessing on
this preserve, and give me fresh strength and vigour ;" and, taking the
bread out of the cupboard, he cut himself a slice the size of the whole loaf,
and spread the preserve upon it. That will taste by no means badly,"
said he; "but, before I have a bite, I will just get this waistcoat finished."
So he laid the bread down near him and stitched away, making larger and
larger stitches every time for joy. Meanwhile the smell of the preserve
mounted to the ceiling, where flies were sitting in great numbers, and
enticed them down, so that soon a regular swarm of them had settled on
the bread. Holloa i who invited you?" exclaimed the Tailor, hunting
away the unbidden guests; but the flies, not understanding his language,
would not be driven off, and came again in greater numbers than before.
This put the little man in a boiling passion, and, snatching up in his rage
a bag of cloth, he brought it down with an unmerciful swoop upon them.
\ hen he raised it again he counted no less than seven lying dead before
66 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
him with outstretched legs. What a fellow you are !" said he to him-
self, wondering at his own bravery. "The whole town shall know of
this." In great haste he cut himself out a band, hemmed it, and then
put on it in large characters, "SEVEN AT ONE BLOW Ah," said he,
"not one city alone, the whole world shall know it!" and his heart
fluttered with joy, like a lambkin's tail.
The little Tailor bound the belt round his body, and prepared to travel
fourth into the wide world, thinking the workshop too small for his valiant
deeds. Before he set out, however, he looked round his house to see if
there was anything he could take with him ; but he fond only an old
cheese, which he pocketed, and remarking a bird before the door which
was entangled in the bushes, he caught it, and put that in his pocket also.
Directly after he set out bravely on his travels ; and, as he was light and
active, he felt no weariness. His road led him up a hill, and when he
reached the highest point of it he found a great Giant sitting there, who
was looking about him very composedly.
The little Tailor, however, went boldly up, and said, "Good day,
comrade; in faith you sit there and see the whole world stretched below
you. I am also on my road thither to try my luck. Have you a mind
to go with me 1"
The Giant looked contemptuously at the little Tailor, and said, You
vagabond you miserable fellow 1"
That may be," replied the Tailor; "but here you may read what
sort of a man I am ;" and, unbuttoning his coat, he showed the Giant
his belt. The Giant read, Seven at one blow;" and thinking they were
men whom the Tailor had slain, he conceived a little respect for him,
Still he wished to prove him first; so taking up a stone, he squeezed it
in his hand, so that water dropped out of it. Do that after me," said
he to the other, if you have any strength."
If it be nothing worse than that," said the Tailor, "that's play to
me." And, diving into his pocket, he brought out the cheese, and squeezed
it till the whey ran out of it, and said, Now, I think, that's a little
The Giant did not know what to say, and could not believe it of the
little man; so, taking up another stone, he threw it so high that one
could scarcely see it with the eye, saying, "There, you mannikin, do that
"Well done," said the Tailor; "but your stone must fall down again
to the ground. I will throw one up which shall not come back :" and,
dipping into his pocket, lie took out the bird and threw it into the air.
The bird, rejoicing in its freedom, flew straight up, and then far away,
and did not return. "How does that little affair please you, comrade T"
asked the Tailor.
You can throw well, certainly," replied the Giant; "now let us see
if you are in trim to carry something out of the common." So saying he
led him to a huge oak-tree, which lay upon the ground, and said, If you
are strong enough, just help me to carry this tree out of the forest."
"With all my heart," replied the Tailor; "do you take the trunk
THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR. 67
tpon your shoulder, and I will raise the boughs and branches, which ar
the heaviest, and carry them."
The Giant took the trunk upon his shoulder, but the Tailor placed
himself on the branch, so that the Giant, who was not able to look round.
was forced to carry the whole tree and the Tailor besides. lie, being be.
hind, was very merry, and chuckled at the trick, and presently began to
whistle the song, There rode three tailors out at the gate," as if th'
carrying of trees were child's play. The Giant, after he had staggered
along a short distance with his heavy burden, cculd go no further, and
shouted out, Do you hear ? I must let the tree fall." The Tailor,
springing down, quickly embraced the tree with both arms, as if he had
been carrying it, and said to the Giant, "Are you such a big fellow, and
yet cannot you carry this tree by yourself?"
Then they journeyed on further, and as they came to a cherry-tree,
the Giant seized the top of the tree where the ripest fruits hung, and,
bending it down, gave it to the Tailor to hold, bidding him eat. But the
Tailor was much too weak to hold the tree down, and when the Giant let
go the tree flew up into the air, and the Tailor was carried with it. He
came down on the other side, however, without injury, and the Giant said.
'What does that mean ? Have you not strength enough to hold that
twig ?" "My strength did not fail me," replied the Tailor; "do you
suppose that that was any hard thing for one who has killed seven at one
blow? I have sprung over the tree because the hunters were shooting
below there in the thicket. Spring after me if you can." The Giant
made the attempt, but could not'clear the tree, and stuck fast in the
branches ; so that in this affair, too, the Tailor was the better man.
After this the Giant said, "Since you are such a valiant fellow, come
with me to our house, and stop a night with us." The Tailor consented,
and followed him; and when they entered the cave, there sat by the fire
two other Giants, each having a roast sheep in his hand, of which he
was eating. The Tailor sat down thinking, "Ah, this is much more
like the world than is my workshop." And soon the Giant showed him
a bed where he might lie down and go to sleep. The bed, however, was
too big for him, so he slipt out of it, and crept into a corner. When
midnight came, and the Giant thought the Tailor would be in a deep
sleep, he got up, and, taking a great iron bar, beat the bed right through
at one stroke, and supposed he had thereby given the Tailor his death-
blow. At the earliest dawn of morning the Giants went forth into the
forest, quite forgetting the Tailor, when presently up he came, quite
merry, and showed himself before them. The Giants were terrified, and,
fearing he would kill them all, they ran away in great haste.
The Tailor journeyed on, always following his nose, and after he had
wandered some long distance, he came into the courtyard of a royal
palace ; and as he felt rather tired he laid himself down on the grass and
went to sleep. Whilst he lay there the people came and viewed him on
all sides, and read upon his belt, Seven at one blow." Ah," said they,
" what does this great warrior here in time of peace ? This must be some
mighty hero." So they went and told the King, thinking that, should
68 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
war break out, here was an important and useful man, whom one ought
not to part with at any price. The King took counsel, and. sent one of
his courtiers to the Tailor to ask for his fighting services, if lie should be
awake. The messenger stopped at the sleeper's side, and waited till he
stretched out his limbs and opened his eyes, and then he laid before him
his message. Solely on that account did I come here," was the reply;
" I am quite ready to enter into the King's service." Then he was con-
ducted away with great honour, and a fine house was appointed him to
The courtiers, however, became jealous of the Tailor, and wished he
were a thousand miles away. "What will happen ?" said they to one
another. If we go to battle with him, when he strikes out seven will
fall at one blow, and nothing will be left for us to do." In their rage
they came to the resolution to resign, and they went all together to the
King, and asked his permission, saying, "We are not prepared to keep
company with a man who kills seven at one blow." The King was
grieved to lose all his faithful servants for the sake of one, and wished
that he had never seen the Tailor, and would willingly have now been rid
of him. He dared not, however, dismiss him, because he feared the Tailor
would kill him and all his subjects, and place himself upon the throne.
For a long time he deliberated, till at last he came to a decision ; and,
sending for the Tailor, he told him that, seeing he was so great a hero,
he wished -to ask a favour of him. In a certain forest in my kingdom,"
said the King, "there live two Giants, who, by murder, rapine, fire, and
robbery, have committed great havoc, and no one dares to approach them
without perilling his own life. If you overcome and kill both these
Giants, I will give you my only daughter in marriage, and the half of my
kingdom for a dowry: a hundred knights shall accompany you, too, in
order to render you assistance."
"Ah, that is something for such a man as I," thought the Tailor to
himself; "a beautiful Princess and half a kingdom are not offered to one
every day." Oh, yes," he replied, I will soon manage these two
Giants, and a hundred horsemen are not necessary for that purpose; he
who kills seven at one blow need not fear two."
Thus talking the little Tailor set out, followed by the hundred
knights, to whom he said, at soon as they came to the borders of the
forest, "Do you stay here ; I would rather meet these Giants alone."
Then he sprang off into the forest, peering about him right and left; and
after a while he saw the two Giants lying asleep under a tree, snoring so
loudly, that the branches above them shook violently. The Tailor, full of
courage, filled both his pockets with stones and clambered up the tree.
When he got to the middle of it he crept along a bough, so that he sat
just above the sleepers, and then he let fall one stone after another upon
the breast of one of them. For some time the Giant did not stir, until,
at last awaking, he pushed his companion, and said, Why are you
beating me ?"
"You are dreaming," he replied; "I never hit you." They laid
themselves down again to sleep, and presently the Tailor threw a stone
THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR. 69
down upon the other. "What is that 7" he exclaimed. "What are you
knocking me for 1"
"I did not touch you ; you must dream," replied the first. So tney
wrangled for a few minutes; but, being both very tired with their day's
work, they soon fell asleep again. Then the Tailor began his sport again,
and, picking out the biggest stone, threw it with all his force upon
the breast of the first Giant. "That is too bad !" he exclaimed; and,
springing up like a madman, he fell upon his companion, who, feeling
himself equally aggrieved, they set to in such good earnest, that they
rooted up trees and beat one another about until they both fell dead upon
the ground. Now the Tailor jumped down, saying, "What a piece of
luck they did not uproot the tree on which I sat, or else I must have
jumped on another like a squirrel, for I am not given to flying." Then
he drew his sword, and, cutting a deep wound in the breast of each, he
went to the horsemen and said, "The deed is done ; I have given each
his death-stroke ; but it was a hard job, for in their necessity they
uprooted trees to defend themselves with ; still, all that is of no use when
such an one as I come, who killed seven at one stroke."
"Are you not wounded, then 7" asked they.
"That is not to be expected: they have not touched a hair of my
head," replied the little man. The knights could scarcely believe him,
till, riding away into the forest, they found the Giants lying in their
blood and the uprooted trees around them.
Now the Tailor demanded his promised reward of the King ; but he
repented of his promise, and began to think of some new scheme to get
rid of the hero. "Before you receive my daughter and the half of
my kingdom," said he to him, "you must perform one other heroic deed.
In the forest there runs wild a unicorn, which commits great havoc, and
which you must first of all catch."
"I fear still less for a unicorn than I do for two Giants Seven at
one blow that is my motto," said the Tailor. Then he took with him a
rope and an axe and went away to the forest, bidding those who were
ordered to accompany him to wait on the outskirts. He had not to
search long, for presently the unicorn came near and prepared to rush
at him as if it would pierce him on the spot. Softly, softly !" he ex-
claimed ; "that is not done so easily;" and, waiting till the animal was
close upon him, he sprang nimbly behind a tree. The unicorn, rushing
with all its force against the tree, fixed its horn so fast in the trunk, that
it could not draw it out again, and so it was made prisoner. Now
I have got my bird," said the Tailor ; and, coming from behind the tree,
he first bound the rope around its neck, and then, cutting the horn out
of the tree with his axe, he put all in order, and, leading the animal,
brought it before the King.
The King, however, would not yet deliver up the promised reward,
and made a third request, that, before the wedding, the Tailor should
catch a wild boar which did much injury, and he should have the
huntsmen to hslp him. "With pleasure," was the reply; "it is more
sbild's play." The huntsmen, however, he left behind, to their entire
70 GrnIM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
content, for this wild boar had already so often hunted them, that thej
had no pleasure in hunting it. As soon as the boar perceived the Tailor
it ran at him with gaping mouth and glistening teeth, and tried to throw
him on the ground ; but our flying hero sprang into a little chapel which
was near, and out again at a window on the other side in a trice. The
boar ran after him, but he, skipping round, shut the door behind it, and
there the raging beast was caught, for it was much too unwieldy and
heavy to jump out of the window. The Tailor now called the huntsmen
up, that they might see his prisoner with their own eyes; but our hero
presented himself before the King, who was compelled now, whether
he would or no, to keep his promise, and surrender his daughter and the
half of his kingdom.
Had he known that it was no warrior, but only a Tailor, who stood
before him, it would have gone to his heart still more !
So the wedding was celebrated with great splendour, though with
little rejoicing, and out of a Tailor was made a King.
Some little while afterwards the young Queen heard her husband
talking in his sleep, and saying, Boy, make me a waistcoat, and stitch
up these trowsers, or I will lay the yard-measure over your ears!"
Then she remarked of what condition her lord was, and complained in
the morning to her father, and begged he would deliver her from her
husband, who was nothing else than a tailor. The King comforted her
by saying, "This night leave your chamber door open; my servants
shall stand without, and when he is asleep they shall enter, bind him,
and bear him away to a ship, which shall carry him forth into the wide
world." The wife was contented with his proposal; but the King's
E.rmour-bearer, who had overheard all, went to the young King and dis-
closed the whole plot. I will shoot a bolt upon this affair," said the
brave Tailor. In the evening at their usual time they went to bed,
and when his wife believed lie slept she got up, opened the door, and
laid herself down again. The Tailor, however, only feigned to be
asleep, and began to exclaim in a loud voice, "Boy, make me this waist-
coat, and stitch up these trousers, or I will beat the yard-measure about
your ears Seven have I killed with one blow, two Giants have I slain,
a unicorn have I led captive, and a wild boar have I caught, and shall I
be afraid of those who stand without my chamber?" When the men
heard these words spoken by the Tailor, a great fear overcame them,
and they ran away as if the wild huntsmen were behind them ; neither
afterwards durst any man venture to oppose him. Thus became the
Tailor a King, and so he remained the rest of his day~
THE STRAW, THE COAL, AND THE BEAN.
Is a certain village there dwelt a poor old woman, who had gathered a disr
of beans, which she wished to cook. So she made a fire upon the hearth,
and, that it might burn the quicker, she lighted it with a handful of
straw. And as she shook the beans up in the saucepan, one fell out
unperceived, and came down upon the ground, near a straw; soon after a
glowing coal burst out of the fire, and fell just by these two. Then the
Straw began to say, "My dear friend, whence do you come ?" The Coal
replied, "By good luck I have sprung out of the fire, and, if I had
not jumped away by force, my death had been certain, and I should have
been reduced to ashes." The Bean continued, "I also have got away
with a whole skin, but, had the old woman put me in the pot with the
others, I should have been boiled to pieces, as my comrades are."
"Would a better fate have fallen to my share 7" said the Straw; "for
the old woman has suffocated in fire and smoke all my brothers; sixty
has she put on at once, and deprived of life; happily, I slipped between
"But what shall we do now ?" asked the Coal.
"I think," answered the Bean, "since we have so luckily escaped
death, we will join in partnership, and keep together like good com-
panions: lest a new misfortune overtake us, let us wander forth, and
travel into a strange country."
This proposition pleased the two others, and they set out together on
their travels. Presently they came to a little stream, over which there
was no bridge nor path, and they did not know how they should get over.
The Straw gave good advice, and said, "I will lay myself across, so that
you may cross over upon me, as upon a bridge." So the Straw stretched
itself from one bank to the other, and the Coal, which was of a fiery
nature, tripped lightly upon the newly-built bridge. But when it came to
the middle of it, and heard the water running along beneath, it wae
72 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
frightened, and stood still, not daring to go further. The Straw, how-
ever, beginning to burn, broke in two and fell into the stream, and the
Coal slipping after, hissed as it reached the water, and gave up the ghost.
The Bean, which had prudently remained upon the shore, was forced
to laugh at this accident, and, the joke being so good, it laughed so
immoderately that it burst itself. Now they would all have been done for
alike, if a tailor, who was out on his wanderings, had not just then, by
great good luck, sat himself down near the stream. Having a commise-
rating heart, he took out needle and thread, and sewed the Bean together.
The Bean thanked him exceedingly; but as the tailor used black thread
it has happened since that time, every Bean has a black seam.
-- Tg- M / 7Z^ w-
ONCE upon a time there lived a sweet little girl, who was beloved by
every one who saw her; but her grandmother was so excessively fond
of her that she never knew when she had thought and done enough
One day the grandmother presented the little girl with a red velvet
cap; and as it fitted her very well, she would never wear anything else;
and so she was called Little Red-Cap. One day her mother said to her,
" Come, Red-Cap, here is a piece of nice meat, and a bottle of wine : take
these to your grandmother ; she is ill and weak, and will relish them.
Make haste before she gets up ; go quietly and carefully; and do not
run, lest you should fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother
will get nothing. When you go into her room, do not forget to say
Good-morning ;' and do not look about in all the corners." I will do
everything as you wish," replied Red-cap, taking her mother's hand.
The grandmother dwelt far away in the wood, half an hour's walk from
the village, and as Little Red-Cap entered among the trees, she met a
LITTLE RED-CAP. 73
wolf; but she did not know what a malicious beast it was. and so she
was not at all afraid. Good day, Little Red-Cap," he said.
"Many thanks, Wolf," said she.
"Whither away so early, Little Red-Cap I"
"To my grandmother's," she replied.
"What are you carrying under your apron 1"
"Meat and wine," she answered. Yesterday we baked the meat,
that grandmother, who is ill and weak, might have something nice and
"Where does your grandmother live 1" asked the Wolf.
"A good quarter of an hour's walk further in the forest. The cottage
stands under three great oak-trees; near it are some nut bushes, by
which you will easily know it."
But the Wolf thought to himself, She is a nice tender thing, and will
taste better than the old woman: I must act craftily, that I may snap
them both up."
Presently he came up again to Little Red-Cap, and said, "Just look
at the beautiful flowers which grow around you; why do you not look
about you I believe you don't hear how beautifully the birds sing.
You walk on as if you were going to school; see how merry everything
is around you in the forest."
So Little Red-Cap opened her eyes; and when she saw how the sun-
beams glanced and danced through the trees, and what splendid flowers
were blooming in her path, she thought, If I take my grandmother a
fresh nosegay she will be very pleased; and it is so very early that I
can, even then, get there in good time;" and running into the forest she
looked about for flowers. But when she had once begun she did not
know how to leave off, and kept going deeper and deeper among the
trees in search of some more beautiful flower. The Wolf, however, ran
straight to the house of the old grandmother, and knocked at the door.
Who's there 1" asked the old lady.
Only Little Red-Cap, bringing you some meat and wine: please
open the door," replied the Wolf.
Lift up the latch," cried the grandmother; I am too weak to get
So the Wolf lifted the latch, and the door flew open; and jumping
without a word on the bed, he gobbled up the poor old lady. Then he
put on her clothes, and tied her cap over his head; got into the bed, and
drew the blankets over him. All this time Red-Cap was still gathering
flowers; and when she had plucked as many as she could carry, she
remembered her grandmother, and made haste to the cottage. She
wondered very much to see the door wide open; and when she got into
the room, she began to feel very ill, and exclaimed, How sad I feel! I
wish I had not come to-day." Then she said, Good morning," but
received no answer; so she went up to the bed, and drew back the
curtains, and there lay her grandmother, as she thought, with the cap
drawn half over her eyes, looking very fierce.
Oh, grandmother, what great ears you have I"
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
Tie better to hear with," was the reply.
And what great eyes you have !"
The better to see with."
"And what great hands you have !"
The better to touch you with."
But, grandmother, what great teeth you have !"
"The better to eat you with;" and scarcely were the words out of his
mouth, when the Wolf made a spring out of bed, and swallowed up poor
As soon as the Wolf had thus satisfied his appetite, he laid himself
down again in the bed, and began to snore very loudly. A huntsman
passing by overheard him, and thought, How loudly the old woman
snores I must see if she wants anything."
So he stepped into the cottage; and when he came to the bed, he saw
the Wolf lying in it. What! do I find you here, you old sinner I
have long sought you," exclaimed he; and taking aim with his gun, he
shot the old Wolf dead.
Some folks say that the last story is not the true one, but that one
day, when Red-Cap was taking some baked meats to her grandmother's,
a Wolf met her, and wanted to mislead her; but she went straight on,
and told her grandmother that she had met a Wolf, who wished her good-
day; but he looked so wickedly out of his great eyes, as if he would have
eaten her had she not been on the highroad.
So the grandmother said, "Let us shut the door, that he may not
Soon afterwards came the Wolf, who knocked, and exclaimed, "I am
Red-Cap, grandmother; I bring you some roast meat." But they kept
quite still, and did not open the door; so the Wolf, creeping several
times round the house, at last jumped on the roof, intending to wait till
led-Cap went home in the evening, and then to sneak after her and
devour her in the darkness. The old woman, however, saw all that the
rascal intended; and as there stood before the door a great stone trough,
she said to Little Red-Cap, Take this pail, child: yesterday I boiled
some sausages in this water, so pour it into that stone trough." Red-Cap
poured many times, until the huge trough was quite full. Then the Wolf
sniffed the smell of the sausages, and smacked his lips, and wished very
much to taste; and at last he stretched his neck too far over, so that he
lost his balance, and slipped quite off the roof, right into the great trough
beneath, wherein he was drowned; and Little Red-Cap ran home in high
glee, but no one sorrowed for Mr. Wolt'l
OLD MOTHER FROST.
THERE was once a widow who had two daughters, one of whom waE
beautiful and industrious, and the other ugly and lazy. She behaved
most kindly, however, to the ugly one, because she was her own daughter;
and made the other do all the hard work, and live like a kitchen maid.
The poor maiden was forced out daily on the highroad, and had to sit by
a well and spin so much that the blood ran from her fingers. Once it
happened that her spindle became quite covered with blood, so, kneeling
down by the well, she tried to wash it off, but, unhappily, it fell out of
her hands into the water. She ran crying to her stepmother, and told
her misfortune: but she scolded her terribly, and behaved very cruelly,
and at last said, Since you have let your spindle fall in, you must your-
self fetch it out again!" Then the maiden went back to the well, not
knowing what to do, and, in her distress of mind, she jumped into
the well to fetch the spindle out. As she fell she lost all consciousness,
and when she came to herself again she found herself in a beautiful
meadow, where the sun was shining, and many thousands of flowers
blooming around her. She got up and walked along till she came to a
baker's, where the oven was fidl of bread, which cried out, "Draw me,
draw me, or I shall be burnt. I have been baked long enough." So
she went up, and, taking the bread-peel, drew out one loaf after the
other. Then she walked on further, and came to an apple tree, whose
fruit hung very thick, and which exclaimed, "Shake us, shake us; we
apples are all ripe!" So she shook the tree till the apples fell down like
rain, and, when none were left on, she gathered them all together in a
heap, and went further. At last she came to a cottage, out of which an
old woman was peeping, who had such very large teeth that the maiden
was frightened and ran away. The old woman, however, called her back,
saying, What are you afraid of, my child? Stop with me: if you will
put all things in order in my house, then shall all go well with you;
only you must take care tha; you make my bed well, and shake it
76 ORIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
tremendously, so that the feathers fly; then it snows upon earth. I am
'Old Mother Frost.'" As the old woman spoke so kindly, the maiden
took courage, and consented to engage in her service. Now, everything
made her very contented, and she always shook the bed so industriously
that the feathers blew down like flakes of snow; therefore her life was
a happy one, and there were no evil words; and she had roast and baked
meat every day.
For some time she remained with the old woman; but, all at once,
she became very sad, and did not herself know what was the matter.
At last she found she was home-sick; and, although she fared a thousand
times better than when she was at home, still she longed to go. So she
told her mistress, I wish to go home, and if it does not go so well with
me below as up here, I must return." The mistress replied, It appeared
to me that you wanted to go home, and, since you have served me so
truly, I will fetch you up again myself." So saying, she took her by
the hand and led her before a great door, which she undid; and, when
the maiden was just beneath it, a great shower of gold fell, and a great
deal stuck to her, so that she was covered over and over with gold.
"That you must have for your industry," said the old woman, giving
her the spindle which had fallen into the well. Thereupon the door was
closed, and the maiden found herself upon the earth, not far from her
mother's house; and, as she came into the court, the cook sat upon the
house, and called,-
Our golden maid's come home again."
Then she went in to her mother, and, because she was so covered with
gold, she was well received.
The maiden related all that had happened; and, when the mother
heard how she had come by these great riches, she wished her ugly, lazy
daughter to try her luck. So she was forced to asi down by the well and
spin; and, in order that her spindle might become bloody, she pricked
her finger by running a thorn into it; and then, throwing the spindle
into the well, she jumped in after it. Then, like the other, she came
upon the beautiful meadow, and travelled on the same path. When she
arrived at the baker's, the bread called out, "Draw me out, draw me
out, or I shall be burnt. I have been baked long enough." But she
answered, I have no wish to make myself dirty about you," and so
went on. Soon she came to the apple tree, which called out, Shake
me, shake me; my apples are all quite ripe." But she answered, "You
do well to come to me; perhaps one will fall on my head;" and so she
went on further. When she came to "Old Mother Frost's" house she
was not afraid of the teeth, for she had been warned; and so she engaged
herself to her. The first day she set to work in earnest, was very
industrious, and obeyed her mistress in all she said to her, for she though
about the gold which she would present to her. On the second day
however, she began to idle; on the third, still more so; and then shs
would not get up of a morning. She did not make the beds, either, as
she ought, and the feathers did not fly. So the old woman got tired,
and dismissed her from her service, which pleased the lazy one very well,
for she thought, "Now the gold-shower will come." Her mistress led
her to the door; but, when she was beneath it, instead of gold, a tubful
of pitch was poured down upon her. That is the reward of your ser-
vice," said "Old Mother Frost," and shut the door to. Then came
Lazy-bones home, but she was quite covered with pitch; and the cock
upon the house when he saw her, cried-
"Cock-a-doodle doo !
Our dirty maid's come home again."
But the pitch stuck
to her, and, as long as she lived, would never come
ONCE upon a time the wife of a certain rich man fell very ill, and as she
felt her end drawing nigh she called her only daughter to her bedside,
and said, "My dear child, be pious and good, and then the good God will
always protect you, and I will look down upon you from heaven and think
of you." Soon afterwards she closed her eyes and died. Every day the
maiden went to her mother's grave and wept over it, and she continued
to be good and pious; but when the winter came, the snow made a white
covering over the grave, and in the spring-time, when the sun had with-
drawn this covering, the father took to himself another wife.
The wife brought home with her two daughters, who were beautiful
and fair in the face, but treacherous and wicked at heart. Then an
unfortunate era began in the poor step-child's life. "Shall the stupid
goose sit in the parlour with us I" said the two daughters. "They who
would eat bread must earn it; out with the kitchen-maid I" So they
GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
took off her fine clothes, and put upon her an old grey cloak, and gave
her wooden shoes for her feet. See how the once proud princess is
decked out now," said they, and they led her mockingly into the kitchen.
Then she was obliged to work hard from morning to night, and to go out
early to fetch water, to make the fire, and cook and scour. The sisters
treated her besides with every possible insult, derided her, and shook the
peas and beans into the ashes, so that she had to pick them out again.
At night, when she was tired, she had no bed to lie on, but was forced to
sit in the ashes on the hearth ; and because she looked dirty through this,
they named her CINDERELLA.
One day it happened that the father wanted to go to the fair, so ho
asked his two daughters what he should bring them. "Some beautiful
dresses," said one ; "Pearls and precious stones," replied the other, But
you, Cinderella," said he, what will you have The first bough,
father, that knocks against your hat on your way homewards, break it off
for me," she replied. So he bought the fine dresses, and the pearls and
precious stones, for his two step-daughters; and on his return, as lie rode
through a green thicket, a hazel-bough touched his hat, which lie broke
off and took with him. As soon as he got home, he gave his step-
daughters what they had wished for, and to Cinderella he gave the hazel-
branch. She thanked him very much, and going to her mother's grave
she planted the branch on it, and wept so long that her tears fell and
watered it, so that it grew and became a beautiful tree. Thrice a-day
Cinderella went beneath it to weep andpray ; and each time a little white
Bird flew on the tree, and if she wished aizuc;L men the little Bird threw
down to her whatever she wished for.
After a time it fell out that the King appointed a festival, which was
to last three days, and to which all the beautiful maidens in the country
were invited, from whom his son was to choose a bride. When the two
step-daughters heard that they might also appear, they were very glad,
and calling Cinderella, they said, Comb our hair, brush our shoes, and
fasten our buckles, for we are going to the festival at the King's palace."
Cinderella obeyed, crying, because she wished to go with them to the
dance ; so she asked her stepmother whether she would allow her.
"You, Cinderella said she ; "you are covered with dust and dirt-
will you go to the festival? You have no clothes or shoes, and how can
you dance 1" But, as she urged her request, the mother said at last, I
have now shaken into the ashes a tubful of beans; if you have picked
them up again in two hours, you shall go."
Then the maiden left the room, and went out at the back-door into the
garden, and called out, You tame pigeons, and doves, and all you birds
of heaven, come and help me to gather the good beans into the tub, and the
Dad ones you may eat." Presently, in at the kitchen-window came two
white pigeons, and after them the doves, and soon all the birds under
heaven flew chirping in down upon the ashes. They then began, pick,
pick, pick, and gathered all the good seeds into the tub ; and scarcely an
hour had passed when all was completed, and the birds flew away again.
Then the maiden took the tub to the st^nmother, rejoicing at the thought
that she might now go to the festival; but the stepmother said, "No
Cinderella, you have no clothes, and cannot dance; you will only be
laughed at." As she began to cry, the stepmother said, If you can pick
up quite clean two tubs of beans which I throw amongst the ashes in one
hour, you shall accompany them ;" and she thought to herself, She will
never manage it." As soon as the two tubs had been shot into the ashes,
Cinderella went out at the back door into the garden, and called out as
before, You tame pigeons, and doves, and all you birds under heaven,
come and help me to gather the good ones into the tubs, and the bad
ones you may eat." Presently, in at the kitchen-window came two white
pigeons, and soon after them the doves, and soon all the birds under
heaven flew chirping in down upon the ashes. They then began, pick,
pick, pick, and gathered all the seeds into the tub; and scarcely had
half-an-hour passed before all was picked up, and off they flew again. The
maiden now took the tubs to the stepmother, rejoicing at the thought that
she could go to the festival. But the mother said, It does not help yoL
a bit; you cannot go with us, for you have no clothes, and cannot dance;
we should be ashamed of you." Thereupon she turned her back upon
the maiden, and hastened away with her two proud daughters.
As there was no one at home, Cinderella went to her mother's grave,
under the hazel-tree, and said,-
"Rustle and shake yourself, dear tree,
And silver and gold throw down to me.'
Then the Bird threw down a dress of gold and silver, and silken
slippers ornamented with silver. These Cinderella put on in great haste,
and then she went to the ball. Her sisters and stepmother did not know
her at all, and took her for some foreign princess, as she looked so beauti-
ful in her golden dress; for of Cinderella they thought not but that she
was sitting at home picking the beans out of the ashes. Presently the
Prince came up to her, and, taking her by the hand, led her to the dance.
lie would not dance with any one else, and even would not let go her
hand; so that when any one else asked her to dance, he said, She is my
partner." They danced till evening, when she wished to go home; but
the Prince said, "I will go with you, and see you safe," for he wanted to
see to whom the maiden belonged. She flew away from him, however,
and sprang into the pigeon-house; so the Prince waited till the father
came, whom he told that the strange maiden had run into the pigeon-
house. Then the stepmother thought, "Could it be Cinderella I" And
they brought an axe wherewith the Prince might cut open the door, but
no one was found within. And when they came into the house, there lay
Cinderella in her dirty clothes among the ashes, and an oil-lamp was
burning in the chimney; for she had jumped quickly out on the other
side of the pigeon-house, and had run to the hazel-tree, where she had
taken off her fine clothes, and laid them on the grave, and the Bird had
taken them again, and afterwards she had put on her little grey cloak,
and seated herself among the ashes in the kitchen.
The next day, when the festival was renewed, and her stepmother and
80 GRIMM'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES
her sisters had set out again, Cinderella went to the hazel-tree and sang
as before -
Rustle and shake yourself, dear tree,
And silver and gold throw down to me."
Then the Bird threw down a much more splendid dress than the
former, and when the maiden appeared at the ball every one was asto-
nished at her beauty. The Prince, however, who had waited till she came,
took her hand, and would dance with no one else; and if others came and
asked, he replied as before, "She is my partner." As soon as evening
came she wished to depart, and the Prince followed her, wanting to sea
into whose house she went; but she sprang away from him, and ran into
the garden behind the house. Therein stood a fine large tree, on which
hung the most beautiful pears, and the boughs rustled as though a squirrel
was among them; but the Prince could not see whence the noise pro-
ceeded. He waited, however, till the father came, and told him, "The
strange maiden has escaped from me, and I think she has climbed up into
this tree." The father thought to himself, "Can it be Cinderella 1" and
taking an axe he chopped down the tree, but there was no one on it.
When they went into the kitchen, there lay Cinderella among the ashes,
as before, for she had sprung down on the other side of the tree, and,
having taken her beautiful clothes again to the Bird upon the hazel-tree,
she had put on once more her old grey cloak.
The third day, when her stepmother and her sisters had set out,
Cinderella went again to her mother's grave, and said,-
Rustle and shake yourself, dear tree,
And silver and gold throw down to me."
Then the Bird threw down to her a dress which was more splendid and
glittering than she had ever had before, and the slippers were of pure
gold. When she arrived at the ball they knew not what to say for
wonderment, and the Prince danced with her alone as at first, and replied
to every one who asked her hand, "She is my partner." As soon as
evening came she wished to go, and as the Prince followed her she ran
away so quickly that he could not overtake her. But he had contrived a
stratagem, and spread the whole way with pitch, so that it happened as
the maiden ran that her left slipper came off. The Prince took it up, and
saw it was small and graceful, and of pure gold; so the following morning
he went with it to the father, and said, My bride shall be no other than
she whose foot this golden slipper fits." The two sisters were glad of this,
for they had beautiful feet, and the elder went with it to her chamber to
try it on, while her mother stood by. She could rot, however, get her
great toe into it, and the shoe was much too small; but the mother,
reaching a knife, said, "Cut off your toe, for if you are queen, you ne.
not go any longer on foot." The maiden cut it off, and squeezed her foot
into the shoe, and, concealing the pain she felt, went down to the Prince.
Then he placed her as his bride upon his horse, and rode off; and as they
passed by thu grave, there sat two little doves upon the hazel-tiee,
"Backwards peep, backwards peep,
There's blood upon the shoe;
The shoe's too small, and she behind
Is not the bride for you."
Then the Prince looked behind, and saw the blood flowing ; so he
turned his horse back, and took the false bride home again, saying, she
was not the right one. Then the other sister must needs fit on the shoe,
so she went to the chamber and got her toes nicely into the shoe,
but the heel was too large. The mother, reaching a knife, said, "Cut
a piece off your heel, for when you become queen you need not go any
longer on foot." She cut a piece off her heel, squeezed her foot into the
shoe, and, concealing the pain she felt, went down to the Prince. Then
he put her upon his horse as his bride, and rode off; and as they passed
the hazel-tree, there sat two little doves, who sang,-
"Backwards peep, backwards peep,
There's blood upon the shoe;
The shoe's too small, and she behind
Is not the bride for you."
Then lie looked behind, and saw the blood trickling from her shoe,
and that the stocking was dyed quite red ; so he turned his horse back,
and took the false bride home again, saying, Neither is this one the
right maiden ; have you no other daughter ?" No," replied the father,
"except little Cinderella, daughter of my deceased wife, who cannot
possibly be the bride." The Prince asked that she might be fetched ;
but the stepmother said, Oh, no! she is much too dirty; I dare not let
her be seen." But the Prince would have his way ; so Cinderella was
called, and she, first washing her hands and face, went in and curtseyed
to the Prince, who gave her the golden shoe. Cinderella sat down on a
stool, and taking off her heavy wooden shoes, put on the slipper, which
fitted her to a shade ; and as she stood up, the Prince looked in her
face, and recognizing the beautiful maiden with whom lie had danced,
exclaimed, This is my true bride." The stepmother and the two
sisters were amazed and white with rage, but the Prince took Cinderella
upon his horse, and rode away; and as they came up to the hazel-tree
the two little white doves sang,-
"Backwards peep, backwards peep,
There 's no blood on the shoe;
It fits so nice, and she behind
Is the true bride for you."
And as they finished they flow down and lighted upon Cinderella's
shoulders, and there they remained ; and the wedding was celebrated with
great festivities, and the two sisters were smitten with blindness aa a
-punishment for their wickedness.
ONCE upon a time there was a King's son, who had a mind to see the
world ; so he set forth, and took no one with him but a faithful servant.
One day he came into a great forest, and when evening drew on he
could find no shelter, and did not know where to pass the night. Just
then he perceived a maiden who was going towards a little cottage, and
as he approached he saw that she was young and beautiful, so lie asked
her whether he and his servant could find a welcome in the cottage for
the night. "Yes, certainly," replied the maiden in a sorrowful voice,
"you can; but I advise you not to enter." "Why not?" asked the
Prince. The maiden sighed, and answered, My stepmother practises
wicked arts; she acts not hospitably to strangers." He perceived now
that he was come to a Witch's cottage; but because it was very dark,
and he could go no further, he went in, for he was not at all afraid.
The old woman was sitting in an arm-chair by the fire, and looked at
the strangers out of her red eyes. Good evening," she muttered,
appearing very friendly ; "sit yourselves down and rest." 'Then she
poked up the fire on which a little pot was boiling. The daughter
warned them both to be cautious, and neither to eat nor drink anything,
for the old woman brewed bad drinks; so they slept quietly till morning.
As they made ready for their departure, and the Prince was already
mounted on horseback, the old Witch said, "Wait a bit, I will bring you
a parting draught." While she went for it the Prince rode away ; but
the servant, who had to buckle his saddle, was left alone when she came
with the draught. Take that to thy master," she said, but at the
same moment the glass cracked, and the poison spirted on the horse, and
so strong was it that the poor animal fell backwards dead. The servant
ran after his master, and told him what had occurred; but as he would
not leave the saddle behind, lie went back to fetch it. As he came to
the deal horse he saw a crow perched upon it feeding himself. '" Who
knows whether we shall meet with anything better to-day ?" said the
THE RIDDLE. 83
servant, and killing the crow he took it with him. The whole day long
they journeyed on in the forest, but could not get out of it; and at the
approach of night, finding an inn, they entered it. The servant gave
the crow to the host, that he might cook it for their supper ; but they
had fallen into a don of thieves, and in the gloom of night twelve ruffians
came, intending to rob and murder the strangers. Before they began,
however, they sat down to table, and the host and the Witch joined them,
and then they all partook of a dish of pottage, in which the flesh of the
crow was boiled. Scarcely had they eaten two morsels apiece when they
all fell down dead; for the poison which had killed the horse had
impregnated the flesh of the crow. There was now no one left in the
house but the daughter of the host, who seemed to be honest, and had
had no share in the wicked deeds She opened all the doors to the
Prince, and showed him the heaped-up. treasure; but the Prince said
she might keep it all, for he would have none of it, and so rode on
further with his servant.
After they had wandered a long way in the world, they came to a
city where dwelt a beautiful but haughty Princess, who had declared
that whoever propounded to her a riddle which she could not solve
should be her husband; but if she solved it he must have his head cut
off. Three days was the time given to consider, but she was always so
sharp that she discovered the proposed riddle before the appointed time.
Nine suitors had been sacrificed in this way. when the Prince arrived, and
being blinded with her great beauty, resolved to stake his life upon her.
So he went before her and proposed his riddle ; namely, What is this ?
One killed no one, and yet killed twelve." She knew not what it was,
and thought and thought, but she could not make it out; and, although
she searched through all her riddle books she could find nothing to help
her; in short, her wisdom was quite at fault. At last at her wits' ends
how to help herself, she bade her maid slip into the sleeping-room of the
Prince, and there listen to his dreams, thinking perhaps he might talk in
his sleep and unfold the riddle. The bold servant, however, had put
himself instead of his master into the bed; and when the servant came
into the room he tore off the cloak in which she had wrapped herself,
and hunted her out with a rod. The second night the Princess sent her
chambermaid to see if she could be more fortunate in listening; but the
servant snatched her mantle away, and hunted her away with a rod.
The third night the Prince himself thought he should be safe, and so he
lay in his own bed ; and the Princess herself came, having on a dark
grey cloak, and sat herself down by him. When she thought he was
asleep and dreaming she spoke to him, hoping he would answer, as many
do; but he was awake, and heard and understood everything very well,
First she asked, One kills none; what is that?" lie answered, A
crow which ate of a dead and poisoned horse, and died of it." Further
she asked, "And yet killed twelve ; what is that 1" "Twelve robbers
who partook of the crow, and died from eating it"
As soon as she knew the riddle she tried to slip away, but he held
her mantle so fast that she left it behind. The following morning the
GcrII!'S HOUSEHOLD STORIES.
Princess announced that she had discovered the riddle, and bade the
twelve judges come and she would solve it before them. The Prince,
however, requested a hearing for himself, and said, "She has stolen in
upon me by night and asked me, or she would never have found it out."
The judges said, Bring us a witness." Then the servant brought up
the three mantles; and when the judges saw the dark grey cloak which
the Princess used to wear, they said, Let the cloak be adorned with
gold and silver, that it may be a wedding garment."
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 she.
Thereupon the Door began to creak as if it were in pain; and a
Broom, which stood in the corner, asked, What are you creaking for,
"May I not creak ? it replied :
The little Spider's scUlt 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
"' Thl' little Spider's Fcalt herself,
And the Flea weeps;
The little Door creaks with the pain."
THE SPIDER AND THE FLEA.
Thereupon the little 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
"Because," replied the Cart,
"The little Spider's scalt herself,
And the Flea weeps;
The little Door creaks with the pain,
And the Broom sweeps."
"Then," said the Ashes, "I will burn furiously." Now, next the
Ashes there grew a Tree, which asked, "Little heap, why do you
"Because," was the reply,
"The little Spider's scalt 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 will 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 1"
"Why may I not V" said the Tree-
"The little Spider's scalt 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 Spider's scalt 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 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.
rHE LITTLE MOUSE, THE LITTLE BIRD, AND THE
ONCE upon a time a Mouse, a Bird, and a Sausage, went to housekeeping
together, and agreed so well that they accumulated wealth fast. It was
the duty of the Bird to fetch wood, of the Mouse to draw water and make
the fire, and of the Sausage to cook.
They who are prosperous are for ever hankering after something new,
and thus one day the Bird, meeting another bird on her way home, told
him of her condition in a very boastful way. The other bird, however,
blamed her for her great labours for the two who lived at ease at home;
for when the Mouse had made the fire and drawn the water she could re-
tire to her chamber, and rest till she was called to lay the table ; while
the Sausage remained by the fire, and saw that the food was well cooked,
and when dinner-time approached dressed it with the gravy and vege-
tables, and made it ready with butter and salt. As soon, then, as the
Bird returned and laid down her burden, they sat down to table, and after
their meal was finished they slept till the next morning, and this life was
a very happy one. The next day the Bird would not go for the wood,
saying she had been slave long enough; for once they must change about
and try another plan. And although the Mouse and the Sausage pro-
tested earnestly against it, the Bird was unconvinced ; it must be tried.
And so they tossed up, and it fell to the lot of the Sausage to fetch wood,
while the Mouse had to cook, and the Bird to procure water.
What happened I The Sausage went forth into the forest, the Bird
made the fire, the Mouse put on the pot, and waited alone until the
Sausage should come home, bringing wood for the next day. But it re-
mained away such a long time that they suspected some misfortune, and
the Bird flew round a little way to see, and met near their house a Dog,
which, having met the Sausage, had seized upon it and devoured it. The
Bird complained lbtterly against the Dog as a public robber, but it availed
THE MUSICIANS OF BREMEN.