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STORIES

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SNOW WHITE Once upon a time a Queen wished for “A child as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as the coal.”. Soon afterward she had a daughter and they called her Snow White. Sadly as soon as the child was born, the queen died. A year later the King married again. The new Queen was beautiful, but she was proud and arrogant, and she could not stand anyone to be more beautiful than her. She had a magic mirror and every morning she stood before it, looked at herself, and said: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who in this land is fairest of all?” To this the mirror answered: “You, my Queen, are fairest of all.” Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the mirror spoke the truth. SnowWhite grew up and became ever more beautiful. One day when the queen asked her mirror: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who in this land is fairest of all?” It answered: “You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Snow White is a thousand times fairer than you.” The Queen took fright and turned yellow and green with envy. She summoned a huntsman and said to him, “Take Snow White out into the

woods. Kill her, and as proof that she is dead bring back her heart.” The huntsman took Snow White into the woods, took out his hunting knife and was about to strike when Snow White said “Oh, dear huntsman, let me live. I will run into the wild woods and never come back.”. Because she was so beautiful the huntsman took pity on her, and he let her run away. Just then a pig came running by. He killed it, cut out its heart, and took it back to the queen as proof. In the forest Snow White came across a little house and went in to rest. Inside the house everything was small, neat and clean. Against the wall there were seven little beds, and she climbed into one of the beds and fell asleep. The seven dwarfs who had been mining for diamonds came home to find Snow White asleep. They fetched their seven candles and shone the light on Snow White. “Oh good heaven!” they cried “This girl is so beautiful!” The dwarfs said to Snow White, “If you will keep the house for us, and cook, make beds, wash, sew, and knit, and keep everything clean and orderly, then you can stay with us, and you shall have everything that you want.” “Yes,” said Snow White, “with all my heart.” Meanwhile, believing Snow White was


dead The Queen stepped before her mirror and said: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who in this land is fairest of all?” It answered: “You, my queen, are fair; it is true. But Snow White, beyond the mountains with the seven dwarfs, Is still a thousand times fairer than you.” So the Queen disguised herself as an old woman and went to the house of the seven dwarfs. Knocking on the door she called out, “Beautiful apples for sale!” Snow White took a bite of the apple and fell to the floor. Back in the kingdom the Queen asked her mirror: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who in this land is fairest of all?” It finally answered: “You, my queen, are fairest of all” When the dwarfs came home they found Snow White lying on the ground. She was not breathing. They said, “We cannot bury her in the black earth” and they had a transparent glass coffin made, so she could be seen from all sides. They laid her inside. Now it came to pass that a prince entered these woods. He saw the coffin on the mountain with beautiful Snow White in it.

Then he said to the dwarfs, “Let me have the coffin. I will give you anything you want for it.” But the dwarfs answered, “We will not sell it for all the gold in the world.” Then the Prince said, “Then give it to me, for I cannot live without being able to see Snow White. I will honour her and respect her as my most cherished one.” As he thus spoke, the good dwarfs felt pity for him and gave him the coffin. The prince had his servants carry it away on their shoulders. But then... one of them stumbled on a tree root, and this dislodged from Snow White’s throat the piece of poisoned apple that she had bitten off. Not long afterward she opened her eyes, lifted the lid from her coffin, sat up, and was alive again. “Good heavens, where am I?” she cried out. The prince said joyfully, “You are with me.” He told her what had happened, and then said, “I love you more than anything else in the world. You shall become my wife.” Snow White loved him, and she went with him and they became King and Queen.


Hansel & Gretel Next to a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children. The boy’s name was Hansel and the girl’s name was Gretel. One evening the children heard the mother say to the father, “We have eaten everything. We only have enough food for us. We must get rid of the children. We will take them deep into the woods, so they will not find their way out.” The children were still awake and had overheard the conversation. When the adults were asleep, Hansel got up and comforted his little sister and said, “Don’t cry, Gretel. Sleep well. We will be okay.” Early the next morning Mother came and got them from their beds. They received their little pieces of bread. On the way to the woods, Hansel crumbled his piece in his pocket and threw crumbs onto the ground to leave a trail. Both Hansel and Gretel were left in the woods with a tiny piece of bread and each other. They fell asleep and waited for their parents, but no one came to get them. They tried to follow Hansel’s crumb trail… but it had been eaten by the birds. The children had spent many hours looking for the way home but found nothing… until they stumbled across a little house and they saw that the

little house was built entirely from gingerbread with a roof made of cake, and windows made of clear sugar. “Let’s help ourselves” said Hansel. “I’ll eat a piece of the roof, and Gretel, you eat from the window. That will be sweet.” They continued to eat, without being distracted. Hansel, who very much like’d the taste of the roof, tore down another large piece, and Gretel poked out an entire round windowpane. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman, as old as the hills and leaning on a crutch, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened! But the old woman shook her head and said, “Oh, you dear children, who brought you here? Just come in and stay with me. No harm will come to you.” She took them by the hand and led them into her house where she served them a good meal: milk and pancakes with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterward she made two beds for them. Hansel and Gretel went to bed, thinking they were in heaven. But the old woman had only pretended to be friendly. She was a wicked witch who was lying in wait there for children. She had built her house of gingerbread only in order to lure children. Witches have red eyes and cannot see very far, but they have a sense of smell like a dog, and know when humans are approaching.


Early the next morning, before they awoke, she got up, went to their beds, and looked at the two of them lying there so peacefully, with their full red cheeks. “They will be delicious for my dinner,” she mumbled to herself. Then she grabbed Hansel with her withered hand and carried him to a little stall, where she locked him in a cage.

put the bread in yet.” And when Gretel was inside, she intended to close the oven, and bake her, and eat her as well. But Gretel saw what she had in mind, “I don’t know how to do that. How can I get inside?” “Stupid goose,” said the old woman.” The opening is big enough. See, I myself could get in.” And she stuck her head into the oven.

Then she shook Gretel and cried, “Get up, lazybones! Fetch water and cook something good for your brother. He is locked outside in the stall and is to be fattened up. When he is fat I am going to gobble him up.”

Then Gretel gave her a shove, causing her to fall in and closed the iron door behind her. The old woman began to howl but Gretel ran straight to Hansel, unlocked his stall, and cried, “Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead.”

Gretel began to cry. She had to do what the witch said. Hansel was given the best food, but Gretel received nothing. Every morning the old woman crept out to the stall and shouted, “Hansel, stick out your finger, so I can feel if you are fat yet.” But Hansel stuck out a little bone, and the old woman, who had bad eyes and could not see the bone, thought it was Hansel’s finger, and she wondered why he didn’t get fat.

Then Hansel jumped out, like a bird from its cage. How happy they were! They threw their arms around each other’s necks and jumped with joy. They now had nothing to fear, they went into the witch’s house. In every corner were chests of pearls and precious stones. Gretel said, “We can take them home for Father,” and she filled her apron full. It took them many hours to travel home, but they finally made it and their Father was waiting for them with open arms and a sorry heart.

The next morning Gretel had to get up early, hang up the kettle with water, and make a fire. “Today I am going to have Hansel for my dinner,” said the old woman. “I have already made a fire in the oven.” She pushed poor Gretel outside to the oven, from which fiery flames were leaping. “Climb in,” said the witch, “and see if it is hot enough to

Father had been miserable every day since they had to leave the children in the wood and he was so happy to have his beautiful children home again. Now all their cares were at an end, and they lived happily ever after.


Red Cape Once upon a time there was a sweet little girl. She wore a beautiful red cape. One day her mother asked Red Cape to visit her Grandmother “Mind your manners and give her my greetings. Do not leave the path” The grandmother lived out in the woods,half an hour from the village. When Little Red Cape entered the woods a wolf came up to her. She did not know what a wicked animal he was, and was not afraid of him. “Good day to you, Little Red Cape.” “Thank you, wolf.” “Where are you going so early, Little Red Cape?” “To Grandmother’s.” “And what are you carrying under your apron?” “Grandmother is sick and weak, and I am taking her some cake and wine. We baked yesterday, and they should be good for her and give her strength.” “Little Red Cap, just where does your Grandmother live?” “Her house is good quarter hour from here in the woods, under the three large oak trees. There’s a hedge of hazel bushes there. You must know the place,” said Little Red Cap. The wolf thought to himself, “Now that sweet young thing is a tasty bite for me. She will taste even better than the old woman. You must be sly, and you can catch them both.”

He walked along a little while with Little Red Cape, then he said, “Little Red Cape, just look at the beautiful flowers that are all around us. Why don’t you go and take a look?” Little Red Cape saw the sunbeams dancing to and fro through the trees and how the ground was covered with beautiful flowers, and she thought, “If I take a fresh bouquet to Grandmother, she will be very pleased. Anyway, it is still early, and I’ll be home on time.” And she ran off the path into the woods looking for flowers. Each time she picked one she thought that she could see an even more beautiful one a little way off, and she ran after it, going further and further into the woods. The wolf ran straight to the Grandmother’s house and knocked on the door. “Who’s there?” “Little Red Cape. I’m bringing you some cake and wine. Open the door.” “Just press the latch,” called out the Grandmother. “I’m too weak to get up.” The wolf pressed the latch, and the door opened. He stepped inside, went straight to the Grandmother’s bed, and ate her up. Then he put on her clothes, put her cap on his head, got into her bed, and pulled the curtains shut. Little Red Cape had run after the flowers. After she had gathered so


many that she could not carry any more, she remembered her Grandmother, and then continued on her way to her house. She found, to her surprise, that the door was open.

parlour, and when he approached the bed, he saw the wolf lying there. “So here I find you, you old sinner,” he said. “I have been hunting for you a long time.”

She called out, “Good morning!” but received no answer. Then she went to the bed and pulled back the curtains. Grandmother was lying there with her cap pulled down over her face and looking very strange.

He was about to aim his rifle when it occurred to him that the wolf might have eaten the Grandmother, and that she still might be rescued. So instead of shooting, he took a pair of scissors and began to cut open the wolf’s belly.

“Oh, Grandmother, what big ears you have!” “All the better to hear you with.” “Oh, Grandmother, what big eyes you have!” “All the better to see you with.” “Oh, Grandmother, what big hands you have!” “All the better to grab you with!” “Oh, Grandmother, what a horribly big mouth you have!” “All the better to eat you with!”

After a few cuts he saw the red cape shining through, and after a few more the girl jumped out, crying, “Oh, I was so frightened! It was so dark inside the wolf’s body!” And then the Grandmother came out as well, alive but hardly able to breathe.Little Red Cape fetched some large stones. She filled the wolf’s body with them, and when he woke up and tried to run away, the stones were so heavy that he immediately fell down dead.

The wolf had scarcely finished speaking when he jumped from the bed with a single leap and ate up poor Little Red Cape. As soon as the wolf had satisfied his desires, he climbed back into bed, fell asleep, and began to snore very loudly.

The three of them were happy. The Grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine that Little Red Cape had brought and Little Red Cape thought, “As long as I live, I will never leave the path and run off into the woods by myself.”

A huntsman was passing by. He thought, “The old woman is snoring so loudly. I had better see if something is wrong with her.” He stepped into the


Rumpelstiltskin Once upon a time there was a miller who was poor, but had a beautiful daughter. Now it happened that he got into a conversation with the king, and to make an impression on him he said, “I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold.” The king said to the miller, “That is an art that I really like. If your daughter is as skilful as you say, then bring her to my castle tomorrow, and I will put her to the test.” When the girl was brought to him he led her into a room that was entirely filled with straw. Giving her a spinning wheel and a reel, he said, “Get to work now. Spin all night, and if by morning you have not spun this straw into gold, then you will have to die.” Then he himself locked the room, and she was there all alone. The miller’s daughter sat there, and she did not know what to do. She had no idea how to spin straw into gold. She became more and more afraid, and finally began to cry. Then suddenly the door opened. A little man stepped inside and said, “Good evening, Mistress Miller, why are you crying so?” “Oh,” answered the girl, “I am supposed to spin straw into gold, and I do not know how to do it.” The little man said, “What will you give me if I spin it for you?” “My necklace,” said the girl. The little man took the necklace, sat down before the spinning

wheel, and whir, whir, whir, the spool was full. Then he put another one on, and whir, whir, whir, the second one was full as well. So it went until morning, and then all the straw was spun, and all the spools were filled with gold. At sunrise the king came, and when he saw the gold he was surprised and happy, but his heart became even more greedy for gold. He had the miller’s daughter taken to another room filled with straw. It was even larger, and he ordered her to spin it in one night, if she valued her life. The girl did not know what to do, and she cried. Once again the door opened, and the little man appeared. He said, “What will you give me if I spin the straw into gold for you?” “The ring from my finger,” answered the girl. The little man took the ring, and began once again to whir with the spinning wheel. By morning he had spun all the straw into glistening gold. The king was happy beyond measure when he saw it, but he still did not have his fill of gold. He had the miller’s daughter taken to a still larger room filled with straw, and said, “Tonight you must spin this too. If you succeed you shall become my wife.” He thought, “Even if she is only a miller’s daughter, I will not find a richer wife in all the world.” When the girl was alone the little man


returned for a third time. He said, “What will you give me if I spin the straw this time?” “I have nothing more that I could give you,” answered the girl. “Then promise me, after you are queen, your first child.” “Who knows what will happen,” thought the miller’s daughter, and not knowing what else to do, she promised the little man what he demanded. In return the little man once again spun the straw into gold. When in the morning the king came and found everything just as he desired, he married her, and the beautiful miller’s daughter became queen. A year later she brought a beautiful child to the world. She thought no more about the little man, but suddenly he appeared in her room and said, “Now give me that which you promised.” The queen took fright and offered the little man all the wealth of the kingdom if he would let her keep the child, but the little man said, “No. Something living is dearer to me than all the treasures of the world.” Then the queen began lamenting and crying so much that the little man took pity on her and said, “I will give you three day, If by then you know my name, then you shall keep your child.” The queen spent the entire night thinking of all the names she had ever heard. Then she sent a messenger into the country to inquire far and wide what other names there were. When the little man returned the next

day she began with Kaspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and said in order all the names she knew. After each one the little man said, “That is not my name.” The second day she recited the most unusual and most curious names to the little man: “Is your name perhaps Beastrib? Or Muttoncalf? Or Legstring?” But he always answered, “That is not my name.” On the third day the messenger returned and said, “I have not been able to find a single new name, but when I was approaching a high mountain in the corner of the woods, there where the fox and the hare say good-night, I saw a little house. A fire was burning in front of the house, and a little man was jumping around the fire, hopping on one leg and calling out: “Rumpelstiltskin is my name.” You can imagine how happy the queen was when she heard that name. Soon afterward the little man came in and asked, “Now, Madame Queen, what is my name?” She first asked, “Is your name Kunz?” “No.” “Is your name Heinz?” “No.” “Is your name perhaps Rumpelstiltskin?” “The devil told you that! The devil told you that!” shouted the little man, and with anger he stomped his right foot so hard into the ground that he fell in up to his waist. Then with both hands he took hold of his left foot and ripped himself up the middle in two.


thumbling There once was a poor peasant and his wife who were very sad not to have any children. Now it so happened that the woman fell ill, and after seven months she gave birth to a child, that was perfect, but no longer than a thumb. The poor couple said “This is what we wished and we shall love him no matter what”. And because of his size, they called him Thumbling. One day the father was getting ready to go into the forest to cut wood, when he said as if to himself, “How I wish that there was someone who would bring the cart to me.” “Oh father,” cried Thumbling, “I will bring the cart” The man smiled and said, “How can that be done? You are far too small to lead the horse by the reins.” “That’s not going to stop me, father. I shall sit in the horse’s ear and call out to him”. When the time came, the mother harnessed the horse, and placed Thumbling in its ear. The horse listened and the cart went the right way into the forest. It so happened that just as he was turning a corner, two strange men came towards him. “My word”, said one of them, “who is driving that horse? It seems to move on its own” “That can’t be right”, said the other, “we should follow the cart and see where it stops”. The cart, however, drove right into the forest, and exactly to the place where the wood had been cut.

When Thumbling saw his father, he cried to him, “Do you see, father, here I am with the cart, now take me down” and the father took his little son out of the horse’s ear. Thumbling sat down quite merrily on a straw, where the two men could see him. One of them took the other aside and said, “Listen, the little fellow would make our fortune at the fair, we should buy him”. They went to the peasant and said, “sell us the little man. He shall be well treated with us.” “No” replied the father, “he is the apple of my eye, and all the money in the world cannot buy him from me.” Thumbling, however, heard the bargain and whisphered to his father to let him go, he would soon be back again. So Thumbling went with the two men and travelled a fair distance. One day he jumped from the man’s hat and escaped into a little mouse hole. The men poked in the mouse hole to make Thumbling come out but he waited until they had given up and then crept away. Not long afterwards, when he was just going to sleep, he heard two men go by, saying “How shall we set about getting hold of the rich pastor’s silver and gold?”. “I could tell you that” cried Thumbling “Who said that? I heard someone speaking”. They stood still listening, and Thumbling said, “My name is Thumbling, take me with you, and I’ll help you”. When they got to the


pastor’s house, Thumbling crept into the room, but instantly cried out with all his might, “Do you want to steal everything that is here?” The thieves whispered back “Please be quiet so as not to waken anyone”. Thumbling behaved as if he had not understood this, and cried again, ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT?’ The cook, heard this and sat up in bed and scared the thieves away. Thumbling went then to the granary, climbed up among the hay and found a beautiful place to sleep in. On waking the cook went straight to the granary to get hay for the cows. Not knowing that Thumbling was asleep there she picked up the very armful that contained the sleeping Thumbling. He did not awake until he was in the mouth of the cow, who had picked him up with the hay. The cook was milking the cow, and when she heard someone speaking, and saw no one, recognised the voice as the one from the night before, she was so terrified that she slipped off her stool. She ran in great haste to her master, and said, “Oh heavens, pastor, the cow has been speaking!!” “You are mad”, replied the Pastor. Thumbling again cried ‘ARGH!’. Then the pastor himself was alarmed, and thought that an evil spirit had gone into the cow, and ordered her to be killed. She was killed, but the stomach, in which Thumbling was, was thrown on the

dunghill. Thumbling had great difficulty getting out. A hungry wolf swallowed the whole stomach whole. Thumbling did not lose courage. Perhaps, thought he, the wolf will listen to what I have got to say. And he called to him from out of his belly, “Dear wolf, I know of a magnificent feast for you, you must creep into the house and you will find cakes, and bacon, and sausages, and as much of them as you can eat”. And he described to him exactly his father’s house. The wolf broke in and ate to his heart’s content. He had become so big that he could not fir out of the window through which he had climbed in. Thumbling had reckoned on this, and now began to make a violent noise in the wolf’s body, and raged and screamed as loudly as he could ‘ARGH!’. This woke up his Father and Mother who ran to see what was the matter. The looked through the opening in the door and saw the wolf inside. The husband fetched his axe, and the wife the scythe. “Dear father, I am here, I am in the wolf’s body” cried out Thumbling. His father raised his arm, and struck the wolf such a blow that he fell down dead, and then they got and scissors and cut his body open and drew the little fellow forth. They were all reunited once again and little Thumbling told the tales of his travels.


the moon In days gone by there was a land where the nights were always dark, and the sky spread over it like a black cloth, for there the moon never rose, and no star shone in the gloom. At the creation of the world, the light at night had been sufficient. Four young fellows once went out of this country on a traveling expedition, and arrived in another kingdom, where, in the evening when the sun had disappeared behind the mountains, a shining globe was placed on an oaktree, which shed a soft light far and wide. By means of this, everything could be seen and distinguished, even though it was not so brilliant as the sun. The travellers stopped and asked a countryman who was driving past with his cart, what kind of a light that was. “That is the moon”, answered he, “our mayor bought it for three thaler, and fastened it to the oak tree. He has to pour oil into it daily, and to keep it clean, so that it may always burn clearly.” When the countryman had driven away, one of them said, “We could make some use of this lamp, we have an oak tree at home, which is just as big as this, and we could hang it on that. What a pleasure it would be not to have to feel about at night in the darkness.” “I’ll tell you what we’ll do”,

said the second “We will fetch a cart and horses and carry away the moon. The people here may buy themselves another”, “I’m a good climber”, said the third, “I will bring it down”. They brought a cart and horses, and the third climbed the tree, bored a hole in the moon, passed a rope through it, and let it down. When the shining ball lay in the cart, they covered it over with a cloth, that no one might observe the theft. They conveyed it safely into their own country, and placed it on a high oak. Old and young rejoiced, when the new lamp let its light shine over the whole land, and bedrooms and sitting rooms were filled with it. The dwarfs came forth from their caves in the rocks, and the tiny elves in their little red coats danced in rings on the meadows. The four took care that the moon was provided with oil and cleaned the wick, but they became old men, and when one of them grew ill, and saw that he was about to die, he appointed that one quarter of the moon, should, as his property, be laid in the grave with him. When he died, the mayor climbed up the tree, and cut off a quarter with the hedge shears, and this was placed in his coffin. The light of the moon decreased, but still not visibly. When the second died, the second quarter was buried with him, and the light


diminished. It grew weaker still after the death of the third, who likewise took his part of it away with him, and when the fourth was borne to his grave, the old state of darkness recommenced, and whenever the people went out at night without their lanterns they knocked their heads together. When, however, the pieces of the moon had united themselves together again in the world below, where darkness had always prevailed, it came to pass that the dead became restless and awoke from their sleep. They were astonished when they were able to see again, the moonlight was quite sufficient for them, for their eyes had become so weak that they could not have borne the brilliance of the sun. They rose up and were merry, and fell into their former ways of living. Some of them went to the play and to dance, others hastened to the public houses, where they asked for wine, got drunk, brawled, quarrelled, and at last took up cudgels, and belaboured each other. The noise became greater and greater, and at last reached even to heaven. St. Peter, who guards the gate of heaven, thought the lower world had broken out in revolt and gathered together the heavenly hosts, which were employed to drive back the evil one when he and his associates

storm the abode of the blessed. As these, however, did not come, he got on his horse and rode through the gate of heaven, down into the world below. There he reduced the dead to subjection, bade them lie down in their graves again, took the moon away with him, and hung it up in heaven.


the star girl Once upon a time there was a little girl whose father and mother had died, and she was so poor that she no longer had a room to live in, nor a bed to sleep in; she had nothing else but the clothes she was wearing and a little piece of bread in her hand that some charitable soul had given her. She was good and pious, however. And as she was thus forsaken by all the world, she went forth into the country, trusting in dear God. A poor man met her, who said, “Ah, give me something to eat, I am so hungry.” She handed him her entire piece of bread, saying, “May God bless it for you,” and went on her way. Then came a child who moaned and said, “My head is so cold. Give me something to cover it with.” So she took off her cap and gave it to the child. And when she had walked a little farther, she met another child who had no jacket and was freezing.

So she gave her jacket to that child, and a little farther on one begged for a dress, and she gave her dress away as well. At length she made her way into a forest and it was already dark. Then there came yet another child, and asked for a shift, and the pious girl thought to herself, “It is a dark night and no one can see you. You can very well give your shift away,” and she took it off, and gave it away as well. And thus she stood there, with nothing left at all, when suddenly some stars fell down from heaven, and they were nothing else but hard shining coins, and although she had just given her shift away, she was now wearing a new one which was of the very finest linen. Then she gathered together the money into it, and was rich all the days of her life.

Once upon a time there was a brave theatre company called Creation. They embarked upon a festive adventure to retell famous fairy tales to the people of Oxford. One day Creation were out walking in the wood and they stumbled across a dusty old book called The Grimm Tales. After getting home from their woodland adventure and reading the tales they decided it would be a wonderful idea to create a Christmas show with them for all of the people of Oxfordshire. WWW.CREATIONTHEATRE.CO.UK 01865 766266

Collection of stories  

Once upon a time there was a brave theatre company called Creation. They embarked upon a festive adventure to retell famous fairy tales to t...