Written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Illustrated & designed by Whitney Spear
The Owl.........................................................................................6 The Golden Key.......................................................................9 The Wonderful Musician.................................................10 The Juniper Tree..................................................................13 The Moon...............................................................................22 The Raven..............................................................................25 The Old Beggar Woman..............................................31 The ThreeFeathers............................................................32 The Ear of Corn..................................................................36 The Crumbs on the Table............................................37 The Golden Goose............................................................38
Two or three hundred years ago, when people were far from being so crafty and cunning as they are nowadays, an extraordinary event took place in a little town. By some mischance one of the great owls, called horned owls, had come from the neighboring woods into the barn of one of the townsfolk in the night-time, and when day broke did not dare to venture forth again from her retreat, for fear of the other birds, which raised a terrible outcry whenever she appeared. In the morning when the man-servant went into the barn to fetch some straw, he was so mightily alarmed at the sight of the owl sitting there in a corner, that he ran away and announced
to his master that a monster, the like of which he had never set eyes on in his life, and which could devour a man without the slightest difficulty, was sitting in the barn, rolling its eyes about in its head. I know your kind, said the master, you have courage enough to chase a blackbird about the fields, but when you see a hen lying dead, you have to get a stick before you go near it. I must go and see for myself what kind of a monster it is, added the master, and went quite boldly into the granary and looked round him. When, however, he saw with his own eyes the strange grim creature, he was no less terrified than the servant had been. With two bounds he sprang
out, ran to his neighbors, and begged by merely looking at him, we must be in them imploringly to lend him assistance earnest here, but I see that you have all against an unknown and dangerous tuned into women, and not one of you beast, or else the whole town might be dares to encounter the animal. He orin danger if it were to break loose out of dered them to give him some armor, had the barn, where it was shut up. A great a sword and spear brought, and armed noise and clamor arose in all the streets, himself. All praised his courage, though the townsmen came armed with spears, many feared for his life. The two barnhay-forks, scythes, and doors were opened, and axes, as if they were gothey saw the owl, which in I must go and ing out against an enemy. the meantime had perched herself on the middle of a see for myself Finally, the senators apgreat cross-beam. what kind of peared with the burgo-
a monster it master at their head. He had a ladder brought, is, added the When they had drawn up and when he raised it, and in the market-place, they made ready to climb up, they master marched to the barn, and all cried out to him that he surrounded it on all sides. was to bear himself bravely, Thereupon one of the most courageous and commended him to St. George, who of them stepped forth and entered with slew the dragon. When he had just got his spear lowered, but came running out to the top, and the owl perceived that immediately afterwards with a shriek he had designs on her, and was also beand as pale as death, and could not utter wildered by the crowd and the shouting, a single word. Yet two others ventured and knew not how to escape, she rolled in, but they fared no better. At last one her eyes, ruffled her feathers, flapped stepped forth, a great strong man who her wings, snapped her beak, and cried, was famous for his warlike deeds, and tuwhit, tuwhoo, in a harsh voice. Strike said, you will not drive away the monster home. Strike home. Screamed the crowd
outside to the valiant hero. Any one who was standing where I am standing, answered he, would not cry, strike home. He certainly did plant his foot one rung higher on the ladder, but then he began to tremble, and half-fainting, went back again. And now there was no one left who dared to place himself in such danger. The monster, said they, has poisoned and mortally wounded the very strongest man among us, by snapping at him and just breathing on him. Are we, too, to risk our lives. They took counsel as to what they ought to do to prevent the whole town from being destroyed. For a long time everything seemed to be of no
use, but at length the burgomaster found an expedient. My opinion, said he, is that we ought, out of the common purse, to pay for this barn, and whatsoever corn, straw, or hay it contains, and thus indemnify the owner, and then burn down the whole building and the terrible beast with it. Thus no one will have to endanger his life. This is no time for thinking of expense, and stinginess would be ill applied. All agreed with him. So they set fire to the barn at all four corners, and with it the owl was miserably burnt. Let any one who will not believe it, go thither and inquire for himself
In the winter time, when deep snow lay on the ground, a poor boy was forced to go out on a sledge to fetch wood. When he had gathered it together, and packed it, he wished, as he was so frozen with cold, not to go home at once, but to light a fire and warm himself a little. So he scraped away the snow, and as he was thus clearing the ground, he found a tiny golden key. Hereupon he thought that where the key was, the lock must be also, and dug in the ground and found
an iron chest. If the key does but fit it! thought he; no doubt there are precious things in that little box. He searched, but no keyhole was there. At last he discovered one, but so small that it was hardly visible. He tried it, and the key fitted it exactly. Then he turned it once round, and now we must wait until he has quite unlocked it and opened the lid, and then we shall learn what wonderful things were lying in that box
There was once a wonderful musician, who went quite forlorn through a forest and thought of all manner of things, and when nothing was left for him to think about, he said to himself, time is beginning to pass heavily with me here in the forest, I will fetch hither a good companion for myself. Then he took his fiddle from his back, and played so that it echoed through the trees. It was not long before a wolf came trotting through th e thicket towards him. Ah, here is a wolf coming. I have no desire for him, said the musician but the wolf came nearer and said to him, ah, dear musician, how beautifully you play. I should like to learn that, too. It is soon learnt, the musician replied, you have
only to do all that I bid you. Oh, musician, said the wolf, I will obey you as a scholar obeys his master. The musician bade him follow, and when they had gone part of the way together, they came to an old oak-tree which was hollow inside, and cleft in the middle. Look, said the musician, if you will learn to fiddle, put your fore paws into this crevice. The wolf obeyed, but the musician quickly picked up a stone and with one blow wedged his two paws so fast that he was forced to stay there like a prisoner. Wait there until I come back again, said the musician, and went his way. After a while he again said to himself, time is beginning to pass heavily with me here in the forest, I will fetch hither another
companion, and took his fiddle and again he, now reach me your right paw. And he played in the forest. It was not long be- tied it to the right bough. When he had fore a fox came creeping through the examined whether the knots were firm trees towards him. Ah, there's a fox com- enough, he let go, and the bushes sprang ing, said the musician. I have no desire up again, and jerked up the little fox, so for him. The fox came up to him and said, that it hung struggling in the air. Wait oh, dear musician, how beautifully you there till I come back again, said the play. I should like to learn that too. That musician, and went on his way. Again he is soon learnt, said the musaid to himself, time is beginsician. You have only to do ning to pass heavily with me everything that I bid you. here in the forest, I will fetch Oh, musician, then said hither another companion. if you will learn the fox, I will obey you as So he took his fiddle, and to fiddle, put a scholar obeys his master. the sound echoed through your fore paws Follow me, said the musithe forest. Then a little hare into this crevice cian, and when they had came springing towards him. walked a part of the way, Ah, a hare is coming, said they came to a footpath, the musician, I do not want with high bushes on both sides of it. him. Ah, dear musician, said the hare, There the musician stood still, and from how beautifully you fiddle, I too, should one side bent a young hazel-bush down like to learn that. That is soon learnt, said to the ground, and put his foot on the the musician, you have only to do everyend of it. Then he bent down a young thing that I bid you. Oh, musician, replied tree from the other side as well, and the little hare, I will obey you as a scholar said, now little fox, if you will learn some- obeys his master. They went a part of thing, give me your left front paw. The the way together until they came to an fox obeyed, and the musician fastened open space in the forest, where stood his paw to the left bough. Little fox, said an aspen tree. The musician tied a long
string round the little hare's neck, the other end of which he fastened to the tree. Now briskly, little hare, run twenty times round the tree, cried the musician, and the little hare obeyed, and when it had run round twenty times, it had twisted the string twenty times round the trunk of the tree, and the little hare was caught, and let it pull and tug as it liked, it only made the string cut into its tender neck. Wait there till I come back, said the musician, and went onwards. The wolf, in the meantime, had pushed and pulled and bitten at the stone, and had worked so long that he had set his feet at liberty and had drawn them once more out of the cleft. Full of anger and rage he hurried after the musician and wanted to tear him to pieces. When the fox saw him running, he began to lament, and cried with all his might, brother wolf, come to my help, the musician has betrayed me. The wolf drew down the little tree, bit the cord in two, and freed the fox, who went with him to take revenge on the musician. They found the tied-up hare, whom likewise they rescued, and then they all sought the enemy together.
The musician had once more played his fiddle as he went on his way, and this time he had been more fortunate. The sound reached the ears of a poor wood-cutter, who instantly, whether he would or no, gave up his work and came with his hatchet under his arm to listen to the music. At last comes the right companion, said the musician, for I was seeking a human being, and no wild beast. And he began and played so beautifully and delightfully that the poor man stood there as if bewitched, and his heart leaped with gladness. And as he thus stood, the wolf, the fox, and the hare came up, and he saw well that they had some evil design. So he raised his glittering axe and placed himself before the musician, as if to say, whoso wishes to touch him let him beware, for he will have to deal with me. Then the beasts were terrified and ran back into the forest. The musician, however, played once more to the man out of gratitude, and then went onwards
It is now long ago, quite two thousand years, since there was a rich man who had a beautiful and pious wife, and they loved each other dearly. They had, however, no children, though they wished for them very much, and the woman prayed for them day and night, but still they had none. Now there was a court-yard in front of their house in which was a juniper tree, and one day in winter the woman was standing beneath it, paring herself an apple, and while she was paring herself the apple she cut her finger, and the blood fell on the snow. Ah, said the woman, and sighed right heavily, and looked at the blood before her, and was most unhappy, ah, if I had but a child as red as blood and as white as snow. And while she thus spoke, she
became quite happy in her mind, and felt just as if that were going to happen. Then she went into the house and a month went by and the snow was gone, and two months, and then everything was green, and three months, and then all the flowers came out of the earth, and four months, and then all the trees in the wood grew thicker, and the green branches were all closely entwined, and the birds sang until the wood resounded and the blossoms fell from the trees, then the fifth month passed away and she stood under the juniper tree, which smelt so sweetly that her heart leapt, and she fell on her knees and was beside herself with joy, and when the sixth month was over the fruit was large and fine, and then she was quite still, and
the seventh month she snatched at the juniper-berries and ate them greedily, then she grew sick and sorrowful, then the eighth month passed, and she called her husband to her, and wept and said, if I die then bury me beneath the juniper tree. Then she was quite comforted and happy until the next month was over, and then she had a child as white as snow and as red as blood, and when she beheld it she was so delighted that she died. Then her husband buried her beneath the juniper tree, and he began to weep sore, after some time he was more at ease, and though he still wept he could bear it, and after some time longer he took another wife. By the second wife he had a daughter, but the first wife's child was a little son, and he was as red as blood and as white as snow. When the woman looked at her daughter she loved her very much, but then she looked at the little boy and it seemed to cut her to the heart, for the thought came into her mind that he would always
stand in her way, and she was for ever thinking how she could get all the fortune for her daughter, and the evil one filled her mind with this till she was quite wroth with the little boy and she pushed him from one corner to the other and slapped him here and cuffed him there, until the poor child was in continual terror, for when he came out of school he had no peace in any place. One day the woman had gone upstairs to her room, and her little daughter went up too, and said, mother, give me an apple. Yes, my child, said the woman, and gave her a fine apple out of the chest, but the chest had a great heavy lid with a great sharp iron lock. Mother, said the little daughter, is brother not to have one too. This made the woman angry, but she said, yes, when he comes out of school. And when she saw from the window that he was coming, it was just as if the devil entered into her, and she snatched at the apple and took it away again from her daughter, and said, you shall not have one before your brother.
Then she threw the apple into the chest, and shut it. Then the little boy came in at the door, and the devil made her say to him kindly, my son, will you have an apple. And she looked wickedly at him. Mother, said the little boy, how dreadful you look. Yes, give me an apple. Then it seemed to her as if she were forced to say to him, come with me, and she opened the lid of the chest and said, take out an apple for yourself, and while the little boy was stooping inside, the devil prompted her, and crash. She shut the lid down, and his head flew off and fell among the red apples. Then she was overwhelmed with terror, and thought, if I could but make them think that it was not done by me. So she went upstairs to her room to her chest of drawers, and took a white handkerchief out of the top drawer, and set the head on the neck again, and folded the handkerchief so that nothing could be seen, and she set him on a chair in front of the door, and put the apple in his hand. After this Marlinchen came into the kitchen to her mother, who was stand-
ing by the fire with a pan of hot water before her which she was constantly stirring round. "Mother," said Marlinchen, "brother is sitting at the door, and he looks quite white and has an apple in his hand. I asked him to give me the apple, but he did not answer me, and I was quite frightened." "Go back to him," said her mother, "and if he will not answer you, give him a box on the ear." So Marlinchen went to him and said, "Brother, give me the apple." But he was silent, and she gave him a box on the ear, whereupon his head fell off. Marlinchen was terrified, and began crying and screaming, and ran to her mother, and said, "Alas, mother, I have knocked my brother's head off," and she wept and wept and could not be comforted. "Marlinchen," said the mother, what have you done, but be quiet and let no one know it, it cannot be helped now, we will make him into black-puddings." Then the mother took the little boy and chopped him in pieces, put him into the pan and made him into black puddings, but Marlinchen stood by weeping and
weeping, and all her tears fell into the pan and there was no need of any salt.
he ate the more he wanted to have, and he said,
Then the father came home, and sat down to dinner and said, "But where is my son?" And the mother served up a great dish of black-puddings, and Marlinchen wept and could not leave off. Then the father again said, "But where is my son?"
"Give me some more, you shall have none of it. It seems to me as if it were all mine."
"Ah," said the mother, "he has gone across the coutry to his mother's great uncle, he will stay there awhile." "And what is he going to do there? He did not even say good-bye to me." "Oh, he wanted to go, and asked me if he might stay six weeks, he is well taken care of there." "Ah," said the man, "I feel so unhappy lest all should not be right. He ought to have said good-bye to me." With that he began to eat and said, "Marlinchen, why are you crying? Your brother will certainly come back." Then he said, "Ah, wife, how delicious this food is, give me some more." And the more
And he ate and ate and threw all the bones under the table, until he had finished the whole. But Marlinchen went away to her chest of drawers, and took her best silk handkerchief out of the bottom draw, and got all the bones from beneath the table, and tied them up in her silk handkerchief, and carried them outside the door, weeping tears of blood. Then she lay down under the juniper tree on the green grass, and after she had lain down there, she suddenly felt lighthearted and did not cry any more. Then the juniper tree began to stir itself, and the branches parted asunder, and moved together again, just as if someone were rejoicing and clapping his hands. At the same time a mist seemed to arise from the tree, and in the center of this mist it burned like a fire, and a beautiful bird flew out of the fire singing magnificently, and he flew high up in the air, and when
he was gone, the juniper tree was just he had the golden chain and in the othas it had been before, and the hand- er the pincers, and the sun was shining kerchief with the bones was no longer brightly on the street. there. Marlinchen, however, was as gay Then he went right on and stood still, and happy as if her brother were still and said to the bird, alive. And she went merrily into the "Bird," said he then, "how beautifully house, and sat down to dinner and ate. you can sing. Sing me that piece again." But the bird flew away and lighted on "No," said the bird, "I'll not sing it twice for nothing. Give me the a goldsmith's house, and golden chain, and then I began to sing - my mother But he went will sing it again for you." she killed me, my father he away right up "There," said the goldsmith, ate me, my sister, little mar"there is the golden chain the middle of the linchen, gathered together for you, now sing me that street with one all my bones, tied them in song again." Then the bird a silken handkerchief, laid shoe on and one came and took the golden them beneath the juniper sock off chain in his right claw, and tree, kywitt, kywitt, what went and sat in front of the a beautiful bird am I. The goldsmith, and sang â€œmy mother she goldsmith was sitting in his workshop killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, making a golden chain, when he heard little marlinchen, gathered together all the bird which was sitting singing on his roof, and very beautiful the song seemed my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, to him. He stood up, but as he crossed the kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am â€œ threshold he lost one of his slippers. But he went away right up the middle of the street with one shoe on and one sock off, he had his apron on, and in one hand
Then the bird flew away to a shoemaker, and lighted on his roof and sang â€œmy mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little marlinchen, gathered
together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.â€? The shoemaker heard that and ran out of doors in his shirt sleeves, and looked up at his roof, and was forced to hold his hand before his eyes lest the sun should blind him. "Bird," said he, "how beautifully you can sing." Then he called in at his door, "Wife, just come outside, there is a bird, look at that bird, he certainly can sing." Then he called his daughter and children, and apprentices, boys and girls, and they all came up the street and looked at the bird and saw how beautiful he was, and what fine red and green feathers he had, and how like real gold his neck was, and how the eyes in his head shone like stars. "Bird," said the shoemaker, "now sing me that song again." "Nay," said the bird, "I do not sing twice for nothing, you must give me something." "Wife," said the man, "go to the garret, upon the top shelf there stands a pair of red shoes, bring them down." Then the wife went and brought the shoes. "There, bird," said the man, "now sing me that piece again."
Then the bird came and took the shoes in his left claw, and flew back on the roof, and sang - my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little Marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I and when he had finished his song he flew away. In his right claw he had the chain and in his left the shoes, and he flew far away to a mill, and the mill went, klipp klapp, klipp klapp, klipp klapp, and in the mill sat twenty miller's men hewing a stone, and cutting, hick hack, hick hack, hick hack, and the mill went klipp klapp, klipp klapp'klipp klapp. Then the bird went and sat on a lime-tree which stood in front of the mill, and sang - my mother she killed me, then one of them stopped working, my father he ate me, then two more stopped working and listened to that, my sister, little Marlinchen, then four more stopped, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, now eight only were hewing, laid them beneath, now only five, the juniper tree,
and now only one, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I. Then the last stopped also, and heard the last words. "Bird," said he, "how beautifully you sing. Let me, too, hear that. Sing that once more for me." "Nay," said the bird. "I will not sing twice for nothing. Give me the millstone, and then I will sing it again." "Yes," said he, "if it belonged to me only, you should have it." "Yes," said the others, "if he sings again he shall have it." Then the bird came down, and the twenty millers all set to work with a beam and raised the stone up. And the bird stuck his neck through the hole, and put the stone on as if it were a collar, and flew on to the tree again, and sang - my mother she killed me, my father he ate me, my sister, little Marlinchen, gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I.
And when he had done singing, he spread his wings, and in his right claw he had the chain, and in his left the shoes, and round his neck the millstone, and he flew far away to his father's house. In the room sat the father, the mother, and Marlinchen at dinner, and the father said, "How light-hearted I feel, how happy I am." "Nay," said the mother, "I feel so uneasy, just as if a heavy storm were coming." Marlinchen, however, sat weeping and weeping, and then came the bird flying, and as it seated itself on the roof the father said, "Ah, I feel so truly happy, and the sun is shining so beautifully outside, I feel just as if I were about to see some old friend again." "Nay," said the woman, "I feel so anxious, my teeth chatter, and I seem to have fire in my veins." And she tore her stays open, but Marlinchen sat in a corner crying, and held her plate before her eyes and cried till it was quite wet. Then the bird sat on the juniper tree, and sang my mother she killed me, then the moth-
er stopped her ears, and shut her eyes, and would not see or hear, but there was a roaring in her ears like the most violent storm, and her eyes burnt and flashed like lightning - my father he ate me, "Ah, mother," says the man, "that is a beautiful bird. He sings so splendidly, and the sun shines so warm, and there is a smell just like cinnamon." My sister, little Marlinchen, then Marlinchen laid her head on her knees and wept without ceasing, but the man said, "I am going out, I must see the bird quite close." "Oh, don't go," said the woman, "I feel as if the whole house were shaking and on fire." But the man went out and looked at the bird. gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I on this the bird let the golden chain fall, and it fell exactly round the man's neck, and so exactly round it that it fitted beautifully. Then he went in and said,
"Just look what a fine bird that is, and what a handsome golden chain he has given me, and how pretty he is." But the woman was terrified, and fell down on the floor in the room, and her cap fell off her head. Then sang the bird once more - my mother she killed me. "Would that I were a thousand feet beneath the earth so as not to hear that." My father he ate me, then the woman fell down again as if dead. My sister, little marlinchen, "Ah," said Marlinchen, â€œI too will go out and see if the bird will give me anything," and she went out. Gathered together all my bones, tied them in a silken handkerchief, then he threw down the shoes to her. Laid them beneath the juniper tree, kywitt, kywitt, what a beautiful bird am I. Then she was light-hearted and joyous, and she put on the new red shoes, and danced and leaped into the house. "Ah," said she, "I was so sad when I went out and now I am so light-hearted, that is a splendid bird, he has given me a pair of red shoes."
"Well," said the woman, and sprang to her feet and her hair stood up like flames of fire, "I feel as if the world were coming to an end. I too, will go out and see if my heart feels lighter." And as she went out at the door, crash. The bird threw down the millstone on her head, and she was entirely crushed by it. The father and Marlinchen heard what had happened and went out, and smoke, flames, and fire were rising from the place, and when that was over, there stood the little brother, and he took his father and Marlinchen by the hand, and all three were right glad, and they went into the house to dinner, and ate and ate
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. Three young fellows once went out of this country on a traveling expedition, and arrived in another kingdom, where, in the evening when the sun had disappeared behind the mountains, a shining globe was placed on an oak-tree, which shed a soft light far and wide. By
means of this, everything could very well be seen and distinguished, even though it was not so brilliant as the sun. The travelers stopped and asked a countryman who was driving past with his cart, what kind of a light that was. That is the moon, answered he, our mayor bought it for three talers, 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. He receives a taler a week from us for doing it. When the countryman had driven away, one of them said, we could make some use of
this lamp, we have an oak-tree at home, 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. The fourth brought a cart and horses, and the third climbed the tree, bored a hole in the moon, passed a rope through it, and let it down. When the shining 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 bed-rooms and sitting-rooms were filled with it. The dwarfs came forth from their caves in the rocks, and the tiny elves in their little red coats danced in rings on the meadows. The four took care that the moon was provided with oil, cleaned the wick, and received their weekly taler, 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 in collision. 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, quarreled, and at last took up cudgels, and belabored 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
There was once upon a time a queen who had a little daughter who was still so young that she had to be carried. One day the child was naughty, and the mother might say what she liked, but the child would not be quiet. Then she became impatient, and as the ravens were flying about the palace, she opened the window and said, I wish you were a raven and would fly away, and then I should have some rest. Scarcely had she spoken the words, before the child was changed into a raven, and flew from her arms out of the window. It flew into a dark forest, and stayed in it a long time, and the parents heard nothing of their child.
Then one day a man was on his way through this forest and heard the raven crying, and followed the voice, and when he came nearer, the bird said, I am a king's daughter by birth, and am bewitched, but you can set me free. What am I to do, asked he. She said, go further into the forest, and you will find a house, wherein sits an aged woman, who will offer you meat and drink, but you must accept nothing, for if you eat and drink anything, you will fall into a sleep, and then you will not be able to set me free. In the garden behind the house there is a great heap of tan, and on this you shall stand and wait for me. For three
days I will come every afternoon at two o'clock in a carriage. On the first day four white horses will be harnessed to it, then four chestnut horses, and lastly four black ones, but if you are not awake, but sleeping, I shall not be set free. The man promised to do everything that she desired, but the raven said, alas, I know already that you will not set me free, you will accept something from the woman. Then the man once more promised that he would certainly not touch anything either to eat or to drink. But when he entered the house the old woman came to him and said, poor man, how faint you are, come and refresh yourself, eat and drink. No, said the man, I will not eat or drink. She, however, let him have no peace, and said, if you will not eat, take one drink out of the glass, one is nothing. Then he let himself be persuaded, and drank. Shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven. As he was standing there, his weariness all at once became so great that he could not struggle against it, and lay down for a short time, but he was
determined not to go to sleep. Hardly, however, had he lain down, than his eyes closed of their own accord, and he fell asleep and slept so soundly that nothing in the world could have aroused him. At two o'clock the raven came driving up with four white horses, but she was already in deep grief and said, I know he is asleep. And when she came into the garden, he was indeed lying there asleep on the heap of tan. She alighted from the carriage, went to him, shook him, and called him, but he did not awake. Next day about noon, the old woman came again and brought him food and drink, but he would not take any of it. But she let him have no rest and persuaded him until at length he again took one drink out of the glass. Towards two o'clock he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven, but all at once felt such a great weariness that his limbs would no longer support him. He could not help himself, and was forced to lie down, and fell into a heavy sleep. When the raven drove up with four brown horses, she was already full of
grief, and said, I know he is asleep. She went to him, but there he lay sleeping, and there was no wakening him. Next day the old woman asked what was the meaning of this. He was neither eating nor drinking anything, did he want to die.
could not waken him. Then she laid a loaf beside him, and after that a piece of meat, and thirdly a bottle of wine, and he might consume as much of all of them as he liked, but they would never grow less. After this she took a gold ring from her He replied, I am not allowed to eat or finger, and put it on his, and her name drink, and will not do so. But she set a was graven on it. Lastly, she laid a letter beside him wherein was writdish with food, and a glass ten what she had given him, with wine before him, and he entered into and that none of the things when he smelt it he could a dark forest, would ever grow less, and in not resist, and swallowed and walked for it was also written, I see right a deep draught. When the well that here you will never fourteen days, time came, he went out and still could not be able to set me free, but if into the garden to the you are still willing to do so, find his way out heap of tan, and waited come to the golden castle for the king's daughter, of Stromberg; it lies in your but he became still more power, of that I am certain. And when weary than on the day before, and lay she had given him all these things, she down and slept as soundly as if he had seated herself in her carriage, and drove been a stone. At two o'clock the raven came with four black horses, and the to the golden castle of Stromberg. coachman and everything else was black. She was already in the deepest grief, and said, I know that he is asleep and cannot set me free. When she came to him, there he was lying fast asleep. She shook him and called him, but she
When the man awoke and saw that he had slept, he was sad at heart, and said, she has certainly driven by, and I have not set her free. Then he perceived the things which were lying beside him, and read the letter wherein was written how
everything had happened. So he arose and went away, intending to go to the golden castle of Stromberg, but he did not know where it was. After he had walked about the world for a long time, he entered into a dark forest, and walked for fourteen days, and still could not find his way out. Then it was once more evening, and he was so tired that he lay down in a thicket and fell asleep. Next day he went onwards, and in the evening, as he was again about to lie down beneath some bushes, he heard such a howling and crying that he could not go to sleep. And at the time when people light the candles, he saw one glimmering, and arose and went towards it. Then he came to a house which seemed very small, for in front of it a great giant was standing. He thought to himself, if I go in, and the giant sees me, it will very likely cost me my life. At length he ventured it and went in. When the giant saw him, he said, it is well that you come, for it is long since I have eaten, I will at once devour you for my supper. I'd rather you did not, said the man, I do not like to be eaten, but if you have any desire to eat,
I have quite enough here to satisfy you. If that be true, said the giant, you may be easy, I was only going to devour you because I had nothing else. Then they went, and sat down to the table, and the man took out the bread, wine, and meat which would never come to an end. This pleases me well, said the giant, and ate to his heart's content. Then the man said to him, can you tell me where the golden castle of Stromberg is. The giant said, I will look at my map, all the towns, and villages, and houses are to be found on it. He brought out the map which he had in the room and looked for the castle, but it was not to be found on it. It's no matter, said he, I have some still larger maps in my cupboard upstairs, and we will look at them. But there, too, it was in vain. The man now wanted to set out again, but the giant begged him to wait a few days longer until his brother, who had gone out to bring some provisions, came home. When the brother came home they inquired about the golden castle of Stromberg. He replied, when I have eaten and have had enough, I will look at the map.
Then he went with them up to his chamber, and they searched on his map, but could not find it. Then he brought out still older maps, and they never rested until they found the golden castle of Stromberg, but it was many thousand miles away. How am I to get there, asked the man. The giant said, I have two hours, time, during which I will carry you into the neighborhood, but after that I must be at home to suckle the child that we have. So the giant carried the man to about a hundred leagues from the castle, and said, you can very well walk the rest of the way alone. And he turned back, but the man went onwards day and night, until at length he came to the golden castle of Stromberg. It stood on a glass-mountain, and the bewitched maiden was driving in her carriage round the castle, and then went inside it. He rejoiced when he saw her and wanted to climb up to her, but when he began to do so he always slipped down the glass again. And when he saw that he could not reach her, he was very
worried, and said to himself, I will stay down here below, and wait for her. So he built himself a hut and stayed in it for a whole year, and every day saw the king's daughter driving about above, but never could reach her. Then one day he saw from his hut three robbers who were beating each other, and cried to them, God be with you. They stopped when they heard the cry, but as they saw no one, they once more began to beat each other, and that too most dangerously. So he again cried, God be with you. Again they stopped, looked round about, but as they saw no one they went on beating each other. Then he cried for the third time, God be with you, and thought, I must see what these three are about, and went thither and asked why they were beating each other so furiously. One of them said that he found a stick, and that when he struck a door with it, that door would spring open. The next said that he had found a mantle, and that whenever he put it on, he was invisible, but the third said he had found a horse on which a man could ride everywhere even up the glass-
mountain. And now they did not know whether they ought to have these things in common, or whether they ought to divide them. Then the man said, I will give you something in exchange for these three things. Money indeed have I not, but I have other things of more value, but first I must make an experiment to see if you have told the truth. Then they put him on the horse, threw the mantle round him, and gave him the stick in his hand, and when he had all these things they were no longer able to see him. So he gave them some vigorous blows and cried, now, vagabonds, you have got what you deserve, are you satisfied. And he rode up the glass-mountain, but when he came in front of the castle at the top, it was shut.
Then he struck the door with his stick, and it sprang open immediately. He went in and ascended the stairs until he came to the hall where the maiden was sitting with a golden globlet of wine before her. She, however, could not see him because he had the mantle on. And when he came up to her, he drew from his finger the ring which she had given him, and threw it into the goblet so that it rang. Then she cried, that is my ring, so the man who is to set me free must be here. They searched the whole castle and did not find him, but he had gone out, and had seated himself on the horse and thrown off the mantle. When they came to the door, they saw him and cried aloud in their delight. Then he alighted and took the king's daughter in his arms, but she kissed him and said, now have you set me free, and to-morrow we will celebrate our wedding
There was once an old woman, but you have surely seen an old woman going begging before now. This woman begged likewise, and when she received anything she said, “May God reward you.” The beggar woman came up to the door, and there by the fire stood a friendly rogue of a boy warming himself. The boy spoke kindly to the poor old woman as she was standing there by the door shivering, “Come, old mother, and warm yourself.”
She came in, but stood too close to the fire, so that her old rags began to burn, and she was not aware of it. The boy stood there and saw that. Should he not have put the flames out? Is it not true that he should have put them out? And if he did not have any water, then he should have wept all the water in his body out of his eyes, and that would have supplied two good streams with which to put them out
There was once upon a time a king who had three sons, of whom two were clever and wise, but the third did not speak much, and was simple, and was called the simpleton. When the king had become old and weak, and was thinking of his end, he did not know which of his sons should inherit the kingdom after him. Then he said to them, go forth, and he who brings me the most beautiful carpet shall be king after my death. And that there should be no dispute amongst them, he took them outside his castle, blew three feathers in the air, and said, you shall go as they fly. One feather flew to the east, the other to the west,
but the third flew straight up and did not fly far, but soon fell to the ground. And now one brother went to the right, and the other to the left, and they mocked simpleton, who was forced to stay where the third feather had fallen. He sat down and was sad. Then all at once he saw that there was a trap-door close by the feather. He raised it up, found some steps, and went down them. Then he came to another door, knocked at it, and heard somebody inside calling - little green waiting-maid, waiting-maid with the limping leg, little dog of the limping leg, hop hither and thither, and quickly see who is without.
The door opened, and he saw a great, and carried them home to the king. fat toad sitting, and round about her a At the same time simpleton also came crowd of little toads. The fat toad asked back, and brought his beautiful carpet, what he wanted. He answered, I should and when the king saw it he was astonlike to have the prettiest and finest car- ished, and said, if justice be done, the pet in the world. Then she called a young kingdom belongs to the youngest. But one and said - little green waiting-maid, the two others let their father have no waiting-maid with the limping leg, little peace, and said that it was impossible dog of the limping leg, hop that simpleton, who in everyhither and thither, and thing lacked understanding, bring me the great box. Then he seized should be king, and entreated The young toad brought the box, and the fat toad opened it, and gave simpleton a carpet out of it, so beautiful and so fine, that on the earth above, none could have been
one at random out of the circle, and put her into the yellow coach
woven like it. Then he thanked her, and climbed out again. The two others, however, had looked on their youngest brother as so stupid that they believed he would find and bring nothing at all. Why should we give ourselves a great deal of trouble searching, said they, and got some coarse handkerchiefs from the first shepherds' wives whom they met,
him to make a new agreement with them. Then the father said, he who brings me the most beautiful ring shall inherit the kingdom, and led the three brothers out, and blew into the air three feathers, which they were to follow. Those of the two eldest again went east and west, and simpleton's feather flew straight up, and fell down near the door into the earth. Then he went down again to the fat toad, and told her that he wanted the most beautiful ring. She at once ordered her big box to be brought, and gave him
a ring out of it, which sparkled with jewels, and was so beautiful that no goldsmith on earth would have been able to make it. The two eldest laughed at simpleton for going to seek a golden ring. They gave themselves no trouble, but knocked the nails out of an old carriage-ring, and took it to the king, but when simpleton produced his golden ring, his father again said, the kingdom belongs to him. The two eldest did not cease from tormenting the king until he made a third condition, and declared that the one who brought the most beautiful woman home, should have the kingdom. He again blew the three feathers into the air, and they flew as before. Then simpleton without more ado went down to the fat toad, and said, I am to take home the most beautiful woman. Oh, answered the toad, the most beautiful woman. She is not at hand at the moment, but still you shall have her. She gave him a yellow turnip which had been hollowed out, to which six mice were harnessed. Then simpleton said quite
mournfully, what am I to do with that. The toad answered, just put one of my little toads into it. Then he seized one at random out of the circle, and put her into the yellow coach, but hardly was she seated inside it than she turned into a wonderfully beautiful maiden, and the turnip into a coach, and the six mice into horses. So he kissed her, and drove off quickly with the horses, and took her to the king. His brothers, who came afterwards, had given themselves no trouble at all looking for beautiful girls, but had brought with them the first peasant women they chanced to meet. When the king saw them he said, after my death the kingdom belongs to my youngest son. But the two eldest deafened the king's ears afresh with their clamor, we cannot consent to simpleton's being king, and demanded that the one whose wife could leap through a ring which hung in the centre of the hall should have the preference. They thought, the peasant women can do that easily, they are strong enough, but the delicate maiden will jump herself to death.
The aged king agreed likewise to this. Then the two peasant women jumped, and jumped through the ring, but were so clumsy that they fell, and their coarse arms and legs broke in two. And then the pretty maiden whom simpleton had brought with him, sprang, and sprang through as lightly as a deer, and all opposition had to cease. So he received the crown, and has ruled wisely for a length of time
In former times, when God himself still walked the earth, the fruitfulness of the soil was much greater than it is now.
and dirtied her frock. On this the mother tore up a handful of the beautiful ears of corn, and cleaned the frock with them.
Then the ears of corn did not bear fifty or sixty, but four or five hundred-fold. Then the corn grew from the bottom to the very top of the stalk, and according to the length of the stalk was the length of the ear. Men however are so made, that when they are too well off they no longer value the blessings which come from God, but grow indifferent and careless.
When the Lord, who just then came by, saw that, he was angry, and said, henceforth shall the stalks of corn bear no more ears, men are no longer worthy of heavenly gifts. The by-standers who heard this, were terrified, and fell on their knees and prayed that he would still leave something on the stalks, even if the people were undeserving of it, for the sake of the innocent chickens which would otherwise have to starve. The Lord, who foresaw their suffering, had pity on them, and granted the request. So the ears were left as they now grow
One day a woman was passing by a corn-field when her little child, who was running beside her, fell into a puddle,
George one day said to his little chickens, come into the parlor and enjoy yourselves, and pick up the bread-crumbs on the table. Your mistress has gone out to pay some visits. Then the chickens said, no, no, we will not go. If the mistress gets to know it, she will beat us. George said, she will know nothing about it. So come. After all, she never gives you anything good. Then the chickens again said, nay, nay, we must let it alone. We must not
go. But George let them have no peace until at last they went, and got on the table, and ate up the bread-crumbs with all their might. But at that very moment the mistress came, and seized the stick in great haste, and beat them and treated them very harshly. And when they were outside the house, the chickens said to George, do, do, do, do, do, you see. Then george laughed and said, didn't, didn't, didn't, I expect it. So they just had to run away
There was a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was called Dummling, and was despised, mocked, and sneered at on every occasion. It happened that the eldest wanted to go into the forest to hew wood, and before he went his mother gave him a beautiful sweet cake and a bottle of wine in order that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst. When he entered the forest he met a little grey-haired old man who bade him good-day, and said, do give me a piece of
cake out of your pocket, and let me have a draught of your wine, I am so hungry and thirsty. But the clever son answered, if I give you my cake and wine, I shall have none for myself, be off with you, and he left the little man standing and went on. But when he began to hew down a tree, it was not long before he made a false stroke, and the axe cut him in the arm, so that he had to go home and have it bound up. And this was the little grey man's doing.
After this the second son went into the forest, and his mother gave him, like the eldest, a cake and a bottle of wine. The little old grey man met him likewise, and asked him for a piece of cake and a drink of wine.
When he came to the forest the little old grey man met him likewise, and greeting him, said, give me a piece of your cake and a drink out of your bottle, I am so hungry and thirsty.
Dummling answered, I have only cinderBut the second son, too, said sensibly cake and sour beer, if that pleases you, enough, what I give you will be taken we will sit down and eat. So they sat down, and when Dummling away from myself, be off, pulled out his cinder-cake, it and he left the little man My stomach was a fine sweet cake, and standing and went on. His remains empty, the sour beer had become punishment, however, was and I must tie good wine. So they ate and not delayed, when he had myself up if I drank, and after that the made a few blows at the am not to die of little man said, since you tree he struck himself in the have a good heart, and hunger leg, so that he had to be are willing to divide what carried home. you have, I will give you Then Dummling said, father, do let me good luck. There stands an old tree, cut go and cut wood. The father answered, it down, and you will find something at your brothers have hurt themselves with the roots. Then the little man took leave it, leave it alone, you do not understand of him. anything about it. But Dummling begged Dummling went and cut down the tree, so long that at last he said, just go then, and when it fell there was a goose sityou will get wiser by hurting yourself. His ting in the roots with feathers of pure mother gave him a cake made with wagold. He lifted her up, and taking her with ter and baked in the cinders, and with it him, went to an inn where he thought a bottle of sour beer.
he would stay the night. Now the host had three daughters, who saw the goose and were curious to know what such a wonderful bird might be, and would have liked to have one of its golden feathers. The eldest thought, I shall soon find an opportunity of pulling out a feather, and as soon as Dummling had gone out she seized the goose by the wing, but her finger and hand remained sticking fast to it. The second came soon afterwards, thinking only of how she might get a feather for herself, but she had scarcely touched her sister than she was held fast. At last the third also came with the like intent, and the others screamed out, keep away, for goodness, sake keep away. But she did not understand why she was to keep away. The others are there, she thought, I may as well be there too, and ran to them, but as soon as she had touched her sister, she remained sticking fast to her. So they had to spend the night with the goose. The next morning Dummling took the goose under his arm and set out, with-
out troubling himself about the three girls who were hanging on to it. They were obliged to run after him continually, now left, now right, wherever his legs took him. In the middle of the fields the parson met them, and when he saw the procession he said, for shame, you good-fornothing girls, why are you running across the fields after this young man. Is that seemly? At the same time he seized the youngest by the hand in order to pull her away, but as soon as he touched her he likewise stuck fast, and was himself obliged to run behind. Before long the sexton came by and saw his master, the parson, running behind three girls. He was astonished at this and called out, hi, your reverence, whither away so quickly. Do not forget that we have a christening to-day, and running after him he took him by the sleeve, but was also held fast to it. Whilst the five were trotting thus one behind the other, two laborers came with their hoes from the fields, the parson called out to them and begged that they would set him and the sexton free. But they had scarcely
touched the sexton when they were held fast, and now there were seven of them running behind Dummling and the goose. Soon afterwards he came to a city, where a king ruled who had a daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh. So he had put forth a decree that whosoever should be able to make her laugh should marry her. When Dummling heard this, he went with his goose and all her train before the king's daughter, and as soon as she saw the seven people running on and on, one behind the other, she began to laugh quite loudly, and as if she would never stop. Thereupon Dummling asked to have her for his wife, but the king did not like the son-in-law, and made all manner of excuses and said he must first produce a man who could drink a cellarful of wine. Dummling thought of the little grey man, who could certainly help him, so he went into the forest, and in the same place where he had felled the tree, he saw a man sitting, who had a very sorrowful face. Dummling asked him what he was taking to heart so sorely, and he answered, I have such a great thirst
and cannot quench it, cold water I cannot stand, a barrel of wine I have just emptied, but that to me is like a drop on a hot stone. There, I can help you, said Dummling, just come with me and you shall be satisfied. He led him into the king's cellar, and the man bent over the huge barrels, and drank and drank till his loins hurt, and before the day was out he had emptied all the barrels. Then Dummling asked once more for his bride, but the king was vexed that such an ugly fellow, whom everyone called Dummling, should take away his daughter, and he made a new condition, he must first find a man who could eat a whole mountain of bread. Dummling did not think long, but went straight into the forest, where in the same place there sat a man who was tying up his body with a strap, and making an awful face, and saying, I have eaten a whole ovenful of rolls, but what good is that when one has such a hunger as I. My stomach remains empty, and I must tie myself up if I am not to die of hunger. At this Dummling was glad, and said, get up and come with me, you shall eat your-
self full. He led him to the king's palace, where all the flour in the whole kingdom was collected, and from it he caused a huge mountain of bread to be baked. The man from the forest stood before it, began to eat, and by the end of one day the whole mountain had vanished. Then Dummling for the third time asked for his bride, but the king again sought a way out, and ordered a ship which could sail on land and on water. As soon as you come sailing back in it, said he, you shall have my daughter for wife. Dummling went straight into the forest, and there sat the little grey man to
whom he had given his cake. When he heard what Dummling wanted, he said, since you have given me to eat and to drink, I will give you the ship, and I do all this because you once were kind to me. Then he gave him the ship which could sail on land and water, and when the king saw that, he could no longer prevent him from having his daughter. The wedding was celebrated, and after the king's death, Dummling inherited his kingdom and lived for a long time contentedly with his wife