History of Literature









Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm


"Grimms Fairy Tales"


 



Brothers Grimm



 

 


Brothers Grimm

German folklorists and linguists
German Brüder Grimm
Main
German brothers famous for their classic collections of folk songs and folktales. Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm (b. Jan. 4, 1785, Hanau, Hesse-Kassel [Germany]—d. Sept. 20, 1863, Berlin) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (b. Feb. 24, 1786, Hanau, Hesse-Kassel [Germany]—d. Dec. 16, 1859, Berlin) were best known for Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812–22; also called Grimm’s Fairy Tales), which led to the birth of the science of folklore. Jacob especially did important work in historical linguistics and Germanic philology.

Beginnings and Kassel period
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were the oldest in a family of five brothers and one sister. Their father, Philipp Wilhelm, a lawyer, was town clerk in Hanau and later justiciary in Steinau, another small Hessian town, where his father and grandfather had been ministers of the Calvinistic Reformed Church. The father’s death in 1796 brought social hardships to the family; the death of the mother in 1808 left 23-year-old Jacob with the responsibility of four brothers and one sister. Jacob, a scholarly type, was small and slender with sharply cut features, while Wilhelm was taller, had a softer face, and was sociable and fond of all the arts.

After attending the high school in Kassel, the brothers followed their father’s footsteps and studied law at the University of Marburg (1802–06) with the intention of entering civil service. At Marburg they came under the influence of Clemens Brentano, who awakened in both a love of folk poetry, and Friedrich Karl von Savigny, cofounder of the historical school of jurisprudence, who taught them a method of antiquarian investigation that formed the real basis of all their later work. Others, too, strongly influenced the Grimms, particularly the philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), with his ideas on folk poetry. Essentially, they remained individuals, creating their work according to their own principles.

In 1805 Jacob accompanied Savigny to Paris to do research on legal manuscripts of the Middle Ages; the following year he became secretary to the war office in Kassel. Because of his health, Wilhelm remained without regular employment until 1814. After the French entered in 1806, Jacob became private librarian to King Jérôme of Westphalia in 1808 and a year later auditeur of the Conseil d’État but returned to Hessian service in 1813 after Napoleon’s defeat. As secretary to the legation, he went twice to Paris (1814–15), to recover precious books and paintings taken by the French from Hesse and Prussia. He also took part in the Congress of Vienna (September 1814–June 1815). Meantime, Wilhelm had become secretary at the Elector’s library in Kassel (1814), and Jacob joined him there in 1816.

By that time the brothers had definitely given up thoughts of a legal career in favour of purely literary research. In the years to follow they lived frugally and worked steadily, laying the foundations for their lifelong interests. Their whole thinking was rooted in the social and political changes of their time and the challenge these changes held. Jacob and Wilhelm had nothing in common with the fashionable “Gothic” Romanticism of the 18th and 19th centuries. Their state of mind made them more Realists than Romantics. They investigated the distant past and saw in antiquity the foundation of all social institutions of their days. But their efforts to preserve these foundations did not mean that they wanted to return to the past. From the beginning, the Grimms sought to include material from beyond their own frontiers—from the literary traditions of Scandinavia, Spain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, England, Serbia, and Finland.

They first collected folk songs and tales for their friends Achim von Arnim and Brentano, who had collaborated on an influential collection of folk lyrics in 1805, and the brothers examined in some critical essays the essential difference between folk literature and other writing. To them, folk poetry was the only true poetry, expressing the eternal joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears of mankind.

Encouraged by Arnim, they published their collected tales as the Kinder- und Hausmärchen, implying in the title that the stories were meant for adults and children alike. In contrast to the extravagant fantasy of the Romantic school’s poetical fairy tales, the 200 stories of this collection (mostly taken from oral sources, though a few were from printed sources) aimed at conveying the soul, imagination, and beliefs of people through the centuries—or at a genuine reproduction of the teller’s words and ways. The great merit of Wilhelm Grimm is that he gave the fairy tales a readable form without changing their folkloric character. The results were threefold: the collection enjoyed wide distribution in Germany and eventually in all parts of the globe (there are now translations in 70 languages); it became and remains a model for the collecting of folktales everywhere; and the Grimms’ notes to the tales, along with other investigations, formed the basis for the science of the folk narrative and even of folklore. To this day the tales remain the earliest “scientific” collection of folktales.

The Kinder- und Hausmärchen was followed by a collection of historical and local legends of Germany, Deutsche Sagen (1816–18), which never gained wide popular appeal, though it influenced both literature and the study of the folk narrative. The brothers then published (in 1826) a translation of Thomas Crofton Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, prefacing the edition with a lengthy introduction of their own on fairy lore. At the same time, the Grimms gave their attention to the written documents of early literature, bringing out new editions of ancient texts, from both the Germanic and other languages. Wilhelm’s outstanding contribution was Die deutsche Heldensage (“The German Heroic Tale”), a collection of themes and names from heroic legends mentioned in literature and art from the 6th to the 16th centuries, together with essays on the art of the saga.

While collaborating on these subjects for two decades (1806–26), Jacob also turned to the study of philology with an extensive work on grammar, the Deutsche Grammatik (1819–37). The word deutsch in the title does not mean strictly “German,” but it rather refers to the etymological meaning of “common,” thus being used to apply to all of the Germanic languages, the historical development of which is traced for the first time. He represented the natural laws of sound change (both vowels and consonants) in various languages and thus created bases for a method of scientific etymology; i.e., research into relationships between languages and development of meaning. In what was to become known as Grimm’s law, Jacob demonstrated the principle of the regularity of correspondence among consonants in genetically related languages, a principle previously observed by the Dane Rasmus Rask. Jacob’s work on grammar exercised an enormous influence on the contemporary study of linguistics, Germanic, Romance, and Slavic, and it remains of value and in use even now. In 1824 Jacob Grimm translated a Serbian grammar by his friend Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, writing an erudite introduction on Slavic languages and literature.

He extended his investigations into the Germanic folk-culture with a study of ancient law practices and beliefs published as Deutsche Rechtsaltertümer (1828), providing systematic source material but excluding actual laws. The work stimulated other publications in France, The Netherlands, Russia, and the southern Slavic countries and has not yet been superseded.


The Göttingen years
The quiet contentment of the years at Kassel ended in 1829, when the brothers suffered a snub—perhaps motivated politically—from the Elector of Hessen-Kassel: they were not given advancement following the death of a senior colleague. Consequently, they moved to the nearby University of Göttingen, where they were appointed librarians and professors. Jacob Grimm’s Deutsche Mythologie, written during this period, was to be of far-reaching influence. From poetry, fairy tales, and folkloristic elements, he traced the pre-Christian faith and superstitions of the Germanic people, contrasting the beliefs to those of classical mythology and Christianity. The Mythologie had many successors all over Europe, but often disciples were not as careful in their judgments as Jacob had been. Wilhelm published here his outstanding edition of Freidank’s epigrams. But again fate overtook them. When Ernest Augustus, duke of Cumberland, became king of Hanover, he high-handedly repealed the constitution of 1833, which he considered too liberal. Two weeks after the King’s declaration, the Grimms, together with five other professors (the “Göttingen Seven”), sent a protest to the King, explaining that they felt themselves bound by oath to the old constitution. As a result they were dismissed, and three professors, including Jacob, were ordered to leave the kingdom of Hanover at once. Through their part in this protest directed against despotic authority, they clearly demonstrated the academic’s sense of civil responsibilities, manifesting their own liberal convictions at the same time. During three years of exile in Kassel, institutions in Germany and beyond (Hamburg, Marburg, Rostock, Weimar, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and Switzerland) tried to obtain the brothers’ services.




The Berlin period
In 1840 they accepted an invitation from the king of Prussia, Frederick William IV, to go to Berlin, where as members of the Royal Academy of Sciences they lectured at the university. There they began work in earnest on their most ambitious enterprise, the Deutsches Wörterbuch, a large German dictionary intended as a guide for the user of the written and spoken word as well as a scholarly reference work. In the dictionary, all German words found in the literature of the three centuries “from Luther to Goethe” were given with their historical variants, their etymology, and their semantic development; their usage in specialized and everyday language was illustrated by quoting idioms and proverbs. Begun as a source of income in 1838 for the brothers after their dismissal from Göttingen, the work required generations of successors to bring the gigantic task to an end more than a hundred years later. Jacob lived to see the work proceed to the letter F, while Wilhelm finished only the letter D. The dictionary became an example for similar publications in other countries: Britain, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Jacob’s philological research later led to a history of the German language, Geschichte der deutschen Sprache, in which he attempted to combine the historical study of language with the study of early history. Research into names and dialects was stimulated by Jacob Grimm’s work, as were ways of writing and spelling—for example, he used roman type and advocated spelling German nouns without capital letters.

For some 20 years they worked in Prussia’s capital, respected and free from financial worries. Much of importance can be found in the brothers’ lectures and essays, the prefaces and reviews (Kleinere Schriften) they wrote in this period. In Berlin they witnessed the Revolution of 1848 and took an active part in the political strife of the succeeding years. In spite of close and even emotional ties to their homeland, the Grimms were not nationalists in the narrow sense. They maintained genuine—even political—friendships with colleagues at home and abroad, among them the jurists Savigny and Eichhorn; the historians F.C. Dahlmann, G.G. Gervinus, and Jules Michelet; and the philologists Karl Lachmann, John Mitchell Kemble, Jan Frans Willems, Vuk Karadžić, and Pavel Josef Šafařik. Nearly all academies in Europe were proud to count Jacob and Wilhelm among their members. The more robust Jacob undertook many journeys for scientific investigations, visiting France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden. Jacob remained a bachelor; Wilhelm married Dorothea Wild from Kassel, with whom he had four children: Jacob (who was born and died in 1826), Herman (literary and art historian, 1828–1901), Rudolf (jurist, 1830–89), and Auguste (1832–1919). The graves of the brothers are in the Matthäikirchhof in Berlin.

Ludwig Denecke

 




 




Grimms Fairy Tales



Translation by Margaret Hunt
 

The Story of a Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was

A certain father had two sons, the elder of whom was smart and sensible, and could do everything, but the younger was stupid and could neither learn nor understand anything, and when people saw him they said 'there's a fellow who will give his father some trouble.' When anything had to be done, it was always the elder who was forced to do it, but if his father bade him fetch anything when it was late, or in the night-time, and the way led through the churchyard, or any other dismal place, he answered 'oh, no, father, I'll not go there, it makes me shudder.' For he was afraid. Or when stories were told by the fire at night which made the flesh creep, the listeners sometimes said 'oh, it makes us shudder.' The younger sat in a corner and listened with the rest of them, and could not imagine what they could mean. 'They are always saying 'it makes me shudder, it makes me shudder, it does not make me shudder.' Thought he. 'That, too, must be an art of which I understand nothing.'

Now it came to pass that his father said to him one day 'hearken to me, you fellow in the corner there, you are growing tall and strong, and you too must learn something by which you can earn your bread. Look how your brother works, but you do not even earn your salt.' 'Well, father, he replied, 'I am quite willing to learn something - indeed, if it could but be managed, I should like to learn how to shudder. I don't understand that at all yet.' The elder brother smiled when he heard that, and thought to himself 'good God, what a blockhead that brother of mine is. He will never be good for anything as long as he lives. He who wants to be a sickle must bend himself betimes.' The father sighed, and answered him 'you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, but you will not earn your bread by that.' Soon after this the sexton came to the house on a visit, and the father bewailed his trouble, and told him how his younger son was so backward in every respect that he knew nothing and learnt nothing. 'Just think, said he, 'when I asked him how he was going to earn his bread, he actually wanted to learn to shudder.' 'If that be all, replied the sexton, 'he can learn that with me. Send him to me, and I will soon polish him.' The father was glad to do it, for he thought 'it will train the boy a little.' The sexton therefore took him into his house, and he had to ring the church bell. After a day or two, the sexton awoke him at midnight, and bade him arise and go up into the church tower and ring the bell. 'You shall soon learn what shuddering is, thought he, and secretly went there before him, and when the boy was at the top of the tower and turned round, and was just going to take hold of the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on the stairs opposite the sounding hole. 'Who is there.' Cried he, but the figure made no reply, and did not move or stir. 'Give an answer, cried the boy, 'or take yourself off, you have no business here at night.'

The sexton, however, remained standing motionless that the boy might think he was a ghost. The boy cried a second time 'what do you want here. - Speak if you are an honest fellow, or I will throw you down the steps.' The sexton thought 'he can't mean to be as bad as his words, uttered no sound and stood as if he were made of stone. Then the boy called to him for the third time, and as that was also to no purpose, he ran against him and pushed the ghost down the stairs, so that it fell down ten steps and remained lying there in a corner. Thereupon he rang the bell, went home, and without saying a word went to bed, and fell asleep. The sexton's wife waited a long time for her husband, but he did not come back. At length she became uneasy, and wakened the boy, and asked 'do you not know where my husband is. He climbed up the tower before you did.' 'No, I don't know, replied the boy, 'but someone was standing by the sounding hole on the other side of the steps, and as he would neither give an answer nor go away, I took him for a scoundrel, and threw him downstairs. Just go there and you will see if it was he. I should be sorry if it were.' The woman ran away and found her husband, who was lying moaning in the corner, and had broken his leg.

She carried him down, and then with loud screams she hastened to the boy's father. 'Your boy, cried she, 'has been the cause of a great misfortune. He has thrown my husband down the steps so that he broke his leg. Take the good-for-nothing fellow out of our house.' The father was terrified, and ran thither and scolded the boy. 'What wicked tricks are these.' Said he, 'the devil must have put them into your head.' 'Father, he replied, 'do listen to me. I am quite innocent. He was standing there by night like one intent on doing evil. I did not know who it was, and I entreated him three times either to speak or to go away.' 'Ah, said the father, 'I have nothing but unhappiness with you. Go out of my sight. I will see you no more.'

'Yes, father, right willingly, wait only until it is day. Then will I go forth and learn how to shudder, and then I shall, at any rate, understand one art which will support me.' 'Learn what you will, spoke the father, 'it is all the same to me. Here are fifty talers for you. Take these and go into the wide world, and tell no one from whence you come, and who is your father, for I have reason to be ashamed of you.' 'Yes, father, it shall be as you will. If you desire nothing more than that, I can easily keep it in mind.'

When day dawned, therefore, the boy put his fifty talers into his pocket, and went forth on the great highway, and continually said to himself 'if I could but shudder. If I could but shudder.' Then a man approached who heard this conversation which the youth was holding with himself, and when they had walked a little farther to where they could see the gallows, the man said to him 'look, there is the tree where seven men have married the ropemaker's daughter, and are now learning how to fly. Sit down beneath it, and wait till night comes, and you will soon learn how to shudder.' 'If that is all that is wanted, answered the youth, 'it is easily done, but if I learn how to shudder as fast as that, you shall have my fifty talers. Just come back to me early in the morning.' Then the youth went to the gallows, sat down beneath it, and waited till evening came. And as he was cold, he lighted himself a fire, but at midnight the wind blew so sharply that in spite of his fire, he could not get warm. And as the wind knocked the hanged men against each other, and they moved backwards and forwards, he thought to himself 'if you shiver below by the fire, how those up above must freeze and suffer.' And as he felt pity for them, he raised the ladder, and climbed up, unbound one of them after the other, and brought down all seven. Then he stoked the fire, blew it, and set them all round it to warm themselves. But they sat there and did not stir, and the fire caught their clothes. So he said 'take care, or I will hang you up again.' The dead men, however, did not hear, but were quite silent, and let their rags go on burning. At this he grew angry, and said 'if you will not take care, I cannot help you, I will not be burnt with you, and he hung them up again each in his turn. Then he sat down by his fire and fell asleep, and the next morning the man came to him and wanted to have the fifty talers, and said 'well, do you know how to shudder.' 'No, answered he, 'how should I know. Those fellows up there did not open their mouths, and were so stupid that they let the few old rags which they had on their bodies get burnt.' Then the man saw that he would not get the fifty talers that day, and went away saying 'such a youth has never come my way before.' The youth likewise went his way, and once more began to mutter to himself 'ah, if I could but shudder. Ah, if I could but shudder.' A waggoner who was striding behind him heard this and asked 'who are you.' 'I don't know, answered the youth. Then the waggoner asked 'from whence do you come.' 'I know not.' 'Who is your father.' 'That I may not tell you.' 'What is it that you are always muttering between your teeth.' 'Ah, replied the youth, 'I do so wish I could shudder, but no one can teach me how.' 'Enough of your foolish chatter, said the waggoner. 'Come, go with me, I will see about a place for you.' The youth went with the waggoner, and in the evening they arrived at an inn where they wished to pass the night. Then at the entrance of the parlor the youth again said quite loudly 'if I could but shudder. If I could but shudder.' The host who heard this, laughed and said 'if that is your desire, there ought to be a good opportunity for you here.' 'Ah, be silent, said the hostess, 'so many prying persons have already lost their lives, it would be a pity and a shame if such beautiful eyes as these should never see the daylight again.' But the youth said 'however difficult it may be, I will learn it. For this purpose indeed have I journeyed forth.' He let the host have no rest, until the latter told him, that not far from thence stood a haunted castle where any one could very easily learn what shuddering was, if he would but watch in it for three nights. The king had promised that he who would venture should have his daughter to wife, and she was the most beautiful maiden the sun shone on. Likewise in the castle lay great treasures, which were guarded by evil spirits, and these treasures would then be freed, and would make a poor man rich enough. Already many men had gone into the castle, but as yet none had come out again. Then the youth went next morning to the king and said 'if it be allowed, I will willingly watch three nights in the haunted castle.' The king looked at him, and as the youth pleased him, he said 'you may ask for three things to take into the castle with you, but they must be things without life.' Then he answered 'then I ask for a fire, a turning lathe, and a cutting-board with the knife.' The king had these things carried into the castle for him during the day. When night was drawing near, the youth went up and made himself a bright fire in one of the rooms, placed the cutting-board and knife beside it, and seated himself by the turning-lathe. 'Ah, if I could but shudder.' Said he, 'but I shall not learn it here either.' Towards midnight he was about to poke his fire, and as he was blowing it, something cried suddenly from one corner 'au, miau. How cold we are.' 'You fools.' Cried he, 'what are you crying about. If you are cold, come and take a seat by the fire and warm yourselves.' And when he had said that, two great black cats came with one tremendous leap and sat down on each side of him, and looked savagely at him with their fiery eyes. After a short time, when they had warmed themselves, they said 'comrade, shall we have a game of cards.' 'Why not.' He replied, 'but just show me your paws.' Then they stretched out their claws. 'Oh, said he, 'what long nails you have. Wait, I must first cut them for you.' Thereupon he seized them by the throats, put them on the cutting-board and screwed their feet fast. 'I have looked at your fingers, said he, 'and my fancy for card-playing has gone, and he struck them dead and threw them out into the water. But when he had made away with these two, and was about to sit down again by his fire, out from every hole and corner came black cats and black dogs with red-hot chains, and more and more of them came until he could no longer move, and they yelled horribly, and got on his fire, pulled it to pieces, and tried to put it out. He watched them for a while quietly, but at last when they were going too far, he seized his cutting-knife, and cried 'away with you, vermin, and began to cut them down. Some of them ran away, the others he killed, and threw out into the fish-pond. When he came back he fanned the embers of his fire again and warmed himself. And as he thus sat, his eyes would keep open no longer, and he felt a desire to sleep. Then he looked round and saw a great bed in the corner. 'That is the very thing for me, said he, and got into it. When he was just going to shut his eyes, however, the bed began to move of its own accord, and went over the whole of the castle. 'That's right, said he, 'but go faster.' Then the bed rolled on as if six horses were harnessed to it, up and down, over thresholds and stairs, but suddenly hop, hop, it turned over upside down, and lay on him like a mountain. But he threw quilts and pillows up in the air, got out and said 'now any one who likes, may drive, and lay down by his fire, and slept till it was day. In the morning the king came, and when he saw him lying there on the ground, he thought the evil spirits had killed him and he was dead. Then said he 'after all it is a pity, -- for so handsome a man.' The youth heard it, got up, and said 'it has not come to that yet.' Then the king was astonished, but very glad, and asked how he had fared. 'Very well indeed, answered he, 'one night is past, the two others will pass likewise.' Then he went to the innkeeper, who opened his eyes very wide, and said 'I never expected to see you alive again. Have you learnt how to shudder yet.' 'No, said he, 'it is all in vain. If some one would but tell me.' The second night he again went up into the old castle, sat down by the fire, and once more began his old song 'if I could but shudder.' When midnight came, an uproar and noise of tumbling about was heard, at first it was low, but it grew louder and louder. Then it was quiet for a while, and at length with a loud scream, half a man came down the chimney and fell before him. 'Hullo.' Cried he, 'another half belongs to this. This is not enough.' Then the uproar began again, there was a roaring and howling, and the other half fell down likewise. 'Wait, said he, 'I will just stoke up the fire a little for you.' When he had done that and looked round again, the two pieces were joined together, and a hideous man was sitting in his place. 'That is no part of our bargain, said the youth, 'the bench is mine.' The man wanted to push him away, the youth, however, would not allow that, but thrust him off with all his strength, and seated himself again in his own place. Then still more men fell down, one after the other, they brought nine dead men's legs and two skulls, and set them up and played at nine-pins with them. The youth also wanted to play and said 'listen you, can I join you.' 'Yes, if you have any money.' Money enough, replied he, 'but your balls are not quite round.' Then he took the skulls and put them in the lathe and turned them till they were round. 'There, now they will roll better.' Said he. 'Hurrah. Now we'll have fun.' He played with them and lost some of his money, but when it struck twelve, everything vanished from his sight. He lay down and quietly fell asleep. Next morning the king came to inquire after him. 'How has it fared with you this time.' Asked he. 'I have been playing at nine-pins, he answered, 'and have lost a couple of farthings.' 'Have you not shuddered then.' 'What.' Said he, 'I have had a wonderful time. If I did but know what it was to shudder.' The third night he sat down again on his bench and said quite sadly 'if I could but shudder.' When it grew late, six tall men came in and brought a coffin. Then said he 'ha, ha, that is certainly my little cousin, who died only a few days ago, and he beckoned with his finger, and cried 'come, little cousin, come.' They placed the coffin on the ground, but he went to it and took the lid off, and a dead man lay therein. He felt his face, but it was cold as ice. 'Wait, said he, 'I will warm you a little, and went to the fire and warmed his hand and laid it on the dead man's face, but he remained cold. Then he took him out, and sat down by the fire and laid him on his breast and rubbed his arms that the blood might circulate again. As this also did no good, he thought to himself 'when two people lie in bed together, they warm each other, and carried him to the bed, covered him over and lay down by him. After a short time the dead man became warm too, and began to move. Then said the youth, 'see, little cousin, have I not warmed you.' The dead man, however, got up and cried 'now will I strangle you.' 'What.' Said he, 'is that the way you thank me. You shall at once go into your coffin again, and he took him up, threw him into it, and shut the lid. Then came the six men and carried him away again. 'I cannot manage to shudder, said he. 'I shall never learn it here as long as I live.' Then a man entered who was taller than all others, and looked terrible. He was old, however, and had a long white beard. 'You wretch, cried he, 'you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, for you shall die.' 'Not so fast, replied the youth. 'If I am to die, I shall have to have a say in it.' 'I will soon seize you, said the fiend. 'Softly, softly, do not talk so big. I am as strong as you are, and perhaps even stronger.' 'We shall see, said the old man. 'If you are stronger, I will let you go - come, we will try.' Then he led him by dark passages to a smith's forge, took an axe, and with one blow struck an anvil into the ground. 'I can do better than that, said the youth, and went to the other anvil. The old man placed himself near and wanted to look on, and his white beard hung down. Then the youth seized the axe, split the anvil with one blow, and in it caught the old man's beard. 'Now I have you, said the youth. 'Now it is your turn to die.' Then he seized an iron bar and beat the old man till he moaned and entreated him to stop, when he would give him great riches. The youth drew out the axe and let him go. The old man led him back into the castle, and in a cellar showed him three chests full of gold. 'Of these, said he, 'one part is for the poor, the other for the king, the third yours.' In the meantime it struck twelve, and the spirit disappeared, so that the youth stood in darkness. 'I shall still be able to find my way out, said he and felt about, found the way into the room, and slept there by his fire. Next morning the king came and said 'now you must have learnt what shuddering is.' 'No, he answered 'what can it be. My dead cousin was here, and a bearded man came and showed me a great deal of money down below, but no one told me what it was to shudder.' 'Then, said the king, 'you have saved the castle, and shall marry my daughter.' 'That is all very well, said he, 'but still I do not know what it is to shudder.' Then the gold was brought up and the wedding celebrated, but howsoever much the young king loved his wife, and however happy he was, he still said always 'if I could but shudder - if I could but shudder.' And this at last angered her. Her waiting-maid said 'I will find a cure for him, he shall soon learn what it is to shudder. She went out to the stream which flowed through the garden, and had a whole bucketful of gudgeons brought to her.

At night when the young king was sleeping, his wife was to draw the clothes off him and empty the bucketful of cold water with the gudgeons in it over him, so that the little fishes would sprawl about him. Then he woke up and cried 'oh, what makes me shudder so. - What makes me shudder so, dear wife. Ah. Now I know what it is to shudder.'

 

The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids

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

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

So now the wretch went for the third time to the house-door, knocked at it and said, open the door for me, children, your dear little mother has come home, and has brought every one of you something back from the forest with her. The little kids cried, first show us your paws that we may know if you are our dear little mother. Then he put his paws in through the window, and when the kids saw that they were white, they believed that all he said was true, and opened the door. But who should come in but the wolf they were terrified and wanted to hide themselves. One sprang under the table, the second into the bed, the third into the stove, the fourth into the kitchen, the fifth into the cupboard, the sixth under the washing-bowl, and the seventh into the clock-case. But the wolf found them all, and used no great ceremony, one after the other he swallowed them down his throat. The youngest, who was in the clock-case, was the only one he did not find. When the wolf had satisfied his appetite he took himself off, laid himself down under a tree in the green meadow outside, and began to sleep. Soon afterwards the old goat came home again from the forest. Ah. What a sight she saw there. The house-door stood wide open. The table, chairs, and benches were thrown down, the washing-bowl lay broken to pieces, and the quilts and pillows were pulled off the bed. She sought her children, but they were nowhere to be found. She called them one after another by name, but no one answered. At last, when she caame to the youngest, a soft voice cried, dear mother, I am in the clock-case. She took the kid out, and it told her that the wolf had come and had eaten all the others. Then you may imagine how she wept over her poor children.

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

When the wolf at length had had his fill of sleep, he got on his legs, and as the stones in his stomach made him very thirsty, he wanted to go to a well to drink. But when he began to walk and move about, the stones in his stomach knocked against each other and rattled. Then cried he, what rumbles and tumbles against my poor bones. I thought 'twas six kids, but it feels like big stones. And when he got to the well and stooped over the water to drink, the heavy stones made him fall in, and he had to drown miserably. When the seven kids saw that, they came running to the spot and cried aloud, the wolf is dead. The wolf is dead, and danced for joy round about the well with their mother.

 

Faithful John

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

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

Then faithful John saw that there was no help for it now, and with a heavy heart and many sighs, sought out the key from the great bunch. When he opened the door, he went in first, and thought by standing before him he could hide the portrait so that the king should not see it in front of him. But what good was this. The king stood on tip-toe and saw it over his shoulder. And when he saw the portrait of the maiden, which was so magnificent and shone with gold and precious stones, he fell fainting to the ground. Faithful John took him up, carried him to his bed, and sorrowfully thought 'the misfortune has befallen us, Lord God, what will be the end of it.' Then he strengthened him with wine, until he came to himself again. The first words the king said were 'ah, the beautiful portrait. Whose it it.' 'That is the princess of the golden dwelling, answered faithful John. Then the king continued 'my love for her is so great, that if all the leaves on all the trees were tongues, they could not declare it. I will give my life to win her. You are my most faithful John, you must help me.

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

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

Faithful John bade the king stay behind on the ship, and wait for him. 'Perhaps I shall bring the princess with me, said he, 'therefore see that everything is in order, have the golden vessels set out and the whole ship decorated.' Then he gathered together in his apron all kinds of golden things, went on shore and walked straight to the royal palace. When he entered the courtyard of the palace, a beautiful girl was standing there by the well with two golden buckets in her hand, drawing water with them. And when she was just turning round to carry away the sparkling water she saw the stranger, and asked who he was. So he answered 'I am a merchant, and opened his apron, and let her look in. Then she cried 'oh, what beautiful golden things.' And put her pails down and looked at the golden wares one after the other. Then said the girl 'the princess must see these, she has such great pleasure in golden things, that she will buy all you have.' She took him by the hand and led him upstairs, for she was the waiting-maid. When the king's daughter saw the wares, she was quite delighted and said 'they are so beautifully worked, that I will buy them all from you.' But faithful John said 'I am only the servant of a rich merchant. The things I have here are not to be compared with those my master has in his ship. They are the most beautiful and valuable things that have ever been made in gold.' When she wanted to have everything brought up to her, he said 'there are so many of them that it would take a great many days to do that, and so many rooms would be required to exhibit them, that your house is not big enough.' Then her curiosity and longing were still more excited, until at last she said 'conduct me to the ship, I will go there myself, and behold the treasures of your master.' At this faithful John was quite delighted, and led her to the ship, and when the king saw her, he perceived that her beauty was even greater than the picture had represented it to be, and thought no other than that his heart would burst in twain. Then she boarded the ship, and the king led her within. Faithful John, however, remained with the helmsman, and ordered the ship to be pushed off, saying 'set all sail, till it fly like a bird in the air.' Within, the king showed her the golden vessels, every one of them, also the wild beasts and strange animals. Many hours went by whilst she was seeing everything, and in her delight she did not observe that the ship was sailing away. After she had looked at the last, she thanked the merchant and wanted to go home, but when she came to the side of the ship, she saw that it was on the high seas far from land, and hurrying onwards with all sail set. 'Ah, cried she in her alarm, 'I am betrayed. I am carried away and have fallen into the power of a merchant - I would rather die.' The king, however, seized her hand, and said 'I am not a merchant. I am a king, and of no meaner origin than you are, and if I have carried you away with subtlety, that has come to pass because of my exceeding great love for you. The first time that I looked on your portrait, I fell fainting to the ground.' When the princess of the golden dwelling heard this, she was comforted, and her heart was drawn to him, so that she willingly consented to be his wife. It so happened, while they were sailing onwards over the deep sea, that faithful John, who was sitting on the fore part of the vessel, making music, saw three ravens in the air, which came flying towards them. At this he stopped playing and listened to what they were saying to each other, for that he well understood. One cried 'oh, there he is carrying home the princess of the golden dwelling.' 'Yes, replied the second, 'but he has not got her yet.' Said the third 'but he has got her, she is sitting beside him in the ship.' Then the first began again, and cried 'what good will that do him. When they reach land a chestnut horse will leap forward to meet him, and the prince will want to mount it, but if he does that, it will run away with him, and rise up into the air, and he will never see his maiden more.' Spoke the second 'but is there no escape.' 'Oh, yes, if someone else mounts it swiftly, and takes out the pistol which he will find in its holster, and shoots the horse dead, the young king is saved. But who knows that. And whosoever does know it, and tells it to him, will be turned to stone from the toe to the knee.' Then said the second 'I know more than that, even if the horse be killed, the young king will still not keep his bride. When they go into the castle together, a wrought bridal garment will be lying there in a dish, and looking as if it were woven of gold and silver, it is, however, nothing but sulphur and pitch, and if he put it on, it will burn him to the very bone and marrow.' Said the third 'is there no escape at all.' 'Oh, yes, replied the second, 'if any one with gloves on seizes the garment and throws it into the fire and burns it, the young king will be saved. But what good will that do. Whosoever knows it and tells it to him, half his body will become stone from the knee to the heart.' Then said the third 'I know still more, even if the bridal garment be burnt, the young king will still not have his bride. After the wedding, when the dancing begins and the young queen is dancing, she will suddenly turn pale and fall down as if dead, and if some one does not lift her up and draw three drops of blood from her right breast and spit them out again, she will die. But if any one who knows that were to declare it, he would become stone from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot.' When the ravens had spoken of this together, they flew onwards, and faithful John had well understood everything, but from that time forth he became quiet and sad, for if he concealed what he had heard from his master, the latter would be unfortunate, and if he disclosed it to him, he himself must sacrifice his life. At length, however, he said to himself 'I will save my master, even if it bring destruction on myself.' When therefore they came to shore, all happened as had been foretold by the ravens, and a magnificent chestnut horse sprang forward. 'Good, said the king, 'he shall carry me to my palace, and was about to mount it when faithful John got before him, jumped quickly on it, drew the pistol out of the holster, and shot the horse. Then the other attendants of the king, who were not very fond of faithful John, cried 'how shameful to kill the beautiful animal, that was to have carried the king to his palace.' But the king said 'hold your peace and leave him alone, he is my most faithful John. Who knows what good may come of this.' They went into the palace, and in the hall there stood a dish, and therein lay the bridal garment looking no otherwise than as if it were made of gold and silver. The young king went towards it and was about to take hold of it, but faithful John pushed him away, seized it with gloves on, carried it quickly to the fire and burnt it. The other attendants again began to murmur, and said 'behold, now he is even burning the king's bridal garment.' But the young king said 'who knows what good he may have done, leave him alone, he is my most faithful John.' And now the wedding was solemnized - the dance began, and the bride also took part in it, then faithful John was watchful and looked into her face, and suddenly she turned pale and fell to the ground as if she were dead. On this he ran hastily to her, lifted her up and bore her into a chamber - then he laid her down, and knelt and sucked the three drops of blood from her right breast, and spat them out. Immediately she breathed again and recovered herself, but the young king had seen this, and being ignorant why faithful John had done it, was angry and cried 'throw him into a dungeon.' Next morning faithful John was condemned, and led to the gallows, and when he stood on high, and was about to be executed, he said 'every one who has to die is permitted before his end to make one last speech, may I too claim the right.' 'Yes, answered the king, 'it shall be granted unto you.' Then said faithful John 'I am unjustly condemned, and have always been true to you, and he related how he had hearkened to the conversation of the ravens when on the sea, and how he had been obliged to do all these things in order to save his master. Then cried the king 'oh, my most faithful John. Pardon, pardon - bring him down.' But as faithful John spoke the last word he had fallen down lifeless and become a stone.

Thereupon the king and the queen suffered great anguish, and the king said 'ah, how ill I have requited great fidelity.' And ordered the stone figure to be taken up and placed in his bedroom beside his bed. And as often as he looked on it he wept and said 'ah, if I could bring you to life again, my most faithful John.'

Some time passed and the queen bore twins, two sons who grew fast and were her delight. Once when the queen was at church and the father was sitting with his two children playing beside him, he looked at the stone figure again, sighed, and full of grief he said 'ah, if I could but bring you to life again, my most faithful John.' Then the stone began to speak and said 'you can bring me to life again if you will use for that purpose what is dearest to you.' Then cried the king 'I will give everything I have in the world for you.' The stone continued 'if you will cut off the heads of your two children with your own hand, and sprinkle me with their blood, I shall be restored to life.'

The king was terrified when he heard that he himself must kill his dearest children, but he thought of faithful John's great fidelity, and how he had died for him, drew his sword, and with his own hand cut off the children's heads. And when he had smeared the stone with their blood, life returned to it, and faithful John stood once more safe and healthy before him. He said to the king 'your truth shall not go unrewarded, and took the heads of the children, put them on again, and rubbed the wounds with their blood, at which they became whole again immediately, and jumped about, and went on playing as if nothing had happened. Then the king was full of joy, and when he saw the queen coming he hid faithful John and the two children in a great cupboard. When she entered, he said to her 'have you been praying in the church.' 'Yes, answered she, 'but I have constantly been thinking of faithful John and what misfortune has befallen him through us.' Then said he 'dear wife, we can give him his life again, but it will cost us our two little sons, whom we must sacrifice.' The queen turned pale, and her heart was full of terror, but she said 'we owe it to him, for his great fidelity.' Then the king was rejoiced that she thought as he had thought, and went and opened the cupboard, and brought forth faithful John and the children, and said 'God be praised, he is delivered, and we have our little sons again also, and told her how everything had occurred. Then they dwelt together in much happiness until their death.

 

The Good Bargain

There was once a peasant who had driven his cow to the fair, and sold her for seven talers. On the way home he had to pass a pond, and already from afar he heard the frogs crying, aik, aik, aik, aik. Well, said he to himself, they are talking without rhyme or reason, it is seven that I have received, not eight. When he got to the water, he cried to them, stupid animals that you are. Don't you know better than that. It is seven thalers and not eight. The frogs, however, stuck to their, aik aik, aik, aik. Come, then, if you won't believe it, I can count it out to you. And he took his money out of his pocket and counted out the seven talers, always reckoning four and twenty groschen to a taler. The frogs, however, paid no attention to his reckoning, but still cried, aik, aik, aik, aik. What, cried the peasant, quite angry, if you know better than I, count it yourselves, and threw all the money at them into the water. He stood still and wanted to wait until they were through and had returned to him what was his, but the frogs maintained their opinion and cried continually, aik, aik, aik, aik. And besides that, did not throw the money out again. He still waited a long while until evening came on and he was forced to go home. Then he abused the frogs and cried, you water-splashers, you thick-heads, you goggle-eyes, you have great mouths and can screech till you hurt one's ears, but you cannot count seven talers. Do you think I'm going to stand here till you get through. And with that he went away, but the frogs still cried, aik, aik, aik, aik, after him till he went home sorely vexed. After a while he bought another cow, which he slaughtered, and he made the calculation that if he sold the meat well he might gain as much as the two cows were worth, and have the hide into the bargain. When therefore he got to the town with the meat, a great pack of dogs were gathered together in front of the gate, with a large greyhound at the head of them, which jumped at the meat, sniffed at it, and barked, wow, wow, wow. As there was no stopping him, the peasant said to him, yes, yes, I know quite well that you are saying wow, wow, wow, because you want some of the meat, but I should be in a fine state if I were to give it to you. The dog, however, answered nothing but wow, wow. Will you promise not to devour it all then, and will you go bail for your companions. Wow, wow, wow, said the dog. Well, if you insist on it, I will leave it for you, I know you well, and know whom you serve, but this I tell you, I must have my money in three days or else it will go ill with you, you can just bring it out to me. Thereupon he unloaded the meat and turned back again. The dogs fell upon it and loudly barked, wow, wow. The countryman, who heard them from afar, said to himself, hark, now they all want some, but the big one is responsible to me for it. When three days had passed, the countryman thought, to-night my money will be in my pocket, and was quite delighted. But no one would come and pay it. There is no trusting any one now, said he. At last he lost patience, and went into the town to the butcher and demanded his money. The butcher thought it was a joke, but the peasant said, jesting apart, I will have my money. Did not the big dog bring you the whole of the slaughtered cow three days ago. Then the butcher grew angry, snatched a broomstick and drove him out. Wait, said the peasant, there is still some justice in the world, and went to the royal palace and begged for an audience. He was led before the king, who sat there with his daughter, and asked him what injury he had suffered. Alas, said he, the frogs and the dogs have taken from me what is mine, and the butcher has paid me for it with the stick. And he related at full length what had happened. Thereupon the king's daughter began to laugh heartily, and the king said to him, I cannot give you justice in this, but you shall have my daughter to wife for it - in her whole life she has never yet laughed as she has just done at you, and I have promised her to him who could make her laugh. You may thank God for your good fortune. Oh, answered the peasant, I do not want her at all. I have a wife already, and she is one too many for me, when I go home, it is just as if I had a wife standing in every corner. Then the king grew angry, and said, you are a boor. Ah, lord king, replied the peasant, what can you expect from an ox, but beef. Stop, answered the king, you shall have another reward. Be off now, but come back in three days, and then you shall have five hundred counted out in full. When the peasant went out by the gate, the sentry said, you have made the king's daughter laugh, so you will certainly receive something good. Yes, that is what I think, answered the peasant, five hundred are to be counted out to me. Listen, said the soldier, give me some of it. What can you do with all that money. As it is you, said the peasant, you shall have two hundred, present yourself in three days, time before the king, and let it be paid to you. A Jew, who was standing by and had heard the conversation, ran after the peasant, held him by the coat, and said, oh, wonder of God, what a child of fortune you are. I will change it for you, I will change it for you into small coins, what do you want with the great talers. Jew, said the countryman, three hundred can you still have, give it to me at once in coin, in three days from this, you will be paid for it by the king. The Jew was delighted with the small profit, and brought the sum in bad groschen, three of which were worth two good ones. After three days had passed, according to the king's command, the peasant went before the king. Pull his coat off, said the latter, and he shall have his five hundred. Ah, said the peasant, they no longer belong to me, I presented two hundred of them to the sentry, and three hundred the Jew has changed for me, so by right nothing at all belongs to me. In the meantime the soldier and the Jew entered and claimed what they had gained from the peasant, and they received the blows strictly counted out. The soldier bore it patiently and knew already how it tasted, but the Jew said sorrowfully, alas, alas, are these the heavy talers. The king could not help laughing at the peasant, and when all his anger was spent, he said, as you have already lost your reward before it fell to your lot, I will give you compensation. Go into my treasure chamber and get some money for yourself, as much as you will. The peasant did not need to be told twice, and stuffed into his big pockets whatsoever would go in. Afterwards he went to an inn and counted out his money. The Jew had crept after him and heard how he muttered to himself, that rogue of a king has cheated me after all, why could he not have given me the money himself, and then I should have known what I had. How can I tell now if what I have had the luck to put in my pockets is right or not. Good heavens, said the Jew to himself, that man is speaking disrespectfully of our lord the king, I will run and inform, and then I shall get a reward, and he will be punished as well. When the king heard of the peasant's words he fell into a passion, and commanded the Jew to go and bring the offender to him. The Jew ran to the peasant, you are to go at once to the lord king in the very clothes you have on. I know what's right better than that, answered the peasant, I shall have a new coat made first. Do you think that a man with so much money in his pocket should go there in his ragged old coat. The Jew, as he saw that the peasant would not stir without another coat, and as he feared that if the king's anger cooled, he himself would lose his reward, and the peasant his punishment, said, I will out of pure friendship lend you a coat for the short time. What people will not do for love. The peasant was contented with this, put the Jew's coat on, and went off with him. The king reproached the countryman because of the evil speaking of which the Jew had informed him. Ah, said the peasant, what a Jew says is always false - no true word ever comes out of his mouth. That rascal there is capable of maintaining that I have his coat on. What is that, shrieked the Jew, is the coat not mine. Have I not lent it to you out of pure friendship, in order that you might appear before the lord king. When the king heard that, he said, the Jew has assuredly deceived one or the other of us, either myself or the peasant. And again he ordered something to be counted out to him in hard thalers. The peasant, however, went home in the good coat, with the good money in his pocket, and said to himself, this time I have made it.

 

The Twelve Brothers

There were once upon a time a king and a queen who lived happily together and had twelve children, but they were all boys. Then said the king to his wife, if the thirteenth child which you are about to bring into the world, is a girl, the twelve boys shall die, in order that her possessions may be great, and that the kingdom may fall to her alone. He even caused twelve coffins to be made, which were already filled with shavings, and in each lay a little death pillow, and he had them taken into a locked-up room, and then he gave the queen the key of it, and bade her not to speak of this to anyone.

The mother, however, now sat and lamented all day long, until the youngest son, who was always with her, and whom she had named benjamin, from the bible, said to her, dear mother, why are you so sad.

Dearest child, she answered, I may not tell you. But he let her have no rest until she went and unlocked the room, and showed him the twelve coffins ready filled with shavings. Then she said, my dearest benjamin, your father has had these coffins made for you and for your eleven brothers, for if I bring a little girl into the world, you are all to be killed and buried in them. And as she wept while she was saying this, the son comforted her and said, weep not, dear mother, we will save ourselves, and go hence. But she said, go forth into the forest with your eleven brothers, and let one sit constantly on the highest tree which can be found, and keep watch, looking towards the tower here in the castle. If I give birth to a little son, I will put up a white flag, and then you may venture to come back. But if I bear a daughter, I will hoist a red flag, and then fly hence as quickly as you are able, and may the good God protect you. And every night I will rise up and pray for you - in winter that you may be able to warm yourself at a fire, and in summer that you may not faint away in the heat.

After she had blessed her sons therefore, they went forth into the forest. They each kept watch in turn, and sat on the highest oak and looked towards the tower. When eleven days had passed and the turn came to benjamin, he saw that a flag was being raised. It was, however, not the white, but the blood-red flag which announced that they were all to die. When the brothers heard that, they were very angry and said, are we all to suffer death for the sake of a girl. We swear that we will avenge ourselves - wheresoever we find a girl, her red blood shall flow.

Thereupon they went deeper into the forest, and in the midst of it, where it was the darkest, they found a little bewitched hut, which was standing empty. Then said they, here we will dwell, and you benjamin, who are the youngest and weakest, you shall stay at home and keep house, we others will go out and fetch food.

Then they went into the forest and shot hares, wild deer, birds and pigeons, and whatsoever there was to eat. This they took to benjamin, who had to dress it for them in order that they might appease their hunger. They lived together ten years in the little hut, and the time did not appear long to them.

The little daughter which their mother the queen had given birth to, was now grown up. She was good of heart, and fair of face, and had a golden star on her forehead. Once, on a great washing, she saw twelve men's shirts among the things, and asked her mother, to whom do these twelve shirts belong, for they are far too small for father. Then the queen answered with a heavy heart, dear child, these belong to your twelve brothers. Said the maiden, where are my twelve brothers, I have never yet heard of them. She replied, God knows where they are, they are wandering about the world. Then she took the maiden and opened the chamber for her, and showed her the twelve coffins with the shavings, and the death pillows. These coffins, said she, were destined for your brothers, who went away secretly before you were born, and she related to her how everything had happened. Then said the maiden, dear mother, weep not, I will go and seek my brothers.

So she took the twelve shirts and went forth, and straight into the great forest. She walked the whole day, and in the evening she came to the bewitched hut. Then she entered it and found a young boy, who asked, from whence do you come, and whither are you bound, and was astonished that she was so beautiful, and wore royal garments, and had a star on her forehead. And she answered, I am a king's daughter, and am seeking my twelve brothers, and I will walk as far as the sky is blue until I find them. And she showed him the twelve shirts which belonged to them. Then benjamin saw that she was his sister, and said, I am benjamin, your youngest brother. And she began to weep for joy, and benjamin wept also, and they kissed and embraced each other with the greatest love. But after this he said, dear sister, there is still one difficulty. We have agreed that every maiden whom we meet shall die, because we have been obliged to leave our kingdom on account of a girl. Then said she, I will willingly die, if by so doing I can save my twelve brothers.

No, answered he, you shall not die. Seat yourself beneath this tub until our eleven brothers come, and then I will soon come to an agreement with them.

She did so, and when it was night the others came from hunting, and their dinner was ready. And as they were sitting at table, and eating, they asked, what news is there. Said benjamin, don't you know anything. No, they answered. He continued, you have been in the forest and I have stayed at home, and yet I know more than you do. Tell us then, they cried. He answered, but promise me that the first maiden who meets us shall not be killed.

Yes, they all cried, she shall have mercy, only do tell us. Then said he, our sister is here, and he lifted up the tub, and the king's daughter came forth in her royal garments with the golden star on her forehead, and she was beautiful, delicate and fair. Then they were all rejoiced, and fell on her neck, and kissed and loved her with all their hearts.

Now she stayed at home with benjamin and helped him with the work. The eleven went into the forest and caught game, and deer, and birds, and wood-pigeons that they might have food, and the little sister and benjamin took care to make it ready for them. She sought for the wood for cooking and herbs for vegetables, and put the pans on the fire so that the dinner was always ready when the eleven came. She likewise kept order in the little house, and put beautifully white clean coverings on the little beds and the brothers were always contented and lived in great harmony with her.

Once upon a time the two at home had prepared a wonderful feast, and when they were all together, they sat down and ate and drank and were full of gladness. There was, however, a little garden belonging to the bewitched house wherein stood twelve lily flowers, which are likewise called student-lilies. She wished to give her brothers pleasure, and plucked the twelve flowers, and thought she would present each brother with one while at dinner. But at the self-same moment that she plucked the flowers the twelve brothers were changed into twelve ravens, and flew away over the forest, and the house and garden vanished likewise. And now the poor maiden was alone in the wild forest, and when she looked around, an old woman was standing near her who said, my child, what have you done. Why did you not leave the twelve white flowers growing. They were your brothers, who are now forevermore changed into ravens. The maiden said, weeping, is there no way of saving them.

No, said the woman, there is but one in the whole world, and that is so hard that you will not save them by it, for you must be dumb for seven years, and may not speak or laugh, and if you speak one single word, and only an hour of the seven years is wanting, all is in vain, and your brothers will be killed by the one word.

Then said the maiden in her heart, I know with certainty that I shall set my brothers free, and went and sought a high tree and seated herself in it and spun, and neither spoke nor laughed. Now it so happened that a king was hunting in the forest, who had a great greyhound which ran to the tree on which the maiden was sitting, and sprang about it, whining, and barking at her. Then the king came by and saw the beautiful king's daughter with the golden star on her brow, and was so charmed with her beauty that he called to ask her if she would be his wife. She made no answer, but nodded a little with her head. So he climbed up the tree himself, carried her down, placed her on his horse, and bore her home. Then the wedding was solemnized with great magnificence and rejoicing, but the bride neither spoke nor smiled. When they had lived happily together for a few years, the king's mother, who was a wicked woman, began to slander the young queen, and said to the king, this is a common beggar girl whom you have brought back with you. Who knows what wicked tricks she practises secretly. Even if she be dumb, and not able to speak, she still might laugh for once. But those who do not laugh have bad consciences.

At first the king would not believe it, but the old woman urged this so long, and accused her of so many evil things, that at last the king let himself be persuaded and sentenced her to death. And now a great fire was lighted in the courtyard in which she was to be burnt, and the king stood above at the window and looked on with tearful eyes, because he still loved her so much. And when she was bound fast to the stake, and the fire was licking at her clothes with its red tongue, the last instant of the seven years expired. Then a whirring sound was heard in the air, and twelve ravens came flying towards the place, and sank downwards, and when they touched the earth they were her twelve brothers, whom she had saved. They tore the fire asunder, extinguished the flames, set their dear sister free, and kissed and embraced her. And now as she dared to open her mouth and speak, she told the king why she had been dumb, and had never laughed. The king rejoiced when he heard that she was innocent, and they all lived in great unity until their death. The wicked step-mother was taken before the judge, and put into a barrel filled with boiling oil and venomous snakes, and died an evil death.

 

Brother and Sister

Little brother took his little sister by the hand and said, since our mother died we have had no happiness. Our step-mother beats us every day, and if we come near her she kicks us away with her foot. Our meals are the hard crusts of bread that are left over. And the little dog under the table is better off, for she often throws it a choice morsel. God pity us, if our mother only knew. Come, we will go forth together into the wide world.

They walked the whole day over meadows, fields, and stony places. And when it rained the little sister said, heaven and our hearts are weeping together. In the evening they came to a large forest, and they were so weary with sorrow and hunger and the long walk, that they lay down in a hollow tree and fell asleep. The next day when they awoke, the sun was already high in the sky, and shone down hot into the tree. Then the brother said, sister, I am thirsty. If I knew of a little brook I would go and just take a drink. I think I hear one running. The brother got up and took the little sister by the hand, and they set off to find the brook. But the wicked step-mother was a witch, and had seen how the two children had gone away, and had crept after them secretly, as witches creep, and had bewitched all the brooks in the forest.

Now when they found a little brook leaping brightly over the stones, the brother was going to drink out of it, but the sister heard how it said as it ran, who drinks of me will be a tiger. Who drinks of me will be a tiger. Then the sister cried, pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a wild beast, and tear me to pieces. The brother did not drink, although he was so thirsty, but said, I will wait for the next spring.

When they came to the next brook the sister heard this also say, who drinks of me will be a wolf. Who drinks of me will be a wolf. Then the sister cried out, pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a wolf, and devour me. The brother did not drink, and said, I will wait until we come to the next spring, but then I must drink, say what you like. For my thirst is too great. And when they came to the third brook the sister heard how it said as it ran, who drinks of me will be a roebuck. Who drinks of me will be a roebuck. The sister said, oh, I pray you, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a roebuck, and run away from me. But the brother had knelt down at once by the brook, and had bent down and drunk some of the water, and as soon as the first drops touched his lips he lay there in the form of a young roebuck.

And now the sister wept over her poor bewitched brother, and the little roe wept also, and sat sorrowfully near to her. But at last the girl said, be quiet, dear little roe, I will never, never leave you.

Then she untied her golden garter and put it round the roebuck's neck, and she plucked rushes and wove them into a soft cord. This she tied to the little animal and led it on, and she walked deeper and deeper into the forest.

And when they had gone a very long way they came at last to a little house, and the girl looked in. And as it was empty, she thought, we can stay here and live. Then she sought for leaves and moss to make a soft bed for the roe. And every morning she went out and gathered roots and berries and nuts for herself, and brought tender grass for the roe, who ate out of her hand, and was content and played round about her. In the evening, when the sister was tired, and had said her prayer, she laid her head upon the roebuck's back - that was her pillow, and she slept softly on it. And if only the brother had had his human form it would have been a delightful life. For some time they were alone like this in the wilderness. But it happened that the king of the country held a great hunt in the forest. Then the blasts of the horns, the barking of dogs and the merry shouts of the huntsmen rang through the trees, and the roebuck heard all, and was only too anxious to be there. Oh, said he, to his sister, let me be off to the hunt, I cannot bear it any longer, and he begged so much that at last she agreed. But, said she to him, come back to me in the evening. I must shut my door for fear of the rough huntsmen, so knock and say, my little sister, let me in, that I may know you. And if you do not say that, I shall not open the door. Then the young roebuck sprang away. So happy was he and so merry in the open air. The king and the huntsmen saw the lovely animal, and started after him, but they could not catch him, and when they thought that they surely had him, away he sprang through the bushes and vanished. When it was dark he ran to the cottage, knocked, and said, my little sister, let me in. Then the door was opened for him, and he jumped in, and rested himself the whole night through upon his soft bed. The next day the hunt began again, and when the roebuck once more heard the bugle-horn, and the ho. Ho. Of the huntsmen, he had no peace, but said, sister, let me out, I must be off. His sister opened the door for him, and said, but you must be here again in the evening and say your pass-word. When the king and his huntsmen again saw the young roebuck with the golden collar, they all chased him, but he was too quick and nimble for them. This lasted the whole day, but by the evening the huntsmen had surrounded him, and one of them wounded him a little in the foot, so that he limped and ran slowly. Then a hunter crept after him to the cottage and heard how he said, my little sister, let me in, and saw that the door was opened for him, and was shut again at once. The huntsman took notice of it all, and went to the king and told him what he had seen and heard. Then the king said, to-morrow we will hunt once more. The little sister, however, was dreadfully frightened when she saw that her fawn was hurt. She washed the blood off him, laid herbs on the wound, and said, go to your bed, dear roe, that you may get well again. But the wound was so slight that the roebuck, next morning, did not feel it any more. And when he again heard the sport outside, he said, I cannot bear it, I must be there. They shall not find it so easy to catch me. The sister cried, and said, this time they will kill you, and here am I alone in the forest and forsaken by all the world. I will not let you out. Then you will have me die of grief, answered the roe. When I hear the bugle-horns I feel as if I must jump out of my skin. Then the sister could not do otherwise, but opened the door for him with a heavy heart, and the roebuck, full of health and joy, bounded into the forest. When the king saw him, he said to his huntsmen, now chase him all day long till night-fall, but take care that no one does him any harm. As soon as the sun had set, the king said to the huntsman, now come and show me the cottage in the wood. And when he was at the door, he knocked and called out, dear little sister, let me in. Then the door opened, and the king walked in, and there stood a maiden more lovely than any he had ever seen. The maiden was frightened when she saw, not her little roe, but a man come in who wore a golden crown upon his head. But the king looked kindly at her, stretched out his hand, and said, will you go with me to my palace and be my dear wife. Yes, indeed, answered the maiden, but the little roe must go with me, I cannot leave him. The king said, it shall stay with you as long as you live, and shall want nothing. Just then he came running in, and the sister again tied him with the cord of rushes, took it in her own hand, and went away with the king from the cottage. The king took the lovely maiden upon his horse and carried her to his palace, where the wedding was held with great pomp. She was now the queen, and they lived for a long time happily together. The roebuck was tended and cherished, and ran about in the palace-garden. But the wicked step-mother, because of whom the children had gone out into the world, had never thought but that the sister had been torn to pieces by the wild beasts in the wood, and that the brother had been shot for a roebuck by the huntsmen. Now when she heard that they were so happy, and so well off, envy and jealousy rose in her heart and left her no peace, and she thought of nothing but how she could bring them again to misfortune. Her own daughter, who was ugly as night, and had only one eye, reproached her and said, a queen. That ought to have been my luck. Just be quiet, answered the old woman, and comforted her by saying, when the time comes I shall be ready. As time went on the queen had a pretty little boy, and it happened that the king was out hunting. So the old witch took the form of the chamber maid, went into the room where the queen lay, and said to her, come the bath is ready. It will do you good, and give you fresh strength. Make haste before it gets cold. Her daughter also was close by. So they carried the weakly queen into the bath-room, and put her into the bath. Then they shut the door and ran away. But in the bath-room they had made a fire of such hellish heat that the beautiful young queen was soon suffocated. When this was done the old woman took her daughter, put a nightcap on her head, and laid her in bed in place of the queen. She gave her too the shape and look of the queen, only she could not make good the lost eye. But in order that the king might not see it, she was to lie on the side on which she had no eye. In the evening when he came home and heard that he had a son he was heartily glad, and was going to the bed of his dear wife to see how she was. But the old woman quickly called out, for your life leave the curtains closed. The queen ought not to see the light yet, and must have rest. The king went away, and did not find out that a false queen was lying in the bed. But at midnight, when all slept, the nurse, who was sitting in the nursery by the cradle, and who was the only person awake, saw the door open and the true queen walk in. She took the child out of the cradle, laid it on her arm, and suckled it. Then she shook up its pillow, laid the child down again, and covered it with the little quilt. And she did not forget the roebuck, but went into the corner where it lay, and stroked its back. Then she went quite silently out of the door again. The next morning the nurse asked the guards whether anyone had come into the palace during the night, but they answered, no, we have seen no one. She came thus many nights and never spoke a word. The nurse always saw her, but she did not dare to tell anyone about it. When some time had passed in this manner, the queen began to speak in the night, and said, how fares my child, how fares my roe. Twice shall I come, then never more. The nurse did not answer, but when the queen had gone again, went to the king and told him all. The king said, ah, God. What is this. To-morrow night I will watch by the child. In the evening he went into the nursery, and at midnight the queen again appeared and said, how fares my child, how fares my roe. Once will I come, then never more. And she nursed the child as she was wont to do before she disappeared. The king dared not speak to her, but on the next night he watched again. Then she said, how fares my child, how fares my roe. This time I come, then never more. Then the king could not restrain himself. He sprang towards her, and said, you can be none other than my dear wife. She answered, yes, I am your dear wife, and at the same moment she received life again, and by God's grace became fresh, rosy and full of health. Then she told the king the evil deed which the wicked witch and her daughter had been guilty of towards her. The king ordered both to be led before the judge, and the judgment was delivered against them. The daughter was taken into the forest where she was torn to pieces by wild beasts, but the witch was cast into the fire and miserably burnt. And as soon as she was burnt to ashes, the roebuck changed his shape, and received his human form again, so the sister and brother lived happily together all their lives.

 

Rapunzel

There were once a man and a woman who had long in vain wished for a child. At length the woman hoped that God was about to grant her desire. These people had a little window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be seen, which was full of the most beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, however, surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into it because it belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was dreaded by all the world.

One day the woman was standing by this window and looking down into the garden, when she saw a bed which was planted with the most beautiful rampion - rapunzel, and it looked so fresh and green that she longed for it, and had the greatest desire to eat some. This desire increased every day, and as she knew that she could not get any of it, she quite pined away, and began to look pale and miserable. Then her husband was alarmed, and asked, what ails you, dear wife. Ah, she replied, if I can't eat some of the rampion, which is in the garden behind our house, I shall die.

The man, who loved her, thought, sooner than let your wife die, bring her some of the rampion yourself, let it cost what it will. At twilight, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to his wife. She at once made herself a salad of it, and ate it greedily. It tasted so good to her - so very good, that the next day she longed for it three times as much as before. If he was to have any rest, her husband must once more descend into the garden. In the gloom of evening, therefore, he let himself down again. But when he had clambered down the wall he was terribly afraid, for he saw the enchantress standing before him.

How can you dare, said she with angry look, descend into my garden and steal my rampion like a thief. You shall suffer for it. Ah, answered he, let mercy take the place of justice, I only made up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your rampion from the window, and felt such a longing for it that she would have died if she had not got some to eat. Then the enchantress allowed her anger to be softened, and said to him, if the case be as you say, I will allow you to take away with you as much rampion as you will, only I make one condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into the world. It shall be well treated, and I will care for it like a mother.

The man in his terror consented to everything, and when the woman was brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the child the name of rapunzel, and took it away with her. Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child under the sun. When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which lay in a forest, and had neither stairs nor door, but quite at the top was a little window. When the enchantress wanted to go in, she placed herself beneath it and cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair to me.

Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as spun gold, and when she heard the voice of the enchantress she unfastened her braided tresses, wound them round one of the hooks of the window above, and then the hair fell twenty ells down, and the enchantress climbed up by it. After a year or two, it came to pass that the king's son rode through the forest and passed by the tower.

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

Once when he was thus standing behind a tree, he saw that an enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair. Then rapunzel let down the braids of her hair, and the enchantress climbed up to her. If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I too will try my fortune, said he, and the next day when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair. Immediately the hair fell down and the king's son climbed up.

At first rapunzel was terribly frightened when a man, such as her eyes had never yet beheld, came to her. But the king's son began to talk to her quite like a friend, and told her that his heart had been so stirred that it had let him have no rest, and he had been forced to see her. Then rapunzel lost her fear, and when he asked her if she would take him for her husband, and she saw that he was young and handsome, she thought, he will love me more than old dame gothel does. And she said yes, and laid her hand in his. She said, I will willingly go away with you, but I do not know how to get down.

Bring with you a skein of silk every time that you come, and I will weave a ladder with it, and when that is ready I will descend, and you will take me on your horse. They agreed that until that time he should come to her every evening, for the old woman came by day. The enchantress remarked nothing of this, until once rapunzel said to her, tell me, dame gothel, how it happens that you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young king's son - he is with me in a moment. Ah.

You wicked child, cried the enchantress. What do I hear you say. I thought I had separated you from all the world, and yet you have deceived me. In her anger she clutched rapunzel's beautiful tresses, wrapped them twice round her left hand, seized a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snap, they were cut off, and the lovely braids lay on the ground. And she was so pitiless that she took poor rapunzel into a desert where she had to live in great grief and misery.

On the same day that she cast out rapunzel, however, the enchantress fastened the braids of hair, which she had cut off, to the hook of the window, and when the king's son came and cried, rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair, she let the hair down. The king's son ascended, but instead of finding his dearest rapunzel, he found the enchantress, who gazed at him with wicked and venomous looks. Aha, she cried mockingly, you would fetch your dearest, but the beautiful bird sits no longer singing in the nest. The cat has got it, and will scratch out your eyes as well.

Rapunzel is lost to you. You will never see her again. The king's son was beside himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his eyes. Then he wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but roots and berries, and did naught but lament and weep over the loss of his dearest wife. Thus he roamed about in misery for some years, and at length came to the desert where rapunzel, with the twins to which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness.

He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it, and when he approached, rapunzel knew him and fell on his neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes and they grew clear again, and he could see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented.

 

The Three Little Men in the Wood

There was once a man whose wife died, and a woman whose husband died, and the man had a daughter, and the woman also had a daughter. The girls were acquainted with each other, and went out walking together, and afterwards came to the woman in her house. Then said she to the man's daughter, listen, tell your father that I would like to marry him, and then you shall wash yourself in milk every morning, and drink wine, but my own daughter shall wash herself in water and drink water. The girl went home, and told her father what the woman had said. The man said, what shall I do. Marriage is a joy and also a torment. At length as he could come to no decision, he pulled off his boot, and said, take this boot, it has a hole in the sole of it. Go with it up to the loft, hang it on the big nail, and then pour water into it. If it hold the water, then I will again take a wife, but if it run through, I will not. The girl did as she was bid, but the water drew the hole together and the boot became full to the top. She informed her father how it had turned out. Then he himself went up, and when he saw that she was right, he went to the widow and wooed her, and the wedding was celebrated. The next morning, when the two girls got up, there stood before the man's daughter milk for her to wash in and wine for her to drink, but before the woman's daughter stood water to wash herself with and water for drinking. On the second morning, stood water for washing and water for drinking before the man's daughter as well as before the woman's daughter. And on the third morning stood water for washing and water for drinking before the man's daughter, and milk for washing and wine for drinking, before the woman's daughter, and so it continued. The woman became her step-daughter's bitterest enemy, and day by day did her best to treat her still worse. She was also envious because her step-daughter was beautiful and lovable, and her own daughter ugly and repulsive. Once, in winter, when everything was frozen as hard as a stone, and hill and vale lay covered with snow, the woman made a frock of paper, called her step-daughter, and said, here, put on this dress and go out into the wood, and fetch me a little basketful of strawberries - I have a fancy for some. Good heavens, said the girl, no strawberries grow in winter. The ground is frozen, and besides the snow has covered everything. And why am I to go in this paper frock. It is so cold outside that one's very breath freezes. The wind will blow through the frock, and the thorns tear it off my body. Will you contradict me, said the step-mother. See that you go, and do not show your face again until you have the basketful of strawberries. Then she gave her a little piece of hard bread, and said, this will last you the day, and thought, you will die of cold and hunger outside, and will never be seen again by me. Then the maiden was obedient, and put on the paper frock, and went out with the basket. Far and wide there was nothing but snow, and not a green blade to be seen. When she got into the wood she saw a small house out of which peeped three little men. She wished them good day, and knocked modestly at the door. They cried, come in, and she entered the room and seated herself on the bench by the stove, where she began to warm herself and eat her breakfast. The little men said, give us some of it, too. Willingly, she said, and divided her piece of bread in two 'and gave them the half. They asked, what do you here in the forest in the winter time, in your thin dress. Ah, she answered, I am to look for a basketful of strawberries, and am not to go home until I can take them with me. When she had eaten her bread, they gave her a broom and said, sweep away the snow at the back door. But when she was outside, the three little men said to each other, what shall we give her as she is so good, and has shared her bread with us. Then said the first, my gift is, that she shall every day grow more beautiful. The second said, my gift is, that gold pieces shall fall out of her mouth every time she speaks. The third said, my gift is, that a king shall come and take her to wife. The girl, however, did as the little men had bidden her, swept away the snow behind the little house with the broom, and what did she find but real ripe strawberries, which came up quite dark-red out of the snow. In her joy she hastily gathered her basket full, thanked the little men, shook hands with each of them, and ran home to take her step-mother what she had longed for so much. When she went in and said good-evening, a piece of gold at once fell out of her mouth. Thereupon she related what had happened to her in the wood, but with every word she spoke, gold pieces fell from her mouth, until very soon the whole room was covered with them. Now look at her arrogance, cried the step-sister, to throw about gold in that way. But she was secretly envious of it, and wanted to go into the forest also to seek strawberries. The mother said, no, my dear little daughter, it is too cold, you might freeze to death. However, as her daughter let her have no peace, the mother at last yielded, made her a magnificent coat of fur, which she was obliged to put on, and gave her bread-and-butter and cake for her journey. The girl went into the forest and straight up to the little house. The three little men peeped out again, but she did not greet them, and without looking round at them and without speaking to them, she went awkwardly into the room, seated herself by the stove, and began to eat her bread-and-butter and cake. Give us some of it, cried the little men. But she replied, there is not enough for myself, so how can I give it away to other people. When she had finished eating, they said, there is a broom for you, sweep it all clean in front of the back-door. Sweep for yourselves, she answered, I am not your servant. When she saw that they were not going to give her anything, she went out by the door. Then the little men said to each other, what shall we give her as she is so naughty, and has a wicked envious heart, that will never let her do a good turn to any one. The first said, I grant that she may grow uglier every day. The second said, I grant that at every word she says, a toad shall spring out of her mouth. The third said, I grant that she may die a miserable death. The maiden looked for strawberries outside, but as she found none, she went angrily home. And when she opened her mouth, and was about to tell her mother what had happened to her in the wood, with every word she said, a toad sprang out of her mouth, so that everyone was seized with horror of her. Then the step-mother was still more enraged, and thought of nothing but how to do every possible injury to the man's daughter, whose beauty, however, grew daily greater. At length she took a cauldron, set it on the fire, and boiled yarn in it. When it was boiled, she flung it on the poor girl's shoulder, and gave her an axe in order that she might go on the frozen river, cut a hole in the ice, and rinse the yarn. She was obedient, went thither and cut a hole in the ice. And while she was in the midst of her cutting, a splendid carriage came driving up, in which sat the king. The carriage stopped, and the king asked, my child, who are you, and what are you doing here. I am a poor girl, and I am rinsing yarn. Then the king felt compassion, and when he saw that she was so very beautiful, he said to her, will you go away with me. Ah, yes, with all my heart, she answered, for she was glad to get away from the mother and sister. So she got into the carriage and drove away with the king, and when they arrived at his palace, the wedding was celebrated with great pomp, as the little men had granted to the maiden. When a year was over, the young queen bore a son, and as the step-mother had heard of her great good-fortune, she came with her daughter to the palace and pretended that she wanted to pay her a visit. But, when the king had gone out, and no one else was present, the wicked woman seized the queen by the head, and her daughter seized her by the feet, and they lifted her out of the bed, and threw her out of the window into the stream which flowed by. Then the ugly daughter laid herself in the bed, and the old woman covered her up over her head. When the king came home again and wanted to speak to his wife, the old woman cried, hush, hush, that can't be now, she is lying in a violent sweat. You must let her rest to-day. The king suspected no evil, and did not come back again till next morning. And as he talked with his wife and she answered him, with every word a toad leaped out, whereas formerly a piece of gold had fallen. Then he asked what that could be, but the old woman said that she had got that from the violent sweat, and would soon lose it again. During the night, however, the scullion saw a duck come swimming up the gutter, and it said - king, what art thou doing now. Sleepest thou, or wakest thou. And as he returned no answer, it said - and my guests, what may they do. The scullion said - they are sleeping soundly, too. Then it asked again - what does little baby mine. He answered - sleepeth in her cradle fine. Then she went upstairs in the form of the queen, nursed the baby, shook up its little bed, covered it over, and then swam away again down the gutter in the shape of a duck. She came thus for two nights. On the third, she said to the scullion, go and tell the king to take his sword and swing it three times over me on the threshold. Then the scullion ran and told this to the king, who came with his sword and swung it thrice over the spirit, and at the third time, his wife stood before him strong, living, and healthy as she had been before. Thereupon the king was full of great joy, but he kept the queen hidden in a chamber until the sunday, when the baby was to be christened. And when it was christened he said, what does a person deserve who drags another out of bed and throws him in the water. The wretch deserves nothing better, answered the old woman, than to be taken and put in a barrel stuck full of nails, and rolled down hill into the water. Then, said the king, you have pronounced your own sentence. And he ordered such a barrel to be brought, and the old woman to be put into it with her daughter, and then the top was hammered on, and the barrel rolled down hill until it went into the river.

 

Hansel and Grethel
 

Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread. Now when he thought over this by night in his bed, and tossed about in his anxiety, he groaned and said to his wife, what is to become of us. How are we to feed our poor children, when we no longer have anything even for ourselves. I'll tell you what, husband, answered the woman, early to-morrow morning we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest. There we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of them. No, wife, said the man, I will not do that. How can I bear to leave my children alone in the forest. The wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces. O' you fool, said she, then we must all four die of hunger, you may as well plane the planks for our coffins, and she left him no peace until he consented. But I feel very sorry for the poor children, all the same, said the man.

The two children had also not been able to sleep for hunger, and had heard what their step-mother had said to their father. Gretel wept bitter tears, and said to Hansel, now all is over with us. Be quiet, Gretel, said Hansel, do not distress yourself, I will soon find a way to help us. And when the old folks had fallen asleep, he got up, put on his little coat, opened the door below, and crept outside. The moon shone brightly, and the white pebbles which lay in front of the house glittered like real silver pennies. Hansel stooped and stuffed the little pocket of his coat with as many as he could get in. Then he went back and said to Gretel, be comforted, dear little sister, and sleep in peace, God will not forsake us, and he lay down again in his bed. When day dawned, but before the sun had risen, the woman came and awoke the two children, saying get up, you sluggards. We are going into the forest to fetch wood. She gave each a little piece of bread, and said, there is something for your dinner, but do not eat it up before then, for you will get nothing else. Gretel took the bread under her apron, as Hansel had the pebbles in his pocket. Then they all set out together on the way to the forest. When they had walked a short time, Hansel stood still and peeped back at the house, and did so again and again. His father said, Hansel, what are you looking at there and staying behind for. Pay attention, and do not forget how to use your legs. Ah, father, said Hansel, I am looking at my little white cat, which is sitting up on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me. The wife said, fool, that is not your little cat, that is the morning sun which is shining on the chimneys. Hansel, however, had not been looking back at the cat, but had been constantly throwing one of the white pebble-stones out of his pocket on the road.

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

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

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

Not long afterwards, there was once more great dearth throughout the land, and the children heard their mother saying at night to their father, everything is eaten again, we have one half loaf left, and that is the end. The children must go, we will take them farther into the wood, so that they will not find their way out again. There is no other means of saving ourselves. The man's heart was heavy, and he thought, it would be better for you to share the last mouthful with your children. The woman, however, would listen to nothing that he had to say, but scolded and reproached him. He who says a must say b, likewise, and as he had yielded the first time, he had to do so a second time also.

The children, however, were still awake and had heard the conversation. When the old folks were asleep, Hansel again got up, and wanted to go out and pick up pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. Nevertheless he comforted his little sister, and said, do not cry, Gretel, go to sleep quietly, the good God will help us. Early in the morning came the woman, and took the children out of their beds. Their piece of bread was given to them, but it was still smaller than the time before. On the way into the forest Hansel crumbled his in his pocket, and often stood still and threw a morsel on the ground. Hansel, why do you stop and look round. Said the father, go on. I am looking back at my little pigeon which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me, answered Hansel. Fool. Said the woman, that is not your little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney. Hansel, however, little by little, threw all the crumbs on the path. The woman led the children still deeper into the forest, where they had never in their lives been before. Then a great fire was again made, and the mother said, just sit there, you children, and when you are tired you may sleep a little. We are going into the forest to cut wood, and in the evening when we are done, we will come and fetch you away. When it was noon, Gretel shared her piece of bread with Hansel, who had scattered his by the way. Then they fell asleep and evening passed, but no one came to the poor children. They did not awake until it was dark night, and Hansel comforted his little sister and said, just wait, Gretel, until the moon rises, and then we shall see the crumbs of bread which I have strewn about, they will show us our way home again. When the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the many thousands of birds which fly about in the woods and fields had picked them all up. Hansel said to Gretel, we shall soon find the way, but they did not find it. They walked the whole night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep.

It was now three mornings since they had left their father's house. They began to walk again, but they always came deeper into the forest, and if help did not come soon, they must die of hunger and weariness. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on a bough, which sang so delightfully that they stood still and listened to it. And when its song was over, it spread its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until they reached a little house, on the roof of which it alighted. And when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar. We will set to work on that, said Hansel, and have a good meal. I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window, it will taste sweet. Hansel reached up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and Gretel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes. Then a soft voice cried from the parlor - nibble, nibble, gnaw who is nibbling at my little house. The children answered - the wind, the wind, the heaven-born wind, and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, who liked the taste of the roof, tore down a great piece of it, and Gretel pushed out the whole of one round window-pane, sat down, and enjoyed herself with it. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman as old as the hills, who supported herself on crutches, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so terribly frightened that they let fall what they had in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded her head, and said, oh, you dear children, who has brought you here. Do come in, and stay with me. No harm shall happen to you. She took them both by the hand, and led them into her little house. Then good food was set before them, milk and pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterwards two pretty little beds were covered with clean white linen, and Hansel and Gretel lay down in them, and thought they were in heaven.

The old woman had only pretended to be so kind. She was in reality a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had only built the little house of bread in order to entice them there. When a child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked and ate it, and that was a feast day with her. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see far, but they have a keen scent like the beasts, and are aware when human beings draw near. When Hansel and Gretel came into her neighborhood, she laughed with malice, and said mockingly, I have them, they shall not escape me again. Early in the morning before the children were awake, she was already up, and when she saw both of them sleeping and looking so pretty, with their plump and rosy cheeks, she muttered to herself, that will be a dainty mouthful.

Then she seized Hansel with her shrivelled hand, carried him into a little stable, and locked him in behind a grated door. Scream as he might, it would not help him. Then she went to Gretel, shook her till she awoke, and cried, get up, lazy thing, fetch some water, and cook something good for your brother, he is in the stable outside, and is to be made fat. When he is fat, I will eat him. Gretel began to weep bitterly, but it was all in vain, for she was forced to do what the wicked witch commanded. And now the best food was cooked for poor Hansel, but Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Every morning the woman crept to the little stable, and cried, Hansel, stretch out your finger that I may feel if you will soon be fat. Hansel, however, stretched out a little bone to her, and the old woman, who had dim eyes, could not see it, and thought it was Hansel's finger, and was astonished that there was no way of fattening him. When four weeks had gone by, and Hansel still remained thin, she was seized with impatience and would not wait any longer. Now, then, Gretel, she cried to the girl, stir yourself, and bring some water. Let Hansel be fat or lean, to-morrow I will kill him, and cook him. Ah, how the poor little sister did lament when she had to fetch the water, and how her tears did flow down her cheeks. Dear God, do help us, she cried. If the wild beasts in the forest had but devoured us, we should at any rate have died together. Just keep your noise to yourself, said the old woman, it won't help you at all.

Early in the morning, Gretel had to go out and hang up the cauldron with the water, and light the fire. We will bake first, said the old woman, I have already heated the oven, and kneaded the dough. She pushed poor Gretel out to the oven, from which flames of fire were already darting. Creep in, said the witch, and see if it properly heated, so that we can put the bread in. And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too. But Gretel saw what she had in mind, and said, I do not know how I am to do it. How do I get in. Silly goose, said the old woman, the door is big enough. Just look, I can get in myself, and she crept up and thrust her head into the oven. Then Gretel gave her a push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened the bolt. Oh. Then she began to howl quite horribly, but Gretel ran away, and the godless witch was miserably burnt to death. Gretel, however, ran like lightning to Hansel, opened his little stable, and cried, Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead. Then Hansel sprang like a bird from its cage when the door is opened. How they did rejoice and embrace each other, and dance about and kiss each other. And as they had no longer any need to fear her, they went into the witch's house, and in every corner there stood chests full of pearls and jewels. These are far better than pebbles. Said Hansel, and thrust into his pockets whatever could be got in, and Gretel said, I, too, will take something home with me, and filled her pinafore full. But now we must be off, said Hansel, that we may get out of the witch's forest.

When they had walked for two hours, they came to a great stretch of water. We cannot cross, said Hansel, I see no foot-plank, and no bridge. And there is also no ferry, answered Gretel, but a white duck is swimming there. If I ask her, she will help us over. Then she cried - little duck, little duck, dost thou see, Hansel and Gretel are waiting for thee. There's never a plank, or bridge in sight, take us across on thy back so white. The duck came to them, and Hansel seated himself on its back, and told his sister to sit by him. No, replied Gretel, that will be too heavy for the little duck. She shall take us across, one after the other. The good little duck did so, and when they were once safely across and had walked for a short time, the forest seemed to be more and more familiar to them, and at length they saw from afar their father's house. Then they began to run, rushed into the parlor, and threw themselves round their father's neck. The man had not known one happy hour since he had left the children in the forest. The woman, however, was dead. Gretel emptied her pinafore until pearls and precious stones ran about the room, and Hansel threw one handful after another out of his pocket to add to them. Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together in perfect happiness. My tale is done, there runs a mouse, whosoever catches it, may make himself a big fur cap out of it.

 

The Three Snake-Leaves

There was once on a time a poor man, who could no longer support his only son. Then said the son, dear father, things go so badly with us that I am a burden to you. I would rather go away and see how I can earn my bread. So the father gave him his blessing, and with great sorrow took leave of him. At this time the king of a mighty empire was at war and the youth took service with him, and went out to fight. And when he came before the enemy, there was a battle, and great danger, and it rained shot until his comrades fell on all sides, and when the leader also was killed, those left were about to take flight, but the youth stepped forth, spoke boldly to them, and cried, we will not let our father-land be ruined. Then the others followed him, and he pressed on and conquered the enemy. When the king heard that he owed the victory to him alone, he raised him above all the others, gave him great treasures, and made him the first in the kingdom.

The king had a daughter who was very beautiful, but she was also very strange. She had made a vow to take no one as her lord and husband who did not promise to let himself be buried alive with her if she died first. If he loves me with all his heart, said she, of what use will life be to him afterwards. On her side she would do the same, and if he died first, would go down to the grave with him. This strange oath had up to this time frightened away all wooers, but the youth became so charmed with her beauty that he cared for nothing, but asked her father for her. But do you know what you must promise, said the king. I must be buried with her, he replied, if I outlive her, but my love is so great that I do not mind the danger. Then the king consented, and the wedding was solemnized with great splendor.

They lived now for a while happy and contented with each other, and then it befell that the young queen was attacked by a severe illness, and no physician could save her. And as she lay there dead, the young king remembered what he had been obliged to promise, and was horrified at having to lie down alive in the grave, but there was no escape. The king had placed sentries at all the gates, and it was not possible to avoid his fate. As the day came when the corpse was to be buried, he was taken down with it into the royal vault and then the door was shut and bolted.

Near the coffin stood a table on which were four candles, four loaves of bread, and four bottles of wine, and when this provision came to an end, he would have to die of hunger. And now he sat there full of pain and grief, ate every day only a little piece of bread, drank only a mouthful of wine, and nevertheless saw death daily drawing nearer. Whilst he thus gazed before him, he saw a snake creep out of a corner of the vault and approach the dead body. And as he thought it came to gnaw at it, he drew his sword and said, as long as I live, you shall not touch her, and hewed the snake in three pieces. After a time a second snake crept out of the hole, and when it saw the other lying dead and cut in pieces, it went back, but soon came again with three green leaves in its mouth. Then it took the three pieces of the snake, laid them together, as they fitted, and placed one of the leaves on each wound. Immediately the severed parts joined themselves together, the snake moved, and became alive again, and both of them hastened away together. The leaves were left lying on the ground, and a desire came into the mind of the unhappy man who had been watching all this, to know if the wondrous power of the leaves which had brought the snake to life again, could not likewise be of service to a human being.

So he picked up the leaves and laid one of them on the mouth of his dead wife, and the two others on her eyes. And hardly had he done this than the blood stirred in her veins, rose into her pale face, and colored it again. Then she drew breath, opened her eyes, and said, ah, God, where am I. You are with me, dear wife, he answered, and told her how everything had happened, and how he had brought her back again to life. Then he gave her some wine and bread, and when she had regained her strength, he raised her up and they went to the door and knocked, and called so loudly that the sentries heard it, and told the king. The king came down himself and opened the door, and there he found both strong and well, and rejoiced with them that now all sorrow was over. The young king, however, took the three snake-leaves with him, gave them to a servant and said, keep them for me carefully, and carry them constantly about you. Who knows in what trouble they may yet be of service to us.

But a change had taken place in his wife. After she had been restored to life, it seemed as if all love for her husband had gone out of her heart. After some time, when he wanted to make a voyage over the sea, to visit his old father, and they had gone on board a ship, she forgot the great love and fidelity which he had shown her, and which had been the means of rescuing her from death, and conceived a wicked inclination for the skipper. And once when the young king lay there asleep, she called in the skipper and seized the sleeper by the head, and the skipper took him by the feet, and thus they threw him down into the sea. When the shameful deed was done, she said, now let us return home, and say that he died on the way. I will extol and praise you so to my father that he will marry me to you, and make you the heir to his crown. But the faithful servant who had seen all that they did, unseen by them, unfastened a little boat from the ship, got into it, sailed after his master, and let the traitors go on their way. He fished up the dead body, and by the help of the three snake-leaves which he carried about with him, and laid on the eyes and mouth, he fortunately brought the young king back to life.

They both rowed with all their strength day and night, and their little boat sailed so swiftly that they reached the old king before the others. He was astonished when he saw them come alone, and asked what had happened to them. When he learnt the wickedness of his daughter he said, I cannot believe that she has behaved so ill, but the truth will soon come to light, and bade both go into a secret chamber and keep themselves hidden from everyone. Soon afterwards the great ship came sailing in, and the godless woman appeared before her father with a troubled countenance. He said, why do you come back alone. Where is your husband. Ah, dear father, she replied, I come home again in great grief. During the voyage, my husband became suddenly ill and died, and if the good skipper had not given me his help, it would have gone ill with me. He was present at his death, and can tell you all. The king said, I will make the dead alive again, and opened the chamber, and bade the two come out. When the woman saw her husband, she was thunderstruck, and fell on her knees and begged for mercy.

The king said, there is no mercy. He was ready to die with you and restored you to life again, but you have murdered him in his sleep, and shall receive the reward that you deserve. Then she was placed with her accomplice in a ship which had been pierced with holes, and sent out to sea, where they soon sank amid the waves.

 

The White Snake

A long time ago there lived a king who was famed for his wisdom through all the land. Nothing was hidden from him, and it seemed as if news of the most secret things was brought to him through the air. But he had a strange custom, every day after dinner, when the table was cleared, and no one else was present, a trusty servant had to bring him one more dish. It was covered, however, and even the servant did not know what was in it, neither did anyone know, for the king never took off the cover to eat of it until he was quite alone. This had gone on for a long time, when one day the servant, who took away the dish, was overcome with such curiosity that he could not help carrying the dish into his room. When he had carefully locked the door, he lifted up the cover, and saw a white snake lying on the dish. But when he saw it he could not deny himself the pleasure of tasting it, so he cut off a little bit and put it into his mouth. No sooner had it touched his tongue than he heard a strange whispering of little voices outside his window. He went and listened, and then noticed that it was the sparrows who were chattering together, and telling one another of all kinds of things which they had seen in the fields and woods. Eating the snake had given him power of understanding the language of animals. Now it so happened that on this very day the queen lost her most beautiful ring, and suspicion of having stolen it fell upon this trusty servant, who was allowed to go everywhere. The king ordered the man to be brought before him, and threatened with angry words that unless he could before the morrow point out the thief, he himself should be looked upon as guilty and executed. In vain he declared his innocence, he was dismissed with no better answer. In his trouble and fear he went down into the courtyard and took thought how to help himself out of his trouble. Now some ducks were sitting together quietly by a brook and taking their rest, and, whilst they were making their feathers smooth with their bills, they were having a confidential conversation together. The servant stood by and listened. They were telling one another of all the places where they had been waddling about all the morning, and what good food they had found, and one said in a pitiful tone, something lies heavy on my stomach, as I was eating in haste I swallowed a ring which lay under the queen's window. The servant at once seized her by the neck, carried her to the kitchen, and said to the cook, here is a fine duck, pray, kill her. Yes, said the cook, and weighed her in his hand, she has spared no trouble to fatten herself, and has been waiting to be roasted long enough. So he cut off her head, and as she was being dressed for the spit, the queen's ring was found inside her. The servant could now easily prove his innocence, and the king, to make amends for the wrong, allowed him to ask a favor, and promised him the best place in the court that he could wish for. The servant refused everything, and only asked for a horse and some money for traveling, as he had a mind to see the world and go about a little. When his request was granted he set out on his way, and one day came to a pond, where he saw three fishes caught in the reeds and gasping for water. Now, though it is said that fishes are dumb, he heard them lamenting that they must perish so miserably, and, as he had a kind heart, he got off his horse and put the three prisoners back into the water. They leapt with delight, put out their heads, and cried to him, we will remember you and repay you for saving us. He rode on, and after a while it seemed to him that he heard a voice in the sand at his feet. He listened, and heard an ant-king complain, why cannot folks, with their clumsy beasts, keep off our bodies. That stupid horse, with his heavy hoofs, has been treading down my people without mercy. So he turned on to a side path and the ant-king cried out to him, we will remember you - one good turn deserves another. The path led him into a wood, and here he saw two old ravens standing by their nest, and throwing out their young ones. Out with you, you idle, good-for-nothing creatures, cried they, we cannot find food for you any longer, you are big enough, and can provide for yourselves. But the poor young ravens lay upon the ground, flapping their wings, and crying, oh, what helpless chicks we are. We must shift for ourselves, and yet we cannot fly. What can we do, but lie here and starve. So the good young fellow alighted and killed his horse with his sword, and gave it to them for food. Then they came hopping up to it, satisfied their hunger, and cried, we will remember you - one good turn deserves another. And now he had to use his own legs, and when he had walked a long way, he came to a large city. There was a great noise and crowd in the streets, and a man rode up on horseback, crying aloud, the king's daughter wants a husband, but whoever seeks her hand must perform a hard task, and if he does not succeed he will forfeit his life. Many had already made the attempt, but in vain, nevertheless when the youth saw the king's daughter he was so overcome by her great beauty that he forgot all danger, went before the king, and declared himself a suitor. So he was led out to the sea, and a gold ring was thrown into it, before his eyes, then the king ordered him to fetch this ring up from the bottom of the sea, and added, if you come up again without it you will be thrown in again and again until you perish amid the waves. All the people grieved for the handsome youth, then they went away, leaving him alone by the sea. He stood on the shore and considered what he should do, when suddenly he saw three fishes come swimming towards him, and they were the very fishes whose lives he had saved. The one in the middle held a mussel in its mouth, which it laid on the shore at the youth's feet, and when he had taken it up and opened it, there lay the gold ring in the shell. Full of joy he took it to the king, and expected that he would grant him the promised reward. But when the proud princess perceived that he was not her equal in birth, she scorned him, and required him first to perform another task. She went down into the garden and strewed with her own hands ten sacks-full of millet-seed on the grass, then she said, tomorrow morning before sunrise these must be picked up, and not a single grain be wanting. The youth sat down in the garden and considered how it might be possible to perform this task, but he could think of nothing, and there he sat sorrowfully awaiting the break of day, when he should be led to death. But as soon as the first rays of the sun shone into the garden he saw all the ten sacks standing side by side, quite full, and not a single grain was missing. The ant-king had come in the night with thousands and thousands of ants, and the grateful creatures had by great industry picked up all the millet-seed and gathered them into the sacks. Presently the king's daughter herself came down into the garden, and was amazed to see that the young man had done the task she had given him. But she could not yet conquer her proud heart, and said, although he has performed both the tasks, 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, but he set out, and would have gone on for ever, as long as his legs would carry him, though he had no hope of finding it. After he had wandered through three kingdoms, he came one evening to a wood, and lay down under a tree to sleep. But he heard a rustling in the branches, and a golden apple fell into his hand. At the same time three ravens flew down to him, perched themselves upon his knee, and said, we are the three young ravens whom you saved from starving, when we had grown big, and heard that you were seeking the golden apple, we flew over the sea to the end of the world, where the tree of life stands, and have brought you the apple. The youth, full of joy, set out homewards, and took the golden apple to the king's beautiful daughter, who had no more excuses left to make. They cut the apple of life in two and ate it together, and then her heart became full of love for him, and they lived in undisturbed happiness to a great age.

 

The Valiant Little Tailor

One summer's morning a little tailor was sitting on his table by the window, he was in good spirits, and sewed with all his might. Then came a peasant woman down the street crying, good jams, cheap. Good jams, cheap. This rang pleasantly in the tailor's ears, he stretched his delicate head out of the window, and called, come up here, dear woman, here you will get rid of your goods. The woman came up the three steps to the tailor with her heavy basket, and he made her unpack all the pots for him. He inspected each one, lifted it up, put his nose to it, and at length said, the jam seems to me to be good, so weigh me out four ounces, dear woman, and if it is a quarter of a pound that is of no consequence. The woman who had hoped to find a good sale, gave him what he desired, but went away quite angry and grumbling. Now, this jam shall be blessed by God, cried the little tailor, and give me health and strength. So he brought the bread out of the cupboard, cut himself a piece right across the loaf and spread the jam over it. This won't taste bitter, said he, but I will just finish the jacket before I take a bite. He laid the bread near him, sewed on, and in his joy, made bigger and bigger stitches. In the meantime the smell of the sweet jam rose to where the flies were sitting in great numbers, and they were attracted and descended on it in hosts. HI, who invited you, said the little tailor, and drove the unbidden guests away. The flies, however, who understood no german, would not be turned away, but came back again in ever-increasing companies. The little tailor at last lost all patience, and drew a piece of cloth from the hole under his work-table, and saying, wait, and I will give it to you, struck it mercilessly on them. When he drew it away and counted, there lay before him no fewer than seven, dead and with legs stretched out. Are you a fellow of that sort, said he, and could not help admiring his own bravery. The whole town shall know of this. And the little tailor hastened to cut himself a girdle, stitched it, and embroidered on it in large letters, seven at one stroke. What, the town, he continued, the whole world shall hear of it. And his heart wagged with joy like a lamb's tail. The tailor put on the girdle, and resolved to go forth into the world, because he thought his workshop was too small for his valor. Before he went away, he sought about in the house to see if there was anything which he could take with him, however, he found nothing but an old cheese, and that he put in his pocket. In front of the door he observed a bird which had caught itself in the thicket. It had to go into his pocket with the cheese. Now he took to the road boldly, and as he was light and nimble, he felt no fatigue. The road led him up a mountain, and when he had reached the highest point of it, there sat a powerful giant looking peacefully about him. The little tailor went bravely up, spoke to him, and said, good day, comrade, so you are sitting there overlooking the wide-spread world. I am just on my way thither, and want to try my luck. Have you any inclination to go with me. The giant looked contemptuously at the tailor, and said, you ragamuffin. You miserable creature. Oh, indeed, answered the little tailor, and unbuttoned his coat, and showed the giant the girdle, there may you read what kind of a man I am. The giant read, seven at one stroke. And thought that they had been men whom the tailor had killed, and began to feel a little respect for the tiny fellow. Nevertheless, he wished to try him first, and took a stone in his hand and squeezed it together so that water dropped out of it. Do that likewise, said the giant, if you have strength. Is that all, said the tailor, that is child's play with us, and put his hand into his pocket, brought out the soft cheese, and pressed it until the liquid ran out of it. Faith, said he, that was a little better, wasn't it. The giant did not know what to say, and could not believe it of the little man. Then the giant picked up a stone and threw it so high that the eye could scarcely follow it. Now, little mite of a man, do that likewise. Well thrown, said the tailor, but after all the stone came down to earth again, I will throw you one which shall never come back at all. And he put his hand into his pocket, took out the bird, and threw it into the air. The bird, delighted with its liberty, rose, flew away and did not come back. How does that shot please you, comrade, asked the tailor. You can certainly throw, said the giant, but now we will see if you are able to carry anything properly. He took the little tailor to a mighty oak tree which lay there felled on the ground, and said, if you are strong enough, help me to carry the tree out of the forest. Readily, answered the little man, take the trunk on your shoulders, and I will raise up the branches and twigs, after all, they are the heaviest. The giant took the trunk on his shoulder, but the tailor seated himself on a branch, and the giant who could not look round, had to carry away the whole tree, and the little tailor into the bargain, he behind, was quite merry and happy, and whistled the song, three tailors rode forth from the gate, as if carrying the tree were child's play. The giant, after he had dragged the heavy burden part of the way, could go no further, and cried, hark you, I shall have to let the tree fall. The tailor sprang nimbly down, seized the tree with both arms as if he had been carrying it, and said to the giant, you are such a great fellow, and yet can not even carry the tree. They went on together, and as they passed a cherry-tree, the giant laid hold of the top of the tree where the ripest fruit was hanging, bent it down, gave it into the tailor's hand, and bade him eat. But the little tailor was much too weak to hold the tree, and when the giant let it go, it sprang back again, and the tailor was tossed into the air with it. When he had fallen down again without injury, the giant said, what is this. Have you not strength enough to hold the weak twig. There is no lack of strength, answered the little tailor. Do you think that could be anything to a man who has struck down seven at one blow. I leapt over the tree because the huntsmen are shooting down there in the thicket. Jump as I did, if you can do it. The giant made the attempt, but could not get over the tree, and remained hanging in the branches, so that in this also the tailor kept the upper hand. The giant said, if you are such a valiant fellow, come with me into our cavern and spend the night with us. The little tailor was willing, and followed him. When they went into the cave, other giants were sitting there by the fire, and each of them had a roasted sheep in his hand and was eating it. The little tailor looked round and thought, it is much more spacious here than in my workshop. The giant showed him a bed, and said he was to lie down in it and sleep. The bed, however, was too big for the little tailor, he did not lie down in it, but crept into a corner. When it was midnight, and the giant thought that the little tailor was lying in a sound sleep, he got up, took a great iron bar, cut through the bed with one blow, and thought he had finished off the grasshopper for good. With the earliest dawn the giants went into the forest, and had quite forgotten the little tailor, when all at once he walked up to them quite merrily and boldly. The giants were terrified, they were afraid that he would strike them all dead, and ran away in a great hurry. The little tailor went onwards, always following his own pointed nose. After he had walked for a long time, he came to the courtyard of a royal palace, and as he felt weary, he lay down on the grass and fell asleep. Whilst he lay there, the people came and inspected him on all sides, and read on his girdle, seven at one stroke. Ah, said they, what does the great warrior here in the midst of peace. He must be a mighty lord. They went and announced him to the king, and gave it as their opinion that if war should break out, this would be a weighty and useful man who ought on no account to be allowed to depart. The counsel pleased the king, and he sent one of his courtiers to the little tailor to offer him military service when he awoke. The ambassador remained standing by the sleeper, waited until he stretched his limbs and opened his eyes, and then conveyed to him this proposal. For this reason have I come here, the tailor replied, I am ready to enter the king's service. He was therefore honorably received and a special dwelling was assigned him. The soldiers, however, were set against the little tailor, and wished him a thousand miles away. What is to be the end of this, they said among themselves. If we quarrel with him, and he strikes about him, seven of us will fall at every blow, not one of us can stand against him. They came therefore to a decision, betook themselves in a body to the king, and begged for their dismissal. We are not prepared, said they, to stay with a man who kills seven at one stroke. The king was sorry that for the sake of one he should lose all his faithful servants, wished that he had never set eyes on the tailor, and would willingly have been rid of him again. But he did not venture to give him his dismissal, for he dreaded lest he should strike him and all his people dead, and place himself on the royal throne. He thought about it for a long time, and at last found good counsel. He sent to the little tailor and caused him to be informed that as he was such a great warrior, he had one request to make of him. In a forest of his country lived two giants who caused great mischief with their robbing, murdering, ravaging, and burning, and no one could approach them without putting himself in danger of death. If the tailor conquered and killed these two giants, he would give him his only daughter to wife, and half of his kingdom as a dowry, likewise one hundred horsemen should go with him to assist him. That would indeed be a fine thing for a man like me, thought the little tailor. One is not offered a beautiful princess and half a kingdom every day of one's life. Oh, yes, he replied, I will soon subdue the giants, and do not require the help of the hundred horsemen to do it, he who can hit seven with one blow has no need to be afraid of two. The little tailor went forth, and the hundred horsemen followed him. When he came to the outskirts of the forest, he said to his followers, just stay waiting here, I alone will soon finish off the giants. Then he bounded into the forest and looked about right and left. After a while he perceived both giants. They lay sleeping under a tree, and snored so that the branches waved up and down. The little tailor, not idle, gathered two pocketsful of stones, and with these climbed up the tree. When he was half-way up, he slipped down by a branch, until he sat just above the sleepers, and then let one stone after another fall on the breast of one of the giants. For a long time the giant felt nothing, but at last he awoke, pushed his comrade, and said, why are you knocking me. You must be dreaming, said the other, I am not knocking you. They laid themselves down to sleep again, and then the tailor threw a stone down on the second. What is the meaning of this, cried the other. Why are you pelting me. I am not pelting you, answered the first, growling. They disputed about it for a time, but as they were weary they let the matter rest, and their eyes closed once more. The little tailor began his game again, picked out the biggest stone, and threw it with all his might on the breast of the first giant. That is too bad, cried he, and sprang up like a madman, and pushed his companion against the tree until it shook. The other paid him back in the same coin, and they got into such a rage that they tore up trees and belabored each other so long, that at last they both fell down dead on the ground at the same time. Then the little tailor leapt down. It is a lucky thing, said he, that they did not tear up the tree on which I was sitting, or I should have had to spring on to another like a squirrel, but we tailors are nimble. He drew out his sword and gave each of them a couple of thrusts in the breast, and then went out to the horsemen and said, the work is done, I have finished both of them off, but it was hard work. They tore up trees in their sore need, and defended themselves with them, but all that is to no purpose when a man like myself comes, who can kill seven at one blow. But you are not wounded, asked the horsemen. You need not concern yourself about that, answered the tailor, they have not bent one hair of mine. The horsemen would not believe him, and rode into the forest, there they found the giants swimming in their blood, and all round about lay the torn-up trees. The little tailor demanded of the king the promised reward. He, however, repented of his promise, and again bethought himself how he could get rid of the hero. Before you receive my daughter, and the half of my kingdom, said he to him, you must perform one more heroic deed. In the forest roams a unicorn which does great harm, and you must catch it first. I fear one unicorn still less than two giants. Seven at one blow, is my kind of affair. He took a rope and an axe with him, went forth into the forest, and again bade those who were sent with him to wait outside. He had not long to seek. The unicorn soon came towards him, and rushed directly on the tailor, as if it would gore him with its horn without more ado. Softly, softly, it can't be done as quickly as that, said he, and stood still and waited until the animal was quite close, and then sprang nimbly behind the tree. The unicorn ran against the tree with all its strength, and struck its horn so fast in the trunk that it had not strength enough to draw it out again, and thus it was caught. Now, I have got the bird, said the tailor, and came out from behind the tree and put the rope round its neck, and then with his axe he hewed the horn out of the tree, and when all was ready he led the beast away and took it to the king. The king still would not give him the promised reward, and made a third demand. Before the wedding the tailor was to catch him a wild boar that made great havoc in the forest, and the huntsmen should give him their help. Willingly, said the tailor, that is child's play. He did not take the huntsmen with him into the forest, and they were well pleased that he did not, for the wild boar had several times received them in such a manner that they had no inclination to lie in wait for him. When the boar perceived the tailor, it ran on him with foaming mouth and whetted tusks, and was about to throw him to the ground, but the hero fled and sprang into a chapel which was near, and up to the window at once, and in one bound out again. The boar ran in after him, but the tailor ran round outside and shut the door behind it, and then the raging beast, which was much too heavy and awkward to leap out of the window, was caught. The little tailor called the huntsmen thither that they might see the prisoner with their own eyes. The hero, however went to the king, who was now, whether he liked it or not, obliged to keep his promise, and gave him his daughter and the half of his kingdom. Had he known that it was no warlike hero, but a little tailor who was standing before him it would have gone to his heart still more than it did. The wedding was held with great magnificence and small joy, and out of a tailor a king was made. After some time the young queen heard her husband say in his dreams at night, boy, make me the doublet, and patch the pantaloons, or else I will rap the yard-measure over your ears. Then she discovered in what state of life the young lord had been born, and next morning complained of her wrongs to her father, and begged him to help her to get rid of her husband, who was nothing else but a tailor. The king comforted her and said, leave your bedroom door open this night, and my servants shall stand outside, and when he has fallen asleep shall go in, bind him, and take him on board a ship which shall carry him into the wide world. The woman was satisfied with this, but the king's armor-bearer, who had heard all, was friendly with the young lord, and informed him of the whole plot. I'll put a screw into that business, said the little tailor. At night he went to bed with his wife at the usual time, and when she thought that he had fallen asleep, she got up, opened the door, and then lay down again. The little tailor, who was only pretending to be asleep, began to cry out in a clear voice, boy, make me the doublet and patch me the pantaloons, or I will rap the yard-measure over your ears. I smote seven at one blow. I killed two giants, I brought away one unicorn and caught a wild boar, and am I to fear those who are standing outside the room. When these men heard the tailor speaking thus, they were overcome by a great dread, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, and none of them would venture anything further against him. So the little tailor was and remained a king to the end of his life.

 

Cinderella

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

The woman had brought with her into the house two daughters, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child. Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlor with us, they said. He who wants to eat bread must earn it. Out with the kitchen-wench. They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes. Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is, they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash.

Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury - they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the hearth in the cinders. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her cinderella. It happened that the father was once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them. Beautiful dresses, said one, pearls and jewels, said the second. And you, cinderella, said he, what will you have.

Father break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home. So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his step-daughters the things which they had wished for, and to cinderella he gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother's grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much that the tears fell down on it and watered it.

And it grew and became a handsome tree. Thrice a day cinderella went and sat beneath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came on the tree, and if cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down to her what she had wished for. It happened, however, that the king gave orders for a festival which was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls in the country were invited, in order that his son might choose himself a bride.

When the two step-sisters heard that they too were to appear among the number, they were delighted, called cinderella and said, comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for we are going to the wedding at the king's palace. Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so. You go, cinderella, said she, covered in dust and dirt as you are, and would go to the festival. You have no clothes and shoes, and yet would dance.

As, however, cinderella went on asking, the step-mother said at last, I have emptied a dish of lentils into the ashes for you, if you have picked them out again in two hours, you shall go with us. The maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and called, you tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick the good into the pot, the bad into the crop. Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at last all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the pigeons nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the rest began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good grains into the dish.

Hardly had one hour passed before they had finished, and all flew out again. Then the girl took the dish to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be allowed to go with them to the festival. But the step-mother said, no, cinderella, you have no clothes and you can not dance. You would only be laughed at. And as cinderella wept at this, the step-mother said, if you can pick two dishes of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour, you shall go with us.

And she thought to herself, that she most certainly cannot do again. When the step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils amongst the ashes, the maiden went through the back-door into the garden and cried, you tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick the good into the pot, the bad into the crop. Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at length all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes.

And the doves nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the others began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good seeds into the dishes, and before half an hour was over they had already finished, and all flew out again. Then the maiden was delighted, and believed that she might now go with them to the wedding. But the step-mother said, all this will not help.

You cannot go with us, for you have no clothes and can not dance. We should be ashamed of you. On this she turned her back on cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters. As no one was now at home, cinderella went to her mother's grave beneath the hazel-tree, and cried - shiver and quiver, little tree, silver and gold throw down over me. Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver.

She put on the dress with all speed, and went to the wedding. Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of cinderella, and believed that she was sitting at home in the dirt, picking lentils out of the ashes. The prince approached her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He would dance with no other maiden, and never let loose of her hand, and if any one else came to invite her, he said, this is my partner. She danced till it was evening, and then she wanted to go home.

But the king's son said, I will go with you and bear you company, for he wished to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. She escaped from him, however, and sprang into the pigeon-house. The king's son waited until her father came, and then he told him that the unknown maiden had leapt into the pigeon-house. The old man thought, can it be cinderella. And they had to bring him an axe and a pickaxe that he might hew the pigeon-house to pieces, but no one was inside it.

And when they got home cinderella lay in her dirty clothes among the ashes, and a dim little oil-lamp was burning on the mantle-piece, for cinderella had jumped quickly down from the back of the pigeon-house and had run to the little hazel-tree, and there she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again, and then she had seated herself in the kitchen amongst the ashes in her grey gown. Next day when the festival began afresh, and her parents and the step-sisters had gone once more, cinderella went to the hazel-tree and said - shiver and quiver, my little tree, silver and gold throw down over me.

Then the bird threw down a much more beautiful dress than on the preceding day. And when cinderella appeared at the wedding in this dress, every one was astonished at her beauty. The king's son had waited until she came, and instantly took her by the hand and danced with no one but her. When others came and invited her, he said, this is my partner. When evening came she wished to leave, and the king's son followed her and wanted to see into which house she went. But she sprang away from him, and into the garden behind the house.

Therein stood a beautiful tall tree on which hung the most magnificent pears. She clambered so nimbly between the branches like a squirrel that the king's son did not know where she was gone. He waited until her father came, and said to him, the unknown maiden has escaped from me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear-tree. The father thought, can it be cinderella. And had an axe brought and cut the tree down, but no one was on it.

And when they got into the kitchen, cinderella lay there among the ashes, as usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress to the bird on the little hazel-tree, and put on her grey gown. On the third day, when the parents and sisters had gone away, cinderella went once more to her mother's grave and said to the little tree - shiver and quiver, my little tree, silver and gold throw down over me. And now the bird threw down to her a dress which was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were golden. And when she went to the festival in the dress, no one knew how to speak for astonishment. The king's son danced with her only, and if any one invited her to dance, he said this is my partner.

When evening came, cinderella wished to leave, and the king's son was anxious to go with her, but she escaped from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The king's son, however, had employed a ruse, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden's left slipper remained stuck. The king's son picked it up, and it was small and dainty, and all golden. Next morning, he went with it to the father, and said to him, no one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits. Then were the two sisters glad, for they had pretty feet. The eldest went with the shoe into her room and wanted to try it on, and her mother stood by.

But she could not get her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, cut the toe off, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot. The maiden cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son. Then he took her on his his horse as his bride and rode away with her. They were obliged, however, to pass the grave, and there, on the hazel-tree, sat the two pigeons and cried - turn and peep, turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe it is too small for her, the true bride waits for you.

Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was trickling from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her mother gave her a knife and said, cut a bit off your heel, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot.

The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son. He took her on his horse as his bride, and rode away with her, but when they passed by the hazel-tree, the two pigeons sat on it and cried - turn and peep, turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe it is too small for her, the true bride waits for you. He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking quite red. Then he turned his horse and took the false bride home again. This also is not the right one, said he, have you no other daughter.

No, said the man, there is still a little stunted kitchen-wench which my late wife left behind her, but she cannot possibly be the bride. The king's son said he was to send her up to him, but the mother answered, oh, no, she is much too dirty, she cannot show herself. But he absolutely insisted on it, and cinderella had to be called. She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the king's son, who gave her the golden shoe. Then she seated herself on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, which fitted like a glove.

And when she rose up and the king's son looked at her face he recognized the beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, that is the true bride. The step-mother and the two sisters were horrified and became pale with rage, he, however, took cinderella on his horse and rode away with her.

As they passed by the hazel-tree, the two white doves cried - turn and peep, turn and peep, no blood is in the shoe, the shoe is not too small for her, the true bride rides with you, and when they had cried that, the two came flying down and placed themselves on cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there. When the wedding with the king's son was to be celebrated, the two false sisters came and wanted to get into favor with cinderella and share her good fortune.

When the betrothed couple went to church, the elder was at the right side and the younger at the left, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. Afterwards as they came back the elder was at the left, and the younger at the right, and then the pigeons pecked out the other eye from each. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness all their days.

 

Little Red-Cap

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

One day her mother said to her, come, little red-cap, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing. And when you go into her room, don't forget to say, good-morning, and don't peep into every corner before you do it.

I will take great care, said little red-cap to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

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

"Good-day, little red-cap," said he.

"Thank you kindly, wolf."

"Whither away so early, little red-cap?"

"To my grandmother's."

"What have you got in your apron?"

"Cake and wine. Yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger."

"Where does your grandmother live, little red-cap?"

"A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood. Her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below. You surely must know it," replied little red-cap.

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

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

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

"Who is there?"

"Little red-cap," replied the wolf. "She is bringing cake and wine. Open the door."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"But, grandmother, what large hands you have."

"The better to hug you with."

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

"The better to eat you with."

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

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud. The huntsman was just passing the house, and thought to himself, how the old woman is snoring. I must just see if she wants anything.

So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in it. Do I find you here, you old sinner, said he. I have long sought you. Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. When he had made two snips, he saw the little red-cap shining, and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, ah, how frightened I have been. How dark it was inside the wolf. And after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe. Red-cap, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf's belly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he collapsed at once, and fell dead.

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

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

 

The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs

There was once a poor woman who gave birth to a little son, and as he came into the world with a caul on, it was predicted that in his fourteenth year he would have the king's daughter for his wife. It happened that soon afterwards the king came into the village, and no one knew that he was the king, and when he asked the people what news there was, they answered, a child has just been born with a caul on, whatever anyone so born undertakes turns out well. It is prophesied, too, that in his fourteenth year he will have the king's daughter for his wife.

The king, who had a bad heart, and was angry about the prophecy, went to the parents, and, seeming quite friendly, said, you poor people, let me have your child, and I will take care of it. At first they refused, but when the stranger offered them a large amount of gold for it, and they thought, it is a child of good fortune, and everything must turn out well for it, they at last consented, and gave him the child.

The king put it in a box and rode away with it until he came to a deep piece of water, then he threw the box into it and thought, I have freed my daughter from her undesired suitor.

The box, however, did not sink, but floated like a boat, and not a drop of water made its way into it. And it floated to within two miles of the king's chief city, where there was a mill, and it came to a halt at the mill-dam. A miller's boy, who by good luck was standing there, noticed it and pulled it out with a hook, thinking that he had found a great treasure, but when he opened it there lay a pretty boy inside, quite fresh and lively. He took him to the miller and his wife, and as they had no children they were glad, and said, "God has given him to us." They took great care of the foundling, and he grew up in all goodness.

It happened that once in a storm, the king went into the mill, and asked the mill-folk if the tall youth were their son. No, answered they, he's a foundling. Fourteen years ago he floated down to the mill-dam in a box, and the mill-boy pulled him out of the water.

Then the king knew that it was none other than the child of good fortune which he had thrown into the water, and he said, my good people, could not the youth take a letter to the queen. I will give him two gold pieces as a reward. Just as the king commands, answered they, and they told the boy to hold himself in readiness. Then the king wrote a letter to the queen, wherein he said, as soon as the boy arrives with this letter, let him be killed and buried, and all must be done before I come home. The boy set out with this letter, but he lost his way, and in the evening came to a large forest. In the darkness he saw a small light, he went towards it and reached a cottage. When he went in, an old woman was sitting by the fire quite alone. She started when she saw the boy, and said, whence do you come, and whither are you going. I come from the mill, he answered, and wish to go to the queen, to whom I am taking a letter, but as I have lost my way in the forest I should like to stay here over night. You poor boy, said the woman, you have come into a den of thieves, and when they come home they will kill you. Let them come, said the boy, I am not afraid, but I am so tired that I cannot go any farther. And he stretched himself upon a bench and fell asleep.

Soon afterwards the robbers came, and angrily asked what strange boy was lying there. Ah, said the old woman, it is an innocent child who has lost himself in the forest, and out of pity I have let him come in, he has to take a letter to the queen. The robbers opened the letter and read it, and in it was written that the boy as soon as he arrived should be put to death. Then the hardhearted robbers felt pity, and their leader tore up the letter and wrote another, saying, that as soon as the boy came, he should be married at once to the king's daughter. Then they let him lie quietly on the bench until the next morning, and when he awoke they gave him the letter, and showed him the right way.

And the queen, when she had received the letter and read it, did as was written in it, and had a splendid wedding-feast prepared, and the king's daughter was married to the child of good fortune, and as the youth was handsome and friendly she lived with him in joy and contentment.

After some time the king returned to his palace and saw that the prophecy was fulfilled, and the child married to his daughter. How has that come to pass, said he, I gave quite another order in my letter.

So the queen gave him the letter, and said that he might see for himself what was written in it. The king read the letter and saw quite well that it had been exchanged for the other. He asked the youth what had become of the letter entrusted to him, and why he had brought another instead of it. I know nothing about it, answered he, it must have been changed in the night, when I slept in the forest. The king said in a passion, you shall not have everything quite so much your own way, whosoever marries my daughter must fetch me from hell three golden hairs from the head of the devil, bring me what I want, and you shall keep my daughter. In this way the king hoped to be rid of him for ever. But the child of good fortune answered, I will fetch the golden hairs, I am not afraid of the devil. Whereupon he took leave of them and began his journey.

The road led him to a large town, where the watchman by the gates asked him what his trade was, and what he knew. I know everything, answered the child of good fortune. Then you can do us a favor, said the watchman, if you will tell us why our market fountain, which once flowed with wine has become dry, and no longer gives even water. That you shall know, answered he, only wait until I come back.

Then he went farther and came to another town, and there also the gatekeeper asked him what was his trade, and what he knew. I know everything, answered he. Then you can do us a favor and tell us why a tree in our town which once bore golden apples now does not even put forth leaves. You shall know that, answered he, only wait until I come back.

Then he went on and came to a wide river over which he must cross. The ferryman asked him what his trade was, and what he knew. I know everything, answered he. Then you can do me a favor, said the ferryman, and tell me why I must always be rowing backwards and forwards, and am never set free. You shall know that, answered he, only wait until I come back.

When he had crossed the water he found the entrance to hell. It was black and sooty within, and the devil was not at home, but his grandmother was sitting in a large arm-chair. What do you want, said she to him, but she did not look so very wicked. I should like to have three golden hairs from the devil's head, answered he, else I cannot keep my wife. That is a good deal to ask for, said she, if the devil comes home and finds you, it will cost you your life, but as I pity you, I will see if I cannot help you.

She changed him into an ant and said, creep into the folds of my dress, you will be safe there. Yes, answered he, so far, so good, but there are three things besides that I want to know - why a fountain which once flowed with wine has become dry, and no longer gives even water, why a tree which once bore golden apples does not even put forth leaves, and why a ferryman must always be going backwards and forwards, and is never set free. Those are difficult questions, answered she, but just be silent and quiet and pay attention to what the devil says when I pull out the three golden hairs.

As the evening came on, the devil returned home. No sooner had he entered than he noticed that the air was not pure. I smell man's flesh, said he, all is not right here. Then he pried into every corner, and searched, but could not find anything. His grandmother scolded him. It has just been swept, said she, and everything put in order, and now you are upsetting it again, you have always got man's flesh in your nose. Sit down and eat your supper.

When he had eaten and drunk he was tired, and laid his head in his grandmother's lap, and told her she should louse him a little. It was not long before he was fast asleep, snoring and breathing heavily. Then the old woman took hold of a golden hair, pulled it out, and laid it down beside her. Oh, cried the devil, what are you doing. I have had a bad dream, answered the grandmother, so I seized hold of your hair. What did you dream then, said the devil. I dreamt that a fountain in a market-place from which wine once flowed was dried up, and not even water would flow out of it - what is the cause of it. Oh, ho, if they did but know it, answered the devil, there is a toad sitting under a stone in the well - if they killed it, the wine would flow again.

The grandmother loused him again until he went to sleep and snored so that the windows shook. Then she pulled the second hair out. Ha, what are you doing, cried the devil angrily. Do not take it ill, said she, I did it in a dream. What have you dreamt this time, asked he. I dreamt that in a certain kingdom there stood an apple-tree which had once borne golden apples, but now would not even bear leaves. What, think you, was the reason. Oh, if they did but know, answered the devil. A mouse is gnawing at the root - if they killed it they would have golden apples again, but if it gnaws much longer the tree will wither altogether. But I have had enough of your dreams, if you disturb me in my sleep again you will get a box on the ear.

The grandmother spoke gently to him and picked his lice once more until he fell asleep and snored. Then she took hold of the third golden hair and pulled it out. The devil jumped up, roared out, and would have treated her ill if she had not quieted him again and said, who can help bad dreams. What was the dream, then, asked he, and was quite curious. I dreamt of a ferryman who complained that he must always ferry from one side to the other, and was never released. What is the cause of it. Ah, the fool, answered the devil, when anyone comes and wants to go across he must put the oar in his hand, and the other man will have to ferry and he will be free. As the grandmother had plucked out the three golden hairs, and the three questions were answered, she let the old devil alone, and he slept until daybreak.

When the devil had gone out again the old woman took the ant out of the folds of her dress, and gave the child of good fortune his human shape again. There are the three golden hairs for you, said she. What the devil said to your three questions, I suppose you heard. Yes, answered he, I heard, and will take care to remember. You have what you want, said she, and now you can go your way. He thanked the old woman for helping him in his need, and left hell well content that everything had turned out so fortunately.

When he came to the ferryman he was expected to give the promised answer. Ferry me across first, said the child of good fortune, and then I will tell you how you can be set free, and when he reached the opposite shore he gave him the devil's advice. Next time anyone comes, who wants to be ferried over, just put the oar in his hand.

He went on and came to the town wherein stood the unfruitful tree, and there too the watchman wanted an answer. So he told him what he had heard from the devil. Kill the mouse which is gnawing at its root, and it will again bear golden apples. Then the watchman thanked him, and gave him as a reward two asses laden with gold, which followed him.

Finally, he came to the town whose well was dry. He told the watchman what the devil had said, a toad is in the well beneath a stone, you must find it and kill it, and the well will again give wine in plenty. The watchman thanked him, and also gave him two asses laden with gold.

At last the child of good fortune got home to his wife, who was heartily glad to see him again, and to hear how well he had prospered in everything. To the king he took what he had asked for, the devil's three golden hairs, and when the king saw the four asses laden with gold he was quite content, and said, now all the conditions are fulfilled, and you can keep my daughter.

But tell me, dear son-in-law, where did all that gold come from - this is tremendous wealth. I was rowed across a river, answered he, and got it there, it lies on the shore instead of sand. Can I too fetch some of it, said the king, and he was quite eager about it. As much as you like, answered he. There is a ferryman on the river, let him ferry you over, and you can fill your sacks on the other side. The greedy king set out in all haste, and when he came to the river he beckoned to the ferryman to put him across. The ferryman came and bade him get in, and when they got to the other shore he put the oar in his hand and sprang over. But from this time forth the king had to ferry, as a punishment for his sins. Perhaps he is ferrying still. If he is, it is because no one has taken the oar from him.

 

The Girl Without Hands

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

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

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

The miller said to her, I have by means of you received such great wealth that I will keep you most handsomely as long as you live. But she replied, here I cannot stay, I will go forth, compassionate people will give me as much as I require.

Thereupon she caused her maimed arms to be bound to her back, and by sunrise she set out on her way, and walked the whole day until night fell. Then she came to a royal garden, and by the shimmering of the moon she saw that trees covered with beautiful fruits grew in it, but she could not enter, for it was surrounded by water. And as she had walked the whole day and not eaten one mouthful, and hunger tormented her, she thought, ah, if I were but inside, that I might eat of the fruit, else must I die of hunger. Then she knelt down, called on God the Lord, and prayed. And suddenly an angel came towards her, who made a dam in the water, so that the moat became dry and she could walk through it. And now she went into the garden and the angel went with her. She saw a tree covered with beautiful pears, but they were all counted. Then she went to them, and to still her hunger, ate one with her mouth from the tree, but no more. The gardener was watching, but as the angel was standing by, he was afraid and thought the maiden was a spirit, and was silent, neither did he dare to cry out, or to speak to the spirit. When she had eaten the pear, she was satisfied, and went and concealed herself among the bushes. The king to whom the garden belonged, came down to it next morning, and counted, and saw that one of the pears was missing, and asked the gardener what had become of it, as it was not lying beneath the tree, but was gone. Then answered the gardener, last night, a spirit came in, who had no hands, and ate off one of the pears with its mouth. The king said, how did the spirit get over the water, and where did it go after it had eaten the pear. The gardener answered, someone came in a snow-white garment from heaven who made a dam, and kept back the water, that the spirit might walk through the moat. And as it must have been an angel, I was afraid, and asked no questions, and did not cry out. When the spirit had eaten the pear, it went back again. The king said, if it be as you say, I will watch with you to-night.

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

After a year the king had to go on a journey, so he commended his young queen to the care of his mother and said, if she is brought to child-bed take care of her, nurse her well, and tell me of it at once in a letter. Then she gave birth to a fine boy. So the old mother made haste to write and announce the joyful news to him. But the messenger rested by a brook on the way, and as he was fatigued by the great distance, he fell asleep. Then came the devil, who was always seeking to injure the good queen, and exchanged the letter for another, in which was written that the queen had brought a monster into the world. When the king read the letter he was shocked and much troubled, but he wrote in answer that they were to take great care of the queen and nurse her well until his arrival.

The messenger went back with the letter, but rested at the same place and again fell asleep. Then came the devil once more, and put a different letter in his pocket, in which it was written that they were to put the queen and her child to death. The old mother was terribly shocked when she received the letter, and could not believe it. She wrote back again to the king, but received no other answer, because each time the devil substituted a false letter, and in the last letter it was also written that she was to preserve the queen's tongue and eyes as a token that she had obeyed.

But the old mother wept to think such innocent blood was to be shed, and had a hind brought by night and cut out her tongue and eyes, and kept them. Then said she to the queen, "I cannot have you killed as the king commands, but here you may stay no longer. Go forth into the wide world with your child, and never come here again." The poor woman tied her child on her back, and went away with eyes full of tears. She came into a great wild forest, and then she fell on her knees and prayed to God, and the angel of the Lord appeared to her and led her to a little house on which was a sign with the words, here all dwell free. A snow-white maiden came out of the little house and said, welcome, lady queen, and conducted her inside. Then she unbound the little boy from her back, and held him to her breast that he might feed, and laid him in a beautifully-made little bed. Then said the poor woman, "From whence do you know that I was a queen?"

The white maiden answered, "I am an angel sent by God, to watch over you and your child." The queen stayed seven years in the little house, and was well cared for, and by God's grace, because of her piety, her hands which had been cut off, grew once more.

At last the king came home again from his journey, and his first wish was to see his wife and the child. Then his aged mother began to weep and said, "You wicked man, why did you write to me that I was to take those two innocent lives," and she showed him the two letters which the evil one had forged, and then continued, "I did as you bade me, and she showed the tokens, the tongue and eyes." Then the king began to weep for his poor wife and his little son so much more bitterly than she was doing, that the aged mother had compassion on him and said, "be at peace, she still lives, I secretly caused a hind to be killed, and took these tokens from it, but I bound the child to your wife's back and bade her go forth into the wide world, and made her promise never to come back here again, because you were so angry with her." Then spoke the king, "I will go as far as the sky is blue, and will neither eat nor drink until I have found again my dear wife and my child, if in the meantime they have not been killed, or died of hunger."

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

Thereupon the angel went into the chamber where the queen sat with her son, whom she usually called Sorrowful, and said to her, go out with your child, your husband has come. So she went to the place where he lay, and the handkerchief fell from his face. Then said she, "Sorrowful, pick up your father's handkerchief, and cover his face again." The child picked it up, and put it over his face again. The king in his sleep heard what passed, and had pleasure in letting the handkerchief fall once more. But the child grew impatient, and said, "Dear mother, how can I cover my father's face when I have no father in this world. I have learnt to say the prayer - Our Father, which art in heaven - you have told me that my father was in heaven, and was the good God, and how can I know a wild man like this. He is not my father." When the king heard that, he got up, and asked who they were. Then said she, "I am your wife, and that is your son, Sorrowful". And he saw her living hands, and said, "My wife had silver hands." She answered, "The good God has caused my natural hands to grow again," and the angel went into the inner room, and brought the silver hands, and showed them to him. Hereupon he knew for a certainty that it was his dear wife and his dear child, and he kissed them, and was glad, and said, "A heavy stone has fallen from off my heart." Then the angel of God ate with them once again, and after that they went home to the king's aged mother. There were great rejoicings everywhere, and the king and queen were married again, and lived contentedly to their happy end.

 

The Wishing-Table, The Gold-Ass, and The Cudgel in the Sack

There was once upon a time a tailor who had three sons, and only one goat. But as the goat supported all of them with her milk, she was obliged to have good food, and to be taken every day to pasture. The sons did this, in turn. Once the eldest took her to the churchyard, where the finest herbs were to be found, and let her eat and run about there. At night when it was time to go home he asked, goat, have you had enough. The goat answered I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the youth, and took hold of the cord round her neck, led her into the stable and tied her up securely. Well, said the old tailor, has the goat had as much food as she ought. Oh, answered the son, she has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch. But the father wished to satisfy himself, and went down to the stable, stroked the dear animal and asked, goat, are you satisfied. The goat answered, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

What do I hear, cried the tailor, and ran upstairs and said to the youth. HI, you liar, you said the goat had had enough, and have let her hunger, and in his anger he took the yard-measure from the wall, and drove him out with blows.

Next day it was the turn of the second son, who sought a place in the fence of the garden, where nothing but good herbs grew, and the goat gobbled them all up. At night when he wanted to go home, he asked, goat, are you satisfied. The goat answered, I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the youth, and led her home, and tied her up in the stable. Well, said the old tailor, has the goat had as much food as she ought. Oh, answered the son, she has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch. The tailor would not rely on this, but went down to the stable and said, goat, have you had enough. The goat answered, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

The godless wretch. Cried the tailor, to let such a good animal hunger, and he ran up and drove the youth out of doors with the yard-measure.

Now came the turn of the third son, who wanted to do his duty well, and sought out some bushes with the finest leaves, and let the goat devour them. In the evening when he wanted to go home, he asked, goat, have you had enough. The goat answered, I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the youth, and led her into the stable, and tied her up. Well, said the old tailor, has the goat had her full share of food. She has eaten so much, not a leaf more she'll touch. The tailor was distrustful, went down and asked, goat, have you had enough. The wicked beast answered, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

Oh, the brood of liars, cried the tailor, each as wicked and forgetful of his duty as the other. You shall no longer make a fool of me, and quite beside himself with anger, he ran upstairs and belabored the poor young fellow so vigorously with the yard-measure that he sprang out of the house.

The old tailor was now alone with his goat. Next morning he went down into the stable, stroked the goat and said, come, my dear little animal, I myself will take you to feed. He took her by the rope and conducted her to green hedges, and amongst milfoil and whatever else goats like to eat. There you may for once eat to your heart's content, said he to her, and let her browse till evening. Then he asked, goat, are you satisfied. She replied. I have eaten so much, not a leaf more I'll touch, meh. Meh.

Come home, then, said the tailor, and led her into the stable, and tied her fast. When he was going away, he turned round again and said, well, are you satisfied for once. But the goat behaved no better to him, and cried, how should I be satisfied. Among the ditches I leapt about, found no leaf, so went without, meh. Meh.

When the tailor heard that, he was shocked, and saw clearly that he had driven away his three sons without cause. Wait, you ungrateful creature, cried he, it is not enough to drive you forth, I will brand you so that you will no more dare to show yourself amongst honest tailors. In great haste he ran upstairs, fetched his razor, lathered the goat's head, and shaved her as clean as the palm of his hand. And as the yard-measure would have been too good for her, he brought the horsewhip, and gave her such cuts with it that she bounded away with tremendous leaps.

When the tailor was thus left quite alone in his house he fell into great grief, and would gladly have had his sons back again, but no one knew whither they were gone. The eldest had apprenticed himself to a joiner, and learnt industriously and indefatigably, and when the time came for him to go traveling, his master presented him with a little table which was not particularly beautiful, and was made of common wood, but which had one good property. If anyone set it out, and said, little table, spread yourself, the good little table was at once covered with a clean little cloth, and a plate was there, and a knife and fork beside it, and dishes with boiled meats and roasted meats, as many as there was room for, and a great glass of red wine shone so that it made the heart glad. The young journeyman thought, with this you have enough for your whole life, and went joyously about the world and never troubled himself at all whether an inn was good or bad, or if anything was to be found in it or not. When it suited him he did not enter an inn at all, but either on the plain, in a wood, a meadow, or wherever he fancied, he took his little table off his back, set it down before him, and said, spread yourself, and then everything appeared that his heart desired. At length he took it into his head to go back to his father, whose anger would now be appeased, and who would now willingly receive him with his magic table. It came to pass that on his way home, he came one evening to an inn which was filled with guests. They bade him welcome, and invited him to sit and eat with them, for otherwise he would have difficulty in getting anything. No, answered the joiner, I will not take the few morsels out of your mouths. Rather than that, you shall be my guests. They laughed, and thought he was jesting with them. He but placed his wooden table in the middle of the room, and said, little table, spread yourself. Instantly it was covered with food, so good that the host could never have procured it, and the smell of it ascended pleasantly to the nostrils of the guests. Fall to, dear friends, said the joiner, and the guests when they saw that he meant it, did not need to be asked twice, but drew near, pulled out their knives and attacked it valiantly. And what surprised them the most was that when a dish became empty, a full one instantly took its place of its own accord. The innkeeper stood in one corner and watched the affair. He did not at all know what to say, but thought, you could easily find a use for such a cook as that in your household. The joiner and his comrades made merry until late into the night. At length they lay down to sleep, and the young apprentice also went to bed, and set his magic table against the wall. The host's thoughts, however, let him have no rest. It occurred to him that there was a little old table in his lumber-room which looked just like the apprentice's and he brought it out, and carefully exchanged it for the wishing table. Next morning the joiner paid for his bed, took up his table, never thinking that he had got a false one, and went his way. At mid-day he reached his father, who received him with great joy. Well, my dear son, what have you learnt. Said he to him. Father, I have become a joiner.

A good trade, replied the old man, but what have you brought back with you from your apprenticeship. Father, the best thing which I have brought back with me is this little table. The tailor inspected it on all sides and said, you did not make a masterpiece when you made that. It is a bad old table. But it is a table which furnishes itself, replied the son. When I set it out, and tell it to spread itself, the most beautiful dishes stand on it, and a wine also, which gladdens the heart. Just invite all our relations and friends, they shall refresh and enjoy themselves for once, for the table will give them all they require. When the company was assembled, he put his table in the middle of the room and said, little table, spread yourself, but the little table did not bestir itself, and remained just as bare as any other table which does not understand language. Then the poor apprentice became aware that his table had been changed, and was ashamed at having to stand there like a liar. The relations, however, mocked him, and were forced to go home without having eaten or drunk. The father brought out his patches again, and went on tailoring, but the son went to a master in the craft.

The second son had gone to a miller and had apprenticed himself to him. When his years were over, the master said, as you have conducted yourself so well, I give you an ass of a peculiar kind, which neither draws a cart nor carries a sack. What good is he, then. Asked the young apprentice. He spews forth gold, answered the miller. If you set him on a cloth and say bricklebrit, the good animal will spew forth gold pieces for you from back and front. That is a fine thing, said the apprentice, and thanked the master, and went out into the world. When he had need of gold, he had only to say bricklebrit to his ass, and it rained gold pieces, and he had nothing to do but pick them off the ground. Wheresoever he went, the best of everything was good enough for him, and the dearer the better, for he had always a full purse. When he had looked about the world for some time, he thought, you must seek out your father. If you go to him with the gold-ass he will forget his anger, and receive you well. It came to pass that he came to the same inn in which his brother's table had been exchanged. He led his ass by the bridle, and the host was about to take the animal from him and tie him up, but the young apprentice said, don't trouble yourself, I will take my grey horse into the stable, and tie him up myself too, for I must know where he stands. This struck the host as odd, and he thought that a man who was forced to look after his ass himself, could not have much to spend. But when the stranger put his hand in his pocket and brought out two gold pieces, and said he was to provide something good for him, the host opened his eyes wide, and ran and sought out the best he could muster. After dinner the guest asked what he owed. The host did not see why he should not double the reckoning, and said the apprentice must give two more gold pieces. He felt in his pocket, but his gold was just at an end. Wait an instant, sir host, said he, I will go and fetch some money. But he took the table-cloth with him. The host could not imagine what this could mean, and being curious, stole after him, and as the guest bolted the stable door, he peeped through a hole left by a knot in the wood. The stranger spread out the cloth under the animal and cried, bricklebrit, and immediately the beast began to let gold pieces fall from back and front, so that it fairly rained down money on the ground. Eh, my word, said the host, ducats are quickly coined there. A purse like that is not to be sniffed at. The guest paid his score, and went to bed, but in the night the host stole down into the stable, led away the master of the mint, and tied up another ass in his place.

Early next morning the apprentice traveled away with his ass, and thought that he had his gold-ass. At mid-day he reached his father, who rejoiced to see him again, and gladly took him in. What have you made of yourself, my son. Asked the old man. A miller, dear father, he answered. What have you brought back with you from your travels. Nothing else but an ass. There are asses enough here, said the father, I would rather have had a good goat. Yes, replied the son, but it is no common ass, but a gold-ass, when I say bricklebrit, the good beast spews forth a whole sheetful of gold pieces. Just summon all our relations hither, and I will make them rich folks. That suits me well, said the tailor, for then I shall have no need to torment myself any longer with the needle, and ran out himself and called the relations together. As soon as they were assembled, the miller bade them make way, spread out his cloth, and brought the ass into the room. Now watch, said he, and cried, bricklebrit, but what fell were not gold pieces, and it was clear that the animal knew nothing of the art, for every ass does not attain such perfection. Then the poor miller pulled a long face, saw that he was betrayed, and begged pardon of the relatives, who went home as poor as they came. There was no help for it, the old man had to betake him to his needle once more, and the youth hired himself to a miller.

The third brother had apprenticed himself to a turner, and as that is skilled labor, he was the longest in learning. His brothers, however, told him in a letter how badly things had gone with them, and how the innkeeper had cheated them of ther beautiful wishing-gifts on the last evening before they reached home. When the turner had served his time, and had to set out on his travels, as he had conducted himself so well, his master presented him with a sack and said, there is a cudgel in it. I can put on the sack, said he, and it may be of good service to me, but why should the cudgel be in it. It only makes it heavy. I will tell you why, replied the master. If anyone has done anything to injure you, do but say, out of the sack, cudgel. And the cudgel will leap forth among the people, and play such a dance on their backs that they will not be able to stir or move for a week, and it will not leave off until you say, into the sack, cudgel. The apprentice thanked him, and put the sack on his back, and when anyone came too near him, and wished to attack him, he said, out of the sack, cudgel, and instantly the cudgel sprang out, and dusted the coat or jacket of one after the other on their backs, and never stopped until it had stripped it off them, and it was done so quickly, that before anyone was aware, it was already his own turn. In the evening the young turner reached the inn where his brothers had been cheated.

He laid his sack on the table before him, and began to talk of all the wonderful things which he had seen in the world. Yes, said he, people may easily find a table which will spread itself, a gold-ass, and things of that kind - extremely good things which I by no means despise - but these are nothing in comparison with the treasure which I have won for myself, and am carrying about with me in my sack there. The innkeeper pricked up his ears. What in the world can that be. Thought he. The sack must be filled with nothing but jewels. I ought to get them cheap too, for all good things go in threes. When it was time for sleep, the guest stretched himself on the bench, and laid his sack beneath him for a pillow. When the innkeeper thought his guest was lying in a sound sleep, he went to him and pushed and pulled quite gently and carefully at the sack to see if he could possibly draw it away and lay another in its place.

The turner, however, had been waiting for this for a long time, and now just as the inn-keeper was about to give a hearty tug, he cried, out of the sack, cudgel. Instantly the little cudgel came forth, and fell on the inn-keeper and gave him a sound thrashing. The host cried for mercy. But the louder he cried, the harder the cudgel beat the time on his back, until at length he fell to the ground exhausted. Then the turner said, if you do not give back the table which spreads itself, and the gold-ass, the dance shall begin afresh. Oh, no, cried the host, quite humbly, I will gladly produce everything, only make the accursed kobold creep back into the sack. Then said the apprentice, I will let mercy take the place of justice, but beware of getting into mischief again. So he cried, into the sack, cudgel. And let him have rest.

Next morning the turner went home to his father with the wishing-table, and the gold-ass. The tailor rejoiced when he saw him once more, and asked him likewise what he had learned in foreign parts. Dear father, said he, I have become a turner. A skilled trade, said the father. What have you brought back with you from your travels.

A precious thing, dear father, replied the son, a cudgel in the sack.

What cried the father, a cudgel. That's certainly worth your trouble. From every tree you can cut yourself one. But not one like this, dear father. If I say, out of the sack, cudgel, the cudgel springs out and leads anyone ill-disposed toward me a weary dance, and never stops until he lies on the ground and prays for fair weather. Look you, with this cudgel have I rescued the wishing-table and the gold-ass which the thievish innkeeper took away from my brothers. Now let them both be sent for, and invite all our kinsmen. I will give them to eat and to drink, and will fill their pockets with gold into the bargain. The old tailor had not much confidence. Nevertheless he summoned the relatives together. Then the turner spread a cloth in the room and led in the gold-ass, and said to his brother, now, dear brother, speak to him. The miller said, bricklebrit, and instantly the gold pices rained down on the cloth like a thunder-shower, and the ass did not stop until every one of them had so much that he could carry no more. - I can see by your face that you also would have liked to be there. -

Then the turner brought the little table, and said, now dear brother, speak to it. And scarcely had the carpenter said, table, spread yourself, than it was spread and amply covered with the most exquisite dishes. Then such a meal took place as the good tailor had never yet known in his house, and the whole party of kinsmen stayed together till far in the night, and were all merry and glad. The tailor locked away needle and thread, yard-measure and goose, in a closet, and lived with his three sons in joy and splendor.

What, however, happened to the goat who was to blame for the tailor driving out his three sons? That I will tell you. She was ashamed that she had a bald head, and ran to a fox's hole and crept into it. When the fox came home, he was met by two great eyes shining out of the darkness, and was terrified and ran away. A bear met him, and as the fox looked quite disturbed, he said, what is the matter with you, brother fox, why do you look like that. Ah, answered redskin, a fierce beast is in my cave and stared at me with its fiery eyes. We will soon drive him out, said the bear, and went with him to the cave and looked in, but when he saw the fiery eyes, fear seized on him likewise. He would have nothing to do with the furious beast, and took to his heels. The bee met him, and as she saw that he was ill at ease, she said, bear, you are really pulling a very pitiful face. What has become of all your gaiety. It is all very well for you to talk, replied the bear, a furious beast with staring eyes is in redskin's house, and we can't drive him out. The bee said, bear I pity you, I am a poor weak creature whom you would not turn aside to look at, but still, I believe, I can help you. She flew into the fox's cave, lighted on the goat's smoothly-shorn head, and stung her so violently, that she sprang up, crying meh, meh, and ran forth into the world as if mad, and to this hour no one knows where she has gone.

 

The Juniper-Tree

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 standing 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.

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?" "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 he ate the more he wanted to have, and he said, "Give me some more, you shall have none of it. It seems to me as if it were all mine." 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 light-hearted 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 as it had been before, and the handkerchief with the bones was no longer there. Marlinchen, however, was as gay and happy as if her brother were still alive. And she went merrily into the house, and sat down to dinner and ate.

But the bird flew away and lighted on a goldsmith's house, and began to sing - 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.

The goldsmith was sitting in his workshop making a golden chain, when he heard the bird which was sitting singing on his roof, and very beautiful the song seemed to him. He stood up, but as he crossed the 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, he had his apron on, and in one hand he had the golden chain and in the other the pincers, and the sun was shining brightly on the street. Then he went right on and stood still, and said to the bird, "Bird," said he then, "how beautifully you can sing. Sing me that piece again." "No," said the bird, "I'll not sing it twice for nothing. Give me the golden chain, and then I will sing it again for you." "There," said the goldsmith, "there is the golden chain for you, now sing me that song again." Then the bird came and took the golden chain in his right claw, and went and sat in front of the goldsmith, 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.

Then the bird flew away to a shoemaker, and lighted on his 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.

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 mother 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, "I 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.

 

The Six Swans

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

What kind of condition is it, asked the king. I have a daughter, said the old woman, who is as beautiful as anyone in the world, and well deserves to be your consort, and if you will make her your queen, I will show you the way out of the forest. In the anguish of his heart the king consented, and the old woman led him to her little hut, where her daughter was sitting by the fire. She received the king as if she had been expecting him, and he saw that she was very beautiful, but still she did not please him, and he could not look at her without secret horror. After he had taken the maiden up on his horse, the old woman showed him the way, and the king reached his royal palace again, where the wedding was celebrated.

The king had already been married once, and had by his first wife, seven children, six boys and a girl, whom he loved better than anything else in the world. As he now feared that the stepmother might not treat them well, and even do them some injury, he took them to a lonely castle which stood in the midst of a forest. It lay so concealed, and the way was so difficult to find that he himself would not have found it, if a wise woman had not given him a ball of yarn with wonderful properties. When he threw it down before him, it unrolled itself and showed him his path.

The king, however, went so frequently away to his dear children that the queen observed his absence, she was curious and wanted to know what he did when he was quite alone in the forest. She gave a great deal of money to his servants, and they betrayed the secret to her, and told her likewise of the ball which alone could point out the way. And now she knew no rest until she had learnt where the king kept the ball of yarn, and then she made little shirts of white silk, and as she had learnt the art of witchcraft from her mother, she sewed a charm inside them. And once when the king had ridden forth to hunt, she took the little shirts and went into the forest, and the ball showed her the way.

The children, who saw from a distance that someone was approaching, thought that their dear father was coming to them, and full of joy, ran to meet him. Then she threw one of the little shirts over each of them, and no sooner had the shirts touched their bodies than they were changed into swans, and flew away over the forest. The queen went home quite delighted, and thought she had got rid of her step-children, but the girl had not run out with her brothers, and the queen knew nothing about her.

Next day the king went to visit his children, but he found no one but the little girl. Where are your brothers, asked the king. Alas, dear father, she answered, they have gone away and left me alone, and she told him that she had seen from her little window how her brothers had flown away over the forest in the shape of swans, and she showed him the feathers, which they had let fall in the courtyard, and which she had picked up.

The king mourned, but he did not think that the queen had done this wicked deed, and as he feared that the girl would also be stolen away from him, he wanted to take her away with him. But she was afraid of her step-mother, and entreated the king to let her stay just this one night more in the forest castle.

The poor girl thought, I can no longer stay here. I will go and seek my brothers. And when night came, she ran away, and went straight into the forest. She walked the whole night long, and next day also without stopping, until she could go no farther for weariness. Then she saw a forest-hut, and went into it, and found a room with six little beds, but she did not venture to get into one of them, but crept under one, and lay down on the hard ground, intending to pass the night there. Just before sunset, however, she heard a rustling, and saw six swans come flying in at the window. They alighted on the ground and blew at each other, and blew all the feathers off, and their swans, skins stripped off like a shirt. Then the maiden looked at them and recognized her brothers, was glad and crept forth from beneath the bed. The brothers were not less delighted to see their little sister, but their joy was of short duration. Here you cannot abide, they said to her. This is a shelter for robbers, if they come home and find you, they will kill you. But can you not protect me, asked the little sister. No, they replied, only for one quarter of an hour each evening can we lay aside our swans, skins and have during that time our human form, after that, we are once more turned into swans.

The little sister wept and said, can you not be set free. Alas, no, they answered, the conditions are too hard. For six years you may neither speak nor laugh, and in that time you must sew together six little shirts of starwort for us. And if one single word falls from your lips, all your work will be lost. And when the brothers had said this, the quarter of an hour was over, and they flew out of the window again as swans.

The maiden, however, firmly resolved to deliver her brothers, even if it should cost her her life. She left the hut, went into the midst of the forest, seated herself on a tree, and there passed the night. Next morning she went out and gathered starwort and began to sew. She could not speak to anyone, and she had no inclination to laugh, she sat there and looked at nothing but her work.

When she had already spent a long time there it came to pass that the king of the country was hunting in the forest, and his huntsmen came to the tree on which the maiden was sitting. They called to her and said, who are you. But she made no answer. Come down to us, said they. We will not do you any harm. She only shook her head. As they pressed her further with questions she threw her golden necklace down to them, and thought to content them thus. They, however, did not cease, and then she threw her girdle down to them, and as this also was to no purpose, her garters, and by degrees everything that she had on that she could do without until she had nothing left but her shift.

The huntsmen, however, did not let themselves be turned aside by that, but climbed the tree and fetched the maiden down and led her before the king. The king asked, who are you. What are you doing on the tree. But she did not answer. He put the question in every language that he knew, but she remained as mute as a fish. As she was so beautiful, the king's heart was touched, and he was smitten with a great love for her. He put his mantle on her, took her before him on his horse, and carried her to his castle. Then he caused her to be dressed in rich garments, and she shone in her beauty like bright daylight, but no word could be drawn from her. He placed her by his side at table, and her modest bearing and courtesy pleased him so much that he said, she is the one whom I wish to marry, and no other woman in the world. And after some days he united himself to her.

The king, however, had a wicked mother who was dissatisfied with this marriage and spoke ill of the young queen. Who knows, said she, from whence the creature who can't speak, comes. She is not worthy of a king. After a year had passed, when the queen brought her first child into the world, the old woman took it away from her, and smeared her mouth with blood as she slept. Then she went to the king and accused the queen of being a man-eater. The king would not believe it, and would not suffer anyone to do her any injury. She, however, sat continually sewing at the shirts, and cared for nothing else.

The next time, when she again bore a beautiful boy, the false mother-in-law used the same treachery, but the king could not bring himself to give credit to her words. He said, she is too pious and good to do anything of that kind, if she were not dumb, and could defend herself, her innocence would come to light.

But when the old woman stole away the newly-born child for the third time, and accused the queen, who did not utter one word of defence, the king could do no otherwise than deliver her over to justice, and she was sentenced to suffer death by fire.

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

Then to the great joy of the king they were brought thither, and as a punishment, the wicked mother-in-law was bound to the stake, and burnt to ashes. But the king and the queen with her six brothers lived many years in happiness and peace.

 

King Thrushbeard

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

Once the king made a great feast and invited thereto, from far and near, all the young men likely to marry. They were all marshalled in a row according to their rank and standing. First came the kings, then the grand-dukes, then the princes, the earls, the barons, and the gentry. Then the king's daughter was led through the ranks, but to each one she had some objection to make. One was too fat, the wine-barrel, she said. Another was too tall, long and thin has little in. The third was too short, short and thick is never quick. The fourth was too pale, as pale as death. The fifth too red, a fighting cock. The sixth was not straight enough, a green log dried behind the stove.

So she had something to say against each one, but she made herself especially merry over a good king who stood quite high up in the row, and whose chin had grown a little crooked. Look, she cried and laughed, he has a chin like a thrush's beak. And from that time he got the name of king thrushbeard.

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

A few days afterwards a fiddler came and sang beneath the windows, trying to earn a few pennies. When the king heard him he said, let him come up. So the fiddler came in, in his dirty, ragged clothes, and sang before the king and his daughter, and when he had ended he asked for a trifling gift. The king said, your song has pleased me so well that I will give you my daughter there, to wife.

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

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

Afterwards they came to a meadow, and she asked again, to whom does this beautiful green meadow belong. It belongs to king thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would have been yours. Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken king thrushbeard.

Then they came to a large town, and she asked again, to whom does this fine large town belong. It belongs to king thrushbeard. If you had taken him, it would have been yours. Ah, unhappy girl that I am, if I had but taken king thrushbeard. It does not please me, said the fiddler, to hear you always wishing for another husband. Am I not good enough for you.

At last they came to a very little hut, and she said, oh goodness. What a small house. To whom does this miserable, tiny hovel belong. The fiddler answered, that is my house and yours, where we shall live together.

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

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

I see that this will not do, said the man. You had better spin, perhaps you can do that better. She sat down and tried to spin, but the hard thread soon cut her soft fingers so that the blood ran down. See, said the man, you are fit for no sort of work. I have made a bad bargain with you. Now I will try to make a business with pots and earthenware. You must sit in the market-place and sell the ware. Alas, thought she, if any of the people from my father's kingdom come to the market and see me sitting there, selling, how they will mock me. But it was of no use, she had to yield unless she chose to die of hunger. For the first time she succeeded well, for the people were glad to buy the woman's wares because she was good-looking, and they paid her what she asked. Many even gave her the money and left the pots with her as well. So they lived on what she had earned as long as it lasted, then the husband bought a lot of new crockery. With this she sat down at the corner of the market-place, and set it out round about her ready for sale. But suddenly there came a drunken hussar galloping along, and he rode right amongst the pots so that they were all broken into a thousand bits. She began to weep, and did now know what to do for fear. Alas, what will happen to me, cried she. What will my husband say to this. She ran home and told him of the misfortune. Who would seat herself at a corner of the market-place with crockery, said the man. Leave off crying, I see very well that you cannot do any ordinary work, so I have been to our king's palace and have asked whether they cannot find a place for a kitchen-maid, and they have promised me to take you. In that way you will get your food for nothing.

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

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

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

All at once the king's son entered, clothed in velvet and silk, with gold chains about his neck. And when he saw the beautiful woman standing by the door he seized her by the hand, and would have danced with her. But she refused and shrank with fear, for she saw that it was king thrushbeard, her suitor whom she had driven away with scorn. Her struggles were of no avail, he drew her into the hall. But the string by which her pockets were hung broke, the pots fell down, the soup ran out, and the scraps were scattered all about. And when the people saw it, there arose general laughter and derision, and she was so ashamed that she would rather have been a thousand fathoms below the ground. She sprang to the door and would have run away, but on the stairs a man caught her and brought her back. And when she looked at him it was king thrushbeard again. He said to her kindly, do not be afraid, I and the fiddler who has been living with you in that wretched hovel are one. For love of you I disguised myself so. And I also was the hussar who rode through your crockery. This was all done to humble your proud spirit, and to punish you for the insolence with which you mocked me.

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

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
 

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

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

After a year had passed the king took to himself another wife. She was a beautiful woman, but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that anyone else chould surpass her in beauty. She had a wonderful looking-glass, and when she stood in front of it and looked at herself in it, and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

The looking-glass answered, thou, o queen, art the fairest of all.

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

But snow-white was growing up, and grew more and more beautiful, and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day, and more beautiful than the queen herself. And once when the queen asked her looking-glass, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

It answered, thou art fairer than all who are here, lady queen. But more beautiful still is snow-white, as I ween.

Then the queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at snow-white, her heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much. And envy and pride grew higher and higher in her heart like a weed, so that she had no peace day or night. She called a huntsman, and said, take the child away into the forest. I will no longer have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her lung and liver as a token. The huntsman obeyed, and took her away but when he had drawn his knife, and was about to pierce snow-white's innocent heart, she began to weep, and said, ah dear huntsman, leave me my life. I will run away into the wild forest, and never come home again.

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

But now the poor child was all alone in the great forest, and so terrified that she looked at all the leaves on the trees, and did not know what to do. Then she began to run, and ran over sharp stones and through thorns, and the wild beasts ran past her, but did her no harm.

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

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

When it was quite dark the owners of the cottage came back. They were seven dwarfs who dug and delved in the mountains for ore. They lit their seven candles, and as it was now light within the cottage they saw that someone had been there, for everything was not in the same order in which they had left it.

The first said, who has been sitting on my chair. The second, who has been eating off my plate. The third, who has been taking some of my bread. The fourth, who has been eating my vegetables. The fifth, who has been using my fork. The sixth, who has been cutting with my knife. The seventh, who has been drinking out of my mug.

Then the first looked round and saw that there was a little hollow on his bed, and he said, who has been getting into my bed. The others came up and each called out, somebody has been lying in my bed too. But the seventh when he looked at his bed saw little snow-white, who was lying asleep therein. And he called the others, who came running up, and they cried out with astonishment, and brought their seven little candles and let the light fall on little snow-white. Oh, heavens, oh, heavens, cried they, what a lovely child. And they were so glad that they did not wake her up, but let her sleep on in the bed. And the seventh dwarf slept with his companions, one hour with each, and so passed the night.

When it was morning little snow-white awoke, and was frightened when she saw the seven dwarfs. But they were friendly and asked her what her name was. My name is snow-white, she answered. How have you come to our house, said the dwarfs. Then she told them that her step-mother had wished to have her killed, but that the huntsman had spared her life, and that she had run for the whole day, until at last she had found their dwelling.

The dwarfs said, if you will take care of our house, cook, make the beds, wash, sew and knit, and if you will keep everything neat and clean you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing. Yes, said snow-white, with all my heart. And she stayed with them. She kept the house in order for them. In the mornings they went to the mountains and looked for copper and gold, in the evenings they came back, and then their supper had to be ready. The girl was alone the whole day, so the good dwarfs warned her and said, beware of your step-mother, she will soon know that you are here, be sure to let no one come in.

But the queen, believing that she had eaten snow-white's lung and liver, could not but think that she was again the first and most beautiful of all, and she went to her looking-glass and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

And the glass answered, oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she.

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

And so she thought and thought again how she might kill her, for so long as she was not the fairest in the whole land, envy let her have no rest. And when she had at last thought of something to do, she painted her face, and dressed herself like an old pedlar-woman, and no one could have known her. In this disguise she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, and knocked at the door and cried, pretty things to sell, very cheap, very cheap. Little snow-white looked out of the window and called out, good-day my good woman, what have you to sell. Good things, pretty things, she answered, stay-laces of all colors, and she pulled out one which was woven of bright-colored silk. I may let the worthy old woman in, thought snow-white, and she unbolted the door and bought the pretty laces. Child, said the old woman, what a fright you look, come, I will lace you properly for once. Snow-white had no suspicion, but stood before her, and let herself be laced with the new laces. But the old woman laced so quickly and so tightly that snow-white lost her breath and fell down as if dead. Now I am the most beautiful, said the queen to herself, and ran away.

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

But the wicked woman when she had reached home went in front of the glass and asked, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

And it answered as before, oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she.

When she heard that, all her blood rushed to her heart with fear, for she saw plainly that little snow-white was again alive. But now, she said, I will think of something that shall really put an end to you. And by the help of witchcraft, which she understood, she made a poisonous comb. Then she disguised herself and took the shape of another old woman. So she went over the seven mountains to the seven dwarfs, knocked at the door, and cried, good things to sell, cheap, cheap. Little snow-white looked out and said, go away, I cannot let anyone come in. I suppose you can look, said the old woman, and pulled the poisonous comb out and held it up. It pleased the girl so well that she let herself be beguiled, and opened the door. When they had made a bargain the old woman said, now I will comb you properly for once. Poor little snow-white had no suspicion, and let the old woman do as she pleased, but hardly had she put the comb in her hair than the poison in it took effect, and the girl fell down senseless. You paragon of beauty, said the wicked woman, you are done for now, and she went away.

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

The queen, at home, went in front of the glass and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

Then it answered as before, oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, but over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, snow-white is still alive and well, and none is so fair as she.

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

Thereupon she went into a quite secret, lonely room, where no one ever came, and there she made a very poisonous apple. Outside it looked pretty, white with a red cheek, so that everyone who saw it longed for it, but whoever ate a piece of it must surely die.

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

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

And when she asked of the looking-glass at home, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

And it answered at last, oh, queen, in this land thou art fairest of all. Then her envious heart had rest, so far as an envious heart can have rest.

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

Then they were going to bury her, but she still looked as if she were living, and still had her pretty red cheeks. They said, we could not bury her in the dark ground, and they had a transparent coffin of glass made, so that she could be seen from all sides, and they laid her in it, and wrote her name upon it in golden letters, and that she was a king's daughter. Then they put the coffin out upon the mountain, and one of them always stayed by it and watched it. And birds came too, and wept for snow-white, first an owl, then a raven, and last a dove.

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

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

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

And snow-white was willing, and went with him, and their wedding was held with great show and splendor. But snow-white's wicked step-mother was also bidden to the feast. When she had arrayed herself in beautiful clothes she went before the looking-glass, and said, looking-glass, looking-glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all.

The glass answered, oh, queen, of all here the fairest art thou, but the young queen is fairer by far as I trow.

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

 

The Knapsack, The Hat, and The Horn

There were once three brothers who had fallen deeper and deeper into poverty, and at last their need was so great that they had to endure hunger, and had nothing to eat or drink. Then said they, it cannot go on like this, we had better go into the world and seek our fortune. They therefore set out, and had already walked over many a long road and many a blade of grass, but had not yet met with good luck. One day they arrived in a great forest, and in the midst of it was a hill, and when they came nearer they saw that the hill was all silver. Then spoke the eldest, now I have found the good luck I wished for, and I desire nothing more. He took as much of the silver as he could possibly carry, and then turned back and went home again.

But the two others said, we want something more from good luck than mere silver, and did not touch it, but went onwards. After they had walked for two days longer without stopping, they came to a hill which was all gold. The second brother stopped, took thought with himself, and was undecided. What shall I do, said he, shall I take for myself so much of this gold, that I have sufficient for all the rest of my life, or shall I go farther. At length he made a decision, and putting as much into his pockets as would go in, said farewell to his brother, and went home.

But the third said, silver and gold do not move me, I will not renounce my chance of fortune, perhaps something better still will be given me. He journeyed onwards, and when he had walked for three days, he came to a forest which was still larger than the one before, and never would come to an end, and as he found nothing to eat or to drink, he was all but exhausted. Then he climbed up a high tree to find out if up there he could see the end of the forest, but so far as his eye could pierce he saw nothing but the tops of trees. Then he began to descend the tree again, but hunger tormented him, and he thought to himself, if I could but eat my fill once more.

When he got down he saw with astonishment a table beneath the tree richly spread with food, the steam of which rose up to meet him. This time, said he, my wish has been fulfilled at the right moment. And without inquiring who had brought the food, or who had cooked it, he approached the table, and ate with enjoyment until he had appeased his hunger. When he was done, he thought, it would after all be a pity if the pretty little table-cloth were to be spoilt in the forest here, and folded it up tidily and put it in his pocket. Then he went onwards, and in the evening, when hunger once more returned to him, he wanted to make a trial of his little cloth, and spread it out and said, I wish you to be covered with good cheer again, and scarcely had the wish crossed his lips than as many dishes with the most exquisite food on them stood on the table as there was room for. Now I perceive, said he, in what kitchen my cooking is done. You shall be dearer to me than the mountains of silver and gold. For he saw plainly that it was a wishing-cloth. The cloth, however, was still not enough to enable him to sit down quietly at home, he preferred to wander about the world and pursue his fortune farther.

One night he met, in a lonely wood, a dusty, black charcoal-burner, who was burning charcoal there, and had some potatoes by the fire, on which he was going to make a meal. Good evening, blackbird, said the youth. How do you get on in your solitude.

One day is like another, replied the charcoal-burner, and every night potatoes. Have you a mind to have some, and will you be my guest. Many thanks, replied the traveler, I won't rob you of your supper, you did not reckon on a visitor, but if you will put up with what I have, you shall have an invitation. Who is to prepare it for you, said the charcoal-burner. I see that you have nothing with you, and there is no one within a two hours' walk who could give you anything. And yet there shall be a meal, answered the youth, and better than any you have ever tasted. Thereupon he brought his cloth out of his knapsack, spread it on the ground, and said, little cloth, cover yourself, and instantly boiled meat and baked meat stood there, and as hot as if it had just come out of the kitchen.

The charcoal-burner stared with wide-open eyes, but did not require much pressing, he fell to, and thrust larger and larger mouthfuls into his black mouth. When they had eaten everything, the charcoal-burner smiled contentedly, and said, listen, your table-cloth has my approval, it would be a fine thing for me in this forest, where no one ever cooks me anything good. I will propose an exchange to you, there in the corner hangs a soldier's knapsack, which is certainly old and shabby, but in it lie concealed wonderful powers, but, as I no longer use it, I will give it to you for the table-cloth.

I must first know what these wonderful powers are, answered the youth.

That will I tell you, replied the charcoal-burner, every time you tap it with your hand, a corporal comes with six men armed from head to foot, and they do whatsover you command them. So far as I am concerned, said the youth, if nothing else can be done, we will exchange, and he gave the charcoal-burner the cloth, took the knapsack from the hook, put it on, and bade farewell. When he had walked a while, he wished to make a trial of the magical powers of his knapsack and tapped it. Immediately the seven warriors stepped up to him, and the corporal said, what does my lord and ruler wish for.

March with all speed to the charcoal-burner, and demand my wishing-cloth back. They faced to the left, and it was not long before they brought what he required, and had taken it from the charcoal-burner without asking many questions. The young man bade them retire, went onwards, and hoped fortune would shine yet more brightly on him. By sunset he came to another charcoal-burner, who was making his supper ready by the fire. If you will eat some potatoes with salt, but with no dripping, come and sit down with me, said the sooty fellow.

No, he replied, this time you shall be my guest, and he spread out his cloth, which was instantly covered with the most beautiful dishes. They ate and drank together, and enjoyed themselves heartily. After the meal was over, the charcoal-burner said, up there on that shelf lies a little old worn-out hat which has strange properties - the moment someone puts it on, and turns it round on his head, the cannons go off as if twelve were fired all together, and they demolish everything so that no one can withstand them. The hat is of no use to me, and I will willingly give it for your tablecloth.

That suits me very well, he answered, took the hat, put it on, and left his table-cloth behind him. But hardly had he walked away than he tapped on his knapsack, and his soldiers had to fetch the cloth back again. One thing comes on the top of another, thought he, and I feel as if my luck had not yet come to an end. Neither had his thoughts deceived him. After he had walked on for the whole of one day, he came to a third charcoal-burner, who like the previous one, invited him to potatoes without dripping. But he let him also dine with him from his wishing-cloth, and the charcoal-burner liked it so well, that at last he offered him a horn for it, which had very different properties from those of the hat. The moment someone blew it all the walls and fortifications fell down, and all towns and villages became ruins. For this he immediately gave the charcoal-burner the cloth, but he afterwards sent his soldiers to demand it back again, so that at length he had the knapsack, hat and horn, all three. Now, said he, I am a made man, and it is time for me to go home and see how my brothers are getting on.

When he reached home, his brothers had built themselves a handsome house with their silver and gold, and were living in clover. He went to see them, but as he came in a ragged coat, with his shabby hat on his head, and his old knapsack on his back, they would not acknowledge him as their brother. They mocked and said, you give out that you are our brother who despised silver and gold, and craved for something still better for himself. Such a person arrives in his carriage in full splendor like a mighty king, not like a beggar, and they drove him out of doors. Then he fell into a rage, and tapped his knapsack until a hundred and fifty men stood before him armed from head to foot. He commanded them to surround his brothers, house, and two of them were to take hazelsticks with them, and beat the two insolent men until they knew who he was.

A violent disturbance broke out, people ran together, and wanted to lend the two some help in their need, but against the soldiers they could do nothing. News of this at length came to the king, who was very angry, and ordered a captain to march out with his troop, and drive this disturber of the peace out of the town, but the man with knapsack soon got a greater body of men together, who repulsed the captain and his men, so that they were forced to retire with bloody noses. The king said, this vagabond is not brought to order yet, and next day sent a still larger troop against him, but they could do even less. The youth set still more men against them, and in order to be done the sooner, he turned his hat twice round on his head, and heavy guns began to play, and the king's men were beaten and put to flight.

And now, said he, I will not make peace until the king gives me his daughter to wife, and I govern the whole kingdom in his name. He caused this to be announced to the king, and the latter said to his daughter, necessity is a hard nut to crack. What else is there for me to do but what he desires. If I want peace and to keep the crown on my head, I must give you away.

So the wedding was celebrated, but the king's daughter was vexed that her husband should be a common man, who wore a shabby hat, and put on an old knapsack. She longed to get rid of him, and night and day studied how she could accomplished this. Then she thought to herself, is it possible that his wonderful powers lie in the knapsack, and she feigned affection and caressed him, and when his heart was softened, she said, if you would but lay aside that horrid knapsack, it makes you look so ugly, that I can't help being ashamed of you. Dear child, said he, this knapsack is my greatest treasure, as long as I have it, there is no power on earth that I am afraid of. And he revealed to her the wonderful virtue with which it was endowed.

Then she threw herself in his arms as if she were going to kiss him, but cleverly took the knapsack off his shoulders, and ran away with it. As soon as she was alone she tapped it, and commanded the warriors to seize their former master, and take him out of the royal palace. They obeyed, and the false wife sent still more men after him, who were to drive him quite out of the country. Then he would have been ruined if he had not had the little hat. And hardly were his hands free before he turned it twice. Immediately the cannon began to thunder, and demolished everything, and the king's daughter herself was forced to come and beg for mercy. As she entreated in such moving terms, and promised to better her ways, he allowed himself to be persuaded and granted her peace.

She behaved in a friendly manner to him, and acted as if she loved him very much, and after some time managed so to befool him, that he confided to her that even if someone got the knapsack into his power, he could do nothing against him so long as the old hat was still his. When she knew the secret, she waited until he was asleep, and then she took the hat away from him, and had it thrown out into the street. But the horn still remained to him, and in great anger he blew it with all his strength.

Instantly all walls, fortifications, towns, and villages, toppled down, and crushed the king and his daughter to death. And had he not put down the horn and had blown just a little longer, everything would have been in ruins, and not one stone would have been left standing on another. Then no one opposed him any longer, and he made himself king of the whole country.

 

The Golden Bird

In olden times there was a king, who had behind his palace a beautiful pleasure-garden in which there was a tree that bore golden apples. When the apples were getting ripe they were counted, but on the very next morning one was missing. This was told to the king, and he ordered that a watch should be kept every night beneath the tree.

The king had three sons, the eldest of whom he sent, as soon as night came on, into the garden, but when midnight came he could not keep himself from sleeping, and next morning again an apple was gone.

The following night the second son had to keep watch, but it fared no better with him, as soon as twelve o'clock had struck he fell asleep, and in the morning an apple was gone.

Now it came to the turn of the third son to watch, and he was quite ready, but the king had not much trust in him, and thought that he would be of less use even than his brothers, but at last he let him go. The youth lay down beneath the tree, but kept awake, and did not let sleep master him. When it struck twelve, something rustled through the air, and in the moonlight he saw a bird coming whose feathers were all shining with gold.

The bird alighted on the tree, and had just plucked off an apple, when the youth shot an arrow at him. The bird flew off, but the arrow had struck his plumage, and one of his golden feathers fell down. The youth picked it up, and the next morning took it to the king and told him what he had seen in the night. The king called his council together, and everyone declared that a feather like this was worth more than the whole kingdom. If the feather is so precious, declared the king, one alone will not do for me, I must and will have the whole bird.

The eldest son set out, and trusting to his cleverness thought that he would easily find the golden bird. When he had gone some distance he saw a fox sitting at the edge of a wood so he cocked his gun and took aim at him. The fox cried, do not shoot me, and in return I will give you some good counsel. You are on the way to the golden bird, and this evening you will come to a village in which stand two inns opposite to one another.

One of them is lighted up brightly, and all goes on merrily within, but do not go into it, go rather into the other, even though it looks like a bad one. How can such a silly beast give wise advice, thought the king's son, and he pulled the trigger. But he missed the fox, who stretched out his tail and ran quickly into the wood.

So he pursued his way, and by evening came to the village where the two inns were, in one they were singing and dancing, the other had a poor, miserable look. I should be a fool, indeed, he thought, if I were to go into the shabby tavern, and pass by the good one. So he went into the cheerful one, lived there in riot and revel, and forgot the bird and his father, and all good counsels.

When many months had passed, and the eldest son did not come back home, the second set out, wishing to find the golden bird. The fox met him as he had met the eldest, and gave him the good advice of which he took no heed. He came to the two inns, and his brother was standing at the window of the one from which came the music, and called out to him. He could not resist, but went inside and lived only for pleasure.

Again some time passed, and then the king's youngest son wanted to set off and try his luck, but his father would not allow it. It is of no use, said he, he will find the golden bird still less than his brothers, and if a mishap were to befall him he knows not how to help himself, he's not too bright at the best. But at last, as he had no peace, he let him go.

Again the fox was sitting outside the wood, and begged for his life, and offered his good advice. The youth was good-natured, and said, be easy, little fox, I will do you no harm. You shall not repent it, answered the fox, and that you may get on more quickly, get up behind on my tail. And scarcely had he seated himself when the fox began to run, and away he went over stock and stone till his hair whistled in the wind. When they came to the village the youth got off, he followed the good advice, and without looking round turned into the little inn, where he spent the night quietly.

The next morning, as soon as he got into the open country, there sat the fox already, and said, I will tell you further what you have to do. Go on quite straight, and at last you will come to a castle, in front of which a whole regiment of soldiers is lying, but do not trouble yourself about them, for they will all be asleep and snoring. Go through the midst of them staight into the castle, and go through all the rooms, till at last you will come to a chamber where a golden bird is hanging in a wooden cage. Close by, there stands an empty gold cage for show, but beware of taking the bird out of the common cage and putting it into the fine one, or it may go badly with you.

With these words the fox again stretched out his tail, and the king's son seated himself upon it, and away he went over stock and stone till his hair whistled in the wind.

When he came to the castle he found everything as the fox had said. The king's son went into the chamber where the golden bird was shut up in a wooden cage, whilst a golden one stood by, and the three golden apples lay about the room. But, thought he, it would be absurd if I were to leave the beautiful bird in the common and ugly cage, so he opened the door, laid hold of it, and put it into the golden cage. But at the same moment the bird uttered a shrill cry. The soldiers awoke, rushed in, and took him off to prison. The next morning he was taken before a court of justice, and as he confessed everything, was sentenced to death.

The king, however, said that he would grant him his life on one condition - namely, if he brought him the golden horse which ran faster than the wind, and in that case he should receive, over and above, as a reward, the golden bird.

The king's son set off, but he sighed and was sorrowful, for how was he to find the golden horse. But all at once he saw his old friend the fox sitting on the road. Look you, said the fox, this has happened because you did not give heed to me. However, be of good courage. I will give you my help, and tell you how to get to the golden horse. You must go straight on, and you will come to a castle, where in the stable stands the horse. The grooms will be lying in front of the stable, but they will be asleep and snoring, and you can quietly lead out the golden horse. But of one thing you must take heed, put on him the common saddle of wood and leather, and not the golden one, which hangs close by, else it will go ill with you. Then the fox stretched out his tail, the king's son seated himself upon it, and away he went over stock and stone until his hair whistled in the wind.

Everything happened just as the fox had said, the prince came to the stable in which the golden horse was standing, but just as he was going to put the common saddle upon him, he thought, such a beautiful beast will be shamed if I do not give him the good saddle which belongs to him by right. But scarcely had the golden saddle touched the horse than he began to neigh loudly. The grooms awoke, seized the youth, and threw him into prison.

The next morning he was sentenced by the court to death, but the king promised to grant him his life, and the golden horse as well, if he could bring back the beautiful princess from the golden castle.

With a heavy heart the youth set out, yet luckily for him he soon found the trusty fox. I ought only to leave you to your ill-luck, said the fox, but I pity you, and will help you once more out of your trouble. This road takes you straight to the golden castle, you will reach it by eventide, and at night when everything is quiet the beautiful princess goes to the bathing-house to bathe. When she enters it, run up to her and give her a kiss, then she will follow you, and you can take her away with you, only do not allow her to take leave of her parents first, or it will go ill with you.

Then the fox stretched out his tail, the king's son seated himself upon it, and away went the fox, over stock and stone, till his hair whistled in the wind.

When he reached the golden castle it was just as the fox had said. He waited until midnight, when everything lay in deep sleep, and the beautiful princess was going to the bathing-house. Then he sprang out and gave her a kiss. She said that she would like to go with him, but she asked him pitifully, and with tears, to allow her first to take leave of her parents. At first he withstood her prayer, but when she wept more and more, and fell at his feet, he at last gave in. But no sooner had the maiden reached the bedside of her father than he and all the rest in the castle awoke, and the youth was laid hold of and put into prison.

The next morning the king said to him, your life is forfeited, and you can only find mercy if you take away the hill which stands in front of my windows, and prevents my seeing beyond it, and you must finish it all within eight days. If you do that you shall have my daughter as your reward.

The king's son began, and dug and shoveled without stopping, but when after seven days he saw how little he had done, and how all his work was as good as nothing, he fell into great sorrow and gave up all hope. But on the evening of the seventh day the fox appeared and said, you do not deserve that I should take my trouble about you, but just go away and lie down to sleep, and I will do the work for you.

The next morning when he awoke and looked out of the window the hill had gone. The youth ran, full of joy, to the king, and told him that the task was fulfilled, and whether he liked it or not, the king had to hold to his word and give him his daughter.

So the two set forth together, and it was not long before the trusty fox came up with them. You have certainly got what is best, said he, but the golden horse also belongs to the maiden of the golden castle. How shall I get it, asked the youth. That I will tell you, answered the fox, first take the beautiful maiden to the king who sent you to the golden castle. There will be unheard-of rejoicing, they will gladly give you the golden horse, and will bring it out to you. Mount it as soon as possible, and offer your hand to all in farewell, last of all to the beautiful maiden. And as soon as you have taken her hand swing her up on to the horse, and gallop away, and no one will be able to bring you back, for the horse runs faster than the wind.

All was carried out successfully, and the king's son carried off the beautiful princess on the golden horse.

The fox did not remain behind, and he said to the youth, now I will help you to get the golden bird. When you come near to the castle where the golden bird is to be found, let the maiden get down, and I will take her into my care. Then ride with the golden horse into the castle-yard, there will be great rejoicing at the sight, and they will bring out the golden bird for you. As soon as you have the cage in your hand gallop back to us, and take the maiden away again.

When the plan had succeeded, and the king's son was about to ride home with his treasures, the fox said, now you shall reward me for my help. What do you require for it, asked the youth. When you get into the wood yonder, shoot me dead, and chop off my head and feet.

That would be fine gratitude, said the king's son. I cannot possibly do that for you.

The fox said, if you will not do it I must leave you, but before I go away I will give you a piece of good advice. Be careful about two things. Buy no gallows'-flesh, and do not sit at the edge of any well. And then he ran into the wood.

The youth thought, that is a wonderful beast, he has strange whims, who on earth would want to buy gallows'-flesh. As for the desire to sit at the edge of a well it has never yet occurred to me.

He rode on with the beautiful maiden, and his road took him again through the village in which his two brothers had remained. There was a great stir and noise, and, when he asked what was going on, he was told that two men were going to be hanged. As he came nearer to the place he saw that they were his brothers, who had been playing all kinds of wicked pranks, and had squandered all their wealth. He inquired whether they could not be set free. If you will pay for them, answered the people, but why should you waste your money on wicked men, and buy them free. He did not think twice about it, but paid for them, and when they were set free they all went on their way together.

They came to the wood where the fox had first met them, and as it was a hot day, but cool and pleasant within the wood, the two brothers said, let us rest a little by the well, and eat and drink. He agreed, and whilst they were talking he forgot himself, and sat down upon the edge of the well without thinking of any evil. But the two brothers threw him backwards into the well, took the maiden, the horse, and the bird, and went home to their father. Here we bring you not only the golden bird, said they, we have won the golden horse also, and the maiden from the golden castle. Then was there great joy, but the horse would not eat, the bird would not sing, and the maiden sat and wept.

But the youngest brother was not dead. By good fortune the well was dry, and he fell upon soft moss without being hurt, but he could not get out again. Even in this strait the faithful fox did not leave him, it came and leapt down to him, and upbraided him for having forgotten its advice. But yet I cannot give up, he said, I will help you up again into daylight. He bade him grasp his tail and keep tight hold of it, and then he pulled him up. You are not out of all danger yet, said the fox. Your brothers were not sure of your death, and have surrounded the wood with watchers, who are to kill you if you let yourself be seen. But a poor man was sitting upon the road, with whom the youth changed clothes, and in this way he got to the king's palace.

No one knew him, but the bird began to sing, the horse began to eat, and the beautiful maiden left off weeping. The king, astonished, asked, what does this mean. Then the maiden said, I do not know, but I have been so sorrowful and now I am so happy. I feel as if my true bridegroom had come. She told him all that had happened, although the other brothers had threatened her with death if she were to betray anything.

The king commanded that all people who were in his castle should be brought before him, and amongst them came the youth in his ragged clothes, but the maiden knew him at once and fell upon his neck. The wicked brothers were seized and put to death, but he was married to the beautiful maiden and declared heir to the king.

But what happened to the poor fox. Long afterwards the king's son was once again walking in the wood, when the fox met him and said, you have everything now that you can wish for, but there is never an end to my misery, and yet it is in your power to free me, and again he asked him with tears to shoot him dead and chop off his head and feet. So he did it, and scarcely was it done when the fox was changed into a man, and was no other than the brother of the beautiful princess, who at last was freed from the magic charm which had been laid upon him. And now they had all the happiness they wanted as long as they lived.

 

The Two Brothers

There were once upon a time two brothers, one rich and the other poor. The rich one was a goldsmith and evil-hearted. The poor one supported himself by making brooms, and was good and honorable. He had two children, who were twin brothers and as like each other as two drops of water. The two boys went in and out of the rich house, and often got some of the scraps to eat. It happened once when the poor man was going into the forest to fetch brush-wood, that he saw a bird which was quite golden and more beautiful than any he had ever chanced to meet with. He picked up a small stone, threw it at it, and was lucky enough to hit it, but one golden feather only fell down, and the bird flew away. The man took the feather and carried it to his brother, who looked at it and said, it is pure gold. And gave him a great deal of money for it. Next day the man climbed into a birch-tree, and was about to cut off a couple of branches when the same bird flew out, and when the man searched he found a nest, and an egg lay inside it, which was of gold. He took the egg home with him, and carried it to his brother, who again said, it is pure gold, and gave him what it was worth. At last the goldsmith said, I should indeed like to have the bird itself. The poor man went into the forest for the third time, and again saw the golden bird sitting on the tree, so he took a stone and brought it down and carried it to his brother, who gave him a great heap of gold for it. Now I can get on, thought he, and went contentedly home.

The goldsmith was crafty and cunning, and knew very well what kind of a bird it was. He called his wife and said, roast me the gold bird, and take care that none of it is lost. I have a fancy to eat it all myself. The bird, however, was no common one, but of so wondrous a kind that whosoever ate its heart and liver found every morning a piece of gold beneath his pillow. The woman prepared the bird, put it on the spit, and let it roast. Now it happened that while it was on the fire, and the woman was forced to go out of the kitchen on account of some other work, the two children of the poor broom-maker ran in, stood by the spit and turned it round once or twice. And as at that very moment two little bits of the bird fell down into the pan, one of the boys said, we will eat these two little bits. I am so hungry, and no one will ever miss them. Then the two ate the pieces, but the woman came into the kitchen and saw that they were eating something and said, what have you been eating. Two little morsels which fell out of the bird, answered they. That must have been the heart and the liver, said the woman, quite frightened, and in order that her husband might not miss them and be angry, she quickly killed a young cock, took out his heart and liver, and put them beside the golden bird. When it was ready, she carried it to the goldsmith, who consumed it all alone, and left none of it. Next morning, however, when he felt beneath his pillow, and expected to bring out the piece of gold, no more gold pieces were there than there had always been.

The two children did not know what a piece of good-fortune had fallen to their lot. Next morning when they arose, something fell rattling to the ground, and when they picked it up there were two gold pieces. They took them to their father, who was astonished and said, how can that have happened. When next morning they again found two, and so on daily, he went to his brother and told him the strange story. The goldsmith at once knew how it had happened, and that the children had eaten the heart and liver of the golden bird, and in order to revenge himself, and because he was envious and hard-hearted, he said to the father, your children are in league with the evil one, do not take the gold, and do not suffer them to stay any longer in your house, for he has them in his power, and may ruin you likewise. The father feared the evil one, and painful as it was to him, he nevertheless led the twins forth into the forest, and with a sad heart left them there.

And now the two children ran about the forest, and sought the way home again, but could not find it, and only lost themselves more and more. At length they met with a huntsman, who asked, to whom do you children belong. We are the poor broom-maker's boys, they replied, and they told him that their father would not keep them any longer in the house because a piece of gold lay every morning under their pillows. Come, said the huntsman, that is nothing so very bad, if at the same time you remain honest, and are not idle. As the good man liked the children, and had none of his own, he took them home with him and said, I will be your father, and bring you up till you are big. They learnt huntsmanship from him, and the piece of gold which each of them found when he awoke, was kept for them by him in case they should need it in the future.

When they were grown up, their foster-father one day took them into the forest with him, and said, to-day shall you make your trial shot, so that I may release you from your apprenticeship, and make you huntsmen. They went with him to lie in wait and stayed there a long time, but no game appeared. The huntsman, however, looked above him and saw a covey of wild geese flying in the form of a triangle, and said to one of them, shoot me down one from each corner. He did it, and thus accomplished his trial shot.

Soon after another covey came flying by in the form of the figure two, and the huntsman bade the other also bring down one from each corner, and his trial shot was likewise successful. Now, said the foster-father, I pronounce you out of your apprenticeship. You are skilled huntsmen. Thereupon the two brothers went forth together into the forest, and took counsel with each other and planned something. And in the evening when they had sat down to supper, they said to their foster-father, we will not touch food, or take one mouthful, until you have granted us a request. Said he, what, then, is your request. They replied, we have now finished learning, and we must prove ourselves in the world, so allow us to go away and travel. Then spoke the old man joyfully, you talk like brave huntsmen, that which you desire has been my wish. Go forth, all will go well with you. Thereupon they ate and drank joyously together.

When the appointed day came, their foster-father presented each of them with a good gun and a dog, and let each of them take as many of his saved-up gold pieces as he chose. Then he accompanied them a part of the way, and when taking leave, he gave them a bright knife, and said, if ever you separate, stick this knife into a tree at the place where you part, and when one of you returns, he will will be able to see how his absent brother is faring, for the side of the knife which is turned in the direction by which he went, will rust if he dies, but will remain bright as long as he is alive. The two brothers went still farther onwards, and came to a forest which was so large that it was impossible for them to get out of it in one day. So they passed the night in it, and ate what they had put in their hunting-pouches, but they walked all the second day likewise, and still did not get out. As they had nothing to eat, one of them said, we must shoot something for ourselves or we shall suffer from hunger, and loaded his gun, and looked about him. And when an old hare came running up towards them, he laid his gun on his shoulder, but the hare cried, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give, and sprang instantly into the thicket, and brought two young ones.

But the little creatures played so merrily, and were so pretty, that the huntsmen could not find it in their hearts to kill them. They therefore kept them with them, and the little hares followed on foot. Soon after this, a fox crept past. They were just going to shoot it, but the fox cried, dear hunstman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

He, too, brought two little foxes, and the huntsmen did not like to kill them either, but gave them to the hares for company, and they followed behind. It was not long before a wolf strode out of the thicket. The huntsmen made ready to shoot him, but the wolf cried, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

The huntsman put the two wolves beside the other animals, and they followed behind them. Then a bear came who wanted to trot about a little longer, and cried, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

The two young bears were added to the others, and there were already eight of them. Then who should come. A lion came, and tossed his mane. But the huntsmen did not let themselves be frightened and aimed at him likewise, but the lion also said, dear huntsman, do but let me live, two little ones to thee I'll give.

And he brought his little ones to them, and now the huntsmen had two lions, two bears, two wolves, two foxes, and two hares, who followed them and served them. In the meantime their hunger was not appeased by this, and they said to the foxes, listen you sneakers, provide us with something to eat. You are crafty and cunning. They replied, not far from here lies a village, from which we have already brought many a fowl. We will show you the way there. So they went into the village, bought themselves something to eat, had some food given to their beasts, and then traveled onwards. The foxes knew their way very well about the district and where the poultry-yards were, and were were able to guide the huntsmen.

Now they traveled about for a while, but could find no situation where they could remain together, so they said, there is nothing else for it, we must part. They divided the animals, so that each of them had a lion, a bear, a wolf, a fox, and a hare, then they took leave of each other, promised to love each other like brothers till their death, and stuck the knife which their foster-father had given them, into a tree, after which one went east and the other went west.

The younger, however, arrived with his beasts in a town which was all hung with black crape. He went into an inn, and asked the host if he could accommodate his animals. The innkeeper gave him a stable, where there was a hole in the wall, and the hare crept out and fetched himself the head of a cabbage, and the fox fetched himself a hen, and when he had devoured it got the cock as well, but the wolf, the bear, and the lion could not get out because they were too big. Then the innkeeper let them be taken to a place where a cow happened to be lying on the grass, that they might eat till they were satisfied. And when the huntsman had taken care of his animals, he asked the innkeeper why the town was thus hung with black crape. Said the host, because our king's only daughter is to die to-morrow. The huntsman inquired, is she sick unto death. No, answered the host, she is vigorous and healthy, nevertheless she must die. How is that, asked the huntsman.

There is a high hill without the town, whereon dwells a dragon who every year must have a pure virgin, or he lays the whole country waste, and now all the maidens have already been given to him, and there is no longer anyone left but the king's daughter, yet there is no mercy for her. She must be given up to him, and that is to be done to-morrow. Said the huntsman, why is the dragon not killed. Ah, replied the host, so many knights have tried it, but it has cost all of them their lives. The king has promised that he who conquers the dragon shall have his daughter to wife, and shall likewise govern the kingdom after his own death.

The huntsman said nothing more to this, but next morning took his animals, and with them ascended the dragon's hill. A little church stood at the top of it, and on the altar three full cups were standing, with the inscription. Whosoever empties the cups will become the strongest man on earth, and will be able to wield the sword which is buried before the threshold of the door. The huntsman did not drink, but went out and sought for the sword in the ground, but was unable to move it from its place. Then he went in and emptied the cups, and now he was strong enough to take up the sword, and his hand could quite easily wield it. As the hour came when the maiden was to be delivered over to the dragon, the king, the marshal, and courtiers accompanied her. From afar she saw the huntsman on the dragon's hill, and thought it was the dragon standing there waiting for her, and did not want to go up to him, but at last, because otherwise the whole town would have been destroyed, she was forced to take the fatal journey. The king and courtiers returned home full of grief. The king's marshal, however, was to stand still, and see all from a distance.

When the king's daughter got to the top of the hill, it was not the dragon which stood there, but the young huntsman, who comforted her, and said he would save her, led her into the church, and locked her in. It was not long before the seven-headed dragon came thither with loud roaring. When he perceived the huntsman, he was astonished and said, what business have you here on the hill. The huntsman answered, I want to fight with you. Said the dragon, many knights have left their lives here, I shall soon have made an end of you too, and he breathed fire out of seven jaws.

The fire was to have lighted the dry grass, and the huntsman was to have been suffocated in the heat and smoke, but the animals came running up and trampled out the fire. Then the dragon rushed upon the huntsman, but he swung his sword until it sang through the air, and struck off three of his heads. Then the dragon grew really furious, and rose up in the air, and spat out flames of fire over the huntsman, and was about to plunge down on him, but the huntsman once more drew out his sword, and again cut off three of his heads. The monster became faint and sank down.

Nevertheless it was just able to rush upon the huntsman, when he with his last strength smote its tail off, and as he could fight no longer, called up his animals who tore it in pieces. When the struggle was ended, the huntsman unlocked the church, and found the king's daughter lying on the floor, as she had lost her senses with anguish and terror during the contest. He carried her out, and when she came to herself once more, and opened her eyes, he showed her the dragon all cut to pieces, and told her that she was now set free. She rejoiced and said, now you will be my dearest husband, for my father has promised me to him who kills the dragon. Thereupon she took off her necklace of coral, and divided it amongst the animals in order to reward them, and the lion received the golden clasp. Her pocket-handkerchief, however, on which was her name, she gave to the huntsman, who went and cut the tongues out of the dragons, seven heads, wrapped them in the handkerchief, and preserved them carefully.

That done, as he was so faint and weary with the fire and the battle, he said to the maiden, we are both faint and weary, we will sleep awhile. Then she said, yes, and they lay down on the ground, and the huntsman said to the lion, you shall keep watch, that no one surprises us in our sleep, and both fell asleep. The lion lay down beside them to watch, but he also was so weary with the fight, that he called to the bear and said, lie down near me, I must sleep a little. If anything comes, waken me. Then the bear lay down beside him, but he also was tired, and called the wolf and said, lie down by me, I must sleep a little, but if anything comes, waken me. Then the wolf lay down by him, but he was tired likewise, and called the fox and said, lie down by me, I must sleep a little, if anything comes waken me. Then the fox lay down beside him, but he too was weary, and called the hare and said, lie down near me, I must sleep a little, and if anything should come, waken me. Then the hare sat down by him, but the poor hare was tired too, and had no one whom he could call there to keep watch, and fell asleep. And now the king's daughter, the huntsman, the lion, the bear, the wolf, the fox, and the hare, were all sleeping a sound sleep. The marshal, however, who was to look on from a distance, took courage when he did not see the dragon flying away with the maiden, and finding that all the hill had become quiet, ascended it.

There lay the dragon hacked and hewn to pieces on the ground, and not far from it were the king's daughter and a huntsman with his animals, and all of them were sunk in a sound sleep. And as he was wicked and godless he took his sword, cut off the huntsman's head, and seized the maiden in his arms, and carried her down the hill. Then she awoke and was terrified, but the marshal said, you are in my hands, you shall say that it was I who killed the dragon.

I cannot do that, she replied, for it was a huntsman with his animals who did it. Then he drew his sword, and threatened to kill her if she did not obey him, and so compelled her that she promised it. Then he took her to the king, who did not know how to contain himself for joy when he once more looked on his dear child in life, whom he had believed to have been torn to pieces by the monster. The marshal said to him, I have killed the dragon, and delivered the maiden and the whole kingdom as well, therefore I demand her as my wife, as was promised. The king said to the maiden, is what he says true. Ah, yes, she answered, it must indeed be true, but I will not consent to have the wedding celebrated until after a year and a day, for she thought in that time she should hear something of her dear huntsman.

The animals, however, were still lying sleeping beside their dead master on the dragon's hill, and there came a great bumble-bee and lighted on the hare's nose, but the hare wiped it off with his paw, and went on sleeping. The bumble-bee came a second time, but the hare again rubbed it off and slept on. Then it came for the third time, and stung his nose so that he awoke. As soon as the hare was awake, he roused the fox, and the fox, the wolf, and the wolf the bear, and the bear the lion. And when the lion awoke and saw that the maiden was gone, and his master was dead, he began to roar frightfully and cried, who has done that. Bear, why did you not waken me. The bear asked the wolf, why did you not waken me. And the wolf the fox, why did you not waken me. And the fox the hare, why did you not waken me. The poor hare alone did not know what answer to make, and the blame rested with him. Then they were just going to fall upon him, but he entreated them and said, kill me not, I will bring our master to life again. I know a mountain on which a root grows which, when placed in the mouth of anyone, cures him of all illness and every wound. But the mountain lies two hundred hours, journey from here.

The lion said, in four-and-twenty hours must you have run thither and have come back, and have brought the root with you. Then the hare sprang away, and in four-and-twenty hours he was back, and brought the root with him. The lion put the huntsman's head on again, and the hare placed the root in his mouth, and immediately everything united together again, and his heart beat, and life came back. Then the huntsman awoke, and was alarmed when he did not see the maiden, and thought, she must have gone away whilst I was sleeping, in order to get rid of me. The lion in his great haste had put his master's head on the wrong way round, but the huntsman did not observe it because of his melancholy thoughts about the king's daughter. But at noon, when he was going to eat something, he saw that his head was turned backwards and could not understand it, and asked the animals what had happened to him in his sleep. Then the lion told him that they, too, had all fallen asleep from weariness, and on awaking, had found him dead with his head cut off, that the hare had brought the life-giving root, and that he, in his haste, had laid hold of the head the wrong way, but that he would repair his mistake. Then he tore the huntsman's head off again, turned it round, and the hare healed it with the root.

The huntsman, however, was sad at heart, and traveled about the world, and made his animals dance before people. It came to pass that precisely at the end of one year he came back to the same town where he had rescued the king's daughter from the dragon, and this time the town was gaily hung with red cloth. Then he said to the host, what does this mean. Last year the town was all hung with black crape, what means the red cloth to-day. The host answered, last year our king's daughter was to have been delivered over to the dragon, but the marshal fought with it and killed it, and so to-morrow their wedding is to be solemnized, and that is why the town was then hung with black crape for mourning, and is to-day covered with red cloth for joy.

Next day when the wedding was to take place, the huntsman said at mid-day to the inn-keeper, do you believe, sir host, that I while with you here to-day shall eat bread from the king's own table.

Nay, said the host, I would bet a hundred pieces of gold that that will not come true. The huntsman accepted the wager, and set against it a purse with just the same number of gold pieces. Then he called the hare and said, go, my dear runner, and fetch me some of the bread which the king is eating. Now the little hare was the lowest of the animals, and could not transfer this order to any the others, but had to get on his legs himself. Alas. Thought he, if I bound through the streets thus alone, the butchers, dogs will all be after me. It happened as he expected, and the dogs came after him and wanted to make holes in his good skin. But he sprang away, you have never seen the like, and sheltered himself in a sentry-box without the soldier being aware of it. Then the dogs came and wanted to have him out, but the soldier did not understand a jest, and struck them with the butt-end of his gun, till they ran away yelling and howling. As soon as the hare saw that the way was clear, he ran into the palace and straight to the king's daughter, sat down under her chair, and scratched at her foot. Then she said, will you get away, and thought it was her dog. The hare scratched her foot for the second time, and she again said, will you get away, and thought it was her dog. But the hare did not let itself be turned from its purpose, and scratched her for the third time. Then she peeped down, and knew the hare by its collar.

She took him on her lap, carried him into her chamber, and said, dear hare, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me to ask for a loaf of bread like that which the king eats. Then she was full of joy and had the baker summoned, and ordered him to bring a loaf such as was eaten by the king. The little hare said, but the baker must likewise carry it thither for me, that the butchers, dogs may do no harm to me. The baker carried if for him as far as the door of the inn, and then the hare got on his hind legs, took the loaf in his front paws, and carried it to his master. Then said the huntsman, behold, sir host, the hundred pieces of gold are mine. The host was astonished, but the huntsman went on to say, yes, sir host, I have the bread, but now I will likewise have some of the king's roast meat.

The host said, I should indeed like to see that, but he would make no more wagers. The huntsman called the fox and said, my little fox, go and fetch me some roast meat, such as the king eats.

The red fox knew the byways better, and went by holes and corners without any dog seeing him, seated himself under the chair of the king's daughter, and scratched her foot. Then she looked down and recognized the fox by its collar, took him into her chamber with her and said, dear fox, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me. I am to ask for some roast meat such as the king is eating. Then she made the cook come, who was obliged to prepare a roast joint, the same as was eaten by the king, and to carry it for the fox as far as the door. Then the fox took the dish, waved away with his tail the flies which had settled on the meat, and then carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, bread and meat are here but now I will also have proper vegetables with it, such as are eaten by the king. Then he called the wolf, and said, dear wolf, go thither and fetch me vegetables such as the king eats.

Then the wolf went straight to the palace, as he feared no one, and when he got to the king's daughter's parlor, he tugged at the back of her dress, so that she was forced to look round. She recognized him by his collar, and took him into her chamber with her, and said, dear wolf, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, I am to ask for some vegetables, such as the king eats. Then she made the cook come, and he had to make ready a dish of vegetables, such as the king ate, and had to carry it for the wolf as far as the door, and then the wolf took the dish from him, and carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, now I have bread and meat and vegetables, but I will also have some pastry to eat like that which the king eats. He called the bear, and said, dear bear, you are fond of licking anything sweet, go and bring me some confectionery, such as the king eats.

The the bear trotted to the palace, and everyone got out of his way, but when he went to the guard, they presented their muskets, and would not let him go into the royal palace. But he got up on his hind legs, and gave them a few boxes on the ears, right and left, with his paws, so that the whole watch broke up, and then he went straight to the king's daughter, placed himself behind her, and growled a little. Then she looked behind her, knew the bear, and bade him go into her room with her, and said, dear bear, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I am to ask for some confectionery such as the king eats. Then she summoned her confectioner, who had to bake confectionery such as the king ate, and carry it to the door for the bear. Then the bear first licked up the comfits which had rolled down, and then he stood upright, took the dish, and carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, now I have bread, meat, vegetables and confectionery, but I will drink wine also, and such as the king drinks. He called his lion to him and said, dear lion, you yourself like to drink till you are tipsy, go and fetch me some wine, such as is drunk by the king.

Then the lion strode through the streets, and the people fled from him, and when he came to the watch, they wanted to bar the way against him, but he did but roar once, and they all ran away. Then the lion went to the royal apartment, and knocked at the door with his tail. The the king's daughter came forth, and was almost afraid of the lion, but she knew him by the golden clasp of her necklace, and bade him go with her into her chamber, and said, dear lion, what will you have. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I am to ask for some wine such as is drunk by the king. Then she bade the cup-bearer be called, who was to give the lion some wine like that which was drunk by the king. The lion said, I will go with him, and see that I get the right wine. Then he went down with the cup-bearer, and when they were below, the cup-bearer wanted to draw him some of the common wine that was drunk by the king's servants, but the lion said, stop, I will taste the wine first, and he drew half a measure, and swallowed it down at one draught. No, said he, that is not right. The cup-bearer looked at him askance, but went on, and was about to give him some out of another barrel which was for the king's marshal. The lion said, stop, let me taste the wine first, and drew half a measure and drank it. That is better, but still not right, said he. Then the cup-bearer grew angry and said, how can a stupid animal like you understand wine. But the lion gave him a blow behind the ears, which made him fall down by no means gently, and when he had got up again, he conducted the lion quite silently into a little cellar apart, where the king's wine lay, from which no one ever drank. The lion first drew half a measure and tried the wine, and then he said, that may possibly be the right sort, and bade the cup-bearer fill six bottles of it. And now they went upstairs again, but when the lion came out of the cellar into the open air, he reeled here and there, and was rather drunk, and the cup-bearer was forced to carry the wine as far as the door for him, and then the lion took the handle of the basket in his mouth, and took it to his master. The huntsman said, behold, sir host, here have I bread, meat, vegetables, confectionery and wine such as the king has, and now I will dine with my animals, and he sat down and ate and drank, and gave the hare, the fox, the wolf, the bear, and the lion also to eat and to drink, and was joyful, for he saw that the king's daughter still loved him. And when he had finished his dinner, he said, sir host, now have I eaten and drunk, as the king eats and drinks, and now I will go to the king's court and marry the king's daughter.

Said the host, how can that be, when she already has a betrothed husband, and when the wedding is to be solemnized to-day. Then the huntsman drew forth the handerchief which the king's daughter had given him on the dragon's hill, and in which were folded the monster's seven tongues, and said, that which I hold in my hand shall help me to do it. Then the innkeeper looked at the handkerchief, and said, whatever I believe, I do not believe that, and I am willing to stake my house and courtyard on it. The huntsman, however, took a bag with a thousand gold pieces, put it on the table, and said, I stake that on it.

Now the king said to his daughter, at the royal table, what did all the wild animals want, which have been coming to you, and going in and out of my palace. She replied, I may not tell you, but send and have the master of these animals brought, and you will do well. The king sent a servant to the inn, and invited the stranger, and the servant came just as the huntsman had laid his wager with the innkeeper. Then said he, behold, sir host, now the king sends his servant and invites me, but I do not go in this way.

And he said to the servant, I request the lord king to send me royal clothing, and a carriage with six horses, and servants to attend me. When the king heard the answer, he said to his daughter, what shall I do. She said, cause him to be fetched as he desires to be, and you will do well. Then the king sent royal apparel, a carriage with six horses, and servants to wait on him. When the huntsman saw them coming, he said, behold, sir host, now I am fetched as I desired to be, and he put on the royal garments, took the handerchief with the dragon's tongues with him, and drove off to the king. When the king saw him coming, he said to his daughter, how shall I receive him. She answered, go to meet him and you will do well. Then the king went to meet him and led him in, and his animals followed. The king gave him a seat near himself and his daughter, and the marshal, as bridegroom, sat on the other side, but no longer knew the huntsman. And now at this very moment, the seven heads of the dragon were brought in as a spectacle, and the king said, the seven heads were cut off the dragon by the marshal, wherefore to-day I give him my daughter to wife. The the huntsman stood up, opened the seven mouths, and said, where are the seven tongues of the dragon. Then was the marshal terrified, and grew pale and knew not what answer he should make, and at length in his anguish he said, dragons have no tongues. The huntsman said, liars ought to have none, but the dragon's tongues are the tokens of the victor, and he unfolded the handerchief, and there lay all seven inside it. And he put each tongue in the mouth to which it belonged, and it fitted exactly.

Then he took the handkerchief on which the name of the princess was embroidered, and showed it to the maiden, and asked to whom she had given it, and she replied, to him who killed the dragon. And then he called his animals, and took the collar off each of them and the golden clasp from the lion, and showed them to the maiden and asked to whom they belonged. She answered, the necklace and golden clasp were mine, but I divided them among the animals who helped to conquer the dragon. Then spoke the huntsman, when I, tired of the fight, was resting and sleeping, the marshal came and cut off my head. Then he carried away the king's daughter, and gave out that it was he who had killed the dragon, but that he lied I prove with the tongues, the handkerchief, and the necklace.

And then he related how his animals had healed him by means of a wonderful root, and how he had traveled about with them for one year, and had at length come there and had learnt the treachery of the marshal by the inn-keeper's story. Then the king asked his daughter, is it true that this man killed the dragon.

And she answered, yes, it is true. Now can I reveal the wicked deed of the marshal, as it has come to light without my connivance, for he wrung from me a promise to be silent. For this reason, however, did I make the condition that the marriage should not be solemnized for a year and a day. Then the king bade twelve councillors be summoned who were to pronounce judgment on the marshal, and they sentenced him to be torn to pieces by four bulls.

The marshal was therefore executed, but the king gave his daughter to the huntsman, and named him his viceroy over the whole kingdom. The wedding was celebrated with great joy, and the young king caused his father and his foster-father to be brought, and loaded them with treasures. Neither did he forget the inn-keeper, but sent for him and said, behold, sir host, I have married the king's daughter, and your house and yard are mine.

The host said, yes, according to justice it is so. But the young king said, it shall be done according to mercy, and told him that he should keep his house and yard, and gave him the thousand pieces of gold as well.

And now the young king and queen were thoroughly happy, and lived in gladness together. He often went out hunting because it was a delight to him, and the faithful animals had to accompany him. In the neighborhood, however, there was a forest of which it was reported that it was haunted, and that whosoever did but enter it did not easily get out again. But the young king had a great inclination to hunt in it, and let the old king have no peace until he allowed him to do so. So he rode forth with a great following, and when he came to the forest, he saw a snow-white hind, and said to his men, wait here until I return, I want to hunt that beautiful creature, and he rode into the forest after it, followed only by his animals. The attendants halted and waited until evening, but he did not return, so they rode home, and told the young queen that the young king had followed a white hind into the enchanted forest, and had not come back again. Then she was in the greatest concern about him. He, however, had still continued to ride on and on after the beautiful wild animal, and had never been able to overtake it, when he thought he was near enough to aim, he instantly saw it bound away into the far distance, and at length it vanished altogether. And now he perceived that he had penetrated deep into the forest, and blew his horn but he received no answer, for his attendants could not hear it. And as night was falling, he saw that he could not get home that day, so he dismounted from his horse, lighted himself a fire near a tree, and resolved to spend the night by it. While he was sitting by the fire, and his animals also were lying down beside him, it seemed to him that he heard a human voice. He looked round, but could perceived nothing. Soon afterwards, he again heard a groan as if from above, and then he looked up, and saw an old woman sitting in the tree, who wailed unceasingly, oh, oh, oh, how cold I am. Said he, come down, and warm yourself if you are cold. But she said, no, your animals will bite me. He answered, they will do you no harm, old mother, do come down. She, however, was a witch, and said, I will throw down a wand from the tree, and if you strike them on the back with it, they will do me no harm. Then she threw him a small wand, and he struck them with it, and instantly they lay still and were turned into stone. And when the witch was safe from the animals, she leapt down and touched him also with a wand, and changed him to stone. Thereupon she laughed, and dragged him and the animals into a vault, where many more such stones already lay.

As the young king did not come back at all, the queen's anguish and care grew constantly greater. And it so happened that at this very time the other brother who had turned to the east when they separated, came into the kingdom. He had sought a situation, and had found none, and had then traveled about here and there, and had made his animals dance. Then it came into his mind that he would just go and look at the knife that they had thrust in the trunk of a tree at their parting, that he might learn how his brother was. When he got there his brother's side of the knife was half rusted, and half bright. Then he was alarmed and thought, a great misfortune must have befallen my brother, but perhaps I can still save him, for half the knife is still bright. He and his animals traveled towards the west, and when he entered the gate of the town, the guard came to meet him, and asked if he was to announce him to his consort the young queen, who had for a couple of days been in the greatest sorrow about his staying away, and was afraid he had been killed in the enchanted forest.

The sentries, indeed, thought no otherwise than that he was the young king himself, for he looked so like him, and had wild animals running behind him. Then he saw that they were speaking of his brother, and thought, it will be better if I pass myself off for him, and then I can rescue him more easily. So he allowed himself to be escorted into the castle by the guard, and was received with the greatest joy. The young queen indeed thought that he was her husband, and asked him why he had stayed away so long. He answered, I had lost myself in a forest, and could not find my way out again any sooner. At night he was taken to the royal bed, but he laid a two-edged sword between him and the young queen, she did not know what that could mean, but did not venture to ask.

He remained in the palace a couple of days, and in the meantime inquired into everything which related to the enchanted forest, and at last he said, I must hunt there once more. The king and the young queen wanted to persuade him not to do it, but he stood out against them, and went forth with a larger following. When he had got into the forest, it fared with him as with his brother, he saw a white hind and said to his men, stay here, and wait until I return, I want to chase the lovely wild beast, and then he rode into the forest and his animals ran after him. But he could not overtake the hind, and got so deep into the forest that he was forced to pass the night there. And when he had lighted a fire, he heard someone wailing above him, oh, oh, oh, how cold I am.

Then he looked up, and the self-same witch was sitting in the tree. Said he, if you are cold, come down, little old mother, and warm yourself. She answered, no, your animals will bite me. But he said, they will not hurt you. Then she cried, I will throw down a wand to you, and if you smite them with it they will do me no harm. When the huntsman heard that, he had no confidence in the old woman, and said, I will not strike my animals. Come down, or I will fetch you. Then she cried, what do you want. You shall not touch me. But he replied, if you do not come, I will shoot you. Said she, shoot away, I do not fear your bullets.

Then he aimed, and fired at her, but the witch was proof against all leaden bullets, and laughed shrilly and cried, you shall not hit me. The huntsman knew what to do, tore three silver buttons off his coat, and loaded his gun with them, for against them her arts were useless, and when he fired she fell down at once with a scream. Then he set his foot on her and said, old witch, if you do not instantly confess where my brother is, I will seize you with both my hands and throw you into the fire. She was in a great fright, begged for mercy and said, he and his animals lie in a vault, turned to stone. Then he compelled her to go thither with him, threatened her, and said, old sea-cat, now you shall make my brother and all the human beings lying here, alive again, or you shall go into the fire. She took a wand and touched the stones, and then his brother with his animals came to life again, and many others, merchants, artisans, and shepherds, arose, thanked him for their deliverance, and went to their homes. But when the twin brothers saw each other again, they kissed each other and rejoiced with all their hearts. Then they seized the witch, bound her and laid her on the fire, and when she was burnt the forest opened of its own accord, and was light and clear, and the king's palace could be seen at about the distance of a three hours, walk.

Thereupon the two brothers went home together, and on the way told each other their histories. And when the younger said that he was ruler of the whole country in the king's stead, the other observed, that I remarked very well, for when I came to the town, and was taken for you, all royal honors were paid me, the young queen looked on me as her husband, and I had to eat at her side, and sleep in your bed. When the other heard that, he became so jealous and angry that he drew his sword, and struck off his brother's head. But when he saw him lying there dead, and saw his red blood flowing, he repented most violently, my brother delivered me, cried he, and I have killed him for it, and he bewailed him aloud. Then his hare came and offered to go and bring some of the root of life, and bounded away and brought it while yet there was time, and the dead man was brought to life again, and knew nothing about the wound.

After this they journeyed onwards, and the younger said, you look like me, you have royal apparel on as I have, and the animals follow you as they do me, we will go in by opposite gates, and arrive at the same time from the two sides in the aged king's presence. So they separated, and at the same time came the watchmen from the one door and from the other, and announced that the young king and the animals had returned from the chase.

The king said, it is not possible, the gates lie quite a mile apart. In the meantime, however, the two brothers entered the courtyard of the palace from opposite sides, and both mounted the steps. Then the king said to the daughter, say which is your husband.

Each of them looks exactly like the other, I cannot tell. Then she was in great distress, and could not tell, but at last she remembered the necklace which she had given to the animals, and she sought for and found her little golden clasp on the lion, and she cried in her delight, he who is followed by this lion is my true husband. Then the young king laughed and said, yes, he is the right one, and they sat down together to table, and ate and drank, and were merry. At night when the young king went to bed, his wife said, why have you for these last nights always laid a two-edged sword in our bed. I thought you had a wish to kill me. Then he knew how true his brother had been.

 

The Golden Goose

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. But the second son, too, said sensibly enough, what I give you will be taken away from myself, be off, and he left the little man standing and went on. His punishment, however, was not delayed, when he had made a few blows at the tree he struck himself in the leg, so that he had to be carried home.

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

When he came to the forest the 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 cinder-cake and sour beer, if that pleases you, we will sit down and eat. So they sat down, and when Dummling pulled out his cinder-cake, it was a fine sweet cake, and the sour beer had become good wine. So they ate and drank, and after that the little man said, since you have a good heart, and are willing to divide what you have, I will give you good luck. There stands an old tree, cut it down, and you will find something at the roots. Then the little man took leave of him.

Dummling went and cut down the tree, and when it fell there was a goose sitting in the roots with feathers of pure gold. He lifted her up, and taking her with him, went to an inn where he thought he would stay the night. Now the host had three daughters, who saw the goose and were curious to know what such a 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, without 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-for-nothing girls, why are you running across the fields after this young man. Is that seemly? At the same time he seized the youngest by the hand in order to pull her away, but as soon as he touched her he likewise stuck fast, and was himself obliged to run behind.

Before long the sexton came by and saw his master, the parson, running 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 yourself 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.

 

 

 
     
         
 

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