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Tales from Grimm

Copyright Date: 1964
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Tales from Grimm
    Book Description:

    Renowned children's book author Wanda Gág presents classic Grimm tales, accompanied by whimsical illustrations. Drawing on her peasant heritage and childlike sense of wonder, Gág translated the fairy tales in a uniquely American vernacular tongue. In Tales from Grimm we find Gág's touch on timeless stories like “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Musicians of Bremen,” “Rapunzel,” and others.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9909-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-xiv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-2)
    (pp. 3-24)

    In a little hut near the edge of a deep, deep forest lived a poor woodchopper with his wife and his two children, Hansel and Gretel.

    Times were hard. Work was scarce and the price of food was high. Many people were starving, and our poor woodchopper and his little brood fared as badly as all the rest.

    One evening after they had gone to bed, the man said to his wife, “I don‘t know what will become of us. All the potatoes are gone, every head of cabbage is eaten, and there is only enough rye meal left for...

    (pp. 27-36)

    A tawny yellow cat with sea-green eyes, fine manners and a noble bearing, was taking an afterdinner stroll. What should he see but a mouse, a likable little mouse with handsome ears and big trusting eyes. The mouse was frightened and darted off but the cat called her back. Having just dined on two very plump mice, the cat did not feel like catching another, so he said, “Grey-mouse, my friend, somehow I like you well. Couldn’t we be comrades and set up housekeeping together ?” The mouse, relieved at not being eaten on the spot, agreed gladly enough. “Shall...

    (pp. 39-62)

    In days of yore there lived a Queen. She was old and ugly, but her daughter, who of course was a Princess, was young and charming. She was called the fairest maiden under the sun, and many a youth, hearing tales of her dazzling beauty, had traveled from afar to win her heart and hand.

    All had failed, none had come back to tell the tale, and it was the ugly old Queen who was to blame for this.

    The truth is, she was not only a Queen, but a witch as well! Her head was crammed with spells and...

    (pp. 65-74)

    At the edge of a village lived an orphan girl and her godmother. They were poor and lived in a tiny cottage, where they made a modest living by spinning, weaving and sewing. The godmother was no longer young and as the years flowed on, she became too old to work. At last she was even too old to live any longer, so she called the girl to her bedside and said: “Little treasure, I must go. I have no money to leave you, but you have our little cottage which will shield you from the wind and stormy weather....

    (pp. 77-84)

    Once there was a present and he was very poor.All he had in the world was a patch of woodland, a twowheeled cart and a pair of oxen to pull it. From time to time he chopped down some of his trees, cut them up into logs and carted them into the village. If he was lucky enough to find a buyer, he would sell the wood for two dollars a load. One day this peasant Fish (for that was his name) took his ox-cart full of wood to the village and sold it to a doctor. While Fish was...

    (pp. 87-98)

    An old, old donkey, who had carried many a heavy load in his day, was now worn out and weary and could work no more. One day his master began making preparations to get him out of the way in order to save the cost of feeding him, but the donkey twitched his long ears and thought: “Something is up—I can feel it in the air. I had better get out of here while I can still use my legs.”

    So he sneaked out of the barn and, taking the path between his four feet, he made off for...

    (pp. 101-120)

    A rich man had lost his wife and was left all alone with his little girl. Although they were lonely and sad, father and daughter lived together peacefully enough through the summer, the autumn, and the winter. But when spring came, the man married again, and from that time on, all was different for the little girl.

    When the new wife arrived she brought two daughters of her own. These were as homely as they were haughty, and when they saw that the little girl outshone them in beauty, they took a great dislike to her and decided to get...

    (pp. 123-132)

    There was a man, he had a daughter who always tried to use her brains as much as possible arid so she was called Clever Elsie.

    When she grew up, her father said, “It is time to get her married.”

    And his wife said, “Yes, if only some one would come along who might want her.”

    At last from far away came one by name of Hans, who said, “Yes, I’ll marry the girl, but only if she's really as clever as you say.”

    “Oh,” said the father, “our Elsie is no fool.”

    And the mother said, “Ei, that’s true....

    (pp. 135-146)

    In a little German village lived a man and his wife. They had long wished for a child, and now at last they had reason to hope that their wish would be granted.

    In their back yard was a shed which looked out upon their neighbor’s garden. Often the woman would stand and look at this garden, for it was well kept and flourishing, and had lovely flowers and luscious vegetables laid out in the most tempting manner. The garden was surrounded by a high stone wall but, wall or no wall, there was not much danger of any one...

    (pp. 149-168)

    There was once a fisherman and his wife. They lived together in a vinegar jug close by the sea, and the fisherman went there every day and fished: and he fished and he fished.

    So he sat there one day at his fishing and always looked into the clear water: and he sat and he sat.

    Then down went the hook, deep down, and when he pulled it up, there he had a hig golden fish. And the fish said to him, “Listen, fisher, I beg of you, let me live. I am not a real fish; I am an...

    (pp. 171-176)

    A man had three sons and he was fond of them all. He had no money, but the house in which he lived was a good one.

    “To which of my three boys shall I leave my house?” thought the old man. “They have all been good sons to me and I want to be fair to them in every way.”

    Maybe you think the simplest thing would have been to sell the house and then divide the money among the three boys. It would have been simpler but nobody wanted to do this. The house had been in their...

    (pp. 179-188)

    In the olden days when wishing was still of some use, there lived a King. He had several beautiful daughters, but the youngest was so fair that even the sun, who sees so many wonders, could not help marveling every time he looked into her face.

    Near the King’s palace lay a large dark forest and there, under an old linden tree, was a well. When the day was very warm, the little Princess would go off into this forest and sit at the rim of the cool well. There she would play with her golden ball, tossing it up...

    (pp. 191-198)

    Heinz was a lazy fellow. He had nothing in all the world to do but drive his goat to pasture every day, and yet when he came home at night, he sighed and groaned.

    “It is really a heavy task,” he said, “and a toilsome business, yes! to take one’s goat to pasture every day, year in, year out, from early spring, through the hot summer, way into the late autumn. And if one could only lie down and sleep while doing it! But no, one must keep his eyes open all the time, to see that the creature won’t...

    (pp. 201-204)

    Very different from Lazy Heinz and Fat Katrina—who never allowed anything to disturb their rest—was Lean Liesl. Instead of taking life easy, she toiled and moiled from morn till night, and found so much work for her husband, Lanky Lenz, that he was more burdened than a donkey with three sacks. But it never did them any good, for in spite of all their toil and trouble, they had nothing, and got nowhere.

    One evening as she was lying in bed, so worn and weary that she could hardly move, Liesl still could not sleep—her thoughts and...

    (pp. 207-222)

    A poor widow lived in a little cottage, in front of which grew two rose trees. She took such good care of these little trees that they blossomed all summer long, one with white and the other with red roses.

    She had two children, both girls; and, because they reminded her of the beautiful roses in her garden, she called one Rose Red and the other Snow White.

    Rose Red, with dark hair and rosy cheeks, was full of life and fun; and she liked to romp in the fields and meadows. Snow White had flaxen hair, was quiet and...

    (pp. 225-234)

    Once there was a war. The King who had waged this war had many soldiers; but although he was glad enough to let them fight and die for him, he was not willing to pay them enough to live on. At last three of his soldiers put their heads together and decided to run away.

    “But how shall we manage it?” said one. “If we get caught, it’s the gallows for us.”

    “Do you see that rye-field?” said another. “We’ll sneak over there at dusk and hide in it for the night. Tomorrow the army will move on and then...

    (pp. 235-237)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 238-238)