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The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition

Jacob Grimm
Wilhelm Grimm
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 568
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  • Book Info
    The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
    Book Description:

    When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published theirChildren's and Household Talesin 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time,The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimmmakes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezsö.

    From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key," wondrous worlds unfold-heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique-they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes's introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes.

    A delight to read,The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimmpresents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5189-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xliv)
    Jack Zipes

    Just a little over two hundred years ago, in December of 1812, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of theirKinder- und Hausmärchen(Children’s and Household Tales), followed by a second volume in 1815. Little did the Grimms realize at that time that their tales would become the most famous “fairy tales” in the world and that the bicentennial of these two extraordinary books would be celebrated in conferences and ceremonies worldwide between 2012 and 2015. Ironically, few people today are familiar with the original tales of the first edition, for the Grimms went on to publish six...

    (pp. xlv-xlvi)
  7. Volume I

      (pp. 3-11)
      (pp. 13-15)

      Once upon a time there was a princess who went out into the forest and sat down at the edge of a cool well. She had a golden ball that was her favorite plaything. She threw it up high and caught it in the air and was delighted by all this. One time the ball flew up very high, and as she stretched out her hand and bent her fingers to catch it again, the ball hit the ground near her and rolled and rolled until it fell right into the water.

      The princess was horrified, and when she went...

      (pp. 16-17)

      A cat and a mouse wanted to live together, and so they set up a common household. They also prepared for the winter and bought a little jar of fat, but since they didn’t know of a better and safer place to put it, they stuck it under the altar in the church, where it was supposed to stay until they needed it.

      Now, it was not long before the cat felt a craving for the fat and went to the mouse and said, “Listen, little mouse, my cousin has asked me to be godfather for her child. She gave...

      (pp. 17-20)

      A poor woodcutter and his wife lived at the edge of a large forest with their only child, a three-year-old little girl. They were so poor that they couldn’t afford daily meals anymore and didn’t know how they would provide food for their daughter. One morning the woodcutter, who was distressed by all this, went into the forest to work. As he began chopping wood, a tall, beautiful woman suddenly appeared before him. She was wearing a crown of shining stars on her head, and she said to him, “I am the Virgin Mary, mother of the Christ Child. Since...

      (pp. 21-23)

      Once upon a time there was an old king who had the most beautiful daughter in the world. One day he announced: “Whoever can keep watch in my old castle for three nights can have the princess for his bride.”

      Now, there was a young man from a poor family who thought to himself, “Why not risk my life? I’ve got nothing to lose, and a lot to win. What’s there to think about?”

      So he appeared before the king and offered to keep watch in the castle for three nights.

      “You may request three things to take with you...

      (pp. 23-25)

      A goat had seven young kids, whom she loved very much and carefully protected from the wolf. One day, when she had to go and fetch some food, she called them all together and said, “Dear children, I must go out to find some food. So be on your guard against the wolf and don’t let him inside. Pay close attention because he often disguises himself, but you can recognize him right away by his gruff voice and black paws. Protect yourselves. If he gets into the house, he’ll eat you all up.”

      Upon saying this, the goat went on...

      (pp. 25-25)

      Once upon a time there lived a nightingale and a blindworm, each with one eye. For a long time they lived together peacefully and harmoniously in a house. However, one day the nightingale was invited to a wedding, and she said to the blindworm, “I’ve been invited to a wedding and don’t particularly want to go with one eye. Would you be so kind as to lend me yours? I’ll bring it back to you tomorrow.”

      The blindworm gave her the eye out of the kindness of her heart. But when the nightingale came home the following day, she liked...

      (pp. 26-26)

      One day a father was sitting at the table with his wife and children and a good friend who was visiting him, and they were having their noonday meal. As they were sitting there, the clock struck twelve, and the visitor saw the door open, and a pale child dressed in snow-white clothes entered. He didn’t look around or say anything but went silently into the next room. Shortly thereafter he returned and went away just as quietly as he had entered. On the second and third day the child came again. Finally, the visitor asked the father who the...

      (pp. 26-27)

      There once was a little girl who had three brothers, and the boys meant the world to her mother. Yet the little girl was always neglected, treated badly, and forced to go out early in the morning every day to dig up peat from the dry ground on the heath, which they used for making fires and cooking. To top it all off, she was given an old, blunt shovel to perform this nasty work.

      But the little girl had an admirer who was an elf and lived in a hill near her mother’s house. Whenever she went by the...

      (pp. 27-32)

      Once upon a time there was a king who had twelve children, all boys. Moreover, he didn’t want to have a daughter and said to his wife: “If you give birth to our thirteenth child, and it’s a girl, I shall have the twelve boys killed. However, if it’s a boy, then they’ll all remain alive and stay together.”

      The queen thought of talking him out of this, but the king refused to hear anything more about this topic.

      “If everything turns out like I said, they must die. I’d rather chop off their heads myself than let a girl...

    • 10 RIFFRAFF
      (pp. 32-34)

      The rooster said to the hen, “The nuts are ripe. Let’s go up the hill and for once eat our fill of nuts before the squirrel hauls them all away.”

      “Yes,” responded the hen. “Let’s go and have a good time together.”

      So they went up the hill, and since it was such a bright day, they stayed till evening. Now, I don’t know whether it was because they had stuffed themselves too much, or whether they had become too high and mighty, but they didn’t want to return home on foot. So the rooster had to build a small...

      (pp. 34-37)

      A little brother took his little sister by the hand and said, “Ever since our mother died, we’ve not had one moment of happiness. Our stepmother beats us every day, and when we come near her, she kicks us away with her foot. We get nothing but hard crusts of bread, just leftovers for food, and the dog under the table is better off. At least he gets a good chunk of meat to eat every now and then. Lord have mercy on us, if our mother only knew! Come, let’s go off together into the wide world.”

      So they...

    • 12 RAPUNZEL
      (pp. 37-39)

      Once upon a time there lived a husband and wife who had been wishing for a child many years, but it had all been in vain. Finally, the woman became pregnant.

      Now, in the back of their house the couple had a small window that overlooked a fairy’s garden filled with all kinds of flowers and herbs. But nobody ever dared to enter it.

      One day, however, when the wife was standing at the window and looking down into the garden, she noticed a bed of wonderful rapunzel. She had a great craving to eat some of the lettuce, and...

      (pp. 40-42)

      There was a man whose wife died, and he was undecided whether he wanted to marry again. Finally, he took off one of his boots that had a hole in the sole and said to his daughter, his only child: “Take this boot and carry it up to the loft, where you’ll find a large nail. Hang the boot on the nail. Then fetch some water, and pour the water into the boot. If it holds the water, I’ll get married again. But if it leaks, I’ll let things remain as they are.”

      The maiden did as she was told....

      (pp. 42-43)

      In olden times there lived a king who loved flax spinning more than anything else, and his daughters had to spin the entire day. If he didn’t hear the wheels humming, he became angry. One time he had to take a trip, and before he said his farewell, he gave a large casket of flax to the queen and said: “All this must be spun by the time I return.”

      The princesses became distressed and wept.

      “If we are to spin all of that flax, we’ll have to sit the entire day, and we won’t be able to get up...

      (pp. 43-49)

      A poor woodcutter lived on the edge of a large forest. He didn’t have a bite to eat and barely provided the daily bread for his wife and two children, Hansel and Gretel. It reached a point when he couldn’t even provide that anymore. Indeed, he didn’t know how to solve this predicament.

      One night as he was tossing and turning in bed because of his worries, his wife said to him, “Listen to me, husband, early tomorrow morning you’re to take both the children and give them each a piece of bread. Then lead them into the middle of...

    • 16 HERR FIX-IT-UP
      (pp. 49-53)

      Fix-It-Up had been a soldier for a long time. When the war came to an end, however, and there was nothing but the same old things to do every day, he resigned from the army and decided to become a servant for a great lord. There would be clothes trimmed with gold, a lot to do, and always new things happening. So he set out on his way and came to a foreign court, where he saw a lord taking a walk in the garden. Fix-It-Up did not hesitate. He moved briskly over to the lord and said, “Sir, I’m...

      (pp. 53-55)

      Every day at noon a covered dish was placed on the king’s table. Then, after everyone left, the king would eat alone from this dish, and nobody in the entire realm knew what kind of food was in it. One of the servants became curious and wanted to know what the dish contained. On one occasion, after the king had ordered him to take the dish away, he could no longer restrain himself. So he took the dish to his room and uncovered it. As he lifted the cover, he found a white snake lying inside, and once he laid...

      (pp. 55-56)

      A straw, a coal, and a bean came together and wanted to take a great journey. They had already gone through many countries when they reached a brook without a bridge and couldn’t cross. Finally, straw came up with a good idea. He laid himself across the brook, and the others were to cross over him, first coal, then bean. Coal took wide steps and slowly crossed the straw, while bean toddled after. When coal got to the middle of straw, however, straw began to burn and burned through and through. Coal fell fizzling into the water and died. Straw...

      (pp. 56-62)

      Once upon a time there was a fisherman who lived with his wife in a piss pot near the sea. Every day the fisherman went out to fish, and all he did was fish and fish. One day he was sitting with his line and gazing into the clear water. And all he did was sit and sit. Suddenly his line sank deep down to the bottom, and when he pulled it up, he had a large flounder on the line, and the flounder said to him, “Listen here, fisherman, I beg of you, let me live. I’m not a...

      (pp. 62-69)

      Once in the little city of Romandia a tailor was sitting and working, and he had an apple lying nearby. There were also many flies around the apple as was usual during the summer time. The tailor became angry, and he took a piece of cloth. Then he hit the flies on the apple and killed seven of them. When the simple-minded tailor saw this, he thought that he had taken care of the situation quite well, and he soon had a beautiful suit of armor made for himself and also had golden letters inscribed that read:Seven with One...

      (pp. 69-77)

      Once upon a time there was a rich man who lived happily with his wife for a long time, and they had one little girl together. Then the wife became ill, and as she became deathly ill, she called her daughter and said, “Dear child, I must leave you, but when I am up in heaven, I shall look after you. Plant a little tree on my grave, and whenever you wish for something, shake it, and you’ll have what you wish. And whenever you are otherwise in a predicament, then I’ll send you help. Just stay good and pure.”...

      (pp. 77-79)

      In a city named Franecker, located in West Friesland, some young boys and girls between the ages of five and six happened to be playing with one another. They chose one boy to play a butcher, another boy was to be a cook, and a third boy was to be a pig. Then they selected one girl to be a cook and another girl to be her assistant. The assistant was to catch the blood of the pig in a little bowl so they could make sausages. As agreed, the butcher now fell upon the little boy playing the pig,...

      (pp. 79-81)

      Once upon a time a little mouse, a little bird, and a sausage came together and set up house. For a long time they lived together in peace and happiness, and they managed to increase their possessions by a considerable amount. The little bird’s job was to fly into the forest every day and bring back wood. The mouse had to carry water, light the fire, and set the table while the sausage did the cooking.

      Now, if things go too well for people, they always look for new things! So, one day as the bird was flying about, he...

      (pp. 81-83)

      A widow had two daughters, one who was beautiful and diligent, the other, ugly and lazy. But she was fonder of the ugly and lazy one, and the other had to do all the work and was just like the Cinderella in the house.

      Now, one day the beautiful maiden went out to fetch water, and as she bent over to pull the bucket from the well, she leaned over too much and fell into the water. And when she awoke and came to her senses, she was lying on the ground in a beautiful meadow, where the sun was...

      (pp. 83-85)

      Once upon a time there was a mother who had three little sons who were playing cards one day next to the church. And when the sermon was finished, their mother returned home and saw what they had been doing. So she cursed her godless children, and they were immediately turned into three coal-black ravens and flew away.

      The three brothers, however, had a little sister who loved them with all her heart, and she grieved so much about their banishment that she no longer had any peace of mind and finally set out to look for them. The only...

      (pp. 85-88)

      Once upon a time there was a sweet little maiden. Whoever laid eyes upon her couldn’t help but love her. But it was her grandmother who could never give the child enough. One day she made her a present, a small, red velvet cap, and since it was so becoming and the maiden always wanted to wear it, people only called her Little Red Cap.

      One day her mother said to her: “Come, Little Red Cap, take this piece of cake and bottle of wine and bring them to your grandmother. She’s sick and weak, and this will strengthen her....

      (pp. 88-89)

      A poor goose boy went walking along the bank of a large, turbulent river while looking after a flock of white geese. When he saw Death come toward him across the water, the boy asked him where he had come from and where he intended to go. Death answered that he had come from the water and wanted to leave the world. The poor goose boy asked Death once more how one could actually leave the world. Death said that one must go across the river into the new world that lay on the other side. The goose boy said...

      (pp. 89-91)

      A wild boar was causing great damage throughout the entire country. Nobody dared to go into the forest, where the beast was running around. Whoever had been so bold as to enter the forest and to try to kill the boar had been ripped apart by its tusks. So the king proclaimed that whoever killed the wild boar would receive his only daughter for a wife.

      Now, three brothers were living in the realm. The eldest was wily and smart; the second, somewhat intelligent; and the third and youngest, naïve and dumb. They thought of winning the princess and wanted...

      (pp. 92-97)

      A woodcutter was chopping wood in front of the king’s house, while the princess was standing at a window above and observing him. When noon arrived, he sat down in the shadows and wanted to rest. Now the princess was able to see that he was very handsome and fell in love with him. So she had him summoned to her, and as soon as he caught sight of her and saw how beautiful she was, he fell in love with her. Soon they were united in their love for one another, but the king learned that the princess was...

      (pp. 97-99)

      A little louse and a little flea were living together in a house and were brewing beer in an eggshell when the louse fell in and was scalded. Then the flea began to scream as loud as he could, and the little door to the room asked:

      “Why are you screaming, little flea?”

      “Because little louse has been scalded.”

      Then the little door began to creak, and a little broom in the corner asked, “Why are you creaking, door?”

      “Why shouldn’t I creak?

      Little louse has just got scalded.

      Little flea is weeping.”

      Then the little broom began to sweep...

      (pp. 99-103)

      A miller, who was so poor that he had nothing else but his mill and a large apple tree behind it, went into the forest to fetch wood. While there he met an old man who said: “Why are you torturing yourself so much? I’ll make you rich if you promise to give me what’s behind your mill. In three years I’ll come and fetch what’s mine.”

      The miller thought to himself: “That’s my apple tree.” So, he said, “yes,” and signed it away to the man. When the miller returned home, his wife said to him, “Tell me, miller,...

    • 32 CLEVER HANS
      (pp. 103-110)

      “Where are you going, Hans?” his mother asked.

      “To Gretel’s,” Hans replied.

      “Take care, Hans.”

      “Don’t worry. Good-bye, Mother.”

      Hans arrived at Gretel’s place.

      “Good day, Gretel.”

      “Good day, Hans. Have you brought me anything nice?”

      “Didn’t bring anything. Want something from you.”

      Gretel gave him a needle.

      “Good-bye, Gretel,” Hans said.

      “Good-bye, Hans.”

      Hans took the needle, stuck it in the hay wagon, and walked home behind the wagon.

      “Good evening, Mother.”

      “Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?”

      “At Gretel’s.”

      “What did you bring her?”

      “Didn’t bring her a thing. Got something.”

      “What did Gretel give you?”


    • 33 PUSS IN BOOTS
      (pp. 110-115)

      A miller had three sons, a mill, a donkey, and a cat. The sons had to grind grain, the donkey had to haul the grain and carry away the flour, and the cat had to catch the mice. When the miller died, the three sons divided the inheritance: the oldest received the mill, the second the donkey, and nothing was left for the third but the cat. This made the youngest sad, and he said to himself, “I certainly got the worst part of the bargain. My oldest brother can grind wheat, and my second brother can ride on his...

    • 34 HANS’S TRINA
      (pp. 115-116)

      Hans’s Trina was lazy and didn’t want to do any work. She said to herself:

      “What should I do? Should I eat, sleep, or work?—Ahh! I think I’ll eat first!”

      After she had stuffed herself fully, she said to herself again: “What should I do? Work or sleep?—Ahh! I think I’ll sleep a little first.”

      Then she lay down and slept, and when she woke up, it was night. So she could no longer go out and work.

      One time Hans returned home at noon and found Trina sleeping again in their room. So he took his knife...

      (pp. 116-118)

      A sparrow had four young ones in a swallow’s nest. When they were fledged, some bad boys broke up the nest, but fortunately all the young birds escaped in a whirlwind. Then their father became sorry that his sons went off into the world before he was able to warn them about its many dangers or to give them good advice about how to fend for themselves.

      In the autumn a great many sparrows came together in a wheat field. It was there that the father came upon his four sons once again, and he joyfully took them home with...

      (pp. 119-126)

      Once upon a time there was a shoemaker who had three sons and a goat. The sons had to help him in his trade, and the goat had to nourish them with her milk. In order for the goat to get good, delicious food every day, the sons took turns and led her out to graze in a meadow. The eldest took her to the churchyard, where the goat jumped about and ate the grass. In the evening, when he led her home, he asked, “Goat, have you had enough?”

      The goat answered:

      “Oh, my, I’m stuffed!

      Enough’s enough.


      (pp. 126-129)

      Once there were three brothers from the region of the Black Mountains. Originally, they were very poor and traveled to Spain, where they came to a mountain completely surrounded by silver. The oldest brother took advantage of the situation by gathering as much silver as he could carry and went back home with his booty. The other two continued traveling and came to a mountain where nothing could be seen but gold. One brother said to the other, “What should we do?”

      The second took as much gold as he could carry, as his older brother had done, and went...

    • 38 MRS. FOX
      (pp. 129-132)

      Once upon a time there was an old fox with nine tails. Since he wanted to know how faithful his wife was, he stretched himself out beneath the bench and pretended to be as dead as a door mouse. Then his wife, Mrs. Fox, went upstairs into her room and locked the door. Her maid, the cat, was sitting on the hearth and cooking. When it became known now that the old fox had died, there was a knocking at the door:

      “What are you doing, my fine maiden cat?

      Are you awake? Where are you at?”

      The cat went...

    • 39 THE ELVES
      (pp. 132-135)

      A shoemaker had become so poor that he didn’t have enough leather left for a single pair of shoes. In the evening he cut out the shoes that he planned to work on the next morning. However, when he got up the next day and was about to sit down to do his work, he saw the two shoes already finished and beautifully made, standing on the table. Soon a customer paid so well that the shoemaker could purchase enough leather for two pairs of shoes, which he cut out that evening. The next morning when he once again wanted...

      (pp. 135-137)

      A princess was pledged to marry a prince, and he asked her many times to come once and visit him in his castle. But since the way to the castle led through a large forest, she continually refused because she feared she might lose her way. If that was her concern, the prince told her, he would readily help her by tying a ribbon on each tree so that she could easily find her way. Nevertheless, she tried to postpone the trip for some time since she inwardly dreaded it. Finally, she couldn’t make any more excuses and had to...

    • 41 HERR KORBES
      (pp. 137-138)

      Once upon a time there were a little hen and a little rooster who wanted to take a trip together. So the little rooster built a beautiful wagon with four red wheels and hitched four little mice to it. Then the little hen climbed into the wagon along with the little rooster, and this is how they drove off. Soon they came across a cat, who asked: “Where are you going?”

      “We’re off to see Herr Korbes today.

      We’re off without delay.”

      “Take me with you,” said the cat.

      “Gladly,” answered the little rooster. “Sit in the back so you...

      (pp. 138-141)

      A poor man had so many children that he had already asked everyone in the world to be godfather after he had yet another child. So there was nobody left to ask. He became so distressed that he lay down and fell asleep. Then he dreamt that he was to go outside the town gate and ask the first person he met to be godfather. So that’s what the man did. He went out in front of the gate and asked the first man he met to be godfather. The stranger gave him a little bottle of water and said:...

      (pp. 141-142)

      A blood sausage and a liver sausage had been friends for some time, and the blood sausage invited the liver sausage for a meal at her home. At dinnertime the liver sausage merrily set out for the blood sausage’s house. But when she walked through the doorway, she saw all kinds of strange things. There were many steps, and on each of them she found something different. A broom and shovel were fighting with each other, and there was a monkey with a big wound on his head, and more such things.

      The liver sausage was very frightened and upset...

      (pp. 142-143)

      Once upon a time there was a poor man who already had twelve children when the thirteenth was born. Since he was at his wits’ end and in such distress, he ran into the forest, where he encountered our dear Lord, who said to him: “I feel sorry for you, my poor man. I shall stand sponsor to your child at the baptism and take care of him so that he’ll live happily on this earth.”

      Upon saying this, the Lord left him standing there and moved on.

      Soon thereafter the poor man encountered Death, who likewise spoke to him...

      (pp. 143-146)

      A tailor had a son who was small, not much larger than a thumb. Therefore, he was called Thumbling. However, he was filled with courage and said to his father: “Father, I want to go out wandering.”

      “Fine with me, my son,” said the old man, and he took a darning needle and put a lump of sealing wax on it in the light. “Now you’ll also have a dagger to take with you on your way.”

      The little tailor set out into the world, and his first work was with a master tailor, but the food wasn’t good enough....

      (pp. 146-148)

      Once upon a time there was a sorcerer who was a thief, and he used to go begging from house to house in the guise of a beggar. One time a maiden opened the door and gave him a piece of bread. He only had to touch her to force her to jump into his basket. Then he carried her off to his house, where everything was splendid inside, and he gave her whatever she desired.

      Some time later he said to her: “I have some business to attend to outside the house, and so I must take a trip....

      (pp. 148-157)

      All this took place a long time ago, most likely some two thousand years ago. There was a rich man who had a beautiful and pious wife, and they loved each other very much. Though they didn’t have any children, they longed to have some. Day and night the wife prayed for a child, but still none came, and everything remained the same.

      Now, in the front of the house there was a yard, and in the yard stood a juniper tree. One day during winter the wife was under the tree peeling an apple, and as she was peeling...

    • 48 OLD SULTAN
      (pp. 158-159)

      A farmer had a faithful dog named Sultan. He was old and couldn’t latch onto things with his teeth anymore. So the farmer said to his wife: “I’m going to shoot old Sultan. He’s no longer of use to us anymore.”

      His wife replied, “Don’t you do it! We should support the faithful dog in his old age. He’s served us well so many years.”

      “You must be out of your mind!” her husband said. “What are we going to do with him? He doesn’t have a tooth left in his head. No thief would be afraid of him anymore....

    • 49 THE SIX SWANS
      (pp. 159-162)

      A king went hunting in a vast forest, got lost, and couldn’t find his way out. Finally, he came upon a witch and asked her to show him the way out of the forest. However, the witch told him she wouldn’t do it. He had to remain there and would lose his life. He could only be saved if he married her daughter. The king cherished his life, and he was so frightened, he said yes. So the witch brought the maiden to him. Though she was young and beautiful, he couldn’t look at her without getting the creeps and...

    • 50 BRIAR ROSE
      (pp. 162-164)

      A king and a queen couldn’t have children, and they wanted very much to have one. Then one day, while the queen was bathing, a crab crawled out of the water, came onshore, and said: “Your wish will soon be filled, and you will give birth to a daughter.”

      Indeed, this is what happened, and the king was so delighted by the birth of the princess that he organized a great feast and also invited the fairies who were living in his realm. Since he had only twelve golden plates, however, there was one fairy who had to be excluded,...

      (pp. 165-167)

      Once upon a time a forester went out hunting in the forest, and as he entered it, he heard some cries that sounded like those of a small child. He followed the sounds and eventually came to a tall tree where he saw a little child sitting on the top. The child’s mother had fallen asleep with him under the tree, and a hawk had seen the child in her lap. So it had swooped down, carried the child away with its beak, and set him down on top of the tree.

      The forester climbed the tree and brought the...

      (pp. 167-170)

      A king had a daughter who was marvelously beautiful but so proud and haughty that she rejected one suitor after the other out of stubbornness and ridiculed them as well.

      Once her father held a great feast and invited all the marriageable young men to the event. They were all lined up according to their rank and class: first came the kings, then the dukes, princes, counts, and barons, and finally the gentry. The king’s daughter was led down the line, and she found fault with each one of the suitors there. In particular, she made the most fun of...

      (pp. 170-178)

      Once upon a time, in the middle of winter, when snowflakes were falling like feathers from the sky, a beautiful queen was sitting and sewing at a window with a black ebony frame. And as she was sewing and looking out the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell on the snow. The red looked so beautiful on the white snow that she thought to herself, “If only I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window frame!”...

    • 54 SIMPLE HANS
      (pp. 178-181)

      Once a king lived happily with his daughter, who was his only child. Then, all of a sudden, she gave birth to a baby, and no one knew who the father was. For a long time the king didn’t know what to do. At last he ordered the princess to take the child and go to the church. Once there, a lemon was to be placed in the hands of the child, and the boy was to walk about and offer it to a man. As soon as boy stopped and chose a man, they would know that he was...

      (pp. 181-182)

      Once upon a time there was a miller who was poor, but he had a beautiful daughter. Now, one day he happened to talk to the king and said, “I have a daughter who knows the art of transforming straw into gold.”

      So the king had the miller’s daughter summoned to him right away and ordered her to spin all the straw in a room into gold in one night, and if she couldn’t do this, she would die. Then she was locked in the room where she sat and wept. For the life of her, she didn’t have the...

      (pp. 182-185)

      Once upon a time there was a mother who had one daughter of her own and hated her stepdaughter because she was a thousand times more beautiful and better than her own. One time the stepdaughter wore a beautiful apron that the other daughter liked and coveted so much out of envy that she told her mother she wanted the apron and insisted that she get it for her.

      “Be quiet, my dear child,” said the mother. “You shall have it soon. Your stepsister has long since deserved to die, and tonight, I want you to get into the rear...

      (pp. 185-191)

      A certain king had a pleasure garden, and in this garden there was a tree that bore golden apples. Soon after the apples became ripe, one was found missing the very first night. The king became furious and ordered his gardener to keep watch under the tree every night. So the gardener commanded his eldest son to guard the tree, but he fell asleep at midnight, and the next night another apple was missing. So the gardener had his second son stand guard the following night, but he, too, fell asleep at midnight, and in the morning yet another apple...

      (pp. 191-194)

      Once upon a time there was a deer about to give birth, and she asked the fox to be the godfather. However, the fox invited the sparrow to be godfather as well, and the sparrow also wanted to invite his special good friend the house dog to be godfather. However, the dog’s master had tied him up with a rope because the dog had returned home very drunk from a wedding. The sparrow thought that this was not a problem and pecked and pecked at the rope one thread after the other as long as it took for the dog...

    • 59 PRINCE SWAN
      (pp. 194-197)

      There was once a maiden all alone in the middle of a large forest. Suddenly, a swan came flying up to her. It had a ball of yarn and said: “I’m not a swan. I’m an enchanted prince, and if you unravel the yarn to which I’m attached, then I’ll be released from a spell. But take care that you don’t break it in two. Otherwise, I won’t be able to return to my kingdom and won’t be saved. If you unravel the yarn, you’ll become my bride.”

      The maiden took the yarn, and the swan climbed into the sky....

      (pp. 197-199)

      Once upon a time there were a couple of poor broom-makers, and they had a little sister to support. They had just barely enough to lead a miserable life. Every day they had to go into the forest to search for brushwood, and later after they had bound the brooms, the little sister sold them.

      One time they went into the forest, and the youngest brother climbed a birch tree and wanted to chop off the branches. All of a sudden he found a nest, and a dark-colored little bird was sitting in it. He could see something glittering between...

      (pp. 199-201)

      Once, during the winter, a poor tailor crossed over the field to visit his brother. Along the way he found a frozen thrush. “Whatever’s bigger than a louse,” the tailor said to himself, “that’s what the tailor carries into his house!” So he picked up the thrush and stuck it into his coat. When he reached his brother’s house, he decided to look first through the window to see if they were home. All at once he saw a fat parson sitting near his sister-in-law at the table. There was a roast and a bottle of wine sitting on the...

    • 62 BLUEBEARD
      (pp. 202-204)

      There was once a man who lived in a forest with his three sons and beautiful daughter. One day a golden coach drawn by six horses and attended by several servants came driving up to his house. After the coach stopped a king stepped out and asked him if he could have his daughter for his wife. The man was happy that his daughter would benefit from such a stroke of good fortune and immediately said yes. There was nothing objectionable about the suitor except for his beard, which was totally blue and made one shudder somewhat whenever one looked...

      (pp. 205-207)

      Once upon a time there lived a poor man and a poor woman who had nothing but a little hut. The husband was a fisherman, and one day, as he was sitting by the water’s edge and had cast out his net, he caught a golden fish, and the fish said: “If you throw me back into the water, I’ll turn your little hut into a splendid castle, and in the castle there will be a cupboard. When you open it, there’ll be dishes of boiled and roasted meat in them, as much as you desire. But you may not...

      (pp. 207-215)

      There was once a splendid pear tree that stood in front of a king’s castle, and each year it produced the most beautiful fruit. However, as soon as the pears became ripe, they were taken that very night, and nobody knew who the thief was.

      Now, the king had three sons, and the youngest among them was considered simple-minded and was called Simpleton. The oldest was ordered by the king to guard the tree for one year so that the thief could be caught. He did this and watched every night. Soon, the fruit was in full bloom and was...

    • 65 ALL FUR
      (pp. 216-220)

      Once upon a time there was a king who had the most beautiful wife in the world, and her hair was pure gold. They had a daughter together, and she was just as beautiful as her mother, and her hair was just as golden. One day the queen became sick, and when she felt she was about to die, she called the king to her and made a request: if after her death he wanted to marry again, he should only take someone who was as beautiful as she was and who had golden hair like hers. Once the king...

      (pp. 220-223)

      Once a king got lost during a hunt, and suddenly a little white dwarf appeared before him.

      “Your majesty,” he said, “if you give me your youngest daughter, I’ll show you how to get out of the forest.”

      The king consented out of fear, and the dwarf helped him find his way. As he took leave of the king, he cried out: “I’ll be coming to fetch my bride in a week.”

      When the king reached home, he was sad about his promise because his youngest daughter was his favorite. His daughters noticed how sad he was and wanted to...

      (pp. 223-225)

      A young prince sat with his bride-to-be and said: “I’m going to give you a ring and my picture and want you to carry these things to remember me and to remain true to me. My father is deathly ill and has asked me to come to him. He wants to see me one more time before he dies and I become king. So I want you to go home now.”

      Upon saying this the prince rode off and found his father on his deathbed. Right before he died, he asked his son to marry a particular princess after his...

      (pp. 225-227)

      A merchant wanted to go to a fair and asked his three daughters what he should bring back for them. The eldest said: “A beautiful dress.”

      The second: “A pair of pretty shoes.”

      The third: “A rose.”

      But it was difficult to find a rose because it was midwinter. However, since the youngest was the most beautiful daughter and was so extremely fond of flowers, the father replied that he would see whether he could find a rose and would make every effort to do so.

      When the merchant was returning home after the fair, he carried a splendid dress...

      (pp. 227-230)

      Once upon a time there was an old castle in the middle of a great, dense forest. An old woman lived there all by herself; and she was a powerful sorceress. During the day she turned herself into a cat or a night owl, but in the evening she would return to her normal human form. She had the ability to lure game and birds, which she would slaughter and then cook or roast. If any man came within a hundred steps of the castle, she would cast a spell over him, so that he wouldn’t be able to move...

    • 70 OKERLO
      (pp. 230-233)

      A queen put her child out to sea in a golden cradle and let it float away. However, the cradle didn’t sink but drifted to an island inhabited only by cannibals. When the cradle drifted toward the shore, a cannibal’s wife happened to be standing there. Upon seeing the child, who was a beautiful baby girl, she decided to raise her and later give her to her son, who would wed her one day. But she had a great deal of trouble hiding the maiden carefully from her husband, Old Okerlo, for if he had laid his eyes on her,...

      (pp. 233-234)

      A king had three daughters, and he wanted to know which one loved him most. So he summoned them to him and began asking. The oldest daughter said she loved him more than the whole kingdom. The second said she loved him more than all the jewels and pearls in the world. But the third said she loved him more than salt. The king was furious that she compared her love for him to such a meager thing. Consequently, he handed her over to a servant and ordered him to take her into the forest and to kill her.


      (pp. 234-236)
      (pp. 236-238)

      Once upon a time there was a shoemaker who had three daughters. One day when the shoemaker was out, a well-dressed nobleman came with a splendid carriage and servants, and he appeared to be very rich. He fell in love with one of the beautiful daughters, who thought herself fortunate to have found such a rich gentleman, and she gladly agreed to ride off with him. As they were on their way, it turned dark, and he asked her:

      “The moon’s shining very bright.

      My horses are dashing into the night.

      Sweet love, are you having any doubts?”

      “No, why...

      (pp. 238-240)

      A king insisted his daughter was not to marry and had a house built for her in the most secluded part of a forest. She had to live there with her ladies in waiting, and no other human being was allowed to see her. Near the house in the woods, however, there was a spring with marvelous qualities, and when the princess drank from it, she consequently gave birth to two princes. They were identical twins and named after the spring—Johannes Waterspring and Caspar Waterspring.

      Their grandfather, the old king, had them instructed in hunting, and as they grew...

      (pp. 241-242)

      One day a rich man went for a walk along the river. All at once he saw a small casket swimming by. He grabbed hold of the casket, and when he opened the cover, he saw a small child lying inside. So he took the child home and had him raised in his house. However, the rich man disliked the boy, and one time he took the boy with him in boat on the river. Once the boat was in the middle of the river, he swam to shore, and left the child alone in the boat. The boat continued...

      (pp. 242-244)

      A long time ago there lived a king who never wanted to marry. Now one day he stood at a window and watched some people entering the church. Among them was a maiden who was so beautiful that he immediately abandoned his resolution. So he had the maiden summoned to him and chose her for his wife. After one year had passed, she gave birth to a prince, and the king didn’t know whom to ask to be the godfather. Finally, he said: “The first man I meet, no matter who it is, I’ll ask him to be the godfather.”...

      (pp. 244-245)

      A carpenter and a turner wanted to see who could make the best piece of work. The carpenter made a dish that could swim by itself, while the turner made wings that he could use to fly. Everyone said that the carpenter’s masterpiece was better. So the turner took his wings, put them on, and flew out of the country. He flew the entire day until he came to another country, where a prince saw him flying and asked to borrow the pair of wings. Since the prince promised to pay him well, the turner gave him the wings, and...

      (pp. 245-246)

      Once upon a time there was an old man who could barely walk. His knees trembled, and he didn’t hear or see much. Moreover, he had lost all his teeth. When he sat at the dinner table, he could barely hold the spoon. He spilled the soup on his napkin, and the food continued to flow from his mouth. His son and his son’s wife felt disgusted by this, and therefore, the grandfather finally had to take a place behind the oven in the corner of the room. They gave him his food in a clay bowl. In addition, it...

      (pp. 246-246)

      A little brother and a little sister were playing near a well, and as they were playing, they both fell into the water. A water nixie was there and said: “Now I’ve got you, and now be good children and work nice and hard for me!”

      Then she gave the maiden some dirty, tangled flax to spin and also a hollow bucket to fetch water. The young boy had to chop down a tree with a blunt axe, and all they got to eat were dumplings as hard as rocks. Eventually, the children lost their patience, and one Sunday, they...

      (pp. 246-248)

      Some time ago little hen went with little rooster to the nut mountain. They enjoyed themselves and ate nuts together. One time, however, little hen found such a large nut that she wasn’t able to swallow the kernel, and it got stuck so firmly in her throat that she feared she might choke to death.

      “Little rooster!” she screamed. “Please run as fast as you can and fetch me some water, otherwise I’ll choke to death.”

      Little rooster ran as fast as he could to the well and said: “Well, you must give me some water. Little hen’s lying on...

      (pp. 248-250)

      Once upon a time there was a blacksmith who enjoyed life: he squandered his money and carried on many lawsuits. After a few years, he didn’t have a single cent left in his pouch.

      “Why should I torture myself any longer in this world?” he thought. So he went into the forest with the intention of hanging himself from a tree. Just as he was about to stick his head into the noose, a man with a long white beard came out from behind a tree carrying a large book in his hand.

      “Listen, blacksmith,” he said. “Write your name...

      (pp. 251-262)

      Once upon a time there was a rich king who was so rich that he believed his wealth would last forever. Therefore, he wallowed in luxury and gambled on a golden board with silver dice. All this continued for some time until he squandered his wealth and was forced to mortgage his cities and castles one after the other. Finally, nothing was left except an old castle in the forest. He moved there with his queen and three daughters, and their lives were miserable: they had only potatoes to eat for their daily meal.

      One day the king decided to...

      (pp. 262-263)

      Once upon a time there was a poor little maiden. Her mother and father had died, and she no longer had a house in which she could live, and a bed in which she could sleep. She had nothing more in the world than the clothes on her back, and she carried a small piece of bread in her hand that someone who had taken pity on her had given to her. Despite all this, the maiden was good and pious.

      As she set out on her way, she encountered a poor man who asked her so desperately for something...

      (pp. 263-264)

      Once there lived a king and a queen, and the queen had a terribly evil mother-in-law. One day the king went to war, and the old queen had her daughter-in-law locked up in a damp cellar along with her two little sons. After some time had passed, the mother-in-law said to herself, “I’d really like to eat one of the children.”

      So she called her cook and ordered him to go down into the cellar, take one of the little sons, slaughter him, and cook him.

      “What kind of sauce would you like?” asked the cook.

      “A brown one,” said...

    • 85 FRAGMENTS
      (pp. 264-265)

      A young princess was called Snowflower because she was white like snow and was born during the winter. One day her mother became sick, and the princess went out to pluck herbs that might heal her. As she went by a big tree, a swarm of bees flew out and covered her entire body from head to foot. But they didn’t sting or hurt her. Instead, they carried honey to her lips, and her entire body glowed through and through with beauty.

      Once upon a time there was a princess who was so clean, indeed, the cleanest in the entire...

      (pp. 265-266)

      Once the fox came to a meadow where there was a flock of nice, plump geese. Then he laughed and said, “Ho, I’ve come just at the right moment. You’re sitting there together so nicely that all I have to do is eat you up one by one.”

      The geese began cackling in fright and jumped up. They screamed for mercy and begged piteously for their lives. However, the fox said: “No mercy! You’ve got to die.”

      Finally, one of the geese plucked up her courage and said, “Well, if we poor geese must surrender our innocent young lives, then...

  8. Volume II

      (pp. 269-273)
      (pp. 274-277)

      In olden times, when the dear Lord himself was still wandering the earth among mortals, he happened to grow tired one evening, and night descended before he could reach an inn. Then he saw two houses right in front of him, just opposite one another. One house was large and beautiful and belonged to a rich man, and the other was small and shabby and belonged to a poor man. Our dear Lord thought, “I’m sure I won’t be a burden to the rich man,” and he knocked at the door. All at once the rich man opened the window...

      (pp. 277-283)

      Once upon a time there was a man about to go on a long journey, and upon his departure he asked his three daughters what he should bring back to them. The oldest wanted pearls, the second diamonds, but the third said, “Dear father, I’d like to have a singing, springing lark.”

      “Yes,” said the father. “If I can get one, you shall have it.” So he kissed all three daughters and departed.

      Now, by the time he was ready for his return journey, he had purchased pearls and diamonds for the two oldest daughters, but even though he had...

      (pp. 283-289)

      There once was an old queen whose husband had been dead for many years, and she had a beautiful daughter. When the daughter grew up, she was betrothed to a prince who lived far away. When the time came for her to be married, and the princess had to get ready to depart for the distant kingdom, the old queen packed up a great many precious items and ornaments: gold and silver, goblets and jewels. In short, everything that suited a royal dowry, for she loved her child with all her heart. She also gave her a chambermaid, who was...

      (pp. 289-297)

      A farmer had a son no bigger than the size of a thumb and the son didn’t become any bigger or even grow so much as a hair’s breadth in the coming years. One day, when the farmer was preparing to go out to the field to do some plowing, the little fellow said, “Father, I want to go with you.”

      “No,” said the father. “You’d better stay here. You’re of no use to me out there, and you could get lost.”

      Thumbling began to weep, and if his father was going to have his peace and quiet, he had...

    • 5 THE GNOME
      (pp. 297-301)

      Once upon a time there was a rich king who had three daughters. Every day they went walking in the palace garden, where the king, who loved trees, had planted many different kinds, but he was most fond of one particular tree, which he protected by placing it under a spell: Whoever picked one of its apples would be sent a hundred fathoms underground. When harvest time came, the apples on that tree became as red as blood. Every day the three daughters looked under the tree to see if the wind had blown an apple to the ground, but...

      (pp. 301-307)

      A merchant had two children, a boy and a girl, who were still infants and couldn’t walk. About this time the merchant had invested his entire fortune in richly laden ships that he sent out to sea. Just when he thought he was about to make a lot of money through this venture, he received news that the ships had sunk. So now, instead of being a rich man, he was a poor one and had nothing left but a field outside the city. In order to take his mind off his troubles somewhat, he went into his field, and...

    • 7 THE RAVEN
      (pp. 307-313)

      Once upon a time there was a queen who had a daughter, and she was so little that she had to be carried in her mother’s arms. One day the child became restless, and no matter what the mother said, she wouldn’t keep quiet. The mother became impatient, and as she looked at the ravens flying around outside the castle, she opened the window and said, “I wish you were a raven and would fly away! Then I’d have my peace and quiet.”

      No sooner had she said those words than the child was changed into a raven and flew...

      (pp. 313-316)

      Once upon a time there was a poor farmer who had only a small house and one daughter but no land. One day the daughter said, “I think we should ask the king for a little piece of farming land.”

      When the king learned about their poverty, he gave them a small field, which the farmer and his daughter cleared so they could sow a little wheat and plant some kind of fruit. After they had almost finished their work, they found a mortar of pure gold on the ground.

      “Listen,” said the farmer to his daughter, “since the king...

      (pp. 316-319)

      A man paid for his son to study, and after the boy had successfully attended a few schools, the father couldn’t support him anymore. So he told him to come home and said: “You know that I’ve run out of money. I can’t give you anything anymore.”

      “Dear father,” said the son, “don’t worry. If that’s the way it is, I’ll stay and travel with you and earn some money from carpentry.”

      Indeed, the father was a day laborer and earned his living as a carpenter.

      “My son,” the father said, “that will be difficult for you to do because...

      (pp. 319-324)

      More than a thousand years ago there were many minor kings in this country, and one of them lived on the mountain called Köterberg. He was very fond of hunting, and one day, when he left his castle and went down the mountain with his huntsmen, he came upon three maidens tending their cows. When they saw the king with his men, the oldest pointed at the king and called to the other two, “Hallo, hallo! If I can’t have that man over there, I don’t want any at all.”

      Then the second responded from the other side of the...

      (pp. 324-329)

      Once upon a time there was a king who became sick, and nobody believed he would survive. He had three sons who were very saddened by this, and they went down into the palace garden, where they wept. All of a sudden they met an old man who asked them why they were so depressed, and they told him that their father was so sick that he would probably die. Nothing seemed to help.

      “I know of a remedy,” the old man said. “It’s the Water of Life. If he drinks it, he’ll regain his health. But it’s difficult to...

      (pp. 329-331)

      Once upon a time there was a poor farmer named Crab, who drove a cord of wood into town with his two oxen and sold the wood to a doctor for two gold coins. When the farmer went inside to get his money, the doctor was just about to sit down to dinner, and the farmer admired the fine food and drink at the doctor’s table. His heart yearned for something like that, and he thought how nice it would be if he were a doctor. He lingered there awhile and finally asked if it were possible for someone like...

      (pp. 331-333)

      Once upon a time there was a king who had three daughters, and in his courtyard there was a well with beautiful clear water. On a hot summer’s day the eldest daughter went down to the well and scooped out a glass full of water. However, when she looked at it and held it up to the sun, she saw that the water was murky. She found this very unusual and wanted to scoop out another glass when a frog stirred in the water, stuck his head up high, and finally jumped on to the edge of the well, where...

      (pp. 333-336)

      A discharged soldier had nothing to live on and no longer knew what to do with his life. So he went out into the forest, and after walking for a while, he met a little man who was actually the devil himself.

      “What’s the matter?” the little man said to him. You look so gloomy.”

      “I’m hungry and have no money,” said the soldier.

      “If you hire yourself out to me and will be my servant,” the devil said, “you’ll have enough for the rest of your life. But you’ve got to serve me seven years, and after that you’ll...

      (pp. 337-340)

      There were once three brothers, and the two eldest used to push the youngest around, and when they decided to go out into the world, they said to him: “We don’t need you. You can go off wandering by yourself.”

      Then they left him, and he had to set off all alone. When he came to a large meadow, he was very hungry and sat down beneath a ring of trees and began to weep. All of a sudden he heard a roar, and when he looked up, the devil came toward him. He was dressed in a green coat...

      (pp. 340-343)

      Once, during summertime, as the bear and the wolf were walking through the forest, the bear heard a bird singing a beautiful song and said, “Brother wolf, what kind of bird can sing as beautifully as that?”

      “That’s the king of the birds,” said the wolf. “We must bow down before him.”

      However, it was nothing but the wren, popularly known as the fence king.

      “If that’s the case,” said the bear, “I’d like very much to see his royal palace. Please take me there.”

      “You can’t go there just like that,” said the wolf. “You’ll have to wait until...

      (pp. 343-343)

      Once upon a time there was a poor but pious girl who lived alone with her mother. When they had nothing left to eat, the girl went out into the forest, where she met an old woman who already knew about her troubles and gave her a small pot. She instructed the girl to say to it “Little pot, cook,” for it would then make a good, sweet millet porridge. And the girl was to say “Little pot, stop!” to make it stop cooking.

      The girl brought the pot home to her mother, and it put an end to their...

      (pp. 343-347)

      Once upon a time there was a man who didn’t have much money, and he went out into the wide world with the little money that he had left. He arrived at a village, where some young boys had gathered together and were making noise and yelling.

      “What’s going on?” the man asked.

      “Oh, we’ve got a mouse,” they answered, “and we’re making it dance for us. Just look at the funny way the mouse toddles!”

      But the man felt sorry for the poor little animal, and he said, “Let the mouse go, boys, and I’ll give you some money...

      (pp. 347-348)

      A child sat on the ground in front of the house door and had a little bowl with milk and bread nearby and ate. A toad came crawling and dipped its little head into the bowl and ate with the boy. The next day it came again and did this every day for some time. The child took delight in this, and when he saw, however, that the toad would only drink the milk and leave the bread lying there, the child took his little spoon, hit the toad a little on its head, and said: “You thing you, eat...

      (pp. 348-351)

      Once there were three young men who worked in a mill owned by an old miller who lived there without wife or children. After the men had worked for him for some years, he said to them: “Go out and see who can bring back the best horse. The winner will get my mill.”

      Now, the third of the hired hands was just an apprentice, and the other two thought he was a simpleton and didn’t deserve the mill. He, in fact, didn’t even want it, but he set out with the other two workers, and when they came to...

    • 21 THE CROWS
      (pp. 351-354)

      An honest and diligent soldier had earned and saved some money because he had been diligent and had not squandered his earnings in the taverns as the other soldiers had. It so happened that two of his comrades were quite devious and wanted to get at his money, and so they pretended to be very friendly with him. One day they said to him, “Listen, why should we stay here in this city? We’re locked in as though we were prisoners. Besides, someone such as you could really earn something decent and live happily if you were in your own...

      (pp. 354-359)

      Once there was a rich farmer, and he and his wife didn’t have any children. When he went into town with the other farmers, they often made fun of him and asked why he had no children. One day he finally got angry, and when he went home, he said, “I want to have a child, even if it’s a hedgehog.”

      Then his wife gave birth to a child whose upper half was hedgehog and bottom half, human. When she saw the child, she was horrified and said, “You see how you cursed us!”

      “There’s nothing we can do about...

      (pp. 360-360)

      A mother had a little boy of seven who was handsome, and she loved him more than anything in the world. But, all of a sudden, he died. The mother couldn’t stop grieving and wept day and night. Not long after the boy was buried, he began to appear at night in places where he had formerly sat and played when he had been alive. Then, whenever his mother wept, he would weep too, and when morning came, he would disappear. Since his mother wouldn’t stop her weeping, he came one night clad in the little white shroud that he...

      (pp. 360-363)

      A farmer had a hard-working and faithful servant, who served him for three years without receiving any wages. Finally, it occurred to the servant that he really didn’t want to work for nothing, and he went to his master and said: “I’ve served you honestly and tirelessly for a long time. That’s why I trust you’ll now want to give me what’s due to me, in keeping with God’s commandments.”

      However, the farmer was a sleazy man and knew that the servant was simple-minded. So he took three pennies and gave him a penny for each year. That’s how the...

      (pp. 363-368)

      Once upon a time there was a young fellow, and after he had learned the locksmith’s trade, he told his father that he had to go out into the world and try his luck.

      “Yes,” said his father. “I’m satisfied with your decision,” and he gave him money for his journey.

      So the young man wandered about looking for work. After some time he found that he was not very successful as a locksmith. Moreover, the trade no longer suited him, for he had a craving to become a huntsman. Then one day during his travels he met a huntsman...

      (pp. 368-369)

      A farmer once set out to plow with a pair of oxen. When he got to his field, the horns of both oxen began to grow. They grew and grew, and by the time he was ready to go home, the horns were so big that the oxen would not fit through the farm gate. Fortunately, a butcher happened to come along at that moment and was willing to take them over. They agreed that the farmer would bring a measure of turnip seeds to the butcher, and the butcher was to pay one Brabant gold coin for each seed....

      (pp. 369-377)

      Once upon a time there was a king who had a little boy, and according to the constellation of the stars, it was predicted that he would be killed by a stag when he turned sixteen. One day, when he had reached that age, the huntsmen went out hunting with him in the forest, but the prince got separated from them. Suddenly, he saw a big stag and kept trying to shoot it, without much success. Finally, the stag ran away and led him on a chase until they were out of the forest. All at once a big, lanky...

      (pp. 377-380)

      Once upon a time there was a princess who was extremely proud. Whenever a suitor appeared before her, she gave him a riddle to solve, and if he couldn’t solve it, she would ridicule him and send him away. Indeed, she let it be known that whoever was able to solve her riddle would be allowed to marry her, no matter who the person might be.

      After some time had passed, three tailors happened to meet. The two oldest thought that, because they had sewn many a fine stitch and had got them all right, they were sure to win...

      (pp. 380-382)

      A journeyman tailor was traveling around and practicing his trade. However, at one time he couldn’t find any work and became so poverty-stricken that he didn’t have a single cent left for food. Just at this point in his travels he met a Jew, who, he thought, probably had a lot of money with him. So he abandoned God, went straight toward the Jew, and said, “Give me your money, or I’ll kill you.”

      “Spare my life!” said the Jew. “I don’t have much money, just eight pennies.”

      “You’ve got more money than that! Out with it!” the tailor responded....

      (pp. 383-386)

      Once upon a time there was a king who had a soldier as servant. When the soldier became very old, the king sent him away without giving him anything for his service. Now the soldier had no idea how he was to eke out an existence and went off sadly and walked until he reached a forest in the evening. After he went farther, he saw a light, and as he approached it, he came upon a small house that was owned by a witch. He asked for a night’s lodging and a little food and drink. At first she...

      (pp. 386-386)

      Once upon a time there was a stubborn child who never did what his mother told him to do. Therefore, the dear Lord did not look kindly upon him, and he became sick. No doctor could cure him, and in a short time he lay on his deathbed. When he was being lowered into his grave and was covered over with dirt, one of his little arms suddenly emerged and reached up into the air. They pushed it back down and covered the dirt with fresh dirt, but that didn’t help. The little arm kept popping out. So the child’s...

      (pp. 386-389)

      Three army surgeons who were traveling around the world thought that they had learned all there was to know about their profession. One day they came to an inn, where they wanted to spend the night, and the innkeeper asked them where they were coming from and where they were heading.

      “We’re traveling about the world and practicing our profession.”

      “Well, show me what you can do,” said the innkeeper.

      Then the first surgeon said he would cut off his own hand and put it back on again in the morning. The second said he would tear out his heart...

      (pp. 389-390)

      Once upon a time there were two journeymen who traveled together, and they swore they would always stick together. However, when they reached a large city, one of them began living loosely and forgot his promise. He left the other, went off by himself, and wandered here and there. Most of all he loved to be at the places where he could find the most excitement. The other journeyman remained committed to his job in the city, worked industriously, and then continued his travels.

      One night he passed by the gallows without realizing it, but he saw a man lying...

      (pp. 390-393)

      There were once three journeymen who had agreed to stay together during their travels and to always work in the same city. Yet, after a while their masters couldn’t pay them, and eventually they had nothing to live on and were reduced to rags.

      “What shall we do?” one of them said. “We can’t stay here any longer. Let’s set out on our travels again. Then, if we don’t find any work in the next city we come to, we’ll part ways. But, before we do that, let’s arrange with the innkeeper that we write to him about our whereabouts...

      (pp. 394-395)

      Once there was a peasant boy who heard a priest talking in church. “Whoever desires to enter the kingdom of heaven must always walk a straight path.”

      So the boy set upon his way and went straight along, always straight ahead without turning, over hill and valley. Finally, his way led into a large city and then into the middle of a church, where a holy service was being performed. When he saw all the magnificent pomp, he thought that he had now reached heaven. So he sat down and rejoiced with all his heart. When the holy service was...

    • 36 THE LONG NOSE
      (pp. 395-401)

      Once there were three old discharged soldiers who were so old that they could no longer eat even milk pudding. The king sent them away and didn’t give them a pension. Consequently, they had nothing to live on and had to go begging. One day they began walking through a large forest and were unable to reach the end. When night arrived, two of them lay down to sleep, and the third kept watch so that the wild animals wouldn’t tear them to pieces. After the two soldiers had fallen asleep and while the third was standing guard, a little...

      (pp. 401-403)

      There was once a poor servant girl who went traveling with her masters through a large forest, and as they were passing through the middle of it, some robbers came and murdered all the people they could find. Everyone was killed except the maiden, who had jumped from the carriage in her fright and hidden behind a tree. After the robbers departed with their booty, she came out of her hiding place and burst into bitter tears. “What am I to do?” she said. “Oh, poor me, I’ll never find my way out of the forest. I don’t see a...

      (pp. 403-405)

      There was once a man who had three sons, and he owned nothing but the house in which he lived. Now each of his sons hoped very much to inherit the house after his death. Since the father cared for them equally, he didn’t want to hurt their feelings, nor did he want to sell the house because it had belonged to generations of his ancestors. Otherwise, he would have divided the money from a sale and shared it among his sons. Finally, he had an idea and said to his sons, “Go out into the world, and see what...

      (pp. 405-408)

      There once was a great war, and the king, who had many soldiers, paid his men so poorly that they couldn’t live off their wages. Three of his soldiers got together, therefore, and planned to desert. Two began talking, and one said to the other, “If we’re caught, they’ll hang us on the gallows. So what do you think we should do?”

      “There’s a large wheat field over there,” the other said. “If we hide in it, nobody will ever find us. The army won’t enter the field.”

      So they crept into the wheat field and sat there for two...

      (pp. 408-412)

      Once upon a time there lived a man and a woman who didn’t have any children while they were rich, but when they became poor, they had a little boy. Since nobody was willing to stand as godfather for their child, the father said that he would go to the next village to see if he could find one. Along the way he met a beggar, who asked him where he was going. The father told him that he was going to see if he could find a godfather for his son, since nobody was willing to act as godfather...

      (pp. 413-418)

      In the days when wishing still helped, an old witch cast a spell over a prince so that he had to sit in a big iron stove in the forest. He spent many years there, and nobody was able to rescue him. One day a princess got lost in that forest and couldn’t find the way back to her father’s kingdom. She wandered about for nine days and finally came to the iron stove. As she stood in front of it, she heard a voice from inside that asked, “Where do you come from and where are you going?”


      (pp. 418-420)

      A man and his wife lived in a village, and the wife was so lazy that she never wanted to do any work. Whenever her husband gave her something to spin, she never finished it, and whatever she did spin, she didn’t wind it, but left it tangled on the bobbin. If her husband scolded her, she used her quick tongue and said, “How can I wind the yarn if I don’t have a reel? You go into the forest first and fetch me one.”

      “If that’s the problem,” her husband replied, “then I’ll go into the forest and get...

      (pp. 420-422)

      There once lived a king and a queen, and they had a son and a daughter who loved each other dearly. The prince went hunting very often and sometimes remained in the forest a long time. However, one day he didn’t return. His sister almost wept herself blind because of this. Finally, when she could no longer stand it, she went into the forest to search for her brother. After she had gone a long way, she was too tired to go any farther, and when she looked around her, a lion was standing nearby. He seemed friendly and very...

      (pp. 422-428)

      Two carpenters lived in a city in which their houses touched one other. Each carpenter had a son, and their children were always together and played with one another. That’s why they were called Little Knife and Little Fork, which likewise are always placed side by side on the table. When they grew up, they refused to be separated. Since one was courageous and the other timid, one became a soldier, and the other learned carpentry. As the time came for the carpenter to go on his travels as a journeyman, the soldier didn’t want to be left behind, and...

      (pp. 428-430)

      “Good day, Father Berry-Tea.”

      “Why, thank you, Pif-Paf-Poltree.”

      “Could I have your daughter for my wife?”

      “Oh, yes, if Mother Milk-Cow, Brother High-and-Mighty, Sister Dear-Cheese, and Pretty Katrinelya are willing, then you can have her.”

      “Then where can I find Mother Milk-Cow?”

      “In the barn milking the cow.”

      “Good day, Mother Milk-Cow.”

      “Why, thank you, Pif-Paf-Poltree.”

      “Could I have your daughter for my wife?”

      “Oh, yes, if Father Berry-Tea, Brother High-and-Mighty, Sister Dear-Cheese, and Pretty Katrinelya are willing, then you can have her.”

      “Then where can I find Brother High-and-Mighty?”

      “In the shed chopping up all the wood he can...

      (pp. 430-431)

      A farmer had a faithful horse that had grown old and could no longer do his work. So his master didn’t want to feed him anymore and said, “You’re of no more use to me now, but I won’t abandon you entirely. Show me that you’re still strong enough to bring me a lion, then I’ll keep you. But for now, get out of my stable!”

      And he chased the horse out into the open field. The horse was sad about this and went into the forest to seek a little shelter from the weather. There he met the fox,...

      (pp. 431-435)

      Once upon a time there was a king who had twelve daughters, one more beautiful than the other. They slept together in a large room, where their beds stood side by side, and in the evening, when they went to sleep, the king shut and locked the door. However, every morning, their shoes were worn out from dancing, and nobody knew where they had been and how it kept happening. So the king issued a proclamation that whoever could find out where his daughters danced during the night could choose one of them for his wife and be king after...

      (pp. 435-440)

      An old queen, who was a sorceress, had a daughter, who was the most beautiful maiden under the sun. Whenever a suitor came to court her daughter, he would be given a task to perform, and if he failed, he had to kneel down, and his head would be cut off without mercy.

      Now it so happened that there was a prince who wanted to court her, but his father refused to let him go and said: “No, if you go there, you won’t return.”

      Then the son withdrew to his bed and became deathly ill for seven years. When...

      (pp. 440-444)

      A woman was walking with her daughter and stepdaughter over the fields to cut fodder when the dear Lord came toward them in the guise of a poor man and asked, “Which is the way to the village?”

      “Oh,” said the mother, “look for the way yourself.”

      And her daughter added, “If you’re worried about not finding it, then take a signpost with you.”

      However, the stepdaughter said, “Poor man, I’ll show you the way. Come with me.”

      Since the mother and daughter had infuriated the dear Lord, he turned his back on them and cursed them so that they...

    • 50 THE WILD MAN
      (pp. 444-448)

      Once upon a time there was a wild man who was under a spell, and he went into the gardens and wheat fields of the peasants and destroyed everything. The peasants complained to their lord and told him that they could no longer pay their rent. So the lord summoned all the huntsmen and announced that whoever caught the wild beast would receive a great reward. Then an old huntsman arrived and said he would catch the beast. He took a bottle of brandy, a bottle of wine, and a bottle of beer and set the bottles on the bank...

      (pp. 448-450)

      East India was besieged by an enemy that would not withdraw until it first received a ransom of six hundred gold coins. So it was announced in public that whoever could provide the money would become mayor. There was at that time a poor fisherman who was fishing at sea with his son. The enemy came, took the son prisoner, and gave the fisherman six hundred gold coins for him. The father then went and gave the money to the lords of the city. The enemy departed, and the fisherman became mayor. Thereafter it was proclaimed that whoever did not...

      (pp. 450-450)

      Between Werrel and Soist there lived a man named Knoist, and he had three sons. One was blind, the other was lame, and the third was stark naked. Once they were walking across a field and saw a hare. The blind one shot it. The lame one caught it, and the naked one stuck it into his pocket. Then they came to a tremendously large lake with three boats on it. One boat leaked, the other sank, and the third had no bottom to it. They went aboard the boat with no bottom. Then they came to a tremendously large...

      (pp. 450-451)

      Once there was a maiden from Brakel who went to Saint Anne’s Chapel at the foot of the Hinnenberg. Since she wanted a husband and thought that nobody else was in the chapel, she sang:

      “Holy Saint Anne,

      please help me get my man.

      Oh, you know him, I’m sure.

      He lives down by the Suttmer Gate;

      his hair is yellow and very pure.

      Oh, you know him well. I’m very sure.”

      The sexton was standing behind the altar and heard her. So he called out in a shrill voice, “You won’t get him, you won’t get him!”

      The maiden...

      (pp. 451-452)

      “Where are you going?”

      “To Woelpe.”

      “I’m going to Woelpe, you’re going to Woelpe. So then, let’s go together.”

      “Do you also have a husband? What’s his name?”


      “My husband’s named Chain, yours is Chain. I’m going to Woelpe, you’re going to Woelpe. So then, let’s go together.”

      “Do you also have a child? What’s he called?”


      “My child’s called Scab. Yours is Scab. My husband’s Chain. Yours is Chain. I’m going to Woelpe. You’re going to Woelpe. So then, let’s go together.”

      “Do you also have a cradle? What’s your cradle called?”


      “My cradle’s called Hippodeige....

      (pp. 452-453)

      Once upon a time there was a little brother and a little sister who loved each other with all their hearts. However, their real mother was dead, and they had a stepmother who wasn’t good to them and secretly did all she could to hurt them. It happened that one day the two of them were playing with other children in a meadow in front of the house, and in the meadow was a pond that bordered on one side of the house. The children ran around it, caught each other, and played a counting-out game:

      “Eenie, meenie, let me...

      (pp. 454-456)

      There once were two brothers, one rich and the other poor. The rich one, however, gave nothing to the poor brother, who barely supported himself by dealing in grain. Things often went so badly for him that his wife and children would have to go without food.

      One day, as he was going through the forest with his wheelbarrow, he noticed a large, bare mountain off to the side. Since he had never seen it before, he stopped in amazement and gazed at it. While he was standing there, twelve big and wild-looking men came toward him. Since he thought...

      (pp. 456-456)

      Once upon a time there was a woman with two daughters, and they had become so poor that they no longer had even a piece of bread to put in their mouths. Their hunger became so great that their mother became unhinged and desperate. Indeed, she said to her children, “I’ve got to kill you so I can have something to eat!”

      “Oh, dear mother,” said one daughter, “spare me, and I’ll go out and see if I can get something without begging.”

      So the girl went out and came back carrying a little piece of bread, which they shared...

      (pp. 456-461)

      There once lived a king and queen who were rich and had everything they desired except children. The queen lamented day and night because of this, saying, “I’m like a field on which nothing grows.”

      Finally, God fulfilled her wishes. However, when the baby was born, it didn’t look like a human child but like a young little donkey. When the mother saw it, she really began to lament and screamed that she would rather have had no child at all than to have had a donkey, and she ordered the donkey to be thrown into the water so the...

      (pp. 461-461)

      Once a man and his wife were sitting by the entrance to their house. They had a roasted chicken in front of them and were about to eat it when the man saw his father coming toward them. So the man quickly grabbed the chicken and hid it because he didn’t want to give him any. The old man came, had a drink, and went away. As the son reached to put the roasted chicken back on the table, he found that it had turned into a large toad, which then sprang onto his face, sat right on it, and...

    • 60 THE TURNIP
      (pp. 461-464)

      Once upon a time there were two brothers, both of whom served as soldiers. One was rich; the other, poor. Since the poor brother wanted to improve his circumstances, he left the army and became a farmer. He dug and hoed his little piece of ground and planted turnip seeds. As the turnips began to grow, one became large and strong and noticeably fatter than the others. It seemed as if it would not stop growing at all. Soon it was called the queen of all turnips because nobody had ever seen one like it, nor will anybody ever see...

      (pp. 464-465)

      At the time that our Lord still walked on the earth, he was with Saint Peter and stopped one evening at the house of a blacksmith and received lodging for the night. Now, it happened that a poor beggar, suffering greatly from old age and illness, entered this house and asked for alms from the blacksmith. Saint Peter took pity on him and said, “Lord and Master, may it please you, cure him of his sufferings so he can earn his own living.”

      Then the Lord said gently to the blacksmith, “Lend me your forge, and put some coals on...

      (pp. 466-466)

      The Lord God had created all the animals and had selected the wolves for his dogs. However, he had forgotten to create the goat. Then the devil got ready to create as well and made goats with fine long tails. Yet, when they went out to graze, they usually caught their tails in the briar bushes, and the devil always had to go to the trouble of disentangling them from the bushes. Finally, he became so fed up that he went and bit off the tail of each goat, as you can still see today by their stumps.

      Now he...

    • 63 THE BEAM
      (pp. 467-467)

      Once upon a time there was a magician who stood in the middle of a large crowd of people and performed marvelous tricks. Among other things, he made a rooster appear, lift a heavy beam, and carry it as though it were as light as a feather. However, there was a girl who had just found a four-leaf clover, and it made her so clever that she could see through any kind of deception. Consequently, she saw that the beam was nothing but a straw, and she cried out, “Don’t you people see that the rooster’s carrying a mere piece...

      (pp. 467-468)

      Once upon a time there was an old woman. Of course, you’ve seen old women go begging before. Well, this woman begged, too, and whenever she got something, she said, “May God reward you.”

      Now, this beggar woman went up to a door where a friendly young rascal was warming himself inside by a fire. As she stood shivering at the door, the youngster spoke kindly to the old woman, “Come in, grandma, and warm yourself.”

      She entered but went too close to the fire so that her old rags began to burn without her noticing it. The youngster stood...

      (pp. 468-468)

      A king had three sons, and since he loved them equally, he didn’t know which to choose to be king after his death. When the time of his death drew near, he summoned them to his bedside and said, “Dear children, I’ve been contemplating something for a while, and now I want to reveal it to you: I’ve decided that the laziest among you shall become king after me.”

      “Well then, father,” said the oldest, “the kingdom belongs to me, for I’m so lazy that when I’m lying on my back and want to sleep and a drop of rain...

      (pp. 469-469)

      Once upon a time there was a pious maiden who swore to God she wouldn’t marry. Since she was so remarkably beautiful, her father wouldn’t accept this and tried to force her to marry. Confronted with this predicament, the maiden implored God to let her grow a beard, and this happened right away. But the king was so enraged that he had her crucified, and she became a saint.

      Now, it so happened that a very poor minstrel went into the church where her statue was kept. He knelt down in front of it, and the saint was glad that...

      (pp. 469-470)

      In the days of the land of Cockaigne I went and saw Rome and the Lateran hanging from a small silk thread. There was also a man without feet who outran a fast horse, and a keen-edged sword that sliced a bridge in two. Then I saw a young ass with a silver nose chasing after two quick hares, and a large linden tree grew hotcakes. I saw a scrawny old goat carrying a hundred cartloads of fat on its body and sixty loads of salt. Now, haven’t I lied enough? Then I saw a plow tilling the ground without...

      (pp. 470-471)

      I want to tell you something. I saw two roasted chickens flying swiftly with their breasts turned toward heaven, their backs toward hell. An anvil and a millstone swam across the Rhine very slowly and softly, and a frog sat on the ice and ate a plowshare at Pentecost. There were three fellows on crutches and stilts who wanted to catch a hare. One was deaf, the second blind, the third dumb, and the fourth couldn’t move his feet. Do you want to know how they did it? Well, first the blind one saw the hare trotting over the field....

      (pp. 471-471)

      Three women were turned into flowers that stood in a field. However, one of them was permitted to spend the night in her own home. Once, as dawn drew near and she had to return to her companions in the field to become a flower again, she said to her husband, “If you come and pick me this morning, I’ll be set free, and I’ll be able to stay with you forever.”

      And this is exactly what happened.

      Now the question is how her husband was able to recognize her, for the three flowers were all the same without any...

      (pp. 471-474)

      During winter, when the snow was once very deep, a poor boy had to go outside and gather wood on a sled. After he had finally collected enough wood and had piled it on his sled, he decided not to go home right away because he was freezing so much. Instead, he thought he would make a fire to warm himself up a bit. So he began scraping the snow away, and as he cleared the ground, he discovered a golden key. “Where there’s a key,” he thought, “there must also be a lock.” So he dug farther into the...

    (pp. 475-478)
    (pp. 479-516)
    (pp. 517-519)