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´╗┐Title: Snowdrop and Other Tales
Author: Grimm, Wilhelm, 1786-1859, Grimm, Jacob, 1785-1863
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Snowdrop and Other Tales" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
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Transcriber's Note

Illustration captions in {brackets} have been added by the transcriber
for the convenience of the reader, with reference to the Lists of
illustrations wherever possible.

          [Illustration: {Seven dwarfs.}]

                  & OTHER TALES

                      BY THE
                  BROTHERS GRIMM

                  ILLUSTRATED BY
                  ARTHUR RACKHAM

                     NEW YORK
               E P DUTTON & COMPANY

  _Originally published in 'Grimm's Fairy
    Tales. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham'_  1909

  _Re-issued separately_                    1920



  [Illustration: {The Dwarfs, when they came in the evening, found
    Snowdrop lying on the ground.}]


    SNOWDROP                                                   1

    THE PINK                                                  11

    BRIAR ROSE                                                17

    THE JEW AMONG THE THORNS                                  22

    ASHENPUTTEL                                               28

    THE WHITE SNAKE                                           37

    THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN KIDS                               42

    THE QUEEN BEE                                             46

    THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER                               49

    THE WOLF AND THE MAN                                      51

    THE TURNIP                                                53

    CLEVER HANS                                               57

    THE THREE LANGUAGES                                       63

    THE FOX AND THE CAT                                       67

    THE FOUR CLEVER BROTHERS                                  69

    THE LADY AND THE LION                                     75

    THE FOX AND THE HORSE                                     81

    THE BLUE LIGHT                                            84

    THE GOOSEGIRL                                             90

    THE GOLDEN GOOSE                                          97

    THE WATER OF LIFE                                        104

    CLEVER GRETHEL                                           111

    THE KING OF THE GOLDEN MOUNTAIN                          114

    DOCTOR KNOW-ALL                                          121

    THE SEVEN RAVENS                                         124

    THE MARRIAGE OF MRS. REYNARD                             128

    THE SALAD                                                132

    THE YOUTH WHO COULD NOT SHUDDER                          140

    KING THRUSHBEARD                                         152

    IRON HANS                                                157

List of Illustrations in Colour

    The Dwarfs, when they came in the evening, found
      Snowdrop lying on the ground                      _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE
    The King could not contain himself for joy                      18

    The young Prince said, 'I am not afraid; I am
      determined to go and look upon the lovely Briar
      Rose'                                                         20

    Ashenputtel goes to the ball                                    30

    The Fishes, in their joy, stretched up their heads
      above the water, and promised to reward him                   38

    The Seven Kids and their mother capered and danced
      round the spring in their joy                                 44

    The Ducks, which he had once saved, dived and brought
      up the key from the depths                                    48

    So the four Brothers took their sticks in their hands,
      bade their Father good-bye, and passed out of the
      town gate                                                     68

    The King's only daughter had been carried off by a Dragon       72

    She went away accompanied by the Lions                          76

    Alas! dear Falada, there thou hangest                           92

    Blow, blow, little breeze, And Conrad's hat seize               96

    Good Dwarf, can you not tell me where my brothers are?         106

    Then he ran after him, still holding the carving-knife,
      and cried, 'Only one, only one!'                             112

    The Son made a circle, and his Father and he took their
      places within it, and the little black Mannikin
      appeared                                                     116

    Once upon a time a poor Peasant, named Crabb, was taking
      a load of wood drawn by two oxen to the town for sale        120

    The good little Sister cut off her own tiny finger, fitted
      it into the lock, and succeeded in opening it                124

    But they said one after another: 'Halloa! who has been
      eating off my plate? Who has been drinking out of my
      cup?'                                                        126

    Then the Youth took the axe and split the anvil with one
      blow, catching in the Old Man's beard at the same time       150

    The Beggar took her by the hand and led her away               154

List of Black and White Illustrations

    Headpiece                                                        1

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who is fairest of us all?'          2

    In the evening the seven Dwarfs came back                        4

    The scullions brought live coals, which he had to eat
      until the flames poured out of his mouth                      13

    'The Thirteenth Fairy'                                          18

    But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to
      grow up                                                       20

    The Jew was forced to spring up and begin to dance              24

    Dancing as hard as he could                                     26

    The Three Sleeping Princesses                                   48

    So the rich Brother had to put his Brother's Turnip into
      a cart, and have it taken home                                54

    When he got home he had the rope in his hand, but there
      was nothing at the end of it                                  61

    On the way he passed a swamp, in which a number of Frogs
      were croaking                                                 64

    The Cat crept stealthily up to the topmost branch               67

    They found the Princess still on the rock, but the Dragon
      was asleep with his head on her lap                           73

    The poor Horse was very sad, and went into the forest to
      get a little shelter from the wind and weather                82

    Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away
      behind him                                                    83

    Before long the Witch came by riding at a furious pace
      on a tom cat                                                  86

    There stands an old tree; cut it down, and you will find
      something at the roots                                        98

    So now there were seven people running behind Simpleton
      and his Goose                                                 99

    And so they followed up hill and down dale after Simpleton
      and his Goose                                                100

    The King could no longer withhold his daughter                 105

    When she entered she met a Dwarf                               126

    The Ravens coming home                                         127

    Does the gentleman wear red breeches, and has he a
      pointed muzzle?                                              131

    But the Old Woman was a witch                                  133

    He tied them all together and drove them along till
      he came to a mill                                            138

    Crowds of black cats and dogs swarmed out of every corner      146

    She immediately clutched at his cap to pull it off; but
      he held it on with both hands                                161

    He called three times, 'Iron Hans,' as loud as he could        162

  [Illustration: {Seven dwarfs.}]


It was the middle of winter, and the snowflakes were falling from the
sky like feathers. Now, a Queen sat sewing at a window framed in black
ebony, and as she sewed she looked out upon the snow. Suddenly she
pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell on to the snow. And
the red looked so lovely on the white that she thought to herself: 'If
only I had a child as white as snow and as red as blood, and as black
as the wood of the window frame!' Soon after, she had a daughter,
whose hair was black as ebony, while her cheeks were red as blood, and
her skin as white as snow; so she was called Snowdrop. But when the
child was born the Queen died. A year after the King took another
wife. She was a handsome woman, but proud and overbearing, and could
not endure that any one should surpass her in beauty. She had a magic
looking-glass, and when she stood before it and looked at herself she
used to say:

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

then the Glass answered,

    'Queen, thou'rt fairest of them all.'

Then she was content, for she knew that the Looking-glass spoke the

But Snowdrop grew up and became more and more beautiful, so that when
she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day, and far
surpassed the Queen. Once, when she asked her Glass,

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

it answered--

    'Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold,
    But Snowdrop is fairer a thousandfold.'

Then the Queen was horror-struck, and turned green and yellow with
jealousy. From the hour that she saw Snowdrop her heart sank, and she
hated the little girl.

  [Illustration: 'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
                 Who is fairest of us all?']

The pride and envy of her heart grew like a weed, so that she had no
rest day nor night. At last she called a Huntsman, and said: 'Take the
child out into the wood; I will not set eyes on her again; you must
kill her and bring me her lungs and liver as tokens.'

The Huntsman obeyed, and took Snowdrop out into the forest, but when
he drew his hunting-knife and was preparing to plunge it into her
innocent heart, she began to cry:

'Alas! dear Huntsman, spare my life, and I will run away into the wild
forest and never come back again.'

And because of her beauty the Huntsman had pity on her and said,
'Well, run away, poor child.' Wild beasts will soon devour you, he
thought, but still he felt as though a weight were lifted from his
heart because he had not been obliged to kill her. And as just at
that moment a young fawn came leaping by, he pierced it and took the
lungs and liver as tokens to the Queen. The Cook was ordered to serve
them up in pickle, and the wicked Queen ate them thinking that they
were Snowdrop's.

Now the poor child was alone in the great wood, with no living soul
near, and she was so frightened that she knew not what to do. Then she
began to run, and ran over the sharp stones and through the brambles,
while the animals passed her by without harming her. She ran as far as
her feet could carry her till it was nearly evening, when she saw a
little house and went in to rest. Inside, everything was small, but as
neat and clean as could be. A small table covered with a white cloth
stood ready with seven small plates, and by every plate was a spoon,
knife, fork, and cup. Seven little beds were ranged against the walls,
covered with snow-white coverlets. As Snowdrop was very hungry and
thirsty she ate a little bread and vegetable from each plate, and
drank a little wine from each cup, for she did not want to eat up the
whole of one portion. Then, being very tired, she lay down in one of
the beds. She tried them all but none suited her; one was too short,
another too long, all except the seventh, which was just right. She
remained in it, said her prayers, and fell asleep.

When it was quite dark the masters of the house came in. They were
seven Dwarfs, who used to dig in the mountains for ore. They kindled
their lights, and as soon as they could see they noticed that some one
had been there, for everything was not in the order in which they had
left it.

The first said, 'Who has been sitting in my chair?'

The second said, 'Who has been eating off my plate?'

The third said, 'Who has been nibbling my bread?'

The fourth said, 'Who has been eating my vegetables?'

The fifth said, 'Who has been using my fork?'

The sixth said, 'Who has been cutting with my knife?'

The seventh said, 'Who has been drinking out of my cup?'

  [Illustration: In the evening the seven Dwarfs came back.]

Then the first looked and saw a slight impression on his bed, and
said, 'Who has been treading on my bed?' The others came running up
and said, 'And mine, and mine.' But the seventh, when he looked into
his bed, saw Snowdrop, who lay there asleep. He called the others, who
came up and cried out with astonishment, as they held their lights
and gazed at Snowdrop. 'Heavens! what a beautiful child,' they said,
and they were so delighted that they did not wake her up but left her
asleep in bed. And the seventh Dwarf slept with his comrades, an hour
with each all through the night.

When morning came Snowdrop woke up, and when she saw the seven Dwarfs
she was frightened.

But they were very kind and asked her name.

'I am called Snowdrop,' she answered.

'How did you get into our house?' they asked.

Then she told them how her stepmother had wished to get rid of her,
how the Huntsman had spared her life, and how she had run all day till
she had found the house.

Then the Dwarfs said, 'Will you look after our household, cook, make
the beds, wash, sew and knit, and keep everything neat and clean? If
so you shall stay with us and want for nothing.'

'Yes,' said Snowdrop, 'with all my heart'; and she stayed with them
and kept the house in order.

In the morning they went to the mountain and searched for copper and
gold, and in the evening they came back and then their meal had to be
ready. All day the maiden was alone, and the good Dwarfs warned her
and said, 'Beware of your stepmother, who will soon learn that you are
here. Don't let any one in.'

But the Queen, having, as she imagined, eaten Snowdrop's liver and
lungs, and feeling certain that she was the fairest of all, stepped in
front of her Glass, and asked--

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

the Glass answered as usual--

    'Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold,
    But Snowdrop over the fells,
    Who with the seven Dwarfs dwells,
    Is fairer still a thousandfold.'

She was dismayed, for she knew that the Glass told no lies, and she
saw that the Hunter had deceived her and that Snowdrop still lived.
Accordingly she began to wonder afresh how she might compass her
death; for as long as she was not the fairest in the land her jealous
heart left her no rest. At last she thought of a plan. She dyed her
face and dressed up like an old Pedlar, so that she was quite
unrecognisable. In this guise she crossed over the seven mountains to
the home of the seven Dwarfs and called out, 'Wares for sale.'

Snowdrop peeped out of the window and said, 'Good-day, mother, what
have you got to sell?'

'Good wares, fine wares,' she answered, 'laces of every colour'; and
she held out one which was made of gay plaited silk.

'I may let the honest woman in,' thought Snowdrop, and she unbolted
the door and bought the pretty lace.

'Child,' said the Old Woman, 'what a sight you are, I will lace you
properly for once.'

Snowdrop made no objection, and placed herself before the Old Woman to
let her lace her with the new lace. But the Old Woman laced so quickly
and tightly that she took away Snowdrop's breath and she fell down as
though dead.

'Now I am the fairest,' she said to herself, and hurried away.

Not long after the seven Dwarfs came home, and were horror-struck when
they saw their dear little Snowdrop lying on the floor without
stirring, like one dead. When they saw she was laced too tight they
cut the lace, whereupon she began to breathe and soon came back to
life again. When the Dwarfs heard what had happened, they said that
the old Pedlar was no other than the wicked Queen. 'Take care not to
let any one in when we are not here,' they said.

Now the wicked Queen, as soon as she got home, went to the Glass and

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

and it answered as usual--

    'Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold,
    But Snowdrop over the fells,
    Who with the seven Dwarfs dwells,
    Is fairer still a thousandfold.'

When she heard it all her blood flew to her heart, so enraged was she,
for she knew that Snowdrop had come back to life again. Then she
thought to herself, 'I must plan something which will put an end to
her.' By means of witchcraft, in which she was skilled, she made a
poisoned comb. Next she disguised herself and took the form of a
different Old Woman. She crossed the mountains and came to the home of
the seven Dwarfs, and knocked at the door calling out, 'Good wares to

Snowdrop looked out of the window and said, 'Go away, I must not let
any one in.'

'At least you may look,' answered the Old Woman, and she took the
poisoned comb and held it up.

The child was so pleased with it that she let herself be beguiled, and
opened the door.

When she had made a bargain the Old Woman said, 'Now I will comb your
hair properly for once.'

Poor Snowdrop, suspecting no evil, let the Old Woman have her way, but
scarcely was the poisoned comb fixed in her hair than the poison took
effect, and the maiden fell down unconscious.

'You paragon of beauty,' said the wicked woman, 'now it is all over
with you,' and she went away.

Happily it was near the time when the seven Dwarfs came home. When
they saw Snowdrop lying on the ground as though dead, they immediately
suspected her stepmother, and searched till they found the poisoned
comb. No sooner had they removed it than Snowdrop came to herself
again and related what had happened. They warned her again to be on
her guard, and to open the door to no one.

When she got home the Queen stood before her Glass and said--

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

and it answered as usual--

    'Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold,
    But Snowdrop over the fells,
    Who with the seven Dwarfs dwells,
    Is fairer still a thousandfold.'

When she heard the Glass speak these words she trembled and quivered
with rage. 'Snowdrop shall die,' she said, 'even if it cost me my own
life.' Thereupon she went into a secret room, which no one ever
entered but herself, and made a poisonous apple. Outwardly it was
beautiful to look upon, with rosy cheeks, and every one who saw it
longed for it, but whoever ate of it was certain to die. When the
apple was ready she dyed her face and dressed herself like an old
Peasant Woman and so crossed the seven hills to the Dwarfs' home.
There she knocked.

Snowdrop put her head out of the window and said, 'I must not let any
one in, the seven Dwarfs have forbidden me.'

'It is all the same to me,' said the Peasant Woman. 'I shall soon get
rid of my apples. There, I will give you one.'

'No; I must not take anything.'

'Are you afraid of poison?' said the woman. 'See, I will cut the apple
in half: you eat the red side and I will keep the other.'

Now the apple was so cunningly painted that the red half alone was
poisoned. Snowdrop longed for the apple, and when she saw the Peasant
Woman eating she could hold out no longer, stretched out her hand and
took the poisoned half. Scarcely had she put a bit into her mouth than
she fell dead to the ground.

The Queen looked with a fiendish glance, and laughed aloud and said,
'White as snow, red as blood, and black as ebony, this time the
Dwarfs cannot wake you up again.' And when she got home and asked the

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

it answered at last--

    'Queen, thou'rt fairest of them all.'

Then her jealous heart was at rest, as much at rest as a jealous heart
can be. The Dwarfs, when they came at evening, found Snowdrop lying on
the ground and not a breath escaped her lips, and she was quite dead.
They lifted her up and looked to see whether any poison was to be
found, unlaced her dress, combed her hair, washed her with wine and
water, but it was no use; their dear child was dead. They laid her on
a bier, and all seven sat down and bewailed her and lamented over her
for three whole days. Then they prepared to bury her, but she looked
so fresh and living, and still had such beautiful rosy cheeks, that
they said, 'We cannot bury her in the dark earth.' And so they had a
transparent glass coffin made, so that she could be seen from every
side, laid her inside and wrote on it in letters of gold her name and
how she was a King's daughter. Then they set the coffin out on the
mountain, and one of them always stayed by and watched it. And the
birds came too and mourned for Snowdrop, first an owl, then a raven,
and lastly a dove.

Now Snowdrop lay a long, long time in her coffin, looking as though
she were asleep. It happened that a Prince was wandering in the wood,
and came to the home of the seven Dwarfs to pass the night. He saw the
coffin on the mountain and lovely Snowdrop inside, and read what was
written in golden letters. Then he said to the Dwarfs, 'Let me have
the coffin; I will give you whatever you like for it.'

But they said, 'We will not give it up for all the gold of the world.'

Then he said, 'Then give it to me as a gift, for I cannot live
without Snowdrop to gaze upon; and I will honour and reverence it as
my dearest treasure.'

When he had said these words the good Dwarfs pitied him and gave him
the coffin.

The Prince bade his servants carry it on their shoulders. Now it
happened that they stumbled over some brushwood, and the shock
dislodged the piece of apple from Snowdrop's throat. In a short time
she opened her eyes, lifted the lid of the coffin, sat up and came
back to life again completely.

'O Heaven! where am I?' she asked.

The Prince, full of joy, said, 'You are with me,' and he related what
had happened, and then said, 'I love you better than all the world;
come with me to my father's castle and be my wife.'

Snowdrop agreed and went with him, and their wedding was celebrated
with great magnificence. Snowdrop's wicked stepmother was invited to
the feast; and when she had put on her fine clothes she stepped to her
Glass and asked--

    'Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
    Who is fairest of us all?'

The Glass answered--

    'Queen, thou art fairest here, I hold,
    The young Queen fairer a thousandfold.'

Then the wicked woman uttered a curse, and was so terribly frightened
that she didn't know what to do. Yet she had no rest: she felt obliged
to go and see the young Queen. And when she came in she recognised
Snowdrop, and stood stock still with fear and terror. But iron
slippers were heated over the fire, and were soon brought in with
tongs and put before her. And she had to step into the red-hot shoes
and dance till she fell down dead.

The Pink

There was once a Queen, who had not been blessed with children. As she
walked in her garden, she prayed every morning that a son or daughter
might be given to her. Then one day an Angel came, and said to her:
'Be content: you shall have a son, and he shall be endowed with the
power of wishing, so that whatsoever he wishes for shall be granted to
him.' She hurried to the King, and told him the joyful news; and when
the time came a son was born to them, and they were filled with

Every morning the Queen used to take her little son into the gardens,
where the wild animals were kept, to bathe him in a clear, sparkling
fountain. It happened one day, when the child was a little older, that
as she sat with him on her lap she fell asleep.

The old Cook, who knew that the child had the power of wishing, came
by and stole it; he also killed a Chicken, and dropped some of its
blood on the Queen's garments. Then he took the child away to a secret
place, where he placed it out to be nursed. Then he ran back to the
King, and accused the Queen of having allowed her child to be carried
off by a wild animal.

When the King saw the blood on the Queen's garments he believed the
story, and was overwhelmed with anger. He caused a high tower to be
built, into which neither the sun nor the moon could penetrate. Then
he ordered his wife to be shut up in it, and the door walled up. She
was to stay there for seven years, without eating or drinking, so as
gradually to pine away. But two Angels from heaven, in the shape of
white doves, came to her, bringing food twice a day till the seven
years were ended.

Meanwhile the Cook thought, 'If the child really has the power of
wishing, and I stay here, I might easily fall into disgrace.' So he
left the palace, and went to the boy, who was then old enough to talk,
and said to him, 'Wish for a beautiful castle, with a garden, and
everything belonging to it.' Hardly had the words passed the boy's
lips than all that he had asked for was there.

After a time the Cook said, 'It is not good for you to be so much
alone; wish for a beautiful Maiden to be your companion.'

The Prince uttered the wish, and immediately a Maiden stood before
them, more beautiful than any painter could paint. So they grew very
fond of each other, and played together, while the old Cook went out
hunting like any grand gentleman. But the idea came to him one day
that the Prince might wish to go to his father some time, and he would
thereby be placed in a very awkward position. So he took the Maiden
aside, and said to her, 'To-night, when the boy is asleep, go and
drive this knife into his heart. Then bring me his heart and his
tongue. If you fail to do it, you will lose your own life.'

Then he went away; but when the next day came the Maiden had not yet
obeyed his command, and she said, 'Why should I shed his innocent
blood, when he has never done harm to any creature in his life?'

The Cook again said, 'If you do not obey me, you will lose your own

When he had gone away, she ordered a young hind to be brought and
killed; then she cut out its heart and its tongue, and put them on a
dish. When she saw the old man coming she said to the boy, 'Get into
bed, and cover yourself right over.'

The old scoundrel came in and said, 'Where are the tongue and the
heart of the boy?'

  [Illustration: The scullions brought live coals, which he had to eat
    till the flames poured out of his mouth.]

The Maiden gave him the dish; but the Prince threw off the coverings,
and said, 'You old sinner, why did you want to kill me? Now hear your
sentence. You shall be turned into a black Poodle, with a gold chain
round your neck, and you shall be made to eat live coals, so that
flames of fire may come out of your mouth.'

As he said the words, the old man was changed into a black Poodle,
with a gold chain round his neck; and the scullions brought live
coals, which he had to eat till the flames poured out of his mouth.

The Prince stayed on at the castle for a time, thinking of his mother,
and wondering if she were still alive. At last he said to the Maiden,
'I am going into my own country. If you like you can go with me; I
will take you.'

She answered: 'Alas! it is so far off, and what should I do in a
strange country where I know no one?'

As she did not wish to go, and yet they could not bear to be parted,
he changed her into a beautiful Pink, which he took with him.

Then he set out on his journey, and the Poodle was made to run
alongside till the Prince reached his own country.

Arrived there, he went straight to the tower where his mother was
imprisoned, and as the tower was so high he wished for a ladder to
reach the top. Then he climbed up, looked in, and cried, 'Dearest
mother, lady Queen, are you still alive?'

She, thinking it was the Angels who brought her food come back, said,
'I have just eaten; I do not want anything more.'

Then he said, 'I am your own dear son whom the wild animals were
supposed to have devoured; but I am still alive, and I shall soon come
and rescue you.'

Then he got down and went to his father. He had himself announced as a
strange Huntsman, anxious to take service with the King, who said,
'Yes; if he was skilled in game preserving, and could procure plenty
of venison, he would engage him. But there had never before been any
game in the whole district.'

The Huntsman promised to procure as much game as the King could
possibly require for the royal table.

Then he called the whole Hunt together, and ordered them all to come
into the forest with him. He caused a great circle to be enclosed,
with only one outlet; then he took his place in the middle, and began
to wish as hard as he could. Immediately over two hundred head of game
came running into the enclosure; these the Huntsmen had to shoot, and
then they were piled on to sixty country wagons, and driven home to
the King. So for once he was able to load his board with game, after
having had none for many years.

The King was much pleased, and commanded his whole court to a banquet
on the following day. When they were all assembled, he said to the
Huntsman, 'You shall sit by me as you are so clever.'

He answered, 'My lord and King, may it please your Majesty, I am only
a poor Huntsman!'

The King, however, insisted, and said, 'I command you to sit by me.'

As he sat there, his thoughts wandered to his dear mother, and he
wished one of the courtiers would speak of her. Hardly had he wished
it than the Lord High Marshal said--

'Your Majesty, we are all rejoicing here, how fares it with Her
Majesty the Queen? Is she still alive in the tower, or has she

But the King answered, 'She allowed my beloved son to be devoured by
wild animals, and I do not wish to hear anything about her.'

Then the Huntsman stood up and said--

'Gracious father, she is still alive, and I am her son. He was not
devoured by wild animals; he was taken away by the scoundrel of a
Cook. He stole me while my mother was asleep, and sprinkled her
garments with the blood of a chicken.' Then he brought up the black
Poodle with the golden chain, and said, 'This is the villain.'

He ordered some live coals to be brought, which he made the dog eat in
the sight of all the people till the flames poured out of his mouth.
Then he asked the King if he would like to see the Cook in his true
shape, and wished him back, and there he stood in his white apron,
with his knife at his side.

The King was furious when he saw him, and ordered him to be thrown
into the deepest dungeon. Then the Huntsman said further--

'My father would you like to see the Maiden who so tenderly saved my
life when she was ordered to kill me, although by so doing she might
have lost her own life?'

The King answered, 'Yes, I will gladly see her.'

Then his son said, 'Gracious father, I will show her to you first in
the guise of a beautiful flower.'

He put his hand into his pocket, and brought out the Pink. It was a
finer one than the King had ever seen before. Then his son said, 'Now,
I will show her to you in her true form.'

The moment his wish was uttered, she stood before them in all her
beauty, which was greater than any artist could paint.

The King sent ladies and gentlemen-in-waiting to the tower to bring
the Queen back to his royal table. But when they reached the tower
they found that she would no longer eat or drink, and she said, 'The
merciful God, who has preserved my life so long, will soon release me

Three days after she died. At her burial the two white Doves which had
brought her food during her captivity, followed and hovered over her

The old King caused the wicked Cook to be torn into four quarters; but
his own heart was filled with grief and remorse, and he died soon

His son married the beautiful Maiden he had brought home with him as a
Flower, and, for all I know, they may be living still.

Briar Rose

A long time ago there lived a King and Queen, who said every day, 'If
only we had a child'; but for a long time they had none.

It fell out once, as the Queen was bathing, that a frog crept out of
the water on to the land, and said to her: 'Your wish shall be
fulfilled; before a year has passed you shall bring a daughter into
the world.'

The frog's words came true. The Queen had a little girl who was so
beautiful that the King could not contain himself for joy, and
prepared a great feast. He invited not only his relations, friends,
and acquaintances, but the fairies, in order that they might be
favourably and kindly disposed towards the child. There were thirteen
of them in the kingdom, but as the King had only twelve golden plates
for them to eat from, one of the fairies had to stay at home.

The feast was held with all splendour, and when it came to an end the
fairies all presented the child with a magic gift. One gave her
virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on, with everything in
the world that she could wish for.

When eleven of the fairies had said their say, the thirteenth suddenly
appeared. She wanted to revenge herself for not having been invited.
Without greeting any one, or even glancing at the company, she called
out in a loud voice: 'The Princess shall prick herself with a distaff
in her fifteenth year and shall fall down dead'; and without another
word she turned and left the hall.

Every one was terror-struck, but the twelfth fairy, whose wish was
still unspoken, stepped forward. She could not cancel the curse, but
could only soften it, so she said: 'It shall not be death, but a deep
sleep lasting a hundred years, into which your daughter shall fall.'

  [Illustration: 'The Thirteenth Fairy.']

The King was so anxious to guard his dear child from the misfortune,
that he sent out a command that all the distaffs in the whole kingdom
should be burned.

  [Illustration: {The King could not contain himself for joy.}]

As time went on all the promises of the fairies came true. The
Princess grew up so beautiful, modest, kind, and clever that every
one who saw her could not but love her. Now it happened that on the
very day when she was fifteen years old the King and Queen were away
from home, and the Princess was left quite alone in the castle. She
wandered about over the whole place, looking at rooms and halls as she
pleased, and at last she came to an old tower. She ascended a narrow,
winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking
in the lock, and when she turned it the door flew open. In a little
room sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax busily.

'Good day, Granny,' said the Princess; 'what are you doing?'

'I am spinning,' said the old woman, and nodded her head.

'What is the thing that whirls round so merrily?' asked the Princess;
and she took the spindle and tried to spin too.

But she had scarcely touched it before the curse was fulfilled, and
she pricked her finger with the spindle. The instant she felt the
prick she fell upon the bed which was standing near, and lay still in
a deep sleep which spread over the whole castle.

The King and Queen, who had just come home and had stepped into the
hall, went to sleep, and all their courtiers with them. The horses
went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the doves on the
roof, the flies on the wall; yes, even the fire flickering on the
hearth grew still and went to sleep, and the roast meat stopped
crackling; the cook, who was pulling the scullion's hair because he
had made some mistake, let him go and went to sleep. The wind dropped,
and on the trees in front of the castle not a leaf stirred.

But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to grow up; every
year it grew higher, till at last it surrounded the whole castle so
that nothing could be seen of it, not even the flags on the roof.

But there was a legend in the land about the lovely sleeping Briar
Rose, as the King's daughter was called, and from time to time princes
came and tried to force a way through the hedge into the castle. They
found it impossible, for the thorns, as though they had hands, held
them fast, and the princes remained caught in them without being able
to free themselves, and so died a miserable death.

  [Illustration: But round the castle a hedge of briar roses began to
    grow up.]

After many, many years a Prince came again to the country and heard an
old man tell of the castle which stood behind the briar hedge, in
which a most beautiful maiden called Briar Rose had been asleep for
the last hundred years, and with her slept the King, Queen, and all
her courtiers. He knew also, from his grandfather, that many princes
had already come and sought to pierce through the briar hedge, and had
remained caught in it and died a sad death.

Then the young Prince said, 'I am not afraid; I am determined to go
and look upon the lovely Briar Rose.'

  [Illustration: {The young Prince said, 'I am not afraid; I am
    determined to go and look upon the lovely Briar Rose.'}]

The good old man did all in his power to dissuade him, but the Prince
would not listen to his words.

Now, however, the hundred years were just ended, and the day had come
when Briar Rose was to wake up again. When the Prince approached the
briar hedge it was in blossom, and was covered with beautiful large
flowers which made way for him of their own accord and let him pass
unharmed, and then closed up again into a hedge behind him.

In the courtyard he saw the horses and brindled hounds lying asleep,
on the roof sat the doves with their heads under their wings: and when
he went into the house the flies were asleep on the walls, and near
the throne lay the King and Queen; in the kitchen was the cook, with
his hand raised as though about to strike the scullion, and the maid
sat with the black fowl in her lap which she was about to pluck.

He went on further, and all was so still that he could hear his own
breathing. At last he reached the tower, and opened the door into the
little room where Briar Rose was asleep. There she lay, looking so
beautiful that he could not take his eyes off her; he bent down and
gave her a kiss. As he touched her, Briar Rose opened her eyes and
looked lovingly at him. Then they went down together; and the King
woke up, and the Queen, and all the courtiers, and looked at each
other with astonished eyes. The horses in the stable stood up and
shook themselves, the hounds leaped about and wagged their tails, the
doves on the roof lifted their heads from under their wings, looked
round, and flew into the fields; the flies on the walls began to crawl
again, the fire in the kitchen roused itself and blazed up and cooked
the food, the meat began to crackle, and the cook boxed the scullion's
ears so soundly that he screamed aloud, while the maid finished
plucking the fowl. Then the wedding of the Prince and Briar Rose was
celebrated with all splendour, and they lived happily till they died.

The Jew among the Thorns

There was once a rich Man, and he had a Servant who served him well
and faithfully. He was first up in the morning, and last to go to bed
at night. If there was any hard work to be done which no one else
would do, he was always ready to undertake it. He never made any
complaint, but was always merry and content.

When his year of service was over, his Master did not give him any
wages, thinking: 'This is my wisest plan. I save by it, and he is not
likely to run away.'

The Servant said nothing, and served the second year like the first.
And when at the end of the second he again received no wages, he still
appeared contented, and stayed on. When the third year had passed, the
Master bethought himself, and put his hand into his pocket, but he
brought it out empty.

At last the Servant said: 'Master, I have served you well and truly
for three years; please pay me my wages. I want to go away and look
about the world a bit.'

The Miser answered: 'Yes, my good fellow, you have served me honestly,
and you shall be liberally rewarded.'

Again he put his hand into his pocket, and counted three farthings,
one by one, into the Servant's hand, and said: 'There, you have a
farthing for every year; that is better wages than you would get from
most masters.'

The good Servant, who knew little about money, put away his fortune,
and thought: 'Now my pocket is well filled, I need no longer trouble
myself about work.' Then he left and went singing down the hill, and
dancing, in the lightness of his heart.

Now it so happened that as he was passing a thicket, that a little
Mannikin came out and cried: 'Whither away, my merry fellow? I see
your troubles are not too heavy to be borne.'

'Why should I be sad?' answered the Servant. 'I have three years'
wages in my pocket.'

'And how much is your treasure?' asked the Mannikin.

'How much? Why, three good farthings.'

'Listen!' said the Mannikin. 'I am a poor needy fellow; give me your
three farthings. I can't work any more; but you are young, and can
easily earn your bread.'

Now the Servant had a good heart, and he was sorry for the poor little
man, so he gave him his three farthings, and said:

'Take them, in the name of heaven! I shall not miss them.'

'Then,' said the Mannikin, 'I see what a good heart you have. I will
give you three wishes, one for each farthing; and every wish shall be

'Aha!' said the Servant, 'you are a wonder-worker I see. Very well,
then. First, I wish for a gun which will hit everything I aim at;
secondly, for a fiddle which will make every one dance when I play;
and, thirdly, if I ask anything of any one, that he shall not be able
to refuse my request.'

'You shall have them all,' said the Mannikin, diving into the bushes,
where, wonderful to relate, lay the gun and the fiddle ready, just as
if they had been ordered beforehand. He gave them to the Servant, and
said: 'No one will be able to refuse anything you ask.'

'Heart alive! what more can one desire,' said the Servant to himself,
as he went merrily on.

Soon after, he met a Jew with a long goat's beard, who was standing
still listening to the song of a bird sitting on the top of a tree.
'Good heavens!' he was saying, 'what a tremendous noise such a tiny
creature makes. If only it were mine! If one could but put some salt
upon its tail!'

'If that is all,' said the Servant, 'the bird shall soon come down.'

He took aim, and down fell the bird into a quickset hedge.

'Go, you rogue,' he said to the Jew, 'and pick up the bird.'

'Leave out the "rogue," young man. I will get the bird sure enough, as
you have killed it for me,' said the Jew.

He lay down on the ground and began to creep into the hedge.

  [Illustration: The Jew was forced to spring up and begin to dance.]

When he had got well among the thorns, a spirit of mischief seized the
Servant, and he began to play his fiddle with all his might. The Jew
was forced to spring up and begin to dance, and the more the Servant
played, the faster he had to dance. The thorns tore his shabby coat,
combed his goat's beard, and scratched him all over.

'Merciful Heavens!' cried the Jew. 'Leave off that fiddling! I don't
want to dance, my good fellow.'

But the Servant paid no attention to him, but thought: 'You have
fleeced plenty of people in your time, my man, and the thorns shan't
spare you now!' And he played on and on, so that the Jew had to jump
higher and higher, till his coat hung in ribbons about him.

'I cry "enough!"' screamed the Jew. 'I will give you anything you like
if you will only stop. Take the purse, it is full of gold.'

'Oh, well, if you are so open-handed,' said the Servant, 'I am quite
ready to stop my music, but I must say in praise of your dancing, that
it has quite a style of its own.' Then he took the purse and went on
his way.

The Jew stood still looking after him till he was a good way off, then
he screamed with all his might: 'You miserable fiddler! Just you wait
till I find you alone! I will chase you till the soles of your shoes
drop off--you rascal!' And he went on pouring out a stream of abuse.
Having relieved himself by so doing, he hurried off to the Judge in
the nearest town.

'Just look here, your worship,' he said, 'look how I have been
attacked, and ill-treated, and robbed on the high road by a wretch. My
condition might melt the heart of a stone; my clothes and my body torn
and scratched, and my purse with all my poor little savings taken away
from me. All my beautiful ducats, each one prettier than the other. Oh
dear! Oh dear! For heaven's sake, put the wretch in prison.'

The Judge said: 'Was it a soldier who punished you so with his sword?'

'Heaven preserve us!' cried the Jew, 'he had no sword, but he had a
gun on his shoulder and a fiddle round his neck. The villain is easily
to be recognised.'

So the Judge sent out men in pursuit of the honest Servant, who had
walked on slowly. They soon overtook him, and the purse of gold was
found on him. When he was brought before the Judge, he said--

'I never touched the Jew, nor did I take his money away; he offered it
to me of his own free will if I would only stop playing, because he
could not bear my music.'

'Heaven defend us!' screamed the Jew, 'his lies are as thick as flies
on the wall.'

And the Judge did not believe him either, and said:

'That is a very lame excuse; no Jew ever did such a thing.' So he
sentenced the honest Servant to the gallows for having committed a
robbery upon the king's highway.

When he was being led away, the Jew screamed after him; 'You vagabond,
you dog of a fiddler, now you will get your deserts!'

The Servant mounted the ladder to the gallows quite quietly, with the
halter round his neck; but at the last rung he turned round and said
to the Judge: 'Grant me one favour before I die.'

'Certainly,' said the Judge, 'as long as you don't ask for your life.'

'Not my life,' answered the Servant. 'I only ask to play my fiddle
once more.'

  [Illustration: Dancing as hard as he could.]

The Jew raised a tremendous cry. 'Don't allow it, your worship, for
heaven's sake, don't allow it!'

But the Judge said: 'Why should I deny him that short pleasure? His
wish is granted, and there's an end of the matter!'

He could not have refused even if he had wished, because of the
Mannikin's gift to the Servant.

The Jew screamed, 'Oh dear! Oh dear! Tie me tight, tie me tight!'

The good Servant took his fiddle from his neck, and put it into
position, and at the first chord everybody began to wag their heads,
the Judge, his Clerk, and all the Officers of Justice, and the rope
fell out of the hand of the man about to bind the Jew.

At the second scrape, they all lifted their legs, and the Hangman let
go his hold of the honest Servant, to make ready to dance.

At the third scrape they one and all leapt into the air, and began to
caper about, the Judge and the Jew at the head, and they all leapt
their best.

Soon, every one who had come to the market-place out of curiosity, old
and young, fat and lean, were dancing as hard as they could; even the
dogs got upon their hind legs, and pranced about with the rest. The
longer he played, the higher they jumped, till they knocked their
heads together, and made each other cry out.

At last the Judge, quite out of breath, cried: 'I will give you your
life, if only you will stop playing.'

The honest Servant allowed himself to be prevailed upon, laid his
fiddle aside, and came down the ladder. Then he went up to the Jew,
who lay upon the ground gasping, and said to him:

'You rascal, confess where you got the money, or I will begin to play

'I stole it! I stole it!' he screamed; 'but you have honestly earned

The Judge then ordered the Jew to the gallows to be hanged as a thief.


The wife of a rich man fell ill, and when she felt that she was
nearing her end, she called her only daughter to her bedside, and

'Dear child, continue devout and good, then God will always help you,
and I will look down upon you from heaven, and watch over you.'

Thereupon she closed her eyes, and breathed her last.

The maiden went to her mother's grave every day and wept, and she
continued to be devout and good. When the winter came, the snow spread
a white covering on the grave, and when the sun of spring had unveiled
it again, the husband took another wife. The new wife brought home
with her two daughters, who were fair and beautiful to look upon, but
base and black at heart.

Then began a sad time for the unfortunate step-child.

'Is this stupid goose to sit with us in the parlour?' they said.

'Whoever wants to eat bread must earn it; go and sit with the

They took away her pretty clothes, and made her put on an old grey
frock, and gave her wooden clogs.

'Just look at the proud Princess, how well she's dressed,' they
laughed, as they led her to the kitchen. There, the girl was obliged
to do hard work from morning till night, to get up at daybreak, carry
water, light the fire, cook, and wash. Not content with that, the
sisters inflicted on her every vexation they could think of; they made
fun of her, and tossed the peas and lentils among the ashes, so that
she had to sit down and pick them out again. In the evening, when she
was worn out with work, she had no bed to go to, but had to lie on the
hearth among the cinders. And because, on account of that, she always
looked dusty and dirty, they called her Ashenputtel.

It happened one day that the Father had a mind to go to the Fair. So
he asked both his step-daughters what he should bring home for them.

'Fine clothes,' said one.

'Pearls and jewels,' said the other.

'But you, Ashenputtel?' said he, 'what will you have?'

'Father, break off for me the first twig which brushes against your
hat on your way home.'

Well, for his two step-daughters he brought beautiful clothes, pearls
and jewels, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green
copse, a hazel twig grazed against him and knocked his hat off. Then
he broke off the branch and took it with him.

When he got home he gave his step-daughters what they had asked for,
and to Ashenputtel he gave the twig from the hazel bush.

Ashenputtel thanked him, and went to her mother's grave and planted
the twig upon it; she wept so much that her tears fell and watered it.
And it took root and became a fine tree.

Ashenputtel went to the grave three times every day, wept and prayed,
and every time a little white bird came and perched upon the tree, and
when she uttered a wish, the little bird threw down to her what she
had wished for.

Now it happened that the King proclaimed a festival, which was to last
three days, and to which all the beautiful maidens in the country were
invited, in order that his son might choose a bride.

When the two step-daughters heard that they were also to be present,
they were in high spirits, called Ashenputtel, and said:

'Brush our hair and clean our shoes, and fasten our buckles, for we
are going to the feast at the King's palace.'

Ashenputtel obeyed, but wept, for she also would gladly have gone to
the ball with them, and begged her Step-mother to give her leave to

'You, Ashenputtel!' she said. 'Why, you are covered with dust and
dirt. You go to the festival! Besides you have no clothes or shoes,
and yet you want to go to the ball.'

As she, however, went on asking, her Step-mother said:

'Well, I have thrown a dishful of lentils into the cinders, if you
have picked them all out in two hours you shall go with us.'

The girl went through the back door into the garden, and cried, 'Ye
gentle doves, ye turtle doves, and all ye little birds under heaven,
come and help me,

    'The good into a dish to throw,
    The bad into your crops can go.'

Then two white doves came in by the kitchen window, and were followed
by the turtle doves, and finally all the little birds under heaven
flocked in, chirping, and settled down among the ashes. And the doves
gave a nod with their little heads, peck, peck, peck; and then the
rest began also, peck, peck, peck, and collected all the good beans
into the dish. Scarcely had an hour passed before they had finished,
and all flown out again.

Then the girl brought the dish to her Step-mother, and was delighted
to think that now she would be able to go to the feast with them.

But she said, 'No, Ashenputtel, you have no clothes, and cannot dance;
you will only be laughed at.'

But when she began to cry, the Step-mother said:

'If you can pick out two whole dishes of lentils from the ashes in an
hour, you shall go with us.'

And she thought, 'She will never be able to do that.'

  [Illustration: {Ashenputtel goes to the ball.}]

When her Step-mother had thrown the dishes of lentils among the
ashes, the girl went out through the back door, and cried, 'Ye gentle
doves, ye turtle doves, and all ye little birds under heaven, come and
help me,

    'The good into a dish to throw,
    The bad into your crops can go.'

Then two white doves came in by the kitchen window, and were followed
by the turtle doves, and all the other little birds under heaven, and
in less than an hour the whole had been picked up, and they had all
flown away.

Then the girl carried the dish to her Step-mother, and was delighted
to think that she would now be able to go to the ball.

But she said, 'It's not a bit of good. You can't go with us, for
you've got no clothes, and you can't dance. We should be quite ashamed
of you.'

Thereupon she turned her back upon her, and hurried off with her two
proud daughters.

As soon as every one had left the house, Ashenputtel went out to her
mother's grave under the hazel-tree, and cried:

    'Shiver and shake, dear little tree,
    Gold and silver shower on me.'

Then the bird threw down to her a gold and silver robe, and a pair of
slippers embroidered with silk and silver. With all speed she put on
the robe and went to the feast. But her step-sisters and their mother
did not recognise her, and supposed that she was some foreign
Princess, so beautiful did she appear in her golden dress. They never
gave a thought to Ashenputtel, but imagined that she was sitting at
home in the dirt picking the lentils out of the cinders.

The Prince came up to the stranger, took her by the hand, and danced
with her. In fact, he would not dance with any one else, and never
left go of her hand. If any one came up to ask her to dance, he said,
'This is my partner.'

She danced until nightfall, and then wanted to go home; but the Prince
said, 'I will go with you and escort you.'

For he wanted to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. But she
slipped out of his way and sprang into the pigeon-house.

Then the Prince waited till her Father came, and told him that the
unknown maiden had vanished into the pigeon-house.

The old man thought, 'Could it be Ashenputtel?' And he had an axe
brought to him, so that he might break down the pigeon-house, but
there was no one inside.

When they went home, there lay Ashenputtel in her dirty clothes among
the cinders, and a dismal oil lamp was burning in the chimney corner.
For Ashenputtel had quietly jumped down out of the pigeon-house and
ran back to the hazel-tree. There she had taken off her beautiful
clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away
again. Then she had settled herself among the ashes on the hearth in
her old grey frock.

On the second day, when the festival was renewed, and her parents and
step-sisters had started forth again, Ashenputtel went to the
hazel-tree, and said:

    'Shiver and shake, dear little tree,
    Gold and silver shower on me.'

Then the bird threw down a still more gorgeous robe than on the
previous day. And when she appeared at the festival in this robe,
every one was astounded by her beauty.

The King's son had waited till she came, and at once took her hand,
and she danced with no one but him. When others came forward and
invited her to dance, he said, 'This is my partner.'

At nightfall she wished to leave; but the Prince went after her,
hoping to see into what house she went, but she sprang out into the
garden behind the house. There stood a fine big tree on which the most
delicious pears hung. She climbed up among the branches as nimbly as a
squirrel, and the Prince could not make out what had become of her.

But he waited till her Father came, and then said to him, 'The
unknown maiden has slipped away from me, and I think that she has
jumped into the pear-tree.'

The Father thought, 'Can it be Ashenputtel?' And he had the axe
brought to cut down the tree, but there was no one on it. When they
went home and looked into the kitchen, there lay Ashenputtel among the
cinders as usual; for she had jumped down on the other side of the
tree, taken back the beautiful clothes to the bird on the hazel-tree,
and put on her old grey frock.

On the third day, when her parents and sisters had started,
Ashenputtel went again to her mother's grave, and said:

    'Shiver and shake, dear little tree,
    Gold and silver shower on me.'

Then the bird threw down a dress which was so magnificent that no one
had ever seen the like before, and the slippers were entirely of gold.
When she appeared at the festival in this attire, they were all
speechless with astonishment. The Prince danced only with her, and if
any one else asked her to dance, he said, 'This is my partner.'

When night fell and she wanted to leave, the Prince was more desirous
than ever to accompany her, but she darted away from him so quickly
that he could not keep up with her. But the Prince had used a
stratagem, and had caused the steps to be covered with cobbler's wax.
The consequence was, that as the maiden sprang down them, her left
slipper remained sticking there. The Prince took it up. It was small
and dainty, and entirely made of gold.

The next morning he went with it to Ashenputtel's Father, and said to
him, 'No other shall become my wife but she whose foot this golden
slipper fits.'

The two sisters were delighted at that, for they both had beautiful
feet. The eldest went into the room intending to try on the slipper,
and her Mother stood beside her. But her great toe prevented her
getting it on, her foot was too long.

Then her Mother handed her a knife, and said, 'Cut off the toe; when
you are Queen you won't have to walk any more.'

The girl cut off her toe, forced her foot into the slipper, stifled
her pain, and went out to the Prince. Then he took her up on his horse
as his Bride, and rode away with her.

However, they had to pass the grave on the way, and there sat the two
Doves on the hazel-tree, and cried:

    'Prithee, look back, prithee, look back,
    There's blood on the track,
    The shoe is too small,
    At home the true Bride is waiting thy call.'

Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was streaming from
it. So he turned his horse round and carried the false Bride back to
her home, and said that she was not the right one; the second sister
must try the shoe.

Then she went into the room, and succeeded in getting her toes into
the shoe, but her heel was too big.

Then her Mother handed her a knife, and said, 'Cut a bit off your
heel; when you are Queen you won't have to walk any more.'

The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe,
stifled her pain, and went out to the Prince.

Then he took her up on his horse as his Bride, and rode off with her.

As they passed the grave, the two Doves were sitting on the
hazel-tree, and crying:

    'Prithee, look back, prithee, look back,
    There's blood on the track,
    The shoe is too small,
    At home the true Bride is waiting thy call.'

He looked down at her foot and saw that it was streaming with blood,
and there were deep red spots on her stockings. Then he turned his
horse and brought the false Bride back to her home.

'This is not the right one either,' he said. 'Have you no other

'No,' said the man. 'There is only a daughter of my late wife's, a
puny, stunted drudge, but she cannot possibly be the Bride.'

The Prince said that she must be sent for.

But the Mother answered, 'Oh no, she is much too dirty; she mustn't be
seen on any account.'

He was, however, absolutely determined to have his way, and they were
obliged to summon Ashenputtel.

When she had washed her hands and face, she went up and curtsied to
the Prince, who handed her the golden slipper.

Then she sat down on a bench, pulled off her wooden clog and put on
the slipper, which fitted to a nicety.

And when she stood up and the Prince looked into her face, he
recognised the beautiful maiden that he had danced with, and cried:
'This is the true Bride!'

The Step-mother and the two sisters were dismayed and turned white
with rage; but he took Ashenputtel on his horse and rode off with her.

As they rode past the hazel-tree the two White Doves cried:

    'Prithee, look back, prithee, look back,
    No blood's on the track,
    The shoe's _not_ too small,
    You carry the true Bride home to your hall.'

And when they had said this they both came flying down, and settled on
Ashenputtel's shoulders, one on the right, and one on the left, and
remained perched there.

When the wedding was going to take place, the two false sisters came
and wanted to curry favour with her, and take part in her good
fortune. As the bridal party was going to the church, the eldest was
on the right side, the youngest on the left, and the Doves picked out
one of the eyes of each of them.

Afterwards, when they were coming out of the church, the elder was on
the left, the younger on the right, and the Doves picked out the other
eye of each of them. And so for their wickedness and falseness they
were punished with blindness for the rest of their days.

The White Snake

A long time ago there lived a King whose wisdom was celebrated far and
wide. Nothing was unknown to him, and news of the most secret
transactions seemed to reach him through the air.

Now he had one very odd habit. Every day at dinner, when the courtiers
had withdrawn, and he was quite alone, a trusted Servant had to bring
in another dish. It was always covered, and even the Servant did not
know what it contained, nor any one else, for the King never uncovered
it till he was alone. This had gone on for a long time, when one day
the Servant who carried the dish was overcome by his curiosity, and
took the dish to his own room.

When he had carefully locked the door, he took the dish-cover off, and
saw a White Snake lying on the dish.

At the sight of it, he could not resist tasting it; so he cut a piece
off, and put it into his mouth.

Hardly had he tasted it, however, when he heard a wonderful whispering
of delicate voices.

He went to the window and listened, and he noticed that the whispers
came from the sparrows outside. They were chattering away, and telling
each other all kinds of things that they had heard in the woods and
fields. Eating the Snake had given him the power of understanding the
language of birds and animals.

Now it happened on this day that the Queen lost her most precious
ring, and suspicion fell upon this trusted Servant who went about

The King sent for him, and threatened that if it was not found by the
next day, he would be sent to prison.

In vain he protested his innocence; he was not believed.

In his grief and anxiety he went down into the courtyard and wondered
how he should get out of his difficulty.

A number of Ducks were lying peaceably together by a stream, stroking
down their feathers with their bills, while they chattered gaily.

The Servant stood still to listen to them. They were telling each
other of their morning's walks and experiences.

Then one of them said somewhat fretfully: 'I have something lying
heavy on my stomach. In my haste I swallowed the Queen's ring this

The Servant quickly seized it by the neck, carried it off into the
kitchen, and said to the Cook: 'Here's a fine fat Duck. You had better
kill it at once.'

'Yes, indeed,' said the Cook, weighing it in her hand. 'It has spared
no pains in stuffing itself; it should have been roasted long ago.'

So she killed it, and cut it open, and there, sure enough, was the
Queen's ring.

The Servant had now no difficulty in proving his innocence, and the
King, to make up for his injustice, gave the Servant leave to ask any
favour he liked, and promised him the highest post about the Court
which he might desire.

The Servant, however, declined everything but a horse, and some money
to travel with, as he wanted to wander about for a while, to see the

His request being granted, he set off on his travels, and one day came
to a pond, where he saw three Fishes caught among the reeds, and
gasping for breath. Although it is said that fishes are dumb, he
understood their complaint at perishing thus miserably. As he had a
compassionate heart, he got off his horse and put the three captives
back into the water. They wriggled in their joy, stretched up their
heads above the water, and cried--

'We will remember that you saved us, and reward you for it.'

  [Illustration: {The Fishes, in their joy, stretched up their heads
    above the water, and promised to reward him.}]

He rode on again, and after a time he seemed to hear a voice in the
sand at his feet. He listened, and heard an Ant-King complain: 'I wish
these human beings and their animals would keep out of our way. A
clumsy horse has just put his hoof down upon a number of my people in
the most heartless way.'

He turned his horse into a side path, and the Ant-King cried: 'We will
remember and reward you.'

The road now ran through a forest, and he saw a pair of Ravens
standing by their nest throwing out their young.

'Away with you, you gallows birds,' they were saying. 'We can't feed
you any longer. You are old enough to look after yourselves.'

The poor little nestlings lay on the ground, fluttering and flapping
their wings, and crying: 'We, poor helpless children, to feed
ourselves, and we can't even fly! We shall die of hunger, there is
nothing else for it.'

The good Youth dismounted, killed his horse with his sword, and left
the carcase as food for the young Ravens. They hopped along to it, and
cried: 'We will remember and reward you.'

Now he had to depend upon his own legs, and after going a long way he
came to a large town.

There was much noise and bustle in the streets, where a man on
horseback was making a proclamation.

'The King's daughter seeks a husband, but any one who wishes to sue
for her hand must accomplish a hard task; and if he does not bring it
to a successful issue, he will forfeit his life.'

Many had already attempted the task, but they had risked their lives
in vain.

When the Youth saw the Princess, he was so dazzled by her beauty that
he forgot all danger, at once sought an audience of the King, and
announced himself as a suitor.

He was immediately led out to the seashore, and a golden ring was
thrown into the water before his eyes. Then the King ordered him to
fetch it out from the depths of the sea, and added--

'If you come to land without it, you will be thrown back every time
till you perish in the waves.'

Every one pitied the handsome Youth, but they had to go and leave him
standing solitary on the seashore.

He was pondering over what he should do, when, all at once, he saw
three Fishes swimming towards him. They were no others than the very
ones whose lives he had saved.

The middle one carried a mussel-shell in its mouth, which it laid on
the sand at the feet of the Youth. When he picked it up, and opened
it, there lay the ring.

Full of joy, he took it to the King, expecting that he would give him
the promised reward.

The proud Princess, however, when she heard that he was not her equal,
despised him, and demanded that he should perform yet another task.

So she went into the garden herself, and strewed ten sacks of millet
seeds among the grass.

'He must pick up every one of those before the sun rises to-morrow
morning,' said she. 'Not a grain must be missing.'

The Youth sat miserably in the garden, wondering how it could possibly
be done. But as he could not think of a plan, he remained sadly
waiting for the dawn which would bring death to him.

But when the first sunbeams fell on the garden, he saw the ten sacks
full to the top, and not a grain was missing. The Ant-King had come in
the night with thousands and thousands of his Ants, and the grateful
creatures had picked up the millet and filled the sacks.

The Princess came into the garden herself, and saw with amazement that
the Youth had completed the task.

But still she could not control her proud heart, and she said: 'Even
if he has accomplished these two tasks, he shall not become my husband
till he brings me an apple from the tree of life.'

The Youth had no idea where to find the tree of life. However, he
started off, meaning to walk as far as his legs would carry him; but
he had no hope of finding it.

When he had travelled through three kingdoms, he was one night passing
through a great forest, and he lay down under a tree to sleep.

He heard a rustling among the branches, and a golden apple fell into
his hand. At the same time three Ravens flew down and perched on his
knee, and said:

'We are the young Ravens you saved from death. When we grew big, and
heard that you were looking for the golden apple, we flew across the
sea to the end of the world, where the tree of life stands, and
brought you the apple.'

The Youth, delighted, started on his homeward journey, and took the
golden apple to the beautiful Princess, who had now no further excuse
to offer.

They divided the apple of life, and ate it together, and then her
heart was filled with love for him, and they lived happily to a great

The Wolf and the Seven Kids

There was once an old Nanny-goat who had seven Kids, and she was just
as fond of them as a mother of her children. One day she was going
into the woods to fetch some food for them, so she called them all up
to her, and said--

'My dear children, I am going out into the woods. Beware of the Wolf!
If once he gets into the house, he will eat you up, skin, and hair,
and all. The rascal often disguises himself, but you will know him by
his rough voice and his black feet.'

The Kids said, 'Oh, we will be very careful, dear mother. You may be
quite happy about us.'

Bleating tenderly, the old Goat went off to her work. Before long,
some one knocked at the door, and cried--

'Open the door, dear children! Your mother has come back and brought
something for each of you.'

But the Kids knew quite well by the voice that it was the Wolf.

'We won't open the door,' they cried. 'You are not our mother. She has
a soft gentle voice; but yours is rough, and we are quite sure that
you are the Wolf.'

So he went away to a shop and bought a lump of chalk, which he ate,
and it made his voice quite soft. He went back, knocked at the door
again, and cried--

'Open the door, dear children. Your mother has come back and brought
something for each of you.'

But the Wolf had put one of his paws on the window sill, where the
Kids saw it, and cried--

'We won't open the door. Our mother has not got a black foot as you
have; you are the Wolf.'

Then the Wolf ran to a Baker, and said, 'I have bruised my foot;
please put some dough on it.' And when the Baker had put some dough on
his foot, he ran to the Miller and said, 'Strew some flour on my

The Miller thought, 'The old Wolf is going to take somebody in,' and

But the Wolf said, 'If you don't do it, I will eat you up.'

So the Miller was frightened, and whitened his paws. People are like
that, you know.

Now the wretch went for the third time to the door, and knocked, and

'Open the door, children. Your dear mother has come home, and has
brought something for each of you out of the wood.'

The Kids cried, 'Show us your feet first, that we may be sure you are
our mother.'

He put his paws on the window sill, and when they saw that they were
white, they believed all he said, and opened the door.

Alas! It was the Wolf who walked in. They were terrified, and tried to
hide themselves. One ran under the table, the second jumped into bed,
the third into the oven, the fourth ran into the kitchen, the fifth
got into the cupboard, the sixth into the wash-tub, and the seventh
hid in the tall clock-case. But the Wolf found them all but one, and
made short work of them. He swallowed one after the other, except the
youngest one in the clock-case, whom he did not find. When he had
satisfied his appetite, he took himself off, and lay down in a meadow
outside, where he soon fell asleep.

Not long after the old Nanny-goat came back from the woods. Oh! what a
terrible sight met her eyes! The house door was wide open, table,
chairs, and benches were overturned, the washing bowl was smashed to
atoms, the covers and pillows torn from the bed. She searched all over
the house for her children, but nowhere were they to be found. She
called them by name, one by one, but no one answered. At last, when
she came to the youngest, a tiny voice cried:

'I am here, dear mother, hidden in the clock-case.'

She brought him out, and he told her that the Wolf had come and
devoured all the others.

You may imagine how she wept over her children.

At last, in her grief, she went out, and the youngest Kid ran by her
side. When they went into the meadow, there lay the Wolf under a tree,
making the branches shake with his snores. They examined him from
every side, and they could plainly see movements within his distended

'Ah, heavens!' thought the Goat, 'is it possible that my poor children
whom he ate for his supper, should be still alive?'

She sent the Kid running to the house to fetch scissors, needles, and
thread. Then she cut a hole in the monster's side, and, hardly had she
begun, when a Kid popped out its head, and as soon as the hole was big
enough, all six jumped out, one after the other, all alive, and
without having suffered the least injury, for, in his greed, the
monster had swallowed them whole. You may imagine the mother's joy.
She hugged them, and skipped about like a tailor on his wedding day.
At last she said:

'Go and fetch some big stones, children, and we will fill up the
brute's body while he is asleep.'

Then the seven Kids brought a lot of stones, as fast as they could
carry them, and stuffed the Wolf with them till he could hold no more.
The old mother quickly sewed him up, without his having noticed
anything, or even moved.

At last, when the Wolf had had his sleep out, he got up, and, as the
stones made him feel very thirsty, he wanted to go to a spring to
drink. But as soon as he moved the stones began to roll about and
rattle inside him. Then he cried--

    'What's the rumbling and tumbling
    That sets my stomach grumbling?
    I thought 'twas six Kids, flesh and bones,
    Now find it's nought but rolling stones.'

  [Illustration: {The Seven Kids and their mother capered and danced
    round the spring in their joy.}]

When he reached the spring, and stooped over the water to drink, the
heavy stones dragged him down, and he was drowned miserably.

When the seven Kids saw what had happened, they came running up, and
cried aloud--'The Wolf is dead, the Wolf is dead!' and they and their
mother capered and danced round the spring in their joy.

The Queen Bee

Once upon a time two Princes started off in search of adventure, and,
falling into a wild, free mode of life, did not come home again.

The third Brother, who was called the Blockhead, set out to look for
the other two. But when at last he found them, they mocked him for
thinking of making his way in the world with his simplicity, while
they, who were so much cleverer, could not get on.

They all three went on together till they came to an ant-heap. The two
elder Princes wanted to disturb it, to see how the little ants crept
away, carrying their eggs.

But the Blockhead said: 'Leave the little creatures alone; I will not
allow you to disturb them.'

Then they went on further till they came to a lake, in which a great
many ducks were swimming about. The two wanted to catch and roast a

But the Blockhead would not allow it, and said: 'Leave the creatures
alone. You shall not kill them.'

At last they came to a bee's nest, containing such a quantity of honey
that it flowed round the trunk of the tree.

The two Princes wanted to set fire to the tree, and suffocate the
bees, so as to remove the honey.

But the Blockhead stopped them again, and said: 'Leave the creatures
alone. I will not let you burn them.'

At last the three Brothers came to a castle, where the stables were
full of stone horses, but not a soul was to be seen. They went through
all the rooms till they came to a door quite at the end, fastened with
three bolts. In the middle of the door was a lattice, through which
one could see into the room.

There they saw a little grey Man sitting at a table. They called to
him once--twice--but he did not hear them. Finally, when they had
called him the third time, he stood up and opened the door, and came
out. He said not a word, but led them to a richly-spread table, and
when they had eaten and drunk, he took them each to a bedroom.

The next morning the little grey Man came to the eldest Prince,
beckoned, and led him to a stone tablet whereon were inscribed three
tasks by means of which the castle should be freed from enchantment.

This was the first task: In the wood, under the moss, lay the
Princesses' pearls, a thousand in number. These had all to be found,
and if at sunset a single one were missing, the seeker was turned to

The eldest went away, and searched all day, but when evening came, he
had only found the first hundred, and it happened as the inscription
foretold. He was turned to stone.

The next day the second Brother undertook the quest; but he fared no
better than the first, for he only found two hundred pearls, and he
too was turned to stone.

At last came the Blockhead's turn; he searched in the moss, but the
pearls were hard to find, and he got on but slowly.

Then he sat down on a rock and cried, and as he was sitting there, the
Ant-King, whose life he had saved, came up with five thousand ants,
and it was not long before the little creatures had found all the
pearls and laid them in a heap.

Now the second task was to get the key of the Princesses' room out of
the lake.

When the Blockhead came to the lake, the ducks he had once saved, swam
up, dived, and brought up the key from the depths.

But the third task was the hardest. The Prince had to find out which
was the youngest and most charming of the Princesses while they were

They were exactly alike, and could not be distinguished in any way,
except that before going to sleep each had eaten a different kind of
sweet. The eldest a piece of sugar, the second a little syrup, and the
third a spoonful of honey.

Then the Queen of the Bees, whom the Blockhead had saved from burning,
came and tried the lips of all three. Finally, she settled on the
mouth of the one who had eaten the honey, and so the Prince recognised
the right one.

Then the charm was broken and everything in the castle was set free,
and those who had been turned to stone took human form again.

And the Blockhead married the youngest and sweetest Princess, and
became King after her father's death, while his two Brothers married
the other sisters.

  [Illustration: The Three Sleeping Princesses.]

  [Illustration: {The Ducks, which he had once saved, dived and
    brought up the key from the depths.}]

The Elves and the Shoemaker

There was once a Shoemaker who, through no fault of his own, had
become so poor that at last he had only leather enough left for one
pair of shoes. At evening he cut out the shoes which he intended to
begin upon the next morning, and since he had a good conscience, he
lay down quietly, said his prayers, and fell asleep.

In the morning when he had said his prayers, and was preparing to sit
down to work, he found the pair of shoes standing finished on his
table. He was amazed, and could not understand it in the least.

He took the shoes in his hand to examine them more closely. They were
so neatly sewn that not a stitch was out of place, and were as good as
the work of a master-hand.

Soon after a purchaser came in, and as he was much pleased with the
shoes, he paid more than the ordinary price for them, so that the
Shoemaker was able to buy leather for two pairs of shoes with the

He cut them out in the evening, and next day, with fresh courage, was
about to go to work; but he had no need to, for when he got up, the
shoes were finished, and buyers were not lacking. These gave him so
much money that he was able to buy leather for four pairs of shoes.

Early next morning he found the four pairs finished, and so it went
on; what he cut out at evening was finished in the morning, so that he
was soon again in comfortable circumstances, and became a well-to-do

Now it happened one evening, not long before Christmas, when he had
cut out some shoes as usual, that he said to his Wife: 'How would it
be if we were to sit up to-night to see who it is that lends us such a
helping hand?'

The Wife agreed, lighted a candle, and they hid themselves in the
corner of the room behind the clothes which were hanging there.

At midnight came two little naked men who sat down at the Shoemaker's
table, took up the cut-out work, and began with their tiny fingers to
stitch, sew, and hammer so neatly and quickly, that the Shoemaker
could not believe his eyes. They did not stop till everything was
quite finished, and stood complete on the table; then they ran swiftly

The next day the Wife said: 'The little men have made us rich, and we
ought to show our gratitude. They were running about with nothing on,
and must freeze with cold. Now I will make them little shirts, coats,
waistcoats, and hose, and will even knit them a pair of stockings, and
you shall make them each a pair of shoes.'

The Husband agreed, and at evening, when they had everything ready,
they laid out the presents on the table, and hid themselves to see how
the little men would behave.

At midnight they came skipping in, and were about to set to work; but,
instead of the leather ready cut out, they found the charming little

At first they were surprised, then excessively delighted. With the
greatest speed they put on and smoothed down the pretty clothes,

    'Now we're boys so fine and neat,
    Why cobble more for other's feet?'

Then they hopped and danced about, and leapt over chairs and tables
and out at the door. Henceforward, they came back no more, but the
Shoemaker fared well as long as he lived, and had good luck in all his

The Wolf and the Man

A Fox was one day talking to a Wolf about the strength of man.

'No animals,' he said, 'could withstand man, and they were obliged to
use cunning to hold their own against him.'

The Wolf answered, 'If ever I happened to see a man, I should attack
him all the same.'

'Well, I can help you to that,' said the Fox. 'Come to me early
to-morrow, and I will show you one!'

The Wolf was early astir, and the Fox took him out to a road in the
forest, traversed daily by a Huntsman.

First came an old discharged soldier.

'Is that a Man?' asked the Wolf.

'No,' answered the Fox. 'He has been a Man.'

After that, a little boy appeared on his way to school.

'Is that a Man?'

'No; he is going to be a Man.'

At last the Huntsman made his appearance, his gun on his back, and his
hunting-knife at his side. The Fox said to the Wolf,--

'Look! There comes a Man. You may attack him, but I will make off to
my hole!'

The Wolf set on the Man, who said to himself when he saw him, 'What a
pity my gun isn't loaded with ball,' and fired a charge of shot in the
Wolf's face. The Wolf made a wry face, but he was not to be so easily
frightened, and attacked him again. Then the Huntsman gave him the
second charge. The Wolf swallowed the pain, and rushed at the
Huntsman; but he drew his bright hunting-knife, and hit out right and
left with it, so that, streaming with blood, the Wolf ran back to the

'Well, brother Wolf,' said the Fox, 'and how did you get on with the

'Alas!' said the Wolf. 'I never thought the strength of man would be
what it is. First, he took a stick from his shoulder, and blew into
it, and something flew into my face, which tickled frightfully. Then
he blew into it again, and it flew into my eyes and nose like
lightning and hail. Then he drew a shining rib out of his body, and
struck at me with it till I was more dead than alive.'

'Now, you see,' said the Fox, 'what a braggart you are. You throw your
hatchet so far that you can't get it back again.'

The Turnip

There were once two Brothers who both served as soldiers, and one was
rich and the other was poor.

The poor one, wishing to better himself, discarded his uniform and
worked like a Peasant. Then he dug and hoed his little field and sowed

The seed came up, and one of the Turnips grew to such an enormous
size, that it seemed as though it would never have finished; and it
might have been called the Queen of Turnips, for its like had never
been seen before, nor ever will be again.

At last it was so big that it filled a cart, and needed two oxen to
draw it; and the Peasant could not imagine what would come of it,
whether it would bring good luck or bad.

At last he said to himself: 'If I sell it what shall I gain? I might
eat it, but the little Turnips would do as well for that. The best
thing will be to take it to the King and offer it to him.'

So he loaded a cart, harnessed two oxen, and took it to the Court to
present it to the King.

'What is that extraordinary object?' said the King. 'I have seen many
marvels in my time, but never anything so remarkable as this. What
seed did it spring from? Perhaps it belongs to you, especially if you
are a child of good luck?'

'Oh no,' said the Peasant, 'lucky I certainly am not, for I am a poor
Soldier, who, since he could keep himself no longer, has hung up his
uniform on a nail, and tills the earth. Further, I have a Brother who
is rich, and well known to you, my Lord King; but I, because I have
nothing, am forgotten by all the world.'

Then the King pitied him and said: 'Your poverty shall be at an end,
and you shall receive such rich presents from me that your wealth will
equal that of your Brother.'

Thereupon he gave him plenty of gold, lands, fields, and flocks, and
enriched him with precious stones, so that the other Brother's wealth
could not be compared with his.

Now, when the rich Brother heard what his Brother with the single
Turnip had acquired, he envied him, and pondered how he might gain a
like treasure for himself.

  [Illustration: So the rich Brother had to put his Brother's Turnip
    into a cart, and have it taken home.]

But he wanted to show himself much cleverer, so he took gold and
horses and presented them to the King, feeling certain that he would
give him a far handsomer gift; for if his Brother got so much for a
Turnip, what would not he get for his beautiful things.

The King took the present, saying that he could give him in return
nothing rarer or better than the huge Turnip.

So the rich Brother had to put his Brother's Turnip into a cart, and
have it taken home.

Then he did not know on whom to expend his wrath and bitterness, till
evil thoughts came to him, and he determined to kill his Brother.

He hired Murderers, who were to place themselves in ambush, and then
he went to his Brother, and said: 'Dear Brother, I know of a secret
treasure which we will carry off and divide.'

The other agreed, and went without suspicion. But when they got out,
the Murderers sprang upon him, bound him, and prepared to hang him on
a tree.

While they were about it, they heard in the distance the clatter of
hoofs and the sound of singing, which frightened them so much that
they stuck their Prisoner into a sack, head foremost, slung it up on a
branch, and took to flight.

But the Man up in the sack worked a hole in it, and stuck his head

Now the traveller turned out to be nothing more than a Student, a
young fellow who was riding through the wood, singing cheerily.

When the Man up in the sack saw some one down below, he called out:
'Good-day. You come in the nick of time.'

The Student looked all round, but could not make out where the voice
came from.

At last he said: 'Who calls?'

A voice from above answered: 'Raise your eyes, I am sitting up here in
the Sack of Wisdom, and in a short time I have learnt so much that the
wisdom of the schools is as air compared to mine. Soon I shall be
quite perfect, and shall come down and be the wisest of all mankind. I
understand the stars and signs of the heavens, the blowing of the
winds, the sand of the sea, the healing of sickness, the power of
herbs, birds, and stones. If you were once inside, you would feel what
wonders flow from the Sack of Knowledge.'

When the Student heard this he was astonished, and said: 'Blessed be
the hour when I met you, if only I too might get into the sack for a

The other answered, as though unwillingly: 'I will let you in for a
little while for payment and kind words, but you must wait an hour, as
there is something rather difficult which I must learn first.'

But when the Student had waited a little, he grew impatient and
entreated permission to get in, so great was his thirst for knowledge.
Then the Man in the sack pretended to give in, and said: 'In order
that I may get out of the sack you must let it down, then you can get

So the Student let it down, undid the sack and released the Prisoner,
and said: 'Now pull me up as fast as possible'; and he tried to get
into the sack and stand upright in it.

'Stop,' said the other. 'That won't do.' And he packed him in head
first, tied it up, and slung up the Disciple of Wisdom, dangling him
in the air, and said: 'How are you, my dear fellow? You will soon feel
wisdom coming upon you, and will have a most interesting experience.
Sit still till you are wiser.'

Thereupon he mounted the Student's horse, and rode off, but sent some
one in an hour to let him down again.

Clever Hans

'Where are you going, Hans?' asked his Mother.

'To see Grettel,' answered Hans.

'Behave well, Hans!'

'All right, Mother. Good-bye.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans comes to Grettel.

'Good morning, Grettel.'

'Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me?'

'I've not brought you anything. I want a present.'

Grettel gives him a needle. Hans takes the needle, and sticks it in a
load of hay, and walks home behind the cart.

'Good evening, Mother.'

'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'

'I've been to Grettel's.'

'What did you give her?'

'I gave her nothing. But she made me a present.'

'What did she give you?'

'She gave me a needle.'

'What did you do with it?'

'Stuck it in the hay-cart.'

'That was stupid, Hans. You should have stuck it in your sleeve.'

'Never mind, Mother; I'll do better next time.'

'Where are you going, Hans?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'Behave well.'

'All right, Mother. Good-bye.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans comes to Grettel.

'Good morning, Grettel.'

'Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me?'

'I've brought nothing. But I want something.'

Grettel gives him a knife.

'Good-bye, Grettel.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans takes the knife, and sticks it in his sleeve, and goes home.

'Good evening, Mother.'

'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'

'Been to see Grettel.'

'What did you give her?'

'I gave her nothing. But she gave me something.'

'What did she give you?'

'She gave me a knife.'

'Where is the knife, Hans?'

'I stuck it in my sleeve.'

'That's a stupid place, Hans. You should have put it in your pocket.'

'Never mind, Mother; I'll do better next time.'

'Where are you going, Hans?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'Behave well, then.'

'All right, Mother. Good-bye.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans comes to Grettel.

'Good morning, Grettel.'

'Good morning, Hans. Have you brought me anything nice?'

'I've brought nothing. What have you got for me?'

Grettel gives him a young kid.

'Good-bye, Grettel.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans takes the kid, ties its legs together, and puts it in his pocket.

When he got home, it was suffocated.

'Good evening, Mother.'

'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'

'Been to see Grettel, Mother.'

'What did you give her?'

'I gave her nothing. But I brought away something.'

'What did Grettel give you?'

'She gave me a young kid.'

'What did you do with the kid?'

'Put it in my pocket, Mother.'

'That was very stupid. You should have led it by a rope.'

'Never mind, Mother; I'll manage better next time.'

'Where are you going, Hans?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'Manage well, then.'

'All right, Mother. Good-bye.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans comes to Grettel.

'Good morning, Grettel.'

'Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me?'

'I've brought you nothing. What have you got for me?'

Grettel gives him a piece of bacon.

'Good-bye, Grettel.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans takes the bacon, ties a rope round it, and drags it along behind
him. The dogs come after him, and eat it up. When he got home he had
the rope in his hand, but there was nothing at the end of it.

'Good evening, Mother.'

'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'What did you take her?'

'I took nothing. But I brought something away.'

'What did she give you?'

'She gave me a piece of bacon.'

'What did you do with the bacon, Hans?'

'I tied it to a rope, and dragged it home. But the dogs ate it.'

'That was a stupid business, Hans. You should have carried it on your

'Never mind, Mother; I'll do better next time.'

'Where are you going, Hans?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'Behave properly, then.'

'All right, Mother. Good-bye.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans comes to Grettel.

'Good morning, Grettel.'

'Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me?'

'I've brought nothing. What have you got for me?'

Grettel gives Hans a calf.

'Good-bye, Grettel.'

'Good-bye, Hans.'

Hans takes the calf, and puts it on his head. It kicks his face.

'Good evening, Mother.'

'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'

'Been to see Grettel, Mother.'

'What did you take her?'

'I took her nothing, Mother. She gave me something.'

'What did she give you, Hans?'

'She gave me a calf, Mother.'

'What did you do with the calf?'

'Put it on my head, Mother, and it kicked my face.'

'That was very stupid, Hans. You should have led it by a rope, and put
it in the cow-stall.'

'Never mind, Mother; I'll do better next time.'

'Where are you going, Hans?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'Mind how you behave, Hans.'

'All right, Mother. Good-bye.'

Hans goes to Grettel.

  [Illustration: When he got home he had the rope in his hand, but
    there was nothing at the end of it.]

'Good morning, Grettel.'

'Good morning, Hans. What have you brought me?'

'I've brought you nothing. I want to take away something.'

'I'll go with you myself, Hans.'

Hans ties Grettel to a rope, and leads her home, where he puts her in
a stall, and ties her up. Then he goes into the house to his Mother.

'Good evening, Mother.'

'Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?'

'To see Grettel, Mother.'

'What did you take her?'

'I took nothing.'

'What did Grettel give you?'

'She gave me nothing. She came with me.'

'Where did you leave Grettel?'

'Tied up in the stable with a rope.'

'That was stupid. You should have cast sheep's eyes at her.'

'Never mind; I'll do better next time.'

Hans went into the stable, plucked the eyes out of the cows and
calves, and threw them in Grettel's face.

Grettel got angry, broke the rope, and ran away.

Yet she became Hans' wife.

The Three Languages

There once lived in Switzerland an old Count, who had an only son; but
he was very stupid, and could learn nothing. So his father said to
him: 'Listen to me, my son. I can get nothing into your head, try as
hard as I may. You must go away from here, and I will hand you over to
a renowned Professor for a whole year.' At the end of the year he came
home again, and his father asked: 'Now, my son, what have you learnt?'

'Father, I have learnt the language of dogs.'

'Mercy on us!' cried his father, 'is that all you have learnt? I will
send you away again to another Professor in a different town.' The
youth was taken there, and remained with this Professor also for
another year. When he came back his father asked him again: 'My son,
what have you learnt?'

He answered: 'I have learnt bird language.'

Then the father flew into a rage, and said: 'Oh, you hopeless
creature, have you been spending all this precious time and learnt
nothing? Aren't you ashamed to come into my presence? I will send you
to a third Professor, but if you learn nothing this time, I won't be
your father any longer.'

The son stopped with the third Professor in the same way for a whole
year, and when he came home again and his father asked, 'My son, what
have you learnt?' he answered--

'My dear father, this year I have learnt frog language.'

Thereupon his father flew into a fearful passion, and said: 'This
creature is my son no longer. I turn him out of the house and command
you to lead him into the forest and take his life.'

  [Illustration: On the way he passed a swamp, in which a number of
    Frogs were croaking.]

They led him forth, but when they were about to kill him, for pity's
sake they could not do it, and let him go. Then they cut out the
eyes and tongue of a Fawn, in order that they might take back proofs
to the old Count.

The youth wandered about, and at length came to a castle, where he
begged a night's lodging.

'Very well,' said the Lord of the castle. 'If you like to pass the
night down there in the old tower, you may; but I warn you that it
will be at the risk of your life, for it is full of savage dogs. They
bark and howl without ceasing, and at certain hours they must have a
man thrown to them, and they devour him at once.'

The whole neighbourhood was distressed by the scourge, but no one
could do anything to remedy it. But the youth was not a bit afraid,
and said: 'Just let me go down to these barking dogs, and give me
something that I can throw to them; they won't do me any harm.'

As he would not have anything else, they gave him some food for the
savage dogs, and took him down to the tower.

The dogs did not bark at him when he entered, but ran round him
wagging their tails in a most friendly manner, ate the food he gave
them, and did not so much as touch a hair of his head.

The next morning, to the surprise of every one, he made his appearance
again, and said to the Lord of the castle, 'The Dogs have revealed to
me in their own language why they live there and bring mischief to the
country. They are enchanted, and obliged to guard a great treasure
which is hidden under the tower, and will get no rest till it has been
dug up; and how that has to be done I have also learnt from them.'

Every one who heard this was delighted, and the Lord of the castle
said he would adopt him as a son if he accomplished the task
successfully. He went down to the tower again, and as he knew how to
set to work he accomplished his task, and brought out a chest full of
gold. The howling of the savage Dogs was from that time forward heard
no more. They entirely disappeared, and the country was delivered from
the scourge.

After a time, he took it into his head to go to Rome. On the way he
passed a swamp, in which a number of Frogs were croaking. He listened,
and when he heard what they were saying he became quite pensive and

At last he reached Rome, at a moment when the Pope had just died, and
there was great doubt among the Cardinals whom they ought to name as
his successor. They agreed at last that the man to whom some divine
miracle should be manifested ought to be chosen as Pope. Just as they
had come to this decision, the young Count entered the church, and
suddenly two snow-white doves flew down and alighted on his shoulders.

The clergy recognised in this the sign from Heaven, and asked him on
the spot whether he would be Pope.

He was undecided, and knew not whether he was worthy of the post; but
the Doves told him that he might accept, and at last he said 'Yes.'

Thereupon he was anointed and consecrated, and so was fulfilled what
he had heard from the Frogs on the way, which had disturbed him so
much--namely, that he should become Pope.

Then he had to chant mass, and did not know one word of it. But the
two Doves sat upon his shoulders and whispered it to him.

The Fox and the Cat

It happened once that the Cat met Mr. Fox in the wood, and because she
thought: 'He is clever and experienced in all the ways of the world,'
she addressed him in a friendly manner.

'Good morning, dear Mr. Fox! how are you and how do you get along in
these hard times?'

The Fox, full of pride, looked at the Cat from head to foot for some
time hardly knowing whether he would deign to answer or not. At last
he said--

'Oh, you poor whisker-wiper, you piebald fool, you starveling
mouse-hunter! what has come into your head? How dare you ask me how I
am getting on? What sort of education have you had? How many arts are
you master of?'

  [Illustration: The Cat crept stealthily up to the topmost branch.]

'Only one,' said the Cat, meekly.

'And what might that one be?' asked the Fox.

'When the hounds run after me, I can jump into a tree and save

'Is that all?' said the Fox. 'I am master of a hundred arts, and I
have a sack full of cunning tricks in addition. But I pity you. Come
with me, and I will teach you how to escape the hounds.'

Just then, a huntsman came along with four hounds. The Cat sprang
trembling into a tree, and crept stealthily up to the topmost branch,
where she was entirely hidden by twigs and leaves.

'Open your sack, Mr. Fox! open your sack!' cried the Cat; but the
hounds had gripped him, and held him fast.

'O Mr. Fox!' cried the Cat, 'you with your hundred arts, and your sack
full of tricks, are caught, while I, with my one, am safe. Had you
been able to climb up here, you would not have lost your life.'

  [Illustration: {So the four Brothers took their sticks in their
    hands, bade their Father good-bye, and passed out of the town

The Four Clever Brothers

There was once a poor man who had four sons, and when they were grown
up, he said to them: 'Dear children, you must go out into the world
now, for I have nothing to give you. You must each learn a trade and
make your own way in the world.'

So the four Brothers took their sticks in their hands, bid their
father good-bye, and passed out of the town gate.

When they had walked some distance, they came to four cross roads,
which led into four different districts. Then the eldest one said: 'We
must part here, but this day four years, we will meet here again,
having in the meantime done our best to make our fortunes.'

Then each one went his own way. The eldest met an old man, who asked
him where he came from, and what he was going to do.

'I want to learn a trade,' he answered.

Then the Man said: 'Come with me and learn to be a Thief.'

'No,' answered he, 'that is no longer considered an honest trade; and
the end of that song would be that I should swing as the clapper in a

'Oh,' said the Man, 'you need not be afraid of the gallows. I will
only teach you how to take things no one else wants, or knows how to
get hold of, and where no one can find you out.'

So he allowed himself to be persuaded, and under the Man's
instructions he became such an expert thief that nothing was safe from
him which he had once made up his mind to have.

The second Brother met a Man who put the same question to him, as to
what he was going to do in the world.

'I don't know yet,' he answered.

'Then come with me and be a Star-gazer. It is the grandest thing in
the world, nothing is hidden from you.'

He was pleased with the idea, and became such a clever Star-gazer,
that when he had learnt everything and wanted to go away, his master
gave him a telescope, and said--

'With this you can see everything that happens in the sky and on
earth, and nothing can remain hidden from you.'

The third Brother was taken in hand by a Huntsman, who taught him
everything connected with sport so well, that he became a first-rate

On his departure his master presented him with a gun, and said: 'This
gun will never miss: whatever you aim at you will hit without fail.'

The youngest Brother also met a Man who asked him what he was going to

'Wouldn't you like to be a Tailor?' he asked.

'I don't know about that,' said the young man. 'I don't much fancy
sitting cross-legged from morning till night, and everlastingly
pulling a needle in and out, and pushing a flat iron.'

'Dear, dear!' said the Man, 'what are you talking about? If you come
to me you will learn quite a different sort of tailoring. It is a most
pleasant and agreeable trade, not to say most honourable.'

So he allowed himself to be talked over, and went with the Man, who
taught him his trade thoroughly.

On his departure, he gave him a needle, and said: 'With this needle
you will be able to stitch anything together, be it as soft as an egg,
or as hard as steel; and it will become like a whole piece of stuff
with no seam visible.'

When the four years, which the Brothers had agreed upon, had passed,
they met at the cross-roads. They embraced one another and hurried
home to their Father.

'Well!' said he, quite pleased to see them, 'has the wind wafted you
back to me again?'

They told him all that had happened to them, and that each had
mastered a trade. They were sitting in front of the house under a big
tree, and their Father said--

'Now, I will put you to the test, and see what you can do.'

Then he looked up and said to his second son--

'There is a chaffinch's nest in the topmost branch of this tree; tell
me how many eggs there are in it?'

The Star-gazer took his glass and said: 'There are five.'

His Father said to the eldest: 'Bring the eggs down without disturbing
the bird sitting on them.'

The cunning Thief climbed up and took the five eggs from under the
bird so cleverly that it never noticed they were gone, and he gave
them to his Father. His Father took them, and put them one on each
corner of the table, and one in the middle, and said to the

'You must shoot the five eggs through the middle at one shot.'

The Sportsman levelled his gun, and divided each egg in half at one
shot, as his Father desired. He certainly must have had some of the
powder which shoots round the corner.

'Now it is your turn,' said his Father to the fourth son. 'You will
sew the eggs together again, the shells and the young birds inside
them; and you will do it in such a manner that they will be none the
worse for the shot.'

The Tailor produced his needle, and stitched away as his Father
ordered. When he had finished, the Thief had to climb up the tree
again, and put the eggs back under the bird without her noticing it.
The bird spread herself over the eggs, and a few days later the
fledglings crept out of the shell, and they all had a red line round
their throats where the Tailor had sewn them together.

'Yes,' said the old man to his sons; 'I can certainly praise your
skill. You have learnt something worth knowing, and made the most of
your time. I don't know which of you to give the palm to. I only hope
you may soon have a chance of showing your skill so that it may be

Not long after this there was a great alarm raised in the country:
the King's only daughter had been carried off by a Dragon. The King
sorrowed for her day and night, and proclaimed that whoever brought
her back should marry her.

The four Brothers said to one another: 'This would be an opportunity
for us to prove what we can do.' And they decided to go out together
to deliver the Princess.

'I shall soon know where she is,' said the Star-gazer, as he looked
through his telescope; and then he said--

'I see her already. She is a long way from here, she is sitting on a
rock in the middle of the sea, and the Dragon is near, watching her.'

Then he went to the King and asked for a ship for himself and his
Brothers to cross the sea in search of the rock.

They found the Princess still on the rock, but the Dragon was asleep
with his head on her lap.

The Sportsman said: 'I dare not shoot. I should kill the beautiful

'Then I will try my luck,' said the Thief, and he stole her away from
beneath the Dragon. He did it so gently and skilfully, that the
monster never discovered it, but went snoring on.

Full of joy, they hurried away with her to the ship, and steered for
the open sea. But the Dragon on waking had missed the Princess, and
now came after them through the air, foaming with rage.

Just as he was hovering over the ship and about to drop on them, the
Sportsman took aim with his gun and shot him through the heart. The
monster fell down dead, but he was so huge, that in falling, he
dragged the whole ship down with him. They managed to seize a few
boards, on which they kept themselves afloat.

  [Illustration: {The King's only daughter had been carried off
    by a Dragon.}]

They were now in great straits, but the Tailor, not to be outdone,
produced his wonderful needle, and put some great stitches into the
boards, seated himself on them, and collected all the floating bits of
the ship. Then he stitched them all together so cleverly, that in
a very short time the ship was seaworthy again, and they sailed
happily home.

  [Illustration: They found the Princess still on the rock, but the
    Dragon was asleep with his head on her lap.]

The King was overjoyed when he saw his daughter again, and he said to
the four Brothers: 'One of you shall marry her, but which one, you
must decide among yourselves.'

An excited discussion then took place among them, for each one made a

The Star-gazer said: 'Had I not discovered the Princess, all your arts
would have been in vain, therefore she is mine!'

The Thief said: 'What would have been the good of discovering her if I
had not taken her from under the Dragon? So she is mine.'

The Sportsman said: 'You, as well as the Princess, would have been
destroyed by the monster if my shot had not hit him. So she is mine.'

The Tailor said: 'And if I had not sewn the ship together with my
skill, you would all have been drowned miserably. Therefore she is

The King said: 'Each of you has an equal right; but, as you can't all
have her, none of you shall have her. I will give every one of you
half a kingdom as a reward.'

The Brothers were quite satisfied with this decision, and they said:
'It is better so than that we should quarrel over it.'

So each of them received half a kingdom, and they lived happily with
their Father for the rest of their days.

The Lady and the Lion

There was once a Man who had to take a long journey, and when he was
saying good-bye to his daughters he asked what he should bring back to

The eldest wanted pearls, the second diamonds, but the third said,
'Dear father, I should like a singing, soaring lark.'

The father said, 'Very well, if I can manage it, you shall have it';
and he kissed all three and set off. He bought pearls and diamonds for
the two eldest, but he had searched everywhere in vain for the
singing, soaring lark, and this worried him, for his youngest daughter
was his favourite child.

Once his way led through a wood, in the midst of which was a splendid
castle; near it stood a tree, and right up at the top he saw a lark
singing and soaring. 'Ah,' he said, 'I have come across you in the
nick of time'; and he called to his Servant to dismount and catch the
little creature. But as he approached the tree a Lion sprang out from
underneath, and shook himself, and roared so that the leaves on the
tree trembled.

'Who dares to steal my lark?' said he. 'I will eat up the thief!'

Then the Man said, 'I didn't know that the bird was yours. I will make
up for my fault by paying a heavy ransom. Only spare my life.'

But the Lion said, 'Nothing can save you, unless you promise to give
me whatever first meets you when you get home. If you consent, I will
give you your life and the bird into the bargain.'

But the Man hesitated, and said, 'Suppose my youngest and favourite
daughter were to come running to meet me when I go home!'

But the Servant was afraid, and said, 'Your daughter will not
necessarily be the first to come to meet you; it might just as well be
a cat or a dog.'

So the Man let himself be persuaded, took the lark, and promised to
the Lion for his own whatever first met him on his return home. When
he reached home, and entered his house, the first person who met him
was none other than his youngest daughter; she came running up and
kissed and caressed him, and when she saw that he had brought the
singing, soaring lark, she was beside herself with joy. But her father
could not rejoice; he began to cry, and said, 'My dear child, it has
cost me dear, for I have had to promise you to a Lion who will tear
you in pieces when he has you in his power.' And he told her all that
had happened, and begged her not to go, come what might.

But she consoled him, saying, 'Dear father, what you have promised
must be performed. I will go and will soon soften the Lion's heart, so
that I shall come back safe and sound.' The next morning the way was
shown to her, and she said good-bye and went confidently into the

Now the Lion was an enchanted Prince, who was a Lion by day, and all
his followers were Lions too; but by night they reassumed their human
form. On her arrival she was kindly received, and conducted to the
castle. When night fell, the Lion turned into a handsome man, and
their wedding was celebrated with due magnificence. And they lived
happily together, sitting up at night and sleeping by day. One day he
came to her and said, 'To-morrow there is a festival at your father's
house to celebrate your eldest sister's wedding; if you would like to
go my Lions shall escort you.'

She answered that she was very eager to see her father again, so she
went away accompanied by the Lions.

There was great rejoicing on her coming, for they all thought that she
had been torn to pieces and had long been dead.

  [Illustration: {She went away accompanied by the Lions.}]

But she told them what a handsome husband she had and how well she
fared; and she stayed with them as long as the wedding festivities
lasted. Then she went back again into the wood.

When the second daughter married, and the youngest was again invited
to the wedding, she said to the Lion, 'This time I will not go alone,
you must come too.'

But the Lion said it would be too dangerous, for if a gleam of light
touched him he would be changed into a Dove and would have to fly
about for seven years.

'Ah,' said she, 'only go with me, and I will protect you and keep off
every ray of light.'

So they went away together, and took their little child with them too.
They had a hall built with such thick walls that no ray could
penetrate, and thither the Lion was to retire when the wedding torches
were kindled. But the door was made of fresh wood which split and
caused a little crack which no one noticed.

Now the wedding was celebrated with great splendour. But when the
procession came back from church with a large number of torches and
lights, a ray of light no broader than a hair fell upon the Prince,
and the minute this ray touched him he was changed; and when his wife
came in and looked for him, she saw nothing but a White Dove sitting
there. The Dove said to her, 'For seven years I must fly about the
world; every seventh step I will let fall a drop of blood and a white
feather which will show you the way, and if you will follow the track
you can free me.'

Thereupon the Dove flew out of the door, and she followed it, and
every seventh step it let fall a drop of blood and a little white
feather to show her the way. So she wandered about the world, and
never rested till the seven years were nearly passed. Then she
rejoiced, thinking that she would soon be free of her troubles; but
she was still far from release. One day as they were journeying on in
the accustomed way, the feather and the drop of blood ceased falling,
and when she looked up the Dove had vanished.

'Man cannot help me,' she thought. So she climbed up to the Sun and
said to it, 'You shine upon all the valleys and mountain peaks, have
you not seen a White Dove flying by?'

'No,' said the Sun, 'I have not seen one; but I will give you a little
casket. Open it when you are in dire need.'

She thanked the Sun, and went on till night, when the Moon shone out.
'You shine all night,' she said, 'over field and forest, have you seen
a White Dove flying by?'

'No,' answered the Moon, 'I have seen none; but here is an egg. Break
it when you are in great need.'

She thanked the Moon, and went on till the Night Wind blew upon her.
'You blow among all the trees and leaves, have not you seen a White
Dove?' she asked.

'No,' said the Night Wind, 'I have not seen one; but I will ask the
other three Winds, who may, perhaps, have seen it.'

The East Wind and the West Wind came, but they had seen no Dove. Only
the South Wind said, 'I have seen the White Dove. It has flown away to
the Red Sea, where it has again become a Lion, since the seven years
are over; and the Lion is ever fighting with a Dragon who is an
enchanted Princess.'

Then the Night Wind said, 'I will advise you. Go to the Red Sea, you
will find tall reeds growing on the right bank; count them, and cut
down the eleventh, strike the Dragon with it and then the Lion will be
able to master it, and both will regain human shape. Next, look round,
and you will see the winged Griffin, who dwells by the Red Sea, leap
upon its back with your beloved, and it will carry you across the sea.
Here is a nut. Drop it when you come to mid-ocean; it will open
immediately and a tall nut-tree will grow up out of the water, on
which the Griffin will settle. Could it not rest, it would not be
strong enough to carry you across, and if you forget to drop the nut,
it will let you fall into the sea.'

Then she journeyed on, and found everything as the Night Wind had
said. She counted the reeds by the sea and cut off the eleventh,
struck the Dragon with it, and the Lion mastered it; immediately both
regained human form. But when the Princess who had been a Dragon was
free from enchantment, she took the Prince in her arms, seated herself
on the Griffin's back, and carried him off. And the poor wanderer,
again forsaken, sat down and cried. At last she took courage and said
to herself: 'Wherever the winds blow, I will go, and as long as cocks
crow, I will search till I find him.'

So she went on a long, long way, till she came to the castle where the
Prince and Princess were living. There she heard that there was to be
a festival to celebrate their wedding. Then she said to herself,
'Heaven help me,' and she opened the casket which the Sun had given
her; inside it was a dress, as brilliant as the Sun itself. She took
it out, put it on, and went into the castle, where every one,
including the Bride, looked at her with amazement. The dress pleased
the Bride so much that she asked if it was to be bought.

'Not with gold or goods,' she answered; 'but with flesh and blood.'

The Bride asked what she meant, and she answered, 'Let me speak with
the Bridegroom in his chamber to-night.'

The Bride refused. However, she wanted the dress so much that at last
she consented; but the Chamberlain was ordered to give the Prince a
sleeping draught.

At night, when the Prince was asleep, she was taken to his room. She
sat down and said: 'For seven years I have followed you. I have been
to the Sun, and the Moon, and the Four Winds to look for you. I have
helped you against the Dragon, and will you now quite forget me?'

But the Prince slept so soundly that he thought it was only the
rustling of the wind among the pine-trees. When morning came she was
taken away, and had to give up the dress; and as it had not helped her
she was very sad, and went out into a meadow and cried. As she was
sitting there, she remembered the egg which the Moon had given her;
she broke it open, and out came a hen and twelve chickens, all of
gold, who ran about chirping, and then crept back under their mother's
wings. A prettier sight could not be seen. She got up and drove them
about the meadow, till the Bride saw them from the window. The
chickens pleased her so much that she asked if they were for sale.
'Not for gold and goods, but for flesh and blood. Let me speak with
the Bridegroom in his chamber once more.'

The Bride said 'Yes,' intending to deceive her as before; but when the
Prince went to his room he asked the Chamberlain what all the
murmuring and rustling in the night meant. Then the Chamberlain told
him how he had been ordered to give him a sleeping draught because a
poor girl had been concealed in his room, and that night he was to do
the same again. 'Pour out the drink, and put it near my bed,' said the
Prince. At night she was brought in again, and when she began to
relate her sad fortunes he recognised the voice of his dear wife,
sprang up, and said, 'Now I am really free for the first time. All has
been as a dream, for the foreign Princess cast a spell over me so that
I was forced to forget you; but heaven in a happy hour has taken away
my blindness.'

Then they both stole out of the castle, for they feared the Princess's
father, because he was a sorcerer. They mounted the Griffin, who bore
them over the Red Sea, and when they got to mid-ocean, she dropped the
nut. On the spot a fine nut-tree sprang up, on which the bird rested;
then it took them home, where they found their child grown tall and
beautiful, and they lived happily till the end.

  [Illustration: {The poor Horse was very sad, and went into the
    forest to get a little shelter from the wind and weather.}]

The Fox and the Horse

A peasant once had a faithful Horse, but it had grown old and could no
longer do its work. Its master grudged it food, and said: 'I can't use
you any more, but I still feel kindly towards you, and if you show
yourself strong enough to bring me a Lion I will keep you to the end
of your days. But away with you now, out of my stable'; and he drove
it out into the open country.

The poor Horse was very sad, and went into the forest to get a little
shelter from the wind and weather. There he met a Fox, who said: 'Why
do you hang your head, and wander about in this solitary fashion?'

'Alas!' answered the Horse, 'avarice and honesty cannot live together.
My master has forgotten all the service I have done him for these many
years, and because I can no longer plough he will no longer feed me,
and he has driven me away.'

'Without any consideration?' asked the Fox.

'Only the poor consolation of telling me that if I was strong enough
to bring him a Lion he would keep me, but he knows well enough that
the task is beyond me.'

The Fox said: 'But I will help you. Just you lie down here, and
stretch your legs out as if you were dead.' The Horse did as he was
told, and the Fox went to the Lion's den, not far off, and said:
'There is a dead Horse out there. Come along with me, and you will
have a rare meal.' The Lion went with him, and when they got up to the
Horse, the Fox said: 'You can't eat it in comfort here. I'll tell you
what. I will tie it to you, and you can drag it away to your den, and
enjoy it at your leisure.'

The plan pleased the Lion, and he stood quite still, close to the
Horse, so that the Fox should fasten them together. But the Fox tied
the Lion's legs together with the Horse's tail, and twisted and
knotted it so that it would be quite impossible for it to come undone.

When he had finished his work he patted the Horse on the shoulder, and
said: 'Pull, old Grey! Pull!'

Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away behind him. The
Lion in his rage roared, so that all the birds in the forest were
terrified, and flew away. But the Horse let him roar, and never
stopped till he stood before his master's door.

When the master saw him he was delighted, and said to him: 'You shall
stay with me, and have a good time as long as you live.'

And he fed him well till he died.

  [Illustration: Then the Horse sprang up, and dragged the Lion away
    behind him.]

The Blue Light

There was once a Soldier who had served his King well and faithfully
for many years. But, on account of his many wounds, he could serve no

The King said: 'You can go home now. I have no further need for you. I
can only pay those who serve me.'

The Soldier did not know what to do for a living, and he went sadly

He walked all day, till he reached a wood, where, in the distance, he
saw a light. On approaching it, he found a house inhabited by a Witch.

'Pray give me shelter for the night, and something to eat and drink,'
he said, 'or I shall perish.'

'Oh ho!' she said. 'Who gives anything to a runaway Soldier, I should
like to know. But I will be merciful and take you in, if you will do
something for me.'

'What is it?' asked the Soldier.

'I want you to dig up my garden to-morrow.'

The Soldier agreed to this, and next day he worked as hard as he
could, but he could not finish before evening.

'I see,' said the Witch, 'that you can do no more this evening. I will
keep you one night more, and to-morrow you shall split up some logs
for firewood.'

The Soldier took the whole day over this task, and in the evening the
Witch proposed that he should again stay another night.

'You shall only have a very light task to-morrow,' she said. 'There is
an old, dry well behind my house. My light, which burns blue, and
never goes out, has fallen into it, and I want you to bring it back.'

Next day the Witch led him to the well, and let him down in a basket.

He found the light, and made a sign to be pulled up; but when he was
near the top, the Witch put out her hand, and wanted to take it from

But he, seeing her evil designs, said: 'No; I will not give you the
light till I have both feet safe on dry land again.'

The Witch flew into a passion, let him fall back into the well again,
and went away.

The poor Soldier fell on to the damp ground without taking any harm,
and the Blue Light burnt as brightly as ever. But what was the good of
that? He saw that he could not escape death.

He sat for some time feeling very sad, then happening to put his hand
into his pocket, he found his pipe still half full.

'This will be my last pleasure,' he thought, as he lighted it at the
Blue Light, and began to smoke.

When the cloud of smoke he made cleared off a little, a tiny black Man
appeared before him, and asked: 'What orders, Master?'

'What do you mean?' the Soldier asked in amazement.

'I must do anything that you command,' said the Little Man.

'Oh, if that is so,' said the Soldier, 'get me out of this well

The Little Man took him by the hand, and led him through an
underground passage; but the Soldier did not forget to take the Blue
Light with him.

On the way he showed the Soldier all the treasures the Witch had
amassed there, and he took as much gold as he could carry.

When they reached the top he said to the Little Man: 'Now go, bind the
Witch and take her before the Judge.'

Before long she came by riding at a furious pace on a tom cat, and
screaming at the top of her voice.

The Little Man soon after appeared, and said: 'Everything is done as
you commanded, and the Witch hangs on the gallows. What further orders
have you, Master?'

'Nothing at this moment,' answered the Soldier. 'You can go home; only
be at hand when I call.'

'You only have to light your pipe at the Blue Light, and I will be
there,' said the Little Man, and then he vanished.

The Soldier went back to the town that he had left, and ordered some
new clothes, then he went to the best inn and told the landlord to
give him the best rooms.

  [Illustration: Before long the Witch came by riding at a furious
    pace on a tom cat.]

When he had taken possession, he summoned the little black Man, and
said: 'I served my King faithfully, but he sent me away to die of
hunger. Now I will have my revenge.'

'What do you wish me to do?' asked the Little Man.

'Late at night, when the Princess is asleep in her bed, bring her,
sleeping, to me, and I will make her do menial service for me.'

'It is an easy enough thing for me to do,' said the Little Man. 'But
it will be a bad business for you if it comes out.'

As the clock struck twelve, the door sprang open, and the Little Man
bore the Maiden in.

'Ah ha! There you are!' cried the Soldier. 'Set about your work at
once. Fetch the broom and sweep the floor.'

When she had finished, he sat down and ordered her to take his boots
off. Then he threw them at her, and made her pick them up and clean
them. She did everything he ordered without resistance, silently, and
with half-shut eyes.

At the first cock-crow, the Little Man carried her away to the royal
palace, and put her back in bed.

In the morning when the Princess got up, she went to her Father, and
told him that she had had an extraordinary dream.

'I was carried through the streets at lightning speed, and taken to
the room of a Soldier, whom I had to serve as a maid, and do all kinds
of menial work. I had to sweep the room, and clean his boots. Of
course, it was only a dream, and yet I am as tired this morning as if
I had done it all.'

'The dream could not have been true,' said the King. 'But I will give
you a piece of advice. Fill your pocket with peas, and cut a little
hole in it, then if you are carried away again, they will drop out and
leave a track on the road.'

When the King said this, the Little Man was standing by, invisible,
and heard it all.

At night, when he again carried off the Princess, the peas certainly
fell out of her pocket, but they were useless to trace her by, for the
cunning Little Man had scattered peas all over the streets. Again the
Princess had to perform her menial duties till cock-crow.

The next morning the King sent out people who were to find the track;
but they were unable to do so, because in every street the poor
children were picking up peas, and saying: 'It must have rained peas
in the night.'

'We must devise a better plan,' said the King. 'Keep your shoes on
when you go to bed, and before you come away from the place where you
are taken, hide one of them. I shall be sure to find it.'

The Little Man heard this plan also; and when the Soldier told him to
bring the Princess again, he advised him to put it off. He said he
knew no further means against their craftiness; and if the shoe were
found, it would be very dangerous for his master.

'Do what I tell you,' answered the Soldier; and for the third time the
Princess was brought and made to work like a servant. But before
leaving she hid one of her shoes under the bed.

Next morning the King ordered the whole town to be searched for his
Daughter's shoe, and it was soon found in the Soldier's room. He
himself, at the request of the Little Man, had gone outside the gates;
but before long he was seized and thrown into prison.

In his flight he had forgotten his greatest treasures, the Blue Light
and his gold. He had but one ducat in his pocket.

As he stood at his window in the prison, loaded with chains, he saw
one of his comrades going by. He tapped on the pane, and said:

'Be so good as to fetch me the little bundle I left behind at the inn,
and I will give you a ducat.'

His comrade hurried off and brought him the bundle. As soon as the
Soldier was alone, he lighted his pipe and summoned the Little Man.

'Don't be afraid,' he said to his Master. 'Go where they take you, and
let what will happen, only take the Blue Light with you.'

Next day a trial was held, and although the Soldier had done no harm,
the Judge sentenced him to death.

When he was led out to execution he asked a last favour of the King.

'What is your wish?' asked the King.

'That I may smoke a last pipe.'

'You may smoke three,' answered the King. 'But don't imagine that I
will therefore grant you your life.'

Then the Soldier drew out his pipe, and lighted it at the Blue Light.

As soon as a few rings of smoke arose, the Little Man appeared with a
little cudgel in his hand, and said: 'What is my Master's command?'

'Strike the false Judge and his minions to the ground, and do not
spare the King either for all his cruelty to me.'

Then the Little Man flew about like lightning, zig-zag, hither and
thither, and whomever he touched with his cudgel fell to the ground,
and dared not move.

The King was now seized with alarm, and, begging on his knees that his
life might be spared, he rendered up his kingdom and gave his Daughter
to the Soldier to be his wife.

The Goosegirl

There was once an old Queen whose husband had been dead for many
years, and she had a very beautiful daughter. When she grew up she was
betrothed to a Prince in a distant country. When the time came for the
maiden to be sent into this distant country to be married, the old
Queen packed up quantities of clothes and jewels, gold and silver,
cups and ornaments, and, in fact, everything suitable to a royal
outfit, for she loved her daughter very dearly.

She also sent a Waiting-woman to travel with her, and to put her hand
into that of the bridegroom. They each had a horse. The Princess's
horse was called Falada, and it could speak.

When the hour of departure came, the old Queen went to her bedroom,
and with a sharp little knife cut her finger and made it bleed. Then
she held a piece of white cambric under it, and let three drops of
blood fall on to it. This cambric she gave to her daughter, and said,
'Dear child, take good care of this; it will stand you in good stead
on the journey.' They then bade each other a sorrowful farewell. The
Princess hid the piece of cambric in her bosom, mounted her horse, and
set out to her bridegroom's country.

When they had ridden for a time the Princess became very thirsty, and
said to the Waiting-woman, 'Get down and fetch me some water in my cup
from the stream. I must have something to drink.'

'If you are thirsty,' said the Waiting-woman, 'dismount yourself, lie
down by the water and drink. I don't choose to be your servant.'

So, in her great thirst, the Princess dismounted and stooped down to
the stream and drank, as she might not have her golden cup. The poor
Princess said, 'Alas!' and the drops of blood answered, 'If your
mother knew this, it would break her heart.'

The royal bride was humble, so she said nothing, but mounted her horse
again. Then they rode several miles further; but the day was warm, the
sun was scorching, and the Princess was soon thirsty again.

When they reached a river she called out again to her Waiting-woman,
'Get down, and give me some water in my golden cup!'

She had forgotten all about the rude words which had been said to her.
But the Waiting-woman answered more haughtily than ever, 'If you want
to drink, get the water for yourself. I won't be your servant.'

Being very thirsty, the Princess dismounted, and knelt by the flowing
water. She cried, and said, 'Ah me!' and the drops of blood answered,
'If your mother knew this it would break her heart.'

While she stooped over the water to drink, the piece of cambric with
the drops of blood on it fell out of her bosom, and floated away on
the stream; but she never noticed this in her great fear. The
Waiting-woman, however, had seen it, and rejoiced at getting more
power over the bride, who, by losing the drops of blood, had become
weak and powerless.

Now, when she was about to mount her horse Falada again, the
Waiting-woman said, 'By rights, Falada belongs to me; this jade will
do for you!'

The poor little Princess was obliged to give way. Then the
Waiting-woman, in a harsh voice, ordered her to take off her royal
robes, and to put on her own mean garments. Finally, she forced her to
swear before heaven that she would not tell a creature at the Court
what had taken place. Had she not taken the oath she would have been
killed on the spot. But Falada saw all this and marked it.

The Waiting-woman then mounted Falada and put the real bride on her
poor jade, and they continued their journey.

There was great rejoicing when they arrived at the castle. The Prince
hurried towards them, and lifted the Waiting-woman from her horse,
thinking she was his bride. She was led upstairs, but the real
Princess had to stay below.

The old King looked out of the window and saw the delicate, pretty
little creature standing in the courtyard; so he went to the bridal
apartments and asked the bride about her companion, who was left
standing in the courtyard, and wished to know who she was.

'I picked her up on the way, and brought her with me for company. Give
the girl something to do to keep her from idling.'

But the old King had no work for her, and could not think of anything.
At last he said, 'I have a little lad who looks after the geese; she
may help him.'

The boy was called little Conrad, and the real bride was sent with him
to look after the geese.

Soon after, the false bride said to the Prince, 'Dear husband, I pray
you do me a favour.'

He answered, 'That will I gladly.'

'Well, then, let the knacker be called to cut off the head of the
horse I rode; it angered me on the way.'

Really, she was afraid that the horse would speak, and tell of her
treatment of the Princess. So it was settled, and the faithful Falada
had to die.

When this came to the ear of the real Princess, she promised the
knacker a piece of gold if he would do her a slight service. There was
a great dark gateway to the town, through which she had to pass every
morning and evening. 'Would he nail up Falada's head in this gateway,
so that she might see him as she passed?'

  [Illustration: {Alas! dear Falada, there thou hangest.}]

The knacker promised to do as she wished, and when the horse's head
was cut off, he hung it up in the dark gateway. In the early
morning, when she and Conrad went through the gateway, she said in

    'Alas! dear Falada, there thou hangest.'

And the Head answered--

    'Alas! Queen's daughter, there thou gangest.
    If thy mother knew thy fate,
    Her heart would break with grief so great.'

Then they passed on out of the town, right into the fields, with the
geese. When they reached the meadow, the Princess sat down on the
grass and let down her hair. It shone like pure gold, and when little
Conrad saw it, he was so delighted that he wanted to pluck some out;
but she said--

    'Blow, blow, little breeze,
    And Conrad's hat seize.
    Let him join in the chase
    While away it is whirled,
    Till my tresses are curled
    And I rest in my place.'

Then a strong wind sprang up, which blew away Conrad's hat right over
the fields, and he had to run after it. When he came back, she had
finished combing her hair, and it was all put up again; so he could
not get a single hair. This made him very sulky, and he would not say
another word to her. And they tended the geese till evening, when they
went home.

Next morning, when they passed under the gateway, the Princess said--

    'Alas! dear Falada, there thou hangest.'

Falada answered:--

    'Alas! Queen's daughter, there thou gangest.
    If thy mother knew thy fate,
    Her heart would break with grief so great.'

Again, when they reached the meadows, the Princess undid her hair and
began combing it. Conrad ran to pluck some out; but she said quickly--

    'Blow, blow, little breeze,
    And Conrad's hat seize.
    Let him join in the chase
    While away it is whirled,
    Till my tresses are curled
    And I rest in my place.'

The wind sprang up and blew Conrad's hat far away over the fields, and
he had to run after it. When he came back the hair was all put up
again, and he could not pull a single hair out. And they tended the
geese till the evening. When they got home Conrad went to the old
King, and said, 'I won't tend the geese with that maiden again.'

'Why not?' asked the King.

'Oh, she vexes me every day.'

The old King then ordered him to say what she did to vex him.

Conrad said, 'In the morning, when we pass under the dark gateway with
the geese, she talks to a horse's head which is hung up on the wall.
She says--

    'Alas! Falada, there thou hangest,'

and the Head answers--

    'Alas! Queen's daughter, there thou gangest.
    If thy mother knew thy fate,
    Her heart would break with grief so great.'

Then Conrad went on to tell the King all that happened in the meadow,
and how he had to run after his hat in the wind.

The old King ordered Conrad to go out next day as usual. Then he
placed himself behind the dark gateway, and heard the Princess
speaking to Falada's head. He also followed her into the field, and
hid himself behind a bush, and with his own eyes he saw the Goosegirl
and the lad come driving the geese into the field. Then, after a
time, he saw the girl let down her hair, which glittered in the sun.
Directly after this, she said--

    'Blow, blow, little breeze,
    And Conrad's hat seize.
    Let him join in the chase
    While away it is whirled,
    Till my tresses are curled
    And I rest in my place.'

Then came a puff of wind, which carried off Conrad's hat and he had to
run after it. While he was away, the maiden combed and did up her
hair; and all this the old King observed. Thereupon he went away
unnoticed; and in the evening, when the Goosegirl came home, he called
her aside and asked why she did all these things.

'That I may not tell you, nor may I tell any human creature; for I
have sworn it under the open sky, because if I had not done so I
should have lost my life.'

He pressed her sorely, and gave her no peace, but he could get nothing
out of her. Then he said, 'If you won't tell me, then tell your
sorrows to the iron stove there'; and he went away.

She crept up to the stove, and, beginning to weep and lament,
unburdened her heart to it, and said: 'Here I am, forsaken by all the
world, and yet I am a Princess. A false Waiting-woman brought me to
such a pass that I had to take off my royal robes. Then she took my
place with my bridegroom, while I have to do mean service as a
Goosegirl. If my mother knew it she would break her heart.'

The old King stood outside by the pipes of the stove, and heard all
that she said. Then he came back, and told her to go away from the
stove. He caused royal robes to be put upon her, and her beauty was a
marvel. The old King called his son, and told him that he had a false
bride--she was only a Waiting-woman; but the true bride was here, the
so-called Goosegirl.

The young Prince was charmed with her youth and beauty. A great
banquet was prepared, to which all the courtiers and good friends were
bidden. The bridegroom sat at the head of the table, with the Princess
on one side and the Waiting-woman at the other; but she was dazzled,
and did not recognise the Princess in her brilliant apparel.

When they had eaten and drunk and were all very merry, the old King
put a riddle to the Waiting-woman. 'What does a person deserve who
deceives his master?' telling the whole story, and ending by asking,
'What doom does he deserve?'

The false bride answered, 'No better than this. He must be put stark
naked into a barrel stuck with nails, and be dragged along by two
white horses from street to street till he is dead.'

'That is your own doom,' said the King, 'and the judgment shall be
carried out.'

When the sentence was fulfilled, the young Prince married his true
bride, and they ruled their kingdom together in peace and happiness.

  [Illustration: {Blow, blow, little breeze,
                  And Conrad's hat seize.}]

  [Illustration: {A goose.}]

The Golden Goose

There was once a man who had three sons. The youngest of them was
called Simpleton; he was scorned and despised by the others, and kept
in the background.

The eldest son was going into the forest to cut wood, and before he
started, his mother gave him a nice sweet cake and a bottle of wine to
take with him, so that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst. In
the wood he met a little, old, grey Man, who bade him good-day, and
said, 'Give me a bit of the cake in your pocket, and let me have a
drop of your wine. I am so hungry and thirsty.'

But the clever son said: 'If I give you my cake and wine, I shan't
have enough for myself. Be off with you.'

He left the little Man standing there, and went on his way. But he had
not been long at work, cutting down a tree, before he made a false
stroke, and dug the axe into his own arm, and he was obliged to go
home to have it bound up.

Now, this was no accident; it was brought about by the little grey

The second son now had to go into the forest to cut wood, and, like
the eldest, his mother gave him a sweet cake and a bottle of wine. In
the same way the little grey Man met him, and asked for a piece of his
cake and a drop of his wine. But the second son made the same sensible
answer, 'If I give you any, I shall have the less for myself. Be off
out of my way,' and he went on.

His punishment, however, was not long delayed. After a few blows at
the tree, he hit his own leg, and had to be carried home.

Then Simpleton said, 'Let me go to cut the wood, father.'

But his father said, 'Your brothers have only come to harm by it; you
had better leave it alone. You know nothing about it.' But Simpleton
begged so hard to be allowed to go that at last his father said,
'Well, off you go then. You will be wiser when you have hurt

  [Illustration: There stands an old tree; cut it down, and you will
    find something at the roots.]

His mother gave him a cake which was only mixed with water and baked
in the ashes, and a bottle of sour beer. When he reached the forest,
like the others, he met the little grey Man, who greeted him, and
said, 'Give me a bit of your cake and a drop of your wine. I am so
hungry and thirsty.'

Simpleton answered, 'I only have a cake baked in the ashes, and some
sour beer; but, if you like such fare, we will sit down and eat it

So they sat down; but when Simpleton pulled out his cake it was a
sweet, nice cake, and his sour beer was turned into good wine. So they
ate and drank, and the little Man said, 'As you have such a good
heart, and are willing to share your goods, I will give you good luck.
There stands an old tree; cut it down, and you will find something at
the roots.'

  [Illustration: So now there were seven people running behind
    Simpleton and his Goose.]

So saying he disappeared.

Simpleton cut down the tree, and when it fell, lo, and behold! a Goose
was sitting among the roots, and its feathers were of pure gold. He
picked it up, and taking it with him, went to an inn, where he meant
to stay the night. The landlord had three daughters, who saw the
Goose, and were very curious as to what kind of bird it could be, and
wanted to get one of its golden feathers.

The eldest thought, 'There will soon be some opportunity for me to
pull out one of the feathers,' and when Simpleton went outside, she
took hold of its wing to pluck out a feather; but her hand stuck fast,
and she could not get away.

Soon after, the second sister came up, meaning also to pluck out one
of the golden feathers; but she had hardly touched her sister when she
found herself held fast.

Lastly, the third one came, with the same intention, but the others
screamed out, 'Keep away! For goodness sake, keep away!'

But she, not knowing why she was to keep away, thought, 'Why should I
not be there, if they are there?'

So she ran up, but as soon as she touched her sisters she had to stay
hanging on to them, and they all had to pass the night like this.

  [Illustration: And so they followed up hill and down dale after
    Simpleton and his Goose.]

In the morning, Simpleton took up the Goose under his arm, without
noticing the three girls hanging on behind. They had to keep running
behind, dodging his legs right and left.

In the middle of the fields they met the Parson, who, when he saw the
procession, cried out: 'For shame, you bold girls! Why do you run
after the lad like that? Do you call that proper behaviour?'

Then he took hold of the hand of the youngest girl to pull her away;
but no sooner had he touched her than he felt himself held fast, and
he, too, had to run behind.

Soon after the Sexton came up, and, seeing his master the Parson
treading on the heels of the three girls, cried out in amazement,
'Hullo, your Reverence! Whither away so fast? Don't forget that we
have a christening!'

So saying, he plucked the Parson by the sleeve, and soon found that he
could not get away.

As this party of five, one behind the other, tramped on, two Peasants
came along the road, carrying their hoes. The Parson called them, and
asked them to set the Sexton and himself free. But as soon as ever
they touched the Sexton they were held fast, so now there were seven
people running behind Simpleton and his Goose.

By-and-by they reached a town, where a King ruled whose only daughter
was so solemn that nothing and nobody could make her laugh. So the
King had proclaimed that whoever could make her laugh should marry

When Simpleton heard this he took his Goose, with all his following,
before her, and when she saw these seven people running, one behind
another, she burst into fits of laughter, and seemed as if she could
never stop.

Thereupon Simpleton asked her in marriage. But the King did not like
him for a son-in-law, and he made all sorts of conditions. First, he
said Simpleton must bring him a man who could drink up a cellar full
of wine.

Then Simpleton at once thought of the little grey Man who might be
able to help him, and he went out to the forest to look for him. On
the very spot where the tree that he had cut down had stood, he saw a
man sitting with a very sad face. Simpleton asked him what was the
matter, and he answered--

'I am so thirsty, and I can't quench my thirst. I hate cold water, and
I have already emptied a cask of wine; but what is a drop like that on
a burning stone?'

'Well, there I can help you,' said Simpleton. 'Come with me, and you
shall soon have enough to drink and to spare.'

He led him to the King's cellar, and the Man set to upon the great
casks, and he drank and drank till his sides ached, and by the end of
the day the cellar was empty.

Then again Simpleton demanded his bride. But the King was annoyed that
a wretched fellow called 'Simpleton' should have his daughter, and he
made new conditions. He was now to find a man who could eat up a
mountain of bread.

Simpleton did not reflect long, but went straight to the forest, and
there in the self-same place sat a man tightening a strap round his
body, and making a very miserable face. He said: 'I have eaten up a
whole ovenful of rolls, but what is the good of that when any one is
as hungry as I am. I am never satisfied. I have to tighten my belt
every day if I am not to die of hunger.'

Simpleton was delighted, and said: 'Get up and come with me. You
shall have enough to eat.'

And he took him to the Court, where the King had caused all the flour
in the kingdom to be brought together, and a huge mountain of bread to
be baked. The Man from the forest sat down before it and began to eat,
and at the end of the day the whole mountain had disappeared.

Now, for the third time, Simpleton asked for his bride. But again the
King tried to find an excuse, and demanded a ship which could sail on
land as well as at sea.

'As soon as you sail up in it, you shall have my daughter,' he said.

Simpleton went straight to the forest, and there sat the little grey
Man to whom he had given his cake. The little Man said: 'I have eaten
and drunk for you, and now I will give you the ship, too. I do it all
because you were merciful to me.'

Then he gave him the ship which could sail on land as well as at sea,
and when the King saw it he could no longer withhold his daughter. The
marriage was celebrated, and, at the King's death, the Simpleton
inherited the kingdom, and lived long and happily with his wife.

  [Illustration: The King could no longer withhold his daughter.]

The Water of Life

There was once a King who was so ill that it was thought impossible
his life could be saved. He had three sons, and they were all in great
distress on his account, and they went into the castle gardens and
wept at the thought that he must die. An old man came up to them and
asked the cause of their grief. They told him that their father was
dying, and nothing could save him. The old man said, 'There is only
one remedy which I know; it is the Water of Life. If he drinks of it,
he will recover, but it is very difficult to find.'

The eldest son said, 'I will soon find it'; and he went to the sick
man to ask permission to go in search of the Water of Life, as that
was the only thing to cure him.

'No,' said the King. 'The danger is too great. I would rather die.'

But he persisted so long that at last the King gave his permission.

The Prince thought, 'If I bring this water I shall be the favourite,
and I shall inherit the kingdom.'

So he set off, and when he had ridden some distance he came upon a
Dwarf standing in the road, who cried, 'Whither away so fast?'

'Stupid little fellow,' said the Prince, proudly; 'what business is it
of yours?' and rode on.

The little man was very angry, and made an evil vow.

Soon after, the Prince came to a gorge in the mountains, and the
further he rode the narrower it became, till he could go no further.
His horse could neither go forward nor turn round for him to dismount;
so there he sat, jammed in.

The sick King waited a long time for him, but he never came back.
Then the second son said, 'Father, let me go and find the Water of
Life,' thinking, 'if my brother is dead I shall have the kingdom.'

The King at first refused to let him go, but at last he gave his
consent. So the Prince started on the same road as his brother, and
met the same Dwarf, who stopped him and asked where he was going in
such a hurry.

'Little Snippet, what does it matter to you?' he said, and rode away
without looking back.

But the Dwarf cast a spell over him, and he, too, got into a narrow
gorge like his brother, where he could neither go backwards nor

This is what happens to the haughty.

As the second son also stayed away, the youngest one offered to go and
fetch the Water of Life, and at last the King was obliged to let him

When he met the Dwarf, and he asked him where he was hurrying to, he
stopped and said, 'I am searching for the Water of Life, because my
father is dying.'

'Do you know where it is to be found?'

'No,' said the Prince.

'As you have spoken pleasantly to me, and not been haughty like your
false brothers, I will help you and tell you how to find the Water of
Life. It flows from a fountain in the courtyard of an enchanted
castle; but you will never get in unless I give you an iron rod and
two loaves of bread. With the rod strike three times on the iron gate
of the castle, and it will spring open. Inside you will find two Lions
with wide-open jaws, but if you throw a loaf to each they will be
quiet. Then you must make haste to fetch the Water of Life before it
strikes twelve, or the gates of the castle will close and you will be
shut in.'

The Prince thanked him, took the rod and the loaves, and set off. When
he reached the castle all was just as the Dwarf had said. At the third
knock the gate flew open, and when he had pacified the Lions with the
loaves, he walked into the castle. In the great hall he found several
enchanted Princes, and he took the rings from their fingers. He also
took a sword and a loaf, which were lying by them. On passing into the
next room he found a beautiful Maiden, who rejoiced at his coming. She
embraced him, and said that he had saved her, and should have the
whole of her kingdom; and if he would come back in a year she would
marry him. She also told him where to find the fountain with the
enchanted water; but, she said, he must make haste to get out of the
castle before the clock struck twelve.

Then he went on, and came to a room where there was a beautiful bed
freshly made, and as he was very tired he thought he would take a
little rest; so he lay down and fell asleep. When he woke it was
striking a quarter to twelve. He sprang up in a fright, and ran to the
fountain, and took some of the water in a cup which was lying near,
and then hurried away. The clock struck just as he reached the iron
gate, and it banged so quickly that it took off a bit of his heel.

He was rejoiced at having got some of the Water of Life, and hastened
on his homeward journey. He again passed the Dwarf, who said, when he
saw the sword and the loaf, 'Those things will be of much service to
you. You will be able to strike down whole armies with the sword, and
the loaf will never come to an end.'

The Prince did not want to go home without his brothers, and he said,
'Good Dwarf, can you not tell me where my brothers are? They went in
search of the Water of Life before I did, but they never came back.'

'They are both stuck fast in a narrow mountain gorge. I cast a spell
over them because of their pride.'

Then the Prince begged so hard that they might be released that at
last the Dwarf yielded; but he warned him against them, and said,
'Beware of them; they have bad hearts.'

  [Illustration: {Good Dwarf, can you not tell me where my brothers

He was delighted to see his brothers when they came back, and told
them all that had happened to him; how he had found the Water of
Life, and brought a goblet full with him. How he had released a
beautiful Princess, who would wait a year for him and then marry him,
and he would become a great Prince.

Then they rode away together, and came to a land where famine and war
were raging. The King thought he would be utterly ruined, so great was
the destitution.

The Prince went to him and gave him the loaf, and with it he fed and
satisfied his whole kingdom. The Prince also gave him his sword, and
he smote the whole army of his enemies with it, and then he was able
to live in peace and quiet. Then the Prince took back his sword and
his loaf, and the three brothers rode on. But they had to pass through
two more countries where war and famine were raging, and each time the
Prince gave his sword and his loaf to the King, and in this way he
saved three kingdoms.

After that they took a ship and crossed the sea. During the passage
the two elder brothers said to each other, 'Our youngest brother found
the Water of Life, and we did not, so our father will give him the
kingdom which we ought to have, and he will take away our fortune from

This thought made them very vindictive, and they made up their minds
to get rid of him. They waited till he was asleep, and then they
emptied the Water of Life from his goblet and took it themselves, and
filled up his cup with salt sea water.

As soon as they got home the youngest Prince took his goblet to the
King, so that he might drink of the water which was to make him well;
but after drinking only a few drops of the sea water he became more
ill than ever. As he was bewailing himself, his two elder sons came to
him and accused the youngest of trying to poison him, and said that
they had the real Water of Life, and gave him some. No sooner had he
drunk it than he felt better, and he soon became as strong and well as
he had been in his youth.

Then the two went to their youngest brother, and mocked him, saying,
'It was you who found the Water of Life; you had all the trouble,
while we have the reward. You should have been wiser, and kept your
eyes open; we stole it from you while you were asleep on the ship.
When the end of the year comes, one of us will go and bring away the
beautiful Princess. But don't dare to betray us. Our father will
certainly not believe you, and if you say a single word you will lose
your life; your only chance is to keep silence.'

The old King was very angry with his youngest son, thinking that he
had tried to take his life. So he had the Court assembled to give
judgment upon him, and it was decided that he must be secretly got out
of the way.

One day when the Prince was going out hunting, thinking no evil, the
King's Huntsman was ordered to go with him. Seeing the Huntsman look
sad, the Prince said to him, 'My good Huntsman, what is the matter
with you?'

The Huntsman answered, 'I can't bear to tell you, and yet I must.'

The Prince said, 'Say it out; whatever it is I will forgive you.'

'Alas!' said the Huntsman, 'I am to shoot you dead; it is the King's

The Prince was horror-stricken, and said, 'Dear Huntsman, do not kill
me, give me my life. Let me have your dress, and you shall have my
royal robes.'

The Huntsman said, 'I will gladly do so; I could never have shot you.'
So they changed clothes, and the Huntsman went home, but the Prince
wandered away into the forest.

After a time three wagon loads of gold and precious stones came to the
King for his youngest son. They were sent by the Kings who had been
saved by the Prince's sword and his miraculous loaf, and who now
wished to show their gratitude.

Then the old King thought, 'What if my son really was innocent?' and
said to his people, 'If only he were still alive! How sorry I am that
I ordered him to be killed.'

'He is still alive,' said the Huntsman. 'I could not find it in my
heart to carry out your commands,' and he told the King what had taken

A load fell from the King's heart on hearing the good news, and he
sent out a proclamation to all parts of his kingdom that his son was
to come home, where he would be received with great favour.

In the meantime, the Princess had caused a road to be made of pure
shining gold leading to her castle, and told her people that whoever
came riding straight along it would be the true bridegroom, and they
were to admit him. But any one who came either on one side of the road
or the other would not be the right one, and he was not to be let in.

When the year had almost passed, the eldest Prince thought that he
would hurry to the Princess, and by giving himself out as her
deliverer would gain a wife and a kingdom as well. So he rode away,
and when he saw the beautiful golden road he thought it would be a
thousand pities to ride upon it; so he turned aside, and rode to the
right of it. But when he reached the gate the people told him that he
was not the true bridegroom, and he had to go away.

Soon after the second Prince came, and when he saw the golden road he
thought it would be a thousand pities for his horse to tread upon it;
so he turned aside, and rode up on the left of it. But when he reached
the gate he was also told that he was not the true bridegroom, and,
like his brother, was turned away.

When the year had quite come to an end, the third Prince came out of
the wood to ride to his beloved, and through her to forget all his
past sorrows. So on he went, thinking only of her, and wishing to be
with her; and he never even saw the golden road. His horse cantered
right along the middle of it, and when he reached the gate it was
flung open and the Princess received him joyfully, and called him her
Deliverer, and the Lord of her Kingdom. Their marriage was celebrated
without delay, and with much rejoicing. When it was over, she told him
that his father had called him back and forgiven him. So he went to
him and told him everything; how his brothers had deceived him, and
how they had forced him to keep silence. The old King wanted to punish
them, but they had taken a ship and sailed away over the sea, and they
never came back as long as they lived.

  [Illustration: {A dwarf.}]

Clever Grethel

There was once a cook called Grethel, who wore shoes with red
rosettes; and when she went out in them, she turned and twisted about
gaily, and thought, 'How fine I am!'

After her walk she would take a draught of wine, in her
light-heartedness; and as wine gives an appetite, she would then taste
some of the dishes that she was cooking, saying to herself, 'The cook
is bound to know how the food tastes.'

It so happened that one day her master said to her, 'Grethel, I have a
guest coming to-night; roast me two fowls in your best style.'

'It shall be done, sir!' answered Grethel. So she killed the chickens,
scalded and plucked them, and then put them on the spit; towards
evening she put them down to the fire to roast. They got brown and
crisp, but still the guest did not come. Then Grethel called to her
Master, 'If the guest does not come I must take the fowls from the
fire; but it will be a thousand pities if they are not eaten soon
while they are juicy.'

Her Master said, 'I will go and hasten the guest myself.'

Hardly had her Master turned his back before Grethel laid the spit
with the fowls on it on one side, and said to herself, 'It's thirsty
work standing over the fire so long. Who knows when he will come. I'll
go down into the cellar in the meantime and take a drop of wine.'

She ran down and held a jug to the tap, then said, 'Here's to your
health, Grethel,' and took a good pull. 'Drinking leads to drinking,'
she said, 'and it's not easy to give it up,' and again she took a good
pull. Then she went upstairs and put the fowls to the fire again,
poured some butter over them, and turned the spit round with a will.
It smelt so good that she thought, 'There may be something wanting, I
must have a taste.' And she passed her finger over the fowls and put
it in her mouth. 'Ah, how good they are; it's a sin and a shame that
there's nobody to eat them.' She ran to the window to see if her
Master was coming with the guest, but she saw nobody. Then she went
back to the fowls again, and thought, 'One wing is catching a little,
better to eat it--and eat it I will.' So she cut it off and ate it
with much enjoyment. When it was finished, she thought, 'The other
must follow, or the Master will notice that something is wanting.'
When the wings were consumed she went back to the window again to look
for her Master, but no one was in sight.

'Who knows,' she thought. 'I dare say they won't come at all; they
must have dropped in somewhere else.' Then she said to herself, 'Now,
Grethel, don't be afraid, eat it all up: why should the good food be
wasted? When it's all gone you can rest; run and have another drink
and then finish it up.' So she went down to the cellar, took a good
drink, and contentedly ate up the rest of the fowl. When it had all
disappeared and still no Master came, Grethel looked at the other fowl
and said, 'Where one is gone the other must follow. What is good for
one is right for the other. If I have a drink first I shall be none
the worse.' So she took another hearty pull at the jug, and then she
sent the other fowl after the first one.

In the height of her enjoyment, her Master came back, and cried,
'Hurry, Grethel, the guest is just coming.'

'Very well, sir, I'll soon have it ready,' answered Grethel.

Her Master went to see if the table was properly laid, and took the
big carving-knife with which he meant to cut up the fowls, to sharpen
it. In the meantime the guest came and knocked politely at the door.
Grethel ran to see who was there, and, seeing the guest, she put her
finger to her lips and said, 'Be quiet, and get away quickly; if my
Master catches you it will be the worse for you. He certainly
invited you to supper, but only with the intention of cutting off both
your ears. You can hear him sharpening his knife now.'

  [Illustration: {Then he ran after him, still holding the
    carving-knife, and cried, 'Only one, only one!'}]

The guest heard the knife being sharpened, and hurried off down the
steps as fast as he could.

Grethel ran with great agility to her Master, shrieking, 'A fine guest
you have invited, indeed!'

'Why, what's the matter, Grethel? What do you mean?'

'Well,' she said, 'he has taken the two fowls that I had just put upon
the dish, and run off with them.'

'That's a clever trick!' said her Master, regretting his fine fowls.
'If he had only left me one so that I had something to eat.'

He called out to him to stop, but the guest pretended not to hear.
Then he ran after him, still holding the carving-knife, and cried,
'Only one, only one!'--meaning that the guest should leave him one
fowl; but the guest only thought that he meant he was to give him one
ear, and he ran as if he was pursued by fire, and so took both his
ears safely home.

The King of the Golden Mountain

There was once a Merchant who had two children, a boy and a girl. They
were both small, and not old enough to run about. He had also two
richly-laden ships at sea, and just as he was expecting to make a
great deal of money by the merchandise, news came that they had both
been lost. So now instead of being a rich man he was quite poor, and
had nothing left but one field near the town.

To turn his thoughts from his misfortune, he went out into this field,
and as he was walking up and down a little black Mannikin suddenly
appeared before him, and asked why he was so sad. The Merchant said,
'I would tell you at once, if you could help me.'

'Who knows,' answered the little Mannikin. 'Perhaps I could help you.'

Then the Merchant told him that all his wealth had been lost in a
wreck, and that now he had nothing left but this field.

'Don't worry yourself,' said the Mannikin. 'If you will promise to
bring me in twelve years' time the first thing which rubs against your
legs when you go home, you shall have as much gold as you want.'

The Merchant thought, 'What could it be but my dog?' He never thought
of his boy, but said Yes, and gave the Mannikin his bond signed and
sealed, and went home.

When he reached the house his little son, delighted to hold on to the
benches and totter towards his father, seized him by the leg to steady

The Merchant was horror-stricken, for his vow came into his head, and
now he knew what he had promised to give away. But as he still found
no gold in his chests, he thought it must only have been a joke of
the Mannikin's. A month later he went up into the loft to gather
together some old tin to sell it, and there he found a great heap of
gold on the floor. So he was soon up in the world again, bought and
sold, became a richer merchant than ever, and was altogether

In the meantime the boy had grown up, and he was both clever and wise.
But the nearer the end of the twelve years came, the more sorrowful
the Merchant grew; you could even see his misery in his face. One day
his son asked him what was the matter, but his father would not tell
him. The boy, however, persisted so long that at last he told him
that, without knowing what he was doing, he had promised to give him
up at the end of twelve years to a little black Mannikin, in return
for a quantity of gold. He had given his hand and seal on it, and the
time was now near for him to go.

Then his son said, 'O father, don't be frightened, it will be all
right. The little black Mannikin has no power over me.'

When the time came, the son asked a blessing of the Priest, and he and
his father went to the field together; and the son made a circle
within which they took their places.

When the little black Mannikin appeared, he said to the father, 'Have
you brought what you promised me?'

The man was silent, but his son said, 'What do you want?'

The Mannikin said, 'My business is with your father, and not with

The son answered, 'You deceived and cheated my father. Give me back
his bond.'

'Oh no!' said the little man; 'I won't give up my rights.'

They talked to each other for a long time, and at last they decided
that, as the son no longer belonged to his father, and declined to
belong to his foe, he should get into a boat on a flowing stream, and
his father should push it off himself, thus giving him up to the

So the youth took leave of his father, got into the boat, and his
father pushed it off. Then, thinking that his son was lost to him for
ever, he went home and sorrowed for him. The little boat, however, did
not sink, it drifted quietly down the stream, and the youth sat in it
in perfect safety. It drifted for a long time, till at last it stuck
fast on an unknown shore. The youth landed, and seeing a beautiful
castle near, walked towards it. As he passed under the doorway,
however, a spell fell upon him. He went through all the rooms, but
found them empty, till he came to the very last one, where a Serpent
lay coiling and uncoiling itself. The Serpent was really an enchanted
maiden, who was delighted when she saw the youth, and said, 'Have you
come at last, my preserver? I have been waiting twelve years for you.
This whole kingdom is bewitched, and you must break the spell.'

'How am I to do that?' he asked.

She said, 'To-night, twelve black men hung with chains will appear,
and they will ask what you are doing here. But do not speak a word,
whatever they do or say to you. They will torment you, strike, and
pinch you, but don't say a word. At twelve o'clock they will have to
go away. On the second night twelve more will come, and on the third
twenty-four. These will cut off your head. But at twelve o'clock their
power goes, and if you have borne it, and not spoken a word, I shall
be saved. Then I will come to you, and bring a little flask containing
the Water of Life, with which I will sprinkle you, and you will be
brought to life again, as sound and well as ever you were.'

Then he said, 'I will gladly save you!'

Everything happened just as she had said. The black men could not
force a word out of him; and on the third night the Serpent became a
beautiful Princess, who brought the Water of Life as she had promised,
and restored the youth to life. Then she fell on his neck and kissed
him, and there were great rejoicings all over the castle.

Their marriage was celebrated, and he became King of the Golden

  [Illustration: {The Son made a circle, and his Father and he
    took their places within it, and the little black Mannikin

They lived happily together, and in course of time a beautiful boy
was born to them.

When eight years had passed, the King's heart grew tender within him
as he thought of his father, and he wanted to go home to see him. But
the Queen did not want him to go. She said, 'I know it will be to my
misfortune.' However, he gave her no peace till she agreed to let him
go. On his departure she gave him a wishing-ring, and said, 'Take this
ring, and put it on your finger, and you will at once be at the place
where you wish to be. Only, you must promise never to use it to wish
me away from here to be with you at your father's.'

He made the promise, and put the ring on his finger; he then wished
himself before the town where his father lived, and at the same moment
found himself at the gate. But the sentry would not let him in because
his clothes, though of rich material, were of such strange cut. So he
went up a mountain, where a Shepherd lived, and, exchanging clothing
with him, put on his old smock, and passed into the town unnoticed.

When he reached his father he began making himself known; but his
father, never thinking that it was his son, said that it was true he
had once had a son, but he had long been dead. But, he added, seeing
that he was a poor Shepherd, he would give him a plate of food.

The supposed Shepherd said to his parents, 'I am indeed your son. Is
there no mark on my body by which you may know me?'

His mother said, 'Yes, our son has a strawberry mark under his right

He pushed up his shirt sleeve, and there was the strawberry mark; so
they no longer doubted that he was their son. He told them that he was
the King of the Golden Mountain, his wife was a Princess, and they had
a little son seven years old.

'That can't be true,' said his father. 'You are a fine sort of King to
come home in a tattered Shepherd's smock.'

His son grew angry, and, without stopping to reflect, turned his ring
round and wished his wife and son to appear. In a moment they both
stood before him; but his wife did nothing but weep and lament, and
said that he had broken his promise, and by so doing had made her very
unhappy. He said, 'I have acted incautiously, but from no bad motive,'
and he tried to soothe her.

She appeared to be calmed, but really she nourished evil intentions
towards him in her heart.

Shortly after he took her outside the town to the field, and showed
her the stream down which he had drifted in the little boat. Then he
said, 'I am tired; I want to rest a little.'

So she sat down, and he rested his head upon her lap, and soon fell
fast asleep. As soon as he was asleep, she drew the ring from his
finger, and drew herself gently away from him, leaving only her
slipper behind. Last of all, taking her child in her arms, she wished
herself back in her own kingdom. When he woke up, he found himself
quite deserted; wife and child were gone, the ring had disappeared
from his finger, and only her slipper remained as a token.

'I can certainly never go home to my parents,' he said. 'They would
say I was a sorcerer. I must go away and walk till I reach my own
kingdom again.'

So he went away, and at last he came to a mountain, where three Giants
were quarrelling about the division of their father's property. When
they saw him passing, they called him up, and said, 'Little people
have sharp wits,' and asked him to divide their inheritance for them.

It consisted, first, of a sword, with which in one's hand, if one
said, 'All heads off, mine alone remain,' every head fell to the
ground. Secondly, of a mantle which rendered any one putting it on
invisible. Thirdly, of a pair of boots which transported the wearer to
whatever place he wished.

He said, 'Give me the three articles so that I may see if they are all
in good condition.'

So they gave him the mantle, and he at once became invisible. He took
his own shape again, and said, 'The mantle is good; now give me the

But they said, 'No, we can't give you the sword. If you were to say,
"All heads off, mine alone remain," all our heads would fall, and
yours would be the only one left.'

At last, however, they gave it to him, on condition that he was to try
it on a tree. He did as they wished, and the sword went through the
tree trunk as if it had been a straw. Then he wanted the boots, but
they said, 'No, we won't give them away. If you were to put them on
and wish yourself on the top of the mountain, we should be left
standing here without anything.'

'No,' said he; 'I won't do that.'

So they gave him the boots too; but when he had all three he could
think of nothing but his wife and child, and said to himself, 'Oh, if
only I were on the Golden Mountain again!' and immediately he
disappeared from the sight of the Giants, and there was an end of
their inheritance.

When he approached his castle he heard sounds of music, fiddles and
flutes, and shouts of joy. People told him that his wife was
celebrating her marriage with another husband. He was filled with
rage, and said, 'The false creature! She deceived me, and deserted me
when I was asleep.'

Then he put on his mantle, and went to the castle, invisible to all.
When he went into the hall, where a great feast was spread with the
richest foods and the costliest wines, the guests were joking and
laughing while they ate and drank. The Queen sat on her throne in
their midst in gorgeous clothing, with the crown on her head. He
placed himself behind her, and no one saw him. Whenever the Queen put
a piece of meat on her plate, he took it away and ate it, and when her
glass was filled he took it away and drank it. Her plate and her glass
were constantly refilled, but she never had anything, for it
disappeared at once. At last she grew frightened, got up, and went to
her room in tears, but he followed her there too. She said to herself,
'Am I still in the power of the demon? Did my preserver never come?'

He struck her in the face, and said, 'Did your preserver never come?
He is with you now, deceiver that you are. Did I deserve such
treatment at your hands?' Then he made himself visible, and went into
the hall, and cried, 'The wedding is stopped, the real King has come.'

The Kings, Princes, and Nobles who were present laughed him to scorn.
But he only said, 'Will you go, or will you not?' They tried to seize
him, but he drew his sword and said,

'All heads off, mine alone remain.'

Then all their heads fell to the ground, and he remained sole King and
Lord of the Golden Mountain.

  [Illustration: {A fairy.}]

  [Illustration: {Once upon a time a poor peasant, named Crabb, was
    taking a load of wood drawn by two oxen to the town for sale.}]

Doctor Know-All

Once upon a time a poor Peasant, named Crabb, was taking a load of
wood drawn by two oxen to the town for sale. He sold it to a Doctor
for four thalers. When the money was being paid to him, it so happened
that the Doctor was sitting at dinner. When the Peasant saw how
daintily the Doctor was eating and drinking, he felt a great desire to
become a Doctor too. He remained standing and looking on for a time,
and then asked if he could not be a Doctor.

'Oh yes!' said the Doctor; 'that is easily managed.'

'What must I do?' asked the Peasant.

'First buy an ABC book; you can get one with a cock as a frontispiece.
Secondly, turn your wagon and oxen into money, and buy with it clothes
and other things suitable for a Doctor. Thirdly, have a sign painted
with the words, "I am Doctor Know-all," and have it nailed over your

The Peasant did everything that he was told to do.

Now when he had been doctoring for a while, not very long though, a
rich nobleman had some money stolen from him. He was told about Doctor
Know-all, who lived in such and such a village, who would be sure to
know what had become of it. So the gentleman ordered his carriage and
drove to the village.

He stopped at the Doctor's house, and asked Crabb if he were Doctor

'Yes, I am.'

'Then you must go with me to get my stolen money back.'

'Yes, certainly; but Grethe, my wife, must come too.'

The nobleman agreed, and gave both of them seats in his carriage, and
they all drove off together.

When they reached the nobleman's castle the dinner was ready, and
Crabb was invited to sit down to table.

'Yes; but Grethe, my wife, must dine too'; and he seated himself with

When the first Servant brought in a dish of choice food, the Peasant
nudged his wife, and said: 'Grethe, that was the first,'--meaning that
the servant was handing the first dish. But the servant thought he
meant, 'That was the first thief.' As he really was the thief, he
became much alarmed, and said to his comrades outside--

'That Doctor knows everything, we shan't get out of this hole; he said
I was the first.'

The second Servant did not want to go in at all, but he had to go, and
when he offered his dish to the Peasant he nudged his wife, and
said--'Grethe, that is the second.'

This Servant also was frightened and hurried out.

The third one fared no better. The Peasant said again: 'Grethe, that
is the third.'

The fourth one brought in a covered dish, and the master told the
Doctor that he must show his powers and guess what was under the
cover. Now it was a dish of crabs.

The Peasant looked at the dish and did not know what to do, so he
said: 'Wretched Crabb that I am.'

When the Master heard him he cried: 'There, he knows it! Then he knows
where the money is too.'

Then the Servant grew terribly frightened, and signed to the Doctor to
come outside.

When he went out, they all four confessed to him that they had stolen
the money; they would gladly give it to him and a large sum in
addition, if only he would not betray them to their Master, or their
necks would be in peril. They also showed him where the money was
hidden. Then the Doctor was satisfied, went back to the table, and

'Now, Sir, I will look in my book to see where the money is hidden.'

The fifth, in the meantime, had crept into the stove to hear if the
Doctor knew still more. But he sat there turning over the pages of his
ABC book looking for the cock, and as he could not find it at once, he
said: 'I know you are there, and out you must come.'

The man in the stove thought it was meant for him, and sprang out in a
fright, crying: 'The man knows everything.'

Then Doctor Know-all showed the nobleman where the money was hidden,
but he did not betray the servants; and he received much money from
both sides as a reward, and became a very celebrated man.

The Seven Ravens

There was once a Man who had seven sons, but never a daughter, however
much he wished for one.

At last, however, he had a daughter.

His joy was great, but the child was small and delicate, and, on
account of its weakness, it was to be christened at home.

The Father sent one of his sons in haste to the spring to fetch some
water; the other six ran with him, and because each of them wanted to
be the first to draw the water, between them the pitcher fell into the

There they stood and didn't know what to do, and not one of them
ventured to go home.

As they did not come back, their Father became impatient, and said:
'Perhaps the young rascals are playing about, and have forgotten it

He became anxious lest his little girl should die unbaptized, and in
hot vexation, he cried: 'I wish the youngsters would all turn into

Scarcely were the words uttered, when he heard a whirring in the air
above his head, and, looking upwards, he saw seven coal-black Ravens
flying away.

The parents could not undo the spell, and were very sad about the loss
of their seven sons, but they consoled themselves in some measure with
their dear little daughter, who soon became strong, and every day more

For a long time she was unaware that she had had any brothers, for her
parents took care not to mention it.

However, one day by chance she heard some people saying about her: 'Oh
yes, the girl's pretty enough; but you know she is really to blame for
the misfortune to her seven brothers.'

  [Illustration: {The good little Sister cut off her own tiny finger,
    fitted it into the lock, and succeeded in opening it.}]

Then she became very sad, and went to her father and mother and asked
if she had ever had any brothers, and what had become of them.

The parents could no longer conceal the secret. They said, however,
that what had happened was by the decree of heaven, and that her birth
was merely the innocent occasion.

But the little girl could not get the matter off her conscience for a
single day, and thought that she was bound to release her brothers
again. She had no peace or quiet until she had secretly set out, and
gone forth into the wide world to trace her brothers, wherever they
might be, and to free them, let it cost what it might.

She took nothing with her but a little ring as a remembrance of her
parents, a loaf of bread against hunger, a pitcher of water against
thirst, and a little chair in case of fatigue. She kept ever going on
and on until she came to the end of the world.

Then she came to the Sun, but it was hot and terrible, it devoured
little children. She ran hastily away to the Moon, but it was too
cold, and, moreover, dismal and dreary. And when the child was looking
at it, it said: 'I smell, I smell man's flesh!'

Then she quickly made off, and came to the Stars, and they were kind
and good, and every one sat on his own special seat.

But the Morning Star stood up, and gave her a little bone, and said:
'Unless you have this bone, you cannot open the glass mountain, and in
the glass mountain are your brothers.'

The girl took the bone, and wrapped it up carefully in a little
kerchief, and went on again until she came to the glass mountain.

The gate was closed, and she meant to get out the little bone. But
when she undid the kerchief it was empty, and she had lost the good
Star's present.

How, now, was she to set to work? She was determined to rescue her
brothers, but had no key to open the glass mountain.

The good little sister took a knife and cut off her own tiny finger,
fitted it into the keyhole, and succeeded in opening the lock.

When she had entered, she met a Dwarf, who said: 'My child, what are
you looking for?'

'I am looking for my brothers, the Seven Ravens,' she answered.

The Dwarf said: 'My masters, the Ravens, are not at home; but if you
like to wait until they come, please to walk in.'

Thereupon the Dwarf brought in the Ravens' supper, on seven little
plates, and in seven little cups, and the little sister ate a crumb or
two from each of the little plates, and took a sip from each of the
little cups, but she let the ring she had brought with her fall into
the last little cup.

All at once a whirring and crying were heard in the air; then the
Dwarf said: 'Now my masters the Ravens are coming home.'

Then they came in, and wanted to eat and drink, and began to look
about for their little plates and cups.

But they said one after another: 'Halloa! who has been eating off my
plate? Who has been drinking out of my cup? There has been some human
mouth here.'

  [Illustration: When she entered she met a Dwarf.]

And when the seventh drank to the bottom of his cup, the ring rolled
up against his lips.

He looked at it, and recognised it as a ring belonging to his father
and mother, and said: 'God grant that our sister may be here, and that
we may be delivered.'

  [Illustration: {But they said one after another: 'Halloa! who has
    been eating off my plate? Who has been drinking out of my cup?'}]

As the maiden was standing behind the door listening, she heard the
wish and came forward, and then all the Ravens got back their human
form again.

And they embraced and kissed one another, and went joyfully home.

  [Illustration: The Ravens coming home.]

The Marriage of Mrs. Reynard

There was once an old Fox who thought that his wife was not true to
him, and determined to put her to the test. He stretched himself under
the bank, lay motionless, and pretended to be as dead as a door nail.
Mrs. Reynard went to her chamber, and shut herself in; and her
servant, Mistress Cat, sat by the fire, and cooked the dinner.

Now, when it became known that the old Fox was dead, suitors began to
announce themselves. Soon afterwards, the servant heard some one
knocking at the front door. She went and opened the door, and there
stood a young Fox, who said--

    'What are ye doing, pray, Mistress Cat?
    Sleeping or waking? or what are ye at?'

She answered--

    'I'm not asleep; I'm wide awake.
    D'ye want to know what now I make?
    I'm warming beer, with butter in it;
    I beg ye'll taste it in a minute.'

'I'm much obliged, Mistress,' said the Fox. 'What is Mrs. Reynard

The Maid answered--

    'In chamber sad she sits alone,
    And ceases not with grief to moan.
    She weeps until her eyes are red,
    Because the dear old Fox is dead.'

'Well, just tell her, Mistress, that there's a young Fox here, who
would be glad to woo her.'

'Very well, young gentleman.'

    'Then went the Cat with pit-a-pat
    And smote the door, rat-tata-tat!
    "Pray, Mrs. Reynard, are you in?
    Outside a wooer waits below!"'

'Well, what's he like? I want to know. Has he got nine such beautiful
tails as the late lamented Mr. Reynard?'

'Oh dear no,' answered the Cat. 'He has only got one.'

'Then I won't have him.'

Mistress Cat went down, and sent the wooer away.

Soon after this there was knocking again, and another Fox appeared at
the door, who wished to pay his addresses to Mrs. Reynard. He had two
tails, but he came off no better than the first. Afterwards others
came, each with one tail more; but they were all rejected, till at
last one came that had nine tails like old Mr. Reynard.

When the widow heard this, full of joy, she said to the Cat--

    'Open the gates and doors; be swift.
    Old Mr. Reynard turn adrift.'

But when the wedding was about to be celebrated, then old Mr. Reynard
under the bank roused himself, and gave the whole crew a good
drubbing, and sent them, Mrs. Reynard and all, helter-skelter out of
the house.

Second Tale

When old Mr. Reynard really died, the Wolf came as a suitor, and
knocked at the door, and the Cat who acted as servant to Mrs. Reynard,
opened it.

The Wolf greeted her, and said--

    'Good-day, Miss Cat, of sprightly wit,
    How comes it that alone you sit?
    What are you making there, so good?'

The Cat answered--

    'Tumbling milk and butter up.
    Will your Lordship have a sup?'

'Thank you kindly, Mistress Cat. Mistress Reynard is not at home, I

    'Upstairs in her chamber she sits,
    And weeps as her sorrow befits.
    Her sad case she doth much deplore,
    Because Mr. Reynard's no more.'

The Wolf answered--

    '"If now she wants to wed again,
    She must come down the stairs, 'tis plain."
    The Cat ran up without delay,
    Nor did her claws their clatter stay
    Until she reached the long saloon.
    There, tapping with her five gold rings,
    "Is Mrs. Reynard in?" she sings.
    "If now she wants to wed again,
    She must come down the stairs, 'tis plain."'

Mrs. Reynard asked: 'Does the gentleman wear red breeches, and has he
a pointed muzzle?'

'No,' answered the Cat.

'Then he is no use to me.'

When the Wolf was rejected, there came a Dog, a Stag, a Hare, a Bear,
and one after another every sort of wild animal. But in every one
there was wanting some of the good qualities which old Mr. Reynard had
possessed, and the Cat was obliged to dismiss the suitors every time.
At last there came a young Fox. Then Mrs. Reynard asked: 'Does the
gentleman wear red breeches, and has he got a pointed muzzle?'

'Yes,' said the Cat. 'He has both.'

'Then let him come up,' said Mrs. Reynard, and ordered the maid to
make ready the wedding feast.

    'Now, Cat, set to and sweep the room.
    Then fling the old Fox from the house;
    Bring in many a good fat mouse,
    But eat them all yourself alone,
    Nor give your mistress e'er a one.'

Then the wedding with young Mr. Fox was held, and there was
merry-making and dancing, and if they haven't stopped, they are
dancing still.

  [Illustration: Does the gentleman wear red breeches, and has he a
    pointed muzzle?]

The Salad

There was once a merry young Huntsman, who went into the forest to
hunt. He was gay and light-hearted, and whistled a tune upon a leaf as
he went along.

Suddenly an ugly old Crone spoke to him, and said: 'Good morning, dear
Huntsman; you are merry and happy enough, while I am hungry and
thirsty. Pray give me an alms.'

The Huntsman pitied the poor Old Woman, put his hand in his pocket,
and made her a present according to his means.

Then he wanted to go on. But the Old Woman held him back, and said:
'Hark ye, dear Huntsman, I will make you a present because of your
good heart. Go on your way, and you will come to a tree, on which nine
birds are sitting. They will have a cloak in their claws, over which
they are fighting. Take aim with your gun, and shoot into the middle
of them. They will drop the cloak, and one of the birds will fall down
dead. Take the cloak with you, it is a wishing-cloak. When you throw
it round your shoulders you only have to wish yourself at a place to
be there at once. Take the heart out of the dead bird and swallow it
whole, then you will find a gold coin under your pillow every single
morning when you wake.'

The Huntsman thanked the Wise Woman, and thought: 'She promises fine
things, if only they turn out as well.'

When he had gone about a hundred paces, he heard above him, in the
branches of a tree, such a chattering and screaming that he looked up.

There he saw a flock of birds tearing a garment with their beaks and
claws; snatching and tearing at it as if each one wanted to have it
for himself.

'Well,' said the Huntsman, 'this is extraordinary, it is exactly what
the Old Woman said.'

He put his gun to his shoulder, took aim and fired right into the
middle of them, making the feathers fly about.

The birds took flight with a great noise, all except one, which fell
down dead, and the cloak dropped at his feet.

He did as the Old Woman had told him, cut the heart out of the bird
and swallowed it whole. Then he took the cloak home with him.

When he woke in the morning, he remembered the Old Woman's promise,
and looked under his pillow to see if it was true.

There, sure enough, lay the golden coin shining before him, and the
next morning he found another, and the same every morning when he got

He collected quite a heap of gold, and at last he thought: 'What is
the good of all my gold if I stay at home here? I will go and look
about me in the world.'

So he took leave of his parents, shouldered his gun, and started off
into the world.

  [Illustration: But the Old Woman was a witch.]

It so happened that one day he came to a thick forest, and when he got
through it, he saw a fine castle lying in the plain beyond.

He saw an Old Woman standing in one of the windows looking out, with a
beautiful Maiden beside her.

But the Old Woman was a witch, and she said to the Maiden: 'Here comes
some one out of the forest. He has a wonderful treasure inside him; we
must try to get it from him, my darling, it will suit us better than
him. He has a bird's heart about him, and therefore he finds a gold
coin every morning under his pillow when he wakes.'

She told the girl how he had got it, and at last said: 'If you don't
get it from him, it will be the worse for you.'

When the Huntsman got nearer, he saw the Maiden, and said: 'I have
been wandering about for a long time, I will go into this castle and
take a rest. I have plenty of money.'

But the real reason was that he had caught sight of the pretty picture
at the window. He went in, and he was kindly received and hospitably

Before long, he was so enamoured of the Witch-Maiden that he thought
of nothing else, and cared for nothing but pleasing her.

The Old Woman said to the Maiden: 'Now we must get the bird's heart,
he will never miss it.'

They concocted a potion, and when it was ready they put it into a

And the Maiden took it to him, and said: 'Now, my beloved, you must
drink to me.'

He took the cup and drank the potion, and when he was overpowered by
it the bird's heart came out of his mouth.

The Maiden took it away secretly and swallowed it herself, for the Old
Woman wanted to have it.

From this time the Huntsman found no more gold under his pillow; but
the coin was always under the Maiden's instead, and the Old Woman used
to fetch it away every morning.

But he was so much in love, that he thought of nothing but enjoying
himself in the Maiden's company.

Then the Old Woman said: 'We have got the bird's heart, but we must
have his wishing-cloak too.'

The Maiden said: 'Let us leave him that; we have taken away his

The Old Woman was very angry, and said: 'A cloak like that is a very
wonderful thing, and not often to be got. Have it I must, and will!'

So she obeyed the Witch's orders, placed herself at the window, and
looked sadly out at the distant hills.

The Huntsman said: 'Why are you so sad?'

'Alas! my love,' was her answer, 'over there are the garnet
mountains, where the precious stones are found. I long for them so
much that I grow sad whenever I think of them. But who could ever get
them? The birds which fly, perhaps; no mortal could ever reach them.'

'If that is all your trouble,' said the Huntsman, 'I can soon lift
that load from your heart.'

Then he drew her under his cloak, and in a moment they were both
sitting on the mountain. The precious stones were glittering around
them; their hearts rejoiced at the sight of them, and they soon
gathered together some of the finest and largest.

Now the Witch had so managed that the Huntsman began to feel his eyes
grow very heavy.

So he said to the Maiden: 'We will sit down to rest a while, I am so
tired I can hardly stand.'

So they sat down, and he laid his head on her lap and was soon fast

As soon as he was asleep, the Maiden slipped the cloak from his
shoulders and put it on her own, loaded herself with the precious
garnets, and wished herself at home.

When the Huntsman had had his sleep out, he woke up and saw that his
beloved had betrayed him, and left him alone on the wild mountain.

'Oh, what treachery there is in the world!' he exclaimed, as he sat
down in grief, and did not know what to do.

Now the mountain belonged to some wild and savage Giants who lived on
it, and before long he saw three of them striding along.

He quickly lay down again and pretended to be fast asleep.

The first one, as he came along, stumbled against him, and said: 'What
kind of earthworm is this?'

The second said: 'Tread on him and kill him.'

But the third said: 'It isn't worth the trouble. Let him alone,--he
can't live here; and when he climbs higher up the mountain, the clouds
will roll down and carry him off.'

Then they passed on, and as soon as they were gone, the Huntsman, who
had heard all they said, got up and climbed up to the top of the

After he had sat there for a time, a cloud floated over him, and
carried him away.

At first he was swept through the air, but then he was gently lowered
and deposited within a large walled garden, upon a soft bed of
lettuces and other herbs.

He looked around him and said: 'If only I had something to eat; I am
so hungry. And it will be difficult to get away from here. I see
neither apples nor pears, nor any other fruit, nothing but salad and

At last, however, he thought: 'At the worst, I can eat some of this
salad; it does not taste very good, but it will, at least, be

He picked out a fine head of lettuce, and began eating it. But he had
hardly swallowed a little piece, when he began to feel very odd, and
quite changed. He felt four legs growing, a big head, and two long
ears, and he saw to his horror that he was changed into an ass.

As he at the same time felt as hungry as ever, and the juicy salad was
now very much to his taste, he went on eating greedily.

At last he reached another kind of salad, which he had hardly tasted
when he felt a new change taking place, and found himself back in his
human shape.

After this he lay down and slept off his fatigue.

When he woke next morning he broke off a head of the bad salad, and a
head of the good, and thought: 'These will help me to regain my own,
and also to punish the traitors.'

He put the salad into his wallet, climbed over the wall, and went off
to find the castle of his beloved.

After wandering about for a few days, he was fortunate enough to find
it. Then he stained his face, and disguised himself so that his own
mother would not have known him, and went to the castle to ask for

'I am so tired,' he said; 'I cannot go any further.'

The Witch said: 'Who are you, countryman, and what do you want?'

He answered: 'I am a messenger from the King. He sent me to find the
rarest salad which grows under the sun. I have been lucky enough to
find it, and I carry it with me. But the sun is so burning, that I am
afraid the tender plant will be withered, and I don't know if I shall
be able to take it any further.'

When the Old Witch heard about the rare salad, she felt a great desire
to have some, and said: 'Good countryman, let me try the wonderful

'By all means,' he answered. 'I have two heads with me, and you shall
have one.' So saying, he opened his sack, and handed her the bad one.

The Witch had no suspicions, and her mouth so watered for the new
dish, that she went to the kitchen herself to prepare it.

When it was ready, she could not wait till it was put upon the table,
but put a few leaves into her mouth at once.

Hardly had she swallowed them, when she lost her human shape, and ran
out into the courtyard, as an old she-ass.

Then the Maid came into the kitchen, saw the salad standing ready, and
was about to put it on the table. But on the way the fancy seized her
to taste it, according to her usual habit, and she ate a few leaves.

The power of the salad at once became apparent, because she also
turned into an ass, and ran out into the yard to join the Old Witch,
while the dish of salad fell to the ground.

In the meantime the messenger was sitting with the beautiful Maiden,
and as no one appeared with the salad, she also was seized with a
desire to taste it, and said: 'I don't know what has become of the

But the Huntsman thought: 'The plant must have done its work,' and
said: 'I will go into the kitchen and see.'

As soon as he got downstairs he saw the two asses running about, and
the salad lying on the ground.

'This is all right!' he said; 'two of them are done for.'

Then he picked up the leaves, put them on a dish, and took them to the

'I am bringing the precious food to you myself,' said he, 'so that you
may not have to wait any longer.'

She ate some, and, like the others, was immediately changed into an
ass, and ran out to them in the yard.

  [Illustration: He tied them all together and drove them along till
    he came to a mill.]

When the Huntsman had washed his face so that the transformed
creatures might know him, he went into the courtyard, and said: 'Now,
you shall be paid for your treachery.'

He tied them all together with a rope, and drove them along till he
came to a mill. He tapped at the window, and the Miller put his head
out and asked what he wanted.

'I have three bad animals here,' he said, 'that I want to get rid of.
If you will take them and feed them, and treat them as I wish, I will
pay you what you like to ask.'

'Why not?' said the Miller. 'How do you want them treated?'

The Huntsman said he wanted the old she-ass (the Witch) to be well
beaten three times a day and fed once. The younger one, which was the
Maid, beaten once and fed three times. The youngest of all, who was
the beautiful Maiden, was to be fed three times, and not beaten at
all; he could not find it in his heart to have her beaten.

Then he went back to the castle and found everything he wanted in it.

A few days later the Miller came and told him that the old ass which
was to be beaten three times and fed once, was dead. 'The other two,'
he said, 'which are to be fed three times, are not dead, but they are
pining away, and won't last long.'

The Huntsman's heart was stirred with pity, and he told the Miller to
bring them back to him.

When they came he gave them some of the other salad to eat, so that
they took their human shapes again.

The beautiful Maiden fell on her knees before him, and said: 'O my
beloved, forgive me all the wrong I have done you. My mother forced me
to do it. It was against my own will, for I love you dearly. Your
wishing-cloak is hanging in the cupboard, and you shall have the
bird's heart back too.'

But he said: 'Keep it; it will be all the same, as I will take you to
be my own true wife.'

Their marriage was soon after celebrated, and they lived happily
together till they died.

The Youth who could not Shudder

There was once a Father who had two sons. One was clever and sensible,
and always knew how to get on. But the younger one was stupid, and
could not learn anything, and he had no imagination.

When people saw him, they said: 'His Father will have plenty of
trouble with him.'

Whenever there was anything to be done, the eldest one always had to
do it. But if his Father sent him to fetch anything late in the
evening, or at night, and the way lay through the churchyard, or any
other dreary place, he would answer: 'Oh no, Father, not there; it
makes me shudder!' For he was afraid.

In the evening, when stories were being told round the fire which made
one's flesh creep, and the listeners said: 'Oh, you make me shudder!'
the youngest son, sitting in the corner listening, could not imagine
what they meant. 'They always say "It makes me shudder! It makes me
shudder!" And it doesn't make me shudder a bit. It must be some art
which I can't understand.'

Now it happened one day that his Father said to him: 'I say, you in
the corner there, you are growing big and strong. You must learn
something by which you can make a living. See what pains your brother
takes, but you are not worth your salt.'

'Well, Father,' he answered, 'I am quite ready to learn something;
nay, I should very much like to learn how to shudder, for I know
nothing about that.'

The elder son laughed when he heard him, and thought: 'Good heavens!
what a fool my brother is; he will never do any good as long as he

But his Father sighed, and answered: 'You will easily enough learn how
to shudder, but you won't make your bread by it.'

Soon after, the Sexton came to the house on a visit, and the Father
confided his troubles about his son to him. He told him how stupid he
was, and how he never could learn anything. 'Would you believe that
when I asked him how he was going to make his living, he said he would
like to learn how to shudder?'

'If that's all,' said the Sexton, 'he may learn that from me. Just let
me have him, and I'll soon put the polish on him.'

The Father was pleased, for he thought: 'Anyhow, the Lad will gain
something by it.'

So the Sexton took him home with him, and he had to ring the church

A few days after, the Sexton woke him at midnight, and told him to get
up and ring the bells. 'You shall soon be taught how to shudder!' he
thought, as he crept stealthily up the stairs beforehand.

When the Lad got up into the tower, and turned round to catch hold of
the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on the steps opposite
the belfry window.

'Who is there?' he cried; but the figure neither moved nor answered.

'Answer,' cried the Lad, 'or get out of the way. You have no business
here in the night.'

But so that the Lad should think he was a ghost, the Sexton did not

The Lad cried for the second time: 'What do you want here? Speak if
you are an honest fellow, or I'll throw you down the stairs.'

The Sexton did not think he would go to such lengths, so he made no
sound, and stood as still as if he were made of stone.

Then the Lad called to him the third time, and, as he had no answer,
he took a run and threw the ghost down the stairs. It fell down ten
steps, and remained lying in a corner.

Then he rang the bells, went home, and, without saying a word to
anybody, went to bed and was soon fast asleep.

The Sexton's wife waited a long time for her husband, but, as he never
came back, she got frightened, and woke up the Lad.

'Don't you know what has become of my husband?' she asked. 'He went up
into the church tower before you.'

'No,' answered the Lad. 'There was somebody standing on the stairs
opposite the belfry window, and, as he would neither answer me nor go
away, I took him to be a rogue and threw him downstairs. Go and see if
it was your husband; I should be sorry if it were.'

The woman hurried away and found her husband lying in the corner,
moaning, with a broken leg. She carried him down, and then hastened
with loud cries to the Lad's father.

'Your son has brought about a great misfortune; he has thrown my
husband downstairs and broken his leg. Take the good-for-nothing
fellow away, out of our house.'

The Father was horrified, and, going back with her, gave the Lad a
good scolding.

'What is the meaning of this inhuman prank? The evil one must have put
it into your head.'

'Father,' answered the Lad, 'just listen to me. I am quite innocent.
He stood there in the dark, like a man with some wicked design. I did
not know who it was, and I warned him three times to speak, or to go

'Alas!' said his Father, 'you bring me nothing but disaster. Go away
out of my sight. I will have nothing more to do with you.'

'Gladly, Father. Only wait till daylight; then I will go away, and
learn to shudder. Then, at least, I shall have one art to make my
living by.'

'Learn what you like,' said his Father. 'It's all the same to me. Here
are fifty thalers for you. Go out into the world, and don't tell a
creature where you come from, or who your Father is, for you will only
bring me to shame.'

'Just as you please, Father. If that is all you want, I can easily
fulfil your desire.'

At daybreak, the Lad put his fifty thalers into his pocket, and went
out along the high road, repeating over and over to himself as he
went: 'If only I could shudder, if only I could shudder.'

A Man came by and overheard the words the Lad was saying to himself,
and when they had gone a little further, and came within sight of the
gallows, he said: 'See, there is the tree where those seven have been
wedded to the ropemaker's daughter, and are now learning to fly. Sit
down below them, and when night comes you will soon learn to shudder.'

'If nothing more than that is needed,' said the Lad, 'it is easily
done. And if I learn to shudder as easily as that, you shall have my
fifty thalers. Come back to me early to-morrow morning.'

Then the Lad went up to the gallows, and sat down under them to wait
till night came.

As he was cold he lighted a fire, but at midnight the wind grew so
cold that he did not know how to keep himself warm.

The wind blew the men on the gallows backwards and forwards, and swung
them against each other, so he thought: 'Here am I freezing by the
fire, how much colder they must be up there.'

And as he was very compassionate, he mounted the ladder, undid them,
and brought all seven down one by one.

Then he blew up the fire, and placed them round it to warm themselves.

They sat there and never moved, even when the fire caught their

'Take care, or I will hang you all up again.'

The dead men, of course, could not hear, and remained silent while
their few rags were burnt up.

Then he grew angry, and said: 'If you won't take care of yourselves,
I can't help you, and I won't be burnt with you.'

So he hung them all up again in a row, and sat down by the fire and
went to sleep again.

Next morning, the Man, wanting to get his fifty thalers, came to him
and said: 'Now do you know what shuddering means?'

'No,' he said; 'how should I have learnt it? Those fellows up there
never opened their mouths, and they were so stupid that they let the
few poor rags they had about them burn.'

Then the Man saw that no thalers would be his that day, and he went
away, saying: 'Never in my life have I seen such a fellow as this.'

The Lad also went on his way, and again began saying to himself: 'Oh,
if only I could learn to shudder, if only I could learn to shudder.'

A Carter, walking behind him, heard this, and asked: 'Who are you?'

'I don't know,' answered the Youth.

'Who is your Father?'

'That I must not say.'

'What are you always mumbling in your beard?'

'Ah,' answered the Youth, 'I want to learn to shudder, but no one can
teach me.'

'Stop your silly chatter,' said the Carter. 'Just you come with me,
and I'll see that you have what you want.'

The Youth went with the Carter, and in the evening they reached an
inn, where they meant to pass the night. He said quite loud, as they
entered: 'Oh, if only I could learn to shudder, if only I could learn
to shudder.'

The Landlord, who heard him, laughed, and said: 'If that's what you
want, there should be plenty of opportunity for you here.'

'I will have nothing to say to it,' said the Landlady. 'So many a
prying fellow has already paid the penalty with his life. It would be
a sin and a shame if those bright eyes should not see the light of day

But the Youth said: 'I will learn it somehow, however hard it may be.
I have been driven out for not knowing it.'

He gave the Landlord no peace till he told him that there was an
enchanted castle a little way off, where any one could be made to
shudder, if he would pass three nights in it.

The King had promised his daughter to wife to any one who dared do it,
and she was the prettiest maiden the sun had ever shone on.

There were also great treasures hidden in the castle, watched over by
evil spirits, enough to make any poor man rich who could break the

Already many had gone in, but none had ever come out.

Next morning the Youth went to the King, and said: 'By your leave, I
should like to pass three nights in the enchanted castle.'

The King looked at him, and, as he took a fancy to him, he said: 'You
may ask three things to take into the castle with you, but they must
be lifeless things.'

He answered: 'Then I ask for a fire, a turning-lathe, and a cooper's
bench with the knife.'

The King had all three carried into the castle for him.

When night fell, the Youth went up to the castle and made a bright
fire in one of the rooms. He put the cooper's bench with the knife
near the fire, and seated himself on the turning-lathe.

'Oh, if only I could shudder,' he said; 'but I shan't learn it here

Towards midnight he wanted to make up the fire, and, as he was blowing
it up, something in one corner began to shriek: 'Miau, miau, how cold
we are!'

'You fools!' he cried. 'What do you shriek for? If you are cold, come
and warm yourselves by the fire.'

As he spoke, two big black cats bounded up and sat down, one on each
side of him, and stared at him with wild, fiery eyes.

After a time, when they had warmed themselves, they said: 'Comrade,
shall we have a game of cards?'

'Why not?' he answered; 'but show me your paws first.'

Then they stretched out their claws.

'Why,' he said, 'what long nails you've got. Wait a bit; I must cut
them for you.'

He seized them by the scruff of their necks, lifted them on to the
cooper's bench, and screwed their paws firmly to it.

  [Illustration: Crowds of black cats and dogs swarmed out of every

'I have looked at your fingers, and the desire to play cards with you
has passed.'

Then he killed them and threw them out into the moat.

But no sooner had he got rid of these two cats, and was about to sit
down by his fire again, than crowds of black cats and dogs swarmed out
of every corner, more and more of them.

They howled horribly, and trampled on his fire, and tried to put it

For a time he looked quietly on, but when it grew too bad he seized
his cooper's knife, and cried: 'Away with you, you rascally pack,' and
let fly among them right and left. Some of them sprang away, the
others he killed, and threw them out into the water.

When he came back he scraped the embers of his fire together again,
and warmed himself. He could hardly keep his eyes open, and felt the
greatest desire to go to sleep. He looked round, and in one corner he
saw a big bed.

'That's the very thing,' he said, and lay down in it. As soon as he
closed his eyes, the bed began to move, and soon it was tearing round
and round the castle. 'Very good!' he said. 'The faster the better!'
The bed rolled on as if it were dragged by six horses; over thresholds
and stairs, up and down.

Suddenly it went hop, hop, hop, and turned topsy-turvy, so that it lay
upon him like a mountain. But he pitched the pillows and blankets into
the air, slipped out of it, and said: 'Now any one may ride who

Then he lay down by his fire and slept till daylight.

In the morning the King came, and when he saw him lying on the floor,
he thought the ghosts had killed him, and he was dead. So he said:
'It's a sad pity, for such a handsome fellow.'

But the Youth heard him, and sat up, saying: 'It has not come to that

The King was surprised and delighted, and asked him how he had got on.

'Pretty well!' he answered. 'One night is gone, I suppose I shall get
through the others too.'

When the Landlord saw him he opened his eyes, and said: 'I never
thought I should see you alive again. Have you learnt how to shudder

'No,' he answered; 'it's all in vain. If only some one would tell me

The second night came, and up he went again and sat down by the fire,
and began his old song: 'Oh, if only I could learn to shudder.'

In the middle of the night a great noise and uproar began, first soft,
and then growing louder; then for a short time there would be silence.

At last, with a loud scream, half the body of a man fell down the
chimney in front of him.

'Hullo!' he said, 'another half is wanting here; this is too little.'

The noise began again, and, amidst shrieks and howls, the other half
fell down.

'Wait a bit,' he said; 'I'll blow up the fire.'

When this was done, and he looked round, the two halves had come
together, and a hideous man sat in his place.

'We didn't bargain for that,' said the Youth. 'The bench is mine.'

The man wanted to push him out of the way, but the Youth would not
have it, flung him aside, and took his own seat.

Then more men fell down the chimney, one after the other, and they
fetched nine human shin bones and two skulls, and began to play

The Youth felt inclined to join them, and cried: 'I say, can I play

'Yes, if you've got any money.'

'Money enough,' he answered, 'but your balls aren't quite round.'

Then he took the skulls and turned them on the lathe till they were
quite round. 'Now they will roll better,' he said. 'Here goes! The
more, the merrier!'

So he played with them, and lost some money, but when it struck
twelve everything disappeared. He lay down, and was soon fast asleep.

Next morning the King came again to look after him, and said: 'Well,
how did you get on this time?'

'I played skittles,' he answered, 'and lost a few coins.'

'Didn't you learn to shudder?'

'Not I. I only made merry. Oh, if I could but find out how to

On the third night he again sat down on his bench, and said quite
savagely: 'If only I could shudder!'

When it grew late, six tall men came in, carrying a bier, and he said:
'Hullo there! That must be my cousin who died a few days ago.' And he
beckoned and said: 'Come along, cousin, come along.'

The men put the coffin on the floor, and he went up and took the lid
off, and there lay a dead man. He felt the face, and it was as cold
as ice. 'Wait,' he said; 'I will warm him.'

Then he went to the fire and warmed his hand, and laid it on his face,
but the dead man remained cold. He took him out of the coffin, sat
down by the fire, and took him on his knees, and rubbed his arms to
make the blood circulate.

But it was all no good. Next, it came into his head that if two people
were in bed together, they warmed each other. So he put the dead man
in the bed, covered him up, and lay down beside him.

After a time the dead man grew warm, and began to move.

Then the Youth said: 'There, you see, cousin mine, have I not warmed

But the Man rose up, and cried: 'Now, I will strangle you!'

'What!' said he, 'are those all the thanks I get? Back you go into
your coffin then.' So saying, he lifted him up, threw him in, and
fastened down the lid. Then the six men came back and carried the
coffin away.

'I cannot shudder,' he said; 'and I shall never learn it here.'

Just then a huge Man appeared. He was frightful to look at, old, and
with a long white beard.

'Oh, you miserable wight!' he cried. 'You shall soon learn what
shuddering is, for you shall die.'

'Not so fast,' said the Youth. 'If I am to die, I must be present.'

'I will make short work of you,' said the old monster.

'Softly! softly! don't you boast. I am as strong as you, and very
likely much stronger.'

'We shall see about that,' said the Old Man. 'If you are the stronger,
I will let you go. Come; we will try.'

Then he led him through numberless dark passages to a smithy, took an
axe, and with one blow struck one of the anvils into the earth.

'I can better that,' said the Youth, and went to the other anvil. The
Old Man placed himself near to see, and his white beard hung over.

Then the Youth took the axe and split the anvil with one blow,
catching in the Old Man's beard at the same time.

'Now, I have you fast,' said the Youth, 'and you will be the one to

Then he seized an iron rod, and belaboured the Old Man with it, till
he shrieked for mercy, and promised him great riches if he would stop.

Then the Youth pulled out the axe and released him, and the Old Man
led him back into the castle, and showed him three chests of gold in a

'One is for the poor,' he said, 'one for the King, and one for you.'

The clock struck twelve, and the ghost disappeared, leaving the Youth
in the dark.

'I must manage to get out somehow,' he said, and groped about till he
found his way back to his room, where he lay down by the fire and went
to sleep.

Next morning the King came and said: 'Now you must have learnt how to

  [Illustration: {Then the Youth took the axe and split the anvil with
    one blow, catching in the Old Man's beard at the same time.}]

'No,' said he. 'What can it be? My dead cousin was there, and an Old
Man with a beard came and showed me a lot of gold. But what shuddering
is, that no man can tell me.'

Then said the King: 'You have broken the spell on the castle, and you
shall marry my daughter.'

'That is all very well,' he said; 'but still I don't know what
shuddering is.'

The gold was got out of the castle, and the marriage was celebrated,
but, happy as the young King was, and much as he loved his wife, he
was always saying: 'Oh, if only I could learn to shudder, if only I
could learn to shudder.'

At last his wife was vexed by it, and her waiting-woman said: 'I can
help you; he shall be taught the meaning of shuddering.'

And she went out to the brook which ran through the garden and got a
pail full of cold water and little fishes.

At night, when the young King was asleep, his wife took the coverings
off and poured the cold water over him, and all the little fishes
flopped about him.

Then he woke up, and cried: 'Oh, how I am shuddering, dear wife, how I
am shuddering! Now I know what shuddering is!'

King Thrushbeard

There was once a King who had a Daughter. She was more beautiful than
words can tell, but at the same time so proud and haughty that no man
who came to woo her was good enough for her. She turned away one after
another, and even mocked them.

One day her father ordered a great feast to be given, and invited to
it all the marriageable young men from far and near.

They were all placed in a row, according to their rank and position.
First came Kings, then Princes, then Dukes, Earls, and Barons.

The Princess was led through the ranks, but she had some fault to find
with all of them.

One was too stout. 'That barrel!' she said. The next was too tall.
'Long and lean is no good!' The third was too short. 'Short and stout,
can't turn about!' The fourth was too white. 'Pale as death!' The
fifth was too red. 'Turkey-cock!' The sixth was not straight.

So there was something against each of them. But she made specially
merry over one good King, who stood quite at the head of the row, and
whose chin was a little hooked.

'Why!' she cried, 'he has a chin like the beak of a thrush.'

After that, he was always called 'King Thrushbeard.'

When the old King saw that his Daughter only made fun of them, and
despised all the suitors who were assembled, he was very angry, and
swore that the first beggar who came to the door should be her

A few days after, a wandering Musician began to sing at the window,
hoping to receive charity.

When the King heard him, he said: 'Let him be brought in.'

The Musician came in, dressed in dirty rags, and sang to the King and
his Daughter, and when he had finished, he begged alms of them.

The King said: 'Your song has pleased me so much, that I will give you
my Daughter to be your wife.'

The Princess was horror-stricken. But the King said: 'I have sworn an
oath to give you to the first beggar who came; and I will keep my

No entreaties were of any avail. A Parson was brought, and she had to
marry the Musician there and then.

When the marriage was completed, the King said: 'Now you are a
beggar-woman, you can't stay in my castle any longer. You must go away
with your Husband.'

The Beggar took her by the hand and led her away, and she was obliged
to go with him on foot.

When they came to a big wood, she asked:

    'Ah! who is the Lord of this forest so fine?'
    'It belongs to King Thrushbeard. It might have been thine,
    If his Queen you had been.'
    'Ah! sad must I sing!
    I would I'd accepted the hand of the King.'

After that they reached a great meadow, and she asked again:

    'Ah! who is the Lord of these meadows so fine?'
    'They belong to King Thrushbeard, and would have been thine,
    If his Queen you had been.'
    'Ah! sad must I sing!
    I would I'd accepted the love of the King.'

Then they passed through a large town, and again she asked:

    'Ah! who is the Lord of this city so fine?'
    'It belongs to King Thrushbeard, and it might have been thine,
    If his Queen you had been.'
    'Ah! sad must I sing!
    I would I'd accepted the heart of the King.'

'It doesn't please me at all,' said the Musician, 'that you are
always wishing for another husband. Am I not good enough for you?'

At last they came to a miserable little hovel, and she said:

    'Ah, heavens! what's this house, so mean and small?
    This wretched little hut's no house at all.'

The Musician answered: 'This is my house, and yours; where we are to
live together.'

The door was so low that she had to stoop to get in.

'Where are the servants?' asked the Princess.

'Servants indeed!' answered the Beggar. 'Whatever you want done, you
must do for yourself. Light the fire, and put the kettle on to make my
supper. I am very tired.'

But the Princess knew nothing about lighting fires or cooking, and to
get it done at all, the Beggar had to do it himself.

When they had finished their humble fare, they went to bed. But in the
morning the Man made her get up very early to do the housework.

They lived like this for a few days, till they had eaten up all their
store of food.

Then the Man said: 'Wife, this won't do any longer; we can't live here
without working. You shall make baskets.'

So he went out and cut some osiers, and brought them home. She began
to weave them, but the hard osiers bruised her tender hands.

'I see that won't do,' said the Beggar. 'You had better spin; perhaps
you can manage that.'

So she sat down and tried to spin, but the harsh yarn soon cut her
delicate fingers and made them bleed.

'Now you see,' said the Man, 'what a good-for-nothing you are. I have
made a bad bargain in you. But I will try to start a trade in
earthenware. You must sit in the market and offer your goods for

  [Illustration: {The Beggar took her by the hand and led her away.}]

'Alas!' she thought, 'if any of the people from my father's kingdom
come and see me sitting in the market-place, offering goods for
sale, they will scoff at me.' But it was no good. She had to obey,
unless she meant to die of hunger.

All went well the first time. The people willingly bought her wares
because she was so handsome, and they paid what she asked them--nay,
some even gave her the money and left her the pots as well.

They lived on the gains as long as they lasted, and then the Man laid
in a new stock of wares.

She took her seat in a corner of the market, set out her crockery
about her, and began to cry her wares.

Suddenly, a drunken Hussar came galloping up, and rode right in among
the pots, breaking them into thousands of bits.

She began to cry, and was so frightened that she did not know what to
do. 'Oh! what will become of me?' she cried. 'What will my Husband say
to me?' She ran home, and told him her misfortune.

'Who would ever think of sitting at the corner of the market with
crockery?' he said. 'Stop that crying. I see you are no manner of use
for any decent kind of work. I have been to our King's palace, and
asked if they do not want a kitchen wench, and they have promised to
try you. You will get your victuals free, at any rate.'

So the Princess became a kitchen wench, and had to wait upon the Cook
and do all the dirty work. She fixed a pot into each of her pockets,
and in them took home her share of the scraps and leavings, and upon
these they lived.

It so happened that the marriage of the eldest Princess just then took
place, and the poor Woman went upstairs and stood behind the door to
peep at all the splendour.

When the rooms were lighted up, and she saw the guests streaming in,
one more beautiful than the other, and the scene grew more and more
brilliant, she thought, with a heavy heart, of her sad fate. She
cursed the pride and haughtiness which had been the cause of her
humiliation, and of her being brought to such depths.

Every now and then the Servants would throw her bits from the savoury
dishes they were carrying away from the feast, and these she put into
her pots to take home with her.

All at once the King's son came in. He was dressed in silk and velvet,
and he had a golden chain round his neck.

When he saw the beautiful Woman standing at the door, he seized her by
the hand, and wanted to dance with her.

But she shrank and refused, because she saw that it was King
Thrushbeard, who had been one of the suitors for her hand, and whom
she had most scornfully driven away.

Her resistance was no use, and he dragged her into the hall. The
string by which her pockets were suspended broke. Down fell the pots,
and the soup and savoury morsels were spilt all over the floor.

When the guests saw it, they burst into shouts of mocking laughter.

She was so ashamed, that she would gladly have sunk into the earth.
She rushed to the door, and tried to escape, but on the stairs a Man
stopped her and brought her back.

When she looked at him, it was no other than King Thrushbeard again.

He spoke kindly to her, and said: 'Do not be afraid. I and the
Beggar-Man, who lived in the poor little hovel with you, are one and
the same. For love of you I disguised myself; and I was also the
Hussar who rode among your pots. All this I did to bend your proud
spirit, and to punish you for the haughtiness with which you mocked

She wept bitterly, and said: 'I was very wicked, and I am not worthy
to be your wife.'

But he said: 'Be happy! Those evil days are over. Now we will
celebrate our true wedding.'

The waiting-women came and put rich clothing upon her, and her Father,
with all his Court, came and wished her joy on her marriage with King

Then, in truth, her happiness began. I wish we had been there to see
it, you and I.

Iron Hans

There was once a King whose castle was surrounded by a forest full of
game. One day he sent a Huntsman out to shoot a deer, but he never
came back.

'Perhaps an accident has happened to him,' said the King.

Next day he sent out two more Huntsmen to look for him, but they did
not return either. On the third day he sent for all his Huntsmen, and
said to them, 'Search the whole forest without ceasing, until you have
found all three.'

But not a single man of all these, or one of the pack of hounds they
took with them, ever came back. From this time forth no one would
venture into the forest; so there it lay, wrapped in silence and
solitude, with only an occasional eagle or hawk circling over it.

This continued for several years, and then one day a strange Huntsman
sought an audience of the King, and offered to penetrate into the
dangerous wood. The King, however, would not give him permission, and
said, 'It's not safe, and I am afraid if you go in that you will never
come out again, any more than all the others.'

The Huntsman answered, 'Sire, I will take the risk upon myself. I do
not know fear.'

So the Huntsman went into the wood with his Dog. Before long the Dog
put up some game, and wanted to chase it; but hardly had he taken a
few steps when he came to a deep pool, and could go no further. A
naked arm appeared out of the water, seized him, and drew him down.

When the Huntsman saw this, he went back and fetched three men with
pails to empty the pool. When they got to the bottom they found a Wild
Man, whose body was as brown as rusty iron, and his hair hanging down
over his face to his knees. They bound him with cords, and carried
him away to the castle. There was great excitement over the Wild Man,
and the King had an iron cage made for him in the courtyard. He
forbade any one to open the door of the cage on pain of death, and the
Queen had to keep the key in her own charge.

After this, anybody could walk in the forest with safety.

The King had a little son eight years old, and one day he was playing
in the courtyard. In his play his golden ball fell into the cage. The
boy ran up, and said, 'Give me back my ball.'

'Not until you have opened the door,' said the Wild Man.

'No; I can't do that,' said the boy. 'My father has forbidden it,' and
then he ran away.

Next day he came again, and asked for his ball. The Man said, 'Open my
door'; but he would not.

On the third day the King went out hunting, and the boy came again,
and said, 'Even if I would, I could not open the door. I have not got
the key.'

Then the Wild Man said, 'It is lying under your mother's pillow. You
can easily get it.'

The boy, who was very anxious to have his ball back, threw his
scruples to the winds, and fetched the key. The door was very stiff,
and he pinched his fingers in opening it. As soon as it was open the
Wild Man came out, gave the boy his ball, and hurried away. The boy
was now very frightened, and cried out, 'O Wild Man, don't go away, or
I shall be beaten!'

The Wild Man turned back, picked up the boy, put him on his shoulder,
and walked hurriedly off into the wood.

When the King came home he saw at once the cage was empty, and asked
the Queen how it had come about. She knew nothing about it, and went
to look for the key, which was of course gone. They called the boy,
but there was no answer. The King sent people out into the fields to
look for him, but all in vain; he was gone. The King easily guessed
what had happened, and great grief fell on the royal household.

When the Wild Man got back into the depths of the dark forest he took
the boy down off his shoulder, and said, 'You will never see your
father and mother again; but I will keep you here with me, because you
had pity on me and set me free. If you do as you are told, you will be
well treated. I have treasures and gold enough and to spare, more than
anybody in the world.'

He made a bed of moss for the boy, on which he went to sleep. Next
morning the Man led him to a spring, and said, 'You see this golden
well is bright and clear as crystal? You must sit by it, and take care
that nothing falls into it, or it will be contaminated. I shall come
every evening to see if you have obeyed my orders.'

The boy sat down on the edge of the spring to watch it; sometimes he
would see a gold fish or a golden snake darting through it, and he
guarded it well, so that nothing should fall into it. One day as he
was sitting like this his finger pained him so much that involuntarily
he dipped it into the water. He drew it out very quickly, but saw that
it was gilded, and although he tried hard to clean it, it remained
golden. In the evening Iron Hans came back, looked at the boy, and
said, 'What has happened to the well to-day?'

'Nothing, nothing!' he answered, keeping his finger behind his back,
so that Iron Hans should not see it.

But he said, 'You have dipped your finger into the water. It does not
matter this time, but take care that nothing of the kind occurs

Early next morning the boy took his seat by the spring again to watch.
His finger still hurt very much, and he put his hand up above his
head; but, unfortunately, in so doing he brushed a hair into the well.
He quickly took it out, but it was already gilded. When Iron Hans came
in the evening, he knew very well what had happened.

'You have let a hair fall into the well,' he said. 'I will overlook it
once more, but if it happens for the third time, the well will be
polluted, and you can no longer stay with me.'

On the third day the boy again sat by the well; but he took good care
not to move a finger, however much it might hurt. The time seemed very
long to him as he looked at his face reflected in the water. As he
bent over further and further to look into his eyes, his long hair
fell over his shoulder right into the water. He started up at once,
but not before his whole head of hair had become golden, and glittered
like the sun. You may imagine how frightened the poor boy was. He took
his pocket-handkerchief and tied it over his head, so that Iron Hans
should not see it. But he knew all about it before he came, and at
once said, 'Take that handkerchief off your head,' and then all the
golden hair tumbled out. All the poor boy's excuses were no good. 'You
have not stood the test, and you can no longer stay here. You must go
out into the world, and there you will learn the meaning of poverty.
But as your heart is not bad, and as I wish you well, I will grant you
one thing. When you are in great need, go to the forest and cry "Iron
Hans," and I will come and help you. My power is great, greater than
you think, and I have gold and silver in abundance.'

So the King's son left the forest, and wandered over trodden and
untrodden paths till he reached a great city. He tried to get work,
but he could not find any; besides, he knew no trade by which to make
a living. At last he went to the castle and asked if they would employ
him. The courtiers did not know what use they could make of him, but
they were taken with his appearance, and said he might stay. At last
the Cook took him into his service, and said he might carry wood and
water for him, and sweep up the ashes.

One day, as there was no one else at hand, the Cook ordered him to
carry the food up to the royal table. As he did not want his golden
hair to be seen, he kept his cap on. Nothing of the sort had ever
happened in the presence of the King before, and he said, 'When you
come into the royal presence, you must take your cap off.'

'Alas, Sire,' he said, 'I cannot take it off, I have a bad wound on my

Then the King ordered the Cook to be called, and asked how he could
take such a boy into his service, and ordered him to be sent away at
once. But the Cook was sorry for him, and exchanged him with the
Gardener's boy.

Now the boy had to dig and hoe, plant and water, in every kind of
weather. One day in the summer, when he was working alone in the
garden, it was very hot, and he took off his cap for the fresh air to
cool his head. When the sun shone on his hair it glittered so that the
beams penetrated right into the Princess's bedroom, and she sprang up
to see what it was. She discovered the youth, and called to him,
'Bring me a nosegay, young man.'

He hurriedly put on his cap, picked a lot of wild flowers, and tied
them up. On his way up to the Princess, the Gardener met him, and
said, 'How can you take such poor flowers to the Princess? Quickly cut
another bouquet, and mind they are the choicest and rarest flowers.'

'Oh no,' said the youth. 'The wild flowers have a sweeter scent, and
will please her better.'

  [Illustration: She immediately clutched at his cap to pull it off;
    but he held it on with both hands.]

As soon as he went into the room the Princess said, 'Take off your
cap; it is not proper for you to wear it before me.'

He answered again, 'I may not take it off, because I have a wound on
my head.'

But she took hold of the cap, and pulled it off, and all his golden
hair tumbled over his shoulders in a shower. It was quite a sight. He
tried to get away, but she took hold of his arm, and gave him a
handful of ducats. He took them, but he cared nothing for the gold,
and gave it to the Gardener for his children to play with.

Next day the Princess again called him to bring her a bunch of wild
flowers, and when he brought it she immediately clutched at his cap to
pull it off; but he held it on with both hands. Again she gave him a
handful of ducats, but he would not keep them, and gave them to the
Gardener's children. The third day the same thing happened, but she
could not take off his cap, and he would not keep the gold.

Not long after this the kingdom was invaded. The King assembled his
warriors. He did not know whether they would be able to conquer his
enemies or not, as they were very powerful, and had a mighty army.
Then the Gardener's assistant said, 'I have been brought up to fight;
give me a horse, and I will go too.'

  [Illustration: He called three times, 'Iron Hans,' as loud as he

The others laughed and said, 'When we are gone, find one for yourself.
We will leave one behind in the stable for you.'

When they were gone, he went and got the horse out; it was lame in one
leg, and hobbled along, humpety-hump, humpety-hump. Nevertheless, he
mounted it and rode away to the dark forest. When he came to the edge
of it, he called three times, 'Iron Hans,' as loud as he could, till
the trees resounded with it.

The Wild Man appeared immediately, and said, 'What do you want?'

'I want a strong horse to go to the war.'

'You shall have it, and more besides.'

The Wild Man went back into the wood, and before long a Groom came
out, leading a fiery charger with snorting nostrils. Behind him
followed a great body of warriors, all in armour, and their swords
gleaming in the sun. The youth handed over his three-legged steed to
the Groom, mounted the other, and rode away at the head of the troop.

When he approached the battle-field a great many of the King's men had
already fallen, and before long the rest must have given in. Then the
youth, at the head of his iron troop, charged, and bore down the enemy
like a mighty wind, smiting everything which came in their way. They
tried to fly, but the youth fell upon them, and did not stop while one
remained alive.

Instead of joining the King, he led his troop straight back to the
wood and called Iron Hans again.

'What do you want?' asked the Wild Man.

'Take back your charger and your troop, and give me back my
three-legged steed.'

His request was granted, and he rode his three-legged steed home.

When the King returned to the castle his daughter met him and
congratulated him on his victory.

'It was not I who won it,' he said; 'but a strange Knight, who came to
my assistance with his troop.' His daughter asked who the strange
Knight was, but the King did not know, and said, 'He pursued the
enemy, and I have not seen him since.'

She asked the Gardener about his assistant, but he laughed, and said,
'He has just come home on his three-legged horse, and the others made
fun of him, and said, "Here comes our hobbler back again," and asked
which hedge he had been sleeping under. He answered, "I did my best,
and without me things would have gone badly." Then they laughed at him
more than ever.'

The King said to his daughter, 'I will give a great feast lasting
three days, and you shall throw a golden apple. Perhaps the unknown
Knight will come among the others to try and catch it.'

When notice was given of the feast, the youth went to the wood and
called Iron Hans.

'What do you want?' he asked.

'I want to secure the King's golden apple,' he said.

'It is as good as yours already,' answered Iron Hans. 'You shall have
a tawny suit, and ride a proud chestnut.'

When the day arrived the youth took his place among the other Knights,
but no one knew him. The Princess stepped forward and threw the apple
among the Knights, and he was the only one who could catch it. As soon
as he had it he rode away.

On the second day Iron Hans fitted him out as a White Knight, riding a
gallant grey. Again he caught the apple; but he did not stay a minute,
and, as before, hurried away.

The King now grew angry, and said, 'This must not be; he must come
before me and give me his name.'

He gave an order that if the Knight made off again he was to be
pursued and brought back.

On the third day the youth received from Iron Hans a black outfit, and
a fiery black charger.

Again he caught the apple; but as he was riding off with it the King's
people chased him, and one came so near that he wounded him in the
leg. Still he escaped, but his horse galloped so fast that his helmet
fell off, and they all saw that he had golden hair. So they rode back,
and told the King what they had seen.

Next day the Princess asked the Gardener about his assistant.

'He is working in the garden. The queer fellow went to the feast, and
he only came back last night. He has shown my children three golden
apples which he won.'

The King ordered him to be brought before him. When he appeared he
still wore his cap. But the Princess went up to him and took it off;
then all his golden hair fell over his shoulders, and it was so
beautiful that they were all amazed by it.

'Are you the Knight who came to the feast every day in a different
colour, and who caught the three golden apples?' asked the King.

'Yes,' he answered, 'and here are the apples,' bringing them out of
his pocket, and giving them to the King. 'If you want further proof,
here is the wound in my leg given me by your people when they pursued
me. But I am also the Knight who helped you to conquer the enemy.'

'If you can do such deeds you are no Gardener's boy. Tell me who is
your father?'

'My father is a powerful King, and I have plenty of gold--as much as
ever I want.'

'I see very well,' said the King, 'that we owe you many thanks. Can I
do anything to please you?'

'Yes,' he answered; 'indeed, you can. Give me your daughter to be my

The maiden laughed, and said, 'He does not beat about the bush; but I
saw long ago that he was no Gardener's boy.'

Then she went up to him and kissed him.

His father and mother came to the wedding, and they were full of joy,
for they had long given up all hope of ever seeing their dear son
again. As they were all sitting at the wedding feast, the music
suddenly stopped, the doors flew open, and a proud King walked in at
the head of a great following. He went up to the Bridegroom, embraced
him, and said, 'I am Iron Hans, who was bewitched and changed into a
Wild Man; but you have broken the spell and set me free. All the
treasure that I have is now your own.'

          Printed in Great Britain by
  T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty
       at the University Press, Edinburgh

Transcriber's Note

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired. Capitalisation and hyphen
usage has been made consistent within individual stories.

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