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Grimms' Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

Part 1 out of 5

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Etext prepared by Emma Dudding, emma_302@hotmail.com
John Bickers, jbickers@ihug.co.nz
and Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com




The text is based on translations from
the Grimms' Kinder und Hausmarchen by

Edgar Taylor and

Marian Edwardes.


the juniper-tree.



A certain king had a beautiful garden, and in the garden stood a tree
which bore golden apples. These apples were always counted, and about
the time when they began to grow ripe it was found that every night
one of them was gone. The king became very angry at this, and ordered
the gardener to keep watch all night under the tree. The gardener set
his eldest son to watch; but about twelve o'clock he fell asleep, and
in the morning another of the apples was missing. Then the second son
was ordered to watch; and at midnight he too fell asleep, and in the
morning another apple was gone. Then the third son offered to keep
watch; but the gardener at first would not let him, for fear some harm
should come to him: however, at last he consented, and the young man
laid himself under the tree to watch. As the clock struck twelve he
heard a rustling noise in the air, and a bird came flying that was of
pure gold; and as it was snapping at one of the apples with its beak,
the gardener's son jumped up and shot an arrow at it. But the arrow
did the bird no harm; only it dropped a golden feather from its tail,
and then flew away. The golden feather was brought to the king in the
morning, and all the council was called together. Everyone agreed that
it was worth more than all the wealth of the kingdom: but the king
said, 'One feather is of no use to me, I must have the whole bird.'

Then the gardener's eldest son set out and thought to find the golden
bird very easily; and when he had gone but a little way, he came to a
wood, and by the side of the wood he saw a fox sitting; so he took his
bow and made ready to shoot at it. Then the fox said, 'Do not shoot
me, for I will give you good counsel; I know what your business is,
and that you want to find the golden bird. You will reach a village in
the evening; and when you get there, you will see two inns opposite to
each other, one of which is very pleasant and beautiful to look at: go
not in there, but rest for the night in the other, though it may
appear to you to be very poor and mean.' But the son thought to
himself, 'What can such a beast as this know about the matter?' So he
shot his arrow at the fox; but he missed it, and it set up its tail
above its back and ran into the wood. Then he went his way, and in the
evening came to the village where the two inns were; and in one of
these were people singing, and dancing, and feasting; but the other
looked very dirty, and poor. 'I should be very silly,' said he, 'if I
went to that shabby house, and left this charming place'; so he went
into the smart house, and ate and drank at his ease, and forgot the
bird, and his country too.

Time passed on; and as the eldest son did not come back, and no
tidings were heard of him, the second son set out, and the same thing
happened to him. He met the fox, who gave him the good advice: but
when he came to the two inns, his eldest brother was standing at the
window where the merrymaking was, and called to him to come in; and he
could not withstand the temptation, but went in, and forgot the golden
bird and his country in the same manner.

Time passed on again, and the youngest son too wished to set out into
the wide world to seek for the golden bird; but his father would not
listen to it for a long while, for he was very fond of his son, and
was afraid that some ill luck might happen to him also, and prevent
his coming back. However, at last it was agreed he should go, for he
would not rest at home; and as he came to the wood, he met the fox,
and heard the same good counsel. But he was thankful to the fox, and
did not attempt his life as his brothers had done; so the fox said,
'Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.' So he sat down, and
the fox began to run, and away they went over stock and stone so quick
that their hair whistled in the wind.

When they came to the village, the son followed the fox's counsel, and
without looking about him went to the shabby inn and rested there all
night at his ease. In the morning came the fox again and met him as he
was beginning his journey, and said, 'Go straight forward, till you
come to a castle, before which lie a whole troop of soldiers fast
asleep and snoring: take no notice of them, but go into the castle and
pass on and on till you come to a room, where the golden bird sits in
a wooden cage; close by it stands a beautiful golden cage; but do not
try to take the bird out of the shabby cage and put it into the
handsome one, otherwise you will repent it.' Then the fox stretched
out his tail again, and the young man sat himself down, and away they
went over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the wind.

Before the castle gate all was as the fox had said: so the son went in
and found the chamber where the golden bird hung in a wooden cage, and
below stood the golden cage, and the three golden apples that had been
lost were lying close by it. Then thought he to himself, 'It will be a
very droll thing to bring away such a fine bird in this shabby cage';
so he opened the door and took hold of it and put it into the golden
cage. But the bird set up such a loud scream that all the soldiers
awoke, and they took him prisoner and carried him before the king. The
next morning the court sat to judge him; and when all was heard, it
sentenced him to die, unless he should bring the king the golden horse
which could run as swiftly as the wind; and if he did this, he was to
have the golden bird given him for his own.

So he set out once more on his journey, sighing, and in great despair,
when on a sudden his friend the fox met him, and said, 'You see now
what has happened on account of your not listening to my counsel. I
will still, however, tell you how to find the golden horse, if you
will do as I bid you. You must go straight on till you come to the
castle where the horse stands in his stall: by his side will lie the
groom fast asleep and snoring: take away the horse quietly, but be
sure to put the old leathern saddle upon him, and not the golden one
that is close by it.' Then the son sat down on the fox's tail, and
away they went over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the

All went right, and the groom lay snoring with his hand upon the
golden saddle. But when the son looked at the horse, he thought it a
great pity to put the leathern saddle upon it. 'I will give him the
good one,' said he; 'I am sure he deserves it.' As he took up the
golden saddle the groom awoke and cried out so loud, that all the
guards ran in and took him prisoner, and in the morning he was again
brought before the court to be judged, and was sentenced to die. But
it was agreed, that, if he could bring thither the beautiful princess,
he should live, and have the bird and the horse given him for his own.

Then he went his way very sorrowful; but the old fox came and said,
'Why did not you listen to me? If you had, you would have carried away
both the bird and the horse; yet will I once more give you counsel. Go
straight on, and in the evening you will arrive at a castle. At twelve
o'clock at night the princess goes to the bathing-house: go up to her
and give her a kiss, and she will let you lead her away; but take care
you do not suffer her to go and take leave of her father and mother.'
Then the fox stretched out his tail, and so away they went over stock
and stone till their hair whistled again.

As they came to the castle, all was as the fox had said, and at twelve
o'clock the young man met the princes going to the bath and gave her
the kiss, and she agreed to run away with him, but begged with many
tears that he would let her take leave of her father. At first he
refused, but she wept still more and more, and fell at his feet, till
at last he consented; but the moment she came to her father's house
the guards awoke and he was taken prisoner again.

Then he was brought before the king, and the king said, 'You shall
never have my daughter unless in eight days you dig away the hill that
stops the view from my window.' Now this hill was so big that the
whole world could not take it away: and when he had worked for seven
days, and had done very little, the fox came and said. 'Lie down and
go to sleep; I will work for you.' And in the morning he awoke and the
hill was gone; so he went merrily to the king, and told him that now
that it was removed he must give him the princess.

Then the king was obliged to keep his word, and away went the young
man and the princess; and the fox came and said to him, 'We will have
all three, the princess, the horse, and the bird.' 'Ah!' said the
young man, 'that would be a great thing, but how can you contrive it?'

'If you will only listen,' said the fox, 'it can be done. When you
come to the king, and he asks for the beautiful princess, you must
say, "Here she is!" Then he will be very joyful; and you will mount
the golden horse that they are to give you, and put out your hand to
take leave of them; but shake hands with the princess last. Then lift
her quickly on to the horse behind you; clap your spurs to his side,
and gallop away as fast as you can.'

All went right: then the fox said, 'When you come to the castle where
the bird is, I will stay with the princess at the door, and you will
ride in and speak to the king; and when he sees that it is the right
horse, he will bring out the bird; but you must sit still, and say
that you want to look at it, to see whether it is the true golden
bird; and when you get it into your hand, ride away.'

This, too, happened as the fox said; they carried off the bird, the
princess mounted again, and they rode on to a great wood. Then the fox
came, and said, 'Pray kill me, and cut off my head and my feet.' But
the young man refused to do it: so the fox said, 'I will at any rate
give you good counsel: beware of two things; ransom no one from the
gallows, and sit down by the side of no river.' Then away he went.
'Well,' thought the young man, 'it is no hard matter to keep that

He rode on with the princess, till at last he came to the village
where he had left his two brothers. And there he heard a great noise
and uproar; and when he asked what was the matter, the people said,
'Two men are going to be hanged.' As he came nearer, he saw that the
two men were his brothers, who had turned robbers; so he said, 'Cannot
they in any way be saved?' But the people said 'No,' unless he would
bestow all his money upon the rascals and buy their liberty. Then he
did not stay to think about the matter, but paid what was asked, and
his brothers were given up, and went on with him towards their home.

And as they came to the wood where the fox first met them, it was so
cool and pleasant that the two brothers said, 'Let us sit down by the
side of the river, and rest a while, to eat and drink.' So he said,
'Yes,' and forgot the fox's counsel, and sat down on the side of the
river; and while he suspected nothing, they came behind, and threw him
down the bank, and took the princess, the horse, and the bird, and
went home to the king their master, and said. 'All this have we won by
our labour.' Then there was great rejoicing made; but the horse would
not eat, the bird would not sing, and the princess wept.

The youngest son fell to the bottom of the river's bed: luckily it was
nearly dry, but his bones were almost broken, and the bank was so
steep that he could find no way to get out. Then the old fox came once
more, and scolded him for not following his advice; otherwise no evil
would have befallen him: 'Yet,' said he, 'I cannot leave you here, so
lay hold of my tail and hold fast.' Then he pulled him out of the
river, and said to him, as he got upon the bank, 'Your brothers have
set watch to kill you, if they find you in the kingdom.' So he dressed
himself as a poor man, and came secretly to the king's court, and was
scarcely within the doors when the horse began to eat, and the bird to
sing, and princess left off weeping. Then he went to the king, and
told him all his brothers' roguery; and they were seized and punished,
and he had the princess given to him again; and after the king's death
he was heir to his kingdom.

A long while after, he went to walk one day in the wood, and the old
fox met him, and besought him with tears in his eyes to kill him, and
cut off his head and feet. And at last he did so, and in a moment the
fox was changed into a man, and turned out to be the brother of the
princess, who had been lost a great many many years.


Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right--
all that falls to them is so much gain--all their geese are swans--all
their cards are trumps--toss them which way you will, they will
always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so
much the faster. The world may very likely not always think of them as
they think of themselves, but what care they for the world? what can
it know about the matter?

One of these lucky beings was neighbour Hans. Seven long years he had
worked hard for his master. At last he said, 'Master, my time is up; I
must go home and see my poor mother once more: so pray pay me my wages
and let me go.' And the master said, 'You have been a faithful and
good servant, Hans, so your pay shall be handsome.' Then he gave him a
lump of silver as big as his head.

Hans took out his pocket-handkerchief, put the piece of silver into
it, threw it over his shoulder, and jogged off on his road homewards.
As he went lazily on, dragging one foot after another, a man came in
sight, trotting gaily along on a capital horse. 'Ah!' said Hans aloud,
'what a fine thing it is to ride on horseback! There he sits as easy
and happy as if he was at home, in the chair by his fireside; he trips
against no stones, saves shoe-leather, and gets on he hardly knows
how.' Hans did not speak so softly but the horseman heard it all, and
said, 'Well, friend, why do you go on foot then?' 'Ah!' said he, 'I
have this load to carry: to be sure it is silver, but it is so heavy
that I can't hold up my head, and you must know it hurts my shoulder
sadly.' 'What do you say of making an exchange?' said the horseman. 'I
will give you my horse, and you shall give me the silver; which will
save you a great deal of trouble in carrying such a heavy load about
with you.' 'With all my heart,' said Hans: 'but as you are so kind to
me, I must tell you one thing--you will have a weary task to draw that
silver about with you.' However, the horseman got off, took the
silver, helped Hans up, gave him the bridle into one hand and the whip
into the other, and said, 'When you want to go very fast, smack your
lips loudly together, and cry "Jip!"'

Hans was delighted as he sat on the horse, drew himself up, squared
his elbows, turned out his toes, cracked his whip, and rode merrily
off, one minute whistling a merry tune, and another singing,

'No care and no sorrow,
A fig for the morrow!
We'll laugh and be merry,
Sing neigh down derry!'

After a time he thought he should like to go a little faster, so he
smacked his lips and cried 'Jip!' Away went the horse full gallop; and
before Hans knew what he was about, he was thrown off, and lay on his
back by the road-side. His horse would have ran off, if a shepherd who
was coming by, driving a cow, had not stopped it. Hans soon came to
himself, and got upon his legs again, sadly vexed, and said to the
shepherd, 'This riding is no joke, when a man has the luck to get upon
a beast like this that stumbles and flings him off as if it would
break his neck. However, I'm off now once for all: I like your cow now
a great deal better than this smart beast that played me this trick,
and has spoiled my best coat, you see, in this puddle; which, by the
by, smells not very like a nosegay. One can walk along at one's
leisure behind that cow--keep good company, and have milk, butter, and
cheese, every day, into the bargain. What would I give to have such a
prize!' 'Well,' said the shepherd, 'if you are so fond of her, I will
change my cow for your horse; I like to do good to my neighbours, even
though I lose by it myself.' 'Done!' said Hans, merrily. 'What a noble
heart that good man has!' thought he. Then the shepherd jumped upon
the horse, wished Hans and the cow good morning, and away he rode.

Hans brushed his coat, wiped his face and hands, rested a while, and
then drove off his cow quietly, and thought his bargain a very lucky
one. 'If I have only a piece of bread (and I certainly shall always be
able to get that), I can, whenever I like, eat my butter and cheese
with it; and when I am thirsty I can milk my cow and drink the milk:
and what can I wish for more?' When he came to an inn, he halted, ate
up all his bread, and gave away his last penny for a glass of beer.
When he had rested himself he set off again, driving his cow towards
his mother's village. But the heat grew greater as soon as noon came
on, till at last, as he found himself on a wide heath that would take
him more than an hour to cross, he began to be so hot and parched that
his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth. 'I can find a cure for
this,' thought he; 'now I will milk my cow and quench my thirst': so
he tied her to the stump of a tree, and held his leathern cap to milk
into; but not a drop was to be had. Who would have thought that this
cow, which was to bring him milk and butter and cheese, was all that
time utterly dry? Hans had not thought of looking to that.

While he was trying his luck in milking, and managing the matter very
clumsily, the uneasy beast began to think him very troublesome; and at
last gave him such a kick on the head as knocked him down; and there
he lay a long while senseless. Luckily a butcher soon came by, driving
a pig in a wheelbarrow. 'What is the matter with you, my man?' said
the butcher, as he helped him up. Hans told him what had happened, how
he was dry, and wanted to milk his cow, but found the cow was dry too.
Then the butcher gave him a flask of ale, saying, 'There, drink and
refresh yourself; your cow will give you no milk: don't you see she is
an old beast, good for nothing but the slaughter-house?' 'Alas, alas!'
said Hans, 'who would have thought it? What a shame to take my horse,
and give me only a dry cow! If I kill her, what will she be good for?
I hate cow-beef; it is not tender enough for me. If it were a pig now
--like that fat gentleman you are driving along at his ease--one could
do something with it; it would at any rate make sausages.' 'Well,'
said the butcher, 'I don't like to say no, when one is asked to do a
kind, neighbourly thing. To please you I will change, and give you my
fine fat pig for the cow.' 'Heaven reward you for your kindness and
self-denial!' said Hans, as he gave the butcher the cow; and taking
the pig off the wheel-barrow, drove it away, holding it by the string
that was tied to its leg.

So on he jogged, and all seemed now to go right with him: he had met
with some misfortunes, to be sure; but he was now well repaid for all.
How could it be otherwise with such a travelling companion as he had
at last got?

The next man he met was a countryman carrying a fine white goose. The
countryman stopped to ask what was o'clock; this led to further chat;
and Hans told him all his luck, how he had so many good bargains, and
how all the world went gay and smiling with him. The countryman than
began to tell his tale, and said he was going to take the goose to a
christening. 'Feel,' said he, 'how heavy it is, and yet it is only
eight weeks old. Whoever roasts and eats it will find plenty of fat
upon it, it has lived so well!' 'You're right,' said Hans, as he
weighed it in his hand; 'but if you talk of fat, my pig is no trifle.'
Meantime the countryman began to look grave, and shook his head. 'Hark
ye!' said he, 'my worthy friend, you seem a good sort of fellow, so I
can't help doing you a kind turn. Your pig may get you into a scrape.
In the village I just came from, the squire has had a pig stolen out
of his sty. I was dreadfully afraid when I saw you that you had got
the squire's pig. If you have, and they catch you, it will be a bad
job for you. The least they will do will be to throw you into the
horse-pond. Can you swim?'

Poor Hans was sadly frightened. 'Good man,' cried he, 'pray get me out
of this scrape. I know nothing of where the pig was either bred or
born; but he may have been the squire's for aught I can tell: you know
this country better than I do, take my pig and give me the goose.' 'I
ought to have something into the bargain,' said the countryman; 'give
a fat goose for a pig, indeed! 'Tis not everyone would do so much for
you as that. However, I will not be hard upon you, as you are in
trouble.' Then he took the string in his hand, and drove off the pig
by a side path; while Hans went on the way homewards free from care.
'After all,' thought he, 'that chap is pretty well taken in. I don't
care whose pig it is, but wherever it came from it has been a very
good friend to me. I have much the best of the bargain. First there
will be a capital roast; then the fat will find me in goose-grease for
six months; and then there are all the beautiful white feathers. I
will put them into my pillow, and then I am sure I shall sleep soundly
without rocking. How happy my mother will be! Talk of a pig, indeed!
Give me a fine fat goose.'

As he came to the next village, he saw a scissor-grinder with his
wheel, working and singing,

'O'er hill and o'er dale
So happy I roam,
Work light and live well,
All the world is my home;
Then who so blythe, so merry as I?'

Hans stood looking on for a while, and at last said, 'You must be well
off, master grinder! you seem so happy at your work.' 'Yes,' said the
other, 'mine is a golden trade; a good grinder never puts his hand
into his pocket without finding money in it--but where did you get
that beautiful goose?' 'I did not buy it, I gave a pig for it.' 'And
where did you get the pig?' 'I gave a cow for it.' 'And the cow?' 'I
gave a horse for it.' 'And the horse?' 'I gave a lump of silver as big
as my head for it.' 'And the silver?' 'Oh! I worked hard for that
seven long years.' 'You have thriven well in the world hitherto,' said
the grinder, 'now if you could find money in your pocket whenever you
put your hand in it, your fortune would be made.' 'Very true: but how
is that to be managed?' 'How? Why, you must turn grinder like myself,'
said the other; 'you only want a grindstone; the rest will come of
itself. Here is one that is but little the worse for wear: I would not
ask more than the value of your goose for it--will you buy?' 'How can
you ask?' said Hans; 'I should be the happiest man in the world, if I
could have money whenever I put my hand in my pocket: what could I
want more? there's the goose.' 'Now,' said the grinder, as he gave him
a common rough stone that lay by his side, 'this is a most capital
stone; do but work it well enough, and you can make an old nail cut
with it.'

Hans took the stone, and went his way with a light heart: his eyes
sparkled for joy, and he said to himself, 'Surely I must have been
born in a lucky hour; everything I could want or wish for comes of
itself. People are so kind; they seem really to think I do them a
favour in letting them make me rich, and giving me good bargains.'

Meantime he began to be tired, and hungry too, for he had given away
his last penny in his joy at getting the cow.

At last he could go no farther, for the stone tired him sadly: and he
dragged himself to the side of a river, that he might take a drink of
water, and rest a while. So he laid the stone carefully by his side on
the bank: but, as he stooped down to drink, he forgot it, pushed it a
little, and down it rolled, plump into the stream.

For a while he watched it sinking in the deep clear water; then sprang
up and danced for joy, and again fell upon his knees and thanked
Heaven, with tears in his eyes, for its kindness in taking away his
only plague, the ugly heavy stone.

'How happy am I!' cried he; 'nobody was ever so lucky as I.' Then up
he got with a light heart, free from all his troubles, and walked on
till he reached his mother's house, and told her how very easy the
road to good luck was.


There was once an old castle, that stood in the middle of a deep
gloomy wood, and in the castle lived an old fairy. Now this fairy
could take any shape she pleased. All the day long she flew about in
the form of an owl, or crept about the country like a cat; but at
night she always became an old woman again. When any young man came
within a hundred paces of her castle, he became quite fixed, and could
not move a step till she came and set him free; which she would not do
till he had given her his word never to come there again: but when any
pretty maiden came within that space she was changed into a bird, and
the fairy put her into a cage, and hung her up in a chamber in the
castle. There were seven hundred of these cages hanging in the castle,
and all with beautiful birds in them.

Now there was once a maiden whose name was Jorinda. She was prettier
than all the pretty girls that ever were seen before, and a shepherd
lad, whose name was Jorindel, was very fond of her, and they were soon
to be married. One day they went to walk in the wood, that they might
be alone; and Jorindel said, 'We must take care that we don't go too
near to the fairy's castle.' It was a beautiful evening; the last rays
of the setting sun shone bright through the long stems of the trees
upon the green underwood beneath, and the turtle-doves sang from the
tall birches.

Jorinda sat down to gaze upon the sun; Jorindel sat by her side; and
both felt sad, they knew not why; but it seemed as if they were to be
parted from one another for ever. They had wandered a long way; and
when they looked to see which way they should go home, they found
themselves at a loss to know what path to take.

The sun was setting fast, and already half of its circle had sunk
behind the hill: Jorindel on a sudden looked behind him, and saw
through the bushes that they had, without knowing it, sat down close
under the old walls of the castle. Then he shrank for fear, turned
pale, and trembled. Jorinda was just singing,

'The ring-dove sang from the willow spray,
Well-a-day! Well-a-day!
He mourn'd for the fate of his darling mate,

when her song stopped suddenly. Jorindel turned to see the reason, and
beheld his Jorinda changed into a nightingale, so that her song ended
with a mournful /jug, jug/. An owl with fiery eyes flew three times
round them, and three times screamed:

'Tu whu! Tu whu! Tu whu!'

Jorindel could not move; he stood fixed as a stone, and could neither
weep, nor speak, nor stir hand or foot. And now the sun went quite
down; the gloomy night came; the owl flew into a bush; and a moment
after the old fairy came forth pale and meagre, with staring eyes, and
a nose and chin that almost met one another.

She mumbled something to herself, seized the nightingale, and went
away with it in her hand. Poor Jorindel saw the nightingale was gone--
but what could he do? He could not speak, he could not move from the
spot where he stood. At last the fairy came back and sang with a
hoarse voice:

'Till the prisoner is fast,
And her doom is cast,
There stay! Oh, stay!
When the charm is around her,
And the spell has bound her,
Hie away! away!'

On a sudden Jorindel found himself free. Then he fell on his knees
before the fairy, and prayed her to give him back his dear Jorinda:
but she laughed at him, and said he should never see her again; then
she went her way.

He prayed, he wept, he sorrowed, but all in vain. 'Alas!' he said,
'what will become of me?' He could not go back to his own home, so he
went to a strange village, and employed himself in keeping sheep. Many
a time did he walk round and round as near to the hated castle as he
dared go, but all in vain; he heard or saw nothing of Jorinda.

At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower,
and that in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he
plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand into the castle, and
that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he
found his Jorinda again.

In the morning when he awoke, he began to search over hill and dale
for this pretty flower; and eight long days he sought for it in vain:
but on the ninth day, early in the morning, he found the beautiful
purple flower; and in the middle of it was a large dewdrop, as big as
a costly pearl. Then he plucked the flower, and set out and travelled
day and night, till he came again to the castle.

He walked nearer than a hundred paces to it, and yet he did not become
fixed as before, but found that he could go quite close up to the
door. Jorindel was very glad indeed to see this. Then he touched the
door with the flower, and it sprang open; so that he went in through
the court, and listened when he heard so many birds singing. At last
he came to the chamber where the fairy sat, with the seven hundred
birds singing in the seven hundred cages. When she saw Jorindel she
was very angry, and screamed with rage; but she could not come within
two yards of him, for the flower he held in his hand was his
safeguard. He looked around at the birds, but alas! there were many,
many nightingales, and how then should he find out which was his
Jorinda? While he was thinking what to do, he saw the fairy had taken
down one of the cages, and was making the best of her way off through
the door. He ran or flew after her, touched the cage with the flower,
and Jorinda stood before him, and threw her arms round his neck
looking as beautiful as ever, as beautiful as when they walked
together in the wood.

Then he touched all the other birds with the flower, so that they all
took their old forms again; and he took Jorinda home, where they were
married, and lived happily together many years: and so did a good many
other lads, whose maidens had been forced to sing in the old fairy's
cages by themselves, much longer than they liked.


An honest farmer had once an ass that had been a faithful servant to
him a great many years, but was now growing old and every day more and
more unfit for work. His master therefore was tired of keeping him and
began to think of putting an end to him; but the ass, who saw that
some mischief was in the wind, took himself slyly off, and began his
journey towards the great city, 'For there,' thought he, 'I may turn

After he had travelled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the
roadside and panting as if he were tired. 'What makes you pant so, my
friend?' said the ass. 'Alas!' said the dog, 'my master was going to
knock me on the head, because I am old and weak, and can no longer
make myself useful to him in hunting; so I ran away; but what can I do
to earn my livelihood?' 'Hark ye!' said the ass, 'I am going to the
great city to turn musician: suppose you go with me, and try what you
can do in the same way?' The dog said he was willing, and they jogged
on together.

They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of
the road and making a most rueful face. 'Pray, my good lady,' said the
ass, 'what's the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits!' 'Ah,
me!' said the cat, 'how can one be in good spirits when one's life is
in danger? Because I am beginning to grow old, and had rather lie at
my ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my
mistress laid hold of me, and was going to drown me; and though I have
been lucky enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to
live upon.' 'Oh,' said the ass, 'by all means go with us to the great
city; you are a good night singer, and may make your fortune as a
musician.' The cat was pleased with the thought, and joined the party.

Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farmyard, they saw a cock
perched upon a gate, and screaming out with all his might and main.
'Bravo!' said the ass; 'upon my word, you make a famous noise; pray
what is all this about?' 'Why,' said the cock, 'I was just now saying
that we should have fine weather for our washing-day, and yet my
mistress and the cook don't thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut
off my head tomorrow, and make broth of me for the guests that are
coming on Sunday!' 'Heaven forbid!' said the ass, 'come with us Master
Chanticleer; it will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have
your head cut off! Besides, who knows? If we care to sing in tune, we
may get up some kind of a concert; so come along with us.' 'With all
my heart,' said the cock: so they all four went on jollily together.

They could not, however, reach the great city the first day; so when
night came on, they went into a wood to sleep. The ass and the dog
laid themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into
the branches; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the
safer he should be, flew up to the very top of the tree, and then,
according to his custom, before he went to sleep, looked out on all
sides of him to see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw
afar off something bright and shining and calling to his companions
said, 'There must be a house no great way off, for I see a light.' 'If
that be the case,' said the ass, 'we had better change our quarters,
for our lodging is not the best in the world!' 'Besides,' added the
dog, 'I should not be the worse for a bone or two, or a bit of meat.'
So they walked off together towards the spot where Chanticleer had
seen the light, and as they drew near it became larger and brighter,
till they at last came close to a house in which a gang of robbers

The ass, being the tallest of the company, marched up to the window
and peeped in. 'Well, Donkey,' said Chanticleer, 'what do you see?'
'What do I see?' replied the ass. 'Why, I see a table spread with all
kinds of good things, and robbers sitting round it making merry.'
'That would be a noble lodging for us,' said the cock. 'Yes,' said the
ass, 'if we could only get in'; so they consulted together how they
should contrive to get the robbers out; and at last they hit upon a
plan. The ass placed himself upright on his hind legs, with his
forefeet resting against the window; the dog got upon his back; the
cat scrambled up to the dog's shoulders, and the cock flew up and sat
upon the cat's head. When all was ready a signal was given, and they
began their music. The ass brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and
the cock screamed; and then they all broke through the window at once,
and came tumbling into the room, amongst the broken glass, with a most
hideous clatter! The robbers, who had been not a little frightened by
the opening concert, had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin
had broken in upon them, and scampered away as fast as they could.

The coast once clear, our travellers soon sat down and dispatched what
the robbers had left, with as much eagerness as if they had not
expected to eat again for a month. As soon as they had satisfied
themselves, they put out the lights, and each once more sought out a
resting-place to his own liking. The donkey laid himself down upon a
heap of straw in the yard, the dog stretched himself upon a mat behind
the door, the cat rolled herself up on the hearth before the warm
ashes, and the cock perched upon a beam on the top of the house; and,
as they were all rather tired with their journey, they soon fell

But about midnight, when the robbers saw from afar that the lights
were out and that all seemed quiet, they began to think that they had
been in too great a hurry to run away; and one of them, who was bolder
than the rest, went to see what was going on. Finding everything
still, he marched into the kitchen, and groped about till he found a
match in order to light a candle; and then, espying the glittering
fiery eyes of the cat, he mistook them for live coals, and held the
match to them to light it. But the cat, not understanding this joke,
sprang at his face, and spat, and scratched at him. This frightened
him dreadfully, and away he ran to the back door; but there the dog
jumped up and bit him in the leg; and as he was crossing over the yard
the ass kicked him; and the cock, who had been awakened by the noise,
crowed with all his might. At this the robber ran back as fast as he
could to his comrades, and told the captain how a horrid witch had got
into the house, and had spat at him and scratched his face with her
long bony fingers; how a man with a knife in his hand had hidden
himself behind the door, and stabbed him in the leg; how a black
monster stood in the yard and struck him with a club, and how the
devil had sat upon the top of the house and cried out, 'Throw the
rascal up here!' After this the robbers never dared to go back to the
house; but the musicians were so pleased with their quarters that they
took up their abode there; and there they are, I dare say, at this
very day.


A shepherd had a faithful dog, called Sultan, who was grown very old,
and had lost all his teeth. And one day when the shepherd and his wife
were standing together before the house the shepherd said, 'I will
shoot old Sultan tomorrow morning, for he is of no use now.' But his
wife said, 'Pray let the poor faithful creature live; he has served us
well a great many years, and we ought to give him a livelihood for the
rest of his days.' 'But what can we do with him?' said the shepherd,
'he has not a tooth in his head, and the thieves don't care for him at
all; to be sure he has served us, but then he did it to earn his
livelihood; tomorrow shall be his last day, depend upon it.'

Poor Sultan, who was lying close by them, heard all that the shepherd
and his wife said to one another, and was very much frightened to
think tomorrow would be his last day; so in the evening he went to his
good friend the wolf, who lived in the wood, and told him all his
sorrows, and how his master meant to kill him in the morning. 'Make
yourself easy,' said the wolf, 'I will give you some good advice. Your
master, you know, goes out every morning very early with his wife into
the field; and they take their little child with them, and lay it down
behind the hedge in the shade while they are at work. Now do you lie
down close by the child, and pretend to be watching it, and I will
come out of the wood and run away with it; you must run after me as
fast as you can, and I will let it drop; then you may carry it back,
and they will think you have saved their child, and will be so
thankful to you that they will take care of you as long as you live.'
The dog liked this plan very well; and accordingly so it was managed.
The wolf ran with the child a little way; the shepherd and his wife
screamed out; but Sultan soon overtook him, and carried the poor
little thing back to his master and mistress. Then the shepherd patted
him on the head, and said, 'Old Sultan has saved our child from the
wolf, and therefore he shall live and be well taken care of, and have
plenty to eat. Wife, go home, and give him a good dinner, and let him
have my old cushion to sleep on as long as he lives.' So from this
time forward Sultan had all that he could wish for.

Soon afterwards the wolf came and wished him joy, and said, 'Now, my
good fellow, you must tell no tales, but turn your head the other way
when I want to taste one of the old shepherd's fine fat sheep.' 'No,'
said the Sultan; 'I will be true to my master.' However, the wolf
thought he was in joke, and came one night to get a dainty morsel. But
Sultan had told his master what the wolf meant to do; so he laid wait
for him behind the barn door, and when the wolf was busy looking out
for a good fat sheep, he had a stout cudgel laid about his back, that
combed his locks for him finely.

Then the wolf was very angry, and called Sultan 'an old rogue,' and
swore he would have his revenge. So the next morning the wolf sent the
boar to challenge Sultan to come into the wood to fight the matter.
Now Sultan had nobody he could ask to be his second but the shepherd's
old three-legged cat; so he took her with him, and as the poor thing
limped along with some trouble, she stuck up her tail straight in the

The wolf and the wild boar were first on the ground; and when they
espied their enemies coming, and saw the cat's long tail standing
straight in the air, they thought she was carrying a sword for Sultan
to fight with; and every time she limped, they thought she was picking
up a stone to throw at them; so they said they should not like this
way of fighting, and the boar lay down behind a bush, and the wolf
jumped up into a tree. Sultan and the cat soon came up, and looked
about and wondered that no one was there. The boar, however, had not
quite hidden himself, for his ears stuck out of the bush; and when he
shook one of them a little, the cat, seeing something move, and
thinking it was a mouse, sprang upon it, and bit and scratched it, so
that the boar jumped up and grunted, and ran away, roaring out, 'Look
up in the tree, there sits the one who is to blame.' So they looked
up, and espied the wolf sitting amongst the branches; and they called
him a cowardly rascal, and would not suffer him to come down till he
was heartily ashamed of himself, and had promised to be good friends
again with old Sultan.


In a village dwelt a poor old woman, who had gathered together a dish
of beans and wanted to cook them. So she made a fire on her hearth,
and that it might burn the quicker, she lighted it with a handful of
straw. When she was emptying the beans into the pan, one dropped
without her observing it, and lay on the ground beside a straw, and
soon afterwards a burning coal from the fire leapt down to the two.
Then the straw began and said: 'Dear friends, from whence do you come
here?' The coal replied: 'I fortunately sprang out of the fire, and if
I had not escaped by sheer force, my death would have been certain,--I
should have been burnt to ashes.' The bean said: 'I too have escaped
with a whole skin, but if the old woman had got me into the pan, I
should have been made into broth without any mercy, like my comrades.'
'And would a better fate have fallen to my lot?' said the straw. 'The
old woman has destroyed all my brethren in fire and smoke; she seized
sixty of them at once, and took their lives. I luckily slipped through
her fingers.'

'But what are we to do now?' said the coal.

'I think,' answered the bean, 'that as we have so fortunately escaped
death, we should keep together like good companions, and lest a new
mischance should overtake us here, we should go away together, and
repair to a foreign country.'

The proposition pleased the two others, and they set out on their way
together. Soon, however, they came to a little brook, and as there was
no bridge or foot-plank, they did not know how they were to get over
it. The straw hit on a good idea, and said: 'I will lay myself
straight across, and then you can walk over on me as on a bridge.' The
straw therefore stretched itself from one bank to the other, and the
coal, who was of an impetuous disposition, tripped quite boldly on to
the newly-built bridge. But when she had reached the middle, and heard
the water rushing beneath her, she was after all, afraid, and stood
still, and ventured no farther. The straw, however, began to burn,
broke in two pieces, and fell into the stream. The coal slipped after
her, hissed when she got into the water, and breathed her last. The
bean, who had prudently stayed behind on the shore, could not but
laugh at the event, was unable to stop, and laughed so heartily that
she burst. It would have been all over with her, likewise, if, by good
fortune, a tailor who was travelling in search of work, had not sat
down to rest by the brook. As he had a compassionate heart he pulled
out his needle and thread, and sewed her together. The bean thanked
him most prettily, but as the tailor used black thread, all beans
since then have a black seam.


A king and queen once upon a time reigned in a country a great way
off, where there were in those days fairies. Now this king and queen
had plenty of money, and plenty of fine clothes to wear, and plenty of
good things to eat and drink, and a coach to ride out in every day:
but though they had been married many years they had no children, and
this grieved them very much indeed. But one day as the queen was
walking by the side of the river, at the bottom of the garden, she saw
a poor little fish, that had thrown itself out of the water, and lay
gasping and nearly dead on the bank. Then the queen took pity on the
little fish, and threw it back again into the river; and before it
swam away it lifted its head out of the water and said, 'I know what
your wish is, and it shall be fulfilled, in return for your kindness
to me--you will soon have a daughter.' What the little fish had
foretold soon came to pass; and the queen had a little girl, so very
beautiful that the king could not cease looking on it for joy, and
said he would hold a great feast and make merry, and show the child to
all the land. So he asked his kinsmen, and nobles, and friends, and
neighbours. But the queen said, 'I will have the fairies also, that
they might be kind and good to our little daughter.' Now there were
thirteen fairies in the kingdom; but as the king and queen had only
twelve golden dishes for them to eat out of, they were forced to leave
one of the fairies without asking her. So twelve fairies came, each
with a high red cap on her head, and red shoes with high heels on her
feet, and a long white wand in her hand: and after the feast was over
they gathered round in a ring and gave all their best gifts to the
little princess. One gave her goodness, another beauty, another
riches, and so on till she had all that was good in the world.

Just as eleven of them had done blessing her, a great noise was heard
in the courtyard, and word was brought that the thirteenth fairy was
come, with a black cap on her head, and black shoes on her feet, and a
broomstick in her hand: and presently up she came into the dining-
hall. Now, as she had not been asked to the feast she was very angry,
and scolded the king and queen very much, and set to work to take her
revenge. So she cried out, 'The king's daughter shall, in her
fifteenth year, be wounded by a spindle, and fall down dead.' Then the
twelfth of the friendly fairies, who had not yet given her gift, came
forward, and said that the evil wish must be fulfilled, but that she
could soften its mischief; so her gift was, that the king's daughter,
when the spindle wounded her, should not really die, but should only
fall asleep for a hundred years.

However, the king hoped still to save his dear child altogether from
the threatened evil; so he ordered that all the spindles in the
kingdom should be bought up and burnt. But all the gifts of the first
eleven fairies were in the meantime fulfilled; for the princess was so
beautiful, and well behaved, and good, and wise, that everyone who
knew her loved her.

It happened that, on the very day she was fifteen years old, the king
and queen were not at home, and she was left alone in the palace. So
she roved about by herself, and looked at all the rooms and chambers,
till at last she came to an old tower, to which there was a narrow
staircase ending with a little door. In the door there was a golden
key, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there sat an old
lady spinning away very busily. 'Why, how now, good mother,' said the
princess; 'what are you doing there?' 'Spinning,' said the old lady,
and nodded her head, humming a tune, while buzz! went the wheel. 'How
prettily that little thing turns round!' said the princess, and took
the spindle and began to try and spin. But scarcely had she touched
it, before the fairy's prophecy was fulfilled; the spindle wounded
her, and she fell down lifeless on the ground.

However, she was not dead, but had only fallen into a deep sleep; and
the king and the queen, who had just come home, and all their court,
fell asleep too; and the horses slept in the stables, and the dogs in
the court, the pigeons on the house-top, and the very flies slept upon
the walls. Even the fire on the hearth left off blazing, and went to
sleep; the jack stopped, and the spit that was turning about with a
goose upon it for the king's dinner stood still; and the cook, who was
at that moment pulling the kitchen-boy by the hair to give him a box
on the ear for something he had done amiss, let him go, and both fell
asleep; the butler, who was slyly tasting the ale, fell asleep with
the jug at his lips: and thus everything stood still, and slept

A large hedge of thorns soon grew round the palace, and every year it
became higher and thicker; till at last the old palace was surrounded
and hidden, so that not even the roof or the chimneys could be seen.
But there went a report through all the land of the beautiful sleeping
Briar Rose (for so the king's daughter was called): so that, from time
to time, several kings' sons came, and tried to break through the
thicket into the palace. This, however, none of them could ever do;
for the thorns and bushes laid hold of them, as it were with hands;
and there they stuck fast, and died wretchedly.

After many, many years there came a king's son into that land: and an
old man told him the story of the thicket of thorns; and how a
beautiful palace stood behind it, and how a wonderful princess, called
Briar Rose, lay in it asleep, with all her court. He told, too, how he
had heard from his grandfather that many, many princes had come, and
had tried to break through the thicket, but that they had all stuck
fast in it, and died. Then the young prince said, 'All this shall not
frighten me; I will go and see this Briar Rose.' The old man tried to
hinder him, but he was bent upon going.

Now that very day the hundred years were ended; and as the prince came
to the thicket he saw nothing but beautiful flowering shrubs, through
which he went with ease, and they shut in after him as thick as ever.
Then he came at last to the palace, and there in the court lay the
dogs asleep; and the horses were standing in the stables; and on the
roof sat the pigeons fast asleep, with their heads under their wings.
And when he came into the palace, the flies were sleeping on the
walls; the spit was standing still; the butler had the jug of ale at
his lips, going to drink a draught; the maid sat with a fowl in her
lap ready to be plucked; and the cook in the kitchen was still holding
up her hand, as if she was going to beat the boy.

Then he went on still farther, and all was so still that he could hear
every breath he drew; till at last he came to the old tower, and
opened the door of the little room in which Briar Rose was; and there
she lay, fast asleep on a couch by the window. She looked so beautiful
that he could not take his eyes off her, so he stooped down and gave
her a kiss. But the moment he kissed her she opened her eyes and
awoke, and smiled upon him; and they went out together; and soon the
king and queen also awoke, and all the court, and gazed on each other
with great wonder. And the horses shook themselves, and the dogs
jumped up and barked; the pigeons took their heads from under their
wings, and looked about and flew into the fields; the flies on the
walls buzzed again; the fire in the kitchen blazed up; round went the
jack, and round went the spit, with the goose for the king's dinner
upon it; the butler finished his draught of ale; the maid went on
plucking the fowl; and the cook gave the boy the box on his ear.

And then the prince and Briar Rose were married, and the wedding feast
was given; and they lived happily together all their lives long.


A shepherd's dog had a master who took no care of him, but often let
him suffer the greatest hunger. At last he could bear it no longer; so
he took to his heels, and off he ran in a very sad and sorrowful mood.
On the road he met a sparrow that said to him, 'Why are you so sad, my
friend?' 'Because,' said the dog, 'I am very very hungry, and have
nothing to eat.' 'If that be all,' answered the sparrow, 'come with me
into the next town, and I will soon find you plenty of food.' So on
they went together into the town: and as they passed by a butcher's
shop, the sparrow said to the dog, 'Stand there a little while till I
peck you down a piece of meat.' So the sparrow perched upon the shelf:
and having first looked carefully about her to see if anyone was
watching her, she pecked and scratched at a steak that lay upon the
edge of the shelf, till at last down it fell. Then the dog snapped it
up, and scrambled away with it into a corner, where he soon ate it all
up. 'Well,' said the sparrow, 'you shall have some more if you will;
so come with me to the next shop, and I will peck you down another
steak.' When the dog had eaten this too, the sparrow said to him,
'Well, my good friend, have you had enough now?' 'I have had plenty of
meat,' answered he, 'but I should like to have a piece of bread to eat
after it.' 'Come with me then,' said the sparrow, 'and you shall soon
have that too.' So she took him to a baker's shop, and pecked at two
rolls that lay in the window, till they fell down: and as the dog
still wished for more, she took him to another shop and pecked down
some more for him. When that was eaten, the sparrow asked him whether
he had had enough now. 'Yes,' said he; 'and now let us take a walk a
little way out of the town.' So they both went out upon the high road;
but as the weather was warm, they had not gone far before the dog
said, 'I am very much tired--I should like to take a nap.' 'Very
well,' answered the sparrow, 'do so, and in the meantime I will perch
upon that bush.' So the dog stretched himself out on the road, and
fell fast asleep. Whilst he slept, there came by a carter with a cart
drawn by three horses, and loaded with two casks of wine. The sparrow,
seeing that the carter did not turn out of the way, but would go on in
the track in which the dog lay, so as to drive over him, called out,
'Stop! stop! Mr Carter, or it shall be the worse for you.' But the
carter, grumbling to himself, 'You make it the worse for me, indeed!
what can you do?' cracked his whip, and drove his cart over the poor
dog, so that the wheels crushed him to death. 'There,' cried the
sparrow, 'thou cruel villain, thou hast killed my friend the dog. Now
mind what I say. This deed of thine shall cost thee all thou art
worth.' 'Do your worst, and welcome,' said the brute, 'what harm can
you do me?' and passed on. But the sparrow crept under the tilt of the
cart, and pecked at the bung of one of the casks till she loosened it;
and than all the wine ran out, without the carter seeing it. At last
he looked round, and saw that the cart was dripping, and the cask
quite empty. 'What an unlucky wretch I am!' cried he. 'Not wretch
enough yet!' said the sparrow, as she alighted upon the head of one of
the horses, and pecked at him till he reared up and kicked. When the
carter saw this, he drew out his hatchet and aimed a blow at the
sparrow, meaning to kill her; but she flew away, and the blow fell
upon the poor horse's head with such force, that he fell down dead.
'Unlucky wretch that I am!' cried he. 'Not wretch enough yet!' said
the sparrow. And as the carter went on with the other two horses, she
again crept under the tilt of the cart, and pecked out the bung of the
second cask, so that all the wine ran out. When the carter saw this,
he again cried out, 'Miserable wretch that I am!' But the sparrow
answered, 'Not wretch enough yet!' and perched on the head of the
second horse, and pecked at him too. The carter ran up and struck at
her again with his hatchet; but away she flew, and the blow fell upon
the second horse and killed him on the spot. 'Unlucky wretch that I
am!' said he. 'Not wretch enough yet!' said the sparrow; and perching
upon the third horse, she began to peck him too. The carter was mad
with fury; and without looking about him, or caring what he was about,
struck again at the sparrow; but killed his third horse as he done the
other two. 'Alas! miserable wretch that I am!' cried he. 'Not wretch
enough yet!' answered the sparrow as she flew away; 'now will I plague
and punish thee at thy own house.' The carter was forced at last to
leave his cart behind him, and to go home overflowing with rage and
vexation. 'Alas!' said he to his wife, 'what ill luck has befallen me!
--my wine is all spilt, and my horses all three dead.' 'Alas!
husband,' replied she, 'and a wicked bird has come into the house, and
has brought with her all the birds in the world, I am sure, and they
have fallen upon our corn in the loft, and are eating it up at such a
rate!' Away ran the husband upstairs, and saw thousands of birds
sitting upon the floor eating up his corn, with the sparrow in the
midst of them. 'Unlucky wretch that I am!' cried the carter; for he
saw that the corn was almost all gone. 'Not wretch enough yet!' said
the sparrow; 'thy cruelty shall cost thee they life yet!' and away she

The carter seeing that he had thus lost all that he had, went down
into his kitchen; and was still not sorry for what he had done, but
sat himself angrily and sulkily in the chimney corner. But the sparrow
sat on the outside of the window, and cried 'Carter! thy cruelty shall
cost thee thy life!' With that he jumped up in a rage, seized his
hatchet, and threw it at the sparrow; but it missed her, and only
broke the window. The sparrow now hopped in, perched upon the window-
seat, and cried, 'Carter! it shall cost thee thy life!' Then he became
mad and blind with rage, and struck the window-seat with such force
that he cleft it in two: and as the sparrow flew from place to place,
the carter and his wife were so furious, that they broke all their
furniture, glasses, chairs, benches, the table, and at last the walls,
without touching the bird at all. In the end, however, they caught
her: and the wife said, 'Shall I kill her at once?' 'No,' cried he,
'that is letting her off too easily: she shall die a much more cruel
death; I will eat her.' But the sparrow began to flutter about, and
stretch out her neck and cried, 'Carter! it shall cost thee thy life
yet!' With that he could wait no longer: so he gave his wife the
hatchet, and cried, 'Wife, strike at the bird and kill her in my
hand.' And the wife struck; but she missed her aim, and hit her
husband on the head so that he fell down dead, and the sparrow flew
quietly home to her nest.


There was a king who had twelve beautiful daughters. They slept in
twelve beds all in one room; and when they went to bed, the doors were
shut and locked up; but every morning their shoes were found to be
quite worn through as if they had been danced in all night; and yet
nobody could find out how it happened, or where they had been.

Then the king made it known to all the land, that if any person could
discover the secret, and find out where it was that the princesses
danced in the night, he should have the one he liked best for his
wife, and should be king after his death; but whoever tried and did
not succeed, after three days and nights, should be put to death.

A king's son soon came. He was well entertained, and in the evening
was taken to the chamber next to the one where the princesses lay in
their twelve beds. There he was to sit and watch where they went to
dance; and, in order that nothing might pass without his hearing it,
the door of his chamber was left open. But the king's son soon fell
asleep; and when he awoke in the morning he found that the princesses
had all been dancing, for the soles of their shoes were full of holes.
The same thing happened the second and third night: so the king
ordered his head to be cut off. After him came several others; but
they had all the same luck, and all lost their lives in the same

Now it chanced that an old soldier, who had been wounded in battle and
could fight no longer, passed through the country where this king
reigned: and as he was travelling through a wood, he met an old woman,
who asked him where he was going. 'I hardly know where I am going, or
what I had better do,' said the soldier; 'but I think I should like
very well to find out where it is that the princesses dance, and then
in time I might be a king.' 'Well,' said the old dame, 'that is no
very hard task: only take care not to drink any of the wine which one
of the princesses will bring to you in the evening; and as soon as she
leaves you pretend to be fast asleep.'

Then she gave him a cloak, and said, 'As soon as you put that on you
will become invisible, and you will then be able to follow the
princesses wherever they go.' When the soldier heard all this good
counsel, he determined to try his luck: so he went to the king, and
said he was willing to undertake the task.

He was as well received as the others had been, and the king ordered
fine royal robes to be given him; and when the evening came he was led
to the outer chamber. Just as he was going to lie down, the eldest of
the princesses brought him a cup of wine; but the soldier threw it all
away secretly, taking care not to drink a drop. Then he laid himself
down on his bed, and in a little while began to snore very loud as if
he was fast asleep. When the twelve princesses heard this they laughed
heartily; and the eldest said, 'This fellow too might have done a
wiser thing than lose his life in this way!' Then they rose up and
opened their drawers and boxes, and took out all their fine clothes,
and dressed themselves at the glass, and skipped about as if they were
eager to begin dancing. But the youngest said, 'I don't know how it
is, while you are so happy I feel very uneasy; I am sure some
mischance will befall us.' 'You simpleton,' said the eldest, 'you are
always afraid; have you forgotten how many kings' sons have already
watched in vain? And as for this soldier, even if I had not given him
his sleeping draught, he would have slept soundly enough.'

When they were all ready, they went and looked at the soldier; but he
snored on, and did not stir hand or foot: so they thought they were
quite safe; and the eldest went up to her own bed and clapped her
hands, and the bed sank into the floor and a trap-door flew open. The
soldier saw them going down through the trap-door one after another,
the eldest leading the way; and thinking he had no time to lose, he
jumped up, put on the cloak which the old woman had given him, and
followed them; but in the middle of the stairs he trod on the gown of
the youngest princess, and she cried out to her sisters, 'All is not
right; someone took hold of my gown.' 'You silly creature!' said the
eldest, 'it is nothing but a nail in the wall.' Then down they all
went, and at the bottom they found themselves in a most delightful
grove of trees; and the leaves were all of silver, and glittered and
sparkled beautifully. The soldier wished to take away some token of
the place; so he broke off a little branch, and there came a loud
noise from the tree. Then the youngest daughter said again, 'I am sure
all is not right--did not you hear that noise? That never happened
before.' But the eldest said, 'It is only our princes, who are
shouting for joy at our approach.'

Then they came to another grove of trees, where all the leaves were of
gold; and afterwards to a third, where the leaves were all glittering
diamonds. And the soldier broke a branch from each; and every time
there was a loud noise, which made the youngest sister tremble with
fear; but the eldest still said, it was only the princes, who were
crying for joy. So they went on till they came to a great lake; and at
the side of the lake there lay twelve little boats with twelve
handsome princes in them, who seemed to be waiting there for the

One of the princesses went into each boat, and the soldier stepped
into the same boat with the youngest. As they were rowing over the
lake, the prince who was in the boat with the youngest princess and
the soldier said, 'I do not know why it is, but though I am rowing
with all my might we do not get on so fast as usual, and I am quite
tired: the boat seems very heavy today.' 'It is only the heat of the
weather,' said the princess: 'I feel it very warm too.'

On the other side of the lake stood a fine illuminated castle, from
which came the merry music of horns and trumpets. There they all
landed, and went into the castle, and each prince danced with his
princess; and the soldier, who was all the time invisible, danced with
them too; and when any of the princesses had a cup of wine set by her,
he drank it all up, so that when she put the cup to her mouth it was
empty. At this, too, the youngest sister was terribly frightened, but
the eldest always silenced her. They danced on till three o'clock in
the morning, and then all their shoes were worn out, so that they were
obliged to leave off. The princes rowed them back again over the lake
(but this time the soldier placed himself in the boat with the eldest
princess); and on the opposite shore they took leave of each other,
the princesses promising to come again the next night.

When they came to the stairs, the soldier ran on before the
princesses, and laid himself down; and as the twelve sisters slowly
came up very much tired, they heard him snoring in his bed; so they
said, 'Now all is quite safe'; then they undressed themselves, put
away their fine clothes, pulled off their shoes, and went to bed. In
the morning the soldier said nothing about what had happened, but
determined to see more of this strange adventure, and went again the
second and third night; and every thing happened just as before; the
princesses danced each time till their shoes were worn to pieces, and
then returned home. However, on the third night the soldier carried
away one of the golden cups as a token of where he had been.

As soon as the time came when he was to declare the secret, he was
taken before the king with the three branches and the golden cup; and
the twelve princesses stood listening behind the door to hear what he
would say. And when the king asked him. 'Where do my twelve daughters
dance at night?' he answered, 'With twelve princes in a castle under
ground.' And then he told the king all that had happened, and showed
him the three branches and the golden cup which he had brought with
him. Then the king called for the princesses, and asked them whether
what the soldier said was true: and when they saw that they were
discovered, and that it was of no use to deny what had happened, they
confessed it all. And the king asked the soldier which of them he
would choose for his wife; and he answered, 'I am not very young, so I
will have the eldest.'--And they were married that very day, and the
soldier was chosen to be the king's heir.


There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close
by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing;
and one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the
sparkling waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was
dragged away deep into the water: and in drawing it up he pulled out a
great fish. But the fish said, 'Pray let me live! I am not a real
fish; I am an enchanted prince: put me in the water again, and let me
go!' 'Oh, ho!' said the man, 'you need not make so many words about
the matter; I will have nothing to do with a fish that can talk: so
swim away, sir, as soon as you please!' Then he put him back into the
water, and the fish darted straight down to the bottom, and left a
long streak of blood behind him on the wave.

When the fisherman went home to his wife in the pigsty, he told her
how he had caught a great fish, and how it had told him it was an
enchanted prince, and how, on hearing it speak, he had let it go
again. 'Did not you ask it for anything?' said the wife, 'we live very
wretchedly here, in this nasty dirty pigsty; do go back and tell the
fish we want a snug little cottage.'

The fisherman did not much like the business: however, he went to the
seashore; and when he came back there the water looked all yellow and
green. And he stood at the water's edge, and said:

'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

Then the fish came swimming to him, and said, 'Well, what is her will?
What does your wife want?' 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'she says that
when I had caught you, I ought to have asked you for something before
I let you go; she does not like living any longer in the pigsty, and
wants a snug little cottage.' 'Go home, then,' said the fish; 'she is
in the cottage already!' So the man went home, and saw his wife
standing at the door of a nice trim little cottage. 'Come in, come
in!' said she; 'is not this much better than the filthy pigsty we
had?' And there was a parlour, and a bedchamber, and a kitchen; and
behind the cottage there was a little garden, planted with all sorts
of flowers and fruits; and there was a courtyard behind, full of ducks
and chickens. 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'how happily we shall live
now!' 'We will try to do so, at least,' said his wife.

Everything went right for a week or two, and then Dame Ilsabill said,
'Husband, there is not near room enough for us in this cottage; the
courtyard and the garden are a great deal too small; I should like to
have a large stone castle to live in: go to the fish again and tell
him to give us a castle.' 'Wife,' said the fisherman, 'I don't like to
go to him again, for perhaps he will be angry; we ought to be easy
with this pretty cottage to live in.' 'Nonsense!' said the wife; 'he
will do it very willingly, I know; go along and try!'

The fisherman went, but his heart was very heavy: and when he came to
the sea, it looked blue and gloomy, though it was very calm; and he
went close to the edge of the waves, and said:

'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'Well, what does she want now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said the man,
dolefully, 'my wife wants to live in a stone castle.' 'Go home, then,'
said the fish; 'she is standing at the gate of it already.' So away
went the fisherman, and found his wife standing before the gate of a
great castle. 'See,' said she, 'is not this grand?' With that they
went into the castle together, and found a great many servants there,
and the rooms all richly furnished, and full of golden chairs and
tables; and behind the castle was a garden, and around it was a park
half a mile long, full of sheep, and goats, and hares, and deer; and
in the courtyard were stables and cow-houses. 'Well,' said the man,
'now we will live cheerful and happy in this beautiful castle for the
rest of our lives.' 'Perhaps we may,' said the wife; 'but let us sleep
upon it, before we make up our minds to that.' So they went to bed.

The next morning when Dame Ilsabill awoke it was broad daylight, and
she jogged the fisherman with her elbow, and said, 'Get up, husband,
and bestir yourself, for we must be king of all the land.' 'Wife,
wife,' said the man, 'why should we wish to be the king? I will not be
king.' 'Then I will,' said she. 'But, wife,' said the fisherman, 'how
can you be king--the fish cannot make you a king?' 'Husband,' said
she, 'say no more about it, but go and try! I will be king.' So the
man went away quite sorrowful to think that his wife should want to be
king. This time the sea looked a dark grey colour, and was overspread
with curling waves and the ridges of foam as he cried out:

'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'Well, what would she have now?' said the fish. 'Alas!' said the poor
man, 'my wife wants to be king.' 'Go home,' said the fish; 'she is
king already.'

Then the fisherman went home; and as he came close to the palace he
saw a troop of soldiers, and heard the sound of drums and trumpets.
And when he went in he saw his wife sitting on a throne of gold and
diamonds, with a golden crown upon her head; and on each side of her
stood six fair maidens, each a head taller than the other. 'Well,
wife,' said the fisherman, 'are you king?' 'Yes,' said she, 'I am
king.' And when he had looked at her for a long time, he said, 'Ah,
wife! what a fine thing it is to be king! Now we shall never have
anything more to wish for as long as we live.' 'I don't know how that
may be,' said she; 'never is a long time. I am king, it is true; but I
begin to be tired of that, and I think I should like to be emperor.'
'Alas, wife! why should you wish to be emperor?' said the fisherman.
'Husband,' said she, 'go to the fish! I say I will be emperor.' 'Ah,
wife!' replied the fisherman, 'the fish cannot make an emperor, I am
sure, and I should not like to ask him for such a thing.' 'I am king,'
said Ilsabill, 'and you are my slave; so go at once!'

So the fisherman was forced to go; and he muttered as he went along,
'This will come to no good, it is too much to ask; the fish will be
tired at last, and then we shall be sorry for what we have done.' He
soon came to the seashore; and the water was quite black and muddy,
and a mighty whirlwind blew over the waves and rolled them about, but
he went as near as he could to the water's brink, and said:

'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'What would she have now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said the fisherman,
'she wants to be emperor.' 'Go home,' said the fish; 'she is emperor

So he went home again; and as he came near he saw his wife Ilsabill
sitting on a very lofty throne made of solid gold, with a great crown
on her head full two yards high; and on each side of her stood her
guards and attendants in a row, each one smaller than the other, from
the tallest giant down to a little dwarf no bigger than my finger. And
before her stood princes, and dukes, and earls: and the fisherman went
up to her and said, 'Wife, are you emperor?' 'Yes,' said she, 'I am
emperor.' 'Ah!' said the man, as he gazed upon her, 'what a fine thing
it is to be emperor!' 'Husband,' said she, 'why should we stop at
being emperor? I will be pope next.' 'O wife, wife!' said he, 'how can
you be pope? there is but one pope at a time in Christendom.'
'Husband,' said she, 'I will be pope this very day.' 'But,' replied
the husband, 'the fish cannot make you pope.' 'What nonsense!' said
she; 'if he can make an emperor, he can make a pope: go and try him.'

So the fisherman went. But when he came to the shore the wind was
raging and the sea was tossed up and down in boiling waves, and the
ships were in trouble, and rolled fearfully upon the tops of the
billows. In the middle of the heavens there was a little piece of blue
sky, but towards the south all was red, as if a dreadful storm was
rising. At this sight the fisherman was dreadfully frightened, and he
trembled so that his knees knocked together: but still he went down
near to the shore, and said:

'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'What does she want now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'my
wife wants to be pope.' 'Go home,' said the fish; 'she is pope

Then the fisherman went home, and found Ilsabill sitting on a throne
that was two miles high. And she had three great crowns on her head,
and around her stood all the pomp and power of the Church. And on each
side of her were two rows of burning lights, of all sizes, the
greatest as large as the highest and biggest tower in the world, and
the least no larger than a small rushlight. 'Wife,' said the
fisherman, as he looked at all this greatness, 'are you pope?' 'Yes,'
said she, 'I am pope.' 'Well, wife,' replied he, 'it is a grand thing
to be pope; and now you must be easy, for you can be nothing greater.'
'I will think about that,' said the wife. Then they went to bed: but
Dame Ilsabill could not sleep all night for thinking what she should
be next. At last, as she was dropping asleep, morning broke, and the
sun rose. 'Ha!' thought she, as she woke up and looked at it through
the window, 'after all I cannot prevent the sun rising.' At this
thought she was very angry, and wakened her husband, and said,
'Husband, go to the fish and tell him I must be lord of the sun and
moon.' The fisherman was half asleep, but the thought frightened him
so much that he started and fell out of bed. 'Alas, wife!' said he,
'cannot you be easy with being pope?' 'No,' said she, 'I am very
uneasy as long as the sun and moon rise without my leave. Go to the
fish at once!'

Then the man went shivering with fear; and as he was going down to the
shore a dreadful storm arose, so that the trees and the very rocks
shook. And all the heavens became black with stormy clouds, and the
lightnings played, and the thunders rolled; and you might have seen in
the sea great black waves, swelling up like mountains with crowns of
white foam upon their heads. And the fisherman crept towards the sea,
and cried out, as well as he could:

'O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'What does she want now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said he, 'she wants to
be lord of the sun and moon.' 'Go home,' said the fish, 'to your
pigsty again.'

And there they live to this very day.


Once in summer-time the bear and the wolf were walking in the forest,
and the bear heard a bird singing so beautifully that he said:
'Brother wolf, what bird is it that sings so well?' 'That is the King
of birds,' said the wolf, 'before whom we must bow down.' In reality
the bird was the willow-wren. 'IF that's the case,' said the bear, 'I
should very much like to see his royal palace; come, take me thither.'
'That is not done quite as you seem to think,' said the wolf; 'you
must wait until the Queen comes,' Soon afterwards, the Queen arrived
with some food in her beak, and the lord King came too, and they began
to feed their young ones. The bear would have liked to go at once, but
the wolf held him back by the sleeve, and said: 'No, you must wait
until the lord and lady Queen have gone away again.' So they took
stock of the hole where the nest lay, and trotted away. The bear,
however, could not rest until he had seen the royal palace, and when a
short time had passed, went to it again. The King and Queen had just
flown out, so he peeped in and saw five or six young ones lying there.
'Is that the royal palace?' cried the bear; 'it is a wretched palace,
and you are not King's children, you are disreputable children!' When
the young wrens heard that, they were frightfully angry, and screamed:
'No, that we are not! Our parents are honest people! Bear, you will
have to pay for that!'

The bear and the wolf grew uneasy, and turned back and went into their
holes. The young willow-wrens, however, continued to cry and scream,
and when their parents again brought food they said: 'We will not so
much as touch one fly's leg, no, not if we were dying of hunger, until
you have settled whether we are respectable children or not; the bear
has been here and has insulted us!' Then the old King said: 'Be easy,
he shall be punished,' and he at once flew with the Queen to the
bear's cave, and called in: 'Old Growler, why have you insulted my
children? You shall suffer for it--we will punish you by a bloody
war.' Thus war was announced to the Bear, and all four-footed animals
were summoned to take part in it, oxen, asses, cows, deer, and every
other animal the earth contained. And the willow-wren summoned
everything which flew in the air, not only birds, large and small, but
midges, and hornets, bees and flies had to come.

When the time came for the war to begin, the willow-wren sent out
spies to discover who was the enemy's commander-in-chief. The gnat,
who was the most crafty, flew into the forest where the enemy was
assembled, and hid herself beneath a leaf of the tree where the
password was to be announced. There stood the bear, and he called the
fox before him and said: 'Fox, you are the most cunning of all
animals, you shall be general and lead us.' 'Good,' said the fox, 'but
what signal shall we agree upon?' No one knew that, so the fox said:
'I have a fine long bushy tail, which almost looks like a plume of red
feathers. When I lift my tail up quite high, all is going well, and
you must charge; but if I let it hang down, run away as fast as you
can.' When the gnat had heard that, she flew away again, and revealed
everything, down to the minutest detail, to the willow-wren. When day
broke, and the battle was to begin, all the four-footed animals came
running up with such a noise that the earth trembled. The willow-wren
with his army also came flying through the air with such a humming,
and whirring, and swarming that every one was uneasy and afraid, and
on both sides they advanced against each other. But the willow-wren
sent down the hornet, with orders to settle beneath the fox's tail,
and sting with all his might. When the fox felt the first string, he
started so that he one leg, from pain, but he bore it, and
still kept his tail high in the air; at the second sting, he was
forced to put it down for a moment; at the third, he could hold out no
longer, screamed, and put his tail between his legs. When the animals
saw that, they thought all was lost, and began to flee, each into his
hole, and the birds had won the battle.

Then the King and Queen flew home to their children and cried:
'Children, rejoice, eat and drink to your heart's content, we have won
the battle!' But the young wrens said: 'We will not eat yet, the bear
must come to the nest, and beg for pardon and say that we are
honourable children, before we will do that.' Then the willow-wren
flew to the bear's hole and cried: 'Growler, you are to come to the
nest to my children, and beg their pardon, or else every rib of your
body shall be broken.' So the bear crept thither in the greatest fear,
and begged their pardon. And now at last the young wrens were
satisfied, and sat down together and ate and drank, and made merry
till quite late into the night.


One fine evening a young princess put on her bonnet and clogs, and
went out to take a walk by herself in a wood; and when she came to a
cool spring of water, that rose in the midst of it, she sat herself
down to rest a while. Now she had a golden ball in her hand, which was
her favourite plaything; and she was always tossing it up into the
air, and catching it again as it fell. After a time she threw it up so
high that she missed catching it as it fell; and the ball bounded
away, and rolled along upon the ground, till at last it fell down into
the spring. The princess looked into the spring after her ball, but it
was very deep, so deep that she could not see the bottom of it. Then
she began to bewail her loss, and said, 'Alas! if I could only get my
ball again, I would give all my fine clothes and jewels, and
everything that I have in the world.'

Whilst she was speaking, a frog put its head out of the water, and
said, 'Princess, why do you weep so bitterly?' 'Alas!' said she, 'what
can you do for me, you nasty frog? My golden ball has fallen into the
spring.' The frog said, 'I want not your pearls, and jewels, and fine
clothes; but if you will love me, and let me live with you and eat
from off your golden plate, and sleep upon your bed, I will bring you
your ball again.' 'What nonsense,' thought the princess, 'this silly
frog is talking! He can never even get out of the spring to visit me,
though he may be able to get my ball for me, and therefore I will tell
him he shall have what he asks.' So she said to the frog, 'Well, if
you will bring me my ball, I will do all you ask.' Then the frog put
his head down, and dived deep under the water; and after a little
while he came up again, with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on
the edge of the spring. As soon as the young princess saw her ball,
she ran to pick it up; and she was so overjoyed to have it in her hand
again, that she never thought of the frog, but ran home with it as
fast as she could. The frog called after her, 'Stay, princess, and
take me with you as you said,' But she did not stop to hear a word.

The next day, just as the princess had sat down to dinner, she heard a
strange noise--tap, tap--plash, plash--as if something was coming up
the marble staircase: and soon afterwards there was a gentle knock at
the door, and a little voice cried out and said:

'Open the door, my princess dear,
Open the door to thy true love here!
And mind the words that thou and I said
By the fountain cool, in the greenwood shade.'

Then the princess ran to the door and opened it, and there she saw the
frog, whom she had quite forgotten. At this sight she was sadly
frightened, and shutting the door as fast as she could came back to
her seat. The king, her father, seeing that something had frightened
her, asked her what was the matter. 'There is a nasty frog,' said she,
'at the door, that lifted my ball for me out of the spring this
morning: I told him that he should live with me here, thinking that he
could never get out of the spring; but there he is at the door, and he
wants to come in.'

While she was speaking the frog knocked again at the door, and said:

'Open the door, my princess dear,
Open the door to thy true love here!
And mind the words that thou and I said
By the fountain cool, in the greenwood shade.'

Then the king said to the young princess, 'As you have given your word
you must keep it; so go and let him in.' She did so, and the frog
hopped into the room, and then straight on--tap, tap--plash, plash--
from the bottom of the room to the top, till he came up close to the
table where the princess sat. 'Pray lift me upon chair,' said he to
the princess, 'and let me sit next to you.' As soon as she had done
this, the frog said, 'Put your plate nearer to me, that I may eat out
of it.' This she did, and when he had eaten as much as he could, he
said, 'Now I am tired; carry me upstairs, and put me into your bed.'
And the princess, though very unwilling, took him up in her hand, and
put him upon the pillow of her own bed, where he slept all night long.
As soon as it was light he jumped up, hopped downstairs, and went out
of the house. 'Now, then,' thought the princess, 'at last he is gone,
and I shall be troubled with him no more.'

But she was mistaken; for when night came again she heard the same
tapping at the door; and the frog came once more, and said:

'Open the door, my princess dear,
Open the door to thy true love here!
And mind the words that thou and I said
By the fountain cool, in the greenwood shade.'

And when the princess opened the door the frog came in, and slept upon
her pillow as before, till the morning broke. And the third night he
did the same. But when the princess awoke on the following morning she
was astonished to see, instead of the frog, a handsome prince, gazing
on her with the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen, and standing at
the head of her bed.

He told her that he had been enchanted by a spiteful fairy, who had
changed him into a frog; and that he had been fated so to abide till
some princess should take him out of the spring, and let him eat from
her plate, and sleep upon her bed for three nights. 'You,' said the
prince, 'have broken his cruel charm, and now I have nothing to wish
for but that you should go with me into my father's kingdom, where I
will marry you, and love you as long as you live.'

The young princess, you may be sure, was not long in saying 'Yes' to
all this; and as they spoke a gay coach drove up, with eight beautiful
horses, decked with plumes of feathers and a golden harness; and
behind the coach rode the prince's servant, faithful Heinrich, who had
bewailed the misfortunes of his dear master during his enchantment so
long and so bitterly, that his heart had well-nigh burst.

They then took leave of the king, and got into the coach with eight
horses, and all set out, full of joy and merriment, for the prince's
kingdom, which they reached safely; and there they lived happily a
great many years.


A certain cat had made the acquaintance of a mouse, and had said so
much to her about the great love and friendship she felt for her, that
at length the mouse agreed that they should live and keep house
together. 'But we must make a provision for winter, or else we shall
suffer from hunger,' said the cat; 'and you, little mouse, cannot
venture everywhere, or you will be caught in a trap some day.' The
good advice was followed, and a pot of fat was bought, but they did
not know where to put it. At length, after much consideration, the cat
said: 'I know no place where it will be better stored up than in the
church, for no one dares take anything away from there. We will set it
beneath the altar, and not touch it until we are really in need of
it.' So the pot was placed in safety, but it was not long before the
cat had a great yearning for it, and said to the mouse: 'I want to
tell you something, little mouse; my cousin has brought a little son
into the world, and has asked me to be godmother; he is white with
brown spots, and I am to hold him over the font at the christening.
Let me go out today, and you look after the house by yourself.' 'Yes,
yes,' answered the mouse, 'by all means go, and if you get anything
very good to eat, think of me. I should like a drop of sweet red
christening wine myself.' All this, however, was untrue; the cat had
no cousin, and had not been asked to be godmother. She went straight
to the church, stole to the pot of fat, began to lick at it, and
licked the top of the fat off. Then she took a walk upon the roofs of
the town, looked out for opportunities, and then stretched herself in
the sun, and licked her lips whenever she thought of the pot of fat,
and not until it was evening did she return home. 'Well, here you are
again,' said the mouse, 'no doubt you have had a merry day.' 'All went
off well,' answered the cat. 'What name did they give the child?' 'Top
off!' said the cat quite coolly. 'Top off!' cried the mouse, 'that is
a very odd and uncommon name, is it a usual one in your family?' 'What
does that matter,' said the cat, 'it is no worse than Crumb-stealer,
as your godchildren are called.'

Before long the cat was seized by another fit of yearning. She said to
the mouse: 'You must do me a favour, and once more manage the house
for a day alone. I am again asked to be godmother, and, as the child
has a white ring round its neck, I cannot refuse.' The good mouse
consented, but the cat crept behind the town walls to the church, and
devoured half the pot of fat. 'Nothing ever seems so good as what one
keeps to oneself,' said she, and was quite satisfied with her day's
work. When she went home the mouse inquired: 'And what was the child
christened?' 'Half-done,' answered the cat. 'Half-done! What are you
saying? I never heard the name in my life, I'll wager anything it is
not in the calendar!'

The cat's mouth soon began to water for some more licking. 'All good
things go in threes,' said she, 'I am asked to stand godmother again.
The child is quite black, only it has white paws, but with that
exception, it has not a single white hair on its whole body; this only
happens once every few years, you will let me go, won't you?' 'Top-
off! Half-done!' answered the mouse, 'they are such odd names, they
make me very thoughtful.' 'You sit at home,' said the cat, 'in your
dark-grey fur coat and long tail, and are filled with fancies, that's
because you do not go out in the daytime.' During the cat's absence
the mouse cleaned the house, and put it in order, but the greedy cat
entirely emptied the pot of fat. 'When everything is eaten up one has
some peace,' said she to herself, and well filled and fat she did not
return home till night. The mouse at once asked what name had been
given to the third child. 'It will not please you more than the
others,' said the cat. 'He is called All-gone.' 'All-gone,' cried the
mouse 'that is the most suspicious name of all! I have never seen it
in print. All-gone; what can that mean?' and she shook her head,
curled herself up, and lay down to sleep.

From this time forth no one invited the cat to be godmother, but when
the winter had come and there was no longer anything to be found
outside, the mouse thought of their provision, and said: 'Come, cat,
we will go to our pot of fat which we have stored up for ourselves--we
shall enjoy that.' 'Yes,' answered the cat, 'you will enjoy it as much
as you would enjoy sticking that dainty tongue of yours out of the
window.' They set out on their way, but when they arrived, the pot of
fat certainly was still in its place, but it was empty. 'Alas!' said
the mouse, 'now I see what has happened, now it comes to light! You a
true friend! You have devoured all when you were standing godmother.
First top off, then half-done, then--' 'Will you hold your tongue,'
cried the cat, 'one word more, and I will eat you too.' 'All-gone' was
already on the poor mouse's lips; scarcely had she spoken it before
the cat sprang on her, seized her, and swallowed her down. Verily,
that is the way of the world.


The king of a great land died, and left his queen to take care of
their only child. This child was a daughter, who was very beautiful;
and her mother loved her dearly, and was very kind to her. And there
was a good fairy too, who was fond of the princess, and helped her
mother to watch over her. When she grew up, she was betrothed to a
prince who lived a great way off; and as the time drew near for her to
be married, she got ready to set off on her journey to his country.
Then the queen her mother, packed up a great many costly things;
jewels, and gold, and silver; trinkets, fine dresses, and in short
everything that became a royal bride. And she gave her a waiting-maid
to ride with her, and give her into the bridegroom's hands; and each
had a horse for the journey. Now the princess's horse was the fairy's
gift, and it was called Falada, and could speak.

When the time came for them to set out, the fairy went into her bed-
chamber, and took a little knife, and cut off a lock of her hair, and
gave it to the princess, and said, 'Take care of it, dear child; for
it is a charm that may be of use to you on the road.' Then they all
took a sorrowful leave of the princess; and she put the lock of hair
into her bosom, got upon her horse, and set off on her journey to her
bridegroom's kingdom.

One day, as they were riding along by a brook, the princess began to
feel very thirsty: and she said to her maid, 'Pray get down, and fetch
me some water in my golden cup out of yonder brook, for I want to
drink.' 'Nay,' said the maid, 'if you are thirsty, get off yourself,
and stoop down by the water and drink; I shall not be your waiting-
maid any longer.' Then she was so thirsty that she got down, and knelt
over the little brook, and drank; for she was frightened, and dared
not bring out her golden cup; and she wept and said, 'Alas! what will
become of me?' And the lock answered her, and said:

'Alas! alas! if thy mother knew it,
Sadly, sadly, would she rue it.'

But the princess was very gentle and meek, so she said nothing to her
maid's ill behaviour, but got upon her horse again.

Then all rode farther on their journey, till the day grew so warm, and
the sun so scorching, that the bride began to feel very thirsty again;
and at last, when they came to a river, she forgot her maid's rude
speech, and said, 'Pray get down, and fetch me some water to drink in
my golden cup.' But the maid answered her, and even spoke more
haughtily than before: 'Drink if you will, but I shall not be your
waiting-maid.' Then the princess was so thirsty that she got off her
horse, and lay down, and held her head over the running stream, and
cried and said, 'What will become of me?' And the lock of hair
answered her again:

'Alas! alas! if thy mother knew it,
Sadly, sadly, would she rue it.'

And as she leaned down to drink, the lock of hair fell from her bosom,
and floated away with the water. Now she was so frightened that she
did not see it; but her maid saw it, and was very glad, for she knew
the charm; and she saw that the poor bride would be in her power, now
that she had lost the hair. So when the bride had done drinking, and
would have got upon Falada again, the maid said, 'I shall ride upon
Falada, and you may have my horse instead'; so she was forced to give
up her horse, and soon afterwards to take off her royal clothes and
put on her maid's shabby ones.

At last, as they drew near the end of their journey, this treacherous
servant threatened to kill her mistress if she ever told anyone what
had happened. But Falada saw it all, and marked it well.

Then the waiting-maid got upon Falada, and the real bride rode upon
the other horse, and they went on in this way till at last they came
to the royal court. There was great joy at their coming, and the
prince flew to meet them, and lifted the maid from her horse, thinking
she was the one who was to be his wife; and she was led upstairs to
the royal chamber; but the true princess was told to stay in the court

Now the old king happened just then to have nothing else to do; so he
amused himself by sitting at his kitchen window, looking at what was
going on; and he saw her in the courtyard. As she looked very pretty,
and too delicate for a waiting-maid, he went up into the royal chamber
to ask the bride who it was she had brought with her, that was thus
left standing in the court below. 'I brought her with me for the sake
of her company on the road,' said she; 'pray give the girl some work
to do, that she may not be idle.' The old king could not for some time
think of any work for her to do; but at last he said, 'I have a lad
who takes care of my geese; she may go and help him.' Now the name of
this lad, that the real bride was to help in watching the king's
geese, was Curdken.

But the false bride said to the prince, 'Dear husband, pray do me one
piece of kindness.' 'That I will,' said the prince. 'Then tell one of
your slaughterers to cut off the head of the horse I rode upon, for it
was very unruly, and plagued me sadly on the road'; but the truth was,
she was very much afraid lest Falada should some day or other speak,
and tell all she had done to the princess. She carried her point, and
the faithful Falada was killed; but when the true princess heard of
it, she wept, and begged the man to nail up Falada's head against a
large dark gate of the city, through which she had to pass every
morning and evening, that there she might still see him sometimes.
Then the slaughterer said he would do as she wished; and cut off the
head, and nailed it up under the dark gate.

Early the next morning, as she and Curdken went out through the gate,
she said sorrowfully:

'Falada, Falada, there thou hangest!'

and the head answered:

'Bride, bride, there thou gangest!
Alas! alas! if thy mother knew it,
Sadly, sadly, would she rue it.'

Then they went out of the city, and drove the geese on. And when she
came to the meadow, she sat down upon a bank there, and let down her
waving locks of hair, which were all of pure silver; and when Curdken
saw it glitter in the sun, he ran up, and would have pulled some of
the locks out, but she cried:

'Blow, breezes, blow!
Let Curdken's hat go!
Blow, breezes, blow!
Let him after it go!
O'er hills, dales, and rocks,
Away be it whirl'd
Till the silvery locks
Are all comb'd and curl'd!

Then there came a wind, so strong that it blew off Curdken's hat; and
away it flew over the hills: and he was forced to turn and run after
it; till, by the time he came back, she had done combing and curling
her hair, and had put it up again safe. Then he was very angry and
sulky, and would not speak to her at all; but they watched the geese
until it grew dark in the evening, and then drove them homewards.

The next morning, as they were going through the dark gate, the poor
girl looked up at Falada's head, and cried:

'Falada, Falada, there thou hangest!'

and the head answered:

'Bride, bride, there thou gangest!
Alas! alas! if they mother knew it,
Sadly, sadly, would she rue it.'

Then she drove on the geese, and sat down again in the meadow, and
began to comb out her hair as before; and Curdken ran up to her, and
wanted to take hold of it; but she cried out quickly:

'Blow, breezes, blow!
Let Curdken's hat go!
Blow, breezes, blow!
Let him after it go!
O'er hills, dales, and rocks,
Away be it whirl'd
Till the silvery locks
Are all comb'd and curl'd!

Then the wind came and blew away his hat; and off it flew a great way,
over the hills and far away, so that he had to run after it; and when
he came back she had bound up her hair again, and all was safe. So
they watched the geese till it grew dark.

In the evening, after they came home, Curdken went to the old king,
and said, 'I cannot have that strange girl to help me to keep the
geese any longer.' 'Why?' said the king. 'Because, instead of doing
any good, she does nothing but tease me all day long.' Then the king
made him tell him what had happened. And Curdken said, 'When we go in
the morning through the dark gate with our flock of geese, she cries
and talks with the head of a horse that hangs upon the wall, and says:

'Falada, Falada, there thou hangest!'

and the head answers:

'Bride, bride, there thou gangest!
Alas! alas! if they mother knew it,
Sadly, sadly, would she rue it.'

And Curdken went on telling the king what had happened upon the meadow
where the geese fed; how his hat was blown away; and how he was forced
to run after it, and to leave his flock of geese to themselves. But
the old king told the boy to go out again the next day: and when
morning came, he placed himself behind the dark gate, and heard how
she spoke to Falada, and how Falada answered. Then he went into the
field, and hid himself in a bush by the meadow's side; and he soon saw
with his own eyes how they drove the flock of geese; and how, after a
little time, she let down her hair that glittered in the sun. And then
he heard her say:

'Blow, breezes, blow!
Let Curdken's hat go!
Blow, breezes, blow!
Let him after it go!
O'er hills, dales, and rocks,
Away be it whirl'd
Till the silvery locks
Are all comb'd and curl'd!

And soon came a gale of wind, and carried away Curdken's hat, and away
went Curdken after it, while the girl went on combing and curling her
hair. All this the old king saw: so he went home without being seen;
and when the little goose-girl came back in the evening he called her
aside, and asked her why she did so: but she burst into tears, and
said, 'That I must not tell you or any man, or I shall lose my life.'

But the old king begged so hard, that she had no peace till she had
told him all the tale, from beginning to end, word for word. And it
was very lucky for her that she did so, for when she had done the king
ordered royal clothes to be put upon her, and gazed on her with
wonder, she was so beautiful. Then he called his son and told him that
he had only a false bride; for that she was merely a waiting-maid,
while the true bride stood by. And the young king rejoiced when he saw
her beauty, and heard how meek and patient she had been; and without
saying anything to the false bride, the king ordered a great feast to
be got ready for all his court. The bridegroom sat at the top, with
the false princess on one side, and the true one on the other; but
nobody knew her again, for her beauty was quite dazzling to their
eyes; and she did not seem at all like the little goose-girl, now that
she had her brilliant dress on.

When they had eaten and drank, and were very merry, the old king said
he would tell them a tale. So he began, and told all the story of the
princess, as if it was one that he had once heard; and he asked the
true waiting-maid what she thought ought to be done to anyone who
would behave thus. 'Nothing better,' said this false bride, 'than that
she should be thrown into a cask stuck round with sharp nails, and
that two white horses should be put to it, and should drag it from
street to street till she was dead.' 'Thou art she!' said the old
king; 'and as thou has judged thyself, so shall it be done to thee.'
And the young king was then married to his true wife, and they reigned
over the kingdom in peace and happiness all their lives; and the good
fairy came to see them, and restored the faithful Falada to life


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