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Grimms' Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

Part 5 out of 5

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pointed mouth?' 'No,' answered the cat. 'Then he won't do for me.'

When the wolf was gone, came a dog, a stag, a hare, a bear, a lion,
and all the beasts of the forest, one after the other. But one of the
good qualities which old Mr Fox had possessed, was always lacking, and
the cat had continually to send the suitors away. At length came a
young fox. Then Mrs Fox said: 'Has the gentleman red stockings on, and
has a little pointed mouth?' 'Yes,' said the cat, 'he has.' 'Then let
him come upstairs,' said Mrs Fox, and ordered the servant to prepare
the wedding feast.

'Sweep me the room as clean as you can,
Up with the window, fling out my old man!
For many a fine fat mouse he brought,
Yet of his wife he never thought,
But ate up every one he caught.'

Then the wedding was solemnized with young Mr Fox, and there was much
rejoicing and dancing; and if they have not left off, they are dancing


As a merry young huntsman was once going briskly along through a wood,
there came up a little old woman, and said to him, 'Good day, good
day; you seem merry enough, but I am hungry and thirsty; do pray give
me something to eat.' The huntsman took pity on her, and put his hand
in his pocket and gave her what he had. Then he wanted to go his way;
but she took hold of him, and said, 'Listen, my friend, to what I am
going to tell you; I will reward you for your kindness; go your way,
and after a little time you will come to a tree where you will see
nine birds sitting on a cloak. Shoot into the midst of them, and one
will fall down dead: the cloak will fall too; take it, it is a
wishing-cloak, and when you wear it you will find yourself at any
place where you may wish to be. Cut open the dead bird, take out its
heart and keep it, and you will find a piece of gold under your pillow
every morning when you rise. It is the bird's heart that will bring
you this good luck.'

The huntsman thanked her, and thought to himself, 'If all this does
happen, it will be a fine thing for me.' When he had gone a hundred
steps or so, he heard a screaming and chirping in the branches over
him, and looked up and saw a flock of birds pulling a cloak with their
bills and feet; screaming, fighting, and tugging at each other as if
each wished to have it himself. 'Well,' said the huntsman, 'this is
wonderful; this happens just as the old woman said'; then he shot into
the midst of them so that their feathers flew all about. Off went the
flock chattering away; but one fell down dead, and the cloak with it.
Then the huntsman did as the old woman told him, cut open the bird,
took out the heart, and carried the cloak home with him.

The next morning when he awoke he lifted up his pillow, and there lay
the piece of gold glittering underneath; the same happened next day,
and indeed every day when he arose. He heaped up a great deal of gold,
and at last thought to himself, 'Of what use is this gold to me whilst
I am at home? I will go out into the world and look about me.'

Then he took leave of his friends, and hung his bag and bow about his
neck, and went his way. It so happened that his road one day led
through a thick wood, at the end of which was a large castle in a
green meadow, and at one of the windows stood an old woman with a very
beautiful young lady by her side looking about them. Now the old woman
was a witch, and said to the young lady, 'There is a young man coming
out of the wood who carries a wonderful prize; we must get it away
from him, my dear child, for it is more fit for us than for him. He
has a bird's heart that brings a piece of gold under his pillow every
morning.' Meantime the huntsman came nearer and looked at the lady,
and said to himself, 'I have been travelling so long that I should
like to go into this castle and rest myself, for I have money enough
to pay for anything I want'; but the real reason was, that he wanted
to see more of the beautiful lady. Then he went into the house, and
was welcomed kindly; and it was not long before he was so much in love
that he thought of nothing else but looking at the lady's eyes, and
doing everything that she wished. Then the old woman said, 'Now is the
time for getting the bird's heart.' So the lady stole it away, and he
never found any more gold under his pillow, for it lay now under the
young lady's, and the old woman took it away every morning; but he was
so much in love that he never missed his prize.

'Well,' said the old witch, 'we have got the bird's heart, but not the
wishing-cloak yet, and that we must also get.' 'Let us leave him
that,' said the young lady; 'he has already lost his wealth.' Then the
witch was very angry, and said, 'Such a cloak is a very rare and
wonderful thing, and I must and will have it.' So she did as the old
woman told her, and set herself at the window, and looked about the
country and seemed very sorrowful; then the huntsman said, 'What makes
you so sad?' 'Alas! dear sir,' said she, 'yonder lies the granite rock
where all the costly diamonds grow, and I want so much to go there,
that whenever I think of it I cannot help being sorrowful, for who can
reach it? only the birds and the flies--man cannot.' 'If that's all
your grief,' said the huntsman, 'I'll take there with all my heart';
so he drew her under his cloak, and the moment he wished to be on the
granite mountain they were both there. The diamonds glittered so on
all sides that they were delighted with the sight and picked up the
finest. But the old witch made a deep sleep come upon him, and he said
to the young lady, 'Let us sit down and rest ourselves a little, I am
so tired that I cannot stand any longer.' So they sat down, and he
laid his head in her lap and fell asleep; and whilst he was sleeping
on she took the cloak from his shoulders, hung it on her own, picked
up the diamonds, and wished herself home again.

When he awoke and found that his lady had tricked him, and left him
alone on the wild rock, he said, 'Alas! what roguery there is in the
world!' and there he sat in great grief and fear, not knowing what to
do. Now this rock belonged to fierce giants who lived upon it; and as
he saw three of them striding about, he thought to himself, 'I can
only save myself by feigning to be asleep'; so he laid himself down as
if he were in a sound sleep. When the giants came up to him, the first
pushed him with his foot, and said, 'What worm is this that lies here
curled up?' 'Tread upon him and kill him,' said the second. 'It's not
worth the trouble,' said the third; 'let him live, he'll go climbing
higher up the mountain, and some cloud will come rolling and carry him
away.' And they passed on. But the huntsman had heard all they said;
and as soon as they were gone, he climbed to the top of the mountain,
and when he had sat there a short time a cloud came rolling around
him, and caught him in a whirlwind and bore him along for some time,
till it settled in a garden, and he fell quite gently to the ground
amongst the greens and cabbages.

Then he looked around him, and said, 'I wish I had something to eat,
if not I shall be worse off than before; for here I see neither apples
nor pears, nor any kind of fruits, nothing but vegetables.' At last he
thought to himself, 'I can eat salad, it will refresh and strengthen
me.' So he picked out a fine head and ate of it; but scarcely had he
swallowed two bites when he felt himself quite changed, and saw with
horror that he was turned into an ass. However, he still felt very
hungry, and the salad tasted very nice; so he ate on till he came to
another kind of salad, and scarcely had he tasted it when he felt
another change come over him, and soon saw that he was lucky enough to
have found his old shape again.

Then he laid himself down and slept off a little of his weariness; and
when he awoke the next morning he broke off a head both of the good
and the bad salad, and thought to himself, 'This will help me to my
fortune again, and enable me to pay off some folks for their
treachery.' So he went away to try and find the castle of his friends;
and after wandering about a few days he luckily found it. Then he
stained his face all over brown, so that even his mother would not
have known him, and went into the castle and asked for a lodging; 'I
am so tired,' said he, 'that I can go no farther.' 'Countryman,' said
the witch, 'who are you? and what is your business?' 'I am,' said he,
'a messenger sent by the king to find the finest salad that grows
under the sun. I have been lucky enough to find it, and have brought
it with me; but the heat of the sun scorches so that it begins to
wither, and I don't know that I can carry it farther.'

When the witch and the young lady heard of his beautiful salad, they
longed to taste it, and said, 'Dear countryman, let us just taste it.'
'To be sure,' answered he; 'I have two heads of it with me, and will
give you one'; so he opened his bag and gave them the bad. Then the
witch herself took it into the kitchen to be dressed; and when it was
ready she could not wait till it was carried up, but took a few leaves
immediately and put them in her mouth, and scarcely were they
swallowed when she lost her own form and ran braying down into the
court in the form of an ass. Now the servant-maid came into the
kitchen, and seeing the salad ready, was going to carry it up; but on
the way she too felt a wish to taste it as the old woman had done, and
ate some leaves; so she also was turned into an ass and ran after the
other, letting the dish with the salad fall on the ground. The
messenger sat all this time with the beautiful young lady, and as
nobody came with the salad and she longed to taste it, she said, 'I
don't know where the salad can be.' Then he thought something must
have happened, and said, 'I will go into the kitchen and see.' And as
he went he saw two asses in the court running about, and the salad
lying on the ground. 'All right!' said he; 'those two have had their
share.' Then he took up the rest of the leaves, laid them on the dish
and brought them to the young lady, saying, 'I bring you the dish
myself that you may not wait any longer.' So she ate of it, and like
the others ran off into the court braying away.

Then the huntsman washed his face and went into the court that they
might know him. 'Now you shall be paid for your roguery,' said he; and
tied them all three to a rope and took them along with him till he
came to a mill and knocked at the window. 'What's the matter?' said
the miller. 'I have three tiresome beasts here,' said the other; 'if
you will take them, give them food and room, and treat them as I tell
you, I will pay you whatever you ask.' 'With all my heart,' said the
miller; 'but how shall I treat them?' Then the huntsman said, 'Give
the old one stripes three times a day and hay once; give the next (who
was the servant-maid) stripes once a day and hay three times; and give
the youngest (who was the beautiful lady) hay three times a day and no
stripes': for he could not find it in his heart to have her beaten.
After this he went back to the castle, where he found everything he

Some days after, the miller came to him and told him that the old ass
was dead; 'The other two,' said he, 'are alive and eat, but are so
sorrowful that they cannot last long.' Then the huntsman pitied them,
and told the miller to drive them back to him, and when they came, he
gave them some of the good salad to eat. And the beautiful young lady
fell upon her knees before him, and said, 'O dearest huntsman! forgive
me all the ill I have done you; my mother forced me to it, it was
against my will, for I always loved you very much. Your wishing-cloak
hangs up in the closet, and as for the bird's heart, I will give it
you too.' But he said, 'Keep it, it will be just the same thing, for I
mean to make you my wife.' So they were married, and lived together
very happily till they died.


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

Now it came to pass that his father said to him one day: 'Hearken to
me, you fellow in the corner there, you are growing tall and strong,
and you too must learn something by which you can earn your bread.
Look how your brother works, but you do not even earn your salt.'
'Well, father,' he replied, 'I am quite willing to learn something--
indeed, if it could but be managed, I should like to learn how to
shudder. I don't understand that at all yet.' The elder brother smiled
when he heard that, and thought to himself: 'Goodness, what a
blockhead that brother of mine is! He will never be good for anything
as long as he lives! He who wants to be a sickle must bend himself

The father sighed, and answered him: 'You shall soon learn what it is
to shudder, but you will not earn your bread by that.'

Soon after this the sexton came to the house on a visit, and the
father bewailed his trouble, and told him how his younger son was so
backward in every respect that he knew nothing and learnt nothing.
'Just think,' said he, 'when I asked him how he was going to earn his
bread, he actually wanted to learn to shudder.' 'If that be all,'
replied the sexton, 'he can learn that with me. Send him to me, and I
will soon polish him.' The father was glad to do it, for he thought:
'It will train the boy a little.' The sexton therefore took him into
his house, and he had to ring the church bell. After a day or two, the
sexton awoke him at midnight, and bade him arise and go up into the
church tower and ring the bell. 'You shall soon learn what shuddering
is,' thought he, and secretly went there before him; and when the boy
was at the top of the tower and turned round, and was just going to
take hold of the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on the
stairs opposite the sounding hole. 'Who is there?' cried he, but the
figure made no reply, and did not move or stir. 'Give an answer,'
cried the boy, 'or take yourself off, you have no business here at

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

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

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

When the day dawned, therefore, the boy put his fifty talers into his
pocket, and went forth on the great highway, and continually said to
himself: 'If I could but shudder! If I could but shudder!' Then a man
approached who heard this conversation which the youth was holding
with himself, and when they had walked a little farther to where they
could see the gallows, the man said to him: 'Look, there is the tree
where seven men have married the ropemaker's daughter, and are now
learning how to fly. Sit down beneath it, and wait till night comes,
and you will soon learn how to shudder.' 'If that is all that is
wanted,' answered the youth, 'it is easily done; but if I learn how to
shudder as fast as that, you shall have my fifty talers. Just come
back to me early in the morning.' Then the youth went to the gallows,
sat down beneath it, and waited till evening came. And as he was cold,
he lighted himself a fire, but at midnight the wind blew so sharply
that in spite of his fire, he could not get warm. And as the wind
knocked the hanged men against each other, and they moved backwards
and forwards, he thought to himself: 'If you shiver below by the fire,
how those up above must freeze and suffer!' And as he felt pity for
them, he raised the ladder, and climbed up, unbound one of them after
the other, and brought down all seven. Then he stoked the fire, blew
it, and set them all round it to warm themselves. But they sat there
and did not stir, and the fire caught their clothes. So he said: 'Take
care, or I will hang you up again.' The dead men, however, did not
hear, but were quite silent, and let their rags go on burning. At this
he grew angry, and said: 'If you will not take care, I cannot help
you, I will not be burnt with you,' and he hung them up again each in
his turn. Then he sat down by his fire and fell asleep, and the next
morning the man came to him and wanted to have the fifty talers, and
said: 'Well do you know how to shudder?' 'No,' answered he, 'how
should I know? Those fellows up there did not open their mouths, and
were so stupid that they let the few old rags which they had on their
bodies get burnt.' Then the man saw that he would not get the fifty
talers that day, and went away saying: 'Such a youth has never come my
way before.'

The youth likewise went his way, and once more began to mutter to
himself: 'Ah, if I could but shudder! Ah, if I could but shudder!' A
waggoner who was striding behind him heard this and asked: 'Who are
you?' 'I don't know,' answered the youth. Then the waggoner asked:
'From whence do you come?' 'I know not.' 'Who is your father?' 'That I
may not tell you.' 'What is it that you are always muttering between
your teeth?' 'Ah,' replied the youth, 'I do so wish I could shudder,
but no one can teach me how.' 'Enough of your foolish chatter,' said
the waggoner. 'Come, go with me, I will see about a place for you.'
The youth went with the waggoner, and in the evening they arrived at
an inn where they wished to pass the night. Then at the entrance of
the parlour the youth again said quite loudly: 'If I could but
shudder! If I could but shudder!' The host who heard this, laughed and
said: 'If that is your desire, there ought to be a good opportunity
for you here.' 'Ah, be silent,' said the hostess, 'so many prying
persons have already lost their lives, it would be a pity and a shame
if such beautiful eyes as these should never see the daylight again.'

But the youth said: 'However difficult it may be, I will learn it. For
this purpose indeed have I journeyed forth.' He let the host have no
rest, until the latter told him, that not far from thence stood a
haunted castle where anyone could very easily learn what shuddering
was, if he would but watch in it for three nights. The king had
promised that he who would venture should have his daughter to wife,
and she was the most beautiful maiden the sun shone on. Likewise in
the castle lay great treasures, which were guarded by evil spirits,
and these treasures would then be freed, and would make a poor man
rich enough. Already many men had gone into the castle, but as yet
none had come out again. Then the youth went next morning to the king,
and said: 'If it be allowed, I will willingly watch three nights in
the haunted castle.'

The king looked at him, and as the youth pleased him, he said: 'You
may ask for three things to take into the castle with you, but they
must be things without life.' Then he answered: 'Then I ask for a
fire, a turning lathe, and a cutting-board with the knife.'

The king had these things carried into the castle for him during the
day. When night was drawing near, the youth went up and made himself a
bright fire in one of the rooms, placed the cutting-board and knife
beside it, and seated himself by the turning-lathe. 'Ah, if I could
but shudder!' said he, 'but I shall not learn it here either.' Towards
midnight he was about to poke his fire, and as he was blowing it,
something cried suddenly from one corner: 'Au, miau! how cold we are!'
'You fools!' cried he, 'what are you crying about? If you are cold,
come and take a seat by the fire and warm yourselves.' And when he had
said that, two great black cats came with one tremendous leap and sat
down on each side of him, and looked savagely at him with their fiery
eyes. After a short time, when they had warmed themselves, they said:
'Comrade, shall we have a game of cards?' 'Why not?' he replied, 'but
just show me your paws.' Then they stretched out their claws. 'Oh,'
said he, 'what long nails you have! Wait, I must first cut them for
you.' Thereupon he seized them by the throats, put them on the
cutting-board and screwed their feet fast. 'I have looked at your
fingers,' said he, 'and my fancy for card-playing has gone,' and he
struck them dead and threw them out into the water. But when he had
made away with these two, and was about to sit down again by his fire,
out from every hole and corner came black cats and black dogs with
red-hot chains, and more and more of them came until he could no
longer move, and they yelled horribly, and got on his fire, pulled it
to pieces, and tried to put it out. He watched them for a while
quietly, but at last when they were going too far, he seized his
cutting-knife, and cried: 'Away with you, vermin,' and began to cut
them down. Some of them ran away, the others he killed, and threw out
into the fish-pond. When he came back he fanned the embers of his fire
again and warmed himself. And as he thus sat, his eyes would keep open
no longer, and he felt a desire to sleep. Then he looked round and saw
a great bed in the corner. 'That is the very thing for me,' said he,
and got into it. When he was just going to shut his eyes, however, the
bed began to move of its own accord, and went over the whole of the
castle. 'That's right,' said he, 'but go faster.' Then the bed rolled
on as if six horses were harnessed to it, up and down, over thresholds
and stairs, but suddenly hop, hop, it turned over upside down, and lay
on him like a mountain. But he threw quilts and pillows up in the air,
got out and said: 'Now anyone who likes, may drive,' and lay down by
his fire, and slept till it was day. In the morning the king came, and
when he saw him lying there on the ground, he thought the evil spirits
had killed him and he was dead. Then said he: 'After all it is a
pity,--for so handsome a man.' The youth heard it, got up, and said:
'It has not come to that yet.' Then the king was astonished, but very
glad, and asked how he had fared. 'Very well indeed,' answered he;
'one night is past, the two others will pass likewise.' Then he went
to the innkeeper, who opened his eyes very wide, and said: 'I never
expected to see you alive again! Have you learnt how to shudder yet?'
'No,' said he, 'it is all in vain. If someone would but tell me!'

The second night he again went up into the old castle, sat down by the
fire, and once more began his old song: 'If I could but shudder!' When
midnight came, an uproar and noise of tumbling about was heard; at
first it was low, but it grew louder and louder. Then it was quiet for
a while, and at length with a loud scream, half a man came down the
chimney and fell before him. 'Hullo!' cried he, 'another half belongs
to this. This is not enough!' Then the uproar began again, there was a
roaring and howling, and the other half fell down likewise. 'Wait,'
said he, 'I will just stoke up the fire a little for you.' When he had
done that and looked round again, the two pieces were joined together,
and a hideous man was sitting in his place. 'That is no part of our
bargain,' said the youth, 'the bench is mine.' The man wanted to push
him away; the youth, however, would not allow that, but thrust him off
with all his strength, and seated himself again in his own place. Then
still more men fell down, one after the other; they brought nine dead
men's legs and two skulls, and set them up and played at nine-pins
with them. The youth also wanted to play and said: 'Listen you, can I
join you?' 'Yes, if you have any money.' 'Money enough,' replied he,
'but your balls are not quite round.' Then he took the skulls and put
them in the lathe and turned them till they were round. 'There, now
they will roll better!' said he. 'Hurrah! now we'll have fun!' He
played with them and lost some of his money, but when it struck
twelve, everything vanished from his sight. He lay down and quietly
fell asleep. Next morning the king came to inquire after him. 'How has
it fared with you this time?' asked he. 'I have been playing at nine-
pins,' he answered, 'and have lost a couple of farthings.' 'Have you
not shuddered then?' 'What?' said he, 'I have had a wonderful time! If
I did but know what it was to shudder!'

The third night he sat down again on his bench and said quite sadly:
'If I could but shudder.' When it grew late, six tall men came in and
brought a coffin. Then he said: 'Ha, ha, that is certainly my little
cousin, who died only a few days ago,' and he beckoned with his
finger, and cried: 'Come, little cousin, come.' They placed the coffin
on the ground, but he went to it and took the lid off, and a dead man
lay therein. He felt his face, but it was cold as ice. 'Wait,' said
he, 'I will warm you a little,' and went to the fire and warmed his
hand and laid it on the dead man's face, but he remained cold. Then he
took him out, and sat down by the fire and laid him on his breast and
rubbed his arms that the blood might circulate again. As this also did
no good, he thought to himself: 'When two people lie in bed together,
they warm each other,' and carried him to the bed, covered him over
and lay down by him. After a short time the dead man became warm too,
and began to move. Then said the youth, 'See, little cousin, have I
not warmed you?' The dead man, however, got up and cried: 'Now will I
strangle you.'

'What!' said he, 'is that the way you thank me? You shall at once go
into your coffin again,' and he took him up, threw him into it, and
shut the lid. Then came the six men and carried him away again. 'I
cannot manage to shudder,' said he. 'I shall never learn it here as
long as I live.'

Then a man entered who was taller than all others, and looked
terrible. He was old, however, and had a long white beard. 'You
wretch,' cried he, 'you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, for
you shall die.' 'Not so fast,' replied the youth. 'If I am to die, I
shall have to have a say in it.' 'I will soon seize you,' said the
fiend. 'Softly, softly, do not talk so big. I am as strong as you are,
and perhaps even stronger.' 'We shall see,' said the old man. 'If you
are stronger, I will let you go--come, we will try.' Then he led him
by dark passages to a smith's forge, took an axe, and with one blow
struck an anvil into the ground. 'I can do better than that,' said the
youth, and went to the other anvil. The old man placed himself near
and wanted to look on, and his white beard hung down. Then the youth
seized the axe, split the anvil with one blow, and in it caught the
old man's beard. 'Now I have you,' said the youth. 'Now it is your
turn to die.' Then he seized an iron bar and beat the old man till he
moaned and entreated him to stop, when he would give him great riches.
The youth drew out the axe and let him go. The old man led him back
into the castle, and in a cellar showed him three chests full of gold.
'Of these,' said he, 'one part is for the poor, the other for the
king, the third yours.' In the meantime it struck twelve, and the
spirit disappeared, so that the youth stood in darkness. 'I shall
still be able to find my way out,' said he, and felt about, found the
way into the room, and slept there by his fire. Next morning the king
came and said: 'Now you must have learnt what shuddering is?' 'No,' he
answered; 'what can it be? My dead cousin was here, and a bearded man
came and showed me a great deal of money down below, but no one told
me what it was to shudder.' 'Then,' said the king, 'you have saved the
castle, and shall marry my daughter.' 'That is all very well,' said
he, 'but still I do not know what it is to shudder!'

Then the gold was brought up and the wedding celebrated; but howsoever
much the young king loved his wife, and however happy he was, he still
said always: 'If I could but shudder--if I could but shudder.' And
this at last angered her. Her waiting-maid said: 'I will find a cure
for him; he shall soon learn what it is to shudder.' She went out to
the stream which flowed through the garden, and had a whole bucketful
of gudgeons brought to her. At night when the young king was sleeping,
his wife was to draw the clothes off him and empty the bucket full of
cold water with the gudgeons in it over him, so that the little fishes
would sprawl about him. Then he woke up and cried: 'Oh, what makes me
shudder so?-- what makes me shudder so, dear wife? Ah! now I know what
it is to shudder!'


A great king of a land far away in the East had a daughter who was
very beautiful, but so proud, and haughty, and conceited, that none of
the princes who came to ask her in marriage was good enough for her,
and she only made sport of them.

Once upon a time the king held a great feast, and asked thither all
her suitors; and they all sat in a row, ranged according to their rank
--kings, and princes, and dukes, and earls, and counts, and barons,
and knights. Then the princess came in, and as she passed by them she
had something spiteful to say to every one. The first was too fat:
'He's as round as a tub,' said she. The next was too tall: 'What a
maypole!' said she. The next was too short: 'What a dumpling!' said
she. The fourth was too pale, and she called him 'Wallface.' The fifth
was too red, so she called him 'Coxcomb.' The sixth was not straight
enough; so she said he was like a green stick, that had been laid to
dry over a baker's oven. And thus she had some joke to crack upon
every one: but she laughed more than all at a good king who was there.
'Look at him,' said she; 'his beard is like an old mop; he shall be
called Grisly-beard.' So the king got the nickname of Grisly-beard.

But the old king was very angry when he saw how his daughter behaved,
and how she ill-treated all his guests; and he vowed that, willing or
unwilling, she should marry the first man, be he prince or beggar,
that came to the door.

Two days after there came by a travelling fiddler, who began to play
under the window and beg alms; and when the king heard him, he said,
'Let him come in.' So they brought in a dirty-looking fellow; and when
he had sung before the king and the princess, he begged a boon. Then
the king said, 'You have sung so well, that I will give you my
daughter for your wife.' The princess begged and prayed; but the king
said, 'I have sworn to give you to the first comer, and I will keep my
word.' So words and tears were of no avail; the parson was sent for,
and she was married to the fiddler. When this was over the king said,
'Now get ready to go--you must not stay here--you must travel on with
your husband.'

Then the fiddler went his way, and took her with him, and they soon
came to a great wood. 'Pray,' said she, 'whose is this wood?' 'It
belongs to King Grisly-beard,' answered he; 'hadst thou taken him, all
had been thine.' 'Ah! unlucky wretch that I am!' sighed she; 'would
that I had married King Grisly-beard!' Next they came to some fine
meadows. 'Whose are these beautiful green meadows?' said she. 'They
belong to King Grisly-beard, hadst thou taken him, they had all been
thine.' 'Ah! unlucky wretch that I am!' said she; 'would that I had
married King Grisly-beard!'

Then they came to a great city. 'Whose is this noble city?' said she.
'It belongs to King Grisly-beard; hadst thou taken him, it had all
been thine.' 'Ah! wretch that I am!' sighed she; 'why did I not marry
King Grisly-beard?' 'That is no business of mine,' said the fiddler:
'why should you wish for another husband? Am not I good enough for

At last they came to a small cottage. 'What a paltry place!' said she;
'to whom does that little dirty hole belong?' Then the fiddler said,
'That is your and my house, where we are to live.' 'Where are your
servants?' cried she. 'What do we want with servants?' said he; 'you
must do for yourself whatever is to be done. Now make the fire, and
put on water and cook my supper, for I am very tired.' But the
princess knew nothing of making fires and cooking, and the fiddler was
forced to help her. When they had eaten a very scanty meal they went
to bed; but the fiddler called her up very early in the morning to
clean the house. Thus they lived for two days: and when they had eaten
up all there was in the cottage, the man said, 'Wife, we can't go on
thus, spending money and earning nothing. You must learn to weave
baskets.' Then he went out and cut willows, and brought them home, and
she began to weave; but it made her fingers very sore. 'I see this
work won't do,' said he: 'try and spin; perhaps you will do that
better.' So she sat down and tried to spin; but the threads cut her
tender fingers till the blood ran. 'See now,' said the fiddler, 'you
are good for nothing; you can do no work: what a bargain I have got!
However, I'll try and set up a trade in pots and pans, and you shall
stand in the market and sell them.' 'Alas!' sighed she, 'if any of my
father's court should pass by and see me standing in the market, how
they will laugh at me!'

But her husband did not care for that, and said she must work, if she
did not wish to die of hunger. At first the trade went well; for many
people, seeing such a beautiful woman, went to buy her wares, and paid
their money without thinking of taking away the goods. They lived on
this as long as it lasted; and then her husband bought a fresh lot of
ware, and she sat herself down with it in the corner of the market;
but a drunken soldier soon came by, and rode his horse against her
stall, and broke all her goods into a thousand pieces. Then she began
to cry, and knew not what to do. 'Ah! what will become of me?' said
she; 'what will my husband say?' So she ran home and told him all.
'Who would have thought you would have been so silly,' said he, 'as to
put an earthenware stall in the corner of the market, where everybody
passes? but let us have no more crying; I see you are not fit for this
sort of work, so I have been to the king's palace, and asked if they
did not want a kitchen-maid; and they say they will take you, and
there you will have plenty to eat.'

Thus the princess became a kitchen-maid, and helped the cook to do all
the dirtiest work; but she was allowed to carry home some of the meat
that was left, and on this they lived.

She had not been there long before she heard that the king's eldest
son was passing by, going to be married; and she went to one of the
windows and looked out. Everything was ready, and all the pomp and
brightness of the court was there. Then she bitterly grieved for the
pride and folly which had brought her so low. And the servants gave
her some of the rich meats, which she put into her basket to take

All on a sudden, as she was going out, in came the king's son in
golden clothes; and when he saw a beautiful woman at the door, he took
her by the hand, and said she should be his partner in the dance; but
she trembled for fear, for she saw that it was King Grisly-beard, who
was making sport of her. However, he kept fast hold, and led her in;
and the cover of the basket came off, so that the meats in it fell
about. Then everybody laughed and jeered at her; and she was so
abashed, that she wished herself a thousand feet deep in the earth.
She sprang to the door to run away; but on the steps King Grisly-beard
overtook her, and brought her back and said, 'Fear me not! I am the
fiddler who has lived with you in the hut. I brought you there because
I really loved you. I am also the soldier that overset your stall. I
have done all this only to cure you of your silly pride, and to show
you the folly of your ill-treatment of me. Now all is over: you have
learnt wisdom, and it is time to hold our marriage feast.'

Then the chamberlains came and brought her the most beautiful robes;
and her father and his whole court were there already, and welcomed
her home on her marriage. Joy was in every face and every heart. The
feast was grand; they danced and sang; all were merry; and I only wish
that you and I had been of the party.


There was once upon a time a king who had a great forest near his
palace, full of all kinds of wild animals. One day he sent out a
huntsman to shoot him a roe, but he did not come back. 'Perhaps some
accident has befallen him,' said the king, and the next day he sent
out two more huntsmen who were to search for him, but they too stayed
away. Then on the third day, he sent for all his huntsmen, and said:
'Scour the whole forest through, and do not give up until you have
found all three.' But of these also, none came home again, none were
seen again. From that time forth, no one would any longer venture into
the forest, and it lay there in deep stillness and solitude, and
nothing was seen of it, but sometimes an eagle or a hawk flying over
it. This lasted for many years, when an unknown huntsman announced
himself to the king as seeking a situation, and offered to go into the
dangerous forest. The king, however, would not give his consent, and
said: 'It is not safe in there; I fear it would fare with you no
better than with the others, and you would never come out again.' The
huntsman replied: 'Lord, I will venture it at my own risk, of fear I
know nothing.'

The huntsman therefore betook himself with his dog to the forest. It
was not long before the dog fell in with some game on the way, and
wanted to pursue it; but hardly had the dog run two steps when it
stood before a deep pool, could go no farther, and a naked arm
stretched itself out of the water, seized it, and drew it under. When
the huntsman saw that, he went back and fetched three men to come with
buckets and bale out the water. When they could see to the bottom
there lay a wild man whose body was brown like rusty iron, and whose
hair hung over his face down to his knees. They bound him with cords,
and led him away to the castle. There was great astonishment over the
wild man; the king, however, had him put in an iron cage in his
courtyard, and forbade the door to be opened on pain of death, and the
queen herself was to take the key into her keeping. And from this time
forth everyone could again go into the forest with safety.

The king had a son of eight years, who was once playing in the
courtyard, and while he was playing, his golden ball fell into the
cage. The boy ran thither and said: 'Give me my ball out.' 'Not till
you have opened the door for me,' answered the man. 'No,' said the
boy, 'I will not do that; the king has forbidden it,' and ran away.
The next day he again went and asked for his ball; the wild man said:
'Open my door,' but the boy would not. On the third day the king had
ridden out hunting, and the boy went once more and said: 'I cannot
open the door even if I wished, for I have not the key.' Then the wild
man said: 'It lies under your mother's pillow, you can get it there.'
The boy, who wanted to have his ball back, cast all thought to the
winds, and brought the key. The door opened with difficulty, and the
boy pinched his fingers. When it was open the wild man stepped out,
gave him the golden ball, and hurried away. The boy had become afraid;
he called and cried after him: 'Oh, wild man, do not go away, or I
shall be beaten!' The wild man turned back, took him up, set him on
his shoulder, and went with hasty steps into the forest. When the king
came home, he observed the empty cage, and asked the queen how that
had happened. She knew nothing about it, and sought the key, but it
was gone. She called the boy, but no one answered. The king sent out
people to seek for him in the fields, but they did not find him. Then
he could easily guess what had happened, and much grief reigned in the
royal court.

When the wild man had once more reached the dark forest, he took the
boy down from his shoulder, and said to him: 'You will never see your
father and mother again, but I will keep you with me, for you have set
me free, and I have compassion on you. If you do all I bid you, you
shall fare well. Of treasure and gold have I enough, and more than
anyone in the world.' He made a bed of moss for the boy on which he
slept, and the next morning the man took him to a well, and said:
'Behold, the gold well is as bright and clear as crystal, you shall
sit beside it, and take care that nothing falls into it, or it will be
polluted. I will come every evening to see if you have obeyed my
order.' The boy placed himself by the brink of the well, and often saw
a golden fish or a golden snake show itself therein, and took care
that nothing fell in. As he was thus sitting, his finger hurt him so
violently that he involuntarily put it in the water. He drew it
quickly out again, but saw that it was quite gilded, and whatsoever
pains he took to wash the gold off again, all was to no purpose. In
the evening Iron Hans came back, looked at the boy, and said: 'What
has happened to the well?' 'Nothing nothing,' he answered, and held
his finger behind his back, that the man might not see it. But he
said: 'You have dipped your finger into the water, this time it may
pass, but take care you do not again let anything go in.' By daybreak
the boy was already sitting by the well and watching it. His finger
hurt him again and he passed it over his head, and then unhappily a
hair fell down into the well. He took it quickly out, but it was
already quite gilded. Iron Hans came, and already knew what had
happened. 'You have let a hair fall into the well,' said he. 'I will
allow you to watch by it once more, but if this happens for the third
time then the well is polluted and you can no longer remain with me.'

On the third day, the boy sat by the well, and did not stir his
finger, however much it hurt him. But the time was long to him, and he
looked at the reflection of his face on the surface of the water. And
as he still bent down more and more while he was doing so, and trying
to look straight into the eyes, his long hair fell down from his
shoulders into the water. He raised himself up quickly, but the whole
of the hair of his head was already golden and shone like the sun. You
can imagine how terrified the poor boy was! He took his pocket-
handkerchief and tied it round his head, in order that the man might
not see it. When he came he already knew everything, and said: 'Take
the handkerchief off.' Then the golden hair streamed forth, and let
the boy excuse himself as he might, it was of no use. 'You have not
stood the trial and can stay here no longer. Go forth into the world,
there you will learn what poverty is. But as you have not a bad heart,
and as I mean well by you, there is one thing I will grant you; if you
fall into any difficulty, come to the forest and cry: "Iron Hans," and
then I will come and help you. My power is great, greater than you
think, and I have gold and silver in abundance.'

Then the king's son left the forest, and walked by beaten and unbeaten
paths ever onwards until at length he reached a great city. There he
looked for work, but could find none, and he learnt nothing by which
he could help himself. At length he went to the palace, and asked if
they would take him in. The people about court did not at all know
what use they could make of him, but they liked him, and told him to
stay. At length the cook took him into his service, and said he might
carry wood and water, and rake the cinders together. Once when it so
happened that no one else was at hand, the cook ordered him to carry
the food to the royal table, but as he did not like to let his golden
hair be seen, he kept his little cap on. Such a thing as that had
never yet come under the king's notice, and he said: 'When you come to
the royal table you must take your hat off.' He answered: 'Ah, Lord, I
cannot; I have a bad sore place on my head.' Then the king had the
cook called before him and scolded him, and asked how he could take
such a boy as that into his service; and that he was to send him away
at once. The cook, however, had pity on him, and exchanged him for the
gardener's boy.

And now the boy had to plant and water the garden, hoe and dig, and
bear the wind and bad weather. Once in summer when he was working
alone in the garden, the day was so warm he took his little cap off
that the air might cool him. As the sun shone on his hair it glittered
and flashed so that the rays fell into the bedroom of the king's
daughter, and up she sprang to see what that could be. Then she saw
the boy, and cried to him: 'Boy, bring me a wreath of flowers.' He put
his cap on with all haste, and gathered wild field-flowers and bound
them together. When he was ascending the stairs with them, the
gardener met him, and said: 'How can you take the king's daughter a
garland of such common flowers? Go quickly, and get another, and seek
out the prettiest and rarest.' 'Oh, no,' replied the boy, 'the wild
ones have more scent, and will please her better.' When he got into
the room, the king's daughter said: 'Take your cap off, it is not
seemly to keep it on in my presence.' He again said: 'I may not, I
have a sore head.' She, however, caught at his cap and pulled it off,
and then his golden hair rolled down on his shoulders, and it was
splendid to behold. He wanted to run out, but she held him by the arm,
and gave him a handful of ducats. With these he departed, but he cared
nothing for the gold pieces. He took them to the gardener, and said:
'I present them to your children, they can play with them.' The
following day the king's daughter again called to him that he was to
bring her a wreath of field-flowers, and then he went in with it, she
instantly snatched at his cap, and wanted to take it away from him,
but he held it fast with both hands. She again gave him a handful of
ducats, but he would not keep them, and gave them to the gardener for
playthings for his children. On the third day things went just the
same; she could not get his cap away from him, and he would not have
her money.

Not long afterwards, the country was overrun by war. The king gathered
together his people, and did not know whether or not he could offer
any opposition to the enemy, who was superior in strength and had a
mighty army. Then said the gardener's boy: 'I am grown up, and will go
to the wars also, only give me a horse.' The others laughed, and said:
'Seek one for yourself when we are gone, we will leave one behind us
in the stable for you.' When they had gone forth, he went into the
stable, and led the horse out; it was lame of one foot, and limped
hobblety jib, hobblety jib; nevertheless he mounted it, and rode away
to the dark forest. When he came to the outskirts, he called 'Iron
Hans' three times so loudly that it echoed through the trees.
Thereupon the wild man appeared immediately, and said: 'What do you
desire?' 'I want a strong steed, for I am going to the wars.' 'That
you shall have, and still more than you ask for.' Then the wild man
went back into the forest, and it was not long before a stable-boy
came out of it, who led a horse that snorted with its nostrils, and
could hardly be restrained, and behind them followed a great troop of
warriors entirely equipped in iron, and their swords flashed in the
sun. The youth made over his three-legged horse to the stable-boy,
mounted the other, and rode at the head of the soldiers. When he got
near the battlefield a great part of the king's men had already
fallen, and little was wanting to make the rest give way. Then the
youth galloped thither with his iron soldiers, broke like a hurricane
over the enemy, and beat down all who opposed him. They began to flee,
but the youth pursued, and never stopped, until there was not a single
man left. Instead of returning to the king, however, he conducted his
troop by byways back to the forest, and called forth Iron Hans. 'What
do you desire?' asked the wild man. 'Take back your horse and your
troops, and give me my three-legged horse again.' All that he asked
was done, and soon he was riding on his three-legged horse. When the
king returned to his palace, his daughter went to meet him, and wished
him joy of his victory. 'I am not the one who carried away the
victory,' said he, 'but a strange knight who came to my assistance
with his soldiers.' The daughter wanted to hear who the strange knight
was, but the king did not know, and said: 'He followed the enemy, and
I did not see him again.' She inquired of the gardener where his boy
was, but he smiled, and said: 'He has just come home on his three-
legged horse, and the others have been mocking him, and crying: "Here
comes our hobblety jib back again!" They asked, too: "Under what hedge
have you been lying sleeping all the time?" So he said: "I did the
best of all, and it would have gone badly without me." And then he was
still more ridiculed.'

The king said to his daughter: 'I will proclaim a great feast that
shall last for three days, and you shall throw a golden apple. Perhaps
the unknown man will show himself.' When the feast was announced, the
youth went out to the forest, and called Iron Hans. 'What do you
desire?' asked he. 'That I may catch the king's daughter's golden
apple.' 'It is as safe as if you had it already,' said Iron Hans. 'You
shall likewise have a suit of red armour for the occasion, and ride on
a spirited chestnut-horse.' When the day came, the youth galloped to
the spot, took his place amongst the knights, and was recognized by no
one. The king's daughter came forward, and threw a golden apple to the
knights, but none of them caught it but he, only as soon as he had it
he galloped away.

On the second day Iron Hans equipped him as a white knight, and gave
him a white horse. Again he was the only one who caught the apple, and
he did not linger an instant, but galloped off with it. The king grew
angry, and said: 'That is not allowed; he must appear before me and
tell his name.' He gave the order that if the knight who caught the
apple, should go away again they should pursue him, and if he would
not come back willingly, they were to cut him down and stab him.

On the third day, he received from Iron Hans a suit of black armour
and a black horse, and again he caught the apple. But when he was
riding off with it, the king's attendants pursued him, and one of them
got so near him that he wounded the youth's leg with the point of his
sword. The youth nevertheless escaped from them, but his horse leapt
so violently that the helmet fell from the youth's head, and they
could see that he had golden hair. They rode back and announced this
to the king.

The following day the king's daughter asked the gardener about his
boy. 'He is at work in the garden; the queer creature has been at the
festival too, and only came home yesterday evening; he has likewise
shown my children three golden apples which he has won.'

The king had him summoned into his presence, and he came and again had
his little cap on his head. But the king's daughter went up to him and
took it off, and then his golden hair fell down over his shoulders,
and he was so handsome that all were amazed. 'Are you the knight who
came every day to the festival, always in different colours, and who
caught the three golden apples?' asked the king. 'Yes,' answered he,
'and here the apples are,' and he took them out of his pocket, and
returned them to the king. 'If you desire further proof, you may see
the wound which your people gave me when they followed me. But I am
likewise the knight who helped you to your victory over your enemies.'
'If you can perform such deeds as that, you are no gardener's boy;
tell me, who is your father?' 'My father is a mighty king, and gold
have I in plenty as great as I require.' 'I well see,' said the king,
'that I owe my thanks to you; can I do anything to please you?' 'Yes,'
answered he, 'that indeed you can. Give me your daughter to wife.' The
maiden laughed, and said: 'He does not stand much on ceremony, but I
have already seen by his golden hair that he was no gardener's boy,'
and then she went and kissed him. His father and mother came to the
wedding, and were in great delight, for they had given up all hope of
ever seeing their dear son again. And as they were sitting at the
marriage-feast, the music suddenly stopped, the doors opened, and a
stately king came in with a great retinue. He went up to the youth,
embraced him and said: 'I am Iron Hans, and was by enchantment a wild
man, but you have set me free; all the treasures which I possess,
shall be your property.'


There was once a king, whose queen had hair of the purest gold, and
was so beautiful that her match was not to be met with on the whole
face of the earth. But this beautiful queen fell ill, and when she
felt that her end drew near she called the king to her and said,
'Promise me that you will never marry again, unless you meet with a
wife who is as beautiful as I am, and who has golden hair like mine.'
Then when the king in his grief promised all she asked, she shut her
eyes and died. But the king was not to be comforted, and for a long
time never thought of taking another wife. At last, however, his wise
men said, 'this will not do; the king must marry again, that we may
have a queen.' So messengers were sent far and wide, to seek for a
bride as beautiful as the late queen. But there was no princess in the
world so beautiful; and if there had been, still there was not one to
be found who had golden hair. So the messengers came home, and had had
all their trouble for nothing.

Now the king had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her mother,
and had the same golden hair. And when she was grown up, the king
looked at her and saw that she was just like this late queen: then he
said to his courtiers, 'May I not marry my daughter? She is the very
image of my dead wife: unless I have her, I shall not find any bride
upon the whole earth, and you say there must be a queen.' When the
courtiers heard this they were shocked, and said, 'Heaven forbid that
a father should marry his daughter! Out of so great a sin no good can
come.' And his daughter was also shocked, but hoped the king would
soon give up such thoughts; so she said to him, 'Before I marry anyone
I must have three dresses: one must be of gold, like the sun; another
must be of shining silver, like the moon; and a third must be dazzling
as the stars: besides this, I want a mantle of a thousand different
kinds of fur put together, to which every beast in the kingdom must
give a part of his skin.' And thus she though he would think of the
matter no more. But the king made the most skilful workmen in his
kingdom weave the three dresses: one golden, like the sun; another
silvery, like the moon; and a third sparkling, like the stars: and his
hunters were told to hunt out all the beasts in his kingdom, and to
take the finest fur out of their skins: and thus a mantle of a
thousand furs was made.

When all were ready, the king sent them to her; but she got up in the
night when all were asleep, and took three of her trinkets, a golden
ring, a golden necklace, and a golden brooch, and packed the three
dresses--of the sun, the moon, and the stars--up in a nutshell, and
wrapped herself up in the mantle made of all sorts of fur, and
besmeared her face and hands with soot. Then she threw herself upon
Heaven for help in her need, and went away, and journeyed on the whole
night, till at last she came to a large wood. As she was very tired,
she sat herself down in the hollow of a tree and soon fell asleep: and
there she slept on till it was midday.

Now as the king to whom the wood belonged was hunting in it, his dogs
came to the tree, and began to snuff about, and run round and round,
and bark. 'Look sharp!' said the king to the huntsmen, 'and see what
sort of game lies there.' And the huntsmen went up to the tree, and
when they came back again said, 'In the hollow tree there lies a most
wonderful beast, such as we never saw before; its skin seems to be of
a thousand kinds of fur, but there it lies fast asleep.' 'See,' said
the king, 'if you can catch it alive, and we will take it with us.' So
the huntsmen took it up, and the maiden awoke and was greatly
frightened, and said, 'I am a poor child that has neither father nor
mother left; have pity on me and take me with you.' Then they said,
'Yes, Miss Cat-skin, you will do for the kitchen; you can sweep up the
ashes, and do things of that sort.' So they put her into the coach,
and took her home to the king's palace. Then they showed her a little
corner under the staircase, where no light of day ever peeped in, and
said, 'Cat-skin, you may lie and sleep there.' And she was sent into
the kitchen, and made to fetch wood and water, to blow the fire, pluck
the poultry, pick the herbs, sift the ashes, and do all the dirty

Thus Cat-skin lived for a long time very sorrowfully. 'Ah! pretty
princess!' thought she, 'what will now become of thee?' But it
happened one day that a feast was to be held in the king's castle, so
she said to the cook, 'May I go up a little while and see what is
going on? I will take care and stand behind the door.' And the cook
said, 'Yes, you may go, but be back again in half an hour's time, to
rake out the ashes.' Then she took her little lamp, and went into her
cabin, and took off the fur skin, and washed the soot from off her
face and hands, so that her beauty shone forth like the sun from
behind the clouds. She next opened her nutshell, and brought out of it
the dress that shone like the sun, and so went to the feast. Everyone
made way for her, for nobody knew her, and they thought she could be
no less than a king's daughter. But the king came up to her, and held
out his hand and danced with her; and he thought in his heart, 'I
never saw any one half so beautiful.'

When the dance was at an end she curtsied; and when the king looked
round for her, she was gone, no one knew wither. The guards that stood
at the castle gate were called in: but they had seen no one. The truth
was, that she had run into her little cabin, pulled off her dress,
blackened her face and hands, put on the fur-skin cloak, and was Cat-
skin again. When she went into the kitchen to her work, and began to
rake the ashes, the cook said, 'Let that alone till the morning, and
heat the king's soup; I should like to run up now and give a peep: but
take care you don't let a hair fall into it, or you will run a chance
of never eating again.'

As soon as the cook went away, Cat-skin heated the king's soup, and
toasted a slice of bread first, as nicely as ever she could; and when
it was ready, she went and looked in the cabin for her little golden
ring, and put it into the dish in which the soup was. When the dance
was over, the king ordered his soup to be brought in; and it pleased
him so well, that he thought he had never tasted any so good before.
At the bottom he saw a gold ring lying; and as he could not make out
how it had got there, he ordered the cook to be sent for. The cook was
frightened when he heard the order, and said to Cat-skin, 'You must
have let a hair fall into the soup; if it be so, you will have a good
beating.' Then he went before the king, and he asked him who had
cooked the soup. 'I did,' answered the cook. But the king said, 'That
is not true; it was better done than you could do it.' Then he
answered, 'To tell the truth I did not cook it, but Cat-skin did.'
'Then let Cat-skin come up,' said the king: and when she came he said
to her, 'Who are you?' 'I am a poor child,' said she, 'that has lost
both father and mother.' 'How came you in my palace?' asked he. 'I am
good for nothing,' said she, 'but to be scullion-girl, and to have
boots and shoes thrown at my head.' 'But how did you get the ring that
was in the soup?' asked the king. Then she would not own that she knew
anything about the ring; so the king sent her away again about her

After a time there was another feast, and Cat-skin asked the cook to
let her go up and see it as before. 'Yes,' said he, 'but come again in
half an hour, and cook the king the soup that he likes so much.' Then
she ran to her little cabin, washed herself quickly, and took her
dress out which was silvery as the moon, and put it on; and when she
went in, looking like a king's daughter, the king went up to her, and
rejoiced at seeing her again, and when the dance began he danced with
her. After the dance was at an end she managed to slip out, so slyly
that the king did not see where she was gone; but she sprang into her
little cabin, and made herself into Cat-skin again, and went into the
kitchen to cook the soup. Whilst the cook was above stairs, she got
the golden necklace and dropped it into the soup; then it was brought
to the king, who ate it, and it pleased him as well as before; so he
sent for the cook, who was again forced to tell him that Cat-skin had
cooked it. Cat-skin was brought again before the king, but she still
told him that she was only fit to have boots and shoes thrown at her

But when the king had ordered a feast to be got ready for the third
time, it happened just the same as before. 'You must be a witch, Cat-
skin,' said the cook; 'for you always put something into your soup, so
that it pleases the king better than mine.' However, he let her go up
as before. Then she put on her dress which sparkled like the stars,
and went into the ball-room in it; and the king danced with her again,
and thought she had never looked so beautiful as she did then. So
whilst he was dancing with her, he put a gold ring on her finger
without her seeing it, and ordered that the dance should be kept up a
long time. When it was at an end, he would have held her fast by the
hand, but she slipped away, and sprang so quickly through the crowd
that he lost sight of her: and she ran as fast as she could into her
little cabin under the stairs. But this time she kept away too long,
and stayed beyond the half-hour; so she had not time to take off her
fine dress, and threw her fur mantle over it, and in her haste did not
blacken herself all over with soot, but left one of her fingers white.

Then she ran into the kitchen, and cooked the king's soup; and as soon
as the cook was gone, she put the golden brooch into the dish. When
the king got to the bottom, he ordered Cat-skin to be called once
more, and soon saw the white finger, and the ring that he had put on
it whilst they were dancing: so he seized her hand, and kept fast hold
of it, and when she wanted to loose herself and spring away, the fur
cloak fell off a little on one side, and the starry dress sparkled
underneath it.

Then he got hold of the fur and tore it off, and her golden hair and
beautiful form were seen, and she could no longer hide herself: so she
washed the soot and ashes from her face, and showed herself to be the
most beautiful princess upon the face of the earth. But the king said,
'You are my beloved bride, and we will never more be parted from each
other.' And the wedding feast was held, and a merry day it was, as
ever was heard of or seen in that country, or indeed in any other.


There was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In front of
the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which
bore white and the other red roses. She had two children who were like
the two rose-trees, and one was called Snow-white, and the other Rose-
red. They were as good and happy, as busy and cheerful as ever two
children in the world were, only Snow-white was more quiet and gentle
than Rose-red. Rose-red liked better to run about in the meadows and
fields seeking flowers and catching butterflies; but Snow-white sat at
home with her mother, and helped her with her housework, or read to
her when there was nothing to do.

The two children were so fond of one another that they always held
each other by the hand when they went out together, and when Snow-
white said: 'We will not leave each other,' Rose-red answered: 'Never
so long as we live,' and their mother would add: 'What one has she
must share with the other.'

They often ran about the forest alone and gathered red berries, and no
beasts did them any harm, but came close to them trustfully. The
little hare would eat a cabbage-leaf out of their hands, the roe
grazed by their side, the stag leapt merrily by them, and the birds
sat still upon the boughs, and sang whatever they knew.

No mishap overtook them; if they had stayed too late in the forest,
and night came on, they laid themselves down near one another upon the
moss, and slept until morning came, and their mother knew this and did
not worry on their account.

Once when they had spent the night in the wood and the dawn had roused
them, they saw a beautiful child in a shining white dress sitting near
their bed. He got up and looked quite kindly at them, but said nothing
and went into the forest. And when they looked round they found that
they had been sleeping quite close to a precipice, and would certainly
have fallen into it in the darkness if they had gone only a few paces
further. And their mother told them that it must have been the angel
who watches over good children.

Snow-white and Rose-red kept their mother's little cottage so neat
that it was a pleasure to look inside it. In the summer Rose-red took
care of the house, and every morning laid a wreath of flowers by her
mother's bed before she awoke, in which was a rose from each tree. In
the winter Snow-white lit the fire and hung the kettle on the hob. The
kettle was of brass and shone like gold, so brightly was it polished.
In the evening, when the snowflakes fell, the mother said: 'Go, Snow-
white, and bolt the door,' and then they sat round the hearth, and the
mother took her spectacles and read aloud out of a large book, and the
two girls listened as they sat and spun. And close by them lay a lamb
upon the floor, and behind them upon a perch sat a white dove with its
head hidden beneath its wings.

One evening, as they were thus sitting comfortably together, someone
knocked at the door as if he wished to be let in. The mother said:
'Quick, Rose-red, open the door, it must be a traveller who is seeking
shelter.' Rose-red went and pushed back the bolt, thinking that it was
a poor man, but it was not; it was a bear that stretched his broad,
black head within the door.

Rose-red screamed and sprang back, the lamb bleated, the dove
fluttered, and Snow-white hid herself behind her mother's bed. But the
bear began to speak and said: 'Do not be afraid, I will do you no
harm! I am half-frozen, and only want to warm myself a little beside

'Poor bear,' said the mother, 'lie down by the fire, only take care
that you do not burn your coat.' Then she cried: 'Snow-white, Rose-
red, come out, the bear will do you no harm, he means well.' So they
both came out, and by-and-by the lamb and dove came nearer, and were
not afraid of him. The bear said: 'Here, children, knock the snow out
of my coat a little'; so they brought the broom and swept the bear's
hide clean; and he stretched himself by the fire and growled
contentedly and comfortably. It was not long before they grew quite at
home, and played tricks with their clumsy guest. They tugged his hair
with their hands, put their feet upon his back and rolled him about,
or they took a hazel-switch and beat him, and when he growled they
laughed. But the bear took it all in good part, only when they were
too rough he called out: 'Leave me alive, children,

'Snow-white, Rose-red,
Will you beat your wooer dead?'

When it was bed-time, and the others went to bed, the mother said to
the bear: 'You can lie there by the hearth, and then you will be safe
from the cold and the bad weather.' As soon as day dawned the two
children let him out, and he trotted across the snow into the forest.

Henceforth the bear came every evening at the same time, laid himself
down by the hearth, and let the children amuse themselves with him as
much as they liked; and they got so used to him that the doors were
never fastened until their black friend had arrived.

When spring had come and all outside was green, the bear said one
morning to Snow-white: 'Now I must go away, and cannot come back for
the whole summer.' 'Where are you going, then, dear bear?' asked Snow-
white. 'I must go into the forest and guard my treasures from the
wicked dwarfs. In the winter, when the earth is frozen hard, they are
obliged to stay below and cannot work their way through; but now, when
the sun has thawed and warmed the earth, they break through it, and
come out to pry and steal; and what once gets into their hands, and in
their caves, does not easily see daylight again.'

Snow-white was quite sorry at his departure, and as she unbolted the
door for him, and the bear was hurrying out, he caught against the
bolt and a piece of his hairy coat was torn off, and it seemed to
Snow-white as if she had seen gold shining through it, but she was not
sure about it. The bear ran away quickly, and was soon out of sight
behind the trees.

A short time afterwards the mother sent her children into the forest
to get firewood. There they found a big tree which lay felled on the
ground, and close by the trunk something was jumping backwards and
forwards in the grass, but they could not make out what it was. When
they came nearer they saw a dwarf with an old withered face and a
snow-white beard a yard long. The end of the beard was caught in a
crevice of the tree, and the little fellow was jumping about like a
dog tied to a rope, and did not know what to do.

He glared at the girls with his fiery red eyes and cried: 'Why do you
stand there? Can you not come here and help me?' 'What are you up to,
little man?' asked Rose-red. 'You stupid, prying goose!' answered the
dwarf: 'I was going to split the tree to get a little wood for
cooking. The little bit of food that we people get is immediately
burnt up with heavy logs; we do not swallow so much as you coarse,
greedy folk. I had just driven the wedge safely in, and everything was
going as I wished; but the cursed wedge was too smooth and suddenly
sprang out, and the tree closed so quickly that I could not pull out
my beautiful white beard; so now it is tight and I cannot get away,
and the silly, sleek, milk-faced things laugh! Ugh! how odious you

The children tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard out,
it was caught too fast. 'I will run and fetch someone,' said Rose-red.
'You senseless goose!' snarled the dwarf; 'why should you fetch
someone? You are already two too many for me; can you not think of
something better?' 'Don't be impatient,' said Snow-white, 'I will help
you,' and she pulled her scissors out of her pocket, and cut off the
end of the beard.

As soon as the dwarf felt himself free he laid hold of a bag which lay
amongst the roots of the tree, and which was full of gold, and lifted
it up, grumbling to himself: 'Uncouth people, to cut off a piece of my
fine beard. Bad luck to you!' and then he swung the bag upon his back,
and went off without even once looking at the children.

Some time afterwards Snow-white and Rose-red went to catch a dish of
fish. As they came near the brook they saw something like a large
grasshopper jumping towards the water, as if it were going to leap in.
They ran to it and found it was the dwarf. 'Where are you going?' said
Rose-red; 'you surely don't want to go into the water?' 'I am not such
a fool!' cried the dwarf; 'don't you see that the accursed fish wants
to pull me in?' The little man had been sitting there fishing, and
unluckily the wind had tangled up his beard with the fishing-line; a
moment later a big fish made a bite and the feeble creature had not
strength to pull it out; the fish kept the upper hand and pulled the
dwarf towards him. He held on to all the reeds and rushes, but it was
of little good, for he was forced to follow the movements of the fish,
and was in urgent danger of being dragged into the water.

The girls came just in time; they held him fast and tried to free his
beard from the line, but all in vain, beard and line were entangled
fast together. There was nothing to do but to bring out the scissors
and cut the beard, whereby a small part of it was lost. When the dwarf
saw that he screamed out: 'Is that civil, you toadstool, to disfigure
a man's face? Was it not enough to clip off the end of my beard? Now
you have cut off the best part of it. I cannot let myself be seen by
my people. I wish you had been made to run the soles off your shoes!'
Then he took out a sack of pearls which lay in the rushes, and without
another word he dragged it away and disappeared behind a stone.

It happened that soon afterwards the mother sent the two children to
the town to buy needles and thread, and laces and ribbons. The road
led them across a heath upon which huge pieces of rock lay strewn
about. There they noticed a large bird hovering in the air, flying
slowly round and round above them; it sank lower and lower, and at
last settled near a rock not far away. Immediately they heard a loud,
piteous cry. They ran up and saw with horror that the eagle had seized
their old acquaintance the dwarf, and was going to carry him off.

The children, full of pity, at once took tight hold of the little man,
and pulled against the eagle so long that at last he let his booty go.
As soon as the dwarf had recovered from his first fright he cried with
his shrill voice: 'Could you not have done it more carefully! You
dragged at my brown coat so that it is all torn and full of holes, you
clumsy creatures!' Then he took up a sack full of precious stones, and
slipped away again under the rock into his hole. The girls, who by
this time were used to his ingratitude, went on their way and did
their business in town.

As they crossed the heath again on their way home they surprised the
dwarf, who had emptied out his bag of precious stones in a clean spot,
and had not thought that anyone would come there so late. The evening
sun shone upon the brilliant stones; they glittered and sparkled with
all colours so beautifully that the children stood still and stared at
them. 'Why do you stand gaping there?' cried the dwarf, and his ashen-
grey face became copper-red with rage. He was still cursing when a
loud growling was heard, and a black bear came trotting towards them
out of the forest. The dwarf sprang up in a fright, but he could not
reach his cave, for the bear was already close. Then in the dread of
his heart he cried: 'Dear Mr Bear, spare me, I will give you all my
treasures; look, the beautiful jewels lying there! Grant me my life;
what do you want with such a slender little fellow as I? you would not
feel me between your teeth. Come, take these two wicked girls, they
are tender morsels for you, fat as young quails; for mercy's sake eat
them!' The bear took no heed of his words, but gave the wicked
creature a single blow with his paw, and he did not move again.

The girls had run away, but the bear called to them: 'Snow-white and
Rose-red, do not be afraid; wait, I will come with you.' Then they
recognized his voice and waited, and when he came up to them suddenly
his bearskin fell off, and he stood there a handsome man, clothed all
in gold. 'I am a king's son,' he said, 'and I was bewitched by that
wicked dwarf, who had stolen my treasures; I have had to run about the
forest as a savage bear until I was freed by his death. Now he has got
his well-deserved punishment.

Snow-white was married to him, and Rose-red to his brother, and they
divided between them the great treasure which the dwarf had gathered
together in his cave. The old mother lived peacefully and happily with
her children for many years. She took the two rose-trees with her, and
they stood before her window, and every year bore the most beautiful
roses, white and red.


The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859), were
born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, in the German state of Hesse.
Throughout their lives they remained close friends, and both studied
law at Marburg University. Jacob was a pioneer in the study of German
philology, and although Wilhelm's work was hampered by poor health the
brothers collaborated in the creation of a German dictionary, not
completed until a century after their deaths. But they were best (and
universally) known for the collection of over two hundred folk tales
they made from oral sources and published in two volumes of 'Nursery
and Household Tales' in 1812 and 1814. Although their intention was to
preserve such material as part of German cultural and literary
history, and their collection was first published with scholarly notes
and no illustration, the tales soon came into the possession of young
readers. This was in part due to Edgar Taylor, who made the first
English translation in 1823, selecting about fifty stories 'with the
amusement of some young friends principally in view.' They have been
an essential ingredient of children's reading ever since.

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