Star Money

Once upon a time there was a girl whose father and mother were dead, and she was so poor that she no longer had anywhere to live or a bed to sleep in – nothing but the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her hand, which some charitable person had given to her. But she was good and honest.

As she was abandoned by all the world, she went forth into the open country, trusting in the good God to provide for her. A poor man met her, who said, “Give me something to eat, I am so hungry!” She gave him her whole piece of bread, saying, “May God bless it to your use,” and went onwards. Then along came a boy who moaned, “My head is so cold, give me something to cover it.” She took off her hood and gave it to him. When she had walked a little further, she met another child who had no jacket and was frozen cold. She gave the child her jacket. A little further on she met a child begging for a dress, so she gave her Dress away also.

At length it became dark and she walked into a forest, where she met yet another child, who asked for a shirt. The good poor girl thought to herself, “It is dark night and no one can see you, so you can give your undershirt away.” She took it off, and gave it away.

Now she didn’t have a single thing left. As she stood in the darkness without anything, some stars from heaven fell down, and they turned out to be hard, smooth, shiny coins, and a new shirt of the finest linen.

She gathered the coins into the front of the shirt, and was rich all the days of her life.


In a certain kingdom once lived a poor miller who had a very beautiful daughter. She was, moreover, exceedingly shrewd and clever; and the miller was so vain and proud of her, that he one day told the king of the land that his daughter could spin gold out of straw. now, thins king was very fond of money; and when he heard the miller’s boast, his avarice was excited, and he ordered the girl to be brought before him. Then he lead her to a chamber where there was a great quantity of straw, gave her a spinning wheel, and said, “All this must be spun into gold before morning, as you value your life.”

It was in vain that the poor maiden declared that she could do no such thing, the chamber was locked and she remained alone.

She sat in one corner of the room and began to lament her hard fate, when all of a sudden the door opened, and a droll looking little man hobbled in, and said, “Good morrow to you, my good lass, what are you weeping for?”

“Alas!” Answered she, “I must spin this straw into gold, and I know not how.” 

“What will you give me,” said the little man, “to do it for you?”

“My necklace,” replied the maiden.

He took her at her word and set himself down to the wheel; round about it merrily, and presently the work was done and the gold all spun.

When the king came and saw this, he was greatly astonished and pleased; but his heart grew still more greedy of gain, and he shut up the poor miller’s daughter again with a fresh task. Then she knew not what to do, and sat down once more to weep; but the little man presently opened the door, and said, “What will you give me to do your task?”

“The ring on my finger,” replied she. So her little friend took the ring, and began to work at the wheel, till by the morning all was finished again.

The king was vastly delighted to see all this glittering treasure; but still he was not satisfied, and took the miller’s daughter into a yet larger room, and said, “All this must be spun tonight; and if you succeed you shall be my queen.”

As soon as she was alone the dwarf came in, and said, “What will you give me to spin gold for you this third time?”

“I have nothing left,” said she.

“Then promise me,” said the little man, “your fist child when you are queen.”

“That may never be,” thought the miller’s daughter; and as she knew no other way to get her task done, she promised him what he asked, and he spun once more the whole heap of gold. The king came in the morning, and finding all he wanted, married her, and so the miller’s daughter really became a queen.

At the birth of her first little child the queen rejoiced very much, and forgot the little man and her promise; but one day he came into her chamber and reminded her of it. Then she grieved sorely at her misfortune, and offered him all the treasures of the kingdom in exchange; but in vain, till at last her tears softened him, and he said, “I will give you three days’ grace, and if during that time you tell me my name, you shall keep your child.”

Now the queen lay awake all night, thinking of all the odd names that she had ever heard, and dispatched messengers all over the land to inquire after new ones. The next day the little man came, and she began with Timothy, Benjamin, Jeremiah, and all the names she could remember; but to all of them he said, “That’s not my name.”

The second day she began with all the comical names she could hear of, Bandy-legs, Hunch-back, Crook-shanks, and so on, but the little gentleman still said to every one of them, “That’s not my name.”

The third day came back one of the messengers, and said, “I can hear of no one other name; but yesterday, as I was climbing a high hill among the trees of the forest where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, I saw a little hut, and before the hut burnt a fire, and round about the fire danced a funny little man upon one leg, and sung,

“Merrily the feast I’ll make,

Today I’ll brew, tomorrow bake;

Merrily I’ll dance and sing,

For next day will a stranger bring;

Little does my lady dream,

Rumpel-Stilts-Kin is my name!”

When the queen heard this, she jumped for joy, and as soon as her little visitor came and said, “Now lady, what is my name?”

“Is it John?” Asked she.


“Is it Tom?”


“Can your name be Rumpel-Stilts-Kin!”

“Some witch told you that! Some horrible witch told you that!” Cried the little man, and dashed his right foot in a rage so deep into the floor, that he was forced to lay hold of it with both hands and pull it out. Then he made the best of his way off, while everybody laughed at him for having had all his trouble for nothing.


Hansel and Gretel

A poor woodcutter lived with his two children, Hansel and Gretel, beside a large forest. The children’s mother had died but, after a time the woodcutter married again. 

There was never much to eat in the house, but then came the famine and there wasn’t even enough bread for the four of them.

One night, the woodcutter lay in bed, tossing and turning with worry. He sighed and said to his wife, “What will happen to us? How can we feed my poor children when we have barely enough for ourselves?”

His wife answered, “Listen. Tomorrow we’ll take the children deep into the forest and give them each a piece of bread. Then we’ll leave them there. They’ll never find the way home, and that way we won’t need to feed them.”

“No wife,” said the man, “I won’t do it. How could I leave my children alone in the woods? While animals would come and tear them to pieces.”

“You fool!” She said. “Then all four of us will starve.” And she gave him no peace until he agreed.

The children were too hungry to sleep, so they had overheard their stepmother. Gretel began crying and said, “Oh, Hansel. There’s no hope for us.”

“Don’t worry, Gretel,” said Hansel, “I’ll find a way.”

When the grown-ups were asleep, he got up, put in his jacket and crept outside. The moon was shining bright, and the pebbles on the ground glittered like silver coins, Hansel stuffed his pockets full of them. 

At day break, the stepmother came and woke the children. “Get up, you lazy children. We’re going to the forest for wood.” Then she handed them each a piece of bread and said, “ This is for your lunch. Don’t eat it too soon; there won’t be any more.” Gretel put the bread in her apron, because Hansel had his pockets full of pebbles.

Then they all set out for the forest. But Hansel kept stopping and looking back. Each time he turned, he took a shiny pebble from his pocket and dropped it on the ground.

When they came to the middle of the forest, their father said, “Start gathering wood, children, and I’ll make a fire to keep you warm.”

Hansel and Gretel gathered twigs till they had a good pile. The fire was lit and, when the flames were high enough, the stepmother said, “ Now, children, lie down here and rest. We’re going into the forest to cut wood. When we’re done, we’ll come back for you.”

Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire, and at midday they ate their pieces of bread. They heard strokes of an axe, it was a branch he had tied to a dead tree, so it would sound like chopping when the wind blew it to and fro.

After some time, they were so tired that their eyes closed and they fell asaeep. When at last they awoke, night had fallen. Gretel began to cry and said, “How will we ever get out of this forest?”

But Hansel comforted her. “Just wait a little while. As soon as the moon rises, we’ll find the way.” And when the full moon had risen, Hansel took his little sister by the hand and followed the pebbles, which glistened like silver pieces and showed them the way home.

They walked all night and reached their father’s house as day was breaking. When the stepmother opened the door and saw them, she cried, “Wicked children! Why did you stay so long in the forest?” But their father was overjoyed, for he had been very unhappy since leaving them.

Time passed and the famine continued. The children heard their stepmother talking to their father in bed, “Everything has been eaten; we have only half a loaf of bread left. The children must go. We’ll take them even deeper into the forest, and this time they won’t find their way home. It’s our only hope.”

The husband was heavy hearted. He thought it would be better to share his last bite with his children. But the stepmother wouldn’t listen and only scolded him. Once you’ve said yes, it’s hard to say no, and so the woodcutter gave in again.

The children were awake and heard the conversation. When the grown-ups were asleep, Hansel got up again. He wanted to gather more pebbles, but the stepmother had locked the door so he couldn’t get out. Still, he comforted his little sister, saying, “Don’t cry, Gretel. God will help us.” 

Early in the morning, the stepmother came and got the children out of bed. She gave them their pieces of bread, but this time smaller then before. On the way through the forest, Hansel kept turning back and dropping a few breadcrumbs on the ground.

The stepmother led the children to a place deep in the forest, where they had never been before. Again they made a fire, and she said, “Just sit here, children. If you get tired you can sleep. We’re going to cut wood, and this evening when we’ve finished, we’ll come and get you.”

At midday, Gretel shared her bread with Hansel, as he had scattered his on the grounds. They fell asleep and the afternoon passed, but no one came for the poor children.

It was after dark when they woke, and Hansel comforted his sister. “Gretel,” he said, “just wait till the moon rises. Then we’ll see the breadcrumbs I scattered and they’ll show us the way home.”

When the moon rose, they set out, but they didn’t find any breadcrumbs because all the birds of the forest had eaten them up. Hansel said to Gretel, “Don’t worry, we’ll find the way.” But they didn’t find it.

They walked all night, and then all day from morning to night, and they were very hungry, for they had eaten only a few berries they picked from the bushes. When they were so tired their legs could carry them no further, they lay down under a tree and fell asleep.

Now it was the third morning since they had left their father’s house. They started out again, but wandered even deeper and deeper into the forest and, unless help came soon, they were sure to die of hunger and weariness.

At midday, they saw a lovely snowbird sitting on a branch, singing so beautifully that they stood still and listened. Then it flapped it’s wings and flew on ahead, and they followed until the bird came to a little house and perched on the roof.

Coming closer, they saw that the house was made of gingerbread, and the roof was made of cake and the windows of sparkling sugar. “let’s eat some,” said Hansel. “I’ll take a piece of the roof. You, Gretel, try some of the window. It looks sweet.”

Hansel reached up and broke off a bit of the roof to see how it tasted, and Gretel pressed against the windowpanes and nibbled them, then a soft voice called from the inside, “Nibble, nibble, little mouse, who’s that nibbling at my house?”

The children answered, “It is only the wind, so wild.” And they carried on eating. Hansel so liked the taste of the roof, he broke off a big chunk, and Gretel took out a whole windowpane and sat down on the ground to enjoy it.

All at once, the door opened, and an old woman came hobbling out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened, they dropped what they were eating. But the old woman nodded her head and said, “Oh, what dear children! However did you get here? Don’t be afarid, come in and stay with me.”

She took them by the hand and led them into her house. A fine meal of milk and pancakes, sugar, apples and nuts was set before them. Then two little beds were made up, clean and white, and Hansel and Gretel got into them and thought they were in heaven.

But the old woman had only pretended to be kind. She was really a wicked witch who tempted children in and then killed, cooked, and ate them up. She had built her house out of gingerbread to entice them. Witches have red eyes and can’t see very far, but they have a keen sense of smell and know when humans are coming.

Early the next morning, the witch got up, and when she saw the children sleeping, she muttered to herself, “What tasty morsels they will be!” She grabbed Hansel with her scrawny hand, carried him to a little shed and bolted the door. He screamed as loud as he could, but no one heard him.

Then the witch went back to Gretel, shook her awake and cried, “Get up, lazy, selfish child. You must fetch water and cook something for your brother. He’s locked in the shed and we will fatten him up. When he’s nice and plump I shall eat him,” Gretel wept bitterly, but she had to do what the wicked witch told her.

Every morning the witch went to the shed and said, “Hansel, hold out your finger. Let’s feel how fat you are getting.” But Hansel held out a bone. Because she couldn’t see well, she thought it was his finger. She wondered why he stayed so thin.

When four weeks had gone by the the boy was skinny as ever, she decided not to wait any longer. “Gretel,” she cried out. “Fetch water and don’t dawdle. Skinny or fat, I’m going to cook Hansel up tomorrow.”

The little girl wailed, and tears flowed down her cheeks! “Dear God,” she cried, “won’t you help us?”

“Stop that blubbering,” said the witch. “It won’t do you a bit of good.”

Early in the morning, Gretel had filled the kettle with water and lit the fire. “First we’ll do some baking,” said the witch. “I’ve heated the oven and kneaded the dough.” And she took poor Gretel out to the oven, which by now was spitting flames.

“Crawl in,” she said, “and see if it’s hot enough for bread.”

The witch was going to close the door on Gretel and roast her, so she could eat her too. But Gretel guessed what she must be thinking and said, “I don’t know how to get in.”

“Silly goose,” said the witch. “The door is big enough. Look. Even I can get in.”she crept to the oven and stuck her head in. At that moment Gretel gave her a great push, closed the iron door and fastened the bolt. How horribly the witch screeched as she burnt to death.

Gretel ran straight to Hansel, opened the door of the shed, and cried, “Hansel, we’re saved! The witch is dead.”

Hansel hopped out like a bird freed from a cage. How happy they were! They hugged and kissed each other and danced around. Now there was nothing to be afraid of, they went into the witches house and in every corner they found boxes of pearls and precious stones. Hansel stuffed his pockets full of them saying, “These will be much better then pebbles.” Gretel, too, filled her apron with them.

“We’d better leave now,” said Hansel, “and get out of this bewitched forest.”

They walked a long way, and came to a body of water. “How will we get across?” said Hansel. “There’s no bridge.”

“And no boat either,” said Gretel. “But over there I see a white duck. She’ll help us.” She cried out, “Duckling, please give us a ride.”

Sure enough, the duck came to them and took them across, one at a time.

When they were safely over and had walked on some way, the forest looked more and more familiar, and finally they saw their home in the distance. They began to run. They flew into the house and threw themselves into their fathers arms.

The poor man hadn’t had a happy hour since he had left the children in the forest, and in the meantime his wife had died. Gretel opened her little apron, and the pearls and precious stones went bouncing around the room. Hansel reached into his pockets and tossed out handful after handful. Now all their worries were over, and they lived together happily ever after.

Snow White and Rose Red

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 house-work, or read to her when there was nothing to do.

The two children were so fond of each other 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 had no distress 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 away 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 over it. The kettle was of copper 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 span. 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 you.”

“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,

“Snowy-white, Rosy-red,

Will you beat your lover 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 for his going away, 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 fire-wood. 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 backwards and forwards 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 about there, 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 one of us wants gets burnt up directly with thick 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 wretched wood was too smooth and suddenly sprang asunder, and the tree closed so quickly that I could not pull out my beautiful white beard; so now it is tight in and I cannot get away, and the silly, sleek, milk-faced things laugh! Ugh! how odious you are!”

The children tried very hard, but they could not pull the beard out, it was caught too fast. “I will run and fetch some one,” said Rose-red. “You senseless goose!” snarled the dwarf; why should you fetch some one? 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 after that Snow-white and Rose-red went to catch some 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 twisted his beard with the fishing-line; just then a big fish bit, 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, 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. Nothing was left 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 toad-stool, to disfigure one’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 saying a word more 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 here and there. Now 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 off. Directly afterwards 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 helpless 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 thanklessness, went on their way and did their business in the 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 many colours so beautifully that the children stood still and looked at them. “Why do you stand gaping there?” cried the dwarf, and his ashen-grey face became copper-red with rage. He was going on with his bad words 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 get to 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 knew 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.



Once upon a time there was a man and a woman who had long, but to no avail, wished for a child. Finally the woman came to believe that the Good Lord would fulfil her wish. Thought the small rear winder of their house, they could see into a splendid garden that was filled with the most beautiful flowers and herbs. The garden was surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared enter, because it belonged to a sorceress who possessed great power and was feared by everyone. 

One day the woman was standing at this window, and she saw a bed planted with the most beautiful lettuce. It looked so fresh and green that she longed for some. It was her greatest desire to eat some of that lettuce. This desire increased every day, and not knowing how to get any, she became miserably ill. 

Her husband was frightened, and asked her, “What ails thee, dear wife?” 

“Oh,” she answered, “ If I do not get some lettuce from the garden behind our house, I shall die!”

The man, who loved her dearly, thought, “Before you let your wife die, you must get her some of that lettuce, whatever the cost.” 

So, just as it was getting dark, he climbed over the high wall into the sorceress’ garden, hastily dug up a handful of lettuce, and took Ito to his wife. She immediately made a sale from it, which she devoured eagerly. It tasted so good to her that by the next day her desire for more had grown threefold. If she were to have any peace, the man would have to climb into the garden once again. Thus he set forth once again, just as it was getting dark. But no sooner had he climbed over the wall then, to his horror, he saw the sorceress standing there before him. 

“How can you dare,” she asked with an angry look, “ to climb into my garden and like a thief to steal my lettuce? You will pay for this.”

“Oh,” he answered, “ Let mercy overrule justice. I came to do this out of necessity. My wife saw your lettuce from our window, and such a longing came over her that she would die if she did not get some to eat.”

The sorceress’ anger abated somewhat, and she said, “If things are as you say, I will allow you to take as much lettuce as you want, but under one condition: you must give me the child that your wife will bring to the world. It will do well, and I will take care of it like a mother.”

In his fear the man agreed to everything. 

When the woman gave birth, the sorceress appeared, named the little girl Repunzel, and took her away. Repunzel became the most beautiful child under the sun. When she was twelve years old, the sorceress locked her in a tower that stood in a forest and that had neither a door, nor a stairway, but only a tiny little window at the top. 

When the sorceress wanted to enter, she stood below and called out:

“Repunzel, Repunzel, 

Let down your hair to me.”

Repunzel had splendid long hair, as fine as spun gold. When she heard the sorceress’ voice, she untied her braids, wound them around a window hook, let her hair fall twenty yards to the ground, and the sorceress climbed up it. 

A few years later it happened that a kings son was riding through the forest. As he approached the tower he heard a song so beautiful that he stopped to listen. It was Repunzel, who was passing the time by singing with her sweet voice. The prince wanted to climb up to her, and looked for a door in the tower, but none was to be found. 

He rode home, but the song had so touched his heart that he returned to the forest every day and listened to it. One time, as he was standing behind a tree he saw the sorceress approach, and heard her say:

“Repunzel, Repunzel, 

Let down your hair to me.”

The Repunzel let down her strands of hair and the sorceress climbed up to her. 

“If that is the ladder into the tower then sometime I will try my luck.”

And the next day, just as it was beginning to get dark, he went to the tower and called out:

“Repunzel, Repunzel, 

Let down your hair to me.”

The hair fell down and the prince climbed up.

At first Repunzel was terribly frightened, when a man such as she had never seen before came into her tower. However, the prince began talking to her in a very friendly manner, telling her that his heart had been so touched by her singing that he could have no peace until he had seen her in person. Then Repunzel lost her fear and when he asked her if she would take him as her husband, she thought, “He would rather have me then would old Frau Gothel.” She said yes and placed her hand in his.

She said, “I would go with you gladly, but I do not know how to get down. Every time that you come, bring a strand of silk, from which I weave a ladder. When it is finished I will climb down, and you can take me away on your horse.” They arranged that he would come to her every evening, for the old woman came by day. 

The sorceress did not notice what was happening until one day Repunzel said to her, “ From Gothel, tell me why it is that you are more difficult to pull up then is the young prince, who will be arriving any moment now?” 

“You Godless child,” cried the sorceress. “What am I hearing from you? I thought I had removed you from the whole world, but you have deceived me nonetheless.”

In her anger she grabbed Repunzel’s beautiful hair, wrapped it a few times around her left hand, grasped a pair of scissors with her right hand, and snip snap, cut it off. And she was so unmerciful that she took Repunzel into a wilderness where she suffered greatly. 

On the evening of the same day that she sent Repunzel away, the sorceress tied the cut off hair to the hook at the top of the tower, and when the prince called out:

“Repunzel, Repunzel, 

Let down your hair to me.”

She let down the hair.

The prince climbed up, but above, instead of his beloved Repunzel, he found the sorceress, who peered at him with poisonous and evil eyes. 

“Aha!” She cried scornfully. “You have come for your Mistress Darling, but that beautiful bird is no longer sitting in her nest, nor is she singing anymore. The cat got her and will scratch your eyes out as well. You have lost Repunzel. You will never see her again.”

The prince was overcome with grief, and in his despair he threw himself from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns on which he fell poked out his eyes. Blind, he wondered about in the forest, eating nothing but grass and roots, and doing nothing but wearing and wailing over the loss of his beloved. Thus he wondered about miserably for some years, finally happening into the wilderness where Repunzel lived unhappily with the twins she had given birth to. 

He hear a voice and thought it was familiar. He advanced towards it, and as her approached, Repunzel recognised him, and crying, there her arms around his neck. Two of her tears fell into his eyes and they became clear once again, and he could see as well as before. He led her into his kingdom where he was received with joy, and they lived happily ever after. 

Jorinda and Jorindel

There was once an old castle that stood in the middle of a large, thick wood, and in the castle lived an old witch. All the day long she flew about as an owl, or crept about the country like a cat; but at night she always became an old woman again. Whenever any youth came within a hundred paces of her castle, he became quite fixed, and could not move a step until she came to set him free. When any pretty maiden came within that distance, 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 then all the pretty girls that ever was seen; and a shepherd 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 do not go too near to the 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 turtledoves called plaintively from the tall birches.

Jorinda sat down to gaze upon the sun; Jorindel sat down by her side; and both felt sad, they knew not why; but it seemed as if they were to be parted from one another forever. They had wondered 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 his circle had disappeared behind the hill: Jorindel on a sudden looked behind him, and as he saw through the bushes that they had, without knowing it, sat down close under the old walls of the castle, he shrank for fear, turned pale, and trembled. Jorinda was singing,

“The ring-dove sang from the willow spray,

Well-a-day! Well-a-day!

He mourned for the fate

Of his lovely mate,


The song ceased 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 around 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 a hand or foot. And now the sun went quite down; the gloomy night came, the owl flew into a bush; and a moment later the old witch came forth, pale and meager, with staring eyes and a nose and chin that nearly 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, her could not move from the spot where he stood. At last the witch came back and sang in a hoarse voice,

“Till the prisoner’s fast,

And her doom is cast,

There stay! Oh stay!

When the charm is around her,

And the spell has bound her,

His away! Away!”

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

He prayed, he wept, he sorrowed, but all in vain. “Alas!” He said, “what will become of me?”

He could not return 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. At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower, and in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand to the castle, and that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he found his dear 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 searched 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 dew-drop as big as a costly pearl.

Then her plucked the flower and travelled day and night till he came to the castle. He walked nearer then a hundred paces to it, and yet he did not become fixed as before, but found that he could go close up to the door.

Jorindel was very glad to see this: 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 witch 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 protected him. He looked around at the birds but alas! There were many, many nightingales, and how then should he find his Jorinda? While he was thinking what to do, he observed that the witch had taken down one of the cages, and was making her escape through the door. He ran to her, touched the cage with the flower, and his Jorinda stood before him. She threw her arms around his neck and looked as beautiful as when they walked together in the wood.

Then he touched all the other birds with the flower, so that they resumed their old forms; and took his dear Jonrinda home, where they lived happily together many years.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

There was once 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 in the morning their shoes were always 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.

So 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 all night, they should have the one they liked best for their 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 to his chamber was left open. But the king’s son soon fell asleep; and when he woke 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 that his head be cut off. After him came several others; but they had all the same luck and all lost their lives on the same manner.

Now, it happened that a young soldier, who had been wounded in battle, and could fight no longer, passed through the country where this king reigned: and as he travelled 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 that I should like very well to find out where the princesses dance, and then in time I might be 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 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 council, 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 be given to 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 solid threw it away secretly, taking care not to dink a drop. Then he laid himself down on his bed, and in a little while began to snore very loud as if he lay fast asleep. When the twelve princesses heard this they laughed heartily; and the eldest said, “ this fellow too might have done a wiser thing then 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 quite 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 us 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. The eldest went up to her own bed and clapped her hands, and the bed sunk into the floor and a trapdoor flew open. The soldier saw them going down through the trapdoor 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 the most delightful grove of trees; and the leaves were all of silver and glittered and sparkled beautifully. The soldier wished to take home 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 you hear that noise? That never happened before.” But the eldest said, “It is only our princes, who are shouting with joy at our approach.”

Then they came to another grove of trees where all the leaves were of gold; and afterwords to a third, where the leaves were 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 are crying with 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 princesses.

One of the princesses went into each boat, and the soldier stepped into the same boat as 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 as fast as usual, and I am quite tired: the boat seems quite 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. They all landed, and went into the castle, and each princess danced with her prince; 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 princess 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 put himself in the boat of 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.” They undressed themselves, put away their shoes, and went to bed. In the morning the soldier said nothing of 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 take 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 all night?” He answered, “With twelve princes in a castle underground.” 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. The soldier then chose the eldest princess to marry and was declared the king’s heir.

The Seven Ravens

There was once a man who had seven sons, and last of all one daughter. Although the little girl was very pretty, she was so week and small that they thought she could not live, so they said she should at once be christened. 

The father sent one of his sons in haste to the spring to collect some water, but the other six ran after him for each wanted to be the first to draw the water. They were in such a hurry that they all let their pitchers fall into the well, and they stood very foolishly looking at one another, and did not know what to do, for none dared go home. In the meantime the father was uneasy and could not tell what made his boys stay so long. “Surely,” said he, “the whole seven must have forgotten themselves over some game of play.” And when he had waited still longer and they had yet to return he flew into a rage and wished them all turned to ravens. Scarcely had he spoken these words when he heard a crowing over his head, and looking up, saw seven ravens as black as coal flying round and round. Sorry as he was to see his wish so fulfilled, he did not know how what was done could be undone and so comforted himself as well as he could for the loss of his sons with his dear little daughter, who soon became stronger with each passing day. 

For a long time she did not know she had had any brothers; for her father and mother took care not to speak of them before her. However, one day by chance she heard people about her speak of them, “Yes,” they said, “she is beautiful indeed but still ’tis a pity that her brothers should have been lost for her sake.” Then she was much grieved and went to her father and mother and asked if she had any brothers and what had become of them. They dared not hide the truth from her but said it was the will of heaven and that her birth was only the innocent cause of it; but the little girl mourned about it every day and felt herself bound to do all she could to bring her brothers back. She had neither rest nor sleep till at length, one day she stole away and set out into the wide world to find her brothers, wherever they might be, and free them, whatever it might cost her. 

She took nothing with her but a little ring her father and mother had given her, a loaf of bread in case she should be hungry, a little pitcher of water in case she should be thirsty and a little stool to rest upon when she should be weary. Thus she went on and on, and journeyed till she came to the world’s end; then she came to the sun, but the sun was much too hot and fiery; so she ran away quickly to the moon, but the moon was cold and chilly and said, “I smell flesh and blood this way!” So she took herself away in a hurry and came to the stars and the stars were friendly and kind to her. Each star sat upon her own little stool but the morning star rose up and gave her a little piece of wood, and said, “If you have not this little piece of wood, you cannot unlock the castle that stands on the glass mountain where your brothers live.” The little girl took the piece of wood, rolled it up in a little cloth, and went on again until she came to the glass mountain, and found the door shut. Then she felt for the little piece of wood; but when she unwrapped the cloth it was not there and she saw she had lost the gift of the good stars. What was to be done? She wanted to save her brothers but had no key to open the castle of the glass mountain. So this faithful sister took a knife out of her pocket and cut off her finger, that was just the size of the piece of wood she had lost, and put it in the door and opened it.

As she went in, a little dwarf came up to her and said, “What are you seeking for?” “I seek my brothers, the seven ravens,” answered she. Then the dwarf said, “ My masters are not at home; but if you will, wait till they come.” Now, the little dwarf was getting their dinner ready, and he brought their food upon seven little plates, and their drinks in seven little glasses, and set them upon the table, and out of each little plate their sister ate a small piece, and out of each little glass she drank a small drop; but she let the ring she had brought with her fall into the last glass.

On a sudden she heard a fluttering and croaking in the air, and the dwarf said, “ Here come my masters.” When they came in they wanted to eat and drink, and looked for their plates and glasses. Then said one after the other, “ Who has eaten from my little plate? And who has been drinking out of my little glass?

“Caw! Caw! Well I ween,

Mortal lips have this way been.”

When the seventh came to the bottom of his glass and found the ring, he looked at it, and knew that it was his father’s and mother’s and said, “O that our little sister would but come! Then we would be free.” When the little girl heard this (for she stood behind the door all the time and listened) she ran forward, and in an instant all the ravens took their human forms again; and all hugged and kissed each other, and went merrily home.


There was once a wife of a rich man who fell sick and when she felt that her end drew near, she called her only daughter to her bedside, and said, “Always be a good girl, and I will look down from heaven and watch over you.” Soon afterwards she shut her eyes and died. She was buried in the garden and her little girl went every day to her grave and wept, and was always good and kind to all about her. Snow spread a beautiful white covering over the grave but by the time the sun had melted it away again, her father had married another wife. This new wife had two daughters of her own and she brought them home with her. They were fair in face but foul at heart and it was now a sorry time for the poor little girl. “What does the good-for-nothing want in the parlour?” Said they, “those who would eat bread should first earn it; away with the kitchen maid!” Then they took away her fine clothes, and gave her an old grey frock to put on, and laughed at her and turned her into the kitchen.

There she was forced to do hard work; to rise early before day-light, to bring the water, to make the fire, to cook and to wash. Besides that, the sisters plagued her in all sorts of ways and laughed at her. In the evening when she was tired she had no bed to lie down on, but was instead made to lie by the hearth among the ashes. As this made her always dusty and dirty, they called her Ashputtel.

It happened once that the father was going to the fair, and asked his wife’s daughters what he should bring them. “Fine clothes,” said the first. “Pearls and diamonds,” cried the second. “Now, child,” said he to his own daughter, “what will you have?” “The first sprig, dear father, that rubs against your hat on the way home,” said she. 

He bought for his stepdaughters the fine clothes, pearls and diamonds they had asked for. On his way home, as he rode through a green copse, a sprig of hazel brushed against him, and almost pushed off his hat, so he broke it off and brought it away. When he got home he gave it to his daughter. She took it and went to her mothers grave and planted it and cried so much that it was watered with her tears. There it grew and became a fine tree. Three times every day she went to it and wept and soon a little bird came and built its nest upon the tree, and talked to her and watched over her, and brought her whatever she wished for.

Now it happened that the king of the land was to hold a feast which was to last three days, and out of those who came to it his son was to choose a bride for himself. Ashputtel’s two sisters were asked to come. They called her up and said, “ Now, comb our hair, brush out shoes, and tie our sashes for us for we are going to dance at the king’s ball.” Then she did as she was told, but when all was done she could not help crying, for she thought to herself, she should have liked to have gone to the dance too. At last she begged her mother very hard to let her go. “You! Ashputtel?” Said she, “ you who have nothing to wear, no clothes at all, and who cannot even dance….you want to go to the ball?” And when she kept on begging, to get rid of her, she said at last, “I will throw this basin-full of peas into the ash heap, and if you have picked them all out in two hours time you shall go to the feast too.” Then she threw the peas into the ashes. But the little girl ran out at the back door into the garden and cried out:

“Hither, hither, through the sky,

Turtle-doves and linnets fly!

Blackbird, thrush, and chaffinch gay,

Hither, hither, haste away!

One and all, come help me quick,

Haste ye, haste ye, pick, pick, pick!”

Then first came two white doves flying in at the kitchen window. Next came two turtle-doves and after therm all the little birds under heaven came chirping and fluttering in and flew down into the ashes. The little doves stooped their heads down and set to work, pick pick, pick. Then the others began to pick, pick, pick and picked out all the good grain and put it in a dish and left the ashes. At the end of one hour the work was done, and all flew out again at the window. Then she brought the dish to her mother, overjoyed at the thought that now she should go to the ball. But she said, “No, no! You have no clothes and cannot dance, you shall not go.” And when Ashputtel begged very hard to go, she said, “ If you can in one hour’s time pick two of those dishes of peas out of the ashes, you shall go too.” And thus she thought she should at last get rid of her. So she shook two dishes of peas into the ashes; but the little maiden went out into the garden at the back of the house and cried out as before:

“Hither, hither, through the sky,

Turtle-doves and linnets fly!

Blackbird, thrush, and chaffinch gay,

Hither, hither, haste away!

One and all, come help me quick,

Haste ye, haste ye, pick, pick, pick!”

Then first came two white doves flying in at the kitchen window. Next came two turtle-doves and after therm all the little birds under heaven came chirping and hopping about and flew down about the ashes. The little doves stooped their heads down and set to work, pick pick, pick. Then the others began to pick, pick, pick and picked out all the good grain and put it in a dish and left the ashes. Before half an hour’s time all was done and out they flew again. And then Ashputtel took the dishes to her mother, rejoicing to think that now she should go to the feast. But her mother said, “It is all of no use, you cannot go. You have no clothes and cannot dance, and you would only put us all to shame,” and off she went with her two daughters to the feast.

Now, when all were gone, and nobody was left at home, Ashputtel went sorrowfully and sat down under the hazel-tree, and cried out:

“Shake, shake, hazel tree,

Gold and silver over me!”

Then her friend the bird flew out of the tree and brought a gold and silver dress for her, and slippers of spangled silk. She put them on and followed her sisters to the feast. They did not know her and thought she must be some strange princess, she looked so fine and beautiful in her new clothes. They never once thought of Ashputtel for they took for granted that she was safe at home in the dirt.

The king’s son soon came up to her and took her by the hand and danced with her and no one else. He never left her side and whenever anyone else came to ask her to dance he said, “ This lady is dancing with me.” Thus they danced till a late hour of the night and she wanted to go home. The king’s son said, “I shall go and take care of you to your home,” for he wanted to see where the beautiful maid lived. But she slipped away from him unawares and ran off towards home. But the prince followed her so she jumped up into the pigeon-house and shut the door. Then he waited until her father came home and told him that the unknown maiden who had been at the feast had hid herself in the pigeon-house. But when they broke open the door they found no one within and as they came back into the house, Ashputtel lay, as she always did, in her dirty frock by the ashes, and her dim little lamp burnt in the chimney: for she had run as quickly as she could through the pigeon-house and onto the hazel-tree, and had there taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them beneath the tree, that the bird might carry them away, and had seated herself amid the ashes again in her little grey frock. 

The next day when the feast was again held, and her father, mother, and sisters were gone, Ashputtel went to the hazel-tree, and said:

“Shake, shake, hazel tree,

Gold and silver over me!”

And the bird came and brought a still finer dress then the one she had worn the day before. When she came in it to the ball, everyone wondered at her beauty, but the king’s son, who was waiting for her, was the one who took her by the hand and danced with her all night. And when anyone asked her to dance, he said as before, “This lady is dancing with me.” When night came she wanted to go home and the king’s son followed her as before, that he might see into what house she went: but she sprung away from him all at once into the garden, behind her fathers house. In this garden stood a fine pear-tree full of ripe fruit and Ashputtel, not knowing where to hide herself, jumped up into it without being seen. Then the king’s son could not find out where she had gone but waited till her father came home, and said to him, “The unknown lady who danced with me has slipped away again, and I think she must have sprung into your pear-tree.” The father thought to himself, “Can it be Ashputtel?” So he ordered an axe to be brought and they cut down the tree, but found no one upon it. And when they came back into the kitchen, there lay Ashputtel in the ashes as usual; for she had slipped down on the other side of the tree, and had given her beautiful clothes back to the bird at the hazel-tree, and then put on her little grey frock.

The third day, when her father and mother and sisters were gone, she went again into the garden and said:

“Shake, shake, hazel tree,

Gold and silver over me!”

Then her kind friend the bird brought a dress still finer then the former one, and slippers which were all of gold. When she came to the feast no one knew what to say for wonder at her beauty and the king’s son danced with her alone; and whenever anyone else asked her to dance, her said, “This lady is my partner.” Now, when night came, she wanted to go home; and the king’s son would go with her and said to himself, “I will not lose her this time!” But however, she managed to slip away from him, though in such a hurry that she dropped her left golden slipper upon the stairs.

So the prince took the shoe and went the next day to the king his father, and said, “I will take for my wife the lady that this golden slipper fits.” Both the sisters were overjoyed to hear this; for they had beautiful feet, and had no doubt that they could wear the golden slipper. The eldest went first into the room where the slipper was and wanted to try it on, and the mother stood by. But her great toe could not get into it, and the shoe was all together much too small for her. Then the mother gave her a knife, and said, “Never mind, cut it off; when you are queen you will not care about toes, you will not want to go on foot.” So the silly girl cut her great toe off and squeezed the shoe on, and went to the king’s son, then he took her for his bride and set her beside him on his horse and rode away with her. 

But on their way home they had to pass by the hazel-tree that Ashputtel had planted, and there sat a little dove on the branch singing:

“Back again! Back again! Look to the shoe!

The shoe is too small, and not made for you!

Prince! Prince!  Look again for your bride,

For she’s not the true one that sits by thy side.”

Then the prince got down and looked at her foot, and saw by the blood that streamed from it, what a trick she had played on him. So her turned his horse round and brought the false bride back to her home, and said, “This is not the right bride: let the other sister try to put on the slipper.” Then she went into the room and got her foot into the shoe, all but the heel, which was too large. But her mother squeezed it in until the blood came, and took her to the king’s son; and he set her as his bride by his side on his horse, and rode away with her.

But when they came to the hazel-tree, the little dove sat there still and sang:

“Back again! Back again! Look to the shoe!

The shoe is too small, and not made for you!

Prince! Prince!  Look again for your bride,

For she’s not the true one that sits by thy side.”

The he looked down and saw the blood streamed so from the shoe that her white stockings were quite red. So her turned his horse and brought her back again. “This is not the true bride,” said he to the father, “have you no other daughters?” “No,” said he, “There is only little dirty Ashputtel, the child of my first wife; I am sure she cannot be the bride.” However, the prince told him to send for her. But the mother said, “No, no, she is much too dirty, she will not dare to show herself,” however, the prince would have her come. And she first washed her face and hands, and then went in and curtsied to him, and he passed her the golden slipper. Then she took her clumsy shoe off her left foot, and put on the golden slipper; and it fitted her as if it had been made for her. And when he drew near and looked at her face, he knew her, and said, “This is the right bride.” But the mother and both the sisters were frightened and turned pale with anger as he took Ashputtel on his horse, and rode away with her. And when they came to the hazel-tree the white dove sang:

“Home! Home! Look at the shoe!

Princess! The shoe was made for you!

Prince! Prince! Take home thy bride,

For she is the true on that sits by thy side.”

And when the dove had done its song, it came flying and perched upon her right shoulder, and so went home with her. 

The Golden Bird

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 order the Gardiner to keep a watch all night under the tree. The Gardiner 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 sone was ordered to watch; and at midnight he too few 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, he at last 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 pure gold; and as it was snapping at some 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 the wealth of the kingdom: but the king said, “One feather is 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 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 on 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 same 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 third 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 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 on 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 in and go 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 good friend the fox met him, and said, “You see now what 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 a 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 wind. 

     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 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 again very sorrowful; but the old fox came and said, “Why did you not 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 the 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 and 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 said, and at twelve o’clock the young man met the princess going to the bath and gave her the kiss, and she agreed to run away with him, but she 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 to him 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 soon 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 to you, and put out your hand to take the leave of them; but shake hands with the princess last. Then lift her quickly onto 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; 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 feet.” But the young man refused to do it: so the fox said, “I will at any rate give you good counsel: beware 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 advice. 

     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 to 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 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 awhile, 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 Botton 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 a 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 the 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 a brother of the princess, who have been lost a great many years.