Grimms' Fairy Tales - 02

parted from one another for ever. They had wandered a long way; and when
they looked to see which way they should go home, they found themselves
at a loss to know what path to take.
The sun was setting fast, and already half of its circle had sunk behind
the hill: Jorindel on a sudden looked behind him, and saw through the
bushes that they had, without knowing it, sat down close under the old
walls of the castle. Then he shrank for fear, turned pale, and trembled.
Jorinda was just singing,
‘The ring-dove sang from the willow spray,
Well-a-day! Well-a-day!
He mourn’d for the fate of his darling mate,
when her song stopped suddenly. Jorindel turned to see the reason, and
beheld his Jorinda changed into a nightingale, so that her song ended
with a mournful _jug, jug_. An owl with fiery eyes flew three times
round them, and three times screamed:
‘Tu whu! Tu whu! Tu whu!’
Jorindel could not move; he stood fixed as a stone, and could neither
weep, nor speak, nor stir hand or foot. And now the sun went quite down;
the gloomy night came; the owl flew into a bush; and a moment after the
old fairy came forth pale and meagre, with staring eyes, and a nose and
chin that almost met one another.
She mumbled something to herself, seized the nightingale, and went away
with it in her hand. Poor Jorindel saw the nightingale was gone--but
what could he do? He could not speak, he could not move from the spot
where he stood. At last the fairy came back and sang with a hoarse
‘Till the prisoner is fast,
And her doom is cast,
There stay! Oh, stay!
When the charm is around her,
And the spell has bound her,
Hie away! away!’
On a sudden Jorindel found himself free. Then he fell on his knees
before the fairy, and prayed her to give him back his dear Jorinda: but
she laughed at him, and said he should never see her again; then she
went her way.
He prayed, he wept, he sorrowed, but all in vain. ‘Alas!’ he said, ‘what
will become of me?’ He could not go back to his own home, so he went to
a strange village, and employed himself in keeping sheep. Many a time
did he walk round and round as near to the hated castle as he dared go,
but all in vain; he heard or saw nothing of Jorinda.
At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower,
and that in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he
plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand into the castle, and
that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he
found his Jorinda again.
In the morning when he awoke, he began to search over hill and dale for
this pretty flower; and eight long days he sought for it in vain: but
on the ninth day, early in the morning, he found the beautiful purple
flower; and in the middle of it was a large dewdrop, as big as a costly
pearl. Then he plucked the flower, and set out and travelled day and
night, till he came again to the castle.
He walked nearer than a hundred paces to it, and yet he did not become
fixed as before, but found that he could go quite close up to the door.
Jorindel was very glad indeed to see this. Then he touched the door with
the flower, and it sprang open; so that he went in through the court,
and listened when he heard so many birds singing. At last he came to the
chamber where the fairy sat, with the seven hundred birds singing in
the seven hundred cages. When she saw Jorindel she was very angry, and
screamed with rage; but she could not come within two yards of him, for
the flower he held in his hand was his safeguard. He looked around at
the birds, but alas! there were many, many nightingales, and how then
should he find out which was his Jorinda? While he was thinking what to
do, he saw the fairy had taken down one of the cages, and was making the
best of her way off through the door. He ran or flew after her, touched
the cage with the flower, and Jorinda stood before him, and threw her
arms round his neck looking as beautiful as ever, as beautiful as when
they walked together in the wood.
Then he touched all the other birds with the flower, so that they all
took their old forms again; and he took Jorinda home, where they were
married, and lived happily together many years: and so did a good many
other lads, whose maidens had been forced to sing in the old fairy’s
cages by themselves, much longer than they liked.


An honest farmer had once an ass that had been a faithful servant to him
a great many years, but was now growing old and every day more and more
unfit for work. His master therefore was tired of keeping him and
began to think of putting an end to him; but the ass, who saw that some
mischief was in the wind, took himself slyly off, and began his journey
towards the great city, ‘For there,’ thought he, ‘I may turn musician.’
After he had travelled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the
roadside and panting as if he were tired. ‘What makes you pant so, my
friend?’ said the ass. ‘Alas!’ said the dog, ‘my master was going to
knock me on the head, because I am old and weak, and can no longer make
myself useful to him in hunting; so I ran away; but what can I do to
earn my livelihood?’ ‘Hark ye!’ said the ass, ‘I am going to the great
city to turn musician: suppose you go with me, and try what you can
do in the same way?’ The dog said he was willing, and they jogged on
They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of the
road and making a most rueful face. ‘Pray, my good lady,’ said the ass,
‘what’s the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits!’ ‘Ah, me!’
said the cat, ‘how can one be in good spirits when one’s life is in
danger? Because I am beginning to grow old, and had rather lie at my
ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my mistress
laid hold of me, and was going to drown me; and though I have been lucky
enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to live upon.’
‘Oh,’ said the ass, ‘by all means go with us to the great city; you are
a good night singer, and may make your fortune as a musician.’ The cat
was pleased with the thought, and joined the party.
Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farmyard, they saw a cock
perched upon a gate, and screaming out with all his might and main.
‘Bravo!’ said the ass; ‘upon my word, you make a famous noise; pray what
is all this about?’ ‘Why,’ said the cock, ‘I was just now saying that
we should have fine weather for our washing-day, and yet my mistress and
the cook don’t thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut off my
head tomorrow, and make broth of me for the guests that are coming
on Sunday!’ ‘Heaven forbid!’ said the ass, ‘come with us Master
Chanticleer; it will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have
your head cut off! Besides, who knows? If we care to sing in tune, we
may get up some kind of a concert; so come along with us.’ ‘With all my
heart,’ said the cock: so they all four went on jollily together.
They could not, however, reach the great city the first day; so when
night came on, they went into a wood to sleep. The ass and the dog laid
themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into the
branches; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the safer he
should be, flew up to the very top of the tree, and then, according to
his custom, before he went to sleep, looked out on all sides of him to
see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw afar off something
bright and shining and calling to his companions said, ‘There must be a
house no great way off, for I see a light.’ ‘If that be the case,’ said
the ass, ‘we had better change our quarters, for our lodging is not the
best in the world!’ ‘Besides,’ added the dog, ‘I should not be the
worse for a bone or two, or a bit of meat.’ So they walked off together
towards the spot where Chanticleer had seen the light, and as they drew
near it became larger and brighter, till they at last came close to a
house in which a gang of robbers lived.
The ass, being the tallest of the company, marched up to the window and
peeped in. ‘Well, Donkey,’ said Chanticleer, ‘what do you see?’ ‘What
do I see?’ replied the ass. ‘Why, I see a table spread with all kinds of
good things, and robbers sitting round it making merry.’ ‘That would
be a noble lodging for us,’ said the cock. ‘Yes,’ said the ass, ‘if we
could only get in’; so they consulted together how they should contrive
to get the robbers out; and at last they hit upon a plan. The ass placed
himself upright on his hind legs, with his forefeet resting against the
window; the dog got upon his back; the cat scrambled up to the dog’s
shoulders, and the cock flew up and sat upon the cat’s head. When
all was ready a signal was given, and they began their music. The ass
brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock screamed; and then
they all broke through the window at once, and came tumbling into
the room, amongst the broken glass, with a most hideous clatter! The
robbers, who had been not a little frightened by the opening concert,
had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin had broken in upon them,
and scampered away as fast as they could.
The coast once clear, our travellers soon sat down and dispatched what
the robbers had left, with as much eagerness as if they had not expected
to eat again for a month. As soon as they had satisfied themselves, they
put out the lights, and each once more sought out a resting-place to
his own liking. The donkey laid himself down upon a heap of straw in
the yard, the dog stretched himself upon a mat behind the door, the
cat rolled herself up on the hearth before the warm ashes, and the
cock perched upon a beam on the top of the house; and, as they were all
rather tired with their journey, they soon fell asleep.
But about midnight, when the robbers saw from afar that the lights were
out and that all seemed quiet, they began to think that they had been in
too great a hurry to run away; and one of them, who was bolder than
the rest, went to see what was going on. Finding everything still, he
marched into the kitchen, and groped about till he found a match in
order to light a candle; and then, espying the glittering fiery eyes of
the cat, he mistook them for live coals, and held the match to them to
light it. But the cat, not understanding this joke, sprang at his face,
and spat, and scratched at him. This frightened him dreadfully, and away
he ran to the back door; but there the dog jumped up and bit him in the
leg; and as he was crossing over the yard the ass kicked him; and the
cock, who had been awakened by the noise, crowed with all his might. At
this the robber ran back as fast as he could to his comrades, and told
the captain how a horrid witch had got into the house, and had spat at
him and scratched his face with her long bony fingers; how a man with a
knife in his hand had hidden himself behind the door, and stabbed him
in the leg; how a black monster stood in the yard and struck him with a
club, and how the devil had sat upon the top of the house and cried out,
‘Throw the rascal up here!’ After this the robbers never dared to go
back to the house; but the musicians were so pleased with their quarters
that they took up their abode there; and there they are, I dare say, at
this very day.


A shepherd had a faithful dog, called Sultan, who was grown very old,
and had lost all his teeth. And one day when the shepherd and his wife
were standing together before the house the shepherd said, ‘I will shoot
old Sultan tomorrow morning, for he is of no use now.’ But his wife
said, ‘Pray let the poor faithful creature live; he has served us well a
great many years, and we ought to give him a livelihood for the rest of
his days.’ ‘But what can we do with him?’ said the shepherd, ‘he has not
a tooth in his head, and the thieves don’t care for him at all; to
be sure he has served us, but then he did it to earn his livelihood;
tomorrow shall be his last day, depend upon it.’
Poor Sultan, who was lying close by them, heard all that the shepherd
and his wife said to one another, and was very much frightened to think
tomorrow would be his last day; so in the evening he went to his good
friend the wolf, who lived in the wood, and told him all his sorrows,
and how his master meant to kill him in the morning. ‘Make yourself
easy,’ said the wolf, ‘I will give you some good advice. Your master,
you know, goes out every morning very early with his wife into the
field; and they take their little child with them, and lay it down
behind the hedge in the shade while they are at work. Now do you lie
down close by the child, and pretend to be watching it, and I will come
out of the wood and run away with it; you must run after me as fast as
you can, and I will let it drop; then you may carry it back, and they
will think you have saved their child, and will be so thankful to you
that they will take care of you as long as you live.’ The dog liked this
plan very well; and accordingly so it was managed. The wolf ran with the
child a little way; the shepherd and his wife screamed out; but Sultan
soon overtook him, and carried the poor little thing back to his master
and mistress. Then the shepherd patted him on the head, and said, ‘Old
Sultan has saved our child from the wolf, and therefore he shall live
and be well taken care of, and have plenty to eat. Wife, go home, and
give him a good dinner, and let him have my old cushion to sleep on
as long as he lives.’ So from this time forward Sultan had all that he
could wish for.
Soon afterwards the wolf came and wished him joy, and said, ‘Now, my
good fellow, you must tell no tales, but turn your head the other way
when I want to taste one of the old shepherd’s fine fat sheep.’ ‘No,’
said the Sultan; ‘I will be true to my master.’ However, the wolf
thought he was in joke, and came one night to get a dainty morsel. But
Sultan had told his master what the wolf meant to do; so he laid wait
for him behind the barn door, and when the wolf was busy looking out for
a good fat sheep, he had a stout cudgel laid about his back, that combed
his locks for him finely.
Then the wolf was very angry, and called Sultan ‘an old rogue,’ and
swore he would have his revenge. So the next morning the wolf sent the
boar to challenge Sultan to come into the wood to fight the matter. Now
Sultan had nobody he could ask to be his second but the shepherd’s old
three-legged cat; so he took her with him, and as the poor thing limped
along with some trouble, she stuck up her tail straight in the air.
The wolf and the wild boar were first on the ground; and when they
espied their enemies coming, and saw the cat’s long tail standing
straight in the air, they thought she was carrying a sword for Sultan to
fight with; and every time she limped, they thought she was picking up
a stone to throw at them; so they said they should not like this way of
fighting, and the boar lay down behind a bush, and the wolf jumped
up into a tree. Sultan and the cat soon came up, and looked about and
wondered that no one was there. The boar, however, had not quite hidden
himself, for his ears stuck out of the bush; and when he shook one of
them a little, the cat, seeing something move, and thinking it was a
mouse, sprang upon it, and bit and scratched it, so that the boar jumped
up and grunted, and ran away, roaring out, ‘Look up in the tree, there
sits the one who is to blame.’ So they looked up, and espied the wolf
sitting amongst the branches; and they called him a cowardly rascal,
and would not suffer him to come down till he was heartily ashamed of
himself, and had promised to be good friends again with old Sultan.


In a village dwelt a poor old woman, who had gathered together a dish
of beans and wanted to cook them. So she made a fire on her hearth, and
that it might burn the quicker, she lighted it with a handful of straw.
When she was emptying the beans into the pan, one dropped without her
observing it, and lay on the ground beside a straw, and soon afterwards
a burning coal from the fire leapt down to the two. Then the straw
began and said: ‘Dear friends, from whence do you come here?’ The coal
replied: ‘I fortunately sprang out of the fire, and if I had not escaped
by sheer force, my death would have been certain,--I should have been
burnt to ashes.’ The bean said: ‘I too have escaped with a whole skin,
but if the old woman had got me into the pan, I should have been made
into broth without any mercy, like my comrades.’ ‘And would a better
fate have fallen to my lot?’ said the straw. ‘The old woman has
destroyed all my brethren in fire and smoke; she seized sixty of them at
once, and took their lives. I luckily slipped through her fingers.’
‘But what are we to do now?’ said the coal.
‘I think,’ answered the bean, ‘that as we have so fortunately escaped
death, we should keep together like good companions, and lest a new
mischance should overtake us here, we should go away together, and
repair to a foreign country.’
The proposition pleased the two others, and they set out on their way
together. Soon, however, they came to a little brook, and as there was
no bridge or foot-plank, they did not know how they were to get over
it. The straw hit on a good idea, and said: ‘I will lay myself straight
across, and then you can walk over on me as on a bridge.’ The straw
therefore stretched itself from one bank to the other, and the coal,
who was of an impetuous disposition, tripped quite boldly on to the
newly-built bridge. But when she had reached the middle, and heard the
water rushing beneath her, she was after all, afraid, and stood still,
and ventured no farther. The straw, however, began to burn, broke in
two pieces, and fell into the stream. The coal slipped after her, hissed
when she got into the water, and breathed her last. The bean, who had
prudently stayed behind on the shore, could not but laugh at the event,
was unable to stop, and laughed so heartily that she burst. It would
have been all over with her, likewise, if, by good fortune, a tailor who
was travelling in search of work, had not sat down to rest by the brook.
As he had a compassionate heart he pulled out his needle and thread,
and sewed her together. The bean thanked him most prettily, but as the
tailor used black thread, all beans since then have a black seam.


A king and queen once upon a time reigned in a country a great way off,
where there were in those days fairies. Now this king and queen had
plenty of money, and plenty of fine clothes to wear, and plenty of
good things to eat and drink, and a coach to ride out in every day: but
though they had been married many years they had no children, and this
grieved them very much indeed. But one day as the queen was walking
by the side of the river, at the bottom of the garden, she saw a poor
little fish, that had thrown itself out of the water, and lay gasping
and nearly dead on the bank. Then the queen took pity on the little
fish, and threw it back again into the river; and before it swam away
it lifted its head out of the water and said, ‘I know what your wish is,
and it shall be fulfilled, in return for your kindness to me--you will
soon have a daughter.’ What the little fish had foretold soon came to
pass; and the queen had a little girl, so very beautiful that the king
could not cease looking on it for joy, and said he would hold a great
feast and make merry, and show the child to all the land. So he asked
his kinsmen, and nobles, and friends, and neighbours. But the queen
said, ‘I will have the fairies also, that they might be kind and good
to our little daughter.’ Now there were thirteen fairies in the kingdom;
but as the king and queen had only twelve golden dishes for them to eat
out of, they were forced to leave one of the fairies without asking her.
So twelve fairies came, each with a high red cap on her head, and red
shoes with high heels on her feet, and a long white wand in her hand:
and after the feast was over they gathered round in a ring and gave all
their best gifts to the little princess. One gave her goodness, another
beauty, another riches, and so on till she had all that was good in the
Just as eleven of them had done blessing her, a great noise was heard in
the courtyard, and word was brought that the thirteenth fairy was
come, with a black cap on her head, and black shoes on her feet, and a
broomstick in her hand: and presently up she came into the dining-hall.
Now, as she had not been asked to the feast she was very angry, and
scolded the king and queen very much, and set to work to take her
revenge. So she cried out, ‘The king’s daughter shall, in her fifteenth
year, be wounded by a spindle, and fall down dead.’ Then the twelfth of
the friendly fairies, who had not yet given her gift, came forward, and
said that the evil wish must be fulfilled, but that she could soften its
mischief; so her gift was, that the king’s daughter, when the spindle
wounded her, should not really die, but should only fall asleep for a
hundred years.
However, the king hoped still to save his dear child altogether from
the threatened evil; so he ordered that all the spindles in the kingdom
should be bought up and burnt. But all the gifts of the first eleven
fairies were in the meantime fulfilled; for the princess was so
beautiful, and well behaved, and good, and wise, that everyone who knew
her loved her.
It happened that, on the very day she was fifteen years old, the king
and queen were not at home, and she was left alone in the palace. So she
roved about by herself, and looked at all the rooms and chambers, till
at last she came to an old tower, to which there was a narrow staircase
ending with a little door. In the door there was a golden key, and when
she turned it the door sprang open, and there sat an old lady spinning
away very busily. ‘Why, how now, good mother,’ said the princess; ‘what
are you doing there?’ ‘Spinning,’ said the old lady, and nodded her
head, humming a tune, while buzz! went the wheel. ‘How prettily that
little thing turns round!’ said the princess, and took the spindle
and began to try and spin. But scarcely had she touched it, before the
fairy’s prophecy was fulfilled; the spindle wounded her, and she fell
down lifeless on the ground.
However, she was not dead, but had only fallen into a deep sleep; and
the king and the queen, who had just come home, and all their court,
fell asleep too; and the horses slept in the stables, and the dogs in
the court, the pigeons on the house-top, and the very flies slept upon
the walls. Even the fire on the hearth left off blazing, and went to
sleep; the jack stopped, and the spit that was turning about with a
goose upon it for the king’s dinner stood still; and the cook, who was
at that moment pulling the kitchen-boy by the hair to give him a box
on the ear for something he had done amiss, let him go, and both fell
asleep; the butler, who was slyly tasting the ale, fell asleep with the
jug at his lips: and thus everything stood still, and slept soundly.
A large hedge of thorns soon grew round the palace, and every year it
became higher and thicker; till at last the old palace was surrounded
and hidden, so that not even the roof or the chimneys could be seen. But
there went a report through all the land of the beautiful sleeping Briar
Rose (for so the king’s daughter was called): so that, from time to
time, several kings’ sons came, and tried to break through the thicket
into the palace. This, however, none of them could ever do; for the
thorns and bushes laid hold of them, as it were with hands; and there
they stuck fast, and died wretchedly.
After many, many years there came a king’s son into that land: and an
old man told him the story of the thicket of thorns; and how a beautiful
palace stood behind it, and how a wonderful princess, called Briar Rose,
lay in it asleep, with all her court. He told, too, how he had heard
from his grandfather that many, many princes had come, and had tried to
break through the thicket, but that they had all stuck fast in it, and
died. Then the young prince said, ‘All this shall not frighten me; I
will go and see this Briar Rose.’ The old man tried to hinder him, but
he was bent upon going.
Now that very day the hundred years were ended; and as the prince came
to the thicket he saw nothing but beautiful flowering shrubs, through
which he went with ease, and they shut in after him as thick as ever.
Then he came at last to the palace, and there in the court lay the dogs
asleep; and the horses were standing in the stables; and on the roof sat
the pigeons fast asleep, with their heads under their wings. And when he
came into the palace, the flies were sleeping on the walls; the spit
was standing still; the butler had the jug of ale at his lips, going
to drink a draught; the maid sat with a fowl in her lap ready to be
plucked; and the cook in the kitchen was still holding up her hand, as
if she was going to beat the boy.
Then he went on still farther, and all was so still that he could hear
every breath he drew; till at last he came to the old tower, and opened
the door of the little room in which Briar Rose was; and there she lay,
fast asleep on a couch by the window. She looked so beautiful that he
could not take his eyes off her, so he stooped down and gave her a kiss.
But the moment he kissed her she opened her eyes and awoke, and smiled
upon him; and they went out together; and soon the king and queen also
awoke, and all the court, and gazed on each other with great wonder.
And the horses shook themselves, and the dogs jumped up and barked; the
pigeons took their heads from under their wings, and looked about and
flew into the fields; the flies on the walls buzzed again; the fire in
the kitchen blazed up; round went the jack, and round went the spit,
with the goose for the king’s dinner upon it; the butler finished his
draught of ale; the maid went on plucking the fowl; and the cook gave
the boy the box on his ear.
And then the prince and Briar Rose were married, and the wedding feast
was given; and they lived happily together all their lives long.


A shepherd’s dog had a master who took no care of him, but often let him
suffer the greatest hunger. At last he could bear it no longer; so he
took to his heels, and off he ran in a very sad and sorrowful mood.
On the road he met a sparrow that said to him, ‘Why are you so sad,
my friend?’ ‘Because,’ said the dog, ‘I am very very hungry, and have
nothing to eat.’ ‘If that be all,’ answered the sparrow, ‘come with me
into the next town, and I will soon find you plenty of food.’ So on they
went together into the town: and as they passed by a butcher’s shop,
the sparrow said to the dog, ‘Stand there a little while till I peck you
down a piece of meat.’ So the sparrow perched upon the shelf: and having
first looked carefully about her to see if anyone was watching her, she
pecked and scratched at a steak that lay upon the edge of the shelf,
till at last down it fell. Then the dog snapped it up, and scrambled
away with it into a corner, where he soon ate it all up. ‘Well,’ said
the sparrow, ‘you shall have some more if you will; so come with me to
the next shop, and I will peck you down another steak.’ When the dog had
eaten this too, the sparrow said to him, ‘Well, my good friend, have you
had enough now?’ ‘I have had plenty of meat,’ answered he, ‘but I should
like to have a piece of bread to eat after it.’ ‘Come with me then,’
said the sparrow, ‘and you shall soon have that too.’ So she took him
to a baker’s shop, and pecked at two rolls that lay in the window, till
they fell down: and as the dog still wished for more, she took him to
another shop and pecked down some more for him. When that was eaten, the
sparrow asked him whether he had had enough now. ‘Yes,’ said he; ‘and
now let us take a walk a little way out of the town.’ So they both went