“On the eleventh day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

simple hans

Simple Hans

Once a king lived happily with his daughter, who was his only child. Then, all of a sudden, she gave birth to a baby, and no one knew who the father was. For a long time the king didn’t know what to do. At last he ordered the princess to take the child and go to the church. Once there, a lemon was to be placed in the hands of the child, and the boy was to walk about and offer it to a man. As soon as boy stopped and chose a man, they would know that he was child’s father, and he would be declared the princess’s husband. Everything was arranged accordingly, and the king also gave orders to allow only highborn people into the church.

However, there was a crooked little hunchback living in the city who was not particularly smart and was therefore called Simple Hans. Well, he managed to push his way into the church among the others without being noticed, and when the child offered the lemon, he handed it to Simple Hans. The princess was mortified, and the king was so upset that he had his daughter, the child, and Simple Hans stuck into a barrel, which was cast into the sea. The barrel soon floated off, and when they were alone at sea, the princess groaned and said, “You nasty, impudent hunchback! You’re to blame for my misfortune! Why did you force your way into the church? My child’s of no concern to you.”

“That’s not true,” said Simple Hans. “He does concern me because I once made a wish that you would have a child, and whatever I wish comes true.”

“Well, if that’s the case, wish us something to eat.”

“That’s easily done,” replied Simple Hans, and he wished for a dish full of potatoes. The princess would have liked to have something better. Nevertheless, she was so hungry that she joined him in eating the potatoes. After they had satisfied their hunger, Simple Hans said, “Now I’ll wish us a beautiful ship!”

No sooner had he said this than they were sitting on a splendid ship that contained more than enough to fulfill their desires. The helmsman guided the ship straight toward land, and when they went ashore, Simple Hans said, “Now I want a castle over there!”

Suddenly there was a magnificent castle standing there, along with servants dressed in golden uniforms. They led the princess and her child inside, and when they were in the middle of the main hall, Simple Hans said, “Now I wish to be a young and clever prince!”

All at once his hunchback disappeared, and he was handsome, upright, and kind. Indeed, the princess took such a great liking to him that she became his wife.

For a long time they lived happily together, and then one day the old king went out riding, lost his way, and arrived at their castle. He was puzzled because he had never seen it before and decided to enter. The princess recognized her father immediately, but he did not recognize her, for he thought she had drowned in the sea a long time ago. She treated him with a great deal of hospitality, and when he was about to return home, she secretly slipped a golden cup into his pocket. After he had ridden off, she sent a pair of knights after him. They were ordered to stop him and search him to see if he had stolen the golden cup. When they found it in his pocket, they brought him back. He swore to the princess that he hadn’t stolen it and didn’t know how it had gotten into his pocket.

“That’s why,” she said, “one must beware of rushing to judgment.” And she revealed to him that she was his daughter. The king rejoiced, and they all lived happily together, and after the king’s death, Simple Hans became king.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö


Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the tenth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

longnose

The Long Nose

Once there were three old discharged soldiers who were so old that they could no longer eat even milk pudding. The king sent them away and didn’t give them a pension. Consequently, they had nothing to live on and had to go begging. One day they began walking through a large forest and were unable to reach the end. When night arrived, two of them lay down to sleep, and the third kept watch so that the wild animals wouldn’t tear them to pieces. After the two soldiers had fallen asleep and while the third was standing guard, a little dwarf in a red outfit appeared and cried out, “Who’s there?”

“Good friends,” said the soldier. “What kind of good friends?”

“Three old discharged soldiers who have nothing to live on.”

The dwarf then called him over, saying that he wanted to give him something. If the soldier took care of it, the dwarf explained, he would have enough to live on for the rest of his life. So the soldier went over to him, and the dwarf gave him an old cloak that would grant every wish made by the person wearing it. But the soldier was not to tell his comrades about it until daylight. When day finally came and they woke up, he told them what had happened. They continued to walk deeper into the forest until the second night. When they lay down to sleep, the second soldier had to keep watch and stood guard over the others. Then the red dwarf came and cried out, “Who’s there?”

“Good friends.”

“What kind of good friends?”

“Three old discharged soldiers.”

Then the dwarf gave him an old little pouch that would always remain full of money no matter how much he took from it. However, he was not to tell his comrades about it until daylight. Once again they continued their walk through the forest for a third day, and that night the third soldier had to keep watch. The red dwarf came to him too and cried out, “Who’s there?”

“Good friends.”

“What kind of good friends?”

“Three old discharged soldiers.”

The red dwarf gave him a horn, and whenever anyone blew it, all the soldiers from all over would gather together. The next morning, when each one now had a gift, the first soldier put on the cloak and wished that they were out of the forest. Immediately they were outside. They then went into an inn and ordered food and drink, the best that the innkeeper could provide. When they had finished, the soldier with the little pouch paid everything and was very generous to the innkeeper.

Soon they became tired from traveling, and the soldier with the pouch said to the one with the cloak, “I’d like you to wish for a castle for us. We’ve got money enough. Now we can live like kings.”

So the soldier with the cloak wished for a castle, and quick as a wink it was standing there with everything that went with a castle. After they had lived there for some time, he wished for a coach with three white horses.

They wanted to travel from one kingdom to the next and pass themselves off as three princes. So they drove off with a great retinue of servants, who looked quite regal, and went to a king who had only one daughter. When they arrived, they had themselves announced. Immediately, they were asked to dinner and to spend the night there. They had a merry old time, and after they had eaten and drunk, they began to play cards, which was the princess’s favorite game. She played with the soldier who had the pouch, and she saw that no matter how much she won, his pouch never became empty, and she realized that it must be some sort of a magical thing. So she said to him then that since he had become so warm from playing, he should have something to drink. She gave him a glass but put a sleeping potion into the wine. No sooner had he drunk the wine than he fell asleep, and she took his pouch. Then she went into her chamber and sewed another pouch that looked just like the old one. Finally, she stuck some money inside it and put it back in place of the old one.

The next morning the three soldiers resumed their journey, and when the one with the pouch spent the little money that was left and reached inside the pouch for some more, he found it was empty and remained empty. Then he exclaimed, “That deceitful princess has switched my pouch. Now we’re poor people!”

But the soldier with the cloak said, “Don’t get gray hairs over this. I’ll have it back in no time.”

He put on the cloak and wished himself to be transported to the princess’s chamber. Within seconds he was there, and she was sitting and counting money, which she continually took from the pouch. When she saw him, she screamed that a robber was there. And she screamed so loudly that the entire court came running and tried to catch him. Hastily he jumped through a window and left the cloak hanging there, so that this, too, was lost.

When the three soldiers came together again, they had nothing left but the horn. The soldier with the horn said, “I’ll get help now. Let’s start a war!” And he blew together so many hussar and cavalry regiments that they were impossible to count. Next he sent a messenger to the king to let him know that if the king didn’t return the pouch and the cloak, not a single stone from his castle would be left standing. The king tried to persuade his daughter to return the cloak and pouch before they suffered a great misfortune. But she wouldn’t listen to him and said that she wanted to try something first. So she disguised herself as a poor maiden, carried a basket on her arm, and went out to the soldiers’ camp to sell all kinds of drinks. Her chambermaid had to go along with her. When the princess reached the middle of the camp, she began to sing, and her voice was so beautiful that all the soldiers ran out of their tents, and the one with the horn ran out too and listened. When the princess saw him, she gave her chambermaid a signal to crawl into his tent, where the chambermaid took the horn and ran back with it to the castle. Then the princess also went home and now had everything. Once again the three comrades had to go begging. So they moved on, and the one who had possessed the pouch said, “You know, we can’t stay together anymore. You two go in that direction, and I’ll take this path.”

He set out alone and entered a forest, and since he was tired, he lay down beneath a tree to sleep awhile. When he awoke and looked up, he became aware that he had been sleeping under a beautiful apple tree with splendid apples hanging from the branches. Out of hunger he took one, ate it, and then another. Suddenly his nose began to grow and grow and became so long that he could no longer stand up. His nose grew through the forest and sixty miles beyond. Meanwhile, his comrades were traveling about in the world and looking for him because they felt it was better to be together. However, they had been unable to find him. Suddenly, one of them tripped over something and stepped on it. He thought, “My, what was that?” Then it moved, and he saw that it was a nose. The two soldiers decided to follow the nose, and eventually they reached their comrade in the forest. He was lying there and couldn’t stir nor budge. So they took a pole and wrapped the nose around it. They wanted to lift it in the air and carry him away, but the nose was too heavy. Then they looked in the forest for a donkey, and they set their friend and the long nose on two poles and had the donkey carry him away in this manner. They dragged him a short distance, but they found him so heavy that they had to rest. While they were resting, they saw a tree nearby with beautiful pears hanging from the branches. Then the little red dwarf came out from behind the tree and said to the soldier with the long nose that, if he ate one of the beautiful pears, the nose would fall off. So he ate a pear, and right away the long nose fell off, and his nose was exactly the size it had been before. Thereupon the dwarf said, “Break off some apples and pears and make some powder out of them. Whenever you give someone the apple powder, the nose will grow, and whenever you give someone the pear powder, the nose will fall off again. Now, go as a doctor and give the princess some of the apples and also the powder. Then her nose will grow even twenty times longer than yours. But brace yourself for anything that might happen!”

So the soldier took some of the apples and went to the king’s court, where he at first pretended to be a gardener’s helper. He said he had special apples that couldn’t be found anywhere in the region, and when the princess heard about this, she asked her father if she could buy some of the apples. The king replied, “Buy as many as you wish.”

So she bought the apples and ate one. It tasted so good that she was convinced that she had never tasted an apple like it in her entire life. Then she ate another one, and once she did this, the gardener’s helper departed, and her nose began to grow. It grew so tremendously that she couldn’t get up out of her chair and fell over. Her nose grew sixty yards around the table, sixty around the closet, and a hundred yards through the window and around the castle and another twenty miles out toward the city. There she lay. She couldn’t stir nor budge, and none of the doctors could help her. The old king issued a proclamation that any man who could help his daughter would receive a great deal of money.

The old soldier had waited for this moment and announced himself as a doctor. He promised to save her with God’s help. Thereupon he gave her powder from the apples, and her nose began to grow once more and became even longer. That evening he gave her powder from the pears, and the nose became somewhat smaller, but not much. The next day he gave her powder from the apples again in order to scare her soundly and punish her. The nose grew again, but not more than had fallen off the day before. Finally, he said to her, “Your Royal Highness, you must have stolen something at one time. If you don’t give it up, there’ll be no help for you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said.

“You must,” he responded. “Otherwise, my powder won’t help, and if you don’t give up what you’ve stolen, you’ll die from the long nose.”

Then the old king said, “Give up the pouch, the cloak, and the horn that you’ve stolen. Otherwise, your nose will never become small again.”

So the chambermaid had to fetch all three things and put them down. Now the doctor gave the princess powder from the pears. Her nose fell off, and two hundred and fifty men had to come and chop the nose into pieces. Meanwhile, the soldier went away with the pouch, the cloak, and the horn and returned to his comrades. Then they wished to be back in their castle, where they are probably still sitting and keeping house.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö


Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the ninth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

godfather sparrow

Loyal Godfather Sparrow

Once upon a time there was a deer about to give birth, and she asked the fox to be the godfather. However, the fox invited the sparrow to be godfather as well, and the sparrow also wanted to invite his special good friend the house dog to be godfather. However, the dog’s master had tied him up with a rope because the dog had returned home very drunk from a wedding. The sparrow thought that this was not a problem and pecked and pecked at the rope one thread after the other as long as it took for the dog to be released. Now they went together to the godfathers’ banquet and enjoyed themselves very much, because there was plenty to eat and drink there. The dog , however, didn’t pay attention and drank too much wine again. When they stood up, his head was so heavy that he could barely stand on his four legs. Nevertheless, he staggered part of the way toward home. Finally, however, he fell over and remained lying in the middle of the road. Just then a carter came and wanted to drive over him with his cart.

“Carter, don’t do that,” the sparrow cried out, “or you’ll pay for it with your life!”

However, the carter didn’t listen to him. Instead, he whipped the horses and drove the horses right over the dog so that the wheels broke the dog’s bones. The fox and the sparrow dragged the godfather home, and when dog’s master saw him, he said: “He’s dead,” and gave him to the carter to bury.

Now, the carter thought that the dog’s skin was still useful. So he loaded the dog onto his cart and drove away. However, the sparrow flew nearby and yelled out: “Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life! Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life!”

The carter was angry at the little bird because he thought he was being taken for a fool. So he grabbed his axe and tried to hit the sparrow, who flew higher into the air. Instead of hitting the sparrow, the carter hit his horse’s head so that the horse fell down dead. The carter had to leave it lying there and drive on with the other two horses. Then the sparrow returned and sat down on the head of another horse.

“Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life!”

The carter ran toward the bird and yelled: “I’ve got you!” but as he tried to hit the sparrow, he struck his horse on the head so that it fell over dead. Now there was only one horse left. The sparrow didn’t wait long and sat down on the head of the third horse and cried out: “Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life!”

But the carter was now so furious that he didn’t think about what he was doing and just swung his axe randomly. Now all his three horses had been beaten to death, and he had to leave the cart standing there. Angry and vitriolic he went home and sat down behind the oven. But the sparrow had flown after him, sat down in front of the window, and cried out: “Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life!”

The carter grabbed his axe and smashed the window, but he didn’t hit the sparrow. Now the bird hopped inside the house, sat down on top of the oven, and cried out: “Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life!”

Crazy and blind with rage he chopped the entire oven to pieces, and as the sparrow flew from one place to another, the carter smashed all the household utensils, mirrors, chairs, benches, table, and the walls of the house. Finally, he grabbed hold of the sparrow and said: “Now I’ve got you!” He stuck the bird into his mouth and swallowed it whole. However, when the sparrow was in the carter’s body, it began to flap its wings, and it fluttered up to the carter’s mouth, stuck its head outside, and cried out: “Carter, you’ll pay for this with your life!”

Well now the carter gave the axe to his wife and commanded; “Wife, strike the bird in my mouth and kill it!”

But the wife missed her mark, and instead she struck her husband in the head so that he immediately fell down the ground dead, while the sparrow flew out and away.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the eighth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

devil in green coat

The Devil in the Green Coat

There were once three brothers, and the two eldest used to push the youngest around, and when they decided to go out into the world, they said to him: “We don’t need you. You can go off wandering by yourself.”

Then they left him, and he had to set off all alone. When he came to a large meadow, he was very hungry and sat down beneath a ring of trees and began to weep. All of a sudden he heard a roar, and when he looked up, the devil came toward him. He was dressed in a green coat and had a cloven foot.

“What’s the matter?” he spoke. “Why are you weeping ?”

Then the young man told him his troubles and said: “My brothers have driven me away from them.”

“Well, I’m willing to help you,” replied the devil. “If you put this green coat on, you’ll see that it has pockets that are always full of money. You just have to dig into the pockets whenever you like. But in exchange for the coat I demand that you don’t wash yourself for seven years, that you don’t comb your hair, and that you don’t pray. If you die during the seven years, then you are mine. If, however, you live, then you’ll be free. In addition, you’ll be rich for the rest of your life.”

The young man’s troubles were so great that they drove him to accept the devil’s bargain. So the devil took off the green coat, and the young man put it on. As soon as he stuck his hand in a pocket, he had a handful of money.

Now he set out into the world with the green coat, and the first year was good. He could pay for anything he liked with his money, and he was still regarded as a human being for the most part. Things became worse in the second year. His hair had grown so long that nobody could recognize him and nobody would give him lodging for the night because he looked so atrocious. The more time passed, the worse it became. However, he gave poor people a lot of money so that they would pray for him and request that he wouldn’t die during the seven years and fall in the devil’s hands.

At a certain point in the fourth year he came to an inn, and the innkeeper wouldn’t let him stay there. However, he took out a heap of money and was willing to pay in advance so that the innkeeper gave him a room. That evening he heard a loud moaning in the neighboring room, and so he went next door and saw an old man sitting there. He was crying and complaining about something and told the young man to go away because he wouldn’t be able to help him. The young man asked him, however, what was troubling him. The old man told him that he didn’t have any money and that he owed the innkeeper a great deal. And now he was being detained until he paid his debt. Then the young man in the green coat said: “If that’s all it is, I’ve got plenty of money. I’ll pay, and you’ll be freed of your debts.” Now the old man had three beautiful daughters and told him to come along with him, and he would give him one of the daughters for his reward. So the young man went with him, and when they arrived at the old man’s home and the eldest daughter saw him, she screamed and cried that she would never marry such a hideous man who didn’t have human traits and looked like a bear. The second daughter immediately ran off and preferred to set out into the wide world than marry the young man. However, the youngest said, “Dear father, since you’ve promised him and he’s helped you get out of trouble, I shall obey you.”

So the young man in the green coat took a ring from his finger and broke it in two. Then he gave her one half and kept the other for himself. He wrote his name in her half and her name in his half and told her to keep her half in a safe place. Afterward he stayed a little while longer with her until he said, “Now I must take my leave. I shall be gone three years. Be true to me during this time. Then I’ll return, and we’ll celebrate our wedding. If I don’t return in three years, you’ll be free, and I shall be dead. However, pray for me and ask God to protect me.”

Now, during the three years, the two older sisters made a great deal of fun of the youngest and said that she couldn’t get a real man and would have to marry a bear. However, the youngest daughter kept quiet and thought, “I must obey my father no matter what.”

In the meantime the young man in the green coat traveled about the world and often stuck his hand into a pocket to buy the most beautiful things he saw for his bride. He didn’t do anything evil. Indeed, he only did good deeds wherever he could and gave poor people money so that they would pray for him. So God showed him mercy, and the three years flew by and he was healthy and alive. Now that the time was over, he went back to the meadow and sat down under the ring of trees. Once again there was a tremendous roar, and the devil arrived. He grumbled and viciously threw the young man’s old coat at him and demanded the green one in return. Well, the young man was glad to take off the green coat and handed it to the devil.

He was now free and rich for the rest of his life. So he went home, cleaned himself, and moved on to visit his bride. When he came to the door, the father met him. The young man greeted him and said he was the bridegroom, but the father didn’t recognize him and wouldn’t believe him. When the young man went over to the bride, she, too, wouldn’t believe him. Finally, he asked whether she still had her half of the ring. She said, yes, and went to fetch it. Then he took out his half and held it next to hers, and they matched. Now they knew that he was definitely the bridegroom. And when she saw that he was a handsome man, she was very happy and fond of him, and they held the wedding. However, since the two sisters had passed up their chance for happiness, they became so furious that one of them drowned herself on the wedding day, and the other hanged herself.

That evening something knocked and banged on the door, and when the bridegroom went and opened it, the devil was standing there in his green coat and said, “You see! Now I’ve got two souls instead of just yours!”


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the seventh day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

hedgehog

Hans My Hedgehog

Once there was a rich farmer, and he and his wife didn’t have any children. When he went into town with the other farmers, they often made fun of him and asked why he had no children. One day he finally got angry, and when he went home, he said, “I want to have a child, even if it’s a hedgehog.” Then his wife gave birth to a child whose upper half was hedgehog and bottom half, human. When she saw the child, she was horrified and said,

“You see how you cursed us!”

“There’s nothing we can do about it now,” said her husband. “The boy must be christened, but we’ll never find a godfather for him.”

“There’s only one name I can think of for him,” said the wife, “and that’s Hans My Hedgehog.”

After he was christened, the pastor said, “He won’t be able to sleep in a regular bed because of his quills.”

Consequently, they gathered together some straw, spread it on the floor behind the stove, and laid Hans My Hedgehog on it. His mother couldn’t nurse him because he might have stuck her with his quills. So he lay behind the stove for eight years, and eventually his father got tired of him and wished he might die, but he didn’t die. He just kept lying there.

One day there was a fair in town, and the farmer decided to go to it and asked his wife if she wanted anything.

“Some meat and a few rolls,” she said. “That’s all we need for the house.” Then he asked the maid, and she wanted a pair of slippers and hand- sewn stockings. Finally, he went and asked his son, “Hans My Hedgehog, what would you like to have?”

“Father,” he said, “just bring me back some bagpipes.”

When the farmer returned home, he gave his wife the meat and rolls he had bought. Then he handed the maid the slippers and hand-sewn stockings. Finally, he went behind the stove and gave Hans My Hedgehog his bagpipes. Upon receiving the bagpipes, he said, “Father, please go to the blacksmith and have him shoe my rooster. Then I’ll ride away and never come back.”

The father was happy at the idea of getting rid of him and had his rooster shod. When the rooster was ready, Hans My Hedgehog mounted it and rode away, taking some donkeys and pigs with him, which he wanted to tend out in the forest. Once he reached the forest, he had the rooster fly him up into a tall tree, where he sat and tended the donkeys and pigs. Indeed, he sat there for many years until the herd was very large, and he never sent word to his father about his whereabouts.

As he sat in the tree he played his bagpipes and made some beautiful music. One day a king, who had lost his way in the forest, came riding by. When he heard the music, he was so astonished that he sent his servant to look around and see where the music was coming from. The servant looked around, but all he could see was a small animal, sitting up in a tree, that seemed to be a rooster with a hedgehog sitting on top of it playing music. The king told the servant to ask the creature why he was sitting there and whether he knew the way back to the king’s country. Hans My Hedgehog climbed down from the tree and said he would show him the way if the king would promise in writing to give him the first thing he met at the castle courtyard when he returned home.

“No danger in that,” thought the king. “Hans My Hedgehog can’t understand writing, so I can write whatever I want.” The king took pen and ink and wrote something down, and after he had done this, Hans My Hedgehog showed him the way, and the king arrived home safely. When his daughter saw him coming from afar, she was so overcome with joy that she ran out to meet him and kissed him. Then he thought of Hans My Hedgehog and explained to her what had happened: he had been forced to make a promise in writing to a strange creature who had demanded to have the first thing the king met upon returning home. This creature had been sitting on a rooster as though it were a horse and had been playing beautiful music. The king told his daughter that he had, however, written down that Hans My Hedgehog was not to get what he demanded.

Anyway, it made no difference because he couldn’t read. The princess was happy to hear that and said it was a good thing since she would never have gone with him anyway.

Hans My Hedgehog continued tending his donkeys and pigs. He was always cheerful sitting there perched in his tree, playing his bagpipes. Now it happened that another king came driving by with his servants and couriers. He too had lost his way, and the forest was so large that he didn’t know how to get back home. He too heard the beautiful music from afar and told a courier to go and see what it was. So the courier went to the tree and saw the rooster sitting there with Hans My Hedgehog on its back, and the courier asked him what he was doing up there.

“I’m tending my donkeys and pigs, but what can I do for you?”

The courier asked him whether he could show them the way out of the forest since they were lost and couldn’t make it back to their kingdom. Hans My Hedgehog climbed down from the tree with his rooster and told the old king that he would show him the way if the king would give him the first thing that met him when he returned home to his royal castle. The king agreed and put it in writing that Hans My Hedgehog was to have what he demanded. When that was done, Hans My Hedgehog rode ahead of him on the rooster and showed the way. The king reached his kingdom safely, and as he entered the castle courtyard, there was great rejoicing. His only daughter, who was very beautiful, ran toward him and embraced him. She was very happy to see her old father again and asked him what in the world had kept him so long. He told her he had lost his way and would not have made it back at all had it not been for a strange creature, half human, half hedgehog, who had helped him find his way out of the forest. The creature had been sitting astride a rooster up in a tall tree and had been playing beautiful music. In return for his aid the king had promised to give him the first thing that met him at the castle courtyard. Now he was very sorry that it had happened to be her. However, out of love for her old father, the princess promised him that she would go with Hans My Hedgehog whenever he came.

In the meantime, Hans My Hedgehog kept tending his pigs, and the pigs had more pigs, and eventually there were so many that the entire forest was full of them. Then Hans My Hedgehog sent word to his father to clear out all the pigsties in the village, for he was coming with such a huge herd of pigs that anyone who wanted to slaughter one could have his pick. On hearing this, his father was distressed, for he had believed that Hans My Hedgehog had long been dead. Nevertheless, Hans My Hedgehog mounted his rooster, drove his pigs ahead of him into the village, and ordered the slaughtering to begin. Whew! There was such chopping and butchering that the noise could be heard for miles around. Afterward Hans My Hedgehog said, “Father, have the blacksmith shoe my rooster one more time. Then I’ll ride away and never return as long as I live.”

So his father had the rooster shod and was glad that Hans My Hedgehog didn’t want to return again. Now, when Hans My Hedgehog departed, he set out for the country of the first king whom he had helped, but the king had given his men orders to stop anyone who was riding on a rooster and playing bagpipes from entering the castle. If necessary, they were to use their guns, spears, or swords to stop him. So when Hans My Hedgehog came riding, they attacked him with their bayonets, but he put spurs to his rooster, and the bird rose in the air, flew over the gate, and landed on the ledge of the king’s window. He called to the king to keep his promise and give him the princess; otherwise, he would take his life and his daughter’s as well. Then the king implored his daughter with the best words he could use to go with Hans My Hedgehog to save their lives. So she dressed herself all in white, and her father gave her a coach with six horses, splendid servants, money, and property. She got into the coach and was followed by Hans My Hedgehog, with his bagpipes and his rooster by his side. They then said good-bye and drove away, and the king thought that was the last be would ever see of his daughter, but things happened much differently from how he thought they would. When they had gone a little way from the city, Hans My Hedgehog took off the princess’s beautiful clothes and stuck her with his quills until she was covered with blood.

“This is what you get for being so deceitful!” he said. “Go away. I don’t want you.”

Then he chased her home, and she lived in disgrace for the rest of her life.

Meanwhile, Hans My Hedgehog took his bagpipes, got on his rooster, and continued his journey toward the second kingdom, which belonged to the other king whom he had led out of the forest. However, this king had ordered his men to present arms, to allow Hans My Hedgehog to enter, and to greet him by shouting “Long may he live!” After that they were to escort him into the royal palace. When the king’s daughter saw him, she was frightened because he looked so strange. However, she thought there was nothing she could do, for she had promised her father to go with him. Therefore, she welcomed Hans My Hedgehog and had to go with him to the royal table, where she sat next to him. Then they ate and drank. When evening came and it was time to go to bed, she was very much afraid of his quills, but he said not to fear because he had no intention of harming her. Then he told the old king to have four men stand watch in front of the bedroom door and to make a big fire, for when he got inside and prepared to go to bed, he would slip out of his hedgehog’s skin and leave it in front of the bed. The men were then to rush in quickly, throw the skin on the fire, and stand there until it was completely extinguished.

When the clock struck eleven, he went into the room, stripped off the hedgehog’s skin, and left it on the floor in front of the bed. Right after this the men came, picked up the skin, and threw it into the fire. When the fire had consumed it, he was set free and lay in bed just like a human being, but he was pitch black, as if he had been burned. The king sent for his doctor, who rubbed him with special ointments and balms, and gradually, he became white and turned into a handsome young man. When the princess saw that, she was very happy. The next morning they got up in a joyful mood and had a fine meal. Then the wedding was held, and Hans My Hedgehog was given the kingdom by the old king.

After some years had passed, the young king took his wife and drove to visit his father, and he told the old man that he was his son. The father, however, said he had no son, though he once had one, but he had been born with quills like a hedgehog and had gone off into the world. Then Hans My Hedgehog revealed himself to his father, and the old man rejoiced and went back with him to his kingdom.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the sixth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

how the children played

How Some Children Played at Slaughtering

I

In a city named Franecker, located in West Friesland, some young boys and girls between the ages of five and six happened to be playing with one another. They chose one boy to play a butcher, another boy was to be a cook, and a third boy was to be a pig. Then they selected one girl to be a cook and another girl to be her assistant. The assistant was to catch the blood of the pig in a little bowl so they could make sausages. As agreed, the butcher now fell upon the little boy playing the pig, threw him to the ground, and slit his throat open with a knife, while the assistant cook caught the blood in her little bowl.

A councilman was walking nearby and saw this wretched act. He immediately took the butcher boy with him and led him into the house of the mayor, who instantly summoned the entire council. They deliberated about this incident and didn’t know what to do with the boy, for they realized it had all been part of a children’s game. One of the councilmen, a wise old man, advised the chief judge to take a beautiful red apple in one hand and a Rhenish gold coin in the other. Then he was to call the boy and stretch out his hands to him. If the boy took the apple, he was to be set free. If he took the gold coin, he was to be killed. The judge took the wise man’s advice, and the boy grabbed the apple with a laugh. Thus he was set free without any punishment.

II

There once was a father who slaughtered a pig, and his children saw that. In the afternoon, when they began playing, one child said to the other, “You be the little pig, and I’ll be the butcher.” He then took a shiny knife and slit his little brother’s throat.

Their mother was upstairs in a room bathing another child, and when she heard the cries of her son, she immediately ran downstairs. Upon seeing what had happened, she took the knife out of her son’s throat and was so enraged that she stabbed the heart of the other boy, who had been playing the butcher. Then she quickly ran back to the room to tend to her child in the bathtub, but while she had been gone, he had drowned in the tub. Now the woman became so frightened and desperate that she wouldn’t allow the neighbors to comfort her and finally hung herself. When her husband came back from the fields and saw everything, he became so despondent that he died soon thereafter.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö
 


Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the fifth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö. We are also giving away 10 copies of the book via Goodreads. Enter here.

golden key

The Golden Key

During winter, when the snow was once very deep, a poor boy had to go outside and gather wood on a sled. After he had finally collected enough wood and had piled it on his sled, he decided not to go home right away because he was freezing so much. Instead, he thought he would make a fire to warm himself up a bit. So he began scraping the snow away, and as he cleared the ground, he discovered a golden key. “Where there’s a key,” he thought, “there must also be a lock.” So he dug farther into the ground and found a little iron casket. “If only the key will fit!” he thought, for there were bound to be wonderful and precious things in the casket. He searched but couldn’t find a keyhole. Finally, he found a very tiny one and tried the key, which fit perfectly. So he turned the key around once, and now we must wait until he unlocks the casket completely. That’s when we’ll see what’s lying inside.

An explanatory note from Jack Zipes’s introduction to the Tales:

In every edition of their tales, [the Brothers Grimm] began with “The Frog King,” also known as “The Frog Prince,” and ended with “The Golden Key.” The reason they did this is, in my opinion, because “The Frog King”—and there are two different versions in the first edition—is an optimistic tale about miraculous regeneration, love, and loyalty and signals to readers that the tales in the collection will bring hope to readers and listeners despite the conflicts filled with blood and gore. The final tale, “The Golden Key,” is highly significant because it leaves readers in suspense and indicates that tales are mysterious treasures. We just need the right key to discover and appreciate them. In this respect, however, the tales that are to be rediscovered and will become known are never the end of our quest to understand the mysteries of life, only the beginning. And so it is with the unknown original tales of the Brothers Grimm. They are only the beginning.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

 

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the fourth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

OKerlo

Okerlo

A queen put her child out to sea in a golden cradle and let it float away. However, the cradle didn’t sink but drifted to an island inhabited only by cannibals. When the cradle drifted toward the shore, a cannibal’s wife happened to be standing there. Upon seeing the child, who was a beautiful baby girl, she decided to raise her and later give her to her son, who would wed her one day. But she had a great deal of trouble hiding the maiden carefully from her husband, Old Okerlo, for if he had laid his eyes on her, he would have eaten her up, skin and bones.

When the maiden had grown up, she was to be married to the young Okerlo, but she couldn’t stand him and cried all day long. Once when she was sitting on the shore, a young, handsome prince came swimming up to her. When it was clear they each took a liking to the other, they exchanged vows. Just then the old cannibal’s wife came, and she got tremendously angry at finding the prince with her son’s bride. So she grabbed hold of him and said, “Just wait! We’ll roast you at my son’s wedding.”

The young prince, the maiden, and Okerlo’s three children had to sleep together in one room. When night came, Old Okerlo began craving human flesh and said, “Wife, I don’t feel like waiting until the wedding. I want the prince right now!”

However, the maiden had heard everything through the wall, and she got up quickly, took off the golden crown from one of Okerlo’s children,

and put it on the prince’s head. When the old cannibal’s wife came in, it was dark. So she had to feel their heads and took the boy who wasn’t wearing a crown and brought him to her husband, who immediately devoured him.

Meanwhile, the maiden became terribly frightened, for she thought, “As soon as day breaks, everything will be revealed, and we’ll be in for trouble.” So, she got up quietly and fetched seven-mile boots, a magic wand, and a cake with a bean that provided answers for everything. After that she departed with the prince. They were wearing the seven-mile boots, and with each step they took, they went a mile. Sometimes they asked the bean, “Bean, are you there?”

“Yes,” the bean said. “I’m here, but you’d better hurry. The old cannibal’s wife is coming after you in some other seven-mile boots that were left behind!”

The maiden took the magic wand and turned herself into a swan and the prince into a pond for the swan to swim on. The cannibal’s wife came and tried to lure the swan to the bank, but she didn’t succeed and went home in a bad mood. The maiden and the prince continued on their way.

“Bean, are you there?”

“Yes,” the bean said. “I’m here, but the old woman’s coming again. The cannibal explained to her how you duped her.”

The princess took the wand and changed herself and the prince into a cloud of dust. Okerlo’s wife couldn’t penetrate it and again had to return empty-handed, while the maiden and the prince continued on their way.

“Bean, are you there?”

“Yes, I’m here, but I see Okerlo’s wife coming once more, and she’s taking tremendous steps!”

The maiden took the magic wand for the third time and turned herself into a rosebush and the prince into a bee. The old cannibal’s wife came and didn’t recognize them because of their changed forms. So she went home.

But now the maiden and the prince couldn’t regain their human forms because the maiden, in her fear, had thrown the magic wand too far away. Yet their journey had taken them such a long distance that the rosebush now stood in a garden that belonged to the maiden’s mother. The bee sat on the rose, and he would sting anyone who tried to pluck it. One day the queen herself happened to be walking in the garden and saw the beautiful flower. She was so amazed by it that she wanted to pluck it. But the little bee came and stung her hand so hard that she had to let go of the rose. Yet she had managed to rip the flower a little, and suddenly she saw blood gushing from the stem. Then she summoned a fairy to break the enchant- ment of the flower and the bee, and the queen then recognized her daugh- ter again and was very happy and delighted. Now a great wedding was held, and a large number of guests were invited. They came in magnificent array, while thousands of candles flickered in the hall. Music was played, and everyone danced until dawn.

“Were you also at the wedding ?”

“Of course I was there. My hairdo was made of butter, and as I was exposed to the sun, it melted and was muddled. My dress was made from a spider’s web, and as I went through some thorn bushes, they ripped it off my body. My slippers were made of glass, and as I stepped on a stone, they broke in two.”


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the third day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

Three sisters

The Three Sisters

Once upon a time there was a rich king who was so rich that he believed his wealth would last forever. Therefore, he wallowed in luxury and gambled on a golden board with silver dice. All this continued for some time until he squandered his wealth and was forced to mortgage his cities and castles one after the other. Finally, nothing was left except an old castle in the forest. He moved there with his queen and three daughters, and their lives were miserable: they had only potatoes to eat for their daily meal.

One day the king decided to go hunting to see if he could perhaps shoot a hare. After filling his pocket full of potatoes, he went off to a nearby forest that nobody dared enter because terrible stories had been told about what one might encounter there, such as bears that ate people, eagles that hacked out eyes, and wolves, lions, and all kinds of cruel beasts. However, the king was not in the least afraid and went straight into the forest. At first he didn’t see anything except huge and mighty trees, and everything was quiet beneath them. After he had walked around for a while, he became hungry and sat down underneath a tree to eat his potatoes. All of a sudden a bear came out of the thicket, trotted straight toward him, and growled, “How dare you sit under my honey tree! You’ll pay for this!”

The king was horrified and handed the bear his potatoes to appease him. But the bear began to speak and said, “I don’t want your potatoes. I’m going to eat you yourself. But, if you give me your oldest daughter, you can you save yourself ! If you do this, I’ll give you a hundred pounds of gold in the bargain.”

Since the king was afraid of being eaten, he said, “You shall have her. Just let me go in peace.”

The bear showed him the way out of the forest and growled after him, “In a week’s time I’ll come and fetch my bride.”

As he went home, the king felt more at ease and was convinced that the bear would not be able to crawl through a keyhole. So from then on everything at the castle was to be shut tight. He ordered all the gates to be locked, the drawbridges to be lifted, and told his daughter not to worry.

But just to be on the safe side and to protect his daughter from the bear bridegroom, he gave her a little room under the pinnacle high up in the castle. She was to hide there until the week was over.

Early on the seventh morning, however, when everyone was still asleep, a splendid coach drawn by six horses came driving up to the castle. It was surrounded by numerous knights clad in gold, and as soon as the coach was in front, the drawbridges dropped down by themselves, and the locks sprung open without keys. The coach drove into the courtyard, and a young, handsome prince stepped out. When the king was wakened by the noise and looked out the window, he saw the prince had already fetched his oldest daughter from the locked room and was lifting her into the coach. He could just call after her:

“Farewell, my maiden dear.
I see you’re off to wed the bear.”

She waved to him with her little white handkerchief from the coach, and then they sped off into the magic forest as if the coach were harnessed to the wind. The king felt very bad about having given his daughter to a bear. He was so sad that he and the queen wept for three days. But on the fourth day, after he had done enough weeping, he realized that he couldn’t change what had happened and went down into the courtyard. There he found a chest made out of smooth wood, which was very difficult to lift. Immediately he remembered what the bear had promised him. So he opened it and found a hundred pounds of glittering and glistening gold.

When the king saw the gold, he felt consoled. He reacquired his cities and kingdom and began leading his former life of luxury once more. Soon after, he was obliged to mortgage everything all over again, and he retreated to his castle in the forest and had nothing to eat but potatoes. Yet the king still had a falcon, and one day the king took it hunting with him and went out into the field to get something better to eat. The falcon soared high into the sky and flew in the direction of the dark magic forest, which the king no longer dared enter. Right after the falcon flew into the woods, an eagle shot out and pursued the falcon, which returned to the king, who tried to fend off the eagle with his spear. But the eagle grabbed the spear and broke it like a reed. Then the eagle crushed the falcon with one claw and dug into the king’s shoulder with the other.

“Why have you disturbed my kingdom in the sky?” the eagle cried out. “Either you give me your second daughter for my wife, or you shall die!”

“All right,” the king said. “You shall have my second daughter, but what will you give me for her?”

“Two hundred pounds of gold,” the eagle said. “In seven weeks I’ll come to fetch her.”

Then the eagle let him go and flew off into the forest. The king felt bad about having also sold his second daughter to a wild beast and didn’t dare tell her anything about it. Six weeks passed, and in the seventh the princess went out one day on the lawn in front of the castle to water the linseed. All at once a splendid parade of handsome knights came riding up, and at their head was the handsomest knight of all, who dismounted and cried out:

“Up you go, my maiden dear.
Come wed the eagle. No need to fear!”

And before she could answer him, he had already lifted her onto his horse and raced off with her into the forest, flying like a bird. Farewell! Farewell!

The king and queen waited a long time for the princess to come back to the castle, but no matter how long they waited, she didn’t return. Then the king finally revealed that he had promised her to an eagle when he had once been in trouble, and the eagle must have fetched her. After the king got over his sadness somewhat, he remembered the eagle’s promise, went down to the lawn, and found two golden eggs, each weighing one hundred pounds. “Money is a sign of piety,” thought the king, and he dismissed all gloomy thoughts from his mind. He resumed his merrymaking once more and lived luxuriously until he ran through the two hundred pounds of gold. Then the king returned to the castle in the forest, and the last of the princesses had to boil the potatoes.

The king didn’t want to hunt any more hares in the forest or any more birds in the sky, but he did desire to eat some fish. So the princess had to weave a net, which he took with him to a pond not far from the castle. A small boat was there, and he got in and threw the net into the water. On his very first try he caught a bunch of beautiful flounders with red speckles, but when he wanted to row ashore with his catch, the boat wouldn’t budge, and he couldn’t get it to move, no matter how much he tried. All of a sudden an enormous whale came puffing up to him and cried out, “Who said you could catch the subjects of my realm and take them away with you? This will cost you your life!”

As the whale said this, he opened his jaws as if he were going to swallow the king and the little boat as well. When the king saw his terrible jaws, he completely lost his courage and recalled that he had a third daughter.

“Spare my life,” he cried out, “and you shall have my third daughter!” “That’s fine with me,” roared the whale. “I’ll also give you something for her. I don’t have gold. That’s not good enough for me. But the floor of my sea is plastered with precious pearls. I’ll give you three sacks full of them. In the seventh month I’ll come and fetch my bride.”

Then he dived down into the water, while the king rowed ashore and brought the flounders home. Yet, when they were baked, he refused to eat any of them, and when he looked at his daughter, the only one left and the most beautiful and loveliest of them all, he felt as if a thousand knives were cutting his heart. Six months passed, and the queen and princess didn’t know what was wrong with the king, for he didn’t smile once during all that time. In the seventh month the princess was in the courtyard in front of a man-made well and drew a glass of water. Suddenly a coach with six white horses and men clad entirely in silver came driving up. A prince stepped out of the coach, and he was more handsome than any other prince she had ever seen in her life. He asked her for a glass of water, and when she handed it to him, he embraced her and lifted her into the coach. Then they drove back through the gate over the field toward the pond.

“Farewell, you maiden dear.
You’re bound to wed the whale down there.”

The queen stood at the window and watched the coach as it moved off in the distance. When she was unable to find her daughter, her heart was saddened, and she called her and looked for her everywhere. But the daughter was nowhere to be seen or heard. When the queen was certain the princess could not be found, she began to weep, and now the king revealed to her that a whale must have fetched their daughter, for he had been forced to promise their daughter to him. Indeed, that was the reason he had been so sad. The king wanted to comfort his wife and told her about the great treasure they would now get for the princess. However, the queen didn’t want to hear anything about it and said her only child was more dear to her than all the treasures of the world.

During the time that the whale prince had carried off the princess, his servants had carried three tremendous sacks into the castle, which the king found at the door. When he opened them, he found they were full of big, beautiful, and precious pearls, just as large as the fattest peas imaginable. All of a sudden he was rich again and richer than he had ever been before. He reacquired his cities and castles, but this time he didn’t resume his luxurious way of living. Instead, he became quiet and thrifty. Whenever he thought about what had happened to his three dear daughters with the wild beasts and that perhaps they had already been eaten up, he lost all zest for life.

Meanwhile, the queen couldn’t be consoled and wept more tears for her daughters than all the pearls the whale had given them. Finally, she became more calm and peaceful, and after some time she was happy again, for she gave birth to a handsome baby boy. Since God had given them the child so unexpectedly, he was named Reinald the Miracle Child. The boy grew big and strong, and the queen often told him about his three sisters, who were being held prisoners by three beasts in the magic forest. When he turned sixteen, he demanded some armor and a sword from the king, and when he received all this, he decided to embark on an adventure. So he blessed his parents and set forth.

He went straight toward the magic forest and had only one thing on his mind—to search for his sisters. At first he wandered around in the great forest for a long time without encountering a human being or a beast. But after three days he saw a young woman sitting in front of a cave and playing with a young bear cub, while another very young one was lying on her lap.

Reinald thought she must surely be his oldest sister. So he left his horse behind him and approached her.

“Dearest sister,” he said, “I’m your brother Reinald, and I’ve come to visit you.”

The princess looked at him, and since he resembled her father very strongly, she didn’t doubt his words, but she was frightened and said, “Oh, dearest brother, hurry and run away as fast as you can if you value your life. When my husband the bear comes home and finds you here, he’ll show you no mercy and will eat you up.”

But Reinald said, “I’m not afraid, and I won’t leave you until I know how you are and what things are like for you.”

When the princess saw that he was resolute, she led him into the dark cave that was like the dwelling of a bear. On one side was a heap of leaves and hay on which the old bear and his cubs slept, and on the other side was a magnificent bed with red covers trimmed with gold. That belonged to the princess. She told him to crawl under the bed and handed him something to eat. It didn’t take long before the bear came home.

“I smell, I smell the flesh of a human being,” he said and wanted to stick his hand under the bed.

But the princess cried out, “Be quiet! Who would ever come here?”

“I found a horse in the forest and ate it,” he growled, and his nose was still bloody from eating the horse. “Where there’s a horse, there’s a man, and I smell him.”

Again he wanted to look under the bed, but she gave him such a kick in the side that he did a somersault, went back to his place, put his paw in his mouth, and fell asleep.

Every seventh day the bear was restored to his natural form. He became a handsome prince; his cave, a splendid castle; the animals in the forest, his servants. It was on such a day that he had fetched the princess. Beautiful young women had come to meet her from the castle. There had been a glorious festival, and she had gone to sleep full of joy, but when she had awakened, she had found herself lying in the bear’s dark cave, and her husband had been turned into a bear growling at her feet. Only the bed and everything she had touched had remained in its natural condition and hadn’t been changed. Thus she lived six days in suffering, but on the seventh she was comforted. She didn’t grow old because only one day a week counted in her life, and she was content with her existence. She had given her husband two sons, who also became bears for six days and regained their human form on the seventh day. She stuffed their straw bed with the most delicious food all the time, including cake and fruit, and they lived off this food the entire week. Moreover, the bear obeyed her and did whatever she wanted.

When Reinald awoke, he lay in a silken bed. Servants waited on him and dressed him in the finest clothes, for his visit fell right on the seventh day. His sister entered with the two handsome princes and his brother-in-law the bear. They were glad about his arrival. Everything was magnificent and glorious, and the entire day was filled with pleasurable and joyous things. But, in the evening the princess said, “Dear brother, now it’s time for you to depart. At daybreak my husband will become a bear again, and if he finds you here tomorrow, he won’t be able to control his natural instincts and will eat you up.”

Then the bear prince came and gave him three bear hairs and said, “Whenever you’re in trouble, just rub these hairs, and I’ll come to your aid.”

Then they kissed each other and said farewell. Reinald climbed into a carriage drawn by six horses and drove off. He went over hill and valley, up and down mountains, through deserts and forests, shrubs and hedges without stopping to rest until the sky began turning grey at dusk. Then Reinald suddenly lay on the ground, and the horses and carriage disappeared. At sunrise he saw six ants galloping away, drawing a nutshell behind them.

Reinald realized he was still in the magic forest and wanted to search for his second sister. Again he wandered about aimlessly and lonely for three days without accomplishing anything. But on the fourth day he heard a big eagle come swooping down to settle in a nest. Reinald hid in the bushes and waited for the eagle to fly away. After seven hours it soared into the air again. Then Reinald emerged from the bushes, went over to the tree, and cried out, “Dearest sister, are you up above? If so, let me hear your voice. I’m Reinald, your brother, and I’ve come to visit you!”

Then he heard a voice calling down to him, “If you’re Reinald, my dearest brother, whom I’ve never seen, come up to me.”

Reinald wanted to climb the tree, but the trunk was too thick and slippery. He tried three times in vain. Suddenly a silken rope ladder dropped down, and he climbed it until he reached the eagle’s nest, which was strong and secure like a platform on a linden tree. His sister sat under a canopy made out of rose-colored silk, and an eagle’s egg was lying on her lap. She was keeping it warm in order to hatch it. They kissed each other and rejoiced, but after a while the princess said, “Now, hurry and see to it that you get out of here, dearest brother. If the eagle, my husband, sees you, he’ll hack your eyes out and devour your heart as he’s already done with three of your servants, who were looking for you in the forest.”

“No,” said Reinald. “I’m staying here until your husband is transformed.” “That will happen but only in six weeks. If you can hold out that long, go and hide in the tree. It’s hollow on the inside, and I’ll drop food down to you every day.”

Reinald crawled into the tree, and the princess let food down to him every day. Whenever the eagle flew away, he climbed up to her. After six weeks the eagle was transformed, and once more Reinald awoke in a bed that was like the one at his brother-in-law the bear’s place. Only here it was more splendid, and he lived with the eagle prince in great joy. On the seventh evening they said their farewells. The eagle gave him three eagle feathers and said, “If you’re in trouble, rub them, and I’ll come to your aid.”

Then he gave him servants to show him the way out of the forest. But when morning came, they suddenly disappeared, and Reinald was all alone on top of a high rocky cliff in a terrible wilderness. He looked around him, and in the distance he saw the reflection of a large lake, which glistened from the sun’s rays. He thought of his third sister, who might be there. So he began to climb down the cliff and work his way through the bushes and between the rocks. He needed three days to do this, and he often lost sight of the lake, but on the fourth day he succeeded in getting there. Once he was on the bank, he called out, “Dearest sister, if you’re in the water, let me hear your voice. I’m Reinald, your brother, and I’ve come to visit you.”

But no one answered, and everything was very quiet. He threw bread crumbs into the water and said to the fish, “Dear fish, go to my sister and tell her that Reinald the Wonder Child is here and wants to see her.”

But the red-speckled flounders snapped up the bread and didn’t listen to his words. Then he saw a little boat and immediately took off his armor. He kept only his sword in his hand as he jumped into the boat and rowed off. After he had gone a long way, he saw a chimney made of rock crystal jutting out of the water, and there was a pleasant smell rising up from it. Reinald rowed toward it and was convinced that his sister was living down below. So he climbed on top of the chimney and slid down. The princess was greatly startled when she suddenly saw a pair of wriggling legs followed shortly by a whole man, who identified himself as her brother. She rejoiced with all her heart, but then she turned sad and said, “The whale has heard that you’ve wanted to visit me, and he’s declared that if you come while he’s a whale, he’ll not be able to control his desire to eat you up. Moreover, he’ll break my crystal house, and I’ll also perish in the flood of water.”

“Can’t you hide me until the time comes when the magic loses its power?”

“Oh, no. How can I do that? Don’t you see that the walls are all made out of crystal, and you can see through them?”

Nevertheless, she thought and thought, and finally she remembered the room where the wood was kept. She arranged the wood in such a careful way that nobody could see anything from the outside, and it was there that she hid the Wonder Child. Soon after, the whale came, and the princess trembled like an aspen leaf. He swam around the crystal house a few times, and when he saw a little piece of Reinald’s clothing sticking out of the wood, he beat his tail, snorted ferociously, and if he had seen more, he would surely have destroyed the house. He came once a day and swam around it until the magic stopped in the seventh month. Suddenly Reinald found himself in a castle right in the middle of an island, and the castle surpassed even the splendor of the eagle’s castle. Now he lived with his sister and brother-in-law for a whole month in the lap of luxury. When the time was over, the whale gave him three scales and said, “When you’re in trouble, rub them, and I’ll come to your aid.”

The whale brought him to the bank, where his armor was still lying on the ground. The Wonder Child moved around in the wilderness for seven more days, and he slept seven nights under the open skies. Then he caught sight of a castle with a steel gate that had a mighty lock on it. In front of the gate was a black bull with flashing eyes. It was guarding the entrance, and Reinald attacked it. He gave the bull a powerful blow on its neck, but the neck was made of steel, and the sword broke as if it were glass. He tried to use his lance, but it broke like a piece of straw. Then the bull grabbed him with its horns and threw him into the air so that he got caught in the branches of a tree. In his desperation Reinald remembered the three bear’s hairs and rubbed them in his hand. All at once the bear appeared and fought with the bull. He tore the bull to pieces, but a bird came out of the bull’s stomach, flew high into the air, and rushed off. But Reinald rubbed the three eagle’s feathers, and suddenly a mighty eagle came flying through the air and pursued the bird, which flew directly toward a pond. The eagle dived at the bird and mangled it, but Reinald saw the bird drop a golden egg into the water. Now he rubbed the three fish scales in his hand, and immediately a whale came swimming up, swallowed the egg, and spat it out onto the shore. Reinald picked it up and cracked it open with a stone. There he found a little key that fit the steel gate. As soon as he just touched the gate with the key, the gate sprang open by itself, and he entered. All the bars on the other doors slid off by themselves, and he went through seven doors into seven splendid and brightly lit rooms. In the last room a maiden was lying asleep on a bed. She was so beautiful that he was completely dazzled by her. He sought to wake her, but it was in vain. Her sleep was so deep that she seemed to be dead. In his rage he struck a black slate standing next to the bed. At that very moment the maiden awoke but fell right back to sleep. Now he took the slate and threw it onto the stone floor so that it shattered into a thousand pieces. No sooner did this happen than the maiden opened her eyes wide, and the magic spell was broken. She turned out to be the sister of Reinald’s three brothers-in-law. Because she had rejected the love of a godless sorcerer, he had sentenced her to a deathlike sleep and changed her brothers into animals. They were to remain that way so long as the black slate remained untouched.

Reinald led the maiden out of the castle, and as they passed through the gate, his brothers-in-law came riding up from three different directions. They had been released from the magic spell, and with them came their wives and children. Indeed, the eagle’s bride had hatched the egg and carried a beautiful baby girl in her arms. Now all of them traveled to the old king and queen. The Miracle Child brought his three sisters home. Soon he married the beautiful maiden, and their wedding provided great joy and pleasure to everyone,

Now the cat’s run home, for my tale is done.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the second day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

blue light

The Blue Light

Once upon a time there was a king who had a soldier as servant. When the soldier became very old, the king sent him away without giving him anything for his service. Now the soldier had no idea how he was to eke out an existence and went off sadly and walked until he reached a forest in the evening. After he went farther, he saw a light, and as he approached it, he came upon a small house that was owned by a witch. He asked for a night’s lodging and a little food and drink. At first she refused him, but finally she said: “All right, I’ll be merciful, but you must dig my garden tomorrow morning.”

The soldier promised to do it and was given a place to sleep. The next morning he hoed the witch’s garden and worked until evening, when the witch wanted to send him on his way, but he said, “I’m so tired. Let me stay another night.”

She didn’t want to let him, but finally she gave in. So the next day he was to chop up a cartload of wood into small pieces, and indeed, the soldier chopped the wood into logs, and by the end of the day he had worn himself out so much that once again he couldn’t depart and asked for lodging for a third night. In exchange for the lodging, the witch demanded that he fetch the blue light from her well the following day. So the next morning the witch led him to a well and tied a long rope around him and lowered him down the well. When he reached the bottom, he found the blue light and made a signal to the witch so that she would pull him up. Indeed, she pulled him up, but just as he reached the edge of the well, she reached down with her hand and wanted to take the blue light from him and then let him fall back down. However, he sensed her evil intentions and said: “No, you don’t. I won’t give you the light until both my feet are firmly on the ground.”

The witch became furious, and she shoved him with the light down the well and went away. The soldier was now quite sad down in the moist dark quagmire, for he thought his fate was sealed. He reached into his pocket for his pipe, which was half full, and thought: “I might as well smoke it to the end as my last pleasure.” So he lit it with the blue light and began to smoke. As the smoke floated around a bit, a little black man appeared and asked: “Master, what do you command? I must do anything you demand.”

“Then first help me out of this well.”

The little man took him by the hand and led him up above, and they took the blue light with them. When they were back above ground, the soldier said: “Now go and beat the old witch to death for me.”

After the little man did this, he showed the soldier the witch’s treasures and gold, and the soldier loaded them in a sack and took everything with him. Then the little man said, “If you need me, just light your pipe with the blue light.”

The soldier returned to the city and stopped at the best inn where he had fine clothes made for himself and had a room furnished in a splendid way. When it was ready, the soldier called the little man and said: “The king sent me away and let me starve because I could no longer serve him well. Now bring the king’s daughter to me here tonight. She will have to wait on me and do what I command.”

“That’s dangerous,” the little man said, but he did what the soldier demanded anyway. He went and fetched the sleeping princess from her bed and brought her to the soldier. Then she had to obey and do what he said. In the morning when the cock crowed, the little black man had to bring her back again. When she got up, she told her father: “I had a strange dream this past night, and it seemed to me that I had been taken away and had become a soldier’s maid and had to wait on him.”

“Fill your pockets full of peas,” replied the king, “and make a hole in it. The dream could be true. Then the peas will fall out and leave a trail on the street.”

So she did this, but the little man had overheard what the king had advised her to do. When evening came and the soldier said that the little man should bring the king’s daughter to him again, the little man spread peas all over the city so that the few peas that fell out of her pocket could leave no trace. The next morning the people of the city had to pick up and sort all the peas. Once again, the king’s daughter told her father what had happened to her, and he answered: “Keep one shoe on, and hide the other secretly wherever you are.”

The little black man heard the plan, and that night, when the soldier demanded that he bring him the king’s daughter, the little man said: “I can no longer help you. You’re going to have some bad luck if you’re exposed.”

However, the soldier insisted on having his will done

“Well then, after I’ve returned her to the king, make sure you get yourself out of here right away and through the city gate.”

So the king’s daughter kept one of her shoes on and hid the other in the soldier’s bed. The next morning, when she was once again with her father, he had the entire city searched and the shoe was found in the soldier’s room. To be sure, the soldier had already rushed out of the city, but he was soon overtaken and thrown into a sturdy prison. Now he was chained and tied up with rope, and due to the frantic flight, his most valuable things, the blue light and the pipe, had remained behind, and the only thing he had with him was a gold coin. As he was now standing sadly at the window of his prison, he saw one of his comrades passing by. So he called out to him and said: “If you get me the little bundle that I left in my room at the inn. I’ll give you a gold coin.”

So his comrade went there and brought back the blue light and the pipe in exchange for the gold coin. The prisoner lit his pipe right away and summoned the little black man who said to him: “Have no fear. Go wherever they take you, and let them do what they want. Just remember to take the blue light with you.”

The next day the soldier was interrogated and sentenced to hang on the gallows. As he was being led out to be executed, he asked the king to grant him one last favor.

“What kind of a favor?” asked the king.

“I’d like to smoke my pipe along the way.”

“You can smoke three pipes if you like,” answered the king.

Then the soldier took out his pipe and lit it with the blue light. All at once the little black man was there.

“Beat everyone here to death,” the soldier said, “and tear the king into three pieces.”

Well the little man began and beat all the people around him to death. The king kneeled and pleaded for mercy, and to save his life he gave the soldier the kingdom and his daughter for his wife.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö
Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

“On the first day…” Presenting The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

elves

The Elves

About the Shoemaker for Whom They Did the Work

A shoemaker had become so poor that he didn’t have enough leather left for a single pair of shoes. In the evening he cut out the shoes that he planned to work on the next morning. However, when he got up the next day and was about to sit down to do his work, he saw the two shoes already finished and beautifully made, standing on the table. Soon a customer paid so well that the shoemaker could purchase enough leather for two pairs of shoes, which he cut out that evening. The next morning when he once again wanted to sit down and work, they were already finished, just as the pair had been the other day. Now he was able to purchase enough leather for four pairs of shoes from the money he received from the two pairs. And so it went. Whatever he cut out in the evening was finished by morning, and soon he was a well-to-do man again.

Now one evening right before Christmas after he had cut out many shoes and wanted to go to bed, he said to his wife: “We should stay up one time and see who does our work in the night.”

So they lit a candle, hid themselves in the corner of the room behind the clothes that had been hung up there, and watched closely. At midnight two cute little naked men came and sat down at the workbench, took all the cutout pieces of the shoes, and worked so swiftly and nimbly that the shoemaker could not take his eyes off them. Indeed, they were incredibly fast, and he was amazed. They didn’t stop until they had finished the work on all the shoes. Then they scampered away, and it wasn’t even day yet.

Now the shoemaker’s wife said to him: “The little men have made us rich. So we ought to show that we’re grateful. I feel sorry for them running around without any clothes and freezing. I want to sew shirts, coats, jackets, and trousers for them, and you should make a pair of shoes for each one of them.”

The shoemaker agreed, and when everything was finished, they set all the things out in the evening. They wanted to see what the little men would do and hid themselves again. Then the little ones appeared as usual at midnight. When they saw the clothes lying there, they seemed to be quite pleased. They put the clothes on extremely quickly, and when they were finished, they began to hop, jump, and dance. Finally, they danced right out the door and never returned.

About a Servant Girl Who Acted as Godmother

A poor maiden was industrious and neat and swept the dirt from the door of a large house every day. One morning she found a letter lying in front of the door, and since she couldn’t read, she brought it to her employers. The letter was an invitation to the maiden from the elves, who asked her to be godmother to one of their children. The maiden thought about this for a while, but after her employers convinced her that she shouldn’t refuse the invitation, she said yes.

Soon after, three elves came and led her to a hollow mountain. Everything was small there and also incredibly dainty and splendid. The mother was lying on a black ebony bed with pearl knobs. The covers were embroidered with gold. The cradle was ivory. The bathtub was made of gold. The maiden performed her duties as godmother and then wanted to depart right after doing this. But the elves asked her to remain with them for another three days. She spent those days with great joy, and when they were over and she wanted to return home, they filled her pockets full of gold and led her back out of the mountain. And when she came to her home, she realized that it wasn’t three days she had been gone but one whole year.

About a Woman Whose Child They Had Exchanged

The elves had taken a mother’s child from the cradle and replaced the baby with a changeling who had a fat head and glaring eyes and who would do nothing but eat and drink. In her distress the mother went to her neighbor and asked her for advice. The neighbor told her to carry the changeling into the kitchen, put him down on the hearth, light the fire, and boil water in two egg shells. That would cause the changeling to laugh, and when he laughed, he would lose his power. The woman did everything the neighbor said, and when she put the eggshells filled with water on the fire, the blockheaded changeling said:

“Now I’m as old
as the Wester Wood,
and in all my life I’ve never seen
eggshells cooked as these have been.”

And the changeling had to laugh about this, and as soon as he laughed, a crowd of elves came all at once. They brought the right child with them, placed him down on the hearth, and carried off the changeling.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö
 

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

Book trailer for Atlas of Cities edited by Paul Knox


Princeton University Press senior designer Jason Alejandro created this book trailer for Atlas of Cities edited by Paul Knox. (The catchy song in the background is the aptly named “Weekend in the City” by Silent Partner.)

8-7 Atlas of Cities Atlas of Cities
Edited by Paul Knox