“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

Stumped for a last minute gift idea? Try these books

Buying gift or coffee-table books online can be nerve-wracking when all you have to go on is the cover and maybe, if you’re lucky, a couple of sample pages. What will the book really look like? Will it be gift-y enough? We want to take the uncertainty out of the process for you with these videos that show off three of our sumptuous recommended gift books. These books are all available now to complete your last minute holiday shopping.

Enjoy!

Penguins: The Ultimate Guide: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10335.html

The Bee: A Natural History: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10336.html

Atlas of Cities: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10307.html

 

For additional holiday gift recommendations, please click here.

Princeton University Press’s extended best-seller list for the holidays

What are people picking up for the holidays? Our best-seller list provides lots of clues — biography, literature, history, and birds!

Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm edited by Jack Zipes
1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record by Errol Fuller
The Age of the Vikings Anders Winroth
The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World’s Leading Neuroscientists edited by Gary Marcus & Jeremy Freeman
On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt
The Mystery of the Invisible Hand: A Henry Spearman Mystery by Marshall Jevons
Mastering ’Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect by Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke
The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City by William B. Helmreich
The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter Richard P. Feynman
Penguins: The Ultimate Guide by Tui De Roy, Mark Jones & Julie Cornthwaite
The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle

Wizards, Aliens, and Starships and Einstein and the Quantum named Top 10 Physics Books of 2014 by Physics Today magazine

Charles L. Adler’s Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction and A. Douglas Stone’s Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian were each named to Physics World‘s 2014 “Top 10 Books of the Year” list. The ten books on the list “are all well written, novel and scientifically interesting for a physics audience.”

On their blog, Physics World writes of Wizards, Aliens, and Starships,

“Books about the science of science fiction aren’t uncommon, but it’s rare to see the subject treated with as much flair and rigour as it is here. Throughout this book, author Charles Adler uses ‘Fermi problems’ – challenging exercises in reasoning and back-of-the-envelope calculation – to evaluate the plausibility of various concepts from SF and fantasy. It’s an approach that should endear his book to physicist readers, and it’s particularly pleasing to see the world of fantasy (not just “hard” science fiction) get some scientific scrutiny.”

Further praise was given to Einstein and the Quantum:

“Sparkling writing and crystal-clear physics make this account of Einstein’s quantum work stand out on the overcrowded shelf of books devoted to the world’s most famous physicist. Unlike many other Einstein authors, A. Douglas Stone is neither a cosmologist nor a historian. Instead, he’s a solid-state physicist, and the parts of Einstein’s work that most intrigue him concern thermodynamics and the behaviour of quantum ideal gases, rather than well-known gedankenexperiments about beams of light on trains. Reading about this other side of Einstein is a real (and unexpected) pleasure.”

According to Physics World, “2014 has been a fantastic year for science books, and for physics books in particular,” and the same can be said for all our PUP titles!

bookjacket

Wizards, Aliens, and Starships:
Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction
Charles L. Adler 

 

bookjacket

Einstein and the Quantum:
The Quest of the Valiant Swabian
A. Douglas Stone

The Warbler Guide App Blog Tour, Day 4

Digital formats allow authors and developers to present images in new and exciting ways. For The Warbler Guide App, Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle took it all the way by commissioning exclusive 3D illustrations that allow users to literally spin and flip a warbler to any angle. Better yet, you can spin and flip two warblers side by side for quick comparisons. So, when you spot a bird from a strange angle, you can quickly replicate that view in the app and compare it with similar species.

For today’s tour stop, the American Birding Association presents an exclusive video of the visual elements of The Warbler Guide App including a preview of this 3D capability.

Capture

Please support our blog tour participants by visiting their sites:

Day 3:

warblerwatch

Day 2:

drunk

 

prairie

Day 1:

Capture

New Earth Science Catalog!

Be among the first to browse and download our new earth science catalog!

Of particular interest is Paul Folkowski’s Life’s Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable. For almost four billion years, microbes had the primordial oceans all to themselves. The stewards of Earth, these organisms transformed the chemistry of our planet to make it habitable for plants, animals, and us. Life’s Engines takes readers deep into the microscopic world to explore how these marvelous creatures made life on Earth possible—and how human life today would cease to exist without them.

Also be sure to note Beth Shapiro’s How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction. Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in “ancient DNA” research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction.

And don’t miss out on Donald Canfield’s Oxygen: A Four Billion Year History. The air we breathe is twenty-one percent oxygen, an amount higher than on any other known world. While we may take our air for granted, Earth was not always an oxygenated planet. How did it become this way? Oxygen is the most current account of the history of atmospheric oxygen on Earth. Donald Canfield—one of the world’s leading authorities on geochemistry, earth history, and the early oceans—covers this vast history, emphasizing its relationship to the evolution of life and the evolving chemistry of the Earth.

More of our leading titles in earth science can be found in the catalog. You may also sign up with ease to be notified of forthcoming titles at http://press.princeton.edu/subscribe/. (Your e-mail address will remain confidential!)

If you’re heading to the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, CA December 15th-19th, come visit us at booth 1712, and follow #AGU14 and @PrincetonUPress on Twitter for updates and information on our new and forthcoming titles. See you there!

Princeton University Press’s best-selling books for the last week

These are the best-selling books for the past week.

Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm edited by Jack Zipes
1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record by Errol Fuller
The Age of the Vikings Anders Winroth
The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World’s Leading Neuroscientists edited by Gary Marcus & Jeremy Freeman
On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt
The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor
The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed wins 2014 Award for the Best Popular Book, American Schools of Oriental Research

clineEric H. Cline, author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, is the first ever recipient of the American Schools of Oriental Research’s (ASOR) new award, the Best Popular Book Award (which will be officially named next year). “This award is presented to the author/editor of a book published in the last two years that offers a new synthesis of archaeological data intended to reach an audience of scholars as well as students and the broader public.”

Excerpts from the certificate presented to Cline at the annual ASOR meeting in San Diego praised his ability to inform and interest various types of readers:

“Eric Cline…masterfully brings together a wealth of information while maintaining a popular appeal throughout his study.”

“Cline’s extensive bibliography of source material makes this book extremely valuable for scholars, yet he explains the complexities of his subject in language easily understandable by the general public. This book possesses the rare quality of engaging both the academic and general readership.

Congratulations to Cline on winning the prestigious award and for setting the bar high for future nominations of the Best Popular Book. Below is a picture of Cline’s award alongside copies of 1177 B.C.

Cline_ASORprize-cert

 

“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