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Household and fairy tales online

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3 3433 07954561 6





The Washington Square Classics

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
and Through the Looking Glass

Andersen's Fairy Tales

Arabian Nights

Black Beauty

Grimm's Fairy Tales


King Arthur and the Knights of the
Round Table

Robinson Crusoe

The Swiss Family Robinson

Treasure Island

Water Babies

The Wonder Book and Tanglewood

Other Titles in Preparation


^ ^ By the BROTHERS GRIMM ^ ^




K 1040 L

Printed in U. S. A.


The collection of stories originally published in Ger-
man by the Brothers Grimm under the title ** House-
hold Tales ' ' was made, not with the idea of furnishing
entertainment for young people, but with the avowed
purpose of supplying authentic data for the scientific
study of European folk-lore. The first volume, pub-
lished in 1812, consisted of stories collected from vari-
ous sources during a period of thirteen years. The
material included in the second volume, which ap-
peared in 1814, was largely from one source, a peasant
woman, the wife of a cowherd, who possessed a won-
derful gift for story telling. Many of the tales were
taken down word for word from her dictation, and are
as near as it is possible to get to the language of the
people who have transmitted them by word of mouth
from generation to generation.

Although these books were intended for scientific
study, so strong an appeal did the folk tales make that
they soon became popular with the common people,
and it was not long before numerous editions were de-
manded. The stories were subsequently translated
into other languages, and an English translator was
the first to make a selection of such of them as were
best suited to children's use. Since that time, the
*^ Household Tales'' have been prime favorites with
English speaking young people, and are still so to-day,
as the publication of this new edition signifies.

The question naturally arises whence originated
these tales which have taken so strong a hold upon the
human imagination? While it is impossible definitely
to answer this query, a glance at the history of folk-


lore may be both interesting and profitable. Many of
the stories contained in the Grimms' collection, al-
though derived from the current tales of the German
peasants, have their counterparts in other languages.
For instance, the story of Ashenputtel (or Cinderella)
in slightly altered form may be found among the folk
tales of Kussia, Bohemia, France, Scandinavia, Eng-
land, Wales, and Iceland. The story of Sleeping
Beauty is to be found almost identical with that here
related in at least four other languages. Stranger
yet, the tale of the Wolf and the Seven Kids closely
parallels similar tales in the folk-lore of Brittany,
Sicily, Greece, and far-off Australia, and strongly re-
sembles the story of the Sow and the Little Pigs to be
found among the Kaffir tribes of South Africa.

The inference is plain that these tales must have had
a common origin ; but whether the stories were carried
from one land to another by early traders, or whether
their possession by widely scattered peoples proves
these groups to have sprung from one original stock,
students of mythology have not yet decided.

Certain it is that many of the tales are very old,
having undergone numerous changes in the course of
years, with such omissions and additions as were need-
ful to adapt them to the country using them. A ver-
sion of the Cinderella story, for instance, as old
records show, was current in Iceland at least one thou-
sand years ago ; w^hile the Wolf and Kids story can bg^
traced in Greek mythology antedating the Christian

A word as to the value of these folk tales to the
young may not be amiss. A child's mind dwells nat-
urally on the fanciful, the unreal. Watch any small
child amusing himself and you will soon recognize the
play of his imagination. The chairs before him are
horses, but they talk and frequently are made to eat


cake and candy. Bits of paper may be birds who con-
verse with the child freely, or fly out of the window at
will, although the casement is closed. Bulk and time
and place, that so limit us of larger growth, have no
part in the child's mind world. Small wonder, then,
that he so delights in the animals that talk, the fairies
and dwarfs, the disguised princes and enchanted cas-
tles of fairy lore. All these are food for his imagina-
tion, and quite unknown to himself he is forming that
trend of mind which will later develop into an appre-
ciation for the higher arts and a striving after the

But, some one may complain, in these stories there
are gruesome details as well that may make a most
unhappy impression. Let the complainant test one
such story on any normal girl or boy under twelve
years of age. Kead it with him, discuss it with him,
then endeavor to ascertain what salient points have
impressed him. You will be surprised to find that the
gruesome details have been entirely overlooked, and
only the strange and the fanciful elements have been
stamped upon his memory.

In preparing this edition of the Grimms' Tales, the
aim of the publishers has been to present the best pos-
sible collection of stories in their most desirable form.
With this end in view, library experts in children's
literature and professional story tellers were con-
sulted as to' the best English translations, with the
result that those made by Lucy Crane, Mrs. Edgar
Lucas, and M. Edwardes were unqualifiedly recom-
mended. These three translations, therefore, have
been used as the basis of the present volume. They
have been diligently compared, and where the same
tale appears in more than one version, the most accep-
table rendition has been selected. Besides all the
standard fairy tales of the Grimm collection, it has


been deemed wise to include a few fables and animal
stories from the original *^ Household Tales," thus
making the volume truly representative of early Eu-
ropean folk-lore.



^HE Twelve Dancing Princesses '.IS

jorinda and joringel 19

The Three Spinning Fairies 23

The Wren and the Bear 27

The Golden Bird 31

Hansel and Grethel 42

The Three Children of Fortune 53

Sweetheart Roland 57

The Wolf and the Seven Kids 63

The Goosegirl 67

The White Snake 75

Thumblixg the Dwarf and Thumbling the Giant ... 81

The Pink 90

The Queen Bee 97

Briar Rose 101

The Twelve Brothers 106

The Six Swans 114

The Turnip 122

The Frog Prince 126

Rapunzel 132

The Fisherman and His Wife 137

Ashenputtel 149

Snow- White 160

The Lady and the Lion 172

The Raven 180

The Gallant Tailor 188

The Golden Goose 201

Karl Katz .... .. . . ... . . . .: ... • . 208

The Water of Life .... . .- . ....... 216



The Table, the Ass, and the Stick 225'

fundevogel ^ 240

The Twelve Huntsmen 244

Faithful John 248

The Salad 260

The King of the Golden Mountain 270

The Elves and the Shoemaker 279

The Robber Bridegroom 282

Red Riding Hood 287

Mother Hulda 292

Rumpelstiltskin 297

The Seven Ravens 302

Iron Hans 306

The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage 318

Tom Thumb 321

Hans In Luck 329

The Little Peasant 337

The Cat and Mouse in Partnership 346

The Adventures of Chanticleer and Partlet 350

The Bremen Town Musicians 357

King Thrushbeard 362

The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean 369

The Blue Light 371


They were so full of joy that they did not wake her Frontispiece

One of the golden feathers fell to the ground
A strong wind blew away Conrad's hat .
The flounder came swimming up .
The giants gladly welcomed him ....
With their tiny fingers, they began to stitch
She thought with a heavy heart of her sad fate


. 32
. 72
. 138
. 192
. 280
. 366


THERE was once a king who had twelve daughters,
each more beautiful than the other. They slept
together in a hall where their beds stood close to one
another ; and at night, when they had gone to bed, the
King locked the door and bolted it. But when he un-
locked it in the morning, he noticed that their shoes had
been danced to pieces, and nobody could explain how
it happened. So the King sent out a proclamation
saying that any one who could discover where the
princesses did their night's dancing should choose one
of them to be his wife and should reign after his death ;
but whoever presented himself, and failed to make the
discovery after three days and nights, was to forfeit his

A prince soon presented himself and offered to take
the risk. He was well received, and at night was taken
into a room adjoining the hall where the princesses
slept. His bed was made up there, and he was to
watch and see where they went to dance ; so that they
could not do anything, or go anywhere else, the door
of his room was left open too. But the eyes of the
King's son grew heavy, and he fell asleep. When he
woke up in the morning all the twelve had been dancing,
for the soles of their shoes were full of holes. The sec-
ond and third evenings passed with the same results,
and then the Prince found no mercy, and his head was



cut off. Many others came after him and offered to
take the risk, but they all had to lose their lives.

Now it happened that a poor soldier, who had been
wounded and could no longer serve, found himself on
the road to the town where the King lived. There he
fell in with an old woman who asked him where he in-
tended to go.

**I really don't know, myself,' ' he said ; and added, in
fun, **I should like to discover where the King's daugh-
ters dance their shoes into holes, and after that to be-
come king. ' '

**That is not so difficult," said the old woman.
** You must not drink the wine which will be brought to
you in the evening, but must pretend to be fast
asleep. ' ' Whereupon she gave him a short cloak, say-
ing: **When you wear this you will be invisible, and
then you can slip out after the twelve princesses."

As soon as the soldier heard this good advice he took
it up seriously, plucked up courage, appeared before
the King, and offered himself as suitor. He was as
well received as the others, and was dressed in royal

In the evening, when bed-time came, he was con-
ducted to the ante-room. As he was about to go to
bed the eldest princess appeared, bringing him a cup
of wine ; but he had fastened a sponge under his chin
and let the wine run down into it, so that he did not
drink one drop. Then he lay down, and when he had
been quiet a little while he began to snore as though in
the deepest sleep.



The twelve princesses heard him, and laughed.
The eldest said : * ^ He, too, must forfeit his life. ' '

Then they got up, opened cupboards, chests, and
cases, and brought out their beautiful dresses. They
decked themselves before the glass, skipping about and
reveling in the prospect of the dance. Only the
youngest sister said : ^ 'I don't know what it is. You
may rejoice, but I feel so strange; a misfortune is cer-
tainly hanging over us. ' '

**You are a little goose," answered the eldest; '*you
are always frightened. Have you forgotten how many
princes have come here in vain? Why, I need not have
given the soldier a sleeping draught at all ; the block-
head would never have awakened.*'

When they were all ready they looked at the soldier ;
but his eyes were shut and he did not stir. So they
thought they would soon be quite safe. Then the eld-
est went up to one of the beds and knocked on it; it
sank into the earth, and they descended through the
opening, one after another, the eldest first.

The soldier, who had noticed everything, did not hesi-
tate long, but threw on his cloak and went down behind
the youngest. Half-way down he trod on her dress.
She was frightened, and said: **What was that? who
is holding on to my dress r'

** Don't be so foolish. You must have caught on a
nail," said the eldest. Then they went right down, and
when they got quite underground, they stood in a mar-
velously beautiful avenue of trees ; all the leaves were
silver, and glittered and shone.



The soldier thought, '^I must take away some token
with me/' And as he broke off a twig, a sharp crack
came from the tree.

The youngest cried out, *^A11 is not well; did you
hear that sound f

*^ Those are triumphal salutes, because we shall soon
have released our princess,'' said the eldest.

Next they came to an avenue where all the leaves
were of gold, and, at last into a third, where they were
of shining diamonds. From both these he broke off a
twig, and there was a crack each time which made the
youngest princess start with terror ; but the eldest main-
tained that the sounds were onl}^ triumphal salutes.
They went on faster, and came to a great lake. Close
to the bank lay twelve little boats, and in every boat
sat a handsome prince. They had expected the twelve
princesses, and each took one with him; but the soldier
seated himself by the youngest.

Then said the Prince, *^I don't know why, but the
boat is much heavier to-day, and I am obliged to row
with all my strength to get it along. ' '

*^I wonder why it is," said the youngest, *^ unless,
perhaps, it is the hot weather; it is strangely hot."

On the opposite side of the lake stood a splendid
brightly lighted castle, from which came the sound of
the joyous music of trumpets and drums. They rowed
across, and every prince danced with his love ; and the
soldier danced too, unseen. If one of the princesses
held a cup of wine he drank out of it, so that it was
empty when she lifted it to her lips. This frightened



the youngest one, but the eldest always silenced her.
They danced till three next morning, when their shoes
were danced into holes, and they were obliged to stop.
The princes took them back across the lake, and this
time the soldier took his seat beside the eldest. On
the bank they said farewell to their princes, and prom-
ised to come again the next night. AA'lien they got to
the steps the soldier ran on ahead, lay down in bed, and
when the twelve came lagging by, slowly and wearily,
he began to snore again, very loud, so that they said,
*^We are quite safe as far as he is concerned." Then
they took off their beautiful dresses, put them away,
placed the worn-out shoes under their beds, and lay

The next morning the soldier determined to say noth-
ing, but to see the wonderful doings again. So he went
with them the second and third nights. Everything
was just the same as the first time, and they danced
each time till their shoes were in holes ; but the third
time the soldier took away a wine-cup as a token.

When the appointed hour came for his answer, he
took the three twigs and the cup with him and went be-
fore the King. The tw^elve princesses stood behind
the door listening to hear what he would say. When
the King put the question, *^ Where did my daughters
dance their shoes to pieces in the night?" he answered:
*^With twelve princes in an underground castle."
Then he produced the tokens.

The King sent for his daughters and asked them
whether the soldier had spoken the truth. As they



saw that they were betrayed, and would gain nothing
by lies, they were obliged to admit all. Thereupon the
King asked the soldier which one he would choose as
his wife. He answered : * * I am no longer young, give
me the eldest."

So the wedding was celebrated that very day, and the
kingdom was promised to him on the King's death.
But for every night which the princes had spent in
dancing with the princesses a day was added to their
time of enchantment.



T^HERE was once an old castle in the middle of a
-*• vast thick wood; in it there lived an old woman
quite alone, and she was a witch. By day she made
herself into a cat or a screech-owl, but regularly at
night she became a human being again. In this way
she was able to decoy wild beasts and birds, which she
would kill, and boil or roast. If any man came within a
hundred paces of the castle, he was forced to stand still
and could not move from the place till she gave the
word of release ; but if an innocent maiden came within
the circle she changed her into a bird, and shut her up
in a cage which she carried into a room in the castle.
She must have had seven thousand cages of this kind,
containing pretty birds.

Now, there was once a maiden called Jorinda, who
was more beautiful than all other maidens. She had
promised to marry a very handsome youth named Jor-
ingel, and it was in the days of their courtship, when
they took the greatest joy in being alone together, that
one day they wandered out into the forest. *^Take
care,'' said Joringel; **do not let us go too near the

It was a lovely evening. The sunshine glanced be-
tween the tree-trunks of the dark green-wood, while
the turtle-doves sang plaintively in the old beech-trees.



Yet Jorinda sat down in the sunshine, and could not
help weeping and bewailing, while Joringel, too, soon
became just as mournful. They both felt as miserable
as if they had been going to die. Gazing around them,
they found they had lost their way, and did not know
how they should find the path home. Half the sun still
appeared above the mountain- half had sunk below.
Joringel peered into the bushes and saw the old walls
of the castle quite close to them ; he was terror-struck,
and became pale as death. Jorinda was singing:

"My birdie with its ring so red
Sings sorrow, sorrow, sorrow;
My love will mourn when I am dead,
To-morrow, morrow, mor — jug, jug."

Joringel looked at her, but she was changed into a
nightingale who sang ' ' Jug, jug. ' ^

A screech-owl with glowing eyes flew three times
around her, and cried three times "Shu hu-hu.'' Jor-
ingel could not stir ; he stood like a stone without being
able to speak, or cry, or move hand or foot. The sun
had now set ; the owl flew into a bush, out of which ap-
peared almost at the same moment a crooked old
w^oman, skinny and yellow; she had big, red eyes and
a crooked nose whose tip reached her chin. She
mumbled something, caught the nightingale, and car-
ried it away in her hand. Joringel could not say a
word nor move from the spot, and the nightingale was
gone. At last the old woman came back, and said in
a droning voice : * ^ Greeting to thee, Zachiel ! When
the moon shines upon the cage, unloose the captive,



Then Joringel was free. He fell on his knees before
the witch, and implored her to give back his Jorinda;
but she said he should never have her again, and went
away. He pleaded, he wept, he lamented, but all in
vain. ' * Alas ! what is to become of me T ' said Joringel.
At last he went away, and arrived at a strange village,
where he spent a long time as a shepherd. He often
wandered around about the castle, but did not go too
near it. At last he dreamt one night that he found a
blood-red flower, in the midst of which was a beautiful
large pearl. He plucked the flower, and took it to the
castle. Whatever he touched with it was made free of
enchantment. He dreamt, too, that by this means he
had found his Jorinda again. In the morning when he
awoke he began to search over hill and dale, in the hope
of finding a flower like this ; he searched till the ninth
day, when he found the flower early in the morning. In
the middle was a big dewdrop, as big as the finest pearl.
This flower he carried day and night, till he reached
the castle. He was not held fast as before when he
came within the hundred paces of the castle, but walked
straight up to the door.

Joringel was filled with joy ; he touched the door with
the flower, and it flew open. He went in through the
court, and listened for the sound of birds. He went
on, and found the hall, where the witch was feeding the
birds in the seven thousand cages. "When she saw
Joringel she was angry, very angry — scolded, and spat
poison and gall at him. He paid no attention to her,
but turned away and searched among the bird-cages.



Yes, but there were many hundred nightingales; how
was he to find his Jorindal

While he was looking about in this way he noticed
that the old woman was secretly removing a cage with
a bird inside, and was making for the door. He sprang
swiftly towards her, touched the cage and the witch
with the flower, and then she no longer had power to
exercise her spells. Jorinda stood there, as beautiful
as before, and threw her arms around JoringePs neck.
After that he changed all the other birds back into
maidens again, and went home with Jorinda, and they
lived long and happily together.



rpHERE was once upon a time a girl, who was lazy
^ and hated work, and nothing her mother could
say would induce her to spin. At last the mother grew
angry, and losing all patience with her, gave her a beat-
ing. At this, the girl began to cry so loudly, that the
Queen, who was driving past at the time, heard her
cries and stopped.

She went into the house and asked the mother why
she was beating her daughter like that; **her screams,"
she said, **can be heard outside in the street."

The mother was ashamed to confess the truth about
her daughter's laziness, and so she answered:

**I cannot get her to leave off spinning; she is for-
ever at her wheel, and I am too poor to keep on buying
her fresh flax."

**If that is all," said the Queen, ** there is nothing I
like so much as the sound of spinning, and I am never
happier than when I can hear the humming of the
wheels ; let me have your daughter, and I will take her
home with me to the castle. I have plenty of flax, and
she can go on spinning there to her heart's content."

The mother was heartily pleased at this proposal,
and so the Queen left, taking the girl with her. On
their arrival at the castle, she took her upstairs and



showed her three rooms, filled from floor to ceiling
with the most beautiful flax.

* ' Spin me all this, ' ' said the Queen, ^ ' and when it is
finished, you shall have my eldest son for your hus-
band ; your poverty is not a matter of any consequence
to me, for I consider that your unremitting industry is
an all-sufficient dowry. ' ^

The girl dared not say anything, but she inwardly
trembled with fear, for she knew that she could never
spin all that flax, were she to sit at her spinning-wheel
from morning till night for three hundred years. As
soon as she was alone, she began to weep, and she sat
like that for three days, without doing a stroke of work.

When the Queen came again on the third day, she
was surprised to find that the flax had not been touched.
The girl excused herself by saying that she had felt so
lonely and homesick, that she had not been able to be-
gin her spinning. The Queen was satisfied with this
excuse, but as she was leaving, she said : ' ' To-morrow,
mind, I shall expect you to begin your work.''

Alone once more, the girl was at her wdt's end to
know what to do, and in her distress of mind went and
looked out of the window. There she saw three funny
looking women coming towards her ; one had a big flat
foot, another a large under-lip that hung over her chin ;
and the third a very broad thumb. They stood still un-
der the window, and looking up, asked the girl what w^as
the matter. She told them her trouble, and they of-
fered to help her. * ' If you will invite us to your wed-
ding," they said, ^^and will not be ashamed of us, but



introduce us as your cousins, and let us sit at your
table, we will soon spin all that flax for you. ' '

' ' That I will gladly promise, ' ' said the girl, * ^ if you
will but come in and begin working for me at once. ' '

So she let in the three women, and queer little figures
they looked ; and cleared a space for them in the first
room. They sat down and began their spinning; the
first drew out the thread and turned the wheel, the sec-

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Online LibraryJacob GrimmHousehold and fairy tales → online text (page 1 of 21)