Household Tales by Brothers Grimm

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Household Tales by Brothers Grimm


Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm

About this book

Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen) is a collection of German-origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimm's Fairy Tales (German: Grimms Märchen).

Contents (206)

1 The Frog-King, or Iron Henry
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2 Cat and Mouse in Partnership
3 Our Lady’s Child
4 The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
5 The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids
6 Faithful John
7 The Good Bargain
8 The Wonderful Musician
9 The Twelve Brothers
10 The Pack of Ragamuffins
11 Little Brother and Little Sister
12 Rapunzel
13 The Three Little Men in the Wood
14 The Three Spinners
15 Hansel and Grethel
16 The Three Snake-Leaves
17 The White Snake
18 The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean
19 The Fisherman and His Wife
20 The Valiant Little Tailor
21 Cinderella
22 The Riddle
23 The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage
24 Mother Holle
25 The Seven Ravens
26 Little Red-Cap
27 The Bremen Town-Musicians
28 The Singing Bone
29 The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs
30 The Louse and the Flea
31 The Girl Without Hands
32 Clever Hans
33 The Three Languages
34 Clever Elsie
35 The Tailor in Heaven
36 The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack
37 Thumbling
38 The Wedding of Mrs. Fox
39 The Elves
40 The Robber Bridegroom
41 Herr Korbes
42 The Godfather
43 Frau Trude
44 Godfather Death
45 Thumbling as Journeyman
46 Fitcher’s Bird
47 The Juniper-Tree
48 Old Sultan
49 The Six Swans
50 Briar-Rose
51 Fundevogel (Bird-foundling)
52 King Thrushbeard
53 Little Snow-white
54 The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn
55 Rumpelstiltskin
56 Sweetheart Roland
57 The Golden Bird
58 The Dog and the Sparrow
59 Frederick and Catherine
60 The Two Brothers
61 The Little Peasant
62 The Queen Bee
63 The Three Feathers
64 The Golden Goose
65 Allerleirauh
66 The Hare’s Bride
67 The Twelve Huntsmen
68 The Thief and his Master
69 Jorinda and Joringel
70 The Three Sons of Fortune
71 How Six Men Got on in the World
72 The Wolf and the Man
73 The Wolf and the Fox
74 The Fox and His Cousin
75 The Fox and the Cat
76 The Pink
77 Clever Grethel
78 The Old Man and His Grandson
79 The Water-Nix
80 The Death of the Little Hen
81 Brother Lustig
82 Gambling Hansel
83 Hans in Luck
84 Hans Married
85 The Gold-Children
86 The Fox and the Geese
87 The Poor Man and the Rich Man
88 The Singing, Springing Lark
89 The Goose-Girl
90 The Young Giant
91 The Gnome
92 The King of the Golden Mountain
93 The Raven
94 The Peasant’s Wise Daughter
95 Old Hildebrand
96 The Three Little Birds
97 The Water of Life
98 Doctor Knowall
99 The Spirit in the Bottle
100 The Devil’s Sooty Brother
101 Bearskin
102 The Willow-Wren and the Bear
103 Sweet Porridge
104 Wise Folks
105 Stories about Snakes
106 The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Cat
107 The Two Travellers
108 Hans the Hedgehog
109 The Shroud
110 The Jew Among Thorns
111 The Skilful Huntsman
112 The Flail From Heaven
113 The Two Kings’ Children
114 The Cunning Little Tailor
115 The Bright Sun Brings It to Light
116 The Blue Light
117 The Wilful Child
119 The Seven Swabians
120 The Three Apprentices
121 The King’s Son Who Feared Nothing
122 Donkey Cabbages
123 The Old Woman in the Wood
124 The Three Brothers
125 The Devil and his Grandmother
126 Ferdinand the Faithful
127 The Iron Stove
128 The Lazy Spinner
129 The Four Skilful Brothers
130 One-eye, Two-eyes, and Three-eyes
131 Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie
132 The Fox and the Horse
133 The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces
134 The Six Servants
135 The White Bride and the Black One
136 Iron John
137 The Three Black Princesses
138 Knoist and his Three Sons
140 Domestic Servants
141 The Lambkin and the Little Fish
142 Simeli Mountain
143 Going A-Travelling
144 The Donkey
145 The Ungrateful Son
147 The Old Man Made Young Again
148 The Lord’s Animals and the Devil’s
149 The Beam
150 The Old Beggar-Woman
151 The Three Sluggards
151* The Twelve Idle Servants
152 The Shepherd Boy
153 The Star-Money
154 The Stolen Farthings
155 Brides On Their Trial
156 Odds And Ends
157 The Sparrow And His Four Children
158 The Story of Schlauraffen Land
159 The Ditmarsch Tale of Wonders
160 A Riddling Tale
162 The Wise Servant
163 The Glass Coffin
164 Lazy Harry
165 The Griffin
166 Strong Hans
167 The Peasant in Heaven
168 Lean Lisa
169 The Hut in the Forest
170 Sharing Joy and Sorrow
171 The Willow-Wren
172 The Sole
173 The Bittern and the Hoopoe
174 The Owl
175 The Moon
176 The Duration of Life
177 Death’s Messengers
178 Master Pfriem (Master Cobbler’s Awl)
179 The Goose-Girl at the Well
180 Eve’s Various Children
181 The Nix of the Mill-Pond
182 The Little Folks’ Presents
183 The Giant and the Tailor
184 The Nail
185 The Poor Boy in the Grave
186 The True Sweethearts
187 The Hare and the Hedgehog
188 The Spindle, The Shuttle, and the Needle
189 The Peasant and the Devil
190 The Crumbs on the Table
191 The Sea-Hare
192 The Master-Thief
193 The Drummer
194 The Ear of Corn
195 The Grave-Mound
196 Old Rinkrank
197 The Crystal Ball
198 Maid Maleen
199 The Boots of Buffalo-Leather
200 The Golden Key
Children’s Legends
Legend 2 The Twelve Apostles
Legend 3 The Rose
Legend 5 God’s Food
Legend 6 The Three Green Twigs
Legend 7 Our Lady’s Little Glass
Legend 8 The Aged Mother
Legend 9 The Heavenly Wedding
Legend 10 The Hazel-Branch

1 The Frog-King, or Iron Henry

1 The Frog-King, or Iron Henry

In old times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face. Close by the King’s castle lay a great dark forest, and under an old lime-tree in the forest was a well, and when the day was very warm, the King’s child went out into the forest and sat down by the side of the cool fountain, and when she was dull she took a golden ball, and threw it up on high and caught it, and this ball was her favorite plaything.

Now it so happened that on one occasion the princess’s golden ball did not fall into the little hand which she was holding up for it, but on to the ground beyond, and rolled straight into the water. The King’s daughter followed it with her eyes, but it vanished, and the well was deep, so deep that the bottom could not be seen. On this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted. And as she thus lamented some one said to her, “What ails thee, King’s daughter? Thou weepest so that even a stone would show pity.” She looked round to the side from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its thick, ugly head from the water. “Ah! old water-splasher, is it thou?” said she; “I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.”

“Be quiet, and do not weep,” answered the frog, “I can help thee, but what wilt thou give me if I bring thy plaything up again?” “Whatever thou wilt have, dear frog,” said she—“My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing.”

The frog answered, “I do not care for thy clothes, thy pearls and jewels, or thy golden crown, but if thou wilt love me and let me be thy companion and play-fellow, and sit by thee at thy little table, and eat off thy little golden plate, and drink out of thy little cup, and sleep in thy little bed—if thou wilt promise me this I will go down below, and bring thee thy golden ball up again.”

“Oh yes,” said she, “I promise thee all thou wishest, if thou wilt but bring me my ball back again.” She, however, thought, “How the silly frog does talk! He lives in the water with the other frogs, and croaks, and can be no companion to any human being!”

But the frog when he had received this promise, put his head into the water and sank down, and in a short while came swimmming up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass. The King’s daughter was delighted to see her pretty plaything once more, and picked it up, and ran away with it. “Wait, wait,” said the frog. “Take me with thee. I can’t run as thou canst.” But what did it avail him to scream his croak, croak, after her, as loudly as he could? She did not listen to it, but ran home and soon forgot the poor frog, who was forced to go back into his well again.

The next day when she had seated herself at table with the King and all the courtiers, and was eating from her little golden plate, something came creeping splish splash, splish splash, up the marble staircase, and when it had got to the top, it knocked at the door and cried, “Princess, youngest princess, open the door for me.” She ran to see who was outside, but when she opened the door, there sat the frog in front of it. Then she slammed the door to, in great haste, sat down to dinner again, and was quite frightened. The King saw plainly that her heart was beating violently, and said, “My child, what art thou so afraid of? Is there perchance a giant outside who wants to carry thee away?” “Ah, no,” replied she. “It is no giant but a disgusting frog.”

“What does a frog want with thee?” “Ah, dear father, yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to come out of his water! And now he is outside there, and wants to come in to me.”

In the meantime it knocked a second time, and cried,

“Princess! youngest princess!Open the door for me!Dost thou not know what thou saidst to meYesterday by the cool waters of the fountain?Princess, youngest princess!Open the door for me!”

Then said the King, “That which thou hast promised must thou perform. Go and let him in.” She went and opened the door, and the frog hopped in and followed her, step by step, to her chair. There he sat and cried, “Lift me up beside thee.” She delayed, until at last the King commanded her to do it. When the frog was once on the chair he wanted to be on the table, and when he was on the table he said, “Now, push thy little golden plate nearer to me that we may eat together.” She did this, but it was easy to see that she did not do it willingly. The frog enjoyed what he ate, but almost every mouthful she took choked her. At length he said, “I have eaten and am satisfied; now I am tired, carry me into thy little room and make thy little silken bed ready, and we will both lie down and go to sleep.”

The King’s daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed. But the King grew angry and said, “He who helped thee when thou wert in trouble ought not afterwards to be despised by thee.” So she took hold of the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner. But when she was in bed he crept to her and said, “I am tired, I want to sleep as well as thou, lift me up or I will tell thy father.” Then she was terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the wall. “Now, thou wilt be quiet, odious frog,” said she. But when he fell down he was no frog but a King’s son with beautiful kind eyes. He by her father’s will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but herself, and that to-morrow they would go together into his kingdom. Then they went to sleep, and next morning when the sun awoke them, a carriage came driving up with eight white horses, which had white ostrich feathers on their heads, and were harnessed with golden chains, and behind stood the young King’s servant Faithful Henry. Faithful Henry had been so unhappy when his master was changed into a frog, that he had caused three iron bands to be laid round his heart, lest it should burst with grief and sadness. The carriage was to conduct the young King into his Kingdom. Faithful Henry helped them both in, and placed himself behind again, and was full of joy because of this deliverance. And when they had driven a part of the way the King’s son heard a cracking behind him as if something had broken. So he turned round and cried, “Henry, the carriage is breaking.”

“No, master, it is not the carriage. It is a band from my heart, which was put there in my great pain when you were a frog and imprisoned in the well.” Again and once again while they were on their way something cracked, and each time the King’s son thought the carriage was breaking; but it was only the bands which were springing from the heart of faithful Henry because his master was set free and was happy.