Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony. And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, ""Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame.""
Soon after that, she had a little daughter who was as white as snow and as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony, and she was therefore called Snow White. And when the child was born, the queen died.
After a year had passed, the king took to himself another wife. She was a beautiful woman but proud and haughty, and she could not bear that anyone else should surpass her in beauty. She had a wonderful looking-glass, and when she stood in front of it and lookRead More
A long time ago, there were a king and queen who said every day, ""Ah, if only we had a child,"" but they never had one.
But it happened that once when the queen was bathing, a frog crept out of the water on to the land and said to her, ""Your wish shall be fulfilled. Before a year has gone by, you shall have a child.""
What the frog had said came true, and the queen had a little girl who was so pretty that the king could not contain himself for joy and ordered a great feast. He invited not only his kindred, friends and acquaintances, but also the wise women, in order that they might be kind and well-disposed towards the child. There were thirteen of them in his kingdom but, as he had only twelve golden plates for them to eat out of, one of them had to be left at home.
The feast was held with all manner of splendor and when it came to an end, the wise women bestowed their magic gifts upon the baby - one gave virtue, another beauty, a third riches, and so on with everything in the world thaRead More
There was once a rich merchant who not only has three daughters but also three sons. All the daughters are good looking, particularly the youngest who becomes known as Little Beauty. The sisters are vain and jealous of Beauty who is, by contrast, modest and charming and wishes to stay with her father.
All of a sudden the family loses its money and is forced into a poorer lifestyle which makes life more difficult all around and exaggerates the differences between Beauty and her sisters. Beauty and the three brothers throw themselves into working for their new life while the sisters are bored. The father takes a trip in the hopes of regaining his wealth, and the older sisters demand he bring them expensive garments. Beauty asks simply for a rose.
The father is unsuccessful in his attempt to regain his wealth and, in despair, wandering in the forest, is trapped in a snow storm. He comes upon a seemingly deserted palace where he finds food and shelter for the night. In the morning, he wandRead More
In olden times when wishing still helped, 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 bored 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 onto 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. At this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted.
And as she thuRead More
Once upon a time there lived a vain emperor whose only worry in life was to dress in elegant clothes. He changed clothes almost every hour and loved to show them off to his people. Word of the Emperor's refined habits spread over his kingdom and beyond.
Two scoundrels who had heard of the Emperor's vanity decided to take advantage of it. They introduced themselves at the gates of the palace with a scheme in mind.
""We are two very good tailors and after many years of research we have invented an extraordinary method to weave a cloth so light and fine that it looks invisible. As a matter of fact, it is invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to appreciate its quality.""
The chief of the guards heard the scoundrel's strange story and sent for the court Chamberlain. The Chamberlain notified the Prime Minister, who ran to the Emperor and disclosed the incredible news. The Emperor's curiosity got the better of him and he decided to see the two scoundrels.
""Besides being invisiblRead More
Once upon a time a miller died, leaving the mill to his eldest son, his donkey to his second son and a cat to his youngest son.
""Now that's some difference!"" you might say; but there you are, that's how the miller was.
The eldest son kept the mill, the second son took the donkey and set off in search of his fortune while the third sat down on a stone and sighed, ""A cat! What am I going to do with that?""
But the cat heard his words and said, ""Don't worry, Master. What do you think? That I'm worth less than a half-ruined mill or a mangy donkey? Give me a cloak, a hat with a feather in it, a bag and a pair of boots, and you will see what I can do.""
The young man, by no means surprised, for it was quite common for cats to talk in those days, gave the cat what he asked for and as he strode away, confident and cheerful, the cat said, ""Don't look so glum, Master. See you soon!""
Swift of foot as he was, the cat caught a fat wild rabbit, popped it into his bag, knocked at the castle gate, wentRead More
Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread.
Now when he thought over this by night in his bed and tossed about in his anxiety, he groaned and said to his wife, ""What is to become of us? How are we to feed our poor children, when we no longer have anything even for ourselves?""
""I'll tell you what, husband,"" answered the woman. ""Early to-morrow morning, we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest. There we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again and we shall be rid of them.""
""No, wife,"" said the man. ""I will not do that. How can I bear to leave my children alone in the forest? The wild animals would soon come and tear them toRead More
Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else. So she was always called Little Red Riding Hood.
One day, her mother said to her, ""Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother for she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing. And when you go into her room, don't forget to say, good-morning, and don't peep into every corner before you do it.""
""I will take great care,"" said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and gave her hand on it.
The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league fRead More
Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself appear important, he said to him, ""I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold.""
The king said to the miller, ""That is an art which pleases me well. If your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to-morrow to my palace and I will put her to the test.""
And when the girl was brought to him, he took her into a room which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and said, ""Now set to work, and if by tomorrow morning early you have not spun this straw into gold during the night, you must die."" Thereupon he himself locked up the room, and left her in it alone.
So there sat the poor miller's daughter, and for the life of her, could not tell what to do, she had no idea how straw could be spun into gold, and she grew more and more frightened, until at last she began to weep.
But all at once the door opened, anRead More