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Germany

Snow White and Rose Red

A poor widow once lived in a little cottage. In front of the cottage was a garden, in which were growing two rose trees; one of these bore white roses, and the other red.

She had two children, who resembled the rose trees. One was called Snow-White, and the other Rose-Red; and they were as religious and loving, busy and untiring, as any two children ever were.

The Water of Life

Once upon a time there was a King who was so ill that everybody despaired of his life, and his three sons were very sorry, and went out into the palace gardens to weep. There they met an old man, who asked the cause of their grief, and they told him their Father was so ill that he must die, for nothing could save him. The old Man said, “I know a means of saving him: if he drinks of the water of life it will restore him to health; but it is very difficult to find.”

The Valiant Little Taylor

One fine day a Tailor was sitting on his bench by the window in very high spirits, sewing away most diligently, and presently up the street came a country woman, crying, “Good jams for sale! Good jams for sale!” This cry sounded nice in the Tailor’s ears, and, poking his diminutive head out of the window, he called, “Here, my good woman, just bring your jams in here!” The woman mounted the three steps up to the Tailor’s house with her large basket and began to open all the pots together before him.

The Three Feathers

Once upon a time there lived a King who had three sons; the two elder were learned and bright, but the youngest said very little and was often ignored.

When the King grew old and feeble, feeling that he was nearing his end, he wished to leave the crown to one of his three sons, but could not decide to which. He thereupon settled that they should travel, and that the one who could obtain the most splendid carpet should ascend the throne when he died.

The Six Swans

The Six Swans

A King was once hunting in a large wood and pursued his game so hotly that none of his courtiers could follow him. But when evening approached, he stopped, and looking around him perceived that he had lost himself. He sought a path out of the forest but could not find one, and presently he saw an old woman, with a nodding head, who came up to him. “My good woman,” said he to her, “can you not show me the way out of the forest?” “Oh, yes, my lord King,” she replied, “I can do that very well, but upon one condition, which if you do not fulfil, you will never again get out of the wood, but will die of hunger.”

Mother Holle

Mother Holle

There was once a widow who had two daughters—one of whom was pretty and industrious, while the other was ugly and idle. But she was much fonder of the ugly and idle one, because she was her own daughter; and the other, who was a step-daughter, was obliged to do all the work of the house. Every day the poor girl had to sit by a well, in the highway, and spin and spin till her fingers bled.

The Three Dwarfs

The Three Dwarfs

Once upon a time there lived a man, whose wife had died; and a woman, also, who had lost her husband: and this man and this woman had each a daughter. These two maidens were friendly with each other, and used to walk together, and one day they came by the widow’s house. Then the widow said to the man’s daughter, “Do you hear, tell your father I wish to marry him, and you shall every morning wash in milk and drink wine, but my daughter shall wash in water and drink water.”

If Only I Could Shiver

A father had two sons, the elder of whom was forward and clever enough to do almost anything; and so, the younger son was ignored. If anything was to be done, the elder had at all times to do it; but sometimes the father would call him to fetch something in the dead of night, and perhaps the way led through the churchyard or by a dismal place, and then he used to answer, “No, father, I cannot go there, I am afraid,” for he was a coward.

Bearskin and the Devil

There was once upon a time a young fellow who enlisted for a soldier, and became so brave and courageous that he was always in the front ranks when it rained blue beans. As long as the war lasted all went well, but when peace was concluded he received his discharge, and the captain told him he might go where he liked. His parents meanwhile had died, and as he had no longer any home to go to, he paid a visit to his brothers and asked them to give him shelter until war broke out again. His brothers, however, were hard-hearted, and said, “What could we do with you? We could make nothing of you; see to what you have brought yourself”; and so, turned a deaf ear.

The Shroud

The Shroud

There was once a mother who had a little boy of seven years old, who was so handsome and lovable that no one could look at him without liking him, and she herself worshipped him above everything in the world.