The Princess ascended a narrow, winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock, and when she turned it the door flew open. In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax busily.
The new wife brought two daughters home with her, and they were beautiful and fair in appearance, but at heart were black and ugly.
The old woman, although her behavior was so kind, was a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had built the little house on purpose to entice them.
The wolf thought to himself, ‘That tender young thing would be a delicious morsel, and would taste better than the old one.’
‘You must take great pains to make my bed well, and shake it up thoroughly, so that the feathers fly about, and then in the world it snows, for I am Mother Hulda.’
The witch said, ‘You may have as much rampion as you like, on one condition—the child that will come into the world must be given to me.’
‘What will you give me if I spin all this straw into gold for you?’ ‘My necklace,’ said the girl.
The King took another wife, a beautiful woman, but proud and overbearing, and she could not bear to be surpassed in beauty by any one.
The bear came every evening at the same time, laid himself down by the hearth, and let the children amuse themselves with him as much as they liked.
‘I will tell you what,’ said the ass, ‘I am going to Bremen to become town musician. You may as well go with me, and take up music too. I can play the lute, and you can beat the drum.’
The little men began to stitch, to pierce, and to hammer so cleverly and quickly with their little fingers that the shoemaker's eyes could scarcely follow them, so full of wonder was he.
‘Your pearls and jewels, and your golden crown are not for me,’ answered the frog; ‘but if you would love me, and have me for your companion, then would I dive below the water and fetch you your golden ball again.’
There sat some giants by the fire, and each had a roasted sheep in his hand. The little tailor looked round and thought, ‘There is more elbow-room here than in my workshop.’
The King had an only daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh; therefore he had given out that whoever should make her laugh should have her in marriage.
‘If you are thirsty,’ said the waiting-maid, ‘get off your horse yourself, and lie down and drink out of the water, I don't choose to be your servant.’
The woman felt great terror, and wondered how she could escape the blame. So that nothing should be seen, she set the boy on a chair before the door with the apple in his hand.
‘Perhaps I can help thee, if thou wilt promise to give me the first thing that rubs itself against thy leg when thou art at home again, and to bring it here in twelve years' time, thou shalt have as much money as thou wilt.’
The two travelers in their pockets, and could not believe their eyes when they saw that they were not filled with coals, but with pure gold.
The wizard flew into a rage, and said, ‘Chop her hands off, otherwise I cannot touch her.’ The miller was terrified, and exclaimed, ‘How can I cut off the hands of my own child?’
A Mouse, a Bird, and a Sausage went into partnership. It was the Bird's work to fly to the forest every day and bring back wood. The Mouse had to carry water, make up the fire, and set the table, while the Sausage did the cooking.