Grimm: Allerleirauh (cont.)

This story is part of the Brothers Grimm (Hunt) unit. Story source: Household Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Margaret Hunt (1884).

(illustration by Otto Ubbelohde)

Allerleirauh (cont.)

The sun rose, and she slept on, and she was still sleeping when it was full day. Then it so happened that the King to whom this forest belonged was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the tree, they sniffed and ran barking round about it.

The King said to the huntsmen, "Just see what kind of wild beast has hidden itself in there."

The huntsmen obeyed his order, and when they came back, they said, "A wondrous beast is lying in the hollow tree; we have never before seen one like it. Its skin is fur of a thousand different kinds, but it is lying asleep."

Said the King, "See if you can catch it alive and then fasten it to the carriage, and we will take it with us."

When the huntsmen laid hold of the maiden, she awoke full of terror and cried to them, "I am a poor child, deserted by father and mother; have pity on me, and take me with you."

Then said they, "Allerleirauh, thou wilt be useful in the kitchen; come with us, and thou canst sweep up the ashes."

So they put her in the carriage and took her home to the royal palace. There they pointed out to her a closet under the stairs, where no daylight entered, and said, "Hairy animal, there canst thou live and sleep."

Then she was sent into the kitchen, and there she carried wood and water, swept the hearth, plucked the fowls, picked the vegetables, raked the ashes, and did all the dirty work.

Allerleirauh lived there for a long time in great wretchedness. Alas, fair princess, what is to become of thee now!

It happened, however, that one day a feast was held in the palace, and she said to the cook, "May I go upstairs for a while and look on? I will place myself outside the door."

The cook answered, "Yes, go, but you must be back here in half-an-hour to sweep the hearth."

Then she took her oil-lamp, went into her den, put off her fur-dress, and washed the soot off her face and hands so that her full beauty once more came to light. And she opened the nut, and took out her dress which shone like the sun, and when she had done that, she went up to the festival, and everyone made way for her, for no one knew her and thought no otherwise than that she was a king's daughter.

The King came to meet her, gave his hand to her, and danced with her, and thought in his heart, "My eyes have never yet seen any one so beautiful!"

When the dance was over she curtsied, and when the King looked round again, she had vanished, and none knew whither. The guards who stood outside the palace were called and questioned, but no one had seen her.

She had, however, run into her little den, had quickly taken off her dress, made her face and hands black again, put on the fur-mantle, and again was Allerleirauh. And now when she went into the kitchen and was about to get to her work and sweep up the ashes, the cook said, "Leave that alone till morning, and make me the soup for the King. I, too, will go upstairs awhile and take a look, but let no hairs fall in, or in future thou shalt have nothing to eat."

So the cook went away, and Allerleirauh made the soup for the king, and made the bread soup the best she could, and when it was ready, she fetched her golden ring from her little den and put it in the bowl in which the soup was served.

When the dancing was over, the King had his soup brought and ate it, and he liked it so much that it seemed to him he had never tasted better. But when he came to the bottom of the bowl, he saw a golden ring lying and could not conceive how it could have got there. Then he ordered the cook to appear before him.

The cook was terrified when he heard the order and said to Allerleirauh, "Thou hast certainly let a hair fall into the soup, and if thou hast, thou shalt be beaten for it."

When he came before the King, the latter asked who had made the soup.

The cook replied, "I made it."

But the King said, "That is not true, for it was much better than usual, and cooked differently."

He answered, "I must acknowledge that I did not make it; it was made by the rough animal."

The King said, "Go and bid it come up here."

(800 words)

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