GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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up in the mornings at a proper hour. The bed was never made or shaken so that feathers could fly about, till at last Mother Holle was quite tired of her and said she must go away, that her services were not wanted any more.
The lazy girl was quite overjoyed at going, and thought the golden rain was sure to come when Mother Holle led her to the gate. But as she passed under it a large kettle full of pitch was upset over her.
"That is the reward of your service," said the old woman as she shut the gate. So the idle girl walked home with the pitch sticking all over her, and as she entered the court the cock on the wall cried outó
" Kikeriki! our smutty young lady is come home, I see."
The pitch stuck closely, and hung all about her hair and her clothes, and do what she would as long as she lived it never would come off.
A man had seven sons, but not one little daughter, which made both him and his wife very unhappy. At last a daughter was born, to their great joy; but the child was very small and slight, and so weak that they feared it would die. So the father sent his sons to the spring to fetch water, that he might baptise her.
Each of the boys ran in great haste to be the first to draw the water for their little sister's baptism, but in the struggle to be first they let the pitcher fall into the well.
Then they stood still and knew not what to do, not one of them dared to venture home without the water. As the time went on and they did not return, the father became very impatient and said, " I suppose in the midst of their play they have forgotten what I sent them for, the careless children."
He was in such an agony lest the child should die unbaptised, that he exclaimed in his anger, " I wish that the youngsters were all turned into ravens/1
The words were scarcely uttered when there was heard a rush-