Once upon a time there was a woman with two daughters, and they had become so poor that they no longer had even a piece of bread to put in their mouths. So she sat down on the ridge of a hill and began to weep, and she wept so much that two little brooks flowed from her eyes. When she paused and looked up in her misery, a man was standing there. He accused her of being a thief and took her to the court.
The next day she was brought to trial, and although she had done no evil, the judge sentenced her to death. She began to weep bitter tears, but they were all in vain. Nothing could move the judge’s heart. She and her daughters were put aboard a ship peppered with holes and sent out to sea, where they soon sank beneath the waves.
Well, many years later, the judge went walking through the forest. When he got to the sea, it was all black and dense, and it began to twist and turn from below so that bubbles rose up, and a strong wind whipped across the surface and made the water curdle. When he turned round, he caught sight of a beautiful woman, who was rising slowly out of the water.
The story does not end here, but my grandmother, who told me the tale, was losing her memory, and she forgot the rest.
1. Written in February 2020
2. Part of The New Brothers Grimm project
3. Assembled from: Tale 238: The Children Of Famine; Tale 130: One-Eye, Two-Eyes, And Three-Eyes; Tale 231: The Faithful Animals; Tale 116: The Blue Light; Tale 15: Hansel And Gretel; Tale 186: The True Bride; Tale 16: The Three Snake Leaves; Tale 57: The Golden Bird; Tale 19: The Fisherman And His Wife; Tale 181: The Nixie In The Pond; Tale 179: The Goose Girl At The Spring