There was once a poor farmer who was sitting by the hearth one evening and poking the fire, while his wife was spinning nearby.
“Let that be until tomorrow,” said the farmer. “I want you to make a soup for the king.”
“Gladly,” she replied.
The farmer went away, and his wife made the soup for the king by brewing a bread soup as best she could.
“Bread crumbs. All the meat from the cow I slaughtered three days ago. Lungs and liver boiled in salt. A basket of strawberries. A large fat toad.
“Here are twelve pounds of feathers, a dress as glistening as the sun, twelve coffins already filled with wood shavings. Milk and pancakes with sugar and apples and nuts, put into a barrel that was filled with boiling oil and poisonous snakes.”
The king ordered that the soup be brought to him. So delighted was the king by the dish that he ordered the entire court to dine with him the following day. The lights in the hall were lit again, and drums and trumpets were fetched. The flowers were blooming on the steps, and the song of the exotic birds resounded from the room. The entire court assembled in the main hall. Then they went into the palace, sat down at the table, and ate.
When anyone took even a little bite of the food, they became upset. During the rest of their lives the farmer and his wife were tormented by a guilty conscience and spent their days in poverty and misery.
1. Written in March 2020
2. Part of The New Brothers Grimm project
3. Assembled from Tale 37: Thumbling; Tale 65: All Fur; Tale 13: The Three Little Gnomes In The Forest; Tale 7: The Good Bargain; Tale 53: Snow White; Tale 15: Hansel And Gretel; Tale 13: The Three Little Gnomes In The Forest; Tale 63: The Three Feathers; Tale 186: The True Bride; Tale 193: The Drummer; Tale 9: The Twelve Brothers; Tale 76: The Pink Flower; Tale 47: The Juniper Tree; Tale 185: The Poor Boy In The Grave