The Thirteenth New Tale

I want to tell you something.

There was a man whose wife had died, and a woman whose husband had died; and the man had a daughter and the woman also had a daughter. There was a woman who had three daughters. A father had two sons. A widow had two daughters, one who was beautiful and industrious, the other ugly and lazy. A poor man had twelve children and had to work day and night just to feed them. A merchant had two children, a boy and a girl, who were still infants and could not walk. A poor woodcutter lived with his wife and his two children on the edge of a large forest. A tailor had a son who turned out to be small, not much bigger than a thumb. A farmer had a son no bigger than a thumb.

A mother had a little boy of seven who was so fair and lovely that no one could look at him without treating him kindly. A sparrow had four young ones in a swallow’s nest. A sorceress had three sons, and they loved each other dearly. A poor but pious girl lived alone with her mother. A man and his wife were sitting by the entrance to their house.

A discharged soldier had nothing to live on and no longer knew what to do with his life. A poor widow lived all alone in a small cottage, and in front of the cottage was a garden with two rosebushes. A man and his wife lived in a village, and the wife was so lazy that she never wanted to do any work. A poor woodcutter lived with his wife and three daughters on the edge of a lonely forest. A miller had three sons, a mill, a donkey, and a cat. A dog had loyally served a lion for many years. A rich farmer stood in his yard and looked over his field and gardens.

A poor pious peasant died and arrived at the gate to heaven. A tailor and a goldsmith were travelling together, and one evening, after the sun had set behind the mountains, they heard the sound of distant music, which became more and more distinct. A poor man who was a day labourer, so to speak, had such sharp ears that he could hear the grass grow.

A merchant had done good business at the fair. An honest and diligent soldier had earned and saved some money because he had been industrious and had not squandered his earnings in the taverns as other soldiers had. As a peasant went to work in the fields, he said to his wife, ‘Put the meat in some cabbage, and when it’s finished, bring it to me in the field.’

A merchant wanted to take a journey, and he asked his three daughters what he should bring back for them. A king had three daughters, and he wanted to know which one loved him most. A carpenter and a turner wanted to see who could make the best piece of work. A king announced that whoever could tell the best lie would receive his daughter as a bride. Three lazy companions decided to make a bet with one another to decide who was the laziest among them. Twelve servants, who had done nothing all day long, did not want to exert themselves even by evening.

A farmer had a faithful horse that had grown old and could no longer do his work. A donkey was grazing on a hill where the bees were swarming around him. A blood sausage and a liver sausage had been friends for some time, and the blood sausage invited the liver sausage for a meal at her home. A lion had invited most of the animals to a meal, and when they began eating, some animal noticed that the pepper was missing. Little Kurt Bingeling drank from his mother’s breast for seven years.

A carter’s cart became stuck because it was carrying so much wine. A poor boy had to go outside and gather wood on a sled. A poor goose boy went walking along the bank of a large, turbulent river while looking after a flock of white geese. Three women were transformed into flowers that stood in a field.

A young princess was called Snowflower because she was white like snow and was born during the winter. A maiden was all alone in a large forest when a swan came up to her and gave her a ball of yarn. Two maidens were sitting on the edge of a well spinning.

A queen was sitting at a window made of ebony and began sewing. A king, who had three daughters, was sick and asked for some water from the well in his courtyard. A queen put her child out to sea in a golden cradle and let it float away.

All this took place a long time ago, most likely some two thousand years ago.



1. Written in March 2020
2. Part of The New Brothers Grimm project
3. Assembled from Tale 159: A Tall Tale From Ditmarsh; Tale 13: The Three Little Gnomes In The Forest; Tale 130: One-Eye, Two-Eyes, And Three-Eyes; Tale 4: A Tale About The Boy Who Went Forth To Learn What Fear Was; Tale 24: Mother Holle; Tale 44: Godfather Death; Tale 92: The King Of The Golden Mountain; Tale 15: Hansel And Gretel; Tale 45: Thumbling’s Travels; Tale 90: The Young Giant; Tale 109: The Little Shroud; Tale 157: The Sparrow And His Four Children; Tale 197: The Crystal Ball; Tale 103: The Sweet Porridge; Tale 145: The Ungrateful Son; Tale 100: The Devil’s Sooty Brother; Tale 161: Snow White And Rose Red; Tale 128: The Lazy Spinner; Tale 169: The House In The Forest; Tale 216: Puss In Boots;Tale 273: Why Dogs And Cats And Mice Are Enemies; Tale 195: The Grave Mound; Tale 167: The Peasant In Heaven; Tale 182: The Gifts Of The Little Folk; Tale 275: Sharp Ears, The Runner, The Blower, And The Strongman; Tale 232: The Crows; Tale 184: The Nail; Tale 247: Fool’s Gold; Tale 248: The Winter Rose; Tale 223: Princess Mouseskin; Tale 226: The Carpenter And The Turner; Tale 267: The Liar; Tale 268: The Lazy Ones; Tale 151a: The Twelve Lazy Servants; Tale 132: The Fox And The Horse; Tale 262: The War Of The Wasps And The Donkey; Tale 218: The Strange Feast; Tale 274: Why Dogs Sniff One Another; Tale 266: Little Kurt Bingeling; Tale 207: The Blessed Virgin’s Little Glass; Tale 200: The Golden Key; Tale 215: Death And The Goose Boy; Tale 160: A Tale With A Riddle; Tale 230a: Fragments (Snowflower); Tale 249: Prince Swan; Tale 245: The Golden Maiden; Tale 251: Snow White, Snow White, or The Unfortunate Child; Tale 243: The Three Daughters And The Frog King; Tale 222: Okerlo; Tale 47: The Juniper Tree
4. And maybe some others if I accidentally missed listing them
5. Also I think this is likely to be the last of these
6. I hope that is okay.


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