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Author: Subject: 1. Fairy Tales and Legends
mersiowsky
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[*] posted on 12-2-2014 at 10:30 PM
1. Fairy Tales and Legends


Wendish Fairly Tales and Legends
Translated by Ed Bernthal



1. Telling a Fairy Tale
(Well known)


Tell, tell a fairy tale!
Four heads of goats were on a light leash
The one jumped over the fence;
What was that but for some grass!
One jumped into the mud
What was that but necessary work!
One jumped into the pond
What was that but the kingdom of horns!


2. Three Goats and the Wolf
(From Mr. H. P. Jordan)


Three goats went into the woods to nibble on some leaves. The first had a small stomach. The second had two and the third had three. The one with the one stomach had enough to eat and went home. There the wolf lay in the path. He said, “Run or I will swallow you!” She said, “Don’t swallow me. Another will come that has two stomachs.” The wolf said to it, “Run or I will swallow you!” The goat said, “Don’t swallow me. One will come that has three stomachs. You will be more satisfied with it.” Then came the one with the three stomachs. The wolf said, “Run or I will swallow you!” But she gave him such a butt that the wolf was hurled down off the path.


3. The Fast Frog
(From: Lohsa)


Once upon a time, a fox came to the pond to get a drink. There sat a frog who croaked at him. And the fox said, “Go away or I will swallow you.” The frog replied, “Don’t be so haughty, I am faster than you are.” But the fox laughed at him. But since the frog continued to talk about his speed, the fox said, “Now, let’s race into town where we shall surely see.” And the fox turned around. But the frog quickly jumped into his tail. As the fox came to the gate of the town, he turned around to see whether the frog was anywhere behind him. The frog quickly jumped out of his tail. The fox could not see the frog anywhere so he turned again to go into the town. There the frog ahead of him began to call, “Did you finally also get here? I was just about on my way home for I thought you would really never get here.”


4. Somebody’s Damage – Somebody’s Ridicule
(From: The Leipzig Seerka Nowina)


Three comrades: Coal, Blower and Straw went to a foreign place together. On the way, they came to a horse (‘tritt”) full of water, and for a long time, did not know how to get across the water. Finally, they came to the conclusion, that Straw should lie down and the others would walk on him over the water. Coal went ahead, but as he came to the half of Straw, he wanted to look around for awhile. But thereby, he burned up straw and they both drowned. Blower, to whom everything was laughable, started to laugh about this so hard that he exploded. And Stone, who had watched this said, “Yes, surely yes, somebody’s damage is somebody’s ridicule!” But this time, the mocker also got what was bad.


5. The Wolf’s Lucky Day
(From: Ratzen)


One morning, the wolf got up and stretched himself as the sun shone on his resting place. Just then, the fox passed by, and he said, “You are going to have nothing but good luck today.” And the wolf said, “How so?” And the fox said, “Because the sun shone on you while you were stretching.” And the wolf said, “I did not want to go out today, but if that is so, I will still go out.”

And he started to go through the forest. And there he met two thieves, each of whom carried a bag full of bacon. When they saw the wolf, they threw down the bacon and fled. The wolf smelled the bacon and said, “The fox was right that I would have nothing but good luck today. Just look, what nice bacon! But who would eat bacon already in the morning? Then one would be very thirsty all day long.

Then he went further and came to a meadow. There he saw a mare with a colt. And he said to the mare, “My dear mare, today I have very good luck, so I will consume your colt.” And she said to the wolf, “My dear wolf, I would like that very much, and I appreciate it very much that such a nobleman wants to consume my colt. But would you be so kind and first do me a favor? I have heard that you are an excellent doctor. A terrible splinter is stuck in my hind right leg, and I went here and there, but nobody could help me. Would you, as an excellent doctor, free me from my pain?” The wolf thought to himself, “Excellent doctor! Hm! That I did not know about myself. But the mare would not say this if there was nothing to it.” And he said. “Just show me where.” And he stepped closer. And the mare lifted her leg. And since he wanted to see it so closely, she hit him right on the head, so that he fell down unconscious. And she fled with her colt. When the wolf came to again, he was very angry that the mare had deceived him like this. But he said to himself, “Who has told you that you are an excellent doctor, when you really are not?” And he felt his head and said, “But there is, thank God, nothing broken, and the fox had said that today he would have nothing but good luck, so it will soon get better. And he felt that he was getting quite hungry.

So he tramped on further and came to a mill. There he saw a sow with her piglets. And he thought to himself “This is remarkable!” And he said to the sow, “My dear sow, today I have good luck, therefore, I will now consume your piglets.” And she said to the wolf, “My dear wolf, I would like that very much, that such a great nobleman wants to consume my piglets. But if you would be so kind, just wait a little while. You see that these piglets are so dirty and muddy, so they are not suitable for such a distinguished person. I will wash them real well for you, as is proper for such a distinguished person.”

“Distinguished person! Hm! That I also did not know about myself. But the sow would not say so if it were not so.” And he said, “Wash them off.” And he sat down on the shore. And the sow plunged into the river with her piglets and swam along closer to the mill. And before the wolf knew it, she disappeared with them through the channel. When the wolf got there, he was very angry with himself, that the piglets escaped from him, and that the sow had deceived him. But he said to himself, “Who made you think you are a distinguished person, since you really are not. Now the sow, such a dumb animal, has deceived you.” And he remembered that he was getting very hungry. “I can hold out a little while more, for the fox did say that today I would have nothing but good luck. So it should get better.”

And he went on further and came to a field. There he saw two goats who could only butt each other. And he thought to himself, “Goat meat? For that I have no appetite. But hunger is a bad enemy.” And he said to the goats, “My dear goats! Today I have nothing but good luck. Therefore, I will now consume one of you.” And they said to the wolf, “My dear wolf! We would like that very much, and we appreciate it very highly that such a great nobleman wants to consume one of us. But would you be so kind to first do us a favor? We have heard that you are a distinguished lawyer. Right now we have a strong dispute over this field. And we went here and there to get counsel, but nobody could get us on the right way. Would you be so kind, as a distinguished lawyer to decide to whom the field should belong? Sit here in the middle of the field, while both of us go to each end of the field, and the first to get back to you will be the winner. So we will find out before we die to whom the field really belongs.” The wolf would rather have consumed one of them on the spot, but he thought, “Distinguished lawyer! That I did not know about myself. But the goats would not so talk about it if it were not so.” And he said, “So go!” And he sat himself down in the middle of the field. And the goats started to run from each end of the field, and together they hit the wolf with such power that they knocked the breath out of him. And then they fled.

As the wolf, after a long time, regained his strength, he was very angry that the goats had deceived him like this. But he said to himself, “Who has told you to present yourself as a distinguished lawyer, when you really are not one?” Then he remembered that he was very hungry, and he said, “I am not going any further, even thought the fox had said that today I would have nothing but good luck. Something good might still happen to me.” And he slunk on further and came to a big open field. There he saw a whole herd of sheep with no shepherd or dogs. He thought, “This is good.” And he said to the sheep, “My dear sheep!” Today I have nothing but good luck, so now I will consume one of you.” And they said to the wolf, “My dear wolf! We would like that very much and we respect you so highly that such a great nobleman would want to consume one of us. But would you be so kind to first do us a favor? We have heard that you are a learned singer. And we have a very special concern right now as to who would be our cantor, for our best cantor has died. And we went here and there but no one could sing well enough. Would you be so kind to help us in our need?” The wolf went back and forth to see how he could give them the beat. And the sheep began to bleat in full voice, one always louder than the other. And the wolf was howling so loud that the whole town and all their dogs came running. Just as he was singing his best, someone hit him so hard, that he fell down from the hut. Now the dogs started to ruffle him, and the people started to hit and stick him with all kinds of sticks, rods and forks, so that the wolf barely escaped to a thicket where he lay wounded and beaten. But he said to himself, “Who told me to present myself as a learned cantor, when I really was not one. Now the sheep, the dumbest animals, have deceived me.” And he remembered that he was almost dying of hunger. And he said, “I still have the bacon, which makes a good evening meal.” And he went back, even though having to stop a lot, where he had chased away those two thieves. But the fox had already dragged away all of the bacon.


6. The Wounded Carries the Unwounded
(From: Schmaler in Lohsa)


It was good weather and the moon was shining brightly as the fox and the wolf went out for adventure. They came to a small well and the wolf said, “What is this?” And the fox said, “Where then?” The wolf said, “Here in the well.” The moon was shining so bright in the well as it was a full moon. And the fox said, “That is a sweet cheese.” The wolf said, “I like sweet cheese very much.” The fox said, “I don’t have any appetite for it. I have just filled myself up eating lime berries.” Then the fox said, “Just drink all the water.” And the wolf started to drink the water, while the fox hurried to get a cork for him. So he drank all the water down to the bottom of the well. But there was no sweet cheese. And they said to each other, “Someone must have taken it.”

Then they went on to a spinning room. Other youths came there and they decided to spend the evening spinning. And the fox found out that they had good sausages in the kitchen. And the wolf said to himself, “I like to eat sausages very much. O, if I only had the sausages!” But in front of the kitchen lay a strong dog on a chain, his old enemy, and it did not move from the door. Then the fox pulled the cork out of the wolf which flooded the whole room. And the water kept rising higher, so high that one had to get up on the benches. And the fox dashed to get the sausages. In the room they started to argue and complain about the wolf, till it came to a fight with him. They trashed him terribly and finally threw him out, so that he was lying in the trash. In the meantime, the fox ate up all the sausages so that he was stuffed so full that he could hardly crawl. And by the sausages there were Prussian berries. These he smeared over himself so that he looked very bloody. The wolf also was groaning and complained to the fox as to how he could get home. And the fox said, “O, ow, ow, with me it is even worse. I don’t know how I am going to get home. Can’t you see that I am bleeding?” And he started out, but always collapsed again and said, “My dear wolf, I beg you to carry me home.” And the wolf put him on his back. After they had gone a little way, the fox said softly, “The wounded carries the unwounded”. And the wolf said, “What are you whispering?” The fox said, “O, I don’t know what I am saying about my pain and misery.” So he carried him further. And as they got a bit further, the fox said softly, “The wounded carries the unwounded.” The wolf said, “What are you whispering?” The fox said, “O, I don’t know what I am saying about my pain and my misery." And after they had gone a bit further, the fox again said softly, “The wounded carries the unwounded.” But this time the wolf understood his words and got very angry. And as they were just coming to a bridge, he threw him in the ditch into water below and went on his way. But that made the fox immeasurably angry.


7. The Wolf’s Unlucky Catch of Fish
(From: Lohsa)


After that, the wolf and the fox again went around in the evening, and it was very cold. And the fox said, “I have a good fur coat, but I am still freezing.” And the wolf said, “All my life I have heard that it is warm by the young ladies. So let’s go into their spinning room.” And the fox said, “It’s OK with me.” So when they got there, the wolf started to flirt with the ladies. But the fox made himself comfortable near the stove. And he was hungry for some delicacy. And he started to sneak around here and there, but he could not smell anything. So he went out to a lake. There someone was just passing by with a load of herring. Then the fox jumped up on the wagon, opened a barrel and tossed a lot of herring out of it. Then he jumped down and ate all but one of the herring. Just as he was about to take a bite on that one, the wolf came and said, “What are you eating?” And the fox said, “Fish, do you want to taste one?” And he gave him half of the herring, which tasted very good to the wolf. And he said, “Where did you catch all those fish?” And the fox answered, “Right here in the lake.” And the wolf said, “I would also like to catch some.” And the fox said, “Just hang your tail in the water.” But the cold had set in so that it was freezing very much. After a while the wolf wanted to pull his tail out of the water. But the fox said, “Try harder!” And the wolf said, “It feels to me, that something is holding on to me.” And the fox said, “It’s still too early, that is only a small fish.” And his tail was freezing. After a long time, the wolf wanted to pull his tail out. But the fox said, “Just try harder!” And the wolf said, “It feels to me that I have caught a very large fish.” By now, his tail was almost frozen. Then the fox said, “Pull!” He could pull as hard as he wanted, but he could not get it out. And the fox said, “Brace yourself, just brace yourself. I had to brace myself also if I did not want to stay lying in the lake.” And he went on his way. The wolf pulled and pulled, and tore and tore, till his tail was torn more and more. That made him so angry that he cursed. And from that time on, he became the arch enemy of the fox.


8. The War Between the Wolf and the Fox
(From: Mrs. Scholze in Kotten)


In Brischko, Pardonja had an old cat and Nasdalak had an old dog. Pardonja said to his wife, “What shall we do with this old cat? She is not at all catching any mice anymore. You know what, I will drown her.” But she said, “Don’t do that, she will start catching mice again.” But he said, “That is idle talk! The mice could be dancing on top of her and she could not touch them. As soon as I see her, she will have to go in the water.” But that made Mrs. Pardonja very sad. The cat was lying behind the stove and heard everything. And she became very sad. Pardonja went out into the field. Then the cat stood up and meowed so pitifully. And Mrs. Pardonja quickly opened the door for her and said, “Flee, you poor animal, before ours comes back home again.” And the cat, with bowed head ran to the pine forest. When Pardonja came home, his wife said, “She ran away.” And Pardonja said, “That is her luck.” And Mrs. Pardonja said, “O, the poor animal”

And Nasdalak said to his wife, “What shall we do with this old dog? He is completely deaf and blind, and he barks when it is unnecessary and is quiet when he should be barking. You know what, I will hang him.” But Mrs. Nasdalak said, “Don’t do that, he is really not that worthless.” But he said, “That is just idle talk! The whole yard could be full of thieves and he would not let us know it. When I see him today, it’s going to be over with him.” But that made Mrs. Nasdalak very sad. But the dog was lying in the corner and heard everything. And he became very sad. And Nasdalak went out into the field. Then the dog stood up and howled so pitifully. And Mrs. Nasdalak quickly opened the door and said, “Flee, you poor animal, before ours comes home again.” And the dog, with his tail hanging low, ran to the pine forest. When Nasdalak came home, Mrs. Nasdalak said, “He has run away.” And Nasdalak said, “That is his luck!” And Mrs. Nasdalak said, “O, the poor animal!”

But it happened that the cat and the dog met in the pine forest. Before this, they had not been good friends in Brischko. But it was different in the pine forest. They sat down under a juniper tree. And they complained about their problem. That is when the fox came to them and said, “Why do you sit here and complain? That does not make any sense.” And the cat said, “I have caught many a mouse, and now, that I have come to my old days, they want to drown me.” And the dog said, “I have stayed awake many a night, and now, when my old days have come, they want to hang me.” And the fox said, “For you it is just like it is for the lordly servants. But I will help you get your jobs back. But you will have to be helpful to me in this matter.” And they said’ “Yes!” And the fox said, “The wolf has declared war against me, and is coming with the bear and the wild pig against me. And tomorrow they want to have a great battle.” And they said, “We will go together with you into the war, since it is more honorable to die at the hands of the enemy than to get killed in the pine forest.” And they shook paws on that. But the fox wanted to tell the wolf that he wanted to fight at a designated place. So they traveled there. The wolf and the bear and the pig were there first. And they waited for quite a while, but the fox, cat and dog still had not come. And the bear said, “I will climb up into the oak tree. Perhaps I could see them somewhere.” And he looked for the first time and said, “See there in the distance the scoundrels are coming. Ei! See what that one has for a spear.” That was the cat which had twirled her tail around in the air. And he made fun of them. And it was very warm, so the bear said, “It might still take them half a day to get here. I will stretch out on one of these branches. And the wolf lay down in the shade of the oak tree. The wild pig buried herself in a pile of straw, so that you could only see the tip of her ears. But then came the fox, the cat and the dog. The cat saw the ear, which just then had been stung by a mosquito, and the pig started to move. Then the cat jumped on her. And the wild pig awoke greatly frightened, grunted once and fled. The cat frightened them some more by climbing up into the spruce tree, and spitting once right in the face of the bear. And he awoke the most frightened, growled once and fell down out of the oak tree right on the wolf. And he hit him dead as a mouse and he fled.

So, as they were coming back from the war, they sang a happy song. On the way home, the fox caught half a three score of mice. As they came to Brischko, it was already very dark. The fox put the mice on Pardonja’s bake oven and said to the cat, “Now bring one mouse after another.” And the cat said, “Yes.” and brought one mouse after another. And Mrs. Pardonja said to her husband, “Just look, our cat is back again and is bringing home one mouse after another.” And Pardonja said, “I never thought that this old cat could still catch mice.” And Mrs. Pardonja said, “Don’t you see. Like I always told you that our cat is a remarkable cat? But you men always want to be right.”

And the fox and the dog came to Nasdalak who had just slaughtered their pigs that day. And the fox said, “Go back to your yard and when it gets late, start to bark with all your might.” And the dog said, “Yes.” And he started to bark with all his might. And Mrs. Nasdalak heard him first and said to her husband, “See, our dog is back again and he is barking with all his might. Get up and look in the room. Maybe thieves have come to get the sausages.” But Nasdalak answered, “That deaf rascal is just barking.” And he did not get up. Early the next morning, Mrs. Nasdalak was going to go to church in Wittichhenau. And she wanted to take some sausages to her aunt in Wittichenau. And as she came into the room she saw that all the sausages were gone, the blood sausage and the grist sausage. And there was a big hole under the threshold. And she called out, “By my soul! Here there were thieves. Husband, just come here! O, if you had only gotten up yesterday! Now all the sausages are gone, the blood sausage and the grist sausage.”

And Nasdalak scratched his head and said, “I never thought that the old dog could be so alert.” And Mrs. Nasdalak said, “Don’t you see! Didn’t I always tell you that our dog is a remarkable dog? But you men always want to be right.” The fox had dragged away all the sausages.


9. The Sleepy Woman and Her Strong Son
(From: Karolina Schmaler in Lohsa)


Once there was a man and his wife, and the wife was always very sleepy. She drove the cows out to the pasture, and there she fell asleep. When she awoke, all her cows were gone, and she never found them again. She came home, and her husband was very angry. But he again gave her some other cows. She drove the cows out to the pasture again, and went to sleep there. When she awoke, all her cows were gone, and she never found them again. She came back home, and her husband was very angry again. But he again gave her some other cows and said to her, “If you go to sleep again, it is not going to go good with you.” She drove the cows out to the pasture, and there she fell asleep again. When she awoke, she cried bitterly, and she was afraid to go home.

Then she ran to the meadow, and there a bear met her. She was very afraid of him and started to flee. But the bear changed into a man who said to her that she should go with him to cook for him. They came to a cave in the rock and she stayed to cook for him. And she bore him a son. When the bear went out, he rolled a large stone in front of the opening. But the woman really wanted to get out. She told her son that at her home he would have a much better father than here. When he was one year old, he started to try and lift the stone. And each year, he lifted it a little more. And when he was seven years old, he rolled it completely away. So they took a lot of money. And the mother told the son that they would go back to the father. And the son went along. When they came to the house, the father was very happy that he had such a strong son and so much money. The father said that early the next morning they would go out into the moor to get wood, and that he would take along a saw and an ax and the sledge hammer and everything else that he needed. The boy asked the father, “What are they for?” And the father said, “To fell the trees.” Then the boy started to pull up the trees by the roots and threw them together into a big pile. Then they rode back home. But the horses stayed standing because they could not pull the load. Then the father went home and brought two other horses. But they also could not pull the wood. And the boy started to whip the horses which killed them. Then he took ahold of the wagon by the shaft and came running home with it, and he took a whole part of the woodshed along with it. The father said to the mother, “I can’t keep the boy home anymore or everything will go to ruin.” The mother talked to the son that he might go traveling. And the son said, “Yes, but the father has to make me a staff that is as heavy as three millstones.” So he made him the staff. And he went away.

As he went on a bit further, he saw one who was so strong that he was able to break trees over his knees. And he said, “I like him.” And he asked whether he would like come with him on his travels. And he said, “Yes.” As they came a piece further, they saw one who could tie trees together at the top, and thereby, could pull up many trees at one time. And they said, “We like him.” And they asked him if he would like to go with them on their travels. And he said, “Yes.” When they came a piece further, they came upon a hill, and in the hill there was a door. And they pushed at the door till it opened. So they went into the hill, and there was a great palace and in it a nicely set table. But there was nothing to eat. Otherwise, they liked the place. But they said, “What good is this great place when we are consumed by hunger?” And they decided that each day one of them would stay home and do the cooking, while the other two would go to work and earn something. The first day, the one who had tied the treetops together stayed at home. And to him came a little man who was wonderfully dressed, and who asked, “What are you doing here?” And the man hit him very badly and told him that he had better not be seen again or it would go even worse with him. The next day, the one who had broken the trees over his knees stayed home. And as the two others went to work, the one who had been hit said that something bad had happened to him yesterday, but the one at home would first find out. And the little man came to him and said, “Does the vulture still have you here?” And he beat him so that he could barely crawl, and told him that he better not let himself be seen again, otherwise something worse would happen to him. On the third day, the one who had the staff that weighed as much as three millstones stayed at home. And as the other two went to work, the one who had been hit and the one who had been beaten said, “It went badly for both of us, but it will be worse for him.” And the little man also came to him and said, “Does the devil still have you here?” And he wanted to hit him. But he took his heavy staff and the little man was frightened and gave him a shiny sword and said that under the castle there were three more castles where a dragon held three young women captive. And that the dragon had seven heads, and that he should try to cut off the middle head, then the dragon would lose his power.

On the hill, there were two pathways, one led up to the peak, the other on the side of the hill. When the others came home to the house, they tied a water bucket to a long chain and let him down. He came to the first castle where there was a beautiful young woman crying bitterly. And she motioned him to go back or the dragon would kill him. He was not afraid, but put her in the bucket and the two others pulled them up. Then they let him down again. He got to the second castle. And there was a still more beautiful woman who was crying bitterly. And she motioned to him to go back or the dragon would kill him. But he was not afraid, and he put her in the bucket and the other two pulled them up. And they said, “Now each of us has one. But who knows whether there might be another one. He might take both of them away when he comes up. We will turn the bucket over when we are pulling him up again.” So as they pulled the bucket partly up, they dumped him out and went away. But he had filled the bucket full of stones. And he came to the third castle, where he met the most beautiful young woman who was just looking for the dragon and was crying bitterly. And she motioned to him to go back or the dragon would kill him. But he was not afraid. He first cut off the dragon’s middle head, who was spraying him with fire, so that he had no more power. Then he cut of the other six. And he took the young woman by the hand and went with her on the path that was on the side of the hill and that led to the outside. After they had gone a little farther, they reached a beautiful tree. And they sat down under it and there they went peacefully to sleep. And there they are still sleeping today, if they were not awakened again.


10. Haenschen and Hannchen
(Well Known)


Once there was a father and a mother who had a very large family of children. The father went out and bought a quarter of peas, and gave each child one pea. But there was not enough for Haenschen and Hannchen. They cried very much over this. The father said, “Be quiet and don’t cry about it. I will go out and chop wood in the forest and you can come along to look for berries. And you can pick berries as long as I am chopping wood.” He took along the mangle wood and the mangle club and hung them on a tree. To Haenschen and Hannchen he said, “Go and keep on picking berries as long as I am chopping wood.” But the wind always hit the mangle wood and the mangle club together and they thought that the father was still chopping wood. And so they continued picking berries. They had eaten so many that they could hardly bend over, and also had their buckets full. So they went to look for their father. They came to where the mangle wood and the mangle club were hanging, but the father was not there. Now they were crying very much and were running around in the forest and calling. But they found no one.

All at once they came to a ginger bread house. And they started to nibble on the pieces. Nibbling, nibbling on the house of the old witch! Then the old witch came running out of the house shouting, “Who is there?” And they quickly hid themselves, so that she could not find them. Then they kept nibbling on the house. Nibble, nibble on the house of the old witch! Then she sprang out very quickly and caught the children. She took them in and said, “Now I am going to fatten you up. And she locked them in a room and gave them some milk and bread to eat. Later, she went to see whether that had been fattened up enough. She said, “Haenschen, stick out your finger, so that I can see whether you are fattened up enough. But he stuck out his little pipe, which he had brought along from home. She made a cut in it and said, “O, you are not fat enough yet. Hannchen, stick out your finger, so that I can see whether you are fattened up enough.” But she stuck out the finger with the ring on it. The witch made a cut on it and said, “O, you are not fat enough yet.” They were so alarmed that Haenschen lost his pipe and Hannchen lost her ring. When the old witch came back again to see if they were fat enough, she said, “Haenschen stick out your finger so that I can see whether you are fat enough yet.” He stuck out his finger and the old witch made a cut on it, and the blood ran out. “Yes, yes, you are fat enough. Now I will bake you. Hannchen, stick out your finger so that I can see whether you are fat enough.” She stuck out her finger and the witch made a cut on it and the blood ran out. “Yes, yes, you are fat enough. Now I will bake you.”

She made the bake oven very hot and said, “Now sit here on the oven shovel.” They sat themselves on the shovel, once so and once so. The witch kept on telling them how to sit, but each time they fell off again and said, “We don’t know how you want us to sit. You show us how.” Then the witch sat herself on the shovel – and shove! They shoved her into the glowing bake oven so that the old witch burned up. Now they had the ginger bread house all to themselves. And they must have it to this day, if they have not sold it.


11. The Greater the Knave, the Greater the Luck
(From: The Leipzig Nowina)


Once there were three brothers. They went hunting together and brought home a rabbit. At home, each one wanted to have the rabbit for himself. And a big fight followed. So they went to bring their problem to the nobleman. But he said, “Whoever knows the biggest lie can have the rabbit. So come back tomorrow.” They came back the next day, and the first one said, “We have such a big ox, that when we take him out to the pasture, his horns reach the sky.” The second one said, “We have in our yard such a big pile of manure, that when the rooster gets up on it, he can touch the stars in the sky.” The third one said, “We have behind our barn such a big pond, that when the horse is drinking we tie a (“lab”) to his tail and we get so many cheese curds and so much whey, that the whole town in their yards have enough for seven years.” The nobleman said, “Now this one, rather than the others, is an arch lie. Here you get the rabbit.”


12. The Short Flax
(From: Auguste Schmaler in Lohsa)


Once a man set out his flax to dry. If it had been longer, this fairy tale would also be longer.


13. The Devout Singers
(From: Mrs. Girt in Hermsdorf)


It happened that the Lord Jesus and St Peter were traveling around in the world. They came to a small town, where there was beautiful singing in one of the houses. And the Lord Jesus stopped to listen. But St Peter always kept going further. When he had come to a piece further, he looked back and saw the Lord Jesus still standing there. But St Peter kept on going further. And as he had gone a piece further, he looked back and saw the Lord Jesus still standing there. But St Peter still kept on going further. And when he had gone a piece further, he looked back once more and he saw the Lord Jesus still standing there and listening. Then St Peter turned around and came back to the house where they were singing the beautiful folk songs. After they had listened for a while, they both went on and came to a different house, where they were also singing. And St Peter stopped to listen, but the Lord Jesus went on further. Then St Peter also went on and was very much wondering. Then the Lord Jesus said, “Why are you wondering so much?” And St Peter said, “I wondered so much that you stayed standing there where they were singing folk songs.” Then Jesus said, “My dear St Peter, there they sang folk songs, but with all possible devotion. Here they are singing spiritual songs, but with the least devotion.”


14. About the Poor Man Who Had so Many Children
(By: Mr. J. P. Jordan)


There once was a father and a mother who had a very large number of children. The father once went to town and bought a quart of acorns. When he came back home, he gave one to each child. One was left over which he threw into the oven. And an oak tree grew from it that reached all the way to heaven. Then the father said that he wanted to climb up on the tree. The mother said, “It is alright with me.” When he got up, he knocked on the door. The Lord Jesus said to St. Peter, “Go see who is knocking.” He went and said, “Who is there?” The man said, “I am the man who has the many children.” The Lord God said to St. Peter, “In the room there are two loaves of bread. Give them to him.” The poor man happily climbed back down and called, “Wife, open up. I have had good fortune. I am bringing two loaves of bread.” After they had consumed the bread, he said, “I would like to climb up there again.” She said, “It is alright with me.” He climbed up again and knocked on the door. The Lord God said to St. Peter, “Go see who is knocking there again.” He went and said, “Who is there?” He answered, “I am the man with the many children”. God said the St. Peter, “In the room there is a basket full of wheat bread. Give it to him.”

The poor man again happily climbed back down and called, “Wife, open up. I have had good fortune again. I have a basket full of wheat bread.” After they had consumed the bread he said, “Wife, I would like to climb up again.” She said, “That is alright with me.” So he climbed up again and knocked. The Lord God said to St. Peter, “Go see who is again knocking on the door.” He went and said, “Who is there?” The poor man answered, “I, the poor man with the many children.” St. Peter said, “It’s the poor man with the many children.” The Lord God said to St. Peter, “Behind the door, there is a very large club. Take it and hit him so hard, that he will fly from one branch to another.” St. Peter went and hit him hard. The poor man quickly climbed down and called, “Wife, open up. I met with great misfortune today. I bring along a very hard beating.”


15. Lipskulijan’s Bed
(From: K. Luschel in Hermsdorf and Von Rehor in Litschen)


There was a poor man who could hardly support himself anymore. But still there was great value on the mortgage of his house. And he had to walk with a cane. One very sad day, he went out to the meadow, where he met a little man who asked him, “Why are you so sad?” The poor man answered, “You can’t help me either.” “Who knows”, said the little man, “tell me so I can help you.” The poor man told him that he was in great need, and that it was impossible for him to pay his taxes. Then the little man said, “If you promise me what I don’t know about your house, then I will help you.” The poor man thought to himself, “That you can do. You know everything what I have in my house.” Then the little man brought out a piece of paper. And the poor man had to sign it with his blood. When this was done, the little man said, “After sixteen years, bring to me what you have promised on this paper.” And he gave him a large amount of money. After a time, the wife bore him a son. And he remembered what the devil had stipulated. And he was very sad. The boy grew up and learned very diligently, so that the father let him go away to study. When he was only fifteen years old, he had already finished his studies. And since the time had neared when he had to deliver him to the little man, The father became more despondent as time went on. The son said, “Why are you so sad, dear Father?” “O”, he said, “I have, already before you were born, promised you to the devil, and made it in writing”. And he told him the whole story. But the son said, “Don’t worry, I will get that writing back myself.” He took his sword and some holy water and went on his way.

He came to a great forest. When night overtook him, he got himself lost. After he had wandered around for a long time, he saw a light, and then a little house. When he went in, nobody was there except an old woman. He asked her about lodging. She told him that, if he valued his life, he should get on his way, because a bad robber lived there But he said that he was not afraid, and he stayed there for a while. The robber came and asked him, “Where are you going?” And he told him everything, that he was going to the devil in hell to get back his writing. So the robber didn’t do anything to him, but gave him something to eat and drink. The next morning, he asked him if he would be so kind as to ask the devil what was awaiting Lipskulijan.

When he got to hell, nobody was there except the chief devil. But he knew nothing about the writing. And he said that it did not concern him, and that he could leave in peace. Then he sprayed him with holy water, and the chief devil began to roar, so that a whole bunch of others rushed in. He asked them about the writing, but no one had it. Then he sprayed the chief devil again with the holy water, and he started to roar much more, so that more came rushing in. He asked them also about the writing, but no one had it. Then he sprayed the chief devil again with the holy water, and he started to roar terribly, so that they came in from all sides. Finally a lame one came limping in, and he had the writing. But he did not give it to him. Then the chief devil said, “Throw him on Lipskulijan’s bed.”. Then the lame devil gave it to him. After he got the writing, he asked what kind of a bed Lipskulijan was going to get. And they showed it to him. It was the kind, when he thrust his sword into it, and pulled it out again, the blade, as far as it had been thrust into the bed, was melted, because the bed was made of glowing iron.

Then he went back home again. On the way, he came to Lipskulijan, who asked whether he knew what awaited him. And he told him everything. That frightened him, and he asked whether he could still receive mercy. And he answered him, “God is merciful to every sinner if he betters himself. Flee all that is evil and pray unceasingly to God, and He will be gracious to you.” He took Lipskulijan a piece down the street, made there a small hill, planted a sprout and said, “Pray on this hill and when the sprout has apples you will know that your sins have been forgiven you.” Then he went towards home.

A long time later, when he had become a great spiritual leader, he traveled through the same forest and saw there his beautiful apples on a tree. He wanted to pick one, but as he was about to touch it, he heard a voice which said, “You did not plant me, so you will not pick my apples.” He quickly told all of this to his Lord. He went there, and as he came to the apple tree, he found a man kneeling there. And he thought about Lipskulijan, and he wanted to give him Confession. And as he forgave him his sins, Lipsklijan vanished completely into dust. And the apples, which were the souls of those whom he had murdered, also disappeared. And a white dove flew up to heaven and sang:
The little garden produced apples
My soul must now be saved.
And so he had the assurance that Lipskulijan was saved when he died.


16. The Sponsorhip of St. Mary
(From: Karl Schmahl in Lohsa)



It happened that a man went about very sad. He met a stranger that said to him, “Friend, why do you go around looking so sad.?” “Why should I not go around looking so sad?” the man answered, “I want to perform child Baptisms since I had often done it before.” “So ask me,” said the stranger,. “Then, come in the morning, my new-found friend!” As he went a little further, he met another stranger. “Friend, why do you go around looking so sad?” “Why should I not go around looking so sad,” he answered, “I want to perform child Baptisms, and nobody wants to be asked, since I had often done it before.” “So ask me,” said the stranger. Come tomorrow morning, my new-found friend!” As he had gone a piece further, he met a woman who said to him, “Friend, why do go around looking so sad?” Why should I not go around looking so sad,” he answered. “I want to perform child Baptisms, but nobody wants to be asked, since I had often done it before” “So ask me,” said the woman, “So come tomorrow, my new-found friend!”

In the morning of the next day, the devil, St. Peter and St. Mary came. As they wanted to come for the Baptisms, each one contended for the child. Finally, St. Mary got it since it was a girl. After the child’s Baptism, she said she was leaving, but, after three years, she would come to get her godchild. Three years passed, and as the designated day arrived, the mother dressed the children in their nicest clothes, and sat them according to their ages, on the oven bench. But the youngest sat herself on the baking barrel, since it was so beautiful. St. Mary came into the room and saw the group sitting on the oven bench. Starting with the first child, she asked, “Are you my godchild?” and the same way down the line. But no one answered her, till finally, someone in the back started to call out, “I am, my godmother!” St. Mary then searched around the room and found her on the baking barrel. She took the young child with her to a castle. “Here, my godchild, is our home. In the castle there are nine rooms. You will take care and clean eight of them. But you are forbidden to go into the ninth room. You may not even look through the key hole or try to open the door.”

For a long time, the godchild obeyed the command of St. Mary. But when she had gone away, she tried to think of how she could get into the forbidden room. As she was not able to do this, after trying this and that, she stuck her finger into the key hole, and behold, as she pulled it out it had turned golden. When St. Mary came home, she asked right away what she had done with her golden finger. She answered, “I was cutting beets for the young geese and I cut myself.” Then St. Mary took her out into the forest. There she sat her down in the bushes, and said, “You have been disobedient, therefore, you will not be able to speak or come back to my castle.”

But in a little while, a nobleman came by. His two dogs ran around in the forest, and all at once started to bark very much. The nobleman said to his coachman, “Go and see why the dogs are barking so much.” The coachman went out there and found in the bushes a beautiful young woman. They noticed that she could not speak, and they took her along with them. And because she was so beautiful, the nobleman took her to be his wife. But his mother would not agree to that, and became very angry about this young woman.

When the first child was born, St. Mary came back, took the child and smeared its mother’s mouth with blood. In the morning, the mother-in-law saw this and that the child was gone, and said that the mother had eaten the child, and advised the son that they should let her be burned. But since he loved his wife very much, he had no desire to do that and said that they should hold off with this. When the second child was born, St. Mary came again at night, took the child and smeared its mother’s mouth with blood. In the morning, they saw this again. And the mother-in-law said that it could not be otherwise but that she ate the child, and advised her son, that for this she should be burned. And since he loved his wife very much, he did not have any desire to do this, and said that they should hold off with this. And when the third child was born, St. Mary came again and smeared blood on its mother’s mouth. In the morning, they noticed this again, and the mother-in-law said that now it could be nothing else but that she had eaten the child. And she talked the son into heating the bake oven and let her be thrown in. But that made him very sad. After a while he went to see, and behold!, his wife was sitting in front of the oven, and on a golden stool, she was holding her youngest child in her arms, and on each side, stood one of the other two. He was amazed and was happy beyond all words. And he realized that she now could speak. So she told him everything and said that St. Mary came to her with her three children, and had led her out of the bake oven and said, “You have suffered enough for your disobedience, listen to the Lord and be responsible!” And as they wanted to burn the old mother, she talked up for her, and they forgave her. And after that, she loved her very much.

And she bore some other children, who all were very beautiful and obedient. And she let her parents, sisters and brothers know where she was, and that she would sometime send them something. Everyone liked that very much, and they were happy that it had gone so well with her.


17. Right Always Remains Right
(From: R. Schmaler in Lohsa)


There was a forester who had a son that was also a forester. He sent him to a foreign place, so that he could see things for himself and thereby learn something. He came to an inn where he met a stranger with whom he got involved in a conversation. And they told each other all kinds of things that were new, till they finally got to talk about what is right. The stranger said that, for money, something that is wrong can be changed into something that is right. The forester believed that right always remains right. The stranger said that he would bet him $300. And the forester said that he would pawn his head. The stranger was satisfied with this. And they agreed to ask a judge about this. So they went to the first one who said that it was possible to change something that is wrong to something that is right. Then they went to a second one who also said to them that it is possible to change something that is wrong into something that is right. Finally, they went to a third one, who also said, that, for money, something wrong would still let itself be turned into something that is right.

Then they went back home. And since they had been going around all day, it was late when they got to the inn. The stranger asked the forester whether he still did not believe that, for money, something wrong can be changed into something right. The forester answered that he almost believed according to the answers of the three judges, although he really did not want to believe it. Still the stranger would let him keep his head if he would give him the $300. But as they were talking about this, there came a man who talked the stranger out of doing what they had agreed on before. So he did not do this. But he took from him his eyesight by taking him through a glowing iron. And he asked if now he believed that right in the world remains right if the forester could see again.

The forester asked the innkeeper to help him get on the right way to the town. But he brought him to the way of the gallows, and then went on. When the forester got a piece further, the way ended. And he heard the clock strike eleven. He could not go any further, so he lay down in the hopes that someone would get there in the morning. After a while, he heard a rustling sound. Then someone came again, and it did not take long before a third one came. But these were three ghosts which had left their bodies at night to do all kinds of mischief. * They started to talk among each other and said, “Today is a year and a day when we were together and we talked about the costly things that we had carried out. One year is over again and it is time that we find out who among us did the worst deed. The first one said, “I took away the water from the residents of Ramula. But they could be helped if someone found out what dammed the well.” “What is that?” asked the other one. And the first one answered, “I put a huge toad on the well where the water flows out. If it is taken away, the water will flow as before.” The second one said,
“I bewitched the Princess of Sarahawin, so that her beauty vanished and she dried up down to her bones. But she could be helped again, if the silver nail which is over her bed
__________________________
* The people believed that while a man is sleeping, his spirit can leave during the night, and for a time can wander around. I was told a story about a girl who each evening set a pot of water by her bed, so that the ghost, if he wanted to have a drink, did not have to go so far, because she was afraid that he might otherwise easily get lost and that she would have to remain dead.
__________________________

sticking in a beam would be pulled out.” The third one said, “Yesterday, I took the sight away from one by using a glowing iron. It could help him, if he could use the water which is in a well below the gallows.” Then the clock struck twelve, and the ghosts quickly vanished. But the forester remembered everything that he had heard, and he was happy that he could get back the sight in his eyes.

The next morning he heard someone passing by, and asked him to send some people from the town who could tell him where the well might be. All kinds of people came to him. But nobody could show him where the well was, except finally a little woman. He let her lead him there. And as he washed his eyes, he received, on the spot, the sight in his eyes.

He asked right away about the town of Ramuls, and went there. When he arrived there, he quickly offered his advice to the town council as to how they could get back their lost water. But the council told him that enough had already been there, and the town had spent much money on them. But nobody had had any success. Therefore, they wanted nothing more to do with the matter, since everything had been in vain. But he said that he would do everything without pay, if they would only give him a few helpers. That happened. After they had dug as far as the opening was where the water had flowed before, he sent all his helpers away, and he dug by himself a little bit further. And behold! On the spring, there sat a toad as big as an oven pot. He pushed it off, and immediately the water started to flow. And before long, all the wells were filled with water. In his honor, the town erected a large tourist center and paid him much money for his work.

Then he went on further and came to Sarahawin. There he learned in a short time that the princess was very sick, and as he had heard, that no doctor could help her. But the king had promised that whoever could heal her sickness would get her as his wife. He, therefore, dressed himself very finely, and went to the kingly palace. He told them that he had come from a far-away land to help the princess. The king answered that he had hardly any hope for her, but that he would let him try. The forester said that he would get his medicine. He went away and bought all kinds of sweet things to give to the princess. He gave her the first portion, and looked for the beam in which the silver nail was imbedded. Early the next day, he came back again and gave her some of his medicine again. Then he took ahold of the nail again and pulled on it so hard that it started to move. By the afternoon, the princess felt that she was getting better. On the third day, he came back again. And after the princess had taken her medicine, he again took ahold of the beam and pulled the nail out, and put it secretly into his pocket. By noon, the princess was well enough that she wanted to eat the noon meal. And the king invited the forester to a big dinner. And they set the date when the wedding would take place. But the forester thought it necessary to first take a trip home.

After he came home, he went to the inn where he had lost his eyesight. And the stranger was also there. They started to tell each other what was new. And the forester thought about what he had heard under the gallows, and what he found out about the water, about the healing of the princess, and finally how he got his eyesight back, and he said that the stranger must now believe that what is right has to remain right in the world. The stranger was very impressed and said that he wanted to believe.

Then the forester went on and came to his princess. And they celebrated a great wedding for a whole week long. But the stranger decided also to go under the gallows. Perhaps he could also find out things like the forester did, and then he could get any princess to be his wife. He heard the clock strike eleven. And after a while, he heard a rustling. Then somebody came again, and it did not take long before the third one had come. They started to talk among each other, and one of them said, “It is never different, a year ago one came who obeyed us, so that all we had done was spoiled. Before we will tell again all that we have done, we better look into everything. So right away they started looking, and found the stranger. They tore him apart into three pieces, and hung them on the three corners of the gallows.

After the old king had died, they took the forester and made him their king. And if he has not died yet, he is ruling to this day. And he holds faithfully to it, that in his kingdom also right always remains right.


18. Deter Bernhard
(From: The Breslau Sirka Nowina)


There was once an outstanding devout nobleman by the name of Deter Bernhard. He was so devout that he could hang his clothes in the sunroom without being afraid that they would fall to the ground. He went to church every Sunday. There once he noticed the devil sitting behind the altar where he was writing down on a cowhide the names of those who were sleeping in the church. The devil had written the whole cowhide full of names.
And he started to try to stretch the cowhide with his teeth so that he could write some more names. But all at once he slipped and he hit his head on the wall behind him so that one of his teeth fell out. Deter Bernhard could not keep himself from laughing. Since he had laughed in church, the dear Lord considered this to be a great sin. When Deter Bernhard came home, he wanted to hang his clothes in the sunroom again. But these did not hold anymore, and they fell to the ground. That made him very angry, and he wanted to get back at God. So he took some bread crumbs and put them in his boots and stepped into them so that he would “trod underfoot the gift of God”. Therefore, a wagon soon took him up into the air. And, because of his malicious remark, he is still riding there to this day.



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