Fairy Tale Friday- The Nixie Of The Millpond

This week brings the last Grimm Tale in my Grimm Tales For Young And Old book. Please feel free to check out my other reviews of the fairy tales on this link HERE. The last fairy tale is The Nixie Of The Millpond, which I have to admit, I hadn’t read before now! As usual, Grimm didn’t let me down with their strange little tales.

The story centres around a miller who was very poor. One day a Nixie appeared to him, out of the water of the pond. She promised that he’d never want for anything, if he promised her what had just been born in his house.. Thinking it might be a kitten or puppy, the miller agreed. When the miller returned home, he found his wife cradling a newborn baby. The miller was petrified that his son would be taken away from him, so he made sure his son never went near the water, telling him that a hand would take him underneath. Way to freak out your child, hey?!

Years later, the boy had become a hunter. He got married and everything seemed to be going well, both with his career and his life as he got married. One day, a strong deer was being particularly tough to chase. The hunter was determied to get it and finally brought it down. The hunter went into the millpond to freshen up. The hunter was dragged down into the millpond by the Nixie.

The hunter’s wife searched everywhere for him- except the millpond. Exhausted, she fell asleep. She dreamt of climbing a mountain and finding an old woman. When the hunter’s wife woke up, she climbed the mountain that was in her dreams and found the old woman. The old woman gave her a golden comb and told her that she had to comb her hair by the millpond whilst thinking of her husband and then put the comb down. The hunter’s wife did as she was told. The Nixie stole the golden comb and the hunter’s head appeared from the millpond. The hunter’s wife returned to the old woman of the mountain. She gave her a golden flute and told her to do the same. Trusting the old woman, the hunter’s wife gave it a go. After playing the flute she left it on the side and the Nixie stole it. Half of the hunter’s body appeared. The next time, the hunter’s wife got given a golden spinning wheel. Once again, the Nixie stole the object. This time, the hunter completely emerged from the water. He grabbed his wife’s hand and they tried to escape. The Nixie tried to drown them, but the old woman of the mountain turned them into a frog and a toad. When on dry land, they regained their human form, but they were far apart from one another.

More time passed and both the hunter and his wife were shepherds. They were unexpectedly reconciliated whilst tending their heards. The man was playing a flute and it was the song his wife had played him whilst in the millpond.

I really think this was a great fairy tale to finish the collection with. It was interesting, slightly weird but wonderful!

Next week I start my journey into Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales!

 

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Fairy Tale Friday- The Goose Girl At The Spring

This week’s Grimm Fairy Tale is The Goose Girl At The Spring. 

It centres around an old woman who raised geese in the mountains. One day, she persuaded a count to carry her heavy burder up the mountain for her. He was incredibly tired, but she would not let him rest. When the reached a hut, there was an ugly girl looking after the old woman’s geese. The old woman said the count couldn’t stay together otherwise he might fall in love with her. As a thank you for carrying her burden, the old woman gave him a box cut out of emerald.

The count wandered the woods for three days before reaching a town where a king and queen reigned. He showed them the emerald box and to his surprise, the queen collapsed. The count was seized and taken to the dungeon. As the queen woke, she demanded that she speak to the count. She explained that her daughter was a beautiful girl who wept pearls and jewels. One day, when her dad asked his daughters how much they loved him, the youngest said ‘like salt’. The king divided his kingdom between his two other daughters and sent the youngest one packing with only a sack of salt. The king later regretted his actions, but the girl was never seen again. When the queen had opened the emerald box, a pearl just like her daughter’s tears was inside it. The count told the king and queen where he had got the box from. The king and queen decided that they needed to speak to the old woman.

In the mountains, the ugly girl washed in the spring at night. She became incredibly beautiful by night, but ugly when moonlight was hidden. When she returned to the hut, she came across the old woman who told her she could no longer live with her. The girl was upset. The count had gone with the king and queen, but had got separated at some point. He observed what had happened to the girl. He told the king and the queen. Once the king and queen had met the old woman, she told them that they could’ve spared themselve the heartache and the travel up the mountain if they had not been so unkind to their daughter. The old woman took the king and queen to their daughter. They wept as they were reunited. When the old woman disappeared, the hut became a castle. The count married the youngest daughter!

It’s always a shock when the Grimm tale isn’t quite as grim as usual! I really enjoyed this fairy tale though. I felt it had a moral!

Last Grimm Fairy Tale- The Nixie of The Millpond

 

Fairy Tale Friday-The Moon

This week’s Fairy Tale is a Grimm tale called The Moon. 

The story centres around a land in which the nights were always dark because the moon never rose and stars never shone in the night sky. Some men went out of this land to travel. They ended up in another kingdom where when night fell, a shining globe was place on an oak tree which shed light for the kingdom. It meant that everything could be seen easily, even if it was not as good as the sun. The men wondered what it could be. They asked a countryman what it was and he explained that it was their moon. Their Mayor had bought it and fastened it to the oak tree. The mayor had to pour oil into it daily and it had to be kept clean so that it always burned clearly.

Once the countryman had left, the men decided that they needed to use this lamp so that their land could have some light. The men hatched a plan to steal the moon. Once successful, they took the moon back to their land and everything was lit up at night. The men took care to keep the moon provided with oil.  Years later when one of the men was gravely ill, he insisted that when he died some of the moon should be his property and buried with him. Each time one of the men died, a piece of the moon was buried with them. The light began to dim little by little.

The pieces of moon united together in the world below. The dead became restless and awoke. They were guided by the moonlight. They had a great time in the world below. Saint Peter, who guards the gate of heaven, thought the lower world had completely revolted. He rode down to the world below, made them lie down in their graves and took the moon to hang it in heaven.

 

This really was a strange little fairy tale, but it was interesting. It felt very different to the other Grimm Tales.

Next Fairy Tale- The Goose Girl At The Spring

 

Fairy Tale Friday- Strong Hans

This week’s Fairy Tale is Strong Hans. I have to say, I’m getting a little muddled with all the fairy tales with Hans and Heinz! They all seem to be merging into one in my mind!

Strong Hans starts with a family living alone in a valley. One day, they were out gathering wood when some robbers came out of nowhere. They took Hans and his mother away. The mother pleaded to be let free with her son. The robbers told the woman that they wouldn’t hurt her and if she tidied up and did her duties then she would be kept alive. This, of course, being the better option was exactly what she did.

As Hans grew, he became more inquisitve about who his father was. His mother didn’t want to answer, because she believed that Hans would run away to find his father and get hurt in the process. Hans decided he’d be brave and ask the top robber who his father was. He threatened the robber, but ended up getting hurt himself! Hans wasn’t put off though. He was determined to try again.

When Hans did try again, Hans was able to get up and fight back-doing lots of damage! His mother, staying in the background, helped Hans grab some goodies and they escaped together. They were surprised to see the sun as the place where they lived was underground. Hans and his mother walked to the house where they used to live. The father was still there, he was sure that they were dead, so was made up that they were back. The family used the loot from the robbers to make a new house and buy some wonderful things. After a while, Hans had itchy feet and wanted to explore.

Hans came across a  man twisting rope around a pine tree. Hans was immediately impressed and invited the man on his journey. He named him Fir-twister. Fir-twister and Hans came across another man who was standing by a huge rock knocking bits of it away with his fist. Hans invited him along on the journey too, naming him Rock-splitter. The three walked until they came to a deserted castle. They stayed there all night. The three men were taken by the castle and decided that they’d stay for for a while. Two men would hunt whilst the others would look after the castle.

Whilst Fir-twister and Rock-splitter were looking after the castle they got attacked by a little man who wanted meat from them. Both men didn’t say anything about what had happened to them. When Hans stayed at the castle, he gave some meat to the little man. However, the little man got greedy and kept asking for more. Hans eventually said no. The little man tried to beat up Hans, but Hans was stronger. The little man ran away. Hans decided to follow him. The man went to a hole in the rock. Hans marked where the little man had gone to. He told his friends what had happened with the little man and the friends admitted that they were attacked by him.  Hans said it was because they weren’t kind!

When they went into the little rock, they found the little man in there with a maiden who was chained up. Hans used a club to deliver a blow to the little man that killed him. The maiden was released and it was found out that she was a princess who had been stolen and imprisoned in the rock.

The little man went into a hole in the rock. Hans marked the spot. He told the other two what had happened and they admitted that the little man had beat the crap out of both of them. Hans told them it was their fault for being so stingy. They took a basket and rope and went to the hole. Hans let his club down first, then Hans went down. He found a door and inside was a maiden, but the dwarf was there grinning like a sea-cat. The maiden was chained and sad. Hans used his club to deliver a blow to the dwarf that killed him.

The maiden’s chains released when the dwarf was dead. She told him she was the daughter of a king and that she had been stolen and imprisoned here. Hans helped with her return to safety and obviously…he married her!

This fairy tale felt different to the others but I enjoyed it! If only I could make sense of all the Hans fairy tales that I’ve read from Grimm!

Next Fairy Tale- The Moon

Fairy Tale Friday- Iron Hans

This week’s Fairy Tale is Iron Hans. The story begins with the King sending a hunstman into the forest. The huntsman never returns. The King decides to send more and more men into the forest- they never return. It is then that the King decides that the woods are dangerous and he puts them off-limits to everyone.

A few years later, a man with a dog hears of the woods and is curious. He wonders if he might be able to solve the mystery and asks if he might be able to go and discover the fate of the men. The King agrees, so the man and his dog go into the forest. As they come across a lake, the dog is dragged underneath by a giant hand (Ew!) The man returns to the forest with a group of men. They empty the lake and find a naked man with skin like rust. They capture the man and take him to the King. The King locks the man up in the courtyard and tells everyone they must only look at the man and never set him free or they will face the death penalty.

The King had a young son.He was playing in the courtyard near the man (Iron Hans). He loses control of his ball which rolls into the cage where Iron Hans is kept. Iron Hans picks it up and tells the boy he will only return the ball when the young Prince sets him free. At first, the Prince refuses, he knows he’s not allowed to let the man free. Iron Hans tells the Prince where he will find the key (under the Queen’s pillow). The Prince decides he really wants his ball back so he manages to get the key and release the man. The Prince is terrified that he will be killed for releasing Iron Hans, so Iron Hans puts the Prince on his shoulders and sets off into the forest once more.

As the story progresses, we find out that Iron Hans has many treasures he is huarding. He tells the Prince to watch over his well, but not to let anything drop into it or it will turn to gold. The Prince listens at first, but then begins to play, resulting in things dropping into the well and turning into gold. Iron Hans gives the Prince three chances, but unfortunately things keep dropping in, including the Prince’s hair. Iron Hans is disappointed that the Prince didn’t listen. He sends the Prince away to a life of real poverty. Although, he tells the Prince that if he ever needs him to shout out his name as he will return.

The Prince ends up working for the King and impresses the King under the disguise of a knight with the help of Iron Hans aiding him. He gets Iron Hans to turn him into a knight, completes the task that the King has set and then goes back to his position as farmhand. The King offers his daughter’s hand in marriage to any knight who can catch a golden apple. Again, the Prince calls in Iron Hans to help him. Eventually the King pins down that it was the Prince (who was working on the farm) that was completing all of the tasks. Instead of working on the farm, he becomes a Prince once more and marries the Princess. He is reunited with his family. Iron Hans comes to the wedding, but he has also had a transformation. He no longer has iron skin or a wild look about him. He tells the Prince that he was under enchantment, waiting for someone worthy to release him. As the Prince always went back to working on the farm even though he had the opportunity for better things, it was enough to set Iron Hans free!

I thought this was a great fairy tale. I really liked the almost moral-like ending to it. It was almost Beauty and The Beast without the romance!

Next Fairy Tale- Mount Simeli

Fairy Tale Friday-The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces

This week’s Fairy Tale is The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces, this story is also known as Twelve Dancing Princesses. It was a fairy normal tale for Grimms! It didn’t have any violence or complete strangeness which was a change, compared to some of the fairy tales that I’ve read recently!

It centres around the king who has twelve daughters. Each night, their shoes are absolutely ruined. The king wants to find out why, so he promises anyone can marry one of his daughters if they can find out why the shoes are ruined every single night. Several men took up the challenge and failed (because the daughters were being very crafty!) One day a soldier comes along and is warned by an old woman not to take the winen they gave him before sleep. It turns out that they were giving the men a sleeping draught so they could carry on with what they were doing…The old woman also gave the solider and invisibility cloak so he could follow them without them finding out!

The soldier pretends to drink the wine and uses the cloak to follow the princesses. It turns out that theres a magical stairway underneath the bed of the eldest princess. The princesses (and the soldier incognito) are led to three forests with trees made of precious materials (the soldier snaps off a piece as evidence of where he’s been). They finally come to a lake where there are twelve boats with twelve princes. Each princess gets in the boat with a prince and they row to a dance floor. The princesses dance the night away. This happens on three consecutive nights.

After three nights, the soldier is asked what is going on. He shows the three branches to the king and explains exactly what is happening every night. The king is thrilled that he knows what’s going on. He allows the soldier to pick a princess to marry!

Next Fairy Tale- Iron Hans

Fairy Tale Friday- The Donkey Cabbage

I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect from this story from reading the title! I’ve learnt to expect the unexpected when it comes to Grimm Fairy Tales!

The Donkey Cabbage starts with a huntsman helping an old woman. The woman tells him to go to a tree where nine birds were fighting over a cloak. She tells the huntsman that if he shot among them, one would die and they would drop the cloak that they were fighting over. The cloak was special. It was a wishing cloak. To make things even better, if he swallowed the heart of the dead bird, he would find money underneath his pillow every morning. This totally came true for the huntsman. He decided to go out and see the world.

The huntsman came across a castle where an old witch lived with her beautiful daughter. The witch knew about the heart and the cloack and encouraged her daughter to steal both things. A drink was given to the hunstman which made him bring up the bird’s heart. The daughter then swallowed it, gaining all the luck that the huntsman once had. She needed to have the wishing cloak too, so she asked the huntsman to wish them to the Garnet Mountain. Whilst they were there, they settled down to sleep, this gave the daughter the opportunity to steal the wishing cloak, which she did. She wished herself home.

The huntsman was found by three giants, who talked about killing him. The third giant said a cloud would take him away. The huntsman travelled on the cloud which took him to a cabbage garden. The huntsman was starving by now, so decided to eat some cabbage. The cabbage turned him into a donkey. Whilst exploring another part of the cabbage garden, he ate some more, which turned him back into a man. The huntsman took both types of cabbage and travelled back to the castle. The huntsman told the witch that he was a royal messenger with a misson to get the finest cabbage for the King but he was a little worried that the cabbages would wither. The witch, of course, wanted the cabbage for herself. The huntsman gladly gave her some cabbage, which she then passed on to her maid and her daughter. They all turned into donkeys. The huntman sold all of the donkeys to a miller, telling him to beat them and to limit their meals, except for the younger cabbage which was the daughter.

Later on, the huntsman visited the donkeys and found the oldest one (the witch) was dead. The other two were incredibly sad. The huntsman gave them the cabbage which would turn them back into humans. The witch’s daughter said she would give back the wishing cloak and the bird’s heart, but the huntsman said there would be no need if she married him. So she did!

I did enjoy reading this strange little tale. It really did feel like a story with two parts. The cabbage bit and the bird heart. It made sense though together, even though it really shouldn’t have done so! I’ve come to expect strange things…

Next Fairy Tale- One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes