The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales |
This collection of "classics" certainly is a departure from the Disney versions. The tales are mostly very dark and pessimistic, as originally recorded by the Brothers. For the more "colourful" children's stories it is better to buy the specific tales from the bookstore instead of a collective book.
This story is available in the following languages
THE WITCH IN THE TOWER
Once upon a time... people in the Japanese city of Kyoto were terribly
afraid; they shook with fear. A fierce witch had taken possession of the tower
over the city gate which she opened and closed whenever she felt like it. She
was capable of locking the gate in the face of travellers bringing food and
merchandise, or throwing it wide open to savage tribes from the north. Many
brave Samurai, the strongest and best fighters, had faced up to the witch, but
the minute she set eyes on them, she hurled herself out of the tower, hair
flying in the wind, screeching furiously and brandishing a fiery sword.
Attacking them one by one, she left them lying dead in the dust. No, there was
no hope for the city of Kyoto, and many people began to think of leaving it.
The folk were murmuring,
"All our Samurai are dead. If only Watanabi were still here, the bravest
of them all! But all that remains is his sword, and there's no one able to use
However, the sword was not all that remained of valiant Watanabi, there was
also his son, a young boy. On hearing what the citizens were saying, he
"My father has gone, he died fighting, but we still have his sword. I shall
take it and face the witch. Win or die, I shall be a credit to my father's
memory." So the boy bravely armed himself and went off to the tower. The witch
saw him arrive and she grinned, but did not make a move. She wouldn't even
bother using her fiery sword on that snivelling youngster, she would wither
him with a glance. So she paid little heed to Watanabi's son as he quietly
crept into the tower, climbed the stairs without makining the slightest sound
and entered the witch's room. When, however, the witch heard the door close,
she turned round and laid her wild burning gaze on the boy but the splendour
of Watanabi's sword blinded her.
"This is Watanabi's sword!" shouted the young boy, and before the witch
could defend herself, he struck a blow and ended her life. In his father's
memory and in honour of his sword, the boy had freed the city of Kyoto.