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 WOLF AND THE CRANE
Once upon a time . . . a wolf well known for his ferocity received his
punishment for being greedy. As he was devouring a lamb, a tiny sharp bone
stuck in his throat. And from that day on, he could swallow nothing except
sips of water, which neither soothed the pain nor appeased his hunger. Though
he tried every remedy he knew, he was unable to dislodge the bone. In despair,
he started to ask everyone he knew for help. But, scared of his awful
reputation, folk made excuses to avoid the wolf and would have nothing to do
with him. One day, from behind his barred door, the fox said: "I'm not well,
so I can't open the door, but I think you ought to have a word with the crane
down at the end of the big pond. Folk say she's the best doctor around here.
Without much hope and feeling sorry for himself, the wolf went to see the
crane. And when he got to her house, he tried his best to be pleasant.
"Mrs Crane, I'm told you're enormously clever. If you can help me, I'll
give you a rich reward!"
At first, the crane, well aware of the wolf's reputation, was alarmed,
though also proud at the idea of treating such a famous patient. And,
attracted too by the promise of a reward, she said she'd see what she could
The wolf opened wide his huge mouth. The crane shuddered at the thought of
peering inside the red jaws with their sharp fangs, but plucking up her
courage, she said: "Now, please keep your mouth wide open, or I won't be able
to remove the bone!" And she poked her long beak down the wolf's throat and
pulled out the little bone.
"There! You can close your mouth again. You'll be able to swallow whatever
you like now!" The wolf could hardly believe it. His throat was clear at last!
Highly delighted, the crane said: "See how clever I am? You didn't feel a
thing! I whipped out that nasty bone with my long beak! And as for my
reward..." The wolf interrupted with a scowl.
"Reward? What reward? You ought to be grateful that I didn't bite your head
off while it was down my throat! You should give me a reward for sparing your
Seeing the wolf's bloodshot eyes, the crane realized she was now in danger.
What more could she expect from such a wicked wolf? And she vowed that, from
then on, she'd only treat patients too harmless ever to threaten her.