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Colouring Book: Rumpelstilzchen
by the Grimm Brothers
Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful
daughter. Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the king,
and in order to make himself appear important he said to him, "I
have a daughter who can spin straw into gold."
The king said to the miller, "That is an art which pleases me
well, if your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her
to-morrow to my palace, and I will put her to the test."
And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room which
was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and
said, "Now set to work, and if by tomorrow morning early you have
not spun this straw into gold during the night, you must die."
Thereupon he himself locked up the room, and left her in it alone.
So there sat the poor miller's daughter, and for the life of her
could not tell what to do, she had no idea how straw could be spun
into gold, and she grew more and more frightened, until at last
she began to weep.
But all at once the door opened, and in came a little man, and
said, "Good evening, mistress miller, why are you crying so."
"Alas," answered the girl, "I have to spin straw into gold, and I
do not know how to do it."
"What will you give me," said the manikin, "if I do it for you."
"My necklace," said the girl.
The little man took the necklace, seated himself in front of the
wheel, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three turns, and the reel was
full, then he put another on, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three times
round, and the second was full too. And so it went on until the
morning, when all the straw was spun, and all the reels were full
By daybreak the king was already there, and when he saw the gold
he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more
greedy. He had the miller's daughter taken into another room full
of straw, which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that
also in one night if she valued her life.
The girl knew not how to help herself, and was crying, when the
door opened again, and the little man appeared, and said, "What
will you give me if I spin that straw into gold for you?"
"The ring on my finger," answered the girl.
The little man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, and
by morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold.
The king rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had
not gold enough, and he had the miller's daughter taken into a
still larger room full of straw, and said, "You must spin this,
too, in the course of this night, but if you succeed, you shall be
"Even if she be a miller's daughter," thought he, "I could not
find a richer wife in the whole world."
When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third time,
and said, "What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this
"I have nothing left that I could give," answered the girl.
"Then promise me, if you should become queen, to give me your
"Who knows whether that will ever happen," thought the miller's
daughter, and, not knowing how else to help herself in this
strait, she promised the manikin what he wanted, and for that he
once more spun the straw into gold.
And when the king came in the morning, and found all as he had
wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's daughter
became a queen.
A year after, she brought a beautiful child into the world, and
she never gave a thought to the manikin. But suddenly he came into
her room, and said, "Now give me what you promised."
The queen was horror-struck, and offered the manikin all the
riches of the kingdom if he would leave her the child. But the
manikin said, "No, something alive is dearer to me than all the
treasures in the world."
Then the queen began to lament and cry, so that the manikin pitied
her. "I will give you three days, time, said he, if by that time
you find out my name, then shall you keep your child."
So the queen thought the whole night of all the names that she had
ever heard, and she sent a messenger over the country to inquire,
far and wide, for any other names that there might be.
When the manikin came the next day, she began with Caspar,
Melchior, Balthazar, and said all the names she knew, one after
another, but to every one the little man said, "That is not my
On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighborhood as to
the names of the people there, and she repeated to the manikin the
most uncommon and curious, "Perhaps your name is Shortribs, or
Sheepshanks, or Laceleg?" but he always answered, "That
is not my name."
On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, "I have
not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high
mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid
each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the
house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a
ridiculous little man was jumping, he hopped upon one leg, and
'Today I bake, tomorrow brew,
The next I'll have the young queen's child.
Ha, glad am I that no one knew
That Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.'"
You may imagine how glad the queen was when she heard the name.
And when soon afterwards the little man came in, and asked, "Now,
mistress queen, what is my name," at first she said, "Is your name
"Is your name Harry?"
"Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?"
"The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that," cried
the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep
into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he
pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore
himself in two.