Karl Wiener

Mother Holle

 This fairy tale is an adaptation of an old story, handed down for centuries from generation to generation and retold by the Grimm Brothers about 150 years ago. I freed it from some obsolete parts like the malicious stepmother, the lazy stepsister etc., which wouldn’t be understood by my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 


       In a tiny little house there lived a little girl. She was not only beautiful, but also helpful to her mother. She set the table, washed up the dishes and made herself useful elsewhere. One day, when the girl was already a little bit older, the mother handed her a basket and some money and sent her to the baker’s  as to buy bread. Furthermore she instructed her to buy some apples at the greengrocer's and admonished her for being cautious, not running onto the roadway and taking care of the money. But in the street there was so much to see, that the girl forgot her mother’s admonitions, and when she arrived at the baker’s, she had lost the money. Without money she couldn’t buy bread. So the girl was very sad and began to seek for the lost money, for she didn’t want to disappoint her mother. The search was very hard, and finally the girl was so tired that she had to sit on a bench for rest. There she fell asleep and dreamt:


……She skips about over a green meadow, the sun was shining and many thousands of flowers are showing their blossoms. Marching forward, she comes to an oven that is full of bread. The breads, however, shout: "Oh, take us out, take us out, we altogether will burn, for we already baked for a long time". The girl comes up, and pulls all the bread loaves out of the oven. After that she goes on and comes to an apple tree, that hangs full with apples. The apples shout: "Oh, shake us, shake us, we apples are altogether ripe" So the girl shakes the tree until the apples fall like rain, and shakes again until there is no more on top. When the girl has gathered them into a heap, she goes on again. Finally, she arrives at a small house. An old woman looks out of the window, and although the woman has a friendly smile, the girl is afraid and wants to run away. But the old woman calls after him: "What are you afraid, my dear? I am Mother Holle. Stay with me, and if you’ll do all the work in the house properly, so it should go well for you. Every morning you have to give a shake to my quilts so that the feathers fly. They fall down onto the earth as snow, and all the children are happy because they can build snowmen and ride the toboggan. As the old woman speaks so kindly, the girl plucks up courage and consents. She does so as Mother Holle instructed her to do. Every morning she gives the quilts a shake, as to make fly the feathers like snowflakes.

         When the girl has stayed for a time with Mother Holle, she becomes sad with homesickness and she says to Mother Holle: "I‘ve got it made with you, but I can not stay any longer, I must return home to my mother". Mother Holle replies, "I’m so pleased that you want to go home to your mother, and because you've helped me so hard, I’ll reward you". She takes the girl by the hand and leads her to a large gate. The gate opens, and when the girl is standing just beneath it, the money that seemed lost falls down at her feet, so that she would have almost stumbled over it. "This you shall have because you have been so busy," Mother Holle says, and handed her over the basket, which she has kept meanwhile. Then the door is locked....


       The girl picked up the money and ran quickly to the bakery. There she bought some bread and at the greengrocer's she bought some apples and hurried back home as to bring her purchase to her mother. Since then, the child knows when snow is falling from the sky, that Mother Holle gives her quilts a shake.



All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Karl Wiener.
Published on e-Stories.org on 02/27/2010.


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