and Fairy Tales: The Miller's Daughter to Puss-in-Boots.
The Miller's Daughter
by Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809­p;1892
I see the wealthy miller yet,
His double chin, his portly size,
And who that knew him could forget
The busy wrinkles round his eyes?
The slow wise smile that, round about
His dusty forehead drily curl'd,
Seem'd half-within and half-without,
And full of dealings with the world?
In yonder chair I see him sit,
Three fingers round the old silver cup­p;
I see his gray eyes twinkle yet
At his own jest­p;gray eyes lit up
With summer lightnings of a soul
So full of summer warmth, so glad,
So healthy, sound, and clear and whole,
His memory scarce can make me sad.
Yet fill my glass: give me one kiss:
My own sweet Alice, we must die.
There's somewhat in this world amiss
Shall be unriddled by and by.
There's somewhat flows to us in life,
But more is taken quite away.
Pray, Alice, pray, my darling wife,
That we may die the self-same day.
Have I not found a happy earth?
I least should breathe a thought of pain.
Would God renew me from my birth
I'd almost live my life again.
So sweet it seems with thee to walk,
And once again to woo thee mine­p;
It seems in after-dinner talk
Across the walnuts and the wine­p;
To be the long and listless boy
Late-left an orphan of the squire,
Where this old mansion mounted high
Looks down upon the village spire:
For even here, where I and you
Have lived and loved alone so long,
Each morn my sleep was broken thro'
By some wild skylark's matin song.
And oft I heard the tender dove
In firry woodlands making moan;
But ere I saw your eyes, my love,
I had no motion of my own.
For scarce my life with fancy play'd
Before I dream'd that pleasant dream­p;
Still hither thither idly sway'd
Like those long mosses in the stream.
Or from the bridge I lean'd to hear
The milldam rushing down with noise,
And see the minnows everywhere
In crystal eddies glance and poise,
The tall flag-flowers when they sprung
Below the range of stepping-stones,
Or those three chestnuts near, that hung
In masses thick with milky cones.
But, Alice, what an hour was that,
When after roving in the woods
('Twas April then), I came and sat
Below the chestnuts, when their buds
Were glistening to the breezy blue;
And on the slope, an absent fool,
I cast me down, nor thought of you,
But angled in the higher pool.
A love-song I had somewhere read,
An echo from a measured strain,
Beat time to nothing in my head
From some odd corner of the brain.
It haunted me, the morning long,
With weary sameness in the rhymes,
The phantom of a silent song,
That went and came a thousand times.
Then leapt a trout. In lazy mood
I watch'd the little circles die;
They past into the level flood,
And there a vision caught my eye;
The reflex of a beauteous form,
A glowing arm, a gleaming neck,
As when a sunbeam wavers warm
Within the dark and dimpled beck.
For you remember, you had set,
That morning, on the casement-edge
A long green box of mignonette,
And you were leaning from the ledge
And when I raised my eyes, above
They met with two so full and bright­p;
Such eyes! I swear to you, my love,
That these have never lost their light.
I loved, and love dispell'd the fear
That I should die an early death:
For love possess'd the atmosphere,
And fill'd the breast with purer breath.
My mother thought, what ails the boy?
For I was alter'd, and began
To move about the house with joy,
And with the certain step of man.
I loved the brimming wave that swam
Thro' quiet meadows round the mill,
The sleepy pool above the dam,
The pool beneath it never still,
The meal-sacks on the whiten'd floor,
The dark round of the dripping wheel,
The very air about the door
Made misty with the floating meal.
And oft in ramblings on the wold,
When April nights began to blow,
And April's crescent glimmer'd cold,
I saw the village lights below;
I knew your taper far away,
And full at heart of trembling hope,
From off the wold I came, and lay
Upon the freshly-flower'd slope.
The deep brook groan'd beneath the mill;
And 'by that lamp,' I thought, 'she sits!'
The white chalk-quarry from the hill
Gleam'd to the flying moon by fits.
'O that I were beside her now!
O will she answer if I call?
O would she give me vow for vow,
Sweet Alice, if I told her all?'
Sometimes I saw you sit and spin;
And, in the pauses of the wind,
Sometimes I heard you sing within;
Sometimes your shadow cross'd the blind.
At last you rose and moved the light,
And the long shadow of the chair
Flitted across into the night,
And all the casement darken'd there.
But when at last I dared to speak,
The lanes, you know, were white with may,
Your ripe lips moved not, but your cheek
Flush'd like the coming of the day;
And so it was­p;half-sly, half-shy,
You would, and would not, little one!
Although I pleaded tenderly,
And you and I were all alone.
And slowly was my mother brought
To yield consent to my desire:
She wish'd me happy, but she thought
I might have look'd a little higher;
And I was young­p;too young to wed:
'Yet must I love her for your sake;
Go fetch your Alice here,' she said:
Her eyelid quiver'd as she spake.
And down I went to fetch my bride:
But, Alice, you were ill at ease;
This dress and that by turns you tried,
Too fearful that you should not please.
I loved you better for your fears,
I knew you could not look but well;
And dews, that would have fall'n in tears,
I kiss'd away before they fell.
I watch'd the little flutterings,
The doubt my mother would not see;
She spoke at large of many things,
And at the last she spoke of me;
And turning look'd upon your face,
As near this door you sat apart,
And rose, and, with a silent grace
Approaching, press'd you heart to heart.
Ah, well­p;but sing the foolish song
I gave you, Alice, on the day
When, arm in arm, we went along,
A pensive pair, and you were gay
With bridal flowers­p;that I may seem,
As in the nights of old, to lie
Beside the mill-wheel in the stream,
While those full chestnuts whisper by.
It is the miller's daughter,
And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That I would be the jewel
That trembles in her ear:
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I'd touch her neck so warm and white.
And I would be the girdle
About her dainty dainty waist,
And her heart would beat against me,
In sorrow and in rest:
And I should know if it beat right,
I'd clasp it round so close and tight.
And I would be the necklace,
And all day long to fall and rise
Upon her balmy bosom,
With her laughter or her sighs,
And I would lie so light, so light,
I scarce should be unclasp'd at night.
A trifle, sweet! which true love spells­p;
True love interprets­p;right alone.
His light upon the letter dwells,
For all the spirit is his own.
So, if I waste words now, in truth
You must blame Love. His early rage
Had force to make me rhyme in youth,
And makes me talk too much in age.
And now those vivid hours are gone,
Like mine own life to me thou art,
Where Past and Present, wound in one,
Do make a garland for the heart:
So sing that other song I made,
Half-anger'd with my happy lot,
The day, when in the chestnut shade
I found the blue Forget-me-not.
Love that hath us in the net,
Can he pass, and we forget?
Many suns arise and set.
Many a chance the years beget.
Love the gift is Love the debt.
Love is hurt with jar and fret.
Love is made a vague regret.
Eyes with idle tears are wet.
Idle habit links us yet.
What is love? for we forget:
Ah, no! no!
Look thro' mine eyes with thine. True wife,
Round my true heart thine arms entwine
My other dearer life in life,
Look thro' my very soul with thine!
Untouch'd with any shade of years,
May those kind eyes for ever dwell!
They have not shed a many tears,
Dear eyes, since first I knew them well.
Yet tears they shed: they had their part
Of sorrow: for when time was ripe,
The still affection of the heart
Became an outward breathing type,
That into stillness past again,
And left a want unknown before;
Although the loss had brought us pain,
That loss but made us love the more,
With farther lookings on. The kiss,
The woven arms, seem but to be
Weak symbols of the settled bliss,
The comfort, I have found in thee:
But that God bless thee, dear­p;who wrought
Two spirits to one equal mind­p;
With blessings beyond hope or thought,
With blessings which no words can find.
Arise, and let us wander forth,
To yon old mill across the wolds;
For look, the sunset, south and north,
Winds all the vale in rosy folds,
And fires your narrow casement glass,
Touching the sullen pool below:
On the chalk-hill the bearded grass
Is dry and dewless. Let us go.
One Version of the "Jolly Miller."
There was a jolly miller once,
Who lived up the River Dee,
He worked and sang from morn till night,
No better life had he.
One day when he was dressing his millstone,
He spied a flea upon his stone,
So he crushed his bones upon the stone,
And there he let him be.
Western Pennsylvania's children's version of the "Jolly Miller."
Poor Miller's Apprentice-Pretty Miller's Daughter
Die schöne Müllerin (The Fair Maid of the Mill) (1823)
by Franz-Peter Schubert
To travel is the miller's joy,
He must be a bad miller
Who never had an urge to travel,
From the water we have learnt it,
From the water,
That never rests by day or night
And is always on the move,
We learn it from the mill-wheels too,
Which cannot bear to keep still
And never get tired of turning,
Even the mill-stones, heavy as they are,
They join in the merry dance
And even long to move faster,
O travel, travel, my delight!
O good master, o good mistress
Permit me to go on in peace
2 . Whither ?
I heard a brooklet rushing
Out of its rocky spring,
Rushing down to the valley,
So clear and sparkling.
I know not what happened to me,
Nor who gave me such advice,
But, I too, had to follow
With my walking-staff.
Downward and ever onward,
And ever following the brook
And ever fresher and brighter
The brook went on rippling.
Is that, then, my road?
O brook, tell me, whither?
With your rippling you have
Quite bemused my mind.
Rippling do I say?
That is surely no rippling:
It must be the water-sprites singing,
And dancing deep down below.
Let them sing, Friend, let them murmur
And wander gaily on!
There are mill-wheels turning
In every crystal-clear brook.
I see a mill gleaming
Among the alders:
Through the rushing and singing
The rumble of the wheels breaks through.
O welcome, welcome,
Sweet song of the mill!
And the mill-house is so cosy
And how the windows gleam.
And the sun, how brightly
It shines down from the sky!
O brook, dear little brook,
Was this what you meant?
4. Thanksgiving to the brook
Was this what you meant,
My rippling friend?
Your singing, your gushing,
Was this what it meant?
"Go to the maid of the mill",
It seemed to say.
Have I understood you aright?
"To the maid of the mill!"
Did she send you?
Or have you bewitched me?
That, I would like to know:
Did she send you?
However it may be,
I am content:
What I sought, I have found
However it may be.
I asked for work,
And I have it in plenty
For both hands and heart,
5. After the Day's Work
O that I had a thousand
arms to use!
That I could furiously
Guide the wheels!
O that I had breath
To blow through every grove!
That I could turn
All the stones!
So that the lovely mill-girl
Would notice my faithful heart!
Alas, how weak my arms are!
What I can lift, what I can carry,
What I can saw, what I can fell,
Every apprentice can do the same.
And there I sit with the whole company,
In the quiet cool hours of rest,
And the Master says to all:
"I am pleased with your work!"
And the lovely maiden bids
A good night to one and all.
6. The Eager Questioner
I ask it of no flower,
I ask it of no star,
None of them could tell me
What I so long to know.
I am no gardener, alas
And the stars are too high above;
So I will ask my little brook
Whether my heart has belied me.
O brooklet of my love,
How silent you are today!
One thing only I want to know,
One little word alone.
"Yes" is the one little word,
The other is "No";
Those two little words enclose
The whole world to me.
O brooklet of my love,
How strange your behaviour is!
I won't repeat what you'll tell me.
Say, brooklet, does she love me?
I would like to carve it on every bit of bark
I would like to engrave it on every pebble,
I would like to sow it in every fresh flower bed
With cress seeds which would quickly reveal it.
I would like to write it on every piece of white paper :
"Thine is my heart, and ever shall remain!"
I would like to train a young starling
Till it could speak these words pure and clear,
Till it could speak them with the very sound of my voice,
With the warm pulsing of my heart,
Then it would sing at every window-pane:
"Thine is my heart, and ever shall remain!"
I would like to breathe it into the morning breezes,
I would like to whisper it through the budding grove;
O, could it radiate from every star-like flower,
Could it be borne to her on fragrant wings!
O waters can you drive nothing but wheels?
"Thine is my heart, and ever shall remain!"
I thought it must be there in my eyes,
I thought one could see it burning upon my cheeks,
I thought it could be read from my silent mouth,
That every breath of mine could plainly tell her.
Yet she notices nothing of my anxious longing.
"Thine is my heart, and ever shall remain!"
8. Morning Greeting
Good morning, fair maid of the mill!
Why do you turn away your head so suddenly,
As though something had hurt you?
Did my greeting so greatly vex you,
Did my gaze disturb you so much?
Then I must go away again?
O let me but stand afar,
Looking at your dear window,
From afar, quite far away!
O little blond head, peep out!
Peep out from your round archways,
You blue morning stars!
You sleep-laden eyes,
You dew-heavy flowers,
Why do you shrink from the sun?
Was the night so kind to you
That you stay closed and cower
And yearn for its quiet bliss?
Now shake off the veil of dreams,
And rise fresh and free
Into God's bright morning!
The lark is twittering in the air
And from the depths of my heart
Love calls out its pain and sorrow.
9. The Miller's Flowers
Beside the brook grow many little flowers,
Gazing with clear blue eyes;
The brook is the miller's friend,
And blue are the eyes of my love.
Therefore they are my flowers.
Close under her window,
I will plant these flowers.
They will call to her when all is silence,
And when her head sinks in slumber;
For you know well what I would say.
And when she closes her eyes
And sleeps in sweet, sweet repose,
Then, like a vision in dreams,
Whisper to her: "Forget me not, forget me not!"
That is what I would say.
And when at dawn, she opens the shutters,
Then look up with loving gaze;
The dew in your eyes
Shall be my tears.
That I will shed on you.
10. Shower of Tears
We sat together side by side
In the cool shade of the alder,
We gazed together so intimately
Into the babbling stream.
The moon came too,
And also the stars
And all looked together so quietly,
Into the silver mirror.
I looked not at the moon,
Nor at the shining stars,
I saw only her reflection,
I looked at her eyes alone.
I saw them nodding and glancing
Up from the happy brook;
The little blue flowers on the bank,
Were nodding and glancing too.
And from the depths of the brook
Shone the whole heavens,
That looked as though they would draw me
Into the depths below.
And over the clouds and stars
The stream babbled gaily,
Calling, rippling and singing:
"Friend, friend, come to me!"
Then tears welled in my eyes,
And the mirror dimmed:
She said: "It's going to rain,
Good bye! I'm going home."
Little brook, rush no more!
Wheels, stop your rumblings!
All you merry forest birds
Large and small,
End your twittering!
Through the grove,
To and fro,
Let one rhyme alone be heard:
The beloved maid of the mill
Is mine, is mine!
Spring, are these all the flowers you have?
Sun, have you no brighter beams?
Ah, then must I, all alone,
With that blessed word of mine,
Go uncomprehended through the wide world!
I have hung my lute on the wall,
I have wound a green ribbon around it.
I can no longer sing, my heart is so full,
That I cannot contain it in songs.
The burning pain of my longing
I would once enclose in jesting rhymes,
With plaints that were soft and gentle.
I thought that my pain was not small.
Ah! How great now is the burden of my happiness,
That no rhyme on earth can contain it?
Now dear lute, rest upon your nail!
And if a light breeze passes across your strings,
Or if a bee brushes its wings against you,
I shall tremble with fear and shiver!
Why did I leave the ribbon hanging for so long?
Often it flaps over the strings as with a sigh.
Is that the echo of my love's pain?
Could it be the prelude to unheard songs?
13. With the Lute's Green Ribbon
"What a pity that the pretty green ribbon
Should fade here on the wall
I am so fond of green!"
That is what you said to me, my beloved,
So I untie it at once and send it to you:
Now may green be dear to you!
Though white is your true love's colour,
Green too can still have its price,
I too am fond of it.
For our love is ever green,
And green is the distant landscape of hope,
Therefore we are fond of it.
Now entwine in your tresses
The green ribbon,
You are so fond of green.
Then I shall know where hope abides,
Then I shall know where love has its throne,
Then at last shall I love green.
14. The Hunter
What does the hunter seek here by the mill-stream?
Stay, insolent hunter, in your preserve!
There is no game here to hunt;
Here dwells my doe, a tame one,
And if you want to see that tender little doe,
Leave your guns in the forest.
And leave your barking dogs at home,
And don't blow noisy calls on your horn,
And shave that bristling hair from your chin,
Otherwise you'll frighten the doe in the garden.
It would be better though, if you staid in the forest,
And left mill and miller in peace.
What use are fishes among green branches?
What can squirrels want with the blue pond?
So stay in the forest, arrogant hunter,
And leave me alone with my three wheels,
And if you would please my beloved,
Then, Friend, know what is troubling her heart:
The wild boars come out of the forest at night
And trample and root out the ground in her kitchen garden,
Those wild boars, shoot them, you hunter-hero!
15. Jealousy and Pride
Whither so fast, so troubled and wild dear brook?
Are you hurrying angrily after that arrogant brother hunter?
Turn round then, turn round and chide rather the maid of the mill
For her light, wanton, petty fickleness!
Did you not see her last night standing at the gate
And craning her neck to look down the road?
When the hunter with his catch merrily returns home,
Then no modest maid should put her head through the window.
Go to her, I pray you, and not a word about my dejected looks;
Tell her: "he has cut a reed pipe from my banks,
And is playing merry songs and dances for the children".
16. The Favourite Colour
In green I will attire myself,
In green weeping willow:
My beloved is so fond of green!
I shall seek a cypress grove
A thicket of green rosemary:
My beloved is so fond of green!
Away to the merry hunt!
Away over heath and hedge!
My beloved is so fond of the chase.
The game that I chase is Death,
My hunting-ground is my love's anguish:
My beloved is so fond of the chase.
Dig me a grave in the grass,
Cover me with green turf:
My beloved is so fond of green.
No black cross, no bright flowers,
Only green, all green around:
My beloved is so fond of green.
17. The Evil Colour
I should like to go forth into the world,
Forth into the wide, wide world,
Were it no so green, so green,
Out there in wood and field.
I should like to pluck all the green leaves
From every branch:
I should like to turn all the green grass
To a deadly white with my tears.
O Green, you evil colour,
Why do you look at me always
So proudly, so insolently, so gloatingly
At me, a poor man whose colour is white?
I would like to lie in front of her door,
In storm and rain and snow,
And softly sing by day and night,
One little word: "Adieu!"
Hark! When a horn sounds in the wood
Her window rattles open:
And though she does not look out for me,
I still can look at her.
O unwind from your brow
The green, green ribbon.
Adieu, adieu! And give me
Your hand in farewell!
18. Withered Flowers
All you flowers
That she gave me,
Should go with me
Into my grave.
Why do you look
At me so sadly
As if you knew
You flowers all,
So withered and so pale,
You flowers all,
Why are you so wet?
Tears cannot revive
The green of May,
Nor make dead love
And spring will come
And winter will go,
And flowers will spring up.
And flowers will lie with me
In the grave,
All the little flowers
That she gave me.
And when she walks
Past the hillside
She will think in her heart:
"His love was true".
Then little flowers,
Come forth, come forth!
May has come,
And Winter is over.
19. The Miller and the Brook
When a true heart
Dies of love
In every flower-bed;
The full moon hides
Behind the clouds
Should see her tears;
The little angels
Close their eyes
And sob and sing
The soul to rest!
And when love
Frees itself from grief,
A star, a new one
Twinkles in the sky;
And three roses,
Half red and half white
That never will wither,
Will spring from the thorny bough.
And the angels shed
At every dawn
And descend down to earth.
O brook, dear brook,
You mean so well;
How can you know
What harm love does!
Down there, down there
Is cool rest!
O brook, little brook,
Sing on then.
20. The Brook's Lullaby
Rest, rest, close your eyes!
O weary traveller, you are home.
True faith is here,
You shall lie with me
Until the sea drinks the streams dry.
I will lay you in a cool bed,
On a soft pillow,
In a blue crystal chamber.
Come, come to me,
You who know how to rock
And rock and lull my friend to sleep!
If a hunting horn sounds
From the green forest,
Then I will foam and roar
Around you to still it.
Do not look within,
Little blue flowers!
You might give heavy dreams
To my sleeping boy.
Away, away, from the mill-path,
You wicked maid,
That your shadow may not awaken him!
Throw me your dainty kerchief
That I may cover his eyes.
Good night, good night!
Till all shall awake,
Sleep off your joy, sleep off your sorrow!
The full moon rises,
The mists recede,
And the sky above, how wide it spreads!
Three other Lieders
21. The Trout
In a bright little stream,
Briskly and gaily sped the wily trout,
Like an arrow past me.
I stood on the bank and carelessly watched
The cheerful fish swimming
In the clear little stream.
A fisherman with his rod,
Stood there on the brink,
And cold-bloodedly watched the fish writhing.
As long as the clear water is undisturbed,
I thought he won't catch the trout with his angle.
But as last, the rascal found that time was too long.
He made the water muddy, by a trick,
And before I realized it,
His rod quivered,
The fish dangled on it
And I, with blood boiling, beheld the cheated catch.
22. Love's Message
Rushing brooklet, so silvery bright,
Are you hurrying to my beloved so gaily and quickly?
Dear brooklet, be my messenger,
Bring her my message from afar.
All the flowers that she tends in her garden
And that she wears so lovingly on her bosom,
And her roses brightly glowing,
Dear brooklet, you cool and clear, refresh them.
When, beside the brook, she is lost in dreams
And hangs her head to think of me,
Comfort my sweet heart with a friendly glance,
For her loved one will soon come back.
When the sun sinks with rosy beams,
Rock my beloved to sleep
With your rippling, babble her to sweet rest,
And whisper dreams of love to her.
23. Restless Love
Into snow and rain
Against the wind
Through foggy gorges
And clouds of mist
Onwards, ever onwards,
Without halt or rest!
Rather would I endure
My way through suffering
Than bear so many
Of life's pleasures.
All this aching from heart to heart,
How strangely, alas!
It begets its own pain!
How shall I flee?
Go towards the forest?
All, all in vain!
Love, thou art
Joy without peace.
Commentary: "Once upon a time, there was a fair-haired miller's
lad, honest, naive, drunk with fresh air and space, who fell in love with
his master's pretty daughter, a beautiful young lady with blue eyes. Destiny
assigned them a tryst on the bank of a fresh stream, eternal confidant,
eternal traveler, in the heart of the green countryside of Austria. The
miller's apprentice was direct; the young lady coquettish, she showed herself
more accessible to the calling of the horn than to the quivering of her
lovesick lover's lute." The young apprentice free of the bonds of his
former master sets out to find another mill to which complete the remainder
of his apprenticeship.
The story of the poor miller's apprentice as told in "Pretty Miller's
Daughter," or "The Fair Maid of the Mill," by Franz-Peter
Schubert has been retold and adopted the sad fable of modern times. The
braggart who walks past the young apprentice miller, with his gun and laden
with the skins of innocent game, is in reality the pervert or pedophile.
He is actually out in the wood hunting young boys with his gun. For some
unknown reason, this modern version of the story has been altered from the
original version. In the modern version of the poor miller's apprentice,
the braggart convinces with the young boy, that the miller's daughter rejects
him because he is more than just "gay" of heart. The skins in
this story have become the hides of the innocent young boys who have come
before. It is the story of the chicken hawk and the chicken; the wolf and
the lamb; the punk kid (gay cat or gray cat) and the older tramp. It is
the most common story of the open road. Keep of the road because what may
be the "joy of the miller" to wander, one may become the pray
of the bogeyman.
It is the warning told and retold in the books of Leon Ray Livingston (1872-1944),
a. k. a. "A-No.1," who tried to convince the young boys and girls
to go home and lead the straight and narrow life. "Home is the best
place to be!" was the common topic of his traveling lectures. In the
original version, the braggart provokes the desperate deed from the poor
miller's apprentice who is turned down by his socially not so humble lover.
Then in the contemporary version the braggart provokes the poor miller's
apprentice to commit a desperate act instead. A-No.1 would have told the
young miller's apprentice, "Stay off the road, the road is no place
See: The Actual True Life Adventures of A-No.1, written by himself
from personal experiences.The famous tramp who traveled 500,000 miles for
$7.61. Leon Ray Livingston. a.k.a. A-No.1 the King of the Hoboes. The Emperor
of the North Pole. It's not a place, it's a prize!
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The poor young miller's apprentice should have tried to stick it out with
his old Master to prove his worth to the miller's daughter. Then after his
apprenticeship, the newly christened journeyman, if he was still rejected,
should have realized that she was not worthy of his love.
So Beware of Visitors: Who may step in, and try to interject their
versions of the story that you are telling to your group!
Grimm Tale Nuumber: 106, The Poor Miller's Boy and the Cat
In a certain mill lived an old miller who had neither wife nor child, and
three apprentices served under him. As they had been with him several years,
he one day said to them, "I am old, and want to sit in the chimney-corner,
go out, and whichsoever of you brings me the best horse home, to him will
I give the mill, and in return for it he shall take care of me till my death."
The third of the boys was, however, the drudge, who was looked on as foolish
by the others; they begrudged the mill to him, and afterwards he would not
have it. Then all three went out together, and when they came to the village,
the two said to stupid Hans, "Thou mayst just as well stay here, as
long as thou livest thou wilt never get a horse." Hans, however, went
with them, and when it was night they came to a cave in which they lay down
to sleep. The two sharp ones waited until Hans had fallen asleep, then they
got up, and went away leaving him where he was. And they thought they had
done a very clever thing, but it was certain to turn out ill for them. When
the sun arose, and Hans woke up, he was lying in a deep cavern. He looked
around on every side and exclaimed, "Oh, heavens, where am I?"
Then he got up and clambered out of the cave, went into the forest, and
thought, "Here I am quite alone and deserted, how shall I obtain a
horse now?" Whilst he was thus walking full of thought, he met a small
tabby-cat which said quite kindly, "Hans, where are you going?"
"Alas, thou canst not help me." "I well know your desire,"
said the cat. "You wish to have a beautiful horse. Come with me, and
be my faithful servant for seven years long, and then I will give you one
more beautiful than any you have ever seen in your whole life." "Well,
this is a wonderful cat!" thought Hans, "but I am determined to
see if she is telling the truth." So she took him with her into her
enchanted castle, where there were nothing but cats who were her servants.
They leapt nimbly upstairs and downstairs, and were merry and happy. In
the evening when they sat down to dinner, three of them had to make music.
One played the bassoon, the other the fiddle, and the third put the trumpet
to his lips, and blew out his cheeks as much as he possibly could. When
they had dined, the table was carried away, and the cat said, "Now,
Hans, come and dance with me." "No," said he, "I won't
dance with a pussy cat. I have never done that yet." "Then take
him to bed," said she to the cats. So one of them lighted him to his
bed-room, one pulled his shoes off, one his stockings, and at last one of
them blew out the candle. Next morning they returned and helped him out
of bed, one put his stockings on for him, one tied his garters, one brought
his shoes, one washed him, and one dried his face with her tail. "That
feels very soft!" said Hans. He, however, had to serve the cat, and
chop some wood every day, and to do that, he had an axe of silver, and the
wedge and saw were of silver and the mallet of copper. So he chopped the
wood small; stayed there in the house and had good meat and drink, but never
saw anyone but the tabby-cat and her servants. Once she said to him, "Go
and mow my meadow, and dry the grass," and gave him a scythe of silver,
and a whetstone of gold, but bade him deliver them up again carefully. So
Hans went thither, and did what he was bidden, and when he had finished
the work, he carried the scythe, whetstone, and hay to the house, and asked
if it was not yet time for her to give him his reward. "No," said
the cat, "you must first do something more for me of the same kind.
There is timber of silver, carpenter's axe, square, and everything that
is needful, all of silver, with these build me a small house." Then
Hans built the small house, and said that he had now done everything, and
still he had no horse. Nevertheless the seven years had gone by with him
as if they were six months. The cat asked him if he would like to see her
horses? "Yes," said Hans. Then she opened the door of the small
house, and when she had opened it, there stood twelve horses, such horses,
so bright and shining, that his heart rejoiced at the sight of them. And
now she gave him to eat and drink, and said, "Go home, I will not give
thee thy horse away with thee; but in three days' time I will follow thee
and bring it." So Hans set out, and she showed him the way to the mill.
She had, however, never once given him a new coat, and he had been obliged
to keep on his dirty old smock-frock, which he had brought with him, and
which during the seven years had everywhere become too small for him. When
he reached home, the two other apprentices were there again as well, and
each of them certainly had brought a horse with him, but one of them was
a blind one, and the other lame. They asked Hans where his horse was. "It
will follow me in three days' time." Then they laughed and said, "Indeed,
stupid Hans, where wilt thou get a horse?" "It will be a fine
one!" Hans went into the parlour, but the miller said he should not
sit down to table, for he was so ragged and torn, that they would all be
ashamed of him if any one came in. So they gave him a mouthful of food outside,
and at night, when they went to rest, the two others would not let him have
a bed, and at last he was forced to creep into the goose-house, and lie
down on a little hard straw. In the morning when he awoke, the three days
had passed, and a coach came with six horses and they shone so bright that
it was delightful to see them! and a servant brought a seventh as well,
which was for the poor miller's boy. And a magnificent princess alighted
from the coach and went into the mill, and this princess was the little
tabby-cat whom poor Hans had served for seven years. She asked the miller
where the miller's boy and drudge was? Then the miller said, "We cannot
have him here in the mill, for he is so ragged; he is lying in the goose-house."
Then the King's daughter said that they were to bring him immediately. So
they brought him out, and he had to hold his little smock-frock together
to cover himself. The servants unpacked splendid garments, and washed him
and dressed him, and when that was done, no King could have looked more
handsome. Then the maiden desired to see the horses which the other apprentices
had brought home with them, and one of them was blind and the other lame.
So she ordered the servant to bring the seventh horse, and when the miller
saw it, he said that such a horse as that had never yet entered his yard.
"And that is for the third miller's boy," said she. "Then
he must have the mill," said the miller, but the King's daughter said
that the horse was there, and that he was to keep his mill as well, and
took her faithful Hans and set him in the coach, and drove away with him.
They first drove to the little house which he had built with the silver
tools, and behold it was a great castle, and everything inside it was of
silver and gold; and then she married him, and he was rich, so rich that
he had enough for all the rest of his life. After this, let no one ever
say that anyone who is silly can never become a person of importance.
From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Household Tales, trans. Margaret Hunt (London:
George Bell, 1884), 2:78-81.
Puss In Boots
Once upon a time.........a miller died leaving the mill to his eldest son,
his donkey to his second son and.......a cat to his youngest son. "Now
that's some difference!" you might say; but there you are, that's how
the miller was! The eldest son kept the mill, the second son took the donkey
and set off in search of his fortune.......while the third sat down on a
stone and sighed, "A cat! What am I going to do with that?" But
the cat heard his words and said, "Don't worry, Master. What do you
think? That I'm worth less than a half-ruined mill or a mangy donkey? Give
me a cloak, a hat with a feather in it, a bag and a pair of boots, and you
will see what I can do." The young man, by no means surprised, for
it was quite common for cats to talk in those days, gave the cat what he
asked for, and as he strode away, confident and cheerful. the cat said.
"Don't look so glum, Master. See you soon!" Swift of foot as he
was, the cat caught a fat wild rabbit, popped it into his bag, knocked at
the castle gate, went before the King and, removing his hat, with a sweeping
bow, he said: "Sire, the famous Marquis of Carabas sends you this fine
plump rabbit as a gift." "Oh," said the King, "thanks
so much." "Till tomorrow," replied the cat as he went out.
And the next day, back he came with some partridges tucked away in his bag.
"Another gift from the brave Marquis of Carabas," he announced.
The Queen remarked, "This Marquis of Carabas is indeed a very courteous
gentleman." In the days that followed, Puss in Boots regularly visited
the castle, carrying rabbits, hares, partridges and skylarks, presenting
them all to the King in the name of the Marquis of Carabas. Folk at the
palace began to talk about this noble gentleman. "He must be a great
hunter," someone remarked. "He must be very loyal to the King,"
said someone else. And yet another, "But who is he? I've never heard
of him." At this someone who wanted to show people how much he knew,
replied, "Oh, yes, I've heard his name before. In fact, I knew his
father." The Queen was very interested in this generous man who sent
these gifts. "Is your master young and handsome?" she asked the
cat. "Oh yes. And very rich, too," answered Puss in Boots. "In
fact, he would be very honoured if you and the King called to see him in
his castle." When the cat returned home and told his master that the
King and Queen were going to visit him, he was horrified. "Whatever
shall we do?" he cried. "As soon as they see me they will know
how poor I am." "Leave everything to me," replied Puss in
Boots. "I have a plan." For several days, the crafty cat kept
on taking gifts to the King and Queen, and one day he discovered that they
were taking the Princess on a carriage ride that very afternoon. The cat
hurried home in great excitement. "Master, come along," he cried.
"It is time to carry out my plan. You must go for a swim in the river."
"But I can't swim," replied the young man. "That's all right,"
replied Puss in Boots. "Just trust me." So they went to the river
and when the King's carriage appeared the cat pushed his master into the
water. "Help!" cried the cat. "The Marquis of Carabas is
drowning." The King heard his cries and sent his escorts to the rescue.
They arrived just in time to save the poor man, who really was drowning.
The King, the Queen and the Princess fussed around and ordered new clothes
to be brought for the Marquis of Carabas. "Wouldn't you like to marry
such a handsome man?" the Queen asked her daughter. "Oh, yes,"
replied the Princess. However, the cat overheard one of the ministers remark
that they must find out how rich he was. "He is very rich indeed,"
said Puss in Boots. "He owns the castle and all this land.
Come and see for yourself. I will meet you at the castle." And with
these words, the cat rushed off in the direction of the castle, shouting
at the peasants working in the fields, "If anyone asks you who your
master is, answer: the Marquis of Carabas. Otherwise you will all be sorry."
And so, when the King's carriage swept past, the peasants told the King
that their master was the Marquis of Carabas. In the meantime, Puss in Boots
had arrived at the castle, the home of a huge, cruel ogre. Before knocking
at the gate, the cat said to himself, "I must be very careful, or I'll
never get out of here alive." When the door opened, Puss in Boots removed
his feather hat, exclaiming, "My Lord Ogre, my respects!" "What
do you want, cat?" asked the ogre rudely. "Sire, I've heard you
possess great powers. That, for instance, you can change into a lion or
an elephant." "That's perfectly true," said the ogre, "and
so what?" "Well," said the cat, "I was talking to certain
friends of mine who said that you can't turn into a tiny little creature,
like a mouse." "Oh, so that's what they say, is it?" exclaimed
the ogre. The cat nodded, "Well, Sire, that's my opinion too, because
folk that can do big things never can manage little ones." "Oh,
yes? Well, just watch this!" retorted the ogre, turning into a mouse.
In a flash, the cat leapt on the mouse and ate it whole. Then he dashed
to the castle gate, just in time, for the King's carriage was drawing up.
With a bow, Puss in Boots said, "Sire, welcome to the castle of the
Marquis of Carabas!" The King and Queen, the Princess and the miller's
son who, dressed in his princely clothes, really did look like a marquis,
got out of the carriage and the King spoke: "My dear Marquis, you're
a fine, handsome, young man, you have a great deal of land and a magnificent
castle. Tell me, are you married?" "No," the young man answered,
"but I would like to find a wife." He looked at the Princess as
he spoke. She in turn smiled at him. To cut a long story short, the miller's
son, now Marquis of Carabas, married the Princess and lived happily with
her in the castle. And from time to time, the cat would wink and whisper,
"You see, Master, I am worth a lot more than any mangy donkey or half-ruined
mill, aren't I?"
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