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Grimms' Fairy Tales

Grimms' Fairy Tales


by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Grimms' Fairy Tales Tales 121-130 Summary

Tale 121: The Prince Who Feared Nothing

  • A fearless prince goes wandering and impresses a giant with his strength. 
  • The giant sends him to fetch an apple from the Tree of Life, so the giant can give it to his bride-to-be. The prince walks right into the garden of the Tree of Life without fearing the wild animals, so a lion becomes his companion. 
  • When the giant blinds the prince and leaves him to die, the lion finds water to restore his eyesight. 
  • Then the prince comes to a castle where he can disenchant a princess by spending three nights in an enchanted castle where demons will beat the crap out of him. 
  • He withstands the torture and is happily married. Sounds about like your average engagement.

Tale 122: The Lettuce Donkey

  • A huntsman is kind to an old hag, who hooks him up with a wishing cloak and the heart of a bird that gives him gold if he swallows it. 
  • Things are peachy until he reaches a castle where a witch and her daughter live. The witch uses her daughter to manipulate the guy into giving up his cloak and vomiting up the bird's heart.
  • Abandoned, the guy finds two kinds of lettuce: if you eat one, it turns you into a donkey, and if you eat the other, it turns you back. He goes back to the castle to feed the donkey lettuce to the witch and her daughter for revenge.
  • When they're donkeys, he puts them to work. 
  • The witch dies, but he transforms the daughter back and they get married because she's loved him all along but was forced by her evil mother to mislead him. 
  • She even offers to vomit up the bird's heart for him, but he lets her keep it—isn't that sweet?

Tale 123: The Old Woman in the Forest

  • A maiden is abandoned in the forest. 
  • A dove brings her a gold key and tells her to unlock this tree to find food inside, that tree to sleep inside, and so on. 
  • Then the dove asks her to visit a witch's house, not speak to her, and retrieve a certain ring. She does so, and disenchants the dove, who was actually a prince, and all his servants, who had been turned into trees. 
  • We're thinking it's a little weird that she slept inside a servant, but there seem to have been no hard feelings since she and the prince were happily married.

Tale 124: The Three Brothers

  • A father wants to give his house to one of his three sons, and decides to give it to whoever can put on the most impressive performance after learning a trade.
  • The son who becomes a barber shaves a rabbit while it's on the run. The son who becomes a blacksmith puts horseshoes on the horses drawing a carriage at full speed. The son who becomes a fencing master stands in the rain but doesn't get wet because his swordwork is insanely fast. That son gets the house, but he shares it with his brothers and they all live happily until their deaths.

Tale 125: The Devil and His Grandmother

  • Three soldiers desert during a war, and are picked up by a dragon, who's actually the devil (note to Shmoop self: steer clear of dragons).
  • He gives them enough money for seven years, but says their souls are his unless they can solve his riddle at the end of that time. 
  • When the time's almost up, they begin freaking out. One wanders around until he finds help: the devil's grandmother, who hides him in the cellar so he can listen in on the riddle's answer. 
  • They escape with their souls and live happily.

Tale 126: Faithful Ferdinand and Unfaithful Ferdinand

  • A poor man's son is given a key to a castle that contains a white horse. This young guy's name, by the way, is Faithful Ferdinand (try saying that five times fast). 
  • He goes wandering, picks up some magical items that help him on a quest later, and meets a guy named Unfaithful Ferdinand (seriously, who names their kid that?). 
  • The two Ferdies (we'll call them F.F. and U.F) travel together and come to an inn where a maiden falls in love with F.F. and gets him a position working for the king. 
  • U.F. comes too, and persuades the king to send F.F. on a dangerous quest to fetch the king's bride.
  • F.F. succeeds, and the king is killed so F.F. can marry the queen (we're not told what happens to the first maiden who loved F.F.). Oh, and the white horse turns out to be an enchanted prince, too. 
  • What can we say? This is a weird one.

Tale 127: The Iron Stove

  • A prince is enchanted within an iron stove. 
  • When a princess gets lost in that same forest (where the prince is hanging out, all stove-like), the prince promises to guide her out if she agrees to scrape on the stove until he is free, and then they'll wed. 
  • The princess's father sends common girls instead, but the stove-prince finds out and is Not Happy. 
  • Finally, the princess makes a hole in the stove so that the prince can be free, but she breaks a promise not to speak more than three words, so he vanishes.
  • Ugh, those chatty princesses.
  • She wanders, and encounters some frogs who give her magical gifts to help her out. 
  • When she comes to the place where the prince now lives and finds he's about to marry another woman, she barters magically beautiful dresses for nights spent in the bridegroom's chamber, and only on the last night is he awake enough to hear her. 
  • They return to her kingdom and are married.

Tale 128: The Lazy Spinner

  • A wife is so lazy that she tricks her husband into agreeing that spinning isn't a good idea. 
  • Later, she makes him think that it's his fault that the yarn isn't turning out right. 
  • Clearly, this chick's a pro at not getting work done.

Tale 129: The Four Skillful Brothers

  • Four brothers go out and each learns a different trade, becoming a thief, a stargazer, a huntsman, and a tailor. 
  • They reunite and show their awesome new powers to their proud papa.
  • When a dragon carries off the king's daughter, they work together to fetch her back. 
  • Then they argue about who should marry her, since each one thinks he contributed the most to their quest. 
  • Finally, the king divides up chunks of the kingdom for them, and each one is happy. Here's hoping he doesn't divide up chunks of the princess.

Tale 130: One-Eye, Two-Eyes, and Three-Eyes

  • Continuing with the odd naming practices, a woman names her unfortunate daughters One-Eye (because she has—you guessed it—one eye smack dab in the middle of her forehead), Two-Eyes (she looks normal), and Three-Eyes (because she has two normal eyes, plus an ugly third one in the middle). 
  • Needless to say, One-Eye and Three-Eyes are not fans of Two-Eyes, seeing as how she's all normal-looking, so they totally hate on her.
  • A wise woman gives Two-Eyes a charm that makes her goat provide enough food for her to eat. The mother sends the other daughters to investigate why Two-Eyes isn't wasting away as she should be. 
  • Two-Eyes sings to make her sisters fall asleep, but one of Three-Eyes's eyes remains open, so her spying mission is successful—she sees the goat and learns her sister's secret. 
  • The mother slaughters the goat, and Two-Eyes buries the entrails as advised by the wise woman. A splendid tree grows on the spot.
  • The greedy mother and sisters want the tree's fruit, but only Two-Eyes can climb the tree to get it. 
  • When a knight happens by, he is impressed by both Two-Eyes and the marvelous tree, so he takes her away and marries her. 
  • The tree follows Two-Eyes to her new abode, and she kindly forgives her awful sisters when they show up as beggars later on.

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