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Grimms' Fairy Tales

Grimms' Fairy Tales


by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Grimms' Fairy Tales Tales 131-140 Summary

Tale 131: Pretty Katrinelya and Pif Paf Poltree

  • "Yep, more weird names." 
  • "And this tale is told entirely in dialogue!" 
  • Pif Paf Poltree asks Father Berry-Tea for his daughter, Pretty Katrinelya, for a wife, which has to be discussed with all the oddly-named family members, and then they talk about her dowry, and then they talk about his profession. 
  • He is a broom-maker which is apparently very exciting, and that's where the tale ends.

Tale 132: The Fox and the Horse

  • A horse is old and useless so his master says he'll stop feeding him unless he manages to bring him a lion. 
  • A fox, overhearing this, feels sorry for the horse and sets up a ruse where the horse plays dead to attract the lion. Yum, free meal.
  • The fox ties together their tails so the horse can drag the lion home, after which he receives royal treatment.

Tale 133: The Worn-out Dancing Shoes

  • This king has twelve daughters but he can't for the life of him figure out why in the world their shoes are worn out every morning. 
  • He issues a challenge for someone to find this out and marry one of the daughters, but failure means death.
  • A poor wounded soldier tells an old woman he might try his luck, and she turns out to have good advice: don't drink anything the princesses give him. She also gives him a cloak that makes him invisible. Hey, it can't hurt.
  • He goes to the castle, dribbles the sleeping draught down his chin, and pretends to sleep. Then he slips on the cloak and follows the princesses as they climb down a passageway to the underground and are met by twelve princes in twelve boats. 
  • They row to a palace and proceed to party all night. The soldier brings back souvenirs. He tells the king everything, and gets to marry the oldest sister.
  • Bonus.

Tale 134: The Six Servants

  • A prince is pining for a princess whose mother kills every suitor who cannot complete her tasks.
  • The prince's father forbids him to go, but when he sees his son wasting away in bed, he finally relents. 
  • So the prince gathers six companions on his travels: a fat man with a belly like a mountain, a listener who can pick up any sound, a tall man who can stretch out his limbs impossibly far, a man with such a powerful gaze that it can shatter things, a man who can withstand any temperature, and a man with such sharp eyes that he can see anything.
  • The queen gives them a bunch of super hard tasks, but the helpers accomplish everything, eating insane amounts of food and finding lost items. The queen is ticked about this, and slanders the new husband to her daughter, calling him a commoner.
  • When the prince parts with his companions and reaches his own kingdom, he lies to his new bride (what a great foundation for marriage!), saying that he is indeed a commoner. 
  • He makes her suffer living in poverty for a while before revealing that he's actually a prince, and since he had to suffer to win her hand, she should suffer for him, too. How sweet…or not.

Tale 135: The White Bride and the Black Bride

  • A mean mother and daughter pair are rude to the Lord disguised as a poor man, so they're cursed with ugliness. The stepdaughter, on the other hand, is all kinds of kind, so she's rewarded with beauty, among other things. 
  • This girl has a brother whom she's close with, and he carries around a portrait of her. When the king sees it, he falls plumb in love with the girl, so now, of course, the bro has to bring his sis to court.
  • While the girl's on her way to the king in a carriage, the stepmother uses witchcraft to make her blind and deaf. They trick her into removing all her fancy clothes and giving them to the ugly stepsister. Finally they just push her out of the carriage into the water, where she turns into a snow-white duck. You know how it goes.
  • When the king receives his fabulously ugly intended bride, he is obviously a little peeved. He throws the brother in prison, but is persuaded through witchcraft to accept the black bride as his wife. 
  • The white bride, as a duck, visits the court to check on her brother. The kitchen boy realizes something is up and fetches the king, who cuts off the duck's head, thereby disenchanting the maiden. 
  • The horrible stepmother and daughter are killed, while the wedding is celebrated and the faithful brother rewarded.

Tale 136: Iron Hans

  • A king has a pet wild man that was pulled out of a lake in his forest. They keep him in a cage so it must be serious business. 
  • The king and queen forbid their son from going near the cage, but he drops his golden ball in, and has to let the wild man free in return for it.
  • The wild man escapes into the forest and takes the prince with him. The prince must complete various tasks, but keeps messing them up, and ends up with a head of hair made magically golden. 
  • This angers the wild man, who casts out the prince, but with the knowledge that if he calls to Iron Hans, the wild man will come help him.
  • The prince finds a job at a castle, but always keeps his cap on to hide his golden hair, saying he has a scabby head (ick). 
  • He brings flowers to the king's daughter, who insists that she should remove his cap, as it's the proper thing to do in front of royalty. When she finally pulls it off, she thinks his hair is awesome, so she gives him some money (the standard reaction, right?). This happens a few times.
  • The kingdom goes to war, and the prince-in-disguise asks Iron Hans for a rockin' steed to ride into war. He beats back the invaders for a while but nobody knows who he is. 
  • The king has a contest to see who can catch the princess's golden apple, and again the prince has Irons Hans equip him with horses (this time with matching suits of armor). 
  • They finally identify him as the scabby-headed servant, and he marries the princess. 
  • His parents come to the wedding, and so does Iron Hans, who as it turns out was under an enchantment.

Tale 137: The Three Black Princesses

  • A poor fisherman's son is taken captive by an invading army, but he escapes and reaches an enchanted castle where three princesses clad all in black with a little white on their faces live.
  • They tell him he can disenchant them by following certain rules. 
  • He asks to go home, where in the meantime his father has become mayor. 
  • He tells them about the enchanted princesses and his mother gives him advice that turns out crappy: he breaks the rules, the princesses fly into a rage since they'll never be saved, and the castle sinks into the ground. 
  • Yeah, the tale ends there. No, we don't know what happens after that. Probably nothing good.

Tale 138: Knoist and His Three Sons

  • This man Knoist has three sons: one is blind, the other is lame, and the last one is naked. 
  • The blind one shoots a hare, the lame one catches it, and the naked one puts it in his pocket. They reach a chapel inside a tree where holy water is distributed with clubs. 
  • Verdict: another nonsense tale.

Tale 139: The Maiden from Brakel

  • A maiden from Brakel (a town in Germany) goes to pray for a husband at the chapel of Saint Anne. 
  • She prays out loud since she thinks she's alone, but a priest standing behind the altar calls out discouragingly. 
  • She thinks one of the saints is talking to her and tells it to be quiet so she can hear what Saint Anne has to say.

Tale 140: The Domestic Servants

  • "Another tale told in dialogue!" 
  • "This one is between two people going somewhere called Woelpe who talk about the names of their child, spouse, the cradle, and the servant." 
  • "They're all nonsense names but the servant is named Do-It-Right." 
  • "The dialogue is suspiciously symmetrical so we assume that the two people talking are husband and wife who like to amuse themselves with chatter while on a journey." 
  • "People had to do something before they invented iPhones, after all."

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