The Old Witch
by The Brothers Grimm
There was once a little girl who was
and who never obeyed when her elders spoke to
her - so how could she be happy?
One day she said to her parents, "I
have heard so much of the old witch that I will go and
see her. People say she is a wonderful old woman,
and has many marvelous things in her house, and
I am very curious to see them."'
But her parents forbade her going,
saying, "The witch is a wicked old woman, who performs
many godless deeds - and if you go near her, you
are no longer a child of ours."
The girl, however, would not turn back
at her parents' command, but went to the witch's house.
When she arrived there the old woman asked
"Why are you so pale?"
"Ah," she replied, trembling
all over, "I have frightened myself so with what I have
"And what did you see?" inquired
the old witch.
"I saw a black man on your steps."
"That was a collier," replied
"Then I saw a gray man."
"That was a sportsman," said
the old woman.
"After him I saw a blood-red man."
"That was a butcher," replied
the old woman.
"But, oh, I was most terrified,"
continued the girl, "when I peeped through your window,
and saw not you, but a creature with a fiery head."
"Then you have seen the witch
in her proper dress," said the old woman. "For you I
have long waited, and now you shall give me light."
So saying the witch changed the little
girl into a block of wood, and then threw it on the fire.
When it was fully alight, she sat down on the
hearth and warmed herself, saying:
"How good I feel! The fire has
not burned like this for a long time!"