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German Legends of the Brothers Grimm



Ährenleser

Eren SARI

German Legends of the Brothers Grimm

Copyright © 2017, (Eren SARI)

Alle Rechte liegen beim Autor. ohne die Erlaubnis des Urhebers vervielfältigt werden oder nicht in andere Formate umgewandelt werden können.

Erste Ausgabe: 2017

Verlag Adresse:

NoktaE-Book Publishing

Aşağı Pazarcı Mah.1063 Sokak.No:7

Antalya / TÜRKİYE

Kontakt: noktaekitap@gmail.com

Web:http://www.noktaekitap.net

Cover: NOKTA E-KİTAP

Herausgebers : NET MEDYA YAYINCILIK

Nokta E-Book International Publishing











Introduction

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm first published German Legends in 1816 and 1818, in two volumes. The first volume was regional, the second historical and mythical.

Wilhelm's son Herman produced later editions in 1865 and 1891. He worked added material into the text from hand-written notes of the brothers.

The Brothers Grimm published 585 legends in all from German-speaking regions, including Alpine countries.

German legends have features in common with Scandinavian and British folklore, and reflect similar blends of influences, in part from old Germanic ideas of gods similar to gods in Norse mythology in modified forms as time went by. There are, likewise, magical characters, and regional legends focused on nature parts like mountains, lakes, springs, streams, towns and slopes, and many famous persons of the past.

Here are the legends we have compiled for you ...

good reading

The Nixies of Magdeburg

There is a spot on the Elbe River in Magdeburg where nixies often have been seen while they drag swimmers into the depths. Once an accomplished swimmer struck out across the river on a wager for money. When he got near a certain spot, however, he disappeared under the surface.

The water from the wells of this region is hard to boil, but the water from the river is of a better quality. Therefore the city fathers decided to build a water pipeline from the river to the city. They began the project by driving great piles into the river floor, but suddenly a naked man rose up in the stream, forcefully pulled out all the piles that had been driven and hurled them in all directions, so the construction plans for the pipeline had to be given up.





The Dream of the Treasure at a Bridge

A long time ago, a man in Regensburg had a dream that if he went to the bridge in that city he would become rich. Therefore he went to the Regensburg bridge every day.

After fourteen days, a rich merchant saw him and asked what he was doing on the bridge every day, and what he sought there. He answered, "I dreamt I should go to the Regensburg bridge and find my fortune there."

"Oh," said the merchant, "what is all this nonsense? Dreams are flimsy. I too had a dream - that there was a kettle of gold buried beneath that large tree," and he pointed to the tree. "But I paid it no heed."

The other went at once to the tree and began digging beneath it. There he found a great treasure that made him very rich. Thus, his dream was confirmed.



The Three Maidens from the Lake

In the town of Epfenbach near Sinsheim, three lovely maidens dressed in white used to come every evening to the village spinning room. They always brought new songs and melodies with them, and they told marvellous tales and taught many new games. Their spindles and bobbins were special, and no other woman of the village could spin so fine and nimbly as they. However, every evening at the stroke of eleven they rose, gathered up their distaffs, and left. No one knew where they came from or where they went.The village youths liked to see them and they fell in love with them, especially the son of the schoolmaster. He never tired of listening to them and speaking with them. Nothing saddened him more than to see them leave so early every evening. Then he got the idea of setting the village clock back an hour to make them stay a bit longer. No one noticed it, but when the clock struck eleven it was actually midnight.

Then the three maidens got up, folded their distaffs, and left.But the next morning, people walking along the lake heard whimpering noises and saw three bloody spots on the surface of the water. From that time on the sisters did not return to the spinning room, and the son of the schoolmaster began to pine away. Shortly afterwards he died.





















The Farmer and His Kobold

A farmer had a little kobold sprite who was always up to mischief. And no matter what the farmer did, he could not get rid of him. At last the farmer was advised to burn down the barn, since the kobold had his home there. First, the farmer carted all the straw out of the barn. Then, after carrying out the last load, he locked the spirit inside and set the barn afire.

When the whole barn was burning, the farmer glanced around - and here was the kobold sitting on the back of the cart, saying again and again,

"It's about time we got out of there!

It's about time we got out of there!"

The farmer understood that he had been ill advised, returned to the house and could not get rid of his kobold.



The Snake Queen

A shepherd's daughter was wandering along a trail through some cliffs when she came upon a mortally ill serpent that seemed near death. Out of pity, she gave it her milk pitcher, and the snake drank the milk eagerly. After a while the snake was able to crawl on. The girl then left the snake..

Soon afterwards it came to pass that the one she loved, began to court her. But he was too poor for her proud, wealthy father. He rejected the youth with much mockery, telling him to come back only when he had as many herds as he himself.

From that time on, the old shepherd met nothing but misfortune. People claimed they had seen a fiery dragon above his grazing lands at night and soon all his property had been laid waste.During this same period, however, the poor youth prospered and became quite wealthy.

He once again courted the girl, and this time she was granted to him.

On the day of the wedding, a large serpent came into the room, and riding on the snake was a splendid maiden. She said, "Once when I lay helpless and starving, almost dead, the shepherd girl gave me milk so that I could recover."

Out of gratitude she took a dazzling crown from her head and laid it in the bride's lap. She then disappeared.

Thereafter, the young couple was blessed with great fortune and increase in their flocks, and they soon became very wealthy.











The Three Miners in the Kutten Mine

Three miners once worked the Kutten Mine in Bohemia. They toiled faithfully for many long years, earning honest bread for their wives and children. Each morning when they left home for the mine they took three things with them: their lamps, enough oil for one day, and their day's bread. They knew of the dangers of the mine, yet went to work diligently.

One day, just as they were finishing their work, the whole face of the mountain caved in and buried the entrance to the mine. Realising they were trapped, they exclaimed: "This is it! We're done for!"

They prepared to die. But their lamps kept burning, and the small piece of bread that they ate daily, was never totally exhausted. Time went on, they could see, for their beards grew very long. In the meantime their wives, were convinced their husbands were dead, and considered remarrying.

About that time one of the three trapped miners wished from the bottom of his heart. He said, "If I could only see the light of day once more, I would die happily."

The second miner said, "If I could only sit with my wife once more at my table and eat with her, I would happily die!"

And the third one said, "Oh, if I could only live one more year peacefully and happily with my wife, I would be happy to die."No sooner had they uttered this than the mountain thundered and split asunder. The first miner ran to where the mountain had opened, looked up and saw the blue sky again. Overwhelmed by the beauty of the light of day, he sank to the ground and was dead.Then the mountain gave another roar and opened wider. The other two miners began digging stairs into the side of the mountain, and could crawl out at last.

They went in great haste to their village.

But when they came home, their wives did not recognize them. "Our husbands have been dead for seven years, buried in the Kutten Mine!" they said.The second miner then said to his wife, "I am your husband." But she did not believe him because his long beard made him look quite different than she remembered. He then said, "Fetch me the razor high in the wall cabinet, and bring me a piece of soap." Then he shaved off his beard and washed and combed his hair. When he had finished, his wife recognised her husband. She was overjoyed and brought food and drink to the table, and they sat down together and enjoyed their meal. The man ate his fill. But as he was swallowing the last bit of bread, he fell over dead.The third miner lived a whole year in peace and joy with his wife. But one year to the hour and day that he had crawled from the mine, he and his wife both sank to the floor dead.

❋ Be careful about what you wish for - it may be too little.

The Hooded One Deep in the Harz Mountains

There were once two miners who always worked as a team. One day when they came to the shaft that they worked in, they noticed that they lacked lamp oil to last them the whole day in the mine.

"What can we do?" they asked one another. "If we run out of oil deep in the mine, we'll be in serious trouble in the dangerous shaft. But if we run home for more oil, the foreman will enjoy punishing us, for he doesn't like us."

As they stood there wondering what to do, they saw a light coming toward them from deep down in the shaft. It was a tall figure, crouched over, who made his way up the shaft toward them. He wore a large hood and carried a large miner's lamp in his hand.

The two men stood frozen with fear until he straightened up and said, "Have no fear.

I won't harm you, but do you good." He then poured oil from his lamp into theirs.

He grabbed their tools and began to work the mine. In one hour he had mined more ore than they could have done in a week. Then he said, "Tell no one that you have seen me here," and disappeared.

However, the oil he had poured into their lamps, remained and never diminished. This gave the two men quite an advantage in their work. One Saturday night, however, the two of them were drinking with their friends in the tavern and having a good time, and told about the figure and the oil. Monday morning, as they prepared for work, they saw there was no more oil in their lamps. From then on they had to fill up their lamps every day, like other miners.







Mother Holla Can Be Made Happy

At Christmastime Mother Holla begins to roam the countryside. At this time all village maidens wind new flax or tow onto the distaffs on their spinning wheels and let them stand over night. Mother Holla rejoices when she sees such things, and exclaims: "Many good years will be!"

She continues her nightly wanderings until six days into the New Year, when she must return to her home in Horsel Mountain. If at this time she should find a distaff with flax on it she becomes angry, saying: "Bad years will be!"

For she expects all girls to keep the spinning tidy and carefully remove the flax from their distaffs after a day's work. Best of all is when they manage to spin all the flax from the distaff before their day's work is done.



Gnomes

The gnomes are only about twenty-five centimetres tall. They look like old men with long beards, dress like miners and carry lanterns, picks, and hammers, and are also called the Little People.

They never harm miners. And even when they occasionally throw rocks, it's rare that anyone gets hurt – unless the little people have been angered by cursing and swearing.

They ever like to appear in shafts rich in ore or where the prospects for making a strike are good. Because of this the miners are not afraid of gnomes. Rather, they believe it is a good omen when they appear. Miners get happier and work harder on seeing them.

The little creatures like to roam through mine chambers and shafts and tease the miners. Gnomes seem to work very hard, but they never do anything at all.

Sometimes miners think that gnomes are tunneling out a new shaft or a vein; at other times gnomes seem to be filling their buckets with ore or working the lift as though they want to send something to the surface. But they are only teasing and distracting the miners. Now and then they will also call out from one of the chambers, but when one goes to investigate, no one is there. No one.





















By Lake Mummel

High in the mountains of the Black Forest, not far from Baden, lies a deep, deep lake. If one casts stones into the lake, a great storm will arise with gale-force winds and hail. And all stones cast into these depths are carefully carried back to shore by the mermen who live there.

Once some cowherds were tending their cattle on the shores when a brown bull came out of the lake and began to graze with the other cattle. Then a man came out of the lake to drive the bull into the water. When it did not obey, he began cursing at it till it went back into the lake with him.Late one evening a dwarf came to a farm not far from there and asked the farmer for lodgings for the night. The farmer did not have enough beds, so he offered the dwarf the window seat in his living room, or the hayrick in the barn. But the dwarf only asked to be allowed to sleep in the basin where hemp was being soaked.

"It's all right with me," answered the farmer.

The dwarf then dove into the basin and went to rest as if he were lying in hay and warming himself. Early next morning he came out of the water with his clothes completely dry. The farmer was amazed to see this.

The dwarf soon became trusting of the farmer, and told him that he was a merman who had lost his wife. He meant to look for her in Lake Mummel, and asked for directions so that he could find the lake. On the way to the lake the dwarf recounted to the farmer how he had sought his lost wife in many lakes already but had not found her.At the shores of Lake Mummel, the dwarf asked the farmer to wait until he returned or sent him a signal. After waiting for some hours the farmers saw a number of shoes springing from the water of the lake and into the air, and assumed that this was his signal.

Kobold Glimpses

In some villages nearly every farm has a kobold who performs all kinds of domestic chores. He carries water into the kitchen, chops wood, fetches beer from the cellar, cooks, brushes the horses in the stable, clears the manure out of the stalls and the like. When a kobold lives on the farm, the cattle increase in number and the whole farm is successful and prospers. Even today, when a maidservant succeeds in her work very well, a proverb is recited: "She has a kobold." But whoever vexes the kobold had best take care!

If a cook has accepted a kobold as a secret helper, she must put a dish full of good food in a chosen place every day at the same time and then go back to her chores. If she does so, then she can be lazy, go to bed early, and still find that all her work has been done for her by early morning. But if she once forgets to put out the food, then she must not only do all the work herself in the future, she also finds she has got a most unlucky hand - it gets burned in hot water, drops pitchers and dishes, and spills food. Thus, she will constantly be reprimanded by her employers. When this happens, the kobold is often heard snickering and giggling.

If the servants of the house should change, the kobold will remain. But the leaving maidservant must recommend him to the new servant and make sure that the new servant will continue to set out his food. If the new servant will not, she will have constant misfortune until the day she decides to go elsewhere.

Sometimes the maidservant is curious to see her little helper. If she persists, the spirit will finally tell where she will be able to see him. He also instructs her to bring a bucket of cold water with her, for she risks being so frightened by the sight of him that she faints. Then the kobold jumps up and dumps the bucket of cold water over her so she comes to again.

The Farmer and His Kobold

A farmer had a kobold who was always up to mischief. And no matter what the farmer did, he could not get rid of him. At last the farmer was advised to burn down the barn, since the kobold had his home there. First, the farmer carted all the straw out of the barn. Then, after carrying out the last load, he locked the spirit inside and set the barn afire.

When the whole barn was burning, the farmer glanced around - and here was the kobold sitting on the back of the cart, saying again and again,

"It's about time we got out of there!

It's about time we got out of there!"

The farmer understood that he had been ill advised, returned to the house and could not get rid of his kobold.



By Lake Mummel

High in the mountains of the Black Forest, not far from Baden, lies a deep, deep lake. If one casts stones into the lake, a great storm will arise with gale-force winds and hail. And all stones cast into these depths are carefully carried back to shore by the mermen who live there.

Once some cowherds were tending their cattle on the shores when a brown bull came out of the lake and began to graze with the other cattle. Then a man came out of the lake to drive the bull into the water. When it did not obey, he began cursing at it till it went back into the lake with him.

Late one evening a dwarf came to a farm not far from there and asked the farmer for lodgings for the night. The farmer did not have enough beds, so he offered the dwarf the window seat in his living room, or the hayrick in the barn.

But the dwarf only asked to be allowed to sleep in the basin where hemp was being soaked.

"It's all right with me," answered the farmer.

The dwarf then dove into the basin and went to rest as if he were lying in hay and warming himself.

Early next morning he came out of the water with his clothes completely dry. The farmer was amazed to see this.

The dwarf soon became trusting of the farmer, and told him that he was a merman who had lost his wife.

He meant to look for her in Lake Mummel, and asked for directions so that he could find the lake. On the way to the lake the dwarf recounted to the farmer how he had sought his lost wife in many lakes already but had not found her.

At the shores of Lake Mummel, the dwarf asked the farmer to wait until he returned or sent him a signal. After waiting for some hours the farmers saw a number of shoes springing from the water of the lake and into the air, and assumed that this was his signal.























Bull Creek

There is a creek that runs through a valley in the Suren Alps. It is fed from Lake Suren up in the mountains. There is a legend that is told by the people of Uri and by those from Engelsberg, how the creek came to be called Bull Creek.

Several centuries ago, an Alpine shepherd lived in the area. In his flock he had a lamb that he was especially proud of and devoted to, so much that he decided to have it baptised and to give it a Christian name.

What happened? The heavens felt annoyed and changed the lamb into a spectre that roamed the fertile Alpine pastures day and night, grazing away all the grass and herbs, until the Engelsberg farmers could no longer use the pastures for their own sheep and cattle.

One day, a wandering student came to Uri. He told the people how to get rid of the monstrous animal.

They should raise a bull calf for nine years on pure milk alone - the first year with the milk from one cow, the second with the milk of two cows, the third of three cows, and so on. After nine years, the bull that had been raised on milk should be led over the pastures by a maiden.

The farmers from Uri hoped to get a reward from the farmers of Engelsberg, and so they raised such a bull in the pasture of Waldnacht.

When the bull had been raised on the milk for nine years, a lovely maiden led it across the high ridge of a cliff and then let him run loose.

As soon as the bull saw that he was free, he took off after the specter, and they engaged in a fierce struggle.

The bull won, but the fight had been so wild and furious that he was exhausted and covered with sweat.

He then raced for the stream rushing nearby, plunged in, and drank so much water that he dropped dead on the spot.

Ever since, the stream has had the name of Bull Creek. Those who live in the area can also point to the imprints in the rock where the bull dug himself in for the valiant struggle.





















The Wolf and the Pine Cone

A crack runs across one of the great brass doors of the cathedral in Aachen, and next to the door stand the statues of a wolf and a pine cone, both cast in fine metal. A legend is told about these figures.

Many decades ago when the cathedral was being built, construction had to be halted before the church was finished because the city ran out of money.

The desolate construction site stood there for some time until the devil reportedly appeared before the city fathers and offered them the money they needed.

But he added a condition - he would take the first soul to enter the church during the dedication ceremonies. The council thought about it and hesitated for a long time. But they finally decided to accept the offer, and they all agreed to keep the deal a secret.

With the money the devil gave them, they could complete the cathedral. In the meantime, however, rumours of their secret deal with the devil spread around the city, and no one wanted to be first to enter the cathedral. Finally, someone thought of a trick. Some men went out in the forest, trapped a wolf, and brought it back to the main entrance of the church.On the day of the dedication when the bells began to peal, the wolf was set loose and chased into the church. The devil then swooped down like a tornado, roared through the church doors, and seized what belonged to him by the terms of the agreement. But as soon as he realised he'd been tricked, that only the soul of a wolf had been delivered to him, he flew into a rage and slammed the brass door shut with such force that a crack developed in it, and the crack remains to this day.

To commemorate this event, statues of the wolf and his soul, which resembles a pine cone, were cast.

Hackelnberg's Dream

Hans von Hackelnberg was chief hunting master and an accomplished huntsman. One night at Harz Castle he had a bad dream. He seemed to be engaged in battle with a terrible wild boar that finally defeated him after a long struggle.

He was not able to forget this dream and a short time later, while he was in the foothills of the Harz Mountains, he actually met a wild boar similar to the one in his dream. It attacked him, and for a long time the outcome was doubtful.

But in the end, Hans triumphed and laid his opponent out on the ground. Overjoyed as he viewed him stretched out at his feet, Hans kicked at the terrible tusks of the boar and cried, "You shall not do me in after all!"

However, Hackelnberg had kicked the boar with such force that a sharp tusk had penetrated his boot, wounding his foot.

At first he paid little heed to the wound and continued the chase. But by the time he returned home the foot had become so swollen that the boot had to be cut away. He then hastened back to Wolfenbattel, but the effect of the shaking carriage was so damaging that he was barely alive when they reached the hospital in Wulprode, near Homburg. Shortly after he died.





















The Three Old Men

In the Angeln region of the Duchy of Schleswig there are people still living who remember hearing the following story told by the late Pastor Oest, a man well known for several learned works he had published. However, no one can now recall whether the story was about the pastor himself or a minister from a neighboring town.It all took place back in the middle of the 1700s when the new pastor set out on horseback to ride the borders of his diocese to get to know his territory. In a remote area he found a lonesome farm along the road. On a bench in front of the house sat an old man with snow-white hair. He was crying bitterly.The pastor wished him a good evening and asked him what was wrong. "Alas," replied the old man, "my father has given me beating." Astonished, the pastor tied up his horse and entered the house. In the hall he met a man who was even older than the manoutside, and he was beside himself with rage.

The pastor addressed him politely and asked what had made him so angry. The old man answered, "Oh, that boy. He let my father fall." He then opened the door to the living room, and the pastor, speechless with amazement, saw an ancient man, withered with age but still active, sitting in an armchair behind the oven.





















The Giant's Toy

Next to a waterfall on a high mountain in Alsace stands Nideck Castle. In early times the knights who inhabited this castle were giants.

One day a giant maiden, who decided to see what life was like down in the valley, walked down the mountain almost as far as Haslach.

Hard by the forest she came to a field just being plowed by some farmers. Her eyes filled with wonderment as she stopped to look at the plow, the horses, and the men. The whole tableau was quite new to her.

"Oh," she said as she approached, "I'm going to take it all home with me."

She knelt down, spread out her apron, and stroked her arm along the ground, sweeping everything into her apron. She then made her way happily back to the castle, leaping up the steep cliffs.

Near the summit, where the face of the mountain is so sheer a man could scale it only with great difficulty, the giant maiden gave a single bound and was at the top.

The giant knight was sitting at the table when she entered the castle. "Ah, my child," he said, "what have you there? You can't hide the joy in your eyes."

She quickly opened her apron and let her father look in."What are those wiggly things you have there?"

"Oh, father, it's such a marvelous toy! I have never had anything like it in my whole life."

She then removed each item one by one - the plow, the farmers, the horses - and set them on the table. Then she ran to the other side to look at her display. When the little creatures began moving back and forth she clapped her hands together and laughed with great joy.

However, her father spoke sharply to her, "Child, that is not a toy. Quickly now, carry them back down to the valley."

The maiden began to weep, but to no avail. "For me, child, the farmer is not a toy," said the knight grimly, "and I will have no more of your whimpering! Pack all these things gently into your apron and return them to the exact place from which you took them. If the farmer cannot plow his fields we giants up here in our mountain nest will have nothing to eat."

❋ Without enough and suitable food even giants succumb. Nobility too depends more on food than glitter.











Mother Holla's Pond

Many landmarks in the Meissen Mountains of Hesse are said to be very old. Of all such places, the strangest is Mother Holla's Pond. It lies in one corner of a swampy meadow and is only about forty or fifty feet across. The entire meadow is encircled by a stone wall that has sunk halfway into the marshy ground. It happens from time to time that a horse ventures beyond the wall and sinks out of sight.

The people tell many things about Mother Holla, the patroness of that pond, both good and bad. Women who visit it the pond climbing into the spring, become healthy and fertile. She has flowers, fruits, and cakes in her underground realm. She distributes these and the produce from her fantastic gardens to those she meets - if she likes them.

Mother Holla is very tidy and keeps a neat household.

When it snows in man's world, it is Mother Holla shaking out her feather beds till the flakes drift around in the wind.She punishes girls who are lazy at the spinning wheel by soiling their linens, tangling their yarn, even setting fire to their flax. However, she rewards hard-working girls by giving them with new spindles and by doing their spinning for them at night.

When these girls wake in the morning, they often find their spools full of newly spun yarn. But she also visits the lazy girls at night. She pulls the covers off their beds, carries them out into the night, and places them on cold, hard cobblestones where they wake up freezing.Mother Holla also rewards hard-working maidens who at dawn fetch water from the wells in finely polished pails, by placing silver coins in their buckets. She likes to lure children into her pond - the good ones she rewards with success and fortune; the evil ones become changelings.

Each year Mother Holla wanders around the countryside bestowing fertility on the fields. However, she can also strike terror into the hearts of the people when she roars through the forests, leading raging hordes.

Sometimes she appears as a beautiful White Woman, floating or hovering above the surface of her pond. At other times, though, she is invisible. Then one hears only the pealing of her bells and other dark rumblings from deep beneath the surface.

❋ Success is through hard work, tidiness and care - that is the message, loud and clear.













Hackelberg, the Wild Huntsman

Many years ago in the lands of Brunswick there lived a master huntsman by the name of Hackelberg. He was said to have been so fond of hunting that when he lay on his deathbed he begged God to allow him to exchange his place in Heaven for permission to hunt in Soiling Forest until Judgment Day, whenever that day would come. He also asked to be buried in the wilderness of Soiling, and all he had asked for was granted.

Four times every night the terrifying echo of his hunting signals a chase - and baying hounds can be heard in the wilderness. One time the threatening sounds ring out from here, another time from there.

I myself, I believe in 1558, was riding through Solling on the way from Einbeck to Uglar when I became lost and chanced upon Hackelberg's grave in a clearing. It was like a meadow, but was covered with a wild growth and with reeds.

It measured about an acre and was somewhat longer than it was wide. Though the area was surrounded by trees, no trees grew on this clearing. One end of the field slanted slightly upwards toward sunrise, and at the other end there was a raised, flat red stone about eight or nine feet long, and about five feet wide, I think. One end of the stone pointed south and the other north.

I was told by locals afterwards that one could not find this grave by asking around and searching for it. But if someone should chance upon the site, he would find a pack of frightful black dogs next to it. I saw no such spooky dogs there. If I had, the few hairs I have on my head would surely have stood on end.



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