The Old Witch





BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM (TRANSLATED)



There was once a little girl who was very willful 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 her:--



"Why are you so pale?"



"Ah," she replied, trembling all over, "I have frightened myself so with

what I have just seen."



"And what did you see?" inquired the old witch.



"I saw a black man on your steps."



"That was a collier," replied she.



"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; and 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!"





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