Jorinde And Joringel

: The Green Fairy Book

There was once upon a time a castle in the middle of a thick wood

where lived an old woman quite alone, for she was an enchantress.

In the day-time she changed herself into a cat or a night-owl, but

in the evening she became like an ordinary woman again. She could

entice animals and birds to come to her, and then she would kill

and cook them. If any youth came within a hundred paces of the

castle, he was obliged to sta
d still, and could not stir from the

spot till she set him free; but if a pretty girl came within this

boundary, the old enchantress changed her into a bird, and shut

her up in a wicker cage, which she put in one of the rooms in the

castle. She had quite seven thousand of such cages in the castle

with very rare birds in them.

Now, there was once a maiden called Jorinde, who was more

beautiful than other maidens. She and a youth named Joringel, who

was just as good-looking as she was, were betrothed to one

another. Their greatest delight was to be together, and so that

they might get a good long talk, they went one evening for a walk

in the wood. 'Take care,' said Joringel, 'not to come too close to

the castle.' It was a beautiful evening; the sun shone brightly

between the stems of the trees among the dark green leaves of the

forest, and the turtle-dove sang clearly on the old maybushes.

Jorinde wept from time to time, and she sat herself down in the

sunshine and lamented, and Joringel lamented too. They felt as sad

as if they had been condemned to die; they looked round and got

quite confused, and did not remember which was their way home.

Half the sun was still above the mountain and half was behind it

when Joringel looked through the trees and saw the old wall of the

castle quite near them. He was terrified and half dead with

fright. Jorinde sang:

'My little bird with throat so red Sings sorrow, sorrow, sorrow;

He sings to the little dove that's dead, Sings sorrow, sor--jug,

jug, jug.'

Joringel looked up at Jorinde. She had been changed into a

nightingale, who was singing 'jug, jug.' A night-owl with glowing

eyes flew three times round her, and screeched three times 'tu-

whit, tu-whit, tu-whoo.' Joringel could not stir; he stood there

like a stone; he could not weep, or speak, or move hand or foot.

Now the sun set; the owl flew into a bush, and immediately an old,

bent woman came out of it; she was yellow-skinned and thin, and

had large red eyes and a hooked nose, which met her chin. She

muttered to herself, caught the nightingale, and carried her away

in her hand. Joringel could say nothing; he could not move from

the spot, and the nightingale was gone. At last the woman came

back again, and said in a gruff voice, 'Good evening, Zachiel;

when the young moon shines in the basket, you are freed early,

Zachiel.' Then Joringel was free. He fell on his knees before the

old woman and implored her to give him back his Jorinde, but she

said he should never have her again, and then went away. He called

after her, he wept and lamented, but all in vain. 'What is to

become of me!' he thought. Then he went away, and came at last to

a strange village, where he kept sheep for a long time. He often

went round the castle while he was there, but never too close. At

last he dreamt one night that he had found a blood-red flower,

which had in its centre a beautiful large pearl. He plucked this

flower and went with it to the castle; and there everything which

he touched with the flower was freed from the enchantment, and he

got his Jorinde back again through it. When he awoke in the

morning he began to seek mountain and valley to find such a

flower. He sought it for eight days, and on the ninth early in the

morning he found the blood-red flower. In its centre was a large

dew-drop, as big as the most lovely pearl. He travelled day and

night with this flower till he arrived at the castle. When he came

within a hundred paces of it he did not cease to be able to move,

but he went on till he reached the gate. He was delighted at his

success, touched the great gate with the flower, and it sprung

open. He entered, passed through the courtyard, and then stopped

to listen for the singing of the birds; at last he heard it. He

went in and found the hall in which was the enchantress, and with

her seven thousand birds in their wicker cages. When she saw

Joringel she was furious, and breathed out poison and gall at him,

but she could not move a step towards him. He took no notice of

her, and went and looked over the cages of birds; but there were

many hundred nightingales, and how was he to find his Jorinde from

among them? Whilst he was considering, he observed the old witch

take up a cage secretly and go with it towards the door. Instantly

he sprang after her, touched the cage with the flower, and the old

woman as well. Now she could no longer work enchantments, and

there stood Jorinde before him, with her arms round his neck, and

more beautiful than ever. Then he turned all the other birds again

into maidens, and he went home with his Jorinde, and they lived a

long and happy life.