Hansel and Gretel by Jessie Wilcox Smith

Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm translated by Margaret Hunt

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by John Hassall

Grimm's Household Tales with the
Author's Notes
translated by Margaret Hunt

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The Wolf and the Man

ONCE on a time the fox was talking to the wolf of the strength of man; how no animal could withstand him, and how all were obliged to employ cunning in order to preserve themselves from him. Then the wolf answered, "If I had but the chance of seeing a man for once, I would set on him notwithstanding." "I can help thee to do that," said the fox. "Come to me early to-morrow morning, and I will show thee one." The wolf presented himself betimes, and the fox took him out on the road by which the huntsmen went daily. First came an old discharged soldier. "Is that a man?" inquired the wolf. "No," answered the fox, "that was one." Afterwards came a little boy who was going to school. "Is that a man?" "No, that is going to be one." At length came a hunter with his double-barrelled gun at his back, and hanger by his side. Said the fox to the wolf, "Look, there comes a man, thou must attack him, but I will take myself off to my hole." The wolf then rushed on the man. When the huntsman saw him he said, "It is a pity that I have not loaded with a bullet," aimed, and fired his small shot in his face. The wolf pulled a very wry face, but did not let himself be frightened, and attacked him again, on which the huntsman gave him the second barrel. The wolf swallowed his pain, and rushed on the huntsman, but he drew out his bright hanger, and gave him a few cuts with it right and left, so that, bleeding everywhere, he ran howling back to the fox. "Well, brother wolf," said the fox, "how hast thou got on with man?" "Ah!" replied the wolf, "I never imagined the strength of man to be what it is! First, he took a stick from his shoulder, and blew into it, and then something flew into my face which tickled me terribly; then he breathed once more into the stick, and it flew into my nose like lightning and hail; when I was quite close, he drew a white rib out of his side, and he beat me so with it that I was all but left lying dead." "See what a braggart thou art!" said the fox. "Thou throwest thy hatchet so far that thou canst not fetch it back again!"

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The Wolf and the Fox

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Household Tales. Margaret Hunt, translator. London: George Bell, 1884, 1892. 2 volumes.


From Paderborn. There is another story from Bavaria. The wolf boasts to the fox that there is nothing in the world that he is afraid of, and that he will devour a horseman, and his horse as well. The fox in order to humble the wolf, whom he secretly fears, will not believe this until he sees it with his own eyes. They conceal themselves in the forest by the roadside. Two small weak men seem to the fox to be too insignificant for the trial, but at last a hussar, with a powerful sabre by his side, comes thither. "That is the right one," says the fox, "thou must set on him." The wolf, to keep his word, springs out and seizes the rider, but he draws his sword out of the scabbard, strikes promptly, and mangles the wolf so terribly that he has great difficulty in returning to the fox, "Well," says the fox, "how did the horseman taste?" "Alas!" replies the wolf in a feeble voice, "I should certainly have devoured him, if he had not had a white tongue behind him, which he pulled out and licked me with so terribly, that I never got to the eating." In an old German 13th century poem (Keller's Erzählungen, No 528), a young lion appears. He asks his father if he has ever seen an animal stronger than they. "Yes," answers the old lion, "and man is that animal." A boy comes thither, and the old lion says, "He will be a man." Then a grey-beard comes, and the old one says, "He, too, was once a man." And now comes a man who has a spear in his hand, and a sword in his belt. The old lion says, "Son, here is one of the kind I spoke of to you." He warns his son not to go too near this one, but the young lion springs on him. The man attacks him with the spear, and then draws his sword and cuts him through the back, and he falls on the ground. The old lion comes up, and the young one says to him, "The long tooth with which the man defended himself was of hard steel, and then he drew a rib out of his side, and dealt me this wound." "There are many children like you who will not obey their fathers and have to bear the consequence," replies the father. The story is also known in Transylvania, see Haltrich, No. 30. Franz von Kobel has treated it in Poems in the Upper Bavarian dialect (Munich, 1846, p. 81). But the Negroes also have the story. See The Lion and the Huntsman, Kölle, No. 9. Compare the notes to No. 48.

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