Jorinda and Jorindel


There was once an old castle, that stood in the middle of a deep
gloomy wood, and in the castle lived an old fairy. Now this fairy
could take any shape she pleased. All the day long she flew about in
the form of an owl, or crept about the country like a cat; but at
night she always became an old woman again. When any young man came
within a hundred paces of her castle, he became quite fixed, and could
not move a step till she came and set him free; which she would not do
till he had given her his word never to come there again: but when any
pretty maiden came within that space she was changed into a bird, and
the fairy put her into a cage, and hung her up in a chamber in the
castle. There were seven hundred of these cages hanging in the castle,
and all with beautiful birds in them.

Now there was once a maiden whose name was Jorinda. She was prettier
than all the pretty girls that ever were seen before, and a shepherd
lad, whose name was Jorindel, was very fond of her, and they were soon
to be married. One day they went to walk in the wood, that they might
be alone; and Jorindel said, 'We must take care that we don't go too
near to the fairy's castle.' It was a beautiful evening; the last rays
of the setting sun shone bright through the long stems of the trees
upon the green underwood beneath, and the turtle-doves sang from the
tall birches.

Jorinda sat down to gaze upon the sun; Jorindel sat by her side; and
both felt sad, they knew not why; but it seemed as if they were to be
parted from one another for ever. They had wandered a long way; and
when they looked to see which way they should go home, they found
themselves at a loss to know what path to take.

The sun was setting fast, and already half of its circle had sunk
behind the hill: Jorindel on a sudden looked behind him, and saw
through the bushes that they had, without knowing it, sat down close
under the old walls of the castle. Then he shrank for fear, turned
pale, and trembled. Jorinda was just singing,

'The ring-dove sang from the willow spray,
Well-a-day! Well-a-day!
He mourn'd for the fate of his darling mate,

when her song stopped suddenly. Jorindel turned to see the reason, and
beheld his Jorinda changed into a nightingale, so that her song ended
with a mournful /jug, jug/. An owl with fiery eyes flew three times
round them, and three times screamed:

'Tu whu! Tu whu! Tu whu!'

Jorindel could not move; he stood fixed as a stone, and could neither
weep, nor speak, nor stir hand or foot. And now the sun went quite
down; the gloomy night came; the owl flew into a bush; and a moment
after the old fairy came forth pale and meagre, with staring eyes, and
a nose and chin that almost met one another.

She mumbled something to herself, seized the nightingale, and went
away with it in her hand. Poor Jorindel saw the nightingale was gone--
but what could he do? He could not speak, he could not move from the
spot where he stood. At last the fairy came back and sang with a
hoarse voice:

'Till the prisoner is fast,
And her doom is cast,
There stay! Oh, stay!
When the charm is around her,
And the spell has bound her,
Hie away! away!'

On a sudden Jorindel found himself free. Then he fell on his knees
before the fairy, and prayed her to give him back his dear Jorinda:
but she laughed at him, and said he should never see her again; then
she went her way.

He prayed, he wept, he sorrowed, but all in vain. 'Alas!' he said,
'what will become of me?' He could not go back to his own home, so he
went to a strange village, and employed himself in keeping sheep. Many
a time did he walk round and round as near to the hated castle as he
dared go, but all in vain; he heard or saw nothing of Jorinda.

At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower,
and that in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he
plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand into the castle, and
that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he
found his Jorinda again.

In the morning when he awoke, he began to search over hill and dale
for this pretty flower; and eight long days he sought for it in vain:
but on the ninth day, early in the morning, he found the beautiful
purple flower; and in the middle of it was a large dewdrop, as big as
a costly pearl. Then he plucked the flower, and set out and travelled
day and night, till he came again to the castle.

He walked nearer than a hundred paces to it, and yet he did not become
fixed as before, but found that he could go quite close up to the
door. Jorindel was very glad indeed to see this. Then he touched the
door with the flower, and it sprang open; so that he went in through
the court, and listened when he heard so many birds singing. At last
he came to the chamber where the fairy sat, with the seven hundred
birds singing in the seven hundred cages. When she saw Jorindel she
was very angry, and screamed with rage; but she could not come within
two yards of him, for the flower he held in his hand was his
safeguard. He looked around at the birds, but alas! there were many,
many nightingales, and how then should he find out which was his
Jorinda? While he was thinking what to do, he saw the fairy had taken
down one of the cages, and was making the best of her way off through
the door. He ran or flew after her, touched the cage with the flower,
and Jorinda stood before him, and threw her arms round his neck
looking as beautiful as ever, as beautiful as when they walked
together in the wood.

Then he touched all the other birds with the flower, so that they all
took their old forms again; and he took Jorinda home, where they were
married, and lived happily together many years: and so did a good many
other lads, whose maidens had been forced to sing in the old fairy's
cages by themselves, much longer than they liked.


An honest farmer had once an ass that had been a faithful servant to
him a great many years, but was now growing old and every day more and
more unfit for work. His master therefore was tired of keeping him and
began to think of putting an end to him; but the ass, who saw that
some mischief was in the wind, took himself slyly off, and began his
journey towards the great city, 'For there,' thought he, 'I may turn

After he had travelled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the
roadside and panting as if he were tired. 'What makes you pant so, my
friend?' said the ass. 'Alas!' said the dog, 'my master was going to
knock me on the head, because I am old and weak, and can no longer
make myself useful to him in hunting; so I ran away; but what can I do
to earn my livelihood?' 'Hark ye!' said the ass, 'I am going to the
great city to turn musician: suppose you go with me, and try what you
can do in the same way?' The dog said he was willing, and they jogged
on together.

They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of
the road and making a most rueful face. 'Pray, my good lady,' said the
ass, 'what's the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits!' 'Ah,
me!' said the cat, 'how can one be in good spirits when one's life is
in danger? Because I am beginning to grow old, and had rather lie at
my ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my
mistress laid hold of me, and was going to drown me; and though I have
been lucky enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to
live upon.' 'Oh,' said the ass, 'by all means go with us to the great
city; you are a good night singer, and may make your fortune as a
musician.' The cat was pleased with the thought, and joined the party.

Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farmyard, they saw a cock
perched upon a gate, and screaming out with all his might and main.
'Bravo!' said the ass; 'upon my word, you make a famous noise; pray
what is all this about?' 'Why,' said the cock, 'I was just now saying
that we should have fine weather for our washing-day, and yet my
mistress and the cook don't thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut
off my head tomorrow, and make broth of me for the guests that are
coming on Sunday!' 'Heaven forbid!' said the ass, 'come with us Master
Chanticleer; it will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have
your head cut off! Besides, who knows? If we care to sing in tune, we
may get up some kind of a concert; so come along with us.' 'With all
my heart,' said the cock: so they all four went on jollily together.

They could not, however, reach the great city the first day; so when
night came on, they went into a wood to sleep. The ass and the dog
laid themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into
the branches; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the
safer he should be, flew up to the very top of the tree, and then,
according to his custom, before he went to sleep, looked out on all
sides of him to see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw
afar off something bright and shining and calling to his companions
said, 'There must be a house no great way off, for I see a light.' 'If
that be the case,' said the ass, 'we had better change our quarters,
for our lodging is not the best in the world!' 'Besides,' added the
dog, 'I should not be the worse for a bone or two, or a bit of meat.'
So they walked off together towards the spot where Chanticleer had
seen the light, and as they drew near it became larger and brighter,
till they at last came close to a house in which a gang of robbers

The ass, being the tallest of the company, marched up to the window
and peeped in. 'Well, Donkey,' said Chanticleer, 'what do you see?'
'What do I see?' replied the ass. 'Why, I see a table spread with all
kinds of good things, and robbers sitting round it making merry.'
'That would be a noble lodging for us,' said the cock. 'Yes,' said the
ass, 'if we could only get in'; so they consulted together how they
should contrive to get the robbers out; and at last they hit upon a
plan. The ass placed himself upright on his hind legs, with his
forefeet resting against the window; the dog got upon his back; the
cat scrambled up to the dog's shoulders, and the cock flew up and sat
upon the cat's head. When all was ready a signal was given, and they
began their music. The ass brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and
the cock screamed; and then they all broke through the window at once,
and came tumbling into the room, amongst the broken glass, with a most
hideous clatter! The robbers, who had been not a little frightened by
the opening concert, had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin
had broken in upon them, and scampered away as fast as they could.

The coast once clear, our travellers soon sat down and dispatched what
the robbers had left, with as much eagerness as if they had not
expected to eat again for a month. As soon as they had satisfied
themselves, they put out the lights, and each once more sought out a
resting-place to his own liking. The donkey laid himself down upon a
heap of straw in the yard, the dog stretched himself upon a mat behind
the door, the cat rolled herself up on the hearth before the warm
ashes, and the cock perched upon a beam on the top of the house; and,
as they were all rather tired with their journey, they soon fell

But about midnight, when the robbers saw from afar that the lights
were out and that all seemed quiet, they began to think that they had
been in too great a hurry to run away; and one of them, who was bolder
than the rest, went to see what was going on. Finding everything
still, he marched into the kitchen, and groped about till he found a
match in order to light a candle; and then, espying the glittering
fiery eyes of the cat, he mistook them for live coals, and held the
match to them to light it. But the cat, not understanding this joke,
sprang at his face, and spat, and scratched at him. This frightened
him dreadfully, and away he ran to the back door; but there the dog
jumped up and bit him in the leg; and as he was crossing over the yard
the ass kicked him; and the cock, who had been awakened by the noise,
crowed with all his might. At this the robber ran back as fast as he
could to his comrades, and told the captain how a horrid witch had got
into the house, and had spat at him and scratched his face with her
long bony fingers; how a man with a knife in his hand had hidden
himself behind the door, and stabbed him in the leg; how a black
monster stood in the yard and struck him with a club, and how the
devil had sat upon the top of the house and cried out, 'Throw the
rascal up here!' After this the robbers never dared to go back to the
house; but the musicians were so pleased with their quarters that they
took up their abode there; and there they are, I dare say, at this
very day.

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