Mother Holle

Once there lived a widow. She had a stepdaughter who was very pretty and hardworking, but her own daughter was ugly and lazy. The stepmother was very cruel and wicked.

One day while spinning, her stepdaughter’s fingers started to bleed. She dipped the shuttle into the well to wash it but it fell inside. She jumped inside the well to get the shuttle and lost her senses. When she regained her senses, she found herself in a beautiful meadow. Wandering there, she helped a loaf of bread out of the oven when it cried out to her for help. When the apple tree asked her, she shook the apple tree to drop the ripe apples. At last, she reached a house where an old woman called Mother Holle gave her shelter. The girl did all the work but after some time, she longed to go back home. As a reward for her hard work, Mother Holle heaped upon her a shower of golden rain, which clung to her.

When the stepdaughter reached home and narrated her story, her stepmother desired that her own daughter also be blessed with so much wealth. The lazy girl also jumped in the well and soon found herself in a beautiful meadow. But, she neither helped the burning loaf nor did she listen to the apple tree’s request. And when she came to Mother Holle’s house, she worked hard for one day but soon became lazy and refused to move. She was only thinking of the wealth she would get. So when it was time for her to return home, Mother Holle emptied a kettle full of tar on her that never came off!

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