Choosing a Bride

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

There was a young herdsman who wanted very much to marry, and was acquainted with three sisters. Each one was just as beautiful as the other, so it was difficult for him to make a choice, and he could not decide to give the preference to any one of them. Then he asked his mother for advice, and she said, "Invite all three, and set some cheese before them, and watch how they cut off a slice."

The youth did so. The first one ate the cheese with the rind on. The second one hastily cut the rind off the cheese, but she cut it so quickly that she left much good cheese with it, and threw that away also. The third peeled the rind off carefully, and cut neither too much nor too little. The shepherd told all this to his mother, who said, "Take the third for your wife."

This he did, and lived contentedly and happily with her.

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Revised October 11, 2002.