The Hurds

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Once upon a time there was a girl who was beautiful, but lazy and negligent. When she had to spin she was so ill tempered that if there was a little knot in the flax, she at once pulled out a whole heap of it, and scattered it about on the ground beside her. Now she had a servant who was industrious, and who gathered together the discarded flax, cleaned it, spun it well, and had a beautiful dress woven out of it for herself.

A young man had courted the lazy girl, and the wedding was about to take place. On the eve of the wedding, the industrious girl was dancing merrily about in her beautiful dress, and the bride said,

Ach, wat kann das Mäken springen
in minen Slickerlingen!

Ah, how that girl can jump about,
in my hurds!

The bridegroom heard this, and asked the bride what she meant by it. So she told him that the girl was wearing a dress made from the flax which she had thrown away. When the bridegroom heard this, and saw how lazy she was, and how industrious the poor girl was, he gave her up and went to the other girl, and chose her as his wife.

Related links

Revised October 18, 2002.