Der var engang en mand, som havde syv sønner, men ingen døtre. Endelig fødte hans kone ham en lille pige. De var meget glade, men barnet var lille og svageligt og måtte døbes hjemme. Faderen sendte i en fart en af drengene hen til en kilde for at hente vand, de andre seks løb med, og da de allesammen ville have fat i kruset for at øse, faldt det i vandet. Nu stod de der og vidste ikke, hvad de skulle gøre, for de turde ikke gå hjem. Faderen ventede og ventede og blev til sidst utålmodig og sagde: "Nu har de skarns drenge nok givet sig til at lege og har glemt det hele." Han blev mere og mere bange for, at pigen skulle dø uden at være døbt, og råbte til sidst ærgerlig: "Jeg ville ønske, alle drengene ville blive til ravne!" Næppe havde han sagt det, før han hørte en susen i luften over sit hovede, og da han så op, fik han øje på syv kulsorte ravne.
There was once a man who had seven sons, and still he had no daughter, however much he wished for one. At length his wife again gave him hope of a child, and when it came into the world it was a girl. The joy was great, but the child was sickly and small, and had to be privately baptized on account of its weakness. The father sent one of the boys in haste to the spring to fetch water for the baptism. The other six went with him, and as each of them wanted to be first to fill it, the jug fell into the well. There they stood and did not know what to do, and none of them dared to go home. As they still did not return, the father grew impatient, and said, "They have certainly forgotten it for some game, the wicked boys!" He became afraid that the girl would have to die without being baptized, and in his anger cried, "I wish the boys were all turned into ravens." Hardly was the word spoken before he heard a whirring of wings over his head in the air, looked up and saw seven coal-black ravens flying away.
Faderen kunne ikke tage sit ønske tilbage, men hvor bedrøvede de end var over tabet af deres syv drenge, trøstede de sig dog efterhånden med deres lille datter, som snart kom til kræfter og blev smukkere for hver dag, der gik. Hun vidste i mange år slet ikke, at hun havde haft søskende, for hendes forældre vogtede sig vel for at fortælle hende det, men en dag hørte hun tilfældig en kone sige, at pigen var jo nok smuk, men hun var jo dog på en måde skyld i sine syv brødres ulykke. Hun blev meget bedrøvet, da hun hørte det, og spurgte sin far og mor, hvad der var blevet af hendes brødre. Forældrene kunne nu ikke længere skjule det for hende, men de sagde, at det havde været himlens vilje. Hendes fødsel havde kun været den uskyldige årsag. Men pigen syntes alligevel, det var hendes skyld, og at hun måtte gøre, hvad hun kunne, for at frelse dem. En nat listede hun sig stille ud af huset og begav sig på vej ud i den vide verden for at finde sine brødre og frelse dem, hvad det end skulle koste. Hun tog ikke andet med end en lille ring til minde om sine forældre, et stykke brød og et krus vand og en lille stol til at sidde på, når hun blev træt.
The parents could not recall the curse, and however sad they were at the loss of their seven sons, they still to some extent comforted themselves with their dear little daughter, who soon grew strong and every day became more beautiful. For a long time she did not know that she had had brothers, for her parents were careful not to mention them before her, but one day she accidentally heard some people saying of herself, "that the girl was certainly beautiful, but that in reality she was to blame for the misfortune which had befallen her seven brothers." Then she was much troubled, and went to her father and mother and asked if it was true that she had had brothers, and what had become of them? The parents now dared keep the secret no longer, but said that what had befallen her brothers was the will of Heaven, and that her birth had only been the innocent cause. But the maiden took it to heart daily, and thought she must deliver her brothers. She had no rest or peace until she set out secretly, and went forth into the wide world to trace out her brothers and set them free, let it cost what it might. She took nothing with her but a little ring belonging to her parents as a keepsake, a loaf of bread against hunger, a little pitcher of water against thirst, and a little chair as a provision against weariness.
Hun gik og gik lige til verdens ende. Så kom hun til solen, men den var så hed, så hed og spiste de små børn. Så hurtig hun kunne løb hun sin vej hen til månen, men den var så kold og vred, og da den så barnet, sagde den: "Jeg lugter menneskekød." Hun skyndte sig at komme bort og gik op til stjernerne, som var milde og venlige, og hver af dem sad på en lille stol. Kun morgenstjernen stod op, og den gav hende et lille ben og sagde: "Uden dette ben kan du ikke komme ind i glasbjerget, og der er dine brødre."
And now she went continually onwards, far, far to the very end of the world. Then she came to the sun, but it was too hot and terrible, and devoured little children. Hastily she ran away, and ran to the moon, but it was far too cold, and also awful and malicious, and when it saw the child, it said, "I smell, I smell the flesh of men." On this she ran swiftly away, and came to the stars, which were kind and good to her, and each of them sat on its own particular little chair. But the morning star arose, and gave her the drumstick of a chicken, and said, "If you thou hast not that drumstick thou canst not open the Glass mountain, and in the Glass mountain are thy brothers."
Pigen tog benet, pakkede det ind i et tørklæde og gik, lige til hun kom til glasbjerget. Døren var lukket, og da hun ville tage benet frem for at lukke op, var tørklædet tomt. Hun vidste slet ikke, hvad hun skulle gøre, for hun ville frelse sine brødre. Da tog den gode, lille pige en kniv, skar sin lillefinger af, stak den i låsen, og døren gik op. Hun gik ind og traf en dværg, som spurgte: "Hvad leder du efter, min lille pige?" - "Jeg leder efter mine brødre, de syv ravne," svarede hun. "De er ikke hjemme," sagde dværgen, "men kom indenfor og vent lidt, så kommer de nok snart." Dværgen satte nu mad til rette til ravnene på syv tallerkener og skænkede vand i syv bægre. Pigen tog en mundfuld af hver tallerken og drak en slurk af hvert bæger. I det sidste lagde hun den ring, hun havde taget med.
The maiden took the drumstick, wrapped it carefully in a cloth, and went onwards again until she came to the Glass mountain. The door was shut, and she thought she would take out the drumstick; but when she undid the cloth, it was empty, and she had lost the good star's present. What was she now to do? She wished to rescue her brothers, and had no key to the Glass mountain. The good sister took a knife, cut off one of her little fingers, put it in the door, and succeeded in opening it. When she had gone inside, a little dwarf came to meet her, who said, "My child, what are you looking for?" - "I am looking for my brothers, the seven ravens," she replied. The dwarf said, "The lord ravens are not at home, but if you will wait here until they come, step in." Thereupon the little dwarf carried the ravens' dinner in, on seven little plates, and in seven little glasses, and the little sister ate a morsel from each plate, and from each little glass she took a sip, but in the last little glass she dropped the ring which she had brought away with her.
Kort efter hørte hun en susen i luften. "Nu kommer de hjem," sagde dværgen. Ravnene kom nu flyvende og satte sig ned for at spise. "Hvem er det, der har spist og drukket af vores mad," råbte de. "Det er et menneske." Og da den syvende havde tømt sit bæger, fandt han ringen på bunden og så straks, at det var hans mors. "Blot det var vores søster, så var vi frelst," udbrød han, og da pigen hørte det, kom hun frem, og straks blev ravnene til mennesker igen. De omfavnede og kyssede hinanden og drog så allesammen glade hjem til deres far og mor.
Suddenly she heard a whirring of wings and a rushing through the air, and then the little dwarf said, "Now the lord ravens are flying home." Then they came, and wanted to eat and drink, and looked for their little plates and glasses. Then said one after the other, "Who has eaten something from my plate? Who has drunk out of my little glass? It was a human mouth." And when the seventh came to the bottom of the glass, the ring rolled against his mouth. Then he looked at it, and saw that it was a ring belonging to his father and mother, and said, "God grant that our sister may be here, and then we shall be free." When the maiden, who was standing behind the door watching, heard that wish, she came forth, and on this all the ravens were restored to their human form again. And they embraced and kissed each other, and went joyfully home.
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