The brother and sister



The brother took his sister's hand and said to her, "Since our mother died we have had no good days; our stepmother beats us every day, and if we go near her she kicks us away; we have nothing to eat but hard crusts of bread left over; the dog under the table fares better," he gets a good piece every now and then. If our mother only knew, how she would pity us! Come, let us go together out into the wide world!" So they went, and journeyed the whole day through fields and meadows and stony places, and if it rained the sister said, "The skies and we are weeping together." In the evening they came to a great wood, and they were so weary with hunger and their long journey, that they climbed up into a high tree and fell asleep.

The next morning, when they awoke, the sun was high in heaven, and shone brightly through the leaves. Then said the brother, "Sister, I am thirsty; if I only knew where to find a brook, that I might go and drink! I almost think that I hear one rushing."

So the brother got down and led his sister by the hand, and they went to seek the brook. But their wicked stepmother was a witch, and had known quite well that the two children had run away, and had sneaked after them, as only witches can, and had laid a spell on all the brooks in the forest.

So when they found a little stream flowing smoothly over its pebbles, the brother was going to drink of it; but the sister heard how it said in its rushing, "He a tiger will be who drinks of me, Who drinks of me a tiger will be!"

Then the sister cried, "Pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you will become a wild beast, and will tear me in pieces."

So the brother refrained from drinking, though his thirst was great, and he said he would wait till he came to the next brook. When they came to a second brook the sister heard it say, "He a wolf will be who drinks of me, Who drinks of me a wolf will be!"

Then the sister cried, "Pray, dear brother, do not drink, or you will be turned into a wolf, and will eat me up!"

So the brother refrained from drinking, and said, "I will wait until we come to the next brook, and then I must drink, whatever you say; my thirst is so great."

And when they came to the third brook the sister heard how in its rushing it said, "Who drinks of me a fawn will be, He a fawn will be who drinks of me!"

Then the sister said, "O my brother, I pray drink not, or you will be turned into a fawn, and run away far from me."

But he had already kneeled by the side of the brook and stooped and drunk of the water, and as the first drops passed his lips he became a fawn.

And the sister wept over her poor lost brother, and the fawn wept also, and stayed sadly beside her. At last the maiden said, "Be comforted, dear fawn, indeed I will never leave you." Then she untied her golden girdle and bound it round the fawn's neck, and went and gathered rushes to make a soft cord, which she fastened to him; and then she led him on, and they went deeper into the forest. And when they had gone a long long way, they came at last to a little house, and the maiden looked inside, and as it was empty she thought, "We might as well live here." And she fetched leaves and moss to make a soft bed for the fawn, and every morning she went out and gathered roots and berries and nuts for herself, and fresh grass for the fawn, who ate out of her hand with joy, frolicking round her. At night, when the sister was tired, and had said her prayers, she laid her head on the fawn's back, which served her for a pillow, and softly fell asleep. And if only the brother could have got back his own shape again, it would have been a charming life.

So they lived a long while in the wilderness alone. Now it happened that the King of that country held a great hunt in the forest. The blowing of the horns, the barking of the dogs, and the lusty shouts of the huntsmen sounded through the wood, and the fawn heard them and was eager to be among them.

"Oh," said he to his sister," do let me go to the hunt; I cannot stay behind any longer," and begged so long that at last she consented.

"But mind," said she to him," come back to me at night. I must lock my door against the wild hunters, so, in order that I may know you, you must knock and say, ' Little sister, let me in,' and unless I hear that I shall not unlock the door." Then the fawn sprang out, and felt glad and merry in the open air. The King and his huntsmen saw the beautiful animal, and began at once to pursue him, but they could not come within reach of him, for when they thought they were certain of him he sprang away over the bushes and disappeared. As soon as it was dark he went back to the little house, knocked at the door, and said, "Little sister, let me in." Then the door was opened to him, and he went in, and rested the whole night long on his soft bed.

The next morning the hunt began anew, and when the fawn heard the hunting-horns and the tally-ho of the huntsmen he could rest no longer, and said, "Little sister, let me out, I must go"

The sister opened the door and said, "Now, mind you must come back at night and say the same words." When the King and his hunters saw the fawn with the golden collar again, they chased him closely, but he was too nimble and swift for them. This lasted the whole day, and at last the hunters surrounded him, and one of them wounded his foot a little, so that he was obliged to limp and to go slowly. Then a hunter slipped after him to the little house, and heard how he called out," Little sister, let me in," and saw the door open and shut again after him directly., The hunter noticed all this carefully, went to the King, and told him all he had seen and heard. Then said the King, "To-morrow we will hunt again."

But the sister was very terrified when she saw that her fawn was wounded. She washed his foot, laid cooling leaves round it, and said," Lie down on your bed, dear fawn, and rest, that you may be soon well." The wound was very slight, so that the fawn felt nothing of it the next morning. And when he heard the noise of the hunting outside, he said, "I cannot stay in, I must go after them; I shall not be taken easily again!"

The sister began to weep, and said, "I know you will be killed, and I left alone here in the forest, and forsaken of everybody. I cannot let you go!"

"Then I shall die here with longing," answered the fawn;" when I hear the sound of the horn I feel as if I should leap out of my skin."

Then the sister, seeing there was no help for it, unlocked the door with a heavy heart, and the fawn bounded away into the forest, well and merry.

When the King saw him, he said to his hunters, "Now, follow him up all day long till the night comes, and see that you do him no hurt." So as soon as the sun had gone down, the King said to the huntsmen:" Now, come and show me the little house in the wood." And when he got to the door he knocked at it, and cried, "Little sister, let me in!" Then the door opened, and the King went in, and there stood a maiden more beautiful than any he had seen before. The maiden shrieked out when she saw, instead of the fawn, a man standing there with a gold crown on his head. But the King looked kindly on her, took her by the hand, and said, "Will you go with me to my castle, and be my dear wife?"

"Oh yes," answered the maiden, "but the fawn must come too. I could not leave him." And the King said, "He shall remain with you as long as you live, and shall lack nothing." Then the fawn came bounding in, and the sister tied the cord of rushes to him, and led him by her own hand out of the little house.

The King put the beautiful maiden on his horse, and carried her to his castle, where the wedding was held with great pomp; so she became lady Queen, and they lived together happily for a long while; the fawn was well tended and cherished, and he gambolled about the castle garden. Now the wicked stepmother, whose fault it was that the children were driven out into the world, never dreamed but that the sister had been eaten up by wild beasts in the forest, and that the brother, in the likeness of a fawn, had been slain by the hunters. But when she heard that they were so happy, and that things had gone so well with them, jealousy and envy arose in her heart, and left her no peace, and her chief thought was how to bring misfortune upon them. Her own daughter, who was as ugly as sin, and had only one eye, complained to her, and said, "I never had the chance of being a Queen."

"Never mind," said the old woman, to satisfy her;" when the time comes, I shall be at hand." After a while the Queen brought a beautiful baby-boy into the world, and that day the King was out hunting. The old witch took the shape of the bedchamber woman, and went into the room where the Queen lay, and said to her, "Come, the bath is ready; it will give you refreshment and new strength. Quick, or it will be cold." Her daughter was within call, so they carried the sick Queen into the bath-room, and left her there. And in the bath-room they had made a great fire, so as to suffocate the beautiful young Queen.

When that was managed, the old woman took her daughter, put a cap on her, and laid her in the bed in the Queen's place, gave her also the Queen's form and countenance, only she could not restore the lost eye. So, in order that the King might not remark it, she had to lie on the side where there was no eye. In the evening, when the King came home and heard that a little son was born to him, he rejoiced with all his heart, and was going at once to his dear wife's bedside to see how she did. Then the old woman cried hastily, "For your life, do not draw back the curtains, to let in the light upon her; she must be kept quiet." So the King went away, and never knew that a false Queen was lying in the bed.

Now, when it was midnight, and every one was asleep, the nurse, who was sitting by the cradle in the nursery and watching there alone, saw the door open, and the true Queen come in. She took the child out of the cradle, laid it in her bosom, and fed it. Then she shook out its little pillow, put the child back again, and covered it with the coverlet. She did not forget the fawn either: she went to him where he lay in the corner, and stroked his back tenderly. Then she went in perfect silence out at the door, and the nurse next morning asked the watchmen if any one had entered the castle during the night, but they said they had seen no one.

And the Queen came many nights, and never said a word; the nurse saw her always, but she did not dare speak of it to any one.

After some time had gone by in this manner, the Queen seemed to find voice, and said one night,

"My child my fawn twice more I come to see,
Twice more I come, and then the end must be."

The nurse said nothing, but as soon as the Queen had disappeared she went to the King and told him all. The King said, "Ah, heaven! what do I hear! I will myself watch by the child to-morrow night." So at evening he went into the nursery, and at midnight the Queen appeared, and said,

"My child my fawn once more I come to see,
Once more I come, and then the end must be."

And she tended the child, as she was accustomed to do, before she vanished. The King dared not speak to her, but he watched again the following night, and heard her say,

"My child my fawn this once I come to see,
This once I come, and now the end must be."

Then the King could contain himself no longer, but rushed towards her, saying, "You are no other than my dear wife!"

Then she answered, "Yes, I am your dear wife," and in that moment, by the grace of heaven, her life returned to her, and she was once more well and strong. Then she told the King the snare that the wicked witch and her daughter had laid for her.

The King had them both brought to judgment, and sentence was passed upon them. The daughter was sent away into the wood, where she was devoured by the wild beasts, and the witch was burned, and ended miserably. And as soon as her body was in ashes the spell was removed from the fawn, and he took human shape again; and then the sister and brother lived happily together until the end.
他们在草地、田野和石岩中整整走了一天。 突然天下起了雨,小姐姐便说:"看哪,天在和我们的心一起哭泣呢。"傍晚,他们来到了一片大森林,由于伤心和饥饿,再加上走了这么长的路,他们累坏了,便钻进一棵空心大树,躺在里面睡着了。
当他们第二天醒来时,太阳早已高高地挂在了天上,温暖地照进了这棵空心大树。 小弟弟说:"姐姐,我口渴。要是知道哪里有条小溪,我就去喝点水。我好像听到小溪的流水声了。"弟弟站起来,拉着小姐姐的手,走过去找那条小溪。 可是他们那坏心肠的继母是个女巫,知道两个孩子逃跑了,便和所有的女巫一样,偷偷地跟在他们的后面,把森林里所有的小溪都使了妖术。
看到有条清亮的小溪正在岩石间流淌,小弟弟便想过去喝水,可是小姐姐听到小溪的流水在说话:"谁喝我就会变成老虎!谁喝我就会变成老虎!"小姐姐赶紧叫道:"好弟弟,我求你千万不要喝这水,要不你会变成一只野兽 ,把我撕碎的。 "小弟弟便忍着口渴,不去喝那水,但是他说:"我忍着等找到第二条小溪的时候再喝。 "
当他们来到第三条小溪前时,小姐姐听到小溪在说:"谁要喝我就会变成一头鹿!谁要喝我就会变成一头鹿!"姐姐便说:"好弟弟,我求求你,千万不要喝这水,不然你会变成一头鹿,从我的身边跑走的。"可是弟弟一见小溪就跪了下去,弯下腰去喝水了。 嘴唇刚碰到几滴水,趴在那里的他就变成了一头小鹿。
看到可怜的弟弟中了魔法,小姐姐哭了起来,小鹿也坐在她的身边伤心地哭着。 终于,小姑娘说道:"亲爱的小鹿,别哭了 ,我永远不会离开你的。 "
她解下一根金袜带,系在小鹿的脖子上,然后又拔了一些灯芯草,编了一根软绳。 她给小鹿拴上这根绳子,牵着它向森林的深处走去。
他们走呀走,终于来到了一座小屋前。 小姑娘朝里面望了望,看到里面是空的,便想:"我们可以留下来,住在这里。"于是,她找来许多树叶和青苔,给小鹿铺了一张柔软的床。 她每天早晨出去,为自己采集草根、浆果和坚果,还给小鹿带回来一些嫩草。 小鹿吃着她手里的草,总是高兴地围着她跳来跳去。 到了晚上,累了一天的小姐姐做完祈祷后,便把头靠在小鹿的背上,像靠着枕头一样安静地睡觉。 要是她的弟弟还保持着人的形状,这种生活倒也挺美!
他们就这样孤单寂寞地在野外生活了一段时间。 一天,这个国家的国王来到这片森林里打猎。 森林里到处都是号角声、狗吠声和猎手们的欢笑声。 小鹿听到了这些,非常想去看一看。 "哦,"它对姐姐说:"让我去那里吧。我实在忍不住了!"它左请求右请求,姐姐终于答应了。 她对它说:"可是你晚上要回到我的身边来。我很怕那些粗野的猎人 ,所以会把门关上,你回来时只要敲门说:'我的小姐姐,让我进去吧! ',我就知道是你回来了。 要是你不说这句话,我就不开门。 "小鹿蹦蹦跳跳地离开了家,来到屋外的世界,它感到真是又舒服又开心。
国王和猎手们看到这头美丽的小鹿,便追了过来,可他们怎么也抓不住它。 每当他们以为一定能抓到它时,它总是跃进树丛不见了。 天黑后,它跑到小屋那里,敲了敲门,说:"我的小姐姐,让我进去吧!"门立刻便开了,它跳进去,在柔软的床上好好睡了一晚。
第二天,围猎又开始了。 当小鹿再次听到号角声以及猎手们发出的"嗬嗬嗬"的喊叫声时,它再也安静不下来了。 它说:"姐姐,让我出去吧!我一定要出去!"它的姐姐给它开了门,对它说:"但是你晚上一定要回来,而且还要讲那句暗语!"
当国王和猎手们再次看到这头带着金项圈的小鹿时,他们又一起朝它追去,只是它对他们来说太快、太机灵了。 他们追了一整天,终于在黄昏时把它围住了。 一个猎手还把它的脚射伤了一点,它只好一瘸一拐地慢慢向前跑。 一个猎手悄悄跟着它来到了小屋前 ,听到它说:"我的小姐姐,让我进去吧!"猎手看到小屋的门开了一下,小鹿进去后便立刻又关上了。 猎手把这一切看在眼里,回去后把自己的所见所闻告诉了国王。 国王说:"我们明天再去打猎。"
小姐姐看到小鹿受伤后害怕极了,她给它洗去了身上的血迹,在它的伤口敷上药草,说:"亲爱的小鹿,快去床上躺下,好好养伤。"但是那伤口很轻,小鹿第二天早上就没有任何感觉了。 当它又听到外面打猎的叫喊声时,它说:"我再也忍不住了。我一定要去那里。我不会让他们轻而易举地抓住我的。"姐姐哭着说:"他们这次肯定会杀死你的,然后就剩下我一个人孤孤单单、无依无靠地在这森林里,我不能让你出去。""那我在屋里会憋死的,"小鹿说,"当我听到号角的声音时,我仿佛感到自己的心脏都要跳出来了。"做姐姐的再也没有别的办法,只好带着沉重的心情为它打开门。 小鹿快乐地朝森林跑去。
国王看到小鹿时,对报信的那个猎手说:"你过来。带我到那座小屋去。"到了小屋前,他敲门叫道:"我的小姐姐,让我进去吧!"门一打开,国王便走了进去,看到屋里有一位他所见过的最美丽的姑娘。 看到进来的不是小鹿,而是一个头上带着金王冠的男人,姑娘很害怕,可是国王和善地望着她,向她伸出手去说:"你愿意跟我回去,做我亲爱的妻子吗?""愿意,"姑娘说,"可是小鹿得跟我一起去。我离不开它。"国王说:"它可以永远呆在你的身边,而且什么也不会缺少的。"就在这时,小鹿跑了进来,姐姐给它拴上灯芯草绳,牵着它,跟着国王一起离开了林中的小屋。
国王把这可爱的姑娘放到马背上,把她带回了王宫,并且在那里举行了盛大的婚礼。 她现在成了王后,和国王一起幸福地生活了许多年。 小鹿受到了细心的照料,在王宫的花园里跑来跑去。
可是那个邪恶的继母,自从两个孩子因为她而离家出走之后,以为小姐姐肯定在森林中被野兽撕成了碎片,小弟弟也肯定被猎人们当做小鹿射死了,可现在听到他们生活得很幸福、很美满,嫉妒和怨恨像两把烈火在她的心中燃烧,使她片刻也不得安宁。 她成天盘算着怎么再次给姐弟俩带来不幸。 她自己的女儿丑得像黑夜一样,而且只有一只眼睛,这时也责怪她说:"她当王后!这种好事应该属于我!""别闹,"
不久,王后生下了一个漂亮的男孩,而国王碰巧外出打猎去了。 老巫婆便打扮成一个使女,走进王后的卧室,对她说:"来吧,洗澡水已经烧好了。洗一洗对你有好处,能使你恢复精力。快点,不然水就要凉了。"
她的亲生女儿也在旁边,于是母女俩把虚弱的王后抬进洗澡间,把她放进澡盆,然后锁上门跑了。 她们在洗澡间里生了一堆熊熊燃烧的旺火,不一会儿就使年轻漂亮的王后窒息而死。
然后,老婆子拉着她的女儿,给她戴上一顶睡帽,让她躺到王后的床上。 她还让她的女儿有了王后一样的身材和长相,只是她无法给女儿一只眼睛。 为了不让国王看出破绽,她只好侧着身子,向着没有眼睛的那一边睡。
傍晚,国王回到家中,得知王后给他生了个儿子,心中非常高兴,马上要去床边看看他亲爱的妻子。 可是老婆子立刻叫道:"千万不要拉开窗帘!王后还不能见光,需要好好休息!"国王走了出去,没有发觉床上躺着的是个假王后。
可是到了半夜,当所有的人都睡着了时,坐在婴儿室摇篮旁独自守夜的保姆看到门开了,真的王后走了进来。 王后从摇篮里抱起婴儿,搂在怀里给他喂奶。 然后她抖一抖孩子的小枕头,把孩子重新放进摇篮,给他盖上小被子。 她也没有忘记小鹿,而是走到它躺的角落,抚摸着它的背,然后才悄悄地走出房门。 第二天早晨,保姆问卫兵晚上有没有人进过宫,可卫兵们都说:"没有,我们谁也没有看见。"就这样,一连很多天,王后总是在夜里来到这里,但她从来不说一句话。 保姆每次都看见她,可又不敢把这告诉任何人。
我还能再来两次。 以后就再也不能来了。 "
保姆没有答腔,可等王后一走,她立刻跑到国王那里,把一切都告诉了他。 国王说:"啊,上帝呀!这是怎么回事呀?明天晚上我要亲自守在婴儿身旁。"晚上,他进了婴儿室。 到了半夜,王后真的又来了,而且说道:
我还能再来一次。 以后就再也不能来了。 "
她像往常一样给孩子喂了奶,然后就走了。 国王不敢和她说话,可第二天晚上仍然去守夜。 只听王后在说:
这是我最后一次来这里,以后再也不能来了。 "
国王听到这里,再也无法克制自己。 他朝她跑去,说:"你肯定是我亲爱的妻子!"她回答:"是的,我是你亲爱的妻子。"话刚出口,她就立刻恢复了生命,而且,靠着上帝的恩典,她变得非常健康,脸色非常红润。
她把那邪恶的巫婆和巫婆的女儿对她犯下的罪行告诉了国王。 国王立刻命令审判她俩,对她们作出了判决。 女儿被带到了森林里,被野兽撕成了碎片;老巫婆被投进火里可悲地烧成了灰烬。 就在老巫婆被烧成灰烬的一刹那,小鹿也变了,重新恢复了人的形状。 从此,姐姐和弟弟一直幸福地生活在一起,直至白发千古。

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