All-kinds-of-fur (Allerleirauh)



There was once on a time a King who had a wife with golden hair, and she was so beautiful that her equal was not to be found on earth. It came to pass that she lay ill, and as she felt that she must soon die, she called the King and said, "If thou wishest to marry again after my death, take no one who is not quite as beautiful as I am, and who has not just such golden hair as I have: this thou must promise me." And after the King had promised her this she closed her eyes and died.
For a long time the King could not be comforted, and had no thought of taking another wife. At length his councillors said, "There is no help for it, the King must marry again, that we may have a Queen." And now messengers were sent about far and wide, to seek a bride who equalled the late Queen in beauty. In the whole world, however, none was to be found, and even if one had been found, still there would have been no one who had such golden hair. So the messengers came home as they went.

Now the King had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her dead mother, and had the same golden hair. When she was grown up the King looked at her one day, and saw that in every respect she was like his late wife, and suddenly felt a violent love for her. Then he spake to his councillors, "I will marry my daughter, for she is the counterpart of my late wife, otherwise I can find no bride who resembles her." When the councillors heard that, they were shocked, and said, "God has forbidden a father to marry his daughter, no good can come from such a crime, and the kingdom will be involved in the ruin."

The daughter was still more shocked when she became aware of her father's resolution, but hoped to turn him from his design. Then she said to him, "Before I fulfil your wish, I must have three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars; besides this, I wish for a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur and hair joined together, and one of every kind of animal in your kingdom must give a piece of his skin for it." But she thought, "To get that will be quite impossible, and thus I shall divert my father from his wicked intentions." The King, however, did not give it up, and the cleverest maidens in his kingdom had to weave the three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars, and his huntsmen had to catch one of every kind of animal in the whole of his kingdom, and take from it a piece of its skin, and out of these was made a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur. At length, when all was ready, the King caused the mantle to be brought, spread it out before her, and said, "The wedding shall be to-morrow."

When, therefore, the King's daughter saw that there was no longer any hope of turning her father's heart, she resolved to run away from him. In the night whilst every one was asleep, she got up, and took three different things from her treasures, a golden ring, a golden spinning-wheel, and a golden reel. The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars she put into a nutshell, put on her mantle of all kinds of fur, and blackened her face and hands with soot. Then she commended herself to God, and went away, and walked the whole night until she reached a great forest. And as she was tired, she got into a hollow tree, and fell asleep.

The sun rose, and she slept on, and she was still sleeping when it was full day. Then it so happened that the King to whom this forest belonged, was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the tree, they sniffed, and ran barking round about it. The King said to the huntsmen, "Just see what kind of wild beast has hidden itself in there." The huntsmen obeyed his order, and when they came back they said, "A wondrous beast is lying in the hollow tree; we have never before seen one like it. Its skin is fur of a thousand different kinds, but it is lying asleep." Said the King, "See if you can catch it alive, and then fasten it to the carriage, and we will take it with us." When the huntsmen laid hold of the maiden, she awoke full of terror, and cried to them, "I am a poor child, deserted by father and mother; have pity on me, and take me with you." Then said they, "Allerleirauh, thou wilt be useful in the kitchen, come with us, and thou canst sweep up the ashes." So they put her in the carriage, and took her home to the royal palace. There they pointed out to her a closet under the stairs, where no daylight entered, and said, "Hairy animal, there canst thou live and sleep." Then she was sent into the kitchen, and there she carried wood and water, swept the hearth, plucked the fowls, picked the vegetables, raked the ashes, and did all the dirty work.

Allerleirauh lived there for a long time in great wretchedness. Alas, fair princess, what is to become of thee now! It happened, however, that one day a feast was held in the palace, and she said to the cook, "May I go up-stairs for a while, and look on? I will place myself outside the door." The cook answered, "Yes, go, but you must be back here in half-an-hour to sweep the hearth." Then she took her oil-lamp, went into her den, put off her fur-dress, and washed the soot off her face and hands, so that her full beauty once more came to light. And she opened the nut, and took out her dress which shone like the sun, and when she had done that she went up to the festival, and every one made way for her, for no one knew her, and thought no otherwise than that she was a king's daughter. The King came to meet her, gave his hand to her, and danced with her, and thought in his heart, "My eyes have never yet seen any one so beautiful!" When the dance was over she curtsied, and when the King looked round again she had vanished, and none knew whither. The guards who stood outside the palace were called and questioned, but no one had seen her.

She had, however, run into her little den, had quickly taken off her dress, made her face and hands black again, put on the fur-mantle, and again was Allerleirauh. And now when she went into the kitchen, and was about to get to her work and sweep up the ashes, the cook said, "Leave that alone till morning, and make me the soup for the King; I, too, will go upstairs awhile, and take a look; but let no hairs fall in, or in future thou shalt have nothing to eat." So the cook went away, and Allerleirauh made the soup for the king, and made bread soup and the best she could, and when it was ready she fetched her golden ring from her little den, and put it in the bowl in which the soup was served. When the dancing was over, the King had his soup brought and ate it, and he liked it so much that it seemed to him he had never tasted better. But when he came to the bottom of the bowl, he saw a golden ring lying, and could not conceive how it could have got there. Then he ordered the cook to appear before him. The cook was terrified when he heard the order, and said to Allerleirauh, "Thou hast certainly let a hair fall into the soup, and if thou hast, thou shalt be beaten for it." When he came before the King the latter asked who had made the soup? The cook replied, "I made it." But the King said, "That is not true, for it was much better than usual, and cooked differently." He answered, "I must acknowledge that I did not make it, it was made by the rough animal." The King said, "Go and bid it come up here."

When Allerleirauh came, the King said, "Who art thou?" - "I am a poor girl who no longer has any father or mother." He asked further, "Of what use art thou in my palace?" She answered, "I am good for nothing but to have boots thrown at my head." He continued, "Where didst thou get the ring which was in the soup?" She answered, "I know nothing about the ring." So the King could learn nothing, and had to send her away again.

After a while, there was another festival, and then, as before, Allerleirauh begged the cook for leave to go and look on. He answered, "Yes, but come back again in half-an-hour, and make the King the bread soup which he so much likes." Then she ran into her den, washed herself quickly, and took out of the nut the dress which was as silvery as the moon, and put it on. Then she went up and was like a princess, and the King stepped forward to meet her, and rejoiced to see her once more, and as the dance was just beginning they danced it together. But when it was ended, she again disappeared so quickly that the King could not observe where she went. She, however, sprang into her den, and once more made herself a hairy animal, and went into the kitchen to prepare the bread soup. When the cook had gone up-stairs, she fetched the little golden spinning-wheel, and put it in the bowl so that the soup covered it. Then it was taken to the King, who ate it, and liked it as much as before, and had the cook brought, who this time likewise was forced to confess that Allerleirauh had prepared the soup. Allerleirauh again came before the King, but she answered that she was good for nothing else but to have boots thrown at her head, and that she knew nothing at all about the little golden spinning-wheel.

When, for the third time, the King held a festival, all happened just as it had done before. The cook said, "Faith rough-skin, thou art a witch, and always puttest something in the soup which makes it so good that the King likes it better than that which I cook," but as she begged so hard, he let her go up at the appointed time. And now she put on the dress which shone like the stars, and thus entered the hall. Again the King danced with the beautiful maiden, and thought that she never yet had been so beautiful. And whilst she was dancing, he contrived, without her noticing it, to slip a golden ring on her finger, and he had given orders that the dance should last a very long time. When it was ended, he wanted to hold her fast by her hands, but she tore herself loose, and sprang away so quickly through the crowd that she vanished from his sight. She ran as fast as she could into her den beneath the stairs, but as she had been too long, and had stayed more than half-an-hour she could not take off her pretty dress, but only threw over it her fur-mantle, and in her haste she did not make herself quite black, but one finger remained white. Then Allerleirauh ran into the kitchen, and cooked the bread soup for the King, and as the cook was away, put her golden reel into it. When the King found the reel at the bottom of it, he caused Allerleirauh to be summoned, and then he espied the white finger, and saw the ring which he had put on it during the dance. Then he grasped her by the hand, and held her fast, and when she wanted to release herself and run away, her mantle of fur opened a little, and the star-dress shone forth. The King clutched the mantle and tore it off. Then her golden hair shone forth, and she stood there in full splendour, and could no longer hide herself. And when she had washed the soot and ashes from her face, she was more beautiful than anyone who had ever been seen on earth. But the King said, "Thou art my dear bride, and we will never more part from each other." Thereupon the marriage was solemnized, and they lived happily until their death.
Der var engang en konge, som havde en dronning med gyldent hår, og hun var så dejlig, at hendes lige ikke fandtes i hele verden. Engang blev hun syg, og da hun mærkede, at hun skulle dø, kaldte hun på kongen og sagde: "Hvis du gifter dig igen, når jeg er død, må du love mig, at den du vælger, skal være ligeså smuk som jeg og have ligesådan et gyldent hår." Da kongen havde lovet det, lukkede hun sine øjne og døde.

Kongen sørgede dybt og tænkte ikke på at tage sig en anden kone. Men så sagde rådsherrerne: "Det går ikke an, kongen må gifte sig igen, så landet får en dronning." Der blev nu sendt bud vidt og bredt for at finde en brud, der var ligeså smuk som den afdøde dronning. Men der var ingen i hele verden, og der var slet ingen, som havde sådan et dejligt gyldent hår. Sendebudene måtte altså vende tilbage med uforrettet sag.

Kongen havde en datter, der var lige så smuk som hendes afdøde mor og også havde sådan et gyldent hår. Da hun var blevet voksen, så kongen pludselig en dag, hvor meget hun lignede sin mor, og blev straks forelsket i hende. Han sagde derfor til sine rådsherrer: "Jeg vil gifte mig med min datter, hun er min afdøde dronnings udtrykte billede, og jeg kan dog ikke finde nogen brud, som ligner hende." Rådsherrerne blev meget forfærdede og sagde: "Gud har forbudt, at en far gifter sig med sin datter. Det er en stor synd, og det vil sikkert styrte riget i ulykke." Datteren blev endnu mere forfærdet, da hun hørte det, men håbede dog at bevæge ham til at opgive sit forehavende og sagde til ham: "Før jeg opfylder eders ønske må jeg have tre kjoler, en så gylden som solen, en der blinker af sølv som månen og en, der stråler som stjernerne. Endelig vil jeg have en kappe af tusind slags pelsværk, hvert dyr i eders rige må give et stykke af sit skind dertil." Hun tænkte, det var umuligt, og mente, at hendes far imidlertid nok ville komme på andre tanker. Men kongen lod de dygtigste jomfruer i landet væve de tre kjoler, der strålede som solen og månen og stjernerne, og jægerne måtte fange alle dyrene i hele riget og tage et stykke skind af hver. Da det hele var færdigt, bredte kongen det ud for hende og sagde: "I morgen skal brylluppet stå."

Da kongedatteren så, at der ikke var noget håb, besluttede hun at flygte. Om natten, da alle sov, stod hun op, tog tre af sine kostbarheder med sig, en guldring, en guldrok og en guldten. De tre kjoler lagde hun i en nøddeskal, tog kappen af de tusind skind over sig og sværtede ansigt og hænder sorte. Så bad hun til Gud og gik og gik hele natten, til hun kom til en stor skov. Og da hun var træt, satte hun sig i et hult træ og faldt i søvn.

Solen stod op og hun sov og sov langt hen på dagen. Den konge, som ejede skoven, var imidlertid netop på jagt derinde, og da hundene kom hen til træet løb de rundt om det og snusede. "Se dog efter, hvad for et dyr, der har gemt sig derinde," sagde kongen til sine jægere. De adlød og kom lidt efter tilbage og sagde: "Der ligger et løjerligt dyr inde i det hule træ og sover. Det er bedækket med tusind slags skind." - "Se om I kan fange det levende og bind det så på vognen," sagde kongen. Da jægerne tog fat på pigen, for hun forskrækket op og råbte: "Jeg er et stakkels barn, som hverken har far eller mor. Må jeg følge med jer?" - "Der kan være god brug for dig i køkkenet, Tusindskind," sagde de, "kom kun med, du kan feje asken sammen." De satte hende nu op på vognen og kørte hjem til slottet. Der anviste de hende et lille rum under trappen, hvor der ikke trængte en solstråle ind, og sagde: "Der kan du bo, lille rovdyr." Derpå blev hun sendt ned i køkkenet og måtte bære vand og brænde, gøre ild på, plukke fjerkræ, feje aske sammen og alt det groveste arbejde.

Hun førte nu i lang tid en kummerlig tilværelse her, den stakkels, smukke prinsesse. Engang, da der var fest på slottet, bad hun kokken, om hun måtte få lov til at gå op og stille sig udenfor døren og kigge lidt på al herligheden. "Ja, men du må være tilbage om en halv time og feje asken op," sagde han. Hun tog nu en lampe og gik ned i sit lille rum, tog kappen af, vaskede soden af ansigt og hænder, så man så, hvor smuk hun var. Derpå lukkede hun nødden op og tog den kjole, der skinnede som solen. Så gik hun op i salen og alle veg til side for hende. Ingen kendte hende, men de tænkte allesammen, at det måtte være en prinsesse. Kongen kom hen og dansede med hende og tænkte, at han aldrig havde set så dejlig en kvinde. Da dansen var forbi, nejede hun, og da kongen vendte sig om, var hun forsvundet, og ingen vidste, hvor hun var blevet af. Der blev sendt bud efter skildvagterne, som stod udenfor slottet, men de kunne heller ikke give nogen oplysning.

Prinsessen var imidlertid løbet ned i sit lille rum, havde i en fart taget sin kjole af, sværtet ansigt og hænder og kastet kappen om sig og var igen Tusindskind. Da hun kom ind i køkkenet og ville gå hen og feje asken sammen, sagde kokken: "Lad det bare ligge og gå hen og kog kongens suppe. Jeg skal nok have et øje med dig. Men pas på, at der ikke falder et eneste hår ned deri, for så får du aldrig mere noget at spise." Derpå gik han, og Tusindskind lavede suppen så godt hun kunne, og da hun var færdig, hentede hun sin guldring og lagde den i den terrin suppen skulle hældes i. Da dansen var forbi lod kongen maden bringe op, og han syntes aldrig, han havde smagt så dejlig en suppe. Da terrinen var tømt, så han guldringen på bunden og kunne ikke begribe, hvor den var kommet fra. Han sendte bud efter kokken, som blev meget forskrækket og sagde til Tusindskind: "Du har nok tabt et hår i suppen, du skal få dine ører varmet." Han gik nu op til kongen, som spurgte, hvem der havde kogt suppen. "Det har jeg," svarede kokken. "Det er ikke sandt," sagde kongen, "den er lavet helt anderledes end ellers og smager meget bedre." - "Ja, når jeg skal være ærlig må jeg tilstå, at Tusindskind har lavet den," svarede han, og kongen befalede, at hun skulle hentes.

Da Tusindskind kom derop spurgte kongen, hvem hun var. "Jeg er et stakkels barn, som hverken har far eller mor," svarede hun. "Hvad gør du her i slottet?" spurgte han. "Jeg bestiller ikke andet end at få støvlerne kastet i hovedet," svarede hun. "Hvorfra kommer da den ring, som lå i suppen?" - "Det ved jeg ikke," svarede hun, og kongen kunne ikke få mere ud af hende og måtte lade hende gå igen.

Nogen tid efter blev der igen fejret en fest, og Tusindskind bad kokken, om hun måtte få lov til at gå op og se på stadsen. "Ja, men du må komme tilbage om en halv time og koge den suppe, kongen holder så meget af," svarede han. Tusindskind løb i en fart ned og vaskede sig og tog den kjole, der lyste som måneskin. Hun så aldeles ud som en prinsesse, og da hun kom op i salen gik kongen hende glad i møde og dansede med hende. Da dansen var til ende, forsvandt hun så hurtigt, at han ikke kunne se, hvor hun blev af. Hun smuttede i en fart ned i sit lille kammer og gik lidt efter som Tusindskind op i køkkenet for at lave suppe. Mens kokken var ovenpå, hentede hun guldrokken og lagde den i terrinen, som suppen skulle hældes i. Derpå blev den bragt til kongen og smagte ham ligeså godt som forrige gang, og han sendte bud efter kokken, som måtte indrømme, at Tusindskind havde lavet den. Hun kom igen derop men svarede blot, at hun ikke bestilte andet end få støvlerne kastet i hovedet, og at hun ikke vidste noget om guldrokken.

Da kongen for tredie gang fejrede en fest, gik det ligesom tidligere. Kokken sagde rigtignok: "Du er en heks, Tusindskind, og gør noget ved suppen, så den smager kongen bedre end min mad," men da hun bad så meget om det, fik hun dog lov til at gå lidt derop. Hun tog nu den tredie kjole, der strålede som stjerner, og trådte ind i salen. Kongen dansede igen med hende og syntes aldrig, hun havde været så dejlig. Mens de dansede, satte han, uden at hun mærkede det, en guldring på hendes finger, og havde befalet at dansen skulle vare rigtig længe. Da den var forbi, ville han holde hende fast, men hun rev sig løs og forsvandt i mængden. Hun skyndte sig ned i sit lille kammer, men hun var blevet så længe borte, at hun ikke fik tid til at tage kjolen af, men kun fik kastet en kappe over sig og i skyndingen fik hun sig ikke sværtet rigtigt, men den ene finger blev hvid. Derpå løb hun op i køkkenet, lavede suppen, og da kokken var borte lagde hun guldtenen deri. Da kongen fandt den, lod han Tusindskind kalde, og så da den hvide finger og den ring, han havde givet hende. Han greb hendes hånd og ville holde hende fast, og da hun ville rive sig løs gik kappen lidt op, så at stjernekjolen skinnede frem. Kongen greb nu fat i kappen og rev den af, og hun stod nu der i hele sin pragt og med det gyldne hår ned over skuldrene, og da hun havde tørret soden af ansigtet var hun det skønneste, man kunne tænke sig. "Du skal være min brud," sagde kongen, "intet i verden skal skille os." Derpå blev brylluppet fejret, og de levede længe og lykkeligt sammen.

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