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.
从前有个国王，他的妻子长着一头金发，她的美貌在世界上是绝无仅有的。 可不幸的是她病倒了，而且很快就要死了。 她将国王叫到跟前说："如果你想在我死后再娶，答应我一定要娶一个和我一样美、一样有一头金发的女人。"国王答应了，王后便闭上眼睛死了。
国王难过了很长时间，根本无心再娶。 最后他的大臣们说："不能再这样下去了，国王一定要再娶一个，我们也好有个王后。"于是向四面八方派出使者，寻找和已故王后一样美丽的姑娘。 可是全国都找遍了却没有找到，偶尔找到一个漂亮的，又没有王后那样的金发，使者们只好空手而归。
国王有个女儿，长得和母亲一模一样，而且也是一头金发，她一天一天长大了。 国王看着她，觉得她无处不似已故的妻子，因而对她产生了强烈的爱。 他对大臣们说："我要娶我女儿，她就是我前妻的再现。我再也找不到有谁更像她了。"大臣们大惊失色地说："上帝是禁止父亲娶女儿的。犯这样的罪不会有好结果，而且整个国家都会遭殃的。"
公主得知父亲的打算后更是震惊，可她希望能使父亲改变主意。 于是她对父亲说："在我答应你的要求之前，我必须得到三件衣服：一件像太阳那样金光闪耀、一件像月亮那样银光四溢、一件像星星那样明亮闪烁。除此以外，我还要一件斗篷，必须是用上千种不同动物的皮毛缝制的。你国度里的每一种动物都必须献上一块皮毛。"公主想："这些都是不可能办到的。这样就可以让父亲改变主意了。然而国王没有放弃 ，他吩咐手艺最巧的姑娘织那三件衣服……一件像太阳般闪耀、一件像月亮般流银、一件像星星般璀灿；他还吩咐最优秀的猎人去捕捉每一种动物，然后取其皮毛缝制千兽皮斗篷。 等一切准备停当，国王叫人在公主面前展开斗篷，说：
公主一看没法让父亲回心转意，便决定远走他乡。 晚上，当人们都睡熟之后，公主从珠宝盒里取出一个金戒指、一个金纺轮和一个金线轴，然后将阳光、月亮和星星三件衣服等物装进一只小匣子，用烟灰将手脚和脸涂得黑黑的，披上千兽皮斗篷出发了。 她听天由命地走了一整夜，来到一座大森林里。 她累极了，便爬进一个树洞睡着了。
太阳出来了，公主还没醒；中午了，她仍然熟睡着。 这森林是一个国王的，那天他刚巧出来打猎，猎狗跑到树洞口嗅了又嗅 ，然后围着树"汪汪"直叫。 国王对跟来的猎手说："去看看是什么野兽躲在那儿。"猎人去了之后回来说："有头奇怪的动物在树洞里睡觉，身上的皮是上千种兽皮拼起来的。我们以前还从没见过这种动物呢。"国王于是说："试试能不能活捉。如果能就捆好让我带回王宫去。"猎手抓住了公主，姑娘惊恐万状地喊道："我是个被父母遗弃的可怜的孩子，可怜可怜我，带我走吧。"猎手说："千皮兽，我看你在厨房里帮着扫扫炉灰还行。跟我来吧。"他们让公主上了马车，把她带回了王宫，指着楼梯底下一间不透光的衣帽间对她说："毛家伙，你住在这儿吧。"从此公主被派到厨房扛柴火、挑水、扫炉膛灰、拔鸡鸭毛、拣菜、掏炉膛……，干各种又脏又累的活儿。 千皮兽在那里度过了很长一段时间的悲惨生活。 啊，美丽的公主，你现在都成什么模样了！
然而有一天，宫里开宴会，公主对厨师说："能让我上楼看一看么？只在门外看看。""去吧。"厨师说，"不过过半小时你得回来掏炉膛灰。"公主拿起油灯回到自己那间斗室，脱下毛斗篷，洗净脸上和手脚上的烟黑，她的美貌立刻大放光彩。 她打开小匣子，拿出那件金光灿烂的衣服穿上，走进宴会大厅。 人们纷纷给她让路，尽管没人认识她，可都觉得她有公主的气派。 国王走过来，伸手邀请她跳舞，心想："我还从来没见过这么美丽的人呢！"一曲终了时，公主向国王行了个曲膝礼。 等国王抬头再看时，公主已不知去向了。 他召来站在宫门口的卫兵问，可谁都说没见过。 公主跑回了那间斗室，迅速脱下衣服，把脸和手脚重新涂上黑烟灰，穿上毛斗篷来到厨房扫炉灰。 厨师说："明早再扫炉灰吧，先给国王做一碗汤，我要上楼去看看。当心别把头发之类的脏东西掉进汤里，否则我罚你挨饿！"厨师走了，千皮兽为国王做了一碗面包汤，这是她做得最好的一种，然后将她带来的金戒指放到汤里。
国王跳完舞，叫人把汤送去。 他很爱喝那种汤，似乎以前从来没有喝过这么好味道的汤。 喝到最后，他发现了那只金戒指，简直不敢相信。 他命人去召厨师，厨师一听国王召见，吓得对千皮兽说："准是你把头发掉进汤里了。如果真是那样，我非狠狠揍你一顿不可。"他来到国王面前，国王问他汤是谁做的。 厨师说："我做的。"国王又说："不对，汤的味道比以前好多了，而且做法不同。"厨师回答说："我承认汤的确不是我做的，是那个毛家伙做的。"国王说："叫他来。"千皮兽来到国王面前，国王问："你是什么人？""我是个没有父母的可怜姑娘。"国王又问："你在我宫里有什么用？"她回答说："我的作用就是让人踢打。"国王接着问："汤里的金戒指哪里来的？""我不知道什么金戒指。"国王一看什么都问不出来，只好让她回去了。
不久，国王又举行舞会。 千皮兽像前一次那样求厨师让她上楼看热闹。 厨师说："去吧。不过过半小时你得回来做国王爱喝的那种汤。"她答应着跑回房间，迅速洗净烟黑，换上那件如月光流淌般的衣服，像公主那样走进了舞会厅。 国王迎上前来 ，很高兴又见到她。 舞乐响起，他们一起跳啊跳，可等乐曲终了时，她又迅速消失了，快得连国王自己都没看清她去了哪里。 公主连跑带跳地逃进自己房间，将自己又变成了毛乎乎的动物，跑回厨房准备国王的汤去了。 等厨师上楼看热闹的时候，她悄悄地将金纺轮放进汤碗里。 仆人将汤端给国王，他还像上次那样爱喝。 他召来厨师，他承认汤是千皮兽做的。 国王又叫人把她召来，可她的回答还是和上次一样，并且说她根本不知道金纺轮的事。
当国王再次举行舞会时，一切如前面两次那样发生了。 厨师问："毛家伙，你准是个巫婆。你总是往汤里放点什么，使国王格外爱喝你做的汤，不爱喝我做的。"可由于她的苦苦请求，厨师还是答应让她上楼看，但必须在指定时间内返回。 这次，公主穿上了那件星光闪烁的衣服来到大厅。 国王又走上前来和她跳舞，心想她这样更加漂亮了，并趁她不注意的时候往她手指上套了个戒指。 国王命令延长舞曲，所以当一曲结束时，规定的时间已经超过了。 国王想抓牢公主的手，可她挣脱了，迅速穿过人群不见了。 她来不及脱下华丽的服装，只是草草披上兽毛斗篷。 匆忙中她也没顾上把各个部位仔细涂黑，竟然有个指头漏了涂。 她急忙回到厨房给国王做汤，并且趁厨师不在时将金线轴放进汤里。 当国王发现碗里的金线轴时，马上召来千皮兽，发现了那只没有涂黑的白晰的手指，并且看到了自己在跳舞时给她套上的戒指。 他紧紧抓住这只手，公主想挣脱，斗篷开了一条缝，衣服上的星光立刻泄漏出来。 国王抓住斗篷一拽，公主那金色的秀发顿时大放光彩。 她站在那儿，婷婷玉立，再也无法躲藏了。 等她洗净烟黑，那份美更是无与伦比的了。 国王说："你就是我亲爱的新娘，请别再离开我。"他们当时就举行了婚礼，并幸福地生活着，一直到老。