There was once a cook named Grethel, who wore shoes with red rosettes, and when she walked out with them on, she turned herself this way and that, and thought, "You certainly are a pretty girl!" And when she came home she drank, in her gladness of heart, a draught of wine, and as wine excites a desire to eat, she tasted the best of whatever she was cooking until she was satisfied, and said, "The cook must know what the food is like."
It came to pass that the master one day said to her, "Grethel, there is a guest coming this evening; prepare me two fowls very daintily." - "I will see to it, master," answered Grethel. She killed two fowls, scalded them, plucked them, put them on the spit, and towards evening set them before the fire, that they might roast. The fowls began to turn brown, and were nearly ready, but the guest had not yet arrived. Then Grethel called out to her master, "If the guest does not come, I must take the fowls away from the fire, but it will be a sin and a shame if they are not eaten directly, when they are juiciest." The master said, "I will run myself, and fetch the guest." When the master had turned his back, Grethel laid the spit with the fowls on one side, and thought, "Standing so long by the fire there, makes one hot and thirsty; who knows when they will come? Meanwhile, I will run into the cellar, and take a drink." She ran down, set a jug, said, "God bless it to thy use, Grethel," and took a good drink, and took yet another hearty draught.
Then she went and put the fowls down again to the fire, basted them, and drove the spit merrily round. But as the roast meat smelt so good, Grethel thought, "Something might be wrong, it ought to be tasted!" She touched it with her finger, and said, "Ah! how good fowls are! It certainly is a sin and a shame that they are not eaten directly!" She ran to the window, to see if the master was not coming with his guest, but she saw no one, and went back to the fowls and thought, "One of the wings is burning! I had better take it off and eat it." So she cut it off, ate it, and enjoyed it, and when she had done, she thought, "the other must go down too, or else master will observe that something is missing." When the two wings were eaten, she went and looked for her master, and did not see him. It suddenly occurred to her, "Who knows? They are perhaps not coming at all, and have turned in somewhere." Then she said, "Hallo, Grethel, enjoy yourself, one fowl has been cut into, take another drink, and eat it up entirely; when it is eaten you will have some peace, why should God's good gifts be spoilt?" So she ran into the cellar again, took an enormous drink and ate up the one chicken in great glee. When one of the chickens was swallowed down, and still her master did not come, Grethel looked at the other and said, "Where one is, the other should be likewise, the two go together; what's right for the one is right for the other; I think if I were to take another draught it would do me no harm." So she took another hearty drink, and let the second chicken rejoin the first.
While she was just in the best of the eating, her master came and cried, hurry up, "Haste thee, Grethel, the guest is coming directly after me!" - "Yes, sir, I will soon serve up," answered Grethel. Meantime the master looked to see that the table was properly laid, and took the great knife, wherewith he was going to carve the chickens, and sharpened it on the steps. Presently the guest came, and knocked politely and courteously at the house-door. Grethel ran, and looked to see who was there, and when she saw the guest, she put her finger to her lips and said, "Hush! hush! get away as quickly as you can, if my master catches you it will be the worse for you; he certainly did ask you to supper, but his intention is to cut off your two ears. Just listen how he is sharpening the knife for it!" The guest heard the sharpening, and hurried down the steps again as fast as he could. Grethel was not idle; she ran screaming to her master, and cried, "You have invited a fine guest!" - "Eh, why, Grethel? What do you mean by that?" - "Yes," said she, "he has taken the chickens which I was just going to serve up, off the dish, and has run away with them!" - "That's a nice trick!" said her master, and lamented the fine chickens. "If he had but left me one, so that something remained for me to eat." He called to him to stop, but the guest pretended not to hear. Then he ran after him with the knife still in his hand, crying, "Just one, just one," meaning that the guest should leave him just one chicken, and not take both. The guest, however, thought no otherwise than that he was to give up one of his ears, and ran as if fire were burning under him, in order to take them both home with him.
有一次，主人对她说："格蕾特，今晚我有个朋友要来，准备两只烧鸡，味道一定要好。""我会把这事儿办好的。"格蕾特回答道。 她杀了两只鸡，用开水烫过，拔了毛之后又把它们用铁钎插上。 傍晚时分，她将鸡放到火上去烤，鸡渐渐变成棕色，差不多快烤好了，可客人还没有到。 格蕾特对主人喊道："如果客人还不来，我只好把鸡从火上挪开了。但是现在是鸡味道最好的时候，不趁这会儿吃简直太可惜了。"主人说："我这就去把客人接来。"说完转身走了。 格蕾特把插着鸡的铁钎放在一边，想："老待在火边让人又渴又热。谁知道他们什么时候才来，还是先到地窖里去拿杯喝的吧。"于是，她跑到地窖，端着个大酒壶，说了句"上帝保佑你，格蕾特。"就喝了一大口酒。 可她觉得酒应该源源不断地喝才是，于是又痛痛快快喝了一大口。
接着她回到火边，在鸡上抹黄油，继续烤，并快乐地转动着手里的铁钎。 鸡的香气实在太诱人了，于是格蕾特对自己说："也许缺了点什么，该尝尝味道才是。"她用手指蘸着尝了一点，说："多好的烤鸡呀！现在不吃真是罪过。"于是她跑到窗口，看看主人有没有带着客人来，她没见任何人影，于是，又回到烤鸡边，想："一只鸡翅都烤焦了，我还是把它揪下来吃了的好。"她切下鸡翅，吃了，觉得味道好极了。 吃完后，她想："另一只也应该切下来，要不然主人会发现少了东西。"吃完两只翅膀，她又到窗口看主人来了没有，还是没看到。 格蕾特猛然想到："天知道？他们或许根本不打算来了，也许到别处去了。"她自言自语地说，"格蕾特，反正烤鸡已经被你吃过了，不如痛痛快快地再喝上一口，然后把整只鸡都吃掉。只有吃完你才会安心。何必白白浪费上帝的恩赐呢！"所以她又跑到地窖痛痛快快地喝了一气，然后快快活活地把整只鸡都吃掉了。 这时主人还是没回来，格蕾特的眼睛盯上了另一只鸡，说："一只鸡在哪儿，另一只也该在那儿，两个应该在一起嘛！既然吃了一只，再吃一只也没什么错。我想再来一大口酒对我没什么坏处。"便又喝完一杯酒，然后让另一只鸡也跟着第一只去了。
正当格蕾特吃得高兴的时候，主人回来了，冲她喊道："快，客人随后就到了。""好的，先生 ，我这就端上来。 "格蕾特回答说。这时主人进来看桌子有没有摆好，而且拿了一把大餐刀来，在楼梯上磨了磨，打算切鸡。不久，客人来了，很有礼貌地轻轻敲了敲门。格蕾特跑去看是谁，一看是客人，赶忙将食指竖在嘴上示意他不要出声，悄声说："嘘！ 嘘！ 快跑吧，如果让我主人抓住你就倒霉了。 他是邀你来吃晚饭，可他真实的目的是要切下你的两只耳朵。 你听，他正在使劲磨刀呢！ "客人确实听到了磨刀声，赶忙朝楼下跑。格蕾特也不闲着，冲着主人大叫："你请的客人太好了！ ""为什么这么说？ 什么意思？ ""我正端着烤鸡要上桌，他抢了就跑！ ""真是高招！ "她主人说，心里为两只鸡感到挺可惜。"留下一只也行啊，我也就有得吃了。 "于是他追出来，喊："留下一只，就一只！ "意思是说让客人留下一只烤鸡，别两只都拿走。可客人听了以为是让他留下一只耳朵，于是更加拼命地往家跑，好将两只耳朵带回家。