In the days when wishing was still of some use, a King's son was bewitched by an old witch, and shut up in an iron stove in a forest. There he passed many years, and no one could deliver him. Then a King's daughter came into the forest, who had lost herself, and could not find her father's kingdom again. After she had wandered about for nine days, she at length came to the iron stove. Then a voice came forth from it, and asked her, "Whence comest thou, and whither goest, thou?" She answered, "I have lost my father's kingdom, and cannot get home again." Then a voice inside the iron stove said, "I will help thee to get home again, and that indeed most swiftly, if thou wilt promise to do what I desire of thee. I am the son of a far greater King than thy father, and I will marry thee."
Then was she afraid, and thought, "Good heavens! What can I do with an iron stove?" But as she much wished to get home to her father, she promised to do as he desired. But he said, "Thou shalt return here, and bring a knife with thee, and scrape a hole in the iron." Then he gave her a companion who walked near her, but did not speak, but in two hours he took her home; there was great joy in the castle when the King's daughter came home, and the old King fell on her neck and kissed her. She, however, was sorely troubled, and said, "Dear father, what I have suffered! I should never have got home again from the great wild forest, if I had not come to an iron stove, but I have been forced to give my word that I will go back to it, set it free, and marry it." Then the old King was so terrified that he all but fainted, for he had but this one daughter. They therefore resolved they would send, in her place, the miller's daughter, who was very beautiful. They took her there, gave her a knife, and said she was to scrape at the iron stove. So she scraped at it for four-and-twenty hours, but could not bring off the least morsel of it. When day dawned, a voice in the stove said, "It seems to me it is day outside." Then she answered, "It seems so to me too; I fancy I hear the noise of my father's mill."
"So thou art a miller's daughter! Then go thy way at once, and let the King's daughter come here." Then she went away at once, and told the old King that the man outside there, would have none of her he wanted the King's daughter. They, however, still had a swine-herd's daughter, who was even prettier than the miller's daughter, and they determined to give her a piece of gold to go to the iron stove instead of the King's daughter. So she was taken thither, and she also had to scrape for four-and-twenty hours. She, however, made nothing of it. When day broke, a voice inside the stove cried, "It seems to me it is day outside!" Then answered she, "So it seems to me also; I fancy I hear my father's horn blowing."
"Then thou art a swine-herd's daughter! Go away at once, and tell the King's daughter to come, and tell her all must be done as promised, and if she does not come, everything in the kingdom shall be ruined and destroyed, and not one stone be left standing on another." When the King's daughter heard that she began to weep, but now there was nothing for it but to keep her promise. So she took leave of her father, put a knife in her pocket, and went forth to the iron stove in the forest. When she got there, she began to scrape, and the iron gave way, and when two hours were over, she had already scraped a small hole. Then she peeped in, and saw a youth so handsome, and so brilliant with gold and with precious jewels, that her very soul was delighted. Now, therefore, she went on scraping, and made the hole so large that he was able to get out. Then said he, "Thou art mine, and I am thine; thou art my bride, and hast released me." He wanted to take her away with him to his kingdom, but she entreated him to let her go once again to her father, and the King's son allowed her to do so, but she was not to say more to her father than three words, and then she was to come back again. So she went home, but she spoke more than three words, and instantly the iron stove disappeared, and was taken far away over glass mountains and piercing swords; but the King's son was set free, and no longer shut up in it. After this she bade good-bye to her father, took some money with her, but not much, and went back to the great forest, and looked for the iron stove, but it was nowhere to be found. For nine days she sought it, and then her hunger grew so great that she did not know what to do, for she could no longer live. When it was evening, she seated herself in a small tree, and made up her mind to spend the night there, as she was afraid of wild beasts. When midnight drew near she saw in the distance a small light, and thought, "Ah, there I should be saved!" She got down from the tree, and went towards the light, but on the way she prayed. Then she came to a little old house, and much grass had grown all about it, and a small heap of wood lay in front of it. She thought, "Ah, whither have I come," and peeped in through the window, but she saw nothing inside but toads, big and little, except a table well covered with wine and roast meat, and the plates and glasses were of silver. Then she took courage, and knocked at the door. The fat toad cried,
"Little green waiting-maid,
Waiting-maid with the limping leg,
Little dog of the limping leg,
Hop hither and thither,
And quickly see who is without:"
and a small toad came walking by and opened the door to her. When she entered, they all bade her welcome, and she was forced to sit down. They asked, "Where hast thou come from, and whither art thou going?" Then she related all that had befallen her, and how because she had transgressed the order which had been given her not to say more than three words, the stove, and the King's son also, had disappeared, and now she was about to seek him over hill and dale until she found him. Then the old fat one said,
"Little green waiting-maid,
Waiting-maid with the limping leg,
Little dog of the limping leg,
Hop hither and thither,
And bring me the great box."
Then the little one went and brought the box. After this they gave her meat and drink, and took her to a well-made bed, which felt like silk and velvet, and she laid herself therein, in God's name, and slept. When morning came she arose, and the old toad gave her three needles out of the great box which she was to take with her; they would be needed by her, for she had to cross a high glass mountain, and go over three piercing swords and a great lake. If she did all this she would get her lover back again. Then she gave her three things, which she was to take the greatest care of, namely, three large needles, a plough-wheel, and three nuts. With these she travelled onwards, and when she came to the glass mountain which was so slippery, she stuck the three needles first behind her feet and then before them, and so got over it, and when she was over it, she hid them in a place which she marked carefully. After this she came to the three piercing swords, and then she seated herself on her plough-wheel, and rolled over them. At last she arrived in front of a great lake, and when she had crossed it, she came to a large and beautiful castle. She went and asked for a place; she was a poor girl, she said, and would like to be hired. She knew, however, that the King's son whom she had released from the iron stove in the great forest was in the castle. Then she was taken as a scullery-maid at low wages. But, already the King's son had another maiden by his side whom he wanted to marry, for he thought that she had long been dead.
In the evening, when she had washed up and was done, she felt in her pocket and found the three nuts which the old toad had given her. She cracked one with her teeth, and was going to eat the kernel when lo and behold there was a stately royal garment in it! But when the bride heard of this she came and asked for the dress, and wanted to buy it, and said, "It is not a dress for a servant-girl." But she said no, she would not sell it, but if the bride would grant her one thing she should have it, and that was, leave to sleep one night in her bridegroom's chamber. The bride gave her permission because the dress was so pretty, and she had never had one like it. When it was evening she said to her bridegroom, "That silly girl will sleep in thy room." - "If thou art willing so am I," said he. She, however, gave him a glass of wine in which she had poured a sleeping-draught. So the bridegroom and the scullery-maid went to sleep in the room, and he slept so soundly that she could not waken him.
She wept the whole night and cried, "I set thee free when thou wert in an iron stove in the wild forest, I sought thee, and walked over a glass mountain, and three sharp swords, and a great lake before I found thee, and yet thou wilt not hear me!"
The servants sat by the chamber-door, and heard how she thus wept the whole night through, and in the morning they told it to their lord. And the next evening when she had washed up, she opened the second nut, and a far more beautiful dress was within it, and when the bride beheld it, she wished to buy that also. But the girl would not take money, and begged that she might once again sleep in the bridegroom's chamber. The bride, however, gave him a sleeping-drink, and he slept so soundly that he could hear nothing. But the scullery-maid wept the whole night long, and cried, "I set thee free when thou wert in an iron stove in the wild forest, I sought thee, and walked over a glass mountain, and over three sharp swords and a great lake before I found thee, and yet thou wilt not hear me!" The servants sat by the chamber-door and heard her weeping the whole night through, and in the morning informed their lord of it. And on the third evening, when she had washed up, she opened the third nut, and within it was a still more beautiful dress which was stiff with pure gold. When the bride saw that she wanted to have it, but the maiden only gave it up on condition that she might for the third time sleep in the bridegroom's apartment. The King's son was, however, on his guard, and threw the sleeping-draught away. Now, therefore, when she began to weep and to cry, "Dearest love, I set thee free when thou wert in the iron stove in the terrible wild forest," the King's son leapt up and said, "Thou art the true one, thou art mine, and I am thine." Thereupon, while it was still night, he got into a carriage with her, and they took away the false bride's clothes so that she could not get up. When they came to the great lake, they sailed across it, and when they reached the three sharp-cutting swords they seated themselves on the plough-wheel, and when they got to the glass mountain they thrust the three needles in it, and so at length they got to the little old house; but when they went inside that, it was a great castle, and the toads were all disenchanted, and were King's children, and full of happiness. Then the wedding was celebrated, and the King's son and the princess remained in the castle, which was much larger than the castles of their fathers. As, however, the old King grieved at being left alone, they fetched him away, and brought him to live with them, and they had two kingdoms, and lived in happy wedlock.
A mouse did run,
This story is done.
在希望还有用处的时代，一位王子被一位老巫婆施了法，困在森林中的一个大铁炉里。 许多年过去了，没有人能救出他。 一天，一位公主来到了大森林，她迷路了，找不到他父亲的王国了。 她在森林里胡乱转了九天，最后来到铁炉前。 突然铁炉里传出一个声音："你从哪里来？要到哪里去？"公主答道："我找不到父亲的王国，没法回家了。"铁炉里的声音又说道："我会很快帮你回家的，只要你肯答应我一件事。我是一位王子，我的国家比公主你的要强大得多，我要娶你为妻。"
公主很害怕，她想："天啊！我怎能和一个铁炉在一起呢？"不过她太想回家了，便答应了他的要求。 但是他又说："你回去后必须再来，带一把刀子，在铁炉上刮个洞。"说完，他派了个向导送公主回家，向导在旁边一直不做声，两小时后，公主就到家了。 公主回来了，宫中一片欢腾，老王吻了女儿，可公主愁眉苦脸，说："亲爱的父王，我可吓坏了，要不是在森林中遇到了一个铁炉，我可就永远回不了家了。可是我不得不答应铁炉的要求，回去把他救出来，然后嫁给他。"老王一听几乎晕了过去，因为他只有这个独生女儿。 于是商量着，想让磨坊主那漂亮的女儿顶替公主去。 女孩被带到森林里，他们给了她一把刀，她便开始刮起铁炉来。 她刮了整整一天，却没有刮下丝毫铁片。 天快亮了，炉子里面叫道："外面像是白天了。"姑娘回答说："是呀！我好像听到爸爸磨房里的机器的轰鸣声了。""这么说你是磨房主的女儿，赶快走开，让公主来。"姑娘马上离开了，她告诉国王，炉子里的人只要公主去。 国王听了很害怕，公主也吓得一个劲地哭。 国王又派了一个养猪人的女儿去森林，还给了她一块金子，这姑娘比磨房主的女儿漂亮得多。 姑娘拿着刀子在炉子上刮了一整天，可还是没刮下什么东西。 天亮时，炉里的声音又叫道："外面像是白天了。"姑娘回答："是啊！我仿佛听到爸爸在吹牧笛了。""这么说，你是牧人的女儿啦！你马上回去要公主来，否则整个王国就会被夷为平地，片瓦不留。"公主得知后，除了啼哭，也没办法，只有履行她的诺言。 于是她告别了她的父王，拿着把刀子，径直向森林中的那铁炉走去。 一到那，她便动手刮，铁皮一层层被刮开，两小时后，一个小洞出现了。 她透过那洞朝里瞅了瞅，原来炉子里呆着位年轻英俊的小伙子。 小伙子浑身珠光宝气，公主不禁心头一喜。 她继续刮，不久就刮出了个很大的洞，那年轻人可以钻出来了。 年轻人一出来就说："现在，你属于我，我属于你。你是我的新娘，是你救了我。"
王子立刻要带公主回他的王国，但公主请求再去见父王一面。 王子答应了，但只准她和她父亲最多说三句话。 公主急匆匆地赶回了家，可她的话儿远远不止三句。 于是那铁炉立刻不见了，远远地飞过了玻璃山和锋利的宝剑的那边。 可王子还是得救了，不再被关在里面。 随后公主告别了父王，带了些零星的钱儿，又回到森林里。 她四处寻找那铁炉，可哪里找得到。 她找了九天，已是饥肠辘辘了，不知该怎么办好，因为已没有半点东西可吃了。 天黑了，她爬上一棵小树，打算在上边过夜，因为害怕野兽。 半夜时分，她发现远处有盏小灯，心想："啊，这下我得救了！"她滑下树，向那灯光走去，一边走一边祈祷着。 她来到了一座小旧屋前，见周围长满了草，门外堆着一小堆木柴。 "唉，我现在怎么进去呀？"她心里嘀咕着。 她往窗户里探了探头，看到满屋子是大大小小的癞蛤蟆，却有一张铺陈华丽的桌子，上面摆着酒和烤肉，碟子杯子都是银的。 于是她鼓起勇气去敲门，只听一只肥大的蛤蟆立刻叫道：
一只小蛤蟆蹦来开了门。 公主进了屋，大伙儿都欢迎她，请她坐下。 蛤蟆问公主："你从哪来？要到哪去？"于是公主向它们说了自己的遭遇：因为自己和父王多说了几句，铁炉和王子就不见了，现在就是到天涯海角她也要找到他。 于是老蛤蟆又说道：
小蛤蟆又蹦过去背来一个盒子。 随后它们让公主饱餐了一顿，又给她铺了张床，上面垫着丝绸和丝绒，卧在上面舒服极了。 公主祈祷完了后，就睡着了。 第二天早上，公主醒了，老蛤蟆从大盒中拿出了三根针叫她带着，说定有用处，因为公主只有翻过一座玻璃山，绕过三口宝剑，渡过一个大湖，才能找到王子。 带着这三件礼物，公主上路了。 她走到了玻璃山前，山上很滑，她将三口针轮番插在脚跟下，顺利地翻过了山；到了那边，她把针插在一个地方，并做好记号。 随后又到了三口锋利的宝剑前，她站在犁轮上，从剑上滚了过去。 最后，她又来到一个大湖旁，又渡过了大水，来到一座美丽的大宫殿前。 她肯定从大森林的铁炉中救出来的王子就在这宫中，于是走了进去，装出一副可怜相，说是希望有人雇佣她。 这时候，王子正准备和另一位姑娘结婚，因为他以为公主早死了。
晚上，公主洗完所有的碟子，便从口袋中拿出一个坚果准备吃，可谁知一嗑开，里面竟有一件非常漂亮的宫廷礼服！ 王子的未婚妻听说了这事，来向她要那套衣服，说："这衣根本不适合洗碟的女佣穿。'她想买下它。公主回答说，不，她可舍不得卖，除非她答应她的条件，即许她在新郎的房间里睡一夜，新娘就可以得到它。新娘实在太喜欢这件漂亮的衣服啦，只好答应条件。晚上，新娘对新郎说："那个傻丫头要在你房间睡一夜，你同意吗？ "只要你愿意，我没意见。"于是新娘让他喝了杯酒，里面渗了些催眠药，这样王子当然就呼呼睡起大觉来，无论公主怎样呼唤都无动静。 公主哭诉了一整夜，说："是我从森林中的一个铁炉里把你救了出来，为了找你，我翻过了玻璃山，跨过了三口宝剑，趟过了一个大湖，可你连话儿都不听我说！"这些话被门外的仆人听得一清二楚，早上全告诉了他们的主人。 第二天晚上，公主嗑开第二颗坚果，又得了件漂亮的礼服，王子的未婚妻又想买，可女仆不希罕她的钱，她又拿来和新娘交换，请求准她再在新郎房中睡一夜。 可王子又喝了一杯加了安眠药的酒，依旧呼呼大睡了一夜。 公主又哭诉了一整夜，这些又被仆人听见了，告诉了他们的主人。 第三天晚上，公主嗑开了第三颗坚果，这回里面是件纯金做的衣服。 新娘一见又想要，公主给了她，条件是允许她再在王子的房里睡一夜。 这回王子早有防备，没有喝催眠药水。 公主又开始哭诉："我最最亲爱的人呀！我把你从森林中的那只炉子里救了出来……"听到这话，王子跳了起来，"你是我的真新娘，你是我的，我是你的。"于是他们夜里坐上一辆马车走了，他们拿走了假新娘的衣服，叫她不能起床。 他们渡过了大湖，坐上犁轮滚过了利剑，踏着针儿翻过了玻璃山，最后来到了小旧屋前。 他们一踏进屋去，小屋立刻变成了一座宏伟的大宫殿，蛤蟆们也被解去了法术，原来尽是些公主和王子。 他们欢天喜地，一个个高兴极啦！ 公主与王子举行了婚礼，他们留在那座宫殿里，那宫殿可比公主父亲的大得多。 公主的父王年岁大了，一个人孤零零地住着，于是他们便把他接了来，这样他们就有了两个王国，从此生活幸福又美满。