Mother Holle or Old Mother Frost
Good girl passes rehearsals of Frau Holle and is rewarded. Lazy sister does not. Cock-a-doodle-doo, our golden/dirty maiden is here again
A widow had two daughters, one of whom was beautiful and hardworking, the other ugly and lazy. But she much preferred the ugly and lazy one, because she was her right daughter, and the other one had to do all the work and be the Cinderella in the house. The poor girl had to sit down every day on the big road near a well, and had to spin so much that the blood flowed from her fingers. Now it happened that the bobbin was once all bloody, so she bent down with it into the well and wanted to wash it off. But it jumped out of his hand and fell down. He cried, ran to his stepmother and told her about the misfortune. But she scolded him so severely and was so merciless that she said, "If you have let the spool fall down, bring it out again." So the girl went back to the well, not knowing what to do. And in her anguish of heart she jumped into the well to get the spool. She lost her senses. And when it awoke and came back to itself, it was in a beautiful meadow where the sun was shining and there were many thousands of flowers. On this meadow it went on and came to an oven, which was full of bread; the bread however called: "oh, pull me out, pull me out, otherwise I burn. I have long since been baked out." So it stepped up and pulled out everything one by one with the bread pusher. Then it went on and came to a tree. It hung full of apples, and called out to it, "oh shake me, shake me, we apples are all ripe together." Then it shook the tree so that the apples fell as if it were raining on them. It shook until there were none left on top. And when it had put them all together in a pile, it went on again.
Finally it came to a small house. An old woman was looking out of it. But because she had such big teeth, she got scared and the child wanted to run away. But the old woman called after him: "What are you afraid of, dear child? Stay with me. If you want to do all the work in the house properly, then it shall go well with me. You only have to take care that you make my bed well and shake it diligently so that the feathers fly - then it will snow in the world; I am Frau Holle." Because the old woman agreed so well with him, the girl took heart, agreed and went into her service. She did everything to her satisfaction and always shook her bed so violently that the feathers flew around like snowflakes. In return, it had a good life with her, no bad word and boiled and roasted food every day. Now it was for some time with the woman Holle, there it became sad and did not know at first even, what it lacked. Finally he realized that it was homesickness. Although it felt much better here than at home, it still had a longing for it. At last it said to her: "I am homesick. And even if I am still doing so well down here, I can't stay any longer. I must go back up to my own." The woman Holle said: "it pleases me that you want to go home again. And because you have served me so faithfully, I will take you up again myself." She took him by the hand and led him to a large gate. The gate was opened. And just as the girl was standing under it, a mighty shower of gold fell, and all the gold stuck to it, so that it was covered all over with it. "You shall have this, because you have been so industrious," said the Lady Holle, and she also gave him back the spool which had fallen into the well. After that the gate was closed again and the girl was up in the world, not far from her mother's house. And when it came into the yard, the rooster sat on the well and called:
our golden maiden is here again."
Then it went in to its mother, and because it arrived so covered with gold, it was well received by her and the sister.
The girl told everything she had encountered, and when her mother heard how she had come to be so rich, she wanted to give her other ugly and lazy daughter the same happiness. She had to sit down at the well and spin. And to make her bobbin bloody, she pricked her fingers and hurt her hand in the thorn hedge. Then she threw the bobbin into the well and jumped in herself. She came, like the other, to the beautiful meadow and continued on the same path. When she reached the oven, the bread cried out again, "oh, pull me out, pull me out, or I'll burn, I'm baked out." But the lazy one answered, "as if I felt like getting dirty," and went away. Soon she came to the apple tree, which cried, "ah, shake me, shake me, we apples are all ripe together." But she answered, "you are right for me, one might fall on my head," and went on. When she arrived in front of the house of Frau Holle, she was not afraid because she had already heard about her big teeth - and immediately asked to work for her. The first day she still overcame herself, was diligent and followed Frau Holle when she told her something. Because she thought of the many gold, which she would give her. On the second day, however, she began to be lazy. On the third day she was even more lazy, because she didn't want to get up in the morning. She also did not make the bed for Frau Holle as she should have done, and did not shake it so that the feathers flew up. Soon the Holle woman was fed up with her and gave her up. The lazy one was quite happy about it and thought that now the golden rain would come. The woman Holle led her also to the gate. But when she stood under it, instead of gold a large cauldron full of pitch was poured out. "This is to reward your services," said the Holle woman and closed the gate. Then the lazy woman came home, but she was all covered with pitch, and the cock on the well, when he saw her, cried out:
our dirty virgin is here again."
The bad luck, however, remained firmly attached to her and would not go away as long as she lived.