The Seven Ravens
7 brothers become ravens and flee. Sister gets bone key to save them, loses it, sacrifices finger - redeems them
A man had seven sons and still no little daughter, as much as he wished for it; finally his wife gave him good hope for a child again, and when it was born, it was also a girl. The joy was great, but the child was slender and small, and because of its weakness should have the emergency baptism. The father sent one of the boys hurriedly to the spring to fetch baptismal water: the other six ran along and because everyone wanted to be the first to draw, the jug fell into the well. There they stood and did not know what to do, and none dared to go home. When they still did not come back, the father became impatient and said "surely they have forgotten it again about a game, the godless boys. He was afraid that the girl would have to pass away without being baptized, and in anger he called out "I wanted the boys all to become ravens. No sooner was the word uttered than he heard a whirring in the air above his head, looked up and saw seven coal-black ravens flying up and away.
The parents could not take back the imprecation, and as sad as they were about the loss of their seven sons, they were comforted to some extent by their lovely little daughter, who soon regained her strength and became more beautiful with each passing day. For a long time she did not even know that she had brothers and sisters, for her parents were careful not to mention them, until one day she heard people talking about her, saying that the girl was beautiful, but that she was really to blame for the misfortune of her seven brothers. Then she became very sad, went to her father and mother and asked if she had any brothers and where they had got to. Now the parents could no longer keep the secret, but they said that it was heaven's doom and that his birth was only the innocent cause. Only the girl made a daily conscience out of it and believed she had to redeem her brothers and sisters again. She had no rest until she secretly set out into the wide world to find her brothers somewhere and to free them, at any cost. He took nothing with him but a ring from his parents as a souvenir, a loaf of bread for hunger, a jug of water for thirst, and a small chair for fatigue.
Now it went always to, far, far to the end of the world. Then it came to the sun, but it was too hot and terrible, and ate the little children. It hurried away and ran to the moon, but it was too cold and also horrible and evil, and when it noticed the child, it said, "I smell, I smell human flesh. Then the child left quickly and came to the stars, which were friendly and good to him, and each sat on his own special chair. But the morning star stood up and gave him a little leg and said, "If you don't have the little leg, you can't unlock the glass mountain, and in the glass mountain there are your brothers."
The girl took the leg, wrapped it in a little cloth, and went away again until she came to the glass mountain. The gate was closed and she wanted to take the leg out, but when she opened the cloth, it was empty and she had lost the gift of the good stars. What should he do now? He wanted to save his brothers and had no key to the glass mountain. The good little sister took a knife, cut off a little finger, stuck it into the gate and happily opened it. When he had entered, a little dwarf came to meet him and said, "My child, what are you looking for?" "I am looking for my brothers, the seven ravens," he answered. The dwarf said "the master ravens are not at home, but if you want to wait here until they come, then come in." Then the little dwarf carried in the food of the ravens on seven little plates and in seven little cups, and from each little plate the little sister ate a morsel, and from each little cup she drank a sip; but into the last little cup she dropped the ringlet which she had taken with her.
Suddenly he heard a whirring in the air and a gun, and the little dwarf said, "Now the ravens are coming home. There they came, wanted to eat and drink, and looked for their little plates and cups. Then one after the other said, "Who has eaten from my little plate? who has drunk from my little cup? that was a man's mouth." And as the seventh came to the bottom of the cup, the ringlet rolled toward him. Then he looked at it and saw that it was a ring of his father and mother, and said, "God grant that our little sister were there, so we would be redeemed." When the girl, who was standing behind the door listening, heard the wish, she came out, and all the ravens regained their human form. They kissed and kissed each other and went home happily.