The Three Feathers
A king is looking for his successor. The youngest and stupidest son wins with the help of a toad - happy ending with princess.
Once upon a time there was a king who had three sons, two of whom were wise and clever, but the third one did not speak much, was simple-minded and was only called the Dummling. When the king grew old and weak and thought of his end, he did not know which of his sons should inherit the kingdom after him. Then he said to them, 'Go forth, and whoever brings me the finest carpet shall be king after my death.' And that there might be no strife among them, he led them before his castle, and blew three feathers into the lust, and said 'as they fly, so shall ye go.' The one feather flew to the east, the other to the west, but the third flew straight out, and did not fly far, but soon fell to the earth. Now one brother went to the right, the other to the left, and they laughed at the fool, who had to stay by the third feather where it had fallen.
The fool sat down and was sad. Then he suddenly noticed that there was a trapdoor next to the spring. He lifted it up, found a staircase and descended. Then he came to another door, knocked on it, and heard how it called inside
'Maid green and small,
Hutzel back and forth,
let's quickly see who would be outside.'
The door opened, and he saw a big fat toad sitting there, and around it a lot of little toads. The big toad asked what he wanted. He answered 'I would like to have the most beautiful and finest carpet'. Then she called a young one and said
'Maid green and small,
Hutzel back and forth,
Bring me the big box.'
The young Toad fetched the box, and the fat Toad opened it and gave the Dummling a carpet out of it, as beautiful and as fine as none could be woven up on earth. Then he thanked her and went up again.
But the other two thought their youngest brother was so silly that they believed he would not find and raise anything. They said, "Why should we bother with searching?" They took the coarse cloths from the body of the first shepherdess they met and carried them home to the king. At the same time the dummy came back with his beautiful carpet, and when the king saw it, he was astonished and said, "If it is to be according to the law, then the kingdom belongs to the youngest. But the other two did not give the father a moment's peace and said that it was impossible for the fool, who lacked understanding in all things, to become king, and asked him to make a new condition. Then the father said, 'He shall inherit the kingdom who brings me the most beautiful ring,' and led the three brothers out, blowing three feathers into the air for them to follow. The two oldest ones went east and west again, and for the fool the feather flew straight out and fell down beside the earth door. Then he descended again to the fat Toad and told her that he needed the most beautiful ring. She immediately sent for her big box and gave him a ring that shone with precious stones and was so beautiful that no goldsmith on earth could have made it. The two oldest laughed at the fool, who wanted to look for a golden ring, did not bother at all, but knocked out the nails of an old wagon ring and brought it to the king. But when the fool showed his golden ring, the father said again, "The kingdom belongs to him. The two eldest did not cease to torment the king until he made a third condition and said that the kingdom should go to the one who brought home the most beautiful woman. He blew the three feathers into the air again, and they flew like the previous ones.
Then the fool went down to the fat Toad without further ado and said, "I shall bring home the most beautiful woman. The most beautiful woman,' replied the Toad, 'is not immediately at hand, but you shall have her. She gave him a hollowed-out yellow turnip covered with six little mice. Then the fool said sadly, "What shall I do with it? The idiot answered: "Just put one of my little idiots in it. So he grabbed one of the little ones out of the box and put her in the yellow carriage, but as soon as she sat in it, she turned into a beautiful lady, the turnip into a carriage, and the six little mice into horses. Then he kissed her, chased away with the horses and brought her to the king. His brothers followed, who had not taken any trouble at all to look for a beautiful wife, but had taken the first best peasant wives with them. When the king saw them, he said, "The kingdom will belong to the youngest after my death. But the two oldest ones deafened the king's ears again with their shouting, 'we cannot admit that the fool will be king,' and demanded that the one should have the preference whose wife could jump through a ring that was hanging in the middle of the hall. They thought 'the peasants' wives can do it, they are strong enough, but the delicate lady jumps to her death'. The old king also admitted this. Then the two peasant women jumped and jumped through the ring, but they were so clumsy that they fell and broke their rough arms and legs in two. Then the beautiful damsel whom the fool had brought with him jumped and leaped through as easily as a deer, and all opposition had to cease. So he received the crown, and ruled in wisdom for a long time.