THERE was once on a time a maiden who was pretty, but idle and negligent. When she had to spin she was so out of temper that if there was a little knot in the flax, she at once pulled out a whole heap of it, and strewed it about on the ground beside her. Now she had a servant who was industrious, and gathered together the bits of flax which were thrown away, cleaned them, span them fine, and had a beautiful gown made out of them for herself. A young man had wooed the lazy girl, and the wedding was to take place. On the eve of the wedding, the industrious one was dancing merrily about in her pretty dress, and the bride said,
"Ah, how that girl does jump about, dressed in my odds and ends."
The bridegroom heard that, and asked the bride what she meant by it? Then she told him that the girl was wearing a dress make of the flax which she had thrown away. When the bridegroom heard that, and saw how idle she was, and how industrious the poor girl was, he gave her up and went to the other, and chose her as his wife.
From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Household Tales, trans. Margaret Hunt (London: George Bell, 1884)
Notes: Translated by Margaret Hunt, this is the only book that contains the complete collection of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales - 200
fairy tales and 10 legends.
Author: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Translator: Margaret Hunt
Publisher:George Bell and Sons, London