World of Tales
Stories for children, folktales, fairy tales and fables from around the world

Of Johnny and Maggie, who Went for Red Berries

A fairy tale by Ludwig Bechstein

When Johnny and Maggie were still little children, they went out together into the forest one day to look for red berries. Each of them had a little pot. Before they reached the forest they came upon a pond in which the loveliest little fish were swimming around and gleaming like silver. The children caught some of them and put them in their pots; then they picked a good many red berries and put them in with the fish, until their pots were quite full. Then they found two lovely little knives and laid them on top. However, when they had walked some distance through the wood, they saw a large bear coming towards them; they were very scared and hid themselves, and in their hurry they left their pots behind; and as he came by, the bear ate them up along with the fishes and the berries. He even swallowed the knives. Then he lumbered away. The children, when they ventured out of their hiding-place and saw that their fish and berries and pots and knives had been eaten, began to shed torrents of tears, and they went home and told their father. He quickly got ready, took a long knife, went out into the wood and cut open the bear’s body, then he pulled everything back out – the berries, the fishes, the pots and knives – and returned it to his Johnny and Maggie. Then the children were as happy as could be, and they took their pots home and ate the red berries, and ate their fishes, and played with the lovely knives.

The Book of German Folk- and Fairy Tales

Bechstein book cover 1

Notes: Translated by Dr. Michael George Haldane. Contains 100 fairy tales.

Author: Ludwig Bechstein
Translator: Dr. Michael George Haldane
Published: 1845-53

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