Mother Hulda

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NARRATOR: A long time ago there once lived a widow who had two daughters. One was pretty, humble, and hard working; the other was ugly, vain, and lazy. Since the ugly one was her own daughter, the widow loved her more than the other one. She made the pretty one do all the work in the house.


PRETTY GIRL: Oh, everyday I have to sit here by the well and spin until my fingers bleed.


NARRATOR: So, she had to wash his bleeding finger in the water of the well. But one day her spindle fell into the water.


PRETTY GIRL: Oh, what have I done?.  My step-mother will punish me for loosing the spindle. I have to get into the well and get it.


NARRATOR: The girl had no option but to go jump into the well after the spindle. And down she went until she knew nothing afterwards. When she woke up she found herself on the earth under an Elder tree.


PRETTY GIRL: Where am I?.  I can´t remember what happened to me. What am I doing here in this beautiful place?.  I see there´s a beautiful meadow filled with red roses.


NARRATOR: Then she heard two dogs barking.


PRETTY GIRL: I have to follow those dogs.  Maybe they will show me the way.


NARRATOR: As she walked, she climbed a mountain and came upon a baker’s oven full of bread. The bread called out to her.


BREAD: Oh, take me out, take me out, or I shall burn!.  I am baked enough already!.


NARRATOR: And so the girl walked up and took the baker’s spatula and started taking out the round loaves, one after the other. She put them up carefully on a table nearby and walked on, following the dogs.


PRETTY GIRL: Hey, wait!.  Oh no, I have to climb that mountain.


NARRATOR: Then she came upon a tree heavily weighted with red apples. The tree called out to her.


TREE: Oh, shake me, shake me, we apples are all of us ripe!.


PRETTY GIRL: Yes, I will help you. I will shake the tree until all of you fall to the ground.


NARRATOR: When all the apples fell from the free, she stacked them up in a mound next to the tree and walked on, following the dogs. Finally, she entered the Iron Wood.


PRETTY GIRL: What is this place?.  I see holly trees and oaks hanging thick with mistletoe all around. And why are the dogs so excited, running around in circles and barking?.


NARRATOR: The dogs were barking and rushing back and forth between the girl and a little house in the forest, where an old woman with great long teeth and a fiery eye was looking at the girl through the window.


PRETTY GIRL: That´s horrible, I am scared, I have to get away soon!.


NARRATOR: When she was about to get away, the old woman called her back.


OLD WOMAN: What are you afraid of, my dear child?.  Come into my house and live with me, and if you do all of the work around the house well, and keep it nice and orderly, things will go well with you. One thing you must do well is shake my bed thoroughly when you make it so that the feathers will fly about, and then in the world it will snow, for I am Mother Hulda. I make snow fall in the world.


NARRATOR: Since the old woman spoke to her so kindly, she agreed to the plan, and went to her work.


MOTHER HULDA: You are working just as I said. I am greatly satisfied with you. You shake the bed as I told you, and feathers fly about like snowflakes.


PRETTY GIRL: Thank you, Mother Hulda. I am glad to hear that. I also live a good life here. And your food is so delicious!.


NARRATOR: But after a few months the girl began to feel sad, and started thinking about going back home, even tough she felt very good with the old woman. Until one day she told her.


PRETTY GIRL: I am homesick, and although all is well and good here, I feel that I can not stay any longer. I must go back to my own home.


MOTHER HULDA: It pleases me that you wish to go home, and, since you have served me faithfully, I will send you there!.


NARRATOR: She took the girl by the hand and led her to a large door which was standing open. When she passed through, a heavy shower of gold fell upon her, and hung all around her, covering her from head to foot.


MOTHER HULDA: All this is yours, because you have worked so hard. And, besides that, I give you a new name, and call you Holly Liebchen, and return to you your spindle, the very same that you dropped in my well.


NARRATOR: The door shut behind her, and Holly was back in the world again, not far from her stepmother’s house. As she entered the yard, the cock at the top of the well yelled.


COCK: Cock-a-doodle-doo!. Our golden girl has come home too!.


PRETTY GIRL: Oh, Cock, I am back home!.


NARRATOR: Then she went inside the house, and since she was covered with gold, the widow welcomed her gratefully.


PRETTY GIRL: Step-mother, you won´t believe what happened to me. I have to tell you the whole story.


NARRATOR: So she told the whole story of what had happened to her, and when the mother heard how her stepdaughter got rich, she started to wish that her own, ugly, vain, and lazy daughter could also have the same fortune. So the widow sent the ugly daughter to sit by the well and spin.


UGLY GIRL: Yes, mother. I will do as you say.


NARRATOR: But since she was too lazy to make her spindle bloody, she thrust her hand into the thorn hedge instead of spinning, then threw the spindle into the well and jumped in after it. Then she found herself in the beautiful meadow surrounded by roses, and she followed the same path. When she came upon the baker’s oven full of bread, the bead said.


BREAD: Oh, take me out, take me out, or I will burn!.  I am baked enough already!.


NARRATOR: But she was too lazy, so she said.


UGLY GIRL: I do not want to get my hands dirty. Stay in the oven. I have to go.


NARRATOR: Soon she came to the tree, heavily weighted with red apples.


TREE: Oh, shake me, shake me, we apples are all of us ripe!.


UGLY GIRL: That is all very well, but what if one of you falls on my head?.  So stay where you are. I have to go.


NARRATOR: When she came to the house in the woods, she was not afraid of Mother Hulda.  She already knew about her great long teeth and her fiery eye, and agreed at once to work for her.


UGLY GIRL: On this first day, I have to work very well, just like my sister. I have to do everything the old woman asks me to do. I have to get that gold!.


NARRATOR: But on the second day.


UGLY GIRL: I am so tired. Today I will not shake Mother Hulda’s bed to make the feathers fly about. I will just do a few things.


NARRATOR: And on the third day.


UGLY GIRL: Wow, today I will really not do anything. I will not even get up from bed.


NARRATOR: And she didn’t make Mother Hulda’s bed at all, or make the feathers fly about.


MOTHER HULDA: I am really upset with that ugly girl, and tired of her laziness, I will tell her that she must do her work properly.


UGLY GIRL: I feel happy today, I think that now I will get the shower of gold.


NARRATOR: Then, the the old woman took her to the door and opened it, and as the lazy girl stood in the doorway, instead of gold a huge cauldron full of black pitch was emptied onto her, covering her from head to foot.


MOTHER HULDA: This is yours for your service.


NARRATOR: And she shut the door.


UGLY GIRL: No, what have you done to me?. I can not go back looking like this. I worked for you, I don´t deserve this, give me my gold!.


NARRATOR: So, the ugly girl was back in the world all covered with pitch, and as she entered the yard, the cock at the top of the well said.


COCK: Cock-a-doodle-doo!. Our dirty girl has come home too!.


NARRATOR: And the pitch remained stuck to her forever and ever.


UGLY GIRL: Oh, mother, do something, don´t just stand there looking at me!.


STEP-MOTHER: I´m working on that, be patient!.




Author:  Grimm Brothers


 Adapted by: K I D S I N C O

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