Grimm’s Grimmest – The Willful Child
For this reason, God had no pleasure in her, and she grew considerably ill.
No doctor could do her any good, and she soon lay on her death-bed.
When she was buried in the ground, the earth spread over her, her little arm came out and reached up. Her little arm refused to be buried even after being pushed back in the ground.
The arm always came out again. Then her mother was asked to come to the grave and strike the arm with a rod.
When the mother had done that, the arm was drawn in, and at last the child could rest.
The Willful Child is the shortest of the Grimm fairytales in the collection that I own: straightforward and concise. Even in death, the little girl was awaiting for punishment by her mother’s hand.
It could be the little girl knew that she was willful and stubborn, and she knew what her punishment should be. She was just awaiting for her mother to deliver it before she could rest in peace.