Grimm’s Grimmest – Prudent Hans

One day, Hans travels from his mother’s home to Grethel’s. His mother tells him to “take care” when he travels to Grethel’s home.

He arrives at Grethel’s, greeting her and asking for something without bringing anything for her. She gives him a needle, which he sticks in a hay cart that is going along. He follows the cart home.

His mother asks what he gave to Grethel, and he explains that he did not give her anything, but he took something. She reprimands him for placing the needle in a hay cart, suggesting that he should have placed it in his sleeve.

“All right, Mother! I’ll do better next time,” Hans replies.

 When next time came, Hans and his mother have a similar conversation with her bidding him to “take care.” Hans travels to Grethel’s house, asking for something. She gives Hans a knife, which he places in his sleeve.

He arrives back home, his mother asking the same question and receiving the same answer that he took nothing, but brought away something. She reprimands him when she learns that he placed the knife in his sleeve when he should have placed it in his pocket.

“All right, Mother! I’ll do better next time,” Hans replies.

When next time came, Hans and his mother have a similar conversation with her bidding him to “take care.” Hans travels to Grethel’s house, asking for something. She gives Hans a young goat, which he places in his pocket.

He arrives back home, his mother asking the same question and receiving the same answer that he took nothing, but brought away something. She reprimands him when she learns that he placed the goat in his pocket when he should have tied a cord around its neck and led it home.

“All right, Mother! I’ll do better next time,” Hans replies.

When next time came, Hans and his mother have a similar conversation with her bidding him to “take care.” Hans travels to Grethel’s house, asking for something. She gives Hans a piece of bacon, which he ties a cord around it and drags it after him.

He arrives back home, his mother asking the same question and receiving the same answer that he took nothing, but brought away something. She reprimands him when she learns that he tied the bacon with a cord and dragged it home when he should have carried it on his head.

“All right, Mother! I’ll do better next time,” Hans replies.

When next time came, Hans and his mother have a similar conversation with her bidding him to “take care.” Hans travels to Grethel’s house, asking for something. She gives Hans a calf, which he sets on his head and carries it home.

He arrives back home, his mother asking the same question and receiving the same answer that he took nothing, but brought away something. She reprimands him when she learns that he placed the calf on his head when he should have led it home and tied it to the manager.

“All right, Mother! I’ll do better next time,” Hans replies.

When next time came, Hans and his mother have a similar conversation with her bidding him to “take care.” Hans travels to Grethel’s house, asking for something. She gives Hans nothing but herself, which he led home and tied her to the manager.

He arrives back home, his mother asking the same question and receiving the same answer that he took nothing, but brought away something. She reprimands him when she learns that he tied Grethel to the manager when he should have cast sheep’s eyes at her.

“All right, Mother! I’ll do better next time,” Hans replies.

Then Hans travels to the stable, taking sheep’s eyes and throwing them in Grethel’s face. Then Grethel becomes angry, running away to become the bride of another.

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~ by nicmarray on March 21, 2010.

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