The Old Witch
By The Brothers Grimm
There was once a little girl who was very willful and who never obeyed
when her elders spoke to her - so how could she be happy?
One day she said to her parents, "I have heard so much of the old witch that I will go and see her. People say she is a wonderful old woman, and has many marvelous things in her house, and I am very curious to see them."
The girl, however, would not turn back at her parents' command, but went to the witch's house. When she arrived there the old woman asked her:
But her parents forbade her going, saying, "The witch is a wicked old woman,
who performs many godless deeds - and if you go near her, you are no longer a child of ours."
"Why are you so pale?" "Ah," she replied, trembling all over, "I have frightened myself so with what I have just seen."
"And what did you see?" inquired the old witch. "I saw a black
man on your steps." "That was a coal miner," replied she.
"Then I saw a gray man." "That was a sportsman," said the old woman. "After him I saw a blood-red man." "That was a butcher," replied the old woman.
"But, oh, I was most terrified," continued the girl, "When I peeped through your window,
and saw not you, but a creature with a fiery head."
"Then you have seen the witch in her proper dress," said the old woman. "For you I have long waited, and now you shall give me light."
So saying, the witch changed the little girl into a block of wood, and then threw it on the fire. When it was fully alight, she sat down on the hearth and warmed herself, saying: "How good I feel! The fire has not burned like this for a long time!