Aesop's Fables or Aesopica : a collection of fables by Aesop (620560 BC), a slave and story-teller who lived in Ancient Greece . . .


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Aesop's Fables and Fairy Tales for Kids & Adults

One of the Grimms' Fairy Tales from our vast collection of Fables, Tales and Stories.

Old Rinkrank

There was once upon a time a king who had a daughter,
and he caused a glass mountain to be made, and said that
whosoever could cross to the other side of it without falling
should have his daughter to wife. Then there was one who loved
the king's daughter, and he asked the king if he might have her.
Yes, said the king, if you can cross the mountain without falling,
you shall have her. And the princess said she would go over it
with him, and would hold him if he were about to fall. So they
set out together to go over it, and when they were half way up the
princess slipped and fell, and the glass mountain opened and shut
her up inside it, and her betrothed could not see where she had
gone, for the mountain closed immediately. Then he wept and
lamented much, and the king was miserable too, and ordered the
mountain to be broken open where she had been lost, and thought
he would
be able to get her out again, but they could not find the place
into which she had fallen.
Meanwhile the king's daughter had fallen quite deep down into
the earth into a great cave. An old fellow with a very long gray
beard came to meet her, and told her that if she would be his
servant and do everything he bade her, she might live, if not
he would kill her. So she did all he bade her. In the mornings
he took his ladder out of his pocket, and set it up against the
mountain and climbed to the top by its help, and then he drew the
ladder after him. The princess had to cook his dinner, make his
bed, and do all his work, and when he came home again he always
brought with him a heap of gold and silver. When she had lived
with him for many years, and had grown quite old, he called her
mother mansrot, and she had to call him old rinkrank. Then once
when he was out, and she had made his bed and washed his dishes,
she shut the doors and windows all fast, and there was one little
window through which the light shone in, and this she left open.
When old rinkrank came home, he knocked at his door, and cried,
mother mansrot, open the door for me. No, said she, old rinkrank,
I will not open the door for you. Then he said,
here stand I, poor rinkrank,
on my seventeen long shanks,
on my weary, worn-out foot,
wash my dishes, mother mansrot.
I have washed your dishes already, said she. Then again he said,
here stand I, poor rinkrank,
on my seventeen long shanks,
on my weary, worn-out foot,
make my bed, mother mansrot.
I have made your bed already, said she. Then again he said,
here stand I, poor rinkrank,
on my seventeen long shanks,
on my weary, worn-out foot,
open the door, mother mansrot.
Then he ran all round his house, and saw that the little window
was open, and thought, I will look in and see what she can be about,
and why she will not open the door for me. He tried to peep in,
but could not get his head through because of his long beard.
So he first put his beard through the open window, but just as he
had got it through, mother mansrot came by and pulled the window
down with a cord which she had tied to it, and his beard was shut
fast in it. Then he began to cry most piteously, for it hurt
him very much, and to entreat her to release him again. But she
said not until he gave her the ladder with which he ascended the
mountain. Then, whether he would or not, he had to tell her where
the ladder was. And she fastened a very long ribbon to the
window, and then she set up the ladder, and ascended the
mountain, and when she was at the top of it she opened the
window. She went to her father, and told him all that had
happened to her. The king rejoiced greatly, and her betrothed
was still there, and they went and dug up the mountain, and found
old rinkrank inside it with all his gold and silver. Then the
king had old rinkrank put to death, and took all his gold and
silver. The princess married her betrothed, and lived right
happily in great magnificence and joy.

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