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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Brothers Grimm > Fairy tale "Old Hildebrand"

Old Hildebrand

Once upon a time lived a peasant and his wife, and the parson of the village had a fancy for the wife, and had wished for a long while to spend a whole day happily with her, and the the peasant woman, too, was quite willing. One day, therefore, he said to the woman, "Listen, my dear friend, I have now thought of a way by which we can for once spend a whole day happily together. I'll tell you what; on Wednesday, you must take to your bed, and tell your husband you are ill, and if you only complain and act being ill properly, and go on doing so until Sunday when I have to preach, I will then say in my sermon that whosoever has at home a sick child, a sick husband, a sick wife, a sick father, a sick mother, a sick sister, brother or whosoever else it may be, and makes a pilgrimage to the Göckerli hill in Italy, where you can get a peck of laurel-leaves for a kreuzer, the sick child, the sick husband, the sick wife, the sick father, or sick mother, the sick sister, or whosoever else it may be, will be restored to health immediately."

"I will manage it," said the woman directly. Now therefore, on the Wednesday, the peasant woman took to her bed, and complained and lamented as agreed on, and her husband did everything for her that he could think of, but nothing did her any good, and when Sunday came the woman said, "I feel as ill as if I were going to die at once, but there is one thing I should like to do before my end -- I should like to hear the parson's sermon that he is going to preach to-day." On that the peasant said, "Ah, my child, do not do it -- thou mightest make thyself worse if thou wert to get up. Look, I will go to the sermon, and will attend to it very carefully, and will tell thee everything the parson says."

"Well," said the woman, "go, then, and pay great attention, and repeat to me all that thou hearest." So the peasant went to the sermon, and the parson began to preach and said, if any one had at home a sick child, a sick husband, a sick wife, a sick father, a sick mother, a sick sister, brother or any one else, and would make a pilgrimage to the Göckerli hill in Italy, where a peck of laurel-leaves costs a kreuzer, the sick child, sick husband, sick wife, sick father, sick mother, sick sister, brother, or whosoever else it might be, would be restored to health instantly, and whosoever wished to undertake the journey was to go to him after the service was over, and he would give him the sack for the laurel-leaves and the kreuzer.

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Category: English folktales
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