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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Brothers Grimm > Fairy tale "The story of the youth who went forth to learn what fear was"

The story of the youth who went forth to learn what fear was

Next morning the king came and said: 'Now you must have learnt what shuddering is?' 'No,' he answered; 'what can it be? My dead cousin was here, and a bearded man came and showed me a great deal of money down below, but no one told me what it was to shudder.' 'Then,' said the king, 'you have saved the castle, and shall marry my daughter.' 'That is all very well,' said he, 'but still I do not know what it is to shudder!'

Then the gold was brought up and the wedding celebrated; but howsoever much the young king loved his wife, and however happy he was, he still said always: 'If I could but shudder--if I could but shudder.' And this at last angered her. Her waiting-maid said: 'I will find a cure for him; he shall soon learn what it is to shudder.' She went out to the stream which flowed through the garden, and had a whole bucketful of gudgeons brought to her. At night when the young king was sleeping, his wife was to draw the clothes off him and empty the bucket full of cold water with the gudgeons in it over him, so that the little fishes would sprawl about him. Then he woke up and cried: 'Oh, what makes me shudder so?-- what makes me shudder so, dear wife? Ah! now I know what it is to shudder!'

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