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Main > German folktales > Fairy tale "The Dancers"

The Dancers

The man paid his life as the forfeit of his temerity. No effort was left untried to relieve the dancers, but every one failed. The sufferers themselves, however, appeared quite unconscious of what was passing. They seemed to be in a state of perfect somnambulism, and to be altogether unaware of the presence of any persons, as well as insensible to pain or fatigue. When the expiration of their punishment arrived, they were all found huddled together in the deep cavity which their increasing gyrations had worn in the earth beneath them. It was a considerable time before sense and consciousness returned to them, and indeed they never after could be said to enjoy them completely, for, though they lived long, they were little better than idiots during the remainder of their lives.

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