About a year after the marriage, when she had ceased to think about the little Dwarf, she brought a fine child into the world; and, suddenly, soon after its birth, the very man appeared and demanded what she had promised. The frightened Queen offered him all the riches of the kingdom if he would leave her her child; but the Dwarf answered, "No; something human is dearer to me than all the wealth of the world."
The Queen began to weep and groan so much, that the Dwarf compassionated her, and said, "I will leave you three days to consider; if you in that time discover my name you shall keep your child."
All night long the Queen racked her brains for all the names she could think of, and sent a messenger through the country to collect far and wide any new names. The following morning came the Dwarf, and she began with "Casper," "Melchior," "Balthazar," and all the odd names she knew; but at each the little Man exclaimed, "That is not my name." The second day the Queen inquired of all her people for un common and curious names, and called the Dwarf " Ribs-of-Beef," "Sheepshank," "Whalebone;" but at each he said, "This is not my name." The third day the messenger came back and said, " I have not found a single name; but as I came to a high mountain near the edge of a forest, where foxes and hares say good night to each other, I saw there a little house, and before the door a fire was burning, and round this fire a very curious little Man was dancing on one leg, and shouting,—
"' To-day I stew, and then I'll bake,
To-morrow I shall the Queen's child take;
Ah! how famous it is that nobody knows
That my name is Rumpelstiltskin."
When the Queen heard this she was very glad, for now she knew the name; and soon after came the Dwarf, and asked, "Now, my lady Queen, what is my name?"
First she said, "Are you called Conrade?" "No."
"Are you called Hal?" "No."
"Are you called Rumpelstiltskin !"
"A witch has told you! a witch has told you !" shrieked the little Man, and stamped his right foot so hard in the ground with rage that he could not draw it out again. Then he took hold of his left leg with both his hands, and pulled away so hard that his right came off in the struggle, and he hopped away howling terribly. And from that day to this the Queen has heard no more of her troublesome visitor.
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This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris) in this case Edward Henry Wehnert (1813–1868), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year.
TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: Household stories Author: Jacob Grimm. Illustrated by: Edward Henry Wehnert. Publisher: Routledge, Warne & Routledge, 1861. Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Feb 29, 2008. Subjects, Fiction › Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology, Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology, Social Science / Folklore & Mythology