A Tale About Being Kind to Animals: The House in the Woods
My seventh fairy tale illustration, this one for the tale of the interchangeably titled The House in the Woods or the Hut in the Forest, once again by the Grimm Brothers.
This is the tale of a woodcutter and his three daughters. The oldest is sent into the forest to forage dinner and as always in fairytales, gets lost. As she searches for a recognisable way back out of the woods, she stumbles upon a little house. She walks up the little path, knocks on the door and is greeted by an old man. The old man lives there with a cock, a hen and a cow. The girl asks if he would be kind enough to put her up for the night. To this, the old man asks the animals and they reply “Duks” (yeah I don’t know either). This seems positive so the old man offers her a bed for the night on condition that she cooks them dinner. She cooks dinner for both herself and the old man and after they finish eating, the old man leads her to the cellar.
The next day when his eldest daughter does not return from foraging, the woodcutter sends his middle daughter into the woods. Searching high and low, she too becomes lost and as before comes across the same little house in the woods. Exactly the same turn of events happen and the middle daughter is led to the cellar.
On the third day the woodcutter sends his youngest daughter. She is the kindest of the three and like the others gets lost and also finds the little house. Unlike the others, she thinks to also feed the animals and is led to a bedroom where she can spend the night. She is woken in the middle of the night by what seems to be an earthquake but it stopped, so she goes back to sleep.
In the morning she awakes to find herself in a beautiful palace, the hut had transformed over night, the old man had become a handsome prince and the animals restored as his servants. The girl had unknowingly lifted the spell through her kindness of remembering to feed the animals.
The two sisters become servants to a charcoal burner until they learn to respect animals and the youngest daughter and prince get married.
Quite a nice tale really.