The House in the Wood

I was driving along a Midwestern route on sunny day heading from point A to take pictures and explore at point B.

I was distracted by the warm weather and scenery, it happens quite a bit.  And, I missed the exit.  I ended up on a rural, two-lane road.  The road ran through the center of a small town that hugged the side of a hill.

While I was looking for somewhere to turn my car around, I drove past a quaint cottage.  It  caught my eye with its brightly colored roof.  I  stopped on the side of the road for a better look at it.

The house appeared to be hand-hewn, and as old as the tall trees that encircled it.  It looked as if it was built by the brothers Grimm, and inhabited by elves or gnomes.  I couldn’t resist.  I snapped a picture of it.

The cottage reminded me of the tale of The House in the Wood.  Here is my picture of the cottage.  Could you believe the house was straight out of a Grimm’s fairly tale?

The House in the Wood

A wood-cutter told his wife to have his oldest daughter bring him his dinner in the woods. She lost her way and in the night found a house with a gray-haired man and a hen, a cock, and a brindled cow. She asked for shelter. The man asked the animals, the animals said “Duks”, and the man agreed, and told her to cook supper. She cooked for him and herself, and asked for a bed. He directed her to an upper room, where she went to sleep. The old man followed her and opened a trapdoor that let her down into the cellar.

The next day, the same thing happened with the second daughter.

On the third day, the youngest ended up in the hut. She pet the animals, and when she had made supper for herself and the old man, also got barley for the birds and hay for the cow. She went upstairs to sleep, but at midnight, a sound like the house tearing apart woke her. Still, it stopped, and she went back to sleep. In the morning, she found herself in a palace with a king’s son, enchanted with three attendants, to remain there until a woman kind not only to people but to animals. He summoned her parents to the wedding, and made her sisters servants to a charcoal burner, until they learned not to leave poor animals to suffer hunger.

The House in the Wood is a folk, fairy tale collected and published Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, tale number 169.

Do you believe in fairly tales?  If you come across this cottage by the road, stop in and say hello to the elves or gnomes for me.


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