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Sweet Porridge
(Der süsse Brei)

There was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her mother, and they no longer had anything to eat. So the child went into the forest, and there an aged woman met her who was aware of her sorrow, and presented her with a little pot, which when she said, "Cook, little pot, cook," would cook good, sweet porridge, and when she said, "Stop, little pot," it ceased to cook.

The girl took the pot home to her mother, and now they were freed from their poverty and hunger, and ate sweet porridge as often as they chose. Once on a time when the girl had gone out, her mother said, "Cook, little pot, cook." And it did cook and she ate till she was satisfied, and then she wanted the pot to stop cooking, but did not know the word.

So it went on cooking and the porridge rose over the edge, and still it cooked on till the kitchen and whole house were full, and then the next house, and then the whole street, just as if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world, and there was the greatest distress, but no one knew how to stop it.

At last when only one single house remained, the child came home and just said, "Stop, little pot," and it stopped and gave up cooking, and whoever wished to return to the town had to eat his way back.

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Choosing a Bride
(Die Brautschau)

There was once a young shepherd who wished much to marry, and was acquainted with three sisters who were all equally pretty, so that it was difficult to him to make a choice, and he could not decide to give the preference to anyone of them. Then he asked his mother for advice, and she said, "Invite all three, and set some cheese before them, and watch how they eat it."

The youth did so; the first, however, swallowed the cheese with the rind on; the second hastily cut the rind off the cheese, but she cut it so quickly that she left much good cheese with it, and threw that away also; the third peeled the rind off carefully, and cut neither too much nor too little. The shepherd told all this to his mother, who said, "Take the third for your wife."

This he did, and lived contentedly and happily with her.

Notes

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