The Grimm Brothers
There was once upon a time a little girl whose
father and mother were dead, and she was so poor that she no longer had a
room to live in, or bed to sleep in, and at last she had nothing else but
the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her hand which some
charitable soul had given her. She was good and pious, however. And as she
was thus forsaken by all the world, she went forth into the open country,
trusting in the good God.
Then a poor man met her, who said, "Ah, give me
something to eat, I am so hungry."
She handed him the whole of her piece of bread, and
said, "May God bless you," and went onwards.
Then came a child who moaned and said, "My head is so
cold, give me something to cover it with."
So she took off her hood and gave it to him. And when
she had walked a little farther, she met another child who had no jacket and
was frozen with cold. Then she gave it her own, and a little farther on one
begged for a frock, and she gave away that also.
At length she got into a forest and it had already
become dark, and there came yet another child, and asked for a shirt, and
the good little girl thought to herself, "It is a dark night and no one sees
you, you can very well give your shirt away," and took it off, and gave away
And as she so stood, and had not one single thing
left, suddenly some stars from heaven fell down, and they were nothing else
but hard smooth pieces of money, and although she had just given her shirt
away, she had a new one which was of the very finest linen. Then she put the
money into it, and was rich all the days of her life.