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Dr. Hope Presents

The Grimm Brothers'

 Fairy Tales

Frederick and Catherine

There was once upon a time a man who was called Frederick and a woman called Catherine, who had married each other and lived together as young married folks. One day Frederick said, I will now go and plough, Catherine, when I come back, there must be some roast meat on the table for hunger, and a fresh draught for thirst. Just go, Frederick, answered Kate, just go, I will have all ready for you. So when dinner-time drew near she got a sausage out of the chimney, put it in the frying-pan, put some butter to it, and set it on the fire. The sausage began to fry and to hiss, Catherine stood beside it and held the handle of the pan, and had her own thoughts as she was doing it. Then it occurred to her, while the sausage is getting done you could go into the cellar and draw beer.

So she set the frying-pan safely on the fire, took a can, and went down into the cellar to draw beer. The beer ran into the can and Kate watched it, and then she thought, oh, dear. The dog upstairs is not fastened up, it might get the sausage out of the pan. Lucky I thought of it. And in a trice she was up the cellar-steps again, but the spitz had the sausage in its mouth already, and trailed it away on the ground. But Catherine, who was not idle, set out after it, and chased it a long way into the field, the dog, however, was swifter than Catherine and did not let the sausage go, but skipped over the furrows with it.

What's gone is gone, said Kate, and turned round, and as she had run till she was weary, she walked quietly and comfortably, and cooled herself. During this time the beer was still running out of the cask, for Kate had not turned the tap. And when the can was full and there was no other place for it, it ran into the cellar and did not stop until the whole cask was empty. As soon as Kate was on the steps she saw the accident. Good gracious, she cried. What shall I do now to stop Frederick finding out. She thought for a while, and at last she remembered that up in the garret was still standing a sack of the finest wheat flour from the last fair, and she would fetch that down and strew it over the beer.

Yes, said she, he who saves a thing when he ought, has it afterwards when he needs it, and she climbed up to the garret and carried the sack below, and threw it straight down on the can of beer, which she knocked over, and Frederick's draught swam also in the cellar. It is all right, said Kate, where the one is the other ought to be also, and she strewed the meal over the whole cellar. When it was done she was heartily delighted with her work, and said, how clean and wholesome it does look here. At mid-day home came Frederick, now, wife, what have you ready for me. Ah, Freddy, she answered, I was frying a sausage for you, but whilst I was drawing the beer to drink with it, the dog took it away out of the pan, and whilst I was running after the dog, all the beer ran out, and whilst I was drying up the beer with the flour, I knocked over the can as well, but be easy, the cellar is quite dry again. Said Frederick, Kate, Kate, you should not have done that, to let the sausage be carried off and the beer run out of the cask, and throw out all our flour into the bargain.

Well, Frederick, I did not know that, you should have told me. The man thought, if this is the kind of wife I have, I had better take more care of things. Now he had saved up a good number of talers which he changed into gold, and said to Catherine, look, these are yellow counters for playing games, I will put them in a pot and bury them in the stable under the cow's manger, but mind you keep away from them, or it will be the worse for you. Said she, oh, no, Frederick, I certainly will not go near them. And when Frederick was gone some peddlers came into the village who had cheap earthen bowls and pots, and asked the young woman if there was nothing she wanted to bargain with them for. Oh, dear people, said Catherine, I have no money and can buy nothing, but if you have any use for yellow counters I will buy of you. Yellow counters, why not. But just let us see them.

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