A poor miller had a beautiful daughter. One day he managed to speak to the king and bragged that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king liked gold, so asked the miller to bring the daughter to the castle.
So the king locked her in a room full of straw and told her that if she didn’t spin it all into gold by morning, she would be killed. The girl – not knowing what else to do – began crying. Then a little man came in and asked what was wrong. She explained, and he asked what she would give him if he did it for her. She gave him her necklace and he spun all the straw into gold by morning.
The king loved all this gold, so he took her to a bigger room filled with straw and told her to turn it into gold or die. The girl again began to cry and the little man showed up and asked what she would give him if he did the work. She had a ring, and so he spun all the straw into gold by morning.
The king took her to an even larger room filled with straw, and told her that if she could spin it into gold she would be his wife. Once the door was closed, the little man showed up. But this time the girl had nothing left to give, so he asked for her first child. With no other option, she agreed. He spun the straw into gold, and the king married her.
A year later she had a child. She had forgotten about the man, until he showed up asking for what she had promised him. She offered all the treasure she had, but the little man wanted something living. But she begged until he took pity and gave her three days to guess his name.
She listed all the names she could think of, and all that her messengers could find in the kingdom, but after each, the little man said, “That is not my name.” By the second day, she was using all the weird names like Spindleshanks.
On the third day, a messenger arrived saying how he couldn’t find any new names, but as he passed through the woods he saw the little man dancing and singing about his name being Rumpelstiltskin.
This time when the little man showed up, she asked if his name was Rumpelstiltskin, and he stomped his foot into the ground, and then he ended up ripping himself in two, and that was the end.
How does a poor miller just happen to speak to the king? And why, after hearing the straw-gold story, didn’t the king just ask, “If that is so, then why are you so poor?”
If someone could spin straw into gold, but only at the speed of norming spinning, would you still kill them for failing to turn an entire room of straw into gold during the night?
If you had someone who could spin straw into gold, wouldn’t you want to watch them, or maybe have them teach their secret to others?
I can understand a castle having a room for straw, but why three? And if the king was so greedy for gold, why didn’t he start her on the biggest room?
You have an amazing skill, which I will test for three nights, and then never ask you to do again.
There’s a little man that can spin straw into gold, who saved my life and led me to being queen, but I’ll forget all about him in a year.