Monday, May 15, 2017

Grimm Reviews – “Mother Hulda”

“Mother Hulda”

A widow had two daughters: one pretty and hardworking, the other ugly and lazy.  Since the pretty one was her step-daughter, she had to do all the work.  She had to sit by a well and spin yarn until her fingers bled. 

One day she went to dip the spindle in the water to wash some of the blood off and it fell in.  She went crying to her step-mother, who told her to go in after it.

Not knowing what else to do, she jumped in the well.  She blacked out, and when she came to she was in a meadow.  She walked around until she came to a baker’s oven.  The bread cried out that it was baked enough and needed to be taken out.  So the girl took them out.

She went on and came to an apple tree loaded down with apples.  The apples cried out for her to shake them loose, which she did. 

She went on and came to a little house with an old woman with big teeth.  She was about to run away when the woman called out saying that if she lived with the woman and did housework things would work out for her.  The woman told her to be especially careful when making her bed, for she was Mother Hulda.

The girl agreed and worked for Mother Hulda a long time.  But then she grew sad and figured she was homesick.  Mother Hulda agreed to let her go and took her to a door.  As the girl passed through gold fell on her and stuck.  Mother Hulda said it was hers for all of her work, and then she returned the lost spindle. 

When the door closed, she was back near her mother’s house.  Since she was covered in gold, her step-mother took her back. 

The step-mother wished her lazy daughter would do the same.  So she set her by the well to spin, but instead of spinning until her fingers bled, she just cut them with a thorn and then tossed the spindle in.

The lazy daughter jumped in the well and woke in the meadow.  She walked along, but didn’t want to take the bread out or shake the apple tree.  When she arrived at Mother Hulda’s home, she agreed to the terms right away.  She worked hard for the first day or so, but then she returned to being lazy.  Mother Hulda didn’t care for her and sent her away.  At first the lazy girl expected the gold, but instead she got covered in pitch which never came off.


A baker’s oven just sitting in a meadow full of talking bread?  I guess you could see stranger things when jumping in a well.

Is Mother Hulda someone the girl should have known? 

How long was the girl gone?  Or is a year at Mother Hulda’s like a day here, or something? 

If the girl had been so mistreated by her step-mother, why did she even go back, now that she was covered in gold?

Why did the lazy girl even bother with cutting her fingers?  Why didn’t she just jump in the well?  I mean, if she was trying to follow the script, then why didn’t she take out the bread or shake the apples free?

Why the pitch?  Couldn’t Mother Hulda just slam the door in her face and leave her with nothing?  I mean, how much does it cost to get a magic door that can spray gold or pitch?

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