Jorinde & Joringel
Jorinde & Joringel

n a castle in the midst of a wood there lived an old Witch all by herself. By day she changed herself into a cat or an owl, but in the evening, she resumed her right form.

She was able also to allure to her the wild animals and birds whom she killed, cooked, and ate, and whoever ventured within a hundred steps of her castle was obliged to stand still, and could not stir from the spot until she allowed it; but if a pretty maiden came into the circle, the Witch changed her into a bird, and then put her into a basket, which she carried into one of the rooms in the castle; and in this room were already many thousand such baskets of rare birds.

Now there was a young maiden called Jorinde, who was exceedingly pretty, and she was betrothed to a youth named Joringel, and one day they went into the forest for a walk and got lost. Then Jorinde sang --

"My little bird, with his ring so red, sings sorrow, and sorrow and woe; for the turtle-dove soon will be dead, oh sorrow, and sorrow - jug, jug, jug"

Joringel lifted up his head, and saw Jorinde was changed into a nightingale, which was singing, "jug, jug, jug," and presently an owl flew round thrice, crying, "Tu wit, tu woo." Joringel could not stir; there he stood like a stone. Meanwhile the sun set, and the owl flew into a bush, and out came an ugly old woman. She muttered, and seized the nightingale, and carried it away, while Joringel remained there. At last the Witch returned, and said with a hollow voice, "Greet you, Zachiel! If the moon shines on your side release this one at once." Then Joringel became free, and fell down on his knees before the Witch, and begged her to give him back Jorinde; but she refused, and said he should never again have her, and went away. He wept, and groaned, but all to to no purpose; and at length he rose and went into a strange village, where for some time he tended sheep. He often went round about the enchanted castle, but never too near, and one night he dreamt he found a blood-red flower, in the middle of which lay a fine pearl, and he thought all he touched with it was free from enchantment.

The next morning he began his search to find such a flower, and at length he discovered it, and in its middle was a large dew drop. Then he came to the castle and touching the door with his flower it flew open. He entered, and there was the Enchantress feeding the birds in the baskets. As soon as she saw Joringel, she became fightfully enraged, and spat out poison at him, but she dared not come too close. But alas! there were many hundreds of nightingales, and how was he to know his Jorinde? While he was examing them, he saw the old woman taking away one of the baskets, and slipping out of the door, Joringel touched the basket with his flower, and at once Jorinde stood before him, and fell upon his neck, as beautiful as ever. Afterwards he disenchanted and freed all the other birds, and returned home with his Jorinde, and for many years they lived happily and contentedly.

Click here for more Grimm's Tales.