The Death of the Little Hen
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Once upon a time, there was a little hen and a little rooster. They looked for nuts to eat on Nut Mountain. They agreed to share all the nuts. Now the little hen found a large nut. She did not share it. She ate it by herself. She was silent and said nothing.
But the nut was big. It got stuck in her throat. She was going to die. So she cried, ” Rooster, please get me some water. I’m choking!”
The little rooster ran to the river. There was woman with a cup. “Please, give me water for the Hen. She is choking!”
The woman answered, “First give me red silk from the bride. Give me the silk and I will give you a cup of water.”
The rooster ran to the bride. “Bride, give me some red silk. I’ll give the red silk to the woman at the river. The woman will give me water. I’ll take the water to the hen. She is choking!”
The bride answered, “First give me my bouquet. It is stuck in a branch.”
So the little rooster ran to the branch. He got the bouquet.
He ran to the bride. The rooster gave the wreath to the bride. The bride gave red silk to the rooster.
Rooster ran to the river. He gave the silk to the woman. The woman gave the rooster some water.
The rooster ran as fast as possible to the hen. The rooster wanted to give the water to the hen. But when he arrived, she had choked. She was dead.
The rooster was so sad that he cried and cried. Other animals heard the rooster. Fox, bear, rabbit, and the mice came to see rooster.
The fox arrived. He said, “What are you doing, rooster?”
“I’m going to hen’s funeral,” the rooster said.
“May we go?” asked the fox.
“Yes,” said rooster. “Sit in the carriage.”
They went a long distance. Then, they arrived at the river. “How can we get across?” said the rooster.
“We can cross on this stone!” said a family of mice. (The mice were not very smart.)
The mice got on the stone. They did not float. They died.
Now there were two funerals: for the hen and for the mice.
The animals did not know what to do. The rooster walked in front. He pulled the carriage. Fox, Bear, Rabbit, and Rooster nearly crossed the river. But there were too many animals. The carriage rolled back, and they all fell into the water and drowned.
Now the little rooster was all alone. All his friends had died. He prepared hen’s grave. Then he sat on it and cried. He cried and cried so long that he too died. And then everyone was dead.