Jorinda and Joringel
A Grimm’s Brothers Tale
Adapted from a translation by Margaret Hunt
There was once an old castle in a large and dense forest. An ugly, old witch lived there all alone. She put a spell on the castle. If anyone came close to the castle he was frozen like a statue. He could not move until the sun came up.
But whenever a beautiful girl came near the castle, she changed her into a bird and put her in a cage. She put the cage into a room in the castle. The witch had 7,000 cages of birds in the castle.
Now, there was once a beautiful girl who was called Jorinda. She was more beautiful than all other girls. She and a handsome man named Joringel had promised to marry each other. They were engaged and they were in love.
One day, they wanted to talk together in peace. They went for a walk in the forest.
“Be careful,” said Joringel, “Do not go too near the castle.”
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. Birds were singing. Jorinda saw some beautiful flowers. She picked them as she walked. She followed the flowers until she came to a dark part of the forest. She was near the castle.
“Joringel! Are you there?” she cried, a little nervously. “Yes, I am here, but we are not safe. It is dangerous here,” said Joringel.
The castle was very close. Suddenly, the couple heard a terrible laugh. Joringel was horrified. There was a terrible witch! He walked over to a bird. Suddenly, Joringel realized the bird was Jorinda. The witch had changed her into a bird.
The witch put the bird (Jorinda) in a cage and walked back to the castle. The door closed and she said the words:
“Closed, closed, closed forever!”
Joringel could not move. He stood there like a statue. He could not help or cry out or move. The minutes passed slowly. The sun went down. The sun come back up.
Joringel was freed… but he did not feel free. He felt a pain in his heart so powerful, he fell down. He beat the door but it did not open. He cried, “Jorinda! Jorinda! Come back to me!” He cried and cried, but all for nothing.
Joringel cried so hard, he had no energy. He fell down in exhaustion. He slept, but is was not a calm sleep. He had a dream. In the dream, he picked a red rose on a high mountain. He took the rose to the castle. Everything he touched with the rose was freed from magic. The rose reversed the effects of magic.
In the morning, when he awoke, he began to search all over for such a flower. He looked and looked for nine days. He went up the highest mountain. Then, finally, he found the blood-red rose.
Rapidly, he journeyed with this rose to the castle. When he was close to the castle, he was not frozen like a statue! He was able to move. Joringel was confident: this rose had the power to stop all magic.
He walked to the door. Joringel was full of joy. He touched the door with the red rose. Immediately, the door flew open.
He walked in and listened for the sound of a bird. He was surprised: he heard the sound of many, many birds! The witch was feeding the birds in the 7,000 cages.
Just then he saw the old woman quietly take away a cage with a bird in it, and go towards the door.
Swiftly he ran towards the old witch. He touched her with the flower. She lost all her powers. She had no more magic and she could not attack innocent people anymore.
Then, Joringel touched the cages with the flower. The cages disappeared. Instead, there was Jorinda.
Jorinda ran to Joringel. She embraced him and said, “Thank you, my love.” She was no longer a bird, but she was as beautiful as ever. Then all the other birds were turned into humans again.
Joringel went home with his Jorinda, and they lived happily together for a long time.