The Tale of the Robber Bridegroom
A tale by the Brothers Grimm
There was once a poor man. The man had a very beautiful daughter. The man was anxious and sad because he had no money for his daughter. The father had no food or money to take care of his daughter.
The father said, “Daughter, you are beautiful. But I cannot buy you beautiful clothes. I cannot take care of you. Marry a rich man. A rich man can take care of you.”
“Marry a rich man? No, I don’t want to. I prefer to take care of myself,” said the daughter.
One day a man arrived. He had elegant, rich clothes. He was very handsome. His speech was sophisticated, like a rich man.
“Hello, I am a rich man, but I am sad. I have no one to take care of. I have no family,” said the man.
The father said, “What is your profession?”
The man said, “I am a banker. I work in a bank.”
The father said, “Where do you live?”
The man replied, “I have two houses. I have one house in the city. I have a second house for vacations in the forest.”
The father was very impressed. He presented the man to his daughter. The daughter did not like the man. He had rich clothes, but he was cold and distant.
“You will marry this rich man,” said the father.
“No, father. I do not love this man,” said the daughter. She cried and cried, but her father insisted.
The rich man offered the daughter a diamond ring and he offered the father 1,000 dollars. The girl was forced to accept. She detested her fiancé… but she accepted the engagement.
The rich man said to the daughter, “In three days, we will have a celebration. Come to my house.”
“Where is the house?” she said.
“The house is in the forest. I will place ashes on the path. The ashes point the way. Follow the ashes to my house,” he said.
In three days, the girl prepared for the celebration, but she kept on crying. She was sad because she did not love her fiancé.
She walked in the forest, following the ashes. Soon she felt nervous. She walked and walked. She arrived at a dangerous-looking house. The house looked abandoned. It was terrifying.
Nervously, the girl knocked on the door. Nobody arrived. The house was abandoned… except for one person.
The daughter walked in and cried, “Hello?”
She walked around the house. There she found an old woman. She was cooking soup in a large pot. The old woman panicked and cried, “Go! Go beautiful girl. You must not be here! Your fiancé is a bad man.”
“A bad man?” the daughter said.
The old woman said, “Yes. This house belongs to a gang. They kidnapped me. They force me to cook. I cannot escape because I am old. Can you help me escape?”
Suddenly, they heard the gang arrive. The men arrived at the door! They had kidnapped a girl.
“Help! Help!” cried the girl.
Then the girl was silent. She was dead.
The men said coldly, “Another one for the pot.”
They did not see the daughter who panicked and hid.
They told the old woman, “Here is dinner. Cook!”
The old woman was forced to cook the dead girl. But the old woman had a plan.
She placed a potion in the soup. Instantly, the gang fell asleep. They were unconscious.
The daughter helped the old woman. Rapidly, they ran back to the daughter’s house.
“Help! Help!” cried the daughter to her father.
“Help?” said the father. “What is the problem?”
“Your daughter’s fiancé is a terrible man,” said the old woman. She explained the terrible situation.
Finally, the father went to the police. They looked in the forest… but there was no house. The ashes had disappeared and they could not find the way to the house.
“I know the house… it is in this direction,” said the old woman.
The old woman took the police and the entire village to the house. They arrested the thieves. They discovered their terrible crimes and decided to execute them!
Finally the old woman was safe. The entire village was safe! And most importantly, the daughter and her father were safe and happy.