The Three Feathers

This is one of the Grimm brother’s fairy tales story THE THREE FEATHER for kids. Once there was a King who had three sons, two of whom were clever and sensible. But the third did not speak very much and was simpleminded and the others hard-heartedly called him Dimwit.

As the king grew old and weak and began to contemplate the end of his life, he was not sure which of his three sons should inherit the kingdom. He said to them, “Go out into the world and whoever brings me back the finest carpet shall be king after my death.”

So that there would be no dispute among them, he took them out in front of the castle and blew three feathers into the air. “As the feathers fly, so must you follow,” he said. One of the feathers floated toward the east, the second toward the west, and the third flew straight ahead, but not very far, then sank right to the ground.

The first brother went left, the other went right and they laughed in chorus at Dimwit, who went to the spot where the third feather had landed and just stayed put. Dimwit sat there and was sad, but then he noticed a trapdoor right next to the feather all at once.

He pulled it open to find a staircase and started down. Soon he came to another door and knocked on it and heard a voice call from inside.

The door opened slowly and he saw a giant fat Frog squatting on the ground, surrounded by other, smaller Frog. The big fat one asked him what he wanted and he answered “I’m looking for the most beautiful and wonderful carpet in the world.”

The giant frog called over to one of the little ones, saying “Bring my bag. The young frog brought the bag and the giant frog opened it and handed Dimwit a carpet from inside. It was so beautiful and so fine that no one up above on Earth could ever have woven the likes of it. He thanked her and climbed back up the stair.

Meanwhile, the two other brothers were convinced silly Dimwit would never find anything to bring back. They took the thick clothing of a shepherdess to show the king. Dimwit returned at the same time, carrying his sumptuous carpet. When the king saw it he was astonished and said, “If the law will allow it, this means my youngest shall inherit the kingdom.”

But his other sons would hear nothing of it and said it was impossible because He is dim and witless how he could become a king. They asked the king to set another condition, and so their father said, “Whoever brings me back the most beautiful ring shall inherit the kingdom.”

He then took his sons outside and again blew three feathers into the air for them to follow. The two elder sons went toward the east and the west again, while Dimwit’s feather flew a short distance straight ahead and landed by the trapdoor. And so he went down the stair to the big frog and told her he needed the most beautiful ring.

He had her big bag brought over and from inside it, he gave him a ring so spectacular, shimmering all over with precious stone, that no goldsmith on Earth could possibly have made it.  Meanwhile, the two elder brothers were laughing about Dimwit off looking for a golden ring, and they put no effort at all.

They took the nails out of the iron rim of a wagon wheel and brought this as their ring back to the king. When Dimwit presented his golden ring, their father once again proclaimed. “He is the king.” But again, the two elder sons didn’t agree with this and firmly demanded another chance.

The king said, “This is the last time. The one who brings the most beautiful woman will inherit the throne.” After saying this, he blew the three feathers into the air again. The three feathers flew as before.

Without hesitation, Dimwit went straight down to the big frog and said, “I must bring home the most beautiful girl.” “Aha,” the frog answered. “The most beautiful girl! She is not exactly here right now. After the frog knocked on the ground, six mice immediately appeared with a hollow radish.

The frog said, “You may take a little frog and place it into the radish.” He quickly grabbed a little frog to put in the hollow radish. The little frog suddenly became a beautiful woman. The six mice became six fine horses and the radish became a luxurious carriage.

Dimwit drove the carriage to return to the palace. His brother returned too, but they had not put any effort into finding a beautiful girl. Instead, they brought along the first farmers’ daughter they could find. As soon as King saw them and said “The kingdom shall belong to my youngest son after my death.”

The two elder brothers again quarreled which almost made the king deaf. They demanded a new condition that only the brother would win whose wife could jump through a hoop hanging in the middle of the hall. They said to themselves, “The farmers’ daughter can do that since they are strong enough, but his dainty little girl will fall over dead trying.”

The king gave in to this one last condition. The two farm girls jumped and made it through the hoop, but they were so plump that they fell down hard and their stout arms and legs broke in two.

But the beautiful Woman brought by Dimwit jumped through that hoop easily. And so the youngest brother received the crown and he ruled wisely for a long, long time.

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