My last Chance! Part 4
This is the fourth and final part of the story of Frau Holle, a popular German fairy tale, retold by me. Find the first parts here:
Now after she had been with Mother Holle for some time, Maya became sad and homesick. Even though she was many thousand times better off with Mother Holle than at home, she still had a yearning to return. Finally she said to the old woman, “I have such a longing for home, and even though I am very well off here, I cannot stay longer. I must go back again to my own people.”
Mother Holle said, “I am pleased that you long for your home again, and because you have served me so well, I will take you back myself.” With that she took her by the hand and led her to a large gate.
The gate opened and while Maya was standing under it, an immense rain of gold fell, and all the gold stuck to her, so that she was completely covered with it. “This is yours because you have been so hard-working,” said Mother Holle, and at the same time she gave her back the spindle which had fallen into the well.
With that the gate was closed and Maya found herself back on earth, not far from her mother’s house. And as she entered the yard the rooster, sitting on the well, cried:
Our golden girl is here anew.
Then she went inside to her mother, and as she arrived all covered with gold, she was well received, both by her mother and her sister. The girl told all that had happened to her, and when the mother heard how she had come to such great wealth, she wanted to achieve the same fortune for Mara. She made her go and sit by the well and spin. And to make her spindle bloody, the lazy girl pricked her fingers on purpose. Then she threw the spindle into the well, and jumped in herself.
Like Maya, she too came to the beautiful meadow and walked along the same path. When she came to the oven, the bread cried again, “Oh, take us out. Take us out, or else we’ll burn. We’ve been thoroughly baked for a long time.”
But Mara answered, “As if I would want to get all dirty,” and walked away.
Soon she came to the apple tree. It cried out, “Oh, shake me. Shake me. My apples are all ripe.”
But she answered, “Oh yes, so one could fall on my head,” and with that she walked on.
When Mara came to Mother Holle’s house, she was not afraid, because she had already heard about her large teeth, and she immediately began to work for her. On the first day she forced herself, was hard-working and obeyed Mother Holle, when she said something to her, because she was thinking about all the gold that she would give her. But on the second day she already began to be lazy, on the third day even more so, and then she didn’t even want to get up in the morning. She did not make the bed for Mother Holle, the way she was supposed to, and she did not shake it until the feathers flew. The children back on earth were sad, because they had no snow. Mother Holle soon became tired of this and dismissed Mara of her duties. This was just what the lazy girl wanted, for she thought that she would now get the rain of gold.
Mother Holle led her too to the gate. She stood beneath it, but instead of gold, a large kettle full of pitch spilled over her. “That is the reward for your services,” said Mother Holle, and closed the gate.
Then Mara went home, entirely covered with pitch. As soon as the rooster on the well saw her, he cried out:
Our dirty girl is here anew.
And the pitch stuck fast to her, and did not come off as long as she lived.