The Northern Way

The Three Little Birds.

The Three Little Birds.

About a thousand or more years ago, there were in this country nothing but small kings, and one of them who lived on the Keuterberg was very fond of hunting. Once on a time when he was riding forth from his castle with his huntsmen, three girls were watching their cows upon the mountain, and when they saw the king with all his followers, the eldest girl pointed to him, and called to the two other girls, hullo. Hullo. If I do not get that one, I will have none. Then the second girl answered from the other side of the hill, and pointed to the one who was on the king's right hand, hullo. Hullo. If I do not get him, I will have no one. These, however, were the two ministers. The king heard all this, and when he had come back from the chase, he caused the three girls to be brought to him, and asked them what they had said yesterday on the mountain. This they would not tell him, so the king asked the eldest if she really would take him for her husband. Then she said, yes, and the two ministers married the two sisters, for they were all three fair and beautiful of face, especially the queen, who had hair like flax. But the two sisters had no children, and once when the king was obliged to go from home he invited them to come to the queen in order to cheer her, for she was about to bear a child. She had a little boy who brought a bright red star into the world with him. Then the two sisters said to each other that they would throw the beautiful boy into the water. When they had thrown him in - I believe it was into the Weser - a little bird flew up into the air, which sang


De drei Vugelkens

Et is wul dusent un meere Jaare hen, da wören hier im Lanne luter kleine Künige, da hed auck einer up den Keuterberge wünt (gewohnt), de gink sau geren up de Jagd. Ase nu mal mit sinen Jägern vom Schlotte heruttrok, höen (hüteten) unner den Berge drei Mäkens ire Köge (Kühe), un wie sei den Künig mit den vielen Lüen (Leuten) seien, so reip de ölleste den annern beden Mäkens to, un weis up den Künig, 'helo! helo! wenn ik den nig kriege, so will ik keinen.' Da antworde de zweide up de annere Side vom Berge, un weis up den, de dem Künige rechter Hand gink, 'helo! helo! wenn ik den nig kriege, so will ik keinen.' Da reip de jüngeste, un weis up den, de linker Hand gink, 'helo! helo! wenn ik den nig kriege, so will ik keinen.' Dat wören awerst de beden Ministers. Dat hörde de Künig alles, und ase von der Jagd heime kummen was, leit he de drei Mäkens to sik kummen un fragete se, wat se da gistern am Berge segd hedden. Dat wullen se nig seggen, de Künig frog awerst de ölleste, ob se ün wol tom Manne hewen wulle. Da segde se ja, un ere beiden Süstern friggeten de beiden Ministers, denn se wören alle drei scheun un schier (klar, schön) von Angesicht, besunners de Künigin, de hadde Hare ase Flass.
De beiden Süstern awerst kregen keine Kinner, un ase de Künig mal verreisen moste, let he so tor Künigin kummen, um se up to munnern, denn se was grae (gerad) swanger. Se kreg en kleinen Jungen, de hadde 'n ritsch roen (roten) Stern mit up de Weld. Da sehden de beiden Süstern, eine tor annern, se wullen den hübsken Jungen in't Water werpen. Wie se'n darin worpen hadden (ick glöwe, et is de Weser west), da flügt 'n Vügelken

- to thy death art thou sped
until God's word be said.
In the white lily bloom,
brave boy, is thy tomb.

in de Högte, dat sank
'tom Daude bereit,
up wietern Bescheid
tom Lilienstrus:
wacker Junge, bist du's?'

When the two heard that, they were frightened to death, and ran away in great haste. When the king came home they told him that the queen had been delivered of a dog. Then the king said, what God does, is well done.

Da dat de beiden hörten, kregen se de Angst up'n Lieve, un makten, dat se fort keimen. Wie de Künig na Hus kam, sehden se to üm, de Künigin hedde 'n Hund kregen. Da segde de Künig 'wat Gott deiet, dat is wole dahn.'

But a fisherman who dwelt near the water fished the little boy out again while he was still alive, and as his wife had no children, they reared him. When a year had gone by, the king again went away, and the queen had another little boy, whom the false sisters likewise took and threw into the water. Then up flew a little bird again and sang

Et wunde awerst 'n Fisker an den Water, de fiskede den kleinen Jungen wier herut, ase noch ewen lebennig was, un da sine Fru kene Kinner hadde, foerden (fütterten) s,en up. Na'n Jaar was de Künig wier verreist, da krig de Künigin wier 'n Jungen, den namen de beiden falsken Süstern un warpen 'n auck in't Water, da flügt dat Vügelken wier in de Högte un sank:

- to thy death art thou sped
until God's word be said.
In the white lily bloom,
brave boy, is thy tomb.

'tom Daude bereit,
up wietern Bescheid
tom Lilienstrus:
wacker Junge, bist du's?'

And when the king came back, they told him that the queen had once more given birth to a dog, and he again said, what God does, is well done. The fisherman, however, fished this one also out of the water, and reared him.

Un wie de Künig torügge kam, sehden se to üm, de Künigin hedde wier 'n Hund bekummen, un he segde wier 'wat Gott deit, dat is wole dahn.' Awerst de Fisker trok düsen auck ut den Water un foerd 'n up.

Then the king again journeyed forth, and the queen had a little girl, whom also the false sisters threw into the water. Then again a little bird flew up on high and sang

Da verreisede de Künig wier' un de Künigin kreg 'n klein Mäken, dat warpen de falsken Süstern auck in't Water. Da flügt dat Vügelken wier in de Högte un sank

- to thy death art thou sped
until God's word be said.
In the white lily bloom,
bonny girl, is thy tomb.

'tom Daude bereit,
up wietern Bescheid
tom Lilienstrus:
wacker Mäken, bise du's?'

And when the king came home they told him that the queen had been delivered of a cat. Then the king grew angry, and ordered his wife to be cast into prison, and therein was she shut up for many long years.

Un wie de Künig na Hus kam, sehden se to üm, de Künigin hedde 'ne Katte kregt. Da worde de Künig beuse, un leit sine Fru in't Gefängnis smieten, da hed se lange Jaare in setten.

When the children had grown up, the eldest once went out with some other boys to fish, but the other boys would not have him with them, and said, go your way, foundling. Hereupon he was much troubled, and asked the old fisherman if that was true. The fisherman told him that once when he was fishing he had drawn him out of the water. So the boy said he would go forth and seek his father. The fisherman, however, entreated him to stay, but he would not let himself be hindered, and at last the fisherman consented. Then the boy went on his way and walked for many days, and at last he came to a great stretch of water by the side of which stood an old woman fishing. "Good day, mother," said the boy.

De Kinner wören unnerdes anewassen, da gink de öIleste mal mit annern Jungens herut to fisken, da wüllt ün de annern Jungens nig twisken sik hewen un segget 'du Fündling, gaa du diner Wege.' Da ward he gans bedröwet un fräggt den olen Fisker, ob dat war wöre. De vertellt ün, dat he mal fisked hedde, un hedde ün ut den Water troken (gezogen). Da segd he, he wulle furt un sinen Teiten (Vater) söken. De Fisker, de biddet 'n, he mögde doch bliven, awerst he let sik gar nich hallen, bis de Fisker et tolest to givt. Da givt he sik up den Weg un geit meere Dage hinner'n anner, endlich kümmt he vor 'n graut allmächtig Water, davor steit 'ne ole Fru un fiskede. 'Guden Dag, Moer,' segde de Junge.

"Many thanks," said she. "You will fish long enough before you catch anything." "And you will seek long enough before you find your father. How will you get over the water," said the woman. "God knows." Then the old woman took him up on her back and carried him through it, and he sought for a long time, but could not find his father. When a year had gone by, the second boy set out to seek his brother. He came to the water, and all fared with him just as with his brother. And now there was no one at home but the daughter, and she mourned for her brothers so much that at last she also begged the fisherman to let her set forth, for she wished to go in search of her brothers. Then she likewise came to the great stretch of water, and she said to the old woman:
"Good day, mother."

'Groten Dank.' 'Du süst da wol lange fisken, e du 'n Fisk fängest.' 'Und du wol lange söken, e du dinen Teiten findst. Wie wust du der denn da över't Water kummen?' sehde de Fru. 'Ja, dat mag Gott witten.' Da nümmt de ole Fru ün up den Rüggen un dragd 'n derdörch, un he söcht lange Tiid un kann sinen Teiten nig finnen. Ase nu wol 'n Jaar veröwer is, da trekt de tweide auck ut un will sinen Broer söken. He kümmt an dat Water, un da geit et ün ewen so, ase sinen Broer. Nu was nur noch de Dochter allein to Hus, de jammerde so viel na eren Broern, dat se upt lest auck den Fisker bad, he mögte se treken laten, se wulle ere Broerkes söken. Da kam se auck bie den grauten Water, da sehde se tor olen Fru 'guden Dag, Moer.'

"Many thanks," replied the old woman. "May God help you with your fishing," said the maiden. When the old woman heard that, she became quite friendly, and carried her over the water, gave her a wand, and said to her: "Go, my daughter, ever onwards by this road, and when you come to a great black dog, you must pass it silently and boldly, without either laughing or looking at it. Then you will come to a great high castle, on the threshold of which you must let the wand fall, and go straight through the castle, and out again on the other side. There you will see an old fountain out of which a large tree has grown, whereon hangs a bird in a cage which you must take down. Take likewise a glass of water out of the fountain, and with these two things go back by the same way. Pick up the wand again from the threshold and take it with you, and when you again pass by the dog, strike him in the face with it, but be sure that you hit him, and then just come back here to me." The maiden found everything exactly as the old woman had said, and on her way back she found her two brothers who had sought each other over half the world. They went together to the place where the black dog was lying on the road, she struck it in the face, and it turned into a handsome prince who went with them to the river.

'Groten Dank.' 'Gott helpe ju bie juen fisken.' Ase de ole Fru dat hörde, da word se gans fründlich un drog se över't Water un gab er 'n Roe (Rute), un sehde to er 'nu gah man jümmer up düsen Wege to, mine Dochter, un wenn du bie einen groten swarten Hund vorbei kümmst, so must du still un drist, un one to lachen un one ün an to kiken, vorbie gaan. Dann kümmest du an 'n grot open Schlott, up'n Süll (Schwelle) most du de Roe fallen la ten un stracks dörch dat Schlott an den annern Side wier herut gahen; da is 'n olen Brunnen, darut is 'n groten Boom wassen, daran hänget 'n Vugel im Buer, den nümm af: dann nümm noch 'n Glas Water ut den Brunnen un gaa mi düsen beiden den sülvigen Weg wier torügge: up den Süll nümm de Roe auck wier mit, un wenn du dann wier bie den Hund vorbie kummst, so schlah ün in't Gesicht, awerst sü to, dat du ün treppest, un dann kumm nur wier to me torügge.' Da fand se et grade so, ase de Fru et sagt hadde, un up den Rückwege, da fand se de beiden Broer, de sik de halve Welt durchsöcht hadden. Se gink tosammen, bis wo de swarte Hund an den Weg lag, den schlog se in't Gesicht, da word et 'n schönen Prinz, de geit met ünen, bis an dat Water.

There the old woman was still standing. She rejoiced much to see them again, and carried them all over the water, and then she too went away, for now she was freed. The others, however, went to the old fisherman, and all were glad that they had found each other again, but they hung the bird on the wall.

Da stand da noch de ole Fru, de frögede sik ser, da se alle wier da wören, un drog se alle över't Water, un dann gink se auck weg, denn se was nu erlöst. De annern awerst gingen alle na den olen Fisker, un alle wören froh, dat se sik wier funnen hadden, den Vugel awerst hüngen se an der Wand.

But the second son could not settle at home, and took his crossbow and went a-hunting. When he was tired he took his flute, and made music. The king was hunting too, and heard that and went thither, and when he met the youth, he said:

De tweide Suhn kunne awerst nig to Huse rasten, un nam 'n Flitzebogen un gink up de Jagd. Wie he möe was, nam he sine Flötepipen un mackte 'n Stücksken. De Künig awerst wör auck up de Jagd un hörde dat, da gink he hin, un wie he den Jungen drap, so sehde he 'we hett die verlöwt, hier to jagen?'

"Who has given you leave to hunt here?" "Oh, no one."
"To whom do you belong, then?" "I am the fisherman's son." "But he has no children." "If you will not believe, come with me." That the king did, and questioned the fisherman, who told him everything, and the little bird on the wall began to sing

'O' neimes (niemand).' 'Wen hörst du dann to?' 'Ik bin den Fisker sin Suhn.' 'De hett ja keine Kinner.' 'Wenn du't nig glöwen wust, so kum mit.' Dat dehe de Künig un frog den Fisker, de vertälle ün alles, un dat Vügelken an der Wand fing an to singen

- the mother sits alone
there in the prison small,
o king of royal blood,
these are thy children all.
The sisters twain so false,
they wrought the children woe,
there in the waters deep
where the fishermen come and go.

'de Möhme (Mutter) sitt allein
wol in dat Kerkerlein.
O Künig, edeles Blod,
dat sind dine Kinner god.
De falsken Süstern beide
de dehen de Kinnerkes Leide,
wol in des Waters Grund,
wo se de Fisker fund.'

Then they were all terrified, and the king took the bird, the fisherman and the three children back with him to the castle, and ordered the prison to be opened and brought his wife out again. She had grown quite ill and weak, so the daughter gave her some of the water of the fountain to drink, and she became strong and healthy. But the two false sisters were burnt, and the daughter married the prince.

Da erschraken se alle, un de Künig nahm den Vugel, den Fisker un de drei Kinner mit sik na den Schlotte un leit dat Gefänknis upschluten un nam sine Fru wier herut, de was awerst gans kränksch un elennig woren. Da gav er de Docheer von den Water ut den Brunnen to drinken, da war se frisk un gesund. De beiden falsken Süstern wören awerst verbrennt, un de Dochter friggede den Prinzen.

 

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