The Hut in the Forest

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"The Hut in the Forest", or "The House in the Wood", is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 169.[1] Andrew Lang included it in The Pink Fairy Book (1897).[2] It is Aarne-Thompson type 431.[3]

Arthur Rackham, 1917


A wood-cutter told his wife to have his oldest daughter bring him his dinner in the woods. She lost her way and in the night found a house with a gray-haired man and a hen, a cock, and a brindled cow. She asked for shelter. The man asked the animals, the animals said "Duks", and the man agreed, and told her to cook supper. She cooked for him and herself, and asked for a bed. He directed her to an upper room, where she went to sleep. The old man followed her and opened a trapdoor that let her down into the cellar. The next day, the same thing happened with the second daughter.

On the third day, the youngest ended up in the hut. She pet the animals, and when she had made supper for herself and the old man, also got barley for the birds and hay for the cow. She went upstairs to sleep, but at midnight, a sound like the house tearing apart woke her. Still, it stopped, and she went back to sleep In the morning, she found herself in a palace with a king's son, enchanted with three attendants. The king's son had been bewitched by a wicked witch to remain there as an old man until a woman - kind not only to people but to animals - arrived. He summoned her parents to the wedding, and made her sisters servants to a charcoal burner, until they learned not to leave poor animals to suffer hunger.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jacob and Wilheim Grimm, Household Tales, "The Hut in the Forest"
  2. ^ Andrew Lang, The Pink Fairy Book (1897), "The House in the Wood"
  3. ^ D.L. Ashliman, "The Grimm Brothers' Children's and Household Tales (Grimms' Fairy Tales)"