A fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm
A sheep-dog had not a good master, but, on the contrary, one who
let him suffer hunger. As he could stay no longer with him, he
went quite sadly away. On the road he met a sparrow who said,
"Brother dog, why are you so sad?"
The dog replied, "I am hungry,
and have nothing to eat."
Then said the sparrow, "Dear brother,
come into the town with me, and I shall satisy your hunger." So
they went into the town together, and when they came in front
of a butcher's shop the sparrow said to the dog, "Stay there, and
I shall pick a bit of meat down for you," and he alighted on the
stall, looked about him to see that no one was observing him,
and pecked and pulled and tore so long at a piece which lay on
the edge, that it slipped down. Then the dog seized it, ran into
a corner, and devoured it. The sparrow said, "Now come with me
to another shop, and then I shall get you one more piece that
you may be satisfied." When the dog had devoured the second piece
as well, the sparrow asked, "Brother dog, have you now had enough?"
"Yes, I have had meat enough," he answered, "but I have had no
Said the sparrow, "You will have that also, come
with me." Then he took him to a baker's shop, and pecked at a
couple of little buns till they rolled down, and as the dog
wanted still more, he led him to another stall, and again got
bread for him. When that was consumed, the sparrow said, "Brother
dog, have you now had enough?"
"Yes," he replied, "now we shall walk
awhile outside the town."
Then they both went out on to the highway. The weather was warm,
however, and when they had walked a little way the dog said, "I am
tired, and would like to sleep."
"Well, do sleep," answered the
sparrow, "and in the meantime I shall seat myself on a branch." So
the dog lay down on the road, and fell fast asleep. Whilst he lay
sleeping there, a waggoner came driving by, who had a cart with
three horses, laden with two barrels of wine. The sparrow,
however, saw that he was not going to turn aside, but was staying
in the wheel track in which the dog was lying, so it cried,
"Waggoner, don't do it, or I shall make you poor."
waggoner growled to himself, "You will not make me poor," and
cracked his whip and drove the cart over the dog, and the wheels
killed him. Then the sparrow cried, "You have run over my brother
dog and killed him, it shall cost you your cart and horses."
and horses indeed," said the waggoner. "What harm can you do me?" and drove onwards. Then the sparrow crept under the cover of the
cart, and pecked so long at the same bung-hole that he got the
bung out, and then all the wine ran out without the driver
noticing it. But once when he was looking behind him he saw that
the cart was dripping, and looked at the barrels and saw that one
of them was empty. "Unfortunate fellow that am I," cried he.
unfortunate enough yet," said the sparrow, and flew on to the head
of one of the horses and pecked his eyes out. When the driver
saw that, he drew out his axe and wanted to hit the sparrow, but
the sparrow flew into the air, and he hit his horse on the head
and it fell down dead. "Oh, what an unfortunate man am I," cried
"Not unfortunate enough yet," said the sparrow, and when the
driver drove on with the two hoses, the sparrow again crept
under the cover, and pecked the bung out of the second cask, so
all the wine was spilt. When the driver became aware of it, he
again cried, "Oh, what an unfortunate man am I."
But the sparrow
replied, "Not unfortunate enough yet," and seated himself on the
head of the second horse, and pecked his eyes out. The driver
ran up to it and raised his axe to strike, but the sparrow flew
into the air and the blow struck the horse, which fell.
an unfortunate man am I."
"Not unfortunate enough yet, said the
sparrow, and lighted on the third horse's head, and pecked out
his eyes. The driver, in his rage, struck at the sparrow without
looking round, and did not hit him but killed his third horse
likewise. "Oh, what an unfortunate man am I," cried he.
"Not unfortunate enough
yet," answered the sparrow. "Now shall I make you unfortunate in
your home," and flew away.
The driver had to leave the waggon standing, and full of anger
and vexation went home. "Ah," said he to his wife, "what misfortunes
I have had. My wine has run out, and the horses are all three
"Alas, husband," she answered, "what a malicious bird has
come into the house. It has gathered together every bird there
is in the world, and they have fallen on our corn up there, and
are devouring it." Then he went upstairs, and thousands and
thousands of birds were sitting in the loft and had eaten up all
the corn, and the sparrow was sitting in the midst of them.
Then the driver cried, "Oh, what an unfortunate man am I."
"Not unfortunate enough yet," answered the sparrow, "waggoner, it
will cost you your life as well," and flew out.
Then the waggoner had lost all his property, and he went
downstairs into the room, sat down behind the stove and was quite
furious and bitter. But the sparrow sat outside in front of the
window, and cried, "Waggoner, it will cost you your life." Then
the waggoner snatched the axe and threw it at the sparrow, but it
only broke the window, and did not hit the bird. The sparrow
now hopped in, placed itself on the stove and cried, "Waggoner, it
will cost you your life." The latter, quite mad and blind with
rage, smote the stove in twain, and as the sparrow flew from one
place to another so it fared with all his household furniture,
looking-glass, benches, table, and at last the walls of his house,
and yet he could not hit the bird.
At length, however, he caught
it with his hand. Then his wife said, "Shall I kill it?"
he, "that would be too merciful. It shall die much more cruelly."
And he took it and swallowed it whole. The sparrow, however,
began to flutter about in his body, and fluttered up again into
the man's mouth, then it stretched out its head, and cried,
"Waggoner, it will still cost you your life." The driver gave
the axe to his wife, and said, "Wife, kill the bird in my mouth
for me." The woman struck, but missed her blow, and hit the
waggoner square on his head, so that he fell dead. But the
sparrow flew up and away.