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By the side of a wood, in a country  a long way off, ran a fine streamof water; and upon  the stream  there stood a  mill. The  miller’s housewas close by, and the  miller, you must know,  had a very beautifuldaughter. She was, moreover, very shrewd and clever; and the miller wasso proud  of her, that he one day told the king of the land, who used tocome and  hunt in the wood, that his daughter could spin gold out ofstraw. Now this king was very  fond  of  money;  and  when he  heardthe  miller’s  boast  his greediness was raised, and he sent for thegirl to be brought before  him. Then he led her to a chamber in hispalace where there was a great heap of straw, and gave  her aspinning-wheel,  and said, «All  this must be  spun into gold beforemorning, as you love your life.» It was in vain that  the poor maidensaid that it  was only a silly boast  of her father, for  that she coulddo no such thing as  spin straw into gold: the chamber door  was locked,and she was left alone.

She sat down in one corner of the room, and began to bewail her hardfate; when on a sudden the door  opened, and a droll-looking little manhobbled in, and said,  «Good morrow to  you, my  good lass; what  areyou  weeping for?» «Alas!» said she, «I must spin this straw into gold,and I know  not how.» «What will you give me,» said the hobgoblin, «todo it for you?» «My necklace,» replied the maiden.  He took her at  herword, and sat  himself down to the wheel, and whistled and sang:

«Round about, round about, Lo and behold! Reel away, reel away, Straw into gold!»

And round about the wheel went merrily; the work was quickly done, andthe straw was all spun into gold.

When the king came  and saw this, he  was greatly astonished andpleased; but his heart  grew still more  greedy of gain,  and he shutup the  poor miller’s daughter again with a fresh task.  Then she knewnot what to  do, and sat down once more  to weep; but the dwarf  soonopened the door,  and said, «What will you give  me to do your task?’«The ring on my  finger,» said she. So her  little friend took  thering, and began  to work at  the wheel again, and whistled and sang:

«Round about, round about,      Lo and behold!    Reel away, reel away,      Straw into gold!»

till, long before morning, all was done again.

The king was greatly  delighted to see all  this glittering treasure;but still he had not enough: so he took the miller’s daughter to a yetlarger heap, and said, «All this must be spun tonight; and if it is, youshall be my queen.» As soon as  she was alone that dwarf  came in, andsaid,  «What will you give me to  spin gold for you this  third time?’«I have  nothing left,» said she. «Then say  you will give me,»  saidthe little man,  «the first little child that you may have when you arequeen.» «That may  never be,» thought the miller’s daughter:  and as sheknew  no other way to  get her task done, she said she would  do what heasked. Round went the  wheel again to the old song, and the manikin oncemore spun the heap into  gold. The king came in the  morning, and,finding all  he wanted, was forced  to keep his word; so he married themiller’s daughter, and she really  became queen.

At the birth of her first little  child she was very glad, and forgotthe dwarf, and what she had said. But one day he came into her room,where she was sitting playing with  her baby, and  put her in mind  ofit. Then  she grieved sorely at  her misfortune,  and said she  wouldgive  him all  the wealth of the kingdom if he would let  her off, butin vain; till at  last her tears softened him, and he said,  «I willgive you three days»  grace, and if during that time you tell me myname, you shall keep your child.»

Now the queen lay awake all night, thinking of all the odd names thatshe had ever heard; and she sent messengers all over the land to findout  new ones. The  next day  the little  man  came, and  she beganwith  Timothy, Ichabod, Benjamin, Jeremiah, and all the names shecould remember; but  to all and each of them he said, «Madam, that isnot my name.»

The second day she  began with all  the comical names  she could hearof, Bandy-Legs, Hunchback, Crook-Shanks, and so  on; but the littlegentleman still said to every one of them, «Madam, that is not my name.»

The third day one of the messengers came back, and said, «I havetravelled two days  without hearing  of any  other names;  butyesterday,  as I  was climbing a high hill, among the trees of theforest where the fox and  the hare bid each other  good night, I  saw alittle hut;  and before the  hut burnt a fire; and round  about the firea  funny little dwarf was  dancing upon one leg, and singing:

“Merrily the feast I’ll make.    Today I’ll brew, tomorrow bake;    Merrily I’ll dance and sing,    For next day will a stranger bring.    Little does my lady dream    Rumpelstiltskin is my name!”»

When the queen heard this  she jumped for joy, and  as soon as herlittle friend came she sat down upon her  throne, and called all hercourt  round to enjoy the fun;  and the nurse stood  by her side withthe baby in  her arms, as if it was quite ready to  be given up. Thenthe little man  began to chuckle at the thought of having the poorchild, to take home with  him to his hut in the woods; and he  criedout, «Now, lady, what is my  name?» «Is it John? » asked  she. «No,madam!»  «Is it Tom? »  «No, madam!» «Is  it Jemmy? » «It is  not.’«Can your  name be Rumpelstiltskin? »  said the  lady slyly. «Somewitch  told you that!—some  witch told you  that!» cried  the littleman, and dashed his  right foot in a rage  so deep into the  floor, thathe was forced to lay hold of it with both hands to pull it out.

Then he made the best of his way off, while the nurse laughed and thebaby crowed; and all the court jeered at him for having had so muchtrouble for nothing, and said, «We wish you a very good morning, and amerry feast, Mr Rumpelstiltskin! »