The Hare’s Bride
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

There was once a woman and her daughter who had a beautiful garden with cabbages. A hare got into it, and during the winter he ate all the cabbages. So the mother said to the daughter, “Go to the garden, and chase the hare away.”

The girl said to the hare, “Shoo, shoo, hare! You’re eating all our cabbages.”

The hare said, “Come, girl, sit on my tail, and come with me to my hut.”

The girl would not do that.

The next day the hare came again and ate cabbages, so the woman said to her daughter, “Go to the garden, and chase the hare away.”

The girl said to the hare, “Shoo, shoo, hare! You’re eating all our cabbages.”

The hare said, “Come, girl, sit on my tail, and come with me to my hut.”

The girl would not do that.

On the third day the hare came again and ate cabbages, so the woman said to her daughter, “Go to the garden and chase the hare away.”

The girl said, “Shoo, shoo, hare! You’re eating all our cabbages.”

The hare said, “Come, girl, sit on my tail, and come with me to my hut.”

So the girl sat on the hare’s tail, and the hare took her far away to his little hut, and then said, “Now cook some green cabbage and millet. “I’m going out to invite guests to our wedding.”

Then all the wedding guests arrived. Who were the wedding guests? I can tell you, because someone else told me. They were all hares, and the crow was there as parson to marry the bride and bridegroom, and the fox served as sexton, and their altar was under the rainbow.

But the girl was sad, for she was all alone.

The hare came up to her and said, “Open the door! Open the door! The wedding guests are making merry.”

The bride cried and said nothing. The hare went away. Then the hare came back and said, “Open the door! Open the door! The wedding guests are hungry.”

The bride continued to cry, and said nothing. The hare went away. Then he came back and said, “Open the door! Open the door! The wedding guests are waiting.”

The bride said nothing, and the hare went away. Then she dressed a straw doll in her clothes, gave it a stirring-spoon, and stood it next to the millet pot. Then she went back to her mother.

The hare came once more and said, “Open the door! Open the door!” Then he opened the door himself and struck the doll on the head so that its cap fell off. Then the hare saw that this was not his bride, and he sadly went away.

* Source: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Häsichenbraut, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales — Grimms’ Fairy Tales), no. 66.

* The Grimms’ source: an unnamed informant (probably Hans Rudolf von Schröder) from Buckow in Mecklenburg.

* Translated from Low German by D. L. Ashliman. © 2000-2002.

* This tale was added to the Grimms’ collection with the second edition (1819).

* Aarne-Thompson type 311.

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