lesser-known tales: Riffraff

Early the next morning, as the sun was rising and everyone was asleep, the rooster woke the hen, fetched the egg, pecked it open, and together they devoured it. After throwing the shells on the hearth, they went to the needle, who was still asleep, grabbed him by the head, and stuck him into the innkeeper’s easy chair. Then they stuck the pin into the innkeeper’s towel. Finally, without much ado, they flew away over the heath.

Then he swore he would never again let riffraff stay at his inn, especially when they eat so much, pay nothing, and play mean tricks on top of it all.

from Zipes, Jack (ed. and trans.) The Complete First Edition, the Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Princeton UP, 2014.

illustration Elizabeth Fox

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