woman kind

The Hut in the Forest

The Hut in the Forest or The House in the Wood is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 169. Andrew Lang included it in The Pink Fairy Book.

It is Aarne-Thompson type 431.


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, to remain there until a woman kind not only to people but to animals. 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.

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