Select the desired text size
Age Rating 8 Plus.
Jorinda and Jorindel.
Start of Story
There was once an old castle, that stood in the middle of a deep gloomy
wood, and in the castle lived an old fairy. Now this fairy could take
any shape she pleased. All the day long she flew about in the form of
an owl, or crept about the country like a cat; but at night she always
became an old woman again. When any young man came within a hundred
paces of her castle, he became quite fixed, and could not move a step
till she came and set him free; which she would not do till he had given
her his word never to come there again: but when any pretty maiden came
within that space she was changed into a bird, and the fairy put her
into a cage, and hung her up in a chamber in the castle. There were
seven hundred of these cages hanging in the castle, and all with
beautiful birds in them.
Now there was once a maiden whose name was Jorinda. She was prettier
than all the pretty girls that ever were seen before, and a shepherd
lad, whose name was Jorindel, was very fond of her, and they were soon
to be married. One day they went to walk in the wood, that they might be
alone; and Jorindel said, 'We must take care that we don't go too near
to the fairy's castle.' It was a beautiful evening; the last rays of the
setting sun shone bright through the long stems of the trees upon
the green underwood beneath, and the turtle-doves sang from the tall
Jorinda sat down to gaze upon the sun; Jorindel sat by her side; and
both felt sad, they knew not why; but it seemed as if they were to be
parted from one another for ever. They had wandered a long way; and when
they looked to see which way they should go home, they found themselves
at a loss to know what path to take.
The sun was setting fast, and already half of its circle had sunk behind
the hill: Jorindel on a sudden looked behind him, and saw through the
bushes that they had, without knowing it, sat down close under the old
walls of the castle. Then he shrank for fear, turned pale, and trembled.
Jorinda was just singing,
'The ring-dove sang from the willow spray,
He mourn'd for the fate of his darling mate,
when her song stopped suddenly. Jorindel turned to see the reason, and
beheld his Jorinda changed into a nightingale, so that her song ended
with a mournful _jug, jug_. An owl with fiery eyes flew three times
round them, and three times screamed:
'Tu whu! Tu whu! Tu whu!'
Jorindel could not move; he stood fixed as a stone, and could neither
weep, nor speak, nor stir hand or foot. And now the sun went quite down;
the gloomy night came; the owl flew into a bush; and a moment after the
old fairy came forth pale and meagre, with staring eyes, and a nose and
chin that almost met one another.
She mumbled something to herself, seized the nightingale, and went away
with it in her hand. Poor Jorindel saw the nightingale was gone--but
what could he do? He could not speak, he could not move from the spot
where he stood. At last the fairy came back and sang with a hoarse
'Till the prisoner is fast,
And her doom is cast,
There stay! Oh, stay!
When the charm is around her,
And the spell has bound her,
Hie away! away!'
On a sudden Jorindel found himself free. Then he fell on his knees
before the fairy, and prayed her to give him back his dear Jorinda: but
she laughed at him, and said he should never see her again; then she
went her way.
He prayed, he wept, he sorrowed, but all in vain. 'Alas!' he said, 'what
will become of me?' He could not go back to his own home, so he went to
a strange village, and employed himself in keeping sheep. Many a time
did he walk round and round as near to the hated castle as he dared go,
but all in vain; he heard or saw nothing of Jorinda.
At last he dreamt one night that he found a beautiful purple flower,
and that in the middle of it lay a costly pearl; and he dreamt that he
plucked the flower, and went with it in his hand into the castle, and
that everything he touched with it was disenchanted, and that there he
found his Jorinda again.
In the morning when he awoke, he began to search over hill and dale for
this pretty flower; and eight long days he sought for it in vain: but
on the ninth day, early in the morning, he found the beautiful purple
flower; and in the middle of it was a large dewdrop, as big as a costly
pearl. Then he plucked the flower, and set out and travelled day and
night, till he came again to the castle.
He walked nearer than a hundred paces to it, and yet he did not become
fixed as before, but found that he could go quite close up to the door.
Jorindel was very glad indeed to see this. Then he touched the door with
the flower, and it sprang open; so that he went in through the court,
and listened when he heard so many birds singing. At last he came to the
chamber where the fairy sat, with the seven hundred birds singing in
the seven hundred cages. When she saw Jorindel she was very angry, and
screamed with rage; but she could not come within two yards of him, for
the flower he held in his hand was his safeguard. He looked around at
the birds, but alas! there were many, many nightingales, and how then
should he find out which was his Jorinda? While he was thinking what to
do, he saw the fairy had taken down one of the cages, and was making the
best of her way off through the door.
He ran or flew after her, touched
the cage with the flower, and Jorinda stood before him, and threw her
arms round his neck looking as beautiful as ever, as beautiful as when
they walked together in the wood.
Then he touched all the other birds with the flower, so that they all
took their old forms again; and he took Jorinda home, where they were
married, and lived happily together many years: and so did a good many
other lads, whose maidens had been forced to sing in the old fairy's
cages by themselves, much longer than they liked.
Back To Top