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At the birth of her first little child she was very glad, and forgot the
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 of it. Then
she grieved sorely at her misfortune, and said she would give him all
the wealth of the kingdom if he would let her off, but in vain; till at
last her tears softened him, and he said, 'I will give you three days'
grace, and if during that time you tell me my name, you shall keep your
Now the queen lay awake all night, thinking of all the odd names that
she had ever heard; and she sent messengers all over the land to find
out new ones. The next day the little man came, and she began with
TIMOTHY, ICHABOD, BENJAMIN, JEREMIAH, and all the names she could
remember; but to all and each of them he said, 'Madam, that is not my
The second day she began with all the comical names she could hear of,
BANDY-LEGS, HUNCHBACK, CROOK-SHANKS, and so on; but the little gentleman
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 have
travelled two days without hearing of any other names; but yesterday, as
I was climbing a high hill, among the trees of the forest where the fox
and the hare bid each other good night, I saw a little hut; and before
the hut burnt a fire; and round about the fire a 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 her little
friend came she sat down upon her throne, and called all her court round
to enjoy the fun; and the nurse stood by her side with the baby in her
arms, as if it was quite ready to be given up. Then the little man began
to chuckle at the thought of having the poor child, to take home with
him to his hut in the woods; and he cried out, '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. 'Some witch told you that!--some witch told you that!' cried
the little man, and dashed his right foot in a rage so deep into the
floor, that he was forced to lay hold of it with both hands to pull it
Then he made the best of his way off, while the nurse laughed and the
baby crowed; and all the court jeered at him for having had so much
trouble for nothing, and said, 'We wish you a very good morning, and a
merry feast, Mr RUMPLESTILTSKIN!'