Grimm's Fairy Stories
Little One-Eye, Two-Eyes and Three-Eyes

Copyright© 2012 by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

Once upon a time there was a Woman, who had three daughters, the eldest of whom was named One-Eye, because she had but a single eye, and that placed in the middle of her forehead; the second was called Two-Eyes, because she was like other mortals; and the third, Three-Eyes, because she had three eyes, and one of them in the centre of her forehead, like her eldest sister. But, because her second sister had nothing out of the common in her appearance, she was looked down upon by her sisters, and despised by her mother. "You are no better than common folk," they would say to her; "you do not belong to us"; and then they would push her about, give her coarse clothing, and nothing to eat but their leavings, besides numerous other insults as occasion offered.

Once it happened that Two-Eyes had to go into the forest to tend the goat; and she went very hungry, because her sisters had given her very little to eat that morning. She sat down upon a hillock, and cried so much that her tears flowed almost like rivers out of her eyes! By and by she looked up and saw a Woman standing by, who asked, "Why are you weeping, Two-Eyes?" "Because I have two eyes like ordinary people," replied the maiden, "and therefore my mother and sisters dislike me, push me into corners, throw me their old clothes, and give me nothing to eat but what they leave. To-day they have given me so little that I am still hungry." "Dry your eyes, then, now," said the wise Woman; "I will tell you something which shall prevent you from being hungry again. You must say to your goat:

"'Little kid, milk
Table, appear!'

"and immediately a nicely filled table will stand before you, with delicate food upon it, of which you can eat as much as you please. And when you are satisfied, and have done with the table, you must say:

'Little kid, milk
Table, depart!'

"and it will disappear directly."

With these words the wise Woman went away, and little Two-Eyes thought to herself she would try at once if what the Woman said were true, for she felt very hungry indeed.

"Little kid, milk
Table, appear!"

said the maiden, and immediately a table covered with a white cloth stood before her, with a knife and fork, and silver spoon; and the most delicate dishes were ranged in order upon it, and everything as warm as if they had been just taken away from the fire. Two-Eyes said a short grace, and then began to eat; and when she had finished she pronounced the words which the wise Woman had told her:

"Little kid, milk
Table, depart!"

and directly the table and all that was on it quickly disappeared. "This is capital housekeeping," said the maiden, in high glee; and at evening she went home with her goat, and found an earthen dish which her sisters had left her filled with their leavings. She did not touch it; and the next morning she went off again without taking the meagre breakfast which was left out for her. The first and second time she did this the sisters thought nothing of it; but when she did the same the third morning their attention was roused, and they said, "All is not right with Two-Eyes, for she has left her meals twice, and has touched nothing of what was left for her; she must have found some other way of living." So they determined that One-Eye should go with the maiden when she drove the goat to the meadow and pay attention to what passed, and observe whether any one brought her to eat or to drink.

When Two-Eyes, therefore, was about to set off, One-Eye told her she was going with her to see whether she took proper care of the goat and fed her sufficiently. Two-Eyes, however, divined her sister's object, and drove the goat where the grass was finest, and then said, "Come, One-Eye, let us sit down, and I will sing to you." So One-Eye sat down, for she was quite tired with her unusual walk and the heat of the sun.

"Are you awake or asleep, One-Eye?
Are you awake or asleep?"

sang Two-Eyes, until her sister really went to sleep. As soon as she was quite sound, the maiden had her table out, and ate and drank all she needed; and by the time One-Eye woke again the table had disappeared, and the maiden said to her sister, "Come, we will go home now; while you have been sleeping the goat might have run about all over the world." So they went home, and after Two-Eyes had left her meal untouched, the mother inquired of One-Eye what she had seen, and she was obliged to confess that she had been asleep.

The following morning the mother told Three-Eyes that she must go out and watch Two-Eyes, and see who brought her food, for it was certain that some one must. So Three-Eyes told her sister that she was going to accompany her that morning to see if she took care of the goat and fed her well; but Two-Eyes saw through her design, and drove the goat again to the best feeding-place. Then she asked her sister to sit down and she would sing to her, and Three-Eyes did so, for she was very tired with her long walk in the heat of the sun. Then Two-Eyes began to sing as before:

"Are you awake, Three-Eyes?"

but, instead of continuing as she should have done,

"Are you asleep, Three-Eyes?"

she said by mistake,

"Are you asleep, Two-Eyes?"

and so went on singing:

"Are you awake, Three-Eyes?"
"Are you asleep, Two-Eyes?"

By and by Three-Eyes closed two of her eyes, and went to sleep with them; but the third eye, which was not spoken to, kept open. Three-Eyes, however, cunningly shut it too, and feigned to be asleep, while she was really watching; and soon Two-Eyes, thinking all safe, repeated the words:

"Little kid, milk
Table, appear!"

and as soon as she was satisfied she said the old words:

"Little kid, milk
Table, depart!"

Three-Eyes watched all these proceedings; and presently Two-Eyes came and awoke her, saying, "Ah, sister! you are a good watcher, but come, let us go home now." When they reached home Two-Eyes again ate nothing; and her sister told her mother she knew now why the haughty hussy would not eat their victuals. "When she is out in the meadow," said her sister, "she says:

"'Little kid, milk
Table, appear!'

"and, directly, a table comes up laid out with meat and wine, and everything of the best, much better than we have; and as soon as she has had enough she says:

"'Little kid, milk
Table, depart!'

"and all goes away directly, as I clearly saw. Certainly she did put to sleep two of my eyes, but the one in the middle of my forehead luckily kept awake!"

"Will you have better things than we?" cried the envious mother; "then you shall lose the chance"; and so saying, she took a carving-knife and killed the goat dead.

As soon as Two-Eyes saw this she went out, very sorrowful, to the old spot and sat down where she had sat before to weep bitterly. All at once the wise Woman stood in front of her again, and asked why she was crying. "Must I not cry," replied she, "when the goat which used to furnish me every day with a dinner, according to your promise, has been killed by my mother, and I am again suffering hunger and thirst?" "Two-Eyes," said the wise Woman, "I will give you a piece of advice. Beg your sisters to give you the entrails of the goat, and bury them in the earth before the house door, and your fortune will be made." So saying, she disappeared, and Two-Eyes went home, and said to her sisters, "Dear sisters, do give me some part of the slain kid; I desire nothing else--let me have the entrails." The sisters laughed and readily gave them to her; and she buried them secretly before the threshold of the door, as the wise Woman had bidden her.

 
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