Mite Kremnitz

Once upon a time there was an old man and an old woman, who had not a single child in their old age, and it was very hard for them, because they had no help, not even to light the fire; when they came home from working in the fields, they were obliged to begin with lighting the fire and then prepare their food.

One day, when they were fretting and consulting each other, they determined to look for children whatever might happen.

The old man went one way, the old woman another, to find a child somewhere.

Once upon a time something wonderful happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

Once upon a time something extraordinary happened. If it had not happened it would not be told.

Once upon a time there was an old widower, who had one daughter; he married again and took for his wife a widow, who also had a daughter. The widow's daughter was ugly, lazy, obstinate and spiteful; yet as she was her mother's own child, the latter was delighted with her and pushed every thing upon her husband's daughter. But the old man's child was beautiful, industrious, obedient and good.

Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

Collected by Mite Kremnitz, adapted and arranged by J. M. Percival (New York, 1885)

Once upon a time something happened. If it had not happened it would not be told.

Once upon a time, something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told.

At the edge of the village, where the peasants' oxen break through the hedges and the neighbors' hogs wallow in the ground under the fences, there once stood a house. In this house lived a man, and the man had a wife; but the wife grieved all day long.

"What troubles you, dear wife, that you sit there drooping like a frost-bitten bud in the sunlight?" her husband asked one day. "You have all you need. So be cheerful, like other folks."

Once upon a time something very extraordinary happened. If it had not happened, it would not be told.

There was once a husband and wife. The husband had a son by a former marriage, and the wife had a daughter by her first husband. This wicked woman could not bear the sight of her husband's son. One day she said: "Husband! If you don't send that boy away, I can't eat at the same table with you any longer."

"But where shall I send him, wife? Let him stay till he is a little older, then he will set up housekeeping for himself."

"I mean just what I told you—choose."

Once upon a time, something happened. If it had not happened, it would not be told.

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