Christmas Fairy Tales & Stories

Christmas Fairy Tales & Stories
Fairy Tales to Warm Heart and Soul

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Golden Key and the Hazel Branch

Grimm's Fairy Tale No. 200:
Der goldene Schluessel / The golden key.

Once, when a deep snow lay on the ground in winter, a poor young boy had to go out and fetch wood on a sled. When he had found and gathered the wood and loaded it on to the sled, he did not want to return immediately to his house because he was frozen through. Instead he made a fire to warm himself a bit. He scraped the snow away from the ground and when he had cleared the earth he found a golden key. Now this boy believed that where you find a key, there must also be the matching lock and so he dug in the earth and found a small iron box. “If only the key would fit inside,” he thought, “there are certainly precious things in this little chest.” He looked but could not find a key hole. Finally he discovered a hole but it was so tiny that he could hardly see it at all. He tried and the key fit happily inside. He turned the key around in the lock but now we must wait until the key is completely turned and the lid opened. Then we will find out what wonderful things are hidden in the chest.

Grimm's Fairy Tale Nr. 10: The Hazel Branch

One afternoon the Christ Child lay down in his cradle and when he was asleep, his mother come and watched him full of joy. She spoke “Have you fallen asleep, my child? Sleep softly, I want to go into the forest and pick a handful of strawberries for you; I know you will enjoy them when you wake up.” Outside in the wood she found a place with the most beautiful strawberries. When she bent over to pick them, an adder jumped up out of the grass. She was startled, left the berries and hurried away. The adder shot after her, but the Mother of God, as you can well imagine, knew what to do and hid behind a hazel bush and stayed there until the adder had slithered away. She then went back to collect the berries and when she was on her way home, she spoke “As the hazel bush has been my protection now, so shall it protect others in the future.” For this reason since ancient times a green hazel branch is the most certain protection against adders, snakes and everything else that creeps on the earth.

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