This month: fairy tales from ancient Egypt!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fairy Tale of King Redbeard


King Friedrich Redbeard Sleeps in Kyffhaeuser Mountain

There are many legends circulating about this king. They say he is not really dead but will live until doomsday. No other kings shall come after him. Until he returns, he shall sit hidden in the Kyffhausen Mountain. But when he emerges from his slumbers, he will hang his shield upon a withered tree. The tree will at once begin to blossom and a better time will come. In the meantime, he speaks to all the people who happen to wander into the mountain and occasionally he even looks outside. But usually he sits on a bench before a round stone table. Holding his head in his hands, he sleeps while his weary head nods off and his eyes blink drowsily. His beard has grown long. Some say it has even grown through the stone table. But according to others, it has only grown round the table twice. Folks say it must grow around the table three times before the king can awake. But for now, it only reaches twice around the table.

In 1669 a farmer wanted to take his crop of corn from Reblingen to Nordhausen. A man of small stature led him into the mountain where he had to empty his sacks of corn and fill them with gold. The farmer saw the king sitting at the table, but he did not move.

Once it was told that a shepherd was whistling a tune that pleased the king. A gnome led the shepherd inside the mountain. At once the king stood up and asked: “Are the ravens still flying around the mountain?” When the shepherd replied that they were, the king cried out: “Now I must sleep one-hundred more years.”


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