Monday, November 15, 2021

The Little Shepherd Boy, a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm

 The Little Shepherd Boy 

A shepherd boy was known far and wide for the wise answers he gave to every question.  The king of the realm heard about this but did not believe it, so he had the boy brought to him.  “If you can provide an answer to three questions I will ask of you I will look upon you as my own son and you will come to live with me in my royal palace.”

The little boy spoke “What are the three questions?”  The king replied “The first question is how many drops of water there are in the oceans of the world?”

The shepherd boy replied “Your excellency, plug all the rivers of the world so that not a droplet more than what I have counted can flow into the ocean, then I will tell you how many drops of water there are in the sea.”

The king answered “The next question is: How many stars are in the heavens?” 

The shepherd boy replied “Give me a sheet of white paper, and then with your quill splash so many dark spots that you can barely see how many there are and can’t count them because your eyes become cloudy looking upon them.” Then he said “As many stars are in heaven as on this paper, count them!” But no one was able to.

The king said “The third question is how many seconds are in eternity?”

The shepherd boy replied “The Demant Mountain lies in Western Pomerania.  It is an hour high, an hour wide and an hour deep.  Every hundred years a little bird comes and sharpens its beak there and when the mountain has been worn away the first second of eternity will have passed.”

The king replied “You have answered the three questions like a wiseman; from here on you shall live in my royal palace and I will view you as my own son.”

Translation Copyright