On my fifteenth birthday, the king and the queen were not at home. They had left me in the castle, quite alone! I ran round to look into all sorts of places that had been forbidden to me.
I looked into bed-chambers and rooms. I peered into closets and under staircases. Then I came to an old tower. I climbed the narrow winding-case to the top where I found a little door with a rusty key in the lock. I turned the key, and the door sprang open.
In the room sat a little old woman busily spinning her flax around a spindle. I didn’t know what a spindle was. I had never seen such an object before, and I wanted to touch it. I asked the old woman what it was that was rattling around so merrily. She put the spindle into my hand, and the moment I touched it, I was pricked. I fell backwards onto the bed, overcome by drowsiness, and I remember nothing after, nothing but dreams.
Briar Rose in the Tower in Briar Rose, Grimms. Illustration by Charles Robinson.