My shuttle fell into the well and there was nothing to do but go after it. So I jumped in.

I fell and I fell, and I don’t remember hitting the bottom. When I came to my senses, I was in a flowery meadow where everything spoke.

I walked along, and came to an oven full of baked bread. The bread cried, “Take me out or I shall burn.” I took it out. Then I came to an apple tree that said, “Shake me, my apples are ripe!” So I shook the tree.

At last I came to a house where an old woman lived. She had large teeth. She told me not to be afraid, and she invited me to work for her—to keep her house and tend to her downy bed. “Shake it through till the feathers fly,” she said, “for then there is snow on the earth. I am Mother Holle.”

The Girl Who Fell Into a Well in Mother Holle, Grimms. Illustration by Walter Crane.

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