The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Landlord Who Steals from the Devil

Themes: Denial | Theft

I was standing on the porch when I saw the man approaching. What a horror! It looked as if the scare-crow who had been hanging in the fields for ten years had just pulled himself off the stake and stumbled down the road.

I called to him. “Where do you you come from?”

“From hell!” he shouted.

“Who are you?”

“The Devil’s sooty brother, and my king as well!” he replied.

I would not let him enter, but when he showed me the gold in his sack, I changed my mind. He looked like a beast and stank like one, too, but I let him have the best room in the house. He ate, he drank, and after he went to bed, I went upstairs and waited by his door until I could hear him snoring. Then I went inside and stole his knapsack.

It’s not wrong to steal money from the Devil, is it? No, I don’t think so. I took away a little of his power, that’s all. Don’t you think?

Landlord Who Steals from the Devil in The Devil’s Sooty Brother, Grimm. Illustration by Arthur Rackham.

Landlord Who Steals from the Devil