The beatings got so bad, and we had become so hungry that one day my brother said, “The dog under the table is better off than we are. God pity us, if our mother only knew! Come, let us go forth together into the wide world.”
We walked the whole day over meadows, fields, and stony places, and when it rained it seemed to me that heaven and our hearts were weeping together. In the evening, we came to a large forest, and we were so weary with grief and hunger that we lay down together in a hollow tree and fell asleep.
This morning, our thirst is almost unbearable, and we have found a little brook leaping brightly over the stones. My brother is kneeling to drink the water, but the water is saying to me, “Who drinks of me will become a tiger. Who drinks of me will become a tiger.”
“Stop, brother!” I cry. “Pray, do not drink, or you will tear me to pieces!”
We turn away from the enchanted stream, crying tears we cannot afford to shed, and asking our Mother in Heaven to lead us somewhere safe.
Sister Who Leads Her Brother Away from Danger in Brother and Sister, Grimms. Illustration by Arthur Rackham.