The Evil One and Kitta Grau
One day the devil met Kitta Grau:
"Where have you been, old man?" asked
Kitta Grau, for she recognized him.
"Well," said the evil one, "I have been out on the
farmstead where the newly wedded couple live.
This is the third time I have tried to sow dissension
between them; but they think so much of each other
that it is a sheer impossibility."
"You talk like a real stupid. That is something
I could bring about the very first time I went there,"
said Kitta Grau.
"If you can do that, you shall have a splendid
pair of shoes," was the evil one's reply.
"Mind you keep your word!" said Kitta, and
turned toward the farmstead.
There the woman was home alone; for her husband
had gone to the forest. Kitta said to the young
"You really have a splendid husband."
"And that is the truth," the woman replied, "for
he grants my every wish before it is spoken."
"But take my word for it," said Kitta, "there is
still a bit of deceit in him. He has a pair of long
hairs under his chin—if you could get at them with
a razor, and cut them off while he is asleep, then he
would be altogether without malice."
"Well," said the woman, "if that will help, I
will be sure to keep an eye open after dinner and
attend to it, for then he always takes a little noon-day
Then Kitta Grau went out into the forest to the
husband and bade him good-day.
"You really have a very good wife," said Kitta.
"She could not be bettered," replied the husband.
"Well you might be mistaken for all that," said
Kitta. "When you come home, be on your guard,
for when you go to take your noon-day nap, she has
in mind to cut your throat. So be sure not to go to
The husband did not think much of the matter;
but still he thanked Kitta Grau for her trouble.
Then he went home and ate his dinner, laid down
and pretended to fall asleep at once.
Thereupon his wife went to his shaving-kit, took
out his razor, went softly up to him and took hold
of his chin with her hand.
Up flew the man.
"Do you want to murder me?" he cried, and gave
his wife such a thump that she measured her full
length on the floor.
And from that day forward there was no peace
in the house. Now Kitta Grau was to receive her
reward from the evil one. But he was so afraid of
her that he did not venture to give her the shoes until
he stood on one side of a stream, while she stood
on the other, and then he passed them over to her
on a long pole.
"You are ever so much worse than I am," he told
The black man had made a bargain with a merchant.
He had promised him that all goods which
he might buy he should sell again within three
weeks' time at a handsome profit. But, if he had
prospered, after seven years had passed he was to
be the devil's own. And he did prosper; for no
matter what manner of old trash the merchant
bought, and if it were no more than an old worn-out
fur coat, he was always able to sell it again, and
always at a profit.
Kitta Grau came into his shop and showed him
the handsome shoes the evil one had given her.
So the merchant said:
"May heaven keep me from him! He will surely
fetch me when the time comes; for I have made a
pact with him; and I have been unable to buy anything
without selling it again in three weeks' time."
Then Kitta Grau said: "Buy me, for I am sure
no one will buy me from you!" And that is what
the merchant did. He bought Kitta, had her disrobe
and cover herself with tar, and roll in a pile of
feathers. Then he put her in a glass cage as though
she were a bird.
Now the first week went by, and the second week
went by, and the third week went by, and no one
appeared who wanted to buy the curious bird. And
then, in due time, came the evil one, and wanted to
fetch his merchant.
"Have patience," said the merchant, "I still have
something I have bought, but have not been able to
sell again in three weeks' time."
"That is something I'd like to see," said the
black man. Then the merchant showed him Kitta
Grau, sitting in her glass cage. But no sooner had
the evil one seen the handsome bird than he cried:
"Oh, I see! It is you Kitta Grau! No one who
knows you would buy you!"
And with that he hurried on his way.
Thus Kitta Grau could help do evil, and help do
The story of "The Evil One and Kitta Grau." (Bondeson, p. 206.
From Halland) shows that it is child's play for an evil woman to
accomplish what the devil himself cannot do. Yet some one has made
an addition which redounds to Kitta's credit, and which makes her
one of the heroines of fairy-tale who know how to take advantage
of the evil one.