The Doll in the Grass by Unknown
ONCE upon a time there was a King who had twelve sons.
When they were grown up he told them they must go
out into the world and find themselves wives, who must
all be able to spin and weave and make a shirt in one day, else
he would not have them for daughters-in-law. He gave each
of his sons a horse and a new suit of armor, and so they set
out in the world to look for wives.
When they had traveled a bit on the way they said they
would not take Ashiepattle with them, for he was good for
nothing. Ashiepattle must stop behind; there was no help for
it. He did not know what he should do or which way he
should turn; he became so sad that he got off the horse and
sat down on the grass and began to cry.
When he had sat a while, one of the tussocks among the
grass began to move, and out of it came a small white figure;
as it came nearer Ashiepattle saw that it was a beautiful little
girl, but she was so tiny, so very, very tiny.
She went up to him and asked him if he would come below
and pay a visit to the doll in the grass.
Yes, that he would; and so he did. When he came down
below, the doll in the grass was sitting in a chair, dressed very
finely and looking still more beautiful. She asked Ashiepattle
where he was going and what was his errand.
He told her they were twelve brothers, and that the King
had given them each a horse and a suit of armor, and told
them to go out in the world and find themselves wives, but
they must all be able to spin and weave and make a shirt in
"SHE SAID SHE WOULD SIT AND DRIVE IN A SILVER SPOON"
"If you can do that and will become my wife, I will not
travel any farther," said Ashiepattle to the doll in the grass.
Yes, that she would, and she set to work at once to get the
shirt spun, woven, and made; but it was so tiny, so very, very
tiny, no bigger than—so!
Ashiepattle then returned home, taking the shirt with him;
but when he brought it out he felt very shy because it was so
small. But the King said he could have her for all that, and
you can imagine how happy and joyful Ashiepattle became.
The road did not seem long to him as he set out to fetch
his little sweetheart. When he came to the doll in the grass
he wanted her to sit with him on his horse; but no, that she
wouldn't; she said she would sit and drive in a silver spoon,
and she had two small white horses which would draw her.
So they set out, he on his horse and she in the silver spoon;
and the horses which drew her were two small white mice.
Ashiepattle always kept to one side of the road, for he was
so afraid he should ride over her; she was so very, very tiny.
When they had traveled a bit on the way they came to a
large lake; there Ashiepattle's horse took fright and shied over
to the other side of the road, and upset the spoon, so that the
doll in the grass fell into the water. Ashiepattle became very
sad, for he did not know how he should get her out again;
but after a while a merman brought her up. But now she
had become just as big as any other grown-up being and was
much more beautiful than she was before. So he placed her
in front of him on the horse and rode home.
When Ashiepattle got there all his brothers had also returned,
each with a sweetheart; but they were so ugly and
ill-favored and bad-tempered that they had come to blows with
their sweethearts on their way home. On their heads they had
hats which were painted with tar and soot, and this had run
from their hats down their faces, so that they were still uglier
and more ill-favored to behold.
When the brothers saw Ashiepattle's sweetheart they all became
envious of him, but the King was so pleased with Ashiepattle
and his sweetheart that he drove all the others away,
and so Ashiepattle was married to the doll in the grass; and
afterwards they lived happy and comfortable for a long, long
while; and if they
not dead, they must be still alive.