Retold by Paul O. Zelinsky
Picture and Story Designed by Ellesha Johnson

millworkers daughter and rumplestiltskin

Once upon a time there was a poor miller who had a beautiful daughter. On his way into town, the miller meet a very wealthy king. He wanted to impress him so he told the king that he had a daughter who could spin straw into gold. The king loved gold and after the miller told him about his daughter, he ordered the miller to send his daughter to the castle rightaway.
    When the girl was brought before him, the king led her to a room filled with straw. He gave her spools and a spinning wheel and told her that she may spend all night, but if she didn't have it done by the morning, she would die. After saying this, he locked the door and left her inside, alone.
    There she sat in a room filled with straw. She hadn't the slightest idea how she or anyone could spin straw into gold. She grew frightened at the thought of what might happened to her if she had not spun the straw into gold by morning, so she begin to weep.
    Suddenly the door popped open and in came a tiny little man. "Good Evening, Mistress Miller," he said. "Why are you sobbing?"  "Oh." the girl cried, "I must spin this straw into gold and I don't know how."  "What will you give me if I spin it for you?" the little man asked. The girl offered him her necklace, he took it and began spinning the straw into gold. He did so until morning.
    When the king saw this room filled with gold, he was so pleased that he sent her to a larger room filled with straw. There he ordered her to spin that straw into gold before dawn or her life will be taken. She weeped again, not knowing how to spin the straw into gold. Once again the little man appeared and asked her what will give him if he sun the straw into gold for her. She offered hin the ring on her finger. He graciously took the ring and begin spinning the straw into gold. he did this until morning and disappered.
    After the sun rose, the king returned. He piles of golden spools before him. The king was so impressed that he sent the miller's daughter to a third, even bigger room that was piled with straw. There he told her that she must spin the straw into gold and if she succeeded, she shall become his wife. Because he thught he could not find a richer wife in all the world. When the king left the little man appeared for a third time, but the miller's daughter had nothing to give him this time. He told her she must promise to give him her first child. She hesitated, but then she thought she would never have a child so she promised to give her child to him. Then, the little man begin to spin the straw into gold once more and disappeared when morning came. The king was pleased and he married the girl. Then she became a beautiful queen.
    The miller's daughter had a handsome baby boy one year later. She never once thought about the little man. But one day he suddenly appeared in her room. he demanded that she give him her son. She begged him not to take her son away. but he refused to submit to her begging and pleading. She began to weep so piteously that at last the little was moved. He told her that he would give her three days to know his name, and if by the end of the third day she knew his name she could keep her child. The quen tried and tried to guess his name.

Critical thinking questions

1. Do you think the queen guessed the man's name?

2. What do you think will happen if the queen guessed the little man's name?

3. Do you think the little man will take the queen's baby?

Ellesha's Homepage