Benjamin, whilst the others go in quest of game.—(6) One day she plucks twelve lilies from the garden, meaning one for each of her brothers. As she plucks the flowers the brothers are changed to twelve ravens and fly away, and house and garden vanish.—(7) She finds an old woman standing by her, and is told there is only one way by which she may deliver her brothers, and that so hard as to be impracticable. For seven whole years she must be dumb; must neither speak nor laugh or all will be in vain; and one word would kill her brothers. But she feels confident of accomplishing the task, and seats herself in a high tree to spin.—(8) A king is hunting in the forest, and his greyhound barks at the maiden in the tree. King sees golden star on her brow, and is so charmed with her beauty that he asks her to be his wife. She nods assent. He climbs tree and carries her down, and bears her home on his horse. Wedding is solemnised, and they live happily for a few years; but the bride neither speaks nor smiles.—(9) King's wicked mother slanders young queen; says she is a beggar-girl, and accuses her of evil practices; till king is at last persuaded to sentence her to death. A fire is lighted in the court-yard, and she is bound to the stake.—(10) As the fire begins to lick her clothes the last instant of the seven years expires; a whirring sound is heard, and twelve ravens fly down. As they touch the earth they are her twelve brothers. They deliver their sister from the fire, and she now speaks, and explains why she has been dumb.—(11) King rejoices, and they all live in unity. But the wicked mother-in-law is put in a barrel filled with boiling oil and venomous snakes, and dies an evil death.
Alphabetical List of Incidents.
Dumb for seven years, a penalty for release of brothers (7).
Girl, birth of, king vows to kill twelve sons if girl is born (1).
Mother-in-law slanders princess, who is to be burned (9).
Princess born; follows brothers to forest (4).
Princess delivered and speaks (10).
Princess hidden under tub by youngest brother (5).
Princess lives in tree till married by king (8).
Queen warns boys to flee, and arranges danger-signal (2).
Ravens, brothers changed into, when princess plucks lilies (6).
Seventh year-end ravens appear; on touching earth become brothers (10).
Star, golden, on princess's forehead (4) (8).
Youngest brother hides princess under tub (5).
Where published.—Grimm's Household Tales. London, 1884. Tale No. 9, vol. i. pp. 37-42.
Nature of Collection, whether :-
1. Original or translation.—Translation by Margaret Hunt.
2. If by word of mouth state narrator's name.
3. Other particulars.