Author Archives for Ellen

Kiss

This morning there were several downpours. I watched the last episode of Top of the Lake season 2. Looking outside, listening to the rain a bit.

After that i sat behind my computer for a short while, making the newsletter of this week. Done! A bit of browsing, going through my facebook and twitter feed.

Thinking about kissing. That was almost intoxicating. Enchanting. Not kissing any one in particular. Simply kissing. Or more being kissed. This afternoon anyway.

Then i decided i wouldn’t go to the garden today. I wrote a message in the whatsapp group. The three main people wouldn’t be there either today. Quickly after that i got a message from Julien, asking me for my keys. Of course.

The Filosofisch Kwintet was a bit later. A ladies football game was canceled the night before and moved to this morning. So the Filosofisch Kwintet was moved to another channel and delayed in time. I watched it. It was OK. Nothing earth shattering.

This afternoon the weather got better. The sun came through. Blue sky in between the clouds.

I went to the supermarket. I needed milk. To make my oatmeal porridge with in the morning. I decided to go by the garden and treat everyone to kano’s.

I stayed much longer than i had anticipated. Did some harvesting. Showed some people around the fruit garden at Station Hofplein.

A good afternoon. When i got home i got all the bed cottons of and turned on the washing machine. Spend some time sewing back together the rip in the mattress cover, the molton.

Before zomergasten started i threw the I Ching. The first sign felt a bit general. Not too outside my current situation really. 3. Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning, with a changing 9 as the first, bottom line.

°Nine at the beginning means:
Hesitation and hindrance.
It furthers one to remain persevering.
It furthers one to appoint helpers.

If a person encounters a hindrance at the beginning of an enterprise, he must not try to force advance but must pause and take thought. However, nothing should put him off his course; he must persevere and constantly keep the goal in sight. It is important to seek out the right assistants, but he can find them only if he avoids arrogance and associated with his fellows in a spirit of humility. Only then will he attract those with whose help he can combat the difficulties.

With only the bottom line changing, this sign changes in to number 8. Pi / Holding Together. The same sign i got a few weeks ago. I do like it when this happens. Makes me read the text once again.

The rest of the evening i spend watching Eberhard van der Laan, the Amsterdam mayor, in zomergasten, summer guests, a three hour television show broadcasted in August since 1988. I had some critique, but still, Janine Abbring did a good job here talking with van der Laan. There was more attention, more listening, more open feeling in this evening than the one she spend last week with Rosanne Hertzberger. It touched me, especially towards the end.

Salute!

Published on July 31, 2017 at 6:00 by

Human Nature

Human Nature is a wonderful song and piece of music.

Earlier this week i saw a teaser for Stranger Things season 2. I enjoyed watching the first season late last year. The Michael Jackson song Thriller is used in the second half of the teaser. This triggered something in me. For the past few days i’ve been listening to this album. Dancing to it!

When this album came out, i was too much into new wave music to pay much attention to this. I do remember the clip though. The first time it was broadcasted in the Netherlands. I was babysitting two little children in my house. We were sitting on the couch, me in the middle and watching television. I knew Thriller would be on. We talked about it a bit. And watched it, the full fourteen minutes! Scary! The children closed their eyes sometimes. Me too!

When Bad came out a couple of years later, i did buy the album. I was more into mainstream music at the time. Years lter i bought Off the Wall and Thriller on CD.

I admit, i wasn’t a huge fan. But this week it did sink in more than ever. The album Thriller is absolutely wonderful. Off the Wall is great too, but i gotta say it here, Thriller is sublime. Not all the songs, no. But still. Billie Jean, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Beat It, Thriller, P.Y.T. And then of course Human Nature.

My version i do like. Still not excellent, no. But yes, i do like it. I should have practiced more i guess. I did sing it for the past few days a couple of times. But these songs i sing is not about me being perfect.

I hope you will enjoy this!

Human Nature – Michael Jackson
Looking out
Across the nighttime
The city winks a sleepless eye
Hear her voice
Shake my window
Sweet seducing sighs

Get me out
Into the nighttime
Four walls won’t hold me tonight
If this town
Is just an apple
Then let me take a bite

If they say,
Why, why, tell ’em that it’s human nature
Why, why, does he do it that way
If they say,
Why, why, tell ’em that it’s human nature
Why, why does he do me that way

Reaching out
To touch a stranger
Electric eyes are everywhere
See that girl
She knows I’m watching
She likes the way I stare

If they say,
Why, why, tell ’em that it’s human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
If they say,
Why, why, tell ’em that it’s human nature
Why, why does he do me that way

I like livin’ this way
I like lovin’ this way

(That way) Why why
(That way) Why why

Looking out
Across the morning
Where the city’s heart begins to beat
Reaching out
I touch her shoulder
I’m dreaming of the street

If they say,
Why, why, tell ’em that it’s human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
If they say,
Why, why, ooo tell ’em
Why, why does he do me that way
If they say why, why, cha cha cha cha cha cha
Why does he do me that way
If they say why, why, why, ooo tell ’em
Why does he do me that way
If they say why, ooo tell ’em
Why does he do me that way
If they say why, da da da da da da da da
Why does he do my that way, I like living this way
Why, oh why, why, why

Published on July 28, 2017 at 6:00 by

The Uninhabitable Earth

Yesterday i came across this article The Uninhabitable Earth published in New York Magazine on July 9, 2017. There is also an annotated version, with more background information in the sideline.

Yesterday i went through the article quickly and linked it on facebook. Today i read it more thoroughly and decided to post it for today.

The article is written by David Wallace-Wells.

The article went viral from the first day of publishing. Many other scientists and publicists expressed criticism on the extreme tone of the article. Many said many points in the article are not right. I am not informed enough to form an opinion either way.

What follows is not a series of predictions of what will happen — that will be determined in large part by the much-less-certain science of human response. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action. It is unlikely that all of these warming scenarios will be fully realized, largely because the devastation along the way will shake our complacency. But those scenarios, and not the present climate, are the baseline. In fact, they are our schedule.

What Wallace-Wells expresses is that the article is not a prediction. The Uninhabitable Earth talks about what will happen if we do nothing, continue on our current action and let it all happen. A worst case scenario.

We do not know if we will act like this.

The article discusses several topics.

  1. ‘Doomsday’
    Peering beyond scientific reticence.
  2. Heat Death
    The bahraining of New York.
  3. The End of Food
    Praying for cornfields in the tundra.
  4. Climate Plagues
    What happens when the bubonic ice melts?
  5. Unbreathable Air
    A rolling death smog that suffocates millions.
  6. Perpetual War
    The violence baked into heat.
  7. Permanent Economic Collapse
    Dismal capitalism in a half-poorer world.
  8. Poisoned Oceans
    Sulfide burps off the skeleton coast.
  9. The Great Filter
    Our present eeriness cannot last.

The end of the article is, contrary to expectations, not entirely negative.

But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

I do hope you have already read this article or will read it soon.

As for me, i am intrigued. I do need to read it again carefully. I also want to do a deeper search for other articles about this one, expressing concerns about possible outcomes expressed. I will not take this article as a given fact, but as Wallace-Wells said himself, as a possible scenario.

It’s one of the world’s best-kept secrets that scientists either low-ball their research or risk job/grant loss! That lamentable fact has been publicly admitted by some of the world’s top climate scientists […]. It is a scandalous disservice to the public, to life, to the ecosystem.

Source: Uninhabitable Earth?

The above quote does trouble me. Scientists who lose their job because they speak openly about things they have found? Low-balling their research? I have never worked in science research myself, so i have no experience with this. I can only take this on and look for other people writing about this.

For more reading, there is also The 10-Book ‘Uninhabitable Earth’ Reading List.

Published on July 26, 2017 at 6:00 by

A day for myself

Today i worked on getting my newsletter back on track. I stopped sending them a few weeks ago. Thinking about whether i would continue with them. I have one subscriber. But yes, i will continue with it. I still like it. Even though i was not sending it for longer than i thought. Four weeks at least.

So that is done.

Listening to Michael Jackson a lot today. Singing along with some songs. Dancing too! Is good! Listened to Thriller and Off the Wall. I have Off the Wall on cd. Not sure i have Thriller. Hmm. I did buy Bad when it came out in 1988.

I also watched the second episode of Game of Thrones this morning. Right after i got out of bed. It feels different watching the show these days. Still enjoy it. 🙂

And this evening i watched Notting Hill on television. Love it. Seen it a dozen times i’m sure.

Ooh and i also made a homemade mayonnaise salad with courgette and onion and avocado and gherkin. A huge pot. Lovely to eat on a sandwich.

Well, that is it for this post. Did a lot today. Thought a lot too.

Salute!

Published on July 25, 2017 at 6:00 by

Herbs

My main work today in the garden. Weeding this one and a half meter, leaving in the tomato and strawberry plants. Planting these herbs, thyme, dill and valerian. Ooh, and i found a catnip plant i planted there in the middle, still growing. Kept that one too. 🙂
Pumpkin
Alium flower
Sunflower
Buckthorn shrub
Published on July 24, 2017 at 6:00 by

The story of my life

The past four weeks i have been working towards an important post on Friday. The idea for each weeks post i got the week before. When i had posted Friday’s post the idea popped in my mind. The same goes for this post. Last Thursday, lying in bed, the idea came to me. Of course. So simple. The story of my life.

I have told parts of this story before. Here, on this website. To my old friends, years ago. Parts. I never told the complete truth. Hiding away from it. Ashamed perhaps. Not believing it. Not a full 100%. Thinking, i am a normal woman. With a normal life. Running away from it. But still. A memory that never faded.

That Saturday, 8 February 1986, the day i drew these six images in the evening, i still remember parts of it. I remember i started on a A3 size water colour drawing book. I had divided the paper into eight parts with pencil. I started to draw. With a wooden drawing pen en ink. No pencil sketch first. Straight in with the ink. Water colour paint to fill in with colour.

I was still studying Industrial Design at the Technical University Delft. I had water colour lessons there, for presentation drawing. I loved it.

The first two drawings have faded from my mind. But the last six would stay with me. I remember staring at them when i was finished. Silent. A bit stunned. I don’t remember when i made the seventh one, the one with the text.

Here’s a verse for nothing
An introduction
To the way the world will be
Now we’re apart and alone
Mustn’t be unhappy
When you remember
Lovers never lose each other
Oh
Such a lot to be learned

The final chorus of the song A Little Knowledge from Scritti Politti.

The next day i made the box to fit in the drawings.

That Tuesday, i went through records in Haddock, a record store in the centre. I wasn’t looking for it, but there it was. Songs to Remember, from Scritti Politti. Their first album. I bought it. Happy i drove back home on my bicycle. And yes, i loved it. When i heard the last song “The Sweetest Girl”, for some reason, i threw the I Ching. I got 13. T’ung Jên / Fellowship with Men with a changing line on the fifth place.

Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.

I remember sitting on the ground, in front of a seat, reading these lines.

I knew.

I knew for sure. This was true.

I also knew there was nothing i could do. Nothing i wanted to do.

The rest of that week is vague. I was completely overthrown by these drawings and that weird premonition. I gave away my drawings, the next week or so. I knew i had to give them away. So i gave them to a close friend, Iris.

She gave them back to me, a month or so later. I stared at the drawings when i was in her home. I didn’t ask for them back. But that is what she did.

When i applied for art school in July that year, i didn’t bring these drawings with me. I was further along, of course. Into Giacometti at that time. I thought about these drawings on the application day. Lucky for me i didn’t need them. I got in all the same.

Life goes on. Friends come and go.

In the 90s i gave away the drawings once more. Another close friend. But she gave them back, after a month or so. This time i saved the drawings in my sitting room. To wait.

In 1996 or 1997 i met Erika Chang online. She had made a website about Scritti Politti, “the Archeology of the Frivolous”. We got into a email conversation. She was the one who told me about superbad.com. We met in London two or three times.

And then in January 2006 news of a Scritti gig came by on the Yahoo scritti group. In a pub in London, under the name Double G and the Traitorous Three. I didn’t say a word to Green. I watched.

I did talk with friends beforehand. The thought of giving the drawings to Green did pop up. But they gave me the advice that it would not be any good. I agreed.

Time does seem to go faster when you grow older. The past seventeen years seem to have flown away. I do remember them. But it is like, your life reaches a plateau. You work. You have a few friends. And another year is gone. Wham.

The sudden sledgehammer moment in October 2014 will stay with me. It did upset my life. I was awake and confused for months, years even. Talkative. Looking out. Seeing and thinking all sorts of things. Some right, some wrong. And i started working again. On lfs.nl. I felt it. The quiet time was over. Back into gear.

Looking back on the previous eight years, it made me sad. I saw myself struggling with it. Playing World of Warcraft. Making semblances of friends, at a distance. I wanted to work, but nothing came to mind. Nothing. I saw myself grow quieter. Forgetting what i used to do. Simply living on. Day by day. Watching television series. Most i downloaded through tvtorrents.com – now offline.

I don’t know where the sledgehammer moment came from. Well, apart from the most obvious answer.

Me.

The past week i have been thinking about this post. Ideas popped inside my head. Whole paragraphs i thought beforehand. In the end, it comes down to this single point.

Me.

I have thought so many things, my entire life. And yes, most things i have kept to myself. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Like i said, i am a normal woman with a normal life. Then again, to me, i am not normal. I am rather special. I know all the ins and outs of my mind. All the ins and outs of my fantasies. My deep night imaginations. My wishes. My dreams.

I never really understood the latest work i made in art school. Making self portraits seemed a bit narcissistic. A bit self absorbed. I still did it. But it was hard to continue making self portraits after i graduated. So i tried other things. Which didn’t work.

Only a few years later, when i started working online, i looked back at these self portraits. The earliest photo i used in Selfportrait on 10 July 1997. Another photo i used in Watching myself on 16 July. Then another one on 17 July, a big picture in Watch me. The titles of these works made sense to me then. They still do now.

For years i rarely made any photos of myself. Most failed. The ones i made in 2010 were OK. I picked one and used it as a profile picture on several websites. Only the last years i have been making more good photos of myself. I am happy with them. I am older, yes. But i still like the way i look. I am no stranger to a bit of vanity.

So.

It is late in the evening now. A washing machine is on upstairs with the neighbours. Centrifuging. Sounds form the outside drift in. People talking. Birds whistling. Cars driving.

I wrote a piece called An empty life a few months ago. It was not my choice to have my life still this empty. But it happened. Not that i feel unhappy. Not at all. The last two and a half years i feel truly happy. Joyous. Active. Open. Working again on lfs.nl and later ellenpronk.com is the most important reason for that. Especially the work i do on ellenpronk.com makes me feel good. The walks. The gardening since last year. My videos. The singing. The food i cook.

I love this place. I love thinking about new posts to make. This week i enjoyed making the summer borshch, reading aloud Allerleirauh, making a walk to the garden the Enk. I love it to do all these things. They make my life special.

These stories which have filled up my life, they have stayed with me. I treasured them. All by myself. Stories are important. Their structure makes sense to us. A beginning, a middle, an end. The beginning is usually sudden, unexpected. Something happens outside of the normal course of events. The middle is the boring bit. A long time of work. Repetition. A slow change. The end is equally sudden. But with more preparation. A grand finish. Kaboom!

In our lives these structures are everywhere. People fall in love. People have children. Children leave the house. People grow old. This is all part of a story structure.

I like my personal stories. I have one main one. And many minor ones.

Giving the drawings to Green Gartside last year in London is a memory i will treasure for the rest of my life. It makes me truly happy. Looking back on it, i don’t know where i found the courage to do this. But i did it.

And then of course, my life moved on. The garden came into view only two months after it. A whole new bunch of people connected with that. Now this fills my life for half. The rest is mostly for this website.

And then there is this world. Grrrr.

Well, this post is not for that. That is a whole other issue.

I am living my own life. As much as i can. Money is an issue. I don’t have lots of it. I’m behind paying my bills. But i am not giving up. No sir.

There is something i want to say. Something i want to make clear. We all live here on this world. For better or for worse. We are all responsible for our own lives. And our children, until they are grown-up. We pick what we want to do. If we don’t, the world will pick something for us. Usually not to our liking.

This work i do here is extremely important to me. I try to make it easy. Easy to read. Easy to watch. With purpose. I like to communicate. So it makes no sense to make things difficult.

I know art is not the best environment for me. It is still in my past, but it is not where i see myself grow. So it is hard. What i can call myself is a blogger, an occasional vlogger, a still not too good singer with some potential, a video-clip maker, a gardener, a cooker and a walker. I love this.

There is no end to our lives until the day we die. Each day is new. Each day you wake up and you should think of what is the best thing to do. To make things a little bit better. Me, at fifty three years old, i still feel young.

I’m telling you this.

Shall we begin?

DAENERYS TARGARYEN Game of Thrones S07 E01

Published on July 21, 2017 at 6:00 by

Educatieve tuin de Enk

I have been following the Educatieve tuin de Enk, the Educational garden The Enk for a couple of months i’m sure. Last week i got the thought of visiting it. But last Wednesday it was pouring rain, so i moved it to this Wednesday, 19 July. It was predicted it was going to be warm, so i left rather early, a quarter to nine this morning.

I walked all the way south. It was already warm, but this early it was doable. Over the Willemsbrug, the Laan van Zuid, the Beijerlandselaan, the Groene Hilledijk, the Dreef and the Kortedreef. I had to ask someone which way the Enk was. When i entered the garden around a quarter past ten i saw to the left some chickens (yay!) and people. I went over and introduced myself. I mentioned the Peace Garden and some names of people from there who do know the Enk. I got a cup of coffee – yay! I also picked a few blackberries. A bit sour, but still yummy.

I went into the garden. Below are some of the photographs i made. I was overwhelmed. This is the best garden i have seen, ever. It was tidy, with beds for flowers, a wild flower field, separate places for the compost, with clear guidelines for what should go where. Around the main garden there were small paths in between trees and shrubs, close to the water surrounding the garden. At the back was a herbal garden. Well known kitchen herbs, medicinal herbs, cotton and flax and so many other things were growing there. Around to the other side was a part for lessons for school children, and seeding and planting area, a small greenhouse with grapes and tomatoes, an area filled with blackberries.

I wandered around the garden for around two hours. I talked with Corien for a bit. Expressed my admiration for the garden.

It is getting a bit harder for the garden. Subsidies for school busses to and from the garden are not given anymore. Only a few schools close by are still using the garden for lessons. But it is still operating. Open each working day from 8:30 till 16:30. I will definitely go back and spend more time there and hopefully do some work. Absolutely lovely!

Gerrit i met on the way out. Corien told me he was one of the persons responsible for the setup of the garden.

Published on July 20, 2017 at 6:00 by

Summer borshch

This cooking book from Jane Grigson i bought ten, fifteen years ago. Maybe even longer. I enjoy all the vegetables which are named in there. Also wild vegetables: dandelion leaves, nettle, cardoon. With each vegetables there are several recipes. This Sunday my eye fell on the summer borsch. It just so happened i had most of the ingredients in house. From the garden beetroot, courgettes and carrots. From the market spring onions and tomatoes. I only bought sour cream and dill in the supermarket yesterday.

A couple of changes, i didn’t use the beetroot stock. My end result is a bit more warm red. Still lovely. I did use three cloves of garlic and two vegetable stock cubes. Not a bouquet garni, but yes, some dill. And no celery, sorry to say. I did use the leaves from the beetroot. I picked two more beetroots today and the leaves looked fine.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg beetroot, uncooked
  • 1 large carrot, or several smaller ones
  • 1 1/2 litres of water
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • spring onions, one bush, chopped
  • potatoes, diced
  • a small sliced courgette
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 cubes of vegetable stock
  • salt, pepper, 4 cloves
  • sour cream
  • dill

Preparation

  1. a two minute cooking time of the leaves and the stalks of the beetroot, drain after and keep until a bit later on
  2. use a mandoline to grate the beetroot in matchsticks like size
  3. put the water in a large pan with a teaspoon of salt and warm up, add the beetroot
  4. grate the carrots and add these to the water too, let this simmer for around 20 minutes
  5. when the water cooks, prepare the other vegetables: chop the tomatoes, the spring onions and the courgettes
  6. dice the potatoes and slice the dill
  7. add all the vegetables, the two stock cubes, the sliced garlic, the dill, salt, pepper and the 4 cloves
  8. let this simmer for around half an hour
  9. add a bit of the sour cream and extra dill on top to the bowl just before serving

The soup tastes good. To me, i do think it needs the savoriness of the stock cubes and the garlic. I do enjoy it with the sour cream and the dill. Creme fraiche will work too.

A great soup for the summer!

beetroot leaves
beetroot and carrots from the garden
beetroot sliced on the mandoline
the water with the beetroot for a first simmer
chopped tomato, sliced courgette and sliced spring onion
potatoes, garlic, cloves, vegetable cubes and dill
the soup all done
Published on July 19, 2017 at 6:00 by

Read aloud: Allerleirauh

One of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, Allerleirauh. In Dutch the title of this story is Bontepels, in English All-Kinds-of-Fur, sometimes translated as Thousandfurs. The three dresses in this story had stuck with me.

… three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars; besides this, I wish for a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur and hair joined together …

I did search for a moon dress this Monday morning. I came across an Alexander McQueen dress. Beautiful. I also found a lovely golden dress and one which to me resembles a star in a way, both from McQueen as well. The mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur i didn’t find. But another fur mantle did pop up which looks lovely.

In another post i will dive deeper into McQueen’s work.

You may read the fairy tale Allerleirauh here, and listen to me reading this aloud. Enjoy!


Allerleirauh
There was once on a time a King who had a wife with golden hair, and she was so beautiful that her equal was not to be found on earth. It came to pass that she lay ill, and as she felt that she must soon die, she called the King and said, “If thou wishest to marry again after my death, take no one who is not quite as beautiful as I am, and who has not just such golden hair as I have: this thou must promise me.” And after the King had promised her this she closed her eyes and died.

For a long time the King could not be comforted, and had no thought of taking another wife. At length his councillors said, “There is no help for it, the King must marry again, that we may have a Queen.” And now messengers were sent about far and wide, to seek a bride who equalled the late Queen in beauty. In the whole world, however, none was to be found, and even if one had been found, still there would have been no one who had such golden hair. So the messengers came home as they went.

Now the King had a daughter, who was just as beautiful as her dead mother, and had the same golden hair. When she was grown up the King looked at her one day, and saw that in every respect she was like his late wife, and suddenly felt a violent love for her. Then he spake to his councillors, “I will marry my daughter, for she is the counterpart of my late wife, otherwise I can find no bride who resembles her.” When the councillors heard that, they were shocked, and said, “God has forbidden a father to marry his daughter, no good can come from such a crime, and the kingdom will be involved in the ruin.” The daughter was still more shocked when she became aware of her father’s resolution, but hoped to turn him from his design. Then she said to him, “Before I fulfil your wish, I must have three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars; besides this, I wish for a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur and hair joined together, and one of every kind of animal in your kingdom must give a piece of his skin for it.” But she thought, “To get that will be quite impossible, and thus I shall divert my father from his wicked intentions.” The King, however, did not give it up, and the cleverest maidens in his kingdom had to weave the three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silvery as the moon, and one as bright as the stars, and his huntsmen had to catch one of every kind of animal in the whole of his kingdom, and take from it a piece of its skin, and out of these was made a mantle of a thousand different kinds of fur. At length, when all was ready, the King caused the mantle to be brought, spread it out before her, and said, “The wedding shall be to-morrow.” .

When, therefore, the King’s daughter saw that there was no longer any hope of turning her father’s heart, she resolved to run away from him. In the night whilst every one was asleep, she got up, and took three different things from her treasures, a golden ring, a golden spinning-wheel, and a golden reel. The three dresses of the sun, moon, and stars she put into a nutshell, put on her mantle of all kinds of fur, and blackened her face and hands with soot. Then she commended herself to God, and went away, and walked the whole night until she reached a great forest. And as she was tired, she got into a hollow tree, and fell asleep.

The sun rose, and she slept on, and she was still sleeping when it was full day. Then it so happened that the King to whom this forest belonged, was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the tree, they sniffed, and ran barking round about it. The King said to the huntsmen, “Just see what kind of wild beast has hidden itself in there.” The huntsmen obeyed his order, and when they came back they said, “A wondrous beast is lying in the hollow tree; we have never before seen one like it. Its skin is fur of a thousand different kinds, but it is lying asleep.” Said the King, “See if you can catch it alive, and then fasten it to the carriage, and we will take it with us.” When the huntsmen laid hold of the maiden, she awoke full of terror, and cried to them, “I am a poor child, deserted by father and mother; have pity on me, and take me with you.” Then said they, “Allerleirauh, thou wilt be useful in the kitchen, come with us, and thou canst sweep up the ashes.” So they put her in the carriage, and took her home to the royal palace. There they pointed out to her a closet under the stairs, where no daylight entered, and said, “Hairy animal, there canst thou live and sleep.” Then she was sent into the kitchen, and there she carried wood and water, swept the hearth, plucked the fowls, picked the vegetables, raked the ashes, and did all the dirty work.

Allerleirauh lived there for a long time in great wretchedness. Alas, fair princess, what is to become of thee now! It happened, however, that one day a feast was held in the palace, and she said to the cook, “May I go up-stairs for a while, and look on? I will place myself outside the door.” The cook answered, “Yes, go, but you must be back here in half-an-hour to sweep the hearth.” Then she took her oil-lamp, went into her den, put off her fur-dress, and washed the soot off her face and hands, so that her full beauty once more came to light. And she opened the nut, and took out her dress which shone like the sun, and when she had done that she went up to the festival, and every one made way for her, for no one knew her, and thought no otherwise than that she was a king’s daughter. The King came to meet her, gave his hand to her, and danced with her, and thought in his heart, “My eyes have never yet seen any one so beautiful!” When the dance was over she curtsied, and when the King looked round again she had vanished, and none knew whither. The guards who stood outside the palace were called and questioned, but no one had seen her.

She had, however, run into her little den, had quickly taken off her dress, made her face and hands black again, put on the fur-mantle, and again was Allerleirauh. And now when she went into the kitchen, and was about to get to her work and sweep up the ashes, the cook said, “Leave that alone till morning, and make me the soup for the King; I, too, will go upstairs awhile, and take a look; but let no hairs fall in, or in future thou shalt have nothing to eat.” So the cook went away, and Allerleirauh made the soup for the king, and made bread soup and the best she could, and when it was ready she fetched her golden ring from her little den, and put it in the bowl in which the soup was served. When the dancing was over, the King had his soup brought and ate it, and he liked it so much that it seemed to him he had never tasted better. But when he came to the bottom of the bowl, he saw a golden ring lying, and could not conceive how it could have got there. Then he ordered the cook to appear before him.

The cook was terrified when he heard the order, and said to Allerleirauh, “Thou hast certainly let a hair fall into the soup, and if thou hast, thou shalt be beaten for it.” When he came before the King the latter asked who had made the soup? The cook replied, “I made it.” But the King said, “That is not true, for it was much better than usual, and cooked differently.” He answered, “I must acknowledge that I did not make it, it was made by the rough animal.” The King said, “Go and bid it come up here.” When Allerleirauh came, the King said, “Who art thou?” “I am a poor girl who no longer has any father or mother.” He asked further, “Of what use art thou in my palace?” She answered, “I am good for nothing but to have boots thrown at my head.” He continued, “Where didst thou get the ring which was in the soup?” She answered, “I know nothing about the ring.” So the King could learn nothing, and had to send her away again.

After a while, there was another festival, and then, as before, Allerleirauh begged the cook for leave to go and look on. He answered, “Yes, but come back again in half-an-hour, and make the King the bread soup which he so much likes.” Then she ran into her den, washed herself quickly, and took out of the nut the dress which was as silvery as the moon, and put it on. Then she went up and was like a princess, and the King stepped forward to meet her, and rejoiced to see her once more, and as the dance was just beginning they danced it together. But when it was ended, she again disappeared so quickly that the King could not observe where she went. She, however, sprang into her den, and once more made herself a hairy animal, and went into the kitchen to prepare the bread soup. When the cook had gone up-stairs, she fetched the little golden spinning-wheel, and put it in the bowl so that the soup covered it.

Then it was taken to the King, who ate it, and liked it as much as before, and had the cook brought, who this time likewise was forced to confess that Allerleirauh had prepared the soup. Allerleirauh again came before the King, but she answered that she was good for nothing else but to have boots thrown at her head, and that she knew nothing at all about the little golden spinning-wheel.
When, for the third time, the King held a festival, all happened just as it had done before. The cook said, “Faith rough-skin, thou art a witch, and always puttest something in the soup which makes it so good that the King likes it better than that which I cook,” but as she begged so hard, he let her go up at the appointed time. And now she put on the dress which shone like the stars, and thus entered the hall. Again the King danced with the beautiful maiden, and thought that she never yet had been so beautiful. And whilst she was dancing, he contrived, without her noticing it, to slip a golden ring on her finger, and he had given orders that the dance should last a very long time. When it was ended, he wanted to hold her fast by her hands, but she tore herself loose, and sprang away so quickly through the crowd that she vanished from his sight.

She ran as fast as she could into her den beneath the stairs, but as she had been too long, and had stayed more than half-an-hour she could not take off her pretty dress, but only threw over it her fur-mantle, and in her haste she did not make herself quite black, but one finger remained white. Then Allerleirauh ran into the kitchen, and cooked the bread soup for the King, and as the cook was away, put her golden reel into it. When the King found the reel at the bottom of it, he caused Allerleirauh to be summoned, and then he espied the white finger, and saw the ring which he had put on it during the dance. Then he grasped her by the hand, and held her fast, and when she wanted to release herself and run away, her mantle of fur opened a little, and the star-dress shone forth. The King clutched the mantle and tore it off. Then her golden hair shone forth, and she stood there in full splendour, and could no longer hide herself. And when she had washed the soot and ashes from her face, she was more beautiful than anyone who had ever been seen on earth. But the King said, “Thou art my dear bride, and we will never more part from each other.”

Thereupon the marriage was solemnized, and they lived happily until their death.

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Published on July 18, 2017 at 6:00 by