Brother and Sister

Brother and Sister - How is my child? How is my deer?

A boy and a girl had a wicked stepmother who was also a witch – and she had an ugly daughter of her own. The stepmother treated the brother and sister so badly that they couldn't stand it any longer – and they fled into the deep forest. When the stepmother noticed this, she enchanted all the streams in the forest. Soon the brother was very thirsty. The sister knew about the enchantment and warned him, but still the brother drank from the stream and turned into a deer. The sister wept a lot and promised the deer that she would never leave him.

For a while the two of them lived together in a hut in the forest. Every day the sister gathered grasses and herbs for the enchanted deer. On a warm summer's day the King was hunting in the wood and discovered the deer. He followed it and came to the hut. There it was that he fell in love with the beautiful sister. He took her with him to his castle and they married. The little deer was allowed to scamper about in the castle gardens.

But the wicked stepmother and her ugly daughter begrudged the brother and sister their luck. When the young Queen had a child, the wicked stepmother sneaked into the castle and turned herself into a chambermaid. She persuaded the Queen to take a bath and locked the door behind her. Then she heated the bathroom until the Queen suffocated. The ugly daughter took her place in the royal bedchamber. Yet, amazingly, the Queen appeared there every night, fed her child and stroked the little deer.

One night the Queen whispered "How is my child?" to the King. "How is my deer? I will come once more and then never again." When the King heard this he sat watch in the nursery. The figure appeared again in the night. The King spoke to her – and a miracle happened. The Queen said "Yes. I am your dear wife" and came alive again. The wicked stepmother and her daughter were taken to court and sentenced. The deer regained its natural form as the brother and all of them lived happily ever after.

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