Old Mother Frost

Old Mother Frost - Cock-a-doodle-doo, our lazy black lump is here anew!

A widow had two daughters – one of them beautiful and hardworking, the other one ugly and lazy. She preferred the lazy one because she was her own daughter. The hard-working one had to do all the household chores and sit at the spinning wheel every day. Once she wanted to clean the bloody spindle in the spring, but the spindle fell in. She jumped into the spring to fetch it again and lost consciousness.

She woke up on a beautiful meadow of flowers in another world. Soon she came to a baker's oven where the loaves of bread were calling "Pull us out! Otherwise we'll burn!" The industrious girl then pulled them out with a bread shovel. An apple tree that was weighed down with fruit groaned out "Shake me! My apples are all ripe!" The girl then shook down all the apples and gathered them in a pile. At last she came to a lonely house. An old woman was looking out of it. "I am Old Mother Frost," she said. "You can help me to shake down my beds, then it will snow in the world." The girl helped her and shook down the beds so much that the feathers were scattered just right.

After a while the girl became homesick. Old Mother Frost led the girl to a gateway and let her go through. As a reward for her efforts she was showered with gold and became rich. At home the cock crowed "Cock-a-doodle-doo, our golden girl is here anew!"

When the stepmother heard what had happened, she sent the second girl to the spring so she would also be showered with gold. The lazy girl jumped into the spring and woke up in the flower meadow. But because she was so lazy she let the loaves of bread burn, the apples hang on the tree and she didn't help Old Mother Frost in her house or with her beds. Then Old Mother Frost sent the lazy girl home through a different gateway. Instead of gold, she was showered with sticky black tar. "As a reward for your services", said Old Mother Frost. When the girl came home, the cock on the dung heap was appalled and called out "Cock-a-doodle-doo, our lazy black lump is here anew!" The tar remained stuck to her all her life long.