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The Crumbs on the Table

KHM 190

Grimm brothers

The crumbs on the table

This is the Brothers Grimm version of the story and translated into English by Margarate Hunt.

The approximate narration time is 2 minutes

A countryman one day said to his little puppies: "Come into the parlour and enjoy yourselves, and pick up the bread-crumbs on the table; your mistress has gone out to pay some visits."

Then the little dogs said: "No, no, we will not go. If the mistress gets to know it, she will beat us." The countryman said: "She will know nothing about it. Do come; after all, she never gives you anything good." Then the little dogs again said: "Nay, nay, we must let it alone; we must not go." But the countryman let them have no peace until at last they went, and got on the table, and ate up the bread-crumbs with all their might. But at that very moment the mistress came, and seized the stick in great haste, and beat them and treated them very hardly . And when they were outside the house, the little dogs said to the countryman: "Dost, dost, dost, dost, dost thou see?" Then the countryman laughed and said: "Didn't, didn't, didn't, you expect it?" So they just had to run away.

KHM: Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales)

the mistress beat them hardly: one of those English quirks. Today, 'hard' and 'hardly' are different adverbs, often with opposite meanings ('the mistress beat them very hard' = 'the mistress beat them severely', 'the mistress hardly beat them' = 'the mistress beat them only a little bit') However, when this story was translated, 'the mistress beat them hardly' meant 'the mistress beat them severely'.

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