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Top of the morning to you folks!

I’m Nifty Buckles of Nifty Buckles Folklore Podcast and today I will read to you a very old, creepy tale called Rumpelstiltskin.

Rumpelstiltskin is a German folktale collected by the Brothers Grimm  1812 edition of Children’s and Household Tales. The tale is about a wee imp who has the gift of Alchemy and can spins straw into gold for the exchange for a woman’s first-born child.

(where he is known as Rumpelstilzchen in German).

According to researchers at Durham University and the Universidade Nova de Lisboa the story first originated 4000 years ago.


Arthur Rackham’s Rumpelstiltskin illustration *Public Domain

Once upon a time

there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. Now it happened that he got into a conversation with the king and said to him: “I have a daughter who knows the art of turning straw into gold.”

So the king immediately sent for the miller’s daughter and ordered her to turn a whole room full of straw into gold in one night. And if she could not do it, she would have to die. She was locked in the room, and she sat there and cried, because for the life of her, she did not know how the straw would turn into gold.

Then suddenly a little man appeared before her, and said: “What will you give me, if I turn this all into gold?” She took off her necklace and gave it to the little man, and he did what he had promised.

The next morning the king found the room filled with gold, and his heart became even more greedy. He put the miller’s daughter into an even larger room filled with straw, and told her to turn it into gold. The little man came again. She gave him a ring from her hand, and he turned it all into gold.

The third night the king had her locked in a third room, which was larger than the first two, and entirely filled with straw. “If you succeed this time, I’ll make you my wife,” he said.

Then the little man came and said, “I’ll do it again, but you must promise me the first child that you have with the king.”

In her distress she made the promise, and when the king saw that this straw too had been turned into gold, he took the miller’s daughter as his wife.

Soon thereafter the queen delivered a child. Then the little man appeared before her and demanded the child that had been promised him. The queen begged him to let her keep the child, offering him great riches in its place.

Finally he said, “I’ll be back to get the child in three days. But if by then you know my name, you can keep the child.!”

For two days the queen pondered what the little man’s name might be, but she could not think of anything, and became very sad. On the third day the king came home from a hunt and told her how, two days earlier, while hunting deep in a dark forest, he had come upon a little house. A comical little man was there, jumping about as if on one leg, and crying out:

Today I’ll bake;

Tomorrow I’ll brew.

Then I’ll fetch the queen’s new child.

The Queen was overjoyed to hear this.

It is good that no one knows Rumpelstiltskin is my name.

Then the dangerous little man arrived and asked: “Your majesty, what is my name?”

“Is your name Conrad?”


“Is your name Heinrich?”


“Then could your name be Rumpelstiltskin?”

“The devil told you that!” shouted the little man. He ran away angrily, and never came back.

The End.

On that note I hope you have enjoyed this fairytale.

This has been your host Nifty buckles of Nifty Buckles Folklore Podcast.


Over Sea,

Over Car,

Nifty Buckles voice 

is never far.


Written and podcast performed by Nifty Buckles copyright 2022


Source & Reference:

“Rumpelstiltskin”. Encyclopedia Britannica. 

Source: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, “Rumpelstilzchen,” Kinder- und Hausmärchen,1st ed. (Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung, 1812), v. 1, no. 55, pp. 253-55.

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