by The Brothers Grimm
narrated by Kristen McQuillin & Gesine
Number of pages: 32
Audiobook length: 0:20:38
Collection: Sinkronigo learner
Age Group: Youth literature
Read aloud type: Word-by-word
(Each word in the text is highlighted as it is spoken by the narrator)
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”The Four Clever Brothers” or ”The Four Skillful Brothers" is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. Four brothers go out and each learns a different trade, becoming a thief, a stargazer, a huntsman, and a tailor. They reunite and show their awesome new powers to their proud father. When a dragon carries off the king's daughter, they work together to fetch her back. Then they argue about who should marry her, since each one thinks he contributed the most to their quest. Finally, the king divides up chunks of the kingdom for them, and each one is happy. Doctor Know-all or Doctor Knowall or Doctor Know-It-All (Doktor Allwissend in German) is another German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. A peasant named Crabbe saw how well a doctor ate and asked him how to become one. The doctor told him to buy an ABC book with a rooster up front, sell his oxen and cart to buy doctor's equipment and clothing, and advertise himself as "Doctor Know-all." Shortly after he set himself up, a nobleman asked him to find stolen money. He insisted on bringing his wife. When they sat to eat, he nudged his wife at each course, saying "That's one," "That's two," and "That's three" — meaning three courses, but the servants bringing in the dishes, the thieves, thought he was identifying them. The fourth one brought in a covered tray of crabs, and the nobleman asked him to guess. Pitying himself, he said, "Poor Crabbe!" and the noble was impressed. The servants offered to give him the money and a reward as well if he would not betray them. He agreed, and told the nobleman he had to check his book. He was looking for the picture of the rooster and could not find it. He said, "I know you are in there," and the fifth thief servant, hiding in the stove, panicked and fled. He showed the nobleman where the money was, and received a reward from him, too. The last story of the book is Mother Holle, also known as Mother Hulda. A rich widow lives with her daughter and stepdaughter. The widow favored her biological daughter allowing her to become spoiled and idle while her stepdaughter was left to do all the work. Every day the stepdaughter would sit outside the cottage and spin beside the well. One day she pricked her finger on the point of the spindle. Leaning over the well to wash the blood away, the spindle fell from her hand and sank out of sight. The stepdaughter feared that she would be punished for losing the spindle, and in a panic she leapt into the well after it. To her surprise, the girl found herself in the other world of Mother Hulda where she helped bread that was burning, an apple tree needing its apples removed, and Mother Hulda herself by helping her around her house. Mother Hulda was so impressed by the girl's kindness and industry that she escorted her back to her family covered with gold. The mother, thinking that her lazy daughter should have received the gold, sent the lazy daughter down the well to work for Mother Hulda. Copying her sister, the lazy daughter bloodied her finger and leapt into the well. But the lazy daughter refused to help the burning bread, the overladen apple tree, or Mother Hulda, and Hulda reproved her idle nature by sending her home covered with pitch. The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859), were born in the German state of Hesse. They were universally known for the collection of over two hundred folk tales they made from oral sources and published in two volumes of 'Nursery and Household Tales' in 1812 and 1814. Although their intention was to preserve such material as part of German cultural and literary history, and their collection was first published with scholarly notes and no illustration, the tales soon came into the possession of young readers. This was in part due to Edgar Taylor, who made the first English translation of part of the tales in 1823. (Summary from Wikipedia and Shmoop, adapted by Sinkronigo)
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