Ever since their mother died, Brother and Sister did not have a good life. Their mean stepmother gave them little to eat and treated them very badly. One day Brother said to Sister: ‘Come Sister, we’ll run away together. Our life here is not good any more. And so, they did. They walked all day, until they came to a large forest in the evening. There they fell asleep, sad and hungry.
The next morning, Brother woke up very thirsty. Together they went in search of water. But as soon as the wicked stepmother had discovered that Brother and Sister had run away, she had bewitched all the water in the forest. She was also a wicked witch. So when Brother had found a stream to drink from, Little Sister heard a whispered voice, “Whoever drinks from me will become a tiger. So Sister cried out to alarm Brother that he should not drink the water, because he would become a wild beast. At the next spring, the same thing happened. Sister heard: ‘He who drinks from me will become a wolf….’, and so Brother didn’t drink anything. He had become so thirsty that he could hardly stand it any longer. At the next spring, the voice whispered, ‘He who drinks from me will become a roe…’ but Brother was so thirsty that he took a sip anyway. Immediately he turned into a little deer.
Sister and Brother were both very sad that Brother had turned into a roe. Nevertheless, they went on together. Sister tied a golden ribbon from her hair around the deer’s neck. She also made a cord of reeds that she tied to the collar and led Little Brother further and further into the woods. After a long walk, Sister and Brother came to an empty house. Here they could live and have a quiet life.
One day, the king of the country held a hunting party in the forest. Little brother heard the cheerful cries of the hunters, the barking of dogs and the sound of horns. This excited him so much that he wanted to go outside immediately. Sister tried to stop him, but Brother begged her to let him go. She finally agreed, but he had to promise to come back in the evening. When he came to the door, he had to say, “Sister dear, let me in”, so she would know it was him.
Brother had a wonderful day in the forest. The hunters chased him, but they never caught him. The next day, they went hunting again and again Brother managed to escape. Until it almost got dark. One of the hunters slightly wounded the roe on its leg. Slowly, Brother hobbled back to the cottage and called out, “Sister dear, let me in.” The hunter had sneaked up behind him and heard this. He immediately told the king.
The next day, the king went hunting one more time. Brother’s leg had already healed and he went outside. Sister couldn’t stop him. Brother ran through the forest all day. The king had told his hunters not to hurt the deer. In the evening, the king went to the cottage his hunter had told him about. He said: “Sister dear, let me in” and Sister opened the door. How surprised she was to see the king standing there instead of Little Brother. The king fell in love with her immediately and took her to his castle. And Little Brother was allowed to come along.
For a long time, they lived happily in the castle. When the evil stepmother heard of this, she became furious. She devised a ruse to kill Sister. Fortunately, the king discovered this and had the witch condemned. He burned her at the stake and, as soon as she was dead, Brother became human again. From then on, Brother and Sister lived happily ever after.