Once upon a time, there was an old woman who was baking. Now, you should know that this old woman had a son who was so chubby and fond of tasty things that she called him Buttercup. She also had a dog named Goldtooth. While she was baking, Goldtooth suddenly started barking.
“Who could that be, Buttercup, my boy, run outside and see why Goldtooth is barking,” said the old woman. So the boy ran outside and came back screaming, “Oh, dear Heaven, help us! There is a very big witch here, with her head under her arm and a bag on her back.”
“Hide under the dough trough,” said his mother. Then the old witch came in. “Good day,” she said.
“God bless you,” said Buttercup’s mother.
“Isn’t your Buttercup at home today?” asked the witch.
“No, he’s not here. He’s shooting ptarmigans in the forest with his father.”
“I don’t like that,” said the witch, “because I had such a nice silver knife that I wanted to give him.”
“Squeak, squeak! Here I am,” said Buttercup, emerging from under the dough trough.
“I’m so old and my back is so stiff,” said the witch, “you must crawl into the bag and get the knife yourself.”
But once Buttercup was inside the bag, the witch threw the bag over her back and walked away. After they had gone quite a distance, the old witch got tired and asked, “How far is it to Sleepyland?” – “One and a half kilometers,” answered Buttercup.
The witch put the bag down on the road and went into the woods to take a nap. Meanwhile, Buttercup went to work and cut a hole in the bag with his knife. Then he crawled out and put a large root from a pine tree in the bag, and quickly ran home to his mother. When the witch got home and saw what was in the bag, you can imagine that she was furious.
The next day, the old woman was baking again, and her dog started barking just like the day before. “Run outside, Buttercup, my boy,” she said, “and see why Goldtooth is barking.”
“Well, I’ll never look again,” cried Buttercup, as soon as he stepped outside, “it’s that ugly old witch again, with her head under her arm and a big bag on her back.”
“Quick, hide under the dough trough,” said his mother.
“Good day,” said the witch when she came in the door. “Is your Buttercup at home today?”
“I’m sorry to say he’s not,” said his mother. “He’s shooting ptarmigans in the forest with his father.”
“I don’t like that,” said the witch, “because I have a nice silver spoon I wanted to give him.”
“Squeak, squeak! Here I am,” said Buttercup, creeping out.
“I’m so old and my back is so stiff,” said the witch, “you must crawl into the bag and get the spoon yourself.”
But once Buttercup was inside the bag, the witch swung it over her back and went as fast as she could. But when they had gone quite a way, she got tired and asked, “How far is it to Sleepyland?” – “One and a half kilometers,” answered Buttercup.
The witch put the bag down again and went into the woods to sleep. While she slept, Buttercup cut a hole in the bag and stepped out, putting a large stone in it.
When the old witch came home, she made a big fire on the hearth, put a large pot on it, and prepared everything to cook Buttercup. But when she picked up the bag and thought she was going to throw Buttercup in the pot, the stone popped out of the bag and made a hole in the bottom of the pot. The water ran out of the pot and the fire went out. Then the old witch got terribly angry and said, “If he does this again, it won’t end well for him.”
The third day went just like the two before. Goldtooth started barking again and Mother said to Buttercup, “Go outside, boy, and see why our dog is barking.” So he left, but he came back soon and shouted, “Heavens! Help us. The old witch is back with her head under her arm and a bag on her back.”
“Jump under the dough trough and hide,” his mother said.
“Good day!” said the witch when she came in the door. “Is your Buttercup home today?”
“It’s very kind of you to ask about him,” his mother said. “But he’s in the forest shooting snow grouse with his father.”
“What a pity now,” said the old witch. “I have such a beautiful silver fork for him.”
“Peep, peep! Here I am,” said Buttercup, as he came out from under the dough trough.
“I’m so old and my back is so stiff,” said the witch. “You must crawl into the bag and get the fork out yourself.”
But when Buttercup was inside the bag, the old witch swung the bag over her back and left as fast as she could. This time, however, she did not go into the forest to sleep, but went straight home with Buttercup in the bag. When she finally reached her house, it was Sunday.
So the old witch said to her daughter, “Now you must bring out Buttercup and kill him, and then cook him nicely until I come back. I’m going to church now, with the rest of the family, and then we’ll come and eat.”
So when everyone in the house had gone to church, the daughter took Buttercup out of the bag to kill him, but she didn’t know how to do it at all. “Wait a minute,” said Buttercup. “I’ll show you right away how to do it. Just put your head on the chopping block, and you’ll soon know.”
So the poor foolish girl laid her head down. Buttercup took an ax and chopped off her head, just as if she had been a chicken. Then he put her head in the bed and put her body in the pot and cooked it nicely. When he had done that, he climbed onto the roof, dragging the root of the pine tree and the stone with him, and placed one above the door and the other above the chimney.
So when the family came back from church and saw the head on the bed, they thought it was the daughter lying there asleep. And they thought they would just taste the nice broth.
“Farewell, Buttercup, you’re now broth,” swore the witch.
“Farewell, daughter, you’re now broth,” cried Buttercup through the chimney, but no one listened to him.
Then the old witch’s husband, who was just as bad as she was, took the spoon to taste it.
“Well, that’s tasty Buttercup broth,” he said.
“Well, that’s tasty Daughter broth,” cried Buttercup through the chimney pipe.
Then they all started to wonder who could be chattering like that and they ran outside to look. But when they got to the door, Buttercup threw the root of the fir tree and the stone at them and smashed all their heads to pieces. After that, Boterbloem took all the gold and silver that was in the house and went home to his mother, and… he was a rich man for the rest of his life!