One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes

Brothers Grimm


One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes

Once upon a time, there was a woman with three daughters. The eldest was called One Eye, because she had only one eye. The second daughter was called Two Eyes. She had two eyes. The youngest was born with three eyes. So, her name was Three Eyes. Because Two Eyes looked just like other people, her mother and sisters could not stand her. One day, she sat down on a hill in the field and began to cry. A wise woman appeared. Two Eyes, why are you crying?


One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes

Two Eyes replied: 'I am crying because I have two eyes, just like other people. My mother and my sisters cannot bear that. I have to wear rags and they only give me the last bits of food. It’s so little food, I am always hungry.’

‘Dry your tears, Two Eyes,' said the woman. I will give you a goat. It will not stand out among the other goats. Ask the goat to give you food and you will get as much food as you want. When you have eaten enough, ask the goat to make the food disappear. Then the wise woman went away.


One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes

Two Eyes asked the goat: 'Dear goat, may I have some food?’ And promptly a table appeared, covered with delicious food. Two Eyes was savouring it. Then she said, ‘Dear goat, let all the food disappear now.’ And there was nothing left of it. The mother began to notice that Two Eyes was not eating anything at home. That is why One Eye had to join Two Eyes with the goats into the pasture. Two Eyes made it a long walk. Two Eyes said, ‘Sister, let us rest here and I will sing you a song.’

While Two Eyes was singing, the eldest sister fell asleep. She had never walked so much before. As soon as she was asleep, Two Eyes ate the goat's food. One Eye didn’t see anything. The next day mother sent Three Eyes with her. Again, Two Eyes went for an extra long walk with the goats. When Three Eyes indicated that she was tired, Two Eyes said, 'Let's rest here for a while. I will sing you a song.’

And as she sang, the two eyes of the youngest sister closed. She seemed to be sleeping. But with the third eye she saw the goat feeding Two Eyes. When she told her mother, she shouted: ‘That goat must die!’ And that is what happened. Two Eyes was inconsolable and sat on the hill once again where she cried her eyes out. The woman appeared once again. ‘My mother killed the goat,’ sobbed Two Eyes.

‘Two Eyes,' said the woman, 'ask your mother if you can bury the goat. Do this in front of the house.' Then the woman disappeared. The mother allowed Two Eyes to bury the goat. The next morning, there was a wondrous tree at the goat's burial place. The tree had silver branches and bore golden apples. The mother asked One Eye to climb the tree and pick apples.

But no matter what One Eye tried, she could not do it. Then Three Eyes was sent into the tree. Three Eyes did not succeed either. ‘Let me try,’ said Two Eyes. She climbed the tree, where apples spontaneously fell into her apron. A knight approached. ‘Hide quickly,' the mother said to Two Eyes, 'we will be ashamed of you if anyone sees you.’

The girl hid behind the tree. The knight stopped in front of the house. He looked at the tree with wonder. Who does this tree belong to? ‘The tree belongs to us,' the sisters said. We will break off a branch for you, if you want. Then they climbed the tree. But they could not break a branch. ‘What a remarkable thing that this tree is yours, when you can't manage to remove a branch from it,’ the knight joked. At that moment, Two Eyes appeared. She had gathered all her courage. ‘I'll pick a branch for you,' said Two Eyes. She climbed the tree and easily picked a branch of golden apples.


One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes

‘So that tree belongs to you,’ said the knight. ‘What can I give you for this branch?’ ‘Take me to your castle,’ replied Two Eyes. The knight was impressed by her beauty and gladly took her to his castle. He gave her beautiful clothes and she could eat and drink as much as she wanted. They got married and became very happy together.

The tree had followed Two Eyes to the castle. Here the tree grew and became bigger and even more beautiful. One day, there was a knock at the castle door. Two poor women were begging for food. Two Eyes saw that they were her sisters. She gave them food and shelter. The sisters were very sorry for their behaviour and were very grateful that Two Eyes was able to forgive them.


One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes

Download the PDF of One Eye, Two Eyes and Three Eyes with illustrations