There once lived a poor miller who had a very beautiful daughter. One day, he told the king that his daughter could spin very well and even make gold from straw. Now the king was very fond of gold, so he quickly sent for the beautiful miller’s daughter. He took her to a room full of straw and gave her a spinning wheel with spools. And he said, “Go to work and spin all this straw into gold. If you do not succeed, you must die.” The room was closed and she was left all alone.
The poor miller’s daughter was in despair. How could she spin gold from straw? She began to cry loudly. Suddenly, the door opened and a small man entered. He said, “Good evening, why are you crying so hard?” “Oh,” said the girl, “I have to spin gold from straw and I can’t do that.
Then the little man said, “What will you give me if I do it?” My necklace, said the girl. The little man took the necklace and started to spin. Prrrt prrrt prrrt and after 3 times the coil was full. He went on like that all night. In the early morning, all the straw was gold. When the king came to see it, he was very surprised and immediately wanted more gold.
He took the miller’s daughter to a larger room full of bales of straw. She had to spin it all into gold in one night if she wanted to stay alive. The girl cried loudly. Again the little man appeared.
“What will you give me if I spin the straw into gold?”, he asked. “My ring,” said the girl. The little man worked all night and the next day all the straw had turned to gold.
But the king was not satisfied and wanted more. Again he took the girl to an even larger room full of straw and again she had to spin everything into gold in one night. If she succeeded, he would marry her. He thought, “She is just an ordinary miller’s daughter, but there is no richer woman”.
The girl was desperate again but again the little man appeared. “What will you give me if I spin this straw into gold too?” he asked. “I really have nothing left,” said the girl. So she had to promise that when she became queen she would give him her first child. The girl thought, “I’ll see about that”. And she promised. Then the little man spun all the straw into gold once again.
In the morning the king came and he was very happy. He married the miller’s daughter and so she became a real queen. After a year, they had a beautiful baby. The queen had forgotten about the little man. But to her horror, he suddenly entered her room and said, “Give me the baby now. You promised.” The queen offered him all her treasures if only she could keep her baby. But the little man wanted the child. The queen cried so hard that the little man took pity. He said: “If you guess my name within three days, you can keep your child.
The queen thought deeply throughout the night and even sent a messenger across the country to collect names. When the little man came again, she said: “Albert, Gerard, Christiaan” and many more names. But with every name the little man shouted: “That is not my name”.
The second day, she went to ask around again. When the little man came, she mentioned very special names like Skinnyribs, Sheepshanks and Pegleg. But again, the names were wrong.
On the third day the messenger returned and said: “I have no new names, but when I came to a place in the forest where the foxes and hares wish each other goodnight, I saw a little house. A fire was burning there, and round the fire jumped a strange little man, and he called out:
“Today I’ll bake, tomorrow I’ll brew,
The next I’ll fetch the queen’s new child;
Still no one knows it just the same,
That Rumpelstiltskin is my name.”
How happy the Queen was to know the name at last! When the little man returned, she first asked, “Is your name Gijs or Gert?” “No,” said the male. “Are you called Rumpelstiltskin then?” An evil spirit told you that, cried the little man furiously. And he stamped his right foot so hard on the muddy ground….that he sank down as far as his waist and was never seen again.