Interesting Story About Life – “The Cunning Little Tailor” – By The Brothers Grimm


This is a story about a little tailor who was considered incompetent in his line of duty, but fortune smiled on him. Read on to find out what happened.

Interesting Story About Life – “The Cunning Little Tailor” – By The Brothers Grimm

Once upon a time in a faraway city, there lived a very proud princess. Many suitors have tried to woo her, but all have failed. If a suitor comes her way, she gave the suitor a riddle to solve and if he can’t find the answer to the riddle, she sent the suitor away disdainfully. She was in the habit of making a mockery of suitors who couldn’t answer her riddle. She sent words across the city that whosever could solve her riddle would marry her, regardless of the person’s status in the city. Many men went to try their lucks but all failed, soon three tailors decided to give a try. The two eldest that were very skillful and have done many works successfully thought they would easily find the answer to the riddle, the third tailor was considered a useless landloper, who didn’t quite understand his line of work and have on many occasion to deliver his work successfully. Nevertheless, he determined within himself to give it a try despite the discouragement he got from the two other tailors.

“it would be better for you to sit at home than make a mockery of yourself, you have no skill or understanding whatsoever to get the answer to the princess’s riddle,” the two other tailors said to him

 “There is nothing to lose, by the way, I will go and give it a try,” he thought to himself.

The third tailor went about his usual business as if nothing bothered him. On the proposed day to visit the princess, the three tailors journeyed to the house of the princess. They introduced themselves to the princess and stated their intentions, it amused the princess.

“the right persons for this riddle have finally arrived, men with such great skills and understanding so fine that they could be fashioned into clothes,” she said.

She went on to propound the riddle to the three men and said whoever got it right would marry her.

“I have two kinds of hair on my head, what color is it?” the princess asked.

The first tailor full of confidence said, “if that be all, it must be black and white, like the  cloth which is called pepper and salt.”

“you have answered wrongly, let the second person answer,” The princess said.

“The answer has to be brown and red like my father’s company coat since it is not white and black,” said the second tailor.

“your answer is wrong, let the third man give his answer for I can see he knows it for certain,” the princess said laughing at the third tailor.

The third tailor bold stepped out and said. “my princess, you have silver and golden hair on your head, those are the two different colors.”

The princess was shocked the little tailor could answer her riddle. She couldn’t what she heard and nearly fell off her seat with terror. She had thought no man on earth could answer her riddle.

When she regained herself, she said, “it is true you got my riddle correctly, but there is one more thing you must do before you can win me over. There is a stable just below our feet, in it is a bear, you will have to spend the night with the bear and if by morning you are still alive, I will marry you.”

The princess thought she could easily get rid of the little tailor by sending him to the bear, for no one has left the stable alive before. The request amused the little tailor and he graciously accepted it.

He wasn’t afraid of the princess’s request, as a matter of fact, he was pleased.

“boldly ventured is half won,” he said.

When evening came, the little tailor was taken to the stable below where the bear was kept. As he made his way into the stable, the bear tried to pounce on him at once with his paws.

“Easy, easy, I will make you quiet,” said the little tailor.

The little tailor quickly reached his hands into his pocket, took out some nut, cracked them, and ate the kernels. The bear wondered what it was that he was eating and desired to have some. The little quickly reached his pocket and gave him some. However, they were not nuts, but pebbles. The bear put all of them at once into his mouth, but couldn’t get anything out of them. He tried all he could to crack the pebbles but couldn’t.

“Eh! What a stupid blockhead I am, I can’t crack a simple nut just like the tailor,” he thought.

He then said to the little tailor, “here, help me crack the nut, I couldn’t crack them.”

“What a stupid fellow you are, you have such a great mouth, but can’t crack a small nut,” the little tailor replied to him.

The little tailor took one of the pebbles and just as he was about to put it into his mouth, he quickly exchanged it with a nut. He cracked it with his teeth and ate the kernel. The bear was amazed at how a little man as the tailor could crack nuts with his teeth, but he couldn’t.

“I must try this again, if you a little man can do this, I must do it,” the bear said.

The little tailor again gave the bear pebbles to crack, the bear tried all he could to bite into it with all his strength, but couldn’t, so he gave up. The little tailor having exhausted his first trick, brought out a violin from his bag, and played sweet music to himself. The music was so pleasing that the bear couldn’t hold himself from dancing to the music. When he had danced for a while, he said to the little tailor, “Woah! This is good. Is the fiddle heavy?”

“Not at all, it is light enough for a child. See the way I play it, with the left hand I lay my fingers on it, and with the right I stroke it with the bow, and it goes merrily, hop sa sa vivallalera!” said the little tailor.

“This is interesting, fiddling is a thing I would like to learn so that I can play sweet music to keep myself happy,” the bear said.

He then thought for a while and said to the tailor, “will you teach me how to fiddle?”

“of course yes, I will gladly teach you how to fiddle if you have a talent for it,” said the tailor, “let me see your claws first, they are very long and must be trimmed short if you truly want to learn how to fiddle.”

There was a vise in the stable, the little tailor told the bear to put his claws in it, and he screwed it tightly, and said, “now stay calm while I go and get scissors for your nails”

The little tailor moved away from where the bear was and lay down to sleep. The bear kept growling all through the night. The noise of the bear’s growling came up to the princess’s chamber and she thought the bear was happy for putting an end to the tailor’s life.

When morning came, the princess casually strolled out of her chambers with the hope that her plot has gone as planned. When she got to the stable, she was shocked when she peeped through the stable and saw the little tailor standing hale and hearty. Now she couldn’t go back on her words anymore, for she had made her promise to marry the little tailor if he survived the bear before the entire city. The king sent for a carriage to be brought in which the princess and the tailor would be carried to the church to be married. When they had gone into the carriage and were on their way to the church, the other two tailors out of envy of the little tailor’s good fortunes, unscrewed the bear and sent him on the path of the carriage.

The princess saw the bear hotly chasing after the carriage, snorting, and growling, she was very terrified, and cried, “the bear is after us, he is going to kill us.”

The little tailor quickly stood on his head and stuck his legs outside the window of the carriage, “if you come after us again this will be your fate, you will be screwed to this vise” the little tailor said.

When the bear saw that, he quickly turned away from chasing them and ran away. The little tailor and the princess arrived at the church safely and were married as husband and wife. They lived happily ever after.

Being small doesn’t subject your mind to being small as well. The little tailor regardless of his status in the society never considered himself incapable, he was smart and it helped him marry the princess. Share with us your thoughts in the comment box below and visit this site regularly for more beautiful stories for kids.

See also:


The Proud Red Rose

 The Hare And The Tortoise

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