Back to main page for a look at the first edition of the Original Grimms Fairy Tales.

Grimm's Fairy Tales

The Ungrateful Son -

a comparison of the first version (1815)
with the final version (1857)

 
German title: Der undankbare Sohn
English title: The Ungrateful Son
Story position: Volume 2, Number 59
Story designation: KHM 145 ("Kinder- und Hausmärchen")

Quick history: There were seven editions of the Grimm's Fairy Tales published in the Grimm Brothers' lifetime. Each edition was presented in two volumes. Volume 1 of the first edition appeared in 1812; Volume 2 of the first edition appeared in 1815. Both volumes of the seventh (7th) and final edition appeared in 1857.

(Take me directly to the detailed comparison in the original German.)

Here are the nontrivial differences between the first and final versions of The Ungrateful Son using the English translation by Margaret Hunt (1884). We disregard spelling, punctuation, and grammar updates, and minor shuffling of words.

In the difference spots, "1:" indicates the first edition (1815), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final edition (1857). Naturally, Hunt worked with the final edition, so all of the words in the common passages and the lines labeled "7:" are hers. Think of the lines labeled "1:" as what she would have produced if she had translated the 1st edition. Highlighted words direct your attention to the added, deleted, or changed wording. Click on "1:" to see the difference spot in the original German.

 

The Ungrateful Son -
showing the significant differences between the first and final versions

A MAN and his wife were once sitting by the door of their house, and they had a roasted chicken set before them, and were about to eat it together. Then the man saw that his aged father was coming, and hastily took the chicken and hid it, for he would not permit him to have any of it. The old man came, took a drink, and went away. Now the son wanted to put the roasted chicken on the table again, but when he took it up, it had become a great toad, which jumped into his face and sat there and never went away again, and if any one wanted to take it off, it looked venomously at him as if it would jump in his face, so that no one would venture to touch it. And the ungrateful son was forced to feed the toad every day, or else it fed itself on his face;

1:   and thus he went about the world.

7:   and thus he went about the world knowing no rest.

 

***

To identify the differences, I did a word-by-word comparison of the first and final versions in the original German. I used texts provided on the fine "Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm" site (khm.li). In the comparisons below, as above, "1:" indicates the first version (1815), and "7:" indicates the seventh and final version (1857).

Und nun, auf Deutsch, mit aller Unterschieden zwischen die erste und letzte Ausgaben . . .

 

Der undankbare Sohn

Es saß einmal ein Mann mit seiner Frau vor der Hausthür, und

1:
7: sie

hatten ein gebraten Huhn vor sich

1: stehen,
7: stehen

und wollten das zusammen

1: verzehren, da sah der Mann,
7: verzehren. Da sah der Mann

wie sein alter Vater daher kam, geschwind nahm er das Huhn und versteckte es, weil er ihm nichts davon gönnte. Der Alte kam, that einen Trunk und

1: ging
7: gieng

fort. Nun wollte der Sohn das gebratene Huhn wieder auf den Tisch tragen, aber als er

1: darnach
7: danach

griff, war es eine große Kröte geworden, die sprang ihm

1: in’s Angesicht, und saß da und ging nicht wieder weg,
7: ins Angesicht und saß da, und gieng nicht wieder weg;

und wenn sie jemand wegthun wollte, sah sie ihn giftig an, als

1: wollt’ sie ihm in’s
7: wollte sie ihm ins

Angesicht springen, so daß keiner sie anzurühren getraute. Und die Kröte mußte der undankbare Sohn alle Tage füttern, sonst fraß sie ihm aus seinem

1: Angesicht, und also ging er
7: Angesicht; und also gieng er ohne Ruhe

in der Welt hin und her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
Back to Donald Sauter's main page.
Back to the top of this page.