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The Brothers Grimm
The Old Man and His Grandson
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THE OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON

There was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears
dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could
hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let
it run out of his mouth. His son and his son's wife were disgusted at
this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind
the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not
even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes
full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl,
and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but
he said nothing and only sighed. Then they brought him a wooden bowl
for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.

They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old
began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. 'What are
you doing there?' asked the father. 'I am making a little trough,'
answered the child, 'for father and mother to eat out of when I am
big.'

The man and his wife looked at each other for a while, and presently
began to cry. Then they took the old grandfather to the table, and
henceforth always let him eat with them, and likewise said nothing if
he did spill a little of anything.


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From "Fairy Tales" by Jakob Grimm (1785 -1863) and Wilhelm
Grimm (1786-1859) -- translated from "Kinder und Hausmarchen"
by Edgar Taylor and Marian Edwardes.
 

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