Going Traveling Fairy Tale

Going Traveling

Mum, I am going traveling! But son, we don’t have any money! No problem, I will just say ‘Not much, not much, not much’…

Going Traveling is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a son who leaves his mother to travel. Without money, he says “Not much, not much, not much” all the time. Fishermen don’t like it and give him something new to say. With it come new problems, new phrases and in the end, he gives up on traveling.


Complete text Going Traveling

Once upon a time, there was a poor woman. She had a son who much wished to travel. However, his mother said, “How can you travel? We have no money at all for you to take with you.”

The son said, “I will manage very well for myself. I will always say: Not much, not much, not much.”

He walked for a long time and always said, “Not much, not much, not much.”

Then he passed by a company of fishermen and said, “God speed you! Not much, not much, not much.”

“What are you saying, fellow, ‘not much?’”

When the net was drawn out they had not caught much fish. So one of them attacked him with a stick and said, “Have you ever seen me thrashing?”

“What should I say, then?” the young man asked. “You should say, ‘Get it full, get it full.’”

After this, he again walked a long time, and said, “Get it full, get it full.”

He came to the gallows, where they had got a poor sinner whom they were about to hang. Then he said, “Good morning; get it full, get it full.”

“What are you saying, fellow, get it full? Do you mean to say that there are still more wicked people in the world out there? Is this not enough?”

Again he got some blows on his back. “So what should I say, then?” he said.

“You should say: May God have pity on the poor soul.”

The young man walked on for a long while and said, “May God have pity on the poor soul!”

He came to a pit where a knacker was cutting up a horse. He said, “Good morning; May God have pity on the poor soul!”

“What are you talking about, weird guy?” The knacker gave him such a box on the ear, that he could not see out of his eyes.

“So what am I supposed to say, then”

“You must say, ‘Throw the carrion in the pit!’”

So he walked on, and always said, “Throw the carrion in the pit, throw the carrion in the pit.”

He came to a cart full of people, looked at them, and said, “Good morning, throw the carrion in the pit!”

Then the cart pushed him into a hole, and the driver took his whip and cracked it on him until he was forced to crawl back to his mother.

As long as he lived he never went out traveling again.

Tips for Telling Going Traveling

Storyteller Rudolf Roos
  • This is a comedy tale, almost like a television cartoon story, with a predictable formula. Tell it with the pace and over-the-top-ridiculousness of such a cartoon.
  • When stories get translated in another language or another time, they lose their potency. Make the phrases and situations in this story your own.
  • Imagine how the son walks, talks and acts. It will empower your telling.
A reading of Going Traveling

All Questions Answered

Who wrote the story Going Traveling?

It was published by the Brothers Grimm in the second edition of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Source: the Haxthausen family.

When was Going Traveling written?

The Brothers Grimm included it in the 1819 second edition of their Grimm’s fairy tales.

More useful information

Fairy tales with a fisher

Photo credits: Pixabay

The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales on this website are based on the authentic translation of Margaret Hunt. They were edited and reformatted for pleasant reading and telling by Storyteller Rudolf Roos.
See the complete list of The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales (link to internationalstoryteller.com).