The wacky adventures of Knoist and his three sons. Well, most of the three sons. Unbelievable!
Knoist and His Three Sons is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about three weird brothers, the sons of Knoist. They catch a hare. They take a bottomless boat. They find a forest, a tree, a chapel, a sexton, and a parson. A parson who deals out holy water with cudgels.
Complete text Knoist and His Three Sons
Between Werrel and Soist,
there lived a man named Knoist,
and he had three sons.
One was blind,
the other lame,
and the third stark-naked.
Once upon a time, they went into a field, and there they saw a hare.
The blind one shot it,
the lame one caught it,
the naked one put it in his pocket.
Then they came to a mighty big lake, on which there were three boats.
the third had no bottom to it.
They all three got into the one with no bottom to it.
Then they came to a mighty big forest
In the forest was a mighty big tree.
In the tree was a mighty big chapel.
In the chapel was a sexton made of beechwood
and a box-wood parson, who dealt out holy water with cudgels.
“How truly happy is the one
Who can from holy water run!”
Tips for Telling Knoist and His Three Sons
- Sometimes when stories are just a blob of text they seem very boring. But when I reformatted this tale like you would tell it, it reads almost like a poem. Read it out aloud and you probably will chuckle.
- This is a ‘tall tale’ or an absurd story. Don’t try to make it make sense, it is supposed to leave your listeners bewildered.
- Keep the pace, but also give your listeners room to think (and say), ‘Eh? Huh?’.
All Questions Answered
It was published by the Brothers Grimm in the second volume of the first edition of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Source: the Haxthausen family.
The Brothers Grimm included it in the 1815 first edition of their Grimm’s fairy tales.
More useful information
- Werrel and Soist were destinations for pilgrimages.
Fairy tales with a hare
Fairy tales with a parson
Fairy tales with a sexton
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).