She is so curious. And not at all interested in obeying her parents. And so she goes to visit the scary Mother Trudy…
Mother Trudy is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a girl who is very curious. She has heard strange stories about Mother Trudy. Her parents forbid her to visit her. She goes anyway, meets many strange men and sees the real witch Mother Trudy, who turns her into a block of wood for the fire.
Complete text Mother Trudy
A curious girl wants to visit Mother Trudy
There was once a little girl who was obstinate and inquisitive. When her parents told her to do anything, she did not obey them. How could that lead to any good?
One day she said to her parents, “I have heard so much of Mother Trudy, I will go to her some day. People say that everything about her looks so strange. That there are such odd things in her house. I have become quite curious!”
Her parents absolutely forbade her. They said, “She is a bad woman. She does wicked things. If you go to her, you are no longer our child.”
But the young woman did not let herself be turned aside by her parent’s prohibition. She still went on her way.
Talking to Mother Trudy
When she got to her, Mother Trudy said, “Why are you so pale?”
“Ah,” she replied and her whole body trembled, “I have been so terrified at what I have seen.”
“What have you seen?”
“I saw a black man on your steps.”
“That was a collier (somebody that produces / brings coal).”
“Then I saw a green man.”
“That was a huntsman.”
“After that I saw a blood-red man.”
“That was a butcher.”
“Ah, Mother Trudy, I was terrified; I looked through the window and saw not you, but, as I truly believe, the devil himself with a head of fire.”
“Oho!” she said, “then you have seen the witch in her proper costume. I have been waiting for you. I have been wanting you a long time already. You shall give me some light.”
She changed the girl into a block of wood and threw it into the fire. When it was in full blaze she sat down close to it and warmed herself by it. She said, “Look at that fire, how bright it shines.”
Tips for Telling Mother Trudy
- This is a scary story, warning that too much curiosity and not obeying your parents and listening to their wisdom can end badly. Today it is still true that there is such a thing as too much curiosity that can get you hurt badly. However most people don’t like to hear that. Be aware before telling this story that the bad ending for the girl can provoke a strong reaction in your listeners.when the poor man relates to the godfather what he saw coming up the stairs.
- Instead of having the girl talk about all the scary things afterwards, it is a much stronger story if you tell her story experiencing them.
- The Grimm’s often use vague language about the age of girls in stories: ‘girl’, ‘little girl’, ‘maiden’, etc. You don’t necessarily need to tell your listeners, but decide for yourself how old this girl is.
All Questions Answered
The tale was published by the Brothers Grimm in the third edition of their Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Their source was a written poem by Meier Teddy.
The Brothers Grimm included it in the third edition (1837) of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales. However a poem telling the same story was already written before in another book.
The fairy tale ‘Mother Trudy’ is also known as ‘Frau Trude’ (the German name).
More useful information
Fairy tales with a witch
- Hansel and Gretel
- Little Brother and Little Sister
- Mother Trudy
- Snow White
- Sweetheart Roland
- The Riddle
- The Six Swans
Photo credits: Storyblocks
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).