The Beam Fairy Tale

The Beam

“That beam is a straw!” When the girl exposes the tricks of an enchanter, he plots his revenge.

The Beam is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a girl who exposes an enchanter. She shows the people that the beam carried by a rooster is a straw. Later when she is dressed to marry, he tricks her into lifting her clothes and all people see it and ridicule her.


Complete text The Beam

Once upon a time, there was an enchanter standing in the midst of a great crowd of people performing his wonders. He had a rooster brought in, which lifted a heavy beam and carried it as if it were as light as a feather.

A girl was present who had just found a bit of four-leaved clover. She had thus become so wise that no deception could stand out against her and she saw that the beam was nothing but a straw.

So she cried, “You people, do you not see that it is a straw that the rooster is carrying, and no beam?”

Immediately the enchantment vanished. The people saw what it was, and drove the magician away in shame and disgrace. He, however, full of inward anger, said, “I will soon revenge myself.”

After some time the girl’s wedding day came. She was decked out and went in a great procession over the fields to the place where the church was.

She came to a stream that was very much swollen. There was no bridge. No plank to cross it.

The bride nimbly took her clothes up and wanted to wade through it. Just as she was standing in the water, a man, the enchanter, cried mockingly close beside her: “Aha! Where are your eyes now? You take that for water?”

Then her eyes were opened. She saw that she was standing with her clothes lifted up in the middle of a field that was blue with the flowers of blue flax.

All the people saw it likewise and chased her away with ridicule and laughter.

Tips for Telling The Beam

Storyteller Rudolf Roos
  • Your listeners need some extra background to this story. The girl in the end does not wear anything under her clothes, that’s why all people laugh so much.
  • Take your time to paint the illusions in the story, so that your audience will also experience the breaking.
  • This story does not give your listeners a happy ending, and some women may frown upon this ending. Check how it feels in your culture before telling it.
A reading of The Beam

All Questions Answered

Who wrote the story The Beam?

It was published by the Brothers Grimm in the first edition of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It was based on a poem written by Friedrich Kind, published earlier in a German magazine.

When was The Beam written?

The Brothers Grimm included it in the 1815 second volume of the first edition of their Grimm’s fairy tales. It was written down as a poem before by Friedrich Kind.

More useful information

Fairy tales with a chicken

Fairy tales with an enchanter

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