A penniless tailor kills another man. With his last words, he says, “The bright sun brings it to light.” Will that come true?
The Bright Sun Brings It to Light is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a tailor who kills a Jew to get his money. Dying, the Jew says, “The bright sun brings it to light.” Years later the sun shines in his coffee, the man tells it to his wife, and later at the trial, he is condemned.
Complete text The Sun Brings It to Light
The tailor kills a man for money
A tailor’s apprentice was traveling about the world in search of work.
He could find none, and his poverty was so great that he had not a farthing (small coin) to live on. When he met a Jew on the road, he thought he would have a great deal of money about him. The tailor thrust God out of his heart attacked the Jew, and said, “Give me your money, or I will strike you dead.”
The Jew said, “Grant me my life, I have no money but eight farthings.”
To which the tailor replied, “Oh, you have money! And it shall be produced.”
He violently beat him until he was almost dead. When the Jew was dying, the last words he said were, “The bright sun will bring it to light,” and after that, he died.
The tailor’s apprentice felt in his pockets, searching for money. He found nothing but eight farthings, as the Jew had said. Then he took him up and carried him behind a clump of trees, and went onwards to seek work.
After he had traveled quite a while, he got work in a town with a master who had a pretty daughter. He fell in love with her and married her. Their marriage was good and filled with happiness.
The tailor tells his wife
They got two children, and a long time later his wife’s father and mother died. Now they had the house for themselves.
One morning, when the husband was sitting on the table before the window, his wife brought him his coffee. He poured it out and was just going to drink. Suddenly the sun shone on it and the reflection gleamed here and there on the wall above it, making circles on it.
The tailor looked up and said, “Yes, it would like very much to bring it to light, but I cannot!”
The woman said, “Dear husband, what are you talking about? What do you mean by that?”
He answered, “I should not tell you.”
But she said, “If you love me, you have to tell me,” and used her most affectionate words. She said that no one should ever know it, and left him no rest.
Then he told her how years ago when he was traveling about seeking work and quite worn out and penniless, he had killed a Jew. And that in the last agonies of death, the Jew had spoken the words, “The bright sun will bring it to light.”
And now, the sun had just wanted to bring it to light, and had gleamed and made circles on the wall, but had not been able to do it.
After this, he again charged her particularly never to tell this, or he would lose his life. She promised.
When, however, he had sat down to work again, she went to her best friend and confided the story to her. Her friend was never to repeat it to any human being, but before two days were over, the whole town knew it.
The tailor was brought to trial and condemned. And thus, after all, the bright sun did bring it to light.
Tips for Telling The Bright Sun Brings It to Light
- Personally, I am always a bit uneasy with ‘Jews’ in fairy tales. In this tale the Jew is actually not the stereotype rich person. However, it is easy to change him to ‘a moneylender’ or ‘a fellow with rich clothes’ and the story can remain the same.
- Before telling this story, it is useful to go through the emotions of the tailor. Why does he tell his wife at the end of the story?
- The sun plays an important part in this story. You could enrich the story, featuring it more by describing many things related to the sun (warmth, squinting of the eyes, sparkling rain drops, rainbow etc.).
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: Dorothea Viehmann.
The Brothers Grimm included it in the 1815 first edition of their Grimm’s fairy tales.
More Useful information
Fairy tales with a tailor
- The Brave Little Tailor
- The Bright Sun Brings It to Light
- The Straw, the Coal and the Bean
- The Tailor in Heaven
- Thumbling’s Travels
- Wishing Table, Gold Ass and Cudgel in the Sack
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).