The Star Money Fairy Tale

The Star Money

A kind girl gives away everything she has. Will the stars favor her?

The Star Money is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a homeless girl who gives away everything to others in need: her bread, cap, jacket, dress, and even underwear. Some stars fall down and turn into money. She receives new clothes and lives happily ever after.

Complete text The Star Money

Once upon a time, there was a girl whose father and mother had died.

She was so poor that she no longer had any little room to live in, nor a bed to sleep in. At last she had nothing else but the clothes she was wearing and a little bit of bread in her hand which some kind soul had given her.

She was, however, good and pious. Forsaken by all the world she went forth into the open country, trusting in the good God.

She met a poor man, who said, “Ah, give me something to eat, I am so hungry!”

She gave him her whole piece of bread, and said, “May God bless you with it.”

Onwards she went. A child came, who moaned and said, “My head is so cold, give me something to cover it with.”

So she took off her cap and gave it to him.

When she had walked a little farther, she met another child who had no jacket and was frozen with cold. Then she gave it her own jacket.

A little farther on one begged for her dress, and she gave away that also.

At last, she got into a forest. It had already become dark. Yet another came and asked for her underclothes. The good little girl thought to herself, “It is a dark night. No one sees me, I can very well give my last clothes away.” And so she did.

Standing there, with nothing else left, suddenly some stars from heaven fell down. They were nothing else but hard smooth pieces of money, and although she had just given all her clothes away, she now had new clothes which were of the very finest linen.

She gathered together the money into her shirt and was rich all the days of her life.

Tips for Telling The Star Money

Storyteller Rudolf Roos
  • Your listeners need to feel the poverty of the girl in the beginning of the story. Take time to paint this picture.
  • In the story the kindness and giving away of yourself is rewarded. Is this something you believe in in real life? How do you connect to this story?
  • The moment when stars fall down and turn into money is an important scene. Suddenly there is light in darkness, money in poverty, hope in hopelessness. Imagine this scene for yourself before telling it.
A reading of The Star Money

All Questions Answered

Who wrote the story The Star Money?

It was published by the Brothers Grimm in the first edition of their Grimm’s Fairy Tales, under another name: “The Poor Girl”. From the second edition on it is called “The Star Money”. The Grimms heard this story from a Frau Gottschalk.

When was The Star Money written?

The Brothers Grimm included it in the 1812 first edition of their Grimm’s fairy tales.

What are other names of the fairy tale “The Star Money”?

“The Star Money” is also known as “The Star Talers,” “The Star Dollars,” and the “Star Coins.”

What is the moral of The Star Money?

Give selflessly all you have away and you will be rewarded.

More useful information

Photo credits: Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

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).

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