The Blue Light

Authored by:Brothers Grimm
Chapter 1 / 3

Section 1

There was once a soldier who had honorably served the monarch for many years, but when the war was over, he was unable to keep up his duties due to several injuries he had gotten. "You can go back to your home; You are not needed anymore, and you will get paid anymore, I only pay those who can offer their services to me,” said the king. The soldier, who had no idea how to support himself, left in great distress and traveled all day till he arrived in a forest in the evening. When it got dark, he noticed a light, so he walked towards it and came to a home where a witch lived. He begged her, "Please give me one night's place to sleep, as well as some food and drink, or I'll die from malnourishment.” "Oh," she answered, "who offers anything to a fugitive soldier? However, I will be empathetic, and let you in, if you do what I ask." "What do you want?" asked the soldier. "That you must dig all around the yard for me, tomorrow." The soldier agreed and worked tirelessly the following day, but he was unable to complete it before the end of the day. The witch said, "I can see clearly that you're at your limit for today, but I'll keep you another night in return for your promise to cut an additional load of wood in smaller pieces, tomorrow.” The soldier worked all day, and in the evening the witch offered that he spent another day. "You will only do me a minor piece of work tomorrow." There's an old well deep beneath my house where the light has fallen; it lights blue and never goes out, and you have to bring it back up."

The next day, the witch took him to the well and lowered him into the well. He picked up the blue light and gave her the sign to lift him up again. She lift him up, but as he got close to the edge, she leaned down and snatched the blue light away from him. "No," he said, sensing her malicious intents, "I will not give you the light until I’m on the ground." The witch got angry, he dropped him back on the well and then left.

The helpless soldier fell unharmed onto the wet ground, as the blue light continued to blaze, but what good was it to him? He clearly understood that he couldn’t avoid death. He sat for some time in deep despair, till he reached into his pocket and saw his tobacco pipe, which was still half filled. "This is going to be my final pleasure," he thought as he took it out, lighted it at the blue light, and started smoking. When the smoke had encircled the cavern, a small black dwarf appeared in front of him and said, "Lord, what are your orders?" "What are my orders?" asked the confused soldier. "I must do whatever you command," answered the dwarf. "Well," the soldier answered, "then first of all help me out of this well." The small guy held his hand and guided him into an underground route, as the soldier made sure to bring the blue light with him. On their way, the dwarf showed him the valuables the witch had gathered and kept there, the soldier took as much gold as it was possible.


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