The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean

Fairy Tale Tuesdays

It’s Tuesday again ALREADY?  Time flies I find!


This week is another tale from the Brother’s Grimm called The Straw, The Coal, and The Bean.

Once upon a time there was an old woman.  She gathered a dish of beans and wanted to cook them so she made a fire in the hearth.  To make it burn faster, the woman used a handful of straw.  When she was pouring the beans into her pan, one dropped.  The woman did not notice the bean, nor a stray straw lying on the ground.  Soon afterward, a burning coal dropped down from the fire to join the two.

The straw said, “How did you come to be here?” to the others.

“I am lucky to have dropped out of the fire.  If I had not escaped, I would have certainly died and been burnt to ashes!” exclaimed the coal.

The bean then replied, “I am also lucky to have escaped.  If the old woman had gotten me into the pan, I would have been made into broth like my brothers and would have certainly died!”

“My fate was similar,” said the straw, “for if I had been put into the hearth, I would have burnt to ash as well and would have certainly died!”

“What do we do now?” asked the coal.

“Since we have been fortunate and have escaped death,” ventured the bean, “we should keep together.  To avoid further misfortune here, let us go away together.”

The other two supported this idea, and the three set out.  Soon they came to a little brook. There was no bridge in sight, so they did not know how to get across.

“I have an idea,” said the straw, “I will lay myself straight across and then you can walk over me like a bridge!” The straw then lay himself down and stretched handily from one bank to the other.

The coal walked boldly onto the straw’s back, but when she reached the middle and heard the water rushing below, the coal became scared and would go no further.  The poor straw began to burn and broke into two pieces, plunging both of them into the stream. The bean, who had stayed behind on the shore, laughed heartily at this spectacle.  The bean laughed and laughed until she burst.

Luckily for the bean, a tailor who was traveling in search of work, had stopped nearby.  He kindly took the bean and sewed her together with his needle and thread. The bean thanked him prettily.  The tailor used black thread, so all beans since them have a black seam.

What a funny little fable!


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