The Valiant Little Tailor

Story in 12 pictures
by Heinz Mellmann

Tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, after the translation of Lucy Crane



One summer morning a little tailor was sitting on his table near the window working cheerfully with all his might, when an old woman came down the street crying,  »Good jelly to sell! good jelly to sell!«  The cry sounded pleasant in the little tailor's ears so he put his head out of the window and called out,  »Here, my good woman––come here if you want a customer.«  So the poor woman climbed the steps with her heavy basket and was obliged to unpack and display all her pots to the tailor.  He looked at every one of them and, lifting all the lids, applied his nose to each, and said at last,  »The jelly seems pretty good;  you may weigh me out four half ounces, or I don't mind having a quarter of a pound.«  The woman, who had expected to find a good customer, gave him what he asked for but went off angry and grumbling.

»This jelly is the very thing for me,«  cried the little tailor;  »it will give me strength and cunning;«  and he took down the bread from the cupboard, cut a whole round of the loaf and spread the jelly on it, laid it near him, and went on stitching more valiantly than ever.

All the while the scent of the sweet jelly was spreading throughout the room where there were quantities of flies who were attracted by it and flew to partake.

»Now then, who asked you to come?«  said the tailor, and he drove the uninvited guests away.  But the flies, not under­standing his language, were not to be got rid of like that and returned in larger numbers than before.  Then the tailor, not being able to stand it any longer, took from his chimney-corner a ragged cloth saying,  »Now, I’ll let you have it!«  and he beat it among them unmerci­fully.  When he ceased and counted the slain, he found seven lying dead before him.  »This is indeed somewhat,«  he said, wondering at his own gallantry;  »the whole town shall know this.«  So he hastened to cut out a belt, and he stitched it, and put on it in large capitals ›Seven at one blow!‹—»The town, did I say!«  said the little tailor,  »the whole world shall know it!«  And his heart quivered with joy, like a lamb's tail.