LITTLE ONE EYE, LITTLE TWO EYES, AND LITTLE THREE EYES
THERE was a woman who had three daughters, the eldest
of whom was called Little One Eye, because she Had only
one eye in the middle of her forehead; the second,
Little Two Eyes, because she had two eyes like other
people; and the youngest, Little Three Eyes, because
she had three eyes, one of them being also in the
middle of the forehead. But because Little Two Eyes
looked no different from other people her sisters and
mother could not bear her. They said, "You with your
two eyes are no better than anybody else; you do not
belong to us." They knocked her about, and gave her
shabby clothes, and food which was left over from their
own meals; in short, they vexed her whenever they
It happened that Little Two Eyes had to go out into the
fields to look after the goat; but she was still quite
hungry, because her sisters had given her so little to
eat. She sat down on a hillock and began to cry, and
cried so much that a little stream ran down out of each
eye. And as she looked up once in her sorrow, a woman
stood near her, who asked, "Little Two Eyes, why do you
Little Two Eyes answered, "Have I not need
 to cry? Because I have two eyes, like other people,
my sisters and my mother cannot bear me; they push me
out of one corner into the other, give me shabby
clothes, and nothing to eat but what they leave. To-day
they have given me so little that I am still quite
The wise woman said, "Little Two Eyes, dry your eyes,
and I will tell you something which will keep you from
ever being hungry more. Only say to your goat, l Little
goat, bleat; little table, rise,' and a neatly-laid
table will stand before you with the most delicious
food on it, so that you can eat as much as you like.
And when you are satisfied and do not want the table
any more, only say, ' Little goat, bleat; little table,
away,' and it will all disappear before your eyes."
Then the wise woman went out of sight.
Little Two Eyes thought, "I must try directly if it be
true what she has said, for I am much too hungry to
wait." So she said, "Little goat, bleat; little table,
rise; "and scarcely had she uttered the words, when
there stood before her a little table, covered with a
white cloth, on which were laid a plate, knife and
fork, and silver spoon. The most delicious food was
there also, and smoking hot, as if just come from the
kitchen. Then Little Two Eyes said the shortest grace
that she knew, "Lord God, be our Guest at all times.—
Amen," began to eat, and found it very good. And when
she had had enough, she said as the wise woman had
taught her,- "Little goat, bleat; little table, away."
In an instant the little table, and all that stood on
it, had disappeared again.
"That is a beautiful, easy way of housekeeping,"
thought Little Two Eyes, and was quite happy and merry.
In the evening, when she came home with her goat, she
found a little earthen dish with food, which her
sisters had put aside for her, but she did not touch
anything—she had no need. On the next day she
went out again with her goat, and let the few crusts
that were given her remain uneaten. The first time and
the second time the sisters took no notice; but when
the same thing happened every day, they remarked it,
and said, "All is not right with Little Two Eyes; she
Always leaves her food, and she used .formerly to eat
everything that was given her; she must have found
other ways of dining."
In order to discover the truth, they resolved that
Little One Eye should go with Little Two Eyes when she
drove the goat into the meadow and see what she did
there, and if anybody brought her anything to eat and
drink. So when Little Two Eyes set out again, Little
One Eye came to her and said, "I will go with you into
the field, and see that the goat is taken proper care
of, and driven to good pasture."
But Little Two Eyes saw what Little One Eye had in her
mind, and drove the goat into long grass, saying,
"Come, Little One Eye, we will sit down; I will sing
you something." Little One Eye sat down, being tired
from the unusual walk and from the heat of the sun, and
Little Two Eyes kept on singing, "Are you awake, Little
One Eye? Are you asleep, Little One Eye?" Then Little
One Eye shut her one eye, and fell asleep. And when
Little Two Eyes saw that Little One Eye was fast
asleep, and could not betray anything, she said,
"Little goat, bleat; little table, rise," and sat
herself at her table, and ate and drank till she was
satisfied; then she called out again, "Little goat,
bleat; little table, away," and instantly everything
Little Two Eyes now woke Little One Eye, and said,
"Little One Eye, you pretend to watch, and fall asleep
over it, and in the mean time the goat could have run
all over the world; come, we will go home." Then they
went home, and Little Two Eyes let her little dish
again stand untouched; and Little One Eye, who could
not tell the mother why her sister would not eat, said,
as an excuse, "Oh, I fell asleep out there."
The next day the mother said to Little Three Eyes,
"This time you shall go and see if Little Two Eyes eats
out of doors, and if any one brings her food and drink,
for she must eat and drink secretly."
Then Little Three Eyes went to Little Two Eyes, and
said, "I will go with you and see
 if the
goat be taken proper care of, and driven to good
pasture." But Little Two Eyes saw what Little Three
Eyes had in her mind, and
drove the goat into long grass, and said as before, "We
will sit down here, Little Three Eyes; I will sing you
something." Little Three Eyes seated herself, being
tired from the walk and the heat of the sun, and Little
Two Eyes began the same gong again, and sang, "Are you
awake, Little Three Eyes?" But instead of singing then
as she should, "Are you asleep, Little Three Eyes?" she
sang, through carelessness, "Are you asleep, Little
Two Eyes?" and went on singing, "Are you awake,
Little Three Eyes? Are you asleep, Little Two Eyes?" So
the two eyes of Little Three Eyes fell asleep, but the
third did not go
to sleep, because it was not spoken to by the verse.
Little Three Eyes, to be sure, shut it, and made
believe to go to sleep, but only through slyness; for
she winked with it, and could see everything quite
well. And when Little Two Eyes thought that Little
Three Eyes was fast asleep, she said her little
sentence, "Little goat, bleat; little table, rise," ate
and drank heartily, and then told the little table to
go away again, "Little goat, bleat; little table,
away." But Little Three Eyes had seen everything.
Then Little Two Eyes came to her, woke her, and said,
"Ah! Little Three Eyes, have you been asleep? you keep
watch well! come, we will go home." And when they got
home, Little Two Eyes again did not eat, and Little
Three Eyes said to the mother, "I know why the proud
thing does not eat; when she says to the goat out
there, 'Little goat, bleat; little table, rise,' there
stands a table before her, which is covered with the
very best food, much better than we have here; and when
she is satisfied, she says, ' Little goat, bleat;
little table, away,' and everything is gone again; I
have seen it all exactly. She put two of my eyes to
sleep with her little verse, but the one in my forehead
luckily remained awake."
Then the envious mother cried out, "Shall she be better
off than we are?" fetched a butcher's knife, and stuck
it into the goat's heart, so that it fell down dead.
When Little Two Eyes saw that, she went out full of
grief, seated herself on a hillock, and wept bitter
tears. All at once the wise woman stood near her again,
and said, "Little Two Eyes, why do you cry?"
"Shall I not cry?" answered she. "The goat who every
day, when I said your little verse, laid the table so
beautifully, has been killed by my mother; now I must
suffer hunger and thirst again."
The wise woman said, "Little Two Eyes, I will give you
some good advice; beg your sisters to give you the
heart of the murdered goat, and bury it in the ground
before the house door, and it will turn out lucky for
you." Then she disappeared, and Little Two Eyes went
home and said to her sisters, "Dear sisters, give me
some part of my goat; I don't ask for anything good,
only give me the heart."
Then they laughed, and said, "You can have that, if you
do not want anything else." Little Two Eyes took the
heart, and buried it quietly in the evening, before the
house door, after the advice of the wise woman.
Next morning, when the sisters woke, and went to the
house door together, there stood a most wonderfully
splendid tree, with leaves of silver and fruit of gold
hanging between them. Nothing more beautiful or
charming could be seen in the wide world. But they did
not know how the tree had come there in the night.
Little Two Eyes alone noticed that it had grown out of
the heart of the goat, for it stood just where she had
buried it in the ground.
Then the mother said to Little One Eye, "Climb up, my
child, and gather us some fruit from the tree."
Little One Eye climbed up, but when she wanted to seize
a golden apple, the branch sprang out of her hand; this
happened every time, so that she could not gather a
single apple, though she tried as hard as she could.
Then the mother said, "Little Three Eyes, do
 you climb up; you can see better about you with
your three eyes than Little One Eye can."
Little One Eye scrambled down, and Little Three Eyes
climbed up. But Little Three Eyes -was no cleverer, and
might look about her as much as she liked—the
golden apples always sprang back from her grasp. At
last the mother became impatient, and climbed up
herself, but could touch the fruit just as little as
Little One Eye or Little Three Eyes; she always grasped
the empty air.
Then Little Two Eyes said, "I will go up myself;
perhaps I shall prosper better."
"You!" cried the sisters. "With your two eyes, what can
But Little Two Eyes climbed up, and the golden apples
did not spring away from her, but dropped of themselves
into her hand, so that she could gather one after the
other, and brought down a whole apron full. Her mother
took them from her, and instead of her sisters, Little
One Eye and Little Three Eyes, behaving better to poor
Little Two Eyes for it, they were only envious because
she alone could get the fruit, and behaved still more
cruelly to her.
It happened, as they stood together by the tree, one
day, that a young knight came riding by on a fine
"Quick, Little Two Eyes," cried the two sisters, "creep
under, so that we may not be ashamed of you;" and threw
over poor Little Two Eyes, in a great hurry, an empty
cask that stood just by the tree, and pushed also
beside her the golden apples which she had broken off.
Now, as the knight came nearer, he proved to be a
handsome prince, who stood still, admired the beautiful
tree of gold and silver, and said to the two sisters,
"To whom does this beautiful tree belong? She who gives
me a branch of it shall have whatever she wishes."
Then Little One Eye and Little Three Eyes answered that
the tree was theirs, and they would break off a branch
for him. Both gave themselves a great deal of trouble,
but it was of no use, for the branches and fruit sprang
back from them every time. Then the knight said,—
"It is very wonderful that the tree belongs to you, and
yet you have not the power of gathering anything from
They insisted, however, that the tree was their own
property. But as they spoke. Little Two Eyes rolled a
few golden apples from under the cask, so that they ran
to the feet of the knight; for Little Two Eyes was
angry that Little One Eye and Little Three Eyes did not
tell the truth.
When the knight saw the apples, he was astonished, and
asked where they came from. Little One Eye and Little
Three Eyes answered that they had another sister, who
might not, however, show herself, because she had only
two eyes, like other common people. But the knight
desired to see her, and called out, "Little Two Eyes,
come out." Then Little Two Eyes came out of the cask
quite comforted, and the knight was astonished at her
great beauty, and said,—
"You, Little Two Eyes, can certainly gather me a branch
from the tree?"
"Yes," answered Little Two Eyes, "I can do that, for
the tree belongs to me." And she climbed up and easily
broke off a branch, with its silver leaves and golden
fruit, and handed it to the knight.
Then the knight said, "Little Two Eyes, what shall I
give you for it?"
"Oh," answered Little Two Eyes, "I suffer hunger and
thirst, sorrow and want, from early morning till late
evening; if you would take me with you and free me, I
should be happy."
Then the knight lifted Little Two Eyes upon his horse,
and took her home to his father's castle; there he gave
her beautiful clothes, food, and drink, as much as she
wanted, and because he loved her so much he married
her, and the marriage was celebrated with great joy.
Now, when Little Two Eyes was taken away by the
handsome knight, the two sisters envied her very much
her happiness. "The wonderful tree remains for us,
though," thought they; "and even though we cannot
gather any fruit off it,
 every one will
stand still before it, come to us, and praise it." But
the next morning, the trees had disappeared, and all
their hopes with it.
Little Two Eyes lived happily a long time. Once two
poor women came to her castle, and begged alms. Then
Little Two Eyes looked in their faces, and recognized
her sisters, Little One Eye and Little Three Eyes, who
had fallen into such poverty that they had to wander
about, and seek their bread from door to door. Little
Two Eyes, however, bade them welcome, and was very good
to them, and took care of them; for they both repented
from their hearts the evil they had done to their
sister in their youth.