A few years ago I stumbled on to an English version of this New Year’s fairy tale by Eduard Mörike.
The story is not included in Mörike’s collected works. He apparently made up the story around 1860 for a little girl named Emilie Schnabel, who was about age 6 or 7. The story made such an impression on the little girl that she later wrote it down when she was an adult. It made its way to Mörike’s family, and that’s how we have it now. The text has been studied by experts, and they agree it matches Mörike’s style.
It is such a beautiful story to tell at the beginning of the new year! I knew that I wanted to tell it as a Story Listening lesson.
It was a little challenging for the 3rd graders, but the 4th graders really got it.