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Synopsis of Rumpelstiltskin (Brothers Grimm Version)

In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lied and said that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king heard of this and called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she spin the straw into gold by morning, or be executed. She had given up all hope, when a dwarf appeared in the room and spun straw into gold for her in return for her necklace, then again the following night for her ring. On the third night, when she had nothing with which to reward him, the dwarf spun straw into gold for a promise that the girl's first-born child would become his.

The king was so impressed that he married the miller's daughter, but when their first child was born, the dwarf returned to claim his payment: "Now give me what you promised". The queen was frightened and offered him all the wealth she had if she could keep the child. The dwarf refused but finally agreed to give up his claim to the child if the queen could guess his name in three days. At first she failed, but before the final night, her messenger discovered the dwarf's remote mountain cottage and overheard the dwarf hopping about his fire and singing:  




"To-day do I bake, to-morrow I brew,
The day after that the queen's child comes in;
And oh! I am glad that nobody knew
That the name I am called is Rumpelstiltskin!"




When the dwarf came to the queen on the third day and she revealed his name, Rumpelstiltskin lost his bargain. In the 1812 edition of the Brothers Grimm tales, Rumpelstiltskin then "ran away angrily, and never came back". In the oral version originally collected by the brothers Grimm, Rumpelstiltskin flies out of the window on a cooking ladle.