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The louse and the flea
Grimm Märchen

The louse and the flea - Fairy Tale by the Brothers Grimm

Reading time for children: 4 min

A louse and a flea kept house together and were brewing beer in an egg-shell. Then the little louse fell in and burnt herself. On this the little flea began to scream loudly. Then said the little room-door: „Little flea, why art thou screaming?“ – „Because the louse has burnt herself.“

Then the little door began to creak. On this a little broom in the corner said: „Why art thou creaking, little door?“ – „Have I not reason to creak?

The little louse has burnt herself,
The little flea is weeping.“

So the little broom began to sweep frantically. Then a little cart passed by and said: „Why art thou sweeping, little broom?“ – „Have I not reason to sweep?

The little louse has burnt herself,
The little flea is weeping,
The little door is creaking.“

So the little cart said: „Then I will run,“ and began to run wildly. Then said the ash-heap by which it ran: „Why art thou running so, little cart?“ – „Have I not reason to run?

The little louse has burnt herself,
The little flea is weeping,
The little door is creaking,
The little broom is sweeping.“

The ash-heap said: „Then I will burn furiously,“ and began to burn in clear flames. A little tree stood near the ash-heap and said: „Ash-heap, why art thou burning?“ – „Have I not reason to burn?

The little louse has burnt herself,
The little flea is weeping,
The little door is creaking,
The little broom is sweeping,
The little cart is running.“

The little tree said: „Then I will shake myself,“ and began to shake herself so that all her leaves fell off; a girl who came up with her water-pitcher saw that, and said: „Little tree, why art thou shaking thyself?“ – „Have I not reason to shake myself?

The little louse has burnt herself,
The little flea is weeping,
The little door is creaking,
The little broom is sweeping,
The little cart is running,
The little ash-heap is burning.“

On this the girl said: „Then I will break my little water-pitcher,“ and she broke her little water-pitcher. Then said the little spring from which ran the water: „Girl, why art thou breaking thy water-jug?“ – „Have I not reason to break my water-jug?

The little louse has burnt herself,
The little flea is weeping,
The little door is creaking,
The little broom is sweeping,
The little cart is running,
The little ash-heap is burning,
The little tree is shaking itself.“

„Oh, ho,“ said the spring, „then I will begin to flow,“ and began to flow violently. And in the water everything was drowned, the girl, the little tree, the little ash-heap, the little cart, the broom, the little door, the little flea, the little louse, all together.

Read another short fairy tale (5 min)

Informations for scientific analysis


Fairy tale statistics
Value
NumberKHM 30
Aarne-Thompson-Uther-IndexATU Typ 2022
Translations deutsch
Readability Index by Björnsson26.3
Flesch-Reading-Ease Index81.5
Flesch–Kincaid Grade-Level5.8
Gunning Fog Index6.8
Coleman–Liau Index8.9
SMOG Index5.8
Automated Readability Index6.2
Character Count2.591
Letter Count1.968
Sentence Count30
Word Count469
Average Words per Sentence15,63
Words with more than 6 letters50
Percentage of long words10.7%
Number of Syllables607
Average Syllables per Word1,29
Words with three Syllables6
Percentage Words with three Syllables1.3%

Image sources: © Andrea Danti / Shutterstock

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