• 1
  • All Grimm
    Fairy Tales
  • 2
  • Sorted by
    reading time
  • 3
  • Perfect for reading
The Tale of Cockaigne
The Tale of Cockaigne Märchen

The Tale of Cockaigne - Fairy Tale by the Brothers Grimm

Reading time for children: 4 min

In the time of Cockaigne I went there, and saw Rome and the Lateran hanging by a small silken thread, and a man without feet who outran a swift horse, and a keen sharp sword that cut through a bridge. There I saw a young ass with a silver nose which pursued two fleet hares, and a lime-tree that was very large, on which hot cakes were growing.

The Tale of Cockaigne Fairy Tale

There I saw a lean old goat which carried about a hundred cart-loads of fat on his body, and sixty loads of salt. Have I not told enough lies? There I saw a plough ploughing without horse or cow, and a child of one year threw four millstones from Ratisbon to Treves, and from Treves to Strasburg, and a hawk swam over the Rhine, which he had a perfect right to do.

The Tale of Cockaigne Fairy Tale

There I heard some fishes begin to make such a disturbance with each other, that it resounded as far as heaven, and sweet honey flowed like water from a deep valley at the top of a high mountain, and these were strange things.

The Tale of Cockaigne Fairy Tale

There were two crows which were mowing a meadow, and I saw two gnats building a bridge, and two doves tore a wolf to pieces; two children brought forth two kids, and two frogs threshed corn together. There I saw two mice consecrating a bishop, and two cats scratching out a bear’s tongue.

The Tale of Cockaigne Fairy Tale

Then a snail came running up and killed two furious lions. There stood a barber and shaved a woman’s beard off; and two sucking-children bade their mother hold her tongue. There I saw two greyhounds which brought a mill out of the water; and a sorry old horse was beside it, and said it was right.

The Tale of Cockaigne Fairy Tale

And four horses were standing in the yard threshing corn with all their might, and two goats were heating the stove, and a red cow shot the bread into the oven. Then a cock crowed, Cock-a-doodle-doo! The story is all told, Cock-a-doodle-doo!

LanguagesLearn languages. Double-Tap on one word.Learn languages in context with and

Backgrounds to fairy tale „The Tale of Cockaigne“

„The Tale of Cockaigne“ is a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, two German scholars, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who are best known for their compilation of folktales and fairy tales in the early 19th century. Their collection, titled „Children’s and Household Tales“ (or „Grimms‘ Fairy Tales“), was first published in 1812 and has since become one of the most famous collections of fairy tales worldwide.

Cockaigne is a mythical land of plenty, a utopia often referenced in medieval European literature. It is described as a place where all desires are fulfilled, work is unnecessary, and food is abundant. In various texts, Cockaigne is depicted as a land of idleness and luxury, where rivers flow with wine, and houses are made of cake and other delicacies.

This concept of an earthly paradise can be found in various cultures and traditions throughout history, such as the Greek Elysium, the Norse Valhalla, or the Islamic Jannah. However, the land of Cockaigne differs from these paradises as it is often portrayed with a satirical and humorous tone, poking fun at human desires and the absurdity of a world that caters to every whim.

In „The Tale of Cockaigne,“ the Brothers Grimm present a whimsical and nonsensical journey through this mythical land. The story is filled with impossible events and absurd scenarios that defy logic and reason, serving as a satirical commentary on utopian fantasies and the human desire for an ideal, carefree existence.

Interpretations to fairy tale „The Tale of Cockaigne“

„The Tale of Cockaigne“ by Brothers Grimm is a playful, nonsensical fairy tale filled with absurd and impossible events. Despite its whimsical nature, there are a few interpretations that can be derived from the story:

Satire of human desires and utopian fantasies: The magical land of Cockaigne, where everything is topsy-turvy and contradictory, could be interpreted as a satire on the human desire for an ideal, utopian world. The story illustrates the absurdity of seeking perfection and how the pursuit of impossible dreams can lead to irrational and unrealistic expectations.

The power of imagination and storytelling: The tale demonstrates the boundless nature of imagination and the power of storytelling. The narrator’s journey through Cockaigne is filled with fantastical elements that entertain and amuse the reader. The story highlights the importance of embracing imagination and creativity, which can provide an escape from the mundane realities of everyday life.

The subversion of expectations: The fairy tale consistently subverts the reader’s expectations by presenting scenarios that defy logic and reason. This subversion serves as a reminder to question norms and assumptions, as well as to embrace the unpredictable nature of life. By challenging conventional ideas, the story encourages readers to think critically and to develop a flexible mindset.

The fluidity of truth and falsehood: The Tale of Cockaigne is filled with events that are obviously impossible and far-fetched, yet they are presented as facts within the story. This fluidity between truth and falsehood highlights the subjective nature of reality and the power of perspective. What one person may consider a truth, another may consider a lie. The tale serves as a reminder that reality can be malleable and that narratives can shape our understanding of the world.

Summary of the plot

„The Tale of Cockaigne“ by Brothers Grimm is a whimsical and nonsensical fairy tale that narrates the narrator’s journey to the magical land of Cockaigne. In this land, the impossible becomes reality and absurdity reigns supreme. The narrator recounts witnessing Rome and the Lateran hanging by a thin silk thread, a man without feet outrunning a horse, and a sword that cuts through a bridge. In this land, a young donkey with a silver nose chases fast hares, and a massive lime tree grows hot cakes.

An old, lean goat carries a heavy load of fat and salt, while a plow operates without a horse or cow. A one-year-old child throws millstones across great distances, and a hawk swims across the Rhine. Fish create a ruckus that reaches the heavens, and honey flows like water from a valley atop a high mountain.

Unusual events continue as crows mow a meadow, gnats build a bridge, doves tear a wolf apart, children give birth to kids, and frogs thresh corn together. Mice consecrate a bishop, and cats claw out a bear’s tongue. A snail defeats two lions, a barber shaves a woman’s beard, and children order their mother to be quiet. Finally, greyhounds pull a mill from the water, a horse comments on the situation, other horses thresh corn, goats heat a stove, and a red cow places bread in the oven. The tale concludes as a rooster crows, marking the end of the story.

Informations for scientific analysis

Fairy tale statistics
NumberKHM 158
Aarne-Thompson-Uther-IndexATU Typ 1930
TranslationsDE, EN, DA, ES, PT, IT, JA, NL, PL, RU, TR, VI, ZH
Readability Index by Björnsson34.7
Flesch-Reading-Ease Index78.4
Flesch–Kincaid Grade-Level8.4
Gunning Fog Index10.5
Coleman–Liau Index7.9
SMOG Index7.6
Automated Readability Index9.8
Character Count1.804
Letter Count1.382
Sentence Count14
Word Count343
Average Words per Sentence24,50
Words with more than 6 letters35
Percentage of long words10.2%
Number of Syllables420
Average Syllables per Word1,22
Words with three Syllables8
Percentage Words with three Syllables2.3%
Questions, comments or experience reports?

Privacy policy.

The best fairy tales

Copyright © 2024 -   Imprint | Privacy policy |All rights reserved Powered by

Keine Internetverbindung

Sie sind nicht mit dem Internet verbunden. Bitte überprüfen Sie Ihre Netzwerkverbindung.

Versuchen Sie Folgendes:

  • 1. Prüfen Sie Ihr Netzwerkkabel, ihren Router oder Ihr Smartphone

  • 2. Aktivieren Sie ihre Mobile Daten -oder WLAN-Verbindung erneut

  • 3. Prüfen Sie das Signal an Ihrem Standort

  • 4. Führen Sie eine Netzwerkdiagnose durch