The Old Man and His Grandson

Fairy tales the old man and his grandson brothers grimm illustration
A little boy's parents treat his grandfather terribly... until the parents realise an important lesson.
The Old Man and His Grandson

 

This is a vintage fairy tale, and may contain violence. We would encourage parents to read beforehand  if your child is sensitive to such themes.

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There was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son’s wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they brought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.

They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. ‘What are you doing there?’ asked the father. ‘I am making a little trough,’ answered the child, ‘for father and mother to eat out of when I am big.’

The man and his wife looked at each other for a while, and presently began to cry. Then they took the old grandfather to the table, and henceforth always let him eat with them, and likewise said nothing if he did spill a little of anything.

FAIRY TALE WRITTEN BY THE BROTHERS GRIMM

Header illustration by Pixabay

LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE STORIES ~ IDEAS FOR TALKING WITH KIDS

Empathy

1. Why do you think the parents had a change of heart about how they treated the boy’s grandfather when they saw what he was doing?

2. What do you think this little story tells us about the way we should treat others?

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