Once upon a time, there were two daughters, Hennie and Hanneke, who lived in a house with their mother. Hennie was always lazy and hated having to help, whilst Hanneke was sweet and hard-working.
Then, one afternoon when Hanneke was spinning with her spinning wheel next to the well, she began to cry. Her tears blurred what she was doing and she dropped her spool down the well by accident. It slipped out of her hands... and “Oh no!” she cried. As she was trying to reach into the well, she lost her balance and fell.
Hanneke landed in a field. There was a small little house and bakers. As she walked past she could hear tiny voices. “Quick, quick, take us out before we burn!” It was the bread buns in the oven that were ready to come out. So Hanneke took them out. Then she walked past a talking tree; “Little girl, will you pick some of my apples? My branches are awfully heavy,” the tree asked. “Of course,” said Hanneke, and helped the tree by picking some of its apples.
When she got to the small little house, she heard someone shout out “Hello there! I’m Mother Holle. Would you like to come and stay with me for a while? I could use the help.” So she did. “You will have to shake my duvet every day until the feathers start to fall out,” she told Hanneke, “and when you do, you will make the snow fall somewhere on earth.”
But after a while, Hanneke started to get homesick and left Mother Holle’s house to go home. Mother Holle gave her bags and bags of gold as a reward and when she got home, her mother was very pleased to see her. Her sister Hennie on the other hand was only jealous. “I think I might jump in the well,” Hennie thought. “What an easy way to get rich!” The question remains, whether lazy little girls like Hennie will get the same reward from Mother Holle as helpful little girls like Hanneke......?
Mother Holle’s well was one of the first attractions in the Fairytale Forest when the park opened in 1952. Mother Holle was added to the attraction for the Winter Efteling of 2006-2007. She hangs out of the window of her cottage, shaking snow out of her duvet.
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