There was once a woman who had two daughters: Mina and Rita. Mina was lazy and selfish, while Rita was sweet and hard-working. 

One afternoon Rita sat silently crying by the well. She was working on a spinning wheel but couldn’t see what she was doing very well through her tears. Suddenly, one of the spindles from the spinning wheel slipped out of her hand and fell into the well. Rita bent over to look down, lost her balance and fell in too. Strangely enough, she found herself in a beautiful meadow. As she strolled through the meadow looking for the lost spindle, she came across a house with a bread oven built on the side. As she passed it she heard voices. “We soon will burn, that’s why we shout, please hurry up and take us out!” It was the loaves calling as they baked in the oven. Rita quickly removed the loaves from the oven and went on her way. A little further along, she came across a tree. “We’re already ripe, that’s why we call, please pick us quick, or else we’ll fall!” It was the tree’s apples calling and Rita was more than happy to help again. 

Then she came to a house. “Hello, I’m Mother Holle, would you like to stay with me for a while? I could use the help.” Rita decided to help the old woman too. “All that I ask is that you shake out my bedclothes and pillow each day, until the feathers fly. When that happens, it will snow somewhere on earth.” After staying a while, Rita started to feel homesick and returned home. As a reward for her care and attention, the old woman showered her with gold. Her mother was very pleased to see Rita return home but her lazy sister was jealous. The following day Mina decided that she would also jump into the well. What an easy way to get rich! But would such a lazy girl as her receive the same reward from Mother Holle?

In the enchanting Marerijk


You’ll find Mother Holle here. Paper maps are available at the entrance of the Efteling.

Discover more fairytales

Enjoy the park for another day


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