There was once a poor miller. His wife had died but he had a sweet, kind daughter. The miller’s greatest wish was that his daughter should no longer live in poverty.
One day the king visited the miller’s village in search of a wife. The poor man grabbed his chance. “Your Majesty, don’t you find my daughter beautiful?” he asked, adding that his daughter could spin gold from straw, which he knew would please the king. The following day the girl was summoned to the palace. She was immediately shown to a room with a spinning wheel and a bale of straw. “You have until tomorrow morning to spin that bale into gold,” she was told. “If you fail, you will be locked in here forever.” The girl cried in despair. Suddenly, she heard a strange sound. Crrreeeaak... A secret door opened in the corner of the room, from which a strange little man appeared. “I can help you,” said the little man and he began to spin.
At first the little man spun gold from straw for the girl in return for pieces of jewellery, but she soon ran out of those. The little man then asked for a child in return for his services. But the girl had no child to give. “No,” said the little man, “I want the child you will have once you are queen.” The girl had not yet entertained the idea of having children, so she agreed. Thanks to the little man’s help the girl did, indeed, become queen and... bore a child. One terrible day the little man arrived to claim his reward. The queen was in floods of tears and she was given one chance to get out of her promise. “If you can guess my name within three days, you may keep your child,” said the little man. Would the queen be able to find out his name?