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A fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.


There was once a very old man, whose eyes had grown dim, his ears deaf, and his knees shaky. Whenever he sat down at the table he could hardly hold the spoon; he spilt broth upon the tablecloth and let it flow from his mouth.

The man's son and his wife found him disgusting, and so they always forced the old man to sit behind the stove in the corner. They gave him his dinner in an earthenware bowl and, on top of that, not enough; and there he would sorrowfully sit, looking at the table with tears in his eyes.

And one day his trembling hands could not hold the bowl steady, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. They then bought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pennies, from which he had to eat.

They were sitting thus when the little four year-old grandson gathered together some planks of wood on the ground.
"What are you doing?" asked the father.
"I am making a small trough," answered the child, "from which Father and Mother should eat, when I am big."

Then the man and wife looked at each other for a while, and eventually began to cry. They brought the old grandfather to the table and from then on always let him eat with them, and said nothing if he spilt a little.

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