The Legend of the Stone Cutter
was originally written by the brothers Grimm & retold by Mike Koontz.
UHD book reading video TBA
Short story ( coffee break bite )
It weaves the tale of a poor man, plagued with unhappiness for his own lot in life. This man worked as a highly skilled but poorly paid stonecutter, and one day he simply came to the conclusion that enough was enough and that he deserved so much more than who he was. His wish for transformative change came to be through the aid of a supernatural being, and with that his greedy appetite for a world of ever more was awoken, until one day he had come full circle and reached a state of peace with himself.
Written by no one, and everyone.
Before this slightly altered version, the German authors Brothers Grimm put their thoughts to the pen, but you also had the Scottish author Andrew Lang writing his very own version of the stone cutter. And there have been countless of Asian authors and Nordic ones throughout history, before and after the Brothers Grimm. And as such, I am sure, many others that told their own version of this old folktale, because like the wind, this is an ageless story about life and man, and like the wind I am sure that it will both transform and stay the same for thousands of years to come.
Enjoy the read!.
Photography and web adaptation and minor writing by Mike Koontz
2017, a Norse View Imaging and Publishing
Music of the day
The Colours of the cosmos by Mors Principium Est
To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration
The stonecutter by Grimm
Chapter two, The tree and I
Watch & listen to this book, or continue reading at your leisure
The stone cutter
On the shores of an unknown land once upon a time there lived a stone-cutter, who went every day to a great rock in the side of a big mountain and carved and cut slabs of stones for gravestones or for houses.
He understood very well the kinds of stones wanted for the different purposes, and as he was a careful workman he had plenty of customers.
For a long time he was quite happy and contented, and asked for nothing better than what he had.
Now in the mountain dwelt a spirit which now and then appeared to men, and at times helped them in strange ways to become rich and prosperous. Some thought that it might in fact be one of the powerful norns whom had travelled through the well of Urd and climbed the roots of Yggdrasil down to the realm of men and now took joy in the direct meddling of peoples life and destiny.
The stone-cutter, however, had never seen this wayward spirit, and only shook his head, with an unbelieving air, when people took turn to talk of it.
But a time was coming when he learned to change his opinion, and perhaps that was by design.
One day the stone-cutter carried a gravestone to the house of a rich man, and saw there all sorts of beautiful things, of which he had never even dreamed.
Suddenly his own daily work seemed to grow so much harder and heavier, dull and pointless, and he said to himself:
‘Oh, if only I were a rich man, and could sleep in a bed with silken curtains and golden tassels, how happy I should be with naked servants and fresh fruit all day!’
And out of the blue, a voice answered him from the void that hides within the clouds and the flowers, the mountain and the creek: ‘Your wish is heard; a rich man you shall be!’
At the sound of the voice the stone-cutter looked round, but could see nobody.
He thought at first that it was all his own fancy, and so he picked up his tools and went home, thinking no more of that strange voice for he did not feel at all inclined to do any more work that day.
But when he reached the little house where he lived, he came to an abrupt halt and stood completely frozen with amazement, for instead of his wooden hut placed in front of him was a stately palace filled with splendid furniture, and most outrageous of all was the bed, in every respect like the one he had envied the most grand of all kings to rest upon.
He was nearly beside himself with joy, and in the richness of his new life the financial hardship and simplicity of the old one was soon forgotten.
It was not long until it was the beginning of summer, and with each day the sun blazed ever more fiercely.
One particular morning the heat was so excruciating that the stone-cutter could scarcely breathe, and he determined he would simply stay put at home till the shade of the evening had made life more tolerable.
By now the richest stonecutter in the world was by now feeling rather bored with everything, for he had never truly learned how to amuse himself or to see the beauty of the moment, just the way it unfolded, and so, he spent his day home by peeping through the closed blinds to see what was going on outside in the street, when a little carriage passed by, drawn by servants dressed in blue and silver and hues of gold.
In the carriage sat a prince, and over his head a golden laced umbrella was held, to protect him from the sun’s rays.
It was the year
with the moving
of a brand new day" ]
‘Oh, if I were only that prince!’ said the stone-cutter to himself, as the carriage vanished round the corner.
‘Oh, if I were only a prince like him, and could travel in such a carriage and have a golden umbrella held over me by servants that would attend my every whim and desire, how happy I should be!’
And the voice of the mountain spirit answered: ‘Your wish is heard; an even richer prince you shall be.’
And as you might have guessed, a prince he soon was. And not just a prince, but so mighty and rich that he could hardly wish for anything.
And whenever he would leave his new palace, he would travel through the streets in a man drawn carriage, and before his carriage rode a company of body guards, and another behind it; all while servants dressed in scarlet and gold bore his carriage along, the coveted umbrella was held over his head by the most gorgeous girl you ever could imagine, and finally, everything his heart had ever coveted was his.
But yet it was not enough for our new prince.
He looked round in life, ever aching for something new to wish for, and when he saw that in spite of the water he poured on his grass the rays of the sun still scorched it, and that in spite of the umbrella held over his head each day his face grew browner and browner, he cried out in all his pent up anger.
‘The sun is mightier than I; oh, if I were only the sun!’
And the mountain spirit answered perhaps in glee, or could it really be that such a powerful spirit found joy in fulfilling this petulent mans every wish?
'Your wish is heard; the sun you shall be.’
And the sun he was, as outrageous as that might sound, the entire world woke up one day with a second sun beaming its fierce warmth and proud beauty upon the world, and our second sun felt proud beyond words in his life giving powers.
He shot his beams above and below, on earth and all across the universe; he burnt the grass in the fields and scorched the faces of princes as well as of all the poorer folk.
He burned entire river beds to desolated fields and soon had turned every city into desolated desert beds.
But despite his all encompassing hold on all of life, in just a few days time he seemed to grow tired of all his might, for there seemed nothing left for him to do now that every man and animal knew his might and every river bed had been burned away leaving behind nothing but cracked and chiselled mud.
Discontent once more filled his empty soul, and so when a cloud appeared out of the blue and quite coy covered his scorching hot face, and hid the earth from him, provoking rain and moist he once again cried in anger:
‘Does the cloud hold captive my rays, and is it mightier than I? Oh, that I were a cloud, and mightier than the sun itself!’
And the mountain spirit answered: ‘Your wish is heard my fool; a cloud you now shall be!’
And before we knew it, a cloud he was, and he found himself to lay quite happily between the lonesome sun and the apocalyptically heated earth.
He proceeded with perfect joy to capture the sun’s beams and he held them, and to his joy the earth grew green once more, and flowers and rivers, and entire oceans blossomed once again.
But that was not enough for him.
And for days and weeks he poured forth rain till the rivers overflowed their banks, and the crops of rice and apples, potatoes and wheat stood submerged in water.
Our ambitious cloud ventured forth and allowed entire oceans of water to flood the earth, and soon towns and villages were destroyed by the power of his endless rain, until one day, only the great rock on the mountain side remained above the water.
The cloud now tired from all the rain and floods he had created was amazed at the sight, and cried in wonder.
‘Is the rock, then, mightier than I? Oh, if I were only the rock!’
And the mountain spirit answered: ‘Your wish is heard and soon your circle is all complete; the rock you shall be!
Better than all, strength beyond strength.
And now the rock he had become, and he gloried in his unyielding power.
Proudly he stood, as tall as any mountain had ever been, mightier than even Mt. Everest, and neither the heat of the sun nor the force of the rain could move him even the slightest.
‘This is better than all!’ he said to himself. His voice raptured the world and sent tsunamis across the entire world for it was just that strong.
But one day he heard a strange noise like ants feasting on plants and this strange nagging sound originated at his own feet, and when he looked down to see what it could be, he saw a tiny stone-cutter driving tools into his stone like flesh and surface.
Even while he looked in shock and awe a trembling feeling ran all through him, and soon a great block broke off and fell upon the ground. The Earth shivered as clouds of dust rose up.
And the mountain cried in all his wrath.
‘Is a mere man child of earth mightier than a rock? Oh, if I were only a man!’
And the mountain spirit answered: ‘Your wish is heard. A man once more you shall be!’
And once more, a man he was, and in the sweat of his brow he soon toiled again at his trade of stone-cutting. Because that was what he knew and more importantly, a stone cutter was truly his own intended nature.
His bed was perhaps a bit hard and his food quite a bit more scanty compared to the luxuary of the prince and the burning sun, and his clothes where not as clean and fancy as the stuff that kings would use, but he had learned to be satisfied with life´s own beauty, and did not long anymore to be something or somebody else than the man he truly had come to be.
And as he never again asked for things he did not need, or desired to be greater and mightier than other people, he was surprised to notice one day that he was perfectly happy at last, and for some unknown reason he never again heard the voice of the mountain spirit.
This age old story contains quite a lot of wisdom. The wisdom of becoming mature enough to see the real worth and joy of life and each given moment.
The wisdom of progress and evolution, nothing truly stay the same and we all evolve and grow, and change over time even tho that life long journey will take us on both grand adventures and slippery slopes.
But there is also the wisdom that while things will always change what actually matters for each individuals own happiness and life fulfilment is who you are deep down. There is no point in thriving for things and power that you truly do not need and must have. The life fulfilling joy does not live inside of wealth and things, nor does it hide inside of depriving yourself and others from who each individual truly is, a life fulfilled comes from the things and needs, the joy and desires that is 100% you. And in my own opinion, that is the simplicity and beauty of this story because that is how life really is, and that will always hold true for all of us no matter how we might interpret this story and the truth and seeds of life itself.
a Norse View Imaging and Publishing
a Norse View, Mike Koontz
'The Legend of the Stonecutter', A slightly altered tale based on the version that was written by the brothers Grimm.
Thank you for reading.