The Two Sisters Short Story
This 1922 tale, retold by Flora Annie Steel and illustrated by Arthur Rackham, tells of one good sister, one bad sister and one evil witch. The best part is, I read this story for free. You can find it on the American Literature website under the story’s title.
The Two Sisters
The sisters may look alike in physical appearance, but in personality, they are extremely different. The younger sister is sweet and good, the older sister is bitter and bad.
The story begins with the sisters talking about looking for a way to help their jobless father and household. The younger sister volunteers to look for work. During her search, she finds an oven filled with loaves of bread begging to be emptied, cows that desperately need milked, and an apple tree that can barely stand because of its heavy fruit. She helps out all three and then meets a witch who is looking for a maid. The witch promises the good sister fair wages.
The sister agrees to try the job and works hard. She has to dust, sweep, mop and keep the fireplace hearth clean. The witch warns her to never look up the chimney as something bad will happen to her. The good sister continues to work hard, but is never paid. Yet, she decides to stay and keep house for the witch.
One day, while the witch is gone, the sister is cleaning the hearth when soot begins to fall on her. By mere instinct, she looks up and a bag of gold coins falls into her lap. She takes the opportunity to leave her unpaid position and take the gold with her. As she is heading home, the witch begins to follow her. The good sister enlists the help of the apple tree, cows and bread oven to help hide from the witch and get home safely with the gold.
The bad sister is very jealous that her sister has brought home a bag of gold coins. She decides she will go out and find her own fortune. Along the way, she also encounters the bread oven, the cows, and the apples. However, she nastily declines to help any of them and instead heads off to find the witch. The sister becomes the witch’s maid, and as time passes by, she also finds a bag of gold coins. She leaves to go home, just like her sister.
The witch begins to hunt for her. The bad sister appeals to the apple tree for help in hiding from the witch. The apple tree refuses, remembering that the bad sister had earlier refused to help it.
How does it end? You can find out by searching and reading “The Two Sisters” on the American Literature website. It’s a free read and there are also other short stories.
It’s hard to believe that the first two months of fall are already behind us. I am really enjoying sharing stories and writing articles for all of you. Please stop by the Short Story forum with any comments or questions.
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