Spanish Fairy Tales | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in August 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

King’s Power, The

THERE was once a miller who was very anxious to grow rich; thus it was, that when he began to work the stones of his mill, he repeated without ceasing at every stroke,—

“Grind, grind,
Until I grow rich.”


                It so happened that the king was one day passing by, and he asked what it was that he was saying; to which he replied, that in his anxiety to emerge from poverty, he was accustomed to say,—

“Grind, grind,
Until I grow rich.”

                When the king returned to his palace he ordered a very large cake to be made and filled with silver coins, and then sent it to the miller. When the miller saw it, he said to his wife:—

                “Wife, let us send this cake to our landlord, who has often done us good service, and may favour us still more hereafter.”

                And so they sent it.

                “After some few days the king again passed by, and found the miller in the same state, and as poor as he had been on the first occasion. He was working his stone, and singing,—

“Grind, grind,
Until I grow rich.”


                “Did you not receive the cake I ordered to be sent to you?” inquired the king.

                “Yes, my lord,” replied the miller; “but your Majesty must know that I have a landlord who has shown me favour, and with a view of increasing his goodwill, I sent it to him.”

                “One can see,” said the king, “that he who is born to be poor will be poor to the end. You must know, man, that the cake which I sent you was filled with silver coins.”

                When he heard this, the miller became desperate and tore his hair.

                “Do not be afflicted,” said the king; “if I do not make you rich, my power is small indeed.” When he had said that, the king returned to his palace and ordered a cake full of gold coin to be sent to the miller.

                After a short time the king again passed by the mill, and was much pleased to see that it was all newly decorated and repaired; but when he approached close to the handsome building he heard bitter weeping inside. He Inquired the cause, and was informed that the miller had died that night, and that, extraordinary to relate, he had a paper, which no one was able to withdraw, clutched in his hand. Then the king entered the chamber in which the deceased was; the poor man was extended on his bier, and held the paper, that no one had been able to take from him, with the rigidity of death; but as soon as the king approached it dropped on the floor. The king took up the paper and read these words written upon it,—

“I wished him poor,
Thou wished him rich,
Resuscitate him if thou art able.”

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: King’s Power, The
Tale Author/Editor: Caballero, Fernan
Book Title: Spanish Fairy Tales
Book Author/Editor: Caballero, Fernan
Publisher: International Book Company
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1920
Country of Origin: Spain
Classification: ATU 754: Lucky Poverty

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