Mother Holle, Inspiration #DealMeIn2018

I cheated this week: I wanted to read a fairy tale, so I found a diamond in my Deal Me In deck of cards and dealt it to myself.

And what should be my delight when I pulled out a fairy book in the dark and opened it to “Mother Holle”! Mother Holle was the inspiration for Moder Zglaria, one of the major characters in my SAGE trilogy! By “inspiration,” I mean I thought of the story because I love love love it, but everything took off differently. But Moder Zglaria was inspired by Mother Holle.


Mother Holle

collected by the brothers Grimm

Uncharacteristically for the stereotype the Grimms have earned themselves, nobody in this story is murdered, dismembered, or fed the flesh of their near relatives.

A beautiful, hard-working, badly used girl drops her spindle into the well. Scolded by her Wicked Stepmother, she throws herself into the well after it. She finds herself in a beautiful land. After showing kindness to bread and apples, she goes to work as a maid for a frightening-looking old woman (Mother Holle). She works well, and is given a reward when she leaves to return home.

Her ugly, lazy, pampered step-sister jumps down the well, hoping to get the same reward. Her bad behavior wins her a punishment, instead. Surprisingly, agony doesn’t seem to be involved.

I’ve read longer versions of this bare-bones story, but I like this shorter one best. It focuses of the characters of the two girls, while the longer ones make it about how they appeal to men.

So happy I dealt this one to myself!

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about somebody cheating at cards.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Mother Holle, Inspiration #DealMeIn2018

  1. Jay A Carr

    October 8, 2018 at 9:29am

    Your incident of cheating has been reported to the Deal Me In Ethics Oversight Committee. Stacking the deck is strictly forbidden! 🙂 Not really.

    I have the complete Brothers Grimm, and I will have to check this one out.

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