The Devil’s Magic Mill Part 2: The Greedy Brother

Remember our story of the poor brother who took a chunk of bacon to the Devil and received a magic mill? Read on, and we shall learn what became of his rich and miserly brother.

From where we last left off, the poor brother had invited everyone in his village to partake of their Christmas feast, all thanks to the magic mill. The rich brother looked over, and was surprised to see people entering his poor brother’s house and coming out looking rather satisfied and well-fed. Said the rich brother to his wife, “Would you look at that? This brother of mine doesn’t even have two red cents to rub together, and now he’s feeding people right off his table? Something strange is certainly going on!”

The rich man’s wife decided to look into the situation herself, and indeed, her poor brother-in-law was feeding guests hams and duck and roast boar, cheeses and ale, and all manner of delicious foods. The poor brother and his wife welcomed her, and told her of how they had come to acquire their good fortune.

The rich man’s wife hurriedly ran back to her husband, and whispered everything into his ear. His eyes grew large with greed, and he began to think that he absolutely must have that mill for himself.

The very next day, he went over to his poor brother’s house, threw an arm around him, and said with a large smile on his face, “Oh, my good and handsome brother! I’ve always admired what a kind and generous person you are, and surely Lady Luck smiles on you today. What is a small kindness between brothers? Perhaps you’d like to sell your mill to me for three hundred gold pieces?”

“Well,” said the poor brother, “the mill has been a big help to us. It’s almost done grinding out a lovely home for my wife and children and I to live in, and it has brought us so much to share and be content with. Let me share our happiness with you; take the magic mill with you so that you and your wife may also be happy.”

The rich brother ran home, avarice shining in his eyes. He laid the magic mill on the table, and commanded it to grind out mush and herring. Lo and behold, it did grind out much and herring, more mush and herring than he and his could eat together. “Hohoho! With this mill, I shall never have to spend a single penny on anything, and I shall stay a rich man until I die!”

The mill kept grinding out mush and herring,and the couple brought out basins to catch it in. the mill continued to grind, and the couple next brought out barrels to hold the food in. On it ground mush and herring, and the couple brought out their largest troughs. Soon, the house was bursting to the rafters of mush and herring, as the rich man did not know the words to make it stop.

He ran to his brother, and in a fit of rage, screamed “Confound that cursed mill! It kept grinding out mush and herring, mush and herring all day, and now the entire house stinks of spoilt fish! It will take a miracle to get the smell out in a week! Here, take back your worthless mill!”

So the magic mill was returned to the poor brother, who gently whispered the words to make it stop. Thus the mill did stop, and the miserly brother had to clean out the fishy slop in his home.


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