1969 East German postage stamp which depicts the immobile Joringel, the witch and the transformed Jorinde.

"Jorinde and Joringel" (German: "Jorinde und Joringel"; also translated into English as "Jorinda and Joringel" and "Jorinda and Jorindel") is a German fairy tale. It is included in Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales), the 1812 anthology of German folktales compiled by the Brothers Grimm.

The story's two title characters are a young woman and a young man who are in love with each other. The plot is set in motion when they accidentally stray onto the property of a witch.[1] the witch punishes Jorinde for trespassing, as she has punished many young women before her, by turning her into a bird and keeping her caged in her castle. The witch punishes Joringel, as she punishes all young men who trespass onto her property, by casting a spell on him that makes him temporarily unable to move. Joringel is greatly saddened by the loss of his sweetheart. After some time, he has a dream in which he learns how he can make Jorinde human again.

Although it is not among the best known of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales in the English-speaking world, "Jorinde and Joringel" has been adapted to other media multiple times. Many of those adaptations were produced in Germany.


The immobile Joringel watches while the witch takes away the transformed Jorinde. Early 20th century illustration by the German artist Heinrich Vogeler.

A witch[1] lives in a castle in the forest. She punishes any young man who comes within a hundred paces of her castle by casting a spell on him that makes him unable to move until she chooses to release him. She punishes any young woman who comes too close to her castle by changing her into a bird. The witch then takes the bird and keeps it in a cage. She has some seven hundred caged birds in her castle.

The young woman Jorinde and the young man Joringel are soon to be married. They go out together for a long walk in the forest one day. They know about the witch's castle and try to avoid going too near to it. As evening approaches, they realize that they are lost and try to head home, uncertain of which path to take. Joringel is then horrified to find out that they are right next to the wall of the witch's castle. Jorrinde suddenly changes into a nightingale and Joringel finds that he cannot move. The witch takes the transformed Jorinde away. After some time, she comes back and lifts the spell she cast on Joringel. He begs the witch to return Jorinde to him. She simply laughs and says that he will never see his sweetheart again.

Not wanting to return home, Joringel goes to another village and finds work as a shepherd. After some time, he has a dream in which he finds a purple flower that has a pearl inside it. He takes the flower to the witch's castle. The witch's spell is lifted from everything he touches with the flower and he returns Jorinde to human form.

1969 East German postage stamp that depicts Joringel using the magical flower to protect himself from the witch.

When he wakes up, Joringel looks for a flower like the one he saw in his dream. After searching for eight days, he eventually finds a purple flower with a dewdrop the size of a pearl inside it. Joringel picks the flower and goes to the witch's castle. The flower's magical protection stops him from being immobilized when he comes within a hundred paces of the building. The castle door opens when Joringel touches it once with the flower. Joringel finds the room in the castle where the witch is with her seven hundred caged birds. The witch is furious that Joringel has entered her home but the flower's magical protection stops her from getting near enough to him to do him any harm. Joringel does not know which of the many nightingales is Jorinde. He then sees the witch trying to take one cage out of the room. He knows that the bird in it is Jorinde. He touches the cage with the flower and Jorinde becomes human again.

Joringel goes on to touch all of the other birds with the flower. They all become human again too. Jorinde and Joringel return home, marry soon afterwards and live happily together for many years.


The first screen adaptation of "Jorinde and Joringel" was a 1920 German silent animated cartoon that is now believed to be lost. The fairy tale was also adapted as a 1968 live-action German feature film and as a ten-minute animated film that was produced in the Netherlands in 1978. The American director Lisa Hammer adapted the story as a thirty-minute silent black and white film that was released in 1995.

A twenty-minute stop-motion animation version of "Jorinde and Joringel" was filmed for East German television in 1957. The story was adapted as the seventeenth episode of the first season of the anime series Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics (Japanese: グリム名作劇場; Gurimu Meisaku Gekijō), first shown on TV Asahi in Japan on February 10, 1988, and as the twenty-fourth episode of the third season of the German animated series Simsala Grimm, first shown on the channel Kindercanal in Germany on December 29, 2010. A sixty-minute live-action TV movie based on "Jorinde and Joringel" first aired on the ARD network in Germany on December 25, 2011.

The German dramatist Hans Schönfeld adapted "Jorinde and Joringel" as a stage play that was first performed in 1930.

The German composer Günter Bialas adapted the fairy tale as an opera that was first performed in 1963.


  1. 1.0 1.1 In some English translations, the words "old fairy" are used instead of 'witch". The Brothers Grimm's original German text simply reads alte Frau ("old woman").

External links

  • Versions of "Jorinde and Joringel" in German and English on Wikisource.
  • Public domain audiobooks of "Jorinde and Joringel" in German and English on YouTube.
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