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Nose the Dwarf

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Nose the Dwarf

by W. Hauff

Genre: Fairy Tale
Setting: Europe
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


The old witch had robbed him of seven years of his youth, and what had he in exchange? What was it that he could polish slippers of cocoa-nut shell? that he could clean rooms with glass floors? that he had learned all the mysteries of cooking, from the guinea pigs? Thus he stood for some time meditating on his fate, when at length his father asked him–

“Do you want to purchase any thing, young gentleman? Perhaps a pair of new slippers or, peradventure, a case for your nose?” he added, smiling.

“What do you mean about my nose?” asked James; “why should I want a case for it?”

“Why,” replied the cobbler, “every one according to his taste; but I must tell you, that if I had such a terrible nose, I should have a case made for it of rose-coloured morocco. Look here, I have a beautiful piece that is just the thing; indeed we should at least want a yard for it. It would then be well guarded, my little gentleman; whereas now I am sure you will knock it against every door-post and carriage you would wish to avoid.”

The dwarf was struck dumb with terror; he felt his nose, it was full two hands long and thick in proportion. So then the old hag had likewise changed his person; and hence it was his mother did not know him, and people called him an ill-favoured dwarf.


A fanciful story full of magical transformations which at first appears to be a discussion of the relative values of beauty and knowledge/experience but doesn’t really pay off as such. This lesson is negated by a “happy ending” when he becomes handsome again. Probably doesn’t really have the makings of a musical.  (LTC)


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