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The Cold Heart

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The Cold Heart

by Wilhelm Hauff

Genre: Fairy Tale
Format of Original Source: Novella
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


It is but a short time ago that the belief in hobgoblins of the wood prevailed among the inhabitants, this foolish superstition having been eradicated only in modern times. But the singularity about these hobgoblins who are said to haunt the Schwarzwald, is, that they also wear the different costumes of the people. Thus it is affirmed of the Glass-mannikin, a kind little sprite three feet and a half high, that he never shows himself except in a painted little hat with a broad brim, a doublet, white trousers, and red stockings; while Dutch Michel, who haunts the other side of the forest, is said to be a gigantic, broad-shouldered fellow wearing the dress of a raftsman; and many who have seen him say they would not like to pay for the calves whose hides it would require to make one pair of his boots, affirming that, without exaggeration, a man of the middle height may stand in one of them with his head only just peeping out.

The following strange adventure with these spirits is said to have once befallen a young Schwarzwälder.


A true fairy tale with a moral, enchanted woods, and fairy folk who are fabled to give those who seek them and know the proper verses riches, etc.. Peter Monk is a poor young man that seeks a different life than that of a coal burner, and goes to the forest to meet with a fabled creature known to give wealth. There may be something here for a short musical, with a moral to the story. It also may make an interesting one-act or children’s musical, but you’d probably want to find some ways to bring more fun to the story.


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