Literature:The Tale of the Three Brothers

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The Tale of the Three Brothers was a fairy tale often told to wizarding children in the Wizarding World created by author JK Rowling for the Harry Potter book series. Believed to be written by Beedle the Bard, it was published as part of a collection of his works called The Tales of Beedle the Bard. While most wizards viewed this story as one that taught children morals, such as humility and wisdom, others believed that the story referred to the Deathly Hallows, three highly powerful magical artefacts coveted by generations of wizards.

Many also believed that the three Peverell brothers were the inspiration for the story and that they first obtained the artefacts known as the Hallows. Anyone who managed to possess all three hallows was said to be a Master of Death.


The Tale of the Three Brothers


Three brothers, traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight reached a deep treacherous river where anyone who attempted to swim or wade would drown. Learned in the magical arts, the brothers conjured a bridge with their wands and proceed to cross.

Halfway through the bridge, a hooded figure stood before them. The figure was the enraged spirit of Death, cheated of his due. Death cunningly pretended to congratulate them and proceeds to award them with gifts of their own choosing.

The eldest brother, a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence. Death granted his wish by fashioning the Elder Wand from a branch of a nearby elder tree standing on the banks of the river. The second brother, an arrogant man, chose to further humiliate death and asked for the power to recall the deceased from the grave. Death granted his wish by crafting the Resurrection Stone from a stone picked from the riverbank. The third and youngest brother, who was the most humble and wise, did not trust Death and asked for something to enable him to go forth without Death being able to follow. A reluctant Death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Invisibility Cloak.

The three brothers took their prizes and soon went on their separate ways.

The eldest brother traveled to a village where a wizard whom he had quarreled lived. He sought out a duel and fought the wizard using the wand, instantly killing the latter.

Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the eldest brother walked to an inn not far from the dueling site and spent the night there. Taken by his conscience and lust of the Elder Wand's power, the eldest brother boasted of this wand gifted by Death and his own invincibility.

That very night, Death transfigured to a murderous wizard. The unknown murderous wizard crept to the inn as the eldest brother slept, drunk from wine. The wizard slit the oldest brother’s throat for good measure and stole the wand. That was when Death took the first brother.

The second brother returned to his home where he lived alone. Turning the stone thrice in his hand the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him, much to his delight. Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally, the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, committed suicide by hanging from his house' balcony so as truly to join her. That was when Death took the second brother for his own.

Death searched for the youngest brother as years past but never succeeded. It was only when the third brother reached a great age, he took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. Greeting Death as an old friend, they departed this life as equals.


Þree brøðere, ðe andlang eener eensamer, gewundener gate at tweelight sanþen, orreghten een deup, drygig flood, in hwelke jeeðereen, ðe forsoghte te swimmen oðe te waden, ordrænke. Ðe in ðe tooverigen kynste orlernden brøðere gookelden eene brygge mid sijne tooverstaves, and traden forþ, um ðe brygge te þweren.

Halfweg ður ðe brygge stood een forhooded skap fore him. Ðet skap was ðe wødende geest ðes Døþes, ðe um sijne skyld bedrogen was. Ðe Døþ deeg sløglijk, hir te herren, and belønde si hir ðan mid geskenke heres eegenen kyrs.

Ðe ældeste broðer, een gefeghtig mann, bad um een tooverstaf mæghtiger ðan alle beståenden anðeren. Ðe Døþ orfuldte his wynsk, ðarto hywde hi ðe eldernene staf out een twijg eenes nåbøjriges eldernbooms, ðe an ðe oover ðes floods stood. Ðe tweede broðer, een overheflijk mann, besloot, ðe Døþ nogh wijder te hønen, and bad um ðe maght, ðe forstorvenen out ðe graf tebakteholen. Ðe Døþ orfuldte his wynsk, ðarto handmakte hi ðe orriststeen out een fråm ðe floodoover gepikt steen. Ðe þridde and jyngeste broðer, ðe ðe meeste beskeedene and wijseste was, trostete ðe Døþ neet, and bad um somþing, ðet hin ormyglijken wolde, forþtegån, åne ðat ðe Døþ hin folgen kynde. Een wiðerwillig Døþ overgaf sijn eegen unsightbarheedshakel.

Ðe þree brøðere tooken sijne nåmer, and gingen sån an getrande wegs.

Ðe ældeste broðer sanþ to een þorp, hwar een tooverer livede, mid hwelke hi sig gestriden hadde. Hi soghte een tweefyght out, and faght ðe tooverer mid ðe staf, ðarður dodde hi ðise soforþ.

Ðe ældeste broðer let sijn fiend dood up ðe bodem liggen, ging to een gasthous unfer ðes tweefyghtsteds, and spandte ðe naght ðar. Fan sijn gewiten and sijn gråd af ðe maght ðes eldernenen stafs orgripen, galp ðe ældeste broðer mid ðis fan ðe Døþ geskenkte tooverstaf and sijn eegene unsigerbarheed.

Ðiser selfen naght forwandelde sig ðe Døþ in een mørþerig tooverer. Ðe unbekande mørþerige tooverer sleek to ðe gasthous, als ðe ældeste broðer, fråm wijn gedrunken, slep. Ðe tooverer sleet for sykerheed ðe þrote ðes ældesten broðers, and stal ðe tooverstaf. Ðens took ðe Døþ ðe eerste broðer.

Ðe tweede broðer ging to sijn hous tebak, hwar hi alleen livede. Als hi ðe steen þrees in sijne hand þrew, orskeen to hise groote blisse soforþ ðet skap ðer mægd, ðe hi fore her frøwe døþ gehopt hadde, te hijreden. Jeðough was si drørig and kåld, als ður een slør fråm him getrand. Ofwell si to ðe werld ðer sterflijken tebakgegangen was, gehørde si neet wirkelijk ðarin, and leeþ. Ðe tweede broðer, ðe fan hoplose langing to sinnsyght gedriven was, beging slietlijk selfsmorþ, ðarður heng hi sig fråm ðe balkenhoog sijnes houses, um hee wirkelijk te eddrepen. Ðens took ðe Døþ ðe tweede broðer for sig.

Ðe Døþ soghte ðe jyngeste broðer, als jære orgingen, meden orfolgde neewe. Nor als ðe þridde broðer een hoogh ålder orreghte, took hi ðe unsightbarheedshakel af, and gaf hit to sijn soon. Hi grotte ðe Døþ als een åld friend, and si forleten ðis lijf als gelijken.