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The Little Shroud

Source: Folk-lore And Legends: German

There was once a woman who had a little son of about seven years old,
who was so lovely and beautiful that no one could look upon him
without being kind to him, and he was dearer to her than all the world
beside. It happened that he suddenly fell ill and died, and his mother
would not be comforted, but wept for him day and night. Shortly after
he was buried he showed himself at night in the places where he had
been used in his lifetime to sit and play, and if his mother wept, he
wept also, and when the morning came he departed. Since his mother
never ceased weeping, the child came one night in the little white
shroud in which he had been laid in his coffin, and with the chaplet
upon his head, and seating himself at her feet, upon the bed, he

"O mother, mother, give over crying, else I cannot stop in my coffin,
for my shroud is never dry because of your tears, for they fall upon

When his mother heard this she was sore afraid, and wept no more. And
the babe came upon another night, holding in his hand a little taper,
and he said--

"Look, mother, my shroud is now quite dry, and I can rest in my

Then she bowed to the will of Providence, and bore her sorrow with
silence and patience, and the little child returned not again, but
slept in his underground bed.

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