Hans My Hedgehog

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"Hans My Hedgehog", or "Hans the Hedgehog", or "Hans Mein Igel", is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. Since the second edition published in 1819, it has been recorded as Tale no. 108.[1]


A wealthy but childless merchant wishes he had a child, even a hedgehog. He comes home to find that his wife has given birth to a baby boy that is a hedgehog from the waist up.

After eight years, the merchant goes to a fair and asks everyone in the household what they want. Hans My Hedgehog asks for bagpipes, and when he receives them, asks his father to have the cock shod so he can ride off to seek his fortune.

When he gets them, he goes off into the woods and watches over his donkeys and pigs. A king, lost in the woods, hears him playing the bagpipes, and Hans My Hedgehog promises to show him the way home in return for whatever first meets him when he returns. The king promises. But realizing that Hans My Hedgehog cannot read, the King writes down instead that Hans My Hedgehog should receive nothing which he is glad of when he returns and it is his daughter. She is glad of it too. A second king is also lost and he does write down the promise and his daughter, on hearing of it, gives her promise that she will obey.

In time, Hans My Hedgehog goes to claim his promises. The first king attempts to withhold his daughter, but Hans forces him to yield her and then takes her off. Hans forces her to take off her clothing, pierces her all over until she bleeds, and sends her back to her father. The second king agrees to the marriage, the princess holds herself bound by her promise and Hans My Hedgehog promises her that his prickles will not harm her. Then he tells the king on their wedding night, he should build a big fire. When Hans takes off his hedgehog skin, the second king should have four servants burn it. They do this and Hans My Hedgehog becomes a handsome young man.

In other media[edit]

Children's books[edit]

  • It was adapted into a children's book in 2012. The book is titled Hans My Hedgehog and is written by Kate Coombs and illustrated by John Nickle. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers and has the ISBN 978-1416915331.


Video game[edit]

  • In the 2013 Shining Ark RPG published by SEGA, Hans Dinkel[2] was based on Hans from the Hans My Hedgehog (Hans Mein Igel) story. The name Hans Dinkel (ハンスディンケル) is a pun on the Japanese katakanas for Hans Mein Igel (ハンスマインイーゲル). He resembled a middle age human version of SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog, along with his (former) Master of Adventurer occupation. His teenage daughter, Alice[3] (written as Arice in the url address), was styled after Alice from Alice in Wonderland; who acted as the hostess of his tavern, where the Player as Fried can look for further quests.

See also[edit]