“...that’s how all the good ones begin.”
Jacob laughed, “Is that right? Then please, continue...”
“Once upon a time,” Henriette began again, and Jacob sat enthralled as she relayed a tale filled with wicked stepmothers and princes and magical beasts. She’d just finished with the accustomed “and they lived the rest of their days in peace” when the pharmacist returned from the back of the shop with a small bag.
“Here you are, Jacob, I hope my daughter hasn’t been trying your patience with her stories.”
“Quite the contrary, sir,” Jacob replied with a hint of excitement, “Where on earth does she learn all these tales?”
“This is the only pharmacy around. Every peasant with a hole in his pocket eventually finds his way in here, and as you can tell, little Henriette is anything but shy. Now be sure your mama gets this and I pray she gets back on her feet soon. Just... just pay me when you can, Jacob, I know you and your brother have a lot on your plate since your papa died.”
As Jacob departed, he swung the door open wide, revealing his brother Wilhelm waiting quietly outside. He glanced in at Henriette as the door began its arc and took a second longer look before it closed again.
“Sorry to take so long,” Jacob explained, “but the girl in there told me a most fabulous story...”
The orphans were to make success stories of their own lives and become well-known among their countrymen, as linguists and for the massive dictionary they produced. And before Jacob died on September 20, 1863, he paid the pharamacist his debt. Wilhelm, on the other hand, married young Henriette Wild, who grew to be the greatest source of what truly made the pair world-famous, as the Brothers Grimm.