The Miller's Daughter
adapted by Chantal Bilodeau,
based on "The Girl Without Hands" by the
This play was originally
published as part of the Grimm compilation
The Real Stories of the Brothers
Grimm (2008), edited by George Larkin. This play is available for
performance independently or as part of this collection as a whole.
A miller is offered wealth by the devil in
exchange for what stands behind his mill. Thinking it is an apple tree, the
miller agrees to the trade only to discover he has surrendered his daughter.
But when the devil comes to claim his prize, the daughter has kept so clean
that he is unable to take her. Even after he forces the father to chop off
the girl’s hands, her tears keep her clean and he still cannot take her.
Free but bereft, the daughter sets out into the world and meets a king who
falls in love with her. After the king is called to war, the new queen gives
birth to a son. The devil reappears and, pretending to bring a letter from
the king, demands that the queen be killed. The queen manages to escape.
When the king returns and discovers that his wife and son are gone, he sets
out to find them and for seven years, searches without rest. Then one day,
an angel reunites them. His wife and son are safe and God has returned the
queen’s natural hands.
Cast of Characters
NOTE: The chorus is used to create the environment—
including all the sounds— around the characters. Except for the Daughter,
when characters are not in a scene, they should join the chorus.