Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin

Presented by

Public Domain Books


One morning, when the sun was shining very brightly, the Rhine-daughters were startled by a strange sound in the depths of the water.

“Look!” whispered one. “What is that scowling at us from the rocks below?”

There, stealing along the river-bed, they saw a hideous little black dwarf.

“Who are you, and what do you want?” asked the Rhine-daughters.

“I am Alberich,” answered the dwarf as he tried to climb up on the slippery rocks. “I came from the kingdom of the Nibelungs, down under the earth.”

“What!” said the Rhine-daughters. “Surely you do not live down in the dark earth where there is no sunshine?”

“Yes,” answered Alberich. “But I have come up to frolic in the sunshine with you"; and he held out his ugly, misshapen little hands to take the hands of the Rhine-daughters.

They only laughed at him and darted away to a higher rock.

Alberich hurried after them.

He blinked and scowled in the sunshine, because his eyes were not used to the light.

The maidens laughed and shouted in their play.

They called to Alberich and teased him.

They went very close to him, pretending that they would take his hand, that he, too, might play in the sunshine. Then they would quickly dart away, mocking him, and laughing at him more loudly than ever.

Alberich grew fierce and angry.

He clenched his fists and cried:–

“Woe be to you if I should catch you now.”


More About the Stories  •  The Rhine-Gold  •  Alberich  •  The Careless Rhine-Daughters  •  The Theft  •  The Sad Rhine-Daughters  •  A Castle On the Rhine  •  The Morning  •  The Payment  •  Loki  •  Youth or Age?  •  Nibelheim  •  The Best Smith in Nibelheim  •  The Master  •  The Boaster  •  The Wishing-Cap  •  The Trick  •  The Curse  •  The Greedy Fafner  •  A Slave to Gold  •  The Beautiful Valhalla  •  The Walkuere  •  The Valiant Siegmund  •  Hunding’s Wife  •  Hunding  •  The War-Maidens  •  Wotan’s Wife  •  Wotan and Brunhilde  •  Off to the Battlefield  •  The Flight  •  The Punishment  •  The Sleep  •  The Magic Fire  •  Siegfried  •  The Dragon  •  A Baby in the Forest  •  Mimi and the Baby  •  Siegfried and His Friends  •  The Broken Sword  •  A Big Brown Bear  •  Siegfried and Mimi  •  Siegfried Mends His Father’s Sword  •  Siegfried Goes to Fight the Dragon  •  A Wood-Bird’s Song  •  Siegfried and the Dragon  •  A Change Comes Over Siegfried  •  Mimi Has a Surprise  •  Mimi and Alberich Stop to Quarrel Too Long  •  Siegfried Reaches the Mountain  •  Siegfried Learns What Fear Is  •  The Awakening  •  Goetterdaemmerung  •  A Song of the Present  •  A Song of the Future  •  A Pledge of Love  •  The Doom of Valhalla  •  Love