Gottfried Keller

Mirror, the Kitten

With illustrations by Joëlle Tourlonias
(German title: Spiegel, das Kätzchen)
ca. 72 pages
Gottfried Keller

Gottfried Keller

Gottfried Keller, born in Zurich on July 19, 1819, studied history, philosophy and literature after completing an apprenticeship as a landscape painter. His most famous works include Green Henry and the collection of short stories The People of Seldwyla. Gottfried Keller died in Zurich in 1890.

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Text by Gottfried Keller in the public domain, illustration rights available


The kitten is actually a tomcat and is called Mirror because his fur is so marvellously shiny. But when his benefactress dies, things start to go downhill for him. Since it’s now on him to find food, he becomes skinny and eventually he runs around looking shaggy, his fur is dull.

In order to practise his profession, the magician Pineiß needs a cat and makes Mirror an offer: He signs a contract that promises him an abundance of treats but that will cost him his life at the next full moon. The weakened tomcat agrees to this devilish plan but in the end, the joke is on the sorcerer…

Keller’s famous animal fairy tale, published in 1856 as part of the collection of short stories The People of Seldwyla, now appears in the Insel-Bücherei, for the first time in an illustrated edition – with enchanting images by Joëlle Tourlonias.