As a girl is spinning wool by a well, her shuttle falls into the well and sinks to the bottom. The girl's step-mother tells her to jump in and get it. She jumps in, sinks to the bottom and finds herself in a meadow. She travels and ends up at Mother Holle's house, where the girl becomes Holle's housemaid. She's a good, faithful worker, but gets homesick and asks to leave. Mother Holle sees her off but literally showers her with gold. The girl finds herself home, covered in gold, and her stepmother wants the same for her other daughter who is lazy and really the worst of the 2 daughters (sorry, but it's true). The bad daughter arrives at Holle's house via the well, thinking she'll eventually get showered in gold also. She gets hired by Holle, but does such lousy work she gets fired. She receives a parting gift shower also, but instead of gold she gets covered in pitch and it sticks to her forever.