A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 22- The Three Treasures of the Giants to The Hairy Man

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When it comes to fairy tales, rewards could either be a royal or high born marriage, treasure, or both. Either way, a hero will have to do some impossible task or defeat the ferocious creature in the way. Of course, a high marriage would usually mean living in a castle and potentially ruling after the old man dies. While treasure means you’ll never have work again in your life. Anyway, in this installment, I bring you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, is a European tale of giants’ treasures. Second, is a Grimm story on a queen bee followed by Russian tales on an evil wizard who can’t be killed and a hairy man. Third, is a Hungarian story of a gold bearded man. Then we come to a Norwegian tale of a young man trying to steal from a troll. After that, we have 2 Italian stories on a guy name Thirteenth and a girl sold with pears. Next is a Danish tale of a guy who runs into a witch and gets homicidal. And finally, we have a French story of lost children.

211. The Three Treasures of the Giants

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The Three Treasures of the Giants is an Eastern European fairy tale of a young man who stumbles upon a castle. Turns out, it just so happens to be guarded by friendly giants willing to bestow him gifts for favors.

From: Eastern Europe
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Louis Léger in Contes Populaires Slaves.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Orange Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A man has 3 sons. When he’s dying, he tells the oldest he’d inherit, but he must be kind to his mom and younger brothers. He then gives the older 2 brothers more advice before telling the youngest son that while he’s not clever, he’s got a kind heart and should follow it. After the old man dies, the sons set out to seek their fortune. The older 2 want to leave the youngest behind. But their mom says there’s nothing for him there. The older 2 carry great sacks of food, the youngest nothing, causing the older 2 growing so angry for having to carry the weight. The youngest rebukes them claiming not wanting to burden their mom, when they take all her food. They share with him. At night, they eat on their own. The woodcutter’s family share with the youngest so he eats better than his brothers. They set out to lose him in the woods and find a castle. Despite being empty of people, it has a room filled with copper coins, another with silver, and a third with gold. The 2 older brothers empty their sacks and fill them up. When the youngest eats the food they dropped, they drive him home and return to their mom with the money.

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Of course, the young man’s brothers don’t seem to treat him well. As you can see them by driving him away.

The youngest goes to the castle and makes a bag of his jacket to take some gold. The giants return and catch him, offering to spare the guy if he guards their treasures, and give him a table to feed himself at, which if he knocks on it, it would give him a feast. One day, the youngest brother grows tired of guarding and goes off, taking the table. He finds a hermit and gives him a feast. The hermit offers to trade the table for a trumpet that would bring him an army if he blows it. The youngest son agrees. But when he goes on his way, he regrets it, blows the trumpet, and has the soldiers take back the table. He goes on and finds another hermit. After another feast, the hermit offers him a bag containing as many castles as he liked. He agrees, but again, has the soldiers take back the table. Going back home, the youngest son stays with his brothers for a time, and the secret leaks out. The king borrows the table, and tries substituting a false one. The youngest son uses the trumpet and the king offers to give him back the table and let him marry the princess. He agrees. When he produces a castle to live in, the king says he’s old and weak and makes him king. The youngest son lives to be old and happy, but his descendants are too proud to look after the treasure and are so overcome.

Other Versions: Included in Ruth Manning-Sanders’ A Book of Giants as “King Johnny.” In her version, the hermits arrive and demand the table. Because they both can’t take it to their hermitages, the princess proposes they remain at the castle and eat there every day. This makes the son feel guilty so he goes back and offers it to the giants, who tell him they don’t want it, because it makes food for men.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

212. The Queen Bee

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The Grimm fairy tale, the Queen Bee pertains to a prince who saves animals from his 2 older brothers who aid him when he has to accomplish 3 tasks to free a castle. Else he’ll turn into stone.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: 2 princes go out seeking their fortunes, but fall into disorderly ways. The third and youngest son, Simpleton, goes out looking for them, but they mock him. They travel on. Simpleton prevents his brothers from destroying an ant hill, killing some ducks, and suffocating a beehive with smoke. They then come to a castle with stone horses in the stable, and no sign of anyone. They look through the castle, finding a room with a little gray man, who shows them to dinner. In the morning, he shows the oldest son a stone table, which has 3 tasks written. Whoever performs them, frees the castle. The first task is to collect the princess’ 1000 pearls, scattered in the woods. Whoever tries and fails turns into stone. The 2 older brothers try and fail. However, the youngest has the ants collect the pearls. The second task is to fetch the princess’ bedroom key from the lake, which the ducks do for him. The third task is to pick out the youngest princess from the 3 sleeping princesses who look exactly alike. The only difference being the oldest ate sugar before they slept, the second a little syrup, and the youngest a little honey. The queen bee picks out the youngest. This wakes the castle and restores those who’ve been turned into stone. The youngest prince marries the youngest princess while his 2 older brothers marry the others.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

213. The Death of Koschei the Deathless

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The Russian fairy tale, The Death of Koschei the Deathless is about a prince who searches for his 3 sisters and their wizard brothers-in-law. During his journey, he meets and marries a warrior princess named Marya Morevna. She should’ve explained to him why he shouldn’t open that one door.

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Red Fairy Book.
Synopsis: Tsarevitch Ivan has 3 sisters. The oldest is Princess Marya. The second is Princess Olga. And the youngest is Princess Anna. After his parents die and his sisters marry 3 wizards, he leaves home looking for his sisters. He meets a beautiful warrior princess Marya Morevna whom he marries. After a while, she announces that she’s going to war and tells Ivan not to open the dungeon door of their castle home while she’s away. Overcome by his curiosity on what the dungeon holds, Ivan opens it soon after she leaves and finds Koschei, who’s chained and emaciated. Koschei asks Ivan for some water. Ivan brings it to him. After drinking 12 buckets of water, Koschei’s powers return to him that he tears his chains and disappears. Soon Ivan finds out that Koschei’s taken Marya Morevna away and chases him. When he gets him for the first time, Koschei tells Ivan to let him go, but Ivan doesn’t give him. So the wizard kills Ivan, puts his remains in a barrel, and throws it out to sea. Fortunately, Ivan’s brothers-in-law are powerful wizards who can transform into birds of prey. So they revive him. Then they tell him that Koschei has a magic horse and that he should go to Baba Yaga to get one, too. Or else he can’t defeat Koschei. After Ivan stands Baba Yaga’s test and gets the horse, he fights with Koschei, kills him, and burns his body. Marya Morevna returns to Ivan, and they celebrate victory with his sisters and their husbands.

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When his wife’s away, the prince opens the dungeon door. It’s an old man who asks for water. Sure it seems like no big deal, but wait until you find out who he really is.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Adapted into a novel by Peter Morwood as Prince Ivan and one by Catherynne M. Valentine called Deathless. Retold by Gene Wolfe.
Why Forgotten: A wizard kills the hero, puts his remains in a barrel, and throws it out to sea.
Trivia: Also called “Marya Morevna.”

214. The Gold-Bearded Man

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When his wife’s away, the prince opens the dungeon door. It’s an old man who asks for water. Sure it seems like no big deal, but wait until you find out who he really is.

From: Hungary
Earliest Appearance: Collected in Ungarische Mahrchen.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Crimson Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A dying king asks his queen never to remarry, but instead to devote the rest of her life to caring for their only son. She promises to do as requested. But soon after her husband dies, the queen remarries and has her new husband made king instead of her son. Unfortunately, the stepfather’s a wicked guy who very cruelly abuses his stepson. By the castle, there’s a brook of milk rather than water, which has plenty for everyone. But the new king forbids anyone to take any. The guards notice a gold-bearded man taking buckets of milk in the morning before strangely vanishing. The king comes to see. He wonders if he could capture such a man and many attempts fail. But one day, an old soldier tells him to leave bread, bacon, and drugged wine for the man. Since he’d eat, drink, and fall asleep. Then they could catch him. The plan succeeds and the king puts the man in a cage After a month passes, the king has to go to war. He tells his stepson to feed the man but not free him, or he’ll meet a terrible fate.

The prince accidentally shoots an arrow into the cage. The gold-bearded man refuses to give it back unless he free him. After much pleading, the prince is convinced. The gold-bearded man promises to repay him a thousand-fold and vanishes. The prince decides that running away can’t be more dangerous than staying and leaves. As he goes along, he meets a wood dove. He’s on the verge of shooting it when it implores him not to because its 2 children could starve. The prince spares it and the dove says because of his act of mercy, it will find a way to repay him. The prince continues on, eventually meeting a duck and later a stork. The same thing happens both times as had with the wood dove.

The prince then meets with 2 soldiers and they travel together looking for work. A king hires the soldiers as coachmen and the prince as his companion. The jealous soldiers tell him the prince claimed that if he was made the king’s steward, he can ensure that no grain’s lost in the king’s store. If he set the prince to separate the wheat and barley, it would show what his boasting is worth. The king has 2 enormous sacks mixed and orders the prince to separate them. The wood dove, who’s just happens to be king of the wood doves, has his fellow doves sort them. The king appoints the prince as his steward.

This makes the soldiers more envious. They then tell the king that the prince claimed if he was in charge of the royal treasures, he’d ensure that none were lost. If the king has a ring from the princess’ finger thrown in the stream, it would show what his boasting is worth. The king does so. And the duck, who’s the king of ducks, has his ducks find it. The king appoints him in charge of the treasures. The soldiers next claim the prince knows of a child who can speak every language and play every musical instrument. The king thinks this is magic, which he’s tried learning, and orders the prince to produce the child as a third task or be dragged to death. The stork brings the child to him. The king marries the prince to his daughter and asks how he pulled that off. The prince tells him and the king has the 2 soldiers driven off with whips.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why. Maybe having soldiers being driven off with whips.
Trivia: N/A

215. Boots and the Troll

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The Norwegian fairy tale, Boots and the Troll pertains to a young man who’s sent on a slew of errands to steal some troll’s stuff. Eventually the troll catches him though.

From: Norway
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in Norwegian Folktales.
Best Known Version: The Asbjørnsen and Moe version, obviously.
Synopsis: An old man burns in hell. His 3 sons set out to seek their fortune. The older 2 want nothing to do with the youngest son, whom they say is fit for nothing but sitting and poking about the ashes. The youngest brings a kneading-trough, the only thing their parents left behind, which his brothers hadn’t bothered with. While his brothers got places under the coachman and gardener at the royal castle, he gets one in the kitchen. The youngest does so much better than older brothers do that they become jealous. They tell the coachman their younger brother said he could get a troll’s 7 silver ducks for the king, which he long wanted. The coachman tells the king. The king insists the youngest do the deed. The youngest demands, wheat and rye, rows over the lake to in the kneading trough to the troll’s place, and lures the ducks to the trough using the grain.
The 2 older brothers then tell the coachman, their younger brother could steal the troll’s bed-quilt. Again, the coachman tells the king. The youngest brother demands 3 days.

When he sees the bed-quilt hung out in the air, he steals it. This time, the king makes the youngest his body servant. The 2 older brothers tell the coachman their younger claims he could steal the troll’s golden harp that cheered everyone who heard it. Again, the coachman tells the king. The youngest brother says he needs 6 days to think. Then he rows over with a nail, birch-pin, and a taper-end. He lets the troll see him. It seizes him at once and puts him in a pen to fatten him up. One day, the youngest brother sticks out the nail instead of his finger, then the birch-pin, and finally the taper-end, at which point they conclude, he’s not fat enough.

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Once the troll gets him, he’s put in a barrel to be fattened up until he’s ready to be cooked. Once he’s released, he kicks his escape plan in high gear.

The troll goes off asking his guests to come. His daughter goes to slaughter the youth. The young man tells her the knife isn’t sharp enough, sharpens it, and suggests testing it on one of her braids. When testing, the young man cuts off her head before roasting half of her and boiling the other as the troll said he should be cooked. He next sits in a corner dressed in her clothes. The troll eats his daughter and asks if he doesn’t want any. The youth claims he’s too sad. The trolls tells him to get a harp and where it is. The youth takes it and sets off in the kneading trough again. The troll shouts after him, and the youth tells him that he ate his own daughter. This makes the troll bursts, and the youth takes his gold and silver. With these, he wins the princess’ hand in marriage and half the kingdom. His brothers are killed by boulders when they go up a mountain.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features decapitation and cannibalism. Also, a troll bursts and 2 guys get crushed.
Trivia: N/A

216. Thirteenth
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Thomas Frederick Crane in Italian Popular Tales.
Best Known Version: The Crane version, obviously.
Synopsis: A mom with 13 sons motivates them to become fast runners, by arranging a nightly competition. This night it’s the first one reaching home will enjoy the soup made from herbs their dad gathered. The youngest son, Thirteenth, always wins, attracting his brothers’ envy as a result that they try getting rid of him. One day, the king promises a prize of gold for the hero managing to steal a nearby giant’s blanket. The brothers approach the king telling him that Thirteenth boasts being able to perform the feat. The king asks that Thirteenth be brought to him and demands he do what he bragged about. Despite not pretending to be a monster slayer, Thirteenth protests but to no avail. He has no choice but to go to the giant’s house. The monster is out. But his wife’s at home.

Thirteenth sneaks inside and hides under the bed. At night, the giant returns, eats his dinner, and goes to bed, telling his wife he smells a human and wants to eat it. The giantess thinks he’s stupid since she doesn’t see any humans around. During the night, Thirteenth pulls the blanket trying to steal it, but the giant stirs. He mews like a cat, and the giant’s calmed so he goes back to sleep. Thirteenth then quickly seizes the blanket and runs out. The giant wakes up again, and hears the thief’s steps. After some time, the king issues another reward if someone would bring him the giant’s horse. Thirteenth presents himself and asks for a silk ladder and a bag of cakes. At night, he approaches the giant’s stable. The horse neighs seeing him, but Thirteenth calms it by offering it cake, and manages to ride it all the way to the king.

Then the king declares that he wants the giant’s bolster. Thirteenth protests. Since the bolster’s full of bells, making it impossible to steal it and sneak away unnoticed. The king insists and Thirteenth departs. He creeps under the ogre’s bed, waiting for the giant couple to retire. When the couple’s asleep at midnight, Thirteenth stretches out his hand for the bolster. But the bell chimes waking up the giant. The giant’s wife believes the wind stirred them, and the giant seemingly agrees before going back to sleep. In reality, the giant’s just pretending since he now feels it’s time to catch the burglar. When Thirteenth stretches out his hand for the bolster again, he seizes his arm. To punish Thirteenth for his 3 crimes, the giant imprisons him in a barrel, fattening him up in order to eat him. Every few days, the ogre feels Thirteenth’s finger to measure the fattening process. The boy is steadily getting fatter, and Thirteenth realizes his finger will soon reveal he’s fat enough for the giant’s dinner. He thus presents a mouse tail instead of his own finger for the giant, who can’t tell, an believes the boy isn’t ready for slaughter. A few days later, the giant wants to measure again and this time, Thirteenth uses a spindle to the same end. By the end of the month, Thirteenth can’t find anything else to use as a substitute as his finger so he has no choice but to stick it out. Satisfied the boy’s fat enough, the giant calls his wife to prepare him for dinner, while he invites their relatives for the feast.

While heating the stove, the giantess releases Thirteenth from the barrel, asking him to help her prepare a lamb for dinner. Understanding he’s the lamb, Thirteenth tricks the giantess to fall into the oven. When she’s cooked, Thirteenth carves her and serves her legs as a meal, places her upper body on the bed, with strings attached to her head and hands, covered under a blanket. When the relatives arrive, the giant finds the table ready and goes into the bedroom to invite his wife for dinner. Thirteenth answers no by pulling the strings. But one relative comes looking for them and notices something not right with the giantess. Thirteenth escapes from under the bed, manages to steal the bolster, and reach the king. The king wants Thirteenth to complete his exploits by bringing the giant himself. Thirteenth orders a very strong chest, disguises himself as a monk, and sets off to the giant’s. He pretends to be a man hunting for the evil Thirteenth to capture him in the chest. The monk asks the giant to test the chest’s strength and tricks him into capture. He brings the giant to the king who imprisons him and rewards Thirteenth half the kingdom.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features cannibalism and dismemberment.
Trivia: N/A

217. Esben and the Witch

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The Danish fairy tale, Esben and the Witch is about boy and his 11 brothers who wind up at a witch’s house. She has a lot daughters and a taste for children.

From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Pink Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, obviously.
Synopsis: A farmer has 12 sons. His youngest, Esben is little while his brothers are big and strong. One day, the brothers persuade their dad to let them seek their fortunes. The dad gives them each horses and money. Esben decides to go, too. But his dad refuses to aid him. He takes a stick and whittles at it so it’s whiter than his brothers’ horses and rides off on it. The 11 brothers come to a house where a woman not only invites them to stay for the night, they can each have one of her daughters. They’re pleased. Esben comes up behind them and sneaks about. That night, he and his brothers change caps with the girls. At midnight, the woman (who’s a witch), comes with a knife and cuts her 11 daughters’ throats, because of the night caps. Esben wakes his brothers and they all flee. The brothers leave Esben with their horses.

The brothers take service with the king as stable boys. When Esben arrives, no one gives him a place, but he manages to get his food with one thing or another. His brothers don’t stand to attention for Sir Red, whom everyone in the castle hates but the king likes. Sir Red decides to revenge himself by saying they claim they could get a dove with a silver feather and a golden one. The king demands it of them. Esben tells them to get him some peas, then he recites a charm to his stick, and it flies him back to the witch’s. He notices she has such a dove before spreading the peas and catching it. The witch sees him too late to catch him, but they exchange taunts. Pissed, Sir Red says they claim they could get the magical boar with gold and silver bristles for the king. Esben makes them get a bag of malt, and using it, catches the witch’s boar. The king’s pleased with that. Although Esben’s brothers don’t even thank him. Sir Red says they claim they could get the lamp that could shine over 7 kingdoms. In this task, Esben has to sneak inside the witch’s house and hide. The witch calls out to her daughter to make her porridge and add no salt. So Esben pours salt into it. The house has no water, so the daughter asks her mom for the lamp to fetch more. Esben then pushes her into the well and she drowns, and he runs off with the lamp.

After the king receives it, Sir Red makes the claim about a coverlet that sounds when touched. Esben tries stealing it, but it sounds and the witch catches him. But the last and youngest daughter takes a liking for him, and together they twice trick her mom into having him live in captivity. Eventually, when the witch has to go to a coven meeting, Esben pushes the final girl in the oven. After all her daughters have been killed, the returning witch is so pissed that she bursts into small flint pieces. Esben’s brothers are already in prison and set to be executed. But the king frees them. Esben tells him about Sir Red. The king hangs him and rewards the brothers with gold and silver. They return home, telling their dad how Esben saved them.

Other Versions: Included in Ruth Manning-Sanders A Book of Witches and A Choice of Magic.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Includes mass child murder, drowning, and pushing a girl into the oven.
Trivia: N/A

218. The Little Girl Sold with Pears

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The Little Girl Sold with Pears is an Italian fairy tale about a girl sold with pears to the castle. There, she takes a job as a servant and falls in love with a prince. Then she’s tasked with stealing an ogress’ treasure.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Italo Calvino in his Italian Folktales.
Best Known Version: The Calvino version, naturally.
Synopsis: A man has to pay rent to the king with 4 baskets of pears. One year, his trees only yield 3 ½ baskets of fruit so he puts his youngest daughter in the basket to fill it up. When the baskets arrive at the castle, the royal servants find the girl by the pears she eats and they set her to work as a servant. As the girl grows up, she and the prince fall in love, causing the maid servants to grow envious. The maids tell the king that the girl boasts that she could steal the witch’s (or ogress’) treasure. The king insists that she do it. On her journey, the girl goes by passing an apple tree, a peach tree, and a pear tree where she sleeps. The next morning, a little old woman is under the tree who gives her grease, bread, and millet. The girl goes on giving millet to 3 women at a bakery, sweeping out the ovens with her hair, throwing the bread to some mastiffs, crossing a red river with a charm the little old lady also gave her, and greasing the hinges of the witch’s house. She then takes the treasure chest. The chest begins to speak, but the door refuses to slam on her, the river to drown her, the dogs to eat her, and the women at the bakery to bake her. Curious, the girl opens the chest and a golden hen ad her chicks escape (or musical instruments that play on their own), but the little old woman tells her to put them back. The prince tells her to ask for the coal chest in the cellar as a reward. When the girl asks for it and it’s brought up, the prince is hiding inside so they marry.

Other Versions: Included in Ruth Manning-Sanders’ A Book of Ogres and Trolls as “The Girl in the Basket.” In her version, the servants tell the king that the girl boasts of doing all the laundry. With the prince’s aid, she’s able to do it. Also, when tasked to steal the ogress’ treasure, the prince tells the girl what to do and gives her the stuff. And he tells her to put the treasure back in.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features human trafficking.
Trivia: N/A

219. The Lost Children

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The French fairy tale, The Lost Children revolves around a brother and sister abandoned in the forest who stumble upon the Devil’s house. Let’s just say things go downhill from there.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Antoinette Bon in Revue des traditions populaires.
Best Known Version: The Bon version, obviously.
Synopsis: A very stingy couple named Jacques and Toinon have 2 children: a 12-year-old son named Jean and an 8-year-old daughter named Jeannette. Naturally, the children suffer from their parents’ cheapness. Until one day, their folks decide to lose them in the forest with Toinon taking them and leaving them there. At first, they try finding her before searching for a way out. Jean climbs a tree and sees a white house and a red house. They go to the red one. The woman there lets them in but tells them to be quiet or her husband would eat them, because he’s the Devil. She hides them. But her husband can spell them because they’re Christians. He beats his wife and puts Jean in a barn to fatten him up before eating him, making Jeannette bring him food. But since the Devil’s too fat to get into the barn, he orders Jeannette to bring Jean’s finger tip to test how fat he is. Jeannette brings him a rat’s tail.

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When the boy is set to be put in the sawhorse, the girl pushes the Devil’s Wife into it instead. Yes, it’s that disturbing.

The third time, the Devil notices the trick and pulls Jean out. He makes a sawhorse to lay Jean out and bleed before going for a walk. Jeannette and Jean pretend not to understand how he’s to be put on the sawhorse. The Devil’s wife shows them. Jean ties her on and cuts her throat. They take the Devil’s gold and silver and flee in his carriage. The Devil chases them. On the way, he meets various people including a laborer, a shepherd, a beadle, and some laundresses, asking whether they’ve seen the children. The first time he does, they each mishear him, but then tell him they hadn’t save one laundress, telling him to cross the river. The Devil can’t cross it. So one laundress offers to cut her hair to let him cross on it. But when he’s in the middle, she drops it so he drowns. The children get home and take care of their parents despite what they’ve done.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features domestic abuse and grisly murder along with attempted cannibalism.
Trivia: N/A

220. The Hairy Man
From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Crimson Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, of course.
Synopsis: 2 ricks of a king’s rapeseed fields are found burned every night. Finally, a shepherd with dogs keeps watch, and catches the “Hairy Man” responsible. The king puts him in a cage. The Hairy Man pleads with the king’s son so earnestly that the prince frees him. For this, the king orders his son be taken into the forest, killed, and his liver and lungs brought back as proof. The man who takes him can’t do it so he kills an old sick dog instead. The boy wanders into the forest until he finds a cottage where an old man (who’s once the same Hairy Man) lives. The prince stays there for 7 years working hard like a peasant, but never complaining till he’s old enough to travel on. Before leaving, the Hairy Man gives the boy a golden apple (magically containing a golden staff and a golden-maned horse), a silver apple (containing a silver staff and a hussar cavalry), and a copper apple (containing a copper staff and an army of foot soldiers). The boy uses the first apple and embarks on his journey, finally pledging his service to a distant king.

One day, the king (who only has a small army) is threatened by another very powerful king. The boy uses his second apple to make reinforcements for his king. The youngest princess gives the prince a ring and he carries it along with half of a handkerchief his sister gave him into battle. The prince’s men destroys the enemy so thoroughly that only 2 live and are deliberately permitted to escape as messengers to the powerful king who sent them. The prince falls in love with the youngest princess and gives her the copper apple. The princess has already discovered who he really is after having his room searched, which turned up the half handkerchief. When the king learns his champion is a prince as well as a brave and honorable hero, he’s more than happy to let him marry his youngest daughter.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: A king puts out a hit on his son and asks the guy to rip out his organs.
Trivia: N/A

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A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 21- The Princess Who Never Smiled to The Prince and Princess in the Forest

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Of course, given that so many forgotten fairy tales exist, there was no way I could get to them all. After all, what I show is only a fraction of the infinite amount of tales told throughout the world. Anyway, in this installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales for your reading pleasure. First, is a Russian tale of a princess who never smiles. Second, we come to European stories of a magic swan and a frog princess. Third, are 2 Italian tales about a man who wins a princess by making her laugh and an innkeeper jealous of her daughter’s looks. After that, we got an Armenian tale of a poor little rich girl who discovers a sleeping prince, followed by a French story of a girl who befriends dragons and doesn’t go batshit crazy like Mad Queen Daenerys and a Greek one of a girl who’s taken in by the Months after her sisters abandon her. Then there’s a North African story about a girl with 7 big brothers as well as a Danish tale of a prince and princess in the forest.

201. The Princess Who Never Smiled

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In the Russian fairy tale, The Princess Who Never Smiled, a princess never smiles and laughs. So the king makes it a challenge that who can do so will win her hand. Fortunately a worker steps right up to the king’s dismay.

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Afanasyev version, naturally.
Synopsis: A princess never smiles or laughs. So her dad promises that whoever could make her smile can marry her. Many try but none succeed. Across town, an honest worker works hard for his master. At the year’s end, the master puts a sack of money in front of his worker and allows him to take as much as he wants. Because he doesn’t want to take too much, the worker only takes a coin. When he goes to drink at a well, he drops the coin and loses it. The same thing happens to him the next year. The third year, the worker takes the same amount of coin as before. But when he drinks from the well, he doesn’t lose the coin and the other 2 coins float up to him. So he decides to see the world. A mouse asks for alms and he gives it a coin. He does the same with a beetle and a catfish.

The worker comes to the castle and sees a princess looking at him. Astounded, he falls in the mud. The mouse, beetle, and catfish come to his aid. The princess laughs at their antics, pointing out to the man. When he’s brought to the castle, he’s turned into a handsome man and marries the princess.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Doesn’t really have much of a plot.
Trivia: N/A

202. The Magic Swan
From: Europe
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Hermann Kletke.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Green Fairy Book.
Synopsis: 2 older brothers abuse the youngest son, Peter. An old woman advises him to run away. When Peter does, she tells him to go to a certain tree where he’d find a sleeping man and a swan tied to it. He must take the swan without waking the man, and everyone would fall in love with its plumage. But when they touch it, he can say “Swan, hold fast,” and they’d be his prisoners. With this, he can get a chuckle out of a princess who never laughs. Peter collects a string of people and the princess laughs at the sight. The king offers him a choice of land or gold and he takes the land. Peter then traps the princess with the swan and wins her as a wife. But the swan flies off.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: There‘s not much of a plot.
Trivia: N/A

203. Peruonto

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Peruonto is an Italian fairy tale about a guy who wins a princess by making her laugh. But when her dad finds out, they’re put out to sea and are forced to flee.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, the Pentamerone. Kind of reads like something from Game of Thrones.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, obviously.
Synopsis: A widow named Ceccerella has an ugly idiot son named Peruonto. One day, she sends him to gather wood. He sees 3 men sleeping in the sun and makes them a shelter of branches. They wake and being fairy sons, give him a charm that whatever he asks for would be done. As he carries wood back, Peruonto wishes the wood would carry him, and he rides it back like a horse. The king’s daughter Vastolla, who never laughs, sees it, and bursts out laughing. Peruonto wishes she’d marry him and he’d cure her of her laughing. However, Vastolla is already engaged to marry a prince. But she refuses, wishing to only marry the guy riding the wood. The king proposes putting her to death but his councilors suggest going after the man instead. The king holds a banquet with all the lords and nobles, thinking Vastolla would betray which man it is, but she doesn’t recognize any of them. The king wants her put to death at once, but the councilors suggest a banquet for those still lower in birth. Peruonto’s mom urges him to go, which he does. Vastolla recognizes him at once and exclaims. The king has her and Peruonto shut up in a cask and thrown out to sea. Vastolla worms the story out of Peruonto and tells him to turn the cask to a ship. Then she has him turn it to a castle. Then she has him transform into a handsome and well-mannered man. They marry and live happily for many years.

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Here Peruonto and Vastolla go out to sea. At least Vastolla turned the cask they’re thrown in into a ship.

The king grows old and sad. His councilors encourage him to hunt to cheer him up. One day, he comes upon a castle where he finds 2 little boys welcoming him and bringing him to a magic banquet. The next morning, he wishes to thank them. Not only the boys, but their mom and dad, Vastolla and Peruonto also appear. The reconcile, the king brings the m back to their castle, where the feast of celebration lasts 9 days.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Having your daughter and her boyfriend shut up in a cask and thrown to sea because she didn’t want to marry the guy you wanted her to is a classic example of bad parenting.
Trivia: N/A

204. Bella Venezia
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Italo Calvino in his Italian Folktales. It’s like Snow White but without the dwarves.
Best Known Version: The Calvino version, of course.
Synopsis: An innkeeper named Bella Venezia asks her customers whether they had seen a more beautiful woman than herself. When they say no, she cuts the stay price in half. But one day a traveler that he had seen such a woman: her daughter. Bella Venezia doubles the price for his stay instead of halving it. She then has her daughter shut in a tower with a single window. But the daughter escapes and wanders until she sees 12 robbers order a cave open and shut: “Open up, desert!” and “Close up, desert!” She sneaks inside and cleans up the place, before stealing some of their food before hiding. The robbers set watch. But as each robber stays outside for the person to sneak in so they don’t catch her. Until the chief robber waits inside and sees her. He tells her don’t be afraid, offering she could stay and be their little sister. But one day, one robber goes to Bella Venezia’s inn and tells her the girl they have with them is more beautiful than Bella herself.

A witch begs every day from the inn. Bella Venezia promises her half her fortune if she can kill her daughter. The witch goes into the forest as a peddler, persuading the girl to let her in. While showing her a hair pin, the witch thrusts it into the girl’s head. The robbers find her body, cry, and bury her in a hollow tree. One day, a prince goes hunting. His dogs sniff out a tree where the girl’s buried in. He takes her body back to the castle and can’t bear to be away from her. His angry mom says she could at least fix her hair, revealing the pin. Once the queen pulls it out, the girl wakes up and the prince marries her.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features necrophilia.
Trivia: N/A

205. Nourie Hadig

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Nourie Hadig is an Armenian fairy tale of a girl who’s abandoned by her sisters and stumbles upon a house with all kinds of treasures and a sleeping prince. If she can serve him for 7 years, he’s hers.

From: Armenia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Susie Hoogasian-Villa in 100 Armenian Tales.
Best Known Version: Guess the Hoogasian-Villa version.
Synopsis: A rich man has a beautiful wife and daughter, Nourie Hadig. Every month, the girl’s mother asks the new moon if she’s the prettiest. However, the moon finally says her daughter is prettier. She takes to her bed and tells her husband he must get rid of their daughter and bring back her bloody shirt as proof. Instead of killing the girl, the dad abandons Nourie Hadig in the woods. The girl finds a house. When she goes in, the door closes behind her. She finds rooms full of treasure and a sleeping prince. A voice tells her to cook for the prince for 7 years, and leave the food beside the bed. At the next new moon, the moon tells Nourie Hadig’s mom her daughter is still prettier. The wife realizes her daughter didn’t get killed and is determined to find and murder her. The husband admits he didn’t kill her and doesn’t know where she is. The wife sets out to find her. Every new moon, she asks the moon again about her daughter, hearing every time the daughter is prettier.

After 4 years, gypsies come by the house where Nourie Hadig is. She buys a girl from them and they both serve the prince. Once the 7 years are up, the prince wakes up. Because the gypsy girl’s tending him, he thinks she had served him all these 7 years, so he decides to marry her. While wedding arrangements progress, the prince goes into town and tells Nourie Hadig that she must’ve helped some. So he’ll buy her something. She asks for the Stone of Patience. He buys it. The stonecutter tells him that if one’s troubles are great, the stone will swell until it bursts from sorrow on hearing them. But if the person makes much of a little, they would swell and burst. So he must watch and ensure that the servant asking for it doesn’t burst. He gives Nourie Hadig the stone and she tells it her story. It swells and is about to burst when the prince breaks in and insists on marrying her, rather than the gypsy.

The next new moon, the moon says that the Princess of Adana is prettier, so her mom knows where her daughter is. She has a beautiful ring made that will put its wearer to sleep. And she has the witch bring it to her daughter, pleading her mom had been out of her mind when she ordered her death. The gypsy girl persuades Nourie Hadig to wear the ring and she falls down dead. The prince refuses to bury his wife and resolves to tend her as she tended him. Many doctors can’t heal her. Though one tries stealing the ring. Just as the princess gets out of her ring-induced coma, he slides it back on and gets the prince to promise him rewards for healing his wife. He then takes the ring off, restoring Nourie Hadig to life. However, when the ring was on the princess, the moon tells the wife she’s the prettiest. But after the ring’s removed, it says Nourie Hadig is. The wife gets so angry that she dies.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Offensive Roma stereotypes. Also, the heroine participates in human trafficking.
Trivia: N/A

206. La Petite Toute-Belle

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The French fairy tale, La Petite Toute-Belle centers around a girl so beautiful that her jealous mom has a servant push her in a well. Don’t worry, she befriends a trio of dragons.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Paul Sébillot in Contes des landes et des grèves. Comes from Brittany.
Best Known Version: The Sebillot version, I guess.
Synopsis: A woman has a daughter who’s so pretty that people call her Toute-Belle (Very Beautiful). Her mom’s jealous of her beauty. They have a kleptomaniac servant who hates Toute-Belle who snitches on her thievery. So she eventually convinces the girl’s mom that her daughter’s stealing shit. When the mom finds her jewels stolen, she promises to reward whoever will rid her of Toute-Belle. The servant promises to push Toute-Belle into a well in a way that’ll look like an accident. The next day, the servant pretends seeing a beautiful flower in the well. Toute-Belle bends over the edge and the servant pushes her. But instead of drowning, Toute-Belle finds herself in a pretty room where 3 dragons live and ask how she came. She tells them her story and they decide to keep her with them.

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Toute-Belle’s mom tries to get her killed 3 times. But each time the dragons intervene. Until a fairy gives the girl a poisoned red dress to put on. Don’t worry, she gets better.

The next day, the servant goes to the well to draw water and Toute-Belle greets her. She goes to the mom, telling her Toute-Belle is alive. The mom asks an evil fairy how to kill her daughter. The fairy gives her red almonds, saying that Toute-Belle will die if she eats them. The next morning, the servant gives Toute-Belle the almonds. But when the girl wants to eat them, the dragons intervene, saying they’re poisoned. The mom asks the fairy to kill Toute-Belle, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t succeed. The fairy reluctantly gives her a red dress, saying Toute-Belle will die as soon as she slips it on. The following morning, the servant gives Toute-Belle the dress and the girl decides putting it on so the dragons would see how pretty she is. But no sooner has she slips on the poisoned dress that she falls down and loses consciousness.

When the dragons find her, they think she’s dead and put her in a shrine, which they put on the beach. When the tide rises, the shrine floats away as the dragons watch it, crying. When it disappears, they think it’s sunk. However, the shrine floats until it stops on rocks, near a castle. A young king sees it and asks his servant to bring it to him. When he opens it, he finds Toute-Belle and thinking she’s too fresh-looking to be dead. He starts a chimney fire and tries waking her up. m

Wondering why her son’s staying in his bedroom, the queen mother thinks he’s sick and asks her maid to look through the keyhole. The maid says the king’s holding a girl in his arms. The angry queen breaks the door down but when she sees Toute-Belle, she takes pity on her. The maid claims the girl is too fresh-looking and pretty to be dead, and that they should take off her dress and warm her up. As soon as they take the dress off, Toute-Belle wakes up and tells her story. The king sends for the 3 dragons whom he rewards. He then declares he’ll marry Toute-Belle if she agrees before inviting the girl’s mom and servant. He asks the mom if she has a marriageable daughter. The mom says yes, but she died very suddenly. The king confronts her with the truth and condemns her and the servant to be burned at the stake.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Two women get burned at the stake. Also, contains good dragons and evil fairies which most people aren’t used to.
Trivia: N/A

207. Myrsina
From: Greece
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Georgios A. Megas in Folktales of Greece.
Best Known Version: The Megas version, obviously.
Synopsis: Myrsina is the youngest of 3 orphaned sisters. The sun declares her the prettiest 3 times. Her jealous sisters tell her it’s time to honor their mom with a memorial or rebury her. They make the traditional food, go to her grave in the forest, and exclaim they forgot the shovel and so can’t plant flowers nor can they exhume her for reburial. The 2 oldest must go back for it, and Myrsina watch the food. In the evening, Myrsina realizes they won’t return and cries. This wakes the trees, one telling her to roll her bread down the hill and follow it. She does and lands in a pit with a house. She hides there doing housework while the owners, the Months, are about. The Months wonder who’s doing it until the youngest stays behind and hides. He catches her and the Months take her as their sister.

Word reaches the older sisters. They come to her with a poisoned cake, claiming they couldn’t find her. Myrsina gives part of the cake to the dog and it dies. When the older sisters hear she’s still alive, they return. But she won’t open the door to them. But they claim to have a ring that their mom said must go to Myrsina. Since she can’t defy her mom’s wishes, Myrsina puts on the ring and falls to the floor. The Months return, lament her, and keep her body in a golden chest. A prince comes by, and they give him their best room so that he sees the chest. He pleads for it and they finally give it to him on condition he never open it. He gets sick and doesn’t want to die without knowing what’s in the chest. He opens it, wonders at Myrsina, and thinks the ring may reveal who she is. He takes it off and Myrsina comes back to life. She has the ring thrown into the sea and marries the prince. One day, the sisters come to harm her. The prince has his soldiers deal with them.

Other Versions: Other variants collected by Anna Angelopoulou.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

208. Udea and Her Seven Brothers

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Udea and Her Seven Brothers is a North African fairy tale of a girl who goes searching for her missing siblings who disappeared shortly after her birth. Her mom sends her off with a camel and 2 servants who are complete jerks.

From: North Africa
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Hans von Stumme in Märchen und Gedichte aus der Stadt Tripolis.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang translation for his The Grey Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A man and his wife have 7 sons. One day, the sons set out hunting. They tell their aunt their mom has a daughter, to wave a white handkerchief and they’ll return at once. But if it’s a son, a sickle and they will keep on. It’s a girl, but the aunt wants to get rid of the boys so she waves a sickle. Named Udea, the daughter grows up not knowing about her brothers. One day, an older child taunts her for driving her brothers away, who are forever roaming the world. She asks her mom and sets out to find them. Her mom gives her a camel, some food, a cowrie shell around the camel’s neck as a charm, an African named Barka, and his wife to take care of her. On the second day, Barka tells Udea to get off the camel so his wife can ride in her place. The mom’s nearby and tells Barka to leave Udea alone. On the third day, Barka tells Udea to let his wife ride the camel in her place, but her mom’s too far away to hear and command Barka. Udea calls out for her mom but no avail and Barka throws the girl to the ground. The wife climbs onto the camel and Udea walks on the ground, her feet cut up due to the stones on the path.One day, the pass a caravan, where they’re told of a castle where the brothers live. Barka lets Udea ride the camel but smears her with pitch so her brothers won’t recognize her. However, they accept her without question since they don’t know what she looks like anyway. Udea’s joyous tears leave white marks on her face. One alarmed brother takes a cloth and rubs the mark until the pitch is gone. The brother asks her who painted her skin black, but Udea doesn’t answer fearing Barka’s anger. She finally relents, describing the treatment she received during her travels. Outraged, her brothers behead Barka and his wife.

The brothers go on a week-long hunting trip, instructing Udea to lock herself up in the castle with only the cat who grew up with the house. They return and find her well. The brothers then tell her of the castle elves and pigeons, who Udea can call to fetch them if she’s in any danger. The pigeons have a week’s worth of food and water the brothers leave during each hunting trip. Udea asks why they don’t have her feed the feeding the pigeons every day. Since food laid out wouldn’t be fresh after a week. They agree and tell her that any kindness toward the pigeons would be considered kindness toward themselves. On the brothers’ third hunting trip, Udea’s cleaning the castle. Forgetting instructions for a moment, she finds a bean and eats it. The cat demands half. Udea says she can’t since she already ate it and offers 100 beans to make up for it. The cat only wants the bean the girl ate. To punish her, the cat puts out the fire in the kitchen. With no way to cook, Udea climbs up the castle, sees a fire in the distance, and leaves to find its source. She asks for a lump of burning coal from an elderly man tending the fire, but he’s actually a “man-eater” (cannibal) and demands a strip of blood from her hear to her thumb in return. She bleeds all the way home and doesn’t notice the raven following her back until she approaches the castle door. Startled, Udea curses the raven, hoping it to startle it as well. It asks why she’d wish harm to one who’s done her a favor. It flies off, along with the dirt it’s used to cover a trail of blood. The cannibal follows this path to the castle, breaking 6 doors in 6 nights, intending to attack and eat Udea. On the last day, with one door in place, she sends a letter to her brothers with the castle pigeons’ help. The brothers immediately come home and trap the cannibal in a burning pit.

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After being driven out by the castle’s cat, Udea meets an old man who demands her blood in exchange for a lump of coal. But she leads a trail of blood and the cannibal’s actually a man-eater. You can see she didn’t think this through.

As the cannibal burns, only his fingernails are left behind, blowing towards and stabbing Udea under her own fingernail. She collapses, lifeless. Her brothers put her on a bier and the bier on the camel, setting it off to their mom. They order the camel to avoid capture and stop only when someone says, “string.” During the journey, 3 men chase after the camel. But only when claims his sandal string is broken up does it stop. The man takes Udea’s hand and tries pulling off, freeing the cannibal’s fingernail from it, and she wakes full of life. The camel returns her to her joyful brothers, and all siblings set out to see their parents again. On the fourth day after their reunion, the oldest brother tells their parents of their aunt’s treachery and the adventures they encounter.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: There might be racism in this. Also features decapitation, body mutilation, cannibalism, and burning someone alive.
Trivia: N/A

209. The Frog Princess

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The Frog Princess is a European fairy tale about a king who has his sons find wives by shooting an arrow. Where the arrow lands, he’ll find his bride. Unfortunately, the youngest prince finds a frog instead of his dream girl.

From: Russia, Italy, and Greece
Earliest Appearance: The Russian variants seem to be the earliest with “Tsarevna Frog,” and “Vasilissa the Wise.” Alexander Afanasyev collected variants in his Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Russian version. In this one, Prince Ivan and his 2 older brothers shoot arrows in different directions to find brides. The older brothers’ arrows land on houses of daughters of an aristocrat and a wealthy merchant. While Ivan’s arrow ends up in frog’s mouth in a swamp, who’s a princess by night. Named Vasilissa the Wise, she’s a beautiful, intelligent, and skilled girl who’s forced to spend 3 years in frog’s skin for disobeying Koschei. Her final test may be to dance at the king’s banquet. The Frog Princess sheds her skin but the Ivan burns it to her dismay. For had the prince been patient, the Frog Princess would’ve been free. But instead, he loses her. He then sets out to find her again and meets with Baba Yaga, whom he impresses with his spirit, asking why she hasn’t offered him hospitality. She tells him Koschei’s holding his bride captive and explains how to find the magic needle necessary to rescue his bride. In another version, the prince flies into Baba Yaga’s hut as a bird. The prince catches her, she turns into a lizard, and he can’t hold on. Baba Yaga rebukes him and sends Ivan to her sister, where he fails again. However, when he’s sent to the third sister, he catches her and no transformations can break her free again. In some versions, the Frog Princess’ transformation is a reward for her good nature. In one version, the witches transform her for their amusement. In yet another version, she’s revealed to have been the enchanted princess all along.

Synopsis: The king wants his 3 sons to marry. To accomplish this, he creates a test to help them find brides, telling each prince to shoot an arrow. According to the king’s rules, each prince will find a bride where the arrow lands. A frog picks up the youngest son’s arrow. The king assigns his 3 prospective daughters-in-law various tasks like spinning cloth and baking bread. In every task, the frog outperforms the 2 other lazy brides-to-be. Still the young prince is ashamed of his frog bride until she magically transforms into a human princess.

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Fortunately for the prince, his frog bride doesn’t disappoint and accomplishes each task with gusto. While the other prospective daughters-in-law prove to be quite lazy.

Other Versions: Andrew Lang included an Italian variant in his The Violet Fairy Book called “The Frog.” In his version, the parent with 3 sons is an old woman instead of a king. While Italo Calvino included another Italian variant from the Piedmont called “The Prince Who Married a Frog.” In this version, the princes uses slings instead of bows and arrows. Georgias Megas included a Greek variant in his Folktales of Greece called “The Enchanted Lake.” In this version, the princes set out to find brides one by one. While the older 2 are already married by the time the youngest prince starts his quest. In some versions, the frog uses magic to accomplish the tasks, and though the other brides try emulating the frog, they can’t perform magic. Another variation has the brothers chop down trees and headed in the direction pointed by them in order to find their brides.
Adaptations: Made into 2 Soviet films in 1939 and 1977 as Vasilissa the Beautiful, which shouldn’t be confused with the one where Baba Yaga acts as fairy godmother and sets a house on fire.

Why Forgotten: It’s not necessarily forgotten since it’s very popular in Russia. But when we think of a frog princess we with think of Tiana from The Princess and the Frog since she’s turned into one. Except that she’s not since it’s a Disney adaptation of The Frog Prince.
Trivia: N/A

210. The Prince and Princess in the Forest
From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Evald Tang Kristensen in Æventyr fra Jylland (Danish, “Tales from Jutland”) in 1881.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Olive Fairy Book.
Synopsis: After the king of Denmark dies, the queen is so inconsolable that her only child, the prince, suggests they should go to a place on the other side of the forest. They get lost in the woods, but come upon 2 houses. The first contains a mail shirt and a sword, with a note saying they’ll keep a man safe from all danger, which the prince, unbeknownst to his mom, takes. The second house contains a food and a bed (granting them both food and a place to sleep). Unfortunately, it’s a robbers’ den. The next morning, when the prince is out hunting, the queen is surprised by the robber chief, telling her if she wants to live, she must make him king in her husband’s place and must kill her son. When the queen protests she can’t do this, the robber chief tells her to fake sick and send her son after some apples in a forest a mile away, knowing that it, “was full of wild animals who would tear to pieces any traveler who entered it.”

The forest “was full of lions and tigers, and bears and wolves, who came rushing towards him; but instead of springing on him and tearing him to pieces, they lay down on the ground and licked his hands.” Once the creatures no longer pose a threat, the prince finds an apple tree. When his sword brushes against it, 2 apples fall. After taking the apples, he starts leaving the woods. But a little black dog leads him to a tiny hole in the hill, which the sword enlarges enough for the prince to enter. He finds an Arabian princess chained to an iron pillar. 12 robbers have captured her and are fighting over who’ll marry her. She further says she’s been imprisoned here for 20 years. A touch from the prince’s sword breaks the chains. He leads her through the forest to a port containing a ship bound for Arabia, pledging that if he’s still alive next year, he’ll come to Arabia and marry her. She gives him a ring as a pledge of their promise, and sails home.

The robber smells the apples when the prince is still far away, deciding that only powerful magic could’ve saved the prince from the animals, orders the queen to tell the prince that she dreamed of him being attacked by wild animals and to ask how he survived. The prince tells her about the magic mail shirt and the magic sword, which the queen passes on to the robber chief who roofies the prince with a sleeping draught, and steals the sword and mail shirt, claiming they’re his brother’s. When the prince wakes up, the robber gives him a choice: either die or be blinded and left in the forest. Knowing that his mom betrayed him, he chooses blindness. The robber and queen go to Denmark, where they marry and the robber becomes king. The prince wanders until he arrives to a port, where there’s a ship bound for Arabia. Pitying the blind man, the captain offers to take him there. Once reaching his destination, the prince goes to the public baths, where the ring slips from his fingers. The slave finds it and brings it to a friend in the palace, who recognizes it as the princess’ ring. The friend passes it onto his daughter, who’s the princess’ favorite servant. On seeing it, the princess identifies it as her betrothed’s ring. And despite her dad’s objections since he doesn’t want a blind guy to rule after him, the prince and princess marry.

One day, the prince overhears 2 ravens saying that dew falls in a certain part of the garden on Midsummer’s Eve, restoring sight to those with bad eyes, or even no eyes at all. The prince tries it, and to his and his new wife’s delight, finds that he can see again. As the princess falls asleep due to heat, the prince sees a small shining lamp on a chain around her neck. The prince unfastens the chain and examines the lamp, but he drops its pendant, which a hawk instantly snatches it up. The prince chases the hawk for so long that he ends up in the same woods as before. When the princess wakes up, she follows him and gets captured by the same robbers.

The prince finds 12 youths seeking service. He joins them, and they all go to work for a troll who tells them they have to care for his house for a year and then answer 3 questions. Those who succeed will receive a sack of gold. Those who fail will be turned into beasts. After that year, the prince overhears the troll chatting with another troll, saying he’d ask how long they’d been there (the 12 young men being so busy partying that the troll’s sure they don’t know a year’s passed), what shines on the roof (the lamp the troll stole from the princess while slept), and where their food comes from (the king’s table). When the troll asks these questions, the others don’t know. But the prince answers all of them correctly. So they all receive their gold and leave. On the way, they meet an old beggar asking for some money for a poor man. The prince gives him the whole sack. However, the beggar is the troll in disguise but he gives the prince the lamp he stole, telling him the princess is in the same cave where the prince found her. The prince disguises himself as a peddler and orders a great many pots and pans from a goldsmith, using them to distract his mom while he searches for and reclaims the sword and mail shirt. When the robber chief returns, the prince strips him of his fine clothes and sends him into the forest, “where the wild beasts tore him to pieces,” and sends his mom back to her country. He rescues his wife and they reign over both their countries.

Other Versions: One version just has the prince fight the forest creatures and win.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features eye mutilation, and a man getting stripped naked and torn to pieces by wild beasts Ramsay-Bolton style. Also, it’s incredibly long.
Trivia: N/A