The Wacky World of Wish.com Merchandise

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A rival to Amazon and eBay, Wish.com is an online retailer that has gained quite a following in recent years. Founded in 2010, it began as an app where users would create wish lists for their desired items and the company would approach merchants to order that product’s particular amount. They also earned revenue with Pay-per-click model by advertising on Facebook. In 2013, Wish became an electronic commerce site after asking merchants to host their products directly on the app, with Wish taking a 15% sale cut. Nonetheless, as with its merchandise, Wish is basically Spencer’s with Dollar General prices. But order something and you’ll have to wait for a few weeks since the products were made in Asian countries. And you’ll find plenty of crazy weird stuff on there which you didn’t know existed. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of ridiculous products from the site. Some of these might not be safe for work, by the way.

  1. Rock your car with these fuzzy seat covers.
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Available in 4 different colors. Yet, might make people think you’re strange.

2. Defend yourself with these decorative keys.

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The kind of switchblades for the girly gang members out there. Might leave a wound in your enemies. But open doors? Not so much.

3. Improve your lady libido with Hergasm.

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Because why should men get the boner pills? Then again, I don’t think these actually work.

4. Like coloring books? Behold, The Big Adventures of Tiny Dick.

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Just because it’s a coloring book, doesn’t mean it’s for kids. As this coloring book certainly isn’t.

5. Relieve your sphincter with Comfortably Numb Anally Desensitizing Cream.

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Yes, they actually have cream for your asshole. And this one smells of spearmint.

6. Heard of a mechanical bull? Well, you can get the floating bull.

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It’s something you can ride on when you’re in the pool. Hope it doesn’t put you underwater.

7. Apparently, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch is getting into pot.

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Actually, this is just a T-shirt. But those cereal bits are totally baked.

8. There’s something fishy about these shoes.

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Since they resemble fish. Available in 4 sizes and 3 colors.

9. Have you just died? This book is for you.

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Actually, I don’t think this book is useful. Since the dead can’t read.

10. Always look sharp with metal claws.

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Consists of 10 pieces. Not sure if they qualify as weapons. Probably.

11. Eat Asian cuisine in style with a pair of metallic chopsticks.

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Available in 4 different colors. Still, I think wooden ones would do just as well.

12. Discover your faith with The Catholic Hipster Handbook.

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Because sacred imagery and incense is so out of the mainstream. Still, it might be interesting to read.

13. Perhaps you want more manly fishing lures.

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What are these lures used to catch? Piranhas? Not recommended for the father/son fishing trips.

14. Any girl would like a pair of fish earrings.

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Though ones with fish in a bag, I’m not so sure. Comes in 2 varieties.

15. Get your Cage pants on.

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Yes, these pants have a picture of Nicholas Cage all over them. And yes, it’s pretty creepy.

16. Get  a light on from this Chinese dragon ashtray.

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I actually don’t approve of smoking. But you can light up the dragon by pushing its tail.

17. Show love to your princess with this Zelda engagement ring.

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Zelda is a Nintendo RPG video game. Nonetheless, I’m sure guys might like to propose to their girlfriends with a ring like this. Though I don’t recommend it.

18. Now you can turn your bike in to a motorbike.

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This is a bike motor set. However, I kind of advise against it unless your unusually mechanically skilled. Seriously, a regular bike is fine for me.

19. Don’t leave for a hike without a survival bracelet.

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Includes a knife, compass, whistle, and Firestarter. Available in several different colors, too.

20. Care to give your campfire a little color?

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These can turn a fire into the colors of the rainbow. But I’m not sure about their safety record.

21. Feel free to attract with some magnetic slime.

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You can see the image above how it gravitates toward metal. Available in 6 colors.

22. Keep things behind your car with these organizers.

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I’m sure any driver would need these. Has a place for tech, drinks, and napkins.

23. You might find these food earrings quite stylish.

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Consists of donuts, cake pieces, pastries, and kitchen utensils. Not sure what I’d wear any of these with.

24. Defend yourself with this invisible blade ring.

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They’re basically rings containing knives you can use to stab attackers. Though mace also works, too.

25. Always have a toothpick crossbow in handy.

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Good for finger archery contests. If such events even exist.

26. These gem earrings will light up your night.

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Yes, they’re light up earrings while the stones aren’t real. Available in 6 colors.

27. Wear a masterpiece on your feet.

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Each pair of socks shows a famous painting or sculpture. And all in vibrant colors.

28. Listen to the music with this car MP3 player.

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Is that something you’d put on your dashboard? Think you’re better off just hooking your MP3 player to your car.

29. Now you can go undercover with this hidden camera.

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Great for spying on neighbors, family, and friends. Not meant for those with restraining orders.

30. Lose weight with this magnetic weight loss bracelet.

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I don’t think this works. But at least it makes a great piece of jewelry.

31. Don’t let your bad eyesight get in the way of poker night with these large cards.

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And yes, these are very big cards. But at least you won’t have trouble seeing them.

32. Clear your ears with this cleaning kit.

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On second thought, if you have clogged ears, better see a specialist. Seriously, these tools look pretty dangerous.

33. Perhaps you’d like a Nic Cage T-shirt to go with those pants.

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Yes, this Nic Cage T-shirt also exists. And yes, the expression is quite unsettling. Wonder why anyone would buy it.

34. These skeleton hair clips will be perfect for Halloween.

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Goes with any scary costume. Or if you plan to dress up as a character from a Tim Burton movie.

35. A pole dancing sloth will always amuse.

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And it seems the sloth is making it rain. Nonetheless, this shirt is hilarious.

36. You have to be crazy to get this jacket.

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Since they used to put a jacket like this on crazy people. Before they were put in a padded cell.

37. You might have an appetite for one of these food hoodies.

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Each comes in several different colors. And all are equally ridiculous.

38. Got clogged ears? Try ear candling therapy.

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Please don’t. For one, I don’t think it works. Second, since it involves burning, I suspect it’s quite dangerous. No cure is worth setting your house on fire.

39. A handy Scotsman always wears a cargo kilt.

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Includes large pockets to keep tools and other essentials. Let’s hope a guy wears underwear underneath.

40. Feel free to take one of these pills.

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Just don’t eat one because they’re not meant to be eaten. Yet, each one has a rather unique expression.

41. Keep your home lit with these LED mushroom night lights.

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Come in several different colors. Perfect to put near houseplants.

42. Do you snore? These snoring cones can help.

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You can just put it up in your nose and it’ll expand your nostrils. Not sure if it really works though.

43. Get rid of pimples and blackheads with this extractor kit.

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Because you can’t get rid of zits if you can’t bear the pain. Still, this kit seems to resemble what you’d keep in a torture chamber.

44. Brighten up this winter with this fur coat.

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Great for any ugly sweater party around Christmas. Though I hope the fur is fake. Yet, you’ll piss PETA off either way.

45. Say goodbye to zits with this vacuum acne cleaner.

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Not sure if it actually works. Since once zits and blackheads are removed, they’ll appear again.

46. Soak in this inflatable gold bathtub.

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I’m sure you’ll have use a hose to fill it up. And I don’t think the experience is as pleasant as it’s portrayed to be.

47. Recharge with these blood energy drink bag.

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Also doubles as a Halloween decoration. Available in several different colors.

48. Even skeletons have to use the bathroom sometimes.

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Though I have no idea why they’d use a toilet. Since they have no organs.

49. If you need a big umbrella, this is the one for you.

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You can have a whole meeting underneath this. Yet, you must have a designated holder.

50. Never get locked out again with this lockpicking kit.

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Great for break-ins, home invasions, and bank robberies. Will probably get you arrested.

51. Didn’t know toys had to contend with the zombie apocalypse.

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This is a mashup T-shirt between The Walking Dead and Toy Story. Yet, the blood on Buzz’s helmet is disturbing.

52. No one will mess with your tiger backpack.

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Available in orange and white. No real tigers were harmed in the making of this so the fur’s fake.

53. These reusable wedding party straws are a much have.

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Those aren’t straws. Those look like crack pipes. Seriously, I think they can get confiscated as drug paraphernalia.

54. Keep your pooch sharp with these dog undies.

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Are these even necessary? Seriously, most dogs don’t wear undies. Why do these exist?

55. Who says men can’t wear frilly undies?

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Yes, these are lace bikini briefs for men. Because what can make tidy whites more embarrassing than black lace?

56. Instead of a gun, why not give the NRA person in your life this rifle pen?

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Hey, at least this won’t kill you. Available in gold with a silencer lid.

57. Tone your face with this slim mask.

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Yes, that’s used to tone wrinkles. I don’t think it works. Unless you use it as a Halloween costume.

58. Brighten up your life with these dual purpose table lamps.

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Yes, they resemble spilled paint cans. Except they light up when you turn them on. Available in 4 colors.

59. Pierce your own ears with this contraption.

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On second thought, I wouldn’t advise it since it looks dangerous. Seek a professional instead.

60. There are boxers, briefs, and boxer briefs. Then there are these.

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This men’s underwear has a pocket for his uh, special appendage. Available in several different colors.

61. Now you can have this collectible gold and silver dogshit coin.

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The coin depicts a dog shitting. Seriously, I have no idea who comes up with such ideas.

62. How a moose hunting decal like this on your truck?

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Okay, that’s really disturbing. Seriously, why would a moose do that to a hunter? He has antlers. And yes, I said, “he” because female moose don’t have them at all.

63. This summer, get yourself a shower curtain depicting Jeff Goldblum with an ape.

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Apparently, Goldblum has become quite popular. Not sure why he’s with an ape in this picture.

64. If the doorbell’s broken, use this rug.

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It instructs you to yell “Ding Dong” really loud. Though you can just knock.

65. Need to do your business in the woods? Use these pee bags.

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You just put them on when you need to answer the call of nature in the outdoors with no bathroom in sight. Still, at least they’re disposable.

66. Remove security tags with this device.

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Perfect of shoplifters. Though I’m not sure if I’d recommend it. Since I think they do it for you in checkout.

67. Capture your world with this wi-fi mini camera.

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Uh, is this guy stalking that woman. Since he seems to view her from his phone. Creepy.

68. Need to pee on the go? This contraption can help.

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Just put it up to a bottle and go ahead. Though women might find this a lot more complicated.

69. Behold, the Kim Kardashian human centipede.

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Yes, they have a T-shirt of that. And yes, it’s as disturbing as the fact that she’s famous for being famous.

70. Protect yourself with these stun gloves.

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Touch someone with these and they’re in for a literal shock. Make sure you’re not wearing them among friends and family.

71. With these undies, your man will come howling to you.

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Okay, that’s really unsettling. Seriously, the wolf’s snout is where the guy’s dick is supposed to be.

72. Nobody will steal your make up if you put them in a fish purse.

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After all, the fish looks pretty realistic like it’s been caught. So no one will probably bother with it.

73. Love The Office? Get a load of this Michael Scott T-shirt.

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This one features Michael Scott in all his character itineration’s Not as disturbing as any clothing with Nicholas Cage.

74. Instead of using a disposable plastic straw, use this.

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It’s a folding metal straw you can use on the go. Available in pink and black.

75. Got a pot business? Wish has got you covered on hempseed.

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Available where pot’s legal. Because I’m sure they’ll confiscate it otherwise. Seriously, these are marijuana plants.

76. Hold your smartphone and enjoy some snacks with this bowl.

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Has a shelf where you can set your phone. Though you can just use a shelf and regular bowl.

77. This T-shirt will take you straight to Flavortown.

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This one is incredibly fitting. Includes pizza, hotdog, and Fieri in his flaming shirt.

78. Feel free to look at yourself with this laptop mirror.

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It’s basically a compact for computer nerds. Yeah, it’s pretty weird.

79. Be prepared for the apocalypse with this gold gas mask.

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I think this is more of a fashion accessory than anything. Also includes spikes.

80. See Kim Jong Un as you’ve never seen him before.

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Someone better mail this one to Donald Trump. Sure Kim Jong Un is a brutal dictator, but this Mona Lisa T-shirt of him is hilarious.

81. Keep your head dry with this umbrella hat.

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Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Nonetheless, guaranteed to make you look like an idiot.

82. Work out in this codeine track suit.

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By the way, codeine is a narcotic and shouldn’t be taken without a prescription. And certainly not something you’d want in a cough syrup.

83. Grow your plants with these beads.

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They’re plant soil beads you can put in a transparent flower pot. Don’t ask me how it’s supposed to work.

84. Get your hair dry with this hair drying bonnet.

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From Slapped Ham: “Are you sick and tired of looking sensible while drying your hair? Is waving a blow dryer over your head just too much hassle? Well thanks to Wish, you can wear this ridiculous contraption and look like a complete goon for no apparent reason at all. Finally you can get that much sort after ‘exploded rats nest’ look at home for a fraction of the cost you’d pay at the salon.”

85. Love Shrek? Get this 3D Shrek head.

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From My Favorite Daily Things: “The perfect night light for people who sleep better with a futuristic Shrek head staring at them all night.” Okay, that’s horrifying.

86. Bind your legs with leg plastics.

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From My Favorite Daily Things: “We can’t really figure out if these are for cellulite, weight loss or leg strength, so we’re just calling it leg plastic.” Neither can I.

87. Ingrown toenails? Try this corrector.

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Yes, this looks incredibly crazy. But will it work? Who knows.

88. Hairy armpits? Use these hair removal sponges.

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For use when you run out razors. Still, shaving armpits is incredibly tough.

89. Keep your toilet on during the night with this LED light.

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For when you’d like to party on the toilet. Why anyone would do that, I don’t know.

90. Shut your dog up with this duck bill muzzle.

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For when you want to keep your dog quiet and subject it to humiliation. Available in 4 colors.

91. Get bigger knockers with this breast enhancement vacuum.

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For the love of God, please don’t put this on your body. Just don’t. It’s not worth it.

92. Get down and dirty with this gardening glove with claws.

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Looks rather impractical and unnecessary. Seriously, how will it help you garden? I have no clue.

93. Keep your home warm with this wall space heater.

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Of course, if your way of heating the house is burning it down, by all means. Otherwise, you might want to stay away from this one.

94. Need an eyebrow touch up? These brow stamps are for you.

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Brows come in 3 colors. Great for those bushy mornings.

95. Keep an eye on your people with this spy cam pen.

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For the paranoid sort who thinks everyone is out to get them. Perfect to put in your shirt pocket.

96. Have your home smell nice with this mermaid incense burner.

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I guess the incense comes from the mermaid’s boobs. Now I have so many questions on how they reproduce.

97. Insecure about your tiny penis? Use this enlargement oil.

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From The Daily Edge: “For just €3 you can get this ‘Men sex products enlargement extender oil sex oil male’ which is pretty comprehensive. I can foresee no problems with this at all.” I think it’s a bottle of snake oil.

98. Bendy toes? Get the toe straightener.

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From The Daily Edge: “Bendy toes are the worst and for just shipping you can sort out that problem immediately with this toe straightener. No comment on how painful or medically safe the actual process will be but we’ll just casually ignore that.”

99. Scared of the dentist? Use this home dental kit.

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From The Daily Edge: “Have you ever felt the urge to examine your own teeth? Maybe you want to give your housemate with bad breath a check up. For just €8 plus shipping you can get a set professional dental trays to do what you want with. Not creepy at all.” On second thought, better to see a dentist.

100. Want your home to look straight from Dr. Seuss? Plant a blue bonsai seed.

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From The Daily Edge: “You can buy seeds for a blue bonsai tree whose existence is actually disputed by gardeners. Order them, plant them and see what happens. Also they can’t be that rare because you can buy a lot of them on the internet apparently.”

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The Disappointing World of Epic Design Fails

Nobody’s perfect. And those who design all the stuff we look at and use are no exception. After all, we all make mistakes. But if you design something, people are going to notice. At best, it’ll be overlooked like it’s no big deal. At worst, it’ll be emblazoned all over the internet and you may be known as a “you had only one job” person. Actually that may not be the worst since that might depend on your profession. Though some of these pieces might include more than one terrible mistake. From bad architecture to bad ads, you’ll find design blunders all over the place. Sometimes it’s bad font, wording, and ad perception. Sometimes it’s something much more practical. So for your reading pleasure today, I’ll give you an assortment of epic design fails. So enjoy. Though some of these might not be safe for work for obvious reasons.

  1. To be fair, counting miles is pretty tricky.
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No wonder running this trail feels longer than it should be. Still, there’s a difference between 4 and 5 miles.

2. I think you might mean jaguar.

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Because jeopards don’t exist. Seriously, it’s not even a word. But little kids might not know that.

3. What do you mean I can’t smoke in this ashtray?

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Don’t you know what an ashtray is for? If you don’t permit smoking, why do you have them?

4. Hunters Plaza is so heartless these days.

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Okay, they’re raising money to help kids with childhood cancer. Couldn’t they just say so and not look like monsters?

5. The Econo Camper Mat makes for a great book surface.

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Uh, aren’t you supposed to be lying on it? Better on an air mattress than the grass, I always say.

6. Even superheroes listen to their parents…oh wait.

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If you’re familiar with superheroes, you can see why these don’t add up. For one, Batman saw his parents murdered. Second, both Superman’s dads died when he was young. And both seem to send him conflicting messages. Third, superheroes don’t have bed times.

7. Perhaps your little princess would like to sit in this Cinderella car seat.

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Didn’t know one of Cinderella’s ancestors was a giraffe. Seriously, this is really freaky.

8. Apparently, the University of Texas doesn’t have a statistics department.

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Because these bars on this graph are way too high. Seriously, doesn’t someone understand percentages?

9. Bleach Cereal is part of a complete breakfast.

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Who the hell would buy this? Sure I don’t think it’s toxic, but you wouldn’t know by the packaging.

10. Okay, I think this Minion craze has gone too far.

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Minion bikini? What the fuck? I know they’re really popular but a minion bikini just doesn’t look right.

11. Did someone just die in here?

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Don’t worry, it’s just the carpet’s merely designed like a mass murder happened here. Still, I wonder how many 911 calls this place has inspired.

12. Why are those two guys banging a human centipede?

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To be fair, they might just be horsing around. But the positioning of these guys gives me a far dirtier impression.

13. Almond milk or laundry detergent? You decide.

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Because this almond milk bottle seems to resemble something you’d keep bleach in. Not sure if I’d take any. Oh wait, I wouldn’t.

14. We’re open 24/7 except when we’re not.

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To be fair, they’re only closed late at night on weekends. So it’s a time that most people won’t be calling anyway.

15. At Thunder Bay, golf is a man’s sport.

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Guess someone didn’t have the balls to tell the landscaper about this. Then again, you’d have to be nuts not to notice.

16. I’m sure your girlfriend will have quite the sensation once you hit the ‘Clit.’

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It’s a forest recreation area with plenty of bush. Not far from the G-Spot Nature Reserve. You’ll have such a good time you’d want to come again. Oh, it’s supposed to be “The Cut?” Well, the font suggests otherwise.

17. So do you have a Jack or an Ace?

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Sorry, but the Jack of Diamonds doesn’t look like it. Seems more like a diamond Ace to me.

18. Since when did couches have ball backs?

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For when you don’t want your guests to stay long. Seriously, that can’t be comfortable.

19. I suppose Jeff Epstein and Roy Moore used to frequent this joint.

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Okay, this has one more to do with bad text placement. 8-12 is supposed to be the time not the age range. But yes, it’s pretty disturbing.

20. That doesn’t look like 5 bananas.

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In fact, there seems to be 6 bananas. Apparently, this children’s book illustrator couldn’t count.

21. Pool open for 9 days a week from 10 to 9:30.

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Actually, it just repeats Friday and Saturday. Still, you’d think anyone would notice it.

22. Is this supposed to be soap or candy?

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It’s supposed to be hand soap. But the label seems to suggest otherwise.

23. I don’t think you’d want to use this stall.

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Since the door’s basically a trapezoid. So it doesn’t provide any adequate privacy.

24. I don’t think your belongings will be safe in these lockers.

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Because they don’t seem to have any locks on them. So better keep your belongings on you in this place.

25. Apparently, Habitat for Humanity provides sniper lessons.

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The van is supposed to say, “Practice your skills.” But given how van doors slide, you can see where the unfortunate message comes in.

26. Seems like the poop emoji recently got a makeover.

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Yes, it’s supposed to be toothpaste. But no matter what the color scheme, a glop with a smiling face is always the poop emoji.

27. Please don’t season the birds.

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Okay, it’s supposed to say don’t feed the birds. But the bird should be facing the other way.

28. Pencil’s got on Nikes but no pants.

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Wonder why he’s not getting arrested for indecent exposure. Then again, he’ll have to sharpen his tip once he gets going.

29. Maybe you should just put “Jazz” not anything fancy in between.

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Yeah, the shirt seems to say, “Jizz Addicts.” Coming soon to a club called The Golden Shower.

30. Didn’t know Paw Patrol was such a dark show. Though it was catered to toddlers.

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Well, the box says, “Paw Concentration Camp.” Like, what the hell? I don’t think 2-year-olds are ready to learn about the Holocaust.

31. Before you erect a pay meter, make sure it’s capable with its environment.

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Since I don’t think solar panels work in parking garages. Still, this place must be a popular place to park.

32. Looks like Ohio State’s not doing so good.

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Okay, this is an alarm clock. But why would they put the time on the scoreboard, I have absolutely no idea. Couldn’t they just put the time on the time clock like they do in every game?

33. Excuse me, ma’am, but I think you might have a severe case of diarrhea.

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Actually, she’s wearing a white dress with brown flowers. But it surely looks like she massively shit herself.

34. On second thought, maybe mirrored ceiling tiles in the bathroom was a bad idea.

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I mean they obviously reflect the toilets in the stalls. Guess someone has no concept of privacy.

35. Jesus Christ, these people are monsters.

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Okay, they actually support Child Abuse Prevention Month. But the last 2 words are in smaller type.

36. So how are you supposed to use the toilet if you can’t reach the toilet paper?

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I mean the toilet paper should be near the toilet. Not near the sink. Yeah, I don’t know how this is supposed to work out.

37. How do you know how much water you have in this bottle.

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I mean it should be at least translucent, not opaque. This doesn’t make any sense.

38. Didn’t know I could find Seven of Nine’s baby picture on a bus.

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You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Still, I didn’t think the Borg would get her this early.

39. Do you squirt?

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It’s supposed to stand for Silent Quiet Un-Interrupted Reading Time. However, “squirt” also has a rather different connotation in the bathroom.

40. I don’t think whoever designed this knows how.

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The words are divided into columns. Yet, given how we read, you can see how it doesn’t make sense.

41. Aaris is home to the Eiffel Tower.

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Okay, it’s supposed to say Paris. But somehow, someone had the brilliant idea to put the Eiffel Tower on the P instead of the A.

42. These activewear Speedo pants will show off your, uh….big dick energy.

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Actually that’s supposed to be a leg, not a penis. But looking at them from this angle makes you think otherwise.

43. You can now watch movies from the comfort of your home or car.

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The scaling on this is incredibly bad. Also, you can’t put a couch in your car.

44. Want to take some mulled spice bleach?

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Okay, it’s probably not bleach, but mouthwash. Still, despite its cinnamon flavor, I wouldn’t want to put that in my mouth.

45. Care for a Tex Cock Mextail?

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It’s supposed to say “Tex Mex Cock Tails.” But given how we read, it doesn’t come out right.

46. I’d have to get a ladder to plug something in.

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I don’t see anyone using this electrical outlet anytime soon. Since it’s in a very inconvenient location.

47. No, “stressed” spelled backwards isn’t “desserts.”

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It’s actually “desserts.” But apparently, this person didn’t get the memo.

48. You don’t want to drink that. Seriously.

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Because it’s radiator coolant. Why they thought it would be fine in a tall pop can container, I absolutely have no idea.

49. So how do you use this keypad?

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Look, I understand what most of these buttons are supposed to do. But the commands on the right don’t match the colors and symbols. So something might mess you up.

50. I don’t think you should wear these flamingo pants.

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No, it has nothing to do with whether they might make one’s but look big or fat. But the flamingos just don’t make your crotch look good.

51. Make your home great again with some white power accessories.

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I understand white is to signify color. But “white power” is also a white supremacist chant. Doesn’t look good.

52. Is that where the speakers are supposed to be?

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I don’t think speakers are supposed to go near the pedal and brakes. Seriously, why?

53. Soul-Feel – to remember that perfect voyeur moment.

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It would be easier just to take a selfie. Why not, I have no idea.

54. Is this supposed to be a dentist’s office or an execution chamber?

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Given how the standing figure appears to be holding a gun at the lying figure’s head, you’d think the latter. Still, it’s pretty crazy.

55. Seems like this upcoming basketball game’s going to be a real snoozer.

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Better not watch this one. Will probably slog on for hours. Also, this announcement is from New Zealand.

56. Warning: incoming dancer coming down the stairs.

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Yeah, you don’t want to be near someone silly walking. This is especially the case at the stairwell.

57. Seems like I found Hannibal Lecter’s favorite restaurant.

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Best thank Jessica’s family for offering their bodies to nourish all the cannibalistic customers. Once again, word placement is the key.

58. In this year’s Christmas Bazaar and Craft Show, we’re fighting children with diabetes.

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It should be “Fight Childhood Diabetes” fundraiser. Otherwise, it means that you’re beating the crap out of diabetic kids.

59. This urinal placement’s bound to create some awkward moments.

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Because I don’t think guys want to pee that close to each other. Seriously, they don’t even design stalls so close together.

60. Don’t bother parking in this driveway.

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Since it has power lines running down. So what’s the point having a driveway right there?

61. Don’t let your kids go down this playground slide.

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For this slide doesn’t have any side rails. Also kind of resembles a very long tongue.

62. Apparently, whoever came up with this toenail file wasn’t consulted on product names.

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Pedi File? Seriously, I understand what they’re trying to get at. But the name too closely resembles a term they use for a child molester.

63. He should remember not to dive in the shallow end.

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Apparently, this giant is seconds away from being paralyzed. Probably not the smartest tool in the shed.

64. Wonder what kind of prick would pay for this pool.

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Hope whoever owns this one doesn’t have any kids. Because I’m not sure if they’d have the balls to explain the shape to them.

65. I don’t think bathroom carpeting is a bright idea.

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Considering that you’re bound to drip water quite often, you’re better off with tile. Seriously, why?

66. Well, I guess I’ll lose then.

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After all, if you can’t win at Tic Tac Toe, you can keep the other person from winning. So I’ll call it a draw.

67. I just want to listen to the radio not shift gears.

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A gear shift shouldn’t be a knob. Seriously, it just confuses people.

68. I don’t think the stairs can make it to this bedroom.

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Seems like you have to make quite a step to get inside. Best you don’t sleepwalk. Parkour fans only.

69. Shouldn’t you not go under that ramp anyway?

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From Bored Panda: “The Rails Should Prevent People From Hitting Their Head, But Instead They Trip Over Them. So Now, Traffic Cones.”

70. There, that should keep intruders away.

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Apparently, someone didn’t get the memo on how anyone can just go around the gate. So it’s basically worthless.

71. How not to design a handicap parking spot.

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Not sure how the wheelchair can get around the bumper and onto the ramp. Disabled access shouldn’t be this difficult.

72. When it comes to signs, spacing is important.

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The letters are so close together that you can’t tell what it’s supposed to say. Other than it’s a bookshop.

73. So where is this vent supposed to go to?

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Apparently, it’s screwed on a tile wall. So it doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.

74. So how do I get this thing out of the packaging?

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Seems like these things can help you open stuff. But then they come encased in plastic impossible to rip open.

75. So how do I use this keypad if I want to warm up something?

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Because the keypad on this microwave doesn’t have any numbers on it. Just pictures and that won’t help me or anyone else.

76. 50 lanes? Let’s merge them into 4.

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Man, if you have to deal with traffic on your commute. Be happy you don’t drive on this road.

77. Apparently, I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a wheelchair.

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Does this person have a large butt? Just jumping on a bouncy ball? What else?

78. If only there was an easier way to see who’s outside the door.

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For God’s sake, there’s a window right there. Seriously, you don’t need a peep hole. The window’s good enough.

79. I think I’ll use the garden hose instead.

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Since the fire extinguisher more or less resembles a flame thrower. Not a great indicator in the least.

80. Perhaps you’d want a couch like this in your house.

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Oh my God, this is just incredibly ugly. Also, some of the upholstery may not be suitable for children.

81. When you have to take a shit at a public lecture.

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“Hello, everyone, I’m here with you today to discuss our sales figures. But first, I have go to the John. I apologize if you have to watch me drop my pants.”

82. Remember that nothing is impossible.

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Except you can’t see the first 2 letters. So you might find this rug rather pessimistic.

83. I don’t think this sends a great message to kids.

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Actually, it’s an anti-smoking PSA. But given that it’s on a school bus, it seems like an ad encouraging kids to drop out of school. Still, kids, don’t quit school. It never ends well.

84. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the dumbest couple around.

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Uh, I think the woman’s well past the first trimester since she’s obviously showing. Seriously, she doesn’t really need a pregnancy test by now.

85. Get ready for the Dublin Staff relay.

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Since when do men wear a tie on their wrists? Because I’ve never seen guys doing any such thing.

86. If you don’t know the language and can’t get a translator. But you need to open right away.

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That doesn’t seem like this business will do well. Wonder what’s going on with the translator.

87. Hope you don’t do your business at the beach.

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It’s supposed to say “suit yourself.” But sometimes the typeface doesn’t do the phrase justice.

88. So what will you have for the wedding: chicken, beef, kids?

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They should put the kids under the guest line. Not next to the menu. Bunch of sickos.

89. The slide goes 3 ways.

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I don’t think a kid may want to slide down on that. Where they’ll land, no one knows.

90. Do you really need an iWatch that big?

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This seems more suited for people that are about the size of as skyscraper. Maybe Godzilla or King Kong.

91. Lounge in your pool with this air mattress from Always.

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In case it’s your time of the month, this float is extra absorbent. Seriously, why would anyone want to design a pool float that looks like a maxi pad? It’s just ridiculous.

92. How about joining the Cool Jizz Association?

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Oh, it’s supposed to be the Cool Jazz Association. Still, I heard they’re streaming on Netflix. Bet you’re already bursting since holding it in. Since urine luck.

93. No, I wouldn’t know what accident to do.

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This is supposed to convey “If you were in a car accident, what would you do?” But the font and size doesn’t seem to do justice.

94. Unfortunately, the memories don’t seem to last forever on this time.

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Since the word, “memories” is faded. Because it doesn’t have the same color as the other words on here.

95. Welcome to the 9/11 Superstore.

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This isn’t just an Indian Seven Eleven knock off convenience store. But also desecrates one of the worst days in American history like the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

96. Here is a touching tribute to JFK at this Memorial. Oh, wait.

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For God’s sake, the guy was shot in the head during a motorcade in Dallas. While the corner is right near it. That can’t be good.

97. Music connects people.

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Unfortunately, these silhouette couple realized the world won’t let them be together. So they decided to hang themselves on 2 eighth notes. So tragic.

98. Apparently, this school administration knows nothing about current pop culture trends.

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For one, The Hunger Games is a trilogy. Secondly, it’s about teenagers who are forced to fight to the death by a repressive dystopic government. Apparently, the odds aren’t in their favor.

99. Feel free to hunt kiddies here with a shotgun.

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Actually don’t. Since the sign wants people to drive slower since kids are around. Also, hunting is usually reserved for certain times of the year. But you can understand the misinterpretation.

100. Feel free to take suggestions that we’ll normally toss away anyway.

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Because at this place, you’re opinion doesn’t really matter. So you better get used to it.

The World According to Stock Photography (Second Edition)

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A year ago before I went to Minnesota to attend my cousin’s wedding, I did a post on ridiculous stock photography. So I decided do another for 2019. After all, given how President Cheetofascist is supremely racist, ICE is rounding up undocumented immigrants, Central American refugees, Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, and all the crazy stuff coming from a dumpster fire known as the Trump administration, I kind of figured we need something to laugh at. Other than the so-called invasion at Area 51 no less. Anyway, you might see stock photos all around you all the time whether for public or commercial use. Often these usually pertain to cheap business ads, spur-of-the moment PSAs, and low-budget greeting cards. While many of these like the image of an old guy on the computer with a fake smile hiding distress on his face, have become memes. Remember the one with the distracted boyfriend? Well, that’s a stock photo. Nonetheless, I can go on raving about the best stock photos in recent time. But I won’t since you’ve probably seen them anyway. Instead, I’ll show you another assortment of the worst and most ridiculous ones you wouldn’t want on your craft beer website. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of crazy stock photos.

 

  1. When you eat out and there are no cutlery options available.
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Apparently, judging by his hands, he just ordered dessert. I suspect it’s cheesecake.

2. Playing naked balloon fort has deep roots in the 18th century.

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Okay, that wasn’t a thing. Since they didn’t have mass rubber production at the time. But given that she’s naked, in a balloon fort, and has a hairstyle akin to Marie Antoinette, I couldn’t resist.

3. Unfortunately, Del Monte phone service was utterly worthless.

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Either that or he’s drunk arguing on a banana phone at the office. Then again, he just might be plain nuts.

4. On his off hours, a US Army IT guy shoots his rounds.

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But instead of using his gun, he uses his keyboard. Results in less lethal accidents that way.

5. Apparently, sex doll porn is a thing.

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I really don’t want to know what’s going on in this guy’s sex life. But at least he’s not hurting anyone.

6. Sandy’s new dress was full of baloney.

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And apparently, she wears these lunch meat slices as a dress. Or is that really salami?

7. The Christmas party was so crazy that even Dog Santa was wasted.

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Even funnier how this dog’s wearing a Santa suit and sunglasses. Man, I really don’t want to be around when it wakes up with a doggie hangover.

8. How not to bond with your kitten.

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Just because cat moms lick their young, doesn’t mean you should lick your feline fur baby. Since it’ll just think you’re insane.

9. Unfortunately, the Olive Garden had to reject Betty Spaghetti as its mascot.

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What? You don’t remember Betty Spaghetti? I mean at one point, she used to be on almost all their posters.

10. During the Great Depression, Big Bird’s dad would support himself through babysitting.

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Unlike his famous son of Sesame Street fame, the children weren’t very fond of him. In fact, he gave them nightmares.

11. Remember Distracted Boyfriend? Here’s Distracted Boyfriend on Escalator.

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Unlike the more familiar version, this one has the parties go in different directions. Also, it’s going on behind the girlfriend’s back.

12. When the only jean size available is XXXXL.

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I mean the jeans obviously go all the way up to the guy’s shoulders. Yet, he’s trying to make the best of it.

13. For God’s sake Lindsey, spaghetti isn’t finger food.

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You should’ve known that since your toddler years. Seriously, waving your spaghetti and meatballs in the air just makes a mess.

14. Hundreds of miles from civilization and this old man can still use a laptop.

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Still, I’m kind of skeptical how he can get a wi-fi signal that far. Besides, he’s old and not wearing a shirt.

15. Isn’t she way too big for that tricycle?

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I’d say so since she can lift it up by the handlebars. Also, she’s pregnant and dressed like she’s from the trailer park in Whoville.

16. When you’ve been riding the same tricycle everywhere since you were five.

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That guy really needs a car. Or at least live near a bus station. Seriously, he’s way too big for it and is wearing a business suit like he works in an office.

17. I don’t think fans will be happy with the next Predator movie.

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Apparently, they had a lot of budget cuts. So instead of CGI, the Predator will be played by some bald guy with dreadlocks.

18. Elephants always enjoy the great outdoors.

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The two calves are riding their bikes while their mom rides a scooter. Though they’d definitely crush these things in real life.

19. If you’re horny and you know it, blow your horn.

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Apparently, this guy blows for sex. Not sure if he’ll get any with that routine.

20. Even evil witches have their girl friends, too.

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But if Lexie dare steal Grimilda’s man, she’ll drop a house on her. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

21. Tragically, the peanut tight rope has become a very dangerous act.

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As you can see by how many cracked after a fall. Rest in Reese’s Pieces.

22. Duchess look behind you!

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Seems like dogs engage in murder and mayhem, too. As you can see by the one dog raising its paw with a knife.

23. She makes balancing a loaf of bread on her head look easy.

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And yet, she seems perfectly secure in herself. Though I have no idea how she can keep bread that large on her head. Photoshop?

24. “Is she dead? Or is she just sleeping?”

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Teacher appears like she’s trying to wake up a student sleeping in class. And she doesn’t want anyone to see her.

25. When your dog groomer plays Minecraft.

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Yes, the poodle’s all trimmed in blocks. And yes, it’ll look pretty ridiculous for awhile.

26. Before she became the sweet woman from accounting, Karen was once a badass soldier in the Army.

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Those look like two different women. Also, I don’t think women in the military dress like that.

27. “Kibble shares are doing great around this quarter.”

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Here a business dog is at work on his laptop. And it’s almost time for him to leave and go for his walk.

28. “Mr. Gigantis, I think you might’ve had an allergic reaction.”

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I’d hate to be there when that giant sneezes. Cause someone’s going to get covered in snot.

29. Nothing beats doing business on the beach.

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Since that tidal wave will basically destroy the computer within a second or two. There’s a reason why people don’t have beach offices.

30. In business, you have to see all the possibilities.

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That doesn’t mean you should do your business on a cliff. Since that’s incredibly dangerous.

31. Saint Nicholas receives a devastating call.

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“You mean the Dutch don black face to imitate my six to eight black men? Oh, the humanity!”

32. “Get that infernal egg away from me!”

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“Can’t even look how you poach, scramble, and have it over easy. It’s horrible! Stop it! Stop it!”

33. “I believe I can fly…”

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Though Kyle basically works on his laptop on Greg. Poor Greg. He’s going to have chronic back problems later in life.

34. This holy sister has a message for the red man downstairs.

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Oh, Sister Angelica, how could you flip two birds? So undignified for a nun like you.

35. “Want to see my business card?”

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Sorry, but if a guy’s dressed up like the Dude from The Big Lebowski, I’d rather not. For all I know, he could be promoting something shady.

36. There’s nothing like the joys of doing laundry.

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Here Lily sits in front of the washing machine, contemplating the emptiness of her own existence. While holding a pink balloon, no less.

37. Presenting the new Harold & Maude remake.

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Man, they really stretched the age gap from the original. How old is that boy supposed to be? Please let it be 18.

38. This disabled dwarf managed to snag a lady at a punk rock concert.

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What do you know, they have matching mohawks. Yet, the guy has her on a leash. Guess it’s a kink.

39. Though Walter managed to retain his 6-pack, he wasn’t put on right.

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I mean he’s got his butt on his front, no less. Wonder how he has sex and goes to the bathroom. On second thought, I really don’t want to know.

40. Cousin It’s daughter doesn’t have an active social life.

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She also finds it difficult to eat and drink. Mainly with all that hair around her face.

41. Beware of the 3-eyed cat.

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Okay, that’s really weird and kind of creepy. Since the third eye looks remarkably similar to the others.

42. Ever tried licking a cactus?

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Please don’t do this. Since your tongue will hurt like hell for cacti have needles to keep critters from eating their skin.

43. Meet Mike, the Cyber Internet Hacking Thief.

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He’s more machine now than man. Given that most of his body consists of robotic limbs.

44. Think you have to remove the bones and scales first.

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Don’t think that eating a fish straight out of the stream is a good idea. Might hurt your mouth. But, hey, a bet’s a bet.

45. Apparently, the sexy Ser Brienne of Tarth costume was not a success.

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Though I hear it’s been used in the Game of Thrones porn therapy and as a stripper costume. Still, Brienne deserves better.

46. Got a weird sexual fetish? These women got you covered.

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From Bored Panda: “What We Need Is A Picture Of A Blindfolded Woman In Lingerie Holding A Pomegranate With A Octopus On It. Oh And Could You Set Up A Mirror In The Corner Showing Another Woman Sulking? Perfect. Thanks.”

47. “I’ll have your neck for this, Hansen!”

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Let’s just say, the boss meant that literally as he literally grabbed Hansen by then neck. And apparently Hansen’s neck is abnormally large neck.

48. She expects to be the ultimate soccer mom.

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Since she’s carrying a future soccer player in her belly right now as seen how her abdomen resembles a soccer ball. Of course, that could just be all air.

49. Ronnie just wanted to seek some comfort from the Scriptures before ending it all.

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But he can’t decide whether to kill himself by hanging or poison injection. He’d really want it to be quick but is scared of needles.

50. You should know better than to mess with a pineapple businessman.

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He’s all about the Benjamins and he’ll stop at nothing to be the top fruit in the finance world. Though he’s bound to rot from the head.

51. “What’s in the Box?”

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Apparently, it’s Becky’s little head and she’s tearfully screaming. But at least whoever packed it in used bubble wrap and handled it with the utmost delicacy.

52. “We are trying to find the answer to the age old question on why the chicken crossed the road.”

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They didn’t find it. But the scientists managed to get a half dozen eggs out of their lab observations.

53. “I want adventure in the great, wide somewhere…”

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Yes, the guy yearns to go to another place with his hat and suitcase at his side. While jets fly high in the sky like they’re war planes.

54. When your mother’s an Olympic swimmer and your father is the Incredible Hulk.

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While Suzie Banner was in many ways a normal child. Her dad Bruce’s condition with gamma ray radiation resulted in her having a congenital mutation of Hulk hands.

55. “Stop right there! Your pizza or your life!”

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“But I just ordered this delicious pepperoni! Oh, God, please just let me enjoy just one little slice! I’m basically pissing my pants over this!”

56. Didn’t know Bigfoot had a more civilized side to him.

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Okay, he’s actually answering a call on his smart phone. He’s telling his friend how he’s adjusted to human civilization and asking how things are in the woods.

57. She’s got so many reminders that she doesn’t know where to put them.

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So she’s all covered in Post-It notes. If you’re married to her, give this woman some kind of organizer or a bulletin board.

58. A businessman can’t ask for anything more than being in a wheatfield with balloons and a briefcase.

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Someone must be on drugs. Seriously, who frolics in a wheatfield wearing a business suit?

59. Apparently, Japanese nurses are known to entertain hospital patients with conch shell performances.

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Patient is like, “I have to stay up with my food poisoning for this? Can’t I do anything to get this lady to stop?”

60. Don’t worry, Nurse Liloki will take good care of you.

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So she’s marching on the patient’s room with a baseball bat and glove. In case intruders come inside.

61. “Let’s try something a little more adventurous.”

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I think this is taking things a bit too far. I mean making love on a log over a waterfall can result in grievous injury.

62. “Born to be wild..”

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Looks like we have a true mountain lion on his mountain bike. And he’s having the time of his life.

63. When you spend so much on the phone that you don’t take time to listen to your wife.

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Here the wife’s wielding the frying pan while her husband is on the phone. Would love to see them in couples counseling.

64. “But Mrs. Fletcherson, I don’t want to play the recorder.”

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“Listen, Mister, we play recorders in music class and you’re gonna learn to it. Even if I have to drag your ass myself.”

65. Mr. July on the Gas Mask Hunks 2050 calendar.

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The kind of man you’d want in your post-apocalyptic bunker once our human civilization is ravaged by catastrophic climate change. Named as one of the year’s most sexiest men. Given that his body shows no signs of radiation damage.

66. David is a very special boy.

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Since while most people’s waists can only twist at 180 degrees, his turns 360. Yes, I know it looks freaky.

67. A child comes to terms with the harrowing reality that this is what it’ll be like until she retires.

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Go ahead and cry, little girl. Adult life sucks. Also, you’ll be crying in your office a lot more often from now on.

68. Sometimes giving last respects can be very awkward.

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I think we found the murderer. And they used the wrong casket, too.

69. It’s tough being a test dummy and in love.

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“If we make it through this crash, Stanley, let’s run away together. We can get married in Vegas. Nobody will want to condemn us to car testing there.”

70. Tragically, even the North Pole wasn’t exempt from the drug crisis.

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Given global warming, Donald Trump raging on Twitter over being on the naughty list, and other problems, could you blame Santa for shooting up heroin and snorting coke? Nonetheless, such image can ruin your childhood.

71. “Cheeseburgers! Cheeseburgers everywhere!”

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This woman his haunted by cheeseburgers. Best she stay out of a Burger King, MacDonald’s, In&Out Burger, and other places.

72. Featuring the latest thing in food technology: white bread.

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She kind of presents white bread as if it’s the new iPhone or something. Nice try, but she looks ridiculous. Since white bread has been around for decades.

73. Ladies can’t get enough of a manly canine lumberjack.

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By day you can see him cutting down trees as well as peeing on them. Also enjoys long walks in the park and catch. Not to mention, he’s house-trained and got all his shots.

74. Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.

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Seems like she’s getting a massage from a boxing glove. I know it seems straight out of an acid trip.

75. Ahhh…cactus.

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The boy’s smelling a cactus. Hope he doesn’t get a nose full of needles.

76. A one-eyed accountant flashes “East Side” while listening to an abacus.

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How do you listen to an abacus? Because as far as I know, you don’t.

77. In partnership with Lowe’s introducing the Victoria’s Secret Catalog: Handy Girl Edition.

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She can fix up your house and be a man’s bedroom fantasy at the same time. Though I don’t think wearing a skimpy outfit is a good idea, given the potential for injury.

78. “Honey, I can explain…”

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Sorry, Barry, but Jennifer knows you won’t leave your wife for her. So prepare to be bludgeoned to death by rolling pin.

79. “Ice, ice, baby…”

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Yes, we cling to anything to cool us down during the summer. But embracing a large block of it is a bit much.

80. Don’t mind Larry, he’s just taking a bath.

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However, most people don’t usually bathe in their scuba gear. Since most tubs aren’t as deep as the ocean.

81. Gone on a trip to an exotic Latin American country? Party in your car and pick up hitchhikers.

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Actually picking up hitchhikers is a very bad idea. Also, standing up in the jeep isn’t wise either. Not to mention, I don’t think that car’s supposed to fit 7 or more people.

82. Oh, God, Santa’s been a naughty boy this year.

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I’m sure Mrs. Claus won’t be happy when she finds out about this. Someone’s going to get coal in his stocking this Christmas as well as sleeping on the couch.

83. Jessie always feared the times when her daddy’s drunk.

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Why is this a stock photo? It basically shows a girl afraid of seeing her dad with a bottle in one hand and a belt in the other. I think we can figure out what he’s going to do.

84. “Yo, yo, what time is it? Show time!”

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“Uh, Holly, that’s not how we do a rap battle. You’re making us look like idiots. Can we just leave right now?”

85. “Put your hand on my womb, Jamie.”

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Please, have this boy be her son and not her baby’s daddy. Because that boy is basically a teenager and any sexual relationship between a teen and adult is grounds for statutory rape.

86. “Our love literally defies gravity.”

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I mean they’re jumping for joy yet their feet don’t touch the ground. This doesn’t conform to the laws of physics in the least.

87. “There’s a bear behind us? Let’s take a selfie.”

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After this, Gary and Linda were never seen again. Or at least in one piece since the bear basically devoured them.

88. Simba rules the corporate boardroom.

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Actually it’s a guy with a photoshopped lion’s mane. But Scar better watch his back since Simba will claim his rightful place as king of the pridelands.

89. “Help! I got myself stuck in the washing machine!”

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How is it possible to get stuck in a washing machine? Fortunately, none of the machines at the laundromat seem to be on at the moment.

90. Fancy a vacation on the moon?

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No, going to the moon isn’t like going to the beach. It has no atmosphere so you need to put a space suit on. Else, you’ll suffer a most horrible death.

91. “Good morning, class, hope you studied hard for today’s examination.”

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Seriously, a teacher in high heels and miniskirt? She seems more suited to a porn “hot for teacher” movie than a school?

92. He’s known simply as “Pencil Boy.”

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Because he has pencils stuck inside his orifices, save his eyes. Don’t be surprised if the teacher calls his mom saying he got beat up at school.

93. This year’s latest fashion trend: Lobster hair.

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Let’s hope the lobster is dead or plastic. Because a live one on that woman’s head simply terrifies me.

94. When you break into someone’s house in the most embarrassing way.

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Or when your scuba diving excursion goes humiliatingly wrong that you end up entering someone’s home through the toilet. Yeah, got to see how he’ll explain himself.

95. When the flight is overbooked but you can’t miss it.

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Yes, she’s sitting out on the wing which is incredibly dangerous. But she manages to sit comfortably in her business dress and work on her laptop.

96. “We’re about to be beset with some minor turbulence.”

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Either the plane is facing some major turbulence, got shot up into space, or she’s got the acid kicking in. I don’t know how else to explain.

97. “I’m Mary Poppins y’all.”

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Yes, the acid’s definitely kicking in. Since traveling by umbrella doesn’t necessarily get you where you need to go.

98. “Let’s celebrate my survival from a plane crash with interpretive dance!”

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Uh, now’s not the time to do an interpretive dance moves. Better to get supplies and send a signal for a rescue.

99. This caged woman dreams of freedom from her gilded prison.

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Many people might see her as Melania Trump in a nutshell. Though Melania’s prison is the position of First Lady of the United States. Despite that all she wanted to be was a trophy wife to a moral degenerate fake billionaire.

100. A teddy bear goes on his winter trek.

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I hope this bear isn’t trying to climb Mount Everest. Since he’s probably going to die after reaching the summit. Then again, the Sherpas won’t have trouble getting him there.

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 25- The Adventures of Covan, the Brown-Haired to The Glass Mountain

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Finally, we come to the conclusion. It took me about 2-3 months to compile this series and I did as good a job as I could. And I hope you enjoyed them. Still, it took me a very long time to do these posts that I posted 5 of these at a time. Anyway, in this final installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, is a European story of brown-haired boy trying to find his siblings. Second, are Italian tales about a courageous royal servant, a girl with chopped off hands, a girl with a magical snake, and a young slave. Third, is a Scottish story of a girl who wears a coat of rushes followed by a French tale of an enchanted watch. After that, we come to an Irish story about a gardener and a princess. Then is a Russian tale of magic swan geese. And finally, our last fairy tale is a Polish yarn of a glass mountain.

241. The Adventures of Covan, the Brown-Haired

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The European fairy tale, The Adventures of Covan, the Brown-Haired is about a young man who searches for his lost siblings. He works for an old man herding cows and you won’t believe the greener pastures he comes to.

From: Europe
Earliest Appearance: Translated by Dr. MacLeod Clarke.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Orange Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A goat herder and his wife have 3 sons and a daughter. One day, the daughter vanishes while tending the kids. The kids come home but they can’t find her. The oldest son Ardan declares he’ll set out in search of his sister. His mom reproves him for not asking his dad first. But since he made a vow, she makes him a large cake and a little one and asks which one he wants: the big one without her blessing or the small one with it. Ardan chooses the large cake. When a raven asks for some, he refuses it. Then he comes to an old man in a cottage with a young woman combing her golden hair. The old man offers to let him watch his cows for a year. The young woman warns against it, but he rudely disregards her advice and takes service anyway.

The old man tells Ardan to follow the cows that know good pasture, and never leave them. But during the first day, he watches the cows, he sees a golden rooster and a silver hen and lets them distract him along with a gold staff and a silver one. When Ardan brings them back, the cows give now milk, only water. The old man turns him into stone. Then second son Ruais sets out in the same way, and suffers the same fate.

Finally, the brown-haired and youngest Covan asks to leave to go after his siblings. His dad gives him his blessing. And Covan takes the smaller cake and gives some to the raven. When he comes to the cottage and thanks the young maiden for her advice though he doesn’t take it. He follows the cows when they come to pasture. There he hears music and listens to it. A boy runs to him claiming his cows are in the corn. Covan says he can drive them out in the time it takes to come to him. Then the boy returns claiming the dogs are worrying the cows. Covan says he can’t drive the dogs in the time it takes to reach him. The cows go on. They go through a barren pasture with a fat mare and foal, a lush pasture with a starving mare and foal, and a lake with 2 boats. One with happy youths going to the land of the sun. The other with grim shapes going to the land of night. The cows go on and it grows so dark that Covan can’t see the cows. The Dog of Maol-Mor, whom he heard of, bids him to stay the night. He does. The next morning, the dog is grateful because he took what’s offered and didn’t mock him. So he says Covan can call on him for aid. The next day, the cows end up on a barren plain. The raven offers him hospitality and he takes it. The raven is grateful he did and didn’t mock it and says he can call on him for aid. The day after that, the cows wind up by a river. The famous otter Dora-Donn offers Covan his hospitality. He takes it. And the otter offers to come to his aid.

The cows return and they have milk instead of water. The old man is pleased and wants to know what Covan would like as a reward. Covan just wants to know how he could get his siblings back. The old man warns him that it would be hard, but tells him where to get a white-footed roe with deer antlers, a green duck with a gold neck, and a silver-skinned salmon with red gills. If Covan brings them to him, he can get his siblings back. The dog helps him catch the roe. The raven aids him with the duck. And the otter helps him get the salmon. The old man gives Covan back his sister and restores his brothers though they’ll be fated to wander forever for their idle and unfaithful ways. Covan then asks the old man’s name. He claims to be the Spirit of the Age.

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

242. The Story of Bensurdatu

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The Italian fairy tale, The Story of Bensuratu is about a royal servant who searches for 3 abducted princesses. While 2 are kept by giants, the youngest by a 7-headed servant.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Laura Gonzenbach in Sicilianische Märchen.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Grey Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A king and queen have 3 daughters and do anything to make them happy. One day, the princesses ask to go on a picnic and so they do. When they’re done eating, the princesses wander about the garden. But when they step across a fence, a dark cloud envelopes them. After a time, the king and queen call for their daughters and then search for them when the girls don’t answer their calls. The king proclaims that whoever brings the princesses back could marry one and will become the next king. 2 generals set out in search. But once they spend all their money without finding the princesses, they’re forced to work as servants to repay an innkeeper for the food and drink he had given them. A royal servant, Bensurdatu sets out despite the king’s unwillingness to lose a faithful hand along with his daughters and generals. He finds an inn with the generals and pays their debt. The 3 travel together. They find a house in the wilderness, where they beg for a place to stay for the night. The old woman there tells them that the princesses were abducted by a thick cloud, that 2 are giants’ prisoners, and the third’s kept by a 7-headed serpent, all at the river’s bottom. The generals want to return to the king but Bensurdatu is firm.

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The Italian fairy tale, The Story of Bensuratu is about a royal servant who searches for 3 abducted princesses. While 2 are kept by giants, the youngest by a 7-headed servant.

They go on until they reach the river. The older general insists on going first due to seniority. They lower him on a rope and give him a bell to ring when he wants to be pulled back. He quickly loses the courage and rings it. The second fares the same. Then they lower Bensurdatu. He comes to a hall where a giant sleeps and the princess stands before them. She has him hide and tells the giant that he didn’t smell a man when he stirred from his sleep. She then has Bensurdatu cut off the giant’s head. The princess gives Bensurdatu a golden crown. She shows him to the next giant’s door, where Bensurdatu kills him like he killed the first and the second princess also gives him a golden crown. He goes on to the 7-headed serpent, which he has to kill when it’s still awake. But he takes off its heads. Bensuradatu has the princesses lifted up. Fearing the generals’ treachery, the youngest wants him to go before her. But he refuses. She pledges to marry no one else but him. The generals don’t lower the rope for him and threaten the princesses into making them claim that they’ve rescued them. Believing the lie, the king agrees to marry the oldest 2 to the generals.

One morning, Bensurdatu notices a purse. When he takes it down, it asks what demands he has for his rescue. He has it bring him to the surface and gives him a ship. He sails to the king’s city. The king wants to marry him to his youngest daughter, but she refuses. He asks if she’d say the same if he’s Bensurdatu. She says nothing, and Bensurdatu tells his story. The king exiles the generals and marries him to the youngest princess.

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

243. Rushen Coatie

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Called the Scottish Cinderella, Rushen Coatie is of a princess who’s abused by her stepmom and sent out to work in a coat of rushes. Often short on food, a calf offers her more sustenance.

From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Joseph Jacobs in his More English Fairy Tales.
Best Known Version: The Jacobs version, naturally.
Synopsis: A queen dies. On her deathbed, she tells her daughter that a red calf will come to her and she can ask it for help. The king remarries a widow with 3 daughters. The stepmother and stepsisters mistreat her, giving her only a coat made out of rushes to wear (calling her Rushen Coatie) and little food. A red calf comes to her. When she asks for food, it tells her to pull it from its ears. The stepmother sends one of her daughters to spy on Rushen Coatie, and the girl discovers the calf. The stepmother fakes sick and tells the king she needs the red calf’s sweetbread. The king has it slaughtered. But the dead calf tells Rushen Coatie to bury its body. She does, save the shankbone, which she can’t find.

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After leaving as shoe at the church, the prince has almost every girl in the kingdom to try it on. When he gets to her house, the stepsisters mutilate her toes. But Rushen Coatie’s feet perfectly slip in.

At Yuletide, the stepmother and stepsisters jeer at Rushen Coatie for wanting to go to church and send her to make dinner. But the red calf limps into the kitchen. It gives her clothes to wear and tells her a charm to cook the dinner. At church, the young prince falls in love with her. She goes twice more. The third time, the prince sets a watch to stop her, but she jumps over it and a glass shoe falls to the ground. The prince declares he’ll marry the woman whose foot the shoe fits. One of Rushen Coatie’s stepsisters hacks off part of her foot to do it, but the blood gives it away. Then no one fails to try save Rushen Coatie, so the prince insists she try it. The shoe fits and they marry.

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

244. The Enchanted Watch
From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Paul Sébillot.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in The Green Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A rich man’s 2 oldest sons go out and see the world for 3 years apiece before coming back. The foolish youngest son also wants to go, and his dad finally lets him, expecting not to see him again. On the way, he sees men about to kill a dog and asks them to give it to him instead. He acquires a cat and snake the same way. The snake brings the young man to the king of snakes, telling him how he’d have to explain his absence, but then the king wants to reward the son. The snake tells him to ask for a watch which whenever he rubs it, will give him whatever he wants. The young man goes home. Because he wears the same dirty clothes he set out in, his dad flies into a rage. A few days later, the young man uses the watch to make a house and invite his dad to a feast. Then he invites the king and the princess. The king is impressed by the son’s conjured marvels to entertain them, and marries the princess to him. Soon because he’s an idiot, his wife gets fed up with him. She soon learns of the watch, steals it, and flees.

The son sets out with the dog and cat. They see an island with a house where the princess had fled and conjured up the house to live in. The dog swims to it with the cat on its back. The cat steals it and carries it back in its mouth. The dog asks how far it is to land, and the cat finally answers with the watch falling from its mouth. The cat catches a fish and frees it only when it promises to bring back the watch. It does so and they restore the watch to the son. He wishes for the princess, her house, and the island to drown in the sea, and goes back home.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The fact the hero wishes his wife, her house, and the island it’s on to drown is especially harsh.
Trivia: N/A

245. The Greek Princess and the Young Gardener

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The Greek Princess and the Young Gardener is an Irish fairy tale of a gardener’s son is sent to find a thieving bird that’s stealing golden apples. On his way he befriends a fox.

From: Ireland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Patrick Kennedy in Fireside Stories of Ireland.
Best Known Version: The Joseph Jacobs version in his More Celtic Fairy Tales.
Synopsis: A king with a daughter grows old and sick. But the doctors find the best medicine for him are apples from his own orchard. One night, he sees a bird stealing them. He blames the gardener for neglecting it. The gardener promises that his own sons, the land’s best archers, will stop the thieving bird. The oldest son comes to the garden the first night, but falls asleep. The king sees the thieving bird again. Though he shouts, the boy doesn’t wake quickly enough. The same thing happens with the second son. But the third night, the youngest son stays awake and shoots off a feather, thus scaring the bird away. The king greatly admires it and declares his daughter will marry whoever brings him the bird. The gardener’s oldest son sets out to do it. When the fox comes begging for some of his lunch, he shoots an arrow at him. There are 2 inns to stay in: one merry, and one quiet. The son chooses the merrier one and never comes out again. Soon after, the second son sets out and ends up the same.

Finally, the youngest son sets out. He shares his lunch with the fox and out of respect, the fox warns him against the merry inn with dancing, and to stay at the quiet inn. The youngest follows the fox’s advice and stays at the latter inn. The next day, the fox tells him the bird is at the King of Spain’s castle and carries him there. Then it says he can go in and carry out the bird and its cage. He goes in, but with the bird he sees 3 golden apples and a golden cage. He goes to put the bird in the cage. It wakes and the boy’s captured. The king gives him one chance to save his life: to steal the King of Morocco’s bay filly. The son comes out. The fox carries him to that castle but warns him not to let the horse touch anything except the ground. The son goes in and sees a golden saddle. When he puts it on the filly, it squeals and again he’s caught. The king gives him one chance to save his life and get the filly: if he brings him Princess Golden Locks, the Greek king’s daughter.

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When the gardener’s son sent to to retrieve the Greek princess for the King of Morocco, the Greek king allows him to take her after clearing heaps of clay and not let her go near that king.

The fox carries the son to that castle, warning him how to answer when asked for a favor. He finds the princess and wakes her, asks to take her with him, and promises to free her from the King of Morocco. She asks to say goodbye to her dad. He refuses. She asks to kiss him instead, the boy agrees. But that wakes up the king. He says if the boy remove a great clay heap that’s enchanted so that for every shovel thrown away, 2 come back, he‘ll believe the boy can keep his daughter away from the Moroccan king. The boy tries but the heap grows larger. The fox tells him to eat and rest. He confesses his failure to the king and princess. And the princess hopes he doesn’t fail. Despite lamenting being alone, the king lets the boy take his daughter as a witch’s keeping her brother captive. The fox carries them to the King of Morocco, and the boy asks to shake hands with the princess before leaving. When the king agrees, he carries her off on the bay filly. Then he leaves the bay filly with the King of Spain, leaving the princess with the fox. But when that king gives him the bird and the golden apples, he strokes the horse as a fine beast. When he’s done, he rides away with both the horse and the bird.

They rescue his begging brothers, and the fox asks the boy to cut off his head and tail. The boy can’t do it. So his oldest brother does it for him. The fox becomes the prince, the princess’ brother. He marries the king’s daughter. While the gardener’s son marries his sister.

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

246. Penta of the Chopped-Off Hands

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Penta of the Chopped-Off Hands is an Italian fairy tale of a princess who doesn’t want to play the Lannister twins with her king brother. So she gets her hands chopped off.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, the Pentamerone. This is more on the level of Game of Thrones than Disney.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, naturally.
Synopsis: A king loses his wife and falls in love with his sister, Penta. He implores her to marry him. When she refuses and he keeps pressuring her, she asks what attracts him. The king praises her beauty, but most highly, her hands. She tricks the slave into cutting her hands. The king puts her in a chest and has her thrown into the sea. The Terraverde king sees the chest and rescues her, making her his queen’s lady-in-waiting. Shortly thereafter, the queen falls ill and asks her husband to marry Penta. He agrees, she dies, and he marries Penta. Some time later, the king has to go on a journey. While he’s gone, Penta gives birth to a baby. The king’s servants send a message. But the ship’s thrown by a storm on the shore where the fisherman rescued Penta. Nuccia gets the captain drunk and substitutes the letter saying she had given birth to a puppy. The king receives the message and sends back a letter that the queen shouldn’t be distressed. Since heaven determines these events. But Nuccia replaces the letter ordering the queen and her son to be burned. His councilors conclude he had gone mad and send Penta and her son away. She travels to a kingdom ruled by a magician, who gives her shelter and promises to reward whoever can tell him the most miserable story.

The king returns home, hears all the stories, and concludes Nuccia caused the problems. He goes to her home and has her burned. He hears of the magician’s offer from Penta’s brother (you know the guy whose unhealthy infatuation with his sister started this whole mess) and is sure he can win the prize. They both go. Penta’s brother recounts his own wickedness and how he threw his own sister into the sea. The magician shows them Penta and her son, declaring her husband had suffered the most miserably. So that Penta and her husband will be his heirs.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Uh, a girl gets her hands cut off as seen in the title. Also features incest.
Trivia: Also known as “The Girl with Maimed Hands.”

247. Biancabella and the Snake

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The Italian fairy tale, Biancabella and the Snake pertains to a girl born with a snake around her neck. But unlike in a lot of stories, the snake is her sister and friend.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giovanni Francesco Straparola in The Facetious Nights of Straparola.
Best Known Version: The Straparola version, obviously.
Synopsis: A marquis has no kids. One day, his wife sleeps in the garden and a grass snake slithers up into her womb. Soon afterwards, she gets pregnant and gives birth to a girl with a snake wrapped around her neck. The midwives obviously freak out. But the snake slithers off into a garden without harming anyone. The girl’s named Biancabella. When she’s 10, the snake speaks to her in the garden, telling her she’s her sister Samaritana and if Biancabella obeys her, she’ll be happy and miserable if she doesn’t. The snake orders she bring out 2 buckets: one of milk and one of rosewater. When Biancabella returns to the house, she’s distressed so her mom asks what makes her so sad. Biancabella asks for the buckets, which her mom gives her, and she carries them to the garden. The snake then has Biancabella bathe in the buckets. She becomes even more beautiful. When her hair’s combs, it sheds jewels. And when her hands are washed, they shed flowers.

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The snake tells Biancabella to bring out 2 buckets of milk and rosewater to bathe in. these actions make her more beautiful as her hair sheds jewels and hands drop flowers.

Naturally, this attracts many suitors (hopefully after she hits puberty). Her dad agrees to marry her to Ferrandino, King of Naples. After the wedding, Biancabella Calls on Samaritina, but the snake doesn’t come to her. Biancabella realizes she must’ve disobeyed her and grieves for the snake, but leaves with her husband. Ferrandino’s stepmother, who wanted to marry him to one of her ugly daughters, is pissed. Sometime later, Ferrandino has to go to war. While he’s gone, his stepmother orders her servants to take Biancabella away and kill her, bringing back proof of death. They take her away, and while they don’t kill her, they gouge out her eyes and cut off her hands. The stepmother gives word that her own daughters had died, and that the queen miscarried and fell ill. Then, she puts her own daughter in Biancabella’s bed. When he returns, Ferrandino is greatly distressed. Biancabella calls out to Samaritina and she still doesn’t come. An old man brings her to his home. His wife rebukes him because she had doubtlessly been punished for some crime. But he insists. Biancabella asks one of his 3 daughters to comb her hair. The old woman doesn’t want her daughter to be a servant, but the girl obeys and jewels come out of Biancabella’s hair. The family is generally pleased because she saved them from poverty. After a time, Biancabella asks the old man to bring her back to where she’d been found. And there, she calls on Samaritina until she finally thinks about committing suicide. Samaritina appears to stop her and Biancabella appeals for forgiveness. Samaritina restores her eyes and hands before transforming into a woman.

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After Biancabella’s driven out by her stepmom-in-law, a family takes her in. But Samaritina doesn’t show up until she thinks about killing herself, and then she transforms into a woman.

After a time, the old man and woman, the sisters, and the daughters go to Naples where Samaritina magically builds a house for them. Ferrandino sees the women and they tell him they’ve been exiled and had come here to live. He brings the women to court, including his stepmother to the castle, where Samaritina tells a servant to sing Biancabella’s story without including names. Then she asks what would be a fitting punishment. Thinking to evade notice, the stepmother says she should be cast into a red hot furnace. Samaritina tells the king the truth. Ferrandino orders his stepmother thrown into the furnace, marries off the old man’s daughters, and lives happily with Biancabella until he dies and his son succeeds him.

Other Versions: Italo Calvino has a variant called, “The Snake.” In his variant, the girl is a peasant and youngest of 3. The snake protects her after she’s the first not to panic at its sight. The snake’s gifts are that she’d cry pearls and silver, laugh pomegranate seeds, and wash her hands to get fish (the last being the gift saving her family from hunger). Her envious sisters lock her in an attic. But the girl sees the prince there and laugh. As a result, a pomegranate tree springs up from one seed. When only she can pick the pomegranates, the prince decides to marry her. Her sisters attempt the same substitution in the Straparola tale. But at the time of the wedding, the oldest sister marries him instead. The snake has to trick the sisters into giving back the eyes and hands as the price for the figs and peaches when the pregnant oldest sister craves them. The oldest sister gives birth to a scorpion. The king nevertheless has a ball where the youngest sister goes and reveals all.

Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features body mutilation like hand cutting and eye gouging and someone gets thrown into a furnace.
Trivia: N/A

248. The Magic Swan Geese

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The Magic Swan Geese is a Russian fairy tale of a girl whose brother gets abducted by the geese. She goes into a dream world where she sees an oven, an apple tree, and a river of milk.

 

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Afanasyev version, naturally.
Synopsis: A couple has a daughter and a son. They leave their daughter in charge of her younger brother. But one day, she loses track of him and the magic swan geese snatch him away. The daughter chases after them and comes upon an oven offering to tell her if she eats its rye buns. She scorns them, saying that she doesn’t even eat wheat buns. She also scorns similar offers from an apple tree and a river of milk. She comes across a little hut built on a hen’s foot, in which she finds Baba Yaga with her brother. Baba Yaga sends her to spin flax and leaves. A mouse scurries out saying it will tell the girl what she needs to know if she gives it porridge. She does. And the mouse tells her that Baba Yaga is heating a bath house to steam her, then she’ll cook her. The mouse takes over the girl’s spinning while the girl takes her brother and flees. Baba Yaga sends the swan geese after her. The girl begs the river for aid and it insists she drink some of it first. She does and the milk river shelters her. When she runs on, the swan geese follow again. The same thing happens with the apple tree and the oven, before reaching home safely.

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Soon the girl reaches Baba Yaga’s house where she spins flax from leaves. Before a mouse asks for porridge in exchange in instructions to escape with her brother to safety.

 

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Implications of cannibalism.
Trivia: N/A

249. The Young Slave
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, the Pentamerone.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, naturally.
Synopsis: Girls compete to jump over a rose bush. At last, the baron’s sister Cila does so but she knocks off a rose petal. To pretend she cleared it entirely, she swallows the petal and becomes pregnant. She bears a daughter, names her Lisa, and gives her to the fairies to raise. The fairies give her gifts but one twists her ankle and curses Lisa to die at 7. Because her mom forgot a comb in her hair while combing it (what the fuck?). This happens and the grieving mom puts her in 7 crystal coffins and inters her in a room. Her health fails. Before she dies, she gives her brother the room’s key and make him promise not to open it. The baron obeys but he marries. While he’s on a hunting trip one day, the baroness opens the door. Jealous of the girl’s beauty, she pulls her by the hair, knocking out the comb and bringing her back to life. The woman beats her and makes her a slave, telling her husband that her aunt has sent her a slave and warned her that stern measures are necessary with this perverse slave.

The baron goes to a fair and asks everyone what they want. Lisa asks for a doll, a knife, and a pumice stone before cursing him into not being able to cross the river if he doesn’t. He forgets them. But the river swells, reminding him. Lisa takes them to the kitchen and tells her story to the doll, threatens to sharpen the knife on the stone and kill herself if the doll doesn’t answer. The doll does. After several days of this, the baron hears this and eavesdrops. When the girl begins to sharpen her knife, he breaks into the kitchen and takes it from her. He then puts Lisa in a relative’s care, where she regains her health and beauty. He next brings her to his house, dismisses his wife back to her relatives, and in due course, marries off his niece.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features slavery and attempted suicide.
Trivia: N/A

250. The Glass Mountain

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The Glass Mountain is a Polish fairy tale of such mountain with a golden castle and a tree sprouting golden apples. He who picks one can get in the castle and win the princess inside.

From: Poland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Hermann Kletke.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Yellow Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A tree with golden apples grows on a glass mountain. Picking an apple will let one into a golden castle where an enchanted princess lives. Many knights try and fail, so many bodies lay around the mountain. A golden armored knight tries. One day, he makes it halfway and calmly goes down again. The second day, the tries for the top and is steadily climbing when an eagle attacks him. He and his horse fall to their deaths. A schoolboy kills a lynx and climbs with his claws attached to his feet and hands. Tired, he rests on the slope. The eagle assumes he’s carrion and flies down to eat him. The boy grabs it. Trying to shake the kid off, the eagle carries him the rest of the way. The boy cuts off the eagle’s feet and falls into an apple tree. The golden apple peels cure his wounds. The boy picks more to let him into the castle. He marries the princess. The eagle’s blood restores the lives of everyone who died trying to climb the mountain.

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Many knights try to get into the golden castle but none prevailed and end up dead. Until a school boy kills a lynx and uses its claws for crampons and takes on an eagle, too.

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

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 24- The Sleeping Prince to The Sharp Grey Sheep

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When it comes to European fairy tales, we often imagine them taking place in medieval times for some reason. Yet, as you see in Disney movies, it’s doesn’t always have to be the case. After all, their version of The Little Mermaid features a steamboat. Also, the Princess and the Frog takes place in New Orleans during the 1920s. Still, whenever you see a fairy tale adaptation, it’s usually at a time when there’s no electricity or modern medicine. Anyway, in this installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, we have a Greek tale of a sleeping prince followed by a Hungarian story of a woman who springs forth from a bulrush. Second, we come to 2 Scottish tales about a weirdly named prince and a horned sheep. Third, are French stories about a bee and an orange tree and an enchanted canary. After that, we have a Norwegian story of a girl with a special fairy godmother along with an Italian tale about a myrtle and European story of a hazel-nut kid. And finally, we got an Irish story about a guy and his animal friends.

231. The Sleeping Prince

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The Greek fairy tale, The Sleeping Prince follows a princess who’s fated to marry a dead man. She then takes an eagle to go to his palace and sit with him for a certain amount of time to win him over.

From: Greece
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Georgios A. Megas in Folktales of Greece.
Best Known Version: The Megas version, naturally.
Synopsis: A widowed king has only his daughter and must go to war. The princess promises to stay with her nurse while he’s gone. One day, an eagle comes by and says the princess will marry a dead man and returns the next day. She tells her nurse and her nurse instructs her to take the eagle to take her to him. When it comes the third day, the princess requests just that and it brings her to the palace where a prince sleeps like the dead. Nearby is a paper saying that whoever has pity on him must watch him for 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, 3 hours, and 3 half-hours without sleeping. And then, when he sneezes, she must bless him and identify herself as the one who watched. He and the whole castle will wake and he’ll marry that woman. She watches for 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. She then hears someone offering to hire maids, and the princess takes one for company. The maid persuades her to sleep, the prince sneezes, and the maid claims him. She then tells him to let the princess to sleep and when she wakes up, sets her to tend geese. And since the prince’s dad isn’t around, he becomes king.

The king has to go to war. He asks the queen what she wants. She asks for a golden crown. The king then asks the goose girl and she requests for the millstone of patiences, the hangman’s rope, and the butcher’s knife. And if he doesn’t bring them, his ship will neither go backward or forward. He forgets them and the ship doesn’t move. An old man asks if the king promised anything so he buys the goose girl’s items. He gives his wife the crown and the other things to the goose girl. That evening, he goes down to her room. She tells her story to the things and asks them what she should do. The butcher’s knife tells her to stab herself. The rope recommends she hang herself. However, the millstone advises her to have patience. The princess then asks for the rope again and goes to hang herself. Fortunately, the king breaks in and saves her, declaring she’s his wife and that he’d hang the other with the rope. She tells him only to send her away. They go to her dad for his blessing.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Negatively portrays lower-class people as opportunists. Also features a suicide attempt.
Trivia: Has nothing to do with the play that inspired The Prince and the Showgirl.

232. Lovely Ilonka

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Lovely Ilonka is a Hungarian fairy tale of a beautiful woman who springs out of bulrush once a prince gives her water. Unfortunately, a swineherd’s daughter has other ideas.

From: Hungary
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Crimson Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, obviously.
Synopsis: A prince wants to marry but his dad tells him to wait, saying he can’t until he wins the golden sword he carries. One day, the prince meets an old woman and asks about her 3 bulrushes. She asks he stay the night. In the morning, she summons all the world’s crows but they don’t hear. The prince then meets an old man who also has him stay the night. In the morning, all the ravens don’t hear. The prince next meets another old woman who tells him it’s well that he greeted her or he’d have suffered a horrible death. The next morning, she summons magpies. And a crippled magpie leads the prince to a great wall behind which are 3 bulrushes. He starts taking them home, but one breaks open. A lovely maiden flies out asking for water and flies out when he has none. He splits the second, the same thing happens. However, the prince takes great care of the third by not splitting it until reaching the well. With the water, she stays, and they agree to marry.

The prince takes the maiden to his dad’s country, where he leaves her with a swineherd while he goes to get a carriage. The swineherd throws her into a well and dresses his daughter in her clothes. Though the prince is distressed, he brings back the swineherd’s daughter, marries her, and upon receiving a crown, becomes king. One day, the king sends a coachman to the well where Ilonka had been drowned. He sees a white duck before it vanishes and a dirty woman appears before him. She gets a place in the castle as a housemaid. While not working, she spins with her distaff and spindle spinning on their own and she’s never out of flax to spin. The queen (who’s the swineherd’s daughter) wants the distaff, but Ilonka will only sell it for a night in the king’s bedroom. The queen agrees but gives her husband a sleeping draught. Ilonka speaks to the king but he doesn’t respond. She thinks he’s ashamed of her. The queen wants the spindle, Ilonka tries again, but again the king sleeps. The third time, the queen makes the same agreement for the flax, but the king’s 2 servants warn him so he refuses everything. When Ilonka appears to him, he hears her. He has the swineherd and the queen hung and marries Ilonka.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features drowning and hanging.
Trivia: N/A

233. Nix Nought Nothing

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The Scottish fairy tale, Nix Nought Nothing is about a prince who’s given over to a giant in exchange for his aid to his dad. He then meets his daughter who has magical powers.

From: Scotland and England
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang. Though his version makes it unclear how the giant’s daughter thwarts and eventually kills her dad during the chase. Also Nix Nought Nothing is already given a head start even before the giant’s pursuit even begins. So there’s no mention of a curse or any cause for slumber. In addition, the gardener’s wife and daughter are merely deceived by the giant’s daughter’s reflection and too bonny to draw water. While the giant’s daughter learns from the gardener of Nix Nought Nothing’s betrothal to the king’s daughter who’s also his sister. Thus, a promise for him to marry a maiden who wakes him up is lacking. Bears similarities to Jason and Medea.

Best Known Version: The Joseph Jacobs version in his English Fairy Tales.
Synopsis: A queen gives birth to a son while the king is away. Not wanting to christen him until his dad returns, she names him Nix Nought Nothing until that time. However, the king’s gone for a very long time that Nix Nought Nothing grows into a boy. As the king journeys home, a giant offers to help him over a river in return for “Nix Nought Nothing.” Not knowing he has a son by that name, the king agrees. However, upon learning what he had done, the king tries giving the giant the hen-wife’s son, and then the gardener’s son. But both boys betray their origins and the giant kills them. In the end, the royal couple have to give the prince to the giant. Now the giant has a daughter. She and the prince grow very fond of each other. When the prince is grown and the giant sends him to clean the stables, the giant’s daughter summons animals to do it for him. When the giant sends him to empty a lake, she summons fish to drink it. When the giant commands the prince to bring down a bird’s nest from a tall tree without breaking any eggs, his daughter cuts off her fingers and toes to make a stairway. But one egg breaks during that adventure. So the prince and the giant’s daughter decide to flee. The giant chases after them. The girl has Nix Nought Nothing throw down her comb, which becomes a brier. Then her hair dagger, which becomes a razor hedge. She next dashes a magic flask, producing a wave drowning the giant.

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After they kill the giants, the Nix Nought Nothing and the giant’s daughter. Unfortunately, the hen wife curses the prince and he falls asleep and the giant’s daughter grows tired.

 

 

The giant’s daughter is too weary to go on and sends Nix Nought Nothing ahead of her to the king’s castle. But the hen-wife whose son had died curses him and he falls into a deep sleep as soon as he arrives. The king and queen still don’t recognize their grown son. So the king promises whichever maiden can wake the sleeping man shall marry him. Finally the giant’s daughter arrives to the castle, climbing a tree over a well to watch the prince. But when her reflection falls on the water’s surface, the gardener’s daughter coming to fetch water mistakes the image for her own. She decides she’s pretty enough to be a contender to marry the sleeping stranger. After learning about a counteracting spell to ward off the prince’s sleepiness for as long as she wants from the hen-wife, the gardener’s daughter succeeds in waking him long enough to secure his marriage promise. Meanwhile, while doing his own water chore, the gardener discovers the giant’s daughter up in the tree and brings her inside his house, breaking the news that his daughter’s set to marry the stranger and shows her Nix Nought Nothing.

The giant’s daughter sings her imploring charm for her sleeping beloved to awaken, recalling all she had done for him. But it’s to no avail. Then she calls him Nix Nought Nothing, revealing to the king and queen that he’s their own son. They make the gardener’s daughter remove the spell, executes the hen-wife, and marries Nix Nought Nothing to the giant’s daughter.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features body mutilation, drowning, Also features a relationship between a guy and the giant (which might remind you of Hagrid’s parents. Then again the giants in this tale might be more like Loki in Thor or in Norse mythology. Since despite him being a frost giant, Loki’s always depicted as a normal sized man.)
Trivia: N/A

234. The Bee and the Orange Tree

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The French fairy tale, The Bee and the Orange Tree is about a princess who’s given to ogres. She meets a prince and decides to run away from him. And that’s where the fun comes in.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Written by Madame d’Aulnoy.
Best Known Version: Guess the d’Aulnoy version, I suppose.
Synopsis: After many childless years, a king and queen have a daughter named Aimee. Unfortunately, a ship she’s on wrecks. But as fate would have it, she drifts ashore in her cradle. An ogre couple find her. And instead of eating her, the ogress decides to raise her, thinking she’d make a good wife for her son when she grows up. She then summons a deer from the woods to nurse the baby. After 15 years, the king and queen give up hope of finding the princess. So the king tells his brother to send his best son to be heir to the throne. The brother chooses the second son. Meanwhile Aimee grows up among the ogres. A little ogre falls in love with her, but the thought of marrying him revolts her. She regularly walks along the shore after storms, protecting things swept ashore from the ogres. One day, she finds and saves a man who just happens to be her cousin. Although neither know the truth or even speak each other’s language. Somehow she manages to understand that he has to hide in a cave. After some time hiding and feeding him, Aimee wishes to show her friendship by giving him the locket she wore. It has her name on it, leading the prince to deduce from her looks that she’s indeed his cousin, the princess Aimee.

The little ogre decides it’s time for him and the princess to marry. Horror-struck Aimee flees to the prince. When she returns, she injures her foot on a thorn and can no longer walk. The prince wonders why she doesn’t come. And when he tries to find her, he’s captured. Now every night, the ogres put on golden crowns before going to bed. The princess sneaks in that night, takes the little ogre’s crown from his head, and puts it on the prince’s. The ogre wakes up, seizes on the sleeping little ogre who no longer has a crown, and eats him. Again the next night, Aimee steals another ogre’s crown to place on the prince’s head. This time, the ogress eats the crownless ogre. The princess remembers the magic wand the ogress uses to summon the deer. With it, she gives herself the power to speak the prince’s language. He tells her who she is. So the princess decides to steal the ogres’ camel so they could safely ride away. She uses a wand to enchant a bean and hide their escape. It speaks when the ogress asks anything. However, the ogress finally realizes they fled. The ogre uses his 7-league boots to follow.

When the ogre catches up, the princes turns herself into a boatwoman, the prince into a boat, and the camel into a lake: to confuse the ogre. He finds nothing. But when he returns, the ogress tells him how they’ve been transformed with her stolen magic wand. So he sets out to find them again. This time Aimee turns herself into a dwarf, the prince into a portrait, and the camel into a pillar. When the ogre reaches his her, she tells an elaborate story about how the prince fought in a tournament in honor of the lady in the picture. This time the ogress comes after them. The princess turns the prince into an orange tree, herself into a bee, and the camel into a box. The princess stings the ogress and drives her off. But some travelers carry off the wand. Without it, the princess can’t change the group back into their prior forms.

A princess named Linda walks into the woods where the orange tree stands. Linda tries to have the tree transplanted in her gardens. Aimee stings her out of jealousy. The prince and princess fight but soon reconcile. When Linda tries again, Aimee stings her. Linda tries arming herself with a branch. But once she does, blood flows from the tree. Aimee goes fetching balm for the wound. A fairy visits the princess and when she detects the enchantment, the fairy restores the prince. He tells his story and she restores Aimee as well, before bringing them to their parents, where they marry.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features cannibalism, inter-family homicide, and first cousin romance.
Trivia: N/A

235. The Enchanted Canary

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The French fairy tale, The Bee and the Orange Tree is about a princess who’s given to ogres. She meets a prince and decides to run away from him. And that’s where the fun comes in.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Charles Deulin in Contes du roi Cambrinus as “Désiré d’Amour.”
Best Known Version: The one collected by Andrew Lang in his The Red Fairy Book.
Synopsis: The fattest lord in Flanders dearly loves his son. One day, the young man tells his dad he doesn’t find Flanders women attractive. Nor does he wish to marry a woman who’s pink and white since he doesn’t find them beautiful either. They then receive a basket of oranges, which they’ve never seen before and eat them. The son dreams of an orchard with trees of such “golden apples,” which hold a golden-skinned princess. He sets out to find and marry her. At night, he stops at a little hut, where an old man tells him that in a nearby forest, there’s a park, which holds a castle. A witch lives there. One he arrives, the young man must oil the hinges, feed a loaf of bread to the dog, give a brush to the baking woman, and take the rope out of the well. Then he should get 3 oranges and return without touching them until he reaches water. Then, each one would be a princess and he could marry whichever one he loves. But once he makes his choice, he must never leave her.

The young man obeys. He hears a witch calling after him, to the things to kill him. But the rope refuses since he keeps it from rotting and so on with the others. But once he escapes, he can’t find water so he opens the oranges in hopes of juice. A canary flies out and off to find water. Despite himself, he tries a second, and the same thing happens. But he falls unconscious until nighttime revives him. He reaches a stream where he opens the third. When the third canary flies out, he gives it water. It becomes a beautiful princess. The young man brings her back, but he refuses to take her to the castle afoot. So he goes ahead to get a carriage and horses. While he’s gone, she hears a noise and climbs a tree for fear it’s a wolf. However, it’s an ugly maidservant who sees the princess’ reflection in the pool and takes it as her own. Thus, she thinks herself too pretty to carry water. She’s sent back twice. But the third time, the maidservant realizes the reflection is someone else’s. She speaks to the princess and tells her story. Sticking a pin to her head, the maidservant transforms the princess back into a canary. When the young man returns, she tells him that she’d been turned into this. The young man blames himself.

At the wedding feast, the canary appears in the kitchen window and enchants whoever’s cooking the goose so that it burns each time. The third time, the scullion catches it and is about to wring its neck when the lord comes down to see what happened. Thinking the canary’s lovely, the lord strokes it, making him find the pin. He pulls it out and the princess is unenchanted. The maidservant is condemned to death but the princess obtains her a pardon so she goes back to her regular job. The young man and the princess marry.

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

236. The Lassie and Her Godmother

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In the Norwegian fairy tale, The Lassie and Her Godmother, a beautiful lady takes in poor little girl and treats her kindly. Until the girl disobeys and doesn’t apologize for it.

From: Norway
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in Norske Folkeeventyr.
Best Known Version: The Asbjørnsen and Moe version, of course.
Synopsis: A poor couple has a baby girl. They want the baby christened but can’t afford the parson’s fees. At last, the dad finds a beautiful lady offering to get the child christened, but also saying she’ll keep her as her own kid afterwards. The dad speaks to his wife about it. She refuses. But when the beautiful lady makes the same offer the next day, his wife agrees they should accept if they can’t find anyone else. The child’s christened and the lady takes her home and treats her kindly. When the girl’s old enough to know right from wrong, the lady leaves forbidding her to go into certain rooms. The girl looks into one and a star springs out. Her foster mom is pissed but at her pleading, lets the girl stay. The next time the foster mom goes away, the girl opens the second door, and a moon springs out. Again, the girl appeases the angry foster mom. But the third time, when the girl lets out the sun, the foster mom insists she has to leave. Furthermore, she could either speak and be ugly or be beautiful and mute. The girl takes the pretty option. She then wanders the woods until nightfall when she climbs a tree over water and sleeps there. Several female servants sent from the castle to fetch water see her reflection, think it’s their own, and decide they’re too pretty for fetching water. Finally, the prince goes himself, realizes she’s there, and coaxes her down to be his queen. His mom objects, arguing she can’t speak and might be a witch. Nevertheless, he marries her.

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After her foster mom drives her out, the girl lives in the forest as a pretty mute. Soon a prince comes by, falls for her, and takes her to his castle.

When the princess is about to have her first child, the prince sets watch about her. But they all fall asleep. So the foster mom comes, takes the baby, and smears the princess’ mouth with blood, saying she’d be sorry as she had been when the girl let out that star. Everyone thinks she killed and ate the child. And the prince’s mom would have her burned if her son didn’t plead for his wife. The same thing happens the second time, though the watch is twice as long. The foster mom decrees that the girl would be as sorry as she was when the girl let out the moon. The third time, the watch is 3 times as long. The foster mom decrees that she’d be as sorry as she was when the girl let out the sun. And the prince can’t save her. But when they’re leading the princess to the fire, the foster mom appears with the kids, restoring them to their parents, saying the girl had been sufficiently punished. She also reveals herself to be the Virgin Mary and restores her speech. Thereafter, everyone lives happily and even the queen grows to love her young daughter-in-law.

The lassie and her godmother

Each time the princess has a child, her foster mom takes it away and tries to get her to repent. Eventually, she’s almost burned at the stake until the foster mom says she’s been punished enough and reveals herself as the Virgin Mary.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Look, I know being disobedient out of curiosity is one thing. But it’s nothing worth kidnapping children and smearing their mom’s mouth with blood over it. Good God. Also, having her being the Virgin Mary makes it even worse. Seriously, having the Virgin Mary kidnap kids is like seeing Daenerys ride on Drogon to commit genocide on King’s Landing.
Trivia: N/A

237. The Myrtle

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The Myrtle is an Italian fairy tale of a flower that turns into a beautiful woman. Unfortunately, 6 wicked women tear her to pieces.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, the Pentamerone.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, naturally.
Synopsis: A woman wishes for a child, even a sprig of myrtle. She gives birth to such a sprig. She and her husband put it in a pot and tend it. A prince sees it, takes a fancy to it, and finally persuades the woman to sell it to him. He keeps it in his room and takes great care of it. One night, a woman comes to his bed, and comes every night thereafter before vanishing the next morning. After a week, the prince ties her hair to his arm. In the morning, she confesses to being the myrtle and they pledge their love. After some time, he has to hunt a wild boar, and asks her to become a myrtle again while he’s gone. She tells him to attach a bell to her and ring it when he wants her back. While the prince is away, 7 wicked women find their way in and ring the bell. Seeing the woman, all but the youngest tear her to pieces. In despair, the chamberlain puts the pieces back into a pot. The myrtle sprouts again. When the prince returns and rings the bell, she doesn’t reappear. He sees the ruin and despairs. Seeing it, the woman reappears from the sprouts. With his dad’s leave, the prince marries her. At the wedding, he asks what’s the suitable punishment for anyone who’d tear his bride to pieces. Many punishments are suggested. The 7 women claim the criminal should be buried alive. The prince agrees and has 6 of them buried in the dungeon. While he marries the youngest sister to the chamberlain.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The heroine is literally torn to pieces and 6 women are buried alive.
Trivia: N/A

238. The Hazel-Nut Child
From: Central and Eastern Europe
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Polish-German scholar Heinrich von Wlislocki in Märchen Und Sagen Der Bukowinaer Und Siebenbûrger Armenier.
Best Known Version: The Andrew Lang version in his The Yellow Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A childless couple prays for a child, though he were no bigger than a hazelnut. Then they have such a son. He never grows but he’s really smart. When the boy’s 15, he says he wants to be a messenger. His mom sends him to get a comb from his aunt. He climbs on a horse that a man’s riding by, poking and pinching it until it gallops to the village. There he gets the comb and takes another horse the same way. This convinces his mom. One day, the dad leaves him in the fields with a horse while he goes back home. A robber tries stealing the horse. The hazel-nut child jumps on the horse and pricks it until it ignores the robber and gallops home. The robber’s jailed. When he’s 20, the hazel-nut child leaves home, promising to return when he’s rich. He climbs on a stork as they’re flying south. In Africa, he amuses the king who gives him a large diamond. The hazel-nut child takes it with him when the storks fly north with him. So he and his parents are rich thereafter.

Other Versions: Included in Ruth Manning-Sanders’ A Book of Dwarfs.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: There doesn’t seem to be much of a plot.
Trivia: N/A

239. Jack and His Comrades

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Jack and His Comrades is an Irish fairy tale of a young man who befriends 4 animals including a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a chicken. They later thwart a bunch of robbers.

From: Ireland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Patrick Kennedy in his Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts.
Best Known Version: The Joseph Jacobs version in his Celtic Fairy Tales.
Synopsis: Jack tells his mom he’ll seek his fortune. His mom offers him half a hen and half a cake with her blessing or whole of both and without. He asks for the halves of both and receives wholes of both with her blessing (because you can’t divide a live chicken). On his way, Jack meets Neddy the Donkey in a bog and helps it out. Coley the Dog runs up to him for protection with a pot tied to its tail and crowd hunting it. The donkey bellows and scares them off. Jack unties the pot and shares his meal with the dog while the donkey eats thistles. Half-starved Tom the Cat comes by and Jack gives it a bone with meat. In the evening, they rescue a rooster from a fox. They go to sleep in the woods. Claiming to see dawn, the rooster crows. Jack realizes it’s a candle in a house. They spy a look inside and discover it to be a robbers’ den. With the donkey placing its fore-hoofs on the window sill, the animals stack one on top of another and make noise. Then at Jack’s deceptive call to raise the pistols and fire, the animals smash all the windows, frightening the robbers into bolting the house and riding far out into the woods. Jack and the animals enter the house, enjoy a meal, and go to sleep. After awhile, the robber captain sorely misses the loot he left behind. So he sneaks back inside the house in the dark. Only to receive, cat scratches, a dog bite, a rooster pecking, and a great kick from the donkey in the stable outside. Since he can’t see anything in the dark, the captain weaves a fancifully horrid account of what happened, adding that not all the plaster in Enniscorthy could heal the wounds and cuts he received. The other robbers lose all motivation of trying to recover their loot.

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When they reach an abandoned house, the animals stack on top on each other to look in. And when the time is right, they strike.

The next day, Jack and his comrades resolve to return the gold to its owner and journey to the Lord of Dunlavin’s manor. A crooked porter halts Jack at the door. Jack and the rest know from the thieves’ conversation the night before that this porter’s in league with them and complicit in the crime. The rooster sarcastically remarks and plainly accuses the porter providing the thieves safe passage through his master’s house door. The porter’s face turns red. The Lord of Dunlavin witnesses an interchange, who, addressing his porter by name (which is Barney), prods him to answer the charge. The porter replies, “sure I didn’t open the door to the six robbers,” thus betraying his own familiarity with the perpetrators. Jack announces that, no matter, since he arrives with the stolen gold and silver and requests dinner and lodging for the long ride from Athsalach. The grateful lord declares he’ll provide comfort for the rest of their days, appointing Jack as his steward who brings his mom to live at the castle, and eventually marries his lordship’s daughter.

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

240. The Sharp Grey Sheep
From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by John Francis Campbell in his Popular Tales of the West Highlands.
Best Known Version: The Campbell version, naturally.
Synopsis: A king and queen have a daughter. But the queen dies and the king marries another. The stepmother is cruel to the princess and sends her to watch the sheep while not giving her enough food to survive. A sharp (horned) gray sheep brings her food to help her. Knowing that she couldn’t be getting enough food to survive goes to a henwife who sends her daughter to spy. The princess tells the henwife’s daughter to set her head on her knee and she’ll dress her hair. The henwife’s daughter sleeps and the sheep comes to help her. Yet, she has an eye on the back of her head that’s not asleep so she watches through it and tells her mom. On learning that the sheep’s helping her stepdaughter, the stepmother orders it killed. The sheep tells the princess to gather her bones and hooves in the hide and it will return to her. The princess does but forgets the little hooves so the sheep is lame but keeps her fed.

A prince sees the princess and asks about her. The henwife’s daughter tells her mom and the henwife warns the queen. Thus, the queen brings her stepdaughter home to work around the house and sends her own daughter to tend the sheep. One day, when the stepdaughter walks outside, the prince gives her a pair of golden boots. He wants to see her at church, but the stepmother won’t let her go. So she goes secretly, sits where the prince could see her, and leaves quickly before her stepmother could spy her there. However, the princess loses her shoe in the mud and the prince declares he’ll marry whomever the shoe fits. The queen gets her daughter’s foot to fit by cutting off her toes. But a bird points out the blood to the prince. The prince finally finds the princess and marries her.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: A girl has an eye on the back of her head. Also features body mutilation.
Trivia: N/A

 

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 23- The Magician’s Horse to The Fish and the Ring

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You might notice a lot of these tales consist of parents who abandon their children. Modern parents might see this as deeply unthinkable. However, in historical times, this wouldn’t be as unusual as you think. For one, is a stigma against out-of-wedlock pregnancies that resulted in “doorstop babies” and orphanages full of kids since being a mom who’s never been married would basically screw a woman up for life. Another reason has to do with the fact people lived in times of rampant war, disease, and famine, which is even sadder. This can put any family into poverty and starvation. Anyway, in this installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales for your reading pleasure. First, we have a Greek tale of a magician’s horse followed by an Italian story of a prince and a savage man. Second, we come to a couple French tales of a noble son and his magical bird and 3 May peaches. Third, are Grimm stories about a griffin, an old woman in the woods, and a devil with 3 golden hairs. Then we got a Romanian tale of a runaway boy and his giant friend followed by an Eastern European story of 3 wonderful beggars and a golden ring in a fish.

221. The Magician’s Horse

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The Magician’s Horse is a Greek fairy tale about a young man who gets lost in the woods and ends up at a magician’s house. After working for him for awhile, a horse tells him to steal it and set his owner’s home ablaze.Enter a caption

From: Greece
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Grey Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, obviously.
Synopsis: 3 princes go hunting and the youngest gets lost. He comes to a great hall and eats there. He then finds an old man asking him who he is. The prince tells how he got lost and offers to enter his service. The old man sets him to keep the stove lit, to fetch firewood in the forest, and to take care of the black horse in the stables. Unbeknownst to the prince, the man is a magician and the fire is his power source. One day, the prince nearly lets the fire go out and the old man storms in. Freaked out, the prince immediately throws another log in and nurses it back.

The horse tells the prince to saddle and bridle it, to use an ointment that would make his hair like gold, and to pile all the wood he could on the fire. The last task sets the hall on fire. The horse then tells the prince to take a mirror, brush, and riding whip before riding off on it. The magician chases on a roan horse, but the princes throws down a mirror. The horse cuts its feet on it and the magician has to go back to put new shoes on him before chasing the prince again. The horse and the prince throw the brush on the ground producing a thick forest. So the magician has to go back for an ax to cut through it. But then he chases the prince again. The prince throws down the whip which becomes a river. When the magician crosses it, it puts out his magic fire and kills him.

The horse tells the prince to strike the ground with a willow wand. A door opens, making a hall where the horse stays, but he sends the prince through the fields to take service with a king. The prince wears a scarf hiding his golden hair. He works as a gardener and every day, he brings half of his food to the horse. One day, the horse tells the prince that the king’s 3 daughters will choose their husbands: a great number of lords will gather and they will throw their diamond apples into the air. The man at whose feet stopped would be the bridegroom. He should be in the nearby garden, and the youngest’s would roll to him. He should take it up at once.

The prince does. The scarf slips a little. The princess sees his hair and falls in love at once. Though reluctant, the king lets them marry. Soon after, the king has to go to war. He gives the prince a broken-down nag. The prince goes to the black horse, giving him arms and armor, and he rides it to battle, which he wins. But he flees before anyone could see him. Twice more, the prince goes to war. But the third time, he’s wounded, and the king binds his wound with his son-in-law’s own handkerchief. The princess recognizes it and reveals it to her dad. There’s great rejoicing and the king gives the prince half his kingdom.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: A horse instructs a prince to commit arson.
Trivia: N/A

222. Guerrino and the Savage Man
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Written by Giovanni Francesco Straparola in The Facetious Nights of Straparola.
Best Known Version: The Straparola version, naturally.
Synopsis: King Filippomaria has an only son Guerrino. One day while hunting, the king captures a wild man. Imprisoning him, he gives the keys to the queen. He sets out hunting again. Guerrino wants to see the wild man. The wild man steals an arrow he carries and promises to give it back if Guerrino frees him. Guerrino does so and warns him to flee. The wild man tells him he would and leaves. Little does Guerrino know the wild man had once been a handsome youth who despaired over a lady’s love and so takes to the wild. The queen wakes up and questions everyone. Guerrino tells her that no one would be punished but him, because he did it. The queen takes 2 faithful servants, gives them money, and sends Guerrino away. The king returns and finds the wild man had gone. The queen tells her husband Guerrino had done it and that she sent their son away, pissing the king off even more that she should think he’d hold his son in less regard than the wild man. He searches for him and doesn’t find him.

The servants agree to kill Guerrino, but they can’t agree how to divide the loot. While they still haven’t settled, a fine young man greets them and invites and asks to come with them. Guerrino agrees. This is the same wild man. The guy met a cranky fairy who laughed at the sight of him and so been cured. However, she transformed him, endowed him with magical powers, and gave him a magic horse. They come to a town named Irlanda, where King Zifroi rules. He has 2 beautiful daughters named Potentiana and Eleuteria. Guerrino takes lodgings. The young man wants to go on, but Guerrino persuades him to stay. At the time, a wild horse and mare attack the lands, ruining crops and killing beasts, men, and women. The 2 servants tell the king that Guerrino had boasted that he could kill these horses. The king summons him and promises to reward him if he does it. When Guerrino hesitates, the king threatens to execute him. The young man tells the prince to get a blacksmith’s services from the king, and then have the blacksmith make enormous horseshoes for his magic horse. Then he has Guerrino ride the horse until he meets the wild horse, at which point, he should dismount, free the horse, and climb a tree. Guerrino does this. The horses fight, and the wild horse is defeated. The king is pleased, but the servants are pissed over their failure. They say that Guerrino boasted likewise of the wild mare. The king sends him to defeat it as well, which he does as he has the magic horse.

The night afterwards, a noise wakes Guerrino up. He finds a wasp in a honey pot and sets it free. The king summons him, says he has to reward him, and offers him one of his daughters. That is, if Guerrino can tell beneath their veils which is the golden-haired Potentiana and which is the silver-silver haired Eleuteria. Guess wrong, he faces execution. Guerrino goes back to his lodgings where the young man tells him that the wasp will fly around Potentiana 3 times, and she’ll drive it off 3 times at night. Then he should identify her. Guerrino says he doesn’t know how he could reward him for his favors. The young man confesses that he’s the wild man, so he’s but returning what Guerrino did for him, and his name is Rubinetto. Guerrino goes to the palace, where white veils entirely cover the princesses. The king tells him to make a choice, but Guerrino insists on the full time. The wasp buzzes about Potentiana and she drives it off. Guerrino says she’s Potentiana and they marry. Rubinetto marries Eleuteria. Guerrino’s parents hear of him and he returns to them with his wife, where they live in happiness.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: King sends a hit out on his son for something that’s entirely forgivable.
Trivia: N/A

223. Georgic and Merlin
From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by François Cadic in his La Paroisse bretonne.
Best Known Version: The Cadic version, obviously.
Synopsis: In the woods near a rich lord’s castle, a mysterious bird sings. Fascinated, the lord has it captured. It stops singing, but he threatens to kill anyone who frees it. One day, it pleads with the lord’s son, Georgic who frees it. It tells him to call on it, Merlin if in need and flies off. Georgic’s mom fears her husband will kill their son. A salt-vendor offers to take her son away, and Georgic’s mom pays him to do it. He takes the money and at the next castle, offers the boy as a shepherd, despite threatening warnings of wolves. When the salt-vendor goes to say goodbye, Georgic demands money. When It’s refused, he calls on the bird. It appears and an invisible hand wielding club strikes the man until he pays up. Georgic then calls on the bird to give him a whistle to summon the wolves and muzzles them to keep them from biting, and so he keeps the sheep safe. In the same region, there’s a 7-headed dragon that has to receive a maiden every year. This year, the lot falls for Georgic’s boss’ daughter, who fearfully cries. When she’s sent, Georgic asks the bird for a horse, sword, and a black cloak. He takes her on his horse and carries her to the place, where he calls on the dragon. It declares not being hungry that day, so she has to come the next, and leaves. Georgic carries her back, but the girl is too upset to recognize him. But she cuts a piece from his cloak. She goes back the next day, but this time, Georgic wears a gray cloak, but the events go the same as before. The third day, Georgic wears a purple cloak. He stops and borrows a long iron fork a man’s been using on the stove. He uses it to drag the dragon from its lair and cuts of its heads with a sword. Georgic then cuts off its tongues, and the daughter cuts off a piece of this cloak a well.

A coal miner claims to have killed the dragon. The daughter says the dragon slayer had cut out the tongues, while the coal miner claims to have eaten them. The lord holds a great feast. The daughter sees Georgic in his black cloak with a hole as she had cut it before he vanishes. The lord has a second banquet, at which Georgic wearing the gray cloak with the hole as she had cut. The lord asks whether he’s the one who rescued his daughter. He says he might be. At the third banquet, Georgic makes a grand entrance. The daughter recognizes him by the hole and they marry.

Soon after, the lord falls ill. A wizard says he can be cured with a piece of orange from an orange tree in the Armenian Sea, water from the Fountain of Life, and some bread and wine from the Yellow Queen. Georgic has 2 brothers-in-law jealous of them who set out and become lost. Georgic also sets out. In the woods, he meets a hermit who gives him a magic wand to lead him. It would take him to an orange tree, where he should cut the orange into 4 parts, one of which he should take away. Then he’d reach the Fountain of Life, but he should go to the Yellow Queen’s castle first, taking some wine and bread, along with a lance, calling out it’s for his father-in-law’s health. He’d then find a stag, which he should ride to the Fountain. If the lion guarding wakes up, Georgic should kill it with a lance. He retrieves things this way. Georgic meets his brothers-in-law along the way, trading some of what he has for the ear and wedding ring of one and a toe of the other. The hermit warns him that he’d have to give what he had taken back to the Yellow Queen after a month. He doesn’t warn them. When the Yellow Queen comes, the hermit’s gone, and his brothers-in-law are beaten for having it. They have to run to Georgic for help, which he gives.

Other Versions: Many French variants feature a wild man instead of a bird. But in either form, he’s always called Merlin.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The hero has a guy beat up for money which seems similar to what loansharks do. Also features body mutilation.
Trivia: May or may not have a connection to the Merlin of Arthurian legend.

224. The Three May Peaches
From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Paul Delarue.
Best Known Version: The Delarue version, naturally.
Synopsis: An Ardenne king has a beautiful but sick daughter. A doctor declares that the 3 finest May peaches would save her. But then she’ll have to marry within a week or else fall sick again. Many men come with peaches, but none save the princess. A woman has 3 sons. The oldest sets out with their orchard’s finest peaches. He meets an old woman asking what he has. He claims rabbit dung and she that so it is. When he gets to the castle, that’s what he carries. The second brother sets out, tells the old woman he’s carrying horse dung, and again finds that’s what he carries. The youngest, who’s short and seen as an idiot, persuades his mom to let him try as well, and tells the old woman he’s carrying peaches to cure the princess. She says so it is as well as gives him a silver whistle. When he gets to the castle, eating the peaches revives the princess.

However, the king doesn’t want such a puny son-in-law. So he tells the boy to herd 100 rabbits without losing one for 4 days. The rabbits scatter the first day, but the boy uses the whistle to bring them back. The second day, the king sends the princess to get one, which the boy would trade for a kiss. When the princess has it and reaches the castle gates, the boy uses the whistle and it comes back. The next day, the king sends the queen to get one. But the boy would only trade one if she turns 3 somersaults. When she does, the king locks the bunny in a room. But the boy uses his whistle and it comes back through the window. The fourth day, the king goes himself. The boy would only trade if the king kiss the donkey’s ass. When the king gets the rabbit, he has it killed, skinned and put in a casserole. But when the boy uses his whistle, it jumps out of the dish, back into its skin and back to him. Then the king says that the boy fill 3 sacks with truths. He says the princess kissed him for a rabbit, which fills the first sack. He goes on saying the queen did somesaults for a rabbit, filling the second sack. After that, the king stops the boy and lets him marry the princess.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The fact the protagonist has the royals do embarrassing stuff for bunnies might have something to do with it. Also, you don’t want to see a jumping rabbit without its skin.
Trivia: N/A

225. The Griffin

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The Grimm fairy tale, The Griffin is about a young man who wins over a princess and is tasked with getting a griffin’s tail feather. Along the way, he hears 3 requests from 2 lords and a giant. 

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A king’s daughter is sick. It’s foretold she’ll recover by eating an apple. The king declares whoever brings it to cure her will marry her. A peasant with 3 sons, sends the oldest Uele with a basket of apples. He meets a little iron man asking him what’s in it. Uele says, “Frog’s legs.” The man says so it is. When he reaches the king, the basket contains frog’s legs. The king drives him out. The peasant sends his second son Seame, who answers “Hog’s bristles,” makes the same discovery, and receives the same reception. The youngest son, Hans, who’s considered a fool, begs to go, too until his dad lets him. When he meets the iron man, Hans says the basket contains apples for the princess to eat and make herself well. The iron man says it’s so. The basket holds apples that when he reaches the castle, the princess is cured.

However, the king refuses to let them marry until he has an amphibious boat. Hans goes home to his dad who sends Uele to make such a ship. The iron man comes to him asking what he’s making. When Uele says, “Wooden bowls,” that’s what he makes. Seame suffers the same fate. But when Hans tells the iron man that he’s making an amphibious ship, he makes such a boat. The king then sets Hans to watch 100 hares all day in a meadow. He does so without losing any. The king sends a maid to beg for one of them, for guests. Hans refuses but says he’ll give one to the king’s daughter. The iron man gives him a whistle that would summon any hare back. Hans gives the princess a hare before whistling it back.

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When Hans reaches the griffin’s house, he meets his wife. He tells her his story and request. She gets to work.

The king next sends Hans to fetch a griffin tail feather. On his way, a castle lord asks Hans to ask the griffin where his lost keys to his money chest are. Another lord requests the guy ask on how to cure his ill daughter. While a giant request Hans ask the Griffin why he has to carry people over a lake. At the griffin’s castle, Hans meets the griffin’s wife, warning him that her husband would eat him. But at night, he can pull out a feather and she’ll get the answers for him. Hans does as she said. When he pulls the feather, the griffin wakes. The wife tells him a man had been here and gone away, but not after telling her some stories. She repeats them. The griffin says the key’s in the wood house under a log. Second, that a toad made a nest in the daughter’s hair, but she can be cured if they take her hair out. And finally, the giant only has to put someone down in the middle of the lake and he’ll be free. Hans leaves and tells the other lords and giant what he learned. They give him rich treasures. When he reaches the king, Hans claims the griffin gave them. The king sets out to get some. But he’s far from the first man to reach the giant who puts him down in the lake, where he drowns. Hans marries the princess and becomes king.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: A king drowns in a lake.
Trivia: N/A

226. Mogarzea and His Son

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The Romanian fairy tale, Mogarzea and His Son is about an orphan boy who befriends a giant. Let’s just say the story gets a bit weird from there.

From: Romania and Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Mite Kremnitz in her Rumänische Märchen.
Best Known Version: The one collected by Andrew Lang in his The Violet Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A dying mom and dad leave their son in a guardian’s care. But the guardian wastes the money so the son leaves him. On his way, he finds a giant and lies down beside him. The next morning, he claims to be his son born in the night. Because the giant doesn’t understand how reproduction and child development works, the boy looks after the giant’s sheep during the day. In the evening, he asks the giant to talk a bit about himself. His name is Mogarzea. He’s an emperor’s son (hopefully a giant emperor, given how Hagrid’s conception went down). And he’s on his way to Sweet Milk Lake to marry one of the fairies there when evil elves stole his soul. The boy keeps the sheep out of the elves’ meadows. But when playing the flute one day, one strays over while and the rest follow. When the boy tries driving them back elves appear. So he has to play the flute for them to dance. At night, they let him go but insist he come back the next day.

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Here we see Mogarzea and the boy meet with the fairies. The giant is supposed to marry one of them. But I’m not sure how such marriage would work out based on the illustration.

The next evening, the boy drops the flute and steps on it. He cries about it, telling the elves it’s made from a cherry tree’s heart. The elves offer another cherry tree. The boy chops the tree, tricks them into letting their fingers in, and pulls the ax out so they’re trapped. They tell him where to find Mogarzea’s soul and he brings it back to him. Then he and Mogarzea bring the tree with the elves back to Mogarzea’s dad’s court. There, the boy asks Mogarzea how to marry a fairy of Sweet Milk Lake. Mogarzea tells him. He goes to the lake and plays the flute. A fairy appears and dances. On the third day, he plucks a rose from her hair and doesn’t give it back, no matter how she pleads. So she marries him at the emperor’s court. But every year, they and their children go back to Sweet Milk Lake to bathe.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, how the hero traps the elves is kind of horrifying.
Trivia: N/A

227. The Old Woman in the Wood

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The Old Woman in the Wood is a Grimm fairy tale about a servant girl who’s lost in the woods. Until a dove guides her to a tree where she can sleep.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, of course.
Synopsis: A poor beautiful servant girl travels with the family she works for when robbers attack them. She hides behind a tree but no one else survives. She dreads her fate. A dove comes to her with a golden key, telling her to unlock the tree where she finds food. In the evening, the dove brings the girl to a tree with a bed. She lives like this for many days. When the dove asks her to do something, she agrees. It tells her to go to a house and let herself in. An old woman would greet her, but she shouldn’t answer. Rather the girl should open an inner door, which will reveal a room full of splendid things. But she must take a plain one. The old woman is quite angry but the girl doesn’t heed her. Then, when she can’t see the plain ring, she witnesses the old woman trying to carry off a bird cage. The girl takes it away from her. The cage contains a bird holding a ring in its beak. So she takes it outside and waits against a tree. 2 branches turn into arms around her as the tree turns into a handsome man who kisses her. He tells her the old woman’s a witch who turned him into a tree. And for 2 hours a day, he becomes a dove, and she had freed him. All of his attendants turn back from trees into humans as well. With the prince being a king’s son, they go to his dad’s kingdom and get married.

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After a while, the dove tells the girl to break in an old lady’s house and carry off a bird in a cage. Also, get the bird’s ring out of its mouth.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, it’s pretty weird.
Trivia: N/A

228. The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs

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The Devil with Three Golden Hairs is a Grimm fairy tale of a miller’s son who marries a princess. Unfortunately, the king has him get 3 golden hairs from the Devil in hopes he’ll die.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A poor woman gives birth to a son with a caul (where the amniotic sac is still intact at birth), which is interpreted to mean he’ll marry a king’s daughter at 14. Hearing of it, the wicked king visits the family and persuades to bring the boy back and raise him in the castle. Instead, he puts the boy in the box, which he throws in the water so that he won’t grow up and marry his daughter. But instead of sinking, the box drifts down to a mill, where it’s found by a miller and his wife. The 2 decide to raise the boy as their own.

14 years later, the king inadvertently stumbles upon the mill. Upon seeing the boy, the king asks the miller whether he’s his dad. The miller then explains his story of how he and his wife had come to raise the boy. Shocked, the king devises a way to rid himself of the boy once and for all. He gives the young man a sealed letter and instructs him to deliver it to the queen. Inside, the king commands that the boy be killed and buried once he arrives. On his way to deliver the letter, the boy seeks shelter at an old woman’s house for the night. Despite her warnings of robbers frequenting the house, the boy falls asleep, claiming he can’t walk any further. When bandits arrive, they read the letter and take pity on the boy. Without waking, they put a new letter in place, dictating the boy should marry the princess upon his arrival. When morning comes, they direct him to the castle and he goes on his way.

The wedding proceeds. When the king returns, he dispatches the boy to travel into Hell and return with 3 of the Devil’s golden hairs in yet another effort to get rid of his new son-in-law. The boy’s confronted by 3 questions on his journey, while he travels between 2 towns across the river. When passing through each, he’s asked his trade (“what he knows”). Twice, the boy responds, “I know everything.” He’s then asked why the first town’s well, which once sprang forth wine, but no longer dispenses even water. In the second town, he’s asked why a tree that once sprouted golden apples, no longer sprouts leaves. While being ferried across the river, the ferryman asks the boy why he must always row back and forth and isn’t free to do otherwise. To each question he replies, “You shall know that, only when I come back.”

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When the boy enters Hell, he finds the Devil’s grandma. He feeds her the riddles he hears and the request for 3 golden hairs. She tells him to hide and handles the situation.

The boy finds Hell’s entrance on the river’s other side. Upon entering, he only finds the Devil’s grandmother. He tells her what he wants, and she promises to help him how she can before turning him into an ant and hiding him in her clothing folds. The Devil returns and, despite smelling human flesh in the air, is convinced to sit down, eat, and drink. Once he’s done, he lays his head on his grandma’s lap and falls into a drunken sleep. She plucks 3 golden hairs from his head, causing him to wake up after hair pulled. Assuming the pain is part of his dreams, he recounts his visions to his granny: a dried up well in a town square with a toad underneath blocking the liquid flow, a tree that can’t sprout fruit or leaves because of a mouse gnawing at its root, and a ferryman who can be free by merely placing his oar in another man’s hands on the bank’s other side. The next morning, once the Devil leaves the dwelling again, the boy transforms into his former self. Thanking the old woman, he takes the 3 golden hairs and sets off for home. Once again, he passes the river and the 2 cities, disclosing the answers he overheard the Devil speak of during the night. Each town gives him a pair of donkeys laden with gold, which the boy brings back to the castle with him. Pleased by his son-in-law’s return with such wealth, the king allows him to live in peace with his wife. He then inquires on where the boy got his newfound wealth, hoping to get some for himself. The boy tells his father-in-law he found the gold across the river. The story ends with the king crossing the river with the ferryman, who hands him the oar upon reaching the side, condemning him to a life of ferrying travelers back and forth forever.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: N/A
Trivia: Might’ve influenced J. R. R. Tolkein’s The Tale of Beren and Lúthien though there are substantial differences.

229. The Story of the Three Wonderful Beggars

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The Story of the Three Wonderful Beggars is an Eastern European fairy tale of a merchant who’s trying to kidnap a boy named Vasillii since the 3 beggars who stayed in his stable decide to give their wealth to him.

From: Serbia and Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki as “Vasilii the Unlucky” in its Russian form. In this version, when Anastasia goes to see them, the beggars are grandly dressed. The Serpent King is known as Tsar Zmey and Vasilii receives jewels from the whale. The beginning of this story kind of runs like A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Best Known Version: The one collected by Andrew Lang in his The Violet Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A very rich and hard-hearted merchant named Mark (or Marko) has a daughter named Anastasia. One day, he’s about to set the dogs on 3 beggars, when Anastasia pleads with him. So he lets them stay in the stable loft. Anastasia goes to see them. The beggars decide to give Marko’s wealth to a newborn named Vasilii, a poor peasant’s seventh son in a neighboring village. She tells her dad. Marko goes and finds just such a boy had been born. The merchant offers to be the boy’s godfather and raise him, giving the poor dad a sum of money as well. When the boy’s dad agrees, the merchant throws the baby off the cliff. Other merchants pick up the child and bring him to Marko, who persuades them to leave the boy to him. He then puts the boy in a barrel (or an open boat), which he throws out to sea. The wooden craft floats to a monastery where an abbot takes him in. Many years later, Marko passes by and hears the story. He persuades the abbot that he wants to take him in, and that he’d give the monastery a large sum of money for it. The abbot and monks agree. Marko sends the boy to his wife with a letter prescribing he should be pushed into the soap-making cauldron at once.

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When the merchant gets the kid, he throws the baby off a cliff. Other merchants find him and bring him to Marko who eventually has him thrown to sea. Luckily, he ends up at a monastery.

Vasilii meets the 3 beggars along the way, who breathe on the letter. When he arrives, the letter calls for him to marry Anastasia at once. His wife obeys, and Marko comes home finding a letter in his own handwriting calling for it. So he sends his new son-in-law to collect rent from the Serpent King (Tsar Zmey). Vasilii meets an old oak, which asks if he can discover why it can’t fall, a ferryman asking why he’s bound to ferry people back and forth, and a whale being used as a bridge asking him if he can discover how long it will be bound to this task. At the castle, Vasilii meets a maiden who hides him and asks the Serpent King in serpent form, about a dream she had. He tells her the oak has to be pushed over, which would reveal treasure, the ferryman has to push the boat off with another person in it, and the whale has to vomit up the 12 ships it had swallowed without leave. Vasilii goes back, carefully not telling the whale and the ferryman anything until he already crosses. He then finds gold and silver under the oak. He returns to Marko, who sets out to make sure the next time, Vasili won’t be able to escape. But the ferryman pushes Marko off, and he’s ferrying people still.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features attempted infanticide and child selling.
Trivia: N/A

230. The Fish and the Ring

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The English fairy tale, the Fish and the Ring revolves around a poor peasant girl who’s fated to marry a baron’s son. Unfortunately, his dad’s a magician who tries to throw her in the river. Luckily a fisherman and his wife raise her.

From: England
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Joseph Jacobs in his English Fairy Tales.
Best Known Version: I guess the Jacobs version.
Synopsis: A magician baron learns that his son’s fated to marry a poor peasant’s daughter. He goes to that peasant, and when learning that he can’t feed 6 children, offers to take the littlest one. He then throws her in the river. She floats to a fisherman’s house and the fisherman raises her. She grows into a great beauty. On a hunting trip years later, the baron sees the girl. His companion asks who’d she marry. To cast her horoscope, the baron asks the girl when she was born and she tells her story. He sends her to his brother, with a letter telling him to kill her. She falls among robbers, who alter the letter to say she should marry the son, and his brother holds the wedding at once. The baron comes and learns of it before taking his daughter-in-law to walk along the cliff. She begs for her life. He doesn’t push her in but he throws a golden ring into the sea and tells her that she should never show him or his son her face again without it. She goes and works in the kitchen. When the baron comes to dine at that house as she’s cooking fish, she finds a ring in it. The guests are so taken with the fish that they want to meet the cook and she goes with the ring. The baron realizes he can’t fight his fate and announces that she’s his son’s true bride before taking her back with him to his home, where she lives happily ever after with her husband.

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When the baron sends the girl with a letter to his brother, she falls in with robbers. Fortunately, the discover the letter as a hit on her and arrange it so she marries the baron’s son instead.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Features child selling and attempted infanticide.
Trivia: N/A

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