A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 15 – The Months to The Bird “Grip”

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You might’ve noticed but a lot of these fairy tales seem rather similar to each other. Well, experts have also taken notice and that’s why they created the Aarne-Thompson classification system. This is an index used by folkorists to organize, classify, and analyze folklore narratives. Though it’s mainly based on folklore from Europe and western Asia. Now the Aarne-Thompson Index divides these fairy tales into sections with an AT number for each entry. It’s complicated. Anyway, in this installment, I bring you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, are Italian tales about months and 3 fairies. Second, is a Russian story about a frosty old man. Third, we come to a French tale of 2 sisters followed by a Romanian one of a girl in a tree. Then we look at Grimm tales about the Virgin Mother’s adopted daughter, 12 brothers, and water of life. After that, is a Danish tale of a young man going against giants and Swedish story of a prince searching for a bird name “Grip.”

141. The Months
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 Pentamerone.
Best Known Version: Guess the Basile version.
Synopsis: Cianne and Lise are brothers. Cianne is rich while Lise is poor. Lise sets out to wander the world. He meets 12 youths welcoming and asking him about the months. Lise replies that they each have their place and purpose and that people must be arrogant to want to rearrange them. One tells him the month of March is very burdensome since it advances to spring. The youth who’s the month of March gives Lise a casket granting wishes. With it, he has an easy journey and becomes prosperous. Naturally, Cianne is jealous of him. Lise tells him of an inn and the 12 youths, but not how they talked. Cianne goes there and receives a whip. When he tries using it, it whips him until his brother comes and uses the casket to stop him. Lise then shares his good fortune with Cianne.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Perhaps the magic whip. I don’t know.
Trivia: N/A

142. Father Frost

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In the Russian fairy tale, Father Frost, a girl is driven into the frozen cold. When Father Frost shows up, she is polite and kind to her and he gives her a golden box full of wonderful things.

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Afanasyev version, naturally.
Synopsis: A woman has a daughter she loves and a stepdaughter she hates. One day she orders her husband to take her stepdaughter out into the winter fields and leave her to die. He obeys. Morozko finds her there. She’s polite and kind for him. So he gives her a chest of beautiful things and fine garments. After awhile, the stepmother sends her husband for the girl’s body for burial. He obeys. But later, the family dog says, the girl’s coming back, and that’ she’s beautiful and happy. When the stepmother sees what the stepdaughter’s brought back, she orders her husband to take out her own daughter into the fields. Unlike before, this girl is rude to Morozko and he freezes her to death. When the husband goes out to bring her back, the family dog says the girl will be buried. When the dad brings back the body, the woman weeps.

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Here’s the girl left out of her home to die thanks to her evil stepmother. Apparently, she seems at peace for some reason.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Yellow Fairy Book as “The Story of King Frost.” Also, in the Grimm version, the first girl is coated with gold and silver coins while the rude girl is coated with cement, flour, and tar.
Adaptations: Made into a movie Morozko in 1964.
Why Forgotten: Depicts a girl freezing to death for simply being rude. Still, it’s well known in Russia.
Trivia: N/A

143. The Three Fairies
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Giambattista Basile for his 1634 Pentamerone.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, of course.
Synopsis: An envious widow, Caradonia has an ugly daughter, Grannizia. She marries a rich landowner with a lovely daughter, Cicella and jealously torments her stepdaughter. She badly dresses her, gives her poor food, and makes her work. One day, Cicella drops a basket over a cliff. Below, she sees a hideous ogre. She politely asks him to help her. He replies that if she climbed down, she’d get it. Cicella climbs down and finds 3 beautiful fairies at the cliff’s bottom. She’s politely with them, combs their hair, and claims to find rubies and pearls along with lice. They take her to their castle and show Cicella their treasures. She admires them but isn’t bedazzled. Finally, they shower her with rich clothes and ask her to choose a dress. Cicella opts for the cheap one. They ask how she wants to leave. Cicella replies that the stable door is good enough for her. They give her a splendid gown, dress her hair, and bring her to a golden door, telling her to look up when she goes through it. A star falls on her forehead.

Grannizia goes to the same place and is rude, complaining about the lice in the fairies’ hair. They bring her to the wardrobe and she grabs the fanciest dress. They don’t give it to her. But they send her out the stable door where a donkey testicle falls on Grannizia’s forehead. Fortunately for her, her angry mom takes Cicella’s clothes and gives it to her and sends Cicella to tend pigs. There, a nobleman named Cuosemo sees her and asks the stepmother for leave to marry her. Caradonia agrees, seals Cicella up in a barrel, and presents Grannizia as the bride instead. After the wedding night, he goes back to the house where a tabby cat tells him that Cicella’s in a barrel. He lets her out, puts Grannizia in her place, and flees with Cicella. Caradonia returns with wood, creates a fire, and boils water to scald Cicella to death. She then pours it in the barrel and Grannizia dies. Caradonia opens the barrel, sees her own daughter, and drowns herself in a well.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Think scalding someone to death might have something to do with it. Not to mention suicide.
Trivia: N/A

144. Auore and Aimee
From: France
Earliest Appearance: Written by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, best known for Beauty and the Beast.
Best Known Version: The Beaumont version, obviously.
Synopsis: A lady has 2 beautiful daughters: the older and good Auore and the younger and bad Aimee. When Auore is 16 and Aimee is 12, the lady starts losing her looks. Not wanting anyone to know she could have teenagers, she moves to another city, sends Auore to the country and claims that Aimee’s only 10 and that she had her at 15. Fearing that someone would discover the deception, the mom sends Auore to another country. But the person going with her abandons the girl in the forest. Auore hunts for a way out and finally finds a shepherdess’ cottage. She laments her fate and blames God. But the shepherdess urges that God permits misfortune only to benefit the unfortunate person, and offers to act like her mom. After some discussion on Auore’s fashionable but dull life, the shepherdess points out that age makes it less pleasant and that she herself could teach Auore to live without boredom. Auore agrees. The shepherdess sets her to a life divided into prayer, work, reading, and walks. Auore finds this life agreeable because it’s not dull.

One day, Prince Ingenu goes hunting. He’s a good guy but his brother King Fourbin is evil. Ingenu falls in love and woos Auore and she, properly, sends him to the shepherdess. He begs her to tell him whether it would make her unhappy if the shepherdess consents. The shepherdess praises the prince’s virtue and says that a daughter can’t be unhappy with a good husband. So she gives Auore her blessing, knowing Prince Ingenu would be a good husband before he leaves to return in 3 days. During that time, Auore falls into a thicket while gathering the sheep, resulting in her face dreadfully scratched. She laments this, but the shepherdess reminds her that God doubtlessly means it for good. But Auore reflects that if Ingenu rejects her over her looks being gone, he wouldn’t have made her happy.

Meanwhile, Ingenu tells his brother of his bride. Angry that his kid brother would marry without his permission, King Fourbin threatens to marry Auore himself if she’s as pretty as Ingenu claims. He comes with him. Seeing Auore’s marred face, Fourbin orders Ingenu to marry the girl at once and forbids the couple to come to court. But Ingenu’s perfectly fine with it and still wants to marry Auore. After Fourbin leaves, the shepherdess cures Auore’s injuries with special water. Back at court, Fourbin orders portraits of beautiful women brought to him. Enchanted by one of Aimee’s, he marries her.

A year later, Auore has a son, Beaujour. But one day, he disappears and she cries about it. But the shepherdess reminds her that everything happens for her own good. The next day, Fourbin’s soldiers arrive on orders to kill the king’s nephew. Not finding him, they put Auore, Ingenu, and the shepherdess on a boat to sea. They sail to a kingdom where a king is at war. Ingenu offers to fight for him, kills his enemies’ commander, and makes the army flee. Since the king is childless, he adopts Ingenu as his son. 4 years later, Fourbin dies of grief because of his wife’s wickedness. His people drive Aimee away and send for Ingenu to be king. They are shipwrecked on their way there. But this time, Auore holds. On the land, she finds a woman with her son, Beaujour. The woman explains herself as a pirate’s wife and that her husband abducted the boy. But they’ve been shipwrecked, too. Ships come looking for their bodies, bringing back Auore, Ingenu, and Beaujour back to the kingdom. And Auore never complains of any misfortune, knowing misfortunes often cause happiness.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The message that misfortune occurs for a reason and can lead to happiness hasn’t aged well these days. Indeed, we all deal with our share of misfortune, but not in regards to shipwrecks, attempted murder, and child abduction.
Trivia: N/A

145. Little Wildrose

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Little Wildrose is about a girl who grows up in an eagle’s nest. Yet, a prince wants her to climb down her tree.

From: Romania
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Crimson Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, naturally.
Synopsis: An old man goes in search of a child so someone would inherit his home. He finds a hermit in the dark woods. The hermit gives him an apple, telling him to eat half and give the other half to his wife. The old man gets thirst on the way home. And since there’s no water, he eats the whole apple. He then finds a beautiful baby girl and carries her home, laying her in a pail to call his wife nearby. An eagle carries the child for its eaglets to eat, but they nestle up to her instead. A lindworm comes to eat them but something kills it. So the eagle raises the girl with her chicks. One day, an emperor’s son sees her. But he can’t lure her down and grows sick of love. His dad asks him what’s wrong and, hearing of it, sends about for word of the maiden. An old woman promises to get them the girl. She starts a fire beneath the tree and does everything wrong. Little Wildrose tries telling her how to do it, but the old lady doesn’t take a hint. So Little Wildrose comes down to show her and the old woman carries her off. The emperor’s son marries her.

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You have to wonder how a woman can manage to grow up in a tree for so long. Seriously, trees aren’t usually that strong to hold that much weight.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The plot basically revolves around staging a kidnapping, and no one seems to see anything wrong with it.
Trivia: N/A

146. Mary’s Child

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Mary’s Child is a Grimm fairy tale where the Virgin Mary takes in a little girl. Though I find her parenting techniques questionable in this one.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm brothers.
Best Known Version: Why the Grimm version.
Synopsis: A poor woodcutter has a 3-year-old daughter and can’t feed her. The Virgin Mary appears and promises to take care of the girl. She happily grows up in Heaven. One day, the Virgin has to go on a trip and gives the girl the keys, telling her she could open 12 doors but not the 13th. She opens the first 12 and finds the Apostles behind them. Then she opens the 13th door. Behind it is the Trinity, staining her finger with gold. She tries hiding it, lying 3 times, and the Virgin Mary says she can no longer remain for her disobedience and lying. The girl falls asleep and wakes up finding herself in the forest. Whining over her shitty circumstances, the girl lives in a hollow tree, eats wild plants, and tears all her clothes until she’s naked. One day, a king finds her looking beautiful but incapable of speech. So he takes her home and marries her. A year later, the queen has a son. The Virgin Mary appears and demands she confess to opening the door. Again, she lies so the Virgin takes her son while people whisper that the queen killed and ate her child. The next year, the queen has another son, and it goes the same as before. The third year, she has a daughter. The Virgin Mary takes her to Heaven and shows the queen her sons, but she wouldn’t confess. This time, the king can’t restrain his councilors who condemn the queen to death. When she’s brought to the stake, the queen relents and wishes she could confess before she dies. The Virgin Mary brings back her children, restores her power of speech, and gives her happiness for the rest of her life.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The plot revolves around the Virgin Mary though the child in question is adopted. But it also has the Virgin Mother put her adopted daughter through a lot of shit after she refuses to confess her minor sins (which is typical childlike behavior). Now as a Catholic I believe that the Virgin Mary was immaculately conceived without sin, and let’s just say some of her actions in this story might qualify as sins like kidnapping and taking away speech, which almost leads to her burned at the stake. That’s not the Virgin Mary I know. Though to be fair, I don’t think this story is meant to offend Catholics. In fact, I think German Catholic parents told this story to get their kids to behave.
Trivia: N/A

147. The Twelve Brothers

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The Twelve Brothers is a Grimm fairy tale about 12 princes turned into ravens. While the heroine is their little sister with a star on her head who seeks to find them.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A king wants to kill his 12 sons so if his 13th child is a girl, she could inherit the kingdom in one piece. The queen tells this to the youngest son, Benjamin and that she’ll give them a warning with a flag. After 12 days of waiting in the forest, the sons see a red flag, indicating a death sentence. Angry at their dad’s cruel betrayal, the boys swear revenge on every girl and move to an enchanted cottage deep in the forest, where they feed on animals. In the meantime, the queen gives birth to a beautiful baby girl with a star on her forehead. 10 years after hearing about their existence from her mom, the princess leaves to find them where the queen hid them for precaution. She first finds a now older Benjamin happily greeting her and then introduces her to the other brothers, convincing them to stop their revenge on girls. Together the siblings live in harmony. Sometime later, the sister rips out 12 white lilies out of ignorance, her brothers turn into ravens and fly away. At the behest of an old woman witnessing this, the girl decides not to speak or laugh for 7 years, in order to save her brothers.

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To free her brothers, the princess decides not to speak for 7 years. Though she gets married to a king, she almost ends up burned at the stake for her silence. Luckily, her brothers save her in the nick of time.

A hunting king finds the princess and marries her. However, his mom slanders the girl’s silence and tries getting the king to burn her as a witch. The young king is torn as he loves his wife but ultimately gives in with tears in his eyes like a coward. As the pyre is lit, the 7 years pass and the 12 ravens arrive, recovering their human forms as soon as they touch the ground. They then put out the flames and free their sister so she’s now free to talk and explains to her husband what the hell’s going on. All live happily together save the cruel mother-in-law who’s put in a barrel with boiling oil and poisonous snakes.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Red Fairy Book.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Someone’s put in a barrel with boiling oil and poisonous snakes.
Trivia: N/A

148. The Water of Life

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The Grimm fairy tale, The Water of Life revolves around a prince searching for the water of life to save his dying dad. All he needs to do is follow the dwarf’s directions.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A dying old king tells his sons that the water of life would save him. Each one sets out in turn. Setting out hopes of being their dad’s heir, the older ones are rude to the dwarf on the way and get trapped in ravines. When the youngest son goes, the dwarf asks him where he’s going and the prince tells him. The dwarf tells him it’s in a castle and gives him an iron wand to open the gates and 2 loaves of bread to feed the lions inside (excuse me?). Then he has to get the water before the clock strikes 12 when the gates would shut again. The prince opens the gate with the iron wand and feeds the bread loaves to the lions. He then comes to a hall where there are sleeping princes. He takes rings from their fingers as well as some bread and a sword from the table. He goes on and finds a beautiful princess who kisses him, tells him he’s freed her, and promises to marry him if he returns within a year. Then she lets him know where the spring is. The prince goes on. But he sees a bed and lies down to sleep. When he wakes up, it’s a quarter to 12. He springs up, gets the water, and escapes, with the closing gate taking off his boot heel.

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Here’s the dying king with his 3 sons. Still, I think it would be easier if they just let the old man die.

The prince meets the dwarf telling him what happened to his brothers and at his imploring frees them, warning they have evil hearts. They come to a kingdom plagued with war and famine. The prince kills their foes with a sword and feeds them the loaf. They then come to 2 more kingdoms in the same situation, and they do the same. Next, they go to a ship to cross the sea and return home. The older brothers steal the water of life and fill the youngest prince’s bottle with sea water, which sickens the king. The older brothers accuse the youngest of trying to poison him and give him the water of life. The king decides to have his youngest son secretly killed by sending the huntsman with him into the woods. But the huntsman can’t bring himself to kill the prince and confesses the deed. The prince and the huntsman trade clothes and the prince flees. Treasure arrives from the 3 kingdoms the prince had saved. The king wonders about his guilt and regrets having his son killed. The huntsman confesses that he hadn’t killed him. The king issues a proclamation that the prince could freely return. The princess in the castle makes a golden road to it and tells her people that would bring the true groom to her and to admit no one who doesn’t ride straight up to it. Pretending to be the ones who freed her, the 2 older princes sees it and think it a shame to dirty it. So they ride alongside and the servants don’t admit them. The youngest thinks so constantly of the princess that he doesn’t notice it so he rides up it. He’s admitted and marries the princess. The prince goes back to his dad and tells the true story. The king wishes to punish the older brothers, but they board a ship and are never seen again.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: I’m not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

149. Niels and the Giants
From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Crimson Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, naturally.
Synopsis: A couple has 2 sons. The older is content to be a shepherd like his dad. But the younger, Niels, wants to be a hunter. So he gets a gun, practices with it, and becomes a good shot. One day, his mom decides to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. So the family sells everything and sets out with Niels bringing his gun. One night, they don’t stay at an inn because the heat slows them down by the day and the moon’s up. They come to a crossroads in the forest and don’t know which way to go. So they decide to stay there. During the first watch, the older son shoots a stag. Niels climbs a tree and sees 3 giants eating. By careful shots, he has them fight about knocking each other’s hands and making them prick themselves with forks. The third giant realizes he’s around and catches him. The giants then demand Niels a service. They want to carry off the king’s daughter and have everyone in the castle put to sleep save a little black dog. If Niels shoots the dog so it doesn’t bark and wake everyone, they’d spare his life. They throw him in and he lands on the grass. Niels shoots the dog and goes to the gate. But on the way, he sees an enormous sword, a drinking horn, and an inscription saying that whoever can drink from the horn can wield the sword. He then looks through the castle and finds the princess, taking half her handkerchief and one of her slippers. Niels next drains the horn so he could wield the sword, before going to the gate where there’s a small door and large door. He opens the small door, claims he’s too weak for the large one, and cuts off the giants’ heads as they come through. Niels then runs to rejoin his family with the sword. He shuts the door and with a bang the castle wakes astounded by the bodies. The princess declares they must find the giant-slayer since she’s honor-bound to marry him. She has a house built and puts over the door so whoever tells his life story could stay there for free.

Meanwhile, Niels and his family goes on toward Rome, but they meet a man showing them holes in their shoes and tells them they’d been new when he left the city. Discouraged, they turn back, coming upon the house where they decide to stay. The steward questions the dad and older son and tells the princess that nothing had happened to them, but admits he didn’t ask them all. The princess goes in herself. The older brother puts in that he forgot to tell that his brother had found the sword. Niels, who guesses this as a way to discover him, wants to escape. But they find the sword, search him, discovering the handkerchief and slipper. Niels is afraid they’d punish him. But the princess says they must wait until her dad returns. When he does, the princess marries Niels who’s king after the old man dies.
Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

150. The Bird “Grip”

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The Bird “Grip” is a Swedish fairy tale about a prince searching for a bird that will restore his dad’s sight. Here he presents the bird to his father.

From: Sweden
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang for his The Pink Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, obviously.
Synopsis: A king goes blind. An old woman says the song of the bird “Grip” would restore his sight. The king’s oldest son offers to fetch the bird, from where it’s kept in another king’s cage. But he stays at a merry inn along the way. He enjoys himself so much there that he forgets about the journey. His 2 brothers follow. The second son also stays at the inn. While the youngest says he has to fetch the bird, “Grip” and continues on instead of remaining at the inn. He stays at a house in the woods hearing shrieks through the night. He asks about them the next morning. A girl tells him they come from a dead man whom the innkeeper had beat up and killed for being unable to pay a bill and whom he refused to bury for a funeral. The prince pays his bill but is afraid to stay longer so he asks the girl to help him escape in the night. She tells him the host keeps the stable keys under his pillow but she’ll help him if the prince takes her with him. He does so and gives her a place at a good inn before he goes on.

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Here the prince comes with the princess, horse, and the bird “Grip.” And he got them all at the fox’s guidance.

The youngest son then meets a fox who opts to help him. When they go to the castle to where the bird is, the fox gives the prince 3 grains: one for the guardroom, one for the room with the cage, and one for the cage itself. Then the prince could take the bird but he mustn’t stroke it. He obeys with the grains. But when he decides to stroke the bird, it wakes and screams. The prince gets captured. In prison, the fox tells him to answer, “Yes” to everything at the trial. When asked whether he’s a master thief, the prince answers yes. The king offers him a pardon if he carries off the world’s most beautiful princess from the next kingdom. Once again, the fox gives him 3 grains: one for the guardroom, one for the princess’ bedroom, and one for her bed but warns him not to kiss her. Though the prince obeys with the grains, he fails again at the kiss. Again, at the trial he’s asked whether he’s a master thief and he answers yes. The king offers him a pardon if he carries off a horse with 4 golden shoes from the next kingdom. Again, the fox gives him 3 grains: for the guardroom, the stable, and the horse’s stall, but warns him against the golden saddle. And this time, the fox can’t help the prince if he fails. He does the grains. But when he sees the golden saddle, he reaches for it. But something strikes his arm and he leads the horse without it. The prince confesses it to the fox who admits to striking his arm. Returning to the princess’ castle, he confesses he’d gladly take her to his dad’s castle on the horse. So the fox gives him the grains again and he carries the princess off. He asks the fox if he could try the bird again. This time, he succeeds in catching it.

The fox then warns the prince against ransoming anyone with the money. The prince rides on and discovers his brothers had gone into debt at the inn and are set to be hanged. He pays the debt. But his jealous brothers throw him in a lions den and take the bird, the horse, and the princess. They threaten to kill the girl if she doesn’t say they had won them. They tell their dad that the youngest had been hanged for debt. But the bird doesn’t sing, the horse wouldn’t let anyone in the stall, and the princess won’t stop crying. Back in the lions’ den, the prince finds the fox. The lions don’t hurt him. The fox leads him out saying that would forget their dad would also betray their brother. The fox asks him to cut off his head. The prince tries to refuse, but the fox insists he’d kill him if he doesn’t. The prince relents and fox tells him he’s the dead man whose debts he had paid. Disguised as a horse-shoer, the prince slips into the castle. He puts 4 golden shoes on the horse and hearing the bird Grip couldn’t sing, declares it lacks something and if he could see it, he could learn what it is. He calls the bird by name. It begins to sing and causes the princess to smile. The king’s sight recovers and recognizes the horse-shoer as his youngest son. He banishes the older sons while the youngest marries the princess and lives happily ever after.

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

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A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 14 – The Golden Slipper to The Two Caskets

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In fairy tales, you can have 2 types of old ladies. One is good, wise, and helpful. She could be magical but normally isn’t. Sometimes she may take the hero in when they have absolutely nowhere else to go. The other may seem nice but can also be a witch who curses someone for whatever reason. And breaking the spell will require some crazy quest to find an assortment of items or a worthy potential significant other. Both really don’t seem great if you really think about it. Anyway, in this installment, I’ll bring you 10 more forgotten fairy tales. First, is a Russian tale of a golden shoe. Second are Grimm tales of 2 different brides and a magical old lady. Third, is an Italian story about a dragon that runs more like a Game of Thrones episode. Then we come to an Icelandic tale of a witch in a stone boat. After that are 2 Scandinavian stories on a magical wreath and 2 caskets. Next, is a Danish tale of a Maiden Bright-Eye followed by a French story of fairies and an English tale of 3 heads in a well.

131. The Golden Slipper

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The Golden Slipper is a Russian Cinderella story. Here the girl finds herself as chest of clothes for Mass so she could see the prince.

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki. A Russian version of Cinderella.
Best Known Version: The Afanasyev version, obviously.
Synopsis: An old man brings 2 fish home from market for his daughters. The older one eats hers, but the younger asks her fish what to do with it. It tells her to take it to the river and put it in the water so it might repay her. She puts it in the well. The old woman, their mom, likes the older daughter but hates the younger. She dresses the older for Mass and orders the younger to husk 2 bushels of rye while they’re gone. The girl weeps beside the well. The fish gives her fine clothing and sends her off while the rye husking vanishes. The mom comes back talking of the beauty they’ve seen at Mass. She takes the older girl again, leaving the younger to husk 3 measures of barley and the younger goes to Mass again with the fish’s aid. A prince sees her and catches her golden slipper with some tar. He finds the younger daughter and tries the shoe on her. When it fits, they marry.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why. Guest the magic fish has something to do with it.
Trivia: N/A

132. The White Bride and the Black Bride

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The White and Black Bride is a Grimm fairy tale about a girl who’s set to marry a king getting replaced by her stepsister. Oh, and she ends up turning into an animal for awhile.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A woman and her daughter cut fodder when the lord arrives and asks for directions to the village. They refuse to help but the woman’s stepdaughter offers to show him. In return, the others turn black and ugly but the stepdaughter gets granted 3 wishes: beauty, an everlasting purse of gold, and a one-way ticket to Heaven upon her death. Her brother Reginer is a king’s coachman, asks for her portrait and hangs it in his room. The king sees it and resolves to marry her. Her brother sends for her while the stepmother and stepsister show up, too. The stepmother enchants the coachman so he’s half-blind and the bride so she’s half-deaf. The white bride doesn’t hear what the coachman says and instead follows her stepmother’s command to remove her dress and garments and look out the window where she’s pushed out. The king’s horrified by the black bride and throws the brother into a snake pit. But the stepmother persuades him to marry the black bride.

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Transformed as a duck, the girl intercepts the castle through the kitchen. Here she is at the oven.

A white duck arrives to the kitchen and tells the kitchen boy to light the fire, and then asks for Reginer and the black bride. After a few days of this, the kitchen boy asks the king. The king cuts off the duck’s head, which transforms into the white bride. The king frees the brother from the snake pit and asks the stepmother what ought to be done to do what she did. She says that the person should be stripped and put in a barrel studded with nails, and a horse should drag it off. The king has it done to her and the black bride. He marries the white bride.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Racism, obviously.
Trivia: N/A

133. The Witch in the Stone Boat

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In the Icelandic fairy tale, The Witch in the Stone Boat, a witch intercepts a ship carrying a new king and queen home. She then kidnaps the queen and takes her place. But the baby prince can’t stop crying.

From: Iceland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Jón Árnason. Translated into German by Poestion.
Best Known Version: Andrew Lang’s English translation in The Yellow Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A king tells his son Sigurd to marry, recommending another king’s daughter as a prospective wife. Sigurd travels to the kingdom and proposes to the princess. Her dad accepts on the condition he’d stay and help him as long as he could. Sigurd promises to remain, until he receives news of his dad’s death. He then sets sail for his homeland with his wife and 2-year-old son. The ship’s one day short of completing its journey when the wind dies down. Overcome with drowsiness, Sigurd leaves the queen and prince alone on the deck. A stone boat approaches carrying a frightening “witch” or “troll wife.” She boards the ship, snatches away the baby, and assumes the queen’s place by transforming into her shape and wearing her fine clothes she strips from the woman. The imposter puts the real queen on the stone boat and enchants the boat telling it to go to her brother in the underworld without straying. The boat shoots off and is soon out of the ship’s sight. The real mother’s disappearance makes the baby uncontrollably cry, and the witch tries to quiet it to no avail. So she goes below deck and scolds Sigurd for leaving her on deck alone. Though his wife usually never threw such temper tantrums, Sigurd let it slide since she had every right to be mad at him. But despite their efforts, neither could stop the boy from crying.

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When they appear at the castle, the real queen appears on the course of 3 nights. On the last night, King Sigurd sees his wife at last.

Succeeding his dead father, Sigurd now rules his homeland as king. The once quiet little boy hardly stops crying since that day so he’s given and raised by a nurse, who’s one of the court ladies. Sigurd also notices his wife’s change in temperament as “haughty and stubborn, and difficult to deal with.” Fortunately, the fake queen’s identity soon unravels. Two young men playing chess next to the queen’s room eavesdrop and spy on her through a crack. They hear her say that the more widely she yawns, the more she transforms into a troll. And even as she speaks, she gives a huge yawn and reverts back into a troll. On her room’s floor, a 3-headed giant appears, bringing her a trough full of meat she devours. Meanwhile the boy-prince’s nurse witnesses the true queen’s supernatural appearance. The nurse lights a candle revealing rising floor planks and a woman dressed in linen underneath. Clasped around her waist is an iron belt with a chain leading to the ground below. The queen embraces the child for a moment and returns under the floor again. She appears again and the nurse hears the queen lamentfully says, “Two are gone, and one only is left,” which the nurse guess must mean that the third night might be her final appearance.

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To free his wife, King Sigurd uses his sword to break her chains. He also kills the giantess witch with 3 heads.

The next night, King Sigurd is in the nurse’s room, sword drawn in his hand awaiting the apparition, whom he instantly recognizes as his own wife. He cuts the chain and great noises come from beneath the earth. The true queen tells her story. The 3-headed giant tries forcing her to marry him and only consented if she could see her son for 3 consecutive days. But the giant has to plummet to death, the crashing “caused by him in his death throes.” The real queen is restored to all her dignity and the king has the false queen captured and stoned to death and torn apart by horses.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Retold by Mrs. Angus W. Hall titled, “The Giantess and the Granite Boat.”
Why Forgotten: Guess the stoning to death and being torn apart by horses might have something to do with it.
Trivia: N/A

134. The Dragon
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Giambattista Basile in Pentamerone in 1635. It runs more like an episode from Game of Thrones though it has fairies. And a despicable character doesn’t experience any lasting consequences whatsoever like a horrific death scene.
Best Known Version: Perhaps the Thomas Keightley translation in Fairy Mythology.
Synopsis: A High Shore king loses his throne during his absence due to his tyrannical and cruel conduct and gets usurped by a sorceress. He consults his oracular wooden statue to learn that he’d regain his kingdom when the sorceress goes blind. But the well-guarded sorceress foils every agent he sends to do his bidding. Since she could instantly detect any harm-seeking intruder and metes out “dog justice” upon them. Frustrated, the king compensates by raping any woman he can lay his hands on and murdering them afterwards. Hundreds of victims later, the turn comes for the maiden Porziella whose beauty is described in poetic metaphor. Intending to kill her like the rest, the king raises his dagger after he’s had his way with her. But just that moment, a bird flies by and drops a root on his arm, causing him to tremble and drop the weapon. Because the bird is a fairy who Porziella saved from a lecherous satyr’s mischief by waking her up in time. Instead, the king decides to seal her up in the attic since, “it wasn’t necessary to bathe the instrument of death with the same blood with which he had bathed the instrument of life.” Porziella begins to starve, the bird brings a knife to drill into a floor corner, and breach a hole to the kitchen below for the bird to bring food.

Nine months later, Porziella gives birth to a son named Miuccio, she raises in the sealed chamber. Until as a grown boy, he’s surreptitiously lowered down by a rope to the kitchen. The cook discovers the boy who’s employed as the king’s page. The king appears to love the boy more than his own stepson, earning the queen’s enmity. So she hatches a series of schemes designed to bring upon Miuccio’s downfall. First, she leads the king to believe that Miuccio boasted he could build 3 castles hanging in the air. The king commands he do so. At first, Miuccio agonizes. But under the bird’s guidance, he accomplishes his task by building 3 huge cardboard castles that 3 griffins lift into the air the fairy-bird summons. The queen wracks her brain for the next plot. At her instigation, the king orders Miuccio to blind the sorceress so he can get his kingdom back and not be so reduced that he’s served by wretched 4-breadloaf wage menials. Miuccio moans so heavily that the bird sarcastically wonders out loud if her death could cause such grieving. Assuring him of success, the bird flies off into the woods to seek help. Chirping to gather a large flock of birds, she asks if any one of them can put out the sorceress’ eyes, offering a reward to protect against the hawks and other raptors as well as a free-pass “against muskets, bows, crossbows, and “bird-lime of the fowlers.” A swallow volunteers for the task, since she nests in the palace and is irritated by the sorceress’ puffs of magic. Realizing being blinded by the darting bird signifies her demise, the sorceress shriekingly departs the city and escapes to a cave, pounding her head against the wall until she dies.

With the sorceress gone, the king can reclaim his castle. Miuccio arrives simultaneously, and the bird’s prompting, tells the king he wishes to be left to his miserable lot and not be bothered with any more tasks placing him in harm’s way. The king embraces him while the queen fills with rage. She arranges for the Miuccio’s final perilous ordeal, which is to fight a fierce dragon dwelling within the vicinity. Born at the same hour as the queen, and in her own words, is her brother. So their lives are inextricably tied as the death of one means death to the other. And the queen can only be restored to life by smearing the dragon’s blood. So the king orders Miuccio to slay the dragon. Miuccio throws a comical and well-justified tantrum, saying this is no peeled pear ready for eating, but “a dragon, that tears with his claws, breaks to pieces with his head, crushes with his tail, craunches with his teeth, poisons with his eyes, and kills with his breath.” He even garners the courage to ask the king exactly which “son of the Devil” got such ideas into his head. The king shrugs off the insult but stands firm in his demand.

Again, the bird comes to Miuccio’s rescue by bearing a soporific herb in its beak, which when cast into the cave, would put the dragon to sleep. After using the herb to tranquilize the dragon, Miuccio takes a knife and starts nicking and hacking the beast. The queen feels a cutting pain in her heart and with her life slipping away, tells the king that it’s a sign that Miuccio has killed the dragon as astrologers predicted. The king blames the queen for her self-inflicted doom. The queen admits to underestimating Miuccio’s abilities but asks as a final favor to have her entire body anointed with dragon’s blood before she’s buried. The king orders Miuccio to retrieve the blood. But the bird stops him short, saying that it would revive the queen who’s been manipulating the king to give him such ordeals and the king should have long realized the page is his kin, being so naturally drawn by affection for him. The king, who’s tailed Muccio out of curiosity, overhears the conversation, learning that not only is Muccio is his true son but also that his mom Porziella has survived all these 14 years. In his condition, the king offers to forfeit his kingdom and his life to the fairy who protected Muccio and his mom all these years. Now transforming into a beautiful maiden, the fairy only requires taking Muccio as husband for services rendered. The dead queen is tossed into a burial mound. The king marries Poriziella as his new queen.

Other Versions: Bowlderized versions exist by the way.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, the king is a serial rapist and murderer who locks one of his victims in an attic for 14 years after failing to kill her. Oh, and did I say the woman locked in the attic ends up marrying the guy in the end because they have a kid together? Not to mention, he gets his kingdom restored and as well as never really experiences any lasting consequences. Also includes child marriage (hello, the kid is like a teenager).
Trivia: N/A

135. The Enchanted Wreath

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The Enchanted Wreath is a Scandinavian fairy tale of a young woman who helps 3 miserable-looking doves. They appreciate her help that they make a magic wreath for her.

From: Scandinavia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Benjamin Thorpe in Yule-Tide Stories: A Collection of Scandinavian and North German Popular Tales and Traditions.
Best Known Version: The Thorpe version obviously.
Synopsis: A man has a wife. Both have a daughter from a previous marriage. One day, the man takes his daughter to cut wood. When he returns, he realizes he forgot his ax. He tells his wife to send her daughter for it so it won’t get rusty. But the stepmother replies that his daughter’s already wet and is such a strong girl she could take a little wet and cold. Back on the spot, the girl finds 3 miserable-looking doves perched on the ax. She tells them to fly back home, where it would be warmer, but not before giving them crumbs from her bread. She takes the ax and leaves. Eating the crumbs makes the birds much better that they lay a wreath of roses on the girl’s head with tiny birds singing in it. When the stepmother pulls it off, the birds fly off and the roses wither. The next day, the dad goes alone and forgets his ax again. Delighted, the stepmother sends her own daughter. She finds the doves and orders them off as “dirty creatures.” They curse her so she could never say anything but that. The stepmother beats her stepdaughter and gets even angrier when the doves restore the wreath to its condition on the girl’s head.

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On a ship to marry the prince, the girl’s stepmother pushes her off the boat and has her daughter take her place. Luckily, the prince sees through this scheme.

One day, a prince sees the girl and takes her off to marry her. The news makes the stepmother and stepdaughter quite ill. But they recover when the stepmother makes a plan. She has a witch make a mask of her stepdaughter’s face. Then she visits the princess bride, puts her in the water, and puts her daughter in her place, before setting out if the same witch could give her something to cure the doves’ curse on the girl. Her husband’s distraught by the change in her, but thinks it stems from an illness. Until he thinks he sees his bride in water, but she vanishes. He sees her twice more before catching her. She turns into various animals including a hare, a fish, a bird, and a snake. He cuts off the snake’s head and the bride becomes human again. The stepmother returns with the ointment that would work only if the princess really drowned. She puts it on her daughter’s tongue and it doesn’t do a thing. The prince finds them and declares they deserve to die. But the stepdaughter persuades them to merely abandon them on a deserted island instead.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Orange Fairy Book.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not exactly sure why.
Trivia: N/A

136. Maiden Bright-Eye

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Maiden Bright-Eye is a Danish fairy tale of a young woman who helps out a dwarf. And she’s richly rewarded for it, too.

From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in his The Pink Fairy Book.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, naturally.
Synopsis: A man has a son and a daughter, the latter named Maiden Bright-Eye. His wife dies and he marries another woman who’s got a daughter of her own. The stepmother is cruel to Bright-Eye. One day, she sends her stepdaughter to watch the sheep and pull heather. For dinner, the stepmother packs Maiden Bright-Eye pancakes with an ash-mixed flour. Maiden Bright-Eye pulls some heather and a little guy in a red cap appears from the ground to ask why she’s pulling the roof of his house. She apologizes and shares her dinner with him. For her kindness, he bestows her gifts of magic: she grows much more beautiful, a gold coin falls from her mouth when she opens it, after which her voice sounds like music, and he promises she’ll marry a young king. He also gives her a cap that can save her life when she puts it on. Maiden Bright-Eye tells her stepmother about meeting the little man, but not about sharing her dinner. The stepmother sends her daughter who’s rude to the little guy who gives her ugliness, causes a toad to fall from her mouth when she opens it, and promises a violent death.

Meanwhile the son enters the king’s service. Hearing tales of Maiden Bright-Eye’s beauty, the king asks her brother if these stories are true and has them confirmed. So he decides to marry the girl and sends a ship to fetch her. But the stepmother gives her daughter a mask and sends her off on the ship with her stepchildren. While the ship’s still sailing, her daughter pushes Maiden Bright-Eye overboard and pretends to be her stepsister for the king. But Maiden Bright-Eye puts on the cap and transforms into a duck so she could swim. The king marries the stepmother’s daughter but then sees her unmasked ugly face. So he throws Maiden Bright-Eye’s brother into a pit of snakes for lying about the girl’s beauty. As a duck, Maiden Bright-Eye swims to the king’s castle, waddles up the kitchen drain, and meets a little dog. She asks it after her brother and stepsister and it tells her their fates. She then announces she’ll only come twice more. Serving maids hear the talking duck and tell others. The next night a great number come to listen. The duck asks her questions again, says she’ll come once more, and escapes. The third night, a cook puts a net outside the drain and catches the duck. Since she has many gold feathers, they take good care of her.

The brother dreams that his sister has come to the castle as a duck and can change back. He tells someone and word gets back to the king. The king asks if he could produce his real sister, the pretty one. He says he can if someone produces a knife and the duck. He cuts the duck when they do and Maiden Bright-Eye regains her own form. The stepsister is put in a barrel with spikes around it and is dragged by horses. The king marries Maiden Bright-Eye.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Probably the fact the stepsister gets put in a barrel with spikes and gets dragged by horses.
Trivia: N/A

137. Frau Holle

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The Grimm fairy tale Frau Holle revolves around a girl who falls through a well and does chores for this old magical woman. Frau Holle specifically instructs the girl to shake the feather pillows and coverlets.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers. Originated in Central Germany in what’s now known as Hesse, possibly from pre-Christian Germanic mythology since Frau Holle may have originally been a goddess named Hulda. Told by Henrietta Dorothea Wild who’s Wilhem Grimm’s wife.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, obviously.
Synopsis: A rich widow lives with her daughter and stepdaughter. Since she favors her younger biological daughter, she allows the girl to become spoiled and lazy. While the older stepdaughter has to do all the work and every day, she’d sit outside the cottage and spin beside the well. One day, she pricks her finger on the spindle point. Leaning over the well to wash the blood away, the spindle falls from her hand and sinks out of sight. Fearing she’d be punished for losing it, the panicky stepdaughter jumps into the well after it. But instead of drowning or getting stuck in it, the girl finds herself in a meadow where she comes upon an oven full of bread asking her to take it out before it burns. She then comes to an apple tree asking her to harvest its fruit. Finally, she arrives to a small cottage where an old woman lives, who allows the girl to stay if she helps with the housework. Identifying herself as Frau Holle, she cautions the girl to shake the featherbed pillows and coverlet well when she makes the bed, since that would make it snow in the girl’ world. The girl agrees and takes care to always shake the featherbed until the feather flew about like snowflakes.

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It’s said that when it snows in Hesse, Frau Holle’s making her bed. Though I attribute this to freezing temperatures and the water cycle.

After a time, the girl becomes homesick and tells Frau Holle that it’s time she return home. Impressed by her kindness and hard work so much, a golden shower falls upon the girl when the old woman escorts her to the gate. She also gives the girl the spindle that fell into the well. With that, the gate closes and the girl finds herself back, not far from her stepmom’s house. Since the stepmother wishes the same good fortune on her biological daughter, she sends her to sit by the well and spin. But the girl deliberately throws the spindle into the well before jumping in herself. She comes to the oven but wouldn’t assist the bread nor would she help the apple tree. When she arrives at Frau Holle’s house, she also takes service there but before long, she falls into her lazy careless ways. Frau Holle soon dismisses her. As the lazy girl stands at the gate, a kettle of tar spills all over her. Frau Holle says, “This is what you have earned” and closes the gate.

Other Versions: Some versions have the first girl have a piece of gold fall from her mouth every time she speaks while the second has a toad.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The golden shower reference might lead to a lot of misinterpretations despite that it’s gold raining on the girl, not pee. Also, the fact the second girl gets tar poured on her. Still, the title character is well remembered in Germany as a durable legendary figure from Pre-Christian times.
Trivia: It’s often said in Hesse that when it snows, Frau Holle must be making her bed.

138. The Fairies

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The Fairies is a French fairy tale of a girl who helps an old woman at the well. The woman turns out to be a fairy and richly rewards her for her good deeds.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Charles Perrault.
Best Known Version: Perhaps the Andrew Lang version in The Pink Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A bad-tempered old widow has 2 daughters. Older daughter Fanny is disagreeable and proud. But she looks and behaves like her mom so she’s the favorite. Younger daughter Rose is sweet, gentle, and beautiful but resembles her late dad. Jealous and bitter, the widow and her favorite daughter abuse and mistreat the younger girl. While drawing water from the well one day, an old woman asks Rose for a drink of water, which she politely consents. After giving it, Rose finds out that woman’s actually a fairy who disguises herself as an old crone to test mortals’ moral character (think of the enchantress from Beauty and the Beast who cursed the Beast and turned his staff into anthropomorphic household objects). Since Rose was so kind and compassionate toward her, the fairy blesses her with having a jewel, flower, or precious metal fall from her mouth whenever she speaks.

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When the girl returns home, her mouth is spouting with jewels, precious metals, and flowers. She tells her mom about it and she sends her older sister on the same task.

Upon Rose arriving home and explaining why it took so long, the widow’s delighted at the sight of precious metals, jewels, and flowers falling from her younger daughter’s lips. But she desires her favored older daughter Fanny should have these gifts as well. Fanny protests, but the widow forcibly sends her to the well with instructions to act kindly toward an old beggar woman. Fanny sets off but the fairy appears to her as a fine princess and requests the girl draw her a drink from the well. Fanny is rude and insults the fairy. As a result, the fairy decrees that as punishment for her despicable attitude, either a toad or snake would fall from Fanny’s mouth whenever she speaks. When Fanny arrives home, she tells her story to her mom and disgusting toads and vipers fall from her mouth with each word. Furious, the widow drives her younger daughter out of the house. Fortunately, Rose meets a prince who falls in love with her and marries her. Meanwhile, the widow gets sickened by Fanny and eventually drives her out so she dies alone and miserable in the woods.

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Instead of an old lady, the older sister meets a princess asking for water. The girl tells the woman to hit the bricks and gets cursed.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: I’m not sure why.
Trivia: Also titled, “Diamonds and Toads.”

139. The Three Heads in the Well

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The Three Heads in the Well is an English fairy tale of a young woman who finds 3 golden heads in the well and does whatever they ask her. She is richly rewarded.

From: England
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Joseph Jacobs in his English Fairy Tales.
Best Known Version: The Jacobs version, naturally.
Synopsis: In the days before King Arthur, a king holds court in Colchester. He has a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter. Unfortunately, his wife dies and he’s broke so he marries a rich hideous widow with a daughter of her own. His new wife sets him against his daughter. So his daughter begs to leave to go and seek her fortune, which the king permits. And his wife gives her brown bread, hard cheese, and a bottle of bear. She goes on her way and sees an old man sitting on a stone. He asks what she has. She tells him and offers him some. After they eat, he tells her how to get through the hedge and she’ll find 3 golden heads in a well there and should do whatever they tell her. The heads ask her to comb and wash them. After the girl does so, one says she shall be beautiful, the next says she’ll have a sweet voice, and the last proclaims that she’ll be fortunate and queen to the greatest prince who reigns. She goes on. A king sees her and falls in love with her. They marry and go back to visit her dad. He stepmother is furious that her stepdaughter and not her daughter. So she sends the girl on the same journey with rich dresses, sugar, almonds, sweetmeats, and a bottle of rich wine. But the daughter’s rude to the old man and slights the 3 heads. So they curse her with leprosy, a harsh voice, and marriage to a cobbler. She goes on. A cobbler offers to cure her leprosy and harsh voice if she marries him and she agrees. However, when her mom finds this out, she hangs herself. While the king pays off the cobbler to quit the court and live elsewhere.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Possibly because it features suicide.
Trivia: N/A

140. The Two Caskets

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The Two Caskets has a girl transported to a magical world where she works for an old lady for a certain amount of time. At the end of her service she gets a modest casket with treasure to behold. Hers stepsister, on the other hand isn’t so lucky.

From: Scandinavia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Benjamin Thorpe in his Yule-Tide Stories: A Collection of Scandinavian and North German Popular Tales and Traditions.
Best Known Version: Probably the Andrew Lang translation in The Orange Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A woman has a daughter and a stepdaughter. One day, she sets them to spin while sitting at a well’s edge, giving her daughter good flax and the stepdaughter coarse, unusable flax. She then declares that whoever’s thread breaks first would be thrown in. When the stepdaughter’s thread breaks, her stepmother throws her in. The girl falls to a wonderful land. She walks on and comes to a tumble-down fence, overgrown with vines. It pleads her not to hurt it, because it doesn’t have long to live. So she carefully jumps over it where there are less vines. She then finds an oven full of loaves and tells her to eat what she’d like but begs her not to hurt it. She eats a loaf, thanks it for such fine bread, and shuts its door. The girl next comes to a cow with a bucket on its horns saying she could milk it and drink but asks her not to hurt it or spill its milk. She agrees and when the last drop of milk is left, the cow tells her to throw it over its hooves and hang the bucket back up. She comes to a house. An old woman asks her to comb her hair. When she does, the old lady shows her a farm where she could take service. She takes good care of the cows, gives milk to the cats, and when she sieves corn, she gives some to the birds.

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Here the girl tends an old lady’s farm. And it seems the animals all gather in her goodness.

One day, the girl’s mistress summons her and tells her to fill a sieve full of water and bring it back. The birds tell her to use ashes to stop up the holes. Another day, she has to wash some black yarn until it turns white and some white yarn until it turns black. Then the girl’s mistress has her weave them into a robe as smooth as a king’s by sunset. But the skeins tangle and break every moment. Fortunately, the cats weave it on her behalf. Later, the girl wants to leave and go home. Her mistress sends her to the attic and tells her to take whatever casket she’d like. She considers many beautiful ones. But the cats direct her to a black one, so she takes it and goes home. Her stepmother takes her wages but the casket is filled with marvelous treasures. The stepmother puts her own daughter at the well’s edge, to spin with the coarse stuff, and throws her down in the well when it breaks. The daughter proceeds as her sisters had but is rude to everyone at the wall and works very poorly on the farm, including on the three tasks her stepsister had done. At the end of the year, she goes on her way with a large red casket. But when the girl opens it at home, fire bursts out, burning her and her mom to death.

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When her time with the old lady was up, she had her choice of casket. The girl chooses the modest one.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, it involves 2 people being burned to death after one opens a box.
Trivia: N/A

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 13 – The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth, and the Water of Life to The Child Who Came from an Egg

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In fairy tales, you’re bound to come across some magical creatures. Some may be benevolent talking animals like birds, foxes, and what not. Some may be cursed princes and princesses who don’t appear as ideal mates (because most of us aren’t into bestiality). Some may be creatures. And if they’re dragons, ogres, or giants, they’re antagonists who want to kill or eat you. Anyway, in this installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, we have a Russian tale about a bold knight, apples of youth, and water of life. Second, are 3 Grimm stories about a lamb and fish, a glass coffin, and a golden bird. Third, we come to a Finnish tale of a magic birch tree. Then, we come to a Romanian story of a golden stag followed by a Norwegian tale about a bushy bride, an Irish Cinderella story, a savvy French princess, and an Estonian story of a princess coming from an egg.

121. The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth, and the Water of Life

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The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth, and the Water of Life is a Russian fairy tale about a prince sets out to find apples that can restore youth and water that can restore one’s eyesight. Let’s just say it’s a bumpy ride.

From: Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Narodnye russkie skazki.
Best Known Version: The Afanasyev version, obviously.
Synopsis: An old king with failing sight hears of a garden with apples that could restore youth and water that could restore his eyesight. His oldest son sets out and comes to a pillar saying that on one road, his horse would be full but he’d go hungry, on the second he’ll lose his life, and on the third, he’d be full but his horse hungry. He takes the third and comes to a house where a widow welcomes him and offers him to spend the night with her daughter Dunia. He accepts and Dunia makes him fall into the cellar. The second son sets out and meets the same fate. Finally, despite his dad’s reluctance, the youngest son sets out. Though widow gives him the same offer, but says he must freshen up at the bath house first. Dunia leads him to it. The young prince beats her until she reveals his brothers. He frees them but the men are ashamed to return home. The youngest prince rides on and finds a pretty maiden weaving. She can’t direct him to the garden but sends him to her second sister instead. The second sister asks to leave his horse with her and send him to the third sister with a 2-winged horse. The third sister gives the prince a 4-winged horse and tells him to ensure that it jumps over the garden’s wall in a single bound or it makes bells ring and wake the witch guarding it. He tries obeying her, but the horse’s hoof just grazes the wall despite the sound being too soft to wake the witch. But in the morning, she chases after the prince on her 6-winged horse, only catching him when he’s near his own land and didn’t fear her. She curses him, saying nothing will save him from his brothers.

The prince finds his brothers sleeping and naps by them. They steal his apples and throw him over a cliff, falling to a dark kingdom. There, a dragon demands a beautiful maiden every year. This year, the lot falls on the princess. The knight says he’d save her if the king promises to do as he asks. The king not only agrees but also offers to marry him to the princess as well. They go where the dragon’s approaching and he falls asleep, telling the princess to wake him. The dragon arrives, she can’t wake the knight and begins to cry. A tear falls on his face waking him. He cuts off the dragon’s heads, puts them under a rock, and throws his body in the sea. Unfortunately, another man sneaks up behind the knight and cuts off his head and threatens to kill the princess if she didn’t say he killed the dragon. The king arranges the marriage, but the princess goes to sea with the fishermen. Each time they catch a fish, she has them throw it back. But finally, their nets catch the knight’s body and head, which she puts together with the water of life. He comforts her and sends her home, assuring he’ll come and make her situation right. When he comes to the king, he asks whether the alleged dragon slayer could find the dragon’s heads. The impostor can’t but the knight could. The knight then asks if he could return to his own country, not to marry the princess, but she doesn’t want to leave his side. She knows of a spoonbill that could carry them, as long as you feed it. They go off with a full ox but it wasn’t enough so the princess has to cut off part of her thigh. The bird carries them all the way and even comments on the last meat’s sweetness. She shows what she’s done and the bird spits the piece right out. The knight uses the water of life to restore the princess’ thigh. He goes back to his dad and tells him what his brothers have done. The brothers jump in a river while the knight marries the princess.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The fact the widow procures her daughter to visiting young men might have something to do with it. Also, a male protagonist uses Jack Bauer interrogation techniques on that daughter. Not to mention, features a lot of decapitation, some body mutilation, and suicide.
Trivia: N/A

122. The Lambkin and the Little Fish

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The Grimms’ fairy tale, The Lambkin and the Little Fish is about a stepmother who turns her stepkids into these animals and tries to serve them for dinner. And no, I’m not making this up.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A brother and sister have a stepmother who hates them. One day, they’re playing a counting-out game by a pool. Their stepmother turns the boy into a fish and the girl into a lamb. The guests come. The stepmother orders the cook to serve the lamb. The lamb and fish lament their fates to each other. The cook serves another animal and gives the lamb to the girl’s former nurse. Suspecting who the lamb is, she brings it to a wise woman who pronounces a blessing over the lamb and fish restoring their human forms. She then gives them a hut in the woods where the kids live happily ever after.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The kids are turned into a fish and lamb with the lamb on the menu.
Trivia: N/A

123. The Wonderful Birch

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The Wonderful Birch is a Finnish and Russian fairy tale that pretty much runs like Cinderella. Except that the girl’s fairy godmother is a tree.

From: Finland and Russia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Andrew Lang in The Red Fairy Book. It’s a Russian version of Cinderella with shapeshifting. Also, it has a magic tree instead of a fairy godmother while the wicked stepmother is a real witch.
Best Known Version: The Lang version, of course.
Synopsis: A peasant woman meets a witch who threatens to transform her if she does something. She doesn’t do it but gets turned into a sheep anyway. The witch then assumes the peasant woman’s form and returns to her husband. After a time, she him a daughter she pampers while mistreating her stepdaughter by the peasant’s sheep-wife. The witch-stepmother orders her husband to slaughter the sheep before it runs away. He agrees, but the stepdaughter runs to the sheep crying. Her mom tells her not to eat anything from her body and bury her bones. She does and a birch tree grows on the grave. One day, a king gives a festival inviting everyone. The witch sends off her husband with her younger daughter, throws a potful of barleycorns in the hearth, and tells the older stepdaughter that if she doesn’t pick the barleycorns from ashes, it’ll be worse for her. The birch tells her to strike the hearth with one of her branches which sorts them, and then magically bathes and dresses her. It then tells her to go to the fields and whistle, for a horse, partly gold, partly silver, and the third partly something more precious will appear to take her to the castle. The girl then goes to the festival. The prince falls in love with her and has her sit beside him. But the witch’s daughter gnaws bones under the table. Thinking she’s a dog, the prince gives her such a kick, breaking her arm. He has the door latch smeared with tar, which catches the stepdaughter’s copper ring when she leaves. When the witch returns home, she tells her stepdaughter that the prince has fallen in love with her daughter and carries her about, only he had dropped her and broke her arm.

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Whenever the king holds a great event, the witch stepmother pretties up her own daughter. And in the meantime, she gives the stepdaughter a chore to keep her busy so she won’t come.

The king holds another festival. The witch tries keeping her stepdaughter busy by throwing hemp-seed on the hearth. But with the birch’s aid, the stepdaughter goes to the festival as before. This time, the prince breaks the witch daughter’s leg. Again, he has the doorpost smeared with tar catching the stepdaughter’s silver circlet. The king holds a third festival. The witch tries keeping the stepdaughter busy by throwing milk on the hearth. But with the birch’s aid, the stepdaughter goes to the festival as before. This time, the prince kicks out the witch daughter’s eye. One again, he has the doorpost smeared with tar, catching one of the stepdaughter’s gold slippers. With the ring, circlet, and slipper, the prince sets out to discover who the maiden is. When he’s about to try them on the stepdaughter, the witch intervenes and gets them on her daughter. The prince takes both the daughter and stepdaughter. When they come to the river, the stepdaughter whispers to the prince not to rob her of her silver and gold. He throws the witch’s daughter over the river to serve as a bridge. The prince and the stepdaughter cross it and he takes her for his bride. They next visit the magical birch tree and receive treasures and gifts. While stretching as a bridge in her grief, the younger sister wishes that a hollow stalk grow out of her navel so her mom would recognize her. Immediately, a golden stalk grows out of the bridge.

In time, the older stepsister gives birth to a son while the prince’s dad dies. Hearing of this and believing the princess is her daughter, the witch goes to the castle. But on the way, she sees a golden stalk and is about to cut it until her daughter cries out not to cut out her navel and that she’s a bridge. The witch hurries to the castle and turns the older stepdaughter into a reindeer while her daughter replaces her. An old woman tells the young king that his wife’s in the forest in the shape of a reindeer and that the woman beside him is the witch’s daughter he once abused. He asks how he could get her back. The widow tells him to take their son into the forest. When she goes for the child, the witch objects. But the king insists on the widow taking the baby. In the forest, the widow sings to the reindeer, which comes and suckles the child and tells the woman to bring it again the next day. The next day, the witch objects again, but the widow takes the kid to the reindeer as before. The child becomes quite cute and his dad asks the widow if it’s possible for his wife could regain her human shape. Though she doesn’t know, the widow tells him to go into the forest and when the reindeer throws off her skin, he’s to burn it while she’s searching for his wife’s head. All this is done and the reindeer assumes her human form. But not wanting to appear naked, he turns into a spinning wheel, a washing-vat, and spindle. Her husband destroys all of it until she becomes human again. On their return to the castle, the king orders a huge fire made under a bath with tar and its approached covered with brown and blue cloth. He then invites the witch’s daughter to take a bath. She and her mom, in stepping over the cloth, fall a depth of 3 fathoms into the fire and tar to their death with the witch cursing all mankind.

Other Versions: In the Lang version, after the stepdaughter returns to human form and after being asked that she won’t be eaten up, the witch and her daughter run away and grow to a ripe old age if they didn’t stop. The prince, the older stepdaughter, and their son live happily ever after.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Let’s just say the prince doesn’t treat the witch’s daughter very well at all. Also, the prince lures the witch and her daughter into fire and tar pit where they suffer a most horrifying death.
Trivia: N/A

124. The Golden Stag
From: Romania
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Petre Ispirescu in Legende sau basmele românilor.
Best Known Version: The Ispirescu version naturally.
Synopsis: An old woman tells her husband to lose the kids from his first marriage, a son and a daughter. The first time, the boy’s playing in the ashes and the children come back. But the old man succeeds the second time. They can’t find water anywhere until they come to fox tracks where water’s welling. But the sister warns her brother that drinking it will turn him into a fox. At the bear’s tracks, she warns him again. And though she warns him once more at the stag’s tracks, the brother is too thirsty and drinks. He turns into a golden stag and carries off his sister in cradle in his antlers, makes a nest for her up a tree where she grows up. One day, a prince sees her and falls in love and promises a fortune to whoever wooed that girl for him. An old woman sees the golden stag and doesn’t know how to address it. So she lures the girl down by pretending to be foolish with her cook fire and carries her off to the prince. When the stag follows, the sister claims he’s her brother and the prince gives him a fine stable with plenty to eat. Everyone’s happy except a gypsy girl who had previously been the prince’s favorite. She lures the sister into the forest where she falls asleep before dressing up as the prince’s wife and disguising her face. But the stag’s not fooled. The prince and his followers retrieve the girl and has the gypsy girl stoned to death.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why. Perhaps the bad depiction of a gypsy and her being stoned to death.
Trivia: N/A

125. The Glass Coffin

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The Glass Coffin is a Grimm fairy tale about a tailor’s apprentice who stumbles upon a castle. He finds a princess encased in a glass coffin who want him to free her.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, of course.
Synopsis: A tailor’s apprentice becomes lost in a forest. When night falls, he sees a shining light and follows it to a hut. An old man lives there, and after the tailor begs, allows him to stay for the night. The next morning, the tailor wakes up and witnesses a fight between a great stag and a bull. After the stag wins, it bounds up to him and carries him off in its antlers before setting him down near a stone wall and pushing him against a door within it, which opens. Inside the door, he’s told to stand on a stone which would bring him good fortune. He does and it sinks down into a great hall, where a voice directs him to a glass chest containing a beautiful maiden asking him to open it and free her, which he does. The maiden then tells her story. A daughter of a rich count, she was raised by her brother after her parents died. One day, a traveler stays over and tries using his magic to get her in the night and asks her to marry him. But she finds his magical ways repellent and rejects him. In revenge, the magician turns her brother into a stag, imprisons her in a coffin, and enchants all the lands around them. The tailor and the maiden emerge from the enchanted hall and find that the stag has been transformed back into her brother. The bull he had killed had been the magician. The tailor and the maiden marry.

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Here the tailor enters the mysterious castle. And it seems he comes across the woman right away. But unlike in Snow White, the girl is totally conscious.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Green Fairy Book as The Crystal Coffin.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

126. The Golden Bird

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The Golden Bird is a Grimm fairy tale pertains to a gardener’s son trying to catch a golden bird for the king. He’s aided by a fox but doesn’t seem to take adequate direction from him.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: Every year, a king’s apple tree is robbed of one golden apple during the night. He sets his gardener’s sons to watch. The first 2 fall asleep but youngest sees that the thief is a golden bird. He tries shooting it, but knocks a feather off. The feather is so valuable that the king declares he must have it. He sends the gardener’s sons to capture the priceless golden bird. They each meet a talking fox who gives them advice for their quest: to choose the bad inn over a brightly lit and merry one. The first 2 sons ignore the advice, and in the pleasant in, they abandon their quest. But the third son obeys the fox who advises him to take the bird in its wooden cage from the castle where it lives, instead of putting it into the golden cage next to it. But he disobeys and the golden bird rouses the castle, resulting in his capture. He’s sent after a golden horse as a condition for sparing his life. The fox advises him to use the leather saddle over a golden one, but he fails again. He’s then sent after the princess in the golden castle. The fox advises him not to let her say goodbye to her parents, but the gardener’s son fails. And her dad orders him to remove a hill as the price of his life.

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Over the course of the story, the gardener’s son obtains the golden bird, a horse, and a princess at the fox’s guidance. But he pays a steep price freeing his brothers from the gallows since they stab him in the back

The fox removes it. Then, as they set out, he advises the new prince how to keep all the things he’s won. It then asks the prince to shoot it and cut off its head. When the prince refuses, it warns against buying gallows’ flesh and sitting on the edge of rivers. Later, he finds that his carousing and sinful brothers are to be hanged on the gallows and he buys their liberty. When they find out what he’s done, the push him in the water while he’s sitting on the river’s edge. Next, they take his things and the princess and take them to their dad. However, the bird, the horse, and the princess all grieve for the youngest son so the fox rescues him. When he returns to his dad’s castle dressed in beggar clothes, the bird, the horse, and the princess all recognize him as the man who won them. His brothers are put to death and he marries the princess. Finally, the third son cuts off the fox’s head and feet at its request. He’s revealed to be a man, the princess’ brother.

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Here we see the golden bird take a golden apple. And the king wants it badly.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Green Fairy Book. Has a French version collected by Paul Sébillot as The Golden Blackbird and a French-Canadian version collected by Marius Barbeau as The Golden Phoenix.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why. Maybe because it treats the princess as a prize to be won for some reason.
Trivia: N/A

127. Bushy Bride

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In the Norwegian Bushy Bride, a girl washes 3 heads from the well and receives a fortune. But her stepsister who’s rude to them and is turned ugly.

From: Norway
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Asbjørnsen and Moe.
Best Known Version: The Asbjørnsen and Moe version, obviously.
Synopsis: A widower with a son and daughter marries a widow with a daughter. The stepmother mistreats the kids until the boy leaves home. One day, the stepmother sends the stepdaughter to the pool for water, 3 heads pop up to demand, in turn, that she wash, brush, and kiss them. When she does this, they talk among themselves and decree that she would be the most beautiful woman in the world, while gold would drop from her hair when she brushes it and from her mouth while she speaks. When the stepsister sees this, she wants to go as well. But she’s rude to the 3 heads and they decree that her nose will be 4 ells long, she would sport snout 3 ells long and a pine bush from her forehead, and ashes would drop as she speaks. Meanwhile, the stepson works as a groom for the king. Every day, he takes out a picture of his sister and prays for her. The other grooms tell the king who insists on seeing and declaring that no woman could be so beautiful and resolves to marry her. The brother comes to fetch her. The stepmother and her daughter come as well. At sea, her brother calls down as the journey goes on, and the stepmother persuades the sister to throw overboard the casket and a dog her mom had left her before jumping in herself.

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Here the girl combs her hair to let the coins out to prove she’s the king’s intended bride. And there’s even a dog to catch some of them.

Not surprisingly, the king is outraged by the sight of the stepsister, thinking she was his promised bride. Though he keeps his word and marry her, he throws the brother into a snake pit. At the same time, a lovely woman comes into the kitchen who produces gold every time she brushes her hair and sings of the Bushy Bride’s wickedness. And she says she’ll come twice more. A kitchen maid tells the king, but the Bushy Bride sings him to sleep the next night. On the third night, he sends 2 men to keep him awake but they can’t do so. When the woman turns to leave, saying she’ll never come again, they put a knife in his hand and guide it to cut her finger. This frees her and wakes the king who takes her brother from the snake pit virtually unscathed and throws in the stepmother and the Bushy Bride. He then marries the true bride.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Guess throwing people in a snake pit might have something to do with it.
Trivia: N/A

128. Fair, Brown, and Trembling

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The Irish fairy tale, Fair, Brown, and Trembling revolves around 3 princesses. Here we have Trembling show up at the church to catch a neighboring prince’s eye.

From: Ireland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Jeremiah Curtain in Myths and Folklore of Ireland and Joseph Jacobs in Celtic Fairy Tales. Basically, Irish Cinderella.
Best Known Version: Guess the Jacobs version.
Synopsis: King Hugh Cùrucha has 3 daughters: Fair, Brown, and Trembling. Since Trembling is the prettiest, her older sisters make her stay home, for fear she would marry before them. After 7 years, the son of the king of Emania falls in love with Fair. A henwife tells trembling that she go to church. When she objects on account of having no suitable dress, the henwife gives her one, a horse, a honey-finger, and a honey-bird and tells her to leave as soon as Mass is done. She obeys and gets away before any man comes near her. After 2 more times, the son of the king of Emania forgets about Fair for the woman who comes to church and runs after her, managing to get her shoe when she rides off. The prince looks for the woman whose foot the shoe fits. Although the other king’s sons warn him that he’d have to fight for her. They search all over and when they come to the house, they insist on trying Trembling as well. The prince at once says that she’s the woman. Trembling goes off and reappears in her church clothes and everyone else agrees. The other princes fight for her, but the hero prince defeats them all while the Irish king’s son declare that they won’t fight one of their own. The prince and Trembling marry and have a son. Her husband sends for Fair to help her. One day, when they walk along the seashore, Fair pushes Trembling in. A whale swallows her and Fair passes herself off as her sister. But the prince puts a sword in bed between them, declaring if she was his wife, it would grow warm. If not, it would grow cold. In the morning, it’s cold.

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When Fair comes to visit, she pushes Trembling into the sea. Thankfully, Trempling gets swallowed by a whale and spat out on the shore.

A cowherd witnesses Fair push Trembling and sees the whale swallow her. The next day, he sees the whale spit her back up. She tells him that the whale would swallow and spit her out 3 times and she can’t leave the beach. Unless her husband rescues her by shooting the whale in a spot on its back, she wouldn’t go free. Her sister gives the cowherd that makes him forget the first time, but on the second, he tells the prince. The prince shoots the whale. They send word to her dad who says they can execute Fair if they want to. They tell him he can do as he pleased. So the king abandons the oldest sister on the sea in a barrel, with provisions. Their next child is a daughter who they marry off to the cowherd.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Perhaps leaving someone in a barrel at sea has something to do with it.
Trivia: N/A

129. Finette Cendron

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The French fairy tale Finette Cendron is about a princess who’s a cross between Cinderella and Arya Stark. I mean she kills 2 ogres and goes to a fancy dress ball.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Written by Madame d’Aulnoy. It’s basically Cinderella meets Game of Thrones.
Best Known Version: Well, the d’Aulnoy version, of course.
Synopsis: A king and queen lose their kingdom and have to sell everything they bring with them until they are poor. The queen resolves to make nets with which the king can use to catch birds and fish to support themselves. As for the 3 daughters, they’re useless. So the king should take them somewhere and leave them. The youngest, Finette, hears this and goes to her fairy godmother. She gets tired on the way and sits down to cry. A jennet appears before her and she begs it to carry her to her fairy godmother who gives her a ball of thread that, if she tie it to the house door, would lead her back and a bag of gold and silver dresses.

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Here Finette and her sisters encounter an ogress at the castle. Looks more like Count Dracula than ogre Fiona from Shrek.

The next day, their mom leads them off and urges them to sleep in the meadow. Then she leaves. Though her sisters treat her like shit, Finette wakes them. The sisters promise her many things if she would lead them and they make their way back. The mom pretends she left to get something else. The sisters blame Finette, give her nothing they promised, and beat her. The queen resolves to lead them away even further so Finette visits her fairy godmother again, who instructs her to bring a sack of ashes and use it to make footprints. But she shouldn’t bring her sisters back and would never see her fairy godmother again if she does. The queen leads them off. The older sisters bewail their fate and Finette pities them. The king and queen plot a third time. The middle sister suggests they should create a trail of peas. But Finette brings her jewelry and clothing instead. When the queen abandons them, the pigeons eat the peas and they can’t go home again. Finette finds an acorn and refuses to let them eat it. Instead, they plant it. They eat cabbage and lettuce. The acorn grows into a tree which Finette climbs it. One day, her sisters look into her bag and find her jewelry, which they steal and put stones in their place. After this, Finette eventually sees a dazzling castle from a tree. Her sisters steal her jewelry and clothes which they replace with rags when they go to it. A hideous old woman tells them it’s an ogre’s castle and that she’ll let them live a few days. They try to flee but she catches them. The ogre returns and she hides them so she could eat the girls herself. He smells them and she persuades him to keep them and look after the castle so she could devour the sisters while he’s gone. While they’re at work, Finette tricks the ogre into an oven and burns him into cinders. She then persuades the ogress that if she let them dress and do their hair, she’d soon find a noble husband. While doing her own hair, she cuts off the ogre’s head.

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Here is Finette with her sisters. She does all the work. Her sisters treat her like crap despite it.

The older sisters dress themselves in the castle’s treasures so they could find husbands, go off and show themselves off in the nearest town, and threaten to beat Finette if she doesn’t keep the castle perfect. They return with tales of dancing with a prince and keep going and leaving her behind. One day, Finette finds an old key that proves gold that opens a chest full of beautiful clothes. When the sisters leave, she dresses herself and follows them to the ball, calling herself Cendron and everyone pays court to her. This goes on for many days while the chest always produces new clothes. But once day, Finette leaves in a hurry since she had to get back to her sisters, leaving behind a red velvet slipper embroidered with pearls. The king’s oldest son finds it and falls ill and no doctor can cure him. Because he had fallen in love whose shoe it was. So they order all the women to appear and try it on. Her sisters go but Finette doesn’t know the way. She dresses herself and finds a jennet at her door again. She rides past her ungrateful sisters, splashing them with mud. When she puts on the slipper, the prince wants to marry her. But Finette insists the king (who conquered her parents’ kingdom) restore he parents’ former domain to them first. He agrees. She marries off her sisters and sends them back to the jennet with gifts for her fairy godmother.

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Once the ogres are gone, Finette and her sisters move into the castle. But Finette gets stuck with doing all the chores.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Finette burning one ogre and decapitating another sure won’t earn a place among the Disney Princess canon. Game of Thrones, maybe.
Trivia: N/A

130. The Child Who Came From an Egg

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The Estonian fairy tale, the Child Who Came from an Egg revolves around a princess named Dotterine. Hatched from an egg, she finds herself displaced after her mother dies and a war descends upon her dad’s kingdom.

From: Estonia
Earliest Appearance: Collected by collected by Dr. Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald in Eestirahwa Ennemuistesed jutud.
Best Known Version: The one in Andrew Lang’s The Violet Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A queen tells an old woman 2 griefs. First, her husband is at war. Second, they don’t have any kids. She gives her a basket with an egg and instructs the queen to put it some place warm. 3 months later, it would and let out a doll, which the queen is supposed to leave alone and it would become a baby girl. She’d even have a baby of her own, and she is supposed to put the girl with him and show them to the king. After that, the queen could raise her son by herself but entrust a daughter to a nurse. Furthermore, she must invite the old woman to the christening by throwing a wild goose feather up in the air. The queen obeys exactly. When the baptism arrives, a dazzlingly beautiful woman comes in a cream-colored carriage, and is dressed like the sun who decrees that the girl be named Dotterine. The kids grow up. Dotterine’s nurse loves her, but knows that a beautiful woman leans over her. She confides this to the queen and they decide to keep it secret. Unfortunately, when the twins are 2, the queen takes ill, confides the basket to the nurse for when Dotterine is 10, and dies.

Due to his ambition, the king remarries and his new wife hates the twins. One day, the stepmother beats Dotterine that she runs away to cry. She discovers a basket. Thinking she might find something that might amuse her, she only finds a feather that she throws out the window. A beautiful woman appears and reveals herself as the girl’s godmother. She talks to Dotterine, tells her how to use the basket to feed herself, and says that she only needs to throw a goose wing out the window to summon her. That time would come when the city is besieged and the beautiful woman carries Dotterine away. Meanwhile the king and his men get captured, the stepmother gets speared, and the prince miraculously escapes in confusion.

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After the war, the new king holds a ball to choose a wife. And despite the fact they were raised together, Dotterine becomes his queen. But don’t worry, they’re not related by blood so it’s okay.

The lady disguises Dotterine as a peasant. The girl uses the basket to feed herself but takes a service peasant job for shelter. One day, a lady sees her and takes her into service. She hears the prince had raised an army and threw out the usurper who took the city, but the king had died in captivity. The new king holds a ball to choose his wife. Her godmother tells her to prepare her mistresses. But once they’re gone look into the basket. She finds all she needs and goes to the ball. All the women claim she’s the lost princess. At midnight, a dark cloud blinds them and Dotterine’s godmother appears. She tells the king that Dotterine isn’t related to him by birth but a princess from a neighboring kingdom entrusted to his mom to raise to protect her from an evil wizard. She vanishes and so does the basket. But Dotterine lives happily ever after with the king.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Contains some variant of incest. But it’s okay, since they’re not exactly blood relatives, but it’s kind of a cop-out.
Trivia: Also called, “The Egg-Born Princess.”

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 12 – The Enchanted Pig to Prâslea the Brave and the Golden Apples

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In some fairy tales, you’ll find a Beauty and the Beast or Frog Prince setup. Of course, the many of these tales exist is because of arranged marriages, especially among the upper classes. After all, back in the day, most people didn’t marry for love like we do today. So many of these tales were devised to get people used to the idea. And while we’re used to the beast figure, the beast in question can even be an animal who helps the beauty’s dad out and only demands a daughter for his services. By the way, these stories usually have a female beauty and a male beast dynamic. Anyway, in this installment, I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, are Romanian story of an enchanted pig and a prince and golden apples. Second, are 5 Grimm tales about a unique lark, two princes, a raven, 3 dogs, and a blue light. Third, is an Italian story of 3 sisters. Then we come to a Scottish tale of 3 princesses. And finally, we look into a Norwegian fairy tale of 3 princesses of Whiteland.

111. The Enchanted Pig

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The Enchanted Pig is a Romania fairy tale in which a princess is wed to a pig to her dismay. He’s not bad but he’s actually a handsome man under a curse. And he could’ve been fine if she didn’t screw things up.

From: Romania
Earliest Appearance: Collected in Rumanische Märchen and by Petre Ispirescu in Legende sau basmele românilor
Best Known Version: The Marchen and Ispirescu version, obviously.
Synopsis: Before going to war, a king tells his daughters that they may go anywhere in the castle except one room. One day, they disobey and find an open book in it, saying that the oldest will marry a prince from the east, the second a prince from the west, and the youngest a pig from the north. Naturally, the youngest is horrified, but her sisters manage to convince her that it’s impossible. When the king returns and discovers what he had done from the youngest daughter’s unhappiness and resolves to face it the best he can. After her older sisters get married, the youngest becomes more distressed. A pig comes to woo her and when the king would’ve refused his consent, the city fills with pigs. The king tells his daughter there’s something strange about this pig and think magic’s at work. And if she agrees to marry the pig, it might be broken.

As part of the plan, she marries the pig and goes off with him. Fortunately, he’s a nice guy and turns into a man at night to avert any bestiality situations that he wins the princess’ heart. Eventually, she asks a witch what happened to her new husband. But the witch tells her to tie a thread to his foot to free him. When the young wife does so, her husband and tells her that the spell would’ve expired in 3 days but thanks to her, he must remain in this shape. And that she won’t find him without wearing out 3 pairs of iron shoes and blunting a steel staff. She sets out. She gets herself 3 pairs of iron shoes and a steel staff. She wanders far until she comes to the house of the Moon. The Moon’s mother lets her in and gives birth to a son during her stay. Unfortunately, the Moon doesn’t know where her husband is but she can go to the Sun. But the Moon’s mom gives her a chicken and instructs her to use all the bones. After pitching the first worn pair of iron shoes, the princess puts on another and goes to the Sun. The same things happens minus the childbirth and that the Sun’s mom sends her to the Wind. And at the Winds house, his mom tells her she lives in a wood where no axe can cut through it. She then gives her a chicken, tells her to save the bones, and sends her on her way. The princess goes on the Milky Way where she finds the castle where the pig lives and the bones stick together forming a ladder to let her in. When she’s one bone short, she cuts off her pinky. Her husband returns and the spell is broken. He reveals himself as a prince, that he killed the dragon and his witch mom who tied the string to keep him a pig. They set out for his dad’s kingdom and return to her dad’s place.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Red Fairy Book.
Adaptations: Made into an opera by Jonathan Dove.
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

112. The Singing, Springing Lark

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The Singing, Springing Lark is a Grimm fairy tale about a guy and servant who try to catch a lark for his daughter. But once a lion threatens to kill them over it, the guy agrees to give him the daughter who requested it.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers. It’s basically the German version of Beauty and the Beast with lions and possibly acid.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: Before a man leaves on a journey, he asks each of his 3 daughters what they’d like him to bring back. The oldest wants diamonds, the second pearls, and the youngest a singing, springing lark. Though he finds the diamonds and pearls, he can’t locate the lark. On the way home, the man sees a lark in a tall tree and orders his servant to catch it. A lion springs out threatening to kill them both. In exchange for their lives and the lark, the lion demands that the man bring him the first thing to meet him when he returns home. The man fears it might be his daughter but his servant is like, “well, what are you going to do? Might as well go with the lion.” Unfortunately, once he gets home, his youngest daughter greets him first. When her dad reveals his promise, she consoles him and sets out the next morning to meet the lion. At the lions’ castle, other lions greet her, only to turn human at night. She marries the lion who gave her dad the lark and lives with him, sleeping by day. One night, the lion tells his wife that her oldest sister is getting married and offers to send her with his lions. She goes and her family’s happy to see her. When she returns, the lion tells her that her second sister’s marrying and says he must go with her and their kid. But lets her know that if any candlelight falls on him, he’ll turn into a dove for 7 years. The youngest daughter has a room built to protect him but she makes the mistake of including a green wood door which warps and makes a crack. So when her sister’s wedding procession goes by, candlelight falls on him, and the lion turns into a dove. He then tells his wife that every 7 steps she takes he’ll drop a feather and a drop of blood. Perhaps she can track him by that and he flies off.

When the 7 years are nearly up, the youngest daughter loses the trail. She climbs up to the Sun and asks of the white dove. It doesn’t know but gives her a casket. She asks the Moon who doesn’t know either but gives her an egg. She asks the Night Wind, but he can’t help but tells her to wait for the others. The East and West Wind can’t either. But the South Wind says that the dove is a lion again and is now fighting an enchanted princess dragon in the Red Sea. The Night Wind advises her to strike the lion and dragon with a certain reed to allow the former win and both creatures to regain their true form and then escape on a griffin’s back. It then gives her a nut that will grow a nut tree in the sea for the griffin to rest. The youngest daughter stops the fight but the princess also regains her true form, abducts the former lion, and stows away on the griffin (not cool). The daughter follows until she finds a castle where the princess and her husband are to be married. She opens the casket and finds a dazzling dress inside which she brings to the castle. The princess buys it from her in exchange she could spend the night in her husband’s bedroom. But it’s to no avail since the princess roofies him with a sleeping draught. Though the daughter pleads with him, the guy just thinks it’s the whistling wind. The next day, she opens the egg holding a chicken with 6 golden chicks. The princess buys them at the same price. But this time the husband asks the page of last night’s wind and the page confesses to the draught. He doesn’t drink the second night. So he and his wife flee on the griffin back home.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Adapted into a musical. Retold by Patricia McKillip as “The Lion and the Lark” and as a picture story by Elle Skinner in Erstwhile.
Why Forgotten: The second half of this tale gets really weird.
Trivia: N/A

113. The Three Sisters

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The Three Sisters is an Italian fairy tale of a young woman who marries a prince who she has to see in secret. Yet, once her sisters find out, they try to sabotage the girl’s happiness.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Giambattista Basile in the Pentamerone in 1634.
Best Known Version: The Basile version, naturally.
Synopsis: A woman has 3 daughters. Two are very unlucky but the youngest, Nella is quite fortunate. Except she marries a prince who has to hide her away from his wicked mom and visit her in secret when she throws powder in the fire, which turns into a crystal road. Her sisters discover this and break the road, fatally injuring the prince coming to her. His dad proclaims that whoever cures him will either marry him or get half the kingdom depending on gender. Nella hears this and sets out. Hiding in a tree, she hears an ogre discuss the illness with his wife and how only the fat from their bodies could cure the prince. Nelle climbs down and presents herself at the door as a beggar. Greedy of her flesh, the ogre persuades his wife to let her stay. But when they sleep, Nella kills them and takes their fat. She brings it to the king and cures the prince. However, the prince claims he can’t marry her because he already has a wife. Nella asks whether he’d want to marry the person responsible and the prince blames her sisters. Nella reveals herself as his wife. The sisters get thrown into the oven.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, it involves a princess killing 2 ogres and 2 women get thrown in an oven. So this isn’t Disney material.
Trivia: N/A

114. The Two Kings’ Children

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The Two Kings’ Children is about a prince who ends up in another kingdom during a hunting trip. The king then has him complete a series of impossible tasks. If he does, he’ll get to marry a princess. If he doesn’t he’ll lose his head.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: Once long ago, it’s foretold a king’s son will be killed by a stag at 16. When the prince reaches that age, he goes hunting and chases a stag. A great king sees this, carries the teenage prince off, and sets him to watch his 3 daughters: one each night. The king tells the boy he’d call on the prince each hour, he could marry his daughter. If not, he’d be killed (wait, I thought this king is supposed to be a great man). Fortunately, each princess enchants a statue of St. Christopher to answer in the prince’s place. Thus, saving him from getting killed. The king says that in order to marry one of his daughters, he has to cut down a whole forest in a day with a glass ax, a glass mallet, and a glass wedge. As expected, the tools break as soon as the prince arrives in the forest. The prince breaks down crying knowing he’ll get the ax any minute. Finally, feeling that he finally outwitted the prince, King Future-Father-In-Law From Hell asks his daughters to bring him some food. The youngest does and asks to let her comb his hair. After the king falls asleep, she conjures up Earth-workers to fell the forest. Astonished at what the prince seemingly done, the king orders him to clear a muddy pond and fill it with fish in a day. The prince tries but his hoe and shovel get stuck in the mud and break. Again, the youngest daughter uses the same set up to save the teenage prince’s ass. Next, the king orders the prince to clear a mountain of briars and put a castle on it. The prince’s glass hatchet breaks and the youngest princess saves his ass yet again.

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On each task, the prince gets overwhelmed at their impossibility that youngest princess comes to aid him. Yet, when the tasks are done, the king declares that his youngest daughter can’t marry until her older sisters find husbands. So the couple decides to elope.

Finally, the king declares that his youngest daughter can’t marry until her older sisters are hitched. Hearing this, the couple run off into the night. Along the way, the princess hears her dad behind them. She turns herself into a rose and the prince into a briar. King returns home only for the queen to tell him that the kids were the briar and the rose. King chases after them again. Princess turns herself into a priest and the prince into a church where she preached the homily, which the king listens to. Only to get yelled at by the queen when he gets back that the priest and the church were the children. Tired of her husband, the queen goes after the couple. Knowing this, the princess changes into a duck and turns the prince into a pond. The queen tries drinking from the pool but falls ill and tells her daughter she could come back. The daughter does and the queen gives 3 walnuts to aid her.

The couple goes on. The prince has the princess stay while he goes out to get her a carriage to bring her back in due state. But his mom kisses him and he forgets about the girl entirely. So the princess has to work as a miller. One day a queen seeks a bride for her son. The princess cracks the first walnut and finds a splendid dress inside that she wears to the wedding. The bride declares that she won’t marry without a dress as fine. The princess refuses to give it up unless she spends a night outside the prince’s bedroom. The bride agrees but she has the servants give the prince a sleeping potion. She laments all night long but the prince is too knocked out to hear. But the servants do. In the morning the bride takes the dress and goes to the church with the prince. However, the princess cracks the second walnut which holds a more splendid dress. Once again, bride refuses to marry without one as fine and buys it for the same price. Bride agrees and gives the servants the same order. But the servant gets wind of it and gives the prince something to keep the guy awake. He hears the princess’ laments and is troubled by them. Yet, his mom had locked the door. In the morning, the prince begs her pardon. The princess cracks the third walnut and finds a still more splendid dress, which she wears as her wedding gown. The false bride and her mom get driven off.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Makes Meet the Parents seem mild in comparison. Then again, you can say a lot of fairy tales are like this. Also, gets pretty weird as the story goes on.
Trivia: N/A

115. The Raven

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The Raven is Grimm fairy tale about a young man who finds a raven princess in the forest. After he couldn’t fall asleep that night, the raven takes off, leaving a ring, provisions, and a letter telling the guy to meet her in a golden castle.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A queen wishes her naughty daughter turn into a raven and fly away so she could have some peace. She gets her wish and the princess flies away into the forest. There, a man hears a raven tell him she’s an enchanted princess he could save if he goes to a certain nearby cottage and accepts no food from the old woman living there. The raven would drive by in a cage every day for 3 days. If he stayed awake, he’d break the spell. However, the old woman has him sip this drink. So by the time the raven shows up, he’s overcome by weariness and falls fast asleep. On the last day, the raven leaves him a bottle of wine, a loaf, and a piece of meat, all of which were inexhaustible and puts a gold ring with her name on his finger. She also gives him a letter informing him of another way to save her: by coming to the golden castle of Stromberg.

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Here the man encounters a talking raven in the forest. He should be lucky she says more than “Nevermore.”

The man wanders searching for the castle and finds a giant threatening to devour him. But the man feeds him with his magical provisions. The giant brings out his map displaying all the towns, villages, and houses in the land but not the castle. He asks the man to wait until his brother came home who’s able to find the castle on an older map but it’s thousands of miles away. Fortunately, the brother agrees to carry the man within 100 leagues of the castle. The man walks the rest. As the man approaches the glass mountain on which the golden castle stands, he could see the princess drive her carriage around the castle and go in. But the glass hill is too slippery to climb. So he spends a year living at the mountain’s foot for a year. One day he meets 3 robbers fighting over 3 magical items: a door opening stick, an invisibility mantle, and a horse that could ride up the glass mountain. The man offers them a mysterious reward in exchange for these items but insists on first trying them out to see if they work as promised. After he mounts the horse, takes the stick, and puts on the invisibility cloak. He hits the robbers with the stick and rides up the glass mountain. He uses the stick and the mantle to get into the castle and throws his ring into the princess’ cup. Despite searching all over the castle, she couldn’t find her rescuer. Until the man finally reveals himself by throwing off his cloak. They later marry.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: Not to be confused with the Edgar Allan Poe poem.

116. The Three Dogs
From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Allegedly collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: Andrew Lang’s version in The Green Fairy Book.
Synopsis: A dying peasant tells his son and daughter that he had only his house to leave them. They could divide the assets as they wish but must not fight about it (that won’t happen). The brother asks his sister what she wanted and she picks the house. He tells her he’d take the sheep and seek his fortune. He meets a stranger offering to trade 3 dogs for his sheep: Salt, who’d bring him food, Pepper, who’d tear attackers to pieces, and Mustard, whose teeth can bite through iron and steel. The brother agrees and once the trade’s done, he asks Salt for food. Salt abides. He goes and finds a town draped in black. There, he learns of a dragon demanding a maiden every year. And this year’s designated human sacrifice victim is the princess. He goes where she’s left out and sets Pepper on the dragon who swallows it all except the teeth which the man pockets. The princess proposes marriage. But the man opts to spend 3 years traveling the world. When driven back, the coachman tells her that her rescuer’s gone and that he’d kill her if she didn’t admit he killed the dragon and she swears by it. The king declares he’ll marry her to him but puts off the marriage a year since she’s too young, anyway. She then begs him to put it off for a couple more years and a wedding date is set.

The man returns. But when he says he killed the dragon, he’s thrown into prison. He calls Mustard who eats through the bars. He sends Salt for food. Salt goes to the castle. The princess recognizes it, gives it food, and her royal handkerchief. She tells her dad the truth. The king sends a servant to follow the dog. The man produces the dragon’s teeth to prove the story. The coachman is thrown into prison. The man marries the princess. After some time, the man remembers his sister and sends for her. The dogs appear before him and tell him they’d been waiting to see if he remembered her. In turn, they turn into birds and fly up to heaven.

Other Versions: Included in Ruth Manning-Sanders’ A Book of Dragons.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Perhaps threatening to kill one’s girlfriend if she didn’t say he killed the dragon might be part of it.
Trivia: N/A

117. The Blue Light

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In the Grimm fairy tale, The Blue Light, a soldier falls into a well where he finds a dwarf willing to fulfill his desires. It’s basically a variant of Aladdin.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A soldier gets discharged from the king’s service due to his wounds. He leaves the castle and as night falls, he needs a place to stay. Stumbling upon a witch’s house, he asks for lodging. The witch agrees on the condition he spade her garden the next day. The soldier does but the job takes too long that he must stay another night. In return, she asks him to chop wood. Again, he abides and must stay another night. The following day, the witch requests the soldier go into a well and retrieve her a blue light. When he’s in the process of doing so, but eventually realizes the witch’s tricking him and trying to trap him into the well as soon as he gives it to her. So he keeps the light for himself, not knowing what he is. Yet, she leaves him in the well. The soldier then decides to use the blue light for one last smoke with his pipe. Fortunately, a dwarf comes to grant him whatever he wants. He firsts asks to get out of the well and for the witch to be jailed and hanged.

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Indeed, the dwarf appears from the blue light every time a guy takes a smoke. Still, the main character in this fairy tale isn’t necessarily a nice guy.

Still upset about the king, the soldier asks the dwarf bring the princess so he could sleep with her (oh, God) just to anger his majesty. When she wakes up, the princess tells her mom of her strange “dream,” which the queen believes could’ve actually happened. She has the princess fill her pocket with peas and put a small hole in it so that if she gets abducted, they’ll be able to follow her path. However, the dwarf notices and spreads peas all over the city leading everywhere, making it impossible to pin any potential kidnapping on the soldier. The next night, the princess plans on hiding a shoe in the place she’s taken. The dwarf warns the soldier of this, but he doesn’t listen. The next day, the princess’ shoe is found in the soldier’s quarters and he’s put in jail. He sends his friend to fetch the blue light as a final request for a last smoke in his pipe. The dwarf appears and kills the henchmen. The soldier demands the king’s life but spares him when the guy pleads for mercy. He also marries the princess and takes the throne.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The fact that a dwarf appears the moment the soldier decides to use the blue light for one last smoke might make you wonder what the hell was in that pipe. I’m sure it’s supposed to be tobacco. Also, the soldier wishes to have a witch be jailed and hanged. To be fair, she treated him like shit and was going to kill him, but still. Then there’s the soldier wishing the dwarf to bring the princess so he could sleep with her in an act of revenge against the king. Nonetheless, the protagonist in this tale is incredibly terrible, especially since he basically kidnaps a princess against her wishes.
Trivia: May have inspired Hans Christen Andersen’s “The Tinderbox.”

118. The King of Lochlin’s Three Daughters

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The King of Lochlin’s Three Daughters is a Scottish fairy tale about a widow’s son who saves 3 princesses from 3 giants by recruiting special guys in his entourage. Though he spends quite a bit of time with the third giant and has to prove he killed the guys at the end.

From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the Western Highlands.
Best Known Version: The Campbell version, obviously.
Synopsis: 3 giants carry off the king’s 3 daughters. According to the shenachy, the only way to get them is through a ship that could travel over sea and land. A widow’s oldest son asks her to bake him a bannock and roast a cock because he’d go cut the wood to build the ship. She offers him a small bannock with her blessing or a large one without it. He takes the large one but refuses to share some with a urusig. When he reaches the trees, every one he cuts down would reattach itself to its roots. His middle brother does the same with the same results. But the youngest took the smaller bannock and gives some to the urusig who tells him to go home but return within a year and a day. When he does, the boat’s floating there with a grew and gentlemen ready to marry the princesses. They meet a man drinking by the river and the youngest son brings him on board. He does the same with the man eating stots in the park and intending to devour them all, and a man who could hear the grass grow. The listener listens and claims this is the place where they keep the princesses. They descend on the creel. The first giant says that they shouldn’t have the king’s daughter until they send a man who can drink as much as he could. The drinker goes against him and the giant bursts before he’s full. The second giant says they shouldn’t have the king’s daughter until they send a man who can eat as much as he could. The stot eater goes up against him and that giant bursts before he’s full. The third giant says they shouldn’t have the king’s daughter until the youngest son agrees to spend a year and a day as his slave. The guy does and sends the servants, gentlemen, and the daughters back. The gentlemen takes them to the king and claim to have rescued them.

At the end of his servants, the giant gives the youngest son an eagle to fly out and meat to feed it. But the meat isn’t enough and the eagle turns back. The giant demands another year and a day. After that, he gives him the eagle and more meat but it’s still not enough. After a third year and a day, the giant sends him off with still more meat that’s still not enough. But the youngest son cuts some meat off with his thigh and the eagle completes its flight and gives him a whistle to summon it. The son goes to work for a smith as a gillie. The princesses demand that he make them crowns like they had as the giants’ prisoners. The smith doesn’t know what such crowns were. But the son has the eagle fetch them. The princesses are astounded and the king wants to know where he learned to learned to make such crowns. The smith confesses that his gillie had made them and the king sends for him. The smith’s gillies roughly throw the guy into the carriage, the youngest son blows the whistle, and has the eagle take him off and fill the carriage with stones so that the king is nearly crushed by their fall and those gillies are hanged. Another set comes who are just as rude and deliver a coach full of dirt. The king’s confidential servant goes, tells the son that the king sends for him and he should wash, and then puts him in the carriage. He blows the whistle to have the eagle fetch him gold and silver clothing from the giant’s castle. There, he tells the king his story. The gentlemen seeking to marry the princesses are hanged. The son marries the oldest daughter.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: I’m not sure why. Maybe because it has so many parts to it.
Trivia: N/A

119. The Three Princesses of Whiteland

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In the Norwegian The Three Princesses of Whiteland, a fisherman’s son is transported to a magical land where he finds 3 princesses who are buried up to their necks in sand. To free them, he must let 3 trolls beat the living crap out of him with aid of a magic sword and ointment.

From: Norway
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe.
Best Known Version: The Asbjørnsen and Moe naturally.
Synopsis: After a fisherman spends an unproductive day, a head pops up from the water to bargain with him: fish for what his wife carries under her girdle. When he comes home, his wife announces she’s pregnant. So he offers the baby. The king hears of their story and offers to raise his son when he’s born for protection. But when the boy’s grown, he asks to go fishing with his dad for one day. And as soon as he sets foot on the boat, the vessel gets dragged off to a far-off land. He meets an old man telling him he had come to Whiteland. If he walks down to the shore, he’d come up to 3 princesses buried up to their necks in sand. If he passes by the first 2 and speaks to the third, the youngest, he’ll have good luck. He does. The youngest princess tells him that 3 trolls had imprisoned them there. If he goes up to the castle by the shore and let each troll beat him up, the princesses would be free. An ointment flask by the bed would cure all injuries he suffers and a sword would cut off all the trolls’ heads. The first troll has 3 heads and 3 rods. When he falls, the princesses stand in the sand up to their waists. The second has 6 heads and 6 rods. When he gets it, the princesses stand up to their knees. The third has 9 heads and 9 rods and beats the guy so severely that he couldn’t reach for the ointment. The troll throws him against a wall and flask breaks, spilling ointment all over him and he kills it, freeing the princesses entirely.

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Armed with a sword and ointment, the fisherman’s son proceeds up to the castle to kill the giants. And it seems he’s traveling on cross country skis.

The young man marries the youngest and they live happily for several years. But eventually he wants to visit his parents. His wife initially agrees but tells him he must do whatever his dad asks, not what his mom wishes, and gives him a ring that would grant him 2 wishes, one to go home and one to return. He goes. His mom wants to show him to the king while his dad doesn’t. But in the end, his mom has her way. And while at the castle, he wishes his wife was there to compare to the king’s. Boom! His wife appears, takes the ring, knots it with her name on it in his hair, and wishes herself home again. The man decides to see if he could reach Whiteland again on his own and sets out. He comes to the king of all animals and asks if he knows the way. He doesn’t. Neither do all the animals he summons. So he lends the man a pair of snowshoes to reach his brother, the king of all the birds. That king doesn’t know either and neither do his birds but lends him a pair of snowshoes to reach his other brother, the king of all the fish. The king doesn’t know but an old pike, the last fish to arrive, does and that his wife is about to remarry the next day. The king sends him to a field where 3 brothers had fought for 100 years over a magical hat, cloak, and a pair of boots that would make the wearer invisible. He tricks the brothers into letting him try them and sets out to the Whiteland. He meets the North Wind along the way and it promises to storm the castle as if to blow it down when it reaches land after him. He arrives, the North Wind carries off the potential new bridegroom, and his wife recognizes him by the ring in his hair.

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After some years with the youngest princess, the fisherman’s son wants to visit his parents. But he somehow summons his wife on the wishing ring. So he has to get home through the winds. When he gets home, his wife recognizes him with the ring she put in his hair.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Red Fairy Book.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

120. Prâslea the Brave and the Golden Apples
From: Romania
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Petre Ispirescu in Legende sau basmele românilor.
Best Known Version: Well, the Ispirescu version of course.
Synopsis: A king has a magnificent tree bearing golden apples. But he could never enjoy them since they’d get stolen as soon as they ripened every year. None of his guards could catch the thief. His 2 oldest sons try but they fall asleep before midnight. The next year, the youngest son, Prâslea, tries by setting up 2 stakes to prick him should he begin leaning during his sleep. At midnight, he hears a rustling and shoots an arrow that the next morning, a trail of blood leads away and the apples are ripe. This news pleases the king but Prâslea wants to track the thief. He and his brothers follow the blood into a ditch. The older 2 brothers try have the others lower each one of them, freak out, and come back up. Prâslea has them lower him and he finds a copper castle. There, a lovely maiden tells him she’s a princess and that the ogres (Zmeu) had kidnapped her and her sisters and want to marry them. But the sisters put them off with their demands. He fights with the resident ogre and kills him. He then goes to second castle made of silver and kills the resident ogre there and then the third made of gold, which is where the ogre thief lives. However, though Prâslea wrestles with him like the other 2, it’s a longer fight. Prâslea calls on a raven to drop some tallow on him in return for the 3 corpses. This strengthens him and he fights on. Then, both Prâslea and the ogre call on the princess for water. She gives it to Prâslea and he kills the ogre. The princesses show him the magic whip that makes the golden apples and they each take one. Prâslea brings the princesses back and sends them up. The older 2 tell the brothers they’d marry them. Then Prâslea sends up a stone with his cap. The older princes try to kill him by dropping it and marry the 2 older sisters.

Prâslea saves some eaglets and their mother from a dragon. In gratitude, they carry him to the other world. There, he found the youngest princess being pressed to accept a suitor. But she declares that she’ll accept only if she gets a golden self-spinning distaff and spindle since the ogre gave her one. Prâslea goes working for a silversmith tasked with the job and using the golden apple, brings out the one the ogre gave her. The princess then demands a golden hen with a golden chick. When he produces it, she insists he be brought before her because he had to have the golden apple. They recognize Prâslea. He and his brothers go outside and shoot arrows into the air. The brothers’ arrows hit and kill them. But Prâslea’s merely hits the ground.

Other Versions: A similar tale exists in Azerbaijani folklore.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not exactly sure why. Possibly the violence.
Trivia: N/A

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 11 – The Dragon and His Grandmother to The Black Bull of Norroway

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You may recognize that in many of these fairy tales have close relatives trying to sabotage the protagonist’s goals. If the protagonist is a woman, it’ll be her mother, stepmother, stepsisters, sisters, or mother-in-law. Let’s just say, if you’re a woman who lives through fairy tales, you might have very bad ideas about female relatives. If the protagonist is male, it’ll be his older and less successful brothers who turn on him and try to kill him. Anyway, in this long-awaited for installment, I give you 10 more forgotten fairy tales. First, is a Grimm fairy tale about a dragon and his grandmother. Second, is an English story about a small-toothed dog. Third, are 4 Scottish tales about a princess of the skies, a crafty dad who’d do anything for his kids, a blue falcon, and a black bull. Then we come to a couple Italian tales revolving around a canary prince and an enchanted snake. After that, we come to a story on a greenish bird. And finally, is a Danish tale of a green knight.

101. The Dragon and His Grandmother

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In the Grimms’ The Dragon and His Grandmother, a dragon carries off 3 AWOL soldiers to serve him for 7 years. But if they want to be released by that time, they’ll have to guess a certain riddle. One sees the dragon’s grandma to find the answer.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version of course.
Synopsis: 3 underpaid soldiers decide to go AWOL by hiding in a cornfield. But when the army doesn’t march away, they’re stuck between starving or the noose. However, a dragon flies by at this time and offers to save the 3 deserters in exchange for 7 years of service. Desperate, they agree and the dragon carries them off. But the dragon is actually the Devil. He gives them whips they could use for making money but warns them that when their 7 years are up, they were his. Unless they could guess a riddle.
When the 7 years are up, two of the soldiers dread thinking about their fate. An old woman advises them to go down to a cottage for help. Meanwhile, the third soldier ventures to that cottage and meets the Devil’s grandmother where he makes a favorable first impression. Pleased, the grandmother hides him under the cellar, she questions the Devil when he comes as the soldier learns the answers. When the Devil finds the men at their 7-year expiration date, he invites them for dinner in Hell, where they had to guess the meat, the silver spoon, and the wineglass used. The soldiers correctly answer with: a dead sea-cat in the North Sea, a whale rib, and an old horse’s hoof. Thanks to the whip they get to keep and no longer being in the Devil’s power, the soldiers live happily ever after.

Other Versions: Included in The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang and in A Book of Dragons by Ruth Manning-Sanders.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Maybe because it features 3 guys who go AWOL at the beginning. To be fair, they’re way underpaid, but still.
Trivia: Also known as “The Devil and His Grandmother.” Inspired a Hellboy comic storyline.

102. The Small-Tooth Dog

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In the English tale, The Small-Tooth Dog, a dog save’s a merchant’s life in exchange for his daughter. The girl isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea but goes through it anyway.

From: England
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Sidney Oldall Addy in Household Tales and Other Traditional Remains. It’s the English version of Beauty and the Beast.
Best Known Version: The Addy version, naturally.
Synopsis: While attacked by robbers, a dog comes to a merchant’s aid and brings him home to recover. The merchant offers him many marvels in exchange. But the dog wants his daughter to the guy’s dismay. The merchant reluctantly agrees and goes home. A week later, the dog appears, has the girl get on his back, and takes her to his home. A month later, the girl misses her dad and requests to see him. The dog only allows her a 3-day visit but asks what she’d call him there. She replies with “A great, foul, small-tooth dog,” and he refuses to take her. So she begs that she’ll call him, “Sweet-as-a-Honeycomb.” So they set out. But when they come to a stile along the way, the girl breaks her promise at the first stile and the dog carries her back. They set out a week later. The girl makes good at the first stile but reverts to her old nickname at the second stile. Back to the doghouse she goes. The next week they set out a third time. The girl uses the “Sweet-as-a-Honeycomb” nickname at the first 2 stiles. But when they reach the merchant’s house, the dog asks again, she beings with, “A great-” but thinks about how he’d been to her “Sweeter-than-a-Honeycomb.” The dog stands up on its hind legs, sheds his coat, and becomes a handsome man. The two marry.

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When the girl goes with the Small-Tooth Dog, she goes on his back. And she has to call him “Sweet-as-a-Honeycomb.”

Other Versions: Included in Ruth Manning-Sanders’ A Book of Magic Animals.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Resembles too much of Beauty and the Beast. Also the name stuff.
Trivia: N/A

103. The Daughter of the Skies
From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the West Highlands.
Best Known Version: The Campbell version obviously.
Synopsis: A man has daughters along with many cattle and sheep before they suddenly vanish and he can’t find them. Fortunately, a man offers to locate them in exchange for one of his daughters. Since fairy tales don’t seem to treat female offspring as freaking human beings or desperation, the dad agrees if the daughter consents (okay, he’s probably better than most fairy tale dads). He asks each of his girls and the youngest agrees. They marry, he takes her home, and turns out to be a decent husband. However, 9 months later, the woman asks to see her dad. The husband agrees as long as she doesn’t stay there until their child is born. She agrees but stays too long that one night, music puts everyone to sleep and a man kidnaps the woman’s child. This happens 2 more times. The last time, the woman’s husband that she’d have more difficulty at first and, after her dad threatens her, if she doesn‘t say what she did to the kids. The woman tries returning to her husband but her magical horse doesn’t show up so she decides to walk instead. But her mother-in-law informs her that he left. The woman sets out again and reaches a house where a housewife tells her that her husband’s set to marry the King of the Skies’ daughter, lets her bunk for the night, gives her self-cutting shears, and sends her on to the middle sister. The middle sister gives her a self-sewing needle, and sends her to the youngest who gives her self-threading thread and sends her into town.

Once there, the woman finds a place to stay and asks a henwife for something to sew. Although the princess is set to marry the next day and no one’s working but the wedding staff. The shears, needle, and thread get to work. A royal maid sees this and tells the princess who asks the price. The woman requests to sleep in her bedroom. The princess agrees but roofies her bridegroom with a sleeping draught and throws the woman out in the morning. The next night, she exchanges the needle, the sleeping draught works the same as before, but the oldest prince hears her tell the sleeping man that she’s his kids’ mother. On the third night, the woman exchanges the thread but the man throws out the sleeping drink and they talk. When the princess returns in an attempt to throw the woman out, the guy says he could go back up since she’s his wife.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The fact the princess doesn’t get the guy in this one may be part of it.
Trivia: N/A

104. Conall Cra Bhuidhe

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The Scottish Conall Cra Bhuidhe focuses on a father who goes out of his way to save his sons with one story at a time. Of course, they end up in that situation by trying to steal a horse.

From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the West Highlands.
Best Known Version: The Campbell version, naturally.
Synopsis: Conall Cra Bhuidhe is a royal tenant with 3 or 4 sons. One day, his sons get in a fight with some princes and the biggest one gets killed. The king tells Conall that he could save his sons if he stole the King of Lochlann’s brown horse. Conall agrees to please the king even if his kids weren’t in danger. While his wife laments that he’d rather not let the king kill their sons than endanger himself. So Conall sets off with his sons to Lochlann and tells them to seek the king’s miller. They stay with him and Conall bribes the guy to put him and his sons into in bran sacks and deliver them to the king. In the stables, Conall has his sons make hiding holes before they try stealing the horse. When they try, the horse keeps making such a noise that servants would come. They would hide. But soon the king gets wind of it that Conall and his boys eventually get caught. Conall explains his situation and because he couldn’t get out of stealing it, the king decides to hang his sons and spare his life. Yet, he tells Conall that if he shares a store when he’s in a worse situation than his sons, he’d spare his sons one by one starting with the youngest. Conall entertains the king with each subsequent tale with each putting him in a worse situation than the previous one. However, the king’s mother overhears Conall’s story about a woman trying to kill her baby and the giant. She then confides that she was the woman and the king had been the baby. So since Conall had saved his life, the king gives him the horse, the gold, and all his sons’ lives.

Other Versions: Included in Joseph Jacobs’ Celtic Fairy Tales and Andrew Lang’s The Blue Fairy Book.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The kings kind of remind you of rulers from Game of Thrones.
Trivia: Also known as “Conall Yellowclaw.”

105. How Ian Direach Got the Blue Falcon

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How Ian Direach Got the Blue Falcon is a Scottish fairy tale about a prince sent to capture a large blue bird of prey. And he goes on quite the journey to accomplish it.

From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by John Francis Campbell in Popular Tales of the West Highlands.
Best Known Version: The Campbell version, naturally.
Synopsis: A king and queen have a son named Ian. When Ian’s in his teens, his mom dies and his dad remarries. One day, Ian goes hunting and shoots a blue falcon, knocking off a feather. His stepmother curses him until he finds her the falcon. He curses her to stand with one foot on the great hall and the other on the castle and always facing the wind until he returns. He leaves. On his journey, Ian meets with Gille Mairtean the fox who tells him that the blue falcon is kept by the Giant with Five Heads, Five Necks, and Five Humps. To seek advice, he must tend the animals there. He kindly treats the birds and the giant lets him care for the blue falcon and that he can steal it. As long as Ian doesn’t let any of its feathers touch anything in the house. The giant trusts him in time. But the falcon starts by the doorpost. The feather touching the post made it scream and brings back the giant who tells him that he may have the falcon if he brings back the White Sword of Light from the owned by the Big Women of Dhiurradh.

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Ian and Gille kidnap the princess. But though she’s angry at being carried off on the ship, she’d rather stay with Ian. So Gille impersonates her.

Gille Mairtean transforms into a boat and carries Ian to the island of Dhiurradh and tells him to get a job there as a polisher, which will let him eventually steal the sword as long as he doesn’t let the sheath touch anything in the house. This succeeds until the sheath’s tip touches the door and shrieks. The Big Women tell Ian that he could have the sword if he brings the King of Erin’s bay colt. Once again, Gille Mairtean turns into a boat and transports Ian to the castle where he serves until he has the chance of stealing the colt which swishes against the door. The king tells him he can have the horse if he can bring him the King of the Franks’ daughter. Yet again, Gille Mairtean turns into a boat and takes Ian to France but runs himself into a cleft rock and sends Ian to say he’s been shipwrecked. When the royal court comes out to see the boat, music comes out of it. The princess says she must see the harp playing such music. Ian and Gille Mairtean carry her off. Pissed, the princess asks why. But after Ian explains, she proclaims she’d rather be with him. They return to the king and Gille turns himself into a beautiful woman and has Ian give him instead. After Ian receives the bay colt, Gille bites the king, knocks him unconscious, and escapes. When they return to the Big Women, Gille turns himself into a bay colt. Ian receives the sword, throws it at all the Big Women, and kills them. Reaching the Giant, Gille turns into a sword and once Ian gets the falcon, cuts the giant’s heads. Gille warns Ian how to carry what he brings back to the castle to keep his stepmom from turning him into a pile of sticks. He obeys and his stepmom gets turned into a stick pile instead. He burns her, marries the princess, and lives happily ever after.

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Throughout the story, Ian has to find a blue falcon, a magic sword, a colt, and a princess. And his stepmom’s reduced to a pile of sticks.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Orange Fairy Book.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

106. The Canary Prince

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The Canary Prince is an Italian fairy tale about a prince who meets his princess in a tower. Until her evil stepmother puts pins on her windows sill.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Italo Calvino in Italian Folk Tales.
Best Known Version: The Calvino version, obviously.
Synopsis: A jealous queenly stepmother persuades her kingly husband to lock up his daughter in a forest castle tower. One day, a prince passes by the place while hunting and is astounded to see the seemingly abandoned castle in use. He sees the princess but they can’t talk to each other except through gestures. To help them, a witch tricks the ladies-in-waiting into giving the princess a book. When she ruffles the pages forward, her boyfriend turns into a canary. When she ruffles them back, he changes back to human form. After some time, the queen arrives seeing the young prince at the window so she puts pins on the sill, stabbing him in his canary form. Even when the princess restores him, the prince lies on the floor bleeding. So his companions must bring him back to his dad for medical attention. The princess cuts sheets and creates a makeshift rope to escape while overhearing witches discussing how to heal him. She does so and asks for a coat-of-arms, his standard, and his vest as her reward. The prince goes hunting, the princess turns him into a canary. When he flies into the room, she turns him back. He reproaches her for his injury. She produces her reward proving she saved him and lets him know her stepmother did it. They marry, and the princess reveals that despite locking her up in an abandoned tower, he dad’s not as bad as he seems. He’s just a coward who can’t stand up to his wife.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Calvino is a modern fairy tale collector so it’s not a big stretch as to why it’s been forgotten. Also, involves a guy getting real bloodied up.
Trivia: N/A

107. The Enchanted Snake

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The Enchanted Snake is an Italian fairy tale of a snake wooing a princess. He also changes into a handsome young man and a bunch of other animals until a curse is broken.

From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected Giambattista Basile in the Pentamerone
Best Known Version: The Basile version, naturally.
Synopsis: A poor woman longs for a child that she and her husband adopt a talking snake. When it grows up, the snake wants to marry, but not just any snake. But a princess. His dad goes to ask and the king allows it if the snake could turn all the orchard fruit into gold. The snake tells his dad to gather the pits and sow them in the orchard. When they spring up, the fruits are gold. The king next demands that his palace walls and paths be turned into precious stones. The snake has his dad gather broken crockery and throw it on the walls and paths, transforming them in to glittery and colorful gems. Then the king demands that the castle be turned into gold. The snake asks his dad rub the castle walls with an herb, transforming them.

The king tells his daughter, Grannonia that he tried to put off this reptilian suitor but failed. The princess agrees to obey him. The snake comes in a golden elephant-drawn cart, surprisingly freaking everyone out for some reason but Grannonia. The snake takes her in a room, sheds his skin, and becomes a handsome young man. Fearing his daughter being eaten, the king looks through the keyhole. He then sees the skin and burns it. The young man calls the king a fool, turns into a dove, and flies off. Grannonia sets out looking for him. She meets and tags along with a fox. When she remarks upon wondrous birdsongs, the fox replies if she knew what the birds say: that a prince had been cursed into a snake’s form for 7 years and that near the end, he fell in love and married a princess. But the snake skin had been burned and struck his head while fleeing. So he’s in the care of doctors. The fox then tells her that the birds’ blood will cure him and catches them for her. He then tells her that his blood was necessary so Grannonia persuades him to go with her and kills him. She goes to her father-in-law, promises to cure the prince if he’d marry her and the king agrees. She cures him. The prince refuses since he already pledged himself to another woman. But Grannonia claims she was the woman and they marry.

Other Versions: Included in Andrew Lang’s The Green Fairy Book.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: For the love of God, it features a snake as the main character.
Trivia: N/A

108. The Greenish Bird
From: Mexico
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Joel Gomez in La Encantada from a 74-year-old woman in Texas named Mrs. P.E.
Best Known Version: The Encantada version.
Synopsis: While her 2 older sisters hang out in bars, only Luisa sews. A princely greenish bird comes and woos her. Her sisters find out and put knives in the window injuring him. But he tells her that he lives in crystal towers on the plains of Merlin. After buying a pair of iron shoes, Luisa sets out. She finds the Sun’s horse where his mother warns that he’ll eat her. She hides until the Sun’s mother calms her son down. He doesn’t know the way but sends her to the Moon. Same thing happens with the Moon and then the Wind who can’t send her anywhere. She then finds a hermit who can summon animals and an elderly eagle who says that the Greenish Bird is engaged, except that he’s sick. And he could take her if she kills a cow. When they fly, he asks for meat, she gives him another leg. When she’s out Luisa offers to cut her own leg. But the eagle tells her it’s a test. At the prince’s she works as a kitchen maid and part-time guitarist, curing the prince. The prince says that every woman must make a cup of cocoa and he’ll marry who makes the one he drinks. Not caring whether it was bitter, he drinks Luisa’s and they marry.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: I’m not sure why. Maybe the knives on the window sill thing.
Trivia: N/A

109. The Green Knight
From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Svend Grundtvig in Danish Fairy Tales and by Evald Tang Kristensen in Eventyr fra Jylland in 1881.
Best Known Version: Andrew Lang’s English translation of Kristensen’s version in The Olive Fairy Book is the best known.
Synopsis: Dying of cancer, a queen asks her to do whatever his daughter requests of him. A widowed countess and her daughter do everything to win the princess over. Only to tell the princess that she couldn’t stay unless she marry the king. The princess implores the king to do it despite his objections. As soon as the countess becomes her stepmother, bring on the abuse. Seeing this, the king sends the princess to a summer palace. While the king is there to bid his daughter farewell before departing for a tournament. The princess tells him to greet her to the Green Knight. But he doesn’t meet a Green Knight at the tournament. On the way home, he goes through the forest where he meets as swineherd. Asking about the pigs, he’s told they’re the Green Knight’s. He goes on to find a magnificent castle where the handsome young Green Knight lives. The king gives him his daughter’s greetings. But the Green Knight hasn’t heard of her. Nonetheless, he welcomes the king and bestows him a gift (either a book or casket with his portrait).

The king returns home. Depending on variant, one of 2 things happen. But the Green Knight starts secretly visiting the princess to avoid her stepmother. But she finds out and conspires to injure him and he stops visiting the princess. Not knowing why, the princess overhears 2 birds talking of his illness and that a snake with 9 young snakes in her dad’s stables could cure him. She gets the snakes, goes to the Green Knight’s castle, and gets a job in the kitchen. She persuades them to let her cook soup for him. For 3 days, she feeds him soup made from 3 of the young snakes and he recovers. They marry.

Other Versions: Some variants have the widowed countess and her daughter persuade the princess to let them stay in the castle. Some have the king build a summer palace for the princess. While others have the Green Knight claim the princess must’ve thought about the graveyard green. In one variant the king gives her a book which when she goes through the pages, he flies in as a bird and courts her. When the stepmother learns of it, she puts poisoned scissors in the window. In another variant, the king gives the princess a casket with the Green Knight’s portrait, she recognizes him as her dream guy and he comes to court her. But when the stepmother finds out, she puts a poisoned nail in the oar he uses to row out. In some versions, he either recognizes her or she asks to marry him and initially refuses until the princess cleans herself up.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Not sure why. Maybe the bloodshed.
Trivia: Not to be confused with the King Arthur story.

110. The Black Bull of Norroway

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The Black Bull of Norroway is a Scottish fairy tale of a woman who goes off with a black bull who’s surprisingly kind and gentle. But she must wait for him until he takes care of a few things.

From: Scotland
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Robert Chambers in Popular Rhymes of Scotland in 1870.
Best Known Version: The Chambers version, naturally.
Synopsis: A washerwoman’s 3 daughters ask her to cook some food to take on their journeys to seek their fortunes, consulting a witch on how to seek one along the way. The woman advised them to look out the back door. On the third day, the oldest sees a coach and 6 come for her and delightedly leaves with it. The second daughter a coach and 4 and leaves. While the youngest finds a black bull that the witch tells her she must accompany. Terrified, the daughter goes off with the bull, who’s surprisingly kind and gentle. When she’s hungry, he tells her to eat out of his right ear and drink out of his left. On their first 3 nights, they arrive at the bull’s brothers’ castles where she receives a fruit that she’s instructed not to use until the great needs in her life. Eventually, she and the bull arrive at a valley of glass. Afterwards, the girl and the bull arrive to a valley of glass. The bull tells her to wait and keep still as he fights the devil ruling the valley so they could leave. If the sky is blue, he’s won. If red, he’s lost. He leaves the girl. After some time, the sky turns blue. But the girl gets too excited that she slightly shifts her position and the bull doesn’t return.

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Unable to climb a glass hill, the girl works for a blacksmith for 7 years. In exchange she gets iron shoes to climb it in order to get to her black bull.

Unable to climb out of the valley by herself, the girl wanders alone before finding a blacksmith who tells her that if she serves him for 7 years, he’ll make her a pair of shoes. When her time’s up, the girl receives a pair of iron shoes and nails them to her feet. She’s able to climb out of the valley. The young woman eventually wanders back to the witch’s house. The witch offers her shelter if she’ll wash some bloody shirts that she and her daughter couldn’t clean. If she does, she could marry the gallant young knight staying with them. Since the shirts are his. The girl agrees and the bloodstains vanish as soon as they touch the soap while her feet heal as if they’ve never been bloodied or injured. Delighted, the witch brings in the knight’s shirts and convinces him that her own daughter cleaned them. So the knight and the witch’s daughter get engaged.

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The girl finds out that her knight is engaged to be married to another woman. Here she uses the fruits in the great need in her life.

Desperate, the young woman realizes that she’s in a great need of her life. For 3 nights, she opens one of the fruits, which contain rich jewelry inside which she gives the witch’s daughter in exchange for being allowed to sing outside the knight’s room. But the witch gives her daughter a sleeping draught for the knight so she couldn’t wake him. So she sobs and sings: “Seven long years I served for thee/The glassy hill I clamb for thee,/Thy bloody clothes I wrang for thee;/And wilt thou not waken and turn to me?” On the third night, the knight accidentally knocks over the sleeping draught the witch’s daughter gives him. So he’s awake to hear the truth. The young woman marries the knight who’s been the bull all along. He has the witch and her daughter burned. And they all live happily ever after.

Other Versions: Included in Joseph Jacobs’ More English Fairy Tales. Included in Andrew Lang’s The Blue Fairy Book and in Ruth Manning Sanders’ Scottish Folktales.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Might have something to do with the witch and her daughter getting burned up.
Trivia: Cited by J.R.R. Tolkien in his essay “On Fairy Stories.”

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 10 – The Tinder Box to The Enchanted Quill

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We like to think that fairy tales typically have happy endings or so we’re told. However, as with everything in life, this isn’t always the case. And you may notice that a few of them end very horribly for the protagonist. “The Rose Tree,” “Godfather Death,” and “The Shadow” that we covered so far don’t end happily. Since the first has a kid getting murdered and cannibalized. The second has the protagonist trying to cheat Death for a big payout, ending like you’d expect. The third has the protagonist deceived and murdered by his Shadow. Anyway, in this installment, I bring you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, is a Hans Christen Andersen tale involving a tinder box. Second, we come to some Grimm tales involving talking animals and inanimate objects, a mysterious dwarf, and a juniper tree. Second, is an Italian take on Little Red Riding Hood except that you want the wolf to devour her. Third, is an African tale about a singing tortoise. And lastly, we get a German tale of an enchanted quill that can fufill whatever a person desires.

91. The Tinder Box

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Hans Christen Andersen’s The Tinder Box is about a soldier who finds a wooden box he uses to summon treasure carrying dogs. It’s basically a variant of Aladdin.

From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Written by Hans Christen Andersen. It’s essentially Denmark’s version of Aladdin despite it being inspired by a Scandinavian folk tale.
Best Known Version: There’s only one version.
Synopsis: A soldier comes upon a witch who tells him how to get lots of money. If he does her a favor of bringing her a tinder box that she mistakenly left in a passageway under an old oak tree. The soldier goes down to find 3 enormous dogs each guarding a chest of copper coins, a chest of silver coins, and a chest of gold coins. When he brings up some gold, he remembers the tinder box and goes to get it. But the witch won’t tell him what’s so special about it, even when the soldier threatens to cut her head off. So the soldier basically decapitates her. It’s not until later that he accidentally discovers he could use the tinder box to summon the dogs who can bring him more money.

Eventually, the soldier falls in love with a princess. But since a prophecy foretold that she’ll marry a common soldier, the king and queen are having none of that so the lock their daughter away in a Copper Palace at all times. So the soldier uses the tinder box to summon a dog to bring the princess to him. The king and queen eventually figure out that someone kidnapped their daughter and have someone follow the dog. When they find the house, they mark it with chalk. When the dog sees the chalk mark, it marks all the doors on that street. The queen makes a bag that she fills with flour with a small hole so there will be a flour trail they can follow. The dog doesn’t notice it. So the soldier is arrested and sentenced to death by hanging. However, he doesn’t have his tinder box so he sends a boy to his apartment to bring it to him. When hanging day comes, he requests one last smoke before using the tinder box to summon all 3 dogs. The dogs throw the judges and councilors so high in the air that they die when hitting the ground. The king is unmoved by this so the dogs do the same to him and the queen. The people proclaim the soldier king, he gets the princess out of her copper palace, and they marry.

Other Versions: Some versions don’t mention that after the dogs toss the King, Queen, and judges into the air that they don’t just die after hitting the ground, but also broken into pieces. One version has the king cheat the soldier out of his pay and the soldier retaliates by beating the princess and making her do chores every night.
Adaptations: Made into a ballet with costumes and scenery designed by Denmark’s Queen Margarethe II.
Why Forgotten: Having dogs devour the whole government because they didn’t let the main character be with the girl likes doesn’t endear this fairy tale to modern audiences.
Trivia: Was not favorably received upon its initial release.

92. The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage

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The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage is a Grimm fairy tale about the aforementioned 3 moving in together and trading chores. It doesn’t go well.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, obviously.
Synopsis: A mouse, a bird, and a sausage decide to move in together. Things are all right for awhile. The bird flies to the forest for wood each morning. The mouse carries water, lights fires, and sets the table. While the sausage cooks by rolling around in the food (don’t ask). One day, the bird’s forest friends start making fun of him, calling him a poor sap claiming he does all the hard work while the others get to stay home and relax. The bird gets home and demands a more equitable chore system before they draw lots to determine who does what. The sausage is tasked with gathering wood but a dog gobbles it up in the forest. The mouse tries cooking but gets stuck while sliding through the vegetables and dies. While the bird has to gather water and light fires, resulting in the house catching fire as well as getting tangled into the bucket and pulled down the well that he drowns.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: For one, the tale features a sentient sausage which is just weird. Secondly, the moral of this story is to know one’s place. Also, it doesn’t end well.
Trivia: N/A

93. Cat and Mouse in Partnership

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Cat and Mouse in Partnership is a Grimm fairy tale about cat and mouse roomies and a jar of fat. Tom and Jerry, it ain’t.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version of course.
Synopsis: A cat convinces a mouse to move in with him. For a time, all was well for the cross-species roommates. Until the mouse and a cat decide to put a fat jar aside for the lean months, storing it under an altar at a nearby church. But one day, the greedy cat decides to mosy on down the church and taste some of the fat, lying to the mouse about standing as a godparent at a kitty christening. He does this 3 times until the jar is empty. When the cold winds start blowing round their house, the mouse suggests that it’s time to break into the fat reserves. But when they get to the church, the jar is empty. The mouse figures it out and gets eaten by the cat.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: If you think this ends like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, you are sorely mistaken.
Trivia: N/A

94. Riffraff

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Riffraff is a Grimm fairy tale of a couple of chickens and their friends pulling a prank on an innkeeper. And yes, they have a carriage pulled by a duck.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, obviously.
Synopsis: A rooster and a hen go carousing in a nutshell carriage pulled by a duck. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiking drunk pin and needle on their way to an inn. When they reach their destination, the innkeeper isn’t too keen on letting them stay since they look a bit rough. But he agrees once they offer the duck and the hen’s egg. The next morning, the rooster and the hen steal back the egg and eat it (cannibals), stick the pin in the innkeeper’s towel and the needle in his armchair, and fly away (not possible). Meanwhile, the duck scoots off into a brook. The innkeeper washes his face and gets a terrible scratch from the pin on the towel. When he sits on his armchair, the needle stabs him in the butt. He then swears never to let any “riffraff” stay at his inn like talking tailor tools and anthromorphized fowl.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: It’s a petty revenge tale with talking animals and sentient tailor tools.
Trivia: N/A

95. The Strange Feast
From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, obviously.
Synopsis: A blood sausage invites a liver sausage to her house for dinner. But when she arrives to the blood sausage’s house she sees a lot of strange things. A broom and shovel fight upstairs, a monkey has a head wound, and more. The liver sausage freaks out over all this. When she goes to the blood sausage’s rooms, she confides to her on what she’s seen. But the blood sausage brushes it all off before retreating to the kitchen to check on the meal. While the liver sausage is alone, she hears a voice: “Let me warn you, liver sausage, you’re in a bloody murderous trap. You’d better get out quickly if you value your life!” She runs out the door and onto the street. Turning back, she sees the blood sausage in the attic wielding a long, gleaming knife shouting, “If I had caught you, I would have had you!”

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Contains sentient sausages and attempted murder. Seriously, sausages trying to kill each other?
Trivia: N/A

96. Hurleburlebutz
From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: When a king gets lost in a forest, a white dwarf suddenly appears. He offers to help the king out of the woods in return for his youngest daughter. Desperate to get out of the deep, dark forest, the king agrees. The dwarf delivers the king to safety and reminds him he’ll be back in a week for his daughter. Now the king’s sad because the youngest is his favorite. But his daughters assure him not to worry since they’ll soon get rid of the dwarf. A week later, the daughters find an unsuspecting cowherd’s daughter, kit her out in pretty clothes, and tell her to go with the first person who comes to fetch her. That person’s a fox saying, “Sit down on my furry tail, Hurleburlebutz! Off to the forest!” Of they go, but when the fox asks the cowherd’s daughter to pick lice out of his fur, he realizes he got the wrong lady when she obliges. Back to the castle. A week later, the fox returns taking the gooseherd’s daughter into the forest, another attempted delousing, and wrong lady. So back to the castle again.

Realizing passing an insignificant peasant girl as his daughter won’t do, the king gives over his daughter to the fox who carries her into the forest. This time, when he demands a delousing, the princess replies, “I’m a king’s daughter and yet I must delouse a fox!” Realizing he got the right bride, the fox transforms into the dwarf. They live happily for awhile. Until one day when the dwarf says, “I’ve got to go away, but three white doves will soon come flying here. When they swoop down to the ground, catch the middle one. Once you’ve got it, cut off its head right away. But pay attention and make sure you’ve got the middle dove, or it’ll be disaster.” The doves come, the princess catches the middle one, hacks off its head and pooft! a handsome prince appears. Turns out, the white dwarf had been under a nasty fairy spell and this whole complicated charade was the only way to fix it.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: The second part doesn’t seem to make any sense whatsoever.
Trivia: N/A

97. Uncle Wolf
From: Italy
Earliest Appearance: Collected by Italo Calvino in his Italian Folktales. It’s basically Little Red Riding Hood but you’re pretty much rooting for the Big Bad Wolf.
Best Known Version: The Calvino version, obviously.
Synopsis: The “little glutton” travels through the woods carrying a basket of pancakes, bread, and wine for Uncle Wolf. But the path is long and the girl can’t resist the goodies. So she replaces the pancakes with donkey shit, the loaf of bread with a stonemason’s lime, and the wine with dirty water. When Uncle Wolf loses his shit over the deception, the girl races back home, hiding in the corner of her bed. Uncle Wolf chases her down and declares, “Ahem, here I go!” After all, he’s got a reputation to defend. An expert in dealing with “greedy little girls” he swallows her whole.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: It’s not the Little Red Riding Hood story you want your kids to know about.
Trivia: N/A

98. The Singing Tortoise
From: Africa
Earliest Appearance: Oral tradition, I guess.
Best Known Version: N/A
Synopsis: A hunter finds a tortoise with a voice so enchanting that he takes the animal home with him. Unable to resist the impulse to broadcast the tortoise’s song, the village receives the hunter’s report with deep skepticism. And in an act of controlled passive-aggressive behavior for being taken out of its natural surroundings, the tortoise refuses to sing on command. Branded a liar talking nonsense and “fantastic tales,” the hunter gets publicly schooled by the chief.
Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Retold in a children’s book.
Why Forgotten: African fairy tales don’t get much attention.
Trivia: N/A

99. The Juniper Tree

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The Juniper Tree is a Grimm fairy tale about a stepmother who murders her stepson and serves him for dinner. And no, I’m absolutely not kidding.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Brothers Grimm.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, naturally.
Synopsis: A mother dies in childbirth. Her husband remarries and the new wife really wants to get rid of her stepson. Offering an apple from the chest, the stepmother lures the boy then bam! She slams the chest’s lid so hard “so hard that the boy’s head flew off and fell into the chest with the apples.” To dispose the evidence, the stepmother chops up her stepson’s body into little pieces, cooks him up in a stew only Hannibal Lecter would love, and serves his remains to the boy’s father, who can’t get enough of this “tasty” dish. The rest of the boy’s body is buried under a juniper tree, comes back as a green and red-feathered bird with a gold band around its neck and an alluring song, and drops a millstone on the stepmother, killing her. He then returns into human form just in time to have dinner with his father and sister.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Made into a film in Iceland during the 1990s as well as an opera during the 1980s.
Why Forgotten: Contains child abuse, murder, and cannibalism.
Trivia: Mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkein’s “On Fairy Tales” as an example on the evils of censorship for children.

100. The Enchanted Quill
From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Written by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in 1850.
Best Known Version: Schonwerth’s is the best known since it’s recently been rediscovered.
Synopsis: A man falls asleep on his horse while traveling as a horse begins grazing in a meadow. A crow flies down from a tree and pecks a horse so that it rears up suddenly and wakes up the rider. The rider asks why the crow did that. The crow replies that he’s been asleep for 3 years, which dawns on the man who notices his long beard. In return for acting as an alarm clock, the crow asks the man for one of his daughters, gives him a picture of himself, and flies off. When the man returns home, tells his 3 daughters about the crow and its requests, and shows them a picture. The older two daughters basically say, “No way!” The youngest takes the picture and goes to her room. The next day, the crow arrives in a resplendent horse-drawn carriage, exciting the daughters until the crow steps out that only the youngest invites him in. He asks all 3 sisters to visit his castle.

Apparently, they all hop in. But once they’re out of the dark, gloomy forest, they go through a lemon tree forest before arriving at a beautiful castle. After the two older sisters eavesdrop on the youngest having a conversation with a handsome young man, everything changes. The castle and carriage disappear while all 3 women find themselves under a fir tree. The crow then scolds from the branches: “Now only the youngest can save me. She must walk to the city in rags and accept whatever work she is offered.” The youngest does this and gets a job as a servant to some prince. But unlike Cinderella and Snow White in the Disney movies, she’s utterly incompetent at her job that her co-workers treat her like crap. Just as the girl cries in the bathroom, the crow appears, turns his wing, and says: “Pull out one of my feathers, and if you use it to write down a wish, the wish will come true.” She reluctantly plucks the feather, uses it as a pen, and writes down the names of the very finest dishes that appear in sparkling and glowing bowls. These please the prince and princess so much that they give her fine clothes to wear. But to her dismay, the girl ends up attracting 3 suitors, she writes down ways to make their lives hell, which eventually escalates into bodily punishments on them and her bosses. When the time comes, the crow arrives as a prince, picks up the girl, and they ride to his magnificent castle.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Mostly because the Grimms have a monopoly on German fairy tales that ones by others usually fall into obscurity.
Trivia: Was lost for over 150 years until 2015.

A Treasury of Forgotten Fairy Tales: Part 9 – Willie’s Lady to The Tale of Norna-Gest

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Apparently, in fairy tales, kings have a tendency to give almost impossible challenges that make almost no sense. Sure, the reward may be a princess and perhaps half the kingdom should the winner be a guy. While the losers usually end up executed. Sometimes I wonder why these kings do this save for creating a fanciful plot. Though in some stories, it’s apparent the king wants the protagonist dead, sort some inheritance issue (though allowing a daughter to rule will basically solve everything on that one), or some curse lifted from their kids. Anyway, in this installment I give you another 10 forgotten fairy tales. First, are 2 English ballads about evil mothers-in-law and men held hostage as well as tales of a happy prince and a king on a golden river. Second, is a Grimm tale of 7 young goats and a big bad wolf. Third, we have a French story about a young woman with golden hair. After that, are some Hans Christen Andersen tales about a match girl, a shadow, and a tin soldier. Finally, we get to a medieval Icelandic saga about a man who just doesn’t seem to die.

81. Willie’s Lady
From: England
Earliest Appearance: Earliest known copy printed in 1783. Child Ballad #6. Collected by Francis Child. Said to be inspired by the birth of Hercules.
Best Known Version: The Child version.
Synopsis: Willie gets married. But his mom doesn’t approve of his bride that she curses her to die in childbirth. He tries bribing her, she refuses. At household sprite Belly Bird’s advice, he tricks her into thinking that the baby has been born. She falls into a rage and demands to know who undid all the things she did to prevent it. Willie undoes them all and a baby is born.

Other Versions: Found in several Scandinavian variants but sometimes the witch curses the woman or her house, the labor is delayed, and/or the woman dies in childbirth.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Cursing one’s daughter-in-law to die in childbirth has to be part of it. Seriously, who does that shit?
Trivia: Has been covered numerous times.

82. The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids

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Based on Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids revolves around a big bad wolf trying to devour a goat family. He gets all the kids but one.

From: Germany
Earliest Appearance: Collected by the Grimm Brothers.
Best Known Version: The Grimm version, obviously.
Synopsis: A nanny goat leaves her 7 kids home alone before venturing for food. She warns them not to open the door to anyone, especially not the Big Bad Wolf. Soon enough, after she leaves, the wolf tries getting in. He disguises himself as his mother but his gruff voice betrays him. The wolf leaves and returns a little later, using a sweet, light voice to impersonate their mother. At first the 7 kids really think it really is their mother, but then ask her to stick her paw in front of the window before noticing his big, black feet. They refuse to open the door and the wolf leaves again, this time going to the miller to whiten his paw in flour. He returns and fools the 7 kids because they see his white paw and think it’s their mother. The wolf jumps into the house and devours 6 of the 7 kids since the youngest hides in a large standing clock before he leaves. After his big meal, the wolf realizes he’s very, very tired. So the first thing he does is lie down against the tree and enjoy a good long nap.

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Here the nanny goat leaves he kids at home before going out. Perhaps she should’ve locked the door for once.

When the nanny goat returns home, she finds her house a mess and her youngest kid hiding inside the clock. He tells her what happened and they decide to look for the wolf. They soon find him, still fast asleep, and the mother goat tells her youngest child to fetch a pair of scissors, a needle and some thread, with which they cut the wolf’s belly. The six goat kids jump out alive and well. The goats then fill the wolf’s belly with rocks and the mother sews it back up again. The goats hide and the wolf wakes up, feeling thirsty. He goes to the well but falls in and drowns under the rocks’ weight. The goat family lives happily ever after.

Other Versions: Some accounts have the kids ask the wolf to stick his paw in the crack of the door. Sometimes the wolf goes to the bakery instead of the miller. Also, in some versions, he goes to the river instead of the well.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, goats aren’t considered appealing animals in the US. Also, the wolf devours all but one of the goat kids.
Trivia: Very popular in Japan, Netherlands, Italy, France, and Russia.

83. Young Beichan

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In the English Young Beichan, a guy’s thrown in prison in a faraway country. Don’t worry, his captor’s daughter will save him from the rats.

From: England
Earliest Appearance: Child Ballad #53. Collected by Francis Child.
Best Known Version: The Child version obviously.
Synopsis: A man is thrown into a dungeon in a far country. His captor’s daughter frees him and he pledges to marry her. On returning home, he’s forced to marry. She arrives in time to stop the wedding.
Other Versions: The names, identities, and location where they meet can vary a lot depending on the variant. Variants can be in Spanish, Norse, and Italian.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: I’m not sure why.
Trivia: N/A

84. The Fair One with the Golden Locks

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The Fair One with the Golden Locks is a French fairy tale about a woman with long golden hair who falls for a prince’s servant sent to woo her. He then has to complete a series of impossible tasks.

From: France
Earliest Appearance: Written by Madame d’Aulnoy.
Best Known Version: The d’Aulnoy version obviously.
Synopsis: A beautiful daughter of the king called the Fair One with the Golden Locks. A nearby king who’s heard of her beauty begins a series of attempts to woo her, eventually sending his faithful servant Avenant and his dog. In his journey to the kingdom, Avenant saves many creatures promising to aid him if they could. Arriving at the princess’ kingdom, he asks for her hand for his master. She agrees but on the condition he complete a series of impossible tasks. Thanks to the animal assistance, Avenant completes the challenges. Upon returning the princess agreed to go with him. Although she falls in love with Avenant, he rebukes the idea out of loyalty to his king. Though the king and princess marry but he soon becomes jealous over her attachment to Avenant and seals him away in a tower. He then decides to use a vial of water that makes those who wash in it beautiful to better woo his bride. Unfortunately, a maid breaks the vial and has it replaced with a vial of poison, causing the king’s death. The now widowed queen frees Avenant, asks him to be king in his master’s place and he agrees.

Other Versions: Has translations by Andrew Lang under “Pretty Golden Locks” and Dinah M. Mulock Craik.
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, the fact the heroine is called “Goldilocks” and the lack of staging a home invasion in a bear home may have something to do with it.
Trivia: Sometimes referred as “Goldilocks” though it’s best not to use the that for obvious reasons.

85. The Happy Prince
From: England.
Earliest Appearance: Written by Oscar Wilde.
Best Known Version: The Wilde version of course.
Synopsis: A swallow falls in love with a reed. After spending a life in luxury, a happy prince grows up knowing nothing of hardship and hardship. But once he sees it, he can’t abide seeing people in misery when he can sacrifice the precious jewels and metals he’s made of to help them out of poverty. Eventually the prince is turned into a statue who watches all misery outside the palace. But he can’t let the swallow go.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Made into a 2018 film with Rupert Everett.
Why Forgotten: It’s kind of a crazy tale and Wilde’s prose isn’t as well read as his plays.
Trivia: N/A

86. King of the Golden River

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John Ruskin’s The King of the Golden River is about a young boy who tries to undo the damage caused by his brothers. Here he meets with some dwarf.

From: England
Earliest Appearance: Written by John Ruskin in 1841.
Best Known Version: There’s only one version.
Synopsis: A very old and strange man visits 3 brothers during a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, the elder 2 brothers mistreat the guy who’s actually “South-West Wind Esquire.” As revenge, he turns their once fertile valley into red sand. The rest revolves around the youngest undergoing a series of impossible tasks trying to undo the damage, particularly finding the source of the Golden River.
Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Well, the plot’s pretty complicated. Also, Ruskin wrote this for his future wife who was 12 at the time.
Trivia: N/A

87. The Little Match Girl

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The Little Match Girl is a fairy tale by Hans Christen Andersen about a impoverished girl freezing on the streets who lights matches to escape from her wretched life. It’s basically tragedy porn.

From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1845.
Best Known Version: There’s only one version.
Synopsis: On a gold New Year’s Eve, a little girl freezes barefoot outside. Since she didn’t sell any matches, she’s afraid to return home. For she’ll just receive a beating from an abusive father. She looks into a house window she’s sitting in front of and imagines how nice it would be to celebrate with a family. Huddling in a corner, she starts striking matches one by one. First, to give her warmth. Then to keep seeing beautiful images of warm fires, roast goose, Christmas trees, and light shows. She looks up and sees a shooting star, recalling what her grandma once told her that whenever a star streaks across the night sky someone goes to heaven. Striking another match, she sees her grandma and lights all her matches at once to keep her there. On New Year’s Day, those passing by find her frozen body huddled against a building and surrounded by dead matches, smiling. They’re filled with pity. But it doesn’t matter because the little match girl is now in heaven (uh, hello, it’s not).

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Freezing to death, the little match girl lights her remaining matches to conjure images of things she may never enjoy. Seriously, this tale is depressing.

Other Versions: Often presented as a Christmas story.
Adaptations: Made into a Disney short and a Made-for-TV movie. Also has numerous retellings and adaptations.
Why Forgotten: It’s considered one of the saddest stories ever written since it’s just basically depressing tragedy porn. But at least she wasn’t among the women making the matches (who had it even worse).
Trivia: Featured in a Dutch theme park attraction (what the fuck?).

88. The Shadow

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Hans Christen Andersen’s story The Shadow is about a man’s shadow coming to life and traveling the world to find his fortune. It doesn’t end well.

From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Written by Hans Christen Andersen in 1847.
Best Known Version: There’s only one version.
Synopsis: A Learned Man makes a voyage south from northern Europe. While sitting by the fire one evening, he amusedly observes his shadow dancing and imitating his movements in the flames’ light, thinking it would be funny as a creature with a will and mind of its own. To his surprise, the next morning, he wakes up to find his shadow disappeared overnight. But as new shadow slowly grows back from the tip of his toes, the Learned Man doesn’t give the incident a second thought and soon returns to his northern European home. Several years later, he hears a knock on the door one evening. It’s the shadow he lost years before during his journey now standing upon his doorstep in an almost completely human appearance. Intrigued, the Learned Man invites the Shadow inside before sitting down and discussing the latter’s experiences during his travels and how it came to human form. But during the conversation, the subject turns to the Learned Man’s unsuccessful writing career. The Learned Man values the good, true, and beautiful in the world as well as writes about it often. But public doesn’t give his work much interest. The Shadow declares that the Learned Man is too much of an idealist and that his view of humanity is flawed. While the Shadow claims that unlike his master, he understands the world and sees what it truly is and knows how evil some men really can be. They soon part ways once again.

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As the Learned Man barely manages to survive, the Shadow prospers while traveling the world. And the Learned Man’s prospects will only get worse.

As the Learned Man barely manages to survive, the Shadow becomes quite rich. When the former becomes ill, the latter suggests they visit a health resort. And as long as the Learned Man pretends to be the Shadow’s shadow, he’ll pay for the trip. Absurd as it sounds, the Learned Man agrees and they set sail with the Shadow as his master. During the trip, the Shadow meets and woos a princess. When they get engaged, the Shadow asks the Learned Man to remain his shadow forever in exchange with a good life with them. The Learned Man refuses and threatens to reveal the truth to the princess. The Shadow has him arrested and ultimately executed as he and the princess live happily ever after.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: Made into a ballet.
Why Forgotten: This tale’s message is that goodness doesn’t always triumph alone, especially when it’s not paired with common sense which the Learned Man doesn’t have.
Trivia: Was one of the first long texts to be translated into Esperanto.

89. The Steadfast Tin Soldier

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In Hans Christen Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a one-legged soldier falls for a paper ballerina. Of course, he has to go through a lot of shit for her.

From: Denmark
Earliest Appearance: Written by Hans Christen Andersen in 1838.
Best Known Version: There’s only one version.
Synopsis: A one-legged tin soldier falls in love for a paper ballerina. After several perilous adventures like a love triangle involving a goblin jack-in-the box, a paper boat, a rat, and a fish, he and his love perish in a fire.

Other Versions: While the original ending has the tin soldier and paper ballerina perish in a fire, the 1845 edition lets them live.
Adaptations: Had a Fantasia 2000 sequence. Also adapted into a ballet by George Balanchine and a 1995 made for TV movie.
Why Forgotten: The ending involves incineration.
Trivia: Said to be based on Andersen’s childhood toys.

90.  The Tale of Norna-Gest

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The Tale of Norna-Gest is an Icelandic saga of a man who’s cursed to live until the candle burns out. He lives to a very ripe old age.

From: Iceland
Earliest Appearance: Appeared as early as 1300.
Best Known Version: Probably the modern translation.
Synopsis: In Trondheim, Norway around 988, a stranger named Gest appears at King Olaf Tryggvason. He’s old yet surprisingly strong and astounds the king’s retainers by his harp-playing and storytelling skills. Asked how he can know so much about times long ago, he reveals he knew Sigurd Fafnisbane personally, as well as the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok (the guys on The Vikings series), Harald Finehair of Norway and King Ludwig of Germany. All this amazes the king and his court since these guys are long dead, some for centuries. Gest then reveals that he’s actually Norna-Gest and tells his story.

When he was born, his dad invites 3 norns (seer ladies) to foretell his future. 2 of them make good prophecies. But the last one is in a bad mood when some rude guests enrage her. So she curses Gest to live no longer than the candle burning beside his cradle. So the other norns extinguish the candle and tell the boy’s parents to keep it. Thus, he gains immortality so he can’t die before the candle is used up.

On King Olaf’s wish, Norna-Gest agrees to convert to Christianity. After a time, the king asks how long he plans to live. Norna-Gest admits he wants to die since he’s already 300 years old. In King Olaf’s presence, he lays on a bed and lights a candle. A priest gives him last rites and Norna-Gest dies.

Other Versions: N/A
Adaptations: N/A
Why Forgotten: Other than the one in TV Tropes, I couldn’t find many Google results for it in English.
Trivia: N/A