This is another Fairy Tale that I don’t ever recall reading. I absolutely love the title of it though, The Devil With The Three Golden Hairs…amazing! It tells the story of a boy born with a caul (birth membrane) on his head. His parents are told that this means he is lucky and will end up marrying the King’s daughter when he is 14. The wicked King hears about this, and doesn’t want to give his daughter up, so he persuades the boy’s family to give him the boy. The King tells them that he’ll raise him in the castle, but instead, puts him in a box and throws the box in the water. A miller and his wife come across the boy and raise him as their own.
14 years later, the King stumbles across the miller and his family. He realises that the boy he sees before him is the very same boy who was prophesised to marry his daughter. The King hatches a plan to get rid of the boy for good. He gives the boy a letter to take to the Queen, with instructions to kill the boy. On the way, the boy seeks shelter in an old woman’s home, despite her warning that robbers might come. When they do arrive, they read the letter and feel sorry for the boy. They replace the letter in the boy’s hand, with a letter stating that the boy should marry the King’s daughter as soon as he arrives! The King is livid, and decides to make a new plan. The boy has to travel into Hell and return with three of the Devil’s hairs.
The boy is asked tricky questions on his quest to meet the devil to steal three of his golden hairs. The boy is confident, and tells the people that he knows everything and will find the answer to their questions. Once confronted with tricky problems, the boy tells the people that they will find out the solution upon his return. The boy finds Hell and there, the Devil’s grandmother. He tells her exactly what he wants- the three golden hairs and the answer to each of the questions. The Devil’s grandmother tells him she will help him, turning him into an ant and hiding him in her clothing. The Devil can smell human flesh, but is still persuaded to go to sleep. Whilst sleeping, his Grandmother plucks out hair and asks him questions which the Devil answers unaware that the boy is hiding, listening to the answers!
With the answers to the questions posed to him, and armed with the golden hairs, the boy returns to the castle, pleasing the people (and in return, getting lots of gold!) and the King on his return. What I love about this story, is that the King definitely got what was coming to him towards the end. He inquires about the boy’s wealth and greedily goes in search for it himself..not realising he was set up to a life of a ferryman!
This fairy tale was good fun to read. I love it when the wicked character gets their comeuppance!