This week’s Fairy Tale is Godfather Death. I have to admit that I hadn’t read this tale before, but I really enjoyed reading it! Once more, it has quite a dark theme to it.
Godfather Death is about a poor man with twelve children, when the thirteenth comes along he doesn’t know how he’s going to cope. He goes out onto the street with the idea that the first person he comes across will become the child’s Godfather. The man comes across God, the Devil and Death. He decides to pick Death because Death is the person that makes everyone equal by taking away from the rich and the poor.
When the boy grows up, Death appears and leads him into the woods where some special herbs are growing. He is promised that Death will make him a famous physician. Whenever the boy visits an ill person, Death will appear. If Death is at the person’s head then that person should be given the special herbs, but if Death is at the person’s feet then Death will take them and treatment would be useless. The boy does become a famous physician, all down to Death, but Death warns him that if he ignores him then there will be consequences.
When the King of the land becomes ill and sends for the famous physican, the physician can’t deliver bad news to the King, so he turns the King around so Death is facing his head. He gives the King the special herbs to eat, tricking Death. Death is furious that he has been tricked, but he warns the physician that if he tricks him again, then Death will take his life. Not long after, the King’s daughter becomes ill. The King offers the daughter’s hand in marriage if the physician cures her too. Being in love with the King’s daughter, the physician once again tricks Death, so he can feed the princess the herbs!
As the princess is coming round, Death takes the physician by the arm and takes him to an underground cavern. The physician sees many candles which are burned down to different lengths. He explains that the lengh of the candle shows how much longer the person has to live. The physician sees that his candle is incredibly short. He pleads with Death to light him a new candle so he can live a longer life with the princess. Death agrees, or so the physician thinks.. until Death seeks his revenge!
This is another great fairy tale. So dark, but so intriguing to read!