Fairy Tale Friday comes late this week. I’m just slipping in! This time the story is Bearskins. I wasn’t overly keen on the story, but it was enjoyable enough. It centres around a young man who enlists as a soldier. This man was particularly brave, always putting himself in the firing line. As the war was going on, all went well for the man, but when peace was made, the man was dismissed. His brothers supported him until there was anothr war. The brothers were not kind, and were quite mean about it.
Eventually, the soldier made his way into the world, with nothing but his gun. He came to the forest and considered his life. He thought about the fact that he had nothing and the only skill he had was fighting a war. The soldier suddenly heard a rustling sound and a man appeared, with a green jacket and a horrible horse’s foot. The man told him that if he could prove himself as fearless, then he could have all the money he wanted. The soldier told the man to put him to the test.
All of a sudden, a large bear was running towards the soldier. The soldier shot the bear. The man then said he had another challenge for him, before the gave him the money. He told the soldier that he must not wash himself, comb his hair, cut his nails or pray for seven years. The man would give the soldier a jacket and a cloak to wear but that was all. He said, if he died within the seven years, then the soldier would belong to him. If he didn’t, then he would be free and rich for the rest of his life. The soldier, having had his life at risk before, decided to go for it.
The man took off the jacket and gave it to the soldier. He told the soldier that every time he put his hand in the pocket that he’d pull out a handful of money. Then he pulled the skin off the bear, and told the soldier that this would be his cloak. The man told the soldier that he would be called Bearskin.
Bearskin lived for many years and his appearance changed after no grooming. He looked frightening to many. An interaction with another man, where Bearskin really showed his compassion for others, turned his story around.
There are elements of gruesome in this story, but mainly it’s just very strange! The man in the story, represents the Devil and it is the soldier’s soul he is after…