Fairy Tale Friday- The Galoshes of Fortune

This week’s fairy tale was a longer one considering the ones I’ve read fairly recently.

The Galoshes of Fortune is a story set in Copenhagen. It centres around a group of guests who are holding a party. During the part, there’s a bit of a debate about the Middle Ages being a better time period than their current time period and specifically the time of King Hans. Two fairies appear (because why wouldn’t they?!) dressed up as housemaids. They bring with them galoshes (shoes) that can transport whoever wears them to whatever time, place or condition in life that they may desire. With this, their every wish in that time and place will be granted. Sounds like a dream…until they predict that it will make the person unhappy- wanting to be back in their own time period.

Of course, one guest decides to put the galoshes on and is sent back to King Hans’ reign. It is not as ideal as he might have hoped. The streets are unpaved and are filthy. He can’t understand the locals and is utterly frustrated. He desperately wants to get home but can’t find any buildings that he recognises. He spends some time with the locals and hates the time period. He takes the galoshes off and the spell is broken.

Another guest, a watchman, tries the galoshes on. He wishes to be a lieutenant because he assums their life is better. The galoshes, of course, grant the wish and the watchman finds himself as a lieutenant. He soon discovers that the lieutenant felt poor and as a result felt incredibly lonely. The watchman realises that he’s better off as a watchman because he has a wife and children who share his sorrows. The galoshes transform him back into himself. The watchman watches a falling star and wishes he could travel to the moon. Suddenly, he’s off!

On the moon, the watchman meets moon men who all wonder whether Earth is inhabited. The moon men think that this must be impossible. Back on Earth, the watchman’s body is found lifeless. His body is taken to a hospital, where they take the galoshes off and the spell is broken. The watchman is back to himself and complains about the most awful night!

The galoshes remain in the hospital and one night, a member of staff tries them on. He is supposed to guard the hospital fence…but whilst wearing them he wished he could get his head through the fence and escape. Of course, this happens to the staff member, however, his head is trapped in the fence and he is unable to pull it back. He struggles until he wishes he was free. His wish is granted. The following day, he attends a play. The play was about a pair of glasses that allow the person that wears them to read the future from people’s faces. The man wishes that he could have a pair like that… and he does! He looks into the faces of the spectators and sees all sorts of strange things. He believes he must have too much blood rushing to his head so he wishes for a steam bath. He’s there right away, but fully clothed!  He soon returns home with a blistered back!

Back at the hospital, the watchman picks up the galoshes and gives them in at the police station. It just so happens they were given to a clerk whose galoshes had been lost. During a walk, the clerk meets a poet friend. He wishes he has his friend’s life as it seemed to be more exciting than his own. At first, the clerk enjoyed the poet’s lfie, but then he wished he was a lark. The lark is caught by a boy, sold and put into a cage with a canary and parrot. One day he manages to break free, and although the lark is attacked by a cat, he makes it home where the spell is broken and he returns to life as a clerk.

This strange little tale finishes with the clerk’s neighbour asking for the galoshes. The clerk gives the galoshes to him. The neighbour wishes he could travel which he does. He goes to Switzerland and Italy. The neighbour is saddened by local people’s hunger and poverty. The neighbour decides that he would be better off without a body so his spirit could fly. His wish is granted. The fairy tells her fairy friend that her predictions came true and that noone was satisfied with their wishes. She takes the galoshes off the neighbour-bringing him back to life.

Next Fairy Tale- The Bells


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