This week’s little tale is an English story. I really enjoyed reading it!
It centres around a farmer and his son who were passing the woods on the way to the market. As they passed they realised many of the trees were dead that were fine the day before. The farmer realised there was something dangerous lurking. They ran away but unfortunately the farmer was struck down by the beast that had gazed at him with his red eyes. The son went home and told the villagers about the beast they had seen. The bravest villagers went searching out for the beast.
A wise woman worked out that it was a Basilisk. The Basilisk could strike down any living thing with just its eyes. She described it as a creature with the head and claws of a cockerel, the tail of a serpent and the wings of a bat. Its breath could break stone and its touch was poisonous but it was the eyes that people should be worried about. The wise women didn’t give the villagers any inkling of what they could do to defeat the Basilisk.
A wandering knight rode into the village and was determined to fight against the Basilisk when he heard about it. He asked the wise woman if it ever shut its eyes and the wise woman told him that it did when it had a drink, but he should still be wary as it had exceptional hearing.
It turned out that the Basilisk shut its eyes when drinking so it didn’t see its eyes in its reflection. This totally gave the knight an idea. The knight returned covered with crystal glass everywhere. The knight went into the woods to find the Basilisk. The Basilisk heard him approach and went out to meet its prey. The knight stepped out. The Basilisk immediately saw its own reflection in the armour of the knight. It tried to look away quickly, but it was too late. It started to shrivel up and eventually died!
Next Fairy Tale- The Shoemaker and The Dragon
Gelert The Hound- St David’s Day
I can’t believe that I hadn’t heard of this story before. It centres around Llewlyn, who was the prince of North Wales. It was said that wolves are killing lambs, so Llewlyn goes searching for the wolves. First with his precious dog, Gelert. One day, Llewlyn went hunting without his precious dog. Llewlyn had raised Gelert from a puppy and was very fond of him. One day when Llewlyn returned from hunting, he found Gelert smeared with blood. Gelert jumped up to greet his master. The prince searched for his son and couldn’t find him. He assumed with the child’s cot empty and the amount of blood around that Gelert had killed his heir. Llewlyn stuck a sword into the dog’s side, punishing him for killing the only heir. As soon as the poor dog howled, there was a muffled cry. Llewlyn discovered his son and next to him was the body of the wolf. Then, Llewlyn realised what his loyal dog had done! 😦
The Bird Wife- An Inuit Story
Itajung, one of the Inuit tribe, was annoyed because a young woman would not marry him. He left his home and travelled to the land of the birds. Itajung came across a lake where geese were swimming. On the shore, Itajung noticed loads of boots. Carefully, Itajung crept closer and stole a pair of boots. He hid them. The geese came out of the water and were immediately alarmed about the missing boots. One of the flock was particularly disturbed by the loss of the boots. Itajung insisted to the goose that he’d give the boots back if she became his wife. The goose refused. Eventually, she gave in. Once the goose had put on the boots, she changed into a woman.
Itajung and the woman walked away together and settled down in a village by the sea. They lived there for several years and ended up having a son together. Itajung was highly respected as a decent whaler in the Inuit tribe. One day after carrying the meat to their homes, Itajung’s wife would not help out. She insisted that her food was not from the sea and refused to help. Sad, the woman went to the beach and searched for feathers with her son. As soon as she put them between her fingers and her son’s fingers, they turned into geese and flew away. The Inuit saw this and told Itajung that his wife was flying away.
Itajung searched and searched for his wife. Eventually, he came to a river where a man was chopping wood. Each piece of wood turned into salmon and swam into the river and then to the lake. He asked the man if he had seen a woman and a boy. The man tells Itajung that she lives on a little island in the large lake with another husband. Itajung says he can never reach her. The man helps Itajung by giving him the backbone of a salmon. It turns into a kayak and carries him to the island. He must keep his eyes shut though. Itajung’s child is happy to see him but the wife and new husband not so much. The woman, her husband and the child take some feathers and transform back to geese, flying away and leaving Itajung on his own! 😦
Next Fairy Tale- The Basket Of Eggs