Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- The Gifts Of The North Wind

This week’s fairy tale was a longer one than usual, but a sweet one.

It centres around Greta and her mother. They were very poor with only an old hen to lay eggs and a stony garden to grow vegetables. One day when the North Wind was blowing strong, Greta’s mother wondered what was going to become of them with no money for food or firewood. Greta said she’d make some soup but there wasn’t any food to be found. She found some handfuls of flour and set out to make a cake for her mother. However, the North Wind blew it away. Angry, Greta chased after the wind.

Greta came across a cave at the foot of a mountain. It was the home of the North Wind. Greta asked for her flour back, but the North Wind gave her a cloth instead. The North Wind told her that if she put it on the table and said ‘Feed Me’ it would give her all the food she wanted. Greta thought that was a good exchange so she took the cloth, thanked the North Wind and headed for home. Greta had travelled too far to get back in a day, so she stopped at an inn. She instructed the cloth to feed her and it did.

When the innkeeper saw what she could do, he waited until Greta was asleep and swapped the cloth for an old pillowcase. At home, the next morning, nothing happened when she spread the ‘cloth.’ Nothing happened. Infuriated, Greta went back to the North Wind and told it that the cloth was no longer working. The North Wind gave Greta a goat. It said when she said ‘Make gold!’ it would make as much gold as she needed. Greta once again, stopped at the inn and was robbed by the terrible innkeeper. A reluctant goat was put in place.

Once again, Greta returned to the North Wind. The North Wind realised that it wasn’t the goat that it had given Greta. The North Wind gave Greta a broom to sweep away her troubles. Greta was grateful and realised where her troubles were coming from. The innkeeper once again gave Greta a bed, getting ready to steal her broom. However, when he came to steal the broom, Greta instructed the broom to sweep her troubles away. The broom beat the man and his wife. They told her to take her cloth and goat and leave!

All’s well that ends well! 🙂

Next Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- The Raja And The Rice

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Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- Why The Evergreens Keep Their Leaves

 

This week’s fairy tale is an American story. It’s one I’ve heard of before but I had no idea it was American.

It’s all about the seasons. The story starts with autumn days being cold with signs of winter along the way. All the birds flew away to a warmer place, but one little bird couldn’t fly. He thought the trees would keep him warm for the winter. He asked a silver birch, but she said she had her leaves to look after. He asked an oak, but the oak said he didn’t want anyone to eat his acorns. The bird continued on to ask a willow, but the willow tree told him that she never welcomed strangers. The bird felt sad and sure he’d never be sheltered.

Then the spruce, the pine and the juniper tree all offered the bird shelter and food. That night, the North Wind blew and blew the leaves from all of the trees but the ones that had the bird on. The kindness of the trees that sheltered the bird is never forgotten; for whilst others lose their leaves, those three always remain green.

Next Fairy Tale Friday-  The Gifts Of The North Wind

Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- The Two Kings

I hadn’t heard of this Buddhist story before, so it was a pleasure to read it for the first time.

It centres around two kings (obviously!) There’s Brahmadatta, King of Benares and King Mallika, his neighbour. Both Kings believed that they treated their people fairly. One day, both Kings unbeknown to each other disguised themselves as merchants to find out if there were any complaints about their kingdoms.

They travelled for many days without hearing any complaints, until they both came to the edge of their kingdoms and met at the same spot. As there was no room to pass, the chariots halted and the drivers shouted at one another to move as they were carrying a King. They couldn’t decide who should pass first if the Kings were equally as great as each other. They suggested the youngest first- but both Kings were the same age. Then they suggested the smallest kingdom give way to the largest- but the kingdoms were the same size. King Mallika’s driver suggested that the most just ruler should pass. King Mallika’s driver said that his master conquered the fierce with his mighty sword and the wicked with greater wickedness. King Brahmadatta’s driver explained that he would pass then because his master conquered the fierce with calmness and the wickedness with goodness.

It was then that they realised the wise, peaceful King Brahmadatta should have right of way! 🙂

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- Why The Evergreens Keep Their Leaves

Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- Persephone

I have to admit that I’m not great at Ancient Greek tales. I’ve never really read them before or heard/learned about them. I even pronounced Persephone incorrectly once, swiftly corrected by my sister and fellow blogger, Beth. It was good to read this short story in the collection! This particular retelling is from A Year Full Of Stories so if there are some differences there to the version you know, then that’s why!

It centres around Mighty Zeus who was the King of Gods. He lived at the top of mountain Olympius. He watched over all the Gods and Goddesses and the lives of the people below the mountain. His brother, Hades, was the King of the Underworld. He was the God of the deep earth and everything in it.

Zeus and Hades had a sister named Demeter, who gave life to plants and trees. She was the Goddess of the Harvest. Hades felt lonely in his silent kingdom. He went to ask Zeus how to find a wife. Zeus told him that Demeter had a beautiful daughter called Persephone who would be perfect, but she would have to be stolen away from her mother. Let me get this straight? Zeus encouraged Hades to steal their niece?

Hades watched Persephone and fell in love with her. He waited until she was picking flowers alone and commanded the earth to split open. He leapt into his chariot and swept Persephone down into the Underworld.

Demeter searched for her daughter but couldn’t find her. Meanwhile, Hades was trying to win Persephone’s heart, but all she wanted was to be reunited with her mother. Demeter lost all of her joy without her daughter and the plants began to fail. Zeus noticed that the poeple of the world would be hungry. He sent his messenger, Hermes down to Hades and asked him to let Persephone return to his mother. Hades didn’t want to disobey his brother. Before Persephone left he offered her a scarlet pomegranate. She felt sorry for him living alone. Before Hermes could stop her, she ate four pomegranate seeds. Hermes explained that anyone who eats in the Underworld must stay there.

Persephone was happy to be reunited with her mother, but had to tell her about the pomegranate seeds. Demeter tried to plead with Zeus. He could offer her a compromise. He told her that for each seed that Persephone ate in the Underworld, she should spend one month with Hades who loved her. For the rest of the year, she would return to her mother.

Each year, in the Spring and the Summer, Demeter and Persephone are reunited, bringing life and growth to the plants. In the Autumn, Persephone returns to the Underworld. Demeter mourns for her daughter and the leaves fall, die and the Earth is cold and bare.

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- Whuppity Stourie

Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- The Ship Of Wheat

I hadn’t heard of this story before so I was super excited to get reading it.

It’s about a wealthy city called Stavoren that was on the short of Zuyder Zee. It had a fine harbour that carried goods from distant lands. All of the merchants became so rich that they ate from silver dishes. The richest was a lady who lived in an amazing house. She wore rubies, pearls and slept on a golden bed that was carved with peacocks. Despite her grandeur she wasn’t happy. She always wanted more to prove that she was richer than everyone else.

She called for the captain of the fleet and asked him to find her the most precious thing in the world. For months and months, he searched for something precious but he had no idea what to give to the lady. The crew suggest bread because no one could live without it. He bought sacks and sacks of wheat and gave it to the lady. She flew into a rage and demanded that he should throw it over the edge as she could live without it.

A boy stepped forward and said that he would love to eat some because his mother couldn’t feed him. The nasty lady glared at him and told him it was hers and nobody could eat it. She ordered the crew to chuck it over the edge. The captain told her she’d regret it one day. She took the ring from her finger and dropped it into the harbour. she told the crew that the ring would return to her before she ever begged for something.

At supper the next evening, when the lady cut into the fish she found her ring. She was shocked. A messenger arrived and told her that all of her ships had been wrecked in a storm. That night, her house was also struck by lightning. Every thing was destroyed and no one was willing to help her.

Without her fortune, the lady found herself begging for bread on the street. (Karma?) At the bottom of the harbour, the wheat grains began to grow up through the water, blocking ships from passing in and out. After a short period of time all of the merchants of Stavoren were ruined and themselves begging for bread, despite the fact that at the harbour the lady’s wheat was growing but wasn’t able to offer them a single grain!

Next Fairy Tale- Persephone

Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- The Little Red Hen

I have heard this story so many times that I could tell it without even looking at the text. However, I gave this story a read for this feature and thought about how it carries wit it a good message for young children.

If you don’t know the story of the Little Red Hen then it’s all about a red hen who finds some wheat and decides to plant it and then turn it into bread eventually. Through all the steps, she asks for help from the lazy farmyard creatures around her. They don’t help her plant the wheat, cut the wheat, thresh the wheat, carry the flour to the mill or bake the bread. Each time, the Little Red Hen had to be an independent hen and do it herself! When it came to eating the bread, the lazy farmyard creatures were ready to help her eat it. She simply told them that she had done all of the work so she was going to eat it all with her chicks to help her! 🙂

I loved this story so much growing up and I still think that it is utterly charming!

Next Fairy Tale- The Ship Of Wheat

 

Fairy Tale Friday- Androcles And The Lion

I hadn’t read this story before but I really enjoyed reading it. I love a good story about friendship and that’s what I got!

It centres around Androcles who was a Roman slave that belonged to a very harsh master. He worked hard, but he was treated awfully. He had to sleep on the floor and eat out of the dog’s bowl. One night, after a severe beating, Androcles decided to flee. He ended up in a cave and lay down to rest. Unbeknown to Androcles, he was around a lion. The lion growled at him, but didn’t leap to devour him. Instead the lion limped and lay down. Androcles was a good person and couldn’t see any creature suffer. He carefully studied the lion’s paw and then took out a thorn that was embedded within its paw. The lion gratefully licked Androcles.

A few days later, the master’s men were riding by. They saw Androcles and took him off to prison. Androcles was told that runaways went into the emperor’s arena. A week later, he was taken into the arena. There was nowhere to hide. Androcles heard a ferocious roar. He closed his eyes and waited to be attacked. However, he felt two paws land on his shoulders and a tongue licking his face. It was the lion! Androcles greeted his old friend.

When the emperor heard Androcles’s story, he told him that he had earned his freedom by his kindness. He was told to take the lion back to the mountains where he belonged.

Aww ❤

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- The Little Red Hen