This week’s fairy tale is a Japanese story. It centres around two brothers.
Prince Fire Flash was a fisherman and his brother, Prince Fire Fade was a skilled hunter. One day Prince Fire Fade suggested that they swap work for the day. Prince Fire Flash wasn’t keen on the idea, but he went with it. Both of them weren’t very successful. Prince Fire Fade had lost the fish hook in the sea. He made five hundred fish hooks out of his sword, but Prince Fire Flash refused to accept them. He made another five hundred but Prince Fire Flash was too angry. He wanted his own.
Prince Fire Fade was very upset. The Wise Old Man came along and asked him why he was so unhappy. Prince Fire Fade told him the story of the fish hook. The Wise Old Man gave Prince Fire Fade a boat made out of plaited bamboo leaves. He told him to sail out until the boat began to sink. Under the sea he’d meet the Sea King’s daughter who would tell him what to do.
Prince Fire Fade did exactly that. He came across Princess Pearl who he was fascinated by. Princess Pearl saw Prince Fire Fade’s reflection in the well. She ran to tell her father. Her father knew of Prince Fire Fade because he was such a great hunter. They invited him to stay. Prince Fire Fade settled into life with Princess Pearl and her family. They fell in love and he forgot the reason why he had come.
A few years later, Princess Pearl questioned her husband as to why he had such a faraway look in his eyes. He told her of his brother’s lost fish hook. The princess offered her help. She summoned the creatures of the sea and asked them to find the fish hook belonging to Prince Fire Flash. A lobster explained the Tai had been complaining of something stuck in his throat. It turns out that it was the fish hook. Princess Pearl managed to release the Tai of the fish hook. Prince Fire Fade knew it was time to return the fish hook to his brother.
Prince Fire Fade was given two jewels by the Sea King. One ruled the flow of the tide and the other the ebb. The Sea King explained that if Prince Fire Flash was still angry, then he could bring out the tide-flowing jewel and he will be drowned. If he asks for forgiveness, the tide-ebbing jewel would save him.
Prince Fire Flash was still angry with him, so out came the tide-flowing jewel. As the sea surrounded Prince Fire Flash he begged for forgiveness. The tide-ebbing jewel saved him. The brothers reunited. Prince Fire Fade build a house and Princess Pearl came to live there, bringing the news that she was going to have a baby!
Next Fairy Tale- The Boots of Hunain
This fairy tale was all about a princess who was so beautiful she was called Dear Delight Of The World. Everyone from Princes, warriors and Gods went to gaze at the princess and offer her gifts. Each one of them wanted her to be their ride. The princess listened to her admirers, but none of them captured her heart. She would merely shake her head and then they’d go away.
The God of Autumn was determined to win her heart. He was handsome, brave and strong, but she didn’t want anything to do with him. When she turned him down, he was gutted and couldn’t understand why. His brother, The God of Spring, who was with him said that he’d propose to her the next day. The God of Autumn roared with laughter. The God of Spring was so infatuated that he didn’t care.
The brothers had a bet that if she accepted Spring’s proposal then Autumn would give them a cask of rice wine. If not, Spring would have to give Autumn the cask. Spring accepted.
He went to his mother and asked for her help with preparing for his proposal to the Princess. His mother saw love in his eyes and got to work finding a new robe, sandals and a bow and arrow. She used magically made him his items ready for the big day. When his mother handed him the items, he thought they looked dull but didn’t want to be ungrateful. He thanked his mum and set off.
When arriving at the palace, the God of Spring looked dull, especially to the Princess’s maids. When the Princess looked at Spring, she saw all the magic and beauty that his mother had put into the items and immediately accepted his proposal.
Autumn was incredibly jealous and refused to fulfil the bet. He wished them a lifetime of misery. When their mother found out about Autumn’s anger, she cut a hollow cane of bamboo and filled it with salt and stones. Then she wrapped the bamboo with leaves and hung it up above the fire. She spoke the words that when green leaves fade and die, so shall he, her Autumn son.
That’s why, the story says, Spring is fresh and merry and Autumn is the saddest time.
Next Fairy Tale- The Wee Bannock
I hadn’t heard of this story before but I really enjoyed it! It’s about a rabbit and a crab that have a race, to get the carrot/carrot tops that they have grown together. It reminded me of The Tortoise and The Hare.
Crab was a sneaky character. Sneaky but clever you might say! After not agreeing about dividing up the carrots and carrot tops. Rabbit suggests a race to the big cactus. Whoever got to the big cactus first got the carrots, and whoever got their last would get the carrot tops. Rabbit wanted to let Crab go first but Crab insisted that Rabbit should go first. Rabbit thought he was foolish, but in fact Crab had seized Rabbit’s tail had had been taken along for the ride. As Rabbit reached the cactus and turned around to see where Crab was, Crab released his claws and dropped onto the carrot pile.
Rabbit was very cross and thought he must have been tricked, but he couldn’t work out how he’d been beaten by a slow crab!
Next Fairy Tale- The Cracked Pot
This week’s fairy tale is a Polish story. It centres around King Krak who lived in a castle on the top of a hill. King Krak’s kingdom was not a happy one. Down in the kingdom below, there was a terrifying dragon called Smok Wawelski.
Smok Wawelski terrified everyone. He stole cattle, set fire to houses and took people back to his lair. Brave men tried to fight Smok, but they couldn’t get close enough without being burned to cinders. Princess Wanda offered her hand in marriage to anyone who could defeat the dragon.
Many men arrived desperate to marry the princess. But everyone ended up meeting the same fate. A clever shoemaker watched others fail and decided that he would venture out to buy some sulphur. The miner told him to be careful with it. The shoemaker bought three dead sheep and filled their stomachs with sulphur. Then he stitched them up and put them on his cart.
The sheep were pushed right infront of the dragon’s lair. He hurried out of sight but watched for Smok. Smok soon found the sheep and took a bite, then devoured the three sheep. Smok went back to his lair to rest. Moments later, Smok came out desperate for water, but no matter how much he drank he couldn’t stop the fiery feeling in his belly. He got bigger and bigger until he exploded.
At once, people came running and realised what the shoemaker had done. He got to marry Princess Wanda!
Next Fairy Tale- Rabbit and Crab
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