Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- The Feast

Welcome to the last Fairy Tale Friday of the year! This week I have a very short tale for you that is from Africa.

It centres around a chief who decided to have a big gathering for his people. He sent a messenger to tell every village his plans to have a splendid feast for everyone. All the chief wanted, was that each man had to bring a gourd of palm wine to add to the pot. Everyone was really excited and dressed in their best clothes.

One woman asked her husband to fill a gourd with palm wine to take with them. He told her that they didn’t have any. She replied that he had to go out and buy some. The man didn’t see why he should go out and spend money when the feast was free. She explained that they had to contribute just like everyone else. The man decided that if everyone was contributing then it wouldn’t be noticed if he filled the gourd with water instead of wine. Despite his wife thinking otherwise, the man filled the gourd with water. He thought he had been very clever.

The Chief welcomed everyone and took the first drink. He was rather solemn as he spoke about the quality of the wine they had brought. He said he realised how much they valued his hospitality. The other guests took a drink and there was nothing but water in each cup!

😦 How ungrateful!

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- Father Frost

Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- Uncle Martin

We’re getting festive here on Fairy Tale Friday. This story is set on Christmas Eve. Old Uncle Martin, the shoemaker, stepped out to look at the falling snow. He remembered how much he loved Christmas when his wife was alive and his children were young. He thought of the happy times they had. Even though he was alone, he said it was still a special day.

Uncle Martin went inside, lit his lamp and made some coffee. He took his Bible from the shelf and found the Christmas story. He read about how Jesus was born in a stable, because there was nowhere else for Mary and Joseph to stay. Uncle Martin thought about if they had come to him then he would’ve given up his won bed. He read about the wise men who brought gifts and realised he wouldn’t have had a gift for Jesus. He caught sight of a tiny pair of shoes on the shelf and decided that he would’ve given those as they were the finest shoes he had made.

That night, Uncle Martin dreamt that someone had come into his room. The voice told him that he had wished to see him and give him a gift. The voice told him that he should look for him tomorrow and he would come.

When Uncle Martin woke the next day, he knew it was Jesus that had spoken to him. He made his morning coffee and looked out to see if Jesus was coming. All he saw was the road sweeper, shovelling snow. Uncle Martin invited him in for some warmth and coffee. Uncle Martin told the man about his dream and the man hoped his dream would come true.

Uncle Martin then saw a family coming up the road carrying heavy bundles. Their clothes were thin, so he invited them into his house. The family explained that they were refugees that had to leave their country and now were travelling to their new home. The mother pulled back the cover on the bundle and there was a baby. Uncle Martin found some clothes that belonged to his wife and children, then he fetched a coat of his own for the father to wear. Uncle Martin told them about his dream and the family wished that it would come true. Uncle Martin remembered the tiny shoes and gave them to the mother for the baby.

All day, Uncle Martin waited for Jesus, he kept on doing good deeds whilst he waited. At the end of the day, Uncle Martin realised that it must’ve been a dream. Suddenly he was not alone. Each person he had helped appeared and whispered ‘Didn’t you see me?’. Uncle Martin realised that he had been visited by Jesus and he was made up! 🙂

Although I’m not a religious person, this story really touched my heart! ❤ A very Merry Christmas to all those that celebrate!

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- The Feast

Fairy/Folk Tale Friday- East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon

This fairy tale is all about a man and his wife that were so poor that their children didn’t have any shoes and went to bed early. One winter’s evening, the man heard some taps at his window. He went outside to investigate and it was a white bear. He asked whether he could help the bear and the bear said that he would help the man if he gave him one of his daughters. The bear would make the man rich. The man thought about it but said that he couldn’t give away one of his daughters. The bear began to walk away but he head a voice. It was Eva, the man’s youngest daughter. She said she’d go with the bear if the bear made her dad rich. The bear told Eva to climb onto his back to keep her warm.

The bear took Eva through the forest. Inside a cave was a warm fire and dinner waiting. After dinner, the bear took Eva to a room with a four poster bed and pillows. Just before falling asleep, Eva heard somebody come into the room. She asked if it was the bear but all she heard was a gentle snore.

Time passed and Eva spent more and more time with the bear. She grew really happy with him and began to love him but she did miss her family. He told her she could visit her family with him but not to listen to any of her mother’s advice as that would bring her bad luck. Eva and her family had a wonderful reunion. She told them about the bear and the visitor that came into her room at night. Her mother advised her to light and candle whilst the visitor slept so that he could have a look at him.

That night, Eva ignored what the bear had told her and lit a candle when the visitor came. she was surprised to see a handsome prince lying by her bed. As she leant over him, some candlewax fell onto him. The prince woke up and was annoyed with Eva. He explained to her that his stepmother had bewitched her. He had to love with her for a year without being seen to break the curse. Now he had to marry the stepmother’s daughter who was a troll princess! The prince said he could be found in a castle that was east of the sun and west of the moon. Then the prince disappeared.

Eva set off to find the castle. She walked for days until she came across an old woman carrying a golden apple. The woman did not know where to find the castle, but she gave Eva the golden apple. Eva walked on and met another old woman who was carrying a golden comb. Again, the woman didn’t know where to find the castle but she offered Eva the golden comb.  The next woman that Eva came across was sitting at a golden spinning wheel. The woman told Eva that only the North Wind knew how to get to the castle. She gave Eva the golden spinning wheel.

Eva searched until she found the North Wind. The North Wind took Eva up to the castle and blew her beneath the castle window. The troll princess really wanted the golden apple and Eva asked to stay the night with the prince as a trade. The troll princess agreed but gave the prince a sleeping potion. The next day the troll princess asked for the golden comb, but again a potion had been administered to the prince. By the third day, the troll princess was after the golden spinning wheel. The prince was suspicious of his troll princess and only pretended to take the potion. Eva was delighted to see the prince awake and told him what had happened.

The prince told Eva that she could save him. He told his stepmother that he would marry the girl who could wash the candlewax off his shirt. The troll princess made it filthy. As soon as Eva touched the shirt it became clean again. The prince said he would marry Eva and the stepmother and the troll princess were so angry they exploded on the spot!

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- Uncle Martin

Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- The Woodcutter and The Wolf

I hadn’t heard of this story before, so I loved getting stuck into it. I’m loving this collection of stories for introducing me to new stories from around the world.

This story starts with a woodcutter’s wife sending him to the market to buy two loaves of black bread. On his way back, a huge grey wold stepped out onto the path. The wolf growled at the woodcutter. Scared, he threw bits of the bread to the wolf. As the wolf began to eat it, the woodcutter hurried past. Moments later, the wold came after him. The woodcutter tore more bread off. This kept on happening until he reached the edge of the forest and his wife waiting for him at their door. The wife asked where the bread was and he explained that he had given it to the wolf. She was really cross with him for wasting good bread and leaving them for nothing to have with their soup. The woodcutter looked book at the hungry wolf and tossed him the last piece of bread. As they ate their soup, the wife moaned about the wolf and said that she wished he would suffer a terrible fate. She didn’t realise there was a grey shadow outside listening in.

Mons later, the woodcutter returned to the market, hoping to buy a cow after working really hard. However, the cows were too expensive. He was about to go home, but a tall stranger dressed in grey approached him. The stranger told him that he’d gladly give the woodcutter a cow as a gift. The woodcutter questioned his kindness. The stranger smiled and told him that the woodcutter had shown kindness to a hungry wolf and he wanted to repay what was given in equal measure. The stranger also gave the woodcutter a little box a a gift for his wife.

The woodcutter went home, leading the cow through the forest. He was curious as to what was in the box for his wife and had a little peak. As he opened the box, a tall flame leapt out and set fire to the tree. The woodcutter dropped the box and was thrilled he had opened it and not his wife as she would’ve been burnt! The fire spread and wrecked the forest, but the woodcutter didn’t mind. He had a fine cow and became a cheesemaker, living very happily with his wife!

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- Conall And The Thunder Hag


Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- How Grandmother Spider Brought Fire

This tale was set back when the Earth was first made. The world was cold and dark and life was hard for people and animals. One day a Raven called everyone to a great gathering. He had heard that there was something called ‘fire’ on the other side of the world. It created light and heat. The animals weren’t sure what light and heat was, but they knew that if the other side of the world had it that they should have it too.

Fox suggested that they should share some of the fire with the other side of the world. Possum suggested that because he was a great hunter he would find the fire and bring some back in his tail. Possum journeyed to the other side of the world and got some fire, but it of course, quickly burnt all of his hair and then went out. Possum returned without any fire and that’s why to this day, all possums have bare tails. Buzzard decided to have a go, but his head feathers soon burnt out. This is said to be why buzzards have bald, red heads. (Ha!) Finally, Grandmother Spider suggested that she should go. Raven wasn’t convinced as Possum and Buzzard had failed. Grandmother Spider insisted that even though she was small, she was skilful.

Grandmother Spider went down to the river and found some clay which she shaped into a bot. Then she took a thorn and made a small hole in the lid. She put the pot on her back and fixed it with thread. She spun a web all the way to the other side of the world. The fire was easy to find. She put a piece in the clay plot and closed the lid again. She followed her way back along the web back to the gathering.

The rest of the animals were amazed when she returned as the fire blazed brightly once Grandmother Spider had removed the lid. For the first time, they saw each other with the light from the fire. They felt warmth on their fur, feathers and skin.  Raven asked who would look after the fire. Possum and Buzzard backed away, having being literally burnt by the fire. The people stepped forward and said they’d look over it.

Grandmother Spider taught the people how to tend to the fire to keep it alive. She spun a web high up into the sky and threw sparks from her pot to make the sun, the moon and the stars so there was enough light and warmth for the whole world!

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- The Woodcutter And The Wolf

Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- The Gift Of A Cow-Tail Switch

This little tale takes place in West Africa and it centres around a hunter who had three sons. The hunter took his spear and bow and arrow across his back one day and set off to go hunting. His wife was soon to have another child. The hunter hadn’t arrived home by sunset. His wife and sons waited for him all night but he didn’t appear. Several days later, the wife told her sons to go and look for him. They set out to look for their father but they found no signs of him. As weeks passed, they thought of the hunter but never spoke of him. A baby girl was soon born.

As the baby girl grew to a child, her first words surprisingly were ‘Where is my father?’ The mother felt awful to have forgotten her husband and sent her sons to look for them once more. At last, the sons found some bones with their father’s spear and bow and arrows lying by them. The first son knelt down and breathed on his father’s bones. The bones started to twitch. They rolled towards each other and joined themselves into a skeleton. (Ok, I’m a little creeped out!)

The second son knelt down and breathed onto the skeleton. His father’s muscles and flesh grew back again and covered the bones. The third son breathed on the body. The hunter inhaled deeply and opened his eyes. He asked the boys what had happened. The boys told him he was dead, but now he could come home once more. The hunter and his sons returned home and there was a great celebration.

After the meal, the hunter sat down by the fire and carved a piece of wood. The three sons watched as he carved all sorts of animals, bird, trees and flowers. The hunter made a fine black cow’s tail and fixed it onto the wooden handle. The daughter asked what it was. He told her it was a cow-tail switch that would keep the flies away. He said it was for the person that had brought him back to life.

The three sons said it was them, but the hunter brought his daughter closer and told her that she was the one who brought him back to life. She had remembered him and as long as a man is remembered, he is never really dead.

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy Tale/Folk Tale- How Grandmother Brought Fire

Fairy Tale/Folk Tale Friday- How The Pine-Tree Chief Got His Name

This week’s tale begins in Autumn when the forest was busy with birds. We meet a boy running along the woodland trail happy to feel the warm sun on his face. He noticed something hanging from the branch of a bush. He wondered what it was. The boy worked out that it as a little cradle board, smaller than his thumb. He lifted it down and held it in his hands. A tiny baby popped out which surprised him. The boy realised that the baby needed someone to look after it. The boy told the baby that he would take it home to his mother who already had nine children but wouldn’t mind looking after it too.

The boy tried to leave, but he could not move his feet as he wished. He kept on circling the bush. The boy heard a sharp cry and a very small woman begged him for her baby. He realised that the tiny woman really loved her child and that’s why the boy could not leave with the baby. He put the baby on her back, safe where it belonged. The little woman told the boy to take off his necklace of beads and threaded a bright stone from her bag onto his necklace. She told him that they give the stone to people who protect the weak. She said it would bring him whatever he wanted. The little woman told him he was a king and good boy. If he continued to wear the stone, one day he might be a mighty chief. The woman then jumped onto an oak tree and disappeared.

The boy ran down the woodland trail and from that day on the boy had incredibly good luck in every single thing that he did. The old people of his tribe decided to call him Luck-in-all-moons. Luck-in-all-moons always protected his families and the weak. He had a good heart. The elders of the tribe eventually made him a chief because of his ability to serve his people well. They said he stood strong like the pine tree and his feet were planted deep in wisdom. He was then called the Pine-Tree Chief. The Pine-Tree Chief thought of the tiny baby and was always grateful.

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)   

Next Fairy/Folk Tale- The Gift Of A Cow-Tail Switch