Fairy Tale Friday – The Shoemaker and The Dragon

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

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Fairy Tale Friday- The Glass Knight

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

Fairy Tale Friday- How The Bear Clan Learnt To Heal

This week’s fairy tale is one I hadn’t come across before, but it is a lovely one with a moral which I’m finding is common for quite a few fairy/folk tales.

It centres around three young hunters who come across a rabbit. They already have a lot of game but shoot at the rabbit anyway. They are surprised when their arrows come back with no blood. They shoot again but the rabbit has disappeared. In its place is an old man. The old man is sick and asks for their help. They refuse to help him, not realising the man is following them. The old man sees skin hanging on a pole which shows that there’s a clan within the lodges. He asks for some help from the wolf clan but they don’t want any sickness around them. The same happened with the beaver, turtle, deer, hawk, snipe and heron. No one wanted to help him. 😦

The man came across the bear clan. The bear clan mother saw how sick the man was and welcomed him inside. She gave him food and warmth. The next day, the old man told the woman which herbs to fetch to heal him. Soon he was healed. The man stayed with the bear clan for a few days more becoming sick again. This time the old man told her which roots to getch. She did so. Every single time the man fell ill, he could tell the woman what to get. Before long, the woman knew more about healing than anyone else.

The man told the woman that he was sent from the Great Spirit to teach her how to heal. He told her that she was the only one that helped him out. He had imparted his knowledge and now all of the clans would come to the bear clan because they were the most knowledgeable and the greatest.

Before the woman knew it, the man had disappeared. All she saw was a rabbit running away.

Next Fairy Tale- The Glass Knight

Fairy Tale Friday- The Basket Of Eggs (An Easter Story)

This week’s fairy tale is a sweet little Easter story.

It starts with King Winter reigning over the dark months of Winter. He sits on a frosty throne commanding the winter weather to fall. Soon, sunlight begins to beam down and King Winter realises that Spring is on its way. Spring is a female in the case. Spring walks where Winter reigned melting everything in her pathway. Signs of Spring popped up and everyone seemed much happier.

The animals in the wood were preparing for Easter. They were having conversations about who should carry the basket of eggs to the village for the children. Animals like the weasel and bear wanted to, but the other animals surmised that they needed a gentle creature that the children wouldn’t be scared of. They decided to go with a white rabbit.

The world wasn’t ready for Easter yet as the flowers were deciding which one should be the Easter flower. The rose was too thorny and the violet was too shy. They decided to go with the lily because it was as pure as the heart of Jesus.

The world was still not ready for Easter yet as they were waiting to see which bird should sing on Easter morning. The crow was too harsh, the sparrow was too chirpy. They decided to go for the robin because it had a musical voice and its breast was red like the blood of Jesus. The robin wanted to know what tree to sing from. The oak wanted to be used, but the cross Jesus carried was made of oak. The pine was too prickly. The robin decided to sing from the willow tree because a willow wept to see Jesus suffer.

Finally Easter was ready!

I had never heard of this tale before but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

Next Fairy Tale- How The Bear Clan Learnt To Heal

Fairy Tale Friday- Two March Tales

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

Fairy Tale Friday- The Pot Of Gold

For this week’s fairy tale I looked at the Irish tale of The Pot Of Gold. I looked at this one as tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.

This story centres around a character called Donal O’Malley. He was walking along one day when he heard some hammering and tapping. It turns out it was a leprechaun. Donal was very excited as he knew that if you found a leprechaun, they had to tell you where they’d hidden their pot of gold. He was desperate to be rich. The leprechaun tried to delay telling Donal where his pot of gold was.  However, he tricked Donal. He took him to the middle of a cabbage field and showed him a specific spot where the pot of gold was buried. Donal needed a spade to pick up the cabbage to retrieve the gold.

Donal decides to tie a red ribbon around the cabbage and rushes off to get a spade. Before he goes, he warns the leprechaun not to touch the cabbage. The leprechaun promises but whilst Donal goes away, the leprechaun ties red ribbons around all of the other cabbages. How crafty!

When Donal returns, there’s no sign of the leprechaun. All Donal can hear is a chuckle and the tap and hammer of the leprechaun…

Next Fairy Tales- Gelert The Hound and The Bird Wife

Fairy Tale Friday- Grandmother

This is my last fairy tale in my Classic Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. I’ve enjoyed exploring his tales, some of which were completely new to me.

This week  I read Grandmother. It’s all about an old lady who loves to look at a rose. She keeps it in her hymn book as it makes her relive the past. Grandmother dies and a rose tree is planted in memory of the dear lady. The preserved dust (and Grandmother!) eventually turn to dust, but everyone’s memories of the rose and Grandmother still remain.

Next Fairy Tale- A Year of Fairy Tales begins…