Just like many of the fairy tales in this collection, I didn’t know much about this story before I read it. It’s about some sailors that are on two ships that are going north to explore. The sailors meet some Eskimos! One sailor curls up to sleep with his bible. This sailor is incredibly religious and he believes when the body is at rest the soul lives and acts. The sailor ends up dreaming about his grandmother. He also dreams about the girl he likes. In his dream he sees the girl and his grandmother reading a letter that had come from very far away. They read that in the uttermost parts of the sea HIS right hand would be a stay and a safety.
This little tale is about five brothers who really want to be something! They want to do something with their lives. The eldest brother becomes a brick-maker, the second becomes a mason, the third an architect, the fourth becomes an inventor and the fifth a critic. Quite some jobs! When the youngest brother (the critic) is waiting to be let into heaven, he speaks to an old lady who had sacrificed herself to save others. The angel wants to let the old lady into heaven, understandably! The lady pleads with the angel to let him into heaven, because his brother gave her some bricks. The angel doesn’t think this is good enough and tells him he needs to do a good deed before she lets him into heaven. The critic doesn’t argue back even though it’s something he’s used to doing!
Next Fairy Tale- The Uttermost Part Of The Sea
I’m loving this feature for finding books that I hadn’t know much about or even heard of. That was the case for this week’s fairy tale The Happy Family. It centres around a family of snails that live in a burdock forest. These snails were ancient. They didn’t realise just how old they were, but knew that the forest had been planted for them. They knew that if they ever left their burdock leaf they would be boiled, turn black and lay upon a silver dish. The mother and the father snail want a wife for their son. They use the ants and gnats to search for the wife. In the end, the son marries and the family of snails are super happy!
Next Fairy Tale- Something
This week’s fairy tale is also known as The Winners. It’s a short story about a group of animals on a committee. There’s been a race involving a hare and a snail. All of the animals have different ideas of what it means to be a winner so much arguing occurs! All that really happens is the argument about what a winner is! It doesn’t take long to read at all. I don’t think it’s the most memorable fairy tale but it was a quick read nevertheless!
Next Fairy Tale- The Happy Family
This week’s fairy tale was a short one, but I did enjoy it! It starts with a queen who is going to die unless the most beautiful rose in the world is taken to her. The rose must be like the blossom on a child’s cheeks. They search and search for the world’s most beautiful rose. Finally, the son realises that the most beautiful rose in the world would come from Christ. It is the rose that grew from His blood that would be the most beautiful rose in the world. Through knowing this, the queen becomes stronger as she pictures the rose growing out of the bible, representing when Christ was on the cross.
Next Fairy Tale- The Racers
This fairy tale is also known as The Bog King’s Daughter. It’s one of the longer Hans Christian Andersen’s tales. Whilst I thought it was an okay tale to read, it didn’t capture my imagination and attention as much as other tales.
It tells the very old story that storks tell their kids. The first storks to tell the story, was actually part of the story. It centres around a mother and father stork who are in a Danish marsh. They’re arguing one day when they see three swans fly down. One comes down and casts off her swan skin leaving a maiden behind. The other two swans tear up her swan skin (pleasant!) and leave her in the marsh. The marsh king comes up from the marsh and drags her under.
After a while, the storks see a stalk growing from the marsh with a little baby girl inside. They choose to bring her to the Viking chief’s wife who really wants a child. However, the child is totally problematic, because she’s a mixture of the princess who’d been in the swan skin and the marsh king. She is a beautiful human child with an evil personality and by night she’s an ugly frog but is incredibly sweet.
The storks lean that the princess had been sent north to get a remedy for her ill father. The two swans that had betrated her by tearing her swan skin had lied and said how she’s been killed by a hunter. The storks are totally annoyed by this because they know the truth. They steal the swan skins and bring them with them as they go north.
The girl, who they name Helga, grows up. She’s totally ruthless and asks to kill a Christian priest that the Vikings have captured. When it comes to it though, Helga is a frog, she sneaks out in her frog shape and releases the priest from prison. The priest takes Helga with him. When she turns into the evil girl, he prays for her and she stops acting evilly. The priest teaches Helga about Christ and she wants to be baptized. As if enough hadn’t happened to Helga and the priest, they are attacked by some robbers. The priest and their horse dies. Helga, in her frog formation builts them a burial mound. Her genuine kindness turns her into a human for good.
The priest’s ghost returns to Helga and tells her she must go back to the marsh. She rides the ghostly horse with the priest. Helga sees a shape just like hers underneath the water. Helga realises that it’s her mother and pulls her out.
Helga turns out to be the flower of the deep water and her presence heals. Everything seems to be going well. She’s about to marry a prince. On her wedding night, a vision of the priest appears and Helga wants to see the face of God. The priest agrees. Helga is so intrigued and awed that she asks for more time. When Helga eventually returns to the celebration there’s no one there. She sees the storks and tries to talk to them as friends. Surprisingly, they don’t know who she is. Helga has been gone for centuries! As the rising sun’s rays touch her, Helga turns into dust!
Next Fairy Tale- The Loveliest Rose In The World
This fairy tale is also known as The Pixy and The Grocer and The Goblin and The Grocer. In the story, a goblin lives with a grocer and his wife. The goblin is treated well with porridge and butter which is a real luxury. The goblin spies on a student that lives upstairs. One day the student comes down to the shop to buy cheese and candles. He realises that the cheese is wrapped up in a page from a poetry book. He buys the book instead of the cheese joking that the grocer knew nothing about poetry. The goblin was offended by this and used magic to make everything speak in the room. All of the objects said that poetry was pretty useless.
The goblin goes to tell the student, but is enticed by a tree of light in the student’s room. He keeps going back to visit the tree of light, watching it through a peephole. He couldn’t afford to leave the grocers as he was fed so well there. One day there was a fire and the goblin decided to save the poetry as he realised it was quite precious after all.
Next Fairy Tale- The Marsh King’s Daughter