Archives

Tom Tit Tot

tom tit totIn this fairytale, a woman lies to a king about her daughter being good at using a spinning-wheel. For some reason this is just the kind of girl the king wants to marry. Unfortunately, the poor girl isn’t good at anything except eating and needs the help of a strange creature in order to keep her head. Then, to avoid an even worse fate, she must guess the creature’s name. In his book “English Fairy Tales”, Joseph Jacobs wrote: “The story of Tom Tit Tot …is one of the best folk-tales that have ever been collected, far superior to any of the continental variants of this tale with which I am acquainted.” I am afraid that we can’t agree. To learn why, we suggest that you read the story and then have a look at our comments below.

Story, Quiz, Vocabulary Help & More…

The False Prince and True

the false prince and trueThis Portuguese folktale starts off with a king learning about an argument between his son and a young noble on a tennis court. The prince spoke rudely to the noble, who lost his temper and hit the prince. This is punishable by death, but the king is more angry at the prince than the noble because his son did not fight back. The only person who can help the noble is a very ugly, very old woman. However, she will not tell him what he must do in order to save his life unless he agrees to marry her. As is often the case in folktales, there is a lot of magic around and many things turn out to be different to the way they first appeared.

Story, Quiz, Vocabulary Help & More…

Sweet Porridge

sweet porridgeIn this folktale (also known as “The Magic Porridge Pot”), a poor but good little girl looking for something to eat is given a magic pot by a kind old woman. When someone said some special words, the pot cooked sweet porridge. The only problem was that special words were also needed to make the pot stop cooking. There are a number of other folktales with similar themes, as well as a poem which inspired a short piece of orchestral music that has since become famous thanks to a 1940 Disney movie.

Story, Vocabulary Help & More…

Fairy Ointment

fairy ointmentIn this folktale, a strange looking little old man asks a nurse to come to his house to help his sick wife look after their baby boy. The man’s wife gives the nurse some ointment to put on the baby’s eyes. Being curious, the nurse puts some of the ointment on one of her own eyes. The family seemed normal enough up to this point. However, the ointment helps the nurse to learn their secret.

Story, Quiz, Vocabulary Help & More…