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The Town Musicians of Bremen

bremen musiciansThe Town Musicians of Bremen is a folktale recorded by the Brothers Grimm. It is about four animals who have worked hard all their lives. They are now too old to work and face either being badly treated or killed by their owners. One by one they leave their homes and set out together to become musicians in the town of Bremen. However, they never reach Bremen because of something that happens on the way.

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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.

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Wise Folks

wise folksIn this folktale, a mean farmer is angry at his foolish wife who allowed a man to cheat her out of two cows while he was away visiting friends. He had promised to beat her until she was black and blue if she did not get a good price for the cows. However, he decides to save the beating for another time if he can find someone more foolish than she is. He soon finds such a person: a widow who is worried about how well her dead husband is doing in Heaven. The farmer then makes up for losing the two cows by cheating the widow out of a purse full of money and stealing a fine horse from her son. At the end of the story, he seems to think that it is OK to take advantage of simple minded people.

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The Golden Goose

the golden gooseThe Golden Goose is a fairytale first recorded by the Brothers Grimm. It is about a kind but not very clever young man who one day shares his food with a hungry old man. The old man tells him where to find a goose that has feathers of gold. The king has a daughter who has never laughed, and has promised that she will marry the first man to make her laugh. The goose helps the young man to do this. However, the king tells him there are three more things that he must do to marry the girl.

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