Cap O’ Rushes

cap o' rushesThe beginning of this folktale has been likened to that of Shakespeare’s King Lear. A rich man asks his daughters how much they love him. One answers in a way that he doesn’t understand, making him think she doesn’t love him. He throws her out of the house, which leads to some “Cinderella-like” adventures. There is no magic fairy godmother in this story, but the girl still manages to turn her bad luck into a “happily ever after” type of ending.

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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.

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Mr Miacca

mr miaccaMr Miacca is an English folktale of the type, where adults tell stories of imaginary beings to frighten children into being good. In the story, a boy does something wrong twice and finds himself about to be cooked for Mr Miacca’s dinner. He gets away the first time by tricking Mrs Miacca, but the second time Mr Miacca has other ideas.

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(n: bogyman pl bogymen) An imaginary monster or bad person, used by adults or older children to frighten bad children into good behavior. 12000

Kate Crackernuts

kate crackernutsWhat’s this? A where a wicked queen doesn’t come to a terrible end! And two step-sisters don’t hate each other but love one another so much that they give up everything and run away together when one of them has a problem! Where is the fun in that? This is also a “reverse” version of the Brothers Grimm tale Twelve Dancing Princesses. Here it is a prince who goes out to dance all night and a princess who saves him. But the princesses danced all night because they loved to. Why does the prince dance all night when it is slowly killing him? The answers to these questions could be found in a so-called “corrupt” version of the story. There is more information about this in our Comments below.

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folktale(n: folktale pl folktales) A story that is part of the traditions of a group of people and was handed down in spoken form before books and printing. 9000

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.

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