Swedish Rumplestiltskin

04/20/2009 § 1 Comment

“…and if she really could spin gold out of mud

and straw, he would take her for his queen.”

It must be nice to be a king and have the luxury of such high standards.

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Spin is a tale like Rumplestiltskin….only Swedish. It is basically the same. Except here, the troll who does the trick for the little lady, who is of course a beautiful peasant (is it me or are all peasants unbelievably beautiful? Or ugly? There is no average peasant), is named Tittelliture (the troll, not the lady. Sorry it’s such a bad sentence but I’m feeling lazy). Wikipedia says it’s something else, but it’s wrong.

Instead of wanting the first born child (as in the German tale) he wants to marry the beautiful peasant girl. I must admit, this seems a much better deal than getting someones baby. What is old boy Rumple, who lives in a tree (if memory serves), going to do with a baby? Maybe he’s just going to turn it into a stew or something, or he’s been trying to adopt. Who knows really?

Baby’s are work. So it’s probably the stew option.

So anyways, the king randomly discovers the funny little man singing a little song about his name, which is a funny thing to do. Singing about oneself in general is kind of strange.

Then the troll is so upset he explodes, which is awesome.

Swedish Folktales

01/12/2009 § 2 Comments

The introduction to Swedish Folktales & Legends is quite good. I usually read introductions obligatorily; never really enjoying them. There are a few exceptions of course, when the subject matter is partiularly interesting. Oddly enough, they never seem that well written to me, unless it’s like a Kurt Vonnegut intro or something, in which case it is just the first chapter of the book.

Lone Thygesen Blecher, editor of this edition, does an exceptional job with his introduction and relates the story of his mother, who fits very nicely into any edition of fairy tales. She was daughter to a carpenter (+1), on an island (+1), living next to woods (+1), who worked as a maid on a farm getting harrassed by boys because she was pretty and young (+2), who then escapes hiding among life-boats on an ocean liner (+4), and finds a kind schoolteacher to marry in Copenhagen (+2).

Wow. Quite a story. More than a 10 on my scale of things, in which I award points arbitrarily.

Point is, that is why fairy tales are great. They are found in every day life. Now, my life doesn’t really seem like a fairy tale, but if I reduce it to a few sentences it might….

Grew up in the shadow of the best city on earth (+1). Lived across the street from a cornfield with a mean farmer (+1). Travelled around the midwest getting adventures (+2). Ended up in City (+1).

Clearly not as good as the Swedish maid’s story. Possibly because I had no real antagonists like she had in the farm boys. And no boat…or woods.

Also, another point is that time and perception really alter things. The past is always somewhat fetching because we remember stuff how we want. And for better or worse I think I want to remember my past and everyone else’s past like a fairytale.

Hey Jer, remember when you fought that Troll in our front yard under the magic tree? (+4)

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