(2/20/04 2:11 pm)
helpful animals in fairy tales|
I am writing on paper on the role of helpful animals in fairy tales and was wondering if anyone had any information that would help me out. I chose three stories the analyze, which are puss-in-boots, the fisherman and his wife, and the tinderbox. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could help me out of give my helpful websties.
(2/20/04 5:10 pm)
Re: helpful animals in fairy tales|
Have you read the annotated version of Puss in Boots on SurLaLune? Don't miss it at
(2/24/04 9:40 pm)
... and a mouse who plays blind man's buff with a bear....|
Those aren't really typical of the 'animal helper' motif. Puss in Boots comes closest, but Puss is too human, and goes to meet the humans himself.
More typical are the bull in "Black Bull of Norroway" or the fox in the Blue Falcon story (or other versions of 'Water of Life' iirc). Those accompany the protagonist through most of the story, guiding him.
Sometimes the protagonist's horse talks and gives good advice as the adventure goes along.
In a different motif, the protagonist does favors for several animals who later appear and do favors for him: see "The Queen Bee." In "The Crystal Sphere/Ball", the animals that show up at the right time are the protagonist's own siblings, cursed and separated at the beginning of the story. I think there are some Russian stories where animals show up to help, who are in-laws of the protagonist.
There's a Russian story where the heroine is generous to one little mouse, who then shows up when she is in danger and helps her play blind mans' buff with a bear. That's in Pantheon's RUSSIAN FAIRY TALES as "Daughter and Stepdaughter."
(And if I had even the bibliographic info and the page number of a Russian source (other than Pantheon), I could make do.... :-)
I don't remember whether Ashliman has a section on these or something
similar, but you can find a link to his page at the bottom of mine