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The Folktale
Stith Thompson

AT 310

The Maiden in the Tower. Rapunzel

Part Two

The Folktale from Ireland to India

II – The Complex Tale

5. Lovers and married couples

D. Wounded Lover Healed

Two common European folktales concern the wounding of the heroine's lover or husband by an enemy. The climax of the action in both cases deals with the healing of his wounds by the heroine and their happy reunion. The first of these, The Maiden in the Tower (Type 310), is usually known as Rapunzel from the name of the heroine in the Grimm version. The tale was apparently a favorite in Italy as early as the seventeenth century, since Basile uses it with slight variations twice in his Pentamerone. Whether because of the influence of Basile or because of the Mediterranean origin of the story, it has its greatest popularity in Italy and adjacent countries. A French literary version of the early eighteenth century doubtless aided in spreading it to northern Europe. It has appeared in German collections since 1790. It does not seem to be known in Russia or among any of the Finno-Ugric peoples, and except for a Massachusetts version originating in the Cape Verde Islands, it has not gone outside of Europe.

The tale begins with a motif which we have frequently met in other folktales: in order to appease a witch whom he has offended, a man promises her his child when it is born. The witch keeps the girl imprisoned in a windowless tower which the witch enters by using her long hair as a ladder. The king's son observes this and does likewise. The witch eventually discovers the deceit and cuts off the girl's hair and abandons her in a desert. When the prince comes he saves himself by jumping from the tower and is blinded. After various adventures the heroine finds him. Her tears falling on his eyes heal his blindness and they are happily reunited.

The confinement of the maiden in the tower, reminiscent of the futile imprisonment of Danaë, also usually forms a part of the story of The Prince as Bird (Type 432). In its best known European form the tale concerns a prince who takes on the form of a bird in order to fly to a beautiful maiden who lives in a tower. When in her presence he becomes a man. When her stepmother (or sister) discovers the mysterious lover, she wounds him, either [p. 103] by cutting him with a knife, piercing him with a thorn, or strewing glass on the window ledge where he lights when he arrives as a bird. The heroine now sets out to find her lover and minister unto his wounds. On the way she overhears animals (or sometimes witches) talking and learns from them how to heal him. By following their directions she succeeds.

The tale of the bird-lover appears several times in medieval literature, notably in Marie de France's Yonec. Details vary somewhat in the medieval stories from those in the modern folktale but it seems likely that they belong to the same tradition. [111] The story was probably current in Italy in the Renaissance: it appears in Basile's Pentamerone and it is especially popular in the Mediterranean countries today. Madame d'Aulnoy published the tale in France in 1702 and apparently from her version it has become popular in Scandinavia. On the other hand, there are interesting gaps in the tradition; it has apparently not been collected in Germany or the rest of northwest Europe, the British Isles, or the western Slavic countries. There are, however, five known Russian versions, and two particularly well-told variants from India. An African tale from the Hausa of the Western Sudan is an obvious borrowing of this story from India. The tale has never been thoroughly studied, and the relationship of the versions in India and in Europe is such that the question of its origin is extremely puzzling.

[111] For a discussion of the literary treatments of this story, see Bolte-Polívka, II, 451.


310, 432

Part Two

The Folktale from Ireland to India

II – The Complex Tale

7. Faithfulness

Whether in the oral folktale or in the most highly developed literary narrative, the interest of reader or hearer is always carried along by, the interplay of contrasting forces, the good and the evil, the clever and the stupid, hero and villain, the faithful and the unfaithful. Every serious tale with any complication of plot has characters whose fortunes we follow with sympathetic concern in their conflict with others whom we do not like and whom we consider as enemies not only of the hero, but of ourselves.

Of the qualities which bring about universal admiration for a character in fiction, none is more compelling than faithfulness. Usually the folktale deals with a faithful relative—a wife or sister or sweetheart. We have already found Psyche and women of her kind going on long wanderings or enduring [p. 109] hardships in order finally to restore their husbands or lovers. [122] Or it may be that the interest is in the faithfulness of a man to a woman, [123] one friend to another (Type 470), or a servant to a master (Type 516), or a sister to a brother (Types 450, 451).

[122] These faithful women appear in Cupid and Psyche (Type 425); The Two Girls, the Bear and the Dwarf (Type 426); Hans my Hedgehog (Type 441); The Maiden in the Tower (Type 310); and The Prince as Bird (Type 432).

[123] We have already seen examples of fidelity in husbands or lovers who have sought to recover or to disenchant their wives or sweethearts. Such tales have been: The Man on a Quest for His Lost Wife (Type 400); The Man Persecuted because of His Beautiful Wife (Type 465); The Princess Transformed into Deer (Type 401); The Three Oranges (Type 408); and The Prince Whose Wishes Always Came True (Type 652).


310, 400, 401, 408, 425, 426, 432, 441, 450, 451, 465, 470, 516, 652

Part Two

The Folktale from Ireland to India

II – The Complex Tale

12. Origin and history of the complex tales

Not every complex tale known to story-tellers of the area we are considering has found a place in the discussion just concluded. But practically all of those omitted are of very limited distribution. [283] With each tale the main facts about its history and its occurrences in oral tradition have been indicated wherever conclusions seemed possible. While discussing each tale, I have had before me a summary of the scholarship which has been devoted to it and a complete list of oral versions insofar as the extensive reference books and regional surveys now available made this possible. Frequently the mere bringing together of this material was sufficient to compel conclusions about the tale which do not seem likely to need revision. But when all tales with such clear-cut histories have been considered, there remain a large number which present problems sufficient to occupy the attention of scholars for many a decade to come.

Of these complex tales, along with a few closely related simple anecdotes, we have examined somewhat over two hundred. The order in which they have been taken up has been determined by their subject matter. And that means that tales about the same kinds of characters or incidents have been brought together, often when there was no organic relationship between them and when they had little if anything in common in their origin and history. When so much remains dark about the beginnings and about the vicissitudes of so large a number of our folktales, no complete account of them can be based upon historical categories.

Nevertheless, in a very tentative way it may be of interest to see which of our tales have a history that can be proclaimed with some confidence, which of them show great probabilities of proper solution, and which of them still present difficult problems.

That many of our European and Asiatic folktales go back to a literary source is as clear as any fact of scholarship can be made. There would thus seem to be no reason to doubt that an Oriental literary text is responsible for the subsequent development of a considerable number of tales which have received oral currency in Europe and sometime in the Orient. In the older Buddhistic sources [284] are found: Death's Messengers (Type 335); Six Go Through the Whole World (Type 513A); The Three Snake Leaves (Type 612); [p. 177] The Two Travelers (Type 613); The Animal Languages (Type 670); "Think Carefully Before You Begin a Task" (Type 910C); The Brave Tailor (Type 1640); and Doctor Know-All (Type 1641). In the Ocean of Story, a Sanskrit collection brought together in the twelfth century but based upon much older material, there appear, as probable originals of the European oral tradition, versions of: Wise Through Experience (Type 910A); The Servant's Good Counsels (Type 910B); and Faithful John (Type 516). From other collections of literary tales originating in India appear to come: The Bridge to the Other World (Type 471); The Four Skillful Brothers (Type 653); The Wise Brothers (Type 655); and One Beggar Trusts God, the Other the King (Type 841). From various literary sources in India the incidents which make up two of our related tales have been taken and unified at some point before they entered into the oral tradition of the west. [285] These two are : The Son of the King and of the Smith (Type 920); and The King and the Peasant's Son (Type 921). Whatever may be the ultimate source of the stories in the Thousand and One Nights, several of our old folktales are found in that work in much the form in which these stories first reached European taletellers. Among these tales appearing in the Arabian Nights are: Siddhi Numan (Type 449*); Aladdin (Type 561); Open Sesame (Type 676); Luck and Wealth (Type 736); Hatch-penny (Type 745); Oft Proved Fidelity (Type 881); The Treasure of the Hanging Man (Type 910D); and The Forty Thieves (Type 954). Finally, of these tales of Oriental origin, may be mentioned one which appears in the Persian collection, The Thousand and One Days. This is The Prophecy (Type 930).

Similarly, an ultimate origin in European literature seems unmistakable for a dozen or more of the stories current today, whether locally or over the complete European-Asiatic area. Three of the tales which we have noticed certainly go back to Greek literature: Oedipus (Type 931) to Sophocles; Rhampsinitus (Type 950) to Herodotus; and The Wolf and the Kids (Type 123) to the Aesop collection. A fourteenth century Latin poem, the Asinarius, is responsible for the very few oral versions of The Ass (Type 430). Folktales have borrowed very freely from saints' legends: certainly Pride Is Punished (Type 836) is a mere oral treatment of the legend of Polycarp. The great collections of illustrative tales which in the Middle Ages went under the name of Exempla contained a considerable number of folktales. Frequently it is impossible to tell whether they may be reworkings of oral tradition, but sometimes it is quite evident that the oral tale is taken directly from the literary collection. This is clearly true of: Friends in Life and Death (Type 470); The Boy Who Learned Many Things (Type 517); The Three Languages (Type 671); The Angel and the Hermit (Type 759); and Who Ate the Lamb's Heart (Type 785). At least two tales seem to have been learned from the work of the German Meistersinger: The Faithful Wife (Type 888); and [p. 178] The Pound of Flesh (Type 890). Of course, both of these tales were used by Shakespeare, and that fact has doubtless been of influence on their subsequent popularity. Many stories have undoubtedly originated among the people of Italy, and it is sometimes difficult to know whether a tale recounted by those great writers of novelle beginning with Boccaccio was learned from the people or was invented by the author. For at least three of our folktales such literary invention by the novella writer seems the most reasonable hypothesis. The Wager on the Wife's Chastity (Type 882) is in Boccaccio's Decameron; The Luck-Bringing Shirt (Type 844) in the Pecorone of Ser Giovanni; and The Taming of the Shrew (Type 901) in the Nights of Straparola. The Pentamerone of Giambattista Basile of the early seventeenth century is almost completely made up of oral folktales, though transformed into an extraordinary literary style. But it is probable that he invented several tales by freely combining traditional material. Such seems to be the situation with The Forsaken Fiancée (Type 884). Finally, at least one tale given currency by the Grimms, The Two Girls, the Bear, and the Dwarf (Type 426), comes directly from a German literary collection of stories which appeared in 1818.

The fact that one may cite a literary form of a story, even a very old version, is by no means proof that we have arrived at the source of the tradition. Nothing is better authenticated in the study of traditional narrative than the fact that the literary telling of a tale may represent merely one of hundreds of examples of the story in question and have for the history of the tradition no more significance than any other one of the hundreds of variants at hand. Apuleius's telling of Cupid and Psyche and the author of Tobit's version of The Grateful Dead Man tale appear both to be rather late and somewhat, aberrant forms of much older oral tales. With this warning in mind, the careful student should be slow in arriving at the conclusion that a stated literary document is the fountainhead of a particular narrative tradition. For those tales which we have just listed, the actual dependence on the literary source has seemed well established. In addition to these, there are a considerable number for which there is a well-known early literary form to which the weight of evidence would point probably, but not quite certainly, as the actual source. Some of these tales have been very popular among story-tellers, and have spread over two or more continents, and some have had only a very limited acceptance among the people. The degree of popularity and the geographical extent of the distribution is a fact which must be taken into consideration with every tale when we are trying to judge the question of its ultimate literary or oral invention. For this reason, in listing the tales with probable literary sources, it is helpful to indicate briefly what type of oral distribution each has.

At least related to the old Greek story of The Cranes of Ibycus is the tale The Sun Brings All to Light (Type 960; oral: Spain to Russia). From saints' [p. 179] legends at least two oral tales appear to have been taken: Hospitality Rewarded (Type750B; oral: scattered thinly over most of Europe); and Christ and the Smith (Type 753; oral: all Europe, especially the Baltic states). Certainly influenced by some of the legends of the popes, if not directly borrowed from them, is The Dream (Type 725; oral: moderately popular in eastern Europe and the Baltic states). In addition to the folktales which we are sure have come from books of Exempla, there are several where such an origin seems likely: The King and the Robber (Type 951A; oral: Germany and the Baltic states, sporadic in Hungary and Russia); The Old Robber Relates Three Adventures (Type 953; oral: thinly scattered, Ireland to Roumania); and "We Three; For Money" (Type 1697; oral: thinly scattered over all Europe). The influence of the chivalric romance in general is seen in The Bride Won in a Tournament (Type 508) which was told in Straparola's Nights and received frequent literary treatment in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, but has been collected orally only in three versions in Lithuania.

The rich prose literature of medieval Iceland has in it many folktale elements, most of which doubtless go back to popular tradition. But this may not have been true in all cases: an Icelandic prose tale of 1339 seems to lie back of the oral tale Godfather Death (Type 332; oral: Iceland to Palestine, especially the Baltic states, but not Russia). A medieval chronicle of 1175 probably forms the beginning of the tradition later carried on through French and German jestbooks and at least one English play, and connected with the name of a famous Lord Mayor of London. This is Whittington's Cat (Type 1651; oral: scattered from western Europe to Indonesia, especially popular in Finland).

The jestbooks of the Renaissance contain a number of folktales. In many cases, these were taken from older literary collections, or indeed from oral tradition. But occasionally they seem to have served as a real source for tales which now belong to the folk. Such would seem to be true of The Wishes (Type 750A; oral: popular throughout Europe, sporadic in China); The Tailor in Heaven (Type 800; oral: scattered thinly over Europe, sporadic among Buryat of Siberia); The Devil as Advocate (Type 821; oral: all Europe, especially Baltic, moderately popular); Sleeping Beauty (Type 410; oral: scattered thinly over Europe, one-third of versions Italian, based on Basile); and The Three Brothers (Type 654; oral: confined to Europe).

A German literary tale of the thirteenth century may well be the beginning of The Frog King (Type 440; oral: Germany to Russia only). The habit of writing literary folktales was carried on into the eighteenth century, both in France and in Germany. Many of these tales never assumed any oral popularity. On the other hand, The Girls Who Married Animals (Type 552), although concocted by Musäus at the end of the eighteenth century of authentic oral material, combined with an analogous tale in Basile, has since entered into the stream of oral tradition in the form he then designed. Its [p. 180] oral distribution shows the greatest inconsistency and indicates frequent direct use of the literary source.

For all the tales mentioned thus far in this summary there seems a strong probability of ultimate literary origin. But it cannot be too frequently repeated that the fact of the appearance of a tale in some literary document is no proof that it did not originate among the people. Oral tales have been a very fruitful source For literary story-tellers everywhere. It thus happens that frequently the literary appearance of a story only represents one of many hundreds of versions and is, of course, less important in the history of the tale than the oral variant from which the story was borrowed. It is not always easy to tell when a story belongs primarily to oral tradition and frequently the problem of priority is quite unsolvable. But a very considerable number of tales appearing in literary collections show such a preponderance of oral variants, as well as other indications of popular origin, that their literary appearance would seem to be purely incidental. There can be little doubt that they are all essentially oral, both in origin and in history.

Several such oral tales have found a place in Oriental literary collections. In the Hindu fable collection, the Panchatantra, occurs a good part of the tale of Luck and Intelligence (Type 945); it also occurs in recent literary form in India, but has a vigorous life in popular tradition of India and the Near East, and sporadically as far afield as Germany and the Philippines. In the Ocean of Story, as well as in the Thousand and One Nights, occur fragments of Devils Fight over Magic Objects (Type 518; oral: all Europe, western Asia, and North Africa) and of The Prince's Wings (Type 575; oral: sparingly over north and eastern Europe). In the Ocean of Story, likewise, there is an analogue of The Girl as Helper in the Hero's Flight (Type 313). This story does not otherwise appear in central Asia but is one of the most popular of all oral folktales in Europe and America; it is no wonder that it has been retold by such story-tellers as Straparola and Basile. Two tales popular in the tradition of the Near East appear in the Persian Tuti Nameh: The Grateful Animals (Type 554; oral: Europe and Asia, especially Baltic countries) and The Magic Bird-heart (Type 567; oral: eastern and southern Europe, and Persia; origin probably in Persian tradition). In an Arabic history of the ninth century appears an abbreviated version of The King and the Abbot (Type 922), though Walter Anderson has shown that the tradition is certainly oral, in spite of frequent literary treatments in Europe. Likewise, the occurrence of the story of The Monster in the Bridal Chamber (Type 507B) in the apocryphal Book of Tobit does not carry the implication that this version is the source of the tradition: it is obviously a late and considerably modified form of the story, which appears to have developed orally in the Near East.

Much more frequently have oral tales found a place in one or more European collections of literary stories. In another place more specific mention [p. 181] is made of popular tales embedded in the Greek or Latin classics. [286] Sometimes these retellings represent rather faithfully what must have been the plot of one of our oral tales at the time and place it was heard, though there may be radical adaptation to literary form or fashion. Such is true of the retelling of the tale of Polyphemus (Type 1137) by Homer, of Cupid and Psyche (Type 425) by Apuleius, and of Perseus and Andromeda (a version of Type 300? ) by various writers of myths.

It is sometimes difficult to tell whether such a classical story as that of Perseus is really a version of a folktale now current in Europe. There is little doubt, however, that the appearance of the story of The Dragon-Slayer (Type 300) in connection with that of The Two Brothers (Type 303) in Icelandic saga does represent an actual version of an oral tale, apparently originating in France, and now known by almost every taleteller in the world. In Icelandic saga there also appears a version of The Clever Peasant Girl (Type 875), though this does not represent its source, which is certainly oral and central European. The learning of animal speech by eating the flesh of a serpent occurs in a German and Baltic oral tale (Type 673) and also in the Siegfried story, but this is the only parallel, and the resemblance may not indicate actual relationship.

In other literary forms of the Middle Ages there occasionally appear oral tales. Geoffrey of Monmouth, in telling the story of King Lear, includes the incident of Love Like Salt (Type 923), widely known, not only through Shakespeare's treatment, but also as a part of the Cinderella cycle (Type 510). The chivalric romances, likewise, contain much that must have been taken directly from the people. Marie de France thus tells the tale of The Prince as Bird (Type 432), which, though certainly oral, has been frequently retold by both medieval and Renaissance writers. In some versions of the Tristram story occur elements of The Clever Horse (Type 531; oral: western Europe to the Philippines, origin probably India), and in an Icelandic saga of the fourteenth century there is a much clearer version. In the Fortunatus romance, which occurs in many forms, there is found a version of The Three Magic Objects and the Wonderful Fruits (Type 566), essentially west European folk tradition. The Gesta Romanorum, and later, Hans Sachs, have versions of The Three Doctors (Type 660), a tradition well known from Ireland to Russia. Despite the fact that the French and German fabliaux are usually literary in content, at least two oral tales are used in such collections: The Hero Catches the Princess with Her Own Words (Type 853) and King Thrushbeard (Type 900).

Though the jestbooks which were in vogue during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries normally consist of very simple anecdotes, occasionally they included a complex folk story, like Hansel and Gretel (Type 327A); Master Pfriem (Type 801); One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes (Type 511); The [p. 182] Student from Paradise (Type 1540); or The Three Lucky Brothers (Type 1650). The latter story also appears in a collection of novelle. These prose tale collections, beginning as early as Boccaccio's Decameron, sometimes contain stories which the author had heard, though they are usually much changed in style from what must have been the oral original. Such is true of The Smith Outwits the Devil (Type 330), and of Six Go Through the Whole World (Type 513). The latter tale appears in many other literary collections, both Oriental and European.

For the history of the folktale, two collections in the novella tradition are especially important. Insofar as they contain folktales, they are either purely oral stories or else tales of literary origin which had already become a part of the folklore of Italy. Many of these oral tales have their first literary appearance in these collections. In the Pleasant Nights of Straparola in the sixteenth century are versions of: The Magician and His Pupil (Type 325; apparently of oral origin in India); The Youth Who Wanted to Learn What Fear Is (Type 326); The Youth Transformed to a Horse (Type 314; one of the most popular of oral tales); Cap o' Rushes (Type 510B); The Three Golden Sons (Type 707); Our Lady's Child (Type 710); The Cat Castle (Type 545A); Puss in Boots (Type 545B); and The Lazy Boy (Type 675).

An even longer list of oral tales is found for the first time in the Pentamerone of Basile, 1634-36. Among them are: The Maiden in the Tower (Type 310); The Black and the White Bride (Type 403); The Three Oranges (Type 408); Little Brother and Little Sister (Type 450); The Maiden Who Seeks her Brothers (Type 451); The Spinning-Woman by the Spring (Type 480); The Three Old Women Helpers (Type 501); Dung-beetle (Type 559); The Magic Ring (Type 560); The Louse-Skin (Type 621); The Carnation (Type 652); Snow-White (Type 709); and The Good Bargain (Type 1642).

The folktale collection of Charles Perrault which appeared in 1697 is hardly to be considered as literary at all, but rather as a group of fairly faithful versions of oral tales. The later French collections of Madame D'Aulnoy, on the other hand, were definitely literary, and seldom contained any real folktales which had not already appeared in writers like Straparola or Basile. Exceptions are The Mouse as Bride (Type 402) and The Shift of Sex (Type 514).

Such are the principal collections of literary tales which have given us versions of oral stories. To complete the list, one would have to make several miscellaneous additions. The King and the Abbot (Type 922) appears in a German poem of the thirteenth century and frequently thereafter; the oral tradition of how Peter's Mother Falls from Heaven (Type 804) is given in a fifteenth century German poem; The Monster's Bride (Type 507A) appears in a sixteenth century English comedy; Bearskin (Type 361) is [p. 183] retold by Grimmelshausen in 1670; and Demi-coq (Type 715) is given a French name because of his appearance in a French story written in 1759.

Such is the list of those tales which, although they have appeared in one or more literary collections, seem quite certainly to be oral, both in origin and in history. Sometimes their subsequent popularity has been greatly increased by the fact that they have been charmingly retold by Basile or Perrault. Otherwise, their history is in no essential respect different from that large group of stories to which we shall now turn. These belong to the folklore of Europe and Asia, and have never had the fortune to appeal to any literary story teller. We know them only in oral form and can therefore speak with almost complete certainty of their origin among the people. Here belong some of the most interesting of all folktales.

Most of the European stories which originated in the Orient either go back to literary sources in the East or else, in spite of their origin in popular Oriental tradition, have received literary treatment in Asia or in Europe. Such tales, of literary origin or handling, have just been discussed. There remain a few which seem to have developed orally in Asia and to have reached Europe entirely by word of mouth. Such is true of Three Hairs from the Devil's Beard (Type 461), very often told in connection with the tale of The Prophecy (Type 930). The latter story is Oriental, but is found in early Buddhistic material. [287] The widely diffused tale of The Little Red Bull (Type 511*), while showing relation to several well-known European stories, probably comes from Oriental folk tradition.

By far the largest number of purely oral European and Asiatic tales seem quite certainly to have developed in Europe. The great majority of these are confined to the European continent, but some of them are worldwide in their distribution. Examples of the latter are The Dragon-Slayer (Type 300), John the Bear (Type 301), and The Two Brothers (Type 303). [288] Some European oral tales have traveled far into the Orient: Bluebeard (Type 311); The Journey to God to Receive Reward (Type 460A); The Journey in Search of Fortune (Type 460B); The Wild Man (Type 502); The Speaking Horsehead (Type 533); and The Profitable Exchange (Type 1655). Others have gone no further than the Near East: The Princess Transformed into Deer (Type 401); The Princess on the Glass Mountain (Type 530); Strong John (Type 650); The Juniper Tree (Type 720); and The Greater Sinner (Type 756C).

A considerable number of oral stories have received very wide distribution over the entire European continent but, except for purely sporadic occurrences, they do not appear elsewhere. To this list belong: The Hunter (Type 304); [p. 184] The Dwarf and the Giant (Type 327B); Hiding from the Devil (Type 329); The House in the Wood (Type 431); The Water of Life (Type 551); The Fisher and His Wife (Type 555); The Rabbit-herd (Type 570); The Self-righteous Hermit (Type 756A); The Devil's Contract (Type 756B); The Singing Bone (Type 780); The Peasant in Heaven (Type 802); The Birthmarks of the Princess (Type 850); The Golden Ram (Type 854); The King and the Soldier (Type 952); The Robber Bridegroom (Type 955) and The Clever Maiden Alone at Home Kills the Robbers (Type 956B).

The stories just listed are well represented in all parts of Europe, so that without special investigation it is not easy to say just where the story has developed. With a large number of tales, however, we find that, in spite of occurrences over the entire continent, their area of great popularity is clearly limited, sometimes to a single country, more often to a group of neighboring peoples. Such tales with occurrences primarily in eastern Europe are: The Princess in the Shroud (Type 307); The Faithless Sister (Type 315); and The Prince and the Arm Bands (Type 590). These last two are closely related and seem to have their center in Roumania.

General European tales most popular in eastern and northern Europe are: The Danced-Out Shoes (Type 306); Lenore (Type 365); The Helpful Horse (Type 532); and The Snares of the Evil One (Type 810).

Especially characteristic of Scandinavia and the Baltic states are: The Boy Steals the Giant's Treasure (Type 328, the English story of Jack the Giant Killer); Bear-skin (Type 361); The Man as Heater of Hell's Kettle (Type 475); The King is Betrayed (Type 505); The Spirit in the Blue Light (Type 562—popularly influenced by H. C. Andersen's treatment); The Greedy Peasant Woman (Type 751); Sin and Honor (Type 755; also very popular in Ireland); The Devil's Riddle (Type 812); The Hero Forces the Princess to Say "That is a Lie" (Type 852); The Youth Cheated in Selling Oxen (Type 1538); The Clever Boy (Type 1542); and The Man Who got a Night's Lodging (Type 1544).

Rather widespread traditions having their focus definitely in Scandinavia are: The Man from the Gallows (Type 366); The Princess Rescued from Robbers (Type 506B); The Wonder Child (Type 708); The Princess Confined in the Mound (Type 870); and The Little Goose-Girl (Type 870A).

Oral tales distributed over all Europe, but especially characteristic of the western countries, are: The Giantkiller and his Dog (Bluebeard) (Type 312); The Nix of the Mill-pond (Type 316); Little Red Riding Hood (Type 333); Bargain of the Three Brothers with the Devil (Type 360); The Healing Fruits (Type 610); and The Presents (Type 620).

Finally, at least two tales seem to be especially characteristic of British tradition: Tom-Tit-Tot (Type 500) and Out-riddling the Judge (Type 927). The special form of Type 328 known as Jack the Giant Killer and that known as Jack and the Beanstalk represent peculiar British developments. [p. 185]

There has been no attempt in this book to give notice to all folktales known in Europe and Asia, especially to the hundreds of oral stories which are told in only a single locality or which have never traveled far from their original home. A considerable number of such stories local to Roumania, Hungary, Wallonia, and Russia may be examined in the excellent folktale surveys of these countries. [289] Of such of them as appear in the Aarne-Thompson Types of the Folk-Tale, it will be noticed that a large number of the local tales are characteristic of the Baltic area. It must be borne in mind that very exhaustive lists have been made of the Finnish and Estonian tales, [290] so that these large numbers are no cause for wonder. Of these oral tales in the main part of the Aarne-Thompson index, the following seem to be confined to the Baltic states: a version of The Black and the White Bride (Type 403C); The Girl in the Form of a Wolf (Type 409); Punishment of a Bad Woman (Type 473); "Iron is More Precious than Gold" (Type 677); The Rich Man's and the Poor Man's Fortune (Type 735); The Cruel Rich Man as the Devil's Horse (Type 761); The Princess who Murdered her Child (Type 781); Solomon binds the Devil in Chains in Hell (Type 803); The Deceased Rich Man and the Devils in the Church (Type 815); The Devil as Substitute for Day Laborer at Mowing (Type 820); The Boastful Deer-slayer (Type 830); The Dishonest Priest (Type 831); The Disappointed Fisher (Type 832); How the Wicked Lord was Punished (Type 837); and The Wolves in the Stable (Type 1652).

Local to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries are: [291] a version of The Children and the Ogre (Type 327C); The Vampire (Type 363); The Prince as Serpent (Type 433); The Raven Helper (Type 553); The Magic Providing Purse (Type 564); The Magic Mill (Type 565; sporadic in Ireland, Greece, and France); Beloved of Women (Type 580); The Thieving Pot (Type 591); Fiddevav (Type 593); The Gifts of the Dwarfs (Type 611); The Beautiful and the Ugly Twin (Type 711); The Mother who Wants to Kill her Children (Type 765); the Prodigal's Return (Type 935); and At the Robbers' House (Type 956A).

A much smaller group are limited to the Baltic states and Russia: The Strong Woman as Bride (Type 519); The Man Who Flew like a Bird and Swam like a Fish (Type 665; also in Bohemia); The Punishment of Men (Type 840); The Bank Robbery (Type 951B); and Cleverness and Gullibility (Type 1539; 253 versions in Finland alone, sporadic in Greece, Turkey, and America).

Though the groups of peoples just noticed are represented by a large number [p. 186] of local stories, some tales of limited dissemination occur almost everywhere. Thus The Faithless Wife (Type 315B*) belongs to the Baltic and Balkan states and Russia. Hans my Hedgehog (Type 441) is known from Norway to Hungary, but depends entirely upon the Grimm version. Born from a Fish (Type 705) seems purely Scandinavian, and four tales apparently are known only in Norway: The Animal Sons-in-law and their Magic Food (Type 552B); The King's Tasks (Type 577); The Children of the King (Type 892); and Like Wind in the Hot Sun (Type 923A). Confined to south eastern Europe is The Serpent Maiden (Type 507C). Primarily Italian, but also known in Russia, is The Wolf (Type 428). Central European, primarily German, are the three varieties of The Serpent's Crown (Types 672A, B, and C). And two tales, except for occasional appearances of the Grimm version in other countries, seem to be limited to German tradition: Jorinde and Joringel (Type 405) and The Girl as Flower (Type 407).

In the rapid summary just completed it seems clear that for most of the complex tales of the European and Asiatic areas some generalizations are safe. Though we may not be able to say just when or just where a tale originated, or whether it was first an oral story or a literary creation, the general probabilities are such as we have indicated. Many questions of detail within the limits of these probabilities will engage the efforts of future scholars.

There still remain a considerable number of these complex tales where the evidence at present available is either insufficient to lead to general conclusions or else is so overwhelming in amount that it has never yet been properly utilized for systematic investigation.

For some tales, when the data are all assembled, the question as to whether they are essentially literary or oral seems quite unsolvable without much further study. Among such tales are: The Gifts of the Little People (Type 503); The Princess Rescued from Slavery (Type 506A); The Jew Among Thorns (Type 592); Tom Thumb (Type 700); The Maiden Without Hands (Type 706); Christ and Peter in the Barn (Type 752A); The Forgotten Wind (Type 752B) ; The Saviour and Peter in Night-Lodgings (Type 791); The Lazy Boy and the Industrious Girl (Type 822); The Princess who Cannot Solve the Riddle (Type 851); and The Parson's Stupid Wife (Type 1750).

In another group the question as to whether the tale is essentially Oriental or European is still not satisfactorily solved: The Ogre's (Devil's) Heart in the Egg (Type 302); The Spirit in the Bottle (Type 331); The Prince as Bird (Type 432); The Man Persecuted because of his Beautiful Wife (Type 465); The Table, the Ass, and the Stick (Type 563); and "All Stick Together" (Type 571).

Finally, a half dozen stories well known over the entire world present major problems of investigation, because of the great mass of materials at [p. 187] hand, much of unorganized. Each of them offers a challenge to scholarship. These six tales The Man on a Quest for his Lost Wife (Type 400); Cinderella (Type 510A); The Bird, the Horse, and the Princess (Type 550); The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn (Type 569); The Master Thief (Type 1525); and the Rich and the Poor Peasant (Type 1535). [p. 188]

[283] An exhaustive treatment would include a considerable number of such tales of purely local development for Lithuania, for Roumania, for Russia, and for India. The material for the first three of these countries may be examined in the surveys of Balys, Schullerus, and Andrejev, respectively (see references on pp. 420f.). No adequate survey of the material for India has yet been made. I have been working upon one for some years and have reasonable hopes of completing it.

[284] These are best represented by (1) Cowell, The Jātaka; (2) Chavannts, 500 Contes.

[285] For a discussion of this point, see p. 160, above.

[286] See pp. 278ff., below.

[287] See pp. I39f., above.

[288] The other tales which are distributed over the world and have received literary treatment have already been discussed.

[289] For Roumania, Hungary, and Wallonia, see FF Communications Nos. 78, 81, and 101 respectively. For the Russian, see Andrejev, Ukazatel' Skazočnich Siuzhetov.

[290] The number of purely Baltic tales would be greatly increased by inclusion of all those listed in Balys' Motif Index, which appeared after the Aarne-Thompson Index, and also by citing many of the "Types not Included" from the Aarne-Thompson Index.

[291] Single sporadic occurrences elsewhere are disregarded.


123, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 306, 307, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 315B*, 316, 325, 326, 327A, 327B, 327C, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 335, 360, 361, 363, 365, 366, 400, 401, 402, 403, 403C, 405, 407, 408, 409, 410, 425, 426, 428, 430, 431, 432, 433, 440, 441, 449*, 450, 451, 460A, 460B, 461, 465, 470, 471, 473, 475, 480, 500, 501, 502, 503, 505, 506A, 506B, 507A, 507B, 507C, 508, 510, 510A, 510B, 511, 511*, 513, 513A, 514, 516, 517, 518, 519, 530, 531, 532, 533, 545A, 545B, 550, 551, 552, 552B, 553, 554, 555, 559, 560, 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 566, 567, 569, 570, 571, 575, 577, 580, 590, 591, 592, 593, 610, 611, 612, 613, 620, 621, 650, 652, 653, 654, 655, 660, 665, 670, 671, 672A, 672B, 672C, 673, 675, 677, 700, 705, 706, 707, 708, 709, 710, 711, 715, 720, 725, 735, 736, 745, 750A, 750B, 751, 752A, 752B, 753, 755, 756A, 756B, 756C, 759, 761, 765, 780, 781, 785, 791, 800, 801, 802, 803, 804, 810, 812, 815, 820, 821, 822, 830, 831, 832, 836, 837, 840, 841, 844, 850, 851, 852, 853, 854, 870, 870A, 875, 881, 882, 884, 888, 890, 892, 900, 901, 910A, 910B, 910C, 910D, 920, 921, 922, 923, 923A, 927, 930, 931, 935, 945, 950, 951A, 951B, 952. 953, 954, 956A, 956B, 960, 1137, 1525, 1535, 1538, 1539, 1540, 1542, 1544, 1640, 1641, 1642, 1650, 1651, 1652, 1655, 1697, 1750