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Prevuius group

Group No. 124


H. Tests

Group No.

H900 – H1199

Group name

Tests of prowess: tasks


H900. H900. Tasks imposed. A person‘s prowess is tested by assigning him certain tasks (usually impossible or extremely difficult) to be performed either to escape punishment or to receive a valuable reward. *Penzer X 330 s.v. “tests”; *Chauvin VI 200 No. 372. – Irish myth: *Cross; Breton: Sébillot Incidents s.v. “épreuves”; Greek: Frazer Apollodorus I 184 n. 1 (Hercules), Fox 80ff. (Hercules), ibid. 98 (Theseus); N. A. Indian: **Lowie The Test Theme in North American Mythology (JAFL XXI 97ff.).
H901. H901. Tasks imposed on pain of death. Types 306, 851; BP I 188; Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: MacCulloch Eddic 53, 83 – 84, 179, *Boberg; French Canadian: Sister Marie Ursule; India: Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham.
H901.0.1. H901.0.1. Tasks imposed on pain of death of relative (friend, hostage, etc.). Irish myth: Cross.
H901.0.2. H901.0.2. Bird must bring orphan to king or bird will be killed. Chinese: Graham.
H901.1. H901.1. Heads placed on stakes for failure in performance of task. Unsuccessful youths are beheaded and heads exposed. Hero sees them when he sets out to accomplish his task. *Types 329, 507A; *BP III 368; *Taylor Romanic Review IV 21ff.; *Brown Iwain 137 n. 1; Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: *Boberg; Greek: Fox 119, Frazer Apollodorus II 160 n. 2; India: Thompson-Balys; Japanese: Ikeda.
H902. H902. Task assigned the Gods. India: Thompson-Balys.
H910. H910. Assignment of tasks in response to suggestion.
H911. H911. Tasks assigned at suggestion of jealous rivals. *Types 328, 501, 531, 725; BP I 109, III 18ff.; Köhler-Bolte I 430; Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: *Boberg; French Canadian: Barbeau JAFL XXIX 22; Missouri French: Carrière; Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 59 No. 425D; Italian: Basile Pentamerone III No. 7, IV No. 5, Rotunda; India: *Thompson-Balys; West Indies: Flowers 459.
H911.1. H911.1. Task (quest) assigned at suggestion of jealous co-wife. Chinese: Graham; Africa (Ekoi): Talbot 234.
H912. H912. Tasks assigned at suggestion of jealous brothers (sisters). *Type 408; Köhler-Bolte I 468; Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 49 No. 328*A, Espinosa Jr. No. 81; India: Thompson-Balys; S. A. Indian (Inca) Rowe BBAE CXLIII (2) 317; West Indies: Flowers 460.
H913. H913. Tasks assigned by jealous parent.
H913.1. H913.1. Tasks assigned by jealous mother.
H913.1.1. H913.1.1. Task assigned at suggestion of jealous mother (of prospective bride). Irish myth: *Cross.
H913.1.2. H913.1.2. Task suggested by jealous co-wife of mother. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H913.2. H913.2. Tasks assigned at suggestion of jealous father.
H913.2.1. H913.2.1. Task assigned at suggestion of jealous father (of prospective bride). Irish myth: *Cross.
H914. H914. Tasks assigned because of mother‘s foolish boasting. The mother foolishly boasts to the king that the daughter can perform an impossible task (often spinning). *Type 500, 501; BP I 490, 109; Italian: Basile Pentamerone IV No. 4.
H915. H915. Tasks assigned because of girl’s (boy‘s) own foolish boast. *Type 501, 1525; Italian Novella: Rotunda; Icelandic: *Boberg; India: *Thompson-Balys; West Indies: Flowers 460.
H915.1. H915.1. Tasks assigned because of man‘s boast. Icelandic: *Boberg; India: Thompson-Balys.
H916. H916. Tasks imposed at suggestion of spouse (sweetheart).
H916.1. H916.1. Tasks imposed because of wife’s foolish boast. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H916.1.1. H916.1.1. Malicious wife reports that her husband is a famous doctor: he is commanded to cure the princess. *Crane Vitry 231f. No. 237; *Bolte Zs. f. Vksk. XXVI 89 n. 1; Herbert III 19; Japanese: Ikeda.
H916.2. H916.2. Task imposed because of girl’s foolish boast. India: Thompson-Balys.
H916.3. H916.3. Tasks assigned at suggestion of wife and paramour. India: Thompson-Balys.
H917. H917. Tasks assigned at own unwitting suggestion. Jason thus sent for the Golden Fleece. Greek: Frazer Apollodorus I 94 n. 1.
H918. H918. Tasks assigned at suggestion contained in letter borne by the victim. Greek: Fox 39 (Bellerophon); Japanese: Ikeda.
H919. H919. Assignment of tasks in response to suggestion – miscellaneous.
H919.1. H919.1. Tasks assigned at suggestion of treacherous servants. Icelandic: Herrmann II 583ff., *Boberg; Italian Novella: Rotunda.
H919.1.1. H919.1.1. Task upon suggestion of barber. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H919.2. H919.2. Tasks assigned at suggestion of religious person. India: Thompson-Balys.
H919.3. H919.3. Task assigned at suggestion of parrot. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H919.4. H919.4. Impossible task assigned by plaintiff as proof. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
H919.5. H919.5. Task assigned at suggestion of treacherous soldier. Cheremis: Sebeok-Nyerges.
H919.6. H919.6. Tasks assigned at instigation of queen (disguised ogress). India: Thompson-Balys.
H920. H920. Assigners of tasks.
H921. H921. King (father) assigns tasks to his unknown son. *Type 920; De Vries FFC LXXIII 40ff., 323ff.; India: *Thompson-Balys; S. A. Indian (Tupinamba): Métraux BBAE CXLIII (3) 132.
H921.1. H921.1. Task set by king to sons to determine heir to kingdom. India: Thompson-Balys.
H922. H922. Departing husband assigns his wife tasks. *Köhler-Bolte II 647ff.; Icelandic: Boberg.
H923. H923. Tasks assigned before man may rescue wife from spirit world. Indonesia: De Vries‘s list No. 169.
H923.1. H923.1. Task assigned before wife may rescue husband from supernatural power. Type 316; German: Grimm No. 181.
H924. H924. Tasks assigned prisoner so that he may escape punishment. De Vries FFC LXXIII 309, 313; India: Thompson-Balys; Icelandic: *Boberg.
H924.1. H924.1. Tasks assigned as ransom. Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: Boberg.
H927. H927. Tasks set by deity.
H927.1. H927.1. Tasks as trial of prowess of mortal by gods. India: Thompson-Balys.
H927.2. H927.2. Task assigned by angel on God’s order. Moreno Esdras (H928).
H928. H928. Tasks imposed as tribute. Irish myth: Cross.
H928.1. H928.1. Tasks imposed as fine. Irish myth: *Cross.
H931. H931. Tasks assigned in order to get rid of hero. *Types 428, 461; Italian Novella: Rotunda; Icelandic: *Boberg; Greek: Grote I 110; Jewish: Neuman; India: *Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham; Japanese: Anesaki 357, Ikeda.
H931.1. H931.1. Prince envious of hero‘s wife assigns hero tasks. *Type 465. – Italian Novella: Rotunda; Jewish: *Neuman; India: *Thompson-Balys; Indonesia: De Vries’s list No. 170; Japanese: Ikeda.
H931.1.1. H931.1.1. Husband assigns tasks for king who has stolen his wife. India: Thompson-Balys.
H931.2. H931.2. Disagreeable tasks set hero to do so that he will disobey and be killed. India: Thompson-Balys.
H932. H932. Tasks assigned to devil (ogre). Types 812, 1170 – 1199; *BP III 16.
H933. H933. Princess sets hero tasks. (Cf. H335.)
H933.1. H933.1. Princess throws handkerchief high in tree; asks hero to get it. Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 66 No. 554.
H933.2. H933.2. Maiden queen sets hero three dangerous tasks in order to disenchant her sisters. (Cf. F565.3.) Icelandic: Boberg.
H933.3. H933.3. Princess orders hero to bring her rings of another princess. French Canadian: Sister Marie Ursule.
H933.4. H933.4. Quest assigned by scorned princess. French Canadian: Sister Marie Ursule.
H933.5. H933.5. Queen of Sea sets hero tasks. Tuamotu: Stimson MS (z-G. 13/441).
H934. H934. Relative assigns tasks. (Cf. H912 – H914.)
H934.1. H934.1. Wife assigns husband tasks. Irish myth: Cross.
H934.2. H934.2. Sisters-in-law impose tasks. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H934.3. H934.3. Tasks assigned by stepmother. Chinese: Graham.
H934.4. H934.4. Task imposed by elder brothers. India: Thompson-Balys; Irish myth: Cross (H913.1.3.)
H935. H935. Witch assigns tasks. Type 480, *Roberts; BP I 207; Lithuanian: Balys Index No. 1137A*.
H936. H936. Tasks assigned because of longings of pregnant woman. Irish myth: *Cross; Italian: Basile Pentamerone III No. 4; India: *Thompson-Balys; Japanese: Ikeda.
H937. H937. Task assigned by dying child. Italian Novella: Rotunda.
H938. H938. Fairy assigns tasks. (Cf. H1219.4.) Irish myth: *Cross.
H939. H939. Other assigners of tasks. Irish myth: Cross.
H939.1. H939.1. Tasks assigned by druid. Irish myth: Cross.
H939.2. H939.2. Tests imposed on woman by prospective paramour. Nouvelles de Sens No. 4.
H939.3. H939.3. Tasks set by cruel sisters-in-law to get tigress. India: Thompson-Balys.
H939.4. H939.4. Giant assigns task. French Canadian: Sister Marie Ursule.
H939.4.1. H939.4.1. Serpent-king assigns task. India: Thompson-Balys.
H940. H940. Assignment of tasks – miscellaneous.
H941. H941. Cumulative tasks: second assigned so that first can be done. *Cosquin Contes indiens 474ff.; Chauvin VI 109 No. 274 n. 3; Greek: *Frazer Apollodorus I 109 n. 4; India: *Thompson-Balys.
H942. H942. Tasks assigned as payment of gambling loss. (Cf. H1219.1.) Irish myth: *Cross; Icelandic: Boberg.
H945. H945. Tasks voluntarily undertaken.
H945.1. H945.1. Warriors go towards strong enemy as consequence of own boast. Icelandic: Boberg.
H945.2. H945.2. Hero goes north to fight with trolls. (Cf. F455.) Icelandic: Boberg.
H946. H946. Task assigned from misunderstanding.
H946.1. H946.1. Task assigned from misunderstanding: search for prince named Sabr (“wait”). India: Thompson-Balys.
H950 – H999.
H950 – H999. Performance of tasks.
H950. H950. Task evaded by subterfuge.
H951. H951. Countertasks. When a task is assigned, the hero agrees to perform it as soon as the assigner performs a certain other task. (Cf. H691.2.1, H1021.1.1, H1021.3, H1021.6.1, H1021.6.2, H1022.2.1, H1022.3, H1022.9, H1023.1.1, H1023.1.2, H1023.2.2.1, H1023.9.1, H1023.10.1, H1142.3, H1146.) *Types 531, 875; *BP I 221, II 367, 369, III 18ff.; *De Vries FFC LXXIII 43ff., 145ff., 150ff., 154, 232ff., 241f., 249; *Chauvin VIII 61 No. 26; Zachariae Kleine Schriften 98; *Child V 497 s.v. “tasks”; India: Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham; Japanese: Ikeda.
H952. H952. Reductio ad absurdum of task. When an impossible task is given, the hero responds with a countertask so absurd as to show the manifest absurdity of the original task. (Cf. H1023.3.1, H1024.1.1.1.) *Type 821B; BP II 368 n. 1; Child I 10f., 13; De Vries FFC LXXIII 265, 269 n. 2; India: *Thompson-Balys; Indonesia: De Vries‘s list No. 237; Chinese: Graham.
H960. H960. Tasks performed through cleverness or intelligence. Irish myth: Cross.
H961. H961. Tasks performed by cleverness. *M. Bloomfield in Penzer VII x; S. A. Indian (Quiché): Alexander Lat. Am. 174.
H962. H962. Tasks performed by close observation. Type 577; India: Thompson-Balys.
H962.1. H962.1. Task: sitting on eggs without breaking them; hero perceives trick. Irish myth: Cross.
H963. H963. Tasks performed by means of secrets overheard from tree. *Type 613; *Christiansen FFC XXIV 96ff.; India: Thompson-Balys; Chinese: Graham; Japanese: Ikeda.
H970. H970. Help in performing tasks. India: Thompson-Balys.
H971. H971. Task performed with help of old person. Tonga: Gifford 159f.
H971.1. H971.1. Tasks performed with help of old woman. Types 306, 510, 566, 567; Irish myth: *Cross; Scotch: Macdougall and Calder 160; German: Grimm Nos. 9, 14, 29, 122, 125, 133, 181, 186; Italian Novella: Rotunda; Japanese: Ikeda.
H971.2. H971.2. Task performed with help of little old men. Icelandic: *Boberg.
H972. H972. Tasks accomplished with help of grateful dead. *Type 507A; India: Thompson-Balys.
H972.1. H972.1. Tasks performed by captive spirits of the dead. Africa (Fang): Einstein 70ff.; Trilles 190ff. No. 11.
H973. H973. Tasks performed by helpful forest spirits. Maori: Dixon 61.
H973.1. H973.1. Task performed by fairy. Irish myth: *Cross; India: Thompson-Balys.
H973.2. H973.2. Tasks performed with help of four demons in ring. India: Thompson-Balys.
H973.3. H973.3. Task performed by dwarfs. (Cf. F451.5.1.) German: Grimm Nos. 13, 55, 64, 91, 113.
H974. H974. Task performed with help of supernatural wife. Irish myth: *Cross; Greek: Grote I 219; India: *Thompson-Balys; Japanese: Anesaki 357, Ikeda.
H974.1. H974.1. Task performed with help of mistress. India: *Thompson-Balys.
H975. H975. Tasks performed by deity. Greek: Grote I 108.
H975.0.1. H975.0.1. Task performed by deity in answer to prayer. India: Thompson-Balys.
H975.1. H975.1. Tasks performed by aid of goddess. Italian Novella: Rotunda; India: Thompson-Balys.
H976. H976. Task performed by mysterious stranger. Irish myth: Cross.
H981. H981. Tasks performed with help of brother. Chinese: Graham.
H982. H982. Animals help man perform task. *Types 300, 329, 531, 550, 552, 554, 665.
H982.1. H982.1. Pigeons cover the sun’s rays with their outstretched wings and lengthen night to six months so that hero‘s task can be completed in one night. India: Thompson-Balys.
H983. H983. Task performed with help of angel. (Cf. N810.) Jewish: *Neuman.
H984. H984. Tasks performed with help of saint. Irish myth: *Cross; Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 69 No. 515.
H984.1. H984.1. Tasks performed with help of Brahmadaitya. India: Thompson-Balys.
H985. H985. Task performed with help of druid. Irish myth: *Cross.
H986. H986. Help in performance of tasks: invisible hands. India: Thompson-Balys.
H987. H987. Task performed with aid of magic object. German: Grimm Nos. 28, 91, 122, 133, 165, 181.
H990. H990. Performance of tasks – miscellaneous.
H991. H991. Unpromising hero last to try task (rescue from animal). India: Thompson-Balys.

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