Back to motif List page

Back to Thompson motifs main page

Back to Masa Site

Back to Hebrew Masa site

 

Search the database


Next group

Prevuius group

Group No. 132


Letter

J. The wise and the foolish

Group No.

J800 – J899

Group name

Adaptability

Description

J810. J810. Policy in dealing with the great.
 
J811. J811. Wisdom of concessions to power.
 
J811.1. J811.1. The lion’s share. Ass divides booty equally between himself, fox, and lion. Lion eats ass. Fox then divides: gives lion meat and he takes bones. *Type 51; Wienert FFC LVI 59 (ET 213), 110 (ST 220); Halm Aesop No. 260; Jacobs Aesop 200 No. 4; Herbert III *14, 39ff.; *Crane Vitry 199 No. 158. – Spanish Exempla: Keller; Italian Novella: Rotunda; American Negro: Harris Nights 334 No. 58.
 
J811.1.1. J811.1.1. Lion divides the booty. Best part goes to himself as king of beasts; second, as strongest; third, as most valiant; fourth – “touch it if you dare.” Wienert FFC LVI *59 (ET 216), *148 (ST 530); Halm Aesop No 258; *K. Gorski Die Fabel vom Löwenanteil in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung (Berlin, 1888).
 
J811.2. J811.2. Fox refuses to mediate between lion and lioness. Lion decides to abandon lioness because of her bad odor. Ass, hog, and fox as judges. Ass says she has bad odor: lioness slaps him. Hog says she has not: lion slaps him. Fox says that he has a bad cold and cannot smell. Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 29 No. 52*.
 
J811.3. J811.3. King honors poet and critic: the first so that he will honor the king; the second, so that he will not dishonor him. Spanish: Childers.
 
J811.4. J811.4. Ruler angered by evil spoken of him is placated by soft words of speakers. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J811.5. J811.5. Prime minister bribes priest to persuade king that ocean of milk he wishes sought for had curdled. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J811.6. J811.6. Fox with three hundred fables ready to tell against lion conveniently forgets them. Jewish: Neuman.
 
J814. J814. Flattery of the great.
 
J814.1. J814.1. Imprisoned musician defends himself. Has been imprisoned because the king did not like the way the musician looked at him. After a year the king returns as a conqueror and sees musician. The latter says that he saw the king‘s conquests in a vision and was blessing him when he looked at him. The musician is honored. *Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin I 255 No. 188.
 
J814.2. J814.2. Flatterer always agrees with king even in opposite opinions; defense: he is king’s servant. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J814.3. J814.3. “High-born alone recognizes one of equal rank with himself.” Jackal sees man with instrument he is unfamiliar with, comes up to him and salutes him “Lord of Delhi.” Man calls him Lord of Jungle and tells above. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J814.4. J814.4. Flattery of the wicked to escape death at his hands: “This is an offering to my lord Esau from his slave Jacob”. Jewish: Neuman.
 
J814.5. J814.5. Dissenting minister to king: “Let the king do as seems good in his eyes”. Jewish: Neuman.
 
J815. J815. Unpleasant truths must be withheld from the great.
 
J815.1. J815.1. Liar rewarded by the apes. King of apes asks visitors how they like his children (courtiers). Truthful visitor tells that they are very ugly, and is punished. Liar praises their beauty and receives reward. *Types 48*, 68**; *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 381; *Gerber MLN IV (1889) 479; Wienert FFC LVI 47 (ET 53), 104 (ST 168); Alphabet No. 33; Scala Celi No. 36.
 
J815.2. J815.2. Brother who conforms to naked people’s customs honored. Two brothers go to the land of Naked People. One of the brothers wears clothes and is punished. Wesselski Archiv Orientální I 80.
 
J815.3. J815.3. Muddy bath prepared for blemished king. Irish myth: Cross.
 
J816. J816. Tact in reproving the great.
 
J816.1. J816.1. King brought to sense of duty by feigned conversation of birds. Philosopher pretends to know bird‘s language and to be translating what they tell him. *Basset 1001 Contes II 452; Chauvin II 153 No. 21, *VIII 129f. No. 119; Wesselski Märchen 220 No. 34; Spanish Exempla: Keller; India: *Thompson-Balys.
 
J816.1.1. J816.1.1. King living apart from wife brought to sense of duty by philosopher. Asks if there is harmony among the cities and republics of Greece: philosopher tells him to ask it of his own house. Spanish: Childers.
 
J816.2. J816.2. King called baker’s son: he has given the poet only loaves of bread. King sees jest and rewards poet. Nouvelles Récréations No. 4.
 
J816.3. J816.3. King brought to sense of duty by woman‘s words. Drunken king sentences unjustly. Woman asks to appear before the king before he has dined. Her case is retried. Spanish: Childers.
 
J816.4. J816.4. Woman tactfully restrains amorous king. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J817. J817. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J817.1. J817.1. Man called a rogue by a nobleman makes a joke of the insult. He thus avoids trouble. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 476.
 
J817.2. J817.2. Physician willing to believe in four persons. Angers a theologian by disputing doctrine of the Trinity. “Don’t get angry,” he says; “rather than have you condemn me to hell, I would believe in four persons.” Wesselski Bebel I 163 No. 98.
 
J817.2.1. J817.2.1. King makes absurd statement about flowers. Flatterer agrees: it is the king he serves, not the wretched flowers. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J817.3. J817.3. With a silent person one is alone. Angered bishop will not answer when addressed. Relents when priest says, “Since there is no one here I may heed the call of Nature.” Italian Novella: Rotunda.
 
J818. J818. Care in advising a king.
 
J818.1. J818.1. Yogi advises yogi blood for making king‘s leaky tank hold water: king cuts off yogi’s head. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J821. J821. Keeping on good terms with hostile gods.
 
J821.1. J821.1. Dog asks raven why he sacrifices to Athene, since she hates raven because of his powers of augury. “The more reason to sacrifice. She will keep on good terms with me.” Wienert FFC LVI 61 (ET 231), 143 (ST 490); Halm Aesop No. 213.
 
J822. J822. Man plays fool to protect himself in dealing with king.
 
J822.1. J822.1. Man pretends idiocy so as to avoid compromising himself when summoned to testify by two rival queens before the king. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J823. J823. Man recounts unpleasant happening to king when in good humor and draws laugh; rest draw punishment. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J829. J829. Dealing with the great – miscellaneous.
 
J829.1. J829.1. The king and the cheap slippers. Steward buys the king a pair of slippers. King thinks not enough has been paid for them and refuses them. Steward buys another like the first and charges a good price. Learns that this is the way to deal with kings. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 162.
 
J829.2. J829.2. Devil decides to leave of own accord. It is decided to drive the devil out of a man who is possessed. Devil sees the inevitable and flees so that they cannot say that he has been driven off. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 159.
 
J829.3. J829.3. Vanquished ruler in disguise gets audience with victor. “What would you do if your enemy were to kneel before you and beg forgiveness?” “I would forgive him.” Reveals identity and is pardoned. Italian Novella: Rotunda.
 
J830. J830. Adaptability to overpowering force.
 
J831. J831. Mohammed goes to the mountain (tree) when the mountain will not come to him. Wesselski Hodscha Nasreddin *II 190 No. 372.
 
J832. J832. Reeds bend before wind (flood). Save themselves while oak is uprooted. *Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 174; Wienert FFC LVI 73 (ET 387), 107 (ST 190, 243); Halm Aesop No. 179; **E. Grawi Die Fabel vom Baum und dem Schilfrohr in der Weltliteratur (Rostock Diss., 1911). – India: Thompson-Balys; Jewish: Neuman.
 
J833. J833. Ass foolish to kick against the pricks. Wienert FFC LVI 71 (ET 357), 140 (ST 468).
 
J834. J834. Fire burns man who doesn‘t understand it. Useful when one knows how to use it. Wienert FFC LVI *80 (ET 467), 121 (ST 306).
 
J835. J835. Wit interprets unfavorable decision of court as doing him great honor. Nouvelles Récréations No. 37.
 
J850-J899. CONSOLATION IN MISFORTUNE
 
J860. J860. Consolation by a trifle.
 
J861. J861. Consolation for misfortune found in food.
 
J861.1. J861.1. Consoled by a drop of honey. Man in pit surrounded by perils thus comforts himself. **Kuhn Der Mann in Brunnen (Stuttgart, 1888); *Chauvin II 85 No. 17, III 100 No. 6; Bødker Exempler 276 No. 16; Herbert Catalogue of Romances III 12; *Crane Vitry 191 No. 134; Alphabet No. 623. – Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J861.2. J861.2. Man on sinking ship eats salt. Otherwise he will not enjoy the large amount of water that he must drink. Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 235; Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
 
J861.3. J861.3. Mouse (fly) dying in meat tub is happy that he has eaten to satisfaction. Wienert FFC LVI *64 (ET 274), *143 (ST 495); Halm Aesop No. 292.
 
J864. J864. Comfort in the contemplation of impossible pleasure.
 
J864.1. J864.1. Fox stumbles over violin. Chased from chicken coop by dogs. When he stumbles he says, “What a fine opportunity to dance if I had time!” Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 33 No. 135A, Espinosa Jr. No. 24.
 
J864.2. J864.2. Fox about to be hanged asks to be allowed to see geese. (Cf. J2174.) Pauli (ed. Bolte) No. 29.
 
J865. J865. Consolation by thinking of some good aspect of a situation.
 
J865.1. J865.1. “But by a fine fellow!” Dying toad thus comforts his paramour, the frog, whom he is leaving neither married nor widow nor maiden and pregnant. Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 38 No. 288A*.
 
J866. J866. Consolation by thinking of the past.
 
J866.1. J866.1. Unsuccessful fishermen console themselves that their earlier high hopes balance up their disappointment. Wienert FFC LVI 66 (ET 300), 133 (ST 324); Halm Aesop No. 23.
 
J867. J867. Mutual and undeserved compliments: donkey to camel, “What a beauty you are”; latter answers, “What a sweet voice you have.” India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J869. J869. Consolation by a trifle – miscellaneous.
 
J869.1. J869.1. Doves in net console themselves because they think trapper’s tears are from pity for them. Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J870. J870. Consolation by pretending that one does not want the thing he cannot have.
 
J871. J871. The fox and the sour grapes. Pretends that the grapes he cannot reach are sour. Wienert FFC LVI 63 (ET 267), 125 (ST 336); Halm Aesop No. 33; Scala Celi 52b No. 292; Jacobs Aesop 207 No. 31; Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 30 No. 66a*; Jewish: Neuman.
 
J871.1. J871.1. Fox asking for favor set on by dogs. Thankful to have saved life. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J873. J873. Fox in swollen river claims to be swimming to distant town. Wienert FFC LVI 62 (ET 244), 125 (ST 339); Halm Aesop No. 30; Spanish: Boggs FFC XC 30 No. 66B*.
 
J873.1. J873.1. Jackal covers up his inability to cross stream by saying he is looking for shallowest part. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J873.2. J873.2. Clever jackal covers up his clumsiness in catching cows by saying he was running to and fro because he was looking for the fattest calf. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J874. J874. Dog driven out of dining room claims to be drunk. Says that he has drunk so much that he does not know how he got out of the house. Wienert FFC LVI 68 (ET 322), 125 (ST 338); Halm Aesop No. 62.
 
J875. J875. Warrior having lost a city claims that he did not wish to sell it for a higher price. Wesselski Bebel I 118 No. 1.
 
J876. J876. Headless king and tailless tiger, each afraid of other, agree to be friends. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J877. J877. Scorned suitor consoles himself by realization that a wife who did not love him would be constant source of trouble. Nouvelles de Sens No. 3.
 
J880. J880. Consolation by thought of others worse placed.
 
J881. J881. Timid animal consoled when he sees others more timid.
 
J881.1. J881.1. More timid than the hare. Hares take heart when they see that frogs are more timid than they. *Type 70; *Dh IV 97ff.; Wienert FFC LVI *62 (ET 245), 116 (ST 266); Halm Aesop No. 237; Jacobs Aesop 204 No. 15.
 
J881.2. J881.2. Lion comforted for his fear of the cock. Finds that elephant is afraid of the gnat. Wienert FFC LVI 77 (ET 428), 116 (ST 267); Halm Aesop No. 261.
 
J882. J882. Man with unfaithful wife comforted.
 
J882.1. J882.1. Man with unfaithful wife comforted when he sees the queen‘s unfaithfulness. Wesselski Märchen 185 No. 1; Italian Novella: *Rotunda.
 
J882.2. J882.2. Man with unfaithful wife comforted when he sees jealous husband who carefully guards wife cuckolded. *Wesselski Märchen 185 No. 1; Köhler-Bolte II 625; Italian Novella: *Rotunda; India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J882.3. J882.3. Man whose wife gives him bath only once a week comforted by one who does so once a year. India: Thompson-Balys.
 
J883. J883. Poor man consoles self by thinking of misfortunes of rich.
 
J883.1. J883.1. Man compelled to live on peas takes comfort when he sees a man once rich eating the hulls. Chauvin II 150 No. 10; Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J883.2. J883.2. Man in cold consoles himself thinking of rich men in hell or prison. Herbert III 8; Crane Vitry 179 No. 108.
 
J885. J885. Clever person’s defeat pleases inferior.
 
J885.1. J885.1. Hare upbraided by sparrow for letting self be carried off by eagle rejoices when sparrow is carried off by hawk. Wienert FFC LVI 56 (ET 164), 103 (ST 160).
 
J890. J890. Consolation in misfortune – miscellaneous.
 
J891. J891. Enemy horses captured by lion join forces and become friends. Chauvin II 150 No. 9; Spanish Exempla: Keller.
 
J893. J893. Consolation: spiritual recompense for temporal misfortune.
 
J893.1. J893.1. Consolation: priest tells blind man that even flies have eyes but only man has the inner eyes of the soul. Spanish Exempla: Keller.

Next group

Previous group