Friday, January 7, 2011
I started with the first story in the book, not because it was the first story but because it was The Frog Prince" and I collect frogs. When a princess agrees to become a friend to a frog if he will rescue her beloved golden ball, she doesn't think there will be any way for him to follow her and hold her to her promise. But eventually he does make his way to the castle. When the princess confides to the King why the frog is there, the King insists that the princess make good on her promise. He forces her to let the frog up onto the table and to share her dinner. But when she is forced to take the frog up to her bedroom, she is repulsed by the idea of sleeping with the frog and throws him at the wall. Before he hits the wall, though, he turns into a prince and then marries the princess. What? He marries the girl who broke her promise, whined about keeping it and then tried to injure him? Okay, I know some cases where this really has happened but I don't think of that as much of a moral.
Just when I began to believe that there really were no morals to the stories, I read Sharing The Joy and The Sorrow, about a man who abused his wife but was punished by the magistrates, and The Nail, about a man who was in such a hurry to get somewhere that he didn't put a nail in his horse's shoe which eventually caused the horse to go lame and his leg to break causing the man to be very late.
The funniest story I read this week was Fair Katrinelje and Pif-Paf-Poltrie. A young man is made to ask permission of an entire family before he will be allowed to marry the youngest daughter. After he has gotten all of the permissions, he asks her about her dowry. She has almost none but that's okay because he has almost nothing to offer in return.