Fairy Tale Friday – Puss In Boots

puss in boots 2We often see retellings of popular fairy tales, from Snow White to Sleeping Beauty.  But what about the others — the lesser known tales?  We’ve seen a few movies and books tackle them, often casting them as side characters such as Pinocchio and Rumpelstiltskin.  Today, however, we will be taking a look at a more obscure tale, one that many Shrek fans would be vaguely familiar with.  His name?  Puss In Boots.

Puss In Boots, or “The Booted Cat,” is about a millers youngest son who inherits a talking cat.  The cat, through trickery, gains power and wealth for his master throughout the story until they are both ultimately set.  You see — long story short — after the cat asks for boots and receives them, he sets out and catches a rabbit, presenting it to the king as a gift from his master.  After several months of doing this, the cat learns that this king is going out for a drive with his daughter.  The cat persuades his master to then enter the river, getting him to remove his clothes which are discarded by the cat.  The king stops to investigate, only to have the cat tell  him that his master is a Marquis who has been robbed.  The king takes him in and his daughter falls in love with him immediately.puss in boots

If this wasn’t enough trickery for you, the cat goes ahead and begins telling the people along the road to announce to the king that the land belongs to said Marquis — the penniless, youngest son of a miller.  He then continues on to a castle where a shapeshifting ogre lives, though the cat ends up devouring him after the ogre transforms into a mouse.  So when the king arrives, they tell him that the estate belongs to the Marquis which impresses the king, convincing him to give his daughter to the miller’s youngest son in marriage, and the cat lives happily ever after.

I know, this one’s a bit odd.  But this is also a very brief summary of the Italian tale that has captured our imaginations for centuries.  For the full story, feel free to head over to SurLaLune Fairytales and give it a read — let us know what you think of this lesser known tale down below.

As an added bonus, bust out your pens and dust off your keyboards, for we have some exciting news for you.  TimelessTales Magazine is having an open submission call right now through March 4th for Puss In Boots poetry!  So be sure to submit yours before the deadline!

TimelessTales Magazine

Currently looking for Puss In Boots poetry.  “For poems, you may technically send us multiple pieces up to 1,500 words total, but please be considerate of our editor and only send your best and most polished work.” Currently they are open to all forms or retellings though they will note accept eroticism.

Word Count: Up to 1,500 Words
Deadline: March 4th, 2019
Payment: $20

 

Prince Hyacinth and the Dear Little Princess (The Blue Fairy Book)

prince hyacinth1
The enchanter steals the Dear Little Princess. Art by Henry J. Ford.

Prince Hyacinth and the Dear Little Princess,” a French fairy tale, is the second story in Andrew Lang’s The Blue Fairy Book. (Reference given in at the end of the story: “Le Prince Desir et la Princesse Mignonne”. Par Madame Leprince de Beaumont.)

This is a strange little tale about a prince with an extraordinarily long nose. Like many fairy tales composed by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (26 April 1711 – 8 September 1780), this story is a moralistic one. While working as a governess in England, Madame Leprince de Beaumont recast French fairy tales as children’s fiction. She borrowed liberally from the writings that came out of the 17th-century French salons and recrafted them into stories that were both moral and instructive. Her most well-known fairy tale is the abridged version of “Beauty and the Beast,” which she adapted for young readers from Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve‘s original.

The complete fairy tale of “Prince Hyacinth and the Dear Little Princess” is available to read for free at Patreon (The Blue Fairy Book Project). There are also two public posts featuring the original art by Henry J. Ford: The king chases the cat and The enchanter steals the Dear Little Princess. For as little as $1 a month, Patrons have access to two additional posts with additional images, prompts, and poetry: Casting shadows and Pinocchio.

Note: Feel free to share links to your poetry or prose in the comments. Next up is “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.” See you soon. — Carina Bissett

east of the sun_kay nielsen
East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Art by Kay Nielsen.

 

 

The Bronze Ring (The Blue Fairy Book Project)

400px-The_Bronze_Ring_3_The_Blue_Fairy_Book_by_Andrew_Lang_1889
The mice have the ring. H. Ford

The Bronze Ring” is the first story in The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. This version of this fairy tale from the Middle East or Central Asia and was translated and adapted from Traditions Populaires de l’Asie Mineure by Carnoy et Nicolaides (Paris: Maison-neuve, 1889).

The complete fairy tale of “The Bronze Ring” is available for general viewing along with two other prompts: The Gardener’s son meets the old woman and Fishes for an old ring. For as little as $1 a month, Patrons have access to three additional posts (so far): The mice have the ring, The Quixotic Quest of Three Blind Mice, and Magic Ring.

Note: Feel free to share links to your poetry or prose in the comments. This is going to be fun!

Carina Bissett

 

Seal Wives and Stamp Collections

Faroese_stamp_584_the_seal_woman
Stamp FO 584 of the Faroe Islands: The Seal Woman 

Selkies, or seal people, can be found populating the folklore of the British Isles and Scandinavia. When they come to shore, these mythical creatures shed their seal skins and dance on the beaches in their human form. Although there are male selkies, it’s the women who often show up in the cultural myths. Labelled as part of the folklore attributed to animal brides, these stories often tell of a fisherman who spies a selkie girl and binds her in her human form by hiding her sealskin. But selkie wives are canny creatures. Even when they are trapped on land in their human forms and are forced into marriage with the human husbands who hold them hostage, they secretly wait for the day when they can reclaim their sealskin and return to their homes beneath the ocean.

In 2015, Denmark’s Faroe Islands celebrated one selkie myth with a stunning series of stamps detailing the story of “The Seal Wife.” In this story, the selkie wife is taken captive by a fisherman who hides her seal coat. Unable to return to the ocean, she is forced into marriage and ends up bearing him seven children. One day, the fisherman goes to work, but forgets the key to the trunk where his wife’s sealskin is hidden. She discovers her coat and returns to her seal form, leaving her human husband behind. Back in the ocean, the seal woman is reunited with her selkie husband and bears him two sons. However, the jilted fisherman tracks down her seal family and murders them. In retribution, the selkie vows to drag Faroese fishermen to a watery grave, until so many fishermen drown that there are enough dead to circle the islands holding hands. With 694 miles of coastline surrounding the Faroe Islands, the selkie’s vengeance will not rest until at least 613,736 fishermen have died. 

There are 10 stamps in the The Seal Woman (kópakonan) series. These Faroe Islands stamps were designed by artist Edward Fuglø and were issued on February 12, 2007. 

stamps-selkie

Further reading: 

Clickbait for Paranormals: Try These Simple Tricks to Make Your Man Give Your Seal Skin Back” by Sarina Dorie

In Sea-Salt Tears” by Seanan McGuire

Selkie Stories are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar

“Skin,” The Girl with No Hands by Angela Slatter

“The Tale of the Skin,” The Orphan’s Tales, Volume I: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

  

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Fire Inside by John Allison

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks

Seaward by Susan Cooper

The Secret of the Ron Mor by Rosalie Fry

The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff

The Selkie and The Selkie Bride by Melanie Jackson

Home from the Sea by Mercedes Lackey

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire

Secrets of Selkie Bay by Shelley Moore Thomas

Seal Island trilogy by Sophie Moss

Petaybee trilogy by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Neptune Rising: Songs and Tales of the Undersea Folk by Jane Yolen and David Wiesner