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

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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

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

 

 

The Bronze Ring (The Blue Fairy Book Project)

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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

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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. 

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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