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Friday, 17 June 2011

Fairy-Tale Friday: From Russia with Love #15

Each week Irena @ This Miss Loves To Read hosts Friday is for Fairy-Tales.

It is an opportunity to share a love of the fairy-tale genre throughout the blogosphere and discuss your favourite character, your childhood memories, new authors and all time favourites. You can find out more by visiting her POST.
Ever since I read Marcus Sedgwick’s Blood Red Snow White, I have wanted to read Arthur Ransome’s Old Peter’s Russian Tales. If you’ve read Blood Red, you’ll understand why. If you haven’t, then I suggest you add it to your wish list. I never realised how poetic fairy-tales could be until I read it.

So I am going to read one of Old Peter’s Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome each week and then share it with you here.

Click HERE for link to Posts 1 – 10 of this feature.
Post 12 - The Golden Fish
Post 14 - The Firebird, The Horse of Power and the PrincessVasilissa

The Hunter and his Wife
Oh me, oh my... This is a cautionary tale for a wife if ever there was one. It made me chuckle and it is short so I can tell it to you.
There was once a wife who used to bother her husband with questions all day long. It made him rather fed up so he often spent time in the forest hunting with his two dogs.  One day he came upon a fire of burning logs and wrapped around them was a snake. The snake asked the old man to help him escape and on the snake’s advice, the old man leaned out with his rifle and the snake crawled along it and got free. As a reward the snake gave the man the power to hear all the speech of the animals, but there was a condition, he must never tell a soul for if he did, he would die.
The old man lay down to rest and one of his dogs stayed to watch him. The other went home to watch over the house because there were often thieves roaming in the night. The old man learned all this from the conversation between the dogs.
In the morning, the dog who stayed with his master asked how it was at the house for his brother dog. His brother told the story of the wife’s cruelty. She had given him a burned crust for his dinner and beaten him until his ribs broke. The old man upon hearing this was furious. He returned home and confronted his wife. She confessed but wanted to know how he knew this. He refused to tell her and on and on she asked.
The old man was resigned to telling her and accepting his death. He went and lay down by the chicken coop and heard the cockerel laughing at him. The cockerel had thirty wives and he managed them all. The husband was rallied by this and he beat his wife until she learned not to ask questions and so the old man lived a long life.

My thoughts:
What can I say? I do not condone beating your wife under any circumstances. Perhaps a less harsh punishment would have been to sew her lips together or maybe move out?
Grisly, but rather entertaining...


Pepca said...

Thanks for sharing this, it is a great fairy tale.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Thank you for this fun post!

Wow, a cautionary tale for wives, indeed!:) It's so funny to think that the husband was about to die, but when he beat his wife into silence, he lived a long life, questions-free. Of course I hate husbands who beat their wives, but this story has a very entertaining finale.