Monday, November 19, 2018

Land of legends (Following folktales around the world 92. - Northern Ireland)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!


Armagh Folk Tales
Frances Quinn
The History Press, 2014.

Because I do this challenge by political and not cultural borders, I get to read two books of Irish folktales. Yay! This first one is by storyteller Frances Quinn, whom I heard personally tell some of these stories last year, on location (a treat!). The book collects fifty stories from County Armagh, including some very famous classic Irish legends that have connections to Ulster. All of them are researched and retold by an excellent storyteller, and make an exciting read. The book has no notes or bibliography, but it does preface every story with sources and origin. Chapters are themed by story types, from legends through anecdotes to local lore.

Highlights


Many famous Irish legends have connections to Armagh. Emain Macha (Navan Fort), legendary home of the Ulster kings and heroes falls inside the boundaries of the country, so technically any story of the Ulster cycle could fit within this book. Many of them did, starting with the Twins of Macha, a woman who was forced to run a race with the king's horses while heavily pregnant, won, gave birth to twins, and then cursed the men of Ulster to have birthing pains whenever they were attacked (best curse in legend and lore). Another Macha, Macha Mongrúad was also a fierce woman, winning herself a kingdom and keeping it against all odds.
Talking about Ulster heroes, of course there are several legends in the book that feature Cú Chulainn (including the one about how he won his name). Similarly famous are the Children of Lir (who spend 900 years changed into swans), and Deirdre of the Sorrows, probably the most famous tragic love story in Ireland. To my delight, there was even a Fianna story, the Hunt on Slieve Gullion - last year, when we visited Armagh with the FEST conference, I got to climb the mountain and see the setting of that story for myself. Another member of the Fianna, Oisín, also made an appearance, helping Saint Patrick fight off a raging bull and find a place to build the cathedral of Armagh.
I have always liked the story of Fergus Mac Leide, which is the earliest known mention of leprechauns. This book's version had a different opening than the one I was familiar with, but it did end the same way: With the king in his water-walking shoes encountering a monster under a lake... I also got to read about the mermaid Liban (who became St. Murigen later on), and Black Pig Dyke, which was created when a bad teacher was cursed into a wild boar by a parent, and tore up the countryside. The most disturbing legend, however, was that of the Hungry grass, which grows on the graves of people who died in the Famine, and makes unsuspecting people starve to death.

Connections

I encountered yet another story that I knew from a local Hungarian version by my grandpa (the tale of bringing candles to the church to count sins). I have also read variants of "Lived once buried twice" from several countries - the tale of the wife who is woken up in the grave when a robber tries to cut her ring finger off. This book had two different versions of it, one of them from 1705.
There were, of course, sleeping knights (here associated with Black Pig Dyke and the end of the world), and many, many fairy legends - stolen women, nighttime dances, fair midwives, and changelings. My favorite text, however, was from a folklorist who overheard local people talking about him, and wrote the conversation down - the two fellows concluded in the end that the strange collector must be a fae himself.

Where to next?
Republic of Ireland!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fairies, heroes, wizards (Following folktales around the world 91. - Scotland)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!


The Penguin Book of Scottish Folktales
Neil Philip
Penguin Books, 1995.

Yet another folklore classic, with notes, sources, tale types, and a world of information. It represents various aspects of Scottish oral tradition; the 112 tales are grouped into chapters by region (Highlands and Lowlands), as well as story types (historical stories, anecdotes, fairy legends, etc.). The long introduction talks about tale type indexes, the features of oral storytelling, Scottish tradition, and even the roles of male and female tellers. Each story comes with sources, type numbers, and the teller's name. Many texts were written out phonetically, which made it harder for me to follow, and often I had to read them out loud to understand the words, but it was worth it. I found quite a few great stories in this book.

Highlights


Kate Crackernuts
Some of my favorite Scottish folktales are featured in the book - for example Kate Crackernuts, with a heroine who saves a prince and also helps her stepsister (in a sort of reverse "dancing princesses" story); or Mally Whuppie, who repeatedly outwits a giant to save herself and her sisters. The latter also had a Highland variant, called Maol a Chliobain.
I really liked Maraiche Mairneal, the Weatherwise Mariner, who was not even the protagonist in his own story; the hero was a prince who had a snake twisted around his body, and in order to find the women who could help him get rid of it, he had to enlist the help of an old, blind mariner. All was well in the end. The story of The widow's son and the king's daughter took an unexpected turn when the hero, in order to defeat a fire-breathing dragon, got a camel, filled it up with water, and made it spew water at the flames of the dragon. Similarly unexpected was the story of The man in the boat, a version of "the man who had no story", in which said man was spirited away by a boat, turned into a woman, married, had children, and then got back on the same night - and now he had quite the story to tell. Teenagers love this story.
I was delighted to find quite a few Fianna legends in the book. Finn in the land of Big Men was familiar; I even have a version of it in my own book. Finn and the Grey Dog is also an old favorite of mine; I knew it from Rosemary Sutcliff's collection, but it was great to find the folk text as well. There was a variant of the Hostel of the Quicken Trees (here the Yellow Field), where the Fianna warriors get stuck to their chairs in an enchanted house, and the younger generation has to rescue them. And of course there was a story about Oisín (Ossian), after the Fianna.

Michael Scott's tomb
There were some fascinating historical legends as well. One was about the last of the Picts, and how father and son took the secret of the heather ale with them to the grave. I encountered Sir James Ramsay of Bamff, a legendary doctor with magical abilities, and Michael Scott, one of the most famous wizards in European lore (both were features in my book on superpowers).
Among the fairy legends, I really liked Black Lad MacCrimmon and the Banshee, where the fairy asked the piper lad if he wanted success without talent, or talent without success. He chose the latter.

Connections


A Fekete Bika képregény- változata (Image Comics)
There were quite a few classic tale types in the book, such as Mother killed me, father ate me; Cinderella; Beauty and the Beast (here the Black Bull of Norroway); Magic Flights (Green Sleeves); Frog Bride; The hunchback and the fairies; Clever Maiden; Water of Life (here with a friendly bear); Firebird (here with a friendly fox); and even Raven brothers (here with shirts made from bog cotton). There was a Scottish Frog Prince who had to be beheaded with an axe, rather than kissed. Rumpelstiltskin here was a woman named Whoppity Stoorie, and Frau Holle's tale was called The well at the end of the world (one of my storyteller friends recently released a CD with the Appalachian version of this).
I was reminded of other European wizards by Donald Duibheal Mackay who had not shadow, and other European tales by the Humble-bee that flew from the mouth of a sleeping person, and had dream-like adventures.
There were familiar Münchhausen tales among the anecdotes, such as the servant who ate one leg of the goose (known from the Decameron, and also my own grandfather), or the Mare's egg.
Of course I found sleeping knights, waiting for their king to appear; and there was also a Polyphemus story, but instead of blinded cyclops here it featured a blinded fairy (Tam M'Kechan).
The fairy legends were full of familiar motifs: Dance in the fairy hill, fairy midwife, changelings, wife kidnapped by fairies (who then had to choose between two husbands), and mortal traveling with fairies (Hurrah for Kintail!). There was also a selkie and an evil mermaid.
As for tricksters, we had George Buchanan, the king's clever fool.

Where to next?
Northern Ireland!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Arthur, Merlin, and the Fair Family (Following folktales around the world 90. - Wales)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!

The Welsh Fairy Book
W. Jenkyn Thomas
F. A. Stokes, 1908.

This old volume contains a treasure trove of eighty-four Welsh fairy tales. They were collected by a teacher who wanted to make sure that his Welsh students could read stories from their own culture. The language of the tales is eloquent and entertaining, and many tale types repeat based on different places where they are said to have taken place. They are connected to the Welsh landscape - lakes, mountains, towns. Many of the names are difficult for the non-Welsh reader, but Thomas provides a handy pronounciation guide at the beginning of the book. I was delighted to discover that the original volume had been illustrated by Willy Pogány, an artist of Hungarian descent.

Highlights

The drowning of the Bottom Hundred is an eerie legend about a kingdom protected by levees and devoured by a flood after the people whose job it was to keep everything in good shape neglected their duties. It is a very exciting, elaborate story with appealing characters such as a brave princess and a clever minstrel. Floods happened fairly often in these stories; another captivating yet dark legend was that of the Swallowed Court, where a king swapped his elderly wife for a fair young maiden, just to find out too late that the maiden was his old wife who had made a dark deal to regain her youth.
The curse of Pantannas was a story of truma passed down through the generations. A farmer plowed a fairy ring, but when the Fair Folk threatened him hi begged for the punishment to be passed down to his descendants instead. Generations later his descendant Madoc was stolen away on his wedding day, and only appeared again decades later, when all his loved ones were dead. Another tale, titled The ancients of the world, spanned a similarly long time: An ancient eagle wanted to marry someone who matched him in age, so he visited the other ancient creatures of the world until he found an Owl who was older than all of them.
Most of the book is taken up by various fairy legends. One of the most interesting was Elidyr's sojourn to Fairyland, from which we find out that fairies eat saffron milk, never lie, and their language is related to ancient Greek. Next to the fairies we also encounter the Pwca, a mischievous and dangerous trickster creature, and also some witches, in some cases a whole town of them (Goronwy Tudor and the witches of Llanddona).
The book also features some of the most famous Welsh legends, such as the origin of the Red Dragon as a symbol of Wales (along with Merlin's origin story), the tale of Gelert the faithful hound, and the Mantle of Beards, in which King Arthur kills Rhitta Gawr, who collects beards from defeated kings. I was also familiar with the story of Hu Gadarn, who, with the help of a maiden, saves his people from the water monster called Afanc.


Connections

If there is a country that can claim to be them home of the most Sleeping Knights, Wales is probably it. The knights of King Arthur are said to be asleep under various mountains, waiting to be called back to help their people. Of course the fairy legends followed familiar types: There were several fairy midwives with ointment in their eyes (e.g. Lowri Dafydd), changelings that had to be tricked (e.g. the Changeling of Llanfabon), and people who got lost in Fairyland and only returned years later. Even the Open, Sesame tale type featured fairies instead of thieves, whose secret world opened with a Fairy Password.
Some other familiar tale types were also featured in the book, such as Rumpelstiltskin (here the name was Sili go Dwt), or Cricket the false seer (here named Black Robin). Among the classic Welsh tales there was the King with horse's ears (just like the Greek King Midas), and also a surprise appearance from the White Woman whom I have not seen since South America. But the story that made me the happiest was that of Why the robin's breast is red, which echoes one of my favorite American folktales, about birds bringing water to Hell to ease the suffering.

Where to next?
Scotland!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kindness against darkness: Halloween folktales of caring

I like Halloween stories that go beyond mere fright. Maybe because I used to be an anxious child, and jump tales made me cringe in advance; maybe because I never liked horror for horror's sake. When I started developing a Halloween repertoire as a storyteller visiting the USA, I was drawn towards stories that were less about the creatures of darkness, and more about how we face them.


This year, since the world is increasingly full of darkness anyway, I decided to post a selection of stories where scary things are balanced out with kindness and understanding. So, here is my Top 5.

The black kitty
W. B. McCarthy: Cinderella in America (University Press of Mississippi, 2007.)
Polish-American folktale about a boy who is believed to be simple by his brothers, and yet he ends up breaking a curse on a castle and its residents. He does so by hugging a black kitten (an enchanted princess named Katie), and whispering "my kitty, my black kitty" even when dragons, storms, ghosts, and devils descend on the castle to scare him.

The wee little tyke
Ruth L. Tongue: Forgotten folk-tales of the English counties (Routledge, 1970.)
A girl finds a small black stray dog, and takes him home. The entirely family is cursed by a witch, and the home is a horrible place; cow doesn't give milk, hens don't lay eggs, etc. The wee little dog breaks the curses one by one, and chases the witch away. The family decides to adopt the pup, despite his heartbreaking worries: "But... I'm small!" "But you have sharp teeth!" "But... I'm black!" "So is our cat!"

(Bonus: These two tales can also be used to encourage people to get over their superstitions about adopting black pets.)

The skull
Ruth Manning-Sanders: A book of ghosts and goblins (Dutton, 1969.)
Folktale from Tirol. An orphan girl runs away from her cousin's, and comes across a castle in the woods. The castle is inhabited by a woman's skull that she makes friends with despite all the eerie things going on around it. At night, the girl hugs the skull and holds on to it even when the headless skeleton of an evil man tries to tear it away from her. Her bravery and caring breaks the curse on the woman's ghost, and the girl inherits the castle.

Drinking companions
Pu Songling: Strange stories from a Chinese studio (London, 1880.)
Chinese story of possible traditional origins. A fisherman makes friends with a mysterious person who turns out to be the ghost of a drowned man. After a long time of sharing drinks every night, the ghost tells him that the next person to drown in the river is about to take his place. But when the next person turns out to be a mother and child, the ghost saves them, extending his own time in limbo. As a reward, he is assigned to be a minor deity in a nearby village, and continues his friendship with the fisherman. 
My storytelling mentor, Cathryn Fairlee, has a lovely version of this story that features husband and wife.

The count and the servant
(Source in Hungarian)
Hungarian folktale. A count dies, but his ghost haunts the family home every night. A servant who loved him while he was alive decides to find out why his master can't rest in peace. He pretends to be a ghost as well, and spends the night haunting and talking together with the count's ghost. The count confesses that he has hidden treasure that he wanted to leave to his family. When the servant helps him uncover the treasure, the ghost thanks him, and goes to his eternal rest.
I heard Heather Forest tell this one in Jonesborough once.

Have a great Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Forests full of forgotten folktales (Following folktales around the world 89. - England)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!

I could not get access to any collections that cover all parts of the UK in one volume, so I decided to do them separately.
 
Forgotten Folk-tales of the English Counties
Ruth L. Tongue
Routledge, 1970.

This book instantly became one of my all-time favorite folktale collections; it is full of enchanting and unknown stories. Ruth Tongue's vast folklore collection burned down in 1966, after which she began to salvage what she could, by writing stories down from memory, and copying scorched pieces of paper. Some of these had been sent to her before and she did not even have time to read them, so it was a close call for them to be lost forever. Luckily, we now have them printed in this book, and they are a treasure trove!
The book contains 90 stories, grouped into three parts of 6 sections each. The sections are thematic (e.g. "Ghosts and Curses", "Witches and Evil Spirits," or "Rhozzums"). Each story comes with sources and notes, and there is a list of them compiled by county.

Highlights

I found a lot of new favorites. I fell in love with The Vixen and the Oakmen, where trees and plants helped a fox get away from hunters and home to her husband. I encountered again the Elder Tree Witch, a fascinating and creepy story that I also included in my own book. Trees kept popping up in many of the best stories: Timbertoes and Silvertoes was about the friendship of an oak and a birch, The Wonderful Forest saved a girl from an evil king hunting her, and the Green Ladies of One Tree Hill punished two men who cut them down. There were many tales about apple trees specifically; they were often protected by fairies, or fairy horses (Lazy Lawrence) from greedy people.

Several stories that featured helpful animals. I loved the Wee Little Tyke, a tiny black dog that was adopted by a family and defended them fiercely from the curses of a witch. A little boy was helped by a donkey, a cat, and a dog to rescue her baby sister who had been taken through The Fairies' Mist Gate (lovely Christmas story, by the way). A mother was also helped by a horse, a hound, and a lap dog (!) in the fight against a Grim to save her daughter. In Food and fire and company a little old lady was helped by an invisible being around the house.
There were some stories that almost brought me to tears. Next to the wee little tyke, such a story was Poor Mall's Pilgrimage, the sad tale of a girl sold to a lord for a night, and then bullied mercilessly by her village. Eventually a strong and brave priest came along that protected her from the villagers, and carried her on his back to see her baby boy who'd grown up to be the bishop of Canterbury.
There were some ancient tales in the book too, such as one about the Wild Hunt, summoned unwittingly by a boy who blew into Herne's Horn. Or the Dragon of Solway, killed by people who dug stakes into the beach at low tide, and impaled the monster; a story that appears in indigenous traditions around the world. Dragons featured into a few stories, among them the one that got banished not once, but twice - first, by a monk on Winlatter Rock, and second, by Thee Valiant Lads who chased it into the Blue John Mines (this is how I found the book in the first place).
There were many other supernatural beings included in the book - quiet, deepwater mermaids (Asrai), the legendary Black Dog, it's cousin the Dog of the Hills, second cousin the Daisy Dog (actually a Pekingese), Black Annis the blue-faced hag, the Shuck, water ponies (shoopiltee), and fair folk under dozens of names (grig, boggarty, silky, etc.).
Even Robin Hood appeared in one story. We are in England, after all...

Connections

The story of the Seven Swans took an unexpected turn: One was wounded by a hunter, turned into a girl, and was carried away by him - but when she recovered, she turned back into a swan, chased him out of the house, and her swan sisters drowned him (just sayin'). The tale of the Cheshire cheese that went to heaven after rolling away from the priest and dividing itself among the needy reminded me of all the rolling pancake / gingerbread man tales.
Ruth Tongue suggests that the In my pocket story was probably known to J. R. R. Tolkien. It is about the friendship of a dumb giant and a smart dwarf, the latter of which hides in the pocket of the former, and beats a wizard at a game of riddles.

Where to next?
Wales!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Diversity in the Netherlands (Following folktales around the world 88. - Netherlands)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!

The Flying Dutchman
And other folktales from the Netherlands
Theo Meder
Libraries Unlimited, 2007.

The book contains 126 Dutch tales, legends, and other stories, carefully selected by the author not only to reflect the diversity of narrative genres from fairy tale to urban legend, but also to showcase the cultural diversity of the Netherlands. The introduction tells us about the history and culture of the country, including traditions, foodways, and mentality. We learn important things like how Dutch tradition has few heroes, the Flying Dutchman was actually originally an English literary story, and tulips came from Turkey. The tales, on the other hand, are definitely typical of the country, as they are selected and translated from the Dutch Folktale Database. I was especially impressed that the book naturally includes urban legends as part of folklore. Each story came with notes, including sources and storyteller names, tale type numbers, and comments.

Highlights

I liked the story of The king and the soldier, which reminded me of the famous anecdote about Hadrian. The soldier met the disguised king on his way to the royal court, planning on demanding his payment or beating the ruler's face in with a rock. They became friends, went through some adventures, and all was well in the end.
The Lady of Stavoren
Among the legends I especially liked the White Women of the Hill of Lochem - they were helpful and terrifying at the same time, and a young man had to face them in order to win the hand of her beloved (who helped him escape death). of course a version of the Flying Dutchman was still included in the book (as per the title), and so was the most famous actual Dutch legend, the Lady of Stavoren. She ordered a captain to bring her the most precious thing in the world, but when he delivered wheat, she ordered it to be thrown overboard - and soon was punished for her pride. Among the mythical creatures, the Basilisk of Utrecht was the most interesting; as usual, someone defeated it with a mirror.
The best stories were found among the urban legends and anecdotes. For example, one explained why February has fewer days (because he lost some on cards to January and March), and another How people learned to eat potatoes (by a lord putting up a "to be consumed by the king only" sign, prompting people to steal the exotic plant). I also liked the one about Two witches in the wine cellar, in which two young witches said the incantations wrong, got trapped in a cellar, and got terribly drunk. The story did not end well for them, but it was very entertaining. So was another witch story, that of an Enchanted ship that was stolen by the captain's wife every night, so that she could make a magical journey to China.

Connections

Another kind of
Flying Dutchman
Hansel and Gretel found a Chocolate house - after they had been sent to gather firewood by their widowed mother, and got lost in the woods. There were other familiar tale types as well, such as the Magic Flight, Beauty and the Beast, Mother killed me father ate me, and even a fun mix of Frau Holle and Snow White, in which a stepdaughter named Bertha first took refuge in the house of seven monkeys, and then the monkeys blessed her with a prince for a husband. I was intrigued to find a variant of Snow White and Rose Red, which is a rare tale type (in this case, the bear-prince was hunted by fifty evil Dwarves).
Similar to other Northern traditions, there was a legend about Why the sea is salt (in this case, a giant salt ship sunk in it), and even some tales similar to Irish traditions, such as a Changeling story, and the classic Hunchback and the Little People.
A significant part of the book was taken up by urban legends and anecdotes - some famous ones among them, including the Vanishing Hitchhiker. It was an added bonus that I read the tale of the Circus Bear the same day when I also heard it told live by a Transylvanian storyteller, who heard it from a Georgian teller...
Among the trickster tales there were some classics too, such as Why Bear has a short tail (blame it on Fox), the Fake Baptism (also Fox), and even an Anansi story out of the blue - apparently Anansi made the trip from the colonies to the Netherlands. I also encountered human tricksters, such as a clever man named Jan, along with big names such as Tijl Uilenspiegel and Nasreddin.

Where to next?
England!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Blame it on Reynard (Following folktales around the world 87. - Belgium)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!


Folk tales of Flanders
Jean de Bosschère
Dodd, Mead & Co., 1918.

The book contains twenty-four Flemish folktales, and several beautiful, colorful, occasionally grotesque illustrations. In some cases, the tales had been re-written to fit the sensibilities of the era and an audience of children - in one of the stories, a wife was hiding her "nephew" from her husband, instead of a lover, and in some cases severe punishments were also omitted (although they did unceremoniously hang the Fox). It is a book for children, so it contains no notes or sources, but most of the tale types are easily recognizable, and the author re-told them in an enjoyable, entertaining style.

Highlights

My favorite tale in the book was that of The peasant and the Satyrs. It is rare to find Satyrs in tales outside of Greece, so I was excited for them; in this case, they took the Devil's place in a known tale type (or maybe the other way around?). A poor man got lost in the woods in the winter, and found a little cottage where a Satyr family lived. They invited him in, but when they saw him blowing on his hands to get them warm, and blowing on his soup to make it cool, they concluded he must be a powerful being, for being able to blow both hot and cold...

How the goldfinch got its colors was a lovely tale about how the angel tasked with painting the birds forgot about the finch, and had to paint it with colors taken from other species. This was not the only bird legend in the book; the usual "who can fly higher?" contest here happened between Eagle and Goldcrest. The latter became King of the Birds, but only after they tried to imprison it, and Owl let it escape.

The Goldcrest also led the winged creatures' army in the Battle of Birds and Beasts, which was won by the winged ones - a wasp stung Reynard the Fox, who was holding his tail up as a standard, and the beast thought they had been defeated.
Probably the most famous story included in the book was The Trial of Reynard the Fox. Reynard was called to King Lion's court to answer for his many tricks and crimes. Bruin the Bear, and Tybert the Cat failed to fetch him (he outsmarted both), but eventually Blaireau the Badger managed to get him to court. Reynard, being the quintessential trickster, managed to turn his confession into an accusation against other animals, offered the King some fake treasure, got away, and even had time to kill Hare and send his head back to the King. At the end, he was caught and hanged in some other kingdom. Reynard tales are usually very dark for a trickster...

Connections

Sponsken (Little Sponge) and the Giant reminded me of an American Jack tale; our hero outsmarts a giant, and then teams up with it to defeat a bear, a boar, and a unicorn (!) and win a princess. However,the princess did not want to marry him, so the king found him another, willing bride. Go figure.
The Musicians of Bremen in this case were known as The choristers of St. Gudule - they set out to start a singing career in their old age. Another similar gang started out fleeing from The end of the world, but ended up finding a king's lost ring, and making a lot of money together.
Hansel and Gretel - in this case, Jan and Jeanette - found a Sugar-candy House in the woods, owned by an old lame wolf. The wolf chased them until they crossed a rived, helped by some ducks. When the wolf asked the ducks to ferry him across too, they dumped him into the river.
I was reminded of a Nasreddin tale by The peasant and his ass, in which a foolish man was tricked into believing he was dead, and that his donkey had turned into the captain of the guard.
Ups and downs, in which Fox got Goat to go down into a well, was familiar from the tales of Uncle Remus. Trickster, as we have already seen, was always Fox, specifically a fox named Reynard. He fulfilled the role of Puss in Boots for Poor Peter, and he rescued the knight who saved an ungrateful dragon, by tricking the dragon into going back into the trap. He also tricked Wolf in a "fake baptism" tale type (where he repeatedly sneaked out to steal lard from their shared pantry), and convinced Bear to use his long tail for ice fishing (which is why bears have stumpy tails now).

Where to next?
The Netherlands!