When I revealed my theme for this year, a surprising number of people indicated in the comments that they have a special place in their heart for the color blue in its many shades. I can't really argue with that. I love blue as well. And guess who else loves blue?
Instead of telling one selected story today, I will just make a squirrel pile of all the blue tales I can think of. Everyone is happy. Here we go.
Today is also the first stop on our journey into the tale that gave the theme to my challenge: Nizami's enchanting Persian epic poem, Haft Paykar (known in English as The Seven Wise Princesses). Barham Gur, the King of Persia, is courting seven princesses who live in the seven pavilions he built for them, each in a different color. He visits one princess every day of the weak, and each princess in turn tells him a story related to the color they chose for their pavilion. I will get to all of them in time by the end of April.
The resident of the Blue Pavilion (sometimes called the Turquoise Pavilion) is Piruza, a princess from... well. Some sources say Morocco, some sources say Maghreb, some sources say Khwarezm. She has blue eyes, and her pavilion is dedicated to Mercury. She tells a tale to the king about a young man who was lazy and a drunkard, until one night he was lured on a mysterious journey to an enchanted garden that turned out to be the lair of demons. After miraculously escaping for this predicament, he vowed to wear only blue, the symbol of clarity and salvation from evil.
I adore Babe the Blue Ox. I realize that Paul Bunyan stories are generally considered "fakelore," but they are still tons of fun to tell. Especially to audiences outside the US who have never heard them before.
I love asking my audiences (American and non-American) if they know what made Babe blue. Do you?
(Also, the Jack of Fables comic book series did wonders with Babe's character.
The Blue Rose
A Chinese folktale that says a lot about the nature of Love. A princess vows to only marry a man who can bring her a blue rose. I love this story because it is a creative take on how fairy tale quests can be manipulated by a clever princess who wants to pick her own husband...
The Blue Light
A classic Grimm fairy tale. I remember loving it when I was little, especially because of the dogs with eyes of various sizes guarding the treasure underground. Lovely tale to tell.
He does not need an introduction. Although, sadly, we never find out why the beard is blue...
The Blue Belt
Norwegian folktale. Giants. Need I say more.
The Blue Coat
A Jewish folktale that storytellers adore. Nothing is ever completely useless.
The Blue Lily
A very creepy Hungarian folktale where a girl accidentally flirts with the devil. Oops. Once she finds out who the handsome stranger at the ball really is, she tries to get away, but it is too late. The devil keeps showing up at her house until she dies from the curse. A blue lily flower grows on her grave; the lily is picked by a prince, whose love will eventually transform the girl back into her original form. This folktale also exists in Russia.
The Blue Jackal
A folktale from India, included in the Panchatantra. A jackal falls into a pit full of indigo dye, and then passes himself off as a divine being. A very entertaining story to tell.
Okay, that's enough blue for one dye. I mean, day.