Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z25. Fly forgets her name (WTF - Weird Things in Folktales)

Welcome to my A to Z Challenge blog series titled WTF - Weird Things in Folktales! Find the introduction post (explaining the theme) here. Find all other participating blogs in the comments of each day's post on the main blog! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Z, the last word on the list, obvious stands for Miscellaneous Motifs. It is kind of a catch-all for everything that did not fit elsewhere, including chain-tales and endless tales, most of which do not make much sense in the end, but are great entertainment for little kids (of endless frustration, depending on what kind of a kid you are). Here is one of them:

Z25. Fly forgets her name

This is a folktale from India, conveniently called The fly who forgot her name. I'm just going to copy and paste the beginning, because.

A fly having plastered her house with cow-dung forgot her name. Seeing a wood-cutter pass with an axe in his hand she addressed him thus:
"Oh wood-cutter, wood-cutter, what is my name?"
"I do not know your name. Ask the axe which is in my hand."
"Oh axe, axe, what is my name?"
"I don't know you name. Ask the tree which comes to be felled down by the axe."
"Oh tree, tree, what is my name?..."

You get the idea. It goes from the tree to the bird who sits on the tree, from the bird to the water the bird drinks, from the water to the moss that grows in the water, from the moss to the fish that eats the moss, from the fish to the fisherman, from the fisherman to the fishwoman, from the fishwoman to the cook who buys the fish, from the cook to the maid who prepares the dishes, from the maid to the master who eats the meal, from the master to the horse he rides, and from the horse to the foal in the horse's belly. Finally, the horse says: "Is not your name a fly?"

"In surprise, the fly put her finger on her nose and went her way."

(Find the book here.)

And with that, I'm also putting my finger on my nose, and going my way. It has been amazing, A to Z people! Thank you all for the visits and the comments and the wonderful blogs to read! I'll see you all for Reflections on May 8th! :)

Z15. Tale avoiding all pronouns
Z21.1. Origin of chess
Z33.2. The fat cat.
Z41.4.1. Mouse bursts open when crossing a stream
Z61.4. “He struck him such a blow that he remembered the milk he drank on the sixth day after he was born.”
Z71.1.13. Three persons who spoke immediately after birth
Z71.1.18. Three bad stories of the saints of Ireland
Z71.6.2. Nine whirlpools of the world
Z71.16.1.4. Eight unprofitable types of fasting
Z115.1. Man takes case against wind for damages
Z181. Nudity as sign of anger


  1. For all that trouble, the result seems rather anticlimactic haha. I approve of the fat cat motif. ;) Thanks for a great A to Z. I very much enjoyed all your posts!

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

  2. yes, I can see why you only posted the beginning, I don't like tales that keeps repeating and repeating toward the end.

    I enjoyed reading all, well, most of these tales, some I really, really wish I haven't read them. but I did enjoyed reading them.

    have a lovely day.

    ~ my Z post - Zodiac ~

  3. Those repetitious stories make lots of children's songs too. The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly came to mind as I read this tale.
    And, whew! We're done!

    Finding Eliza

  4. Another entertaining post. I really enjoyed your A to Z theme, and I am excited to be following you future posts. Thanks for sharing your A to Z journey.

    Stopping by from A to Z: Zonked

  5. Thank you a wonderful and amazing challenge. I always enjoy your posts even though I do not always comment.

  6. LOL! There was an old woman who swallowed a fly...:)

    Great theme this year, I heartily enjoyed it, thank you.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

  7. What a fun assortment of tales you've regaled us with this challenge - thank you!

  8. I see why you left out all the repetitions in the middle. I'm not too fond of stories and traditional songs that repeat each element over and over again and keep adding new ones, though I imagine that helped with oral tradition.

  9. Certainly a whimsical way to round off a highly entertaining series of stories! I've thoroughly enjoyed them. Congrats on reaching the end.

  10. Yeah, I was really waiting for a punchline. :-P

    Awesome job once again with your collection of myths and folktales. I looked forward to coming by every day for a weird tale.

  11. A fantastic way to round off an entirely fascinating series! Thank you so much for the entertainment and the learning.

    All the very best.

  12. This kind of 'stories' used to be very popular in the ancient past, didn't they? When I was a kid, a singer and fiddler became very popular here in Italy (and abroad, actually), with a Medieval song just like this. You may have heard of him, he's Angelo Branduardi. I'll paste a link if you don't mind

    That was a great wropping up of the challenge. I really really enjoyed your theme this year. Thanks so much for sharing :-)

  13. Isn't this what the Grimms called a "Vexiermärchen" aka the kind of story you tell when you want to troll your kids?

  14. Hehe this seems like a sort of reverse "there was an old lady who swallowed a fly" song.

    Thanks for all the great folktales, I've really enjoyed visiting your blog through April and I shall definitely be coming back. I've put you in my bookmarks.

    Congratulations for completing the A-Z Challenge! :D

    Here's my "Z" post :)

  15. A fitting end to your WTF series! I enjoyed your posts throughout the month, Zalka. Thank you for the entertainment :)

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador