Tuesday, April 16, 2019

N is for Naran White (A to Z Challenge 2019: Fruit Folktales)

Okay, so I am cheating here a little, but this was too good to pass up.

In Catalonia, there is a folktale known as La Tarongeta. It is often translated as "Little Tangerine" and even "Little Grapefruit", but "taranja" in Catalan means "orange."
(Watch my hands: the English word originated from the Indian naram, the Persian narang and the Arabic naranj. In Spanish, orange is naranja, and in my native Hungarian, it is narancs. There is your N.)

Anyway, the story might look a bit familiar:

There was once a queen who wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Every day, she asked her magic mirror, and every day her vanity was confirmed. One day, she purchased an orange from a traveling merchant. As she ate it, the orange peel fell on the snow in the garden. Seeing that, the queen wished for a daughter who would be white as snow and gold as the orange. In time, a beautiful baby girl was born, and named La Tarongeta - Little Orange.

From the moment Tarongeta was born, the mirror stopped flattering the queen. Enraged, she ordered two servants to take the girl into the woods, kill her, and bring her heart as proof. The servants, however, did not want to kill the princess, so they killed a goat instead, and told the girl to run. A talking dove led Tarongeta to a house deep in the woods. In the house lived thirteen giants.

Tarongeta spied on the giants, noting how they opened and closed their house with a magic spell. Eventually she sneaked inside, and spent three days hidden in the house, until they finally found her. Telling her story, she made the giants feel pity for her, so they kept her as a servant. In the meantime, the queen found out she was still alive, and talked to a witch, who went to the house in the woods, offering a ring to Tarongeta. The girl put the ring on, and fell into a deep sleep.

The thirteen giants put Tarongeta into a cave as a crypt. Some time later, a prince happened to find her, fell in love with her, and carried her home. One day, when she was alone, a servant woman tried to steal the pretty ring, and the moment she slipped it off the finger, Tarongeta woke up. She married the prince, they burned the queen publicly, and they lived happily ever after.

(Joan Amades: Les cent millors rondalles catalanes, 1974.)

I don't know about you, but I want to know what part of her was white and what was orange. I guess it would be her skin and her hair, respectively, but it would be funny the other way around...
Also, this is how you end a Snow White tale without non-consensual kissing. With grave robbery. Modern parents, you're welcome.


  1. I like this version better than the Disney one! Even if they burned the witch.
    Maybe the white was purity, and the gold her inner value?
    She was in a coma and he fell in love? Just installed her in his castle, laying there?
    Oh, you have a photo of a blood orange! I love good blood oranges. I haven't had a good one in decades. I had them in Spain. What they pass off as blood oranges in the US are terribly dry and nasty tasting!

  2. Where did the king come from? Certainly very similar to Cinderella.

  3. I like this version better too ;)

  4. Thank you for sharing the original "Snow White." I prefer red hair to Disney's ebony. I also enjoy etymology, so connecting this story to the Spanish word, "naranja," is really interesting to me. Mindfulness to Avoid Burnout

  5. I liked this story--this version of Snow White--especially the end! The first image in this post--is it a blood orange? I saw it for the first time here! Wonder how it tastes.

  6. I enjoyed this - far gutsier than the original - I enjoy Noranges too!

    My A-Z of Children's Stories

  7. I like this version better than the one I've grown up with...In Hindi the orange is called narangi, from the Persian/Arabic. In Bengali it's kamala, don't know where that comes from!

  8. Isn't kidnapping her even worse than kissing???

  9. Talk about fun A-Z themes! Love! Now must go read your previous posts -- after I get my N shoe done, that is.

  10. Great story! No non-consensual kiss and a witch burning for her crimes. Would've been even better if the queen burned, too ;-)

    Ronel visiting from the A-Z Challenge with Music and Writing: More Great Music and Lyrics

  11. What fun stories you've chosen to go with the A to Z challenge. Following you now I so I won't miss the others. Off to go catch up!

  12. How clever! A very interesting way to use an N word for “orange”. And yes, it does sound familiar. Mind you, there are quite a few Snow White variations around the world, including one in a North Africa, as I discovered when I was working on my own Snow White short story a few years ago.

  13. don't forget the burning of the queen/aka mother at the end of the story :o i wonder how 13 giants would translate to a "Disney" crowd versus the 13 dwarfs. And even more so, how a biological mother trying to kill her daughter would work versus an even step mother in the disney version. hmmm.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  14. Got a kick out of how the orange was weaved into the tale.

    Stopping by from A to Z.

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Microfiction: Night

  15. I'd never heard that take on the Snow White story before. It's much more interesting than the Disney version.