Friday, August 21, 2015

Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays #6: The Water of Life

Hey there!  Welcome to "Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays," a new feature on my blog where I discuss about some fairy tales and folktales I have read throughout the years. 

The Water of Life


Type: Fairy Tale

Country of Origin: Germany / Brothers Grimm

Main Character Hero or Heroine: Hero

Recommend?: Yes!

In this story, when an old king gets fatally ill, his three sons are distressed at this and they want to find a way to cure their father.  It was then that an old man tells the three sons that the only way for the king to get better again is if they find the Water of Life, which would cure the king instantly.  The two older sons then asked for their father's permission to seek out the water, even though the real reason they wanted to get the water is so that they would be able to inherit their father's kingdom after he dies.  When the two sons went out to find the Water of Life, they meet up with a little dwarf who wanted to know where they were going.  But the two older sons were rude towards the dwarf and told him to mind his business and the dwarf decided to punish the two sons by stranding them between two ledges in a mountain passage.  When the youngest son finally went to retrieve the Water of Life, he was polite towards the dwarf and told him that he was trying to find the Water of Life.  The dwarf then decided to help the youngest son by telling him where the find the Water of Life and the youngest son managed to find the Water of Life, thanks to the dwarf's instructions.  After this, the youngest son wanted to take his brothers home with him and he begged the dwarf to release his brothers.  The dwarf releases the brothers, but he warns the youngest son that his brothers were not to be trusted since they had evil hearts.  The three brothers then traveled back to the kingdom to give the Water of Life to their ailing father, but during the trip, the two older brothers switched the Water of Life with some sea water while the youngest brother was asleep.  When the three brothers arrived at the kingdom and the youngest brother gave his father the sea water, it made the king sicker than before and the two older brothers accused the youngest for trying to murder their father.  The brothers than gave the king the real Water of Life and taunted the youngest son that they were the ones who switched the water and that if the youngest son wanted to live, he must not say who really tried to poison their father.  Now that the father believed that the youngest son tried to kill him, the youngest son must find a way to prove his innocence before it is too late!


Another fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm that I really enjoyed!  I've always loved fairy tales where the youngest son (or daughter) remains triumph in the story due to their kind nature and this story really shows what happens when you show kindness towards everyone and be rewarded for it in some way.  I also liked the interesting twists and turns in this story, such as the two brothers suddenly switching the water right under the youngest son's nose since it brings an element of suspense to the story.

1. Is this story a good example of how showing kindness can bring its own rewards?

Yes, I believe that this story did a fantastic job at showing how kindness can bring its own rewards by having the youngest son being genuinely concerned for his father's health and asking for help from the dwarf when he really needed it.  This is what causes the youngest son to succeed in his mission to find the Water of Life.

2. Do you wish that there was magic in the world that could heal people?

Yes, I definitely wish that there is some kind of magic in the world that would heal people, since people get sick everyday and it would be great to have something that could cure people without a price.

3. Is this the first fairy tale or folktale you've read where the other siblings are portrayed as evil compared to the youngest sibling?

No, I've read a dozen fairy tales and folktales where the older siblings (or younger siblings) are portrayed as evil compared to their other siblings.  One of my most favorite folktales that has two older siblings being cruel to their youngest brother was "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship."


The Water of Life by Barbara Rogasky

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

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