Friday, August 28, 2015

Fairy Tale and Folktale Fridays #7: The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

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 Fool of the World and the Flying Ship


Type: Folktale

Country of Origin: Russia

Main Character Hero or Heroine: Hero

Recommend?: Yes!


In this story, there was a peasant couple who had three sons.  The first two sons were clever and the mother and father loved them, while the third son was known as the "Fool of the World" and he was often mistreated by his parents and brothers.  One day, the Czar of Russia announced a proclamation that whosoever build him a flying ship, will win the hand of his daughter, the princess.  The two older brothers then decided to go on a trip to build the flying ship for the Czar, but after a long while, they never came back home. Later on, the young fool decided that he wanted to go and try to build a flying ship, even though his parents never gave him any encouragement and just gave him dry crusted bread and stale wine to take with him on his journey.  Along the way, the fool meets a strange old man who wanted to share a meal with the Fool.  The Fool at first was ashamed of his little bit of food, but when he opened up his sack of food, he found out that his crusted bread turned into soft bread and his stale wine became wine fit for a king and he was able to share his meal with the old man.  The old man then tells the Fool about how he could get a flying ship built and when the Fool did the instructions as the old man asked, he found himself face to face with a flying ship and he starts to sail to the Czar's palace in the ship.  Along the way, the Fool meets up with several strange men who all have unique abilities which includes a man who could run so fast that he could cross the world in a matter of seconds, a man who can eat twice his weight, a sharpshooter who can shoot his gun anywhere in the world and a man who can produce an army from a bundle of sticks.  When the Fool and his crew finally arrived at the Czar's palace, the Czar sees the crew and found out that they are nothing more than peasants and he didn't want his daughter to marry the Fool.  So, he sets up a set of impossible tasks for the Fool and his crew to complete before the Fool can marry his daughter, the princess. 

Now this is seriously my most favorite folktale of all time (technically, my most favorite Russian folktale of all time to date)!  I just loved how this story was structured as it shows that even though many people regarded the main character as a fool, he still showed a lot of determination in building a flying ship to win the princess' hand in marriage against all odds and made so many loyal friends along the way.  I also loved the fact that the fool was accompanied by companions who have strange yet very useful powers as it made the story very fun to read and I was interested in seeing what kind of powers these strange companions have, such as one of the companions having the ability to eat food twice his size.

1. Who is your favorite character in this story?

My favorite characters are the runner, the eater and the fool since they are the most interesting characters to me.  I loved the runner because I always found it interesting that he would run across the world in a matter of seconds; I loved the eater because I'm a food person myself and it was hilarious  seeing the eater eat everything that the Czar had to throw at him and I loved the fool because despite what everyone else thought about him, he never gave up his goal to marry the princess!

2. What power would you like to have?

I would like to have the ability to run around the world, because if I have the power of speed, I could get to wherever I need to be in a matter of seconds!

3. Do you think that the Fool is a good hero?

Yes, I think that the Fool is a great hero of the story because he never gave up his dreams of marrying the Czar's daughter, despite everyone putting him down and I think his determination would teach people about how to never give up on your dreams no matter what other people say.

4. Do you feel sorry for the Fool who had to deal with his abusive family?

Yes, I definitely felt sorry for the Fool having to deal with his abusive family.  Actually, I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with an abusive family and it's sad that the Fool's own family never supported him because of his status as the Fool.
5. Is this a good book that teaches about the power of friendship?

I definitely think that this book is good for teaching children about the power of friendship since the Fool and his companions are very close to each other in this story.


The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome

The Fool and the Flying Ship by Eric Metaxas

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Christopher Denise



The Flying Ship by Andrew Lang



Little Red Riding Hood

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