A STUDY OF FAIRY TALES
LAURA F. KREADY, B.S.
With an Introduction by Henry Suzzallo, Ph.D.
President of the University of Washington, Seattle
TO THE CHILDREN WHO, BECAUSE OF IT, MAY RECEIVE ANY GOOD.
One of the problems of present-day education is to secure for the
entire school system, from the kindergarten to the university, a
curriculum which shall have a proved and permanent value. In this
curriculum literature has established itself as a subject of
unquestioned worth. But children's literature, as that distinct
portion of the subject literature written especially for children or
especially suited to them, is only beginning to take shape and form.
It seems necessary at this time to work upon the content of children's
literature to see what is worthy of a permanent place in the child's
English, and to dwell upon its possibilities. A consideration of this
subject has convinced me of three points:
(1) that literature in the kindergarten and elementary
school should be taught as a distinct subject, accessory
neither to reading nor to any other subject of the
curriculum, though intimately related to them;
(2) that it takes training in the subject to teach
literature to little children;
(3) that the field of children's literature is largely
untilled, inviting laborers, embracing literature which
should be selected from past ages down to the present.
A single motif of this children's literature, Fairy Tales, is here
presented, with the aim of organizing this small portion of the
curriculum for the child of five, six, or seven years, in the
kindergarten and the first grade. The purpose has been to show this
unit of literature in its varied connection with those subjects which
bear an essential relation to it. This presentation incidentally may
serve as an example of one method of giving to teachers a course in
literature by showing what training may be given in a single motif,
Fairy Tales. Incidentally also it may set forth a few theories of
education, not isolated from practice, but united to the everyday
problems where the teacher will recognize them with greatest
impression. In the selection of the subject no undue prominence is
hereby advocated for fairy tales. We know fairy tales about which we
could agree with Maria Edgeworth when she said: "Even if children do
prefer fairy tales, is this a reason why their minds should be filled
with fantastic visions instead of useful knowledge?" However, there is
no danger that fairy tales will occupy more than a fair share of the
child's interest, much as he enjoys a tale; for the little child's
main interest is centered in the actual things of everyday life and
his direct contact with them. Yet there is a part of him untouched by
these practical activities of his real and immediate life; and it is
this which gives to literature its unique function, to minister to the
spirit. Fairy tales, in contributing in their small way to this high
service, while they occupy a position of no undue prominence,
nevertheless hold a place of no mean value in education.
In the study of fairy tales, as of any portion of the curriculum or as
in any presentation of subject-matter, three main elements must unite
to form one combined whole: the child, the subject, and the teaching
of the subject. In behalf of the child I want to show how fairy tales
contain his interests and how they are means for the expression of his
instincts and for his development in purpose, in initiative, in
judgment, in organization of ideas, and in the creative return
possible to him. In behalf of the subject I want to show what fairy
tales must possess as classics, as literature and composition, and as
short-stories; to trace their history, to classify the types, and to
supply the sources of material. In behalf of the teaching of fairy
tales I want to describe the telling of the tale: the preparation it
involves, the art required in its presentation, and the creative
return to be expected from the child.
In the consideration of the subject the main purpose has been to
relate fairy tales to the large subjects, literature and composition.
From the past those tales have come down to us which inherently
possessed the qualities of true classics. In modern times so few
children's tales have survived because they have been written mainly
from the point of view of the subject and of the child without regard
to the standards of literary criticism. In the school the teaching of
literature in the kindergarten and elementary grades has been
conducted largely also from the point of view of the child and of the
subject without regard to the arts of literature and composition. In
bookshops counters are filled with many books that lack literary value
or artistic merit. The object in this book has been to preserve the
point of view of the child and of the subject and yet at the same time
relate the tale to the standards of literature and of composition. The
object has been to get the teacher, every time she selects or tells a
tale, to apply practically the great underlying principles of
literature, of composition, and of the short-story, as well as those
of child-psychology and of pedagogy.
This relating of the tale to literary standards will give to the
teacher a greater respect for the material she is handling and a
consequent further understanding of its possibilities. It will reveal
what there is in the tale to teach and also how to teach it. In
teaching literature as also other art subject-matter in the
kindergarten and first grade, the problem is to hold fast to the
principles of the art and yet select, or let the child choose,
material adapted to his simplicity. As the little child uses analysis
but slightly, his best method of possessing a piece of literature is
to do something with it.
The fairy tale is also related to life standards, for it presents to
the child a criticism of life. By bringing forward in high light the
character of the fairy, the fairy tale furnishes a unique contribution
to life. Through its repeated impression of the idea of fairyhood it
may implant in the child a desire which may fructify into that pure,
generous, disinterested kindness and love of the grown-up, which aims
to play fairy to another, with sincere altruism to make appear before
his eyes his heart's desire, or in a twinkling to cause what hitherto
seemed impossible. Fairy tales thus are harbingers of that helpfulness
which would make a new earth, and as such afford a contribution to the
religion of life.
In stressing the history of fairy tales the purpose has been to
present fairy tales as an evolution. The kindergarten and first-grade
teacher must therefore look to find her material anywhere in the whole
field and intimately related with the whole. Special attention has
been placed upon the English fairy tale as the tale of our language.
As we claim an American literature since the days of Washington
Irving, the gradual growth of the American fairy tale has been
included, for which we gratefully acknowledge the courtesy of the
Librarian of the United States Bureau of Education and the
Bibliographer of the Library of Congress. A particular treatment of
some North American Indian folk-tales would also be desirable. But a
study of these tales reveals but one unimportant pourquois tale, of
sufficient simplicity. This study of the natural history of the fairy
tale as an art form is not necessary for the child. But for the
teacher it reveals the nature of fairy tales and their meaning. It is
an aid to that scholarly command of subject-matter which is the first
essential for expertness in teaching. Only when we view the American
fairy tale of to-day in the light of its past history can we obtain a
correct standard by which to judge of its excellence or of its worth.
In the classification of fairy tales the purpose has been to organize
the entire field so that any tale may be studied through the type
which emphasizes its distinguishing features. The source material
endeavors to furnish a comprehensive treatment of fairy tales for the
kindergarten and elementary school.
In the preparation of this book the author takes pleasure in
expressing an appreciation of the criticism and helpful suggestions
given by the Editor, Dr. Henry Suzzallo, under whose counsel,
cooperation, and incentive the work grew. The author wishes also to
make a general acknowledgment for the use of many books which of
necessity would be consulted in organizing and standardizing any unit
of literature. Special acknowledgment should be made for the use of
Grimm's Household Tales, edited by Margaret Hunt, containing
valuable notes and an introduction by Andrew Lang of English Fairy
Tales, More English Fairy Tales, Indian Fairy Tales, and Reynard
the Fox, and their scholarly introductions and notes, by Joseph
Jacobs; of Norse Tales and its full introduction, by Sir George W.
Dasent; of Tales of the Punjab and its Appendix, by Mrs. F.A. Steel;
of the Uncle Remus Books, by J.C. Harris; of Fairy Tales, by Hans
C. Andersen; of Fairy Mythology and Tales and Popular Fictions, by
Thomas Keightley; of Principles of Literary Criticism, by Professor
C.T. Winchester, for its standards of literature; of English
Composition, by Professor Barrett Wendell, for its standards of
composition; of Professor John Dewey's classification of the child's
instincts; and of the Kindergarten Review, containing many articles
of current practice illustrating standards emphasized here.
Recognition is gratefully given for the use of various collections of
fairy tales and for the use of any particular fairy tale that has been
presented in outline, descriptive narrative, criticism, or
dramatization. Among collections special mention should be made of
The Fairy Library, by Kate D. Wiggin and Nora A. Smith; the Fairy
Books, by Clifton Johnson; and the Fairy Books, by Andrew Lang.
Among tales, particular mention should be made for the use, in
adaptation, made of Oeyvind and Marit, given in Whittier's Child
Life in Prose; of The Foolish Timid Rabbit, given in The Jataka
Tales, by Ellen C. Babbit; of The Sheep and the Pig, in Miss
Bailey's For the Children's Hour; of Drakesbill, in The Fairy
Ring, by Wiggin and Smith; of The Magpie's Nest, in English Fairy
Tales, by Joseph Jacobs; of How the Evergreen Trees Lose their
Leaves, in The Book of Nature Myths, by Miss Holbrook; of The
Good-Natured Bear, described by Thackeray in "On Some Illustrated
Christmas Books"; and of The Hop-About-Man, by Agnes Herbertson,
given in The Story-Teller's Book, by Alice O'Grady (Moulton) and
The author wishes also to express thanks to the many teachers and
children whose work has in any way contributed to A Study of Fairy
LAURA F. KREADY
INTRODUCTION BY HENRY SUZZALLO xv
I. THE WORTH OF FAIRY TALES 1
II. PRINCIPLES OF SELECTION FOR FAIRY TALES 13
III. THE TELLING OF FAIRY TALES 90
IV. THE HISTORY OF FAIRY TALES 158
V. CLASSES OF FAIRY TALES 204
VI. SOURCES OF MATERIAL FOR FAIRY TALES 245
The fairy tale has a place in the training of children which common
sense and a sympathetic attitude toward childhood will not deny. Some
rigid philosophers, who see no more of life than is to be found in
logical science, condemn the imaginative tale. They regard the
teaching of myths and stories as the telling of pleasant lies, which,
if harmless, are wasteful. What the child acquires through them, he
must sooner or later forget or unlearn.
Such arguments carry conviction until one perceives that their authors
are measuring the worth of all teaching in terms of strictly
intellectual products. Life is more than precise information; it is
impulse and action. The fairy tale is a literary rather than a
scientific achievement. Its realities are matters of feeling, in which
thought is a mere skeleton to support the adventure. It matters little
that the facts alleged in the story never were and never can be. The
values and ideals which enlist the child's sympathy are morally
worthy, affording a practice to those fundamental prejudices toward
right and wrong which are the earliest acquisitions of a young soul.
The other characteristics of the tale—the rhythmic, the grotesque,
the weird, and the droll—are mere recreation, the abundant
playfulness which children require to rest them from the dangers and
terrors which fascinate them.
The fairy tale, like every other literary production, must be judged
by the fitness of its emotional effects. Fairyland is the stage-world
of childhood, a realm of vicarious living, more elemental and more
fancy-free than the perfected dramas of sophisticated adults whose
ingrained acceptance of binding realities demands sterner stuff. The
tales are classics of a particular kind; they are children's classics,
artful adaptations of life and form which grip the imaginations of
The diet of babes cannot be determined by the needs of grown-ups. A
spiritual malnutrition which starves would soon set in if adult wisdom
were imposed on children for their sustenance. The truth is amply
illustrated by those pathetic objects of our acquaintance, the men and
women who have never been boys and girls.
To cast out the fairy tale is to rob human beings of their childhood,
that transition period in which breadth and richness are given to
human life so that it may be full and plastic enough to permit the
creation of those exacting efficiencies which increasing knowledge and
responsibility compel. We cannot omit the adventures of fairyland from
our educational program. They are too well adapted to the restless,
active, and unrestrained life of childhood. They take the objects
which little boys and girls know vividly and personify them so that
instinctive hopes and fears may play and be disciplined.
While the fairy tales have no immediate purpose other than to amuse,
they leave a substantial by-product which has a moral significance. In
every reaction which the child has for distress or humor in the tale,
he deposits another layer of vicarious experience which sets his
character more firmly in the mould of right or wrong attitude. Every
sympathy, every aversion helps to set the impulsive currents of his
life, and to give direction to his personality.
Because of the important aesthetic and ethical bearings of this form
of literary experience, the fairy stories must be rightly chosen and
artfully told. In no other way can their full worth in education be
realized. They are tools which require discrimination and skill. Out
of the wisdom of one who knows both tales and children, and who holds
a thoughtful grasp on educational purpose, we offer this volume of
unusually helpful counsel.—HENRY SUZZALLO.
THE WORTH OF FAIRY TALES
In olde dayes of the kyng Arthour,
Of which that Britouns speken gret honour,
Al was this lond fulfilled of fayrie;
The elf-queen, with hir joly compaignye,
Daunced ful oft in many a grene mede.—CHAUCER.
I. TWO PUBLIC TRIBUTES
Only a few years ago, in the gardens of the Tuileries, in Paris, a
statue was erected in memory of Charles Perrault, to be placed there
among the sculptures of the never-to-be-forgotten fairy tales he had
created,—Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Puss-in-Boots,
Hop-o'-my-Thumb, Bluebeard, and the rest,—so that the children
who roamed the gardens, and in their play gathered about the statues
of their beloved fairy friends, might have with them also a reminder
of the giver of all this joy, their friend Perrault. Two hundred years
before, Perrault truly had been their friend, not only in making for
them fairy tales, but in successfully pleading in their behalf when he
said, "I am persuaded that the gardens of the King were made so great
and spacious that all the children may walk in them."
Only in December, 1913, in Berlin, was completed the Märchen
Brunnen, or "Fairy-Tale Fountain," at the entrance to Friedrichshain
Park, in which the idea of the architect, Stadt-Baurat Ludwig
Hoffmann, wholly in harmony with the social spirit of the times, was
to erect an artistic monument to give joy to multitudes of children.
This fairy entrance to the park is a decorative lay-out, a central
ground surrounded by a high, thick lodge of beeches. Toward this
central ground—which has been transformed into a joyous fairy
world—many hedge walks lead; while in the sidewalks, to warn naughty
children, are concealed fantastic figures. There is the huge
Menschen-fresser, who grasps a tender infant in each Titan hand and
bears on his head a huge basket of children too young to have known
much wrong. A humorous touch, giving distinct charm to the whole
creation, pervades all. From lions' heads and vases, distributed at
regular intervals in the semicircular arcade in the background, water
gushes forth; while in the central basin, nine small water
animals—seven frogs and two larger animals—appear spouting great
jets of water. Clustered about the central fountain are the nine fairy
characters of Professor Ignatius Taschner, among whom are Red Riding
Hood, Hansel and Grethel each riding a duck, Puss-in-Boots,
Cinderella, and Lucky Hans; and looking down upon them from the
surrounding balustrade are the animal figures by Joseph Rauch. In
these simple natural classic groups, fancy with what pleasure the
children may look to find the friendly beasts and the favorite tales
Such is the tribute to fairy tales rendered by two great nations who
have recognized fairy tales as the joyous right of children. Any
education which claims to relate itself to present child life can
hardly afford to omit what is acknowledged as part of the child's
everyday life; nor can it afford to omit to hand on to the child those
fairy tales which are a portion of his literary heritage.
II. THE VALUE OF FAIRY TALES IN EDUCATION
In considering fairy tales for the little child, the first question
which presents itself is, "Why are fairy stories suited to the little
child, and what is their value for him?"
Fairy tales bring joy into child life. The mission of joy has not been
fully preached, but we know that joy works toward physical health,
mental brightness, and moral virtue. In the education of the future,
happiness together with freedom will be recognized as the largest
beneficent powers that will permit the individual of four, from his
pristine, inexperienced self-activity, to become that final, matured,
self-expressed, self-sufficient, social development—the educated man.
Joy is the mission of art and fairy tales are art products. As such
Pater would say, "For Art comes to you, proposing to give nothing but
the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those
moments' sake. Not the fruit of experience, but experience, is the
end." Such quality came from the art of the fairy tale into the walk
of a little girl, for whom even the much-tabooed topic of the weather
took on a new, fresh charm. In answer to a remark concerning the day
she replied, "Yes, it's not too hot, and not too cold, but just
right." All art, being a product of the creative imagination, has the
power to stimulate the creative faculties. "For Art, like Genius,"
says Professor Woodberry, "is common to all men, it is the stamp of
the soul in them." All are creatures of imitation and combination; and
the little child, in handling an art product, puts his thought through
the artist's mould and gains a touch of the artist's joy.
Fairy tales satisfy the play spirit of childhood. Folk-tales are the
product of a people in a primitive stage when all the world is a
wonder-sphere. Most of our popular tales date from days when the
primitive Aryan took his evening meal of yava and fermented mead, and
the dusky Sudra roamed the Punjab. "All these fancies are pervaded
with that purity by which children seem to us so wonderful," said
William Grimm. "They have the same blue-white, immaculate bright
eyes." Little children are in this same wonder-stage. They believe
that the world about throbs with life and is peopled with all manner
of beautiful, powerful folk. All children are poets, and fairy tales
are the poetic recording of the facts of life. In this day of
commercial enterprise, if we would fit children for life we must see
to it that we do not blight the poets in them. In this day of emphasis
on vocational training we must remember there is a part of life unfed,
unnurtured, and unexercised by industrial education. Moreover,
whatever will be accomplished in life will be the achievement of a
free and vigorous life of the imagination. Before it was realized,
everything new had existed in some trained imagination, fertile with
ideas. The tale feeds the imagination, for the soul of it is a bit of
play. It suits the child because in it he is not bound by the law of
cause and effect, nor by the necessary relations of actual life. He is
entirely in sympathy with a world where events follow as one may
choose. He likes the mastership of the universe. And fairyland—where
there is no time; where troubles fade; where youth abides; where
things come out all right—is a pleasant place.
Furthermore, fairy tales are play forms. "Play," Bichter says, "is the
first creative utterance of man." "It is the highest form in which the
native activity of childhood expresses itself," says Miss Blow. Fairy
tales offer to the little child an opportunity for the exercise of
that self-active inner impulse which seeks expression in two kinds of
play, the symbolic activity of free play and the concrete presentation
of types. The play, The Light Bird, and the tale, The Bremen Town
Musicians, both offer an opportunity for the child to express that
pursuit of a light afar off, a theme which appeals to childhood. The
fairy tale, because it presents an organized form of human experience,
helps to organize the mind and gives to play the values of human life.
By contributing so largely to the play spirit, fairy tales contribute
to that joy of activity, of achievement, of coöperation, and of
judgment, which is the joy of all work. This habit of kindergarten
play, with its joy and freedom and initiative, is the highest goal to
be attained in the method of university work.
Fairy tales give the child a power of accurate observation. The habit
of re-experiencing, of visualization, which they exercise, increases
the ability to see, and is the contribution literature offers to
nature study. In childhood acquaintance with the natural objects of
everyday life is the central interest; and in its turn it furnishes
those elements of experience upon which imagination builds. For this
reason it is rather remarkable that the story, which is omitted from
the Montessori system of education, is perhaps the most valuable means
of effecting that sense-training, freedom, self-initiated play,
repose, poise, and power of reflection, which are foundation stones of
Fairy tales strengthen the power of emotion, develop the power of
imagination, train the memory, and exercise the reason. As emotion and
imagination are considered in Chapter 11, in the section, "The Fairy
Tale as Literature," and the training of the memory and the exercise
of the reason in connection with the treatment of various other topics
later on, these subjects will be passed by for the present. Every day
the formation of habits of mind during the process of education is
being looked upon with a higher estimate. The formation of habits of
mind through the use of fairy tales will become evident during
Fairy tales extend and intensify the child's social relations. They
appeal to the child by presenting aspects of family life. Through them
he realizes his relations to his own parents: their care, their
guardianship, and their love. Through this he realizes different
situations and social relations, and gains clear, simple notions of
right and wrong. His sympathies are active for kindness and fairness,
especially for the defenseless, and he feels deeply the calamity of
the poor or the suffering and hardship of the ill-treated. He is in
sympathy with that poetic justice which desires immediate punishment
of wrong, unfairness, injustice, cruelty, or deceit. Through fairy
tales he gains a many-sided view of life. Through his dramas, with a
power of sympathy which has seemed universal, Shakespeare has given
the adult world many types of character and conduct that are noble.
But fairy tales place in the hands of childhood all that the thousands
and thousands of the universe for ages have found excellent in
character and conduct. They hold up for imitation all those cardinal
virtues of love and self-sacrifice,—which is the ultimate criterion
of character,—of courage, loyalty, kindness, gentleness, fairness,
pity, endurance, bravery, industry, perseverance, and thrift. Thus
fairy tales build up concepts of family life and of ethical standards,
broaden a child's social sense of duty, and teach him to reflect.
Besides developing his feelings and judgments, they also enlarge his
world of experience.
In the school, the fairy tale as one form of the story is one part of
the largest means to unify the entire work or play of the child. In
proportion as the work of art, nature-study, game, occupation, etc.,
is fine, it will deal with some part of the child's everyday life. The
good tale parallels life. It is a record of a portion of the race
reaction to its environment; and being a permanent record of
literature, it records experience which is universal and presents
situations most human. It is therefore material best suited to furnish
the child with real problems. As little children have their thoughts
and observations directed mainly toward people and centered about the
home, the fairy tale rests secure as the intellectual counterpart to
those thoughts. As self-expression and self-activity are the great
natural instincts of the child, in giving opportunity to make a crown
for a princess, mould a clay bowl, decorate a tree, play a game, paint
the wood, cut paper animals, sing a lullaby, or trip a dance, the tale
affords many problems exercising all the child's accomplishments in
the variety of his work. This does not make the story the central
interest, for actual contact with nature is the child's chief
interest. But it makes the story, because it is an organized
experience marked by the values of human life, the unity of the
child's return or reaction to his environment. The tale thus may bring
about that "living union of thought and expression which dispels the
isolation of studies and makes the child live in varied, concrete,
active relation to a common world."
In the home fairy tales employ leisure hours in a way that builds
character. Critical moments of decision will come into the lives of
all when no amount of reason will be a sufficient guide. Mothers who
cannot follow their sons to college, and fathers who cannot choose for
their daughters, can help their children best to fortify their spirits
for such crises by feeding them with good literature. This, when they
are yet little, will begin the rearing of a fortress of ideals which
will support true feeling and lead constantly to noble action. Then,
too, in the home, the illustration of his tale may give the child much
pleasure. For this is the day of fairy-tale art; and the child's
satisfaction in the illustration of the well-known tale is limitless.
It will increase as he grows older, as he understands art better, and
as he becomes familiar with the wealth of beautiful editions which are
at his command.
And finally, though not of least moment, fairy tales afford a vital
basis for language training and thereby take on a new importance in
the child's English. Through the fairy tale he learns the names of
things and the meanings of words. One English fairy tale, The Master
of all Masters, is a ludicrous example of the tale built on this very
theme of names and meanings. Especially in the case of foreign
children, in a tale of repetition, such as The Cat and the Mouse,
Teeny Tiny, or The Old Woman and Her Pig, will the repetitive
passages be an aid to verbal expression. The child learns to follow
the sequence of a story and gains a sense of order. He catches the
note of definiteness from the tale, which thereby clarifies his
thinking. He gains the habit of reasoning to consequences, which is
one form of a perception of that universal law which rules the world,
and which is one of the biggest things he will ever come upon in life.
Never can he meet any critical situation where this habit of reasoning
to consequences will not be his surest guide in a decision. Thus fairy
tales, by their direct influence upon habits of thinking, effect
Fairy tales contribute to language training also by providing another
form of that basic content which is furnished for reading. In the
future the child will spend more time in the kindergarten and early
first grade in acquiring this content, so that having enjoyed the real
literature, when he reads later on he will be eager to satisfy his own
desires. Then reading will take purpose for him and be accomplished
almost without drill and practically with no effort. The reading book
will gradually disappear as a portion of his literary heritage. In the
kindergarten the child will learn the play forms, and in the first
grade the real beginnings, of phonics and of the form of words in the
applied science of spelling. In music he will learn the beginnings of
the use of the voice. This will leave him free, when he begins reading
later, to give attention to the thought reality back of the symbols.
When the elements combining to produce good oral reading are cared for
in the kindergarten and in the first grade, in the subjects of which
they properly form a part, the child, when beginning to read, no
longer will be needlessly diverted, his literature will contribute to
his reading without interference, and his growth in language will
become an improved, steady accomplishment.
Allison, Samuel; and Perdue, Avis: The Story in Primary
Blow, Susan; Hill, Patty; and Harrison, Elizabeth: The
Blow, Susan: Symbolic Education. Appleton.
Chamberlain, Alexander: "Folk-Lore in the Schools," Pedagogical
Seminary, vol. vii, pp. 347-56.
Chubb, Percival: "Value and Place of Fairy Stories," National
Education Association Report, 1905.
Dewey, John: The School and the Child. Blackie & Sons.
Ibid.: The School and Society. University of Chicago Press.
"Fairy Tales," Public Libraries, 1906, vol. 11, pp. 175-78.
Palmer, Luella: "Standard for Kindergarten Training,"
Kindergarten Review, June, 1914.
Welsh, Charles: Right Reading for Children. Heath.
PRINCIPLES OF SELECTION FOR FAIRY TALES
All our troubles come from doing that in which we have no
That is useful for every man which is conformable to his own
constitution and nature.—MARCUS AURELIUS.
Genuine interest means that a person has identified himself
with, or found himself in, a certain course of activity. It
is obtained not by thinking about it and consciously aiming
at it, but by considering and aiming at the conditions that
lie back of it, and compel it.—JOHN DEWEY.
I. THE INTERESTS OF CHILDREN
Now that the value of fairy tales in education has been made clear,
let us consider some of those principles of selection which should
guide the teacher, the mother, the father, and the librarian, in
choosing the tale for the little child.
Fairy tales must contain what interests children. It is a well-known
principle that selective interest precedes voluntary attention;
therefore interest is fundamental. All that is accomplished of
permanent good is a by-product of the enjoyment of the tale. The tale
will go home only as it brings joy, and it will bring joy when it
secures the child's interest. Now interest is the condition which
requires least mental effort. And fairy tales for little children must
follow that great law of composition pointed out by Herbert Spencer,
which makes all language consider the audience and the economy of the
hearer's attention. The first step, then, is to study the interests of
the child. We do not wish to give him just what he likes, but we want
to give him a chance to choose from among those things which he ought
to have and, as good and wise guardians, see that we offer what is in
harmony with his interests. Any observation of the child's interest
will show that he loves the things he finds in his fairy tales. He
A sense of life. This is the biggest thing in the fairy
tales, and the basis for their universal appeal. The little
child who is just entering life can no more escape its
attraction than can the aged veteran about to leave the
pathway. The little pig, Whitie, who with his briskly
curling tail goes eagerly down the road to secure, from the
man who carried a load of straw, a bit with which to build
his easily destructible house; Red Riding Hood taking a pot
of jam to her sick grandmother; Henny Penny starting out on
a walk, to meet with the surprise of a nut falling on her
head—the biggest charm of all this is that it is life.
The familiar. The child, limited in experience, loves to
come in touch with the things he knows about. It soothes his
tenderness, allays his fears, makes him feel at home in the
world,—and he hates to feel strange,—it calms his
timidity, and satisfies his heart. The home and the people
who live in it; the food, the clothing, and shelter of
everyday life; the garden, the plant in it, or the live ant
or toad; the friendly dog and cat, the road or street near
by, the brook, the hill, the sky—these are a part of his
world, and he feels them his own even in a story. The
presents which the Rabbit went to town to buy for the little
Rabbits, in How Brother Rabbit Frightens his Neighbors;
the distinct names, Miss Janey and Billy Malone, given to
the animals of In Some Lady's Garden, just as a child
would name her dolls; and the new shoes of the Dog which the
Rabbit managed to get in Why Mr. Dog Runs after Brother
Rabbit—these all bring up in the child's experience
delightful familiar associations. The tale which takes a
familiar experience, gives it more meaning, and organizes
it, such as The Little Red Hen, broadens, deepens, and
enriches the child's present life.
The surprise. While he loves the familiar, nothing more
quickly brings a smile than the surprise. Perhaps the most
essential of the fairy traits is the combination of the
familiar and the unfamiliar. The desire for the unknown,
that curiosity which brings upon itself surprise, is the
charm of childhood as well as the divine fire of the
scientist. The naughty little Elephant who asked "a new,
fine question he had never asked before," and who went to
answer his own question of "what the crocodile has for
dinner," met with many surprises which were spankings; and
as a result, he returned home with a trunk and experience.
He is a very good example of how delightful to the child
this surprise can be. The essence of the fairy tale is
natural life in a spiritual world, the usual child in the
unusual environment, or the unusual child in the natural
environment. This combination of the usual and unusual is
the chief charm of Alice in Wonderland, where a natural
child wanders through a changing environment that is
unusual. For an idle moment enjoy the task of seeing how
many ideas it contains which are the familiar ideas of
children, and how they all have been "made different." All
children love a tea-party, but what child would not be
caught by having a tea-party with a Mad Hatter, a March
Hare, and a sleepy Dormouse, with nothing to eat and no tea!
Red Riding Hood was a dear little girl who set out to take a
basket to her grandmother. But in the wood, after she had
been gathering a nosegay and chasing butterflies, "just as I
might do," any child might say, she met a wolf! And what
child's ears would not rise with curiosity? "Now something's
going to happen!" The Three Bears kept house. That was usual
enough; but everything was different, and the charm is in
giving the child a real surprise at every step. The house
was not like an ordinary house; it was in the wood, and more
like a play-house than a real one. There was a room, but not
much in it; a table, but there was not on it what is on your
table—only three bowls. What they contained was usual, but
unusually one bowl of porridge was big and hot, one was less
big and cold, and one was little and just right. There were
usual chairs, unusual in size and very unusual when
Goldilocks sat in them. Upstairs the bedroom was usual, but
the beds were unusual when Goldilocks lay upon them. The
Bears themselves were usual, but their talk and action was a
delightful mixture of the surprising and the comical.
Perhaps this love of surprise accounts for the perfect leap
of interest with which a child will follow the Cock in The
Bremen Town Musicians, as he saw from the top of the tree
on which he perched, a light, afar off through the wood.
Certainly the theme of a light in the distance has a charm
for children as it must have had for man long ago.
Sense impression. Good things to eat, beautiful flowers,
jewels, the beauties of sight, color, and sound, of odor and
of taste, all gratify a child's craving for sense
impression. This, in its height, is the charm of the
Arabian Nights. But in a lesser degree it appears in all
fairy tales. Cinderella's beautiful gowns at the ball and
the fine supper stimulate the sense of color, beauty, and
taste. The sugar-panes and gingerbread roof of the Witch's
House, in Hansel and Grethel, stir the child's kindred
taste for sweets and cookies. The Gingerbread Boy, with his
chocolate jacket, his cinnamon buttons, currant eyes,
rose-sugar mouth, orange-candy cap, and gingerbread shoes,
makes the same strong sense appeal. There is a natural
attraction for the child in the beautiful interior of
Sleeping Beauty's Castle, in the lovely perfume of roses in
the Beast's Rose-Garden, in the dance and song of the Elves,
and in the dance of the Goat and her seven Kids about the
The beautiful. Closely related to this love of the
material is the sense of the beautiful. "Beauty is pleasure
regarded as the quality of a thing," says Santayana.
Pleasures of the eye and ear, of the imagination and memory,
are those most easily objectified, and form the groundwork
on which all higher beauty rests. The green of the spring,
the odor of Red Riding Hood's flowers, the splendor of the
Prince's ball in Cinderella—these when perceived
distinctly are intelligible, and when perceived delightfully
are beautiful. Language is a kind of music, too; the mode of
speaking, the sound of letters, the inflection of the
voice—all are elements of beauty. But this material beauty
is tied up in close association with things "eye hath not
seen nor ear heard," the moral beauty of the good and the
message of the true. The industry of the little Elves
reflects the worth of honest effort of the two aged
peasants, and the dance of the Goat and seven Kids reflects
the triumph of mother wit and the sharpness of love. The
good, the true, and the beautiful are inseparably linked in
the tale, just as they forever grow together in the life of
the child. The tales differ largely in the element of beauty
they present. Among those conspicuous for beauty may be
mentioned Andersen's Thumbelina; the Indian How the Sun,
the Moon, and West Wind Went Out to Dinner; the Japanese
Mezumi, the Beautiful; and the English Robin's Christmas
Song. Little Two-Eyes stands out as one containing a large
element of beauty, and Oeyvind and Marit represents in an
ideal way the possible union of the good, the true, and the
beautiful. This union of the good, the true, and the
beautiful has been expressed by an old Persian legend: "In
the midst of the light is the beautiful, in the midst of the
beautiful is the good, in the midst of the good is God, the
Wonder, mystery, magic. The spirit of wonder, like a
will-o'-the-wisp, leads on through a fairy tale, enticing
the child who follows, knowing that something will happen,
and wondering what. When magic comes in he is gratified
because some one becomes master of the universe—Cinderella,
when she plants the hazel bough, and later goes to the
wishing-tree; the fairy godmother, when with her wand she
transforms a pumpkin to a gilded coach and six mice to
beautiful gray horses; Little Two-Eyes, when she says,—
Little kid, bleat,
I wish to eat!
and immediately her little table set with food so
marvelously appears; or Hop-o'-my-Thumb when he steps into
his Seven-League Boots and goes like the wind.
Adventure. This is a form of curiosity. In the old tale,
as the wood was the place outside the usual habitation,
naturally it was the place where things happened. Often
there was a house in the wood, like the one "amidst the
forest darkly green," where Snow White lived with the
Dwarfs. This adventure the little child loves for its own
sake. Later, when he is about eleven or twelve, he loves it
for its motive. This love of adventure is part of the charm
of Red Riding Hood, of the Three Bears, of the Three
Pigs, or of any good tale you might mention.
Success. The child likes the fairy tale to tell him of
some one who succeeds. He admires the little pig Speckle who
outwitted the Wolf in getting to the field of turnips first,
or in going to the apple tree at Merry-Garden, or to the
fair at Shanklin; who built his house of brick which would
defy assault; and whose cleverness ended the Wolf's life.
This observation of success teaches the child to admire
masterliness, to get the motto, Age quod agis, stamped
into his child life from the beginning. It influences
character to follow such conduct as that of the Little Red
Hen, who took a grain of wheat,—her little mite,—who
planted it, reaped it, made it into bread, and then ate it;
who, in spite of the Goose and the Duck, secured to herself
the reward of her labors.
Action. Akin to his love of running, skipping, and
jumping, to his enjoyment in making things go and in seeing
others make things go, is the child's desire for action in
his fairy tales; and this is just another way of saying he
wants his fairy tales to parallel life. Action is the
special charm of the Gingerbread Boy, who opened the oven
door and so marvelously ran along, outrunning an old Man, an
old Woman, a little Boy, two Well-Diggers, two
Ditch-Diggers, a Bear, and a Wolf, until he met the Fox
waiting by the corner of the fence. Dame Wiggins of Lee and
Her Seven Wonderful Cats—a humorous tale written by Mrs.
Sharp, a lady of ninety, edited by John Ruskin, who added
the third, fourth, eighth, and ninth stanzas, and
illustrated by Kate Greenaway—has this pleasing trait of
action to a unique degree. So also has The Cock, the Mouse,
and the Little Red Hen, a modern tale by Félicité Lefèvre.
This very popular tale among children is a retelling of two
old tales combined, The Little Red Hen and the Irish
Little Rid Hin.
Humor. The child loves a joke, and the tale that is
humorous is his special delight. Humor is the source of
pleasure in Billy Bobtail, where the number of animals and
the noises they make fill the tale with hilarious fun. There
is most pleasing humor in Lambikin. Here the reckless hero
frolicked about on his little tottery legs. On his way to
Granny's house, as he met the Jackal, the Vulture, the
Tiger, and the Wolf, giving a little frisk, he said,—
To Granny's house I go,
Where I shall fatter grow,
Then you can eat me so!
Later, on returning, when the animals asked, "Have you seen
Lambikin?" cozily settled within his Drumikin, laughing and
singing to himself, he called out slyly—
Lost in the forest, and so are you,
On, little Drumikin! Tum-pa, turn-too!
Humor is the charm, too, of Andersen's Snow Man. Here the
child can identify himself with the Dog and thereby join in
the sport which the Dog makes at the Snow Man's expense,
just as if he himself were enlightening the Snow Man about
the Sun, the Moon, and the Stove. There is most delightful
humor in The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership, where the
Cat has the face to play upon the credulity of the poor
housekeeper Mouse, who always "stayed at home and did not go
out into the daytime." Returning home from his ventures
abroad he named the first kitten Top-Off, the second one
Half-Out, and the third one All-Out; while instead of having
attended the christening of each, as he pretended, he
secretly had been visiting the jar of fat he had placed for
safe-keeping in the church.
Poetic justice. Emotional satisfaction and moral
satisfaction based on emotional instinct appeal to the
child. He pities the plight of the animals in the Bremen
Town Musicians, and he wants them to find a refuge, a safe
home. He is glad that the robbers are chased out, his sense
of right and wrong is satisfied. Poetic justice suits him.
This is one reason why fairy tales make a more definite
impression often than life—because in the tale the
retribution follows the act so swiftly that the child may
see it, while in life "the mills of the gods grind slowly,"
and even the adult who looks cannot see them grind. The
child wants Cinderella to gain the reward for her goodness;
and he wishes the worthy Shoemaker and his Wife, in the
Elves and the Shoemaker, to get the riches their industry
The imaginative. Fairy tales satisfy the activity of the
child's imagination and stimulate his fancy. Some beautiful
spring day, perhaps, after he has enjoyed an excursion to a
field or meadow or wood, he will want to follow Andersen's
Thumbelina in her travels. He will follow her as she floats
on a lily pad, escapes a frog of a husband, rides on a
butterfly, lives in the house of a field-mouse, escapes a
mole of a husband, and then rides on the back of a friendly
swallow to reach the south land and to become queen of the
flowers. Here there is much play of fancy. But even when the
episodes are homely and the situations familiar, as in
Little Red Hen, the act of seeing them as distinct images
and of following them with interest feeds the imagination.
For while the elements are familiar, the combination is
unusual; and this nourishes the child's ability to remove
from the usual situation, which is the essential element in
all originality. By entering into the life of the characters
and identifying himself with them, he develops a large
sympathy and a sense of power, he gains insight into life,
and a care for the interests of the world. Thus imagination
grows "in flexibility, in scope, and in sympathy, till the
life which the individual lives is informed with the life of
nature and of society," and acquires what Professor John
Dewey calls Culture.
Animals. Very few of the child's fairy tales contain no
animals. Southey said of a home: "A house is never perfectly
furnished for enjoyment unless there is in it a child rising
three years old and a kitten rising six weeks; kitten is in
the animal world what a rose-bud is in a garden." In the
same way it might be said of fairy tales: No tale is quite
suited to the little child unless in it there is at least
one animal. Such animal tales are The Bremen Town
Musicians, Henny Penny, Ludwig and Marleen and The
Elephant's Child. The episode of the hero or heroine and
the friendly animal, as we find it retained in Two-Eyes and
her little Goat, was probably a folk-lore convention—since
dropped—common to the beginning of many of the old tales.
It indicates how largely the friendly animal entered into
the old stories.
A portrayal of human relations, especially with children.
In Cinderella the child is held by the unkind treatment
inflicted upon Cinderella by her Stepmother and the two
haughty Sisters. He notes the solicitude of the Mother of
the Seven Kids in guarding them from the Wolf. In the Three
Bears he observes a picture of family life. A little child,
on listening to The Three Pigs for the first time, was
overwhelmed by one thought and cried out, "And didn't the
Mother come home any more?" Naturally the child would be
interested especially in children, for he is like the older
boy, who, when looking at a picture-book, gleefully
exclaimed, "That's me!" He likes to put himself in the place
of others. He can do it most readily if the character is a
small individual like Red Riding Hood who should obey her
mother; or like Goldilocks who must not wander in the wood;
or like Henny Penny who went to take a walk and was accosted
by, "Where are you going?" In Brother Rabbit and the Little
Girl the Little Girl takes the keenest enjoyment in putting
herself in the customary grown-up's place of granting
permission, while the Rabbit takes the usual child's place
of mentioning a request with much persuasion. The child is
interested, too, in the strange people he meets in the fairy
tales: the clever little elves who lived in the groves and
danced on the grass; the dwarfs who inhabited the
earth-rocks and the hills; the trolls who dwelt in the wild
pine forest or the rocky spurs, who ate men or porridge, and
who fled at the noise of bells; the fairies who pleased with
their red caps, green jackets, and sprightly ways; the
beautiful fairy godmother who waved her wonderful wand; or
those lovely fairy spirits who appeared at the moment when
most needed—just as all best friends do—and who could
grant, in a twinkling, the wish that was most desired.
The diminutive. This pleasure in the diminutive is found
in the interest in the fairy characters, Baby Bear, Little
Billy-Goat, Little Pig, the Little Elves, Teeny Tiny,
Thumbelina, and Tom Thumb, as well as in tiny objects. In
the Tale of Tom Thumb the child is captivated by the
miniature chariot drawn by six small mice, the tiny
butterfly-wing shirt and chicken-skin boots worn by Tom, and
the small speech produced by him at court, when asked his
My name is Tom Thumb,
From the Fairies I come;
When King Arthur shone,
This court was my home.
In me he delighted,
By him I was knighted.
Did you never hear of
Sir Thomas Thumb?
Doll i' the Grass contains a tiny chariot made from a
silver spoon and drawn by two white mice, and Little
Two-Eyes gives a magic table. The child takes keen delight
in the fairy ship which could be folded up and put into a
pocket, and in the wonderful nut-shell that could bring
forth beautiful silver and gold dresses. The little wagon of
Chanticleer and Partlet that took them a trip up to the
hill, and the tiny mugs and beds, table and plates, of Snow
White's cottage in the wood—such as these all meet the
approval of child-nature.
Rhythm and repetition. The child at first loves sound;
later he loves sound and sense, or meaning. Repetition
pleases him because he has limited experience and is glad to
come upon something he has known before. He observes and he
wants to compare, but it is a job. Repetition saves him a
task and boldly proclaims, "We are the same." Such is the
effect of the repetitive expressions which we find in Teeny
Tiny: as, "Now when the teeny-tiny woman got home to her
teeny-tiny house, she was a teeny-tiny bit tired"; or, in
Little Jack Rollaround, who cried out with such vigorous
persistence, "Roll me around!" and called to the moon, "I
want the people to see me!" In The Little Rabbit Who Wanted
Red Wings, one of the pleasantest tales for little
children, the White Rabbit said to his Mammy, "Oh, Mammy, I
wish I had a long gray tail like Bushy Tail's; I wish I had
a back full of bristles like Mr. Porcupine's; I wish I had a
pair of red rubbers like Miss Puddleduck's." At last, when
he beheld the tiny red-bird at the Wishing-Pond, he said,
"Oh, I wish I had a pair of little red wings!" Then, after
getting his wings, when he came home at night and his Mammy
no longer knew him, he repeated to Mr. Bushy Tail, Miss
Puddleduck, and old Mr. Ground Hog, the same petition to
sleep all night, "Please, kind Mr. Bushy Tail, may I sleep
in your house all night?" etc. Repetition here aids the
child in following the characters, the story, and its
meaning. It is a distinct help to unity and to clearness.
The Elephant's Child is an example of how the literary
artist has used this element of repetition, and used it so
wonderfully that the form is the matter and the tale cannot
be told without the artist's words. "'Satiable curtiosity,"
"the banks of the great, grey-green, greasy, Limpopo River,
all set about with fever-trees," and "'Scuse me," are but a
few of those expressions for which the child will watch as
eagerly as one does for a signal light known to be due. The
repetition of the one word, "curtiosity," throughout the
tale, simply makes the point of the whole story and makes
that point delightfully impressive.
Rhythm and repetition also make a bodily appeal, they appeal
to the child's motor sense and instinctively get into his
muscles. This is very evident in Brother Rabbit's
De big bird bob en little bird sing;
De big bee zoon en little bee sting,
De little man lead en big hoss foller—
Kin you tell wat 's good fer a head in a holler?
The song in Brother Rabbit and the Little Girl appeals
also to the child's sense of sound:—
De jay-bird hunt de sparrer-nes;
De bee-martin sail all 'roun';
De squer'l, he holler from de top er de tree,
Mr. Mole, he stay in de ground;
He hide en he stay twel de dark drap down—
Mr. Mole, he hide in de groun'.
The simple and the sincere. The child's taste for the
simple and the sincere is one reason for the appeal which
Andersen's tales make. In using his stories it is to be
remembered that, although Andersen lacked manliness in being
sentimental, he preserved the child's point of view and gave
his thought in the true nursery story's mode of expression.
Since real sentiment places the emphasis on the object which
arouses feeling and the sentimental places the emphasis on
the feeling, sincerity demands that in using Andersen's
tales, one lessen the sentimental when it occurs by omitting
to give prominence to the feeling. Andersen's tales reflect
what is elementary in human nature, childlike fancy, and
emotion. His speech is characterized by the simplest words
and conceptions, an avoidance of the abstract, the use of
direct language, and a naïve poetic expression adapted to
general comprehension. He is not to be equaled in child
conversations. The world of the fairy tale must be simple
like the world Andersen has given us. It must be a world of
genuine people and honest occupations in order to form a
suitable background for the supernatural. Only fairy tales
possessing simplicity are suited to the oldest kindergarten
child of five or six years. To the degree that the child is
younger than five years, he should be given fewer and fewer
fairy tales. Those given should be largely realistic stories
of extreme simplicity.
Unity of effect. The little child likes the short tale,
for it is a unity he can grasp. If you have ever listened to
a child of five spontaneously attempting to tell you a long
tale he has not grasped, and have observed how the units of
the tale have become confused in the mind that has not held
the central theme, you then realize how harmful it is to
give a child too long a story. Unity demands that there be
no heaping up of sensations, but neat, orderly, essential
incidents, held together by one central idea. The tale must
go to the climax directly. It must close according to Uncle
Remus's idea when he says, "De tale ain't persoon atter em
no furder don de place whar dey [the characters] make der
disappear'nce." It will say what it has to say and lose no
time in saying it; and often it will attempt to say only one
thing. It will be remarkable as well for what it omits as
for what it tells. The Norse Doll i' the Grass well
illustrates this unity. Boots set out to find a wife and
found a charming little lassie who could spin and weave a
shirt in one day, though of course the shirt was tiny. He
took her home and then celebrated his wedding with the
pleasure of the king. This unity, which is violated in
Grimm's complicated Golden Bird, appears pleasantly in
The Little Pine Tree that Wished for New Leaves. Here one
feeling dominates the tale, the Pine Tree was no longer
contented. So she wished, first for gold leaves, next for
glass leaves, and then for leaves like those of the oaks and
maples. But the robber who stole her gold leaves, the storm
that shattered her glass leaves, and the goat that ate her
broad green leaves, changed her feeling of discontent, until
she wished at last to have back her slender needles, green
and fair, and awoke next morning, happy and contented.
Fairy tales for little children must avoid certain elements opposed to
the interests of the very young child. Temperaments vary and one must
be guided by the characteristics of the individual child. But while
the little girl with unusual power of visualization, who weeps on
hearing of Thumbling's travels down the cow's mouth in company with
the hay, may be the exception, she proves the rule: the little child
generally should not have the tale that creates an emotion of horror
or deep feeling of pain. This standard would determine what tales
should not be given to the child of kindergarten age:—
The tale of the witch. The witch is too strange and too
fearful for the child who has not learned to distinguish the
true from the imaginative. This would move Hansel and
Grethel into the second-grade work and Sleeping Beauty
preferably into the work of the first grade. The child soon
gains sufficient experience so that later the story
impresses, not the strangeness.
The tale of the dragon. This would eliminate Siegfried
and the Dragon. A dragon is too fearful a beast and
produces terror in the heart of the child. Tales of heroic
adventure with the sword are not suited to his strength. He
has not yet entered the realm of bold adventure where
Perseus and Theseus and Hercules display their powers. The
fact that hero-tales abound in delightful literature is not
adequate reason for crowding the Rhinegold Legends, Wagner
Stories, and Tales of King Arthur, into the kindergarten.
Their beauty and charm do not make it less criminal to
present to little children such a variety of images as
knighthood carries with it. These tales are not sufficiently
simple for the little child, and must produce a mental
confusion and the crudest of returns.
Giant tales. This would omit Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack
the Giant-Killer, and Tom Hickathrift, moving them up
into the primary field. A little girl, when eating tongue,
confidingly asked, "Whose tongue?" and when told, "A cow's,"
immediately questioned with tenderness, "Don't he feel it?"
Thereafter she insisted that she didn't like tongue. To a
child of such sensibilities the cutting off of heads is
savage and gruesome and should not be given a chance to
impress so prominently. Life cannot be without its strife
and struggle, but the little child need not meet everything
in life at once. This does not mean that absolutely no giant
tale would be used at this time. The tale of Mr. Miacca,
in which "little Tommy couldn't always be good and one day
went round the corner," is a giant tale which could be used
with young children because it is full of delightful humor.
Because of the simplicity of Tommy's language and his sweet
childishness it appeals to the child's desire to identify
himself with the character. Tommy is so clever and inventive
and his lively surprises so brimful of fun that the final
effect is entirely pleasing.
Some tales of transformation. The little child is not
pleased but shocked by the transformation of men into
animals. A little girl, on looking at an illustration of
Little Brother and Sister, remarked, "If my Sister would
turn into a fawn I would cry." When the animals are
terrifying, the transformation contains horror for the
child. This, together with the length and complexity of the
story, would move Beauty and the Beast up into the second
grade where the same transformation becomes an element of
pleasure. A simple tale of transformation, such as The
Little Lamb and the Little Fish, in which Gretchen becomes
a lamb and Peterkin a little fish, is interesting but not
horrible, and could be used. So also could a tale such as
Grimm's Fundevogel, in which the brother and sister escape
the pursuit of the witch by becoming, one a rosebush and the
other a rose; later, one a church and the other a steeple;
and a third time, one a pond and the other a duck. In both
these tales we have the witch and transformation, but the
effect contains no horror.
The tale of strange animal relations and strange creatures.
Tom Tit Tot, which Jacobs considers the most delightful of
all fairy tales, is brimful of humor for the older child,
but here the tailed man is not suited to the faith and
understanding of six years. Rumpelstiltskin, its parallel,
must also be excluded. The House in the Wood, and its
Norse parallel, The Two Step-Sisters, are both very
beautiful, but are more suited to the second grade. In the
kindergarten it is much better to present the tale which
emphasizes goodness, rather than the two just mentioned,
which present the good and the bad and show what happens to
both. Besides there is a certain elation resulting from the
superior reward won by the good child which crowds out any
pity for the erring child. Such elation is a form of
selfishness and ought not to be emphasized. Snow White and
Rose Red contains the strange dwarf, but it is a tale so
full of love and goodness and home life that in spite of its
length it could be used in the first grade.
Unhappy tales. The very little child pities, and its
tender heart must be protected from depressing sadness as
unrelieved as we find it in The Little Match Girl. The
image of suffering impressed on a child, who cannot forget
the sight of a cripple for days, is too intense to be
healthful. The sorrow of the poor is one of the elements of
life that even the very little child meets, and it is
legitimate that his literature should include tales that
call for compassion. But in a year or two, when he develops
less impressionability and more poise, he is better prepared
to meet such situations, as he must meet them in life.
The tale of capture. This would eliminate Proserpine. No
more beautiful myth exists than this one of the springtime,
but its beauty and its symbolism do not make it suitable for
the kindergarten. It is more suited to the elementary child
of the fourth grade. In fact, very few myths of any sort
find a legitimate place in the kindergarten, perhaps only a
few of the simpler pourquois tales. The Legend of the
Pied Piper of Hamelin, which is very beautiful, and appeals
to little children because of the piping and of the children
following after, should be omitted from the kindergarten
because the capture at the close—the disappearance of the
children in the hill—is tragic in pathos. It is better to
leave the literature as it is and offer it later when the
child reaches the second grade. The effect of this tragic
end has been realized by Josephine Scribner Gates, who (St.
Nicholas, November, 1914) has given to the children, "And
Piped Those Children Back Again." This is a modern
completion of The Pied Piper. It most happily makes the
little lame boy who was left in Hamelin when the Piper
closed the door of the mountain, the means of the
restoration of the other children to their parents.
The very long tale. This would omit The Ugly Duckling.
The Ugly Duckling is a most artistic tale and one that is
very true to life. Its characters are the animals of the
barn-yard, the hens and ducks familiar to the little child's
experience. But the theme and emotional interest working out
at length through varied scenes, make it much better adapted
to the capacities of a third-grade child. The White Cat, a
feminine counterpart of Puss-in-Boots—which gives a most
charming picture of how a White Cat, a transformed princess,
helped a youth, and re-transformed became his bride—because
of its length, is better used in the first grade at the same
time with Puss-in-Boots. The same holds true of Peter,
Paul, and Espen, or its parallel, Laboulaye's Poucinet.
This is a fine tale telling how the youngest of three sons
succeeded in winning the king's favor and finally the
princess and half the kingdom. First, Espen had to cut down
the giant oak that shadowed the palace and dig a well in the
courtyard of the castle deep enough to furnish water the
entire year. But after winning in these tests, he is
required to conquer a great Ogre who dwells in the forest,
and later to prove himself cleverer in intellect than the
princess by telling the greater falsehood. It is evident
that not only the subject-matter but the working out of the
long plot are much beyond kindergarten children.
The complicated or the insincere tale. This would
eliminate a tale of complicated structure, such as Grimm's
Golden Bird; and many of the modern fairy tales, which
will be dealt with later on.
The fairy tales mentioned above are all important tales which the
child should receive at a later time when he is ready for them. They
are mentioned because they all have been suggested for kindergarten
use. The whole field of children's literature is largely unclassified
and ungraded as yet, and such arrangements as we possess show slight
respect for standards. There is abundant material for the youngest,
and much will be gained by omitting to give the very young what they
will enjoy a little later, much better and with freshness. It is true
that a few classics are well-suited to the child at any age, such as
Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Books, and Uncle Remus Tales. In
regard to this grading of the classics, Lamb in Mackery End,
speaking of his sister's education, said, "She was tumbled early, by
accident or design, into a spacious closet of good old English
reading, without much selection or prohibition, and browsed at will
upon that fair and wholesome pasturage. Had I twenty girls they should
be brought up exactly in this fashion." Lamb would have argued: Set
the child free in the library and let him choose for himself, and feed
on great literature, those stories which give general types of
situation and character, which give the simplest pictures of a people
at different epochs. But with all due respect to Lamb it must be said
that Lamb is not living in this scientific day of discovery of the
child's personality and of accurate attention to the child's needs.
Because the Odyssey is a great book and will give much to any child
does not prove at all that the same child would not be better off by
reading it when his interests reach its life. This outlook on the
problem would eliminate the necessity of having the classics rewritten
from a new moral viewpoint, which is becoming a custom now-a-days, and
which is to be frowned upon, for it deprives the literature of much of
its vigor and force.
II. THE FAIRY TALE AS LITERATURE
From the point of view of the child, we have seen that in a subjective
sense, fairy tales must contain the interests of children. In an
objective sense, rather from the point of view of literature, let us
now consider what fairy tales must contain, what are the main
standards which determine the value of fairy tales as literature, and
as such, subject-matter of real worth to the child.
The old tale will not always be perfect literature; often it will be
imperfect, especially in form. Yet the tale should be selected with
the standards of literature guiding in the estimate of its worth and
in the emphasis to be placed upon its content. Such relating of the
tale to literary standards would make it quite impossible later in the
primary grades when teaching the reading of Three Pigs, to put the
main stress on a mere external like the expression of the voice. A
study of the story as literature would have centered the attention on
the situation, the characters, and the plot. If the voice is receiving
training in music and in the phonics of spelling, then when the
reading of the tale is undertaken it will be a willing servant to the
mind which is concentrating on the reality, and will express what the
The fairy tale first must be a classic in reality even if it lacks the
crowning touch of perfect form given through the re-treatment of a
literary artist. In Reynard the Fox we have an exact example of the
folk-tale that has been elevated into literature. But this was
possible only because the tales originally possessed the qualities of
a true classic. "A true classic," Sainte-Beuve has said, "is one which
enriches the human mind, has increased its treasure and caused it to
advance a step, which has discovered some moral and unequivocal truth
or revealed some eternal passion in that heart where all seemed known
and discovered; which is an expression of thought, observation, or
invention, in no matter what form, only provided it be broad and
great, refined and sensible, sane and beautiful in itself; which
speaks in its own peculiar style which is found to be also that of the
whole world, a style new and old, easily contemporary with all time."
Immediately some of the great fairy tales stand out as answering to
this test—Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk,
Cinderella, Jack the Giant-Killer,—which has been said to be the
epitome of the whole life of man—Beauty and the Beast, and a crowd
of others. Any fairy tale which answers to the test of a real classic
must, like these, show itself to contain for the child a permanent
enrichment of the mind.
Fairy tales must have certain qualities which belong to all literature
as a fine art, whether it is the literature of knowledge or the
literature of power. Literature is not the book nor is it life; but
literature is the sense of life, whose artist is the author, and the
medium he uses is words, language. It is good art when his sense of
life is truth, and fine art when there is beauty in that truth. The
one essential beauty of literature is in its essence and does not
depend upon any decoration. As words are the medium, literature will
distinguish carefully among them and use them as the painter, for
particular lights and shades. According to Pater literature must have
two qualities, mind and soul. Literature will have mind when it has
that architectural sense of structure which foresees the end in the
beginning and keeps all the parts related in a harmonious unity. It
will have soul when it has that "vagrant sympathy" which makes it come
home to us and which makes it suggest what it does not say. Test the
Tale of Cinderella by this standard. As to mind, it makes one think
of a bridge in which the very keystone of the structure is the
condition that Cinderella return from the ball by the stroke of
twelve. And its "vagrant sympathy" is quite definite enough to reach a
maid of five, who remarked: "If I'd have been Cinderella, I wouldn't
have helped those ugly sisters, would you?"
If the fairy tale stands the test of literature it must have proved
itself, not only a genuine classic according to Sainte-Beuve's
standard, and a tale possessing qualities of mind and soul according
to Pater's Style, but it must have shown itself also a work owning
certain features distinguishing it as literature. These particular
literary marks which differentiate the literary tale from the ordinary
prose tale have been pointed out by Professor Winchester in his
Principles of Literary Criticism. They apply to the old tale of
primitive peoples just as well as to the modern tale of to-day. As
literature the tale must have:
(1) a power to appeal to the emotions;
(2) a power to appeal to the imagination;
(3) a basis of truth; and
(4) a form more or less perfect.
(1) A power to appeal to the emotions. This appeal to the emotions is
its unique distinguishing literary trait. Literature appeals, not to
the personal emotions but to the universal ones. For this reason,
through literature the child may come in time to develop a power of
universal sympathy, which is not the least value literature has to
bestow upon him, for this sympathy will become a benediction to all
those with whom he may have to deal. In order that emotion in the
tales may be literary—make a permanent appeal—according to Professor
Winchester's standards, it must have justness given by a deep and
worthy cause; vividness so that it may enlarge and thrill; a certain
steadiness produced by everything in the tale contributing to the main
emotion; a variety resulting from contrasts of character; and a high
quality obtained through its sympathy with life and its relation to
the conduct of life, so that the feeling for the material beauty of
mere sights and sounds is closely related to the deepest suggestions
of moral beauty. The best literary tales will possess emotion having
all five characteristics. Many tales will exhibit one or more of these
traits conspicuously. No tale that is literature will be found which
does not lay claim to some one of these qualities which appeal to the
broadly human emotions.
Applying the test of emotion to fairy tales, Cinderella possesses a
just emotion, Cinderella's cause is the cause of goodness and kindness
and love, and deserves a just reward. The Town Musicians of Bremen
exhibits vivid emotion, for all four characters are in the same
desperate danger of losing life, all four unite to save it, and to
find a home. Andersen's Steadfast Tin Soldier is a good example of
steadiness of emotion, as it maintains throughout its message of
courage. The Tin Soldier remained steadfast, whether on the table just
escaped from the toy-box, or in the street after a frightful fall from
the window, or spinning in a paper boat that bobbed, or sailing under
the crossing, or lying at full length within the fish that swallowed
him, or at last melting in the full glare of the hearth fire. It is a
very good example, too, of vividness of emotion. The Little Elves
illustrates steadiness of emotion, it is pervaded by the one feeling,
that industry deserves reward. The French tale, Drakesbill, is
especially delightful and humorous because "Bill Drake" perseveres in
his happy, fresh vivacity, at the end of every rebuff of fortune, and
triumphantly continues his one cry of, "Quack, quack, quack! When
shall I get my money back?" Lambikin leaves the one distinct
impression of light gaiety and happy-heartedness; and The Foolish,
Timid Rabbit preserves steadily the one effect of the credulity of
the animals, made all the more prominent by contrast to the wisdom of
the Lion. Variety of emotion appears in tales such as Cinderella,
Little Two-Eyes, Sleeping Beauty, and Three Pigs, where the various
characters are drawn distinctly and their contrasting traits produce
varied emotional effects. All the great fairy tales appeal to emotion
of a high moral quality and it is this which is the source of their
universal appeal. It is this high moral quality of the spiritual
truth, which is the center of the tale's unity, holding together all
the parts under one emotional theme. This is the source of the
perennial freshness of the old tale; for while the immortal truth it
presents is old, the personality of the child that meets it is new.
For the child, the tale is new because he discovers in it a bit of
himself he had not known before, and it retains for him a lasting
charm so that he longs to hear it again and again. The beauty of
truth, the reward of goodness, and the duty of fairness, give a high
emotional quality to Little Two-Eyes; and Sleeping Beauty
illustrates the blighting power of hatred to impose a curse and the
saving power of love to overcome the works of hatred.
Considering folk-tales from the standpoint of emotion, if asked to
suggest what author's work would rank in the same class, one is rather
surprised to find, that for high moral quality, variety, and worthy
cause, the author who comes to mind is none other than Shakespeare.
Perhaps, with all due respect to literature's idol, one might even
venture to question which receives honor by the comparison,
Shakespeare or the folk-tales? It might be rather a pleasant task to
discover who is the Cordelia, the Othello, the Rosalind, and the
Portia of the folk-tales; or who the Beauty, the Bluebeard, the
Cinderella, the Puss-in-Boots, and the Hop-o'-my-Thumb, of
The little child is open to emotional appeal, his heart is tender and
he is impressionable. If he feels with the characters in his tales he
develops a power of emotion. In Andersen's Snow Man it is hard to
say which seems more human to him or which makes more of an emotional
appeal, the Snow Man or the Dog. He is sorry for the poor Shoemaker in
The Little Elves, glad when he grows rich, delighted for the Elves
when they receive their presents, and satisfied at the happy end.
Since literature depicts life and character in order to awaken noble
emotions, it follows that one must omit to present what awakens
repulsive or degrading emotions. And it is for this reason, as has
been mentioned under the heading "Elements to be avoided," that the
tales of the witch and the dragon must be excluded, not for all time,
but for the earliest years, when they awaken horror.
Through fairy tales we have seen that the emotional power of the child
is strengthened. This has been effected because, in the tale just as
truly as in life, action is presented in real situations; and back of
every action is the motive force of emotion. This cumulative power of
emotion, secured by the child through the handling of tales, will
serve daily a present need. It will be the dynamic force which he will
require for anything he wishes to accomplish in life. It will give the
child the ability to use it in any situation similar to that in which
it was acquired. It will make a difference in his speech; he will not
have to say so much, for what he does say will produce results. This
growing power of emotion will carry over into feelings of relation and
thus lead to judgment of values. This evaluation is the basis of
reasoning and answers to the child's daily call to think from causes
to consequences. This increasing power of emotion develops into the
æsthetic sensibilities and so results in a cultivation of taste and an
understanding of life. Emotion therefore leads to appreciation, which,
when logically developed, becomes expression. Fairy tales, thus, in
conducting emotional capacity through this varied growth and toward
this high development, hold an educational value of no mean order.
(2) The power to appeal to the imagination. Emotion can be aroused by
showing the objects which excite emotion. Imagination is this power to
see and show things in the concrete. Curry says, "Whenever the soul
comes vividly in contact with any fact, truth, etc., whenever it takes
them home to itself with more than common intensity, out of that
meeting of the soul and its object there arises a thrill of joy, a
glow of feeling. It is the faculty that can create ideal presence."
When through imagination we select spontaneously from the elements of
experience and combine into new wholes, we call it creative
imagination.—The creative imagination will be viewed here as it
appears in action in the creative return given by the child to his
fairy tales.—When we emphasize a similarity seen in mere external or
accidental relations or follow suggestions not of an essential nature
in the object, we call it fancy. Ruskin, in his Modern Painters,
vol. I, part III, Of the Imaginative Faculty, would distinguish
three classes of the imagination:—
(a) The associative imagination. This is the power of imagination by
which we call into association other images that tend to produce the
same or allied emotion. When this association has no common ground of
emotion it is fancy. The test for the associative imagination, which
has the power to combine ideas to form a conception, is that if one
part is taken away the rest of the combination goes to pieces. It
requires intense simplicity, harmony, and absolute truth. Andersen's
Fairy Tales are a perfect drill for the associative imagination.
Literature parallels life and what is presented calls up individual
experience. Any child will feel a thrill of kinship with the
experiences given in The Tin Soldier—a little boy's birthday, the
opening of the box, the counting of the soldiers, and the setting of
them upon the table. And because here Andersen has transformed this
usual experience with a vivacity and charm, the tale ranks high as a
tale of imagination. Little Ida's Flowers and Thumbelina are tales
of pure fancy. Grimm's The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean and The
Spindle, the Shuttle, and the Needle rank in the same class, as also
do the Norse The Doll i' the Grass and the English Tom Thumb.
(b) The penetrative imagination. This power of imagination shows the
real character of a thing and describes it by its spiritual effects.
It sees the heart and inner nature of things. Through fancy the child
cannot reach this central viewpoint since fancy deals only with
externals. Through the exercise of this power the child develops
insight, intuition, and a perception of spiritual values, and gains a
love of the ideal truth and a perpetual thirst for it. He develops
genuineness, one of the chief virtues of originality. He will tend not
to have respect for sayings or opinions but will seek the truth, be
governed by its laws, and hold a passion for perfection. This power of
imagination makes of him a continual seeker, "a pilgrim upon earth."
Through the penetrative imagination the child forgets himself and
enters into the things about him, into the doings of Three Pigs or the
adventures of Henny Penny.
(c) The contemplative imagination. This is that special phase of the
imagination that gives to abstract being consistency and reality.
Through the contemplative imagination the child gains the significance
of meaning and discerns the true message of the tale. When merely
external resemblance is caught, when the likeness is forced, and the
image created believed in, we have fancy. The contemplative
imagination interprets the past in the tale and relates it to the
future. It shows what is felt by indicating some aspect of what is
seen. Through the exercise of this power the child develops the
capacity to see. This capacity has received a high estimate from
Ruskin, who said, "Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think,
thousands can think for one who can see." For language-training the
capacity to see gives that ability to image words which results in
The labor of the spirit seeking the full message of the fairy tale,
often is rewarded with bits of philosophy which are the essence of its
personal wisdom. Even the Woman Suffragists of our day might be amused
to find, in The Cat and Mouse in Partnership, this side-light on one
of their claims. The Mouse said she did not know what to think of the
curious names, Top-off, Half-Out, and All-Out, which the Cat had
chosen. To which the Cat replied, "That is because you always stay at
home. You sit here in your soft gray coat and long tail, and these
foolish whims get into your head. It is always the way when one does
not go out in the daytime." Sometimes the philosophy of the tale is
expressed not at all directly. This is the case in Andersen's The
Emperor's New Suit, a gem in story-telling art—more suited to the
second grade—where the purpose of the story is veiled, and the satire
or humor is conveyed through a very telling word or two.—"'I will
send my old, honest minister to the weavers,' thought the Emperor.
And the old, honest minister went to the room where the two swindlers
sat working at empty looms. 'Heaven preserve me!' thought the old
minister, opening his eyes wide. 'Why, I cannot see anything!'—But he
did not say so." The entire tale is a concrete representation of one
point; and the concreteness is so explicit that at the close of the
story its philosophy easily forms itself into the implied message of
worldly wisdom: People are afraid to speak truth concerning much
through cowardice or through fear of acting otherwise than all the
world. The philosophy underlying The Steadfast Tin Soldier is even
finer as a bit of truth than the perfect art of the literary story:
That what happens in life does not matter so much as the way you take
it. The Tin Soldier always remained steadfast, no matter what
happened. Kipling's Elephant's Child is more charming than ever when
looked at from the standpoint of its philosophy. It might be
interpreted as an allegory answering the question, "How should one get
experience?" a theme which cannot be said to lack universal appeal.
The Ugly Duckling is full of sayings of philosophy that contribute
to its complete message. The Cat and the Hen to whom the duckling
crept for refuge said, "We and the world," and could not bear a
difference of opinion. "You may believe me," said the Hen, "because I
tell you the truth. That is the way to tell your friends." Their
treatment of the Duckling expressed the philosophy: "If you can't do
what I can you're no good." The Hen said to him, "You have nothing to
do, that's why you have such strange ideas." The Duckling expressed
his philosophy by saying quietly, "You don't understand me."
These bits of philosophy often become compressed into expressions
which to-day we recognize as proverbs. The words of the Mother Duck,
"Into the water he goes if I have to kick him in," became a
Scandinavian proverb. "A little bird told it," a common saying of
to-day, appears in Andersen's Nightingale and in Thumbelina. But
this saying is traceable at least to the third story of the fourth
night in Straparola, translated by Keightley, The Dancing Water, the
Singing Apple, and the Beautiful Green Bird, in which the bird tells
the King that his three guests are his own children. "Even a cat may
look at a king," is probably traceable to some fairy tale if not to
Puss-in-Boots. The philosophy in the fairy tales and the proverbs
that have arisen in them, are subjects which offer to the adult much
pleasure and fruitfulness.
But one must ask, "Does this philosophy appeal to the child? Is it not
adult wisdom foreign to his immaturity?" The old folk-tales are the
products of adult minds; but the adults were grown-ups that looked
upon the world with the eyes of children, and their philosophy often
was the philosophy of childhood. For childhood has its philosophy; but
because it meets with repression on so many sides it usually keeps it
to itself. When given freedom and self-activity and self-expression,
the child's philosophy appears also. And it is the inner truth of the
tale rather than the outer forms of sense and shapes of beauty which,
when suited to the little child, appeals to this child-philosophy and
makes the deepest impression upon him.
In the literary fairy tale there often appears a philosophy which is
didactic and above and beyond the child's knowledge of the world. It
remains a question how much this adult philosophy appeals to him.
Although his tales were written for his grandchildren, so finished a
telling of the tale as we find in Laboulaye, with its delightful hits
of satire, appeals more to the grown-up versed in the ways of the
world. But the sage remarks of worldly wisdom of Uncle Remus could not
fail to impress a little boy: "Go where you will and when you may, and
stay long ez you choosen ter stay, en right dar en den you'll sholy
fin' dat folks what git full er consate en proudness is gwine ter git
it tuck out 'm um."—Uncle Remus treated the little boy as if he was
"pestered with sense, like grown-ups," and surely the little boy
gained much amusement from sayings such as these: "If you know the man
thab would refuse to take care of himself, I'd like mighty well if
you'd point him out."—"Well, well," said Uncle Remus soothingly, "in
deze low groun's er sorrer, you des got to lean back en make
allowances fer all sorts er folks. You got ter low fer dem dat knows
too much same ez dem what knows too little. A heap er sayin's en a
heap er doin's in dis roun' worl' got ter be tuck on trus'."—The
child does not get the full force of the philosophy but he gets what
he can and that much sinks in.
It is through the contemplative imagination that the child realizes
the meaning of particular tales. He learns: that Cinderella means
that goodness brings its own reward; that Three Pigs means that the
wise build with care and caution, with foresight; that Star Dollars
means compassion for others and kindness to them; and that Red Riding
Hood means obedience.
The power of the contemplative imagination is based on the
indistinctness of the image. It suggests, too, the relation between
cause and effect, which reason afterwards proves; and therefore it is
a direct aid to science. In the tales there are expressed facts of
truth symbolically clothed which science since then has discovered.
And now that folk-lore is being studied seriously to unfold all it
gives of an earlier life, perhaps this new study may reveal some new
truths of science hidden in its depths. The marvels of modern shoe
manufacture were prophesied in The Little Elves, and the power of
electricity to hold fast was foretold in Dummling and his Golden
Goose. The wonders of modern machinery appeared in the magic axe of
Espen that hit at every stroke; and the miracle of modern canals sees
a counterpart in the spring which Espen brought to the giant's
boiling-pot in the wood. The magic sleep from which there was an
awakening, even after a hundred years, may have typified hypnotism and
its strange power upon man. These are realizations of some of the
wonders of fairyland. But there may be found lurking in its depths
many truths as yet undiscovered by science. Perhaps the dreams of
primitive man may suggest to the present-day scientist new
possibilities.—What primitive man has done in fancy present-day man
can do in reality.
(3) A basis of truth. All fine emotional effects arise from truth. The
tale must hold the mirror and show an image of life. It must select
and combine facts which will suggest emotion but the facts must be a
true expression of human nature. The tale, whether it is realistic in
emphasizing the familiar, the commonplace, and the present, or
romantic in emphasizing the strange, the heroic, and the remote, must
be idealistic to interpret truly the facts of life by high ideals. If
the tale has this basis of truth the child will gain, through his
handling of it, a body of facts. This increases his knowledge and
strengthens his intellect. And it is to be remembered that, for the
child's all-round development, the appeal of literature to the
intellect is a value to be emphasized equally with the appeal to the
emotions and to the imagination. Speaking of the nature of the
intellect in his essay on Intellect, Emerson has said: "We do not
determine what we will think. We only open our senses, clear away as
we can all obstruction from the fact, and suffer the intellect to
see." Attention to the intellectual element in literature gives a
power of thought. The consideration of the truth of the fairy tale
aids the child to clear, definite thinking because the experience of
the tale is ordered from a beginning, through a development, to a
climax, and to a conclusion. It assists him to form conclusions
because it presents results of circumstances and consequences of
conduct. Continued attention to the facts, knowledge, and truth
presented in the tales, helps the child to grow a sincerity of spirit.
This leads to that love of actual truth, which is one of the armors of
middle life, against which false opinion falls harmless.
(4) A form, more or less perfect. Form is the union of all the means
which the writer employs to convey his thought and emotion to the
reader. Flaubert has said, "Among all the expressions of the world
there is but one, one form, one mode, to express what I want to
say."—"Say what you have to say, what you have a will to say, in the
simplest, the most direct and exact manner possible, with no
surplusage," Walter Pater has spoken. Then the form and the matter
will fit each other so perfectly there will be no unnecessary
In regard to form it is to be remembered that feeling is best awakened
incidentally by suggestion. Words are the instruments, the medium of
the writer. Words have two powers: the power to name what they mean,
or denotation; and the power to suggest what they imply, or
connotation. Words have the power of connotation in two ways: They may
mean more than they say or they may produce emotional effect not only
from meaning but also from sound. To make these two suggestive powers
of words work together is the perfect art of Milton. Pope describes
for us the relation of sound to sense in a few lines which themselves
illustrate the point:—
Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows.
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse, should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw.
The line too labors, and the words move slow:
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn and skims along the main.
When a kindergarten child, the most timid one of a group, on listening
to the telling of The Bremen Town Musicians, at the description of
the Donkey and the Dog coming to the Cat, sitting in the road with a
face "dismal as three rainy Sundays," chuckled with humor at the word
"dismal," it was not because she knew the meaning of the word or the
significance of "three rainy Sundays," but because the sounds of the
words and the facial expression of the story-teller conveyed the
emotional effect, which she sensed.
The connection between sound and action appears in Little Spider's
First Web: The Fly said, "Then I will buzz"; the Bee said, "Then I
will hum"; the Cricket said, "Then I will chirp"; the Ant said,
"Then I will run to and fro"; the Butterfly said, "Then I will
fly"; and the Bird said, "Then I will sing." The effect is
produced here because the words selected are concrete ones which
visualize. Repetitive passages in the tales often contribute this
effect of sound upon meaning, as we find in The Three Billy-Goats
Gruff: "Trip, trap; trip, trap! went the bridge as the youngest
Billy-Goat Gruff came to cross the bridge." The sound of the words in
this entire tale contributes largely to the meaning. The Troll roared
and said, "Now I'm coming to gobble you up!" Usually the bits of rhyme
interspersed throughout the tales, illustrate this contribution of
sound to meaning; as in the Three Pigs:—
Then I'll huff,
And I'll puff,
And I'll blow your house in!
Especially is this the case in tales dignified by the cante-fable
form; such as Grimm's Cinderella:—
Rustle and shake yourself, dear tree,
And silver and gold throw down to me!
Or in Little Two-Eyes:—
Little kid, bleat,
I wish to eat!
Or in The Little Lamb and the Little Fish:—
Ah, my brother, in the wood
A Iamb, now I must search for food!
The suggestive power of words to convey more than they mean, is
produced, not only by the sounds contained in the words themselves,
but also largely by the arrangement of the words and by the
speech-tunes of the voice in speaking them. Kipling's Elephant's
Child is a living example of the suggestive power of words. The "new,
fine question" suggests that the Elephant's Child had a habit of
asking questions which had not been received as if they were fine.
"Wait-a-bit thorn-bush," suggests the Kolokolo Bird sitting alone on
the bush in placid quiet. "And still I want to know what the
crocodile has for dinner" implies that there had been enough spankings
to have killed the curiosity, but contrary to what one would expect,
it was living and active. When Kolokolo Bird said with a mournful
cry, "Go to the banks of the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River,"
etc., the implication of mournful is, that there the Elephant's
Child would have a sorry time of it. The expression, "dear families,"
which occurs so often, is full of delightful irony and suggests the
vigorous treatment, anything but dear, which had come to the
Elephant's Child from them.
Perfect form consists in the "ability to convey thought and emotion
with perfect fidelity." The general qualities characteristic of
perfect form, which have been outlined by Professor Winchester, in his
Principles of Literary Criticism, are: (1) precision or clearness;
(2) energy or force; (3) delicacy or emotional harmony; and (4)
personality. Precision or clearness demands the precise value and
meaning of words. It requires that words have the power of denotation.
It appeals to the intellect of the reader or listener and demands that
language be neither vague nor ambiguous nor obscure. Energy or force
demands that perfect form have the quality of emotion. It requires
that words have especially the power of connotation. It appeals to the
emotions of the reader or listener and has the power to hold the
attention. It demands of language that sympathy which will imply what
it would suggest. Delicacy or emotional harmony demands that perfect
form please the taste. It requires that an emotional harmony be
secured by a selection and arrangement of the melody of words and of
the emotional associations which, together with the meanings, are tied
up in words. It demands that words have the power of perfect
adaptation to the thought and feeling they express, that words have
both the power of denotation and of connotation. It appeals to the
æsthetic sense of the reader or listener, it gives to form beauty and
charm. Personality is the influence of the author, the charm of
individuality, and suggests the character of the writer.
At the same time that perfect form is characterized by the general
qualities of precision, energy, delicacy, and personality, as
composition consisting of words, sentences, paragraphs, or large
wholes, its elements must be controlled by certain main principles,
which have been presented by Professor Barrett Wendell in English
Composition. Perfect form cannot possess the four general qualities
above mentioned unless its elements are controlled by these main
principles. These are: (1) the principle of sincerity; (2) the
principle of unity; (3) the principle of mass; and (4) the principle
of coherence. Sincerity demands of perfect form that it be a just
expression. Unity demands that every composition should group itself
about a central idea. There must be one story, all incidents
subordinated, one main course of action, one main group of characters,
and one tone of feeling to produce an emotional effect. Variety of
action must lead to one definite result and variety of feeling to one
total impression. Unity demands that the tale must have a plan that is
complete, with no irrelevant material, and that there must be a
logical order and a climax. Mass demands that the chief parts of every
composition should readily catch the eye. It maintains a harmonious
proportion of all the parts. Coherence demands of any composition that
the relation of each part to its neighbors should be unmistakable, and
that the order, forms, and connections of the parts preserve this
When form secures a perfect adaptation of the language to the thought
and feeling expressed, it may be said to possess style, in a broad
sense of the word. In a more detailed sense, when form is
characterized by precision, energy, delicacy, and personality, and at
the same time has the elements of its composition controlled by the
principles of sincerity, unity, mass, and coherence, it is said to
possess style. The fairy tale which is a classic characterized by that
perfect form called style, will possess the general qualities of
precision, energy, delicacy, and personality; and the elements of its
structure, its words, its sentences, its paragraphs, will display a
control of the principles of sincerity, unity, mass, and coherence.
A tale which well illustrates the literary form possible to the
child's tale, which may be said to possess that perfection of form we
call style, and which may be used with the distinct aim to improve the
child's English and perfect his language expression, is the modern
realistic fairy tale, Oeyvind and Marit.
Oeyvind and Marit is so entirely realistic as to be excluded here,
but the talking rhymes which the Mother sings to Oeyvind bring in the
fairy element of the talking animals. In the form of this tale, the
perfect fidelity with which the words fit the meaning is
apparent—nothing seems superfluous. When Oeyvind asked Marit who she
was, she replied:—
"I am Marit, mother's little one, father's fiddle, the elf in the
house, granddaughter of Ole Nordistuen of the Heidi farms, four years
old in the autumn, two days after the frost nights, I!"
And Oeyvind replied:—
"Are you really?"—and drew a long breath which he had not
dared to do so long as she was speaking.
The story is full of instances illustrating precision, energy, and
delicacy. In fact, almost any passage exemplifies the general
qualities of form and the qualities of composition. The personality of
the writer has given to the tale a poetic and dramatic charm of
simplicity. Note the precision and delicacy displayed in the opening
Oeyvind was his name. A low barren cliff overhung the house
in which he was born; fir and birch looked down on the roof,
and wild cherry strewed flowers over it. Upon this roof
there walked about a little goat, which belonged to Oeyvind.
He was kept there that he might not go astray; and Oeyvind
carried leaves and grass up to him. One fine day the goat
leaped down, and away to the cliff; he went straight up and
came where he never had been before.
Energy is apparent in the following passage:—
"Is it yours, this goat?" asked the girl again.
"Yes," he said, and looked up.
"I have taken such a fancy to the goat. You will not give it
"No, that I won't."
She lay kicking her legs and looking down at him, and then
she said, "But if I give you a butter-cake for the goat, can
I have him then?"
The justness of expression, the sincerity, is especially impressive
when Oeyvind's Mother came out and sat down by his side when the goat
no longer satisfied him and he wanted to hear stories of what was far
away. There is emotional harmony too, because the words suggest the
free freshness of the mountain air and the landscape which rose round
about the Boy and his Mother.
So she told him how once everything could talk: "The
mountain talked to the stream, and the stream to the river,
the river to the sea, and the sea to the sky."—But then he
asked if the sky did not talk to any one: "And the sky
talked to the clouds, the clouds to the trees, the trees to
the grass, the grass to the flies, the flies to the animals,
the animals to the children, the children to the grown-up
people…." Oeyvind looked at the mountain, the trees, and
the sky and had never seen them before.
There is delicacy or emotional harmony also in the Mother's song. When
Oeyvind asked, "What does the Cat say?" his Mother sang:—
At evening softly shines the sun.
The cat lies lazy on the stone.
Two small mice,
Cream, thick and nice,
Four bits of fish,
1 stole behind a dish,
And am so lazy and tired,
Because so well I have fared.
The unity is maintained through the central interest of the two
Children and the goat.
The tale is characterized by fairly good mass. As the story aims to
portray a natural picture of child life, obviously it could not
maintain a style of too great solidity and force, but rather would
seek one of ease and naturalness. Mass, as shown in Oeyvind and
Marit, appears in the following description of Oeyvind's play with
the goat, after he first realized its return:—
He jumped up, took it by the two fore-legs, and danced with
it as if it were a brother; he pulled its beard, and he was
just going in to his mother with it, when he heard someone
behind him; and looking, saw the girl sitting on the
greensward by his side. Now he understood it all, and let go
The story of child-friendship is told in distinct little episodes
which naturally connect. That unmistakable relation of the parts which
is essential to coherence, appears in the following outline of the
1. A new acquaintance; Oeyvind and Marit meet. The exchange of a
goat for a cake. The departure of the goat. Marit sings to the
goat. The return of the goat. Marit accompanies the goat.
2. New interests. The stories of what the animals say, told to
Oeyvind by his Mother. The first day of school.
3. An old acquaintance renewed: Oeyvind again meets Marit at
The Children's love of the goat, the comradeship of Oeyvind and Marit,
of Oeyvind and his Mother, and of Marit and her Grandfather, are
elements which assist in producing coherence. The songs of Marit, and
the songs and stories of Oeyvind's Mother, especially preserve the
relation of parts. In the following paragraphs, which give distinct
pictures, note the coherence secured internally largely by the
succession of verbs denoting action and also by the denotation of the
When he came in, there sat as many children round a table as
he had ever seen at church; others were sitting on their
luncheon-boxes, which were ranged round the walls; some
stood in small groups round a large printed card; the
school-master, an old gray-haired man, was sitting on a
stool by the chimney-corner, filling his pipe. They all
looked up as Oeyvind and his mother entered, and the
mill-hum ceased as if the water had suddenly been turned
As he was going to find his seat, they all wanted to make
room for him. He looked round a long time, while they
whispered and pointed; he turned round on all sides, with
his cap in his hand and his book under his arm….
Just as the boy is going to turn round to the school-master,
he sees close beside him, sitting down by the hearthstone on
a little red painted tub, Marit, of the many names; she had
covered her face with both hands, and sat peeping at him
through her fingers.
The imagination is appealed to continually through the simple concrete
expressions which present an image; as, "He grew hot all over, looked
around about, and called, 'Killy-killy-killy-goat!'"
The emotional element is distinct and pleasing and contributes to the
total impression of admiration for the characters. We admire Oeyvind
for his fondness for the goat and for his pain at losing it; for his
dissatisfaction in keeping it after Marit returned it, though she
wanted it; for his delight in his Mother's stories; and for his
pleasure in Marit's friendship at school. We admire Marit for her
appreciation of the beautiful goat; for her obedience to her
Grandfather; for her sorrow at giving up the goat; for her generosity
in giving the neck-chain with it; and for the childish comradeship she
gave to Oeyvind. We admire the goat for his loyalty to his little
master. We trust the Grandfather who trained Marit to be fair and
courteous; who guarded her from the cliff; and who bought for her
another goat. We have faith in the Mother who had feeling for the
little goat her son bartered for a cake; and who had the wisdom to
sing for her little boy and tell him stories when he was sorrowful and
needed new interests.
Undoubtedly Oeyvind and Marit is a tale which conveys its thought
clearly and makes you feel its feeling, and therefore may be said to
possess style in a broad sense. In a particular sense, because its
form is marked by the four general qualities: precision, energy,
delicacy, and personality; and its elements are controlled by the
principles of composition: sincerity, unity, mass, and coherence, it
therefore may be said to possess style.
An old tale which has a literary form unusual in its approach to the
perfect literary form, is the Norse, The Three Billy-Goats Gruff,
told by Dasent in Tales from the Norse. Indeed after looking
carefully at this tale one is tempted to say that, for perfection of
style, some of the old folk-tales are not to be equaled. Note the
simple precision shown in the very first paragraph:—
Once on a time there were three Billy-Goats, who were to go
up to the hill-side to make themselves fat, and the name of
all three was "Gruff."
Energy or force appeals to the emotions in the words of the tiny
Billy-Goat Gruff to the Troll:—
"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am,"
said the Billy-Goat; "wait a bit till the second Billy-Goat
Gruff comes, he's much bigger."
There is emotional harmony displayed in the second paragraph; the
words used fit the ideas:—
On the way up was a bridge over a burn they had to cross;
and under the bridge lived a great ugly Troll, with eyes as
big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.
The quality of personality is best described, perhaps, by saying that
the tale seems to have impersonality. Any charm of the story-tellers
of the ages has entered into the body of the tale, which has become an
objective presentment of a reality that concentrates on itself and
keeps personality out of sight. The character of the tellers is shown
however in the qualities of the tale. The charm of the primitive
story-tellers has given the tale inimitable morning-dew freshness.
This seems to result from a fine simplicity, a sprightly
visualization, a quaint picturesqueness, a pleasing terseness, and an
Sincerity is displayed in the words of the Troll and of the three
Billy-Goats. Note the sincerity of little Billy-Goat Gruff:—
"Oh! it is only I, the tiniest Billy-Goat Gruff; and I'm
going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the
Billy-Goat, with such a small voice.
The unity in this tale is unusually good. The central idea which
groups all the happenings in the tale is: Three Billy-Goats are
crossing a bridge to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat.
There are four characters, three Goats and the Troll. All that happens
in the tale contributes to the one effect of a bridge going trip,
trap! as a Goat crossed it on his way up the hillside; of a Troll
roaring: "Who's that tripping over my bridge?" of the explanation of
the Billy-Goat; of the answer of the Troll, "Now I'm coming to gobble
you up"; and of the Billy-Goat's final petition. Unity is emphasized
by the repetition in the tale, as the three Billy-Goats successively
cross the bridge and reply to the Troll. The climax is the big
Billy-Goat Gruff's tramp across the bridge.
This tale is characterized by perfect mass, the paragraphs always end
with words that deserve distinction, and the sentences have their
strongest words at the points where the eye would most readily see
them; as, "But just then up came the big Billy-Goat Gruff." The
coherence is fine, and is secured largely by the cumulative plan in a
threefold sense. The relation of the parts is unmistakable. The
similarity and contrast evident in the episodes of the three
Billy-Goats makes this relation very clearly defined. To make doubly
sure the end has been reached the tale concludes:—
Snip, snap, snout,
This tale's told out.
Let us examine the folk-tale generally as to its literary form. The
folk-tale originally did not come from the people in literary form.
The tale was first told by some nameless primitive man, who, returning
from some adventure of everyday life, would narrate it to a group of
his comrades. First told to astonish and interest, or to give a
warning of the penalty of breaking Nature's laws, or to teach a moral
lesson, or to raise a laugh, later it became worked up into the
fabulous stories of gods and heroes. These fabulous stories developed
into myth-systems, and these again into household tales. By constant
repetition from one generation to another, incidents likely to happen
in everyday life, which represented universal experiences and
satisfied common needs of childhood, were selected and combined. These
gradually assumed a form of simplicity and literary charm, partly
because, just as a child insists on accuracy, savage people adhered
strictly to form in repeating the tale, and because it is a law of
permanence that what meets the universal need will survive. The great
old folk-tales have acquired in their form a clearness and precision;
for in the process of telling and re-telling through the ages all the
episodes became clearly defined. And as irrelevant details dropped
out, there developed that unity produced by one dominant theme and one
dominant mood. The great old folk-tales, then, naturally acquired a
good classic literary form through social selection and survival. But
many of the tales as we know them have suffered either through
translation or through careless modern retelling. Many of the
folk-tales take on real literary form only through the re-treatment of
a literary artist. Mrs. Steel, who has collected the Tales of the
Punjab, tells how the little boys of India who seek to hold their
listening groups will vary the incidents in a tale in different
tellings, proving that the complete tale was not the original unit,
but that single incidents are much more apt to retain their stock
forms than plots. The combination we now have in a given tale was
probably a good form once hit upon and thereafter transmitted.
Jacob (1785-1863) and William (1786-1859) Grimm, both fine scholars,
incapable of any but good work, did not undertake to put the tale into
literary form suited to children. They were interested in preserving
folk-lore records for scientific purposes. And we must distinguish
between the tale as a means of reflecting the ideals of social and
religious life, of displaying all the genius of primitive man for
science to interpret, and the tale as a means of pleasing and
educating the child. The Grimms obtained most of their tales from the
lips of people in Hesse and Hanau, Germany. They were very fortunate
in securing many of the tales they were thirteen years in collecting,
from an old nurse, Frau Vichmannin, the wife of a cowherd, who lived
at Niederzwehrn, near Cassel, who told her story with exactness and
never changed anything in repeating. Grimm himself said, "Our first
care was faithfulness to the truth. We strove to penetrate into the
wild forests of our ancestors, listening to their noble language,
watching their pure customs, recognizing their ancient freedom and
hearty faith." The Grimms sought the purity of a straightforward
narration. They were against reconstruction to beautify and poetize
the legends. They were not opposed to a free appropriation for modern
and individual purposes. They kept close to the original, adding
nothing of circumstance or trait, but rendering the stories in a style
and language and development of detail which was their own literary
Perrault (1628-1703) had taken the old tales as his son, Charles, a
lad of ten or twelve, told them. The father had told them to the son
as he had gathered them up, intending to put them into verse after the
manner of La Fontaine. The lad loved the stories and re-wrote them
from memory for his father with such charming naïveté that the father
chose the son's version in preference to his own, and published it.
But the tales of Perrault, nevertheless, show the embellishment of the
mature master-Academician's touch in subduing the too marvelous tone,
or adding a bit of court manners, or a satirical hit at the vanity and
failings of man.
Dasent (1820-96) has translated the Norse tales from the original
collection of Asbjörnsen and Moe. Comrades from boyhood to manhood,
scholar and naturalist, these two together had taken long walks into
the secluded peasant districts and had secured the tales from the
people of the dales and fells, careful to retain the folk-expressions.
Dasent, with the instinct, taste, and skill of a true scholar, has
preserved these tales of an honest manly race, a race of simple men
and women, free and unsubdued. He has preserved them in their
folk-language and in their true Norse setting. Harris (1848-1908) has
given his tales in the dialect of Uncle Remus. Jacobs (1854-) has
aimed to give the folk-tales in the language of the folk, retaining
nurses' expressions, giving a colloquial and romantic tone which often
contains what is archaic and crude. He has displayed freedom with the
text, invented whole incidents, or completed incidents, or changed
them. His object has been to fill children's imaginations with bright
images. Andrew Lang (1844-1912) has given the tale mainly to entertain
children. He has accepted translations from many sources and has given
a straightforward narration. He has collected fairy tales
indefatigably in his rainbow Fairy Books, but they are not always to
be recommended for children.
Andersen (1805-75), like Perrault, made his tale for the child as an
audience, and he too has put the tale into literary form. Andersen's
tale is not the old tale, but an original creation, a number of which
are based on old folk-material. Preserving the child's point of view,
Andersen has enriched his language with a mastery of perfection and
literary style. And the "mantle of Andersen" has, so far, fallen on no
To-day it is to be questioned if the child should be given the tale in
nurses' talk. To-day children are best cared for by mothers who feel
ignorant if they cannot tell their children stories, and who, having
an appreciation of their mother English, want their children to hear
stories, not only told by themselves rather than by their servants,
but also told in the best literary form possible. They recognize that
these earliest years, when the child is first learning his language,
are the years for a perfection of form to become indelibly impressed.
The fairy tale, like every piece of literature, is an organism and
"should be put before the youngest child with its head on, and
standing on both feet." The wholesale re-telling of every tale is to
be deplored. And stories which have proved themselves genuine
classics, which have a right to live, which have been handed down by
tradition, which have been preserved by folk-lore records, and which
have been rescued from oblivion,—in this age of books should have a
literary form, which is part of their message, settled upon them. The
Grimm tales await their literary master.
III. THE FAIRY TALE AS A SHORT-STORY
The fairy tale, then, which in an objective sense, from the standpoint
of literature, has proved itself subject-matter of real worth, must be
a classic, must have the qualities of mind and soul, must possess the
power to appeal to the emotions, a power to appeal to the imagination,
and it must have a basis of truth and a perfection of form. But in
addition to possessing these characteristics, because the fairy tale
is a special literary form,—the short-story,—as literature it must
stand the test of the short-story.
The three main characteristics of the short-story, as given by
Professor Brander Matthews in his Philosophy of the Short-Story, are
originality of theme, ingenuity of invention, and brevity, or
compression. A single effect must be conceived, and no more written
than contributes to that effect. The story depends for its power and
charm on (1) characters; (2) plot; and (3) setting. In The Life and
Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, by Graham Balfour, Stevenson has
said, concerning the short-story:—
"There are, so far as I know, three ways, and three ways
only, of writing a story. You may take a plot and fit
characters to it, or you may take a character and choose
incidents and situations to develop it, or lastly—you must
bear with me while I try to make this clear…. You may take
a certain atmosphere and get action and persons to express
and realize it. I'll give you an example—The Merry Men.
There I began with the feeling of one of those islands on
the west coast of Scotland, and I gradually developed the
story to express the sentiment with which the coast affected
According to the method by which the story was made, the emphasis will
be on character, plot, or setting. Sometimes you may have a perfect
blending of all three.
(1) Characters. The characters must be unique and original, so that
they catch the eye at once. They dare not be colorless, they must have
striking experiences. The Elephant's Child, Henny Penny, Medio
Pollito, Jack of the Beanstalk, the Three Pigs, the Three Bears, and
Drakesbill—the characters of the fairy tales have no equal in
literature for freshness and vivacity. The very mention of the thought
brings a smile of recognition; and it is for this reason, no doubt,
that leading men in large universities turn aside from their high
scholarly labors, to work or play with fairy tales. Besides the
interesting chief characters, moreover, there are many more
subordinate characters that are especially unique: the fairies, the
fairy godmothers and wise women, the elves of the trees, the dwarfs of
the ground, the trolls of the rocks and hills, and the giants and
witches. Then that great company of toilers in every occupation of
life bring the child in touch with many novel phases of life. At best
we are all limited by circumstances to a somewhat narrow sphere and
like to enter into all that we are not. The child, meeting in his tale
the shoemaker, the woodcutter, the soldier, the fisherman, the hunter,
the poor traveler, the carpenter, the prince, the princess, and a host
of others, gets a view of the industrial and social conditions that
man in simple life had to face. This could not fail to interest; and
it not only broadens his experience and deepens his sympathy, but is
the best means for acquiring a foundation upon which to build his own
vocational training. This acquisition is one contribution of
literature to industrial work. Those characters will appeal to the
child which present what the child has noticed or can notice. They
should appear as they do in life, by what they say and by what they
do. This, in harmony with the needs of the young child, makes the
tales which answer to the test of suitability, largely dramatic.
(2) Plot. The characters of the tales can be observed only in action.
Plot is the synthesis of the actions, all the incidents which happen
to the characters. The plot gives the picture of experience and allows
us to see others through the events which come to them. According to
Professor Bliss Perry, the plot should be entertaining, comical,
novel, or thrilling. It should present images that are clear-cut and
not of too great variety. It should easily separate itself into large,
leading episodes that stand out distinctly. The sequence of events
should be orderly and proceed without interruption. The general
structure should easily be discerned into the beginning, the middle,
and the end. Various writers of tales have their particular ways of
beginning. Andersen loses no time in getting started, while Kipling
begins by stating his theme. The old tales frequently began with the
words, "Once upon a time," which Kipling modified to "In the High and
Far-Off times, O Best Beloved," etc. Hawthorne begins variously with
"Once upon a time", or, "Long, long ago"; or, "Did you ever hear of
the golden apples?" etc.—Hawthorne has been omitted in this book
because, so far as I can discover, he furnishes no tale for the
kindergarten or first grade. His simplest tale, Midas and the Golden
Touch, properly belongs in the second grade when told; when read, in
the fourth grade.—The introduction, in whatever form, should be
simple and to the point. It should give the time and place and present
the characters; and if good art it will be impatient of much
preliminary delay. The great stories all show a rise of interest
culminating in one central climax; and after that, sometimes following
on its very heels, the conclusion where poetic justice is meted out.
This climax is a very important feature in the tale, so important that
it has been said, "The climax is the tale." It is the point where
interest focuses. It makes the story because it is where the point of
the story is made. In a good story this point always is made
impressive and often is made so by means of surprise. The conclusion
must show that the tale has arrived at a stopping place and in a moral
tale it must leave one satisfied, at rest.
If the folk-tale is good narration, in answer to the question, "What?"
it will tell what happened; in answer to the question, "Who?" it will
tell to whom it happened; in answer to the question, "Where?" it will
tell the place where, and the time when, it happened; and in answer to
the question, "Why?" it will give the reason for telling the story, it
will give the message, and the truth embodied in its form. As
narration the tale must have truth, interest, and consistency. Its
typical mood must be action and its language the language of
suggestion. This language of suggestion appears when it shows an
object by indicating how it is like something else; by telling what we
feel when we see the object; and by telling what actions of the person
or object make it hateful or charming. We learn to know Andersen's
Snow Man through what the Dog says of him.
Description, in the sense of a static, detailed delineation of various
qualities of objects, has no place in the child's story, for it bores
the child, who is very persistent in wanting the main theme
uninterrupted. But description that has touches of movement and action
or that lays emphasis on a single effect and has point, distinctly
aids visualization, and produces a pleasing result, as we have seen in
Kipling's Elephant's Child. The young child of to-day, trained in
nature study to look upon bird, tree, and flower with vital interest,
to observe the color and the form of these, gains a love of the
beautiful that makes him exclaim over the plumage of a bird or tint of
a flower. To him beauty in the tale must make a direct appeal which
the child unfamiliar with these things might not feel. The Wonderful
Adventures of Nils makes an appeal to the modern child which could
not possibly have been felt by the child living before 1850. The
modern child brought up on phonics is sensitive to sound also, and
open to an appreciation of the beauty of the individual word used in
description. This description, when it occurs, should be characterized
mainly by aptness and concreteness.
Having observed the general characteristics of the narrative contained
in the plot, let us examine the structure of a few tales to see: What
is the main theme of the plot and how it works itself out; what are
the large, leading episodes, and how they culminate in the climax; and
what is the conclusion, and how closely it follows the climax.
The Story of Three Pigs
I. Introduction. Time. Place. Characters: Mother and
Three Pigs. Mother gone.
1. First Pig's venture with a man with a load of straw.
Builds a straw house. (Wolf enters.)
Wolf comes and destroys him.
2. Second Pig's venture with a man with a load of furze.
Builds a furze house.
Wolf comes and destroys him.
3. Third Pig's venture with a man with a load of bricks.
Builds a brick house.
Wolf comes. (Climax.)
III. Conclusion. Third Pig outwits the Wolf.
At the turnip-field in Mr. Smith's home-field.
At the apple tree in Merry-Garden.
At the fair at Shanklin.
At his own brick house.
Evidently the climax here is when the Wolf comes to the third Pig's
brick house. After that things take a turn; and the final test of
strength and cleverness comes at the very end of the tale, at Little
Pig's brick house.
Grimm's Briar Rose is a model of structure and easily separates
itself into ten large episodes.
1. The Introduction.
2. The Christening Feast.
(a) The Fairies and their gifts.
(b) The wicked Fairy and her curse.
3. The King's decree.
4. Princess Rose's birthday.
(a) Princess Rose's visit to the old tower.
(b) Princess Rose and the wicked Fairy spinning.
(c) The magic sleep.
5. The hedge of briars.
6. The Prince and the old Man.
7. The Prince and the opening hedge.
8. The Prince in the castle. (Climax.)
9. The awakening.
10. The wedding. (Conclusion.)
The climax here is the Prince's awakening kiss. The blossoming of the
hedge into roses prepares for the climax; and the conclusion—the
awakening of all the life of the castle and the wedding—follow
(3) Setting. The third element of the short-story that is essential to
its power and charm is setting. The setting is the circumstances or
events which surround the characters and action. The setting occupies
a much more important place in the tale than we realize, for it is the
source of a variety of sensations and feelings which it may arouse. It
gives the poetic or artistic touch to a tale. In the old tale the
setting is given often in a word or two which act like magic, to open
to our eyes a whole vision of associations. The road in the Three
Pigs, the wood in Red Riding Hood, the castle in the Sleeping
Beauty—these add charm. Often the transformation in setting aids
greatly in producing effect. In Cinderella the scene shifts from the
hearth to the palace ballroom; in the Princess and the Pea, from the
comfortable castle of the Queen to the raging storm, and then back
again to the castle, to the breakfast-room on the following morning.
In Snow White and Rose Red the scene changes from the cheery,
beautiful interior of the cottage, to the snowstorm from which the
Bear emerged. In accumulative tales, such as The Old Woman and her
Pig, Medio Pollito, and The Robin's Christmas Song, the sequence
of the story itself is preserved mainly by the change of setting. This
appears in the following outline of The Robin's Christmas Song, an
English tale which is the same as the Scotch Robin's Yule-Song,
which has been attributed to Robert Burns. This tale illustrates one
main line of sequence:—
The Robin's Christmas Song
1. Introduction. A sunny morning. Waterside. A Gray Pussy.
A Robin came along.
Pussy said, … "See my white fur."
Robin replied, … "You ate the wee mousie."
Change in setting. Stone wall on border of the wood. A
greedy Hawk, sitting.
Hawk said, … "See the speckled feather in my wing."
Robin replied, … "You pecked the sparrow," etc.
Change in setting. Great rock. A sly Fox.
Fox said, "See the spot on my tail."
Robin replied, "You bit the wee lambie."
Change in setting. Banks of a rivulet. A small Boy.
Boy said, "See the crumbs in my pocket."
Robin replied, "You caught the goldfinch."
Change in setting. King's palace. The window sill. The
King at the window.
Robin sang, "A song for the King."
King replied, "What shall we give Robin?"
No change in setting. King's palace. The window sill.
The King at the window.
King Filled a plate and set it on the window sill.
Robin Ate, sang a song again, and flew away.
Here, not only the sequence of the tale is held largely by the change
in setting, but also the pleasure in the tale is due largely to the
setting, the pictures of landscape beauty it presents, and the
feelings arising from these images.
A Japanese tale, in which the setting is a large part of the tale, and
a large element of beauty, is Mezumi, the Beautiful, or The Rat
A Grimm tale in which the setting is a very large element of pleasure
and in which it preserves the sequence of the tale, is The Spider and
the Flea, a lively accumulative tale that deserves attention for
several reasons.—A Spider and a Flea dwelt together. One day a number
of unusual occurrences happened, so that finally a little Girl with a
water-pitcher broke it, and then the Streamlet from which she drew the
water asked, "Why do you break your pitcher, little Girl?" And she
The little Spider's burned herself.
And the Flea weeps;
The little Door creaks with the pain,
And the Broom sweeps;
The little Cart runs on so fast,
And the Ashes burn;
The little Tree shakes down its leaves.
Now it is my turn!
And then the Streamlet said, "Now I must flow."
And it flowed on and on, getting bigger and bigger, until it swallowed
up the little Girl, the little Tree, the Ashes, the Cart, the Broom,
the Door, the Flea, and at last, the Spider—all together.
Here we have a tale, which, in its language, well illustrates
Stevenson's "pattern of style," especially as regards the harmony
produced by the arrangement of letters. From the standpoint of style,
this tale might be named, The Adventure of the Letter E; it
illustrates the part the phonics of the tale may contribute to the
effect of the setting. Follow the letter e in the opening of the
tale, both as to the eye and the ear:—
A Spid_e_r and a Fl_e_a dw_e_lt tog_e_th_e_r in on_e_
hous_e_ and br_e_w_e_d th_e_ir b_ee_r in an _e_gg-shell.
On_e_ day wh_e_n th_e_ Spid_e_r was stirring it up sh_e_
f_e_ll in and burn_e_d h_e_rs_e_lf. Th_e_r_e_upon th_e_
Fl_e_a b_e_gan to scr_e_am. And th_e_n th_e_ Door ask_e_d,
"Why ar_e_ you scr_e_aming, littl_e_ Fl_e_a?"
If we follow the e sound through the tale, we find it in Flea,
beer, scream, creak, weeps, sweep, reason, heap, Tree, leaves, and
Streamlet. This repetition of the one sound puts music into the tale
and creates a center of the harmony of sound. But if we examine the
next part of the tale we find a variety of sounds of o in
thereupon, Door, Broom, stood, and corner. Later, in connection
with Cart, we have began, fast, past, and Ashes. Other phonic
effects are crowded into the tale; such as the sound of l in
violently, till, all, leaves, and fell; the sound of i in
little and Girl; of p in pitcher and passing; of t in
little and pitcher; and of ew in threw and drew. Altogether
this very effective use of sound is a fine employment of concrete
language, words which present images that are clear-cut as a cameo. It
also gives to the tale a poetical touch.
Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse, an English tale, and a parallel of The
Spider and the Flea, preserves the same beauty and sequence by means
of its setting and illustrates the same very unusual contribution of
the sounds of particular letters combined in the harmony of the whole.
The Phonics of the Fairy Tales is a subject which yields much
interest and, as yet, has been almost untouched.
In The Adventures of Chanticleer and Partlet, in part I, The Trip
to the Nut-Hill, taken from Arthur Rackham's Grimm Tales, the
setting contributes largely to the attractiveness of the tale, as is
shown in Rackham's beautiful illustration. The setting is given
throughout the tale often in a telling word or two. Chanticleer and
Partlet went up the nut-hill to gather nuts before the squirrel
carried them all away. The day was bright and they stayed till
evening. The carriage of nut-shells; the Duck they met; the
dirty road they traveled in the pitch dark; the Inn they arrived
at; the night at the Inn; the early dawn; the hearth where they
threw the egg-shells; the Landlord's chair whose cushion received
the Needle; the towel which received the Pin; the heath over which
they hurried away; the yard of the Inn where the Duck slept and the
stream he escaped by; the Landlord's room where he gained
experience with his towel; the kitchen where the egg-shells from the
hearth flew into his face; and the arm-chair which received him
with a Needle—these are all elements of setting which contribute
largely to the humor and the beauty of the tale.
A blending of the three elements, characters, plot, and setting,
appears in the following outline of The Elves and the Shoemaker:—
The Elves and the Shoemaker
1. Introduction. A poor Shoemaker. A poor room containing
a bed and a shoemaker's board. Leather for one pair of
First night … Cut out shoes. Went to bed. Shoes ready
next morning. Sold them. Bought leather for two pairs.
Second night … Cut out shoes. Went to bed. Shoes
ready next morning. Sold them. Bought leather for four
One night … Conversation of Shoemaker and his wife:
"I should like to sit up to-night to see who it is that
makes the shoes." They sat up. Two Elves ran in, sewed,
rapped, and tapped, and ran away when the shoes were
Day after … Conversation. "These Elves made us rich.
I should like to do something for them. You make each
of them a little pair of shoes, and I will make them
each a little shirt, a coat, a waistcoat, trousers, and
a pair of stockings."
Christmas Eve … Finished shoes and clothes put on the
table. Shoemaker and Wife hid in the corner of the room
behind clothes, and watched. (Climax.)
Elves came in and put on clothes.
Happy end. Elves danced and sang,—
"Smart and natty boys are we,
Cobblers we'll no longer be."
Shoemaker and Wife became happy and prosperous.
The characters of this tale are usual, a poor Shoemaker and his Wife;
and unusual, the dainty Elves who made shoes in a twinkling. But the
commonplace peasants become interesting through their generosity,
kindness, and service to the Elves; and the Elves become human in
their joy at receiving gifts. The structure of the tale is so distinct
as to be seen a thing itself, apart from the story. The framework is
built on what happens on two nights and following nights, the
conversation of the next day, and what happens on Christmas Eve. The
climax evidently is what the Shoemaker and his Wife hid in the corner
to see—the entrance of the Elves on Christmas Eve—which episode has
been interpreted charmingly by the English illustrator, Cruikshank.
The joy of the Elves and of the two aged people, the gifts received by
the one and the riches won by the other, form the conclusion, which
follows very closely upon the climax. The commonplace setting, the
poor room with its simple bed and table, becomes transformed by the
unusual happenings in the place. If we should take away this setting,
we see how much the tale would suffer. Also without the characters the
tale would be empty. And without the interesting, human, humorous, and
pleasing plot, characters and setting would be insufficient. Each
element of the short-story contributes its fair share to the tale, and
blends harmoniously in the whole.
Various standards for testing the folk-tale have been given by
writers. One might refer to the standards given by Wilman in his
Pedagogische Vorträge and those mentioned by William Rein in Das
Erste Schuljahr. We have seen here that the fairy tale must contain
the child's interests and it must be able to stand the test of a true
classic. It must stand the test of literature in its appeal to emotion
and to imagination, in its appeal to the intellect through its basis
of truth, and to the language-sense through its perfection of form; it
must stand the test of the short-story and of good narration and of
description. Let us now examine a few of the old tales to see how they
stand the complete test:—
How the Sun, Moon, and West Wind went out to Dinner
This story of How the Sun, Moon, and West Wind Went out to
Dinner appeals to the children's interest in a family
dinner—they went to dine with their Uncle and Aunt, Thunder
and Lightning. The characters are interesting to the child,
for they are the inhabitants of his sky that cause him much
wonder: the star, the sun, the moon, the thunder, and the
lightning. To the little child, who as she watched a
grown-up drying her hands, remarked, "I wouldn't like to be
a towel, would you?" the idea of the moon, sun, and wind
possessing personality and going to a dinner-party will
amuse and please. The theme of the story finds a place in
the experience of children who go to a party; and secretly
they will enjoy making comparisons. When they go to a party
they too like to bring something home; but they wouldn't
think of hiding goodies in their hands. They are fortunate
enough to have their hostess give them a toy animal or a box
of sweetmeats, a tiny dolly or a gay balloon, as a souvenir.
The greediness and selfishness of the Sun and Wind impress
little children, for these are perhaps the two sins possible
to childhood; and all children will fully appreciate why the
Sun and the Wind received so swiftly the punishment they
deserved. The thoughtfulness of the loving gentle Moon to
remember her Mother the Star, appeals to them. The rapid
punishment, well-deserved, and the simplicity of the story
with its one point, make it a very good tale for little
children. The whole effect is pleasing. What children recall
is the motherly Star; and the beautiful Moon, who was cool
and calm and bright as a reward for being good.
The structure of the tale is neat and orderly, dominated by
a single theme. The form of the tale, as given in Jacobs's
Indian Tales, shows a good use of telling expressions;
such as, "the Mother waited alone for her children's
return," "Kept watch with her little bright eye," "the
Moon, shaking her hands showered down such a choice
dinner," etc. Here we have too, the use of concrete,
visualized expressions and direct language. There is also a
good use of repetition, which aids the child in following
the plot and which clarifies the meaning. The Mother Star,
when pronouncing a punishment upon Sun, repeated his own
words as he had spoken when returning from the dinner: "I
went out to enjoy myself with my friends." In her speech to
Wind she included his own remark: "I merely went for my own
pleasure."—The examination of this tale shows that it
stands well the complete test applied here to the fairy
The Straw Ox
The Straw Ox is an accumulative tale which has sufficient
plot to illustrate the fine points of the old tale
completely. A poor woman who could barely earn a living had
an idea and carried it out successfully.—Her need
immediately wins sympathy in her behalf.—She asked her
husband to make her a straw ox and smear it with tar. Then
placing it in the field where she spun, she called out,
"Graze away, little Ox, graze away, while I spin my flax!"
First a Bear came out of the Wood and got caught by the tar
so that the Straw Ox dragged him home. The old Man then put
the Bear in the cellar. Then a Wolf, a Fox, and a Hare got
caught in the same way and also were consigned to the
cellar.—The plot has so far built itself up by an orderly
succession of incidents.—But just when the Man is preparing
to kill the animals, they save their lives by promising
vicarious offerings: The Bear promises honey; the Wolf a
flock of sheep; the Fox a flock of geese; and the Hare kale
and cauliflower.—Then the plot, having tied itself into a
knot, unties itself as the animals return, each with the
gift he promised.
The setting is the field where the old Woman placed the Ox
and where she spun, the wood from which the animals came,
and the peasant home. The characters are two poor people who
need food and clothing and seek to secure both; and the
animals of the forest. The peasants need the Bear for a
coat, the Wolf for a fur cap, the Fox for a fur collar, and
the Hare for mittens. This human need produces an emotional
appeal so that we wish to see the animals caught. But when
the plot unties itself, the plight of the animals appeals to
us equally and we want just as much to see them win their
freedom. Each animal works out his own salvation by offering
the old people a worthy substitute. Each animal is true to
his nature in the substitute he offers, he promises what is
only natural for him to procure, and what he himself likes
best. The conclusion is satisfying because in the end
everybody is happy: the old people who have all they need;
and the animals who have life and freedom. The distinct
pictures offered to the imagination are the capture of the
four animals and their return with their life-substitutes.
The form of the tale is a good example of folk-story style,
with its vivid words, direct language, and repetition. This
is one of the tales which is finer than at first appears
because it has a strong sense of life. It touches the
present-day problem: "How can the inhuman slaughter of
animals for man's use be avoided?" Its underlying message
is: Self-help is a good way out of a difficulty.—The Straw
Ox also answers the complete test of the tale with much
Barnes, Earl: Study of Children's Stories. ("Children's
Dewey, John: Interest and Effort in Education. Houghton.
King, Irving: Psychology of Child Development. University of
Lawrence, Isabel: "Children's Interests in Literature." N.E.A.
Report, 1899, p. 1044.
McCracken, Elizabeth: "What Children Like to Read." Outlook,
Dec, 1904, vol. 78.
Tyler, John M.: Growth in Education. Houghton.
Vostrovsky, Clara: "A Study of Children's Own Stories." Studies
in Education, vol. i, pp. 15-17.
Baldwin, Charles S.: Specimens of Prose Description. Holt.
Brewster, William T.: English Composition and Style. Century.
Ibid.: Specimens of Prose Narration. Holt.
Gardiner, John H.: Forms of Prose Literature. Scribner.
Matthews, Brander: The Philosophy of the Short-Story. Longmans.
Pater, Walter: Appreciations. (Essay on Style). Macmillan.
Perry, Bliss: A Study of Prose Fiction. ("The Short Story.")
Sainte-Beuve, Charles A.: Essays. ("What is a Classic?")
Santayana, George: The Sense of Beauty. Scribner.
Wendell, Barrett: English Composition. Scribner.
Winchester, Caleb T.: Principles of Literary Criticism.
Bain, Alexander: The Emotions and the Will. Appleton.
Darwin, Charles: Expression of the Emotions in Man and
Colvin, Stephen: The Learning Process. Macmillan.
Curry, S.S.: Imagination and the Dramatic Instinct. Expression
Ruskin, John: Modern Painters, vol. r. ("Of the Imagination.")
Baker, Franklin T.: Bibliography of Children's Reading.
(Introduction.) Teachers College, Columbia University.
Day, Mary B., and Wilson, Elisabeth: Suggestive Outlines on
Children's Literature. S. Illinois Normal, Carbondale.
Dodd, C.F.: "Fairy Tales in the Schoolroom." Living Age, Nov.
8, 1902, vol. 235, pp. 369-75.
Fay, Lucy, and Eaton, Anne: Instruction in the Use of Books and
Libraries. (Chap, xv, "Fairy Tales.") Boston Book Co.
Field, Mrs. E.M.: The Child and His Book. Wells Gardner, Darton
Field, Walter T.: Finger-Posts to Children's Reading. A.C.
Harron, Julia; Bacon, Corinne; and Dana, J.C.: A Course of Study
on Literature for Children. Newark Public Library.
Hosic, James F.: "The Conduct of a Course in Literature for
Children." N.E.A. Report, 1913.
Ibid.: The Elementary Course in English. University of
Hunt, Clara: What shall we Read to the Children? Houghton.
Kready, Laura F.: "Picture-Books for Little Children."
Kindergarten Review, Sept., 1914.
Lowe, Orton: Literature for Children. Macmillan.
MacClintock, Porter L.: Literature in the Elementary School.
University of Chicago.
Moore, Annie E.: "Principles in the Selection of Stories for the
Kindergarten." I.K.U. Report, 1913.
Moses, Montrose: Children's Books and Reading. M. Kennerley.
Olcott, Frances J.: The Children's Reading. Houghton.
THE TELLING OF FAIRY TALES
The telling of stories refreshes the mind as a bath
refreshes the body. It gives exercise to the intellect and
its powers. It tests the judgments and feelings. The
story-teller must wholly take into himself the life of which
he speaks, must let it live and operate in himself freely.
He must reproduce it whole and undiminished, yet stand
superior to life as it actually is.—FROEBEL.
The purpose of the story.—To look out with new eyes upon
the many-featured, habitable world; to be thrilled by the
pity and the beauty of this life of ours, itself brief as a
tale that is told; to learn to know men and women better,
and to love them more.—BLISS PERRY.
Expertness in teaching consists in a scholarly command of
subject-matter, in a better organization of character, in a
larger and more versatile command of conscious modes of
transmitting facts and ideals, and in a more potent and
winsome, forceful and sympathetic manner of personal contact
with other human beings.—HENRY SUZZALLO.
Story-telling as an art. No matter how perfectly the tale, in a
subjective sense, may contain the interests of the child, or how
carefully it may avoid what repels him; though in an objective sense
it may stand the test of a true classic in offering a permanent
enrichment of the mind and the test of literature in appealing to the
emotions and the imagination, in giving a contribution of truth and an
embodiment of good form; though it may stand the test of the
short-story—furnishing interesting characters, definite plot, and
effective setting; though its sequence be orderly and its climax
pointed, its narration consistent and its description apt—the tale
yet remains to be told. The telling of the tale is a distinct art
governed by distinct principles because the life of the story must be
transmitted and rendered into voice.
Story-telling is one of the most ancient and universal of arts.
Concerning this art Thackeray has said:—
Stories exist everywhere: there is no calculating the
distance through which stories have come to us, the number
of languages through which they have been filtered, or the
centuries during which they have been told. Many of them
have been narrated almost in their present shape for
thousands of years to the little copper-colored Sanskrit
children, listening to their mothers under the palm-trees by
the banks of the yellow Jumna—their Brahmin mother, who
softly narrated them through the ring in her nose. The very
same tale has been heard by the northern Vikings as they lay
on their shields on deck; and the Arabs couched under the
stars on the Syrian plains when their flocks were gathered
in, and their mares were picketed by the tents.
In his Roundabout Papers, Thackeray gives a picture of a score of
white-bearded, white-robed warriors or grave seniors of the city,
seated at the gate of Jaffa or Beyrout, listening to the story-teller
reciting his marvels out of Arabian Nights. "A Reading from Homer,"
by Alma Tadema, is a well-known picture which portrays the Greeks
listening to the Tales of Homer. In the Lysistrata of
Aristophanes, the chorus of old men begins with, "I will tell ye a
story!" Plutarch, in his Theseus says, "All kinds of stories were
told at the festival Oschophoria, as the mothers related such things
to their children before their departure, to give them courage." In
his Symposium he mentions a child's story containing the proverb,
"No man can make a gown for the moon."—
The Moon begged her Mother to weave her a little frock which
would fit her.
The Mother said, "How can I make it fit thee, when thou art
sometimes a Full Moon, and then a Half Moon, and then a New
In the works of the German, Schuppius (1677), appeared this:—
Your old folks can remember how, in the olden times, it was
customary at vespers on Easter day, to tell some Easter
tidings from the pulpit. These were foolish fables and
stories such as are told to children in the spinning-room.
They were intended to make people merry.
In England, Chaucer's Tales reflect the common custom of the times
for the pilgrim, the traveler, the lawyer, the doctor, the monk, and
the nun, to relate a tale. The Wife of Bathes Tale is evidently a
fairy tale. In Peele's Old Wives' Tale we learn how the smith's
goodwife related some nursery tales of Old England to the two
travelers her husband brought to the cottage for the night. In
Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination we find:—
Hence, finally by night,
The village matres, round the blazing hearth
Suspend the infant audience with their tales,
The custom of Florentine mothers has been described by the poet,
Dante, when he says:—
Another, drawing tresses from her distaff.
Told o'er among her family the tales
Of Trojans, and of Fesole and Rome.
The French troubadours and the Italian counts of Boccaccio's time told
tales. It is recorded of the French Galland, the first translator of
The Arabian Nights, how the young men of his day would gather under
his windows at night and shout for him until he showed himself and
told them stories. The German Luther paid a high tribute to stories;
and Goethe's mother, in giving her experience in telling stories to
her children, has shown how the German mother valued the story in the
home. To-day, savage children, when the day of toil is ended with the
setting sun, gather in groups to listen to the never-dying charm of
the tale; and the most learned of men, meeting in the great centers of
civilization to work out weighty problems, find relief and pleasure
when wit and culture tell the tale.
In the home the tale is the mother's power to build in her little
children ideals of life which will tower as a fortress when there come
critical moments of decision for which no amount of reasoning will be
a sufficient guide, but for which true feeling, a kind of unconscious
higher reasoning, will be the safest guide. In the library the story
is the greatest social asset of the librarian, it is her best means of
reaching the obscure child who seeks there some food for his spirit,
it is her best opportunity to lead and direct his tastes. In the
school it is the teacher's strongest personal ally. It is her
wishing-ring, with which she may play fairy to herself in
accomplishing a great variety of aims, and incidentally be a fairy
godmother to the child.
Story-telling is an art handling an art and therefore must be pursued
in accordance with certain principles. These principles govern: (1)
the teacher's preparation; (2) the presentation of the tale; and (3)
the return from the child.
I. THE TEACHER'S PREPARATION
1. The teacher's preparation must be concerned with a variety of
subjects. The first rule to be observed is: Select the tale for some
purpose, to meet a situation. This purpose may be any one of the
elements of value which have been presented here under "The Worth of
Fairy Tales." The teacher must consider, not only the possibilities of
her subject-matter and what she wishes to accomplish through the
telling of the tale, but also what the child's purpose will be in
listening. She may select her tale specifically, not just because it
contains certain interests, but because through those interests she
can direct the child's activity toward higher interests. She must
consider what problems the tale can suggest to the child. She may
select her tale to develop habits in the child, to clarify his
thinking, to give a habit of memory or to develop emotion or
imagination. She may select her tale "just for fun," to give pure joy,
or to teach a definite moral lesson, to make a selfish child see the
beauty of unselfishness or to impress an idea. The Story of Lazy
Jack, like the realistic Epaminondas, will impress more deeply than
any word of exhortation, the necessity for a little child to use "the
sense he was born with."
In the selection of the tale the teacher is up against the problem of
whether she shall choose her tale psychologically or logically. As
this is the day of the psychologic point of view in education, the
teacher realizing this feels that she must select a tale for a
particular purpose, according to the child's interests, his needs, and
the possibilities it offers for his self-activity and self-expression.
Looking freely over the field she may choose any tale which satisfies
her purposes. This is psychologic. But in a year's work this choice of
a tale for a particular purpose is followed by successive choices
until she has selected a wide variety of tales giving exercise to many
forms of activity, establishing various habits of growth. This method
of choice is the psychologic built up until, in the hands of the
teacher who knows the subject, it becomes somewhat logical. It is the
method which uses the ability of the individual teacher, alone and
unaided. There is another method. The teacher may be furnished with a
course of tales arranged by expert study of the full subject outlined
in large units of a year's work, offering the literary heritage
possible to the child of a given age. This is logical. From this
logical course of tales she may select one which answers to the
momentary need, she may use it according to its nature, to develop
habits, to give opportunity for self-activity and self-expression, and
to enter into the child's daily life. This method of choice is the
logical, which through use and adaptation has become psychologized. It
uses the ability of the individual teacher in adaptation, not unaided
and alone, but assisted by the concentrated knowledge and practice of
the expert. Such a logical course, seeking uniformity only by what it
requires at the close of a year's work, would give to the individual
teacher a large freedom of choice and would bring into kindergarten
and elementary literature a basis of content demanding as much respect
as high school or college literature. It is in no way opposed to
maintaining the child as the center of interest. The teacher's problem
is to see that she uses the logical course psychologically.
2. Having selected the tale then, from a logical course, and
psychologically for a present particular purpose, the next step is:
Know the tale. Know the tale historically, if possible. Know it
first as folk-lore and then as literature. Read several versions of
the tale, the original if possible, selecting that version which seems
most perfectly fitted to express what there is in the tale. As
folk-lore, study its variants and note its individual motifs. Note
what glimpses it gives of the social life and customs of a primitive
people. The best way to dwell on the life of the story, to realize it,
is to compare these motifs with similar motifs in other tales. It has
been said that we do not see anything clearly until we compare it with
another; and associating individual motifs of the tales makes the
incidents stand out most clearly. Henny Penny's walk appears more
distinctly in association with that of Medio Pollito or that of
Drakesbill or of the Foolish Timid Rabbit; the fairy words in
Sleeping Beauty and the good things they bestowed upon Briar Rose in
association with the fairy wand in Cinderella and the good things it
brought her; the visit of the Wolf in The Wolf and Seven Kids with
the visit of the Wolf in Three Pigs and of the Fox in The Little
Rid Hin. It is interesting to note that a clog motif, similar to the
motif of shoes in The Elves and the Shoemaker, occurs in the Hindu
Panch-Rhul Ranee, told in Old Deccan Days.
All the common motifs which occur in the fairy tales have been
classified by Andrew Lang under these heads:—
(1) Bride or bridegroom who transgresses a mystic command.
(2) Penelope formula; one leaves the other and returns later.
(3) Attempt to avoid Fate.
(4) Slaughter of monster.
(5) Flight, by aid of animal.
(6) Flight from giant or wizard.
(7) Success of youngest.
(8) Marriage test, to perform tasks.
(9) Grateful beasts.
(10) Strong man and his comrades.
(11) Adventure with Ogre, and trick.
(12) Descent to Hades.
(13) False bride.
(14) Bride with animal children.
From a less scientific view some of the common motifs noticeable in
the fairy tales, which however would generally fall under one of the
heads given by Lang, might be listed:—
(1) Child wandering into a home; as in Three Bears and
(2) Transformation; simple, as in Puss-in-Boots; by
love, as in Beauty and the Beast, by sprinkling with
water, as in Beauty and the Beast or by bathing, as in
Catskin; by violence, as in Frog Prince and White
(3) Tasks as marriage tests; as in Cinderella.
(4) Riddle test; as in Peter, Paul, and Espen; questions
asked, as in Red Riding Hood.
(5) Magic sleep; as in Sleeping Beauty.
(6) Magic touch; as in Golden Goose.
(7) Stupid person causing royalty to laugh; as in Lazy Jack.
(8) Exchange; as in Jack and the Beanstalk.
(9) Curiosity punished; as in Bluebeard and Three Bears.
(10) Kindness to persons rewarded; as in Cinderella, Little
Two-Eyes, and The House in the Wood.
(11) Kindness to animals repaid; as in Thumbelina, Cinderella,
and White Cat.
(12) Industry rewarded; as in Elves and the Shoemaker.
(13) Hospitality rewarded; as in Tom Thumb.
(14) Success of a venture; as in Dick Whittington.
After studying the tale as folk-lore, know it as literature. Master it
as a classic, test it as literature, to see wherein lies its appeal to
the emotions, its power of imagination, its basis of truth, and its
quality of form; study it as a short-story and view it as a piece of
narration. It is rather interesting to note that you can get all there
is in a tale from any one point of view. If you follow the sequence as
setting, through association you get the whole, as may be seen by
referring to Chanticleer and Partlet under the heading, "Setting,"
in the chapter on the "Short-Story." Or, if you follow the successive
doings of the characters you get the whole, as may be observed in the
story of Medio Pollito, described later in the "Animal Tale" in the
chapter, "Classes of Tales." Or if you follow the successive
happenings to the characters, the plot, you get the whole, as may
appear in the outline of Three Pigs given in the chapter which
handles "Plot." Note the beauty of detail and the quality of
atmosphere with which the setting surrounds the tale; note the
individual traits of the characters and their contrasts; observe how
what each one does causes what happens to him. Realize your story from
the three points of view to enter into the author's fullness. Get a
good general notion of the story first.
3. The next step is: Master the complete structure of the tale. This
is the most important step in the particular study of the tale, for it
is the unity about which any perfection in the art of telling must
center. To discern that repose of centrality which the main theme of
the tale gives, to follow it to its climax and to its conclusion,
where poetic justice leaves the listener satisfied—this is the most
fundamental work of the story-teller. The teacher must analyze the
structure of her tale into its leading episodes, as has been
illustrated in the handling of structure, under the subject, "Plot,"
in the chapter on the "Short-Story."
4. The next step is: Secure the message of the tale. The message is
what we wish to transmit, it is the explicit reason for telling the
tale. And one evidently must possess a message before one can give it.
As the message is the chief worth of the tale, the message should
dominate the telling and pervade its life. A complete realization of
the message of the tale will affect the minutest details giving color
and tone to the telling, and resulting so that what the child does
with the story will deepen the impression of the message he receives.
5. The next step is: Master the tale as form. This means that if the
tale is in classic form, not only the message and the structure must
be transmitted, but the actual words. Words are the artist's medium,
Stevenson includes them in his pattern of style, and how can we
exclude them if we wish to express what they have expressed? A tale
like Kipling's The Elephant's Child would be ruined without those
clinging epithets, such as "the wait-a-bit thorn-bush," "mere-smear
nose," "slushy squshy mud-cap," "Bi-Colored-Python-Rock-Snake," and
"satiable curtiosity." No one could substitute other words in this
tale; for contrasts of feeling and humor are so tied up with the words
that other words would fail to tell the real story. If an interjection
has seemed an insignificant part of speech, note the vision of
tropical setting opened up by the exclamation, "O Bananas! Where did
you learn that trick?" This is indeed a tale where the form is the
matter, the form and the message are one complete whole that cannot be
separated. But it is a proof that where any form is of sufficient
perfection to be a classic form, you may give a modified tale by
changing it, but you do not give the real complete tale. You cannot
tell Andersen's Tin Soldier in your own words; for its sentences,
its phrases, its sounds, its suggestive language, its humor, its
imagination, its emotion, and its message, are so intricately woven
together that you could not duplicate them.
When the fairy tale does not possess a settled classic form, select,
as was mentioned, that version in which the language best conveys the
life of the story, improving it yourself, if you can, in harmony with
the standards of literature, until the day in the future when the tale
may be fortunate enough to receive a settled form at the hands of a
literary artist. Sometimes a slight change may improve greatly an old
tale. In Grimm's Briar Rose the episode of the Prince and the old
Man contains irrelevant material. The two paragraphs following, "after
the lapse of many years there came a king's son into the country,"
easily may be re-written to preserve the same unity and simplicity
which mark the rest of the tale. This individual retelling of an old
tale demands a careful distinction between what is essential and
internal and what may have been added, what is accidental and
external. The clock-case in The Wolf and Seven Kids evidently is not
a part of the original story, which arose before clocks were in use,
and is a feature added in some German telling of the tale. It may be
retained but it is not essential to the tale that it should be. Exact
conversations and bits of dialogue, repetitive phrases, rhymes,
concrete words which visualize, brief expressions, and Anglo-Saxon
words—these are all bits of detail which need to be mastered in a
complete acquirement of the story's form, because these are
characteristics of the form which time has settled upon the old tales.
Any literary form bestowed upon the tales worthy of the name
literature, will have to preserve these essentials.
II. THE PRESENTATION OF THE TALE
In the oral presentation of the tale new elements of the teacher's
preparation enter, for here the voice is the medium and the teacher
must use the voice as the organist his keys. The aim of the oral
presentation is to give the spiritual effect. This requires certain
conditions of effectiveness—to speak with distinctness, to give the
sense, and to cause to understand; and certain intellectual
requirements—to articulate with perfection, to present successive
thoughts in clear outline, and to preserve relative values of
The production of the proper effect necessitates placing in the
foreground, with full expression, what needs emphasis, and throwing
back with monotony or acceleration parts that do not need emphasis. It
requires slighting subordinate, unimportant parts, so that one point
is made and one total impression given. This results in that
flexibility and lightsomeness of the voice, which is one of the most
important features in the telling of the tale. The study of technique,
when controlled by these principles of vocal expression, is not
opposed to the art of story-telling any more than the painter's
knowledge of color is opposed to his art of painting. To obtain
complete control of the voice as an instrument of the mind, there is
necessary: (1) training of the voice; (2) exercises in breathing; (3)
a knowledge of gesture; and (4) a power of personality.
(1) Training of the voice. This training aims to secure freedom of
tone, purity of tone, fullness of tone, variety of volume, and
tone-color. It will include a study of phonetics to give correct
pronunciation of sounds and a knowledge of their formation; freeing
exercises to produce a jaw which is not set, an open throat, a mobile
lip, and nimble tongue; and exercises to get rid of nasality or
throatiness. The art of articulation adds to the richness of meaning,
it is the connection between sound and sense. Open sounds are in
harmony with joy, and very distinct emotional effects are produced by
arrangements of consonants. The effect created by the use of the
vowels and consonants in The Spider and the Flea has already been
referred to under "Setting." The open vowels of "Ón, little Drumikin!
Tum-pä, tum-t[=oo]!" help to convey the impression of lightsome gaiety
in Lambikin. The effect of power displayed by "Then I'll huff and
I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in," is made largely by the sound
of the consonants ff and the n in the concluding in, the force
of the rough u of huff and puff, and the prolonged o in
blow. The effect of walking is produced by the p of "Trip,
trap," and of varied walking by the change of vowel from [ui] to
[ua]. The action of "I have come to gobble you up," is emphasized
and made realistic by the bb of gobble and the p of up.
Attention to the power of phonics to contribute to the emotional force
and to the strength of meaning in the tale, will reveal to the
story-teller many new beauties.
(2) Exercises in breathing. Training in breathing includes exercises
to secure the regulation of proper breathing during speech and to
point out the relation between breathing and voice expression. The
correct use of the voice includes also ability to place tone.—Find out
your natural tone and tell the story in that tone.—Many of the
effects of the voice need to be dealt with from the inside, not
externally. The use of the pause in story-telling is one of the
subtlest and most important elements that contribute to the final
effect. The proper placing of the pause will follow unconsciously as a
consequence when the structure of the story is realized in distinct
episodes and the proper emphasis given mentally to the most important
details of action, while less emphasis in thought is given to
subordinate parts. Therefore, the study of the pause must be made, not
artificially and externally, but internally through the elements of
the story which produce the pause. Tone-color, which is to ordinary
speech what melody is to music—those varied effects of intonation,
inflection, and modulation—is to be sought, not as a result from an
isolated study of technique, but from attention to those elements in
association with the complete realization of the life of the story.
Genuine feeling is worth more than mere isolated exercises to secure
modulation, and complete realization eliminates the necessity of
"pretending to be." The study of the fairy tale as literature, as has
been indicated in the chapter on "Principles of Selection," will
therefore be fundamental to the presentation of the tale. Entering
into the motives of the story gives action, entering into the thought
gives form, and entering into the feeling gives tone-color to the
voice. The sincere desire to share the thought will be the best aid to
(3) A knowledge of gesture. The teacher must understand the laws of
gesture. The body is one means of the mind's expression. There is the
eloquence of gesture and of pose. The simplest laws of gesture may be
(a) All gesture precedes speech in proportion to the
intense realization of emotion.
(b) All expression begins in the face and passes to some
other agent of the body in proportion to the quality
Of the emotion. The eye leads in pointing.
(c) Hands and arms remain close to the body in gesture
when intensity of emotion is controlled.
In regard to gesture, a Children's Library pamphlet, dealing with the
purpose of story-telling, has said, "The object of the story-teller is
to present the story, not in the way advocated usually in the schools,
but to present it with as little dramatic excitement and foreign
gesture as possible, keeping one's personality in the background and
giving all prominence to the story itself, relying for interest in the
story alone." The schools have perhaps been misinterpreted. It is
clear that only that personality is allowable which interprets truly
the story's life. The listening child must be interested in the life
of the story, not in the story-teller; and therefore gesture, tone, or
sentiment that is individual variation and addition to the story
itself, detracts from the story, is foreign to its thought, and
occupies a wrong place of prominence. It is possible to tell a story,
however, just as the author tells it, and yet give it naturally by
realizing it imaginatively and by using the voice and the body
artistically, as means of expression.
(4) A power of personality. What rules shall be given for the making
of that personality which is to bring with it force in the telling of
the tale and which must override phonetics, inflection, and gesture?
The very best help towards acquiring that personality which is the
power of story-telling, is to have a power of life gained through the
experience of having lived; to have a power of emotion acquired
through the exercise of daily affairs; a power of imagination won from
having dwelt upon the things of life with intentness, a power of
sympathy obtained from seeing the things of others as you meet them
day by day; and a first-hand knowledge of the sights and sounds and
beauties of Nature, a knowledge of bird and flower, tree and rock,
their names and some of their secrets—knowledge accumulated from
actual contact with the real physical world. This power of life will
enable the story-teller to enter, at the same time, into the life of
the story she tells, and the life of those listening, to see the gift
of the one and the need of the other.
The ideal position for the story-teller is to be seated opposite the
center of the semicircle of listeners, facing them. The extreme
nearness of the group, when the teller seeks the fingers of the
listeners to add force to the telling, seems an infringement upon the
child's personal rights. A strong personality will make the story go
home without too great nearness and will want to give the children a
little room so that their thoughts may meet hers out in the story.
Suggestions for telling. Now that the teacher is ready to speak, her
first step in the art of story-telling, which is the first step in the
art of any teaching, which lies at the very foundation of teaching,
which is the most important step, and which is the step that often is
neglected, is the establishing of the personal relation between
herself and the listener. This is one of those subtleties which
evades measuring, but its influence is most lasting. It is the setting
to the whole story of teaching. It must play so important a part
because, as teacher and listener are both human beings, there must be
between them a common bond of humanity. How do you wish to appear to
this group of listeners? As a friend to be trusted, a brother or
sister to give help, or as a good comrade to be played with; as
"master, expert, leader, or servant"? If you wish to be as real and
forceful as the characters in your story, you must do something which
will cause the personal relation you desire, to be established; and
moreover, having established it, you must live up to it, and prove no
friend without faith. You must do this before you presume to teach or
to tell a story. You need not do it before each individual story you
present to a group you meet often; you may do it so effectively, with
a master-stroke, at the beginning when you first meet your class, that
all you need do at successive meetings will be but to add point to
your first establishment.
A student-teacher, in telling a story to a group of kindergarten
children who were complete strangers, and telling it to them as they
sat in a semicircle in front of her comrades, adult students,
established this personal relation by beginning to tell the little
children her experience with the first telling of Three Bears to a
little girl of four:—Seated before a sand-box in the yard, after
hearing the story of Three Bears, M—— had been asked, "Wouldn't
this be a good time for you to tell me the story?" In reply, she
paused, and while the story-teller was expecting her to begin,
suddenly said, "Do you think M——'s big enough for all that?" and
refused to tell a word. Then turning to the group before her, the
student-teacher made the direct appeal. "But you are the biggest
little people in the kindergarten, and you wouldn't treat a story like
that, would you?" The children, through the personal picture of
friendly story-telling with a little child, that paralleled their own
situation somewhat, immediately felt at home with the teller; it was
just as if they were the same intimate friends with her that the
little girl portrayed to them was. The human bond of good comradeship
and intimacy was established. In the direct appeal at the end, the
children were held up to an ideal they dare not disappoint, they must
live up to their size, be able to get the story, and be the biggest
little people in the kindergarten by showing what they could do with
it. Again there was an undefined problem thrown at them, as it
were—an element of wonder. They did not know just what was coming and
they were mentally alert, waiting, on the lookout. The way for the
story was open.—This is what you want, for no matter how perfect a
gem of folk-lore you tell, it will fall heedless if the children do
not listen to it.
The second step in the art of story-telling is one which grows
naturally out of this first step. This second step, to put the story
in a concrete situation for the child, to make the connection between
the child and the literature you present, is the one which displays
your unique power as an artist. It is the step which often is omitted
and is the one which exercises all your individual ability and
cleverness. It is the step which should speak comfort to the eager
teacher of to-day, who is compelled to stand by, Montessori fashion,
while many changing conceptions say to her: "Hands off! It is not what
you do that helps the child develop; it is what he himself does!" Here
at least is one of the teacher's chances to act. This step is the
opening of the gateway so that the story you are about to tell may
enter into the thoughts of your listeners. It is your means to
organize the tale in the child's life. If in the school program you
permit nature study, representing the central interest, to occupy the
place of main emphasis, and if the game, occupation, and song work is
related to the child's life, this organization of the child's tale in
his life will be accomplished naturally.
In the example cited above, both the establishment of the personal
relation and the placing of the story in a concrete situation, were
managed partly at the one stroke. Your best help to furnish a concrete
situation will be to preserve at the one end a sympathy for the life
of your story and at the other to perceive the experience of the
children in the listening group. Seeing both at once will result in a
knowledge of what the children need most to make the story go home. If
your children are good enough, and you and they sufficiently good
friends to bear the fun of pantomime and the gaiety of hilarity,
asking several boys, as they walk across the room before the children,
to imitate some animals they had seen at a circus, and getting the
children to guess the animal represented until they hit upon the
elephant, would put certain children in a spirit of fun that would be
exactly the wide-awake brightness and good humor needed to receive the
story of The Elephant's Child. You can get children best into the
story-telling mood by calling up ideas in line with the story. In the
case of the story cited above, under the establishment of the personal
relation, the story, The Bremen Town Musicians, was related to the
child's experience by a few questions concerning kinds of music he
knew, and what musician and kind of music the kindergarten had. In
telling Andersen's Tin Soldier you must call up experience
concerning a soldier, not only because of the relation of the toy to
the real soldier, but because the underlying meaning of the tale is
courage, and the emotional theme is steadfastness. And to preserve the
proper unity between the tale and the telling of it, the telling must
center itself in harmony with the message of the tale, its one
dominant impression and its one dominant mood.
Every story told results in some return from the child. The teacher,
in her presentation, must conceive the child's aim in listening.
This does not mean that she forces her aim upon him. But it does mean
that she makes a mental list of the child's own possible problems that
the tale is best suited to originate, one of which the child himself
will suggest. For the return should originate, not in imitation of
what the teller plans, but spontaneously, as the child's own plan,
answering to some felt need of his. But that does not prevent the
story-teller from using her own imagination, and through it, from
realizing what opportunities for growth the story presents, and what
possible activities ought to be stimulated. A good guide will keep
ahead of the children, know the possibilities of the material, and by
knowledge and suggestion lead them to realize and accomplish the plans
they crudely conceive. A consideration of these plans will modify the
telling of the tale, and should be definitely thought about before the
telling of the tale. A story told definitely to stimulate in the
children dramatization, will emphasize action and dialogue; while one
told to stimulate the painting of a water-color sketch, will emphasize
the setting of the tale.
The telling of the tale. With this preparation, directions seem
futile. The tale should tell itself naturally. You must begin at the
beginning, as your tale will if you have selected a good one. You must
tell it simply, as your tale will have simplicity if it is a good one,
and your telling must be in harmony with the tale you tell. You will
tell it with joy; of course, if there is joy in it, or beauty, which
is a "joy forever," or if you are giving joy to your listeners. Tell
it, if possible, with a sense of bestowing a blessing, and a delicate
perception of the reception it meets in the group before you, and the
pleasure and interest it arouses in them, so that in the telling there
is that human setting which is a quickening of the spirit and a union
of ideas, which is something quite new and different from the story,
yet born of the story.
The re-creative method of story-telling. This preparation for telling
here described will result in a fundamental imitation of the author of
the story. By participating in the life of the story; by realizing it
as folklore; by realizing it as literature—its emotion, its
imagination, its basis of truth, its message, its form; by paying
conscious attention to the large units of the structure, the exact
sequence of the plot, the characters, and the setting, the particular
details of description, and the unique word—the story-teller
reproduces the author's mode of thinking. She does with her mind what
she wishes the child to do with his. With the very little child in the
kindergarten and early first grade, who analyzes but slightly, this
results consciously in a clear notion of the story, which shows itself
in the child's free re-telling of the story as a whole. He may want to
tell the story or he may not. Usually he enjoys re-telling it after
some lapse of time; perhaps he tells it to himself, meanwhile. With
the older child, who analyzes more definitely, this results in a
retelling which actually reproduces the teller's mode of thinking. If
persisted in, it gives to one's mode of thinking, the story-mode,
just as nature study gives to life the nature point of view. This mode
of thinking is the mode of re-creation, of realization. It
re-experiences the life, it reaches the processes of the mind, and
develops free mind movement. It is a habit of thinking, and is at the
basis of reading, which is thinking through symbols; at the basis of
the memorization of poetry, which must first see the pictures the poet
has portrayed; it is the best help toward the adult study of
literature, and the narration of history and geography. It is the
power to conceive a situation, which is most useful in science,
mathematics, and the reasoning of logic. "For," says Professor John
Dewey, "the mind which can make independent judgments, look at facts
with fresh vision, and reach conclusions with simplicity, is the
perennial power in the world."
This re-creative method of fundamental imitation was illustrated in the
telling of Andersen's Princess and the Pea, in a student-teacher's
The story was told by the Professor. After the telling of
the story it was decided to have the story told again, but
this time in parts and by those who had listened, in such a
way that it would seem as if one person were telling the
The Professor named the first part of the story. A student
was asked to tell the story from the beginning to the end
of the Prince's coming home again, sad at heart. Another
student told the second part, beginning with the storm and
ending with what the old Queen thought. A third student
told the third part, beginning with the next morning and
ending with the close of the story, Now this is a true
The Professor next asked students to think over the entire
story, to see if each student could find any weak places in
the remembering of the story. Several students reported
difficulty—one failed to remember the exact description of
the storm. A number of details were thus filled in, in the
exact words of the author. After this intimate handling of
the separate parts of the story, a final re-telling by one
student—omitted in this case because of lack of time—would
bring together what had been contributed by individual
students, and would represent the final re-creation of the
The simplicity of this selection, the simplicity of the plot, the few
characters, the literary art of the story, the skillful use of the
unique word, the art of presenting distinct pictures by means of vivid
words, through suggestion rather than through illustration, together
with the delicate humor that hovered about the tale, and the art of
the Professor's telling—all combined in the final effect. The
re-telling of the story in parts accomplished the analysis of the
story into three big heads:
(1) From The Prince who wanted a real Princess … to his
(2) From The storm, one dark evening … to what the old Queen
(3) From What the Queen did next morning … to the end of the
In the analysis of the story into parts, telling exactly what happened
gave the framework of the story, gave its basis of meaning. Telling it
in three steps gave a strong sense of sequence and a vivid conception
of climax.—If the division into parts for re-telling corresponds with
the natural divisions of the plot into its main episodes, this telling
in steps impresses the structure of the tale and is in harmony with
the real literary mastery of the story.—The re-telling of each part
drew attention to the visualization of that part. Each hesitation on
behalf of a student telling a part, led the class to fill in the
details for themselves, and impressed the remembrance of the exact
words of the author. This resulted in the mastery of each part through
a visualization of it. Hand in hand with the visualization came the
feeling aroused by the realization. This was more easily mastered
because changes of feeling were noticeable in passing from one part of
the story to another.
After a mastery of the structure of the story through analysis, after
a mastery of the thought, imagination, and feeling of the story, after
a mastery of the form, and the exact words of the author in the
description of details embodied in that form, the story is possessed
as the teller's own, ready to be given, not only to bestow pleasure,
as in this case, but often to transmit a message of worth and to
preserve a classic form.
The Foolish Timid Rabbit, a Jataka tale, might be prepared for
telling by this same re-creative method of story-telling. It
must be remembered—and because of its importance it will bear
repetition,—that the separation of the story-structure into parts for
separate telling should always be in harmony with the divisions of the
plot so that there may be no departure from the author's original mode
of thinking, and no break in the natural movement of sequence. A
separation of the tale into parts for re-telling would result in the
(1) Rabbit asleep under a palm tree … to his meeting
hundreds of Rabbits.
(2) Rabbits met a Deer … to when the Elephant joined them.
(3) Lion saw the animals running … to when he came to
the Rabbit who first had said the earth was all breaking up.
(4) Lion asked the Foolish Rabbit, 'Is it true the earth is
all breaking up,' … to end of the story, 'And they all
After the re-telling of these parts, each part should be filled in
with the exact details so that in the final re-telling practically the
whole tale is reproduced. This is a very good tale to tell by this
method because the theme is attractive, the plot is simple, the
sequence a very evident movement, the characters distinctive, the
setting pleasing and rather prominent, and the details sufficiently
few and separate to be grasped completely. The final re-telling
therefore may be accomplished readily as a perfected result of this
method of telling a tale.
During the telling, the charm here is in preserving the typical bits
of dialogue, giving to the Lion's words that force and strength and
sagacity which rank him the King of the Beasts. One must feel clearly
the message and make this message enter into every part of the
telling: That the Lion showed his superior wisdom by making a stand
and asking for facts, by accepting only what he tested; while the
Rabbit showed his credulity by foolishly accepting what he heard
without testing it.
Adaptation of the fairy tale. Sometimes, in telling a story one cannot
tell it exactly as it is. This may be the case when the story is too
long for a purpose, or if it contains matter which had better be
omitted, or if it needs to be amplified. In any case one must follow
these general rules:—
(1) Preserve the essential story from a single point of view.
(2) Preserve a clear sequence with a distinct climax.
(3) Preserve a simplicity of plot and simple language.
In shortening a long story one may:
(1) Eliminate secondary themes.
(2) Eliminate extra personages.
(3) Eliminate passages of description.
(4) Eliminate irrelevant events.
It has been the practice to adapt such stories as Andersen's Ugly
Duckling and Ruskin's King of the Golden River. In the King of the
Golden River the description of Treasure Valley could be condensed
into a few sentences and the character of South West Wind omitted; and
in The Ugly Duckling, passages of description and bits of philosophy
might be left out. But there is no reason why literature in the
elementary school should be treated with mutilation. These stories are
not suited to the kindergarten or first grade and may be reserved for
the third and fourth grades where they may be used and enjoyed by the
children as they are. Andersen's Thumbelina might be adapted for
kindergarten children because it is suitable for them yet it is very
long. It could easily be analyzed into its leading episodes, each
episode making a complete tale, and one or more episodes be told at
one time. This would have the added attraction for the child of having
one day's story follow naturally the preceding story. Adapted thus,
the episodes would be:—
(1) Thumbelina in her Cradle.
(2) Thumbelina and the Toad.
(3) Thumbelina and the Fishes.
(4) Thumbelina and the Cockchafer in the tree.
(5) Thumbelina and the Field-Mouse.
(6) Thumbelina and the Mole.
(7) Thumbelina and the Swallow.
(8) Thumbelina as Queen of the Flowers.
Andersen's Snow Man as adapted for the kindergarten would require
the episode of the lover omitted. It is irrelevant, not essential to
the story, and is an illustration of the sentimental, which must be
omitted when we use Andersen. To omit this episode one would cut out
from "'That is wonderfully beautiful,' said a young girl," to the end
of "'Why, they belong to the Master,' retorted the Yard Dog."
III. THE RETURN FROM THE CHILD
The telling of the fairy tale is one phase of the teacher's art. And
it is maintained that fairy tales are one portion of subject-matter
suited to accomplish the highest greatness of the teaching art. For
teaching is an art, an art of giving suggestions, of bearing
influences, of securing adjustments, an art of knowing the best and of
making it known. The material the artist works upon is the living
child. The medium the artist uses is subject-matter. In the process
the artist must ask, "What new connections or associations am I
establishing in the child?" "To what power of curiosity and of
problem-solving do these connections and associations lead?" The ideal
which guides the teacher is the child's best self as she can interpret
him. This ideal will be higher and larger than the child himself can
know. In the manipulation of subject-matter, through the practical
application of principles, the artist aims to have the child awake,
inquire, plan, and act, so that under her influences he grows by what
he thinks, by what he feels, by what he chooses, and by what he
Teaching will be good art when the child's growth is a perfect fit to
the uses of his life, when subject-matter brings to him influences he
needs and can use. Teaching will be good art when it breaks up old
habits, starts new ones, strengthens good traits, and weakens bad
ones; when it gives a new attitude of cheerfulness in life or of
thoughtfulness for others or of reason in all things. It will be good
art when under it the child wants to do something and learns how to
do it. Teaching will be great art when under it the child continually
attains self-activity, self-development, and self-consciousness, when
he continually grows so that he may finally contribute his utmost
portion to the highest evolution of the race. Teaching will be great
art when it touches the emotions of the child,—when history calls
forth a warm indignation against wrong, when mathematics strengthens a
noble love of truth or literature creates a strong satisfaction in
justice. This is the poetry of teaching, because mere subject-matter
becomes a criticism of life. Teaching will be great art when you, the
teacher, through the humble means of your presentation of
subject-matter, furnish the child at the same time with ideas,
perceptions, and opinions which are your personal criticism of life.
Teaching will be great art when you, the teacher, have worked up into
your own character a portion of life which is of value, so that the
child coming in touch with you knows an influence more powerful than
anything you can do or say. Teaching will then awaken in the child a
social relation of abiding confidence, of secure trust, of faith
unshakable. And this relation will then create for the teacher the
obligation to keep this trust inviolable, to practice daily, noblesse
oblige. Teaching will be great art when with the subject-matter the
artist gives love, a great universal kindness that thinks not of
itself but, being no respecter of persons, looks upon each child in
the light of that child's own best realization. This penetrating
sympathy, this great understanding, will call forth from the child an
answering love, which grows daily into a larger humanity of soul until
the child, in time too, comes to have a universal sympathy. This is
the true greatness of teaching. This it is which brings the child into
harmony with the Divine love which speaks in all God's handiwork and
brings him into that unity with God which is the mystery of Froebel's
During the story-telling one must ask, "In all this what is the part
the child has to play?" In the telling the teacher has aimed to give
what there is in the tale. The child's part is to receive what there
is in the tale, the emotion, the imagination, the truth, and the form
embodied in the tale. The content of feeling, of portrayal, of truth,
and of language he receives, he will in some way transmit before the
school day is ended, even if in forms obscure and hidden. Long years
afterwards, he may exhibit this same emotion, imagination, truth and
form, in deeds that proclaim loudly the return from his fairy tales.
However, if the child is being surrounded by pragmatic influences
through his teachers he will soon become aware that his feelings are
useless unless he does something because of them; that what he sees is
worthless unless he sees to some purpose; that it is somewhat
fruitless to know the truth and not use it; and if words have in their
form expressed the life of the tale, he is more dead than words not to
express the life that teems within his own soul. The little child
grows gradually into the responsibility for action, for expression,
into a consciousness of purpose and a knowledge of his own problems.
But each opportunity he is given to announce his own initiative breaks
down the inhibition of inaction and aids him to become a free
achieving spirit. As the child listens to the tale he is a thinking
human creature; but in the return which he makes to his tale he
becomes a quickened creator. The use which he makes of the ideas he
has gained through his fairy tales, will be the work of his creative
Fairy tales, though perfectly ordinary subject-matter, may become the
means of the greatest end in education, the development in the child
of the power of consciousness. The special appeal to the various
powers and capacities of the child mind, such as emotion, imagination,
memory, and reason, here have been viewed separately. But in life
action the mind is a unit. Thinking is therefore best developed
through subject-matter which focuses the various powers of the child.
The one element which makes the child manipulate his emotion,
imagination, memory, and reason, is the presence of a problem. The
problem is the best chance for the child to secure the adjustment of
means to ends. This adjustment of means to ends in a problem
situation, is real thinking and is the use of the highest power of
which man is capable, that of functional consciousness. The real need
of doing things is the best element essential to the problem. Through
a problem which expresses such a genuine need, to learn to know
himself, to realize his capacities and his limitations, and to secure
for himself the evolution of his own character until it adapts, not
itself to its environment, but its environment to its own uses and
masters circumstances for its own purposes—this is the high hill to
which education must look, "from which cometh its strength." The
little child, in listening to a fairy tale, in seeing in it a problem
of real need, and in working it out, may win some of this strength. We
have previously seen that fairy tales, because of their universal
elements, are subject-matter rich in possible problems.
During the story-telling what is the part the child has to play? The
part of the child in all this may be to listen to the story because he
has some problem of his own to work out through the literature,
because he has some purpose of his own in listening, because he enjoys
the story and wishes to find out what there is in it, or because he
expects it to show him what he may afterwards wish to do with it. In
any case the child's part is to see the characters and what they do,
to follow the sequence of the tale, and to realize the life of the
story through the telling. He may have something to say about the
story at the close of the telling, he may wish to compare its motifs
with similar motifs in other tales, or he may wish to talk about the
life exhibited by the story. The various studies of the curriculum
every day are following more closely the Greek ideal and giving the
child daily exercise to keep the channels of expression free and open.
And when the well-selected fairy tale which is art is told, through
imitation and invention it awakens in the child the art-impulse and
tends to carry him from appreciation to expression. If before the
telling the story-teller has asked herself, "What variety of creative
reaction will this tale arouse in the child?" and if she has told the
story in the way to bring forward the best possibility for creative
reaction the nature of the tale affords, she will help to make clear
to the child what he himself will want to do with the story. She will
help him to see a way to use the story to enter into his everyday
life. The return of creative reaction possible to the child will be
that in harmony with his natural instincts or large general interests.
These instincts, as indicated by Professor John Dewey, in The School
and Society, are:—
(1) the instinct of conversation or communication;
(2) the instinct of inquiry or finding out things;
(3) the instinct of construction or making things; and
(4) the instinct of artistic expression or [of imitating and
(1) The instinct of conversation. The little child likes to talk. If
you have ever listened to a little girl of five artlessly proceeding
to tell a story, such as Little Black Sambo, which she had gathered
from looking at a neighbor's book, but which she had not yet mastered
sufficiently to grasp its central theme, reiterating the particular
incidents with the enthusiasm and joy and narrative tone of the
story-teller, you realized how the child likes to talk. For there
appeared the charm of the story-telling mode distinct from the story
Because of this instinct of conversation one form of creative reaction
may be language expression. The oral reproduction of the story
re-experiences the story anew. The teacher may help here by creating a
situation for the re-telling. A teacher might put a little foreign boy
through rapid paces in learning English by selecting a story like The
Sparrow and the Crow and by managing that in the re-telling the
little foreigner would be the Crow who makes the repetitive speeches,
who must go to the Pond and say:—
Your name, sir, is Pond
And my name is Crow,
Please give me some water,
For if you do so
I can wash and be neat,
And the nice soup can eat,
Though I really don't know
What the sparrow can mean,
I'm quite sure, as crows go,
I'm remarkably clean.
As the Crow must go to the Deer, the Cow, the Grass, and the
Blacksmith, and each time varies the beginning of his speech, four
other children could represent the Crow successively, thus bringing in
a social element which would relieve any one child's timidity. By that
time any group of children would realize the fun they could get by
playing out the simple tale; and there would be petitions to be the
Deer, the Cow, etc. If the teacher sees that the characters place
themselves as they should, carry out the parts naturally, and that the
Crow begs with the correct rhyme, she is performing her legitimate
task of suggestion and criticism that works toward developing from the
first attempts of children, a good form in harmony with the story.
Here, while there is free play, the emphasis is on the speeches of
rhyme, so that the reaction is largely a language expression. The
language expression is intimately related to all varieties of
expression of which the child is capable, and may be made to dominate
and use any of them, or be subordinated to them.
A most delightful form of creative reaction possible to the child in
language expression, is the formation of original little stories
similar to the "Toy Stories" written by Carolyn Bailey for the
Kindergarten Review during 1915. A story similar to "The Little
Woolly Dog" might be originated by the little child about any one of
his toys. This would be related to his work with fairy tales because
in such a story the child would be imitating his accumulative tales;
and the adventures given the toy would be patterned after the familiar
adventures of his tales.
A form of creative reaction, which will be a part of the language
return given by the first-grade child from the telling of the tale,
will be his reading of the tale. When the child re-experiences the
life of the story as has been described, his mental realization of it
will be re-creative, and his reading the tale aloud afterwards will be
just as much a form of re-creative activity as his re-telling of the
tale. The only difference is, that in one case the re-creative
activity is exercised by thinking through symbols, while in the other
case it is employed without the use of a book. This concentration on
the reality brings about the proper relation of reading to literature.
It frees literature from the slavery to reading which it has been made
to serve, yet it makes literature contribute more effectively toward
good reading than it has done in the past.
(2) The instinct of inquiry. No more predominating trait proclaims
itself in the child than the instinct of inquiry. Every grown-up
realizes his habit of asking questions, which trait Kipling has
idealized delightfully in The Elephant's Child. We know also that
the folk-tale in its earliest beginnings was the result of primitive
man's curiosity toward the actual physical world about him, its sun
and sky, its mountain and its sea. The folk-tale therefore is the
living embodiment of the child's instinct of inquiry permanently
recorded in the adventures and surprises of the folk-tale characters.
And because the folk-tale is so pervaded with this quest of the ages
in search of truth, and because the child by nature is so deeply
imitative, the folk-tale inherently possesses an educational value to
stir and feed original impulses of investigation and experiment. This
is a value which is above and beyond its more apparent uses.
In the creative reaction to be expected from the child's use of fairy
tales the expression of this instinct of investigation unites with the
instinct of conversation, the instinct of construction, and the
instinct of artistic expression. In fact, it is the essence of
creative reaction in any form, whether in the domain of the Industrial
Shop, the Domestic Science Kitchen, the Household Arts' Sewing-Room,
or the Fine Arts' Studio. To do things and then see what happens, is
both the expression of this instinct and the basis of any creative
return the child makes through his handling of the fairy tale. In the
formation of a little play such as is given on page 149, the instinct
of conversation is expressed in the talk of the Trees to the little
Bird. But this talk of the Trees also expresses doing things to see
what happens; each happening to the Bird, each reply of a Tree to the
Bird, influences each successive doing of the Bird. After the Story of
Medio Pollito all the child's efforts of making Little Half-Chick
into a weathervane and of fixing the directions to his upright shaft,
will be expressions of the search for the unknown, of the instinct of
experiment. After the story of The Little Elves, the dance of the
Elves to the accompaniment of music will represent an expression of
the artistic instinct; but it also represents expression of the
instinct for the new and the untried. After the dance is finished the
child has seen himself do something he had not done before. This union
of the instinct of inquiry with that of artistic expression shows
itself most completely in the entire dramatization of a fairy tale.
(3) The instinct of construction. In his industrial work the very
youngest child is daily exercising his active tendency to make
things. In the kindergarten he may make the toy with which he plays,
the doll-house and its furnishings, small clay dishes, etc. In
the first grade he may make small toy animals, baskets, paper hats,
card-board doll-furniture, little houses, book-covers, toys, etc.
Self-expression, self-activity, and constructive activity would all
be utilized, and the work would have more meaning to the child, if it
expressed some idea, if after the story of Three Bears the child
would make the Bears' kitchen, the table of wood, and the three
porridge bowls of clay, or the Bears' hall with the three chairs. In
the Grimm tale, Sweet Rice Porridge, after the story has been told
and before the re-telling, children would like to make a clay
porridge-pot, which could be there before them in the re-telling.
Perhaps they would make the rice porridge also, and put some in the
pot, for little children are very fond of making things to eat, and
domestic science has descended even into the kindergarten. After the
story of Chanticleer and Partlet, children would enjoy making a
little wagon and harnessing to it a Duck, and putting in it the Cock
and the Hen, little animals they have made. In the first grade, after
the story of Sleeping Beauty, children would naturally take great
pleasure in making things needed to play the story: the paper silver
and gold crowns of the maids and Princess and the Prince's sword.
After the story of Medio Pollito, we have noted with what special
interest children might make a weathervane, with Little Half-Chick
(4) The instinct of artistic expression. This is the instinct of
drawing, painting, paper-cutting, and crayon-sketching, the instinct
of song, rhythm, dance, and game, of free play and dramatization.
(a) One form of artistic creative reaction will be the cutting of
free silhouette pictures. The child should attempt this with the
simplest of the stories which are suited for drawing, painting, or
crayon-sketching. He loves to represent the animals he sees every day;
and the art work should direct this impulse and show him how to do it
so that he may draw or cut out a dog, a cat, a sheep, or a goat; or
simple objects, as a broom, a barrel, a box, a table, and a chair.
The Bremen Town Musicians, while offering a fine opportunity for
dramatization, also might stimulate the child to cut out the
silhouettes of the Donkey, the Dog, the Cat, and the Cock, to draw the
window of the cottage and to place the animals one on top of another,
looking in the window. The beautiful picture-books illustrating his
fairy tales, which the child may see, will give him many ideas of
drawing and sketching, and help him to arrange his silhouettes. A
recent primer, The Pantomime Primer, will give the child new ideas
in silhouettes. Recent articles in the Kindergarten Review will give
the teacher many helpful suggestions along the line of expression. In
the May number, 1915, in Illustrated Stories, the story of "Ludwig
and Marleen," by Jane Hoxie, is shown as a child might illustrate it
with paper-cutting.—A class of children were seen very pleasantly
intent on cutting out of paper a basket filled with lovely tinted
flowers. But how attractive that same work would have become if the
basket had been Red Riding Hood's basket and they were being helped by
an art-teacher to show peeping out of her basket the cake and pot of
butter, with the nosegay tucked in one end. A very practical problem
in paper-cutting would arise in any room when children desire to make
a frieze to decorate the front wall. The Old Woman and her Pig, The
Country Mouse and the City Mouse, The Little Red Hen, The Story of
Three Pigs, The Story of Three Bears, and Little Top-Knot, would be
admirably adapted for simple work.
(b) The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean is most likely to stir the
child's impulse to draw. Leslie Brooke's illustration in The House
in the Wood might aid a child who wanted to put some fun into his
representation. Birdie and Lena or Fundevogel, is a story that
naturally would seek illustration. Three crayon-sketches, one of a
rosebush and a rose, a second of a church and a steeple, and a third
of a pond and a duck, would be enough to suggest the tale.
(c) The Story of The Wolf and Seven Kids, if told with the proper
emphasis on the climax of triumph and conclusion of joy, would lead
the child to react with a water-color sketch of the dance of the
Goat and her Kids about the well. For here you have all the elements
needed for a simple picture—the sky, the full moon, the hill-top, the
well, and the animals dancing in a ring. After finishing their
sketches the children would enjoy comparing them with the illustration
of Der Wolf und die Sieben Geislein in Das Deutsche Bilderbüch,
and perhaps they might try making a second sketch. This same tale
would afford the children a chance to compose a simple tune and a
simple song, such as the well-taught kindergarten child to-day knows.
Such are songs which express a single theme and a single mood; as,
The Muffin Man and To the Great Brown House; or There was a Small
Boy with a Toot and Dapple Gray in St. Nicholas Songs. In this
tale of The Wolf and Seven Kids, the conclusion impresses a single
mood of joy and the single theme of freedom because the Wolf is dead.
The child could produce a very simple song of perhaps two lines, such
Let's sing and dance! Hurrah, hurrah!
The Wolf is dead! Hurrah!
(d) It is a little difficult to get down to the simplicity of the
little girl who will play her own tune upon the piano and sing to it
just the number of the house in which she lives, repeating it again
and again. But the child can compose little songs that will please
him, and he can use, too, in connection with the tales, some of the
songs that he knows. The first-grade child could work into Snow White
and Rose Red, "Good morrow, little rosebush," and into Little
Two-Eyes a lullaby such as "Sleep, baby, sleep." Later in Hansel and
Grethel he may learn some of the simple songs that have been written
for Hansel and Grethel to sing to the birds when they spend the night
in the wood. In Snow White he may learn some of the songs written
for the children's play, Snow White. In connection with music, the
kindergarten child learns to imitate the sounds of animals, the sound
of bells, whistles, the wind, etc. All this will cause him to react,
so that when these occur in his stories he will want to make them.
(e) One of the forms of creative reaction possible to the child as a
variety of expression, which has received attention most recently, has
been handled by Miss Caroline Crawford in Rhythm Plays of Childhood;
and by Miss Carol Oppenheimer in "Suggestions Concerning Rhythm
Plays," in the Kindergarten Review, April and May, 1915. Here again
the fairy tales cannot be excelled in abundant situations for rhythm
plays. The sea, the wind, the clouds, the sun, the moon, the
stars—all nature is rich in suggestion of rhythms. The social
situations furnish the rhythm of simple housekeeping tasks. In Snow
White and Rose Red there are the rhythms of fishing and of chasing
animals. In The Elves we have the rhythm of shoe-making and in The
Straw Ox, the rhythm of spinning. The story of Thumbelina, after
its eight episodes have been re-told by the children, might very
attractively be re-told in eight rhythms, each rhythm expressing a
single episode. And for the oldest children, a union of the oral
re-telling by individual children with the retelling in rhythms by all
the children, would give much pleasure and social exhilaration.
Thumbelina in her Cradle, Thumbelina and the Toad, Thumbelina and the
Swallow and Thumbelina as Queen of the Flowers—these at once suggest
a cradle rhythm, a toad rhythm, the flight of birds, and a butterfly
dance. Because the rhythm is a lyric form it must be remembered that
the part of a story suited to a rhythm play is always a part
characterized by a distinct emotional element. In the performance of
rhythm plays the point is to secure the adjustment of music, motion,
(f) Many of the fairy tales might arouse in the child a desire to
originate a game, especially if he were accustomed to originate games
in the regular game work. A modification of the game of tag might grow
from Red Riding Hood and a pleasant ring game easily might develop
from Sleeping Beauty. In fact there is a traditional English game
called "Sleeping Beauty." An informal ring game which would be
somewhat of a joke, and would have the virtue of developing attention,
might grow from The Tin Soldier. The Tin Soldier stands in the
center while the circle is formed of Jack-in-the-boxes, with lids
closed. The Tin Soldier turns round and round slowly, and when he
stops looks steadily at a certain Jack-in-the-box, whereupon the Jack
must bob up and retort, "Keep your eyes to yourself, Tin Soldier!" The
Jack and Soldier then change places. Any Jack failing to open when
looked at forfeits his place in the ring. Some games derived from
folk-tales were given in the Delineator, November, 1914. These could
not be used by the youngest without adaptation; they suggest a form of
fun that so far as I know has been undeveloped.
(g) The artistic creative return of the child may sometimes take the
form of objectification or representation. The Steadfast Tin
Soldier is a model of the literary fairy tale which gives a stimulus
to the child to represent his fairy tale objectively. As
straightforward narrative it ranks high. Its very first clause is the
child's point of view: "There were five and twenty tin soldiers"; for
the child counts his soldiers. Certainly the theme is unique and the
It makes one total impression and it has one emotional tone to which
everything is made to contribute. Its message of courage and its
philosophy of life, which have been mentioned previously, are not so
insignificant even if the story does savor of the sentimental. Its
structure is one single line of sequence, from the time this marvelous
soldier was stood up on the table, until he, like many another toy,
was thrown into the fire. The vivid language used gives vitality to
the story, the words suit the ideas, and often the words recall a
picture or suggestion; as, "The Soldier fell headlong," "trod,"
"came down in torrents," "boat bobbed," "spun round," "clasped
his gun," "boat shot along," "blinked his eyes," etc. The method
of suggestion by which an object is described through its effect on
some one else, produces a very pleasing result here. You see the
steadfast look of the Tin Soldier's eyes when the Jack-in-the-box
says, "Keep your eyes to yourself, Tin Soldier!" The position of the
Soldier in the street is given through the exclamation of the little
boys who see him—"Look! there lies a Tin Soldier, let us give him a
sail in the gutter!"
The setting in this story is a table in a sitting-room and the
playthings on the table. The characters are two playthings. After the
first telling of this story the child naturally would like to
represent it. The story has made his playthings come alive and so he
would like to make them appear also. This is a tale in which
representation, after the first telling, will give to the child much
pleasure and will give him a chance to do something with it
cooperatively. He can reproduce the setting of this tale upon a table
in a schoolroom. Each child could decide what is needed to represent
the story and offer what he can. One child could make the yard outside
the castle of green blotting-paper. Another child could furnish a
mirror for the lake, another two toy green trees, one two wax swans,
one a box of tin soldiers, another a jack-in-the-box, while the girls
might dress a paper doll for a tinsel maid. The teacher, instructed by
the class, might make a castle of heavy gray cardboard, fastening it
together with heavy brass paper-fasteners and cutting out the door,
windows, and tower. It is natural for children to handle playthings;
and when a story like this is furnished the teacher should not be too
work-a-day to enter into its play-spirit. After the representation
objectively, the re-telling of the tale might be enjoyed. The child
who likes to draw might tell this story also in a number of little
sketches: The Jack-in-the-box, The Window, The Boat, The Rat, The
Fish, and The Fire. Or a very simple little dramatic dance and song
might be invented, characterized by a single mood and a single form of
motion, something like this, sung to the tune of "Here we go round the
mulberry bush, etc":—
Here we come marching, soldiers tin, soldiers tin, soldiers tin,
Here we come marching, soldiers tin,
On one leg steady we stand.
(Circle march on one leg).
This could easily be concluded with a game if the child who first was
compelled to march on two legs had to pay some penalty, stand in the
center of the ring, or march at the end of the line.
(h) Creative reaction as a result of listening to the telling of fairy
tales, appears in its most varied form of artistic expression in free
play and dramatization. It is here that the child finds a need for
the expression of all his skill in song and dance, construction,
language, and art, for here he finds a use for these things.
In free play the child represents the characters and acts out the
story. His desire to play will lead to a keenness of attention to the
story-telling, which is the best aid to re-experiencing, and the play
will react upon his mind and give greater power to visualize. Nothing
is better for the child than the freedom and initiative used in
dramatization, and nothing gives more self-reliance and poise than to
act, to do something.—We must remember that in the history of the
child's literature it was education that freed his spirit from the
deadening weight of didacticism in the days of the New England
Primer. And we must now have a care that education never may become
guilty of crushing the spirit of his freedom, spontaneity, and
imagination, by a dead formalism in its teaching method.—The play
develops the voice, and it gives freedom and grace to bodily
movements. It fixes in the child mind the details of the story and
impresses effectively many a good piece of literature; it combines
intellectual, emotional, artistic, and physical action. The simplest
kindergarten plays, such as The Farmer, The Blacksmith, and Little
Travelers, naturally lead into playing a story such as The Sheep and
the Pig or The Gingerbread Man. The Mouse that Lost Her Tail and
The Old Woman and Her Pig are delightful simple plays given in
Chain Stories and Playlets by Mara Chadwick and E. Gray Freeman,
suited to the kindergarten to play or the first grade to read and
play. Working out a complete dramatization of a folk-tale such as
Sleeping Beauty, in the first grade, and having the children come
into the kindergarten and there play it for them, will be a great
incentive toward catching the spirit of imaginatively entering into a
situation which you are not. This is the essential for dramatization.
Johnny Cake is a good tale to be played in the kindergarten because
it uses a great number of children. As the kindergarten room generally
is large, it enables the children who represent the man, the woman,
the little boy, etc., to station themselves at some distance.
There are some dangers in dramatization which are to be avoided:—
(1) Dramatization often is in very poor form. The result is not the
important thing, but the process. And sometimes teachers have
understood this to mean, "Hands off!" and left the children to their
crude impulses, unaided and unimproved. When the child shows what he
is trying to do the teacher may show him how he can do what he wants
to do. By suggestion and criticism she may get him to improve his
first effort, provided she permits him to be absolutely free when he
acts.—The place of this absolute freedom in the child's growth has
been emblazoned to the kindergarten by the Montessori System.—Also by
participating in the play as one of the characters, the teacher may
help to a better form. Literature will be less distorted by
dramatization when teachers are better trained to see the
possibilities of the material, when through training they appreciate
the tale as one of the higher forms of literature, and respect it
accordingly. Also it will be less distorted by dramatization when the
tales selected for use are those containing the little child's
interests, when he will have something to express which he really
knows about. Moreover, as children gain greater skill in expression in
construction, in the game, in song, in dance, and in speech, the parts
these contribute to the play will show a more perfected form. Each
expression by the child grows new impressions, gives him new sensory
experiences. Perhaps if the high school would realize the
possibilities in a fairy tale such as Beauty and the Beast, work it
up into really good artistic form, and play it for the little
children, much would be gained not only towards good form in
dramatics, in both the elementary school and the high school, but
towards unifying the entire course of literature from the kindergarten
to the university. Using Crane's picture-book as a help, they might
bring into the play the beauty of costume and scenery, the
court-jester, and Beauty's pages. Into the Rose-Garden they might
bring a dance of Moon Fairies, Dawn Fairies, Noon, and Night who, in
their symbolic gauzy attire, dance to persuade Beauty to remain in the
Beast's castle. There might be singing fairies who decorate the bushes
with fairy roses, and others who set the table with fairy dishes,
singing as they work:—
See the trees with roses gay.
Fairy roses, fairy roses, etc.
Elves and Goblins might surround the Beast when dying. The change of
scene from the simple home of Beauty to the rich castle of the Beast,
and the change of costume, would furnish ample opportunity for
original artistic work from older students. For the little child it is
good to see the familiar dignified with art and beauty; and for the
older student the imagination works more freely when dealing with
rather simple and familiar elements such as the folk-tale offers.
Cinderella, like Beauty and the Beast, offers abundant opportunity
to the high school student for a play or pantomime which it would be
good for the little people to see. The stately minuet and folk-dances
of different peoples may be worked into the ball-scene. And here, too,
the beautiful picture-books will suggest features of costume and
(2) Dramatization may develop boldness in a child. The tendency is to
use children with good dramatic ability continually for leading parts,
even when the children choose the parts. This fault may be
counteracted by distinguishing between work for growth and one or two
rather carefully prepared plays to be given on special occasions. It
is also counteracted by looking well to the social aspect of the play,
by introducing features such as the song, dance, or game, where all
have a part, or by adding attractive touches to less important parts,
so that while a character may still be leading it will have no reason
to feel over-important. This danger is not prominent until after the
(3) Dramatization may spoil some selections. Beautiful descriptions
which make a tale poetic are not to be represented, and without them a
tale is cheapened. Such is the case with The King of the Golden
River and The Ugly Duckling. Care should be exercised to choose for
dramatization only what is essentially dramatic and what is of a grade
suited to the child. Tales suited to the little child are largely
suited for dramatization.
(4) Dramatization has omitted to preserve a sequence in the
selections used from year to year. A sequence in dramatization will
follow naturally as the tales offered from year to year show a
sequence in the variety of interests they present and the
opportunities for growth and activity they offer. Plays most suited to
the kindergarten are those which do not require a complete re-telling
of the story in the acting, so that the child need not say so much.
Such are stories like The Old Woman and Her Pig, Henny Penny, The
Foolish Timid Rabbit, Little Tuppen, Three Billy-Goats, Johnny
Cake, and Billy Bobtail. When the course of literature in the
elementary school gets its content organized, the sequence of
dramatization will take care of itself.
Dramatization has one rather unusual virtue:—
(1) Dramatization may be used to establish a good habit. An indolent
child may be given the part of the industrious child in the play. At
first the incongruity will amuse him, then it will support his
self-respect or please his vanity, then it will prove to him the
pleasure of being industrious, and finally stimulate the desire to be
that which before he was not. It may build a habit and, if repeated,
fortify one. This is the true "Direct Moral Method." The so-called
"Direct Moral Method," advocated by Dr. Gould, an English educator,
which in telling a story separates the moral from the tale to
emphasize it and talk about it, leaves the child a passive listener
with only a chance to say "Yes" or "No" or a single word in answer to
the moral questions. It is unnatural because it directs the child's
attention away from the situation, action, and people which interest
him. It does not parallel life in which morals are tied up with
conduct. One must ask, "According to this method what will the child
recall if his mind reverts to the story—courage, or the variety of
images from the number of short-stories told to impress the abstract
moral idea of courage?" Dramatization like life represents character
in the making and therefore helps to make character.
Illustrations of creative return. Let us look now at a few tales
illustrating the creative return possible to the child. The Country
Mouse and the City Mouse is an animal tale that offers to the
kindergarten child a chance to prove how intensely he enters into the
situation by the number of details he will improvise and put into his
dramatization in representing life in the country and life in the
city. The good feast atmosphere in this tale pleases little children
and suits it to their powers. It is a fine tale to unite the language
expression and dramatization. It is especially suited to call forth
reaction from the child also in the form of drawing or crayon
sketching. Here it is best for the child to attempt typical bits.
Complete representation tires him and it is not the method of art,
which is selective. The field of corn and two mice may be shown in the
country scene; and a table with cheese, some plates filled with
dainties, and two mice in the city scene. Here again this return
relates itself to the presentation of the tale as literature. For if
the story has been presented so as to make the characters, the plot,
and the setting stand out, the child naturally will select these to
portray in a sketch. In his expression the child will represent what
he chooses, but the teacher by selecting from among the results the
one which is of most value, leads him to a better result in a
following attempt. It is the teacher's selection among the results of
activity that brings about development. Freedom with guidance is no
less free, but it is freedom under that stimulation which helps the
child to make more of himself than he knew was possible.—The
kindergarten would proclaim to the Montessori System the place of
guidance of freedom in the child's growth.
The Elves and the Shoemaker offers to a first grade a pleasing
opportunity for the fairy tale to unite with the dramatic game. One
child may act as narrator, standing to tell the story from the
beginning to the end of the evening's conversation, "I should like to
sit up tonight and see who it is that makes the shoes." At this point,
noiselessly a dozen or more Elves may troop in, and seating themselves
sing and act the first part of the Dramatic Game of Little Elves,
one form of which is given by Miss Crawford. After they have stitched,
rapped, and tapped quickly, and the shoes are made, they depart
hurriedly. The narrator now continues the story, telling how the
Shoemaker and his wife made little clothes for the Elves, ending with
what happened on Christmas Eve, when they put the gay jackets and caps
on the table and hid in the corner to watch. At this point the Elves
come in a second time, donning their new clothes; and sing and dance
the second part of the dramatic game. As they dance out of sight the
narrator concludes the story. If the primary children made these
clothes or if the kindergarten children bought them at Christmas time
to give to the poor, the play would take on a real human value.
Sleeping Beauty, another tale suited to the first grade, is
admirably adapted for dramatization.—In all this work the children do
the planning but the teacher directs their impulses, criticizes their
plans, and shows them what they have done. She leads them to see the
tale in the correct acts and scenes, to put together what belongs
together. Sleeping Beauty naturally outlines itself into the ten
main incidents we have noted before. If the story has been presented
according to the standards given here, the children will see the story
in those main incidents. In the dramatization they might work together
narration of the story and the dramatic game, Dornröschen. A wide
circle of children might be the chorus while the players take their
places in the center of the circle. The narrator, one of the circle,
stands apart from it as he narrates. The version here used is the
McLoughlin one, illustrated by Johann and Leinweber.
Place: Castle. King, Queen, and courtiers take their places
within the circle. The circle moves to waltz step, singing
stanza I, of the dramatic game:—
The Princess was so beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, etc.
At the conclusion of stanza I, the circle stops, the
narrator steps forth and tells the story to the end of the
words, "one had to stay at home."
Scene i. The Feast. Twelve fairies enter, each presenting
her gift and making a speech. The wicked thirteenth comes in
and pronounces her curse, and the twelfth fairy softens it
to sleep. The King proclaims his decree, that all spindles
in the land be destroyed.
Scene ii. The Attic. Princess goes to the attic. Old lady
sits spinning. Princess pricks herself and falls asleep.
Narration begins with "The King and Queen who had just come
in fell asleep," and ends with "not a leaf rustled on the
trees around the castle." At the close of the narration, the
circle moves, singing stanza 5 of the dramatic game:—
A great hedge grew up giant high, giant high, giant high,
Scene ii. The Castle Grounds. The Prince talks to an old
Man outside the castle. The Prince comes to the hedge, which
parts, and he enters. The Prince wakens the Princess and the
rest of the castle. The narrator then closes with "By and by
the wedding of the Prince … to the end of their lives they
lived happy and contented." The courtiers then form into
couples, and the circle, in couples, follow the courtiers.
The Prince and Princess lead in a slow waltz while all sing
stanza 10 of the dramatic game:
And all the people made merry then, merry then, merry then,
Here we do not have complete dramatization, narration, or dramatic
game. Only three short parts are narrated, only three leading scenes
are represented, and only three high points of narrative are depicted
in the dramatic game. The music, which the specialist in physical
education can furnish, might be:—
Galloping…………………. Wild Horseman.
Fairy Run…………………. Chalef Book, p. 18.
Climbing to Tower………….. Chaly, p. 10.
Guy Walk Music.
Phyllis…………………… Seymour Smith.
Bleking…………………… Folk-Dance Book.
In connection with the dramatic game, there is only one tale in
Grimm which contains a folk-game. This tale is somewhat incomplete as
it stands in Grimm. It could become a tale suited for dramatization in
the first grade, beginning the play with the folk-game. An original,
amplified version of this tale, The Little Lamb and the Little Fish
is given in the Appendix.
An original little play similar to one which the kindergarten children
could work out is given below. This play is based on the pourquois
tale, Why the Evergreen Trees Never Lose Their Leaves. It affords
much play of originality because familiar trees may be used; and the
talk of the Trees to the Bird may have some relation to the
characteristics of the Trees. It could be used by children of six,
seven, or eight years of age. It could serve as a Christmas play
because of its spirit of kindness. North Wind might wear a wig and the
Frost King wear a crown and carry a wand. Little Bird could have
wings, one of which is broken, or simply carry one arm sleeveless.
The play might open with a rhythmic flight of the birds to the music
of "The Swallow's Plight," in Kindergarten Review, May, 1915. The
rhythm play of the birds would be especially pleasing because
different birds would be represented by different children. The play
would furnish a fine opportunity also for a rhythmic dance of the
wind, which could form a distinct interlude later on in the play. In
connection with the wind the beautiful picture-book, Windschen, by
Elsa Beskow, might be referred to. Here the wind is personified as the
playmate of Hans Georg. Its refined art, lovely color, and imaginative
illustration, would stimulate the child's artistic representation of
The Bird and the Trees: A Play
Time . . . . Daytime, in late autumn.
Place . . . The Forest.
Characters: Poplar, Oak, Maple, Willow, Spruce, Pine,
Juniper, the Bird, North Wind, and the Frost King.
Trees of the forest. "See that great crowd of birds flying
away! They must be going South where the air is warm, and
where they can find berries to eat. There is one left
behind. Why, he is coming this way. What can he want?"
The Bird. "Oh, I can fly no farther! My wing hurts and I
cannot hold it up. I am tired and cold and hungry. I must
rest in this forest. Maybe some good kind tree will help me.
Dear friend Poplar, my wing is broken and my friends have
all gone South. Will you let me live in your branches until
they come back again?"
Poplar. "I am sorry but do you not see how my leaves are
all a-tremble at the thought of taking in a strange bird?
Ask some other tree!"
The Bird. "It might not be very warm there at any rate.
And the wind might blow me off the branches. I will try the
Oak, he is so big and mighty. Dear old Oak-tree, you are so
big and strong, will you let me rest in your branches
to-night among your thick warm leaves? I am a poor little
Bird with a broken wing and I cannot fly!"
Oak. "Oh, you must not ask me, little Bird, for all day
long my little friends, the squirrels, have been jumping
across my branches, gathering nuts and seeking holes to
store their acorns in. I have no room for a stranger."
The Bird. "Ah! I did not think the Oak could be so cruel.
Perhaps Maple will help me, she always seemed kind like a
Mother. Dear, beautiful Maple, I am tired. May I rest among
your lovely red leaves until my broken wing is mended and my
friends come back to me?"
Maple. "Oh, no, I could not think of it! I have just
dressed my leaves all in red and you might spoil their
lovely clothes. Do go away. There are other trees in the
forest not so gay as I."
The Bird. "What should I do? No one wants to help me. Can
I not find one kind tree? Dear kind Willow, your branches
bend almost to the ground. Could I live in them until the
Willow. "Really, little Bird with the broken wing, you are
a stranger. You should have gone with the other birds. Maybe
some other tree can help you but we willows are particular."
The Bird. "I do not know where to go and I'm so cold! I
wonder if the other birds have reached the beautiful warm
Spruce. "Little Bird, little Bird, where are you going?"
The Bird. "I do not know. I am very cold."
Spruce. "Come, make a big hop and rest in this snug corner
of my branches. You can stay with me all winter if you
The Bird. "You are so good, dear Spruce-tree. Will you
really let me?"
Spruce. "If your friends the birds have left you, your
other friends, the trees, will surely help you. Ho,
Pine-tree, you would help a little Bird with a broken wing,
Pine. "Oh, yes, dear Bird! My branches are not wide but I
am tall and thick, and I will keep the cold North Wind from
Juniper. "And maybe I can help. Are you hungry, little
Bird? You can eat my nice little berries whenever you like."
The Bird. "Thank you, kind friends! I will go to sleep now
on this nice branch of the Spruce-tree, Good-night, dear
Spruce, Pine, and Juniper. "Good-night, little Bird."
North Wind. "Oo,—Oo!—Now I must run in and out among
all the trees of the forest.—But who comes here?"
Frost King. "Stop, North Wind! I have just gone before
you, as King Winter said, and touched the trees of the
forest. But the trees that have been kind to the Bird with
the broken wing, those I did not touch. They shall keep
their leaves. Do not you harm them!"
North Wind. "Very well, King Frost. Good-bye!
Oo!—Oo!—" (The Wind frolics among the Trees, bending
branches, careering wildly, shaking leaves.) "Little
Spruce-tree, you have been kind to the Bird, I will not blow
on you! Dear Pine-tree, you are tall and keep the Bird warm,
I will not blow on you! Little Juniper, you gave the Bird
your berries, I will not blow on you!"
(The following morning.)
The Bird. "Good-morning, dear Spruce-tree, your branch was
warm and safe.—Why, what has happened to the other Trees?
Look at the big Oak and the lovely Maple and all the rest!
See how bare their branches are; and on the ground their
shining leaves lie in red and yellow and brown heaps! O, how
glad I am that your leaves have not fallen; they are bright
and green! And so are Pine-tree's and Juniper's. I will call
you my Evergreen Trees, and I will stay with you until the
The English fairy tale, The Magpie's Nest, told by Joseph Jacobs,
might be dramatized by first-grade children. This tale might offer the
problem of observing how different birds make their nests and how they
vary their calls. It also might offer the language problem of making
suitable rhymes. An original dramatization of the pourquois tale is
given in the Appendix.
Andersen's Fir Tree would offer a fine opportunity for a first grade
at Christmas time. The fir tree has become vitally interesting through
nature study at this time of the year. The children love to make
things to decorate a tree. They have a short list of stories they can
tell by this time. All this can be utilized in a Christmas tree
play.—For the play use the original story, not a weakened version.—A
pleasant Christmas play could end most happily with the story-telling
under the tree. For the play an actual small fir tree may be in the
room placed so that it may be moved easily. A child standing closely
behind it may represent it and speak for it through its branches. The
air and the sun, ordinarily not to be represented, in this case may
be, as they come up to the Tree and talk to it. Much freedom of
originality may be displayed through the children's entering into the
character of the Fir Tree and improvising speeches.
The Fir Tree
Characters: Sun, Air, Hare, Woodmen, Swallow, Stork, Sparrows,
Children, Servants, and Fir Tree.
Act I, Scene i.
A Fir Tree in the forest.
Sun and Air talk to it.
Children sit under its branches.
A Hare comes and jumps over it.
A Swallow comes and talks to it.
A Stork comes and talks to it.
Sparrows talk to it.
(Have the Tree removed. Apparently from a cart
outside the door, a larger Christmas Tree may be
brought in and planted in a sand-box by two
servants, students from grammar grades. The same
child now grown older, represents the Tree.)
Act II, Scene i. The Fir Tree brought into the room.
The decorating of the Tree by the Children and Teacher.
Talk of the Children about the Tree when decorating it.
Singing of Christmas carols; dancing of
folk-dances; or recitation of Christmas
poems, after the decoration of the Tree.
The distribution of gifts by the Children. An
audience to whom the Children wanted to give
presents, could be invited.
The Story-telling under the Tree.
The presence of visiting children would create an audience for the
story-telling. The selection of the story-teller and the story or
stories might be the result of a previous story contest. The contest
and the story-telling under the Tree would be ideal drill situations.
The entire play would serve as a fine unification of the child's work
in nature, in construction, in physical education, in music, in
composition, and in literature. Everything he does in the play will be
full of vital interest to him; and his daily tasks will seem of more
worth to him when he sees how he can use them with so much pleasure to
himself and to others. This play is an example of the organizing of
ideas which a good tale may exercise in the mind of the child and the
part the tale as an organized experience may play in his development.
The creative return desired by the teacher, as well as the choice of
tales for particular purposes, will depend largely on the controlling
ideas in the program. It must be remembered that the child of to-day
is not bookish nor especially literary; and he has increasing life
interests. In the ordinary school year, work naturally divides itself
into the main season festivals. While story work is here presented in
its separate elements, any teacher realizes the possibility of making
the story work lead up to and culminate in the Thanksgiving,
Christmas, Easter, or May Festival. Because the good story bears a
close relation to nature and to human life, any good course of stories
will offer to the teacher ample freedom of choice for any natural
school purpose. The good tale always gains by being placed in a
situation where it assists in carrying out a larger idea. When the
tale is one unit of a festival program it appeals to the child as a
unit in his everyday life, it becomes socially organized for him.
Baker, F.T.; Carpenter, G.; and Scott, F.N.: The Teaching of
Chubb, Percival: The Teaching of English. Macmillan.
Bailey, Carolyn: For the Story Teller. Bradley.
Bryant, Sara C.: How to Tell Stories to Children. Houghton.
Ibid.: Stories to Tell. Houghton.
Buckland, Anna: Use of Stories in the Kindergarten. Steiger.
Coe, F.E.: First Book of Stories for the Story-teller.
Hotchkiss, Mary T.: "Story-telling in the Kindergarten." N.E.A.
Keyes, Angela: Stories and Story-Telling. Appleton.
Lyman, Edna: Story-Telling. McClurg.
McMurry, Charles: Special Method in Primary Reading. Macmillan.
O'Grady, Alice (Moulton), and Throop, Frances: The
Story-Teller's Book. Rand.
Olcott, F.J.: "Story-Telling as a Means of Teaching Literature."
N.Y. Libraries; vol. 4, pp. 38-43. Feb., 1914.
Olcott, Frances, and Pendleton, Amena: The Jolly Book for Boys
and Girls. Houghton.
Partridge, E.N., and Partridge, G.E.: Story-Telling in School
and Home. Sturgis.
St. John, Edward: Stories and Story-Telling. Westminster Press,
Shedlock, Marie: Art of the Story Teller. Appleton.
Speare, Georgina: "Story-Telling as an Art." Kindergarten
Review, Dec., 1913, to May, 1914.
The Storyteller's Company: The Storyteller's Magazine. New
Corson, Hiram: Voice and Spiritual Education. Macmillan.
Curry, Samuel S.: Foundations of Expression. Expression Co.
Ibid.: Province of Expression: Expression Co.
Rush, James: The Philosophy of the Human Voice. Lippincott.
Quintilian, Marcus F.: Institutes of Oratory. Macmillan.
Gesture and Phonetics:
Chamberlain, W.B., and Clark, S.H.: Principles of Vocal
Jespersen, Otto: Growth and Structure of the English Language.
Jones, Daniel: Pronunciation of English; Phonetics and Phonetic
Ibid.: Chart of English Speech Sounds. Oxford.
Rippman, Walter: Elements of Phonetics, English, French, and
Ibid.: The Sounds of Spoken English. Dent.
Sweet, Henry: Primer of Phonetics. Oxford.
Blow, Susan; Hill, Patty; and Harrison, Elizabeth: The
Blow, Susan: "The Kindergarten and the Primary Grade."
Kindergarten Review, June, 1915.
Crawford, Caroline: "The Teaching of Dramatic Arts in the
Kindergarten and the Elementary School." Teachers College
Record, Sept., 1915.
McMurry, Frank M.: "Principles Underlying the Making of School
Curricula." Teachers College Record, Sept., 1915.
Palmer, Luella: "Montessori Suggestions for Kindergartners."
Kindergarten Review, Feb. 1915.
Ibid.: "Problems vs. Subject Matter as a Basis for
Kindergarten Curriculum." Kindergarten Review, Nov., 1914.
Teachers College Record: "Experimental Studies in Kindergarten
Education." Teachers College Record, Jan., 1914.
Thorndike, Edward L.: "Foundations of Educational Achievement."
N.E.A. Report, 1914.
Archer, William: Play-Making. Small.
Bailey, Carolyn: "Toy Stories." "The Story of the Woolly Dog."
Kindergarten Review, Feb., 1915.
Baker, Franklin T., and Thorndike, Ashley H.: Everyday English.
Book One. Macmillan.
Barnes, Earl: Studies in Education. Drawing. Barnes.
Buffum, Katherine: Silhouettes to Cut in School. Bradley.
Crawford, Caroline: Dramatic Games and Dances. Barnes.
Folk Dances and Games. Barnes.
The Rhythms of Childhood. Barnes.
Curry, S.S.: Imagination and the Dramatic Instinct. Expression
Dewey, John: The Child and the Curriculum. University of
Ibid.: "Imagination and Expression." Kindergarten
Magazine, Sept., 1896.
Dow, Arthur: "Color in the Kindergarten." Kindergarten Review,
Ibid.: Composition. Doubleday.
Harvey, Nellie: "Japanese Art in the Kindergarten." Kindergarten
Review, Dec., 1914.
Hervey, Walter: Picture Work. Revell.
Laurie, S.S.: Lectures on Language and Linguistic Method in the
Macintosh, C.: "Toys Made by Little Children." Kindergarten
Review, Jan., and Feb., 1914.
Maxwell, W.H.; Johnston, E.L.; and Barnum, M.: Speaking and
Writing. American Book Co.
Oppenheimer, Carol: Drawing. Kindergarten Review, March, 1914.
Ibid.: "Scissors and Paper." Kindergarten Review, Jan.,
Ibid.: "Suggestions Concerning Rhythm Plays." Kindergarten
Review, April and May, 1915.
Ibid.: "The Use of the Song Exercise." Kindergarten Review,
Parker School: Francis W. Parker Year-Book, vol. III, June,
1914. ("Expression as a Means of Developing Motives.") Francis
Parker School, Chicago.
Psychological Review: Monograph—"Development of Imagination in
School Children." Suppl. Psych. Review, vol. XI, no. 1, 1909.
Wagner, Carrie: "Furniture for the Doll House." Kindergarten
Review, Dec., 1914.
Worst, E.F.; Barber, H.; and Seymour, M.: Constructive Work.
Zook, Mabel; and Maloy, Regina: "Illustrated Stories."
Kindergarten Review, May, 1915.
THE HISTORY OF FAIRY TALES
The gods of ancient mythology were changed into the
demi-gods and heroes of ancient poetry, and these demi-gods
again became, at a later age, the principal characters of
our nursery tales.—MAX MÜLLER
Stories originally told about the characters of savage
tales, were finally attracted into the legends of the gods
of ancient mythology, or were attributed to demi-gods and
I. THE ORIGIN OF FAIRY TALES
Now that we have indicated the worth of fairy tales, have observed
those principles which should guide the teacher in choosing and in
interpreting a tale, and have stated those rules which should govern
the story-teller in the telling of the tale, we may well ask a few
further questions concerning the nature of these fairy tales. What is
a fairy tale and whence did it come, and how are we to find its
beginning? Having found it, how are we to follow it down through the
ages? How shall it be classed, what are the available types which seek
to include it and show its nature? And lastly, what are the books
which are to be the main practical sources of fairy tales for the
teacher of little children? The remaining pages attempt to give some
help to the teacher who wishes to increase her resources with an
intelligent knowledge of the material she is handling.
Many times the question, "What is a fairy tale?" has been asked. One
has said: "The fairy tale is a poetic presentation of a spiritual
truth." George MacDonald has answered: "Undine is a fairy tale." Mr.
G.K. Chesterton has said: "A fairy tale is a tale told in a morbid age
to the only remaining sane person, a child. A legend is a fairy tale
told to men when men were sane." Some, scorning to reply, have treated
the question as one similar to, "What poem do you consider best in the
English language?" As there are many tales included here which do not
contain a fairy, fairy tales here are taken to include tales which
contain something fairy or extraordinary, the magic or the
marvelous—fairies, elves, or trolls, speaking animals, trees, or a
talkative Tin Soldier. The Myth proper and the Fable are both excluded
here, while the pourquois tale, a myth development, and the Beast
tale, a short-story fable development, are both included.
The origin of the word "fairy," as given by Thomas Keightley in his
Fairy Mythology, and later in the Appendix of his Tales and Popular
Fictions, is the Latin fatum, "to enchant." The word was derived
directly from the French form of the root. The various forms of the
Latin fatum, "to enchant."
French fee, feerie, "illusion."
In old French romance, fee was a "woman skilled in magic." "All
those women were called Fays who had to do with enchantment and charms
and knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs, by
which they were kept in youth and in great beauty and in great
riches." This was true also of the Italian fata.
The word "fairy" was used in four senses. Fairy represented:—
(1) Illusion, or enchantment.
(2) Abode of the Faes, the country of the Fays.
(3) Inhabitants collectively, the people of Fairyland.
(4) The individual in Fairyland, the fairy Knight, or Elf.
The word was used in the fourth sense before the time of Chaucer.
After the appearance of Spenser's Faerie Queene distinctions became
confused, and the name of the real fairies was transferred to "the
little beings who made the green, sour ringlets whereof the ewe not
bites." The change adopted by the poets gained currency among the
people. Fairies were identified with nymphs and elves. Shakespeare was
the principal means of effecting this revolution, and in his
Midsummer Night's Dream he has incorporated most of the fairy lore
known in England at his time. But the tales are older than their name.
The origin of fairy tales is a question which has kept many very able
scholars busy and which has not yet been settled to the satisfaction
of many. What has been discovered resolves itself mainly into four
different origins of fairy tales:—
I. Fairy tales are detritus of myth, surviving echoes of gods and
heroes. Against this theory it may be said that, when popular tales
have incidents similar to Greek heroic myths, the tales are not
detritus of myth, but both have a more ancient tale as their original
source. There was:—
(1) A popular tale which reflected the condition of a rude
people, a tale full of the monstrous and the miraculous.
(2) The same tale, a series of incidents and plot, with the
monstrous element modified, which survived in the oral
traditions of illiterate peasantry.
(3) The same plot and incidents, as they existed in heroic
epics of cultivated people. A local and historical character
was given by the introduction of known places and native
heroes. Tone and manners were refined by literary
workmanship, in the Rig Veda, the Persian King-book, the
Homeric Epics, etc.
The Grimms noted that the evolution of the tale was from a strongly
marked, even ugly, but highly expressive form of its earlier stages,
to that which possessed external beauty of mold. The origin is in the
fancy of a primitive people, the survival is through Märchen of
peasantry, and the transfiguration into epics is by literary artists.
Therefore, one and the same tale may be the source of Perrault's
Sleeping Beauty, also of a Greek myth, and also of an old tale of
illiterate peasantry. This was the opinion held by Lang, who said,
"For the roots of stories, we must look, not in the clouds but upon
the earth, not in the various aspects of nature but in the daily
occurrences and surroundings, in the current opinions and ideas of
In the savage Märchen of to-day, the ideas and incidents are the
inevitable result of the mental habits and beliefs of savages. We gain
an idea of the savage mind through Leviticus, in the Bible, through
Herodotus, Greek and Roman geographers, Aristotle, Plutarch, Pliny,
etc., through voyagers, missionaries, and travelers, and through
present savage peoples. Savage existence is based on two great
(a) The division of society into clans.—Marriage laws depend on the
conception that these clans descend from certain plants, animals, or
inorganic objects. There was the belief in human descent from animals
and kinship and personal intercourse with them.
(b) Belief in magic and medicine-men, which resulted in powers of
metamorphosis, the effect of incantation, and communion with the
dead.—To the savage all nature was animated, all things were persons.
The leading ideas of savage peoples have already been referred to in
the list of motifs which appear in the different fairy tales, as given
by Lang, mentioned under the "Preparation of the Teacher," in The
Telling of the Tale.
II. Fairy tales are myths of Sun, Dawn, Thunder, Rain, etc.
This is sometimes called the Sun-Myth Theory or the Aryan Theory, and
it is the one advocated by Max Müller and by Grimm.
The fairy tales were primitive man's experience with nature in days
when he could not distinguish between nature and his own personality,
when there was no supernatural because everything was endowed with a
personal life. They were the poetic fancies of light and dark, cloud
and rain, day and night; and underneath them were the same fanciful
meanings. These became changed by time, circumstances in different
countries, and the fancy of the tellers, so that they became sunny and
many-colored in the South, sterner and wilder in the North, and more
home-like in the Middle and West. To the Bushmen the wind was a bird,
and to the Egyptian fire was a living beast. Even The Song of
Six-Pence has been explained as a nature-myth, the pie being the
earth and sky, the birds the twenty-four hours, the king the sun, the
queen the moon, and the opening of the pie, day-break.
Every word or phrase became a new story as soon as the first meaning
of the original name was lost. Andrew Lang tells how Kephalos the sun
loved Prokris the dew, and slew her by his arrows. Then when the first
meaning of the names for sun, dew, and rays was lost, Kephalos, a
shepherd, loved Prokris, a nymph, and we have a second tale which, by
a folk-etymology, became the Story of Apollo, the Wolf. Tales were
told of the sun under his frog name; later people forgot that frog
meant "sun," and the result was the popular tale, A Frog, He Would
In regard to this theory, "It is well to remember," says Tylor in his
Primitive Culture, "that rash inferences which, on the strength of
mere resemblances, derive episodes of myth from episodes of nature,
must be regarded with utter distrust; for the student who has no more
stringent criterion than this for his myths of sun and sky and dawn
will find them wherever it pleases him to seek them." There is a
danger of being carried away by false analogies. But all scholars
agree that some tales are evidently myths of sun and dawn. If we
examine the natural history of savages, we do find summer feasts,
winter feasts, rituals of sorrow for the going of summer and of
rejoicing for its return, anxious interest in the sun, interest in the
motion of the heavenly bodies, the custom of naming men and women from
the phenomena of nature, and interest in making love, making war,
making fun, and making dinner.
III. Fairy tales all arose in India, they are part of the common Aryan
heritage and are to be traced by the remains of their language.
They were first written in the Vedas, the sacred Sanskrit books of
Buddhism. This theory is somewhat allied to the Sun-Myth Theory. This
theory was followed by Max Müller and by Sir George Cox.
The theory of a common source in India will not answer entirely for
the origin of tales because many similar tales have existed in
non-Aryan countries. Old tales were current in Egypt, 2000 B.C., and
were brought from there by Crusaders, Mongol missionaries, the
Hebrews, and Gypsies.
The idea of connecting a number of disconnected stories, as we find in
Arabian Nights, The Canterbury Tales, and the Decameron, is
traced to the idea of making Buddha the central figure in the
folk-literature of India. And Jacobs says that at least one-third of
all the stories common to the children of Europe are derived from
India, and by far the majority of the drolls. He also says that
generally, so far as incidents are marvelous and of true fairy-like
character, India is the probable source, because of the vitality of
animism and transformation in India in all time. Moreover, as a
people, the Hindus had spread among their numbers enough literary
training and mental grip to invent plots.
And again, there is an accepted connection in myth and language
between all Aryan languages and Sanskrit. According to Sir George
Dasent, "The whole human race has sprung from one stock planted in the
East, which has stretched its boughs and branches laden with the fruit
of language and bright with the bloom of song and story, by successive
offshoots to the utmost parts of the earth." Dasent tells how the
Aryans who went west, who went out to do, were distinguished from
the nations of the world by their common sense, by their power of
adapting themselves to circumstances, by making the best of their
position, by being ready to receive impressions, and by being able to
develop impressions. They became the Greeks, the Latins, the Teutons,
the Celts, and the Slavonians. The Aryans who stayed at home, remained
to reflect, and were distinguished by their power of thought. They
became a nation of philosophers and gave to the world the Sanskrit
language as the basis of comparative philology. Dasent shows how
legends, such as the Story of William Tell and Dog Gellert, which
have appeared in many Aryan peoples were common in germ to the Aryan
tribes before migration. Joseph Jacobs has more recently settled the
travels of Gellert, tracing its literary route from the Indian
Vinaya Pitaka, through the Fables of Bidpai, Sindibad, Seven Sages
of Rome, Gesta Romanorum, and the Welsh Fables of Cottwg, until the
legend became localized in Wales.
IV. Fairy tales owe their origin to the identity of early fancy.
Just as an individual, after thinking along certain lines, is
surprised to come upon the exact sequence of his thought in a book he
had never seen, so primitive peoples in remote parts of the world, up
against similar situations, would express experience in tales
containing similar motifs. A limited set of experiences was presented
to the inventive faculty, and the limited combinations possible would
result in similar combinations. The Aryan Jackal, the Mediaeval
Reynard, the Southern Brer Rabbit, and the Weasel of Africa, are near
relations. Dasent said, "In all mythology and tradition there are
natural resemblances, parallelisms, suggested to the senses of each
race by natural objects and everyday events; and these might spring up
spontaneously all over the earth as home-growths, neither derived by
imitation from other tribes, nor from the tradition of a common
It is probable that all four theories of the origin of fairy tales are
correct and that fairy tales owe their origin not to any one cause but
to all four.
II. THE TRANSMISSION OF FAIRY TALES
Oral transmission. The tale, having originated, may have been
transmitted in many ways: by women compelled to marry into alien
tribes; by slaves from Africa to America; by soldiers returning from
the Crusades; by pilgrims returning from the Holy Land or from Mecca;
by knights gathering at tournaments; by sailors and travelers; and by
commercial exchange between southern Europe and the East—Venice
trading with Egypt and Spain with Syria. Ancient tales of Persia
spread along the Mediterranean shores. In this way the Moors of Spain
learned many a tale which they transmitted to the French. Jack the
Giant-Killer and Thomas Thumb, according to Sir Walter Scott,
landed in England from the very same keels and warships which conveyed
Hengist and Horsa and Ebba the Saxon. A recent report of the Bureau of
Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution of the United States
expressed the opinion that the Uncle Remus Tales have an Indian
origin. Slaves had associated with Indian tribes such as the
Cherokees, and had heard the story of the Rabbit who was so clever
that no one could fool him. Gradually the Southern negroes had adopted
the Indian tales and changed them. Joseph Jacobs claims to have found
the original of the "Tar Baby" in the Jataka Tales. A tale, once
having originated, could travel as easily as the wind. Certainly a
good type when once hit upon was diffused widely. Sir Walter Scott has
said: "A work of great interest might be compiled from the origin of
popular fiction and the transmission of similar tales from age to age
and from country to country. The mythology of one period would then
appear to pass into the romance of the next century, and that into the
nursery tales of subsequent ages. Such an investigation would show
that these fictions, however wild and childish, possess such charms
for the populace as to enable them to penetrate into countries
unconnected by manners and language, and having no apparent
intercourse to afford the means of transmission."
Thomas Keightley, in Tales and Popular Fictions, has given
interesting examples of the transmission of tales. Selecting Jack the
Giant-Killer, he has shown that it is the same tale as Grimm's The
Brave Tailor, and Thor's Journey to Utgard in the Scandinavian
Edda. Similar motifs occur also in a Persian tale, Ameen of Isfahan
and the Ghool, and in the Goat and the Lion, a tale from the
Panchatantra. Selecting the Story of Dick Whittington he has shown
that in England it was current in the reign of Elizabeth; that two
similar tales, Danish legends, were told by Thiele; that a similar
Italian tale existed at the time of Amerigo Vespucci, which was a
legend told by Arlotto in 1396-1483; that another similar Italian tale
was connected with the origin of Venice, in 1175; and that a similar
tale existed in Persia in 1300, before 1360, when Whittington of
England was born. He also pointed out that the Odyssey must have
traveled east as well as west, from Greece, for Sindbad's adventure
with the Black Giant is similar to that of Ulysses with the Cyclops.
Another interesting set of parallels shown by him is connected with
the Pentamerone tale, Peruonto. This is the Straparola Peter the
Fool, the Russian Emelyan the Fool, the Esthonian tale by
Laboulaye, The Fairy Craw-Fish, and the Grimm The Fisherman and his
Wife. The theme of a peasant being rewarded by the fish he had thrown
back into the water takes on a delightful varied form in the tale of
different countries. The magic words of Emelyan, "Up and away! At the
pike's command, and at my request, go home, sledge!" in each variant
take an interesting new form.
Literary transmission. The travels of a tale through oral tradition
are to be attempted with great difficulty and by only the most careful
scholarship. One may follow the transmission of tales through literary
collections with somewhat greater ease and exactness. Popular tales
have a literature of their own. The following list seeks to mention
the most noteworthy collections:—
No date. Vedas. Sanskrit.
No date. Zend Avesta. Persian.
Fifth century, B.C. Jatakas. Probably the oldest
literature. It was written at Ceylon and has been translated
into 38 languages, in 112 editions. Recently the Cambridge
edition has been translated from the Pali, edited by E.B.
Cowell, published by Putnam, New York, 1895-1907.
4000 B.C. Tales of Ancient Egypt. These were the tales of
magicians, recorded on papyrus.
600 B.C. (about). Homeric Legends.
200 B.C. (about). Book of Esther.
Second century, A.D. The Golden Ass, Metamorphoses of Apuleius.
550 A.D. Panchatantra, the Five Books. This was a
Sanskrit collection of fables, the probable source of the
Fables of Bidpai.
Second century, A.D. The Hitopadesa, or Wholesome
Instruction. A selection from the Panchatantra, first
edited by Carey, in 1804; by Max Müller, in 1844.
550 A.D. Panchatantra. Pehlevi version.
Tenth century, A.D. Panchatantra. Arabic version.
Eleventh century, A.D. Panchatantra. Greek version.
Twelfth century, A.D. Panchatantra. Persian version.
1200 A.D. Sanskrit Tales. These tales were collected by
Somadeva Bhatta, of Cashmere, and were published to amuse
the Queen of Cashmere. They have been translated by
Brockhaus, 1844. Somadeva's Ocean of the Streams of Story
has been translated by Mr. Tawney, of Calcutta, 1880.
Tales of the West came from the East in two sources:—
1262-78. (1) Directorium Humanæ Vitæ, of John of Capua.
This was translated from the Hebrew, from the Arabic of
the eighth century, from the Pehlevi of Persia of the
sixth century, from the Panchatantra, from the Sanskrit
original. This is the same as the famous Persian version,
The Book of Calila and Dimna, attributed to Bidpai, of
India. There was a late Persian version, in 1494, and one in
Paris in 1644, which was the source of La Fontaine.
Thirteenth century. (2) The Story of the Seven Sages of
Rome, or The Book of Sindibad. This appeared in Europe as
the Latin History of the Seven Sages of Rome, by Dame
Jehans, a monk in the Abbey of Haute Selve. There is a
Hebrew, an Arabic, and a Persian version. It is believed the
Persian version came from Sanskrit but the Sanskrit original
has not yet been found.
Tenth century. Reynard the Fox. This was first found as a
Latin product of the monks, in a cloister by the banks of
the Mosel and Mass. Reynard the Fox shares with Æsop's
Fables the distinction of being folk-lore raised into
literature. It is a series of short stories of adventure
forming a romance. These versions are known:—
1180. German-Reinhart, an epic of twelve
adventures by Heinrich Glichesäre.
1230. French-Roman de Renard, with its
1250. Flemish-Reinaert, part of which was
composed by Willem, near Ghent.
1148. Ysengrimus, a Latin poem written at Ghent.
Thirteenth century. Of the Vox and of the Wolf,
an English poem.
Later date. Rainardo, Italian.
Later date. Greek mediaeval version.
Reynard the Fox was first printed in England
by Caxton in 1481, translated from a Dutch copy. A
copy of Caxton's book is in the British Museum.
Caxton's edition was adapted by "Felix Summerley";
and Felix Summerley's edition, with slight
changes, was used by Joseph Jacobs in his Cranford
A Dutch prose romance, Historie von Reynaert de
Vos was published in 1485. A German copy, written
in Lower Saxony was published in 1498. A
chap-book, somewhat condensed, but giving a very
good account of the romance, was published in
London in 1780, printed and sold in Aldermary
Churchyard, Bow Lane. This chap-book is very much
finer in language than many of the others in
Ashton's collection. Its structure is good,
arranged in nine chapters. It shows itself a real
classic and would be read with pleasure to-day.
Goethe's poem, Reineke Fuchs, was published in
1794. This version was more refined than previous
ones but it lost in simplicity. Monographs have
been written on Reynard by Grimm, Voigt, Martin,
Raginhard was a man's name, meaning "strong in
counsel," and was common in Germany which bordered
on France. This name naturally was given to the
beast who lived by his wits. Grimm considered
Reynard the result of a Teutonic Beast Epic of
primitive origin. Later research has exploded this
theory and has decided that all versions are
descended from an original French one existing
between 1150 and 1170. Modern editions have come
from the Flemish version. The literary artist who
compiled Reynard took a nucleus of fables and
added to it folk-tales which are known to have
existed in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and
which exist to-day as tradition among some folk.
The folk-tales included in Reynard are: Reynard
and Dame Wolf; The Iced Wolf's Tail; The
Fishes in the Car; The Bear in the Cleft; The
Wolf as Bell-Ringer; and The Dyed Fox. The
method of giving individual names to the animals
such as Reynard, Bruin, and Tibert, was current
among the Folk before a literary form was given to
Reynard. As this was the custom in the province
of Lorraine it is supposed that the origin of
these names was in Lorraine. Other names, such as
Chanticleer, the Cock, and Noble, the Lion, were
given because of a quality, and indicate a
tendency to allegory. These names increase in the
later development of the romance. In the beginning
when the beasts had only personal adventures,
these were told by the Folk to raise a laugh.
Later there was a meaning underneath the laugh and
the Beast Epic Comedy of the Folk grew into the
world Beast Satire of the literary artist.
Reynard exhibits the bare struggle for existence
which was generally characteristic of Feudal life.
Cunning opposes force and triumphs over it. The
adventurous hero appeals because of his faculty of
adjustment, his power to adapt himself to
circumstances and to master them. He also appeals
because of his small size when compared with the
other animals. In the Middle Ages Reynard
appealed because it was a satire upon the monks.
Of Reynard Carlyle has said, "It comes before us
with a character such as can belong only to very
few; that of being a true World's Book which
through centuries was everywhere at home, the
spirit of which diffused itself into all languages
and all minds."
* * * * *
About one tenth of European folk-lore is traced to
collections used in the Middle Ages: Fables of Bidpai,
Seven Wise Masters, Gesta Romanorum, and Barlaam and
Josophat. These tales became diffused through the Exempla
of the monks, used in their sermons, through the Novelle
of Italy, the Decameron of Boccaccio, the Tales of
Chaucer, Painter's Palace of Pleasure, and the
Elizabethan Drama of England. One half of La Fontaine's
Fables are of Indian sources.
1326. The Gesta Romanorum, written in Latin. This was a
compilation, by the monks, of stories with a moral appended
to each. It was the most popular story-book before the
invention of printing. In England it was printed by Wynkyn
de Worde, of which edition the only known copy is at St.
John's College, Cambridge. The earliest manuscript of the
collection is dated 1326. Between 1600 and 1703 fifteen
editions of the book prove its popularity. One English
version is by Sir Frederick Madden, who lived 1801-73. The
author of the Gesta Romanorum is unknown, but was likely a
German. The stories included are miscellaneous and vary in
different editions. Among its stories are Oriental tales,
tales of the deeds of Roman Emperors, an early form of Guy
of Warwick, the casket episode of The Merchant of Venice,
a story of the Jew's bond, a tale of the Emperor Theodosius,
being a version of King Lear, the story of the Hermit, and
a tale of Aglas, the daughter of the Roman Emperor Pompey,
being a version of Atalanta and her Race.
1000 A.D. (about). Shah-Nameh, or King-book of Persia,
by Ferdousee, born about 940 A.D. This book is the pride and
glory of Persian literature. It was written by the Persian
poet at the command of the king, who wished to have
preserved the old traditions and heroic glories of Persians
before the Arabian conquest. Ferdousee declared that he
invented none of his material, but took it from the
Bostan-Nameh or Old-Book.
The King-Book is very ancient, it is the Persian Homer. It
was the labor of thirty years. It consisted of 56,000
distichs or couplets, for every thousand of which the Sultan
had promised the poet one thousand pieces of gold. Instead
of the elephant-load of gold promised, the Sultan sent in
payment 60,000 small silver coins. This so enraged the poet
that he gave away one third to the man who brought them, one
third to a seller of refreshments, and one third to the
keeper of the bath where the messenger found him. After the
poet's death the insult was retrieved by proper payment.
This was refused by his one daughter, but accepted by the
other and used to erect a public dike the poet had always
desired to build to protect his native town from the river.
The fine character of the tales of the King-Book is shown
in the tale of Roostem and Soohrab, taken from this book,
which Keightley has translated in Tales and Popular
Fictions. Keightley considered it superior to any Greek or
Latin tale. Modern literature knows this tale through
Matthew Arnold's poem.
1548 (not later than). The Thousand and One Nights,
Arabian. 12 volumes. Galland's French translation appeared
in 1704. This was supplemented by Chavis and Cazotte, and by
Caussin de Percival. Monsieur Galland was Professor of
Arabic in the Royal College of Paris. He was a master of
French and a fairly good scholar of Arabic. He brought his
manuscript, dated 1548, to Paris from Constantinople. He
severely abbreviated the original, cutting out poetical
extracts and improving the somewhat slovenly style. In his
translation he gave to English the new words, genie, ogre,
and vizier. His work was very popular.
Boulak and Calcutta texts are better than the Galland. They
contain about two hundred and fifty stories. The Cairo
edition has been admirably translated by Edward W. Lane, in
3 volumes (1839-41) published in London. This is probably
the best edition. It also omits many poetical quotations. A
recent edition using Lane's translation is by Frances
Olcott, published by Holt in 1913. Editions which attempt to
be complete versions are by John Payne (13 volumes,
1882-84), and by Sir Richard Burton (16 volumes, 1885-88).
Lane and Burton give copious notes of value. The recent
edition by Wiggin and Smith used the editions of Scott and
The stories in Arabian Nights are Indian, Egyptian,
Arabian, and Persian. Scenes are laid principally in Bagdad
and Cairo. Lane considered that the one hundred and fifteen
stories, which are common to all manuscripts, are based on
the Pehlevi original. The idea of the frame of the story
came from India. This was the birth of the serial story.
There is authority for considering the final collection to
have been made in Egypt. Cairo is described most minutely
and the customs are of Egypt of the thirteenth century and
later. The stories must have been popular in Egypt as they
were mentioned by an historian, 1400-70. Lane considered
that the final Arabic collection bears to Persian tales the
same relation that the Æneid does to the Odyssey. Life
depicted is Arabic, and there is an absence of the great
Persian heroes. Internal evidence assists in dating the
work. Coffee is mentioned only three times. As its use
became popular in the East in the fourteenth century this
indicates the date of the work to be earlier than the very
common use of coffee. Cannon, which are mentioned, were
known in Egypt in 1383. Additions to the original were
probably made as late as the sixteenth century. The Arabian
Nights has been the model for many literary attempts to
produce the Oriental tale, of which the tales of George
Meredith are notable examples.
Thomas Keightley, in Tales and Popular Fictions,
considered Persia the original country of The Thousand and
One Nights, and The Voyages of Sinbad, originally a
separate work. He showed how some of these tales bear marks
of Persian extraction and how some had made their way to
Europe through oral transmission before the time of
Galland's translation. He selected the tale, "Cleomedes and
Claremond," and proved that it must have been learned by a
certain Princess Blanche, of Castile, and transmitted by her
to France about 1275. This romance must have traveled to
Spain from the East. It is the same as "The Enchanted Horse"
in The Thousand and One Nights, and through Keightley's
proof, is originally Persian. Keightley also selected the
Straparola tale, The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and
the Beautiful Green Bird, and proved it to be the same as
Grimm's Three Little Birds, as a Persian Arabian Night's
tale, and also as La Princesse Belle Etoile, of D'Aulnoy.
But as Galland's translation appeared only the year after
Madame D'Aulnoy's death, Madame D'Aulnoy must have obtained
the tale elsewhere than from the first printed version of
No date. The Thousand and One Days. This is a Persian
collection containing the "History of Calaf."
1550. Straparola's Nights, by Straparola. This collection
of jests, riddles, and twenty-one stories was published in
Venice. The stories were taken from oral tradition, from the
lips of ten young women. Some were agreeable, some unfit, so
that the book was forbidden in Rome, in 1605, and an
abridged edition prepared. There was a complete Venetian
edition in 1573, a German translation in 1679, a French one
in 1611, and a good German one with valuable notes, by
Schmidt, in 1817. Straparola's Nights contained stories
similar to the German The Master Thief, The Little Peasant,
Hans and the Hedge-Hog, Iron Hans, The Four Brothers, The
Two Brothers, and Dr. Know-all.
1637. The Pentamerone, by Basile. Basile spent his early
youth in Candia or Crete, which was owned by Venice. He
traveled much in Italy, following his sister, who was a
noted singer, to Mantua. He probably died in 1637. There may
have been an earlier edition of The Pentamerone, which
sold out. It was republished in Naples in 1645, 1674, 1714,
1722, 1728, 1749, 1788, and in Rome in 1679. This was the
best collection of tales formed by a nation for a long time.
The traditions were complete, and the author had a special
talent for collecting them, and an intimate knowledge of
dialect. This collection of fifty stories may be looked upon
as the basis of many others. Basile wrote independently of
Straparola, though a few tales are common to both. He was
very careful not to alter the tale as he took it down from
the people. He told his stories with allusions to manners
and customs, to old stories and mythology. He abounds in
picturesque, proverbial expressions, with turns and many
similes, and displays a delightful exuberance of fancy. A
valuable translation, with notes, was written by Felix
Liebrecht, in 1842, and an English one by John Edward
Taylor, in 1848. Keightley, in Fairy Mythology, has
translated three of these tales and in Tales and Popular
Fictions, two tales. Keightley's were the first
translations of these tales into any language other than
Italian. Among the stories of Basile are the German
Cinderella, How Six got on in the World, Rapunzel, Snow
White, Dame Holle, Briar Rose, and Hansel and Grethel.
1697. The Tales of Mother Goose, by Charles Perrault. In
France the collecting of fairy tales began in the
seventeenth century. French, German, and Italian tales were
all derived independently by oral tradition. In 1696, in
Recueil, a magazine published by Moetjens, at The Hague,
appeared The Story of Sleeping Beauty, by Perrault. In
1697 appeared seven other tales by Perrault. Eight stories
were published in 12mo, under a title borrowed from a
fabliau, Contes de ma Mere l'Oye. In a later edition
three stories were added, The Ass's Skin, The Clever
Princess, and The Foolish Wishes. The tales of Perrault
1. The Fairies.
2. The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood.
4. Little Red Riding Hood.
7. Rique with the Tuft.
8. Little Thumb.
9. The Ass's Skin.
10. The Clever Princess.
11. The Foolish Wishes.
Immediately afterwards the tales appeared published at Paris
in a volume entitled, Histoires ou Contes du Temps Passe,
avec des Moralites—Contes de ma Mère l'Oye. The earliest
translation into English was in a book containing French and
English, Tales of Passed Times, by Mother Goose, with
Morals. Written in French by M. Charles Perrault and
Englished by R.S., Gent. An English translation by Mr.
Samber was advertised in the English Monthly Chronicle,
March, 1729. Andrew Lang, with an introduction, has edited
these tales from the original edition, published by the
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1888. These tales made their way
slowly in England, but gradually eclipsed the native English
tales and legends which had been discouraged by Puritan
influence. In Perrault's time, when this influence was
beginning to decline, they superseded the English tales,
crowding out all but Jack the Giant-Killer, Tom
Hickathrift, Jack and the Beanstalk, Tom Thumb, and Childe
1650-1705. Fairy Tales, by Madame D'Aulnoy. In France
there were many followers of Perrault. The most important of
these was Madame D'Aulnoy. She did not copy Perrault. She
was a brilliant, witty countess, and brought into her tales,
entitled Contes de Fées, the graces of the court. She
adhered less strictly to tradition than Perrault, and
handled her material freely, making additions,
amplifications, and moral reflections, to the original tale.
Her weaving together of incidents is artistic and her style
graceful and not unpleasing. It is marked by ornamentation,
sumptuousness, and French sentimentality. It shows a lack of
naïveté resulting from the palace setting given to her
tales, making them adapted only to children of high rank.
Often her tale is founded on a beautiful tradition. The
Blue-Bird, one of the finest of her tales, was found in the
poems of Marie de France, in the thirteenth century. Three
of her tales were borrowed from Straparola. Among her tales
the most important are:—
Graciosa and Percinet. (Basile.)
The Blue-Bird. (Contains a motif similar to one
in The Singing, Soaring Lark.)
The White Cat. (Similar to Three Feathers and
The Miller's Boy and the Cat.)
The Hind in the Wood. (Similar to Rumpelstiltskin.)
The Good Little Mouse. (Basile.)
The Fair One with the Golden Locks. (Ferdinand
The Yellow Dwarf.
Princess Belle Etoile. (Straparola.)
The careful translation of Madame D'Aulnoy's tales by Mr.
Planché faithfully preserves the spirit of the original.
There were many imitators of Countess D'Aulnoy, in France,
in the eighteenth century. Their work was on a much lower
level and became published in the Cabinet des Fées, a
collection of stories including in its forty volumes the
work of many authors, of which the greater part is of little
value. Of those following D'Aulnoy three deserve mention:—
1711-1780. Moral Tales, by Madame de Beaumont.
These were collected while the author was in
England. Of these we use Prince Cherry. Madame
de Beaumont wrote a children's book in which is
found a tale similar to The Singing, Soaring
Lark, entitled The Maiden and the Beast. She
also wrote 69 volumes of romance.
1765. Tales, by Madame Villeneuve. Of these we
use Beauty and the Beast.
1692-1765. Tales, by Comte de Caylus. The author
was an antiquarian and scholar. Of his tales we
use Sylvain and Yocosa.
Very little attempt has been made in modern times to include
in our children's literature the best of foreign literature
for children, for there has been very little study of
foreign books for children. Certainly the field of
children's literature would be enriched to receive
translations of any books worthy of the name classic. A
partial list of French fairy tales is here given, indicating
to children's librarians how little has been done to open up
this field, and inviting their labor:—
Bibliothèque Rose, a collection. (What should be
Bibliothèque des Petits Enfants, a collection.
(What should be included?)
1799-1874. Fairy Tales from the French, by
Madame de Ségur. These tales are published by
Winston. We also use her Story of a Donkey,
written in 1860 and published by Heath in 1901.
1866. Fairy Tales of all Nations, by Edouard
1902. Last Fairy Tales, also by Laboulaye.
Tales, by Zenaide Fleuriot. (What should be
1910. Chantecler, by Edmund Rostand. Translated
by Gertrude Hall, published by Duffield.
1911. The Honey Bee, by Anatole France;
translated by Mrs. Lane; published by Lane.
1911. The Blue-Bird, by Maurice Maeterlinck;
published by Dodd.
In Great Britain many old tales taken from tradition were included in
the Welsh Mabinogion, Irish sagas, and Cornish Mabinogion. Legends of
Brittany were made known by the poems of Marie de France, who lived in
the thirteenth century. These were published in Paris, in 1820. In
fact, most of the early publications of fairy tales were taken from
Celtic tales have been collected in modern times in a greater number
than those of any nation. This has been due largely to the work of
J.F. Campbell. Celtic tales are unusual in that they have been
collected while the custom of story-telling is yet flourishing among
the Folk. They are therefore of great literary and imaginative
interest. They are especially valuable as the oldest of the European
tales. The Irish tale of Connla and the Fairy Maiden has been traced
to a date earlier than the fifth century and therefore ranks as the
oldest tale of modern Europe. The principal Celtic collections are:—
Iolo M. S., published by the Welsh M. S. Society.
Mabinogion, translated by Lady Guest. (Contains tales
that trace back to the twelfth century.)
Y Cymrodor, by Professor Rhys.
1825. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of
Ireland, by T. Crofton Croker.
1842. Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers.
1860-62. Popular Tales of the West Highlands, by J.F.
Tales, collected and published with notes, by Mr. Alfred
1866. By Patrick Kennedy, the Irish Grimm. Legendary
Fictions of the Irish Celts; Fireside Stories of Ireland
(1870); and Bardic Stories of Ireland (1871).
In England the publication of fairy tales may be followed more readily
because the language proves no hindrance and the literature gives
assistance. In England the principal publications of fairy tales
1604. Pasquil's Jests. Contained a tale similar to one of
1635. A Tract, A Descryption of the Kynge and Quene of
Fairies, their habit, fare, abode, pomp, and state.
Eighteenth century (early). Madame D'Aulnoy's Tales, a
1667-1745. Gulliver's Travels, by Dean Swift. (One modern
edition, with introduction by W.D. Howells, and more than
one hundred illustrations by Louis Rhead, is published by
Harpers. Another edition, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is
published by Dutton.)
1700-1800. Chap-Books. Very many of these books,
especially the best ones, were published by William and
Cluer Dicey, in Aldermary Church Yard, Bow Lane, London.
Rival publishers, whose editions were rougher in engraving,
type, and paper, labored in Newcastle.
The chap-books were little paper books hawked by chap-men,
or traveling peddlers, who went from village to village with
"Almanacks, Bookes of Newes, or other trifling wares." These
little books were usually from sixteen to twenty-four pages
in bulk and in size from two and one half inches by three
and one half inches to five and one half inches by four and
one quarter inches. They sold for a penny or six-pence and
became the very popular literature of the middle and lower
classes of their time. After the nineteenth century they
became widely published, deteriorated, and gradually were
crowded out by the Penny Magazine and Chambers's Penny
Tracts and Miscellanies. For many years before the
Victorian period, folk-lore was left to the peasants and
kept out of reach of the children of the higher classes.
This was the reign of the moral tale, of Thomas Bewick's
Looking Glass of the Mind and Mrs. Sherwood's Henry and
His Bearer. Among the chap-books published by William and
Cluer Dicey, may be mentioned: The Pleasant and Delightful
History of Jack and the Giants (part second was printed and
sold by J. White); Guy, Earl of Warwick; Bevis of Hampton;
The History of Reynard the Fox, dated 1780; The History of
Fortunatus, condensed from an edition of 1682; The Fryer
and the Boy; A True Tale of Robin Hood (Robin Hood Garland
Blocks, from 1680, were used in the London Bridge Chap-Book
edition); The Famous History of Thomas Thumb; The History
of Sir Richard Whittington; and The Life and Death of St.
George. Tom Hickathrift was printed by and for M. Angus and
Son, at Newcastle-in-the-Side: Valentine and Orson was
printed at Lyons, France, in 1489; and in England by Wynkyn
de Worde. Among the chap-books many tales not fairy tales
were included. With the popularity of Goody Two Shoes and
the fifty little books issued by Newbery, the realistic tale
of modern times made a sturdy beginning. Of these realistic
chap-books one of the most popular was The History of
Little Tom Trip, probably by Goldsmith, engraved by the
famous Thomas Bewick, published by T. Saint, of Newcastle.
This was reprinted by Ed. Pearson in 1867.
Of Jack the Giant-Killer, in Skinner's Folk-Lore, David
Masson has said: "Our Jack the Giant-Killer is clearly the
last modern transmutation of the old British legend, told in
Geoffrey of Monmouth, of Corineüs the Trojan, the companion
of the Trojan Brutus when he first settled in Britain; which
Corineüs, being a very strong man, and particularly
good-humored, is satisfied with being King of Cornwall, and
killing out all the aboriginal giants there, leaving to
Brutus all the rest of the island, and only stipulating
that, whenever there is a peculiarly difficult giant in any
part of Brutus' dominions, he shall be sent for to finish
Tom Hickathrift, whose history is given in an old number
of Fraser's Magazine, is described by Thackeray as one of
the publisher Cundall's books, bound in blue and gold,
illustrated by Frederick Taylor in 1847. According to
Thackeray this chap-book tale was written by Fielding.
Speaking of the passage, "The giant roared hideously but Tom
had no more mercy on him than a bear upon a dog," he said:
"No one but Fielding could have described battle so." Of the
passage, "Having increased his strength by good living and
improved his courage by drinking strong ale," he remarked:
"No one but Fielding could have given such an expression."
The quality of the English of this chap-book is apparent in
the following sentence, taken from Ashton's version: "So Tom
stepped to a gate and took a rail for a staff."
In regard to their literary merit the chap-books vary
greatly. Some evidently are works of scholars who omitted to
sign their names. In the collection by Ashton those
deserving mention for their literary merit are: Patient
Grissel, by Boccaccio; Fortunatus; Valentine and Orson;
Joseph and His Brethren; The Friar and the Boy; Reynard
the Fox, from Caxton's translation; Tom Hickathrift,
probably by Fielding; and The Foreign Travels of Sir John
1708-90. Chap-Books. Printed by J. White, of York,
established at Newcastle, 1708. These included: Tom
Hickathrift; Jack the Giant-Killer; and Cock Robin.
1750. A New Collection of Fairy Tales. 2 vols.
1760. Mother Goose's Melodies. A collection of many
nursery rhymes, songs, and a few old ballads and tales,
published by John Newbery. The editor is unknown, but most
likely was Oliver Goldsmith. The title of the collection may
have been borrowed from Perrault's Contes de ma Mère
l'Oye, of which an English version appeared in 1729. The
title itself has an interesting history dating hundreds of
years before Perrault's time. By 1777 Mother Goose's
Melodies had passed the seventh edition. In 1780 they were
published by Carnan, Newbery's stepson, under the title
Sonnets for the Cradle. In 1810 Gammer Gurton's Garland,
a collection, was edited by Joseph Ritson, an English
scholar. In 1842 J.O. Halliwell issued, for the Percy
Society, The Nursery Rhymes of England. The standard
modern text should consist of Newbery's book with such
additions from Ritson and Halliwell as bear internal
evidence of antiquity and are true nursery rhymes.
1770. Queen Mab, A Collection of Entertaining Tales of
1783. The Lilliputian Magazine. Illustrated by Thomas
Bewick, published by Carnan.
1788. The Pleasing Companion, A Collection of Fairy Tales.
1788. Fairy Tales Selected from the Best Authors, 2 vols.
1770-91. Books published by John Evans, of Long Lane.
Printed on coarse sugar paper. They included: Cock Robin,
1791; Mother Hubbard; Cinderella; and The Tragical Death
of an Apple Pye.
1809. A Collection of Popular Stories for the Nursery,
translated from French, Italian, and Old English, by
Benjamin Tabart, in 4 volumes.
1810 (about). Lilliputian Library, by J.G. Rusher, of
Bridge St., Banbury. The Halfpenny Series included:
Mother Hubbard and Her Dog; Jack The
Giant-Killer; Dick Whittington and His Cat; The
History of Tom Thumb (Middlesex); Death and
Burial of Cock Robin; and Cinderella and Her Glass
The Penny Series included:—
History of a Banbury Cake, and Jack the
Giant-Killer, designed by Craig, engraved by Lee.
Of Rusher's books those engraved by the Bewick School were:
Cock Robin; The History of Tom Thumb; and
Children in the Wood.
Rusher's books also included:
Mother Hubbard and Her Dog, Cinderella and Her
Glass Slipper, and Dick Whittington and His
Cat, all designed by Cruikshank, engraved by
1818. Fairy Tales, or the Lilliputian Cabinet, collected
by Benj. Tabart, London. This was a new edition of the
collection of 1809, and contained twenty-four stories. A
full review of it may be seen in the Quarterly Review,
1819, No. 41, pp. 91-112. The tales included translations
from Perrault, Madame D'Aulnoy, Madame de Beaumont, tales
from The Thousand and One Nights, and from Robin Hood;
and the single tales of Jack the Giant-Killer, Tom Thumb,
and Jack and the Bean-Stalk.
1824, 1826. German Popular Stories, translated by Edgar
Taylor, with illustrations by Cruikshank, published by
Charles Tilt, London. A new edition, introduction by Ruskin,
was published by Chatto & Windus, 1880.
The above are the main collections of fairy tales in England. Many
individual publications show the gradual development of fairy tale
illustration in England:—
1713-1767. John Newbery's Books for Children. Among these
were Beauty and the Beast, by Charles Lamb, 1765, and
Sinbad the Sailor, 1798.
1778. Fabulous Histories of the Robins. Mrs. Sarah
Trimmer. Cuts designed by Thomas Bewick, engraved by John
Thompson, Whittingham's Chiswick Press.
1755-1886. Life and Perambulations of a Mouse; and
Adventures of a Pin-Cushion. Dorothy Kilner.
1785. Baron Munchausen's Narratives of His Famous Travels
and Campaigns in Russia. Rudolf Raspe.
1788. Little Thumb and the Ogre. Illustrated by William
Blake; published by Dutton.
1790. The Death and Burial of Cock Robin. Illustrated by Thomas
1807. Tales from Shakespeare. Charles and Mary Lamb. W.J.
Godwin and Co. William Blake illustrated an edition of these
tales, probably the original edition.
1813. Reprints of forgotten books, by Andrew Tuer: Dame
Wiggins of Lee; The Gaping Wide-Mouthed Waddling Frog: The
House that Jack Built. Dame Wiggins of Lee was first
printed by A.K. Newman and Co., Minerva Press. Original cuts
by Stennet or Sinnet. Reprinted by Allen, 1885, with
illustrations added by Kate Greenaway.
1841. King of the Golden River. John Ruskin. Illustrated
by Richard Doyle, 1884.
1844. Home Treasury, by "Felix Summerley" (Sir Henry
Cole). "Felix Summerley" was a reformer in children's books.
He secured the assistance of many of the first artists of
his time: Mulready, Cope, Horsley, Redgrave, Webster, all of
the Royal Academy, Linnell and his three sons, Townsend, and
others. These little books were published by Joseph Cundall
and have become celebrated through Thackeray's mention of
them. They aimed to cultivate the affections, fancy,
imagination, and taste of children, they were a distinct
contrast to the Peter Parley books.
They were new books, new combinations of old materials, and
reprints, purified but not weakened. Their literature
possessed brightness. The books were printed in the best
style of the Chiswick Press, with bindings and end papers
especially designed. They included these tales: Puck's
Reports to Oberon; Four New Fairy Tales; The Sisters; Golden
Locks; Grumble and Cherry; Little Red Riding Hood, with
four colored illustrations by Webster; Beauty and the
Beast, with four colored illustrations by Horsley; Jack
and the Bean-Stalk, with four colored illustrations by
Cope; Jack the Giant-Killer, also illustrated by Cope; and
The Pleasant History of Reynard, the Fox, with forty of
the fifty-seven etchings made by Everdingen, in 1752.
1824-1883. Publications by Richard Doyle. These included
The Fairy Ring, 1845; Snow White and Rosy Red, 1871;
Jack the Giant-Killer, 1888, etc.
1846. Undine, by De La Motté Fouque, illustrated by John
Tenniel, published by James Burns.
1846. The Good-Natured Bear, by Richard Hengist Home, the
English critic. This was illustrated by Frederick Taylor,
published probably by Cundall. The book is now out of print,
but deserves to be reprinted.
1847-1864. Cruikshank Fairy Library. A series of small
books in paper wrappers. Not equal to the German popular
stories in illustration. It included Tom Thumb, 1830;
John Gilpin, 1828 (realistic); and The Brownies, 1870.
1847. Bob and Dog Quiz. Author unknown. Revived by E.V.
Lucas in Old-fashioned Tales. Illustrated by F.D. Bedford;
published by Stokes, 1905.
1850. The Child's Own Book. Published in London. There was
an earlier edition, not before 1830. The introduction, which
in the 1850 edition was copied from the original, indicates
by its style that the book was written early in the
nineteenth century. The book was the delight of generations
of children. It was a collection containing tales from
Arabian Nights, Perrault's tales of Cinderella,
Puss-in-Boots, Hop-o'-my-Thumb, Bluebeard, etc., D'Aulnoy's
Valentine and Orson, chap-book stories of Dick
Whittinqton, Fortunatus, Griselda, Robinson Crusoe, The
Children in the Wood, Little Jack, and others. A recent
edition of this book is in the Young Folks' library, vol.
1, published by Hall & Locke, Boston, 1901.
1850 (about). The Three Bears. Illustrated by Absalon and
Harrison Weir. Addy and Co.
1824-1889. Work by Mrs. Mary Whateley. She had a Moslem
school in Cairo and exerted a fairy tale influence.
1826-1887. The Little Lame Prince; Adventures of a
Brownie; and The Fairy Book. Produced by Mrs. Dinah
1854. The Rose and the Ring, by William M. Thackeray. A
modern edition contains the original illustrations with
additions by Monsell. Crowell.
1855. Granny's Story Box. A collection. Illustrated by J.
Knight; published by Piper, Stephenson, and Spence.
1856. Granny's Wonderful Chair, containing Prince
Fairy-foot. Written by Frances Browne, a blind Irish
1863. Water Babies. Charles Kingsley. Sir Noel Patton. The
1865. Stories Told to a Child, including Fairy Tales; Mopsa
the Fairy, 1869. By Jean Ingelow.
1865. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
(Charles Dodgson), with 42 illustrations by John Tenniel,
published by Macmillan Company, Oxford. First edition
recalled. Later editions were published by Richard Clay,
1869. At the Back of the North Wind; The Princess and the
Goblin, 1871. By George MacDonald. Arthur Hughes. Strahan.
Reprinted by Blackie.
1870. The Brownies; 1882, Old-fashioned Fairy Tales. By
1873. A Series of Toy-Books for Children, by Walter Crane
(1845-1914). Published by Routledge and printed in colors by
Edmund Evans. Twenty-seven of these stories in nine volumes
are published by John Lane, Bodley Head. Princess
Fioromonde, 1880, Grimm's Household Stories, 1882, and
The Cuckoo Clock, 1887, all by Mrs. Molesworth, were also
illustrated by Crane.
1878-. Picture-Books, by Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886).
These were sixteen in number. They are published by F.
1875-. Stories from the Eddas; Dame Wiggins of Lee
(Allen); and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. These delightful
books by Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) were published by
Routledge and engraved by Edmund Evans. They are now
published by F. Warne.
This brings the English side of the subject down to
the present time. Present editions of fairy tales are
given in Chapter VI.
In Germany there were also many translations from the French of
Perrault and D'Aulnoy. There were editions in 1764, 1770, etc. Most of
those before the Grimms' Tales were not important. One might
1782. Popular German Stories, by Musäus.
1818. Fables, Stories, and Tales for Children, by Caroline
1819. Bohemian Folk-Tales, by Wolfgang Gerle.
1812-1814. Kinder und Haus-Märchen, by Jacob and William
Grimm. The second edition was published in 3 volumes in
Berlin, by Reiner, in 1822. This latter work formed an era
in popular literature and has been adopted as a model by all
true collectors since.
Concerning the modern German fairy tale, the Germans have paid such
special attention to the selection and grading of children's
literature that their library lists are to be recommended. Wolgast,
the author of Vom Kinderbuch, is an authority on the child's book.
The fairy tale received a high estimate in Germany and no nation has
attained a higher achievement in the art of the fairy tale book. The
partial list simply indicates the slight knowledge of available
material and would suggest an inviting field to librarians. A great
stimulus to children's literature would be given by a knowledge of
what the Germans have already accomplished in this particular. In
Germany a child's book, before it enters the market, must first be
accepted by a committee who test the book according to a standard of
excellence. Any book not coming up to the standard is rejected. A few
of the German editions in use are given:—
Bilderbücher, by Löwensohn.
Bilderbücher, by Scholz.
Liebe Märchen. One form of the above, giving three tales
in one volume.
Märchen, by W. Hauff, published by Lowe. One edition,
illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is published by Dutton. The
Caravan Tales is an edition published by Stokes.
Märchen, by Musaus, published by Von K.A. Müller.
1777-1843. Undine, by La Motte Fouqué. A recent edition,
illustrated by Rackham, is published by Doubleday.
1817-77. Books by Otillie Wildermuth. (What of hers should
be translated and included?)
Hanschen im Blaubeerenwald; Hanschens Skifart Märchen,
both by Elsa Beskow, published by Carl.
Windchen; and Wurzelkindern, both by Sybille von Olfers,
published by Schreiber.
Das Märchen von den Sandmannlein, by Riemann, published by
Der Froschkönig, by Liebermann, published by Scholz.
Weisst du weviel Sternlein stehen, by Lewinski, published
In Sweden there appeared translations of Perrault and D'Aulnoy. The
Blue-Bird was oftenest printed as a chap-book. Folk-tales were
Swedish Tales, a collection. H. Von Schroter.
1844. Folk-Tales. George Stevens and Hylten Cavallius.
Sweden has given us the modern fairy tale, The Wonderful Adventures
of Nils (2 volumes). This delightful tale by Selma Lagerlöf, born
1858, and a winner of the Nobel prize, has established itself as a
child's classic. It has been translated by V.S. Howard, published by
In Norway we have:—
1851. Norske Folkeeventyr, collected by Asbjörnsen and Moe.
1862. Norse Tales. The above tales translated by Sir
George W. Dasent.
In Denmark we have:—
Sagas of Bodvar Biarke.
Danske Folkeeventyr, by M. Winther, Copenhagen, 1823.
1843-60. Danmarks Folkesagn, 3 vols., by J.M. Thiele.
1805-1875. Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen. These
tales are important as marking the beginning of the modern
fairy tale. They are important also as literary fairy tales
and have not been equaled in modern times.
In Slavonia we have:—
Wochentliche Nachrichten, by Busching, published by Schottky.
In Hungary we have:—
1822. Marchen der Magyaren, by George von Gaal.
In Greece and Russia no popular tales were collected before the time
of the Grimms.
In Italy the two great collections of the world of fairy tales have
been mentioned. Italy has also given the modern fairy tale which has
been accepted as a classic: Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (Carlo
Lorenzini). This has been illustrated by Copeland, published by Ginn;
and illustrated by Folkhard, published by Dutton.
In America the publication of fairy tales was at first a reprinting of
English editions. In colonial times, previous to the revolution,
booksellers imported largely from England. After the revolution a new
home-growth in literature gradually developed. At first this was
largely in imitation of literature in England. After the time of
Washington Irving a distinct American adult literature established
itself. The little child's toy-book followed in the wake of the
grown-up's fiction. The following list shows the growth of the
American fairy tale, previous to 1870. Recent editions are given in
1747-1840. Forgotten Books of the American Nursery, A
History of the Development of the American Story-Book.
Halsey, Rosalie V. Boston, C.E. Goodspeed & Co., 1911. 244
1785-1788. Isaiah Thomas, Printer, Writer, and Collector.
Nichols, Charles L. A paper read April 12, 1911, before the
Club of Odd Volumes…. Boston. Printed for the Club of Odd
Volumes, 1912. 144 pp. List of juveniles 1787-88: pp.
1785. Mother Goose. The original Mother Goose's melody, as
first issued by John Newbery, of London, about A.D. 1760.
Reproduced in facsimile from the edition as reprinted by
Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, Mass., A.D. 1785 (about) …
Albany, J. Munsell's Sons, 1889. 28 pp.
1787. Banbury Chap-Books and Nursery Toy-Book Literature
(of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) …
Pearson, Edwin. With very much that is interesting and
valuable appertaining to the early typography of children's
books relating to Great Britain and America…. London, A.
Reader, 1890: 116 pp. Impressions from wood-cut blocks by T.
and J. Bewick, Cruikshank, Craig, Lee, Austin, and others.
1789. The Olden Time Series. Gleanings chiefly from old
newspapers of Boston and Salem, Mass. Brooks, Henry M.,
comp. Boston, Ticknor & Co., 1886. 6 vols. The Books that
Children Read in 1798 … by T.C. Cushing: vol. 6, pp.
1800-1825. Goodrich, S.G. Recollections of a Lifetime.
New York, Miller, Orton, and Mulligan, 1856. 2 vols. Children's
books (1800-1825): vol. 1, pp. 164-74.
1686. The History of Tom Thumb. John Dunton, Boston.
1728. Chap-Books. Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia.
1730. Small Histories. Andrew Bradford, Philadelphia.
These included Tom Thumb, Tom Hickathrift, and Dick
1744. The Child's New Plaything. Draper & Edwards, Boston.
Reprint. Contained alphabet in rhyme, proverbs, fables, and
stories: St. George and the Dragon; Fortunatus; Guy of
Warwick; Brother and Sister; Reynard the Fox; and The
Wolf and the Kids.
1750. John Newbery's books. Advertised in Philadelphia
Gazette. The Pretty Book for Children probably included
Cinderella, Tom Thumb, etc.
1760. All juvenile publications for sale in England.
Imported and sold by Hugh Gaine, New York.
1766. Children's books. Imported and sold by John Mein, a
London bookseller who had a shop in Boston. Included The
Famous Tommy Thumb's Story Book; Leo the Great Giant;
Urax, or the Fair Wanderer; and The Cruel Giant,
1787. All Newbery's publications. Reprinted by Isaiah
Thomas, Worcester, Mass.
1794. Arabian Nights. The Arabian Nights Entertainments
…. The first American edition…. Philadelphia, H. & P.
Rice; Baltimore, J. Rice & Co., 1794. 2 vols.
1804. Blue Beard. A New History of Blue Beard, written by
Gaffer Black Beard, for the Amusement of Little Jack Black
and his Pretty Sisters. Philadelphia, J. Adams, 1804. 31
1819. Rip Van Winkle. A legend included in the works of
Washington Irving, published in London, 1819.
1823. A Visit from St. Nicholas. Clement Clark Moore, in
Troy Sentinel, Dec. 23, 1823. Written the year before for
his own family. The first really good American juvenile
story, though in verse.
1825. Babes in the Wood. The history of the children of
the wood…. To which is added an interesting account of the
Captive Boy. New York, N.B. Holmes. 36 pp. Plates.
1833. Mother Goose. The only true Mother Goose Melodies;
an exact reproduction of the text and illustrations of the
original edition, published and copyrighted in Boston in
1833 by Munroe & Francis…. Boston, Lee & Shepard, 1905.
1836. The Fairy Book. With eighty-one engravings on wood,
by Joseph A. Adams. New York, Harper & Bros. 1836. 301 pp.
Introduction by "John Smith." Edited by C.G. Verplanck,
1844. Fairy Land, and Other Sketches for Youths, by the
author of Peter Parley's Tales (Samuel G. Goodrich).
Boston, J. Munroe & Co. 167 pp. Plates, Cromo. Lith. of
Bouvé & Sharp, Boston.
1848. Rainbows for Children, by L. Maria Child, ed. New
York, C.S. Francis & Co. 170 pp. 28 original sketches … by
S. Wallin…. B.F. Childs, wood engraver: p. 8. Advertising
pages: New books published by C.S. Francis & Co., N.Y….
The Fairy Gift and the Fairy Gem. Four volumes of choice
fairy tales. Each illustrated with 200 fine engravings by
French artists: p. 2.
1851. Wonder Book, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Illustrated by
W. Crane, 60 designs, published by Houghton, 1910.
1852. Legends of the Flowers, by Susan Pindar. New York,
D. Appleton & Co., 178 pp.
1853. Fairy Tales and Legends of Many Nations, by Charles
B. Burkhardt. New York, Chas. Scribner. 277 pp. Illustrated
by W. Walcutt and J.H. Cafferty.
1854. The Little Glass Shoe, and Other Stories for
Children. Philadelphia, Charles H. Davis. 128 pp.
Advertising pages: A description of illustrated juvenile
books, published by Charles H. Davis: 16 pp. A Book of
Fairy Stories: p. 9.
1854. The History of Whittington and His Cat. Miss Corner
and Alfred Crowquill. Dick Whittington is said to have
been the best seller among juvenile publications for five
1855. Flower Fables, by Louisa May Alcott. Boston, G.W.
Briggs & Co. 182 pp.
1855. The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Published now by Houghton, illustrated by Frederick
1864. Seaside and Fireside Fairies, by George Blum.
Translated from the German of Georg Blum and Louis Wahl. By
A.L. Wister. Philadelphia, Ashmead & Evans, 292 pp.
1867. Grimm's Goblins, selected from the Household
Stories of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob L.K. Grimm. Boston,
Ticknor & Fields. 111 pp.
1867. Fairy Book. Fairy Tales of All Nations, by Edouard
Laboulaye. Translated by Mary Booth. New York, Harper &
Bros., 363 pp. Engravings.
1867. The Wonderful Stories of Fuz-buz the Fly and Mother
Grabem the Spider. By S. Weir Mitchell. Philadelphia, J.B.
Lippincott & Co. 79 pp.
1868. Folks and Fairies. Stories for little children. Lucy
Comfort. New York, Harpers, 259 pp. Engravings. Advertising
pages: Six fairy tales published by Harper & Bros.
1870. Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper. Boston,
Fields, Osgood & Co. 1871. 8 pp. Colored plates by Alfred
1873. Mother Goose. Illustrations of Mother Goose's
Melodies. By Alexander Anderson. New York. Privately printed
by C.L. Moreau (Analectic Press), 1873, 36 1. 10 numb. 1.
(Designed and engraved on wood.)
1870. Beauty and the Beast, by Albert Smith. New York,
Manhattan Pub. Co., 1870. 64 pp. With illustrations by
This brings the American child's fairy tale up to recent publications
of the present day which are given in the chapter, "Sources of
Material." An attempt has been made here to give a glimpse of folk and
fairy tales up to the time of the Grimms, and a view of modern
publications in France, Germany, England, and America. The Grimms
started a revolution in folk-lore and in their lifetime took part in
the collection of many tales of tradition and influenced many others
in the same line of work. An enumeration of what was accomplished in
their lifetime appears in the notes of Grimm's Household Tales,
edited by Margaret Hunt, published by Bonn's Libraries, vol. II, pp.
In modern times the Folk-Lore Society of England and America has been
established. Now almost every nation has its folk-lore society and
folk-tales are being collected all over the world. Altogether probably
Russia has collected fifteen hundred such tales, Germany twelve
hundred, Italy and France each one thousand, and India seven hundred.
The work of the Grimms, ended in 1859, was continued by Emanuel
Cosquin, who, in his Popular Tales of Lorraine, has made the most
important recent contribution to folklore,—important for the European
tale and important as showing the relation of the European tale to
that of India.
The principal recent collections of folk-lore are:—
Legends and Fairy Tales of Ireland. Croker. 1825.
Welsh and Manx Tales. Sir John Rhys. 1840-.
Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers. 1847.
Tales of the West Highlands. Campbell. 1860.
Popular Tales from the Norse. Dasent. 1862.
Zulu Nursery Tales. Callaway. 1866.
Old Deccan Days. Frere. 1868.
Fireside Tales of Ireland. Kennedy. 1870.
Indian Fairy Tales. Miss Stokes. 1880.
Buddhist Birth Stories. Rhys Davids. 1880.
Kaffir Folk-Lore. Theal. 1882.
Folk-Tales of Bengal. Day. 1883.
Wide Awake Stories. Steel and Temple. 1884.
Italian Popular Tales. Crane. 1885.
Popular Tales of Lorraine. Cosquin. 1886.
Popular Tales and Fictions. Clouston. 1887.
Folk-Tales of Kashmir. Knowles. 1887.
Tales of Ancient Egypt. Maspero. 1889.
Tales of the Sun. Mrs. Kingscote. 1890.
Tales of the Punjab. Steel. 1894.
Jataka Tales. Cowell. 1895.
Russian Folk-Tales. Bain. 1895.
Cossack Fairy Tales. Bain. 1899.
New World Fairy Book. Kennedy. 1906.
Fairy Tales, English, Celtic, and Indian. Joseph Jacobs.
This brings the subject down to the present time. The present-day
contributions to folk-lore are found best in the records of the
Folk-lore Society, published since its founding in London, in 1878;
and daily additions, in the folk-lore journals of the various
Adams, Oscar Fay: The Dear Old Story-Tellers. Lothrop.
Ashton, John: Chap-Books of the 18th Century. Chatto &
Windus. London, 1882.
Bunce, John T.: Fairy Tales, Origin and Meaning. Macmillan,
Chamberlain, A.F.: The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought.
Clouston, W.A.: Popular Tales and Fictions. Edinburgh,
Cyclopædia: "Mythology." Encyclopædia Britannica.
Cox, Miss Roalfe: Cinderella. Introduction by Lang. Nutt, 1892.
Dasent, George W.: Popular Tales from the Norse. Introduction.
Fiske, John: Myth and Myth-Makers. Houghton.
Field, Mrs. E.M.: The Child and His Book. Gardner, Darton & Co.
Frazer, J.G.: The Golden Bough. (Spring ceremonies and
primitive view of the soul.) Macmillan.
Frere, Miss: Old Deccan Days. Introduction. McDonough.
Godfrey, Elizabeth: English Children in the Olden Time. Dutton,
Grimm, William and Jacob: Household Tales. Edited with
valuable notes, by Margaret Hunt. Introduction by Lang. Bell &
Sons, Bohn's Libraries.
Guerber, Hélène A.: Legends of the Middle Ages. (Reynard the
Fox) American Book Co.
Halliwell, J.O.: Nursery Rhymes of England.
Ibid.: Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales. Smith, 1849.
Halsey, Rosalie: Forgotten Books of the American Nursery.
Goodspeed, Boston, 1911.
Hartland, E.S.: Science of Fairy Tales. Preface. Scribner,
Ibid.: English Folk and Fairy Tales. Camelot series, Scott,
Hartland, Sidney: Legend of Perseus (origin of a tale).
Hewins, Caroline M.: The History of Children's Books.
Atlantic, 61: 112 (Jan., 1888).
Jacobs, Joseph: Reynard the Fox. Cranford Series. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Introduction, Notes and Appendix. Putnam.
Keightley, Thomas: Fairy Mythology. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Tales and Popular Fictions. Whittaker & Co., London,
Lang, Andrew: Custom and Myth. Longmans, London, 1893.
Mabie, Hamilton: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know.
MacDonald, George: The Light Princess. Introduction. Putnam.
Magazine: "Myths and Fairy Tales." Fortnightly Review, May,
Mitchell, Donald G.: About Old Story-Tellers. Scribners. 1877.
Moses, Montrose: Children's Books and Reading. Kennerley.
Mulock, Miss: Fairy Book. Preface. Crowell.
Pearson, Edwin. Banbury Chap-Books and Nursery Toy-Book
Literature (18th and early 19th centuries). London. A.
Perrault, Charles: Popular Tales. Edited by A. Lang.
Introduction. Oxford, 1888.
Ritson, J.: Fairy Tales. Pearson, London, 1831.
Scott, Sir Walter: Minstrelsy of Scottish Border. Preface to
Tamlane, "Dissertation on Fairies," p. 108.
Skinner, H.M.: Readings in Folk-Lore. American Book Co.
Steel, Flora A.: Tales of the Punjab. Introduction and
Tabart, Benj.: Fairy Tales, or the Lilliputian Cabinet. London,
1818. Review: The Quarterly Review, 1819, No. 41, pp. 91-112.
Tappan, Eva M.: The Children's Hour. Introduction to
"Folk-Stories and Fables." Houghton.
Taylor, Edgar: German Popular Stories. Introduction by Ruskin.
Chatto & Windus.
Tylor, E.B.: Primitive Culture. Holt, 1889.
Warner: Fairy Tales. Library of the World's Best Literature,
Welsh, Charles: Fairy Tales Children Love. Introduction. Dodge.
Ibid.: "The Early History of Children's Books in New
England." New England Magazine, n.s. 20: 147-60 (April,
Ibid.: A Chap-Book. Facsimile Edition. 1915. World Book Co.
Ibid.: Mother Goose. Facsimile Edition. 1915. World Book Co.
White, Gleeson: "Children's Books and Their Illustrators."
International Studio, Special Winter Number, 1897-98.
CLASSES OF FAIRY TALES
But the fact that after having been repeated for two
thousand years, a story still possesses a perfectly fresh
attraction for a child of to-day, does indeed prove that
there is in it something of imperishable worth.—Felix
Whatever has, at any time, appealed to the best emotions and
moved the heart of a people, must have for their children's
children, political, historical, and cultural value. This is
especially true of folk-tales and folk-songs.—P.P. Claxton,
United States Commissioner of Education.
I. AVAILABLE TYPES OF TALES
From all this wealth of accumulated folk-material which has come down
to us through the ages, we must select, for we cannot crowd the child
with all the folk-stuff that folk-lore scientists are striving to
preserve for scientific purposes. Moreover, naturally much of it
contains the crudities, the coarseness, and the cruelties of primitive
civilization; and it is not necessary that the child be burdened with
this natural history of a past society. We must select from the past.
In this selection of what shall be presented to the child we must be
guided by two standards: First, we owe it to the child to hand on to
him his literary heritage; and secondly, we must help him to make of
himself the ideal man of the future. Therefore the tales we offer must
contribute to these two standards. The tales selected will be those
which the ages have found interesting; for the fact that they have
lived proves their fitness, they have lived because there was
something in them that appealed to the universal heart. And because of
this fact they will be those which in the frequent re-tellings of ages
have acquired a classic form and therefore have within themselves the
possibility of taking upon them a perfect literary form. The tales
selected will be those tales which, as we have pointed out, contain
the interests of children; for only through his interests does the
child rise to higher interests and finally develop to the ideal man.
They will be those tales which stand also the test of a classic, the
test of literature, the test of the short-story, and the test of
narration and of description. The child would be handicapped in life
to be ignorant of these tales.
Tales suitable for the little child may be viewed under these seven
classes of available types: (1) the accumulative, or clock story; (2)
the animal tale; (3) the humorous tale; (4) the realistic tale; (5)
the romantic tale; (6) the old tale; and (7) the modern tale.
I. The Accumulative Tale.
The accumulative tale is the simplest form of the tale. It may be:—
(1) A tale of simple repetition.
(2) A tale of repetition with an addition, incremental iteration.
(3) A tale of repetition, with variation.
Repetition and rhythm have grown out of communal conditions. The old
stories are measured utterances. At first there was the spontaneous
expression of a little community, with its gesture, action, sound, and
dance, and the word, the shout, to help out. There was the group which
repeated, which acted as a chorus, and the leader who added his
individual variation. From these developed the folk-tale with the
dialogue in place of the chorus.
Of the accumulative tales, The House that Jack Built illustrates the
first class of tales of simple repetition. This tale takes on a new
interest as a remarkable study of phonics. If any one were so happy as
to discover the phonic law which governs the euphony produced by the
succession of vowels in the lines of Milton's poetry, he would enjoy
the same law worked out in The House that Jack Built. The original,
as given by Halliwell in his Nursery Rhymes of England, is said to
be a Hebrew hymn, at first written in Chaldaic. To the Hebrews of the
Middle Ages it was called the Haggadah, and was sung to a rude chant
as part of the Passover service. It first appeared in print in 1590,
at Prague. Later, in Leipzig, it was published by the German scholar,
Liebrecht. It begins:—
A kid, a kid, my father bought
For two pieces of money:
A kid, a kid,
Then came the cat and ate the kid, etc.
Then follow the various repetitive stanzas, the last one turning back
and reacting on all the others:—
Then came the Holy One, blessed be He,
And killed the angel of death,
That killed the butcher,
That slew the ox,
That drank the water,
That quenched the fire,
That burned the staff,
That beat the dog,
That bit the cat,
That ate the kid,
That my father bought
For two pieces of money:
A kid, a kid.
The remarkable similarity to The Old Woman, and Her Pig at once
proclaims the origin of that tale also. The interpretation of this
tale is as follows: The kid is the Hebrews; the father by whom it was
purchased, is Jehovah; the two pieces of money are Aaron and Moses;
the cat is the Assyrians; the dog is the Babylonians; the staff is the
Persians; the fire is the Greek Empire and Alexander; the water is the
Romans; the ox is the Saracens; the butcher is the Crusaders; and the
angel of death is the Turkish Power. The message of this tale is that
God will take vengeance over the Turks and the Hebrews will be
restored to their own land.
Another tale of simple repetition, whose fairy element is the magic
key, is The Key of the Kingdom, also found in Halliwell's Nursery
Rhymes of England:—
This is the key of the kingdom.
In that kingdom there is a city,
In that city there is a town,
In that town there is a street,
In that street there is a lane,
In that lane there is a yard,
In that yard there is a house,
In that house there is a room,
In that room there is a bed,
On that bed there is a basket,
In that basket there are some flowers.
Flowers in the basket, basket on the bed,
bed in the room, etc.
The Old Woman and Her Pig illustrates the second class of
accumulative tale, where there is an addition, and like Titty Mouse
and Tatty Mouse, where the end turns back on the beginning and
changes all that precedes. Here there is a more marked plot. This same
tale occurs in Shropshire Folk-Lore, in the Scotch Wife and Her Bush
of Berries, in Club-Fist, an American folk-game described by
Newell, in Cossack fairy tales, and in the Danish, Spanish, and
Italian. In the Scandinavian, it is Nanny, Who Wouldn't Go Home to
Supper, and in the Punjab, The Grain of Corn, also given in Tales
of Laughter. I have never seen a child who did not like it or who was
not pleased with himself for accomplishing its telling. It lends
itself most happily to illustration. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse
pleases because of the liveliness of its images, and because of the
catastrophe at the end, which affects the child just as the tumble of
his huge pile of blocks—the crash and general upheaval delight him.
This tale has so many variants that it illustrates well the diffusion
of fairy tales. It is Grimm's The Spider and the Flea, which as we
have seen, is appealing in its simplicity; the Norse The Cock Who
Fell into the Brewing Vat; and the Indian The Death and Burial of
Poor Hen. The curious succession of incidents may have been invented
once for all at some definite time, and from thence spread to all the
Johnny Cake and The Gingerbread Man also represent the second
class of accumulative tale, but show a more definite plot; there is
more story-stuff and a more decided introduction and conclusion. How
Jack Went to Seek His Fortune also shows more plot. It contains a
theme similar to that of The Bremen Town Musicians, which is
distinctly a beast tale where the element of repetition remains to
sustain the interest and to preserve unity, but where a full-fledged
short-story which is structurally complete, has developed. A fine
accumulative tale belonging to this second class is the Cossack Straw
Ox, which has been described under "The Short-Story." Here we have a
single line of sequence which gets wound up to a climax and then
unwinds itself to the conclusion, giving the child, in the plot,
something of that pleasure which he feels in winding up his toy
animals to watch them perform in the unwinding.
The Three Bears illustrates the third class of repetitive story,
where there is repetition and variation. Here the iteration and
parallelism have interest like the refrain of a song, and the
technique of the story is like that of The Merchant of Venice. This
is the ideal fairy story for the little child. It is unique in that it
is the only instance in which a tale written by an author has become a
folk-tale. It was written by Southey, and appeared in The Doctor, in
London, in 1837. Southey may have used as his source, Scrapefoot,
which Joseph Jacobs has discovered for us, or he may have used Snow
White, which contains the episode of the chairs. Southey has given to
the world a nursery classic which should be retained in its purity of
form. The manner of the Folk, in substituting for the little old woman
of Southey's tale, Goldilocks, and the difference that it effects in
the tale, proves the greater interest children naturally feel in the
tale with a child. Similarly, in telling The Story of Midas to an
audience of eager little people, one naturally takes the fine old myth
from Ovid as Bulfinch gives it, and puts into it the Marigold of
Hawthorne's creation. And after knowing Marigold, no child likes the
story without her. Silver hair is another substitute for the little
Old Woman in The Three Bears. The very little child's reception to
Three Bears will depend largely on the previous experience with
bears and on the attitude of the person telling the story. A little
girl who was listening to The Three Bears for the first time, as she
heard how the Three Bears stood looking out of their upstairs window
after Goldilocks running across the wood, said, "Why didn't Goldilocks
lie down beside the Baby Bear?" To her the Bear was associated with
the friendly Teddy Bear she took with her to bed at night, and the
story had absolutely no thrill of fear because it had been told with
an emphasis on the comical rather than on the fearful. Similar in
structure to The Three Bears is the Norse Three Billy-Goats, which
belongs to the same class of delightful repetitive tales and in which
the sequence of the tale is in the same three distinct steps.
II. The Animal Tale
The animal tale includes many of the most pleasing children's tales.
Indeed some authorities would go so far as to trace all fairy tales
back to some ancestor of an animal tale; and in many cases this
certainly can be done just as we trace Three Bears back to
Scrapefoot. The animal tale is either an old beast tale, such as
Scrapefoot or Old Sultan; or a fairy tale which is an elaborated
development of a fable, such as The Country Mouse and the City Mouse
or the tales of Reynard the Fox or Grimm's The King of the Birds,
and The Sparrow and His Four Children; or it is a purely imaginary
creation, such as Kipling's The Elephant's Child or Andersen's The
The beast tale is a very old form which was a story of some successful
primitive hunt or of some primitive man's experience with animals in
which he looked up to the beast as a brother superior to himself in
strength, courage, endurance, swiftness, keen scent, vision, or
cunning. Later, in more civilized society, when men became interested
in problems of conduct, animals were introduced to point the moral of
the tale, and we have the fable. The fable resulted when a truth was
stated in concrete story form. When this truth was in gnomic form,
stated in general terms, it became compressed into the proverb. The
fable was brief, intense, and concerned with the distinguishing
characteristics of the animal characters, who were endowed with human
traits. Such were the Fables of Æsop. Then followed the beast epic,
such as Reynard the Fox, in which the personality of the animals
became less prominent and the animal characters became types of
humanity. Later, the beast tale took the form of narratives of
hunters, where the interest centered in the excitement of the hunt and
in the victory of the hunter. With the thirst for universal knowledge
in the days following Bacon there gradually grew a desire to learn
also about animals. Then followed animal anecdotes, the result of
observation and imagination, often regarding the mental processes of
animals. With the growth of the scientific spirit the interest in
natural history developed. The modern animal story since 1850 has a
basis of natural science, but it also seeks to search the motive back
of the action, it is a psychological romance. The early modern animal
tales such as Black Beauty show sympathy with animals, but their
psychology is human. In Seton Thompson's Krag, which is a
masterpiece, the interest centers about the personality and the
mentality of the animal and his purely physical characteristics.
Perhaps it is true that these physical characteristics are somewhat
imaginary and over-drawn and that overmuch freedom has been used in
interpreting these physical signs. In Kipling's tales we have a later
evolution of the animal tale. His animals possess personality in
emotion and thought. In the forest-friends of Mowgli we have humanized
animals possessing human power of thinking and of expressing. In real
life animal motives seem simple, one dominant motive crowds out all
others. But Kipling's animals show very complex motives, they reason
and judge more than our knowledge of animal life justifies. In the
Just-So Stories Kipling has given us the animal pourquois tale
with a basis of scientific truth. Of these delightful fairy tales,
The Elephant's Child and How the Camel Got His Hump may be used in
the kindergarten. Perhaps the latest evolution of the animal tale is
by Charles G.D. Roberts. The animal characters in his Kindred of the
Wild are given animal characteristics. They have become interesting
as exhibiting these traits and not as typifying human motives; they
show an animal psychology. The tales have a scientific basis, and the
interest is centered in this and not in an exaggeration of it.
Having viewed the animal tale as a growth let us look now at a few
One of the most pleasing animal tales is Henny Penny, or Chicken
Lichen, as it is sometimes called, told by Jacobs in English Fairy
Tales. Here the enterprising little hen, new to the ways of the
world, ventures to take a walk. Because a grain of corn falls on her
top-knot, she believes the sky is falling, her walk takes direction,
and thereafter she proceeds to tell the king. She takes with her all
she meets, who, like her, are credulous,—Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddies,
Goosey Poosey, and Turky Lurky,—until they meet Foxy Woxy, who leads
them into his cave, never to come out again. This is similar to the
delightful Jataka tale of The Foolish Timid Rabbit, which before has
been outlined for telling, which has been re-told by Ellen C. Babbit.
In this tale a Rabbit, asleep under a palm tree, heard a noise, and
thought "the earth was all breaking up." So he ran until he met
another Rabbit, and then a hundred other Rabbits, a Deer, a Fox, an
Elephant, and at last a Lion. All the animals except the Lion accepted
the Rabbit's news and followed. But the Lion made a stand and asked
for facts. He ran to the hill in front of the animals and roared three
times. He traced the tale back to the first Rabbit, and taking him on
his back, ran with him to the foot of the hill where the palm tree
grew. There, under the tree, lay a cocoanut. The Lion explained the
sound the Rabbit had heard, then ran back and told the other animals,
and they all stopped running. Brother Rabbit Takes Some Exercise, a
tale from Nights with Uncle Remus is very similar to Henny Penny
and could be used at the same time. It is also similar to Grimm's
Wolf and Seven Kids, the English Story of Three Pigs, the Irish
The End of the World, and an Italian popular tale.
The Sheep and the Pig, adapted from the Scandinavian by Miss Bailey
in For the Children's Hour, given also in Dasent's Tales from the
Field, is a delightfully vivacious and humorous tale which reminds
one of Henny Penny. A Sheep and Pig started out to find a home, to
live together. They traveled until they met a Rabbit and then followed
R. "Where are you going?"
S. and P. "We are going to build us a house."
R. "May I live with you?"
S. and P. "What can you do to help?"
The Rabbit scratched his leg with his left hind foot for a minute and
said, "I can gnaw pegs with my sharp teeth and I can put them in with
my paws." "Good," said the Sheep and the Pig, "you may come with us!"
Then they met a gray Goose who could pull moss and stuff it in cracks,
and a Cock who could crow early and waken all. So they all found a
house and lived in it happily.
The Spanish Media Pollito, or Little Half-Chick, is another
accumulative animal tale similar to Henny Penny, and one which is
worthy of university study. The disobedient but energetic hero who
went off to Madrid is very appealing and constantly amusing, and the
tale possesses unusual beauty. The interest centers in the character.
The beauty lies in the setting of the adventures, as Medio Pollito
came to a stream, to a large chestnut tree, to the wind, to the
soldiers outside the city gates, to the King's Palace at Madrid, and
to the King's cook, until in the end he reached the high point of
immortalization as the weather-vane of a church steeple.
The Story of Three Pigs could contend with The Three Bears for the
position of ideal story for little people. It suits them even better
than The Three Bears, perhaps because they can identify themselves
more easily with the hero, who is a most winning, clever individual,
though a Pig. The children know nothing of the standards of the Greek
drama, but they recognize a good thing; and when the actors in their
story are great in interest and in liveliness, they respond with a
corresponding appreciation. The dramatic element in The Three Pigs
is strong and all children love to dramatize it. The story is the
Italian Three Goslings, the Negro Tiny Pig, the Indian Lambikin,
and the German The Wolf and Seven Kids. This tale is given by Andrew
Lang in his Green Fairy Book. The most satisfactory presentation of
the story is given by Leslie Brooke in his Golden Goose Book. The
German version occurred in an old poem, Reinhart Fuchs, in which the
Kid sees the Wolf through a chink. Originally the characters must have
been Kids, for little pigs do not have hair on their "chinny chin
One of the earliest modern animal tales is The Good-Natured Bear,
by Richard Hengist Horne, the English critic. This tale was written in
1846, just when men were beginning to gain a greater knowledge of
animal life. It is both psychological and imaginative. It was brought
to the attention of the English public in a criticism, On Some
Illustrated Christmas Books, by Thackeray, who considered it one
of the "wittiest, pleasantest, and kindest of books, and an admirable
story." It is now out of print, but it seems to be worthy of being
preserved and reprinted. The story is the autobiography of a Bear, who
first tells about his interesting experiences as a Baby Bear. He first
gives to Gretchen and the children gathered about him an account of
his experience when his Mother first taught him to walk alone.
III. The Humorous Tale
The humorous tale is one of the most pleasing to the little child. It
pleases everybody, but it suits him especially because the essence of
humor is a mixture of love and surprise, and both appeal to the child
completely. Humor brings joy into the world, so does the little child,
their very existence is a harmony. Humor sees contrasts, shows good
sense, and feels compassion. It stimulates curiosity. Its laughter is
impersonal and has a social and spiritual effect. It acts like fresh
air, it clarifies the atmosphere of the mind and it enables one to see
things in a sharply defined light. It reveals character; it breaks up
a situation, reconstructs it, and so views life, interprets it. It
plays with life, it frees the spirit, and it invigorates the soul.
Speaking of humor, Thackeray, in "A Grumble About Christmas Books,"
1847, considered that the motto for humor should be the same as the
talisman worn by the Prioress in Chaucer:—
About hire arm a broche of gold ful shene,
On which was first ywritten a crowned A,
And after, Amor vincit omnia.
He continued: "The works of the real humorist always have this sacred
press-mark, I think. Try Shakespeare, first of all, Cervantes,
Addison, poor Dick Steele, and dear Harry Fielding, the tender and
delightful Jean Paul, Sterne, and Scott,—and Love is the humorist's
best characteristic and gives that charming ring to their laughter in
which all the good-natured world joins in chorus."
The humorous element for children appears in the repetition of phrases
such as we find in Three Bears, Three Pigs, and Three
Billy-Goats; in the contrast in the change of voice so noticeable
also in these three tales; in the contrast of ideas so conspicuous in
Kipling's Elephant's Child; and in the element of surprise so
evident when Johnny Cake is eaten by the Fox, or when Little Hen eats
the bread, or when Little Pig outwits the Wolf. The humorous element
for children also lies in the incongruous, the exaggerated, or in the
grotesque, so well displayed in Lear's Nonsense Rhymes, and much of
the charm of Alice in Wonderland. The humorous element must change
accordingly for older children, who become surprised less easily, and
whose tales therefore, in order to surprise, must have more clever
ideas and more subtle fancy.
The Musicians of Bremen is a good type of humorous tale. It shows
all the elements of true humor. Its philosophy is healthy; it views
life as a whole and escapes tragedy by seeing the comic situation in
the midst of trouble. It is full of the social good-comradeship which
is a condition of humor. It possesses a suspense that is unusual, and
is a series of surprises with one grand surprise to the robbers at
their feast as its climax. The Donkey is a noble hero who breathes a
spirit of courage like that of the fine Homeric heroes. His
achievement of a home is a mastery that pleases children. And the
message of the tale, which after all, is its chief worth—that there
ought to be room in the world for the aged and the worn out, and that
"The guilty flee when no man pursueth"—appeals to their compassion
and their good sense. The variety of noises furnished by the different
characters is a pleasing repetition with variation that is a special
element of humor; and the grand chorus of music leaves no doubt as to
the climax. We must view life with these four who are up against the
facts of life, and whose lot presents a variety of contrast. The
Donkey, incapacitated because of old age, had the courage to set out
on a quest. He met the Dog who could hunt no longer, stopping in the
middle of the road, panting for breath; the Cat who had only stumps
for teeth, sitting in the middle of the road, wearing an unhappy heart
behind a face dismal as three rainy Sundays; and the Rooster who just
overheard the cook say he was to be made into soup next Sunday,
sitting on the top of the gate crowing his last as loud as he could
crow. The Donkey, to these musicians he collected, spoke as a leader
and as a true humorist.
In a simple tale like The Bremen Town Musicians it is surprising how
much of interest can develop: the adventure in the wood; the motif of
some one going to a tree-top and seeing from there a light afar off,
which appears in Hop-o'-my-Thumb and in many other tales; the
example of coöperation, where all had a unity of purpose; an example
of a good complete short-story form which illustrates introduction,
setting, characters and dialogue—all these proclaim this one of the
fine old stories. In its most dramatic form, and to Jacobs its most
impressive one, it appears in the Celtic tales as Jack and His
Comrades. It may have been derived from Old Sultan, a Grimm tale
which is somewhat similar to The Wolf and the Hungry Dog, in
Steinhowel, 1487. How Jack Sought His Fortune is an English tale of
coöperation which is similar but not nearly so pleasing. A Danish tale
of cooperation, Pleiades, is found in Lansing's Fairy Tales. How
Six Traveled Through the World is a Grimm tale which, though suited
to older children, contains the same general theme.
Very many of the tales suited to kindergarten children which have been
mentioned in various chapters, contain a large element of humor. The
nonsense drolls are a type distinct from the humorous tale proper, yet
distinctly humorous. Such are the realistic Lazy Jack, Henny
Penny, and Billy Bobtail. Then since repetition is an element of
humor, many accumulative tales rank as humorous: such as Lambikin,
The Old Woman and Her Pig, Medio Pollito, The Straw Ox, Johnny
Cake, and Three Billy-Goats. Among the humorous tales proper are
Andersen's Snow Man; The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership; The
Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings; The Elephant's Child; and very many of
the Uncle Remus Tales, such as Why the Hawk Catches Chickens,
Brother Rabbit and Brother Tiger, and Heyo, House! all in Uncle
Remus and the Little Boy. The Story of Little Black Mingo in Tales
of Laughter, is a very attractive humorous tale, but it is more
suited to the child of the second grade.
Drakesbill is a French humorous accumulative tale with a plot
constructed similarly to that of the Cossack Straw Ox. Drakesbill,
who was so tiny they called him Bill Drake, was a great worker and
soon saved a hundred dollars in gold which he lent to the King. But as
the King never offered to pay, one morning Drakesbill set out, singing
as he went, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?" To
all the objects he met and to their questions he replied, "I am going
to the King to ask him to pay me what he owes me." When they begged,
"Take me with you!" he was willing, but he said, "You must make
yourself small, get into my mouth, and creep under my tongue!" He
arrived at the palace with his companions concealed in his mouth: a
Fox, a Ladder, Laughing River, and Wasp-Nest. On asking to see the
King, he was not escorted with dignity but sent to the poultry-yard,
to the turkeys and chickens who fought him. Then he surprised them by
calling forth the Fox who killed the fowls. When he was thrown into a
well, he called out the Ladder to help him. When about to be thrown
into the fire, he called out the River who overwhelmed the rest and
left him serenely swimming. When surrounded by the King's men and
their swords he called out the Wasp-Nest who drove away all but
Drakesbill, leaving him free to look for his money. But he found none
as the King had spent all. So he seated himself upon the throne and
became King. The element of humor here, as has been mentioned
previously, is that Drakesbill, after every rebuff of fortune
maintained his happy, fresh vivacity, and triumphantly repeated his
one cry, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?" There
is humor, too, in the repetition of dialogue, as on his way to the
King he met the various characters and talked to them. Humor lies also
in the real lively surprises which Drakesbill so effectively gave
during his visit to the King. One can see how this tale might have
been a satire reflecting upon a spendthrift King.
IV. The Realistic Tale
The realistic fairy tale has a great sympathy with humble life and
desires to reproduce faithfully all life worth while. The spirit of it
has been expressed by Kipling—
each in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They
Sometimes the realistic story has a scientific spirit and interest. A
realistic tale that is good will present not only what is true but
what is possible, probable, or inevitable, making its truth
impressive. Very often it does not reach this ideal. A transcript of
actual life may be selected, but that is a photograph and not a
picture with a strong purpose to make one point, and with artistic
design. The characters, though true to life, may be lifeless and
colorless, and their doings and what happens to them uninteresting.
For this reason, many modern writers of tales for children, respecting
the worth of the realistic, neglect to comply with what the realistic
demands, and produce insipid, unconvincing tales. The realistic tale
should deal with the simple and the ordinary rather than with the
exceptional; and the test is not how much, but how little, credulity
Grimm's Hans in Luck is a perfect realistic tale, as are Grimm's
Clever Elsa and the Norse Three Sillies, although these tales are
suited to slightly older children. The drolls often appear among the
realistic tales, as if genuine humor were more fresh when related to
the things of actual life. The English Lazy Jack is a delightful
realistic droll which contains motifs that appear frequently among the
tales. The Touchstone motif of a humble individual causing nobility to
laugh appears in Grimm's Dummling and His Golden Goose. It appears
also in Zerbino the Savage, a most elaborated Neapolitan tale retold
by Laboulaye in his Last Fairy Tales; a tale full of humor, wit, and
satire that would delight the cultured man of the world.
In Lazy Jack the setting is in humble life. A poor mother lived on
the common with her indolent son and managed to earn a livelihood by
spinning. One day the mother lost patience and threatened to send from
home this idle son if he did not get work. So he set out. Each day he
returned to his mother with his day's earnings. The humor lies in what
he brought, in how he brought it, and in what happened to it; in the
admonition of his mother, "You should have done so and so," and Jack's
one reply, "I'll do so another time"; in Jack's literal use of his
mother's admonition, and the catastrophe it brought him on the
following day, and on each successive day, as he brought home a piece
of money, a jar of milk, a cream cheese, a tom-cat, a shoulder of
mutton, and at last a donkey. The humor lies in the contrast between
what Jack did and what anybody "with sense" knows he ought to have
done, until when royalty beheld him carrying the donkey on his
shoulders, with legs sticking up in the air, it could bear no more,
and burst into laughter. This is a good realistic droll to use because
it impresses the truth, that even a little child must reason and judge
and use his own common sense.
The Story of the Little Red Hen is a realistic tale which presents a
simple picture of humble thrift. Andersen's Tin Soldier is a
realistic tale which gives an adventure that might happen to a real
tin soldier. The Old Woman and her Pig, whose history has been given
under The Accumulative Tale, is realistic. Its theme is the simple
experience of an aged peasant who swept her house, who had the unusual
much-coveted pleasure of finding a dime, who went to market and bought
a Pig for so small a sum. But on the way home, as the Pig became
contrary when reaching a stile, and refused to go, the Old Woman had
to seek aid. So she asked the Dog, the Stick, the Fire, etc. She asked
aid first from the nearest at hand; and each object asked, in its turn
sought help from the next higher power. One great source of pleasure
in this tale is that each object whose aid is sought is asked to do
the thing its nature would compel it to do—the Dog to bite, the Stick
to beat, etc.; and each successive object chosen is the one which, by
the law of its nature, is a master to the preceding one. The Dog, by
virtue of ability to bite, has power over the Pig; the Stick has
ability to master the Dog; and Water in its power to quench is master
over Fire. Because of this intimate connection of cause and effect,
this tale contributes in an unusual degree to the development of the
child's reason and memory. He may remember the sequence of the plot or
remake the tale if he forgets, by reasoning out the association
between the successive objects from whom aid was asked. It is through
this association that the memory is exercised.
How Two Beetles Took Lodgings, in Tales of Laughter, is a
realistic story which has a scientific spirit and interest. Its basis
of truth belongs to the realm of nature study. Its narration of how
two Beetles set up housekeeping by visiting an ant-hill and helping
themselves to the home and furnishings of the Ants, would be very well
suited either to precede or to follow the actual study of an ant-hill
by the children. The story gives a good glimpse of the home of the
Ants, of their manner of living, and of the characteristics of the
Ants and Beetles. It is not science mollified, but a good story full
of life and humor, with a basis of scientific truth.
Many tales not realistic contain a large realistic element. The fine
old romantic tales, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and
Bremen Town Musicians, have a large realistic element. In The
Little Elves we have the realistic picture of a simple German home.
In Beauty and the Beast we have a realistic glimpse of the three
various ways the wealthy merchant's daughters accommodated themselves
to their father's loss of fortune, which reminds us of a parallel
theme in Shakespeare's King Lear. In Red Riding Hood we have the
realistic starting out of a little girl to visit her grandmother. This
realistic element appeals to the child because, as we have noted, it
accords with his experience, and it therefore seems less strange.
In Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse the setting is realistic but becomes
transformed into the romantic when natural doings of everyday life
take on meaning from the unusual happening in the tale. It is
realistic for Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse to live in a little house,
to get some corn, to make a pudding, and to put it on to boil. But
when the pot tumbled over and scalded Titty, the romantic began. The
stool which was real and common and stood by the door became
transformed with animation, it talked: "Titty's dead, and so I weep";
and it hopped! Then a broom caught the same animation from the same
theme, and swept; a door jarred; a window creaked; an old form ran
round the house; a walnut tree shed its leaves; a little bird moulted
his pretty feathers; a little girl spilled her milk; a man tumbled off
his ladder; and the walnut tree fell with a crash, upsetting
everything and burying Titty in the ruins. They all learned to convey
the same message. The common and customary became uncommon and unusual
with extraordinary life, feeling, and lively movement.
Other romantic tales with a large realistic element are The Three
Bears, The Three Pigs, and The Three Billy-Goats, animal tales
which of necessity must be largely realistic, for their foundation is
in the facts of the nature, habits, and traits of the animal
characters they portray.
V. The Romantic Tale
The romantic tale reflects emotion and it contains adventure and the
picturesque; it deals with dreams, distant places, the sea, the sky,
and objects of wonder touched with beauty and strangeness. The purpose
of the romantic is to arouse emotion, pity, or the sense of the
heroic; and it often exaggerates character and incidents beyond the
normal. The test of the romantic tale as well as of the realistic tale
is in the reality it possesses. This reality it will possess, not only
because it is true, but because it is also true to life. And it is to
be remembered that because of the unusual setting in a romantic tale
the truth it presents stands out very clearly with much
impressiveness. Red Riding Hood is a more impressive tale than The
Cinderella is a good type of the old romantic tale. It has a
never-ending attraction for children just as it has had for all
peoples of the world; for this tale has as many as three hundred and
forty-five variants, which have been examined by Miss Cox. In these
variants there are many common incidents, such as the hearth abode,
the helpful animal, the heroine disguise, the ill-treated heroine, the
lost shoe, the love-sick prince, magic dresses, the magic tree, the
threefold flight, the false bride, and many others. But the one
incident which claims the tale as a Cinderella tale proper, is the
recognition of the heroine by means of her shoe. In the Greek
Rhodope, the slipper is carried off by an eagle and dropped into the
lap of the King of Egypt, who seeks and marries the owner. In the
Hindu tale the Rajah's daughter loses her slipper in the forest where
it is found by the Prince. The interpretation of Cinderella is that
the Maiden, the Dawn, is dull and gray away from the brightness of the
sun. The Sisters are the Clouds that shadow the Dawn, and the
Stepmother is Night. The Dawn hurries away from the pursuing Prince,
the Sun, who, after a long search, overtakes her in her glorious robes
This tale is the Hindu Sodewa Bai, the Zuni Poor Turkey Girl, and
the English Rushen Coatie, Cap-o'-Rushes, and Catskin. Catskin,
which Mr. Burchell told to the children of the Vicar of Wakefield, is
considered by Newell as the oldest of the Cinderella types, appearing
in Straparola in 1550, while Cinderella appeared first in Basile in
1637. Catskin, in ballad form as given by Halliwell, was printed in
Aldermary Churchyard, England, in 1720; and the form as given by
Jacobs well illustrates how the prose tale developed from the old
ballad. The two most common forms of Cinderella are Perrault's and
Grimm's, either of which is suited to the very little child.
Perrault's Cinderella shows about twenty distinct differences from
the Grimm tale:—
(1) It omits the Mother's death-bed injunction to Cinderella.
(2) It omits the wooden shoes and the cloak.
(3) The Stepmother assigns more modern tasks. It omits the
(4) It shows Cinderella sleeping in a garret instead of on
(5) It omits the Father.
(6) It omits the hazel bough.
(7) It omits the three wishes.
(8) It substitutes the fairy Godmother for the hazel tree
and the friendly doves.
(9) It substitutes transformation for tree-shaking.
(10) It omits the episode of the pear tree and of the
(11) It omits the use of pitch and axe-cutting.
(12) It omits the false bride and the two doves.
(13) It substitutes two nights at the ball for three nights.
(14) It makes C. forgiving and generous at the end. The Sisters
are not punished.
(15) It contains slippers of glass instead of slippers of gold.
(16) It simplifies the narrative, improves the structure, and puts
in the condition, which is a keystone to the structure.
(17) It has no poetical refrain.
(18) It is more direct and dramatic.
(19) It draws the characters more clearly.
(20) Is it not more artificial and conventional?
This contrast shows the Grimm tale to be the more poetical, while it
is the more complex, and contains more barbarous and gruesome elements
unsuited to the child of to-day. Of the two forms, the Grimm tale
seems the superior tale, however, and if rewritten in a literary form
suited to the child, might become even preferable.
Sleeping Beauty, which is another romantic tale that might claim to
be the most popular fairy tale, has for its theme the long sleep of
winter and the awakening of spring. The Earth goddess, pricked by
winter's dart, falls into a deep sleep from which she is awakened by
the Sun who searches far for her. This tale is similar to the Norse
Balder and the Greek Persephone. Some of its incidents appear also
in The Two Brothers, an Egyptian tale of the Nineteenth Dynasty of
Seti II, in which the Hathors who pronounce the fate of the Prince
correspond to the wicked old Fairy. The spindle whose prick caused
slumber is the arrow that wounded Achilles, the thorn which pricked
Siegfried, the mistle-toe which wounded Balder, and the poisoned nail
of the demon in Surya Bai. In the northern form of the story we find
the ivy, which is the one plant that can endure winter's touch. The
theme of the long sleep occurs in the mediæval legend of The Seven
Sleepers of Ephesus, in the English The King of England and His
Three Sons, poetically as Tennyson has given it in his Day-Dream,
and in the Story of Brunhilde, in Siegfried. Here a hedge of
flames encircles Brunhilde who is awakened at the touch of Siegfried's
magic sword, just as Sleeping Beauty is awakened by the Prince's kiss.
The kiss may be a survival of an ancient form of worship of some local
goddess. In the Hindu Panch-Rhul Ranee, seven ditches surmounted by
seven hedges of spears, surround the heroine. Of the Perrault and
Grimm versions of Sleeping Beauty, the Perrault version is long and
complex because it contains the minor tale of the cruel stepmother
added to the main tale, while the Grimm Briar Rose is a model of
structure easily separated into ten leading episodes. Sleeping
Beauty appeared in Basile's Pentamerone where there is given the
beautiful incident of the baby sucking the spike of flax out of its
sleeping mother's fingers. The Perrault version agrees with that of
Basile in naming the twins, who are Sun and Moon in the Pentamerone,
Day and Dawn.
Red Riding Hood is another romantic tale that could claim to be
the one most popular fairy tale of all fairy tales. Similar tales
occur in the story of the Greek Kronos swallowing his children, in the
Algonquin legend repeated in Hiawatha, and in an Aryan story of a
Dragon swallowing the sun and being killed by the sun-god, Indra. Red
Riding Hood appeals to a child's sense of fear, it gives a thrill
which if not too intense, is distinctly pleasing. But it pleases less
noticeably perhaps because of its atmosphere of love and service, and
because it presents a picture of a dear little maid. The Grandmother's
gift of love to the child, the bright red hood, the mother's parting
injunction, the Wolf's change of aspect and voice to suit the
child—all these directly and indirectly emphasize love, tenderness,
and appreciation of simple childhood. The child's errand of gratitude
and love, the play in the wood, the faith in the woodcutter's
presence—all are characteristic of a typical little maid and one to
be loved. There is in the tale too, the beauty of the wood—flowers,
birds, and the freshness of the open air. The ending of the tale is
varied. In Perrault the Wolf ate Grandmother and then ate Red Riding
Hood. In Grimm one version gives it that the Hunter, hearing snoring,
went to see what the old lady needed. He cut open the Wolf, and
Grandmother and Red Riding Hood became alive. He filled the Wolf with
stones. When the Wolf awoke, he tried to run, and died. All three were
happy; the Hunter took the skin, Grandmother had her cake and wine,
and Red Riding Hood was safe and had her little girl's lesson of
obedience. Another Grimm ending is that Little Red-Cap reached the
Grandmother before the Wolf, and after telling her that she had met
him, they both locked the door. Then they filled a trough with water
in which the sausages had been boiled. When the Wolf tried to get in
and got up on the roof, he was enticed by the odor, and fell into the
trough. A great deal of freedom has been used in re-telling the ending
of this tale, usually with the purpose of preventing the Wolf from
eating Red Riding Hood. In regard to the conclusion of Red Riding
Hood, Thackeray said: "I am reconciled to the Wolf eating Red Riding
Hood because I have given up believing this is a moral tale altogether
and am content to receive it as a wild, odd, surprising, and not
unkindly fairy story."
The interpretation of Red Riding Hood—which the children need not
know—is that the evening Sun goes to see her Grandmother, the Earth,
who is the first to be swallowed up by the Wolf of Night and Darkness.
The red cloak is the twilight glow. The Hunter may be the rising Sun
that rescues all from Night. Red Riding Hood has been charmingly
elaborated in Tieck's Romantic Poems, and a similar story appears in
a Swedish popular song, Jungfrun i'Blaskagen, in Folkviser 3; 68,
VI, VII. The Old Tale and the Modern Tale.
The old fairy tale is to be distinguished from the modern fairy tale.
Most of the tales selected have been old tales because they possess
the characteristics suited to the little child. The modern fairy tale
may be said to begin with Andersen's Fairy Tales.—Since Andersen
has been referred to frequently and as a study of The Tin Soldier
has already been given, Andersen's work can receive no more detailed
treatment here.—The modern fairy tale, since the time of Andersen,
has yet to learn simplicity and sincerity. It often is long and
involved and presents a multiplicity of images that is confusing. It
lacks the great art qualities of the old tale, the central unity and
harmony of character and plot. The idea must be the soul of the
narrative, and the problem is to make happen to the characters things
that are expressive of the idea. The story must hold by its interest,
and must be sincere and inevitable to be convincing. It must
understand that the method of expression must be the method of
suggestion and not that of detail. The old tale set no boundaries to
its suggestion. It used concrete artistry; but because the symbol
expressed less it implied more. The modern tale is more definitely
intentional and it often sets boundaries to its suggestion because the
symbol expresses so much. Frequently it emphasizes the satiric and
critical element, and its humor often is heavy and clumsy. To be
literature, as has been pointed out, besides characters, plot,
setting, and dialogue, a classic must present truth; it must have
emotion and imagination molded with beauty into the form of language;
and it must have the power of a classic to bestow upon the mind a
permanent enrichment. Any examination of the modern fairy tale very
frequently shows a failure to meet these requirements.
The modern tale is not so poor, however, when we mention such tales as
Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Oscar Wilde's Happy Prince,
Alice Brown's Gradual Fairy, Frances Browne's Prince Fairyfoot,
Miss Mulock's Little Lame Prince, Barrie's Peter Pan, Jean
Ingelow's Mopsa, the Fairy and The Ouphe in the Wood, Field's The
Story of Claus, Stockton's Old Pipes and the Dryad, Kingsley's
Water Babies, Ruskin's King of the Golden River, Collodi's
Pinocchio, Maeterlinck's Blue-Bird, Kipling's Just-So Stories
and the tales of the Jungle Books, Selma Lagerlöf's Wonderful
Adventures of Nils, the Uncle Remus Tales of Harris, etc. But these
classics are, with a few exceptions, the richness of the primary and
elementary literature. The modern fairy tale suited to the
kindergarten child, is at a disadvantage, for most likely it is hidden
away in some magazine, waiting for appreciation to bring some
attention to it. And in these complex modern days it is difficult to
secure a tale whose simplicity suits the little child.
Among the best tales for little people are Miss Harrison's Hans and
the Four Giants and Little Beta and the Lame Giant. In Little Beta
and the Lame Giant a natural child is placed in unusual surroundings,
where the gentleness of the giant and the strength of love in the
little girl present strong contrasts that please and satisfy. The Sea
Fairy and the Land Fairy in Some Fairies I have Met, by Mrs.
Stawell, though possessing much charm and beauty, is too complicated
for the little people. It is a quarrel of a Sea Fairy and a Land
Fairy. It is marked by good structure, it presents a problem in the
introduction, has light fancy suited to its characters, piquant
dialogue, good description, visualized expressions, and it presents
distinct pictures. Its method is direct and it gets immediately into
the story. Its method of personification, which in this, perhaps the
best story of the collection, is rather delightful, in some of the
others is less happy and is open to question. How Double Darling's
Old Shoes Became Lady Slippers, by Candace Wheeler, in St.
Nicholas, is a really delightful modern fairy story suited to be read
to the little child. It is the experience of a little girl with new
shoes and her dream about her old shoes. But the story lacks in
structure, there is not the steady rise to one great action, the
episode of the Santa Claus tree is somewhat foreign and unnecessary,
and the conclusion falls flat because the end seems to continue after
the problem has been worked out.
In The Dwarf's Tailor, by Underhill, there is much conversation
about things and an indirect use of language, such as "arouse them to
reply" and "continued to question," which is tedious. The humor is at
times heavy, quoting proverbs, such as "The pitcher that goes too
often to the well is broken at last." The climax is without interest.
The scene of the Dwarfs around the fire—in which the chief element of
humor seems to be that the Tailor gives the Dwarf a slap—is rather
foolish than funny. The details are trite and the transformation
misses being pleasing. Again there is not much plot and the story does
not hold by its interest. In The Golden Egg and the Cock of Gold, by
Scudder, the conversation is not always to the point, is somewhat on
the gossipy order, is trite, and the suspense is not held because the
climax is told beforehand. Mrs. Burton Harrison's Old Fashioned Fairy
Book is very pleasing, but it was written for her two sons, who were
older children. It has the fault of presenting too great a variety of
images and it lacks simplicity of structure. Its Juliet, or The
Little White Mouse, which seems to be a re-telling of D'Aulnoy's
Good Little Mouse, contains a good description of the old-time fairy
dress. Deep Sea Violets, perhaps the best-written story in the book,
gives a good picture of a maiden taken to a Merman's realm. Rosy's
Stay-at-Home Parties has delightful imagination similar to that of
Five Little Pigs, by Katherine Pyle, is a delightful little modern
story, which could be used with interest by the child who knows The
Story of Three Little Pigs. The Little Rooster, by Southey, is a
very pleasing realistic tale of utmost simplicity which, because of
its talking animals, might be included here. A criticism of this tale,
together with a list of realistic stories containing some realistic
fairy tales suited to the kindergarten, may be read in Educational
Foundations, October, 1914. The Hen That Hatched Ducks, by Harriet
Beecher Stowe, is a pleasing and sprightly humorous tale of Madam
Feathertop and her surprising family of eight ducks, and of Master
Gray Cock, Dame Scratchard and Dr. Peppercorn. A modern tale that is
very acceptable to the children is The Cock, the Mouse, and the
Little Red Hen, by Félicité Lefèvre, which is a re-telling of the
Story of the Little Red Hen combined with the story of The Little
Rid Hin. In this tale the two old classic stories are preserved but
re-experienced, with such details improvised as a clever child would
himself naturally make. These additional details appeal to his
imagination and give life-likeness and freshness to the tale, but they
do not detract from the impression of the original or confuse the
identity of the characters in the old tales.
One must not forget Peter Rabbit—that captivating, realistic fairy
tale by Beatrix Potter—and his companions, Benjamin Bunny, Pigling
Bland, Tom Kitten, and the rest, of which children never tire. Peter
Rabbit undoubtedly holds a place as a kindergarten classic. In
somewhat the same class of merry animal tales is Tommy and the
Wishing Stone, a series of tales by Thornton Burgess, in St.
Nicholas, 1915. Here the child enjoys the novel transformation of
becoming a Musk-rat, a Ruffed Grouse, a Toad, Honker the Goose, and
other interesting personages. A modern fairy tale which is received
gladly by children is Ludwig and Marleen, by Jane Hoxie. Here we
have the friendly Fox who grants to Ludwig the wishes he asks for
Marleen. The theme parallels for the little people the charm of The
Fisherman and His Wife, a Grimm tale suited to the second grade.
Among modern animal tales The Elephant's Child, one of the
Just-So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, ranks high as a fairy tale
produced for little children by one of the great literary masters of
A modern tale that is a bit of pure imagination and seems an attempt
to follow Grimm and Andersen, is A Quick-Running Squash, in
Aspinwall's Short Stories for Short People. It uses the little boy's
interest in a garden—his garden.—Interest centers about the fairy,
the magic seed, the wonderful ride, and the happy ending. It uses the
simple, everyday life and puts into it the unusual and the wonderful
where nothing is impossible. It blends the realistic and the romantic
in a way that is most pleasing. The Rich Goose, by Leora Robinson,
in the Outlook, is an accumulative tale with an interesting ending
and surprise. Why the Morning Glory Climbs, by Elizabeth McCracken,
in Miss Bryant's How to Tell Stories, is a simple fanciful tale.
The Discontented Pendulum, by Jane Taylor, in Poulssen's In the
Child's World, is a good illustration of the modern purely fanciful
tale. What Bunch and Joker saw in the Moon, in Wide-Awake
Chatterbox, about 1887, is a most delightful modern fanciful tale,
although it is best suited to the child of nine or ten. Greencap, by
Ruth Hays, in St. Nicholas, June, 1915, appeals to the child through
the experience of Sarah Jane, whose Mother and Father traveled to
India. Sarah went to live with Aunt Jane and there met Greencap who
granted the proverbial "three wishes." Alice in Wonderland ranks in
a class by itself among modern fanciful tales but it is better suited
to the child of the third and fourth grades.
A modern fairy tale which is suited to the child's simplicity and
which will stimulate his own desire to make a tale, is The Doll Who
Was Sister to a Princess, one of the Toy Stories by Carolyn Bailey
which have been published by the Kindergarten Review during 1914-15.
Among modern tales selected from Fairy Stories Re-told from St.
Nicholas, appear some interesting ones which might be read to the
little child, or told in the primary grades. Among these might be
The Ballad of the Blacksmith's Sons, a modern tale in verse by
Mary E. Wilkins.
Casperl, by H.C. Bunner, a modern Sleeping Beauty tale. This
tale has the virtue of not being complex and elaborate. It has
the underlying idea that "People who are helping others have a
strength beyond their own."
Ten Little Dwarfs, by Sophie Dorsey, from the French of Emile
Souvestre. It tells of the ten little Dwarfs who lived in the
Wondering Tom, by Mary Mapes Dodge. This is a bright story of a
boy who Hamlet-like, hesitated to act. Tom was always
wondering. The story contains a fairy, Kumtoo-thepoynt, who sat
on a toadstool and looked profound. It is realistic and
romantic and has fine touches of humor. It tells how Wondering
Tom became transformed into a Royal Ship-Builder.
How An Elf Set Up Housekeeping, by Anne Cleve. This is a good
tale of fancy. An Elf set up housekeeping in a lily and obtained
a curtain from a spider, down from a thistle, a stool from a toad
who lived in a green house in the wood, etc.
The Wish-Ring, translated from the German by Anne Eichberg.
This is a tale with the implied message that "The best way to
secure one's best wish is to work for it."
The Hop-About Man, by Agnes Herbertson, in Little Folks
Magazine, is a very pleasing modern romantic fairy tale for
little children. Wee Wun was a gnome who lived in the
Bye-Bye meadow in a fine new house which he loved. As he
flew across the Meadow he had his pockets full of blue
blow-away seeds. In the Meadow he found a pair of shoes, of
blue and silver, and of course he took them home to his new
house. But first he scattered the blue blow-away seeds over
the garden wall in the Stir-About-Wife's garden where golden
dandelions grew. And the seeds grew and crowded out the
dandelions. Next day Wee Wun found a large blue seed which
he planted outside his house; and on the following morning a
great blue blow-away which had grown in a night, made his
house dark. So he went to the Green Ogre to get him to take
it away. When he came home he found, sitting in his chair,
the Hop-About-Man, who had come to live with him. He had
been forewarned of this coming by the little blue shoes when
they hopped round the room singing:—
The Hop-About-Man comes over the hill.
Why is he coming, and what will he see?
Rickety, rackety,—one, two, three.
The story then describes Wee Wun's troubles with the Hop-About-Man,
who remained an unwelcome inhabitant of the house where Wee Wun liked
to sit all alone. The Hop-About-Man made everything keep hopping about
until Wee Wun would put all careless things straight, and until he
would give back to him his blue-and-silver shoes. One day, Wee Wun
became a careful housekeeper and weeded out of the dandelion garden
all the blue blow-away plants that grew from the seeds he had
scattered there in the Stir-About-Wife's garden, and when he came home
his troubles were over, and the Hop-About-Man was gone.
Perhaps one reason for the frequent failure of the modern fairy tale
is that it fails to keep in harmony with the times. Just as the modern
novel has progressed from the romanticism of Hawthorne, the realism of
Thackeray, through the psychology of George Eliot, and the philosophy
of George Meredith, so the little child's story—which like the adult
story is an expression of the spirit of the times—must recognize
these modern tendencies. It must learn, from Alice in Wonderland and
from A Child's Garden of Verses, that the modern fairy tale is not a
Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, but the modern fairy tale is the
child's mind. The real fairy world is the strangeness and beauty of
the child mind's point of view. It is the duty and privilege of the
modern fairy tale to interpret the child's psychology and to present
the child's philosophy of life.
Century Co.: St. Nicholas Magazine, 1915; St. Nicholas Fairy
Gates, Josephine: "And Piped Those Children Back Again," (Pied
Piper) St. Nicholas, Nov., 1914.
Hays, Ruth: "Greencap," St. Nicholas, June, 1915.
Hazlitt, William; Essays. ("Wit and Humor.") Camelot Series.
Hooker, B.: "Narrative and the Fairy Tale," Bookman, 33: June
and July, 1911, pp. 389-93, pp. 501-05.
Ibid: "Types of Fairy Tales," Forum, 40: Oct., 1908, pp.
Martin, John: John Martin's Book (Magazine), 1915
Meredith, George: The Comic Spirit. Scribners.
Moulton, Alice O'Grady, and Literature Committee: "Humorous
Tales" Kindergarten Review, Dec, 1914.
Perry, Bliss: A Study of Prose Fiction. ("The Romantic" and
"The Realistic") Houghton.
SOURCES OF MATERIAL FOR FAIRY TALES: A LIST OF FAIRY TALES, PICTURES,
PICTURE-BOOKS, POEMS, AND BOOKS
Shall we permit our children, without scruple, to hear any
fables composed by any authors indifferently, and so to
receive into their minds opinions generally the reverse of
those which, when they are grown to manhood, we shall think
they ought to entertain?—PLATO, in The Republic.
Any list of fairy tales for little children must be selected from
those books which, as we have noted, contain the best collections of
folk-lore, and from books which contain tales that rank as classics.
An examination of the tales of Perrault, of Grimm, of Dasent, of
Andersen, of Jacobs, of Harris, and of miscellaneous tales, to see
what are suited to the little child, would result in the following
lists of tales. Those most worthy of study for the kindergarten are
marked with an asterisk and those suited to the first grade are marked
"1." No attempt has been made to mention all the varied sources of a
tale or its best version. The Boston Public Library issues a Finding
List of Fairy Tales and Folk Stories, which may be procured easily,
and the Carnegie Library at Pittsburg issues in its monthly bulletin
for December, 1913, vol. 18, no. 10, a List of Folk-Tales, and other
stories which may be dramatized. The Baker, Taylor Company, in 1914,
issued a Graded Guide to Supplementary Reading, which contains a
list of many of the best editions of folk and fairy tales suited to
primary grades. A list of school editions is included in this book.
But one cannot fail to be impressed with the general low literary
standard of many school editions of fairy tales when judged by the
standards here applied to the tales themselves.—
I. A List of Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Tales of Perrault:
1 LITTLE THUMB.
1 PUSS-IN BOOTS.
* RED RIDING HOOD.
1 SLEEPING BEAUTY.
1 THE THREE WISHES.
Tales of the Grimms:
1 BIRDIE AND LENA.
1 BRIAR ROSE.
* THE CAT AND THE MOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP.
1 CHANTICLEER AND PARTLET.
1. HOW THEY WENT TO THE HILLS TO EAT NUTS.
2. THE VISIT TO M KORBES.
3. THE DEATH OF PARTLETT.
* THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER.
THE FOX AND THE GEESE.
1 THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG.
1 THE HOUSE IN THE WOOD.
* THE KING OF THE BIRDS.
1 LITTLE BROTHER AND SISTER
1 THE LITTLE LAMB AND THE LITTLE FISH.
* LITTLE RED-CAP.
1 LITTLE SNOW WHITE.
1 LITTLE TWO-EYES.
1 THE NOSE.
1 SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED.
* THE SPARROW AND HIS FOUR CHILDREN.
* THE SPIDER AND THE FLEA.
* THE STRAW, THE COAL, AND THE BEAN.
* THE TOWN MUSICIANS OF BREMEN.
THE WILLOW WREN AND THE BEAR.
* THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN KIDS.
* THE WONDERFUL PORRIDGE POT.
COCK AND HEN.
THE COCK AND HEN A-NUTTING.
THE COCK AND HEN THAT WENT TO THE DOVREFELL.
COCK, CUCKOO, AND BLACK COCK.
* DOLL I' THE GRASS.
1 GERTRUDE'S BIRD.
1 KATIE WOODENCLOAK (read).
1 THE LAD WHO WENT TO THE NORTH WIND.
1 LORD PETER (read).
ONE'S OWN CHILDREN ABE ALWAYS PRETTIEST.
* THREE BILLY GOATS.
1 THUMBIKIN (read).
* WHY THE BEAR IS STUMPY-TAILED (pourquois).
English Tales, by Jacobs:
* THE CAT AND THE MOUSE.
* HENNY PENNY.
1 THE HISTORY OF TOM THUMB.
* HOW JACK WENT TO SEEK HIS FORTUNE.
1 JACK AND THE BEAN-STALK.
* JOHNNY CAKE.
* LAZY JACK.
* THE MAGPIE'S NEST.
1 MASTER OF ALL MASTERS.
* M MIACCA.
1 M VINEGAR.
* THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG.
* PUDDOCK, MOUSIE, AND RATTON.
* THE STORY OF THREE BEARS.
* THE STORY OF THREE LITTLE PIGS.
* TEENY TINY.
* TITTY MOUSE AND TATTY MOUSE.
Modern Fairy Tales, by Andersen:
* THE FIR TREE.
* FIVE PEAS IN A POD.
1 THE HAPPY FAMILY (retold in Tales of Laughter).
LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS (read).
* OLE-LUK-OLE (read to end of Thursday).
THURSDAY, WEDDING OF A MOUSE.
* THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA.
* THE SNOW MAN.
1 THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER.
THE TOP AND THE BALL.
WHAT THE MOON SAW:
* LITTLE GIRL AND CHICKENS.
* THE NEW FROCK (realistic).
* LITTLE CHIMNEY SWEEP.
* BEAR WHO PLAYED "SOLDIERS."
* BREAD AND BUTTER.
Uncle Remus Tales, by Harris, in Nights with Uncle Remus:
* BRER RABBIT AND THE LITTLE TAR BABY.
* BROTHER RABBIT AND THE LITTLE GIRL.
* BROTHER RABBIT TAKES A WALK.
* BROTHER RABBIT TAKES SOME EXERCISE.
* CUTTA CORD-LA (similar to Wolf and Seven Kids).
* How BROTHER RABBIT BROKE UP A PARTY.
* How BROTHER RABBIT FRIGHTENS HIS NEIGHBORS.
* How M ROOSTER LOST HIS DINNER (read).
* IN SOME LADY'S GARDEN.
* M BENJAMIN RAM (Brother Rabbit's Riddle).
* THE MOON IN THE MILL-POND (pourquois).
* WHY BROTHER BEAK HAS NO TAIL (pourquois).
* WHY M DOG RUNS AFTER BROTHER RABBIT.
* WHY GUINEA FOWLS ARE SPECKLED (pourquois).
Uncle Remus Tales, by Harris, in Uncle Remus and the Little
* BROTHER BILLY GOAT'S DINNER.
BROTHER FOX SMELLS SMOKE.
* BROTHER RABBIT AND BROTHER TIGER.
* BROTHER RABBIT AND BROTHER LION (similar to The Dog and His
* BROTHER MUD-TURTLE'S TRICKERY.
* BROTHER RABBIT'S MONEY MINT.
1 BROTHER WOLF SAYS GRACE.
1 THE FIRE TEST (Use with Three Pigs).
FUN AT THE FERRY.
* HEYO, HOUSE.
THE LITTLE RABBITS.
MRS. PARTRIDGE HAS A FIT.
WHY BROTHER FOX'S LEGS ARE BLACK.
* WHY THE HAWK CATCHES CHICKENS.
Tale, by Harris, in Little Mr. Thimblefinger:
* WHY BILLY-GOAT'S TAIL IS SHORT.
* THE ADVENTURES OF LITTLE FIELD MOUSE, Stories to Tell,
* BETA AND THE LAME GIANT, Miss Harrison, In Storyland.
* BILLY BOBTAIL, Jane Hoxie, Kindergarten Stories; Child-Lore
Dramatic Reader, Scribners.
* BLUNDER AND THE WISHING GATE, Louise Chollet, in Child Life
in Prose, Whittier.
* THE BOY AND THE GOAT, OR THE GOAT IN THE TURNIP FIELD
(Norwegian), Primer, Free and Treadwell; Child-Lore
Dramatic Reader, Scribners.
* THE CAP THAT MOTHER MADE OR ANDER'S NEW CAP (Swedish),
Swedish Fairy Tales, McClurg; For the Story-Teller,
1 THE CAT AND THE PARROT OR THE GREEDY CAT, HOW to Tell
Stories, Bryant; Tales of Laughter, Wiggin and Smith.
1 THE CAT THAT WAITED, Classics in Dramatic Form, vol. I,
* THE CAT, THE COCK, AND THE FOX, Tales of Laughter, Wiggin
1 CLYTIE, Nature Myths, Flora Cooke.
1 THE COCK, THE MOUSE, AND THE LITTLE RED HEN, Félicité
* THE COUNTRY MOUSE AND THE CITY MOUSE, Æsop's Fables, Joseph
* DAME WIGGINS AND HER CATS, Mrs. Sharp, in Six Nursery
* THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM, Jane Taylor, in In the Child's
* THE DOLL WHO WAS SISTER TO A PRINCESS, THE TOY STORIES,
Carolyn Bailey, Kindergarten Review, Dec., 1914.
* DRAKESBILL, The Story-Teller's Book, O'Grady and Throop;
The Fairy Ring, Wiggin and Smith; Firelight Stories,
* THE ELEPHANT'S CHILD, Just-So Stories, Kipling.
1 THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE, A Little Book of Profitable
Tales, Eugene Field.
1 THE FIVE LITTLE PIGS, Katherine Pyle, in Wide Awake Second
* THE FOOLISH TIMID RABBIT, Jataka Tales Retold, Babbit.
THE GOLDEN COCK, That's Why Stories, Bryce.
1 GOLDEN ROD AND ASTER, Nature Myths, Cooke.
THE GRAIN OF CORN (Old Woman and Her Pig), Tales of the
1 GREENCAP, Ruth Hays, in St. Nicholas, June, 1915.
1 HANS AND THE FOUR BIG GIANTS, Miss Harrison, In Storyland.
1 THE HEN THAT HATCHED DUCKS, Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Child
Life in Prose, Whittier.
* THE HOP-ABOUT-MAN, Agnes Herbertson, in The Story-Teller's
Book, O'Grady and Throop; in Little Folks' Magazine.
* THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, Six Nursery Classics, D.C.
1 HOW BROTHER RABBIT FOOLED THE WHALE, Stories to Tell,
* HOW THE CAMEL GOT HIS HUMP, Just-So Stories, Kipling.
1 HOW THE CHIPMUNK GOT THE STRIPES ON ITS BACK, Nature Myths,
* HOW DOUBLE DARLING'S OLD SHOES BECAME LADY SLIPPERS, Candace
Wheeler, in St. Nicholas, March, 1887; vol. 14, pp.
* HOW FIRE WAS BROUGHT TO THE INDIANS, The Book of Nature
* HOW SUN, MOON, AND WEST WIND WENT OUT TO DINNER, Old Deccan
1 THE JACKAL AND THE ALLIGATOR, Stories to Tell, Bryant.
1 THE JACKALS AND THE LION, Stories to Tell, Bryant.
1 KING SOLOMON AND THE ANTS, Nature Myths, Cooke.
* THE LAMBIKIN, Tales of the Punjab, Steel; Indian Tales,
* LITTLE JACK ROLLAROUND, Stories to Tell, Bryant.
* THE LITTLE RABBIT WHO WANTED RED WINGS, For the
* THE LITTLE RED HEN, Stories to Tell, Bryant.
* THE LITTLE RED HIN (Irish dialect verse), Stories to Tell,
* THE LITTLE ROOSTER, Robert Southey, in Boston Collection of
Kindergarten Stories, Hammett & Co.
* LITTLE SPIDER'S FIRST WEB, Primer, Free and Treadwell.
* LITTLE TOP-KNOT (Swedish), First Reader, Free and
* LITTLE TUPPEN, Fairy Stories and Fables, Baldwin; Primer,
Free and Treadwell.
* LUDWIG AND MARLEEN, Jane Hoxie, in Kindergarten Review,
vol. xi, no. 5.
* MEDIO POLLITO, THE LITTLE HALF-CHICK (Spanish), The Green
Fairy Book, Lang.
* MEZUMI, THE BEAUTIFUL, OR THE RAT PRINCESS (Japanese),
Birch-Tree Fairy Book, Johnson; Tales of Laughter,
Wiggin and Smith.
1 M ELEPHANT AND M FROG, Firelight Stories, Bailey.
1 THE MOON'S SILVER CLOAK, Classics in Dramatic Form,
Stevenson, vol. i.
1 THE MOUSE AND THE SAUSAGE, Stories and Story-Telling,
* OEYVIND AND MARIT, from The Happy Boy, Björnstjerne
Björnson, in The Story-Teller's Book, O'Grady and
Throop; in Child-Life in Prose, Whittier.
* PETER RABBIT, Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter.
1 THE PIGS AND THE GIANT, Pyle, in Child-Lore Dramatic
* THE QUICK-RUNNING SQUASH, Short Stories for Short People,
1 THE RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, Nature Myths, Cooke.
* THE RICH GOOSE, Leora Robinson, in The Outlook.
* THE ROBIN'S CHRISTMAS SONG, Birch-Tree Fairy Book,
* (WEE) ROBIN'S YULE SONG. Tales of Laughter, Wiggin and
* THE SHEEP AND THE PIG (Scandinavian), For the Children's
* THE SPARROW AND THE CROW, Tales of the Punjab, Steel;
Birch-Tree Fairy Book, Johnson.
* THE STRAW OX, Cossack Fairy Tales, Bain.
* STORY OF THE MORNING-GLORY SEED, M. Eytinge, Boston
1 THE TALE OF A BLACK CAT, Oak-Tree Fairy Book, Johnson.
1 TOMMY AND THE WISHING-STONE, a series, by T. Burgess, in St.
1 TRAVELS OF A FOX, Oak-Tree Fairy Book, Johnson.
1 THE TURTLE WHO COULDN'T STOP TALKING, Jataka Tales Retold,
* THE UNHAPPY PINE TREE, Classic Stories, McMurry.
1 What Bunch And Joker Saw In The Moon, Wide Awake
Chatterbox, about 1887.
1 The White Cat, Fairy Tales, D'Aulnoy; Fairy Tales, Vol.
* Why The Evergreen Trees Never Lose Their Leaves, The Book
Of Nature Myths, Holbrook.
* Why The Juniper Has Berries, The Book Of Nature Myths,
* Why The Morning Glory Climbs, How to Tell Stories, Bryant.
1 The Wish Bird, Classics In Dramatic Form, Vol. II,
II. Bibliography Of Fairy Tales
Baker, Franklin T.: Bibliography Of Children's Reading.
Introduction and lists. Teachers College, Columbia University.
Baker Taylor Company, The: Graded Guide to Supplementary
Boston Public Library: Finding List of Fairy Tales.
Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh. List of Folk Tales. Bulletin,
Dec, 1913, Vol. 18, No. 10.
Ibid.: Illustrated Editions of Children's Books. 1915.
Harron, Julia; Bacon, Corinne; and Dana, John: American Library
Economy. Newark Free Library, Newark, New Jersey.
Haight, Rachel Webb: "Fairy Tales." Bulletin of Bibliography,
1912. Boston Book Co.
Hewins, Caroline: A.L.A. List. Books for Boys and Girls. Third
Edition, 1913. A.L.A. Pub. Board, Chicago.
Kready, Laura F.: "Picture-Books For Little Children."
Kindergarten Review, Sept., 1914.
Moulton, Alice O'Grady, and Literature Com. of I.K.U.: "Humorous
Stories for Children." Kindergarten Review, Dec, 1914.
Salisbury, G.E., and Beckwith, M.E.: Index to Short Stories.
St. Louis Public Library. Lists of Stories and Programs for
Story Hours. Give best versions.
Widdemer, Margaret: "A Bibliography of Books and Articles
Relating to Children's Reading. Part I, Children's Reading in
general. Part II, History of Children's Literature, etc. Part
III, Guidance of Children's Reading." Bulletin of
Bibliography, July, 1911, Oct., 1911, and Jan., 1912. Boston
III. A List of Picture-Books
Beskow, Elsa: Hanschen im Blaubeerenwald. Stuttgart.
Brooke, Leslie: The Golden Goose Book. F. Warne.
Ibid.: The House in the Wood. F. Warne.
Ibid.: The Truth About Old King Cole. F. Warne.
Browning, Robert: The Pied Piper, Kate Greenaway, F. Warne;
Hope Dunlap, Rand; T. Butler Stoney, Dutton.
Caldecott, Randolph: Picture-Books:
2. The House that Jack Built. F. Warne.
3. Hey Diddle Diddle Book. F. Warne.
Coussens, P.W.: A Child's Book of Stories. Jessie W. Smith.
Crane, Walter: Picture-Books:
Cinderella. John Lane.
Mother Hubbard. John Lane.
Red Riding Hood. John Lane.
This Little Pig. John Lane.
Grimm, Jacob and William: Cruikshank Fairy Book. Cruikshank,
Ibid.: Das Deutsche Bilderbuch. Jos. Scholz.
7. Frau Holle.
10. Der Wolf und Sieben Geislein.
Ibid.: Liebe Märchen. 10, 11, 12. Jos. Scholz.
Ibid.: Cherry Blossom. Helen Stratton. Blackie and Sons.
Jerrold, Walter: The Big Book of Fairy Tales. Robinson.
Olfers, Sibylle: Windschen. J.F. Schreiber.
Ibid.: Wurzelkindern. J.F. Schreiber.
Sharp, Mrs.: Dame Wiggins of Lee. Introduction by Ruskin.
Kate Greenaway. George Allen.
IV. A LIST OF PICTURES
Cinderella. 227, Meinhold. Dresden. 724, Meinhold. Dresden. 366,
Canadian Magazine, Dec., 1911, by Val Prinsep, A.
Elves. Arthur Rackham. St. Nicholas, Nov., 1914.
Ibid.: Book of Pictures. Century.
Hop-o'-my-Thumb. A Child's Own Book of Fairy Tales. Dore. H.
Pisan, engraver. Elizabeth S. Forbes. Canadian Magazine,
Little Brother and Sister. Tempera Painting, Marianna Stokes.
Illustrated London News, Dec., 1907.
Perrault's Tales. Kay Nielsen. Illustrated London News, Dec.,
Red Riding Hood. Poster, Mary Stokes. Ladies' Home Journal.
230, Meinhold. Dresden. 77, Teubner. Leipzig and Berlin. G.
Ferrier. Engraved for St. Nicholas, Braun, Clement, & Co.
Supplement to American Primary Teacher, May, 1908. Picture, 2
ft. by 1 ft., New Specialty Shop, Phila., Pa.
Sleeping Beauty. Mouat, London. Canadian Magazine, Dec., 1911.
Illustrated London News, Dec., 1907.
Snow White. A series. Maxfield Parrish. Picture by Elizabeth
Two Series. Five pictures in each. Jessie Willcox Smith. P.F.
Collier & Sons.
V. A LIST OF FAIRY POEMS
Allingham, William: The Fairy Folk. The Posy Ring. Bangs, John
Kendrick: The Little Elf. The Posy Ring.
Bird, Robert: The Fairy Folk. A Child's Book of Old Verses.
Dodsley, R.: Red Caps of Fairies. Fuimus Troes, Old Plays.
Drayton, Michael: Nymphal III, Poets' Elysium.
Herford, Oliver: The Elf and the Dormouse. The Posy Ring.
Hood, Thomas: A Plain Direction. Heart of Oak Books, III.
Ibid.: Queen Mab. A Child's Book of Old Verses.
Howitt, Mary: The Fairies of the Caldon-Low. The Posy Ring.
Ibid.: Mabel on Midsummer Day. The Story-Teller's Book,
O'Grady and Throop.
Lyly, John: The Urchin's Dance and Song. Song of the First
Fairy. Song of the Second Fairy. Maydes Metamorphosis.
McDermot, Jessie: A Fairy Tale. Fairy Tales. Rolfe. Amer. Book
Noyes, Alfred: The Magic Casement. An anthology of fairy
poetry, with an introduction. Dutton.
Percy, Bishop: The Fairy Queen. Reliques of Ancient Poetry;
from The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence, London, 1658.
Shakespeare, William: Ariel's Song; A Fairy Song; "I know a
bank"; The Song of the Fairies. Shakespeare's Dramas.
Stevenson, Robert L. Fairy Bread; The Little Land. A Child's
Garden of Verses.
Unknown Author: The Fairy. "Oh, who is so merry." A Child's
Book of Old Verses. Duffield.
Wilkins, Mary E.: The Ballad of the Blacksmith's Sons. Fairy
Stories Retold from St. Nicholas. Century.
VI. MAIN STANDARD FAIRY TALE BOOKS
Andersen, Hans Christian: Fairy Tales. 2 vols. Pedersen &
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Edited by W.A. and J.K. Craigie. Oxford
Ibid.: Fairy Stories for Youngest Children. Lucas.
Stratton. Blackie. (English edition.)
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Mrs. Lucas. T.C. and W. Robinson.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Mrs. Lucas. Helen Stratton. Dodge.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Maria L. Kirk. Lippincott.
Andersen, Hans Christian: Fairy Tales. Edmund Dulac. Hodder &
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. W.H. Robinson. Holt.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Braekstad. Tegner. Introd. by Gosse.
Asbjörnsen, P.C.: Fairy Tales from the Far North. Burt.
Ibid.: Round the Yule Log. Introd. by Gosse. Braekstad.
Dasent, Sir George W.: Popular Tales from the North. Routledge.
Ibid.: Popular Tales from the North. Putnam.
Ibid.: Tales from the Field. Putnam.
Grimm, Jacob and William: Household Tales. Margaret Hunt.
Bonn's Libraries, Bell & Co.
Ibid.: Household Tales. Lucy Crane. Walter Crane. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Helen Stratton. Dodge.
Ibid.: German Popular Stories. Tr. Edgar Taylor. Introd. by
Ruskin. 22 illustrations by Cruikshank. Chatto & Windus.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Johann & Leinweber. McLoughlin.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Arthur Rackham. Doubleday.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Hope Dunlap. Rand.
Harris, Joel Chandler: Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings.
Ibid.: Nights With Uncle Remus. Church. Houghton.
Ibid.: Uncle Remus and His Friends. Frost. Houghton.
Ibid.: Uncle Remus and the Little Boy. J.M. Comte. Small.
Jacobs, Joseph: English Fairy Tales. 2 vols. Batten. Putnam.
Ibid.: Celtic Fairy Tales. 2 vols. Batten. Putnam.
Ibid.: Indian Fairy Tales. Batten. Putnam.
Ibid.: The Most Delectable History of Reynard the Fox.
Frank Calderon. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Europa's Fairy Tales. Batten. Putnam.
O'Shea, M.V.: Old World Wonder Stories. Heath.
Perrault, Charles: Tales of Mother Goose. Welsh. Heath.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Appleton. Estes.
Perrault, Charles: Tales of Passed Times. Temple Classics. C.
Ibid.: Popular Tales. Edited by Andrew Lang. French; and
English translation of original edition. Oxford, Clarendon
VII. FAIRY TALES OF ALL NATIONS
Celtic. Jacobs. 1911. Putnam.
Chinese. Pitnam. 1910. Crowell.
Cossack. Bain. 1899. Burt.
Danish. Bay. 1899. Harper.
Donegal. McManus. 1900. Doubleday.
English. Jacobs. 1904. Putnam.
Ibid.: Folk and Fairy Stories. Hartland, born 1848. Camelot
French. DeSegur. 1799-1874. Winston.
German. Grimm. 1812, 1822. Bonn's Libraries.
Hungarian. Pogany. 1914. Stokes.
Indian. Old Deccan Days. Frère. 1868. McDonough.
Ibid.: Tales of the Sun. Mrs. Kingscote. 1890. W.H. Allen.
Ibid.: Buddhist Birth Stories. Rhys Davids. 1880. Trubner.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Stokes. 1880. Ellis & White.
Ibid.: Folk Tales of Bengal. Day. 1883. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Wide Awake Stories. Steel and Temple. 1884. Trubner.
Ibid.: Folk-Tales of Kashmir. Knowles. 1887. Trubner.
Ibid.: Tales of the Punjab. Steel. 1894. Macmillan.
Irish. Yeats. 1902. Burt.
Italian. Macdonell. 1911. Stokes.
Ibid.: Crane. 1885. Macmillan.
Japanese. Ozaki. 1909. Dutton.
Manx. Morrison. 1899. Nutt.
New World. Kennedy. 1904. Dutton.
Norse. Dasent. 1820-1896. Lippincott.
Ibid.: Mabie. 1846-. Dodd.
Papuan. Kerr. 1910. Macmillan.
Persian. Stephen. 1892. Dutton.
Ibid.: Clouston. 1907. Stokes.
Russian. Dole. 1907. Crowell.
Ibid.: Bain. Bilibin. 1914. Century.
Scottish. Grierson. 1910. Stokes.
South African. Honey. 1910. Baker & Taylor.
Welsh. Thomas. 1908. Stokes.
VIII. MISCELLANEOUS EDITIONS OF FAIRY TALES
D'Aulnoy, Madame: Fairy Tales. Trans, by Planché. Gordon
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Introd. by Anne T. Ritchie. Scribners.
Austin, M.H.: Basket Woman. Houghton.
Babbit, Ellen: Jataka Tales Retold. Century.
Bailey, Carolyn: Firelight Stories. Bradley.
Bailey and Lewis: For the Children's Hour. Bradley.
Baldwin, James: Fairy Stories and Fables. Amer. Book Co.
Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Rackham.
Baumbach, Rudolf: Tales from Wonderland. Simmons.
Bertelli, Luigi: The Prince and His Ants. Holt.
Bryant, Sara C.: Best Stories to Tell to Children. Houghton.
Burgess, Thornton: Old Mother West Wind. Little.
Ibid.: The Adventures of Reddy Fox. Little.
Ibid.: The Adventures of Johnny Chuck. Little.
Ibid.: Tommy and the Wishing-stone. Animal Tales. St.
Chapin, Anna: The Now-a-Days Fairy Book. Jessie W. Smith. Dodd.
Chisholm, Louey: In Fairyland. Katherine Cameron. Putnam.
Ibid.: Little Red Riding Hood; Cinderella; (I Read Them
Myself series). Dodge.
Collection: Half a Hundred Stories for Little People. Bradley.
Cooke, Flora J.: Nature Myths and Stories. Flanagan.
Cowell, E.B.: The Jatakas or Stories of the Buddha's Former
Births. Tr. from the Pali. 6 vols. Cambridge University
Press. Putnam. 1895-1907.
Crothers, Samuel McChord: Miss Muffet's Christmas Party.
Emerson, Ellen: Indian Myths. Houghton.
Everyman Series: 157; 365; and 541. Dutton.
France, Anatole: The Honey Bee. John Lane.
Grover, Eulalie O., editor: Mother Goose. F. Richardson.
Harris, Joel C.: Little Mr. Thimblefinger. Houghton.
Harrison, Miss: In Storyland. Central Pub. Co., Chicago.
Holbrook, Florence: The Book of Nature Myths. Houghton.
James, Grace: The Green Willow: Japanese. Goble. Macmillan.
Jerrold, Walter: The Reign of King Oberon. Robinson. Dent.
Johnson, Clifton: Fairy Books: Oak-Tree; Birch-Tree; and
Ibid.: Book of Fairy Tale Bears. Houghton.
Ibid.: Book of Fairy Tale Foxes. Houghton.
Kingsley, Charles: Water-Babies. Warwick Goble. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Water-Babies. Introd, by Rose Kingsley. Margaret
Kipling, Rudyard: Jungle Books. 2 vols. Original edition.
Ibid.: Jungle Books. M. and E. Detmold. Century.
Ibid.: Jungle Books. A. Rackham. Doubleday.
Ibid.: Just-So Stories. Doubleday.
Ibid.: Puck of Pook's Hill. Doubleday.
Ibid.: Rewards and Fairies. Doubleday.
Laboulaye, Edouard: Fairy Book. Harper.
Ibid.: Last Fairy Tales. Harper.
Lang, Andrew: Fairy Books: Red; Orange; Yellow; Green; Blue;
Violet; Gray; Crimson; Brown; Pink. Longmans.
Lansing, Marion: Rhymes and Stories. Ginn.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. 2 vols. Ginn.
Leamy, Edward: Golden Spears. FitzGerald.
Lefèvré, Felicité: The Cock, the Mouse, and the Little Red Hen.
Tony Sarg. Jacobs, Phila.
Lindsay, Maud: Mother Stories; More Mother Stories. Bradley.
Maeterlinck, Madam: The Children's Bluebird. Dodd.
Molesworth, Mary Louise: The Cuckoo Clock. Maria Kirk.
Mulock, Miss: The Fairy Book. Boyd Smith. Crowell.
Ibid.: Fairy Book. 32 illus. by W. Goble. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Little Lame Prince. Hope Dunlap. Rand.
Musset, Paul de: Mr. Wind and Madam Rain. Bennett. Putnam.
Nyblom, Helena: Jolly Cable and other Swedish Fairy Tales.
Olcott, Frances J.: Arabian Nights. Tr. by Lane. Cairo text.
Perrault, Charles: The Story of Bluebeard. Stone & Kimball,
Poulsson, E.: In the Child's World. Bradley.
Pyle, Howard: The Garden Behind the Moon. Scribners.
Ibid.: Wonder-Clock. Harper.
Pyle, Katherine: Fairy Tales from Many Lands. Dutton.
Rackham, Arthur: Mother Goose. Century.
Ramé, Louise de la (Ouida): Nürnberg Stove: Bimbi Stories for
Rhys, Ernest: Fairy Gold. Herbert Cole. Dutton.
Rolfe, William: Fairy Tales in Prose and Verse. Amer. Book Co.
Shakespeare, William: Midsummer Night's Dream. With forty
illustrations in color by Arthur Rackham. Doubleday.
Shedlock, Marie: A Collection of Eastern Stories and Legends.
Foreword by T. Rhys Davids. Dutton.
Smith, Jessie Willcox: Mother Goose. Dodd.
Stephen, A.: Fairy Tales of a Parrot. Ellis. Nister. Dutton.
Stockton, F.: The Queen's Museum. F. Richardson. Scribners.
Tappan, Eva March: The Children's Hour: Folk Stories and
Thorne-Thomson: East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon. Row.
Underhill, Zoe D.: The Dwarf's Tailor. Harper.
Valentine, Mrs. Laura: Old, Old Fairy Tales. F. Warne.
Welsh, Charles: Fairy Tales Children Love. Dodge.
Wheeler, W.A.: Mother Goose Melodies. Houghton.
Wiggin, Kate; and Smith, Nora: The Fairy Ring: Tales of
Laughter: Magic Casements: and Tales of Wonder. Doubleday.
IX. SCHOOL EDITIONS OF FAIRY TALES
Alderman, E.A.: Classics Old and New. Amer. Book Co.
Alexander, G.: Child Classics. Bobbs.
Baker, F.T., and Carpenter, G.: Language Readers. Macmillan.
Baldwin, James: The Fairy Reader, I and II. Amer. Book Co.
Blaisdell, Etta (MacDonald): Child Life in Tale and Fable.
Blumenthal, Verra: Fairy Tales from the Russian. Rand.
Brooks, Dorothy: Stories of Red Children. Educational.
Bryce, Catherine: Child-Lore Dramatic Reader. Scribners.
Burchill, Ettinger: Progressive Road to Reading, Readers.
Chadwick, Mara P.: Three Bears Story Primer. Educational.
Chadwick, M.P. and Freeman, E.G.: Chain Stories and Playlets:
The Cat That Was Lonesome: The Mouse That Lost Her Tail; and
The Woman and Her Pig. World Book Co.
Coe and Christie: Story Hour Readers. Amer. Book Co.
Craik, Georgiana: So Fat and Mew Mew. Heath.
Davis, M.H. and Leung, Chow: Chinese Fables and Folk Stories.
Amer. Book. Co.
Dole, C.F.: Crib and Fly. Heath.
Free and Treadwell: Reading Literature Series. Row, Peterson.
Grover, Eulalie O.: Folk Lore Primer. Atkinson.
Hale, E.E.: Arabian Nights. Selections. Ginn.
Heath, D.C.: Dramatic Reader. Heath.
Henderson, Alice: Andersen's Best Fairy Tales. Rand.
Hix, Melvin: Once Upon a Time Stories. Longmans.
Holbrook, Florence: Dramatic Reader for the Lower Grades. Amer.
Howard, F.W.: The Banbury Cross Stories: The Fairy Gift and Tom
Johnston, E.; and Barnum, M.: Book of Plays for Little Actors.
Amer. Book. Co.
Kennerley: The Kipling Reader. 2 vols. Appleton.
Ketchum and Rice: Our First Story Reader. Scribners.
Lang, Andrew: Fairy Readers. Longmans.
Lansing, M.: Tales of Old England. Ginn.
Mabie, H.: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know. Doubleday.
McMahon, H., M., and A.: Rhyme and Story Primer. Heath.
McMurry, Mrs. Lida B.: Classic Stories. Public School Pub. Co.
Norton, Charles E.: Heart of Oak Books. Heath.
Norvell, F.T., and Haliburton, M.W.: Graded Classics. Johnson.
Perkins, F.O.: The Bluebird Arranged for Schools. Silver.
Pratt, Mara L.: Legends of Red Children. Amer. Book Co.
Roulet, Mary Nixon: Japanese Folk-Stories and Fairy Tales.
Amer. Book Co.
Scudder, H.: Andersen's Fairy Tales: Grimm's Fairy Tales;
Fables and Folk Stories; The Children's Book. Houghton.
Smythe, Louise: Reynard the Fox. Amer. Book Co.
Spaulding and Bryce: Aldine Readers. Newson.
Stevenson, Augusta: Children's Classics in Dramatic Form. 5
Stickney, J.H.: Andersen's Fairy Tales. 2 series. Ginn.
Summers, Maud: The Summers Readers. Beattys.
Turpin, E.H.: Andersen's Fairy Tales. Merrill.
Underwood, Kate: Fairy Tale Plays (For Infants and Juniors).
University Pub. Co.: Fairy Tales. Standard Literature Series;
Hans Andersen's Best Stories; Grimm's Best Stories. Newson and
Van Sickle, J.H., etc.: The Riverside Readers. Houghton.
Varney, Alice: Story Plays Old and New. Amer. Book Co.
Villee: Little Folk Dialog Reader. Sower.
Wade, Mary H.: Indian Fairy Tales. Wilde.
Washburne, Mrs. M.: Old-Fashioned Fairy Tales (Retold from
poetic versions of Thomas Hood). Rand.
White, Emma G.: Pantomime Primer. Amer. Book Co.
Williston, P.: Japanese Fairy Tales. 2 series. Rand.
Wiltse, Sara E.: Folk Lore Stories and Proverbs. Ginn.
Wohlfarth, J., and McMurry, Frank: Little Folk-Tales. 2 vols.
Zitkala-sa: Old Indian Legends. Ginn.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF CREATIVE RETURN
Tales suited for dramatization
Little Two-Eyes, which is suited to the first-grade child, is one of
the most attractive of folk-tales and contains blended within itself
the varied beauties of the tales. It is in cante-fable form, which
gives it the poetic touch so appealing to children. It contains the
Little kid, bleat,
I wish to eat!
Little kid, bleat,
Clear it off, neat!
the fairy wise woman, and the friendly goat. It contains the fairy
housekeeping in the forest which combines tea-party, picnic, and magic
food—all of which could not fail to delight children. The lullaby to
put Two-Eyes to sleep suits little children who know all there is to
know about "going to sleep." The magic tree, the silver leaves, the
golden fruit, the knight and his fine steed, and the climax of the
tale when the golden apple rolls from under the cask—all possess
unusual interest. There is exceptional beauty in the setting of this
tale; and its message of the worth of goodness places it in line with
Cinderella. It should be dramatized as two complete episodes, each
of three acts:—
The Goat Episode
Place The home and the forest.
Act I, Scene i. A home scene showing how the Mother and
Sisters despised Two-Eyes.
Scene ii. Two-Eyes and the Fairy.
Scene iii. Two-Eyes and the Goat. Evening of the first day.
Act II, Scene i. One-Eye went with Two-Eyes. Third morning.
Song … Feast … Return home.
Act III, Scene i. Three-Eyes went with Two-Eyes. Fourth
morning. Song … Feast … Return home.
The Story of Two-Eyes
Place The forest; and the magic tree before the house.
Act I, Scene i. Two-Eyes and the Fairy.
Act II, Scene i. The magic tree. Mother and Sisters attempt to
pluck the fruit.
Act III, Scene i. The Knight. Second attempt to pluck fruit.
Conclusion. The happy marriage.
The Story of Snow White is one of the romantic fairy tales which has
been re-written and staged as a play for children, and now may be
procured in book form. It was produced by Winthrop Ames at the Little
Theatre in New York City. The dramatization by Jessie Braham White
followed closely the original tale. The entire music was composed by
Edmond Rickett, who wrote melodies for a number of London Christmas
pantomimes. The scenery, by Maxfield Parrish, was composed of six
stage pictures, simple, harmonious, and beautiful, with tense blue
skies, a dim suggestion of the forest, and the quaint architecture of
the House of the Seven Dwarfs. Pictures in old nursery books were the
models for the scenes. Because of the simplicity of the plot and the
few characters, Snow White could be played very simply in four
scenes, by the children of the second and third grades for the
kindergarten and first grade.
Scene i. A Festival on the occasion of Snow White's sixteenth
Scene ii. In the Forest.
Scene iii. A Room in the House of the Seven Dwarfs.
Scene iv. The Reception to Snow White as Queen, on the grounds
near the young King's Palace.
The beautiful character of Snow White; the glimpse of Dwarf life—the
kindly little men with their unique tasks and their novel way of
living; the beauty and cheer of Snow White which her housekeeping
brought into their home; their devotion to her; the adventure in the
wood; the faithful Huntsman; the magic mirror; the wicked Queen; and
the Prince seeking the Princess—all contribute to the charm of the
tale. The songs written for the play may be learned by the children,
who will love to work them into their simple play: Snow White, as
fair as a lily, as sweet as a rose; the song of the forest fairies,
Welcome, Snow White; and their second song which they sing as they
troop about Snow White lying asleep on the Dwarf's bed, Here you'll
find a happy home, softly sleep! or the song of Snow White to the
Dwarfs, I can brew, I can bake.
The Little Lamb and the Little Fish
Once upon a time there lived a sister and a brother who loved each
other very much. They were named Gretchen and Peterkin. One day their
father who was King of the country, left them and brought home with
him a new Queen who was not kind to the children. She banished them
from the castle and told the King bad tales about them. So they made
friends with the Cook and ate in the kitchen. Peterkin would bring
water and Gretchen could carry plates and cups and saucers.
One beautiful spring day when all the children were out-of-doors
playing games, Gretchen and Peterkin went to play with them, by the
pond, on the meadow, beyond the castle wall. Around this pond the
children would run, joining hands and singing:—
"Eneke, Beneke, let me live,
And I to you my bird will give;
The bird shall fetch of straw a bunch,
And that the cow shall have to munch;
The cow shall give me milk so sweet,
And that I'll to the baker take,
Who with it shall a small cake bake;
The cake the cat shall have to eat,
And for it catch a mouse for me,
* * * * *
"And this is the end of the tale."
Round and round the pond the children ran singing; and as the word
"tale" fell on Peterkin he had to run away over the meadow and all the
rest ran after to catch him.
But just then the wicked Queen from her window in the castle spied the
happy children. She did not look pleased and she muttered words which
you may be sure were not very pleasant words.
The children had been racing across the meadow after Peterkin. Now one
called, "Where is Peterkin? I saw him near that tree, but now I cannot
see him. Gretchen, can you see Peterkin?—Why, where's Gretchen?"
Peterkin and Gretchen were nowhere to be seen. Suddenly a little boy
said, "Where did that lamb come from over there? It must have been
behind the linden tree!"
The children drew near the lamb, when what was their surprise to hear
it call out to them, "Run children, run quick or the Queen will harm
you! I am Gretchen! Run, and never come near the pond again!" And at
the little Lamb's words the children fled.
But the little Lamb ran all about the meadow, calling, "Peterkin,
Peterkin!" and would not touch a blade of grass. Sadly she walked to
the edge of the pond and slowly walked round and round it calling,
"Peterkin, where are you?"
Suddenly the water bubbled and a weak voice cried, "Here, Gretchen, in
"Here Gretchen, here swim I in the pond,
Nor may I ever come near castle ground."
And the Lamb replied:—
"Ah, my brother! In the wood,
A lamb, now I must search for food."
Then Peterkin comforted Gretchen and promised early every morning to
come up to the water to talk with her; and Gretchen promised to come
early from the wood, before the sun was up, to be with Peterkin. And
Peterkin said, "I will never forsake you, Gretchen, if you will never
forsake me!" And Gretchen said, "I will never forsake you, Peterkin,
if you will never forsake me!"
Then the little Lamb fled sadly to the wood to look for food and the
little Fish swam round the pond. But the children did not forget their
playmates. Every day they saved their goodies and secretly laid them
at the edge of the wood where the Lamb could get them. And the Lamb
always saved some to throw the crumbs to the little Fish in the
Many days passed by. One day visitors were coming to the castle. "Now
is my chance," thought the wicked Queen. So she said to the Cook, "Go,
fetch me the lamb out of the meadow, for there is nothing else for the
Now the Lamb had lingered by the pond longer than usual that morning
so that the Cook easily caught her; and taking her with him tied her
to the tree just outside the kitchen. But when the Cook was gone to
the kitchen, the little Fish swam up from the pond into the little
brook that ran by the tree and said—
"Ah, my sister, sad am I,
That so great harm to you is nigh!
And far from you I love must be,
A-swimming in the deep, deep sea!"
And the Lamb replied:—
"Ah, my brother in the pond,
Sad must I leave you, though I'm fond;
The cook has come to take my life,
Swim off to sea,—Beware!"
Just then the Cook came back and hearing the Lamb speak became
frightened. Thinking it could not be a real lamb, he said, "Be still,
I will not harm you. Run, hide in the wood, and when it is evening,
come to the edge of the wood and I will help you!"
Then the Cook caught another lamb and dressed it for the guests. And
before evening he went to a wise woman who happened to be the old
Nurse who had taken care of Peterkin and Gretchen. She loved the
children and she soon saw what the wicked Queen had done. She told the
Cook what the Lamb and Fish must do to regain their natural forms.
As soon as it was dark the little Lamb came to the edge of the wood
and the Cook said, "Little Lamb, I will tell you what you must do to
be a maid again!" So the Cook whispered what the wise Woman had said.
The little Lamb thanked the Cook and promised to do as he said.
Next morning very early before the break of day, the little Lamb
hurried from the wood across the meadow. Not taking time to go near
the pond she hastily pushed against the castle gate which the kind
Cook had left unfastened for her. She ran up the path, and there under
the Queen's window stood the beautiful rose-tree with only two red
roses on it—just as the Cook had said. Not even glancing at the
Queen's window, the little Lamb began nibbling the lowest one. And
behold, there in the path stood Gretchen again! Then hastening to
seize the other rose before the sun's first ray might touch it, she
ran lightly down the path, away from castle ground, across the meadow
to the pond. Calling little Fish to the water's edge—for he had
lingered in the pond—she sprinkled over him the drops of dew in the
heart of the rose. And there stood little Peterkin beside Gretchen!
Then hand in hand, Gretchen and Peterkin hurried from the pond and
fled into the wood just as the sun began to show beyond the trees.
There they built themselves a cottage and lived in it happily ever
afterwards. The kind Cook and the wise Nurse found them and visited
them. But Gretchen and Peterkin never went near castle ground until
the Cook told them the Queen was no more.—Laura F. Kready.
How the Birds came to Have Different Nests Time….
Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme,
And monkeys chewed tobacco.
And hens took snuff to make them tough,
And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!
Place. … Madge Magpie's Nest up in a Tree-top.
Characters: Madge Magpie, the Teacher; Thrush, Blackbird, Owl,
Sparrow, Starling, and Turtle-Dove.
All the Birds. "We have come to you, Madge Magpie, to ask you to
teach us how to build nests. All the Birds tell how clever you are at
Magpie. "Make a circle round about the foot of this old pear-tree. I
will sit upon this limb near my nest and show you how to do it. First
I take some mud and make a fine round cake with it."
Thrush. "Oh, that's how it's done, is it? I'll hurry home! Goodbye,
Birds, I can't stay another minute!
"Mud in a cake, mud in a cake,
To-whit, to-whee, a nest I'll make!"
Magpie. "Next I take some twigs and arrange them about the mud."
Blackbird. "Now I know all about it. Here I go, I'm off to make my
nest in the cherry-tree in Mr. Smith's cornfield!
"Sticks upon mud, mud upon sticks,
Caw, caw! I'll make a nest for six!"
Magpie. "See, here I put another layer of mud over the twigs."
Wise Owl. "Oh! That's quite obvious. Strange I never thought of that
before. Farewell, come to see me at the old elm-tree beside the gray
"Mud over twigs! To-whit, to-whoo!
No better nest than that ever grew!"
Magpie. "See these long twigs. I just twine them round the outside."
Sparrow. "The very thing. I'll do it this very day. I can pick some
up on my way home. I'll choose the spout that looks down over the
school-yard; then I can see the children at play. They must like me
for they never chase me away or hit me.
"A nest with twigs twined round and round,
Chip, chip! No fear that would fall to the ground!"
Magpie. "And see these little feathers and soft stuff. What a
comfortable, cosy lining for the nest they make!"
Starling. "That suits me! Off I go, I like a cosy warm nest. It
shall be in that old plum-tree in the orchard, on the side of the hill.
"Feathers and down to make cosy and warm,
That's the nest to keep us from harm!"
Magpie. "Well, Birds, have you seen how I made my nest? Do you think
you know how?—Why, where are all the Birds? They couldn't wait until
I'd finished. Only you, Turtle-Dove, left!"
Turtle-Dove. "Take two, Taffy, take two—o—o—o!"
Magpie. "Here I put a twig across. But not two—one's
Turtle-Dove. "Take two, Taffy, take two—o—o—o!"
Magpie. "One's enough I tell you, do you not see how I
lay it across?"
Turtle-Dove. "Take two, Taffy, take two—o—o—o!"
Magpie. "Here I fly away from my nest for awhile! I will teach no
more Birds to build nests. I cannot teach a silly Turtle-Dove who will
not learn. I heard him sing just now as I turned around,"
Turtle-Dove. "Take two, Taffy, take two—o—o—o,
Take two, Taffy, take two—o—o—o!"
Laura F. Kready.
TYPES OF TALES
An Animal Tale
The Good-Natured Bear
"I shall never forget the patience, the gentleness, the skill, and the
firmness with which she first taught me to walk alone. I mean to walk
on all fours, of course; the upright manner of my present walking was
only learned afterwards. As this infant effort, however, is one of my
earliest recollections, I have mentioned it before all the rest, and
if you please, I will give you a little account of it."
"Oh! do, Mr. Bear," cried Gretchen; and no sooner had she uttered the
words than all the children cried out at the same time, "Oh, please
The Bear took several long whiffs at his pipe, and thus continued,—
"My Mother took me to a retired part of the forest (of Towskipowski,
Poland) where few animals ever came; and telling me that I must now
stand alone, extended both paws, and slowly lowered me towards the
earth. The height as I looked down, seemed terrible, and I felt my
legs kick in the air, with fear of I did not know what, till suddenly
I felt four hard things and no motion. It was the fixed earth beneath
my four infant legs. 'Now,' said my Mother, 'you are what is called
standing alone!' But what she said I heard as in a dream. With my back
in the air as though it rested on a wooden trussel, with my nose
poking out straight snuffing the fresh breeze and the many secrets of
the woods, my ears pricking and shooting with all sorts of new sounds
to wonder at, to want to have, to love, or to tumble down at,—and my
eyes staring before me full of light and confused gold and dancing
things, I seemed to be in a condition over which I had no power to
effect the least change, and in which I must remain fixed till some
wonderful thing happened. But the firm voice of my Mother came to my
assistance and I heard her tell me to look upon the earth beneath me
and see where I was. First I looked up among the boughs, then
side-ways at my shoulder, then I squinted at the tip of my nose—all
by mistake and innocence—at last I bent my nose in despair and saw my
forepaws standing, and this of course was right. The first thing that
caught my attention, being the first thing I saw distinctly, was a
little blue flower with a bright jewel in the middle, which I
afterwards found was a drop of dew. Sometimes I thought this little
blue darling was so close that it almost touched my eyes and certainly
the color of it was up in my head; sometimes I thought it was deep
down, a long way off. When I bent my face towards it to give it a kiss
it seemed just where it was though I had not done what I had thought
"The next thing I saw upon the ground was a soft-looking little
creature that crawled along with a round ball upon the middle of its
back, of a beautiful white color, with brown and red curling stripes.
The creature moved very, very slowly, and appeared always to follow
the opinion and advice of two long horns on its head, that went
feeling about on all sides. Presently it slowly approached my right
forepaw and I wondered how I should feel or smell or hear it as it
went over my toes; but the instant one of the horns touched the hair
of my paw, both horns shrunk into nothing and presently came out
again, and the creature slowly moved away in another direction. While
I was wondering at this strange proceeding—for I never thought of
hurting the creature, not knowing how to hurt anything, and what
should have made the horns think otherwise?—while then I was
wondering at this, my attention was suddenly drawn to a tuft of moss
on my right near a hollow tree trunk. Out of this green tuft looked a
pair of very bright round small eyes, which were staring up at me.
"If I had known how to walk I should have stepped back a few steps
when I saw those bright little eyes, but I never ventured to lift a
paw from the earth since my Mother had first set me down, nor did I
know how to do so, or what were the proper thoughts or motions to
begin with. So I stood looking at the eyes and presently I saw that
the head was yellow and that it had a large mouth. 'What you have just
seen,' said my Mother, 'we call a snail; and what you now see is a
frog.' The names however did not help me at all to understand. Why the
first should have turned from my paw so suddenly and why this creature
should continue to stare up at me in such a manner I could not
conceive. I expected however that it would soon come slowly crawling
forth and then I should see whether it would also avoid me in the same
manner. I now observed that its body and breast were double some-how,
and that its paws were very large for its size, but had no hair upon
them, which I thought was probably occasioned by its slow crawling
having rubbed it all off. I had scarcely made these observations and
reflections, when a beam of bright light breaking through the trees,
the creature suddenly gave a great hop right up under my nose; and I,
thinking the world was at an end, instantly fell flat down on one side
and lay there waiting!"—
With this glimpse of an old-time modern animal tale we shall have to
say with "Mr. Titmarsh," "Those who wish to know more about him must
buy the book for themselves,"—and add: Or they must get some
enterprising publisher to reprint it.
A Few Romantic Tales
Puss-in-Boots and Lord Peter
Puss-in-Boots, a romantic tale suited to the first grade, delights
with its strong sense of adventure and of the heroic. Puss is a
Master-Cat, a hero clever and quick, and with fine imagination to see
what would happen and prepare for it. He is successful, combining
initiative and motivation delightfully. His devotion to his master
seems like disinterested loyalty, love, and sacrifice. While it is
true the plot is based on a lie, the moral effect is not bad because
we recognize Puss as a match-making character similar to the
matchmaking Jackal of India; and in love "all is fair." Moreover
Puss-in-Boots was only true to his cat-nature in playing a trick, and
we admire the cleverness of his trick in behalf of a master really
deserving. The underlying philosophy of the tale, "That there is a
power in making the best with what you possess," appeals to all, and
has the ability to lend dignity and force to the light intrigue of the
The setting in Puss-in-Boots gives a touch of nature beauty. First
we have the Miller's poor home, and from there we are led in
succession to the brambles through which Puss scampered; the rabbits'
warren where he lay in waiting to bag the heedless rabbits; the palace
to which he took the rabbits caught by the Marquis of Carabas; the
cornfield where he bagged the partridges; the river-side where the
Marquis bathed; the meadow where the countrymen were mowing; the
cornfields where the good people were reaping; until at last we are
escorted to the stately castle where the Ogre dwelt.
The plot of the tale is very pleasing as it easily arranges itself
into a simple drama of three acts:—
Scene i. Revery of the Master. The Cat's promise to help.
Scene ii. Puss in the rabbits' warren with his bag.
Scene iii. Puss takes the rabbits to the King in his
Scene i. Puss with his bag in the cornfield.
Scene ii. Puss takes partridges to the King.
Scene iii. Puss and his Master. Puss gives advice.
Scene i. The Marquis bathing and Puss by the river-side.
Scene ii. The Drive. Puss runs before and meets the mowers.
Scene iii. The Ogre's Castle. Puss's reception of the coach.
Marriage of the Marquis of Carabas. Puss
becomes a Lord.
The tale possesses an appeal to the emotions, we want Puss-in-Boots to
accomplish whatever scheme he invents, and we want the Miller's son to
win the Princess. Its appeal to the imagination is an orderly
succession of images, varied and pleasing. The invention of Puss and
his successful adventures make the tale one of unusual interest,
vivacity, and force. The transformation of the Ogre into a Lion and
again into a Mouse, and the consequent climax of Puss's management of
the Mouse, bring in the touch of the miraculous. A similar
transformation occurs in Hesiod, where the transformed Metis is
swallowed by Zeus. This transformation may be produced by a witch,
when the help of another is needed, as in Beauty and the Beast and
in Hansel and Grethel; or the transformation may come from within,
as in this case when the Ogre changes himself into a Mouse, or when a
man changes himself into a Wolf. A situation which parallels the theme
of Puss-in-Boots occurs in The Golden Goose where Dummling gets as
his share only a goose, but having the best disposition makes his
fortune out of his goose. Grimm's Three Feathers also contains a
similar motif. D'Aulnoy's White Cat, the feminine counterpart of
Puss-in-Boots, is a tale of pleasing fancy in which the hero wins
the White Cat, a transformed Princess, who managed to secure for him,
the youngest son, the performance of all the tasks his father had set
But the most interesting parallel of Puss-in-Boots is the Norse
Lord Peter told by Dasent in Norse Tales. Here the helpful Cat
does not use a bag, but in true Norse fashion catches game in the wood
by sitting on the head of the reindeer and threatening, "If you don't
go straight to the King's palace, I'll claw your eyes out!" The Norse
tale omits the bathing episode. The King wants to visit Lord Peter but
the Cat manages that Lord Peter shall visit the King. The Cat promises
to supply coach, horses and clothes, not by craft—their source is not
given—but they are furnished on the condition that Peter must obey to
say always, when he sees fine things in the Castle, that he has far
finer things of his own. In the Norse tale Peter and the Cat work
together, Peter is in the secret; while in the Perrault tale Puss does
all the managing, Carabas is simply being entertained by the King. In
the Norse tale, on the way home the coach meets a flock of sheep, a
herd of fine kine, and a drove of horses. The Cat does not threaten
that the caretakers shall be "chopped as fine as herbs for the pot,"
if they do not say all belongs to Lord Peter, but he cunningly bribes
the shepherd with a silver spoon, the neat-herd with a silver ladle,
and the drover with a silver stoop. In place of the Ogre's Castle,
there is a Troll's Castle with three gates—one of tin, one of silver,
and one of gold. The Norse Cat wins the victory by craftily playing
upon the troll-nature. He gains the Troll's attention by meeting him
at the gate and telling him about the secrets of agriculture, one of
the secrets of men the trolls wanted to learn. Then at the height of
interest, he plays upon his curiosity by getting him to look round.
Whereupon, the Troll, meeting the glare of the full sun, burst; for
trolls cannot bear the sight of the sun, and live. In the Norse tale,
the Cat, after Lord Peter at her request cuts off her head, becomes
the Princess and marries Lord Peter. In Perrault's tale, the King,
with French etiquette and diplomacy, invites the Marquis to be his
The Story of Puss-in-Boots appeared in Straparola, 11, 1, and in
Basile, 2, 4. Laboulaye, in his Last Fairy Tales, has retold the
Pentamerone tale, Gagliuso, in which the Cat is a crafty advocate of
his Master's interests, but the Master is ungrateful and forgets the
Cat. The effect of the tale is not pleasing, it is a satire on
The Story of Puss-in-Boots is also told by Ludwig Tieck, with twelve
etchings by Otto Speckter, published in Leipzig, in 1843. A critic,
writing for the Quarterly Review in 1844, "An Article on Children's
Books," recommended this edition of Puss-in-Boots as the beau
ideal of nursery books. Puss-in-Boots appeared also in the Swedish
of Cavallius. A monograph on the Carabas tale has been written by
Tom Thumb and Little Thumb
Tom Thumb, another romantic tale suited to the first grade, is one
of the most entertaining of tales. The germ of Tom Thumb exists in
various forms in the books of the far East, among American Indians,
and among the Zulus of South Africa. Tom Thumb is one of the oldest
characters in English nursery literature. In 1611, the ancient tales
of Tom Thumb were said to have been "in the olde time the only
survivors of drouzy age at midnight. Old and young, with his tales
chim'd mattens till the cock's crow in the morning. Batchelors and
maids have with his tales compassed the Christmas fireblocke till the
curfew bell rings candle out. The old shepheard and the young plowboy,
after a days' labour, have carol'ed out a Tale of Tom Thumb to make
them merry with, and who but little Tom hath made long nights seem
short and heavy toyles easie."
Tom Thumb, as has been previously mentioned, most probably was
transmitted to England by the early Norsemen. The Tale of Tom Thumb,
as told by Jacobs, was taken from the chap-book version in
Halliwell. The first mention of Tom is in Scot's Discoverie of
Witchcraft, in 1584. Tradition says that Tom died at Lincoln, which
was one of the five Danish towns of England. A little blue flagstone
in the cathedral, said to be his tombstone, was lost and has never
been replaced during recent repairs early in the nineteenth century.
Tom Thumb was first written in prose by Richard Johnson, in 1621. In
Ashton's Chap-Books of the Eighteenth Century we have a facsimile of
the chap-book, The Famous History of Tom Thumb. The tale is in three
parts. The first part, which is much superior to the rest of the tale,
was taken from a copy printed for John Wright, in 1630. The second and
third parts were written about 1700. The first part closes with the
death of Tom from knightly feats. He was buried in great pomp, but the
fairies carried him to Fairy Land. The first part closed with a
promise of the second:—
The Fairy Queen, she lov'd him so
As you shall understand,
That once again she let him go
Down to the Fairy Land.
The very time that he return'd
Unto the court again,
It was as we are well inform'd
In good King Arthur's reign.
When in the presence of the King,
He many wonders wrought,
Recited in the Second Part
Which now is to be bought
In Bow Church Yard, where is sold
Diverting Histories many;
And pleasant tales as e'er was told
For purchase of One Penny.
The second part opens with Tom's return to Fairy Land. His second
death is caused by a combat with a cat. Again he is taken to Fairy
Land. In the third part the Fairy Queen sends Tom to earth in King
Thunston's reign. His final death occurred from the bite of a spider.
The Life and Adventures of Tom Thumb appeared in the Tabart
Collection of Fairy Tales, noted before, and a version entirely in
verse was included in Halliwell. A monograph on Tom Thumb was
written by M. Gaston Paris. Little Thumb as it appeared in
Perrault and in Basile, was a tale similar to the German Hansel
and Grethel. Thumbling, and Thumbling as Journeyman are German
variants. Andersen's Thumbelina is a feminine counterpart to Tom
Thumb, and in Laboulaye's Poucinet we have a tale of the successful
younger brother, similarly diminutive.
There were current many old stories of characters similar to Tom
Thumb. A certain man was so thin that he could jump through the eye of
a needle. Another crept nimbly to a spider's web which was hanging in
the air, and danced skillfully upon it until a spider came, which spun
a thread round his neck and throttled him. A third was able to pierce
a sunmote with his head and pass his whole body through it. A fourth
was in the habit of riding an ant, but the ant threw him off and
trampled him. In a work written in 1601, referred to in Grimm's
Household Tales a spider relates:—
Once did I catch a tailor proud
Heavy he was as elder wood,
From Heaven above he'd run a race,
With an old straw hat to this place,
In Heaven he might have stayed no doubt,
For no one wished to turn him out.
He fell in my web, hung in a knot,
Could not get out, I liked it not,
That e'en the straw hat, safe and sound,
Nine days ere him came to the ground.
A delightful little rhyme, Tom Thumb, is among Halliwell's Nursery
Rhymes. It may refer to the Danish History of Tom Thumb:
I had a little husband
No bigger than my thumb;
I put him in a pint pot
And there I bade him drum:
I bridled him and saddled him,
And sent him out of town;
I gave him a pair of garters
To tie up his little hose;
And a little handkerchief
To wipe his little nose.
The English version of Tom Thumb as we know it today, opens with a
visit of the magician Merlin at the cottage of an honest and
hospitable ploughman. Merlin rewarded the Goodman and his Wife for
their hospitality by calling on the Queen of the fairies, who brought
to the home, Tom Thumb, a boy no bigger than a man's thumb.
The time of the tale is in the days of Merlin and King Arthur's court.
The tale is marked by a number of distinct English elements. The
introduction of the Queen of the Fairies, of Fairy Land and the visit
there, and of the fairy clothes they make for Tom, are all decidedly
English. The sly ways of Tom, his tricks and his cleverness are
distinctly English humor. He played with the boys for cherry-stones,
and took theirs. He had so much curiosity that he fell into his
mother's pudding. He was so light that on a windy day he had to be
tied to a thistle when his mother went to milk the cow; and so, with
his oak-leaf hat, he got caught in the cow's one mouthful. After other
strange adventures he arrived at King Arthur's court where he became
the favorite. His feats at tilts and tournaments give a glimpse of
English court life, with its pastime of hunting; and fighting with the
sword brings in the knight element. The story has little plot, being a
succession of many episodes and a repetition of some. It shows little
constructive ability, promises to be a perpetual tale, and is ended
only by sudden death at the poisonous breath of the spider. Tom
Thumb is one of the tales of pure fancy, with no underlying meaning,
created for pure entertainment, to please children and grown-ups by
its little people and little things. The moral is in the effect of
Perrault's Little Thumb tells how a poor Fagot-maker and his Wife
sat by the hearth, sad with famine, and Little Thumb overheard their
words. When they started to the wood to gather fagots, Little Thumb,
like Hansel, scattered pebbles. The parents left the seven children in
the wood but little Thumb guided them home by his pebbles. They set
out a second time, when Little Thumb scattered bread-crumbs; and as
the birds ate them, the children were lost. Little Thumb climbed a
tree and saw the light of the Ogre's cottage afar off. The children
reached the Ogre's cottage where Little Thumb changed the golden
crowns of the seven little Ogresses, and putting them on his brothers,
saved their lives. Then they all fled through the wood and hid in a
rock, while the Ogre in his seven-league boots, pursued them and lay
down to rest at the rock in which they were hidden. Little Thumb sent
his brothers home, stole the fairy boots, and through craft, persuaded
the Ogre's Wife to give him all the Ogre's gold. So, rich and happy,
he returned to his father's home.
This tale shows a number of common motifs that appear in other tales:
(1) The design of distressed parents to expose children to the
(2) The discovery and prevention of the scheme by a child.
(3) The repetition of incident; the clew spoiled by the birds.
The trail motif, similar to the one in Hansel and Grethel.
(4) The arrival of children at the home of the Ogre.
(5) The shifting of crowns to the heads of his brothers.
(6) The flight of the brothers pursued by the Ogre in
(7) Little Thumb, stealing the boots and winning court favor, or
the Ogre's treasure.
Some say that in this tale, symbolically, the forest represents night;
the crumbs and pebbles, stars; and the Ogre, the sun. Little Thumb,
because of his cunning and invention, has been called the Ulysses of
the fairy tales. His adventure with the Ogre at the rock, while not a
parallel one, reminds one of Ulysses and Polyphemus. Both succeeded in
getting the better of the giant. An English edition of this tale was
illustrated by William Blake.
Snow White and Rose Red
Snow White and Rose Red, besides blending the romantic and the
realistic, illustrates rather completely how the old tale may stand
the tests which have been emphasized here. As a romantic type, it
contains adventure and the picturesque. It arouses emotion. It
contains objects of beauty; and the strange Bear and the stranger
Dwarf, about both of whom there is a sense of mystery. It exaggerates
character and incidents beyond the normal,—the Mother and Daughters
were more lovely than mortals usually are,—and the harmony between
man and beast may belong to the millennium rather than to this common
earth. This is one of the most romantic of fairy tales in that it is a
highly idealized type.
The story was current in Germany before the time of the Grimms, and
appeared in the collection of Caroline Stahl. The rhyme,—
Will ye strike your lover dead?
was taken from a popular song, and is found in a child's story in
Taschenbuch Minerva for 1813.
Snow White and Rose Red is full of many beauties; the characters are
beautiful, the setting is beautiful, and the spirit of the whole is
full of beauty. There is sister-love; and mother-love—not the selfish
kind that loves but its own, but that similar to the rich growth of
our modern times, when mother-love seeks to include those without the
home. There is genuine kindness that pours its sweetness on the Bear
or on the Dwarf, that falls like the rain on the deserving and on the
ungrateful; there is devotion to animals and a lack of enmity between
man and beast; and there is a portrayal of the beauty of domestic life
and of the charms of childhood in simple life—its play, its pleasure,
and its tasks. This is all set as in two pictures whose sky is the
golden glow of passion for the sun and the spring-time and summer it
brings. In the first picture, on the edge of the forest stands a
little cottage before whose gate grow two rose-trees, a red rose-tree
and a white rose-tree, not only symbols of the beauty of the
spring-time and of the rich fruitage of summer, but also symbols
typifying the more wondrous beauty of the character of the two
children, Snow White and Rose Red. In the second picture, a tall
palace rears itself, before whose gate grow two rose-trees also, a red
rose-tree and a white rose-tree, not only symbols of the same beauty
of spring-time and fruitage of summer, but also symbols typifying the
beauty of loveliness and the fairness of happiness and prosperity that
guarded from harm the lives of the deserving Snow White and Rose Red,
and continued to bless them to the close.
First, looking at the characters in this tale, we see a Mother who
illustrates the richness of womanhood. She managed her own home and
kept it a place of beauty and cheer. She had two daughters, both
lovely, but very different. She recognized this difference and
respected it, and permitted each child to enjoy a delightful freedom
to grow as was her nature. She permitted the children to play but she
also commanded willing obedience. She arranged their work with
fairness so that each had her share and each seemed free in doing that
work to use her individual taste and judgment. She taught her children
to spin and to sew, and she read to them. She told them about the
guardian Angel who watched over them to keep them from harm. She was
not anxious when they were out of sight, for even when Snow White and
Rose Red stayed in the wood all night and slept on the leaves, she had
no fear, for no accident ever happened to them. As a strong, noble
woman, without fear, and full of love, pity, and fairness,—George
Eliot's ideal of highest character,—the Mother of Snow White and Rose
Red has no equal in the fairy tales.
The two Children, beautiful as the roses that grew outside the
cottage, were both industrious, good, amiable little girls, who in
their natural sweetness showed the spirit of the Golden Age when peace
and good-will dwelt among men. They were natural children and they
loved to play. They gathered berries in the forest, they played
hide-and-seek among the trees, they waded in the river, went fishing,
made wreaths of flowers, and played with their animal friends. They
fed the hares cauliflower, or watched the fawns grazing and the goats
frisking; and even the birds loved them and did not fly away when they
were near. In the home they kept things not only clean but beautiful;
they not only did work but took pleasure in doing that work. Now at a
time when domestic life in the home is being threatened, Snow White
and Rose Red gives a realistic picture of the beauty of domestic
life, its simple joys and charm. In summer there was always a nose-gay
for the Mother, and in winter there was a cheery fire with a copper
kettle over it, shining like gold. And in the evening when the snow
fell fast outside, inside was warmth and comfort. The Children sat
sewing and the Mother reading, while a lamb and a white dove beside
them enjoyed their protection and care.
The entrance of the Bear gave the Children a natural thrill of fear.
But the Mother, with beautiful hospitality, gave the Bear protection
and kindness and led them to overcome that fear. To the Bear they
showed that good nature which willingly serves; and in the tricks they
played with their comrade they showed a great strength of vitality and
that freedom which grows where there is no repression.
The Bear departed at spring-time; and as he left Snow White thought
she saw glittering gold under his coat. This seems to hint that the
tale is symbolic, typifying the change of seasons. Spring, the Bear,
took refuge in the cottage during the cold winter months; but in the
spring he had to go abroad into the forest, to guard his treasures
from the evil Dwarf of winter.
The Children again showed their sweetness and good nature when, while
gathering sticks, they came upon the Dwarf, with his wrinkled face and
snow-white beard, the end of which was caught in a split of a tree.
The contrast is delightful, between the cross and impatient Dwarf and
Rose Red who offered to fetch help, and Snow White who politely tried
to soothe his impatience by cutting off the end of his beard with her
scissors. This time the Dwarf snatched a sack of gold which lay at the
foot of the tree, and fled, most ungrateful, not even thanking the
Children. The Children had two other adventures with the Dwarf; and
these, together with their adventure with the Bear, make up the plot
of the story. They met the Dwarf a second time, one day when they went
fishing. Then Rose Red told him to be careful or he'd fall into the
water, because a great fish was pulling on the bait and his beard
became entangled in the fishing-line. Snow White again cut off the end
of his beard to free him and again he snatched his bag—this time of
pearls, lying among the rushes—and fled. One day, on going to town to
buy thread, needles, laces, and ribbons, they met the Dwarf a third
time. This time an eagle had caught him and was about to carry him
off. The Children, with compassion, held on and freed him; but again
he scolded, seized his bag of precious stones, and slipped away to his
cave. On their return from town, the Children again met the Dwarf, in
the wood, counting his treasure. Again he was very angry, but just
then the Bear arrived out of the forest and demanded the life of the
Dwarf. The Dwarf offered up in his stead, Snow White and Rose Red. But
the Bear, faithful to his old comrades, slew the Dwarf, and then
becoming a beautiful Prince, went home with the Sisters. Snow White
married the Prince and Rose Red his Brother, and they all lived with
their Mother happily in the beautiful palace.
When the Bear slew the Dwarf spring returned to the land. The Dwarf
with his snow-white beard seems to typify winter. Each time the
Dwarf's beard was cut the beard of winter became shorter, another
winter month was gone, and there remained a shorter season. The bag of
gold which the Dwarf first took might signify the golden fruit of
autumn, and the pearls and diamonds which he next took, the ice and
snow of winter. The Dwarf's beard became entangled in the fishing-line
when the icy winds of winter began to give the pond its frozen coat;
and then the animals of the wood were compelled to seek a refuge. When
the Bear came out of the wood to meet the Dwarf and slew him, the time
for the departure of winter was at hand, and spring returned to the
This fairy tale evidently shows a good, interesting plot, with
something happening all the time. The climax is very distinctly
marked, everything leads up to the meeting of the Bear and the Dwarf
in the forest. The characters present interesting variety and strong
contrasts. The setting is unusually beautiful: the cottage, the wood,
the lake, the town, the hillside, the palace, and the two symbolic
rose-trees. The tale appeals to the emotions of love, kindness,
compassion, and gratitude. It presents to the imagination distinct
episodes: the home-life of the Children in the cottage, their life in
the wood, their adventure with the Bear, their three adventures with
the Dwarf, and the meeting of the Bear and the Dwarf. The conclusion
follows closely upon the climax,—the Bear, grateful to the kind
Children, saved their lives and re-transformed, became a Prince. The
happy marriage brings the tale to a close, with the palace home
guarded by the two rose-trees. The message of the tale is the possible
beauty of woman's love and character, and the loveliness of spring and
A Modern Tale
The Elephant's Child
The Elephant's Child might be examined here more particularly
because it is unusually interesting as an example of the complete test
applied to the child's fairy tale. One need not test it as to interest
for it was written especially for children by one who could play with
them. As to literature it certainly has mind and soul; there is no
doubt about its structure or its appeal to the sympathies. The
quantity of good humor and fun it bestows upon childhood is a
permanent enrichment; for even a child's world has need of all the
good cheer and fun that can be given to it.
This tale is especially interesting also because it might be classed
as almost any one of the types of tales. It is not accumulative though
it possesses to a marked degree three characteristics of the
accumulative tale, repetition, alliteration, and all sorts of phonic
effects. And it is not an old tale. But it is not only one of the most
pleasing animal tales we possess but one of the best humorous tales
having the rare quality of freshness. It is realistic in its portrayal
of animal life; and it is highly romantic in its sense of adventure,
the heroic, the strange, and the remote.
As a short-story it shows the essentials, originality, ingenuity, and
compression. The single interest is how the Elephant got his trunk,
and everything points to the climax of his getting it. The plot is
"entertaining, novel, comical and thrilling." The structure is very
easily seen in these ten episodes:—
1. The introduction; the family; the Child; his home; his
questions; the new, fine question.
2. The Elephant's Child set out to answer his own question.
3. The Elephant's Child met Kolokolo Bird.
4. The Elephant's Child journeyed to the Limpopo.
5. The Elephant's Child met the Python.
6. The Elephant's Child met the Crocodile. He got his trunk.
7. The Elephant's Child gained experience from the Python.
8. The Elephant's Child's journey home.
9. The Elephant's Child's return home.
10. Conclusion. How all elephants got trunks. Peace.
The characters are unique and interesting. They are usual animals but
unusual in what they say. They exhibit animal traits and motives but
they also show us a hidden meaning in their actions and words. They
seem living, they speak directly; yet they preserve the idea of the
fable for they are symbolic. The Elephant's Child typifies human
innocence, the inexperience of youth; the Kolokolo Bird, a friend; the
Python, experience or wisdom; and the Crocodile, guile or evil. All
the animals become very interesting because we are concerned to know
their particular reason for spanking the "'satiable Elephant's Child."
What they say is so humorous and what they do is consistent, in
harmony with their natural animal traits. The Child is the hero. He is
a very attractive character because he has that rare charm we call
temperament. He is curious, polite, and sweet, and follows his own
nose in spite of everything. He wins out with strength, experience,
and a new nose; and we are rejoiced at his triumphs. His questions are
so funny and yet they seem quite what any elephant with a bump of
curiosity might ask. To the Giraffe—"What made his skin spotty?" To
the Hippopotamus—"Why her eyes were red?" To the Baboon—"Why melons
tasted just so?" And at last, "What does the Crocodile have for
The setting of the tale is suggested continually in expressions which
show visual imagination of a high order: such as, "And he lived in
Africa"; "dragged him through a thorn bush"; "blew bubbles into her
ear"; "hove him into a hornet's nest"; and "from Graham's Town to
Kimberley and from Kimberley to Khama's Country, and from Khama's
Country east by north to the Limpopo."
The tale possesses most delightful humor. A verbal magic which fairly
scintillates with the comic spirit, and clinging epithets of which
Kipling is a master, suggest the exact picture needed. Humor is
secured largely through the use of the unique word; as, "spanked,"
"precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said," and "for he was a Tidy
Pachyderm." Often it is increased by the use of newly coined words;
as, "hijjus," "curtiosity," "scalesome, flailsome, tail,"
"fever-trees," "self-propelling man-of-war," and "schloop of mud."
Another element of humor in the tale is the artistic use of
repetition, which has been previously referred to as one of the
child's interests. Sometimes one meaning is expressed in several
different ways; as, "immediately and directly, without stopping, for a
long time." Or we are given contrasted terms; as, "a little warm but
not at all astonished," and then later, "very warm and greatly
astonished." One main element of humor is this way in which
expressions reflect back on preceding ones. Sometimes we are given
very surprising, startling, expressions; as, "wait-a-bit-thorn-bush
"—which reminds us of the "all-alone-stone" in Water Babies—and
"he sang to himself down his trunk."
As to imagination, The Elephant's Child is a delightful illustration
of the appeal to the associative, the penetrative, and the
contemplative imagination. While its philosophy may be understood in
part by the child it has a deeper meaning for the adult. It seems to
imply that it is the way of life to spank somebody else. It is the
stronger who spank the weaker until they become strong enough to stand
up for themselves. Then nobody spanks anybody any more and there is
peace. When the Child asked a question that no one would answer he set
out to find his own answer just as in life it often is best to work to
answer one's own questions. When the Elephant trusted the Crocodile he
got something to keep just as in life the innocent may bear the marks
of a contest though in no sense responsible for the contest.
Experience in the guise of the Python helped the Child in his contest
for life with the advice his own common sense would have offered. As
an allegory of Experience The Elephant's Child does not view life as
a whole; it gives but a glimpse of life. It would say: Experience
teaches us to make the best with what we have. The way to get
experience is to try a new power, just as the Child with his trunk
tried to kill the fly and eat grass. As soon as he had received his
new power he tested it on the Hippopotamous. He won the respect of his
kind by beating them at their own game.
The emotional appeal in The Elephant's Child would repay study. The
dominant emotional tone is that of the adventurous hero with his
"'satiable curtiosity." There is vividness of emotion, steadiness of
emotion, and a rich variety in the contrasts of feeling. Emotion of a
moral quality is characteristic of its implied message of worldly
wisdom but it does not leave one exactly satisfied.
The form of the story is a splendid example of a literary classic
style. A pleasing humorous touch is given to the unity of the tale by
making the Elephant's Child pick up with his new trunk, on his way
home, the melon-rinds he had scattered on his journey to the Limpopo.
The coherence in the tale is unusually fine and is secured largely by
expressions which look backward or forwards; as, "By and by when that
was finished," or "One fine morning," or "That very next morning." Any
study will show that the tale possesses the general qualities of form
and has its parts controlled by the principles of composition.
I. THE WORTH OF FAIRY TALES
I. Two public tributes 1
II. The value of fairy tales in education 3
1. They bring joy into child-life 3
2. They satisfy the play-spirit of childhood 4
3. They give a power of accurate observation 6
4. They strengthen the power of emotion, develop the
power of imagination, train the memory and
exercise the reason 6
5. They extend and intensify the child's social
6. In school they unify the child's work or play 8
7. In the home they employ leisure time profitably 9
8. They afford a vital basis for language-training 10
III. References 12
II. PRINCIPLES OF SELECTION FOR FAIRY TALES
I. The interests of children 13
1. Fairy tales must follow the law of composition
and must contain the interests of children 13
a. A sense of life 14
b. The familiar 14
c. The surprise 15
d. Sense impression 17
e. The beautiful 18
f. Wonder, mystery, magic 19
g. Adventure 19
h. Success 20
i. Action 20
j. Humor 21
k. Poetic justice 22
l. The imaginative 23
m. Animals 24
n. A portrayal of human relations, especially
with children 24
o. The diminutive 25
p. Rhythm and repetition 26
q. The simple and sincere 28
r. Unity of effect 29
2. Fairy tales must follow the law of the emotions
and avoid elements opposed to the interests of
the very young child 30
a. The tale of the witch 31
b. The tale of the dragon 31
c. Giant tales 31
d. Some tales of transformation 32
e. The tale of strange animal relations and
strange creatures 33
f. Unhappy tales 34
g. The tale of capture 34
h. The very long tale 35
i. The complicated or the insincere tale 36
II. The fairy tale as literature 37
1. The fairy tale must be a true classic 38
2. The fairy tale must have mind and soul 39
3. The fairy tale must have the distinguishing
marks of literature 40
a. A power to appeal to the emotions 41
1) Literary emotion is not personal 41
2) Literary emotion must have justness 41
3) Literary emotion must have vividness 41
4) Literary emotion must have steadiness 41
5) Literary emotion must have variety 41
6) Literary emotion must have moral quality 41
7) Application of the test of emotion to the
Fairy tales 41
8) The value of fairy tales in the development
of emotion 44
b. A power to appeal to the imagination 45
1) Appeal to the creative imagination 45
2) Appeal to the associative imagination 46
a) Appeal to fancy 46
3) Appeal to the penetrative imagination 47
4) Appeal to the contemplative imagination 47
a) Philosophy in the fairy tales 48
b) Proverbs in the fairy tales 50
c) Relation of the contemplative
imagination to science 52
c. A basis of truth, or appeal to the intellect 53
1) The truth must be idealistic 53
a) It may be realistic 53
b) It may be romantic 53
2) Value of the appeal of literature to the
d. A form more or less perfect 54
1) The elements of form: words, sentences,
paragraphs, and wholes 58
a) Words, the medium of language must
have two powers 54
(1) Denotation, to name what they
(2) Connotation, to suggest what they
b) Suggestive power of words illustrated 55
2) General qualities characteristic of perfect
a) Precision or clearness 57
(1) Precision demands that words have
(2) Precision appeals to the intellect 57
b) Energy or force 57
(1) Energy demands that words have
(2) Energy appeals to the emotions and
holds the attention 58
c) Delicacy or emotional harmony 58
(1) Delicacy demands that words have
the power of adaptation 58
(2) Delicacy demands that form appeal
to the æsthetic sense 58
(3) Delicacy is secured by selection and
arrangement of words according to
emotional associations 58
d) Personality 58
(1) Personality gives the charm of
(2) Personality suggests the character
of the writer 58
3) Principles controlling the elements
of form, principles of composition 58
a) The principle of sincerity 58
(1) Sincerity demands a just expression 58
b) The principle of unity 59
(1) Unity demands a central idea 59
(2) Unity demands completeness 59
(3) Unity demands no irrelevant material 59
(4) Unity demands method, sequence
and climax 59
c) The principle of mass 59
(1) Mass demands that the chief parts
readily catch the eye 59
(2) Mass demands harmonious proportion
of parts 59
d) The principle of coherence 59
(1) Coherence demands unmistakable
relation of parts 59
(2) Coherence demands this unmistakable
relation be preserved by the
order, forms and connections 59
4) Form characterized by perfect adaptation
of words to thought and feeling is called
a) Style demands that form possess the
four general qualities of form in
perfection: precision, energy, delicacy,
and personality 59
b) Style demands that form have its
elements controlled by the four general
principles: sincerity, unity, mass, and
c) Oeyvind and Marit, a modern tale
illustrating style 60
d) Three Billy-Goats Gruff, a folk-tale
illustrating style 64
e) The folk-tale generally considered as to
literary form 65
f) The tale by Grimm, Perrault, Dasent,
Harris, Jacobs, Lang, and Andersen
considered as to literary form 67
g) The tale of to-day considered as to
literary form 69
III. The fairy tale as a short-story 70
1. Characters 71
a. Characters must be unique, original, and
b. Characters of the fairy tales 72
2. Plot 73
a. Plot must be entertaining, comical, novel, or
b. Plot must show a beginning, a middle, and
an end 73
c. Plot must have a distinct climax 74
d. Introduction must be simple 74
e. Conclusion must show poetic justice 74
f. Plot must be good narration and description 74
1) Narration must have truth, interest, and
2) Description must have aptness and
g. Structure illustrated by Three Pigs and
Briar Rose 76
3. Setting 77
a. Setting must give the time and place, the
background of the tale 77
b. Setting must arouse sensation and feeling 77
c. Effect of transformation of setting 77
1) Story sequence preserved by setting
illustrated by Robin's Christmas Song 78
d. Setting and phonics, illustrated. The
Spider and the Flea 79
e. Setting illustrated. Chanticleer and
4. A blending of characters, plot, and setting
illustrated by The Elves and the Shoemaker 82
5. Tests to be applied to fairy tales 84
6. Tales examined and tested by the complete test
of interests, classic, literature, short-story,
narration, and description 84
a. How the Sun, Moon, and West Wind Went to
Dinner (Indian) 84
b. The Straw Ox (Cossack) 86
IV. References 87
III. THE TELLING OF FAIRY TALES
Story-telling as an Art. Introductory 90
1. Story-telling as an ancient art 90
2. The place of the story in the home, library, and
the school 93
3. Principles of story-telling 94
I. The teacher's preparation. Rules 94
1. Select the tale for some purpose 94
a. The teacher's problem of selecting the tale
psychologically or logically 95
2. Know the tale historically as folk-lore, as
literature, and as a short-story 96
a. The various motives contained in the fairy
tales listed 97
3. Master the structure of the tale 99
4. Dwell upon the life of the story 99
5. Secure the message 100
6. Master the form 100
II. The presentation of the tale 102
1. Training of the voice 103
a. Study of phonetics 103
2. Exercises in breathing 104
3. A knowledge of gesture 105
a. Gesture precedes speech 106
b. Gesture begins in the face 106
c. Hands and arms lie close to the body in
controlled emotion 106
4. A power of personality 106
5. Suggestions for telling 107
a. The establishment of the personal relation
between the teacher and the listener 108
b. The placing of the story in a concrete
situation for the child 110
c. The consideration of the child's aim in
listening, by the teacher in her preparation 112
6. The telling of the tale 112
a. The re-creative method of story-telling.
Illustrated by a criticism of the telling of
The Princess and the Pea 114
b. The re-creative method illustrated by The
Foolish, Timid Rabbit 116
7. Adaptation of the fairy tale. Illustrated by
Thumbelina and by The Snow Man 118
III. The return from the child 119
Story-telling as one phase of the art of teaching.
1. Teaching as good art and as great art; and
fairy tales as subject-matter suited to
accomplish high purposes in teaching 120
2. The part the child has to play in story-telling 121
3. The child's return, the expression of his
natural instincts or general interests 125
1. The instinct of conversation 125
a. Language expression, oral re-telling 125
b. The formation of original little stories 126
c. Reading of the tale a form of creative
2. The instinct of inquiry 127
a. Appeal of the folk-tale to this instinct 128
b. The instinct of inquiry united to the instinct
of conversation, of construction, and of
artistic expression, illustrated 128
3. The instinct of construction 129
a. Clay-modelling 129
b. Construction of objects 129
4. The instinct of artistic expression 130
a. Cutting of free silhouette pictures.
b. Drawing and crayon-sketching. Illustrated 132
c. Painting. Illustrated 132
d. Song. Illustrated 133
e. Dance, rhythm plays. Illustrated 134
f. Game. Illustrated 135
g. Representation of the fairy tale. Illustrated
by The Steadfast Tin Soldier 135
h. Free play and dramatization 138
1) Virtues of dramatization 138
a) It develops voice 138
b) It gives grace of movement 138
c) It develops control and poise 138
d) It strengthens attention and power of
e) It combines intellectual, emotional,
artistic, and physical action 138
f) It impresses many pieces of literature
g) It is the true Direct Moral Method and
may establish a habit 143
2) Dangers of dramatization 139
a) Dramatization often is in very poor
b) Dramatization may develop boldness
in a child 141
c) Dramatization may spoil some
d) Dramatization has lacked sequence in
tales used from year to year 142
i. Illustrations of creative return 144
1) The Country Mouse and the City Mouse as
expression in language, dramatization,
drawing, and crayon-sketching 144
2) The Elves and the Shoemaker as
expression in the dramatic game 145
3) Little Two-Eyes as expression in
dramatization. A fairy-play outline.
(See Appendix) 145
4) Snow White as expression in
dramatization. (See Appendix) 145
5) Sleeping Beauty as expression of partial
narration, dramatic game, and
dramatization combined 146
6) The Little Lamb and the Little Fish, an
original tale developed from a Grimm
fragmentary tale, illustrating expression
in folk-game and dramatization. (See
7) The Bird and the Trees, an original play
illustrating expression in rhythm play and
8) How the Birds came to Have Different
Nests, an original play illustrating
language expression and dramatization.
(See Appendix) 151
9) Andersen's Fir Tree as expression in
dramatization, illustrating organization
of ideas through a play 152
IV. References 154
IV. THE HISTORY OF FAIRY TALES
I. The origin of fairy tales 158
1. The fairy tale defined 159
2. The derivation and history of the name, fairy 159
a. Four senses in which fairy has been used 160
3. The theories concerning the origin of fairy
a. Fairy tales are detritus of myth 161
1) The evolution of the tale 161
b. Fairy tales are myths of Sun, Rain, Dawn,
Thunder, etc., the Aryan Theory 162
c. Fairy tales all arose in India, the
Philological theory 165
d. Fairy tales owe their origin to the identity
of early fancy 167
e. Fairy tales owe their origin to a combination
of all these theories 167
II. The transmission of fairy tales 167
1. The oral transmission of fairy tales 167
a. Examples of transmission of fairy tales: Jack
the Giant-Killer, Dick Whittington, etc. 168
2. Literary transmission of fairy tales 170
a. An enumeration of the literary collections and
books that have handed down the tales; as
Reynard the Fox, the Persian King-book, The
Thousand and One Nights, Straparola's
Nights, Basile's Pentamerone, and Perrault's
Tales of Mother Goose 170
b. French publications of fairy tales 179
1) The tales of Perrault 179
2) Tales by followers of Perrault 181
3) A list of tales from the time of Perrault to
the present time 183
c. English and Celtic publications of fairy tales 183
1) Tales of Scotland and Ireland 184
2) English tales and books 184
3) A list illustrating the history of the English
fairy tale, including chap-books: Jack the
Giant-Killer, Tom Hickathrift;
old collections; etc. 184
4) A list illustrating the development of
fairy-tale illustration in England 188
d. German publications of fairy tales 192
1) A list of tales from the time of the Grimms
to the present 193
e. Fairy-tale publications of other nations 193
f. American publications of fairy tales 195
1) A list of tales from the earliest times to
g. Recent collections of folk-lore 200
III. References 201
V. CLASSES OF FAIRY TALES
I. Available types of tales 204
1. The accumulative or clock story 205
a. Tales of simple repetition 206
1) The House that Jack Built 206
2) The Key of the Kingdom 207
b. Tales of repetition with an addition 208
1) The Old Woman and Her Pig 208
2) Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse 208
3) Johnny Cake 209
4) The Gingerbread Man 209
5) The Straw Ox 209
c. Tales of repetition and variation 209
1) The Three Bears 209
2) The Three Billy Goats 211
2. The animal tale 211
a. The evolution of the animal tale 211
b. The animal tale may be an old beast tale 211
1) Henny Penny 213
2) The Foolish Timid Rabbit 214
3) The Sheep and the Pig 215
4) Medio Pollito 215
5) The Three Pigs 216
c. The animal tale may be an elaborated fable,
d. The animal tale may be an imaginary creation,
e. The Good-Natured Bear, a modern type. (See
3. The humorous tale 217
a. The humorous element for children 218
b. The Musicians of Bremen, a humorous type 219
c. Humorous tales mentioned previously 221
d. Drakesbill, a humorous type 221
4. The realistic tale 223
a. Lazy Jack, a realistic type of common life 224
b. The Old Woman and Her Pig, a realistic type 225
c. How Two Beetles Took Lodgings, a realistic
tale of scientific interest 226
d. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse, a realistic
theme transformed into a romantic tale 227
5. The romantic tale 228
a. Cinderella 228
b. Sleeping Beauty 231
c. Red Riding Hood 232
d. Puss-in-Boots. (See Appendix) 232
1) The Norse Lord Peter (See Appendix) 232
e. Tom Thumb, a romantic tale of fancy. (See
1) The French Little Thumb. (See Appendix) 232
2) The English Tom Thumb. (See Appendix) 232
f. Snow White and Rose Red, a highly idealized
romantic type tested by the standards
included here. (See Appendix) 232
6. The old tale and the modern tale 234
a. The modern tale often lacks the great art
qualities of the old tale, unity and harmony,
sincerity and simplicity 235
b. The modern tale often fails to use the
method of suggestion 235
c. The modern tale often does not stand the
test of literature 235
d. The modern tale gives richly to the primary
and elementary field 235
e. Criticism of a few modern tales 236
1) Little Beta and the Lame Giant, a good
modern tale 236
2) The Cock, the Mouse, and the Little Red
Hen, a good modern tale 238
3) Peter Rabbit, a classic; other animal
4) The Elephant's Child, a modern animal
tale. (See Appendix) 239
5) A Quick-Running Squash, a good modern
6) A few St. Nicholas fairy stories 241
7) The Hop-About-Man, a romantic modern
fairy tale 241
f. What the modern fairy tale is 243
VI. SOURCES OF MATERIAL FOR FAIRY TALES: A LIST OF FAIRY TALES,
FOLK-TALES, PICTURES, PICTURE-BOOKS, POEMS, AND BOOKS.
Basis on which lists are made. Introductory 245
I. A list of fairy tales and folk-tales suited to the
kindergarten and first grade 246
1. Tales of Perrault 246
2. Tales of the Grimms 246
3. Norse tales 247
4. English tales, by Jacobs 247
5. Modern fairy tales, by Andersen 248
6. Uncle Remus tales, by Harris 248
7. Miscellaneous tales 249
II. Bibliography of fairy tales 253
III. A list of picture-books 254
IV. A list of pictures 255
V. A list of fairy poems 256
VI. Main standard fairy-tale books 256
VII. Fairy tales of all nations 258
VIII. Miscellaneous editions of fairy tales 259
IX. School editions of fairy tales 262
Illustrations of creative return 265
Tales suited for dramatization 265
Little Two-Eyes 265
Snow White 266
The Little Lamb and the Little Fish 267
How the Birds came to Have Different Nests 270
Types of tales 272
An animal tale 272
The Good-Natured Bear 272
A few romantic tales 275
Puss-in-Boots and Lord Peter 275
Tom Thumb and Little Thumb 278
Snow White and Rose Red 282
A modern tale 287
The Elephant's Child 287
[1: McLoughlin edition.]
[2: What if we could give the child that which is called education
through his voluntary activities, and have him always as eager as
he is at play! (Froebel.)
What if we could let the child be free and happy, and yet bring
to him those things which he ought to have so that he will choose
What would be the possibilities for a future race if we would
give the child mind a chance to come out and express itself, if
we would remove adult repression, offer a stimulus, and closely
watch the product, untouched by adult skill. (Unknown.)
The means by which the higher selective interest is aroused, is
the exercise of selected forms of activity. (Susan Blow.)]
[3: Little Two-Eyes and Snow White are tales also suited to the
first grade for dramatization. See Appendix.]
[4: A similar tale is told by Miss Holbrook in The Book of Nature
Myths. Also by Mary McDowell as "The Three Little Christmas
Trees." A simple version of this tale, "The Three Little
Christmas Trees that Grew on the Hill," is given in The
Story-Teller's Book by Alice O'Grady and Frances Throop.]
[5: Joseph Jacobs, in his Introduction to the Cranford edition, and
Ashton, in Chap-Books of the Eighteenth Century, furnish most
of the facts mentioned here.]
[6: This list has been compiled largely from "Children's Books and
Their Illustrators," by Gleeson White, in The International
Studio. Special Winter Number, 1897-98.]
[7: The following list, compiled by Mr. H.H.B. Meyer, the chief
bibliographer of the Library of Congress, has been furnished
through the courtesy of the United States Bureau of Education. A
few additional books were inserted by the author. The books at
the head of the list give information on the subject.]
[8: The Woman and Her Kid, a version of this tale adapted from an
ancient Jewish Sacred Book, is given in Boston Kindergarten
Stories, p. 171.]
[9: See Appendix.]
[10: William M. Thackeray, Miscellanies, v. Boston: James Osgood
& Co., 1873. "Titmarsh among Pictures and Books"; "On Some
Illustrated Christmas Books," 1846.]
[11: A few romantic tales for the first grade are treated in the
Appendix: Puss-in-Boots, Lord Peter, Tom Thumb, Little
Thumb, and Snow White and Rose Red.]
[12: See Appendix.]
[13: Laura F. Kready, "Picture-Books for Little Children,"
Kindergarten Review, Sept., 1914.]
[14: For Little Two-Eyes and Snow White, see note on p. 145; for
The Little Lamb and the Little Fish, see pp. 147-48; and for
How the Birds came to have Different Nests, see p. 151.]
[15: See note, p. 217.]
[16: See note, p. 232]
[17: Reprinted in Living Age, Aug. 13, 1844, vol. 2, p. 1.]
[18: See p. 239]
Accumulative or clock story, 205-11.
Adaptation of fairy tales, 117-19.
Adventures of Chanticleer and Partlet, 81-82.
American fairy tales, 195-99.
Andersen, Hans C.:
tales by, tested as literary form, 69;
Steadfast Tin Soldier, 46, 49, 135-38;
Fir Tree, 151-53;
list of tales by, 248;
evolution of, 211-13;
types of, 213-17, 272-75, 287-90.
an interest, 24;
tale of strange, 33-34.
Little Two-Eyes, 265-66;
Snow White, 266-67;
The Little Lamb and the Little Fish, 267-70;
How the Birds came to Have Different Nests, 270-72;
The Good-Natured Bear, 272-75;
Puss-in-Boots and Lord Peter, 275-78;
Tom Thumb and Little Thumb, 278-82;
Snow White and Rose Red, 282-86;
The Elephant's Child, 287-90.
Arabian Nights, Thousand and One Nights, 176-78, 190, 196.
of teaching, 119-20;
in teaching, good, 120;
in teaching, great, 120-21;
in literature, good, 39-40;
in literature, fine, 39-40;
of story-telling, 90-91, 93-94;
ancient, of story-telling, 91-93.
Artistic expression, instinct of, 130-54.
Aulnoy, Comtesse d', tales of, 181-82.
Beaumont, Madam de, 182.
Beautiful, the, 18-19.
Beauty and the Beast,
dramatization of, 140-41;
editions of, 189, 198.
Bibliography of fairy tales, 253-54.
Bird and the Trees, 148-51.
Books, main standard fairy tale, a list, 256-58. See Sources of
Breathing, exercises in, 104-05.
Briar Rose, 77. See also Sleeping Beauty.
Capture, tales of, 34-35.
Celtic fairy tales, 183-84.
Chap-books, 185-87, 188, 196, 198.
his part in story-telling, 121-25;
in observation, 6, 47-48;
in reason, 6-7, 53-54;
in language, 10;
in emotion, 44-45;
in imagination, 45-53;
in experience, 54;
in intellect, 53-54;
in self-activity, 121-22;
in consciousness, 122-23;
in initiative, 122;
in purpose, 123-25;
in creative return possible to him, 123-54;
in self-expression, 124-54;
in organization of ideas, 153.
Child's Own Book, The, 190.
a chap-book, 187,188, 198;
a romantic type, 228-31.
Classes of tales, 204-44:
old and modern, compared, 234-43;
Classic, fairy tale as a, 38-39.
Cock, the Mouse, and the Little Red Hen, 238-39.
principle of, 58-59;
illustrated, 62, 65.
Complicated or insincere, the, 36.
general qualities of, 57-58;
principles of, 58-59;
style in, 59-60.
Comte de Caylus, 182.
Concrete situation, placing of story in, 94-95, 110-11.
Consciousness, development of, 122-23.
Construction, expression of instinct of, 129-30.
Conversation, expression of instinct of, 125-27.
Country Mouse and City Mouse, 144-45.
Crayon-sketching, as expression, 132.
Creative return, illustrated, 144-54. See Return.
of life, teaching, a, 120-21;
of Oeyvind and Marit, 60-64;
of Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 64-65;
of How the Sun, Moon, and West Wind went out to Dinner, 84-86;
of Straw Ox, 86-87;
of Steadfast Tin Soldier, 135-38;
of Musicians of Bremen, 219-20;
of Drakesbill, 221-23;
of Puss-in-Boots and Norse Lord Peter, 275-78;
of Tom Thumb and Little Thumb, 278-82;
of Snow White and Rose Red, 282-86;
and of Elephant's Child, 287-90.
Danish tales, 194.
Dasent, Sir George W.,
tales by, as literary form, 68-69;
Norse tales by, 194, 247, 257.
or emotional harmony, quality of, 57-58;
illustrated, 60, 61, 64.
illustrating oral transmission of tales, 169;
a chap-book, 185, 188, 196, 198.
Diminutive, the, 25-26.
Dragon tales, 31.
Dramatic game: Elves and the Shoemaker, 145; Sleeping Beauty, 146-47.
as expression, 138-54;
virtues of, 138, 143;
dangers of, 139-43;
of Sleeping Beauty, 146-47;
of Bird and the Trees, 149-51;
of Fir Tree, 152-53;
of Little Two Eyes, 265-66;
of Snow White, 266-67;
of How the Birds came to have Different Nests, 270-72;
and of Puss-in-Boots, 276.
Drawing, as expression, 132.
Dwarf's Tailor, 237.
main fairy tale, 256-58;
fairy tale, of all nations, 258-59;
miscellaneous, of fairy tales, 259-62;
school, of fairy tales, 262-64.
Elements to be avoided, 30-36.
Elephant's Child, illustrating:
modern animal tale, 239, 287-90.
Elves and the Shoemaker,
illustrating: structure and short-story, 82-84;
story, 82-84; creative return, 145.
Emelyan the Fool, 170.
appeal to, distinguishing literary trait, 40-41;
qualities of literary, 41;
literary, in fairy tales, 41-44;
growth of, 44-45;
comparison of, in fairy tales and Shakespeare's dramas, 7, 43-44.
Energy or force, quality of, 57-58;
illustrated, 61, 64.
English fairy tales, 184-92;
collections of, 184-88;
illustrating development of illustration, 188-92;
by Jacobs, list, 247-48;
rhythm play, 133-34;
dramatization, 138-54, 265-72.
derivation of, 159-60;
history of the name, 160.
Fairy tales: worth of, 1-12;
principles of selection for, 13-89;
telling of, 90-157;
history of, 158-203;
classes of, 204-44;
sources of material for, 245-64;
tributes to, 1-3;
interests in, 13-37;
as literature, 37-70;
as classics, 38-39;
possessing mind and soul, 39-40;
distinguished by marks of literature, 40;
as emotion, 41-45;
as imagination, 45-53;
philosophy in, 48-52;
proverbs in, 50;
as truth, 53-54;
as form, 54-70;
powers of words in, 54-57;
general qualities of form in, 57-58;
general principles controlling form in, 58-59;
style in, defined, 59-60;
tested as literary form, 60-70;
as a form of short-story, 70-87;
three elements blended, 82-84;
tested by complete standards, 84-87;
teacher's preparation for telling, 94-102;
presentation of, by teacher, 102-19;
return of child from, 119-54;
rules for preparation of, 94-102;
selection of, 95-96;
motifs in, 96-98;
re-telling of, 101-02;
training of voice in telling, 103-04;
breathing in telling, 104-05;
gesture in telling, 105-06;
power of personality, in telling, 106-07;
suggestions for telling, 107-12;
establishment of personal relation in telling, 107-10;
placing of, in a concrete situation, 110-11;
conception of child's aim in listening to, 112;
re-creative method of telling, 112-17;
adaptation of, 117-19;
art of teaching, in telling, 119-25;
as expression of conversation, 125-27;
as expression of inquiry, 127-29;
as expression of construction, 129-30;
as expression of art, 130-54;
origin of, 158-67;
transmission of, 167-200;
tales of other nations, 193-95;
collections of folklore, 200;
romantic, 228-34, 275-86;
old and modern, 234-43;
of Perrault, 246;
of the Grimms, 246-47;
English, by Jacobs, 247-48;
modern, by Andersen, 248;
Uncle Remus, by Harris, 248-49;
bibliography of, 253-54;
in picture-books, 254-55;
in pictures, 255;
in poems, 255-56;
in standard books, 256-58;
of all nations, 258-59;
in miscellaneous editions, 259-62;
in school editions, 262-64;
in Appendix, 265-90.
Familiar, the, 14-15.
Fancy, 46, 47.
Fir Tree, 151-53.
First-grade fairy tales, 231-34, 265-86.
Folk-game, illustrated by Little Lamb and the Little Fish, 147-48,
generally, as literary form, 65-67;
tested as literary form, 60-70;
characters of, compared with those of Shakespeare, 7, 43-44;
recent collections of, 200.
Foolish, Timid Rabbit,
illustrating method in story-telling, 116-17;
an animal type, 214.
a distinguishing literary trait, 40, 54;
general qualities of, 57-58;
precision, a quality, 57;
energy, a quality, 57-58;
delicacy, a quality, 58;
personality, a quality, 58;
principles controlling, 58-60:
style in, 59-60;
illustrated: by Oeyvind and Marit, 60-64;
by Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 64-65;
folk-tales as literary, 65-70;
mastery of tale as, 100-02.
French fairy tales, 179-83.
Game, as expression, 134-35.
Gardens of the Tuileries, 1.
German fairy tales, 192-93.
Gesta Romanorum, 174-75.
knowledge of, 105-06;
library pamphlet relating to, 106.
Giant tales, 31-32.
Golden Egg and the Cock of Gold, 237-38.
a modern animal type, 217, 272-75;
a book, 190.
Grimm, William and Jacob, 67-68;
list of tales by, 246-47;
editions by, 257;
tales by, as literary form, 67.
list of Uncle Remus tales by, 248-49;
tales by, as literary form, 69;
editions by, 257.
Henny Penny, 214.
History of fairy tales, 158-203;
origin of fairy tales, 158-67;
transmission of fairytales, 167-200;
oral transmission, 167-70;
literary transmission, 170-200;
House that Jack Built, 206-07.
How the Birds came to Have Different Nests, 151; 270-72.
How the Sun, Moon, and West Wind went out to Dinner, 84-86.
How Two Beetles Took Lodgings, 226.
Humor in fairy tales: an interest, 21-22; 217-19.
Humorous tales, 217-23; types of, 219-23.
a distinguishing literary mark of fairy tales, 40, 45-53;
fancy, 46, 47;
exhibited in child's return, 122, 125-54.
Imaginative, the, 23.
Initiative, development of, 122, 123-25.
Instincts of child, expression of:
artistic expression, 130-54.
Intellect, appeal of fairy tales to, 53-54.
Interests of children, 13-37;
sense of life, 14;
the familiar, 14-15;
sense impression, 17-18;
the beautiful, 18-19;
wonder, mystery, magic, 19;
poetic justice, 22-23;
the imaginative, 23;
portrayal of human relations, 24-25;
the diminutive, 25-26;
rhythm and repetition, 26-28;
the simple and the sincere, 28-29;
unity of effect, 29-30;
opposed to, 30-36;
witch tales, 31;
dragon tales, 31;
giant tales, 31-32;
some tales of transformation, 32-33;
tales of strange creatures, 33-34;
unhappy tales, 34;
tales of capture, 34-35;
very long tales, 35-36;
complicated or insincere tales, 36.
Inquiry, instinct of, 127-29.
Jack the Giant-Killer, 185, 186, 188, 190.
list of tales by, 247-48;
tales by, as literary form, 69;
editions by, 257.
Key of the Kingdom, 207-08.
play in, 5-6;
work in, unified by the fairy tale, 8-9;
language-training in, 10-11;
interests of child in, 13-37;
standards for literature in, 37-87;
standards for composition in, 54-60;
story-telling in, 94-119;
return to be expected from child in, 119-54;
standards of teaching for teacher in, 119-25;
instincts of child in, 125-54;
history of fairy tales to be used in, 158-203;
classes of tales used in, 204-44;
sources of material for fairy tales to be used in, 245-64.
King-book, Persian, The, 175-76.
Lang, Andrew, tales by, as literary form, 69.
Language, expression in, 125-27.
Lazy Jack, 224-25.
a sense of, 14;
criticism of, 120-21;
fairy tale a counterpart to, 8-9.
Lists: of tales, 246-53; See Sources of material.
mind and soul in, 39-40;
qualities of, 40;
fairy tale as, 37-87.
Little Lamb and the Little Fish, 147-48, 267-70.
Little Two-Eyes, 145, 265-66.
tale, 232, 281-82.
Literary collections of tales, 170-200.
Logical method of selecting tales, 95-96.
Long tales, opposed to child's interests, 35-36.
Lord Peter, 232, 277.
Magpie's Nest, 151, 270-72.
Märchen Brunnen or Fairy-tale Fountain, 2-3.
principle of, 58-59;
illustrated in: Oeyvind and Marit, 61-62;
Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 65.
Medio Pollito, 215-16.
Memory, development of, 226.
Message, of the tale, 100; of this book. See Summaries.
Method of story-telling,
the recreative, 113-17;
criticism of, 114-16;
illustration of, 116-17;
direct moral, 143.
Mind, in literature, 40.
tales, a list, 249-53;
compared with old tale, 234-43;
types of, 235-43;
what it is, 243;
tales, by Andersen, 28-29, 234, 248, 256-57.
Motifs in folk-tales, classified, 97-98.
tales of, 179-81;
her Melodies, 187, 195, 197, 198.
Musicians of Bremen, 130-31, 219-20.
in fairy tales, 74-75;
illustrated by Sleeping Beauty, 146-47.
Norse tales, 194; a list of, 247; editions, 257.
Objectification in fairy tales, 135-38.
Oeyvind and Marit, 60-64.
Old Woman and Her Pig,
accumulative type, 207, 208;
realistic type, 225-26;
an exercise of memory, 226.
Organization of ideas,
accomplished through Fir Tree, 152-53;
social, of tale, 153-54.
Origin of fairy tales, 158-67.
Painting, as expression, 132.
Panchatantra, the Five Books, 171.
Pause, in story-telling, 104-05.
Pentamerone, The, 178-79.
statue of, 1;
list of tales by, 180;
tales by, tested as literary form, 68;
editions by, 257-58.
quality of, 57-58;
in Oeyvind and Marit, 60;
in Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 64;
power of, 106-07.
Personal relation, establishment of, 107-10.
Peter Rabbit, 239.
in fairy tales, 48-52;
of Uncle Remus Tales, 51-52;
of Laboulaye's Tales, 51;
of Cat and Mouse in Partnership, 48;
of Emperor's New Suit, 48-49;
of Ugly Duckling, 49-50;
of Elephant's Child, 49;
Phonics in fairy tales, 79-81.
Pictures, list, 255.
Picture-Books, list, 254-55.
element of fairy tale as short-story, 73-77;
structure illustrated, 76-77.
Poems, fairy, list, 255-56.
Poetic justice, 22-23.
Poetry, of teaching, 120.
Portrayal of human relations, especially with children, 24-25.
Position, of story-teller, 107.
quality of, 57;
illustrated in: Oeyvind and Marit, 60;
Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 64.
in story-telling, 94-102;
rules for telling, 94-102.
of tale, 102-19;
training of voice, 103-04;
exercises in breathing, 104-05;
power of personality, 106-07;
suggestions for telling, 107-12;
establishment of personal relation, 108-10;
placing of story in concrete situation, 94-95, 110-11;
conception of child's aim, 112;
telling of tale, 112-19;
re-creative method of story-telling, 113-17;
adaptation of fairy tales, 117-19.
Princess and Pea, 114-16.
of selection for fairy tales, 13-89;
interests of children, 13-37;
fairy tale as literature, 37-70;
fairy tale as short-story, 70-87;
of composition, 58-60;
of story-telling, 94;
of teaching, 119-25;
concerning instincts of children, 124-25.
Problem, a means of developing consciousness, 122-25.
Proverbs in fairy tales, 50.
Purpose, growth in child's, 123-25.
Puss-in-Boots, 232, 275-78.
Psychological method of selecting tales, 95-96.
Quick-Running Squash, 240.
Realistic, tale, 223-28; types of, 224-28.
Reading, as expression, 127; relation of, to literature, 10-11, 127.
Reason, growth in, 6-7, 10; development of, 53-54.
Re-creative method of story-telling, 113-17.
Red Riding Hood, chap-book, 189; a romantic type, 232-34.
chapter I, 12;
chapter II, 87-89;
chapter III, 154-57;
chapter IV, 201-03;
chapter V, 243-44.
of contemplative imagination to language-training, 47-48;
of contemplative imagination to power of observation, 47-48;
of contemplative imagination to science, 52-53;
of literature to intellect, 53-54;
of sound to sense or meaning, 55;
of sound to action, 55-56;
of phonics and emotional effect, 55;
of gesture to story-telling, 105-06;
personal, between the story-teller and listener, 107-10;
of reading to story-telling, 127;
of reading to literature, 10, 11, 38, 127;
of rhyme to meaning, 56;
of fairy tales to nature study, 6, 47-48;
of fairy tales to industrial education, 71-73;
of fairy tales to child, 3-11;
of dramatization to story-telling, 138-54;
of fairy tales to literature, 37-70;
of fairy tales to composition, 54-70;
of fairy tales to story-telling, 90-91.
Repetition, 26-28, 205-11.
Re-telling of fairy tales, 101-02.
Return, creative, from child,
in telling of fairy tales, 119-54:
in language, 125-27;
in inquiry, 127-29;
in construction, 129-30;
in artistic expression, 130-54;
in paper-cutting, 130-31;
in drawing, 132;
in painting, 132;
in song, 132-33;
in rhythm, 133-34;
in game, 134-35;
in dance, 137, 145, 147;
in dramatization, 138-54;
illustrated, 145-54, 265-72.
Reynard the Fox,
place in the animal tale, 212;
chap-book, 185, 186, 190, 196.
Rhythm, in fairy tales, 26-28;
Robin's Christmas song, 78-79.
Romantic tale, 228-34; types of, 228-34, 275-86.
St. Nicholas, Stories retold from, 241.
Sanskrit Tales, 171.
School editions of fairy tales, 262-64.
Science, relation of contemplative imagination to, 52-53.
Sea Fairy and the Land Fairy, 236-37.
Selection of fairy tales by teacher, psychological or logical, 95-96.
Sense impression, 17-18.
element of fairy tale as short-story, 77-82;
sequence in, 78-79;
story told by, 81-82;
and phonics, 79-81.
Sheep and Pig, 215.
fairy tale as, 70-87:
elements of, 70-71;
ways of writing, 71;
narration in, 74-75;
description in, 75;
elements of, blended, 82-84;
tales tested as, 84-87;
telling of, 90-154.
Silhouette pictures, cutting of, 130-31.
Simple and sincere, 28-29.
Sincerity, principle of, 58-59;
illustrated in: Oeyvind and Marit, 60, 61;
Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 64-65.
Sindibad, The Book of, 172.
romantic type, 231-32;
uniting partial narration, dramatization, and dramatic game, 146-47.
Snow White, 145, 266-67.
Snow White and Rose Red, 232, 282-86.
Song, as expression, 132-33.
Soul, in literature, 39-40.
Sources of material for fairy tales, 245-64:
list of fairy tales and folk-tales, 246-53;
bibliography of fairy tales, 253-54;
list of picture-books, 254-55;
list of pictures, 255;
list of fairy poems, 255-56;
main standard fairy-tale books, 256-58;
fairy tales of all nations, 258-59;
miscellaneous editions of fairy tales, 259-62;
school editions of fairy tales, 262-64.
Sparrow and the Crow, as expression, 125-26.
Spider and the Flea, 79-81.
for testing fairy tales, 84;
for selecting tales, 204-05;
for making lists, 245-46. See Summaries.
Standard fairy-tale books, a list, 256-58.
Story, place of,
in home, library, and school, 93-94;
formation of original stories, 126-27.
an ancient art, 91-93;
principles governing, 94;
teacher's preparation for, 94-102;
rules for, 94-102;
presentation in, 102-119;
voice in, 103-04;
breathing in, 104-05;
gesture in, 105-06;
re-creative method of, 113-17;
return from child, in, 119-54;
child's part in, 121-25.
Straparola's Nights, 178.
Straw Ox, 86-87.
Structure, illustrated, 76-77;
study of, in story-telling, 99-100.
Study of tale as folk-lore and as literature, 96-99.
qualities of, 59-60;
principles controlling, 59-60.
illustrated by Pope, 55;
by Andersen, 136;
by Kipling, 56-57;
through gesture and sound, 55;
through arrangement of words and speech-tunes of voice, 56-57.
Summaries: giving message of book, 13, 37-38, 40, 70-71, 84, 158,
Swedish tales, 193.
of Mother Goose, 179-81;
of Perrault, 246;
of the Grimms, 246-47;
English, by Jacobs, 247-48;
modern fairy, by Andersen, 248;
Uncle Remus, 248-49;
fairy, of all nations, 258-59;
literary collections of, 170-200. See Fairy tales.
story-telling, a part of the art of, 119-25;
poetry of, 120;
good art in, 120;
great art in, 120-21;
a criticism of life, 120-21.
Telling, of fairy tales, 90-154;
art of story-telling, 90-94;
principles controlling, 94;
preparation by teacher for, 94-102;
presentation by teacher, in, 102-19;
suggestions for, 107-12;
return by child, from, 119-54;
re-creative method of, 113-17;
adaptation of tales for, 117-19;
Theories of origin of fairy tales:
detritus of myth, 161-63;
sun-myth theory, 163-64;
common Indian heritage, 165-67;
identity of early fancy, 167.
illustrating surprise, 16-17;
a chap-book, 190;
Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 64-65.
illustrating structure, 76;
animal type, 216.
illustrating adaptation, 118;
illustrating rhythm play, 134.
Steadfast, as emotion, 42;
tale of imagination, 46;
as representation, 135-38;
as a game, 135, 138.
Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse, 81, 208-09, 227-28.
Tom Hickathrift, 185, 186, 187, 196.
chap-book tale, 185, 188, 190, 196;
romantic type, 278-81.
Tone-color, in story-telling, 105.
Training of voice, 103-04.
Transformation, tales of, 32-33; kinds of, 276.
Transmission, of tales:
illustrated by: Dog Gellert, 166;
Dick Whittington, 169;
Tributes, two public, 1-3.
Truth, basis of, in fairy tales, a distinguishing literary mark, 40,
Tuileries, gardens of. See Gardens.
Uncle Remus Tales, by Harris, 248-49; editions, 257.
Unhappy tales, 34.
of effect, 29-30;
principle of composition, 58-59;
illustrated in: Oeyvind and Marit, 61;
Three Billy-Goats Gruff, 65.
of fairy tales in education, 3-12, 119-25;
to give joy, 3-4;
to satisfy the play-spirit, 4-6;
to develop observation, 6;
to give habits of mind, 6-7;
to strengthen emotion, 6-7, 44-45;
to extend social relations, 7-8
in home, library, and school, 8-9;
to give language-training, 10-11;
to develop imagination, 45-53;
to develop reason, 53-54;
to develop power of creative return, 119-54;
to develop self-activity, 121-22;
to develop consciousness, through problems, 122-23;
to develop initiative, 122;
to develop purpose, 123-25;
to develop self-expression, 124-54;
to strengthen originality, 127-29;
to develop organization of ideas, 153;
and to exercise memory, 226.
Version, of tale, 101-02.
Villeneuve, Madam, 182.
Voice, training of, 103-04.
Witch tales, 31.
Wolf and the Seven Kids,
expression in painting, 132;
in song, 132-33.
powers of, 54-55;
Wonder, mystery, magic, an interest, 19.
Worth of fairy tales, 1-12:
two public tributes, 1-3;
value of fairy tales in education, 3-12;