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Author
Comment
buffylove
Registered User
(4/7/07 7:47 pm)


Fairy tales where people find infants?
I'm looking for fairy tales where people find abandoned children and raise them as their own. It can be childless couples (preferably) or not. The children can be human or not as well, although I've already found a lot of information about Changling stories.

Thanks in advance!

Veronica Schanoes
Registered User
(4/7/07 10:32 pm)


babies
There's an Inuit tale about a time when people got babies by digging them out of the ground; I think you can find it one of the two collections of tales edited by Angela Carter.

There's also Oedipus, of course, though that didn't turn out very well.

Heidi Anne Heiner
ezOP
(4/8/07 1:31 am)


Re: babies
I haven't read many of the variants in a while, but you might see if any of the Thumbelina variant tales involve abandoned children. Many involve finding children, but I don't think abandoned ones are usually specified.

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(4/8/07 5:36 am)


many
There's one in Grimm, I think the title is "Fitcher's Bird."

At least one version of the water of life has a boy and girl found in the woods and raised by an old woman (Calvino's "The Fine Greenbird" iirc); in another version they're raised by a deer. Iirc in an Indian version they're found by honest peasants..."The Black Stones"?

Iirc Calvino's "The Feathered Ogre" has a boy thrown in the river because of a prophecy, found by kind strangers.

Of course there's Romulus and Remus, and Mowgli, and Tarzan, and Moses, and Krishna, and Superman.... And Oedipus, and Shasta in THE HORSE AND HIS BOY, and Harry Potter....

moonway
Registered User
(4/10/07 7:37 am)


Re: Fairy tales where people find infants?

In Madame d'Aulnoy's "Princess Belle-Etoile", a pirate and his wife find four children in a boat and raise them as their own.

Wave Wanderer
Registered User
(4/11/07 3:34 pm)


Re: Fairy tales where people find infants?
There is a Russian tale called "The Luck Child." The premise is that the evil king hears a prophecy about the seventh son of a seventh son being incredibly lucky and one day reigning the king's realm. He is so terrified/cruel that he takes the baby prophecied about and throws him over a cliff. But the child's swaddling clothes catch on some branches and roll him safely to the ground. A poor childless couple then finds and adopts him. About the time he is in his teens, the king discovers him again and learns of where the couple found the boy. He realizes he is the same child of the prophecy. The king sends the luck child on dangerous quests promising his beloved daughter, the princess, in marriage if the boy suceeds at the virtually impossible. Of course, he does and marries the princess despite the king's botched attempt to have him murdered. The king, however, is very greedy and thinks he can succeed on the most lucrative quest since the luck child did. Of course he doesn't listen to the wise people along the way and ends up trapped forever rowing a boat back and forth across a lake. So the luuck child does take over his kingdom because the king never returns and he is married to the king's only child. Thus the prophecy is fulfilled.

MaryCatelli
Registered User
(4/18/07 8:51 pm)


Re: Fairy tales where people find infants?
"Princess Belle-Etoile" is one of a whole slew of similar tales. The oldest one is "Ancilotto, King of Provino", (Italian, from Straparola), and there's another Italian one "The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird" collected by Thomas Frederick Crane, and a Spanish one "The Bird of Truth"

(The first two are on SurLaLune, and the third is in "The Orange Fairy Book")

MaryCatelli
Registered User
(4/18/07 8:54 pm)


Re: Fairy tales where people find infants?
there are a whole slew of fairy tales about the baby being abandoned because of a prophecy. "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs" is German, "The King Who Would Be Stronger Than Fate" is Indian, " "The Story of Three Wonderful Beggars" is Serbian, "The Fish and the Ring" is English (and has an abandoned girl, which is unusual for these tales.)

MaryCatelli
Registered User
(4/18/07 8:56 pm)


Re: Fairy tales where people find infants?
Also, there's the Peach Boy tale from Japan; the couple finds the child in the peach.

buffylove
Registered User
(4/27/07 11:01 pm)


Re: Fairy tales where people find infants?
Are most of these stories about the child? are there any that focus on the parents?

Rosemary Lake
Registered User
(4/28/07 1:43 am)


parents
I think all the stories mentioned so far are about the children. The only stories I can think of that have much about the parents are where the child is very strange, and I don't remember how the parents got the child. Thumbelina, Tom Thumb, Hans my Hedgehog, the Half-Chick, etc.

Stories about chngelings don't count, I suppose.


Veronica Schanoes
Registered User
(4/28/07 11:31 am)


Re: parents
Most fairy tales aren't about parents, in my experience. The Eskimo tale I cited above is "Kakuarshuk," and it's in The Old Wives' Fairy Tale Book. It is about the woman, but it ends as soon as she gets the kid she's searching for.

MaryCatelli
Registered User
(4/28/07 3:04 pm)


Re: parents
there are a handful of fairy tales about parents -- Conall Yellowclaw comes to mind -- or the second half of a good number of fairy tales, after the wedding (Sleeping Beauty, or The Wonderful Birch) but those are always about their own children in my experience.

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