Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Why does the little worm glow?

The Story of the Devil hurled down from Heaven.
Another legend about the origin of the glow-worm is of a similar character. I will discuss later the possible origin, which will lead us to the same remarkable results.


THE time of separation between the good and the evil angels had come. The good ones gathered to the right, and the evil ones, under the leadership of the devil, gathered to the left. You can imagine what a confusion and uproar there was, for they could not easily disentangle themselves.


               Whilst that confusion went on, there was a little devil who, after all, did not like parting with the bliss of heaven. So what did he do? He stole away from his own companions and hid himself among the good angels, hoping that, by one way or another, he would get into heaven. But he had not reckoned with St. Peter, who stands at the gate of heaven and examines and searches every one asking leave of entrance. Each angel had to present his pass, duly signed. St. Peter examined the signature, and when he found it correct he allowed the angel to enter heaven. So, one by one, they passed on, until the turn of the little devil came. In vain did he protest that he was a good angel. He had to produce his papers, and when St. Peter came to the end, there was no proper signature. So St. Peter got very angry, and without much ado, got hold of the little devil and cast him down to earth. He came down with such violence that he broke up in millions of luminous sparks, and these are the lights of the glow-worm.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Why does the little worm glow?
Tale Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Romania
Classification: unclassified

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