Wednesday, May 9

The Devil, Three Golden Hairs, and...

Twice this week I’ve written the same entry on "Jack and the Beanstalk", only to have my computer eat it before I could save it. It will write itself again. Mentioning devils who still live with their mothers last week kind of behooves me to dig into that story this week.
“The Devil’s Three Golden Hairs” is another fairy-tale-less-traveled that I love. The rhythm lends itself to telling aloud—preferably around a smoky fire with a bunch of snickering friends—and the plot takes some nice, unexpected turns. The archetypes in this one are different from what is usually found in fairy tales. This is almost another “soldier of fortune” fairy tale—but the youth of our hero fudges that line. There are actually several similar Russian fairy tales (a culture, like the Celts, with murky ties to age), but the German one is the most appropriate for this week.
Unlikely though it might seem if you’ve never read this story before, many of the motifs are common denominators in modern fiction. Aside from it being an entirely likeable story with easily drawn characters, the story has certain values that are universal.
Given your background, you might find rooting for the underdog the most familiar. Or the rags-to-riches aspect. What I’ll be focusing on this week is why most readers find the ending so satisfying.
What do you think…?

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