RichardThe Tale of the Brown Calf and other Stories


The recording is of a performance at the Grimms' Fairy Tales Festival in Hanau, Germany.
The title story, The Tale of the Brown Calf, is a Scottish Cinderella version in which the the incest theme is explicit, being the reason why the princess is forced to leave home.

In my telling the young girl is twice burdened by a man who has vowed himself to a mistaken course of action: first her father who must marry the only person whose foot will fit his dead wife's golden shoe; later the prince who finds himself sworn to marry the henwife's daughter as her mutilated foot is also the only one to fit the same shoe, although he knows that she is not the one he danced with. And it is the brown calf (the dead mother's spirit) who leads the two young people through their difficulties and into their adult marriage.
    The other stories are:
  • Gudbrand of the Hillside
    - a Norwegian tale of a husband whose wife knew he could do no wrong.
  • Free Melons
    - a Nasruddin tale.
  • Shrewd Farmer
    - one folk tale where it is the man who is cleverer than his wife.
  • The Tiger's Whisker
    - a tale from Asia of a determined woman.
  • The Greatest Pickpocket
    - a comic tale from England with a wonderful punch line at the end.
  • Worm in the Whisky
    - a tale from Scotland with a drinker's retort to the priest.

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