Tag Archives: Fairytales

The Devil’s Sooty Brothers

“People think stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way round.” – Terry Pratchett “The Devil’s Sooty Brother” is the catchiest name among a group of tales from the Brothers Grimm about career soldiers who are discharged … Continue reading

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Posted in Folklore, Imagination, oral tradition, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Where did this come from?

A few days ago, looking for a piece of scratch paper, I picked up a 5″ x 8″ spiral notebook from a desk in the back room. I flipped it open to some curious notes on fairytales – and I … Continue reading

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Posted in Folklore, oral tradition, Stories, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Thoughts on Maleficent and retelling folktales

Maleficent opens in a world of beauty, threatened by a greedy human king. The visual contrast between human actors and fantasy animation was great enough to take a few minutes for suspension of disbelief to kick in. After that, I … Continue reading

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Posted in Authors, Culture, Entertainment, Fantasy, Folklore, Movies, Myth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘On the Supposed Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children” Guest Post by J. Aleksandr Wootton

Originally posted on A Pilgrim in Narnia:
J. Aleksandr Wootton chairs the fictional Folklore Studies department at Lightfoot College, where his research focuses on post-war Faerie. He has authored Her Unwelcome Inheritance, an account of fairy refugees on earth, and has recently…

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Posted in Authors, Fantasy, Folklore | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Help wanted, heroes and heroines: must be civil and adroit

This unusual job description comes from the opening lines of a Grimm’s fairy tale I recently read for the first time.  Fairy tale characters never get more than a word or two of description, and most of the time, tags … Continue reading

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Posted in Article, Fantasy, Folklore, oral tradition, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

What’s coming to TheFirstGates in 2014?

Thanks to everyone who visited this year, old friends and new.  Here are a few year end musings on where this blog may be going in 2014.   These are not resolutions.  Remembering Yoda’s words to Luke, “Do or do … Continue reading

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Posted in Blogging, Books, Culture, Fantasy, Folklore, Holidays and Festivals, Psychology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Yule ~ The Beginner’s Guide To The Wheel Of The Year

Originally posted on Lily Wight:
Updated 18/12/2014      There are four Solar Quarter Days (two equinoxes and two solstices) on The Wheel of The Year calendar.  Yule or The Winter Solstice is celebrated during a twelve day period from…

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Posted in art, Fantasy, Folklore, History, Holidays and Festivals, Myth, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Queen Bothildur: an Icelandic Christmas folktale

I found this story in a beautifully illustrated book of Icelandic folktales for children, Tales of the Elves, that I brought back from that country after a visit in 2012. One Christmas Eve, a richly dressed woman knocked at the door … Continue reading

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Posted in Article, Folklore, Holidays and Festivals, oral tradition, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments