Can you help me identify two fairy tales?
May 28, 2014 10:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to track down two fairy tales I read as a kid, in the early-mid eighties. Bits and pieces of these stories have been coming back for a while, but I can't put together the whole thing and would love to reread them!

1) A sorceress has turned a bunch of princes into birds and keeps them in golden cages. I think setting them free involves harvesting the dew off a special poppy flower, but I could be conflating two stories. I thought it might have been something I read in one of the Andrew Lang Fairy Books (Red/Blue/Violet/etc.) but on scanning the tables of contents now I can't find it. Any thoughts?

2) A poor woman works like a slave for her wealthy relatives, and feeds her children off soup made from the dough that sticks to her fingers when she kneads the rich family's bread, boiled with some rocks. One night, so hungry she can't sleep, she walks to the top of a hill and sees twelve little men (representing the months of the year) gathered around a fire. I don't remember what gifts they give her, but do remember that when the wealthy relative gets jealous and follows her things don't work out so well for the greedy one. The illustrations in this book were wonderful.

Any thoughts?
posted by copacetic to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is this number 2? Twelve Months It's not exactly the same as you describe, but I do remember reading it before.

Could number 1 be Jorinda & Joringel? It has a sorceress, birds in cages, and a flower.
posted by needlegrrl at 10:11 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes! #1 was definitely a version of Jorinda & Joringel. #2 is close to what you sent, I probably just read a different version. I'm going to do some searching off of that and see if I can find the illustrations I remember. Thanks so much!!!
posted by copacetic at 10:31 AM on May 28, 2014

Twelve months is a pretty old fairytale - it's the Russian/Slavic Cinderella version. I've read at least three versions of it. The detail about the soup from dough and rocks is very specific though.
posted by viggorlijah at 10:05 PM on May 28, 2014

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