Half-remembered fairytale
June 27, 2014 5:44 AM   Subscribe

The library of my childhood had a book of fairy tales which I remember fondly but not in very much detail. I remember only one of the stories - perhaps it will ring a bell with someone?

The story that I half-remember involves some poor character who despite his evident poverty nonetheless claims to have innumerable diamonds, and rooms full of huge mirrors, and some other shiny treasure that I can't recall. When his story is investigated (perhaps by a king whose jealousy is provoked by the extravagant claims of wealth) it turns out that the "diamonds" are dewdrops on the grass in the morning; the mirrors are the lakes' surfaces (and the other treasure is some other natural beauty which is only metaphorically what it was claimed to be).

While I'm not entirely confident, I think the stories were 20th century ones, not retellings of well-known old classics.

Anyone remember that story?
posted by Wolfdog to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It could be a version of the Brave Little Tailor. That rings a bell for me too.
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:48 AM on June 27, 2014

This is SO on the tip of my tongue that I'm not going to get anything done until someone finds the answer.

It's not The Rich Man and the Poor Man, The Fisherman and His Wife, and there is an element of King Midas.

This is driving me crazy.
posted by kinetic at 6:42 AM on June 27, 2014

I think it's "The Rich Blackberry-Picker", which was featured in a collection called "The wily witch, and all the other fairy tales and fables".

The story is described in brief here.
posted by lwb at 9:02 AM on June 27, 2014

Definitely The Rich Blackberry-Picker from The Wily Witch! One of my favourite books as a kid.
posted by goo at 3:38 PM on June 28, 2014

I'm pleased to say that I found a fine and reasonably-priced copy, which appeared on my doorstep yesterday, no less. The stories are as wonderful and quirky as I remembered, and I was so delighted that I even read a couple (precisely two) of them aloud to a small audience last night. Thank you.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:46 PM on July 1, 2014

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