I’ve noticed in fairy tales that the King usually isn’t a main character in the story. And many times he isn’t very nice. Take the king in The Frog Princess (originally called The Tsarevna Frog), a Russian fairy tale. This is the first story we are looking at in my workshop, The Year of the Fairy Tale.
The story begins where the king, called the Tsar, hasn’t made up his mind which son should rule the kingdom. So he decides to discover their integrity by asking them (he does call them, “dear boys”) to shoot their arrows up in the air; where they land, they are to find their wives. Kinda crazy, right? Not really sure how this tests integrity, but you can’t be too literal when it comes to fantasy.
When the youngest son’s arrow is caught by a frog in the middle of a swamp, the Tsar tells his son that he must marry the frog. And he does. Destiny. After the three sons are married, the King still can’t decide who will rule the kingdom. So he puts his daughter-in-laws through a series of tests. You can see where this is leading…
Vassilissa, the frog princess, turns out to be both beautiful and clever. She and the youngest son go through many tests, and they come out ruling the kingdom. I think the moral of the story is that events have consequences, and one thing leads to another.
|The Frog Princess, by Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov (1848-1926) oil on canvas|
You can read the story of The Frog Princess here:
And stop by Ms. Jenny's blog, Off on my Tangent, to see
what other words bloggers chose for the Letter K.