петък, май 11, 2012

Fairy Tale Friday - a tale review and DRAGONS! Lets talk about dragons

Oh, this is not a meme or something, I just like the sound of it. Fairy Tale Friday. It actually sounds so good, that somone has probably made it in a meme. If so, sorry, it just came to my mind and it sounded cool, I didn't mean to get into anyone's memes. Sooo one of the many challenges I joined is the magical Fairy Tale challenge hosted by Tif Talks Books 
One of the tasks there is to read original fairy tales. For myself, I decided to either check some of the classic-classic storytellers like Grimm for example, in their original form; or to reread some of my fav bulgarian fairy tales. For me, they're way more classic than Show White or the Red Riding Hood. Oh off course I know and love them! But same goes for the others. So in the end I decided to present you some of my favs and most popular bulgarian fairy tales. I'll pick one from the collections of three of the most famous fairy tale collectors, one from each book.
Now I'm staring with my all time, most beloved one:

The Dragon Bride

For this challenge, I read the tale as told by Nikolay Rainov, but as I kid I was told a slightly different variation of it, that I like better, so I will stick with it the way I remember it

So it's a tale about dragons. I love dragons. Oh, c'mon, who doesn't love them.And in this story, he's even the good guy. Well actually it's not exactly a dragon, but a zmey. Our local dragon you may say. Apart from being all snake-dino- likey as all dragons, zmeys can manifeste themsleves as storms, or as young people. How cool is that?

The story starts with a widower with three daughters, who decides to get married again. With his new wife, he has yet another girl child. As most fairy tales go, the stepmother is mean and cruel to the elder girls, and loving only for her own child. They're forced to do all the work around the house, while the father doesn't dare to say a word to his second wife.
One day, while the eldest girl is working outside, it gets dark as if storm is coming, and a young  man, handsome and noble, appears, all in silk and gold, and asks if she would marry him. The girl agrees and he takes her away. Soon after this the same happens to the second dauther, and only the youngest of the three sibling is left.
The furious stepmother gives her the hardest time until one night the third zmey appears. The stepmother tries to hide the girl away and present her own daughter to the noble, but in the end he departs with the youngest of the three. He takes her to his castle where they live happily for some time, surrounded by lots of treasures and servants. The only thing that bothers the young dragon bride is that every day her husband goes to fly over his lands in his dragon form.
After some time passes, the girl forgets who badly she was treated at home, and starts to miss her father. After many perssuasions, her husbands lets her go. She merrily goes with lots of presents, but her jealous stepmother and sister can't be happy for her. They tell her, that if she wants her husband to always stay at home, and never turn into zmey again, all she needs to do is find his dragon skin and burn it while he's asleep in his human form.
The story revoloves around the youngest daughter. She is the most kind hearted - as she doesn't bear any bad feelings, and is the only sister who misses her family. But she is also very naive and follows the other peoples too easily. Here we have one classic fairy tales element, that I find fascinating. zmeys, faes and other creatures turn into humans by removing their skin or their shirt. But it still is part of their self, and if something happens to it, they suffer too. 
The young woman does as she's told, but the moment she throws the dragon skin into the fire, her husband wakes up from burning pain. He gets the half burnt skin and flies away. On his wife's pleas he answers, that she will find him again only if searches for 9 years, goes through 9 kingdoms, pass 9 rivers and 9 mountains, wears off one pair of iron shoes and breaks one iron cane.
We got lots of 9s and 3s here, and in school they looooved getting in our heads how important those numbers are. The "through 9 into the tenth" narration is often used in many tales too
After 3 years (and 3 kingdoms and so on, you get the picture) our heroine makes her way to where her eldest sister now lives. At first the sister gets a little angry at her foolishness, but promise the help of her husband. However, even if he flies  with all the winds, he never heard of the whereabouts of his brother-zmey. The dragon bride is desperate, but her sister gives her 3 golden apples and tells her not to lose hope. Three years later, similar situation with the second sister, DH couldn't help. Before she leaves, she recieves as a parting gift a golden spindle.
The 9 years pass, the cane breaks and shoes wear off, but the desperate bride still can;t find her dragon husband. In the tenth kingdom she stops to help an old woman. As a thank you she recieves a little bird with a beautiful voice.The old lady tells her to beware the evil queen who takes whatever she wants. 9 years ago a hurt dragon came to the palace, the queen used her potions and now he follows her every order without remebering who he was,
The bride instantly sees that this is her husband. Using the golden apples, the spindle and the sweet-voiced bird she makes her way in the castle. The moment she touches her dragon, the magic breaks. All is good and forgiven, they get back to their kingdom and live happily ever after, Yay!!!
As I said, this is one of my most beloved fairy tales, and one of the few I know with "good dragons"Zmeys are kinda assosiated with the wild and somewhat destructive sides of nature. They tend to fall in love with human girls, and are often selfish in their love. In most cases "to be loved by a dragon" is treated like a curse and sickness that can be cured only by the true love of a mortal man.And of course, the cases when the dragon simply wants to have a snack with the maiden.
This tale also has lots of symbols, that I don't plan to get into. I think it's a beautiful tale about love, about growing up and never giving up.
There are several other variations of this tale that I know of. In one she asks the sun, the moon and the wind on her way and recieve the items from them. In the Raynov's variation I just read, it all begins with a baby-zmey who is brought up by human parents; and also, his tale goes on with another story line that I know as a separate story.

Do you know this story? Maybe in a different way? Fairy tales like to travel and change on their way. And what about dragons? You love them, right, right?!? Do you have any classic dragon tales from where you live?

Hosted by Tif Talks Books

Едно от многото читателски предизвикателства, в които се навих да участвам, е за вълшебни приказки. И класически, и модерни, че и филмчета даже. Кой не обича приказки :)) Много се чудех какви да подхвана, дали да не потърся оригиналните варианти на някои от класиките на Братя Грим (от онези, страшните), но в крайна сметка реших да си припомня някои от любимите си български приказки.

И започвам с най-най-най любимата си, Змейова невеста
Сигурна съм, че като цяло приказката я знаете :)))
Сега прочетох този вариант по Николай Райнов, който обаче се различава от този, който аз си спомням и най-много си харесвам.
В моите спомени, Змейовата невеста има общо три сестри - две собствени и една доведена, като другите и две собствени сестри също се омъжват за змейове. След като доведената сестра я подлъгва да изгори змейската кожа, при пътуването си през 9 земи в десета, тя получава помощ от тях. Иначе пак по същия начин намира мъжа си и се промъква в двореца със златните ябълки, хурката и птичето...  и историята свършва, след като развали магията на змея. Събират се, и живеят дълго и щастливо. А май за пръв път останалото го виждам залепено за тази приказка. Иначе историята за момичето, което когато се усмихва, трендафил цъфти на устата му, а когато плаче, рони бисери, си я знам.

Сега докато пишех горното на английски, и си мислех колко са готини нашите змейове. Много си падам по разни истории с дракони, а нашите змейове са даже по-готини. По мултифункциални са :D  Кеф ти динозавър, кеф ти гадже, кеф ти хала. Хм, като цяло тези три характеристики и у други герои могат да се намерят накуп.
А вие дракончета обичате ли :)))

А поне вицове за змейове?
Връща се змеят късно у дома и булката му го почва от вратата:
-Къде ходиш бе, гиди горянино, пак ли си висял по кръчмите!?! Я ми дъхни!
Накратко, глупава, нелепа смърт...

11 коментара:

Anne каза...

Love fairy tales and especially this one!! Reminds me of all the Russian fairy tales I read as a child/teen!! I'll have to do some digging and find the story that reminds me of this one...with the traveling the 9 kingdoms, for 9 years, etc breaking a cane and wearing out a shoe kinda deal!! When I find it I'll share it with you!!

Terri каза...

This was a great story! My grandfather was from Bulgaria, but I don't remember him telling us any stories from there. Thanks for sharing this one!

Terri каза...

This was a great story! My grandfather was from Bulgaria, but I don't remember him telling us any stories from there. Thanks for sharing this one!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname каза...

I've never heard this tale before, it's a great one, I loved it.

The best dragon legend I can think of is the one concerning Merlin and the two dragons, one red, one white:

We also have some lovely modern dragon story books at work for younger children.

mdgtjulie каза...

I love that story. It's fabulous. And of COURSE I love dragons. My current rotation WIP is Midnight Hunting by Dracolair Creations. It's a gorgeous blue dragon, hunting in the light of the moons (there is a moon in each corner as part of the border), and his wings are outspread. He's gorgeous!!!

Ivan Stoikov - Allan Bard каза...

Nice story, indeed! Yet, don't you think every author should strive to create new creatures, the classical, öld like dragons, vampires, elves, dwarfs, wizards with sharp hats, fairies, etc. are too ordinary already? That's why I try some new in some of my books (weightless korks, glowing, living balls, Brown faces, fiery men, one-eyeds, night fruit, rock pieces, fish-keepers, etc...), I guess they sound more interesting than the ordinary? They could give the stories new fresh air, plots, adventures? Do you think I'm right? Well, not that I don't love dragons, wizards, etc...;).
Nice blog, BTW! Will be glad to follow you and post a suggestion of mine as well: Do you use sites like zazzle.com, cafepress. com, fiverr? They could be a good way to promote your works and to help "remove" stupidity in the streets like headlines on t-shirts, fridge-magnets, cups, etc: My Boyfriend kisses Better Than Yours, FBI - female body inspector, etc. Not everything we see and think of should be about sex, right? It would be much better if there were more nice pictures (even of mythical creatures), good thoughts, poems (from any genre are welcome I guess), etc? I'm allanbard there, I use some of my illustrations, thoughts, poems from my books (like: One can fight money only with money, Even in the hottest fire there's a bit of water, Money are amongst the last things that make people rich, or
Love and happiness will be around,
as all the chains will disappear,
and Mountaineers will climb their mount
and there won't be any tear!
etc). I guess such lines sound and look much better than the usual we see every day? Best wishes! Keep up the good work! Let the wonderful noise of the sea always sounds in your ears! (a greeting of the water dragons' hunters - my Tale Of The Rock Pieces).

Slavka; e-mail: sisimoni9@abv.bg каза...

Тази приказка ме върна в детските ми години, с носталгия си спомням хубавите детски приказки (някои вече съм ги позабравила), които обичах да чета като дете, по-голямо дете :), а по късно четях и на моето дете. Между другото все още обичам да гледам анимационни филмчета, но от ония "старите" /Ну погоди, Том и Джери .../

Reaper каза...

Thanks for sharing your favorite fairy tale with us, it was very interesting! It reminds me of the time a friend of mine told me a Russian fairy tale- both were very complex and detailed! I love dragons too and I'm glad this story had a happy ending :-) Good luck with all your reading challenges :-)

Ziggyeor каза...

I liked that story. There was something similar that I had heard. Granted a lot of the elements like you said were used over and over. I had Jim Henson's the Story Teller on netflix and there was something like that at the end where the lady had to make her husband remember her and that he wasn't married to the ogre or something.

Tif Sweeney каза...

Though this tale has many familiar elements, I don't think I've actually read a tale quite like this. I love it!! Now I want to see if I can find the original to have a copy for myself!

geeky Heather каза...

I have heard a very similar story, although there is only one sister (probably simplified for TV!) and the husband turns into a giant hedgehog! It is part of the Jim Henson Storyteller series (which is WONDERFUL), called "Hans My Hedgehog". Link to IMDB Actually, now that I read the synopsis, this is conglomeration of a number of tales! Anyway, if you can find this to watch, it is WONDERFUL.

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