The Ragamuffins

It’s another day in the country side. Cock and hen decide to have an advendure and subsequently enslave a duck, talk to pins and torture a landlord. Yes, the landlord gets poked, and… not in the head.

And why not? What’s wrong with being cruel? As the moral of this tale goes, lies and trickery save you lots of money and get you invited to the best parties.

Here’s some advice for your next pub outing.

The story is not a traditional fairy tale, but what we Germans call a “Schwank” (it’s not what you think it is, either), a funny, short tale meant to entertain and tease.

If you have a pin in your… nether regions, read more about this condition here.

The Wonderful Musician

A musician wanders into a forest and gets bored. Animal cruelty ensues.

Well, what can you do when all these wolves, hares and foxes are constantly clinging to your genius. After all, man is cleverer than beast, so why not demonstrate this by stringing the pesky creatures up some trees?

Truly,this is an old tale from before the days of the RSPCA. It’s a nice example of how our perception of appropriate treatment of wildlife has changed. And a neat story.

If your paws happen to be stuck in a tree trunk and you cannot press play, read the story here.

I borrowed the image from a certain Mark Thompson, who has disappeared from the internet. Sorry Mark. If you’d rather I take it down, let me know.

A shout-out also to Professor Hans-Jorg Uther, whose work is very helpful!

The Wolf and the Seven Kids

And then there were none. Well, one. But hey, a visit from the big, bad wolf can be devastating, especially when he is armed with chalk and flour.

Fortunately one of the seven little kids is clever enough to hide in a clock. Oh, for the good old days of yore when that was still possible. In the days of the Apple Watch that little kid would have been a goner.

You still have no idea what I am talking about, right? Well, listen to this:


You can find more on Ludwig Bechstein, the dude with the all-round beard, here. If you’re getting tired of me bleating on about goats, read the story here.

Truly, men are like that!

Cat and Mouse in Partnership

Cat and mouse fall in love, move in together, buy a pot of fat and live happily ever after…. Or, do they?

Well, these are the original Grimm fairy tales, so take an informed guess.

This story is a perfect example of fairy tale mood whiplash – and shows how much our perception of what makes a good story has changed in the past 200 years.

Want to skip ahead to the ending? Read Cat and Mouse in Partnership here.