Greetings on this, the first Folklore Thursday post in quite a while. I’ve missed these posts and getting to completely nerd out over folkloric things so I am very pleased to bring them back.
While looking through my reader today, I saw two really interesting posts about retellings and adaptations, one from Mikaela at The Well-Thumbed Reader and the other from Heather at The Sassy Book Geek. I’ve been trying to think of a list post, and as if by magic, these two posts appeared and I just had to throw mine into the pot too!
These are folk tales that I love and that I haven’t read/seen any retellings of but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. (Please let me know if you know of any!)
1. Chang’e (China)
Chang’e is the Chinese moon goddess, who I have mentioned before. There are lots of stories that can be drawn on and I would be happy with any of them. I am obsessed with the moon, so any story involving it makes me happy and would make me a very happy reader. It has tragic elements, a husband and wife separated (regardless of whether they started as immortals but were punished with mortality, and thus probably deserved it, or whether they were human and definitely did not deserve their separation), a plague, and would make for some very interesting reading. Plus, I could imagine Chang’e as both a delicate and a fierce female protagonist, and I am very much here for a three-dimensional heroine who is not just strong. I would love to read more Eastern-based literature.
2. The Enchanted Quill (German)
The Enchanted Quill features a crow whose feathers, when used to write, make wishes come true, three sisters (two of which are snide and unforgiving, and one who is full of intrigue and cunning and blushes at the thought of a little crow), and of course, the transformation from animal to prince… for a price. I love crows and other birds hailing from the Corvidae family, they carry with them a little bit of magic; the crooked kind of magic that I can’t seem to get enough of (there’s that word again…). It has echoes of Beauty and the Beast, another story I adore, but brings its own little twists and turns to the transformative archetype.
3. The Seven Ravens (German)
Again, I am bringing you Corvidae and potentially fabulous female characters. A mother and father have seven sons and want desperately to have a daughter. Eventually, they do and she is a sickly little thing so the sons have to go fetch water for her baptism (either to make her better or to ensure she’s accepted into heaven in the event that she dies – I am unsure which), the sons fail horrendously and so the father wishes them into ravens. Years pass, the daughter grows strong and discovers that the ravens that always seem to be around are, in fact, her brothers and goes off on an adventure to restore them to their human form. I love a good adventure story.
So there you have it, three folk tales that I would love to see adapted or retold in some way or another. There are more that I can think of but it’s late and I need some sleep (cue yawning).
Watch this space for part two, coming to a Folklore Thursday post in the probably-not too distant future.
Are there any folk tales you’d love to see retold? What are they, and would I love them? (The answer to that last bit is probably yes.)