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Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks

A book by William Elliot Griffis

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Delightful tales with a Dutch flavor

  • Oct 18, 2010
Rating:
+3
The collector of these tales lived between 1843 and 1928. He inserted close to two dozen stories in this volume. The stories reflect life in Holland where there are many lakes, where people wear wooden shoes, love cheese, and have quant customs.

The first tale, for example, is about a Dutch mermaid, who was the queen of the mermaids, and her friends, mermaids and mermen, who frolicked at a pool made up of fresh and salt water. The enjoyed life to its fullest. They frequently talked about how wonderful their life is and how terrible life must be for humans who needed to dress, wear wooden shoes, pin up their hair, and be unable to swim all day.

One day, a merman swam to the mermaids and wept as he told them that men with wooden shoes were coming to create a dam and dry up the pool. The queen did not believe the report, sent the mermaids and the merman away, and went to sleep.

When she awoke, after along sleep, she went into the pool and found that the report was true. Her pool was already almost dried up. She tried to get out, but her hair became entangled in weeds, men in wooden shoes came and captured her and put her in an exhibition in a glass cage. She died of shame.

Scientists came to study her and then stuffed her and put her body on exhibition. And thus she became in death more famous than any other mermaid or merman.

The second tale concerns a Dutch boy who loved cheese and although his mother told him he was overeating, he could not get enough cheese. One night, fairies came to his bed and took him to a forest. They danced together all night and gave him so much cheese that he could not eat more. But they kept on insisting that he continue to eat.

The third fable tells of the origin of the city of Rotterdam and the practice of the Dutch girls to wear many petticoats.

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About the reviewer
Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #66
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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1918. The stories found in this volume aim to faithfully reflect the spirit of the common folk. The stories are mostly genuine fairy tales bearing at times some resemblance to the tales heard in other lands. However, they are more often legends and wayside stories that are undeniably Dutch from start to finish with droll touches of humor. Some are parables or allegories on life. The author spent many years as a resident of Holland and has personal knowledge of the people and their tales.
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ISBN-10: 1161376526
ISBN-13: 978-1161376524
Author: William Elliot Griffis
Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC

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