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Encyclopedia > Black Bull of Norroway

The Black Bull of Norroway is a fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs. A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Joseph Jacobs (1854, Australia - 1916) was a British literary historian. ...

Although it is included in his More English Fairy Tales, the language, including references to bannocks, would indicate a Scottish teller. A bannock is a bread thinner than a scone. ...

It is Aarne-Thompson type 425A, the search for the lost husband. Antti Amatus Aarne (1867 - 1925) was a Finnish folklorist, who developed the initial version of what became the Aarne-Thompson classification system of classifying folktales, first published in 1910. ...

It was included by Andrew Lang in The Blue Fairy Book, and J. R. R. Tolkien cited it in his essay "On Fairy-Stories" as the example of a "eucatastrophe." For the former National Basketball Association player, see Andrew Lang (basketball). ... Rumpelstiltskin from The Blue Fairy Book, by Henry J. Ford Andrew Langs Fairy Books are a twelve-book series of fairy tale collections. ... John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) is best known as the author of The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings. ... On Fairy-Stories is an essay written by J. R. R. Tolkien, first published in Essays Presented to Charles Williams, Oxford University Press, 1947. ...


A woman's three daughters in succession ask her to cook them some food so they can go off to seek their fortune, and go to a witch woman to discover how they may find it. The woman advises them to look out her back door. The first one, on the third day, saw a coach-and-six come for her; the second one, a coach-and-four; and the third, a black bull. The youngest son is a stock character in fairy tales, where he features as the hero. ...

The daughter is terrified but goes off with the bull. When she grows hungry, he tells her to eat out of his right ear, and drink out of his left. The first night, they arrive at a castle of his old brother, where she is welcomed and given a beautiful apple, and told to never break it until she came to the most terrible straits that a mortal could be in, and then it would help her. The second night, at the second brother's, she receives a beautiful pear; the third night, at the youngest brother's, a beautiful plum; and then the black bull takes her to a dark glen.

The black bull leaves her there because he must go to fight the devil. If everything about her turns blue, he has won, but if everything turns red, the devil has won. She must sit perfectly still until he returns, or he will not be able to find her again.

When everything about her turns blue, she moves because she is so happy, and the bull does not return. She sets out and, searching, finds a glass mountain. A blacksmith tells her that if she serves him for seven years, he will make her iron shoes to climb the mountain. She does, he does, and she climbs the mountain.

At the top, an old washerwoman tells her that whoever washed certain bloody shirts would marry the gallant young knight whose shirts they were. The washerwoman had tried, and her daughter had tried, and the shirts remained bloody. They have the stranger woman try, and the shirts became clean, but the washerwoman convinces the knight that it was her daughter.

The woman breaks the apple and finds it full of gold and jewelry. She offers it to the daughter if she will put off the wedding a day and let the woman into his room at night. The daughter agrees but gives the knight a sleeping-drink, and the woman can not wake him, though she sobs and sings:

"Seven long years I served for thee,
The glassy hill I clomb for thee,
Thy bloody clothes I wrang for thee;
And wilt thou not waken and turn to me?"

She tries the pear, and finds even richer jewelry, but it goes as before.

The next day, someone at the castle asks the knight about the noise in his room at night. He has not heard it, but he does not drink the sleeping potion and so, when she buys her way in with the plum's jewelry, is awake to hear her.

He has the washerwoman and her daughter burnt, and marries the woman.

See also

The Abduction of Psyche by William-Adolphe Bouguereau The tale of Cupid and Psyche first appeared as a digressionary story told by an old woman in Lucius Apuleius novel, The Golden Ass, written in the second century AD. Apuleius probably used an earlier folk-tale as the basis for his... East of the Sun and West of the Moon is a Norwegian fairy tale, collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe. ... The Singing, Springing Lark is a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, appearing as tale no. ... The Brown Bear of Norway is a Scottish fairy tale. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links

  • Sur La Lune,Black Bull of Norroway



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