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Vladimir Prop and the Morphology of Fairy Tales

Vladimir Prop and the Morphology of Fairy Tales

ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTORS in the study of fairy tales was the Soviet academician Vladimir Prop, who was the first to note down a complete model for the analysis of the structure of any fairy tale, breaking it down into 31 discrete functions. After studying a very extensive...

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Adaptations

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The half chicken

The half chicken

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN, a hen hatched a dozen eggs, out of which twelve chicken came out. And while she was proud for all of them, the youngest happened to be a...

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The golden lion

The golden lion

THERE WAS ONCE AN OLD MERCHANT who had three sons. His first son was known for his courage, the second for his strength, whereas the third for his cunning. “You are my lions”, the father...

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Machun

Machun

THERE WAS ONCE IN A DISTANT KINGDOM A POOR OLD LADY with her son, who was very lazy and who had a crooked nose that made him look very ugly. His mother pushed him to...

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The goldsmith's luck

The goldsmith's luck

ONCE UPON A TIME, in a village filled with greedy, cunning and wicked villagers, lived a goldsmith. He only had one friend who he went along with, a shepherd, who guarded the flock of a...

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The weaver and the abacus

The weaver and the abacus

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a weaver who agreed to guard a farmer's sheep. The farmer, who soon realized that this man wasn't very bright, gave him very specific instructions for everything he had to...

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The mouse that married the rainbow

The mouse that married the rainbow

ONCE UPON A TIME IN JAPAN there lived a mouse with his wife, who both came from aristocratic families. They had a daughter together, who was the most beloved mouse in the whole mouseworld.     Her parents...

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A tale of fish

A tale of fish

MANY BELIEVE THAT FISH WERE always fish, and that no fish ever lived out of water. But if one was to travel as far as Australia and meet the Aborigines that live in the wasteland,...

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The lazy farmer's lesson

The lazy farmer's lesson

ONCE UPON A TIME there lived a farmer who owned large acres of land with all sorts of different crops.  Despite his good fortune he was very lazy, however, and left all the hard work...

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The grouse and the cuckoo

The grouse and the cuckoo

(an adaptation from a tradition of the island of Kythnos) THE BIRDS OF THE SKY ONCE GATHERED and decided to open a school for their children. One morning that the student birds were already in class,...

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The mouse and the soup

The mouse and the soup

A MOUSE once knew nothing about cooking. Instead, he hanged out with a bat, not out of friendship, but rather out of interest and only when it was time for lunch or dinner. The days...

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Why worms live below the earth

Why worms live below the earth

BACK IN THE ANCIENT TIMES, the King of the animals, the lion, organized a big feast in which he invited everyone to eat and drink together. As the party went on, however, and the wine...

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Why the sun and the moon live high above in the sky

Why the sun and the moon live high above in the sky

(based on a Nigerian myth) BACK IN THE OLD TIMES the sun and the water were friends, and they both lived on the earth. The sun would often pay a visit to the water, yet the...

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The cow and the fly

The cow and the fly

THERE WAS ONCE A KING who was wise and fair, and who was rumored to be so rich and hospitable that he hosted big feasts, in which he invited all the domesticated animals. The wild...

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Cat and Mouse

Cat and Mouse

THERE WAS ONCE A KING who was fair and wise, and who had a cunning cat in his Palace to keep him company. The cat, who was very poor, one day fell in love with one...

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The lost horse

The lost horse

THERE WAS ONCE A SQUIRE who was very obedient and loyal to his master. The squire looked after his master's horses with great care, and always made sure to count them before letting a horse...

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The weary woodcutter

The weary woodcutter

A WOODCUTTER once lived in a cabin in the woods. The man was very dexterous and hard-working, traits he had inherited from his father and his grandfather, who were also woodcutters and had taught him...

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"By looking at the tree, one can easily miss the forest”

Myths

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The mermaid's song

The mermaid's song

THE MYTH ABOUT HOW ODYSSEUS got away from the Sirens and their enchanting singing with which they trapped unsuspecting travelers, by tying himself to the mast of his ship, is well known.     What is less known,...

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The Kingdom of the black-headed buntings

The Kingdom of the black-headed buntings

THE KINGDOM OF THE BLACK-HEADED BUNTINGS reached its peak around the 5th century BC. It was located in the depths of Asia, in the area that is now occupied by both Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan.     And so...

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How the first Igloo was built

How the first Igloo was built

MANY YEARS AGO, long before humans had even set their foot on the frozen far edges of the earth, there lived an Indian prince who was looking for shelter. That prince happened to get lost...

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How the wolf separated from the dog

How the wolf separated from the dog

THERE WAS ONCE A KING who was very cunning. He had many servants and guards, but most of them were neither capable nor loyal, so the King had little trust in them.     Back in those days...

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for grown-ups

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The girl with the pearl earring

The girl with the pearl earring

A LAST MOMENT PAUSE made her feel reluctant. With one hand, she was ready to knock on the door. With the other, she was holding the same bag that had accompanied on many previous examinations...

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“The bedding”

“The bedding”

EVERYTHING WENT FINE AT THE “THE BEDDING” of Dimitris and Alexia. Just as the custom demanded, Alexia wasn’t there. Instead, all her friends were there: Alkmene, Teta and Georgia so as to prepare the bed...

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The breakup

The breakup

“HE MUST HAVE GOTTEN TIRED OF ME AS WELL…”, he thought, then sat on the same table of the tavern they used to spend their nights for the past year. He then looked at his...

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A moonlight dance

A moonlight dance

HE TOOK HER LEFT HAND’S PALM AND HELD IT TIGHT with both hands. She then glanced at him with a look that was full of sweet curiosity, as if waiting for something but not really...

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The spirit

The spirit

“WHAT IF IT COMES BACK, MOM?”, little Helen curiously asked, holding her mother’s hand as she kissed her goodnight. She caressed her fingers with one hand and swiped away the tears that had flooded her...

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Arrival at Germany

Arrival at Germany

“IT’S JUST A THREE-HOUR FLIGHT”, he thought, took a deep breath and started counting as the plane’s wheels touched the ground, covering his eyes with his right hand so as not to see outside. The...

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The yellow flowers

The yellow flowers

HE WAS VERY TROUBLED BY THE SIGHT OF YELLOW FLOWERS waiting for him at his doorstep. Giving it little thought, he gathered them and took them inside. But just before placing them on the vase,...

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From Mykonos to Delos

From Mykonos to Delos

ALICE USED TO SPEND COUNTLESS HOURS sitting on the rocks near the beach. There was something special about the specific place that drew her in. Maybe it was the smell of sea, or rather the...

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