Friday, 1 April 2011

Friday is for Fairy-Tales: The Well of the World's End

This is a meme hosted by me every Friday.

My post today is about: The Well of the World's End (an English fairy-tale)

Once upon a time there was a girl whose mother had died and her father married again. Her stepmother hated her because she was more beautiful than her and so she was very cruel to her. The girl had to do all the servant's work. One day, the stepmother decided to get rid of her altogether, so she handed her a sieve and told her to fill it at the Well of the World's End and bring it home to her full, or else... The stepmother thought she would never be able to find the Well of the World' s End, and, if she did, how could she bring home a sieve full of water?

The girl started off and asked everyone she met to tell her where the Well of the World's End was, but nobody knew, and she didn't know what to do, when a queer little old woman told her where it was, and how she could get to it. So she did what the old woman told her, and at last arrived at the Well of the World's End. But when she dipped the sieve in the cold water, it all ran out again. She tried and tried again, but every time it was the same; and at last she gave up and began to cry.
Suddenly she heard a croaking voice and she saw a great frog with goggle eyes looking at her and speaking to her.

The girl told the frog about her problm and the frog promised to help her it she did whatever the frog asked her. The frog said to use moss and clay to keep the water in the sieve, then the frog jumped into the well. So the girl looked about for some moss, and lined the bottom of the sieve with it, and over that she put some clay, and then she dipped it once again into the Well of the World's End. This time, the water didn't run out and she turned to go away.

Just then the frog popped up its head out of the Well of the World's End and told the girl to remember her promise. The girl went back to her stepmother and brought the sieve full of water from the Well of the World's End. The stepmother was very angry, but she said nothing. That very evening they heard something tapping at the door and a voice cried out, speaking about the promise. It was the frog. It wanted the girl to lift it to her knee, but the girl didn't like to, till her stepmother said ordered her to do so, as girls must keep their promises. The girl obeyed and put the frog on ger knee. Then, the frog wanted dinner and the girl fed it with a bowl of milk and bread. and fed it well. After dinner, the frog asked the girl to take it with her to bed and the girl didn't want to do it, but again her stepmother demanded that she obey the frog. So the girl took the frog with her to bed and kept it as far away from her as she could. When dawn came, the frog asked the girl to chop off its head.

Very reluctantly, the girl and chopped off its head with her axe. When she did that, there stood before her a handsome young prince, who told her that he had been enchanted by a wicked magician, and he could never be unspelled till some girl would do his bidding for a whole night and chop off his head at the end of it.

The stepmother was surprised when she found the young prince instead of the nasty frog and she wasn't pleased when the prince told her that he was going to marry her stepdaughter because she had unspelled him. But married they were, and went away to live in the castle of the king, his father, and all the stepmother had to console her was that it was all through her that her stepdaughter was married to a prince.



I think this is a romantic story and quite a typical romantic fairy-tale. There is a nasty stepmother, a test and a stepdaughter who gets to marry a prince.



Blodeuedd said...

I don't feel the frog should have married her, I mean she didn't want to do any of those things. Her evil stepmum made her. She would have broken her promise, what sort of queen is that

Mike said...

Perhaps if the frog would have asked the girl to bite off its head rather than cut it off, then that would be more of a test.
And the wicked stepmother has to meet some strange fate like drowning in the Well of the World's End. That would be better. What do you think? Too morbid?

Jo K said...

I like it how the stepmother digs her own grave, so to speak, as she insists that the stepdaughter keeps her promise.

The heroine is a little atypical, not all goody-goody, since she plans to bail out on her word.

This is a nice fairy-tale.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

Makes me think of The Frog Prince; I like that the girl got to leave her evil stepmother even if she maybe wasn't entirely worthy of the prince as she planned to go back on her word.

Jan von Harz said...

A little Cinderella and Frog Prince side to this this one. I like it. Thanks for sharing!

Enbrethiliel said...


It's an interesting arrangement of many of the same elements we get in The Frog Prince! And there's some Cinderella thrown in there, too, aye? Thanks for sharing this story, Irena. =)

Unknown said...

Definitely fits the usual formula. I feel I am getting very familiar with genre traits of fairytales. I have missed a couple of weeks of my Russian tales but I should be back next week. Love this feature!