The Dog and the Sparrow

"The Dog and the Sparrow" is a story by the Brothers Grimm, told in their book Kinder- und Hausmärchen as KHM58. The original name is Der Hund und der Sperling.

The story

A dog owner lets his shepherd dog starve from hunger, causing the dog to leave home. The dog meets a sparrow and accompanies him to the city. The bird captures meat and bread for the dog as a sign of gratitude. When they leave town night falls and they decide to go to sleep. During the night the dog is run over by a man in a horse carriage. The sparrow alerts the man on the carriage, but he ignores the sparrow and runs over the dog. She curses the man by announcing that he will turn into a poor man. Then she pecks the wine barrels the man was transporting open, so that the precious wine leaks out. The bird also pecks out the horses' eyes. When the man tries to kill the bird with an axe he accidentally slays his own horses down. As a result the man is forced to leave his now useless carriage behind and returns home.

At home he notices that birds have eaten all his wheat. He notices the sparrow, still out on revenge, and throws his axe at him, only to smash in his own windows, his stove and the rest of his household. Finally he manages to capture the bird and his wife asks him whether he is going to strike it dead? The man feels this death is not cruel enough for the bird. He swallows it in one big bite. However, the bird still sticks its head out of the man's mouth, prompting him to let his wife take a final swing with his axe at the bird. This kills the man and the bird flies off.

Backgrounds

The Grimms collected the story in Zwehrn in Nederhessen.

External links

Works related to The Dog and the Sparrow at Wikisource

Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm (die Brüder Grimm or die Gebrüder Grimm), Jacob Ludwig Karl and Wilhelm Carl, were German academics, philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. They were among the first and best-known collectors of German and European folk tales, and popularized traditional oral tale types such as "Cinderella" ("Aschenputtel"), "The Frog Prince" ("Der Froschkönig"), "The Goose-Girl" ("Die Gänsemagd"), "Hansel and Gretel" ("Hänsel und Gretel"), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" ("Rumpelstilzchen"), "Sleeping Beauty" ("Dornröschen"), and "Snow White" ("Schneewittchen"). Their classic collection Children's and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in two volumes – the first in 1812 and the second in 1815.

The brothers were born in the town of Hanau in Hesse-Cassel (now Germany) and spent most of their childhood in the nearby town of Steinau. Their father's death in 1796 impoverished the family and affected the brothers for many years after. They attended the University of Marburg where they began a lifelong dedication to researching the early history of German language and literature, including German folktales. The rise of Romanticism during the 18th century had revived interest in traditional folk stories, which to the Grimms and their colleagues represented a pure form of national literature and culture. The Brothers Grimm established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between the first edition of 1812–1815 and the seventh (and final) edition of 1857, they revised their collection many times, so that it grew from 156 stories to more than 200. In addition to collecting and editing folk tales, the brothers compiled German legends. Individually, they published a large body of linguistic and literary scholarship. Together, in 1838, they began work on a massive historical German dictionary (Deutsches Wörterbuch) which, in their lifetimes, they completed only as far as the word Frucht ('fruit').

Many of Grimms' folk tales have enjoyed enduring popularity. The tales are available in more than 100 languages and have been adapted by filmmakers including Lotte Reiniger and Walt Disney, with films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. During the 1930s and 40s, the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century, psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in original versions of some of the tales (which the Grimms eventually sanitized).

Grimms' Fairy Tales

Grimms' Fairy Tales, originally known as the Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen, pronounced [ˌkɪndɐ ʔʊnt ˈhaʊsmɛːɐ̯çən]), is a collection of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers or "Brothers Grimm", Jakob and Wilhelm, first published on 20 December 1812. The first edition contained 86 stories, and by the seventh edition in 1857, had 211 unique fairy tales.

Göttingen Seven

The Göttingen Seven (German: Göttinger Sieben) were a group of seven professors from Göttingen. In 1837, they protested against the abolition or alteration of the constitution of the Kingdom of Hanover by Ernest Augustus and refused to swear an oath to the new king of Hanover. The company of seven was led by historian Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann, who himself was one of the key advocates of the unadulterated constitution. The other six were the Germanist brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm (famed fairy tale and folk tale writers and storytellers, known together as the Brothers Grimm), jurist Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht, historian Georg Gottfried Gervinus, physicist Wilhelm Eduard Weber, and theologian and orientalist Heinrich Georg August Ewald.

Lang's Fairy Books

The Langs' Fairy Books are a series of 25 collections of true and fictional stories for children published between 1889 and 1913 by Andrew Lang and his wife, Leonora Blanche Alleyne. The best known books of the series are the 12 collections of fairy tales also known as Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors. In all, the volumes feature 798 stories, besides the 153 poems in The Blue Poetry Book.

Andrew Lang (1844–1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, and literary critic. He initially edited the series and wrote prefaces for its entire run, while his wife, the translator and author Leonora Blanche Alleyne (1851 – 10 July 1933), known to friends and family as Nora, assumed editorial control of the series in the 1890s. She and other translators did a large portion of the translating and retelling of the actual stories, as acknowledged in the prefaces. Four of the volumes from 1908 to 1912 were published by "Mrs. Lang".

According to Anita Silvey, "The irony of Lang's life and work is that although he wrote for a profession—literary criticism; fiction; poems; books and articles on anthropology, mythology, history, and travel ... he is best recognized for the works he did not write."The 12 Coloured Fairy Books were illustrated by Henry Justice Ford — the first two volumes shared with G. P. Jacomb-Hood and Lancelot Speed respectively, and the sequels alone. A. Wallis Mills also contributed some illustrations.

Rapunzel

"Rapunzel" (; German: [ʁaˈpʊnt͡səl]) is a German fairy tale in the collection assembled by the Brothers Grimm, and first published in 1812 as part of Children's and Household Tales. The Grimm Brothers' story is an adaptation of the fairy tale Rapunzel by Friedrich Schulz published in 1790. The Schulz version is based on Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force originally published in 1698 which in turn was influenced by an even earlier Italian tale, Petrosinella by Giambattista Basile, published in 1634. Its plot has been used and parodied in various media and its best known line ("Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair") is an idiom of popular culture. In volume I of the 1812 annotations (Anhang), it is listed as coming from Friedrich Schulz's Kleine Romane, Book 5, pp. 269–288, published in Leipzig 1790.

In the Aarne–Thompson classification system for folktales it is type 310, "The Maiden in The Tower".Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book. Other versions of the tale also appear in A Book of Witches by Ruth Manning-Sanders and in Paul O. Zelinsky's 1997 Caldecott Medal-winning picture book, Rapunzel and the Disney movie Tangled.

Rapunzel's story has striking similarities to the Persian tale of Rudāba, included in the epic poem Shahnameh by Ferdowsi. Rudāba offers to let down her hair from her tower so that her lover Zāl can climb up to her. Some elements of the fairy tale might also have originally been based upon the tale of Saint Barbara, who was said to have been locked in a tower by her father.Some researchers also proposed a connection to pre-Christian European (or proto-Indo-European) sun or dawn goddess myths, in which the light deity is trapped and is rescued. Extremely similar myths include that of the Baltic solar goddess Saulė, who is held captive in a tower by a king.

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