Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saving Spring - A Scandinavian Folktale

There is a lovely story I recently discovered which is perfect for Spring and Easter celebrations, called "Saving Spring". It's a Scandinavian story and has Old Man Winter, a man being turned into a tiger, talking animals, tattoos, an ice prison and a valiant rescue (Illustrators: grab your pencils!).

Here's an excerpt of the story, retold by Ilil Arbel, from Encyclopdia Mythica:

After a while, Oscar (having transformed into a tiger) knew he lost the rabbit, and sat down on the rough ground. Confusion and uncertainty mingled in his mind, and slowly, his memory returned and his own actions horrified him. Tears filled his eyes, and he hid his huge head between his paws, shaking with sorrow and shame. "It's all right, my friend" the rabbit's small voice reached him from a niche in the wall, where it was well protected from the tiger's rage, should it rise again. "This is what Old Man Winter does to people when they come here to save Spring. He turns them into animals and they forget their humanity."

You can read the whole story, beautifully told with rich imagery, HERE.
When Spring is freed, her steps cause flowers to bloom and new plant growth to sprout everywhere, which reminds me of the Spring Sprite from Fantasia 2000, one of the most beautiful pieces of animation ever to come out of Disney.

And if you're after more Spring themed fairy tales, don't miss "The Enchanted Castle, A Book of Fairy Tales from Flowerland" with full text and illustrations at Project Gutenberg. (Click on the image below to go there.)
Note: I haven't been able to find the artists to credit for the illustrations posted today, though they've been used on a lot of sites. If you know who they're by, please let me know so I can correct this.
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