Monday, June 20, 2016

Grimm Reviews – “The Singing Bone”

“The Singing Bone”

A fearsome wild boar terrorized a kingdom, and the king offered his daughter as reward to whoever could bring the boar in. Two poor brothers decided to set out. The elder, and clever one, was to set out in the evening, while the younger and good hearted one set out in the morning.

When the younger brother entered the forest, a fairy came to him because his heart was so pure and gave him a spear that would keep the boar from harming him. The younger brother soon found the boar who charged him and ran onto his spear and died.

The younger brother then found his older brother at a party dancing and drinking to build up his courage. When the older brother saw what his younger brother had done, he became jealous, but hid it and had the younger brother join them to rest and regain his strength.

That evening, they went for a walk and the older brother hit the younger in the head and threw him over a bridge to make sure he was dead. He then went back, grabbed the boar, and took it get the princess.

Some years later, a herdsman saw a white bone under the bridge, and figured it would make a mouthpiece for his horn. But the first time the herdsman tried it, the bone sang the story of the brother’s betrayal. The herdsman then took his horn to the king. The king had the area under the bridge searched and the skeleton of the younger brother was found. The older brother was drowned, and the younger was given a proper burial.


Are fairies in the habit of just handing out weapons to people they find in the woods? I wonder how the older brother was as a husband. Did he and the princess have a love of the ages, or was he a brute and she happy to see him go? Given odd customs of ye olden days, would the marriage have been annulled and have her married to the bones of the good brother?

I assume that this story predates the saying, “Dead men tell no tales.”

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