Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A wicked half-sister story

A new story is long overdue so here is the story of two half-sisters and an old man.

This story is based on the “wicked half-sister” theme ever so popular in folktales and fairy tales the world over. The result of this popularity is that elements from other sources/stories got jumbled into my recollection, however I believe those have been sifted out now (with some effort). It reminds me of Cinderella but of course, there are certain marked differences e.g. like the stepmother already existed before the demise of the good mother (hence half-sisters rather than step-sisters) and there are no charming princes.

But just like Cinderella, the good sister bore her burden silently and did as she was told. In the various versions of this story, she is always nice and docile to an extreme and I silently wondered about these as a kid, wondering if one had to be extremely docile (sometimes bordering on stupidity) to be good. So when I read Hans Anderson story of Big Claus and Little Claus, I really liked it. The theme of that story is similar – poor little guy and rich big bully. But when little Claus came across his riches and big Claus shook the story out of little Claus, little Claus sent big Claus on a fools errand which ended up with him being beaten up. Of course he came back looking for little Claus but little Claus had more surprises for him.

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