Saturday, October 9, 2010

76 at one blow

"...all the while the scent of the sweet jelly was spreading throughout the room, where there were quantities of flies, who were attracted by it and flew to partake.

'Now then who asked you to come?' said the tailor, and drove the unbidden guests away. But the flies, not understanding his language, were not to be got rid of like that, and returned in larger numbers than before. Then the tailor, not being able to stand it any longer, took from his chimney-corner a ragged cloth, and saying, 'Now, I'll let you have it!' beat it among them unmercifully. When he ceased, and counted the slain, he found seven lying dead before him. 'This is indeed somewhat,' he said, wondering at his own gallantry; 'the whole town shall know this.' "

The Brave Little Tailor of the fairy tale quoted above (also known as "The Gallant Tailor") made himself a belt proclaiming "Seven at One Blow," and tricks those he meets into believing he killed seven men at one blow. I like this fairy tale because some tales have characters that are supposedly clever, but their actions appear lucky at best. This tailor actually uses his wits, and in funny ways. First the belt, which gives him confidence to approach a giant. When the giant squeezes water out of a rock, the tailor squeezes water out of cheese. When the giant throws a rock high in the air, the tailor throws up a bird (so high it will never again fall down to earth).

The tailor later kills two giants by dropping stones on them while they sleep from up in a high tree. The giants become angry at each other and kill each other. He then goes on to trap and kill a malicious unicorn (who knew unicorns caused trouble?) and a boar by trapping them-the unicorn's horn in a tree, the boar in a chapel.

Our house was recently infested with fruit flies. We have killed literally hundreds and they're finally almost gone. I kept thinking "seven at one blow!" as I swatted at them, although I never did get more than one at a time...does our fruit fly trap count? There's 76ish in there (it's cider vinegar and dish detergent-the vinegar attracts, the detergent kills).


Fly soup-YUM.

Images: H.J. Ford, Disney, Kay Nielsen, a bowl in my kitchen

No comments:

Post a Comment