Friday, May 14, 2010

Fairy Tale Fridays: The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Special Thanks to my Personal Faery Friend for the Button Art: Ye Olde Faery Shoppe

I am once again posting Fairy Tale Fridays late!  I just got so excited about posting other things (and actually having the time to do so!) this past week, that Fairy Tale Fridays slipped my mind!  I am not even sure how I could do that!  I am the host afterall!!  :(  Bad, bad, bad!!

Anyways, I am here now and ready to chat up our latest weekly selection, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  I grew up with this book being one of my favorites.  It was one of those true Little Golden Books, perfect to fit in little hands.  It can be such a fun read-aloud book, as a child or as a parent reading to a child . . . using a wee little voice for the first and youngest billy goat, a medium size voice for the second, and of course, a deep booming voice for the third.  Even doing the same for the "Trip, trap, trip, trap" across the bridge!  The Three Billy Goats Gruff just begs to be brought to life!

As I was doing a little research on the story, I discovered this great site that includes three different versions of this very tale . . . (1) The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norway); (2) The Three Goats (Poland/Germany); and (3) How the Goats Came to Hessen.  All three have the same theme . . . The point is that the troll (or wolf in the alternate versions) wants to eat the biggest.  He does not stop to think that the biggest goat may just kick some butt!!

The most interesting of the three tales that I found is How the Goats Came to Hessen.  The goats are actually a family of goats . . . the child, the mother, and the father.  The child urges the wolf to wait for his mother, and the mother "filled with fear -- said, 'My husband is coming too.'"  Does anyone else find it disturbing that they are so willing to give each other up to be eaten????  But, then again, maybe they ultimately were not worried.  Check out this ending . . . 
Finally the ram goat approached. The wolf's heart laughed inside his body when he saw the stately fellow. He was about to spring on him and grab him by the throat when two things caught his attention: the ram's spikes and his bag.

"Tell me, ram," what are those big spikes on your head, and what is that bag for between your legs?"

"Oh," replied the ram, "the spikes are a pair of pistols, and the bag is where I carry my powder and lead."
Who wants to mess with a loaded weapon?!?!?  Reading this puts a whole new spin on the story I grew up with in the Little Golden Books!  Hmmmm . . .

What version of the story did you read this week?


Friday, May 21st:  The Philosopher's Stone by Hans Christian Andersen
Friday, May 28th:  The Twelve Brothers by The Brothers Grimm
Friday, June 4th:  Strega Nona by Tomie dePaolo
Friday, June 11th:  The Boy Who Cried Wolf  by Aesop


  1. The goat family is kinda odd, but like you said maybe they knew the Father could take care of the wolf in the end. At least, I hope so.

  2. Ridiculous how late I am posting this but I love chatting about fairy tales with you!!

  3. carolsnotebook . . . I hope so too!! It's truly amazing how my perspective being older changes some of my thoughts on these stories . . . particularly this one! Totally never saw this when I was younger!!

    Peaceful Reader . . . And, I love that you are participating! I literally laughed out loud with the video you posted on this one!! :)


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