Welcome to Fairy Tale Friday ... a week and a day late!!
This month, I decided to take a peek at The Peasant and the Devil by the Brothers Grimm. It appears in a book I found at a local used bookstore back in Iowa before I moved. The book is a compilation of fantasy stories compiled by Diana Wynne Jones. When I saw it, I knew I had to have it for a bit of light reading!
The Peasant and the Devil is a very short read. (You can find a version of the tale online here.) In short, a peasant makes a deal with the devil. The devil not wanting money and gold, struck a deal with the peasant that all items below ground would be his to keep and all those above would go to the peasant. The peasant outsmarts the devil by growing crops that are harvested above ground, and reaping all the "fruit of the earth" and leaving the devil with nothing.
My very first and only thought on the tale was ... Why would you strike a deal with the devil? Even if you can outsmart him, he will not likely play fair and there will still be a consequence coming your way! My guess is that the devil went away mad, but he would have his vengeance with the peasant sooner or later.
The Peasant and the Devil is a quick, easy read, but it is not one of my favorite tales. I find it interesting that this was the first tale chosen by DWJ in her little fantasy compilation. It's not completely disappointing, but I am hoping that the tales get better as I progress through the book.
Have you read The Peasant and the Devil? What are your thoughts in this short little tale?