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?
Nice pick! I haven't heard of this one, but agree with you that the devil doesn't play fair and it never ends up well. I bet the poor peasant got a rude awakening one day when the devil got his revenge!ReplyDelete
Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...
Alexia561 ... Right?!? That's exactly what I was thinking!!Delete
Sounds like The Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band where he outsmarts the devil. Awesome, if implausible, given what the devil is supposed to be. :)ReplyDelete
Becca Lostinbooks ... Ha! I hadn't thought of that! Good catch!!Delete
I've always loved fairy tales, and have yet to read most of the originals! I know how shocked I was to discover how graphic and tragic many of them really are!ReplyDelete
writersideup.com ... The originals are all very graphic, and in so many different ways! I still love them, particularly when we look at the progression they take from the original form to the modern versions!Delete