We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.
And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.
Romania has many monsters beyond vampires and werewolves. Ogres and giants abound. One of the most dangerous of these giants is called a zmeu. The zmeu is not always a giant. Sometimes the zmeu transforms into a regular-sized human to seduce women. Hmmm. I am so glad that the first giant we encounter in this story is quite the opposite of a zmeu. By the way, in the 1940s, over 80 full skeletons of giants were found in Romania. This article is published by The Medium in April 2018. Though, with any news site, it is “Readers Beware.” If nothing else, it’s interesting.
What makes giants dangerous?
Giants can make the earth shake, cause cracks to form, and you could fall. Giants could dance about and accidentally or purposely turn you into human toe jam jelly. Their breath alone can be deadly. Truly deadly. What is more dangerous? Knowing if the giant before you is interested in your flesh for a lightest of snacks…or if the giant really has a kind heart. A shepherd took a chance. I mean, wouldn’t you if you found a giant crying?
Shepherd helps crying giant. Rewards boy with belt (invisibility). Invited by giant to party with other giants. While invisible, takes loaf. Every bite equals gold coin. Boy delivers gold to princess for her birthday week. Once forgot belt! Caught-mistaken as thief. Exiled! Boy becomes “prince” through gold coins. Marries princess.
That shepherd was lucky that the giant wanted to give him a belt of invisibility as a thank you. That set the shepherd to life and eventually made it possible for him to pose as a prince and marry that princess. A kind deed does not go forgotten. What you can discover by the title is that the shepherd gave himself the name “Prince Loaf.” So kind and someone with a sense of humor. That is certainly a way to charm a princess.
Finding “Prince Loaf”:
“A Book of Giants” by Ruth Manning-Sanders pp. 118-125 can be found online to purchase here – https://www.amazon.com/Book-Giants-Ruth-Manning-Sanders/dp/0416646905/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=A+Book+of+Giants%22+by+Ruth+Manning-Sanders&qid=1617943315&s=books&sr=1-1
Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.