U is for Ubiquitous Untrue

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 Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.


From a Norse tale

You may see “Norse” and automatically think “Viking.” Not always true. Vikings were between the 8th and 11th Centuries. Norse can be that time period and older. While both come from Scandinavia, the Norse eventually spread to France, Greenland, Britain and even North America. The Vikings spread forth to more Scotland, Ireland, and England.

The Norse traded and spoke Old Norse or Old Icelandic. The Vikings traded – a little – but also known for looting. The Vikings spoke English, Old English, and sometimes Old Norse.

No wonder it’s confusing!

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

We have brothers. I am not sure if they are twins, but the mother chooses for both of them to be “kicked out” at the same time. She probably was most sad to have True go as he was helpful and kind. Though, being a mother, both were loved. Isn’t it interesting when we have opposite personalities even when raised by the same mom?

Untrue chose to take both of True’s eyes. Talk about a terrible brother. Amazingly, True still was kind and shared with his brother how he found out the secrets to cure himself later on. Even which lime tree! Thus, True and Untrue remained with their natures to the end. With the appropriate consequences.

50-word-or-less summary:

Untrue and True (brothers) sent off. Untrue tricked brother. True pointed out Untrue would live to his name. Untrue took True’s eyes! True climbed tree. Animals talked-how to cure (spring) and of princess (deaf/dumb). Helped self and princess. Married! Untrue discovered how. Sat in tree. Animals refused to share secrets.

Finding the Story: 

Book entitled “True and Untrue and Other Norse Tales” – found here

Online sharing of the story – found here

Video of Melva Gifford telling the story – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

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