Tue, 20 March 2012
This is the longest fairy tale in the collection. Two young twin brothers eat the magical heart and liver of a golden bird, which bestows upon them the gift of a gold coin under their pillow each monring. Their father believes it to be the work of the devil, so he abandons them in the forest. A huntsman finds them, adopts them as his own, and teches them to be huntsmen as well. When they set out as young adults to make their way in the world, they collect a menageria of talking animals. Eventually, they go their separate ways, splitting their animals among them. One brother makes his way to a kingdom emperiled by a seven-headed dragon. The kingdom is down to its last virgin, the king's daughter, to appease the dragon. The king promises his daughter and the kingdom to whoever can slay the dragon. The brother and his animals do this, but the king's marshal kills the young huntsman and takes credit for the victory. The brother is resurected with the help of his animals (though his head is temporarily put on backwards). The brother exposes the lie and takes his rightful place as the prince of the kingdom. One day, while out hunting, the brother and his animals are set upon by a witch, who turns them all to stone. The other brother wanders by at this time, and is able to rescue the first brother and his animals, revive them, and kill the witch. And everyone lives happily ever after.