Fairy Tale Friday: The Talking Bird, the Singing Tree, and the Sparkling Stream

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

Franz Xaver von Schönwerth

pg. 71-2

ATU 707: The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Speaking Bird

This one’s is similar to Galland’s “The Jealous Sisters and the Cadette”, which I first read in one of my early Arabian Nights (I’m assuming that edition was based off Lane).

It essentially boils down to three sisters make wishes to marry; the youngest to marry the king, who hears her wish and grants it. Three children are born to them — two boys and girl — but at each birth, there is a ruse that the mother devoured the children. (This is similar to what happens to Rhiannon in Pwyll Pendefig Dyfed from the Four Branches of the Mabinogi.) Eventually the children hear about three marvelous items, which they eventually obtain. 

In this version, it follows a similar set up except there’s no sister conflict as in Galland’s, and the sister does not save her two brothers. Instead, the second brother gets the magical items.

What IS the range of this story?

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