The Three Brothers

The Three BrothersThe Three Brothers

I know, I know, once again, we have a story about three brothers. There apparently isn’t any other combination of brothers that will do it for the Grimms brothers, except for there were only two of them. I wonder if there was another third Grimms brother that nobody talks about. Anyway, I had a hard time finding an illustration for this story because if you Google “three brothers” you get a bunch of stuff from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so I just put a picture of a blacksmith on here instead. That’s going to have to do.

Once upon a time there were three brothers. Their father had nothing else in the world except his single house. He loved them all the same and wanted to leave them something. He thought about letting them sell the house, but he was quite sentimental about it and decided to give the sons a challenge. Each of the sons was to go out into the world and learn a trade. Whoever could make the best masterpiece would win the house. The three sons decided on a time when they would come back and exhibit their skills to their father.

The first son apprenticed himself to a blacksmith. The second son apprenticed himself to a barber. The third son apprenticed himself to a fencer. They learned their skills well. The first son was such a good blacksmith that he had shod the king’s horses. The second son was a good barber who only barbered the best of people. The third son didn’t have it as easy, but was determined the make the best of what he did saying, “if you are afraid of a blow, you’ll never win the house.”

The appointed time finally came. They didn’t really know how to showcase their skills to their father. Suddenly, a hare ran across the field and the second son saw this as his opportunity to show off his skills. He got his basin and soap and lathered it up. The hare got close, but the barber was able to shave off its whiskers while it was still moving. The father was pretty impressed by this.

The first son soon found his opportunity to impress his father. A nobleman drove by in a coach galloping at top speed. The blacksmith ran after the coach, took all the shoes off of the horses’ feet and reshod the horses while they were still galloping. The father was mightily impressed with this feat.

The third son soon found his opportunity. It began to rain, but the son drew is sword and swung it backwards and forwards above his head and not a drop fell upon him. It rains harder and harder, but the third son stayed dry. The father was most impressed with the third son’s feat. He proclaimed the house was his.

The brothers had also been impressed with their youngest brother so they didn’t really begrudge him having son the house, but they liked each other so well, that they decided to live in the house together. There they lived and practiced their trades until they grew old. One of the brothers died and it wasn’t long before the other two followed. They were buried in the same grave because they loved each other so much.

The End

Observations

I think all three of these sons learned how to do pretty impressive things. Good for them. They must be really determined. I don’t know how you could shoe a horse while it was still moving. I haven’t ever raised horses, but I do know just a little bit about how horses are shod. The horse kind of has to be standing still for this to happen. Horses can be dangerous in a given situation so I imagine this brother was in quite a bit of danger while performing his feat.

Shaving the whiskers off of a rabbit seems kind of mean. I think they need those.

Now, if someone really could wave a sword above their head in the rain and not get wet, that would be highly impressive.

Themes

Competition is nice, but family is also really important. These brothers used their competitiveness to fuel their skills to a very high level, but at the end of the day, their family was still the most important thing in their lives. Good for them. Really. Kudos you three. Each of these brothers were so good at what they did they could have had a lot of money and women all the time, but they chose to place importance upon each other.

On the other hand, the story never mentions that they got married or had families of their own, so I’m kind of disappointed that they didn’t have sons of their own to teach these skills to.

Overall

I would really like to see someone try to reproduce this keeping dry in the rain method. Theoretically, if you swung something fast enough over your head, wouldn’t you stay dry?


The Young Giant

The Young giantSummary

The Young Giant is a tale I have never heard before, but I have heard of someone in this tale and so have you. That someone is Thumbling, yes, he’s back with all his mischievous ways. He takes plenty of opportunities in this tale to be a jerk.

Once upon a time there was a man who had a son who was no bigger than his thumb. That was as much as he had grown. One day the man was going to go out and plow the field and his son, Thumbling, begged to go. The man said that Thumbling would only be in the way and could not help plow, but he was insistent. The man finally decided to take his son.

He set Thumbling down in a freshly plowed furrow and got to work. As it so happened, a giant was nearby. The father jokingly said to his son that if he was not a good little boy the giant would come and grab him up. Well, it turns out the giant had, in fact, seen Thumbling and thought he was pretty neat. The giant picked Thumbling up, to the horror of his father, and carried him away. What the giant, the male giant, does next is a little strange. The giant let Thumbling suckle at his breast for two years. Thumbling grew tall and strong. The giant took him into the woods to test him. He told him to pull up a stick for himself. Thumbling pulled a young tree up out of the Earth by the roots. The giant was not satisfied and took Thumbling back and suckled him for two more years.

After this period of two years was up, the giant wanted to test Thumbling again. He took him back to the woods and asked him to pull up a stick. He pulled up a large oak-tree, roots and all, as if it were nothing. The giant was still not pleased at this, so he took him back for another two years and suckled him again. Upon the next test, Thumbling pulled up the largest tree in the forest as if it were nothing. The giant said he was ready and quit breast-feeding him and also took him home to his real parents.

Thumbling wanted to see his parents and also wanted to show off all the good giant breast milk could do a body. His father did not believe that this giant was his son. Thumbling had been very tiny. Thumbling offered to plow the field for his father. It was nothing, it would take him no time at all. Thumbling tried plowing the first time and the plow went deep into the Earth. His father was starting to get a little irritated, but there was really nothing he could do about it. He told Thumbling that if he must plow, not to plow so hard. Thumbling told his father not to worry and told him to tell his mother to make up lots and lots of food for him.

Well, Thumbling plowed the field, then he harrowed the field without the aid of horses. He went inside to eat and his mother had made enough food to feed herself and the father for a week. Thumbling ate all of it in no time and asked for more. She soon made enough food to fill the pig’s trough, which Thumbling soon ate, but he was still hungry. He told his parents that he could not stay because there would never be enough food for him. He told his father to get him a great iron bar, that he could not break, that he might take on his journey.

His father went to the blacksmith and had a large iron staff made. He had two horses harnessed to the great staff and they could barely pull it. Thumbling took up the staff and broke it in two. His father went back to the blacksmith and got an ever larger staff. This time he harnessed it to four horses, which could barely pull it. Thumbling took it up and broke it in two. His father went back to the blacksmith and got a staff so large that eight horses had to be harnessed to it. Thumbling was able to break off the end of this staff, but decided to leave.

Thumbling then decided to apprentice himself to a blacksmith. The blacksmith was pleased that such a big, strong man wanted to work for him. He asked Thumbling what wages he would like for his pay and Thumbling said that he did not want any money, but that he wanted to hit the blacksmith as hard as he could, twice. The blacksmith thought he could save a lot of money and withstand the blows from Thumbling.  Thumbling tried out a bit of blacksmithing. He hit the anvil so hard that it sunk down into the Earth. The smith wasn’t very pleased with this. Thumbling soon decided to give him one of his blows. He struck the blacksmith in such a way that he flew over four loads of hay. Thumbling took the thickest iron bar from the smith and left.

Thumbling then decided to be a headman for a bailiff. The bailiff asked Thumbling what he wanted for wages and Thumbling told him that he did not want any money, but he wanted to hit the bailiff as hard as possible, twice. The bailiff agreed to this payment schedule. Thumbling did not start off work on a good foot. He was ordered into the forest, but he wanted to sleep some more. Everyone was like, “No, dude, you’ve got to get up now.” Thumbling was like, “Well, I”m going to sleep another hour and I’ll still make it there before you do.” Well, Thumbling was right. He made it back and the bailiff was proud to have such a good employee.

Thumbling served the bailiff for a year. At the end of that year, it was time for him to get his payment. The bailiff was afraid. He offered Thumbling all kinds of other things including money. The bailiff finally begged for a two weeks delay. He talked to his clerk. They told him, that he should tell Thumbling to clean a well. When he was inside the well, they could drop a millstone on him and he would never come out. The bailiff thought this was a fine idea.

They got Thumbling down the well and they threw the largest millstone they could on him. Well, Thumbling was not dead. He complained of hens scratching sad down the well into his eyes. He came out of the well with a new necklace, it was the millstone.

Thumbling wanted his wages for the year, but the bailiff begged for another two weeks. The clerks met again. They decided that they must give Thumbling a lot of grain to grind in a haunted mill. No one had ever come out who had went in at night. They told Thumbling it was dangerous, but he brushed it off. He simply loaded two bushels of corn in one pocket, two bushels in the other pocket, and several more bushels around his person. He headed off to the mill.

Thumbling poured his grain out at the mill and sat down to rest. All of the sudden, the door swung open and in came a table. The table was laid with wine and all kinds of food. The chairs soon followed of their own accord. There were no people, but suddenly, there were fingers and Thumbling could see them. These fingers used their knives and forks to eat food. Thumbling decided that he was going to eat as well and pulled a chair up to the table.

After a bit, Thumbling felt he had gotten a box to the ear. Well, he wasn’t going to take that, so he hit back. He got another box on the ear, again, he hit back. This went on and on for the whole night. In the morning, Thumbling was still alive and all his grain was ground. The miller was so happy that his mill was no longer haunted and offered Thumbling lots of money. Thumbling didn’t want any money and went back to the bailiff.

The bailiff was quite surprised and scared to see Thumbling. He opened a window to get some fresh air. Well, Thumbling decided to collect his payment. He gave the bailiff such a hard kick that he went flying way away. He then told the bailiff’s wife that if the bailiff did not come back, she would have to take the other blow. Well, now she was scared and opened a different window. Thumbling kicked her too, but she was lighter, so she flew further. Her husband cried to her that she should come to him, but she told him that she could not come to him. Both of them were both hovering in the air and they might still be hovering there. Thumbling took up his iron bar and went on his way, presumably to be a jerk to some more people.

The End

The Young GiantObservations

Probably the strangest thing about this tale is the face that a giant, a male giant, breastfeeds another man, for six years. I may be totally wrong about this whole mammalian thing, but I’m pretty sure only the females can breastfeed. This giant has some special boobs. Not only do they lactate, when male mammals clearly aren’t supposed to lactate, but they also secrete a super-growth hormone. Steroids? Roid-rage might actually explain some of Thumbling’s behavior. I have heard that sometimes when men take too many steroids they begin to lactate. Perhaps that is why this giant can lactate and he’s lactating a super-concentrated form of steroid. Maybe he should get a breast pump or maybe he’s gay and he enjoys another man…you know what, I’m not even going to finish that sentence, this is family website…sort of. Let’s not go into the possible homoerotic undertones of this story, well, right now anyway, maybe we’ll address that at a later date.

Part of me wonders if the giant himself was once puny like Thumbling. We’re going to pump you up! But imagine that in the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Thumbling is still a jerk, but now he’s a bigger jerk. Thanks steroids! All the people who Thumbling is beating up, really appreciate what you’ve done.

The Young GiantThemes

A theme I see in this story is “don’t give a jerk power.” I don’t know if that’s a true moral that grandmothers whisper to their grandchildren, but maybe it should be. That’s right, don’t give a jerk power. Let’s talk about a couple of historical jerks. You know who was a jerk? Hitler, but also You Know Who, but he’s not real. Let’s leave Lord Voldemort out of this, although, the same argument I’m going to make about some real-life historical jerks, could just as easily apply to him.

So Hitler was a jerk. He was probably always a jerk. It wasn’t until he had power that it was a problem. I’m sure he bullied other kids in kindergarten, German man, German word, but he couldn’t really do that much harm. When people were like, “No, we like this dude,” and started giving him power was when he was able to start doing harm.

You know who else was a jerk? Napoleon. He had a short man complex, these days know as a Napoleon complex, just for him. He was a jerk, not as much of a jerk as Hitler, but he was still kind of a jerk. Before he had power, was his jerkiness any harm? Maybe a little, but not enough to do anything much, he was a short guy after all. When he got power, just look what happened. He went all over the place, conquering all sorts of things. At least no one could say that he did not have big ambitions.

These are my examples. Why do I mention them? I mention them to draw real-life parallels to Thumbling. Thumbling is a jerk. He was a jerk when he was little. We’ve already evidenced that in several stories about him. Thumbling likes to play tricks and make people worry. When he turns into a big, giant, Brawny-style man, that jerkiness is amplified and he is able to do a lot of harm. He uses his new size to push a lot of people around. Sure, he could cause trouble when he was little, but the power he gets from being large, opens up a whole other world of, “WTF, run for your lives!”

Just because power is bestowed upon someone does not mean that person is going to use that power to empower human kind. If that person is a jerk, that person will use that power to continue being a jerk. If that person is a good person, they might do some good things, for a while, until the entire idea of power and red-tape has beaten them down, then they’ll do jerk things. “To whom much is given, much is required,” doesn’t always work.

Overall

This tale is strange and Thumbling is a jerk, so I really do not like the story.