Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Irish Cinderlad

The Irish Cinderlad (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback))is Shirley Climo's contribution to the multicultural tradition of Cinder lad stories.

In this story, Becan the Cinderella male character has a cruel stepmother and stepsisters who seek to remove him from his home. His father is a peddler and after his mother's death returns from one of his trips with a stepmother and three grown stepsisters who turn him out of the house and make him into a cow herder.

The locals have come to fear a speckled bull that is rumored to harm those who cross its path. In true fairy tale fashion, Becan's kind nature is rewarded. Instead of being harmed by the bull, he makes friends with it and discovers that through magic it is able to feed him daily. When his evil sisters discover his good fortune, they decide to kill his friend. The bull and Becan escape, but the bull warns Becan that his escape is only temporary. At the end of the journey, he is destined to die and his tail will provide Becan with further protections.

This is the first Cinderella tale I have encountered with a Bull as fairy godmother, but it does make for an interesting twist. The tail provides Becan with tools to increase his power and eventually save a princess. Following the traditional tale, Becan loses a boot and that is how his princess locates him to marry him.

No comments:

Post a Comment