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Ball Carrier and the Bad One

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Ball Carrier and the Bad One

by Andrew Lang

Genre: Fairy Tale
Setting: Rural
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 90 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


“At the end of ten days the old woman came to him with a bowl of the same food that he had eaten before. ‘Get up, my grandson, you have fasted long enough. Have the good spirits visited you, and granted you the strength and wisdom that you desire?’
‘Some of them have come, and have given me a portion of both,’ answered the boy, ‘but many have stayed away from me.’


Summary: With a magical ball, a witch coaxes a boy into her hut. She encourages him to fast until his has won the favor of good spirits. When he has done so, she sends him to steal gold and a magical bridge from the Bad One. The Bad One catches the boy, fattens him up, and is about to cook him, but the boy calls upon the good spirits who help him escape. The boy crosses a dangerous river with the help of the bridge, and the Bad One drowns.

Comments:  Some promise in the witch character.  She knows how to win the favor of good spirits, and yet…she kidnaps children.  She doesn’t harm the kids; she just sends them on errands.  Is there some psychology you might invent to make her complex and three-dimensional?

Additional comments:  There might be enough story structure in a combination of two stories “Ball Carrier” and “How Ball Carrier Finished His Task” (listed separately in this library) to string together a storyline for a musical.  Know that there is some inherent challenge to this material, but the structure might work for you.


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