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The Turtle and His Bride

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The Turtle and His Bride

by Andrew Lang

Genre: Fairy Tale
Setting: Fantasy
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 30 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation?


There was once a turtle who lived among a great many people of different kinds, in a large camp near a big river which was born right up amongst the snows, and flowed straight away south till it reached a sea where the water was always hot.

There were many other turtles in the camp, and this turtle was kind and pleasant to them all, but he did not care for any of them very much, and felt rather lonely.

At last he built himself a hut, and filled it with skins for seats, and made it as comfortable as any hut for miles round; and when it was quite finished he looked about among the young women to see which of them he should ask to be his wife.

It took him some time to make up his mind, for no turtle likes being hurried, but at length he found one girl who seemed prettier and more industrious than the rest, and one day he entered her home, and said: ‘Will you marry me?’


The title doesn’t set you up to understand the real joy in this story…for the “bride” is a human. That is, this is a turtle-meets-girl story, and as such, could be a good premise for a musical. The story, however, doesn’t go where you’d expect (turtle-loses-girl…or rather, girl-boils-turtle). So if that’s not the kind of story you want to tell, you might need to write a different ending, which would be easy enough.


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