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The Wicked Wolverine

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The Wicked Wolverine

by Andrew Lang

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely

EXCERPT:

An arrogant wolf gets stuck under a rock, loses his skin, and tries to eat a bear. An excerpt:
How DID you get under that rock?’ asked they, making a ring round him; but they had to repeat their question several times before the wolverine would answer, for he, like many other persons, found it hard to confess that he had brought his troubles on himself.

‘Well, I was dull, and wanted someone to play with me,’ he said at last, in sulky voice, ‘and I challenged the rock to catch me. Of course I thought I could run the fastest; but I tripped, and it rolled on me. It was just an accident.’

‘It serves you right for being so silly,’ said they; but they pushed and hauled at the rock for a long time without making it move an inch.

‘You are no good at all,’ cried the wolverine crossly, for it was suffering great pain, ‘and if you cannot get me free, I shall see what my friends the lightning and thunder can do.’ And he called loudly to the lightning to come and help him as quickly as possible.

In a few minutes a dark cloud came rolling up the sky, giving out such terrific claps of thunder that the wolves and the foxes and all the other creatures ran helter-skelter in all directions. But, frightened though they were, they did not forget to beg the lightning to take off the wolverine’s coat and to free his legs, but to be careful not to hurt him. So the lightning disappeared into the cloud for a moment to gather up fresh strength, and then came rushing down, right upon the rock, which it sent flying in all directions, and took the wolverine’s coat so neatly that, though it was torn into tiny shreds, the wolverine himself was quite unharmed.

‘That was rather clumsy of you,’ said he, standing up naked in his flesh. ‘Surely you could have split the rock without tearing my coat to bits!’ And he stooped down to pick up the pieces. It took him a long time, for there were a great many of them, but at last he had them all in his hand.

‘I’ll go to my sister the frog,’ he thought to himself, ‘and she will sew them together for me’; and he set off at once for the swamp in which his sister lived.



COMMENTS:

One of the species of fairy tale which doesn’t care much about logic. (See the excerpt above — really, a FROG with a needle and thread?) Episodic without cause/effect or plot, and a very strange ending. (The wolf eats the bear. The end. No moral, no lessons learned, and the wicked wolverine carries on just as before.)


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