Friday, May 08, 2015

Fairy Tale Friday--The Three Oranges

Enjoy this Magyar version of the Love for Three Oranges.  It's on page 133 of The Folk-Tales of the Magyars, volume 13, by W. Henry Jones, János Kriza, János Erdélyi, Gyula Pap.

Here are other versions of this tale I have found.

The Love of Three Oranges, The Borzoi Book of French Folk Tales, Paul Delarue, editor, pp. 126-134.

The Three Citrons of Love, Portuguese Folk-Tales. collected by Consiglieri Pedroso, translated by Miss Henriqueta Monteiro, London: Elliot Stock, 1882, pp. 9-13.

The Princess of the Third Pumpkin,Yiddish Folktales, edited by Beatrice Silverman Weinreich, translated by Leonard Wolf, NY: Pantheon Bks, 1988 pp.122-125 (

The Love of the Three Pomegranates, Italian Folktales, Italo Calvino,compiler, NY: Pantheon, 1980. pp. 389-393

The Reed Maiden, Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and Magyars by Jeremiah Curtin, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington,1891, p 457-  (There is also a 1971 edition.)

The Three Love-Oranges, Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-Lore of Rome by R.H. Busk, Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1877. pp. 15-21.

The Love of the Three Oranges, Italian Popular Tales, by Thomas Frederick Crane, Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1885, pp. 338-343.

The Three Orange-Peris, Turkish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, edited by Ignácz Kúnos, London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896, pp. 12-29

The Young Lord and the Cucumber Girl, Tales Alive in Turkey by Warren S. Walker & Ahmet E. Uysal, Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1966, pp. 64-71. (

How the Pigeon became a Tame Bird, Fairy Tales From Brazil by Elsie Spicer Eells, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1917, pp.165-174.

The basic pattern of these stories goes like this:

  • Young man gets three fruits or plants containing young women.
  • Young man releases women by cutting fruit, but fails to provide water for first two.
  • Young man leaves young woman in tree while he prepares for wedding.
  • False bride turns true bride into animal or plant.
  • Young man returns and marries false bride.
  • True bride tries to get attention of young man in whatever nonhuman form she's in.
  • True bride (in many versions) moves in with a woman.
  • True bride manages to get attention of young man
  • False bride is removed; true bride moves in.
There is considerable variation among versions.  For instance, the young lord in The Young Lord and the Cucumber Girl has to go on a long quest, get milk for a lion, meat for a tiger, chewing gum for a witch, drink from a blood-and-pus fountain, and slip past giants to get 3 cucumbers from a giantess.  In contrast, the prince in The Princess of the Third Pumpkin had only to get up at dawn, put on his coat, and take a bottle of water to his parents' garden, where three pumpkins are growing on one vine.

No comments: