A year ago on (was it then X?) Twitter I read:
The question is not: “Why did people in olden times in isolated rural areas tell each other stories of the supernatural in winter?” It's actually, “How on earth could they do anything else?”
It was accompanied by three appropriate photos that match the current snow/rain/ice fog. I agree with Cox's sentiment and went looking through 1928 anthologies I have that have just become Public Domain. Today's story is a curious Swedish mix of Cinderella/Beauty and the Beast/Werewolf tales and more. It's long and so I plan to divide it.
Background information on the book, where I found it and its editor, follows today's installment. Cox's first photo that inspired my search is the perfect introduction to this story (and our current weather).
Into the woods! This Swedish tale has reached a turning point which will move in directions unique to this fairy tale, so I hope you come back to hear more.
Here's a bit of the factual information on this story. It includes how to get the entire story if you just can't wait. Fairy Tales of Many Lands is not yet easily found online as 1928 books are just starting to be digitized. There also are several books with a similar title so don't mistake Fairy Tales from Many Lands for this book translated and edited by "Logan Marshall." While he is best known for quickly produced books on popular topics like the sinking of the Titanic, he also produced at least four anthologies that might interest storytellers. This is from his earlier work at The John C. Winston Company.
This unusual story is worth knowing and telling beyond its home territory of Sweden.
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain." The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated. I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century. My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them. I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.
At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience. Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week. This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here. (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.) Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I have long recommended it and continue to do so. He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories. There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"