Tag Archives: the tale of the three brothers

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: These Tales Are for CHILDREN!?

Beedle and his "luxurious beard."

Beedle and his historically accurate “luxurious beard.”

As a kid, my favorite thing in the world was to read fairy-tales and fables. I couldn’t get enough of them. At one point, I think I had actually read every single book in my local library that contained anything remotely like a fairy-tale. So yeah I’m automatically going to like this, but add in that it’s an extension of the Harry Potter universe, and that each story is followed by pages of ‘commentary’ discovered after Dumbledore’s death means I’m going to LOVE it. They also come with Jo’s own hand-drawn illustrations, so bonus! (If I ever got my hands on one of Jo’s hand-inked leather-bound editions, I think my brain might explode.) I know this is technically a re-read, but if you’re like Jennie and haven’t read it before (see below), you should track down a copy and read it. It won’t even take you an hour.  –Ashley

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Product_The_Tales_of_Beedle_the_Bard_Harry_Potter_Series_J_K_Rowling_4_2115769286“The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” — Lindsay

A wizard is left a pot by his deceased father, and inside is a small, single slipper. The Muggles of the town come to the wizard in hopes that he would be as kind as his father, but he sends them all away. The Hopping Pot manifests each of the townspeople’s ailments that the wizard refuses to help. By the time the wizard has had enough, the pot does all sorts of nasty things: vomiting, spitting slugs, braying like a donkey, clacking around on its single brass foot, and it’s totally covered in warts. Finally, the wizard goes to the townspeople and offers his services, and the Hopping Pot offers up his slipper for his obnoxious foot.

Obviously, this is a story for young wizards about using magic for good. The interesting thing is that it was actually taken out of existence later because it was so pro-Muggle. It’s sort of depressing that a story that had such an important message was destroyed because of prejudices against Muggles. Perhaps JKR was making a censorship statement with this add-on.

While this is a wizard fairy tale, we Muggles can have our own moral of the story: use our lives for good. All too often we go through our days wrapped up in our own problems that we can’t see the suffering of others. I’m not even talking about the obvious stuff- homeless on the street corners, sick person in my hospital bed. Suffering is often much more abstract and not worn like a t-shirt. Just as the wizard can make a Muggles’ day better by easily curing warts, we can easily make someone’s day even just a little bit better. It doesn’t require money or a ton of work or a bleeding heart liberal view- it may just takes a simple smile or a sincere thank you. A little bit often goes a long way. We are all fragile beings. We should act more like a team, rather than every Muggle for himself.
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The Deathly Hallows, Chapters 20-21: I Made You a Fairy-Tale, But It’s Sad So I’m Sorry

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I read these chapters for the first time. It was the afternoon after the book had been released. I’d stayed up as late as I could stand the night before but only gotten about a chapter or two in before passing out — I’d worked the midnight release party at Barnes & Noble, which was horrible and tiring and stressful, and hadn’t gotten home until 2:30 AM. I’d also gotten a bit of a late start that morning. I don’t think I woke up until around 10 AM. So this is why I was only on chapter twenty at this point. So there I was, sitting on my kitchen floor (linoleum, covered by a rug I still own to this day, and that reallllly needs replacing). My butt hurt but I didn’t want to move. I was cooking one of those soup-in-a-bag things you can get at the grocery store. It was chili (I would never make this again, as a point of interest). I was wearing my favorite sweatpants and a U of A t-shirt. My mouth was probably open and drooling.

I suspect that I remember so much detail of this because these chapters instantly became one of my favorite things about this series. I LOVE fairy-tales. I can remember where I was and what I was doing while reading other books for the first time, but I’m pretty sure this is the only instance in my memory that I can remember individual chapters. Anyway, all that is to say I totally assigned myself these chapters, but now that I’m confronted with writing about them, I find myself completely incable of expressing exactly what it is I love about them.

So I re-interpreted them as a fairy-tale instead. No idea how this is going to turn out.

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dh.c21--tale-of-the-three-brothersCHAPTER TWENTY: XENOPHILIUS LOVEGOOD &
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: THE TALE OF THE THREE BROTHERS

Once there was a man who loved his daughter very much.

This man, who possessed the unlikely name of Xenophilius Lovegood, was not like other men. Other men loved their daughters, for sure, and other men had professions that made them proud, woke them up in the morning, and gave them energy for the day. Other men like a nice cuppa and a long sit. So, yes, if we must be honest, he was like other men in some ways. All men are like all men at their elements. But we are not speaking of elements. We are speaking of Mr. Lovegood, and what made Mr. Lovegood different from most men is that he possessed the rare ability to believe in that for which there is no proof. To really and truly believe.

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