- 1 rich Widow of the valley, relatively sane but fearful of her son
- 1 widow’s son, the Fool, totally stupid with crazy ideas, very unpredictable
- 1 Young Woman, daughter of a distinguished Gentleman, perhaps too kind
- 1 pair gentleman’s gloves, soft Spanish leather, muddied and rain-soaked
- 1 hawk, alive, but with handkerchief ready
- 1 large plowman’s hoe
- 1 large piece bacon, tied to the tail of a horse, followed by clever dogs.
- 1 cellar full of wine, spilled
- 1 large sack of flour, spread across wine
- 1 large female goose, nesting, eggs included
- 1 pot of honey
- 1 feathered bed quilt
- 1 stable full of sheep, eyes removed
Slowly introduce the Fool to the Young Woman. Add the gifts one at a time, beginning with the gloves. Have the Fool wear the gloves until ruined by rain. Return Fool to Young Woman and add live hawk. Have Fool wring hawk’s neck and wrap it in a handkerchief. When the Young Woman begins to react to the Fool, introduce the plowman’s hoe, followed by the piece of bacon (have the Fool attach the bacon to the horse’s tail). Once the bacon has been lost to clever dogs set aside the Young Woman to rest.
If you are worried the Young Woman might not take to the Fool, be patient. The Young Woman will have come from noble stock and will not be so quick to spoil owing to her upbringing and the Widow’s dowry.
While the Widow is sent to arrange a marriage between the Fool and the Young Woman (and before she can come to her senses), send the Fool to the basement. Liberally cover the basement floor with a barrel of wine, sprinkled with a sack of flour until the wine is no longer visible. When the Fool panics and believes the goose is threatening to tattle, have the Fool chop off the goose’s neck. Replace the goose on the nest with the Fool covered in honey and the feathers from the quilt. Set until the Widow returns home.
Once the Widow has returned have her give the Fool one final dressing in preparation to receive the Young Woman. When instructed to only cast his eyes upon the Young Woman, have the Fool go to the stable and remove all the eyes from the sheep. The Fool should be ready to cast the sheep’s eyes lovingly upon the Young Woman as they meet. When the Young Woman leaves, never to return or marry the Fool, then the tale is done.
The New Grimmoire is my on-going take on the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. All stories are inspired from the translation by Jack Zipes’ Third Edition of The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Today also marks the completion of the section “Selected Tales From the Annotations of 1856” which comprise stories 263 to 279. I have been working backward through the book, so today’s corresponds with story number 263, last week’s with 264, etc. Will I be able to keep this up for another 262 weeks? We shall see, we shall see…