Old Dutchified English Humor

A solid Dutchman was standing at a certain place on last election day, inquiring for "de reglar Democratic dicket," when a shrewd fellow instantly stepped up and supplied him with the genuine thing.

"Vell, now," says Hans, "vot now vil I do mit 'im?"

"Put it in that box," exclaimed several people, pointing at the ballot box. But the cunning chap who had accommodated Hans with the "dicket" whispered in his ear:

"Don't let them fool you. Don't put it in the box. Keep it; put it in your pocket. It's yours; don't let them cheat you out of your vote."

And so Hans did, ramming the ticket away down to the bottom of a deep pocket in his overcoat and walking off as mad as he could be at the rogues who wanted to cheat him out of his vote by putting it in the ballot box.

-- edited from an entry in the Pottsville Miners' Journal of February 18, 1860


500 New Fairy Tales (Folk Tales?) Found in Germany

The discovery of a cache of fairy tales -- hopefully also folk tales -- has been discovered in Germany. These tales were the collection of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, and they had been locked away in a Regensburg archive for over 150 years. 


Given the area in which the research was conducted, I am hoping that some of these tales may be versions of tales that are known in varied forms among the Deitsch.

I am also hoping that many of the tales contained therein are folk tales as opposed to fairy tales. Ruth Bottigheimer (SUNY Stony Brook) differentiates between the two in “Fairy Tales: A New History.” I do not personally agree with everything she writes in the book, though. My primary objections to her theories is that she seems to treats any folk tale or fairy tale that was passed among the upper classes of German society with a sense that they are not as valid as those passed among the lower classes. Personally, I disagree with that notion.

Many of Grimm’s fairy tales are actually folk tales, involving no “supernatural” beings. The folk tales often transmit more data about the culture and beliefs than do the fairy tales, which can provide us with insight into the different types of beings seen in the cosmology of the Heathen, syncretic, and post-conversion eras. Bottigheimer’s delineations are more complex that that simple distinction, but that is one of the more clear differences.

I ordered the book on Amazon.de and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these “new” fairy tales. :)