The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Judge Who Longed for Children

Themes: Fertility | Longing

My wife and I were unable to have children, and it made life very difficult for us. One day I was standing in front of my house, lost in thought, when an old man passed by.

“What is the matter, sir?” he asked. “You look troubled.”

I said, “Oh, leave me alone, my good man.”

But he persisted so I told him that while I was successful in my profession, and a person of importance, I cared for none of it because I had not been blessed with children.

Then the old man said, “Here are twelve apples. If your wife eats them, she will have twelve sons.”

I could hardly believe it, but I took the apples, and went into the house to find my wife. I told her to eat the apples at once, and we would have twelve sons.

She sat down and ate eleven of them, but just as she was in the middle of the twelfth, her sister came in, and she gave her the half that was left.

Now we have eleven sons and they are all strong and handsome boys. But when the twelfth was born, there was only half of him. We called him Halfman.

Judge Who Longs for Children, The Story of Halfman, Violet Fairy Book. Painting by Salvador Dali.