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Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

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Scholar About to Get Sacked

I came along, riding my horse and singing a merry song when all of a sudden I heard a voice say: “Welcome! You’ve come at just the right time.”

I looked around but couldn’t figure out where the voice was coming from. “Who’s calling me?” I said.

“Lift your head. I’m up here in the tree, sitting here in the sack of wisdom.”


“I’ve learned great things in only a short time. Compared to this, all schools are bags of hot wind. Once I’m finished in here, I’ll climb down from the tree and be wiser than any other human being. I’ll understand the stars, the zodiac, the movements of the wind, the sand and the sea. I’ll know how to cure sickness, and I’ll know the power of herbs, birds, and stones. If you spent even a little time in the sack, you’d know the glorious wisdom that flows from it.”

Well, I was astounded! Blessed be the hour that I found the sack of wisdom. “Would it be possible for me to get into the sack for a little while?” I asked.

Scholar About to Get Sacked in The Turnip, Grimms. Illustration by George Cruikshank.

Scholar About to Get Sacked