The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Tailor Who Solves a Riddle

The princess has announced that she won’t marry any man who can’t solve her riddle. My two clever tailor friends think they’ll have the riddle sewn up in no time. They think I’m useless, and that I should stay at home, but I’m going too, no matter what they think.

When we get in to see the princess, my friends declare that they can thread a needle with their fine understanding. The princess gives us the riddle: “I have two kinds of hair on my head. What are the colors?”

One tailor says, “Black and white, like pepper and salt.”

The other tailor says, “Brown and red, like my father’s frock coat.”

“Silver and gold,” I say. It seems obvious. She’s a princess, after all. Did she really think she could pull the wool over our eyes?

Tailor Who Solves a Riddle in The Cunning Little Tailor, Grimms