The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Covan Who Receives His Mother’s Blessing

Before I went on my way, my mother made me a small cake and a large cake, and she gave me a choice. I could have the small cake with her blessing, or the large cake without it.

It would appear that she would rather have her sons starve with her blessing than eat well without it. My two older brothers chose the larger cake.

I decided to put faith in my mother’s blessing, so I took the small cake. Then, like my brothers before me, I set out to search for my lost sister.

An old man employed me. He instructed me to follow his cows and go wherever they led me. I avoided the temptation to chase after other things that lured me, and I kept my attention on the cows. They led me through a moor where the heather was burning. The fire was fierce, but the cows took no notice. They walked steadily through it, so I followed them. Then they plunged into a foaming river, and I waded in after them.

Eventually they lay down on a wide plain, and there I saw a house built out of yellow stone. From it came the sweetest songs I have ever heard. As I listened, my heart grew light within me. I knew I had done the right thing to choose my mother’s blessing and to follow the cows, because they had led me to this wonderful place.

Covan Who Receives His Mother’s Blessing in The Adventures of Covan, Orange Fairy Book. Picture “Cowherd Krishna” artist unknown.