The Brown Fairy Book

by Andrew Lang

The Brown Fairy Book

This book is a collection of traditional tales. The collection was assembled by Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang although authorship of the stories is unknown. Lang published several collections of traditional tales, collectively known as Andrew Lang's Fairy Books.

Source: Lang, A. (Ed.). (1904). The Brown Fairy Book. London: Longmans, Green & Co.

The Bunyip
A story about a group of youths that steal the child of a Bunyip and turn the town into swans.
The Cunning Hare
A litte hare has no parents and is raised by his grandmother. By great cunning, he is able to catch their dinner and also capture fire by a narrow escape from being eaten himself.
The Elf Maiden
A man is stranded on an island because of a trick his friend played on him out of jealousy. He meets another woman and they live a magical life.
The Enchanted Head
A man is cursed by a wicked fairy and is doomed to be only a head to the world. However, he is very powerful and is able to complete impossible deeds to impress the sultan and marry his daughter.
Father Grumbler
A fairy tale about Father Grumbler’’s hardships and the Holy Man’s attempts to help him. However, Father Grumbler does not heed the Holy Man’s directions and gets what he deserves.
Fortune and the Woodcutter
A man teaches his wife not to run after fortune, but rather to wait until it comes around on its own.
The Fox and the Lapp
A fox tricks a merchant and steals his fish. He meets all sorts of clever creatures that he must outsmart on his journey back.
Helga, the youngest, prettiest and smartest of three daughters, requests what seems to be the simplest choice for a husband and because she trusts her situation, she receives the most extravagance of the three girls.
How Geirald the Coward Was Punished
Rosald, the son of a poor knight, and Geirald, the son of a rich man, head on a quest commissioned by Geirald’s father. In return for taking care of Rosald’s expenses, Geirald requests that Rosald give all credit of their quest to him. Rosald agrees and his ability to keep his promise proves to change his luck.
How Some Wild Animals Became Tame Ones
The miller’s wedding was to be a big event, therefore he invited men and animals alike. Various animals go on their way to the wedding until a young boy warns them of the cruelty of man. Those that don’t heed his advice never return from the wedding and remain the servants of man.
How the Little Brother Set Free His Big Brothers
The youngest of three sons is able to rescue his brothers with the help of some friends he meets along the way.
Kisa the Cat
A princess is captured and maimed by a giant and is rescued and made whole again by her childhood cat. When the princess marries, her cat is transformed into a beautiful princess. She had been under a spell that could only be broken by a good deed that had never been performed before.
The Knights of the Fish
A fairy tale about two boys born to a man who catches a magical fish. They go their separate ways and have their separate adventures. Both end in success.
The Lion and the Cat
The cat and the lion are brothers. Although the lion is stronger, the cat has a magical golden ball to protect himself. However, the ball is actually a handsome young man that is under a spell and can only be released by two young maidens.
The Mermaid and the Boy
A fairy tale in which a king promises a mermaid that he will give her his first born child. The prince that is born spends his life running from the mermaid and does escape her.
Pivi and Kabo
A short story with a protagonist and antagonist that mirror the good things that happen when one obeys directions and the bad things that occur when one doesn’t. Through magic “good” conquers “evil.”
The Prince and the Three Fates
A story of a prince who has three fates declared by fairies: a crocodile, a snake, and a dog. However, his wife proves to be stronger than his three fates.
A fairy tale about the gnome Rubezahl who tried to understand the trickery of man by capturing a princess and marrying her.
The Sacred Milk of Koumongoe
A fairy tale about a girl rejected by her father. She falls in love with the son of an ogre and has a girl that is to be eaten by him. Instead the mother gives her to an old woman who raises her at the bottom of the lake. She is able to return to her family as a woman.
The Sister of the Sun
A fairy tale about a peasant boy that is set to many tasks and completes each through magic and the help of supernatural friends he meets along the way.
Story of the King Who Would Be Stronger than Fate
A fairy tale about a king who tries to change the fate of his daughter and instead insures the fate that has been assigned to her.
The Story of the Yara
A young man and maiden were to be married. However, every night the young man bathed in the small pools in the forest and the Yara sang to him, trying to lure him from his betrothed.
Story of Wali Dad the Simple-Hearted
An old man saves his money and does not know what to do with it. He buys a beautiful bracelet and gives it to a princess who sends him an extravagant gift that he then immediately sends to a prince. There is a constant exchange of gifts between the three until the old man is transformed into a man of great wealth and the prince and princess find each other.
Tale of a Tortoise and of a Mischievous Monkey
A fairy tale about the antics of a clever tortoise and a very mischievous monkey.
The Turtle and His Bride
A turtle asks a girl to marry him, and she consents, not taking him seriously. He then tries to force her to be his, and she finally gets revenge on him.
Which was the Foolishest?
Two wives wish to figure out which of their husbands are the most foolish, and devise plans to test them.
The Wicked Wolverine
A story about a wolverine who is not very kind and who does not get punishment for what he does.
  • Year Published: 1904
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.6
  • Word Count: 78,259
  • Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
  • Keywords: cleverness, consequence, courage, cunning, escape, fate, helping, justice, loyalty, magic, marriage, meanness, merit, obedience, patience, practical jokes, respect, salvation, self-help, trickery, trust, turtles
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