Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kindness to Animals in Stories

I've always been a fan of fairy tales where the main character's kindness to animals helps him or her become the hero of the story.
The Queen Bee, by the Brothers Grimm is a good example. Baba Yaga and the Girl With the Kind Heart is another. Sometimes the main character is even mighty, and displays the wisdom of having humility even when one is rich and powerful, such as the legend of King Solomon and the Bee. You'll notice that the Solomon story has a similar motif as that of "The Queen Bee."

Those are some of my favorite stories in which compassion toward animals (and in the case of Baba Yaga, toward things too!) is rewarded. What are yours?

10 comments:

Melangell said...

Thank you for the story of King Solomon and the Bee. I did not know that one, though I love "The Queen Bee." The Grimm story is archetypal, the Wisdom story is wise!

Playing by the book said...

What about Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett and The After-Christmas Tree by Linda Wagner Tyler? Not fairy tales, but certainly about caring for animals in winter.

Lone Star Ma said...

I don't know those stories (I've actually written a story called Queen Bee - Ill have to read the fairy tale and see if it is similar). I'll have to think about animal stories.

Charlotte said...

You might very much enjoy The Runaway Dragon, where "Kindness to Animals gets Rewarde" is included in the gently humerous airing of fairly tale motifs that make up a lot of the book.

My mind is blanking on other kindnesses to animals...sigh.

Donna Farley said...

not a fairy tale,exactly, but Androcles and the Lion is lovely.

helen said...

What an awesome post--I'm going to make note of these stories and give them as gifts to my friends' kids (and mine, when I have some). And I'm going to go hunting for more books like these, to add here! Super awesome!

a. fortis said...

As a kid, I loved the tale of Snow White and Rose Red--in which the bear they were kind to (sorta) became a handsome prince with a handsome brother. Plus, they weren't wimpy fairy-tale princess types, but rather came across as much more self-sufficient. :) At least, they do in my memory of the story.

Saints and Spinners said...

Thank you for all of these recommendations! I may put them in the main body of the post.

Beth said...

The Princess and the Hound takes a good look at kindness to animals, and the unreasoning hatred of animal lovers.

MotherReader said...

In re-reading this with my daughter, I can suggest Where the Mountain Meets the Moon with Minli being kind to the goldfish - letting it go - and the dragon - freeing it from its binding.