My main problem with most of these stories is the lack of character building. In most stories the characters are given names such as father, daughter, son, etc. I feel like giving them actual names and building on that allows for a much stronger tale. The Language of Animals really drew my attention. Primarily from the title I was able to drift into my own thoughts about animal language. I thought of many different stories that I could write just off the top of my head from the title alone, more so than the actual text within. When the son admitted to the wise old men that he had learned the languages of birds, frogs, and dogs he was ridiculed. This seemed so modern in this one idea, because I feel like nowadays many people would think you were a complete joke for something like this. Sadly, the son was given to 2 servants because of ridicule to be killed in the woods. Instead of killing the son, the servants killed a dog and returned to the ridiculing folks with the dog’s heart. The son escaped from the country and made his way to a large castle, with many dogs following him. This is where I would want to change the story. I would want to create a new life for the son teaching others of the language of the different animals. I would do research on the language of animals and incorporate that into the story, though changing some in order to make it more of a fairy tale. Fairy tales usually have crazy and unobtainable ideas, so that means it would be very interesting to discuss animal language in this context. I also would include a lot of dialogue to make the story more grasping, and I could even tell it from the point of view of the son. That’s something that I have been wanting to do, so I need to follow through with it on one of the stories remaining to write!
Italian Popular Tales by Thomas Crane. The stories can be accessed online here.
Image One: Female Dalmatian head shot. This can be accessed online at Wikimedia Commons.