TABUIvATION OF FOLKTALES, 39
Title of Story.— The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean.
Dramatis PerSOnSB. — Old woman. — straw. — Coal. — Bean. — Tailor.
Abstract of Story. — (l) Old woman lights fire with handful of straw to cook a dish of beans. In emptying them into the pan one bean falls to ground beside a straw, and anon a burning coal leaps down to them. Saith the straw, " Whence come you both? " The coal replies, " Happily I sprang out of the fire, or I should have been burnt to ashes." The bean says she too has barely escaped with a whole skin, for had old woman got her into pan she would have heen reduced to hroth like her comrades. " And had I not slipped through the old woman's fingers," says the straw, " I should have perished with my sixty brethren in fire and smoke." — (2) Having alike escaped untimely death, they agree henceforth to live together, and, lest a new mis- chance overtake them, to repair to a foreign country. Their course heing barred by a brook, the straw volunteers to lay herself across it that the others may walk over her. The impetuous coal trips boldly on to the extemporised bridge, but, hearing the water rushing beneath her, stops midway panic- struck. The straw meanwhile begins to burn, divides, and falls into the stream. The coal slips after her, hisses at touch of water, and expires. — (3) The prudent bean, watching the event from the shore, laughs so un- controllably that she bursts and nearly dies. But a travelling tailor, who chanced to be resting by the brook, takes compassion on her and sews her together. She thanks him most prettily ; but as the tailor used black thread all beans since then have a black seam.
Alphabetical List of Incidents.
Bean bursts with laughter at others' fate ; re-joined by tailor (3).
Bean saved from broth by falling from pan (1).
Beans all black-seamed because tailor used black thread (3).
Coal saved from burning by leaping from fire (1).
Straw becomes bridge for coal, which burns it and falls into water (2).
Straw saved from burning by slipping through fingers (1).
Where published, — Grimm's .Household Tales. London, 1884. Tale No. 18, vol. i. pp. 76, 77.
Nature of Collection,— whether:—
1. Original or Translation. — Translation by Margaret Hunt.
2. If hy word of mouthy state narrator s name.
3. Other 'particulars.
Special Points noted by the Editor of the above.— See Author's notes,
vol. i. pp. 357-358.
Remarks by the Tabulator. —Related to group of stories explaining the special features of plants and animals.
(Signed) MARIAN Roalfe Cojf.