Parsley and Partiality III…

rs-268*

“In fact,” says Wen, placing the metaphorical bit firmly between her teeth, “I’m not even sure I’m happy with the term folk belief, I think I prefer folk wisdom.”

“And which version of the tale do you prefer?”

“Oh, Basile’s by a country mile.”

“I wonder if the title owes anything to the ‘King of Kings’?

“Undoubtedly.”

“And what are we to make of the ending?”

“The ending is hugely problematical and yet these old chestnuts though preposterous in the extreme still retain a curious validity.”

“I agree, yet I am not sure a lion would be quite so afraid of a donkey.”

“In the natural world, no, but for the torturous realms of our inherited psychology it makes perfect sense.”

“Psychologically where would you put it?”

“I’d put it alongside Rumple-stilt-skin.”

“In a story cycle would that be before or after?”

“Before, obviously!”

“Are we done?”

“Of course not, we still have to sort out the Old Woman.”

*

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