Fairy Tale Friday: Prince Dung Beetle

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

Franz Xaver von Schönwerth

pg. 102-3

ATU 444* Enchanted Prince Disenchanted (so my book tells)

similarities to: ATU 440 The Frog King

Not sure I have much to say about this one. Pretty standard, as I recall.

A girl named Barbara has to get a doctor for her sick mother, but she sprains her ankle. A dung beetle offers to fly to her destination. Later, the Blue Prince shows up at Barbara’s house and says that she broke his curse. Oh, and he wants to marry her.

Her reaction is not entirely positive, but not entirely negative either: “The girl turned pale and both mother and daughter were deeply moved” (103). Is she pale because she’s scared or faint with shock? How were they moved?

Doesn’t matter because it wraps up with explaining that Barbara’s love broke the spell and that her mother is healed. She happily (now that her mother is well?) marries the Prince. 

And at their weddding “fleas played the fiddle, the birds whistled tunes, and all creatures with feet, big or small, danced and leaped through the air” (103). Gotta love the whismy of insects playing instruments. At least I do.


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