Clever Gretel

A Grimms’ tale of a woman who knew what she wanted – and how to get it

The Brothers Grimm included this trickster tale (Aarne-Thompson type 1741, The Guest Flees to Save His Ears) in their second edition.

Prof. Ashliman lists three others in the category of Trickster Wives and Maids. But years ago a Storytell friend, Allan Davies, kindly sent me a bawdy Mayan folk tale he was working on – which made me switch from the Grimms’ ears to the Mayan balls.

I first met the tale in Angela Carter’s invaluable collection, The Virago Book of Fairy Tales.

More comic tales

The video gallery has become very extensive. So if you would enjoy more tales like this, here are a few suggestions.


The video clips here are all amateur quality, shot in various theatres or, as here, in my home studio.

Their intention is just to show the range of my storytelling and give a flavour of a live performance.

Permission is granted for use in non-commercial educational contexts.

The videos are © Richard Martin.

Professionally recorded CDs and DVDs are available here.

Go here for tales to watch

Go here for a list of all tales included on this site

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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling