Well of the World’s End

An old tale of a young person’s initiation

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Strangely (and very ignorantly) when I began telling folk tales to adults I rarely thought of including fairy tales. This was one of the first to open my eyes to their incredible power.

I found this British version of “The Frog Prince” in English Fairy Tales (ed. Steel, 1918) and in Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales (ed. Gordon Jarvie, Penguin Books).
Incidentally, since I am often asked, the word “hinny” the frog uses to address the girl is simply a northern dialect form of “honey”.

Folklorists classify tales about frog suitors as Aarne-Thompson type 440. For more examples, go to Frog Kings on D.L. Ashliman’s comprehensive folk tale website.

The footnotes Jack Zipes gives to the tale in The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition make it clear that the Grimms knew this variant of the German tale.

More deep tales

The video gallery has become very extensive. So if you would enjoy more tales like this which explore the depths of the human psyche, 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.

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