Over on DD Storyteller today it’s Fairy Tale Friday and I’m looking at a tale that’s often forgotten yet reminiscent of many of its contemporaries: Hop O’ My Thumb.
‘Hop O’ My Thumb is the last tale Perrault recorded in his book, ‘Fairy Tales From the Past’ (Histoires ou contes du temps passé) written in 1697. The story is also known as ‘Le Petit Poucet’, which was a phrase used many years before, throughout the sixteenth century to describe someone who is small in stature.
The tale is about a mother and father who cannot afford to feed their seven children, all close in age and four of them twins. The youngest is very small and appears to the others to be a little stupid. He is nicknamed Hop O’ My Thumb. If you’d like to read the story then you can find it here.
There are many elements of the fairy tale in this story. The use of a magical item, such as the seven league boots, to travel great distances is significant in Hop O’ achieving his fortune. There is also an interesting juxtaposition between the seven sons, a magical number, and the reference to the ginger hair of the oldest, as during these times, red hair was considered to be a sign of wickedness (Markel, accessed online 2017).’