Common Elements of Fairy Tales Examples Found in

Rumpelstiltskin- German Version
In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lied to a king, telling him that his daughter could spin straw
into gold. The king called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she
spin the straw into gold by morning, for three nights, or be executed (other versions have the king threatening to lock
her up in a dungeon forever). She had given up all hope, when an impish creature appeared in the room and spun straw
into gold for her in return for her necklace, then again the following night for her ring. On the third night, when she had
nothing with which to reward him, the strange creature spun straw into gold for a promise that the girl's first-born child
would become his.
The king was so impressed that he married the miller's daughter, but when their first child was born, the imp returned
to claim his payment: "Now give me what you promised". The queen was frightened and offered him all the wealth she
had if she could keep the child. The imp refused but finally agreed to give up his claim to the child if the queen could
guess his name in three days. At first she failed, but before the final night, her messenger discovered the imp's remote
mountain cottage and, unseen, overheard the imp hopping about his fire and singing.
When the imp came to the queen on the third day and she revealed his name, Rumpelstiltskin lost his bargain. In the
1812 edition of the Brothers Grimm tales, Rumpelstiltskin then "ran away angrily, and never came back". Other versions
have Rumpelstiltskin driving his right foot so far into the ground that he creates a chasm and falls into it, never to be
seen again.
Rumpelstiltskin- Norway Version
Count Olaf was a great man who built many churches in Norway. He later became a saint for his good deeds. There was
one particular place he wanted to build a church, but all of the builders he usually hired were busy elsewhere.
A dangerous troll lived in the area. Trolls were extremely powerful and violent, so Olaf knew that eventually he would
have to get rid of this troll. But, Olaf also wanted to build his church. So he hired the troll to build it, with the intention of
destroying the creature afterward. Olaf and the troll made a deal- the troll would build the church in exchange for the
sun, moon, and Olaf’s eternal soul. There is nothing trolls love more than bargains and this was a bargain.
When the troll was almost done with the church, Olaf became very nervous about how he would destroy the troll before
he had to pay up on the deal. Then he remembered that trolls keep their names very secret, because if you say a troll’s
name they will turn to stone.
He snuck over to the troll’s home and overhead the troll’s wife talking to their troll son. She was complaining about her
husband, Wind and Weather, and looking forward to the day when they would have the sun, moon, and Olaf’s eternal
Just as the troll put the finishing touches on the church steeple, Olaf then spoke the secret troll name, Wind and
Weather to the troll and he turned to stone. Olaf was not one to waste good stone, so he made the stone a marker for
everyone who arrived at the church.
Rumpelstiltskin- Israel Version
This story takes place in biblical times. Goliath’s younger brother was meaner and crueler than Goliath was. He also
hated King David for defeating his brother in a battle long ago. One day Goliath’s younger brother, whose name was
Isbadashad, happened upon David and imprisoned him in his home in the sands of the desert. He planned on feeding
David to the lions he kept in a cage. David tried to talk sense into Isbadashad, but the giant man said that the only way
he wouldn’t feed David to the lions is if he told him the name of God. David was shocked, because no one knows the
name of God. All of King David’s soldiers came the next day to watch the showdown between the two men.
The next day, David was brought as a captive out into the desert to be eaten by the lions. Isbadashad threw David into
the air to fall into the lion’s cage where they awaited with open mouths. But David continued sailing up in the sky, until
he flew up into the clouds where the heavens parted. God was there and he leaned in and whispered his name to David.
As David began to fall down from the sky, he shouted to the giant, “I will tell you the name of God! God’s name is….!”
and he spoke the name of God. At that moment David began to float instead of fall, and he floated down to safety on
the ground. Isbadashad was so enraged that he stomped on the ground, stomping so hard that the desert began to
move and the sands swallowed him whole. No one remembers what David learned was the name of God, because no
one is supposed to know. But King David went on to have a long life, and his son was wise King Solomon.
Common Elements of Fairy Tales
Examples Found in Rumpelstiltskin Stories
Set in the past—usually
significantly long ago. May be
presented as historical fact.
Include fantasy, supernatural or
make-believe aspects.
Typically incorporate clearly
defined good characters and evil
Involves magic elements, which
may be magical people, animals, or
objects. Magic may be positive or
May include objects, people, or
events in threes.
Focus the plot on a problem or
conflict that needs to be solved.
Usually teach a lesson or
demonstrate values important to
the culture.
Often have happy endings, based
on the resolution of the conflict or
Do NOT need to include fairies.
No example needed.