Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales: The Giant and the Tailor

“A certain tailor who was great at boasting but poor at doing, took it into his head to go abroad for a while, and look about the world.”

Well, the Grimm brothers really drove home the use of “short and simple” in The Giant and the Tailor, my Fairy Tale read for the week. Not to be confused with The Gallant Tailor, this miniscule story teaches its readers that hot air in the head can lead to being thrown from a tree branch never to be seen again.

Okay, so the latter part is the literal takeaway from this Grimm’s Fairy Tale. A tailor leaves his workshop for the great unknown that is the world and his curiosity leads him to the discovery of a giant in a forest. In order to “‘earn a bit of bread for [his]self in this forest,” the tailor agrees to undertake a few tasks for the giant, and because of the tailor’s sarcasm and boasting the giant believes he is a wizard and grows alarmed. The giant asks the tailor to sit on a willow branch, and the tailor holds his breath to make himself heavy enough to bend the branch. However, he was unable to hold it and drew a breath, propelling him into the air forever.

This fairy tale doesn’t really do anything for me. I’m not sure why this was included in the collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and I’m not finding anything on the history behind the story. With just under 730 words, this is unfortunately a forgettable tale.

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