Jacqueline from the blog a cooking pot and twistedtales has challenged me to bring some sayings or proverbs that are useful in our everyday life or in bringing up children.

I am impressed by the cool way Jacqueline’s mother could convince her children on how to co-operate after a controversy by showing them two woven baskets. “She loosened a bit of the frond at one end and asked each of us to pull at a strand, and the basket unraveled.”

“Can one palm frond make a basket?” “No Ma” We answered unison

Jacqueline’s request  inspired me to a new post on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale “It’s really true” or “It’s like that”. In Danish it sounds better and the title has become a saying about stories that circulate and is more based on a gossip than on the truth.

The following proverb from that story is the essence of the story:

Feather wallpaperup

Feather wallpaperup

“One feather becomes five hen

This is said when a story shows to have been widely exaggerated exactly as in the original story by H.C. Andersen so long ago.

In another famous fairytale by the same author “The Emperor’s new clothes” the little boy exclaims in the end of the story:

“He is not wearing any clothes “!

This gives me associations to “political correctness” that every knows what is going on, but you will be stigmatized if you tell the truth loud and clear.

Then the last quote is from a fairytale called

“What father does is always the right thing to do”

You use that today when you want to make fun of a man who thinks he is so bright. In the story, from a very patriarchal time, where the husband in the house always had the last word. H.C. Andersen describes a lot of ridiculous dispositions this farmer made on a market place. He traded a horse for a cow and then a cheap, a goose a hen and a sack full of rotten apples. Two Englishman heard his story at the inn and when the farmer said that his wife would praise him with the sentence quoted above, they made a bet and followed him home. On hearing that the wife just said what she always did the husband won the bet a certain amount of gold money.

1 Comment »

  1. I have learnt several things today from this quotes. I never knew ”one feather becomes five hen” and its usage is very apt. I loved reading Hans Andersen’s fairy tales and as a matter of fact I still read them 😉 Thank you very much Maria for responding so beautifully. Have a lovely weekend ahead.


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