Poor Man and Never Enough
Region: Baltic Countries, Lithuania
Author: Adaptation of folktale by Frances Jenkins Olcott
Original Language: German
Translator: Translated by the author
Genre: Folktales, Fairytales
Descriptors: axes, gold, greed, magic, poor, silver
Age: 7+ years old
The Lithuanian folk tale “Poor Man and Never-Enough” demonstrates the importance of being honest and generous, as greed leads to perpetual dissatisfaction. The story begins with a poor man who accidentally drops his iron axehead into a river while chopping down a tree. Distraught over losing a way to make income without an axe, he meets an old man who comes to his aide and dives into the river to retrieve his axehead. The old man fishes out a golden axehead and a silver one, but the poor man waits patiently for the one that truly belongs to him. The poor man’s greedy neighbor, “a Never-Enough,” hears about this encounter and tries to swindle the old man for a golden axehead. This amusing tale is filled with fun onomatopoeias in just about every sentence to emphasize the actions of the characters. This short story comes from the collection Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards: Pagan Mythology, Shamanism, and Magic from Finland, Lapland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania written by Frances Jenkins Olcott. The selection of stories come from English and German sources and have been literally translated, which can feel a little awkward at times when read in English. Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards hosts 41 stories of East Baltic folklore about magic, wizards, witches, and more! Children ages 7 and up will be delighted by these magical tales.
More About This Book
Notes: From the collection Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards: Pagan Mythology, Shamanism, and Magic from Finland, Lapland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This book does not have any illustrations.
Reviewed by: Leah Byrnes