Seven at One Blow by the Brothers Grimm is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. This is the story of a common tailor who one day kills seven flies with one swat of a towel. Thinking this quite the accomplishment, the tailor makes himself a belt that reads “Seven at One Blow” and then he sets off to seek his fortune.
He first meets a not-all-that-smart giant who assumes seven at one blow means the tailor has killed seven giants at one blow. The tailor is able to trick the giant into thinking he is very strong and gain all of his treasure.
Next, the tailor meets a king who has an ogre problem–they are ravishing his kingdom. Again, through trickery, the tailor manages to kill both ogres. The king however does not want to reward the tailor (which is his daughter in marriage and his kingdom upon death) so he sets him about taming a unicorn and capturing a wild boar, hoping the tailor won’t return. Of course, the tailor does return.
Finally, the king plans to just kill the tailor while he sleeps at night. Learning of the plan, the tailor once again defeats the king who runs off along with his daughter to never be heard from again. The tailor is left with the kingdom to rule.
There are many, many adaptations of this story. This one is retold by Eric Kimmel, a favorite children’s author of ours who specializes in re-telling tales from around the world.
My kids and I love this story. It’s such a feel-good tale of how even the not-too-bright succeed in this world with determination, self-confidence, and a little bit of luck, fortune, or God. These tales are what kids need to hear in this world full of hate–tales of where the good guy succeeds in the face of not-so-good guys who are out for themselves. Very enriching and inspiring tale that all (even parents) should read. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
I wrote on this tale almost 4 years ago and it’s amazing how a story can speak to you in different ways no matter where you are at in your life. It’s the same with the Bible. Yeah, they are the same stories over and over again. But every time you read God’s Word, He speaks. He speaks to you right where you are at and you are guaranteed to be enriched. Original Post HERE