Take a peek into the stories in Scotland, Africa, France and more…

If you think these fairy tales are best told at bedtime, think again. Andrew Lang’s The Orange Fairy consists of 12 stories from different parts of the world, from different cultures and traditions. These are stories passed on orally from generation to generation until Lang translated them.

The Orange Fairy does have one familiar story however — The Ugly Duckling. But the story is told in a more realistic manner and is sure to hold the attention of even adults. All the stories in this collection are filled with interesting details, heroes and damsels, fights between good and evil and above all, magic! From Scottish tales of “Lan, the soldier’s son” to the Scandinavian story of the “Two caskets”, the French “White Doe” to the Spanish “Bird of Truth”, there is something for everyone.

Eclectic mix

The story from Africa about Gopani-Kufa and the magic mirror Sipao, tells an interesting tale of how the mirror helps him become king of the land around the Zambesi, until the white men stole it! Story of Manus is also magical. A cloth which he wears not only provides for him but also saves him from his enemies. The story of how the sheep outwitted the cunning jackal is sure to amuse you and the ingenuity of the cat in retrieving the magic stone is amazing indeed!

Once you have had a glimpse of the exciting and wonderful stories in this Orange Fairy collection, you will surely want to get your hands on the entire collection! There are 437 tales in the 12 Fairy books — Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Pink, Grey, Violet, Crimson, Brown, Olive and Lilac.

The author was a poet, novelist and literary critic from Scotland, who was most famous for his translated folklore from different countries in his fairy tales. His books have had a great influence on children’s literature and have inspired a great many writers and translators. He took old stories and gave them a new lease of life, breaking down language barriers and whisking children away in to a mystical fantasy land.

THE ORANGE FAIRY, THE MAGIC MIRROR AND OTHER STORIES by Andrew Lang, Mind Melodies, Rs 160