The Six Hungry Beasts #DealMeIn2018 #amreading

I’m participating in the Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge this year, wherein we use a deck of playing cards to fairly randomly pick a story to read.

This week, I drew a diamond again. I’m not complaining: Diamonds direct me to read a story from Andrew Lang’s Rainbow Fairy Books, and I loves me a fairy/folk tale. But I drew so many diamonds already, I’m afraid I’ll run out, and have no fairy stories later in the year. Oh, boo-hoo, poor me! As if I can’t read some anyway, right?

ANYWAY, this week’s story is “The Six Hungry Beasts.” It’s really about one hungry beast, but it begins with six. This story comes from Finland, and I do believe the moral must be, “Don’t fuck with a Finn”. I had already gathered that, from one source and another. This story confirms it.

Okay, so it actually starts out with an old man and an old woman, and the old man goes out to lay a trap for whatever’s been eating their poultry, gets caught in the trap, falls down and hits his head, and dies. So the itty bitty marten who has been eating the poultry, goes, “Jackpot!” and puts the old man’s corpse on a sledge and pulls it away. He gradually recruits five other increasingly large animals to help pull. First they all enjoy the funny story of how he got the body, then they enjoy eating the corpse.

I know, right?

Then they decide their next meal will be the smallest of their company. The three smallest run away. The fox, who is now the smallest, gets the wolf aside and goes, like, “If you help the bear eat me, guess who’s next on the menu?” So they go their own ways and hunt for themselves.

Now there’s a big section of the fox convincing a magpie to make Sophie’s choice and throw down one after another of his babies to keep the fox from eating them all.

This is a children’s story, right?

The crow be like, “How is a fox going to cut down a tree, fool?” So the magpie stops listening. The fox tries to kill the crow, and the crow tricks him into letting him go. What’s that all about? It’s like a whole ‘nother story.

And then the bear’s wife dies, and the fox has such a beautiful mourning song, the bear hires him to come do the professional mourning. So the fox mourns until the bear goes to get him some food. Then the bear goes, “Why did you stop singing?” And the fox is like, “I’m almost finished eating her body. I’ll sing when I’m done.” Well, wouldn’t you know, the bear tries to kill him? And he hits him in the tail with a ladle, and that’s why the fox has a white tip on his tail. The end.

Imma tell you what: I just did a search, and Australia/New Zealand are the farthest spots on the globe from Finland. When I grow up and get rich, Imma go to Australia and/or New Zealand.

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write about somebody telling a freaking insane story.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Six Hungry Beasts #DealMeIn2018 #amreading

  1. Jay

    March 19, 2018 at 7:25am

    But…. but I just saw something online the other day where Finland was now the country in the world with the happiest people… (though I do think NZ made the top ten; Iceland – my choice – fell to #4)

    I love a good fairy tale as well, and have several books of them. A few years ago I got a copy of Philip Pullman’s “New English Version” of The Brothers Grimm Tales. I remember enjoying reading the introduction, which talked a lot about the origin and evolution of fairy tales, as much as the tales themselves, maybe more. 🙂

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 19, 2018 at 7:42am

      Ooo, now I have to get that book! Yeah, I heard about Finland. I reckon if I grew up on fairy tales like these, pretty much any reality that wasn’t that would make me happy. “Is a fox eating my dead body and laughing at how I died? No? What joy!”

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  2. joey

    March 20, 2018 at 7:47pm

    Australia is hot and dangerous and hot and dangerous and hot. Much snake, many heat. On the other hand, I’ve been recently viewing photos of Lapland, where the photographer is taking sleigh rides led by reindeer and huskies, where the Northern Lights are in glowing in all their magnificent glory and the beer looks thick. PS: Cold. I like cold.
    Cute story though, very clever how the fox sings that mourning song.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      March 21, 2018 at 8:15am

      I don’t like cold, me. But heat literally wants to kill me. On the whole, I’d rather freeze to death than stroke out from the heat. So maybe we’ll move to Lapland together. I mean, after all, Lap spelled backwards is pal, right?

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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