Old Sultan

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"Old Sultan" (German: Der alte Sultan) is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 48. It combined three different Aarne-Thompson types: 101, the old dog rescues the child; 103, wild animals hide from an unfamiliar animal; and 104, the war between the village animals and the forest animals.


A farmer's dog named Sultan had grown old. One day the farmer told his wife he would shoot Sultan. The dog heard. A wolf told him that they would take their child haying the next day, and the wolf would carry him off. Sultan could chase him, and he would free the child. They would be grateful and not shoot Sultan.

The wolf's plan succeeds, and the farmer was so grateful that he had his wife make bread soup for the dog so he would not have to chew with the dog being toothless.

The wolf asked Sultan to overlook his stealing sheep, and Sultan refused. When the wolf tried it, Sultan barked. The wolf challenged him, and came with a boar for a second. Sultan could find only a three-legged cat. But the wolf and boar mistook the cat's tail for a sword. When the cat limped they thought she was picking up rocks to throw, so they hid. They were ashamed to be found so frightened, they gave up.

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