The She-bear

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"The She-bear" is an Italian literary fairy tale, written by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, the Pentamerone.[1]

Ruth Manning-Sanders included it in A Book of Princes and Princesses.

It is Aarne-Thompson classification system folktale type 510B, unnatural love. Others of this type include Cap O' Rushes, Catskin, Allerleirauh, The King who Wished to Marry His Daughter, Donkeyskin, Little Cat Skin, Mossycoat, The Princess That Wore A Rabbit-Skin Dress, and The Bear.[2]

Henriette-Julie de Murat used a similar transformation in Bearskin, for the heroine to escape not her father but an ogre husband.[3]


Ruth Manning-Sanders altered the tale so that, as in Catskin, the heroine fled a threatened marriage to another suitor—unwanted and far too old for her, but not her father.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giambattista Basile, The Pentamerone, "The She-Bear"
  2. ^ Heidi Anne Heiner, "Tales Similar to Donkeyskin"
  3. ^ Catherine Orenstein, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, p 176, ISBN 0-465-04125-6