The Wonderful Musician

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"The Wonderful Musician" or "The Strange Musician" or "The Marvellous Musician" (German: Der wunderliche Spielmann) is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm as tale number 8 in their Grimm's Fairy Tales. It is Aarne-Thompson type 151, music lessons for wild animals.

Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book.

Plot summary[edit]

A fiddler, wandering in the forest, gets bored and longs for company. He starts to play his fiddle, which draws to him a wolf, fox, and hare, none of which is the company he seeks. Using the animals' admiration for him and his playing, he tricks each of them into becoming ensnared or trapped so that he can continue on his way alone. He finds a companion that he seeks, a woodsman, but at that time the wolf has worked itself free, and frees the fox and hare on his way to pursue the musician.

Just as the animals come upon the musician with the goal of doing him mischief, the woodcutter steps in front and protects him with his axe. The animals leave, and the musician thanks the woodcutter with another song, and then leaves.



  • Anne Sexton wrote an adaptation as a poem called "The Wonderful Musician" in her collection Transformations (1971), a book in which she re-envisions sixteen of the Grimm's Fairy tales.[1]


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