#FolkloreThursday: The Snow Child

The basic plot that is common to all of the stories is that a husband has been away from his wife for a long absence. Upon returning, he finds that she has mysteriously had a son. The length of the husband's absence makes it virtually impossible for him to be the father. When questioned, the wife gives a divine explanation for the boy, generally to the effect that she ingested frozen water in some form and thus became pregnant with a miraculous snow child. Other versions omitted the snow, had rather longer absences, and way wilder explanations for the bonus mystery child.

#FolkloreThursday: Hans Trapp, The Cannibalistic Christmas Scarecrow

My guess is that it was children who began this folkloric game of telephone, because it's almost always the children. They hear a story, it begins to morph, they grow up, they repeat the story to their children, perhaps with a little spice added, and on it goes. Because children, then as now, seem to like to make any urban legend as gruesome as possible and one-up their friends, eventually we end up with a Christmas-themed scarecrow that eats kids.

#FairytaleTuesday: Hansel and Gretel

The fact that the woman who willingly marries the widowed father was most likely doing so because she literally had no other options--due to poverty, age, or suspected infertility--is never considered because her feelings are of little value. The potential for being resentful at having a husband and children forced upon her for reasons out of her control is is great, but it doesn't matter, given that women are expected to be motherly, no matter the situation.