I feel better now. Do you feel better now?

Do you want to sing the Log Song from Ren & Stimpy first? Okay. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Was already doing it as soon as I saw the post title.

Do Not Feed The Twenty-Four-Headed-Otters.

Nice callback!

Remind me which one the 24-headed otters were in???

One of my ex-boyfriends absolutely loved to have his head scratched. He'd get this stupid happy face and I half expected his leg to start kicking.

It's not head scratching like your head itches. It's stroking gently with your nails in long sweeps. You do the neck, too. It's extremely pleasant.

I suppose it's suitable for fathers and daughters. I only do it with my girlfriend, so maybe it's time for the foot massage discussion.

I would very much like to meet the twenty-four-headed otters, incidentally. I won't feed them.

I love your commentaries, they evoke shrieks of laughter :)

Shame about the sad ending though, poor Log. They didn't really go in for the santised happy endings in those days, did they? More like 'Life sucks sometimes, deal with it'.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of witches?

The firewood does!

It's strangely fitting that the log should become a wooden cross.


(Hanging out in the woodpile. As you do. I wonder if he was much plagued with bark-beetles, as a teenager.)

Annotating your annotations

Speaking as a Finn, it is a delight to see someone reviewing Finnish folktales. ;)

Now, some notes...

"Suyettar" -- apparently someone messed up with this, HARD. This is not a word, nor a name in Finnish. I'm going to guess that they meant "Syöjätär", which means "Devourer" (with -tar/tär diminutive noting that it is a female one doing Devouring). This, of course, is not your fault, the original translator goofed up. Just noted for better understanding of the whole thing.

"Strong waters" is probably a corruption of "väkijuoma", where "väki" means "strong" and "juoma" means "drink", aka "strong spirits". Or, the translator was a prude who thought that the topic of alcohol is not suitable for children in English-speaking countries. (Less of an issue here.)

"Both shoes are for wussies. Real men fight drunk, with one shoe, and their dog."

Ah, so you HAVE seen a Finnish Friday evening then? Jolly good! :D

"Fee, fi, fo, fum!" -- I have no idea where the heck the translator has pulled this one. This is so out of character for our fairytales, so I'm gonna guess the location for this nugget is somewhere from the southward direction, if you catch my drift.

"Head scratching" probably refers to a form of massage given where you indeed put your head to someone's lap and have them stroke and knead your scalp. Yes, it does involve grooming and removal of unwanted wildlife from your hair.

"He then staggered four steps, vomited in a heroic fashion, drunk-dialed several exes, and then Log cleared his throat a few times and Six Bottles got the hint."

Man, your expertise just gets better. This is Saturday night over here.

About downer ending: while we do have our share of stories like that, this seems slightly out of character for them. Possibly a less-known variant.

Fee fi fo fum
I smell the blood of an Englishman

Which is a bit of a giveaway that it it very English: the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk chants it when he smells Jack hiding in his castle before he is distracted by events.

...Oh man, my ribs hurt and the cat is looking at me funny. XD


You don't need an oil industry for derricks, just a hangman:
I am sure that a fairytale castle could run to one of those if needed.

I am delighted that the idea that one's heroic capability is in bottles of "strong water". I am sure Sir John Falstaff would approve. It avoids so much of that tedious working out in the armoury and those hours with the fencing master.

…waters of great strength. Uh-huh. Is that what they’re calling it these days?
Usquebaugh, meaning "water of life", is the origin of the name whisky. So that is what they were calling it those days.

Usquebaugh, meaning "water of life", is the origin of the name whisky.

See also: Akvavit and eau de vie.

Every time you post one of these, I start out vowing to myself that this time I will get through it sitting properly in the chair.

I've never succeeded. Laughing too hard to keep balance.

Thank you. That was great!

I wonder, though, are multi-headed serpents something that you HAVE to be drunk before you can see them?

"The name's Log," he said after downing another pint of strong water. "Log A'Rhythm."

(Hah! This is priceless stuff! I love these, thank you for giving us another.)

His cousin, Log I'Metric, could not be reached for comment.

I still really want to see that 24 headed otter...

Please, please collect these into a book so I can give it out as a present.

Bwah-ha-ha-ha! I'm SOOO glad I wasn't drinking my coffee when I read this!

"It's Log, it's Log!
It's big, it's heavy, it's wood.
It's Log, it's Log!
It's better than bad, it's good!"

I wonder if Log had wood for sheep, too.*

*Classic KODT joke.

Edited at 2012-12-04 03:01 pm (UTC)

Ow ow ow ow ow. Glad I'm not the only one who had the Settlers of Catan joke cross his mind.

Note to self:

DO NOT drink coffee, (or anything else) when reading Ursula's annotated fairytales! It's bad for the keyboard.

This reminds me of a story my grandmother told me once. But I'm pretty sure the hero was named Alder, not Log.

If you're Finnish, the hero of the story is called "Leppäpölkky" aka Alderlog.

This post...

It is so full of LULZ.

It is your best fairy tale dissection ever, Ursula!

Thank you for sharing. ^_^

Interesting! I thought at first with the alcohol and the multi-headed serpents that this was going to be similar to the Japanese story of Orochi*, but no, turns out the bottles of booze were just like power-ups or something. 3 bottles of whiskey = +3 against magic serpents?

*Orochi, for the unfamiliar, is an eight-headed serpent who comes in and demands a tribute of pretty young women to eat, you know, as serpents do. He is defeated by the god Susano-o preparing eight vats of particularly potent sake. After Orochi drinks the sake, his heads all fall asleep, and Susano-o comes in and chops off the heads.

Edited at 2012-12-04 06:01 pm (UTC)

Orochi is also the Big Bad Boss for the video game "Okami", which is full of gorgeous graphics, clever dialogue, nifty magic powers and a Susano-o that gets short shrift. Then again, Okami is the goddess Amaterasu in wolf form.

I was tickled pink to find out how much Shinto mythology went into that game.

1)Thank you, for despite the plague, this made me laugh, a lot.

2) Head scratching is just another form of massage. My husband really likes it, and will curl up on the couch or bed while I'm watching TV or reading, so that I can scratch his head. It's one of the foundations of our relationship: he likes to get headscratches, and I like to give them. He is of viking lineage (per Nat'l Geo's DNA project), so maybe there's a genetic predisposition to liking head scratching in that population.

3) re: Ren/Stimpy log: When we bought our house, the prior owners staged it with one pretty wood log next to the fireplace. I took one look and quietly screamed to my husband, 'It's LOG!'. We eventually placed it on a pedestal in the corner of the living room for four years, until we could no longer ignore the falling bark.

RE: 2

I can support the ethnic thing, because my dearly departed husband had both slavic and nordic blood and he was also one who loved head scratches. I called it "Hair Loving" because he had wonderful curly hair I loved to play with.

Personally, I'd like to know why half the castle was laughing at the thought of the princesses being devoured by monsters.

Presumably they are just being generally full of revelry as they are the half of the kingdom that isn't going to get eaten?

(mix of the commentated version and the one skiriki found. Er, also I am only tangentially familiar w/ a certain series. XD;;)

Now it came to be that the beautiful Katrina, who had married Log and later the king who had caused Log's death, would visit her first husband in the cemetary when she was sad. As Log had been turned into a blue wooden cross, she could always easily find him.

One day, as she approached the blue cross, she found a strange man looking there. She greeted him politely, for though he was strangely dressed, he seemed very cheerful.

"Oh, hullo," the man said. "Do you know this blue cross is alive? There's some sort of spatial restriction in place around it. I've never seen anything like it. It looks like it's forcing a natural morphic field into a certain configuration, from what I can tell."

Realizing that the man must be a powerful wizard, Katrina told him the whole tale of her husband Log, of the Syöjätär and her serpent sons who had captured the dawn, the moon, and the sun, and how Log and his two companions had defeated them. Then she sighed heavily and told the wizard about what had happened afterwards, and how Log had been turned into a blue cross.

"And the king made you marry him?" the wizard asked, "How's that going?"

Katrina thought it an odd question, but she supposed it went with being an odd wizard. "I am not unhappy, for he does not beat me, and I have given him two sons and a daughter in five years." The wizard must have cast a small spell on her, for she found herself adding, "though I would that I could still be married to Log, for he was kind and brave, and not too proud to put his head in my lap so that I could scratch his head."

The wizard muttered something about 'odd euphemisms,' and pointed his metal wand at the blue cross. "Say, what would you give to have Log back?"

Katrina thought hard about this, for making deals with wizards could be dangerous. At last she admitted that she would give anything in her power to give, except the lives of her children.

"Would you run away from the king, leave the kingdom, and never come back here?"

This was a serious matter, for she would be breaking her marriage vows, but at last she admitted that she would, if only she could have Log back.

"Excellent!" the wizard exclaimed, and tapped his wand on the blue cross. There was a bright flash of light, and Log stood there, bewildered but joyful to see his wife again.

Katrina explained to Log what had happened, and, still hugging Katrina, Log asked the wizard if there was anything he might do as thanks.

"Well, if you're offering, would you two like to travel with me? I've never had an Alderlognivikian on board before."

And that is how Katrina and Log came to travel with the great wizard and his magical blue tower.

"I suppose it’s probably very calming being were-wood. Maybe on the full moon you just stand out in the garden and root."

I desperately needed the belly laugh this line caused. Thank you. :)

Well thanks to YOU now my cat, dog and teen aged son think I'm absolutely nuts!

That was great!

I was chuckling throughout the piece, but "If he can’t do it, we’ll send in the dog!" very nearly caused a spit-take.

By the time I got to this:

Log, Log, he’s our log!

If he can’t do it, we’ll send in the dog!

I had my head down on the table and tears running from my eyes. Thank you so much!

Yeah, that was the best part of the whole thing!

"True Log Waits" needs to be on a shirt. So I can wear it. Every day.

Also, Team Log. Then I could alternate shirts.


Log in