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1001 Stories Collection

Stan Bolivan and the Dragon

Added on 11th June 2020

Traditional Folktale Romanian
Origins Unknown

A traditional Romanian folktale.


Stan Bolovan and his wife wish for children and are given 100. In order to feed them Stan finds a farmer who promises to give him a third of his flock of sheep if he can get rid of the dragon who is stealing them. Stan must trick the dragon and his mother to earn the prize.

Why we chose it

A great story to tell and a favourite with visitors to our dragon story sessions in the Pumpkin tent.

Where it came from

Similar stories are also found in Germany. It carries the message that when your opponent is bigger and stronger you must be cunning to defeat them!

Where it went next

It was first collected by Mite Kremnitz in Rumänische Märchen or Romanian Fairytales(1882). More recently it has appeared in a number of dragon story anthologies like Ruth Manning-Sanders version in A Book of Dragons (1965) and The Usborne Book of Dragons by Christopher Rawson (1979). The portrayal of the dragon is different from the strong, aggressive and a cunning beast seen in tales from other cultures. Instead the dragon in this story is slow and easily tricked.

Associated stories

Similar fairytales about weak humans facing much tougher opponents, dragons, giants and trolls, include The Brave Little Tailor, a German story from the Brothers Grimm and The Boy Who Had an Eating Match with a Troll, a Norwegian tale. The humans succeed through trickery and cunning, making fools of their enemies.

Added on 11th June 2020

Traditional Folktale Romanian
Origins Unknown