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1001 Stories Collection

The King Has Donkey’s Ears

Added on 30th June 2020

Oral tradition Folktale found across the world

In this oral story a barber tries so hard not to share the king's secret until it becomes too big for him to keep inside.

Story

A barber discovers the king’s great secret and is told that if he reveals it he will be killed. He finds it so difficult to not tell such a fantastic secret that he goes into the forest and tells the trees. All is well until a tree is chopped down to make a drum to be played at a great feast for the king.

Why we chose it

This story was one of the stories in our original audio stories collection. These stories are particularly good for learning to retell.

Where it came from

The version of the story on our website is from India and told by storyteller Peter Chand. There are many other versions found across the world, including stories from Greece, Korea, Ireland and Wales. The instrument changes with the location. In some British stories the barber tells some tall reeds which are later made into a flute.

Where it went next

There is a picture book version of the story called The King with Horse’s Ears by Eric Maddern and Paul Hess.

Added on 30th June 2020

Oral tradition Folktale found across the world