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1001 Stories Collection

The Wise Wish

1001 The Wise Wish
Added on 09th July 2020

Oral tradition European folktale

UK and Ireland Fables
1001 , Audio

A man gets everything he wants with just one clever wish.

Story

When promised just one wish a man must work out how to get all that he wants.

Why we chose it

The Wish Wise was part of The Story Museum’s original collection. Another of the audio stories, One Wish, tells a more contemporary version of the same story.

Where it came from

Stories about wishes, both wise and foolish, are found in oral story traditions from all over the world.

Where it went next

Taffy Thomas, the first storytelling laureate, included the story, calling it The Clever Wish, in his book Taffy’s Coat Tales. A version can also be found in Chris Smith’s, 147 Traditional Stories for Primary Children to Retell.

Associated stories

There are lots of stories about wishing, probably more about foolish wishes than about wise ones and often in threes. Creatures that grant wishes are also common and can be found in children’s novels as well as in traditional tales. The Psammead in E Nesbit’s Five Children and It grants the children’s wishes. Objects can also grant wishes. Rub Aladdin’s lamp and the genie will appear. In Dick King Smith’s novel The Queen’s Nose Harmony must rub a magic 50p piece and her wishes will be granted.

Added on 09th July 2020

Oral tradition European folktale

UK and Ireland Fables
1001 , Audio