McKinley: Swans.

From: <>
Date: Tue Jun 09 1998 - 19:20:32 PDT

I haven't read any of the books mentioned about the swan faerie tale (Seventh
Sawn, etc.), but by the descriptions others have given I'm fairly sure I
recognize the story.

We have, I believe, one royal girl and her seven brothers. For some reason
long since forgotten, a witch, or evil stepmother, or somehting, is very upset
at them. This being a faerie tale, they are enchanted- the boys turn into
swans, and something I cannot recall happens to the girl- and they're all
banished. Anyways, the girl finds out that she can turn her brothers back by
making each of them a shirt of nettles, which she must pick by the light of
the moon (?), stomp on, weave, and sew with bare feet and hands. I'm even
shakier on this next part, but I beleive the witch/evil stepmother/whoever
contrives to have the boys (swans, remember) killed. The girl runs up to
them, and throws a nettle shirt over the head of each. However, she hasn't
quite had time to finish, and so the last shirt is missing a sleeve.
Consequently, the littlest boy has to live the rest of his life with one white
swan's wing in the place of an arm. The boys, human once more and their
sister regain their rightful places, good triumphs over evil, etc.

Like I said, I'm not terribly clear on that, and I would greatly appreciate
any more information on parts I couldn't remember/remembered incorrectly.

Thanks, and fare thee well,
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Received on Wed Jun 10 02:23:16 1998

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