Why this story?

As I was thumbing through a cache of folktales, I went back and forth on several possibilities – Humpty Dumpty (which has original versions in several countries), the Girl with No Hands, the Six Swans, Frau Holle, Devil Greencoat.

I considered using a couple and seeing if I could get them to work metamorphosis style – in a mix and match fashion – like the stories I’m selling with the blank box jewelry on Etsy.

Then I read this one and knew it was perfect.  A few thoughts on why this story stood out:

  • It doesn’t tie things up in a bow, but leaves the future open for possibility.
  • It speaks to the wonder of discovery – of finding something totally unexpected (key and box) and contemplating what might be inside.
  • It unites the boy and the reader in time – as we all hang on the turn of that key.
  • It allows for another level to the game – as I bring you in to add to the story in your own way.

I hope you had fun!

What’s in the Box?

So we’re left hanging.

What will happen when the boy opens the box? What is the true nature of this tale, the moral of the story? Will he be punished or rewarded?

I want to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below, but I’ve also put a poll in for those who are comment-shy.

The Full Story – The Golden Key

This story is a slightly modified version of a traditional German folktale.

Once upon a time … there was a very deep snow and a poor, young boy was sent into the forest to fetch firewood with his sled.

It was so cold, the boy decided to build a campfire in the woods to warm up for the walk home.

He started to clear away snow from the spot for his fire and, as he reached the ground, found a golden key.

“Where there’s a key, there’s bound to be a lock, too,” he thought, and dug into the ground.

He soon unearthed a small, iron box. “If only the key fits! Surely there will be wondrous and precious things inside.”

He twisted and turned the box and, finally, found a tiny hole that the key just fit.

He turned the key and … now we must wait until he’s done to see what’s inside.


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