The Master Thief Recap

The arch-thief took leave of his parents, once more went forth into the wide world, and no one has ever heard of him since.

And our hero, or anti-hero, departs on his journey into the sunset. And though he is not heard of again, that is not to say that he doesn’t continue to

New Fairy Tale Releases

Heart of the Sun Warrior, Sue Lynn Tan’s sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goodness, comes out November 15th

Melanie Cellier’s The Golden Princess: A Retelling of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves comes out November 4th


And just like that we have reached November and are almost to the end of the year! We want to thank each one of you for being apart of our love for fairytales! We absolutely LOVE sharing our fairy-obsessed hearts with you and while 2022 was a bit crazy for a few of us, we had a blast.

We will be taking a two-month hiatus this year (instead of just our usual December hiatus) as we will be focusing enjoying the holidays, spending time with family and perhaps squeezing some time in for our personal writing. We will see you dears next year in 2023!

What was your favorite part of The Master Thief month?

Story Wishlist: The Master Thief

Welcome back for this month’s story wishlist!

Though this month’s fairytale has yet to see any adaptations in the wild, it seems to have lots of potential for one. Let’s take a look!




MIDDLE-GRADE FANTASY – All the hilarious shenanigans in this one would play so well to a humorous middle-grade take. Maybe even more as a prequel to the actual fairy tale itself in which we get to see the master-thief himself go off in his youth and become the legend he is today.

COMEDY HORROR – There are some pretty bizarre and grim occurrences in this tale—from the thief literally using a dead body as a decoy to stuffing a parson and clerk in a sack and convincing them ghosts are walking about. Yeah, it’s a wild tale and basically already is comedy horror.

HISTORICAL FICTION – This tale would work so well in such a huge variety of historical settings. It’s a rare fairy tale in which no magic is involved and thus could work in any sort of time period. I think a Victorian take on this would be particularly fun. (Actually, the more I think about it, the more I really, really do want this one retold in the Victorian era.)

GRAPHIC NOVEL – The visuals in this one are pretty wild but far-too-fun and I think it’d make for a great graphic novel.

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I agree with all of Christine’s answers on this one! I’m thinking steampunk would be a cool option as well. Wouldn’t be too far-fetched if our genius thief was a tinkerer too! He could use mechanical crabs instead of real ones, for example! I don’t know, but it sort of works, right?

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Aside from a traditional fantasy retelling (my stock answer for our obscure tales) I think this would make an AWESOME heist-style story. At first I was thinking in a contemporary setting, but then I saw Christine’s idea for a Victorian historical fiction novel, and I love it. Something combining the cleverness of Sherlock Holmes with the gloomy atmosphere of a Dicken’s novel. 



ARTHUR DAIGLE – A chaotic protagonist and insane schemes is right up this author’s alley! I would love to see what he’d do with this tale.

LEMONY SNICKET – The master of absurd fiction himself. Retelling this one in the same vein as his All The Wrong Questions series would be incredible and just all kinds of hilarious.

ALLISON TEBO – This tongue-in-cheek kind of humor and mischief is this author’s trademark and I know she’d make such a hilarious story from this one!

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K.M. Shea would be fantastic; I just know it. 

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Kate Stradling does a good job with more obscure fairy tales, so I could see her doing this one.

Pre-Existing Story Worlds


ONCE UPON A TWIST TALES WORLD by Kirsten Fichter – Because this non-magical fairy tale would work so well in this non-magical fairy tale world! And I’d love to see what kind of delightful spin Kirsten would put on this tale.

TWO MONARCHIES WORLD by W.R. Gingell – Oh man, the master-thief just feels like one of Gingell’s wildly chaotic characters and the (somewhat morbid) humor is also entirely suiting of this author. This fairy tale would fit into her fairy tale series so, so well.

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The world of Sarah Pennington’s Bastian Dennel, P.I. would be a perfect setting for a retelling!

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Now we OBVIOUSLY need our own Kirstin Fichter to retell this one in her series, and I’m also stealing Christine’s W.R. Gingell answer, because this story would work so well in her Two Monarchies books.



I can absolutely picture this as a humorous animated movie. Some of the parts may need to be…toned down a little, but otherwise, it is comedy gold and would be a hilarious ride! I can see Dreamworks taking on one like this.

And if BBC ever wanted to make a series again like Merlin or Robin Hood, this would work sooo well in that style.

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Hmm… I’ll simply second Christine’s answers, again, for this one xD I can’t think of anything in particular, but I do think this would make a fun and cute (?) film adaptation.

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I’m actually having trouble with this one. A part of me can see it as an animated film, while the other is seeing it more as an episode in a miniseries.

Are you planning to retell this tale?


I doubt I’d ever retell this fairy tale specifically BUT I’d love to create a character one day inspired by the master-thief. He’s just too fun! I also love the crazy dynamics between him and the count. That would be a really fun sort-of-enemies, sort-of-family relationship to explore in a novel one day.

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Not at the moment, but who knows? I have a feeling a few of the Master Thief’s tricks have already sneaked their way into the backstory of one of my characters…

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I actually hadn’t read this one before Kiri brought it to my attention! It’s still so new I don’t have any ideas for it, but I definitely think it has potential for making it into a future book!

What kinds of retellings or adaptations of this tale would YOU like to see?

The Master Thief Commentary

Join us (Christine, Kirsten and Faith) on a journey with a brilliant master thief in Kirsten’s obscure fairytale choice of the month! Mischief, amazing thieving skills and twists and turns await!

The Master Thief

One day an old man and his wife were sitting in front of a miserable house resting a while from their work.

C: Like…are they calling their own house miserable? How sad!

Suddenly a splendid carriage with four black horses came driving up, and a richly- dressed man descended from it. The peasant stood up, went to the great man, and asked what he wanted, and in what way he could be useful to him? The stranger stretched out his hand to the old man, and said, “I want nothing but to enjoy for once a country dish; cook me some potatoes, in the way you always have them, and then I will sit down at your table and eat them with pleasure.”

C: Potatoes are the king of all foods, let’s be real.

K: This line always makes me think of Ratatouille. “But it’s a peasant dish.” 

F: Potatoes! Yum!

The peasant smiled and said, “You are a count or a prince, or perhaps even a duke; noble gentlemen often have such fancies, but you shall have your wish.” 

K: He says this as if he’s encountered this before. I guess there’s something about the miserable house that makes eccentric rich folks stop? 

The wife went into the kitchen, and began to wash and rub the potatoes, and to make them into balls, as they are eaten by the country-folks.

Whilst she was busy with this work, the peasant said to the stranger, “Come into my garden with me for a while, I have still something to do there.” He had dug some holes in the garden, and now wanted to plant some trees in them.

“Have you no children,” asked the stranger, “who could help you with your work?”

“No,” answered the peasant, “I had a son, it is true, but it is long since he went out into the world. He was a ne’er-do-well; sharp, and knowing, but he would learn nothing and was full of bad tricks, at last he ran away from me, and since then I have heard nothing of him.”

F: How sad!

The old man took a young tree, put it in a hole, drove in a post beside it, and when he had shovelled in some earth and had trampled it firmly down, he tied the stem of the tree above, below, and in the middle, fast to the post by a rope of straw.

K: I gardened some back in the day, and I really appreciate the details put into this. I’d love to see a retelling that does more with the garden aspect of this story. 

“But tell me,” said the stranger, “why you don’t tie that crooked knotted tree, which is lying in the corner there, bent down almost to the ground, to a post also that it may grow straight, as well as these?”

The old man smiled and said, “Sir, you speak according to your knowledge, it is easy to see that you are not familiar with gardening. That tree there is old, and mis-shapen, no one can make it straight now. Trees must be trained while they are young.”

“That is how it was with your son,” said the stranger, “if you had trained him while he was still young, he would not have run away; now he too must have grown hard and mis-shapen.”

C: Harsh. But fair maybe.

K: Blaming the father, maybe? I’m starting to question the identity of this stranger. 

F: Good point!

“Truly it is a long time since he went away,” replied the old man, “he must have changed.”

“Would you know him again if he were to come to you?” asked the stranger.

“Hardly by his face,” replied the peasant, “but he has a mark about him, a birth-mark on his shoulder, that looks like a bean.” When he had said that the stranger pulled off his coat, bared his shoulder, and showed the peasant the bean.


K: I love that the father still recalls all these details about his son. He never stopped loving him. *clutches heart*

F: Aww the prodigal has returned!

“Good God!” cried the old man, “thou art really my son!” and love for his child stirred in his heart. “But,” he added, “how canst thou be my son, thou hast become a great lord and livest in wealth and luxury? How hast thou contrived to do that?”

“Ah, father,” answered the son, “the young tree was bound to no post and has grown crooked, now it is too old, it will never be straight again. How have I got all that? I have become a thief, but do not be alarmed, I am a master-thief.

C: Super humble too, I see.

F: Whoa, another plot twist!

For me there are neither locks nor bolts, whatsoever I desire is mine. Do not imagine that I steal like a common thief, I only take some of the superfluity of the rich. Poor people are safe, I would rather give to them than take anything from them. It is the same with anything which I can have without trouble, cunning and dexterity I never touch it.”

C: At least he does it Robin Hood style. My fave!

K: I love how he points out anything easy to steal is also off his radar. “Naw, I only want the difficult jobs.” 

“Alas, my son,” said the father, “it still does not please me, a thief is still a thief, I tell thee it will end badly.”

C: I mean…pretty sound advice.

K: Ah, but dear father, it is impossible to train an old tree. I love that he still tries. 

He took him to his mother, and when she heard that was her son, she wept for joy, but when he told her that he had become a master-thief, two streams flowed down over her face. At length she said, “Even if he has become a thief, he is still my son, and my eyes have beheld him once more.”

They sat down to table, and once again he ate with his parents the wretched food which he had not eaten for so long.

C: “Wretched food”? So the potatoes aren’t good? D:

F: Oh wow, I thought it would’ve been so tasty.

The father said, “If our Lord, the count up there in the castle, learns who thou art, and what trade thou followest, he will not take thee in his arms and cradle thee in them as he did when he held thee at the font, but will cause thee to swing from a halter.”

“Be easy, father, he will do me no harm, for I understand my trade. I will go to him myself this very day.”

K: “What’s this, dear father? You want me to stay away from the man who would probably hang me? Didn’t I tell you I only wanted the difficult jobs?” 

F: He’s a bold lad, isn’t he?

When evening drew near, the master-thief seated himself in his carriage, and drove to the castle. The count received him civilly, for he took him for a distinguished man. When, however, the stranger made himself known, the count turned pale and was quite silent for some time.

C: He sure is…honest for a thief. Just going around announcing he’s a master-thief to everyone. Gives “honor amongst thieves” a whole new meaning.

At length he said, “Thou art my godson, 

K: Wait? When did that happen? Who are the poor parents of the miserable house that the count is the godfather to their son? 

F: So many twists!

and on that account mercy shall take the place of justice, and I will deal leniently with thee. Since thou pridest thyself on being a master-thief, I will put thy art to the proof, but if thou dost not stand the test, thou must marry the rope-maker’s daughter, and the croaking of the raven must be thy music on the occasion.”

K: Exhibit A – Fairytale trope of a bride being the winner’s prize REVERSED. “If you fail, you have to get married.” I guess the rope-maker’s daughter was just awful. XD 

F: So he must win the challenge to not get the bride. hehe

“Lord count,” answered the master-thief, “Think of three things, as difficult as you like, and if I do not perform your tasks, do with me what you will.”

The count reflected for some minutes, and then said, “Well, then, in the first place, thou shalt steal the horse I keep for my own riding, out of the stable; in the next, thou shalt steal the sheet from beneath the bodies of my wife and myself when we are asleep, without our observing it, and the wedding-ring of my wife as well; thirdly and lastly, thou shalt steal away out of the church, the parson and clerk. Mark what I am saying, for thy life depends on it.”

C: These are some kinds of challenges he came up with wow. And how does proving himself a thief save the thief from hanging…? I mean, I guess anyone who can actually accomplish all this deserves some kind of merit.

F: I thought he was gonna ask him to steal from his enemies. But instead he’s just having him steal his own things to prove that he’s good. Interesting.

The master-thief went to the nearest town; there he bought the clothes of an old peasant woman, and put them on. Then he stained his face brown, and painted wrinkles on it as well, so that no one could have recognized him. Then he filled a small cask with old Hungary wine in which was mixed a powerful sleeping-drink. He put the cask in a basket, which he took on his back, and walked with slow and tottering steps to the count’s castle. It was already dark when he arrived. He sat down on a stone in the court-yard and began to cough, like an asthmatic old woman, and to rub his hands as if he were cold.

In front of the door of the stable some soldiers were lying round a fire; one of them observed the woman, and called out to her, “Come nearer, old mother, and warm thyself beside us. After all, thou hast no bed for the night, and must take one where thou canst find it.”

K: Those poor, unsuspecting souls. 

The old woman tottered up to them, begged them to lift the basket from her back, and sat down beside them at the fire.

“What hast thou got in thy little cask, old lady?” asked one.

“A good mouthful of wine,” she answered. “I live by trade, for money and fair words I am quite ready to let you have a glass.”

“Let us have it here, then,” said the soldier, and when he had tasted one glass he said, “When wine is good, I like another glass,” and had another poured out for himself, and the rest followed his example.

“Hallo, comrades,” cried one of them to those who were in the stable, “here is an old goody who has wine that is as old as herself; take a draught, it will warm your stomachs far better than our fire.”

C: These are not very responsible soldiers. XD

K: I know it was the master-thief’s plan for them to drink the whole bottle, but don’t the soldiers think this might be odd that the old woman isn’t trying to stop them? She offered them a glass, but it seems as if this wine is a good part of her livelihood. Not a bit suspicious, eh? 

The old woman carried her cask into the stable. One of the soldiers had seated himself on the saddled riding-horse, another held its bridle in his hand, a third had laid hold of its tail.

C: That’s, ah, a bit extreme as far as guard duty for a horse. And if it’s the count’s steed I am sure it is a very well-behaved animal. Although maybe the count ordered them to do this knowing the thief was going to attempt to steal it.

K: I feel sorry for the horse. 

She poured out as much as they wanted until the spring ran dry. It was not long before the bridle fell from the hand of the one, and he fell down and began to snore, the other left hold of the tail, lay down and snored still louder. The one who was sitting in the saddle, did remain sitting, but bent his head almost down to the horse’s neck, and slept and blew with his mouth like the bellows of a forge. The soldiers outside had already been asleep for a long time, and were lying on the ground motionless, as if dead.

F: That’s why you don’t drink on the job!

When the master-thief saw that he had succeeded, he gave the first a rope in his hand instead of the bridle, and the other who had been holding the tail, a wisp of straw, but what was he to do with the one who was sitting on the horse’s back? He did not want to throw him down, for he might have awakened and have uttered a cry. He had a good idea, he unbuckled the girths of the saddle, tied a couple of ropes which were hanging to a ring on the wall fast to the saddle, and drew the sleeping rider up into the air on it, then he twisted the rope round the posts, and made it fast.

C: This thief is VERY quick on his feet when it comes to schemes.

K: The visuals. XD I’m dying. Oh, to see the soldier snoring in a saddle tied aloft! 

He soon unloosed the horse from the chain,

C: It was chained too??? This poor horse.

but if he had ridden over the stony pavement of the yard they would have heard the noise in the castle. So he wrapped the horse’s hoofs in old rags, led him carefully out, leapt upon him, and galloped off.

K: If this horse could talk like Falada, it would be thanking him profusely. 

When day broke, the master galloped to the castle on the stolen horse. The count had just got up, and was looking out of the window.

“Good morning, Sir Count,” he cried to him, “here is the horse, which I have got safely out of the stable! Just look, how beautifully your soldiers are lying there sleeping; and if you will but go into the stable, you will see how comfortable your watchers have made it for themselves.”

C: Okay but the snark here! I love this guy. XD

The count could not help laughing,

C: Awww, the count is fun too! Sounds like he’s rooting for his godson in this.

then he said, “For once thou hast succeeded, but things won’t go so well the second time, and I warn thee that if thou comest before me as a thief, I will handle thee as I would a thief.”

When the countess went to bed that night, she closed her hand with the wedding-ring tightly together, and the count said, “All the doors are locked and bolted, I will keep awake and wait for the thief, but if he gets in by the window, I will shoot him.”

C: …Or maybe not rooting for him. That took a turn!

K: Well, he does keep reminding the thief that he intends to hang him if he fails. I guess shooting him was a nicer way to carry out the death sentence. 

F: He tells him to try and rob him and then plans to shoot him when he shows up. Interesting godfather. 😀

The master-thief, however, went in the dark to the gallows, cut a poor sinner who was hanging there down from the halter, and carried him on his back to the castle.

C: So he just…stole a dead body? The man is committed, I’ll give him that. o.o

Then he set a ladder up to the bedroom, put the dead body on his shoulders, and began to climb up. When he had got so high that the head of the dead man showed at the window, the count, who was watching in his bed, fired a pistol at him, and immediately the master let the poor sinner fall down, and hid himself in one corner.

The night was sufficiently lighted by the moon, for the master to see distinctly how the count got out of the window on to the ladder, came down, carried the dead body into the garden, and began to dig a hole in which to lay it.

C: Good grief. So he shot who he thought was the thief and then immediately hopped down to bury the body just like that? I do not know what to think of this count anymore. He seems a little unstable…

K: The count seems as though he’s familiar with this order of events… it may not be the first body he’s buried in the garden. 

F: *eyes widen in fear* what else is in that garden???

“Now,” thought the thief, “the favourable moment has come,” stole nimbly out of his corner, and climbed up the ladder straight into the countess’s bedroom. “Dear wife,” he began in the count’s voice, “the thief is dead, but, after all, he is my godson, and has been more of a scape-grace than a villain. I will not put him to open shame; besides, I am sorry for the parents. I will bury him myself before daybreak, in the garden that the thing may not be known, so give me the sheet, I will wrap up the body in it, and bury him as a dog buries things by scratching.”

C: At least he is trying to give some logic to the count’s behavior! And I mean, he’s got to be a little hurt that his own godfather would just shoot him. Maybe he’s trying to justify it himself. XD

The countess gave him the sheet. “I tell you what,” continued the thief, “I have a fit of magnanimity on me, give me the ring too, the unhappy man risked his life for it, so he may take it with him into his grave.”

C: Oh my word, this man!

K: “A fit of magnanimity.” XD 

She would not gainsay the count, and although she did it unwillingly she drew the ring from her finger, and gave it to him. The thief made off with both these things, and reached home safely before the count in the garden had finished his work of burying.

F: I mean, I would’ve had a conversation about that. “What do you mean you want to take my wedding ring and bury it with a dead man?”

What a long face the count did pull when the master came next morning, and brought him the sheet and the ring. “Art thou a wizard?” said he, “Who has fetched thee out of the grave in which I myself laid thee, and brought thee to life again?”

C: LOL. That would be quite the shock.

“You did not bury me,” said the thief, “but the poor sinner on the gallows,” and he told him exactly how everything had happened, and the count was forced to own to him that he was a clever, crafty thief. “But thou hast not reached the end yet,” he added, “thou hast still to perform the third task, and if thou dost not succeed in that, all is of no use.”

The master smiled and returned no answer. When night had fallen he went with a long sack on his back, a bundle under his arms, and a lantern in his hand to the village-church. In the sack he had some crabs, and in the bundle short wax-candles. He sat down in the churchyard, took out a crab, and stuck a wax-candle on his back. Then he lighted the little light, put the crab on the ground, and let it creep about.

C: Mobile light! I love it!

He took a second out of the sack, and treated it in the same way, and so on until the last was out of the sack. Hereupon he put on a long black garment that looked like a monk’s cowl, and stuck a gray beard on his chin. 

K: Crabs and monk’s cowls? You have to wonder where he finds all these accessories, especially since he doesn’t steal from poor people. Was there a crab farm nearby? Or did the castle recently acquire a shipment of seafood from the coast? I need to know!

When at last he was quite unrecognizable, he took the sack in which the crabs had been, went into the church, and ascended the pulpit.

The clock in the tower was just striking twelve; when the last stroke had sounded, he cried with a loud and piercing voice, “Hearken, sinful men, the end of all things has come! The last day is at hand! Hearken! Hearken! Whosoever wishes to go to heaven with me must creep into the sack. I am Peter, who opens and shuts the gate of heaven. Behold how the dead outside there in the churchyard, are wandering about collecting their bones. Come, come, and creep into the sack; the world is about to be destroyed!”

The cry echoed through the whole village. The parson and clerk who lived nearest to the church, heard it first, and when they saw the lights which were moving about the churchyard, they observed that something unusual was going on, and went into the church. They listened to the sermon for a while,

C: So they just sat there casually thinking Peter himself was preaching a sermon and the dead were scurrying around outside??

K: I want to know what the thief said in his sermon. 

F: Where are the footnotes!

and then the clerk nudged the parson and said, “It would not be amiss if we were to use the opportunity together, and before the dawning of the last day, find an easy way of getting to heaven.”

“To tell the truth,” answered the parson, “that is what I myself have been thinking, so if you are inclined, we will set out on our way.”

“Yes,” answered the clerk, “but you, the pastor, have the precedence, I will follow.”

K: *fearfully nudges him* You go first. 

So the parson went first, and ascended the pulpit where the master opened his sack. The parson crept in first, and then the clerk. The master immediately tied up the sack tightly, seized it by the middle, and dragged it down the pulpit-steps, and whenever the heads of the two fools bumped against the steps, he cried, “We are going over the mountains.” Then he drew them through the village in the same way, and when they were passing through puddles, he cried, “Now we are going through wet clouds,” and when at last he was dragging them up the steps of the castle, he cried, “Now we are on the steps of heaven, and will soon be in the outer court.”

C: This scene amuses me endlessly. XD I want this to be turned into an animated film just for this scene alone. It’d be hilarious.

K: How strong was this thief? He’s dragging two grown men along in a sack like it’s nothing. 

When he had got to the top, he pushed the sack into the pigeon-house, and when the pigeons fluttered about, he said, “Hark how glad the angels are, and how they are flapping their wings!” Then he bolted the door upon them, and went away.

K: He really did think of everything, didn’t he? 

Next morning he went to the count, and told him that he had performed the third task also, and had carried the parson and clerk out of the church.

“Where hast thou left them?” asked the lord.

“They are lying upstairs in a sack in the pigeon-house, and imagine that they are in heaven.”

C: Those poor guys. XD

The count went up himself, and convinced himself that the master had told the truth. When he had delivered the parson and clerk from their captivity,

C: Okay but I want to SEE this scene. These guys made such fools of themselves, what were they thinking when they were released and learned the truth?

K: They must have been so disappointed to see the count. XD

F: I mean weren’t they worried when they couldn’t get out of the sack?

he said, “Thou art an arch-thief, and hast won thy wager. For once thou escapest with a whole skin, but see that thou leavest my land, for if ever thou settest foot on it again, thou may’st count on thy elevation to the gallows.”

The arch-thief took leave of his parents, once more went forth into the wide world, and no one has ever heard of him since.

C: Such a fun, hilarious story! All the heists are both amusing and genuinely clever. Master-thief indeed! He is such a character—I would love to see adaptations of this one. All the hilarity and shenanigans that could be made from it!

K: I love fairytales like this that are just a little bit different than the norm. I mean, I know we shouldn’t be rooting for a thief, but you can’t help but want to see him succeed! And that’s probably mostly due to the count being a downright horrible person – who shoots his own godson?? If you ever wanted a fairytale that you could sit down and read and LAUGH OUT LOUD, this is the fairytale for you. I don’t recall the last time a fairytale made me laugh so much. This one NEEDS to be retold. 

F: What a hilarious and entertaining tale! I love a good Robin Hood story. Yay for the master thief! I’m sure he went on to countless adventures after this. 😀

The Master Thief Q&A With Kirsten

I think I have Robin Hood to blame for my interest in thieves. Why? I’m not entirely sure. Thieving as a profession is something I very much look down upon, but literature has (unfortunately) made theft into an art. There’s a purpose, a process, a great deal of suspense, and often a thrilling conclusion. Books like The Thief Lord and The Book Thief have that kind of title to intrigue beyond the shadow of a doubt, and you can’t help but want to know the story. The word “thief” is a beacon to me when you slap it into any book title.

And that’s what led us to this month’s obscure fairytale.


Q: How and when did you find this obscure fairy tale?

My dear, darling husband surprised me with a beautiful collection of the Grimms’ fairytales last year. Since then, I’ve been casually combing through some of the stories, reading both the well-known ones and any obscure one that strikes my fancy. It was upon such a casual reading that I happened upon a story with the title The Master Thief. And, as always, being drawn to stories about thieves against my better nature, I was intrigued. So, I read it.

And nearly died laughing. It was by far one of the funniest fairytales I’ve read to date.

Q: What drew you to this particular fairy tale?

Firstly, the title, as I’ve mentioned before. I’m oddly drawn to anything with “thief” in the title. And the fact that this thief wasn’t any ordinary thief was mystifying; by the title’s proclamation, he was a master thief, and I really wanted to know if he met my expectations for a master thief.

He did, in more ways than one.

Q: Why did you choose this for your “obscure” fairy tale for the year?

Ever since I read this fairytale, I’ve wanted to showcase it on Fairy Tale Central. I mean, when you come across an obscure fairytale THIS GOOD, you want everyone else to enjoy it, too. And it’s high time we spend some time laughing until our sides ache while reading a fairytale. Everyone needs a little bit of laughter right now.

Q: What is your favorite part of The Master Thief?

Literally anytime the master thief speaks. One of my favorite lines has got to be while he’s pretending to be the count, and declares, “I have a fit of magnanimity on me.”

Q: Is there any part of this fairy tale you would like to change?

Typically, there’s always something you’d want to change, but honestly, I can’t think of something in this story. Of course, I’d love to read retellings of this fairytale and see what other authors change to make it their own, because this tale really needs to be retold.

Q: Would you like to try retelling this fairy tale one day?

So, I may or may not be retelling this one very soon as part of my Once Upon a Twist Tales series. *subtle cough* What? No, I’m not releasing spoilers! Just stay tuned! *winks*

Have you read this obscure fairy tale? What did you think of it?

A Thief, Impossible Tasks, and a Heist ~ October 2022

I have become a thief, but do not be alarmed, I am a master-thief. For me there are neither locks nor bolts, whatsoever I desire is mine. Do not imagine that I steal like a common thief, I only take some of the superfluity of the rich. Poor people are safe, I would rather give to them than take anything from them. It is the same with anything which I can have without trouble, cunning and dexterity I never touch it.”

The autumnal days have arrived! And there is something magical about the cool air and golden light of fall. The world has a fairy tale-like enchantment as bright greens fade into warm hues and harsh summer temperatures and long lazy days sink into crisp air and fast-coming sunsets.

It is a wondrous season and the perfect time to immerse in fairy tales. (Of course, when isn’t it?)

For this first official month of fall, we have another obscure tale for you all. Kirsten chose this delightful tale of thievery and cunning heists that I think you are all going to get a kick out of.

October 2022’s Featured Fairy Tale is…

~ The Master Thief ~

Though of Norwegian origin, this tale is best known from the Brothers Grimm collection. It is a story of a man who left home and, during his time away, mastered the art of thievery. Though in much the way of Robin Hood, he does not use his skills for his own wickedness but aids in the poor. Upon being threatened with hanging, the thief is given three seemingly impossible tasks to prove his mettle. (Why proving he is a master thief is the deal to keep him from hanging I don’t know. Fairy tale logic and all that…) The thief is told his tasks and they most certainly seem nigh impossible. But he is not a common thief. He is a master thief. And, as you will see, he is most deserving of the title…

Read the full fairy tale HERE!

Join the Fun!

As always, we love it when our community joins in celebrating the month’s featured fairy tale, whether on your blog or social media! Any and all posts are welcome, but if you need ideas, here are some suggestions.

Post suggestions:

  • Story Wishlists – Is there specific type of retelling you’d like to see someone do with the featured fairy tale? Specific genre? General world setting?
  • Dream casts of already-written retellings or your own dream retelling from above.
  • A post about your own retelling(s) of the featured tale, whether published, WIP, never going to be published, or just an idea at this point.
  • What was your first experience with our featured tale? Does it have a special significance for you? Is it one of your favorite fairy tales?
  • Favorite characters from our featured tale.
  • LEAST favorite characters/something from our featured tale.
  • A commentary of the original fairy tale.
  • Any special themes of this tale that particularly stick out to you?

If you do join in, link your post in the comments section below so we can read it!

As someone who absolutely delights in finding thieves in fiction (and even more so if it’s the Robin Hood kind!), I am thrilled we’re featuring this one! The thief himself is a character and I firmly believe this story deserves more love. I think it would make for some truly fantastic retellings. It is equal parts clever and hilarious and is going to be such a fun one to explore this month.

Have you read this fairy tale before? Are you excited we’re featuring it? Who else loves fictional thieves? (Or am I just weird?)