[DWJ] Swan Brothers

Judith Ridge Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au
Tue Aug 22 20:38:08 EDT 2006

It¹s all coming back to me...

The Irish version is The Children of Lir. I¹ve got a collection called
³Tales from Old Ireland² by Malachy Doyle. There are three brothers and a
sister, and all are turned into swans. They eventually are turned back into
human form by the sprinkling of holy water, but as they are over 900 years
old by the time that happens, they die! There is no nettle coat.

If anyone is interested, I can post the notes about the source of the story
from the back of the book.

And yes, I remembered correctly‹there¹s a statue in the Garden of
Remembrance in Dublin.

As for the Grimm version, it¹s called The Six Swans and the sister has to
make the shirts our of starflowers. Unusual to have six brothers‹even
numbers don¹t get much of a look-in in folk tales.


Judith Ridge
Assistant Editor (Acting)
The School Magazine
Celebrating 90 Years‹1916-2006
Curriculum K-12 Directorate
NSW Department of Education and Training


PO Box 1928
Macquarie Centre NSW 2113

+61 2 9889 0044
+61 2 9889 0040 (fax)

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