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The Stonecutter facts for kids

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"The Stone-cutter" is a supposed Japanese folk-tale published by Andrew Lang in The Crimson Fairy Book (1903), taken from David Brauns [de]'s Japanische Märchen (1885). However, the story has been pointed out to closely resemble the "Japanese Stonecutter" parable in Dutch novelist Multatuli's Max Havelaar (1860), which is in turn a reworking of a story written by Wolter Robert baron van Hoëvell aka "Jeronimus".(1842)

The tale is closely related to the themes of The Fisherman and His Wife, a well known fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.

In the legend, a poor stone-cutter craves to become a rich man, then a prince, and his wishes are granted in turn by a mountain spirit. He then envies becoming the sun impervious to heat, then clouds undaunted by the sun, then the mountain which withstands the rain-clouds. But when a stone-cutter starts chipping away at him, he wants to revert to being a man, and comes to the realization that he is satisfied with his station in life as a humble stone-cutter.

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The Stonecutter Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.