The Gnome – M&A Book Club on Grimm’s Fairy Tales


The best thing about this story is the end! Not because the story was bad but because the end is so weird.

I loved this story so much. More and more I see these fairy tales as intertwined with similar characters and symbolism.

I find it difficult to write about this story. I cannot seem to organizing my thoughts. My main thought is about tests and proofs again. But it is more about personal decision making than proofs.

How do I know what to do in the moment?

The “evil” brothers strategize and do not really think for themselves, they accept what the gnome tells them without question. The other brother (Hans) appears to act his conscious. Why do the evil brothers think the good brother is stupid? Maybe because simplicity appears stupid. Our society definitely seems to prioritize complexity over simplicity – over DO EASY!

I do think this is about nonduality and awareness, as everything is really. Sense-make in the moment – all evil – all karma comes from strategizing and acting thoughtlessly according to rules. The stupid brother is really engaged in a transvaluation of values – thank you Zarathustra.

Symbols and Observations

Three – The king has three daughters, and there are three huntsman

9, 7, 4 – the number of heads on each of the dragons. What do these numbers mean? In the first story we read there was a dragon with 9 heads.

Apples (trees) – this reminds me of the garden of Eden

Gold (Golden apples)

Magic – The flute





A Search ( the huntsman search for the missing daughters)

Necklaces – the First princess gives the stupid brother a neckless after he kills the dragon

Headlessness – the brother’s heads are chopped off

Gnomes (I think this is the first time we have met a gnome).

Music (I think this is the first time we have music – but we have a magic flute that calls the Gnomes to Hans)

Stupidity – this is the first story that talks about stupidity – Hans is considered stupid, although he turns out to be the smartest or most successful. To me, this is about acting without a strategy (or malice or manipulation).

Final Thoughts

Three are the fates – the past present and future. Music is the medium of time. We go under the earthin this story; as so above so below perhaps. Or perhaps there is something to discover – perhaps this is about orientation and dimensionality, up and down.

The hero – the stupid brother – is named Hans. And I picked this story because the last story we read ended with a story about Hans.

“Kling, klang, gloria.
Who sits within this tower?
A King’s daughter, she sits within,
A sight of her I cannot win,
The wall it will not break,
The stone cannot be pierced.
Little Hans, with your coat so gay,
Follow me, follow me, fast as you may.”

Is the huntsman the little hans? Does he have a gay coat? At least Hans could probably help the princess out.

Our story today ends with the following strange line: “When the wedding took place, I was wearing a pair of glass shoes and stumbled over a stone. The stone said, Clink! and my slippers broke in two.”

So this to me leads to a story about glass slippers? Also how does stone speak? There is a book called if stones could speak – and it is about cemetaries.

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