Old Sultan: A Tale of Loyalty and Friendship by the Brothers Grimm

Summary of “Old Sultan”

“Old Sultan” is a Brothers Grimm tale where loyalty, friendship, and courage shine as an aging dog teams up with a wolf to overcome trials.

The story of “Old Sultan” revolves around an aging and toothless dog whose master plans to put him down because he’s no longer useful; however, Sultan’s friend, a wolf, devises a plan to save him.

In the scheme, the wolf steals the master’s child, allowing Sultan to “rescue” the child and gain favor with his owners. The plan succeeds, and Sultan is spared. Later, the wolf attempts to involve Sultan in stealing sheep, but Sultan remains loyal to his master and thwarts the wolf’s plan, leading to a duel between them.

In a humorous twist, Sultan’s only second in the duel is a three-legged cat. The duel is avoided when the wolf and his companion mistake the cat’s tail for a sword and its attempts to support itself for aggression, causing them to flee in fear.

The story ends with the wolf making peace with Sultan, realizing his mistake and the futility of his actions. It highlights the importance of loyalty, bravery, and friendship, even among different species.

The Story of “Old Sultan”

Apeasant once had a faithful dog called Sultan, who had grown old and lost all his teeth, and could no longer keep fast hold of his quarry. One day when the peasant was standing in front of his house with his wife, he said: ‘To-morrow I intend to shoot old Sultan; he is no longer any use.’

His wife, who pitied the faithful animal, answered: ‘Since he has served us so long and honestly, we might at least keep him and feed him to the end of his days.’

‘What nonsense,’ said her husband ; ‘you are a fool. He has not a tooth left in his head; thieves are not a bit afraid of him now that they can get away from him. Even if he has served us well, he has been well fed in return.’

The poor dog, who lay near, stretched out in the sun, heard all they said, and was sad at the thought that the next day was to be his last. Now, he had a good friend who was a wolf, and in the evening he slunk off into the wood, and complained to him of the fate which awaited him.

‘Listen, comrade,’ said the Wolf, ‘be of good cheer; I will help you in your need, for I have thought of a plan. To-morrow your master and mistress are going hay-making, and they will take their little child with them because there will be nobody left at home. During their work they usually lay it under the hedge in the shade; you lie down as though to guard it. I will then come out of the wood and steal the child. You must rush quickly after me, as though you wanted to rescue the child. I will let it fall, and you will take it back to its parents again; they will think that you have saved it, and will be far too thankful to do you any harm. On the contrary, you will come into high favour, and they will never let you want again.’

The plot pleased the dog, and it was carried out just as it was planned. The father cried out when he saw the Wolf run across the field with his child in its mouth; but when old Sultan brought it back he was overjoyed, stroked him, and said: ‘Not a hair of your coat shall be hurt; you shall have plenty to eat as long as you live.’ Then he said to his wife: ‘Go home immediately and prepare some broth for old Sultan which he won’t need to bite, and bring the pillow out of my bed. I will give it to him to lie upon.’

Henceforward old Sultan was as well off as he could wish. Soon afterwards the Wolf paid him a visit, and rejoiced that all had turned out so well. ‘But, comrade,’ he said, ‘you must shut your eyes. Suppose some fine day I carry off one of your master’s fat sheep? Nowadays it is hard to get one’s living.’

‘Don’t count on that,’ answered the dog. ‘I must remain true to my master—I shall never permit it?’

The Wolf, thinking that he had not spoken in earnest, came and crept in at night, and tried to carry off a sheep. But the peasant, to whom the faithful Sultan had betrayed the Wolf’s intention, spied him and belaboured him soundly with a threshing-flail. The Wolf was forced to retreat, but he called out to the dog, ‘Wait a bit, you wicked creature—you shall suffer for this.’

The next morning he sent the Boar to invite the Dog into the wood, there to settle matters by a duel. Old Sultan could find no second except the Cat, who had only three legs. When they came out the poor Cat hobbled along, lifting up its tail with pain.

The Wolf and his second were already in position; but when they saw their opponent coming they thought that he was bringing a sword, for they took the outstretched tail of the Cat for one. And because the poor animal hobbled on three legs, they thought nothing less than that it was picking up stones to throw at them every time it stooped. Then both became frightened; the Boar crept away into a thicket, and the Wolf jumped up into a tree. The Dog and the Cat were astonished, when they arrived, at seeing no one about. The Boar, however, had not been able to conceal himself completely; his ears still stuck out. While the Cat was looking round cautiously, the Boar twitched its ears; the Cat, who thought that it was a mouse moving, sprang upon it, and began biting with a will. The Boar jumped up and ran away, calling out: ‘The guilty party is up in that tree.’ The Cat and the Dog looked up and perceived the Wolf, who, ashamed of having shown himself such a coward, made peace with the Dog.

The Story of “Old Sultan”
– Grimm’s Fairy Tales –

The Moral Lesson of “Old Sultan”

In the rich tapestry of fairy tales, the Brothers Grimm have woven stories that transcend generations, offering timeless wisdom and moral lessons. Among these cherished narratives is “Old Sultan,” a tale brimming with insights into loyalty, friendship, and the resilience of the human-animal bond.

At its core, “Old Sultan” teaches us the enduring value of loyalty, as exemplified by the titular character. Despite his advanced age and diminished abilities, Sultan remains steadfastly loyal to his master, even in the face of impending danger. This loyalty underscores the importance of staying true to those who have shown us kindness and care, regardless of circumstances.

“Old Sultan” also celebrates the power of friendship, both within and beyond the animal kingdom. Sultan’s alliance with the wolf highlights the transformative nature of friendship, as it leads to mutual understanding and support.

In “Old Sultan,” courage and integrity are showcased as essential virtues that guide the characters’ actions. Sultan’s unwavering commitment to his master’s well-being and his refusal to betray his trust embody the principles of honor and integrity.

“Old Sultan” continues to captivate readers with its timeless wisdom and universal themes of loyalty, friendship, and courage. Through Sultan’s journey, we are reminded of the profound connections that bind us to one another and the enduring power of integrity and compassion. As we navigate the complexities of life, may we draw inspiration from Sultan’s unwavering loyalty, his unlikely friendship with the wolf, and his steadfast commitment to doing what is right, enriching our own lives with meaning and purpose.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Grimm’s Fairy Tales

The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen) is a collection of folk stories recorded by the two brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. Within these tales, children are invited to immerse themselves in a world filled with powerful fairy godmothers, beautiful princesses accompanied by brave princes, wicked witches, and ferocious monsters…

In addition, to the aforementioned “Old Sultan” story, FairyTales.love presents a myriad of other captivating tales within the Grimm Brothers’ collection. Each narrative carries valuable lessons about morals and life.

Do not miss the opportunity to explore and delve into the enchanting world of Grimm’s Fairy Tales at FairyTales.Love.

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