Saturday, December 3, 2011

The King of Crows

The King of Crows, or The Crow King. 

According to the Hungarian folktale by the same name, a poor peasant farmer with barely enough to eat for himself and his wife is informed that the troops of the Crow King are headed his way, and that he is to feed them during their stop-over, and after their stay if he heads to the King’s Castle he will be rewarded greatly. The poor peasant laments that he has nothing but his two oxen that he needs to make a living, and watches in dismay as the crows swoop down from the sky and devour his oxen in a ferocious frenzy. The next day he heads out on foot and travels for days and nights, occasionally hearing word that he is on the right track, and to just keep on. When he gets to the castle he is met by the King of Crows, who thanks him for his generosity and offers him much wealth – gold and jewels, anything his heart desires. The poor man says he has no use for such wealth, he simply wants the little salt grinder by the King’s bed (it is a magic salt grinder, aha!) With this he is able to create anything he wants by saying some magic words and grinding the little wheel away. The tale then detours and continuous on a different train about what he is able to achieve with the magic salt grinder. 

The part of the story I really like is when the King demonstrates the prowess of his soldiers - at his call a black crow flies through the open window into the room, and in an instant lands on the floor and turns into a valiant and handsome soldier, then just as easily transforms back into a crow and disappears from the room. I was really taken with this imagery, and though there is nothing in the story to suggest the King also has such powers, I decided I wanted my King of Crows to be just like this – not entirely human.


  1. Creepy and awesome! The story is really cool too! I love how it's a man at the top and his coat of feather fades down to crows feet. Are you going to be opening your etsy store in the future to sale some of this wonderful work you've been doing?

  2. Wow, wow, wow, I absoutely lurrv this guy and the folktale that inspired him. I hope you have written down all these wonderful tales you have imbibed since you've been away :o)

  3. I love this Monika! Thank you for sharing the story. I love how you were inspired by it, making it your own. The leaves of his coat are fabulous.

  4. Thanks darlings!!
    Ashley - I'm still "traveling", so my etsy shop will have to stay closed until I return to Australia next year. These particular works will be exhibited in late January, so I won't make prints of them till after that anyway.

  5. LOVE HIM Monika! You are becoming a Valiant of the Brush yourself!!!!!!! Love lately how your women are ethereal and your men are strange, darker with a slightly sinister edge! Nice contrasts. Fairytale through & through...


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