Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

m199d1. A devil and a squirrel climb a tree, ATU 1073. .16.31.


devil (cannibal) offers a person a competition: who will climb a tree faster. A person puts his child instead of himself - a squirrel.

Germans (Upper Palatinate, Austria), Irish, Latvians, Lithuanians, Faroese, Westerners (?) Sami, Finns.

Western Europe. The Germans (Upper Palatinate) [they steal the forest from the forester; he cursed so much that the hell came; forester: take this forest and anyone who comes to steal; a man making brooms came to break the birch tree; hell: you - mine; the man asked to feel sorry for him for his family; the devil agreed on the condition that the person would win three times; 1) race (the man let his eldest son, a hare, instead of himself); 2) climb at a tall tree (the youngest son is a squirrel); 3) whoever throws an iron ball higher; the man pretends to be afraid that the ball will remain on the cloud; the hell tells me not to throw it, left the person alone]: Schö nwerth 1981:17; Germans (Austria), Irish: Uther 2004 (2), no. 1073:29

Baltoscandia. Latvians [The devil competes with the squirrel: who will climb a tree faster]: Arys, Medne 1977, No. 1073:340; Lithuanians, Faroese, Westerners (?) Sami, Finns: Uther 2004 (2), No. 1073:29