About a life devoted to the love for Folklore, Mythology, Legends and.....Art

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tell me a story; The white deer

Finally, the project has officially started! After a lot of promotion and correspondence the first drawing for the "Tell me a story..." project is ready. From now on once or twice a week a new drawing accompanied by the story will be posted on my blog. Please forgive any lapses in grammar and spelling as most stories submitted come from non-English speaking countries. The stories published on my blog are the 'rough-versions' and are not yet completely edited. I really hope you all will enjoy the stories and illustrations. Hopefully many of you will follow me while this project grows and eventually all stories and drawings will get published in a book.

NOTE: would you also like to see your story get illustrated? please check out my previous blog post here and read the guidelines.

(click picture for bigger view)

Story Title: The white deer

Submitted by: ChloƩ
Country: France

Originally this story came from an old French song/ballad probably first written during the (late) Middle Ages as, at this time, cruel fairy tales and legends were "fashionable". There are, of course, several versions of this tale.

It starts with a young lady and her mother going to the woods together. The mother was joyful but her daughter looked rather sad and thoughtful.

"Why are you always sighing Marguerite?" asked the mother.
"I've kept a secret for long and never found the courage to tell you about it before. During the day I'm a girl but at night I change into a white deer, hunted by barons and princes. But the worst of them all is my own brother Renaud. Please mother, go promptly and tell him to stop his dogs and hunters at least until tomorrow at noon.

And so did her mother: "Where are your dogs Renaud and your gentle hounds?"
"They are in the woods mother, hunting down the white deer"

"Stop them my son! I beg you. Stop them immediately!"
He ordered to call back the hounds and to end the chase. Three times the copper cornet called but when it sounded for the third time the white deer was already dead.

"Let's prepare the deer for tonights dinner" Renaud then ordered.

As soon as the skinner started to cut her in pieces, he saw not a white deer but a fair and pale maid. But he remembered his instructions and decided to finish his work anyway.

Later on the banquet was ready and in a crowded room all the barons and princes had come.
"We are now all together except my beloved sister Marguerite..." started Renaud.

Suddenly he was interrupted by the quiet but cold voice of the young girl.
"Oh, don't wait for me, I was the first one to sit. My head is in a dish, my heart hangs on a hook. My blood is spread all over the kitchen floor, my bones are burning on the coal. It's me who was served for dinner, I'm the one you've been eating."

More soon!


  1. What a haunting story!

    The drawing is so beautiful... I can't wait to see more! :D

  2. I love this story. A very similar version is written in Pierre Dubois' The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries. I've also been inspired by this tale to make some art: DeerWoman.

    You have a wonderful blog, keep up the great work!