Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Boy Who Tried to Cheat Death

 The Boy Who Tried to Cheat Death
Charles Mikolaycak 1971

I'm a fan of the illustrator Charles Mikolaycak so imagine my delight when I found this recently at the thrift store.  
It's a Norwegian folk tale in which a young man is given a barrel of beer for his wages.  When he shares a drink with an old man who is Death he strikes a curious deal.  Death will give his beer the power to heal sick people and save them from dying.  But if the young man sees Death at the head of their bed then nothing will save them and Death will have his way.

When the King's daughter becomes seriously ill, and Death is at the head of her bed, the young man finds a way to trick him and save the young woman.  In the end though, the young man finds that  Death can't be cheated forever.

Other books illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak:

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