There was once a kindly old wizard who used his magic generously and wisely for the benefit of his neighbours. Rather than reveal the true source of his power, he pretended that his potions, charms, and antidotes sprang ready-made from the little cauldron he called his lucky cooking pot. From miles around, people came to him with their troubles, and the wizard was pleased to give his pot a stir, and put things right.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, the collection of wizarding fairy tales, has made its way into my hands at last! This short collection of popular magical tales was introduced to readers of the Harry Potter series in the seventh and last installment of Harry's story. A copy of this book was given by Albus Dumbledore to Hermione.
This new edition, with introduction and illustrations by J.K.Rowling, has been freshly traduced from the Ancient Runes by Hermione, and features an extensive commentary by Dumbledore himself. Thus, we Muggles get to read the popular fairy tales that every wizarding child grows up with: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But what makes this book particularly special is Dumbledore's witty, humourous commentary.
"The Wizard and the Hopping Pot" deals with compassion, "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" with generosity, and "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" with love. The last two fairy tales, "Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump" and "The Tale of the Three Brothers", on the other hand, touch the theme that even magic cannot bring back the dead.
My favourite tale was perhaps "The Tale of The Three Brothers", because, as Nymeth already pointed out, it sounded the most like a "real" fairy tale. However, I liked them all. Through these stories we not only gain insights of the wizarding world and its code of ethics, but also learn little tidbits about the other characters in the series. I loved the mentions to Nearly headless Nick and Abertforth Dumbledore.
I think I should go and re-read Deathly Hallows. I know I've forgotten details already. But with so many new books to read, who has the time to go and re-read books I've already read three or four times? Anyway, the HP series remains my favourite of all times.