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point, though it is hard to find: the madman does have a heart, or a “death,” only—in the language of our fairy tales—it is hidden somewhere, far away. For the present I shall not go into the symbolic significance of island, church or oak tree, well or chest, rabbit, duck, and egg. First I shall take up another point, namely, the motif of the grateful or gratuitously helpful animal (as for example in the Norwegian tale of the king with seven sons related above in which a raven, salmon, and wolf come to the hero’s aid). Though, as I have tried to show, all attempts to deduce a fairy-tale morality end in utter paradox, there is one exception: Anyone who earns the gratitude of animals, or whom they help for any reason, invariably wins out. This is the only unfailing rule that I have been able to find. It is psychologically of the utmost importance, because it means that in the conflict between good and evil the decisive factor is our animal instinct, or perhaps better, the animal soul; anyone who has it with him is victorious. Good qualities that are contrary to instinct cannot last, but neither can evil when its one-sided demonism runs counter to instinct. The hero of an Irish fairy tale,42 for instance, plays a one-sided game of hide-and-seek with a king who is assisted by a magician. On the advice of his helpful white talking horse, the hero hides in all sorts of places, but the king always finds him with the help of the wicked magician, who has a book that simply tells him where the hero is. The prince’s head is at stake. In the end he hides under the tail of his talking horse, and here even the wicked magician is powerless to find him. Thus the horse, with its natural wisdom, is superior to the wicked magician’s book-learning. Animals, says Jung, are more obedient to God than is man; they live out their foreordained lives without doubt and without deviating from their inner patterns. This is no doubt why in so many fairy tales an animal is the symbol of “right” behavior. As a non-canonical saying of Jesus has it: “Ye ask me who will lead you to the kingdom of heaven : the birds of heaven and that which is under the earth and the fishes of the sea—they will lead you to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Kingdom is within you.”43 In the I Ching, the Chinese book of oracles, the “firm lines” that the wild goose follows in its flight are a guiding symbol recommended to the contemplation of the Perfect Man;44 they denote a spiritual guidance in nature itself, that is, the Tao. The salutary function of the helpful animal in fairy tales is subject only to

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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