This week we look at another story by Shirley Climo. It's a nice inversion of the traditional Cinderella story as our protagonist is male.
There is not much in the story that indicates that this takes place in Ireland, but it is still an interesting retelling. I would have liked a bit more Irish culture as we had last week in the retelling of the Korean Cinderella. In many of the female driven stories our heroine does not have a name. It should come as no surprise that this tale names our hero. His name is Becon and he was raised by his mother. His father is a peddler and is often away from home. After his mother died his father comes home from his peddling with a new wife and new sisters who predictably treat him badly.
As in other tales our hero is starved of food and affection and is befriended by a bull who acts as magical helper providing him with food and friendship. He then runs off and shows his bravery by defeating a giant and a dragon who was menacing a princess. He saves her and then runs away leaving his boot behind.
Now, in the female versions where a glass slipper is involved we are told how small and dainty her foot is and how no one's feet were small enough to fit into the shoe. This tale subverts this by having Becon's feet be really large. The princess says she will only marry the man who fits the boot. After much searching, they are reunited and married.