Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Wizard and the Hopping Pot

Amazon has posted a review of the first story: The Wizard and the Hopping Pot. I’ve already been asked by one friend to review the story via the review and to review the review! She must think I was given one of the six copies. I’ll make two notes and leave the discussion to the HogPro All Pros.

First, the story must pre-date all the Wizard Secrecy conventions and regulations. Ms. Rowling is relating stories from legendary times and I don’t think her meaning is especially opaque.

Second, Chrystyan suggested the meaning was similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son. Wendy Bierman wrote me to say “it strikes me as vintage Rowling British whimsey with a message; it seems a cautionary tale against the selfish act of ignoring the larger welfare of society in lieu of solitary magic…the high value of charity.” Wendy seems on the right track, I think. It sounds more like noblesse oblige than the Prodigal Son.

And I wonder if this sense of obligation consequent to great good fortune wasn’t Ms. Rowling’s intention in writing the book and putting it up for auction. Perhaps, too, she wanted to encourage those six people her stories have made wealthy to use that magically generated leprechaun gold charitably — lest it destroy them, now and when it is too late to feel remorse.

I’ll leave it at that. Your thoughts?


  1. JohnABaptist says

    Since these are the Legends of the Potterverse, I would consider it the story of Prodigal Percy whose moral is that government was instituted among men, not to regulate them, or subdue them, for the benefit of the rulers; but to aid and assist them for the benefit of the ruled. Something Young Percy had to work out the hard way, just like the Wizard’s son.

    And now that the pot hops along with the Wizard’s son, I wonder if he named it Cassidy?

  2. Ms. Rowling wrote this for an audience of six and for a rich person/company who would unload a chunk of change for charity (but who cannot publish the story). The first story, at least, points to the possibility that Ms. Rowling is writing funny morality tales to herself and her A List of Potter millionaires. Until we have the next story, should we assume these we were not meant for our edification but just the book’s narrow intended audience? Or does Ms. Rowling’s comment about their meaning being a distillation of the Potter books’ meaning make that unlikely?

  3. I believe Rowling writes primarily for herself, whatever she is writing. I can’t picture Jo sitting down and asking herself what does her audience want to hear or what does she want them to hear. I certainly do not think she would try to teach or preach to this small handful of people. Fairy tales by their nature impart moral values, and we can see by Jo’s actions that one of the characteristics Jo values most is unselfish charity.

    I also think that Jo intended these books to be an extraordinarily valuable gift, with no strings attached. I believe that the main reason she did not want this book published was to keep the other six very valuable and special for those she must feel so indebted to. Rowling must really love these six with all her heart to go through this amount of effort, so I can’t see her intending the stories to direct these people in managing their money.

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