(If you want to retell any of the stories listed below, be sure
to obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material
is not in the public domain)
Two stories of "sevens" in Grimm's: The
Wolf and the Seven Young Kids and The
Seven Swabians (rather discouraging ending, since they
all drown.) In another book, Tales of Great
Cities, I found Seven Against
Thebes and The Seven Idlers of Bremen
The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids:
The Seven Swabians:
2) Didn't the little tailor kill seven with one blow? And Grimm's
The Seven Soldiers of Fortune.
3) There is a reference in Encyclopedia
Britannica to the "Shichi-fuku-jin," or the Seven
Gods of Luck in Japanese folklore. They're described as comical
deities often depicted riding on a treasure ship with various
magical implements, such as a hat of invisibility, rolls of brocade,
an inexhaustible purse, keys to the divine treasure-house, cloves,
scrolls or books, a lucky rain hat, or a robe of feathers.
The "Shichi-fuku-jin," translated either as the "Seven
Gods of Happiness" or "Seven Gods of Luck," are
personifications of earthly happiness in Japanese folk religion.
* HOTEI: the "fat" or "laughing" Buddha, who
personifies your garden-variety mirth and merriment.
* BISHAMONTEN: the watchman
* FUKUROKUJU: the god of longevity
* JUROJIN: the god of scholarship
* DAIKOKU: the god of nutrition
* EBISU: the god of fishing
* BENZAITEN: the goddess of music.
These seven are often portrayed together riding on a treasure
ship, but may also be carved or depicted individually. Representations
are often in the form of wooden or ivory amulets and most commonly
are used to pin together the kimono. These seven gods are probably
an expansion of earlier Chinese deities who fulfilled the same
sorts of functions. The Chinese deities were five in number, dressed
in the red robes of civil servants, and each was usually accompanied
by a bat. In fact, five bats depicted together often stand in
for the gods as a symbol of luck.
(Information from The Dictionary of Symbolism
by Hans Biedermann and from other, nonliterary sources.)
4) What about the story about the 9 Sillies who were riding donkeys?
(There is no reason why it couldn't be 7 Sillies.) The leader
counts and discovers that one of us is missing. Each Silly in
turn counts and one is missing. They get off the donkeys and count
again. Now there are 7 again!
5) Snow White and the 7 Dwarves.
Look for a version other than the Disney version for variety.
I think there is a Russian version that is different.
6) Story of the seven chicks:
7) The Two Wise Men and the Seven Sisters
8) Wild Onions.
Seven women hike up a mountain where they find a delicious new
food. Wild onions. Mates complain. Ruins their hunting. Make women
sleep outside under the stars. Women continue to crave gathering
and eating wild onions. Finally, they go up the mountain with
their eagle down ropes and swing them and sing them up into the
sky. Up they rise singing to become the Seven Sisters, which we
call the Pleiades. Their mates hurry after them using their own
feather ropes, but the women's magic was stong and came first.
The men become the Seven Brothers which we call Taurus.
9) Grimms Fairytales
The Seven Crows
The Seven Old Samuri
The Seven Voyages of Sinbad
10) Russian stories:
The Princess and the Seven Bogatyrs
The Seven Semeons
11) Hans in Luck - he serves his
master for seven years Brought to you by ABP1 - Fairytales - Hans
in Luck - by the Brothers Grimm.
12) In the Brothers Grimm's tale, The Six
Swans, there are seven brothers.
13) The Seven Gods of Fortune - Travel
Regions and Cities
Based on the legend The Seven Gods of Good
Fortune (although one was actually a goddess. Part of the
legend is here. The treasure ship with the Shichi Fukujin on board.
It is believed to sail into port on New Year's Eve. The treasures
the ship carries are the Inexhaustible Purse, the Invisible-Making
Hat, the Lucky Coat, the Wealth Mallet, the Ghost-Chasing Rat,
the Full Bag of Rice, and the Magic Key. Pictures of this ship
are laid under children's pillows, so that they may have happy
14) In the Fool of the World and the Flying
Ship, there are seven magic helpers, and it's a great story
for seven-year olds! Just so silly and victorious!-
15) In The Giant Who Had No Heart in His
Body, the king has seven sons.
17) Seventh son of a seventh son:
18) Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1) by Orson Scott
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See All Used: from $1.75
19) Johnny Rivers song lyrics:
20) THE SEVENTH SON is Zach Twilley,
who could be Holden Caulfield's evil twin from the wrong
of the tracks. Not since Warren Miller's The
Cool World have we heard from a character like this. When
mother's love life starts to give teen-aged Zach that three's-a-crowd
feeling, he sets out on his own. As he
stumbles through a series of unlikely but perfectly appropriate
misadventures, Zach provides a running
commentary on the strange world through which he's passing.
21) Iron Maiden song lyrics:
22) Grimm's The Seven Ravens:
23) Seven Crows, Seven Samurai, Seven Voyages
of Sinbad, Wolf and the Seven Little Kids, Snow White and the
24) The Son of Seven Queens from
Indian Fairy Tales  by Joseph
Jacobs, illustrated by John Batten.
25) Fractured fairy tales: Mrs. Goat and
her Seven Little Kids by Tony Ross; Nanny
Goat and the Seven Little Kids by Eric Kimmel.
At this URL, scroll to "T" and then to "Three Little
26) The Tale of the Dead Princess and the
Seven Bogatyrs (a Russian fairy tale similar to Snow
White and the Seven Dwarves)
27) Kimmel, Eric. Seven at One Blow: A Tale
from the Brothers Grimm. Illustrated by Megan Lloyd.
New York: Holiday House, 1998.
28) In Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising,
Will, the hero, is a seventh son of a seventh son.
29) The Battle of the Birds
The main site, Fairy Tales and Fables,
is fantastic. Chock full of stories, take a look when you have
30) The History of the Seven Families of
the Lake Pipple-Popple by Edward Lear.
31) This Kwanzaa story, Seven Spools of
Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis, is wonderful and also
has a straw weaving project, very easy -- we've done it for years
with the little ones.
web page updated 8/10/03)