The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150358   Message #3504297
Posted By: GUEST,leeneia
16-Apr-13 - 12:40 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Karelian folk song: orphan boy's revenge
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Karelian folk song: orphan boy's revenge
There's another thing going on in the story. The orphan is living at the blacksmith's, and if he's healthy enough, he could learn to be a smith, too. However, the wife sends him out to herd animals, a job that's far less rewarding. She's denying him a future.

In many traditional societies, herding the animals is a kid's task. It doesn't pay anything, and it's not well-regarded. Basically, "any warm body could do it." A smith, however, is a respected man who is well paid.

By the way, there are a bunch of enjoyable mystery novels by Donna Andrews where the main character is a modern-day, female blacksmith. She sells her hand-made ironware at fairs. So you don't have to be a Hercules to be a blacksmith.