As a kid I stumbled upon this book which depicted a version of Valiant Little Tailor (or possibly Jack the Giant Slayer), but with a rather odd twist for a children's book.

After the tailor defeats the giant, instead of having a happy ending like most abridged versions of the fairy tale, the protagonist is recruited by the king for further slaying duties. The protagonist is given progressively more efficient machines to help him kill people, and he becomes completely desensitized to violence as he carries out his new duties with professionalism and pleasure.

Eventually, the protagonist receives a machine with a single red button that'd kill everyone in the whole world if pressed. However, the protagonist ultimately has a change of heart and feels immense regret as he notices he had accidentally slain one of his earlier friends with one of his killing machines (I recall the story explicitly mentioning a missing eyeball). The moral of the story, I think, was that weapons of mass destruction and military organization can turn even humble people into ruthless killers.

The book was a short one, good for one bedtime story. If the kids can sleep after this one, that is.

Please tell me this version of the story is not just a product of my wicked imagination.

1 Answer 1


After some research, a friend found the answer: it's Das Tapfere Schneiderlein (The Valiant Little Tailor) by Janosch.


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