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Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump



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  #1  
Old December 4th, 2008, 10:59 pm
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Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

Here is the story JKR had to create around the title she made Ron say in DH.

The King of a faraway land sets up a witch hunt, ridding his kingdom of all magic users, while expressing the desire to learn magic himself. A charlatan, also with no magic, decides to teach him. Of course, he only tricks the King into believing he can perform magic, while earning a large sum of money in the process. Meanwhile, a washerwoman, Babbity, watches the King's fruitless attempts and laughs at him. The King tells the charlatan he will perform magic in front of a crown the following night, and, if laughed at, he would behead the charlatan. The charlatan forces Babbity to covertly perform the magic the King chooses to do. The plan is successful until the King decides to raise a dog from the dead. He is then laughed at, he accuses the charlatan, who accuses Babbity. Babbity runs away and supposedly turns herself into a tree, which the King has chopped down. Just a stump, Babbity cackles and has the charlatan confess and the King resign to respect Babbity's fellow magic users. After everyone leaves, Babbity hops out of the stump in rabbit form and disappears.

From this, we glean some more information on the laws of magic, Animagi, and some more Wizarding history. Any discussion is welcome.


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  #2  
Old December 5th, 2008, 4:03 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

I found the information on animagi most interesting in this one, as a story it was my least favourite though. I had wondered about how human animagi remain in their animal form, it seems that all to change is physiology (after all we know they can't talk). This does make me wonder about Sirius' words of the dementors sensing he was less human, does that mean they can sense something of appearance but not actually form a picture from it?


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Old December 6th, 2008, 12:17 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

I just got to give a lot of compliments to Jo for making a worthwhile story out of that crazy title. I mean, come on. She did very well with it. Maybe I'm just partial to clacking ... It's something I would have done.

I heard this on PotterCast when they were discussing Amazon's reviews of the stories and, now that I have read the story myself, I have to agree with Sue. Reading how this "King" tried to do magic reminded me of Gilderoy Lockhart. You know, this sort of character that thinks of himself very highly and ends up making a complete fool of himself? Yeah,


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Old December 6th, 2008, 12:24 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

It reminds me of him too . Having a lot already and still greedy for more and ending up with nothing


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Old December 7th, 2008, 10:22 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

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Originally Posted by Lucybird View Post
I found the information on animagi most interesting in this one, as a story it was my least favourite though. I had wondered about how human animagi remain in their animal form, it seems that all to change is physiology (after all we know they can't talk). This does make me wonder about Sirius' words of the dementors sensing he was less human, does that mean they can sense something of appearance but not actually form a picture from it?
All Dementors can sense is emotion. The comment on RBahCS states that people keep their mind and the ability to use their magical (nonverbal) power, Sirius said his emotions were less complex, I don't see a contradiction in that. I would expect him to have dog senses (e.g. better smell, worse sight) and prefer dog food when transformed, but still be able to control his actions by his human sensibility (i.e. not eat rotten meat even if one is a vulture and tempted by it, not attack someone even if one is a beast of prey an feels the animalistic instinct to do so)


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Old December 9th, 2008, 3:08 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

This was my least favourite story, but as GinnyIsGenius said all credit to JK for coming up with a story for the title


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Old December 9th, 2008, 3:34 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

I enjoyed the darker undertones in this story.


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Old December 9th, 2008, 10:14 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

One of my favorites. It was pretty funny and GinnyIsGenius, I agree with you. The king reminded me of Gilderoy Lockhart. They both tried to do magic, but failed. The only difference is that Lockhart was actually a wizard!


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Old December 9th, 2008, 11:56 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

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Old December 11th, 2008, 9:36 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

Quote:
Originally Posted by GinnyIsGenius View Post
Reading how this "King" tried to do magic reminded me of Gilderoy Lockhart. You know, this sort of character that thinks of himself very highly and ends up making a complete fool of himself? Yeah,

Actually, when I read this, I took it as a wizarding version of "The Emperor's New Clothes" with respect to the king. I thought this was a very amusing tale, and I appreciated its insertion into a book of much more moralistic stories, if only for the comic relief. The additional transfiguration info was cool, too--although I think anyone who knows her would realized that Minerva McGonnagal wouldn't use her animagus ability for anything underhanded!


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Old December 17th, 2008, 9:16 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

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Originally Posted by Anhelda View Post
Actually, when I read this, I took it as a wizarding version of "The Emperor's New Clothes" with respect to the king. I thought this was a very amusing tale, and I appreciated its insertion into a book of much more moralistic stories, if only for the comic relief. The additional transfiguration info was cool, too--although I think anyone who knows her would realized that Minerva McGonnagal wouldn't use her animagus ability for anything underhanded!
That's what I thought of when I read it, too.
Dumbledore's note on the Cruciatus Curse possibly being the pain Babbitty threatened the King with is interesting, it shows the story has some undertones. Also, as it presents Muggles in an unfavourable light, I'd imagine it wasn't edited too much by dear Mrs Bloxam or condemned by the Brutus Malfoys of the wizarding world. Other stories in the collection, e.g. The Wizard and the Hopping Pot and the Fountain of Fair Fortune are much more positive in their attitude to Muggles. Perhaps the point from Beedle to young witches and wizards is that there are good and bad Muggles, just as there are good and bad wizarding folk. Interesting, too, that just like the Tale of the Three Brothers, it makes the point that it is impossible to raise the dead-even with magic.


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Old December 22nd, 2008, 12:31 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

I liked this story. Probably my second favourite of the Tales (after "Fountain of Fair Fortune").

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Originally Posted by Anhelda View Post
Actually, when I read this, I took it as a wizarding version of "The Emperor's New Clothes" with respect to the king.
Me too. Especially the sentence "it will only work if you are worthy of it".

About the similarity with Lockhart: Lockhart is good at doing memory charms, but not good at anything else. But his ability with the memory charm helps him take credit for great stuff others have done. And he's a good showman.

So maybe the charlatan is more like Lockhart than the king.


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Old December 27th, 2008, 4:26 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anhelda View Post
Actually, when I read this, I took it as a wizarding version of "The Emperor's New Clothes" with respect to the king. I thought this was a very amusing tale, and I appreciated its insertion into a book of much more moralistic stories, if only for the comic relief.
Yeah I thought so too. I must give credit to the charlatan for continuously getting himself out of those tricky situations, even if it was for his own personal gain. I enjoyed this story, and I liked how the witch hunts were incorporated into the story. They were a very real issue that shows the blend between the two worlds.


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Old January 1st, 2009, 10:12 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

This wasn't one of my favorites, but I enjoyed this story. I kept wondering how the charlatan was going to get out of the situations he got himself into. I also liked the ending with her assuming her animagus form.


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Old January 27th, 2009, 9:03 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

I too enjoyed this story. Babbity was a very clever witch!



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Old May 30th, 2009, 8:21 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

I enjoyed the story, even though I was still a bit taken aback after Hairy Heart!
I found the commentary on this story most interesting, particularly the difference between an Animagus and Transfiguring oneself into an animal.

I didn't realise that when you transfigured yourself into an animal you would need another person to transfigure you back. Also that in a transfigured state you wouldn't remember that you had ever been a person! That's really dangerous, there wouldn't ever be any need to murder people, just turn them into an animal and put them into the wild! It isn't even a very difficult spell!


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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:40 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

That's a very scary thought. But guess you're right. It explains even more why McGonagall found Malfoy's transformation into a ferret less than funny in GoF.


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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:45 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

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Originally Posted by Kanksha View Post
I didn't realise that when you transfigured yourself into an animal you would need another person to transfigure you back. Also that in a transfigured state you wouldn't remember that you had ever been a person! That's really dangerous, there wouldn't ever be any need to murder people, just turn them into an animal and put them into the wild! It isn't even a very difficult spell!
This is at odds with proper canon though, because in GoF Viktor half-tansfigured himself into a shark and was able to rememebr what he needed to do, find and save Hermione, swim back to the surface and then transfigure himself back into a person all by himself.


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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:49 am
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

Ah, that's true. One could speculate he knew since his transformation didn't work out completely, but he had (probably) never tried if there was a danger of loosing any idea of being human and how to transform back.


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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:00 pm
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Re: Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump

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Ah, that's true. One could speculate he knew since his transformation didn't work out completely, but he had (probably) never tried if there was a danger of loosing any idea of being human and how to transform back.
I'd think so; also, he transformed his upper body plus his head - so it can be supposed that his mind was transformed too. And yet he kept human intelligence...


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