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The Wizard and the Hopping Pot

The first of Beedle the Bard's tales, The Wizard and the Hopping Pot deals with a topic often touched upon in the Harry Potter stories, and one that Hagrid addressed with Harry in the very first book. Should Wizards use their magical abilities to help Muggles? Or should Wizards hide themselves from the Muggle world, and more importantly, should they hide all magic from Muggles?

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Reader Comments: (Page 2)

When I read the story (only yesterday, I'm ashamed to say) I thought it was quite obvious what the lesson in the story was. Perhaps wizard-fairytales are more straitforward than their muggle counterparts, because it is much more hard to make out a moral in Cinderella, other than "hard work gets rewarded".

But, as we can read in Dumbledore's notes, the story was told differently. Wizard children heart that the pot chased away the muggles. This, however, was not the original story, it was just changed because of the historical circumstances.

It other words, parents have considered the moral in the story (help your neigbours, especially when they're muggles) too straitforward to tell their children, out of fear that they might reveal their magical powers to the muggles.

I think that Dumbledore may just have changed his mind, instead of suddenly finding the meaning in an old childrens tale.

Posted by Karen Johnson from The Netherlands on December 24, 2008 03:44 AM

I agree with everyone on Dumbledore. When he was younger he just thought his plans were for the "greater good" of people. As he got older, he got wiser and was able to really appreciate the lesson of the tale.

I guess it is possible that Squibs can learn to do very simple spells. Filch does have a letter for a course that teaches squibs. I don't believe Merope was a squib. I think it is just an insult Marvolo used. The way she is described she seems like a witch, who Dumbledore says, later stops using her powers.

The Warlock's Hairy Heart shows the evils of the Dark Arts because the the warlock taking out his heart is similar to the making of a Horcrux. In this way he dehumanizes himself. This also shows the importance of love, which should never be underestimated and is emphasized many times in the Potter books.

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on December 29, 2008 2:57 PM

Dumbledore didn't see the lesson behind the story because he was a child when he first heard it. Our perceptions grow and change as we mature, as are the lessons and morals we take from the stories around us. In the grand scheme of things, Dumbledore would take his world view from his parents and the way he was raised by them.

When he became a teenager, he lost his parents and freedom. No wonder he fell so hard in love with Grindelwald. They were both young, brilliant, arrogant, and energetic, and to me it seems quite normal, if regrettable, that Dumbledore allowed himself to be influenced to such an extent by Grindelwald. But it was only a month, then the scales fell from his eyes and he reverted back to his own character and the teachings of his parents. It was his teenage rebellion, as it were, and would undoubtedly have come to a natural end anyway, had Arianna not been ed.

P.S. Do we know for a fact that Kendra was Muggle-born?

Posted by Perdita from Arlington, MA on December 30, 2008 11:16 AM

I believe that magic should be used in the presence of a muggle but with a lot of restriction.
Perhaps should the need arise where a Muggle was going to hurt a witch/wizard because of the magic I think that they should perform a memory spell on them so they have no recollection of the incident ever happening. (The human mind would fill in the blanks with fake memories!)However Children should not be allowed to AT ALL until they reach the age of 16,17,or 18. Like driving there is responsiblitity!
I think that the books are amazing and if wizarding was real that would be my opinion.

Posted by Carrie from Detroit on January 11, 2009 2:20 PM

Does anyone think it is weird that the wizard's father actually had the slipper in the first place?

Posted by ithil from TX on January 13, 2009 5:21 PM

You know over the years I have read and watched everything about Harry Potter. Me and my friends invented a game called Harry Potter siblings and what i had to thank about is that the Harry Potter colection was written for the enjoyment of us muggles. So yes i would like to think that if i needed help, a wizard would help me.

Posted by JADE from RICHMOND VA on January 18, 2009 4:06 PM


Its true that if wizards exposed themselves, then muggles would want everything done by magic by wizards. that would be a pain, right? thats all the story's trying to say. i don't really think there's any deeper meaning in it other than keep to yourself and you'll be fine

Posted by miss cissy from malfoy manor on January 23, 2009 1:21 PM

It is not weird that the father had the slipper. It was always there just in case he ever botched something

Posted by Nyx on February 25, 2009 06:23 AM

Perhaps the father created the slipper just before he d, knowing that his son had a bit of a learning curve ahead?

Miss Cissy, I thought the meaning of the story was the opposite of that; that wizards ought to be prepared to help their neighbours, including Muggles. They don't necessarily have to bang Muggles over the head with the fact that they are wizards, but surely the message is that we are all human and ought to help each other. The radio program in DH makes that point precisely, when they pose the question; should wizards just leave the Muggles to their fate and concentrate on saving wizards. The answer is that it's only a short step from "Wizards first" to "Purebloods first".

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 25, 2009 6:21 PM

I always thought that wizards never told anyone that they were a wizard, Isn't is supposed to be a secret. In the fifth book Harry got "expelled" for doing magic in front of a muggle, which is, telling them that you are a wizard. Why do you suppose, this man wasn't secretive?

Posted by Nyx on March 5, 2009 6:46 PM

Nyx, Beedle is supposed to have written the stories before the International Statute of Secrecy came into effect.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 10, 2009 8:26 PM

I think this is a bit odd, Elizabeth but were muggles and wizards once friendly with each other? i would have still been freaked out if someone started waving a stick and performing magic. Or something just happening without me knowing what caused it.

There's a bit of truth though, when muggles couldn't solve their own problems, they just asked the wizard for help. Modern day wizards have the same selfish attitude as the son in the story, like Hagrid says "Nah, we're best left alone" could he have written from experience, or was he warning us to let the muggles be ignorant and them go into hiding?

Posted by Craig Edwards from London on March 28, 2009 03:43 AM

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