There is another folk tale that I liked as a kid. And it is 'The Ugly Duckling'. This story either Mom or Dad could read to me. I thought it too terribly sad, that people would treat a poor bird that way. Just because he was grey rather than white. But, Mom and Dad sort of let me figure out the real meaning for myself.
The story isn't just a story about the hardships of an orphan swan. But, it is about alienation, politics, bullying and prejudice. And that people are somehow naturally afraid of anything out of the ordinary, to their eyes. They would rather destroy it, than try to understand it. Because to understand would bring too much change to their existance.
The story taught me about people and life. And it has a happy ending, in that the Swan did find his rightful place in the world.
The story is a metaphor, parable and analogy.