Bibliographic Information (best version for telling): From the memory of reading it in past years.
Ethnic Origin: Greek Mythology
Running Time: About five minutes ~
Power Centers: 1.) Midas’ joy at his wish’s outcome. 2.) Midas’ sadness at the turning of his daughter into gold.
Why?: Because these are the highest points of emotion and the strongest points in the plot.
Characters: Dionysus, Silenus (no action just mentioned) Midas, Midas’ daughter.
Scenes: Dionysus, Midas, and Silenus’ return and the wish granted, Midas walking home and rejoicing in his new ability, Midas sitting to eat, Midas touching his daughter and turning her into golden statue, Midas asking Dionysus to take his gift back, Midas washing the Golden Touch away.
Synopsis: Midas takes care of Dionysus’ teacher / companion Silenus, for this favor Dionysus grants Midas a wish, Midas chooses to have everything he touches turn to gold, Midas returns to his palace turning branches and clods of dirt into gold, when he reaches his home his servants make him comfortable and bring him food, everything he attempts to eat turns to gold, his daughter hears his sounds of consternation and comes to help him, when Midas touches his daughter’s hand she turns into a statue of gold, Midas is shattered, he begs Dionysus to return and take this gift / curse from him, Dionysus sees that Midas has learned the lesson of greed and returns the daughter to flesh and blood while telling Midas to wash his hands in the river Pactolus, after Midas does this his gift / curse is removed and he is free.
Rhymes/Special Phrases/"Flavor": ‘In a different time and a different land, a very magical land, a place called Greece – this tale occurred’ The flavor is of Greek myth – a long ago tale of magic and why getting what you think you want is not always the best outcome.
Audience: Children need to learn at a young age that one should think before one randomly wishes for something that simply sounds good. Also a tale of magic and happy endings which is good for any age.
Bibliographic information on other versions/variants?
Dibbley, Dale Corey. “Midas Touch.” From Achilles Heel to Zeus’s Shield. Fawcett Columbine: New York, 1993.
Hendricks, Rhoda A. “Midas.” Classical Gods and Heroes. Morrow Quill Paperbacks: New York, 1974.
Brief comparison of all versions/variants in terms of language, rhythm, "tellability," "flavor," content, etc.
The Dibbley version of the story was not quite as fluid and ancient as the tale I recall. It was more of an informative presentation of the myth rather than a creative rendition. There was little emotion in this version.
The Hendricks version was a little better in the fact that it was more entertaining and creative in its word usage and the portrayal of the story. This story however did not include the daughter character and did not have the same value of sadness.