I can't recall which ones but I think a number of tales by the Grimm
Borthers have a young poor, usually considered ugly, brother or peasant
save the day. Here's another one that might be relevant:

There is an unauthored fable with numerous variations across the Balkans
that tells of a kingdom of young people who had decided to get rid of all
old people, except for one son who hides his father. The father eventually
saves the kingdom - through wisdom - by figuring out how to combat a
monster or overcome a drought, or other challenges. Here's a version
attributed to Romanian folklore:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0981.html#romania

An almost analogous one exists in Bulgaria where the old man's answer is to
dig up all the ant-hills in the kingdom where numerous corn grains are
being carefully stored.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 4:37 PM, Gene Youngblood <ato...@comcast.net> wrote:

>   I vaguely recall, from childhood, a folk tale or fable in which a group
> of people or animals are confronted with a perilous challenge that requires
> the creative input of everyone in the group to solve. Everyone, that is,
> except one individual who is considered so inferior that he is not worth
> consulting. Yet, after failure all around, it is that individual who
> ultimately triumphs with a novel and unexpected solution. Can anyone name a
> well-known “teaching story” like this?
>
>
>
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