A popular villian in the south of Ireland, known as the Black Theif, wanted to steal the princes of Ireland. His ultimate goal was to get their riches. The Queen knew of this, so she sent her three children onto an island in a lake to hide. The Black Theif, however, was informed of the princes' hiding spot from a magical hen wife. He had traded several things with her. But, the Knight of Glen, a friend of the royal family, met the Black Theif at the island and defeated the villian. The children had been saved.
Fairy tales tend to follow the pattern of a special beginning, a good character, and an evil character. Events usually happen in 3s or 7s, and magic is common. The Black Theif and Knight of Glen contains all of these elements. The first line of the story, "There once was a queen of the south of Ireland," is an example of a special beginning (Lang.) There are two good characters in this story; the Knight of Glen and the Queen. The Knight of Glen was the hero; "...he traveled to the old island and fought the Black Knight with all his might." (Lang.) The evil character was the Black Theif, as his goal was to steal the three princes and their riches. In order to protect her children, "The queen hid her three princes on an island near the castle." (Lang.) Therefore, there is royalty involved in this fairy tale. Later, the hen wife had used magic to inform the Black Theif of the princes' hiding spot. Things happened in 7s in this story, because she made the theif pay "seven herds of sheep and seven barrels of wheat for seven years." (Lang.) The princes had to be careful that they were not found by the Black Theif; otherwise, they would have been kidnapped! This demonstrates a serious conflict in the story. However, once the Knight of Glen fought the Black Theif, he was defeated; this was the solution.