The Three Languages
Apparently stupid son learns the language of the animals, is rejected by his father, manages to become pope with the help of the animals.
Once upon a time in Switzerland there lived an old count who had only one son, but he was stupid and could not learn anything. Then the father said, "Listen, my son, I'm not going to teach you anything, I'll start as I like. You must go away from here, I want to give you to a famous master, he shall try it with you." The boy was sent to a foreign city and stayed with the master for a whole year. After this time he came home again, and the father asked "well, my son, what have you learned?" "Father, I have learned what the dogs bark at" he answered. "May God have mercy," exclaimed the father, "is that all you have learned? I will put you in another city with another master." The boy was taken there and stayed with this master for a year. When he returned, the father asked again, "My son, what have you learned?" He answered, "Father, I have learned what the birds speak." Then the father was angry and said, "O lost man, you have spent your precious time and learned nothing, and you are not ashamed to come before me? I will send you to a third master, but if you do not learn anything this time either, I will no longer be your father." The son also stayed with the third master for a whole year, and when he returned home and the father asked, "Son, what have you learned?" he answered, "Dear father, this year I have learned what frogs croak." Then the father was in the highest anger, jumped up, called his people and said "this man is no longer my son, I cast him out and command you to lead him out into the forest and take his life." They led him out, but when they were ordered to kill him, they could not with compassion and let him go. They cut out the eyes and tongue of a deer so that they could bring the landmarks to the old man.
The youth wandered away and after some time came to a castle where he asked for lodging for the night. "Yes," said the lord of the castle, "if you want to spend the night down there in the old tower, then go there, but I warn you, it is life-threatening, because it is full of wild dogs, which bark and howl in a continuous manner, and at certain hours they must have delivered a man, whom they also consume immediately." The whole region was in grief and sorrow over this, and yet no one could help. The youth, however, was without fear and said, "Let me only go down to the barking dogs, and give me something to reproach them with; they shall not harm me." Since he himself did not want anything else, they gave him some food for the wild animals and brought him down to the tower. When he entered, the dogs did not bark at him, wagged their tails around him in a friendly manner, ate what he put down for them and did not touch a hair on his head. The next morning, to everyone's amazement, he emerged healthy and unharmed and said to the lord of the castle, "The dogs have revealed to me in their language why they live there and bring harm to the land. They are cursed and must guard a great treasure that lies below in the tower and will not rest until it is lifted, and how this must be done I have also heard from their speeches." All those who heard this rejoiced, and the lord of the castle said he would accept him in his son's place if he could do so happily. He went down again, and knowing what he had to do, he did it and brought up a chest filled with gold. From then on, the howling of the wild dogs was heard no more, they had disappeared, and the land was freed from the plague.
About a time it came into his mind, he wanted to go to Rome. On the way he passed a swamp in which frogs were sitting and croaking. He listened, and when he heard what they were saying, he became very thoughtful and sad. Finally he arrived in Rome, where the pope had just died, and there was great doubt among the cardinals as to whom they should appoint as successor. They finally agreed that the one who would reveal a divine miraculous sign should be elected pope. And when this was decided, at the same moment the young count entered the church, and suddenly two snow-white doves flew onto his two shoulders and remained sitting there. The clergy recognized in them the sign of God and asked him on the spot if he wanted to become pope. He was undecided and did not know if he was worthy of it, but the doves persuaded him to do it, and at last he said "yes." Then he was anointed and consecrated, and with that had come to pass what he had heard from the frogs on the way, and what had made him so dismayed that he should become the holy pope. Then he had to sing a mass and did not know a word of it, but the two doves always sat on his shoulders and told him everything in his ear.