The Rule of Three
Threes figure prominently in storytelling. This may be because humans remember things most effectively through patterns and three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern. A series of three often creates a progression in which the tension is created, built up, and finally released.
Back in the days when stories were chiefly passed along in an oral tradition, saying a thing three times or using a structure three times might have been the easiest way to recall the story and to teach it to the next generation.
Three brothers set out, three attempts are made, three riddles are asked…
I recently read that Oak, Ash, and ‘thorn’ or Hawthorn, were called the ‘fairy triad’ of trees. It has been said that where they grow together in groves, fairies live among them….