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The story is commonly viewed in scholarship as an instance or a reworking of a folktale.

Its folkloristic nature is apparent, among other things, in the dominance of direct speech which moves the plot on and contributes to the characterization.

But this procedure is actually a concealed emotional test, designed to force each woman to decide whether her compassion to the baby overpowers her will to win.

There is indirect evidence that the story was widespread in ancient times in the western world too.

It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.One Indian version is a Jataka story dealing with Buddha in one of his previous incarnations as the sage Mahosadha, who arbitrates between a mother and a Yakshini who is in the shape of a woman, who kidnapped the mother's baby and claimed he was hers.The sage announced a tug war: He drew a line on the ground and asked the two to stand on opposite sides of the line, one holding his feet and the other his hands – The one who would pull the baby's whole body beyond the line would get him.which has been widespread all over the world and many versions and reworkings were made after it, among them The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a play by Bertolt Brecht.The common motif in those different parallels is that the wise judge announces an absurd procedure, which is reasonable in some perverse way: Splitting the baby, according to the principle of compromise; Or a tug war, in which one can possibly assume that the true mother will be motivated to pull harder.

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