Grimms' Fairy Tales

A large amount of Once Upon a Time watching has given me a increased fascination with fairy tales. Now, I've known for awhile now that the original fairy tales were recorded by the Grimm Brothers, written for adults, and much darker than their Disney counterparts. I've been wanting to read the Grimm versions for awhile now, so when I found out that Grimms' Fairy Tales came free with my Kobo, I knew I had to read them.

Some of them were great, some were just plain weird, and others didn't really make much sense. In honor of Once Upon a Time's season two premiere on Sunday, here are a few of my favorites.

The Golden Bird 
This is the tale of the youngest of a gardener's three sons who goes on a journey to hunt a golden bird that keeps stealing the king's golden apples. I've read it twice now: the first time was because of a OUAT rumor that it would come into play in the show. I'm not sure why I enjoy it so much, but it's a very interesting tale.

Jorinda and Jorindel 
The tale of two lovers that wander too close to a fairy's castle. The fairy turns Jorinda into a nightingale and traps her in a cage in her castle along. Jorindel is frozen when the fairy captures Jorinda and is only unfrozen when he agrees to leave the fairy's lands forever. Jorindel discovers a flower that counteracts the fairy's magic and takes it to her castle to rescue his love. I hadn't heard of this one before and I really liked it.

The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean
The tale of a piece of straw, a coal, and a bean that escape from an old woman's cooking pot and decide to journey away together so they can avoid the brutal fate of their brethren. It was, quite possibly, the weirdest story I have ever read and I think that's why I liked it so much.

Briar Rose
This is the Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty. When the princess, Briar Rose, is born, her mother decided to invite the fairies but they only had twelve golden plates by which to serve them and there were thirteen fairies. Each of the invited fairies bestowed upon the girl a wonderful gift, but the fairy that was not invited cursed Briar Rose so that on her fifteenth birthday she would prick her finger on a spindle and fall dead. The last fairy that hadn't yet given her gift saved Briar Rose so that she would only fall asleep for a century. When she pricked her finger, instead of just Briar Rose falling asleep, so did her entire court. Then for a hundred years she lay asleep until finally a young king heard of the court's plight, found the castle, and kissed the princess. I like this version better than the Disney one for some reason. There's just something eerie about an entire castle being frozen for a hundred years, only to be awoken by the kiss of a prince.

Mother Holle 
This is a tale of a woman's daughter and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter is made to spin all day long and one day she drops the spindle down the well. Her stepmother instructs her to go get it and so she jumps down the well and finds herself in a meadow. She becomes employed by an old woman, works hard for her all the time, and is rewarded when she returns home by a shower of gold. The mother decides that she wants more riches, and so sends her daughter down into the well. Her daughter works hard at first, but then becomes lazy and never does anything for the old woman. When she returns home, she's rewarded by a shower of pitch instead of gold.

He's recently become one of my favorite fairy tale characters since Once Upon a Time so his original tale fascinates me. It's the well-known one of the girl who is ordered by the king to spin straw into gold because of her boastful father. Rumpel helps her, eventually asking for her firstborn child. When the child is born, he agrees not take the little girl away if her mother can figure out his name within three days. After many fruitless attempts, the woman finally learns of it on the third day.

The Old Man and his Grandson
It's the story of a grandfather who lives with his son and his son's wife. As he gets older, he starts to spill food and drink and so they make him sit in the corner and eat out of a wooden bowl. One day, his grandson starts to play with sticks and his parents ask him what he's doing. The grandson replies that he's making them a trough to eat out of when he gets big. The son and his wife are so ashamed by his reply that they let the grandfather return to the table and never speak a word when he spills things.

Have you read the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales? What do you think about them?


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