Fairy Tales have enchanted us for decades. Original tales were changed to become more “child” friendly but were Fairy Tales ever really meant to be a bedtime story for children or were they meant for adults? Let’s have some fun and see how much you know about the original fairy tales. I think that you may find a surprise or two from the way that you were told the story.
What are the details regarding to Cinderella’s Ball? Was it one night of fun and delight? Did she ride in a pumpkin with mice as horse’s by her side? Did she loose her shoe on purpose disappearing into the night?
The Brother’s Grimm wrote their version of “Cinderella” in 1812, revising it in 1857. In their story, the ball takes place over three nights. Each night, Cinderella runs away from the prince. The Prince, trying to catch his bride-to-be, orders that pitch (tar) be placed upon the steps to catch her.
When Cinderella gets stuck and cannot break free, leaving her shoe behind. The prince vows that he will marry only the one that fits the shoe. It could sound romantic but can you imagine having a shoe that fits only one?
The pumpkin, mice and famous Fairy Godmother are introduced by a different author, Charles Perrault. He wrote a version of Cinderella, far preceding the Grimm’s. Perrault’s version was written in 1697.
Was Snow White awakened by a kiss? Was it skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as ebony wood? Who was the Evil Queen?
Again, we have two slightly different versions from the Brothers Grimm. The first one in 1810, the other in 1857. In the 1857 version, the prince falls in love with Snow White’s corpse and wants to bring her back to his castle.
Upon the journey, Snow White is carried by servants. When they stumble on bushes, the jerking releases the poisoned apple wedge. Snow white suddenly awakens with no kiss at all.
We all have come to know the wicked evil queen as Snow White’s step-mother. In an older version she is actually her own mother. In another version, a King and Queen are riding in a carriage. It is the King who says to his Queen, “I wish we could have a daughter with skin as white as that snow, lips as red as blood (there apparently was roadkill) and hair as black as the ravens (this explains the road-kill).
As soon as he had said that, a child appears on the side of the road (magick!). The King, of course invites her in and raises her as his own. This causes friction with the Queen, who has no control over the matter. She becomes jealous of the lack of attention and sets out a plan to take revenge.
Some would argue that the little girl in this version, was a changeling. When Snow White later dies from the poisoned apple, she is comes back in human form. Are you starting to see the magick in Fairy Tales and how they may be different than the version that we heard as a child?
If you would like to learn more, I highly recommend the book “Original Grimms; Highlights of the 1810 Manuscript,” by Kevin Yee. Not only has Kevin taught a Fairy Tale class at the University of Central Florida,but he used to work for Disney. In this book, he compares versions of the Grimm favorites from their first appearance between 1810-1812 with the version most popularized from 1857. It is a great book to vamp up your Fairy Tale IQ.