Saturday, January 27
On stories Grimm
Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was trickling from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her mother gave her a knife and said, cut a bit off your heel, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot. The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son.
And so goes the story of Cinderella, not the sanitized, expurgated versions that our children have been exposed to, but the raw, undiluted versions that were intended for the masses, not necessarily for the tender ears of children.
The Grimm fairytales were much darker than the family friendly renditions that came later. They were full of blood and mutilation, torture and torment. No dancing dwarves, no fairy Godmothers.
As punishment for her wicked ways, a pair of heated iron shoes were brought forth with tongs and placed before the Queen. She was then forced to step into the red-hot shoes and dance until she fell down dead. Snow White
Enough to give a child nightmares. I had forgotten how dark the Grimm stories were. Strange to re-read these stories, so beloved in youth, and realize that they were so dark and nightmarish that I would be doubtful to let young children read them.
Yet they were moral stories and powerful in their convictions.
I wonder if we are not doing our children a disservice by feeding them the watered down versions. After all, we loved them. We learned so much from them. Why should we fear to expose our children to them?
This has been just another drop in the ocean of useless knowledge.
Snow, Glass, Apples:
the story of Snow White