This week I was a little ahead of the game having already read Rapunzel. We read it again, just because. My darling daughters are still more concerned with what happens to Rapunzel’s twin children than anything else. I’ll reiterate that Grimm’s Rapunzel is nothing like Disney’s Tangled. (This is the link if you want to read the original Rapunzel post.)
The other tales for week 3:
Without further ado, let’s get started…
Little Brother and Little Sister
The little sister and her deer brother grow up in the woods. One day a king is hunting and follows the deer brother home. The sister opens the door expecting her deer brother and finds the king who immediately decides he has to marry her. Of course she says yes. I mean who wouldn’t say yes to marriage to a king after years of scrapping by caring for a deer?
But that is not the end of the tale. Nope. The evil witch/step-mother hears that the girl has married a king. This is not acceptable. Off the evil witch goes with her one-eyed daughter (Grimm takes a lot of effort to describe how ugly she is) to kill the new queen and claim her happiness for that of her ugly daughter.
And they succeed! They kill the young queen just after she’s had a baby son.
All is not lost. The fake-queen does her best to pretend but the ghost or spirit or something of the real queen comes every night to nurse her son. The nanny tells the king about the nightly visits. He decides to check things out for himself, realizes the “visitor” is his real wife, and suddenly she’s back in the flesh.
True love concurs death!
I’m sure that’s what the kingdom’s newspapers all reported. The evil witch and her ugly daughter die. The deer turns back into the brother and they live happily together. I want to say “what a sweet ending,” but I just can’t. This is a rather gruesome tale about the lengths people will go to be mean. Good returning from death is quite biblical and a bit too farfetched.
Or maybe I’m simply projecting….
At any rate, mommy dearest can’t keep a secret and tells the youngest son. All of the boys escape into the woods and an enchanted house where they promise to kill any maiden they meet.
Dwell on that for a minute anyone who questions their father’s logic now! Murderous band of boys rampages through the woods — pretty sure that’s the headline in this kingdom.
Years pass and their beautiful sister grows up to have a kind heart and a star on her forehead. She eventually learns about her brothers and goes in search of them. She finds the youngest, who protects her by obtaining a promise from the other brothers “not to kill the first maiden they see.”
Strike that earlier headline. Obviously maidens had a ton of common sense and stayed way far away from these woods. You know, except for their sister…
Well, it's now a grand old family reunion. Sister and youngest brother keep house and all is good until she cuts the flowers in the yard. Then, poof, her dear brothers are turned into ravens.
Remember the enchanted house? That’s the reason given. Perfect explanation.
Sister has to spend 7 years to the exact second she cut the flowers in silence. Not even laughter is allowed. And, of course, a king discovers her living in the woods and marries her. Her mother-in-law is evil and poisons her loving husband’s vision to the point that the poor, silent sister is tied to a stake to burn.
The seven years ends right as the flames are licking themselves up her dress. Her brothers transform from ravens into themselves and save her. FYI: there’s literally no mention of these raven-form brothers hanging around during those seven years. They just magically appear and transform when the seven years are up.
Oh, and they all live happily together for the rest of their lives but the mother-in-law dies a miserable death. Personally, I want to know what happened to dear old mom and dad. Did sister and her 12 brothers ever go confront them? Or were they simply content to hang out in someone else’s kingdom while their’s rotted away? Maybe there’s a reason those male inheritance laws came into existence…
The Pack of Ragamuffins
Someone was tippling when they wrote this tale…
None of it makes sense. Animals talking to humans and inanimate objects. It’s extremely surreal. I can’t even begin to explain the looks on my kids’ faces. Even with their huge imaginations, this story did not make sense.
#GRIMMread2019 Week 4 Tales
Next week I’ll be reading Three Little Men in the Woods, Three Spinning Women, Hansel and Gretel, and The Three Snake-Leaves. I’m sensing a theme with three of those (palm to face).
If you’d like to read previous posts, the direct links are below:
#GRIMMread2019 Week 1
#GRIMMread2019 Week 2
Want to see what others thought of #GRIMMread2019 Week 3?