Posted in book tags/memes

Fairy Tales Fridays 26

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“The Spindle, the Shuttle, and the Needle” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm


There once was a young girl who had been orphaned, but was taken in by her godmother who lived at the edge of their village. The godmother earned her living by spinning, sewing, and weaving, and she taught the young girl as well. When she grew old and was on the brink of death, she told the girl that she would inherit the house for shelter, and her spindle, shuttle, and needle so that she could make money with them. The girl had a decent life, and was able to provide for herself.

After some time, a prince came looking for a bride. He wanted to find someone who was both the richest and poorest at the same time. The villagers pointed him toward the richest girl first, and she curtsied to him, but he rode on to the poorest girl. He caught sight of her through a window as she was working, and when the girl looked up and noticed him, she blushed, but went back to her work. The prince rode away.

The girl watched from the window until the prince was out of sight, then returned to her work. She sang a rhyme about the spindle, which she’d heard her godmother say, and the spindle flew from her hand, out the door, and after the prince. It trailed golden thread with which to lead her suitor back to her. Then, she sang of the shuttle, which immediately began to weave a beautiful, intricate carpet to guide her suitor to her. Last, she sang the rhyme of the needle to make her house ready for her suitor and it set to work adorning tables, chairs, etc.

The needle had only just finished its work when she saw the prince returning. When he entered her home, he took in the girl’s poor attire, as well as her beauty, and declared her the richest and poorest. He took her away to be his bride, and after the wedding, the spindle, needle, and shuttle were kept in the royal treasury. The end.


Okay, this one was entertaining. I like the magical aspects, but I also thought it was a tiny bit silly (in a good way). No damsels in distress, no real conflicts or anything, just a magical story of two people finding twoo wuv in a very cute–if strange–way.

I generally prefer darker fairy tales, but apparently I’m in the mood for cuteness today, so…

4 out of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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Posted in book tags/memes

Fairy Tales Fridays 25

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“The Wolf and the Fox” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm


There once was a wolf who had a fox for a servant, of sorts. Whatever the wolf wished, the fox had to do because he was weaker, but he really wanted to be rid of the wolf. One day, the wolf told the fox to get him something to eat, or the wolf would eat the fox. So, the fox told the wolf that he knew of a farm where there were two lamps, and he got one of them for the wolf and then went off on his own for a while. But, the wolf was not content with the one lamb, so he went to steal the other. The wolf was not as stealthy as the fox, though, and he was caught by the farmer and beaten.

The wolf was angry with the fox, and accused him of misleading the wolf. The fox only said to the wolf, “Why art thou such a glutton?”

The next day, the wolf once again commanded the fox to get him something to eat. The fox said he knew of a house where pancakes were being made, and he stole some of those for the wolf. Again, the wolf was not content with what the fox had given him, and went himself to get more. He made so much noise that the woman raised the alarm and people came along and once more beat the wolf terribly.

Again, the wolf blamed the fox, and the fox once more asked the wolf why he was such a glutton.

On the third day, the wolf was limping along and again asked the fox to get him food. The fox said he knew of a place where meat was being stored in the cellar. This time, the wolf wanted to go with the fox, so the fox could help him if they were caught. When they reached the cellar, the wolf started gorging himself on the meat. While he ate, the fox kept darting around, and making sure he was still able to slip through the hole they’d come in through. When the wolf asked the fox what he was doing, the fox said he was making sure no one was coming, and he cautioned the wolf to not eat too much. The wolf, however, did not want to leave until the barrel of meat was empty.

The farmer had heard the fox jumping around, and came into the cellar. When the fox saw him, he darted through the hole, but the wolf–who wanted to follow–had stuffed himself too much and could no longer fit through the hole. The farmer struck him dead, but the fox made his way to the forest, finally free of the wolf.


All day, I’ve had the feeling there was something I was forgetting. It finally occurred to me that I’d forgotten to do this week’s FTF :/

Anyway…

Meh? I didn’t really love or hate this one. I don’t think this one is well-known enough to have been adapted, but I could be wrong about that. I don’t think I’ve seen it, at least. For some reason, this makes me think of Rosalee and Monroe from Grimm, probably just because she’s a fox and he’s a wolf, because their relationship was not at all like this one. (Now I want to re-watch Grimm.)

I don’t think this one will leave a lasting impression :/

3 out of 5 stars?

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Posted in book tags/memes

Fairy Tales Fridays 24

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“The Beam” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm


Once upon a time, there was an enchanter who was performing in a crowd. He had a rooster, carrying a large beam around as if it weighed nothing at all. But, a girl in the crowd had found a four-leaf clover and realized the enchantment didn’t work on her, and that the beam was really just a bit of straw. So, what does she do? She tells the crowd, which breaks the enchantment for them, and the magician is driven away in disgrace.

Some time goes by, and on the girl’s wedding day she’s all dressed up and making her way to the church when she comes across a swollen stream with no way to cross it. She pulls up her skirts and begins to wade through to the other side, when the magician comes over and tells her that there is no water. Then, she sees that it was an illusion and she’s actually just walking through a field of flowers with her skirts hiked up. The people saw it and ran her off with their laughter. The end.


And the moral of the story is: Don’t be an ass and ruin the fun for everyone else.

I have conflicted feelings about this one, because I think she kind of got what was coming to her. But… I’m also not sure the punishment quite fit the crime. I just wish the embarrassment she experienced was from pretty much anything other than a crowd seeing her lift her skirts :/

I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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Fairy Tales Fridays 23

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“All Kinds of Fur, or Allerleirauh” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm


I think I read this at some point when I was very young. Like, too young to understand much of it. Yikes. Okay…


So there’s this King, and his dying wife makes him promise he won’t marry again unless it’s to someone as beautiful as her, right down to having golden hair. (That was my first “yikes.”) For a while, he doesn’t even think about remarrying, because grief, I guess. But, his councilors are all pushing for him to find a new wife, and people were sent out everywhere to find a suitable new Queen. They failed, because they couldn’t find any woman who matched the late Queen’s beauty, or at least none with the right hair color.

But then, the King notices that his beautiful daughter is all grown up, and looks so like her mother. (Yeah. Ew.) He suddenly goes crazy for her, and decides he’s going to marry her, despite the protestations from his councilors, because…ya know…it’s creepy, gross, and God said “NO!”

buffy the vampire slayer queue GIF

The daughter tried to get out of it by requesting three dresses: one gold as the sun, one silver as the moon, and one bright as the stars. In addition to those, she also asked for a mantle of a thousand kinds of fur and hair, from every kind of animal in the kingdom. She assumed those things would take a really long time, but the King was undaunted and eventually he got them, presented them to her, and said they would be married the next day.

The princess fled, taking the dresses and mantle with her, along with a gold ring, spinning wheel, and reel. She eventually ended up in another kingdom and fell asleep in a hollow tree, but some dogs that belonged to the King of that kingdom found her while he was out hunting. She asked the King to take pity on her, and she was given work at the castle, in the kitchen. Since she didn’t give them a name, they called her Allerleirauh (All Kinds of Fur, I think).

She lived and worked at the castle for a long time, and one day, the King held a ball. She asked the cook if she could go upstairs and have a look, and he let her. But, before she went, she cleaned herself up, slipped into her golden dress, and ended up dancing with the King. She slipped away again without anyone noticing where she went, put her mantle back on, and resumed her role in the kitchen. Later, she was tasked with making the King soup, and she dropped the golden ring into it. When he found it, he questioned the cook and Allerleirauh, but she didn’t tell him anything.

This same scenario repeated twice more, with the different dresses and gold items she’d taken with her. The last time, however, the King slipped the ring on her finger without her noticing, and arranged for the dance to go on longer than it had the previous two times, so she wasn’t able to change out of her dress and just put the mantle on over it.

When she took the King his soup, he noticed the ring and when she tried to pull away, her mantle slipped and the star-bright dress was exposed a bit. He pulled the mantle off her, revealing her beauty, her hair, and the entirety of the dress. After that, the King declared her his bride, they married, and lived happily ever after.


Obviously, the beginning of this story is beyond cringey and gross. I don’t even have words, other than “yikes.”

The rest of it is reminiscent of Cinderella, in a way, because of the cleaning and cooking, the ball, slipping away, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or read an adaptation of this one, but the beginning reminds me a bit of part of the synopsis for Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (which I believe comes out this summer). I’m not saying this tale influenced that story at all, because I don’t think it did. The bit about the dresses just reminded me of it.

It also reminds me of something else (also only vaguely), but I can’t place it. I thought maybe “The Too-Clever Fox” from Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns, but I’m not sure. Maybe it was the mantle of different furs that brought that to mind.

Anyway… Other than the super gross beginning, I kind of liked this one. Maybe? 2.5 out of 5 stars.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Posted in book tags/memes

Fairy Tales Fridays 22

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“The Three Feathers” by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm


What is it with fairy tales and the number 3? Is it just me, or does that particular number seem to pop up a lot?


Once upon a time, there was a King who had three sons. Two were (supposedly) pretty smart, but the third was called the Simpleton. When the King became old and frail, he was trying to decide which of his sons would inherit everything after his death, and he decided to send them out on a quest, of sorts. The son to bring him the most beautiful carpet would become the next King, and, to start them off on their journey, he threw three feathers into the air and instructed each of them to go in the direction a feather flew. One went east, another west, but the third went straight up before falling back to the ground.

The two brothers went off after their feathers, after mocking Simpleton because he had to stay behind. He sat down, feeling pretty low, but noticed a trap door next to the feather. He lifted it, found some steps, and of course he went down them. At the bottom, he found a door, knocked, and someone called from inside before the door opened and revealed a family of toads. The largest (the mother, I suppose) asked him what he wanted and he said he wanted the finest carpet. She had one of the young toads fetch a box, then she opened it and pulled out a beautiful rug and gave it to him.(She’s a charitable character, isn’t she?) He thanked her, and went to present it to the King. At the same time, his brothers had returned–after not putting much effort into locating nice carpets–and Simpleton was declared the successor to the throne.

The brothers were not happy about that, saying Simpleton shouldn’t be King because, well, he was simple. Eventually, the king agreed to another task and sent them out to find a beautiful ring. Once more, the feathers were released and flew in the same way as before. Simpleton went through the trapdoor again, repeated the exchange with the toad, and received a ring so fine no mortal goldsmith could have made it. And, again, the King said Simpleton should inherit the kingdom. The brothers grumbled again until the King agreed to a third task.

This time, the brothers were to bring home the most beautiful woman. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though, so this really isn’t fair from the beginning.) The feather situation was repeated, Simpleton went back to the toad, and she told him the most beautiful woman wasn’t there at the moment, but he would still have her. She gave him a hollowed out turnip with some mice harnessed to it, and he asked what he was to do with it. She instructed him to place one of her toads inside, and he did. She promptly turned into a gorgeous maiden, the turnip became a couch, and the mice horses. He kissed her, they drove away, and he won the kingdom once more. (The other two grabbed the first peasant women they met. Charming.)

Still, the brothers couldn’t stand the idea of Simpleton ruling after the King died, and demanded a final challenge. This one was for the women. Whichever could leap through a ring hung from the ceiling would win her husband the kingdom. They assumed the peasant women could do it, no problem, because they were strong, while the maiden would be too frail to accomplish it. The peasant women tried and broke their arms and legs (wow, how high was this ring?), but the toad…I mean pretty maiden…did it without any issues. Finally, the matter was settled. When he ruled, he ruled for a long time, and did so wisely. The end.


Meh. I don’t really have any strong thoughts about this one, and I don’t really know what to say about it. I don’t think I’ve read it before, or seen/read any adaptations or retellings, and I think it was pretty forgettable.

I’m going to say 2.5 out of 5 stars, rounded down to 2.

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆