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