My favorite fairy tale? It's a tie between Ali Baba & The Little Matchgirl.
The first for the real hero of the story being a GIRL and a slave girl at that! She's smart, observant, and brave. Oh, yeah, she ain't afraid to boil some thieves affixin' to kill her master and his family. And the sword dance? Come on, she's like a Persian Janette Bond two centuries before Mr. Shaken Not Stirred was even a glimmer in Ian Flemming's mind. Hell, Britain was still dealing with Jacobites when Morgiana was repeatedly saving Ali Baba. She wasn't a princess in need of saving. She wasn't a socialite (her master) or a speshul snowflake (Ali Baba) who made a series of bad choices. Girl had her shit together well enough to take care of two families against 40 thieves. You.Go.Girl.
The second story because it broke my heart and still does. For every fairy tale and fable where the orphan/whelp/ragamuffin was saved by benevolence, fate, magic, family, etc, ...it didn't happen for the Little Match Girl. The cruelty of family, the indifference of community, the inescapability of circumstance...GAH! All.The.Feels. Mom used to tell me it was a reminder to never be so big for my britches that I couldn't see those in need of help.