Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Ahhh fairy tales. They seem so innocent, so friendly, so sweet. No, they are just so sanitized. lol. The original fairy tales were born in a really horrible time. Plagues, crushing poverty, oppressive caste system, brutality abounding... you name it and it sucked big time in the dark ages....this wasn't no damn Ren Fest. My favorite original fairy tale is Rumpelstiltskin. You are familiar I am sure, but here is the recap, James style. A miller decides to let his mouth write checks his ass can't cash so he makes some dumbass claim that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king says: "Well, that sounds pretty damn good to me." Orders her locked in a tower and demands she spin straw into gold for three nights. If she can then he will marry her, if not then off with her head. Of course the girl is a bit distraught by what her (probably drunk) dad has gotten her into. She cries and cries until the emanating grief from her calls forth an imp. Now, word to the wise, if an imp appears in your room like Nightcrawler from the X-men, you should probably NOT play Let's Make A Deal.
He tells her that he can spin straw into gold if she gives him a gift. She pulls off her necklace, gives it to him, and he spins the straw into a pile of gold. The next night, same deal. Crying, imp, deal, gold. (Some say the miller's daughter gave up the goods on night 2 since she had already lost her necklace and the 3rd night offered the same, but old Rumpy said no to used goods.) The third night the imp shows up, and the daughter has nothing to give him. He asks for her first born. She agrees and the deal is struck. The king marries her and sure enough, one thing leads to another and one year later, she pops out a kid. Guess who shows up to claim his prize? Yep. She of course is a welsher and doesn't want to pony up so he tells her he will let her keep the kid if she tells him his name.
She doesn't know it, some random woodsman (what is it with the woodsmen in these stories?) passing by hears him bragging that she'll never guess his name is Rumpelstiltskin. He rats him out to the now Queen. The imp shows up to collect, she drops his name, and he flips his lid. Stomps his foot so hard it sinks into the floor then freaks out trying to get free that he RIPS HIMSELF IN HALF. So what is the moral of the story? Beats the hell out of me.


  1. ROFL... this is exactly what I complain about every time I see a disney movie...they apparently never read the original tales

    The original Shakespeare has been cleaned up too.

  2. I think the first mistake was assuming that most of these tales were for kids - many of the original versions were full of rape and murder and pretty much some of the worst elements of society. The original Sleeping Beauty, for example - far different - she was cursed to sleep, yes...but she doesn't wake up because the prince kisses her - she wakes up because a child suckles her finger. Her child, in fact. The prince or king who finds her actually rapes her sleeping body enough times that she has TWO kids. Delightful!

    For a pretty good rundown of all the inner meanings of Rumpelstiltskin, check out this link --> http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/rumpelstiltskin/notes.html

  3. I agree, Allison - I think it was Andersen and the Grimms who re-packaged the old tales "you know, for the kids."

  4. Moral of the story- don't lie for one thing, lol. Otherwise I took this story telling class in college and many times the tales are there for entertainment value or moral. Obviously this one has more entertaining features, at least until it's spun for kids. Upon further thought though a tale like this could have some serious literary potential. The idea of spinning something into gold could be a metaphor for retelling of stories. But my inner literary gal is getting away with me. Fun and amusing post, thank you for sharing.

  5. What is this about Sleeping beauty??? Argh!

    Hey, James, great post. I love Rumpelstiltskin. That is a very colorful recap, mister!