Favorite Fairytale

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Favorite Fairytale

Postby Sabina » Tue May 25, 2010 7:51 pm

I love fairytales. Always have, always will.
Below is one of my childhood favorites. What is your favorite fairytale?


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The Little Match Girl
By Hans Christian Andersen

Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening–the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.

One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.

She crept along trembling with cold and hunger–a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!

The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought.
    Image
From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year’s Eve; yes, of that she thought.

In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.

Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. “Rischt!” how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but–the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.

She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when–the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant’s house.

Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when–the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.

“Someone is just dead!” said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.

She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the luster there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.

“Grandmother!” cried the little one. “Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!” And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety–they were with God.

But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall–frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. “She wanted to warm herself,” people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.

Animated version of "The Little Match Girl", by Disney


__1__
"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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Re: Favorite Fairytale

Postby Ryan » Wed May 26, 2010 9:31 pm

Peter Pan
______________________________________________________________

I was going to put the whole story here as well, but it is huge... longer than that "The Life of Ryan" post... if you can imagine that!
80|


[R] If you don't understand something I said or why I said it... ask me.
If you don't want to understand something I said or why I said it... tell me.
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Re: Favorite Fairytale

Postby Heidi » Thu May 27, 2010 1:02 am

The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde

'She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses,' cried the young Student; 'but in all my garden there is no red rose.'
From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.
'No red rose in all my garden!' he cried, and his beautiful eyes filled with tears. 'Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.'
'Here at last is a true lover,' said the Nightingale. 'Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him. His hair is dark as the hyacinth-blossom, and his lips are red as the rose of his desire; but passion has made his lace like pale Ivory, and sorrow has set her seal upon his brow.'
'The Prince gives a ball to-morrow night,' murmured the young Student, 'and my love will be of the company. If I bring her a red rose she will dance with me till dawn. If I bring her a red rose, I shall hold her in my arms, and she will lean her head upon my shoulder, and her hand will be clasped in mine. But there is no red rose in my garden, so I shall sit lonely, and she will pass me by. She will have no heed of me, and my heart will break.'
'Here indeed is the true lover,' said the Nightingale. 'What I sing of he suffers: what is joy to me, to him is pain. Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the market-place. it may not be purchased of the merchants, 'or can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.'
'The musicians will sit in their gallery,' said the young Student, 'and play upon their stringed instruments, and my love will dance to the sound of the harp and the violin. She will dance so lightly that her feet will not touch the floor, and the courtiers in their gay dresses will throng round her. But with me she will not dance, for I have no red rose to give her;' and he flung himself down on the grass, and buried his face in his hands, and wept.
< 2 >
'Why is he weeping?' asked a little Green Lizard, as he ran past him with his tail in the air.
'Why, indeed?' said a Butterfly, who was fluttering about after a sunbeam.
'Why, indeed?' whispered a Daisy to his neighbour, in a soft, low voice.
'He is weeping for a red rose,' said the Nightingale. 'For a red rose!' they cried; 'how very ridiculous!' and the little Lizard, who was something of a cynic, laughed outright.
But the Nightingale understood the secret of the Student's sorrow, and she sat silent in the oak-tree, and thought about the mystery of Love.
Suddenly she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She passed through the grove like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed across the garden.
In the centre of the grass-plot was standing a beautiful Rose-tree, and when she saw it, she flew over to it, and lit upon a spray.
'Give me a red rose,' she cried, 'and I will sing you my sweetest song.'
But the Tree shook its head.
'My roses are white,' it answered; 'as white as the foam of the sea, and whiter than the snow upon the mountain. But go to my brother who grows round the old sun-dial, and perhaps he will give you what you want.'
So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing round the old sun-dial.
'Give me a red rose,' she cried, 'and I will sing you my sweetest song.'
But the Tree shook its head.
'My roses are yellow,' it answered; 'as yellow as the hair of the mermaiden who sits upon an amber throne, and yellower than the daffodil that blooms in the meadow before the mower comes with his scythe. But go to my brother who grows beneath the Student's window, and perhaps he will give you what you want.'
So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing beneath the Student's window.
'Give me a red rose,' she cried, 'and I will sing you my sweetest song.'
But the Tree shook its head.
'My roses are red,' it answered, 'as red as the feet of the dove, and redder than the great fans of coral that wave and wave in the ocean-cavern. But the winter has chilled my veins, and the frost has nipped my buds, and the storm has broken my branches, and I shall have no roses at all this year.'
< 3 >
'One red rose is all I want,' cried the Nightingale, 'only one red rose! Is there no way by which I can get it?'
'There is a way,' answered the Tree; 'but it is so terrible that I dare not tell it to you.'
'Tell it to me,' said the Nightingale, 'I am not afraid.'
'If you want a red rose,' said the Tree, 'you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart's-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine.'
'Death is a great price to pay for a red rose,' cried the Nightingale, 'and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent of the hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man?'
So she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She swept over the garden like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed through the grove.
The young Student was still lying on the grass, where she had left him, and the tears were not yet dry in his beautiful eyes.
'Be happy,' cried the Nightingale, 'be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart's-blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty. Flame-coloured are his wings, and coloured like flame is his body. His lips are sweet as honey, and his breath is like frankincense.'
The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.
< 4 >
But the Oak-tree understood, and felt sad, for he was very fond of the little Nightingale who had built her nest in his branches.
'Sing me one last song,' he whispered; 'I shall feel very lonely when you are gone.'
So the Nightingale sang to the Oak-tree, and her voice was like water bubbling from a silver jar.
When she had finished her song the Student got lip, and pulled a note-book and a lead-pencil out of his pocket.
'She has form,' he said to himself, as he walked away through the grove - 'that cannot be denied to her; but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that the arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good.' And he went into his room, and lay down on his little pallet-bed, and began to think of his love; and, after a time, he fell asleep.
And when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast against the thorn. All night long she sang with her breast against the thorn, and the cold crystal Moon leaned down and listened. All night long she sang, and the thorn went deeper and deeper into her breast, and her life-blood ebbed away from her.
She sang first of the birth of love in the heart of a boy and a girl. And on the topmost spray of the Rose-tree there blossomed a marvellous rose, petal following petal, as song followed song. Yale was it, at first, as the mist that hangs over the river - pale as the feet of the morning, and silver as the wings of the dawn. As the shadow of a rose in a mirror of silver, as the shadow of a rose in a water-pool, so was the rose that blossomed on the topmost spray of the Tree.
But the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. 'Press closer, little Nightingale,' cried the Tree, 'or the Day will come before the rose is finished.'
< 5 >
So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and louder and louder grew her song, for she sang of the birth of passion in the soul of a man and a maid.
And a delicate flush of pink came into the leaves of the rose, like the flush in the face of the bridegroom when he kisses the lips of the bride. But the thorn had not yet reached her heart, so the rose's heart remained white, for only a Nightingale's heart's-blood can crimson the heart of a rose.
And the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. 'Press closer, little Nightingale,' cried the Tree, 'or the Day will come before the rose is finished.'
So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and the thorn touched her heart, and a fierce pang of pain shot through her. Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb.
And the marvellous rose became crimson, like the rose of the eastern sky. Crimson was the girdle of petals, and crimson as a ruby was the heart.
But the Nightingale's voice grew fainter, and her little wings began to beat, and a film came over her eyes. Fainter and fainter grew her song, and she felt something choking her in her throat.
Then she gave one last burst of music. The white Moon heard it, and she forgot the dawn, and lingered on in the sky. The red rose heard it, and it trembled all over with ecstasy, and opened its petals to the cold morning air. Echo bore it to her purple cavern in the hills, and woke the sleeping shepherds from their dreams. It floated through the reeds of the river, and they carried its message to the sea.
'Look, look!' cried the Tree, 'the rose is finished now;' but the Nightingale made no answer, for she was lying dead in the long grass, with the thorn in her heart.
And at noon the Student opened his window and looked out.
'Why, what a wonderful piece of luck! he cried; 'here is a red rose! I have never seen any rose like it in all my life. It is so beautiful that I am sure it has a long Latin name;' and he leaned down and plucked it.
< 6 >
Then he put on his hat, and ran up to the Professor's house with the rose in his hand.
The daughter of the Professor was sitting in the doorway winding blue silk on a reel, and her little dog was lying at her feet.
'You said that you would dance with me if I brought you a red rose,' cried the Student. Here is the reddest rose in all the world. You will wear it to-night next your heart, and as we dance together it will tell you how I love you.'
But the girl frowned.
'I am afraid it will not go with my dress,' she answered; 'and, besides, the Chamberlain's nephew has sent me some real jewels, and everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers.'
'Well, upon my word, you are very ungrateful,' said the Student angrily; and he threw the rose into the street, where it fell into the gutter, and a cart-wheel went over it.
'Ungrateful!' said the girl. 'I tell you what, you are very rude; and, after all, who are you? Only a Student. Why, I don't believe you have even got silver buckles to your shoes as the Chamberlain's nephew has;' and she got up from her chair and went into the house.
'What a silly thing Love is,' said the Student as he walked away. 'It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to Philosophy and study Metaphysics.'
So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read.

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Re: Favorite Fairytale

Postby Sabina » Thu May 27, 2010 7:54 pm

Dear Heidi,
That is such a sad and dark story... enthusiasm, love and passion should never go to waste, and a pure heart should always be rewarded...
Thank you for adding it! It is beautiful despite of its darkness, as is the case with many dark or sad tales.

<O>

In this particular case I am including the video first, followed by the Brothers Grimm story, simply because I first watched Jim Henson's episode of Storyteller entitled "Fearnot", and actually found the original story it is based on only in order to include it here on Deep Spirits.



__1__

The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
Collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Translated by D. L. Ashliman

A father had two sons. The oldest one was clever and intelligent, and knew how to manage everything, but the youngest one was stupid and could neither understand nor learn anything. When people saw him, they said, "He will be a burden on his father!"

Now when something had to be done, it was always the oldest son who had to do it. However, if the father asked him fetch anything when it was late, or even worse, at night, and if the way led through the churchyard or some other spooky place, he would always answer, "Oh, no, father, I won't go there. It makes me shudder!" For he was afraid.

In the evening by the fire when stories were told that made one's flesh creep, the listeners sometimes said, "Oh, that makes me shudder!" The youngest son would sit in a corner and listen with the others, but he could not imagine what they meant.

"They are always saying, 'It makes me shudder! It makes me shudder!' It does not make me shudder. That too must be a skill that I do not understand."

Now it happened that one day his father said to him, "Listen, you there in the corner. You are getting big and strong. You too will have to learn something by which you can earn your bread. See how your brother puts himself out, but there seems to be no hope for you."

"Well, father," he answered, "I do want to learn something. Indeed, if possible I would like to learn how to shudder. I don't understand that at all yet."

The oldest son laughed when he heard that, and thought to himself, "Dear God, what a dimwit that brother of mine is. Nothing will come of him as long as he lives. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree."

The father sighed, and answered him, "You may well learn to shudder, but you will not earn your bread by shuddering."

Soon afterward the sexton came to the house on a visit, and the father complained to him about his troubles, telling him how his younger son was so stupid in everything, that he knew nothing and was learning nothing. "Just think," he said, "when I asked him how he was going to earn his bread, he actually asked to learn to shudder."

"If there is nothing more than that," replied the sexton, "he can learn that with me. Just send him to me. I will plane off his rough edges."

The father agreed to do this, for he thought, "It will do the boy well."

So the sexton took him home with him, and he was to ring the church bell. A few days later the sexton awoke him at midnight and told him to get up, climb the church tower, and ring the bell.

"You will soon learn what it is to shudder," he thought. He secretly went there ahead of him. After the boy had reached the top of the tower, had turned around and was about to take hold of the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on the steps opposite the sound hole.

"Who is there?" he shouted, but the figure gave no answer, neither moving nor stirring. "Answer me," shouted the boy, "or get out of here. You have no business here at night."

The sexton, however, remained standing there motionless so that the boy would think he was a ghost.

The boy shouted a second time, "What do you want here? Speak if you are an honest fellow, or I will throw you down the stairs."

The sexton thought, "He can't seriously mean that." He made not a sound and stood as if he were made of stone.

Then the boy shouted to him for the third time, and as that also was to no avail, he ran toward him and pushed the ghost down the stairs. It fell down ten steps and remained lying there in a corner. Then the boy rang the bell, went home, and without saying a word went to bed and fell asleep.

The sexton's wife waited a long time for her husband, but he did not come back. Finally she became frightened and woke up the boy, asking, "Don't you know where my husband is? He climbed up the tower before you did."

"No," replied the boy, "but someone was standing by the sound hole on the other side of the steps, and because he would neither give an answer nor go away, I took him for a thief and threw him down the steps. Go there and you will see if he was the one. I am sorry if he was."

The woman ran out and found her husband, who was lying in the corner moaning. He had broken his leg. She carried him down, and then crying loudly she hurried to the boy's father. "Your boy," she shouted, "has caused a great misfortune. He threw my husband down the steps, causing him to break his leg. Take the good-for-nothing out of our house."

The father was alarmed, and ran to the sexton's house, and scolded the boy. "What evil tricks are these? The devil must have prompted you to do them."

"Father," he replied, "do listen to me. I am completely innocent. He was standing there in the night like someone with evil intentions. I did not know who it was, and I warned him three times to speak or to go away."

"Oh," said the father, "I have experienced nothing but unhappiness with you. Get out of my sight. I do not want to look at you anymore."

"Yes, father, and gladly. Just wait until daylight, and I will go forth and learn how to shudder. Then I shall have a skill that will support me."

"Learn what you will," said the father. "It is all the same to me. Here are fifty talers for you. Take them and go into the wide world, but tell no one where you come from, or who your father is, because I am ashamed of you."

"Yes, father, I will do just as you wish. If that is all you want from me, I can easily remember it."

So at daybreak the boy put his fifty talers into his pocket, and went forth on the main road, continually saying to himself, "If only I could shudder! If only I could shudder!"

A man came up to him and heard this conversation that the boy was holding with himself, and when they had walked a little farther to where they could see the gallows, the man said to him, "Look, there is the tree where seven men got married to the rope maker's daughter, and are now learning how to fly. Sit down beneath it, and wait until night comes, and then you will learn how to shudder."

"If there is nothing more than that," answered the boy, "I can do it easily. But if I learn how to shudder that quickly, you shall have my fifty talers. Just come back to me tomorrow morning."

Then the boy went to the gallows, sat down beneath them, and waited until evening. Because he was cold, he made himself a fire. However, at midnight there came up such a cold wind that in spite of his fire he could not get warm. And as the wind pushed the hanged men against each other, causing them to move to and fro, he thought, "You are freezing down here next to the fire. Those guys up there must really be freezing and suffering." Feeling pity for them, he put up the ladder, and climbed up, untied them, one after the other, and then brought down all seven.

Then he stirred up the fire, blew into it, and set them all around it to warm themselves. But they just sat there without moving, and their clothes caught fire. So he said, "Be careful, or I will hang you up again."

The dead men, however, heard nothing and said nothing, and they let their rags continue to burn. This made him angry, and he said, "If you won't be careful, I can't help you. I don't want to burn up with you." So he hung them up again all in a row. Then he sat down by his fire and fell asleep.

The next morning the man came to him and wanted to have the fifty talers. He said, "Well, do you know how to shudder?"

"No," he answered. "Where would I have learned it? Those fellows up there did not open their mouths. They were so stupid that they let the few old rags which they had on their bodies catch fire."

Then the man saw that he would not be getting the fifty talers that day. He went away saying, "Never before have I met such a fellow."

The boy went on his way as well, and once more began muttering to himself, " Oh, if only I could shudder! Oh, if only I could shudder!"

A cart driver who was walking along behind him heard this and asked, "Who are you?"

"I don't know," replied the boy.

Then the cart driver asked, "Where do you come from?"

"I don't know."

"Who is your father?"

"I am not permitted to say."

"What are you always muttering to yourself?"

"Oh," replied the boy, "I want to be able shudder, but no one can teach me how."

"Stop that foolish chatter," said the cart driver. "Come, walk along with me, and I will see that I get a place for you."

The boy went with the cart driver, and that evening they came to an inn where they decided to spend the night. On entering the main room, the boy again said quite loudly, "If only I could shudder! If only I could shudder!"

Hearing this, the innkeeper laughed and said, "If that is your desire, there should be a good opportunity for you here."

"Oh, be quiet," said the innkeeper's wife. "Too many meddlesome people have already lost their lives. It would be a pity and a shame if his beautiful eyes would never again see the light of day."

But the boy said, "I want to learn to shudder, however difficult it may be. That is why I left home."

He gave the innkeeper no rest, until the latter told him that there was a haunted castle not far away where a person could very easily learn how to shudder, if he would just keep watch there for three nights. The king had promised that whoever would dare to do this could have his daughter in marriage, and she was the most beautiful maiden under the sun. Further, in the castle there were great treasures, guarded by evil spirits. These treasures would then be freed, and would make a poor man rich enough. Many had entered the castle, but no one had come out again.

The next morning the boy went to the king and said, "If it be allowed, I will keep watch three nights in the haunted castle."

The king looked at him, and because the boy pleased him, he said, "You may ask for three things to take into the castle with you, but they must be things that are not alive."

To this the boy replied, "Then I ask for a fire, a lathe, and a woodcarver's bench with a knife."

The king had all these things carried into the castle for him during the day. When night was approaching, the boy went inside and made himself a bright fire in one of the rooms, placed the woodcarver's bench and knife beside it, and sat down at the lathe.

"Oh, if only I could shudder!" he said. "But I won't learn it here either."

Towards midnight he decided to stir up his fire. He was just blowing into it when a cry suddenly came from one of the corners, "Au, meow! How cold we are!"

"You fools," he shouted, "what are you crying about? If you are cold, come and sit down by the fire and warm yourselves."

When he had said that, two large black cats came with a powerful leap and sat down on either side of him, looking at him savagely with their fiery eyes.

A little while later, after warming themselves, they said, "Comrade, shall we play a game of cards?"

"Why not?" he replied, "But first show me your paws."

So they stretched out their claws.

"Oh," he said, "what long nails you have. Wait. First I will have to trim them for you."

With that he seized them by their necks, put them on the woodcarver's bench, and tightened them into the vice by their feet. "I have been looking at your fingers," he said, "and my desire to play cards has disappeared," and he struck them dead and threw them out into the water.

After he had put these two to rest, he was about to sit down again by his fire, when from every side and every corner there came black cats and black dogs on red-hot chains. More and more of them appeared until he could no longer move. They shouted horribly, then jumped into his fire and pulled it apart, trying to put it out.

He quietly watched them for a little while, but finally it was too much for him, and he seized his carving-knife, and cried, "Away with you, you villains!" and hacked away at them. Some of them ran away, the others he killed, and threw out into the pond. When he came back he blew into the embers of his fire until they flamed up again, and warmed himself.

As he thus sat there, his eyes would no longer stay open, and he wanted to fall asleep. Looking around, he saw a large bed in the corner. "That is just what I wanted," he said, and lay down in it. However, as he was about to shut his eyes, the bed began to move by itself, going throughout the whole castle.

"Good," he said, "but let's go faster."

Then the bed rolled on as if six horses were harnessed to it, over thresholds and stairways, up and down. But then suddenly, hop, hop, it tipped upside down and lay on him like a mountain. But he threw the covers and pillows into the air, climbed out, and said, "Now anyone who wants to may drive." Then he lay down by his fire, and slept until it was day.

In the morning the king came, and when he saw him lying there on the ground, he thought that the ghosts had killed him and that he was dead. Then said he, "It is indeed a pity to lose such a handsome person."

The boy heard this, got up, and said, "It hasn't come to that yet."

The king was astonished, but glad, and asked how he had fared.

"Very well," he replied. "One night is past. The two others will pass as well."

When he returned to the innkeeper, the latter looked astonished and said, "I did not think that I'd see you alive again. Did you learn how to shudder?"

"No," he said, "it is all in vain. If someone could only tell me how."

The second night he again went up to the old castle, sat down by the fire, and began his old song once more, "If only I could shudder!"

As midnight was approaching he heard a noise and commotion. At first it was soft, but then louder and louder. Then it was a little quiet, and finally, with a loud scream, half of a man came down the chimney and fell in front of him.

"Hey!" he shouted. "Another half belongs here. This is too little."

Then the noise began again. With roaring and howling the other half fell down as well.

"Wait," he said. "Let me blow on the fire and make it burn a little warmer for you."

When he had done that and looked around again. The two pieces had come together, and a hideous man was sitting in his place.

"That wasn't part of the wager," said the boy. "That bench is mine."

The man wanted to force him aside, but the boy would not let him, instead pushing him away with force, and then sitting down again in his own place.

Then still more men fell down, one after the other. They brought nine bones from dead men and two skulls, then set them up and bowled with them.

The boy wanted to play too and said, "Listen, can I bowl with you?"

"Yes, if you have money."

"Money enough," he answered, "but your bowling balls are not quite round." Then he took the skulls, put them in the lathe and turned them round.

"There, now they will roll better," he said. "Hey! This will be fun!"

He played with them and lost some of his money, but when the clock struck twelve, everything disappeared before his eyes. He lay down and peacefully fell asleep.

The next morning the king came to learn what had happened. "How did you do this time?" he asked.

"I went bowling," he answered, "and lost a few pennies."

"Did you shudder?"

"How?" he said. "I had great fun, but if I only knew how to shudder."

On the third night he sat down again on his bench and said quite sadly, "If only I could shudder!"

When it was late, six large men came in carrying a coffin. At this he said, "Aha, for certain that is my little cousin, who died a few days ago." Then he motioned with his finger and cried out, "Come, little cousin, come."

They put the coffin on the ground. He went up to it and took the lid off. A dead man lay inside. He felt his face, and it was cold as ice.

"Wait," he said, "I will warm you up a little." He went to the fire and warmed his own hand, then laid it on the dead man's face, but the dead man remained cold. Then he took him out, sat down by the fire, and laid him on his lap, rubbing the dead man's arms to get the blood circulating again.

When that did not help either, he thought to himself, "When two people lie in bed together, they keep each other warm." So he carried the dead man to the bed, put him under the covers, and lay down next to him. A little while later the dead man became warm too and began to move.

The boy said, "See, little cousin, I got you warm, didn't I?"

But the dead man cried out, "I am going to strangle you."

"What?" he said. "Is that my thanks? Get back into your coffin!" Then he picked him up, threw him inside, and shut the lid. Then the six men came and carried him away again.

"I cannot shudder," he said. "I won't learn it here as long as I live."

Then a man came in. He was larger than all others, and looked frightful. But he was old and had a long white beard.

"You wretch," he shouted, "you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, for you are about to die."

"Not so fast," answered the boy. "If I am to die, I will have to be there."

"I've got you," said the monster.

"Now, now, don't boast. I am just as strong as you are, and probably even stronger."

"We shall see," said the old man. "If you are stronger than I am, I shall let you go. Come, let's put it to the test."

Then the old man led him through dark passageways to a blacksmith's forge, took an ax, and with one blow drove one of the anvils into the ground.

"I can do better than that," said the boy, and went to the other anvil. The old man stood nearby, wanting to look on. His white beard hung down. The boy seized the ax and split the anvil with one blow, wedging the old man's beard in the crack.

"Now I have you," said the boy. "Now it is your turn to die." Then he seized an iron bar and beat the old man until he moaned and begged him to stop, promising that he would give him great riches. The boy pulled out the ax and released him. The old man led him back into the castle, and showed him three chests full of gold in a cellar.

"Of these," he said, "one is for the poor, the second one is for the king, and the third one is yours."

Meanwhile it struck twelve, and the spirit disappeared, leaving the boy standing in the dark. "I can find my own way out," he said. Feeling around, he found his way to the bedroom, and fell asleep by his fire.

The next morning the king came and said, "By now you must have learned how to shudder."

"No," he answered. "What is it? My dead cousin was here, and a bearded man came and showed me a large amount of money down below, but no one showed me how to shudder."

Then the king said, "You have redeemed the castle, and shall marry my daughter."

"That is all very well," said the boy, "but I still do not know how to shudder."

Then the gold was brought up, and the wedding celebrated, but however much the young king loved his wife, and however happy he was, he still was always saying, "If only I could shudder. If only I could shudder." With time this made her angry.

Her chambermaid said, "I can help. I know how he can learn to shudder."

She went out to the brook that flowed through the garden, and caught a whole bucketful of minnows. That night when the young king was asleep, his wife was to pull the covers off him and pour the bucketful of cold water and minnows onto him, so that the little fishes would wriggle all over him.

When she did this, he woke up crying out, "Oh, what is making me shudder? What is making me shudder, dear wife? Yes, now I know how to shudder."

__14__

Although the Grimms knew a number of variants of this widespread tale, their immediate source for this version (first included in their second edition of 1819), was a written submission by Ferdinand Siebert from the village of Treysa near Kassel. The first edition of 'Kinder- und Hausmärchen' (1812) included a shorter version of this tale entitled "Gut Kegel- und Kartenspiel" (Good Bowling and Card-Playing).
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Re: Favorite Fairytale

Postby mirjana » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:45 pm

Beauty and the Beast


Some of fairy tales belong to the great literature of the world and what I like in them is how they put together polarities showing clearly how they interconnect making possible awareness and understanding of each of them.
One of my favourite is a French version of traditional fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Although, according to Aarne and Thomson it is categorized as a fairy tale of a search for the a lost husband, for me it shows in the most beautiful way that what is on the surface is not all there is and that as deeper we go, we shall find more meaning and value in everything, in others and ourselves as well.
The most popular version of this very widespread folktale is the one written in 18 century, by a French novelist Jeanne Marie Le Prince de Beaumont and translated by Ronald Duncan. Actually it is abridged and rewritten version of much longer story written some time before by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.

__4__


Beauty and the Beast is about a rich merchant with three daughters and three sons. The two older daughters are outwardly beautiful, but they are vain and selfish. The youngest daughter, who is called Beauty (la Belle) is beautiful outwardly, but also inwardly. She is kind and wants to have a good effect on others. When her father's fortune falls on hard times, Beauty has shown good will, rising at 4 in the morning to begin cooking and cleaning for the family and showing that her care for them is a cause of her happiness.

"When her work was finished, she would read, play the harpsichord or sing at the spinning wheel. But her sisters were bored to death; they rose at ten in the morning....and passed their time bemoaning the loss of their beautiful clothes.... "Look at our younger sister," they said to each other; 'she is so vulgar and stupid that she is satisfied with her unhappy position.' "

On learning that one of his ships had recently come into port safely, the merchant sets out to claim it. The older daughters beseech him to "bring them back dresses, fur tippets, headdresses and baubles of every kind." Beauty, not wanting anything except the safe return of her father, but also not wanting to offend her sisters by not asking for anything, asks for a rose.
At the harbour the merchant finds his goods have been taken by his creditors and he begins his return home as poor as before. Losing his way through a dark, snowy forest, he sees a light which leads him to a great castle. Upon entering it, he finds a blazing fire and a table set with food and wine. He eats and falls asleep. The next morning the merchant sets out and on seeing a bower of roses and remembering her request he plucks one off for Beauty. At that moment the merchant hears a terrible voice and sees a Beast who is so hideous he nearly faints. The Beast says:
"How ungrateful you are....I saved your life by taking you into my castle, and in return...I find you stealing my roses....You must die to expiate this crime....I will forgive you on condition that one of your daughters comes here willingly to die in your place."
The merchant returns home and after telling of his unhappy adventure, Beauty slips out in the middle of the night and returns to the castle in her father's place. She meets the Beast for the first time.
"When Beauty saw the Beast's hideous face she...tried to control her fear, and when the monster asked her if she had come willingly, she replied tremblingly that that was so. "That is good of you," said the Beast, "and I am much obliged.... Good night, Beauty." "Good night, Beast."

The next day Beauty decides to explore the castle. What she found was specially prepared room for her with her name on the door, a huge bookcase, a harpsichord and several volumes of music. Recognizing that her mind was valued and not only her outward appearance, she felt gratitude. During dinners with the Beast she started liking their talks discovering the inner beauty of the Beast. One evening the Beast says to her:
"I suppose you find me very ugly, don't you?" "That is true," said Beauty, "for I cannot lie; but I think that you are very kind....I must confess that your goodness pleases me,...I like you with your face better than those who, beneath a man's face, hide a false, corrupt and ungrateful heart." ...Beauty...hardly feared the monster any more, but she nearly died of fright when he said to her: "Beauty, will you marry me?" She said, trembling, "No, Beast." ...Every evening the Beast came to see her and spoke to her...with much good sense....Each day Beauty discovered fresh signs of the monster's kindness."
Every evening the Beast asks Beauty if she will marry him. And she refuses, though it distresses her that he is pained by this. She tells the Beast she will never leave him altogether, but she asks to see her father again, and promises to return in a week. The Beast agrees to let her go and says she need only lay her ring on a table when she wants to return. If she does not keep her promise, he will die of grief. The next day she awakes in her father's home. Her sisters were jealous of her happiness because they have married men for their handsomeness and wit and found them vain and sarcastic, feeling miserable. They plot to have Beauty stay past a week with the hope that the Beast, in anger, will kill her. They feign such sadness at her leaving that Beauty agrees to stay. Then in a dream she sees the Beast "lying prostrate on the grass about to die."...
"How wicked I am, she said to herself to make a Beast suffer so when he has been so kind to me....It is neither good looks nor wit in a husband which makes his wife content; it is goodness of character and virtue , and the Beast has all these good qualities...."
"She found the poor Beast lying unconscious, and she thought he was dead. She threw herself on his body, no longer feeling any revulsion at his appearance. Hearing his heart still beating, she took some water from the stream and sprinkled it on his head ....No, my dear Beast, you shall not die, said Beauty, you shall live to marry me; for I now give you my hand and swear that I will be yours alone.....No sooner had Beauty said these words than the whole castle lit up; fireworks, music, everything announced a festive occasion. To her amazement, the Beast had disappeared and she saw at her feet a prince more beautiful than Love himself, who was thanking her for breaking his spell....The Prince married Beauty, who lived with him a very long time in perfect happiness, because their happiness was founded on virtue. "
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