F = Fairy Tales, A to Z Blog Challenge

The original fairy tales were scary, gruesome, bloody tales of sorrow and loss and occasional happiness, but usually at a cost. They were often cautionary tales, rather like the current day urban legends involving babysitters, calls coming from upstairs, and the one which scared me the most, that of the escaped lunatic killing a girl’s dog and giving her reassuring licks from under her bed as though he were the dog.

Take, for instance, the beautiful Disney movie of Cinderella. The original version involves the stepmother cutting off one daughter’s big toe and the other one’s heel so that their feet might fit into the glass slipper, using the logic that when they are princesses and queens, they will not have to walk anywhere. The glass shoe fills up with blood, alerting the Prince, who returns the damaged goods to their mother. He finds Cinderella, who has the awesome power to summon and communicate with birds, and does so on her wedding day, causing the birds to peck out the eyes of her stepsisters.

Wanted for vicarious maiming through ornithological means.

Wanted for vicarious maiming through ornithological means.

But it wasn’t all the Brothers Grimm who were sick bastards. I was discussing The Little Mermaid with a friend and inadvertently traumatized her with Anderson’s original, unaltered ending. My friend had no idea that in the original involved quite a different deal with the sea witch. There was no three day time limit on the mermaid’s transformation, but every step she took as a human was like being stabbed in the feet with knives, like murderous Plantar fasciitis. Oh, and her tongue was cut out. Let’s not forget that. She would remain a human until the Prince got married, and if it was to her, she would live with him forever. However, Princes are betrothed for the good of the kingdom. He eventually married his betrothed. His dear friend, the little mermaid, danced with him on his wedding day, despite the pain and knowing how it would end. When the Prince was married, the little mermaid threw herself off the bow of the ship and died, becoming sea foam which drifted away on the wind.

No, it really is that sad. Anderson eventually updated it to have a cheerier ending, but she never did get the Prince. She got to watch over his happiness as a spirit of the air.

No, it really is that sad. Anderson eventually updated it to have a cheerier ending, but she never did get the Prince. She got to watch over his happiness as a spirit of the air.

The Disney version of Snow White was pretty accurate, gruesome, and sick, much like the original. Sleeping Beauty, though, was a bit different. Depending on what version you read (Grimm or Perrault), there were either 7 or 13 fairies. One was slighted by not having a golden plate to eat off of and decided to curse the girl child and everyone in the castle. The princess would sleep for 100 years in a castle of thorns and would then wake up, as though nothing had happened. Princes from all over came to claim her and were killed, impaled by the thorns. One Prince with superb timing heard the legend and showed up just as the spell was ending. Wading through bodies of the other Princes, he found a recently wakened Sleeping Beauty and married her. There was no effort, he didn’t know her, there was no kiss, and there was no fairy battle or drama. He just walked up at the right time and claimed the bride. Probably a good thing. Disney’s Prince Philip was pretty gay (and pretty beautiful in Maleficent as played by Brenton Thwaits, who at least butched the character up).

Watch the movie. Aside from this fabulous riding gear, even Philip's father was shocked that he had fallen in love with a girl.

Watch the movie. Aside from this fabulous riding gear, even Philip’s father was shocked that he had fallen in love with a girl.

Read on. Get the Grimm’s fairy tales and even the Anderson ones. They are dark. If you want good princess fun based off the gruesome tales, try reading Jim C. Hines’ Princess Novels, which has been described as Disney meets Charlie’s Angels.

Alternate letter considerations: fear, faun, fissure

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~ by Darren Endymion on August 7, 2015.

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