Archive | Fairy Tales

Snow White

Grimm Brothers Collection

o flourishOnce upon a time, in the middle of winter when the snow-flakes were falling like feathers on the earth, a Queen sat at a window framed in black ebony and gazed out into the white landscape. Lost in thought, she ran her finger slowly down the window frame and soon felt the prick of a splinter. Afraid of bleeding on the carpet, she quickly held her hand out of the window, where three drops of blood fell on the snow below. Because the red showed so well against the white she thought to herself:

‘Oh! what wouldn’t I give to have a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony!’

And her wish was granted, for not long after a little daughter was born to her, with a skin as white as snow, lips and cheeks as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. They called her Snow White, and not long after her birth the Queen died.

After a year the King married again. His new wife was a beautiful woman, but so proud and overbearing that she couldn’t stand any rival to her beauty. She possessed a magic mirror, and when she used to stand before it gazing at her own reflection and ask:

‘Mirror, mirror, upon the wall,
Who is the fairest among us all?’

A Cat and Mouse in Partnership

Grimm Brothers Collection

a flourishA certain cat had made the acquaintance of a mouse, and had said so much to her about the great love and friendship she felt for her, that at length the mouse agreed that they should live and keep house together. “But we must make a provision for winter, or else we shall suffer from hunger,” said the cat; “and you, little mouse, cannot venture everywhere, or you will be caught in a trap some day.” The good advice was followed, and a pot of fat was bought, but they did not know where to put it.

At length, after much consideration, the cat said: “I know no place where it will be better stored up than in the church, for no one dares take anything away from there. We will set it beneath the altar, and not touch it until we are really in need of it.” So the pot was placed in safety.

But it was not long before the cat had a great yearning for it, and said to the mouse: “I want to tell you something, little mouse; my cousin has brought a little son into the world, and has asked me to be godmother; he is white with brown spots, and I am to hold him over the font at the christening. Let me go out today, and you look after the house by yourself.” “Yes, yes,” answered the mouse, “by all means go, and if you get anything very good to eat, think of me.

I should like a drop of sweet red christening wine myself.” All this, however, was untrue; the cat had no cousin, and had not been asked to be godmother.
She went straight to the church, stole to the pot of fat, began to lick at it, and licked the top of the fat off. Then she took a walk upon the roofs of the town, looked out for opportunities, and then stretched herself in the sun, and licked her lips whenever she thought of the pot of fat, and not until it was evening did she return home.

Hansel and Gretel

Grimm Brothers Collection

o flourishOnce upon a time on the outskirts of a large forest, there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and two children: Hansel and Gretel. He always had little to live on, and when there was a great famine in the land, he couldn’t even provide them with daily bread.

One night, as he was tossing about in bed, full of cares and worry, he sighed and said to his wife: “What’s to become of us? How are we to support our poor children, now that we have nothing more for ourselves?”

But his wife, the children’s stepmother, jumped at the chance to be rid of them and offered this advice: “I’ll tell you what; early tomorrow morning we’ll take the children out into the thickest part of the wood. There we shall light a fire for them and give them each a piece of bread. Then we’ll go on to our work and leave them alone. They won’t be able to find their way home, and we shall be burdened no more.”

“No” said her husband, “how could I find it in my heart to leave my children alone in the wood? The wild beasts would soon come and tear them to pieces.” “Oh! you fool,” said she, “then we must all four die of hunger, and you may just as well go and make the boards for our coffins.” She left him no peace until he consented. “But I can’t help feeling sorry for the poor children,” added the husband.

Cinderella

Charles Perrault Collection

t flourishThere once lived a gentleman, who, on becoming a widower, married a most haughty woman for his second wife. The lady had two daughters from a former marriage, equally proud and disagreeable as herself, while the husband had one daughter, of the sweetest temper and most angelic disposition, who was the complete counterpart of her late mother. No sooner was the wedding over, than the stepmother began to show her bad temper.

Cinderella - Preparing Her Sisters

She could not bear her stepdaughter’s good qualities, that only showed up her daughters’ unamiable ones still more obviously, and she accordingly compelled the poor girl to do all the drudgery of the household. It was she who washed the dishes, and scrubbed down the stairs, and polished the floors in my lady’s chamber, and in those of the two pert misses, her daughters; and while the latter slept on good featherbeds in elegant rooms, furnished with full-length looking-glasses, their sister lay in a wretched garret on an old straw mattress. Yet the poor thing bore this ill treatment very meekly, and did not dare complain to her father, who was so besotted to his wife that he would only have scolded her.

When her work was done, she used to sit in the chimney corner amongst the cinders, which had caused the nickname of Cinderella to be given her by the family; yet, for all her shabby clothes, Cinderella was a hundred times prettier than her sisters, no matter how magnificently they dressed.