Did you know that today is #TellaFairyTaleDay? One of my favorite fairy tales is the depressing tale of The Little Mermaid (the original version, not the Disney version) as well as The Little Match Girl which is also pretty sad. I did like the Disney version of Cinderella because I liked the idea of animals helping me with the housework. The original versions were on the grisly side, involving hairy slippers and cut up heels so, no thank you!
Another one of my old-time favorites is called Diamonds and Toads by Charles Perault.
A bad-tempered old widow had two daughters; her older daughter, Fanny was disagreeable and proud, but looked and behaved like her mother, and therefore was her favorite child; her younger daughter, Rose was sweet, gentle, and beautiful, but resembled her late father. Jealous and bitter, the widow and her favourite daughter abused and mistreated the younger girl.
One day while drawing water from the well, an old woman asked the younger girl for a drink of water. The girl politely consented and after giving it, she found that the woman was a fairy, who had taken the guise of a crone to test the character of mortals. As the girl was so kind and compassionate toward her, the fairy blessed her with having either a jewel, a precious metal, or a pretty flower fall from her mouth whenever she spoke.
Upon arriving home and explaining why she took so long to her mother, the widow was delighted at the sight of precious metals, jewels and flowers falling from the girl’s lips, and desired that her favored eldest daughter, Fanny, should have the gift as well. Fanny protested, but the widow forcibly sent her to the well with instruction to act kindly toward an old beggar woman. Fanny set off but the fairy appeared as a fine princess, and requested that the girl draw her a drink from the well. The elder daughter spoke rudely to the fairy and insulted her. The fairy decreed that, as punishment for her despicable attitude, either a toad or a snake would fall from Fanny’s mouth whenever she spoke.
When Fanny arrived home, she told her story to her mother and disgusting toads and vipers fell from her mouth with each word. The widow, in a fury, drove her younger daughter out of the house. In the woods, she met a king’s son, who fell in love with her and married her. In time, even the widow was sickened by her older daughter, and drove her out, and she died alone and miserable in the woods.
When I was a little girl, I wished diamonds and other jewels would come out of my mouth when I spoke although I dreaded saying bag things because toads could come out instead! And in the Philippines, they have huge toads!
What about you? What’s your favorite fairy tale?