Fairy Tales and Long Tails: Gruesome Truths & Origins (Part II)

Back to the macabre world of children stories, with all the censored parts put back in. Here’s a few more stories as they were originally intended in the land of fairy tales (you can find the first part of this series here).

5. Mutant Hair, A Bad Hostage Situation and secret hanky-panky
The initial basics of Rapunzel remains pretty much how we’ve heard it, Rapunzel’s momma craves some variant of pumpkins/Rapunzel plants/Hershey Bars from the garden of the cranky witch next door, her hubby tries a spot of thievery and gets caught. The price is, of course, handing over their first-born (isn’t it always the first-borns) to Ms Witchy in returns for not being, well, killed. Where the story becomes a little more x-rated than the cartoons (and last year’s cuddly adventure from Disney) when Rapunzel starts getting a night-time visitor in the shape of a passing prince (I’m not sure where he was going but he never got there, I can tell you that), and where she and her princey boyfriend clearly get up to something naughty. That strumpet. Eventually Adopted-Witchy-Mum catches out ‘Punzel by her swelling stomach and her size 8s no longer fitting, and figures things out, so the hair is cut and Blondie is thrown out on her ear. Meanwhile her unlucky boyfriend is blinded by thorns after a showdown with the witch, and is left wandering in the deserts for months, unaware of the building child-support payments which are building up. Not to worry though, the couple are soon reunited, along with their twins who were also being dragged along by Rapunzel. There’s not much mention of what happens to the witch though.

6. Cross-dressing, cannibalism and savagery
Red Riding Hood is another story which had a conveniently-edited ending. A little girl decides to visit her grandmother’s house wearing a come-bite-me red hood, which attracts a wolf (notice how red seems to be an evil colour in fairy-tales? Not a coincidence) Wolfy gets to Grandma’s house first, gobbles her up and then puts on her pretty nighty to trick Red Riding Hood. And of course, being the dim-sighted (and dim-witted) child she is, RRH can’t tell the difference (must have been all those hairy warts), and gets eaten up by the Wolf. Yup, that’s the end. The Woodsman with the axe got added in later to save RRH and kill Wolfy. In other versions of the tale, the Wolf even feeds part of poor old gramma to the Red Hooded one to taunt her a little more (and there’s even other versions which suggest that RRH even strips for the wolfy to ‘distract’ him in an attempt to escape. Doesn’t work though).
Moral of the story is, children, don’t talk to strangers (or tell them where your grandmother lives).

7. Coma, Rape and enchanted curses
The story of Sleeping Beauty has had a lot of parts tweaked, and rightfully so because there’s a lot of questionable content in the earlier versions. While the beginning remains the same, with the Princess falling into a coma (or “deep sleep”) because she pricks her finger due to a curse, what happens afterwards is not so much a dream come true but a waking  nightmare. A passing prince (they’re always passing, where are they all going?) falls in love with Sleepy on the spot and decides he doesn’t need her to be awake, and just has his way with her, resulting her getting pregnant, TWICE. The princess is eventually woken up by her suckling babies, after which I imaging she has more than a few questions to ask. As if thats not enough, in true Jeremy Kyle form, her baby-daddy comes back to bring her and the kids home – but forgets to update her on a tiny little detail of him already being married until they get there. Understandably, Wife No.1 is in a stabby mood and tries to kill them all, but gets foiled by her hubby. In the end, Sleeping Beauty lives happily ever after with her polygamous, rapist husband. In other versions, Wife no.1 is replaced with an evil mother-in-law who isn’t happy with the new bride, although she too is thwarted and throws herself into a cooking pot in defeat. Yikes.

8. Ex-wives, Secrets and Zombies
The story of Bluebeard is not a typical Disney one (by the way I lied about the zombies, that was just to grab your attention), but it’s still a pretty disturbing story. The story follows a wealthy aristocrat appropriately called Bluebeard after his blue coloured beard (as good as name as any, I say). I’m pretty sure they didn’t have hair-dye back in those days so blue was certainly quite a conspicuous colour. Bluebeard marries a pretty young thing and brings her back to his house, warning her not to open the door to that tempting, spooky room at the back because he won’t be a happy bunny if she does, and he’ll KNOW if she opens it. So being a typical woman, Wifey decides to not listen to silly ole hubby and look inside the Forbidden Room. Cos, you know, what’s the harm? Waiting inside for her though, are the corpses of all the women that Bluebeard married in the past, and then consequently killed. Chop and change, and all that, fickle man that he is. The floor is covered in blood and generally, it’s just a mess down there. So Wifey, knowing that her husband is planning the same fate for her plots to escape with the help of her sister and two passing gentlemen (or in some versions, their brothers), and manages to escape with their help. Bluebeard, is of course killed.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that the violence and x-rated content has been disguised from the original tales. There are several morals and reasonings which can be taken from these tales, yet these become altered once the stories are edited, and the meanings become slighting distorted or even ambiguous.

More horrid stories coming soon, folks! In my  next post for this series, I’ll be looking at fairy tales and stories which are from the more exotic parts of the world, and different cultural values attached to these. Any suggestions?

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