sansaspark’s top 100 fairytales countdown: #99

↳Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by everyone who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little riding hood of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else; so she was always called “Little Red Riding Hood.”

One day her mother said to her, “Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing; and when you go into her room, don’t forget to say, ‘Good morning’, and don’t peep into every corner before you do it.”

"I will take great care," said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him…

sansaspark’s top 100 fairytales countdown: #100

↳The Six Swans

Six brothers from a King’s first marriage have been turned into swans by their hateful stepmother—the beautiful but evil daughter of a witch. The brothers can only take their human forms for fifteen minutes every evening. In order to free them, their sister must make six shirts out of the starwort flower for her brothers and neither speak nor laugh for six years. The King of another country finds her doing this in the woods, is taken by her beauty, and marries her. When the new Queen has given birth to their first child, the King’s own wicked mother takes away the child and smears blood on the Queen’s mouth, accusing her of eating her own child. The King does not believe these accusations, but the King’s wicked mother accuses the young Queen again with the second child, and the third. The third time, the King has no choice and the Queen is sentenced to be burned at the stake. On the day of her execution, she has all but finished making the shirts for her brothers. Only the last shirt misses a left arm. When she is brought to the stake she takes the shirts with her and when she is about to be burned, the six years expire and six swans come flying through the air. She throws the shirts over her brothers and they regain their human form. Five of the brothers returned to normal, except for the youngest brother, whose left arm remained a swan’s wing. The Queen, now free to speak, can defend herself against the accusations. Her mother-in-law is burned at the stake instead of her, and the King, Queen, and her six brothers live happily ever after.

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