Welp, it finally happened. I’m reaching the end of these fairy tales and I’ve come across the most gruesome and foul thing that the Grimm Brothers ever wrote about. Let me set the stage for you: A princess is trapped in a glass mountain and forced to be a servant for Old Rinkrank (because of course she is). She waits years for her chance to escape, and it finally comes: as Rinkrank is trying to climb inside of her room, she SHUTS HIS LONG LUXURIOUS BEARD IN THE WINDOW. [shudders] The horror! The agony! The beard abuse! I’m having phantom pains in my own beard just thinking about it…
#198 THE CRYSTAL BALL
Princesses that need saving abound in this fairy tale collection. Some rescue missions are easier than others, obviously. Here’s a description of what this particular hero had to face to save the lady:
A wild bull will stand below by a spring, and you must fight with it, and if you have the luck to kill it, a fiery bird will spring out of it, which bears in its body a burning egg, and in the egg the crystal ball lies like a yolk. The bird will not, however, let the egg fall until forced to do so, and if it falls to the ground, it will flame up and burn everything that is near, and melt even ice itself, and with it the crystal ball, and then all your trouble will have been in vain.
After that story, I wouldn’t have blamed the hero for simply saying “No thank you!” and rushing off to live a long and trouble free life without princesses, bulls, fiery birds, burning eggs, or crystal balls.
#199 MAID MALEEN
Maid Maleen’s father wanted her to marry this guy. Maleen loved and wanted to marry another guy. So, her father did what every other well reasoned father would do in that situation: he built a dark tower, shut her inside it for seven years, and waited until she changed her mind. I mean, never mind hearing the poor girl out and considering her feelings. It’s all good, though: his kingdom gets destroyed and she gets to marry her beau. I’m curious as to whether he was more upset about the loss of his kingdom than the loss of his daughter…
#200 THE BOOTS OF BUFFALO LEATHER
A soldier meets a hunter in the forest, and they decide to travel together. The soldier is very forthcoming with the hunter that he has absolutely no talent, and has to beg for his food. They come across some robbers, and guess who defeats them? The soldier. You know how? BY SPEAKING MAGIC WORDS TO THEM AND TURNING THEM INTO STONE. Bro, are you short-changing yourself or just trying to be modest?! No talent, pssh!
#201 THE GOLDEN KEY
I wish I could tell you that the tales part of the Grimm’s collection ends on a high note, and that it is by far the best of all the tales. But nope. This is a single paragraph story about a boy who finds a key and a chest. He turns the key in the chest, and then…nothing. The End. We’re told to wait until the chest is open to see what’s inside. That’s not how literature works, Grimms.
Ah, well. On to the 10 Children’s Legends and the end of the book.