grimm review

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 9-12

#9 THE TWELVE BROTHERS

Suppose you were the father of twelve sons, and you really wanted a daughter. How should you honor the daughter’s birth and spoil her? Well, the obvious choice would be to commission twelve caskets to be built and ready so that you can kill all twelve of your sons, making way for your daughter to be the heir of everything. Seriously. I’m only nine tales in at this point and its almost as if the Grimms are writing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a Terrible Parent. At least it ends with a creative punishment for one of the evil parents in the story: “The wicked stepmother was taken before the judge, and put into a barrel filled with boiling oil and venomous snakes, and died an evil death.”


#10 THE PACK OF RAGAMUFFINS

This tale is basically the equivalent of The Hangover with farm animals. A cock and a hen eat too many nuts, decide to build a carriage out of the nutshells, beat up a duck together and force him to pull the carriage, pick up a pin and a needle as hitchhikers, beg an innkeeper to let them stay for the night, eat his eggs, hide the needle in his chair cushion and the pin in his hand towel, and then hightail it without paying a dime. All we’re missing here is someone stealing Mike Tyson’s tiger.


#11 LITTLE BROTHER AND LITTLE SISTER

What is it with Kings or princes insisting on marrying these women they find in weird situations? Listen up royals, there’s a few things to consider: One, consent. Duh. Second, you don’t know this girl and she sure doesn’t know you. At least take her on a date so you can see if the two of you have chemistry, you know? Third, especially in fairy tale land, you don’t know what kind of magical madness is going on in this woman’s life. For instance, she could have a brother that’s been turned into a deer by a literal babbling brook, and/or she might get suffocated and replaced by her evil witch stepmother before being unceremoniously resurrected. Look before you leap, bro.


#12 RAPUNZEL

So there’s more than a few things here that differ from the classic TV and movie representations of Rapunzel, but there’s a particular detail of this tale that struck me: Did you know that the name Rapunzel comes from Campanula rapunculus, which is a type of leafy plant you can eat? Why is that important, you ask? Well, it was Rapunzel’s mother’s desire to eat some of this plant from an enchantress’s garden. Mom sends her husband to steal it, he gets caught in the act, and the parents’ price for the dinner is to give the enchantress their first born daughter to raise as her own. That’s right folks: Rapunzel’s mom sold her out for a salad. A SALAD.

Originally posted by dailyrapunzel

anonymous asked:

Just wondering, what were things you wanted to see in the SG rewrite?

So I got this message probably months ago but never saw it because tumblr’s mobile messaging system leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I’ll answer it now. 

I wanted more. And I can chalk up my whole longing to that one word because typically when people do anniversary editions of anything (books, movies, tv shows, anything) they give you extras. They give you things you didn’t get to see before. This is especially true of movies, who typically add on behind the scenes stuff but it should be true for books as well. Typically if an author has a big enough following to want to release an anniversary edition, they understand they have a fan base who craves more of the world they have built. 

Now there has been a little bit of that so far, Charming’s secret room, and Mirror not being able to avoid a direct command from a Grimm, but mostly it’s been reduction. I don’t know what Buckley has set out to fix. At first I thought he meant he was going to fix things like Puck’s ever-changing eye color, Briar’s changing apperance, and the fact the girls swap every book for knowing or not knowing fairytales. Through book one, it did appear he was fixing some of the continuity issues within them but I’ll be able to tell the further I go. 

the issue is that he is taking out so so much detail. If you look back through my book one reviews, they are almost all about what is gone, and I document all changes. I feel like MB thinks he needs to go back and make the perfect series. He took this as a chance to rewrite his books, not thank his readers for a good 10 years. You can’t go back after that long and edit away sequences that people have fallen in love with. I think we all wanted more details, more scenes. Who among us wouldn’t kill to see an extra scene here or there? More interaction among our favorite characters? I knew what I was hoping for and so far I haven’t been given it. I will continue to update you guys through the series. I don’t mean to sound so bleak, I just was so excited to read my favorite books again for the first time, most people aren’t that lucky. 

I just wish Agatha would’ve told Simon that the Mage was his Father. I think that would’ve really helped him get through the aftermath of the whole fiasco better. He would’ve known it was NOT his fault and that if the Mage was alive, he would’ve killed his own son for the sake of power…

I loved the hopeful but “realistic” ending though. Things dont always work out the way you want them to but that’s life. Agatha’s interesting too. I mean, she owes Simon the truth (NO I DID NOT THROW THE BOOK AWAY WHEN SHE TOLD DAVY EVERYTHING AND YOU CANNOT PROVE IT OTHERWISE) but… she kinda represents that it’s okay to want things for yourself? She’s complicated.

Here’s to Baz too

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I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I CAN’T EVEN EXPLAIN IT. I JUST DO.

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Hello everybody, here’s a new set of concept artwork from American Mcgee’s Grimm for you all.

This time we’re showcasing some character concept art which shows the differences between the light characters and the dark characters.

We reviewed this game back in December 2013 and I enjoyed the game quite a bit. I’m a big fan of Grimm’s fairy tales and it was quite fun getting to play through each one. Though the game is more art than game however as there isn’t very much gameplay but it is a beautifully detailed game and I loved the art style.

If you’d like to read our review for the game, you can find it here: http://www.universalgamingreviews.com/american-mcgees-grimm-overview-review/

Happy gaming folks

-Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara)

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 13-16

#13 THE THREE LITTLE MEN IN THE WOOD

Two things I learned from this fairy tale: First, when you’re dealing with favor-asking elves, it is best to be kind and consenting. If you are, you are gifted with growing more beautiful everyday, gold pieces falling from your mouth when you speak, and a king to take you as his wife. If you are snobbish and unkind, you’ll get growing uglier everyday, toads falling from your mouth when you speak, and when eventually come to die, dying a horrible death. Easy choice, if you ask me. Secondly, if you are going to pronounce your own death sentence, even unawares, avoid using “to be taken and put in a barrel stuck full of nails, and rolled downhill into the water.” It just seems like a bad way to go.


#14 THE THREE SPINNERS

Here’s a good way to get out of your chores: Show your husband what your coarse friends who have spun all their lives look like. Ensure they have broad flat feet, an underlip that hangs over their chin, and broad thumbs from said spinning. One look at this group and Bingo! your husband will forbid you from spinning ever again for the rest of your life.

(Sigh) Why do fairy tales have to be filled with horribly shallow people?


#15 HANSEL AND GRETEL

The story of Hansel and Gretel is a scathing indictment of the day’s youth. These juvenile delinquents ate their parents out of house and home. Then they wandered off in the woods and ate the first bread/cake/sugar house they came across. That house didn’t belong to them! As if that wasn’t enough, they progress to committing murder by oven. Then they stole all the old lady’s pearls and precious stones and just ran off without a second thought. There’s entitlement laid bare for you. The kids are in fact NOT alright.


#16 THE THREE SNAKE-LEAVES

Note to self: If your spouse is the owner of magic, life-resurrecting snake-leaves, don’t try to kill said spouse. Especially when they’ve used the leaves to cure you of a bad case of the deaths. They’ll just get one of their servants to use the snake-leaves to bring them back to life so they can kill you again, only this time you don’t get the snake-leaf treatment. You dead, and you stay dead.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 169-172

#169 LEAN LISA

Here’s an idea for all you nagged husbands: when your wife is giving you what for in regards to even thinking about drinking the cows milk when it was supposed to be for the calf and how no good and lazy you are, just hold her down on her pillow and let her keep rattling on until she falls fast asleep.Some might think this is akin to suffocation, and you might have to go on trial for murder and hang for your crimes…So yeah, on second thought, maybe just listen to her complain about the stupid cow.


#170 THE HUT IN THE FOREST

Is there a certain amount of children you can have before they become disposable? A woodcutter goes into the woods one day, and asks his first daughter to bring him lunch. She gets lost in the forest, ends up at an old man’s hut, and gets abducted. When she doesn’t come home, the woodcutter shrugs it off. The next day, he goes into the woods to work and asks his second daughter to bring him lunch. She gets lost in the forest just like her sister, and abducted by the old man. When this sister doesn’t have home, the woodcutter shrugs it off again and asks his third daughter to bring him lunch into the woods the next day. She too gets lost, but she’s able to break the spell on the old man who turns out to be a King and finds her sisters and there’s some talking and singing farm animals there too but HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE A CHILD TO GET YOUR LUNCH?! WHERE IS THE CONCERN?! WHERE IS THE SEARCH PARTY?! THESE ARE YOUR DAUGHTERS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD GO AND FIND THEM.


#171 SHARING JOY AND SORROW

This short tale is about a man who beats his wife in ways that he thinks gets around the law. He is caught, and the story ends with “The judges were not satisfied with this answer, but gave him the reward he deserved” which infers justice was served in some way off-page. After reading 170+ tales full of wanton gore and gruesome death, why the Grimms didn’t use this opportunity to expound on the ways this dirt bag was punished in gory detail will forever confound me. Missed opportunity for balance here, Grimms.


#172 THE WILLOW WREN

There is a contest declared to determine who will be the King of the Birds: whomever can fly highest will be the chosen one. Well, a little wren rides up into the air on an eagle’s back, and once he is the highest among the flock, flies off his back even higher. “I am King! I am King!” The other birds didn’t like this, so they added another stipulation: whomever can fly lowest to the ground without touching it shall be the King. The little wren finds a hole in the ground, and flies down into it to be lower than every other bird. “I am King! I am King!” Well, the other birds didn’t like this either, so they trapped the wren in that hole in the ground and left him there.

So the moral here is don’t be clever, you’ll never be King. Maybe that wasn’t quite the intention, but I suppose there’s some of you out there who needed to hear it.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 157-160

#157 ODDS AND ENDS

The moral of the tale here is pretty plain, but we’ll get to that in a moment. There are two maidens: one beautiful but lazy, the other quite industrious. The lazy one throws out useful flax just because it has a knot in it. The other picks up that flax and works it into a beautiful gown. When the beautiful maiden is to be married, the industrious one attends, dancing in her gown. The lazy one makes fun of her for prancing in her ‘odds and ends.’ When the groom hears this, and the truth of how lazy his bride to be is, he leaves her and marries the industrious one on the spot. So, do you think the moral of this tale is be not lazy? I disagree. I believe the moral is something more akin to men are PIGS! FICKLE AND JUDGEMENTAL! PRONE TO LEAVE A GIRL AT THE ALTAR! Or something there abouts.


#158 THE SPARROW AND HIS FOUR CHILDREN

This story is actually among the few meaningful Grimm’s Tales that contains sage advice and a happy ending. A father sparrow loses his children when the nest is blown away, but he finds them at the end of the summer all grown up. He hears each one of their stories, and shares with them life advice that he wishes he could have given them when they were younger. Very moving. TV executives are missing a prime opportunity for a revival of MY THREE SONS staring Father Sparrow and his boys. America needs good, wholesome programming.


#159 THE TALE OF COCK-A-DOODLE

Part One of Two Tall Tales in tonight’s reading. Here lies approximately 350 words of pure, nonsensical, gibberish. There’s something about hotcakes growing on a lime tree, a one year old throwing millstones, crows mowing a meadow, two mice consecrating a bishop, someone cawing cock-a-doodle-doo, and that’s not even the half of it. The only thing that makes any sense is when the narrator stops and asks “Have I not told enough lies?“

Apparently not, because it continues in the next tale.


#160 THE DITMARSCH TALE OF LIES

Part Two of Two Tall Tales for the evening. There’s roasted fowls flying, frogs sitting on ice, a lame man catching a hare, men setting sail on dry land only to drown, and so on and so forth. It ends with the line “Open the window, that the lies may fly out.”

Please. For the love of all things holy. Open the friggin’ window.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 17-20

#17 THE WHITE SNAKE

Once upon a time, there was a servant of a king who ate an enchanted white snake (because of course he did). This snake gave wisdom in the form of being able to speak to and understand animals. This young servant decided to set off on his own and had many adventures, including saving the lives of fish, ants, and ravens to one day become a king in his own right. However, the most important part of this tale, is that our hero went on to inspire the band Whitesnake to write the 1982 smash hit “Here I Go Again” and the rock and roll world lived happily ever after.


#18 THE STRAW, THE COAL, AND THE BEAN

In what should have been an inspirational and uplifting tale, this is the story about how a piece of straw, a lump of coal, and a solitary bean were spared from the fire and sought a better life together out there on the open road. However, the tale ends abruptly with explaing the reason why all beans have a black seam. As that is a question I’ve never asked myself, I fail to see why the Grimms felt we needed a fairy tale to explain the anatomy of a bean. And that’s all I have to say about that.


#19 THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE

Can I be honest with you? This is probably my favorite Grimm’s fairy tale yet. A fisherman captures a talking flounder that can grant wishes (because of course he did) and decides to let him go. The fisherman didn’t even want anything in return. But when he gets home and tells his wife, she demands that he go back to the water and ask the flounder for a small cottage. And so, he does.

“Flounder, flounder in the sea,

Come, I pray you, here to me;

For my wife, good Isabel,

Has sent me here against my will.”

The flounder grants the wish, but the wife remains unsatisfied. She forces the fisherman to go back and ask for a castle. Then, she wants to be King. Then, she wants to be Pope. And last, she wants to be like God. This last request, when granted, puts the couple back in the pig stye shanty they lived in before, losing all of the extravagance they’d gained. This fairy tale has so much to say about the nature of the world, desire, and God. It actually made me think. You didn’t think I could get serious about one of these fairy tales, did you? DID YOU?! WELL I DID.


#20 THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR

Some guy gets lucky with a fly-swatter, kills seven flies in one stroke, writes SEVEN AT ONE STROKE on his shirt for all the world to see, and suddenly he’s some big shot. Nobody even questions the claim and the Tailor gets all kinds of opportunities, rewards, and glory that no tailor has a right to. I feel like modern society should have been made more aware of this tale so we could have been ready for the likes of Kanye West. He did the exact same thing as this tailor. He just keeps telling everyone he’s great and over time we all believed him. We were warned by the Grimms. And we didn’t listen.

Originally posted by allretrogifs

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 133-136

#133 THE SHOES THAT WERE DANCED TO PIECES

The height of teenage irresponsibility: A King had twelve daughters, and every morning when he came to greet them, he saw that their shoes were worn through the soles from dancing all night long. No one could figure out how they got out or where they went. So, as Kings in Fairy Tale Land do, he set the kingdom to a contest: Whomever could solve the mystery of the dancing girls in three nights could have one of them as his wife; if he failed, the young man would be executed. Many suitors came, failed, and lost their heads. Piles of young, wasted, dead, men…AND THE DAUGHTERS KEPT RIGHT ON DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY. Apparently doing the twist at the sock-hop is worth the perpetual loss of life.


#134 THE SIX SERVANTS

A young prince and his six uniquely skilled servants (think Justice League) set out to win the hand of a witch’s daughter in marriage. The witch has proclaimed a contest for the hand of the girl, which requires three tasks: finding a lost ring at the bottom of the sea; eat three hundred oxen and drink three hundred barrels of wine in a single night; and keep the daughter within their sight for one whole night. Treachery and magical mischief abound, but with six super-powered servants, the tasks are easily accomplished. As the daughter is betrothed to the prince and led away, her mother quips, “It is a disgrace to you…that you are not allowed to choose a husband to your own liking.” Okay mom, but YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE PUT HER UP FOR A PRIZE IN A WEDDING CONTEST IN THE FIRST PLACE. CAUSE AND EFFECT. SERIOUSLY.


#135 THE WHITE BRIDE AND THE BLACK BRIDE

I bet you can glean from the title alone just how offensive this one is. (sigh)


#136 IRON JOHN

So, I think this tale is supposed to be about a boy with golden hair that releases a man from imprisonment, uses his new magical friend to complete great acts of valor, and wins himself a wife and the kingdom. I was, however, very distracted by the little game of dress-up these two people seem to be playing in the woods. Whenever the golden haired boy needed to be disguised, he went to the wild man he released in the forest, and the wild man would dress him up in a different color armor each time. There was no point to this, as the armor didn’t need to be varied, nuanced, or stylish in anyway to accomplish his goal. I just get this picture of a disheveled Tim Gunn dressing the boy up, strutting him in front of a mirror, and yelling at him to “Make it work!!!” over and over and over again.

Originally posted by chrisafer

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 173-176

#173 THE FLOUNDER

Yesterday, it was the birds that wanted a king. Now, it’s the fish who want one. Someone has to protect all the little fish, amiright? The fish masses decide that a swimming race is the best way to decide who will be king. This is of course an awful way to decide the formation of a government, but I digress. The race is on with the herring in the lead. The slow flounder asks everyone who’s in the lead, he finds out its the herring, and then the flounder insults the herring quite rudely. Thus, the flounder now forever has his mouth placed on the side of his mouth as punishment for his slander.

I think the punishment would have been worse if the flounder would have been forced to hang around with a self-centered, impulsive, irresponsible mermaid, but that’s just me.


#174 THE BITTERN AND THE HOOPOE

Mark this down as one of the few (and there have been only a few) Grimm’s tales that actually has something to say. A cowherd is asked why he likes to feed his flocks where the grass is neither rich nor poor. He answers with the examples of the Bittern and the Hoopoe. The Bittern fed his cows in a lush meadow with flowers; they became wild and unmanageable, and quickly abandoned him. The Hoopoe fed his cows in the barren windy hills; they became weak and withered away. “That is the way when one has no moderation.” If only more of us understood that.


#175 THE OWL

Have you ever mistook something harmless for something frightening and dangerous in the dark? A vicious, glowing pair of eyes could be something as simple as a cat. Or, in this case, an owl trapped inside a dark barn. The townspeople all quake and tremble over the unknown and terrifying monster that is staring out of this barn. Even the courageous men of the village refuse to confront it. So, as all logical men do in a case like this, the town agreed to light the barn on fire and BURN IT TO THE GROUND with the foul beast inside. This could have been a light over reaction…just maybe.


#176 THE MOON

Here’s one you can tell your kids at bedtime: The moon didn’t always light up the sky for the whole world. It used to belong to one town; everyone else walked around in complete darkness during the night. However, four friends decided to steal it one night and bring it back to their own town. They did, and for years, the moon lit up every evening to bring light to the darkness for their homes. However, when the men became old and died, they each took a quarter of the moon and had it buried with them. Once all the pieces got to the underworld, they rejoined and the moon provided long deprived light to the dead. This woke up all the corpses, and they began to have a party. The noise alarmed St. Peter in Heaven. He quickly marshalled the armies of Heaven because he thought the Devil’s forces were preparing to revolt. Upon learning that the ruckus was only the dead having a zombie slumber party, St. Peter rebuked them strongly and took the moon back to the heavens with him and hung it there. Now, all of the world shares the light of the moon thanks to a few greedy men who tried to take it with them when they died and caused a rave in the afterlife.

Night-night, sleep tight.

Originally posted by disneyysidekicks

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 161-164

#161 A RIDDLING TALE

This tale could have been very interesting; riveting, even. It could have involved a caped crusader, a sprawling metropolis rotting with crime, a villain with a fixation on cleverly woven clues, and pulse pounding, edge of your seat action. What did we get instead? A few woman are turned into flowers, and one of their husbands is smart enough to break the enchantment for his wife. Yup. That’s it.

YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN US THE BATMAN ABOUT A HUNDRED YEARS EARLY, GRIMMS. Such a missed opportunity.


#162 SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED

No, not that Snow White. Snow White and Rose Red are sisters who live with their mother who named them after, you guessed it, two rose bushes near their home that grew white and red roses. During the winter, they are visited by a bear that wants to warm himself by the fire. They let him in, he turns out to be quite friendly, and he ends up coming to the house every night to play with the kids and warm himself. Eventually, the bear must leave to do battle with a dwarf over his treasure (because of course he does). The girls actually meet the dwarf too, who is very rude, and they save him several times when his long beard is caught in a log, or a fishing line, etc. There’s some more details here and there and the bear is actually a golden prince and yadda yadda yadda I stopped paying attention because I couldn’t get over the factual inaccuracies. Bears hibernate in the winter. Snow White and Rose Red would have never met that bear because he would have been hibernating all winter long. I mean, I know its fairy tales and all, but get your facts straight. Seriously.


#163 THE WISE SERVANT

A master tells his servant to go out and fetch a cow. The boy instead goes out and chases down a few blackbirds. And that’s really that. There’s some sarcasm here about doing what you’re told, but it’s muddled and doesn’t age well for our modern times. Just, you know, meh.


#164 THE GLASS COFFIN

Sometimes I question the sanity of our Fairy Tale Heroes. Their action, or rather, reactions, don’t always make sense. For example: if you were a simple tailor and you’d gotten kidnapped by a stag who took you to a secret mountain fortress, would you just go along with it? If you were that tailor, and you found a room inside that secret mountain fortress that contained a dead lady in a glass coffin, would you have the nerve to hang out and look around? If that dead lady came alive, asked you to release her, and then told you a fantastical story about how she’d been hijacked by a wizard, lost her kingdom, and put in a magical sleep, would you have believed a word of it? Or even hung around long enough to hear it before you fainted? If the lady then told you that you were destined to be married to her right that moment, would you consent to marrying this previously dead woman with wild delusions that you had only just met? We’re talking about a HUGE leap of faith here, not to mention an iron constitution. Well, that, or you’re just plain mad.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 185-188

#185 THE NAIL

This tale is about a merchant who makes an error in judgement due to his desire to get home quickly. His horse needs a nail in its shoe, but he puts it off to get on the road faster. After a while, the horse now needs a new shoe; but the merchant ignores it to continue riding on. The horse begins to limp and then finally, sadly, breaks its leg. The merchant must then walk home himself, and loses more time than it would have taken to initially replace the nail. The moral here is obvious, but the real take away is the catch phrase “Hasten slowly.” I like to imagine this as a beer slogan uttered by the Dos Equis guy as “Hasten slowly, my friends.”


#186 THE POOR BOY IN THE GRAVE

An orphan boy decides to kill himself in order to escape his awful foster parents. They’ve told him before that there is a jar of poison under their bed, and a bottle of poison in the cabinet. He decides to use both, and downs everything in both containers. However, the jar is actually full of honey, and the bottle is full of wine. Yet the boy intakes so much of both that it does in fact kill him anyway.

I feel like there’s a Drug Public Service Announcement Infomercial somewhere here.


#187 THE TRUE BRIDE

I’ll never understand the thought process of these fairy tale step parents. First of all because they’re all very cruel, of course. Secondly, they never seem to question how these impossible tasks they give their step children get done. The stepmother in this story tasks her stepdaughter with separating a large bag of feathers, emptying an entire pond with only a spoon, and building a completely furnished castle; all of which had to be completed in a day. When the stepmother comes to check out the work, and it is astonishingly complete, she just shrugs and mumbles something about giving the girl more to do because she apparently didn’t have enough. Never mind the mysterious old lady that stepped in to help WITH MAGIC. Idiot.


#188 THE HARE AND THE HEDGEHOG

Another day, another race for the Hare. If it wasn’t shameful enough to lose to the Tortoise in that infamous foot race, the Hare decides to deride and challenge a hedgehog as well. I’m sure I’m not spoiling things for you when I tell you that the Hare lost. It was because of trickery on the Hedgehog’s part, sure, but still. You’d think the Hare would have humbled up and learned his lesson by now. Leave the slow animals alone! They’re smarter than you!

Actually, now that I think about it, there’s a couple of jerks I went to high school with that would have benefited from reading this back then.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 165-168

#165 LAZY HARRY

Sometimes two souls are just destined for each other. In the case of Lazy Harry, he found the woman of his dreams in Fat Trina. Harry originally married her so she could tend to the goats while he stayed home, but it turned out that Trina didn’t want to tend the goats either. This must have been the moment Harry realized they were meant for each other. They traded the goats for bees, which did all the work of honey gathering themselves. Harry and Trina spent the remainder of their days laying around the house together, wondering why everyone else worked so hard.

Still a better love story than Twilight.


#166 THE GRIFFIN

Ah, what some men will do for love. Take Stupid Hans for instance: In order to marry the princess he had to gather a basket full of apples; craft a wooden boat that would move quicker on land than on the sea; shepherd a herd of rabbits without losing a single one; pluck a feather from a Griffin’s tail; and solve the problems of two different castles he found along the way. Hans succeeded in all the tasks set before him (because of course he does) and finally wins the hand of the princess. Of course, he did have to trick her father into drowning himself in the end, but all’s fair in love and ridiculous marital task-performing.


#167 STRONG HANS

Let me introduce you to the German fairy tale version of the American tall tale Paul Bunyan: his name is Strong Hans, and he’s got a legend a mile long in this here land. He and his mother were abducted by robbers when he was young, but at ten years old ole’ Strong Hans beat them silly with a wooden club. He took his mom home and set her up real nice, and then decided to set out and find his fortune. Hans found himself at odds with an evil dwarf, but that wasn’t no worry; he just smashed that old dwarf with his club real flat like. Why, Hans even chased down some dirty no-good double-crossers by having some spirits fly him out to the middle of the ocean so he could beat them with his club too. May Strong Hans and his legend live forever in the minds of all those good old club smashing folks of Germany.


#168 THE PEASANT IN HEAVEN

I’ll translate this Grimm’s version of a Guy-Dies-And-Goes-To-Heaven Joke for you:

So, this poor guy dies and goes to Heaven. He arrives at the gates at the same time as a rich man. St. Peter lets in the rich man first, who walks in to much fan fair, song, and merry making. Then St. Pete lets the poor man in, who is greeted sweetly by angels, but with no music or loud shouting.

“St. Peter,” the poor guy asks, “Why is it so silent for me when the rich man got so much excitement?”

St. Peter said, “Well, we get poor guys like yourself here all the time. But rich guys rarely make it this far.”

[Bah-Dum-Crash!]

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 177-180

#177 THE DURATION OF LIFE

At the beginning of time, God handed out years of life. The donkey asked for less life so he did not have to work and carry burdens for so long. The dog asked for less life so he did not have to suffer an aged, toothless existence. The monkey asked for less time so he did not have to hide his sadness behind a smile and make people laugh. Man, however, asked for more time. So God, in his wisdom, gave man the remnant of the other beasts. Man would be happy for the first part of his life; he would work like the donkey in the middle portion; in his later years, man would become an old, toothless dog; and, before death came, man would be the weak minded and foolish monkey. If you ask me, those animals could have kept their years.


#178 DEATH’S MESSENGERS

Here’s a thought: if you have Death at a disadvantage, take advantage of it. After Death is beaten to a pulp by a ruthless giant, some young moron came by and helped revive him. As it turns out, if Death had not been helped, there would have been no one to carry people off to the underworld. Everyone would have just went on living. Sure, Death was grateful and agreed to send the idiot advance warning of when his time on Earth was over, but in the end he still had to die.

THANKS FOR SCREWING UP IMMORTALITY FOR THE REST OF US, GUY.


#179 MASTER PFRIEM (MASTER COBBLER’S AWL)

Meet the Ebenezer Scrooge of Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Master Pfriem. He’s a cobbler who complains about everything and finds something wrong with even the most perfect works of art. He spends most of the story being generally deplorable and then he dreams of going to Heaven and he quickly finds fault in everything there too. This tale is pretty much an awful story filled with awful. However, we do find out that apparently when you point out a splinter in your brother’s eye, and you know, you don’t see the beam in your own eye, it forms a LITERAL BEAM in Heaven and the Angels have to carry it away. There’s just a bunch of Angels in Glory carrying your beam around because you’re so judgemental. Its both sad and hilarious all at the same time.


#180 THE GOOSE GIRL AT THE WELL

This tale actually has very little to do with a goose or a well. Oh, they’re in there alright, but it’s more about a witch, a King spurning his daughter, and a Count that gets lost in the woods but ends up marrying a princess that cries tears of pearls (because of course he does). However, before the happy ending and what not, the princess must take off her skin, wash herself, and then put the skin back on. For the rest of the tale, I kept getting flashes of The Silence of the Lambs and couldn’t pay attention to much else. Now that I’m done reading it all I can think about are fava beans and a nice chiante and oh god…

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 145-148

#145 THE UNGRATEFUL SON

Karma sometimes strikes in odd ways. For example, this son was sitting on his porch with a nice roasted chicken when his father was coming down the road. The son didn’t want to share his finger-lickin’ good meal, so he hid it. He spoke to his father, gave him a drink, and then sent him on his way. Shameful. Yet, when it was time to retrieve the chicken, it was transformed into a massive toad that immediately jumped on the man’s face. It would not let itself be removed, and gnawed on the man’s face when it wasn’t fed. KARMA TOAD FTW.

I bet you share your chicken nuggets from now on.


#146 THE TURNIP

When Re-Gifting Goes Wrong: There are two brothers, one rich and one poor. The poor one becomes a farmer, and grows a county fair sized turnip. After much thought, he decides to give it to the King as a gift, as all good peasants do. In return, the King gave him land and riches, making poor brother not so poor anymore. Rich brother gets jealous, so he gives the King gold and horses believing his gift will be greater than his brothers. The King is so impressed, that he can think of nothing else to give the rich brother but the giant turnip. I’m thinking the moral here is something akin to “One man’s trash is another man’s turnip” or something of that sort.


#147 THE OLD MAN MADE YOUNG AGAIN

The Grimm’s apparently got back around to smoking that good stuff again with this tale. It is the first of two “origin” myths for tonight’s reading. (deep breath) Okay here goes: a blacksmith boards the good Lord and St. Peter for an evening when the Lord offers to make an old man young again by placing him in the hot coals in the smith’s oven and it worked wonderfully so after the Lord and St. Peter leave the blacksmith attempts the same thing on his mother-in-law and it ends up burning her so badly she screams in agony which frightens the wife and sister-in-law who are both pregnant and that leads to them both immediately giving birth to apes who ran straight into the forest AND THAT IS WHERE APES COME FROM. No joke.

Like I said…the good stuff.


#148 THE LORD’S ANIMALS AND THE DEVIL’S

Origin myth number two: The Lord made all the animals, and the wolf was his pet dog. The Devil decided to make his own animals, and he started by making goats. The goats started to eat all of the Lord’s beautiful vegetation, so the Lord sicced his wolves on the goats. Complete goat slaughter. The Devil demands recompense, which the Lord says he will give when all the leaves of all the oaks have fallen. Apparently there’s an oak in a church in Constantinople that never loses its leaves, so the Devil never gets repayment. In his anger, he takes all the eyes from the remaining goats and gives them his own (because of course he does). Tah-dah, that’s why goats have devilish eyes and that’s why the Devil assumes their shape from time to time. Which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, but there you have it.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 181-184

#181 EVE’S VARIOUS CHILDREN

Who knew while reading fairy tales that I’d come across an introduction to class warfare? Metaphors of socialism and capitalism aside, this tale is about the Lord coming to visit Adam and Eve post-Garden of Eden eviction. Eve preps all of her children and separates the beautiful ones from the ugly ones (what a mom!) The Lord blesses the beautiful ones to be kings, princes, counts, merchants, and the like. When He gets to the ugly ones, he blesses them to be peasants, blacksmiths, kitchen boys, and so on. When Eve has the nerve to ask why the Lord is so discerning with her children (like she has the room to talk) the Lord basically responds with “it takes all kinds to make the world go round.” Read into that what you will, but I think the Grimms intend to Make Fairy Tale Land Great Again.


#182 THE NIX OF THE MILLPOND

I’m guessing the reason we don’t hear much about children being taken off by magical creatures any more is that humanity finally learned its lesson about promising their firstborn to dwarves, witches, and nixes in return for riches. This is, of course, one such cautionary tale. Only in this story, the boy is grown and married when the nix finally decides to take her prize down into the murky pond with her. His wife jumps threw magical hula hoops to get him back only to have THE ENTIRE POND RISE UP and chase them into the night.

Good job humanity. Let’s not ever let these ‘firstborn promises’ fool us again. Ponds that give chase are at stake.


#183 THE LITTLE FOLKS’ PRESENTS

This is perhaps the greatest Christmas Story ever told.

Two men hear music in the forest. They follow it until they find a huge bearded man guarding a pile of coal while a merry group of little people dance about him, singing. They join the fun, and when the party is over, the bearded man tells the two men to fill their pockets with coal as they leave. When they awake the next day, the coal is transformed into gold. Awesome, right? Well, one of the two men gets greedy. He goes back to the bearded man and his little people a second night with many empty bags. He dances, fills his bags with coal, and leaves again. This time, however, the coal stays coal. My interpretation: A jolly bearded man, assisted by little people, giving away coal? This my friends is the tale of SANTA CLAUS’S REVENGE.


#184 THE GIANT AND THE TAILOR

Cleverness can only get you so far. When you make boasts to a giant about how much water you can gather, or how much wood you can cut, or how many boars you can gather for supper, it only does one thing: it makes the giant think you’re a wizard. Giants don’t like wizards. So, the giant will do the only thing he knows how to do when he’s scared. It includes a willow tree, some leverage, and you being launched into infinity and beyond.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 149-152

#149 THE BEAM

I’ve heard that finding a four-leaf clover gives you good luck, but I’ve never heard about it giving you wisdom. Yet that’s what happens when a little girl finds a four-leaf clover in this tale: suddenly she is so wise that no deception can deceive her. So how does she use this great power? She calls out a magician for his fake magic. Such a waste. You’ve got to set your sights higher, little girl; take your clover, go to any government building, and start decrying the politicians for what they are. Be the twenty-four hour news cycle we deserve.


#150 THE OLD BEGGAR WOMAN

In what could be the ultimate indictment on a younger generation ever written down on paper, we see a young boy invite an old woman to warm herself by his fire. She gets too close, and her ragged dress catches fire. She doesn’t see it, but the boy does and chooses to ignore it. HE DOESN’T TELL HER THAT SHE IS LITERALLY ON FIRE.

Humph. Kids these days. In my day, we didn’t just let old woman burn; we had more respect!


#151 THE THREE SLUGGARDS

A King has three sons, and must decide who to leave his kingdom to once he passes away. He makes an odd choice: he will give the kingdom to whichever of his sons is the laziest (because of course he does). The first claims to be so lazy, that he wouldn’t move from a nap even if it rains on him. The second claims to be so lazy that he would rather let his feet burn than to put forth the effort to move them away from the fire. The third claims that he is so lazy that if he were going to be hanged, and someone gave him a knife to cut the rope and save himself, he would rather die than raise his arm to save himself.

Sounds like a real winner there, King. I’d let him prove it.


#152 THE TWELVE IDLE SERVANTS

Continuing the theme of laziness, this tale let’s us listen in on twelve servants discussing the various degrees of how far they will go to get out of their work and how good they are at being lazy. I have been inspired by their laziness, and therefore have decided to be too lazy to tell you any more.

GRIMM’S COMPLETE FAIRY TALES: Tales 113-116

#113 THE TWO KINGS’ CHILDREN

These days, getting married involves either asking the bride’s father for permission or eloping. Apparently the matter is not so simple in Fairy Tale Land. This King asked the prince to accomplish several tasks in order to win his daughter’s hand: stay up all night, three nights in a row; cut down an entire forest’s worth of trees in a single day; clean all the mud out of a lake and fill it with fish in a day; and lastly, clean all briars from a mountain and build a castle on top of it…in only one day. Even then, once he finally got the girl, the King tried to hunt them down for retribution.

Accomplishing impossible feats still doesn’t make you good enough for daddy’s girl.


#114 THE CUNNING LITTLE TAILOR

Take note, dear reader: IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF A BEAR ATTACK, OFFER THE BEAR A MANICURE. That’s what the cunning little tailor did. After answering the princess’s riddle to win her hand in marriage, the tailor had to spend the night in a stable with an angry bear before claiming his bride. So, as any sane person would, he offered to teach the bear how to fiddle. But alas, how can a bear fiddle with such long claws? No problem! He set the bear’s paw in a vise so that he could trim those claws, and then just left the bear stuck there for the rest of the night. The bear might not have been too happy about being tricked, but at least it got itself some spa treatment out of the situation.


#115 THE BRIGHT SUN BRINGS IT TO LIGHT

If you murder someone, don’t tell your gossip of a wife. Even if she swears not to tell single human being; because ‘a single human being’ surely doesn’t mean her best friend. Even the best friend will swear not to tell a soul, but then ‘a soul’ couldn’t possibly be the entire town. Before you know it, a judge knows it, and then you’re lined up for the gallows.


#116 THE BLUE LIGHT

Why is it the curse of magical creatures to serve at the mercy of awful human beings? I’ve read several stories about genies, wish-granting spirits in bottles, and magical servant dwarves. This is one of those kind of stories about a dwarf who is controlled by a blue light that summons the creature when the master lights his pipe with it. I’m beginning to feel sorry for these creatures; they generally seem to end up with the worse possible kind of master or bumbling idiot. If this wasn’t a 200 year old work, I’d make like Hermione Granger and start a S.P.E.W. chapter for these fairy tale bond servants.