The horrible truth behind familiar fairy tales (P2)

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Ancient fairy tales often brought things to a drastic climax, such as evil must be punished properly and good people would enjoy life to the fullest. This is easy to see in both Eastern and Western fairy tales.

Over the course of hundreds of years of existence, gradually, these details have been replaced or reduced to fit the motto of today’s children’s education. The next episode of The Horrible Truth Behind Familiar Fairy Tales will revisit the macabre details that once existed in famous stories, to see that fairy tales are not always stories. Fairy tales always contain miracles.

Little Red Riding Hood

In the first versions of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, which existed in many European countries from about the 10th century, the wolf killed her grandmother and disguised herself as an old woman. The wolf butchered the grandmother and invited her to sit at the table. Because she was so hungry, she ate well and then the wolf also ate Little Red Riding Hood.


There is also a version that the girl realized the wolf was disguised as a grandmother, so she devised a plan to escape. In addition, there are versions with the appearance of a 3rd character to help Little Red Riding Hood like a hunter or a laundress.

Sleeping Beauty

The version we are most familiar with is probably the story of a princess who was cursed to sleep for a hundred years until a prince passed by and gave her a kiss, then the curse would be broken.

However, the first version of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, rewritten by the Italian fairy tale collector – Giambattista Basile (1566-1632), did not have such a happy ending. At that time, the work was called Sun, Moon and Talia. In this version, a king walking out accidentally found Talia – the sleeping beauty in the forest – but was unable to wake her up.


Seduced by her beauty, the king raped her and then left. Some time later, Talia gave birth to twins, the two children constantly sucking her fingers, causing the poison of the poisonous rotating nose to be sucked out, thereby, she woke up. One day, a king came back to find her and they fell in love with each other.

The queen, the king’s wife, after knowing the story, deceived Talia, intending to cook her two children into a meal for the king. But the kind cook thought of a way to save the two children’s lives. As for Talia, she was set on fire by the queen. But the king came to save her in time and punished the queen properly. After that, the king immediately married Talia and since then their family has been happily reunited.

Beauty and the Beast

The oldest version of Beauty and the Beast is recorded by the French writer Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (1695-1755). Villeneuve’s story at that time was more than 100 pages long, containing many small stories in the whole big story.


In the story, the monster is a prince who lost his father at a young age, his mother took the throne instead of the king and had to fight to protect the kingdom left by her husband. For years she had to go out to war to keep her land.

The queen left her child in the care of a fairy without knowing that this “fairy” was in fact an evil witch. When the prince grew up and became a young man, the witch tried to seduce him, but when the prince refused, she turned him into a monster.


Cinderella is one of the most appreciated fairy tales about humanity. From its appearance from the late 17th century to the present, there have been nearly 350 different versions of this story. However, only some versions contain humanistic and happy episodes in the style of Disney cartoons.

In the popular version, after the death of her father, Cinderella is forced to live with her stepmother and two evil sisters. One day, when the Prince threw a party, the fairy helped Cinderella with miracles so that she could attend the ball. When the clock strikes 0 o’clock, all the magic will disappear, so Cinderella must go home before the clock strikes. In her haste, the girl dropped a glass shoe. The Prince opens a shoe festival, whoever wears the glass shoe will be married by him. The story ends when the Prince and Cinderella live happily together and the sisters are also married to rich people.


However, in the story told by the Grimm brothers – Aschenputtel (German version) – there is no kind fairy. The supernatural force that helps Cinderella is the tree that grows on her mother’s grave. Cinderella raised the branch planted on her mother’s grave with her sorrowful tears, when the tree grew, a bird came to live in the tree and befriend Cinderella. It is the tree and the bird that will work miracles to help Cinderella go to the party.

In the story, the prince’s party is held for 3 days, Cinderella appears most brilliant on the 3rd day with golden shoes. The Prince uses Cinderella’s golden shoe to test the girls’ feet, whoever walks will be married by the Prince. When the messenger arrived at Cinderella’s house, the two stepsisters made up a way to fit the shoe, one cut her toe, the other cut her heel. But the spilled blood frightened the Prince. Finally, he found the true owner of the shoe. But the ending is not as rosy as we know, on the wedding day of Cinderella and the Prince, two evil sisters asked to be bridesmaids but were immediately blinded by birds flying to their eyes. It is the detail that shows that evil will eventually be punished.

(To be continued)

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