10 Unknown Fairy Tales, Part II

10 Unknown Fairy Tales, Part II

In part I of this article, we have seen just some of the not so mainstream stories that are available to us. Now we continue the list with 5 more very interesting fairy tales that have never quite succeeded in becoming popular.

5. “The She-bear” by Giambattista Basile

After the King loses his wife, he decides to marry his daughter, since she is the only person who can match her mother’s beauty. Preziosa, the King’s daughter, decides to run from the castle and to live the rest of her life under the form of a bear, using a magical piece of wood. Whenever she keeps the piece of wood in her mouth, she takes the shape of the animal. One day, she is adopted by a prince as his pet. Eventually, the prince becomes sick with infatuation for the animal, letting it live in his chamber. One day, he kisses Preziosa while in her bear form, and she drops the magic piece of wood from her mouth, revealing her true shape. The two get married and live happily ever after.

4. “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen

Karen was a very poor girl who was accustomed to walking barefoot until an old lady finally adopts her and gives her a pair of beautiful red shoes. Karen starts to wear the red shoes everywhere, despite the repeated warnings of the old lady, constantly thinking how pretty she looks in them. One day, the shoes start to magically dance while being worn by Karen and, when near the old lady, they start to kick her. Because of this, the lady falls ill and remains in Karen’s care, but the young girl prefers to go to the dance rather than help her benefactor. At the party, the red shoes gain a life of their own and force Karen to dance through the forest and through the wild fields. Despite trying to get them off, the magical shoes became one with her feet.  When approaching a cemetery, the young girl sees an angel who tells her she will dance to death and beyond it. She eventually reached the house of an executioner which she begs to cut off her legs so she can finally rest. Her tiny feet were separated from her legs and started dancing away.

5. “Sweetheart Roland” by the brothers Grimm

The ugly daughter of an evil witch is jealous of her beautiful step-sister and wants to get rid of her. She and her mother conspire to kill the step-sister; the evil sister was supposed to sleep towards the wall while the beautiful step-daughter would sleep towards the edge of the bed and so, the witch would know who to kill. Overhearing the plan, the step-sister moves towards the wall and places the witch’s daughter on the edge, while she was sleeping. In the depth of the night, the witch accidentally kills her own daughter.  After the witch goes back to sleep, the beautiful step-daughter takes her sister’s dismembered head and drips blood around the house. Before running from the evil witch with her lover, Roland, she also steals the witch’s wand. When the witch calls for her daughter the next morning, the drop of blood near the stove sings “I am here, warming myself”, the one near the bed sings “I am in bed, resting” and the drop of blood near the stairs sings “I am near the stairs”. The witch pursues her step-daughter but when she reaches the two lovers, the girl uses the wand to disguise herself into a beautiful flower while Roland becomes a fiddler. The witch recognizes her step-daughter even under the form of a flower and wants to pick her, but before she can do that, Roland starts singing an enchanted song making the witch dance to death.

2. “The Maiden with the Rose on Her Forehead” by Consiglieri Pedroso

The prince goes to war and leaves his rose garden in the care of his sister, the princess. While he is away, the princess mysteriously gives birth to a girl with a rose on her forehead. Ashamed, the princess promises the girl that she will kill her if she ever reveals her identity. The girls listens to her mother and does not tell the prince the truth after he returns from the long war, and yet the mother believes she is lying when she finds a piece of cherry in her hair. Believing she had removed her hood in the presence of the prince, her mother violently kills the girl and places her in a locked chest after which she gave the key to her brother and made him promise never to open it. Despite the success of her crime, she eventually dies of guilt and the prince takes a wife because he became painfully lonely. One day, he went hunting and gave the key to his wife for safekeeping, but his wife opened the coffin to find a young, beautiful girl sewing. Thinking she was the prince’s lover, the wife had her burned all over her face and body. When the prince finds out the girl was in fact his niece, he had his wife burned and buried alive in the castle walls.

1. “The Marsh King’s Daughter” Hans Christian Andersen

A young Egyptian princess flies to a faraway land using the garb of a wild swan in order to gather a flower that could save the king of Egypt. When she reaches her destination, the Marsh King captures her, pulls her beneath the murky water and rapes her. Several months later, a lily opens at the surface of the water with a baby inside. A stork takes the baby to a Viking lord who names her Helga. She grows up to be very beautiful during the day time, but extremely evil and cruel. During the night time, Helga turns into a horrible frog, but her soul becomes kind. When her father captured a Christian priest, the beautiful Helga insists that he let her kill him, but the father orders that the priest be killed according to the old rituals. That night, under to shape of a frog, Helga helps the priest escape and runs away with him. While travelling, they are captured by a group of robbers who kill the priest but run terrified when Helga turns into a frog. She eventually makes the sign of the cross and the frog skin falls away leaving behind only her human form. Soon after that, she is visited by the ghost of the priest who guides her to the marsh where her mother was captured and lifts her from beneath the dark waters. Helga and her mother return to Egypt were she is married to an Arabian prince. She is visited again by the ghost of the priest who takes her to paradise for three minutes. When she returns, she finds out that hundreds of years have actually past and her body turns to dust. All that is left of her is a faded water lily. 



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