Fairy Tales – I Demand Answers

hempsted1-1I have made an error. I have started to try to apply logic to fairy tales, and now I have a few questions. Not least, why did I not think there was anything odd about these stories as a child?

Cinderella

1. What size are Cinderella’s feet that, of all the maidens in the land, the glass slipper only fits her foot? My shoes would probably fit twenty other women just on my street. (Funny story: Prince William meant to marry Sharon, who he met down the Student Union one night. Sharon sadly passed out in the toilet and got taken home by her mate Denise before Wills could get her name. However, he did find one of her Louboutins, kicked off for whatever reason drunk people feel the need to remove their shoes, and set about tracking down the fair maiden/drunk student to whom it belonged. Unfortunately, Sharon had a very common shoe size and there was a terrible misunderstanding. I digress.)

2. In any case, why didn’t the glass slipper vanish at midnight like everything else the fairy godmother magicked up?

Snow White

3. If the wicked step mother wanted proof that Snow White had been killed, why didn’t she ask for her head, not her heart? A head is a much more identifying feature. If only she’d asked for the head, she would have instantly suspected the huntsman had, in fact, killed a deer.

The Princess and the Pea

4. Why does identifying a pea under fifty mattresses prove someone is a princess? Moreover, if that ‘skill’ is indeed evidence of being a real princess, why did no one think to stick a pea under all those women claiming to be Anastasia Nikolaevna?

Rapunzel

5. Why was the prince bringing Rapunzel a small piece of silk each night with which to weave a ladder, thus ensuring her escape was so slow Dame Gothel found out? Why didn’t he bring a large piece of rope the first night and get on with it? Admittedly, he may not have expected Rapunzel to be so foolish as to tell Dame Gothel. However, it’s a fairy tale – surely he could have banked on everyone being a complete idiot, and taken precautions? (Perhaps he was hindered by being a character in a fairy tale, and thus a complete idiot.)

Hansel and Gretel

6. Hansel and Gretel overheard their parents discussing leaving them in the woods, so Hansel devised a cunning plan to allow them…to return to their parents. The ones who had worked really hard to lose them. How did they think that was going to work out?

7. Furthermore, why, when Hansel’s first plan led to the predictable outcome of them being abandoned in the woods again, did Hansel proceed to come up with the same plan, but stupider?

8. Most importantly, their father apparently loved the children and did not want to go along with the stepmother’s plan (twice, he went along with it twice). The stepmother’s plan, you may recall, was formulated due to the fact that they could not afford to feed all of the family. No one, least of all Hansel and Gretel, ever appears to have questioned why, given the key facts that he couldn’t afford to feed all of the family, he loved his children, and his wife was a callous old bat, the father didn’t dump the wife instead of the kids. That would also have reduced the mouths to feed.

Sleeping Beauty

9. Having put everyone to sleep, the good fairy summons a forest of thorns and brambles to shield the castle and prevent anyone from disturbing the princess. What? Why would she do that? Someone was meant to disturb the princess. The whole point of the counter-curse to make her sleep instead of die was so that the prince could disturb her: why are we making this difficult? Anyone?

Rumpelstiltskin

10. Apparently, following the final night of gold spinning, the girl was married to the king the next day and a year later gave birth to a baby, but had forgotten her promise to Rumpelstiltskin. Of course. A year is a long time. Who hasn’t forgotten when their idiot mother/father (depends on the version) offered them to a sadistic king to perform the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, a task which was actually achieved by a small, magical man for the bargain price of their first born child. Could easily slip your mind. Nine months of pregnancy, no little niggle in the back of her mind: ‘Something about babies…my baby…giving someone my baby? No, it’s no use – it’s gone.’ Completely plausible.

33 comments

  1. Such valid points all round! Perhaps we’ve never dared to articulate these doubts about our beloved fairy tales! On a side note, I love the TV series Once Upon A Time for the brilliant twists it gives to traditional fairy tales… #AnythingGoes

  2. Kat says:

    I am now sitting here angry at myself for just going along with all these fairy tales when I was younger and not questioning them. Especially Cinderella’s shoes. Why didn’t they disapear? And everyone else had like massive feet compared to hers? She must have had really tiny feet, like small child size or something, and then because he only asked the women not the children is the only reason why the shoe fits. It’s too early to be thinking about this on a monday morning! #anythinggoes

  3. Mrs Tubbs says:

    So true. The main problem I have with Rapunzel is that the prince climbs up the tower using her hair as a rope. Now, having your hair pulled for a bit hurts alot. If a great lump of a prince used it as a climbing rope, you’d probably hear the screams of pain from miles away. How come the wicked witch didn’t?!

  4. You really have been thinking hard about this! Very good points, these tales have more holes in then swiss cheese. Mind you, they are so dark, the people writing them can’t have been quite right in the head to start with. I don’t think the Grimm brothers let a bit of accuracy get in the way of a bit of gruesome toe removal! Thanks for linking up! #bigpinklink

  5. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x) says:

    Haha. This is SO true! Even my 8 year old daughter said “Why didn’t he just take Rapunzel a rope? Why didn’t I question them when I was little? Especially Hansel and Gretel. Jeez. Fab post. xx

  6. Claire says:

    Love this post! This is exactly why we shouldn’t let little girls go around believing all of the magical tales about prince charming coming to rescue them!

  7. Saffy says:

    Hahaha! And why would the little mermaid not totally stick the stupid prince who had the TEMERITY to marry someone else so she could get her fins back? Oh no, let’s turn into wave foam instead! Martyr. #bestandworst

  8. Shoebox of M says:

    I had a brutal collection of Grimm Fairy Tales that I was forbidden from reading to the cubs after my wife overheard some of them over the baby monitor.

    Cinderella (or Aschenputtel) is brutal. The step sisters mutilate themselves to fit the golden slipper only to be called out by doves:

    Their revenge at the wedding is swift and merciless. It’s not the doves that cry…

    #BestAndWorst

  9. Cee Arr says:

    Ha, love this.

    I was ever-so-slightly raised on the original (i.e. gory) versions of fairy tales.

    In a lot of these versions, Cindy’s feet were freaking tiny (so much so her step-sisters cut pieces of their feet off to try to fit in them, and the prince only figured it out when they bled everywhere.)

    Rapunzel didn’t want to leave the tower – the witch found out she was pregnant and figured out she’d had a (ahem) visitor. She then banished Rapunzel to the wastelands and the prince threw himself off the tower, piercing his eyes on the thorns below. Things turn out ok though, because eventually he finds her again and her tears magically bring his eyesight back.

    Snow White’s stepmother wanted the heart to eat, not to prove she was dead. Because… reasons, apparently. It’s fine, they clapped her in hot irons and made her dance until she was dead.

    I love Philip Pullman’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales – includes some of the wackier fairy tales that we’ve forgotten about and involves a lot of decapitation.

    (For the record, my parents are lovely and responsible people. I was just a blood-thirsty child.)

  10. Emma T says:

    Lol. Oh yes, as adults they definitely make you wonder. Have you ever read the The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter – adult versions of ‘fairy tales’?

  11. I watched Cinders with my girl and thought the same thing about the shoe!! Haven’t read some of the others in a while so was a good memory refresher. Must watch the Disney Sleeping Beauty again!! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

  12. Brilliant and all so true, although until reading this, I had always just gone along with them too! It’s funny the things we just accept if we don’t take a moment to think about them (or read the blog post of someone who has!)
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

  13. This is so true! I have to admit I do not know some of the fairy tales… such as The Princess and the Pea, Hansel and Gretel, & Rumpelstiltskin. I need to go back and be a child again! lol!

    Thanks for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x

  14. I’m sitting here scratching my head, I never thought too much into Fairy Tales, now I’m wondering at my gullibility! LOL

    I have wondered about Cinderella and the slipper, why did it only fit her? And seriously, what size was her foot? And how did no one know she was there, living in that house? If she was so stunningly beautiful someone would have noticed her?

    And Hansel and Gretel…for real, why not get rid of the step-mother? She seems to be the issue! Take her out in the middle of the woods and leave her there! LOL

    Isn’t it amazing that we don’t question these things? How crazy is that?

  15. Hahaha yes! I see all your points, unfortunately reading it, I get the feeling H will also ask questions along a similar line one day…. oh dear I better get thinking up answers…. it’s a fairy tail, it’s magic might work, but I’m not sure! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing on #KCACOLS hope you can link with Franca next week too.

  16. Davina says:

    I can’t stop laughing at this. It’s genius! I often wondered about Hansel and Gretel myself. Always seemed like those kids were a few sandwiches short of a picnic and their father needed to bloody well grow a pair! #KCACOLS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *