The Violent and Weird Side of Grimm's Fairy Tales: Part One
Grimm's fairy tales are among the most popular children's stories of all time. Several of them have been the basis for those airy Disney classics that our kids love so much. Though some arguably messed up stuff makes it into children's television, it is pretty much guaranteed that Grimm's uncensored works would be rated nothing less than "Holy crap! Don't let kids watch that."
The Golden Bird
In The Golden Bird, a fox helps a young prince find a golden bird that his father covets. Like a strange personal ad on the internet, the fox only asks one thing in return -- that the prince cut off his -- the fox's -- head and feet. Serial killer bedtime stories, anyone? Not to worry, though. When the prince finally gives in and hacks into the fox, the little guy becomes a prince.
Hans in Luck
Hans in Luck is the story of a man who is ripped off . . . over and over again. Hans starts his day with a hunk of silver as large as his head. Throughout the day, he happily trades his silver for a horse and so on. Every person he makes a trade with is a swindler. By the end of the day, Han is empty-handed and happy about it. Moral of the story: If you are going to be ripped off, it is best to be a dolt so you do not feel bad about it.
The Dog and the Sparrow
In The Dog and the Sparrow, a man decides to starve his dog. The dog runs away and is run over by another man, who committed the deed on purpose. A sparrow had befriended the dog and so torments the man who killed him. The man tries to kill the sparrow with a hatchet, but misses three times and kills all three of his horses. Later in the story, his wife tries to kill the sparrow, but misses and hits him in the head with the hatchet, killing him. It is like Poe and 70's teen slasher flicks got together and had a baby.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
In The Twelve Dancing Princesses, a king is curious where his daughters are going at night. Their shoes show signs of having danced the night away. He issues a proclamation that any man who can discover their activities will be given the princess of his choice and later become king. However, if he cannot within three days, he will be executed. Several princes die this way. It turns out that the princesses were giving the men a sleeping agent, despite knowing that the men would have their heads chopped off.