The Violent and Weird Side of Grimm's Fairy Tales: Part Two

As mentioned in "The Violent and Weird Side of Grimm's Fairy Tales: Part One," there is typically a little more to the fairy tales of the Grimm brothers than what makes it to whitewashed modern children's television and literature. In fact, the original Grimm fairy tales would be lucky to get by with a rating of T for teen, with a few exceptions. Here are a few more tasteless children's fairy tale twists courtesy of the Grimm brothers.

Cat and Mouse in Partnership

Oh, how nice, a fairy tale that brings together a cat and a mouse. These ancient enemies will be just adorable together. Well, it might work in legitimate children's television like Tom and Jerry . . . Wait, Tom and Jerry were homicidal maniacs too. Well, if this were a cartoon blog, we would certainly discuss it. Where was I? Ah, yes, the cat, the mouse, friends forever, or until the food runs out.

This story starts with a cat convincing a mouse that they would make great roommates. They move in together and decide to store a pot of fat for the winter. The cat tricks the mouse and eats the entire pot long before winter strikes. Finally, winter comes around and there is no food. When the mouse figures out that the cat did it, her dear friend eats her without a blink. Moral of the story: store extra food for winter or your friends might eat you.

The Goose Girl

A princess, kind and meek, is sent to another kingdom to be married to a prince. She takes with her: royal clothes, a golden cup, jewels, a talking horse, a maid and many more riches. During the trip, the maid forces the princess to trade horses and clothes, saying that she will kill the princess if she tells. When they get to the kingdom, the prince mistakes the maid for the princess and brings her inside. However, the talking horse is a problem and the maid has it killed. The princess then has its head hung outside of a gate and talks to it every day. Oh, and the severed horse head talks back.

The king eventually finds out that the maid has tricked his son, partly thanks to the Dickensian ghost of a horse. So, he sneaks the princess into the castle in royal clothes. Nobody recognizes her as the goose girl that she had become. The king then recounts the story and tricks the maid into deciding her own fate. She is then stuck in a barrel with many nails sticking into it. Then, the barrel is dragged by horses.


Rapunzel is not as bad as others, though I have heard that the very original version is quite X-rated. In the version that made it into recent translations, Rapunzel does not just let the prince up into her tower, she gets pregnant. We all know how that happens. Then, the enchantress who trapped Rapunzel banishes her to the desert and gets the prince to jump from the tower. He does not die. He only has his eyes gashed open by thorns and is rendered blind. Disney left that out. Later, he stumbles into the desert where he finds his wife and twin children. His sight is restored by Rapunzel's tears. Lovely happy ending, but readers deserved it after the eye gouging, bearing children alone in the desert and kidnapping going on in Rapunzel.


Do not be fooled by its name. The Grimms forgot to put the fun in Fundevogel. It starts when a forester finds a child that was grabbed away from its mother and carried off by a bird. He takes the boy and raises him as a son with his own daughter Lina. Lina and Fundevogel grow to love each other very much. They are inseparable, as evidenced by their great escape when the cook admits to Lina that she is going to boil Fundevogel alive. Oh, yes. We assume she was going to eat him too. Sleep well, kiddos, and don't worry. Lina and Fundevogel turn into a swan and a pond. Lina then drowns the cook in Fundev . . . the pond.

More of these twisted tales of fairy whimsy will be up soon. Beware.

Shelly Barclay 

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