This week we’ve got another famous tale. Two kids, house made of bread and sweets… you know what I’m talking about :). But that’s just one of five tales. Let’s get to them, shall we?
In today’s episode:
- Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven
- The Three Little Men in the Wood
- The Three Spinners
- Hansel and Gretel
- The Three Snake-Leaves
Check out those stories, or go on to read my thoughts about them.
I don’t know about you, but I kind of started to have enough of those nameless heroes. Young man here, a woman there, a king… there’s barely a name in all those stories. And in some of them it’s hard to actually present you guys with the story. At the beginning, there’s a nameless child and at the end we’ve got an old woman or a king.
I’ve decided I’m going to choose the names for some of those heroes, just for the review purposes. No, these names probably won’t match these characters much. Yes, they might sound ridiculous. But guess what… You can propose your own names in comments :).
Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven
In this story, you’ll meet a young prince [how about I’ll name him Freddie] who wants to know how to end up in heaven. The prince asks a poor guy, who’s just walking by about this. The man tells Freddie that he’d have to put on a beggar’s clothes, travel the world for seven years and live only on the food he’ll receive from charity.
Freddie does exactly that and after seven years, when he gets back home no one recognizes him, no one believes he’s the prince.
OK, I know I’m supposed to admire this guy, but for me Freddie was just ridiculous. Yes, I do agree that you need some humility in life, you have to behave well against others, but giving up everything just because someone told you, you’ll get to heaven like through that? I can’t argue about the final effect, but I’d rather have a longer life. And why not tell your own family who you are? So they don’t recognize you, but do you really need to be so humble as not to tell them: I’m your son/brother?
Maybe I’m totally wrong, but that’s what I feel. Sorry if you don’t agree.
Moral: Poverty might lead you to heaven a bit faster than you’d like it… think well before giving everything up.
The Three Little Men in the Wood
Here’s another story about a kind and lovely girl who gets all the goods that she deserves. And the story goes like this: There’s a widow [Jane] with an ugly and mean daughter [Lizzie] and a widower with a good a pretty daughter [Ellie]. Jane convinces Ellie to talk her father into marrying the lonely widow. The problem is, after the marriage Jane hates her new daughter so much, that she actually sends Ellie to certain death.
This is one of those pleasant tales, where everyone gets what they deserve, no matter how much they try to cheat their fate.
Those three little men – they are kind of like good fairies. They wish for good things to happen to Ellie, because she helped them and was nice to them, and for bad things to happen to Lizzie for all the mean things she did and said to them.
Moral: Be kind to people, help them, show them your kindness and you’ll be rewarded.
The Three Spinners
Have you heard of a story of a lazy girl and 3 spinners? Yeah, me neither ;). But I know it now.
There was a young girl [how about I call her Marie] who hated to spin, her mother who made her do it and a queen who needed a spinner. So how did Marie end up in queens castle working as a spinner? Her mother was apparently so mad at her daughter that she beat her and told the queen, who was just passing by, that the girl loves spinning. Queen gave Marie a job and told her that if she’ll clear all three rooms filled with yarn the prince will marry her.
I have to admit I really disliked Marie through most of the story, but I don’t even know why. So she didn’t like to work hard, who does really? So she got lucky, well that’s good for her. And at the end she kept her word, even though some of those pretty heroines wouldn’t at this point. She was basically a good, even if a little lazy girl. At the end of the story, I was fine with her.
Moral: Be good to people who help you.
Hansel and Gretel
Here we have a father, a stepmother and two children. The stepmother is a typical evil mother’s substitute and she tries to convince her husband to get rid of the children because they don’t have enough food to feed the whole family. She tells her husband to take children to the forest and leave them there. Lucky for the kids Hansel hears everything and sneaks outside the house to gather some white stones.
When they move to the forest Hansel drops the little stones to mark their road. When the night comes and the moon shines, children, who were left alone are able to backtrack their footsteps.
The second time they’re not that lucky, but I think you know about the breadcrumbs, the birds and finally – the hut with a witch.
I don’t know about you, but I like this story :). The idea of the house is great, I always liked that. And the punishment the old witch receives. Kids in the story are smart. Well, Hansel is, but Gretel has her moment too when she outsmarts the witch.
I also totally can’t understand the children’s father. He was so easily convinced to practically kill his children. How could a parent do that? Was he insane? Did that woman drug him? Maybe she was some kind of vampire and she hypnotized him? But if she were she would simply use the kids as a blood bank.
Yeah, I know I went in the wrong direction here but I have a feeling this version of the story wasn’t used yet :P.
Anyway, this is a good story about smart kids and I liked it and enjoyed reading it.
Moral: Don’t go to strangers’ houses. And why the hell would you listen to your stupid new wife that tells you to get rid of your kids! Just don’t!
The Three Snake-Leaves
This is a story of a young man [let’s call him Steve], who travels to find some job. He eventually ends up in an army and contributes to winning a war. King notices Steve’s commitment and makes him rich.
It so happens that the king has a daughter. Princess has one strange requirement for her future husband. If she’ll die the husband has to be buried alive with her. She will do the same for him. You probably guessed that she doesn’t have many competitors for her hand. But Steve seems to fall in love with our princess and agrees to her conditions.
Yes, the girl indeed dies of sickness few months after the marriage. Princesses body is locked in a tomb together with Steve, who’s given some bread and wine to survive just a few more days.
Steve seems like he knows what to do all the time. First he leaves home because he knows there’s no money to feed him and his father. Then he’s all brave and helpful at the battlefield. OK, I might think that marrying this strange princess wasn’t the best idea, but he lived through it… twice. Yea and the snake leaves – these are the things that let you get back to life. It seems they’re also reusable, so Steve was right to keep them.
Moral: don’t make stupid promises and remember to insure yourself against sudden death…
Don’t know about you, but Hansel and Gretel’s story is just what I remember from my childhood. I actually think this week’s tales were more optimistic than the last ones, don’t you think?
I know I jabbered a bit today, but I had a tough week as I was ill. Well, I’m better now and I hope next episode will be better. Don’t think I wasn’t trying, It just didn’t work out as I wanted it to.