|Neuschwanstein Castle, The Black Forest, Bavaria|
In college, I had to write either a Brothers Grimm-style fairy tale, or an Aesop-like fable. Fortunately, I was weaned on the Brothers Grimm.
[Not only did I have books, but my poor parents had to listen to records of the stories over and over again. Be careful what you buy your kids. Always ask, can I tolerate the sound of this toy, or recording for hours at a time. If not ... and you don't have a separate wing to put the little children in, leave it on the shelf :). But, I digress.]
My fairy tale, while staying true to tradition (Hey, I wanted a good grade!), mentions my heroine's bearing, as well as, her beauty. The story is about overcoming limits ... with a little help from her friends. Rarely in life can a person achieve anything alone. It usually takes teamwork, or at least a few good ideas and the support of others.
Here is my old, freshman English assignment, a Brothers Grimm-que fairy tale. Mr. Jerry Rogers made me write it. Notice, I was ahead of my time ... I knew trolls were bad before the internet. Just saying! :) --
by Debra Turner
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful young Princess named Rosweeta, who had long chestnut brown hair and lovely green eyes. The Princess was sensitive, kind and loved by everyone.
One summer day Rosweeta wandered into the forest, not far from the palace. As she walked, her eyes beheld a striking sight -- flowers of all different colors.
“Oh, what beautiful blossoms,” Rosweeta thought!
As the Princess picked a handful of bright, red roses, deep blue irises and white, delicate baby’s breath, a wicked, old troll came up from behind and forced the frightened Princess away deep into the woods.
The wicked, old troll locked the beautiful, shocked Rosweeta in a hollow tree trunk high off the ground. The hollow tree trunk had no door nor staircase, but only a round window.
The troll came to see Rosweeta daily. Often the wrinkled, old troll was accompanied by his nephew, who was as ugly and wicked as he. To get inside of the quarters where the Princess was imprisoned, the troll and nephew walked sideways up the trunk with their magic shoes.
After visiting Rosweeta, the two went off into the forest to await and plunder weary travelers.
One day the troll announced to Rosweeta that she was to wed the nephew soon!
The thought of marrying that horrible nephew made Rosweeta very unhappy. When the troll left later in the day, the poor Princess leaned her arms on the round window and stared at the distance that separated her from the ground. Rosweeta could think of nothing to prevent the dreadful event. As the hours passed, the Princess grew more frightened, until at last she burst into tears.
The sparrows in the forest heard Rosweeta crying and took pity on her. A group of black sparrows devised a plan to help the young Princess. Knowing the greed of the old troll and nephew, the sparrows planted what appeared to be a lost satchel filled with shining stones of every hue in a rainbow. The crafty sparrows laid the leather satchel on a wooden raft just off the shore in the deepest part of the river, where the evil pair were sure to pass. The sparrows then hid in the trees, which surrounded the river.
One late afternoon as the troll and nephew were out looking for loot, the nephew spotted the heavy purse.
“Look Uncle,” he cried, “a raft and on it a satchel filled with jewels!”
The wicked, old troll snarled with delight, “Some clumsy fool must have fallen into the water and drowned. How lucky for us that he has left his gems to be retrieved!”
The wicked, old troll and nephew carefully removed their magic shoes and laid them on the riverbank. The evil pair then stood at the edge of the river and frantically tried to recover the raft with the use of a long, thick branch. As the troll and nephew bent over, the sparrows flew out from hiding and pecked at the evil twosome. The troll and nephew were so startled, they fell into the water and drowned.
The sparrows then took both pairs of magic shoes to Rosweeta. To the Princess’ distress, she soon discovered the shoes were several sizes too small.
Many lonely days passed. Not even the faithful sparrows could cheer her with their daily visits and fresh food.
One sunny afternoon, a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Prince was riding through the forest. The Prince saw the Princess gazing out of the round window of the hollow tree. The Prince was so enchanted by the Princess' demeanor, he knew he had to meet her.
He rode close to the hollow tree, but could find no entrance. The Prince introduced himself and asked the Princess to come down out of the hollow tree. And so, Rosweeta sadly revealed her misfortunes to the Prince and explained how she was unable to free herself with the magic shoes.
The tall, dark-haired Prince asked Rosweeta to throw the two pairs of magic shoes down to the ground. The Princess did so and the Prince, taking his knife, cut the tips off the magic shoes and placed a pair on his feet. Then he boldly climbed up the hollow tree trunk, gave Rosweeta the second pair of magic shoes to put on her feet and walked, hand in hand, with her down to the ground.
Rosweeta smiled. What a joy to be free!
The Prince returned with Rosweeta back to the palace. A year later, they married and lived happily ever after.