Saturday, April 5, 2008

Fairy Tales

Today at my aunt's house I read many fairy tales. When one sits down and reads (almost) a whole book of Grimm's fairy tales, there is a lot of repetition involved. For instance:

- They seem to like to turn people into birds, don't they? Especially large groups of brothers, whose sister must save them by not speaking for a number of years.

- There certainly are a lot of witches or beasts or villains who ask for a bride or a child in exchange for mercy or riches. I'm glad I haven't run across any.

- WHAT'S WITH THIS YOUNGEST CHILD THING!?!?! We Eldest Children can't help that we're born first! Why are the youngest - usually either the youngest daughter of 3, 6, 7, or 12 daughters- nearly always the prettiest, kindest, and sweetest of the lot? And why is the youngest son (again, usually of 3, 6, 7, or 12 brothers) nearly always the luckiest, the humblest, the bravest? Come on! There are a lot of good morals in fairy tales, such as "Share what you have and a weird dwarf guy won't cause you to cut your arm off" and "Use your brains and the witch won't kill you," and "Fight the dragon and you'll win the princess," but "Be the youngest, and fortune will smile upon you"!?

I feel very discouraged. Is there no hope for me? There are very few exceptions, and it's kind of depressing me. ;) What on earth did the Grimm brothers have against older daughters and sons? All fairy tale, legend, and myth writers, for that matter. I think we older siblings need a club, or something.

But even so: I. LOVE. FAIRY TALES. Now that I'm in a fairy tale mood I'm going to head over to SurLaLune Fairy Tales and see if they have an annotated version for any of the good 'uns I read today. : )


Elenatintil said...

Alas for us elder siblings....

Do you think it might be of biblical origin? You know...Jacob...Joseph...David...Kind of a younger brother thing going there....(And now I have images of Esther actually being the youngest of twelve

Delaney said...

Aaahh, I hadn't thought of that! Drat them. I guess that's what happen when elder siblings sin; they ruin the reputation of all elder siblings henceforth! ;)

Kelsey said...

Ack, I know, is that not terribly unjust? The only conclusion I can come to is that perhaps the Grimms were the youngest of several, and their elder siblings were rather less nice than *cough* we are. Sigh. Perhaps a club will help morale.

I wonder what the moral to The Goose Girl is... Or The Juniper Tree (have you read that one?) Besides the obvious If You're The Bad Guy You Shall Eventually Come To an Untimely and Usually Painful End.

Adding Books and Windows to my sidebar, if you don't mind. (Partly so I won't keep losing the link.) And I was just about to do a post about fairy tales. Gah. :P

Alyosha said...

^Sorry, that was me, if you hadn't guessed. Signed in on the wrong account or...something.

Delaney said...

I knew it was you. :P

I haven't read The Juniper Tree, yet. I will look it up. :)

Well, don't let me stop you. I'd love to read your post on fairy tales. ;)