Original Fairy Tales

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Original Fairy Tales

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Edited: Sep 27, 2009, 10:50pm

Did you ever read an original version of a fairy tale and wished you had only read the newer versions for young children?
(edited for typo)

Oct 24, 2009, 9:19pm

I was browsing through one of my Brothers Grimm books and came across a picture with the label "And she cut off her little finger and used it as a key" (or something similar). It wasn't completely unexpected—I had read the story before—but it sticks uncomfortably in my mind. I still haven't read all the tales in the book.

Dec 2, 2009, 12:37am

I read the original fairy tales when I was quite young... but not so young that I was afraid or sickened by them. Even in their current forms, there are creepy aspects of fairy tales that young readers can pick up on. I wouldn't want my 5 year-old reading about sliced fingers, but IMO there should be a re-education process for middle schoolers (at least) to wean them off of the Disney versions and introduce the originals.

Dec 2, 2009, 12:09pm

I couldn't agree more. I think the fairytales loose what makes them good and memorable, when they get disneyfied

Dec 20, 2009, 2:11pm

I couldn't agree more! I think that sanitizing fairy tales does far more harm than good.


Dec 22, 2009, 12:00pm

I think kids should not be read scaled down versions, but I wouldn't read stries like Little Red Riding Hood to them until they were at least six years old.

Dec 26, 2009, 6:08pm

Reading ALL the versions are helpful. My point is people need to be educated earlier on about the variety of the same stories that are out there. It's like some children learning that french fries are made from potatoes - shouldn't be a shocker. Disney is fine but they should learn that it's not the definitive version.

Edited: Jan 22, 2014, 3:28pm

Sometimes the squickiest versions of fairytales aren't the oldest. Just as there are people who clean them up for kids; there are people who raunch them up or make them darker for their particular audience. The original Grimms included children's stories, but it was intended to be a folklore collection, not a children's book. And as Grimm's was collecting...well, it's a nice collection, but most of the stories pre-existed.

I read The Mabinogian last year before reread my Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales. On my second read through, I saw how many of the stories were reworkings of older Celtic myths, Greek myths, and even a few Bible stories. Some of them had improved through the retelling, while others became disjointed.

I had someone try to horrify me with a rather disturbed old French version of Little Red Riding Hood, but when I did my own research, it became clear that it shouldn't be thought of as the original version, just one of many.

I don't think kids need to be exposed to Little Red eating bits of her grandmother, but the cautionary tale of not all strangers being your friend are good not to lose. If the wolf apologizes and knits Little Red a sweater, the story loses it's point.

My personal favorite is variations on Cinderella.