Features Monday, June 01, 2015 - 05:30
  Image source: Tangled/Facebook   You may or may not know this, but the fairy tales we all grew up reading are actually extremely tidied and child-friendly versions of the originals. From blood and gore to plagues and rape, several popular fairy tales in their original versions had plots that did not always have happily-ever-after endings.   Here is a list of a few:    Cinderella: The prince makes a proclamation saying he’d marry the woman whose foot fits the slipper left behind at the ball. He eventually finds Cinderella and they live happily ever after. But in the original version by Brothers Grimm, the two stepsisters cut parts of their feet to fit into the slippers. For their treachery, the prince’s doves pecked at their eyes and they spent the rest of their lives begging on the streets. Sleeping Beauty: In one of its earlier versions by Italo Calvino, Sleeping Beauty is actually raped by a king and gives birth to two babies while she’s still in her sleep. She is not woken up with a magical kiss from a prince, but when one of the babies sucks her finger pulling out the prick that had triggered the curse. Little Red Riding Hood:  We all know how Little Red Riding Hood was saved from the wicked wolf by the brave woodcutter. But in the original version by Charles Perrault, Red is killed and eaten by the wolf. There are also hints that the wolf, dressed as the grandmother, could have been a paedophile as he asks the girl to remove her clothes and get into bed with him. The story wanted to stress on the dangerous consequences that well-bred young women could face if they listened to strangers. Rapunzel: Who can forget the lovely Rapunzel and the mystical tale of her tresses? Together, with her prince, they defeated the enchantress who had trapped her in the tower. However, in the original Rapunzel gets pregnant and this is how she gives the prince away. The prince while escaping the enchantress falls upon thorns and becomes blind. He is eventually reunited with his beloved and their children after Rapunzel’s tears restore his sight. Snow White: We know that the Queen asks the huntsman to kill Snow White and as proof get her heart back. However, in the maiden version the Queen asks him to get Snow’s liver and lung, which would eventually be that night’s dinner. Someone up for a hearty meal?  Rumpelstiltskin: Rumpelstiltskin is an imp-like creature who saves a young girl from a death sentence by spinning straw into gold. In return he asks the girl to give him her first-born child. In the sober version we know, Rumpelstiltskin after being defeated becomes furious and runs away. However, in the Brothers Grimm version, Rumpelstiltskin tears himself apart.  Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Published by British author Robert Southey in 1837, the story of Goldilocks was a favourite bedtime story for many a generation of children. In Southey's version, the intruder was initially a foul-mouthed ugly hag and not a sweet innocent girl. The old woman runs away when the bears find her in their home. However, in several other variations sweet Goldilocks is killed and eaten by the bears. The Pied Piper of Hamelin: The story is about a pied piper who gets rid of all the rats in the town for a generous amount from the mayor of the town. After he is refused payment he takes his revenge by leading the children of the town with his hypnotic tunes to the river where they all drown, except three who are lame, deaf and blind respectively. Many theories suggest this story is actually based on the death of a large number of children of Hamelin due to a plague a long time ago. Hansel and Gretel: Hansel and Gretel was first published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812 and is said to have a German origin. Though not many changes have been made to the story, various versions have different degrees of gory ending one of them being the children slashed the witch's throat. The story may have been inspired from the Great Famine during which people resorted to horrific measures such as eating other people, referring to the cannibalistic witch.  The Beauty and the Beast: This was first published in 1790 in a rendition by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. The story ends similarly in most versions with the Beast turning into a handsome prince when the girl declares her love for him. However, it is the prince's past and the curse that made him a beast that has several interesting variations. In Villeneuve's version, the prince's father had died a long time ago and his mother took care of the workings of the empire. She entrusts his care to an evil witch who tries to sleep with him once he is an adult. The prince refuses and so she casts a curse on him. Images source: Wikipedia Also read: Some of those innocent nursery rhymes we know may not be so innocent after all  
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