Table of contents:
- Little Red Riding Hood
- Gretel and Hansel
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- sleeping Beauty
- Masha and the Three Bears
- Baba Yaga and her collective image
Most parents are sure that there is nothing better than children's folk tales, which are a real storehouse of wisdom and unobtrusive moral teachings. Indeed, empathizing with the heroes, the child learns about good and evil, justice and mutual assistance. However, the original versions of folk tales are not at all so fun and simple, and a normal parent would not read this to their children. The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault "erased", and in some places even "castrated" folk stories, thanks to which they became readable and acquired the form to which the modern reader is accustomed. What were they originally like?
Probably, many adults had questions about some of the nuances that are found in fairy tales. Why did Little Red Riding Hood walk alone through the forest? Why did Cinderella's father ignore his daughter's plight, and why the Sleeping Beauty was badly looked for? But these oddities and incompatibilities are a mere trifle compared to their original version. Much of folklore, what is read to children as classic fairy tales, were not children's works at all. Or, every adult, through whose lips the narration passed, added his own details, "catching up with horror" on an already strange plot.
The main storytellers, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, now and then have similar stories, because they took folklore works as the basis of their work and somewhat modified them, adapting them for the general public. The brothers' works are traditionally considered to be more rigid and complex than those of Perrault. Although, for contemporaries, a lot will seem wild for both Perrault and the Brothers Grimm.
Little Red Riding Hood
In the original version of the tale about a girl in a red headdress and a hungry wolf, the former wears a chaperon. This is such a cape with a hood, by the way, in the illustrations the chaperon is often preserved. The brothers Grimm dressed the girl in a hat, although it would be more logical to walk in the forest in the summer in a cape than in a hat. But this is not the point, the main alteration was not at all this.
The story of the relationship between a wolf and a girl in Europe was retold to each other in the 14th century, however, chilling details were not present. If in the modern version of the fairy tale the wolf neatly eats the granny without leaving a single scratch from the fangs on her, then in the original version he prepares a rich soup from his prey. Then Little Red Riding Hood comes, here is a wolf in a grandmother's cap, invites her granddaughter to the table, they say, she just cooked.
The grandmother's cat tries to warn that the granddaughter does not eat the treat, but the false grandmother throws a wooden shoe at him, and so accurately that she inadvertently knocks the animal down. However, this circumstance of reprisal against her beloved pet does not bother the girl in any way, and she has a hearty lunch.
Then the girl undresses and goes to bed, where a wolf is waiting for her. And that's it, no lumberjacks (and why should they, if the grandmother has already started the soup), the finale remains open, so what will happen there in the future between the heroes of the tale, everyone decides to the extent of their depravity.
The happy ending with the lumberjacks and the salvation of the grandmother was composed by Charles Perrault, who, however, in order not to lower the degree of the educational moment, added, they say, this is the moral for those whom strangers invite to their bed.
Gretel and Hansel
A German folk tale, even in a modern interpretation, has a somewhat ambiguous intonation, which is even filmed for horror films. But her original version was not at all for the faint of heart. Its plot dates back to the 14th century, just during the Great Famine of 1315-1317. At that time, three years of frost in a row destroyed the entire crop, which killed almost a quarter of the population, cannibalism was widespread. Then the story of Gretel and Hansel appeared.
So, the original version assumes that parents driven to despair by hunger are not just going to get rid of extra mouths, but to eat them. By chance, the children overhear this conversation and run, saving themselves, into the forest. However, their plan is also very cruel, there they were going to sit out until their parents died of hunger, so they periodically came to the house again to find out if it was time to return.
So, one day a brother and sister again overhear the conversation of the elders that they managed to get some bread, but the "meat gravy" slipped out of their hands. Children, having stolen a piece of bread, go back to their shelter, but for some reason they mark the way with bread crumbs. They are immediately eaten by birds. It seemed that the guys did not have much time left, but here on their way they come across a house that is made entirely of bread. They pounce on him and gorge themselves.
After the guys decide to return home, taking with them bread and a witch, which was previously fried in their own oven. Parents no longer need to eat their children, there is enough bread and everyone is happy.
After the hunger was in the past, the fairy tale also changed, for example, the parents allegedly simply took the children to the forest, and were not going to eat them. And the house became a gingerbread house, apparently because children could no longer be seduced with ordinary bread. Nobody dragged the witch home with him either, she remained there in the oven.
But, despite this alteration, a lot of questions arise about the plot. And what will happen after the food that the children brought with them runs out? Have the children forgiven their parents for this behavior?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
This plot was preserved thanks to the folk storyteller Dorothea Wiemann, then it was recorded by the brothers Grimm, as usual in a more censored version, although it seems wild to the modern reader. What can we say about the original version.
The queen planned to eat Snow White, and clearly not from hunger, she conceived this, but from anger and cruelty. She ordered a servant to bring her lungs and heart. He, as in the modern version, seduced by the youth and beauty of the princess, goes to deception and leaves the girl alive. The queen is given the heart and lung of a deer. She immediately arranges a dinner party using these offal in the dishes.
By a traditional coincidence, the girl finds herself in the house of the seven dwarfs, who leave her with them, captivated by her beauty, and not by her culinary skills and economy. The queen learns that Snow White is alive, reincarnated as an old woman, poisons her with an apple, the girl falls into a lethargic sleep, and her body is laid in a crystal coffin and placed on the top of the mountain. It was there that the prince who was passing by found her.
As usual, he also really likes Snow White, even if she does not show signs of life. In the original version, he begins to persuade the dwarves to give him the body. Moreover, he offers them untold riches, but they do not agree. For what a young man needed the lifeless body of a young beauty, history is silent, apparently giving room for adult imagination.
While the prince was trying to bargain with the dwarfs, the servants unsuccessfully drop the coffin, that a piece of apple flies out of the princess's throat, with which she choked, and she comes to life. Then the wedding and a happy ending, in which the queen dances at the event, although before that they put iron shoes on her, heating them at the stake.
The plot, in many ways similar to Snow White, but there is an even earlier version. Before Charles Perrault, Giambattista Basile managed to write down a slightly more popular version and in it there is not at all so much romantic beginning. According to her, the girl in the coffin was found not by a young prince, but by a completely grown-up king. And he was also married. And he did not kiss her at all, but so took advantage of the girl's defenselessness that 9 months later, after their meeting, she gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl. So, one of the babies by mistake began to suck her finger and pulled out a splinter (in this version, the princess fell asleep, pricked with a spindle). The beauty does not have time to be upset by the fact that she is left to fend for herself, and even with children who have come from nowhere, when the king arrives.
No, the crowned person did not come at all to visit the offspring, he just remembered that he once spent a good time here and decided to return. Having learned about the children, he began to come regularly, to take care. But then the lawful wife of the king intervened in the matter, she gave the children to the cook for cooking dinner, and ordered the Beauty herself to be burned. But if not for her greed, then her plans might have been successful. But the queen ordered to take off the embroidered gold dress from the Beauty chained to the pillar.
The king, once again seduced by the beauty of a naked girl, decided to change their places with his wife. So the queen was burned at the stake, and Beauty took her place on the throne. Oh, yes, the children were saved by the cook.
The plot set out by the Brothers Grimm, although called Rapunzel, has many discrepancies with the modern cartoon. The married couple lived near a huge garden, in which there were many different vegetables, herbs and shrubs. So, the wife once wanted rapunzel (a plant of the Kolokolchikov family), the husband, in order to please his wife, secretly climbed into this garden, but once it seemed not enough, so the man was sent for an addition. But this time he was caught by a neighbor who turned out to be a witch. In exchange for freedom, she took from him a promise to give him a future daughter. The man, who also had no daughter in his plans, agreed to such an agreement. However, the witch did not forget the agreement and took the newborn girl for herself, calling her Rapunzel.
So the girl lived in captivity in a huge tower, until the prince came here, he met the girl, began to come regularly when the witch was not at home. So Rapunzel became pregnant and was no longer able to lift the witch in her hair into the tower as briskly as before. The latter did not like it at all, and she cut off her hair and drove her out. The hair, meanwhile, remained with the witch, she let it down from the tower and waited. Very soon the prince came and climbed them into the tower, where instead of his beloved he found a witch.
The witch scolded the prince and pushed him down from the tower, he fell right into the bushes, the thorns of which gouged out his eyes. He could not return back to his kingdom and began to wander around the world - a blind cripple. So he met his beloved, who had already managed to give birth to twins, she was so delighted at their meeting that her tears of happiness, falling on the prince's eye sockets, returned his sight.
Masha and the Three Bears
Despite the fact that the story about the girl Mashenka, who ate bears, is perceived as exclusively Russian, in fact it is not. This is a Scottish fairy tale that can be found in books on English folklore. It owes its popularity in Russia to Leo Tolstoy, who translated it and adapted it for the domestic reader.
In the original folklore version, there were no girls at all, there was a fox, or rather an old cunning fox, who made his way into the den to the bears and ate their supplies. The owners who returned inopportunely find him in their house, he rushes away, but they overtake him. And the story ends with the fact that the youngest bear cub was very fond of warming his paws in the skin of a fox.
Robert Southey, who published a slightly different version of a folk tale in the 19th century, turned the fox into an old woman. But the ending of the tale remains vague, the old woman, fleeing from the bears, jumps out the window, and her further fate is unknown. The author discusses this topic, they say, it is not clear whether she broke her neck during the fall, or was able to get out of the forest, or she was seized by the guards and, mistaken for a vagabond, was sent to a correctional institution. But she never came to the bears again.
But Lev Nikolaevich adapted the tale to the Russian way, leaving no morality in it, according to which one should not scour the bowls, in other people's houses. The girl not only gets out of the water dry, but also will be able to punish the bears.
Baba Yaga and her collective image
Perhaps the most popular negative heroes of all Slavic fairy tales is Bab-Yaga, her way of life, and the very appearance itself did not just catch up with fear and were invented according to the "terrible" principle, they have a secret meaning that is actually capable of frightening. It is not clear for modern children what a hut on chicken legs is, but their peers, living in the 13-15th centuries, knew very well that in the forest, in such huts, or the so-called "housekeepers" and "death huts" buried the dead.
Usually, this method of burial was practiced in the northern regions, where there are many trees, but it is too difficult to cut through the frozen ground. Where did chicken legs come from? There is also an explanation for this. In the forest, trees were found that stood nearby, they were cut down at a height of 1, 5-2 meters, in some places the roots were stripped so that the tree would dry out and not rot (here's the "chicken legs" for you), a blockhouse was erected on top, in which the deceased was laid, equipping him with a kind of dwelling.
Animals could not get to such structures, because they stood for a long time. Of course, such houses were considered scary and they tried to bypass them. However, it is likely that such stories were spread in order to instill fear and preserve the peace of the dead, because Baba Yaga herself lived in these structures.
Hence, everyone who came to these houses on chicken legs, first washed, and then went to bed.
The most popular among children (and adult girls) fairy tale about Cinderella also has a very unexpected plot in its original version. Where did her mom go and why her sisters mutilated themselves for the cherished shoe? The answers to these questions are also worth looking for in mythology and folklore.