Saturday, July 07, 2018

Keep It Short #26

This week I read two tales from Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book.

Hansel and Grettel

First sentence: Once upon a time there dwelt on the outskirts of a large forest a poor woodcutter with his wife and two children; the boy was called Hansel and the girl Grettel.

Premise/plot:  One day the children overhear their father and stepmother plotting together. The stepmother claims that great famine has driven her to this mad scheme: to lose the two children in the woods so that her and her husband won't starve as quickly. (Should he be worried that he's next?) Hansel comes up with a plan. But will that plan work indefinitely?

Can Hansel save Grettel? Can Grettel save Hansel? Will these two make it out of the woods alive?

My thoughts: This story doesn't really get less creepy no matter how many times you read it. And there are plenty of variations from storybook to storybook. Perhaps it was complete and total overlook on my part but I'd not noticed it was a stepmother and not a mother involved. I'd also never noticed the aid of a white duck who ferries them across--one at a time--a lake so they can return back home.

Last sentence: My story is done. See! there runs a little mouse; anyone who catches it may make himself a large fur cap out of it.

Can I just add, NO thanks.

Snow-White and Rose-Red

First sentence: A poor widow once lived in a little cottage with a garden in front of it, in which grew two rose trees, one bearing white roses and the other red. She had two children, who were just like the two rose trees; one was called Snow-white and the other Rose-red, and they were the sweetest and best children in the world, always diligent and always cheerful; but Snow-white was quieter and more gentle than Rose-red.

Premise/plot: Snow White and Rose Red live a good life but perhaps not a great life. But their luck might change after befriending a bear and welcoming it into their home.

My thoughts: I have read a novel adaptation of this one. But this is the first time I've read the original story. OR it's the first time as an adult blogger that I've read the story and can recall it. The length is just right for a fairy tale, but after reading the novel it feels short.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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