Thank you to everyone whose been leaving the wonderful reviews on Sleeping Beauty! The reviews have been so detailed and helpful, I’m so thankful and appreciative! Here’s the next short: The Assignment! (PDF File) It’s a bit early, but I wanted to get it out well before Christmas so you all could enjoy it before the mad rush. Anyway! The Assignment is a short story from Firra’s POV, and covers how she was assigned to watch out for Briar Rose. I hope you enjoy it! Now, may the fun continue!
As we learned in my previous post, turns out there’s a ton of Sleeping Beauty stories out there, however, my adaptation is based mostly on the Brothers’ Grimm Little Briar Rose and Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty. Since Little Briar Rose draws its origins from Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty, I’m going to focus on Perrault’s story but add in the bits and pieces that make Little Briar Rose different. So strap in, Champions, and prepared to be seriously weirded out!
You know that Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty we all love and cherish? It bears only the slightest resemblance to the actual fairy tale. Here’s how the original goes down.
A king and a queen who have wanted children forever finally have a child–a little girl. They invite seven fairies to her christening with the idea that they would all become her godmothers. The royal couple gives the fairies gold plates and jeweled goblets. An eighth fairy shows up and is given only a fine china plate and a crystal cup. She hadn’t been invited because she was super old and spent most of her time up in a tower, so everyone thought she was dead. The china plate/crystal cup really tick off the old fairy, so she waits until six of the seven fairies give their gifts to the princess (Voice of a nightingale, good at dancing, beautiful, etc) and then proclaims that the princess will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. The final fairy attempts to reverse the curse , but she is too young and is only able to change it so instead of dying the princess will fall into a deep sleep for 100 years, and then be woken by a prince. (A difference in Little Briar Rose is that the old fairy shows up and curses the princess because she wasn’t’ invited, not because her plate and cup weren’t as nice.)
So the king proclaims that all spinning wheels must be destroyed, and no one can use or own one, or they will be killed. (This is a really stupid idea because it means that everyone in this kingdom has no way to make fabrics and thread, so either textile imports are going to go through the roof, or everyone is going to be walking around in their birthday suit. Either way, it will bring financial and emotional woes to the people.)
The princess grows up and whens hes’ 15 or 16, and has been left alone in the palace, she finds an old woman spinning. Curious, because she had never seen a spinning wheel, she picks up the spindle, pricks herself, and falls asleep.
The fairy who countered the curse hears about it and pops by the palace where she’s filled in by the king and queen. She realizes that the princess will be very upset to wake up and learn that everyone she knew is dead/gone, so she casts a spell on the palace and everyone falls asleep. (In Little Briar Rose, the entire palace is instantly spelled with her and the good fairy never returns.)
A huge hedge grows around the palace, protecting everyone inside, and though many men try to fight their way past the hedge none succeed. Eventually 100 years pass. The sleeping princess is now just a legend, but a prince from a neighboring kingdom decides to check it out.
In a case of good luck, the prince happens to arrive just as the requisite 100 years is up, so he strolls up to the hedge that retreats before him. (While I applaud the prince’s sense of adventure, he really doesn’t do anything to prove he’s worthy of the princess.)
He makes his way all the way up to where the princess is sleeping. In Perrault’s story he waltzes in just as she is waking up and the two fall in love at first sight (Because it’s always a good idea to fall in love with some stranger who randomly shows up in your bedroom?) and in the story of Briar Rose he kisses her and then she awakens.
The couple eventually go downstairs where the king and queen give them permission to marry and they live happily ever after…or so it goes for the Brothers Grimm princess!
Perrault’s story continues where the good-for-nothing-prince fails to tell his parents he’s married! He splits his time between the princess’s kingdom and his own, has two kids with her, and still doesn’t tell his parents! (He withholds the info because apparently his mom is part ogre and might do something bad.) He waits until his dad dies (His dad being the NICE GUY, not his ogre mother who was the whole reason he didn’t want to reveal his marriage) and he’s made the king before he finally reveals that he’s got a wife and kids. And after he finally brings them to his kingdom, he rides off to war, leaving his family with the mother that he previously worked against so she wouldn’t learn they existed.
The ogre mother has it out for the princess, and she tries to eat the two kids, but the prince’s servants are apparently better people than the prince himself, because they protect the royal family. The prince returns and the ogre mom kills herself. (Well. That escalated quickly!)
It’s worth noting that the Brother’s Grimm divided out this second half of sleeping beauty, and made it into a different fairy tale. Additionally, it’s also worth noting that Perrault cleans up this story quite a bit, as in the story he based it on—Sun, Moon, and Talia—the prince is actually already married and is, bar none, the worst prince I have ever read of in a fairy tale. (I don’t want to get into it, but if you want to read a summary of the story click here!)
That’s all for today, Champions! Thank you for reading, have a Merry Christmas, and a lovely holiday weekend!