Original versions of fairytales

By Rita Nicholson


In the original version, the prince finds Rapunzel in her tower after hearing her singing. One day, the enchantress who originally hid Rapunzel in the tower finds out about the secret relationship and banishes Rapunzel to the desert. When the prince finds out, he jumps from the tower and lands on rose bushes. He’s blinded by the thorns and blindly wanders the forest until he stumbles upon the desert where Rapunzel now lives in banishment. She has also given birth to twins. Rapunzel’s tears upon seeing the prince cure his blindness, and they all live happily after.

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel’s family are starving, so the stepmother convinces their father to abandon the children in the woods. However, Hansel leaves a trail of pebbles that he and Gretel can follow home. This happens a couple of times until the stepmother locks the door so Hansel can’t use pebbles. Instead, he has to use what little bread was given to him. When the parents abandon Hansel and Gretel, they can’t find their way home because the birds have eaten crumbs. Forced to wander through the forest, Hansel and Gretel eventually find a house made of sweets. Inside the house is an old witch who invites them in and feeds them. The old woman locks Hansel in the stable and forces Gretel (who only gets crab shells to eat) to cook for Hansel to fatten him up. Later, Gretel tricks the witch into climbing into the oven, where she burns to death, and Hansel and Gretel return home with stolen jewels from the witch’s house.


A miller falsely claims that his daughter can spin straw into gold in order to appear important to the king. The king demands the daughter to be brought in and spin a room full of straw into gold overnight. If she fails, she dies. The daughter doesn’t know what to do but is saved by a little man who will take something in exchange for spinning all the straw into gold. The first day, he takes her necklace, the second day her ring and the third day the promise of her firstborn child. The king makes her the queen after seeing all the new gold. When the queen has her first child, the small man comes to collect on her promise. He tells the queen that if she can guess his name within three days, she can keep the child. The queen has no luck on the first two days, but is told a story by a messenger that had seen a strange, little man shouting in glee and overheard mention of his name. On the third day, the queen correctly guesses his name. Rumpelstiltskin is so mad that he lodges his entire leg in the ground, and when he tries to pull himself out, he’s so angry that he tears himself in half.

The Little Mermaid

On her 15th birthday, the little mermaid saves a prince from drowning when his ship capsizes. She becomes infatuated and desperate to be with him on dry land, so she goes to a sea witch. The witch makes a deal: the little mermaid’s voice in exchange for a pair of legs and an immortal soul. The little mermaid agrees, and the witch cuts out her tongue. When the mermaid reaches the surface she has legs, but every step is like stepping on knives. The mermaid must marry the prince in order to obtain an immortal soul, but he is in love with someone else. If he marries someone else, the mermaid will turn to sea foam. On the day of the wedding, the mermaid’s sisters give her an enchanted dagger. If the mermaid stabs the prince in the chest and touches her feet to her blood, she will turn back into a mermaid. However, the mermaid cannot make herself do this and throws herself into the sea, where she turns to seafoam. However, her soul joins a group of other mermaids’ souls that have the potential to gain an immortal soul by performing good deeds throughout the land.

Sleeping Beauty

When a princess is born, the king invites 12 of 13 Wise Women from the kingdom to bless her. The third woman, who wasn’t invited, appears and curses the princess to touch a spindle on her 15th birthday and die. Another wise women, however, manages to reduce the curse to a deep sleep for 100 years. The curse comes true when the princess is 15; she touches a spindle and falls into a sleep. All living things in the castle fall asleep too, and rose bushes grow around the castle. After 100 years, a prince manages to get through the hedge wall. He kisses the sleeping princess, causing her to awake, as well as everything else in the castle. He and the princess then marry and live happily ever after. You’re changing tenses here.

Little Snow White

As Snow White grows up and becomes even more beautiful, her stepmother, the queen, gets jealous. She orders a hunter to take the child into the woods, kill her and bring back her heart. The hunter cannot make himself kill Snow White, so he kills a wild boar instead and brings the heart back to the queen. She promptly eats it. Meanwhile, Snow White finds shelter with seven dwarves in the forest. When the queen asks the mirror on the wall who is the most fairest of them all, she is told Snow White is the most beautiful. The jealous queen visits the cottage in the forest and attempts three different times to kill Snow White. The first time with lace, like a corset, on the second time with a poison comb, and the third with a poison apple. Snow White is brought back to life each time, but before she could be revived the third time, the dwarves put her body in a glass coffin that a prince eventually takes back to his palace. On the way there, the piece of apple she ate falls out of her throat and she wakes up. When the queen is told again that Snow White is the fairest of them all, she goes to the dwarves’ cottage but doesn’t expect to find iron shoes in the fire, which she is forced to wear and dance in until she dies.

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