We’ve heard so many stories growing up. The tales were meant to teach us life-lessons and fill our hearts with joy (or relief, based on the story). But what if I was to tell you that there’s another version of these childhood stories, the ones we’ve never heard because they were too gruesome to be told? Yes, The Brothers Grimm is a collection of childhood stories as they see it, and it’s not meant for the faint-hearted. Here’s but a taste of what they could do:
7. Little Red Riding Hood
Contrary to popular belief, little red riding hood never actually escapes the wolf. The wolf makes his way to her grandmother’s house and eats her first. Upon little red riding hood’s arrival, he eats her too and falls asleep on the bed. A huntsman hears the wolf snoring and is about to shoot him when he realizes that the wolf might have eaten them. So he cuts the wolf open with a knife and rescues them both. They then flood the wolf’s stomach with stones and when he wakes up, he’s killed by the weight of the stones. The huntsman skins the wolf alive and makes a pelt, while the girl realizes that she should never take directions from strangers ever again.
In this tale, Cinderella was ill-treated by her two step-sisters and wasn’t allowed to go to a festival. Every day she cried by a magical tree, which made her wishes come true. She managed to impress the prince with magnificent dresses until he set a trap and plucked away her show. He went around town to get it to fit on the mystery woman’s leg, only to find that it was Cinderella, the little rag girl. When their wedding came to be, two sparrows plucked out her sisters’ eyes so that they remained in darkness forever, punishment for having treated Cinderella cruelly for many years.
5. Sleeping Beauty
In this version, the king throws a magnificent feast to celebrate the birth of his daughter. He wanted to invite the 13 Wise Women but he had only 12 plates so he didn’t invite one of them. The uninvited one placed a curse on the child that she’d fall into a 100 year sleep on her 15th birthday when she pricks a needle. It so happened that she meets an old woman and pricks her finger on a spinning needle. She fell into a deep sleep and her sleep spread throughout the castle. Years later, a young prince was determined to investigate this curse and found sleeping beauty. He gave her a kiss and she awoke. Thus they lived happily ever after until they died.
4. Snow White
We all know that a evil witch gave Snow White a cursed apple which was meant to kill her. In the Grimm tales, a young prince wanted to mourn her death and so asked his pallbearers to carry her coffin. One of them stumbled and fell, thus dislodging the poisoned apple from her mouth. When the wicked witch saw her, she was frightened beyond belief. The dwarves and the prince placed burning coals in an iron shoe and forced the wicked witch to dance with those shoes until she fell to the ground dead.
The prince meets Rapunzel for the first time and they share a day together. She becomes pregnant and when the sorceress found out about it, she took Rapunzel to the woods where she left her for dead. The prince returned to find the sorceress, who told him that she was dead. In his grief-stricken state, he threw himself off her tower, only to survive the impact and blind himself on a thorn. He wandered in the woods blind when he stumbled upon Rapunzel, who had now given birth to their twins. She cried into his eyes and he regained his sight. He took her to his castle where they lived happily ever after.
2. The Little Mermaid
In many renditions, Ariel is transformed into a human so she can marry Prince Eric. But in the Grimm version, she finds the news of him getting married to someone else. She is offered a knife with which to stab the prince but instead decides to jump into the sea and die by turning to froth. Other versions show her waiting becoming a ‘daughter of the air’, waiting to be taken up to heaven.
1. The Girl Without Hands
None of the stories surrounding this particular tale has a happy ending. In one version of this story, a farmer is offered wealth by a devil if he can take what’s behind his house. The farmer agrees, only to realize later that it’s his daughter. The devil tries to take her but cannot, because she is so pure. So he threatens her and forces her father to cut her arms off. In other versions of the story, she cuts her own arms off to look ugly to her brother who’s trying to rape her. A third version of the same shows the father cutting off her hands because she refuses to have sex with him. I suppose that the Grimm version happens to be the least violent of the lot, which is ironic and sad at the same time.