Few people know that the most famous fairy tales are drawn from older stories. For example, when we talk about Sleeping Beauty , many remember the Disney cartoon, created from the story of Charles Perrault. The latter in fact reworked the story of a 17th-century Italian poet, Giambattista Basile, who had also borrowed this story from folklore.
WittyBubbles wishes today to tell you what the first versions of our favorite fairy tales looked like. When you read our article, you have to take into account that the ideas about morality and education were different at the time of writing. The cruelty of the works sent a very specific message to the children: you can not do that, otherwise you will die!
Sleeping Beauty – Giambattista Basile
Original title: Sun, Moon and Thalia
Because of the curse thrown by a wicked witch, the pretty young Thalia falls asleep after getting stung in the spindle. She is taken to an abandoned house in the woods. One day, during a hunting party, a king finds the little house and falls in love with the young woman. Some time later, the beautiful girl still asleep, gives birth to twins: the Sun and the Moon, who lie on his chest.
Later, one of the children loses her mother’s breast and brings her finger to her mouth, a finger on which is always a splinter of the poisoned spindle. He sucks the splinter and Thalia wakes up from his long sleep.
That’s when the king chooses to visit them again: he discovers the awakened beauty and his children, and realizes that he wants to be with them. But the king is married. His wife realizes that her husband has a mistress and orders that the children be cooked and the princess burned. Fortunately, the cook saves the twins and the king saves his beloved. It is the queen herself who falls into the fire instead of Thalia, whom the king finally marries.
The Tom Thumb – Charles Perrault
Hunger and poverty reign. The woodcutter and his wife have nothing to feed their seven sons. They decide to abandon them in the forest. One of the children, nicknamed Tom Thumb because of his small size, hears the machiavellian plan of his parents and picks up white pebbles. The parents take their children to the woods, but the clever little Tom Thumb throws the pebbles on the way, pebbles through which the brothers can find the way back the next day. The parents are happy that the children have survived because by the greatest of chances that day, they finally manage to pay their debts and buy food. But happiness does not last long …
Hunger returns, the parents apply their plan again, this time locking Tom Thumb to prevent him from picking up pebbles. The lost children wander in the forest and fall on the house of the ogre and his family. As they are afraid of wolves in the wood, they stay in this house. Tom Thumb understands that the ogre intends to devour them during the night. He replaces the hats of his brothers with the crowns of the seven daughters of the ogre.
When night comes, the ogre kills his daughters by mistake. The boys are fleeing, but the furious monster begins to chase them with his boots seven leagues to the feet. During a break, the ogre removes them and falls asleep. Tom Pouce then flies his boots, sends his brothers home and goes alone to the wife of the ogre to ask for a ransom to save her husband, who would be sequestered. The woman gives all her money to the child who goes home with his pockets full. The parents rejoice once again that everything has ended well.
The Three Little Pigs – English folk tale
The three little pigs grow up and decide to start living alone. At the time of their farewells, their mother gives them advice: “Whatever you do, do everything in the best possible way. It’s the only way to survive in this world. “
Then, everything happens as in the Disney cartoon, with the only difference that the wolf eats the two little pigs, after blowing on the straw house and the wooden house of the first brothers. But when he tries to enter the third house by the fireplace, he falls into the pot filled with boiling water.
After that, the hardworking brother visits his mother, tells her what happened and she repeats: “Whatever you do, do everything in the best way possible. It’s the only way to survive in this world. “
Cinderella – Giambattista Basil
Original title: Zezolla
Zezolla can no longer tolerate the cruel humiliations inflicted by her stepmother, decides to kill her with the help of his nurse, breaking his neck with the lid of a chest. The nurse, in love with Zezolla’s father for a long time, quickly became his new mother-in-law. The latter, however, has six daughters who do not give a minute’s respite to poor Zezolla, who never has peace.
One day, the king sees the beautiful girl and falls in love with her. The rest of the story is based on the Disney cartoon, but instead of a glass slipper (or vair, depending on the version), she wears only peasant shoes.
The Little Mermaid – Friedrich de la Motte-Fouqué
Original title: Ondine
A mermaid named Ondine falls in love with a knight, gets a human appearance and marries his great love. But their families are strongly opposed to such a union and confront young lovebirds. At this untimely moment, the young beauty Bertalda arrives at the castle and the young man falls in love with her.
Ondine’s uncle learns the news. To save the life of his beloved, Ondine then flows into the river. The young man marries Bertalda, but the ghost of the siren returns and kills the unfaithful husband.
On the knight’s grave, a brook appears, a symbol that his love is stronger than death.
The Adventures of Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi
The end was changed to happy end , 2 weeks after its publication
While Pinocchio, the wooden puppet, leaves his house for the first time, he is arrested by a policeman. He listens to the child and stops the carpenter after decreeing that Geppetto was mistreating his son. Back home, Pinocchio is forced to listen to speeches about disobedience of the Locust (Jiminy Cricket in the cartoon Disney), who lives with Geppetto for many years. The little boy is tired of sermons and kills the locust with a hammer. Then comes the story that we all know, but originally, in the end, the Fox and his companion the Cat disguise themselves as thieves and hang Pinocchio from a tree branch.
Snow White , Giambattista Basil
Snow White dies at the age of 7 and her body is then placed in seven glass coffins. It is the uncle of the deceased who holds the keys of the coffins. The mother of the little girl dies of sorrow and pain. The child continues to grow and one day becomes a real beauty.
The uncle’s new wife discovers the glass coffins, opens them, takes out the poisoned comb from Snow White’s hair that wakes up from her deadly sleep. Thinking that the beautiful girl is the secret lover of her husband, the stepmother constantly humiliates her, beats her and ends up turning her into a slave. The girl can not do any more of his situation, decides to commit suicide, but tells all his feelings and problems to his doll before committing the irreparable. The uncle hears his monologue, and decides to expel his wife, save Snow White and make sure that she marries a good man.
So, do you think stories have changed a lot? According to you, will they continue to evolve over the centuries or will they remain as they are? Do not hesitate to give us your opinion in the comments below!
Sleeping Beauty / Walt Disney cover photo