Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rumpelstiltskin - A Scary Fairy Tale Story

Today I was able to summon the courage to read one of the fairy tales that used to frighten me big time when I was a kid: Rumpelstiltskin.

In case you don’t know the story, it goes like this. There was a miller who lied to the King that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Curious, the king took the girl and locked her up in a tower filled with straw. She must be able to spin all the straw into gold in three days or else she’ll be executed. Just when she’d given up everything, a dwarfish man appeared and agreed to spin the straw into gold for her in exchange for her necklace, and then for her ring. When she had nothing to give, he made her promise to give him her first born. Finally all the straw was spun into gold and the King, impressed decided to marry the girl. After their first child was born, the dwarfish man appeared and demanded that the queen pay her debt. Eventually, the queen was able to persuade him to let her keep the child if she is able to guess her name in three days. Unfortunately for the dwarfish man, a servant of the queen heard him chant in the middle of the night, in the middle of the forest, his name: Rumpelstiltskin! When he went to claim the child again, the queen was able to answer his question and Rumpelstiltskin, because of his anger, stomped his right foot on the ground, where it got caught. Then he tried to yank off with both his hand the same foot and accidentally tore himself into two. So he died and all the straw that Rumpelstiltskin spun into gold in the past went back into being straw.

Until now I still wonder how in the world did this became a children’s story. Rumpelstiltskin’s chant was eerie enough. It made mention of a lot of gruesome stuff like baking the child and eventually brewing it. There is no cute character in it too. When I was younger, I had nightmares after I read this story. Though the story is a “they lived happily ever after” type it still leaves certain paranoia on its readers afterwards. In the same way that the movie “Sixth Sense” left its viewers wondering whether the paranormal do exist, Rumpelstiltskin tend to keep kids wondering about a little dwarfish man who might probably be hiding under their beds, ready to kidnap them if their mom failed to guess its name right.

God bless and always keep your faith intact!

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