Quick Check-In

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on ipod right now): None.

Hey everyone. I was meaning to post up some more great stuff this week, but then we had a family emergency. I'm hoping to have it roll over into next week, but we'll see how it goes. Thanks for your patience guys!


Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Use Somebody by 2CELLOS.

There is a fantastic, now long-buried series Sarah Beth Durst did when she was writing her Into the Woods & Out of the Woods books where she took obscure fairy tales and gave a dash of commonsense commentary to them. I highly recommend them. Who needs kittens when you can have a laugh out loud fairy tale story?

It has been so long since she had updated that I decided it was time to add to the menagerie. Bluebeard is both famous and at the same time really not. I was so creeped out as a child at finding the dead wives hanging up in the room like old coats. There was even a picture in my book, complete with trickles of blood running along the grout. Yeah, stuff for the not faint of heart. But is one that has stuck with me, so that is the one I want to do today...

Blue Beard (from Charles Perrault)

There was once a man who had fine houses, but was so unlucky as to have a blue beard, which made him so frightfully ugly that all the women and girls ran away from him.

Of course, with all that wealth no one could have possibly recommended a good dye for him.

One of his neighbors, a lady of quality, had two daughters who were perfect beauties. He desired of her one of them in marriage, leaving it up to her which of the two she would bestow on him.

Hey, what’s one girl against another? It’s like picking out cans of soup, right?

 Neither of them would have him, and they sent him backwards and forwards from one to the other, not being able to bear the thoughts of marrying a man who had a blue beard. Adding to their disgust and aversion was the fact that he already had been married to several wives, and nobody knew what had become of them.

I love that the blue beard is their first and foremost aversion. The rest can all be worked out. Long story short, he courts both of them, and the youngest decides his beard may not be quite so blue after all. No mention to the MIA wives. Glamor magazine would be so proud for putting your priorities right.

As soon as they returned home, the marriage was concluded. About a month afterwards, Blue Beard told his wife that he was obliged to take a country journey for six weeks at least, about affairs of very great consequence. He desired her to divert herself in his absence, to send for her friends and acquaintances, to take them into the country, if she pleased, and to make good cheer wherever she was.

Aww, perhaps the most amicable arranged marriage after all. Especially compared to one where you’re not being nearly eaten by a dragon and given away as prize money. Free reign of the house ain’t bad.

Lots of keys (including all the stores of his gold and treasuries, strongboxes, apartments and the whole shebang, oh yeah, don’t touch that tiny key which leads to a completely nonessential part of the house. Little key = bad, remember.

“Open them all” he told her. “Go into each and every one of them, except that little closet, which I forbid you, and forbid it in such a manner that, if you happen to open it, you may expect my just anger and resentment."

“Anger and resentment?” So… no second helpings of cupcakes after dinner kind of angry?

She promised to observe, very exactly, whatever he had ordered. Then he, after having embraced her, got into his coach and proceeded on his journey.

Her neighbors and good friends did not wait to be sent for by the newly married lady. They were impatient to see all the rich furniture of her house, and had not dared to come while her husband was there, because of his blue beard, which frightened them.

Dude, this guy’s beard must be REALLY BLUE. Like, neon blue.

They ran through all the rooms, closets, and wardrobes, which were all so fine and rich that they seemed to surpass one another.

After that, they went up into the two great rooms, which contained the best and richest furniture. They could not sufficiently admire the number and beauty of the tapestry, beds, couches, cabinets, stands, tables, and looking glasses,

On and on and on. You get the idea. Let’s just say they liked the stuff. A lot.

They ceased not to extol and envy the happiness of their friend, who in the meantime in no way diverted herself in looking upon all these rich things, because of the impatience she had to go and open the closet on the ground floor.

Wow, dude. Really? It hasn’t even been a DAY yet. I get hungry slower than this. Go count the silverware or something. You have the key to every strongbox in the house. Go on a vacation! Buy a ham!

She was so much pressed by her curiosity that, without considering that it was very uncivil for her to leave her company, she went down a little back staircase, and with such excessive haste that she nearly fell and broke her neck.

Well that was sudden. You know, there are some very emotionally passionate people in this story.

Having come to the closet door, she made a stop for some time, thinking about her husband's orders, and considering what unhappiness might attend her if she was disobedient.

No cupcakes and no ham, for starters.

But the temptation was so strong that she could not overcome it. She then took the little key, and opened it, trembling. At first she could not see anything plainly, because the windows were shut.

There are WINDOWS in this place? He is not lacking for audacity, that’s for sure.

After some moments she began to perceive that the floor was all covered over with clotted blood, on which lay the bodies of several dead women, ranged against the walls.

Considering he married them all at different times and being out in the open and all, you really have to wonder what state of decay they are in. If not, this guy would own the market on embalming.

(These were all the wives whom Blue Beard had married and murdered, one after another.)

Just in case you couldn’t piece it together on your own.

She thought she should have died for fear, and the key, which she, pulled out of the lock, fell out of her hand. After having somewhat recovered her surprise, she picked up the key, locked the door, and went upstairs into her chamber to recover; but she could not, so much was she frightened.

The guests are apparently forgotten. Don’t worry, I’m sure they can find their way out. Along with all those gilded mirrors and tapestries and… No no, don’t trouble yourself. You just have dead bodies in your basement and you’re probably next.

Having observed that the key to the closet was stained with blood, she tried two or three times to wipe it off; but the blood would not come out; in vain did she wash it, and even rub it with soap and sand. The blood still remained, for the key was magical and she could never make it quite clean; when the blood was gone off from one side, it came again on the other.

If it was magical, then why let her in at all? There are so many Wizard Weasley Wheeze jokes you could pull with a magical key like this! But hey, maybe he has a rule where he can’t kill them until they look. Why not? We’ll go for that.

Blue Beard returned from his journey the same evening, saying that he had received letters upon the road, informing him that the affair he went about had concluded to his advantage.

After less than a day, including traveling time. Let’s say the magic key has a magic homing beacon as well. And did anyone check the silver?

His wife did all she could to convince him that she was extremely happy about his speedy return.

The next morning he asked her for the keys, which she gave him, but with such a trembling hand that he easily guessed what had happened.

"What!" said he, "is not the key of my closet among the rest?"

"I must," said she, "have left it upstairs upon the table."

"Fail not," said Blue Beard, "to bring it to me at once."

After several goings backwards and forwards, she was forced to bring him the key. Blue Beard, having very attentively considered it, said to his wife, "Why is there blood on the key?"

"I do not know," cried the poor woman, paler than death.

Lying is not going to help you at this point. At this point it is most prudent to look for sharp, pointy objects to defend yourself with.

"You do not know!" replied Blue Beard. "I very well know. You went into the closet, did you not? Very well, madam; you shall go back, and take your place among the ladies you saw there."

Upon this she threw herself at her husband's feet, and begged his pardon with all the signs of a true repentance, vowing that she would never more be disobedient. She would have melted a rock, so beautiful and sorrowful was she; but Blue Beard had a heart harder than any rock!

"You must die, madam," said he, "at once."

You heard the man. Not in an hour, not after elevensies, at once.

"Since I must die," answered she (looking upon him with her eyes all bathed in tears), "give me some little time to say my prayers."

"I give you," replied Blue Beard, "half a quarter of an hour, but not one moment more."

Oh, so apparently not at once. What a nice, psychopathic, serial-killing husband!

When she was alone she called out to her sister, and said to her, "Sister Anne" (for that was her name), "go up, I beg you, to the top of the tower, and look if my brothers are not coming. They promised me that they would come today, and if you see them, give them a sign to make haste."

Where on earth has her sister been skulking to be in that kind of calling distance? Does she sleep with her under her bed? And of course, never mind about looking for a window or knife or anything. Apparently you blue-boyed husband isn’t guarding you while you say your prayers.

Her sister Anne went up to the top of the tower, and the poor afflicted wife cried out from time to time, "Anne, sister Anne, do you see anyone coming?"

Still waiting for that knife. Or handy rope made of sheets. Oh course if she is on the ground floor it would be a hope skip and jump out the unguarded window. But that would be too easy.

And sister Anne said, "I see nothing but a cloud of dust in the sun, and the green grass."

 Don’t worry your head about finding rope or knife either, Anne.

In the meanwhile Blue Beard, holding a great saber in his hand, cried out as loud as he could bawl to his wife, "Come down instantly, or I shall come up to you."

"One moment longer, if you please," said his wife; and then she cried out very softly, "Anne, sister Anne, do you see anybody coming?"

And sister Anne answered, "I see nothing but a cloud of dust in the sun, and the green grass."

"Come down quickly," cried Blue Beard, "or I will come up to you."

"I am coming," answered his wife; and then she cried, "Anne, sister Anne, do you not see anyone coming?"

"I see," replied sister Anne, "a great cloud of dust approaching us."

"Are they my brothers?"

"Alas, no my dear sister, I see a flock of sheep."

"Will you not come down?" cried Blue Beard.

You should go down to your death. I mean, he has asked politely three times.

"One moment longer," said his wife, and then she cried out, "Anne, sister Anne, do you see nobody coming?"

"I see," said she, "two horsemen, but they are still a great way off."

"God be praised," replied the poor wife joyfully. "They are my brothers. I will make them a sign, as well as I can for them to make haste."

It couldn’t possibly be any other two riders on the face of the earth. At least this girl has faith, even if she doesn’t have an ounce of sense.

Then Blue Beard bawled out so loud that he made the whole house tremble. The distressed wife came down

Voluntairly? You’re kidding me, girl. I think you know what he plans to do.

and threw herself at his feet, all in tears, with her hair about her shoulders.

That’s your last defense? Something else has GOT to have crossed your mind by now.

"This means nothing," said Blue Beard. "You must die!" Then, taking hold of her hair with one hand, and lifting up the sword with the other, he prepared to strike off her head. The poor lady, turning about to him, and looking at him with dying eyes, desired him to afford her one little moment to recollect herself.

"No, no," said he, "commend yourself to God," and was just ready to strike.

At this very instant there was such a loud knocking at the gate that Blue Beard made a sudden stop.

He has excellent hearing if he is inside the house.

The gate was opened, and two horsemen entered. Drawing their swords, they ran directly to Blue Beard. He knew them to be his wife's brothers, one a dragoon, the other a musketeer; so that he ran away immediately to save himself; but the two brothers pursued and overtook him before he could get to the steps of the porch.

Outside, apparently. Eh, who needs secrecy now anyway?

Then they ran their swords through his body and left him dead. The poor wife was almost as dead as her husband, and had not strength enough to rise and welcome her brothers.

I’m pretty sure he is more dead than you.

Blue Beard had no heirs, and so his wife became mistress of all his estate. She made use of one part of it to marry her sister Anne to a young gentleman who had loved her a long while; another part to buy captains' commissions for her brothers, and the rest to marry herself to a very worthy gentleman, who made her forget the ill time she had passed with Blue Beard.

And all the newly-introduced deus ex machina characters (except Anne. But she didn't have a name until 3/4 of the story) all live happily ever after! :)

A Lovely Thing - Jim Henson's The Storyteller

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): When Can I See You Again by Owl City [Wreck It Ralph soundtrack].

 Jim Henson is a master storyteller. There is no denying his revolutionizing work with puppetry, nor his iconic characters. But it seems few people know of his work outside of the Muppets.

Now, some are familiar with the Dark Crystal (a movie which I adore but still haunts my little child-memory to this day). More still are versed with the Labyrinth, a fantastic movie in its own right, and a fairy tale in its own way. I hadn't thought of doing a post just on that but perhaps…

The Labyrinth is quite arguably a modern fairy tale in its own right, and hints at Henson's love of those stories. Which brings me to perhaps one of his least-known works of all, outside of his commercials, that is - The Storyteller series.

Created back in 1988, it is a work that is both lovely and remarkable. Narrated by the excellent John Hurt (of the Ollivander from Harry Potter variety), as well as a talking dog, voiced by Brian Henson (of the Jim Henson variety), ;) it is a collection of 9 retold fairy tales. Some well known, others, less so. You'll remember from my last list of 10 Fantastic Unknown Fairy Tales - The Grimm's Edition, Allerleirauh, or "Sapsorrow" as it is known here, was first introduced to me through Jim Henson's Storyteller and is a far more rocking Cinderella than the usual version that is thrown around. There is an emotionally strong and clever girl in this one, that's for sure.

I didn't grasp the full awesome of this series until I was reading a book all about Jim Henson (I wanted to know how he got into being a puppeteer, and if a certain story I'd heard about him was true). It covered the gamut of his work, and I learned some things about the Dark Crystal I had not known before (those skekis things STILL freak me out). But I also gained a deeper understanding of this now-beloved fairy tale series.

Each story opens up with our storyteller, John Hurt. After a brief introduction and weaving of words that feels like magic itself we are thrown into the story at hand, often with a little help of some nifty camera work. I discovered that Jim Henson was intentional with every piece of magic he worked. He wanted to hearken back to the days of when these stories were first made real. When they were told orally. He wanted to make us feel like we were sitting right there beside our storyteller, and then as he delves into the story, as we are fully immersed and our imaginations are flung back, and it is as if we are actually there. Hence the tricky, sudden, and cool camerawork. It is quite effective, once you realize what is happening.

Of the nine stories told my favorites include:
The Three Ravens
A Story Short

"The True Bride," even though it has a very young Sean Bean in it (I squealed when I first recognized him), was not quite good enough to make my top three. But I love the white lion. :)

But there is still more. This was a brief series, and how I wish it had been longer. But there is a book, which came to me as a very startling birthday surprise to me one year. It is even written by the same man who penned the episodes they came from. And the clincher I love - the illustrations are done with the same visuals as the Storyteller series. It is wonderful to sit and read them as fairy tales as well as having our oral tradition, and I cannot recommend the book highly enough.

If you can, find a way to get hold of this hidden treasure of Jim Henson's. You'll learn to sit back, enjoy the fire, and always be prepared for a great story. :)

Monday's Muse, 71st edition.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Video Killed the Radio Star by Amber Pacific.

The idea of Monday's Muse is to introduce you to unknown, forgotten, or overlooked fiction that has been lost from regular radar. I am WriterGirl. I am in the business of saving lives, one book at a time.

What I do is go to one of several places, narrow it down to a YA field and type in a random word, any word that comes to mind. I then take a sampling of some I have never heard of before, or only vaguely heard of (and hopefully you as well). No infringement is intended for any description I take for the books. It's purely for promotional reasons. I will try and cover as many genres as possible that are fitting for the random word. Simple but it really uncovers some incredible gems. I will be doing this every other Monday. If there are any words you want to prompt me with, go ahead and fire away.

Today's random word:
Fairy Tales - One for Every Disney Princess :)

Snow White

Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison.

Two sisters. One a witch and a queen. The other transformed by her sister's touch into a mirror--a mirror with voice and memory and magic, but no power to transform herself back to the girl she once was. And then, mysteriously, the queen disappears and another girl finds the mirror. This girl has troubles of her own, but she is also a means to escape and soon the girl and the mirror are on their way to find the magic that will bring both pain and hope to both of them.

Sleeping Beauty

 A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan.

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose-- hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire-- is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes-- or be left without any future at all.


Ash by Malinda Lo.

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

The Little Mermaid

Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon.

Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.

Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart….  

A surprising take on the classic tale, Mermaid is the story of two women with everything to lose. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, it will make you think twice about the fairytale you heard as a child, keeping you in suspense until the very last page.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty by Robin McKinley.

A strange imprisonment

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"

Robin McKinley's beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple: Beauty and the Beast.

1001 Arabian Nights

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher.

Every night, Shahrazad begins a story. And every morning, the Sultan lets her live another day -- providing the story is interesting enough to capture his attention. After almost one thousand nights, Shahrazad is running out of tales. And that is how Marjan's story begins....

It falls to Marjan to help Shahrazad find new stories -- ones the Sultan has never heard before. To do that, the girl is forced to undertake a dangerous and forbidden mission: sneak from the harem and travel the city, pulling tales from strangers and bringing them back to Shahrazad. But as she searches the city, a wonderful thing happens. From a quiet spinner of tales, Marjan suddenly becomes the center of a more surprising story than she ever could have imagined.


My Lady, Pocahontas by Kathleen Kudlinski.

Neetah, Pocahontas’s Pamunkey friend and servant, could hear the words princess and My Lady whispered from the lips of the white men who had settled in the colony they called Jamestown.
Pocahontas, the daughter of the Supreme Chief of the Confederacy, was important in their eyes, and Neetah, too, could see something special within her bold friend.
She accompanied Pocahontas to Jamestown regularly, to this fort of smelly, hairy men whose food supply was slowly disappearing. The girls’ mission was clear: to protect the Confederacy by finding out as much as they could about these strangers and report back to the Supreme Chief. But the daring Pocahontas, led by visions, had other intentions as well. My Lady Pocahontas tells an important early chapter of America’s history from the Pamunkey viewpoint as the drama of two clashing cultures unfolds.


The Wild Orchid: A Retelling of the Ballad of Mulan by Cameron Dokey.

Wielding a sword as deftly as an embroidery needle, Mulan is unlike any other girl in China. When the emperor summons a great army, each family must send a male to fight. Tomboyish Mulan is determined to spare her aging father and bring her family honor, so she disguises herself and answers the call.

But Mulan never expects to find a friend, let alone a soul mate, in the commander of her division, Prince Jian. For all of Mulan's courage with a bow and arrow, is she brave enough to share her true identity and feelings with Prince Jian?

The Frog Prince

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?


Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, & Nathan Hale.

Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.
Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.
Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

Feature Fun Friday - The Storyteller.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Lighthouse by Max and the Moon.

A fun teaser for what's coming next week. :)

Horrible Fathers in Fairy Tales

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Kiriki by Danny Elfman [IRIS soundtrack].

Let's start with the most famous fairy tale of all. Cinderella's daddy. Somehow he didn't notice the magical transformation in his new wife and the overt and clear physical and emotional abuse? Good gracious, man! Going back to early versions, if he hasn't been murdered or died off conveniently, then he was dominated by his wife to the point Cinderella refused to tell him because instead of believing her he would have scolded her because he was cowed by his wife. A little bit of spine on his part would have changed this story entirely. And probably saved this girl a lot of therapy.

Now we've got the meek variety covering the gamut of fairy tale fiction from The Fisherman's Wife to the dear father in Hansel and Gretel--talk about messed up. Agrees to leave his kids in the woods so that they, the adults, won't starve. Because his wife thinks it's a dandy idea. There may be some huffing and hesitation in some versions, but it really doesn't take long on his part to cave. That plus eating children--why is this in our commonly-read cannon again? I'm still trying to figure out what the warning is, other than… seriously don't trust the adults in your life? Two want to abandon you to save their own skin and the other wants to eat you. At least Gretel is smart enough to get them out of all their scrapes.

Then we just have the moronic. The miller in Rumpelstiltskin. He loudly (very loudly) proclaims his daughter can spin straw into gold. Uhhh… why? This isn't the kind of little white lie you can fake for very long. And when the king calls him on it, doesn't change his answer at all. Unbelievable. And the cherry on top? This man is never blamed for his imbecilic boasting. I've even read versions where he gets his land back or even comes to live at the palace.

Now for the creme de la creme. Have you ever heard of a fairy tale called The Girl without Hands? No? Oh, are you in for a treat. So get this. This father goes into the woods to fetch some wood and who but the devil shows up. So this guy makes a deal with the devil that he will get untold wealth if the man (devil in disguise) can but have what is behind his shed. And lo and behold what else could it be but his daughter? Silly man thought he was giving up an apple tree. So when judgement day comes and the devil comes by to pick the poor girl up, does good old dad fight for his daughter, say "take me instead?" Oh no. In fact he is absent for this part of the story. The girl draws a circle of chalk around herself and washes herself clean so the devil can't touch her.

The devil turns to the man angrily and demands that all water be taken from her so she won't be clean the next day when he returns. And the spineless wimp does it. So his daughter cried into her hands all night and is clean again and so spoils the devil's plan. And now since this is his last chance, he demands the father CHOP OFF HIS DAUGHTER'S HANDS. And you know what he says? Oh, this is too good. This deserves a quote, people.

"'How can I cut off my own child's hands?"
Then the Evil One threatened him and said: "If you do not do it you are mine, and I will take you for myself."
The father became alarmed, and promised to obey him. So he went to the girl and said: "My child, if I do not cut off both your hands, the Devil will carry me away, and in my terror I have promised to do it. Help me in my need, and forgive me the harm I do you."


Because he promised the devil? Holy [insert your own word here]. Forget saying "Oh, this was the deal I made, let me own up to it." And never mind the daughter actually lets him DO IT. That is a whole different post entirely. So she cries on her stumps again and the devil can't take her. AND THAT IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY. Don't worry, she gets hands of silver later, and also a stepmother that wants to cut out her heart. You knew it was coming. :) And hey, at least the spineless sap offered to take care of her for what he did to her, but she said she could not stay there. DARN RIGHT YOU SHOULDN'T! RUN AS FAST AND FAR AS YOU CAN. And as far as anyone knows, he and his wife live in wealth to the end of their days. This kind of father is seen again in "Hans My Hedgehog" (actually, two horrible fathers. One of the kings, and Hans own father who gets welcomed with open arms at the end of the story. Gag me). Beauty's dad in Beauty and the Beast isn't much better. At least he protests and doesn't want her to go, but he still lets her go into what is by all appearances a free meal ticket.

But hey! We have at least one good father of the lot! The king in The Frog Prince. You teach that girl to keep her promises! Being a princess doesn't get you out of it, little snob! (Note: there is a *major* difference between keeping a promise to a frog who did you a favor and a promise to the devil, especially when it's someone else's LIFE is on the line). This is one kingdom where its subjects may actually fare decently because of their royalty. Good job, dad.

It is really sad that in a tradition of often vilifying the women who either gave birth or another who stole their father's affections, we often give a free "pass" to the men who just stands by and lets it happen or even encourages it. That is its own kind of disturbing. So in my book stepmothers get an unduly bad rap in fiction. There are a lot of horrible fathers out there in fairy tales too that go unnoticed.

Can you think of any other good or bad dads in fairy tales? These were just off the top of my head.

Baby Otters FOR THE WIN! Oh, and Fairy Tales. Yes.

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): The Doll House by Simon Caby/Cécile Corbel [The Secret World of Arrietty soundtrack].

Last week an avalanche decided to take up residence at my house (I wish I had taken pictures. It was awful), so hence the lack of postage last week. Every spare second I had was dedicated to extracating myself from a frighteningly accumulating mini Mt. Everest. Because of that I wasn't able to properly hype up what I am doing this month.

February is going to be completely and wholly dedicated to fairy tales.

*fanfare and music. And drums.* ^_^

Not only is "fairy tales" one of the top ten most search-for terms to get to my blog STILL since my last one in 2010, but looking at that date also makes me think it has been entirely too long. Indeed.

Also, apparently I need a whole slew more of baby otters on here.

And I decided to do it in February, well because it is February, and, happy endings and all that. :) Though  as we go through this month you will see there aren't nearly so happy endings for some people.

I am *so* excited to be doing this again! And even though I have a ton of ideas in the docket, is there anything in particular you would like to see on here? I'll do my best to accomodate.

Happy February, everyone!

Feature Fun Friday - The Silence of Our Language

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode (totally did not plan for this). :)

This is really cool.

silenc. from Momo Miyazaki on Vimeo.