A Review of Popular Fairy Tales
Many thanks to Jack Hourigan, who researched and compiled the following summaries
Little Red Riding Hood
Jack and the Beanstalk
Hansel and Gretel
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH) went to the forest to visit her ill granny. She took some cake and lemonade in a basket. She met a wicked wolf that asked her which path she was taking. She replied, ìIím taking the path that leads to my grannyís cottage.î
While LRRH was busy picking flowers to take to her granny, the wolf went to the cottage and swallowed granny in one gulp. Then the wolf put on grannyís cap, got in grannyís bed, covered up in blankets, and settled in to wait. LRRH arrived at the cottage and came into grannyís bedroom. She said, ìGranny what big ears you have,î and the wolf replied ìAll the better to hear you with, my dear.î And so on with Grannyís eyes: ìAll the better to see you with, my dear,î and teeth: ìall the better to eat you with, my dear.î
The wolf swallowed LLRH in one gulp and then fell asleep. A woodsman came by while the wolf was still asleep. The woodsman cut the wolf open with his ax and out popped Granny and LRRH. Then the woodsman, Granny, and LRRH all sat down by the fire and enjoyed cake and lemonade.
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Long ago there lived an lonely old carpenter named Geppetto. He made a puppet out of some wood, a ball, and a string. That night, a fairy visited and cast a spell that made the puppet walk and talk. The next morning, Geppetto discovered the animated puppet and named him Pinocchio. Geppetto gave Pinocchio all of his money and sent him into town to buy books for school. Instead, Pinocchio used to the money to buy a ticket for the circus. Two clowns gave Pinocchio a hat and asked him to stay, but he said he must go back to Geppetto.
The clowns returned Pinocchioís money, but on the way home he was robbed by and evil cat and an equally evil fox. The fairy appeared again and asked what happened; Pinocchio pretended he had been captured by a monster. Suddenly his nose grew, and the fairy said, ìWhenever you lie, your nose will get bigger. Now go find Geppetto; heís out looking for you by the sea.î
Pinocchio was rowing a small boat in the sea when he thought he heard Geppettoís voice coming from inside a large dark cave. He rowed inside, only to find himself inside a whale with Geppetto. He tickled the whale with a feather, and the whale sneezed, sending Pinocchio and Geppetto flying out on to the beach. Relived, Pinocchio vowed never to lie again and then he heard the fairyís voice saying, ìmake that promise and you will become a real boy.î
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Jack and his mother were hungry. The cow in the barn gave them milk, but they needed food. Jackís mother said, ìWe must sell the cow to get some food.î Jack volunteered to take the cow to town. Along the way, Jack met a farmer who talked him into giving up the cow in exchange for a handful of good luck beans.
When Jack returned home, his mother was very cross because they lost their cow for a few beans. She threw the beans out the window and went to bed. The beans began to grow straight up into the sky, so Jack climbed the beanstalk hoping to find good luck at the top.
Instead, he found himself in a giantís castle. The giant was counting his money and singing ìfee fie foe fum, I like children in my tum.î The giantís wife helped Jack hide so the giant wouldnít eat him. Then Jack realized something and said, ìHey, this giant stole my fatherís money!î The giantís wife said, ìThis magic hen and golden harp used to belong to your father too. Play the harp, and then run!î
Jack played the harp, and the giant fell asleep. Jack grabbed the money and the hen and started running. But on the way outside, he knocked over the harp and woke the giant up. The giant chased Jack all the way down the beanstalk chanting ìfee fie foe fumÖî etc. When Jack reached the bottom, he chopped down the beanstalk with an ax. The giant was no more. Then the magic hen clucked and laid a golden egg. Jackís mother, awakened by all the noise, took the golden egg, put it with the money, and said, ìNow weíll have something nice to eat.î
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A king and a queen had been trying to have a child for years. When the child finally arrived, they called her Aurora. A great holiday was proclaimed to celebrate Auroraís birth. Visitors came from far and wide, including three good fairies, named Merryweather, Fauna and Flora. One of the most distinguished guests was another king from a neighboring kingdom, who brought his son Prince Philip. Both kings realized that their dream of a united kingdom could now come true.
The three good fairies began bestowing their gifts upon Aurora. Aurora received the gift of Beauty, and gift of SongÖ but before the last gift was bestowed, a wicked fairy interrupted. This wicked fairy was upset that she wasnít invited to the party, so she cast a spell ñ on the day of Auroraís 16th birthday, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.
The third good fairy hadnít bestowed her gift yet, and she was horrified at the spell the wicked fairy cast. The good fairy wasnít strong enough to undo the spell, but she was able to dilute it a bit ñ instead of death, Aurora would fall asleep until her true love come along to undo the spell with a kiss.
As a precaution, all spinning wheels were removed from the kingdom, and Aurora lived in hiding as a peasant with the good fairies for protection. She grew up, met Prince Philip, and fell in love. On the night of Auroraís 16th birthday, Aurora, Prince Philip, and the good fairies all went back to the castle to live. But the evil fairy snuck into the castle and pricked Auroraís finger with a needle, causing her to fall asleep. With the help of the good fairies, Prince Philip kissed her and she awoke. They all lived happily ever after.
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There once was a widower who remarried. His second wife was ill-natured, and she had two daughters who were just as unpleasant as their mother. The man had a beautiful, gentle daughter of his own, and she was soon to become the servant of her evil step-mother and step-sisters. They made her do all the chores around the house, and she was named Cinderella, after the cinders she swept out of the fireplace.
The King needed to find a queen for his prince, so he threw a huge ball. The evil step-mother and step-sisters were invited, but Cinderella was not allowed to go. After they left, Cinderellaís fairy godmother appeared and changed her dirty rags into a beautiful gown with glass slippers. Next the fairy godmother changed a pumpkin into a coach and some mice into footmen. Before Cinderella left, the fairy godmother warned her to be home before midnight, because the spell would only last till then.
Cinderella was a hit at the ball. The prince fell in love with her and asked her name. Just then the clock struck midnight, and Cinderella ran away. She was in such a hurry, she lost one of her glass slippers. It was the only clue the prince had to find his true love. He went to every home in the kingdom and had every single young girl try on the slipper to see if it fit. The evil step-sisters couldnít fit the slipper, but Cinderella did. The prince married her and they all lived happily ever after.
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An old miller went before the King and, trying to impress him, told the King his daughter Rose could spin straw into gold. The King ordered the girl to be locked in a room full of straw. He said she was to spin the straw into gold or her head would be cut off. Rose began to cry, and suddenly a little man with a long gray beard appeared and said, ìI will help you spin the straw into gold if you give me something in return.î The first night, she gave him her ring. The second night, she gave him her necklace. But then she had nothing left to give. The little man wanted her first born and Rose had to agree, or have her head cut off by the King for not spinning straw into gold.
The little man kept his promise, and the King made Rose his queen. When Rose had her first child, the little man with the gray beard came to take the baby away. He said he would not take the baby if Rose could guess his name ñ she had three days to come up with three guesses. Rose sent messengers out to spy on the little man and found out his name was Rumpelstilskin. And the baby remained with the king and queen.
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Hansel and Gretel were brother and sister. Their poor parents were starving, so they went out in search of food. They took one slice of bread along, which they used to mark a path back to their home by leaving crumbs along the way. After a while, they came upon a little house made of gingerbread. Hansel broke off a piece to eat.
Suddenly, the door flew open and an old woman came out and invited them in. She fed them mountains of pancakes and fruit, and then tucked them into bed to sleep. What Hansel and Gretel didnít realize was that the old woman was fattening them up so she could use them in her favorite dish ñ roasted child! Now they were prisoners, and the old woman kept feeding them, and when she asked them to stick their fingers out of their cell so she could judge how fat they were getting, Hansel held out a bone instead.
Finally, the children escaped and pushed the old woman into the oven. They filled their pockets with jewels and food and used the trail of bread crumbs to find their way back home, where they lived happily ever after.
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There once was a queen who named her only daughter Snow White because her skin was so fair and lovely. The queen died, and Snow Whiteís father married a new queen, who was evil, vain and wicked. Every morning she would stand in front of the mirror and say, ìMirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?î The mirror always answered, ìthee,î until one day it said that Snow White was the fairest one of all.
The evil queen ordered one of her servants to take Snow White to the forest to have her killed. The servant, feeling sorry for Snow white, let her go and brought back a wild boarís heart to show the queen he had done the deed. Snow White, alone and hungry in the forest, came across a little cottage with seven tiny bedsÖetc. When the dwarves came back form work they found Snow White and said she could stay with them if she cleaned and cooked.
They all lived happily until one day when the mirror told the wicked queen that Snow White was still alive and living with the dwarves. The wicked queen disguised herself as a peddler and went to the cottage while the dwarves were at work. She gave Snow White a red apple that was poisoned.
When Snow White took a bite of the apple, she fell down unconscious. The dwarves were very sad and built a glass coffin for her. One day a prince came by and saw how beautiful Snow White was, and bent down to give her a kiss. Snow White woke up and they were married.
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There once was a family of bears: mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear. They were just about to eat their lunch, but their porridge was too hot, so they went for a walk in the woods. Just then a little girl named Goldilocks came upon their house and went inside. She saw the three bowls of porridge on the table and tasted some from each bowl. The big bowl was too hot, the medium-sized bowl was too cold, but the smallest bowl was just right, so she ate it all up.
The she saw three chairs and decided to sit down. The big chair was too hard, the medium-sized chair was too soft, but the little chair was just right. As Goldilocks was getting comfortable in the smallest chair, it broke. So, she went in the next room and found the beds. The big bed was too hard, the medium-sized bed was too soft, but the little bed was just right, and Goldilocks fell last asleep.
Just then, the three bears came home to find their house in a mess. Papa bear said, ìSomeoneís been eating my porridge.î Mama bear said the same thing, and baby bear said, ìSomeoneís been eating my porridge, and they ate it all up!î Then they saw the chairs and papa bear said, ìSomeoneís been sitting in my chair.î Mama bear said the same thing, and then baby bear said, ìSomeoneís been sitting in my chair, and they broke it!î
Then they went into the next room and found Goldilocks asleep in baby bearís bed. When she awoke, she was so frightened she ran out of the bearsí house and didnít stop running till she got home.
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