Jorinda and Joringel
This one starts off just like Hansel and Gretel…but instead, people are turned into birds? This story is like many other tales from the Brothers Grimm, telling the tales of love, quest and the battle of good versus evil.
In a castle in the woods, a witch lives who turns women into birds. One day, before they were to be married, Jorinda and Joringel go on a walk. They find themselves lost and quite near the castle. Jorinda magically turns into a bird and the witch takes her away. Joringel cannot do anything, so he leaves and becomes a shepherd in a nearby village. One night, he has a dream that he finds a red flower with a pearl in the middle. This flower can break any spell. The next day, Joringel goes out to search for this flower. He looks for nine days and finally finds it. He returns to the castle, touches the witch with the flower, and she loses her powers. He then finds Jorinda and turns her back into a human, along with the rest of the birds the witch kept.
The Wren and the Bear
If you are up for a new twist nearly every sentence, this story is for you. An inventive way to look at pride and revenge, The Wren and the Bear will make you rethink the way you ask questions.
One day, a wolf and a bear were walking through the woods, when the bear heard the most beautiful bird song. He asked the wolf about it and the wolf said it was the king of the birds. It was a wren. The bear wanted to see the palace of the king of birds, but the wolf said he had to wait until the wrens fly away. The bear and the wolf returned the next day and saw the baby birds in the nest. He asked about the palace and the baby birds, who thought he was mocking them and told him they would send their parents after him. The bear and the wolf were frightened and went home. When the wrens parents heard about this, they declared war. It became a battle between the animals of the land and the air. The land animals named the fox as their general and the gnats were the informants for the birds. The gnats overheard the foxes plans and built an attack against them. The birds won the battle. But the wren’s children still were upset, and would not eat until the bear apologized. The wrens threatened to break all the bear’s ribs, so he apologized.
The Three Languages
What do you consider to be useful knowledge? Are some types of knowledge more useful than others? What if that ‘useless’ knowledge could make you successful? The Three Languages explores the ideas of societies views of knowledge and what is acceptable.
A man believes that he has raised a stupid son. He decides to send the son to a teacher to see if he can learn anything worthwhile. After a year, the son returns. When his father asks him what he’s learned, he says he has “learned what the dog says when he barks.”The father thinks he is being ridiculous and sends him to another teacher. When the son returns from the second teacher, the father asks him again what he’s learned. The son says he has “learned what the birds say.” The father decides to send him away to a third teacher. This time, if the son does not learn anything useful, he will disown him. After returning from the third teacher, the son says he has “learned what the frogs croak.” The father disowns him and tells the village to kill him. The village pities him and lets him go.
The son wanders through the forest until he comes to a fortress, where he is told he could sleep. He is warned that where he slept might be overrun with wild dogs that would kill him. The son is still interested and only asks for a bit of food to bring the dogs. They give him the food and when he sees the dogs, they do not harm him. He spends the night speaking with the dogs and finds out they were bewitched, but there is a way to break the spell. The next morning, the son arrives, to the surprise of everyone at the fortress. He tells the lord of the castle what the dogs had said. The Lord promises he will adopt the son if he can get rid of the dogs. The son fulfills the task and the dogs are freed, they leave the village for good. After some time spent in the fortress, the son decides he wants to travel. He makes his way to Rome. Along his journey, he hears some frogs talking about the future Pope. When he arrives in Rome, he finds out that the Pope has died and they are looking for a new one. When the son enters the church, doves come down and land on his shoulders. The priests see this as a sign of God and make him the new Pope.
The Brothers Grimm were able to spin fantastical stories about hopes, dreams and society. Unfortunately, Disney only makes movies about the most famous ones. There are about 200 fairy tales that were written…and we only know a handful.
Jill Ciampa is a professional writing major studying publishing, technical, and public policy writing. She enjoys spending time reading and watercoloring. She can usually be found traveling, watching Netflix, or trying to get someone to understand her French. Follow her @jiciam on Instagram.