Saturday, February 6, 2010

Abjornsen and Moe Fairytales

Taming the Shrew, The Two Stepsisters, Buttercup and Gertrude's Bird.
By Peter Christen Abjornsen and Jorgen Moe.

The tale I will summarize is called Buttercup. It is about a mother and her son and their dog. The boy was so plump and jolly that the mother called him buttercup. each day, a wicked old hag who carried her head under her arm always tricked the boy into the sack by offering him a present. On the third day, the witch asked her daughter to kill the boy and boil him in a pot. The daughter had no idea how to do this, so the boy offered to show her and he chopped off her head and boiled her instead. The witch and her husband came home and tasted the broth, thinking it was buttercup. Instead, it was their daughter who they thought was asleep in bed, but it was only her head. They heard a noise outside and they went to investigate. THe boy bashed their heads to bits with rocks, stole the gold and silver which was inside the sack and took it home to his mother and they became very rich.
Who would benefit from reading this tale?
I'm not sure anyone would benefit from reading this tale. it's a little disturbing... Though I think that anyone who is interested in comparing fairytales with each other would do well to read this one and compare it with the Brothers Grimm.
What Problems do you see this tale causing?
This tale talks of violence and murder. Chopping off heads, boiling the bodies for soup and then smashing heads to bits. The gruesomness might disturb some younger readers.
What was your reaction?
I was a little horriffied, though not at all surprised. After reading several different types of fairytales and being exposed to varying degrees of gruesomness and violence in each one of them, this one was not any different. I didn't really care for it, though it was kind of interesting. The title of the story is VERY misleading. Don't let it fool you. It has nothing to do with the Princess Bride. ha ha ha

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