If there is one thing fairy tales have taught us, it would certainly be a happy ending. The shoe fit Cinderella; sleeping beauty was awoken by a kiss of true love and Ariel found her prince charming. We have grown up listening to these stories. But what we were told are distorted versions because the original ones are much darker and murkier and would have probably scarred your childhood.
Nevertheless, take a look at these fairy tales with gruesome origins, if you are willing to have your illusion broken.
Little Red Riding Hood
The story was meant to teach children not to trust strangers. We are only familiar with the Grimm’s version of the tale wherein a young lassie and her grandmother are gobbled up by an evil wolf but rescued by a huntsman. However, the original story of Charles Perrault doesn’t contain such a happy ending. The wolf represents a sexual predator. During those days a young girl who lost her virginity was said to have ‘seen the wolf’.
The Sleeping Beauty
The beautiful princess was woken up by the kiss of her true love and they lived happily ever after. If only! The real version is much darker and disturbing. In the original story written by Giambattista Basile, the king doesn’t awaken the sleeping beauty with a kiss but instead rapes her. She gives birth to two kids one of which sucks out the splinted from her finger and lifts the curse. In the meantime, the king is married and his wife orders her cook to kill those kids and feed them to the king. However, the king burns his wife to death and sleeping beauty and the king unite. Happy ending anyone?
The Little Mermaid
The original tale of happy and bubbly Ariel is much gory and darker about the self-sacrifice for love. Disney had us believe that the prince recognized Ariel in the end and they lived happily ever after. But that wasn’t the real story. When Ariel traded her tongue for a pair of legs, the witch warned her that she will be turned into sea foam if the prince rejected her. She could escape that curse if only she could plunge a knife into the prince’s heart. But unfortunately Ariel failed at both and consequently turned into sea foam.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
In the version we have grown up hearing, the queen sends the huntsman to kill Snow White and bring her heart as a proof. However, he brings the heart of a boar. Though, there haven’t been many altercations to this tale except for one detail. The queen doesn’t ask for her heart but her liver and lungs which she intended to have as dinner. Moreover, Snow White wakes up from the jostling of the horse, not by the magical kiss we have heard so much about.
Hansel and Gretel
The widely known version of Hansel and Gretel has two little kids who are lost in the forest who come across a gingerbread house and are later enslaved by a wicked witch (the owner of the house). However, they figure their way out using their cunningness. But in the original version, we have a devil instead of a witch who is also tricked by Hansel and Gretel. However, he figures it out and prepares a sawhorse to kill them. Being quick-witted, they ask the devil’s wife to show how to get on it. While she is doing it, the slash her throat and run away.