I suppose we all realize that stories of old have often been transformed over the years. Particularly in these day of adapting stories to make them inclusive. But, I must admit, this one took me by surprise.
This sweet, old Grimm’s Fairy Tales, published by Charles E. Graham & Co., has no copyright date. Maybe you folks more knowledgeable about books, publishers etc can figure out time frame with the No. 0784 on the cover. I’ve always figured that number was relevant to dateing some books.
Anyway, when I brought this rather sad looking book home, I of course sat down to read those old Fairy Tale classics. To my surprise the first story, Hansel and Grettel, was nothing I’d ever read before. It started out with the usual wicked step-mother theme (must have been a common plight) and the children running away.
However the story quickly took an unexpected turn. Hansel drank from a cursed stream and was turned into a fawn. Of course the story has a happy ending, Grettel cared for the fawn until the curse was broken.
But, how did the Hansel and Grettel I grew up with ever transform from this story? I was vexed. I continued reading the following tales, none I had every heard of actually. Then i got to the next to the last story, and there is was under a title I’d never heard before. Roland and May-Bird.
It is the exact story we all grew up with. Until someone tells me otherwise, I consider this an unusually special book and am thrilled to have it in my Children’s Books collection.