Fairy Tales: Rumpelstiltskin

If you read the original fairy tales you will realize they are darker than the ones we know from kid’s books or from Disney. A few days ago my brother asked me if I remembered who Rumpelstiltskin was.

So here it is my short version:

A miller lied to the king telling him his daughter can spin straw into gold, the king shut the girl in a tower and demanded her to spin the straws into gold for three days or she will be executed. She had given all hope, of course there was no way she could do what she was asked; but then a creature appeared in her presence and spun the straw into gold in return the girl gave him her necklace, the following night she asked him to do the same but this time she offered him her ring, the third night she had nothing to reward him so he made her promise him she’ll give him her first born and she agreed.

When the king was so impressed that married her. A few years past and when the queen had her first child, Rumpelstiltskin came to claim his payment, the queen offered him almost everything if she could keep the child, he agreed to give her a chance to keep it, so he gave her three days to guess his name. The queen’s messenger discovered the imp and he was sing a song about how glad he was that nobody knew he was called Rumpelstiltskin.

On the third day they the queen revealed his name and he lost his bargain and ran away.

There are a few versions of the story and the song he was singing about his name, but mostly they follow the same storyline.

I know this is a kids tale, but what’s behind?.

If I think about it, I wonder if he could spin straw into gold, why yet he asked for a necklace and a ring in return?. That’s a waste of talent. And isn’t it a bit extreme after asking for necklace and a ring then ask for a child?; how does a child come next?. And the worst part is the song, If you made it a challenge for someone to guess you name, I’m sure you’ll want to keep that to yourself.

Rumpelstiltskin is quite an ambiguous character, he seems conscientious, merciful and truth to his word, not really the type of imp/dwarf that we are used to see on fairytales and I think when he asked for a reward was because if you want something you might give something.

For the king, the girl was the richest girl alive according with what he thought she could do. Did he marry her because she was a source of wealth to exploit?.

And for the miller, that was a blatant lie!. I think he wanted her daughter long gone for some reason.

Anyway, just remember two things, a promise is a promise and don’t turn your name into a song if you made it a task to somebody.

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