The Goose Girl
In the first of many Grimm Brothers tales to be featured on this list, a queen sends her daughter away to be married. Like any good mother, she made a charm out of her own blood to protect her daughter and sent her off accompanied by a maid and a talking horse, Falada. After a short time, the princess became thirsty and asked her maid to fetch her a drink of water from a nearby river. But to her surprise, the maid refused, saying, “If you want a drink, get it yourself. I won’t be your servant.” When the princess leaned out over the river to drink, her mother’s charm fell out of her dress and was swept away by the current. Seeing the princess left unprotected, the maid forced her to swap clothes and horses and to swear an unbreakable oath that she would tell no one her true identity. If the princess had refused, the maid would have murdered her and left her body in the deep woods. When they arrived in the neighboring kingdom, the maid introduced herself as the princess and married the king’s son, while the real princess was forced to get a job tending geese. Desperate to cover her tracks, the imposter had Falada slaughtered. However, the real princess, distraught at the loss of her last friend, bribed the butcher to hang his head over the city gate, so that she could still talk to him every day. One day, a young boy tried to pluck one of the princess’s golden hairs, but she summoned a powerful wind to blow his hat away. Annoyed, the boy told the king about the strange girl who talked to horse skulls and controlled the weather. The king, curious, begged the princess to tell her story, but she explained that she could not. The king, now even more curious, suggested she might feel better if she talked about her problems to the stove, but secretly lurked outside and eavesdropped on the whole story. He then married his son to the real princess and had the imposter flung naked into a spiked barrel and dragged around the city until she died.
Hans The Hedgehog
This Grimm Brothers tale tells the story of a young man ridiculed by the village because his wife was unable to bear children. In desperation, the man prayed to God, saying that he was so desperate for a child, he would even be content with a baby hedgehog. His wish was granted—his unfortunate wife gave birth to a half-hedgehog child that they named Hans. Horrified by their child (apparently the top half was hedgehog and the bottom half human), the parents put it behind the stove and left it there for eight years. Surprisingly, Hans did not die, but instead asked his father to shoe a rooster so he could ride it off to live in the woods. There he tended sheep and played bagpipes in the trees.One day, a king got lost in the woods and asked Hans to show him the way home. Hans agreed, but only if the king promised, in writing, to award Hans the first thing that greeted him when he returned. But the king, who somehow knew Hans was illiterate, tricked him and actually wrote down an order for his guards to attack any rooster-riding hedgehog-boys who appeared in the kingdom. Shortly afterward, a second king found himself in a similar situation, but decided not to trick Hans and promised him the first thing he saw when he returned to his kingdom—which happened to be his beautiful daughter. Hans then traveled to the first kingdom, vaulted over guards trying to bayonet him, and impaled the deceitful king’s daughter with his quills. Afterward, he returned to the second kingdom and married the princess. On their wedding night, he tore off his hedgehog skin and ordered the guards to burn it on a huge fire, thereby becoming a real human boy.
The Girl Without Hands
In this gory tale, a miller was chopping trees in the woods when he came across an old man. Seeing his miserable face, the old man laughed and offered him all the riches in the world in exchange for whatever was standing behind his mill. Thinking that only an old apple tree stood behind the mill, the miller quickly agreed and the old man promised to return in three years. But when the miller returned home, he found his daughter standing under the tree.When the old man—a devil—returned, the miller’s daughter washed herself and stood inside a chalk circle, becoming too pure for the devil to touch. Frustrated, he demanded her father withhold water from her, so that she couldn’t wash herself. But the girl’s tears washed away the dirt and she remained pure. The devil then ordered the miller to chop his daughter’s hands off with an axe, but this time her tears cleaned her bloody stumps; the devil knew he was beat and gave up.Unsurprisingly, the girl decided to leave home after this. After walking well into the night, she was struck with a terrible hunger. Eventually, the girl came to a royal garden filled with delicious pears and apples and guarded by an impenetrable moat. After a quick prayer, an angel appeared to drain the moat and the girl crossed and ate her fill—a single pear. The next day, the royal gardener reported seeing a mysterious spirit with no hands, who had crossed the moat and stolen a pear. Intrigued, the king hid in the garden and saw the girl cross the moat and take another pear the following night. The king was smitten and immediately decided to marry the girl, making her a pair of beautiful silver hands to replace her old ones.But the devil was still furious at being prevented from claiming the girl as his own. When the king had to go away to war, the devil intercepted his letters home. Instead, he forged a letter from the king ordering his mother to have his wife and their young child put to death. Unable to kill her daughter-in-law and grandson, the king’s mother ordered them to flee and then slaughtered a deer instead, sending the tongue and eyes to her son as proof she had carried out the deed. When the king realized what had happened, he was heartbroken and pledged not to eat or drink until he had found his lost wife and child. Unfortunately, it took him seven years, but God kept him alive while he searched “in all the stone cliffs and caves.” Eventually he discovered his bride in a small cottage near the castle—although he initially didn’t recognize her, since her hands had grown back in the meantime.
Sorry that this isn’t Architecture related, but this is a serious issue. I can tell you from a personal point of view that I actually quit hockey when I was younger because of my self esteem issues. Girls and boys all around the world find a sport they love, but have it cut short because they do not like the way they look.
Girls and boys need their coaches, parents, friends etc. to help them through this. They need to be told that they should focus on their love for whatever sport it is instead of feeling bad about the way they look.
Pass this on, and let people know that everybody has a chance to be who they want to be without thinking about the way they look.
I quit ballet because of this. Even as a little girl, I didn’t like that my thighs were bigger than the other girls.
And I was not a chubby kid.