4th December 2020 – 20 days til Christmas

Dear Readers,

today I want to present you an absolutely beautiful fairytale: Dornröschen (you may know it as the sleeping beauty). It was collected by the German brothers Grimm in the 19th century. This version is from my German book of fairytales and was translated by Deimos. Thankful regards.

Sleeping Beauty

Ages ago there were a king and a queen, who spoke every day: >>Oh, if we would have a child!<< – and never got one. Then it happened, whilst the queen sat in the bath that a frog crawled out of the water onto the land and spoke to her: >>Thy wish will be fulfilled and you will you will give birth to a daughter<< What the frog foretold that came about and the queen bore a girl so beautiful that the king did not know how to let himself be and set up a great festival. He invited not just his relatives, friends and acquaintances, but also the wise women thereto, in order for them to be fair and dear to the child. There were thirteen of such in his empire, but since he only had twelve golden plates, from which they could eat, he couldn’t invite one of them. Those invited came and after the feast was held, bestowed upon the child their miraculous gifts; one with goodness, another with beauty, the third with wealth and thus with all that is magnificent in the world. When ten had just done their wishes the thirteenth entered who was not invited and wanted vengeance therefore. She cried: >>The kings daughter shall, in her fifteenth year, prick herself on a spindle and drop dead.<< Then the twelfth stepped forward, who still had a wish left; although she could not revoke the evil spell, she was still able to lessen it and spoke: >>It shall however be no death, instead a centennial deep slumber, in which the kings daughter falls.<< The king hoped, to save his dear child from the spell and let the order roll out that all the spindles in the whole empire shall be eradicated. On the girl however all of the wise women’s gifts got entirely fulfilled, for it was so beautiful, modest, friendly and reasonable that anybody who looked at it had to cherish it.

Picture from: Gaugler, Almut: Märchen by Edition Stuttgart im VS Verlagshaus Stuttgart GmbH, 1993

It occurred on this day on which it was just fifteen years old, the king and queen were not at home and the young lady stayed all alone in the castle. So it went everywhere around, looked at rooms and chambers, as it pleased und finally reached an old tower. It went up narrow stairs and got to a small door. In the lock there stuck a yellow key and when it turned the door swung open and there, in a little chamber sat an old women and spun her flax eagerly. >>Ay you little old lady<<, spoke the kings daughter, >>what are thou doing there?<< – >>I’m spinning<<, said the old one and nodded with her head. >>How that thing bounces around!<< exclaimed the girl, took the spindle and wanted to spin too. She just barely touched the spindle and so the spell got fulfilled and she pricked herself with it. Right in the instant however, when she had pricked herself, she fell down into a deep slumber. And the King and the queen, who just returned, began, with all of the court to fall asleep. So the horses in the stable fell asleep as well, the dogs in the courtyard, the pigeons on the roof, the flies on the wall, well, the fire that flickers on the stove was quiet and fell asleep and the roast stopped to sizzle, and the cook, who wanted to pull the kitchen lad by the hair, because he did a mistake, let go of him and slept, and everything that had living breath was quiet and slept. Around the castle however a hedge of thorns began to sprout, which rose higher each year and ultimately stretched around the whole castle and grew beyond it, so that nothing, not even the banners on the roof were visible. However the saga of the lovely sleeping beauty, since that was how the king’s daughter was called, went around, so from time to time king’s sons arrived and tried to pass through the hedge into the castle. Yet it was not possible for them, since the thorns stuck together like holding hands and the youngsters got stuck and perished pathetically. After long, long years another king’s son came across the country, whom an old man told about the hedge of thorns, where there ought to be a castle behind, in which a beautiful royal maiden, called sleeping beauty, shall sleep alongside all of her court. He also told that he heard from his grandfather, how many king’s sons did arrive to pass through the hedge but got stuck and died a sad death. So the youngster spoke: >>This shall not discourage me, I want through and see the fine sleeping beauty.<< The old one could advice against it all he wanted, he did not even listen to it.
Now, just on the day however, when the king’s son came, the hundred years were bygone. And as he approached the thorn hedge, there were a lot of tall, beautiful flowers, they put themselves apart, so he passed through unharmed; behind him they closed themselves as hedge again. He entered the castle, there were laying in the court the horses and the hounds and slept, on the roof there sat the pigeons and had put their heads under the wings. And when he entered the house, the flies slept at the wall, the cook in the kitchen still holding the hand, as if he wanted to grab the lad, and the maid sat in front of the black chicken that should have been plucked. So he went on and saw the whole court laying there and sleeping and on top the king and the queen. So he went even further and everything was so quiet, he could hear his own breath and finally he got to the tower and opened the door to the little chamber in which the sleeping beauty slumbered. There it was laying so beautifully that he could not avert his eyes and he bend down and gave it a kiss. Just when he had given the kiss, the sleeping beauty opened her eyes, awoke and looked kindly at him.

Picture from: Gaugler, Almut: Märchen by Edition Stuttgart im VS Verlagshaus Stuttgart GmbH, 1993

So they went downwards together and the king awoke and the queen and the whole court and they all looked at each other with wide eyes. And the horses in the courtyard stood up and rattled around, the hounds jumped and waggled; the pigeons on the roof pulled their heads from under the wing, looked around and flew into the field; the flies on the wall crawled onwards; the fire in the kitchen rose up and cooked the food und the roast sizzled further; the cook slapped the boy in the face, so that he cried and the maid completed plucking the chicken. And so the wedding of the king’s son with the sleeping beauty was celebrated in all its glory, and the lived happily ever after.

For all readers who understand German language, I want to recommend you a special kind of audio book version of it: You may know Unheilig or the Graf, the musician. If not it’s of course no problem, but if you like listening to a well read story, you might like the musical setting of the sleeping beauty by the Graf:

That’s the track on youtube by Unheilig.

Have a good nights sleep,

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