Sunday, November 30, 2008

Iron John

I love this story. It has metallic big-foots, Midas-Touch ponds, and disguised princes. Here it is, the story of:

Iron John (The Brothers Grimm)

A king is troubled when his huntsman begin dissappearing. He finds out there is a giant living in the forest nearby with skin made of iron and iron hair covering his entire body.


The king has the Iron Giant captured and puts it in a large steel cage. No one is to release him under penalty of death.


The King's little son is playing with his gold ball one day, when it falls into the cage. The boy asks for it back and the giant (Iron John) says he will if the Prince frees him. After three days like this, the boy steals the key from under his mother's pillow and frees the giant. The giant gives him his ball, but the Prince decides it wasn't worth it and asks Iron John if he can go with him. John replies yes.

Is this so smart? Going to live with the possible villian? Actually, in this story... it is!

John raises the Prince in the forest as his own son. His only rule is that the Prince make sure nothing touches the Sacred Pool in the centre of the forest. One day, as the Prince is watching the Pool, he cuts himself and mindlessly washes his finger in the pond. Instantly, the skin on his finger turns into thin gold.

I'm no doctor, but that can't be good.

John tells him it's okay but he should be more careful. The next day, as the Prince watches the Pool, one of his hairs falls off into the Pool as he scratches his head. The hair instantly becomes a gold thread. John scolds him.

He should sell the hair.

The next day, he trips and nearly falls in. Only his hair hits the water, and as he leans away from the water, where his long hair was, is a nest of spun gold growing from his gilded scalp.

Awesome. I'd kill him for it.

John tells him that because of this, the Pool is polluted badly, and that he and the Prince must go their seperate ways. The Prince goes to a faraway castle and gets work in the garden. He never takes his hat off, not wanting anyone to know about his hair. One day, the princess asks him to get her some flowers. He gets some wildflowers and gives them to her. The princess asks him to take his hat off, and he refuses, but she takes it off, and it amused to see the mop of gold stream down over his face. She gives him a handful of golden coins.


The Prince gives the money to the gardener and tells him to let his children play with them.


This happens two more times. Later, the city is put under seige by a dark army. The Prince goes to the Pool, bathes in it, and prays. John comes to him with a gold horse, gold uniform, and an entire army of...

Wait for it!

IRON soldiers. The Prince and his army defeat the enemy and are highly praised until they disappeared into the forest. The Prince, dressed as a peasant again, comes back to the palace.

I think he secretly envies Aschenputtel and Cinderella, since they got to dress up for a while and then secretly become peasants again, astounding everyone.

The King decrees there will be a three day festival, and that the princess will throw a golden ball into the air every evening. Any knight who catches it will be given a third of the kingdom after the King's death. The Prince, with help from John, comes to the festival every night dressed in golden armor. The first two days he catches the ball, but runs off right after.

Yay! Go Prince!

The King is angry and decrees that if the Golden Knight does this again, he will be hunted down and killed.

No!!! Hide, Prince!!! Hide!!!

The third day, the Princess throws up the ball, and the Prince catches it and rides away, but the King's Men wound his leg. The next day, the gardener tells the princess that the Prince who worked in the garden had showed the gardener's children three golden balls. The King had the Prince brought before him when he heard this. The Princess removed his cap, and his golden hair streamed down, making him look just like the Handsome Golden Knight.

The mystery solved!

The Prince and Princess are married, and at the wedding, a King, dressed all in iron with a long, shaggy mane of iron-like hair under his iron crown, walked in, and gave his adopted son the Prince a good hug and his blessing.

By the description I just gave, I better not have to explain.

Everyone lived happily ever after.

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