Monday, December 1, 2008

Child of Mary

I ran across this tale while reading Children's And Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm.

Our Lady's Child (The Brothers Grimm)

Once Upon A Time, a poor woodcutter can barely afford to feed his only child, a cute, little, three-year-old girl.


One day, the woodcutter meets the Virgin Mary, dressed all in white with a crown of stars on her head.

If I were him, I'd be looking around for any wound his ax might have given him.

Mary tells him that if he lets her take care of his child for him, she will make him rich. The woodcutter agrees, and the Virgin takes the little girl in her arms and takes her up to Heaven.

No, the little girl wasn't dead. Move along.

The girl is brought up with the best virtues.

As opposed to the not-quite-so-good virtues? So does this mean she's kind and brave but has rotten table manners?

One day, years later, Mary tells the girl she's going on a trip and that the girl can open any door she wants, except for one. The girl says she understands, plays with the angels and the Twelve Apostles, and then goes to open the one forbidden door.

I guess Curiosity is one of the best virtues. Common Sense. Not So Much!

The girl turns the knob.

Anyone who knows fairy tales can hear the alarm bells: don't disobey the wise woman!

The girl opens the door. Behind it is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. She walks in, and the glory of the Trinity turns her skin golden. Mary easily discovers this, and asks the girl if she opened the door.

Don't lie, girl! The lady's a goddess!

The girl lies, and falls out of Heaven into a clearing in a giant forest of thick thorns and nettles. She finds she has lost her voice.

We tried to warn her.

Years later, a Prince is hunting and cuts his way through the thorns. There he finds Mary's child, now a beautiful young woman (and naked).

I can already tell what the Prince here is thinking:... "WOW!"

The Prince takes her home with him. They are married. She has a baby, and that night, Mary comes and gives her another chance to repent. She lies again, and Mary and her child vanish. The third time this happens...

This happens THREE times? And she just keeps sitting there. Is it just me, or is this profoundly disturbing?

...the people shout, "The Queen killed them! She's a witch; A witch, I tells ya! Burn 'er! Burn 'er!!!" The Prince is forced to except this, and his wife is locked up in the slammer. That day, the girl iss taken to the stake, and the wood around it is set on fire.

Mary, if you let your own adopted daughter die, I'm gonna kick your holy ***!!!

The girl suddenly gets her voice back, she shouts, "I did it, Mary, OK!!!" Instantly, buckets and buckets of rain fall on the fire, it goes out, and Mary appears with the three children. The girl takes them back, forgives Mary, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Hey, wait... What about the homicidal goddess? And what happened to the woodcutter, rich but lonely? And how much trauma must those children have suffered? And what sort of marital problems must the king and young queen have after he nearly had her burned at the stake? Happily-ever-after must employ a LOT of therapists...

For more of my highly hilarious faery tale posts:

My Faery Tale Posts!

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