Many of the best-known fairy tales – from Cinderella to Hansel and Gretel – are beloved around the world for their adventures and happy endings. But the original stories are far from innocent.
Click start to play today’s Crossword, which will need you to know the original stories written by the Grimm brothers.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were German academics who collected and published folklore during the 19th century as a way to preserve folk tales. But their collection wasn’t as sanitised as the Disney version of the fairy tales we know and love. In fact, the tales were originally written for adults! Here, we share three stories with discrepancies that may surprise you:
In the gory, original version of this popular fairy tale, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters cuts off her toes while trying to fit into the glass slipper. The second sister goes a step further and cuts off her heel! Cinderella’s mother also sends two doves (from beyond the grave) to alert the prince about the stepsisters’ attempt to hoodwink him. Eventually, at Cinderella and Prince Charming’s wedding, the doves return and poke out the eyes of the stepsisters, driving them to beg on the street.
2. Little Red Riding Hood
The Big Bad Wolf is not really thwarted in the original story – at least, not at first. In the Grimm brothers' book, the wolf arrives at Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house early and eats them both. When a woodcutter finds the wolf, he makes an incision on its stomach and rescues both the grandmother and the young girl. Red Riding Hood then fills the wolf’s stomach with stones. The moment he wakes up and tries to escape, he collapses because of the heavy stones and dies.
3. Hansel and Gretel
The Grimm’s version of the popular children’s story is actually about parents who deserted their children during a major European famine in the 14th century. In the original story, the stepmother abandons her stepchildren deep in the forest. The children then stumble upon a cottage that belongs to a cannibal witch. After devouring the feast thrown by the old crone, they eventually outwit her and kill her.