As I was browsing through my bookshelf, looking for something – ANYTHING – that would give me an idea for this month’s reading theme, my hands fell on the loveliest book ever – my collection of Grimm’s Fairy tales.
The last time I read it was back in 2017! IT’S BEEN WAYY TOOO LONG and NOW I THINK IT’S TIME to bring back the REAL stuff, the dark clouds, the wicked hearts, and the gory details.
Note: Stop eating. It’s going to get nasty here.
Oh, to be young and in love. And then die and take your lover with you.
And I am not talking about the famous star crossed lovers. No, we are here to witness the wickedness of another fair maiden – the King’s daughter – one who, above all else, wanted to live and die together with her lover. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?
She had taken a vow to only marry someone who would be willing to be buried alive with her should she die first.
Wow! Talk about hopeful beginnings, huh? 🤣
Well, that’s what she wanted – absurd as it was – and what’s more? There was a man crazy in love enough to promise her that! He didn’t know what he was taking on. Perhaps he just thought that this was ther way of being hella romantic?
But he was wrong. She was serious. Deadly serious. Literally. Because the breath of life did leave her body – soon after their marriage – and he was then asked to be buried with her – to be locked up in a vault with a little bread and wine so that once it was over, he could lay himself beside his beloved’s body and say goodbye to the world as he knew it.
By this time, I was already way too creeped out. I mean the fact that he took food and water wine with him inside the vault, while the rotting body of his wife lay inches away from him made me gag! Did he expect to EAT stuff in the presence of a dead body?
But then, I suppose hunger makes you do lots of crazy things. Perhaps he would have started nibbling on her body too? Like those ugly maggots making their way out of eye sockets and mouth?
Yeah, it’s gross. But hey, why should I be the only to get creeped out? If I am going down, I am taking everybody with me.
But he found a way out – both for himself AND his dead wife – The Magic of Three Snake Leaves – containing healing properties strong enough to even bring the dead back to life.
I was in awe of the way the whole story was structured. Can you imagine something so creepy, so complete, so magical, and full of so much wisdom compressed in only one and a half pages? I was in love now. Impressed with The Brothers Grimm and their genius.
As the story progressed however, the kind and loving youth found himself at the end of the ocean – betrayed by his wife, who was no longer the same. Bringing people back from dead has it’s side effects, after all. Haven’t you read The Tales of Beedle The Bard?
In the end, although his wife and her accomplice were punished for their wickedness against the man by the King, I wasn’t satisfied. Was she the real villain here? Was it really HER fault that she was brought back to life with a part of her soul probably forgotten?
What do you think?
Was her husband’s decision to bring her back wrong?
Didn’t he do it just to save himself? Of course any one of us would have chosen the same if presented with such a choice but even so. Was it all HER fault?
Who is the wicked one here?
Perhaps the snakes.
I told you about the three snake leaves, didn’t I? Well, when the man was alone with his dead wife in the vault, a snake crept in and made his way towards the body. The husband got angry and cut it into three pieces. Later another one came, and seeing that it’s companion was lying there all chop-sueyed- went away and came back with those three magical leaves which made the snake whole again, the same ones that the man later used to bring his wife back to life.
I wonder now what had happened to that other snake. Perhaps he was the wicked one, giving the man glittering but false hope.