Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales: The Elves

“There was once a shoemaker, who, through no fault of his own, became so poor that at last he had nothing left but just enough leather to make one pair of shoes.”

This fairy tale – Die Wichtelmänner is the original German title – has three parts: the latter two are shorter than the first, which is the only one out of the three I’m familiar with (I’ve always known it as The Elves and the Shoemaker). The fact that I had no knowledge of the two other parts is not really a surprise to me, because I became familiar with the first part in my childhood, and the other two parts wouldn’t be as appropriate in stories for children, in my opinion.

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Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales: Sharing Joy and Sorrow

“There was once a tailor, who was a quarrelsome fellow, and his wife, who was good, industrious, and pious, never could please him.”

Sharing Joy and Sorrow is another example of a not-so-child-friendly fairy tale. Domestic abuse and sleazy activity is packed into less than 200 words, illustrating that a description of the negativity of humankind does not have a minimum word requirement.

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