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C04P09 – Her favorite

C04P09 – Her favorite published on 17 Comments on C04P09 – Her favorite

It’s interesting, as a creator, to see how readers respond to things in different ways. When I mentioned Vepina in this page, I did not expect AT ALL how many people would start asking questions about her. SO, just because people were that interested, I decided in this chapter to include a few more tid-bits about the mysterious Vepina. 🙂

I’ve always enjoyed fairy tales, so it only made sense when world-building to invent a few for the different cultures. In OUR culture, my favorite fairy tale has always been Eleven Swans, about the princess who had her eleven brothers turned into swans by her evil step-mother. The only way the curse could be broken was to weave each brother a sweater made from stinging nettles, all while obeying a vow of silence. Since the nettles could only be found in grave-yards, people began to believe she was a witch. Just before she was burned to death, she flung the sweaters out to her eleven swan brothers, who all turned back into humans. Except for the last brother, for his sister did not quite have time to finish the sleeve of his sweater. Although most of his body returned to normal, one arm was forever a swan’s wing. Something about the bitter-sweet nature of that tale has always appealed to me. I was never satisfied with purely happy endings, even as a child!

Do you have a favorite fairy tale?


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Ahh, I heard a different version of that story! I knew it as the Six Swans – the Princess wove the shirts out of starwort, ended up marrying a king during her years of silence, was set up by her suspicious mother-in-law so that it looked like she had eaten her own children, and was accused of witchcraft for that reason.

I think the reason I loved the story so much was because of the absolutely beautiful illustrations my copy had. Aaah. So colourful!

I love how variations on the tale can change it — I have a book of Grimm’s fairy tales, and there are just pages and pages of nearly-identical stories, but each one of them has a slightly different end. Your copy looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m tempted to buy one of my own!

Oh! that’s one of my fave fairy tales! It was so nice of the king (prince?) to let her keep her knitting right through the fire.

The one I like best is “The Ugly Duckling”, but it has to be the unabridged version by Hans Christian Andersen. The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers much abuse from his surroundings until,after running away and almost freezing to death over winter, much to his delight (and to the surprise of others), he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all, and is welcomed by the other swans.

In an odd way, the Ugly Duckling was appropriated for all the Rudolf the Red-nosed reindeer stories. It has the same basic premise — being born differently and scorned as a child doesn’t mean you can’t grow up to be a celebrated member of your society!

This is almost comic…if it weren’t for our soldier getting his face ripped off!

Pakku! D:

I always loved that story, too. My favorite was this one about a pair of girls who lived alone in the woods and a bear who was actually a prince transformed by a wicked dwarf. I thought it was terribly romantic. And the girls did all the work saving him. (I *will* use that bear in something. I love stealing things from fairy tales.)

I’ve never heard that one before! How do the girls save the prince from his un-BEAR-able curse? (I’m sorry, I love puns, I couldn’t help myself!!)

(I also appreciate the puns.)

The two girls kept running into this creepy dwarf and helping him out of situations, like cutting him free when he got his beard stuck in something. It turned out that the dwarf was evil and had transformed the prince into a bear (which they also kept running into). The dwarf was a total jerk to them, but they defeated him with niceness or something. I think it was sort of like the ending of Rumplestiltskin, where the dwarf got so pissed off he basically defeated himself.

The main reason I liked it so much was because there was this fabulous illustration of the prince changing back. He was holding his bear skin like a matador’s cape and dressed all in gold.

Ack! He opened his eyes! The thing is going to eat him now! Though Warren seems to be fairing just fine, it kind of sounds like he’s being mauled by a playful kitten. Of course we could just be seeing his skill at defending himself from…bird…men…things. Yea any way. Swan brothers, which is what I knew it as, was one of my favorites growing up too! It’s hard to pick one, as I love to collect them. But looking at my illustrated books, the one I have the most copies of is Twelve Dancing Princessess. So either that’s it or people just like to draw it pretty.

The story goes that an old soldier is returning from years of war. Some times he’s been permanently injured, some times not. He is out looking for a future and comes upon an old woman in her garden. She greets him and tells him the troubles of the King. It seems the he is being driven to the poor house buying shoes for his 12 daughters. They disappear every night and in the morning their dancing shoes are worn through. Any man who can find solve the mystery and bring proof can have any of their hands in marriage he chooses. If he fails he gets executed. The oldest is the ring leader and has been drugging all the men to try so far, the woman warns him not to take any food or drink from her and gives him a cloak that will make him invisible. He ties a sponge to his chin and pretends to drink the drugged wine and fall into a deep sleep. The girls get dressed and a stairway appears in the floor where they walk across forest trees of silver, gold and diamonds to a castle. They dance all night with these princes and go home. This happens for three nights, the soldier taking something each time to back up his story. The youngest notices but no one believes her as they find him loudly snoring every time they get back. Some times the princes are revealed to be demons set on carrying them off, I’ve read versions where they are slaves themselves, either was the revealing breaks the spell and he chooses either the eldest or youngest depending on who tells the story.

Actually, if no-one’s mentioned it yet, there’s a book based on that Eleven Swans story – one of my favorites. Unfortunately, my brain’s being uncooperative at the moment and I can’t remember the exact title or author for some reason (*bangs head on table*) and I’m currently traveling so I can’t just go to the bookcase and look. If you haven’t encountered it already and want to know the title, shoot me an email and I’ll reply with author & title as soon as I get home. I’m liable to forget otherwise.

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