StephieBear (sweettrumpter) wrote in pensive_bard,
StephieBear
sweettrumpter
pensive_bard

Brier Rose

This story is from a book called The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm.  All their stories are in here and it was translated by Jack Zipes.  I'm not the translator like Roslyn but I've found a couple that I enjoy and so will post them!


In time of old there lived a king and queen, and every day they said, "Oh, if only we had a child!" Yet, they never had one.
Then one day, as the queen went out bathing, a frong happened to crawl ashore and say to her, "Your wish shall be fulfilled.  Before the year is out, you shall give birth to a daughter."
The frog's prediction came true, and the qeen gave birth to a girl who was so beautiful that the king was overjoyed and decided to hold a great feast.  Not only did he invite his relatives, friends, and acquaintances, but also the wise women, in hope that they would be generous and kind to his daughter.  There were thirteen wise women in his kingdom, but he had only twelve golden plates from which they could eat.  Therfore, one of them had to remain home.
The feast was celebrated with tremendous splendor, and when it drew to a close, the wise women bestowed their miraculous gifts upon the child.  One gave her virtue, another beauty, the third wealth, and so on, until they had given her nearly everything one could possibly wish for in the world.  When eleven of them had offered their gifts, the thirteenth suddenly entered the hall.  She wanted to get revenge for not having been invited, and without greeting anyone or looking around, she cried out with a loud voice, "In her fifteenth year the pricess shall prick herself with a spindle and fall down dead!" 
That was all she said.  Then she turned around and left the hall.  Everyone was horrified, but the twelfth wise woman stepped forward.  She still had her wish to make, and although she could not undo the evil spell, she could nevertheless soften it. 
"The princess shall not die," she said.  "Instead, she shall fall into a deep sleep for one hundred years."
Since the king wanted to guard his dear child against such a catastrophe, he issued an order that all spindles in his kingodom were to be burned.  Meanwhile, the gifts of the wise women fulfilled their promise in every way: the girl was so beautiful, polite, kind, and sensible that whoever encountered her could not hellp but adore her. 
Now, on the day she turned fifteen, it happened that the king and queen were not at home, and she was left completely alone in the palace.  So she wandered all over the place and explored as many rooms and chambers as she pleased.  She eventually came to an old tower, climbed its narrow winding staircase, and came to a small door.  A rusty key was stuck in the lock, and when she turned it, the door sparng open, and she saw an old woman in  a little room sitting with a spindle and busily spinning flax.
"Good day, old granny," said the princess.  "What are you doing there?"
"I'm spinning," said the old woman, and she nodded her head.
"What's the thing that's bobbing about in such a funny way?" asked the maiden, who took the spindle and wanted to spin too, but just as she touched the spindle, the magic spell began working, and she pricked her finger with it.
The very moment she felt the prick, she fell down on the bed that was standing there, and she was overcome by a deep sleep.  This sleep soon spread throughout the entire palace.  The king and qeen had just returned home, and when they entered the hall, they fell asleep, as did all the people of their court.  They were followed by the horses in the stable, the dogs in the courtyard, the pigeons on the roof, and the flies on the wall.  Even the fire flickering in the hearth became quiet and fell asleep.  The roast stopped sizzling, and the cook, who was just about to pull the kitchen boy's hear because he had done something wrong, let him go and fell asleep.  Finally, the wind died down so that not a single leaf stirred on the trees outside the castle.
Soon a brier hedge began to grow all around the castle, and it grew higher each year.  Eventually, it surrounded and covered the entire castle, so that it was no longer visible.  Not even the flag on the roof could be seen.  The princess became known by the name Beautiful Sleeping Brier Rose, and a tale about her began ciculating throughout the country.  From time to time princes came and tried to break through the hedge and get to the castle.  However, this was impossible because the thorns clung together tightly as though they had hands, and the young men got stuck there.  Indeed, they could not pry themselves loose and died miserable deaths.
After many, many years had gone by, a prince came to this country once more and heard an old man talking about the brier hedge.  Supposedly there was a castle standing behind the hedge, and in the castle was a remarkably beautiful princess named Brier Rose, who had been sleeping for a hundred years, along with the king and queen and their entire court.  The old man also knew from his grandfather that many princes had   come and had thired to break through the brier hedge, by they had got stuck and had died wretched deaths.
"I am not afraid," said the young prince.  "I intend to go and see the beautfiul Brier Rose."
The good old man tried as best he could to dissuade him, but the prince would not heed his words.
Now the hundred years had just ended, and the day on which Brier Rose was to wake up again had arrived.  When the prince approached the brier hedge, he found nothing but beautiful flowers that opened of their own accord, let him through, and then closed again like a hedge.  In the castle courtyard he saw the horses and the spotted hunting dogs lying asleep.  The pigeons were perched on the roof and had tucked their heads beneath their wings.  When he entered the palace, the flies were sleeping on the wall, the cook in the kitchen was still holding his hand as if he wanted to grab the kitchen boy, and the maid was sitting in front of the black chicken that she was about to pluck.  As the prince continued walking, he saw the entire court lying asleep in the hall with the king and queen by the throne.  Then he moved on, and everything was so quiet that he could hear himself breathe.
Finally, he came to the tower and opened the door to the small room in which Brier Rose was asleep.  There she lay, and her beauty was so marvelous that he could not take his eyes off her.  Then he leaned over and gave her a kiss, and when his lips touched hers, Brier Rose opened her eyes, woke up, and looked at him fondly.  After that they went downstairs together, and the kind and queen work up along with the entire court, and they all looked at each other in amazement.  Soon the horses in the courtyard stood up and shook themselves.  The hunting dogs jumped around wagged their tails.  The pigeons on the roof lifted their headsfrom under their wings, looked around, and flew off into the fields.  The flies on the wall continued crawling.  The fire in the kitchen flared up, flickered, and cooked the meat.  The roast began to sizzle again, and the cook gave the kitchen boy such a  box on the ear that he let out a cry, while the maid finished plucking the chicken. 
The wedding of the prince with Brier Rose was celebrated in great splendor, and they lived happily to the end of their days.


***I thought this particular story was interesting because obviously it is what we know today as Snow White...however, there are some very BIG differences.  First, in the disney version there are only three godmothers and they are forced to counteract the gift bestowed on Sleeping Beauty by an evil witch.  Also, the three godmothers take Brier Rose away to the middle of the forest to raise her away from harm and this is where she meets prince charming.  Finally, instead of sleeping for 100 years, Brier Rose is simply asleep until true loves kiss can break the spell.  I don't know which one I like better since the Disney version has been a favorite ever since I was a small child.  However, I like this one...but its sad that so many princes died trying to rescue dear Brier Rose.  An interesting story, I hope you liked it!***
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