the fairy talesthe mythsentrancepinocchioetcetera

the fairy tales

If all the seas were ink we'd call them fish tales
Fairy tales rewritten for children (but suitable for an adult audience).

The Fairy Tales - Book One of Two

Fairy Tales main
Book Two

The tales upon which these retellings are based are linked to at the bottom of each tale's page, beneath the link to the for-Print version of the retelling (for those inclined not to read off a monitor). The commentaries may be helpful to those unfamiliar with the original tales, or for whom they're a dim memory, in that the more obvious differences between these retellings and the tales on which they're based are mentioned there. They are called "Grain of Salt" commentaries because those differences sometimes necessitate my offering my perspective on the tales. In addition, I give a little more about an impetus for my concocting these retellings in the Etcetera area of the website.


A man agrees to neither bathe nor cut his hair or nails, sleeping only on a bearskin, for seven years.
fairy tale : commentary

hansel and gretal

Hansel and Grettel
During a famine, two children are abandoned in a forest, where they come upon a house made of cakes and candy, where lives Famine Maker.
fairy tale : commentary

the flying ship

The Flying Ship
In the original, an idiot boy comes in possession of a flying ship, meets certain trials, manages not to be murdered by the king, and wins the hand of the princess. I have made the champion of the story a young heroine, rather than a hero, and, somewhat fed up with heroes or heroines making peace with evil kings and marring their offspring, I offer a different ending than the one normally expected. A very fun story.
the fairy tale : commentary

the children of hamelin

The Children of Hamelin
This story does and doesn't belong to "Once upon a time." It happened, supposedly, in a specific year. One thousand two hundred and eighty four. It happened, supposedly, in a specific place: Hamelin.
fairy tale : commentary

the gingerbread man

The Gingerbread Man
Trickster fox meets a trickster man made out of gingerbread. An extremely popular story, it seems. Perhaps because of its simplicity. No surprises here, I have kept the tale close to its home.
fairy tale : commentary

the frog king

The Frog King
I think if I was a young woman and a frog was insisting I keep my promise to let it sup and sleep with me, I might also try to find a way to get out of the agreement.
fairy tale : commentary

jack and the beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack was on his way to market to sell a cow when he met a man who pulled from his pocket some beans and said, "Jack, do you see these beans? These are exceptional beans. They are wonderful, marvelous, amazing beans. They are worth far more than that cow here that you are planning to sell at market...You won't regret it if you exchange your cow for my beans. It will be the smartest thing you've ever done, because these beans are special enough that they could make you and your mother very rich." And this sounded good to Jack.
fairy tale : commentary

little red cap

Little Red Cap
On her way to her grandmother's with a basket of cakes and wine, a girl meets a wolf on her path.
fairy tale : commentary

old rinkrank

Old Rinkrank
A woman disappears into a glass mountain.
fairy tale : commentary

the master maid

The Mastermaid
A girl who is a master-maid to an ogre does all the work in helping a prince to outwit him. Thereafter, the prince loses any memory of her, just as she had said would happen. Fun if for no other reason than the way a sheriff, lawyer and bailiff get some hard knocks.
fairy tale : commentary

the swineherd

The Swineherd
A story about a princess who prefers imitative novelties over the real thing.
fairy tale


Two precocious girls, born one right after another, who are able to walk and talk just after birth, waste no time in setting out to seek their fortunes. Minnikin begins by stealing eyes--a curious profession!--by which she receives treasures for battling trolls. A funny tale which doesn't receive much notice.
fairy tale : commentary

the crystal sphere

The Crystal Sphere
What else? About a crystal ball. A young man discovers his challenge is to rescue a woman imprisoned in the Castle of the Golden Sun. Twenty-three youths have already tried and failed, and if he fails he dies and the woman is forever bewitched.
fairy tale : commentary

White Snake
An individual comes to learn the language of animals, a gift of discernment which recalls the Volsunga saga in which Sigurd, having killed the dragon Fafnir, drinks of its blood and afterwards understands the language of the birds.
fairy tale : commentary


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