The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales

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9781494564254: The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales
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In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schnwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schnwerth's work was lost-until a few years ago, when thirty boxes of manuscripts were uncovered in a German municipal archive. Now, for the first time, Schnwerth's lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, these more than seventy stories bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre.

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About the Author:

Erika Eichenseer is the director of the Franz Xaver von Schnwerth Society. She is also a poet and essayist, who has been published in Schnere Heimat, Nordgau-Festschrift, Charivari, and Literatur in Bayern. Erika lives in Germany.

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"Prince Dung Beetle"

There was once a poor girl named Barbara, whose mother was ill. she had to run over to the doctor and druggist for help. On the way, she jumped across a paving stone and slipped, almost flattening a dung  beetle. When  she realized that  she had sprained her ankle,  she felt terrible and cried out: “Now who is going to bring back the doctor? My mother is going to die!”

The beetle muttered: “Climb up on my back.” Startled by the strange voice, the girl began to sob uncontrollably. The beetle slid right under her, spread its wings, and lifted her up in the air, carrying her to the doctor and druggist in a flash and then back home to her mother.

“You must be sure to feed your little horse,” the mother said to  her  daughter  while  they  were eating bread and sipping water.

“Yes, of course, but my little horse seems to have wandered away,” Barbara said. She searched every corner of the house and looked out all the windows. Suddenly one of the king’s horsemen appeared on the horizon, riding toward them.

“Oh, that must be the Blue Prince,” the mother called out, as if he were  an  old  friend. The door  flew open, and  the prince marched right in, looking radiantly young and handsome. He greeted  the  mother warmly, and  then  he looked  at  the  young woman, took her by the hand, and said: “You lifted the curse on me, and I want to thank you by giving you everything i own.” Barbara did not know what todo, and she looked first at the prince, then at her mother. she was afraid of the stranger. But he explained what had happened to him: “For many years, more years than there are trees in the woods, I have been living as a beetle, crawling around in dust and refuse, beaten  down, crushed, tortured, and in pain, all because I did the same things to animals when I was a boy. My punishment was to turn into a beast and to suffer as they do. You took pity on me, miserable beetle that I was, and that’s how you lifted the curse. I want to ask your mother for the hand of the angel who saved me!”

The girl turned pale, and both mother and daughter were deeply moved.

The prince threw open the shutters and blew on his horn. The mountains wafted the melody over the forests, and everything there awakened and came alive. Barbara and her mother began  to realize that the many people who had  suddenly  appeared with horses and carts were the prince’s subjects, and they, too, had been rescued by the love of a simple young woman. The mother was soon healed, and her beautiful, rosy-cheeked daughter joyfully accepted the prince’s proposal.

At the wedding, the fleas played the fiddle, the birds whistled tunes, and all creatures with feet, large and small, danced and leaped through the air.

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9780143107422: The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics)

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ISBN 10:  0143107429 ISBN 13:  9780143107422
Publisher: Penguin Classics, 2015
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