For the past couple of weeks we've been running a competition to win one of two Wilful Eye prize packs - containing a single day-pass to this Saturday's Melbourne Supanova, and a copy of Isobelle & Nan McNab's collaborative short-story collection that she'll be launching this weekend, The Wilful Eye.
In 200 words or less pick a fairy tale that didn't quite sit right with you (perhaps even as a child) and explain how you think it should have ended.
I liked the choice of The Littler Mermaid for I felt all of the same things and ditto for The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I actually chose the latter as one posibility for my story for The Wilful Eye!Isobelle Carmody
So the winners are
Blackbird and Arwen
One story that bothers me is The Little Mermaid. The Mermaid puts herself through so much pain and anguish for the man she loves, yet he does not love her in return, and her efforts prove to be insufficient to gain his love. As a dancer myself, I always sympathised with the twin feelings of pain and joy that come from dancing on sore feet, and so I could always imagine myself in the Mermaid’s shoes.Blackbird
I always wanted to see the Mermaid receive some sort of reward/recognition for her efforts (more than the “turned into a Daughter of the Air to work towards gaining a soul” ending that Andersen later added to the tale).
Instead, upon casting herself into the waves and dissolving into sea-foam, I think the Mermaid should be reborn, Venus-like, from the foam, as a fully human girl. Then she could find happiness in life. Perhaps with one of the Prince’s men, who had admired her graceful dancing, and acknowledged the pain and sacrifices she made. She could still undertake good deeds to earn her place in heaven, but she could also then experience the joys of a life lived and loved.
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses has never sat well with me. I first heard it a few years ago when I was researching fairy tales, and was struck by its abrupt, tragic ending. As someone who is a hopeless romantic and believes in true love, I despise the way the old soldier takes the eldest princess from her true love, purely for the purpose of becoming king. Greed, and all other negative emotions and purposes shall never make a relationship a happy one.Arwen
I believe that as fairy tales traditionally have a happy ending for all but the villain, The Twelve Dancing Princesses should have ended with true love. The eldest princess who was forced by an over curious king, to marry an older man, should rather have been permitted, by the generosity and kindness of the soldier, to remain with her prince as all the other princesses presumably got to do. For his kindness the soldier could have been blessed with riches for the princes’ kingdom, and the king could have met with his future son-in-laws. From there a happy ending for everyone could be reached, both for the characters and readers.