Posts Tagged ‘fairytales’

What is up with Rumpelstiltskin?

May 4, 2010

Rumpelstiltskin is an odd and enduring tale, weird at so many levels that it has to make you wonder, “What’s up with that?”

Firstly, the bragging father whose big mouth leads to his daughter being locked in a tower and forced to spin straw into gold upon threat of death if she fails.  Spineless woodcutters are bad enough (leaving Hansel and Gretel to die in the forest), but dad as virtual pimp, OMG.

Next we have the “little man” whose name we do not know, but who gets a necklace (something close to the girls heart and bosom), ring (symbolic marriage vow) and finally promise of her firstborn child (how personal is that?).

With firstborn kid deals we’re in the realm of Rapunzel, but at least the ravenous-for-rocket preggers mom is above the age of consent when she makes the deal to trade her unborn child for arugula (alas, poor Rapunzel ends up locked in a tower over a salad).  With Rumpelstiltskin the unnamed girl (and this is interesting to me, after so much is ultimately made of the name of the little man) comes into unsavory contact in the tower that is not meant to protect her purity, but keep her from leaving if she doesn’t give up the gold.

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Letting our hair down on salad days

November 18, 2009

The other day in the garden I noticed a field of weeds sprouting where there were supposed to be nothing but walking path.  Then I realized that they were volunteer arugula and I was pleased.  This got me thinking about the nature of nature and how the raised vegetable and herb bed was for plants and the part outside of it was not for plants… only no one told the plants.  Nature just goes where it feels like, and we sometimes stop it, but sometimes don’t realize that it just might be the spice of life for our salad—the earth offering to feed and teach us by quiet example.

Because the fairytale Rapunzel is all about arugula (Rapunzel means arugula, as does rocket and rampion), that was also on my mind today when a friend sent me a question:  “Hey Bruce, you’ve touched on this in a few blogs but is there a simple 3 or 5 stage progression from pre teen to young adult similar to the 5 stages of grief?”  He is a dad of girls, but was also prepping a pitch related to fairytales and this seemed a synchronicity calling for a post, hopefully of interest to other parents of pre-teens to young adults, in the hopes that some Grimm insight might help us better enjoy parenting in the sort of salad days one sometimes finds in Los Angeles in November.

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