Who are the Brothers Grimm? Disregard the popular Jacob and Wilhelm studied law at the University of Marburg during the time 2005 movie… of the Romantic Movement in They were not con artists! Germany, when people wanted to explore the history of their homeland.Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm lived from1785-1863, and wrote or compiled The Brothers Grimm set out to recordmany popular fairy tales. Over a old stories told by peasants and nobilityhundred are listed in their book from towns across Germany, and afterChildren’s and Household Tales, adding a few of their own and makingincluding the one discussed today, “The minor adjustments, (to be more child-Donkey” or “The Little Donkey.” friendly) they published Children’s and Household Tales in 1812.
What Did They Write?Most Famous Stories:• Little Red Riding Hood• Sleeping Beauty• Hansel and Gretel• Rapunzel• Cinderella• Snow White• Rumpelstiltskin• And now… the Donkey!
Our Story Continues…Long, long ago, in a The Donkey wanted tokingdom far away explore the world -A kind, loving king and his wife had He left the kingdom in search ofno children, no heir to the throne. true love, and on the way, learnedThey prayed and prayed for a son, how to play the flute – a difficultand then the wife got pregnant! task for a hoof-footed being. HeUnfortunately, when the son was wandered to a castle in a distantborn, he was a donkey. land and, cold and hungry, asked toHOW DID THAT HAPPEN? be let in the door. When theyThe king and queen loved their son refused, he played the flute sonevertheless, and raised him to be a beautifully they asked him to beproper young m- donkey. their entertainer.
And Then… The Donkey was still very lonely. After sitting with the king (and his beautiful daughter, wink wink) for years, the young donkey knew it was time to return home. Sad, he told the king he must leave. “What can I give you to stay?” the king asked. He offered gold, his kingdom, and then his daughter. The donkey took him up on the offer… duh!
Happily Ever After?The Donkey and the The servant reports to thePrincess must consummate king what he saw.their marriage? The king, in disbelief, hides in theThe King wanted to know that he didn’t bedroom the next night. When thebreak his daughter’s heart by giving her young man and the princess wereto a donkey. He told his servant to hide asleep, he burned the donkey skinin the princess’s bedroom and watch so the prince must show who hewhat happens. When the donkey enters really is. The kingdom rejoices,– he steps out of his donkey skin and is then a year later the king dies, thetransformed into a beautiful young prince and the princess becomeprince! He and the princess… well, heirs to two kingdoms, and they liveyou know… happily ever after.
What About Our Children?Is this story appropriate forchildren today?It’s a classic fairy tale:a “beast,” an ugly creature, is ableto live happily ever after with abeautiful princess.But what about the ending? Whatabout the bedroom scene? Itwould have to be dumbed-downor simply changed for most youngchildren.
The Brothers GrimmIt’s interesting, however, that Are our children better offJacob and Wilhelm were by being sheltered bymaking the stories more child- censored children’sappropriate… for their time. stories?www.notablebiographies.com Or are they, in fact,credits Wilhelm Grimm with sheltered?“putting [the tales] into writtenform and giving them apleasant, childlike style.”
And That’s Where I Leave You…with ethical issues to ponder… How will you handle your children?