Rumpelstiltskin - One Weird Fairy Tale - It Makes No Sense

Do you remember playing this game? As a child we called it 'Pass It Around.' The game is played with a group of people lined in a row. The more the merrier. The first person in the row is passed a note and told to read it then give it back then pass what was written, to the next person, whispering it in their ear so the next person can't hear. Each person does the same in succession. When you come to the last person in the line he has to tell everyone what he has heard. In most cases what he has heard is totally different from the original note.

The same thing applies to fairy tales. In the olden days stories were told from mouth to ear, rarely written down and over time after being repeated a billion or so times, by a diverse mixture of peoples and cultures, became many versions and all totally different from the original.

One such fairy tale is Rumpelstiltskin. It makes no sense. A poor miller tells the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. What miller? What king?  Why would he talking to a king and why say something so stupid, 'that his daughter can spin gold out of straw' when he knows that would be impossible? 

See what I mean, it makes no sense. It makes you wonder why the miller just doesn't get his daughter to spin some gold for him. The king must be a gullible king, because he doesn't argue the point with the miller but tells him instead he would make her his queen. 

When the miller brings his daughter to the king, the king locks her up and tells her to spin him some gold, that's when she meets Rumpelstiltskin who spins the straw to gold for a gold ring. Why? When he could spin straw into gold. Can you see how crazy this story has become?

The king locks her into a bigger room and wants more gold spun. Rumpelstiltskin, then wants her first born, (to eat) and she agrees. Getting weirder. Then on and on and on....

I'm sure it's not the original. You'd have to read Vivian Vande Velde book, The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, to get her take on the subject.

Ref: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

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