#962 The Light Princess by George MacDonald

The Light Princess by George MacDonaldThe Light Princess by George MacDonald

Once there was a king and queen who did not have any children. The king decided to be cross about this fact, but his wife told him that he had to be patient. They had a baby girl at one point. The king forgot to invite one of his relatives, an aunt, or sister. This was both a good and a bad thing. It was a good thing because everyone knew she was a witch. She had spells that could do all sorts of things and she wasn’t very nice. It was a bad thing because she was a known witch and she had spells that could do all sorts of things and she wasn’t very nice. She showed up anyway and cast a spell on the baby while everyone was celebrating the birth of the princess.

The curse that was placed upon the baby was that gravity would not affect her. She floated right up to the ceiling and had to be gotten down with a precarious ladder and tongs. One time she was almost lost for good when a breeze blew in through an open window and took her right outside. Luckily, it put her down right under a rose-bush.

She grew up and was alone. What she loved more than anything was the lake the castle was on. While she was in the water she felt that she did have gravity. She loved to swim.

At this time a prince came around from another country and he met the princess at the lake and the two swam together, which they enjoyed very much. They met all the time to go swimming. One day, the princess noticed that the lake was getting lower. This was because the very same person who had cursed her as  baby was now cursing the lake. It was draining out and drying up. The princess took to her room, but she did not cry, because she had never cried. She only laughed. She laughed at everything.

A champion was asked. The champion would fix the lake, but he would not survive. The prince volunteered as he had missed the princess, but he also wanted her to be happy. When the princess realized the volunteer was her prince amazing things happened.

What I liked

This was a lovely story. I really enjoy fairy tales and even though this one is more modern than most I’ve read, it’s still great. I really liked the idea of gravity being taken away from a person. That’s a particularly interesting curse. It would mean you would weigh nothing, but I have to wonder what affects that would have on your muscles. Your digestive system might not work as optimally as it could. I consider that there may be some weird problems associated with being weightless and unaffected by gravity.

I also just thought the plot of this story was great. I liked that this princess is a bit different. She does things that aren’t necessarily lady-like. She’s outspoken. She finds someone who is quirky like her.

What I didn’t like

I really did like this story, so I can’t really think of anything to pick out of it right now.

Overall

I curse you to not be able to see the color green!–Practical Curses that Affect Everything in Life, Vol. 3 Page 354

Weigh In

If you had to be cursed with losing one the effects of one law of science on your body, what law would you pick?

Can you think of anymore downsides to not being affected by gravity?

#958 Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de VilleneuveBeauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Once a wealthy family lost everything. There were many children, but the youngest, Beauty, was the cleverest and the most beautiful. The family had to move out of their town house and into a place that wasn’t as nice. The father worked as a merchant. His daughter Beauty asked him to bring back a single rose. He was only too pleased to do so as Beauty hardly ever asked for anything.

He did find a rose, at a strange castle, that had spring all around it instead of winter. He even went inside the castle, but when he plucked a rose, a mighty beast appeared and told him that he would be sorry. The man pleaded with the beast and told him the story of his daughter who only wanted a rose. The beast listened to the story and made a bargain. The man could go home, with the rose, but the daughter had to come back and live at the castle. The family would be compensated nicely. Beauty would do whatever it took for her family to be happy and alive.

Life was not difficult in the castle, perhaps a little lonely. Beauty found entire libraries and craft rooms to entertain herself, but she did miss her family. Each day, the beast would ask her if she would marry him, but she found the beast too ugly. She always dreamt about a handsome prince she had seen in a picture in the castle.  Beauty did get to go home to visit her family, but she hurried back to the castle one day because she feared the beast was dead. She had grown to care for him somewhat. When she did find him, half-dead, he asked if she would marry him again, this time Beauty said yes. The beast transformed into the handsome prince she had been dreaming of.

What I liked

I definitely find this version a lot more fascinating than the Disney version. There’s no Gaston, or talking furniture, or that grey stuff on the plate, but it’s still a great story. This reminds me of Grimm’s tales a lot more than the Disney version ever did.

I do like the Beauty learned to look past physical appearances to an extent. She learned to appreciate the beast for his personality rather than his looks.

What I didn’t like

I feel like this is a backwards message. I feel like Shrek does a better job at giving this message than this story does. You are supposed to appreciate people for who they are and what they can do rather than what they look like because that changes, a lot. As humble and moral as Beauty seemed to be, she was still kind of a crap person for only looking at the outside of the beast, rather than his inside, but many of us would have done the same. We would have been scared of this strange creature that could speak our language.

Beauty also didn’t have to live with her realization. Living with it would have been the beast staying the same and she marrying him anyway and loving every minute of it. As is, Beauty’s beast transformed back into a hunk and she got a sexy, rich man just because she was like, “You know what, maybe it’s not what’s on the outside that counts.”

Overall

It’s good to appreciate a person for who they are, maybe it will even get you a sexy, rich man.

Weigh In

Would you marry the beast?

Do you think you could find it in your heart to appreciate the beast for who he was?

Urbanus

UrbanusUrbanus

There was once a monk named Urbanus. He was tasked with keeping the keys to the library. He wrote many things and often studied the scriptures. One  day he sought to have some time to think about the words of the Lord and went out into the garden. In the garden there was a small bird which sang beautifully. Urbanus followed it for a few minutes listening to its voice.

We he turned to go back, everything was different. The church was much bigger. The graveyard was populated with graves that he did not recognize. There were three towers where there had been none before. He finally made his way inside, where no one recognized him. The abbot finally asked him what creature he was and how had he been called forth from the dead.

A book was brought forth from the library. It told a story of Urbanus, a monk who mysteriously disappeared three-hundred years before. Urbanus had wondered about the mysteries of God and had been caught up in a mystery himself. Urbanus realized he was but dust and with that he really did turn to dust and that was the end of Urbanus.

Observations

Hans certainly had a bit of an affinity for time travel.

Before there were printing presses, and actually for a time after, books were scarce because they were hand-copied. There may be a Bible in every hotel night-stand drawer in America, but Bibles weren’t always so easy to come by. They were copied out by hand. Have you seen how bit the Bible is? We’re talking thousands of pages copied, by hand, by monks. This is what they did all day long for years. Carpal tunnel much?

Themes

This is the last fairy tale in Hans’ collection. It’s the last one that was published, although it was published posthumously. Hans probably wrote this tale not long before he died, thus why it wasn’t published while he was still alive. He was obviously thinking about death and about religion and about an afterlife. Where would he go? What would happen to his soul? Did he understand the mysteries of God anymore than he did when he was young? Hans was old; he knew he wasn’t going to be too terribly much longer on the Earth. He probably came to a very clear realization that death catches up with all of us, no matter who we may be, and that really, we all return back to the same thing…dust.

Overall

Farewell to Hans.

Weigh In

Do you think Hans was as faithful as his writing made him sound?

What is with Hans and time travel?

The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird

The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird The Poor Woman and the Little Canary Bird

There once was an old woman so poor that she could not afford a casket for her recently deceased husband. A canary flew in through the window and sang happily to her. The old woman fed it. Another woman came in and said it had been in the papers that a family was missing a canary and that this might be the very bird.

The old woman took the canary to the family who was so happy to have the bird back that they paid for the casket for her husband and invited her to dinner. The old woman prayed to God and thanked him for sending the canary to her.

Observations

Any time I hear of a bird being returned to its owners, I find it quite remarkable. Birds can fly away. One of my friends in Okinawa actually found a parakeet just flying around outside. Someone had lost it and she took it as her pet when no one reported one missing. She had it for a while.

Themes

This canary was such a small thing, but it caused great things to happen for the old woman. Small things can lead to very big things. Maybe that dime on the sidewalk is just a dime, or maybe it’s going to lead you to an entirely different life. No one can really for sure. As the scriptures say, “By small and simple things shall great things come to pass.”

Overall

This was a sweet little story.

Weigh In

What would have happened had the woman not encountered the canary?

Is the family better off for having known the woman?

Folks Say

Folks SayFolks Say

Folks say that the age of miracles is past. Folks say that our feelings and thoughts arise from vibrations. Folks say that Sarah called her son Isaac because people would laugh. Folks say many things and often times mean something entirely different when they say them.

Observations

Yes, that’s what folks says.

Themes

People talk, a lot; people talk all the time. What someone says may not mean a darn thing, but that doesn’t stop that person from saying that thing. Words can be so full, but also so incredibly empty. I could write two-thousand words on this post, and none of them may mean a thing or make any difference to anybody, but hopefully, what I’m writing does mean something. What people say often is not what really is. So ultimately, don’t count the things people say for so much.

Overall

Words can be just words.

Weigh In

Do you think we speak too many empty words?

Should every single word could for something?