The Six Swans-The Lilac Fairy Book
Long story short, a king got remarried, but his new wife was kind of a witch and cursed his seven children.
The six boys turned into swans. Their sister was upset about this and asked what she could do to turn them back into men. She could do it, maybe, but she would have to remain silent for six years and make shirts out of flowers for them. The girl decided that she would do this, so she climbed up in a tree and started making shirts.
A king came by and saw her and liked the looks of her, so he took her home and married her, even though she did not speak a single word to him, ever. She had some babies, but her evil somebody-or-the-other took the babies away and claimed that the king’s wife had eaten them, or killed them, or some manner of horrible thing. The king’s wife did not speak to defend herself. After the second or third missing child, the king had no choice but to let the lawmen burn his wife at the stake.
As the flames were being lit, the six years was up. The six swans appeared and the wife was able to throw the completed flower shirts over each one and they turned back into men. She was also able to talk. She told the king that their children were safe. Why she couldn’t write things down or learn some sort of sign language was beyond me. The evil person was punished and the wife, her brothers, and her children lived happily ever after, probably. I’m sure the wife had a lot to say to her husband after all those years of not talking. She probably wanted to complain about how he kept leaving his clothes on the bathroom floor.
What I liked
I’ve read this story before, this version was a little shorter than the other version I’ve read, which I do like because some of these fairy tales just go on and on and on and on like the Energizer Bunny from the early 1990s. I used to have a pink roller-skating bunny, by the way. It also played music as well. Ah, the toys I had that are probably worth money today.
I do admire the dedication that this woman had to her brothers. None of my brothers would do anything similar for me.
What I didn’t like
Word. No, really, word–how come nobody taught this poor woman to read and write? This certainly would have solved quite a few problems.
Heck, no, edumikation for women is bad. Who is going to have our babies and cook our dinner if they can read them there those Twilight books? The whole, gosh darn world will fall apart and zebras will run wild through the streets and you won’t be able to shoot ’em because it’ll be outlawed, because of them edumikated womenz and the Taliban.
Guys, come on, why couldn’t this woman write? One note–
I cannot speak because I’m trying to free my six brothers from a curse placed upon them by my evil step-mother. I cannot speak for six years. I must also make these strange shirts out of flowers. No, it’s not some strange Pinterest project gone wrong, like you originally thought. Please, talk to me all you wish and I’ll write you notes back.
For that matter, how come no one freaking taught Ariel to read and write in The Little Mermaid? She signed her name on the sea witch’s contract, how come she couldn’t write a note to Eric and be like, “Look, man, I got the hots for you and I’m swiping right all day long”?
I’d like to quote the king’s wife for my final thought.
Profound, isn’t it?
What are your thoughts on why Ariel couldn’t write Eric a note?
What others ways might this wife have communicated to her husband? Please make a list.