Ever since our childhood, we have heard many fairytales from our elders especially from grandmothers. It was such a great time when our elders used to read us bedtime stories and make us fall asleep. Fairytales will always be fun to hear from elders or parents.
Many fairy tale stories are common even in today’s world. But, there are many such incredible stories which we have not heard of and the same is for other children as well.
The word fairy tale is by many names such as fairytale, fairy tale, wonder tale, fairy story, magic tale, and many more. Stories under this genre typically feature mythical entities such as talking trees, elves, fairies, angels, dragons, goblins, wizards, mermaids, and many more.
These stories are man-made there is no proof that they come from the history of the character.
Top 10 Lesser Known Fairytales
Even if we take two strangers in a room and ask them to talk about the fairytales that they know, out of hundred stories many of them would be similar to each other. In the same way there are many lesser-known fairy tale stories that children are unaware of.
Some of the common household fairytales are Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and many more. Yes, there are weird fairytales stories that today’s children are unaware of and they are as follows:-
1. Snow White and Rose Red
The name might sound common but, it is not. This is one of the most underrated fairytales story that are known to very few. The story is written by ‘The Brothers Grimm’ and it is a German-originated story. The story was written by ‘The Brothers Grimm’ way back in 1815 just after they published ‘Snow White’. This story has zero relation to the famous Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.Snow White and Rose Red is a story about two sisters, they both are opposites in every way but, love each other a lot. The loving and supportive relationship between Snow White and Rose Red has been showcased in the story.
This story features many other interesting characters such as the mother, poor widow, the bear, and the dwarf. Fairy tales are meant to have a happy ending and the same happens in Snow White and Rose Red. In the end, Snow-White marries the prince, and Rose-Red is heard marrying the prince’s brother.
2. The Enchanted Maiden
The Enchanted Maiden is a Portuguese fairy tale that was collected by Zofimo Consiglieri Pedroso. Very few people know about this incredible fairy tale. The story is a Cinderella-esque tale that consists of three beautiful sisters.
The story revolves around the three daughters related to their marriages. The elder two sisters marry two princesses, while the youngest sister ends up marrying a peasant. For this marriage, the father of the three daughters played a unique game with the suitors who wanted to marry his daughters.
The elder sisters refuse to associate with their younger sister because she was not as they were. This goes until the youngest sister’s beautiful daughter is born, she is then blessed by fairies with beauty, grace, and riches. That is how the further story takes twists and turns and ends happily for all the sisters.
3. Cat and Mouse in Partnership
This is another lesser-known German fairytales story that has been written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grim. They are also known as ‘The Grimm Brothers’. This incredible fairy tale was first published way back in 1812 and it is the story of Arne-Thompson type 15.
It is a dark tale that features a cat and a mouse and they decide to live together for the winter. Both of them mutually decide to buy a pot of fat and leave it in a safe place just behind the altar of a church. But, the story takes a different road when the cat lies to the mouse and reveals that he must attend to his godchildren.
With that excuse, the cat secretly goes to the church and eats the fat that they both had saved. Later, the mouse finally realizes the cat’s idea, and just the mouse is about the reprimand him, the cat eats the mouse. The author is trying to say that that is how the whole of nature works. Read more about it at https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/648119/fairy-tales-you-may-not-know
4. The Shadow
The Shadow was written by Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen and was published in 1847. The fairytales story is unique and interesting as compared to other fairy tales. The original title of the story is Skyggen. This lesser-known story falls under the literary fairy tale genre.
‘The Shadow’ is a story about a learned man and his own shadow. Later, he finds out that a man’s shadow has disappeared, and begins to grow a new one. But, years later the old shadow shows up out of nowhere as an actual person. Interestingly, the old shadow is just the opposite of the man he sees every bad in the world instead of good.
Later in the story we see, the man falling ill and many barriers come in but, the story ends on a good note.
5. The Red Shoes
This is another lesser-known fairy tale story that has been written by Danish poet Christian Andersen. The story was first published by C.A. Reitzel in Copenhagen on 7th April 1845. The original title of this unknown fairy tale is ‘De rede sko’ in the Danish language. This story also falls under the literary fairy tale genre.
It is a story about a peasant adopted girl, Karen. Her stepmother is very rich and old and after her mother’s death the girl grows up vain and spoiled. After she is adopted her new mother buys her a pair of red shoes that perfectly fit the princess.
Karen is found obsessed with her new pair of red shoes, she is continuously wearing them. She wears them even to the church which is not supposed to do. An unknown soldier calls them ‘pretty dancing shoes’, and with that compliment, Karen does not stop dancing with those shoes on.
An angel then tells Karen that she’s a lesson for other vain children in the country. So, Karen visits an executioner nearby in the town and convinces him to cut off her feet. The executioner does exactly what was asked by Karen but the shoes continue to dance.
The executioner then gives Karen a pair of wooden feet and crutches so that she could walk. Karen thinks that she has suffered enough for the red shoes, she then decides to visit the church so that people can see her. Still, the amputated feet in the red shoes, dance before her, barring the way.
Just before Karen dies, the angel from above returns to her and reveals that she has been forgiven.
6. The Juniper Tree
The Juniper Tree also called ‘The Almond Tree’ is one of the German fairytales that was written by ‘The Grimm Brothers’. The story was first published in Low German in ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales way back in 1812. The story features or themes child abuse, murder, and other such throughout.
At the beginning stages, the story tells that a mother dies in childbirth. Her husband immediately re-marries, and the new wife does not want to take any responsibility for her stepson. The new wife lures her stepson to death by offering an apple from the chest.
She then slams the lid down on the boy’s head so hard that his head flew off and fall into the chest with apples. To get rid of all the evidence, the new wide chops the boy into small pieces and cooks him up in a stew. The stew is then served to the boy’s father, who does not know the fact that he is eating his child.
Both the newly married wife and husband enjoy the evidence or the boy’s head for lunch and live happily ever after. Read more about it at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/10-lesserknown-fairy-tale_b_6755354
Bluebeard was written by Charles Perrault. The story was first published by Barbin in Paris and way back in 1697 in ‘Histoires Ou Contes du temps passe’. The story is slightly related to The Robber Bridegroom, How the Devil Married Three Sisters and Fitcher’s Bird.
This incredible folktale tells the story of a rich man who is in a habit of murdering his wives. Bluebeard is a wealthy and powerful man who is married several times to several beautiful women and all have vanished mysteriously. He then visits his neighbor and asks the owner to marry one of their daughters, and the girls are all terrified.
The youngest daughter of the family decides to be his wife and decides to further live with him in his rich and luxurious palace. The palace where Bluebeard lived was located in the countryside and was away from the daughter’s family.
Later, in the story, we see Bluebeard is killed by Anne and the wife’s brother. Then the wife inherits all of his fortune and castle and uses the fortune to have her other siblings married and she re-marries herself.
8. The Wonderful Birch
This is another unknown Finnish and Russian fairytales that one could read of and is a variant of Cinderella. The Wonderful Birch is an Anne-Thompson folktale that falls under 510A type. The folktale makes use of shapeshifting motifs where we see Andrew Lang is involved.
In the story, we see a woman who coma across the path of a witch. The witch turns the woman into a sheep. The witch then magically disguises herself as the woman and visits the house where the woman’s husband and daughter live.
The woman (witch) convinces the husband to slaughter the sheep that was her real wife. But, the daughter weeps, but her mother (sheep) tells her not to eat her flesh once she is slaughtered. She tells her daughter to bury her bones at the edge of the field.
The husband listens to the witch and slaughters the sheep and the witch makes soup from the meat and bones. The daughter fulfils the wish of her mother (sheep) and buries what is left of her in the field and a birch tree grows from the bones.
The witch disagrees with everything about her step-daughter, eventually, the witch and husband have a daughter on their own. Later on, somehow the step-daughter weeps over the birch tree, and the spirit of her dead mother completes the task that was given by the witch and sends her daughter to feast in the garments.
In the end, the story ends with a good note where the witch and her daughter run away. The daughter, father, and prince all live happily ever after.
9. The Dog and the Sparrow
The Dog and the Sparrow is lesser-known German fairytales that is collected by Brothers Grimm. It is a folktale of Aarne- Thompson type 248 and the title is also known as ‘Der Hund und der Sperling’.
This folktale includes a shepherd dog where his owner lets the dog starve from hunger. The shepherd dog meets a sparrow and accompanies the dog to the city. The bird helps the dog by capturing meat and bread for the dog to feed his hunger.
During the night, a man with a horse approaches the dog and the sparrow. The sparrow warns the shepherd dog that the man with a horse is going to run over the dog who is in the middle of the road. The dog does not listen to the sparrow and ignores him completely and the man with the horse runs over the dog.
The sparrow becomes very angry and curses the man that he will turn into a poor man. The man with the horse was riding with barrels of wine the sparrow pecks them and the precious wine leaks out. The bird pecks out both the eye of the horse and the man tries to kill the bird with an ax and eventually ends up killing his horse.
The man then returns home and notices that all the birds have eaten his wheat. The sparrow was still on revenge and was sitting at his windows. The man did try to smash the bird but, he was not successful in it.
Finally, the man catches the bird and swallows it in one big bite. The bird still sticks in his head just out of the man’s mouth. The bird prompts that let the wife take a final swing with an ax at the bird. Doing this the wife kills the man and the bird flies away.
10. The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead
This is one of the most unknown fairytales. The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead is a Portuguese fairy tale that was written by Consiglieri Pedroso. The story is included in ‘Portuguese Folk-Tales’.
The story is about a prince who had a garden, which he allowed no one to enter but himself. One day he had to go to the way and ask his sister to take care of it. She remained in his garden the whole day and night and became pregnant.
She felt ashamed of her and gave birth to a beautiful daughter. The daughter had a rose on her forehead. She raised her beautiful daughter secretly, she even sent her to school with the directions so that no one comes to know.
Later, everyone finds out about the daughter with such a unique body figure and everyone agrees to stay with the daughter happily ever after.
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