Meghan Thrash – Final Exam Blog Post

During this semester, I have learned a lot about fairy tales. Based upon my readings, reflections, and experiences this semester, I have been able to realize the importance of fairy tales. Fairy tales play an important role in both children’s and adult’s lives alike. They teach morals and lessons to people of all ages, and can provide a sense of comfort and imagination. Fairy tales are important to the development and support of imagination, especially in children, and can teach children important themes such as overcoming challenges. It allows for questions to be raised and answered, and provides a strong foundation for knowledge to grow upon. Fairy tales have the capability to teach such important lessons to all in a light, enjoyable way.

A theorist that helped me better understand fairy tales was Bruno Bettelheim, and his essay The Struggle for Meaning. Bettelheim wrote this essay about the strength of fairy tales and the impact they leave on children’s lives. The impact of fairy tales on children can help them find meaning in their life. Bettelheim said, “For a story truly to hold the child’s attention, it must entertain him and arouse his curiosity. But to enrich his life, it must simulate his imagination…while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him.” (Bettelheim 270) This quote is one of the strongest quotes that helped me better understand fairy tales. Bettelheim described a series of aspects that are needed in a story to help enrich a child’s life, and all of the aspects necessary to provide meaning are featured in fairy tales. 

One of the most surprising aspects of fairy tales I discovered this semester was the violent and gory side of fairy tales. I have never heard much about the original, gruesome fairy tales, as the more child-friendly versions were more relevant to me growing up. Learning about the more gruesome versions were a surprise to me as a lot of them featured murder, rape, starvation, etc. For example, our studies of the tale Little Red Riding Hood. In the version by James Thurber, the story ends by saying “So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.” (Thurber 1:12 – 1:16) This story was a surprising version to me as I have never heard of the little girl shooting the wolf. Just like this version of Little Red Riding Hood, and many other stories, the violence that is present in fairy tales was very surprising to me. 

Something that interested me the most about fairy tales was how they were originally made for adults. For example, Charles Perrault, who was a French aristocrat wrote many popular fairy tales that were meant for other rich French aristocrats. With writers such as the Grimm Brothers, adult content was very strong in fairy tales. These versions of fairy tales featured gore and taboos, as well as some themes for adults. As time went on, these fairy tales became more child-friendly and available to more readers. 

I don’t believe we missed much in class. The information that was provided to us was strong and clear, and overall helped me gain a better understanding of fairy tales. I read fairy tales as a kid, but they didn’t leave a strong impact on me, as I have forgotten most of the stories. This class was nice to refresh those memories and help me see a different point of view of my favorite tales as a child. I did really enjoy watching Spirited Away at the end of the semester, so I think including more movies or short clips that relate to the tales we read would be great.

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Jordan Gellert – Reflection on Fairytales Course

Throughout the past few months in this course, I have learned a great deal of valuable information regarding fairytales and folktales that I will take with me throughout my life. By reading the original versions of numerous fairytales, and analyzing the viewpoints of numerous theorists, I have been able to create my own opinion about the value and importance of these fairy tales. In this paper, specifically, I will be discussing why fairytales matter, debriefing about a theorist we have talked about in class, discussing one concept of the course that surprised me, discussing one concept of the course I found most interesting, and lastly, giving suggestions for topics to discuss in upcoming classes.

The first topic I want to discuss is why fairytales matter. I believe that fairy tales do matter because of a variety of reasons. More specifically, I have found importance in these tales through my own experiences and readings this semester, most notably “Why Fairy Tales Matter” written by Maria Tatar. One example I can recall is from my childhood when I was five years old. Around this time, when I was still learning to read, I fell in love with the story of “The Three Little Pigs,”. Every night I would make my mom read this story to me until, eventually, I learned how to read it myself. This core memory of mine is just one example of how influential fairytales can be, especially in the childhood developmental years. One other place I have found importance in these tales is in the article “Why Fairy Tales Matter” by Maria Tatar. In this article, Tatar gives her opinion on the importance of fairytales and why we should keep telling them. One concept Tatar points out is that fairy tales in their purest forms “serve as portals to wonder worlds, to sites that combine danger and beauty in ways so alluring that they inspire the desire to wander into new imaginative domains” (Tatar 56). Once again highlighting their importance in childhood development, Tatar explains how fairytales and all forms of children’s literature allow for the stimulation of the imagination. Having tales that stimulate imagination allow for the development of children’s minds, aiding in the education of our younger generation. In Tatar’s words, “anything can happen” in fairy tales, and this uncertainty is what we love so much about them (Tatar 56). Through both my personal experiences, and the article by Maria Tatar, I have found great importance in fairytales, and I have realized just how much they matter in our society.

The second topic I want to discuss is about one of the most important theorists we have read about in our class this semester. Jack Zipes, in particular, has stood out to me during these past few months. First off, his article called “Breaking the Disney Spell” resonated with me in various ways. In this text, Zipes discusses how powerful Disney’s interpretation of fairy tales are and how they have shaped the way we view these classic tales. Zipes asks questions like “what does the Disney spell mean” to make us think about why we are so impacted by the Disney movies (Zipes 333). Additionally, Zipes takes us through the different stages of fairy tales, explaining how and why changes have been made to the tales over time. More importantly, in my opinion, Zipes discusses the notable differences between the Disney and Grimms versions of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Zipes explains how Disney took the original German version of the tale and “transformed it into something peculiarly American” (Zipes 347). Some specific differences between the two versions include the anthropomorphism of animals and the addition of names for the dwarfs in the Disney version (Zipes 347). This article particularly resonated with me because it reminded me of how much I used to love Disney movies. When I was younger, in addition to reading, my mom would watch movies with me, specifically Disney movies. In fact, the first Disney movie I ever saw was “Princess and the Frog”. Sitting in the movie theater, I was captivated by the bright colors and exciting music that was featured in the film. The Zipes article made me realize just how much I was personally affected by the “Disney spell” (Zipes 333). These bright and exciting details that were added to the Disney film were aimed towards children in order to get them interested in these tales. I believe Zipes helped me the most to understand fairy tales because he informed me about my own experiences, and in turn, I was able to more accurately understand the themes and lessons behind all of the tales.

One thing I have learned in this class that surprised me was the vast number of sexual undertones in many of the original versions of fairy tales. One example comes to mind: “Little Red Riding Hood”. When we first read this tale, I was expecting to read a happy tale about a little girl who journeys through the forest to her grandmother’s house. I was extremely surprised to learn how much the little girl is sexualized by the wolf. In one version we read, the wolf tells the girl to take off all of her clothes and get into bed with him. This element of the story was very unnecessary, and I believe it is a reflection of the views of the time period in which it was written. As we learned early in the class, the Grimms collection of tales were called “Children’s and Household Tales”. This name was used to show that the stories were written for both children and adults alike. The sexual undertones in many of these tales, thus, were included to add an adult element to the tales. They were added to make the stories interesting for the older population. No matter the reason, these undertones completely surprised me and made me think more about the possible undertones in other tales I have read.

In this course I was most interested in the tale of “Bluebeard”. Before taking this class, I had never read these tales before, so reading them was a new adventure for me. The tale of “Bluebeard” details the life of a wealthy king cursed with a strange blue colored beard who can’t seem to keep a wife. The king had many wives over the years but each one had disappeared mysteriously. Eventually, after many years of loneliness, the king finally got remarried to the daughter of a nobleman. One day while the king was out on business, he gave his wife the keys to all of the rooms in the castle. His only rule was that she could not unlock the door to the secret closet. Bluebeard’s wife, like many other fairy tale protagonists before her, let her curiosity get the best of her and she unlocked the forbidden room to find the murdered bodies of all of Bluebeard’s past wives. After discovering the gruesome secret, the wife tried to hide the evidence by putting the key back but, unfortunately, it was permanently stained with blood. Upon Bluebeard’s arrival at the castle, he found the blood splattered key and immediately threatened to kill his wife for disobeying him. Luckily, the wife’s brothers came to her rescue and killed Bluebeard in an act of revenge. I found this story to be the most interesting of the tales we read in class because of the sheer amount of gory subject matter that it incorporates. Before taking this course, I thought that all fairytales were only made for children. After reading the tales in this course, it has become clear that many of our most widely known tales were originally written with adult audiences in mind. This story interested me the most because it changed my entire outlook on the genre of fairy tales.

One thing I believe the class should focus on in the future is a feminist view of fairytales. We talked briefly about the idea of sexism in fairy tales in our discussion about Jack Zipes, but I believe that future students in this class could benefit from learning about all the ways our famous fairy tales have been specifically curated to perpetrate patriarchal attitudes into our society. By learning about the issue of sexism more thoroughly, we can learn not only about our society and why it works the way it does, but we can also learn how to be aware of this sexism and how to avoid it while reading these tales. One other specific thing I believe should be taught in this course is the effect that reading fairy tales has on the average reading level of elementary-aged children. Reflecting on my story about “The Three Little Pigs,” I think it would be interesting to learn more about the effect reading fairy tales has on the brains of children. Although this is a very specific topic, I think it would be interesting to learn about how reading this story as a child affected the development of my brain. I believe that incorporating these two topics into the future classes would allow for more complex discussions to be had.

All in all, I believe that this course has been extremely influential in many different ways. Whether it be through reading a plethora of tales, or learning about the viewpoints of numerous theorists, I can confidently say that this course has completely changed my outlook on the topic of fairytales and has given me knowledge that I will take with me for years to come. Although there were one or two things that could have been added to the course, I was still surprised and interested by multiple things, and I believe that this class is worthwhile for any student to take.


Works Cited

Tatar, Maria. “Why Fairy Tales Matter.” Western States Folklore Society, pp. 55-64.

Zipes, Jack. Breaking the Disney Spell. 1984.

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Final Exam Blog

          Over the course of this semester, I learned a lot about fairy tales. I had no idea that there were so many benefits to reading fairy tales, for people of all ages. As a child, I grew up reading fairy tales which fueled my love for learning and reading fiction for pleasure later in life, but I never realized that the content of the fairy tales were teaching me life lessons. Fairy tales matter deeply in the world, so much so that the entire Disney franchise has become an international corporation based around redesigning and creating new fairy tales. The success of this company has not only proved how fairy tales excite children’s creativity, but also how adults have been impacted by fairy tales from a young age, watching Disney’s fairy tales, and sharing them with their children. By bringing adults to Disney World and Disneyland, magic meets real life and people who have regular 9-5 careers are able to relax and enjoy the getaway from reality. It is not only Disney that has created this impact in our lives, but the Grimm Brothers who seem to hold the “classic” versions of our favorite fairy tales. The Grimm Brothers created these fairy tales that hold morals, life lessons, and advice to share with adults, and have themes that most children would not understand. This proves that fairy tales were not originally meant for children, rather to educate the public on ideas like the dangers of greed, beauty, poverty, and marriage, and are still relevant today. 

          Continuing with the idea that children benefit from fairy tales, I find Bruno Bettelheim to be a helpful theorist. Bettelheim is a psychologist who studies the Freudian perspective and uses these ideals to connect meaning in childrens’ lives. Bettelheim expresses that in order for a story to hold a child’s attention, “it must entertain him and arouse his curiosity” (Bettelheim, 270). This shows that children are not only engaged in fairy tales for their enjoyment, but also because it is mentally stimulating for the child. A child reads a fairy tale and can relate to the feelings that the main characters feel, they become curious by the way the magic in the stories work, they understand the lessons they are being taught. If a child were to read “Little Red Riding Hood,” a child might see Little Red afraid of the wolf, and remember a time when they were afraid. Or, the child will wonder how the wolf was able to speak, because animals cannot speak, they might also learn to not disobey their parents because they saw how Little Red was attacked when she strayed from the path.

         One of the most surprising ideas we learned this semester was that original fairy tales were meant for adult audiences. I think this was most shocking to all students, because we grew up reading fairy tales and stopped reading them as we became older, not the other way around. However, when doing my research for my paper, I found multiple variations of “Snow White” which were disturbing to me and would definitely have terrified a child. In fact, the version we read in the textbook states that Snow White’s stepmother was forced to dance in hot iron shoes until she burned to death. In addition, the version of “Little Red Riding Hood” where the wolf repeatedly tells Little Red to remove her clothes and get into bed with him shocked me, and I know I would have been horrified if I read that story as a child.

         While the most surprising part to me was the adult themes in the fairy tales, it is also what interested me the most about this class. I found it extremely interesting as well that these fairy tales had such patriarchal values and how since being written, the values in our society have changed so much. I had lots of fun in class debating about how the men who wrote the stories viewed women as inferior to men, weaker, and valued only for their ability to do household chores and for their beauty. It was also interesting to see how the stories could differ so much between the versions, such as how in one version of “Cinderella” it is not a fairy godmother that helps her for the ball, like in most other versions, but a magical tree.

        I do think that we could have watched a movie or two of the tales that we read about, as opposed to a movie that was completely unknown to the class. However, I still think that the movie “Spirited Away” was a good way to show how there are traditional fairy tale themes found in contemporary movies as well. I do not think that there was much that we missed. I think this class did a great job of keeping us interested in the curriculum. In addition, I enjoyed the way we sat in a circle everyday, it helped us become comfortable with speaking in class since everyone could see each other. 

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Final Blog

Fairy tales are very important because they have a super impactful role in society, especially with kids. Ashliman went over four functions of fairy tales, but their effects extend far. The expression of fears and taboos led to the development of poetry and political cartoons. Fairy tales answer important questions that a kid would normally ask. From the origin of the world to what is right & wrong, children have a wide range of difficult questions. Instead of answering them directly, parents would be better off telling a story that contains elements relevant to their questions.

Bruno Bettelheim’s essay The Struggle for Meaning is about raising children to have meaningful lives. He argues that fairy tales are important because they efficiently teach moral values. One of his points is that stories that intend to teach something need to be captivating. They have to stimulate the imagination. Vigen Guroian argues the same thing in his book, Tending the Heart of Virtue

One thing I learned is how recent the connection between fairy tales and childhood is. Fairy/Folk tales were mostly for adults. These tales were quite violent and inappropriate. The target audience then shifted to the family as a whole. Some censorship was due, but a few things managed to go over kids’ heads. Nowadays, fairy tales are mainly for children. Childhood as a concept is only a few centuries old, mind you. Regardless, anyone can enjoy fairy tales – everyone likes a good story!

I decided to take this freshman seminar section because the topic appealed to me. I knew just enough about fairy tales to like them, but not enough to think there wasn’t more to learn. I loved seeing how fairy tales changed over the years. It was really interesting to see how fairy tales experience polygenesis. The same archetypal stories and characters pop up all over the world, even if the cultures have never interacted.

Overall, I think our classwork was enjoyable and educational. One idea for a fun writing assignment is watching a Disney movie and reading the textbook’s version of the same story. Then, we could compare and contrast different thematic elements. For example, The Little Mermaid goes through major changes from the text to the screen. Tangled is another example for this assignment.

-Tomas Beas Romero

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Our Fairy Tale

Once Upon a time in the majestic fairy forest there lived a fox and a deer who were madly in love. They went by the names Mr Fox and Mrs Deer. Every day they would explore the majestic fairy forest hoping to find and learn new things. One day while exploring the forest they came across a very very very very very very very old squirrel who was guarding a path that they had never seen before. The fox and deer asked the squirrel if they could enter the path guarded by him. The squirrel replied,Yes young ones you may enter this path that I guard, however you must not touch anything found at the side of the path or else bad things will happen. Mr Fox and Mrs Deer nodded their heads yes and ran into the path eager to explore. They were having so much fun exploring the new path until they came across the shiny stone. “Look at that beautiful stone honey, I am going to take it with me” said the deer. “The old squirrel back there told us not to touch anything along the side of the path,” said the fox. “Well screw him, he’s just a stupid old squirrel, what does he know? ”. The deer takes the stone and just then a giant stone falls out the sky landing on Mr Fox’s leg instantly breaking it. The two get very spooked by this and turn around to head out of the path. Walking back Mrs Deer spots a golden spoon and says to the fox “what a wonderful spoon that is, I must have it”. The fox replies “but honey look what happened when you touched the stone my poor leg is broken”. “Who cares” said the deer “that was just bad luck”. The deer then picks up the spoon and then a fork comes flying out of the sky and stabs Mr fox in the eye blinding it. The couple is now very spooked and they start to hurry out of the woods. As they are almost out of the woods the deer sees a beautiful bird. “Mr Fox looks at that beautiful bird. I must have it as a pet” says the deer. “But honey look what happened to me when you touched the other forbidden objects in the woods” replied the fox. “Shut up” screams the deer, “I am taking this bird for myself”. The deer goes up to grab the bird and as the deer touches the bird it turns into a giant dragon. The dragon swoops down on the fox eating it and the deer is left alone. The deer goes home very upset now learning to listen to others wiser than her.

By Ryan, Nolan and Declan

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Personal Fairy Tales

Tomas, Natalie, Annastasia, Brisa

There was a daughter who was left orphaned as a very young child. Her father left first and after some years her mother passed away drowning. The young girl was left no other option but to move in with her grandmother who had many secrets. 

One day the girl was visited by a deer and a raccoon and she surprisingly understood what they were saying even though they weren’t speaking English. They were telling her that her father needed help but the girl was left shocked and confused by this statement as she never even knew of her father’s existence. The animals explained to her that she was the key that her father needed to save her mother, but this left her even more confused as she knew her mother drowned and died, as that’s what she had been told. She asked why the animals came to tell her this instead of her father but they stayed silent. 

The only issue was, how was the girl going to be able to visit her father? She didn’t have shapeshifting oceanic powers like her dad did. 

The animals told her that her mother was reincarnated and stuck in a magical egg and only her daughter could help him get her out.

She found out the reason why her father didn’t personally visit her to ask for help and she learned that once her mother died, her father lost his ability to become his human version and travel to land. Her mother was the only human connection that her father needed to be able to travel to land.  

The reason the father left at such a young age was because he was tricked by someone that he would be able to gain powers to visit places no human could visit, he would be able to travel to the bottom of the ocean. He fell for this person’s trick and that is why the daughter never heard of him again. The girl learned that the person who tricked him was a person with many secrets. Her grandma. The grandma trapped him in his mystical form but told him that he had a power that he had to find inside himself to be able to go back to earth but once he found this power he would only be able to use it once. Once he learned his wife drowned he felt something inside him that was leading him to the top of the ocean, something he’s never been able to do before. He soared to the top on a magical shell and took his wife’s floating body from the top and dragged her back down with him. He could not bring her back to life in her human form but, he was able to use his little bit of power left to bring her mystical form out of her. He took his chance as anything was better than her being dead. 

Once the father learned his wife died he sacrificed his chance to go back to his human form by using the rest of his strength to reincarnate her. Now it was up to the daughter to save her mother. She left home one day to go on this journey the animals told her she was destined to go on. She traveled far and wide until she reached the ocean where the magical egg was kept hidden. She had no idea what to do but she remembered what the animals told her; follow your heart. That’s just what she did. 

Something inside her started glowing, she started changing and shapeshifting into a magical being just like her father once used to be able to do. She jumped into the water and swam using the magic to push her through the water and guide her down. She saw something glowing in the depths of this ocean. It was an egg shaped thing and that is when she knew what she had to do.

She somehow felt she did not have a lot of time left and she raced against all the odds. Not knowing what to do she leaned against the egg and started crying. The magic she had in her the whole entire time started shooting out all around and surrounded the egg and then propelled them both up out of the ocean. They soared through the sky in a ball of light until the egg reached the ground and cracked open. Her mom was alive! The same was she was when she left, and now the two could live a happier life. Now the daughter knows that all she has to do is follow her heart and the power to do anything is inside her.

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Our Own Fairytale (In Class 11/9)

Another Rudolph Story…

Once upon a time there was a lonely deer grazing on a stranger’s delicious and luscious grass when all of a sudden a bear came out of the woods ready for his next meal. The bear wasted no time chasing the deer off of the property, galloping as fast as he could until he reached the end of the road – a dock over a menacing body of water. As the deer peered into the water, he saw a sparking trail of blue rocks and seashells and decided to take the plunge and disappear from his predator at last. He followed the trail along the seafloor to an underwater portal, as he realized that he was running out of time to outrun the angry bear. He lept through the portal, and fell through an endless whirlwind of colors as the sky eventually broke and he landed in a pile of white, fluffy snow. Once he recovered from his long journey, he saw in the distance a blinking red light. As he got closer, he realized the red light was coming from a cottage in the snowy woods. He looked down, and his own nose started to blink red as he approached closer and closer to the cottage. He heard rustling on the roof of the cottage, and then POOF! A big cloud of snow fell down on top of the deer’s head from a few squirrels playing a game of tag. As he shook off the snow, a key got caught in his antlers. Could this be the key to the cottage? A kind elf that was rummaging through the snow around the cottage looking for his lost key noticed that the key was stuck in the deer’s antlers. The elf thought that the deer would be perfect to pull his boss’ sleigh, and asked him if he would take the job. The deer agreed, and they went into the cottage together. Sitting in a big chair by the fireplace, a jolly man by the name of Santa Claus was anxiously waiting for their arrival. Santa and the deer came to an agreement that if he helped pull his sleigh to deliver presents, the deer would be reunited with the real world. He was given the name Rudolph, and he went down in history. 🎶

Jordan, Gabby, and Angelina V

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Self Written Fairytale

Once upon a time, there was a box, decorated in beautiful greens and blues. This box held magical powers, and it was said that anyone who opened the box would release evil dragons that would terrorize the land. The rulers of this kingdom had a daughter, and in order to protect her from the potential danger, the king placed the box in a hidden, bountiful garden covered with large green shrubs and sealed with a gate. One day when the King’s daughter, the princess, came across the gates of the garden on her sixteenth birthday while adventuring through the forest with her pet moose. She was so compelled by the garden’s old wooden gates that she just had to go inside. 

She asked the moose to help her break the gates of the garden open. The moose ran into the gates and the doors swung open. Inside of the gates, the princess found the beautiful garden filled with flowers and plants with a little path that the girl just had to follow. When the moose and her reached the end of the path, there lay a small box. Unable to contain her curiosity, the princess had to open the box. When she took the cover off of the box, she felt a gust of wind so strong that she was pushed to the ground, the moose went running in a frenzy, and the princess was left defenseless as she watched a swirl of red and white emerge from the box and turn into two large dragons. The dragons flew into the nearby town! Fire spewed from their mouths which burned down buildings. The dragons were hungry for humans, down the hatch they went! The princess needed to find a way to save her people. 

She ran into the town eager to help the civilians. She shouted to the dragons, “Please don’t hurt them and take me instead.”

 The dragons ran to get the princess, and when they approached her they started to spew fire out of their mouths and attempt to immobilize her. Scared of the fire, the princess put her hands up as a line of defense for herself, but to her surprise she wasn’t killed, but instead her hands had absorbed the fire and now she held the power of the dragon. She was brought back with her newfound powers, and using the fire, she directed the dragons all the way back to the garden. She scrambled through the trail towards the box, she quickly opened the box and a swirling wind started to pull inwards towards the box. With her fire powers, she directed the dragons back into the wind force where they were dragged back into the box. She ran to find the cover of the box and slammed it on, sealing the dragons away for eternity. 

When she became queen she made it her mission for no one to ever open the box again. It was now under constant watch due to her adventures that she went on, once upon a time.

Written by: Gianna Oliveri, Macy Gabbamonte, Meghan Thrash, and Gavin Trezza

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Creating our own Fairytales

By: Angelina F, Fiona, Julian, and Peyton

Once upon a time there a village where it was always springtime. In this village lived a little pig named Wilbur. This town was always green and prosperous and had a large and full treasury. Wilbur had left town to visit his chipmunk friends outside of town but now he’s on his way back home. On his way back home Wilbur looks up to the sky and notices a large blue ice dragon heading straight for his village. Wilbur was confused because he thought the dragon was banished long ago but, now he’s back and looking for vengeance. Wilbur runs as fast as he can but, the dragon was faster. By the time Wilbur had reached his village it was covered in snow and ice. An eternal winter has fallen over the village. The dragon had taken over the village and now is taking shelter with all the gold and riches in the treasury. Filled with fear, Wilbur turns around and rushes back through the forest. The lush green trees have become leafless and the snowy ground chilled Wilbur’s feet. While Wilbur was running a crow swooped down from a branch and asked Wilbur what the problem was. Between devastated squeals Wilbur explains the tragedy of what has happened to his village. “I shall help you restore your village to it former glory and banish the dragon for once and for all.” says the crow. “But, how?” inquires Wilbur “I’m not strong enough to defeat a dragon!” In that moment the crow flies off and Wilbur is alone once again. He sits silent in the forest, wondering how he could ever call this place home again. Wilbur sits in sorrow for what feels like eternity when the crow returns with something in his grasps. The crow tosses the object infront of Wilbur and he sees that it’s a spiked horseshoe crab shell. The crow then tells Wilbur “At dead of night, when the dragon is asleep, wear this shell so that you can blend in with the snow around you so that you can easily sneak into the treasury without anyone noticing you.” “Okay” said Wilbur “but, how am I supposed to slay the dragon, I’m only a wee little pig.” “Wee as you may be, you are much wiser than the dragon.” With that, the crow was gone and Wilbur started back on his journey towards the village, shell on his back. Wilbur braved the cold winds and ice and snuck his way through the snow and to the treasury door. Wilbur thought he would have time to come up with a plan as the dragon was asleeep but, when he entered the room the door slammed shut and the dragon was awoken by the noise. The dragon saw through Wilbur’s disguise and came right for him. Wilbur threw the shell of his back and began to run and dodge but, he didn’t have a lot of time because the dragon was much faster than him. Out of the corner of his eyes, Wilbur spotted a large floor to ceiling mirror and he darted towards it. When the dragon caught up he saw the pig’s reflection and in a moment of rage shot his ice breath toward Wilbur, thinking he had won. However, the dragon didn’t realize it was a mirror and the ice came right back toward him, freezing himself in the process. Wilbur was in disbelief! He had beat the dragon! As he celebrated, the village started to thaw and the crow appeared. “I did it Mr. Crow! I saved the village!” said Wilbur. The crow responded “As I always said.” In that moment the crow transformed. No longer was he a feather creature but, instead, a wise old wizard. “Thank you for freeing me from my curse Wilbur. As payment, you will rule this village.” The treasury morphed into a beautiful castle and the townspeople crowed Wilbur as King. Wilbur was a gracious and kind king who treated his village with respect and dignity. The wizard continued to serve Wilbur as his royal adviser and the dragon serves as Wilbur’s favorite ice sculpture to this day.

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Illustrating fairy tales

To follow up on the examples provided below. There are a myriad of visualizations of fairy tales, beyond the iconic movie images from the Walt Disney studios.  Exploring how image captures story–or a moment in the story–invites the reader/viewer to situate themselves within.


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