Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Fairies Becoming Animals

Fairies would sometimes take the form of animals in fairy tales--especially in the Grimm stories. Sometimes, they would do this by choice, but there are quite a number of cases where it was forced upon them. As to the latter, these animals may actually be humans who have been transformed; however, I personally think they were fairies all along. Let's chat a little about these specific type of fairies.

Fairy creatures come in all types. They are magical and often have the ability to change their forms. What animal they choose often reflects their character. A talking finch or a bunny might be a very pleasant sort of fairy, while a talking vulture or snake might be ones to be wary about. Nevertheless, I would rather focus on the nice ones. The reason for this is because the outcome generally reflects the nature of the human that runs into them.

Some of these animals are just trying to help without exposing what they truly are. Call it shyness! Either way, these animals will often offer to assist the protagonist with something. They may give them a present or tell them the direction they wish to go. More often then not, these encounters are good. A fairy who changes themselves into a nice animal willingly generally does so because they already like the person they are going to help.

As I said earlier, there are a number of incidences where princes were enchanted into animals. I have mixed feelings on the wording used in these stories. Many of these so-called princes seem to have an understanding of fairy magic that they should not be privy to. Why would a creature turn them into an animal as well as give them very useful magic they can use. Seems a bit like being sent to prison where the prison is a paradise resort. No, I think these princes may be fairies. They may be princes too. Why not? But the fact remains that they are simply not normal.

Probably the most famous example of the latter situation would be the Grimm story "The Fisherman and his Wife." By the way, this is one of my all time favorite fairy tales. It is a very bold tale and even frighting at times. The fairy prince in this case is some sort of fish--often a flounder.

This fairy animal had powers that were pretty much off the chart. These powers seemed--at times--next to God's. I've heard some speculation that the fish was actually Satan; however, this is only a theory. Not even I am prepared to admit to that. The fish had the power to grant almost every wish no matter how grand. In the story, the wishes were so extravagant that it began to reflect the darkness and corruption in the one making said wish. When it came down to it, the fish was not really the one who was causing the problems. For all its power, it was the one making the wishes who was truly evil. I'll go into this story a bit more in depth later.

Now, here is a question: If you met an animal who tried to assist you or perhaps asked you if you wanted a wish granted, how would you react? I believe these things have really happened in our history. Sometimes the encounters have been good and other times they have been very bad. It is something to think about.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Manikin

The term manikin in fairy lore tends to refer to a very small man of about 2 to 3 feet tall. These are not to be confused with dwarves. In almost all cases, the manikin is a very bad entity that should be avoided at all costs.

If you encounter a manikin, you are already in trouble. Simply being in their presence is like signing a contract. You have to deal with them on their terms, and attacking them will only end in folly. It's a bit like breaching the contract, giving them the leeway to destroy you. In fact, legality is very important to the manikin. They have a certain set of rules that guide them and allow them to proceed with their evil ways. I'll do my best to help you if you ever come across one.

A manikin always wants something. It could literally be anything. Here are some examples:
1. He may want to take your child away.
2. He may want you to marry him.
3. He may simply wish to have sex with you. Very bad.
4. He may wish to murder you and/or your family.
5. He may wish to turn you into some other form such as a useless animal or just into a rock for his own amusement.

Upon encountering a manikin, you should be afraid but also as calm as you can. Your situation is dire but not altogether impossible to overcome. Here is some advice:
1. Don't try and fight him or run away. He will instantly win what he wants.
2. Listen carefully to his offer. Bargain as much as you can, but if it is only making it worse, stop.
3. The manikin's offer will require you to accomplish a near-impossible feat which is likely rigged. Agree to his terms and walk away if he will let you.
4. In some cases, the manikin will promise a reward if you play their game. Politely decline all his attempts if he tries to trick you in this way. Once again, do not fight him or run away.

The last stage of a manikin encounter is the puzzle. You have to perform some incredible act that most would think impossible. Here are some tips:
1. Loopholes work. Try and find a clever way to beat his logic.
2. Cheat. Sneak around while he does not know you are there. Listen to him mumble to himself. He may give you the secret unknowingly. You may also find his journal and learn from it there. Manikins are extremely vain and tend to brag to others and themselves.
3. If you have found a way to beat the manikin, beat them with as much flare as you can. If you do a very good job at it, it may actually kill the manikin where he stands. That will save others the trouble of dealing with him.
4. If all else fails, there is not much you can do after that. You can defy him and be destroyed, or you can go along with his deal. I am very sorry if this happens to you.

Easily, the most famous manikin in fairy lore was "Rumpelstiltskin." In the case of that story, the manikin actually tries to portray himself as a savior to a woman by preventing the king from chopping her head off. She agreed to his assistance, but she must give him her first born. She attempts to change the deal, and he agrees to her terms. If she can guess his name, she can keep her child. Luckily, she overheard him singing about his name being Rumpelstiltskin. She was able to turn that knowledge against him in such a clever way that he ends up committing suicide simply because he cannot handle the shame of losing.

Manikins can sometimes be called gnomes, but the latter term is not exclusive to this particular creature. Manikins are always evil in fairy lore. They are selfish demon creatures that wish horrible and nasty things on human kind. They still exist today but may not look the same as they did in the olden days. Beware.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Beware!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Witch

Witches are real. I am not talking about the ones who bite the head off chickens and dress all goth. The contemporary farce called Wicca or Pagan Witchcraft is nothing more than a club where social rejects go to feel like they belong. I am not even afraid of them. No. Real witches fill me with true fear, and I greatly believe that we are better off without them.

Fairy Tales are full of witches. Just about every famous author of the genre has done something with them. Often they are haggish and ill-tempered viragoes that the protagonist has an unfortunate run-in with. Other times, they can be quite beautiful; however, the latter can sometimes be the result of a simple illusion.

In many of the Grimm tales, the witch is usually stumbled upon and engages the protagonist with a trap. She will often attempt to force the victim into being her slave because she is too lazy to keep her place tidy. She may also send the victim out on a quest that cannot be overcome in order to ensnare them for their failure.

The whole idea of the witch is that they are bitter women who turn to magic to take out their hate and anger on the world around them. They care about nobody else but themselves. Even if they have a proper daughter, they will treat her like a piece of property. I have met people like that in real life, but they don't have magic. Thank goodness! Needless to say, witches are bad, and the hero of the story should do everything in their power to put them out of business.

Sometimes the witch is a person in power. In "Snow White," the witch is actually a queen. She is even naturally beautiful, but vanity has a way of sullying ones perception of the truth. She envies Snow White's beauty even though such a thing is ultimately pointless. Here, the witch is so desperate to destroy an innocent for her own ego, she casts a spell to make herself hideous--as to trick Snow White into eating a poisonous apple. As a kid, I thought this transformation was permanent, and it made me wonder why someone would go through such lengths to appease themselves.

In the Oz universe, L.Frank Baum introduced us to the ideal of good and bad witches. This has been latched onto by people ever since the book and movie came out. Very popular with feminists. That was actually the idea too. Interestingly, the whole concept of good and bad witches were dropped just a few books later. The word witch was soon vilified. Glinda was thereafter refereed to as a sorceress, where evil Mombi was the resident witch. I'm sorry, but I agree with this decision. Witches bad. Witches always bad.

Today, witches live among us. They know magic and use it against those they consider a threat. They are haggish and ugly and have to use either spells or a hell of a lot of makeup to hide the truth. We do not see them because we do not believe them. We point at Wiccans and shrug, but the truth is less obvious. Witches are a part of our fairy lore since the beginning of time, and the reason they are is because they have always been among us. They are villains, and we still need heroes to take them out.


No, I'm serious.

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Princess

Although there are exceptions, the fairy tale princess has generally been the prize for the prince at the very end of the story. If she is the protagonist, her fate often still ends in marriage. The purpose of this spotlight is to showcase the protagonist princess in a similar light to the prince. We'll talk about normal women who become princesses at a later date.

Sometimes, the princess of a kingdom--generally the daughter of a king--must go out on an adventure. There are a number of reasons why she should do this, because in all honesty, that sort of business is not commonly expected of a princess. The most common reason is love. Whether the king approves or not, sometimes the princess will go out of her way to save the one she loves. Sometimes, she will make many sacrificed to make this happen such as never speaking a word for 3 years.

Many of these stories involve the princess being reduced to the state of a vagabond in order to complete her quest. She may live like a beggar looking for a clue that may lead to her lover. In most cases, the old stories do not favor princesses very much. At the very least, she will find the one she loves and achieve a pleasant life as a wife.

If anyone has read more than the first Oz book, they would have heard of a princess named Ozma. This character breaks many of the tropes of the Grim stories. She was a true princess being the daughter of the former king of oz, King Pastoria. Ozma represented everything it was to be a women while at the same time going on grand adventures throughout the land of Oz. I've read 19 of these stories so far and she is tossed out there quite often. Ironically, when a prince ends up proposing to her, she was entirely uninterested.

The point of this spotlight is to show that princesses do sometimes get out and do some of the dirty work, but I am happy when they do. I personally think anyone who strives with all their might for something good deserves it--whether they be man or woman. Don't get me wrong, I think the whole damsel in distress genre is a great trope, but remember that the characters are the ones who drive the story forward. If a woman has the gumption to stand up and be a true heroin, then there is nothing wrong with letting it inspire you.

On one final note, I recommend you all see the new Wonder Woman movie that came out this year. It is a good example of what I've been talking about. I don't want to spoil it, but needless to say, she is a princess and she is most certainly not the one in distress. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!