And They Lived Happily Ever After

“If I’m Honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.”
–Audrey Hepburn

I love that quote. I, too, grew up loving fairy tales. Maybe that’s why I had my main character love them too. As the series continues, she becomes cynical and decides the stories are a young girl’s dream. Will she ever believe again?

We all want to believe in fairy tales and the “happily ever after” ending. Most Disney movies have show us that. Books I had when I was younger did, too. If Ms. Hepburn referred to those stories then I’m right with her. If she’s talking about the real Grimm’s Fairy Tales—maybe not.

I read an article recently that told the true stories behind fairy tales. It said people might be quite surprised by the real endings. Some were gruesome in their tellings. For example, Cinderella’s step-sisters chopped off their toes to make the glass slipper fit. I’ll spare you from the rest.

I think these stories were originally written to scare children into behaving. If you’re bad, look what happens. If you’re good, you’re rewarded. Don’t wander too far from home. The big bad wolf is in the forest. I’m sure children of the past took those stories to heart for different reasons than the children of today.

I’m glad fairy tales have been changed to sugar-coat the endings. Sure we still have the villains, and they get their due in the end. Kids need to still believe in something. I think fairy tales will do nicely. It encourages them to read and stimulates the imagination. In recent years the message has also changed. Not all princesses need to be rescued and not all have to fall in love. But the happily ever after message is still there.

Fairy tales. Whether you love them or not, they are steeped in history. Audrey Hepburn loved them as adult. So I guess it’s okay if I still love them, too.

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Call me Bellahontas

2013disneyprincess

I recently took one of those “Which Disney Princess are you?” tests. I know…eye roll. I don’t do those often but when something Disney pops up, it’s hard to resist. I have always loved Disney since I was a little girl.

The test revealed I was part Belle and part Pocahontas. Since I love nature and books are my thing, I’m okay with that. Still, I had to chuckle at the thought. Two polar opposites.

Maybe that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want to be a daydreaming princess.  Makes you wonder what those fairy tale princesses did in the castle all day. I like to get things done. At least I can picture Belle reading a book or shopping to buy more books to add to her collection. Pocahontas would be planting a garden, feeding the deer and running through the forest for exercise. They’d be doing something.

I couldn’t resist talking about fairy tales in my first book. Katie has just turned sixteen but the little girl inside still sees things through magical eyes. By the end, reality sets in and she realizes everything is not like the fairy tales she read long ago.

We all grow up eventually and see the world in a different way. Maybe that’s why we read…and write…and dream about being fairy tale princesses.