Remember the Little Fable by Franz Kafka I told you a while ago? One might think that the sense of disturbance this text leaves us with is something very typical for a fable in modern literature? Not quite. As the following fairy tale, recorded and narrated by the Brothers Grimm proves…The Old Beggar Woman
Once upon a time, there was an old woman – you surely have seen an old woman begging before? This woman was a beggar, too, and when she was given something, she said ‘May God be with you’. This beggar woman came to a door and their stood a friendly imp of a boy near the fire warming himself. The boy kindly said to the poor, old woman who was standing their at the door, freezing: “Come, old dear, and warm yourself up.” She came into the room but stood to close to the fire so her rags started to burn without her realizing. The boy stood there and saw it. He should have put it out, yes? Isn’t it so, he should have put it out? And if he had no water then he should have cried out all the water in his body through his eyes so that there would have been two pretty little streams of tears to put out the fire with.
Copyright for translation: TaleTellerin
Copyright for image: Daniel Chodowiecki’s The Begging Soldier Woman @ WikiMedia Commons
This one is so disturbing to me. And I’m not even sure if it is because I just don’t expect this kind of language or this kind of setting or this kind of character – in the boy’s case – from a fairy tale. Or if it’s because the issue described here seems so modern to me. Youth that has lost touch with reality… Not those video games’ fault after all, huh?