The Lesser Known Children of Grimm

The Lesser Known Children of Grimm

Posted on May 17th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade

The Willful Child

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Once upon a time there was a child who was willful and did not do what his mother wanted. For this reason God was displeased with him and caused him to become ill, and no doctor could help him, and in a short time he lay on his deathbed.

He was lowered into a grave and covered with earth, but his little arm suddenly came forth and reached up, and it didn’t help when they put it back in and put fresh earth over it, for the little arm always came out again. So the mother herself had to go to the grave and beat the little arm with a switch, and as soon as she had done that, it withdrew, and the child finally came to rest beneath the earth.


This story has always amused me.  Its simple and to the point… talk about a morality tale.  I’m always a little disappointed that the child finally submitted in death.  I guess defiance can only go so far.

I found this translation from a website about various traditional stories like the one recorded by the Grimm brothers:  Hand from the Grave by D.L. Ahsliman.  He says that, in the original version of the Grimm’s tale, God didn’t get blamed for the child’s illness… just a minor detail.  😉

The Wikipedia entry on The Willful Child linked to another related Grimm’s tale:

Frau Trude

Once upon a time there was a small girl who was strong willed and forward, and whenever her parents said anything to her, she disobeyed them. How could anything go well with her?

One day she said to her parents: “I have heard so much about Frau Trude. Someday I want to go to her place. People say such amazing things are seen there, and such strange things happen there, that I have become very curious.
Her parents strictly forbade her, saying: “Frau Trude is a wicked woman who commits godless acts. If you go there, you will no longer be our child.
But the girl paid no attention to her parents and went to Frau Trude’s place anyway.
When she arrived there, Frau Trude asked: “Why are you so pale?”
“Oh,” she answered, trembling all over, “I saw something that frightened me.”
“What did you see?”
“I saw a black man on your steps.”
“That was a charcoal burner.”
“Then I saw a green man.”
“That was a huntsman.”
“Then I saw a blood-red man.”
“That was a butcher.”
“Oh, Frau Trude, it frightened me when I looked through your window and could not see you, but instead saw the devil with a head of fire.”
“Aha!” she said. “So you saw the witch properly outfitted. I have been waiting for you and wanting you for a long time. Light the way for me now!”
With that she turned to girl into a block of wood and threw it into the fire. When it was thoroughly aglow she sat down next to it, and warmed herself by it, saying: “It gives such a bright light!”


These tales, from a contemporary standpoint, seem to lack subtlety.  But that is why they amuse me.  There is something refreshing about the simplicity of a fairytale even when its not the simplicity of a happy ending.

Not surprisingly, these two fairytales aren’t well known.  I don’t know of any film adaptations of them and I’m sure Disney wouldn’t touch them with a 10 ft pole.  I looked on youtube and coud only find one badly made video about the first story.  If they were ever done professionally, I’d imagine them in the style of the stop motion versions of Mark Twain’s stories.

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Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 14 hours later

Marmalade said

I first discovered The Willful Child when I bought a copy of the Grimm’s fairytales and read a bunch of the stories.  I never grew up with these stories and my knowledge of them was mostly through Disney.  I was quite surprised by how different the actual stories are that the Grimm brothers recorded, and they even toned down some of the stories. 

For instance, I’ve heard of a very politically incorrect version of Sleeping Beauty recorded by Italo Calvino in his Italian Folktales.  In that verison, she is raped by the prince in her sleep and is only awakened when one of ther children is born and sucks out the prick in her finger.

I was also surprised by how much political commentary was in the stories.  It makes sense though considering that storytelling was the only way that the average person had to communicate their opinions.  I remember that authority figures were often being challenged and of course its the underdog often wins.

On the other hand, stories such as The Willful Child come from the perspective of authority… that of the parents.  Also, religious authority is represented in these stories as it often is God or Mother Mary who punishes people for disobeying.  I always thought of Mother Mary as being sweet and caring, but she can be a tyrant in some of these tales.

Amber : Smilemaker

1 day later

Amber said

Hi Marmalade!

I came visiting your blog page and I loved this particular blog! I grew up with The Junior Classics, Grimm’s fairy tales, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Grimm’s fairy tales are my particular favorites because they are quite gruesome in places and I always wondered if parents told these to their children or if they were told in parlours and taverns.

For some reason the story of Blue Beard sticks in my head too. I don’t know if it was in the Junior Classics or if I just happened to read a book of stories that had this one in it. I used to go to the library and go into the fantasy section and just grab 10 books. I can never start a good book now or I’ll be up all night reading and I find I can’t work professionally after a session like that! I get sort of loopy! I wish that adults got a ‘summer vacation’ for three months. I would like that every five years. We could all rotate!

Glad to see you stopping in to the Gaia Network!


Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

1 day later

Marmalade said

Hello Amber

Welcome to my humble blog.  So, you noticed me from the Gaia Network.  I don’t post much there, but I have it on e-mail notification.

You can never start a good book now?  That is sad.  I hope you enjoy your profession because that is quite the sacrifice.  At least, you had a good fantasy uprbinging.

Stop by again sometime.  🙂

Amber : Smilemaker

1 day later

Amber said

I do love my profession. My title is Beauty Specialist, B.S. to be exact! I work for Kohl’s and I’m the person who helps people find their smiles! Kohl’s thinks that they pay me to sell makeup but I don’t do that at all. I connect with people and make their day better if they’re having a difficult one. I get to spend all day showing people how special they are. Nope, not with the makeup!

My grandmother passed away several years ago and I really felt that I had missed the opportunity to pamper her in her last years. She had dementia and for some lucky reason she bonded completely with me. I was too busy to spend time with her as I had a job then that was really demanding of my time. When I started to work for Kohl’s and got the promotion to the beauty department I did a makeover on an older lady I enjoyed very much.
When the makeover was complete, she looked at herself in the mirror and smiled. I felt my grandmother with me looking over my shoulder and smiling too that I had given my time to that woman. I have been addicted to that experience ever since and there’s not too many days that go by that I don’t get to sense my grandmothers presence and see a happy person walk away. I’m not on commission so I don’t give a rats tail about the sales although we’re the number 2 department in the company. Whatever. It’s not about that at all.

So you see, I love my job intensely. By the end of the week I’m drained and have to refill my cup. I spend alot of time here. I also spend alot of time at the end of my bed looking into the above ground fish pond that I created from a pond liner from a hardware store and some bricks! I have been listening to Eckhart Tolle on CD and that has been wonderful!

Off to bed with me! I’ve added your blogs to my notifications so I don’t miss out on your insights! This is why I’m here so much of the time! I’m reading blogs instead of books! I think it’s a nice compramise!


Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

1 day later

Marmalade said

I like your attitude about your job.  On a good day, I can have a similar view of my job.  I’m a ramp cashier and so I see many people during my shift.  The job isn’t exciting, but the opportunity of relating well to another human being offers itself on a regular basis.

BTW my job allows me to read books in between dealing with the peoples.  It is kind of challenging though switching back and forth from internal to external focus… especially since I tend to read heavy material.

I still think its sad that you don’t get to read good books.  But if you’re spending your spare time here, then its well spent.  Do you at least find the time to read a good book during vacation time?  I tend to spend my vacations with family so that I get less reading done than if I was at work.

So, you have an indoor fish pond.  Sweet!  A few years ago I set up an indoor fish pond using one of those plastic half-barrel liners, but the fish kept dying.  My girl kitty liked drinking out of it and she uses her paws do drink.  The only thing that I could figure was that she was getting the chemicals from litter into the water.  I changed various factors, but I never did figure out exactly what was the problem.  After the second batch of fishies died, I decided not to sacrifice any more for the cause.  Poor fishies  😦

Amber : Smilemaker

2 days later

Amber said

What is a ‘ramp’ cashier? I’ve not heard that term used before! So great you’re able to read on the job! That’s the ultimate luxury! I don’t think I could drag myself back to the real world if I found a great book to dive into! I will hear some mumbling on the fringes and then suddenly realise, Oh!, they’re talking to me!

I do read on vacation but the last two years I’ve been sick with some dreaded virus and used up all of my vacation pay in doing so. I haven’t been on a real vacation in awhile. There’s talk of a CA, OR, WA state meet up this summer and I will BE THERE no matter what! I know I won’t read a book on that trip! I’ll be getting to know the people I already know! LOL

There is a definite trick to keeping fish. First of all, the fish you bought had to be goldfish and nothing else… they’re the only type of fish that can take temperature fluctuations. Otherwise you have to have a heater in the winter and some way to cool in the summer.

Secondly, you have to spend some time learning chemistry. Ammonia cycle first, then nitrite cycle, and then finally you fish can be added to the water. The first week or two they can take the ammonia (this comes from their poo and from the wasted food decaying on the bottom) but after that the nitrite cycle gets them. Your cat wasn’t causing the problem at all. I put my dirty lotiony hands into the water all the time and they don’t mind it a bit.

I’m going to see if I can get my recent pictures of my pond up in a blog so that people can see my new setup. It’s very tropical and soothing if I do say so myself!


Marmalade : Gaia Child

2 days later

Marmalade said


I just stopped by your profile and its very nice.  I said ‘hi’ to Boots and I watched the penguins dance.

“What is a ‘ramp’ cashier?”

I’m a parking ramp cashier.  I take people’s money as they drive out of the parking ramp.  My job doesn’t serve much practical purpose.  I’m just a human face for people to interact with, public relations sort of.

Sorry to hear about your dreaded virus using up your vacation time.  That is no way to spend your vacation.  I hope you enjoy the meet up.

I’m still not sure what my fish problem was.  Its actually been something like 5 years since I had that half-barrel pond.  I did do something to treat the water, but I don’t remember now what I did.  The fish I bought for it were goldfish and I know that they’re extremely hardy fish.

Oh well, I’m not looking to start another pond anyways.  If I were to get some other animal besides my kitties, then I’d get a hedgehog.  I’ve owned one of those before.  They’re friendly and low-maintenence.  I’ve never owned an iguana, but I used to own newts in highschool.  They were kind of boring creatures… just floated around in the water… even less exciting than fish. 

So, what do you do with your Boots?  Does s/he get to roam around the house or do you keep her/him in a cage?  Does s/he like to ride around on you?

Amber : Smilemaker

2 days later

Amber said

I’m glad that there is someone like you in the little house at the end of my stay in an overpark! I get clausterphobic in those things if I feel like there’s nobody to help me if I get stuck going the wrong way up or down the darned things! Not that it’s ever happened but I just like that there’s someone there!

Are you parking for a mall, a courthouse, a theater? A mall or theater at times would get crazy I’d think!

I’ve never owned a hedgehog! Do they cuddle? I wanted an iguana because the lizard I really wanted, a chameleon, was to easily stressed by handling. All my pets are in danger of being loved to death! Even the fish aren’t immune! I have my hands in the water all the time trying to get them to nibble on my fingers. Sometimes I am rewarded for my patience!

I have a blog about that silly iguana here She’s not a pet I would recommend for anyone who wants low maintenance! She’s a curious two year old in a 10 year old lizard body! We don’t let her run the house just as you wouldn’t let a two year old run the house either. When we’re home we take the door off of her house so she can come out if she wants. Rarely does she want to come out because she’s lazy, there’s heat in there at about 95 degrees, and she knows that I will pick her up and hold her if she does! I can’t help it!

I do carry her around in the condo. Not outside. I almost lost her one time because she got startled and jumped off my shoulder and headed under the deck! That sucked and I was so glad to get her back! Florida or California would be an okay state for her to get loose in but Oregon is just too cold for her type!

I need to update that blog. You should see the new floor to ceiling bamboo palace I built for her from 6 ft bamboo fence panels! It’s nice!


Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

2 days later

Marmalade said

Is ‘overpark’ the term your used to?  I’m not familiar with that term.  In the midwest, we call them parking ramps.  The city has several.  I used to work in the one connected to a mall and a theater, but now I work in one that has some shops in the bottom and has a skywalk that connects to a senior center.  However, I Iive in a college town and so students use the ramps almost more than anyone.  And I work late nights which means I deal with lots of drunk college students.  What fun!

Half of the population in this town is related to the University.  Exams were over last week and so almost half of the population leaves town for the summer…. which means more time for reading.  🙂

Do hedgehogs cuddle?  To an extent they do, but they’re very active creatures.  Mine wasn’t as cuddly with me because I adopted it from someone who didn’t handle it much.  If I got another one, I’d want to raise a young one.  Actually, the cuddliest and friendliest pet I’ve owned besides kitties were my rat sisters.  Rats are super social creatures and super smelly.  I loved them, but I prefer the pets that aren’t as smelly.  Cats can be smelly too but not as much as rats.  Rats don’t have bladders and so they simply dribble as they run about.

Yeah, I doubt I’d want an iguana.  I prefer the smaller creatures anyhow.  The most amusing pet I’ve ever owned actually were dwarf hamsters and they’re tiny little guys… balls of pure energy.  And the best thing about them was they had absolutely no smelliness about them.

What do you have to do to take care of an iguana?  Do you have to feed her fresh veggies every day?  And how often do you have to clean her house?

Paranormal Commentary and Strange Videos

Some interesting things I came across.


Facts, Fraud and Fairytales.
John Rimmer

From MUFOB New Series 9.

If however we consider fiction, hoax, and real experience as different parts of a spectrum of experience, a new set of patterns begins to emerge.


Invizikids: Imaginary Childhood Friends.
Mike Hallowell

From Magonia 93, September 2006.

What fascinates me more than anything else is that, despite the universal prevalence of the NCC phenomenon, it has attracted very little attention. Studies available on the Internet are almost all governed by the “psychological” approach, that NCCs are the product of the mind of a lonely child. 

People are normally disturbed by the idea that their house may be haunted, and yet they accept without the slightest reticence the notion that their child may be talking to an invisible entity. Is this because they don’t believe that their child’s “imaginary” friend really exists, or because they sense that the phenomenon, whatever its nature, is essentially harmless?

They say that “an only child is a lonely child”. Maybe, just maybe, there aren’t so many lonely children around as we’ve hitherto imagined.


Civilization – Marco Brambilla

From the Daily Grail blog.

This is a beautiful and evocative montage – comprised of over 400 video clips it takes elevator passengers on a trip from hell to heaven. See how many movie clips you can spot, but don’t let it distract you from the overall beauty of the piece.


Trance Captured on Video

From the Neuroanthropology blog.

A great discussion on the Medical Anthropology listserve focused on good films for trance. I’ve provided the list below, complete with links to the films, extra notes in brackets, and some YouTube clips.