Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Which Science Catches Up To Fairy Tales

See New York Times article "A Safe Haven in Cartoon Confidants" (hat-tip Muffins) and compare to Brothers Grimm story "The Goose Girl," excerpt below:


Then came a blast of wind and carried off Conrad's hat, so that he had to run far away, while the maiden quietly went on combing and braiding her hair, all of which the king observed. Then, quite unseen, he went away, and when the goose-girl came home in the evening, he called her aside, and asked why she did all these things.

"I am not allowed to tell you, nor can I reveal my sorrows to any human being, for I have sworn under the open heaven not to do so, and if I had not so sworn, I would have been killed."

He urged her and left her no peace, but he could get nothing from her. Finally he said, "If you will not tell me anything, then tell your sorrows to the iron stove there," and he went away.

So she crept into the iron stove, and began to cry sorrowfully, pouring out her whole heart. She said, "Here I sit, abandoned by the whole world, although I am the daughter of a king. A false chambermaid forced me to take off my royal clothes, and she has taken my place with my bridegroom. Now I have to do common work as a goose-girl. If my mother this, her heart would break in two."

The old king was standing outside listening by the stovepipe, and he heard what she said. Then he came back inside, and asked her to come out of the stove. Then they dressed her in royal clothes, and it was marvelous how beautiful she was.

The old king summoned his son and revealed to him that he had a false bride who was only a chambermaid, but that the true one was standing there, the one who had been a goose-girl.


The iron stove is now an Antenas- that's about all the difference there is to it.


SisterBear said...

Poor chambermaid lost her only chance at making it big...

Kevin said...

This is an excellent analogy to the news story. There is a theme in folk tales of telling a secret thing to an inanimate object and of the tale becoming known through some mechanism - perhaps the oldest being that of King Midas and his donkey ears.

I hope that the Antenas programme will live up to its potential and be taken up responsibly around the world.