Welcome to the 2018 Fairy-tale Blog Hop. Thirteen fabulous fairy-tale authors have gotten together to talk about their favorite fairy tales. Follow the links at the bottom of each blog post to hop to the next author’s website. Collect our favorite numbers to total up at the end and enter to win a print collection of our books! (There are several anthologies, debuts, and even an ARC for a BLINK YA book you can’t buy in stores yet!).
My Favorite Fairy Tale
The Six Swans has long been one of my favorite of all fairy tales. Truthfully, I’ve never thought much about why this might be. Stories heard in youth, they sink into your skin and into your consciousness, and you either love them or you don’t. This story, I loved, and still love. I could read a dozen retellings and probably enjoy every one of them.
I love that the girl who must rescue her brothers is so incredibly brave. And her bravery is not of the usual story kind. She wields no sword into battle, fights no monster. No, she must simply stay silent for seven years . . . seven years . . . No utterance at all. Not even a laugh. And she must sew shirts of nettle for her beloved brothers. All of this is tedious and difficult and painful and must be unbearably boring and horribly lonely for her. If that’s not a desperate position to be in, I don’t know what is. But she does it because she loves her brothers and knows she is their only chance. She is in for the long haul. Such devotion can be nothing but admirable.
The love in this story, at least to me, is not of a romantic kind. It is about the great affection the girl has for her brothers. I enjoy romance as much as anyone, but I always appreciate a story that shows an unexpected angle, uncovers not-often-mentioned emotions. This is such a story.
There are a couple versions of this tale. The Brothers Grimm version is titled The Six Swans. However, in the Hans Christian Andersen version there are not six brothers, but eleven. And although eleven IS my favorite number, I’ve always preferred the version with six brothers. Six just seems so much more manageable when it comes to brothers, don’t you think?
As for why this particular story struck my heart as it did, however many long years ago it was, there’s no way to tell. Stories do that. I’m sure you know. Love for any tale is grown from such an eclectic mishmash of things, happenstances, feelings, emotional tugs and even pain.
What is your favorite fairy tale? Have you ever stopped to think about why that story has nestled so deeply into your heart?
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