I grew up in Romania, and moved to Australia when I was 8 years old, but I still remember the bedtime stories my father had told me. These were not ordinary kids’ stories, but dark and ominous. I guess you could say in the style of brothers grimm, and maybe they are responsible for my love of anything dark. Fairy tales offer a world of inspiration for stories, and as far as I’m concerned, the darker and more twisted the tale, the better.
The one bedtime story I always remember is Capra cu trei iezi – translated to The Goat with Three Kids.
It’s a fairy tale about a family of goats (mother and three kids) who are ravaged by a wolf, when he is invited to enter their home by the naughtiest of the kids while the mother is out. The wolf eats two of the kids, leaving their heads on the window sill for the mother to find. The only child to survive is the most obedient. The mother goat gets revenge on the wolf by inviting him to dinner and tricks him into eating rocks. His weight causes him to fall into a ditch, and he dies.
That’s not so bad 🙂 As a child, I don’t remember being scared, but intrigued, and of course to never open the door to a wolf when you’re parents are out.
The other story I recall is about a rooster who was beaten by his owner because he wasn’t a hen and didn’t lay eggs, like his rich neighbour’s poultry. Eventually the rooster took off down the road to find something to help with his master’s poverty. He soon ran into trouble and was captured by the rich neighbour. Each time the rooster was hurled down a well, or thrown into a fire, he was clever enough to not only escape but swallow anything in his path, like livestock and coins from the wealthy neighbour. When he returned home, he told his master to bring out the biggest blanket he had, and the rooster brought up everything he swallowed. This made his master happy, who in turn shared his wealth with the less fortunate, much to the dismay of the neighbour.
Thse tales have now been published, and they might be a bit different from what I was told, but close enough.
Many of these stories are on the net, but I grew up listening to them, and they have most likely shaped my imagination and morals.
So, what strange or dark fairy tales were you told as a child?