This week’s Fairy Tale is The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces, this story is also known as Twelve Dancing Princesses. It was a fairy normal tale for Grimms! It didn’t have any violence or complete strangeness which was a change, compared to some of the fairy tales that I’ve read recently!
It centres around the king who has twelve daughters. Each night, their shoes are absolutely ruined. The king wants to find out why, so he promises anyone can marry one of his daughters if they can find out why the shoes are ruined every single night. Several men took up the challenge and failed (because the daughters were being very crafty!) One day a soldier comes along and is warned by an old woman not to take the winen they gave him before sleep. It turns out that they were giving the men a sleeping draught so they could carry on with what they were doing…The old woman also gave the solider and invisibility cloak so he could follow them without them finding out!
The soldier pretends to drink the wine and uses the cloak to follow the princesses. It turns out that theres a magical stairway underneath the bed of the eldest princess. The princesses (and the soldier incognito) are led to three forests with trees made of precious materials (the soldier snaps off a piece as evidence of where he’s been). They finally come to a lake where there are twelve boats with twelve princes. Each princess gets in the boat with a prince and they row to a dance floor. The princesses dance the night away. This happens on three consecutive nights.
After three nights, the soldier is asked what is going on. He shows the three branches to the king and explains exactly what is happening every night. The king is thrilled that he knows what’s going on. He allows the soldier to pick a princess to marry!