This fairy tale was really interesting and captured my attention unlike some random other tales in this particular reason. It centres around a poor girl called Karen who is orphaned when her mother dies. A shoemaker takes pity on the girl and makes her some red shoes. Karen loves them immediately because they seem really fancy. Karen thinks that they might capture the attention of a rich old lady.
The old lady does take Karen in and throws away her ratty red shoes which have been incredibly well loved. The old lady buys Karen some new shoes that are also red. This is coincidental though as the old lady is going blind and doesn’t realise they are red.
One day the old lady and Karen go to church. Karen goes to confirmation, but doesn’t really take notice of the bishop. She’s too busy looking at her pretty new shoes. The old lady hears about Karen’s shoes and tells her off because it’s improper to wear red shoes to church. Karen doesn’t take any notice and wears the red shoes next time they go to church. Outside, an old soldier praises Karen on her red shoes and tells her that they are dancing shoes. Strangely, when Karen leaves the church she can’t stop dancing. Karen dances through the woods until she reaches another church. An angel appears to tell Karen that she will dance until she dies. She will visit all of houses so children will be terrified of what has happened to her.
Karen keeps dancing until she reaches the house of an executioner. She begs him to chop off her feet. (Ew!) He does just that. Karen repents her sins, works for a minister and wants to be able to go to church again. Every time she tries to go to church the shoes appear and block her way. God sends a vision of church to Karen and she’s so happy that she dies!
This wasn’t a cheery fairy tale but I absolutely love the concept!