“On the fifth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö. We are also giving away 10 copies of the book via Goodreads. Enter here.

golden key

The Golden Key

During winter, when the snow was once very deep, a poor boy had to go outside and gather wood on a sled. After he had finally collected enough wood and had piled it on his sled, he decided not to go home right away because he was freezing so much. Instead, he thought he would make a fire to warm himself up a bit. So he began scraping the snow away, and as he cleared the ground, he discovered a golden key. “Where there’s a key,” he thought, “there must also be a lock.” So he dug farther into the ground and found a little iron casket. “If only the key will fit!” he thought, for there were bound to be wonderful and precious things in the casket. He searched but couldn’t find a keyhole. Finally, he found a very tiny one and tried the key, which fit perfectly. So he turned the key around once, and now we must wait until he unlocks the casket completely. That’s when we’ll see what’s lying inside.

An explanatory note from Jack Zipes’s introduction to the Tales:

In every edition of their tales, [the Brothers Grimm] began with “The Frog King,” also known as “The Frog Prince,” and ended with “The Golden Key.” The reason they did this is, in my opinion, because “The Frog King”—and there are two different versions in the first edition—is an optimistic tale about miraculous regeneration, love, and loyalty and signals to readers that the tales in the collection will bring hope to readers and listeners despite the conflicts filled with blood and gore. The final tale, “The Golden Key,” is highly significant because it leaves readers in suspense and indicates that tales are mysterious treasures. We just need the right key to discover and appreciate them. In this respect, however, the tales that are to be rediscovered and will become known are never the end of our quest to understand the mysteries of life, only the beginning. And so it is with the unknown original tales of the Brothers Grimm. They are only the beginning.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

 

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

This post is part of a series, explore additional posts here<< “On the fourth day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas“On the seventh day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas >>