Skarekrow13 was born with a rare gift:
To annoy the crap out of his loved ones with observations during their favorite things, completely sucking the fun out of the moment (for them, I find myself amusing). Thanks to the “magic” of the internet, this can now be brought directly to your eyeballs as I try my best to tear down the things many of you love as well. Hurray?!?
Alright, so I planned on doing these more consistently, but my daughter doesn’t do movies very often and I’m not going out of my way for material. However, we do a lot of reading, and some kids’ tales are also dang awful so here we go again.
Just to be clear, it’s likely the Brothers Grimmy Grimmerson (or just “Grimm” for short) didn’t actually write this. It’s likely they didn’t write much of anything actually, but they were really good at compiling existing stories and revising them. But anyway, I’m sure we all are familiar with Grimm’s Fairy Tales and how we’re all supposed to learn valuable lessons from their short fables.
Rumpelstiltskin (gonna call him “R-Money” from now on, cause f*** spelling that a ton of times) is a classic and beloved tale with the simple moral that bragging will lead to all sorts of trouble. Which it does a piss poor job of showing us.
The story begins with a miller who has the privilege of the king hunting near his mill which leads to the occasional conversation. The miller is the braggart, and boasts that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Just so we have this out of the way, the dad is the one bragging. The daughter is the one that has all the horrible shit happen to her. So yeah, bragging is bad. For someone else. You’ll be fine.
Also, let’s examine the king for a second.
Miller: “Hey, y’know my daughter can spin straw into gold”
King: “Is that right?”
Miller [known braggart]: “Would I exaggerate to you?”
King: “This claim must be 100% factually correct!”
Of course King. The known master of hyperbole has a daughter than can spin straw into gold and they continue to live in a mill and mill things for a living because why would a miller want gold. This kingdom is in serious trouble with this butthole in charge.
So we’ve established that the king is stupid as hell, but what kind of character does he have? He has the kind of sound moral fiber that leads him to take this claim completely on faith and then imprison the daughter in his castle so she can spin gold for him. Now, being a smart and just king he needs to provide some sort of incentive for her to work.
King: “Do it or I’ll f***ing kill you!”
Let’s revisit the father. These kinds of tyrants usually aren’t, shall we say…”subtle.” Most likely dad had some inkling of how terrible a person the king is. And he STILL put his daughter in a “less than ideal” position. And there’s no mention of a retraction when the king steals his daughter. Like “Dude, I was just kidding, take me instead.” So dad is a dickweed as well as a braggart.
Back to the story. Obviously, the girl cannot spin straw into gold so she weeps and resigns herself to her demise. In comes some little imp guy who says, “I got ya covered, but what will you give me?” She offers a necklace that has more sentimental value than monetary and he says “sounds good.” Dude just saved her life.
The king, being the stand up guy that he is, sees that there IS gold instead of straw (which no one should have expected for f***’s sake) and proceeds to threaten to kill her again and lock her up in a room with more straw because gold is awesome.
R-Money waltzes in again and this time he agrees to take a ring. Dude just saved her life again.
The king is in no hurry to stop being a greedy jerk however, and locks her up a third time with an even larger pile of straw. But this time, he says, “I suppose if you get this done I’ll marry you.” Some reward. What little girl doesn’t dream of some day marrying a guy who threatens to kill her unless she can do some preposterous shit? This is NOT going to be a happily ever after kids. This guy is profiling to be one hell of a bad husband. Also, what makes us believe he really thinks he has enough gold? What’s going to happen next time he sees a pile of straw?
This time, R-Money names his price. So yeah, he’s totally taking advantage of the situation. He’s no real hero. Also, he asks for her first born baby. What the f*** R-Money? Really? I mean, I know you have no need for riches (since you can make gold whenever you please), but wow. Just…wow. A BABY?
Anyway, the girl thinks to herself, there’s no guarantee I’ll even have a baby so this is my only shot to get out of here alive. She’s probably right too, as it’s safe to assume the king will kill her for making sunny side up instead of over easy. So BAM…straw into gold a third time, the king is happy (for now) and we have a marriage and eventually a baby.
In comes R-Money to collect. The Queen is naturally not a fan of this, and gets pretty upset. R-Money, yeah he’s a creep, decides to give her a potential out. He didn’t have to. Guy coulda just taken the baby and that’d be that. But he gives her “three days’ grace” (that might make a good name for a band) to guess his name.
Now, remember who made this kingdom rich. R-Money did. So he knows the Queen should have lots of resources at her disposal. Dispatching messengers to try to learn names wasn’t even against the rules. And that’s exactly what she did. Note that SHE didn’t go out looking for names. She’s adjusting to being a Queen quite nicely. But the main point is that R-Money really is giving this lady some chances to keep her baby. Of course, at the last minute a messenger returns with the guy’s name. After hearing R-Money say it himself while singing no less. It’s also possible that he was singing about eating the baby.
Oh R-Money, you so crazy.
The Queen “guesses” his name correctly and R-Money gets pissed, and surmises that “a witch” must have told her his name. Note that he’s pissed about it, but never calls her a cheater as this is also within the rules. He might suggest it wasn’t fair but doesn’t actually indicate it was a breach of their tort. Divining his name through magic woulda been acceptable apparently. So yeah, he allows her a few ways to win their bet. Since he lost, he gets SO MAD he kicks his foot through the damn floor. An imp sized guy, kicks THROUGH the floor. Of a castle. HOLY SHIT!
And then he leaves.
In at least one version, the court is assembled around this and they laugh and jeer at him. Guy saved your Queen’s life three times, allows her to win back her baby AND made your kingdom rich as hell and you laugh at him? Manners are not big here.
But let’s go back a step. Dude broke the castle with his foot. And he can make gold whenever the hell he wants. This is how the story SHOULD end:
The laughter and jeers still ringing in his ears, R-Money returned to his hut in the wood. Packing a bindle for a journey, he set forth to the next kingdom over, which was ruled by a just but poor King. The kinda King that really didn’t like the crazy crap the first king in the story was up to, like locking up women and kidnapping and shit. He was a really swell guy to be honest. And his wife married him after consensual agreement without having to perform impossible feats because he has enough common sense to not demand she be a level 60 Alchemist.
Anyway, R-Money approached this King and said, “Bring forth all the straw you can find and I shall spin it into gold.” The King, not being a dumbass, said “How ’bout I bring forth SOME straw, and you show me that this straw into gold thing isn’t a hoax first?”
Then R-Money said “That’s reasonable” and they did in fact do exactly that.
The King, obviously impressed, said “Well I’ll bring you all the straw I can, with the exception of that needed for normal straw stuff. Then we’ll use some of the gold to buy tons of straw from surrounding kingdoms and that’ll be kickass.”
R-Money replied “That’s f***ing brilliant, as your people will still have what they need and we get a shit ton of gold.”
The King then asked, “If you do this for me, what shall you want in return?”
Two years later, the just and kind King had enough gold to assemble an army the likes of which the world had never seen. And everyone was super loyal to him because he was an awesome guy and he paid really good wages for soldiers and teachers and doctors and farmers and everyone really. R-Money was made treasurer, and while they didn’t give him any babies because that’s messed up, he led a comfortable life. They wiped the first kingdom with all it’s shitty manners and tyranny off the map.
Except the miller, because the moral of the story is still that; bragging has no direct consequences for the braggart.