Has anyone ever heard of this fairy tale?

I have clear memories of this fairy tale from my childhood, but my parents swear they’ve never heard of it, much less told me it, my brother has no idea what I’m talking about, and neither do my friends. I only remember a dew details, so bear with me–there were these sisters, possibly princesses, and whenever they opened their mouths (maybe to yawn, or to talk) something fell out. Jewels or gold or something. I don’t remember a plot or anything, although I’m sure there was one. Can anyone help me?

You aren’t imagining it - I recall the same fairlytale. As my fairytale reading was pretty exclusively stuff written by the brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson (sp?), it’s probably one of the lesser known tales by one of them.

I still love to read fairy tales, especially retold for adults. I know I’ve read the one you’re talking about recently. Give me a day and I’ll look it up for you :slight_smile:

Try a search on a guy called Charles Perrault. I seem to remember the story from a book of old French Fairy Tales my dad gave me when I was really little. It was about two bad sisters and a good one. (Sounds familiar, don’t it?)

The gist of the story, as I remember, was that a witch or some such disguised herself as a poor woman and approached each of the sisters in turn for a drink of water. The good sister met the witch first, as I recall, and gave the disguised witch the requested drink with love and tenderness, even though the girl offered it from a simple wooden bucket. She was rewarded for her kindness and sincerity by having the witch cast a spell on her that ended up with the girl having jewels and rainbows fall from her lips each time she spoke. The two nasty sisters got a load of this when the good sister came home, and wanted some action for themselves, so they went and hung out by the well and waited for the witch. Sure enough, the witch showed up, disguised this time (I think) as a grand noblewoman. (I guess the witch pretty much figured that the two nasty sisters would be on the lookout for a poor little old lady, so she figured she’d better try another angle to see just how nice these two girls were.) The girls, who were looking for a poor lady, didn’t recognize the witch. They gave her the drink when she asked, but since they didn’t know she was the witch and therefore capable of spells and stuff, the two nasty sisters were, well… nasty. They gave the witch the drink, grudgingly, from (I think) a silver flagon. The witch subsequently gave the sisters as good as she thought she got: the two sisters spewed snakes and slugs and stuff whenever they spoke forever after.

I always liked that story. Man… the good sister was SO hooked up! All of that free jewelry, and all she had to do was talk. I mean, I won’t TELL you what I have to do to get jewelry around here! Hee!

I believe the fairy tale you’re thinking of is The Fairies by Charles Perrault. According to the description on this site: http://www.datadesignsb.com/books/fairytale_bks.html

Jeg elsker dig, Thomas

Bah! Simulpost - and Creaky had much more thorough information than I could dig up. Way To Go, Creaky!


Yeah, that simulpost was weird. Thanks for the kind words. That book was full of scary stuff, incidentally, like “Bluebeard”. The story about Bluebeard really got to me. Not only was the story gross, but the illustrations were rather graphic. Now I wish I could find the darn book, but I’m sure it was tossed years ago. On the other hand, that may be just as well. It still creeps me out bigtime to think about the wives of bluebeard hanging on hooks down that loooonnng hallway.


The one I remember, was that everytime they talked, jewels fell from their mouths (filling it up in the process, I guess). It was meant as a curse. Maybe, I don’t know.

Yah, I kinda remembered it being a curse, too. But I was a pretty stupid kid.
You guys are the best–thanks so much for finding this title!!!

I’ve heard a few different versions of this story…

One was a girl who went to live with cats and took care of them for a few years… when she decided she wanted to go back home (to her terrible mother and sister… though I don’t remember why) the eldest cat took her to the basement and showed her 2 vats… one of gold the other of oil… and asked her which one she wanted to be dumped in… she said oil because she didn’t think she deserved gold and she got dumped in the gold. When she came out she was gold from head to toe and everytime she took her hankerchief from her pocket out came gold coins she also had a gold star on her forehead. The elder sister saw this and went off to try for herself… she treated them terribly and stuff and the elder cat took her downstairs and askefd her which vat… the elder sister got dumped in the oil vat of course and came out with donkey ears and a tail. I think later on a prince came and decided to take the golden girl for a wife but the mother switched them hiding the elder… the cats told the prince and he went back and got the golden girl.

Another one the younger girl was spinning by a well and dropped her spindle in. The mother told her to follow and so she jumped in the well and came out in a strange land. She wandered around and heard an apple tree crying out in pain from it’s branches which were bowing from the weight of it’s fruit so she picked the fruit to ease it. Then she heard bread screaming in pain in the oven because it was done and about to burn… she saved it from burning. Then she came to a cottage where an old woman lived and told her she would get her spindle back if she would work for her for a year and a day so the girl did so and then got home with her spindle and speaking jewels and gold. The elder sister then dumped her spindle in the well and jumped immediately after… she of course didn’t help the tree or the bread and was lazy at the lady’s house… at the end of her time she went home speaking snakes and frogs with her spindle.

That’s just 2 of the ones I’ve heard of.

The only one I remember where the jewels were a curse not a blessing was from one of the new ‘Adult Fairy Tales’ books… it was in one of the following:
‘Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears’
‘Black Heart, Ivory Bones’
‘Black Swan, White Raven’
‘Black Thorn, White Rose’
‘Silver Birch, Blood Moon’
‘Snow White, Blood Red’

I think I’ve read all of them but I can’t remember which book exactly. Probably not Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears because I own that one. But the version found in one of them is written from the POV of the girl who was ‘gifted’ with the golden toungue… literally. She lives in a castle or something and all her tears are diamonds and words are emeralds and rubies and all she wishes is to be normal again. It’s quite interesting. Actually all of those books are interesting because the authors have changed the tales to be more then what they were before (or even more towards what they were supposed to be.) Match Girl (from Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears) is quite disturbing but there is a thread of hope in it… it’s really cool.

thinks she should shut up now that she’s done such a huge post

That’s not such a huge post, Obs. You should see some of the megaposts I’ve inflicted on my unsuspecting fellow Dopers.

There’s a retelling of Perrault’s “The Fairy Gifts” in this book, with a slight change that makes the good girl’s enchantment more plainly a gift, if anyone’s interested.

Creaky, I didn’t find the book, but I did find a fairy tale page with a great many stories, “Bluebeard” among them. There are also two variations of the tale here.

Enjoy your shudders! :smiley:

A children’s book called “Toads and Diamonds” that tells this fairy tale is part of one of the subplots of “Bellwether,” by Connie Willis. The story is also mentioned in “The Godmother,” by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, which I coincidentally just reread yesterday. Both are very good books.

Oh, and the Perreault fairy tales are pretty scary in places. In his version of Sleeping Beauty, the prince rapes the princess and leaves her. She gives birth to twins while still asleep, and one of them sucks the splinter out of her finger while attempting to nurse, waking her up.

It’s called The Fairy’s Mistake

Glad we finally got that one cleared up.

Mercedes Lackey also wrote an amusing story where it was a curse, one of her Tarma and Kethry ones. Mind, it wasn’t meant to be a curse, but whomever inflicted that condition on the princess didn’t consider the likely consequences to her of producing gold and jewels every time she spoke. She ended up fleeing her homeland and going into hiding out of the fear of ending up locked in a dungeon somewhere and forced to spew out a constant supply of treasure.

Wow, a zombie thread! I didn’t realize that was me babbling on up there until I went and looked at the name…

I seem to recall that story too Der Trihs, I haven’t read those stories in awhile though. Mercedes Lackey is good for expanding and playing with fairy tales also. I enjoy her 500 Kingdoms books, and the Elemental Masters books which all take a fairy tale and parallels it with elemental mages during the times of the early 20th century. Currently I’m listening to Phoenix and Ashes which is a Cinderella type story set in England during WWI. Reserved for the Cat was the most recent one in that series, a good take on Puss in Boots I thought.

I’ve been reading the Penguin edition of Tales from Brothers Grimm, and came across a very similar story to the one described by the OP, and independent of Perreault. It’s Die drei Mannlein im Walde (“The Three Little Men in the Forest”). In this story there are two stepsisters – a good one and a bad one. When the good one encounters three little men in their cottage in the forest she gives them half her food and sweeps the snow from their door. As a gift they bless her with becoming more beautiful every day, getting a king to marry her, and arranging for gold to fall from her mouth every time she speaks. The bad step sister runs into the same men, and of course she doesn’t share her food or sweep their walk, so they curse her to got uglier every day, dying a cruel death, and having a toad leap out of her mouth with every word.
It seems grossly unfair and disproportionate. I console myself with the thought that the evil stepsister probably learned the error of her ways and ended up with a cushy job as the ugly supplier of toads of consistent quality in the back room of some scientific supply house, and that it probably had a good health plan.

dons zombie-handling gear

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