How Fairytales Came To Be
“Ana, come take care of me. I’m sick,” Dai texted his fiancée as he laid curled into a ball on his sapphire, satin sheets with a pillowcase to match. A few moments later a short, young girl with long, brown hair halfway down her back stood in the doorway wearing a pink, silk nightgown with her hands on her hips annoyed.
“Are you really sick, or are you just messing with me so I’ll take care of you?” she asked the Moon Prince, raising an eyebrow, and staring at the tan, young man curled up in his sheet wearing nothing but pajama pants that matched the color scheme of the rest of the bed. His brown hair matted to his head from the sweat pouring out of his body. His large, sapphire eyes staring at Ana.
She thought her fiancé looked like one of those puppies someone can adopt on those heartbreaking commercials with the sad, country song in the background. Ana sighed and crossed the cold, dark colored, tile floor. She climbed into the bed next to Dai who hugged her close to him. A hard cough sounded through his chest, and Ana tried to reach around to rub his back soothingly. The problem was her arms were too short to reach around his large upper body so she ended up stroking the back of his neck awkwardly.
“What are you doing?” Dai asked, his voice raspy from coughing.
“I was trying to comfort you,” Ana said sighing annoyed. “Tell me a story.”
Dai looked at his companion, a smirk spreading across his thin face. “I’m the sick one. Aren’t you supposed to be entertaining me?” He smiled at this glimpse of their future as a married couple.
“You said take care of you; I’ll order you some soup later. Storytime!” she said excitedly reminding Dai of when they were little. She would sit next to him on his bed every night when his mom would come in and tell them fairy tales from the various planets surrounding them. Ana’s favorite were the ones from Earth.
“Well, do you know how fairy tales came to exist?” Dai asked amused, as he stroked her hair affectionately.
“Yes, the different writers went around to the people in their village’s houses and had the people tell them the oral traditional stories that had been passed down over the years. Then they wrote them down on paper to be remembered,” Ana replied calmly, the amusement evident in her voice as she gave her answer.
Dai chuckled amused, and Ana could feel his laugh bounce inside his chest, “That’s exactly what Jacob and Wilbur want you to think. They don’t want you to know about Peggy.”
“I thought the first brother’s name was Wilhelm? Who’s Peggy?” Ana asked as she propped herself up on her elbow so she could watch Dai’s expressions as he told the story.
“No. His name is actually Wilbur. Their mother had a passionate love affair with the pig farmer next door and named the product of that relationship after Wilbur, her favorite pig. Rather than be made fun of for his name, he decided to change it to Wilhelm when he started school. I am getting to Peggy. Please hold all questions until the end of the story.” Dai responded sternly, his eyes narrowed into slits.
“Now one day these two little boys from Germany were playing a rousing game of kick the rock in the woods behind their run-down cabin when they heard a giggle that sounded like the rush of a babbling brook coming from behind a tree.
‘Who’s there?’ Wilbur asked, brushing his brown hair out of his eyes. He picked up the rock they were kicking off the ground and poised his arm to throw it. He saw a tiny, young girl. She had long, green hair. She wore a cape made of moss that dragged behind her as she walked.
Her eyes were brown like the forest floor, and her skin was a rich, golden color like the sap contained inside the trees. She wore a long dress made of the bright green leaves that surrounded them. Wilbur’s little brother, Jacob was thin. His arms reminded the little girl of branches. He moved closer and twirled her hair around his finger.
‘You’re quite pale for a sun guardian. Have you been away from home for long?’ The young girl asked feeling his golden blonde hair and looking into his dark blue eyes. She was worried that he would fall over if she breathed too hard.
‘No, our home is over there,’ Jacob commented, pointing one slim finger toward their cabin, and his brother who still clutched a weapon. ‘This is my brother Wilbur. Don’t pay any attention to him he’s just grumpy towards new friends.’ Wilbur was taller, and he towers over Peggy.
Jacob added as he wiped his hands on his brown trousers before he offered his hand to the girl for her to shake ‘I’m Jacob.’
‘My name is Peggy. I’m a wood nymph which makes me the guardian of this forest. It gets very lonely because usually, the animals try to either make their home in my hair or run away. They think I am a monster,’ she said sadly, which made Wilbur abandon his weapon guiltily.
‘You can play with us,’ Wilbur said quietly, and Peggy wrapped her arms around him tightly. ‘What do you like to do?’
‘I like to tell stories to the trees,’ she said calmly as she let Wilbur go.
‘Okay. Can we hear some?’ Wilbur asked and Jacob nodded eagerly as they both sat down. Peggy crossed her and told the boys of the story of a girl trapped in a tower with long, golden hair. The boys enjoyed the story so much they came back each day to hear a new story.
Peggy was happy to tell them more stories, but told them, ‘You cannot share these with anyone. They are our secret stories.’ The boys, however, didn’t listen and would tell their classmates the stories Peggy told them every morning before school. The boys thought Peggy wouldn’t find out because she couldn’t leave the forest.
Then one day when Peggy was making sure the forest was healthy enough to bloom next spring, she heard two girls giggling the forest. She was too shy to approach them so she watched them from behind a tree. ‘There once was a girl with long, flowing, blonde hair who was trapped inside a tower…’ She heard one of the girls say, and she was shocked. The brothers had told their secret stories.
Peggy walked to her house in the big oak tree in the forest. She looked at the book on the table she had been keeping for Wilbur and Jacob. She tore out the pages, and scattered them across the world with her powers over the forest, and left the brothers a note carved angrily in the tree they had met by the day of the very first story.
Dear brothers, you have betrayed me, and as a punishment for your betrayal if you want my stories you must scour the earth for them, and there will be many grim days ahead.
“The brothers spent most of their lives scouring the country for Peggy’s stories, and when they felt they had collected all of them, they published their collection entitled The Grimm’s Fairy Tales in honor of the hard journey they went through to retrieve them,” Dai finished calmly.
Ana looked at him curiously as a smile lit up her face. “What about Hans Christian Anderson though?” she asked yawning.
“He found some of Peggy’s pages when he was on a walk one day but never a complete tale so he filled in the pieces with his own versions of what happened in the story,” Dai explained as he felt Ana curl up against him, and she fell asleep. “And that is where fairytales come from,” Dai whispered as he held Ana while she slept.