Cinderella is not the only fairy tale with an unsettling origin story. It seems like the oral tradition of passing stories down from one generation to another worked to scare the bejesus out of children, rather than to entertain them.
Sleeping Beauty was no exception, and the real story of the sleeping princess does not sound anything close to a happily ever after. In fact, the young girl's beloved "savior" needs to get locked up!
Many of us are familiar with Disney's version of the princess tale, which is based on Charles Perrault's rendition of the ancient story.
It goes something like this: A royal couple welcome their daughter, Princess Aurora, who is cursed to die on her 16th birthday. With the help of her fairies, Aurora only falls into a deep sleep, but she must be kissed by Prince Philip, to whom she is betrothed. The evil witch kidnaps the prince so that Aurora is forced to sleep forever. Of course, the prince escapes and the cute couple live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, there was no happily ever after in the 1634 original tale by Italian author Giambattista Basile.
Brace yourself, the story will change the way you look at this fairy tale.
First off, the "princess" is known as Talia. She's the daughter of a prominent lord, and not the child of a royal family.
Astrologers predicted the young girl's future and told her father that she will be in great danger from a splinter of flax. The prediction turned out to be true and everyone thought she had died, but later realized she had only fallen into a deep sleep. Then her father forgot about her because it was too unbearable to watch his beloved daughter in that state.
One day, the king of the kingdom knocks on the door and climbs a ladder to see what's inside of the abandoned house. He stays there for a bit and then leaves.
While unconscious, Talia gives birth to twins. She wakes up when one of her babies suck out the splinter in her finger.
It's already upsetting that a prince didn't save her, but the story gets more bizarre...
The king actually raped the young girl. The queen learns the truth and wants to cook and eat Talia's children, and burn her alive.
The king decides to take matters into his own hands and kills his wife so that he can have his "happily ever after."
This was no fairy tale, but a story about infidelity and rape culture. Of course, Disney's Sleeping Beauty is not perfect either.
The prince kisses a girl without consent. I'm sure that's raised some eyebrows from parents in the past few generations.