No story ever repeats itself – it is always and everywhere new and fresh. Tales are endlessly reborn.
Jacob Grimm (1785 – 1863), German linguist and collector of old tales
Welcome to Old Tales, a podcast of the original Grimm fairy tales.
These stories are probably the most famous tales in the world. However, many people only know the modern versions, the tame and gentle bedtime stories – the Disney tales.
But the real German fairy tales are anything but gentle and tame, they are scary, mean and sometimes violent. They are true adventures, where the heroes have to rely on their wit, cunning and intuition to survive and win the kingdom.
To our modern, adult ears many of these stories seem rather dark, but children just love them! I vouch for that as a former child, and a long-time babysitter. The Grimm tales teach values like compassion, friendship and loyalty, and encourage children to be critical of their environment and of other people.
The messages of these old tales are clear: don’t trust the wicked witch, or the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Even your parents might want to abandon you in a forest. Instead, make sure you know who your friends are, stand up for your beliefs, and hone your wit! The woods may be dark and deep, but on the other side you’ll find a handsome prince and a chest of gold.
I grew up with these tales. They shaped my childhood and that of countless other children across Europe. I want to share the original Grimm fairy tales with you in the way they should be shared – by reading them to you.
With each tale, I will try to include some discussion and explanation of its content, and my view on what these stories mean for the children and adults of the 21st century.
I hope you enjoy listening – and may you live happily ever after!