• rose watter

    man there are a ton of variations for this story

  • Gregory

    This is remarkably similar to the Man of Lawe’s Tale in the Canterbury Tales!

  • English Girl

    I really think Disney should do Petra. We’ve got all sorts of diversity!

  • Anna Libertas

    You’re missing my favorite of all the handless princesses, The Girl with the Silver Hands. I believe Brothers Grimm did a retelling but I know the Italian version. It basically boils down to cleanliness literally being next to godliness, dont trust a well dressed gentleman, and everything comes in threes but I’ll share the full tale for anyone who’s interested

    Unnamed peasant girl lives with her brother, who is a miller. They are quite poor and one day a well dressed gentleman comes up to her brother and asks to buy everything behind the Mill in exchange for an absurd amount of money. Theres nothing back there but a large apple tree, so he agrees. The man pays in a magical version of a direct transfer where he basically just fills the house with gold and says he’ll be back in three years. The brother obviously immediately goes home and his sisters like “where did all this gold come from?”
    “Oh I sold everything behind the mill to this well dressed gentlemen”
    “…what time did you make the deal”
    “About fifteen minutes ago, right before I walked home” And at this point the sister tells her brother that she was out sweeping behind the mill fifteen minutes ago and her brothers accidentally just sold her off into slavery. To the devil. Whoops?

    Three years pass and the devil returns to collect the sister only the night before he was due she bathed herself thoroughly and drew a circle around herself with chalk. This, combined with her inherent goodness, repelled the devil and he couldn’t get near her. So he orders the brother to keep his sister away from water and leaves, to return the next morning to collect her. Only the sister had wept throughout the night and her tears had washed her hands clean so the devil still couldn’t approach. The devil flips and orders her brother to cut her hands off. He’s appropriately horrified by this, but the devil threatens him into submission and he agrees.

    The brother goes to his sister and asks her to forgive him for what he’s about to do, to which she responds by reminding him that by current property laws he can do whatever he wants to her and stretches her arms in front of her for him to cut off. By the time the devil gets here the next day, the sister has, predictably, wept onto the stumps until they were clean and the devil thricely repelled is forced to relinquish his claim. Her brother promises to keep her in luxury for the rest of her life but the sister, unwilling to live off the devils money, instead decides to leave. She walks for a long time until she comes upon a royal garden where she squeezes through a hedge and eats an apple from the garden. She repeats this for two more nights until she is caught and brought before the king who orders her executed but the prince suggested she tend the chickens instead.

    Over time, the prince grows quite fond of her and when the king declares he is to marry, the prince says he will marry no one else. They are wed and not long after, the king dies and the prince becomes king. The new king makes her silver hands and they live happily for a while. Then the king gets called off to war leaving his pregnant wife behind. He asks for a letter to be sent when the babe is born and, because the devils still upset about having lost his claim over her, the devil arranges for the letter to be switched with one telling the king that his wife has given birth to a changeling. The king is upset but writes back saying to take care of the child and that they’ll work something out. The devil of course, switches the letter again, this time with one ordering that the queen and her child be driven from the kingdom. The people weep but the queen simply takes off her silver hands and asks that they tie her arms and the child to her back, which her mother in law does, and then leaves.

    After the queen sets out, she immediately stumbles into an enchanted forest, except for the first time in her life she has some fantastically good luck because all that happens is that she stumbles across an old man and asks him to hold the babe to her breast while she nurses it. He agrees and after the babe is fed he tells her to wrap her arms around a tree three times and on the third time, he hands grow back. Then the old man offers her a cabin in the woods to live in so long as she does not go outside (b/c enchanted forest) and only open the door if the person outside asks to come in for gods sake three times. Meanwhile the King has returned from war and discovered the devils deception. He immediately leaves with a servant to search for his wife and child, leaving his mother in charge of the kingdom. They also stumble upon the enchanted forest and eventually come near his wifes house. The servant, tired and hungry, points out the light through the trees and suggests they ask for refuge for the night. The king at first refused, not wanting to stop until his wife is found but the servant eventually wears him down and they go up to the house. Before they get up to the door, the servant glimpses the queen through the window and remarks upon her similarity to the queen, though says it cannot be her because she has

    The servant knocks on the door but the queen says she cannot let them in. The king then steps forward and asks her to let them in for gods sake, to which she says she cannot unless he asks two more times. He does and she opens the door and immediately recognises her as his wife. The next morning they set out back for their kingdom, the king carrying his son, and after they left the house, it disappeared behind them.

  • Jason Porath

    My word. Well, I think you just about covered it!

  • Kat C

    If anyone’s interested, Radio 4 are playing a drama based on this today. It’ll be on iPlayer, at least from the UK. I was listening and thinking that it sounded familiar… And then I found this. The dramas called The Wild Bride… And it’s a musical.