Tag Archives: Brothers Grimm

And Then Everyone Was Dead

BFF emailed me the other day and sent me the following. He knows I am obsessed with the following things:

  • Death
  • Fairy tales
  • Weird, warped, twisted things
  • Dark humor (even better when it’s not on purpose)
  • Animals

And this has ALL OF THE ABOVE.

This is most definitely why I have the best BFF in ALL THE LAND.

Also, SIDE NOTE!, BFF and I have made a VERY GRAND PLAN. This year I am all vacationed up, and next year, most of my vacation time (and money) will be spent making the most exciting trip ACROSS THE WHOLE WORLD and going to FINLAND, but the FOLLOWING year, I do NOT have plans (well, not DEFINITIVE plans) and I said, “BFF! Do you want to make a plan where we will do something in 2015?” and BFF said “YES I DO!” so we talked about what we should do and it was decided that WE WOULD GO TO MAINE. Maine is on my list of places I have never been and have always wanted to go. This is because I grew up on a steady diet of Stephen King books and read more about Maine than anywhere else in the whole world and have always wanted to visit it and see if the Maine in my head matches the Maine in the real world. Also, Maine has forests and oceans and seafood. These are all things I enjoy on a vacation. (I do not enjoy mosquitoes, but I can learn to adapt, I suppose.)

Ooh, look at all our CHOICES! This is very exciting.

Ooh, look at all our CHOICES! This is very exciting.

VACATION WITH BFF IN TWO YEARS!!! IN MAINE!!! Oh, well THIS is exciting. I’d better make sure my job doesn’t fire me before then, I’d really like to go on this one.

So today we’re going to talk about possibly, in the words of BFF, “the saddest Brothers’ Grimm fairytale I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”

Ladies, gentlemen, and whatever you are, Ding Dong Joe, I bring you:

The Death of the Little Hen

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

One time the little hen and the little rooster went to Nut Mountain, and they agreed that whoever would find a nut would share it with the other one. Now the little hen found a large, large nut, but — wanting to eat the kernal by herself — she said nothing about it. However, the kernal was so thick that she could not swallow it down. It got stuck in her throat, and fearing that she would choke to death, she cried out, “Little Rooster, I beg you to run as fast as you can to the well and get me some water, or else I’ll choke to death.”

The little rooster ran to the well as fast as he could, and said, “Well, give me some water, for the little hen is lying on Nut Mountain. She swallowed a large nut kernal and is about to choke to death on it.”

The well answered, “First run to the bride, and get some red silk from her.”

The little rooster ran to the bride: “Bride, give me some red silk, and I’ll give the red silk to the well, and the well will give me some water, and I’ll take the water to the little hen who is lying on Nut Mountain. She swallowed a large nut kernal and is about to choke to death on it.”

The bride answered, “First run and get my wreath. It got caught on a willow branch.”

So the little rooster ran to the willow and pulled the wreath from its branch and took it to the bride, and the bride gave him some red silk, which he took to the well, which gave him some water, and the little rooster took the water to the little hen, but when he arrived, she had already choked to death, and she lay there dead, and did not move at all.

The little rooster was so sad that he cried aloud, and all the animals came to mourn for the little hen. Six mice built a small carriage which was to carry the little hen to her grave. When the carriage was finished, they hitched themselves to it, and the little rooster drove. On the way they met the fox.

“Where are you going, little rooster?”

“I’m going to bury my little hen.”

“May I ride along?”

“Yes, but you must sit at the rear, because my little horses don’t like you too close to the front.”

So he sat at the rear, and then the wolf, the bear, the elk, the lion, and all the animals in the forest. They rode on until they came to a brook. “How can we get across?” said the little rooster.

A straw was lying there next to the brook, and he said, “I’ll lay myself across, and you can drive over me.” But just as the six mice got onto the straw, it slipped into the water, and the six mice all fell in and drowned.

They did not know what to do, until a coal came and said, “I am large enough. I will lay myself across and you can drive over me.” So the coal laid itself across the water, but unfortunately it touched the water, hissed, and went out; and it was dead.

A stone saw this happen, and wanting to help the little rooster, it laid itself across the water. The little rooster pulled the carriage himself. He nearly reached the other side with the dead little hen, but there were too many others seated on the back of the carriage, and the carriage rolled back, and they all fell into the water and drowned.

Now the little rooster was all alone with the dead little hen. He dug a grave for her and laid her inside. Then he made a mound on top, and sat on it, and grieved there so long that he too died. And then everyone was dead.

There’s a lot to discuss, here.

First, the little hen. The little hen was a HUGE PIG. I’m not saying she DESERVED to die or anything, but they CLEARLY had an ARRANGEMENT and she broke it immediately. When my brother and I used to put more food in our mouths than was advisable, my mother would VERY SERIOUSLY intone, “GREEDY GUTS AND PIGGY TOES.” Which was the most annoying and now I hear it in my head every time I sit down to eat, thanks, Mom, but ANYWAY, this little hen was most definitely BOTH a Greedy Guts AND a Piggy Toes.

Don't ever show my mom this, she'll say it proves her point.

Don’t ever show my mom this, she’ll say it proves her point.

Also, “Nut Mountain.” A whole MOUNTAIN of nuts! I’m pretty sure this isn’t a euphemism. Except for the line “so thick that she could not swallow it down.” We all know THAT’S totally a euphemism.

Also, “the” little hen and “the” little rooster. Were there only two of them in all the land? AND, whoever FOUND a nut on Nut Mountain? I’d assume there would be billions of nuts there. THE WHOLE MOUNTAIN IS NAMED AFTER NUTS.

This whole story is already fraying at the seams.

I have to assume that “kernal” is how they spelled “kernel” back in the day, yeah? It’s disconcerting to me to see it spelled that way over and over like that.

Now, I think we all know from health class if little hen can still talk, little hen isn’t choking to death. Little hen is being a liar and I think little hen just wants a drink to go with her stolen nutmeats, you know?

What's it say right there? IF THE PERSON CAN SPEAK, DON'T INTERFERE!

What’s it say right there? IF THE PERSON CAN SPEAK, DON’T INTERFERE!

But little rooster is really the kindest, or maybe he’s in love with little hen, I’m not sure. I would like to say I think she’s not good enough for you, little rooster. She bogarted the kernals; she pretended to be choking to death, I can only assume for attention; and now she’s sending you off to get water on some sort of whim. She seems really high-maintenance to me. Dump her now, before things get so much worse and you’re all “Oh, Amy, this is TERRIBLE” and I’m like “I told you so, little rooster, but you chose to ignore me, so whose fault IS this, really?”

Then comes the worst murderous cockblock (no pun intended, little rooster) in the history of anthropomorphism.

First, we have a talking well. WELL (no pun intended), isn’t that something! Only for some reason, the well not ONLY refuses to give up the water, it (or is it he or she? Does a talking well have gender? This is really an interesting discussion best held by college students all in black smoking clove cigarettes, don’t you think?) says it WILL give up some water for SOMEONE WHO IS CHOKING TO DEATH (I mean, the well doesn’t have any idea little hen is a lying liar who lies, so that means the well is, in essence, holding back something that can save a life; there are some states in which that is a jailable offense, talking well) if – and ONLY if – the little rooster brings it “some red silk.”

WHY THE HELL DOES A WELL NEED SOME RED SILK.

Nice job, talking well. Well-thought-out.

Nice job, talking well. Well-thought-out. No pun intended.

Water just ruins silk. Does the well want to be pretty? This makes no sense in the entire world. Not even a LITTLE bit of sense. The well is just screwing with the rooster. I think maybe the well hates the lying little hen and WANTS her to die. Maybe there’s a love triangle going on with the well and the rooster and the hen, I don’t know. Maybe the rooster isn’t ALL little, if you know what I mean, and the well IS female.

So the poor little rooster ran on over to the bride, who apparently is the one with all the red silk? I don’t know. And was all, “ok. So my friend/girlfriend is DYING, and the effing WELL won’t give me WATER which is WHAT IT IS THERE FOR unless I, for SOME reason, bring it SILK, which it will just RUIN, but anyway, bride, please, for the love of all that’s holy, DO YOU HAVE ANY RED SILK.”

Well! Of course the bride has red silk. I mean, what bride doesn’t! But she’s not giving it up that easily, no no. She needs her “wreath” (I don’t know, I DON’T KNOW) which is apparently caught on some TREE. This whole town cares very little about the well-being of a fellow denizen, right?

So the poor little rooster zips on over to the tree. Gets the wreath. Brings it to the bride. She hands over the silk. He runs back to the well. The well gives him the water. He RUNS BACK TO THE LITTLE HEN…

…who is so, so dead. Not ONLY dead, but SO dead. So dead that she “did not move at all.”

WELL OF COURSE SHE IS. I mean, all these tasks and all this talking HAD to have taken this poor guy like most of the DAY.

I am having just the worst day, you guys. Just the WORST.

I am having just the worst day, you guys. Just the WORST.

OK, so out of respect, let’s not talk about how she got what was coming for being a greedy-guts-piggy-toes, or what REALLY killed her since we know it’s not choking since she was talking while she was supposedly choking to death, and if little rooster had paid attention during Heimlich classes, she’d be FINE now, and just mourn a little with little rooster, who’s super-sad about the loss of his greedy, lying ladyfriend, who probably would have ended up breaking his heart and leaving him high and dry one of these days, anyway, and was probably only in the relationship for his money or his kernals or to mess with his head or something like that. Let’s not speak ill of the dead, even if they were the worst.

So then things really get interesting. (Interesting in this sentence means “weird as hell.”)

Rooster starts audibly mourning; all the animals come to help. (Where were these animals when THE HEN WAS CHOKING TO DEATH?) Some car-manufacturing mice build him a carriage to bring his hen for burial, which is nice. Odd, but nice. Then they did double-duty and became horses to pull the carriage.

OMG WHAT IS THIS I CAN'T EVEN

OMG WHAT IS THIS I CAN’T EVEN

When rooster and his dead friend/lover/liar were on their way to the elephant burial ground, a random fox wandered up all “can I come?” and rooster was like, “sure, but sit in the back, you’ll scare my horses. Who are really mice. That’s how we do it here in Animalland.”

Then I think a sentence is missing or something.

So he sat at the rear, and then the wolf, the bear, the elk, the lion, and all the animals in the forest.

Where did all these animals come from? And how can the mice pull them? And it says it’s a SMALL carriage, how are they all fitting? ALL THE ANIMALS IN THE FOREST! And why were a hen and a rooster in the forest? Are they like wild hens and roosters?

Anyway, I feel we are missing information here, is all I’m saying. IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

So all these animals (being towed by SIX MICE, it’s not like they’re ANTS, who MIGHT be able to tow them, as ants can lift MANY TIMES THEIR BODY WEIGHT, come on, Brothers Grimm) get to the river.

How will they cross the river?

This is where I decided everyone involved in this story might be a complete moron.

OK, so this “small carriage,” loaded with 6 mice, two chickens (one dead, one alive) and ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE FOREST, decide to ride across the river ON A PIECE OF STRAW. I don’t think that’s going to work, buckaroos. Even if it does seem to be a TALKING piece of straw. Everything in this forest talks. Can you imagine sitting on the grass? It’d be all, “Get offa me, ya heavy turdmonster” and you’d be all “WHAT IS THIS?” and then you’d feel TERRIBLE.

Not all of these. ONE of these. ONE PIECE OF STRAW.

Not all of these. ONE of these. ONE PIECE OF STRAW.

Anyway, not to anyone’s surprise READING this, but to apparently EVERYONE’S surprise in the scenario, the straw didn’t work, and the mice all drowned. So now we have a dead hen and six dead mice, which is seven dead animals, in case you’re counting.

Then a TALKING COAL (I know, right, even COALS talk here) decided to GET IN THE WATER TO HELP THEM. But, surprise! THE WATER PUT HIM OUT. And then HE was dead! So now we have 7 dead animals and a dead coal, but I don’t know if I count the coal, because it was just a coal. I know, I’m a total coalist.

Then a TALKING STONE wanted to help. Boy, inanimate objects that are not helpful in water are really stepping up here, aren’t they? What about wood? There’s not like a really helpful piece of wood that might help? Because wood would be the best. Talking wood. WHERE IS THE TALKING WOOD ALL UP IN HERE.

So the carriage like 99% made it over the rock, but EVERY ANIMAL IN THE FOREST, remember, was riding all way in the back, making it totally back-heavy, and although the rooster, who at this point had taken the role of the mouse-horses, and his dead nefarious gal-pal had made it over the rock, the rest of the small carriage did not, and ALL OF THE ANIMALS IN THE FOREST FELL IN THE RIVER AND DROWNED.

(If you read that paragraph out of context it looks like I dropped acid before writing this blog post.)

Now, either that’s a really deep and fast river, or there weren’t many animals in that forest. I mean, seriously, what is it, the Amazon? It drowned ELK? And BEARS? Good gracious. What a river. I mean, you’d think that river would talk, right? Every other damn thing in this story did. I’d like to hear this story from the point of view of the river. Or the kernal. That totally girthy and unswallowable kernal.

Is it this river? You're not getting over this sucker with a straw or a coal, you stupid optimistic animals.

Is it this river? You’re not getting over this sucker with a straw or a coal, you stupid optimistic animals.

So the rooster, all alone in the WHOLE FOREST because for SOME REASON every single damn animal IN THE WHOLE FOREST decided to ride on a SMALL CARRIAGE and mourn a LYING HEN (well, I guess he’s not totally alone, considering all the things talk, except the river and the kernal) digs a grave for his hen, buries her, sits on it, and cries himself to death. He does not eat, he does not sleep. He cries and I think starves to death, I assume because he has lost his ladylove, no one in the forest would help him, and he is to blame for the death of ALL THE ANIMALS IN THE FOREST. I mean, that’s a heavy weight to bear, you know?

And then everyone was dead.

EVERYONE.

WAS.

DEAD.

(Can I just say, though, that NOT everyone was dead? Who lives? Well, the people who live are the talking well and the bride. And that means the moral of this story is to waste someone’s time who is trying to save someone else’s life by sending him on pointless errands and then you’ll live while everyone else in the forest dies, and I think that is a very bad moral. This would make a terrible Aesop’s Fable.)

Seriously, can you imagine reading this to a child with their little innocent eyes and such? And you’d get farther and farther along into the story and they’d be like “NO NO WHAT NO PLEASE WHY SO MUCH DEATH?” and you’d shrug and say, “That’s how the Brothers Grimm rolled, Little Lulu. AND THEN EVERYONE WAS DEAD. And someday, I will be dead. AND SO WILL YOU. Maybe even tomorrow, you never know when you might choke on a kernal. Sleep well, lemon tart!” and then you turn off the light and leave them alone WITH THEIR THOUGHTS.

...why momma why...

…why momma why…

Good parenting 101, am I right?

Have a happy Wednesday, MY little lemon tarts.

Watch out for kernals.

And lying significant others who break your little rooster-hearts.

And wells that want things before giving over their water.

And friends who want to tag along, but weren’t helpful when you needed it.

And inanimate objects that SEEM helpful, but will really just lead to drowning.

And mourning so much that you end up dead.

Otherwise, have the best day, you know? Just the utter best. Kisses. Love your faces.


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