If you like most of us, have read and perhaps even seen all the old and new reiterations of Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel a zillion times, you are in luck. That's because a cultural curator in Germany has discovered a treasure trove of 500 new fairy tales that have been tucked away in the archives for over 150 years!
Penned by local historian Franz Xaver von Schonwerth, who lived in the Bavarian region of Oberpflaz between 1810-1886, the tales are based on real-life anecdotes told to him by local residents and include habits, traditions, customs and history that had until then, been passed from generation to generation, by word of mouth only.
The historian compiled his research into a book that was published in three volumes in 1857, 1858 and 1859. However, unlike the Grimm Brothers Fairy tales which were also published around this time, these tales did not do too well and soon, faded into obscurity.
It was only when Erica Eichenseer, the local cultural curator was recently sifting through the titles that she discovered the 500 hidden gems, most of which do not appear in any of the European fairy tales that are currently available.
Among them is the tale of a young helpless girl who escapes a wicked witch by transforming herself into a pond. Not easily defeated, the witch drinks all the water from the pond, swallowing the girl in the process. But since good always triumphs over evil, the brave maiden manages to escape by somehow getting hold of a knife and cutting her way out from the evil woman's stomach.
Then there is one about a prince who stumbles upon a talking bear and an ugly witch who wishes to marry him. He of course has not interest, but fortunately listens to some instructions from the bear because as it turns out, the old witch is actually a beautiful maiden who had been waiting for her handsome savior!
Curious to read the rest? Then you are in luck. That's because Erica is so mesmerized by the fun tales that she has already published a few in the local language and is now working with Dan Szabo, a Munich-based translator to get them published in English. She believes that because the tales talk about life experiences they are not just for children, but for adults too! We for one cannot wait to read them!