The Sleeping Beauty

Picture Book by Max Teschemacher

Sleeping Beauty is also known as Briar Rose

There was a king and a queen who were very sad. They were longing for a child for many years but stayed alone.

Finally, one day the queen got good news. A frog told her she would become a mother. The queen, of course, not the frog.

Indeed, less than a year later, a baby girl was born. The king and the king through a great party. They also invited twelve fairies. Each one of them gave the baby a very special gift like grace, beauty, ...

But the royal couple forgot to invite one fairy. She was furious.

She cursed the baby girl. When she turned thirteen years old, she would prick her finger with a spindle and die!

Only one of the remaining fairies still didn't give her magical gift to the kid. She didn't have the power to cancel the curse but just to change it a bit.

The girl would still prick her finger. But instead of dying, she would just fall asleep for one hundred years. Everybody in the castle would sleep at the same time so she would wake up in the same world. Just later.

Even better, a handsome prince would come to break the spell and wake her up.

The king tried to do something on his own as well. He banned all the spindles in the kingdom to protect his only child. He also didn't want to rely on the handsome prince who was not even born yet.

So the girl grew up without even knowing what a spindle is.

When she was thirteen she wandered around the castle and found a door she never noticed before. Of course, she had to enter.

She saw an old lady in the room. She was doing something interesting. She had a very amusing tool.

It was a spindle.

But the girl didn't know what it was. And she didn't know about the prophecy. And she wanted to try how it feels to work with the spindle.

So she pricked her finger and fell asleep.

So was everybody else in the castle. Even the cook who was just about to hit the clumsy apprentice stopped his hand halfway and both started snoring.

The castle was overgrown by plants with thorns. Nobody could enter it, so everybody who was sleeping stayed protected for one hundred years.

It's a very long time but it passed.

Then a handsome prince who heard about the legend of Sleeping Beauty decided to find out if it was true. Is there really a beautiful girl sleeping in the cursed castle waiting for the rescuer?

He really found a castle, covered with thorns. But when he approached, the plants started blooming.

Instead of thorns, it was suddenly covered with roses.

Everybody in the castle was still sleeping.

The guards didn't bother the uninvited visitor.

He was free to explore the castle room by room.

After a while, he found the sleeping beauty.

She woke up the very moment he entered.

She was delighted when she saw him. They immediately fell in love with each other.

Everybody in the castle woke up.

The cook finally had a chance to hit the boy in the kitchen.

A splendid wedding followed and everybody lived happily ever after.

There are many interpretations of this classic story, starting with the title which changes through centuries, from Perceforest and Basile to Perrault and the Grimms. One of the most popular ones is the tale of growing up.

Briar Rose (as Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm titled it) presents all the major points in one's growing up:

  • punishment of children for the mistakes of their parents
  • inability of parents to protect their children from the outside world
  • initiation to the world of grown-ups with fatal consequences
  • patience needed to find a suitable partner
  • ability to create one's own reality even if everything is against you

To find more about some hidden meanings in the story of Sleeping Beauty, check this:

Don't be a stranger and come back!

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