Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables...


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When she awakens, the rapist king returns and they bond over their mutual interests, such as his bastard children. When the king's wife, the evil queen, learns of Talia and the two kids, she invites them over under a false pretense, and she kidnaps the babies. She tells the royal chef to kill the kids and make them into a meal for the king, so he will unknowingly eat his own children.

The chef hides the babies with his wife and cooks lamb instead, saving the children. The evil queen then tries to burn Talia at the stake, but the king - now the hero of this fable - saves Talia, and kills his wife instead. First off, there's no fairy god mother. Instead, there is a magical wishing tree and some talking doves.

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Also, the slipper isn't glass, it is gold. Oh, and to convince the Prince that the all-important footwear belonged to them, one evil step-sister saws off her heel until blood is pouring out of the slipper. The other step-sister slices off all of her toes. Finally, when Aschenputtel and the Prince get married, the evil step-sisters serve as her bridesmaids in an attempt to win the favor of the future princess.

But the wedding is interrupted by doves that fly down from heaven and brutally peck out the step-sisters' eyes. When Disney adapted this iconic German fairy tale for their animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs , they stayed close to the source material, only leaving out the more horrific depictions of torture and some of the darker details. One major difference in the original Brothers Grimm story is that the Evil Queen was not Snow White's step-mother, but her biological mother. Snow White's own mother wanted to brutally murder her for being pretty.

The Grimm brothers decided that this was too cruel even for their stories, and later made the Evil Queen Snow White's step-mother instead.

Aesop's Fables

In the Disney version, the Evil Queen wants the Huntsman to cut out Snow White's beating heart - which is pretty gruesome for a Disney film. But the original still manages to top that. In the fairy tale, the Queen wants the Huntsman to cut out Snow White's lungs and liver so that the queen can cook and eat them. Finally, in what is probably the creepiest difference, the Evil Queen doesn't fall to her death after being chased by the dwarfs. Instead, she's forced to put her feet in red-hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.

Which is probably a good thing, what with all the sex and maiming in the original version. Of all the stories in this list, Rapunzel is probably the tamest, but that's not saying much. In the story, a prince is riding through the woods near Rapunzel's tower.

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The year-old Rapunzel lets down her hair and he climbs into her room, where he proceeds to immediately ask for her hand in marriage. Weeks later, it's revealed that her dress is getting tight around her stomach — a subtle way of revealing that some random, roaming prince knocked up an obviously kidnapped pre-teen girl. Eventually, the prince helps Rapunzel plan her escape.

However, the evil witch discovers the plan, cuts off Rapunzel's hair and casts her out into the woods to die. When the prince shows up, ignorant to the turn of events, the witch throws down one end of Rapunzel's lopped-off hair, letting him climb up to the window. When he gets there, the witch shoves him off the tower and he falls into a bush of sharp thorns which gouge out his eyes.

In the end, he and Rapunzel find each other, and her tears of joy restore his eyesight — so that's nice. However, the witch dropped Rapunzel's hair out the window when she shoved the prince. Since the tower has no door and no stairs people only got in through the window by climbing up Rapunzel's hair like a damn jungle gym the evil witch starves to death - which was really her fault for building such a stupid tower in the first place. The element that stands out the most about this Italian novel, which Collodi claimed was for children, is its intensely depressing subject matter.

For instance, the lovable Jiminy Cricket, from the Disney version, is actually the ghost a dead cricket that Pinocchio stepped on, in the book. Also, in the original story, there is a town called Catchfools, which is full of sad, dying animals such as starving dogs, freezing sheep, half-dead butterflies and a whole depressing menagerie of other hopeless creatures. In this town, any foolishness is punished with jail time, and Pinocchio is arrested and imprisoned as punishment for getting conned out of his only possessions.

It's a truly terrible legal system. In another dark scene, Pinocchio runs off with a young boy to Toyland, where an old man collects children by luring them with toys. Then, Pinocchio is turned into a donkey because this book hates children. As a donkey, he's eventually sold to a man who wants to skin him and turn him into a drum. In this version of the legend the King complained:. Yet another legend attributes the appearance of ravens in the Tower to the Great Fire of London in Wild ravens, as well as pigs and kites , were the biggest scavengers in medieval London.

Charles II then ordered six birds to be kept at the Tower.

Aesop's Fables

Wild ravens are native to Britain and most other parts of the Northern Hemisphere although in recent times breeding populations are mostly restricted to the wilder western upland areas of the British Isles. However, in later years wild ravens were viewed as a threat to livestock, and during the 19th century they were eliminated in many areas by systematic hunting and shooting. The first two known depictions of ravens in the Tower of London both date from the year Sax found the one early mention of importation of captive ravens in the book The Tower from Within by George Younghusband.

Younghusband stated that the ravens were provided by the 4th Earl of Dunraven — The second Earl of Dunraven had been a patron of the Druidic scholar, poet, and forger Iolo Morganwg , who convinced the family that their castle in Glamorgan had been the original residence of the raven-god Bran , actually an early king.

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The Earls may have thought of the ravens as avatars of Bran, and wished to assert a spiritual claim over the Tower. Geoffrey Parnell, the official Tower of London historian and a member of the Royal Armouries staff, also believes that the allegedly ancient history of captive ravens at the Tower is just a legend that was created during the Victorian era. The story of their escape appeared in several local American papers. Dr Parnell also believes that the first captive ravens may have been introduced to the Tower as pets of the staff. After " The Raven " the famous narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe was first published in January , the Western world became fascinated with the birds.

The first reference to an early version of the legend that Britain will fall if the ravens leave the Tower comes from July , when ravens were used as unofficial spotters for enemy bombs and planes during the Blitz of World War II. The Tower ravens are enlisted as soldiers of the Kingdom and were issued attestation cards in the same way as soldiers and police.

As with soldiers, they can be dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct. Today the Tower's ravens are one of the attractions for tourists visiting the City of London. Since , the Tower ravens have been the subject of a successful captive breeding programme. For example, over time, 17 chicks were successfully hatched and raised by a pair of ravens known as "Charlie" and "Rhys". This dog bite killed the bird.

While visiting the Tower in , [27] Vladimir Putin , the President of Russia , is reported to have been impressed by one of the bird's verbal skills; Thor greeted each person in his entourage with a "Good morning! During the global spread of H5N1 virus "bird flu" in , the ravens of the Tower were taken inside, and lived in "custom-built aviaries". In May , two ravens were killed by a fox that managed to infiltrate the grounds, the only fox attack inside the walls ever recorded. The raven population was temporarily reduced to the minimum number of six.

Appointed in , current Ravenmaster Christopher Skaife was caring for seven of the birds in He has allowed one of the birds, Merlina, to fly to the wharf on the Thames but she always returns due to the bonding with her keeper. During Skaife's tenure, only one raven, Munin, has escaped but was captured by a member of the public. The ravens cannot fly because the flight feathers on one wing are clipped. With a single wing clipped, they can only fly short distances to perch.

Otherwise, as Boria Sax writes, tongue-in-cheek:. The ravens are now treated almost like royalty. Like the Royals, the ravens live in a palace and are waited on by servants. They are kept at public expense, but in return they must show themselves to the public in settings of great splendour.

So long as they abide by certain basic rules, neither Royals nor ravens have to do anything extraordinary.

If the power in question is political and diplomatic, the Royals now have hardly more than the ravens. But the word "power" here can also mean the aura of glamour and mystery which at times envelops both ravens and monarchs. Each Tower raven has a different coloured band on one leg, to make it easier to identify individual birds. The Tower's ravens are given individual names, and are all under the care of the Yeomen Warders.

The diet of the ravens is carefully maintained. In , the Ravenmaster Derek Coyle commented: I give them biscuits as well, soaked in blood from the meat that I buy. And in winter I get them capsules of cod liver oil. Their diet consists of raw meat daily, usually liver, lambs' hearts and beef or pork trimming, and every other day includes boiled egg with shell and blood-soaked bird biscuits. Occasionally, rabbit parts with fur are added for roughage. Once a week the birds are given a thorough check-over, and once every third week the lifting feathers on their right wings are trimmed to prevent them from flying away.


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Most Londoners are fond of the ravens, but sometimes an individual bird will fall out of favour because of inappropriate behaviour. For example, "Raven George" lost his appointment to the Crown, and was retired to Wales for attacking and destroying TV aerials. A special decree was issued about the incident:. Conduct unsatisfactory , service therefore no longer required.

In , two more ravens fell out of favour and were dismissed from the Tower for " conduct unbecoming Tower residents.


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  6. Despite having their flight feathers clipped on one wing, sometimes the Tower ravens desert their duties. In , Grog the raven decided to leave the surroundings of the Tower for those of a pub , after 21 years of faithful service to the Crown.


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    Another story concerns the two ravens named "James Crow" and "Edgar Sopper". James Crow was a much-loved and long-lived raven. After noticing the commotion surrounding the other raven's death, Edgar Sopper decided he could " play dead " in order to bring more attention to himself. His trick was so convincing that the ravenmaster fully believed that Edgar Sopper had died.

    Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables... Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables...
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    Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables... Legend of an Iron Tower and Other Fables...
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