Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Fairytales’

Someday my Prince will come, Not. Breaking the Chain.

I don’t remember the years between 5 and 9/10 years old but afterwards I suffered major hairloss and wrote a song called ‘Amnesiac’. Other than the memories below the only other memories potentially between this time are of pain such as falling on glass, concussions, falling off a bike, swallowing paint, head getting stuck in a bannister, being locked outside, hiding for hours, burning hand, broken arm, being beaten in the back with a stiletto shoe, a steel ruler etc. Most of them I remember as accidents.

Then there was house I used to stay at every weekend, she was formerly a neighbour and had moved quite a distance but came to collect me anyway. The last time I stayed there she had friends over, it turned into a party and all I remember is hitting something behind me (probably furniture) as I slumped into unconsciousness and saw her friends laughing at me like hyenas. Shortly after at school every one in my year had to be ‘checked’, we each individually went into one of the assembly halls and our parent(s)/guardian(s) waited outside. In the hall were a group of adults seated at tables and we had to strip down to our underwear and present ourselves as well as pull our underwear down a little. Apparently they were looking for signs of abuse and that there had been a report of domestic violence but one of people from the party was on the panel.

My earliest memory was at 5 years old, and according to child psychology that’s pretty late for children; I remember being in a car and seeing lights go past (night time) and my dad being there or a father figure. Apparently it was a family outing but I don’t remember anyone else there except him and I. We were going to see Cinderella (1950 Disney version) at the local cinema but it wasn’t re-released that year… I’ve always wondered what it meant and that if it was a type of story/fantasy programming why wasn’t it the usual Oz stories, Alice in Wonderland (had elements of that in my life) or the Narnia Chronicles.

Cinderalla and the ash ‘cinders’ girls stories in general are obviously based on kindness (including kindness to animals), subservience with gratitude/grace built in to those who are greedy and ruthless, punishment (for what?) and reward, and rising again like a phoenix to royalty (as if royalty is any better) but through marriage. (Thankfully I’ve gotten rid of the ‘lost partner’ complex as I wrote about HERE in many fairytale programmings.) This was later reinforced by the book ‘Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded’ (1740) by Samuel Richardson – the story basically shows her gaining status and respect by marrying into a higher class to the man who tried to/did rape her. However in that story Pamela is a resilient character who stands her ground whereas Cinderella is portrayed as unquestioning (though not in the Grimm’s version, explained later).

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Excerpt from: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/15/8214405/cinderella-fairy-tale-history

Disney didn’t invent Cinderella. Her story is at least 2,000 years old.

Updated by Kelsey McKinneykelsey@vox.com Mar 15, 2015, 12:00pm EDT

There are two faces to Cinderella: there’s the European folk tale that evolved into the modern-day story of a girl in a big blue ball gown, and there’s the centuries-old plot that has been passed between cultures for millennia.

The story of overcoming oppression and marrying into another social class to be saved from a family that doesn’t love or appreciate you is an incredibly powerful one, too powerful to be contained by the story we all know. At the center of most Cinderella stories (whether they use that name for their protagonist or not) is one thing: a persecuted heroine who rises above her social station through marriage.

The first recorded story featuring a Cinderella-like figure dates to Greece in the sixth century BCE. In that ancient story, a Greek courtesan named Rhodopis has one of her shoes stolen by an eagle, who flies it all the way across the Mediterranean and drops it in the lap of an Egyptian king.

Taking the shoe drop as a sign from the heavens (literally and metaphorically), the king goes on a quest to find the owner of the shoe. When he finds Rhodopis, he marries her, lifting her from her lowly status to the throne.

Another one of the earliest known Cinderella stories is the ninth-century Chinese fairy tale Ye Xian, in which a young girl named Ye Xian is granted one wish from some magical fishbones, which she uses to create a gown in the hopes of finding a husband.

Like Rhodopis’ tale, a monarch comes in possession of the shoe (this time, the shoes have a gold fish-scale pattern) and goes on a quest to find the woman whose tiny feet will fit the shoe. Ye Xian’s beauty convinces the king to marry her, and the mean stepmother is crushed by stones in her cave home.

The European version of the story originated in the 17th century

In total, more than 500 versions of the Cinderella story have been found just in Europe, and the Cinderella we know best comes from there (France, specifically).

The first version of Cinderella that bears a significant similarity to the most famous version emerged in the 17th century, when a story called Cenerentola was published in a collection of Italian short stories. Cenerentola has all the ingredients of the modern-day tale — the wicked stepmother and stepsisters, the magic, and the missing slipper — but it’s darker and just a bit more magical.

In the story, a woman named Zezolla escapes the king, who wants to marry her, at two separate celebrations — before he finally catches her at the third one and prevents her from leaving. Instead of a story of requited love, Cenerentola is a story of forced marriage and six very wicked stepsisters.

Sixty years later, the Italian tale got a French twist and became the story we know. In Cendrillon, Charles Perrault — a French writer credited with inventing the fairy tale — cast the form that Cinderella would take for the next 400 years. He introduced the glass slipper, the pumpkin, and the fairy godmother (minus the bibbidi bobbidi boo). This is the version Disney later adapted into its animated classic.

The Brothers Grimm had a, well, grimmer take on the tale

The Brothers Grimm also collected the tale in their famous fairy tale compendium. That story, called Aschenputtel (Cinderella in the English translations), appeared more than 100 years after Perrault’s version in the 19th century.

Aschenputtel is a much darker tale. Cinderella’s wishes come not from a fairy godmother but from a tree growing on her mother’s grave. Her father, instead of being absent as in Perrault’s tale, is willfully ignorant of his daughter’s suffering.

In the Grimm version, the heroine’s slippers are made of gold (not glass), and when the Prince comes to test the stepsisters’ feet for size, one of them cuts off her own toes to try and make the shoe fit [My comment: how very Chinese]. In the end, Cinderella marries the prince, her stepsisters serve as her bridesmaids, and doves peck their eyes out during the ceremony. It is, needless to say, a beautiful tale for children.

For more information on Asian versions of the story look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella

Exerpt from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/61053-9-things-about-the-original-brothers-grimm-cinderella-story-that-are-nothing-like-the-disney-version

By JR Thorpe Jan 29 2015

9 Things About The Original Brothers Grimm Cinderella Story That Are Nothing Like The Disney Version

1. Cinderella is exactly the opposite of helpless.

Aschenputtel (remember, that’s Cinderella’s name in their version) doesn’t mope about. She sorts everything out herself, and considering that her pragmatism involves a magic tree, some enchanted birds, and the apparent ability to disappear, it seems that she isn’t actually an emotionally neglected kitchen maid, but a talented witch.

2. She is also seriously good at hiding.

The Grimm Brothers’ prince insists on accompanying his newfound love home, to see who the hell she is. (Twice, mind you, since there are actually three balls in the original story.) Aschenputtel has to hide in a pigeon coop and up a pear tree until he goes away. And she isn’t found. Good work.

3. The ‘fairy’ godmother is really just a tree growing on her dead mother’s grave.

The godmother’s not a fairy, or even a person. In Aschenputtel’s version, Cinderella’s father asks what he can get her on a business trip, and she asks for a simple twig (the stepsisters ask for gold and pearls, because they’re not maudlin hippies). She then plants it on her mother’s grave and waters it with her tears. Said tree grows up to give her whatever she wants: the dresses are just the latest incarnation. Aschenputtel is clearly powerful as hell, so why she wants to marry some dude who chases her into a pigeon coop is beyond me.

4. The stepmother has a peculiar obsession with lentils.

Aschenputtel’s stepmother throws first one, then two cups of lentils into the ash and tells Aschenputtel that if she can pull them all out, she can come to the ball. Aschenputtel manages it, which I will explain momentarily, but I still don’t know why she didn’t ask the tree to throw down a sword and just chase the lentil-hater around the garden. [My comment: reminds me of a Caribbean of African folktale about tricking a particular type of demoness by making her count rice and she has to finish before sunrise.]

5. “Fit into the shoe” actually means “cut off bits of your feet.”

None of this wimpy “my foot doesn’t fit” stuff for the Grimms. To fit her into the tiny golden slipper, one of her sisters cuts off her big toe, the other a bit of her heel. Their plans are foiled by the blood everywhere (which surely somebody must have thought about), but hey, points for trying.

6. Cinderella has some seriously badass birds as minions.

The birds are basically Aschenputtel’s soldiers: they pluck all of her lentils out of the ashes, eating the bad ones and putting all the good ones in the pot. But they’re not cheery little singing friends.

When her stepsisters cut off their body parts to fit into the slipper, the birds tell on them, by twice sitting in the Hazel Tree of Death and singing a peppy song to the prince about how the slipper of his stepsister-bride is filling with blood.

And then, once they’ve guaranteed their witchy mistress’s ascension to the throne via marriage, they find the stepsisters in the church and peck out their eyes. (More on that in a moment.)

7. The father has a strong destructive streak.

Aschenputtel’s dad’s not dead, as he was in the Disney film; instead he’s still around and being a nuisance. When the prince turns up at his door, not once but twice, with a story about a girl hiding in various bits of his property, he doesn’t call the police — he, wondering if the girl could be Aschenputtel, gets an axe and chops whatever it is down. Pigeon coop? Smashed. Beautiful pear tree filled with fruit? Kindling.

Let me remind you that he does this while thinking his daughter might be inside. She should have got her birds to make her a boat and floated the hell away from that madhouse.

8. The prince is a predator [my comment: and hunter] with a mysterious-princess-trap.

I have to give Aschenputtel’s prince credit for at least having a personality. Admittedly he does chase her into chicken coops, but he also, after the third ball, he lays a trap: he smears the palace steps with pitch so that she leaves her golden shoe behind. Smart man. (Though he then fails to notice said shoe filling with blood until some magic birds tell him.)

9. The stepsisters end up getting horribly blinded.

The Grimm stepsisters are truly awful, and get a truly awful comeuppance. You know how I said they were blinded? Here’s how that goes down: they want so badly to get the reflected glory of Aschenputtel’s royal wedding that they accompany her up the aisle, at which the birds peck one eye out. But they still want it so badly that they accompany her back down the aisle, and the birds promptly peck out the other eye. Respect.

I’ve just been refreshing my memory about jewel stones and colours in masonic training as well as the gems/colours for the tribes of Isreal (and astrology) when I found some interesting comparable parables in the bible:

http://timothyfish.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/is-there-cinderella-story-in-bible.html

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is There a Cinderella Story in the Bible?

Someone came to this blog the other day looking for the answer to the question Is there a Cinderella story in the Bible? The answer to that is yes and no. It depends on exactly what aspects of the Cinderella story you are referring to. No, you won’t find a maiden with a fairy godmother who transforms her into a princess, but yes, there are some stories that have similarities to the Cinderella story.

Consider the life of Joseph. His father loved Joseph, but his step-brothers hated him. They hated him so much that they threw him in a pit and would have killed him had not he older brother suggested they sell him instead. He was taken to Egypt and sold as a slave and eventually ended up in prison. But he had the gift of prophesy and he foretold of a great famine. The king was so convinced by Joseph that he put him in charge of preparing the land for a long period with few crops, making him a rule of the land. Joseph’s brothers came when they needed food and bowed before him.

Or consider Ruth. After her husband died, she went with her mother-in-law to her mother-in-law’s home land. Being poor, she gathered grain the reapers left in the fields of a wealthy farmer. He fell for Ruth and told the reapers to leave more behind for her than they normally would have. There’s even a shoe involved in this story.

The story of Esther is that of a maiden who marries a king.

David has a Cinderella-like story. Of his brothers, he was considered the most unlikely person to become king, but upon the direction of God, Samuel anointed him to be the king who would replace Saul.

And what about every gentile who has ever been saved by the grace of God? We were no better than dogs, but we have been made kings and priests. So, is there a Cinderella story in the Bible? Absolutely.

http://www.preachology.com/cinderella-salvation.html

CINDERELLA SALVATION

by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL)

In Luke 15:1-7, we find Jesus telling the parable of the Lost Sheep. Jesus asks, “What man upon you would not leave ninety-nine sheep, in the open pasture, and go search for the one sheep that was lost?” Like the lost wearer of the Golden Slipper, Jesus emphasizes the lost state of man.

As the Kingdom Prince had faith that he would find eternal peace, by finding his new found love, through the perfect fit of the glass slipper, so also may mankind, by way of faith, have eternal peace through God’s redemptive power.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I found this one particularly interesting: Bear in mind that El e.g. Elle or Ella or Ellie/y goes back to the Mother Goddess Lalita in ‘Hinduism’ but has become masculanized in the later Abrahamic religions.

http://www.parowanprophet.com/Great_Seal/cinderella.htm

Cinderalla, The Story of Redemption.

Cinderella -Who are you? John Bull
Where are you? March 2001 East
The story is Centuries old. Tribes # 3

Hosea 1:10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, (USA & world) Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” The Jews are no longer his people.

Matthew 21; 43 “Therefore say I unto you, (Jews) The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (USA)

This will be about Cinderella, and who the Prince will choose. If you want to learn, then you will have to un-learn all of your traditions.
You go to College to learn. And to do well you have to study.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Some people are: “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
2 Timothy 3:7

The ‘Signs’ are here now, and it is Midnight for Cinderella! And tomorrow God is really going to clean house. CLICK HERE to see the “Signs.”

You have been asleep just like the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom in Matthew Chapter 25 When the Prince comes will your foot fit into the slipper. Like Cinderella’s did?

Because you’re wise, now we will talk about Cinderella. (Don’t laugh because I said you are wise.

You are smart enough to read here, when others just scoff at me like 2 Peter 3:3 said would happen.)

There really is a Prince coming, (Matthew 25) and there will be a wedding, with the Bride of Christ. Some people think that the bride is the church, but they are asleep. The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) is coming for Israel. (Not the Jews, or the church, but true Israel!) CLICK HERE to learn of Israel.

As the story goes, Ella’s mother had died and her father had remarried a woman with two daughters, and then had to go away on a long journey. While he was gone, bad things happened.

Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 25:14-15, 28-34

Ella was treated as a servant girl in her own house. You will remember that Israel was the servant to Pharaoh in Egypt. She had to clean the fireplace and carry out all the ashes from the fires. They gave her the name that fit her “Cinder-Ella.” Because of the cinders in her hair and clothes.

Remember that before her father had left on his trip he asked what each person wanted him to bring back, as a gift for each of them.

The two stepdaughters asked for dresses, pearls, jewels. Ella asked for a ‘branch’ that she could plant to remember, and so honor her mother.

(“Zion” God even calls a city after her honor, the city of Zion. Just as we do naming Susanville, Marysvale, Virginia City, and a thousand other cities with women’s names in honor of them.

Even in our time “trees” are planted in the remembrance of people who have died.)

Ezekiel 31 speaks of ‘trees’ as people, and nations. And the ‘trees’ in Eden, or Eden people.

Isaiah 10: 12-20 speaks of the ‘fruit’ of the king of Assyria. And the axe and the saw,
and ‘trees’ of his forest shall be few. Eve got some bad, ‘fruit’ from the ‘tree’ in Eden.

The story of Cinderella portrays her plainly as the bride of Christ.

No other people than Israel who was cast off, and migrated into the North countries, as your European ancestors did sit by the fireplace to warm themselves and cook. Today we all like to cuddle up in front of a good fire. There we watch cinders go up the chimney.

Just like Ella did. And wait for Jesus Christ,

The Prince, The King, to come save us.

The expression comes from “Cinderella’s lost glass slipper.” Remember when she fled the grand ball, (dance) the Prince chased her and she lost her glass slipper. So why was it “glass”, instead of pretty red shoes that most women want.

The Prince searched the realm for the maiden whose foot fit into the “glass” slipper. The only foot that did fit was Cinderella. When she put it on, and the fit was perfect, she pulled the other “glass” slipper out of her pocket and put it on to have the matched pair on her feet.

Revelation tell us why they were “glass” slippers. Now can you get revelation about it?
I will quote it for you: “Revelation 4: 6 And before the throne there was a sea of “glass” like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. [My comment: the so-called ultimate ‘gods’ of post-Vedic Hinduism have been described and depicted as part of the throne of Lalita as they are nothing but workers (traitors) beneath her in hierarchy. The image is also used in Freemasonry:

Which is exactly how this writer describes the Wicked Stepmother and step-sisters; remember the Scarlet woman in never a good thing in the bible but it has been twisted from older cultures where they were priestesses (and not prostitutes).]

Cinderella’s all over the world wait for the Prince. Everyone will wear soot and ashes before the wedding.    You can read all about it on my other pages.    Nuclear War Comes.

Cinderella’s all over the world wait for the Prince. Everyone will wear soot and ashes before the wedding. You can read all about it on my other pages… There is a lot more to tell you about Cinderella in the future. If you can live to see, the morning come. Don’t be late, or be sorry. If the blind are leading you, then your headed for the ditch.

What about when the Prince is a masculanized version of the Princess/Daughter? Just as most of the male avatars have been.

Her glass slippers remind me of Dorothy’s original Silver slippers (also representing diamond, crystal, glass) turned Ruby Red (lesser class) for the film and obviously since I’ve learned that Cinderella’s were also Gold (Grimm’s version).

And why does Cinderella (like the book ‘Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded’ (1740) by Samuel Richardson) always have to be accepted by a ‘prince’/’saviour’ figure. Reminds me of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990) where they show prostitutes are people too, are raped and need to be saved; and then together again they starred in ‘Runaway Bride’ (1999) about a woman who just can’t bring herself to get married until she meets a man determined enough to save/marry her.

I prefer the versions of Cinderella where she does the saving like in ‘Ever After: A Cinderella Story’ (1998) starring Drew Barrymore.
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NOT NO CINDERELLA ANYMORE

Since 2013 when we broke away from a masonic situation (e.g. a recruitment agent who would call me as soon as I got back from holiday leave abroad even though I wouldn’t tell her my flight times, but schedule going back to work a day or two after yet she’d still call me as soon as I got back to a UK airport) we were followed and re-conctact and reinforcement programming/gang stalking continued (e.g. the day after we moved into a new place there were footsteps all around the property in the snow, especially around the windows and up and down the garden alongside what looked like a the prints of a machine and a message on the window. No one else had any footprints around there properties and from the looks of the road the person(s) came straight to ours. There’s tons of incidents like that).

The book described below is 17 years old but many if the techniques are still the same, the information people are lacking is about Virtual Reality which is where this book ends. Everything else I knew in the book already, the author writes about these things happening to children but it can happen to adults too though it usually starts and can continue into adulthood. Most recently I’ve been particularly reminded of being made close to someone and them deliberately betraying you, expect you to forgive them, cause confusion and then want you to act as if nothing happened/even be dependent on them and taking credit if you manage to get through the experience.

https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/breakingthechain/contents.htm

The author is spot on when they say it takes years of programming (and indeed times in a persons life where at the end of a cycle it needs to be renewed) and hence can take years of therapy with someone used to such situations to try to heal.

Next Post:
Feast of the Beast – Bride/Sacrifice of the beast, rescued.

Gallery

The Lady or The Tiger

Recently I read a book that I knew was a metaphor for something else that goes on in the dregs of society (irrespective of class) and I was interested to see if there were any salient points in it, disguised as a young readers book and the main theme/vehicle of which I didn’t realize until I read it – a theme which would have put me off had I known… It’s not a genre I’ve read nor wanted to for a long time. Anyway the protagonist comes across a card game where the only two cards left are the Lady and the Tiger and something about it strikes a chord in her, as if she’s about to find out which she is, which she wants and which she needs to be. It hit a note with me too because I hadn’t come across that symbolism before other than being called TigerLily more than once by people ‘who know better’, sometimes surprisingly/severely so.

In the end the character she becomes friends with, and what a character he is, calls her “My Lady, the Tiger”. I hadn’t really thought about it like that before, I’ve found it difficult to figure out what Tiger Lily means despite research, on the one hand this ferocious predator animal and the other the sign of purity and even knowledge/sacred geometry/The Goddess when in its lotus form.

Yesterday I happened upon this story:

The Lady, or the Tiger?
Frank R. Stockton (1882)

The Lady or The Tiger

The 1884 anthology version.

In the very olden time there lived a semi-barbaric king, whose ideas, though somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbors, were still large, florid, and untrammeled, as became the half of him which was barbaric. He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. When every member of his domestic and political systems moved smoothly in its appointed course, his nature was bland and genial; but, whenever there was a little hitch, and some of his orbs got out of their orbits, he was blander and more genial still, for nothing pleased him so much as to make the crooked straight and crush down uneven places.

Among the borrowed notions by which his barbarism had become semified was that of the public arena, in which, by exhibitions of manly and beastly valor, the minds of his subjects were refined and cultured.

But even here the exuberant and barbaric fancy asserted itself The arena of the king was built, not to give the people an opportunity of hearing the rhapsodies of dying gladiators, nor to enable them to view the inevitable conclusion of a conflict between religious opinions and hungry jaws, but for purposes far better adapted to widen and develop the mental energies of the people. This vast amphitheater, with its encircling galleries, its mysterious vaults, and its unseen passages, was an agent of poetic justice, in which crime was punished, or virtue rewarded, by the decrees of an impartial and incorruptible chance.

When a subject was accused of a crime of sufficient importance to interest the king, public notice was given that on an appointed day the fate of the accused person would be decided in the king’s arena, a structure which well deserved its name, for, although its form and plan were borrowed from afar, its purpose emanated solely from the brain of this man, who, every barleycorn a king, knew no tradition to which he owed more allegiance than pleased his fancy, and who ingrafted on every adopted form of human thought and action the rich growth of his barbaric idealism.

When all the people had assembled in the galleries, and the king, surrounded by his court, sat high up on his throne of royal state on one side of the arena, he gave a signal, a door beneath him opened, and the accused subject stepped out into the amphitheater. Directly opposite him, on the other side of the inclosed space, were two doors, exactly alike and side by side. It was the duty and the privilege of the person on trial to walk directly to these doors and open one of them. He could open either door he pleased; he was subject to no guidance or influence but that of the aforementioned impartial and incorruptible chance. If he opened the one, there came out of it a hungry tiger, the fiercest and most cruel that could be procured, which immediately sprang upon him and tore him to pieces as a punishment for his guilt. The moment that the case of the criminal was thus decided, doleful iron bells were clanged, great wails went up from the hired mourners posted on the outer rim of *the arena, and the vast audience, with bowed heads and downcast hearts, wended slowly their homeward way, mourning greatly that one so young and fair, or so old and respected, should have merited so dire a fate.

But, if the accused person opened the other door, there came forth from it a lady, the most suitable to his years and station that his majesty could select among his fair subjects, and to this lady he was immediately married, as a reward of his innocence. It mattered not that he might already possess a wife and family, or that his affections might be engaged upon an object of his own selection; the king allowed no such subordinate arrangements to interfere with his great scheme of retribution and reward. The exercises, as in the other instance, took place immediately, and in the arena. Another door opened beneath the king, and a priest, followed by a band of choristers, and dancing maidens blowing joyous airs on golden horns and treading an epithalamic measure, advanced to where the pair stood, side by side, and the wedding was promptly and cheerily solemnized. Then the gay brass bells rang forth their merry peals, the people shouted glad hurrahs, and the innocent man, preceded by children strewing flowers on his path, led his bride to his home.

This was the king’s semi-barbaric method of administering justice. Its perfect fairness is obvious. The criminal could not know out of which door would come the lady; he opened either he pleased, without having the slightest idea whether, in the next instant, he was to be devoured or married. On some occasions the tiger came out of one door, and on some out of the other. The decisions of this tribunal were not only fair, they were positively determinate: the accused person was instantly punished if he found himself guilty, and, if innocent, he was rewarded on the spot, whether he liked it or not. There was no escape from the judgments of the king’s arena.

The institution was a very popular one. When the people gathered together on one of the great trial days, they never knew whether they were to witness a bloody slaughter or a hilarious wedding. This element of uncertainty lent an interest to the occasion which it could not otherwise have attained. Thus, the masses were entertained and pleased, and the thinking part of the community could bring no charge of unfairness against this plan, for did not the accused person have the whole matter in his own hands?

This semi-barbaric king had a daughter as blooming as his most florid fancies, and with a soul as fervent and imperious as his own. As is usual in such cases, she was the apple of his eye, and was loved by him above all humanity. Among his courtiers was a young man of that fineness of blood and lowness of station common to the conventional heroes of romance who love royal maidens. This royal maiden was well satisfied with her lover, for he was handsome and brave to a degree unsurpassed in all this kingdom, and she loved him with an ardor that had enough of barbarism in it to make it exceedingly warm and strong. This love affair moved on happily for many months, until one day the king happened to discover its existence. He did not hesitate nor waver in regard to his duty in the premises. The youth was immediately cast into prison, and a day was appointed for his trial in the king’s arena. This, of course, was an especially important occasion, and his majesty, as well as all the people, was greatly interested in the workings and development of this trial. Never before had such a case occurred; never before had a subject dared to love the daughter of the king. In after years such things became commonplace enough, but then they were in no slight degree novel and startling.

The tiger-cages of the kingdom were searched for the most savage and relentless beasts, from which the fiercest monster might be selected for the arena; and the ranks of maiden youth and beauty throughout the land were carefully surveyed by competent judges in order that the young man might have a fitting bride in case fate did not determine for him a different destiny. Of course, everybody knew that the deed with which the accused was charged had been done. He had loved the princess, and neither he, she, nor any one else, thought of denying the fact; but the king would not think of allowing any fact of this kind to interfere with the workings of the tribunal, in which he took such great delight and satisfaction. No matter how the affair turned out, the youth would be disposed of, and the king would take an aesthetic pleasure in watching the course of events, which would determine whether or not the young man had done wrong in allowing himself to love the princess.

The appointed day arrived. From far and near the people gathered, and thronged the great galleries of the arena, and crowds, unable to gain admittance, massed themselves against its outside walls. The king and his court were in their places, opposite the twin doors, those fateful portals, so terrible in their similarity.

All was ready. The signal was given. A door beneath the royal party opened, and the lover of the princess walked into the arena. Tall, beautiful, fair, his appearance was greeted with a low hum of admiration and anxiety. Half the audience had not known so grand a youth had lived among them. No wonder the princess loved him! What a terrible thing for him to be there!

As the youth advanced into the arena he turned, as the custom was, to bow to the king, but he did not think at all of that royal personage. His eyes were fixed upon the princess, who sat to the right of her father. Had it not been for the moiety of barbarism in her nature it is probable that lady would not have been there, but her intense and fervid soul would not allow her to be absent on an occasion in which she was so terribly interested. From the moment that the decree had gone forth that her lover should decide his fate in the king’s arena, she had thought of nothing, night or day, but this great event and the various subjects connected with it. Possessed of more power, influence, and force of character than any one who had ever before been interested in such a case, she had done what no other person had done,–she had possessed herself of the secret of the doors. She knew in which of the two rooms, that lay behind those doors, stood the cage of the tiger, with its open front, and in which waited the lady. Through these thick doors, heavily curtained with skins on the inside, it was impossible that any noise or suggestion should come from within to the person who should approach to raise the latch of one of them. But gold, and the power of a woman’s will, had brought the secret to the princess.

And not only did she know in which room stood the lady ready to emerge, all blushing and radiant, should her door be opened, but she knew who the lady was. It was one of the fairest and loveliest of the damsels of the court who had been selected as the reward of the accused youth, should he be proved innocent of the crime of aspiring to one so far above him; and the princess hated her. Often had she seen, or imagined that she had seen, this fair creature throwing glances of admiration upon the person of her lover, and sometimes she thought these glances were perceived, and even returned. Now and then she had seen them talking together; it was but for a moment or two, but much can be said in a brief space; it may have been on most unimportant topics, but how could she know that? The girl was lovely, but she had dared to raise her eyes to the loved one of the princess; and, with all the intensity of the savage blood transmitted to her through long lines of wholly barbaric ancestors, she hated the woman who blushed and trembled behind that silent door.

When her lover turned and looked at her, and his eye met hers as she sat there, paler and whiter than any one in the vast ocean of anxious faces about her, he saw, by that power of quick perception which is given to those whose souls are one, that she knew behind which door crouched the tiger, and behind which stood the lady. He had expected her to know it. He understood her nature, and his soul was assured that she would never rest until she had made plain to herself this thing, hidden to all other lookers-on, even to the king. The only hope for the youth in which there was any element of certainty was based upon the success of the princess in discovering this mystery; and the moment he looked upon her, he saw she had succeeded, as in his soul he knew she would succeed.

Then it was that his quick and anxious glance asked the question: “Which?” It was as plain to her as if he shouted it from where he stood. There was not an instant to be lost. The question was asked in a flash; it must be answered in another.

Her right arm lay on the cushioned parapet before her. She raised her hand, and made a slight, quick movement toward the right. No one but her lover saw her. Every eye but his was fixed on the man in the arena.

He turned, and with a firm and rapid step he walked across the empty space. Every heart stopped beating, every breath was held, every eye was fixed immovably upon that man. Without the slightest hesitation, he went to the door on the right, and opened it.

Now, the point of the story is this: Did the tiger come out of that door, or did the lady ?

The more we reflect upon this question, the harder it is to answer. It involves a study of the human heart which leads us through devious mazes of passion, out of which it is difficult to find our way. Think of it, fair reader, not as if the decision of the question depended upon yourself, but upon that hot-blooded, semi-barbaric princess, her soul at a white heat beneath the combined fires of despair and jealousy. She had lost him, but who should have him?

How often, in her waking hours and in her dreams, had she started in wild horror, and covered her face with her hands as she thought of her lover opening the door on the other side of which waited the cruel fangs of the tiger!

But how much oftener had she seen him at the other door! How in her grievous reveries had she gnashed her teeth, and torn her hair, when she saw his start of rapturous delight as he opened the door of the lady! How her soul had burned in agony when she had seen him rush to meet that woman, with her flushing cheek and sparkling eye of triumph; when she had seen him lead her forth, his whole frame kindled with the joy of recovered life; when she had heard the glad shouts from the multitude, and the wild ringing of the happy bells; when she had seen the priest, with his joyous followers, advance to the couple, and make them man and wife before her very eyes; and when she had seen them walk away together upon their path of flowers, followed by the tremendous shouts of the hilarious multitude, in which her one despairing shriek was lost and drowned!

Would it not be better for him to die at once, and go to wait for her in the blessed regions of semi-barbaric futurity?

And yet, that awful tiger, those shrieks, that blood!

Her decision had been indicated in an instant, but it had been made after days and nights of anguished deliberation. She had known she would be asked, she had decided what she would answer, and, without the slightest hesitation, she had moved her hand to the right.

The question of her decision is one not to be lightly considered, and it is not for me to presume to set myself up as the one person able to answer it. And so I leave it with all of you: Which came out of the opened door,–the lady, or the tiger?

Hmm

Someone read through this with me or at least part of it and at the same pace so when we got to the end she said “I’d choose the tiger” and I was silent (I can see why both choices are feasible). I think the end note by the author is pertinent and poignant, when I was a teen I used to say to people “with power comes responsibility” prior to the Spiderman film trilogy (2002-07)and before reading a historical account (of course, little we think of is new) and I think the author put it really well in this story. It was not a light or easy decision to make and it took a ‘dark’ princess to make it. I already knew that in the above story I wouldn’t have chosen to send him to the tiger, and for many that would be the obvious answer and certainly of the moral theme we get in modernized fairy tales, children’s and adult media but I can see why she agonized over it. Some decisions are easy to make because we know it’s the right thing to do but try telling that to your feelings. Some we already know we will make even after deliberating or the appearance of deliberating either because we want to, have to or both. Sometimes there is no easy answer. In this case the consequences are heavy both ways. Here we take the feelings of The Lady lightly, it’s more about how the prisoner, how the royalty and bystanders feel.

On a superficial level only thinking of the obvious prisoner I’d say not The Tiger; if he wasn’t a piece of cr*p that I unfortunately was in love with (and I’ve always believed that you can love sombody but you don’t have to be with them if you can’t for whatever reason, unless you’re forced/coerced/manipulated) then no matter how much it pained me for the rest of my life I’d rather he be happy, better off or at least not miserable, or in this case not eaten alive. He could believe anything he wanted/suited him about me, that I was trash, a tramp, that all the truth I’d said was lies, it wouldn’t matter as long as he was ok. The phrase ‘that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ has always been bs to me, there’s plenty of things worse than death and if the princess here chose The Lady she’d be choosing a slow, weakening death of herself for the one she loved.

But what about The Lady, don’t you have to protect her too? She doesn’t have a choice either. It’s a rock and a hard place for the obvious prisoner and her, she’s a prisoner too, a prisoner displayed as a prize to be used however the victor sees fit – and as the story outlines, not all the victors are even innocent let alone nice.

Which brought me back to the cards in the book, The Lady or The Tiger and protagonist surprising herself in the end by learning she is both. A real guardian is supposed to be both ferocious and kind. To love and protect, to have and to hold, to give and destroy. Not everyone is worth helping or saving, many come back to bite you and everything they do to others after you’ve helped them is partially on your head. Yet much of the time it’s not for us to choose or we’re unable to choose and we just have to help as many as we can whilst we can. This was a really personal choice in the story. Sometimes you have to put yourself in a bad light to those you love (and/or who are ‘worth it’) to protect them – not hurting them or doing anything bad at all but just having to do what it takes to get them out of a situation even if that makes them hate you, even ruins your relationship/their opinion of you indefinitely. I said I wouldn’t choose The Tiger, but I wouldn’t choose The Lady either. The situation says there are two options but having the strength to make more I’d have to make more no matter how long it took, how hard or the personal toll; I’d try to help all three prisoners (the Lover, the Lady and the Tiger) even from my own cage. I wonder if that’s what the dark princess, the door guardian, chooser, did.

Apparently there was a sequel:

Stockton later wrote “The Discourager of Hesitancy,” a short story, sequel, of sorts, to “The Lady, or the Tiger?,” that begins with travelers visiting the kingdom to discover whether the prince in “The Lady or the Tiger” chose death or the maiden. This is answered with a second story, in which a prince comes to the kingdom to find a wife. He is blindfolded, married to one of forty beautiful maidens and given the ultimatum that he must correctly identify his bride. If he fails, the king’s guard will immediately put him to death. He narrows the choice to two maidens, one of whom smiles and the other who frowns. He chooses correctly and the visitors who came for their answer are told they will only be given the answer to “The Lady or the Tiger” conundrum if they answer this new one correctly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady,_or_the_Tiger

This story later became a part of a triple play called ‘The Apple Tree’.

The Apple Tree is a series of three musical playlets with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and a book by Bock and Harnick with contributions from Jerome Coopersmith. Each act has its own storyline, but all three are tied together by a common theme (someone who believes that they want something, but once they get what they wanted they realize that it wasn’t what they wanted) and common references, such as references to the color brown. The first act is based on Mark Twain’s The Diary of Adam and Eve; the second act is based on Frank R. Stockton’sThe Lady or the Tiger?; the third act is based on Jules Feiffer’s Passionella. The working title for the evening of three musicals was Come Back! Go Away! I Love You!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apple_Tree

Tiger Lily flower

TigerLily: not pretty, delightful or elegant is it (sorry Nature if it was you who made it and not people’s cross breeding). Not a flower I’d choose for myself but I guess we can’t all be lovable.

Judgement by its very nature can be both punishment and reward. That’s life – the myriad of thoughts, feelings and acts; wants, needs and desires; it sucks.