Monday, April 3, 2017

Grimm Reviews – “Sweetheart Roland”

“Sweetheart Roland”

A witch had two daughters, one ugly and evil and one beautiful and good. She hated the good daughter because she was only a step-daughter.

One day, the good daughter put on an apron that the evil daughter wanted. The evil daughter complained to the witch who decided it was time to kill the good daughter. She told the evil one to make the good daughter sleep on the outside of the bed that night, and the witch would chop her head off in the middle of the night.

The good daughter overheard this, and that night – after the evil daughter went to sleep – she put the evil daughter on the outside of the bed. The witch came and cut off her head with an axe.

The good daughter then slipped out of the house to her sweetheart Roland. Roland told her that she should take the witch’s wand, so she couldn’t catch them. So the good daughter went back and grabbed the wand. She also grabbed the head of her evil step sister and dropped a drop of blood on the steps, in the kitchen, and by the bed. She then went back to Roland.

When the witch woke, she called out to her daughter and heard the blood drops answer. But she couldn’t see her, until she got to the bed and saw that she had killed her own daughter in the night. The witch was furious, but was able to see the daughter and Roland escaping. So she put on these magic boots that walked an hour for every stride and set out after them.

When they saw the witch coming to them, the daughter used the wand to change Roland into a lake and herself into a duck. When the witch arrived, she threw bread crumbs to get the duck to come near her, but she stayed away. At night she went back home and Roland and the girl continued their flight.

The next day the witch again caught up to them. This time, the girl changed herself into a flower in a hedge of thorns and Roland into a fiddle player. When the witch tried to pluck the flower, Roland played his fiddle and the witch had to dance. He kept playing until the thorns scratched her to death.

Roland went home to plan the wedding, while the girl changed herself into a milestone to wait. But when Roland reached home, he fell in with another woman and forgot the girl. The girl waited, but eventually grew depressed so she changed herself into a flower in the hope someone would step on her.

But a shepherd found the flower and took it home. After that, his house was cleaned and his meals cooked by some unseen thing. He liked it, but it left him a bit uneasy. He talked to a wise woman who told him it was magic and if got up early he should see something doing the work. If he threw a white cloth over whatever it was, the spell would be broken. So he did that and the flower turned back into the girl. The shepherd asked her to marry him, but she still loved Roland. But she promised to stay and look after his house.

Eventually, Roland was to marry the other woman and all the girls in the countryside were to sing a song for them. When it came time for the girl to sing, Roland’s enchantment with the other woman ended and he went back to the good daughter.


So putting on an apron was the final straw that made the witch realize she should kill the good daughter? I’d say that’s unreasonable, but I’ve heard stories of people being shot over the last slice of pizza.

So instead of the witch calling out to her evil daughter that her good step sister was dead so they could celebrate, she just goes back to sleep?  Yes, they’re evil, but do you really want to chop off someone’s head while they are in bed?  Wouldn’t it be a hassle to wash all that blood out of the sheets?  Or are they so evil that they don’t care?  But then why care about an apron?

Oh, there were only three blood drops.  What?

Talking blood drops? I know the witch was going to kill the good daughter (who never received a name), but instead of just running away she tricks the witch into killing her own daughter. The morality of that is questionable. But then, doesn’t the talking blood drops just rub it in?

Was the witch afraid of the dark that she had to go back home?

Don’t tell anybody, but I think bits of this tale were plagiarized. See “The Foundling Bird” and “The Jew Among Thorns

So why did the girl have to stay in the field and couldn’t go home to plan the wedding?

Roland doesn’t sound like such a sweetheart, does he?

The girl has a magic wand, but the only way she can think of to die is to change herself into a flower and hope someone steps on her? Really?

How did a flower cook the meals? I guess it was just magic.

So the girl still loves the guy who left her in a field as a milestone and won’t marry the guy she’s been cooking and cleaning for? Bitch be crazy.


As I mentioned in my introductory post, I had already reviewed a bunch of stories on another site that imploded.  “Sweetheart Roland” was the last story I had reviewed, so up until now all these reviews have just been revised versions.  Starting next week, I’ll have to put new stuff out.  Just my luck the next several stories are long ones.

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