Fairy Tales Redux

A Do-Over (or Two)

By Jeff Salter

What fairy tale would I like to re-imagine… and which genre would I select?

Well, before I respond to the actual question, let me say a word or two about fairy tales.


I’ve always enjoyed them… since I was a kid. And, as we’ve already discussed here this week, I’m glad I accessed the “sanitized” versions of most of them — since quite a few are grisly.

Among the valuable lessons I’ve found satisfying about fairy tales are these:

*** It takes the unvarnished honesty of a child to cut through the haze — as in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

*** When you’re overburdened with work, be very careful who you accept help from — as in “Rumplestiltskin.”

*** While you’re going through that awkward stage with pimples and hormones, just know that you’ll probably end up looking and feeling better in a few years — as in “The Ugly Duckling.”

*** Even if you live in the remote woods, lock your doors when you leave your cottage — as in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

*** If you cannot even recognize your own grandmother, you have no business traipsing through the woods alone — as in “Little Red Riding Hood.”

There are many others, but I’ll cut my list short for now.

As far as re-imagining fairy tales, I’ve actually already written one. A couple of years ago, I re-did the saga of Red Riding Hood, with a few dark twists.

One of the ones I’d like to tackle – if I could find the time and concentration – is Jack and the Beanstalk. Not sure about the genre, because I’ve already seen comedic versions (a la Abbott and Costello) and special effects versions (a la Jack Black). Maybe I’d write it as a detective story.

Another fairy tale I’d like to tackle would be The Elves and the Shoemaker — possibly from the POV of one of the low-ranking elves.

And possibly a new take on the Pied Piper tale, in which the POV is an off-duty cop who gets “word” from the street that somebody’s coming to town to steal all the kiddos.

But, as I said, all those will have to wait. I still haven’t completed my paperwork for the CPA to file my 2019 income taxes!


Which fairy tale is YOUR favorite? Which one would you like to re-configure?


[JLS # 495]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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13 Responses to Fairy Tales Redux

  1. kathleenbee says:

    Hahaha. I like your pearls of wisdom. I think I’d like to write a branch-off of Rapunzel one day. But at the moment, I don’t get much time to write. I may start planning a new book with that theme. Fairy tales do have a way of inspiring stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    So what’s the name of you book that was a knock-off of Red Riding Hood? I don’t recognize it from the ones I’ve read. And yes, there are all sorts of lessons learned from these traditional fairy tales.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Oh, it’s a mere short story. I had intended to include it in the recent Dingbat anthology — with my brother — but we later decided to limit the number of tales to 10 (or five each).


  3. Unlike nursery rhymes, which most of came from political statements on the times the writer lived in, fairy tales were actual stories handed down through the generations. I guess our ancestors thought it was fun to scare the daylights out of their children. 😦 But they’ve been refined greatly through the years. It would be interesting to read your spin on Red Riding Hood, Jeff. And a new take on Rapunzel would be interesting as well, Kathleen. But for myself, I’d rather think up new stories, even though I mentioned earlier this week that I might give Beauty and the Beast a go. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      yes, and many of those “political” allusions are so obscure — to us in modern times — that it makes no sense to me even when somebody explains it. Like “ring around the rosy” is a supposed reference to the plague. Huh?


      • Yes, the ring around the rosy to me means they were going in circles. Sort of like things are today. 😦 Pocket full of posies, would probably be a reference to the plague itself. Ashes, ashes is no doubt the ashen look on the faces of those who were dying from it, and “all fall down” is the death. Years ago, I did a study on the rhymes, but I’ve forgotten who most of them were all about except they were mostly directed at the king of England, or his cronies.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your takes, and I did one of them for tomorrow’s post, but from a different perspective…I like your idea better, but mine’s for the offering. We should all get our acts together sometime for an anthology.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jbrayweber says:

    I usually do romance, but with a fairy tale adaptation, I’d follow the original vein of The Grimm Brothers’ darker themes and not-so-happy endings. Paranormal would be the genre, for sure.


  6. You should definitely write a version of the pied piper. I don’t think I have read any reimagined versions of that story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Your illustration is good. It says a lot about fairy tales.

    Liked by 1 person

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