Friday, February 3, 2012

52 Weeks of Fairy Tales Week #5- Rumpelstiltskin

This week I have chosen the classic Grimm's tale - Rumpelstiltskin.

Rumpelstiltskin is an interesting fairy tale, and like most fairy tales, there are multiple versions.  I will include some of the variations in parentheses.  

There was once a miller, and in order to impress the king, he boasted that his daughter could spin straw into gold.  

The king demanded that this girl be brought to the palace so he could see for himself if she really could spin straw into gold.  The miller's daughter was brought to the palace, the king brought her to a room filled with straw, and demanded that she spin all of the straw into gold in one night or she would be sent to the dungeon forever (or executed - in some versions).  The poor girl, who of course could not spin the straw into gold, sat amongst all of the straw and wept.  Soon, however, a little man, who had heard the girl crying, appeared in the straw filled room and asked why she was crying.  The miller's daughter explained that she must spin all of the straw into gold by morning or be sent to the dungeon, and she didn't know what to do.  The little man told the girl that he would spin the straw into gold in exchange for a gift.  The girl didn't have much, but offered him her necklace, so the little man spun the straw into gold in one night.

The next morning the King came in, and saw that the straw had been spun into gold. The king became greedy, and brought the girl into an even larger room, filled with even more straw.  The king again demanded that the girl spin all the straw into gold by morning ,or down to the dungeon she would go.  Again, the girl sat in the room, and cried, not knowing what to do.  Again, the little man appeared, and offered to spin the straw into gold, in exchange for a gift.  The girl gave the little man her ring, and the little man went right to work and spun all of the straw into gold.  The next morning the king was pleased to again see a room full of gold.

The Miller's Daughter was brought to a third room, even larger than the last, again filled with straw.  The king told her that if she could spin all of the straw into gold by morning, the girl would become queen.  If she did not, she would be sent to the dungeon forever.  One last time, she sat in the room, surrounded by straw, and began to cry.  The little man appeared, and again offered to spin the straw into gold for a gift.  The miller's daughter was not a wealthy girl, and she had nothing left to give the little man.  She explained to the little man that if she could spin all of the straw to gold she would become queen.  The little man then told the girl, that if she would promise him her first born child, that he would spin the straw in to gold.  The girl didn't know what else to do, and not really thinking of the consequences, she agreed.  So the little man spun the straw into gold.

The next morning the King saw that the room, was filled with gold- so he married the miller's daughter.  A year passed, and the miller's daughter, who was now the queen, had a little baby.  She loved her little baby very much.  One day she was rocking her little baby, when the little man appeared.  He reminded the queen of her promise, to give the little man her first born child.  The queen begged the little man to not take her child, she promised him all the riches he could want.  The little man wanted the child.  The queen burst into tears, and the little man gave her one more chance, he told the queen that if she could guess his name in three days, he would not take her baby.  

The queen spent the first day guessing all the names she could think of, but none of the names were right.  She sent out the servants to find as many unusual names as they could, the second day she guessed again, but still could not guess the little man's name.  Again the servants were sent out to search the countryside for any unusual names they could find.  Late that evening one of the servants came upon a little house in the woods, in front of the house was a strange little man, dancing and singing around a fire.  The servant ducked behind a tree to listen.

The little man sang:

" Today I brew, tomorrow I bake,
  And then the little child I will take;
  For no one knows my little game
  That Rumpelstiltskin in my name! "

The servant went straight back to the queen and told her what he saw.  The next day when the little man came to get the baby, the queen pretended to guess a few more names, the little man said no, and demanded the child.  The queen then asked "Is your name Rumpelstiltskin?"  The little man grew very angry, and demanded to know who told her.  Rumpelstiltskin grew so angry he jumped up and down, over and over again, so hard, that broke a hole in the ground and fell right in, never to be see again. ( In other versions, he runs away in a fit of temper, or flies away on a soup ladle, and I will let you read the Grimm's version which has a little darker ending for Rumpelstiltskin.)  The Queen and her family live happily ever after.

The scene in this fairy tale that has always stuck with me the most, is Rumpelstiltskin dancing and singing around the fire in the woods.  So I decide to make a little Rumpelstiltskin doll and set the scene.

Here is a closer picture of the Rumpelstiltskin doll.

I set the scene with some of wooden trees, and my little gnome home.  The fire is made from cut up twigs and some wool roving.

I am hoping to work with some photos of this scene to make a page for the fairy tale scrap book I started with last week tale - 52 Weeks of Fairy Tales Week # 4 ~ The twelve Dancing Princesses .

I also decided to add to my dollhouse miniatures collection, and placed and order for a miniature spinning wheel, which will come in handy, as the spinning wheel is an important part of another Grimm's Tale called The Three Spinners, which I will be sharing next month.

Instructions for making wire wrapped dolls, as well as some of the patterns for their clothing, can be found in Sally Mavor's Book Felt Wee Folk.

(My Amazon Affiliate Link)

I just found out today, that the author of this book, is coming to Portland, OR. in April to show some of her work and talk about her new children's book, I am looking forward to attending.  I have enjoyed her creations for years.
Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!


  1. Hi April, I am really enjoying your 52 Weeks of Fairy Tales! Where did you come up with the idea? I look forward to more!

  2. April, I love this craft!! I am so enjoying your series.

  3. What an appropriate place for the nasty Rumpelstiltskin to end up! Here's a quote from Audrey Hepburn to you, April, "If I'm honest, I have to tell you I still read fairy tales, and I like them best of all."

  4. Sheila~ Thank you, I am glad your enjoying the series :) I have always loved fairy tales, and have always thought it would be fun to do a study on fairy tales, as well as come up with ideas for teaching fairy tales. I started writing down ideas, and decided it would make a really fun blog project for the year. :)

    Carrie~ Thank you! I had a lot of fun making this little guy, and setting his scene. Glad you are enjoying the series. :)

    Jane~ Thanks for the quote, how fun! I really enjoy Audrey Hepburn, love her style, and grew up watching My Fair Lady all the time. Great Quote!!

  5. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday, April!! I always look forward to what you share. Have a wonderful week!

  6. This story has always left me confused. Why promise gold or a baby?

  7. Thanks Carrie! Hope your week is wonderful as well.

    JDaniel4's Mom~ In my reading about this tale, others felt this as well. I tend to look at it as a moral lesson about not not boasting (as the miller did to the King), Not being greedy (the king and the miller) and not taking advantage of someone in an awful situation as Rumpelstiltskin did to the Miller's daughter. It is frustrating that the Miller and the King didn't have some consequence.

    Interesting discussion point for sure. :) I will be sharing The Three Spinners next month, a fairly similar plot, but a different outcome, that I tend to like a bit more. Thanks for your comment.

    Hope everyone had a nice Sunday, we had another beautiful sunshiny day!

  8. I love it!

    We're doing fairy tales this year too, although so far we've only made a castle and some Princess and the Pea activities.

  9. Oh, I love this idea! I have a love of the old fairytales. I am curious at what age you think the original Grimm's tales would be appreciated and not scary?

  10. Brenna~ Some of the original Grimm's are fine for young kids and some aren't. The best age for a child to be told a more frightening Grimm tale would really vary based on the child, and their personality, some of them I would even wait on until the child is a teen, and can study it from an adult viewpoint. When my kids were younger, I would read the tale first, and make a few appropriate changes when needed. There are a lot of versions that are very close to the original but changed just enough to be great for kids.

    Thanks for the question :)

    Eddie~ Thanks for stopping by, your castle craft and Princess and the Pea activity sound fun, I am really looking forward to crafting Princess and the Pea. :)

  11. This was one of my favorite fairy tales as a child. I love, love your doll. I meant to tell you, and I apologize if you already found this book, but while I was at the library this past week I found a book called, “Fairy Tale Feasts” by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple. There are some unusual fairy tales and each one is paired with some various kid friendly recipes. I thought of you when I saw it! Thanks for linking up to AfterSchool and I hope to see you back tomorrow.


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