Monday, July 20, 2009

And the Name I Am Called is Rumpelstiltskin... or Bob

Long ago, a miller wanted to appear important in front of the king, so he lied and said that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king was intrigued. He ordered that the girl be shut locked in a tower with only straw and a spinning wheel. He demanded that, for three nights, she spin straw into gold. If she could not, she would be executed. (On the bracelet you will find a tiny sterling spinning wheel and bunches of straw, made from Czech glass bugle beads.)



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The daughter was sure she was doomed until a dwarf appeared in the tower. (On the bracelet he bears a striking resemblance to a sterling yard gnome.)



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The first night, in exchange for her necklace, he spun straw into gold. (The gold on the bracelet is pyrite, also known as “fool’s gold.” Kind of appropriate, given the dysfunctionality of the girl’s father.) The king was delighted, and the next night again locked her in the tower with more straw.



The miller’s daughter began to weep. What were the odds of a strange gold-spinning dwarf appearing twice? But appear, he did. This time, in exchange for the girl’s ring, he again spun straw into gold. The king was thrilled. This was better than that goose that laid golden eggs!


By the third night, the girl was desperate. When the dwarf appeared, she had nothing left with which she could barter. But her life was at stake. In exchange for the dwarf’s magical spinning, the dwarf demanded that, when she was queen, she would give him her first-born child.


Sure that the odds of that happening were slim to none, the miller’s daughter agreed. When the king saw the new pile of gold, he was so impressed that he married the miller’s daughter, though this wasn’t what his mother had in mind when she told him to marry well. (You will find a little sterling crown on the bracelet, for the miller’s daughter was now a queen.)



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All went well, considering that she had just married a man who had earlier threatened to have her executed. Soon the queen (formerly known as the miller’s daughter) gave birth to a child. (This child can be seen as a baby in a basket. The sterling charm is moveable; the top of the basket opens to reveal the baby.)


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The dwarf returned to claim his payment. "Now give me what you promised!” he demanded. The queen offered to give him all her wealth if he would let her keep her child. The dwarf refused. A deal, after all, is a deal. “But,” he told her, “I will give up my claim if you can guess my name. You have three nights.”


The queen sent a messenger out into the world to learn the identity of the little man. Each night the dwarf came to her and she guessed at names. Was he Algernon? Bertram? Catheter? The dwarf danced with glee; she would never guess his name.


The next night the messenger had not yet returned, and the queen guessed again. Was the dwarf’s name Mortimer? Nixon? Opossum?


But before the final night, the messenger returned. Deep in the forest and high on a mountaintop, he had found the dwarf’s cottage. Inside the dwarf sang with glee:


"Today do I bake, tomorrow I brew,

The day after that the queen's child comes in;

And oh! I am glad that nobody knew

That the name I am called is Rumpelstiltskin!”


When the dwarf returned on the third night, the queen again guessed at his name. Yanov? Xavier? Zachary?


The dwarf was ready to seize the baby when the queen gave her last best guess. “Is your name, perchance, Rumpelstiltskin?”


The dwarf flew into a rage and, in various versions of the story:

1) Ran way and never came

2) Stomped his foot so hard he drove it into the earth and then, in a rage, tore himself in two

3) Flew out the window on a cooking ladle.

None of these endings is pictured on the bracelet. You shall have to decide which you prefer. It is right here.


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2 comments:

  1. GREAT challenge piece Eleanor!

    Popping in to say hello & wish you a wonderful weekend!

    Chris :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Chris! Have a vunderful veekend yourself!

    ReplyDelete