The Real Rumpelstiltskin

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The Real Rumpelstiltskin
Nate Weil


Once there was a boy named Trufflefairskin. He was the local prince charming, and everyone admired him. One day, an old man came to town and asked him for some food and shelter for the night. Laughing at the man, he denied him both. But then the man cast off his ragged cloak, revealing himself to be a wizard. He cursed Trufflefairskin, making him short and ugly with a hunched back. Finally, the wizard changed his name to Rumpelstiltskin. With that, he vanished in a puff of smoke.

No one except his mother believed that he was the same person, now he was just a nobody that could be laughed at. No one liked him anymore, and his life became unbearable.

Finally, he decided to move away. Leaving a note to his mother, he left with only the clothes on his back to start a fresh life in another kingdom. He lived off of the odd job, sleeping under the stars at night. He was starting to enjoy life again.

One morning, he awoke to the sound of royal trumpets, announcing the royal carriage. As the countless royal horses bearing members of the royal court passed, Rumpelstiltskin saw a chance to change his life. As the carriage itself approached, he jumped in front of it. The driver slammed on the brakes, and the horses screeched to the halt.

As the dust settled a royal boot stepped onto the ground, followed by the other. And there before him stood King Midas.

Boldly Rumpelstiltskin walked up to the king and said, "Your majesty, I am a poor traveller seeking a secure life. Might I become a page in your court?" The king liked him instantly, and granted him the honor of serving him.

Over the years, Rumpelstiltskin became the King's closest friend and advisor. Then, one day, King Midas became very sick. The doctors said he only had not long to live. On his deathbed, the king called Rumpelstiltskin to his side, and shared his greatest secret; how to turn objects into gold. Then, he died. In his grief and rage, Rumpelstiltskin travelled back to his old village. There he turned everyone but his mother into gold.

After calming down, he thought things through. King Midas and his mother were the only two people in the world who accepted him for who he was. Thought he longed to start a family, he knew no one would marry him. So he decided instead to move to a new town with his mother.

Life in their new home was good. He stayed out of sight, and no one knew that someone aside from his mother lived in their home. But then, one day, he read something in the local newspaper which gave him an idea.

There was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. Now it happened that he had to go and speak to the King.

In order to make himself appear important he said to him, "I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold."

The King said to the miller, "That is an art which pleases me well; if your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her to-morrow to my palace, and I will try what she can do."

And when the girl was brought to him he took her into a room which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel, and said, "Now set to work, and if by to-morrow morning early you have not spun this straw into gold during the night, you must die." Thereupon he himself locked up the room, and left her in it alone. So there sat the poor miller's daughter, and for her life could not tell what to do; she had no idea how straw could be spun into gold, and she grew more and more miserable, until at last she began to weep.

But all at once the door opened, and in came a little man, and said, "Good evening, Mistress Miller; why are you crying so?"

"Alas!" answered the girl, "I have to spin straw into gold, and I do not know how to do it."

"What will you give me," said the manikin, "if I do it for you?"

"My necklace," said the girl. The little man took the necklace, walked up to the haystack, and touched it. By day-break the King was already there, and when he saw the gold he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more greedy. He had the miller's daughter taken into another room full of straw, which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that also in one night if she valued her life. The girl knew not how to help herself, and was crying, when the door again opened, and the little man appeared, and said,

"What will you give me if I spin the straw into gold for you?"

"The ring on my finger," answered the girl. The little man took the ring, again touched the hay, and by morning had turned all the straw into glittering gold.

The King rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had not gold enough; and he had the miller's daughter taken into a still larger room full of straw, and said, "You must spin this, too, in the course of this night; but if you succeed, you shall be my wife." "Even if she be a miller's daughter," thought he, "I could not find a richer wife in the whole world."

When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third time, and said, "What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this time also?"

"I have nothing left that I could give," answered the girl.

"Then promise me, if you should become Queen, your first child."

"Who knows whether that will ever happen?" thought the miller's daughter; and, not knowing how else to help herself in this strait, she promised the manikin what he wanted, and for that he once more turned the straw to gold.

And when the King came in the morning, and found all as he had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's daughter became a Queen.

A year after, she had a beautiful child, and she never gave a thought to the manikin. But suddenly he came into her room, and said, "Now give me what you promised." The Queen was horrorstruck, and offered the manikin all the riches of the kingdom if he would leave her the child. But the manikin said, "No, something that is living is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world." Then the Queen began to weep and cry, so that the manikin pitied her. "I will give you three days' time," said he; "if by that time you find out my name, then shall you keep your child."

So the Queen thought the whole night of all the names that she had ever heard, and she sent a messenger over the country to inquire, far and wide, for any other names that there might be. When the manikin came the next day, she began with Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and said all the names she knew, one after another; but to every one the little man said, "That is not my name." On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighbourhood as to the names of the people there, and she repeated to the manikin the most uncommon and curious. "Perhaps your name is Shortribs, or Sheepshanks, or Laceleg?"

But he always answered, "That is not my name."

On the third day the messenger came back again, and said, "I have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was jumping: he hopped upon one leg, and shouted -

"'To-day I bake, to-morrow brew, The next I'll have the young Queen's child. Ha! glad am I that no one knew That Rumpelstiltskin I am styled."

You may think how glad the Queen was when she heard the name! And when soon afterwards the little man came in, and asked, "Now Mistress Queen, what is my name?"

At first she said, "Is your name Conrad?"

"No."

"Is your name Harry?"

"No."

"Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?"

"The devil has told you that! the devil has told you that!" cried the little man, and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in; and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two. But the Queen and King, however, lived happily ever after with their child.

The end.
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