Rosa Lee – A Fairy Tale
A long time ago, in a small village between the two great mountains, lived a lovely young lady named Rosa Lee. Rosa Lee was said to be the most beautiful woman in all the land, and for this she got many great gifts. Riches that filled rooms and servants that served her bread and wine fit for a queen. She never talked to the commoners, and if one of her servants ever did something that upset her, she’d have them killed immediately. Her beauty may have been great, but her heart was cold and filled with greed.
A woman’s daughter was the head servant for Rosa Lee. One day, while Rosa Lee sat in her chambers awaiting her meal of turkey and potatoes, the daughter was in the kitchen, preparing dessert for Rosa Lee. She was baking a delicious pie, made with the most delectable berries and sweetest sugars. But, when she was carefully measuring out the salt, she spilled a bit too much in the bowl. ‘Oh, there is too much salt!’ she thought. ‘Well, I’m sure the lady won’t mind.’ She mixed all the ingredients and baked the pie, which smelled of the greatest essence. Not worried at all about the amount of salt, she hand delivered it to Rosa Lee, who insisted she stay for her first bite. She cut a small piece of the pie with her fork and put it in her mouth to let the flavors melt. The daughter smiled, but Rosa Lee was not pleased. She spit out the pie and ordered her servants to wash her mouth of the filth she had been fed.
“My lady,” said the daughter. “What is wrong with my pie?” “Isn’t it quite obvious?” she replied angrily. “There is too much salt, and for that you will be punished!” At once, she ordered the poor girl to be taken to the top of the cliff by the town butcher. “Take her to the cliff and chop her up. Then, throw the pieces out to the birds.” Fearing his own life, the butcher did what he was told.
When the woman heard of her daughter’s death, she mourned for many days and many nights. She didn’t leave her home and never spoke to even her dearest and closest friends. Her sister came to the door on the first day, and knocked three times. “Oh sister, sister. I am terribly sorry. But I brought you a gift to make you not worry. A cake I bring, for you and you only.”
“Oh, no. Oh, no,” the mother replied. “Leave me at once. I need you not at my side. Only one thing will make me happy again, and that is to see that the lady has died.” So, her sister took her cake and left the woman to mourn. On the second day, her father came to the door and knocked three times. “Oh daughter, daughter. I am terribly sorry. But I brought you a gift to make you not worry. Some diamonds I bring, for you and you only.”
“Oh, no. Oh, no,” the mother replied. “Leave me at once. I need you not at my side. Only one thing will make me happy again, and that is to see that the lady has died.” So the father took his diamonds and left the woman to mourn. On the third day, a stranger man came to the door and knocked three times. “Oh mourner, mourner. I have something for you. Powers I have, but a cost comes too. I can rid this land of the wicked lady, but in return I ask for your hand to marry.”
The mother thought for a bit, and finally said, “Why, yes. Why, yes. I want the lady dead. But, I don’t know you, and for that not to wed. Is there something else I can give to you? For this deed, if done, will see my happiness through.”
The man, saddened by the woman’s reply, left the woman to mourn. But, the next day, he returned with a new offer. “Oh mourner, mourner. A new offer I have. And if you take this offer, you’ll see the lady dead. The cost is small, but will benefit me. In return, I ask for your fingers three.”
The woman, astonished by the price, thought about how much she wanted revenge upon the lady. She finally decided to take the man up on the offer, and took her kitchen knife and severed three of her fingers. After giving them to the stranger man, he told her that he would kill the lady and she would be dead by the morning of the next day and left.
The man, with her three fingers in hand, went to the palace of Rosa Lee. The guard stood at the gate and stepped in his way.
“Halt, now! Who are you and why do you disturb the peace of your lady, Rosa Lee?” The stranger man looked into his eyes and hypnotized him with spoken command. “Tell the lady a prince is here, and that he bears great gifts. Tell her to meet by the well as the sun goes down, and come unattended, if she please.”
He left the guard there, and he unknowingly did as was commanded. The man went to the well, and as the sun began to set, the lady appeared, unattended and looking for her gift-bearing prince.
“Oh, sir. Where is my prince? He said he would meet me at this hour.” “I’m sorry, my lady. There is no such prince here. Just me and my three fingers.” “Three fingers?” she replied. “Well, what do you mean?” “Come closer, and I will show you.” Full of curiosity, she approached the stranger man, unknowing of his intentions. “Now, show me these fingers. I must see!” “If you wish, my lady. Now, just close your eyes.” She did as asked, and the stranger man grabbed her by the neck and forced her mouth open. He then proceeded to take one of the severed fingers and jam it in her throat. Rosa Lee turned purple and blue and fell dead into the well.
The woman, upon hearing the news of the ladies death, was filled with great joy. But, this joy was soon taken by a feeling of guilt. She looked down at her bloody hand and thought about how she had caused the death of this woman. Yes, she mourned the loss of her daughter and deeply hated the guts of Rosa Lee, but was it worth her death? The feeling of guilt grew and grew, until finally she could take it no longer. The woman left her home for the first time in a week and went to the well.
“I’m deeply sorry,” she said aloud. “For your death, my lady. What you did was wrong and what I did was too. But, now, I will see my happiness through.” The woman then stepped off into the well and fell to the bottom, with the body of Rosa Lee. And there she remained for years to come, but her spirit resided with her daughter again in heaven above.
© Copyright Brendan Swogger 2012
I recently started reading all the original Grimm fairy tales. They were, in fact, very grim. The dark atmospheres, the gory descriptions, they all fell into place with morals and often happy endings. They were perfection. I was inspired by many. Cinderella with the chopping of the toes and pecking of the eyes, The Dog and the Sparrow with the hatchet killing the man at the end. I had made my mind up that I, myself, would attempt to write a fairy tale in the style of The Brothers Grimm. No, it is definitely not up to par with what they set, but it is my original story and written how I saw the whole scenario play out in my mind. Comment below and tell me what you think! Happy Reading! 😉