The "Choose Your Own Adventure" Fairy Tale Tag (Round Two)
I did the first "Choose Your Own Adventure" Fairy Tale Tag here. The gist of it is, you're presented with different fantasy scenarios inspired by fairy tales, and you are given a choice as to what to do in those situations. I had a lot of fun with the first one (the 2021 edition) and I thought I'd give this one (the 2022 edition) a try.
RUMPELSTILTSKIN: You’ve just heard news that a poor girl has been taken by the king to spin straw into gold or suffer a beheading. Well, you just happen to be able to spin straw into gold and would like to help. The problem? You can only awaken your ability by someone relinquishing their greatest desire to you, thus you never like to use your ability. But if you don’t now, an innocent girl dies. What do you do?
My choice: I think this means that someone doesn't just tell me their greatest desire, but that they have to give it up/never pursue it. Well...this is a really hard decision, but I don't want an innocent person to die. So I would have to find someone willing to give up what they want. I know other desires can bloom in time, but I myself have my own desires I don't want to give up, so I know this is asking something impossible. Like, if someone wanted me to give up writing, I think I would sink into a deep depression and not want to function anymore. I'm sure there's someone out there who would want to save a life, though. So I'll try to save one, too.
RAPUNZEL: As crown prince, your father the king gives you a task to prove you’re worthy of the throne. You’re to go slay a witch and rescue a girl who has been locked away in a tower by the witch’s hands. Except when you get there…the girl has absolutely no desire to leave the tower and claims she’s quite fond of the witch. If you don’t kill the witch and bring the girl back, the crown will be given to your ruthless younger brother who will no doubt bring ruin to the kingdom. What course of action do you take?
My choice: I would present the situation of the crown going to a tyrant to the girl in the tower, and see if she would help. I can't force anyone to do anything against their will, but I would mention that the girl could visit the witch any time she wanted to, and that after I was crowned, she could even go back and live with the witch if she wanted. Hopefully that would sway her.
ALADDIN: You’re the son of the vizier and soon to marry the princess, your friend whom you grew up with. Only a mysterious Prince Aladdin comes and claims the princess as his own. By luck, you discover Aladdin has a secret magical lamp – but also that the princess is in love with him. What do you do with the lamp and the secret you now know?
My choice: I don't think I would do anything. Aladdin would probably wish on the lamp to marry the princess anyway, so it's not like I could keep that marriage going. Plus, I can't ever imagine myself marrying a childhood friend. As for the lamp, as much as I'd want it, it's possible there could be some sort of trap or spell on the lamp to protect it from other people getting their hands on it. It all just seems to risky to me to meddle with.
SLEEPING BEAUTY: As the youngest fairy, you’re still trying to learn the tricks of the fairy trade. When the vengeful oldest fairy curses a poor baby princess, it’s now up to you to give her one blessing that will somehow counteract this curse. What is it?
My choice: I don't have enough information here! What is the specific curse the vengeful fairy cast? I can't make a decision until I know what that is. Otherwise, I'd cast a very generic "spell to undo evil magic" and call it a day.
SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED: You are living peacefully with your mother and sister in your cottage in the woods when there’s an urgent knock on the door. Upon opening it you find a dwarf, and he’s holding a chest full of treasure. He begs you to hide it for him because a wicked and greedy bear is hunting him down to steal the treasure which the dwarf says are his family heirlooms they have spent generations digging up in their underground home. Not wanting the poor man to be mauled by a bear, you agree to hide his treasure for a time. That evening, there is another knock. It’s a bear. Except he seems quite friendly and says he is simply looking for a warm place to sleep before he returns to hunting down a dwarf who has stolen his treasure. Now you don’t know who to believe, the dwarf or the bear. What actions do you take to solve this mystery and return the treasure to its rightful owner?
My choice: I would question the bear a little more before making a decision. Or maybe I would hide the treasure from both until a jury of peers can decide after hearing evidence, because I suck at making difficult choices.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: You’re a wolf in the forest, minding your own business, when that airheaded girl Red Riding Hood stumbles through your territory again. And it looks like she’s lost on the way to her grandmother’s house…again. Wolf though you may be, you’re not particularly inclined to eating humans, especially little girls, like the rest of your pack. In fact, naive though she is, you’ve grown rather fond of this particular little girl. The problem is, your pack is nearby and will no doubt spot her at any moment. But if you help her, she may get in her head that all wolves are nice and not be cautious around them. Worse, if your pack spots you aiding her, you’ll be shamed and banished from the pack for sure. How can you help Red find her way back to her grandmother’s house without her or the pack knowing about it?
My choice: Since Little Red Riding Hood is a little on the dumb side, I'd probably dress up in a costume and trick her into thinking I'm someone else (since it worked with the wolf dressing up as her grandmother). As for the wolves, they're probably too smart to fall for that, but maybe from a distance I could look human enough to have them pay no mind.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: As a fairy godmother, you keep track not only of deserving individuals, but of delinquent ones as well. You’ve heard rumors of a spoiled prince deep in the woods and decide to check out those rumors yourself. When you arrive in disguise as an old beggar woman, he sends you haughtily away with a variety of insults to boot. What punishment -if any- will you bestow upon him to give him a lesson?
My choice: Well, in the original Beauty and the Beast, it didn't go this way at all, and the fairy was evil. So, remembering that story, I have some sympathy for the Prince. But in this scenario, I'd probably punish him for insulting me by taking away his voice for a few days: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Although, to be honest, that's probably not enough of a punishment to sway an asshole from being an asshole.
THE FROG PRINCE: The prince whom you love has turned into a frog and tells you that only the first kiss of his true love can break his curse. However, you never told him that a fairy cursed your first kiss to be to the man who will destroy your kingdom. What do you do?
My choice: This is a hard one! I would probably sacrifice my love to save my kingdom, and try to have the prince fall in love with someone else.
THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA: After your engagement to the prince is announced, you learn that his mother, the Queen, put a pea under your mattress to check if you were really a princess. You’re upset and decide to get some revenge on this petty royal family. You declare you must prove that the prince is really a prince. What will your test be?
My choice: Oh my gosh! Another good one! Um...I would probably do something really bureaucratic and annoying out of spite, like have the royal family give me their family tree all the way back to the beginning. And then I would probably ask for a certificate directly from God granting the first right to the very first king (since there's that whole idea from forever that kings are chosen by God). So then I'd probably start a revolution or something because they won't be able to produce a God-manufactured certificate.
TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES: As the king you have 12 daughters you wish to teach how to run the kingdom. Your days are numbered and you must leave the kingdom to one of them. However, your daughters are mysteriously dancing every night and are so exhausted during the day they fall asleep through all their lessons. What do you do?
My choice: I don't remember this story very well but I would probably follow them to see where they are going and try to break the spell they're under. Or else I would find a way to teach historical lessons through the power of choreography, ha ha!
Wow, these were kind of hard for me this time, and I don't think my answers were all that imaginative. But this was a lot of fun to play! I always have a hard time making difficult choices, and even though these are imaginary scenarios, I'll probably spend more time thinking about them, doubting whether or not I made the right choice, because I'm kind of neurotic in that way. Oh well. Please give this one a try and link back to me if you do it!