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R-rated Rapunzel...Why Was Her Dress Tight Across Her Tummy?

+3 votes
May 21, 2017 in Fun & Humor ☻ by Virginia (7,565 points)
edited May 21, 2017 by Virginia

I have been looking at the wonderful fantasy art of Danish illustrator Kay Nielsen (1886-1957); and it seems that in the original fairy tale as collected by the Brothers Grimm, the prince's visits were discovered when Rapunzel asked the witch, "Why is my dress getting tight across my tummy?"

In later versions, that part was extirpated, as being too racy for the little, can you help dear Rapunzel, what IS THE PROBLEM, here? (You see the witch's solution, as depicted by Nielsen...)


4 Answers

TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

LOL, I'm afraid the witch's solution came too late.

Um... unless she was going to do something else with those scissors...  :O :O :O

Virginia TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

Things DO seem to be a day late and dollar short, here, Good Morning O'Tink!

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

Good morning, Virginia!

Speaking of scissors, here is another children's tale from that same era, this one in Germany.

It is all too obvious that the moral of the story of "Konrad the Thumbsucker" was also meant to apply to other body parts.  :O :angel: :) :D

Virginia TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

OtherTink...I followed your link to its author, and Heinrich Hoffman (1809-1894) was, it appears, quite an interesting person! A physician and a psychiatrist...although apparently he kinda backed his way into psychiatry...

"(Hoffman's) statistical compilations show that up to 40% of (his patients) with acute cases of what would today be called schizophrenia were discharged after a few weeks or months, and stayed in remission for years and perhaps permanently. Always a skeptic, Hoffmann voices doubts whether this was due to any therapy he may have given them."

* * *

Schizophrenia is one thing I have looked into a bit, in the course of my life, and 40% remission is HUGE!

I have loved Grimm Bros. because of the archetypal qualities in the Black Forest tales, and Hoffman clearly works with a kind of symbology also...:D

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

@ Virginia,

Yes, a 40% remission rate would be huge. I think it's only been in the last 50 years or so that anti-psychotic drugs that really work have been developed.  Before that, it was shock therapy and cold baths. :(

Virginia TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

The last fifty years...not long, relatively. I have been interested in the experience of the Nobel laureate John Forbes Nash, who endured some of the more primitive treatments. He also claimed (as have other schizophrenics) that the meds make you feel flatline...lifeless. 

For him, his 'cure' (after several decades) was apparently that he just made the choice to live within conventional reality...

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

@ Virginia,

That's remarkable, that Nash was able to make it a matter of choice.  I thought the problem was that schizophrenics in general could not tell the difference.

Virginia TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

Yes O'Tink, quite remarkable of him...apparently however, it's not uncommon among schizophrenics; typically after many years/ regain some power of choice. Not everyone can do it, obviously...but I have actually seen it happen, a friend did it, in fact I helped him. 

So I felt this sudden yearning to have met Heinrich Hoffman...that's just incredible, up to 40%!

Marianne TheOtherTink May 22, 2017

Lol, Virginia, I couldn't help chuckling about Hoffmann's pseudonyms, namely "Heulalius von Heulenburg" (I am sure that T(h)ink will giggle about the word game: the verb and noun heulen / das Heulen refers to howl / howling, but if you remove the "H", you have "die Eule", in English the same, you remove the "h" and get the owl ...

Marianne TheOtherTink May 22, 2017


Talking of scissors reminded me also of Edward Scissorhands:

trimming bushes, trees and hair.

And - well - some people talked about "cutting what's protruding", but did not give more details ...

Human nature could and still can be very cruel and sick - as defined by psychiatrists and psychologists:


Virginia TheOtherTink May 22, 2017

Marianne it is indeed interesting of Hoffman's pseudonyms! 

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink May 22, 2017

:D :D :D

Marianne May 22, 2017

Lol - the illustrations are, indeed, very special, and fairy tale "Rapunzel" (from the Grimm brother's collection) has many versions and origins: 

Strange, there have been, some time ago, certain studies and analyses about various fairy tales relating to psychological "diagnoses" and certain perverse thoughts ...

Virginia Marianne May 22, 2017

Marianne, I had not even known of the Shahnameh ... is there overlap with the Black Forest fairy tales, do you know?

Marianne Marianne May 23, 2017


I can only suppose that old myths, legends and fairytales were spread through exchanges, i.e. communication, interpretations, trade, wars, invasions, alliances, travellers, nomads and migrations between the different population groups, and there were often links and alliances between ruling dynasties, among aristocrats and leading groups.

Virginia Marianne May 23, 2017

Marianne, I recently came upon an example of how the tales spread...from Germany, there are myths and legends of the Undine, or Ondine...beautiful water nymphs or spirits who would sometimes come to love human males and give up their immortality to marry them and become human.

Well Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark found those old Undine stories, and pretty soon he came up with THE LITTLE MERMAID! I copied this whole story, did some editing, and kept it!

Marianne Marianne May 24, 2017


Oh yes, I remember, and Undine was based on tales referring to Mélusine:

Virginia Marianne May 24, 2017

Marianne it is an interesting link...such luminaries as Mendelssohn and Goethe got in on the act here, producing versions of Melusine!

Marianne Marianne May 24, 2017

Yes, Virginia, most of these legendary tales, heroes and anti-heroes inspired various stories, tragedies and artworks, novels, ballads, operas, songs, movies, paintings, cartoons, studies, etc., etc.


Marianne Marianne May 25, 2017


Now that I think of it; the Franks, for instance, were one of the main links, after the Roman Empire, between present-day states Germany and France, the Saxons between Germany and England, the Norsemen between the Scandinavian countries and Germany, Normandy, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, Poland, Greenland, Canada, and also South Italia, etc., by raids and by settlements:

Migration Period:

Another important link between Asia and Europe was the Silk Road:

Rooster May 22, 2017

Maybe this version of the story would shed some light on the subject! :D

Virginia Rooster May 22, 2017

Rooster, I think it is likely my old browser, but I cannot get your link to open, I just get a blue question mark!

Virginia Rooster May 22, 2017

Rooster I think I got it!


Marianne Rooster May 23, 2017
Hitman May 22, 2017

Now this is Rapunzel to me! :D


Virginia Hitman May 22, 2017

Hey, Hitman!!! 

Now THOSE are some beautiful long long locks...Carla Rapunzel...

Marianne Hitman May 23, 2017

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