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MARGARITA MYROGIANNI
“Little Red Riding Hood was my first love. I felt that I could have married Little Red Riding Hood, I should have known perfect bliss.” This statement by Charles Dickens indicates that he, like untold millions of children all over the world throughout the ages, was enchanted by fairy tales.
Fairy tales intimate that despite adversities, a rewarding good life is within one’s reach, but only if one does not shy away from the hazardous struggles, without which one can never achieve true identity. These stories promise that if a child dares to engage in this fearsome and taxing search, benevolent powers will come to his aid and he will succeed. The stories also warn that those who are too timorous and narrow-minded to risk finding themselves must settle down to a humdrum existence-if an even worse fate does not befall them.
The figures and events of fairy tales also personify and illustrate inner conflicts, but they suggest ever so subtly how these conflicts may be solved, and what the next steps in the development towards a higher humanity might be. The fairy tale is presented in a simple, homely way; no demands are made on the listener. This prevents even the smallest child from feeling compelled to act in a specific way, and he is never made to feel inferior. Far from making demands, the fairy tale reassures, gives hope for the future and holds out the promise of a happy ending. That is why Lewis Carroll calls it a “love-gift”. *      
 
*Extracts from Bruno Bettelheim’s book “The Uses of Enchantment- The Meaning and Importance of  Fairy Tales”
 
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Once upon a time there was a young and beautiful princess who lived in the depths of a city. Every night, an evil spell forced her to climb the chimney to the roof of her tower and embroider. One evening, when the sky was bluer than blue and only a lit window could be seen in the horizon, as she walked towards her castle, she stopped and looked around and realized that she was lost. Τhen she saw an old woman walking towards her, wagging her head. Now this woman was a witch. 'Old lady,' the princess said to her, 'can you perhaps show me the way through the buildings? 'Oh yes, my lady princess', she answered, 'that I can, but on one condition: if you don't agree to it, you'll never find your way and you'll starve to death .'What condition?' asked the princess. 'You must first go to the enchanted red hotel', said the old woman. 'There lives a strange old man who speaks the language of the wolves. You must learn his secret and tell me'. In her mortal fear, the princess consented and the old woman disappeared.

So the princess left and travelled along highways, till at last she reached the enchanted hotel. Before she went through the lit entrance of the hotel, she noticed a strange humming, like a song. She approached to listen better and a hatchway opened in front of her and a large iron staircase was visible. A girl was lying at the bottom of the pit and was singing. 'Are you hurt?' asked the princess. 'Oh no my lady' she answered, 'but I was like you once, don't go inside this hotel, οr it'll be the end of you. The car-fairy can show you the way to your castle.' 'But tell me, where can I find her?' said the princess. 'She lives at the edge of the city. If she is asleep, you must wait for her to wake up and talk to you first. When you see her, my lady, tell her that I am here.'

And then, the princess ran away and straight on to the car-fairy's place. She followed the advice of the girl and waited for the fairy to speak first. 'Who are you and what do you want from me?' said she. 'I am the princess of the Castle and I am lost. The fallen girl told me where to find you.' 'Οh my lady princess, that girl is my lost daughter. I loved her more than anything in the world, do you know where I can find her?' asked the fairy with great eagerness. 'Ι can show you the way to your daughter', the princess answered, 'but you must show me the way back to my castle'. 'Yes, my beautiful princess', replied the car-fairy and packed three of her most beautiful dresses, one embroidered with glittering stars, the second with silver moons and the third with golden suns. 'These dresses are for you', she said to the princess. 'If you wear the first one, you will return to your castle, if you wear the second, the magic spell that makes you embroider every evening will be dissolved and if you wear the third with your eyes closed and facing the stars, a strong king will come and make you his wife'. The princess and the car-fairy embraced and kissed each other. Needless to ask whether they lived happily ever after.
 
The structure and the language are based on the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales.