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5 Terrifying Details from the Original Brothers Grimm Version of Cinderella

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Jonathan Olley/Disney

Many of Disney’s iconic properties have been transmuted from their original form of terrifying Germanic tales of woe written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm into more family-friendly fare. Cinderella is no different.

While most movie versions of Cinderella’s story are produced for children, you should probably exercise slightly more caution when deciding whether to reveal the original version to your kids. Here are five things you had no idea were part of the original Cinderella fairy tale.

1. Cinderella’s Sadness Tree
In the original version, Cinderella doesn’t have a fairy godmother; instead she has a tree – planted by her mother’s grave – that she prays by daily. That’s where she finds the dress to wear to the ball. From a tree, quite literally watered with with tears.

2. If The Shoe Fits
Perhaps the most mortifying and well-known detail from the Brothers Grimm version of the story is that one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters cuts off her toes to fit into the glass slipper; the other, her heel. Some doves tell the prince there’s blood on the shoe, and that’s how he’s led to Cinderella. The stepsisters decide to attend her wedding anyway, but

3. Bird Flu Has Nothing on This
birds peck out the stepsisters’ eyes. Bear in mind, they’re already out a heel and some toes, respectively, but still.

4. The Prince Sets a Literal Princess Trap
The prince in the Brothers Grimm version doesn’t mess around. After the third ball in the story (yes, there are three in the original tale), he smears the palace steps with pitch so Cinderella’s shoe will stick and be left behind. It’s not exactly the meet-cute from a rom-com, is it?

5. After He Follows Her Home
Twice. After the first two balls, the prince follows his newfound love home. Creepy? Well, yes, but that’s nothing compared to what happens when he meets Cinderella’s father and tells him about the girl he followed there – and her dad takes an axe and chops down her possible hiding places. Bear in mind, she could have possibly been inside them at the time. Does Christopher Nolan have any interest in a gritty reboot of this property?